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Subject: Impossible to Complete Mission1 Successfully? rss

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Niko
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Just finished my first play of Mission 1: Bloody St. Mick and had only one question I couldn't find the answer to: How am I supposed to end the mission without retreating?
The rules say that I need an active soldier in each of the two buildings, and at least one soldier on the high ground in any (implied singular) hex "from which he can see all the road hexes on the map". The problem is that I do not believe such a hex exists!
To see A6 the soldier needs to be in S15, T15, or U16. However, the LOS from all these hexes to Y18 is blocked by the crest...

I ruled that simply all road hexes need to be seen by any soldier on the high ground, not necessarily the same one. Luckily the mission went extremely well and I made it through with only some wounds so I had enough bodies to easily accomplish this.
However, my question remains if I missed something in the LOS rules and there actually is a single hex from which the entire road can be seen.
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Steven Packard
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I've wondered about this very thing and this is the first time that I've ever heard anyone else but me mention it.

I've asked a few people, and it was just brushed away without a full explanation as to how the win conditions can be satisfied. It's been so long since I last mentioned it that I don't recall why I never pushed harder for a full explanation.

I suspect typo, but whenever the scenario is brought up, they talk about how wonderful it is, and I often here about how the speaker won -- but I don't know how.

I hope someone sheds some light on this for us.
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T. Dauphin
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Forgive me as I don't have the rule book in front of me for the precise wording, but I'm not sure "the high ground" means the highest ground. So, being in O13 would satisfy the requirements. However, like you, I don't believe that a single soldier is necessary, either, and that you could fulfill the requirements with more than one doing the job. I think that's how I did it.

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Niko
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tanik wrote:

Forgive me as I don't have the rule book in front of me for the precise wording, but I'm not sure "the high ground" means the highest ground. So, being in O13 would satisfy the requirements. However, like you, I don't believe that a single soldier is necessary, either, and that you could fulfill the requirements with more than one doing the job. I think that's how I did it.
Sorry, should have put the full quote in my original post:
Quote:
At least one active US soldier is in the building hex T8, at least one US soldier is in the building hexes K13 and L13, and at least one active US soldier is in any hex of the heights in the southeast corner of the map (defined by the elevation change running from Q19 to Y13) from which he can see all the road hexes on the map. No active Germans can be on the map. If the mission ends in this manner, you have accomplished your mission and earn 4 additional Victory Points
IMO that means the Level 3 hexes, so not O13.

WhiteKnight85 wrote:
I've wondered about this very thing and this is the first time that I've ever heard anyone else but me mention it.

I've asked a few people, and it was just brushed away without a full explanation as to how the win conditions can be satisfied. It's been so long since I last mentioned it that I don't recall why I never pushed harder for a full explanation.

I suspect typo, but whenever the scenario is brought up, they talk about how wonderful it is, and I often here about how the speaker won -- but I don't know how.

I hope someone sheds some light on this for us.
I actually could have won it by retreating too, but didn't want to risk running into any additional Germans on the way.
Compared to some session reports I've seen where people can't find any VP I got really lucky!
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I got 8 VP from activating Germans, 2 from capturing the officer, and 3 from finding the US survivor. No losses, just a few wounds. Saw the plane go down too, but it burned before I got to it.

Admitted, I didn't just get lucky with getting VP, but also with not getting any soldiers seriously hurt. My guys managed to be quiet enough that most Germans only activated as I was right on top of them.

Good to know that I'm not the only one that noticed this problem though. Of course the downside to that is that there isn't an easy and quick asnwer, but hopefully somebody with more knowledge will chime in.
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Craig Andrews
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Lutz mentions this on his Ambush errata page:

http://flyhi.de/games/ambush2.html#ambush

"Mission 1: According to VG, the hex from which all of the road can be overlooked is "the hill top". Still, I believe there is no single hex from which the complete road can be overlooked, and usually try to man both S-13 and T-12."

There's some errata for most of the missions.

Craig
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:
Sorry, should have put the full quote in my original post:
Quote:
At least one active US soldier is in the building hex T8, at least one US soldier is in the building hexes K13 and L13, and at least one active US soldier is in any hex of the heights in the southeast corner of the map (defined by the elevation change running from Q19 to Y13) from which he can see all the road hexes on the map. No active Germans can be on the map. If the mission ends in this manner, you have accomplished your mission and earn 4 additional Victory Points
I agree that there is no single hex in the heights which can trace an LOS to every road hex on the map.

However, I think the answer to this apparent impossibility is that the victory condition was meant to refer to the combined viewpoints of the units at the three locations that are required to be occupied for you to accomplish your mission.

If my suspicion is correct, the key phrase which was poorly worded is "from which he can see."

Change the word "he" to "they." That seems a bit more clear, doesn't it?

Another possibility, that I think gets us to the same conclusion, is if the word "he" is instead replaced with "you." The condition then refers to the player being able to see all road hexes on the map by virtue of having soldiers in the three specified locations.

This proposed resolution seems to fit with the rulebook's explanation of the mission: "establish control of the St. Michaux road."

What do you think?
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Niko
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TheMadWelshWizard wrote:
Lutz mentions this on his Ambush errata page:

http://flyhi.de/games/ambush2.html#ambush

"Mission 1: According to VG, the hex from which all of the road can be overlooked is "the hill top". Still, I believe there is no single hex from which the complete road can be overlooked, and usually try to man both S-13 and T-12."

There's some errata for most of the missions.

Craig
Thank you for that link! I didn't realize that there was information out there not included in the rules with errata from the files section.
Seems like there really isn't a RAW solution and best judgement must be used.

The Maverick wrote:
Ze_German_Guy wrote:
Sorry, should have put the full quote in my original post:
Quote:
At least one active US soldier is in the building hex T8, at least one US soldier is in the building hexes K13 and L13, and at least one active US soldier is in any hex of the heights in the southeast corner of the map (defined by the elevation change running from Q19 to Y13) from which he can see all the road hexes on the map. No active Germans can be on the map. If the mission ends in this manner, you have accomplished your mission and earn 4 additional Victory Points
I agree that there is no single hex in the heights which can trace an LOS to every road hex on the map.

However, I think the answer to this apparent impossibility is that the victory condition was meant to refer to the combined viewpoints of the units at the three locations that are required to be occupied for you to accomplish your mission.

If my suspicion is correct, the key phrase which was poorly worded is "from which he can see."

Change the word "he" to "they." That seems a bit more clear, doesn't it?

Another possibility, that I think gets us to the same conclusion, is if the word "he" is instead replaced with "you." The condition then refers to the player being able to see all road hexes on the map by virtue of having soldiers in the three specified locations.

This proposed resolution seems to fit with the rulebook's explanation of the mission: "establish control of the St. Michaux road."

What do you think?
I agree that it shouldn't matter how many soldiers are needed to see the entire road. It seems the most logical that that's what was meant too. The buildings don't come close to covering the road though; T8 has LOS to only two road hexes and the stone building only from J10 to Q12. I.e. at least two guys on the height are still needed even if the soldiers in the building are considered for LOS purposes.
So I'd say that one needs to have at least one soldier in each building, at least one soldier in a level 3 hex and all road hexes need to be in LOS of a soldier in a level 3 hex.

To me this is more of an academic discussion though; I was lucky enough to get Ambush and all the expansions so it will be quite a while before I'm through playing new missions and replay this one. Really looking forward to what else the game throws at me!
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:

I was lucky enough to get Ambush and all the expansions so it will be quite a while before I'm through playing new missions and replay this one.

After that you can get Battle Hymn and its one expansion. Battle Hymn has the same mechanics as Ambush, but it's set in the Pacific theater! IMO it's a little less realistic though.
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:
The buildings don't come close to covering the road though; T8 has LOS to only two road hexes and the stone building only from J10 to Q12. I.e. at least two guys on the height are still needed even if the soldiers in the building are considered for LOS purposes.
Now the real fun starts - figuring out LOS! ;-)

I took at look back at the map and LOS rules when I was trying to sort out the victory condition last night. If I am reading things correctly, I think the buildings have a substantial view of the road.

T8 (wooden building hex) actually has LOS on the road segment from A6 to H9 or I10 and, as you note, nearby hexes T10 and U10. (The line of sight to the A6 line of road is valid as it passes through an adjacent aperture hexside and extends from one level 2 hex to another, without any intervening blocking terrain at level 2. I am giving estimates regarding H9/I10 due to using a BGG photo rather than the actual map.)

K13 (stone building hex) has LOS on the road segment from A6 to about P12.

L13 (stone building hex) has LOS on the road segment from about J10 to Q12.

The "heights" hexes S13 and T12, when considered in combination, appear to offer LOS on all road hexes on the map.

Based on the above, one combination that appears to put the entire road in view of the player's units is: the wooden building (T8), hex K13 of the stone building, and hex T12 of the heights. The units in the buildings must not be prone as two of the aperture hexsides involved are windows.
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Niko
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The Maverick wrote:
Ze_German_Guy wrote:
The buildings don't come close to covering the road though; T8 has LOS to only two road hexes and the stone building only from J10 to Q12. I.e. at least two guys on the height are still needed even if the soldiers in the building are considered for LOS purposes.
Now the real fun starts - figuring out LOS! ;-)

I took at look back at the map and LOS rules when I was trying to sort out the victory condition last night. If I am reading things correctly, I think the buildings have a substantial view of the road.

T8 (wooden building hex) actually has LOS on the road segment from A6 to H9 or I10 and, as you note, nearby hexes T10 and U10. (The line of sight to the A6 line of road is valid as it passes through an adjacent aperture hexside and extends from one level 2 hex to another, without any intervening blocking terrain at level 2. I am giving estimates regarding H9/I10 due to using a BGG photo rather than the actual map.)

K13 (stone building hex) has LOS on the road segment from A6 to about P12.

L13 (stone building hex) has LOS on the road segment from about J10 to Q12.

The "heights" hexes S13 and T12, when considered in combination, appear to offer LOS on all road hexes on the map.

Based on the above, one combination that appears to put the entire road in view of the player's units is: the wooden building (T8), hex K13 of the stone building, and hex T12 of the heights. The units in the buildings must not be prone as two of the aperture hexsides involved are windows.
You are right ragading the view to the west from both buildings. i missed that the brush/forest is at lower elevation when writing my previous posts.

The LOS form S13/T12 as you describe it makes me wonder if I'm understanding LOS right. The way I think it works the brush/forest in N11 and O12 should block LOS to the road through it. I'm not 100% on it though as the rules only talk about adjacent hexes of these types.
 
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Steven Packard
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I love finding this thread!

Thanks to Niko for creating it. I thought maybe I had asked this question here years ago, but I suspect that I meant to, but never got around to it.

Thanks to Lutz for creating that amazing errata document.

Thanks to Craig for pointing us to that amazing errata document. I haven't seen it before.

Thanks to Maverick for the wisdom of suggesting that we substitute "they" or "you" for "he". That makes a lot of sense, and it bothers me that I didn't think about doing that myself, especially since it makes thematic sense.

Thanks to everyone who commented on this thread. I'm really wanting to bust this out again.

I've played this I think 3 times over the course of many, many years. I've only played the 1st mission, and I've never finished it. I got bogged down with Real Life each time before I could finish, plus I was confused about the winning condition anyway. I enjoyed the game a lot, but never followed through with it. I especially have always wanted to see how my squad would fare as they went from mission to mission.

Yep. Even writing that now makes me know that you've definitely got me ready to try this out again. Fourth time's a charm....

(So many years pass between each play, and my memory is so bad, that I don't have to worry about me knowing too much to replay a mission. I remember almost nothing, and certainly no details about who is where.)
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:
The LOS form S13/T12 as you describe it makes me wonder if I'm understanding LOS right. The way I think it works the brush/forest in N11 and O12 should block LOS to the road through it. I'm not 100% on it though as the rules only talk about adjacent hexes of these types.
You are on the right track in your last sentence, which reflects this bit from the LOS rules re forests, etc.:

"If the sighting hexes are at different elevations, the LOS is blocked if the LOS enters a hex adjacent to either the sighting or target hex containing forest, brush, rubble, or rough at the same elevation. A hex that is adjacent to the sighting or target hex but at a lower elevation, does not block LOS (that is, the LOS passes over the top of the blocking terrain)."

The game's concept is that a unit looking down from higher terrain (as in this instance) cannot see a unit immediately behind a lower level obstacle. The lower elevation unit is deemed to be shielded from view by the obstructing terrain. However, the higher unit is deemed to be able to look over the lower obstacle and see hexes beyond the LOS-blocked adjacent hex. (The application of the rule will not always be consistent with a geometric analysis of the terrain, but it is an understandable simplification.)

So the level 2 woods and brush hexes at N11 and O12 would only shield the immediately adjacent hexes beyond them (such as M11, M12, or N12 - depending on the sighting hex) when viewed from a level 3 hex. This leaves the more distant road hexes within the LOS of the "heights" hexes in question because the higher units can see over the intervening level 2 terrain.
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WhiteKnight85 wrote:
I've played this I think 3 times over the course of many, many years. I've only played the 1st mission, and I've never finished it. I got bogged down with Real Life each time before I could finish, plus I was confused about the winning condition anyway. I enjoyed the game a lot, but never followed through with it. I especially have always wanted to see how my squad would fare as they went from mission to mission.
Ambush is one of my all-time favorite games -- I highly recommend that you play through an entire campaign!
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The Maverick wrote:
Ze_German_Guy wrote:
The LOS form S13/T12 as you describe it makes me wonder if I'm understanding LOS right. The way I think it works the brush/forest in N11 and O12 should block LOS to the road through it. I'm not 100% on it though as the rules only talk about adjacent hexes of these types.
You are on the right track in your last sentence, which reflects this bit from the LOS rules re forests, etc.:

"If the sighting hexes are at different elevations, the LOS is blocked if the LOS enters a hex adjacent to either the sighting or target hex containing forest, brush, rubble, or rough at the same elevation. A hex that is adjacent to the sighting or target hex but at a lower elevation, does not block LOS (that is, the LOS passes over the top of the blocking terrain)."

The game's concept is that a unit looking down from higher terrain (as in this instance) cannot see a unit immediately behind a lower level obstacle. The lower elevation unit is deemed to be shielded from view by the obstructing terrain. However, the higher unit is deemed to be able to look over the lower obstacle and see hexes beyond the LOS-blocked adjacent hex. (The application of the rule will not always be consistent with a geometric analysis of the terrain, but it is an understandable simplification.)
Thank you, I think it finally sunk in how to properly read that!

Steven; Definitely sit down and try again to play it! I'd recommend to set aside a quiet day for the first mission to make sure you can run through it and look up rules as needed without being pressed for time.
After the first one most of it should have become natural and the next mission will go a lot smoother.

And most importantly I wouldn't worry about getting everything 100% correct. I'm sure that some of the Germans in my game were more stubborn than they should have been since I forgot to switch to self preservation once or twice when a US soldier was in an adjacent hex. So what, it still makes for a great game and story!
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That's good advice. Thank you.

Yeah, in the past I was much more hung up on getting everything 100% right -- to the point of just stopping if I couldn't figure something out. I've learned a lot since then, learning to relax, and learning that there ARE errors and ambiguities in manuals. (However did we survive before the Internet and BGG?)

And learning that these are games to be enjoyed. Loosen up and enjoy the ride. I've learned that the Game Police won't knock down my door and take my beloved games away if I mess up the rules.

It's been several years since I last got out Ambush! Hopefully I'm a wiser person now and can cut myself some slack. Next time (and hopefully that time is very soon) I plan to allow myself plenty of time to play through it (I'm a slow player), and also allow myself to make decisions on the fly if I'm unsure of something. Go with what thematically makes sense, and continue with my story.
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I made this picture to explain in a thread here about LOS a long time ago. At least it helps me envision how LOS can work the way it does, some terrain only blocking if it is adjacent to either soldier (even if I am not sure it always makes sense when comparing different hexes to each other).

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Admittedly, I'm brand new to Ambush!, and only completed this mission for the 1st time last night, but I'm failing to see where there is an issue regarding Line of Sight.

Maybe I just don't understand the rules regarding LoS correctly, but, in looking at the rules and the chart that explains building LoS from page 20 in the original rules and page 19 in the "Updated" rule book available here that includes errata, I'm thinking the entire road is viewable from the stone building at K13/L13.


From K13, looking out the window to the Northwest, I can see A6-J10. The trees, brush and embankment that run from A7-J11 do not impede this at all per 8/1 (in the updated rules): "If the intervening terrain is at a lower elevation than both sighting hexes, the LOS is always clear."

Now, the embankment is considered to be at the higher level per 8/2: "An embankment hexside is considered to be at the higher of the two elevations it borders, thus, an embankment hexside adjacent to a Level 2 hex is considered a Level 2 hexside." At first glance, this might seem to indicate that this is a blocking terrain, as the block is at the same level as the sighting hexes, but the very next sentence says this is nt so: "If both sighting hexes are on the same elevation, then an embankment hexside has no effect on LOS."

So, from the Northwest window, we have sighting on A6-J10.


From the Northeast door at K13, again using the same charts in the rule books, we have clear and unambiguous sighting on K11-M12.


Meaning, from K13, we can see A6-M12.

Now moving to hex L13. From the Northeast window, we have clear sighting for L11-N12. Taking our sighting to A6-N12.


Moving to the Southeast window at L13. This is where the charts in the rules really come into play. Have, of course, clear view of M14. Using either the "North" or "South" examples from the charts as they are the exact hex layout situation we have here, we also have sighting on N13 and M15, and will continue along a straight line in both directions, from M14-M19, and M14-Y8.


Add this to our already established A6-N12, and we now have the entire road in LoS.

Again, I could be reading the LoS rules incorrectly, or even reading those charts incorrectly, but, to me, they seem pretty clear that the stone building at K13/L13 has the entire road under observation and the wood building at T8 and the heights at Level 3 are not needed for LoS.

Thoughts? What am I missing?

Thanks,

Tony
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tpholt wrote:
Thoughts? What am I missing?
It appears you are confusing field of view and LOS, and the fact that LOS is measured from center dot of the sighting hex to the center dot of the hex you are attempting to spot.

See my post above and let me know if you see any errors there, as I was using an image from the gallery to determine LOS rather than my packed-away mapsheets. But I am pretty sure that, measuring from center point to center point, K13 and L13 do not have LOS on the entire road.
 
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The Maverick wrote:
tpholt wrote:
Thoughts? What am I missing?
It appears you are confusing field of view and LOS, and the fact that LOS is measured from center dot of the sighting hex to the center dot of the hex you are attempting to spot.

See my post above and let me know if you see any errors there, as I was using an image from the gallery to determine LOS rather than my packed-away mapsheets. But I am pretty sure that, measuring from center point to center point, K13 and L13 do not have LOS on the entire road.

It's entirely possible that I am reading things incorrectly regarding Line of Sight vs. Field of View, but I don't think so.

Looking again at the rule book, 8/2 Blocking Terrain, in the Building Hexes section: "A soldier occupying a building hex can trace LOS into the hexes within the fields of vision for the apertures of that building" (emphasis mine).

A little later in the same paragraph: "A standing soldier inside a building can see all hexes in the field of view from the window" (again, emphasis mine).

And then, if you look at the examples in the rule book, specifically Nr3.


Pay special attention to A-C and B-D. In both cases, the hexes are within the Field of View of each other, through the aperture. Again in both cases, though, measuring from Center Dot to Center Dot, the line passes through a building wall and not the aperture. However, in both cases, they are listed as being within LOS.

Given that, I'm still thinking that the building at K13/L13 has LOS to all road hexes.

Tony
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tpholt wrote:
It's entirely possible that I am reading things incorrectly regarding Line of Sight vs. Field of View, but I don't think so.

Looking again at the rule book, 8/2 Blocking Terrain, in the Building Hexes section: "A soldier occupying a building hex can trace LOS into the hexes within the fields of vision for the apertures of that building" (emphasis mine).

A little later in the same paragraph: "A standing soldier inside a building can see all hexes in the field of view from the window" (again, emphasis mine).
Your quotes are absolutely correct, but they still only reference the field of view and not whether a soldier has LOS on a particular hex. The field of view description, which describes the range of hexes that can possibly be seen from a building, does not allow you to ignore the basic rule that you measure from center point to center point.

Look at it this way: If we read the field of view sentence the same way you are, it would also mean that since a standing soldier in a building can see "all hexes in the field of view", the soldier would be able to see through any woods or other obstructions located in the field of view. But obviously this is not the case, right?

So we still have to apply the rules about blocking terrain when considering the vantage point provided by the field of view rules.

This is why you also have to still apply the basic LOS rule about measuring from center point to center point in analyzing LOS within the field of view from a building.

By doing so, we can see there are terrain features that obscure parts of the road from view for a soldier located in L13.
 
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doesn't the brush hex O14 cover the road in both directions? I can't remember the exact rule on embankments but I think T13, U13, and U14 also cover the entire road.
 
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The Maverick wrote:

Your quotes are absolutely correct, but they still only reference the field of view and not whether a soldier has LOS on a particular hex.
The first quote directly mentions LOS and that it equates to the Field of Vision.


The Maverick wrote:

The field of view description, which describes the range of hexes that can possibly be seen from a building, does not allow you to ignore the basic rule that you measure from center point to center point.
Yet the Nr3 example does exactly that. Center Point to Center Point, A-C and B-D both go through a wall, yet the example clearly lists them as being in LOS because the Target hexes are within the Field of View from the aperture.


The Maverick wrote:

Look at it this way: If we read the field of view sentence the same way you are, it would also mean that since a standing soldier in a building can see "all hexes in the field of view", the soldier would be able to see through any woods or other obstructions located in the field of view. But obviously this is not the case, right?
Not at all. The rules are very specific that Field of View deals specifically with looking through aperture openings in a building and has no affect at all on other blocking terrain. I agree that just because a specific hex is visible does not guarantee LOS (in fact the rules specifically state this). If there is terrain blocking the sight of a hex in the Field of View from an aperture, it still blocks the LOS to that hex. For example Hex O11 is within the Field of View from the Northeast Door in Hex L13, but it is not in LOS because of the blocking terrain in Hex N11.


The Maverick wrote:

So we still have to apply the rules about blocking terrain when considering the vantage point provided by the field of view rules.
Agreed, but the rules and examples seem to make an exception for the "walls" on the same hexside as an aperture. Again, see the A-C and B-D illustrations in the Nr3 LOS example.



Gahhhh!! This shouldn't be so hard. Even though I'm new to Ambush!, it's clear that this debate has been going on for over 30 years. Something in the rule book along the lines of either "Walls on the same hexside as an aperture can still block LOS even if the target hex is in Field of View" or "Walls on the same hexside as an aperture do not impede LOS, as long as no other blocking terrain exists for the target hex" woulld make it much more clear, to me at least.

I'm even more confused about LOS now than I was before...soblue

Tony
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Tony Oddo
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Tony, based on your pictures (I did not read the text), I believe the LOS you have drawn are correct. The elevation of the road adjacent to the lower bush/brush make the road visible until you get to the parts that are at the same level. Once at the same level, the blocking terrain does affect LOS.
 
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THE MAVERICK
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The above image shows three LOS checks from hex L13. As with the example posted from the rulebook: I have used a solid line for a clear LOS, a dashed line for blocked LOS, and I traced the LOS from the center point of the building hex that the soldier occupies.

As shown above, a soldier at L13 cannot see the entire roadway segment running from O13 to Y8.

Q12 is the furthest roadway hex that can be seen from L13. This is because the road segment running from R11 to Y8 is blocked from view by the brush in O12 and the woods in P11.
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Tony Holt
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The Maverick wrote:


The above image shows three LOS checks from hex L13. As with the example posted from the rulebook: I have used a solid line for a clear LOS, a dashed line for blocked LOS, and I traced the LOS from the center point of the building hex that the soldier occupies.

As shown above, a soldier at L13 cannot see the entire roadway segment running from O13 to Y8.

Q12 is the furthest roadway hex that can be seen from L13. This is because the road segment running from R11 to Y8 is blocked from view by the brush in O12 and the woods in P11.

Now THIS makes sense to me.

Thanks for the visual example. It never occurred to me that the terrain on the OTHER side of the rode could be blocking.

Tony
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