Sunday, March 10, 2013

Indy Open Notes: Visibility & Smoke

The wife still isn't tip-top, and won't be for another week, but I've got time to work on some stuff again. So let's dive into some of the notes I took during the Indy Open test/demo games, and a game I had yesterday at the FLGS.


Right now the visibility level progression is this, from most to least visible:
  1. Clear Shots
  2. Obscured
  3. Concealed
  4. Hidden
Clear Shots are just that. Obscured means that you can still be seen, but have a +1 Evasion. Concealed means that you can only be seen within the shooter's Awareness (Aw) range, and you get a +1 Evasion. Hidden means you have to be within Awareness, and you get a +2 Ev.

'Exposed' is something separate that happens when a unit is on a higher elevation than you. It simply doubles their Awareness range.

This worked fine once folks groked it, but getting there was hard. Jason lost interest in the game until I carefully walked him through the 4 visibility levels. After which he enjoyed himself, but he had a lot of trouble remembering the progression and how it interacted with 'exposed'.

There's 2 ways that I think this could be addressed.

Option 1 is to have a more 'linear' progression of visibility effects. So instead of:
  1. No Modifiers
  2. +1 Ev
  3. Awareness, +1 Ev
  4. Awareness, +2 Ev
We would have:
  1. No Modifiers
  2. +1 Ev
  3. Awareness, +2 Evasion
  4. 1/2 Awareness, +3 Evasion
The second option is to separate 'Visibility' effects from 'Cover' effects. So that they're separate concepts entirely.

That would be easier conceptually, but cover is going to be pretty tightly woven into visibility anyway. So... let's approach it this way:

We'll have 5 levels of visibility. Being on a hill just knocks a target unit up one level on this list instead of being a separate (and potentially confusing) effect. Going to Ground knocks a unit down one level. Smoke knocks you down one level too.

Smoke Effects

We decided at the Open that smoke (5" blast marker) should just decrease your visibility by one level. This seemed to work pretty well. it would also mesh well with the changes to visibility in general that I covered above.

  1. When is smoke removed?
  2. Should you need to roll to hit for smoke?
For #1, I'm thinking the Starting Phase.

For #2, I'm thinking not.


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