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Subject: Line of Sight & elevation rss

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Matthew Hinerman
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Looking through the rules last night while we were playing a situation came up that I couldn't really answer -

Is LOS based on the terrain type of the hex or the graphical depiction in the hex? What I mean is this: If there is a level 4 hex, is the entire hex considered level 4, thus blocking LOS or only the couture lines that would build up to level 4? Same thing with forest, if a hex says it's light, but someone can trace LOS through a portion of the hex where there isn't light terrain depicted, does it count or not?

Finally, in regards to elevation, are there any rules on which elevations can't be seen at a distance? For example, I'm on a level 1 terrain that extends for 4 hexes to my front, then there is level 0 terrain for 2 hexes, then depth 1 water with another mech in it. What kind of defensive bonus would I/them get? Any? Nothing for me, +1 for them?

I realize that minis would solve some of these issues, but I don't have the time or money to do that right now. Additionally, I've heard it really lengthens games, which isn't an option for me. It took us almost 2 hours to do a 1v1v1 with 70-75 ton mechs, and that's because we called the game.

Thanks!
-Heinz
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Trent Garner
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LOS - In your example of a level 4 hex, the underlying terrain is at level 4. If the hex also contains trees, then the trees add +2 levels to the height of the hex, making it level 6 for LOS purposes. If the hex is marked as containing trees, whether light or heavy, the entire hex is considered to contain trees, the graphics in the hex do not affect this. LOS will be affected accordingly, but keep in mind that it takes three hexes of light trees to block LOS, but only two hexes of heavy trees.

The rule below is taken directly from Total Warfare, p.100:

Terrain along the LOS between two units intervenes if:
• The level of the terrain or feature is equal to or higher than the level of both units; or
• The terrain or feature is adjacent to the attacker and equal to or higher than the attacker’s level; or
• The terrain or feature is adjacent to the target and equal to or higher than the target’s level.


In your example, both the 'Mech standing in the water and your 'Mech should be visible to each other. Only the portion that is above water is visible of the 'Mech standing in water. In this case, the 'Mech in water will get a partial cover bonus and can not be hit on the legs. However, any hits that are scored against this 'Mech will be checked on the Punch table, making a headshot more likely.
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TS S. Fulk
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HeinzMcDurgen wrote:
Looking through the rules last night while we were playing a situation came up that I couldn't really answer -

Is LOS based on the terrain type of the hex or the graphical depiction in the hex? What I mean is this: If there is a level 4 hex, is the entire hex considered level 4, thus blocking LOS or only the couture lines that would build up to level 4? Same thing with forest, if a hex says it's light, but someone can trace LOS through a portion of the hex where there isn't light terrain depicted, does it count or not?

Finally, in regards to elevation, are there any rules on which elevations can't be seen at a distance? For example, I'm on a level 1 terrain that extends for 4 hexes to my front, then there is level 0 terrain for 2 hexes, then depth 1 water with another mech in it. What kind of defensive bonus would I/them get? Any? Nothing for me, +1 for them?

I realize that minis would solve some of these issues, but I don't have the time or money to do that right now. Additionally, I've heard it really lengthens games, which isn't an option for me. It took us almost 2 hours to do a 1v1v1 with 70-75 ton mechs, and that's because we called the game.

Thanks!
-Heinz


We always played that the entire hex would give cover or block LOS. However, we also played that you can choose to be in a river or out of a river, on level 1 or climb up to level 2 with such hexes. Guess we weren't very consistent.
 
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Matthew Hinerman
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Excellent.

I only have the 25th Ed. Intro box, so I haven't read through the "standard" rules yet.

Another one: If a mech is "moving along the bottom" of a water hex, they must make a piloting check to prevent falling down. Is this WHENEVER they move from one water hex to another, or only if they are moving from one water hex to another, when both are depth 2 or more?

Finally, if you have mixed tree coverage, what blocks LOS? 1 heavy and 2 light? 1 heavy and 1 light? We were playing with the first example last night.

Thanks!
-Heinz
 
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Trent Garner
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The following paragraph is taken from Total Warfare, p.57:

A unit must pay 4 MP (base MP of 1 for entering a hex, +3 for Depth 2 or greater water) for each hex it enters and must make a Piloting Skill Roll (if applicable) using the appropriate modifiers for each Depth 2 or deeper water hex. In addition, a ’Mech must pay all standard MP for moving from one level (depth) to another. If the Piloting Skill Roll fails, the unit automatically falls.


The following LOS rules are taken from Total Warfare, p.100:

Effects of Intervening Terrain
Intervening terrain has the following effects on LOS.

Buildings and Bridges: Intervening building hexes block LOS; bridges, however, do not.

Heavy Woods: Two or more hexes of intervening heavy woods block LOS. One hex of intervening heavy woods combined with one or more hexes of intervening light woods will also block LOS.

Hills: Intervening hills block LOS.

Light Woods: Three or more hexes of intervening light woods block LOS. One hex of intervening light woods combined with one or more hexes of intervening heavy woods also block LOS.

Water: Intervening water blocks LOS unless attacker and target are completely submerged and no other terrain intervenes.

Other Units: Except for grounded DropShips, intervening units have no effect on LOS or attacks; grounded DropShips block LOS.
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Ron D
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One thing that I don't think has been mentioned yet is that LOS is always measured from center-to-center. Always go from the center of the attacker's hex to the center of the target hex. We sometimes use a peice of string if this is in question.

Cantatta wrote:
In your example, both the 'Mech standing in the water and your 'Mech should be visible to each other. Only the portion that is above water is visible of the 'Mech standing in water. In this case, the 'Mech in water will get a partial cover bonus and can not be hit on the legs. However, any hits that are scored against this 'Mech will be checked on the Punch table, making a headshot more likely.


This is just wrong (for the current edition, but you are quoting Total Warfare, so I assume you are using the current rules). A target in partial cover does not increase the likelyhood of headshots and you don't roll on the punch table. If you shoot at a target in partial cover, you have a pentalty of one to hit and roll on the normal hit location table. If you roll a leg location, the shot is treated as a miss (because it hit the cover).
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Brian Hart
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I agree with Ron. Thats how I have always seen it played.
 
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Apollo Andy
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"Way back when" (before Total Warfare) the partial cover bonus was something like -3 but hits were rolled on the punch location table. That made for some weird situations where you wanted the opponent to have partial cover so you could get a head shot. Thus, the rule was changed in TW.
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Eric Alexopoulos
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Matthew

Your rules questions were covered quite well by the treads above. I just wanted to encourage you to stick with the game. Two hours is long for only having 3 mechs on the field. Once your group gets the hang of the rules you should be able to play a 4 on 4 battle in about 2 to 3 hours depending on which mech weight classes are involved. Great game, have fun exploring it!
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Stargazer1x wrote:
Matthew

Your rules questions were covered quite well by the treads above. I just wanted to encourage you to stick with the game. Two hours is long for only having 3 mechs on the field. Once your group gets the hang of the rules you should be able to play a 4 on 4 battle in about 2 to 3 hours depending on which mech weight classes are involved. Great game, have fun exploring it!


Ditto. Familiarize yourself with the common modifiers or slap the tables directly on your record sheets via www.solarisskunkwerks.com

Anything you can do to streamline the bookkeeping, do.
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Trent Garner
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sfsct3172 wrote:
I agree with Ron. Thats how I have always seen it played.


My bad, as pointed out, I was quoting an old rule. Ron is correct, that rule was changed in TW and now works as he describes it. Having played the game since the late 80's, I sometimes get rules mixed up, though I do try to play by TW rules in my games.
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