I probably make one of these every time I beat myself

Minesweeper. Where are you all at?

B: 1
I: 25
E: 86

I want to get my expert speed on par with my intermediate, which is 1.6 mines per second. This would bring my expert time down to 61 seconds.

Anyone have any tactics they want to lend me?

You must make these threads ALL THE TIME.


Oh, that was a surprise.

I need to play again now that I have a new computer with no scores established.

I’ve always been horrible at this game.

B: 1
I: 25
E: 86

Do you have the ability to stop time or something? How else can you get those scores? I have:
B: 6
I: 58
E: 250

God damn Hades, that’s a fast Expert.

While I don’t think Hades cheats (and that is a really fast beginner, probably lucky draw which revealed all of them), there is a way to stop the Minesweeper clock in pre-XP Minesweeper.

Got me beat.

B: 3
I: 25
E: 87

Okay, these times were set 3 years ago and I pretty much haven’t played it since, but still, kudos. :slight_smile:

Exactly. That score was the most F2-ing I’ve ever done in my life. I have gotten 2s without a one-click win, but any great score in beginner is still a matter of luck. Ideally, you want mines sitting at the edge of the map that you don’t have to flag, so you can focus on clearing the areas that count, which hopefully are few.

There is SO much more involved in minesweeper, mentally, than you can ever imagine if you’re only a casual player. I want to explain some of it. I think you can appreciate the depth involved, because I’m sure you’ve experienced it before. After all, you are fucking Sinistral.

First of all, pattern recognition. It’s important, but it’s not everything. Obviously, if you can’t recognize where mines are in a 1-2-1 configuration, you’re not going to get very far. Most people are very good at this. Sadly, most people are content to be good ONLY at this. They don’t understand that there are other ways in which they can develop, so it’s very hard for them to take their game to the next level.

The next level I’m talking about is one where you play critically. You dissect the components of the game and start looking at how you can use them to shave off the seconds. I want to describe two tactics.

  1. One practical thing I’ve learned by playing critically is that my eyes can move faster than my hands. This is HUGE, and here’s why. When people solve a puzzle in minesweeper, they tend to watch the pointer do it’s work as they click. I can’t blame them, that’s how they’ve been doing everything with a mouse for years. In minesweeper it’s counterproductive. Not watching the pointer when you play frees up your eyes and your mind to solve other configurations simultaneously as your hand works on the areas you’ve already solved. This can almost HALVE your best times if you’re good at it.

  2. Another very practical thing you realize when you ask yourself what it takes to clear a table, is that most players do a lot more clicking than they have to. You don’t have to flag every mine on the table. If there is anything you can NOT waste time on, don’t waste time on it. Reduce your movements as much as possible and you will also reduce your time. A few milliseconds doesn’t sound like much, but over the course of a game, it REALLY adds up. A few milliseconds here and there can save you a few dozen seconds in the long run.

I’ve seen professional minesweepers clear an expert table in under 40 seconds, and it makes me feel small. More than anything else, the two tactics I just described are what allows them to do this. The thing is, you need to do more than just understand them. You need to INTERNALIZE them. You need to learn them and use them until they become automatic.

You need Zen. I know a lot of people throw that word around, associating it with calmness and mental durability without really knowing what the fuck it means. Let me explain.

One practical application of Zen is the ability to silence the eternal dialogue in your mind. When people do things, they usually talk to themselves in their mind. They discuss their own situation, their goals, and they think about what they have to do to get there. It drains their focus and concentration. When you learn how to silence the mind, the things you do become like a movie. You no longer think about what you’re doing. You just watch it happen in front of your eyes. SG does it with Megaman, I do it with Shinobi, everyone’s experienced it at least once. Athletes call it “The Zone.” It’s important to know when to let your body and your subconscious mind take over if you want to get competitive times in minesweeper, especially if you’re using the first tactic I described above, which requires very good coordination.

Anyway, that wraps up my explanation for now. Hopefully I’ve shed some knowledge on the work involved in minesweeper at higher levels of play. I don’t know if anyone here actually cares, but it felt good to describe my strategy :stuck_out_tongue: Hopefully it’ll help someone out with their game, or at least make it easier to believe my scores.

Edit: In retrospect, I am the biggest fucking nerd on earth.

B: 4
I: 31
E: 113

I know I’ve gotten a 2 on Beginner before, but someone erased the records at one point.