Pinburgh 2012 Group R

Game 1: Twilight Zone
Twilight Zone at IPDB
Rulesheet at

Game 2: Mars Trek – Begins at 46min 30sec
Mars Trek at IPDB

Game 3: Funhouse – Begins at 53min 30sec
Funhouse at IPDB
Rulesheet at

Game 4: Flash Gordon – Begins at 108min 20sec
Flash Gordon at IPDB


  1. Matt
    December 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Great video – thanks! Great Twilight Zone games.

  2. O_R_D
    December 30, 2012 at 4:00 am

    Draining one shot away from the wizard mode in a major tournament… Ugh!

  3. Soren
    December 30, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Awesome TZ match. Pity about the mechanical issues.

    I would like to hear the organisers thoughts on having the powerball installed in competition play.

  4. MHS
    December 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm


    TZ is set up with one fewer ball in the gumball machine for tournament play. No other modifications were made with regard to the powerball. I’ve heard the argument that it should be removed entirely, and I respect that argument and understand it, but in my opinion it’s unnecessary. I want to see how / if players handle the powerball, and the added inequality of when it occurs for each player, even with having a ball removed, is an acceptable trade off in my mind.

  5. bowen
    December 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    There’s also a significant effect on player strategy (which we discussed during the game) where a player can save 2 Gumballs together so they can insure a chance to get the Powerball. That’s an added plus to using the Powerball, which to me outweighs the negatives of a player getting the Powerball in the trough or getting the Powerball through 1 shot instead of 2.

  6. December 31, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Man it was painful watching this match again. The only thing I’m thankful for is that my failure to collect bonus didn’t actually come into play since Gavin and Josh beat me by way more than what that would’ve been.

    TZ’s tournament mode was designed right before IFPA 3, For a long time, it was really forgotten how to set it up properly, it seems, so I was very glad to see it done right at Pinburgh. To Soren, the reason is that with this setup, you are guaranteed to see the powerball in 5 shots (or less depending on pb position). If you do it right (particularly saving both gumball shots at once if necessary), each player will be certain to at least have a shot at the powerball which is what you really want.

    Taking the pb out also takes out a potentially major scoring chance, the double jackpot. Wasn’t really a chance in this game, but that is a strategy that can’t be overlooked.

    One clarification: On Flash Gordon, I wasn’t shooting the ramp, I was shooting for the drops. Oops. Still bitter I needed so few points for the win and tie and couldn’t pull it off.

  7. Soren
    December 31, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Thanks for your views on TZ configuration.

    When I see a TZ in competition, the powerball is usually replaced by a steel ball (and possibly some setup adjustments) making the powerball-mode, I believe, individually sequenced for each player.

    A non-random award configuration is usually desirable for competition pinball, hence I was curious to know the reasons for the setup on this TZ.

    You explained it very well. One other thing I like about having the powerball installed is, that it presents the game in the spirit of the original design.

  8. Womble
    December 31, 2012 at 4:44 am

    It’s good to see longer, more skilful games in these tournament plays.

    Sometimes, when the tables are set to very hard, it seems to come down more to luck, than skill.

  9. ZEN
    December 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    That was insane but great to watch. I wonder if the slot machine on TZ was backhandb-able? Rough to get to L.I.Z. and not be able to collect. I feel that on the more difficult games skill always trumps luck, although luck does play a small factor. Great commentary guys. “You can have it back!”

  10. LDK
    January 1, 2013 at 11:56 am

    On TZ tournament settings:
    Keith’s arguments are all fine but the setup is by no means perfect. The big drawback is of course that in a 4-player game one player’s misfortune of draining the powerball could be another player’s fortune getting the powerball in the plunger lane. That randomness could decide the outcome for sure. That cannot be a good tournament setup, right?

  11. MHS
    January 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    @ LDK
    Pinball has random elements all over the place, and there’s ebbs and flows like you describe on lots of games. (Is whether you get the powerball in tz in x or y number of shots really any different than whether or not you find the girl in cftbl in the first or last area?)

    Like I mentioned above, the potential issues of leaving the power ball are understood, they’re just not important enough in my and Bowen’s (and keefer’s) mind to sway the decision. TZ with the powerball included and one fewer ball in the gumball is, IMO, a better tournament setup than with it entirely removed. Others may disagree, and many have, and that’s fine w/ me.

  12. Chris
    January 1, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I actually like the randomness/luck factor of the powerball, even in competition. I got to play this very same TZ during the main competition of Pinburgh 2012. I had this experience: I got the powerball into play and choked and it ended up in the trough. Each subsequent player also failed and let it fall into the trough. Low and behold when my next ball came around, I got the powerball in the shooter lane and finally got it back into the gumball to start MB! Poetic justice!

  13. Adam Becker
    January 2, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I agree with Bowen, Mark and Keith. The powerball adds a nice element of strategy that overpowers the randomness it potentially causes.

    Even in the case of a ball ending up in the trough.

    All any player had to do when they were choosing order was take a look at the machine to see where the powerball is and if it was in the trough.

    Also in the case if the powerball is drained mid game, it can still be brought back out in as little as 2 balls through skillful play since TZ, has a physical lock. Lock two balls and then the powerball is back out for the current player again.

    The depth of strategy to utilize the powerball correctly and take advantage of the payoff far out weighs that of the random elements it might provide, which IMO are not all that random to being with.


  14. LDK
    January 4, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I really like the powerball and I agree with you guys for two-player matches, not for 3- or 4-player matches though…

    I also agree that the random elements are what makes pinball so exciting as long as it is not too much randomness. Where this “too much” happens is where we have different views I guess? (Maybe it is because in Sweden we are fighting some pretty stupid laws that make pinball equal to slot machines and we really want to show that pinball is a skill game.)

    Well, let’s leave it at this. There will be different setups of TZ in different tournaments. Not a big deal.

  15. LDK
    January 4, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Btw: Great commentary as always!

  16. Chris
    January 4, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    LDK, we need to get Roger Sharpe to Sweden, ASAP!

Comments are closed.