It's a new season on the diamond, and with it come two of very minor changes for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL...
The first change involves the base-running rules when the infield is playing "IN." Previously, on a ground out result with a runner on third base, if the infield was "IN," the runner on third would always hold. And, if there were runners on first and third base, it would always be a fielder's choice, with the runner at third holding. With the changes we've made, there are now chances for runner advancement.
A lone runner on third base will still hold on a ground our result with a lead die "1," "2" or "3," but—here's a change—on a lead die of "4," "5" or "6," that ground out becomes a run-scoring single.
With runners on first and third, a ground out with a lead die "1," "2" or "3" will now move the runner from first to second, with the batter out at first. (Previously, it was a fielder's choice, with the runner out at second.)
Runners on second and third base will still hold on a ground out result with a lead die "1," "2" or "3," but—as is the new case with a lone runner on third base—on a lead die of "4," "5" or "6," that ground out becomes a run-scoring single, runners advance.
Finally, with bases loaded: a ground out with a lead die "1," "2" or "3" will now be a double play, runner out at home, batter out at first. On a lead die of "4," "5" or "6," that ground out becomes a run-scoring single, runners advance.
There's also one change to runner advancement when playing the infield "deep" (normal): On 2-x-x and 3-x-x results with a runner on third base, the runner now scores. Previously, he held at third. All other runner advancement readings on the infield "deep" table remain unchanged from before.
The other change to the game involves the Video Replay manager strategy card. We've been talking about this for a little over a year now, and discussed it at length after last year's Fall Classic Pre-PLAAY in Milwaukee, and it was linked in an earlier newsletter for play-test usage. It's now an "official" part of the game. To make room on the manager card sheet, the "pick-off" card has been retired. (You can still use the pick off card if you like, it hasn't been banned!) It seemed that the pick-off card was seldom-used, and the Video Replay challenge is more in tune with today's baseball.
We've created a printable PDF of the new base-running grid from the HMB playing field game board, feel free to print and attach to your current game board, or just put it in your game box for future reference. The PDF also contains the new Video Replay Challenge manager strategy card.
The bunt card remains unchanged. I know we have been discussing it over the past couple of months, in regard to the "suicide squeeze" play. After much thought, I'm staying with the original card, with the wrinkle that for suicide squeeze plays, the decider die is rolled: "bullet," roll as usual on the bunt card; "blank," the bunt is missed and the runner on third must attempt to steal home. I also feel good about Erik Holdway's suggestion that pitchers' bunting NOT be counted against the six manager strategy cards allowed per game.