• We have upgaded to the latest version of XenForum and the process finished without any errors!!!! Enjoy the new forum!

Vengeance's Introduction

Vengeance

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2012
1,990
138
63
Keswick, ON
d5a698fb4ea0aa84d02527223615_Content.jpg


This is going to sort of be my little corner of the world where I can dive in deep into different games and write up sort of an ad-hoc rule set for each game that I decide to analyze. Perhaps if I ever decided to get off my lazy ass I may even do tutorial videos ala Bowen but one step at a time. Right now it’s easiest for me to write down everything instead since I can do it whenever I feel like taking the time to do it where as video is a whole production and setup to do properly. Anyway I’ve been told I should introduce myself for those who don’t know who I am.

My name is Adam Becker and I play pinball at the professional level and I always say I play at the professional level rather then I am a pinball professional because no one is a pinball professional. None of us at our level of play can make enough money to ever call it a profession because there just isn’t enough exposure. But we are on the cusp of that changing so who knows what the future holds. Wong will be helping me make these posts purdy cause ain't nobody got time for that.

Anyway, as of writing this I’m currently ranked 2nd in Canada as per the IFPA (www.pinballrankings.com). I am also the Canadian country Director for the IFPA, former Pinburgh 2012 Champion, League Official and Champion many times over for the Toronto Pinball League, and etc, etc.

ifpa_logo_r-copy.jpg
red01.png


topl-logo.gif


Suffice to say I play pinball A LOT and in doing so I have formulated some very strong, and very detailed opinions on what I think makes a good game. Some people agree with them, some people don’t and some people just like to read about pinball. I plan to analyze games in this thread in the same way I have in the past, detailing what I like, what I don’t and why.

So without further delay...
 

mwong168

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 14, 2012
6,472
1,218
113
44
Toronto
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

First off, I want to thank Adam in advance for taking the time and agreeing to do these write ups for others to read and/or learn from. We have been exchanging a few PMs for the past week and it will be a joint effort between the two of us. I will be helping him edit his game analysis and try to add in pictures to illustrate what he is trying to explain. Get use to hearing phrases from him such as "risk vs reward" too!

One last note, please don't get offended if Adam rips on one of your holy grails as I am sure this is bound to happen sooner then later. Keep in mind that he is a tournament player and strictly for goes for max points and doesn't give two shits about nostalgia such as playing this pin as a kid. If there is a flaw in the game's design, rules or code he will most likely bitch about it throughout his analysis. His opinions should not hurt your feelings nor the re-sale value just because he thinks it sucks.

I hope we can keep this constructive, clean and "drama free" so please no discussion about current pricing or mods for games analyzed. The whole point of this thread is so everyone can learn more about games and who knows maybe Adam might learn something new too. Enjoy!
 

bstock

Active Member
Apr 1, 2013
325
48
28
Montreal, Quebec
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

Looking forward to maybe seeing a quick review of WCS94. I believe I remember reading that you really dislike the game Adam. The rules are obviously quite simple, but from a tournament point of view I think it's a great game. Maybe you know something I don't? The scoring seems pretty linear, the bonus can get built up quite high offering a big risk when it comes to nudging, and you are forced to make at least a few different shots to get into multi ball which is really the main tournament strategy. Curious to hear why a competitive pinball player like you doesn't like the game. Is it just too simple?
 

WARLOCK

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 14, 2012
1,803
197
73
52
The Bluffs, Scarborough
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

REVOLUTION said:
No Fear! Do No Fear! :D

I miss my No Fear already that went to Brock. I soon will have another one and it shall return!
Ritchie rules in my world right after JPOP. But, No Fear is not a great tournament pin either.

I bet Adam will pick something else he likes next to analyze first. Let's wait and see.
 

goomba

Member
Aug 30, 2013
67
3
8
GTA
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

I'd be curious to see how Adam's WCS analysis compares to Bowen's here http://papa.org/blog/2010/07/worldcupsoccer-2/
Seems like a good tournament game.

I've also been watching the PAPA WCS videos, some with Bowen's commentary where he's constantly saying "Use the magnet!". He's right, although it's hard to think of it in the moment. But it's the correct thing to do often enough that when my friends play, no matter how the ball drains, the joke question is "You know what you should have done there?" ...
 

bstock

Active Member
Apr 1, 2013
325
48
28
Montreal, Quebec
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

goomba said:
He's right, although it's hard to think of it in the moment. But it's the correct thing to do often enough that when my friends play, no matter how the ball drains, the joke question is "You know what you should have done there?" ...

"Should've used your magnet..." is a common phrase around my place too. It's especially funny after some type of slow motion fumble drain, and the result is often increased frustration knowing the magnet really could have saved the ball.

Also common is using the magnet "a half second too late" and watching it change the trajectory of the ball, but not saving it. We all hate watching it drain AND listening to the sound of that stupid magnet...
 

WARLOCK

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 14, 2012
1,803
197
73
52
The Bluffs, Scarborough
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

Mario and Ben,

Whatever Adam posts, we all know WCS94 is a great game! I am glad you both have nice examples of it from Williams Fan and myself. I will happily wait for the day when I have one back again when it is time. Still very curious what Adam will say about it, good or bad.

Scott
 

Chris Bardon

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2012
1,186
103
63
Mississauga, ON
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

Nice thread-it's always great to read strategies like this. If nothing else, I like being able to at least play a good theoretical game. Given that pulling off some of these strategies is pretty tough, knowing what you *could have* done next is almost as good, right? :)

I'd be curious to see how Adam's WCS analysis compares to Bowen's here http://papa.org/blog/2010/07/worldcupsoccer-2/

If I had to speculate... "shoot the goal"...

It'd be great to see writeups on CV and NGG. I haven't managed to break about 60M on Cirqus, even with double stacking (and the occasional triple), and with Gofers, it really seems to be all about getting the right awards off the wheel, and dialing in on the hole in one shot (which is not easy).
 

goomba

Member
Aug 30, 2013
67
3
8
GTA
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

I end up ignoring the goal most of the time for the "build" shots. The goal turns off as soon as you score so it seems risky to try and re-enable it as the rollovers lead to a stationary goalie that sends rebounds straight down the middle. I'll shoot it if its already on and I want to build up rank a bit or activate an ultra or two before multiball, but otherwise it doesn't lead to big points by itself. The game is good at preventing spam shots - even the build shots shift around as you make them. I've tried traveling but the return hits the slingshots so it's a bit unpredictable. Traveling seems feasible if you got 3 cities from Striker and made some more during multiball.
 

bstock

Active Member
Apr 1, 2013
325
48
28
Montreal, Quebec
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

goomba said:
The game is good at preventing spam shots - even the build shots shift around as you make them.

This and the way the scoring works is why I feel this is a great tournament machine.

goomba said:
I've tried traveling but the return hits the slingshots so it's a bit unpredictable. Traveling seems feasible if you got 3 cities from Striker and made some more during multiball.

The secret to travelling is the backhand from a trap. Most of the time, the ball makes it through the spinner, and then loses speed and returns back down the left lane. If this is done correctly, you can actually pick up two cities this way, as "travel" is activated by the spinner, but there is a bit of a delay before it re lights itself. A really nice back hand might make it all the way to the roll overs, which tends to be a safer feed on my machine anyways than ripping all the way around that loop.
 

Vengeance

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2012
1,990
138
63
Keswick, ON
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

I don't have time to go into all the specifics today, but WCS while a decent tournament game, is boring as shit to play.

It is a grind and the game is not that good at varying the shots.

From a tournament play perspective the only thing worth going after is mulitball, the cities take too much work and naturally progress anyway as you play the game.

So you end up just grinding out mulitball after mulitball, a term tournament players use is "Chopping wood" since that is effectively what you are doing and it just about as fun.

Chopping wood, shooting the left ramp, which feeds the right flipper, left ramp again to feed the left flipper then striker hole, rinse repeat. Do that over and over and over again, till multiball is lit then comes the hardest part of the game which is the Final Draw hole.

Play mulitball and back to chopping wood.

There are other things like the ultra modes and as mentioned the cities but they all work and advance normally as part of the chopping wood scenario.

It's a good test of who is an accurate shooter since that striker hole can be tight and so is the final draw, but I've never found the game fun to play in competition.
 

Vengeance

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2012
1,990
138
63
Keswick, ON
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

There isn't, there are games that are largely accepted as good tournament games:

TZ, AFM, Shadow, Congo, Ironman, BSD, Jackbot, etc, etc

But like everything everyone has their favorite.

I love playing TZ in tournaments, one of my favorite games to play competitively.
 

goomba

Member
Aug 30, 2013
67
3
8
GTA
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

Hi Vengeance,

I wonder, do tournament players consider BSD a chopping wood game? I like the theme of it, but from the videos/tutorial it seems that they always go for the stacked multiballs, and there don't seem to be that many shots in general. It just seems like a game with one thing to do, but it's really hard to do it.

I'm not familiar with the other games you mentioned, but won't most games have one "best" path to victory that everyone will try to exploit? Then it becomes a question of how the game forces you to follow that one "best" path; repeated shots or varied shots across the table. I'm guessing that tables with truly multiple and equal paths to victory are few and far between, no?
 

Slam_Tilt

Member
Nov 20, 2012
203
19
18
53
Brampton
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

BSD is all about stacking multi-balls. There are no modes. Its not chopping wood because you are not focused on only one thing. In order to get good scores you have to maximize BATS and RATS and stack those multi-balls. BSD is probably one of the few pins that you are trying to hit all the shots. There is nothing better then getting the 30 million call outs.

A simple rule set but an extremely tough game. If you are not hitting your shots it will be a quick game.
 

Vengeance

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2012
1,990
138
63
Keswick, ON
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

BSD vs WCS is a good comparison.

WCS as I mentioned is not fun and feels like chopping wood because you just shoot the same shots over and over again to get to the same goal.

BSD on the other hand is the exact opposite, everyone is working to the same goal (triple stack as Brent mentioned) but there are any number of different strategies to get there.

Do you open coffin first, play that mulitball with your first bats for the 50 mil?

do you go for 5 straight ramp shots to light your mist first

Are you crazy and do you actually go after the standups.

Do you play each mulitball individually and try to work on the others during multiball to bring them in

do you get them all prepped and ready and try and stack them at all once

Do you bother with rats

That's the difference maker between fun tournament games and not fun ones. BSD offers any number of different ways to achieve the same thing, and there is no singular strategy or way of doing things that is better then the other.

WCS on the other hand is exactly the same all the time. Shoot the left ramp twice, shoot the striker hole, that doesn't change from player to player, ball to ball, or game to game. Also there is no risk vs reward involved, I'm going to make these shots, mulitball is going to light and I'm going to play multiball, rinse repeat.

BSD on the other hand, you can set everything up perfectly, mist lit, coffin and castle at two locks and then still fuck it all up and get 0 payoff as a result.

That's the difference.
 

goomba

Member
Aug 30, 2013
67
3
8
GTA
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

For WCS, it changes the order of the build targets after the first multiball somewhat so doesn't that help? It seems like it will make you walk around the table before getting to Final Draw. And then for final draw, at least for me, I can spend a bunch of time (usually a bunch of games :) ) shooting for it and never getting it, walking away with not much. I see the guys in the tournament videos doing the same - isn't that similar to what you're saying about BSD? You've walked around the table (couple of ramps, couple of strikers, couple of goals, maybe an orbit, kickback target if you've wasted it), activated Final Draw, and walked away with peanuts. Also, do you risk going for more goals for more bonus and activating ultra modes before multiball? If Spinner and Jets is running, do you risk it if you're not making Final Draw that day? Is that the risk vs reward you're talking about? And then if you run up a big bonus due to the Goals, Ultras, Cities, do you risk tilting while struggling with Final Draw and again walk away with nothing. Seems like a similar thing you're describing with BSD, but I'll defer to your experience.