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Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Discuss the Rules of HeroQuest as set out by Milton Bradley Game Systems and Quest Packs.

Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby iKarith » Sunday March 28th, 2021 9:27am

But that's just it: We don't think there is an exemption to LOS for critters in the room with you. Those of us who've said so think you're misreading the rules. And by removing that line, you create other problems where someone's going to argue that a monster shouldn't be on the board because you can't see him, even though he's in the room with you.

I mean, you can obviously do what you want at your table, but there's no "loophole" to be closed here. You're trying to conflate two different things because they both involve sight. One for a missile or spell attack, specifically, and the other for clarifying what information you have as a player.
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Sunday March 28th, 2021 1:17pm

:?

I think this is one of those things that if we were all sat together around a board and discussing it then we would have understood one another and either agreed or disagreed in about 5 minutes. Sadly this communication through typing isn't perfect, but I'm sure if I can try and clarify a little further and you can be patient with me then we'll get there step by step!

My assumption (which I accept may not be correct) is that the two rules below are the rules around line of sight / targeting for spells and missile fire respectively. The other rules that we were discussing earlier are around visibility and the placing or not placing of miniatures (and presumably furniture) which I agree are two separate and distinct concepts.

So my first question is, do you agree that the two rules below are the rules around line of sight / targeting for spells and missile fire respectively and are nothing to do with visibility relating to the EWPs placing of monsters (and furniture)? Yes / No (if 'No' then what do you think these rules refer to?)

Casting a Spell
Spells can be cast at monsters or characters provided they are visible to the spell-caster. Miniatures in the same room are always visible. Miniatures in passages or in different rooms are only visible if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door or another miniature, then the miniature is not visible.


Missile Fire
Your opponent must be visible, as with casting a spell. There is no maximum range for firing the crossbow or throwing a weapon. However, you may not use the crossbow or throw a weapon if you are adjacent to your opponent.
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Jalapenotrellis » Sunday March 28th, 2021 2:48pm

In the NA version, having re-read the rules recently since we are starting the RotWL quest pack, it is:
1) lay out all creatures in a room when the door opens except the searchable secret doors and traps.
2) lay out monsters in corridors by line of sight. They use the same language to determine spell casting and crossbow shooting, so you can get situations where there are monsters behind the one laid out that are not on the board. You can usually lay them out by having the one in from retreat behind the one behind and then having that one advance.
3) you don't always have line of sight in a room in NA. That seems pretty clear. You just lay out monsters. Casting on everyone in the room seems pretty game-breaking. HeroQuest is a quasi tactical combat rpg game. Without adhering to the line of sight rules for attacking in a room, there is no positioning strategy, which is like the point of the door, diagonal weapons, ranged weapons, spell casting features...
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Sunday March 28th, 2021 5:52pm

Jalapenotrellis

1) I agree

2) I disagree - you may or may not be correct for the US rules I haven't checked but for the EU 2e rules I think that all Monsters are laid out in a passage once you open the door to it or if there is no door then when you move into it, the same as they would be when you open a door to a room (that said if the passage turns a corner then that is a new passage) - it doesn't make sense to me that the rules would allow me to see a monster directly behind another monster in a room and so he is placed on the board but the same layout in a passage would make that second monster not visible and therefore not placed.

3) I agree but I don't think that the Eu 2e rules are clear on this (I think what you said is the intention of the rule but I think the wording is less than clear) hence the ongoing debate
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby iKarith » Sunday March 28th, 2021 6:36pm

Bareheaded Warrior wrote::?

I think this is one of those things that if we were all sat together around a board and discussing it then we would have understood one another and either agreed or disagreed in about 5 minutes. Sadly this communication through typing isn't perfect, but I'm sure if I can try and clarify a little further and you can be patient with me then we'll get there step by step!

My assumption (which I accept may not be correct) is that the two rules below are the rules around line of sight / targeting for spells and missile fire respectively. The other rules that we were discussing earlier are around visibility and the placing or not placing of miniatures (and presumably furniture) which I agree are two separate and distinct concepts.

So my first question is, do you agree that the two rules below are the rules around line of sight / targeting for spells and missile fire respectively and are nothing to do with visibility relating to the EWPs placing of monsters (and furniture)? Yes / No (if 'No' then what do you think these rules refer to?)

Casting a Spell
Spells can be cast at monsters or characters provided they are visible to the spell-caster. Miniatures in the same room are always visible. Miniatures in passages or in different rooms are only visible if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door or another miniature, then the miniature is not visible.


Missile Fire
Your opponent must be visible, as with casting a spell. There is no maximum range for firing the crossbow or throwing a weapon. However, you may not use the crossbow or throw a weapon if you are adjacent to your opponent.



I see what you're saying regarding casting a spell—I'd missed that. And yeah, I think we'd have sorted it in five minutes if we were in the same room. I think I agree with your suggested change.

At the risk of being :geek: again, certain games precalculate something called PVS, for "potentially viewable set". The idea is that your poor, overworked, second-hand graphics card that probably spent an earlier lifetime slaving away to mine crypto might not be able to handle drawing the game's entire level and everything in it. (For the one person reading who knows better, yes, I'm oversimplifying.)

So instead, we precalculate what MIGHT be visible from where you're standing. This "PVS" is a very rough estimate—sometimes extremely rough! "Where you're standing" could be "anywhere in this room", the PVS will always over-estimate what's visible rather than under-estimate it. Oh, we could spend time to figure out what exactly can be seen and what can't, but that's "expensive" (takes a lot of processing time) and … we don't have to. Your GPU can draw quite a fair bit more than we typically ask of it 60 or 120 or more times per second. As long as we manage our expectations a bit, it can keep up! (Game detail settings are all about telling a game what the expectations are.)

This conceptually maps to HeroQuest in my mind:

Item and monster placement, I've always followed the PVS model, and for the same reason: The game plays faster/more smoothly if the moment something MIGHT be seen, it becomes visible. That means the entire room the moment something reveals it, and a corridor to its ends/obstructions the moment someone steps into it.

If I were writing the rules fresh today, that's what I'd be aiming for.

Line of sight … *shrug* No line of sight rule is perfect. And any attempt to "get it right" will devolve into squabbling about how it isn't. (You mean to tell me the tall elf can't hit the frost giant with a ranged attack literally over the short dwarf's head?!) If you want to simplify them a little more, there's no harm in that.
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Monday March 29th, 2021 7:14am

So I think we have established that the answer to the OP's question is most definitely not!

iKarith wrote:Item and monster placement, I've always followed the PVS model, and for the same reason: The game plays faster/more smoothly if the moment something MIGHT be seen, it becomes visible. That means the entire room the moment something reveals it, and a corridor to its ends/obstructions the moment someone steps into it.


I think that is both the easier/quicker/smoother way to play and I would imagine what the designers intended!

Considering our chat, I would suggest the following amended rules, instead of this...

Casting a Spell
Spells can be cast at monsters or characters provided they are visible to the spell-caster. Miniatures in the same room are always visible. Miniatures in passages or in different rooms are only visible if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door or another miniature, then the miniature is not visible.

Missile Fire
Your opponent must be visible, as with casting a spell. There is no maximum range for firing the crossbow or throwing a weapon. However, you may not use the crossbow or throw a weapon if you are adjacent to your opponent.


I would use this…

Casting a Spell
Spells can be cast at monsters or characters provided the spell-caster has line of sight to the target. The spell caster has line of sight if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door or another miniature, then there is no line of sight.

Missile Fire
You must have line of sight to the target, as with casting a spell. There is no maximum range for firing the crossbow or throwing a weapon. However, you may not use the crossbow or throw a weapon if you are adjacent to an opponent.


And in terms of the placement rules then I would replace this


What can be seen?
Deciding what can be seen by a player character is very important in determining what should be placed onto the board. Miniatures in the same room are always visible. Miniatures in passages or in different rooms are only visible if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door then the miniature is not visible.


With this

What can be seen?
Deciding what can be seen by a player character is very important in determining what should be placed onto the board. If you are in a room or passage or in a square adjacent to a room or passage, then miniatures in that room or passage are always visible to you. Miniatures in different passages or in different rooms that you are not in or adjacent to are only visible if you can trace an unobstructed straight line between the two miniatures. If the line passes through a wall or a closed door then the miniature is not visible.


And further to those clarifications I am suggesting an optional rule

Optional Rule: Exception: If your line of sight is blocked by a friendly miniature in an adjacent square to you and they are not adjacent to a monster, then they may choose to allow you to take the shot


And I would probably place that optional rule, if you want to use it in the Casting a Spell as it makes sense to me to include an exception to a rule in the same vicinity to the rule rather than buried elsewhere in the text!

Any thoughts?
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As a general principle* I use EU 2e rules but where they are not clear or otherwise problematic then I look to other versions for clarity / improvement before resorting to house rules

*By general principle I mean I ignore it when it suits me
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby iKarith » Monday March 29th, 2021 12:52pm

Works for me!

Regarding the crossbow, I'd argue that depending on the skill of your table at keeping track, a crossbow ought to be able to be fired ONCE against an adjacent critter, but could not be used again until you're no longer adjacent. The simplified rule makes sense for a board game, but I realistically realize that a crossbow could be recocked and reloaded if you've got a moment to do so where some orc isn't trying to hit you in the face with an axe!

Particularly since the Warhammer crossbows seen with the mercs have magazines on them somehow akin to Jörg Sprave's Instant Legolas devices. Realistically any heavy crossbow with a windlass mechanism would take several seconds to recock and placing the bolt would be only the smallest part part of the reload process. It'd also fire straight and true every time, and likely go through one Orc's armor and into the next at the range in question. After the crossbow was invented, if they weren't hideously expensive, every bowman (and there'd have been a lot more of those) would've been outfitted with one. Very little training and deadly power and accuracy!

Something more appropriate to dungeon-delving would be cocked by pulling a lever, something that could be done in an action. And it wouldn't have the guaranteed stopping power against armor either. Adding the magazine for relatively fast repeating, well, Let Me Show You Its Features(TM)!

As I said, the rule works as it is for the simplified setting of a board game, but in an "advanced" game (different from AHQ), I'd expect fire on successive rounds to require one be unmolested by melee fighters long enough to recock the crossbow, otherwise "Dodge this."
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Tuesday March 30th, 2021 6:06am

I think that technically you are correct, a crossbow and indeed any ranged weapon should be able to be shot once at an adjacent model but like you I assume that is skipped in order to simplify the rules so you don't have to keep track on whether a ranged weapon is in a loaded/unloaded state at any given moment and personally I think that simplification is worth keeping.

I have also assumed that the HeroQuest crossbow is a lighter version than a typical battlefield one, bearing in mind that portability and ease of use (and reloading) in a confined space would be paramount as opposed to being able to shoot for hundreds of yards, which does once again raise the question of whether it requires one or both hands to use but that is another thread!

I will look to explore something exotic like a repeating crossbow, once my Heroes get to the point where they can afford to buy such expensive toys, probably not long now unless I can kill off a couple of them.
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As a general principle* I use EU 2e rules but where they are not clear or otherwise problematic then I look to other versions for clarity / improvement before resorting to house rules

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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby Kurgan » Tuesday March 30th, 2021 12:32pm

The "you can't hit adjacent character with your ranged weapon" (most spells have no such limitation) I think is purposeful balance issue, rather than based on any realism.

Sure, obviously in real life you could shoot an enemy point blank with an arrow. But they want to force you to have a close range weapon or have to use your movement to get back to use a ranged weapon. Otherwise you don't need a broadsword and a crossbow, a crossbow will do double duty and you have gold. And you could try to argue at close range you bludgeon your enemy with your bow, but that's going to do less damage than piercing him with an arrow. Yes, unlimited range is unrealistic, but so is saying a Wizard can't use a sword or that plate armor cuts your movement in half. These are game mechanics. Change them and you risk upsetting that balance, but good luck.
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Re: Is "see" the same thing as "line of sight?"

Postby iKarith » Tuesday March 30th, 2021 7:26pm

I think a crossbow is going to be two-handed. It's going to definitely require you to set aside a shield or offhand weapon to reload the thing even remotely quickly, as even pistol crossbows do, however I can see the dwarf having axe and crossbow on slings so that he could quickly switch between two weapons that want to be used with two hands. But I can't imagine he could even carry a shield if he did so. He might have a couple of small daggers to be thrown if he ran out of ammo, but only rarely does the notion that a crossbow HAS ammo that you can run out of come into play.
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