Line of Sight & Elevation Interactions

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Line of Sight & Elevation Interactions

Post by Tekanan on Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:21 pm

*This post is touches on the advanced side of Warmachine rulings. Reading further may confuse you on rule-perceptions you’ve already established!*


I can never remember the interaction between LOS and Elevation. Warmachine is such that if I can see you, it doesn’t mean you can see me.

Last night’s confusion brought me to check the rules once again and I’ve decided to post this here for the benefit of everyone as a quick internet reference in case it ever comes up.

First, lets quote Prime Mk. II, pg 43.

When Model A is on terrain at least 1˝ higher than Model B, ignore intervening models on terrain more than 1˝ lower than Model A except for those within 1˝ of Model B. Additionally, ignore those models within 1˝ of Model B that have equal or smaller-sized bases than Model A.

When Model A is on terrain at least 1˝ lower than Model B, Model A ignores intervening models on terrain more than 1˝ lower than Model B.

Consider the pic on pg. 44.



Keep in mind that Sorscha and the mechanik are within 1” of the model/unit in front of them. From points taken in pg. 43, here are the following facts from the picture.

(1) Charger has LOS to the Manhunter
(2) Charger has LOS to the Mechanik
(3) Charger does not have LOS to Sorscha
(4) Sorscha has LOS to Charger

Point (2), a surprise for some, is true because none of the intervening models (IFP) have a base larger than the Charger. Point (4), perhaps a surprise to many, is true because intervening models on lower ground is ignored.


Now consider the following.



Keep in mind that Sorscha and the mechanik are within 1” of the model/unit in front of them.

In this scenario, the Charger still has LOS to the Mechanik. Note how the same rule-of-thumb for determining a leveled LOS does not apply here.


Here’s a refresher on leveled LOS’ rule-of-thumb. Keep in mind that one of the requirements for a LOS is that the line (of sight) must not pass over the base of an intervening model that has a base size equal to or larger than the intended target.



From the pic above, the Charger cannot see Sorscha but Sorscha can see the Charger. The rule-of-thumb is to always consider the base size of the intervening model and the target. NEVER consider the activating model’s base size.


When elevation is factored in, the rule-of-thumb changes. Keep in mind that when elevation is involved, 2 things are required to block LOS.

- a larger sized base (compared to your model) as an intervening model
- target is within 1” behind intervening model



From the pic above, the Charger can see Sorscha even if Sorscha is within 1” away from her winterguard. Now if that winterguard is a Man-O-War, the Charger can still see Sorscha. The intervening model in this case must be a larger based model to block LOS to Sorscha. The rule of thumb here is to always consider base size of the activating model and the intervening model. Don’t forget the within 1” rule too!


Last edited by Tekanan on Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Line of Sight & Elevation Interactions

Post by Tekanan on Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:21 pm

tl; dr version:

Use the following when determining LOS.
No Elevation: consider the base size of the intervening model and the target.
Elevation is involved: consider base size of the activating model and the intervening model. Don’t forget the 1” rule.


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