Friday, July 23, 2010

TLOS - The Case for the Defence

One of the aspects of 8th edition that has caused the most "noise" is the move to True Line of Sight (TLOS). This has a lot of people up in arms and already we are seeing a push to "house" rules, the nudging of Tournament Organisers to implement "fixes" etc. One criticism of TLOS is that it doesn't allow you to hide models and that as a consequence it fundamentally changes the game.

Well guess what? You're right it does!

But before we start changing things - infinitely high hills etc - let's pause and thing why it has been introduced and what effect limiting would have. I'm willing to give GW their due and say that such a fundamental change has been implicit in a lot of their thinking.

So where does it impact?

Charges - the charge range for 90% of units has been some cases significantly. This mechanic is fundamental to 8th Edition. By restricting Line of Sight you are impacting on that critical aspect of the game by limiting targets. It also has flowthrough effects on Frenzy and the points you spend to insulate yourself against the negative effects.

Magic - Mages can now cast spells that are game-changing and with the alterations to PD generation and use, it can be argued that this can more easily be achieved (Lvl 1 picking up 6 dice). However with big reward comes big risk and a key aspect of the new miscast table are the explosive effects suffered from losing control. By making it easy for a mage to hide outside a unit you are removing a lot of the potential risk (and therefore checks & balance) of attempting Big Magic. Forcing them inside a unit for protection from ranged attacks comes with a trade-off.

Skirmishers - they have been generally downgraded in the new rules but one of the benefits they get is that they are Stubborn in terrain. If they have a ranged attack TLOS lets them sit in a forest etc and shoot out. This means that they are fulfilling their role as a harassment troop type and need to be dealt with. If the forest blocked LOS then one of their advantages is diminished.

Monsters - 8th Edition has given Monsters a new tool.....Thunderstomp. But it has also with TLOS made them more vulnerable to ranged attacks. I'd wager GW considered this trade-off when looking at the rules. If we limit TLOS are we going to get rid of Thunderstomp. What about the immunability from normal Killing Blow for characters on ridden monsters? Not a monster but the Stank is now we think that TLOS was factored into that change?

Scouts - under 8th scouting units don't need to be hidden instead just outside 12". Again this is no doubt influenced by TLOS and the lack of viable hidey spots for the scouts.

I'm sure there are a lot more interactions that you can think of given a few moments. My point is that it is a new game and I'm willing to give GW the benefit of the doubt in believing they have looked at these interactions. Now I may be wrong and in six months I could be leading the charge for changes. However I think we should give the rules a chance before changing one aspect that does have significant flow-on effects.

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