There's No Slight Like Line-of-Sight...

Discussion and questions about the latest version of Chaos Reborn. Not for bugs, but for comments about the game play.

  • Jim, it may come out different in the final game, but in the meantime we could be gaming with the current rules for up to a year. So, if Van Helsing is ever to corner that tricky Dracula, I might continue to "experiment" with various figure placements to help understand the tactics.
    It was a sad fact that one of the recent Tourney matches was lost to just such an odd placement. The defending wizard carefully plotted to be 100% protected by blocking units and terrain, and getting into position to use that dreaded FaceBolt spell on the next turn. Lo and behold, an opposing ruffian charges and successfully pulls off what should have been an impossible Bolt shot that threads between a large "BLOCKER" unit and a mound of rock. William Tell couldn't have done better! It was doubly sad that ummmm... errrrr... Van Helsing was that defending wizard. Now, now, now, don't go all jumping to conclusions and assume i am creating this topic just because i've become all bitter and twisted about it. I'm just exploring the mechanics of the game, in the interest of justice... (yeah, that's it... justice).

    Ahem, to continue our impartial exploration...
    Starting with the obvious, the only sure way to BLOCK a "Line of Sight" attack is, of course, to have something BLOCKING the line of sight. There are 2 arrangements of characters in the hexes that are aligned in a "straight-away". The most common arrangement is shown below; Helsing's Elf is trying to get a bead on Dracula, but an evil Vampire is BLOCKING the shot. The Elf has already moved and is the "selected" unit, so the image shows all his possible targets - only the Elephant in this case. The "undead" Vampire is immune but is also BLOCKING! All units are in a straight line, and the Elf's shot should be BLOCKED by most units that would be in the middle.

    Image
    This should be a standard tactic, but we are learning that the-ways-of-chaos are indeed strange. Some of the smaller creatures, like Blobs, etc. (and possibly "wrong-way" facing giants - see above posts) won't BLOCK. I'll be running more tests...
    ---------------
    Monk: "Vampires?! Here, take these..."
    "Rings of garlic...holy water...silver stake...crucifix..."
    [outside, they hear 2 monks test-firing a Gatling gun]
    Van Helsing: "Why can't I have one of those?"
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  • To further our scientific explorations into the current chaotic state of "Line of Sight" (LoS) observations, we have re-organized our efforts into a more standardized format, hereinafter referred to as "Van Helsing Laboratories"...

    As in the previous posts, we are using our ever helpful ELF assistant, representing one of the simplest ranged attack minions, and a SINGLE BLOCKING creature placed between it and a defender, in this case our standard "volunteer", the evil "DRACULA-!!". Our Labs will start with the easier "straight-line" experiments. We use 2 different test-bench setups, as there are 2 types of hex layouts that can be made in a "straight-line", 3 or 4 in a direct row. The 2 types are "straights" extending from any flat side of a hex, and the alternate alignment radiating out from one of the "hex-points". All creatures that could potentially BLOCK an Elf's arrow were tested, on level ground.

    1. :arrow: Image
    An example from the experiment (image #1 above), illustrates the standard test design,
    showing an example of an Eagle placed between the Elf and its target.


    In the above case, the attacker and defender have been placed in the alternate "straight-line" arrangement, extending 4 hexes in a zigzag line out from one of the 6 vertices (corners) of a hex. Although Dracula is within the arrow's range, he can not be hit due to the Eagle BLOCKING LoS between the attacker and defender. Of course, If the Elf had not yet moved, it could step into any hex to the side and then take the shot. To simplify things, in this example, the Elf has already moved, and is now highlighting its valid targets. So far, so good.

    2. :arrow: Image
    Image #2 (above) shows an "exception" when the enemy wizard, highlighted as a target,
    unsuccessfully tries to hide behind a Spider.


    After a series of exhausting and grueling tests <lol>, substituting various creatures as BLOCKERS (both friend and foe - in case facing alignment mattered), Van Helsing Laboratories can now publish its groundbreaking "LoS RESULTS" for the world to critique. We can summarize the results as follows:
    :idea: "An Elf can not shoot a target, across a straight-line of hexes, if another creature is perfectly BLOCKING its LoS, except if the BLOCKER is a ground-hugging Blob or a low-slung Spider".

    ---------------------
    There you have it!! However, if you think these results may seem like they add only a very small bit of insignificant clarity to the Chaos Reborn world.... uummmm, you would be correct! Probably every other wizard in this game already knew the Facts-of-Life pertaining to Elves; Professor Helsing is often the last to know such things - and has already been resuscitated from the deadly effects of such lack of knowledge. However, there are many other situations to be explored, such as LoS height effects, BLOCKING landscape types, and using other LoS characters, weapons, or spells. We have already found some tantalizingly strange effects, which have not yet been thoroughly tested by Van Helsing's Laboratories. Having only examined what could be termed as the "Special Theory of Elf Blocking", we have not yet progressed to a "General Theory of LoS Effects". And of course, as the game programming changes/improves, future quality assurance re-testing may be carried out by our valued white-coated lab assistants. (peer review comments welcome) :!:

    VH
    Last edited by Van Helsing on Sun May 11, 2014 12:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
    ---------------
    Monk: "Vampires?! Here, take these..."
    "Rings of garlic...holy water...silver stake...crucifix..."
    [outside, they hear 2 monks test-firing a Gatling gun]
    Van Helsing: "Why can't I have one of those?"
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  • This. Is. Awesome.

    Thank you!
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  • I think you should retest LoS with every creature capable of a ranged attack. I mean, how can you publish your results without a thorough understanding of every possible combination? Here's a hypothesis to test: the green dragon, being taller than an elf, may be able to breathe fire over smaller humanoid creatures like the diminutive vampire or the goblin.

    The world demands answers. Get on it, Van Helsing Laboratories!

    ;)
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  • Very helpful, thanks
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Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:29 am

  • The latest research efforts of Van Helsing Laboratories continues exploring Line-of-Sight (LoS) effects by investigating targeting between Wizards, as we seem to have run short of elf volunteers. Seems the Lab received some complaints from tree-hugger types after our archers were seen to be shooting past eagles from various angles. "Dreadful experiments with innocent animal test subjects", it was called. So now we'll try to confine our targets to humans...

    First, a description of the Experimental Protocol. The "Test Bench" setup was as follows: 2 wizards, in Magic-Bolt range 3 paces apart. Various "meat shields" (but no eagles of course) substituted between them. Everything on level ground and in one of our standard "Straight Line Patterns" described earlier.

    It was quicky confirmed that bolts sail over spiders and blobs, same as in those notorious elven arrow trials. But it appears that wizards, being taller, or at least standing upright compared to the lower height elves, have some height advantage. In "boots on the ground" battle testing, I myself was able to over-bolt the head of a lion (which BLOCKS those pesky green elf projectiles) to smite an evil opponent!! Dwarven heads, being just a tad bit lower than a crackling bolt traveling in a straight line, are no obstacle either. We also had the giants turn front-to-back and back-to-front, testing in both directions, in case behemothic polarity continues to be a problem.

    Half way through the work, our researchers were completely surprised when our very expensive high-speed cameras detected a packet of magical energy streaking at the speed of light past the head and between the wings of a pegasus! And not even a scorched ear to show for it. Dumbfounded, we quickly set up further experiments to see if ALL winged creatures had this characteristic. Lo and behold, a manticore exhibited the same chaotic effect - no blockage! A bolt flies right between its wings. Then we started wondering... what about dragons? Surely dragons have lowered heads and wide-spread wings, fitting the profile. An eager golden dragon next bravely stepped up to the Test Bench. Of course dragons are without fear, but it insisted we hand over a few coins in payment for being an experiment volunteer.

    Van Helsing: <tossing gold to the dragon> "...all part of the expense of running these high-cost tests."
    Assistant: Ok, everybody ready? Safety goggles on. And.... aim, and ..." <ZZAAPP!!>
    Van Helsing: "Nope! How about that, just a little too tall."
    Assistant: <writing up results on a clipboard> "Dragon BLOCKS magic bolt."
    Van Helsing: "Someone sweep away that smoldering pile of dragon dust, and pick up those coins. Saves on the overhead expenses... Then bring in the unicorns. Let's see what happens with unicorns."
    Assistant: "Ah, Professor Helsing, sir, ah, the couple of unicorns we had waiting their turn out in the hall just magic-bolted out the back door. Guess they overheard the results. And anyway, they don't quite fit the profile - no wings."
    Van Helsing: "Never mind that now, the cowards. This is all in the name of science!"
    Assistant: <mumbling to self> "(well, i suppose they had a 2 out of 3 chance at least...)"
    Van Helsing: "What's that? Speak up man."
    Assistant: "Looks like we are all out of unicorn's for the moment, sir. What's to do?"
    Van Helsing: "Progress will not wait. Did you see those comments by wizard Krayzkrok earlier? The outcome of battles, nay whole wars, can be twisted by these tactics. Our reader's demand answers!"
    Assistant: "Perhaps we could fudge the results. Just tell everyone we actually tested the unicorns?"
    Van Helsing: "No, that would just generate more Chaos! Let's "simulate" some Lawful results instead. Put some sort of pointy hat on an eagle and let's get on with it."
    Assistant: "Not the eagle! You've already been warned about that."
    Van Helsing: "Fine... How about that dwarf? Shorty over there has already passed the test. If we disintegrate a tall hat off his head, we can say a unicorn probably BLOCKS the Bolt. Okay?"
    Assistant: <mumbling> "Yes, Dr Frankenstein..."
    Van Helsing: "What did you say?"


    Image
    :arrow: Image above shows standard "Test Bench" setup, with Dracula being in range of Van Helsing's magic-bolt attack, which is NOT blocked by the pegasus.

    :idea: Summary Conclusions - A wizard's Magic-Bolt can shoot over more creatures than an elf's arrow. Seven minions can't bolt block; a blob, spider, lion, eagle, pegasus, manitcore, nor a dwarf (as long as they are not wearing pointy hats).
    Van Helsing: "Oh, and of course simulated unicorns CAN BLOCK bolts.... errr... because we didn't test any real ones."
    Assistant: <cough> "...of course not..." <cough>
    Van Helsing: "Igor, hurry up with that!" <Assistant quickly sweeping up a pile of coins and blue dust...>

    :ugeek: VH Labs
    Last edited by Van Helsing on Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:23 pm, edited 5 times in total.
    ---------------
    Monk: "Vampires?! Here, take these..."
    "Rings of garlic...holy water...silver stake...crucifix..."
    [outside, they hear 2 monks test-firing a Gatling gun]
    Van Helsing: "Why can't I have one of those?"
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  • But can you deliver a magic bolt or arrow to a red dragon which is hiding behind a mounted wizard? (Hey, it could happen!)

    P.S., This is all friggin' amazing! Thank you!
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  • Entertaining as this topic is, and as admirable the rigour of tests have been, I do hope los moves away from arbitrary raycasting and is logically hex based in the final game. I mean c'mon an arm in & out of the way, what happens when animation comes into play :)

    Original chaos-wise, with a bit of experience you always knew where you were with los, and it could tactically be very critical to have confidence in knowing which shots were be viable. Having monster height & relative distance factor in is just much too vague / needlessly complicated to know the full set of parameters imo.

    Now if we had a hitbox-based view of the shot like rebelstar then ok maybe, but otherwise tis a bit urgh.
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  • Houchou wrote:Entertaining as this topic is, and as admirable the rigour of tests have been, I do hope los moves away from arbitrary raycasting and is logically hex based in the final game. I mean c'mon an arm in & out of the way, what happens when animation comes into play :)

    Original chaos-wise, with a bit of experience you always knew where you were with los, and it could tactically be very critical to have confidence in knowing which shots were be viable. Having monster height & relative distance factor in is just much too vague / needlessly complicated to know the full set of parameters imo.


    Agreed. For games like this usually the simplest approach is the best one. Just draw a line from the centre of the attacker's hex to the centre of the target's hex and check any hexes the line passes through for creatures - that way it's always human-verifiable. It's okay if some creatures don't block line of sight (Gooey Blob, Rat, etc.) but at the moment it's a bit unpredictable (not that the rest of the game isn't, but this is important for strategy).

    It kinda reminds me of the knights in Chinese Chess - they move one square orthogonally and one square diagonally like normal chess knights, but aren't allowed to jump over other creatures in doing so. It results in some weird situations where you can have two opposing knights in range of each other, but only one knight able to attack the other one.
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