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Enfid
08-10-2009, 07:48
I was reading through the WotR rulebook, and came across the section under the shooting phrase (pg. 37). Under 'Can I see?', the rules describe how a terrain feature block line of sight; not just the objects but the entire base. The next two paragraphs go on to explain why this convention was chosen. The most important bit I want to discuss was the bit about 'forests' (4th paragraph).

For Warhammer, pg 9 described how to deal with woods. It follows a similar approach to WotR, with woods being handled more abstractly than other terrains.

However we know all about 40k's 'true line of sight'. Effectively, forests are categorized into how the system deals with all terrain features and, unlike the other systems, doesn't have a separate rule for forests.

Both WotR and Fantasy acknowledged that 'forests' on tabletops usually have only a few trees, which are good enough representation but it doesn't mean that the forest actually have three trees in it.

The point I wanted to discuss is the design inconsistencies on forest features. Why is it that WotR, which came after 5th Edition 40k IIRC, use the more abstract system of forests? Is it solely just the designer's decision, or does it have to do with difference in how the different systems work, or is it just because they want to simplify 40k, but IMO created a mess.

My opinion is that while TLOS in 40k is good for most things, forest should have its own rule and the whole base should block LOS. Due to the TLOS, forests used in my local store tend to be clumps of GW's pre-made forests, which is almost impossible to put units in or move units through without disrupting the actual trees. Put down the plastic trees, on the other hand, and now it's almost impossible to hide anything.

For people who play 40k and Fantasy/WotR, what's your opinion on how the different systems handle forests?

Tarax
08-10-2009, 08:10
You also have the problem that placing models would cause you to remove trees, thus creating a different LoS. And not every Wood people create, has the same amount of trees.

But that could also be the reason. As it is difficult to correctly place movement trays, as they are used in both Fantasy and WotR, they could have made a more abstract rule for it.

Gazak Blacktoof
08-10-2009, 12:00
In my opinion the systems chosen for WHFB and WoTR are superior to the system in 40K, you've already highlighted the main reason. It's highly impractical for movement purposes to create an item of terrain that both blocks line of sight and allows for movement purposes.

I think that in the current 40K game you need to create forest boards and litter large sections of the gaming surface with trees- that's very expensive though even if it would look good.

grg3d
08-10-2009, 12:57
well we still use a foot print for the forests which gives you the 2" rule as you have something to measure by irregardless of the actual trees.

Both for 40K and fantasy

Condottiere
08-10-2009, 14:30
We take a rectangular or square piece of green cloth, with one or two removable plastic trees to indicate forests; it makes moving through them a lot easier.

N810
08-10-2009, 14:39
I printed out some arial photos of forest and cut them out in random blobish shapes,
and just add some free standing trees for effect.
Also I did this for swamps and ponds.

Ethriel
08-10-2009, 16:02
Yes, but also remember LOTR SGB used TLOS before 40k did, and it worked wonderful. As many people have said, it probably the fact that in both Fantasy and WOTR you use Movement trays, which force you to displace trees so that your units can fit into the forests.
Also, WOTR has a whole different way of utilizing terrain than fantasy, where you can occupy the terrain piece, in which case you have a unit occupying the entire piece, thus any models placed in the terrain, may not actually be where they shown.

Enfid
09-10-2009, 04:24
How does the LotR SBG handle forests? Can a Minath Tirith Archer see the Easterling who's behind a forest (say, the current GW's plastic forest)? I never played SBG, so I don't know.

The rules regarding forests is made abstract in games with ranked up regiments probably, as people have said, because it makes moving them through forests much easier without messing around with where the trees REALLY are. And it makes sense.

It also appears that most people (if I understand it correctly), when playing 40k, either use the old rule for forests, or just counting the whole thing as blocking line of sight like in Fantasy and WotR. To me, this makes a whole lot more sense.

I think the issue I'm trying to tackle is the logic behind TLOS for forests, in regards to the actual rule in the 40k rulebook. If a forest is supposed to represent tens, if not hundreds of trees for a very big area of forest, how can a 40k trooper see the enemy on the opposite side just out of the forest? As an example, I found it rather improbable for a Heavy Weapon team to see a Chaos Space Marine when tracing their line of sight through a forest. Sure, on the tabletop with TLOS he can easily see past the three trees that is the "forest". But logically, can you see through 60-100m of trees in a forest, especially the denser jungles?

I think it's a bad decision to not have an abstract rule when dealing with forests on the tabletop, because it's really impractical to have a forest on the tabletop game with the same tree density as in real life.

I know 40k is faaarrrr away from real life, but forests are still forests. Ok, some races may have super-advanced scanner that can see enemies withing 200 m regardless of the terrain, but is it really the same for an Imperial Guard soldier with just his scopeless lasgun?

plantagenet
11-10-2009, 20:11
I just think it comes to the games. 40k is very different from a massed infantry fantasy combat game. In 40k the game itself has a mechansim to make up for the fact that something doesnt block line of sight in the fact it has the cover save mechanism. There is nothing similar in Fantasy and hence I think the greater abstraction is needed.

I guess in essence I see the difference as the level to which you have a view of the terrian. In 40k the terrain is what it is. Every bump building etc is exactly as you view at model level. In fantasy you are taking a more birds eye view of the battle and hence the greater abstraction.

Gazak Blacktoof
11-10-2009, 22:36
In 40k the game itself has a mechansim to make up for the fact that something doesnt block line of sight in the fact it has the cover save mechanism. There is nothing similar in Fantasy and hence I think the greater abstraction is needed.


There is, it's a penalty to hit of either -1 or -2.

Master Jeridian
12-10-2009, 01:55
40k is the abberration here.

Fantasy uses abstract forest rules.
Epic uses abstract forest rules.
Flames of War uses abstract forest rules.
I guessing the majority of wargames use abstraction rules for forests.

Why?

You can physically place based models onto the forest area, rather than be unable to put anything in a forest.
You can easily and clearly mark an area as forest so that both players can get on with playing the game rather than arguing LOS details over 28mm scale leaves.

40k did use abstract forest rules in 4th and previous.

Why was it changed for 5th Ed?

-To sell trees....no, just kidding.
-Apparently the games designers saw some kids playing wrong in Warhammer World, they where basically playing toy soldiers (the kid kind of 'bang, bang', I see you, No you don't). The kids where playing literal, shooting through windows, between trees, etc.
This was lauded as 'cinematic' and thrown into 5th Ed. Anecdotal evidence admittedly.
-Personally it's one of the many reasons I dropped 40k for better games.

The game does have a half-assed patch to compensate for this- the ubiquitous 4+ Cover Save (forest used to be 5+, ruins 4+ but apparently even that was too complex for 40k players).
Problem with the 4+ Cover Save is it depends on the player rolling lucky dice, not on the player being smart enough to use 'dead ground' (areas hidden from enemy view) behind forests to advance and/or to create 'kill zones/fire lanes' (areas covered by enemy guns) between forests to shoot the enemy.

Games like 40k need a lot of LOS blocking terrain- since most guns are in range on turn 1 or 2, the only skill to be had is from making good use of LOS blocking terrain.
Get rid of LOS blocking terrain and replace it with 4+ Cover Saves and it becomes all about who rolls the better hit and cover save dice. Boring.

plantagenet
12-10-2009, 13:37
The penalty to hit only applies to weapons that use BS. Cannons, Rock Lobbers etc are not affected by this and in essence these are the weapons that are most affected by the fact they cant see through forests as they have the longest range.

In 40k the majority of things have a ranged attack and the ground scale of the game feels a little closer to the size of the models. Hence I personally feel that forests working in the way they do just adds to the cinema of the 40k game. If you really want to block line of sight in that area of the table you need a larger wood or need to model more bushes etc to the forest base that really do block line of sight. I do get peoples point about it being a pain as a forest that is full of bushes and cover would be a pain to use in Fantasy as you would be able to get your unit to stay in it. But I ultimatly feel that having forest like this in 40 k adds something to the game and reflects better a more modern warfare type game. I can see other disagree however. :)

@Master Jeridan. I like to be more forgiving to GW and their designers. You see for me the 40k games table should be more like this http://www.elladan.de/002%20fur%20mat%20WiP/002.htm or like this http://www.coolminiornot.com/index/whatc/Terrain/id/230037

Now as I am sure you will agree these are very nice wargames tables but completely and utterly useless if the game you are trying to play is fantasy. However for 40k they suddenly take on a new meaning. Now you can see how line of sight works as this blocked by the long grass or the difference in height whether that be low walls tall buildings or sunken in canals. Because of the open order nature of modern warfare compared to fantasy these tables would be fantastic fun to play on and the rules would help to enhance this. Think glimpses of troops through broken fences or part of a tank through a broken building.

AndrewGPaul
13-10-2009, 09:20
-Apparently the games designers saw some kids playing wrong in Warhammer World, they where basically playing toy soldiers (the kid kind of 'bang, bang', I see you, No you don't). The kids where playing literal, shooting through windows, between trees, etc.
This was lauded as 'cinematic' and thrown into 5th Ed. Anecdotal evidence admittedly.
-Personally it's one of the many reasons I dropped 40k for better games.

Which "better games" are these? Infinity and Malifaux both don't bother with rules for "woods" - each of those games (as well as LotR and the Warhammer Historical derivatives) use "true LOS" and individual trees.

Cherrystone
13-10-2009, 11:28
I use the old system/wfb rules not just for woods but other area terrain in 5th edition 40K.
My area terrain (woods/rocky ground/ scrubland etc) has movable components to allow miniatures to move through so each tree/rock etc will be constantly moved throughout the game so the 5th ed rules dont sit right with me, plus i like the 'tactics' of having deadzones as someone has already mentioned.

Enfid
23-10-2009, 02:26
The penalty to hit only applies to weapons that use BS. Cannons, Rock Lobbers etc are not affected by this and in essence these are the weapons that are most affected by the fact they cant see through forests as they have the longest range.

In 40k the majority of things have a ranged attack and the ground scale of the game feels a little closer to the size of the models. Hence I personally feel that forests working in the way they do just adds to the cinema of the 40k game. If you really want to block line of sight in that area of the table you need a larger wood or need to model more bushes etc to the forest base that really do block line of sight. I do get peoples point about it being a pain as a forest that is full of bushes and cover would be a pain to use in Fantasy as you would be able to get your unit to stay in it. But I ultimatly feel that having forest like this in 40 k adds something to the game and reflects better a more modern warfare type game. I can see other disagree however. :)

@Master Jeridan. I like to be more forgiving to GW and their designers. You see for me the 40k games table should be more like this http://www.elladan.de/002%20fur%20mat%20WiP/002.htm or like this http://www.coolminiornot.com/index/whatc/Terrain/id/230037

Now as I am sure you will agree these are very nice wargames tables but completely and utterly useless if the game you are trying to play is fantasy. However for 40k they suddenly take on a new meaning. Now you can see how line of sight works as this blocked by the long grass or the difference in height whether that be low walls tall buildings or sunken in canals. Because of the open order nature of modern warfare compared to fantasy these tables would be fantastic fun to play on and the rules would help to enhance this. Think glimpses of troops through broken fences or part of a tank through a broken building.

I'm a bit skeptical with the tall grass table, but the city table I like. This is why I really want to try playing city of death for 40k, problem is most places don't have that kind of table. And plus, city of death changes the dynamic of the game by a lot apparently. I'm not a big fan of planetstrike BTW. With cities the concept of dead ground and fire lanes are more pronounced than a conventional plains battlefield.

Larger forests area, maybe. Personally, I think it's too much of a hassle to have that many trees whilst trying to move your units inside it. And someone can claim to see through the trees and shoot your guys because he can see a sliver of blue shoulderguard. I've had a guy trying to shoot at my Hellhound before because he can see exactly one track section protruding out of cover.

And I think in modern warfare, infantry (especially those using guerrilla warfare) are really hard to flush out of forests because they can hide away really easily. Hence napalms are used to burn them.

scarletsquig
23-10-2009, 10:36
Don't use forests in 40k, they're too much hassle with TLOS.

If you do, then just count them as 4+ cover and be done with it, much easier than stooping over the table trying to figure out if the end of someone's lasgun is poking out or trying to position your carnifex artistically so that it shadows the shape of the trees in front of it.

TLOS was something I hated about 2nd edition... it's way too fiddly for anything that isn't a skirmish game.

Infinity, LotR SBG, and Malifaux are all Skirmish games, and are therefore suited to a more cinematic, TLOS game.

40k is a mass-battle game, and is not.

It's supposed to be quickplay, and arguing and fiddling around with
"I can see the end of that guy's sword"
"No you can't see the end of that guys sword"
"I can from over here"
"Well I cant from here"
"You moved his sword when I wasn't looking!"
"No I didn't, you just couldn't see it"

etc.

sounds like a ridiculous situation, but you see it all the time. TLOS really bogs the game down.. you always end up running into some WAACtard who just has to claim that at least 2mm of that model that you specifically intended to put well out of sight last turn is visible.

Nkari
27-10-2009, 01:01
40k Doesnt even use TLOS, its uses some bastard variant of it.. combined with the unit rules.. see 1 model out of 10, and all 10 can die.. but the 10 ppl cant return fire because they do not have LOS.. =(( stupid..

Mini-J
27-10-2009, 01:10
40k Doesnt even use TLOS, its uses some bastard variant of it.. combined with the unit rules.. see 1 model out of 10, and all 10 can die.. but the 10 ppl cant return fire because they do not have LOS.. =(( stupid..

haha wow really? I own the latest copy of 40k rulebook but I've not actually played any games of it... or read it... in fact its still in shrink wrap... may just stay that way.

Hellebore
27-10-2009, 01:19
You know what's better than the pseudo true line of sight seen in 5th ed? The rules from 4th ed with some slight tweaks.

It's ironic that GW went with 'cinematic' for their LoS - but only in one form of cinema; living statue cinema. You know what's also cinematic and cool? Soldiers diving into cover, crouching and sniping, forests being made up of more than one tree, ground being uneven, hiding in bushes and shooting and NOT standing on an inch high rock fist raised trying to give the sky a powerfist enema. You know how to represent that cinematic feel? You don't literally use the model to trace LoS nor do you use it directly with terrain.

So in order to push a one dimensional cinema they chose to ignore the other dimensions.

Apparently refining the 4th ed rules was too hard though. I mean they'd have to go the trouble to say long convoluted things like:

Units can see into 6" of terrain. This means if the terrain is less than 6" across they can see through it. This can be spread across multiple pieces of terrain (2" in one, 3" in another and 1" in the last). Targets still receive cover saves though as LoS is obscured by terrain.

Or

Miniatures on terrain that has levels (defined as hills and buildings determined via wysiwig) add their size to the terrain's size when on the topmost level for LoS (ie they cannot get to a level any higher up the terrain). Thus a size 2 marine with heavy bolter standing on the topmost level of a building that is size 3 will have a size of 5 for LoS purposes.

OR

Models have size categories ranging from 1-5. You cannot see through something that is larger than you. Things with the same size grant a cover save to units behind them if they are the same size (size 2 shoots at size 2 through size 2).



Hellebore

Enfid
27-10-2009, 12:34
GW seem to want to make things as simple as possible with 40k. That might be why it's popular: it's simple to learn and it doesn't require a lot of strategy. To a lot of us (including me), however, the game lacks finesse. I actually like a lot of the rules in 4th, so TLOS, especially in regards to forests as I've mentioned, is always my pet peeve.

It's a shame. I really hoped 40k will have more finesse as time goes by, but it looks like it'll get dumbened more and more :(

Whitehorn
27-10-2009, 12:54
It always made me laugh how with all this futuristic technology, we use eyes to find targets. What happened to communicating positions, using scanners and detection devices or simply trashing some light terrain in case it is hiding some enemies.

"Sir, there's a horde of blips behind that tree".
"Dammit private, I don't see anything, hold your fire".

scarletsquig
27-10-2009, 18:36
It always made me laugh how with all this futuristic technology, we use eyes to find targets. What happened to communicating positions, using scanners and detection devices or simply trashing some light terrain in case it is hiding some enemies.

"Sir, there's a horde of blips behind that tree".
"Dammit private, I don't see anything, hold your fire".

Many other wargames don't just have that, they also have electronic warfare to jam scanners.

Only army that gets close in 40k is the tau with their markerlights and various other "modern" tricks.

Havock
29-10-2009, 04:21
Which "better games" are these? Infinity and Malifaux both don't bother with rules for "woods" - each of those games (as well as LotR and the Warhammer Historical derivatives) use "true LOS" and individual trees.

Battletech? :p

AndrewGPaul
29-10-2009, 13:51
For a given definition of "better", I suppose. Comparing Battletech to 40K is a bit disingenuous; if people wre complaining that Epic Armageddon uses individual trees that would be a better comparison. :)

Havock
30-10-2009, 00:45
See the ":p"

BT and 40k are miles apart. The only smilarity is that it uses miniatures, dice and a somewhat flat gaming surface.