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Subject: Monster movement decisions rss

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Richard Ham
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Two questions!

1) Say there's 2 heroes on the tile, and both are beyond the maximum movement range of a lone grubber (who prefers going after higher threat available heroes). The higher threat hero is farther away.

In this case, does the grubber move towards the higher threat hero (threat being his highest priority, he'll go for it, even though he can't reach the guy on the far side of the tile), or does he choose proximity (his second priority) over threat, because the less threatening happens to be closer, and since he can't reach either one, he might as well move to the closest thing he can?


2) In the case where a scout can reach an available hero, and would therefore "pull" his buddy along with him towards that hero, will his buddy go, if the buddy cannot reach the hero in question, but could reach another hero? How powerful is the "scout pull" feature... does it override other considerations?
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Jeremy Steward
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1. Since he can reach neither one, he moves towards the higher threat hero, since threat trumps proximity.

2. This is a good question, I would assume that any path that a monster can take that reaches a target trumps any path that does not. But I'm not 100% on this.

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Richard Ham
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Deadwolf wrote:
1. Since he can reach neither one, he moves towards the higher threat hero, since threat trumps proximity.

That's what I thought too, but I was confused by the example on pg38, where grubs make a choice to go for a fighter soley becuase he's closer. There's no consideration in that example given to threat.

Now that could be because a higher threat enemy who can't be reached because they're to far away is considered "unavailable", and therefore the other heroes in that example were ignored because they were unavailabe-due-to-distance. But if that is an additional definion of unavailablity, that led me to my question here... if EVERY hero is unavailable (distance, or no open spaces), then they start back at the beginning of their priorities, and now chose to move towards heroes based on the first choice.

That makes sense, just not specified so I would double checking.

Quote:
2. This is a good question, I would assume that any path that a monster can take that reaches a target trumps any path that does not. But I'm not 100% on this.

Well, the rules only state that a scout will pull adjacent buddies - nothing about extenuating circumstances to break that rule, so I guess I'll assume that they follow the scout even if it's a poor move for them...
 
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Shawn Hubbard
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rahdo wrote:
Well, the rules only state that a scout will pull adjacent buddies - nothing about extenuating circumstances to break that rule, so I guess I'll assume that they follow the scout even if it's a poor move for them...


This is what I've been doing. p. 36 in the Group Movement box says that all adjacent monsters move with the scout. Now, I've been making the Darkness smart enough that if in the process of moving towards the target they can't reach, if they can hit a different target, they will.
 
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Remi Bureau
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There is something on p37 that "half-applies" I think. In the blue box The Long Way.

"This is an important distinction with group movement. If a minion cannot get to a hero because he is surrounded, it moves towards the next available target."

In this case, the hero isn't necessarily surrounded, but unavailable to the "pulled" minion, so I'd say he isn't pulled, and can go attack another hero.
 
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Jeremy Steward
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Yah, every thing I've seen about monster movement makes me lean towards the fact that common sense and doing things the best for the monster side trumps strict rule following like the scout rule.

I think the scout rule is to make things easier but I don't believe its intent was to make monsters perform subobtimal moves.
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Mathue Faulkner
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Deadwolf wrote:
Yah, every thing I've seen about monster movement makes me lean towards the fact that common sense and doing things the best for the monster side trumps strict rule following like the scout rule.

I think the scout rule is to make things easier but I don't believe its intent was to make monsters perform subobtimal moves.

Yep.

There are quite a few fuzzy areas of the rulebook, but the movement is one section that I'm really not concerned about because I just plan on doing what makes sense within the confines of the rules...and if I get something wrong, then no big. It's just part of the story we're telling.
 
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Richard Ham
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Just played a 6 hour session and at this point, I think the only thing I have a problem with is that I still feel like I'm simply "making it up" every time the monsters have to move. There are so many situations, with so many creatures on the board, where they can't move, get stuck, and I just find very little clarity in the rules about the way things are supposed to work.

However, I've just gotten some emails from Brian and I think his answers will help provide clarity! Hurrah! Wish I had seen these before the marathon 6 hour game
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J Larkin
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rahdo wrote:
Just played a 6 hour session and at this point, I think the only thing I have a problem with is that I still feel like I'm simply "making it up" every time the monsters have to move. There are so many situations, with so many creatures on the board, where they can't move, get stuck, and I just find very little clarity in the rules about the way things are supposed to work.

However, I've just gotten some emails from Brian and I think his answers will help provide clarity! Hurrah! Wish I had seen these before the marathon 6 hour game


Really looking forward to your run through.
 
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Richard Ham
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Okay, so I'm still confused as all get out by what monsters will do when lots of edge cases come up, and the rules don't seem to address them because they only talk about happens when a hero is completely surrounded (ignoring the more common issue of the hero not being surrounded, but there being no legal paths to him), nor do they talk about what a monster does when ALL heroes are unreachable (which may or may not mean "unavailable" - the definition of available is kind of vague too).

Here's my attempt to add clarity to the rules, as written right now. I think this would cover all eventualities, but I'm not sure if my assumptions are actually right. Feedback much appreciated (my changes/additions to the rules are bolded)

page36 wrote:
AVAILABLE
The term “available” is used in spawns and enemy movement to indicate a target that has an open space (or spaces for bigger Monsters) adjacent to it, with a legally traversable path to reach said space(es).

If an enemy cannot get to a potential target, regardless of how many Darkness Cycles it spends, then that target is not available and the enemy will move and attack the next available target that matches its priority.

If there is no available target that they can reach anywhere on the tile, because all targets are surrounded, or there are no legally traversable paths to them, the enemy will move as close to its original highest priority target as possible, even though it cannot reach it.

Under these circumstances, an Instinctual or Undead enemy will not take any steps that would move it further away from the target, even temporarily (this could cause them to simply not move on their turn). An Intelligent enemy will only take steps away from the target if it means that by the end of that movement, they will be closer to their target.


pg37 wrote:
THE LONG WAY
Proximity, as a Priority, represents a miniature’s ability to engage a target. It is not necessarily the shortest distance from the target. Rather, it is the shortest distance a miniature must travel to engage a target. This is an important distinction when dealing with group movement. If an enemy cannot get to a target because he is surrounded, or because all potential paths to the Hero are blocked (i.e. it is "unavaialble"), it moves towards the next available target (if there is one) based on its priority.

An enemy will always choose to follow the shortest unblocked path to its highest priority available target, even if that path is significantly longer than paths that it could take to reach other available targets who happen to be lower priorities, and even if the enemy could reach those lower priority targets more quickly.

For example, a Grubber will spend 4 Darkness Phases travelling 12 spaces to reach the highest threat target, rather than spend 1 Darkness Phase travailing only 2 spaces to reach the second highest threat target, because Grubbers are Intelligent and prioritize the highest threat available target on the board first, regardless of the distance they would have to travel.


Sound about right?

 
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Remi Bureau
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3 comments :
Available : -You're not considering ranged monsters, they wouldn't need an adjacent space to be empty.

-my interpretation of Available has always been that the monster needed to be able to reach the hero on this cycle for that hero to be considered available. I would like to have an official answer on that though...

The long way : if your understanding of Available is thr right onr, your example is good.

Edit: in fact, I think that if Available doesn't consider that the monster can reach the hero on this cycle, than it's gonna be easier to just play with Grubbers, especially since they don't have ranged units.
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Naomi Nabbit
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I also thought that monsters would always go for a hero they could reach over one they couldn't due to the availability rule. Clarification on that would be awesome.
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Richard Ham
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nyren wrote:
Clarification on that would be awesome.


I sent that re-writeup to Brian a few days ago, and he replied "At first blush, your interpretations seem correct. I will check each one today to verify I am reading correctly."

I haven't heard from him since, but if he does reply, I'll follow up here and let everyone know. In the meantime I posted here on the off chance that someone else might have an official answer...
 
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Richard Ham
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RemiBureau wrote:
3 comments :
Available : -You're not considering ranged monsters, they wouldn't need an adjacent space to be empty.

Hehe, I didn't even want to think about ranged... I'll worry about what's missing from the rules for them once I get melee guys resolved. Baby steps

Quote:
-my interpretation of Available has always been that the monster needed to be able to reach the hero on this cycle for that hero to be considered available.

Yup, that's one of the core questions the rules are a bit short on...
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Richard Ham
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So I guess no one knows for sure if this is right? This is really the last question that's preventing my from doing my runthrough video, so I'd love it get it locked down...
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Jarad Bond
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rahdo wrote:
So I guess no one knows for sure if this is right? This is really the last question that's preventing my from doing my runthrough video, so I'd love it get it locked down...


Does this post from Brian help? He states that the pull is strong!

We are talking about pulls right... ? whistle

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/15249126#15249126

BShotton wrote:
rahdo wrote:
The way the rules are written, one can infer that if Minion A (the scout) is next to Minion B (the follower) when it starts moving, the scout will pull the follower toward its target, and the follower doesn't really have a choice, even if the follower cannot reach the target and had better options available.

Myself, I think this is kind of cool, but I suspect it's not the real intent of the rules. But if it is, the rules should make that clear... so as such, would this modification to the rules as written to provide more clarity be correct? (my additions are bolded)

pg36 wrote:
GROUP MOVEMENT
Players begin with the Minion closest to a target and decide where it is moving first. If multiple Minions are within range, pick the one in the middle (or if there is no middle one, the one that is most closely aligned orthogonally on the grid with the hero). Once the scout has a target, it moves.

Any adjacent Minions to the Scout before it moved are referred to as its Followers, and after the Scout has moved, one at a time, each Follower will do its best to follow the Scout as closely as possible, towards the same target. In short, the Scout's target becomes the Follower's target, and the Follower will ignore all other decision making regarding distance, priority, or availability, to get as close to the Scout's target as possible.

When the Scout and its Followers are done moving, select the next Minion closest to a Hero (who has yet to move) and repeat the process. This may or may not be in the same group of Monsters. The next group may or may not choose the same target.


Does that sound right?


This is exactly how it works.

(Edited to add Brian's quote inline)
 
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Richard Ham
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logris wrote:
Does this post from Brian help? He states that the pull is strong!

We are talking about pulls right... ? whistle


Nope, it's about the definition of "available" and "long way", which even Remi admitted he's not 100% sure about up above...
 
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