POTC Rules Question

I came into contact with a game on location that was awarding Tortuga MB seemingly at random. It didn’t happen while I was playing, so I couldn’t run down the sequence of how it was started.

I was under the impression the only way to begin Tortuga was to complete Port Royal at the left ramp, and subsequently lock balls in the disc.

Can anyone confirm there is no other way to get that MB awarded and that this is a game malfunction?


Rules are lighting tortuga via disc, then starting via disc. Mine had ship closing the Tortuga lower right standup switch to quick qualify and start mb .


Thanks that’s what I thought. I believe it was awarded because of hits to the ship.

Same game will also not start Tortuga with completed hits to disc. Timed Lock will register sometimes, but will not allow a ball to actually be locked in the disc with subsequent hits.

Also that could be the closed switch preventing start

someone added decals to targets, any mod may have messed with switch gaps.

On a broader note - how would you deal with this in a league situation? Just chalked up to “that’s pinball”, or would you call this out and try and eliminate the game from competition?

The entrance and exit optos for the spinning disk are also prone to causing problems. Very common to find location games that start tortuga MB too quickly (won’t allow more than one ball to be locked).

In my book, either would be a major malfunction and the game would no longer be used (if the keys weren’t available). I have one on location and I keep it very steep to keep ball times down. I also added a small rubber ring midway on the left lane guide entering the chest. It never noticeably interferes with the ball, but the player sees it there. Makes the game seem harder.

There are minor malfunctions, major, beneficial, known, etc. many are left to tourney officials, unless it ends a game or was a one time thing. A unified set of rules between papa, and ifpa was done July 2015, www.ifpapinball.com/rules

My opinion is this case is a benefical malfunction, because it recurs, one or more players benefits. Notify tourney official,

In this case, it affects mb, score from random hits, can prevent mb altogether - if I were an official, since it’s on location and can’t be fixes, drop it from the lineup.

This is my inclination, although the situation is tricky. We play league matches at different locations “home” bars, and the problem becomes: how do you bring this up to another players “home” machines, when they may not even know the rules that deeply, or think you’re just trying to get a game out of the lineup because you don’t want to play it?

Best scenario I have come up with is:

  1. Make mention of it before the match starts
  2. Allow play on the machine until it happens

In a league, that’s probably ok, let everyone know, and agree on the situation. We have a director, so he makes jthe call and all groups are aware of it. We play 9 four player teams, so it’s best just to have 1 guy make he call, then let everyone know (a sign on the game, big shout out, whatever.) otherwise each team walking up to that game has to have a vote before play. If there are enough machines, sometimes we just shut if off, and those teams replay on another machine. Each group plays five matches, and usually we have 10-15 games , so not a big deal. However, at a location with only a few games, you may just let everyone know and play on.

It’s kind of a grey area, depends on the league, the players, different if it were official tourney.

Even if there are revolving hosts, there’s still an overall league official(s) that are constant from meet to meet, right? If so, hopefully they’re reasonably familiar with the proper operation of the games (and/or know who to ask), and have the authority to DQ machines.

FWIW, my first choice would be to DQ the machine, since that’s a fairly large impact on gameplay. If that can’t be done for some reason, FSPA rules would call for the league official to announce to all players that there’s a known malfunction on the machine and explain what it is… that announcement basically excludes that particular behavior from being considered a malfunction (either positive or negative) at that meet.

No, just each team. There are 17 matches happening over 2 days at 17 locations, each week. So the reality of a league official being at every match doesn’t really work out.

I guess we will just announce the malfunction and play as-is.

I had that same problem on my game. It was just a opto problem. Either adjust the optos to make sure they are aligned correctly, check the wiring/solder connections, or it could simply be the opto driver board. All fairly easily fixed.