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 Post subject: New map terrain type: Obscurement
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:31 am 
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Hi folks!

I am strongly considering the addition of a new terrain type to my current and future poster maps, and would like your input. If I do this, it will need to be done quite soon, so please share your thoughts on this addition right away:

Terrain type: Concealment (or Obscurement?)
Indicator: Dashed Yellow line, or possibly a purple line.
Typical use: Active steam vents, fog and mist, particle clouds, holograms, unnatural darkness, perhaps thin/loose vegetation.
Game effect: Areas of Concealment function in almost every way like low objects. They provide a +4 bonus to Defense that functions exactly like the cover bonus from low objects and is calculated in the same way. Three exceptions apply: 1) The defense bonus from concealment stacks with the the defense bonus from cover (but, like cover, is not cumulative with multiple instances of itself). 2) When determining whether an enemy has concealment, an attacker may ignore the concealment effect of the attackers own square, but not concealment created by adjacent squares. 3) Concealment squares do not affect movement in any way.

A possibly point of complexity for discussion: Concealment squares should be possible inside other types of terrain, like pits or low objects; in this case, the concealment indicator line would be drawn within the existing line.

What do you folks think of this addition to the game? Feel free to polish it and playtest it, and get the game mechanics of it working to your satisfaction. One or more future maps from me could have terrain indications marked as described above...

Also, if this rule is adopted by the powers that be, I would recommend an errata for my Offworld Shipping Center that treats the central four squares (a hologram) as this sort of terrain.

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Last edited by Mapmaker on Tue May 11, 2010 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:02 am 
Imperial Dignitaries
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So I want to make sure that I am following along with the math.

Cover+Concealment = +8 defense

What if the attacker is in concealment and the adjacement enemy is in concealment, would there be a concealment bounus since they are adjacent?

Interesting idea though.

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 11:10 am 
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Isn't there somthing like that allready on endor. I can't remember since no plays that map but I think it's brown lines and somthing along the lines of rolling each atk twice and taking the lower of the 2 rolls. I know it's different from what you are describing but I thought it was called concealment. Regardless I would vote no for it because it would make things a little more complicated and take a little longer when measuring Los and cover and what not. I just don't think it's a good idea. Interesting and I would try it out on your exisiting map that you mentioned an errata for if you did this but I vote no for the time being and if I am wrong and it works good I will be the first to say that I was wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 11:48 am 
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As long as you ignore it when attacking adjacent characters, I like it. Mostly because it gives melee figs another small boost, which I think is still needed despite recent melee figs being more balanced. I really don't think it will add too much more complexity; we all know how drawing through low objects works, it's just one more thing to look for. The added time when calculating defense (especially after it's been played with some and everyone is used to it) should be marginal.

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 11:58 am 
The One True Sith Lord
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Can we seriously call it something else.

From a Tactical Standpoint there is concealment which means you have picked a spot that is totally safe from gunfire. Then there is cover which while being better than being in the open is still vunerable to gunfire.

So Concealment is already effect in this game. Anytime you are hiding biehind a red line you have concealment.

Now I dont know what the proper term should be but Concealment to me gives the worng impression as to what the square would be doing.

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 12:04 pm 
Death Star Designers
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To be honest I kind of like the name, mostly because it's a word that is already present in tabletop gaming (DnD) as something different than cover but doing a similar thing
(Concealment: http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Concealment

Cover: http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Cover )

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 12:09 pm 
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well in the RPG concealment is what mapmaker is talking about and what dean is talking about is total concealment. I agree with Dean it really doesnt make sense call it something else.


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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 12:10 pm 
The One True Sith Lord
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D&D means absolutely nothing to me.

I know what the real life application of concealment is.

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 12:11 pm 
The One True Sith Lord
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Call it hard cover, soft cover or anything else but concealment is just not the correct term of what you are talking about.

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 1:42 pm 
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How about the Blur?

I have Blur +4 def and cover +4 def = +8

Everything is blurry now for you since I'm in the blur.

Or Hazy :D

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Obscuring Terrain?

Obscurity?

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 2:47 pm 
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First of all, "Obscurity" is to my mind the best suggestion thus far, inasmuch as it suggests that something is dim but still vaguely visible (the relevant Webster's def for "obscure" is "not clearly seen or easily distinguished," whereas the relevant def for "conceal" is "to place out of sight." The former seems closer to what you have in mind.).

Other ideas: veiling; bamboozlement; delitescence.

(What has two thumbs, a thesaurus, and a PhD in English Literature? This guy!)

For the record, if you call it "bamboozlement", I will be the happiest man in the world. I mean, just imagine saying "I get +4 from synergy with Barriss Offee, +4 from GOWK's commander effect, +4 from cover, and +4 from bamboozlement. So, um, Luminara's defense is 36. Cad Bane needs a 20 to hit."

Awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 2:52 pm 
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For the sake of avoiding confusion among RPG players and those using the Ultimate Missions rules, lets just call it "Obscurement".

And I would add that attacks against adjacent characters ignore obscurement.

The basic concept is as simple as "It works like a low object, but doesn't hinder movement"...but while I was writing it, I felt the need to clarify those few exceptions noted above. I really liked the idea of doubling up the defense bonus if you position yourself with both cover and obscurement.

Right now the game doesn't have a terrain type that handles the sorts of things I mentioned: steam clouds, holograms, etc. They shouldn't slow you down, but should penalize ranged attacks made through them. I've been longing for such a thing in the game for a while, and since the game is now in the hands of the players, I feel that we are now free to correct oversights like this.

I will most likely include terrain markings of this sort in my next poster release, and trust that you folks can make it work to the benefit of the game; if no official treatment for it is decided, players can simply ignore the new terrain or house-rule it. Sound fair?

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 3:08 pm 
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First, exceptions are bad, bad, BAD. Way to complex for something like this should be. It should be very simple. Just have it provide cover, since that is pretty much the basic premise, is it not. Just from a rules perspective, it is 10 times as easy. Figuring out and explaining how it interacts with the targetting rules alone is enough to want me to just say keep it simple.

EDIT: The thing is, you are not just adding a new terrain type, it seems you want to add a new game concept as well.

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 3:33 pm 
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dnemiller wrote:
Can we seriously call it something else.

From a Tactical Standpoint there is concealment which means you have picked a spot that is totally safe from gunfire. Then there is cover which while being better than being in the open is still vunerable to gunfire.

So Concealment is already effect in this game. Anytime you are hiding biehind a red line you have concealment.

Now I dont know what the proper term should be but Concealment to me gives the worng impression as to what the square would be doing.



Actully, Dean, that's not quite true...at least not to military standards...according to FM 21-75:

COVER
Cover gives protection from bullets, fragments of exploding rounds, flame, nuclear effects, and biological and chemical agents. Cover can also conceal you from enemy observation. Cover can be natural or man-made.


CONCEALMENT
Concealment is anything that hides you from enemy observation. Concealment does not protect you from enemy fire. Do not think that you are protected from the enemy's fire just because you are concealed. Concealment, like cover, can also be natural or man-made.


As far as Chris question though, I'm not sure I personally like the idea as it brings in a whole slew of new interactions on the basic level of the game. We're not just talking about a new Special Abiulity here after all...how are characters with concelament affected by Accurate shooters...how are characters with stealth who have concealment but no cover affected. Targeting etc etc.....

We do have the term "concealment" already in the game via the Endor Scenario pack. I believe if any line to determine cover crossed concealment you made two attack rolls and took the lesser of the two..it was represented by brownish lines.

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Concealment
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 3:43 pm 
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Mapmaker wrote:
Right now the game doesn't have a terrain type that handles the sorts of things I mentioned: steam clouds, holograms, etc. They shouldn't slow you down, but should penalize ranged attacks made through them. I've been longing for such a thing in the game for a while, and since the game is now in the hands of the players, I feel that we are now free to correct oversights like this.


I wouldn't object to such an addition. However I don't feel nearly as strongly as you do about the basic premise. I don't mind Low Objects being used for such stuff. The speed penalty is small enough that you can sort of justify it as the character being distracted or careful because their visions is obscured. Given that, I likely wouldn't use such a house rule.

So I'd suggest refining your idea to its simplest form with minimal exceptions as others have mentioned and then marking it on the maps as a dashed green line. Then people who want to use just the base Low Objects rules will have a visual indicator that it's basically pretty similar to cover. And those who like your new concept will still be able to distinguish from Low Objects.

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Obscurement
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:29 pm 
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The dashed green line is a good suggestion, and something I had considered as a possible indicator. That's more or less what I'm saying: I plan to include a new terrain indicator around a couple of unusual features (holograms and clouds of steam). The details in my post above are simply my suggested treatment. I leave it to you folks to decide A) if you feel the features merit a special treatment in the rules, and B) How to handle it if you do.

I honestly hadn't given much though to interaction with character abilities. For simplicity's sake, you could rule that any effect that negates cover also negates obscurement. While I don't think my proposal is any more complicated at its core than the rules governing low objects (I simply didn't feel like retyping them), Sithborg is right that it would be easier to just treat it as another source of cover.

I suggest letting the defensive bonus from this terrain stack with cover bonuses because they conceptually come from two sources: cover reduces the area of an opponent that you can effectively target, and obscurement makes it harder to see that area. I also suggest it because, as pointed out, it balances the scales a little bit more between melee and ranged units. And finally, I suggest it because it's something new that might inspire new conceptual design in future maps and make the game a little richer; it gives cartographers a little something extra to play around with when balancing a map.

Holograms already exist in several maps; we just haven't had a special terrain option to apply to them. With the game now in the hands of players, this is something for you folks to consider.

Incidentally, I think the game really needs a "Tall Object" terrain type. Objects that serve as walls in most ways, but can be flown over, leapt over, or climbed over by miniatures with appropriate abilities. That's a whole other bag of worms, though; if anyone wants to take a crack at that, I suggest a separate thread. :)

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Obscurement
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Side note: There is one problem with dashed lines that makes me hesitant to use them. A lot of existing low objects in published maps are marked with a green line that is interrupted where it passes beneath an object. That could be interpreted by rules lawyers as a dashed line and lead to arguments.

For that reason, I might consider a different shade of green instead. Perhaps teal? It should be close enough that players can just treat it like other green lines, but different enough to use as a separate indicator if desired.

Still mulling over all of these ideas.

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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Obscurement
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 10:38 pm 
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What's wrong with using the brown Concealment lines from the Endor map, and using the same rules as already laid out for that? I always thought that was an interesting rule that should have been brought back on new maps.


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 Post subject: Re: New map terrain type: Obscurement
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 11:13 pm 
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Wedge772 wrote:
What's wrong with using the brown Concealment lines from the Endor map, and using the same rules as already laid out for that? I always thought that was an interesting rule that should have been brought back on new maps.


Interesting, yes. Works, not quite. The guys inside Concealment get a HUGE advantage from the opponents having to roll twice and taking the lower result. I haven't tried it working both ways, though.


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