Official Critical Hit Thread

That would maybe be even better to use when Desistance is played :stuck_out_tongue:

This is definitely a house rule in the ones I’ve played in (SoCal).

For the ones I’ve run myself, players have to answer truthfully if they have cards or not, but they don’t have to say how many cards they have.

At the various CH tournies I’ve run we’ve had people reply honestly with how many cards they have. there are some instances where you have to pick a card and if someone lies and says they have two cards and saves their third card when the other player is drawing one of their random cards we feel this would be dishonest and cheating so folks have to say whether they have cards or not and if picking a card all cards must be presented to draw from.

Right, in that case all cards had to be presented here as well, and I can see how full disclosure at all times is the simplest solution.

I allow players to withhold the specific number of cards they have but must say if they have any. Same as @Binkley

As a board game mechanic, I generally don’t like the withholding of information which could be publicaly tracked or computed. The main reason being that then the optimal play of the game requires all players to maintain the state, which adds time. You could argue instead that tracking state without aids (like paper) is a skill and players better at that skill should be rewarded. Since I suck at that skill, I generally prefer honest disclosure of information that could be tracked via public information.

Another question regarding the card “Fortune”:

It says Switch players and thereby scores with any other player in your group.
Does this mean that if I play the card, I can choose to swap every player in my group?
Ie player 1 will have player 4’s scores, player 2 will swap scores with player 3 etc ?

or is it just that I can swap scores with one other?

I think the intent is you pick a single player and swap playing position (and score) with that single player.


I just wanted to check since the last post about it was in 2018, but Critical hit tournaments can still be IFPA sanctioned, correct? It would be Group Match play qualifying and finals.

Yes, tournaments using the Match Play and 3-Strikes decks can be IFPA sanctioned.


I think the intent is you pick a single player and swap playing position (and score) with that single player.

This is how I interpret Fortune and have never seen it played differently here in SoCal

@kdeangelo Do you plan on offering up decks for sale again? If not, does anyone have decks that are not being used that they would like to sell?


I have them available. Send me a pm. Need to update the website.

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pm sent

Is it ok to put cards that have been played back in the deck for redistribution or does this unbalance the play somehow?

It’s ok to do so, although it could mean people know what cards others get. I’d wait to redistribute cards until you have a good number so that they’re more randomized.

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Is there a practical upper limit of cards in circulation? Should I try to keep an average of say 3-4 cards per player at a given time?

I’m wondering if the “critical hit” shots during gem battles on AIQ were an intentional tribute to this Critical Hit?

Battles and role-playing games have had critical hits since the late 70’s and early 80’s. The pinball critical hit was an homage to this and I’m guessing AIQ was doing the same. Though I suppose it’s within the realm of possibility that Karl’s cards could have triggered some of the thought process for sure.

I played in this style tournament for the first time yesterday.

There were 52 players and we each had 4 starting cards.

I hadn’t realised just how dramatic an effect the cards you draw at the very start would impact any chance you had on winning.

My initial cards were:

2 x redraw all machines at start of round
1 x play an extra ball at the end of your game
1 x swap scores after ball 2

before we had even got started someone played their ‘discard a random card from an opponent’ against me and I lost my swap scores card :frowning:

I won an additional card for getting High score 3 on a machine and won ‘ask rules’ card. If anyone knows me I am the person least likely to take any kind of benefit from that card as it is me that people come asking for game rules advice.

During the rounds I was playing well and, apart from the first round where I finished 3rd out of 4, I had won or come 2nd in every round.
I had swap scores played against me twice.
On TNA I was on 2.3 mil and over 1.5 mil ahead and was swapped with a player on 150k. I managed to claw myself up to 3rd anyway. costing me 4 pts
On BM66 i was on 385mil and over 300mil ahead of everyone else and was swapped with a person on 12mil. I remained in 4th costing me 6pts.

On TWD I had just started WW MB with 2x playfield running when I had the ‘step away from the machine’ card played. When I came to play my consolation ball I only needed 5mil to take 1st place, when another player gifted the player in 1st place an extra ball, meaning I had to score 5mil to even make him shoot again.

The only time I had a chance to use my ‘positive’ card was on MM. I was just 1 mil behind 2nd place, and 8 mil behind 1st place, so was confident that I could get at least 1 mil to move me up and potentially grab 1st - when they used their ‘cancel spell’ card.

I was also removed from a game on AIQ and placed in another group. mainly because the player had just seen me win the previous game on AIQ. I was placed on TNA (which I won) but denied the chance to beat my closest opposition (denying them 2pts)

So overall I lost a guaranteed 10pts, and potentially a further 8pts. I had no positive gains from any cards I played, or cards that were played in my group.

As it happened I finished in a 5 way tie for 2nd place - just 4 pts behind the winner. 3 of the players I was tied with had used their cards against me.

Getting additional cards, and losing them, from pinball based play was also random. In so much that if you didn’t get drawn on a machine with a goal to win a card (or it had already been won) you were at a significant disadvantage (I could have earned an additional 3 cards by achieving the goal had someone not taken the card by virtue of being drawn on that machine earlier) I also lost a card by starting MB on Mando as I was drawn on that machine first.

I find it frustrating that the cards had such a dramatic impact on the results - especially for an IFPA sanctioned event. I believe that for any format to be taken seriously, the best players on the day should be those who play the best PINBALL, not get dealt a lucky hand at the start of the day.

It may well be a fun event with a few drinks with friends, but should not be considered a serious competition or test of who the best player is during the comp.