One thing that immediately distinguishes Line Of Muskets from most
board games or table top miniature battles (for those of you who
have played either) is the way visibility is handled. Line
of Muskets brings you genuine “hidden movement” for the first
time in war games. You can only see the enemy troops that your troops
would actually see. You cannot see all of the enemy’s brigades that
are facing you if, for example, they are hiding behind a hill or
a wood. Normally your brigades can see any opposing enemy unit that
is in the open up to a range of 5 hexes, which is approximately
half a mile, with a chance to see opposing units up to 10 hexes.
Each unit deploys scouts. These do not appear on the board
but have an ability to report the presence of enemy units that are
not in your line of sight. For example, a scout may report an enemy
brigade that in on the other side of a hill from its brigade. Although
the brigade is out of line of sight, the enemy unit will still appear
on the board because your brigade will know of its presence. Scouts
patrol out to a range of 10 hexes from their brigade (about 1 mile).
However, the chance of seeing an enemy unit is very small for any
enemy unit that is beyond a 5 hex range, and becomes smaller
the further away the scouts are from their brigade. Scouts are blocked
by the presence of enemy units. So if, for example, an enemy unit
is 5 hexes away from one of your brigades, then your scouts will
not be able to make any reports as whether there are any enemy units
more than 5 hexes away.
Line of Sight (LOS)
This is what an individual unit can see and not what their scouts
report. In order for a unit to shoot at an enemy, the enemy has
to be in the “Line of Sight”. For example, if an enemy unit
is on the other side of a hill, but visible because the scouts
have reported its presence, the brigade cannot shoot at it because
the enemy brigade is not in its Line of Sight.
Line of Sight is blocked by more than 3 hexes of light cover
(light trees, corn fields, etc.), and more than one hex of woods.
You as the commander do not have to remember this, however. What
your units can shoot at will be shown to you on your screen.
||The Confederate brigade
to the left is visible to the Union player, even though it is
To see how elevation will affect your troops' LOS, turn on the
|Here the elevation
menu has also been turned on. This is good for checking how
elevation is going to affect Line of Sight (see visibility)
The following list shows how the ranges for scouts and Line of
Sight. Visibility (what is seen by the brigade itself and its scouts)
is different to Line of Sight (what the brigade can see):
||Have a Line
of Sight that is 10 hexes in every direction. Commanders do
not have scouts.
|Have a line
of sight 3 hexes in every direction and 10 hexes to their immediate
front. They have scouts 10 hexes out to their front.
|Have a line
of sight 10 hexes in every direction and scouts 10 hexes in
|Have a line
of sight 3 hexes in every direction and 10 hexes to their front.
Batteries do not have scouts.
These rules make Cavalry, although usually not in large
numbers, very important. Cavalry units would send “out riders” to
scout out the enemy and find them. So you don’t want to loose your
cavalry as you will loose your eyes.
Be aware that when a unit fires it will just about always be seen
by the enemy. Yet, units that are in difficult terrain have a higher
chance of not being seen.
Be aware that if your scouts do not report the presence of any
enemy units within your scouting range, this does not mean there
are no enemy brigades present. It just means that your scouts have
not found any. Conversely, you have no idea which of your brigades
the enemy can see. So be aware. The enemy might just lay an ambush
When you do see an enemy unit you will not automatically see the
entire unit. For example, you see an enemy unit with 5 strength
points in a hex, and this unit is in woods. And that is all you
can see. However, this element might be part of a 14 strength brigade,
but you don’t know this as you cannot see the other 2 hexes containing
the rest of the brigade.
If an enemy unit is in your Line of Sight you will not be able
to tell the morale or quality of these troops. However, you can
tell the name of the enemy brigade by passing the cursor over the
top of the brigade. The name will appear on your screen.
So be careful as you might not know what your opponent is up to
until you see his troops appear in front of you (or behind you).