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Subject: Enemy Failing to Find Focus? rss

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Mark Kwan
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Apologies as I do not have a way to upload picture, I'll do my best to describe the situation.

Assume all enemy monsters in question are melee monsters with a generic Move + 0 and Attack + 0 ability card drawn.

Lets also for simplicity address only the case where there are 2 monsters, #1 and #2 and a single player hero/character.

Question:

If the hero/character is standing on a hex in such a way so that the only way monster #1 can attack it is the monster has to walk onto (and occupy) the single hex of a doorway (IE monster #1 is now in neither room, it is on the doorway hex), will monster #2 fail to find a focus?

I believe it will fail to find a focus because even if it had 1000 move it would not be able to reach a hex where it could deliver an attack to the hero/character. Thus failing to find a focus monster #2 simply does not move.

Is this correct?



 
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A Kar
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It depends. Any figure can move through its allies. If it can, assuming infinite movement, reach a space on the other side of the door by moving through its ally, it will focus that space and advance.

If it cannot, due to the presence of an obstacle or something, it will not find a focus and will not move. Note that in this case, it WILL walk into traps or hazardous terrain rather than treating them as obstacles.
 
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Mark Kwan
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abakus wrote:
It depends. Any figure can move through its allies. If it can, assuming infinite movement, reach a space on the other side of the door by moving through its ally, it will focus that space and advance.

If it cannot, due to the presence of an obstacle or something, it will not find a focus and will not move. Note that in this case, it WILL walk into traps or hazardous terrain rather than treating them as obstacles.


But on the other side of the monster's ally is the hero/character. Thus even with infinite movement it can not reach a spot to melee attack.

Because the only 1 spot capable of a melee attack is already occupied by monster #1.
 
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Jay Johnson
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also of note, which room a character or monster is in has zero influence on where or if a monster finds focus, as long as there is a path to get to a hex from which they could attack the enemy

the only time a figure's "room" has any bearing is if an ability (or scenario effect/requirement) specifically refers to a room.
(which, btw, it has been ruled by Isaac that a figure standing on a door tile is not in a room at all, which you already noted in your original text)
 
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Jay Johnson
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blackhalo23 wrote:
But on the other side of the monster's ally is the hero/character. Thus even with infinite movement it can not reach a spot to melee attack.

Because the only 1 spot capable of a melee attack is already occupied by monster #1.


most door hexes have 2 hexes on either side that are adjacent and occupiable, and some have 3 such hexes on each side.

If the full hex is on the board, it is occupiable, even if the wall art makes it look like part of it is blocked. unless a specific obstacle tile is placed on it to block it

2 hexes on each side:


3 hexes on each side:
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Matthew Gardner
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In the entry for Monster Focus:
Quote:
In the case where there are no valid targets on which to focus, because there are no valid hexes a monster can attack from (i.e., they are all blocked, occupied, or there is no open path to reach them), regardless of the number of hexes it could move, a monster will not move or attack on its turn, but it will perform any of the other actons on its ability card that it is able.

In your example, the second melee monster would not have a valid target on which to focus and would not move or attack.

EDIT: Agree with Jay’s post above. This rules paragraph would only apply when there truly is no path due to figures / obstacles / etc blocking all exits from the doorway.
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M.C.Crispy
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The key here is that the presence of an ally doesn't invalidate a path, but an occupied hex cannot be the target hex (a monster's Focus is the enemy that can be attacked from the unoccupied hex that can be reached by the shortest unblocked path).

So, regardless of whether an ally is on the path or not, if there is an unoccupied hex from which an attack can be made then the enemy that could be attacked will become Focus and the monster will move toward that hex. It may be that the monster cannot move toward that hex because of allies occupy the only unblocked hexes that the monster could move to, but that's not the same as not being able to acquire focus. (Though I guess that it is in terms of the outcome of most effects)
 
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Des T.
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While we're at it, we recently had this situation come up:

The monsters are in a row towards their focus, ie.:

.....
F..MMM
.....

If the bold monster in the back gets a move 2, would it flank?

.....
F..MM
...M.

Or would it stay put?

I argued the monster follows the shortest path, but since it's blocked, it stays put.

The other player argued the monster only considers the inhabited hexes as path if it can actually move through.

We coinflipped the decision, but I would like to know what the actual rules are.

JayJ79 wrote:

2 hexes on each side:


3 hexes on each side:


Is there a common resource you're using to create these images?
 
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M.C.Crispy
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DeS_Tructive wrote:
While we're at it, we recently had this situation come up:

The monsters are in a row towards their focus, ie.:

.....
F..MMM
.....

If the bold monster in the back gets a move 2, would it flank?

.....
F..MM
...M.

Or would it stay put?

I argued the monster follows the shortest path, but since it's blocked, it stays put.

The other player argued the monster only considers the inhabited hexes as path if it can actually move through.

We coinflipped the decision, but I would like to know what the actual rules are.
I'd say that the Focus is selected and then the Monster moves closer to the target hex if it can do so. In your example this would mean flanking. It does seem logical that the Monster would actually follow the shortest path, but I can't see any explicit statement that it must do so. Shortest path is the selector for Focus and the requirement appears to be that the move brings the Monster "closer" to the target hex. Interesting question.
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Fito R
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It would flank because using Move 2 would put it closer to its focus than it was before, even if that position isn't exactly ON the shortest path.
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Chris Willott
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There are conflicting answers:
1)By the letter of the RAW, it will only follow the shortest path (and not deviate from it -- acting like a well-educated Zax)
2) in the FAQ I believe it is fairly clearly stated that the monster will move as close as it can to the target (based on path remaining -- so yes, it would flank)
 
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Jay Johnson
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DeS_Tructive wrote:
JayJ79 wrote:

2 hexes on each side:


3 hexes on each side:


Is there a common resource you're using to create these images?

screenshot of the PDF version of the scenario book, and then a basic image editor program to crop and add the text/numbers.
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M.C.Crispy
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Willottica wrote:
There are conflicting answers:
1)By the letter of the RAW, it will only follow the shortest path (and not deviate from it -- acting like a well-educated Zax)
please provide the text from the rulebook that explicitly states that it must follow the path. As I said in a previous response, it's implied and seems logical for following the path to be a requirement, but I couldn't find it expressed in the rules.
Quote:
2) in the FAQ I believe it is fairly clearly stated that the monster will move as close as it can to the target (based on path remaining -- so yes, it would flank)
The part of the FAQ that you are referencing is in the context of Ranged attacks and is presented without reference to the rules on shortest path, so there's no reason to assume that this comment overrides a requirement to use the shortest path.

Having said all that, isn't DeS_Tructive's example the same as Item for Geeklist "The Gloomhaven Rules Quiz" ? If it is, then the answer is that it doesn't move. Given that those examples have been incorporated in the FAQ, I guess we have to assume that they have been double-checked by the designer and are correct.
 
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Chris Willott
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mccrispy wrote:
please provide the text from the rulebook that explicitly states that it must follow the path.

Interesting, the text I was referencing was this:
p30 wrote:
If a monster has a move but no attack afterward as part of its ability card, it will use its movement to get as close as possible to its focused target (determined as if it had a melee attack), moving along the shortest possible path to enter a hex adjacent to its focused enemy.
Technically, this should only apply to moves without attacks because of the qualifier at the beginning.

p30 wrote:
If the monster is performing a ranged attack...Even if a monster cannot move into attack range, it will still use its movement to get as close as possible to its focus.
This is "get as close as possible" is only written in the "ranged attack" paragraph, and you could perhaps argue that it doesn't apply to melee either.

p30 wrote:
If a monster has an attack ability after its movement, it will move the least number of hexes possible in such a way as to attack its focused enemy with maximum effect. If it is a single-target melee attack, it will simply move toward the nearest hex adjacent to its focus to attack.

"Least number of hexes possible... for maximum effect"
Technically, if it can't reach its target, then the maximum effect is 0, and the least number of hexes would therefore also be 0.

"Simply move toward the nearest hex" - since there is no mention of path in the entire movement section (it's only mentioned when finding a focus), and it says "simply" rather than "using the determined path", melee monsters on the other side of a table should just dumbly run into that table (or decide they just can't move toward their focus and therefore can't attack and won't move at all).


mccrispy wrote:
The part of the FAQ that you are referencing is in the context of Ranged attacks and is presented without reference to the rules on shortest path, so there's no reason to assume that this comment overrides a requirement to use the shortest path.


FAQ wrote:
monsters will always use the minimum movement required to get as close as possible to a hex where they can attack their focus,

(emphasis added) The term "always" is not situational, it is absolute, and despite it being in a "ranged attack" context, it does not say "always...when making a ranged attack."


I think the intent is clear. Movement rules which SEEM applicable to a situation ARE applicable to that situation, even if they are not technically presented in the relevant section (that seems to be common to this rulebook).

So all of the following should apply:

1. It finds the shortest possible path to get in range and line-of-sight to use its attack (or melee, if none)
(p29, Monster Focus), considering negative hexes as obstacles if possible (p31, Monster Interaction with Traps and Hazardous Terrain)
2. it will use its movement to get as close as possible to its focused target (determined as if it had a melee attack), moving along the shortest possible path to enter a hex adjacent to its focused enemy (p30, Monster Movement -- pgph 1: move but no attack)
3. Even if a monster cannot move into attack range, it will still use its movement to get as close as possible to its focus. (p.30, Monster Movement -- pgph 3: ranged attack)

The italicized bits contradict each other when it comes to flanking. We play it such that they WILL flank, but otherwise not deviate from the path established when focusing.
 
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Des T.
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Thanks for the feedback and discussion. I'm kind of relieved that the situation is in fact one of the more difficult edge cases.

mccrispy wrote:

Having said all that, isn't DeS_Tructive's example the same as Item for Geeklist "The Gloomhaven Rules Quiz" ? If it is, then the answer is that it doesn't move. Given that those examples have been incorporated in the FAQ, I guess we have to assume that they have been double-checked by the designer and are correct.


Thanks for the link. It definitely provided the appropiate ruling, even though the example was the opposite case.

Since the flank will bring it closer to the target (from distance 4 to distance 3), it will flank. While the other player provided the wrong reason, his result was correct.

Also, thanks for pointing out that the focus path and the movement path don't need to be the same. I think that's where my mistake came from.

JayJ79 wrote:

screenshot of the PDF version of the scenario book, and then a basic image editor program to crop and add the text/numbers.


Ah, okay. I'll keep that approach in mind next time I want to draw up an example. Thanks.
 
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