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(Topic ID: 96622)

What games are used for tournaments?


By Russell

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 306 posts
  • 58 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Jeremecium
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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    There are 306 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 7.
    #1 6 years ago

    Which games are most frequently seen in tournaments? Are there games that are never seen in tournaments? Why?

    #2 6 years ago

    Some pins are known to have unbalanced scoring, and are omitted from tournaments for this reason. I think there's a list somewhere on PAPA.org of pins to avoid.

    #3 6 years ago

    Do not give it too much of a thought.

    These consideration are more of less only a concern in tournaments of the very highest caliber players.

    I mean, it is fair to pay an interest for the sake of general knowledge. But please, use any game you like in a competitive setting.

    In my experience, I've seen far more problems with pinball machines used in tournaments due to wear, malfunction, incorrect software adjustments, bullshit LEDs, burnt bulbs, bad leveling etc. than due to the games own geometry and rules.

    The problem of a pinball machine for tournament use is not really that people utilise repetitive and simple shot patterns. Although it will turn out to be a boring tournament, It actually requires skill to repete shots. The problem is if playing time on a game is too long. So, adjust games to avoid that though still being a fair battlefield and you have a tournament.

    #5 6 years ago

    Here is my favorite from the list:

    Captain Fantastic

    Bally – 1975

    Tournament Issues: Game may cause players to exhibit better taste in clothing.

    Lock Stealing: No
    Preferred Software Revision:
    Reasonable Competition Game: Yes

    #6 6 years ago

    What the guys above said. Plus, any game that depends solely on random awards for all awards, multi-ball, scoring modes, etc. which can't be balanced should be limited to one player games or excluded, in my opinion.

    #7 6 years ago

    Oh yes, I forgot to mention that. Games with lucrative mystery awards are a poor choice for tournaments.

    #8 6 years ago

    Games with ridiculously repeatable shots, like Data East's Star Wars, are just not fun to play competitively. This doesn't mean it can't be a good test of skill, just that it will take a long time and nobody will enjoy it.

    #9 6 years ago
    Quoted from bkerins:

    Games with ridiculously repeatable shots, like Data East's Star Wars, are just not fun to play competitively. This doesn't mean it can't be a good test of skill, just that it will take a long time and nobody will enjoy it.

    What about Star Wars with the new code update? The ramp shot is not near as valuable as it was. I was hoping to see Star Wars in a papa tournament someday and with the new code I think its possible.

    #10 6 years ago
    Quoted from ktrain315:

    What about Star Wars with the new code update? The ramp shot is not near as valuable as it was. I was hoping to see Star Wars in a papa tournament someday and with the new code I think its possible.

    +1

    #11 6 years ago

    with "normal" (i.e. anything besides the super great players) just about any game is completely fine to use.

    Ideally you would avoid games with random mystery, catch up, or extremely unbalanced scoring with more luck than skill in the ratio. Aside from that, pinball has some chance.

    The more important thing to most people is that the game plays well and to actually have an event. Depending on where you live, just finding good playing games can be the biggest challenge.

    #12 6 years ago
    Quoted from soren:

    Oh yes, I forgot to mention that. Games with lucrative mystery awards are a poor choice for tournaments.

    See, I don't get it......couldn't you make the same point about Casino Run on Jackbot? It's a total crapshoot what you get, and sometimes you will get billions of points, and other times you will get a bomb on the second pull (Which on MY game is instant death because I have early code that you can't cheat out 1 bomb.....you just lose everything lol..). It's one big huge mystery mode.

    #13 6 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    See, I don't get it......couldn't you make the same point about Casino Run on Jackbot? It's a total crapshoot what you get, and sometimes you will get billions of points, and other times you will get a bomb on the second pull (Which on MY game is instant death because I have early code that you can't cheat out 1 bomb.....you just lose everything lol..). It's one big huge mystery mode.

    What players will and won't accept with regard to randomization is sometimes very... random.

    To the OP, Soren spelled it out pretty well above. If you're not including high level players, just about any game is usable. If it's a casual tournament, even random software awards don't really matter all that much. Just have fun.

    Also, I will vote the best random award in pinball is "Double or Nothing" in Vegas. Nothing quite like having rolled the game only to have a bullshit mystery award reset your points back to zero.

    #14 6 years ago

    Not just zero ... but 00,000,000!

    #15 6 years ago

    Hadn't seen the PAPA list before, interesting. Too bad Bugs Bunny's Birthday Bash and police Force are not in there.

    Personally, and I know that some tournament players won't agree with me, I feel that a pinball machine is designed in a certain way and should be played as such. If the tournament is to determine the best pinball player, that player should be able to play on any game and come out as the best. If that means you can steal on some games another player's locks, so be it as that's the way the game is designed. Pinball is pinball, I see no need for exeptions and it may spice things up as well

    #16 6 years ago
    Quoted from unigroove:

    Hadn't seen the PAPA list before, interesting. Too bad Bugs Bunny's Birthday Bash and Police Force are not in there.
    Personally, and I know that some tournament players won't agree with me, I feel that a pinball machine is designed in a certain way and should be played as such. If the tournament is to determine the best pinball player, that player should be able to play on any game and come out as the best. If that means you can steal on some games another player's locks, so be it as that's the way the game is designed. Pinball is pinball, I see no need for exeptions and it may spice things up as well

    The #1 consideration in tournaments is the length of time it takes to play a game. Games with things like lock stealing are used all the time, especially at Pinburgh.

    #17 6 years ago
    Quoted from mhs:

    The #1 consideration in tournaments is the length of time it takes to play a game. Games with things like lock stealing are used all the time, especially at Pinburgh.

    I applaud you for that! I know players who strongly feel such games should not be in tournaments and expressed such concern to tournament directors. I was not referring to PAPA in regards to that. I also know of tournament players who don't want to play buy-in tournaments, but that has nothing to do with the games being used.

    #18 6 years ago
    Quoted from soren:

    These consideration are more of less only a concern in tournaments of the very highest caliber players.

    Not necessarily. If there is a flaw in the design or ruleset of the game and one player knows how to take advantage of that, they can have a severe advantage over other players. There are many games where knowledge of the rules and knowing where the scoring is improperly balanced can be exploited by even average players.

    For example, many Bally/Williams game video modes are not random, so if someone knows the pattern, it's not challenging at all to do well and get extra balls and other awards.

    As others have said, some games are "one trick ponies" in tournament play. The way to score big points is to play a very specific way, often avoiding a majority of the game's features and ruleset (i.e. Fish Tales, where you can shoot the boat ramps over and over scoring more points more easily than getting multi-ball)

    #19 6 years ago
    Quoted from mhs:

    The #1 consideration in tournaments is the length of time it takes to play a game. .

    Damn Stewie playfield!

    #20 6 years ago

    Here's some of my favorites

    Classics:
    Target Pool
    Harlem Globetrotters
    Paragon
    Flash Gordon
    Nitro Grounshaker

    Modern:
    IM
    Tron
    Genesis
    Metallica
    I500

    #21 6 years ago
    Quoted from PinballHelp:

    As others have said, some games are "one trick ponies" in tournament play. The way to score big points is to play a very specific way, often avoiding a majority of the game's features and ruleset (i.e. Fish Tales, where you can shoot the boat ramps over and over scoring more points more easily than getting multi-ball)

    In the grand scheme of pinball, very few games have multiple strategies that are equally viable from a competitive standpoint. That's not to say competition pinball is bad, because it will often put players into unique scoring situations that casual play could never do, but that's a different discussion... Scoring imbalances and in-depth rules knowledge are an inherent part of pinball that are only truly bad for competition if they take forever and bore everyone to death. Otherwise, repeatable shots / mode stacking / memorizing patterns are skills just the same as a post passes or dead bounces.

    If you want to beat Elwin, Bowen, Zach, Jorian or Cayle on No Fear, buckle up and get ready to shoot the jump ramp a minimum of 200 times. That's not really "exploiting" the rules so much as it's just playing the game and making risk vs reward decisions, which is essentially what every semi-modern ruleset ever made is based on in the first place.

    Also, not that it really matters, but Fish Tales is imbalanced because of the multiballs, not the monster fish. There's billions of points in that captive ball if you know where to look.

    #22 6 years ago
    Quoted from unigroove:

    I applaud you for that! I know players who strongly feel such games should not be in tournaments and expressed such concern to tournament directors. I was not referring to PAPA in regards to that. I also know of tournament players who don't want to play buy-in tournaments, but that has nothing to do with the games being used.

    I've had this conversation with a lot of players myself, and it's tricky because there's an endless supply of examples that can be mentioned making either side of the argument look both good and terrible. In the end, in my humble opinion, a major part of pinball is dealing with randomization, and that randomization doesn't go away just because it's a tournament setting versus an arcade. Are there extreme examples that I will avoid as a tournament director? Absolutely, but those are few and far between when compared to the many acceptable examples of randomization that players routinely ignore or accept as "part of the game".

    This issue comes up a lot in the TZ powerball discussion.

    #23 6 years ago
    Quoted from mhs:

    Scoring imbalances and in-depth rules knowledge are an inherent part of pinball that are only truly bad for competition if they take forever and bore everyone to death.

    I should clarify that I mean skillfully achieved scoring imbalances. The Fish Tales supers, for instance, are skillfully achieved. I don't mind this game in competition.

    TOTAN harem strategy is also skillfully achieved, but it will take 45 minutes per player to finish a game, which is death to an event.

    "Double your Score" or getting "swap scores with player 1" are egregious examples of non-skillful imbalances that are inappropriate for competition in all but casual settings.

    Most examples of lock stealing or not knowing what mode is coming up next in Wheel of Fortune is randomization that is an inherent part of pinball, and it doesn't bother me in the least as a director or competitive player.

    #24 6 years ago

    I love taking my kid's eye locks in Jackbot, watching them freak out, and then they get multiball when they put one more ball in there, lol.

    1 week later
    #25 6 years ago

    Just to clarify things.

    Games with too imbalanced random awards, absurd multipliers, catch-up features and similar, shared progress etc. should be use with caution. Possibly avoided as multiplayer games and accepted in a single player setup only. Reason being, that the outcome is too much lead to chance and not due skillful play. Or because players benefit from other players progress.

    But I guess the point I wanted to make was, that here and there (notably PAPA website and broadcasts) you will see recommendations not to use games like Earthshaker, Who Dunnit, Arabian Nights, Cirqus Voltaire, Star Wars, Elvira and Junk Yard. Which is true at the highest skill level competition. But I'd say, if you have games like these on hand and want to run a local tournament. Go ahead and use them.

    #26 6 years ago
    Quoted from soren:

    But I guess the point I wanted to make was, that here and there (notably PAPA website and broadcasts) you will see recommendations not to use games like Earthshaker, WHO dunnit, Arabian Nights, Cirqus Voltaire, Star Wars, Elvira and Junk Yard. Which is true at the highest skill level competition. But I'd say, if you have games like these on hand and want to run a local tournament. Go ahead and use them.

    The tipping point comes when the tournament awards whopper points or cash. Strictly a friendly tournament, sure. Use what you got. But once you add points or cash, you absolutely need to do homework on the games being used. Whether you like it or not, points and/or cash changes everything. Good players will come out of the woodwork once you start handing out points or cash.

    If you choose to award points, the event needs to be on the IFPA calendar (website) well ahead of the day of the event. So there is no way to have a 'stealth' tourney that awards points. And even a $5 per person match play event can bring out good players. It's either a 'friendly' tournament, or a full blown tourney. No middle ground.

    #27 6 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    . So there is no way to have a 'stealth' tourney that awards points.

    That's not true...charity events don't have to be on the calendar (unless something I'm not aware of has changed on that front.....I have seen generally around a week and a half official notice given, as compared to the month in advance for everything else...) and as of right now, can score 25+15 base points for main+side tourney....

    #28 6 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    That's not true...charity events don't have to be on the calendar (unless something I'm not aware of has changed on that front.....I have seen generally around a week and a half official notice given, as compared to the month in advance for everything else...) and as of right now, can score 25+15 base points for main+side tourney....

    25 + 12.5

    #29 6 years ago

    Under 6 months left of 25+12.5 ... Enjoy it while you still can!

    #30 6 years ago
    Quoted from ifpapinball:

    Under 6 months left of 25+12.5 ... Enjoy it while you still can!

    Okay - interesting... less points for smaller tournaments, more for larger? Tougher minimum requirements? More than one per location (if location allows large tournaments)? Re-calaculation of previous tournaments?

    Just curious...

    #31 6 years ago
    Quoted from ifpapinball:

    Under 6 months left of 25+12.5 ... Enjoy it while you still can!

    Looking forward to hearing about the new setup.

    #32 6 years ago

    Less points for smaller tournaments. Less points for lower quality tournament formats. No guaranteed base value of anything anymore.

    No events will be combined/shared/split with any other event. Organizers can run as many events as they would like, at any location, anytime. Each will be judged on the format of the event and the players that participate.

    #33 6 years ago

    12.5, right, sorry.

    As I said in email before....gonna be REAL interesting to see where "points ghettos" develop because of the lack of the guaranteed minimum points. Highly suspect my area will be one, since we only seem to have a core group of 4-6 people show up.

    Also had an amusing thought.....just how many points will Pinburgh be worth now?

    #34 6 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    Also had an amusing thought.....just how many points will Pinburgh be worth now?

    The new max base value is 32 points, which is hit if a tournament has 64 or more players. (current proposal being evaluated)

    The grading percentage for Pinburgh will be 100% . . . because it's awesome, so it will keep 100% of those base points in the calculation.

    #35 6 years ago
    Quoted from ifpapinball:

    Less points for smaller tournaments. Less points for lower quality tournament formats. No guaranteed base value of anything anymore.
    No events will be combined/shared/split with any other event. Organizers can run as many events as they would like, at any location, anytime. Each will be judged on the format of the event and the players that participate.

    Okay sounds fair - looking forward to the new ruleset.
    Tough job to define a bullet-proof and fair system. All the best!

    Do you also provide templates, software or excel sheet (whatever) for the different tournament formats? This would be very helpful to be aligned with your expectations. I am also thinking about our league which began in March 14 and will end March 15... are there also new rules to follow?

    Sorry - for all the questions... is this here the right spot/time to ask them?

    #36 6 years ago
    Quoted from ifpapinball:

    Less points for smaller tournaments. Less points for lower quality tournament formats. No guaranteed base value of anything anymore.
    No events will be combined/shared/split with any other event. Organizers can run as many events as they would like, at any location, anytime. Each will be judged on the format of the event and the players that participate.

    Can we get more details and a full list please. I like to plan WAY in advance for events.

    Also, will new rules be retroactive for old events prior to the change?

    #37 6 years ago
    Quoted from frg:

    Okay sounds fair - looking forward to the new ruleset.
    Tough job to define a bullet-proof and fair system. All the best!

    Do you also provide templates, software or excel sheet (whatever) for the different tournament formats? This would be very helpful to be aligned with your expectations. I am also thinking about our league which began in March 14 and will end March 15... are there also new rules to follow?

    Sorry - for all the questions... is this here the right spot/time to ask them?

    Here is as good a place as any to discuss. We are still testing things and plan on making an EPIC announcement on 10/1 as to what the changes officially include.

    Leagues and tournaments will be graded in the same fashion. We don't currently have any templates available, as there are so many formats to choose from, and then variables within those formats that also have to be decided. The quality metric for grading is going to be based on the number of games played in order to win the tournament. We'll be working with the tournament organizers to make sure it's counted properly for the event, so it gets graded appropriately.

    Anyone that has an established event is welcome to either post here, or email us and we can give you an estimate of what that tournament would be worth under the WPPRv5.0 rules.

    #38 6 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Can we get more details and a full list please. I like to plan WAY in advance for events.

    Also, will new rules be retroactive for old events prior to the change?

    New rules will NOT be retroactive for anything pre 1/1/15. There's nearly 4000 active tournament results that would have to be individually graded . . . and the time and effort involved in collecting that information would be next to impossible.

    If you want to post the details of one of the formats of you're event I can certainly churn it through the formula and see what spits out the other end.

    #39 6 years ago

    I will add that we will no longer be including subjective point reductions for weekday events, events classified as "Launch Parties", etc.

    There will also no longer be anything classified as an "annual" or "periodic" tournament, or "main"/"side" tournament.

    Every tournament/league submission will graded on its own objective merits, and every one will be listed separately on a player's resume.

    #40 6 years ago

    Exciting times for competition pinball. Fuzzy to me what the consquences will be. But one thing is clear to me. This will bring along more tournaments.

    #41 6 years ago

    Consequences are fuzzy to us as well. It's the first time we've overhauled the system this big since 2009, and the first time we're not able to test all of our historical data using the new formula. Can't say I'm excited about that part of it, but we're coming out guns blazing with the best of intentions for the system.

    #42 6 years ago

    I'm interested to learn more about the planned changes as well. You said they're going to be announced in October? When will they go into effect? I was planning on doing some annual events before the end of the year (one in October, one in November) - if there are going to be new rules governing them that may impact my plans for dates/format/cost/location/etc.

    #43 6 years ago

    Looking forward to the changes. I hate that as a league we play 15 weeks + playoffs for a similar wppr prize as one-day tournaments that show up. This should really benefit league play as a whole.

    #44 6 years ago
    Quoted from ifpapinball:

    Anyone that has an established event is welcome to either post here, or email us and we can give you an estimate of what that tournament would be worth under the WPPRv5.0 rules.

    How would you grade the FSPA league seasons? 10 weeks of play, 4 games per week, your usual sprinkling of top 500 and top 1000 players you know and love

    #45 6 years ago
    Quoted from Flamethrower:

    I'm interested to learn more about the planned changes as well. You said they're going to be announced in October? When will they go into effect? I was planning on doing some annual events before the end of the year (one in October, one in November) - if there are going to be new rules governing them that may impact my plans for dates/format/cost/location/etc.

    Changes will go into effect starting 1/1/15. The announcement on 10/1/14 is to hopefully give us 3 months of being able to answer questions, and help tournament directors get familiar with the information we're going to need to officially endorse the tournament and evaluate it properly.

    Consider this the announcement, before the epic announcement, before the implementation of that epic announcement (Pinside moderators told me it has to be done this way now)

    #46 6 years ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    Looking forward to the changes. I hate that as a league we play 15 weeks + playoffs for a similar wppr prize as one-day tournaments that show up. This should really benefit league play as a whole.

    Yes, most 'good leagues' that include a ton of playing during their season should grade out to 100% for that season.

    However, depending on the number of players in your league you may see the overall value actually decrease compared to the current rules.

    #47 6 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    How would you grade the FSPA league seasons? 10 weeks of play, 4 games per week, your usual sprinkling of top 500 and top 1000 players you know and love

    Those would be graded at 100%.

    Looks like we got April results from Mighty Mikes, Town Hall, and VBH.

    Here's some quick old value vs. new value comparisons:

    Mighty Mikes (20.95 new way, 10.32 old way)
    Town Hall (8.85 new way, 9.11 old way)
    VBH (19.26 new way, 10.26 old way)

    A reminder that this would be for EACH SEASON the new way. The old way you combined the seasons into one listing on your player resume for your ranking.

    #48 6 years ago

    The new rules, given what I've read here, will affect tournaments and environments that have tough time- and machine-constraints, since tournaments are highly valued based on greater number of games played. Those are both things that I deal with quite a bit on a monthly basis. It would also majorly devalue a semi-major tournament like the Chicago-area Launch Parties where you can achieve first place in as little as two games played.

    I understand the motivation behind it, but it may negatively affect some of the smaller and newer pinball communities that don't have real great operator support or collector support.

    #49 6 years ago

    Dragon is the only game used in tourneys, as it should be!

    #50 6 years ago

    Very interesting changes coming. I think it is a positive for leagues, especially those that play as many games as FSPA does in one season.

    I'm also looking forward to how it affects house tournaments. My quarterly tournament averages more players than many annual ones do (~35) so those points will go up.

    The real question is will the cool all-day house tournaments where players travel 2-4 hours to play still get players from afar? Or will those players focus on more local events now that they can get the same or more points without traveling so far.

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