1. Why "jump once" before jumping blue barrel #1? As long as you land your jump a pixel or more past "perfectly lined up" you're golden for the immediate ascent. You even have a few pixels of wiggle room. Does it somehow induce different and more productive barrel behavior to do the jump?
2. What is meant by "rushing the transition"? Clearly steering 5 barrels away and skipping a 300 or 500 point jump opportunity is costly, but skipping like 2 to get up top for grouping earlier is probably a better play?
3. While I understand that it's possible to get a million without grouping, it seems like you'd be cutting it close. Bad deaths or bad rivet/conveyor levels will end your chances, and then you'll be on level 20 needing to score 60k+ on 2 levels and your strat won't allow that. So then you start trying to group without having practiced it for a while and you won't even killscreen it. I don't feel like grouping is all that unsafe. I die less there (and it's always avoidable) than I do, say, waiting for the bottom hammer when I feel like the universe is conspiring against me.
4. I'd like more to be said about when to grab the bottom hammer. Sometimes I panic grab and get screwed because he starts to ascend the broken ladder as I run out of hammer, and since I grabbed it at a bad time there are still a few barrels to deal with - not fun when there's a fireball in the mix. Should I instead try to grab as soon as the first "set" has been released, so that no matter what I'll have fairly smooth sailing if I have to outrun a fireball? There's also a bad spot to be in when you're waiting for barrels and the fireball bolts to the short ladder right around the time a barrel is rolling past the "grab now" hammer. And he's starting fairly far left of the "grab" window in the pic. It's a sort of no man's land where if you grab it you're potentially landing on the fireball, and if you don't you're basically on the run with a barrel array coming at you and are skipping the bottom hammer.
5. So we're looking to score how many points per barrel board? This strat feels like 10k averages. My gorilla math tells me that over the 17 levels we're getting 510k from barrels with this strat. Start will be like 100k with this amount of skill? So I need 390 from conveyor, elevator, and rivet. 7950 for those? That is a rough average on those boards imo. Way harder than doing some grouping and getting 11.5k averages on barrels. Where am I screwing up my logic? Are we just hoping to get a bunch of 10k conveyors to get the average around a free pass? I've never had a game that didn't screw me into at least one 4k conveyor.
Maybe I'm falling into the trap of only relying on being able to control what I score on barrels, since the other levels kind of force me to score whatever they want me to score. Barrels can definitely screw you, but an utter screwing is either a death or a 9800, which this seems to be targeting as a goal. Or are we just hoping to get a few 800 smashes in every other level?
Summary: I think it would be very difficult to eke out a million without some more points on barrels than we're targeting here.