coping with game problem during a tournament

Hi there folks,
I ran a tournament yesterday that went really well, but there was one issue that was frustrating. I’ve got an Iron Maiden LE in my line up, there are many challenges with the captive balls firing when they shouldn’t that I’ve spent and my pinball tech have worked on for ages and we get it working for a bit. So at the start of the tournament the game is working fine but then afterwards the game starts playing up and the captive balls fire when flipper button is hit.

One of the main feedbacks I got was around the skill shot and I wondered how other TD’s would deal with this? One player lost the ability to score the skill shot twice because on flipping to select a song the captive ball triggered. I ended up taking the game out of the line up and fortunately the player played well enough that the lack of skill shot wasn’t an issue but I suspect other players had the same issue.

Advice appreciated.


If I have a game that’s been repaired but I’m not sure the repair will last, I include this info in my pre-event announcements. I also let everyone know exactly what the problem is, and how I’ll handle any related malfunctions. This situation typically means that I will have a quicker trigger with removing the machine from the tournament (i.e., multiple malfunctions won’t be needed).


Super skill shots could be fifty million+ (according to the backstage pass) if you make four or more and that’s a significant advantage on Iron Maiden.
Spotting Newton ball hits could also start Mummy multi-ball? Not sure how it works on the LE.

If it’s inconsistent I would pull the game because it’s not fair to all the players. If it is consistent and I had to use the game I would put a note on the game and make an announcement that it’s a known issue and players can adjust their strategy accordingly.


Yes indeed and yes it can start mummy multi ball. On this game I’d already turned off the sarcophagus because it started to have a load of weirdisms going on also :frowning:

I’m not sure you can have a blanket rule for these situations. Too many possibilities.

Specifically on IMDN, have you installed the upgrade Newton ball actuators? I installed them on a friend’s LE and they’ve been great since. World of difference. If you haven’t gotten them, check with your distributor. Same part number as the factory actuators. Use a small bit of removable thread sealer (blue Loctite) when installing.


yeah they help but don’t solve the problem - eventually it comes back.

I’ve used the severity of the issue to determine how to handle a machine problem. For example, we were having an issue with Deadpool only recognizing the scoop about 75% of the time. I left that one go and made sure everyone was aware of it.

We had an issue with TZ were it kept awarding the spiral shot for no reason at all and on a pretty frequent basis. I pulled that because of how much it could effect the scores.

I’m not sure if that helps, but if it effects everyone and no one can gain an advantage, I roll with it.

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I had to make this ruling last weekend, and I determined that losing a skill shot opportunity was a minor malfunction. It sucks that on Maiden there are some lucrative skill shots, but given the other scoring opportunities on the game, I don’t find it a significant advantage. If the machine is in tournament mode Edit: has Competition Mode installed, I believe only the target skill shot and super skill shot are available, which eliminates the lost scoring opportunity of not getting a skill shot almost entirely. The captive ball registering phantom hits is reason enough to pull the game, though.


Tournament mode does not disable all the other skill shots. There is a separate menu setting to disable them though.

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INSTALLING Competition Mode disables them. Turning on the Competition Mode ADJUSTMENT does not.


This is what I get for not reading that whole thread about tournament mode vs. competition mode.


That’s not confusing at all.


Competition mode is for making things like mystery awards follow a set pattern, found in standard adjustments. Competition install is under a different menu entirely so unless you’re under the installs menu it’s not a big deal.

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