LUMINES "SORTING STRATEGY" FAQ
(pretend there's fancy ascii art there)

version 1.0
September 18, 2011


:: TABLE OF CONTENTS ::

> Version History
> What is this Strategy?
> Visualizing the Board
> AD: "one" blocks
> FI: "three" blocks
> KL: "blank," "two," and "four" blocks
> MP: "deuce" blocks
> Pros/Cons
> Acknowledgments
> Copyright Info
> Contact


===================
//                   //
//  Version History  //
//                   //
===================

1.0: wrote the FAQ


==========================
//                          //
//  What is this Strategy?  //
//                          //
==========================

I got the idea after reading an FAQ that suggested putting all the "deuce"
blocks off to the side in a pattern that would clear one another, and using the
rest of the board for all the other blocks.

I thought: couldn't the other blocks also be arranged with their own kind to
clear themselves?  And is there enough room on the board to sort each one
without interference?

The answers are both "yes."  And it's actually pretty simple.


=========================
//                         //
//  Visualizing the Board  //
//                         //
=========================

This is the Lumines board:


     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P
     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
 1  |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
 2  |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
 3  |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
 4  |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
 5  |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
 6  |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
 7  |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
 8  |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
 9  |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
10  |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|


Sixteen columns (AP) and 10 rows.  One large open space.  But don't view it
that way for this strategy.  Instead, view the board as being divided into
sections like this:


     A B C D    E    F G H I    J    K L    M N O P
     _ _ _ _    _    _ _ _ _    _    _ _    _ _ _ _
 1  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|  |_|_|_|_|
 2  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|  |_|_|_|_|
 3  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|  |_|_|_|_|
 4  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|  |_|_|_|_|
 5  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|  |_|_|_|_|
 6  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|  |_|_|_|_|
 7  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|  |_|_|_|_|
 8  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|  |_|_|_|_|
 9  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|  |_|_|_|_|
10  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|_|_|  |_|  |_|_|  |_|_|_|_|


Each section is designated for a specific type of block.


Columns AD are for the "one" blocks, which look like this:

OX
OO


Column E is to be kept empty.


Columns FI are for the "three" blocks, which look like this:

XO
XX


Column J is to be kept empty.


Columns KL are for the "blank," "two," and "four" blocks, which look like
this, this, and this:

OO   OX   XX
OO   OX   XX


Columns MP are for the "deuce" blocks, which look like this:

XO
OX


And that's why it's called the "sorting" strategy.


Of course, you can't just place the blocks down in any old order.  Here are the
sequences you'll need.


=====================
//                     //
//  AD: "one" blocks  //
//                     //
=====================

Put the first "one" block all the way in the corner, like so:

|_|_|_|_|
|_|_|_|_|
|O|X|_|_|
|O|O|_|_|


Put the next block on top of it, with the X's touching, like so:

|O|O|_|_|
|O|X|_|_|
|O|X|_|_|
|O|O|_|_|


Put the third block to the right, still with the X's touching:

|O|O|_|_|
|O|X|_|_|
|O|X|X|O|
|O|O|O|O|


And of course the fourth block completes the pattern:

|O|O|O|O|
|O|X|X|O|
|O|X|X|O|
|O|O|O|O|


When the time line passes, the X's get deleted and the top row drops, leaving
this:

|O|_|_|O|
|O|_|_|O|
|O|O|O|O|
|O|O|O|O|


When it passes again, the bottom 8 O's get deleted, and the top ones drop,
leaving this:

|_|_|_|_|
|_|_|_|_|
|O|_|_|O|
|O|_|_|O|


When the next "one" block appears, put it in the middle like so:

|_|_|_|_|
|_|_|_|_|
|O|X|O|O|
|O|O|O|O|


The time line will delete the right section, leaving the first step of the
loop!

|_|_|_|_|
|_|_|_|_|
|O|X|_|_|
|O|O|_|_|


Repeat.


=======================
//                       //
//  FI: "three" blocks  //
//                       //
=======================

Use the same pattern as the "one" blocks, but swapping X's and O's of course.


==========================================
//                                          //
//  KL: "blank," "two," and "four" blocks  //
//                                          //
==========================================

This is the simplest section of the board.

When you get a "blank" or "four," just drop it down on top.  The time line will
clear it.

When you get a "two" block, lay it down horizontally.  Either of these
orientations will work:

OO   XX
XX   OO


Never place them vertically:

XO   OX
XO   OX


Whether to play the "two" blocks with O's or X's on bottom will depend on
what's on the top of the columns already.  Obviously, just match the two.


=======================
//                       //
//  MP: "deuce" blocks  //
//                       //
=======================

Ah, the "deuce" blocks.  There are already plenty of strategies for sorting
these blocks among themselves.  I'll just be outlining my personal favorite of
them.

Place the first one in the corner:

|_|_|_|_|
|_|_|_|_|
|_|_|O|X|
|_|_|X|O|


Place the others so the center part matches:

|_|_|X|O|  >  |_|_|X|O|  >  |O|X|X|O|
|_|_|O|X|  >  |_|_|O|X|  >  |X|O|O|X|
|_|_|O|X|  >  |X|O|O|X|  >  |X|O|O|X|
|_|_|X|O|  >  |O|X|X|O|  >  |O|X|X|O|


This will cause the center part to disappear, leaving this:

|O|_|_|O|
|X|_|_|X|
|X|X|X|X|
|O|X|X|O|


Which then turns into this:

|O|_|_|O|
|X|_|_|X|
|X|_|_|X|
|O|_|_|O|


Drop your next "deuce" in the middle, like this:

|O|_|_|O|
|X|_|_|X|
|X|X|O|X|
|O|O|X|O|


And place the next one to create a group of 4 squares on the side:

|O|O|X|O|
|X|X|O|X|
|X|X|O|X|
|O|O|X|O|


This will turn into this:

|_|_|X|O|
|_|_|O|X|
|O|O|O|X|
|O|O|X|O|


Then this:

|_|_|X|O|
|_|_|O|X|
|_|_|O|X|
|_|_|X|O|


Now drop the next two "deuces" to form a group in the middle again:

|_|_|X|O|  >  |O|X|X|O|
|_|_|O|X|  >  |X|O|O|X|
|X|O|O|X|  >  |X|O|O|X|
|O|X|X|O|  >  |O|X|X|O|


This will cause the middle to disappear:

|O|_|_|O|
|X|_|_|X|
|X|X|X|X|
|O|X|X|O|


Then the bottom disappears:

|O|_|_|O|
|X|_|_|X|
|X|_|_|X|
|O|_|_|O|


See a pattern forming?  Just keep doing that.


=============
//             //
//  Pros/Cons  //
//             //
=============

This strategy has pros and cons.


Pros:
- it's easy
- cannot be foiled by destroyer blocks
- keeps the block level low


Cons next:
- it's boring
- requires careful timing
- a single mistake can be difficult to fix
- will rarely create large combos


The timing bullet point is the most important one.

While running this strategy, be careful not to drop a block into a sequence
while a group of 4 squares is highlighted and waiting for the time line to
clear them.  It has the potential to add additional squares to the glowing
section and clear things you don't want cleared quite yet.


===================
//                   //
//  Acknowledgments  //
//                   //
===================

Thanks.


==================
//                  //
//  Copyright Info  //
//                  //
==================

There isn't one.


===========
//           //
//  Contact  //
//           //
===========

cottonrhetoric at gmail dot com