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"Firing over intervening terrain at different levels?" Topic

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Schogun01 Aug 2021 1:03 p.m. PST

Firing up or down over terrain taking into account relative height and position of the terrain.

What rules handle this best without getting overly mathematical?


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Aug 2021 1:14 p.m. PST

If it's just point to point, we use a laser pointer.

The bigger issue has to do with intervening units. In which eras can units fore over their friends?

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2021 1:33 p.m. PST

We tend to say if a terrain feature is higher than an intervening feature a figure can be seen the width of the intervening terrain beyond it, or 6".

Of course, this basic rule is subject to change if deemed necessary.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Aug 2021 3:20 p.m. PST

QILS uses the "three points" system. Imagine the base, waist (or midpoint) and top of head (or whatever) to be three points of view. If LOS to one is blocked, you take a -1 (light penalty), if LOS to two is blocked, you take a -2 (moderate penalty). If three are blocked, no shot.

This is obviously for sighted shots. For third-party shots, it's the same, except it's LOS to the spotter, not the shooter.

This is the same system for shooting around corners, except the three points are horizontal – left base, center base, and right base. It also works for odd situations like people behind a train car where you can see feet and waist, but not head, or just feet.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 7:08 a.m. PST

Keep it Super Simple, or, KISS, is my favored approach.

Either use a laser pointer, or else use a periscope placed on the table, giving players, and referees, a clear view of what the figures can/cannot see.

For my Plastic Wars game for Army Men, I give the target benefit of Soft/Hard Cover, depending upon how much they are blocked, and by what they are shielded: wooden fence/wall, foliage/hedge, counts as Soft Cover, while stone walls, tank/vehicles or wrecks, count as Hard Cover. Apply the modifiers used for Soft/Hard Cover. If the figures are hidden <50% behind Cover, they get no Cover benefit; if the figures have >=50% coverage behind some sort of barrier, they get Cover. If the owning player states they are hiding, and will not shoot from their position, they can be considered hidden, behind Hard Cover only, and ineligible to be shot by the enemy, if no LOS can be traced.

I am a fan of game flow. I do not want to get bogged down in complicated rules, I just want to roll dice, and kill things. If your desire is for complicated rules, then ignore everything I wrote. Cheers!

Martin Rapier02 Aug 2021 8:17 a.m. PST

For skirmish games, if you can see it you can shoot it.

For anything grand tactical or operational, you need a reasonable terrain model. Grouping terrain features into height groups is a popular approach, then a level 2 can see over a level 1 etc. Any complexity comes in terms of dead ground calculations, which I try to keep as simple as humanly possible.

Shooting over _units_ however can only really be done by weapons capable of high angle fire or with extremely well marked out fire lanes (in which case it isn't overhead fire) or by flat trajectory weapons allowing for an enormous safe zone. The chaps don't like being machinegunned in the back by their own guys.

Artillery, MG and Field Fortification Manuals have diagrams and charts for this sort of thing.

emckinney03 Aug 2021 7:27 a.m. PST

Taut thread.

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