I know the general setup for tournament play is to have EM’s set to 5 balls, extras turned off when possible. I’ve found that often times that turns EM’s into a single-strategy fest.
Some games offer extra balls through the natural course of play where this doesn’t really matter, however I find that some EM’s have the extra ball award that pulls you a different direction from that natural course of play.
Curious if anybody had any good EM examples of this. I know for my EM’s at home I have a mix of both:
Monaco --> I prefer 3 balls w/extras since it brings the center target into play at the #2 slot, versus ignoring it and grinding spinners/bonus.
Captain Fantastic --> I prefer 3 balls w/extras since it brings the drop target bank into play, versus strictly playing “back up to the top” strategy
Air Aces --> Mine is set up 3 balls w/extras to bring that upper right saucer collect into play
Jumping Jack --> 5 balls no extras since you’re going after the same targets either way, nothing really changes
Boomerang --> Extra ball was lit on the outlanes, so I never particularly cared for it as an award
This is not just an EM consideration. That “get Stoned” game of Paragon with me, Zach, Bowen and Kevin Stone at PAPA a while back was much more entertaining with EBs on since it made coming back from way behind - - more than a rollover 1M in this case - - possible. Without EBs, you just can’t grind grunge points long enough to get there. I prefer it when there’s a realistic, albeit perhaps remote, chance to battle back from behind.
That said, there are some games that just play too short to be fun with 3+EB rather than 5 balls since the EBs are too hard to get and the ball times tend to be low. Many 1960’s EMs would fall into this. Flip-A-Card and some other small-flipper games. High Hand, too, would be iffy at 3 balls.
One I’d like to see at 3+add-a-balls is Gold Strike, where you can get multiple added balls - - one for each lit drop target you hit - - once you’ve completed both banks. Puts a high premium on finishing the banks and then being very accurate with your remaining shots. Same for Free Fall [add-a-ball version of Sky Jump].
I do inlines for one pass, then do spinner until 49K bonus, then back to inlines for the EB / Special points. But I see your point, it’s less of an impact on what you do than on some other games under discussion.