Some tips and tricks...

Neighbouring Tiles

By examining two consecutive tiles we can quickly determine their potential combined value. Take this example of '2, 3, 5, 4'. On the one hand that amounts to a possible total move of 14 (2+3+4+5) tiles.
By backtracking we can reduce that to the required solution of 'Left 4'.

With the last two tiles 5+4 could obviously make 9 but a move of that size means the starting point would have to be off the board! More importantly their combined negative creates '1' (5-4). A move of right 5 and left 4 is the same as a move of right 1.

Where possible, and board permitting, we can alternate directions to give us:

Up 1
Down 1
Right 1
Left 1 (as in the example to the right)

It is helpful to instantly acknowledge the relationship any two neighbouring tiles have. It should be an instant recognition:

7, 8 - a possible 1
3, 4 - a possible 1
6, 5 - a possible 1

and so on.

With this in mind we can now look at the selection as:

2, 3, 1

Automatically we have a reduced number of computations and the solution becomes far clearer.


The Use of Nines

In Blitz there are only 36 squares on the board where a move of 9 can be made. These are the outer squares. Out of this 36, 32 moves are cumpulsory, meaning there is only one possible direction to be taken.

In the outer corners of the board there are two possible moves to be made using a 9 tile:

We can use this knowledge to plan the strategy before the starting positions have even been revealed.

In the above example the 9 can be used as a midpoint reference. Plan to reach the outer squares of the board in order to make a valid 9 move. When we finally do see the board it becomes clear which moves can take us there.

Initally we'll take the route down towards the centre of the board. '5 down' leaves only one possible move - 6 right. At this point it is quite clear that it will be impossible to reach the outer squares.

Below we will examine sticking to the outer edges in order to play the 9 tile. A quick '5 right, 6 left' seems to have potential.

Again, the only way to stay in position is to now play a 'right 2'. We are now on an outer square and can see a way to use the 9.

Right 5
Left 6
Right 2

DOWN 9

Right 2
Up 6
Down 4


Cancellation

Often times complex selections can be reduced by eliminating contradicting moves. Take the following example:

It is clear that by removing the initial double 3 we can still solve the problem. A simple 'up, down' or 'right, left' leaves us back at the starting square.

With tougher puzzles you can take some time to calculate whether it can be solved with a simple cancellation. In this case the two '5' moves are disregarded to see whether a solution can be found.

It appears 1, 6, 4, 2, 4 is indeed a more straightforward solution.

So all we have to do now is to play the cancelling 5's and continue the finishing moves. A 7-tile board has been reduced in complexity.

'5 right, 5 left' completes the cancellation...

Remember, not always will cancellation lead to a possible solution in Blokkology, but sometimes it is a huge advantage. In time you will recognise not just individual numbers but also groups of numbers that can cancel each other out. '5, 2' (up, up) could cancel '7' (down) for example.


Check back for more tips...


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