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Area Terrain & Levels

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Area Terrain & Levels

Post  GrimsAxe on Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:22 am

There seems to be a grey area in the rules when dealing with area terrain without building/ruins . 

Now we all know that when any terrain piece has been based the entire base is area terrain. Also models that draw LOS more than 2" from an edge gives their target a cover save also.

We also know that models at higher levels can draw LOS over area terrain to targets beyond the terrain w/out giving a cover  save. 

The grey area is when the area terrain looks like it has levels too. 
For example: A 12" round base has a 6" round plateau in its center that is 3" high. On that is a 1" round platform that is 1" high.
If models are on all 3 hights, which models (other than those on ground level & less than 1" away from the plateau), should give a cover save?

Should we count the models on the plateau @ a higher level? Then treat each level like a New piece of area terrain for cover measurements? Or the whole terrain piece as one mass of cover depth, regardless of hight?

My own thoughts are to go with height alocation. Using the same heights that are used for ruins.
Therefore in the example given; models on the plateau more than 2" from the edge of the plateau would give cover for shooting out. 
Conversely the model on the 1" platform would also give cover on his shooting because it still counts as the same level as the plateau, because the platform is less than 3" tall. 

To help clarify this we could mark the underside of the terrain to show which areas are different levels. Playerscould then could check as they set-up.    

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Re: Area Terrain & Levels

Post  Keebler on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:23 am

I think the confusion comes more from people thinking the Line of Sight rule supersedes the Area Terrain Cover rule or where some rules mash together in uncommon ways more than confusion of the terrain type (though I agree that labeling terrain pieces on the bottom since most people use the same pieces the same way is a good idea).

I read the rules and I can clear up the point of contention between myself and jon. A vehicle being shot at by a model is only granted a cover save if 50% of it is obscured in some way. Simply being in area terrain does not grant it a cover save unlike a normal model who needs only be partially inside to gain a bonus. However if the firing model is in area terrain then the vehicle would get a cover save unless the firer is shooting through 2 inches or less of area terrain even if he has full view of the vehicle because the rules say that a model can only clearly shoot through 2 inches of area terrain. The 50% rule appears to only supersede the normal rules for cover when determining cover saves directly from the point of view of the vehicle but the position of the shooter can also grant something a cover save to a model or vehicle and that's where the confusion came from I think.

The book seems to treat most area terrain as one level regardless of what its comprised of. Multi-tiered terrain pieces typically are building, ruin etc and have rules detailed in the book. I think in the interest of keeping the game simple and having a better chance of everyone using the same terrain the same way I'd keep your example as 1 piece of terrain at the same level. The models higher up may have a better field of vision but they are still shooting through the same area terrain as those on the lower level. But that's just me.
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Re: Area Terrain & Levels

Post  High Marshal Jerard on Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:34 pm

If you read the Necron codex it has the rules for plateaus, it says it counts as difficult terrain to go up or down and does not grant cover saves
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Re: Area Terrain & Levels

Post  Brian_Horton on Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:48 pm

High Marshal Jerard wrote:If you read the Necron codex it has the rules for plateaus, it says it counts as difficult terrain to go up or down and does not grant cover saves


This codex is very outdated.

It has been a general concusses that you treat levels of terrain as if they have levels in the ruins section it is only logical. Area terrain and line of sight in cover savers is always a very sticky issue depending on who you play. I say that if you are on a Open ground terrain with a level (such as many pieces in CZ's ice board) where you can clearly be scene then there should be no area of terrain cover in my opinion. Some people feel that becasue it is area terrain you should. That it why prior to gaming you must establish this with your opponent. In tournaments it is up to judges decision. So if Jay decides in his campaign should be the USR for his campaign. We can as a group make our own USr about it via a pool or a general group meeting. Just some suggestions on my behalf.
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Re: Area Terrain & Levels

Post  Keebler on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:43 pm

I always felt that terrain pieces like the Ice Pieces at CZ were more blocking terrain/impassable than area because they are basically cliffs that someone put on a base. But as the book says that based terrain are area I can see the argument. I still think that we should label terrain pieces on the bottom. Area terrain is difficult (some times dangerous) and grant cover. Impassable cannot be moved through and so is neither difficult, dangerous, nor grants cover. And Difficult terrain obviously would be difficult (some times dangerous) but does not grant cover, like the Plateaus rule. But I feel that such cut in stone labels may cause as many problems as they solve.
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Re: Area Terrain & Levels

Post  Brian_Horton on Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:27 pm

Tread-Marked Avatar wrote:I always felt that terrain pieces like the Ice Pieces at CZ were more blocking terrain/impassable than area because they are basically cliffs that someone put on a base. But as the book says that based terrain are area I can see the argument. I still think that we should label terrain pieces on the bottom. Area terrain is difficult (some times dangerous) and grant cover. Impassable cannot be moved through and so is neither difficult, dangerous, nor grants cover. And Difficult terrain obviously would be difficult (some times dangerous) but does not grant cover, like the Plateaus rule. But I feel that such cut in stone labels may cause as many problems as they solve.


I LOVE the idea of Labeling the Terrain!!!!!!
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Re: Area Terrain & Levels

Post  High Marshal Jerard on Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:18 pm

personally i believe at least with the ice terrain if you can see more than 50% of the squad/model no cover, even if the peace has a base, the ice terrain is basically a cube so the fact that ppl get save for a spot the actually ice rock does not block then that is silly. and by all means i'm not trying to screw ppl cause my templar would benefit from this area terrain.


I call for a club body meeting night with in the next week, i need a second nominee
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Re: Area Terrain & Levels

Post  Company Master Steenrod on Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:15 pm

well this is kinda hard to explain... basicly if your at the top of the hill or in front of it with more than 50% of the squad then no cover... if u can see MORE than 50% of the tank or the tank is on top of the hill at all, no cover. you always need DIRECT line of sight with most weaponry unless its a barrage weapon or it specifies like the weaponr has indirect fire... or did they get rid of that rule? idk either way u need to see atleast 50% or more for no cover
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Re: Area Terrain & Levels

Post  GrimsAxe on Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:28 pm

High Marshal Jerard wrote:personally i believe at least with the ice terrain if you can see more than 50% of the squad/model no cover, even if the peace has a base,...

No, You are describing 2 different kinds of terrain. What you are suggesting would be the free standing block - No Base. That IS terrain, just not AREA Terrain. (GW Hills, wrecked vehicles, barricades also fall into this category)
If it has ANY kind of base it is AREA terrain. (forests, swamps, rubble, corn fields, broken/jagged ground/ice/crystals etc. are some examples)

In your example (squad 50%+ visible) would be true for a free standing block
If the block has a base the 50%+ would have to be OFF THE BASE of the terrain.


High Marshal Jerard wrote:the ice terrain is basically a cube so the fact that ppl get save for a spot the actually ice rock does not block then that is silly.

The problem here isn't the rules it IS the terrain @ the store. (this is in no way any fault of the store)
We are playing 5th edition rules on 3rd edition terrain.

People seem to think that WYSIWYG applies to terrain as it does in models. This was true in 3rd edition but not any more. 5th edition terrain is sometimes better represented by "Living" or "Interactive" terrain

The base on Area terrain is used to represent the sections of ground that are DIFFERENT from the the standard battlefield. In most cases if these areas were to be modeled to accuratly show what they represent it would be nearly impossible to place models on them. (just look at the problems we have sometimes at placing models on the textured tables with nothing on them!)

Oddly enough we have 1 set of 5th edition terrain that no one has problems with but rarely uses.
They are the flat green boards & the loose trees.
When ever they are used no one seems to think twice about moving the trees out of the way so they can move the models & still know they are in the woods because of the green cutouts.

If this is true why is it SO HARD to imagine the ice bases covered jagged chunks of ice that have fallen from the so-called cubes?!? Suspect


High Marshal Jerard wrote:I call for a club body meeting night with in the next week, i need a second nominee

A closed meeting is in the near future. An open club meeting can be arranged on a different date if there is enough interest.

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Re: Area Terrain & Levels

Post  High Marshal Jerard on Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:50 am

With respect may i attend the closed meeting?
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Re: Area Terrain & Levels

Post  Keebler on Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:55 pm

I almost always use the green board. But to the matter at hand. If the terrain is out of date and is causing trouble maybe its time for a drastic overhaul of the terrain pieces? Ex taking the cube blocks off the bases so they are the blocks they were meant to be? I think all in all few direct changes would be made to pieces outside the ice box.
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