I don’t know why I hadn’t considered this b efore (but maybe someone else did) but I believe S44 could benefit by improving the way LOS is handled in a more intuitive, understandable way.
It has been discussed before the “reverse LOS” system, where the range at which a unit is spotted is based on its own unitdef. This proved impossible.
So another way to perhaps head in the same direction is to have units appear as visible when they fire their weapons. Up to now, annoyingly, when you have a unit being fired at by a tank or some such, all you see is a shell appearing out of nowhere and pounding into you with pinpoint accuracy, the only indication of its whereabouts being the brief tuft of muzzleflash and guesswork on the direction of the shot. This is kinda silly.
Instead, I propose that when a unit fires its weapons (with some exceptions, such as snipers, mortars, etc), it will appear visible to players who otherwise do not have LOS on it. An additive idea is that the unit will appear only if it is within a certain distance of an enemy unit (say, within AirLOS distance, allowing us to use that engine feature some how).
What do I see this changing? It will reduce some of the frustration of never being able to see what’s shooting at you from far away, but of course does not change the fact that what is shooting at you may be too far for you to hurt it (Tigers, for example). This will be a slight-to-moderate disadvantage to anyone trying to go up against a Tiger, as the Tiger will spot firing tanks and shoot at them. However, on the other side of the coin, when that Tiger fires it will allow you to see it as well, evening things up a little and allowing you to accurately avoid, flank, or counter in some other way. It should make it more interesting than being shot at by invisible ghosts.
Having the ability to turn this on and off for specific units (a la snipers and mortars) will also allow perhaps some additional “gameplay niches”, such as (off the top of my head) some ability to allow anti-tank guns to camouflage, giving up their defense for the ability to not be revealed when they fire (but will still appear if you have LOS) so that they can actually ambush.
As for infantry, there are very few infantry that can actually shoot further than their own LOS – snipers and mortars are all that come to mind and they too, as I said, would not become visible when firing (the sniper is always hidden anyway, and the mortar has no real visible plume of smoke, muzzleflash or anything. Anti-aircraft also should not become visible when they fire their weapons at aircraft (for the obvious reason that AA appearing universally visible = dead AA).