can TD dictate strategy (playfield validation)?


Nah, I already tried that on a Sopranos I had. Red plunger spring ended up making it easier in a way if you apply a soft palm bump to the plunger instead of pulling it like one normally would.

The problem with Sopranos is that it’s a long playing game no matter how it’s set. If a TD wants to disallow a strategy because of ball times, he should DQ the game all together and leave it out of the event. Or just play it as-is, in my opinion.

Or, if he’s hell-bent on enforcing the rule, then someone else’s idea of pulling the plunger out completely and using the flipper ball launch will solve the problem. But that’s not in everyone’s power to do if they are using location games they aren’t the owners of.


I know this is an old thread but quick question. Is it against any rules to soft plunge a ball to get it to the flipper without validating the playfield? We had it come up during tourney play on Ghostbusters.


Perfectly legal


Not only is it legal, but it’s very often the best play on many many modern pins.


Watch @chuckwurt 's seven hours of Game of Thrones tutorials to see an example.


Are they going for the cheat skill shot? That should be banned for potential damage to the barrel spring on the plunger. Break the barrel spring? DQ.

Controlling a ball on a flipper from a soft plunge can be tough on GB, depending on setup and player skill level. If they’re taking 5 minutes to get a ball on a flipper, you can add a rule that says player must put the ball in play (valididate playfield) within X minutes of stepping up to the game.


Sopranos is actually an easily fixable game. Remove the plunger, turn on flippers plunge ball in settings.


Playfield validation is covered in part I. Haha


Unless I’m doing a Jen Peavler kick, I don’t see how there’s anything I as a player can do to damage a barrel spring. If the spring breaks, there was already something wrong with it IMHO.


I don’t know what this refers to?


I agree regarding barrel springs, but shooter knobs are a whole different story. You’re slamming plastic directly into the end of a metal rod. I’ve cracked a knob in half (thankfully on one of my games playing alone) and have seen it happen to other games in the wild. I’ve also played a game after someone smashed the plunger, and had the knob fall apart in my hand when doing a normal plunge.

If I was a TD I’d ban that move completely. Palm tapping: fine. Hard slam: warning or DQ.


I always just do it by pulling the plunger back full and letting it go. Slamming the plunger is completely unnecessary.


Slam plunge at your own risk



I’ve always been in two minds about this. As a manufacturer/distributor of this device, I’d be worried about someone suing me if they injure themselves. I think this always has been a bad idea. Where do we draw the line? Next thing we know, someone makes a shooter knob with a two-inch stiletto blade on the end…

Besides, people who want to slam a plunger like this just take their thick leather wallet out of their pocket and slam the plunger with the walled protecting their palm. The device doesn’t achieve its intended purpose and has the potential to hurt someone.

Silly idea, IMO.


My post was a joke.

As for the actual design, I don’t know the intent. I’ve always figured it was just an aesthetic choice by the manufacturers at that time. Was it actually intended to curb slam plunging?


I can’t think of any other reason for creating that shape.


On Ghostbusters (and other games, like BBH for bonus round for example) the right orbit switch is hit by a normal plunge. To prevent this from registering as a right orbit shot, the software ignores the switch for a few seconds after the shooter lane switch opens.

It is pretty easy to trigger right orbit but shot plunging to keep the ball in the shooter lane, the doing a full plunge as the ball approaches the switch. It timed correctly, it will not activate the shooter lane switch and the right orbit will get counted.

Some believe this is a game breaking exploit on GB. I disagree since that skill shot is really easy anyway. I use it more often to start Boars Gone Wild.


I assume there is some additional damage to plunging without a ball there to slow it down. There is certainly a hollow thump if you plunge without a ball.

Although, the machine should be able to handle this because almost every time a see a child play a game for the first time, they are empty plunging a lot.


Absolutely yes it was.


A location near me gets most of the new Sterns. The only one that’s had a broken barrel spring in years is GB. I assume it was due to the skill shot cheat, although I don’t know for sure. After it broke, the operator installed a beefier non-Stern spring, which took forever to get a feel for when soft plunging. I think he eventually put in the correct Stern spring, which took more time to get used to. Very annoying.

Stern barrel springs aren’t as beefy as others. Fine if you don’t palm it hard, but they can and will break if abused.