Playing Acornsoft Planetoid in 2017: Statistics and tactics

Playing Acornsoft Planetoid in 2017: Statistics

Highest score without losing a life: Normally I quit a game if I lose a life before 130k or so. In my video where I scored 767275 you can make out that I scored there a bit more than 150k before losing a life. In my 941k game it was ca. 167k. I think my highest score before losing a life, in summer 2017, was 220k - 230k (without using smart bombs as I use those only from 300k points and up, with just a few exceptions) and in October: 217,450 (this is also where I got to 30 lives/38 smartbombs and where I spent more than 8 waves in a mutant fest, otherwise It would likely have been a score of 1M+).

Highest number of lives/smart bombs: In 1996 it was ca. 30 lives + 35 smart bombs. In summer 2017 I got to ca. 30/36, and in October I got to 30 lives/38 smart bombs. On 12 November I got ca. ca. 36 lives + 44 smart bombs. After that I started using more smart bombs and lives got higher, up to ca. 38, total lives+smart bombs stayed at or just under 80 for quite a while.

I would roughly rate smart bombs and lives as having approximately the same value to get to higher scores...

Average score per wave depends on tactics, for my 888,150 score from 1996, it was ca. 16800, with my 941,950 score from 2017 it is ca. 17800. With my 979k score a bit lower, ca. 17490. My aim in changing tactics was to get more points per level, ideally more than 20k points per wave (as that means you can use 2 smart bombs per wave, in reality it doesn't work like that as the difficulty increases a lot at high waves, but still 20k+ is something I will try in 2018).

Scores to aim for on the lower waves, what you can get depends on the number of swarmers in a pod and that number is not always the same:

      wave 1:      17,250
      wave 2: ca.  40,000- 43,000
      wave 3: ca.  70,000- 75,000
      wave 4: ca. 100,000-109,000
      wave 5:   ?

Playing Acornsoft Planetoid in 2017: Tactics

Note that I don't read tactics by others, I try to figure it out myself, this is part of the fun of playing and trying to get a higher score, it's not just an action game, but it's about developing tactics, you need to analyse how to improve! So I recommend not reading my tactics and instead play the game and figure out tactics yourself. But if you want to know more, here is what I do:

Tactics now are the same as when I played in 1995-1996, but I will make small changes and I have made 1 change that I think works out well, but more on that later (it is simple: from ca. wave 40 on first go to the last man, do NOT first take care of bombers as you don't want to be in a mutant fest and the landers take up the men very fast). All the little details make a huge difference and it's hard to write all that down, takes time and realising what is important will take time to analyse. When you play it just gets applied...

Note that in writing down tactics it is not easy to describe all the small things that are essential for high scores, e.g. how to handle baiters.

Tactics organised

I wrote about it elsewhere but here is just a little bit of my reorganised text, more to come:

The swarmers overtaking you, as I remembered (as mentioned in an earlier post on somewhere at 700k+ this can be used to ride the wave and shoot them from behind (I call this riding the wave because they stay from you in about the same position). The swarmers will keep going in the same direction as you as long as you don't let them get too far ahead, and they won't shoot at you except when they head towards you... What you do is this: Go towards them, then evade their bullets and let them overtake you then you reverse and follow them at the right distance, and shoot all of them. This method to eliminate them can be done at lower scores (and thus game speed) too but then you carefully need to regulate your speed. So I prefer other methods, normally just shoot+evade bullets+turnaround and repeat until they are wiped out. For 350k-700k perhaps I should do the 'wave-from-behind'. Update Oct. 2017: I tried it a bit more but it is quite hard, and at lower waves, near the start of the game, it is a lot easier... So I've given up on trying it for now, usually I just wipe out all pods with swarmers with 2 smart bombs on the levels where the swarmers are too fast, which is from about 300k-350k points. Most problematic are the baiters and finding the balance of shooting (which takes time and thus more chances to get killed by bullets) and using smart bombs (and how to use those most effectively) is clearly the key to even higher scores (900k and more).

More to come.

Experimental tactics

I experimented a bit in October 2017 with scoring more points per wave by letting landers at higher waves than 5 pick up all men that they can and then rescuing them. For this I keep all men alive at waves 5-9 as long as I can, and at waves 10+ I keep 3 instead of 2 men alive as long as possible and let the landers pick up the men instead of just shooting the landers.

This went fairly well though I need to deal again better with the situation of keeping the last man alive. I am on track for 950k+ points (so far I have a higher average score per wave than with my 888k game on all games), but each time so far my efforts were spoiled by killing the last man a few times on each game and being in a mutant fest for many waves... (scores: 2x 700k+, 5x 800k+, with the highest score so far in October: 873,600 which was with old tactics, not with letting landers pick up men in higher waves. This was again very close to my all time high score and actually a better performance in that in my old 888k high score I didn't have so many waves in a mutant fest).

I tried this tactic (of letting landers pick up more men at higher waves) further and on 12-11-2017 it worked well. Not just that, I played better than before at killing the baiters and I was able to deal with them on most waves without many problems, which helped me to get the highest ever number of lives/smart bombs, at least 36/44 (after that lives went up and bombs down, all stayed around the same total number). I used only a few smart bombs up to about 450k points. Again I spoiled it by killing the last man at the end of the regeneration waves 45 and 50, but I was also too relaxed, I used too many smart bombs where not really needed and lost lives without much care because I knew I would improve on my 1996 high score. I got to wave 53, so more than 7 waves in a mutant fest, and despite that I got to 941,950 which means that my 1996 score is gone. I really need to take care more of the last man on the green regeneration waves, and then I think 1.1 million should be no problem.