The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts.

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The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts.

Postby Viceroy63 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:48 pm

While I have written other articles in the Strategy Section, the “Bonus Monkey Series” is my first real work on Conquer Club. Inspired by a thread in the Strategy Section that I made fun of and yet it was truly a great idea as far as I am concerned. I believe that "DIM" tossed the idea out there and then “Andy” brought it to light and then “Victor Sullivan” moved it to the Strategy Section and then I just shot the hell out of it. Just blew it out of the sky! :lol:

But then, when I stopped laughing, I said to myself, "Wait just a minute here; There is a lot to say about BM's and BM activity. Why not write it all down in a paper?" And thus the "Bonus Monkey Series," was born. I guess that if I had not been so damn cynical at the idea, then I probably would not have given this a second thought and none of this would have been done? At least not by me.

At any rate this shows that good ideas can come from anywhere and unexpected sources, so thank you all, who threw this out there for me and especially Macbone who help me so much with my writing. He really did help me out a lot and taught me to write, in a way, things that I should have known but did not. As time passes by I may make revision to this and even expand on it but as it is here and now, it can be read in the Conquer Club Newsletter editions 67, 68 and 69.

The Bonus Monkey is your friend, leave him for last. Part 01 by Viceroy63
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The Bonus Monkey is your friend, leave him for last. Part 02 by Viceroy63
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The Bonus Monkey is your friend, leave him for last. Part 03 by Viceroy63
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Last edited by Viceroy63 on Tue May 28, 2013 10:53 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby macbone on Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:50 am

I don't like to see bonus monkeys among our SoC students, but I do enjoy it when a BM grabs a bonus. They're such easy targets. =)

Of course, they're no fun when they attack YOUR stack. =)
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby Viceroy63 on Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:16 am

Also when I think about it, it's like the odds of probability. If you are tucked away in some corner with your BZ then it is not likely that you will see any opportunities to eliminate another player. Where as it is more probably to see some kind of action when your stacks are spread through out the game map.

It's like that saying,

"If you never go past your front door, nothing new will happen to you!"

Ok I think I made that up just now. But the point is that you have to get out there where it's dangerous and risky if you want something new to happen to you. To see the probability of eliminating other players and possibly winning the game.

Man, that sounds like a good idea for an article. =)
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby macbone on Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:40 am

Ah, but it's Dangerous Business Walking Outside Your Front Door. =)

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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby Viceroy63 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:35 pm

I guess so??? :lol:
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby pickleofdoom on Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:54 am

Interesting thread.

Looking at your before and after photos I have two comments:
1) Red has lost out more than the other players. He had a stack in SA and in Oz and is now 6 armies down through no fault of his own.
2) By reducing the effective playing area for the other playes it makes it easier for them to eliminate each other, as you have said. We could think of it as helping the other players (although not all players are helped equally). Or we could think of it as making the game more easy and 1 dimensional. In situations where there are different armies in australia and south america the game is richer and more likely to be won by good strategy than if they are occupied by a BM.

So the presence of a BM will increase the total probability of the winner being from amongst the orther 5 players, simply because the BM has a dubious strategy. But as a contest between those 5 players the quality of the game is, in my opinion, reduced.

In the after diagram, one thing that jumps out at me is that red and cyan are locked in a kind of deadly embrace, over a limited scope of the board. If e.g. cyan has the lead in the card order, he will have an easy elimination, unless red cynically takes him out of johanesburg or chicago to save himself, in which case cyan is toast. So if i am cyan and ahead of red in the card order, and i know red is a decent player, i am may have to (begrudgingly) overstack in johanesburg and (happily)overstack in Chicago, and not add in tokyo, since if red takes me out there i may still have the kill from delhi, which is going to be my main stack.

also red has yellow completely lined up. The game has basically become too simple.

However that is secondary since the main feature is that blue is already pretty much dead in the water. Looks like pink took him out in mexico in a paranioia about possible attack on SA. This brings up another point, which you mentioned above. Holding a bonus with a satelite elsewhere can give you good position. Here green doesnt have bad position. He has a good stack on bancok and some presence near dakar. Ideally those men should have been forted together on dakar, but since pink is likely to suicide against such a stack, maybe they are ok spread out. thanks to the more extreme BM attitude of pinks, green now is ideally placed to take out blue. Also cyans is placed to take out blue. Note that stacking on johannesburg ready to take out blues has a secondary utility which i mentioned above. Red is also positioned to take out blue and yellow can get into position easily too.

Probably blue will probably get eliminated too early to be decisive factor. This will leave red yellow and cyan all in a deadly embrace. The result of the game is likely to be decided by card cash order.


I do not deny there are specific strategies to be used when there are bonus monkeys, and successfully adopting them is a skill in itself. The two things which spring to mind are to get out of their way if possible (and sometimes it is not possible) and try to plan ahead for when they leave someone half dead for the elimination. On the other hand, with 6 players playing a more reasonable strategy, the game is much richer.
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby pickleofdoom on Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:16 am

On reflection i want to do a bit of a U-turn. By reducing the game down to a few analysable elements, such a siuation can be interesting and instructive. and by excercising a bit of thought we can take some measure of contrlol over the game. Often when the early stages of the game are played more correctly, the game becomes so tight that we are reduced to jumping at the first half chance that comes our way.
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby Viceroy63 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:37 am

Thank You, Pickleofdoom for commenting! You have a very good grasp of the notes. I would like to add that in the first part of, "The Bonus Monkey..." where I discuss the only correct way to be a BM in the game...

That you are not then helping to simplify the game for all the other players if you already dropped on most of the bZ. I believe that I alluded to that but did not actually say that in so may words. It is obvious that if you dropped in three of the S. America regions, for example, and are only taking out a one other player for that fourth region that you are not greatly upsetting the balance of player/regions because you are already in the BZ where as a BM is removing more then just one other player from S. A. or the BZ.

Another thing that I would like to add is that If you have no stack in N. America then your primary mission in the game should be to place or move a stack into N. A. even at the cost of the S. A. BZ. In other words, if you have a stack in Reykjavic or Magadan that can more easily break into N. A. Than From Bogota, then immediate and future deployments of troops should go to that region that has a better chance of breaking into N. A. and not to the S. A. BZ.

And If you already have a stack in N. A. at the beginning of the game then you should place a lot of your focus on maintaining that N. A. stack even if it means never developing the S. A. BZ at all. The thing about the S. A. BZ is that other players in Mexico or Dakar will quickly try to hamper you in there by creating powerful stack right there at Mexico City. At least in most of the games they will. With the intention of eventually over running you. So it just would not be worth it then to develop the S. A. BZ then. Simply forming the three region into a single stack will often relieve other players of their worries and not stack so greatly against you in S. A.

pickofdoom wrote:This brings up another point, which you mentioned above. Holding a bonus with a satellite elsewhere can give you good position.


This is true. I can't recall if I actually stated that in that way, but the point is that this is a good idea, not because you have a BZ but simply because the strategy that the SoC teaches from the manual involves the development of various stacks through out the game in the first place. Obviously if you drop into three of Oceanas' regions for example then you have to play with the other four drop and go with the best ones.

If you can combine them, if they are next to each other, then that is great. But if you can not combine two regions of troops to form a stack elsewhere, then you need to tend to those other regions with more importance then the Oceana BZ. One thing about forming a BZ right away is that your other stacks are targeted for eviction from the premises by the other players. At least that is the most likely scenario. And that is never a good trade. It is better to tend to your best stack locations first and just form a stack in Oceana rather than taking the risk of placing your other stacks in danger.

On that note about forming the troops in Oceana into a stack, it should be as close to Jakarta or on Jakarta if possible. That's because Jakarta is a choke point and it may discourage any one in the future from hooking their troops together and going there and secondly because you will be closer to the Asian action this way should an opportunity for an attack from Oceana be necessary. It would just be simpler to attack from Jakarta into Asia than from Sydney.

I think that's all that I will add on to this for now. Again you have a good grasp of this because if as you said, having a satellite on Johannes burg, you would build up that stack, then you are no BM. A BM thinks about protecting his Bonuses from possible future invasions and so always drops to protect his BZ rather then on other stacks for potential striking scenarios.
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby chemefreak on Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:49 pm

This was an excellent read! Very well done.
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby Viceroy63 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:50 pm

chemefreak wrote:This was an excellent read! Very well done.


Thank you for the compliment!

I had never written some thing so long before but I had the ideas in my head upon learning them in the SoC. I tell you that there were times especially in the third part where I wondered if I were able to finish this work and luckily I did. All it needs now is some minor spelling checks and revisions as a lot of literature goes through. I hope that everyone who reads this comes through the reading with a deeper understanding of how to play to win.

It should make for tougher, harder to win and well earned games.
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby Iron Butterfly on Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:54 pm

Good job.

My BM strategy and philosophy is simple. Take it if you have it first round or two...after that its worthless. O and SA that is.

If your in a game with several BMs try and stay above the fray. The plus side is that they make the game board smaller to take out other players in the center.
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby Viceroy63 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:43 pm

That's precisely the teaching (in the long run) by the SoC. All of those points are detailed in the 3 articles.
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby Woltato on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:31 pm

Good articles, well written.

just the one point that I don't agree with. "Don't lose more than 2 troops" in article 3. I think this is a faulty way of thinking. Every move you make during your turn should be based on the merits of the position as it stands and everything that happened previously should be disregarded. Supposing I have a stack of 10 troops next to a 1 and try to take a spoil and lose 2 troops. At this point it would be wrong to automatically think that having lost 2 troops I should end the turn there. Instead treat the situation as if it's the start of your turn, forget about the 2 troops lost, assess the position as it stands and ask Is it worth going for a spoil with 8v1? Unless you're severely low on troops then the answer would probably be yes considering that the spoils are the main factor in winning an escalating game. I also think the logic that says taking spoils makes you more of a target is bit of a negative approach. Hanging on as long as possible doesn't win you the game. The fact is that you need spoils to cash in and give yourself attacking options if you're going to give yourself a chance of winning. Unless you get very lucky sitting tight and not taking spoils usually means you'll just end up surviving a round or 2 longer before losing or you'll make sure you're the last one to get knocked out. There's no points for second place, it doesn't matter whether you get knocked out first or last, so a more risky and aggressive attacking strategy wins more games in the long run.

Another point on BM's. I play mainly fog games and find that BM's are particularly helpful because taking bonus regions that show up in the game log effectively announces the position of half their troops. This helps massively when going for ko's as you can easily figure out where they are and additionally that gives you a section of the board where other players aren't.
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Re: The Bonus Monkey is your friend... All 3 Parts. [Discuss

Postby Viceroy63 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:14 pm

Woltato wrote:Good articles, well written.

just the one point that I don't agree with. "Don't lose more than 2 troops" in article 3. I think this is a faulty way of thinking. Every move you make during your turn should be based on the merits of the position as it stands and everything that happened previously should be disregarded. Supposing I have a stack of 10 troops next to a 1 and try to take a spoil and lose 2 troops. At this point it would be wrong to automatically think that having lost 2 troops I should end the turn there. Instead treat the situation as if it's the start of your turn, forget about the 2 troops lost, assess the position as it stands and ask Is it worth going for a spoil with 8v1? Unless you're severely low on troops then the answer would probably be yes considering that the spoils are the main factor in winning an escalating game. I also think the logic that says taking spoils makes you more of a target is bit of a negative approach. Hanging on as long as possible doesn't win you the game. The fact is that you need spoils to cash in and give yourself attacking options if you're going to give yourself a chance of winning. Unless you get very lucky sitting tight and not taking spoils usually means you'll just end up surviving a round or 2 longer before losing or you'll make sure you're the last one to get knocked out. There's no points for second place, it doesn't matter whether you get knocked out first or last, so a more risky and aggressive attacking strategy wins more games in the long run.

Another point on BM's. I play mainly fog games and find that BM's are particularly helpful because taking bonus regions that show up in the game log effectively announces the position of half their troops. This helps massively when going for KO's as you can easily figure out where they are and additionally that gives you a section of the board where other players aren't.


1)
Considering the whole situation for carding if you need to lose more than 2 troops for a card.

2)
Holding on to spoils in order to win the game.

3)
BM's in Fog games.

Three excellent points that I did not really give much thought to when writing the articles. There are probably as many points as there are players and that is why it is cool to discuss them in the threads. Sorry I took so long. LOL. I am now seriously considering an 8 Player Terminator Fog game in the Classic Map.

Anyone interested?

Check out the thread in the Link below.

8 Player Terminator - Non Official
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