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Some good advice about checking LOS I just found out


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I just realised something about the game that I want to share, in case some of you don't know it:

Often before the game, you want to look at the map and analyse potential lines of fire. If there's an enemy machinegun behind that hedge, can it shoot down that road?

The way I usually do it is to select one of my units, make a move order to the position I want to check, select the movement line, and then make a target order. I will then sweep the targeting line across various spots on the map, to see if there's a straight line of fire.

BUT often I find that it doesn't work. I will get "No LOS", but later I will find that the enemy opens fire from there without any problems.

So what is going on? I just found out today that the game will calculate line of sight based on the direction your move order came from.

If you traced the move order from your side of the map, that means the game will think your "virtual spotting unit" came walking in that direction, and is facing the wrong way at the waypoint. This is why it will tell you there's no line of fire, as you need to face the hedgerow to shoot through it.

And here's the real kicker: Issuing a "face" order at the end of the movement order does not work. The game will not take it into account, it will still think you are trying to shoot while facing the wrong way.

The solution:

Make two move orders. First one well behind the hedge, then doubling back to join the hedge. Then select the latest move order and do the targeting. The game now calculates LOS correctly.

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I hate to be Mr. Grumpy but, to me, this LOS check method is a cheat/system exploit.

Of course, reasonable people may disagree and, because the system allows it, not using this technique would be according to an honor system in any case. But what justifies a player "looking around" from the perspective of a potential enemy position?

Now look, I know we're all gamey bastages at some point or another and we likely wouldn't enjoy playing a truly realistic game. We each have to find our own way. But I'm just saying that plotting a move (that really isn't a move) halfway across the map for the express purpose of scoping out the enemy's LOS/LOF makes me feel dirty.

It's more fun to wonder if there's LOS from point A to area B just based on camera views and only start to get a better idea as you advance and you (reasonably) can use the Target/LOS tool from the perspective of YOUR units.

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I find the LOS tool invaluable in trying to suss out the way LOS works in the game, but I've started avoiding using it when attempting to determine LOS between arbitrary points. It's been misleading too often. In its place I'm working on being more aware of all the factors - tiny rises in terrain, long grass, trees, etc - that influence LOS, and just eyeball everything.

I'm not sure if I'm actually more successful at judging LOS, but at least I've stopped committing to plans on the basis of the LOS tool and then getting a nasty surprise.

It's more fun to wonder if there's LOS from point A to area B just based on camera views and only start to get a better idea as you advance and you (reasonably) can use the Target/LOS tool from the perspective of YOUR units.

I've often thought about how different hedge fighting might be if you didn't know exactly where every bush and break was. I'd love it if there were a mode that tied the camera down. "No further than X from a unit." for example. Or even pseudo-first person, but that might just get frustrating.

But I find it far too much bother as self-enforced rule. Especially when it's so much fun to move the camera around during a turn and see everything that's happening.

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I hate to be Mr. Grumpy but, to me, this LOS check method is a cheat/system exploit.

Of course, reasonable people may disagree...

I think I'm a reasonable person, and I definitely disagree.

...what justifies a player "looking around" from the perspective of a potential enemy position?

The lack of fidelity of the simulation. While the game is, I'm sure we all agree, bloody brilliant, and as faithful to reality as current tech and the unmatched talent behind it can sustain, it still isn't the real world. The camera doesn't match the positions of your troops' eyeballs, not all obstacles to vision are exactly represented in the graphics we see and the pixel resolution doesn't match the Eyeball, Human, Mark 1 (binocular augmented). What "scouting ahead" covers is the gap between what we get given to us on the computer screen and what an experienced NCO/driver/crew chief would be able to tell from actually being in the field rendered so skillfully on our monitors, with all its necessary shortcuts and imprecisions.

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BUT often I find that it doesn't work. I will get "No LOS", but later I will find that the enemy opens fire from there without any problems.

So what is going on? I just found out today that the game will calculate line of sight based on the direction your move order came from.

If you traced the move order from your side of the map, that means the game will think your "virtual spotting unit" came walking in that direction, and is facing the wrong way at the waypoint. This is why it will tell you there's no line of fire, as you need to face the hedgerow to shoot through it.

It shouldn't matter what direction the unit is facing or what side of the map it came from, and I don't think it does. Units normally have 360° LOS unless they are directly next to blocking terrain.

What does matter is the unit's current stance affecting elevation, i.e. if it is walking, prone, ect.

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It shouldn't matter what direction the unit is facing or what side of the map it came from, and I don't think it does. Units normally have 360° LOS unless they are directly next to blocking terrain.

What does matter is the unit's current stance affecting elevation, i.e. if it is walking, prone, ect.

Whether or not it should matter, it does, IME, as well. I can't think of a potential mechanism at the moment, since "waypoint LOS" is estimated from a fixed point in the AS/half-AS the waypoint is in. But it's something I've noticed, and it can't just be about the current stance of the unit you're using, since the same unit in the same order phase will get different results whether it's notionally going to be facing towards or away from the obstacle.

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This topic came up a few months ago and there was a heated debate about it. Someone wanted a new tool where you could just click on any point of the map and see what is in LOS from that point. To say the least, this is gamey as all hell, and to say it's "not gamey" because the game is lacking in other areas is an excuse.

You, as a player, already have the advantage of seeing the entire battlefield and are able to zoom down to level 1 at any point on the map at any time, regardless of whether you have a unit at that spot or not. Although this doesn't give you a guarantee of LOS, it should give you a educated guess which is a LOT more than any soldier in real life could have known.

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This topic came up a few months ago and there was a heated debate about it. Someone wanted a new tool where you could just click on any point of the map and see what is in LOS from that point. To say the least, this is gamey as all hell, and to say it's "not gamey" because the game is lacking in other areas is an excuse.

You, as a player, already have the advantage of seeing the entire battlefield and are able to zoom down to level 1 at any point on the map at any time, regardless of whether you have a unit at that spot or not. Although this doesn't give you a guarantee of LOS, it should give you a educated guess which is a LOT more than any soldier in real life could have known.

The problem is that often, a unit will fail to establish LOS in a position where it ought to be possible. In reality, a unit would just shift the location of the MG a few cm to either side and it would be possible to fire. But in the game, an action square is an action square.

So I use the checks to see if my reasonable estimate of LOS matches with the game's internal mechanics.

Foliage is another example. It should be possible to eyeball trees and if you can't see the other side, your troops shouldn't either. But often, units can fire straight through treetops, and then at other times, there's no LOS.

We can argue if it's realistic till the cows come home, but at the end of the day, I as the player of the game need to be able to know what is possible or not. I can't just guess and hope for the best.

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This topic came up a few months ago and there was a heated debate about it. Someone wanted a new tool where you could just click on any point of the map and see what is in LOS from that point. To say the least, this is gamey as all hell, and to say it's "not gamey" because the game is lacking in other areas is an excuse.

... I stand by my words in that thread. It's a game ain't it, so everything one does with it is "gamey".

youse have a point, too much of an "i win" button. my point, it makes the game less tedious.

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We are talking about checking LOF from bocage/hedge.

Whether or not it should matter, it does, IME, as well. I can't think of a potential mechanism at the moment, since "waypoint LOS" is estimated from a fixed point in the AS/half-AS the waypoint is in. But it's something I've noticed, and it can't just be about the current stance of the unit you're using, since the same unit in the same order phase will get different results whether it's notionally going to be facing towards or away from the obstacle.

I just spent 10 minutes trying to produce the situation described using units next to bocage and target waypoints to bocage. I got 360° LOS at the waypoint every time unless I put the unit on Hide, and even then it was 360 if the waypoint was in flat terrain. While I don't think you are imagining things I just don't know how or when it is supposed to happen.

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The problem is that often, a unit will fail to establish LOS in a position where it ought to be possible. In reality, a unit would just shift the location of the MG a few cm to either side and it would be possible to fire. But in the game, an action square is an action square.

So I use the checks to see if my reasonable estimate of LOS matches with the game's internal mechanics.

I agree about the LOS issues, but this is a problem with the TacAI not able to make micro-adjustments. Your "checks" wont solve the problem any more than placing the camera at ground level. My point is that the solution to your problem shouldn't be a gamey exploit. You already have way more information about the 3D battlefield than any commander would have in real life.

Foliage is another example. It should be possible to eyeball trees and if you can't see the other side, your troops shouldn't either. But often, units can fire straight through treetops, and then at other times, there's no LOS.

Sounds realistic to me. I've played my share of paintball in dense foliage. One second you see an opposing player through the thick foliage and the next second he's still and blended in. And often times you think you're safe when suddenly you're hit by an unseen foe.

We can argue if it's realistic till the cows come home, but at the end of the day, I as the player of the game need to be able to know what is possible or not. I can't just guess and hope for the best.

Why not? Do you think commanders or grunts IRL had anything better than a guess in the same circumstances? Why is it that just because we have computers we think we are entitled to more information than was humanly possible IRL? If this were a Real Time genre game then I'd say fine, implement the gamey tools because it's cool and handy to have. But this game is basically a combat simulator, and as such should simulate combat as much as technologically possible.

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there is no defence of LOS in this game. recently i watched a video on yt of kiwi battle in FI.

The german two men team were inside the buiding taking fire from kiwi base line of fire from behind the wall outside.

in meanwhile player sends his troops to a bilding adjected to one where are germans and in next step he makes them enter the building with germans (who are crawling down pinned).

kiwi troops enter the door and right infront, two meters away, is the window their mates are shooting at and below are two nazis pinned down. what did the kiwis do you wonder?

Three (i think) went by as there was nothing to see and headed to the bottom of the room. One of the nazis gets up and slashes them down and it is only in that moment that rest of kiwi squad (that was at the door to the room) sees them and starts shooting killing both of pinned nazis.

plain wrong

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Why not? Do you think commanders or grunts IRL had anything better than a guess in the same circumstances? Why is it that just because we have computers we think we are entitled to more information than was humanly possible IRL?

OK look at this way. I'm sure one doesn't mind Arma or Steelbeasts, where the player can only see what is around a single soldier/tank. However don't ask me to simultaneously be the eyes of 100 soldiers. The rest 99 of them should have their own eyes and judge the terrain, judge the LOS issues, decide to be on the left or right of the hedgerow etc. for themselves?

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OK look at this way. I'm sure one doesn't mind Arma or Steelbeasts, where the player can only see what is around a single soldier/tank. However don't ask me to simultaneously be the eyes of 100 soldiers. The rest 99 of them should have their own eyes and judge the terrain, judge the LOS issues, decide to be on the left or right of the hedgerow etc. for themselves?

Like I said previously, the player already has the ability to see the entire map's terrain. This is something that the computer AI doesn't have the ability to do. Also, the player already has the ability to zoom anywhere on the map, instantly go to level 1 to check out LOS from that spot. This gives the player an educated guess of what is visible from that spot. It's not 100% perfect but it's way more information than would be available in real life.

There is no need to make a tool that would allow clairvoyance to find out if there is LOS from any spot to another. Either use the camera to judge for yourself or do it the old fashioned way: send a scout team to the spot to see if they have LOS to the intended target.

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I think I'm a reasonable person, and I definitely disagree.

Hear, hear for civil discourse!

Pak40 is defending my position as well as I ever could. We're saying, yes, we know it's a game. Yes, we support using the camera view to zoom around the map to assess LOS in a way that real life troops (without a remote controlled drone) could never do. This allows the player to get a more than fair sense of the battlefield and plan accordingly.

But a universal LOS tool that gives you surveying equipment precision to and from all points on the battlefield? How is that needed or defensible? The poor man's version of the universal LOS tool (plotting a fake move to a location far removed from any of your troops and using a fake target command) isn't any more needed or defensible.

But again, I do understand the various LOS frustrations and the vagaries of the spotting cycles and so forth. Sometimes they work for your benefit and sometimes for the benefit of the opponent. I try to view them as some of the spices of CM.

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Sounds realistic to me. I've played my share of paintball in dense foliage. One second you see an opposing player through the thick foliage and the next second he's still and blended in. And often times you think you're safe when suddenly you're hit by an unseen foe.

Hee hee and those paint balls don't have near the integrity or kinetic energy that shells and bullets do.

there is no defence of LOS in this game. recently i watched a video on yt of kiwi battle in FI.

Three (i think) went by as there was nothing to see and headed to the bottom of the room. One of the nazis gets up and slashes them down and it is only in that moment that rest of kiwi squad (that was at the door to the room) sees them and starts shooting killing both of pinned nazis.

plain wrong

Actually that is perfectly reasonable - you are missing two things:

1) the inside of buildings are abstracted. So you do not get to see that there are actually three separate rooms and filing cabinets, desks chairs etc.

2) life is not like you describe even in our happy civilian lives we miss stuff all the time: the friend you are meeting is one door down from where you were expecting and he has to jump up and down and wave his arms for you to see him. You step out onto the road and say oh **** how did I miss that car. The bicyclist comes of of no where right in front of you (of course so many of them are just crazy:-). You get to the stop sign and miss that there is another car stopped to your right - you both start moving through the intersection. And on and on and on.

Forget about some perfect spotting world - it ain't going to happen and it would not be realistic if it did.

Plus, look at it from the other guys point of view. The Kiwi soldiers enter the room and immediately spot your Germans on the floor and kill them straight away without ever being seen. WTF that should be impossible they were expecting them to come through that door at any moment because the covering fire slackened off. How could they not be seen running fully upright through the door when my guys are under cover and ready for them?

It has to be resolved some how - this time it did not go your way. And guess what I won't next time either :D Keep trying and make sure you note times that it does go your way.

Why is it that just because we have computers we think we are entitled to more information than was humanly possible IRL?

Indeed - I think that this is what often makes us think spotting is broken when its not it is just human fallibility - even for those humans who are skilled at combat - that is being simulated.

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Also, the player already has the ability to zoom anywhere on the map, instantly go to level 1 to check out LOS from that spot.

Yes, but the player has to do all that. By himself. One man. Check the entire map for LOS. Everytime he issues a move order to each unit on the map. It thus makes it a tedious process. If the pTruppens are humanly intelligent, should they not all share the workload of the player - check LOS on the piece of terrain that's immediately accessible to them.

There is no need to make a tool that would allow clairvoyance to find out if there is LOS from any spot to another. Either use the camera to judge for yourself or do it the old fashioned way: send a scout team to the spot to see if they have LOS to the intended target.

As BF stated in the debated thread such a tool isn't possible. Too much performance cost and can't be sufficiently accurate. However we don't exactly want an LOS anywhere/i win button either. We're expressing the need to lessen the workload on the player so that he doesn't have to do the work of every squad on the map just like a real life commander doesn't.

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You just forget that we can't get the camera down to eye level of a soldier standing up, and even less to the prone position.

Also, computer limitations: In a recent game I found my troops under fire from a position I hadn't even seen when I did a ground-level check. Why not? Because my computer did not render the terrain out to that distance. (I'm using a laptop, you might not have the same limitation on your machine..)

Sometimes, a machinegun should be able to get a line of sight from a positon if it adjusted its tripod a tiny bit higher. But in the game, prone is prone.

In real life, the commander would sit down in his HQ and plan by using a height map. Then the individual sergeant would tell the squaddies to "set up the MG on that ridge". The squaddie would then have to find a suitable place, the commander in his tent would not bother with that detail.

Sometimes in the game there is just one square with LOS on a whole promising ridge.

I play WeGo, so if I guess wrong about which square it is, I have to spend at least a whole minute plus deployment time to relocate the MG. And then I have to repeat that every time I still guess wrong. I might only have 30 minutes for the whole mission.

Joe Squaddie on the ground in real life would just set it up right, because he would be able to do what we can't - see the terrain in real life 3D.

I find myself squinting at the 2D landscape trying to grasp the contours that would be immediately apparent if I had been there myself.

But ok, I guess we just have different opinions on this. I can see where you're coming from, but I see things a bit differently.

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