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OctoBrrrrrr, it's getting cold! Speculation thread.

Discussion in 'News' started by colbrook, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. ijw

    ijw Ian Wood aka the Wargaming Trader. Rules & Wiki
    Infinity Rules Staff Warcor

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    In N3 you could declare Move, because of Effects 2-3, which specifically mention Move+BS Attack as a possible Order:
    • Climbing Plus allows the user to move along vertical surfaces as if executing a normal Movement on horizontal ground.
    • Climbing Plus allows its user to declare other Short Movement Skills or Short Skills (Move + BS Attack, for example) while moving along or holding onto a vertical surface.
    But the N4 version is definitely clearer.

    Like I said, that was my recommendation, but it's CB who are in charge!
     
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  2. wes-o-matic

    wes-o-matic feeelthy casual

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    Code One defines cover as follows:

    What I'm concerned about is that "piece of scenery" could use more definition, even in Code One, but especially in N4. I don't think we need a detailed set of rules, but some basic guidelines would help. Here's the simplest example of why, using a type of scenery that CB keeps including in boxed sets: buildings with parapets.

    These two troopers are on rooftops opposite each other. Both buildings have parapets. The Fusilier is in contact with the roof, but not the parapet. The Zhanshi is at higher elevation, but not high enough to see all of the Fusilier's Silhouette over the parapet. I have the following interrelated questions:
    1. Is the parapet part of the same "piece of scenery" as the building? Why or why not?
    2. Does the Fusilier have cover from the Zhanshi? Why or why not?
    parapet_cover.jpg

    My personal opinion is that the Fusilier shouldn't get Partial Cover, but RAW that depends on the parapet being treated as a distinct "piece of scenery" from the rest of the building, which is deeply counterintuitive and deserves some kind of basic explanation, if only so players can follow the rationale when deciding what's what on our tables.

    Conversely, if the parapet is part of the same piece of scenery as the building and roof, why is a planter a separate piece of scenery from the ground? Common sense says it should be, but then rooftops have different cover rules from ground-level combat for no clearly explained reason. What about rooftop clutter like air conditioners or antennas—if the parapet is part of the same scenery piece as the rest of the building, why isn't an air conditioner in the middle of the roof? None of which touches on how much of a pain it becomes to designate where on the roof the Fusilier begins benefitting from cover during a move across the roof and into contact with the parapet, which might well affect range bands.

    I think CB should at minimum give some basic guidelines for players to use when discussing what should or shouldn't be part of a given "piece of scenery."
     
    #502 wes-o-matic, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  3. Lawson

    Lawson Well-Known Member

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    It depends on which one of us is playing PanO ;-)

    But seriously, in my unprofessional opinion:

    1) The parapet is not part of the same piece of scenery - maybe from a semantics standpoint, it is. But functionally a parapet on top of a building is no different than a waist-high-wall on the ground plane. I personally believe large pieces of 'scenery' do need to be mentally broken down in a semi-logical way, particularly relative to the angle(s) that the BS is coming from, but there's no way this can be done in the rules without making them needlessly complicated, so CB just didn't bother and leaves it to us to interpret it on a case-by-case basis. You could try and specify right angles or 'surfaces' as the deciding factor on how to break terrain up, but then you get into an issue with curved walls. You could get super nitpicky and say 'well, the parapet is actually a removable piece (as it is in my Battle Systems terrain) so it's not part of the terrain. Or you could say that a floor and a wall are never part of the same terrain. Or you could have a weird amorphous non-euclidian shape where the floors and the walls are one-in-the-same and every unit has partial cover and doesn't simultaneously. Everyone's table will be different, so at the end of the day you gotta talk it out.

    2) I think this is based partly on intent. I'd say technically NO, but the figure may have been bumped, or the player positioning it may have believed that it was 'close enough' to be in cover. If I were the YuJing player I'd probably ask the PanO player the moment they moved their Fusilier into position "Do you believe you're potentially getting cover from that wall?" I would also ask myself "Did the figure have enough MOV to get to the wall? Or did they max out an 8" move and even with generous measuring only get that far?" If so, perhaps it doesn't have cover, even if the player who moved it hoped that it would. But it would be a mistake, I think, to say nothing at the time and then try and argue after the fact for something that favors you as the player of either side in this exchange. If the players are not talking about the positioning of this figure the moment it lands here, I think that's potentially a problem.
     
    #503 Lawson, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  4. Hisey

    Hisey Well-Known Member

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    While I know there's some amount of ambiguity in the rules surrounding this, I think it's a matter of the nature of the English language and how things can be interpreted, and beyond that, possibly something to do with translation, but I can't be sure.

    • A Trooper is in Partial Cover when they are in contact with a piece of scenery that partially obscures their Silhouette.
    Can be read as cover is being in contact with a piece of scenery that is also obscuring your silhouette.
    Can also be read as cover is being in contact with the piece of scenery that is obscuring your silhouette.

    In the first interpretation, if you treat the entire building as a single piece of scenery, then the requirements for cover are met.
    In the second interpretation, even if you treat the entire building as a single piece of scenery, then the requirements for cover are not met as you are not in contact with the scenery that is obscuring your silhouette.

    Think of a similar example along a different axis with a waist high planter or other terrain shaped like a U. If you're inside the U, with your back up against one side while someone is shooting over the other side, no one would expect you to have cover. Even though the planter could be considered a single "piece of scenery", the part of it that's obscuring your silhouette you are not in contact with.

    Anyone familiar with the show Taskmaster might remember a similar language interpretation incident involving exercise balls being placed on a yoga mat on a hill. One contestant ran up and retrieved the mat from the hill making the task monumentally easier. Instead of interpreting it as "place the balls on the mat on the hill", he interpreted it as "place the balls on the mat that is on the hill". Unfortunately unless someone happens to be able to contact Susie Dent for clarification, we may be on our own for how this should be interpreted.

    I'd interpret it as to be able to claim partial cover, the obscuring part of the scenery must be what your model is in contact with. This includes things like floors when shooting at a model that is a higher elevation than you, but eliminates your scenario of standing away from the parapet as well as my "U" shaped planter scenario.

    Also, there's just the final matter of common sense. Trying to extrapolate the parapet counting as the building into a planter counting as the ground for the purposes of cover is beyond silly. The more people try to poke holes in rules that really don't need to be poked at by anyone who's ever actually played the game, the more it seems the only solution those people would be happy with is a rule book that reads like a legal document. And if you thought new players balked at the complexity of Infinity before, what some seem to be asking for could kill it completely.
     
  5. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein Well-Known Member

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    Ohman, why do we have to interpret it, we all now what the coverrule means. The Base does not stand on or under the object but on it like on a roof edge.
     
  6. wes-o-matic

    wes-o-matic feeelthy casual

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    In general I agree with you, with two caveats:
    1. The text in red above isn't accurate. The Code One rulebook includes recommendations on p. 81 for terrain placement, and they aren't set-in-stone rules, but they're useful guidance for players who need it. Something similar, accompanied by some clear diagrams, would be helpful for a lot of players and might help speed up the process of negotiating table details by giving some common baseline language and assumptions.
    2. Doors. How do you open and close a door? Are they automatic or do you have to use one or more Short Skills to open/close them? Just one sentence in the N3 rulebook with a recommendation would have saved lots and lots of discussion by players.

    How do you decide where the obscuring part of the scenery begins and ends, though? Irregular surfaces can make this unintuitive. There's another diagram below about this.

    Is it, really? There's a planar surface with an oblong thing sticking up that has vertical sides and a horizontal top surface. In terms of geometry, a roof with a parapet, a square planter on the ground, and a building on the ground are all a transition from a horizontal surface to a vertical surface, then a horizontal surface, then another vertical, then another horizontal. The differences are in scale and concept, not in geometry...and geometry governs LoF and Cover in this game, see "slicing the pie." __|---|__

    EDIT: Also, reminder that "Is a rooftop a scenery element, and can you therefore not AD land on one?" is an ongoing question in Code One: https://forum.corvusbelli.com/threads/combat-jump-and-rooftops.37229/

    Diagrams: (A, C, E, and F are top-down, in case that's not obvious.)
    Per the C1/N4 rules as we understand them, A and B both definitely result in cover for the Fusilier. C is questionable. D is essentially a parapet, but there's not a clear demarcation where it stops being "roof" and starts being "parapet."

    E is a funny case, because if that thin rectangle of wall weren't there, it would be the same case as A, and the Fusilier would have cover, but because the terrain sticks out even farther into LoF there's a "part of the scenery" that's clearly distinct and that the Fusilier isn't touching. There's an argument that the Fusilier loses cover in E, if the guideline is "touching the part of the scenery that obstructs LoF." It's because that bit that sticks out is essentially a really low parapet, but top-down.

    By comparison, F is like E except the Fusilier is in contact with the "wide vertical parapet" that sticks out, and now has a clearer claim on cover under that guideline...but it seems weird that that's the case. parapet_cover-3.jpg
     
    #506 wes-o-matic, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  7. wes-o-matic

    wes-o-matic feeelthy casual

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    Here's another way to articulate wording on LoF and Cover:

    In that case, the Fusilier has Partial Cover in A-F above, but not in the diagram I posted earlier. It also addresses the question of which portion of the cover counts by using potential LoF through the cover to give you a specific path to check, and the limitation of not crossing open space between cover and target addresses the U-shaped cover question and being a bit back from a parapet.

    The most obvious problem is that it would mean that any model that's even a little bit elevated relative to another model gets Partial Cover, which is its own can of worms.
     
  8. Hisey

    Hisey Well-Known Member

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    This is really easy, the obscuring part of the scenery is the part of the scenery that is obscuring you. That's what I was trying to get at above.

    Your planar surface with an oblong thing sticking up is a pointless argument. You can call it whatever you like, and criticize the way the rules are written, but no matter how you want to shake it, a planter sitting on a table will not turn the entire table surface into cover. That's what I mean by beyond silly, and is reaching far deeper towards making me feel like this a completely insincere conversation.

    How often have you played on buildings with that type of dip upwards? Not to say they don't or can't exist, and I do understand the point you're trying to get at.

    I'd say the following.

    A, B, F: Cover - This is pretty clear and easy
    C, E: Probably the hardest and would depend on the makeup of the bulding that was shaped that way. I think I'm leaning to No Cover, but I'd likely allow cover for my opponent if that was the shape of the building, and I wouldn't fight my opponent if they said I wouldn't get cover in that situation. This feels similar to my "U" shaped terrain from earlier, but is slightly different based on the terrain height and extreme.
    D: Cover - Seems tricky with the slope up, but the slope isn't the only thing obscuring the Fusilier's silhouette, the floor of the building he's standing on and is in contact with is also obscuring his silhouette.

    And back to my comment about common sense, and I'll add sportsmanship, laying out perfectly extreme examples in pictures to pick away at the precise wording of a rule is completely different to what is likely to actually happen in games. Even more so with how fringe situations get resolved in actual games. I still go back to if you want the rules to be 100% tight on any and every specific scenario that's technically possible, however unlikely, that someone with illustrator can dream up, then you're looking at a legal document for a rule book. And if that's your goal, you're definitely in the minority compared to people who are just happy to play the game.
     
  9. Lawson

    Lawson Well-Known Member

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    I have a separate thread regarding Snipers where people schooled me on how to properly place terrain, because even though I followed the guidelines laid out in the book, I was still having issues with lines of fire. It took the recommendation to angle the terrain at 45 degrees or so relative to the table edges, rather than making the pieces parallel/perpendicular, to really make my setup work. I don't believe the books ever recommends or shows diagrams with angled terrain. I don't disagree that guidelines are helpful, per se, I just think that it's tough to make something concise in the rules, and it's clear that even with a full page of recommendations in the C1 book on placement, if there are essentially an infinite number of permutations of possible board states, any amount of guidelines will still potentially be inadequate vs situational and experiential advice from other players.

    I think A, C, E, and F are all tough calls just based on the proximity of the YJ character to having a straight-shot around the corner. My head-canon for the game is that the characters are rarely standing fully stationary and are constantly in motion, ducking and weaving, in a zone around their base. So if there is doubt about partial cover, I usually ask myself "could the character obtain full cover from where they are by either going prone or moving half a base-width in a direction. If there is no way to get out of the danger zone, I'm less likely to believe that something provides partial cover. In the above, for example, I'd question if the PanO has Partial cover because he could back up and still have essentially the same amount visible. That's not a real rule obviously, but it would affect my subjective interpretation of the situation (and of course even thought the YJ could easily move to full cover, the above doesn't work for him because he's not in contact with terrain to begin with). So maybe I've got the wrong idea, but I dunno what a better solution is.

    I think our collective pages of speculation on this issue is evidence that it would actually be quite tough to include any sort of guidelines in the books that couldn't still be misinterpreted (or perhaps more importantly, differently interpreted situationally), but let's say that hypothetically @wes-o-matic that CB makes you Partial Cover rules-doctor for a day and whatever you come up with gets appended to the rulebook. Would you rule on these corner cases (pun intended) specifically? Would you go back to 1/3 silhouette rule from N3 (which I don't think actually helps in the above examples) Or would you come up with a completely new cover rule?
     
  10. Hachiman Taro

    Hachiman Taro Inverted gadfly

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    It's not really about edge cases, there are edge cases in any case. I've seen questions in Code 1 about whether a model is at all obscured by the cover it is touching from the angle of the attacker several times. In fact, there's a long complicated edge case discussion about it above.

    Similar with using silhouettes for cover size, players could eyeball it 99%+ of the time, and solve the vast majority of the rest in seconds with an aid we already have - a huge improvement on N3 where every game has several subjectively close edge cases. The inconsistently increasing widths etc is mainly solved by turning the silhouette on its side as needed - it still has a width and height, and the same (generally increasing) area. Close enough for a good general feel anyway.

    I'd argue simple rules that give ridiculous results are not good design. If the aim was just simplicity as a game of tactics we could just play scissors paper rock.

    If simplicity is our only aim we should remove cover altogether, and replace complicated FTF dice rolls with single coin flips.

    Rather the aim of a good design should be to express the feel of the situation simulated as elegantly as possible. Which TAGs taking cover behind fire hydrants does not IMHO. YMMV.
     
    #510 Hachiman Taro, Sep 16, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  11. Ghost87

    Ghost87 Well-Known Member

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    My question is: are we all living such rushed, busy lives that we cannot bear any kind of complication during our games? Must every aspect be optimized to the extreme with regard to simplicity and ease? Are we this unable to arrange with our opponents in edge-cases that we fear any rule which might not be clear within the blink of an eye?
    If all of this is true it might be the right move to abandon rules which made sense from a realism and simulation standpoint and replace them with rules a 5 yo can understand. I for myself will miss some of the immersion we sacrifice willingly.

    (I admit, some of the games really take too long but if we are honest, it is rarely due to checking cover)
     
  12. ijw

    ijw Ian Wood aka the Wargaming Trader. Rules & Wiki
    Infinity Rules Staff Warcor

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    A couple of relevant points...

    The Skill for opening and closing doors in N3 is here: http://wiki.infinitythegame.com/en/Activate

    CodeOne defaults to doorways all being open, which I’m not particularly keen on. It’s also a bit buried: https://infinitythewiki.com/index.php?title=Scenery_Structures
     
  13. wes-o-matic

    wes-o-matic feeelthy casual

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    I proposed guidelines a couple pages back in this thread, based on introducing the idea of terrain silhouettes: link to post

    The actual rules would be very simple, and mostly consist of examples:

    Presuming that the players made the following determinations during their setup chat:
    • The ground and flat roofs have flat horizontal Silhouettes, so anything projecting up from the plane of the ground or a roof must be assigned its own Silhouette or it can't provide Cover; sidewalk curbs don't have Silhouettes
    • The wall contours of buildings are part of their Silhouettes, but decorative details (conduit cables, window frames, lights) aren't included
    • Parapets, billboards, and signage on buildings have individual Silhouettes matching their contours exactly
    • Explicitly designated terrain features (ladders, stairs, vending machines, planters, picnic tables, fountain, cars, bus stop) have Silhouettes matching their contours
    • Everything else is purely decorative, no Silhouettes (includes small scatter, lamp posts, fire hydrants)
    Fusilier Angus will have Partial Cover in A, B, C, E, and F, but not in the initial diagram. D would depend on whether the players had decided to treat the up-swept roof section as an exception to the first bullet or not—if yes, cover, if no, no cover.

    It gets interesting when you add something like "the ground-level buttresses on these buildings each have their own Silhouette." Which tells you that they act the same way a discrete parapet Silhouette would, but rotated 90 degrees.

    The important idea here is to give players clear language to talk through what does or doesn't have a Terrain Silhouette, and what the contours of those Silhouettes are. This makes things clearly binary (is or is not terrain with a Silhouette, is or is not part of a given Silhouette). It works the exact same way that a model's Silhouette neatly solves questions of whether you can see a model that's in an odd pose, or has an arm sticking out around a corner.

    Once they decide that and any special terrain zones (low viz, saturation, zero-g, etc.) most of the questions about LoF and Cover self-solve, which mostly just leaves windows, doors, and table-specific rules.

    EDIT: It's worth noting that this whole idea isn't that far off the N3 rules for Scenery Items and Scenery Buildings, it just integrates them with the idea of Silhouettes and provides a shorthand for handling them without resorting to the level of detail in the N3 rulebook (starts on p. 158).
     
    #513 wes-o-matic, Sep 17, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  14. Lawson

    Lawson Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't conflate 'complication' with complexity necessarily or simplicity with a lack of sensible tactics. It's certainly possible to have incredibly complex emergent gameplay from simple rules and it's also possible for a huge number of rules that ultimately produce 'coin flip' results - and it's actually quite easy to create super complicated rules, but it's much harder to create elegant and "simple" rules that work well, especially because of the nature of a miniatures game. I think the reason that many people are discussing simplicity here is because they believe that there are many rules that are more complicated than they need to be in order to create the desired gameplay results. It can be tough to reverse this bloat, though, without tossing the baby out with the bathwater - or, worse, you can simplify the rules and yet not reduce the ambiguity at all or potentially make things worse. I've come to C1 without ever having played N3, and I still question some of the choices of what to simplify in the game and what not to. Of course, we could keep making the rules more complicated if we wanted to also... cut range bands down to a +/-1 modifier per 2 inches rather than a +/-3 modifier every 8-12 inches. We could also create more 'levels' of cover with various modifiers rather than just splitting it into no cover, partial, cover, full cover. This would make the game more of a simulation, but at a certain point more rules don't automatically produce a better experience. So, whether the decision to change a specific rule or not can be debated, I don't think asking for simplicity is necessarily asking for the game to be dumbed down.
     
    #514 Lawson, Sep 17, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  15. wes-o-matic

    wes-o-matic feeelthy casual

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    Thanks for that. I think the thing that gets me about doors is that the whole "automatic Star Trek doors" thing is apparently a fairly widespread house rule, the wording of the actual Activate Skill is super vague, and the Scenery Item/Structure rules for Access Points don't specifically reference Activating anything—although they do mention Hacking. The funny part is that it doesn't even explicitly say that Access Points can have an open/closed/locked state.

    I assume that the Code One rules default to "always open" for gates and accesses because there's no Activate common skill?
     
  16. Lawson

    Lawson Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, there are essentially no special terrain rules for C1. No saturation zones, no limited visibility, no functioning doors, no elevators, no terrain destruction, no water, forests, deserts, zero G, or etc. Terminals can be hacked but aside from that no environmental interaction. I personally don't mind that it essentially means combat zones are all going to be urban obstacle courses in C1, but presumably N4 will be a different story if it mirrors the N3 rules.
     
  17. Mob of Blondes

    Mob of Blondes Well-Known Member

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    I was not proposing for the rules to be in the paper, case per case, but for players looking at what they have, and decide accordingly to sizes compared to silhouettes. Just like we do not have any rule about green felt being jungle terrain and anything else being forbidden: some players use no terrain ever, others mark a zone in the table based in distances, others use the bases of the trees (with the trees movable... and maybe it is brown felt, or mdf), others declare all ground level as special terrain for a given match, etc. TO would just write the cover list, just like they write any other table specifics.

    Well, unless now you say N4 is going to have rules forcing every table, eg, to have a 20*20 cm jungle square outside deployment zones, marked with green felt of 2mm thickness and stictched edges, and hydrants to be 25mm tall and 10 diameter. Then yes, I see the problem. Otherwise, not all all, just the common thing done in past editions, agree how the table works and enjoy the game. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  18. Triumph

    Triumph Well-Known Member

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    Is this new compared to N3?

    "Troopers in Prone state, with Silhouette X, must apply the Silhouette Attribute value shown on their Unit Profile to consider restrictions for access points."
     
  19. toadchild

    toadchild Premeasure

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    Activate is a generic "use object" skill, so it's definitely a bit vague. The general straightfoward application is that when you perform an activate, the door/window/whatever toggles state, going either from closed to open or from open to closed.

    I'm not a huge fan of automatic doors because stepping through them means you're taking AROs out of cover. While it's less action-efficient to have to spend a skill to open a door, at least you can do Activate-Shoot, using the door jamb as cover.

    Unfortunately, if my memory serves, ITS scenarios that require opening of doors have their own custom rules and don't use the generic framework from the rulebook.
     
  20. SockLobster

    SockLobster Well-Known Member

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    this thread is for October releases, please stop posting essays on the streamlined cover rules
     
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