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Combat Commander: Europe» Forums » Rules

Subject: Hexspine Hindrances and LOS "touching" rss

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(sorry posted from wrong account, am saving my "Combat Commander" account until I get promoted (by playing through the base game)


Wanted to get some confirmation of a couple of things

1) Is the issue of hexspine hindrance specifically pointed out in the rules, or only as one of the examples of LOS on Page 9? I'm specifically looking at the example H

Smoke fills the hex, and I think terrain type "fills" the hex in a way thats not the same as LOS blocking art, correct? i.e. the orchard art is incidental to the fact that the entire orchard hex provides a hindrance to a shot traced through it. In other words, if the smoke marker was not there, the shot H would be hindered instead by the orchard, even though it goes along a hexspine and thus the hex adjacent on the other side is not hindered as it is not an orchard, another example LOS would be from point F (hex M8) to Sgt Grein in N6. The LOS traces the spine between M7 and N7, one of which is orchard and one of which is open ground/road.

Is this covered as an explicit rules point, or just via example.

2) I read some other posts by experienced players who have described "razor fine" LOS questions as resolved by whether you can see art "on either side" of a fine line drawn. Now it seems in the games we have played there are very many lanes which seem to be too close to not be designed to be "just on the edge", and we cant decide if its coincidence or design since sometimes it looks like they could have just drawn a tree or building a bit smaller or bigger to make it obvious. I know Chad said there was an art error in one map in just such a case, but I wanted to double check what the actual rule is, well it seems to say the LOS just "touches" but my old eyes, and the stretch line I have for LOS leaves some room for debate without being extremely precise in how and where you hold your end points for the line, and a lot of these lines are incredibly close to being microscopically debatable, and probably affected not just by your eyes, but how you hold the line, and how thick it is etc. Do you use some kind of gentlemans rule where you need to "see" a definite pixel of underlying terrain to rule it as clear, ie do you err on the side of blocked, or do you err on the side of open, ie if you could imagine your LOS tool being hypothetically as thin as it could be then you could argue it wouldnt quite touch, or do you have a very absolute method or tip you could share with me

I mainly just want to be consistent and not feel like we're fudging the judgement because its so close to call we are questioning things like, well, if they wanted that blocked they would just have drawn a bigger clump of trees (of course thats a shit reason since that would only affect a different LOS in all likelihood)
 
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David desJardins
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There's thousands of different lines you can draw on the map between hex centers, so some of them are going to "barely" touch a hindrance or obstacle, whatever you do. I don't think there was much conscious thought given to putting the artwork just over or under any one of these lines, except in a small number of special cases. Otherwise it's just random and some of them will be right on the edge.
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Chris in Kansai
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If there's a disagreement, defender decides.
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Len K
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BoJack Horseman wrote:

1) Is the issue of hexspine hindrance specifically pointed out in the rules, or only as one of the examples of LOS on Page 9? I'm specifically looking at the example H

Smoke fills the hex, and I think terrain type "fills" the hex in a way thats not the same as LOS blocking art, correct? i.e. the orchard art is incidental to the fact that the entire orchard hex provides a hindrance to a shot traced through it. In other words, if the smoke marker was not there, the shot H would be hindered instead by the orchard

Incorrect. Actual printed terrain depictions cause a hindrance, just like LOS. For most 'continuous' terrain (e.g., woods, brush) this is not a problem, but for 'discrete' terrain (e.g. orchard), if you can trace a LOS exactly between the trees, there is no hindrance.

BoJack Horseman wrote:
Is this covered as an explicit rules point, or just via example.

Rule 10.1 (my emphasis) ...If the string touches the physical depiction of a terrain Obstacle or Hindrance in an intervening hex, that LOS is blocked [10.2] or hindered [10.3], respectively.

BoJack Horseman wrote:

2) I read some other posts [...] or do you have a very absolute method or tip you could share with me

I will ask my opponent, "I think this hex [can/can't] see that hex. Do you agree?" We debate as rational gentlemen until we agree. Sometimes I am swayed.
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Brad Miller
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Having the map loaded in Vassal is super helpful. Zoom and straight lines between centers is better than my eyes can do...
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Damn it! But thanks especially on hindrance being art based, without the hex spine issue I would have carried on filling the hex with hindrance like smoke does, at least until my rules review due in 3 scenarios time.

I guess the LOS thing boils down to two philosophies, do you err towards a 'blocked unless you see a pixel of clear' or you err towards an 'open unless you see a pixel+ of terrain on both sides of the line'

So, which are you lot?
 
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David desJardins
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The rulebook says, if the string touches the depiction, so that's how we play.
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Steve Shockley
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BoJack Horseman wrote:
Damn it! But thanks especially on hindrance being art based, without the hex spine issue I would have carried on filling the hex with hindrance like smoke does, at least until my rules review due in 3 scenarios time.

I guess the LOS thing boils down to two philosophies, do you err towards a 'blocked unless you see a pixel of clear' or you err towards an 'open unless you see a pixel+ of terrain on both sides of the line'

So, which are you lot?


The former.

Every now and then, you do get a case where it could go either way. In those situations, we prefer to allow the shot.
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Len K
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BoJack Horseman wrote:
I guess the LOS thing boils down to two philosophies, do you err towards a 'blocked unless you see a pixel of clear' or you err towards an 'open unless you see a pixel+ of terrain on both sides of the line'

Whoa BoJack, That kind o' talk is dangerously close to inferrin' somethin' that ain't there.
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Paul Trad

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If it touches it is blocked/hindered.

If you are not sure it is touching, it is.

Fire goes both ways.

There is no spoon.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAXtO5dMqEI

______________________________________


"Do not try to bend the spoon, that would be... impossible. Only try to remember the truth."

What is the truth.

"There is no spoon." There is no spoon?

"Then you will see it's not the spoon that bends; it is only yourself."
 
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Yes, I'm really not inferring (that's why I am here), I'm trying to describe that sometimes "touching" is so razor fine you're talking about practical human error in holding the lines in the mid point of a hex center dot (which itself has an extended area), using a line which is not a hypothetical infinitely narrow line but has a thickness, so I just wanted to get some feedback on how those kinds of assessments are handled by most people. If I have a LOS tool that "just touches" a tree art I can very well argue (not infer) that using a "thinner" LOS string would mean there is a gap. I guess I should investigate some alternative LOS string perhaps (and rule that the in game tool is official), VASSAL is also a good idea for checking I guess. This is not one of those problem issues, I play mainly with the wife, we're happy to look it up later having made an agreement in game, but it was more having a guideline since I'd read in online posts both different philosophies (need to see some kind of gap, or need to see some kind of clear overlap)

thanks for the feedback
 
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Gunderian007 wrote:


If you are not sure it is touching, it is.


thats the "need to see a pixel gap" philosophy I meant (and that seems to be more in line with the RAW.

I'm not trying to be difficult I just want to be consistent and correct. At some point theres going to be lines of sight where touching or not is going to be influenced by or depend on your eyesight, your LOS tool, room lighting, how accurately you "pin" the LOS string on the centre dots etc. I'm perfectly fine with a gentlemans agreement on border cases but "infer nothing" states only that the line should touch the art, I could prove scientifically that a line can be drawn with "space" between it and art that would be indistinguishable as space by the human eye, Are we inferring with our own eyes then (not to mention if you zoomed in enough on the border pixels you start to approach the bleed of ink outside the nominally drawn digital.

The biggest dispute we had turned out to be a confirmed art mistake on one of the maps, so at least I hope you can understand why I wanted to follow up with a general principle for these extremely fine in/out questions.

again, please don't infer that this is some kind of criticism or argument from me, I'm just trying to learn to be consistent and feel confident in my handling of "common corner cases"
 
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César Moreno
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Windopaene wrote:
Having the map loaded in Vassal is super helpful. Zoom and straight lines between centers is better than my eyes can do...


Vassal LOS tool doesn't start and end in the exact center of the hex. Most of the times it's close enough, but sometimes it's off enough to make a difference.
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As a physicist I'm also just interested in it academically, I'm well used to concepts like imaginary planes extending to infinity etc


OK, heres another one, game ethics (again, not something that would be relevant to how I play, but just for interesting discussion)

The RAW define the centre points of hexes to draw the LOS but they are extended in space (theyre not infinitely small dots). It's allowed per RAW that you could theoretically wiggle a LOS tool around within those dots to manipulate a pixel to "prove" LOS. Has this ever happened to anyone? Would you feel this is fair game within the rules, or against the spirit of the game on a more general level

again - question posed out of interest, not something I am going to sneak past the wife this evening in "Commando School"
 
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Michael Olsen
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BoJack Horseman wrote:
The RAW define the centre points of hexes to draw the LOS but they are extended in space (theyre not infinitely small dots). It's allowed per RAW that you could theoretically wiggle a LOS tool around within those dots to manipulate a pixel to "prove" LOS. Has this ever happened to anyone? Would you feel this is fair game within the rules, or against the spirit of the game on a more general level


I think that anyone trying that would be more happy playing another game, possibly in a more competitive environment (ASL comes to mind).

That said, the rules do say center dot, not "center of center dot". Personally I would most likely allow it and never, ever play with that opponent again.
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just to clarify with a diagram


first situation showing the dot to dot variants

second situation showing the effect of LOS thickness.

the bottom image also illustrates the concept of what you mean when you say "line". For any given line which "just touches" a depiction of art I can argue that there exists a thinner line INSIDE the line depicted, which by definition does not touch the art. In that regard, since the definition of a line is constrained in the direction of being "infinitely thin", physics would approach the distinction from the "need to see a pixel crossing over the line", since this would be a LOS blocker regardless of the thickness of the line.

(in practical terms it doesnt need to be a mathematical line, I can just say, let me go and find a thinner piece of string, but the rules dont mention the tool used, only to "draw a line", and a line is a mathematical construct

Well, I'm babbling now, like I said, I find this INTERESTING and fun to discuss, please dont misinterpret this as some kind of flame baiting nerd rage.
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As an abstract concept this is not specific to CC of course - it's a pretty generic problem ( as in interesting problem as used academically not a 'problem' in the trouble sense of the word )
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Paul Trad

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David desJardins
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BoJack Horseman wrote:
Yes, I'm really not inferring (that's why I am here), I'm trying to describe that sometimes "touching" is so razor fine you're talking about practical human error in holding the lines in the mid point of a hex center dot (which itself has an extended area), using a line which is not a hypothetical infinitely narrow line but has a thickness, so I just wanted to get some feedback on how those kinds of assessments are handled by most people. If I have a LOS tool that "just touches" a tree art I can very well argue (not infer) that using a "thinner" LOS string would mean there is a gap.


The rules don't refer to some hypothetical "thinner" LOS string. They just refer to if the string touches the hindrance or obstruction. The actual string, not some hypothetical one. You just have to follow the rules.
 
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David desJardins
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BoJack Horseman wrote:
(in practical terms it doesnt need to be a mathematical line, I can just say, let me go and find a thinner piece of string, but the rules dont mention the tool used, only to "draw a line", and a line is a mathematical construct


No, that's not true. Here's the rule:

10.1 LOS Checks
Generally, a unit in one hex must be able to “see” a unit in another hex in order to fire at it. A LOS “check” is made by stretching a string
taut between the “sighting” hex’s center dot and the “target” hex’s center dot. If the string touches the physical depiction of a terrain Obstacle or Hindrance in an intervening hex, that LOS is blocked [10.2] or hindered [10.3], respectively.


The words "draw a line" don't appear anywhere in the rulebook.

If you're going to make pedantic arguments about the rules you should at least quote the actual rules.
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Doug DeMoss
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Because there's NOTHING more annoying than an insufficiently pedantic pedant.
 
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Dan Huffman
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BoJack Horseman wrote:
just to clarify with a diagram


first situation showing the dot to dot variants

second situation showing the effect of LOS thickness.

the bottom image also illustrates the concept of what you mean when you say "line". For any given line which "just touches" a depiction of art I can argue that there exists a thinner line INSIDE the line depicted, which by definition does not touch the art. In that regard, since the definition of a line is constrained in the direction of being "infinitely thin", physics would approach the distinction from the "need to see a pixel crossing over the line", since this would be a LOS blocker regardless of the thickness of the line.

(in practical terms it doesnt need to be a mathematical line, I can just say, let me go and find a thinner piece of string, but the rules dont mention the tool used, only to "draw a line", and a line is a mathematical construct

Well, I'm babbling now, like I said, I find this INTERESTING and fun to discuss, please dont misinterpret this as some kind of flame baiting nerd rage.


While I might acquiesce to an insane opponent, for me, your pictures as drawn are:
1) Blocked (Hindered)
2) Blocked (Hindered)
3) Open


Once you get CC:E down, the later maps have shadows!!! Then you need to know if your opponent considers the shadows as part of the objects or not. My reading of these forums is that the shadows are NOT part of the objects.
 
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yeah the diagram shows 1) and 2) same situation but choosing how you align your string relative to the centre dots.

the third diagram shows how thickness of your string can affect LOS (obv)

I was mainly just struck by how often those lines of sight just skim the edge of artwork, I would hope no one else would get wound up about it, I said it wasn't really a problem, more an academic interest (and actually referred to some comments I'd read where someone had mentioned "seeing a pixel on both sides of the string as clearly identified a "block" and another poster talking about not seeing a pixel of open space so its blocked). Then of course by definition with so many "right on the edge" cases, it seems like whether intentionally or not, the string you use, the way you anchor it, how good your eyes are, how steady your hands are can affect the shot.
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Dan Huffman
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BoJack, I totally agree with all that. But isn't that always the case? You can only do the best that you can do. When there is a close call, it is a matter of making a deal with the other person. Sometimes I try my best to convince the other person, sometimes I acquiesce.

Someone above mentioned using Vassal. If that is the decision of both players, I think it is a valid one. But sometimes, IIRC Vassal draws lines more like your examples meant to confuse rather than the centerpoint to centerpoint ones. LOL Vassal, after all, was made by a human.
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Chris Saad
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We use a thread
If it merely touches the depiction, we play it is blocked or hindered
We have a magnifying glass for tuff calls
We rarely see doubtful examples, but on that rare occasion, we play it is blocked.

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