Sports Simulation Board Games

2017 PLAAY Games Top Ten Lists...

Being a former radio disc-jockey, I've always been partial to "top ten countdowns." For the last few years, I've prepared "Top Ten" lists for games, card sets, and newsletter downloads. (The downloads list is especially great: links to the ten most-downloaded newsletter freebies of the entire year, all in one place!) Last year, I added a NEW category: "Top Ten LIVE Event Moments!" You'll find all these lists and my thoughts about them, below.

Last year's ranking (where applicable) is in parentheses. For LIVE Events, I included any get-together, in person or online. Without further ado, let's get on with the countdown!...Cue the jingle singers: "number TENNNNN..."

Top Ten Games of 2017
  1. History Maker Golf (NA)
  2. History Maker Baseball (1)
  3. Second Season (2)
  4. Hockey Blast (5)
  5. Soccer Blast (4)
  6. Red White & Blue Racin' (3)
  7. Face To The Mat (6)
  8. Cold Snap (9)
  9. Bowl-O-Rama (7)
  10. Roller Rumble (8)
  11. Obviously, the golf game was the BIG story, not surprisingly. Overall game rankings were remarkably stable, really. Red White & Blue Racin' dropped three places, but only after jumping three places in 2016, so it's back to where it typically ranks. Every other game was within one or two positions of 2016's ranking.

Top Ten Card Sets of 2017
  1. Course Collection ONE, History Maker Golf (NA)
  2. Course Collection TWO, History Maker Golf (NA)
  3. All-Time Great Golfers, History Maker Golf (NA)
  4. 2016 Pro Season, Second Season (1)
  5. Course Collection FIVE, History Maker Golf (NA)
  6. 2017 Pro In-Season, History Maker Baseball (4)
  7. 2016 Pro Season, History Maker Baseball (5)
  8. Course Collection THREE, History Maker Golf (NA)
  9. Course Collection FOUR, History Maker Golf (NA)
  10. Course Collection NINE, History Maker Golf (NA)
  11. Again, it was all about the golf game in 2017, seven of the top ten card sets were golf-themed. Notable outside of the golf madness, the History Maker Baseball Pro In-Season set had its best-ever year, and the 2016 Pro Season for Second Season also did very well, with its best year since 2009.

Top Ten Newsletter Downloads of 2017
  1. 2017 WBC teams for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL (Rick Lawes, May)
  2. 2016 New England-Atlanta SB 51 team sheets for SECOND SEASON (Paul Salzgeber, January)
  3. 2002 International League teams for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL (Dave Armstrong, October)
  4. Legacy Hockey Stars cards for HOCKEY BLAST (Brian Chipney, May)
  5. 1991 Midwest League cards for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL (TigerFan93, July)
  6. 1982 World Cup cards for SOCCER BLAST (zip file) (Phil Passey, May)
  7. 2017 Big League All-Star Game cards for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL (PLAAY Games, June)
  8. No-Dice Fast-Action Cards for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL (Al Wilson, September)
  9. Indoor Football variant for SECOND SEASON (Joe Pritchard, March)
  10. "Sam Snead's Celebrity Golf '60" cards for HISTORY MAKER GOLF (PLAAY Games, October)
  11. Overall, newsletter downloads were down somewhat from 2016's levels, I'm not sure why. Certainly, the quality and value are there, these are some of the best-researched, meticulously-crafted free card sets we've ever posted. It could be that people are just experiencing a back-log of free stuff, the "so many games, so little time" syndrome!

Top Ten PLAAY Games 2017 LIVE Events Moments
Let's list these in reverse order, like Letterman used to do!...

HONORABLE MENTION goes to 1) Kiefer Fairbanks incredibly bad performance at Augusta, streamed live on Facebook video for all the PLAAY World to see!(he had an amazing rebound during the Skins Game!); 2) Steve Heller coaching the Cleveland Spiders to a (gasp!) WIN in the Time Machine Tournament!; 3) my '74 Brewers recording a triple play, playing HMB while waiting at Laguardia for my flight back to Denver after the SABR convention; 4) Post-Hockey Day in Canada, Pizza with the guys with%#8212;what else?—Hockey Night in Canada on the Big Screen TVs!; 5) HMB newcomer Brian Preece managing the '69 Expos to the Time Machine Trophy; 6) Brien Aronov getting the lucky ricochet on Richard Hannah's fictional Mystical Emerald Course, Atlanta; 7) getting to the Rockies game early enough after the Time Machine Tournament so that we ALL got Marvel Hero action figures (gate giveaway to the first 10,000 fans!).

THANKS for an awesome year in 2017! Looking forward to even more fun in 2018!