LPG - LOS Oddities

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This article is part of Warmachine University's Learning to Play the Game (LPG) series, which is "Intermediate Training" aimed at new players who are still learning the core rules.
(See also Basic Training and Advanced Training.)

In this lesson we'll teach you how to shoot around corners! How to make free strikes disappear! And how to saw a lady in half...! No not really.

Shooting out your arse

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Determining LOS (pg 34 of 2020.02 rulebook pdf)

  1. Draw a straight line from any part of Model A’s volume to any part of Model B’s volume that is within Model A’s front arc.
  2. The line must not pass through a terrain feature that blocks line of sight.
  3. The line must not pass over an intervening model’s base that is equal to or larger than Model B’s.
  4. The line must not pass over an effect that blocks line of sight, such as a cloud effect.

Since you can draw LOS from any part of Model A, there is absolutely nothing wrong with starting it at your arse. As long as the end point (at Model B) is within your front arc then you're good to go. Clever positioning will let you shoot around corners.

  • The cyan Clockatrice (model A) can see the green Minuteman (model B) because the LOS (red line) is in the Clockatrice's front arc at the point that the LOS reaches the Minuteman.

Left Arc, Right Arc ... I'm the guy with the gun

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Huge-Based Models & Line of Sight (pg 40 of rulebook pdf)
A huge-based model’s front arc is marked on its base. Its front arc is further divided into two 90° fields of fire. These fields of fire determine which models a huge-based model can target with its weapons, depending on the location of those weapons. Weapons located on a huge-based model’s left side (L) can be used to target only models in its left field of fire, and weapons located on its right side (R) can be used to target only models in its right field of fire. Weapons with locations “S,” “H,” or “—” can be used to target models in either field of fire. If any part of a model’s base is on the line separating the left and right fields of fire, the model is considered to be in both fields of fire.

In addition to the LOS rules quoted above, huge-based models have additional rules for their left and right field of fire

The thing is, LOS isn't tied to firing arcs. You don't need to draw LOS for your right-hand weapons from your right-hand side, and vice versa. You can get LOS for any weapon from anywhere on your base.

  • It seems like the green Stormwall's right-hand guns are completely blocked by the building in front of it. In reality, it has LOS (red line) to the cyan Skin & Moans so it is free to shoot the S & M with any of its right-hand weapons.

Free Strikes - Disappearing Act

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Free Strikes (pg 44 of rulebook pdf)
When an engaged model advances out of an enemy’s melee range or line of sight, the enemy model can make a free strike against it just before it leaves.

The trick here is, you can get out of the free striker's LOS without advancing. What you do is advance a different model in between to block LOS, then the original model is free to walk away without eating a free strike.

Since it normally takes at least two models to block LOS to one model, this trick is only worth doing to protect your "high value" models. For example, a caster that has only 1 hitpoint left.

  • Here we have a Stormclad that just tried to assassinate The Wanderer but failed. The Wanderer is low on health, wants to get away, but doesn't want to eat a free strike.
  • So instead two Dread Rots run in and stand B2B in front of The Wanderer, to block the Stormclad's LOS. Now The Wanderer can just walk away at his leisure.

U-Shaped Forests

The forest LOS rules get a bit weird if you apply them to U-shaped forests, like the one pictured below. Rules as written:

  • The red model can not see the blue model (because it is behind a forest).
  • The red model can see the black model (because you're looking through less than 3" of a single forest piece).

If you have a piece of terrain like this, you're better off not using the rules-as-written and instead discuss it with your opponent before the game. Or better yet don't put this piece on the table at all.

U shaped forests