In an effort to help you get the most of your SoC membership, we have compiled some information that should get you started. The following information will help you greatly as you begin your Conquer Club career or sharpen your Escalating skills, and you don’t have to read everything now, but you should skim through the following material now. Later, as your training begins in earnest, you should go back through and read in further detail.
Of particular importance to new students is Section 2, Basic Training.
The SoC Training Academy, or Society of Cooks Training Academy, is made up of players just like you who teach other CC players how to play Escalating and Team games. We were founded by Wacicha and Gloryordeath, and the principles they established still live on in our handbook, the First Four Moves.
The current head of the SoCTA is dhallmeyer, and you can contact him at any time with any questions you may have. macbone is the acting head of SoC team training, and you can contact him with questions about team training.
Joining the SoC is easy. For our basic training, go to the main SoC Training Grounds forum, look for the latest thread that says "Sign up here for training," and click on it. (You may see older threads with the title, but they should be locked). Add your name to the list, and we'll notify you when it's time for your training to begin.
If you're interested in SoC team training, go to the thread that says "Sign up for team training," click it, and add your name there.
Note: There is a bit of a wait for both basic and team training, so watch for your PM.
Upon joining the SoC you will receive a link to your Training Field, the classroom where you'll post games and receive feedback from teachers. Once you are assigned a Training Field, you should introduce yourself in the Welcome thread.
Once you've done that read through all of this Guide, which will help you get your bearings.
In particular, read through Your First Four Moves several times, and periodically go back and re-read it. The F4M is our strategy textbook that we teach from, and you should be very familiar with it before you even start a game.
Then read a few of the other student posts in your Training Field, looking them over to get a feel for how the teaching works.
We highly recommend that you add all active Escalating teachers to your friends list. That way, if you're running out of time to take your turn, you can quickly see which teachers are currently online and PM them directly for help.
The easiest way to check to make sure no one in your Training Field is in your game is to find a game and then click on each player's name who is already in the game. When you arrive at his/her wall, click the GROUPS drop-down menu. If you don't see your Training Field number, you are safe to join games with this player. Repeat this process for each player in the game.
This following strategy was first written by Wacicha and Gloryordeath and developed by them and other early SoC teachers and players:
Your First Four Moves (F4M)
These are some guidelines to help you learn how we play terminator escalating games. Once you master these concepts, you'll be able to play almost any other game type. Keep in mind that you will not win every game you play with these tactics: even the best among us only win 25-30%. What we have learned is that we can make 1-2 kills per game (winning 25% or so) and that will be enough to see your score move up and your fun increase.
Basic Principles Conserve your troops. Escalating games are about spoils and troops, and the relationship between them. You do not want to be in a position of having lots of spoils, but few troops; this will make you a target.
Don't try for bonuses. Since this is escalating, spoils value will quickly outweigh a region bonus; so don't spend your troops wastefully trying to take and hold one. EXCEPTION: If you drop into 3 out of 4 territories in South America or Oceania, try for it; but don't spend more than one turn trying or you'll fall behind the pack. DO NOT, under any circumstances, try to take and hold North America, Europe, or Asia; Africa is usually off limits too, but can sometimes be done by a better player.
Build 3-5 stacks around the board. Escalating spoils means that if you can kill someone, you get their spoils, and can potentially cash in to get even more troops and then target another player for their spoils. Also, having stacks that are spread out makes you harder to eliminate, at the same time and giving you more mobility around the board when you want to eliminate someone. If you have several territories that are connected, bring them all into one spot. This gives you more striking power and reduces the chance of people taking them out.
Take easy spoils. Attack only if you have at least 4 against 1. This gives you the greatest odds of winning. As noted above, don't spend too much for a small reward; usually you will only roll twice per turn. If you don't win in those two rolls, end attacks. It is not worth weakening yourself in the early game to gain spoils.
Always know who the weakest players are and whether or not you can eliminate them.
Now, remembering these basics, here's what your first four moves should look like in a normal game.
Move #1 Deploy only. Survey your drop and determine which territories you want to keep and which ones you want to leave alone. Do not make any attacks this turn. Consolidate any groupings into single stacks. You should have the beginnings of your 3-5 working stacks now. EXCEPTION: If you drop 3 out of 4 in South America or Oceania, deploy all troops there and try to take out the 4th spot. Then in round #2 you will be doing what is described above.
Move #2 Look for prime positions to move your stacks into; begin looking as well for easy spoils to take along the way. If there are no easy spoils available, don't sweat, you're not going to be in any trouble if you don't get a spoil here.
Prime territories are places that have lots of connections and few bottlenecks; in an ideal game, you would have a stack in NA, Europe, Africa, and Eastern Asia. Below is our prioritized list of territories, but it is subject to your other placements. You don't want your stacks to be too close together or to hold ALL the prime territories because then you will be an easy target.
Move #3 Move 3 looks a lot like move 2. At this point, getting a spoil starts to be a little more urgent if you haven't already earned one. Continue working toward key territories.
When make your deployments, put 2 on the territories you'll attack from and 1 somewhere else. This way you will not reduce your stack size when you attack twice for a spoil, but you still give your other stacks a chance to grow.
Move #4 Now we should be able to see what the other players are up to. Before each turn you need to check and see who is the weakest player and whether or not you can take them out. Players who are fighting over bonuses will eventually weaken themselves to the point that they are an easy target for someone playing our style. Remember, we're not looking to win the game all the time, just to make a kill or two so don't be afraid to strike. There is an add-on called BOB that you can get in the tools section of the forum that will greatly help you in knowing troop strengths.
Moving Into the Mid-Game - Move #5 and beyond After this, the sequence repeats itself until you are strong enough to make a kill. Continue to look for strong points to build on; and keep track of weak players, leaving yourself an avenue of attack for when the time is right. Once the spoils value is above 12 you can consider risking more than 2 troops in pursuit of another spoil. Keep an eye on your strengths especially as they relate to opponents strengths and weaknesses.
"There is nothing sweeter than logging in to see that you are set up perfectly to take someone out." -- Gloryordeath
After you've joined a game, wait until it's your turn to play. When it is your turn, open two tabs in your browser.
NOTE: You will want to allow as much time for teacher response as possible. If you cannot wait for an answer, continue with posting, but go ahead and take your turn and ask for a critique. If you don't have much time left to make your move, you can also check the teacher list (found at the SoC Staff and Graduates list and Terminator/Standard Games Active Teachers usergroup list) to see if any teachers are online and available to give you feedback.
In one tab go to your game, in the other go to your Training Field.
Study the map, noting your troop strength and positions compared to all other players. Determine who is weakest and who is strongest, and where you fit into this equation.
Then, in your Training Field tab click “New Topic”. The game form will appear (see How to use the game form and why). Fill out the game form, and when you’re done, click “Submit.” Make sure to click the “Subscribe Topic” check-box at the bottom of your post.
Wait for a teacher to respond, and if you need more help, pm any of the teachers.
You should create your first post in your new thread as soon as you can WHEN IT IS YOUR TURN. You will have 24 hours to take your turn, so the sooner you can post your ideas, the more time the teachers will have to respond.
Posting "Thank you" or "It's not my turn but..." is not recommended. The teachers are watching 19 different Training Fields and it takes a certain amount of time to locate a student post, evaluate the thread, and formulate a response. Non-productive posts eat up the valuable time that the teachers have volunteered to use to help you. If you want to say thanks or have a general, game non-specific question, feel free to post in the "Training Grounds," on a teacher's wall, or via PM.
The first thing you need to do is to copy your game number and paste it OVER the "xxxxxxx" so that the link will work correctly. Copy the id number from your game (you can find it at the top of the game or at the end of the web url in the browser when you're looking at the game). Delete the Xs and put the game number in their place. Remember you can use the "Preview" button to check that your game link works and your post looks good to you before you "Submit".
A good game link is crucial to your teachers as it helps them find your game and advise you on your move quickly and accurately.
Some of the most common mistakes involving the game link are:
- accidentally deleting one of the brackets... [game1234567[/game] - inserting a space between the tags... [game] 1234567[/game] - leaving the "xxx"... [game]xxxxxxx1234567[/game]
When properly done your game link will look like this... Game 1234567
Spoils to turn in:
This should be a list of your actual spoils, and it should look like this: r:Chicago, b:Montreal, r:Berlin
In escalating terminator games, the spoils are THE key to winning, so an accurate understanding of your spoils is crucial for your teacher to give you the best possible advise.
Next spoil set value:
The value of the next set can be found in your action menu... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Waiting for your next turn... jump to your next playable game. Map Inspect: My Spoils ([bracketed] if owned, next set worth 4 troops): Spoilr:Northern Waste Spoil[b:Marillo] Spoilr:Straits Spoilg:Wiberg [show / hide teammate spoils] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The spoils will progress as follows: 4,6,8,10,12,15,20,25,30 and so on by 5 until the game is over.
Do you have a set of spoils? Your answer should be "yes" or "no".
Not answering this question can cost you the game, so please pay attention here.
Your plans: Study the map, think about your plans and tell us what you are thinking. If you are confused, unsure, or have questions, tell us that. The more info you give us the more help we can provide.
Want to graduate from the Academy? Here's what you need to do:
#1: Post at least 5 games for help in your Training Field, with no more than 2 at the same time.
#2: Achieve rank of Lieutenant, while gaining 300 points (net) in Training Grounds-style games (6-7 player, standard or terminator, escalating, unlimited, sunny, casual, auto deploy) since joining. Use maprank to check this out. For players who join at major and above, this portion is waived.
#3: Complete at least 10 Training Grounds style games since joining.
#4: Complete 2 Final Exam games against the staff. (Note: You don't have to win, just demonstrate that you know what we teach)
#5: Graduates must demonstrate a good attitude and a willingness to learn. All teachers have input on potential graduates' behavior.
How to check how many points you’ve gained:
1. First, if you haven’t done so already, you need to download BOB and Maprank.
(Note: this requires Mozilla Firefox. If you cannot use Firefox, please contact the SoC staff.) This will give you two extra menus on the left-hand side of your Conquer Club My Games page, BOB (#1) and Map Rank (#2).
If you already have BOB and Maprank, continue to Step 2.
2. Go to the Game Finder screen. You should see a button towards the bottom that says “Map Rank.” Search for games featuring our settings (6-7 player, standard or terminator, escalating, sunny, auto deploy).
Armies: At the start of each turn the armies you receive which you place on your territory or territories on the map.
Troops: = Armies
Deploy: To place given Troops/Armies on the Board/Map.
Mid Turn Deployment : Troops received from killing another player and taking their cards. Their cards plus your cards must equal 5 or more to cash mid turn. You can cash in as many sets as you hold. Ex. You hold 6 cards. 3 blue and 3 green. You can cash BOTH sets. These troops can then be used to continue your attack.
Fort: To move or re-enforce one of your territories with troops from another one, or more, of your territories.
Soft Attack: To try to gain a card through an attack without losing many troops. Most times no more than 2.
Card: Card=spoil. An old board game term some of us can't let go of.
Easy Card: Taking a card from a place of little resistance i.e. attack a 1 not a 3 to try to lose less troops in gaining a card.
Card Spot: A territory that two or more players take turns attacking and leaving a 1 behind for an easy card.
Bonus Monkey (BM): A player who throws all his or her troops into taking over a continent bonus. Extremely dangerous. Approach with extreme caution, preferably with a two-by-four and a net.
BOB is an excellent add-on for Firefox users that can be of great benefit to CC players. It provides some interesting stats and allows you to take snapshots of the board in Fog of War games so you can remember where players are. The following two posts detail how to install BOB and some good add-ons for it.
BOB has several nice features. One feature that is particularly useful in games with fog of war is the snapshot, which lets you save what the board looks like at that time. You can take a snapshot at the beginning of a game, and as territories go foggy, you can call up the old snapshot to help you guess where players might be. A link to each snapshot is saved in game chat and automatically marked private.
Another very useful feature of BOB is its key to which territories border, one-way attack, bombard, or are bombarded or one-way attacked by other territories. The Classic map only features regular attacks, but some maps can be quite complicated, and this feature can help you understand and better plan your attacks.
Yet another nice feature of BOB is its description of which territories make up a continent bonus. if a player currently owns a bonus, BOB will show list the bonus, and in a game, you can click "Map Options," go down to Text Map, and select Standard to get a list below the map of all the bonuses and the territories that make up each bonus.
BOB has other useful features, as well, which you can play around with. You'll need either Firefox or Google Chrome for BOB, and if you use Firefox, you'll need a script called Greasemonkey.
The Users Guide To CC Tools And Enhancements is chock-full of goodies to enhance your Conquer Club experience. In addition to BOB, check out these other useful game aids (you'll need either Firefox and Greasemonkey or Google Chrome to use most of them):
Clickable Maps Compatible with CC's official Clickable Maps. Instead of using the drop-down menu to attack from territory to territory, Clickable Maps lets you click directly on the attacking and attacked countries. Check out the How to Install Clickable Maps for Speed for some useful tips on making Clickable Maps faster (basically, disable the confirmations in BOB and CM).
Map Rank (Firefox+Greasemonkey only) Loads of information on individual map and medal statistics. Can you get to Field Marshal on Classic?
Chatglove Changes game chat to a handy, detachable, auto-refresh window. Also includes a new game chat notifier. Never miss in-game chat again! Very useful for team games.
CC Private Message Team 0.5 This one's still in Beta, but it adds a button in game that lets you create a PM with the names of your teammates already included in the To field. Not essential, but handy for keeping in communication with your teammates.
So if you want to add bold text to your post, you press the B button and you get the bold tags. Always make sure to add your text BETWEEN the tags so that you get the effect you are looking for. Bolded Text is done like this...
Did you know your inbox can do a lot more than just let you know you have a message?
Next time you go to your inbox look directly below the "Sent Messages" link and you'll see "Rules, Folders, and Settings." By clicking there you will be able to organize your inbox, create personalized folders for storing important messages, and create rules for how your inbox handles your messages.