Baseball (Gottlieb, 1970)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 UTAD or vari-targets all day, the latter only with strong flippers.
 
 Go-To Flipper:  Balanced.


Full Detail

Skill shot: any of the top 3-1-2 lanes; the points are the same for each. If you find that one of the lanes feeds the ball into one of the bumpers better than the others, stick with that lane.


There are two ways to play the game: UTAD and vari-target. The vari-targets score 500 when pushed all the way back; how often your shot gets full or near-full value will depend on how recently the flippers were rebuilt, how steep the game is, and how accurate you are. If your percentage on the vari-target is good, go that route. If not, try UTAD.


Interesting rules for the pop bumpers. They light together, never separately, and they light only when you have runners on both second and third base. How do you do this? Those 3-1-2 lanes at the top each place a runner on the corresponding base when triggered. The 3 [left], 2 [two, upper center] and 1 [right] standup targets likewise place a runner on the corresponding base. Each lane and the #2 targets score 50, btw, the 1 and 3 standups score 100. So scoring #2 and #3 via either lane or target will do it. But that’s not all. The vari-targets, besides scoring points, score hits - - singles for weak hits, doubles and triples for stronger ones, a home run for a maximum 500 point hit. The right combination of hits will get you the necessary runners. Also, if you have a runner on first base, with or without runners on second or third, and score a double via the left side 200-point lane, you’ll then have runners on 2nd and 3rd. It may be the most creative ways to toggle the bumpers of any pinball machine ever built - - not on switch hits, not on scoring reel status, not when you hit a specific target or set thereof and not when you finish all the lanes or numbers. You can light them with as few as two shots, even using just the vari-targets [single, then double], or never light them for the entire game even with a high score. And they turn off only sometimes when you hit something in the game: runners on 2nd and 3rd, get a double, they turn off; runners on 1st, 2nd and 3rd, get a double, then stay on. But scoring a triple will always turn the bumpers off. Ingenious. [My thanks to Jim Swain of Pintastic who took the glass off and helped me figure all this out.]


Anyway, if you have the bumpers lit, UTAD becomes a more viable strategy, since it doesn’t take that many bumper hits to match the value of a vari-target shot. Whether or not you should try to light them, e.g. by shooting at the standup targets, is another matter. So even if you’ve selected the vari-target strategy over UTAD, if you do get the bumpers lit, go UTAD while they are.


Key feeds: out of the side double and triple lanes; watch out for both side and center drains. Note though that side drains are worth 500 points, a big number on this machine, and you might actually win a game by “draining correctly” often enough. The feed from the top bumpers to the center is safer than it looks. Most of the time, the ball will hit the side of the vari-target chamber and deflect towards one of the flippers or the bottom of the slingshots / return lane wires above them.



This page is one of many in the The Players Guide to Classic Pinball by written by Bob Matthews