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Justus
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I heard about this game on Boardgames to Go and was intrigued. When I listened to his "All About" show on this game I knew I had to buy this game.

A quick rules summary

Each player has three cards in their hands. They alternate plays.

Each play has three phases: 1)lay down a card which depicts what happens at home plate. 2) resolve the action 3) draw a card from the deck (replenish the hand to 3).

There are only 2 exceptions to the rules. At the bottom of the Third and Sixth innings both players discard their hands, reshuffle the complete deck/discard pile and draw three cards. The other exception is the "pinch hitter/relief pitcher card" When you draw that card, you play it immediately and then take the top card of the deck and put it underneath the pinch/relief card (DO NOT LOOK AT THE CARD). On any turn, instead of playing a card from your hand, you choose to use your pinch/relief card. If so, discard that card and play the card underneath it (for better or ill).

This is a very simple game. I recommend doing a 7th inning stretch as mentioned on the Boardgames to Go Podcast.


This is a game actually simulates listening to a baseball game.

Here is the point that I don't think anyone has really made.

You are sitting there and the events unfold in front of you. Like on the radio, you're emotionally invested in what's going on in the game but you really have (almost) no control of the events happening out there. Like Radio, you get the results of the play, and (unlike TV) you have to fill in exact details of the events in your mind's eye. As a spectator of the game, you really get that sinking feeling (or rising hope) as each inning ebbs and flows.

The pinch hitter/relief pitcher is a great example of that. The new guy comes on and you have no idea what's going to happen - especially in that first play. It really captures that hope for something good to happen even though you know the odds are going against you(the reason you're going to the relief card is because you have a hand of crappy cards so if you don't get out of the inning you're most likely screwed).


War (the cardgame) meets Baseball

Obviously, I think if you like baseball then this is worth having in the collection. But if you are still wondering if you would like playing the game, here is another thought that popped into my head while reading this [article=141294]thread by Paul[/article].

Can you ever see yourself playing agame of war (or slightly less passive variants like egyptian ratscrew)? I know its not on the top of anyone's game list, but if hate such heavily luck based light games with such a passion that you'd rather cut off your big toe, I'd advise you to pass on Harry's. even if you are a baseball aficionado.

However, if you love baseball, and you can imagine a scenario where you would play such light game (like burning up the afternoon with your non-gaming nephew while stuck in the house), then I think this Harry's would be well worth having in your collection.


Last Thought

This is definitely a game where you have to be able to just chill and let the game happen to you. If anything you're playing John Miller not Bruce Bochey (Vin Scully not Joe Torrey). But hey, John Miller is my connection to baseball. I listen to the game more than I watch it (and with one game I've played more innings of Harry's Grandslam Baseball than in real life!)

This game captures that spirit of listening to the game on the radio with a cold beverage after mowing the lawn on a hot summers afternoon. And if you love that, I think you'll love this game.



PS as you can see on the table, OOTB really thought through the packaging. The tin and scorecard are cute and I really, really liked how they went out of their way to put the original box and packaging inside the tin.
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David G.
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Enjoyed your session report, and loved your analogy of a radio ball game. Excellent concept.

I posted a link to this on www.boardgamestogo.com. Unfortunately the "comments" for Mark and my podcast on HGSB has is too old to post this to, but I did post it on the current podcast.
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Justus
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Hey thanks! I really wish my g/f could get into the mood of the game I think she has a hard time with the fact that baseball is a game of failure with occasional success. I think (like soccer) its hard for a lot of people to see how constant failure makes for a beautiful game.

Unlike soccer which ebbs and flows smoothly, baseball is such a pixelated experience, man up, man down, man up, hit .... and HGSB is just a great simulation of experiencing that rhythm and the lack of control one has over those events while listening to a game.

Thanks for passing it on to Mark, I really love your podcasts together, you guys have a great chemistry!
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