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Boothook's Rumbling Guide 2

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Not everyone puzzles the same way.
Developing a unique approach to a puzzle or challenge that works for the individual is the most important aspect of mastering the craft.
These pictures and/or suggestions derive from personal opinions and are meant as guidelines only.
They are in no way hard and fast rules as to the "correct" way to do this puzzle or game action.


Boothook's Rumbling Guide 2 (Revenge of the Sprinkles)

See also Boothook's Rumbling Guide.

Contents

What is this?

This guide teaches the hybrid style, which is how I defeat blackjacks with non-blackjack bludgeons.

Strikes

What can strikes do?

  1. They add volume to your opponent's board. This might sound completely obvious, but it will end up being very important later on in this guide.
  2. Narrow strikes can push balls a large distance. These strikes take a chunk of the board, and move the entire chunk to a different location. If your opponent has any charged groups on the left or right edges of this chunk, then there is a high risk that those groups will get bruised. The other charged groups probably won't get bruised.
  3. Wide strikes can scramble balls a short distance. These strikes take single balls on the board, and swap them with the balls that are adjacent to them. Pretend that the board has a "sea level", which is the highest row on your board that is mostly empty space. If your opponent sends you a wide strike attack that is 4-rows high, then all the charged groups within 4 rows of your sea level, are at high risk of getting bruised. This means that wide strikes can bruise charged groups much easier than narrow strikes.

How can I tell the difference between a narrow strike and a wide strike?

If the strike doesn't bounce off of a wall, then it is a narrow strike. If the strike does bounce off of a wall, then it is a wide strike. If a strike has multiple rows, then some of the rows might be narrow, and some of the rows might be wide. The game actually makes a noise when a strike bounces off of a wall, and it sounds a bit like a chainsaw if a strike bounces off of a wall multiple times. Every row that causes a strike to bounce off of a wall, will cause the balls on the board to scramble.

How do I control if I make a narrow strike or a wide strike?

The width of a strike is based upon three things: the number of groups in your combo, the sizes of each group, and the number of loose balls that fall off the board when you pop your combo. A very detailed table for the strike width can be found in the article rumble strike calculations. This might be completely overwhelming, so I will make an over-simplified explanation of it...

The more loose balls that fall off the board, the wider the strike will be. If you add enough loose balls, then you can guarantee that your strike will be wide. If this is still too confusing, then make your wide strikes by adding between 4 to 8 dropoff in each attack.

If wide strikes are better at bruising charged groups, shouldn't I make all of my strikes wide?

It is very important to note that adding loose balls to your strikes can be suicidal. As a general rule, every time you add loose balls to a combo, an extra row of balls will appear at the top of your screen. If you add a really large number of loose balls to a combo, an extra 2 rows of balls will appear at the top of your screen.

This is where strike volume becomes very important. If you add dropoff to a combo, then you are adding volume to your board as well as to your opponent's board. If you make a bunch of wide strikes, and your opponent makes a bunch of narrow strikes, then your opponent might win because you and your opponent are both sending a large volume of balls onto your screen. It doesn't matter that his board is harder to clear than your board, because your board is getting filled up much faster than his board.

How can I make wide strikes without killing myself?

It is much more efficient to clear your board by making sprinkle attacks, than by making strike attacks. If you make sprinkle attacks throughout the game, then you can make your board fill up at the same rate as your opponent. If you wait until your board is mostly full before you start sprinkling, then you're too late, because your board is now much too low when compared to your opponent's board.

This is called the hybrid style, which is a style where you have a good balance of strike attacks and sprinkle attacks. The hybrid style allows you to make wide strikes, without killing yourself. It is important to note that the hybrid style really does require you to make sprinkles attacks throughout the game, so if you want to spend most of the game making strike attacks, then you are seriously better off making narrow strikes.

Why don't I see many blackjack users making wide strikes?

The major strength of the blackjack's strike pattern is that the left side is completely different from the right side. If you make narrow strikes, then the left side gets mixed with the right side, which turns your opponent's board into a total mess. However, if you make wide strikes, then you aren't mixing the sides with each other, and instead you are only mixing each side with itself.

Sprinkles

What can sprinkles do?

  1. They can decrease volume from your board. Sprinkles decrease volume faster than strikes, so it allows you to make wide strikes without being overwhelmed by the extra board drops.
  2. They help prevent strikes from bouncing off of the walls on your board. If you sprinkle enough, so that the middle of your board is higher than the sides, then narrow strikes will not bounce off of the walls on your board.
  3. They allow you to make uninterruptable strikes. Remember our above discussion on "sea level". If you sprinkle enough so that chunks of the board are elevated past the sea level, and then you build charged groups on the elevated parts of the board, and those charged groups will be very hard to bruise.

Why do I want to prevent strikes from bouncing off of the walls on my board?

Every time a strike bounces off of a wall, it scrambles the balls on your board. Every time your board scrambles, it becomes much harder to clear. If you play half the game without making sprinkle attacks, then you allow your opponent's strikes to scramble the balls on your board many times, which makes them much harder to clear. It is easier to clear your board by sprinkling throughout the game, since this will allow you to clear many balls before they have scrambled many times.

Why is sprinkle efficiency important?

Remember that the purpose of sprinkling is to reduce the volume on your board, so that the extra board drops don't overwhelm you. If your idea of sprinkling is blindly matching groups as fast as possible, then you are wasting many moves. More balls will be added to your board (board drops) than are being removed (sprinkling). This would be defeating the purpose of making sprinkle attacks. It is more important to be efficient than it is to be fast. For an example of efficiency, if there are bruises on your board, you should try to pop groups that are adjacent to the bruises, so that the bruises can be cleared.

What is the best sprinkle speed?

The best sprinkle speed is not always the maximum speed. Even if you have perfect sprinkle efficiency, the best speed is not always the fastest. If there is a part of the board that needs to be cleared, then feel free to sprinkle really fast. However, if your board is a total mess, and no amount of sprinkling can clear it, then you might be committing suicide if you sprinkle at max speed, since you would get overwhelmed by board drops. In this case, you might want to take an extra second per ball, so that you slow down the rate at which you get board drops.

Can sprinkles help me against a blackjack?

Sprinkles can help you against a blackjack. Remember that one of the blackjack's strengths is that their narrow strikes cause the left half of the strike pattern to mix with the right half of the strike pattern. If you sprinkle throughout the game, then you can clear the narrow blackjack strikes before they have a chance to mix with other strikes. This makes the blackjack strikes much easier to clear. Also remember that the wide strikes you make greatly increase the chance that your opponent's strikes get interrupted.

Overall

This is hard. Do you have any tips?

When you start learning this strategy, don't worry about adding any extra dropoff to your attacks. Just focus on learning how to effectively mix strike attacks with sprinkle attacks. After you are comfortable with that, then you can slowly increase the amount of dropoff you make in each strike attack. While you are mastering this strategy, remember that not all of your strikes need to be wide. It is sometimes best to settle for a narrow strike, if you need to make a quick attack as fast as possible.

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