Down 20m on ball 3 of TAF, how to play it?

Interesting situation happened in the final game of a 5 game tournament match last night.

I’m player 2, and step up to the machine on ball 3. Opponent has 26m, and started multiball on his last ball, clearing all balls out of the locks. I have 7m, and made the skills shot on my first two balls.

I plunge ball 3, hit the 4m skillshot, and Thing grabs the ball for Lock 1. Then I hit another skillshot for 5m, and have 16m. Multiball is ready. Magnets will be on. Last ball in the shooter lane.

How would you play this?


The choices:

  1. Soft plunge vs. skill shot plunge.

  2. Try with 100% effort to get a multiball jackpot vs. get and keep a ball on the left flipper.

In other words, I think the choice of whether to start multiball vs. not start it is no choice at all given the fact that Power will be on.

My decisions will be based on how the Swamp kickout, upper ramp shot, and control to the lower left flipper from the upper ramp shot are handling. If the machine is playing really hard, as I assume it is based on your score, I’d definitely go for the skill shot and just about definitely shoot the side ramp.

Train wrecks all day!

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Skillshot Plunge IMO.

Best case scenario you go skillshot for 5m into either trainwreck for 5m (if it’s lit) or upper ramp for 1m into 5x graveyard for another 5m and walk away with the win.

If you miss the 5x graveyard you’re in trouble…but you’re also in trouble if you soft plunge and miss the multiball start and going for the skillshot means you’re close enough that worst case scenario your bonus might be enough to take you over the top.

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Wouldn’t the Power be on when you’re shooting for 5x graveyard? No way I’m attempting it in this situation, pretty much. (Despite the fact hitting it would mean victory.)

I would try to plunge just beyond the skill shot in an effort to get the ball down to the flippers without hitting a switch so the Power isn’t active.


If you don’t shoot for 5x graveyard you either let the ball drop to the left flipper which on the Addams Family I play this feels like a 50/50 between instant outlane because of spin or actually going to the flipper. Or you try to pop it out to the flipper which is a terrible idea because of the Power…

If I were afraid of the 5x graveyard shot then I would soft plunge 100%. I just feel more comfortable going for that then going for multi-ball.

It’s all about:

A) What we’re comfortable shooting. (I never shoot the graveyard.)
B) How the machine is playing.

As far as B goes, I’m used to being able to hold up the upper left flipper to get the ball to a cradle on the lower left, even when the Power is on. So I’d be doing that and timing out the Power, starting MB at the chair, then… probably failing to get a jackpot. But then I’d shoot the chair again and hope I could pull ~3.5 million out of whatever it gives me.

The right answer here will definitely depend on how the machine is playing. If there’s a Cliffy on the chair, I’d never shoot it from the right flipper, for example. If post passing right to left doesn’t work, I wouldn’t short plunge. If you can’t trap from the swamp…

Thanks, these are great responses. I’ll add a few things:

I didn’t think to see if the train wreck was lit. In fact, that’s something I never pay attention to, and didn’t realize that it would even tell you if it was lit. (Aside: would it display this to you after locking two balls? I thought that all inserts were off except power and the two lock lights).

I was 90% comfortable cradling swamp kickout on the right and post passing to the left. I am great at shooting the chair from the left flipper on my TAF, but always seem to struggle on the one I was playing in this situation (which was on location).

So, what did you do?

I short plunged. Cradled on the right. Passed to the left. Missed the shot to the chair, ball somehow ended up in the pops. It got fed to thing flips. I didn’t have a plan for what to do, so I panicked and shot for the swamp and made it. Yay! Oh no, that would have been for the win if I had not short plunged. :frowning:

Then I started multiball…lost two balls without doing anything. I calmly shot the restart. Now I would get a free shot at the jackpot right off my plunge! Oh wait, a 5m skillshot wins the game. So that’s what I did. It felt like a dirty way to win…24m in skillshots to beat a 26m score.

When I was initially analyzing before plunging ball 3, I decided that a Jackpot would win it, and 5m wouldn’t help me. But I forgot to account for failing the multiball, getting the restart, and the opportunity for another 5m plunge.

Can’t decide if I over or under thought it. :slightly_smiling:

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Overthought it. :slightly_smiling:

This. Know your train wreck status. Skill shot + train wreck completion = win.

Heck I’ve won matches by shooting for the GRAVE targets…