May 3rd, 2015

krazy koati

Step into the sun, step into the light

So that's enough of the Michigan Pinball Expo, and of how my ever-fragile ego was damaged by weak performances in the tournaments there. Let me move on to the finals of the Marvin's League, held at Marvin's Marvellous Mechanical Museum. We joined the league after its season started --- I believe we missed just the first of its monthly meetings --- but we've been regulars since. And thanks to some judicious play and a bit of luck I finished the season in third place in the league. I could enjoy a first-round bye in the twelve-person ``A'' division, alongside the truly first-rank people like CST and MWS.

My first match came against someone who just utterly dominated the Tron: Legacy pinball and so I pointed out, I wasn't going to pick that game. Instead I picked Wizard, a 1975 solid-state machine. It had a broken gate which made the skill shot much harder to do. But I'd worked out the skill shot in practice, and thought I'd have an advantage on that. And I would, giving me one win, but the other guy picked Tron: Legacy for his game --- justly --- and beat me there. Our tiebreaker game was Cyclone, on which I just couldn't get anything together. Thus I went from my third-seed position down to the losers', or consolation, bracket.

I'd need to put together a string of wins to have a chance at the A division championship, or second or third place. I wouldn't get them; I was beaten again on Wizard and Cyclone by the guy who organizes this and the Brighton Arcade leagues.

Because of the ways seeding affects these standings I didn't drop all the way to twelfth place. My seeding left me at ninth in the league, finally. I didn't expect realistically to win, either, but I'd hoped to at least win one match. It happens the first guy to beat me went on to take #3 in the league, and the second guy #6.

It was just a couple bad games, really, although I have to wonder if my strategy of going for the solid-state machines instead of modern ones backfired. Marvin's has got a Wizard of Oz, which many skilled pinball players actually don't like, on the grounds that it's a very busy, very confusing playfield. So it is. But I'd been practicing a strategy that can be summarized as ``just shoot the rainbow targets over and over'' and that's paid off every well in practice. That night, I played Wizard of Oz --- not in match play, admittedly --- a half-dozen times and scored over 100,000 on all but the final game. That's a score that would very likely have won. One time I broke a quarter-million points, my highest, and got to battling the Wicked Witch for the first time ever. If I realized I was going to have a hot hand on The Wizard of Oz ...

Well, in any case, I need to practice on that table more at our arcades and see if I can reliably get scores like that. It would be nice to know for future games.

Meanwhile, though, bunny_hugger was also competing ...

Trivia: The first permanent Dutch settlement on Staten Island, in 1661, near the present site of Fort Wadsworth park, was dubbed Oude Dorp, ``Old Town''. (French settlers were among the nineteen establishing themselves there.) Source: The Epic of New York City, Edward Robb Ellis.

Currently Reading: User Unfriendly: Consumer Struggles with Personal Technologies, from Clocks and Sewing Machines to Cars and Computers, Joseph J Corn.