Zombie Checkers

by Mary Hickey
13 May 2016

Mary Hickey

You watch silently from your hiding place behind a banyan tree as the bocor chants and dances in the graveyard under the light of the full moon. Suddenly one of the gravestones begins to shake, and the ground beneath it is disturbed as a bony and badly decayed hand reaches upward out of the dirt. It is followed by the other hand, and then a hideous skull-faced head as a frightful creature awakens, crawls forth, and stumbles to its feet. Oh no! That obeah man has raised a zombie!

Somehow, this story never ends happily. Caribbean folklore cautions against bringing the dead back to a sort-of-life as animated corpses, even if you think you can keep them under your control to serve your good or evil purposes. One false move, a condition unmet, or some magic words mispronounced, and unimaginably bad results quickly come to pass.

Backgammon players, too, need to exercise caution if their opponent kills a checker by taking it to his own ace point, but then Fate provides them with an opportunity to reanimate it and put it back in the game. The results can be...shall we say, dicey?

If your game plan is to race, then hitting anywhere at all will tend to be right. But when the game is nothing resembling a race yet, you need to consider other options when you have a chance to hit on your opponent's ace point:

is Player 2

score: 0
pip: 135
Money session
pip: 117
score: 0

is Player 1
to play 21

1.Rollout1Bar/23 8/7eq: +0.598
65.51% (G:15.03% B:0.75%)
34.49% (G:7.48% B:0.14%)
Conf: ± 0.015 (+0.583...+0.613)
Duration: 2 minutes 55 seconds
2.Rollout1Bar/24* 4/2* eq: +0.378 (-0.220)
58.20% (G:23.04% B:1.17%)
41.80% (G:11.91% B:0.57%)
Conf: ± 0.017 (+0.361...+0.395)
Duration: 3 minutes 59 seconds
3.Rollout1Bar/24* 6/4eq: +0.354 (-0.244)
57.16% (G:20.14% B:0.88%)
42.84% (G:9.69% B:0.38%)
Conf: ± 0.016 (+0.338...+0.370)
Duration: 4 minutes 13 seconds
1 1296 Games rolled with Variance Reduction.
Dice Seed: 35852670
Moves: 3 ply, cube decisions: XG Roller

eXtreme Gammon Version: 1.21

Do you want to raise up that dead checker? Better put away the jumbie dust!
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