When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

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When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby Easy n Dirty on Wed May 11, 2011 1:46 pm

Forgive me if this has been discussed already, but...

Although I recognize that the term is meant derisively, I am beginning to think that it's not only OK but actually beneficial to be a bonus monkey in smaller escalating games, meaning games with 4 or less players. I think in these games, because it takes more rounds for enough cashes to take place where sets of cards are worthwhile, the extra armies you might get from acquiring a bonus can become meaningful and can justify the troops sacrificed in order to obtain it. Alot depends of course on the map you are playing and on what kind of drop you get, but I find that in three player games, you should almost certainly be looking to get a small bonus early on if you can (assuming a fairly standard map, i.e. nothing like Doodle Earth, for example), and at four players, you need to at least consider it if one is available at not too high a cost. At five players, I would probably only go after a bonus if it fell in my lap, and at six or more I generally find that the benefit doesn't justify the cost, cards become valuable too quickly for the bonus to be meaningful or to even allow recoupment of troops squandered in getting the bonus to begin with (of course, if I get three out of four territories in Australia on the drop, I will be a bonus gorilla in that situation ;) ).

Thoughts?
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby Timminz on Wed May 11, 2011 2:29 pm

I think you're spot on.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby SirSebstar on Wed May 11, 2011 3:03 pm

a mile off?
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby shieldgenerator7 on Thu May 12, 2011 6:19 pm

continent bonuses are nice but usually fairly hard to get unless you start off with many of the territories. So yeah spoils are the way to go sometimes.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby neanderpaul14 on Thu May 12, 2011 8:45 pm

I go out of my way to break bonuses in escalating games.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby Timminz on Thu May 12, 2011 9:06 pm

neanderpaul14 wrote:I go out of my way to break bonuses in escalating games.


Even if there are only 4 players?
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby Streaker on Mon May 16, 2011 3:37 am

Timminz wrote:
neanderpaul14 wrote:I go out of my way to break bonuses in escalating games.


Even if there are only 4 players?


Good point. Depending on my mood, I tend to be either suicidal against the monkeys, or sit back and watch players go mad because someone took a bonus.

On a smaller game size, bonuses CAN be good. I feel the bonus monkey term only applies from 6 players and up. 5 players will depend on situation, 4 players or less taking a bonus can be a good way to win.

So basicly, you are correct :)
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby Iron Butterfly on Mon May 23, 2011 1:02 pm

Bonus Monkey was a term coined in SOC to describe players who go for a bonus territory in an escalating game. Experienced players know that in the end its who has the card cash not the bonus. Keep in mind that SOC teaches 6 man escalating games. The dynamics change with the number of players.

The reason taking a bonus is discouraged is that there is a strong possibility one can ruin their troop count by trying to take a bonus. Troops are also wasted trying to protect it. What is ignored is the rest of ones troops across the board.

With that said even in 6 man term escalating if one can get a bonus in by the first 3 rounds with limited losses (GOOD DICE) those extra armies can make a huge difference in the early game. Those extra two or three troops can be put around the board to strengthen other strongholds. The opposite holds true as well. I have seen many folks lose the game because they get bad dice trying to take an un needed bonus OR some one charges in to break up the bonus area.

When is it OK? On Classic we say hold at least 3 of the territories...others have don it with less.

Its become derisive because it conflicts with the style that Wacicha, founder of the SOC, intructed the students to learn and that we now teach. There are pros and cons to going for the bonus but I personally beleive one is better served in focusing on the whole board with 6 or more plyers.

Its a great question for debate.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby MoB Deadly on Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:36 pm

I think its a good strat if you can confidently take it in 2-3 rounds to complete the bonus. Early bonus will make you less of a target early game, as people will try to eliminate other players with a lesser troop count to get spoils faster. Of course I think it all comes down to a little luck of who has the set at the right time to complete the sweep at the end of the game
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby pickleofdoom on Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:39 pm

I basically agree with what everyone wrote. Many wise words.

One reason why we dont often go for bonuses in 6+ player games is because the people whose stacks you remove become vulnerable to elimination by someone else. In 3 or 4 player games you are not likely to give peoples cards away since cash will stay low for ages. So this reason becomes invalid.

Another reason for not taking a bonus is the possibility that someone may decide to break your bonus, at great cost to themselves. This is usually an irrational choice, but people may do it. This is especially true in 3 or 4 player situations with low card values. The army counts will go up faster than cash values and basically any strategy other than sit and do nothing becomes more or less irrational (I dont say there is no skill to it. Just that the skills needed involve understanding the likely irrational behaviour of other players). So allowing someone to take a bonus and hoping someone else goes and breaks it could be as good a strategy as any. Maybe no spoils or flat rate players can teach us some things about these kind of situations.

In 5 player games, i normally dont go for bonuses. But its a bit of a transition number. I much prefer 6 player.
The cards escalate fast enough to make eliminations profitable, but slow enough to allow a bit of cat and mouse rather than players just diving in at the first sight of a kill cos they know they probably wont get another shot.

All this is assuming the classic map.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby DiM on Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:21 am

Iron Butterfly wrote:Bonus Monkey was a term coined in SOC to describe players who go for a bonus territory in an escalating game. Experienced players know that in the end its who has the card cash not the bonus. Keep in mind that SOC teaches 6 man escalating games. The dynamics change with the number of players.


actually it all depends on what map you're playing on.
do a waiting game on AoR and you might see another player get a 50+ bonus before you even get 5 cards and exchange for the first time.
here's an example: Game 9550598

on a map that's around the size of classic getting an early bonus is worth it only if it's easy to get otherwise cards matter.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby danryan on Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:33 am

Spot on - in 4 player it's good play, in 5 player it's sometimes worth doing, and in 6 player it's nuts.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby anonymus on Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:39 am

danryan wrote:Spot on - in 4 player it's good play, in 5 player it's sometimes worth doing, and in 6 player it's nuts.


unles its on oasis.. like one game im in now.. me and neanderpaul are the only ones who did not rush for a bonus.. now crads are at 20 BUT im still not sure it was the right call for us 2 to not take some bonuses since rather than breaking each other they just keep getting more and more of the samll oasis-bonuses..
everyone kind of even n troops except for me and paul with maybe 10-15 troops less than the rest..

well i guess it will show in the end who did the correct call..
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby zimmah on Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:20 pm

lol omg Game 9631516

6players. 4 bonus monkeys.

are those games always like this?
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby pickleofdoom on Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:56 pm

Im afraid they tend to be. :?
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby DiM on Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:49 am

zimmah wrote:lol omg Game 9631516

6players. 4 bonus monkeys.

are those games always like this?



that's what you get for joining public games.
stick to games with people you know and you will have a lot of fun as well as a friendly chat.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby Metsfanmax on Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:59 am

zimmah wrote:lol omg Game 9631516

6players. 4 bonus monkeys.

are those games always like this?


It appears that one of your "monkeys" won that game.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby danryan on Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:06 am

Metsfanmax wrote:
zimmah wrote:lol omg Game 9631516

6players. 4 bonus monkeys.

are those games always like this?


It appears that one of your "monkeys" won that game.


It doesn't mean that their play won them the game. When 4 out of 6 players use suboptimal strategy the best player usually will not win. Hence good players stay out of these type of games.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby BYUwonder11 on Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:10 pm

danryan wrote:
Metsfanmax wrote:
zimmah wrote:lol omg Game 9631516

6players. 4 bonus monkeys.

are those games always like this?


It appears that one of your "monkeys" won that game.


It doesn't mean that their play won them the game. When 4 out of 6 players use suboptimal strategy the best player usually will not win. Hence good players stay out of these type of games.


Well by definition if they're using a suboptimal strategy, then they're not GOOD players even, much less the best right? :) What you've said here though danryan is true though, gotta play your strengths and know the games where you'll be able to employ them
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby firsal901 on Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:12 am

take it if you can hold it.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby darth emperor on Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:00 am

Elmo9199 wrote:take it if you can hold it.

Correction: take if they can't (even try to) break it
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby zimmah on Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:53 am

DiM wrote:
zimmah wrote:lol omg Game 9631516

6players. 4 bonus monkeys.

are those games always like this?



that's what you get for joining public games.
stick to games with people you know and you will have a lot of fun as well as a friendly chat.


k i'll spam you with invites then :lol:
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby laughingcavalier on Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:41 pm

I grew up playing escalating adjacent, usually 3-4 players & we always played for bonuses. I often wonder if I would beat my younger self.
Bonuses can help on big maps like ww2 europe or biggish unusual maps like aom even in 6-8 player games.
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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby pickleofdoom on Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:12 pm

BYUwonder11 wrote:
danryan wrote:....

It doesn't mean that their play won them the game. When 4 out of 6 players use suboptimal strategy the best player usually will not win. Hence good players stay out of these type of games.


Well by definition if they're using a suboptimal strategy, then they're not GOOD players even, much less the best right? ....


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Re: When Is It OK To Bonus Monkey?

Postby pickleofdoom on Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:19 pm

Its true that you get a lot of random stuff in public games. For a good quality game, probably best to avoid those games, I cannot deny it. But I do have a soft spot for them.

After all, it is also true that often the best player doesnt win in private games too. Sometimes you win because you go after someone misses a kill or you loose when you had an easy sweep but get bad dice. I tend to regard the bonus-grabbers as another random factor, like the dice. Its a bit like having adverse weather conditions in sport.
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