Author Topic: Definition of Shoreline in terms of engaged combat high ground bonus  (Read 551 times)

RushAss

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OK kids, here's an interesting one.  We had an instance come up at Dexcon concerning the high ground/shoreline rule.  Take a look at the lower Wolfkin unit coming out of the lake to engage a Raptor Pack.  The one above it was juuuuuuust more than half out, but the one below it was still more than half in the lake.



Now the rules treat this situation as if the Raptors have high ground:

6.3.9 Shoreline
Units on a shoreline count as having the high ground (3.2.3.4.1) when engaged with units in the water.

3.2.3.4.1 High Ground
A unit has the High Ground if more than half of the unit is on a higher elevation than more than half of the enemy unit.  Units attacking an enemy on Higher Ground get (-0)-1/-0 for engaged attacks.

Fair enough.  However, the Raptors where not literally abutted to the shore line.  They where about an inch back from the edge of the lake.  So looking at this again: "Units on a shoreline count as having the high ground (3.2.3.4.1) when engaged with units in the water"  Exactly what is the definition of a shoreline?  Does the unit need to be directly abutted against the water or does it merely need to be more than half out of the water while the unit it's engaged with is more than half in the water?

For the record I ruled that the Raptors had high ground here but we could use some clarification in the rules about this.  At least the Ravenwood player won the game so it didn't effect the outcome of the game.  Thoughts? 
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Kevin

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Re: Definition of Shoreline in terms of engaged combat high ground bonus
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2016, 01:53:18 PM »
Good question!  My thought is that all terrain effects except for movement are determined by the "more than half" rule.  Under current rules, if 51% of your unit is on a hill (over the contour line) and 49% of theirs is, you have high ground.  I'd say this works similarly:  if 51+% of your unit is not in the water and 51%+ of theirs is in the water, your unit gets high ground.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

gornhorror

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Re: Definition of Shoreline in terms of engaged combat high ground bonus
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 03:45:20 PM »
So if I'm to understand Kevin's post.  My unit(the Wolfkin) was more than 50% out of the water.  Does this mean that Dave's unit would NOT have high ground?
I’d agree with you but then we’d both be wrong.

BubblePig

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Re: Definition of Shoreline in terms of engaged combat high ground bonus
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2016, 03:54:16 PM »
IMO if the goal were to be realistic, then the penalty for for being at a lower elevation plus having to slog through the water should be every bit as heavy as the penalty for only being at a lower elevation. If you interpret 6.3.9 as meaning that units in the water can ignore this penalty unless the unit engaging them is abutted against the water, then the penalty applies much less of the time, and thus is on average much less (when it should be on average at least as much or even more.) So if we are aiming for any reasonable level of realism, my off the cuff response is that if a unit is close enough to be engaged with another unit which is more than half in the water, then the first unit must be considered to be on the shoreline for the purposes of this rule. Frankly, if the only benefit a unit on the shoreline has is the same benefit that a unit on a hill has with respect to surrounding terrain, then why bring the shoreline into it at all? You could say that the lake or whatever is at an elevation 10 feet below the surrounding terrain and base the bonus/penalty solely in terms of elevation, without nearly the same level of ambiguity.
 

BubblePig

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Re: Definition of Shoreline in terms of engaged combat high ground bonus
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 04:01:13 PM »
So if I'm to understand Kevin's post.  My unit(the Wolfkin) was more than 50% out of the water.  Does this mean that Dave's unit would NOT have high ground?
If your unit was more than 50% out of the water, then yes, Dave's unit would not have high ground. But in this case your units looked about 2/3 in the water or maybe slightly under 2/3, otherwise I would have advocated that Dave not get the bonus. In any case, 6.3.9 should either be written more clearly or eliminated.
 

Hannibal

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Re: Definition of Shoreline in terms of engaged combat high ground bonus
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2016, 02:57:36 PM »
I think Ron's comments pretty much sums up the issue:  it's not really clear at all, and it should be.

Out here we've never played with shoreline rules for rivers because a shoreline is usually only large bodies of waters (large lake or an ocean).  Most features large enough to be a lake in Battleground are either impassible or functionally so, such that there's not a lot of times you'll send a unit through it.

However I feel this is pretty much wrong, and that units defending river banks and whatnot should get bonuses.  In fact, I think the terrain rules in general could use a thorough review for this sort of bolt-tightening.



As for this specific case, I'd rule that the unit has to be on the Shoreline, because that's what it says: 
Quote
6.3.9 Shoreline
Units on a shoreline count as having the high ground (3.2.3.4.1) when engaged with units in the water.

Emphasis mine of course.  The rules make no mention of the enemy unit's position other than they be "in the water[1]."  This means the shoreline must be defined as well as what it means to be "on" the shoreline.  Usually shorelines are way too narrow to fit half a unit on there, so if that's not what it is, you'd have to establish that.

So in this case I'd say that since everyone has agreed that the Lizardmen are not on the shoreline, then they are not uphill to the Ravenwood units.  That's how I'd rule it in a game, and immediately say "this is something that we need to fix."


[1] This wording here also means that it's if any part of the unit is in the water.  So theoretically if the unit is 99% out of the water, you'd get the uphill bonus for being on the shoreline.  Not sure exactly how that'd happen, but that's how the rules read.