Forfeit remainder of the game when getting a comp ball

So I was involved as a player in a ruling where I got a comp ball on the new game to add to my score. I asked if I could forfeit my ball 3 on original game and get 2 comp balls instead and was once told “no” as the rules state I only get one comp ball and once told “yes”.

I was personally involved in 2 situations in 2 separate tournaments in 2 different states.
Here’s what happened:

I am P4 on Data East Time Machine. P3 drains their ball 2 during normal play, at which point they receive their bonus, a ball kicks out, and I immediately get my bonus. Another ball kicks out and we call over the TD. The score displays no longer indicate which players turn it is (no score is flashing) or which ball it is in play.

TD states this sometimes, rarely, happens, most commonly in league and other 4 player games. He states that the software gets confused and skips a player, then no longer displays which player turn it is or what ball it is. He drains the 2nd ball in the plunger lane manually, triggers a sling to verify that its player 1’s turn and makes the ruling that everyone is to play on, and I will get a compensation ball on a new game. If its relevant, its a custom ROM that fixes some carry over inequality in original rule set for Time Machine.

I ask to forfeit the rest of my game and instead receive 2 comp balls due to time machine being very progress dependent (star warp, ball locks, etc). The request is denied with stated reason being that rules say I only get 1 comp ball. We play on with no apparent issues in scoring or game features besides not seeing current game state.

Another tournament, we’re playing Blackout. I am once again P4, and P3 tilts through on their ball 2, skipping my turn. I ask to forfeit my ball 3 in exchange for 2 comp balls, the request is granted.

I have 2 questions.

  1. There is some “grey area” on major malfunction and comp ball rules in the Rulebook, which one applies in my cases?
  2. Given that TDs are ultimate rulers, how would TDs in the audience rule?

I would’ve ruled one comp ball only in both cases. The reason you received 2 different rulings is simply TD discretion. They can rule however they want. Key is are they consistent or not. That can lead to issues or people voting with their feet.


but on games that let you add balls mid game you are to use that. But that can’t be done on games that don’t allow that.

I understand and do not dispute the ruling. The question I have is if that is allowed/within the rules? Of course they can rule however they want, but I hope most rulings are informed by the set of rules established by IFPA. My reasoning is that I rather have 2 uninterrupted balls than a ball I already played, ball that was Major Malfunctioned away from me, followed by a 3rd ball which is probably quite a bit later than 1st ball. If I want to sacrifice progress made during 1st ball to play 2 balls where I know progress will carry, vs knowing that all my progress will be reset between my ball 3 and comp ball, I should have that option, no?

There are several provisions in the rules that read as if there should be best effort made to preserve/award as much progress as possible (adding 4th ball in play, setting up the game to play 3rd ball for pity mist, etc). I postulate that best way to do that on a lot of games is forfeit remaining ball and get 2 fresh balls back to back.

There is a clear provision that lets player deny a comp ball, in cases where it is beneficial to them (presumably)

The IFPA almost never gives the player the choice. I don’t see anything in the rules that would allow you to request and be granted additional comp balls and forfeiting your currently owed balls.

Sometimes it is recommended to preserve game state by getting an EM back to ball 5 so they don’t lose double bonus, but in most cases, it’s a “you’re effed, sorry” situation when it comes to comp balls. But you really have to take it game by game since the era and options may change.

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Well, the game and condition is described in the first post. Time Machine (which AFAIK doesn’t allow you to add balls in play, but does actually have a way to “buy in”), and it was a software-related malfunction that resulted in me not playing my ball 2. In addition, the game was “broken” after the malfunction, but to what extent, I do not know.

From the rulebook:

Both of those imply choice given to the player. Both are under major malfunction section.

My interpretation of the rules is that there is some leeway given to affected player to offer them best possible outcome without veering into “unfair advantage” territory.

I don’t give the player the choice of ball 3 or 5. In those cases there is something extremely specifically valuable to the player that makes it obvious they want their comp ball to be ball 3 or 5. There are games that have features only available on those balls.

But yes, in certain circumstances, players are given a choice and I believe they are all listed in the rules.

But yeah I think you’re understanding it correctly. Choice could be given to keep game progress saved as best as you can, but the TD could determine that choice as not necessary, as the difference is negligible.

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That’s a big hope :smiley:

IIRC a long time ago, for a brief bit, the choice of 1 or multiple comp balls was a thing. But, that has not been for a long time. If memory serves, that option was moved away from so as to not convolute the EV on getting a comp ball and the effect of a malfunction.

While in your case it may have felt more “fair” to receive the option of 2 comp balls, in other instances 2 balls might feel really overpowering. - Imagine a game where the difficulty of multiball escalates each time. Every player has “burned” all their “easy” multiballs, but now, after a malfunction, Walrus McGeee gets not just one but two comp-balls on a fresh game to feed on the easy stuff all over again.

If this is something that only happens on a tournament rom, that rom should be fixed or not used. If it’s something that happens with the regular time machine software that’s different, it’s a factory bug, but if one does it and one doesn’t, the one that does it shouldn’t be used.

What inequities does Time Machine stock have anyway? Lock stealing is the only thing I’d think would make a difference as you don’t get to shoot a new ball up to the rollovers/if there’s a skill shot (I forget the nuances of Time Machine despite having owned one in the past but that was 20 years ago at this point)

From my understanding, time machine is a pretty poor tournament game on stock rom, but since this is the only version I play, I have no idea how it differs from stock.

Maybe lock stealing, maybe starwarp progress carry over between players/games, other bugs?

rom 1.8 / A01-8 or 2.4 / A02-4.
are stock roms what rom is this tournament one?

A02-4, so i was wrong on tournament rom comment, must’ve confused it with a different game.