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Subject: Firing the length of a brown hexside rss

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Brian McCue
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In places like hills 130 and 107, somebody said you can't shoot down the hill sides at targets two hexes away because the fire is blocked by the brown spines radiating down from the top.

I think this is nuts (based on what I see when I stand at the top of a hill), but I think it's a correct interpretation of the Rules As Written. Is there an official erratum somewhere that patches this?
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Scott Clinton
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hmmmm...

No errata that I know of as none is needed.

I agree with the rule.

I think perhaps you are misinterpeting the map or the hexsides.

You have to consider the map as (very) abstract. All hex types, hexside types that are the same (color, whatever) are *exactly* the same in the game and on the map.

Thus, all hills are the same height.

And, all brown hexsides are exactly the same height. So, if you are standing on a hill top, and the "slope" extends for a long distance to your west, but drops sharply to your east; you can see objects at lower elevations to your east while those to your west are blocked by the 'extended slope'--but it is not really sloping down, because all the brown hexsides are the same height so it is more of a plateau effect (yep, think of it as stacks of pancakes...mmmmmm....pancakes....)

My old-school, and quite over-valued 2 cents,

GG
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T. Dauphin
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I will take the opposite view.
I'm with you, Brian, intuitively it makes no sense.
I'm not familiar with any errata or questions that deal with this one. However, Panzer Leader does deal with this specifically.

Rule VII J 1 a says, "If the straightedge bisects a hex side symbol through its LENGTH that symbol blocks the LOS/LOF. SPECIAL: It would NOT block the LOS/LOF if it were a brown hex side connected to an orange hex side."
(In other words, if the slope spine meets the top of the hill--which you would be on.)

Given that Panzer Leader is the sequel/evolution of Panzerblitz, I'd say that's license to adopt the rule for PB.

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Mike Weaver
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tanik wrote:

I will take the opposite view.
I'm with you, Brian, intuitively it makes no sense.
I'm not familiar with any errata or questions that deal with this one.

The effect in PanzerBlitz is to provide the defender with an opportunity to seek a position in defilade. If you draw out the geometry to scale with pencil and paper (i.e., use the hex size and elevations stated in the rules), it is easy to see that there are defilade positions. There are two key points to keep in mind. First, PanzerBlitz always gives the defender the benefit of the doubt; this serves to "build in" that the defending unit is tactically trained to seek covering terrain, as well as adding "fog of war" to counteract the Olympian point of view of both players. Second, PanzerBlitz intentionally limits resolution of distance and elevation (think of it as pixelation or granularity), consistent with the battalion-level operational scale of the game; this leads to the "stacks of pancakes" aptly described above, and can produce situations that may conflict with a higher resolution world view (aka, reality ).



tanik wrote:

Given that Panzer Leader is the sequel/evolution of Panzerblitz, I'd say that's license to adopt the rule for PB.

The designer of Panzer Leader vehemently disagreed with that:

“There have been many people writing to us pleading for permission to use PANZER LEADER rules with their PANZERBLITZ games, asking whether this or that PL rule could be applied to PB, whether PL rules supersede, blanket-fashion, PB rules, etc., etc., etc. Sometimes I could quietly scream . . . Once and for all, PB and PL are two different games. The games have their own rules and stand or fall by those rules. What a gamer cares to do between the two sets of rules in the privacy of his own home is his business. A word of caution: Simply because a rule changed in PL does not mean it was wrong in PB. The two games cover two different conflicts, locales, and adversaries.”

-- Randall C. Reed, The General, Vol. 12, No. 1, p. 16.
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Brian McCue
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Grumbling Grognard wrote:
hmmmm...

No errata that I know of as none is needed.

I agree with the rule.

I think perhaps you are misinterpeting the map or the hexsides.

You have to consider the map as (very) abstract. All hex types, hexside types that are the same (color, whatever) are *exactly* the same in the game and on the map.

Thus, all hills are the same height.

And, all brown hexsides are exactly the same height. So, if you are standing on a hill top, and the "slope" extends for a long distance to your west, but drops sharply to your east; you can see objects at lower elevations to your east while those to your west are blocked by the 'extended slope'--but it is not really sloping down, because all the brown hexsides are the same height so it is more of a plateau effect (yep, think of it as stacks of pancakes...mmmmmm....pancakes....)

My old-school, and quite over-valued 2 cents,

GG


Thanks. I had been thinking of those brown hexes as being the bevels of the six-sided truncated pyramid that is the hill, but I take your point that they are ridges, just like any other brown hex side. The whole thing would have been much more clear if the Sighting Examples had included a LOS (blocked) between W and X, and an unblocked LOS from W to the hex just below X.
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T. Dauphin
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Chlapec wrote:
tanik wrote:

I will take the opposite view.
I'm with you, Brian, intuitively it makes no sense.
I'm not familiar with any errata or questions that deal with this one.

The effect in PanzerBlitz is to provide the defender with an opportunity to seek a position in defilade. If you draw out the geometry to scale with pencil and paper (i.e., use the hex size and elevations stated in the rules), it is easy to see that there are defilade positions. There are two key points to keep in mind. First, PanzerBlitz always gives the defender the benefit of the doubt; this serves to "build in" that the defending unit is tactically trained to seek covering terrain, as well as adding "fog of war" to counteract the Olympian point of view of both players. Second, PanzerBlitz intentionally limits resolution of distance and elevation (think of it as pixelation or granularity), consistent with the battalion-level operational scale of the game; this leads to the "stacks of pancakes" aptly described above, and can produce situations that may conflict with a higher resolution world view (aka, reality ).

I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing here. Did you see the map references the OP mentioned? He's asking about a distance of two hexes down a single hex spine. So if I understand what you're saying, then looking at 130, the hill would have a series of six ridges that run out mostly horizontal then drop off sharply at the end, and in between each would be a gully-like slope (the actual slope hexes) which are the places that LOS is not obstructed, the whole looking more floral than hilly. 107 has an extended ridge that would certainly pose sighting problems, but as much as I get designing for effect, nothing about these single spine locations makes me think that is what they intended.
Chlapec wrote:

tanik wrote:

Given that Panzer Leader is the sequel/evolution of Panzerblitz, I'd say that's license to adopt the rule for PB.

The designer of Panzer Leader vehemently disagreed with that.


Where would I find that?

 
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Gary Logs
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I guess I was too mezmorized by PB's armor profiles, no ZOCs, different classes of weapons and defenses, something called LOS and range with terrain considerations to notice lacking map realities in something so innovative and engaging. A simple brown line just never surfaced as an issue, I guess I just saw a razorback peak jetting out.
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T. Dauphin
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My understanding of the brown hexsides is that they are there to identify the point where, when looking 'around' a hillside, the line of sight is finally cut off by the curve of the hill (but sure, it may stick out and be a bit more ridge-like at these points). As such, you can continue to imagine the world you're playing in quite realistically formed of curves, not lego-like blocks that suddenly cut off LOS.
The writers do actually use "razorback ridges" to describe those hills that are just slopes without hilltops--but not anywhere else. I would suggest, that the slope extension off hill 107, which I mentioned above, would constitute a razorback ridge, and would cut off LOS in some locations.

 
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Gary Logs
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Not sure where you basis of looking around a hill comes from vs what the rules say. I'm not arguing here, just asking cause I'm going by my PB play recollections, not trying to be lawyer-ish here. Maybe the interim effect status of being on a brown slope?
 
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Frank Clarke
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brianmccue wrote:
In places like hills 130 and 107, somebody said you can't shoot down the hill sides at targets two hexes away because the fire is blocked by the brown spines radiating down from the top.

I think this is nuts (based on what I see when I stand at the top of a hill), but I think it's a correct interpretation of the Rules As Written. Is there an official erratum somewhere that patches this?

C- When firing FROM a hilltop TO a ground-level
target, the Line-of-Sight is obstructed by
intervening Brown hex-side symbols if such a
symbol is closer to the TARGET UNIT than to
the firing unit or if the symbol is exactly mid-way
between the two. To determine the relative
position of the Brown symbol, count the number
of hexagon SIDES through which the Line-of-
Sight is traced (including the side of the firing
hex and the side of the target hex).


Correct interpretation of Rules as written, I would say yes. The brown lines would therefore be ridges or berms. It doesn't seem "wrong" to me as such.

Edit:

One of my earlier posts on the subject:
 
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T. Dauphin
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ncree wrote:
Not sure where you basis of looking around a hill comes from vs what the rules say. I'm not arguing here, just asking cause I'm going by my PB play recollections, not trying to be lawyer-ish here. Maybe the interim effect status of being on a brown slope?


Yea, I'm happy debating this, and I'm quite OK explaining myself. I like to know where other people are coming from with their explanations, as well.
I don't have an official source that leads me to this conclusion. What I do any time I interpret rules is imagine what the real world that they're describing looks like. And most of the hills in my experience are relatively smoothly curving and don't look like starfish (exaggerating for effect ). Also, I've noticed that the only places that the brown hexsides occur are on locations on hills where the hill is curving around. None (not one) of the 'straight' sections of slopes are interrupted by a brown hex side--except those hills without hilltops, and which could more accurately be described as ridges. Many of these ridges have brown hexsides in the middle of 'straight' slope sections. (As previously mentioned, these are called ridges in the rules.) I do think it's significant that the 'topped' hills are constructed this way.
There are places where slopes do stick out beyond the generally rounded shape I described. Here, I do believe these are depicting finger like promontories that maintain their elevations throughout their lengths, and create LOS issues.
One of things that happens in wargame rulebooks is that, in an effort to present a set of complex rules in the simplest way possible, descriptions are used that refer to the lines and diagrams on the board, and not descriptions that use real world references. So we can easily get caught up in the details of where a line starts or ends, for example, instead of considering how the real world components behave or how they're shaped. Understandably, because that is (for most of us) the only reference we have. The experts have looked at a host of data to make their interpretations, much of which we don't have access to.

I have just tonight, BTW, found the same description in Panzerblitz's optional rules that Panzer Leader uses to talk about looking up or down a hill.

Panzerblitz Optional Rules wrote:

REAL SPACE LINE OF SIGHT DETERMINATION
...If the straight edge bisects a hex-side symbol through it's LENGTH, take that symbol into account UNLESS it is a Brown symbol which connects with an Orange symbol [hilltop].


edit to quote previous post
 
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T. Dauphin
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OK, I think I've had a revelation.
We may be talking about 2 different approaches.
The optional rule discovery turned a light on for me.
I have (except perhaps (can't remember) for my first few games) always used direct line sighting when I play, and have been approaching this discussion from that perspective.
The OP's question implies a straight line view of things, too.
But, the rules are not written that way.
The rules are describing tracing LOS through a path of hexes as though you were moving through them (the shortest possible, of course). In this way if you crossed a brown hexside you would be looking ACROSS it, NEVER down the length of it.
Therefore the OP's question is answered simply by noting that you would trace your path to one side of (not down) the offending brown hexside, and no such obstruction would exist.
If you are using the optional (more realistic) sighting method, then, because the brown hex side connects with an orange hex side, the LOS is not obstructed.
Either way, no obstruction.

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T. Dauphin
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Chlapec wrote:


tanik wrote:

Given that Panzer Leader is the sequel/evolution of Panzerblitz, I'd say that's license to adopt the rule for PB.

The designer of Panzer Leader vehemently disagreed with that:

“There have been many people writing to us pleading for permission to use PANZER LEADER rules with their PANZERBLITZ games, asking whether this or that PL rule could be applied to PB, whether PL rules supersede, blanket-fashion, PB rules, etc., etc., etc. Sometimes I could quietly scream . . . Once and for all, PB and PL are two different games. The games have their own rules and stand or fall by those rules. What a gamer cares to do between the two sets of rules in the privacy of his own home is his business. A word of caution: Simply because a rule changed in PL does not mean it was wrong in PB. The two games cover two different conflicts, locales, and adversaries.”

-- Randall C. Reed, The General, Vol. 12, No. 1, p. 16.


Just found this. Wasn't looking in a previous post.
Thanks.

 
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Brian McCue
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Panzerblitz Optional Rules wrote:

REAL SPACE LINE OF SIGHT DETERMINATION
...If the straight edge bisects a hex-side symbol through it's LENGTH, take that symbol into account UNLESS it is a Brown symbol which connects with an Orange symbol [hilltop].


Well, that explains why this question seemed unfamiliar: when I was taught to play we used the Real Space LOS Determination. I've probably never played with the basic rule, so I was quite startled when somebody asked me the original question.
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Mike Weaver
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So bottom line is:

1) The original premise is NOT a correct interpretation of the rules as written; no erratum is needed.

2) The rules as written (both standard and optional) already account for geometric discretization idiosyncrasies for brown hex-sides that intersect with orange hex-sides, such as for hills 127 and 130 (hill 107 has potential for confusing the matter).

3) There is no need for appealing to Panzer Leader rules, though they are consistent with the PanzerBlitz rules in this instance.
 
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Gary Logs
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tanik wrote:

OK, I think I've had a revelation.
We may be talking about 2 different approaches.
The optional rule discovery turned a light on for me.
I have (except perhaps (can't remember) for my first few games) always used direct line sighting when I play, and have been approaching this discussion from that perspective.
The OP's question implies a straight line view of things, too.
But, the rules are not written that way.
The rules are describing tracing LOS through a path of hexes as though you were moving through them (the shortest possible, of course). In this way if you crossed a brown hexside you would be looking ACROSS it, NEVER down the length of it.
Therefore the OP's question is answered simply by noting that you would trace your path to one side of (not down) the offending brown hexside, and no such obstruction would exist.
If you are using the optional (more realistic) sighting method, then, because the brown hex side connects with an orange hex side, the LOS is not obstructed.
Either way, no obstruction.



Cracked open the rules (dried orange colored tape at many seams) and I agree with you. I also refreshed on the fun of how to select targets in a hex, like looking at photos of the birth of tactical wargaming!
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Brice Yokem

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I am not sure I understand all the posts here, but here is my understanding of the situation.

There is a firing unit on a hilltop and a target at ground level two hexes away.
The firing unit has to shoot straight down the length of a brown hexside in order to target the ground level unit.
I recall the LOS is blocked.
Regarding an errata.
There was a PanzerBlitz book published by AH in magazine format (Players Guide to PanzerBlitz?) which had situations like this explained on the back cover. My copy has been loaned out so I cannot look it up.
If someone here has one, maybe that can explain this conundrum.
 
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Gary Logs
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Jokem wrote:
I am not sure I understand all the posts here, but here is my understanding of the situation.

There is a firing unit on a hilltop and a target at ground level two hexes away.
The firing unit has to shoot straight down the length of a brown hexside in order to target the ground level unit.
I recall the LOS is blocked.
Regarding an errata.
There was a PanzerBlitz book published by AH in magazine format (Players Guide to PanzerBlitz?) which had situations like this explained on the back cover. My copy has been loaned out so I cannot look it up.
If someone here has one, maybe that can explain this conundrum.


Just pulled that out, the situation on the last page errata (36), refers to a unit on a slope hex but then says brown hex sides block "only when the target unit is on a ground level (see TET)". I don't think this overrides the rules as written, just points back to them per TET.
 
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Brice Yokem

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The discussion was not about units on slope hexes, but those at ground level if I understand correctly.
 
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Brian McCue
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Jokem wrote:
The discussion was not about units on slope hexes, but those at ground level if I understand correctly.


The discussion is about a unit shooting from the top of a hill to a ground-level hex, two hexes away, along the length of a brown hexside. It would be the shot from W to X on the sighting examples card.
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Mike Weaver
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In the standard rules as written, the blue lines of sight are not obstructed, because the Brown hex-side is not intersected.



In the optional real-space rule, the line of sight is also not obstructed, because the Brown hex-side connected to the Orange hex-side is ignored, per the optional rule.
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Gary Logs
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ncree wrote:
Jokem wrote:
I am not sure I understand all the posts here, but here is my understanding of the situation.

There is a firing unit on a hilltop and a target at ground level two hexes away.
The firing unit has to shoot straight down the length of a brown hexside in order to target the ground level unit.
I recall the LOS is blocked.
Regarding an errata.
There was a PanzerBlitz book published by AH in magazine format (Players Guide to PanzerBlitz?) which had situations like this explained on the back cover. My copy has been loaned out so I cannot look it up.
If someone here has one, maybe that can explain this conundrum.


Just pulled that out, the situation on the last page errata (36), refers to a unit on a slope hex but then says brown hex sides block "only when the target unit is on a ground level (see TET)". I don't think this overrides the rules as written, just points back to them per TET.



Jokem wrote:
The discussion was not about units on slope hexes, but those at ground level if I understand correctly.


I provided your missing PB Gamers Guide reference to a brown bar LOS question. It was about being on a slope in the initial question, but had content to the OP's ground level (GL) question which I marked with italics/quotation marks. That points back to the TET rules. Those are applied to either basic rules selecting the straightest hex path LOS (doesn't cross the brown bar) or optional LOS rule with straight ruler (which specifically allows LOS from orange to GL for a length bisected brown bar).
 
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