After Action Report 3 Related: Lines of Sight

We squeezed a game in on Saturday.  It was a good one.  We’ll write it up and post it shortly.  During the game, there was one of those rare moments when we disagreed.  It was over Line of Sight (LOS).  Now, I’m fortunate that Chris is a decent chap because, in my experience, arguments over what is and is not visible can really be a downer in a game and can, in some cases, have lasting consequences depending upon who you play with.

Anyway, I dutifully crawled under the table to re-surface on the other side and emerge behind the Su-76 in question.  There, in the distance, at long range, was its target, a StuG.  My StuG. This was annoying.  I’d deliberately backed my 3 StuGs behind an intervening line of trees precisely to avoid any undesirable sniping from by cunning opponent.

At this point, it would be wise for me to point out that the tree line is question was made up of individual trees in differing depths and not area terrain.  It would have been straight forward if it was area terrain (cf. Page 61 hardback rulebook).

I never thought of this when I made them and whilst they may look great on the table, Woodland Scenics might soon have a lot to answer for.  Fortunately,  we’d agreed before hand that we’d always use tree bases to determine LOS and not the size/shape of the foliage itself.  Our tree bases are all of a regular size and, whilst it may be something of an abstraction to treat them this way, I’m certainly glad we did.

And I had to admit, on  close inspection ,Chris had a point.  There was a LOS.  Of sorts :).  If we’d have used some of the toys I was surprised to find on the market to resolve true LOS issues or What You See is What You Get (WYSWYG), like a Fuchs 650nm 60° Line Positioning Laser or the cheaper Warhammer 40,000 LOS Markerlight, the issue would never have been in doubt.

But this only helped us a little.  Yes, the front of the StuG was visible.  But only just, and only between 2 separate tree bases.   It reminded me of the pictures in the main rulebook, only between Completely Out of Sight and Concealed!

The pressure mounted.  This was a critical point in the game.  Whoever knocked out the other’s AT assets first would have a distinct advantage.  Like perfect gentleman, we both agreed that if the shot was on, it would certainly count as Concealed.  Trouble is, I was of the mind that it wasn’t and Chris was of the mind that it was.

Polite stalemate.

It set me thinking: in an I GO / YOU GO sequence, LOS is always going to be an abstraction.  Shooting doesn’t take place at the end of your turn in real life.  It’s something that happens, sometimes in the heat of the moment and with only a glimpse of a target through a view finder, real or imagined.

It was then that I remembered the rule for Shooting between Terrain features: A team may only shoot between friendly teams or terrain features if they are at least 1″ / 2.5cm apart.

The gap in question was only 2cm wide at best.  Phew.

But what a good rule.  How clever.  It prevents silly arguments over true LOS and the abstraction it represents.   No fallings out, no misinterpretations or ambiguity.

Situation NORMAL.

Now, where did I put my tea?

12 Responses to “After Action Report 3 Related: Lines of Sight

  • Bet Chris isn’t so happy you remembered that rule?
    That reminds me; I was watching an online video t’other day on “how to play FoW” when are you going to make a similar series to complete the set? You’ve done figure painting, armour painting, terrain and scenery building….

    • Well, Chris and I were discussing your proposition (seconded by BigLee) the other day and its certainly feasible. We would be worried about getting it right, but agreed we would pilot 3 videos focussing on Movement, Shooting and Artillery and see what people think. They would be 10 mins in length, max. How does that sound?

      • Sounds Great!
        I wouldn’t worry about getting it perfect – your competition appears to be a man with Lego… Also I would imagine some points may provoke some discussion from which everyone would learn (like your post here about concealment)

        • Yes, I’ve seen that. Funny. Well, let’s see what we can do and you can left us have your feedback on how useful it really is!

  • I have had many a game soured by differences of opinion about what can be seen and what is concealed etc. Most folks are easy going enough to give benefit of doubt.
    I even heard the term ..”This tank is hull down”…THERE IS NO HULL DOWN REFERENCE IN THE RULES! It is only Concealed or not concealed….That’s it.
    If you use the rules as simply as pos it seems to flow well.
    1 can you see the target? (Don’t forget the gap rule).
    2 how much of it can you see?
    A All of it? (if no terrain like a wall interveneing then unconcealed).
    B half or more of it? (concealed shot).
    C A tiny bit? (can’t be used as a target).


    • Hi Kiwi – welcome to the site and thanks for making a contribution.

      Soured games is a perenial problem. I sort of left my last club because some folk didn’t really play in the spirit of the game. Or just talked bobbins.

      I’ve used hull down before. I like it. But, as you say, it only counts as concealed. And your point is well made. If you can’t see half ot it, you can’t shoot it. That realisation would have resolved our difference of opinion straight away 🙂

      Live and learn I guess.

  • Interesting article. As a newbie to the game (newbie player if not collector of the miniatures) articles like this help enormously.

    I’d second the request for a “how to play” video…. just what I’ve been looking for actually.

  • The pain of being denied this shot was tempered by the fact I had, in the previous turn, sniped another of his StuG’s in the rear end – and that’s gotta hurt 🙂

  • Must….
    can’t; English sense of humour; Sorry
    At the risk of adding to the metaphor; I would imagine it may smart, taking one in the rear end, if you weren’t ready for it and if it didn’t bounce off?
    Thinking about the tree thing a bit more. If the trees had been mounted on an area terrain then presumably there would have been no clear LOS through the “wood”. If, in laying out the battlefield, the trees are deliberately placed over 1″ apart eg along a tree lined road would you end up with a situation where a tank is “hiding” behind a tree trunk (much less) than half of visible area WYSIWYG, but if you use the tree base then over half could be hidden (for example front or rear aspects facing) and therefore counts as concealed?

    • It didn’t bounce off…left a nasty stain 😀

      With regards your arboreal conundrum, I’m figuring our tree bases are an abstration representing the trunk, the roots, any associated vegetation and over hanging branches. With that in mind, a tank could be concealed from the front because half was obscured. But that may not be the case for a side shot where more than half would probably be visible.

      Wow – I’ve suprised myself…perhaps we could get the video rules guides for noobs right after all. How about Model Dads go to Boot Camp? ‘ten-SHUN!

  • Todd Reed
    7 years ago

    Your website is amazing. Simple. It’s great layout and photos and aars and tips – aaaarghhh I can’t stand it. But seriously, great work. Keep it up.

    I heard about you on the podcast.

    • Thanks Todd. Welcome to the site, thanks for contributing and I’m really pleased you’ve found stuff that’s useful to you.

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