November Challenges

Rob: Every November, as a way of celebrating Monkey during the month it was published, I do the November Challenge in which I play in solo mode against Kurgill in INSANE MODE (see the Krazy Kurgz variation on pg. 9 of the Monkey Rulebook). It’s the ultimate Monkey challenge  :). (This is where you remove all bananas and faeries from the game… yep, it’s insane.)

Each year it’s the FIRST to SCORE 5 WINS. Enjoy.

Playing with “Honours”

“Honours” refers to letting Kurgill go first in all games (in standard play Kurgill usually goes last).

Hall of Fame

Kurgill 4: Rob 1

Year 2020 Winner: KURGILL (Rob played with honours)

Year 2019 Winner: KURGILL (Rob played with honours)

Year 2018 Winner: KURGILL

Year 2017 Winner: ROB (Rob was partially honourable)

Year 2016 Winner: KURGILL

The Fifth Edition (Year 2020): SUPER-TREE SOLO IS SO FUN!!! Kurgill wins, Kurgz 5: Rob 2


I used Business Monkey in all games. All games were Insane Mode, and I played with honours every match, letting Kurgill go first. This year I played in Super-Tree and I LOVED PLAYING SUPER-TREE SOLO! The ousting at the middle was a really fun mechanic to strategize with!

Game Recap:

  1. K wins. Tough blacks on my Trunk!

  2. Exhilarating win for me! Black 15 at the Treetop and match was close all the way!

  3. K wins. Clean domination. I ousted him once at the TT before my great fall.

  4. K wins. I got absolutely schooled. Gnomed. Monkey-trapped. 20s blocked. Supremely schooled!!

  5. What a match!! I got double-gnomed (getting gnomed twice in a row)!!!!! And I still beat him!!!!!!!!! I had to use all my cards at the TT and just managed to pull it off, dodging the final traps!!

  6. K wins. My first spell? Gnome. Then I made some progress and… gnomed again!!! We did some back and forth ousting in the game which gave me hope but, how often are matches gnomally like this??

  7. K wins. The final showdown and he took it. Again!! In this game I lost a monkey fight and it hurts big (K goes up 1 and I fall down 1, yowch!!). Oooohh but I thought I had him still! I just needed one more turn because I had two 20s in my turn and I was at position 3 (highest trunk position in Super-Tree variation). Nope. Not to be. Why? The 20s were blocked. Yep. I didn’t stand a chance. Foiled for another year!!

The Fourth Edition (Year 2019): DO I DARE DREAM? Kurgill wins (with honours), 5 Kurgz: 3 Rob

Well well. Another year. Another loss. I’m not too worried about it. Just. Devastated. Well done Kurgzie. You know that whole thing about being reduced to fine particles? It did happen. Just not to Kurgill.

Here was the recap for this year:

Game 1: Against all odds (Rob wins)

  • Business monkey for the win! 🙂
  • I got gnomed 3 times in a row, and later 2 times in a row. Aside from these multiple gnomings I faced the gnome an additional 2 times. That’s 7 times facing the gnome!
  • At one point in the game I had 8 Monkey traps on me! I dodged all 8 in a single climbing attempt and then got trapped by the Trunk traps, haha!!
  • I beat Kurgz in every Monkey fight!
  • The Trunk had two twenties, and the Treetop had two 15s and one 20.
  • All three birds were impeding me: 7, 6, and 7

Still I demolished Kurgz. With honours. That felt very very nice. So if ever you get gnomed 7 times in a game, remember this: All hope is not lost!

Game 2: Master trapper (Rob wins)

  • Business monkey for the win! 🙂
  • I got gnomed only once. That was a nice change from last game!
  • I was able to beat Kurgz in every Monkey fight!
  • I beat Kurgz in every Monkey fight!
  • Position 4 of the trunk had one twenty, and the Treetop had a 5, 9, and 20
  • Kurgie had probably 3 or so attempts at the Treetop but never beat the cards there
  • All three birds were impeding me: 3, 2, and 10

When I find Kurgill sitting at a Twenty: I. Happy. I. Trap. 🙂

Game 3: The actual master trapper (K wins)

  • Business monkey lost 😦

I beat the treetop. Feel prey to the final Treetop trap. My game unravelled from there. Let’s not talk about it.

Game 4: That was a quick death! (K wins)

  • Business monkey lost 😦

We raced up the Treetop. The sore loss was when he beat ME to a Monkey fight. I managed to get to the Treetop along with him. Then he mightily rocked the Treetop Challenge!!

Game 5: That was a quicker death! (K wins)

  • Business monkey lost 😦

All I’ll say is this: If I lose one more game, I’m changing over to Gangster monkey.

Game 6: Is all hope lost? (K wins)

  • Business monkey lost 😦

I got literally smashed. I finally beat the black 4 at position one then got smacked with the gnome twice to bring me ripping back to the bottom. But no. All hope is not lost. And here I make my final stand. Gangster-style.

Game 7: Gangster NEVER FAILS! (Rob wins)

  • Gangster for the win! 🙂

This was one of those games where it was neck and neck the whole way. Wait, no it wasn’t! I got gnomed, anvilled, trapped, and only squeaked my way to the top. Kurgill, fortunately, had tow 10s in the Treetop which slowed him down after he attempted it like SEVEN times! Thankfully I made one attempt and rocked it! Go gangster!

Game 8: Gangster, how could you? Kurgz! No!!! (K wins)

Let us just say this: Kurgzie, well done for another year. Gangster monkey, thank you for giving me hope at a critical point in the tournament. Business monkey, I heart you still. There’s always next year to face my formidable foe.

The Third Edition (Year 2018): RUTHLESS. Kurgill wins (no honours), 5 Kurgz: 1 Rob

Well as I look back to past years, I don’t feel as bad now. I forgot that in 2016 Kurgill TOTALLY mopped up, 5:0!! I suppose he was just leading me on last year, giving me the semblance of hope for another win. No sir!!

Here was the recap for this year:

Game 1: Kurgzy Smackdown (K wins)

  • Go Business Monkey!
  • Had a tough black at position 1
  • I had a small comeback before getting the SMACKDOWN
  • Was gnomed once and Blocks on 3s & 6s

Game 2: Face to Face at the Treetop (K wins)

  • Go Gangster Monkey!
  • Anvil to start things off haha
  • Trapped him successfully once!
  • I got to the Treetop but got caught facing the Treetop Traps
  • Beat him in 3 fights and even axed one of the easy trees he was on (turned out he got a 15 there instead muaha)
  • Then… he beat me on the 4th fight making me fall into a 20! (That was my second fall into a 20 this game)
  • We were both at the Treetop!
  • This game felt like a winning game for me. Kurgz was playing with my emotions, giving hope before he delivered the final blow
  • Blocks on 2s & 9s

Game 3: Annihilated (K wins)

  • Go Jester Monkey! (my secret weapon??)
  • I got trapped thrice and gnomed once
  • Block on 20s!! !?!?!?!

Game 4: Fancy for the win! (Rob wins)

  • Go Fancy Monkey!
  • Was a slow start: I had a 4 at position 1 and was trapped twice on it!
  • Later I successfully trapped Kurgzy twice
  • I beat him in 1 fight!
  • I got to the Treetop when he was at position 2 then I did it. GO FANCY MONKEY!!

Game 5: Overcoming the Odds only to get SMACKED! (but see Fatal Error) (K wins)

  • Go Fancy Monkey!  (because I won last time with him!!!)
  • Got caught twice in traps, caught him twice too!
  • I got gnomed THIRCE!!!
  • Blocks on 4, 5, and 6!
  • I beat him in THREE monkey fights (once with a 7 in one case, muaha!!)
  • My FATAL ERROR: I was at the Treetop and drew boxing gloves (Monkey Fight!)… I opted to save my 20 and play a lower card but Kurgz did me a beat-down with a 15. This unseated me from the Treetop and set him there instead. I climbed back up on the next turn but the time and cards it cost me surely cost me the game

Game 6: Treetop Nail-biter (K wins)

  • Go Fancy Monkey! (because he was my only winning monkey so far!)
  • Blocks on 4, 6, and 20 early on in game!
  • Still, I got to the Treetop and he was at position 3
  • Treetop Terrors: I can’t tell you how close to a win I was with this one… I beat the Treetop Challenge THREE times, it was an easy setup (blue 2, yellow 6, and black 1, so required black each time which I just had one of each time I faced it)
    • First attempt: beat it with three 5’s and a 3–got caught by TT traps of TWO 5s!!!!
    • Second attempt: beat it with two 8’s and a 9 (because one of my 8’s was the blackie)–got caught by an 8 TT trap!
    • Third attempt: Beat it with a 3, 6, and 10… Caught by a 3 TT trap!
  • Finally K came in to try his hand at the Treetop. He actually didn’t beat the 6 one time (having a 4 + 2), giving me a semblance of hope. But on the next attempt, before I could try again (because of my past 3 fails), he delivered the final blow.

The Second Edition (Year 2017): WINNING WITH HONOUR (partial honours*), 3 Kurgz: 5 Rob

0 for Kurgill ; 4 for Rob

GAMES 1-4: Good-bye Kurgie

  • Chosen Monkeys: Each of the four got a chance.
  • Battle cry: None needed. I took this like a boss.

Yep. By some mix of craziness I managed to pull off 4 wins in a row. I guess I figured that I should pay him the service he paid me last year.

Looking back I remember how Kurgill’s way was one of sheer domination. I knew I needed to approach my following games differently than he. Like a gentleman. So from now on, in all future November Challenge games, down the years to come, I will let you go first Kurgie. (I forgot to do this in 2018, is that why you gave me the smackdown Kurgzie?)

3 for Kurgill ; 4 for Rob

GAMES 5-7: Kurgill’s Responds

  • Chosen Monkey: Business Monkey for all three games
  • Battle cry: It’s businessssss tiiimE!

I didn’t regret my choice for letting Kurgill go first. But he did not treat me kindly for it. It’s just his way. How shall I recall these three games? Fondly? No. Not at all. I was smashed. Beaten. Given hope. Then robbed. Gnomed? Of course. Were there birds? Aplenty. Not impressed Kurgie.

3 for Kurgill ; 5 for Rob

GAME 8: Victory is mine!

  • Chosen Monkey: Business Monkey
  • Battle cry: It’s still businessssss tiiimE!

Eventually it had to catch up to him. And I must say that having a 20 as a Trunk at position 4 and one in the Treetop did slow Kurgie down though (and me of course). We each had attempts at the Treetop Challenge this game but I was ready to bide my time and send Kurgie and his birds back to stew until next year. I’ll take the trophie this year. If I must.

Final score: 3 for Kurgill ; 5 for Rob

Champion 2017: ROB (with partial honours*)

Yep. Partial honours. I let him go first for the last half of this November Challenge. I was partially honorable. Half a gentleman. 🙂

The First Edition (Year 2016): KURGILL SMACKDOWN, 5 Kurgz: 0 Rob

1 for Kurgill ; 0 for Rob

GAME 1: Pummeled & Chastized

  • Chosen Monkey: Gangster Monkey
  • Battle cry: “Bring it Kurgie, you gonna get crushed!”

Yep, I got pummeled. The first 2 trees were blacks which slowed me down and the next 2 were 20s! That slowed both of us down. One bird sprung during the game blocking my 6s (not Kurgill’s of course) but it never worked against me. I managed to get ahead of Kuattempt-1rgill when he got stuck on the first 20. I gloated and got cocky, hoping to race ahead. Then, after getting gnomed twice, each time falling back into a 20, I was properly chastized and remembered my place 🙂. Kurgill surpassed me with ease after that and later attempted the Treetop Challenge, missing it the first time on the final Treetop card. I beat the 20 I was on another time but I didn’t dodge the trap that sprung there and hoped to try again the next turn. I had the opportunity to trap Kurgill at the Treetop but forgot to do so. That was the clincher I think as he dominated the Treetop challenge on his second attempt. A good match but I’ll try to remember not to get cocky next time  :).

2 for Kurgill ; 0 for Rob

GAME 2: Lost by a sliver…

  • Chosen Monkey: Business Monkey
  • Battle cry: “Ayeeeeeeeeeee!”

This was a tight match. I got ahead of Kurgill by one position, with him stuck on a twenty. My next turn was deadly though as I drew a Monkey fight and lost (I played a 9 and he got a 15, boo!). Falling back to face that twenty was brutal to say the least. But I managed to get to the Treetop still, braving a black along the way, and even attempted the Treetop Challenge to take any opportunity I could. I had attempt-2no blacks but fortunately all of the Treetop cards ended up being red, a 5, a 10, and a 15. However, color got me. I couldn’t beat the red 15 at the end — to face it I had a blue 5, a yellow 8, a red 6 and a red 9. Ouch. So. Close. Had I played differently at the red 10, I would have won it since I saw what wizard trap cards I would have had from seeing Kurgill’s next turn, which unfortunately, was his attempt at the challenge where he won. My next spell would have been an anvil. You run a tight ship Kurgill.

3 for Kurgill ; 0 for Rob

GAME 3: Kurgill imposes his steady and strong hand

  • Chosen Monkey: Fancy Monkey
  • Battle cry: “Talk is cheap”

attempt-3The highlight of this match, which I rejoiced in was when I successfully trapped Kurgill at a 20 Trunk while I was also stuck there. But to see his grand plan thwarted was a delight. None of the spell cards were really devastating this game but I couldn’t seem to foil Kurgill’s steady climb. Kurgill just exerted his strong hand the whole way through. I did manage to trap him at the Treetop but he blew apart that challenge like it was child’s play and dodged the traps without a sniff. At least I’m getting beat by the best. It doesn’t hurt as much that way.

4 for Kurgill ; 0 for Rob

GAME 4: Story-book ending

  • Chosen Monkey: Jester Monkey
  • Battle cry: “I’m invincible!”

Wow. Just wow. Few games break things down in such brutal, slow detail. The pictures break it down for you. At times Kurgill gave me the impression that he was letting up on things, which is why I took so many. I thought I was going to win. Don’t be fooled. So we were both at the Treetop. Monkey fight. I can’t risk things so I played a twenty. He gets a twenty. What!? Anyway, at least he falls too. I make it back to the Treetop. So does he. On my next turn I don’t get to attempt the Treetop Challenge because a slide brings me down. When you stumble and fall in life, you get back up again, right? So I climb back to the Treetop and trap Kurgill there too. On his turn he attempts the Treetop Challenge and beats it but… wait for it… he actually gets trapped!! HAHA! The first trap I lay for him, a 2, gets him. HAHAHA!! My next turn. Anvil. Ouch. His next turn. He beats the Treetop again. Obviously. But again, yes, believe it or not: my last trap for him, a 20, traps him. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Okay, now we’re talking. I’m all ready to beat the challenge. Yep, you know what’s coming. I. Get. Gnomed. He beats the Treetop on his next turn. Story-book ending. And the birds were taunting me the whole time, blocking 3s, 4s, and 5s, I literally had 7 blocked cards in my hand at the end — two 3s, three 4s, and two 5s. Yep. Story-book ending indeed.

5 for Kurgill ; 0 for Rob

GAME 5: Mopping up

  • Chosen Monkey: Jester Monkey
  • Battle cry: “‘Tis but a scratch!”

Iimg_0575 thought I’d play Jester Monkey again, just so Kurgill could toss me to and fro like thunderous waves of torment like he did last time and claim the victory in true Kurgill fashion. Instead, he just came in with no real fanfare. A little domination here a little there. Of course I never got an edge. I think I was this annoying little flea that he squashed into the floor last game and so he put up with a little bit more buzzing. One more squish. Then got the mop. So ends the first edition of me against Kurgill. Well done Kurgie. See you next year  :).

Final score: 5 for Kurgill ; 0 for Rob

Champion 2016: KURGILL