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


#1

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


#2

5 ball with extras

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


#3

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


#4

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].


#5

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


#6

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.


#7

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?


#8

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


#9

I am surprised it survives 5 ball play.


#10

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!


#11

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.


#12

I prefer the HG extra ball 3 hour circuit final game