Hills and cover in 3ed

I feel the new rules are not sufficiently clear on how the hills interact with units providing (or not) cover when using ranged attacks. Let me explain in some detail. The rules state:
i) if the leader point (LP) of the shooting unit is on a hill the hill is ignored for a purpose of determining LOS
ii) in order to be on a hill the unit has to have at least half of its base on the hill
iii) the unit is in cover if the LOS passes over intervening units or terrain

Let’s consider an example of Ht 2 unit shooting at the enemy Ht 2 unit over a hill with Ht 2. There are 4 possibilities:

  1. Both the LP and the shooting unit are in front of the hill, the target behind it. The LOS is blocked by the hill, hence no shooting. Everything clear and logical.
  2. The LP is on the hill but the unit not (still in front of it). In fact, this case is specifically explained in the rules - the unit can shoot as the hill is ignored due to i) but the hill is taken into consideration when determining cover to and from the unit. Thus, the unit can shoot but the target is in cover in our example. The logic a bit fails here (Ht 2 unit can shoot over Ht 2 hill on Ht 2 unit) but the rules are clear enough.
  3. The LP is not on the hill but the shooting unit already is. This is a bit tricky as the hill must have a not so common shape but clearly possible. As the unit is on the hill, its total Ht is 4, so it has LOS on the target unit even if the LOS passes through part of the hill. Thus, we can shoot but the target is in cover. I hope I got this one right.
  4. Both the LP and the unit are on the hill but the LOS still passes through the rest of the hill in front of the shooting unit. The hill is ignored for determining LOS but not for determining cover. Does rule iii) really apply here, is the hill considered as intervening? :thinking: I think it should not but I can see arguments saying otherwise. I believe the RAI is that the unit on a hill (and with LP on the hill) can shoot at the unit behind it without cover but we already had an argument about the situation in our group.

Hills would be clearer if it was explained that Hills are open terrain or difficult terrain. It’s clear that they are an obstruction when not on them. What isn’t clear is if one gets cover when standing on top of it. If it says somewhere that hills are “open” terrain, then when both units are on the same hill, than there is no cover.

By default I would gather that Hills are open terrain unless otherwise specified, meaning, no cover for any unit that is 50% or more on the hill. One could make a piece of terrain a Difficult terrain hill with trees and then it would offer cover to both units on the hill.(with movement conditions per the rules)

If a shooting unit is under 50% on the hill, than both have cover, and LOS is still Fine.

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In a game last night, I had a unit 40%ish on a hill and got charged from a unit 100% on the same hill. Getting TC+1 in that case didn’t feel right.

I feel your pain but it is something one has to live with. The rules are quite clear in this respect and situations like this happen all the the time. I mean sometimes you need just one more inch to get a unit into a better position, sometimes you go by just a fraction of the obstacle when charging and the unit becomes hindered etc. For me your situation falls into this category. Still, I did hope that 3ed would somehow unify the treatment of various terrain. It was always weird for me that having just a corner in a forest means you are in it while you need at least half of the unit base there to be on a hill. 3ed definitely improved on some interaction of units and terrain but not enough in my view.

Yeah, it will just take some time to adjust to.