Line of Sight Question

Line of Sight Question

Postby MadAboutArmour » 30 Jul 2017

I understand that LOS issues are always best discussed with the opponent, but I just wanted to know (confirm) the starting point here and to ask whether anyone has ever created some (dreaded) house rules about this issue.

The 'problem' arose when I was playing a solo game, the Germans holding some houses in a small village. Their troops were on the ground floor of the houses and as there was a hedge 4" away from them (on the enemy side) they would in effect be out of LOS until the Brits went right up to the hedge (if the hedge blocks LOS for infantry idea is used).

Worse still, if you wanted to try to hit the troops inside with HE fire from an on table gun (using direct fire), again you would it seem have to get to the hedge. I know you can target the building, but with the small HE weight of HE fire from most on board assets, that could take a while and would still end up with the situation where the enemy could sit in the hard cover and in that case not be shot at all as the building that was above the hedge line (and thus could be targeted) would suddenly be out of LOS.

Thus my question is, should you be able to shoot at a building without seeing the men inside and still be able to Pin / Kill them. After all an HE shell hitting the floor above you is liable to cause you some concern...

I understand that this may be 'out of order' but if so we have to consider that an Artillery strike is able to inflict causalities without seeing anything but an aiming point.

It could be that as arty strikes can vary so much (or not arrive at all) that this is the way the game is supposed to be played, just asking as other rule sets (like CoC) allow you to fire at the troops inside as long as you can see / hit the building.

This issue has other implications too, as if you have say a WASP carrier and are attacking a building with troops inside that have not fired, you would need to roll a 4+ to spot them, when in fact all you want to do is to target the building. In such instances should not the spot (of the building) be automatic (as it is with HE fire against buildings) and you just have to roll for the hit???

Not complaining about the rules here, just wanted to know what people think / have done in their games??

May Your Dice Always Roll As Needed and Your Luck Run True
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Eric Kriegler
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Re: Line of Sight Question

Postby Powermonger » 30 Jul 2017


Very interesting points. I will tell you what we do in our games (pure house rules, nothing official.)

- they have 45 degree angle of fire for figures inside. Taken from a door /window. If you don't have an angle to fire at, then you also can't be targeted by (only ecpection HE, see below)
- You can attempt aimed fire at infantry inside buildings only if they are lining against a wall with windows/doors.
- you can attempt AREA fire with small arms at infantry inside buildings if they are inside a house (lining against a wall/window or not) and you have LOS to any window/door (even if LOS is only to the upper floors)
- you can attempt AREA fire with HE or autocannons at infantry inside buildings (lining against a wall/window or not) at all times, independently of having LOS to a window/door or not. Also, HE does not need an angle to fire (no 45 degree rule)

- they need to spot in order to fire at infantry inside buildings. I know what you mean (the target IS the building). But that would make the flamethrower teams more powerful than they already are.

If the spotting round falls outside LOS of the FAO, then you can call "fire for effect", but treat the barrage as a harassment one (reroll 6's)

Hope this helps! It's very nice to interchange concepts with you, which such attention to detail.
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Re: Line of Sight Question

Postby MadAboutArmour » 30 Jul 2017


Some very good house rules there, I will certainly take them on board when all agree with them (easy when I am playing solo :grin: ).

Love the game as it stands, but if you can make it even better with a few minor tweaks then that makes it even better.

Many thanks for the detailed response.

LOVE the idea about the spotting shot and only being able to fire Harassment FFE.

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Eric Kriegler
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Re: Line of Sight Question

Postby Mark » 31 Jul 2017

I think it's what your group would like as a level of detail that really matters. We have played houses more abstractly - so if you are in the house, you can be shot using aimed fire and can fire out with the whole team tracing LOS from the windows and doors. That was for 15mm. We played it a little less abstract using 28s and counted up team ROF using no more than 2 men per window/door. We also managed floors with a move in 28s, and not 15s.

As always, YMMV.
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Re: Line of Sight Question

Postby Number4 » 22 Aug 2017

This came up recently as we worked through the Wacht Am Rhein campaign in the back of the book; several of the scenarios involve fighting in semi urban terrain in and around the town of Stoumont. Last time around I had to stop an artillery shoot when I realized the US player had left his FOO team i some woods where they could not possibly see the target due to more intervening woods. Groans all round and lessons learned. I used to do that stuff for a living many years ago and if you can't see where your spotting round went then you can't do anything. Indirect fire by the map (predicted) was possible but a complex procedure beyond the scope of our tactical rules.

For area fire against buildings our house rule is the defender picks that unit that gets hit. This simulates squads being on different floors, in different rooms etc and the ability of troops to take over from an LMG or light anitank weapon crew that become casualties. You don't need line of sight to a specific part of the structure because as you point out, if you were sitting down to dinner one night and a 75mm HE shell containing 1/5 pounds of TNT came crashing in through the bedroom above, would that put you in any danger of being hurt? You would definitely dive for cover and stay there - "pinned" :grin:

Our other house rule is for area fire against troops in the open or light cover such as woods: again the defender picks the unit that gets hit (because you can't see it, that's why you're using area fire in the first place); and any other unit within 1" of that target is also at risk of being hit so must make a cover save at +1. It stops people bunching up under fire in a way they would never do for real.

Flame guns are only effective if you can get the jet inside an opening, otherwise it's like pouring a can of oil on your garden wall and setting light to it: Nasty mess to clean up but no real damage (don't try this at home, folks); however there is a special case for these weapons which can only be used against static targets as per the rules, so spotting should not be required as the building. bunker or vehicle is the target, not the occupants per se
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Mr Wint
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Re: Line of Sight Question

Postby triccor2 » 23 Aug 2017

Well, in my opinion it depends from the level of detail that you want. I find that BG rule gives a very good compromise between playability and reality. My approach is to introduce less house rules I can in order to not impact the speed of the game.

So, a squad inside a building with an interposed 4" hedge is not targetable by an enemy squad or manhandled gun: I assume that the unit in the house is not detected by the enemy at all.
It doesn't matter if there is one or more windows/doors, one opening is enough to let the squad to fire through.
The building is considered as an area cover: a squad should be within 5" from an external wall to fire or to be fired at.

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Re: Line of Sight Question

Postby Brodir » 23 Aug 2017

Hey Graham, a lot of the problem seems to come from defining which floor your squad is on. The games doesn't require this, they are in the buildings, moving about etc, on various floors at various times. In the buildings they have 4+ covers ave (unless its fortified) and can be spotted by anybody that can see the building, the hedge matters not. Let the enemy shoot. If its really contentious, then only allow suppressing fire, as said, being in a building under any fire is enough to 'maybe' cause a pin.

Flamethrowers still need to spot as per other weapons... spotting isn't just seeing a target. A failed spot could mean lots of things, not least the FT crew aren't sure those guys are there own men... but ultimately its the risk you have to take to aimed fire, that you'll lose the shot.

Hope that helps somewhat ;)
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