EM battle - "3 balls w/extras" vs. "5 balls no extras"

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

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5 ball with extras

Just kidding - then it makes the ONLY strategy to go for the EB.

I really like the EB rule on Mars trek. Forces avoiding shots and it is risky at that moment.

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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].

Slick Chick set top 3 balls might not survive Pinburgh; someone will definitely tip it over or kick it or something.

I’ll disagree on Paragon, only because you’re grinding away the inline drops anyway. There’s no strategy change there at all to me during gameplay.

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Spirit of 76 might be good. Go for drops, or for lanes? Needs to be a game where you can actually get up to the top though…

Grand Prix modded so only the bottom two drops advance the counter towards double bonus and EB?

Biggest problem with Grand Prix’s EB is that collecting them is nearly pure luck having a ball actually go down a lit inlane.

I am surprised it survives 5 ball play.

I second this, Spirit of '76 / Pioneer is super fun with EBs. It’s self balancing because you can get as many EBs as you want, but your drop targets will still be down!

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.

I prefer the HG extra ball 3 hour circuit final game