SMOKE and Drifting SMOKE Height issues

von Marwitz

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This goes out to the hive-mind:

Trying to wrap my head around the specifics of SMOKE and Drifting SMOKE in Hills, for which exist a couple of Q&A. Based on one of them, I will pose some questions to check my understanding. Whenever the questions are resolved, I will edit my original post to give the correct answers, so that later this post can be used as a reference by everyone should such questions come up again.

These are the basic rules:

B24.4 HEIGHT & DURATION:
Conventional smoke is treated as a two level Hindrance to LOS and does not Hinder LOS occurring above that elevation. Smoke in a terrain/wreck Blaze hex is a four level LOS Hindrance [EXC: in a mild breeze it is a two level LOS Hindrance]. WP is a four level LOS Hindrance (even in a mild breeze). SMOKE does not block LOS [EXC: B.10]. White Dispersed SMOKE is removed at the start of the owning player's next PFPh. His white SMOKE counters are then flipped over to the white Dispersed side.

A24.61 DRIFT: Original SMOKE sources (other than SMOKE Grenades which do not last long enough to drift) are differentiated from drifting Dispersed SMOKE by using white counters for original SMOKE [EXC: a Wreck/Terrain Blaze needs no original Smoke counter] and gray counters for drifting SMOKE. Whenever there is a Mild Breeze, Dispersed SMOKE drifts from any original SMOKE source [EXC: to/from non-rooftop Locations of an Interior Building hex] at the start of the game's first RPh and at the start of every AFPh. Drifting SMOKE consists of a number of Dispersed SMOKE counters equal to the Hindrance DRM of the original SMOKE placed directly downwind from the original SMOKE source (even if the original SMOKE source was Dispersed). All drifting Smoke is a Hindrance up to two levels higher, and drifting WP up to four levels higher, than the Location it occupies, but never a Hindrance at levels below the Location of the original SMOKE source. Drifting SMOKE is removed immediately when the original SMOKE source is removed or when the wind changes direction or force. Whenever the original SMOKE source becomes Dispersed SMOKE, the number of gray Dispersed SMOKE counters drifting from it is decreased by removal of the furthest Dispersed SMOKE counter emanating from it (thus keeping the number of drifting SMOKE counters equal to the Hindrance DRM of that original SMOKE source). Smoke drifting from a Wreck/Terrain Blaze is treated identically to that from an original white Smoke counter.

This is the Q&A:

15243

Another Q&A for this same terrain:
A24 - SMOKE
If original SMOKE is placed on a level 2 hill hex with a crest line to level 1, does the SMOKE rise from both levels,
A: Yes
e.g. assuming SMOKE in 2F7, will a shot from 2E7 to 2F8 be hindered by the SMOKE?
A: Yes


Situation 1:

15247

F7 is the original SMOKE source, a Level 2 hill in the center with a crestline to Level 1 within F7.
F8 is a Level 1 hill with a crestline to Level 0 towards F9.
F9 is a Level 0 hex.
The Level counters are supposed to indicate the Base Level of the SMOKE.

Questions for Situation 1:

Is the following correct?

1. In F7 the Base Level of the original SMOKE is Level 2, but nevertheless is also exists in the Level 1 portions of the hex.
2. Therefore, fire from a unit in E8 to G8 is hindered by the SMOKE in F7.
3. In F8 the Base Level of the original SMOKE is Level 2, as such a unit in G8 has unhindered LOS across the Woods in E9.


Situation 2:

15248

F6 is the original SMOKE source, a Level 1 hill hex (with no relevant Crest Line for our purposes).
F7 is a Level 2 hill in the center with a crestline to Level 1 within F7.
F8 is a Level 1 hill with a crestline to Level 0 towards F9.
F9 is a Level 0 hex.
The Level counters are supposed to indicate the Base Level of the SMOKE.

Questions for Situation 2:

Is the following correct?

4. As F6 is a Level 1 hill the Base Level of the original SMOKE is Level 1. As per A24.61 "All drifting Smoke is a Hindrance up to two levels higher, and drifting WP up to four levels higher, than the Location it occupies, but never a Hindrance at levels below the Location of the original SMOKE source." Consequently, the Base Level of the Drifting Smoke in F8 is Level 1.


TIA,
von Marwitz
 
Last edited:

von Marwitz

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Now the terrain is a bit altered as below For situations 3 and 4:

15249

F7 is a Level 2 Hill hex considered to be inherernt i.e. without Level 1 portions in the hex.
A Cliff exists along the F7-F8 hexside.

Situation 3:

15254

F7 is the original SMOKE source, a Level 2 Hill hex considered to be inherernt i.e. without Level 1 portions in the hex..
F8 is a Level 1 hill with a crestline to Level 0 towards F9.
F9 is a Level 0 hex.
The Level counters are supposed to indicate the Base Level of the SMOKE.

Questions for Situation 3:

Is the following correct?

5. In F7 the Base Level of the original SMOKE is Level 2, but as no Level 1 portions exist, no SMOKE is at Level 1.
6. Therefore, fire from a unit in E8 firing to G8 along the Cliff hexside is not hindered by the SMOKE in F7.


Situation 4:

15253

F6 is the original SMOKE source, a Level 1 hill hex.
F7 is a Level 2 Hill hex considered to be inherernt i.e. without Level 1 portions in the hex..
F8 is a Level 1 hill with a crestline to Level 0 towards F9.
F9 is a Level 0 hex.
The Level counters are supposed to indicate the Base Level of the SMOKE.

Questions for Situation 4:

Is the following correct?

7. As F6 is a Level 1 hill the Base Level of the original SMOKE is Level 1. As per A24.61 "All drifting Smoke is a Hindrance up to two levels higher, and drifting WP up to four levels higher, than the Location it occupies, but never a Hindrance at levels below the Location of the original SMOKE source." Consequently, the Base Level of the Drifting Smoke in F8 is Level 1. This is true despite their being no Level 1 portions in hex F7.
8. Therefore, fire from a unit in E8 firing to G8 along the Cliff hexside is hindered by the SMOKE in F8.


TIA,
von Marwitz
 

von Marwitz

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What's up guys? 78 views and no one able to answer everything?

Was this too complicated? ;)

von Marwitz
 

buser333

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Situation 3:

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
Situation 4:

  1. You got me there. but I would tend to agree with you.
  2. Again, not sure but tend to agree
 

Doug Leslie

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Situation 1:

  1. Yes
  2. Yes- per the Q&A
  3. Yes.
Situation 2:

4. Correct

Situations 3 and 4:

I think that your propositions are correct given the situation that you describe but are "inherent hill hexes" a thing? There is no mention of them in the rulebook as far as I can see.

"B.6 INHERENT TERRAIN: Certain terrain depictions (orchard, crag, graveyard, shellholes, etc.) and counter contents of a hex (SMOKE, Bridge, rubble, AFV, wreck) [EXC: Bypass AFV/Wreck (D9.4)] identify the entire hex (inclusive of hexsides) as having the characteristics of that terrain type."

Moreover, the rulebook seems to exclude the possibility:

"10.11 CREST LINE: A Crest Line is formed in every hex where two different full-level elevations meet. Crest Lines are important both for determining movement costs and defining the slope of a hill for possible LOS obstructions."

It therefore appears that any hill hex has to have either a crest line or a cliff hexside and therefore a hill occupying a single hex as in situations 3 and 4 will have terrain covering two levels (barring an abrupt elevation change, level two sloping down to level one in this case). In the unlikely event that there is a hex with cliffs on all sides, there has to be sufficient level lower level terrain within the hex to allow LOS along the cliff hexside so there isn't really a conceptual problem with the idea of smoke rising from the same level at the opposite side of the hex from the original source.
 

von Marwitz

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I think that your propositions are correct given the situation that you describe but are "inherent hill hexes" a thing? There is no mention of them in the rulebook as far as I can see.
I called the hex 'inherently' Level 2 to keep it simple. Otherwise, I could have 'constructed' some larger Level 2 Hill mass with some Cliffs around for the same effect. Or I could have stated that 2F7 for cases 3 and 4 should be considered a Level 2 Hill hex with Cliff Hexsides all around it.

My thinking behind this:

As the 'original 2F7' is a Level 2 hill hex with some Level 1 depiction within that hex, the SMOKE could theoretically drift around it at Level 1 from F6 to obscure F8. In an 'inherent Level 2 F7' hex, the Drifting Smoke would first have to rise from F6 at Base Level 1 to F7 at Base Level 2 (only), to then fall down again to Base Level 1 in F8. Something that that it would not do if the Original Smoke source would be in 2F7 at Base Level 2 (regardless of the hex being inherently Level 2 or with some portions depicting Level 1 within that hex).

So per the rules as written as I understand them, the Drifting Smoke behaves differently - based on the Base Level of the Original Smoke Source. Which would be a piece of the vaunted 'ASL Physics'...

von Marwitz
 

Doug Leslie

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The situation that you describe is an impossibility though. Any hill hex can only have three types of hexside-

  1. Shared with another hex at the same level
  2. A crest line
  3. A cliff
There is no hill hex that can share a hexside with a lower level hex that does not have at least a sliver of lower level terrain within it, is there?
 

macrobo

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HI (I viewed - read and cried rules are so hard!)
  1. o_O
  2. ?
  3. :oops:
  4. ?
Rob
 

Jeff Sewall

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The situation that you describe is an impossibility though. Any hill hex can only have three types of hexside-

  1. Shared with another hex at the same level
  2. A crest line
  3. A cliff
There is no hill hex that can share a hexside with a lower level hex that does not have at least a sliver of lower level terrain within it, is there?
I think the same question could be asked if there was a Level 2 hill running from E8 through F7 to G7, like a ridgeline. I believe the intent of the question is: Can smoke in F6 at base level 1 drift through F7 (Level 2 all the way across the hex) and end up at Level 1 in F8. I believe the rules say yes, even though it doesn't seem realistic.
 

von Marwitz

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The situation that you describe is an impossibility though. Any hill hex can only have three types of hexside-

  1. Shared with another hex at the same level
  2. A crest line
  3. A cliff
There is no hill hex that can share a hexside with a lower level hex that does not have at least a sliver of lower level terrain within it, is there?
Well, if there were a sliver of lower level terrain there, it should be possible for Infantry to bypass a Cliff hexside. But it isn't.

I think from a pure 'technical' viewpoint, a hex with Cliffs on all hexsides is a monolith rising from the ground at a straight 90° angle, which does not block/hinder LOS for the sole reason that it is not present on both sides of a LOS string which would be drawn along one of its hexsides.

von Marwitz
 

Doug Leslie

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I think the same question could be asked if there was a Level 2 hill running from E8 through F7 to G7, like a ridgeline. I believe the intent of the question is: Can smoke in F6 at base level 1 drift through F7 (Level 2 all the way across the hex) and end up at Level 1 in F8. I believe the rules say yes, even though it doesn't seem realistic.
That is true. Going by the Q&A, that appears to be what would happen. I'm no expert on the laws of physics but smoke dropping a level after crossing a hill certainly seems to contravene them.
 

von Marwitz

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I think the same question could be asked if there was a Level 2 hill running from E8 through F7 to G7, like a ridgeline. I believe the intent of the question is: Can smoke in F6 at base level 1 drift through F7 (Level 2 all the way across the hex) and end up at Level 1 in F8. I believe the rules say yes, even though it doesn't seem realistic.
Indeed. The point seems to be:

The Base Level of Drifting Smoke can rise (most times no problem here) and conceivably drop again (which is the amazing part) to as low as the Base Level of the Original SMOKE source - regardless of the height of the intervening terrain.

Let's take our thoughts a bit (absurdly) further:

Base Level of Original Smoke is 0. Intervening Terrain is Level 2.
So the Original Smoke will 'technically' rise just to the soles of the boots of a unit standing on the Level 2.
Still, with the rules as written, the Drifting Smoke would magically 'reappear' behind the Level 2 Terrain.

Let's up this yet a bit:
Base Level of Original Smoke is 0. Intervening Terrain is Level 6.
The intervening Terrain towers above the Base Level of the Original Smoke source.
Drifting Smoke would then 'jump' atop it with fire along Cliff Hexides in 'mid-air' at Level 5 being completely unhindered.
After that, the Drifting Smoke would 'jump' down again as low as Base Level 0.

von Marwitz
 
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