I had a little talk with a club member a few weeks back, but I forgot about it until tonight. We were discussing hiding models, and how far you could really take that in a tournament setting. Now I'm not talking about cheating, but about using terrain and models to make your models disappear from your opponents mind.
The topic came up, when one of my opponents lost a game, because he missed a Bile Thrall hiding behind Terminus. It's not the first time it's happened either, so it got us talking. Now I'd like it to be very clear, that I never try to conceal the fact that he's there, and I even point out to my opponent that I'm putting him back there, but during a round there's so much going on, that eventually someone will miss it. I'd like to take the time here to note, that anyone actually hiding their models (putting dice cups over them, camouflage, whatever) should be hunted down and beaten with hammers.
In last nights game it happened with my Scavenger, as I placed it behind a solid structure that completely blocked my opponents view of the model. When my turn came around again, and I was spending a lot of time staring at that particular farmhouse, my opponent eventually asked me what I was doing. Now he survived the assassination attempt due to a mistake on my part, but he completely missed both the Scavenger and Stalker hidden behind the house.
How much of an impact this can have is determined almost exclusively by the terrain on the table, as hiding models behind linear obstacles is hard, while hiding them behind solid structures is easy. It also takes skill to hide models, since your opponent is moving around and checking the table from a lot of angles. The thing is, that while this is perfectly legal in every way, it feels exceptionally dirty, and not in the good way.
It feels like robbing your opponent of the information he needs to formulate a plan of action. I know many games are won and lost on the information available, and how well a player is able to exploit that information, but usually the blame is on your opponent, because he's a lazy bugger that couldn't be bothered to read up on your faction.
In this case you're making a legal move, but with the intent of placing a model in a position where it will remain unnoticed by your opponent, and thus keeping a vital piece of information from him. It works incredibly well, but it feels like taking the game of the board and out in the real world. So, leave me a comment and tell me what you think.... part of the game, or bad etiquette?