AFM Tactics and Strategies

phreaker47

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Jul 15, 2012
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Got up to 90 billion last night... man, I was just a couple shots away from a third RTU as well. Just needed the super jackpot and I had one more shot left in MB to light it, and I didn't get it. That would have put me over 100B (at least, assuming I would not have failed RTU, and I haven't yet... it's quite easy to win)

At one point I strung two "Bonus X Hold"s in a row and did my best playing during that stretch... and on the third of those balls (having had the multiplier carry over from the two previous) I ended up with a 92x and a whopping 9 billion EOB bonus. It was crazy watching that multiplier count up and starting SO SLOWWWWWW. Not sure I'll top that particular stat...hah. I also had a 9 billion-ish TA round.

A couple of things to keep this on topic:

- I can now win video mode every time by borrowing some advice from this thread: Sweep left/right but NOT all the way, just so your bullets reach each upper corner. That's the key. And, be ready with a martian bomb if any of them get through (Don't use ANY martian bombs you might get until you get video mode). A martian bomb in video mode is like a classic "smart bomb"... it destroys everything currently on the screen. Winning the mode not only gives you nearly 700 million, but an extra ball too.
- Definitely go for destroying Mars first. It makes sense since you need to do it anyway, and getting that unlimited 100M shot for you to randomly hit for the rest of the game can add up (Don't deliberately shoot for it though, keep doing all your RTU tasks)

Also, I noticed that the 1 billion hurry up was the last wizard goal I didn't have, so I played another game specifically to get it and was lucky to get it pretty quick. It isn't too hard when you are deliberately trying for it. Just try to get all four shots done twice, before completing the first which starts the timer... and if at all possible, make that first completion one of the shots you have more difficulty with (I have a much easier time hitting the orbits than the ramps for whatever reason.) With only one shot for each left and a fairly generous timer, this isn't too tough.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2, 2012
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- I can now win video mode every time by borrowing some advice from this thread: Sweep left/right but NOT all the way, just so your bullets reach each upper corner. That's the key. And, be ready with a martian bomb if any of them get through (Don't use ANY martian bombs you might get until you get video mode). A martian bomb in video mode is like a classic "smart bomb"... it destroys everything currently on the screen. Winning the mode not only gives you nearly 700 million, but an extra ball too.

Martian Bombs have nothing to do with the Smart Bomb you can detonate during the video mode, there's always that one Smart Bomb available during video mode regardless of how many (if any) Martian Bombs you have.
 

ostrich2

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Feb 26, 2013
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I've gotten up to 260M now - I came short of 275M which was the top score but then I saw somebody's now got a 575M score :) In really long games I'm starting to actually think that TA and multiball tend to become more important to the score than RTU. My previous score before that was about 146M, completing 4 RTUs. The 260M game with the same number of RTUs, I managed to achieve another 120M in total score.

The bonuses that you can get after accumulating a lot of Martians can indeed get big, especially when you get a couple of bonus holds, I've had one bonus that was up to 28M, that was a multiplier that was up to something like 150x or so. I find it's hard to deliberately setup to stack MA and TA or multiball, but if I see an opportunity where MA is lit I'll try to setup TA as well. When I've got them stacked I don't even really try to go for the Martians - I'll just go for the normal shots in whatever the multiball is, and nearly all the time when you miss you'll just end up getting Martians instead.

I think I would disagree somewhat with the approach of concentrating on destroying Mars first - although it is something you have to do, by concentrating on it you're not making progress towards other important goals, and destroying the saucers is something that you can make progress on anyway along the way, especially during the multiball modes. I think it's useful to knock down the shields down as soon as there's an opportunity, but my general approach is to try to spread the shots out and make steady progress to all of the goals. A lot of the time I'll choose a shot based on what's the easiest and/or safest shot to go depending on how the ball's coming down onto the flipper. When I do want to go for the saucers I always prefer to do so from the right flipper with a soft/medium strength shot if I can.
 

phreaker47

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Jul 15, 2012
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I've gotten up to 260M now - I came short of 275M which was the top score but then I saw somebody's now got a 575M score :) In really long games I'm starting to actually think that TA and multiball tend to become more important to the score than RTU. My previous score before that was about 146M, completing 4 RTUs. The 260M game with the same number of RTUs, I managed to achieve another 120M in total score.

The bonuses that you can get after accumulating a lot of Martians can indeed get big, especially when you get a couple of bonus holds, I've had one bonus that was up to 28M, that was a multiplier that was up to something like 150x or so. I find it's hard to deliberately setup to stack MA and TA or multiball, but if I see an opportunity where MA is lit I'll try to setup TA as well. When I've got them stacked I don't even really try to go for the Martians - I'll just go for the normal shots in whatever the multiball is, and nearly all the time when you miss you'll just end up getting Martians instead.

I think I would disagree somewhat with the approach of concentrating on destroying Mars first - although it is something you have to do, by concentrating on it you're not making progress towards other important goals, and destroying the saucers is something that you can make progress on anyway along the way, especially during the multiball modes. I think it's useful to knock down the shields down as soon as there's an opportunity, but my general approach is to try to spread the shots out and make steady progress to all of the goals. A lot of the time I'll choose a shot based on what's the easiest and/or safest shot to go depending on how the ball's coming down onto the flipper. When I do want to go for the saucers I always prefer to do so from the right flipper with a soft/medium strength shot if I can.

I've been wondering too about just going for MB/TA and just kind of let RTU happen if it happens... after all you can just about score as much on one good round of TA and get many many TA rounds if you're going for it more often.

I finally got to play a real ATM a few days ago. There's one at a pizza place not far from here. It was in decent condition but it had a very annoying hop off the butt of the left flipper when coming through the inlane... I had to try a transfer every time or just slap it away. Only managed just over 3 billion but it was cool to walk up to the machine and already know everything I needed to know about it. Replay score was only 1 billion and went up only 500M each time I got one... so for two bucks (5 plays) I got a pretty good session on it.
 
Jul 2, 2012
136
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I've gotten up to 260M now - I came short of 275M which was the top score but then I saw somebody's now got a 575M score :) In really long games I'm starting to actually think that TA and multiball tend to become more important to the score than RTU. My previous score before that was about 146M, completing 4 RTUs. The 260M game with the same number of RTUs, I managed to achieve another 120M in total score.

That 573-billion score is mine :cool:

My general strategy was to go for multiball, especially Total Annihilation, as often as possible. Except for the first couple of saucers which require just a few hits, I mostly ignored the saucer until I got a multiball going - during the ball saver you can bang the saucer like mad with zero risk. Multiball also helps a lot with achieving Super Jets - send other balls into the jets to party and you can concentrate on other things.

Speaking of Super Jets in context of Rule the Universe: after you complete Super Jets, it is important to not drain the ball before you start RTU. If you do, you have to complete S-jets all over again before you can start your next RTU and that gets increasingly difficult each time. Flipping this around, if you do not drain after completing S-jets, that goal will be already completed for you after RTU, since S-jets has been active all the time.

Generally I played with RTU in mind, which I completed 7 or 8 times (lost count of that). But as the game continued, Total Annihilation became more valuable than RTU. The Annihilation Award maxes out at 250 million which makes Total Annihilation a huge scoring opportunity. Make 4 shots and you've got a billion. Get the Annihilation Jackpot and you've got another billion just like that. Stack that with Martian Multiball and you get something extra from missed shots with no effort at all. RTU is limited to 10 billion. Just a few minutes of TA can get you much more, and there's no limit if you can just keep it going.

Speaking of bonuses, ball 2 gave me a 64 billion bonus (at 210 X): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha8hS25okrw
 

phreaker47

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Jul 15, 2012
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The one frustrating thing about this game is you can have a very long game WITHOUT scoring a lot of points. I had something like a 45 minute game last night (estimating) but didn't even break 50 billion. I wasn't getting any MM stacks, generally flailing on the TA rounds, and only got to RTU once.

That's a pretty good tip about getting super jets to roll over to the next RTU. Didn't know that one. I also realized that hitting the orbits is the thing to do during TA, because they stay up top for the X rollovers and jets.

I'm not done with this thing until I at least crack the top 10, dammit!
 

crazyflipperfingers

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Apr 8, 2012
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I'm having difficulty achieving the RTU goal because it's so hard for me to get the super jackpot. The rest of the requirements are easy. How are you guys going about getting the super jackpot? It's damn near impossible to hit the right ramp from a trap on the left flipper so that shot is what's killing me. The only time I can ever hit that ramp is on the fly, usually as the ball feeds down the left trail to the left flipper. Since the first ball at the start of multiball comes down the left trail, I try for that right ramp right away. If I miss the shot, I can rarely get to the super jackpot. I can usually get a ball trapped on each flipper during multiball, but then I'm stuck. I can try shooting the left ramp from the right flipper to get my left flipper feed, but then I usually end up flailing the ball I had trapped on the left away and things don't tend to work out after that.
 
Jul 2, 2012
136
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I'm having difficulty achieving the RTU goal because it's so hard for me to get the super jackpot. The rest of the requirements are easy. How are you guys going about getting the super jackpot? It's damn near impossible to hit the right ramp from a trap on the left flipper so that shot is what's killing me. The only time I can ever hit that ramp is on the fly, usually as the ball feeds down the left trail to the left flipper. Since the first ball at the start of multiball comes down the left trail, I try for that right ramp right away. If I miss the shot, I can rarely get to the super jackpot. I can usually get a ball trapped on each flipper during multiball, but then I'm stuck. I can try shooting the left ramp from the right flipper to get my left flipper feed, but then I usually end up flailing the ball I had trapped on the left away and things don't tend to work out after that.

I don't think there are many fancy tips to this other than practicing your aim/timing and taking advantage of the grace period. While Super Jackpot is rotating around the shots, immediately after a new shot is lit there's a short period of time (a couple of seconds) when the currently lit as well as the previously lit shot award the Super Jackpot. That increases your chances of getting it.
 

crazyflipperfingers

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Apr 8, 2012
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I don't think there are many fancy tips to this other than practicing your aim/timing and taking advantage of the grace period. While Super Jackpot is rotating around the shots, immediately after a new shot is lit there's a short period of time (a couple of seconds) when the currently lit as well as the previously lit shot award the Super Jackpot. That increases your chances of getting it.

After rereading my post, I guess I should rephrase the question. You're right about practice and the grace period. Once I get the super jackpot strobing I hit it 90% of the time. My real question should have been - how the heck do you hit the right ramp? Is it even possible from a trap? I've tried the shot over and over and can only hit it on the fly. Can anyone reliably hit it from a trap? The only fairly reliable way I've found to make the shot is a left ramp - right ramp combo.
 

phreaker47

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Jul 15, 2012
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Up to 118 billion now. First time I got RTU three times.
One thing I had been forgetting was to actually use the martian bombs. If I have that last martian to get during attack, I can use the bomb if the counter is near zero. Also, it's been said before, but stacking MA/MM and another multiball mode (especially TA) can rack up serious EOB points for the rest of the game.
 

khoavuong

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Jul 28, 2012
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I got the 337 billion score. During that game I got RTU four times. I think the fastest way to get uber points is to RTU as quickly as possible and then try to keep the ball alive as long as possible by getting TA and multiball over and over again. Both of these stack with victory laps which max out at 500 million each! Unfortunately, RTU requires hitting the saucer often, and that's risky. So does anyone have tips to avoid nailing the saucer? Maybe just relying on incidental saucer hits would be enough. Also, I always try to maintain a lit lock to prevent the ball from rolling back down the middle ramp.
 

TomL

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Mar 12, 2013
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After rereading my post, I guess I should rephrase the question. You're right about practice and the grace period. Once I get the super jackpot strobing I hit it 90% of the time. My real question should have been - how the heck do you hit the right ramp? Is it even possible from a trap? I've tried the shot over and over and can only hit it on the fly. Can anyone reliably hit it from a trap? The only fairly reliable way I've found to make the shot is a left ramp - right ramp combo.

One tip is to play few games where your only goal is to trap the ball and to try to make that shot. Ignore any shot other than the shot you're practicing. You'll get better at the shot because you won't have the pressure of the timer against you.
 

Squid

Senior Creature
Mar 22, 2012
591
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^ This is how I got good with Ripley's. This is what I'm doin' now on this very table.
 

ostrich2

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Feb 26, 2013
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So does anybody think a trillion is achievable? Since Tuomas racked up close to 600 billion, at trillion at least seems not inconceivable. I'm almost inclined to turn off tilt and whatever else you might be able to fiddle with in the pro menu to make it easier (of course it wouldn't count as a leaderboard score, but at least to see if the scores can be racked up that high. Actually doing it without artificial help would be a different challenge....
 
Jul 2, 2012
136
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So does anybody think a trillion is achievable? Since Tuomas racked up close to 600 billion, at trillion at least seems not inconceivable. I'm almost inclined to turn off tilt and whatever else you might be able to fiddle with in the pro menu to make it easier (of course it wouldn't count as a leaderboard score, but at least to see if the scores can be racked up that high. Actually doing it without artificial help would be a different challenge....

Do report back if you achieve that trillion goal. It's going to take a few hours at least… one of the better things about virtual pinball is that you can take a break when necessary :)

I think turning tilt off isn't that important because TPA "tilt sensor" is already very liberal. I was nudging all over the place and all the time in that 573B game and yet managed not to trigger a single tilt warning in the entire game. Granted, I could've prevented some drains with more "courageous" bumps but I just didn't want to risk losing those huge bonuses :)
 

SlamCitySkates

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Sep 20, 2012
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Ive just hit 142 Billion on the PS3. Reckon there could be more, but still way shy of a trillion.
Im still having problems with the right outlane drain coming from a ball that nearly makes it up the Annihilation Jackpot ramp. Whats the best nudge for this?

Also, this maybe a question for those with the Pro Pack. Is there a secret passage up the multiball lane or is this just one of those helpful TPA features for weak balls hit up there?
 

vikingerik

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Nov 6, 2013
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I put up a new #1 leaderboard score last night, 856 billion. 15 RTUs. 473 Martians. Steam/Windows version. Took about three hours. A trillion is certainly possible. I got quite lucky later in the game with Video Mode awarding EBs twice late and even shockingly Stroke of Luck once.

Tip: During Rule the Universe, if Victory Laps are already active, just spend RTU banging on the drop target to increase the Laps value. This works during RTU. RTU is so easy and always worth 10B no matter what you do, so a great use of it is to bump up the Laps score for afterwards.

Some other assorted thoughts:

Best way to switch flippers is to shoot either orbit and dead pass to a catch on the other side, works 99%.

I can't hit the right ramp from a caught ball at all. Easiest way to hit the right ramp is to lock a ball then hit it with the moving feed to the left flipper.

Total Annihilation does contend for being worth more than RTU. I had one that scored 17 billion plus probably another 10 from victory laps. The best tactic is to keep the balls in the bumpers, and on each scoop kickout, dead pass and shoot the left orbit. Every now and then bring the ball to a full catch instead and collect the Annihilation Jackpot on the lock lane.

The limiting factor for RTUs usually became Martian Multiball of all things. Had to deliberately shoot the left M and right A targets several times, and drained once or twice doing that. Probably still worth it since Martian MB usually gets most of the way to another Total Annihilation.
 

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