Official Critical Hit Thread

It sounds like this format just isn’t for you, but I wasn’t clear from your original message on exactly how your tournament was structured. The best way to run a Critical Hit tournament (IMO) is to have an objective on each machine that allows for a new card potentially to be earned each round. Normally the vast majority of those objectives are completing some feature in the game (e.g. destroy two saucers in AFM).

This results in the skilled players ending up with a lot of cards to use. The most common card is the Shatter which undos the effect of a card played against you. Yes, people tend to gang up on the most highly skilled players, but those players usually end up with a lot of cards to defend themselves as well.

It’s definitely a completely different thing from a normal tournament and the tournament director should let everyone know what to expect and to try to just enjoy the ride, rather than take it too seriously.


It was the first time the host had ran this format, in fact the first time in the UK, so it may well need tweaking.

It was ran as 13 rounds of seeded matchplay, with no finals.

There was only 1 card available to be won on 6/7 machines - and even then they could only be won once. If someone else won it by virtue of being on that game first, the opportunity was gone.
The same with losing cards, not all machines had a forfeit, and it was only applicable once.

If further cards had been able to be won, it would definitely helped minimise the effect of the opening cards, which is my main complaint regarding this format - the initial cards have too big an influence on the outcome of the tournament.

1 Like

Joe - exactly! That’s what counts and that’s what happened at this event - the best were at the top.

I ran this event 52 players at my house - we had epic unicorn cup cakes!!! I’m knackered from it :joy:

We did not do finals and I think it’s easy to say that this may have made a difference but your assertion is incorrect given you can play cards in finals. In fact that might have made it worse for players.

Wayne actually came joint second at the end of the event…

It was the first tournament at my house since covid and I wanted to do something special. I’d seen critical hit and after talking to a few that have run then decided to risk it! The format did not contain finals but actually did have a second position play off between 5 players where Wayne came last and was positioned 6th in the tournament - if you believe that someone would be immune to the system and would have won then (you are mad) and the WPPRs scored had as much impact as the card plays given the winner got 30 points, the games order would have been different as a bunch of games where also Johnny Modica’ed out!

Wayne might have had 20 for second but then ended up with 10 after the play off. this aspect had more of a bearing on Wayne’s result than anything the cards did in my view! Should we stop playoffs? :wink: Or have best of 21 to make sure? :wink:

It wasn’t a surprise it was being run; the bounties and booby traps were known in advance - no need to come if you don’t like the risk element.

@iepinball kindly supplied me with the approved cards - thank you Karl!

I’ve never had such positive feedback about an event - sure you don’t run this every day but it’s a superb format that encouraged lots of new players and existing players also!

As rightly noted it’s a complex system with lots of variables and assuming that the flows in that system would always prevail an outcome is folly in my view, there was several other players that could potentially say something similar some players gained as much as they lost - “if only…”. On the flip side there was players who did the first and second ball swap only to still not do well. Nobody played a card against me.

For sure Wayne was piled on, I predicted that would happen when he registered. I see it as a form of endearment for him :slight_smile: :joy: - next time I run it I’ll have a trophies for player who had most cards played against him - Wayne you would have won it by a mile!

If you look at the results for this event (Thanks for posting them so quick Josh/Adam) you see nothing out of the ordinary - I suspect the results would have been virtually the same if critical hit wasn’t used and the complexity of the system is such that I can make this assertion based on some of the others in this thread!

Next time I will plot more carefully the impact of the cards and see if I can illustrate it and now that I’ve done this fitting finals in I’m sure can be done. I expect similar whinging :joy:



It really was a fun tournament, and for a first run was successful. I just think some tweaks could make it even better (some of which have already been suggested above). Winning more cards throughout the comp, and not being blocked from doing so would be my first implementation.
Immediately after the event I even suggested having the ability to buy more cards yourself - it’ll certainly help boost the charity donation, or prize pot. It would be no different to an unlimited rebuy comp in that way.

I definitely had the short end of the stick when it came to getting cards played against me, 6 in total I think, but I took it as a compliment that I was playing so well (1/3 of my games were graffiti)
Only 1 of which was out of pure vindictiveness, with no benefit to the player who played it, purely to damage me.
All of the other cards I’d have probably played myself had the scenario been switched.
As it happens, I wouldn’t have played a switch scores in any of the games I played, unless it was switching back after someone had already switched.


Strangely, with so many new “weaker” players (it’s only the 2nd event in the UK in 18months so more noobs than usual), one of the complaints I heard was they didn’t like the seeding element as it meant they played the same players more often, but that’s what happens with the seeded grouping - not a consequence of the cards.

For Possess Object, is the random card used on behalf of the person casting Possess Object or on behalf of the holder of the random card?

It’s left for interpretation but most people have the player that cast Possess Object decide how the random card selected is used.

1 Like

We ran our CH tournament at Cactus Jack’s yesterday. We had a nice turnout and almost everyone loved it.

As for the Possess Object card, my interpretation was that the person casting the card could select any player to use the random card, including themselves, but they had to make that selection before seeing the card.

Some observations from running my second CH tournament. 42 players with generous card distribution makes for a very long and slow tournament. Finding the right balance between chaos and efficiency is tricky. This one definitely erred on the chaos side but I would prefer that to running it too conservatively, because otherwise what is the point?

I struggle with managing the endless machine switching pre-rounds and would like to know how others handle this. I had one round where I had to do 4 machine changes and before I could get out of the phase Insanity was cast- twice! :man_facepalming: It is like everyone is responding to the game changes and it never ends. Maybe that is the intent? Would it be acceptable to reduce the game changing cards in the deck?

Another question @kdeangelo: Is it legal for a player to cast Shard of Chaos and assign another group to the machine that they are currently assigned to, thereby backdooring their way off of the machine?

This is basically normal IME. I think you kinda have to accept this as part of the format, but still, I don’t see why you couldn’t make a “local rule” that limits the number of Insanity cards in the deck as mentioned.

1 Like

We generally only allow games not assigned yet to be pulled for this, but again, it’s another thing up to the director. Just be clear when the card is cast the first time and don’t change how it works throughout the tournament.

1 Like

Well, that would be easier since I would only have to change one group’s assignment instead of two, though it would severely restrict the options available which isn’t as fun for the person casting. For the specific question above, I guessed that it was not in the intended spirit of the card to directly affect the caster’s machine.

The other issue I had was that I significantly underestimated how many participants would show up. Since I alternated rounds between modern and classics I was already pretty stretched on machines available.

@kdeangelo hello! i’m going to be running my first CH (match play edition) tournament this weekend, and I have a clarification question about Bootstrap Paradox: Does this card only allow the person who played it to replay their game and get a new score (i.e. play a single player game after the game it was played during is finished), or does the entire group play a fresh game, giving everybody a new score? Thank you!

The player casting it is the only one to replay their game.

Awesome, that’s what I assumed, but wanted to make sure. Thank you, Karl!

One more question about Bootstrap Paradox, @kdeangelo : Does the player who uses this card have to use their second game’s score, regardless of whether it is higher or lower than their initial game? Or do they use the higher score?

They must use the second game’s score.

Perfect, thank you again!

No idea yet how exactly to run this kind of tournament, but it sounds like a lot of fun. Any plans to have more card decks made?

Check back after January. I doubt I’ll be getting to another run prior to that.