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Combat Commander: Mediterranean» Forums » Rules

Subject: cliffs: why no blockage? rss

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Jonathan Entner
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I was wondering why cliffs don't block the hex behind them in the same way that obstacles do. For instance, on map 21 (see http://boardgamegeek.com/image/272379, with A1 in the upper left corner), if I'm reading the rules correctly, a unit in F4 can see a unit in H6, even over the cliff on the hex-side between G6 and H6. Intuitively, it seems to me that the LOS should be blocked between F4 and H6 in the same way it would be if G6 were a level 1 hill with an obstacle terrain (e.g. forest or building).

 
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Darrell Pavitt
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It would make sense to me too for the cliff hexside to produce a blind hex, unless the higher unit was actually at the top of the cliff (ie. in the hex bordered by the cliff).

Maybe Chad can explain.
 
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Chadwik
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A cliff is not necessarily a vertical stone face. It more often than not represents an incline that is steeper than a normal hill contour. Further, in light of this clarification, having cliffs block LOS would have had the unintended consequence of also blocking LOS when traced along the hexside -- something altogether unrealistic in and of itself.

Additionally, I wanted to keep things simpler and more playable wherever possible. Not everything in CC will have all-encompassing real world effects -- I might have needed a deeper box to hold the resulting 100+ page rulebook....

There may be other reasons that I just can't recall at the moment.
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Justin Heimburger
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My understanding of the grey box at T88.3.2 tells ms that the LOS from F4 to H6 is blocked because, from G5 to G6 (where the LOS falls between F4 and H6) crosses a hexside before it crosses the next crest. I think the cliff would need to be on the hexside of G5 in order for units at F4 to see down into H6.

Is that correct, or have I misunderstood the grey box?
 
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Chadwik
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Quote:
Is that correct

No.

T88.3.2 says that the LOS must cross crestline before it leaves the higher ORIGINATING hex. LOS from the center dot of F4 to the center dot of H6 does indeed cross a crestline (within hex H4) before it touches a hexside (F4/G5), thus that LOS is clear.

Further, this LOS never crosses an equal or higher elevation (level 2) in an INTERVENING hex, which reinforces the clear LOS.
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Justin Heimburger
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Thanks, Chad. That helps a lot.
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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Chad Jensen wrote:
A cliff is not necessarily a vertical stone face. It more often than not represents an incline that is steeper than a normal hill contour. Further, in light of this clarification, having cliffs block LOS would have had the unintended consequence of also blocking LOS when traced along the hexside -- something altogether unrealistic in and of itself.

Additionally, I wanted to keep things simpler and more playable wherever possible. Not everything in CC will have all-encompassing real world effects -- I might have needed a deeper box to hold the resulting 100+ page rulebook....

There may be other reasons that I just can't recall at the moment.


Except that a cliff is defined as a "steep slope of earth materials, usually a rock face, that is nearly vertical and may be overhanging."
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/121485/cliff#tab=a...

Maybe you should have said steep slope.
I would have no problem with a cliff blocking LOS along a hexside, every cliff I've seen is full of inlets and sticking-out-bits which make it impossible to see round.

Saying "cliffs block LOS and create a 1 hex blind spot" would hardly need a 100 page document. But, it's your game.
 
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David desJardins
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nyhotep wrote:
Except that a cliff is defined as a "steep slope of earth materials, usually a rock face, that is nearly vertical and may be overhanging."


Damn. We're going to have to issue a recall for the game now. soblue
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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Just give out climbing gear. Got your pitons?
 
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Chadwik
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Quote:
Except that a cliff is defined as....

Good grief. If I've said this once I've said it a hundred times: names of terrain/units/weapons/etc/etc/etc in CC are meant to be EVOCATIVE, not pedantically historical; FLAVORFUL not strict dictionary definitions.

One cannot possibly depict every conceivable piece of relevant terrain present in Europe differently in a game of this size and scope -- some will have to be lumped in with others that are similar in terms of how they affect game play.

Quote:
Maybe you should have said steep slope.

Maybe I should have. shake

Though, let's be honest here, it doesn't matter what I call it or what the map artist makes it look like: somebody will eventually take issue with it.

Quote:
Saying "cliffs block LOS and create a 1 hex blind spot" would hardly need a 100 page document.

You miss the point entirely. Obviously adding that one detail won't increase page count; but if I add the one "Joe" wants, why wouldn't I also add what Tom, Dick, Harry and Lisa want? What makes Joe special?....

Quote:
But, it's your game.

....Ah, I see; it boils down to what Chad wants. Makes sense since it's my game. Your game may indeed look quite different.
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Kevin Reynolds
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I understand why the original question came up, and I thought that it was pretty clear what the answer to the issue was. Where things get muddy is when the follow on conversations come in.

The game is out and in print. The issue doesn't look like it needs any special consideration, other than perhaps a FAQ on the matter if that. It is truly impossible for every single possibility to be conceived of and then have rules to implement them. Hell, even ASL doesn't do this. How much of an effect does this ruling really have?

So its a cliff, a steep slope, a precipice, a dell, a canyon, a crevasse, a ditch, a hole, a wash, a bluff, a crevasse, a face, a ledge, a scarp, a scar, a wall, a cleve, a crag, or palisades.

Ok, now lets do plains. Then we can follow up with all of the other terrain types. Wow, Im thinking 100 pages more might be a little short.

Chad has given his answer, but its YOUR GAME. If the game is more fun changing the rules around, do it! If you want to replace cliff with steep slope, do that too! Hell write it on the map, or in the scenario, or in the rulebook, or in all three places!

The fact that Chad is even here, and bothers to answer questions at all tells you that he in the background supporting a game that has already been released. How many other game designers do this? Sure, they all SHOULD, but most simply don't. Lets not drag him through the mud on something that is a mere side-issue that really has no significant effect on the entertainment value of the game.

HOLY CRAP GUYS.
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Darrell Pavitt
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Yeah, sorry for getting your back up over this.

But if someone has a question, it's worth a discussion.

Ok, cliff= steep slope, end of discussion, right? Fine.

Incidently, I really beleive that the combat commander series is actually the best (and probably most realistic) tactical system out there. Of course I am grateful for Chad spending his time here.
 
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David desJardins
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I'd guess one level of elevation in this game is about 10 meters. The hexes are about 30 meters across. So, a "cliff" in the game is a place where you have 2 levels of elevation difference, from one hex to an adjacent hex. That's a rise of 20 meters in a distance of 30 meters, or a slope of about 34 degrees.
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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Which fits nicely with the fact that it's impassable.
But isn't the ATAN of 2/3 60 degrees?
No, maybe you're right (bloody radians)
 
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