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We're a bit confused about how to select Monster Focus and Player Summon Focus. Check out the situation below:

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We use little miniatures for the player summons instead of the disks. So the little dog/wolf miniature in the image is one of the creatures summoned by a player. It has 2 movement.

What will the summon choose as its focus?

And what path will it attempt to take to get to the focus?

Paths 1, 3, and 4 all lead to Living Bones 6. Path 2 leads to Living Bones 9.

Both Living Bones 6 and 9 are 2 hexes away, so by default I would assume that it tries to focus on Living Bones 6, but we're not sure how to resolve it.

If it tries to take Path 1, it gets stuck behind the player and cannot attack.

Path 4 is 4 hexes, but it goes through an obstacle, so for determining focus I believe we're supposed to treat obstacles as barriers unless there is absolutely no other possible path. (Is that right?)

Path 3 is 5 hexes to get to Bones 6. Path 2 is 5 hexes to get to Bones 9. Since both of those paths are 5 hexes long, I assume the initiative order is the tie-breaker and so it would focus on Bones 6.

The summon has 2 movement. If it takes path 3, on turn 1 it will move one hex and then get stuck behind the player. On a subsequent turn, assuming it's still focusing on Bones 6, would it continue to be stuck since it can't move 3 to get all the way through the players?

The trap in Path 4 does enough damage to the kill the summon. Would it take Path 4 because it's the only path that would actually allow it to get closer to its target, even though it'll die doing it?

Or would the summon see that it wouldn't be able to get through Path 3 and would it try to avoid the trap in Path 4 and therefore choose Bones 9 as its focus?

Or, as a wildcard option, would the summon choose to focus on Bones 6 but take Path 5 because it's the only path that it could ACTUALLY fully complete? (With the understanding that while it's moving along path 5, on the next turn it will be obviously closer to Bones 9 and its focus will change to 9 at that point.)

We downloaded the flow chart on how to determine monster focus, but our group has some disagreements about what it means to have a "possible path", etc and so we aren't agreeing on what the flow chart means and when a monster/summon will throw itself on a trap or not.

5

Focus: Living Bones 6
Target Hex: The hex next to Living Bones 6 and Living Corpse 6.
Path: Path 3
Move To: First hex of Path 3.


1. Determine the focus.

I'm assuming the summon doesn't fly, and that the summon has a melee attack.

  • The minimum amount of movement required to attack Living Bones 6 (without setting off the trap) is 5.
  • The minimum amount of movement required to attack Living Bones 9 is 5.
  • Even if given infinite movement, the summon can't attack Living Corpse 3.
  • The minimum amount of movement required to attack Living Corpse 6 (without setting off the trap) is 5.

This rules out Living Corpse 3, and leaves us with a three-way tie. Proximity is the first tie breaker.

  • Living Bones 6 is 3 hexes away.
  • Living Bones 9 is 3 hexes away.
  • Living Corpse 6 is 4 hexes away.

This rules out Living Corpse 6, and leaves us with a two-way tie. Turn order is the second tie breaker. Living Bones 6 acts before Living Bones 9, so the summon will focus on Living Bones 6.

2. Determine the target hex.

I'm assuming the summon doesn't fly, that the summon has a melee attack, and that the attack targets a single opponent.

There is only one hexes from which the summon can attack Living Bones 6, so the summon will move towards that hex.

3. Determine the path taken.

Giving an infinite movement, Path 3 is the only shortest that doesn't set off the trap.

4. Move as much as possible along the path.

The summon will end its movement in the first hex of Path 3.


If you have access to the Forgotten Circles expansion, check out the back cover of its scenario book. It does a good job explaining the monster/summon AI. Also, you should take both of these quizzes: Basic Quiz (PDF), Advanced Quiz (Geeklist).


Both Living Bones 6 and 9 are 2 hexes away, so by default I would assume that it tries to focus on Living Bones 6

This is not correct. They are 3 hexes away, and proximity is not the primary criteria for choosing a focus. The primary criteria for choosing a focus is the minimum amount of movement needed to get into range to attack the candidate.

If it tries to take Path 1, it gets stuck behind the player and cannot attack.

Even given an infinite movement, that path won't ever be fruitful. That rules out that path.

Path 4 is 4 hexes, but it goes through an obstacle, so for determining focus I believe we're supposed to treat obstacles as barriers unless there is absolutely no other possible path. (Is that right?)

Correct.

Path 3 is 5 hexes to get to Bones 6. Path 2 is 5 hexes to get to Bones 9. Since both of those paths are 5 hexes long, I assume the initiative order is the tie-breaker and so it would focus on Bones 6.

You first need to rule out Living Corpse 6 (also 5 hexes). See above.

The summon has 2 movement.

This isn't relevant any point in the decision process. Always assume an infinite movement of the current type (flying or not).

On a subsequent turn, assuming it's still focusing on Bones 6, would it continue to be stuck

There's no point in guessing what it will try to do next turn as that's also irrelevant.

The trap in Path 4 does enough damage to the kill the summon.

Not relevant.

If the only path to its focus would bring it to the trap (which isn't the case here), it will go through the trap even if it kills it.

Or, as a wildcard option, would the summon choose to focus on Bones 6 but take Path 5 because it's the only path that it could ACTUALLY fully complete?

There's no point in guessing what it will try to do next turn as that's also irrelevant.

  • I was working on clear and unambiguous step-by-step instructions that could be used to determine the focus, target hex and path. (Like the flowchart, except clearer and unambiguous.) I'll see if I can complete that tomorrow. – ikegami Jul 11 at 7:44
  • Thank you for the detailed answer, I appreciate it! This is the Focus Flowchart that I found on boardgamegeek: boardgamegeek.com/filepage/144945/… – Kenny Wyland Jul 11 at 15:27
  • One of the reasons why I kept referencing what the summon might do on the next turn and whether or not it would "get stuck" is because that was part of my party's disagreement. I wanted to make sure that the explanation would cover whether or not the summon would "get stuck" behind the player on Path 3 assuming that nothing on the board changed in subsequent rounds. (After getting stuck the number of moves to Bones 6 would be shorter than Bones 9, so it would still focus on 6 and remain stuck.) – Kenny Wyland Jul 11 at 15:29
  • Question 2 of Quiz 2 covers "getting stuck". See also Question 4 – ikegami Jul 11 at 18:54

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