Gottlieb Trough Post Save

Hey everyone,

Since we still have Shaq Attaq sitting in the PPL clubhouse we get to play it on league nights. I noticed a rubber to the right of the trough entrance and wondered the legality of trying to nudge straight down the middle balls off of it.

I pulled one off in league on accident tonight, which brought the idea to mind; it’s way below the flippers (next to trough in bangback land) but it’s seemingly an intentional feature to try to nudge off of (it has a rubber, even).

Thoughts? Ideas? I’m all ears.

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I feel like it should be ruled the same as a center post, especially if they actually put a rubber on it.

Xenon has this too. I’ve wondered if it was there to protect the trough itself.


I’ve been shopping a Gold Wings and it also has a double post in the trough. It’s because of the trough design on that particular game. It’s really weird, the feed to the shooter lane is backwards most designs. It keeps them held back and when the solenoid fires the block moves long enough for a ball to pass.

So, I don’t think it’s meant for the player, so much as to make up for a design error they found early in production.

They’ve used that same trough for all their multiball games since Mars. Even before that I think they had the post. A lot of single ball Williams games have one there too (Hot Tip, Grand Prix come to mind)

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I wonder if they were just concerned about repeated hits to the corner of the apron, then! Is it typically on the right side?

I got “dq-ed” at IFPA in Sweden two years ago on Xenon in the quarterfinals against Mats Runsten by trying to save the ball - there were no rubbers and of course the ball passed already the left outlane… I wouldn’t have try it if it didn’t happen on accident while the warm-up. It didn’t matter at the end (it was ball 3 and I was already behind), but while I was playing I had always in mind that I could save a ball I already lost on the left outlane - which “happily” didn’t happen on other circumstances

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Assume you wont try it this weekend hehe.
So that save was ruled as a death save then?

no, but I’ll be always attentive.

Robowar and TX Sector also have this post. I’ve found that you infrequently get a bounce back from it (provided it has a rubber on it). I’d say it should be treated like a center post if that is the case.

I believe all sys80’s have them, and it seems like sys3’s although I didn’t know the latter until this thread.

I don’t think my Time Line has them. At least, definitely not 2.

Yeah, I don’t agree with this at all. To me this is the same as any other post or rubber beneath the flippers. Nudging those is clearly allowed (Centaur, Wizard of Oz) so those posts should be as well.

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Anyone get a center post save on this Attila the Hun at Pinburgh? :astonished:


Those posts were placed there to funnel the balls “One-At-A-Time” into the trough. You can make death saves from a ball coming from the left outlane with a properly timed hard nudge on many of these games.

Regarding league and tournament play, if I were the TD, I would not allow these death saves when the ball came from the outlane, but would allow nudging when the ball came from between the flippers.

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IIRC this post was used as an excuse to execute a death save following an outlane drain. I’m all for skillful nudging of it as a “center post” for drains down the middle. I’m not for using it as an excuse to execute a maneuver where the post itself isn’t actually needed.

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I still don’t agree. The post is needed when attempting to rescue the ball from the left outlane. Having seen this done multiple times on Xenon, I would argue this is a skillful move using a post that the game embeds to help you save the ball.

If you believe center posts should only be used to save center drains, that’s cool.

@PAPA_Doug and I took a quick trip up Pinball Mount Sinai, and here is what we heard:

Outlane drains are not allowed to be actively saved from a center post. If it goes down an outlane and the player actively tries to nudge it back into play, then it is a death save.

It does take skill to pull this off in Xenon, just as it takes skill to execute a death save. Both just happen to be illegal.

Make sure you rule it correctly at Pinburgh :wink:


Not a problem, as long as the rule is clear.

So when I nudge the hell out of WoZ with the ball in the left outlane, it flies out, hits the center post and pops back into the PF because I was holding up the left flipper, that’s illegal?

It happens a lot more than you’d think. So much so, that I always hold up the left flipper and shake the hell out of the machine.


There was a similar discussion regarding Wheel of Fortune and what’s legal to do in the outlane/below the flipper area.

You can nudge the hell out of WoZ in the left lane area with the purpose of triggering the There’s No Place Like Home rule. Outside of that area, any nudging done to bring the ball back into play is considered a death save.