(Topic ID: 79611)

What's your technique for playing an unknown game in competition?


By fattdirk

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 35 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by bkerins
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    #1 6 years ago

    I'm registered for pinburgh this year and I'm sure I'll probably end up playing a game for which I do not know the rules for. I'm just curious to hear other people's opinions on the best way to approach a machine that you have never played before or had limited exposure to.

    I don't have a problem learning the rules to a game over time, but I have been known to blow tons of high point shots due to not knowing that X was lit at the time. Mainly due to the fact that I didn't know what X was . I usually attempt to read the instruction card before playing a new game, but I either have a hard time remembering everything on it or it just doesn't help. Some instruction cards are cryptic to me anyway, like I own an Alien Poker and if I didn't know the rules I wouldn't understand the multiplier from reading the card.

    I want to have a deeper strategy than just prevent the ball from draining.

    I'm thinking a good strategy is to read the instruction card and analyze the geometry of the table then try to execute just that one goal and then move to the next. What do you guys do?

    #2 6 years ago

    Aim for the flashing lights

    #3 6 years ago
    Quoted from chadderack:

    Aim for the flashing lights

    I'll layer that to my prevent ball from draining and go for multi-ball universal strategy.

    #4 6 years ago

    Is there a time limit in these?

    #5 6 years ago

    On newer solid states, I always try to find out how to start multiball on a game. A lot of games have jackpots tied to multiball, especially Sterns. Plus you can score more with 3 balls than one, right?

    #6 6 years ago
    Quoted from chadderack:

    Aim for the flashing lights

    Dang...beat me to it.

    #7 6 years ago

    +1 for me ,,

    #8 6 years ago

    Watch the PAPA tutorials on each game in the lineup that has one. Or, if no tutorial, watch the gameplay video if available.

    Watch other players, and see what they do while you are playing (from a respectful distance)

    #9 6 years ago

    Find the multiballs, find the jackpots, and find the tilt.
    -Wes

    #10 6 years ago

    If you have a smart phone, you can look up the rules online before you play.

    http://papa.org/competitive/directors/league-formats/game-rulesheets/

    Typically strategies are suggested towards the end of the rulesheet, although not always. Watching videos while you're there is going to be too time consuming. The videos are sometimes more than one game and always by a world class player, so short games (videos) are rare. Scanning through the rulesheet might be your best best.

    Obviously not all games aren't listed there, including Alien Poker (you have a head start!). And the rulesheets are in different formats, so reading them on a smart phone may be tricky. Still though, it's a useful resource in a pinch. Don't whip out your smart phone in the middle of a game (they frown on that), but do use it before the games starts.

    #11 6 years ago

    I was curious about using a smart phone during competition. Is this legal? How far in advance do you know which game you're going to be playing?

    #12 6 years ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    I was curious about using a smart phone during competition. Is this legal? How far in advance do you know which game you're going to be playing?

    Don't know why it wouldn't be, your smartphone isn't going to make the shots for you. I hear people complaining about coaching too, and just laugh. Don't know of any "sports" that don't have coaches.

    #13 6 years ago

    I usually look for the safe shots first...to get the feel of the game. It's usually ramps that return the ball to the flipper. Then start hunting down MB opportunities.

    #14 6 years ago

    Putting a smartphone on the pin while you're playing is frowned upon. Using your smartphone -- or other people -- when it's not your turn is perfectly fine. You will NOT have time to watch videos of pins after you get assigned to a bank of pins. Assignments get published online, and within a few minutes, you're plunging your first ball.

    For moderns, get into quickest multiball simply to find the shots in the game in the relative safety of multiball. Watch your opponents play. Do research -- work with friends so you can divide and conquer the various pin rule sets. Keep your rule sets simple and very brief.

    On EM and early SS, is there a spinner? If so, figure out how to light it, and then rip it -- non-stop. Figure out how to multiply your bonus.

    #15 6 years ago

    I'll just leave this here...

    #16 6 years ago
    Quoted from Clawhammer:

    I'll just leave this here...

    Bowen has made is clear that cheat sheets aren't allowed in tournaments he's running, which includes Pinburgh. The tourney that Neil was playing in when that video was made did not have rules forbidding cheat sheets.

    Know the rules of the tourney before you hit the start button.

    #17 6 years ago

    If I have no idea of the rules beforehand, I try to at least figure out how to start the MBs. I also will tend to spam the ramps as these are usually safe. You can also figure out some of the dangerous shots just by looking at the layout. I try to avoid those.

    #18 6 years ago

    When I don't know the rules, I usually use the left and right flipper buttons to hit the ball. 50% of the time it works out 90% of the time.

    #19 6 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    Bowen has made is clear that cheat sheets aren't allowed in tournaments he's running, which includes Pinburgh. The tourney that Neil was playing in when that video was made did not have rules forbidding cheat sheets.
    Know the rules of the tourney before you hit the start button.

    http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tournament-play-a-question-of-ethics/page/2#post-651577

    Phish, this is a thread you participated in actively, and one in which you disagreed with Bowen.

    Your stance: Cheat sheets should not be allowed in tournaments. Bowen's stance (and therefore the rule for Pinburgh and what needs to be understood by the OP because he explicitly said he's preparing for Pinburgh): Cheat sheets fall under the rule for coaching and therefore aren't allowed during a ball in play, but are absolutely allowed at all other times.

    #20 6 years ago
    Quoted from ralphwiggum:

    I hear people complaining about coaching too, and just laugh. Don't know of any "sports" that don't have coaches.

    Coaching is NOT allowed DURING play!
    And it is no laughing matter, really.
    You can't tell my opponent, "You're jackpot is lit on the right ramp!"
    "Shoot the spinner you just lit, it's huge points!"
    "Just shoot that green arrow to start multiball!"
    "Turn around, you have a ball save!"
    Etc,...

    You CAN tell my opponent ANYTHING you want when he's not actively playing a ball.
    Once his ball is in play, I'm playing him, not you.

    #21 6 years ago

    Most importantly, watch the other players. Each group will have a highest seeded player, so it might be good to focus on his play. Remember, he may not know the rules either! Pay close attention to how hard of a nudge gives a warning, or a tilt.

    On EM's, determine if the tilt ends ball or tilt ends game. If tilt ends game, do not shake the game, period. Also, see if there is a way to get double bonus. On many EM's, it awards double bonus automatically on the last ball.

    On early SS, find out what multiplies bonus. Many of these games, the bonus is most of your score.

    On DMD, as others have already stated, find the easiest way to get into multiball.

    #22 6 years ago

    Dino, I agree with all of that except for the ball save. If a player walks away from a ball save, SOMEONE is gonna shout it out. It always seems to happen that way.

    #23 6 years ago
    Quoted from Clawhammer:

    I'll just leave this here...
    » YouTube video

    LOL. Karma.

    #24 6 years ago

    WHat is typical ruling if someone is coached but not by choice? For example, yelling "ball save" and they turn around to get to the kickout in time.

    I can see being pretty pissed if someone coached someone I was competiting against and they got the ball save because of that, but it is almost instinctual to yell and react accordingly when someone does yell it.

    #25 6 years ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    Coaching is NOT allowed DURING play!
    And it is no laughing matter, really.
    You can't tell my opponent, "You're jackpot is lit on the right ramp!"
    "Shoot the spinner you just lit, it's huge points!"
    "Just shoot that green arrow to start multiball!"
    "Turn around, you have a ball save!"
    Etc,...
    You CAN tell my opponent ANYTHING you want when he's not actively playing a ball.
    Once his ball is in play, I'm playing him, not you.

    I get what you are saying but if that is true, it is actually pretty funny.... You still have to make the shot. Can you see this in other sports?

    The three point line at the top of the arc is wide open, take the shot!
    He has his chin left open, take the shot!
    Goalie is leaving 3 hole wide open, take the shot!

    You still have to make the shot. If you don't have any skills, it doesn't matter what is going on. If anything, I think there is a disadvantage to having someone in your ear telling you what to do.

    #26 6 years ago

    How close can you stand to a machine when someone is playing? If there's an empty machine next to the one being played, can you stand at it and watch like at an arcade or bar?

    #27 6 years ago

    And I don't see anything wrong with a cheat sheet. First time playing a game, I'd want to know all the rules and scoring opportunities just like if playing any game. Still have to make the shots no matter how much you read.

    #28 6 years ago

    #1 tip - try to not go first and WATCH what other players shoot for (don't annoy other players but pay attention), and try to figure out why. And watch to see how significant bonus can be. On older SS and even some newer DMD bonus can be THE goal of the game - don't tilt it away.

    Generic 2 tips if all else fails:

    Find the easiest multiball and get into it.

    Do not tilt your bonus until you know how important bonus is/isn't on a given game.

    #29 6 years ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    I was curious about using a smart phone during competition. Is this legal? How far in advance do you know which game you're going to be playing?

    At Pinburgh you will be given a set of four games to play, every two hours, and you'll know the entire set of four games at the beginning of the round.

    Unless you're Player 1 of the first game you'll have at least a little time to read up. Watching other players can be critical to success on a game; if you don't know a game, it usually means the other players don't know it well either.

    You can use any resources you want -- phones, notes, videos, other players -- anytime NOT during your own turn. While you're on the machine, it's just you and the game.

    #30 6 years ago
    Quoted from ralphwiggum:

    Don't know why it wouldn't be, your smartphone isn't going to make the shots for you. I hear people complaining about coaching too, and just laugh. Don't know of any "sports" that don't have coaches.

    In most sports, there is no direct coaching during the run of play. In the NFL, communication from the sideline to the quarterback is cut off during any play and whenever there are 15 or fewer seconds on the play clock. A coach with external information could shout something like "X open" or "dodge right" and change the outcome of a game.

    In my opinion, it's pretty much the same for pinball -- there should be no direct coaching during the run of play, unless players are specifically set up to play in teams.

    If you've got a friend watching, at the end of your ball 1 they can tell you what to go for on ball 2.

    #31 6 years ago

    I just try not to lose the ball, but it usually doesn't go as we'll as I had hoped.

    #32 6 years ago
    Quoted from LOTR_breath:

    Dino, I agree with all of that except for the ball save. If a player walks away from a ball save, SOMEONE is gonna shout it out. It always seems to happen that way.

    Well, SOMEONE is gonna be on my shit list!
    The higher the level of play, the less this is an issue,
    as top tier players generally don't walk away from ball save.
    But also, there are different interpretations you might not think of:
    I was playing PAPA finals one year, and a player went up to the machine and was just about to plunge my ball!
    I ran up frantically and was able to catch him just before the plunge!
    Everyone was cool, but another opponent in the group COULD have argued that I coached him out of a DQ mistake.
    (costing them points)
    Probly wouldn't have flown because it wasn't his ball to play anyway, but you see what I mean.
    In A div. finals, the collective gasp of the gallery at PAPA would let you know you have ball save.

    #33 6 years ago
    Quoted from bkerins:

    In most sports, there is no direct coaching during the run of play. In the NFL, communication from the sideline to the quarterback is cut off during any play and whenever there are 15 or fewer seconds on the play clock. A coach with external information could shout something like "X open" or "dodge right" and change the outcome of a game.
    In my opinion, it's pretty much the same for pinball -- there should be no direct coaching during the run of play, unless players are specifically set up to play in teams.
    If you've got a friend watching, at the end of your ball 1 they can tell you what to go for on ball 2.

    ????? In most sports there IS coaching during run of play. Regardless, I guess I can see where pinball doesn't take as much skill to make a shot, so the skill is knowing the ins and outs of a game.

    #34 6 years ago
    Quoted from stevevt:

    Phish, this is a thread you participated in actively, and one in which you disagreed with Bowen.

    Your stance: Cheat sheets should not be allowed in tournaments.

    I think you misunderstood. I don't think cheat sheets should be allowed *while someone is playing*. If you look a few messages down from your link, you'll see:

    Quoted from phishrace:

    I have no problem with cheat sheets being given out or taped to the wall...

    http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tournament-play-a-question-of-ethics/page/2#post-651639

    To me, it's not a cheat sheet until you pull it out in the middle of a game. Until then, it's a strategy guide.

    Quoted from stevevt:

    Bowen's stance (and therefore the rule for Pinburgh and what needs to be understood by the OP because he explicitly said he's preparing for Pinburgh): Cheat sheets fall under the rule for coaching and therefore aren't allowed during a ball in play, but are absolutely allowed at all other times.

    Yes, I could've made it more clear. I didn't appreciate how the poster thread bombed this thread by only saying 'I'll just leave this here' with a link to that video. In fact, I'll just leave this here for him:

    #35 6 years ago
    Quoted from ralphwiggum:

    ????? In most sports there IS coaching during run of play. Regardless, I guess I can see where pinball doesn't take as much skill to make a shot, so the skill is knowing the ins and outs of a game.

    I'm talking about coaching WHILE someone is completing the action of the sport. Tennis, golf, football, MMA: none of these have direct interaction between player and coach while the player is acting. Even in sports where there is coaching during the run of play, crowd noise and other factors make direct interaction less useful.

    Watch the Olympics these next 2 weeks and tell me how many times a coach interacts with an athlete WHILE they are doing what makes them an athlete.

    Knowing the ins and outs of a game isn't the #1 skill in pinball success, but it can be significant. I can think of many instances in competition where a simple coaching interaction (such as saying "you've got it on the bonus") would have changed the outcome of an event.

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