a sleeping giant is emerging   6 comments

it’s not dead.  Statis Pro Baseball, long thought to be dead (at least by AH, Hasbro, and Wizards of the Coast) was merely in a coma.  the vital signs were steady, but the game was unresponsive for the most part.  now, yes NOW, there are strong indications that a sleeping giant is starting to awaken.  there is a lot of interest, discussion, and traffic because of SP.  maybe it’s partly due to all those childhood memories of playing games in a time of innocence.  but i think it’s much bigger than that.

people are tiring of the 50/50 game engine.  strat will always have it’s following.  other games like DLB, Ballpark  Baseball, Triple Play all incorporate a 50/50 method.  you throw the dice, they bounce off the table with a clatter, collide with the pen you’re scoring with, and settle.  half of the results will come off the pitcher’s card.  the other half off the batter’s.  it just depends on the randomness of those pesky dice.

tom terrific


not so with Statis Pro.  the control factor is based on the pitcher’s ability to control the game, the tempo, the happenings.  get someone like Roy Holiday or Tim Lincecum on the mound and the game shifts from batters having an equal chance to a less than equal (depending on the quality of the mounds man). that’s the way it should be.  along those lines, there are fewer extra base hits because those all come off the hitters card and not the pitchers.  so having the pitcher in control more gives your team an overall better chance than the traditional 50/50 where the pitcher has just as much chance to K the batter as the slugger ripping a triple off a range that’s only three wide.  we’ve all been there.  it’s frustrating.

will davis walk? not much

i can hear some of you saying, “but chief, that also means some pitchers may not give up as many extra base hits as they normally would.  doesn’t that make the game statistically inaccurate?”  yes.  there, i said it.  the answer for you is yes.  it can’t be as statistically accurate without some modifications.  before i go further, i will say that the same inability to be as statistically accurate occurs in all of the 50/50 games.  you don’t have control over where those dice will land or whose card you look at.  it’s RANDOM.  i’ve played seasons where a DOMINANT starting pitcher will finish the season with a 4.25 ERA due in great part to dice that HATE ME (and trust me, they DO hate me).

one of the main reasons why i’m giving Statis Pro Advanced such a long hard look isn’t just the revamped SP game engine.  yes, it’s true the pitching control factors will allow good pitchers to be in control more.  that is a plus over the 50/50.  it’s not just the added L/R abilities, though it is cool to see where a pitcher may be a 2-6 vLH and a 2-7 vRH.  that gives you solid tools to manage your players.  it’s not just the added control factors such as a + rating for walks on both the pitchers and batters cards that indicate either the pitcher didn’t issue many walks or the batter didn’t like to walk.  and it’ s not just the additional PB ranges, though those additional ranges will give a wider variable of abilities of controlling the game and yet still allow for those pesky extra base hits because the range is altered some.

alsbury steak


it’s a combination of all of those factors.  some guys don’t hit well against the opposite side.  some pitchers don’t do well against certain sides.  this game takes that into account.  good pitchers will be in control more often than the hitter.  and some pitchers will just cause their manager to start chain smoking while they’re on the mound.  the control factors added are nice.  some pitchers will give up extra base hits off their card (a modifier requiring a BD roll – see Albury’s card to the right) because they are prone to those doubles, triples, and tater tots.  but most importantly, maybe even more so than a greater statistical accuracy, is the flow and feel of a true baseball game.  not a tabletop game, but a baseball game.

ok, now the flip side of this coin.  what are the drawbacks?  there are some things that i don’t particularly care for.  at least not yet.  i’m 18 games into the 1975 AL replay.  there’s another 950 more games to go, give or take a few.  i want to get much deeper into the replay before i start ripping at the things i don’t like.  18 games is not a large enough sampling.  but i’m noticing more errors than i thought would occur.  could it be some flukey stuff?  sure.  that’s why i’m not casting a judgment on it yet.  i’ m not a fan of the SB chances or the automatic runner advancement on base hits (flip the FAC and compare to the chart … runner goes or doesn’t) with only a 12.5% chance that truly gives me an option.

some of these are minor bothersome issues.  for me the most important things are (in order): playability, statistical accuracy, available seasons, price.

  • does SPA have playability?  absolutely.  again, there are things i don’t like (or at least not comfortable with yet), but it IS very playable.  i love the flow.  i love the feel.  it feels like a baseball game, not a game called ‘baseball’.
  • is it statistically accurate?  unknown.  i think more so than the old version.  and i think it will be more accurate than the 50/50 games.
  • are there all the available seasons i want?  not yet, but derrick doing this as a part time job and there are already a lot of seasons (including the most recent) available.
  • is the price reasonable?  yes.  the two options of either a PDF or reasonably priced cards are both available to you.  i recommend getting the printed, but the choice is yours.

statis pro baseball is making it’s come back.  one of the major concerns i have is if the game can come back strong enough to start rivaling companies like Strat, could MLB be far behind asking for money?  we’ve got a long way to go before we’re on their radar.  so i think it’s vital that we take the next important step, regardless of which variant you use, PLAY THE GAME.  start playing statis pro and remember why it was such a great game.  then start getting other baseball fans to try it out.

anyone up for a retro league during the off-season?  say something in the neighborhood fo 40 games or so between october and march?  count me in!



Posted 08/19/2010 by rick in Baseball, Statis Pro, Tabletop Games

Tagged with , ,

6 responses to “a sleeping giant is emerging

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  1. Great write up!

    As far as your errors are concerned, are you only checking for errrors when the outs occur on the batter’s card? Sorry if this is a dumb question.

    I am having very few errors myself but I do have a tendency to forget to check for errors when the out is on the batter’s card.

    One game I barely ever see mentioned is Pennant Race. It was great for efficientcy as far as getting a lot of games played but was terrible for stats. I played it a lot and improvised things a bit to allow me the oppurtunity to track stats. They were not even close to accurate but it was fun nonetheless.

    Aaron Williams
    • i may have been doing this in error … i’ve been checking for errors on all hits off the batters card (except HR and infield singles) and all outs off both pitcher and hitters cards. re-reading the rules it appears i don’ t need to check for errors off the pitchers card at all. that might ‘splain it.

  2. Derrick needs to expand his past season coverage long before SP Advanced can be considered a “sleeping giant” fully arisen.

    A nice piece, nonetheless.

    I do agree on all of your points, and especially on your points re: 50/50. I will keep my eye on the error end of things with my 1979 games … interesting note.

    Seaver’s card kick’s ass, BTW.

    • i didn’t say the giant was stomping around and demanding a beer. i said the giant is STARTING to awake. ;-)

  3. Just to address the error issue above…I am deep enough into a couple of season replays to tell you that Derrick’s error rules (hits off batter cards only and outs with asterisks on the FAC’s – I am still using the old version that has them) are very accurate over the long haul. I sent my 2006 stats to Rick (Chief) to look over to test the statistical accuracy and I believe that the error thing is pretty solid overall.

    I am also replaying the 1971 season using the older non lefty/righty cards – home made – and the same holds true.

    I am in the month of July in both leagues and am keeping the stats on a spreadsheet. Anyone who would like to see them is welcome (don’t tell me my numbers don’t balance perfectly, I plead guilty to being mortal).



    Randy Skrimager
    • thanks, randy! i think the error issue was MY error issue. i was remembering to check for errors off the batter’s results, but i was also checking for errors off the pitches out results. i am using derrick’s new FAC since the error range has changed from 0-10 (old formulas) to 0-20 (new formulas).

      and thanks for the stat file. i looked it over and was very impressed about a couple of things … you took the time to do fielding stats (i only keep pitching and batting) AND that you’ve got so much time on your hands. i’m beginning to think this will take me until the end of next year. of course, in today’s economy, i’m happy to have a job! but if things were to turn, i might be able to get the season done by the end of the year. ;-)


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