We’re looking to buy our first pinball machine.
I’ve wanted to buy a full-sized pinball machine for some time, as I have a mini Tony Astro Shooter pinball that I played to death as a kid (and which we still own and play).
We’ve been playing a lot of the Williams Pinball app and my favourite tables, by a long way, are MM and CV. I’ve also watched a fair amount of play videos for classic games, such as Addam’s Family and ST:TNG, and played some Stern pinball online. I find most of the Stern tables pretty mediocre, I can knock out four monsters in MB already on a good day (so it seems a bit easy), AFM leaves me cold for some reason, and I haven’t gelled with Theatre of Magic at all - I find it visually cluttered (in the app) and it seems to be mostly about hitting the trunk.
I love Cirqus Voltaire because of the Ring Master (the dialogue and ‘bash’ on three levels) and, also, because of the interesting mechanics like the juggler, the cannonball on the backplate, and the visible ball-lock on the high-wire act. There’s a lot to do on the board and it feels uncluttered, but lively. I feel with MM it is a ‘castle-grinding’ exercise, although I’m aware there’s more to it than that, and for this reason I marginally prefer CV.
We don’t have enough room for one than more pinball machine currently (possibly two if we manage to build a games room) and I’m not confident about doing my own repairs.
I understand that here in the UK, the MMr ‘reprint’ will take about 18 months, if it happens at all. There are a couple of apparently-good-quality CVs on the market, but they’re at different ends of the country, which is hard to reach in a pandemic, and - although I’ve read a guide to assessing a pinball machine for quality - it’s not something I’ve done before.
We are planning to go to a physical pinball club at some point but, again, as we’re here in the UK, it’s not the safest thing to do right now due to the travelling - also, I’m not going to get as many games in as on a virtual version.
What would you do, as a ‘newbie’? Should we put our name on the MMr waiting list? Buy a cheap NIB machine? Investigate the two CVs? Or something else entirely?