(Topic ID: 164254)

Smaug Impressions after 2 games...


By cscmtp

3 years ago



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  • 63 posts
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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Goronic
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#1 3 years ago

So our Smaug finally arrived today. Thank you Christopher at King Pin Games for keeping me in the loop with the entire progress and a great buying experience.

As pretty much everyone has already said, the game is a TANK. I've never struggled getting the legs on a pin like I did this one. And if you can believe it, I did the back legs by myself, and the front legs with just my wife's help. I don't think I blew anything out lifting, but we'll see how we feel tomorrow

The game is gorgeous. The lights are amazing. My collection is very small right now, Metallica Prem (with Color DMD) and Wozle, but without question the lights and video blow my other 2 pins away. Without measuring the pitch I set it up with the back legs jacked up pretty good, and the first 2 games it didn't feel slow at all, especially in some of the multiball modes.

Right out of the box I can't see any defects or issues on the playfield. All the lights works great and sound is fantastic. I've had no issue hitting the ramps with either flipper and haven't changed a thing with the settings. I've also used the 3rd flipper a ton to hit the top target by the ramps as well as the stuff on the left and right side of the playfield. (Looking back I'm not sure why everyone was making a big deal about the 3rd flipper. In 2 games i felt I used as much as I have any other game with 3 flippers)

I will admit its almost impossible to know what they heck you are doing or supposed to do early on. I just couldn't afford to look up and see what I was supposed to be doing. I had like 425,000 the first game, then the 2nd game got a good multi ball going and played the into the fire mode. Ended my 2nd game with a score of 925,000.

I have to go play this about 100 more times to give a fair review, but this is like the 25-30th different pin I've owned over the last few decades in this hobby, and I've enjoyed the first few games as much as any other pin I can remember. The only thing I've read about and find not ideal is that the ball launches out of the shooter lane with very little power. I know I can crank that setting up, but that's about the only thing that felt "off" or "not normal" from any other game I can recall.

Last note, I was REALLY close to cancelling my order, or just keeping it NIB and selling it in hopes of making a small profit (since I've had money tied up in this for over 2 years) and I am very glad I decided to keep it. You guys that are on the fence, I get it, trust me, this place was depressing for so long about the issues with the pin. But I think the improvements have made this into a great pinball machine. Again, way early in the process, literally only 2 games in, but so far I'm VERY pleased. And in the 2 games I've had, no balls got stuck in the pop ups, nothing fell off a ramp, so maybe mine came with those fixes?? I'll know more for sure after a few dozen games I guess. And for anyone wondering this machine was built on 6.30.16 and came running version 1.21.

#2 3 years ago

if i got a new game, i would play it a hell of a lot more then twice before i went on the internet! congrats on the game, cant believe you were able to break away for a review. thanks for the write up

#3 3 years ago

Congrats on getting your new game!

Setting up the rear legs by yourself? (must be the HULK!)

#4 3 years ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

the ball launches out of the shooter lane with very little power.

Check that the shooter and plunger is centered on the ball, some people have had to adjust a little.

#5 3 years ago

Just played about 5 more games, and one was crazy!! High score 2,306,216! Killed Smaug but I have no clue how lol

#7 3 years ago

Mid 100k is a good game here on location. If you're getting in the millions already you must be an IFPA top ten player or have a much different setup than our location game.

#8 3 years ago

I have't changed a single setting on the game. Not bragging but I do consider myself a pretty good pinball player. Never played IFPA or tournaments though, although I'd love to!

#9 3 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Mid 100k is a good game here on location. If you're getting in the millions already you must be an IFPA top ten player or have a much different setup than our location game.

Im averaging over a million and am trying to break 3 million now, its possible just keep playing!

#10 3 years ago

Part of the reason I didn't really know what I was doing is I focus on the balls/flippers and not looking up very often. I'm sure if I did I would have a lot worse scores

#11 3 years ago

Great score and awesome machine. I second the recommendation for those on the fence. Keep it. I'm still trying to figure out how to kill smaug myself. I love this game. Nice write up. Now, go play more.

#12 3 years ago

Congrats on Hobbit SE

#13 3 years ago

Had another great game 1,700,000. It is definitely a blast, and not once have I thought "this is slow" while playing. No, its not as fast as IM or Metallica, but its no where near slow or boring. TONS going on when all those modes are going at once too

#14 3 years ago

Great to hear you hung in there. Mine might be here next week hopefully. Thanks for posting your early experience.

#15 3 years ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

Part of the reason I didn't really know what I was doing is I focus on the balls/flippers and not looking up very often. I'm sure if I did I would have a lot worse scores

I think a lot of us are focusing on completing the modes right now and for me its killing my scores
Soon there will be completion bonuses for modes, so I guess Im practicing modes as well as trying to kill smaug.
And trying to complete into the fire.

#16 3 years ago

Wow, you must be a great player. Those are some crazy good scores. I played at a local venue never got above 500k or maybe 400k plus.

#17 3 years ago

Game is fantastic. Probably have 10-15 games so far. I will say ball times are pretty long, but I don't mind one pin like that in my collection. It was the same way with LOTR and several others I've had and enjoyed in my collection. I do get the occasional quick game too for the record

#18 3 years ago

Some of the other Hobbit threads have some scoring advice and description of how to kill Smaug as well as the rules for Into the Fire mini wizard mode. After about 100 plays, I feel like I have a good idea of what is going on and what to do in each mode. While the rules might seem daunting at first, they really aren't too difficult and the display gives you pretty good information about game progress. Glad to hear you are enjoying it, the game will only get better with future code updates.

#19 3 years ago

I think it's really important that players get enough time on machine learning the objectives before making a decision on the game. It is very daunting at first but once you learn it, it's really not that bad to understand. Seems like many people make a decision on it after playing one in the wild a couple games and not at correct set up and then are down on it.It is really just a great game and yes, I do love the playfield as is.

#20 3 years ago

What's a good intro to Hobbit's rules? I finally found a location game that isn't a dollar per play and I put a few games in, but I had a hard time figuring out how to actually start modes, even after (seemingly) qualifying them. I love all the new callouts, though I do have to admit I have a hard time reading the text in the book.

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from trunchbull:

What's a good intro to Hobbit's rules? I finally found a location game that isn't a dollar per play and I put a few games in, but I had a hard time figuring out how to actually start modes, even after (seemingly) qualifying them. I love all the new callouts, though I do have to admit I have a hard time reading the text in the book.

The right ramp when lit "mode" starts the modes.
Into the fire starts when insert is lit and you hit either hole.

#22 3 years ago

Looks like my Hobbit might be here Monday if I understand correctly. Looking forward to it big time.

#23 3 years ago

My SE arrives in the morning. Doughslingers is delivering it . Can't wait!

#24 3 years ago

Well now I'm pretty frustrated. The book/screen is not working, and the ball keeps getting stuck when you shoot the lock shot (right under the green thing and to the left of smaug). Anyone know how to check/fix this?

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

Well now I'm pretty frustrated. The book/screen is not working, and the ball keeps getting stuck when you shoot the lock shot (right under the green thing and to the left of smaug). Anyone know how to check/fix this?

Pictures of stuck ball?

#26 3 years ago

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#27 3 years ago

Well, I haven't seen that one yet. Can the green box move up any or bend the ramp down some?

#28 3 years ago

Can't wait to get mine. Had a few games on location and loved it. I've got both Hobbit and GB Pre on order and I'm looking forward to Hobbit more.

#29 3 years ago

Does the ball stay stuck like a stuck on magnet (loose or broken wire?)? Or does it move if you nudge it (increase PF pitch?).

On these games if a wire is unplugged somewhere the computer does very strange things that may not even be related to the location of the missing unplugged wire.

Gently comb through all the wires with your fingertips (start at the bottom and work your way up, it seems endless but its not) and gently tug them to see if something has a bad contact. Everything should be snug. Sometimes a connector is not plugged in tight enough (unplug and re-plug as you go).

One of the toughest bad wires to find is a bad crimp in a molex housing (wiggling/tugging them usually finds them).

It definitely sounds like something is unplugged or a wire fell of.

#30 3 years ago
Quoted from konghusker:

Seems like many people make a decision on it after playing one in the wild a couple games and not at correct set up and then are down on it.

Exactly. The one I played was set up by itself in a seperate room to all the other games. Sound was up really loud, lighting low. Levelling perfect and fairly steep. Flippers strong. Plenty of time to learn the basic rules. All combined made for a good first impression.

I could imagine playing for the first time in a busy, noisy location, with sound turned down, bright lighting, not steep and not level. Like at a pinball show. It wouldn't leave a good impression.

This game is all about immersion in the theme. Sound, lighting and video are light years ahead of anything else on the market. The layout is something different, but works well. Cookie cutter games made to a formula have their place in pinball, particularly on location, but get boring in a home environment. Hobbit will shine in a home environment.

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from konghusker:

Well, I haven't seen that one yet. Can the green box move up any or bend the ramp down some?

I will double check this morning but i don't think its making contact with the green box at all...

#32 3 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Does the ball stay stuck like a stuck on magnet (loose or broken wire?)? Or does it move if you nudge it (increase PF pitch?).

If i nudge it really hard it will move, but then of course tilts

#33 3 years ago

Is it mechanically hanging on something or is the ball itself magnetized?

#34 3 years ago

Less than a day and the game is already malfunctioning. That sucks.

#35 3 years ago

My green box does not go over the ramp. Is the box loose.

#36 3 years ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

Well now I'm pretty frustrated. The book/screen is not working, and the ball keeps getting stuck when you shoot the lock shot (right under the green thing and to the left of smaug). Anyone know how to check/fix this?

Good thing you posted the glowing review after 2 games and not 3

There still seems this odd combination with JJP of "built like a tank" but not quite perfected QC....

#37 3 years ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

If i nudge it really hard it will move, but then of course tilts

Quoted from cscmtp:

If i nudge it really hard it will move, but then of course tilts

You will have to manually roll a ball down into that area and see what its sticking on.

#38 3 years ago

it looks like there is this thin silver thing that is sticking out on the left side of that area, hard to explain I'll try to get a pic...its not always there either, its like it drops down and i think it is holding the left side of the ball

#39 3 years ago

There is a diverter in the green box to make the ball drop into the smaug area.
Maybe it came loose and is sticking out below the wireform.

I had the lower diverter to the windlance fall off. I reinstalled it and put a drop on blue loctite on the screw. So far its stable.

#40 3 years ago

pinballinreno wish you lived closer to come help me, I don't have your skills. We run a campground and I'd put anyone up in a cabin for the night if they'd want to come help me out

#41 3 years ago

Hard to see but look at top left part of ball in 1st photo (vs 2nd photo when nothing is hanging down)

image_(resized).jpeg
image_(resized).jpeg

#42 3 years ago

It looks like the wire gate for the diverter feed assembly has come loose.
You will have to lift and pull out the playfield to its service position to reach the screws that hold the green plastic box in place and remove it to get to the diverter for inspection. Possibly remove or loosen something else too.....its pinball....

There is a bare listing of it on pages c-48 and c-49 in the manual that you can download for free here:

http://www.jerseyjackpinball.com/game-specific-downloads/the-hobbit-downloads/

I couldnt find a picture of it exposed on the net, maybe Lloyd or someone here can take one for you if needed.

It doesnt look too hard to fix, its probably just loose or a screw fell out. Screws usually fall down into the cabinet and can be found sometimes stuck to the speaker or on the big metal box.

#43 3 years ago

So another shout out to JJP support. Spoke to Victor who helped me with diverter issue and he's mailing me a new "book" monitor as mine is faulty. And I've now put on probably 100 games and LOVE it. So many modes to complete, and to think its this much fun with only infancy stage software makes me super excited for what's to still come.

#44 3 years ago

Another great game, 1,700,00

#45 3 years ago

Got mine last night. Only able to put a few games in out of the box as it was almost 1AM by then. So far so good. I had no significant issues although I did take the time to tighten a lot of the screws under the playfield as most were maybe 1/4 to 1/2 turn too loose (maybe more if I really cranked down but I didn't try to kill it.)

#46 3 years ago
Quoted from VolunteerPin:

Got mine last night. Only able to put a few games in out of the box as it was almost 1AM by then. So far so good. I had no significant issues although I did take the time to tighten a lot of the screws under the playfield as most were maybe 1/4 to 1/2 turn too loose (maybe more if I really cranked down but I didn't try to kill it.)

Did yours have the updated beast ball 'blockers' mod?

#47 3 years ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

So another shout out to JJP support. Spoke to Victor who helped me with diverter issue

What was the suggested fix for the diverter issue? My game arrived last week so it's probably the same vintage as yours and has the exact same problem. Your pictures look exactly like my ball hang. I can see the edge of the diverter holding the ball. I was thinking The green sculpture needs to be removed, and the diverter needs to be bent down some. Is that what they suggested?

Also when I took delivery, Jen said beast hole guards have not started being installed on production games yet, but corrected left wire form ramps have.

Thanks,

Jim

#48 3 years ago

For those of us who have had the game for 3 months, when are we getting the beast hole guards and corrected left wire form?

#49 3 years ago

Per my conversation with Frank a week or two ago, he's sending me pop guards and a new wire form once they figure out a few other issues on mine. So it sounds like if you contact them, they have them ready is what I gathered.

#50 3 years ago
Quoted from heckheck:

What was the suggested fix for the diverter issue? My game arrived last week so it's probably the same vintage as yours and has the exact same problem. Your pictures look exactly like my ball hang. I can see the edge of the diverter holding the ball. I was thinking The green sculpture needs to be removed, and the diverter needs to be bent down some. Is that what they suggested?
Also when I took delivery, Jen said beast hole guards have not started being installed on production games yet, but corrected left wire form ramps have.
Thanks,
Jim

I bent the the diverter up at the top (using plyers) while standing on the left side of the pin, so it doesn't stick out anymore. I haven't had a single issue with it since I did that, and have probably played 200 games since doing so

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