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Subject: Monster Focus and Movement Flowchart rss

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Sam S
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I have tried to distill all that I have read in the FAQ and rules threads about movement and focus into a single flowchart that should cover 99% of situations. I am sure it has errors and needs to be refined. I will consider all suggestions for increasing clarity/brevity or other situations not covered and update it. Please see the live version via this Google doc.

Here is the version at the moment of posting:
Updated v2 v3
Isaac looked at and approved version 4. I am also adding it to the files section as a PDF:
v4 v5 v6:


Thanks to the following users for their help and suggestions: countertorque, alphasquid, Daemon6, mfaulk80, davidglasser, GAFBlizzard, Vehementi, Breegull, MrTroy, logris.

In particular I would like to clarify if I have done the "edge case" and "no open hex" situations correctly. For example:


. . 1 .
T T . .
H T . .


Where H=hero, T=trap, 1 = enemy and H is in a corner of the room. Clearly in this case 1 will move onto a trap if it is doing a melee attack (and has move). But what about:


. . 1 .
T 2 . .
H T . .


Where 2 is also an enemy. Will 1 move onto a trap (if it has move 2) or will it stay put, since 2 is not actually an obstacle but is occupying the hex 1 tries to get to? 1 will move onto a trap in this case if it has move 2, it will not move if it has move 1.
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Frank Pelkofer
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In the 2nd figure, 1 is looking for open spaces adjacent to H (we are assuming that 1 doesn't have a ranged attack). It first treats the traps as obstacles. So, there are no open spaces and 2 obstacles. It can't move where its ally is standing, so that space doesn't count as open (the part I always have trouble remembering).

If it has flying, it goes over the trap/obstacle no problem. If it doesn't have flying, it can't get adjacent. So, the next step is to replan by going through traps. In this case it picks the path to an open space with the minimum number of negative hexes. In this case, it looks like 2 movement and 1 trap either way, so players get to choose. The monster will move onto the trap.
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David Latimore
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countertorque wrote:
In the 2nd figure, 1 is looking for open spaces adjacent to H (we are assuming that 1 doesn't have a ranged attack). It first treats the traps as obstacles. So, there are no open spaces and 2 obstacles. It can't move where its ally is standing, so that space doesn't count as open (the part I always have trouble remembering).

If it has flying, it goes over the trap/obstacle no problem. If it doesn't have flying, it can't get adjacent. So, the next step is to replan by going through traps. In this case it picks the path to an open space with the minimum number of negative hexes. In this case, it looks like 2 movement and 1 trap either way, so players get to choose. The monster will move onto the trap.


This is incorrect. Since there is a path through his buddy, he will wait for his buddy to move or die. He will not step on to a trap in this case unless he has flying,

Edit: Nevermind, I was wrong per the thread linked below.I must have been thinking of an example where there were empty hexes past the monster in the way or something.
 
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Arthur Janicek
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alphasquid wrote:
countertorque wrote:
In the 2nd figure, 1 is looking for open spaces adjacent to H (we are assuming that 1 doesn't have a ranged attack). It first treats the traps as obstacles. So, there are no open spaces and 2 obstacles. It can't move where its ally is standing, so that space doesn't count as open (the part I always have trouble remembering).

If it has flying, it goes over the trap/obstacle no problem. If it doesn't have flying, it can't get adjacent. So, the next step is to replan by going through traps. In this case it picks the path to an open space with the minimum number of negative hexes. In this case, it looks like 2 movement and 1 trap either way, so players get to choose. The monster will move onto the trap.


This is incorrect. Since there is a path through his buddy, he will wait for his buddy to move or die. He will not step on to a trap in this case unless he has flying,


I have to disagree. The monster will move onto one of the two traps and attack. Countertorque is correct according to the RAW.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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alphasquid wrote:
countertorque wrote:
In the 2nd figure, 1 is looking for open spaces adjacent to H (we are assuming that 1 doesn't have a ranged attack). It first treats the traps as obstacles. So, there are no open spaces and 2 obstacles. It can't move where its ally is standing, so that space doesn't count as open (the part I always have trouble remembering).

If it has flying, it goes over the trap/obstacle no problem. If it doesn't have flying, it can't get adjacent. So, the next step is to replan by going through traps. In this case it picks the path to an open space with the minimum number of negative hexes. In this case, it looks like 2 movement and 1 trap either way, so players get to choose. The monster will move onto the trap.


This is incorrect. Since there is a path through his buddy, he will wait for his buddy to move or die. He will not step on to a trap in this case unless he has flying,

Nope. He will step on the Trap. This has been asked repeatedly in the forums, and I concede that it's not as clear as it should be.
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mfaulk80 wrote:
alphasquid wrote:
countertorque wrote:
In the 2nd figure, 1 is looking for open spaces adjacent to H (we are assuming that 1 doesn't have a ranged attack). It first treats the traps as obstacles. So, there are no open spaces and 2 obstacles. It can't move where its ally is standing, so that space doesn't count as open (the part I always have trouble remembering).

If it has flying, it goes over the trap/obstacle no problem. If it doesn't have flying, it can't get adjacent. So, the next step is to replan by going through traps. In this case it picks the path to an open space with the minimum number of negative hexes. In this case, it looks like 2 movement and 1 trap either way, so players get to choose. The monster will move onto the trap.


This is incorrect. Since there is a path through his buddy, he will wait for his buddy to move or die. He will not step on to a trap in this case unless he has flying,

Nope. He will step on the Trap. This has been asked repeatedly in the forums, and I concede that it's not as clear as it should be.


I could swear that every time I've seen it asked the answer has been that he will not step on the trap. A path exists to a space where he could attack that does not include traps, so he treats traps as obstacles. The fact that there's an ally in that space doesn't change that.
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Arthur Janicek
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This is helpful. I'd replace the terms "Absolute Distance" with "Proximity" tho.
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David Glasser
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I think most cases where you say "enemy" in this figure, you should say "monster" instead. "Enemy" is not an absolute term — an "enemy" is a figure that fights on the opposite side of a given figure. It is the opposite of "ally". An "enemy ally", as you say in the bottom right box, is not a thing.

There are three types of figures: characters, monsters, and (character) summons. (I've seen at least one scenario with another type of figure too.) Monsters are typically the enemies of the characters but not always. These rules describe the behavior of *monsters* (and summonses), regardless of whether they are the enemies or the allies of the players.
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sefer wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
alphasquid wrote:
countertorque wrote:
In the 2nd figure, 1 is looking for open spaces adjacent to H (we are assuming that 1 doesn't have a ranged attack). It first treats the traps as obstacles. So, there are no open spaces and 2 obstacles. It can't move where its ally is standing, so that space doesn't count as open (the part I always have trouble remembering).

If it has flying, it goes over the trap/obstacle no problem. If it doesn't have flying, it can't get adjacent. So, the next step is to replan by going through traps. In this case it picks the path to an open space with the minimum number of negative hexes. In this case, it looks like 2 movement and 1 trap either way, so players get to choose. The monster will move onto the trap.


This is incorrect. Since there is a path through his buddy, he will wait for his buddy to move or die. He will not step on to a trap in this case unless he has flying,

Nope. He will step on the Trap. This has been asked repeatedly in the forums, and I concede that it's not as clear as it should be.


I could swear that every time I've seen it asked the answer has been that he will not step on the trap. A path exists to a space where he could attack that does not include traps, so he treats traps as obstacles. The fact that there's an ally in that space doesn't change that.


It does. He cannot attack from that space and there IS a space he CAN attack from. He wouldn't just wait.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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sefer wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
alphasquid wrote:
countertorque wrote:
In the 2nd figure, 1 is looking for open spaces adjacent to H (we are assuming that 1 doesn't have a ranged attack). It first treats the traps as obstacles. So, there are no open spaces and 2 obstacles. It can't move where its ally is standing, so that space doesn't count as open (the part I always have trouble remembering).

If it has flying, it goes over the trap/obstacle no problem. If it doesn't have flying, it can't get adjacent. So, the next step is to replan by going through traps. In this case it picks the path to an open space with the minimum number of negative hexes. In this case, it looks like 2 movement and 1 trap either way, so players get to choose. The monster will move onto the trap.


This is incorrect. Since there is a path through his buddy, he will wait for his buddy to move or die. He will not step on to a trap in this case unless he has flying,

Nope. He will step on the Trap. This has been asked repeatedly in the forums, and I concede that it's not as clear as it should be.


I could swear that every time I've seen it asked the answer has been that he will not step on the trap. A path exists to a space where he could attack that does not include traps, so he treats traps as obstacles. The fact that there's an ally in that space doesn't change that.

It depends on the situation.

In the below example, Monster 1 wouldn't move if it had just 1 movement since there is a path to an open hex to attack from:

T . . .
. 2 1 .
H T . .


The difference is that there is an open hex to attack from. In the OP's example, there isn't an open hex to attack from because Monster 2 is occupying the space.

(Note that I slightly altered the OP's alignment because I think it was off from what he was attempting to illustrate)



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Jimmy Brazelton
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sefer wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
alphasquid wrote:
countertorque wrote:
In the 2nd figure, 1 is looking for open spaces adjacent to H (we are assuming that 1 doesn't have a ranged attack). It first treats the traps as obstacles. So, there are no open spaces and 2 obstacles. It can't move where its ally is standing, so that space doesn't count as open (the part I always have trouble remembering).

If it has flying, it goes over the trap/obstacle no problem. If it doesn't have flying, it can't get adjacent. So, the next step is to replan by going through traps. In this case it picks the path to an open space with the minimum number of negative hexes. In this case, it looks like 2 movement and 1 trap either way, so players get to choose. The monster will move onto the trap.


This is incorrect. Since there is a path through his buddy, he will wait for his buddy to move or die. He will not step on to a trap in this case unless he has flying,

Nope. He will step on the Trap. This has been asked repeatedly in the forums, and I concede that it's not as clear as it should be.


I could swear that every time I've seen it asked the answer has been that he will not step on the trap. A path exists to a space where he could attack that does not include traps, so he treats traps as obstacles. The fact that there's an ally in that space doesn't change that.


That's because you have. mfaulk is wrong. I'm too lazy to link to any of the numerous threads on this topic, but essentially, monsters move as if they had unlimited movement. If there is a path, no matter how long, it will go that path instead of going into a trap. In some cases this means not moving at all because an ally is blocking that path.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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aubaine wrote:
sefer wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
alphasquid wrote:
countertorque wrote:
In the 2nd figure, 1 is looking for open spaces adjacent to H (we are assuming that 1 doesn't have a ranged attack). It first treats the traps as obstacles. So, there are no open spaces and 2 obstacles. It can't move where its ally is standing, so that space doesn't count as open (the part I always have trouble remembering).

If it has flying, it goes over the trap/obstacle no problem. If it doesn't have flying, it can't get adjacent. So, the next step is to replan by going through traps. In this case it picks the path to an open space with the minimum number of negative hexes. In this case, it looks like 2 movement and 1 trap either way, so players get to choose. The monster will move onto the trap.


This is incorrect. Since there is a path through his buddy, he will wait for his buddy to move or die. He will not step on to a trap in this case unless he has flying,

Nope. He will step on the Trap. This has been asked repeatedly in the forums, and I concede that it's not as clear as it should be.


I could swear that every time I've seen it asked the answer has been that he will not step on the trap. A path exists to a space where he could attack that does not include traps, so he treats traps as obstacles. The fact that there's an ally in that space doesn't change that.


That's because you have. mfaulk is wrong. I'm too lazy to link to any of the numerous threads on this topic, but essentially, monsters move as if they had unlimited movement. If there is a path, no matter how long, it will go that path instead of going into a trap. In some cases this means not moving at all because an ally is blocking that path.

I have to go, but this is the relevant thread:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1727282/monster-and-traps-s...
 
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@Arthur and @David, thanks for the suggestions, I've made the changes.

As for the rest of y'all, let the debate continue to (politely) rage! I am glad I am not the only one still unsure of how to treat monster allies after pouring over the movement threads. If mfaulk is correct in the situation below (which he might be) I might need some help distilling that into the flowchart.

mfaulk80 wrote:

It depends on the situation.

In the below example, Monster 1 wouldn't move if it had just 1 movement since there is a path to an open hex to attack from:

T . . .
. 2 1 .
H T . .


The difference is that there is an open hex to attack from. In the OP's example, there isn't an open hex to attack from because Monster 2 is occupying the space.

(Note that I slightly altered the OP's alignment because I think it was off from what he was attempting to illustrate)

 
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Arthur Janicek
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aubaine wrote:
sefer wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
alphasquid wrote:
countertorque wrote:
In the 2nd figure, 1 is looking for open spaces adjacent to H (we are assuming that 1 doesn't have a ranged attack). It first treats the traps as obstacles. So, there are no open spaces and 2 obstacles. It can't move where its ally is standing, so that space doesn't count as open (the part I always have trouble remembering).

If it has flying, it goes over the trap/obstacle no problem. If it doesn't have flying, it can't get adjacent. So, the next step is to replan by going through traps. In this case it picks the path to an open space with the minimum number of negative hexes. In this case, it looks like 2 movement and 1 trap either way, so players get to choose. The monster will move onto the trap.


This is incorrect. Since there is a path through his buddy, he will wait for his buddy to move or die. He will not step on to a trap in this case unless he has flying,

Nope. He will step on the Trap. This has been asked repeatedly in the forums, and I concede that it's not as clear as it should be.


I could swear that every time I've seen it asked the answer has been that he will not step on the trap. A path exists to a space where he could attack that does not include traps, so he treats traps as obstacles. The fact that there's an ally in that space doesn't change that.


That's because you have. mfaulk is wrong. I'm too lazy to link to any of the numerous threads on this topic, but essentially, monsters move as if they had unlimited movement. If there is a path, no matter how long, it will go that path instead of going into a trap. In some cases this means not moving at all because an ally is blocking that path.


There isn't a path. The character is in a corner. Or should say there are two three equidistant paths. Both All of which end on a one of two traps. The character is in a corner.
 
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Per the thread linked above, I was wrong.
 
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mfaulk80 wrote:
sefer wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
alphasquid wrote:
countertorque wrote:
In the 2nd figure, 1 is looking for open spaces adjacent to H (we are assuming that 1 doesn't have a ranged attack). It first treats the traps as obstacles. So, there are no open spaces and 2 obstacles. It can't move where its ally is standing, so that space doesn't count as open (the part I always have trouble remembering).

If it has flying, it goes over the trap/obstacle no problem. If it doesn't have flying, it can't get adjacent. So, the next step is to replan by going through traps. In this case it picks the path to an open space with the minimum number of negative hexes. In this case, it looks like 2 movement and 1 trap either way, so players get to choose. The monster will move onto the trap.


This is incorrect. Since there is a path through his buddy, he will wait for his buddy to move or die. He will not step on to a trap in this case unless he has flying,

Nope. He will step on the Trap. This has been asked repeatedly in the forums, and I concede that it's not as clear as it should be.


I could swear that every time I've seen it asked the answer has been that he will not step on the trap. A path exists to a space where he could attack that does not include traps, so he treats traps as obstacles. The fact that there's an ally in that space doesn't change that.

It depends on the situation.

In the below example, Monster 1 wouldn't move if it had just 1 movement since there is a path to an open hex to attack from:

T . . .
. 2 1 .
H T . .


The difference is that there is an open hex to attack from. In the OP's example, there isn't an open hex to attack from because Monster 2 is occupying the space.

(Note that I slightly altered the OP's alignment because I think it was off from what he was attempting to illustrate)





I thought monsters moved through monsters ?
 
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Arthur Janicek
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They can. The Monster in the example above only has one movement. It will not move.
 
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Ugh, I missed that FAQ entry about a ranged monster doing Move but not Attack.

I should add this to my examples thread. It's only in the FAQ rather than spelled out in the rules for Focus, but it's truly correct that if a ranged monster draws a Move (but no Attack) card, it will try to walk into melee range? That's very counterintuitive and also bad for the monster, but the FAQ seems pretty clear about it.


*edit* You might want to say "Determine the shortest path that minimizes the number of negative hexes" to be clear. In some cases this shortest path is 0.
 
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GAFBlizzard wrote:
Ugh, I missed that FAQ entry about a ranged monster doing Move but not Attack.

I should add this to my examples thread. It's only in the FAQ rather than spelled out in the rules for Focus, but it's truly correct that if a ranged monster draws a Move (but no Attack) card, it will try to walk into melee range? That's very counterintuitive and also bad for the monster, but the FAQ seems pretty clear about it.


*edit* You might want to say "Determine the shortest path that minimizes the number of negative hexes" to be clear. In some cases this shortest path is 0.


Point 1: It is counter-intuitive, but I am afraid so.

Point 2: If you are talking about the box after traps/hazards, then I am not sure that is necessary and would be kind of confusing as in a situation where a monster must travel through negative hexes, its first priority is minimizing the number of such hexes regardless of path length. I suppose you are right though that in the case of a tie, it would take the shortest path, but I would hope anyone would know that.
If others agree that it should be in there, let me know. Thanks for the feedback!
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I wanted to reconcile the 'edge case' with this other thread I made:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1744188/questions-after-fir...

My question 7 is the edge case. All of the people in that thread say that if I am surrounded by monsters, other melee monsters will not be able to choose me for focus. If the discussion here is correct, all of the people replying to my thread are wrong, yes?
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Vehementi wrote:
I wanted to reconcile the 'edge case' with this other thread I made:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1744188/questions-after-fir...

My question 7 is the edge case. All of the people in that thread say that if I am surrounded by monsters, other melee monsters will no be able to choose me for focus. If the discussion here is correct, all of the people replying to my thread are wrong, yes?


You and the others in that thread are correct in your interpretation: no focus in that situation. Do you feel the flowchart is not clear on this (it is the first IF box on the left)? What I hope the edge case covers is situations akin to what MFaulk outlines above in the thread in the example he created.
 
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TheProdigal wrote:
Vehementi wrote:
I wanted to reconcile the 'edge case' with this other thread I made:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1744188/questions-after-fir...

My question 7 is the edge case. All of the people in that thread say that if I am surrounded by monsters, other melee monsters will no be able to choose me for focus. If the discussion here is correct, all of the people replying to my thread are wrong, yes?


You and the others in that thread are correct in your interpretation: no focus in that situation. Do you feel the flowchart is not clear on this (it is the first IF box on the left)? What I hope the edge case covers is situations akin to what MFaulk outlines above in the thread in the example he created.


Unless I am severely misreading, the "edge case" box explicitly contradicts me/those people:

Edge case: since monster allies are not considered obstacles, the hex a monster ally occupies may be considered the best hex to move to or through if there is not another valid hex within movement distance in attack range of a character. This means a monster may move along a path that ends with a monster ally and stop short of it (and possibly out of attack range), rather than seek to go around the ally or move into a hazard or trap. Monsters always take the shortest path to a valid attack hex as if they had infinite movement, while minimizing negative hexes.


I see what you mean that the first IF box covers it, but that seems to contradict the idea of "well the last spot is covered by an enemy which is not considered an obstacle" -- which when following that, would mean that you WOULD have gotten focus in the first place
 
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Vehementi wrote:
TheProdigal wrote:
Vehementi wrote:
I wanted to reconcile the 'edge case' with this other thread I made:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1744188/questions-after-fir...

My question 7 is the edge case. All of the people in that thread say that if I am surrounded by monsters, other melee monsters will no be able to choose me for focus. If the discussion here is correct, all of the people replying to my thread are wrong, yes?


You and the others in that thread are correct in your interpretation: no focus in that situation. Do you feel the flowchart is not clear on this (it is the first IF box on the left)? What I hope the edge case covers is situations akin to what MFaulk outlines above in the thread in the example he created.


Unless I am severely misreading, the "edge case" box explicitly contradicts me/those people:

Edge case: since monster allies are not considered obstacles, the hex a monster ally occupies may be considered the best hex to move to or through if there is not another valid hex within movement distance in attack range of a character. This means a monster may move along a path that ends with a monster ally and stop short of it (and possibly out of attack range), rather than seek to go around the ally or move into a hazard or trap. Monsters always take the shortest path to a valid attack hex as if they had infinite movement, while minimizing negative hexes.


Sorry, the edge box case was not meant to address that situation (your #7), that is supposed to be covered by the first IF box earlier in the chart. Since you effectively become a wall with your character(s), and the spaces in front of them are already occupied, there is no valid open hex from which other monsters could attack, and so they have no focus.

Perhaps the part that is confusing is when I said "move to or through." To be honest, I am still not sure what the deal here is, and the only person I will trust to give a definitive ruling on it is Isaac:

. . . . .
. - - .
. 2 1 H .



If monster 2 has move 1, will it move NW around the obstacles '-' toward the open hex at the NE of hero H? Or will it consider the hex it's ally monster 1 is occupying the best hex to attack from and not move?

Edit: Needed a real picture for clarity:


If monster 5 (on the left) has move 1, will it move weest and take the long path to '?' or will it stay put? This is why the answer is not obvious: since paths are determined assuming infinite movement, if 5 had infinite movement it would just move through 7 and then onto '?' and not take the long way around. I have not seen where Isaac addressed this, although I could be wrong. Edit: Since moving West would not bring 5 closer to its focus hex '?' it will not move in this situation (pretty sure).

Edit: @James, how would you recommend rephrasing it such that it does address MFaulk's situation, without introducing the confusion
 
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Arthur Janicek
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It will indeed not move. My brain hurts. If it were not to move West, it would then be thinking of future turns where it may be able to either move past the other monster with an action card that has higher movement or it would be waiting for it's buddy to move out of the way. Monsters don't think into the future, they just go for what is best for them now. It would move the one space to the West thus shortening the path towards the character. Final answer.

But then the other train of thought says the monster traces a path that is the shortest distance to it's focus which may go through monsters even if it can't end it's turn on the same hex as another monster so it will just stop short of that hex. So... the monster will not move.
 
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If my "question 7" interpretation is correct, then it would be ridiculous if the monster did not take the long path.

The consistent logic as a melee monster is: for each player, locate the adjacent empty hex that has the shortest Move value from me, and then select the player that had the shortest value. If in "question 7" it won't focus, then why would it choose the hex the ally-monster is standing on as a legit place to try to move to?

But yeah, just another non-Isaac opinion here.

Edit: Assuming Arthur and I are correct, I would just delete the "or move to" part, so nobody like me misreads the other part of your chart and tries to connect some dots It makes sense that if there are 6 enemies in a 1 space wide hallway, monsters behind that will try to path through and just stay at the end (unless they have move 7) -- it would path/focus through as if they are not obstacles.
 
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