Space City Pinball League, Season 2 Week 1: Oh, this rooster sure can lay an egg

Note: Due to recent events, Shawn no longer recommends participation in Space City Pinball League events until further notice. Please see the Bayou City Pinball League website for alternatives.

So tonight was the first week of the second season of the Space City Pinball League. I didn’t play in the first season, for a variety of reasons, but I plan to play as many weeks of this season as possible.

The venue is Eighteen Twenty Lounge, next door to Joystix (the corner of the building closest to the intersection of Hamilton and Franklin). It’s a relatively nice bar (I didn’t take that many pictures of the bar itself, if anyone wants me to just say the word and I’ll take a few next week). The games in the lineup are: Game of Thrones LE, Batman: The Dark Knight, Spiderman, The Walking Dead, KISS, and Star Trek. All are fairly recent games from Stern, and all are well maintained, clean, and play as fast as jackrabbit sex.

So, it started off being a decent night. I had the lead through the first two balls of Game of Thrones LE, and I’m thinking it might turn out to be not so bad. I have some 14 million points and change, which looks like it might actually hold up for first place. (I know it’s probably a fairly low score, and as the weeks go on I’m hoping I’ll be able to look back at it and laugh.) And then Justin Niles plays his final ball. And it becomes obvious I’m settling for second place that game in rather short order.

The next game is KISS. For whatever reason, I never really got it going. I would sign off with an embarrassingly low 4.7M+, good enough for dead last. Not surprisingly, Justin would win this one too with a 25.8M+. I’m starting to doubt myself right about here.

After this, we played on Star Trek. I got a little bit going on the third ball, enough to eek out a 14.8M+ good enough for second. Justin, of course, dominates with a 38.7M+. At this point I officially readjust my goals to just try to put up a decent showing for the rest of the night.

Next came Spiderman. This might be a fun game to play, but the ridiculously conservative tilt setting made it more of a chore. I would barely eek out a 15.8M+ good enough for third. Justin, of course, smokes us with a 58.9M+ and mathematically eliminates the rest of us from any hope of winning the group that night.

We would wrap up on Batman: The Dark Knight. As if getting used to finishing out of first place was not bad enough: my final score this game was 6,532,970. Ruben, one of the other players in the group, would take second place with 6,538,030. A difference of a mere 5,060 points, which on this game is probably around what a single bumper hit scores, separating my third place from Ruben’s second place score. As you might have guessed by now, Justin walked away with this one with an 18.8M+ and becomes the only player in the entire league to win all five games for 25 ranking points. The other three of us (Ruben, Chris, and myself) tied at 10 ranking points for the night, in a four-way tie for 19th out of 26 players (one player from a different group also finished the night with 10 ranking points).

Given I’ve never played at least two of these titles before (Spiderman and Batman: The Dark Knight), my previous experience with Game of Thrones was on the Pro version (the LE adds an upper mini-playfield), and my experience with the other two titles was very limited at best, maybe I didn’t perform that badly after taking everything into account. But I still feel like I “laid an egg” tonight (thus the title). I really should have been able to put together at least one performance good enough for first place, and it just didn’t happen.

I did have a good time, all things considered. I got to see some familiar faces again, and meet some new people as well. I am uploading the pics below, and for those of you who want to follow along (and don’t mind the occasional spoilers between league night and when I write my post about it), the results will also be available at

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