Crater

Minefields (Andromeda) Crater walk-through, completed in 1:58.0

It takes a while to figure out Crater and though you figure it out, you still need your opponents to cooperate. Be warned, they don’t like to cooperate.

Walk-through

  1. From 0:00 to 0:28, you need to double up your initial planet and capture the singleton just inside the minefields. If either of the opponents double up the initial planet, I start over.
  2. From 0:29 to 1:03, now you need to capture the double next to green inside the crater, and at the same time move units into place next to the green double outside.
  3. From 1:04 to 1:09, as soon as green sends the units from its double into the crater, you need to attack and destroy it. Don’t capture the double you just destroyed, but leave you units at the site till green is weak enough that it won’t be able to recapture the double.
  4. From 1:10 to 1:32,  you want to move your units that are outside the crater into position for destroying the orange double planet. Inside the crater is a different story, it will likely be different each time. This time I was lucky that green just attacked and destroyed an orange planet. I decided to attack the partially captured orange planet to prevent orange from completely capturing it.
  5. From 1:33 to 1:38, when orange moves units from its double planet and sends them inside the crater, you need to attack and destroy the double.

Here I was lucky that orange promoting a planet to double inside the crater prompted green to attack and destroy it. This left the remaining planets inside the crater as significantly weakened.


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Toll

Minefields (Andromeda) Toll walk-through, completed in 2:03.7

I use two different approaches in Toll depending on how orange captures its planets. My best time ever on Toll happened before I started recording all of my games so I don’t remember which variation I used. If you look at the graphs after the games are complete, you can see that in variation #1, orange has more units than I do, but in variation #2, orange is always weaker. For this reason, I think it is most likely variation #2 that will lead to the best time. Until I figure that out for sure, I keep playing both variations.

Variation 1

This is the most common variation and is where orange promotes its planets as fast as it can and waits to capture the moving singleton. Because of this, orange builds up quite a few units.

 

Variation 1 walk-through

  1. From 0:00 to 0:28, the initial captures. Occasionally at about 0:25 to 0:28, orange will attack the moving singleton. It doesn’t do that here, which makes this variation #1
  2. From 0:29 to 0:43, promoting all of my planets.
  3. From 0:44 to 1:12, just bide your time and wait for the moving singleton to go back to the orange side and collect a lot of units. Then, just as it is about to enter the minefield use an attack on one of the orange planets to get them to send the units from the the singleton to reinforce the planet you attacked.
  4. From 1:13 to 1:28, as soon as orange removes its units from the singleton, release your attack. At this point I divide my units between the top and bottom planet in an attempt to bait orange in attacking my center planet. If orange would do that it would really degrade the minefield in the path I’ll be taking soon.
  5. From 1:29 to 1:45, defend yourself from the orange attack, then capture the moving singleton and continuously send new units to the singleton.
  6. From 1:46 to 2:04, the final attack. While attacking the orange planets, you also have to be aware if orange has captured the moving singleton.

 

Variation 2

Sometimes orange will try to capture the moving singleton too early. This prevents orange from capturing and promoting its planets in a timely manner. Because of this, orange doesn’t have nearly as many units available to it as it does in variation #1. This is good, in that there are fewer units to attack me, but not so good in that there are also fewer units available to degrade the minefield.

 

 

Variation 2 walk-through

  1. From 0:00 to 0:28, my initial captures. Then at 0:28, orange makes its move to capture the moving singleton.
  2. From 0:29 to 0:42, finish my captures. Notice that orange finally completes its capture of the singleton, but is way behind where it would have been if it hadn’t attacked the moving planet.
  3. From 0:43 to 1:36, just building up my units, waiting for the orange attack.
  4. From 1:37 to 1:44, orange attacks, but without very many units. You need to capture the singleton and put as many units on it as possible.
  5. From 1:45 to 1:55, after making it through the minefield I attack the lower orange double because it looks like it has fewer units on it.

From here all that is left is destroying the remaining orange planets, including the moving singleton.


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Gladiator

Minefields (Andromeda) Gladiator walk-through, completed in 2:29.0

If you had told me it was possible to beat Gladiator in less than 2 minutes and 30 seconds, I wouldn’t have believed you. The best I could do was about about 2 minutes and 45 seconds with my previous approach. When I came back to Gladiator after a long absence, I couldn’t even get the times I had before, so I decided it was time to try another approach. This new approach resulted my best time ever the third time I tried it.

This approach is simple, but you need your opponents to cooperate, which they don’t do all that often. If they decide to attack you instead of another opponent, you won’t get the best time. You’ll notice times in this video where I allow my units to just sit there and accumulate, and then after the opponents start attacking each other I’ll start using my units. This comes from my recognition that the opponents are likely to initiate an attack on a planet that has just weakened itself by removing its units.

Walk-through

  1. From 0:00 to 0:09, your initial move has to be to capture the double planet next to one of your opponents. Then, while those units are in route to the double, start sending any newly created units towards the singleton next to the same opponent. We are trying to force the opponent to send their units towards the right and closer to purple. Surprisingly this works least half the time. This approach works whether the opponent is orange or green, in this video I’m attacking the orange side first.
  2. From 0:10 to 0:22, when the opponent sends their units where we want, you can start using units from both of your planets to capture the singleton. You don’t want to do that too early or your opponent may move to destroy the double planet you just captured. You’ll notice that I don’t continually send units from that double planet to capture the singleton, if you weaken that planet too much orange will use the two planets it now has to destroy and capture your double planet.
  3. From 0:23 to 0:31, you need to get as many units as possible down near the orange double planet, realizing that you can’t weaken the singleton too much or orange will attack.
  4. From 0:32 to 0:40, when orange makes the move to capture the top right double planet you need to use those units you’ve readied to do the attack and release move to get orange to promote their double planet. As soon as they double up, you want to attack with all of your units and destroy and capture that double.
  5.  From 0:41 to 0:45, you want to get your double planets promoted. Notice that I’m not using units from my center planet. If you weaken that planet too much orange will attack and destroy it.
  6. From 0:46 to 0:52, when orange makes the move to promote their double planet, you can use units from the center planet and get both of your doubles promoted.
  7. From 0:53 to 0:58, once your doubles are promoted, start sending units from your center planet to your singleton. This is to discourage orange from attacking it. I don’t keep the units on the center planet at this point because it is such an attractive target, someone is going to attack and destroy it.
  8. From 0:59 to 1:08, You just need to be patient and hopefully your opponents will attack each other. Here I’m waiting for both orange and green to attack someone and weaken themselves on their planets near me. If you move units off of your singleton too soon, it is becomes a target for someone.
  9.  From 1:09 to 1:19, you need to move some units from your double planets and then use them to launch a fake attack on a green singleton in an attempt to get green to move their mass of units off of their double planets. This time the third attack was successful in doing just that.
  10. From 1:20 to 1:24, if you attack the green double planets too soon, it will use those units we just got off of the doubles in their defense. you need to wait until something prompts green to use that mass of units elsewhere. Until then get your units in position for your attack.
  11. From 1:25 to 1:40, as soon as green makes its move you need to destroy, capture and promote its two double planets.
  12. From 1:41 to 1:42, here you need to wait for one of your opponents to attack someone and weaken their singletons next to your planets. In this video it didn’t take long before orange obliged.
  13. From 1:43 to 2:05, after capturing and destroying the orange singleton, I destroyed and captured both of the green singletons. Unfortunately, orange decided to join in on the second singleton.
  14. From 2:06 to 2:11, time to recapture and promote your the planet you started on.
  15. From 2:12 to 2:15, purple is going to attack orange, so you can leave it alone and just attack purple. If you time it right you’ll be attacking purple just as they destroy orange, but before they have enough units to capture the orange planet.

From here, it is just attack and destroy purple, going after its triple planet first. It is fortunate here that the planet where your units are positioned after destroying the purple double planet can use the path through the minefield that purple has created.


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Tariff

Minefields (Andromeda) Tariff walk-through, completed in 3:32.2

A long time ago I tried Tariff and at first I thought it couldn’t be beat. After finally beating it in about 7 minutes I just quit playing. Recently I revisited Tariff and tried some of the tricks I’ve learned, and wouldn’t you know it, they work even on Tariff.

The main thing to use on Tariff is the attack that you have no intention of completing, but instead you just want to coerce your opponent to move their units away from you and in position to be used on your other opponent.

 

Walk-through

  1. From 0:00 to 0:51, the initial captures and promotions, where I go from here depends on what the opponents do.
  2. From 0:52 to 1:00, I capture the singleton on the side of the first opponent to capture their double just below my triple planet, in this case that was orange. Once this is captured you want to build up some units that you will later peel off and use as an attack force.
  3. From 1:01 to 1:06, as soon as possible you want to start sending units from your center triple to the singleton on the other side.  In this case, this is to prevent green from trying to capture it.
  4. From 1:07 to 1:10, time to peel off an attack force for later use.
  5. From 1:11 to 1:25, complete your capture of the green side singleton and begin building up forces for a second attack force.
  6. From 1:26 to 1:33,  the second attack force.
  7. From 1:34 to 2:19, use alternate attacks on the opponents lower singleton or double planets.  These attacks work best when that planet has just sent its forces to join an attack.  Since that planet isn’t well defended, an attack on it will prompt the opponent to send in reinforcements.
  8. From 2:20 to 2:26, it seemed to me as if orange had gained the upper hand, so I started sending my forces to the orange side of the board to attack the strongest opponent first.
  9. From 2:27 to 2:36, time for the attack. How to attack here depends on how the opponents are attacking each other. I like to get the double inside the minefield. Once it is wiped out the opponent will usually try to recapture it, but with the minefield in the way, that isn’t an easy task.
  10. From 2:37 to 2:44, now that the battle has been completely joined, I figured it was time to start in on green. And of course, we have to continue the assault on orange.

From here, orange is just about wiped out, and green is weakened. All that is left is cleaning up what is left. At 3:06 capturing the green singleton was a mistake. I didn’t need the units it would produce and with those extra 100 units I would have been able to destroy the two remaining double planets quite a bit faster.


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