Sports Simulation Board Games

How to play HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL Big League Baseball Game

Let's play a few minutes of HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL! To demonstrate how the game works, we'll use a few players from the 2013 season of our fictional Baseball America card set. (The Baseball America card set is offered as an alternative card set for baseball fans who want to create their own major league history, not constrained by real-life results. Of course, we also offer a number of historical sets based on real-life baseball.)

With HMB, the action starts in the manager's office a couple hours before game time, where the clubhouse mood is established. HMB's "Game Day" sequence weaves off-the-field action into your table-top baseball experience: you might hear from the batting or pitching coach, or the front office, or trainer, with information about one of your players. It might be good news--or, not. Media coverage also can affect your team's mood--for better, or worse. Naturally, a team's recent performance is an important factor as well. An extended winning or losing streak has the same effect in HMB as it does in real-life baseball! You can implement Game Day for one or both teams--it's fully explained in the rules, and we won't go into it here. Instead, we'll just assume that both of our fictional teams have HARMONY, and there are no messages to process from any of the Game Day sources.

Before we can begin, we'll need to choose our starting pitchers, line-ups, and batting orders. Each player is given a card on which are listed various qualities which reflect his ball-playing profile. Click here for a printable PDF document containing sample cards and sections of the game book charts, which will appear in a separate browser window. All players are rated for batting, fielding, base running and experience. Pitchers get an extra set of qualities for pitching. The HMB game book calls upon the presence or absence of those qualities to generate authentic, realistic baseball action.

The game book results are found by rolling three six-sided dice, and checking the dice result with the corresponding reading. The dice roll result is read as a three digit number, with the numbers arranged lowest to highest. So, if your rolled two "6"s and a "2," it would be read as "2-6-6."

Just like real baseball, HMB action always starts with the ball in the pitcher's hand. You check the appropriate dice result and compare it to the called-for pitching quality. If the pitcher has that quality, you use the result printed in the pitcher column. If not, you move to the batter's column and check to see if the batter has the called-for quality there. If so, use the printed result in the batter column. If neither the pitcher nor the batter match the called-for quality, you use the "default" result in the fielder column. It's that easy! The majority of your game action is resolved using this simple, logical process. Let's show you a few examples…

Phil Garber leads off for the New York team, with Turner Marshall on the mound for Philadelphia.

We roll the dice: 3-3-4. The pitcher column reads, "ACE or STAR? Pop out to 1B." Checking Marshall's card, we see that he IS a STAR pitcher--so he gets Garber to pop out and there's one down, top of the first.

Next up is New York's Ricky Guerra. We roll a 3-4-6. There's nothing in the pitcher column--indicating routine stuff for Marshall--so we move to the batter column. Is Guerra an EAGER batter? Looking at Guerra's card, we don't see the EAGER quality. So, we move to the fielder column: "Base on balls. [ACTIVE steals!]" Looking at the Running section of Guerra's card, we see nothing printed there--he's not an ACTIVE base runner. So Guerra draws the walk, but doesn't get the stolen base.

You'll notice that the reading which sent Guerra to first base with a base on balls was printed in purple. You'll also notice color coded readings on the fielder column of dice rolls 3-3-6 [red] and 3-4-5 [blue]. These color-coded results correspond to baseball intangibles, uniquely captured by HMB. Whenever a color-coded result occurs, the next batter uses the appropriate intangible mini-chart to resolve HIS at-bat, instead of using the main chart. Red results send you to the EXPERIENCE mini-chart, blue results to the RIGHT NOW mini-chart, which captures baseball momentum. The purple results correspond to team chemistry--that's what we were referring to earlier with the Game Day process, assuming that both teams had HARMONY for this game. So, we'll turn the page to the CHEMISTRY Mini-Chart for our next batter--Tommy Orsulak.

For mini-chart results, we only need to roll two dice, again reading them lowest-to-highest. We roll a 1-5, "Pitching team HARMONY? Outfielder makes sliding grab of looping liner, out! OTHERWISE, bloop single." Fortunately for Philadelphia, they DO have HARMONY--and that extra ounce of hustle just saved a base hit! Yes, baseball is a game of inches, and you'll be delighted with the way HMB consistently delivers game-changing alternate outcomes of even routine plays!

So we've got two out, a runner on first, and we return to the main chart for New York's fourth batter, Kelvin Thurmond. We roll a 3-4-4: the game book asks us if Marshall is a PROSPECT pitcher. We check the "Experience" section of Marshall's card: PROSPECT is a quality that represents an inexperienced player. We see that Marshall has the PROSPECT quality--but notice the "bullet" next to the word PROSPECT. There are similar "bullets" on other cards, next to other qualities. The "bullet" symbol indicates that the player has the quality to SOME degree, but not fully. For situations like this, your game comes with a special "decider die:" a six-sided die with a "bullet" symbol on three of the sides. If a player has a "bulleted" quality (we call them SEMI qualities, as in "SEMI PROSPECT" or "SEMI SLUGGER") the player is considered to have the quality for that at-bat IF the "decider die" shows the "bullet," too.

So, we'll need to check the "decider die" to see if Marshall displays the PROSPECT quality this time, or NOT. If so, Thurmond is going to jump all over that ill-advised rookie pitch and maybe knock it into the left field bleachers! If not--since Thurmond is not a PATIENT batter--it'll be a routine pop out to the second baseman. We roll the "decider die," and…

That's how HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL works! It's more than numbers, charts and stats--it's living, breathing baseball excitement and FUN! HMB is a whole NEW way to experience big league baseball on your game table!