Helix

Orbits (Lupus) Helix walk-through, completed in 1:48.4

With Helix I used to think I needed to promote all of the doubles I captured, believing I needed them at full strength. Now I don’t promote them and instead capture as many planets as possible. My thought with this is to get all the planets captured as quickly as possible, in order to try and get the opponents attacking each other sooner.

I intentionally leave the center planet alone. If I do capture it, the opponents are likely to attack it. And, if its left unoccupied, the opponents will occasionally fight over it, and that is when I get my best times.

Walk-through

  1. From 0:00 to 0:07, I start out with an attack on the double next to green. I have no intention of capturing that planet, but I want green to double up. The reason for this is now greens next move will almost always be to capture the double next to it. If I had allowed its initial capture to be that double planet, then those two planets would most likely capture a planet I want to capture.
  2. From 0:08 to 0:49, the initial captures are almost complete, and this is the first benefit of capturing the planets I did. Orange is moving in between the three green planets and there is no way green can resist attacking.
  3. From 0:50 to 0:59, now all of the planets except the center planet are occupied by someone.
  4. From 1:00 to 1:04, time to start destroying some opponents. You’ll notice that green is making a move to capture the center planet. Occasionally green and orange will fight over that center planet. Orange doesn’t cooperate here.
  5. From 1:05 to 1:17, destroying the green outer planets. If orange had fought green for the center planet, it wouldn’t have had the excess of units it used here to destroy one of my planets.
  6. From 1:18 to 1:27, destroy the last outer orange planet.
  7. From 1:27 to 1:39, first I destroy the orange double and then move my units to the side. What I was trying here was to have orange move to recapture the planet I just destroyed, which they did, What I really wanted though, was for green to then attack orange. Some times that works and then I can just destroy green.

Since green didn’t cooperate, I had to go ahead and destroy them both.


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Freeway

Speed (Monoceros), Freeway walk-through, completed in 1:25.7

When you first start playing Freeway you’ll notice that the opponents will seem to do nothing for long stretches of time. You know you could get a better time if they would just hurry up and attack.

It finally occurred to me that they are building up their forces to try and capture an empty planet. You can usually tell which one they are after and you can use an attack on that planet to prompt them to give up on that planet and go elsewhere.

Walk-through

  1. From 0:00 to 0:08, here I’m trying to get both planets to give up on that center triple planet, neither fall for the fake.
  2. From 0:09 to 0:34, time to give up the fake and capture my initial planets.
  3. From 0:35 to 0:37, that orange singleton seems to be trying to build up enough units to go after the top left triple planet. I use an attack on that planet to get it to give up and bring their units more to the middle and closer to green.
  4. From 0:38 to 0:59, time to capture the singleton above greens double planet, then destroy and capture its double planet.
  5. From 1:00 to 1:12, it seems as if orange is once again preparing for an attack on the top left triple planet. At 1:05 a fake attack on that triple planet gets orange to give up and attack green instead. After orange goes after green you should mass your units on a single planet in preparation for your attack.
  6. From 1:13 to 1:25, time to attack the orange double planet and then take out the rest of the orange planets.

Here I was fortunate that the orange attack on the green triple planet was strong enough to destroy the planet, but not strong enough to capture it.


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Cloister

White Holes (Virgo) Cloister walk-through, completed in 1:41.8

Cloister is good example of forcing your opponents to do what you want. Using an attack through the walls, you can get your opponents to move their units in a way that helps you.

Walk-through

  1. From 0:00 to 0:20, capture the double immediately below you and start attacking the singleton cloistered within the walls. The walls will stop your attack, but you need them in the vicinity when the walls change.
  2. From 0:21 to 0:42, when the walls come down you need to capture both singletons near the white hole and then begin promoting the double you previously captured.
  3. From 0:43 to 1:04, finish promoting both of your double planets, then you need to use your units to attack first one opponent and then the other. These attacks are through the walls, but the opponents should still react and move units in as reinforcements. This will bring those units into the area that will be within the walls when they change. The hope here is that the opponents will attack each other and wipe out most of these units.
  4. From 1:05 to 1:24, when the walls come down you want to trigger the white hole. How the opponents attack each other will determine how you destroy their planets. In this case, orange was attacking, so I started with orange. After destroying the orange double planet, you need to leave enough units there to destroy the orange double planet that is outside the wall.

When the walls come down you just need to finish destroying the remaining planets.


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Crush

Shockwaves (Taurus) Crush walk-through, completed in 2:14.4

With Crush, you have to capture your initial planets and then attack the green rear planets. The reason it has to be green is you have access to its rear double planet. Because of the angles involved, you can’t access orange’s rear double planet as easily. Prior to the shock wave passing you need to destroy, capture and promote the green rear double and then destroy and capture the green singleton closest to your forces.

Walk-through

  1. From 0:00 to 0:36, the initial captures, by not doubling up the front double at this time, there will be more units available to destroy, capture and promote the green back double planet.
  2. From 0:37 to 0:59, position your units for an attack on the green rear double planet. When the shock wave gets close you need to destroy, capture and promote the double planet. Here I didn’t quite get it promoted.
  3. From 1:00 to 1:03, now you can promote your front double planet.
  4. From 1:04 to 1:15, gather your remaining units and destroy and capture the green singleton you have access to. Here I didn’t get it captured, but there are some units in there, which will make it easier to capture after the shock wave passes.
  5. From 1:16 to 1:45, time to complete the capture of the singleton we destroyed, then destroy the green double planet as the shock wave uncovers it. Then destroy the remaining green planet. While doing this you can preposition some units for an attack on the orange rear planet.
  6. From 1:46 to 1:57, as we are destroying the rear orange double planet, they are destroying one of our double planets. This is not necessarily a bad thing. They have to use units to destroy our planet, then they will capture and promote that planet which will use up more of their units.

From here you just need to destroy the remaining orange planets as quickly as possible. It is best for you if orange is promoting its planets, then it only takes you 100 units to destroy 200 or 300 of the orange units.


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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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Transverse

Force (Bootes) Transverse walk-through, completed in 1:58.8

When I first started playing Transverse I would always send my forces to the right and start capturing planets on that side. I was getting away from where the opponents were sending their forces, it had to be a good idea to get away from that, right? No, that was not a good idea. Just on a whim I decided to try defending the left side and the first time I tried, I had my best score ever.

Walk-through

  1. From 0:00 to 0:06, send half of the units to one triple, and the other half to the other triple. This doesn’t always work, but when it does, you have bought yourself some time to start building your forces.
  2. From 0:07 to 0:20, after completely promoting your triple planet, you should capture one of the other triples, here I chose the bottom triple that green has access to.
  3. From 0:21 to 0:54, capture and promote the triple. Green has a double on one side of the force field, you have a triple on the other. Your triple should be able to produce enough units to defend against the green double.
  4. From 0:55 to 1:06, capture the two singletons you have access to. When green makes an attack, make sure the triple has enough units to defend itself.
  5. From 1:07 to 1:12, mass your units on the singleton next to orange in preparation for taking it out.
  6. From 1:13 to 1:21, use the attack and release move to get orange to promote itself and make it easier to capture. Then destroy and capture it.
  7. From 1:22 to 1:34, now it’s time to start sending your units down the center force field to get ready to attack your opponents.
  8. From 1:35 to 1:42, you want to take out the orange double first, since they are the strongest opponent and they are also attacking you.

From here it is all about getting your units to the right side to destroy your opponents. I don’t really worry about greens attack on my triple planet. In this video I was lucky that orange destroyed the green singleton and didn’t have enough units left to capture it, which made my job a lot easier.

My initial move isn’t always sending half of the units to one triple planet and the other half to the other triple. In fact, that move doesn’t work very often. Sometimes I just attack and capture one of the triples and allow an opponent to have the other. When doing this you have to simultaneously defend the triple you captured and plan for and destroy the triple the other opponent captured.


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Cincture, Revisited

Shockwaves (Taurus) Cincture walk-through, completed in 2:35.3

I have played Cincture the same way for a long time and was able to get some good times, the approach I used to use can be found here. I’ve developed a new approach that makes a good time easier to achieve. The new approach captures two double planets on the perimeter, gets one of them promoted to double and the other is almost promoted. There is also a feature of this approach that discourages orange from partially capturing a perimeter double planet. This makes it less likely for that perimeter planet to be captured at a later time.

Walk-through

  1. From 0:00 to 0:08, your initial units are sent to capture the perimeter double planet between purple and orange.
  2. From 0:09 to 0:17, after waiting a few seconds, send units from you center planet towards the perimeter double planet between purple and green. Then send any units from you already captured perimeter planet behind purples perimeter planet. When I was first developing this approach I noticed that I would get this perimeter double promoted well before the shock wave arrived. It seemed that if I could peel some units off early on, they could be put to better use on the other perimeter double.
  3. From 0:18 to 0:22, the units from the perimeter double between purple and orange are sent towards the perimeter double between orange and green. This causes orange to give up on capturing that planet. When orange sends its units elsewhere, those units are brought back into the perimeter double to start the promotion process.
  4.  From 0:23 to 0:47, now it is all about getting both of your perimeter planets promoted to double, if possible, before the shock waves passes. I have come very close to having them both promoted to double, but I haven’t done it yet.
  5. From 0:48 to 1:18, after the shock wave passes, get both of your perimeter doubles promoted, then start moving your units into the vicinity of the purple perimeter planet. When you get enough units there, use the attack, release trick to get it to try to promote, then destroy, capture and promote the planet.
  6. From 1:19 to 1:34, in this position it is likely that green is going to try to capture the perimeter planet. I am attacking the green double planet to try to discourage green from going after that perimeter planet, that didn’t work but I was saved by orange attacking a green singleton.
  7. From 1:35 to 1:47, now it’s time to destroy the two remaining perimeter double planets and capture and promote them if possible.
  8. From 1:48 to 2:09, once the shock wave passes, you should complete any partial captures or promote any partial promotions, then let your units build up for when the shock wave starts to uncover the inner planets.

One thing to pay attention to at this point is that green has a partial capture on a perimeter planet. If I had waited too long to destroy the green planets, they would have tried to capture that outer planet. If you are lucky like I was here and no one has captured the center planet, you could get a really good time.


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