LPG - Concealment & Cover

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This article is part of Warmachine University's Learning to Play the Game (LPG) series, which is "Basic Training" aimed at new players who are still learning the core rules.
(You may also be interested in our "Intermediate Training" series, LOTS.)


Concealment gives you +2 DEF, and Cover gives you +4 DEF. Couldn't be simpler, right? Wrong.

Shooting across terrain at an angle

Often it is obvious whether or not your target benefits from terrain, but sometimes it depends on the exact position of the attacker relative to the defender. The rule that covers this is ...

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Concealment & Cover, pg 50
A model with concealment, either granted by being within 1˝ of a terrain feature that provides concealment in relation to its attacker or from another effect, gains +2 DEF against ranged and magic attack rolls.

So it's not enough just to be within 1" of a terrain feature, you need to be 1" away when measuring to/from your attacker.

How do we determine this 1" line? It's easiest to explain with diagrams.

Case 1: Obviously In

In this case it's clear that the target has concealment from the hedge.

Conceal LOS 1.jpg
Case 2: Obviously Out

In this case it's clear that the target DOES NOT have concealment.

Conceal LOS 2.jpg
Case 3: The Questionable Case

But in this case, we need to carefully check and see if there is ANY line between the two models that satisfies both:

  1. the line crosses the hedge
  2. there is 1" or less between the target and the hedge, on that same line.

Also, this is any where on the attacker's volume, it's not limited to the attacker's front arc.

Conceal LOS 3.jpg


Secondary benefits

Sometimes models get secondary benefits when they have Cover and/or Concealment. (For instance, Prowl - While this model has concealment, it gains stealth.)

If your model ignores cover and/or concealment, it will not ignore the secondary benefits that these models get.

Because even though you ignore it, that doesn't change the fact they have it. And all they need to do is have it in order to trigger Prowl (and similar abilities).

If your model makes your target lose cover and/or concealment, that's a different issue.

Ignoring Line of Sight (LOS)

Being able to draw a "clear" LOS to your target has zero bearing on whether the target will benefit from terrain. Consider the case where your target is partially obscured by the corner of a LOS-blocking building. The only way to get LOS to make your attack is to draw a "clear" line. The only way for the target to claim the cover bonus is to draw a "blocked" line through the building and show that it is within 1". Therefore the two lines are completely separate from each other.

Anyway the point is, if the attacker ignores terrain for LOS, that doesn't mean the attacker will also automatically ignore the concealment/cover from terrain - because they're two separate things.

Also, the same logic holds true for models that grant cover/concealment "as if they were" a piece of terrain. (For instance, Roadblock - This model provides cover to friendly models as if it were an obstacle. This model loses Roadblock while it is incorporeal or knocked down.)


"Intervening" or "Completely Within"

Terrain generally falls within two categories:

  1. "Area" terrain such as forests, hills, swamps, patches of rubble, etc
  2. "Object" terrain such as buildings, crates, hedges, walls, obstacles, etc

Area terrain only provides defensive bonuses for models that are completely within the terrain. It doesn't provide bonuses for models partially within them, or behind them but within 1".

Object terrain only provides bonuses for models behind it and within 1". Models can't stop within object terrain.

(Although you can always agree to play different terrain rules with your opponent.)

There are some Infernal Rulings to back up the above:

  • You do not get a bonus for being within 1" of a terrain feature that states you gain a defensive bonus while completely within it (such as a Forest). (Infernal Ruling)
  • You do not get a bonus for standing behind and being within 1" of a (short) hill. (Infernal Ruling)


Wall templates

Several spells place "wall templates" into play (such as Wall of Fire). Unless the spell says otherwise, these templates are not terrain pieces and do not provide defensive bonuses to models within 1" the same way a normal wall would. (Infernal Ruling)

Wall Templates are 4" long by 0.75" wide (Infernal Ruling)

See also Category:Wall

In Melee

Melee Attackers

You don't get cover or concealment vs melee attacks. Instead you get +2 DEF if there is any type of intervening terrain anywhere between you and the attacker.

  • However, not all types of terrain count as "intervening terrain". If the terrain defines itself as giving bonuses to models "completely within" it (such as forests), then it never counts as intervening terrain. (Infernal Ruling)

Ranged & Magic Attackers

Sometimes a model will be able to make a ranged or magic attack even when they're in melee with you. A classic example is Gunfighter.

In this case, the attacker does not ignore cover or concealment. So, for example, if a Gunfighter and his target are in a forest, and he makes a ranged attack, the defender will get +2 DEF for being in a forest even if the two models are B2B.


See Also