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Tide of Iron» Forums » Rules

Subject: Concealment Confusion rss

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James Goodfriend

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I've always been confused by the concealment rules. After a couple dozen games and a reread of the rules, I think I'm actually more confused than I used to be.

I'm interested in
A) How people actually play these rules, versus the (ambiguous to me) way they're worded?
B) Whether we can get an official line on what some of this stuff means?
C) If scenario designers might comment on what rules they were using when they playtested?

Here are some excerpts from the rules about "Concealed Squads", main RB, pg 33:

* "If a squad MOVES INTO an objective hex...it is immediately revealed." (emphasis mine)

I've always played this to mean that there is no way a squad can ever be in an objective hex (meaning one that earns VP's or counts toward scenario victory). And I think that's what they mean. But I've come to realize that this does allow squads to be concealed in the following scenarios: 1) They set up at game start concealed (they didn't move into the hex, they just started there). 2) They gain concealment during the scenario, either through a card or scenario rules.

How are people playing this? What did FFG mean?

* If at any time a concealed squad is within LOS of an enemy unit and is not located in cover-providing terrain, it is immediately revealed...the hex's main terrain type must provide cover (woods, rough, bridge, or building terrain.)" (emphasis original)

This seems clear enough...right? Oh, but what about squads in pillboxes or entrenchments? Based on my literal reading of above, these DO NOT provide concealment. The cover they provide isn't part of the hex's main terrain type. By contrast, I guess Bunkers DO.

And yet there are MANY scenarios that contradict this. For instance, look at "Hellfire Pass" from "Days of the Fox". The Germans are given 4 concealment counters, yet there are literally zero spaces in which they can usefully have concealment...I therefore MUST conclude that the designers intended concealment to work in entrenchments. The same is more or less true in "Assault on Kidney Ridge" and (from Designer's Series) "Bloody Lindern".

Since these are all Bill Jaffe scenarios, and since he's on BGG, maybe we'll get a response from him.

Anyone know how I might get some kind of coherent interpretation from FFG?

For myself, this is how we have played:
* In instance one, we've been playing that you can never ever be concealed in an objective square.
* In instance two, we've played the way the rules are written, meaning no concealment in fortified squares. But I've come to believe that's not what they meant, and am starting to switch.
 
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Seth Owen
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Concealment might be useful during setup even if you immediately lose it as soon as play begins, so there may not be a conflict in that case.

Entrenchemnts would not necessarily provide concealment. Indeed. they might be rather noticeable in some cases.
 
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James Goodfriend

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wargamer55 wrote:
Concealment might be useful during setup even if you immediately lose it as soon as play begins, so there may not be a conflict in that case.


How would it be useful? Example?
 
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Scott Anderson
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The way we play, and this may have been addresed in some erata I forget...

A squad can start concealed or later become concealed in an objective hex but if it moves there it is revealed.

An entrenchment or pillbox provides cover so a concealed squad stays concealed in this situation. There are some scenarios where this is implied so we consider any squad in an entrenchment or pillbox to be in cover. If they leave the cover they become revealed.
 
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Seth Owen
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BuddhaBob74 wrote:
wargamer55 wrote:
Concealment might be useful during setup even if you immediately lose it as soon as play begins, so there may not be a conflict in that case.


How would it be useful? Example?



I don't have the scenario in front of me, so I'll just talk in generalities. It may or may not apply to the case you're talking about.

It's not uncommon in wargames for the side setting up first to have some way to disguise its set up such as concealment counters or dummy markers. This imposes some choices on the side setting up second. That side knows the enemy Order of Battle but doesn't know exactly which unit is where and therefore can't take full advantage of that knowledge during the set up. This is so even if the dummy counters or concealment status is lost at the beginning of the first turn, because the intent is to obsure the starting position only.
 
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Terence Goh
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the way my group plays it is:
A)squads are revealed in objective hexes regardless. i guess the logic here is to prevent that dirty delaying tactic of holding the hex. since you have to be in the adjacent hex for the status phase to reveal a concealed squad, that nabs you an extra turn if you're allowed to be concealed in an objective hex.

we play them concealed whenever they're in cover providing areas (including pillboxes, entrenchments) and if they're moving out of LOS (careful of those spotters on hills)

i don't have DOTF so i'm not sure about those scenarios with startup concealed squads without cover. hope you do get a line in from the designers about that.
 
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James Goodfriend

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Hi all,

I did hear from Bill Jaffe in email. I assume he doesn't mind me posting his response:
"my rembermence is i used trenches as cover and untill the units inside fired on you couldn't see the squad,since the squad is effectively at below ground level,i know this isn't the rule but it's how i play"

I think the consensus is to allow for concealment in entrenchments/pillboxes. Although I think the rules don't indicate it, I'm going to start playing that way, too.

As for this:
Quote:
It's not uncommon in wargames for the side setting up first to have some way to disguise its set up such as concealment counters or dummy markers.


Yeah...Tide of Iron doesn't do that. In this game, that's not what concealment counters are for.

As for this:
Quote:
A)squads are revealed in objective hexes regardless. i guess the logic here is to prevent that dirty delaying tactic of holding the hex. since you have to be in the adjacent hex for the status phase to reveal a concealed squad, that nabs you an extra turn if you're allowed to be concealed in an objective hex.


I completely agree, I think allowing squads to gain concealment later in an Objective hex is going to lead to silly "gaming the system" where you can slow a win by a turn. But on the other hand it makes no "real life" sense to say squads can be hidden everywhere but where it's really important. My internal jury is still out on this.
 
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Hannibal Lecter
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Quote:
If at any time a concealed squad is within LOS of an enemy unit and is not located in cover-providing terrain, it is immediately revealed...the hex's main terrain type must provide cover (woods, rough, bridge, or building terrain.)"


Can someone confirm if I got this right: "at any time" means that the concealed marker is removed even if I just *move* over a plain hex (within enemy LOS), but don't actually end my movement in it? I'm 99% sure I got it right, but still..blush
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Yiannis Avramandis
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You are right .
 
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