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View Full Version : Do you count hills as soft or hard cover?



Shadowfax
25-06-2009, 23:01
Just curious.

We're talking your average, fluffy green, gently sloping hill.

Xavier
25-06-2009, 23:02
Neither. Hills block line of sight... least in these parts...

Duke Georgal
25-06-2009, 23:06
What? If you are on top the hill you get +1 combat resolution. That is pretty hard!

Shadowfax
25-06-2009, 23:10
Neither. Hills block line of sight... least in these parts...
What about a situation like this:

Erie Ed
25-06-2009, 23:14
What about a situation like this:

Until it reaches the highest point our gaming group considers it to be blocking LOS

Duke Georgal
25-06-2009, 23:23
How would that give you "cover" of any type? If it blocks line of sight, then the archer cant shoot you, no cover needed, moot point.

If he can see you, what good would cover do? You might get shot with an arrow!

Shadowfax
25-06-2009, 23:34
How would that give you "cover" of any type? If it blocks line of sight, then the archer cant shoot you, no cover needed, moot point.

If he can see you, what good would cover do? You might get shot with an arrow!
I don't understand.

It would give you cover like anything else would, by partially blocking the amount of your body that is visible. Smaller target, less chance of getting shot with an arrow.

Da GoBBo
26-06-2009, 00:09
If half your unit is in a forest it gets soft cover but if half your unit is behind a hill it gets zip? Weird.

beaumontbrawler
26-06-2009, 01:35
We play one levels hills = nothing, but level 2 hills totally block LOS

DigbyWeapon
26-06-2009, 01:38
Hmm, I just see it as blocking line of site.

stonetroll
26-06-2009, 01:39
For convenience sake, I would suggest to count something as either being on the hill or not being on the hil (regardless of the shape of the hill)l.

On the hill --> no cover at all

Not on the hill (behind) --> block line of sight

If you are actually going to look at the percentage of a model that is visible to a shooter, would ogres not be heavily disadvantaged?

just my 2 cents

Geep
26-06-2009, 02:09
I also usually play with line of sight being completely blocked. If I had to make a choice of cover, I'd say hard cover- an arrow can, if lucky, fly unhindered through a bush or other soft cover. It can't go through a hill.


If half your unit is in a forest it gets soft cover but if half your unit is behind a hill it gets zip? Weird.
It's not that weird. One guy standing in a field= -1 to hit. Two guys in a field- no penalty. You can make up your own complicated rules to account for it if you want, but for general gameplay there are too many variables- everything would be clunky and slow with a lot of arguments.

Ultimate Life Form
26-06-2009, 02:35
In a game where a giant angry Allosaur can hide behind 3 Geckos, you probably shouldn't try to apply logic, a mistake frequently made on this forum leading to much unnecessary bloodshed... OFF the table!!!

famehunter
26-06-2009, 02:40
I believe that a unit behind a hill is out of line of sight until it can draw a line of sight from its mid torso section to another unit's base.
If a unit has 50% or more of its models out of los from a hill then it counts as being in hard cover for shooting purposes.

The only way you can get cover while on top of the hill is if it has a fence/forest/rocks that would allow the unit to take cover normally, otherwise it is totally in the open.

The Red Scourge
26-06-2009, 04:43
Never use any particular model bit to determine anything in WFB. Use the footprint for the models (including terrain). This will make everything much easier. Lvl 1 hills cover all ordinairy troops, while lvl 2 hills are needed to cover large targets. And of course if 50% of the unit is behind the terrain piece, they get a cover bonus – and hills would be hard :)

Condottiere
26-06-2009, 05:18
If you want to play it like that, you make an above average size hill with at least two levels, then you can hid your troops behind it while still on a slope.

Or place a hedge on it.

Shadowfax
26-06-2009, 05:54
Coming from a 40k background I'm totally flabbergasted by the variety of competing opinions on this issue.

For some reason I thought things like this would be clearer in WFB than in 40k. Guess I was hopelessly wrong.

TheSil
26-06-2009, 07:21
Why wouldn't it be clear?
Hills provide no cover. Period.
They block line of sight when standing behind unless you are classified as a "large target".
They give you +1 combat resolution when fighting a unit that is not on the hill.
Ranged units on a hill can shoot with one more rank and one can see over other units from a hill.
Every other point is up to discussion with your mate before you start the game.

Necromancy Black
26-06-2009, 08:08
They block line of sight when standing behind unless you are classified as a "large target".


Hill block LOS of large targets. Large Targets only get an exception to see over over troops that aren't large targets.

Milgram
26-06-2009, 08:20
if you play without hills blocking LOS completely, then you get all these awkward situations, where units are moved all over the hill in order to find a spot, where they will remain during the next 30 minutes without falling to the ground.

Urgat
26-06-2009, 08:28
Never use any particular model bit to determine anything in WFB.

Rules say you have to use the model's mouths for dragon breathes, etc :p

Da GoBBo
26-06-2009, 09:51
It's not that weird. One guy standing in a field= -1 to hit. Two guys in a field- no penalty. You can make up your own complicated rules to account for it if you want, but for general gameplay there are too many variables- everything would be clunky and slow with a lot of arguments.

Did you even read what I said? I am not making up "complicated" rules, I'm just wondering why a forest does protect your whole unit when half the unit is inside, and a hill gives you squat when only half a base is visible. Even a fence gives you bonus but no, not a hill. How does it get more complicated when a hill gives you a coverbonus? It would be much more consistent.

Hills do give other bonusses of course, so perhaps it's ok.

We play hills like this:
-Yer on a hill? LOS only gets blocked by other hills. Not forest, not buildings, not large targets, just hills. We only use level1 hills.
-your either on the hill or your not, no matter what the shape
-and all the other rules

Ultimate Life Form
26-06-2009, 09:58
-Yer on a hill? LOS only gets blocked by other hills. Not forest, not buildings, not large targets, just hills. We only use level1 hills.


So that means a Hill gives you magic infrasight to see through treetops that would otherwise cover troops behind and, more importantly, within the woods and allows you to see through solid brick walls and allows Goblin Bolt throwers to fire into and through buildings like Arnold Schwarzenegger with his weapon in Eraser?:confused:

Da GoBBo
26-06-2009, 10:18
We figured a hill isn't 2 inch high but a couple of hundered meters. This gives you a high enough vantagepoint to spot regiments lurking behind forests (not inside though), buildings and yes, even a wall :) It's not perfect (how do you even spot people from so far up?), so we are carefull with the use of hills.

chivalrous
26-06-2009, 10:23
Hill block LOS of large targets. Large Targets only get an exception to see over over troops that aren't large targets.

I guess the issue here is that the earlier diagram showed a model on the side of a sloped hill (rather than the usual stepped hill) with its head poking up over the top; the poster asking why, if you can see the head poking over the top, does the model not get the cover save for that?

Looking at both sides of the argument, on the one hand, the model of the hill is only representative and in actual fact the hill that the model would be standing on would be much much higher and enemy soldiers wouldn't be able to see your soldiers walking up the other side until they had more or less reached the top.
On the other hand, and I this seems to be more prevalent with players coming over from 40K where a 'models eye view' is more important, the rules do say if you can see a model you can shoot it and make no account for inconsistencies in the scale of miniatures and terrain. In fact on page 9 of the rulebook it talks about getting a "models eye view" to decide if models can be targeted.

Personally, as with all the properties of all terrain features, this should be an issue you discuss with your opponent before you deploy your armies. If you can't come to a mutual decision, dice off.

Condottiere
26-06-2009, 10:32
While I agree that being on the reverse slope does confer tactical benefits, I don't think that it can be used in Fantasy.

The Red Scourge
26-06-2009, 11:12
Rules say you have to use the model's mouths for dragon breathes, etc :p

And only a blithering <please insert noun of your own choosing> would do so. It just encourages converting the hydra with the 20" neck :cheese:


We figured a hill isn't 2 inch high but a couple of hundered meters. This gives you a high enough vantagepoint to spot regiments lurking behind forests (not inside though), buildings and yes, even a wall :) It's not perfect (how do you even spot people from so far up?), so we are carefull with the use of hills.

And we went the other way, and made forests of infinite height - giant redwood is obviously very dominant in the old world ;)

lakissov
26-06-2009, 11:47
Nothing in the rules suggests that models on a hill get cover, so they don't.

However, text about cover on page 27, when talking about hard cover, says that models peeking behind walls/rocks/etc get hard cover; we play it so that hills do provide a similar bonus, but giving soft cover.

Also, it is true that rules for terrain are not defined precisely in WHFB. Most gaming groups have their own convention, but it seems rather commonplace to have woods of infinite hight, and models on hills seeing over any other models (and hills blocking LOS completely for any models on ground level, too).

badgeraddict
26-06-2009, 13:09
If the Hilll had a wall or fence on it, then yeah Soft Cover would be ok.

It wouldn't matter much to an archer if his target was partially block by the slope of a hill, as he would angle his shot higher.

Therefore my opinion on this subject is; no, hills count for neither hard or soft cover.

chivalrous
26-06-2009, 15:00
Nothing in the rules suggests that models on a hill get cover, so they don't.

The rulebook unhelpfully uses the term "such as" when describing types of terrain that could be used as cover, what is a hill if not a big rock / pile of big rocks covered in dirt?. So even being on the other side of a hill could be said to count as it obscures some of the models but not all of them.
Obviously, if the models are on top of the hill and nothings obscured than
Like I said in my previous post, work it out (or dice it off) before the game.



It wouldn't matter much to an archer if his target was partially block by the slope of a hill, as he would angle his shot higher.
The same applies to a block of troops behind a fence or hedge, the guys at the front may be obscured but you can angle higher to hit subsequent ranks who aren't able to crouch down. Obviously it depends on how high the hedge/fence is, but then if the block of troops of the far side of a hill crouch down or lie flat to the hills grdient they'll be harder to hit too.

Crower
26-06-2009, 15:09
If the Hilll had a wall or fence on it, then yeah Soft Cover would be ok.

It wouldn't matter much to an archer if his target was partially block by the slope of a hill, as he would angle his shot higher.

Therefore my opinion on this subject is; no, hills count for neither hard or soft cover.

... What about gunners? Dwarvs , Empire, skaven.. Lots of guns in Warhammer Fantasy. Do they angle his shot higher too?

Geep
26-06-2009, 15:25
Did you even read what I said? I am not making up "complicated" rules,
Calm down there- I never said you were making weird rules- I wasn't even specifically talking about your post, just taking the opportunity to point out Warhammer is an abstract game.

I'm just wondering why a forest does protect your whole unit when half the unit is inside, and a hill gives you squat when only half a base is visible. Even a fence gives you bonus but no, not a hill. How does it get more complicated when a hill gives you a coverbonus? It would be much more consistent.
I personally would play that a unit must be wholly in a forest to get a bonus as well. If you're going to say a unit half in a forest gets cover then yes, for consistency I'd also say a unit half behind a hill gets cover.

I guess the main thing here is the obvious- Discuss how terrain will work with your opponent BEFORE the game begins.

Edit:
A bit off topic, but in relation to guns changing their trajectories- yes, this would happen. Guns of this rough time period didn't fire stabilised shots or anything- they did have to take gravity into account. There was a neat documentary I saw about it once with a guy who trained to be a sniper using amreican civil war rifles- he had to aim a long way above the target.

Gazak Blacktoof
26-06-2009, 15:26
We play that hills block LOS to everything behind them. I suppose that if you could see only part of a base or part of a unit then you could claim a cover bonus but we've never done so.

For our games a unit standing on a hill, of a single tier, only has hills and forests block their line of sight. If a unit were on the second tier of a hill then they could see over hills and forests at ground level but, would be unable to see over other two tier or higher hills and forests on hills.

badgeraddict
26-06-2009, 17:41
... What about gunners? Dwarvs , Empire, skaven.. Lots of guns in Warhammer Fantasy. Do they angle his shot higher too?

Its just a game. No need for too much realism.

Honestly the rules for hills in the BRB work just fine.

big squig
27-06-2009, 06:26
I'm not a big fantasy player, but doesn't the rule book say to go by WYSIWYG? At least that's what it said last time I checked a couple weeks ago.

And I say hard cover, it is the earth after all you're hiding behind...

Condottiere
27-06-2009, 06:32
Someone above mentioned that the rules are somewhat abstract. Consider this, we're not supposed to expose ourselves on the skyline of a hill, since it not only gives away our position, it also attracts fire. That unit deployed on the hill makes a wonderful target.

Vyacheslav
27-06-2009, 06:56
You'd only get soft cover on a hill if it had really long grass :P. Other than that it's only use is for greater los, and combat resolution.

chivalrous
27-06-2009, 10:53
You'd only get soft cover on a hill if it had really long grass :P. Other than that it's only use is for greater los, and combat resolution.

No-one would disagree with you if the uni was positioned on the summit of the hill, but the issue here is if they were coming up the other side to your archers and just poking their heads up over the top. What would you say then?

Farsot
27-06-2009, 11:42
Easy! Take a finger, push down on the hill,
if it's squishy it's soft if its solid then its hard.

Ok serious I'd never consider it cover, just block LOS and this sounds like an excellent way to go -


Until it reaches the highest point our gaming group considers it to be blocking LOS

bob_the_small
27-06-2009, 15:14
I count it as a hill, with no cover rules, except that you can't see through it obviously.

theunwantedbeing
27-06-2009, 15:45
Unlike in 40k,ranged stuff tends to go in an arc, not a straight line.
As a result, hill and such arent "cover", while walls and bushes and such are(so long as your right behind them).

Think that way and it makes sense.

Condottiere
27-06-2009, 19:13
It should be remembered that you can declare the effects of a terrain piece, within certain limitations, as you place them.

However, if you add that little addition, it better be noted down since I suspect almost everyone will forget it.

Shadowfax
27-06-2009, 22:50
The reason I asked is that my gaming group is new to WFB, coming from a long history of 40k gaming, and we're trying to figure out the terrain situation so that it's fair to all armies, and as much in line with universal WFB lore as possible.

The idea of LoS-blocking hills is a little alien to a 40k player, but I see the benefits of it.

Just to make things a little clearer, say the model in the diagram was standing on/behind a pile of rocks or a rocky "hill" instead of a gentle grassy hill? Would all of you grant cover in that situation?

Or do you only grant cover to models standing on the flat of the board, with no exceptions.

chivalrous
27-06-2009, 23:10
The reason I asked is that my gaming group is new to WFB, coming from a long history of 40k gaming, and we're trying to figure out the terrain situation so that it's fair to all armies, and as much in line with universal WFB lore as possible.

The idea of LoS-blocking hills is a little alien to a 40k player, but I see the benefits of it.

Just to make things a little clearer, say the model in the diagram was standing on/behind a pile of rocks or a rocky "hill" instead of a gentle grassy hill? Would all of you grant cover in that situation?

Or do you only grant cover to models standing on the flat of the board, with no exceptions.

I personally would say that the models is visible but obscured so would receive a modifier because the model is obscured but only soft because the archer could see over half the model.

Now this, I have to stress is a house rule, Fantasy doesn't mention anything about percentages of models visible and because we're all old and crusty we throw back to 5th edition and 2nd edition 40K.

But if a unit is obscured in any way, we believe it should get a cover save.

Necromancy Black
27-06-2009, 23:12
I would say they can see and be seen, simple as that. No soft cover.

Caboose123
27-06-2009, 23:51
Ugh... Really silly question here....
(As well as a threadjacking :angel:)

Do you guys play forests as soft or hard cover (assuming you can see the target)? Strangely the rulebook has no mention of forests.

OT:
In my book Soft Cover is something that only obscures the target. Hard Cover can protect the Targets. So in that case hills would be hard cover if the model was obscured like that.
Our group plays hills as straight LoS or No-LoS things though.

Shadowfax
28-06-2009, 02:42
Ugh... Really silly question here....
(As well as a threadjacking :angel:)

Do you guys play forests as soft or hard cover (assuming you can see the target)? Strangely the rulebook has no mention of forests.

OT:
In my book Soft Cover is something that only obscures the target. Hard Cover can protect the Targets. So in that case hills would be hard cover if the model was obscured like that.
Our group plays hills as straight LoS or No-LoS things though.
The book does mention forests, actually.

Page 27: "Hedges and crops provide soft cover and troops within woods automatically count as being in soft cover."

Caboose123
28-06-2009, 02:52
Not my rulebook! :p

Sorry, told you it was a silly question...

sroblin
28-06-2009, 03:58
A hill being a hill does not provide cover. It's as simple as that. In real life, if you stand on top of a grassy knoll, you are not actually harder to shoot.

Now, a rocky hill covered in boulders. A hill covered with scrub. A wooded hill. These ALL provide cover. Not because they are on a hill, but because there is terrain ON the hill that provides cover.

A person behind a hill is not in line of sight. You can have house rules for true line of sight, and people being only so far up the crest of the hill having so much cover and so on, but those will be house rules. Generally, the principle in warhammer is that a terrain item identified as a 'hill' is tall enough to block LoS to people standing on the other side of it. It just simpler to think of the hill as something you're either on top of or not, rather than arguing about the precise gradient of the hill relative to where the troops are positioned (and realistically each model will be positioned somewhere different, compounding the headache).

There are three major benefits to being on a hill as is: firing in multiple ranks, being able draw LOS over obstacles and enemy units, and +1 to combat resolution. So hills are still prime pieces of real estate even without granting cover- and if the hills DO have additional terrain on it, it may still grant cover anyway.

Oh, as for forests; realistically they would count as hard cover because tree trunks are great for blocking arrows, but for game purposes they are supposed to count as soft cover and should be played as such. They are simply to convenient, and would make skirmishers even more unhittable than they already are if they gave them an extra -2 to hit.

selone
28-06-2009, 22:03
Sroblin is pretty much right here :)