The third season of the Lansing Pinball League has reached its halfway point, as meeting 4 of 8 took place on Tuesday. It was a meeting that saw one heck of a performance from the night’s top-scorer, Danny. It was a high-scoring night in general as the increasing membership of the league led us to play five games instead of our usual four. More machines and more players mean more points are available to score. As a result, Danny managed to earn an impressive 72 points, taking the victory from Chris by a margin of 6 points.
The league also saw a new player this time, Chris’s friend Jamie. Jamie is a novice but I have to imagine she won’t stay one very long with Chris as a coach. “Shoot the genie! Shoot the genie!”
Matt had previously selected our night’s games randomly and they were slated to be Indiana Jones, Junk Yard, Lord of the Rings, and World Cup Soccer. As the night began he made the decision to add Tales of the Arabian Nights because of the large turnout. Unfortunately, shortly into the night, Junk Yard decided to start double-dispensing balls again and was replaced with Simpsons Pinball Party. Then during the first game of S:PP, it also double-dispensed, so it was replaced again with Medieval Madness, to the delight of its many fans and the chagrin of certain people who think MM involves too much shooting up the middle.
Lord of the Rings seemed to be the really big scorer of the night, with at least three people getting to (though not completing) “Destroy the Ring.” Needless to say, I was not one of those people.
Clearly some people had a very good night, though my own group didn’t share very much in this bounty. I ended up in an all-female group with Christine and Jamie, leading Matt to ask, “What are the odds?” I mean literally: he asked one of our resident mathematicians, Joseph, to calculate the odds that in a minority-female league a randomly-selected group would end up with all women. (Russell is the original resident mathematician, but he’d better come back soon or he’s going to be eclipsed.) Anyway, there was a lot of pain in my group. Jamie took to guessing how many seconds she had actually managed to keep her balls in play, and Christine seemed to be in a frustrating slump.
For my part, I felt utterly betrayed by Medieval Madness. I have a rule that I won’t warm up on a game that we’re going to play that night since it so often results in having a great practice game and then a disappointing league game. I warmed up on MM this time not realizing we would be playing it – and my 30M practice game was followed by a horrendously bad 1.5M league game. And that’s supposed to be my best table! Jamie, though, had a stunning finale to our group’s night. Despite being unfamiliar with the rules and not having played at all in years, she knocked down two castles and started a multiball, netting her over 13 million. I was green with envy since I practiced the game for at least a month before ever achieving a score over 10 million. Clearly she’s something of a natural.
Terry returned this week, but wasn’t able to clean up as he did last time because the night started late and ran long, so he had to leave for work before playing his game of Lord of the Rings. Matt has suggested that Terry could be allowed to play a makeup game the next time he’s around to rectify this.
When all the groups had finally finished, the top five high-scorers for the night were Danny, Chris, Rodney, Jake, and Sarah, in that order. The biggest change there is Sarah, finishing six positions higher than at the previous league night. The top four overall positions for the season so far have remained the same since then, with Chris, Rodney, Joseph, and Matt still occupying them. Aaron, however, has dropped from 5th to 6th, with Jake moving up to take 5th, just one point behind Matt.
Despite missing out on 1st this week, Chris still has a very comfortable lead over Rodney that seems unlikely to be eroded at this point. Rodney, in turn, has a buffer nearly as large between himself and Joseph. The most competitive position right now is 3rd. Joseph leads Matt by a dozen points, which is substantial but easily surpassable. Matt, Jake, and Aaron are all clustered very closely together.
The Battle for Third will continue at the next league night on October 21. I suggest that a good strategy might be for Joseph, Matt, Jake, and Aaron to pool their money to buy Rodney a weekend trip to Vegas. Meanwhile, you can check out the complete results and standings and see more photos in the photo gallery.