Wednesday, March 20, 2013

TLOS Question

One of the things that I like about 8th Edition is TLOS. To me the game and GW terrain is made for it.

However as pointed out in an earlier series of posts I have been guilty of not playing it consistently with regard to buildings. The reason for this is that the buildings I have made for my terrain are largely on square mdf bases. This provides a clear point at which the building starts and finishes.

This works with movement but it has provided real inconsistencies for shooting and magic where by TLOS you can see a model but conceptually it is behind building [see below].

This weekend at the Dark Valley campaign we played TLOS for shooting and magic but used the full base for movement. It caused no problems and I must say that my fears were unjustified.

The question I have is that it is still not TLOS and in fact should we be using it for movement too?


  1. Not a fan of virtual terrain. Buildings should start where the building starts. Just like units start where their bases start (and not where their movement tray does).

  2. As long as everyone is clear at the beginning of the game I cant see any real problem any which way. I prefer TLOS as TLOS, but have played the way you did as above when I've been up with no issues.

  3. As long as it's clear at the beginning it's fine. Otherwise you run into the issue of the bases for forests etc...

  4. When using your terrain I've always played that the MDF base is where the "building" starts for the purposes of moving and charging. However TLOS means that if my unit can see it, it can shoot and/or charge it (with the appropriate application of the relevant rules).

    To me this is not an inconsistency, in fact given that some of your buildings have fences around it makes life easier.

  5. That's how I played it with buildings at the NZTC, and it worked fine. I think the base for buildings is workable, as the base gives a neat deliniation of the building's boundaries, and GW does say that not all troops are necessarily inside. But you should be able to draw LOS past the building too.

    Regarding TLOS and hills/forests, I've said before that these should block LOS. Few people I know have the time or money to accurately model a dense forest or high hill, and if you did, it would be an impediment to the game. High hills are hard to balance units on, and dense forests require you to move the trees once a unit enters. And if you do move into the forest, do the trees still count as being there...? The model trees aren't there now, but they were earlier. How would you play that?

    My opinion of course, and I'll play it as my opponent wants. If you want to let me war-machine you through a forest though, I won't complain.

    1. I also believe more LOS blocking terrain would help the game as a whole, especially with the proliferation of cannons and monstrous cavalry in the meta.

      The game does have a tank smash feel sometimes, and vast majority of tables have no terrain to influence tactics and game play.


    2. Except that forest are not meant to block line of sight, and don't. They are meant to be a collection of a few trees which in turn provide a little bit of cover but don't hide anything. they are not "forests" as such. If we had so called 'dense' forests then they would be impassable to infantry and cav etc.
      The only issue with hills is most people have not made new hills that are bigger and would in fact block LOS. What we play on is more typical of rolling plains or dunes.

    3. Forests that don't block LOS aren't forests, not as you or I might define them. They're not even shelter belts or copses; they're paddocks. Maybe they should have cows in them to represent that.

      Forests that block LOS don't have to be impenetrable thickets. Orchards and pine plantations allow easy-ish movement of formed bodies of troops, while still blocking LOS.

      I think GW intends forests to be forests, if their descriptions in the BRB are any indication. Of course their rules then spectacularly fail to detail how TLOS works in a 'forest' comprising 3 trees, hence our disagreement.

      Our tables don't represent rolling plains, otherwise we'd have more 'hills' and somehow we'd represent dips in the ground, both of which would block LOS, as they do in real life. Our games actually take place in a large park, where 4-5 cricket pitches are side by side, giving us our smooth expanse of perfectly flat ground. There are such places around, but not many, and I suspect there'd be even fewer in the Old World. Which is why I think hills should block LOS, to represent this quite real terrain aspect.

      But I'm happy to have invisible forests and see-through hills. My Dwarf gunners love them.

    4. Forests are mysterious and deny steadfast, so they are not just useless terrain features. I am sure your dwarfs would find out if they ever came out of their corner.... Are you sure you want bloodthirsters and daemon princes terrain hopping and getting into your lines unscathed?

    5. Maybe the problem is GW calling them Forests. A forest with enough trees to actually block LoS in fantasy scale would have to be half the size of a table. The forests on a table are only small copses, and three trees in a clump don't actually block anything in real life...

      Also to be fair the average trees you see on tables, Pines etc, don't tend to block LoS to anything under them anyway even in a full on forest having lived next to one for many years (and yes I know plantations aren't overly natural but the trees do kill everything under them so its a pretty empty place)

      Re, Hills: they do block LoS... if you build them to. My local club here in Aus has them, so did my club back in the UK. Its not hard to deal with either as you build them to the height of dice boxes and balance on them

    6. G'day Sam. I didn't say that forests have no effect, but I do think they have less effect than they should; you can't see through a forest in reality, why should a warhammer one be different? Is it really that magical that it's see-throu? My Dwarves do come out of their corner, if only to make sure my Grudge Throwers can reach the far corner...... As for Bloodthirsters reaching my lines, that's part of the game. They can't charge if they can't draw LOS, it's how it worked in previous editions, and at least it made sense.

      Meals, I don't think forests have to be super-sized; it depends on the scale you see the game as. GW doesn't specify this, and many people seem to think it's 1:1. I don't, but that's irrelevant. Even a small copse can and does block LOS; try looking through a shelter belt which is normally only 1-2 trees wide, and you'll see what I mean. In addition, we don't normally model undergrowth, so it's even easier to see through 'forests'.

  6. I'm with Joel, TLOS means you can see what you can see. Not a fan of infinitely high hills or buildings bases expanding their size for TLOS purposes.

    Have no issue with buildings on bases, and using the base for movement purposes and don't see any issue with this at all.

    Also love someone to explain the rules of a concrete forest to me, if normal forests don't block LOS, why do concreate ones do, regardless of what they're made up off terrain wise, some are a collection of rocky spires other ruins.


  7. One final point on forests.

    Last night I played against Daemons, and had some artillery behind a pair of forests (one with 2 trees, one with 3). During the game, units moved into the forests, and the trees moved to accomodate them. I then wanted to shoot a Daemon Prince through the forest with my trusty Organ Gun. Can I draw LOS? The trees moved, so maybe I can now, but what if they weren't there at the start? How do we know if they are or not? Or if I can't see it now, but would have 5 minutes ago before the unit moved in, what do we do? You say I can't see it, I say I could have, who's right?

    Does moving the trees during a game to accommodate a unit then give an in-game advantage? And if we simply dump the trees to the side, why bother in the first place? Just call it difficult terrain and have done with (sorry Wood Elves, your free forest is now a ploughed field)

    LOS blocking forest; just easier....... :-)