DUTCH PINBALL OPEN 2004
May 15, 2004
Another year on, and we return to the De Korf sports hall in Leusden for the 2004 Dutch Pinball Open, organised by the NFV or Dutch Pinball Association.
With the sun shining and the sky blue, we eschewed all that for the inside of a sports centre and the chance to play around 110 pinball games.
The NFV are very familiar with the set-up for this show - it has been at the same venue since 2002 with the same arrangement of games and the same competition format.
There were some initial queues at the registration desks - one desk for those pre-registered and another for those registering on the day. Both procedures took only a short time once the initial rush had subsided.
Players who wanted to sign up for the tournament then had to be registered for that inside the tournament hall on the right of the entrance. Players who only wanted to play the games and not compete went straight into the recreational hall on the left.
The tournament format would be familiar to players from previous years. Everyone was put into either group A or B and given a player number and a score card. They then played four four-player games. In each game the machine changed as did the opponents so nobody played the same people or the same machine twice. The winner of each game scored nine points, second place earned five, third place scored two points and no points were awarded to the fourth placed player.
After four rounds, the maximum a player could earn was 36 points (9 points x 4 games).
Groups A & B alternated their games and in a welcome change, the score card listed the starting times for each game, so players didn't need to hang around the tournament hall waiting for their game to start.
Saturday's rounds of the competition ended with the top 32 scorers across both groups progressing to Sunday's finals. Everything went smoothly in the competition with no disputes or major upsets - a tribute to the organisers to Ad and Theo who ran events. The games were clearly marked and everyone seemed aware which games they were playing and when. The main exception to this was....err...me, who had to be dragged away from writing this report to play the final game
In previous years there had been a running high score table projected on the screen but that was absent this year. It was a nice touch even though it was slightly meaningless while some of the games were still in progress. Perhaps it will return for next year's tournament.
These were the games used in the tournament:
Meanwhile, over in the recreational hall, players had a wider selection of games to play.
The games were arranged around the edge of the hall with some extra islands of games filling the centre area. The most cental island consisted of older games - mostly early electronic - to provide some contrast with the dot matrix games that made up the vast majority of the others.
While the quality of these games was generally high, there were several DOAs and some with obvious faults which prevented the game working properly. There was a good fault reporting proceedure with every game numbered to make it easier to identify and the organisers wore identifying t-shirts as well.
Many of the games were for sale and here are some typical prices from the floor:
Indiana Jones €1500, Fist Tales €1150, Creature From The Black Lagoon €1450, Demolition Man €1200, Judge Dredd €1250 and Checkpoint €1000.
There were 73 games set up in the recreational hall:
In the second part of our report we will look at Sunday's events, the vendors in the recreational hall and the tournament results.
© Pinball News 2004