Obstacles/obstructions and concealment/cover - rules question


I would like to confirm some things with obstacles/obstructions giving concealment/cover, since rulebook only says that some may have those rules and Im not sure which were meant to have them:

  1. Do powder keg and fire pit defences (both being obstacles) give concealment/cover or nothing?
  2. Does normal <1 inch wall (not defense - normal obstacle) always give cover? It says so on the card in the app, should we always use it (perhaps it would be better to just put this wall rule in the rulebook, to avoid confusion)?
  3. What about >1 inch walls and similar terrain (obstructions). They do not have card in the app. Should players/TO decide each time if they give cover/concealment?

Howdy! I can answer these questions.

As a preface, here’s the absolute most important sentence to remember from the Terrain rules:

So, ultimately, the players need to agree on what each piece of terrain does.

(In practice, most people play the very straightforward WYSIWYG way.)

Both the Powder Keg and Fire Pit defenses have the “Obstacle” rule, which says they are obstacles. By default, the Obstacle rules do not say whether they provide concealment or cover.
Absolutely everyone I have ever met plays these as “cover” and not “concealment”, though. :slight_smile: But perhaps we can get an Infernal (@elswickchuck ) to confirm intent!

For a lot of players, “obstacle” and “wall” are synonymous. (Source: long experience with the game.) Strictly speaking, the “Wall” terrain card in the app is a specific type of obstacle.

If you have a piece of terrain that looks like a wall, and it looks solid enough to stop a bullet, then my advice is to define it as providing cover. :slight_smile: On the other hand, I suggest that a leafy hedge would likely only grant concealment, because while it might make you slightly harder to target, it won’t actually provide any protection! :slight_smile:

Generally, “walls” taller than 1" are defined as Obstructions. Obstruction terrain rules in the rule book say the same thing as Obstacle rules. So, yes, essentially, players need to decide what benefits (if any!) they provide. :slight_smile:

I know this sounds a lot like “Figure it out for yourself” answers, but that is really the truth of it. You have a lot of freedom to choose your battlefield experience. :slight_smile:

Hope this helps!

1 Like

Thank you for comment. I guess you are right they left it mostly up to the players, although it only raises more questions. For example using keg and fire pit always as cover (which you say is popular) raises the question if the point of PP-made card wasnt to use only rules written on it? The barrier defense is also an obstacle and its card directly says about cover - maybe if PP wanted keg/pit to have cover as well, they would just write it?

Also walls have this misterious terrain card in the app (not sure what those cards are meant to be if they are not part of the rulebook?) which doesnt seem to leave anything to define to the players. It just says it gives cover. …But if the wall was little higher (counting as obstruction) its suddenly up to the players to decide…

Thats all confusing for me. Sure players can modify anything they want in the rules if they are ok with it but I would prefer to know clear intentions rather than guessing how e.g. my defenses will work next time I will use them. Hope one of infernals will shed some light on this.


Well, regarding walls specifically:

As I said, almost everyone I have ever met automatically equates “obstacle” with “wall”. It’s a holdover from earlier editions and just general tribal knowledge.

I agree about the keg and fire pit, which is why an Infernal was summoned to determine the intent. :slight_smile: We’ll have to wait for Chuck to provide clarification there.

Im talking about specific card that wall has in the app. Check it. Not about earlier editions.

I understood and am aware of what that says, and I already answered that. :slight_smile:

So, to repeat and expand: “Wall” is not actually a terrain type listed in the rule book. But because this piece of terrain is absolutely ubiquitous, it looks like Privateer went ahead and did us a favor by spelling out how to treat walls: they’re obstacles that provide cover.

(Literally every game store I’ve ever seen has walls, forests, and hills. Always. They may not have anything else at all to play on but a blank wooden table surface, but those three pieces of terrain are always present.)

1 Like

The app also has general terrain rules for hills, craters, dense fog, etc.

These are the guidelines for how to play some of the more common terrain types, as presented by the rules. At organized play events, you can usually assume that these are the terrain types you can see there, and the rules by which you should play them, unless otherwise specified.

Other than organized play, players can agree to treat terrain pieces differently, but the rules still give you some idea on how the game designers thought terrain should work.

As for why “Wall” is a terrain card on the app, but not a separate terrain type in the rulebook: some spells and effects (such as the Rock Wall spell) create a specific “Wall template”. This effect has specific rules for it, ie- it counts as an obstacle and grants cover.

1 Like
  1. They give nothing more than what the rulebook says they give and do

  2. Go with the app description of it as it was to streamline it with other abilities that create wall templates or other like effects

  3. Treated more so as obstructions as in number 1

So really this all comes down to exactly what has been stated. Some of these examples come from previous editions as to what they provide and do, i.e. wall template/walls. I agree with what has been stated with fire pits for example where I have seen them played as providing cover, I have also seen them played as they don’t

The biggest rule/ruling here is this:

Discuss what terrain will provide what before hand with your opponent. In the case of TOs they should either provide a description of terrain and what it does as seen at cons before the events begin, or even simple description from TO before local tournaments.
It comes done to being open in communication with each other