Sports Simulation Board Games

Summer 2020 Community Buzz: Questions/Ideas

As you can imagine, we get quite a bit of e-mail about game questions and ideas. A lot of it can be helpful/usefull to the rest of the community, so we're happy to share! Here's a sample...

We had an in-depth discussion of the expenditure of performance chips in RED WHITE & BLUE RACIN' that was drilled down from a thread on the PLAAY Games Delphi Forum. What happens in a RWBR challenge when one driver has more chips than the other? Read more about that here.

Michael Owens e-mailed an intriguing question, "are teams ever charged time-outs for unsuccessful video review challenges in SECOND SEASON (or COLD SNAP) football? No, they are not. But maybe outside the two minute warning they should be. It would be a good house rule. But keep in mind, the video review symbol takes into account ALL close plays, not just those challenged by coaches. I know, the game book text uses referee announcement ("after further review...") but that's mainly for color. If you add a red flag rule that introduces the cost of a time out, you would want to have the overturn rate be a little higher than the game represents it. In other words, a coach isn't going to throw the challenge flag unless he feels like he has a good chance of getting the call overturned. Currently, the success rate is about 40% overall. The game book success rate is around 22%. So, maybe you say that when a video review comes up outside the two-minute warning (all plays are automatically reviewable inside two minutes), either coach can throw the red challenge flag. If you do, you increase the success range by 1 d6. So instead of a reversal on, say, 54-66 as spelled out in the game book, it's now 44-66. BUT, if you fail, you lose a time out. That would be cool. Note that if you do this, you would NOT adjust the review dice roll inside two minutes--the referees are going to review ALL calls in that period, and a much lower percentage of them are going to be overturned.

Chris Bowler touched base at PLAAY HQ with a couple questions about the new "express" version of COLD SNAP Canadian football: "Tight ends aren't often used in Canadian football, so when reading the charts which positions are classified as TE?" For the older CFL seasons, we usually put the tight end in box EB. But, it's academic--if there's no tight end on the field, you'd just check the wideouts and slot receivers in SA, SB, EA and EB. Next, Chris asks, "Just to clarify which positions make up the 'backfield?'"For modern COLD SNAP seasons, "backfield" would include QB, RB, and FB boxes. For older seasons, like 1960 where there were three running backs in the backfield, the SB box is included in the backfield. You can generally (though not always) assume that a player is in the backfield if he has IN and OU run grades. "One last clarification, it's only players on the field (i.e., starters) who are considered when reading results, correct?" Yes, that's correct!

From Richard Kaufman, a HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL question: "I’ve got 1947 Yankee runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs. Batter rolls a 2-3-4, where under the PITCHER column it states 'Runner(s) on Base? Plate DRAMA!' Cool. On the Plate DRAMA! chart I roll a 1-5: 'Catcher GOLD?' Well, my catcher is Gold, so the result is a BALL, which takes us to the UMPIRE chart. So far, so good. Perfectly clear. On the 'Umpire Calls, Runner on 2nd & 3rd' chart, where we roll a 2-6: 'RESPECTED Umpire at HOME? Runner on third ruled out at home, batter safe on FC; OTHER umpires call runner SAFE at home.' Huh? With two outs, why is there a play at home?? The reading suggests an infielder fielded the ball. Only that doesn’t make sense, because if he did, why didn't he simply throw to first to retire the batter and get the easy third out?"

GOOD one Richard, thanks for bringing it up! There are two ways of looking at the unusual result you've described...

  1. "Common sense." Yes, with two outs, the play would have typically been a throw to first to retire the side. You could over-rule the game book in this case, in good conscience.
  2. "By-the-book." You could assume that because it's a "boutique" (umpire involvement) reading, the normal rule of baseball common sense didn't apply in this case for some reason. Maybe it was a dribbler that was fielded clumsily by the catcher who, at the last minute, decided to try to tag out the runner headed for home. Maybe it was a "comedy of errors" that led to the play being made at home instead of first base. In that case, you'd go with the game book ruling and chalk it up as one of those memorable, crazy baseball plays. Especially if the runner is ruled safe and scores. You--like everyone else watching the game, or listening on the radio (we're talking 1947, after all)--would get to vent the frustration you aptly expressed: "Huh!? Why didn't he just throw to first!!"

If it were me, I would go with 2), but of course you're welcome to go with either interpretation!

Later, I got a follow-up email from Richard. "And so, here's what happened: With two down in the bottom of the second and Yankees Stirnweiss on second and a slow Yogi Berra on third, Brooklyn hurler Lombardi fools Johnny Lindell, who chops a soft grounder up the third base line. Spider Jorgensen (who made 19 errors this year), apparently thinking there's only one out, races in, grabs the grounder and fires it home, which catcher Bruce Edwards has already vacated for the Dodger dugout! Lombardi races in, yelling to Edwards to get the ball. Edwards quickly does, and fires a strike to Lombardi who makes a lunging swipe tag on a sliding Yogi Berra. Umpire Babe Pirelli, considered questionable on a good day, calls Berra safe, as Stirnweiss takes third and Lindell reaches first on the fielder's choice. Classic Dodger baseball in the '47 Series." Awesome work, Richard—thanks for sharing!

Charlie Lord sent along some amazing baseball facts, gathered from the "Official Encyclopedia of Baseball," in honor of his good friend Alex Grieves who passed away April 28th at the age of 93...

James Peeper writes, "I just wanted to share that I have been playing a bunch (of HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL) with trading cards recently, so much that I bought a '99 Topps set on eBay! It is indeed great fun and after playing dozens of games, I find that it plays quicker and more smoothly if you do not use the symbols to check for WHIFFER, GOOD EYE, and so on. Just a tip if you'd like to share that with other HMB gamers who may be interested." Thanks, James! Glad you've discovered the joy of playing HMB with trading cards!

Chris Schmidt threw in his two cents about what the next "Fury" sports game should be: Hockey! That's based on the news of a new 3-on-3 hockey league that's supposed to start next year, "3ICE." The announcement of the new league was made prior to the escalation of the COVID situation, but that may actually work in the league's advantage: the plans was for an eight-team traveling road show, which could easily be transposed to a "made-for-TV" type deal. Each team gets six skaters and a goal--only 56 players are needed to stock the entire league! Hmmmm. Sounds...furious!

Royce Brink sent a note saying how much he enjoyed this year's "History Makers Who Served" HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL Memorial Day All-Service game. We ran this game as part of our PLAAY-NOT-CON announcement (action begins at the 16:55 mark of the stream), we've played it on Memorial Day weekend each of the past three years. Here's the article from which the card set was inspired. Royce says, "It's always a fun watch. I was especially happy when the hometown sailor hit the home run off Bob Feller. My own grandfather was in the Navy during the Second World War and did see action in the Pacific. So I always picture him as the hometown sailor!" Totally agree, Royce—I have often thought back to that moment in the weeks since the game was played, it's become one of my fondest tabletop sports memories. For one thing, I know that HAD to have happened at some point during war time baseball. Imagine how many times that sailor told and re-told the story of "that time I hit a home run off Bob Feller!"

Questions? Comments? Let us know!