Concealment trick

takai

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Don taught me this the other day and I thought I'd share this, since I find the concealment counter handling non-intuitive.

If you have a stack of units selected and you choose to conceal them, you will get one concealment counter for every unit. In order to prevent this, you have two options:

1) Only select the top unit in the stack and conceal that one.
2) Deselect the stack by clicking anywhere on the map, then right-click the stack and choose concealment: everybody concealed and only one concealment counter on top.
 

dlazov

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And Jon taught and so on, and so forth..lol the more the merriyie --- :)
 

von Marwitz

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I'll give you another:

You are doing a defensive setup but want to prevent the other player from examining that stack prior to start of play. By default, stacks expand by a simple mouse-over, so even if your opponent tries to avoid it, he might see the contents inadvertedly.

Solution to this problem: Place one Concealment counter beneath the top counter an a stack and HIP that Concealmentcounter. That way all counters below appear concealed and cannot be inspected while the stack still is seen containing the correct number of counters (since the ?-counter is hidden).

After play begins, simply pull away the HIP ? counter or put it on top of the stack and remove HIP in case the units beneath gain concealment due to lack of enemy LOS.


von Marwitz
 

Sully

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You are doing a defensive setup but want to prevent the other player from examining that stack prior to start of play. By default, stacks expand by a simple mouse-over, so even if your opponent tries to avoid it, he might see the contents inadvertedly.

Solution to this problem: Place one Concealment counter beneath the top counter an a stack and HIP that Concealmentcounter. That way all counters below appear concealed and cannot be inspected while the stack still is seen containing the correct number of counters (since the ?-counter is hidden).

After play begins, simply pull away the HIP ? counter or put it on top of the stack and remove HIP in case the units beneath gain concealment due to lack of enemy LOS.


von Marwitz
Make sure you tell your opponent what you're doing. I did this, thinking it was Standard VASL Procedure (SVP), and my opponent was downright annoyed thinking I was trying to use too many concealment counters.
 

von Marwitz

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Say you've got a stack of 3x 4-6-7, so three counters.
You place the HIP "?" beneath the top 4-6-7 - the stack still looks 3 counters high as the opponent does not see the "?" counter while it still makes the lower 2x 4-6-7 as "?"

So I cannot see how it may appear that you would use too many concealment counters unless you wanted to place an unconcealed counter atop a concealed stack. I would see no sense in such a maneuver, though.
Besides that, I would have thought it to be standard operating procedure as well.

So Don, it definitely is a Feature and not a Bug. What other way would be there to prevent stack-inspection prior to play?

von Marwitz
 

Sully

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I totally agree it's a cool feature and there are no extra concealment counters - just those that prevent pre-game inspection. I'm just saying you should explain what you've done to your opponent beforehand so they're cool with it.
 

dlazov

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Well when I use VASL 98% of the time its via PBEM so I have no real need to do this, since all my stacks are ? without the HIP thing. I guess I am not understanding it 100%, nor the need for it. In PBEM you can see a ? stack of 2, 3 or more ? counters, but the opponent can't see whats under your stack unless he un-conceals it and this is reported in the log file so it would show him un-concealing your stuff.

So perhaps this only shows itself in Live matches.
 

witchbottles

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Well when I use VASL 98% of the time its via PBEM so I have no real need to do this, since all my stacks are ? without the HIP thing. I guess I am not understanding it 100%, nor the need for it. In PBEM you can see a ? stack of 2, 3 or more ? counters, but the opponent can't see whats under your stack unless he un-conceals it and this is reported in the log file so it would show him un-concealing your stuff.

So perhaps this only shows itself in Live matches.
Back in the bad old VASL 3.3 days we'd simply HIP the entire OB, turn off aut report moves and do the setup likety split for defense while the other guy was in the room, then un HIP and ready to roll.

:)

works best with small OB scens.

KRL, Jon H
 

witchbottles

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Well when I use VASL 98% of the time its via PBEM so I have no real need to do this, since all my stacks are ? without the HIP thing. I guess I am not understanding it 100%, nor the need for it. In PBEM you can see a ? stack of 2, 3 or more ? counters, but the opponent can't see whats under your stack unless he un-conceals it and this is reported in the log file so it would show him un-concealing your stuff.

So perhaps this only shows itself in Live matches.
Back in the bad old VASL 3.3 days we'd simply HIP the entire OB, turn off aut report moves and do the setup likety split for defense while the other guy was in the room, then un HIP and ready to roll.

:)

works best with small OB scens.

KRL, Jon H
 

takai

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Well when I use VASL 98% of the time its via PBEM so I have no real need to do this, since all my stacks are ? without the HIP thing. I guess I am not understanding it 100%, nor the need for it. In PBEM you can see a ? stack of 2, 3 or more ? counters, but the opponent can't see whats under your stack unless he un-conceals it and this is reported in the log file so it would show him un-concealing your stuff.
Its A2.9: No enemy stack may be inspected prior to the start of play. So if they're not concealed due to OB given ?, and the opponent sets up onboard, you may not inspect the stack. You may only see the top unit. As you can easily inspect a stack in VASL by moving the mouse over it, the HIP concealment counter is there to prevent that happening by accident.
 

Mark Humphries

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Standard procedure in the games I've played is to place a concealment counter under the top unit, HIPing that concealment counter I think would create confusion as to the number of actual units.
 

von Marwitz

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Standard procedure in the games I've played is to place a concealment counter under the top unit, HIPing that concealment counter I think would create confusion as to the number of actual units.
Now, this leaves me without rest... I simply cannot conceive how HIPing a conceament counter could create any confusion when preventing unintended (or unallowed) inspection of stacks before play.

See the following illustration:

View attachment 42574

Figure 1B is what the opponent would see if he did a mouse over by accident or intentionally, giving him "inspection" against the rules before play.

Figure 2B is what he would see if the owning player placed a HIP concealment counter (NOT part of his OOB) as in Fig. 2A. The number of counters in Fig. 2B matches those of 1B, which equals the the number of counters in the German OOB (forget about Deployment for the sake of the example). So the stack cannot be inspected AND it still shows the correct number of counters as given in the OOB.

Figure 3A/3B WOULD create confusion as there a NON-OB GIVEN concealment counter does VISIBLY appear if viewed by the opponent - mouse-over or not. The number of counters would not correspond with those given in the German OOB.

Thus in my humble opinion, using HIP concealment couters if wanting to enforce the prevention of stack inspection prior to play is currently the ONLY solution to avoid confusion.


von Marwitz
 

dlazov

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von Marwitz,

I think I have to disagree. I just loaded up one of my Linux VM's, went into VASL and did a ? setup of German units (set password to test) and this is what I see (you and everyone would agree since I pulled them and own those pieces):


Now when I go back to windows and load the file sent to me by my German opponent (me to me, lol) here is what the Allied player sees (set password to secret):


So I really don't see the issue or the need for HIP ? counters and causing the confusing in the first place?

Granted this is typical PBEM behavior so maybe with live it's different?

Sorry for the large files, this stupid dam forum is just bonkers crazy.;.
 

von Marwitz

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von Marwitz,

I think I have to disagree. I just loaded up one of my Linux VM's, went into VASL and did a ? setup of German units (set password to test) and this is what I see...
The situations that you describe and which I describe are different:

- You did a concealed setup with a "?" counter on the top unit, probably assuming that you are Scenario Defender or have OB-given "?" with point of time being before the opponent's setup.
In that case of course everything beneath is concealed. Your opponent may inspect the top unit before the start of play, which must be an OB-given "?", if you're not the Scenario Defender. Technically, this "?" conceals everything beneath, so your opponent cannot glean anything more intentionally or unintentionally by mouse-over except the number of counters.

- I did a setup not being a Scenario Defender and without OB given "?" with point of time being after my setup but before my opponent's setup. Again, the opponent may only view the top unit. If I did not use a HIP "?" counter in this situation, he could either inspect other units beneath by mouse-over to which he is not entitled or I would have to place a non-HIP "?" beneath the top unit to which I am not entitled to enforce that the units beneath the top units cannot be inspected (A12.12)
The opponent would at this point do his setup. When done, existing or non-existing LOS to my units would be established which would in turn determine if all of my units would gain (real) concealment if in concealment terrain or all/some of them would gain (real) concealment by rolling low enough in non-concealment terrain. In the latter case, the HIPed "?" which has been only used for the technical reason to prevent stack inspection could become a real "?" that takes counter-form on the board.

von Marwitz
 
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johnl

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I think the idea is that the opp should be able to see the top counter but not anything beneath it.
 

von Marwitz

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Exactly, at the point of time after I finished my setup but before the opponent starts his in a situation where I am not the Scenario Defender and have no OB-given "?" for the stack in question.

von Marwitz
 

dlazov

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Okay I think I finally am getting what your saying.

In normal face to face it's not really that big of a deal, because most guys are not rude enough to pick up the other guys stack and rifle through it, however they can look at the map and see a stack of 2 counters here, 3 counters there four there and five there and one there and so on, so they can make the assumption of what possible may be in those hexes based off the scenario card and this is normal face to face behavior.

Even when the other guys sets up first and places ? and even if he may have extra ? in face to face play you can see the physical stack and take some good educated (experienced?) guesses as to what they may or may not be.

Its sort of the same in VASL except your correct that I could see the contents of that stack, which does give one a little more info.

I guess it would really matter more in a competitive game, in a typical friendly game its not really that big of deal and in all my face to face games (80% of my games) after about turn 3 or 5 when all the little surprises and tricks are out of the way, we just say I got the squad and LMG in that hex or I got that wounded 8-1 and MMG and 4-4-7 over here so you can get ? blah blah blah...etc.

So I get what your saying, but I just don't think its that big of deal.
 

dlazov

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Also, in one of my PBEM games I am playing a newbie, and he some how screwed up placing his ? counters and I spotted (inadvertently) a MMG only in the stack of ?, it was in such an obvious place that it really came as no surprise, it did not effect my setup (granted it effected how I moved around that position but really not much, it covered open ground, even if I did not know there was a HMG in that hex at that point he also had a LMG, still no way I want to cross open ground and face a 6 -2, so it did not really effect me all that much and I just ignored 'seeing' it.

Now if he really screwed up, I would just send the log back and say 'dude, I can see you got a 9-2, HMG and a 4-4-7 sitting in H5, with a ? on the bottom of the stack.' Do you want to resetup, if so go for it.

In fact I do this all the time with newbies, "hey man are you really really sure you want to move that 9-2, 3x 6-6-7 and those HMG in that hex, I can shoot at you with a 8 down 2 man" I had a guy go "awh, no big deal go for it" got a 1KIA and he rolled four three's (all tied) and was dumb found. I told him it was a painful lesson but I offered him an out.

If we had more time I'd give him a mulligan, but I bet he'll never do that again.
 
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