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So according to the rumours, true LOS is upon us.
How can/will V40K deal with this?
I've thought/tested some stuff out and I've come to the following conclusions, essentially "interim rules" for Vassal 5th LOS:
Before firing, check LOS to a target using the Thread tool. If the LOS line passes over ANY terrain, consult the following rules. Note that No terrain except hills and Impassable buildings/objects of the appropriate size can automatically block LOS.
SIZE 1 TERRAIN
Size 1 terrain will provide a cover save to a Size 2 model if the firer's LOS passes over the terrain and the target is within 6" of it. For instance, a model that is 4" from a row of Size 1 sandbags is shot at from across said sandbags, and receives a cover save. However, another model 8" from the sandbags does not. Size 1 terrain can not block LOS.
SIZE 2 TERRAIN
Size 2 area terrain has a chance of blocking LOS between two Size 2 imodels. Follow these guidelines when two Size 2 models attempt to see each other with LOS passing over Size 2 area terrain (even if one or both units is inside this terrain).
If the the squad attempting to be seen numbers 14 models or less, roll a D6; on a 4+ some of the models can be seen, and proceed to fire as normal, with the targetted unit getting a cover save. On a 1-3 the unit can not be seen.
if the squad attempting to be seen numbers 14-29 models, add 1 to the dice roll. For example, a Boy mob numbering 20 models would be seen over a Size 2 piece of area terrain on a 3+. If the target unit has 30 or more models, they are seen on a 2+.
If both units occupy the same area terrain and are more than 12" from one another, add 1+ to the LOS roll to a maximum of 2+. If two units in the same area terrain are closer than 12", they can clearly see one another and LOS is assumed.
SIZE 3 AREA TERRAIN
Checking for LOS over Size 3 terrain is similar to checking over Size 2, however, as Size 3 terrain is usually larger, with more possibility of blocking LOS, the following rules apply:
If one unit attempts to target another unit through Size 3 terrain and neither unit is within that size 3 terrain, a roll of 6 is required in order to see.
If one of the units is in the Size 3 terrain, a 5+ is required to see.
If both units are in the (same) size 3 terrain, a 4+ is required to see.
If both units are in the same size 3 terrain and within 12" of one another, a 3+ is required to see.
If both units are within 6" of each other and one unit is inside the terrain, a 3+ is required. If both units are in the terrain and within 6" of each other, a 2+ is required.
If both units occupy different terrain with atleast one in Size 3, reguardless of distance, a 5+ is required to see.
So, that's it.. it's a little messy, I know, but just want to throw that out there, because until we get super-detailed terrain in Vassal we're going to have to wing it for all buildings and area terrain.
Takka n' Wakka's Dakka Attacka! 33W / 6L / 1D
Sounds cool.. but also waaay to complicated for the module, people will have to remember this or keep referring to a help document.
We'll probably keep with the sizes from 4th edition but let players decide on teh sizes of terrain, or players can sort it out themselves. No official solution we can come up with with out covering the module in labels.
Yeah, it is a little complicated and messy.
I've thought it over a little bit more, and here's what I've come up with, more truncated rules:
Determining Trie Line-Of-Sight (TLOS) In Vassal 40K
When deciding which enemy unit one of your units should fire at in the Shooting Phase, but before declaring a target, you may determine which enemy units can be seen.
This Line of Sight check only applies if all models in the enemy unit are out of direct line of sight -- if any models in the firing unit can clearly draw LOS to any enemy models in an opposing unit without that LOS passing over area terrain of Size 2 or 3, then no Line Of Sight check is needed and the enemy unit is considered fully visible (note that wounds against a unit are applied on the whole unit regardless of how many models can actually be physically seen, so a single visible model is enough). If the potential target is a vehicle, the entire vehicle must be hidden (ie Line Of Sight must have to pass through terrain) to all models of the enemy unit; if any part of the vehicle is visible without LOS tracing through terrain then it can be considered visible to the entire firing unit.
However, if all models in the enemy unit are hidden behind area terrain of atleast size 2 (size 3 for Monstrous Creatures and Vehicles and other large units), you must determine whether they can actually be seen by the unit attempting to fire. This check is done before declaring targets, as naturally a unit will not attempt to fire at another unit it can not see.
When determining whether Line of Sight to the target unit exists, roll a D6:
1 Line of Sight is blocked to that unit, and it can not be targetted.
2-6 The unit can be seen, and receives a cover save appropriate to the intervening terrain type.
-1 If terrain is Size 3
-1 For every 6" of terrain that LOS passes through (count trees as 1/2", ie LOS would have to pass through 12" of trees before this modifier takes effect)
-1 For any vehicle or vehicle wreckage between the target and the firing unit
+1 If the firing unit is Size 3 (Monstrous Creature or Vehicle) or is situated upon a hill or other piece of terrain that would give a sizable height advantage
-2 If the the targetted unit is a swarm base
Note that no matter what modifiers are in effect, a roll of 1 will always fail and a roll of 6 will always succeed. Size 3 units (Monstrous Creatures, Vehicles) can never be blocked by Size 2 terrain and if Line of Sight passes over Size 2 terrain when firing upon a Monstrous Creature or other Size 3 unit, it is always assumed to be visible, though will receive the appropriate save (note that it is still possible for a Size 2 unit to be hidden from a Size 3 unit).
It is always useful to briefly go over specific terrain pieces with your opponent to determine whether there are any modifications to this chart. For instance, some pieces of terrain, such as watchtowers, barbed wire and other objects are not composed of solid material and do not impede line of sight at all. Other pieces, such as bunkers, may be completely solid with no chance of seeing "through" the feet of solid material, or some pieces of ruined building may have standing, solid walls. Discuss these points with your opponent at the earliest oppurtune time, such as when placing terrain.
Actively Hiding Units
There may be instances where a player may wish to "try harder" to make his unit invisible to the enemy. In a normal tabletop game, this is easily determined, as the player can simply check each model and position them so that no enemy model can see them. To represent this in Vassal Games, players may choose to try and hide a unit from one of the opposing player's units. When moving a unit during the movement phase, declare that you will try to hide a unit behind a size 3 piece of area terrain (not size 2!), and select one enemy unit that they will be hidden from. Roll a D6; on a 3+ your unit is successfully placed in such a way that the chosen enemy unit can not see any models from their current position. Use the "Hidden" counter to represent this (one may also be placed on the chosen enemy unit).
If the chosen enemy unit moves in its own Movement phase, your unit is automatically unhidden and normal rules for spotting units over terrain applies.
Units That "Float"
Several units, such as Jetbikes, Skimmers, and several types of units may have anti-gravity or other propulsion systems which allow them to travel through the air rather than on the ground. These modes of transportation, however, have no bearing on whether or not the unit can be seen, as it is always assumed that units land or hover/float extremely close to the ground at the end of their movement phase as stated in the Movement rules section for that unit type.
You may (and should) determine whether LOS exists between a unit firing a barrage weapon and its target. See the rules for Barrage weapons for more details on how Line of Sight affects them.
It's still a bit long, but I think it's a bit clearer and easier to memorize. It may require always having access, however... but considering the amount of different rulebooks, reference sheets and erratas we already have to go through, one more SMALL one shouldn't matter -- and hey, if its popular, maybe it can be posted on the V40k website
And Pickle> We could, but many people play Vassal in order to "train", plan army lists or otherwise use it in a secondary manner to tabletop gaming, in which case it's somewhat important to be "as close" to the real thing as possible. True LOS is an immense change from 4th edition and I think deserves some sort of.. extra thought.
Takka n' Wakka's Dakka Attacka! 33W / 6L / 1D
For me personally, I tend to roll bad at the worst possible moment, and adding more ways for me to miss my chance to hit people through dice is just going to turn me off completely. I saw on the forums that the "true LOS" as its called, is just a slightly tweaked version of 4th edition so maybe we are all jumping too far ahead.
Again its good work but still overly complicated, we don't want to be rolling on charts and stuff for LoS, we'll probably just make a simple chart for terrain sizes that's like the one now and size up all the terrain/ let players decide sizes, nice simple way, if you think about it a lot of terrain will block LoS anyway, densely packed trees etc, buildings, most of the pieces in Vassal are solid.