League night #5 of 8
Games played: Fish Tales, The Addams Family, Jack-Bot, Tales of the Arabian Nights
Well folks, we have passed the halfway point for Season 9 as of last league night, so the competition should really start to heat up. In theory, anyway. In practice, I arrived (late as always this season due to my class schedule) to last league night in time to see my group-to-be in the midst of a game of Tales of the Arabian Nights, and Kristen looking quite glum at her Ball 1 score that was somewhere around 30K points. (This prompted some discussion of whether it is possible to get a score lower than that. It turns out it is: Joseph – intentionally, I think – did a single ball score around 10K after league.)
Fortunately(?) for Kristen, she did not actually win the award for worst single ball score. That honor goes to Chris, who scored 0 (zero) on his first ball of Jack-Bot. He gets no sympathy from me. He knew the risk! By now, everyone in the Lansing Pinball League knows that short-plunging Jack-Bot is living dangerously. The gate likes to stick, and when the ball gets hung up in it, there is no way to get it free except by banging the game hard enough to tilt. That is exactly what happened, leading to Chris tilting out before scoring a single point.
(In case you are wondering why people are so tempted to short plunge: if you plunge softly enough to avoid hitting any switches before you get the ball on the right flipper, the playfield won’t be validated. Validating the playfield means the game now considers the ball “in play” and starts the ball saver timer, if any. So not only can you get ball on flipper and in control without losing your ball saver, there are actually a couple of targets that you can hit without validating the playfield, meaning you can shoot them in safety, drain, and still get your ball back. This is especially useful in multiball, since a couple of jackpots, sorry, Jackbots can be cashed in before validating the playfield. And that was your Amateur Tip of the Day. Your Pro Tip, on the other hand, is this: don’t short plunge Jack-Bot at the Avenue unless you want a zero point ball.)
I don’t have much else to say about last league night because now that I wander in close to 8 p.m., it feels like it’s over as soon as it starts. Regarding tonight’s league night, starting in just about an hour, I will say this: happy birthday, Joseph! Tear it up! And save a piece of cake for me.