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Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)

 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:32 pm 
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If anyone is interested in how the local modified terrain system works, they are free to read the rules here in the player's pack, page 6.

http://castleassault.net/index.php/epi/


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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:47 pm 
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PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE POST - you may learn something new :)

Just for clarity on the terrain situation, here is what the rules say about it (you know, the rule book that we are all supposed to use to play Epic Armageddon...) :
Quote:
Design Concept: Terrain Conventions
It is possible to have all kinds of arguments about whether terrain partially or fully blocks the line of fire to a target. Because of this, you should discuss the terrain on your gaming table with your opponent before a game starts and make sure you both agree on how it will work with regard to this and any of the other terrain rules. However, the -1 to hit modifier should be generously applied, and if in any doubt it should be counted rather than ignored.


Quote:
1.8.2 Cover to Hit Modifiers
Units that are in terrain that is tall enough to at least partially obscure them from an attacker’s view receive a -1 to hit modifier when being shot at (see 1.9.5). The to hit modifier also applies if intervening terrain obscures the target partially from view.


Quote:
Example of play: Terrain
The Shadowsword has moved into a hull down position behind a low ridge. From this position it counts as being in cover against attacks from the Ork formation with the Battlefortress and Buggies attacking it from the front, and so they will suffer the -1 to hit modifier. However, the Ork Gunwagons have manoeuvred to a position where the ridge does not block their line of fire, and so they do not suffer the penalty.


Quote:
1.8.4 Terrain Effects
Hills
Units on hills will benefit from better lines of sight to enemy units, as they will be high enough to see over some terrain features (see 1.9.2, Line of Fire). This aside, units on hills count as being in open ground (or whatever other type of terrain they occupy that is also on the hill, such as roads, woods or buildings).


Quote:
1.9.2 Who May Shoot
In order to shoot, a unit must be in range and have a line of fire to at least one unit in the target formation, and must not be suppressed.

Line Of Fire
The line of fire is a straight line drawn from the shooting unit to one unit in the target formation. The line of fire is blocked by terrain features such as buildings, hills, woods, etc. Weapons higher up can often see over any terrain that is lower down. Buildings, rubble, woods, fortifications and the like don’t block the line of fire to or from units that are in the terrain itself unless the line of fire passes through more than 10cms of the terrain feature (i.e., you can shoot 10cms into a terrain feature, but the line of fire is still blocked to units on the other side). The only units that can block the line of fire are war engines (see 3.0). Other units do not block the line of fire for friend or foe.
See the above quotes for clarification on the 10cm into terrain rule.

Quote:
Shooting Conventions
The following principles apply to shooting:

Design Concept: Measuring Ranges
You must decide with your opponent how you will measure the range between two models during a game. The method used by the author (and the default you should use if you can’t agree to an alternative) is that a weapon is in range if any bit of the attacking weapon is within range of any part of the target model (or at least one of the models on a target stand).
Lines of Fire
In Epic, the terrain and the models are assumed to be the same scale, so if you want to check a difficult line of sight between two units, all you need to do is bend over and get a model’s eye view to see if they are in each others line of fire.
Pre-measuring
You must decide with your opponent if you are allowed to pre-measure distances during a game of Epic, or if you must declare charges or shooting attacks before measuring. For example, you must decide if you can measure to make sure a unit is within range of the enemy before deciding who it will shoot at, etc. Each method has its own distinct advantages, which boil down to pre-measuring being more precise and tactical, and not allowing pre-measuring being more characterful and exciting. If you cannot agree on which method to use then use the author’s method, which is to allow pre-measuring.


This is exactly what the rules say about terrain.
This is how it was played at Cancon.

How anyone could have confusion about this is interesting.
If anyone has developed their own evolved version of the rules, then that is obviously defined as a house rule. That's fine but it is not the default terrain rules for Epic Armageddon and it should not be. The NetEA committee has gone to great lengths to avoid changing the rule book so as to not invalidate anyones understanding of the original rule book (countercharging towards the nearest enemy unit for example).

The way that many claim is the right way is actually nothing to do with the rule book (which is what we've got - all it's short comings included).
It is an interpretation that allows a piece of felt with 1 building on it to represent a city (or another piece of felt with 1 tree on it to represent a forest). That is fine. There is nothing wrong with that. It is a compromise that allows the game to be played.
It is not what is written in the rule Epic Armageddon book.
I'm the FAQ guy.
It's my job to understand the rules as much as I can and to help explain the rules as simply as I can.
It appears that Epic Armageddon is not as abstract as some believe.

I hope this helps some of you.

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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:52 am 
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Thank you for posting that Onxy.

I don't want to get into a debate about terrain, but it is good to know that the Cancon terrain rules were 'by the book' and not some weird Australian only system

The only 'house rule' as you defined it at Cancon was a clarification that different scale miniatures have to be treated the same (the aforementioned war hound problem) but I do not consider that clarification being indicative of a problem with the main rule set, simply being a necessary requirement when the game now has miniatures of different sizes and proxy miniatures from alternate suppliers.

This all a moot point because I do not think that claiming 'it's only due to a weird terrain system that makes Overlords OP'. If an overlords weaponry was mounted on an ordinary ground based fracked chassis (like a baneblade) it would still have more firepower than comparable DC 3 war engines like Shadowswords or Warhounds. The fact that a 'lord can pop up and fly over terrain only makes it stronger.

The claim that 'you cannot look at a unit in isolation, nor across army lines' is something I can also argue against. Squats are as close to guard as any army could be, and the overlord is a high firepower glass canon in a list full of high firepower glass cannons. There is a lot of synergy with stacking overlords, thunder fires and bezerkers and there is a reason that all the strong squat lists naturally gravitate to those choices rather than, say mass warrior lists.

My role in AC is to balance the list both internally and externally and that is going to require:
1) a move away from high fire power glass cannons to units that are less spam able.
2) a reduction in the effectiveness in some units, but improvement in the effectiveness of others.

In short:
Overlord/bezerkers/thunder fire spam is OP and needs a fix
Warrior/thunderers/warlords are all weak, need a fix.

But *how* to exactly fix that is worthy of a long discussion


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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:27 am 
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Ok cheers for the replies. And yes all your work is definitely appreciated Steve (and Elsaurio). But still, what about the opening there which you haven't highlighted?

"It is possible to have all kinds of arguments about whether terrain partially or fully blocks the line of fire to a target. Because of this, you should discuss the terrain on your gaming table with your opponent before a game starts and make sure you both agree on how it will work with regard to this and any of the other terrain rules"

Because what I find interesting and worthy of consideration here, is that as a result of the first rule 'discuss conventions with your opponent and agree how it will work' - independently around the world it seems all these groups have come to the conclusion that TLOS suggestions are a pain in the ass and agreeing to abstract it makes sense. Except Australia it seems(?)

To bring up a recent anniversary, perhaps Australia's position is a bit like this (but just out of touch rather than nefarious).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K65_spUU05s
Meaning, technically it's ok, but most countries think it sucks, so perhaps we should do away with it and write a NetEA tournament FAQ that recommends international standardisation?
Just a thought.

(And hey if we can't bring up grudges in a Squat thread where can we bring them up! :P)

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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:23 am 
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Meaning absolutely no offence to anyone who has posted, I do feel the thread got a little more personal than required. You say tomayto, I say tomato, let's all agree we want to have fun blowing up some eldar.

:D

Quote:
"It is possible to have all kinds of arguments about whether terrain partially or fully blocks the line of fire to a target. Because of this, you should discuss the terrain on your gaming table with your opponent before a game starts and make sure you both agree on how it will work with regard to this and any of the other terrain rules"


That's the key rule regarding terrain, and the one that makes it playable whether people have rectangles of cardboard or elaborate hand-painted terrain pieces.

So with that in mind, whatever interpretation people are used to using as default will seem the correct one, and will BE the correct one unless they agree with their opponent. As far as I can tell, the only difference is that in some areas terrain is treated as being infinite in height, and in others if a model's weapons can see over it then it can fire over terrain that is lower down.

Either of those is legal, since the rules let you agree it with your opponent.

In practice though, when it comes to actually playing the game, the key difference between the two interpretations is that using the "Weapons higher up can often see over any terrain that is lower down" approach requires more, taller or larger terrain pieces, and the other requires nothing but designated areas of the table to be marked in some way.

Therefore the difference in impact is probably less than one might expect, because people used to playing that "Weapons higher up can often see over any terrain that is lower down" are also more used to playing with terrain pieces that are large enough to block line of fire in exactly the way a UK player might expect --- not because of abstract terrain rules, but because they literally block the line of fire.

EG here are a couple of Steve's pics, and as you can see LOF is probably blocked as much as you might expect, but by tall pieces rather than abstract rules.

Image

Image

I'd never recommend this approach to people who don't have large terrain pieces, and I wouldn't even go as far as to recommend it to people used to an abstract approach.

My point is that the effect of interpreting the LOF 'can see over' rule literally is probably less than you might expect, because there is probably more large terrain on the tables of people who do so. It's all Epic either way, and not as dissimilar as you might have imagined.



I hope that this post is helpful.
8)


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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:34 am 
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Quote:
You say tomayto, I say tomato, let's all agree we want to have fun blowing up some eldar.


Well yes of course, and people can do what they want. What I was really wondering is if there is one outlier country perhaps it is worth aiming for some standardisation and the NetEA making that happen?

Quote:
"the only difference is that in some areas terrain is treated as being infinite in height, and in others if a model's weapons can see over it then it can fire over terrain that is lower down."


The latter being the Australian interpretation. With regards to this, the other thing I don't get is if you can see over terrain like this, is there any dead ground? Or is the target just partially concealed no matter how far way the terrain and target is, which would make things considerably more lethal (and odd).

As to effects of the difference, do you have any more pics of the Cancon tables? I saw a few here, and whilst nice I also thought they looked pretty open if this TLOS option is being used.
http://www.wargamerau.com/forum/index.p ... 2125&st=60

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:53 am 
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I took some photos but they were mainly over-the-shoulder type battle pics. There were a few tables at Cancon that had less terrain than recommended (particularly the desert), which I heard a couple of players say they'd mention to the organisers in feedback about the (otherwise :D:D:D SPECTACULARLY AWESOME :D:D:D) event.
The impact of having a less then ideal amount of terrain, or less tall blocking pieces, would be exacerbated by using these line of fire rules.

Here are a couple of photos I took on non-desert tables, which are crowded enough to give more of the game experience you're probably used to, even when allowing tall things to see and be seen over terrain.

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:55 am 
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Quote:
Quote:
"the only difference is that in some areas terrain is treated as being infinite in height, and in others if a model's weapons can see over it then it can fire over terrain that is lower down."

The latter being the Australian interpretation. With regards to this, the other thing I don't get is if you can see over terrain like this, is there any dead ground? Or is the target just partially concealed no matter how far way the terrain and target is, which would make things considerably more lethal (and odd).


Yes there's dead ground; referring back to the pic I posted above, as you can see there will be plenty of things blocked entirely from sight.

Image

But if a Warhound for example can be seen over some low rubble, he'd be shot (probably with a cover modifier, if any of the model is obscured).

Eg in this photo, the lego Predator would be able to shoot the warhound (at -1) despite the more than 10cm of rubble.

Image

Sincere question; how do you interpret "Weapons higher up can often see over any terrain that is lower down", or do you agree to ignore it?


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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:25 am 
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My question wasn't meant to be about complete LOS blocking terrain providing dead ground (which of course it does). I mean non LOS blocking terrain STILL providing dead ground in some circumstances. Because even non-blocking terrain should still have a 'terrain shadow', as effects skimmers - i.e. they have to be closer to the blocking terrain than the target.

As these pictures show, if you are playing that the Titan can see over the hill, it makes sense that it still can't hit the unit in the first picture due to the terrain shadow, but it could see the unit (or be seen by it) in the second picture.

So do you guys play this terrain shadow effect or not? Do you really try and get down to the level of the model and try and figure out what 6mm figures can see? That seems pretty crazy to me. Or do you use the skimmer rule for LOS? Or do you just say it is 'partially concealed -1 to hit', in all circumstances? The Skimmer rule (have to be closer to the terrain than the target) would make most sense to me, but if you're playing just a -1 to hit then things are much more deadly.


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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:46 am 
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Quote:
Sincere question; how do you interpret "Weapons higher up can often see over any terrain that is lower down", or do you agree to ignore it?


The default we use is that area terrain (woods, ruins, hills, buildings) are 'infinite height'. Or stated in a way that sounds less crazy - assumed to be too high to provide a clear line of fire for all ground units. So you need to be a skimmer to pop up over it. Saves a lot of hassle. Most of the terrain we use actually looks roughly ok for this, e.g. see picture.

In the five minute warmup, if there is anything that seems really stupid to be LOS blocking, like the little bunker lower than a titans knees, then we will generally say it is ignored for LOS purposes to and from War Engines, but not other units. If we want to get more detailed than this we can and do. But just having the default option that terrain is LOS blocking for everthing (woods, buildings, hills, ruins) or not (craters, scrub, rocks, roads, rivers etc) - is a very useful abstraction that saves a lot of headaches and need to define everything.

I note that height levels have a long history of discussion in Epic, and Jervis rejected them as causing more problems than they solved.


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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:48 am 
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Thanks for posting some pics. That makes the question easy to answer:

Picture 1, titan can't see target so he can't shoot it.
Picture 2, if the titan can see the target he can shoot it.

If you prefer to treat the hills as blocking LOS and your opponents agree to do so, that's great. We generally play the Titan can see over the hill because this seems a more literal interpretation of 'Weapons higher up can often see over any terrain that is lower down,', but this does mean the table needs to have enough actual LOS blocking terrain to make sure it's not a shooting gallery.


Quote:
So do you guys play this terrain shadow effect or not? Do you really try and get down to the level of the model and try and figure out what 6mm figures can see? That seems pretty crazy to me.


Well look, I could talk about rules all day, and frankly I don't really mind how people play. As long as I know how the opponent wants to play I am happy with whatever. I really, really don't mind. However, debating rules is being made more difficult by describing trying to follow the rules of the game as crazy.

"Do you really try and get down to the level of the model and try and figure out what 6mm figures can see?" - Yes, when necessary.
Not because we're crazy, but because "In Epic, the terrain and the models are assumed to be the same scale, so if you want to check a difficult line of sight between two units, all you need to do is bend over and get a model’s eye view to see if they are in each others line of fire."


The way we play terrain here has been described so far as 'Wierd, crazy, out of touch, a pain in the ass, awful TLOS rule from Warhammer, ludicrous, a fallacy, makes no sense' etc. Those statements seem a little over the top.

Even after participating in this thread it was a surprise that you said the titan can't see over the 2nd hill, that's just foreign to me, as if people have agreed to ignore parts of the terrain rules they found inconvenient. As it happens, the terrain rules allow players to agree to do that, so I'm not going to call anyone crazy for doing so.
If I visit NZ I'll give your way a go, if you come over here I'll show you the joys of firing at whatever big giant robot pokes its silly head over a hill.
Either way, Epic is fun. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:25 am 
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Markconz wrote:
So do you guys play this terrain shadow effect or not? Do you really try and get down to the level of the model and try and figure out what 6mm figures can see? That seems pretty crazy to me.

Call me crazy then :spin .
Of course, that is EXACTLY what is written in the rules as I quoted above.
It seems there are a lot of Epic Armageddon players with bad backs that can't lean over and look closely at their models. Pity. ;D
I ruptured both L4 and L5 discs in my back a few years ago but I can manage to get down and have a look every game I play.
The New England players even have a venue that has the tables raised quite high at the Time Machine hobby shop. A great idea to assist with playing Epic Armageddon as per the Epic Armageddon rules.

Quote:
The way we play terrain here has been described so far as 'Wierd, crazy, out of touch, a pain in the ass, awful TLOS rule from Warhammer, ludicrous, a fallacy, makes no sense' etc. Those statements seem a little over the top.
Even sadder when the players that are criticising are the ones that are playing the game by their own house rules and not reading what the rule book actually states (or claiming the rules are not clear - which they are).

I can assure you all that you all play the terrain rules differently.
Mark, you mentioned that you play as per the EpicUk interpretation.
This sentence means that you don't:
Quote:
In the five minute warmup, if there is anything that seems really stupid to be LOS blocking, like the little bunker lower than a titans knees, then we will generally say it is ignored for LOS purposes to and from War Engines, but not other units.

I have posted photos up of an Imperator standing behind a small piece of rubble terrain (less that 1cm high) and been told that LoS to the titan would be blocked because of the terrain.
This is a simplification that in my mind, detracts from the game and is counter intuitive to new players but it is a compromise that allows the game to be played so how can it be wrong?

No 2 playing groups will play the exact same way.
It's unfortunate but it is true.

If I were forced to make an FAQ for this situation, I would of course, try to explain the rules as presented earlier. This would obviously be a waste of time to many players as they would keep on playing their own evolved house rules.
This is ok.
Be happy to let players play their way - just don't criticise and belittle those that actually want to follow the rules as written in the rule book.

*edit - sorry Elsaurio for dragging the thread off topic... ::)

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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:42 am 
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Ok thanks Matt. So in the second picture of that Titan, given the arm weapons look like they can't see, but the back weapon can, would you only fire that back weapon? Or the full Titan? And would you really be bending over trying to get line of sight from individual weapons on 6mm scale models?? I mean how the hell can you even do this when your head is like the size of a small moon compared to these guys? :o Do you guys use phone cameras or periscopes or something? Sorry for calling this crazy if that offends, but it seems pretty amazing to me, I thought it was extraordinary enough in Warhammer where the figures were much bigger... :eh


Also I don't think this is about what people 'mind', I'm also happy to play whatever the opponent wants to do too, as I expect most Epic players are.

However, the issue also is that Australia seems pretty isolated in interpretation of terrain rules. And if that's the case, and most of the world seems to have agreed on an alternative, this might actually be worthy of the attention of the NetEA committee to clear all this up and go with the majority interpretation.

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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:48 am 
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Cheers Onyx just read that after I posted. Note the changes in the warmup mentioned don't always happen and are just an exception to the general rule if both players can be bothered with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Squats back from CanCon (The Overlord Rant)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:22 am 
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Markconz wrote:
However, the issue also is that Australia seems pretty isolated in interpretation of terrain rules. And if that's the case, and most of the world seems to have agreed on an alternative, this might actually be worthy of the attention of the NetEA committee to clear all this up and go with the majority interpretation.

Trust me, this is not just an Australian thing.
I posted before that we play basically the same as Dave and co up in the US.
The fact that someone said that I was wrong is interesting as I'm the only person I know that has played in both metas and I can state that we do play the same way.

I believe there are far less players playing infinite height terrain than is often mentioned here.

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