(Topic ID: 148119)

Fire and Blood...Game of Thrones Premium/LE club

By Trekkie1978

4 years ago

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  • Latest reply 9 days ago by Spiderpin
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Topic index (key posts)

2 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #1088 HOTK strategies. Posted by Eskaybee (2 years ago)

Post #1479 Code 1.36 Release Notes Posted by chuckwurt (6 months ago)

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#387 3 years ago
Quoted from kermit24:

I am in! LE #443 reporting. Loving the game so far, just ordered the shaker that should have been included, cliffy shooter set, and plastic protectors.

I played kermit's GOTLE last night (poorly), and that finally got me off the dime. If all goes well, I'll be bringing home a Premium from SFGE (Southern Fried) in 6 weeks. Marco has a sweet deal where they'll bring a NIB pin, you set it up, and you take it home after the show's over and save about 10% off the street price. Since I would be bringing it to the show anyway, it's a no-brainer for me. I love the upper playfield! I know I'm making the right choice.

#389 3 years ago
Quoted from billsfanmd:

Do they advertise this promotion? Would love to get one in Allentown.

I learned about it from the show organizers, but they also out it on our local mailing list. It may just be an Atlanta thing, since Marco has an arrangement with the local distro here. Do Marco come up to Allentown? I need to get up there one year.

#391 3 years ago

I know the basic way the upper playfield progresses, but how well is it integrated into the rest of the game's rules? Are there stacking and score multiplier opportunities, or does it feel "bolted on" to the Pro ruleset? People around here seem very polarized about it. There are two complaints about the upper playfield that I can easily ignore:

1. "It blocks the view of the ball on the lower playfield." I claim that if you play the game more than a few times, you'll know where the ball is going to come out. And you should know a weak shot is coming back at you.

2. "It slows the game down". I didn't feel like GOTLE was too slow, and I like that I can cradle balls up there during Multiball (once I improve a little).

I just want to feel like the Pre/LE is the "real game". I want to be disappointed when I play a Pro.

#394 3 years ago

Change of plans. I'm driving to Jacksonville next Saturday to bring home an LE. I know the only difference is the artwork, but brownish-red is my favorite color. Plus, dragons! It'll go well with my favorite alternate translite.


This is my first LE. Hell, I don't even have a Premium. I just love upper playfields and I needed a Steve Ritchie DMD in my collection.

#402 3 years ago

Thanks 85vett, good summary. I'll plan to spend some time tweaking the area near the VUK to make the orbits clean. One thing I noticed at the Texas Pinball Festival was that the quality of the art is better on the LE than on the Pro. I was kind of shocked, to be honest. It was like Stern intentionally degraded the art on the Pro - or maybe cleaned it up for the LE?

#404 3 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

For the cabinet or the playfield? I think the playfield is pretty much the same, but the LE cabinet and BG is all hand drawn while the Pro is photoshop cut and paste stuff.

Playfield. I'll try to get some good shots of the Pro and LE to see if I can point out the differences I was seeing.

#410 3 years ago

I know about the shield difference, but that's not it either. Like I said I'll definitely get pics of both for comparison.

#412 3 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

I know the basic way the upper playfield progresses, but how well is it integrated into the rest of the game's rules?

I found a good summary of the upper playfield here (scroll down to "Upper Playfield"):


#429 3 years ago
Quoted from markp99:

The pops really eat clock in hurry ups

Wait, really? Every Stern I own stops the clock on HUs when the ball is stuck in the pops.

#431 3 years ago

Anyway, I'll disable that. It's not a SR pin unless the ball can go screaming around the orbits.

#442 3 years ago

I think it would be cool to have a tiny DMD for the top playfield, with its own scoring and animations. Or a tiny LCD, if you prefer...seems very doable with Raspberry Pi.

#449 3 years ago
Quoted from Trekkie1978:

I saw one go for $6,800.
IMO, it looks like this game is getting nicely received. Plus, the code support has been amazing.
If I had to guess, I can see this pin holding a $7,500 value in the future.

My HUO LE was $7500, but that included $1200 in mods. The seller didn't even mention the shaker or the extra Stern shooter rod - those were really nice surprises.

There's been a lot of smack talk about the upper playfield, same thing happened with METLE and the hammer. But even if the last GOT code drop was final, I think the absolute floor is around $6500 for a stock LE. And Spike pins ought to hold their value better as a whole, with all the improvements. The audio quality is pretty awesome.

HUO GOTLE are still competing with NIB from distributors. Once that stock is mostly gone, I think HUO prices will get a boost. That's what I saw happen with LOTR.

#453 3 years ago

Wow, I can't believe AVLE are selling for around $5k - with mods, even!

#455 3 years ago

Has anyone else removed the large clear plastics under the right ramp? They're only held in with 1 screw each, so I've taken them out to see if I get any ball hangs. The one on the right may indeed be needed due to the Iron Throne kickout.

#463 3 years ago

Looks much better after re-routing the ramp opto wires.


#468 3 years ago
Quoted from Asael:

The layout is nothing special, fan over fan.

The upper playfield is the largest and nicest that we've ever seen on a DMD. The ramp shot under the castle is really fun, and the code makes good use of the standups and drops on the right and left.

Quoted from Asael:

The playfield artwork is only mediocre and doesn't transport the theme very well.

I strongly disagree (for the LE). It would have been better if the plastics had the same resolution as the playfield, but overall I love the artwork. I love that they didn't put any characters on it, and the use of color is great IMHO. I really don't understand the hate for the artwork.

#473 3 years ago

I was actually admiring the art on that ramp last night, lol. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

#475 3 years ago

Asael, I asked my artist friend to critique the playfield, and this was his comment (via FB messenger):

"I've not yet watched the show, so I'm not familiar with the aesthetics. But I'm a tad disappointed, I would've thought it would be darker and cooler - more along the lines of say Metallica. Too much yellow."

His opinion may have been colored by the fact that I switched my game over to warm white frosted LEDs. I should have done some before/after pics.

#478 3 years ago

I like the contrast in the upper half of the game. Ice blue north at the pops, and fire red for the castle. I really liked the Premium cab, but I pushed myself to LE after seeing my friend's. I don't think I'll get tired of looking at Danearys, and the cab is awesome.

#487 3 years ago

What do you guys think of these mods? I need to do something about the silver screw color, but I'm digging these wooden gears. $1-2 each.



#488 3 years ago

Here are links to the above. I think I wiped a few of these out today with my order.

amazon.com link »
amazon.com link »
amazon.com link »

#491 3 years ago

Has anyone had trouble with the VUK taking 2 tries to get the ball up to the upper playfield? Mine gets it up with 1 try half of the time, but takes 2 tries the other half of the time. I'm guessing this is an alignment issue with the diverter inside the VUK. I'll shoot a slo-motion video tonight to see what's happening.

#493 3 years ago

Actually, it has to be the diverter that's the problem. Mine always gets to the throne in 1 try (with the diverter out of the way). That's higher than the upper playfield, so the VUK has plenty of oomph.

#496 3 years ago

I guess I'm not really in the club until I take off the upper playfield and do the tweaks and mods. I'll tackle that this weekend.

#499 3 years ago

Good news - I tightened the bolts holding the VUK assembly to the backboard, and now 100% of the diverted shots go to the upper playfield. I even did it 40 times in test mode to be sure - 40/40. I also wiggled the diverter some, so that also may have had something to do with it. Now I just need to make the ball stick in the throne and I'm golden.

One thing that surprises me is that the diverter is deployed just a moment before the VUK, or maybe even at the same time. I thought for a while that there might be a race condition between the VUK and the diverter. It wouldn't hurt to pop the diverter out 200 msec before popping the ball up.

#502 3 years ago

Here's my fix for Throne bounce-out: a speed bump. It's mostly hidden behind the throne, and it worked 50 out of 50 times in test mode for me. I cut a Titan post rubber down to about 1/2", sliced it down the middle and placed it over the wireform strut. Then use a little piece of electrical tape to seal the cut. The ball does a tiny little hop, which slows it down enough to always fall correctly.


I only resorted to this because none of the other fixes worked for me.

#508 3 years ago
Quoted from Trekkie1978:

That's a funny fix.
Did you try lowering the ramp closer to the throne?

Yes, and I also tried my buddy kermit's fix. Basic problem is that the ball is going too fast.

#509 3 years ago
Quoted from raisindot:

1. "Lock is lit" ramp tunnel--ball sometimes bounces back--doesn't back it to the ramp.

Haha, yep. This is just straight up "play better". Happens to me a lot, but usually a quick hit from the right flipper will send it home. It's not bouncing back, it's coming back because it wasn't a true enough shot.

#511 3 years ago

The toughest shot for me to hit reliably is the ramp to the upper playfield. I can backhand a trapped ball from the right flipper about 10% of the time - it's not quite strong enough to consistently make it all the way. The sweet spot from the left flipper is really small. I wish I could boost my flipper strength about 10-20% (I already have coil strength = HARD).

#512 3 years ago

Whenever I get a game with a metal trough, I cover the inside of it with Mylar. It cuts down on the metal-on-metal action, and the game stays clean a lot longer. An enterprising person should be able to create and 3D-print a liner.


#516 3 years ago

I did my LE penance this weekend, and I'd like to share what I've learned.

Loop Diverter

The first pic below shows where my loop diverter came to rest before I worked on it. Clearly this was bad for right orbits. The ball would hit the end of the guide and fall either into the pops or down the left side. Fortunately the fix was pretty easy. I just rotated the entire diverter coil assembly about 3-4mm clockwise. Right orbits are beautiful now. The second pic is the "after" shot.


The ball elevator (VUK)

The trajectory of the ball in the VUK is very sensitive to the angle of the chute. If you tighten the top too much (tilting it back), the ball won’t reach the throne because it will rattle around in the chute. But if it’s too loose, the ball won’t make it to the upper playfield on the first try. Best bet is to adjust it forward (loosen top screws) until the Throne works perfectly, and then fiddle with the upper playfield diverter if needed (i.e. by bending the struts down, or by adding/removing washers). I was lucky and found the perfect angle to get reliable kicks up to the throne and the upper playfield. I won't be touching it again.

White Walker kickback

I hate to sound like a newb, but I thought my kickback was defective because sometimes it kicked weakly, or not at all. Now I can see that the optos are at the end of the kicker stroke. A strong hit will be kicked back forcefully, but a weak hit will catch the very end of the kicker stroke. I can't say I like this design, but at least now I know my kickback is okay.

The left orbit

I did capgun's rollover lane mod (heat shrink over a coil sleeve, very clever). But without his other mod, there's no full orbit from the left. I'm actually okay with this. Pop bumper awards are lucrative on this game, and hurry-up timers are paused while the ball bounces around in there. If I want a fast Martell finish, I just use the right orbit.

Iron Throne

I stared at this for a long time before I realized that the throne is held in by 2 very long screws that enter from the bottom of the playfield. It's not bad at all once you know that trick.

Final thoughts

Even with all the tweaking that's needed, I still think GOT Prem/LE is a Steve Ritchie / Dwight Sullivan masterpiece. A day of tweaking is nothing. I've spent months on some games, only to discover that they were no fun. GOTLE is a blast, and I know it will endure. Fire and Blood, fellow players!


#517 3 years ago

Here are some more pics of the game, torn down. I'm glad I learned how to take this beast completely apart and put it back together. One tip I would share is to remove the optos from the ramps by unscrewing them. Then you don't have to worry about getting the connectors wrong below the playfield, and you don't have to futz with the wire management.









#519 3 years ago

Actually GOTLE isn't nearly as bad as WH2O or DH or The Shadow. Those games were nuts.

#522 3 years ago
Quoted from billsfanmd:

Joining club tues or wed...Great details and pics...Ill have to read back for the orbit fix in a nutshell. Do I need to order parts? or kit from stern?

Congrats! Keep calm and enjoy the game. Shooting a complete left orbit is 1% of the game. IMHO.

#523 3 years ago

YOU GUYS. How crazy is this. I watched tonight's episode, and then played my GOTLE. Got Midnight Madness for the first time:

Hodor, Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor
Hodor, Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor
Hodor, Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor
Hodor, Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor
Hodor, Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor,Hodor

I loved that guy so much.

#524 3 years ago

In 1980, I was 16. On Fridays and Saturdays, my buddy Joe and I would clean the fry vats, sweep the floors, wipe down the drink machines and have a few beers (we loved our ex-con manager). At about 1:30am, we'd head over to JP's Steak and Eggs to play pinball. One day, there was something special: Black Knight. What a crazy game, it had ramps! We assumed the big points were on the upper playfield, and we'd fight like crazy to get up there. Every successful ramp shot made us super happy - especially that Mystery Gate shot.

Decades passed. In the 90's the upper playfield saw some innovation: The Shadow had its quirky paddle, White Water had a 1-flipper deal, and TZ had a cool magnet-flip playfield. The new millennium saw a few more attempts at an upper playfield: TSPP, Family Guy, Elvis, World Poker Tour...all great games, but they treated the upper playfield as something separate, and small. Mini-flippers told us "this isn't the real game, so finish this mode and get back to business."

Then Steve Ritchie made Game of Thrones. It was a return to form...bring back the upper playfield, and make it a big part of the game! For the first time since 1980, the ball launched to the upper playfield right away. 2 full-sized flippers, 5 switches and a signature tight loop told us: "This isn't a side show, this is part of the main event." Dwight Sullivan brought this vision to life by allowing players to advance modes with the upper playfield, and gave it a life of its own with independent progress and a killer multiball. The upper playfield was back in a big way, and its fans were happy again!

Of course, not everyone was happy. Some said: "Where does my ball go when it's under that playfield, hmm?" Others said: "What do I do up here? It seems pointless." Stern made a version of the game where the entire upper playfield was replaced with a single ramp, and legions of players were happy again.

But some of us knew. We knew that it's great to play a multiball on 2 levels. We knew that 4 flippers are better than 2. But most of all, we knew...The King was back.

#531 3 years ago

I'm surprised how much I'm liking the light shows for WIC and Battle For the Wall. I don't like bright light shows, but this is really the opposite. It's kind of like Martian Hynobeam on RFM. And I love the sound of the ice cracking, awesome with the sub.

#532 3 years ago

What does it mean when the arrow just in front of the ram turns blue? Does that give me credit toward qualifying Targaryen if I hit it?

#537 3 years ago
Quoted from Eskaybee:

Grats! That LE sure looks bitchin. Definitely the best looking of the 3 models, IMO.

It was pretty hard for me to choose between Premium and LE. I thought the cab art on the Premium was fantastic. But I liked the LE playfield better, and I reasoned that that's what you look at the most. I would have been happy with either. Family prefers the LE dragon sideart, but I loved the mammoth and direwolf.

#543 3 years ago

The LE playfield looked much better to me after I swapped out the cool white GI for warm white frosteds.

#546 3 years ago

I really like the LE backglass, now that I have the game. The details are really good.

There's some great art on DeviantArt, if you want to make your own translite. That's where most of the eBay ones come from anyway.

#548 3 years ago
Quoted from LOTR_breath:

I'm a freak. I really like the backglass on the premium and it's one of the reasons I went with that version.

All those guys north of the wall are freaks.


#556 3 years ago

I like stacking Greyjoy and Lannister with multiball. I try to hit the standups during the first half of ballsave. Then with each shot I kill 3 birds with 1 stone. I go for the dangerous shots first: the castle ramp and the dragon (kickback). As a bonus, both houses are super-safe to qualify: left orbits for Greyjoy, center ramp for Lannister.

#558 3 years ago

This is a small thing, but I really love it when I complete the 3 targets on the upper playfield, and then I hit one of the "rear exit" switches softly enough to get the ball back. It feels like cheating the game.

BTW, I've noticed that a lot of things will drop that single drop target, like starting a mode. That doesn't affect your ability to advance the castle, does it?

#561 3 years ago

Newb question: if I'm playing a house mode (or 2), do my shots still help me make progress toward qualifying other houses? Kinda feels like the answer is no.

#578 3 years ago

WIC = Winter Is Coming
WHC = Winter Has Come
HOTK = Hand of the King
BWMB = Black Water Multiball

But I'm with you - I'm still new to this game and learning the rules. Dwight has done a great job; I just can't play well enough yet to crack open the oyster.

#589 3 years ago

I think this is the best code of any Stern I own, or have owned. It's like IM and LOTR had a baby. Want risk/reward? GOT has it. Want strategy? GOT definitely has it. Perfect balance of "broad" and "deep", I think.

And if you want to enjoy GOT while drinking too much, you can play it like an early SS pin. Give yourself a goal, like "qualify Tyrell, Baratheon, Martell and Greyjoy". See how many balls it takes you to do it. Really brilliant game.

#591 3 years ago

I'm going to diagram this beast with a MindMap soon. Vacation is the end of June and GOTLE is coming along.

#593 3 years ago

I'd love to see one of the lesser-loved houses spot an advance on the upper playfield. I was going to say Stark, but SKB ruined it for me with his post just now, lol.

#597 3 years ago

I think that by and large, the Pro and LE strategies are pretty much the same. If I'm on the upper playfield, I always try for the lit targets and rollovers, unless I'm in a multiball. I think the only strategy that's specific to Pre/LE is "don't try to hit the single drop target from the left flipper".

#629 3 years ago

The last episode was just like the pin: no boobs, no violence, no bad language. Just family politics.

#632 3 years ago
Quoted from Trekkie1978:

I didn't think castle multiball could be stacked with anything.
In the modes, what does collecting a castle do?

Castles give you immediate points and add to your bonus. I may be wrong but I think you have to be in a mode to collect a castle.

#635 3 years ago

Do the mode timers and multiplier timers pause while you're on the upper playfield? I feel that they should...the upper playfield should be like Bullet Time in The Matrix.

#638 3 years ago

If the multipliers are decaying the whole time you're on the upper playfield, with no chance to refresh them, it's a bad idea to go there unless your mode is about to time out, or if your multipliers have already timed out. That's kind of a bummer.

4 weeks later
#679 3 years ago

Wow, it's been quiet here. I'm on vacation this week near Panama City, found a Pro to play. I don't know if it was just luck, but my scores were generally better than at home on my LE. I started HOTK on my 2nd game, but I muffed it and ended up with around 700M. The Stark ramp *seems* easier to make, but the dragon shot (kickback) seemed harder. Fun game, but I'm still happy that I sprung for an LE.

#684 3 years ago
Quoted from Dewey68:

My VUK now won't shoot the ball to the habitrail for the iron throne now. It fires repeatedly and will finally make it after the 10th try or so but the mystery is timed out by then.

Your problem is the angle of the chute. Try tightening the bolts that secure the chute to the backboard. If that makes it worse, try loosening them.

#691 3 years ago

I fiddled with mine a lot before I realized that if the ball hits the sides of the chute at all on the way up, it won't make it. It took a lot of screwing around with the angles to get mine right, but it's 100% now.

#708 3 years ago

Look back at my older posts for help with the elevator and the throne dribble-out.

1 month later
#742 3 years ago

Sounds like you have a switch problem.

2 years later
#1259 1 year ago

Oh cool, didn’t realize we had our own group for Prem/LE. It’s a good idea since our tweaks and fixes are of no interest to Pro owners.

#1266 1 year ago

Someone is going to come up with an electronic instruction card that cycles through about 5 easy-to-read pages, and they’re gonna make a lot of money.

#1269 1 year ago

I must be the only one who hasn’t changed out the yellow instruction card that came with my LE. Lol.

2 weeks later
#1288 1 year ago

So, anybody play their GOT Pre/LE lately? I’ve been away from mine for 5 weeks, and now I’m coming back to it like an old lover.

#1297 1 year ago

It’s a minor point, but score cards should not waste space on information like “MANUFACTURER: STERN PINBALL INC”.
Good lord, I hope we get back to talking about the game here.

#1304 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

What would prem and le owners like to see if Dwight gets time to revisit this one?
Outside of updates to video for later season happenings. That ain’t gonna happen. Haha

Honestly, the rules feel pretty close to perfect to me. I only wish it was a little easier to get to WHC, which I rarely see.

It would be nice be able to earn a VUK ride up the upper playfield, instead of just once per ball. Maybe after you knock down the single drop?

4 months later
#1356 10 months ago

I love my GOTLE! There, I said it. Had to stay over an extra week in Philly and I’m missing it.

3 months later
#1455 6 months ago
Quoted from jlatko:

You can also now complete the current house mode(s) by capturing a castle in the upper playfield.

This is the only change I don’t like. I fear that players (especially in tournaments) will go for the upper playfield every time instead of playing through modes. I hope the current behavior can still be chosen (make the upper playfield targets complete shots).

#1462 6 months ago

Tie the Iron Throne and HOTK jackpot values to the number of “earned” shots for all completed houses, problem solved.

1 week later
#1522 6 months ago

I’m definitely going to save the old code. I like the new code as a player, but as a tournament director this “everyone gets a HOTK!” code makes me nervous.

1 week later
#1531 5 months ago

Anything you can do to slow the ball down will help it stick the landing in the throne. Lots of ways to do this, but I agree that a factory solution would have been nice.

3 weeks later
#1561 4 months ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

What's the best fix for when the ball falls out of the throne? Sometimes i get a clean landing, sometimes not.

For me, the fix was slowing the ball down before it gets to the throne. I put post rubbers on a few of the habitrail cross-braces, and that was just enough for it to stick the landing every time.

#1564 4 months ago

Party stucky ball. And yes, I did use a lego piece to make the battering ram a little easier. No guilt.
FB192438-0E5F-4D65-B343-AC1B8D76ED55 (resized).jpeg

4 months later
#1594 14 days ago

Quiet thread for such an awesome pin.

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