What strategy would you use on this timed format?

This was a timed format I developed for a recent club event at my home.

It involved some interesting decision making. I’ll post the results and table showing the team decisions later, but wondering what others here would have chosen to do. (There was even debate on how to approach the 12 balls used on TAF)

Thanks for reading.


You are part of a 4-player team. There are 6 rounds of games. Each round will vary in time with the total round lengths being 16 minutes, 8 minutes, 4 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 0 minutes (not really zero, but I will explain later)

Secretly choose one of the total time limits for each game listed below. Your team can only use each time limit ONCE and you play each game ONCE. Each team can use the allowed time limit for the players however they desire.

Keep in mind if your team drains all balls before time expires, your team is done with that game.

The Multiplier is the value that makes the time adjust to 16 minutes. For example if your team chooses to play X-Men for 2 minutes, the multiplier is 8. If your team chooses to play JKR PKR for 4 minutes, the multiplier is 4 etc. TAF is a “0-minute game” with no adjustment.

Scoring Example: Your team chooses to play AC/DC for 8 minutes. Your team has a combined score of 43 MIL. Your team’s final ADJUSTED SCORE would be 43 MIL x 2 = 86 MIL.

All ADJUSTED SCORES will be ranked. Top score = 10, then 7, 5, 3, 2, 1. Max composite score is 60 points

Top 2 teams advance.

X-Men LE choose time 16, 8, 4, 2, 1

Star Trek LE choose time 16, 8, 4, 2, 1

AC/DC (prem) choose time 16, 8, 4, 2, 1

Paragon (5 balls) choose time 16, 8, 4, 2, 1

Joker Poker (5 balls) choose time 16, 8, 4, 2, 1

TAF (plunge only, 0 minutes NO FLIPPING, no multipliers)


Just out of curiosity, are the games on free play?

That aside - I would definitely make my 2 minute game ST, and play destroy the drill, go away team and rip spinner. If I accomplish my goal of golding that mode in the 2 minutes, I will end up with a really big score since I get the 8x multiplier. X-men 1 minute, ACDC 4 EDIT - paragon 8 Joker Poker 16. This is against my initial thoughts (sterns play longer), but I believe if all that matters is totals, and nothing else, this is the best way to achieve a high score. Using the multipliers correctly is more important than anything else, right?

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Yes. (To your question of are games on free play-looks like you added stuff to your post :slight_smile: )

Somewhat related: our league (FSPA) does different weird-format-for-fun challenges at each end-of-season party, and one format we’ve used a few times is basically an efficiency challenge: on a given game, we start the timer when a player launches ball 1, and stop the timer when they remove their hands from the machine and call STOP. We let any end-of-ball bonus tabulate, and then their challenge score is (machine_score / seconds_elapsed). It’s pretty interesting to see the different strategies attempted. Certainly this format works better on some games than others. (A downside to this format is that whoever is proctoring/timing really needs to pay full attention constantly, which is tough at a social event…)

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I played in this tournament. My main thinking was which games have linear vs. exponential scoring. On Joker Poker it’s easiest to light the 5X bonus on ball 1, so I figured that should be a short game. AC/DC and ST tend to blow up once you get into a multiball, so they need more time. We went 8 min. on AC/DC and 16 min. on ST.

Paragon was a dilemma because it plays tough, you need multiple balls to reap the Super Bonus, and multipliers alone don’t score much. We played that one middle of the road at 4 min. Our X-Men was 2 min. which we figured was enough time for 1 player (or 2 if player 1 drained quickly) to get Wolverine started.

In the end we finished near the bottom due to poor play, but I still enjoyed the heck of this format.

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Definitely would pick 1 minute for AC/DC, then Highway to Hell. Highway plus the song bonus, then drain, get highway again on ball 2. Many points to be had.

Addams with plunge only, that’s basically just skill shot madness? Are you worried about ties?

… and in Addams Skill Shot Madness with no flipping, do you allow nudging and tilting? That makes a bigger difference than it might first appear to.

Yes, nudging and tilting on TAF are fine. Just no flipping :slight_smile:

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I don’t really understand the 10,7,5,3,2,1 thing. Can someone explain this?

Similar to any high score event where a player earns 100 points for top score then 90, 85, 84, 83… With less than 10 teams, I made the values 10, 7, 5, 3, 2, 1. Top combined score would be 60 composite points.

The HTH ACDC strategy was one I explored with using 1 and 2 minutes. It really boils down to which multiplier to use compared to other games. I did not choose 16 minutes for ACDC in my tests (I did not play in the tourney).

And the two top teams did tie BTW. :wink:

Thanks, Brian! I always enjoy developing these obscure formats and appreciate it when players such as yourself let me know they had a good time with it.

The TAF miracle plunge:

Long plunge -> pop bumpers -> mini flipper lane -> strong bounce off left inlanes divider -> graze the left slingshot and fire -> swamp for 5M.

Reality (as happened to me in this game):

Miss the saucer, graze swamp target, drain.


Nah. I can do over 20 million in this format :slight_smile:

Hey, Babalugats. We got a bet here.

My boy says he can make 20 MIL, he can make 20 MIL.

Ho ho! Are we saying I can’t make 20 million on Addams without flipping? I think we got a challenge here! :slight_smile:

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Oh I know it’s doable with just skill shots and skillful tilting. :wink:

I just like the Cool Hand Luke quote :slight_smile:

Here are some of the stats. Keep in mind these are 4 player teams with players of various skill levels and the intent was to have the team playing in 4 player games whenever possible.

One of 2 tied winning teams chose this strategy:

Joker Poker, 1 minute, adjusted score: 941,280, earned 10 points
Paragon, 2 minutes, adjusted score: 713,360, earned 5 points
Xmen LE, 4 minutes, adjusted score : 67,399,920, earned 10 points
Star Trek Prem, 8 minutes, adjusted score: 82,628,920, earned 7 points
AC/DC Prem, 16 minutes, adjusted score: 94,267,560, earned 7 points.
TAF no flip score 6,615,140, earned 2 points

Sum = 41 points

The other team chose this strategy:

Star Trek Prem, 1 minute, adjusted score: 33,652,800, earned 2 points
Xmen LE, 2 minutes, adjusted score: 40,507,440, earned 5 points
Paragon, 4 minutes, adjusted score: 738,440, earned 7 points
Joker Poker, 8 minutes, adjusted score: 932,180, earned 7 points
AC/DC Prem, 16 minutes, adjusted score: 108,392,270, earned 10 points
TAF no flip score 11,652,020, earned 10 points

Sum = 41 points.

Scores that earned max of 10 points, 16 minutes games have no adjustment.

Joker Poker played for 1 minute, adjusted score 941,280
Xmen LE played for 4 minutes, adjusted score 67,399,920
Paragon played for 4 minutes, adjusted score 818,240
Star Trek Prem played for 16 minutes 124,090,400
AC/DC Prem played for 16 minutes, 108,392,270
TAF no flip 11,652,020 (keep in mind this is 4-player game)

Scores that earned the lowest possible 2 points

Xmen LE, played for 1 minute, adjusted score 27,650,720
Star Trek Prem, played for 1 minute, adjusted score 33,652,800
AC/DC Prem, played for 4 minutes, adjusted score 53,559,680
Paragon, played for 2 minutes, adjusted score 491,120
Joker Poker played for 1 minute, adjusted score 235,840
TAF no flip 6,615,140

Other stats of interest:

Game chosen the most times for 16 minutes: Star Trek Prem, 3 times, then AC/DC 2 times.

Game chosen the most times for 4 minutes: Paragon 3 times.

Game chosen the most times for 1 minute: Joker Poker 3 times.

Games that had close results after widely different multiplier effects.

Joker Poker
941,280 played for 1 minute
932,180 played for 8 minutes.

Xmen LE
40,798,480 played for 8 minutes
40,507,440 played for 2 minutes.

Star Trek Prem
44,455,390 played for 16 minutes
33,652,800 played for 1 minute

The main thing is that everyone seemed to have a lot of fun watching the results fill in on the chart after people saw who chose what and realized what was happening with the multipliers.


Seems to me you shouldn’t be tilting til the ball is unable to be brought back up. Heavy slap to get slingshots involved (if you tilt/danger - who cares you are tilting anyway). Once they get involved things can get interesting.