Artur Baginski
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We are still very uncertain how to handle situations like in this picture:


First of all, at the beginning of the scenario the most enemies have no clear path to the heroes, because of the closed portcullises. Do they move to the portcullis and try to break down them? If this is the case, which portcullis?
We played it that way, but it felt strange, because they rather quickly teared down them and that gave us the feeling that the levers are pretty much meaningless in this scenario (we didn't use them at all, because the portcullises were already broken)

A similar question: If on way is blocked already by other Chi'leens, do they try to take down the portcullis which would open another path to the heroes?
And if Chi'leens follow a narrow path, do the sidestep afterwards to make room for the following enemies? (I think not, but that would be so much more clever )
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Timo Multamäki
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Johnny_Bravo wrote:
We are still very uncertain how to handle situations like in this picture:


First of all, at the beginning of the scenario the most enemies have no clear path to the heroes, because of the closed portcullises. Do they move to the portcullis and try to break down them? If this is the case, which portcullis?


They sure aim to reach the heroes. If that means opening doors (cultists) or destroying doors/portcullis (insectoids), then they do exactly that.

As there are several enemies behind portcullis, they aim to break the one that help them to actually reach heroes, in most direct way. They will not break others before THAT is the easiest way to reach heroes.

Quote:
We played it that way, but it felt strange, because they rather quickly teared down them and that gave us the feeling that the levers are pretty much meaningless in this scenario (we didn't use them at all, because the portcullises were already broken)


Portcullis has defense of Response+Response+Response, which means that it's average defense should be 6 and as you need to have higher to succeed on attack and as Chi'leens attack is "only" 4 + Response, which averages 6, too, you ought to notice that Chi'leens should not break the portcullis TOO often. And if they do, using "Prayers" might make sense... And typically only one Chi'leen should be able to attack, you should have a few rounds.

The point is to move in such a way that you'll make enemies run long runs.

Quote:
A similar question: If on way is blocked already by other Chi'leens, do they try to take down the portcullis which would open another path to the heroes? And if Chi'leens follow a narrow path, do the sidestep afterwards to make room for the following enemies? (I think not, but that would be so much more clever )


Chi'leens are not THAT intelligent, so they'll always aim to move the way which is shortest. So whether the chi'leens break the other portcullis depends on WHEN it's shortest path to reach heroes.

On the sidestep, you as players can play sidestep, if you think it being wise. Typically I'd suggest that you'll read the rules as precisely as you can and aim to optimize enemy movement so that enemy is INefficient as possible, as if you not, enemies will eat you. Surely.
This is not cheating. Your purpose is to think how you CAN move enemies in most advantageous way for your heroes WHILE following the rules.

Sometimes only way to make Chi'leens act according to the rules IS to do the sidestep. That often means that your hero movement was less than optimal as you allowed chi'leens to reach you en masse. That is deadly. I'd avoid that.

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Jalmari Ruokojärvi
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When it comes to thematics, it's rather important to realize that the enemies are for the most part partially mutated religious zealots and insect-like low deamons.

-The insectoids just do whatever seems the like the most direct way satiate their appetite.
-Summoners consider themselves as the chosen ones of their "god" and the best way to get rid of them is to exploit their hubris.
-Guards are a little bit more down to earth cultists but their screw ups could be explained by them not actually being trained soldiers. While they are not dumb, they lack the coordination to keep them acting optimally in the heat of the moment.
-And Acolytes didn't sign in to fight infidels/intruders, but they are loyal, and will do whatever they can to get their buddies to deal with the situation.

And just out curiosity, Timo, in a hypothetical case where an enemy could run to the heroes in 3 movement actions or alternatively in 2 if they can just get through a locked portcullis, will they start calculating odds and possibly conclude that it's worthless to bang their head against the obstruction or do they just blindly obey the rule of the shortest route to attack even if there's a solid chance that they won't get past the portcullis in several turns? Or would this fall within the jurisdiction of the player's will?
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Artur Baginski
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@Timo

Thank you very much for the detailed and quick reply
By the way, we lured the Chi's to the chamber on the upper right, used a weakest hero spell, let Elisa blink away and just barely escaped, because we miscalculated the "mob" of bone worms and guards blocking the narrow path. It took us some time to eliminate them, which made the Chi's catch up, Bastian, holding the back of the hero trail got several hits backing away from the Chi's and barely got away.

Also this was the first time we killed Summoners, which felt very satisfying, spawning them next to the wall and then bashing them to death

When a plan works, this feels more satisfying in PM than in any other Dungeon Crawler I played ever before (which is a lot).


Purgatoriant wrote:
And just out curiosity, Timo, in a hypothetical case where an enemy could run to the heroes in 3 movement actions or alternatively in 2 if they can just get through a locked portcullis, will they start calculating odds and possibly conclude that it's worthless to bang their head against the obstruction or do they just blindly obey the rule of the shortest route to attack even if there's a solid chance that they won't get past the portcullis in several turns? Or would this fall within the jurisdiction of the player's will?


Interesting question
 
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Purgatoriant wrote:
And just out curiosity, Timo, in a hypothetical case where an enemy could run to the heroes in 3 movement actions or alternatively in 2 if they can just get through a locked portcullis, will they start calculating odds and possibly conclude that it's worthless to bang their head against the obstruction or do they just blindly obey the rule of the shortest route to attack even if there's a solid chance that they won't get past the portcullis in several turns? Or would this fall within the jurisdiction of the player's will?

You measure Enemy movement in action point cost rather than Watchstone actions (if that's what you mean).

While waiting for Timo's answer, here is a summary of how I´d solve it. I think the point is trying to think of the enemies more like "insanely voracious monsters" rather than "precise algorithm executors".

From page 27:
Move the enemy toward the closest hero, using the shortest path. The closest hero is the hero that the enemy can reach by spending the least Action Points, moving around any obstacles or terrain in the way.

So enemies are trying to move around any obstacles (instead of breaking them). In this case, I'd say the "2 movement action path" should be considered blocked. Why is that? Because in page 26:

All figures and walls block movement.

Hence moving around any obstacles is a rather important priority movement. So they don't go for the portcullis in this case, they avoid it as it is an obstacle and take the non-blocked way to the closest Heroes. In other words, they hugely prefer the taste of fresh meat over hard and cold steel bars.

Ok, so when does enemy go for the the door/portcullis then? Well, when they need to.

Eridis wrote:
They aim to break the one that helps them to actually reach heroes, in most direct way. They will not break others before THAT is the easiest way to reach heroes.

Provided all ways are blocked, and therefore they cannot reach any target in any way due to obstacles, they still look for the shortest way to hero, now considering obstacles, may it be be a door, portcullis or another enemy, then they go for it. In practice this means you keep applying the rule of shortest path. All enemies whose "shortest blocked path" is through the same portcullis move towards it. So they are clever enough to go "in hordes" against the Heroes, but not as clever as to think "Hey, lets split, you take the alley, I go through this chamber".

Eridis wrote:
And typically only one Chi'leen should be able to attack, you should have a few rounds.

So enemies "patiently queue" behind the portcullis until the leader of the horde (the one actually attacking it) manages to break the portcullis. Same applies for enemies at range 1 of the portcullis, then range 2, 3, 4, etc. until some enemy is actually so far from the portcullis that it has an alternative shortest path to go through, (like a different portcullis) so it, instead of being stuck "patiently queuing", it proactively finds something interesting to do...

This rather simple shortest path rule provides quite a rewarding variety of situations:
- Enemies are clever enough to follow any clear path towards a target.
- Because of that, unless you stop them, they keep coming and you will eventually be surrounded.
- As a player, you may recklessly gamble and choose to become a bait.
- A crowd of enemies can gather behind an obstacle until it finally breaks and they run free... to you!
- A cultist with a key might be unable to reach a door and open it because of that blocking horde of insectoids! (I guess this is based on true facts...)
- It even may be wise to use the lever and let some enemies out so you can deal with them and finish'em off.
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Timo Multamäki
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Like I noted on the other thread, Ruymán is just as good a source of infinite wisdom as myself... and he knows the rulebook better than I do, now.

... except I'd suggest becoming a "bait" instead of "bite". There is a slight difference, where I prefer the first alternative.
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Timo Multamäki
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Johnny_Bravo wrote:
By the way, we lured the Chi's to the chamber on the upper right, used a weakest hero spell, let Elisa blink away and just barely escaped, because we miscalculated the "mob" of bone worms and guards blocking the narrow path.


Very good. So you noticed that there ARE indeed a lot of different means to play. You can't always just bash your way through
Good.

Quote:
It took us some time to eliminate them, which made the Chi's catch up, Bastian, holding the back of the hero trail got several hits backing away from the Chi's and barely got away.


You really ought to find Plate mail for Bastian... or someone to aid him constantly. Then he is nigh to invincible.

Quote:

Also this was the first time we killed Summoners, which felt very satisfying, spawning them next to the wall and then bashing them to death


Indeed. There is first time for everything *turns the reminiscence mode on*
... back in the days when Summoners were new to me... Yeah, it was tough. And killing one felt like achievement. The need to punch three times. Yep. That was damnably hard to manage. But then we met the demon - and that was whole new ballgame */off*

Quote:

When a plan works, this feels more satisfying in PM than in any other Dungeon Crawler I played ever before (which is a lot).


Yep. As in PM you can actually MAKE and FOLLOW plans. And to win, you have to. I guess you've already noticed that by randomly just frenzying you will not survive.
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