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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Line of Sight and New Cover Variant rss

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Brad Jessup
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Langley
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Line of sight and cover rules in Descent 2.0 have generated a lot of discussion and people have house-ruled them in various ways. A common current variant is to use Star Wars: Imperial Assault line of sight rules. However many have said this changes the rules too much and has a large impact.

I am proposing a compromise solution.

This concept keeps the simple "draw a line from 1 corner of attacker to 1 corner of defender" concept of Descent 2.0 but adds cover rules.

Cover Rule: If the line of sight drawn from attacker to defender touches the corner of an blocked space (wall, figure, obstacle) or ends at the corner of a blocked space then the defender gets +1 shield for each corner touched. If the line starts at a corner of a blocked space don't count it.

Alternatively, if you like rolling dice, then instead of +1 shield, the defender gets +1 brown die for each corner touched.

So using the common LOS example diagram;



Cases 1 to 5 stay as is, no LOS.

In case 7, A would get +1 shield (or brown die), B would not.

In case 8, both A and B would get the bonus.

In case 9, A would get the bonus, B and D would not.

And as for the infamous case 6, I would rule that they have LOS (but not adjacent) and they both get the bonus because the line ends at a corner.

I think this variant provides a little more realism, strategic cover choices and is quite simple and fast to calculate. It doesn't go as far as SW:IA rules that would block LOS in those cover cases but provides some level of protection for the defender hiding behind a wall. It also does not adversely affect skills like the Necromancer's Army of Death.

What do you think?
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Miles Stevenson
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I like it. I can't think of anything immediately that would throw off balance or cause issues with certain abilities or cards, but you are bound to run into a few where you are going to have to make some exceptions. I think that's the biggest problem with changing base rules in either Descent or IA. There are so many abilities, cards, conditions, etc., that you are bound to run into something that doesn't play well with a rules deviation.

But as far as rules variants go, this seems pretty solid. Good idea.
 
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Sadgit
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Although I like the simple approach that Descent takes and do not feel a need for a houserule myself, here is some feedback:

- You have to exclude the space that is blocked by the target itself. Otherwise all targets would always get the benefit.

- Can you explain why in 9) B or D would not get the additional benefit? The corner to which LOS is drawn ends at a corner of a blocked space. Also, realisticly, B and D would not provide cover to each other.

- How do you handle large figures, which block more then one space?

- In many cases your modification would add the benefit if LOS is drawn to one corner of a target (if a blocked space is adjacent) but not if LOS is drawn to another corner of the same target. Thus, corners are no longer "equal".

- I think that you will run into problems with attacks affecting multiple figures such as Blast.
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Brad Jessup
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Hmm, looks like I need to put more thought into this...

Sadgit wrote:
- You have to exclude the space that is blocked by the target itself. Otherwise all targets would always get the benefit.


Yes, I agree, forgot to point that out. This reminds me of that infamous "zombie blocking itself" argument example. Never understood that. Now I am beginning to.

Sadgit wrote:
- Can you explain why in 9) B or D would not get the additional benefit? The corner to which LOS is drawn ends at a corner of a blocked space. Also, realisticly, B and D would not provide cover to each other.


Ah, I was thinking of the case where, let's say, there was another figure 1 square south of D, call it E. Then I would see in this case that B and E would provide cover for D. Like shooting through the gap between 2 diagonally adjacent blocked spaces. I will have to think about how to simplify this case.

Sadgit wrote:
- How do you handle large figures, which block more then one space?


Not sure what you mean? Do you have an example? I see a large figure as having 4 corners and being a "single" space with respect to how many extra shields you get for "hiding" behind it. And as for the large figure being the target, the other spaces in the large figure do not block or cover itself.

Sadgit wrote:
- In many cases your modification would add the benefit if LOS is drawn to one corner of a target (if a blocked space is adjacent) but not if LOS is drawn to another corner of the same target. Thus, corners are no longer "equal".


Very correct. They are no longer equal and they shouldn't be. You, as the attacker, will be looking for the "clearest" line of sight to avoid extra shields.

Sadgit wrote:
- I think that you will run into problems with attacks affecting multiple figures such as Blast.


In the case of Blast, all adjacent figures would get the same extra shields as the target figure got. As per Blast rules, the adjacent figures do not have to be in line of sight and so, get no extra or less cover shields.

Creating new rules is trickier than I thought. I will have to think about how to amend my cover rules to handle these cases. Thanks for the review.
 
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