Critical Hit Tournament

I decided to try my hand at running a Critical Hit tournament. Our league is on break for the next few weeks and wanted to try something new. It’s designed to be casual and I didn’t even bother registering it with the IFPA since I have no clue what I’m doing.

Quick question about the Matchplay cards though. Some say “Cast without delay”. Can someone explain that to me? Does that mean that as soon as I get the card, I have to use it?

Hopefully this helps. If not text/call me.

Playing and Resolving Card Effects

  • Cards should be resolved in a FIFO (first in, first out) order, except

  • Cards that “cast without delay”

  • These cards should be resolved in a LIFO order, i.e. latest played resolves first.

  • For more details on Shatter, see cards section

  • You should make a consistent rule for how to handle players playing cards at wrong time, or without valid targets: options include

  • Allowing players to renege on the declaration to cast, and keep the card to cast at an appropriate time

  • Declare that the spell has fizzled due to incorrect casting. Place the card in the discard pile with no effect

  • You probably want to make sure no cards are lost, you should make a clear location to collect played cards, and remind all eliminated players to return remaining cards

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Truly enjoyable format. There is a card to cover the scores. House rules for when we play are that the blinders stay up the rest of the tournament. We had half the machines covered. We had to have a TD or a player not on the machine peek to make sure no one played out of order.

I might take you up on the text option. I think I still have your number.

I was thinking of breaking everyone down into 3 groups based on IFPA number. Best players get 2 cards, middle group gets 3 cards and bottom group gets 4 cards. Is that typically how things start?

With FIFO, does that mean if I give them 3 cards, they have to use the first card I hand them first I assume? I’m a little lost on the Cast without Delay LIFO part.

Do you normally have a way for people to get more cards? I’m pitching this tournament as the “I have no clue what I’m doing Critical Hit” tournament. :smiley:

Honestly, it’s probably best you call me. Critical Hit format can be a big mess, it’s even a bigger mess when people don’t know what to do and can end up leading to frustration. Even going in with the “I have no clue mantra”, people will get turned off from the format if it isn’t executed correctly. I personally love the format, but it takes a lot of preparation and understanding to pull it off.


Can you PM me your phone number? I think I have it, but wanted to make sure.

Just a quick shout out to djreddog for taking the time last night to speak me. We spent an hour on the phone and he explained how he had run his tournaments, the hurdles he faced and things he would do differently the next time.

I’ll need to modify a few things since our setups are different, but his help was invaluable.

Thanks again djreddog!


I’m working on trying to come up with game bounties and need a little help with Whirlwind. I’m not very familiar with the game so I’m hoping someone can help. Here is what I have so far:

Whirlwind: ???
Iron Maiden: Perform a Left Outlane Super Skill Shot
Dialed In: Collect a SIM Card
Deadpool: Perform a Ninja ramp Super Skill Shot
Fish Tales: Collect a Monster Fish
Star Trek: Reach Warp 6

Don’t know the game either. Maybe you just pick a target score for that one? Keep it simple for the other players who don’t know the game as well.

Maybe Quick Multiball? You can start it by hitting the ramp in combo and building the drop target to quick Multiball. Hit drop, then lock under ramp. It also lights as a cellar award (which is a bit random). It seems similar in difficulty to monster fish or warp 6. Always available, unlike the skill shot ones.

Some number of cellar awards might work instead.


I might go with the score option for this one. They just dropped off the game yesterday so I’m assuming most people (including myself) don’t have experience with it. With that said, what would be a good score to use as a bounty? I want it to be attainable, but not easy.

The cellar awards might be good too, but I’m not sure how many I should use?

The answer depends heavily on how easy it is to make the side ramp.

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Unfortunately I can’t answer that question. They just put the game in yesterday and the upper right flipper stopped working after about the 3rd game. They are going to fix it today. Maybe cellar awards are the way to go then?

You could just throw out a target score and then see how often it gets hit. If Round 1 has all 4 people getting the bounty, just adjust the bounty before Round 2 starts.

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I agree with @gammagoat, go with Quick Multiball, that was the first thing that came to mind. Using a score target is just cheesing out. :wink:

Well, with djreddog’s help, we ended up having a great tournament. When I got there I found out that the operator never fixed the upper right flipper on Whirlwind so I just went with a 4,000,000 point score. After the game randomly rebooted, I decided to pull it, so it really didn’t matter anyway.

Even with only word of mouth advertising, we ended up with 17 people. I received a lot of positive feedback on the tournament and would definitely run one again. If other TDs are like me and enjoy being the person that everyone looks to for decisions, this is the tournament for you.

We had a couple great moments, especially towards the end. Had one player play a Fortune card (switch players after ball 1), only to be blocked by another player with a Shatter (break the spell). A third player in the same group played another Fortune card and stole the high score spot only to have it immediately stolen by the 4th player in the group that also had a Fortune card.

I heard more cheering and carrying on last night that I think I ever had at a tournament. If you haven’t attended or run one, I highly suggest it.


If you don’t like quick Multiball. Test out the plunge and see how easy it is the get the super skill shot. “Super skill shot on two of your three balls.” Or such.