[Moving this Rock article] My results with AlphaBetty are about as good as there is, so my question here is to get into the details of breaking rocks. Let's start with what I know, and then what I suppose, and you can correct me if i am wrong and add things you have learned:
- Rocks have up to 5 levels
- 5-level rock is completely solid
- 1-level (last before disappearing) is just pebbles
- A blaster can take away one layer
- Playing a tile adjacent (not on the diagonal) will break 1 layer
- Playing a crown can take away one layer if no other target is available (i.e., popping a bubble0. Crowns will NOT however remove a rock layer on (some Cheddar Spreader levels, e.g., 313.)
- Playing multiple adjacent tiles doesn't give better results/
- Playing adjacent and hitting with a blaster on the same move doesn't seem to improve the result
- Therefore it is usually better to play a word (4-letter for example) along MULTIPLE ROCKS than "around" a single rock. You could remove 1-layer from 4 rocks in one move but not 4-levels from one rock.
- It is better to blast multiple rocks than one rock multiple times in the same move.
- It is better to blast one rock and play adjacent to other rocks in the same move.
- On some levels, the blasters seem to have little or no effect across "dead space" in the game tableau (222?, 170 maybe at first, but not 175) -- this behavior may be different earlier in a game or perhaps if the rock already has cracks? Some levels seem to make the dead space a barrier while a blaster played "on the active tableau" affects the rocks just fine.
- Do blasters work better (sometimes?) if CLOSER to the rock than if far away?
What do you suspect? What do you know for certain?
- Play to hit multiple rocks on a single move (blasters or adjacent tiles)
- Concentrate on a few rocks on subsequent moves
- On a crowded board, it is better to kill a few rocks completely (obtaining room to play) than to crack every rock on the board.
I plan to move this to the "Rock " article page.