Following our blog detailing how shooting works in Firefight: Second Edition, we’ve had a number of queries about what happens when enemy units are in cover. So, without further ado, today’s blog deals with Line of Sight and cover.
First up, it’s worth noting that Firefight uses a height system similar to Kings of War, rather than true line of sight in Deadzone. If you look at the profiles of each unit, you’ll see they have a Height value. This is to indicate how big that unit is and whether it blocks line of sight, or is visible over an obstacle, for example.
As well as units having their own height values, we also suggest height values for things like ponds (height 0), hills (height 3), woods (height 5), etc.
I CAN SEE YOU!
Line of Sight (LOS) is determined by using a bird’s eye view, looking down on the models. Models have a 360 degree arc of sight – so they can see all around them.
To determine if a unit has LOS to a target, you draw a straight, imaginary line from any part of the Leader model’s base to the base of any model in the target unit. A little like the way movement works, there’s no need to measure from every model in the unit, instead you just have to worry about whether or not the Leader can see the enemy.
Models (and gaps between them) from the Leader’s own unit, and any model with the Fly Keyword, do not block LOS. Any models, or gaps between models, in other units will block LOS up to that unit’s height.
For models without a base such as Vehicles, you simply measure from the edge of the main body or hull. Due to model positioning, it may appear that some other models in the unit cannot see a target, but we allow them to Shoot as, in effect, the models would be moving around within their area to take shots and then get back into cover.
When you’re working out the Line of Sight, you need to remember the following:
- If the imaginary line passes over no other unit or terrain feature to the bases of more than 50% of the models in the target unit, then LOS is Clear.
- If either the unit drawing LOS, or the target unit, has a Height at three levels or greater than any other unit or terrain the line crosses, LOS is Clear.
- LOS is Blocked if there is more than 3” of Difficult Terrain of equal or greater height of both units, between the units (even if they are both within the terrain itself).
- If any other units or terrain types in the way are the same Height or greater than both the unit drawing LOS and the target unit, then LOS is Blocked.
COVER ME, I’M GOING IN!
Ok, so now you know how to work out if Line of Sight is Clear or Blocked, but what happens when those pesky Steel Warriors are messing about in some woods, instead of standing in the open and take it like real, tough dwarfs! That’s a shot may be Partially Blocked.
LOS from a Leader model to the enemy unit is considered Partially Blocked if:
- More than 50% (but not all) of the enemy unit’s models’ bases are in a position that would be considered Blocked. At least some models can be seen.
- More than 50% of the enemy unit’s models’ bases are in a position behind terrain, such as an Obstacle, or another unit, but the models have a greater height than the intervening feature.
- The enemy unit’s Leader and at least 50% of its models are within an area of Difficult Terrain that is of a lower Height than it is (regardless of how deep into the terrain they are). This is likely to happen if your unit is standing in some building ruins, for example.
- The enemy unit’s Leader and at least 50% of its models are 3” or less within the boundary of Difficult Terrain of equal or greater height. In this case Difficult Terrain is likely to be some sort of forest, for example.
An enemy unit can be seen so long as LOS is either Clear or Partially Blocked. When LOS is Partially Blocked, the enemy unit is often said to be ‘In Cover’. When shooting at an enemy ‘in cover’ the shooting unit suffers a -1 modifier, i.e. rather than need a 5+ to hit, your unit will need a 6+.
Of course, in the rulebook we’ve got lots of handy diagrams to explain all this, like the one below.
There you go! We hope that clears up your questions about line of sight and cover. Of course, just let us know if you want to hear about something specific for Firefight and we’ll do our best to answer.