Official Critical Hit Thread

Match Play Decks now available for purchase

6th Annual Critical Hit

Tickets go on sale Friday, June 30 @ 10am.

Dates: September 9-10, 2017
Location: AYCE Gogi in Van Nuys, CA
Format: Match Play with Spell Cards
Entry Fee: $60* or possibly FREE if you’re EXTREMELY lucky with a D60

First tournament using the new Critical Hit Match Play Edition cards

Maximum of 64 players! Every player will receive 2 random spell cards at registration. In addition, each machine will have a set of goals to earn additional spell cards throughout the tournament. Other methods of earning spell cards TBA.

There are two phases to the tournament:

Phase 1: Match Play - Saturday 9/9, 10am-8pm
Players will be placed into groups of 4 (sometimes 3) to compete on a single, randomly selected machine. Points are awarded (3/2/1/0) and added to a running total for the tournament. The top 16 players at the end of the day will advance to finals.

Phase 2: Pinburgh-style Finals - Sunday 9/10, 10am
4 player groups, 4 game finals WITH spell cards (as applicable) still in play. 3/2/1/0 scoring. Top two from each group advance to the next round.

Will you save your cards for finals, or use them to get yourself into the finals?

Players that attend both Critical Hit and Pinball at the Lake will have their tournament player fee waived for 2018’s It Never Drains in Southern California.

Details from 2016’s tournament (3-strikes):

Time for another Critical Hit! Modified a bit from last year’s tournament but sure to be another hit. More spell cards and a higher player cap this year with the move to 4 player groups. I’ve been told it’s the most fun tournament in SoCal :smile:

Format: Match Play / 3-Strikes Tournament with Spell Cards
When/Where: December 10th / Fontana, CA
Cost: $20 or possibly FREE if you’re lucky with a D20

Maximum of 40 players! Email to register for the tournament.

Every player ranked WPPR 251+ will receive two random spell cards at registration. WPPR 1-250 will receive one random spell card. There are two phases to the tournament:

Phase 1: Match Play / Earn Spell Cards - 10am-1pm
Placed into pseudo-random groups of 4 (sometimes 3) the top two players after each game will earn a spell card. Upon the conclusion of Phase 1, additional spell cards, if available, will be auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds going to the Pinball Outreach Project. Games and positions will too be randomly assigned during this phase.

Phase 2: 3-Strikes - 2pm
Placed into random groups via card draw of 4 (sometimes 3) the bottom two players after each game will receive a strike. In the case of a 3 player group, only the 3rd place player will receive a strike. Games and positions will be selected via D20 roll with a Critical Hit earning both game and position selections. Each player can only select each game ONCE for the entire tournament until all selections have been exhausted. Players are eliminated from the tournament once they receive 3 strikes.

Final spell cards for 2016 will be announced slowing running up to the tournament. Check here or the Facebook event page for cards as they’re released.


This sounds like a lot of fun! Very creative and I think would be a great way to get new players involved in the scene.

Final cards are off to the printers! 108 cards in play for this year’s tournament vs. 54 from last years. Hopefully they’re slightly more balanced this time around.

First three cards are returners from 2015:

(Cards images consolidated below)


Tournament is about 2/3rds full with a little over a month to the tournament. Maintaining a running player list on the Facebook event page.

Added a sidepot option involving a d60 and a lot of luck for those courageous enough to join.

Next three cards announced:

(Cards images consolidated below)


Two weeks to go, 7 spots remaining. This will be broadcast on if you want to watch the insanity. Follow the channel if you haven’t already to be notified when we go live.

Here’s all the 2016 cards in a single image:

Also, I’m ordering additional decks for anyone interested in purchasing one/two/more…send me a PM. These are printed as actual cards, from a company specializing in just that.


This is such a cool concept, I wish it wasn’t on the literal other side of the continent so I could participate.

Good luck with it Karl!


Few spots (and days) remaining!

Deck orders will be available until the end of Saturday, at which point I’ll be making the final order. Might grab a few extra just in case, but consider this the final call! $13/deck plus shipping, payment when they’re ready to ship.

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Bumping this as I have decks ready and available! A few cards were tweaked, as can been seen on the order page. Go here to order

Should have the stream up on YouTube in the next few weeks. I’ve been working on editing it down a bit.

Next Critical Hit will be held September 9-10 at AYCE Gogi in Van Nuys, CA and will be the debut of the Match Play deck. Cards will be in play during PAPA-style finals :smiling_imp:


2 deck for 40 people? I’ll order now!

Yep, recommend a deck for every 20 players.

When will the Super Limited Edition deck be available with the Modica Plague card? :slight_smile:


That card will be in the match play deck, although the name is up for debate as I don’t really want to inflate his ego anymore.

He is no longer Johnny “Sandbagger” Modica to me. New title: Johnny “Plaguebringer” Modica.

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@PressStart ran a critical hit on the weekend and it was a great time. We were all new to the format, and I think things went relatively smoothly, but I think there are things that would help a new TD. Do you have a GM guide to franchising this, if not I can write some of my thoughts in a new wiki thread. I have some thoughts on recommended best practice for these things.

The things that stood out.

  1. You need to know all the phases, and clearly define when each is. You need to call them out. To be fair, I don’t even know is if we did rolling, selection and “before round” cards as you intended, if it was a serious tournament, I would want more rigour. But we had fun.
  2. Using was a bit of a challenge for changing groups and assigning strikes. It would scale poorly. Whiteboard and magnets might have been better.
  3. Swiss vs random for strikes. We ran Swiss, which had consequences with interactions with foresight.
  4. I see process around not losing cards to have scale issues.
  5. Some cards might need expanded explanation (errata sheet).
  6. TDs need to think about supporting darkness. If you can’t tell which player is up, playfield qualification, EBs, etc makes it scary to play. Also if you haven’t planned it you end up with creative designs using paper plates.

It was really fun, too bad turnout was low. Hoping it was mother’s day weekend issue, or a vengeance is scary thing and not a issue with understanding the format.

Vote early, vote often:


I don’t have a guide built yet as I suck at documentation. Should probably make an official “Critical Hit” thread here, or turn this one into it.

  1. Yes, the phases should be identified clearly. I’d always yell out before I built the groups for those cards, then have a countdown afterwards for any of the post-group/game shenanigans, after which everything would be locked down for the round.
  2. Went manual last time. Have plans here, and as @haugstrup said VOTE for the changes. I’ve got my own ideas for software, though who knows if I’ll ever have the time to get around to them.
  3. I might have pulled all group changing cards from the deck for a Swiss tournament since it kinda ruins the point of Swiss. Personally I like 100% random for this.
  4. I don’t understand what you’re getting at here.
  5. Any cards in particular? You can see them here to refresh your memory if needed.
  6. Yes, TDs must be prepared for all those situations. A large piece of foamboard works well for this, covering the entire backbox. TDs can always peek behind the cover to verify the current situation.

Documentation would be greatly appreciated. I’m happy to copyedit/sanity check if you throw something together.

Good point on the darkness thing.

Looking forward to receiving my decks and running a CH even in the next 3 months or so.

I just mean having a clear place for used cards is needed. Also, when each player is eliminated, making sure they return any unused cards. I just think the odds of someone forgetting a card in their pocket and taking it home goes up as number of players go up. Counting the discards to make sure their is the correct number was easy with 1 deck, more work with 4 decks.

The ones I remember that could use examples.

Foresight: I don’t even know if this is what you intended, but it was generally used to place yourself into the group of 3 (which was always group 3). That was not obvious to everyone at first.

Possess Object: There was a question about this. I think having 2 examples written would be good.
e.g. 1) Alice casts Possess Object on Bob before the round begins. Gift from the gods is randomly selected, and Alice forces Bob to make Alice invincible.
2) Alice casts Possess Object on Bob before the round begins. Heal, Self is randomly chosen. Since the they are in the before round begins phase, the spell fizzles and is discarded.

I think Shatter, Global has issue, because many spells are cast that the player holding the card is not aware of. They might potentially want to counter a bootstrap paradox in another group, but not even know it was cast, or they might be playing at the time.

Couple other thoughts I am remembering now.

What is the rule if 2 people roll a critical hit (or any tie a guess)? It should be written down that the original order stands and they reroll to break the tie (of course maybe it was and I missed it).

How strict do you want to be about spell fizzling (sorry, I grew up playing magic in highschool). We were very lenient, basically, people could not cast at the wrong time outside of Possess Object.

I will draft what I think a TD guide should be in a doc and share it send it to you. If you think it is reasonable and matches your vision, it can be either turned into a Wiki or published as a link here.

Very hard to do indeed. I had counts for the number of cards each player earned, but that was thrown out when people started using their Invert cards. The other thing I did was give everyone a card box to conceal their cards in then had them hand that into me upon elimination.

Foresight: That’s basically the intent for that one, since I only give strikes for 3rd/4th place.
Possess Object: Good point as there are a lot of possibilities with this card. Examples would help.
Shatter, Global: True, there can be spells being cast the holder is unaware of but I don’t see a problem with it. If someone really wants to make sure someone doesn’t use a powerful card they need to pay attention to everyone. If they’re playing I’d say oh well.

Wanted to leave these up to the TDs but guidelines wouldn’t hurt. Logically in my mind the crits both re-roll, maintaining their original roll positions. For the breaking of spells (I assume that’s fizzling) I was fairly strict and required the counter to be cast as quickly as was reasonable.[quote=“gammagoat, post:18, topic:1966”]
I will draft what I think a TD guide should be in a doc and share it send it to you. If you think it is reasonable and matches your vision, it can be either turned into a Wiki or published as a link here.
That would be beyond amazing!

These are my rules that I ran by:

You can call a TD to verify two things: the current player up when the ball is in the shooter lane, and if the proper amount of players have been added at the start of a game. Everything else is up to you.