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Subject: New Baseball Board Game: ULTIMATE BASEBALL THE GAME rss

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TH Gillespie
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Hey Baseball Board Gamers!

We've just launched a revolutionary strategy baseball board game, ULTIMATE BASEBALL THE GAME! It's a pitch-by-pitch simulation with loads of opportunity for strategic interplay (along with a VERY realistic stat base and game system).

Give us a look at http://home.ultimatebaseballthegame.com/

All comments and questions welcome!
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McDog
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Can you delete Marvin Miller and Donald "the let's wreck baseball" Fehr" in the game?
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TH Gillespie
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Hmmm...not sure who you're referring to (or I should say...why you are referring to them)... ... as these names are not in our game; so we'll have a hard time "deleting" them. Still, we hope all gamers, including hard core replay baseball gamers, will check us out!
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Ed Lizak
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thgillespie wrote:
Hmmm...not sure who you're referring to...these names are not in our game, so we'll have a hard time "deleting" them. Still, we hope all gamers, including hard core replay baseball gamers, will check us out!


If you don't know who they are, then you really expose the fact that you aren't a hard core baseball fan.

(The wise man would do a Google if trying to appeal to the hard core fan)
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TH Gillespie
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Thanks for the heads up... but I didn't say I didn't know the names....I said I was not sure who the respondent was referring to...(also see my edit above)... this is because these two gentlemen are not in our game, so I was a bit confused by his request that we delete them from our game. Perhaps he hasn't actually checked out our game, and simply was taking a (humorous?) stab at these men... (...?...). Our game is realistic, but... At any rate, we are still interested in engaging respondents about baseball board games, and how ULTIMATE BASEBALL THE GAME is different, and how it might interest folks. All comments, questions, and reactions welcome!
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TH Gillespie
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In answer to Peso Pete above, UBTG has a basic, quick start, easy version (for kids and for learning the basic game mechanics) which takes less than an hour. The advanced game (included in the game box), with all the bells and whistles (and accuracy and realism) takes as long as a real-life game. We openly admit this is longer than many baseball board games (especially many of the replay-style games). Our game takes longer because we simulate every pitch, use no computers, and infuse every pitch and play with strategic intrigue and options not available in the other games (that we have found). Our playtesters love it because it plays like real baseball and challenges them to make strategic decisions at every turn (vs relying on computer/die-determined outcomes). It is REALLY FUN to play. But we also believe we have infused the player cards with VERY realistic ratings, which, when juxtaposed with the game charts and tables, results in very realistic outcomes (including an extremely realistic pitcher fatigue system). We hope you'll try it!
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The Redheaded Pharmacist
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I'm curious about this game but I have a few questions:

1. Is this a two player only game or are there other options like a solitaire mode?

2. There is mentions of pitching rotation decisions but can players make other GM type decisions like batting orders, defensive substitutions, or line-up choices?

3. Is there any plans for making this into a CPU game later?

4. Is there an injury component/factor in this game?

5. Are new cards developed each season reflecting the newly retired MLB players?

It is an interesting concept to have actual pitch factors instead of simply at bat stats. I ask question #4 because that was my biggest complaint with OOTP Baseball, I would have injury prone seasons that may happen to a team once in the majors in 20 years consistently in that game.
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TH Gillespie
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Redheaded Pharmacist wrote:
I'm curious about this game but I have a few questions:

1. Is this a two player only game or are there other options like a solitaire mode?

2. There is mentions of pitching rotation decisions but can players make other GM type decisions like batting orders, defensive substitutions, or line-up choices?

3. Is there any plans for making this into a CPU game later?

4. Is there an injury component/factor in this game?

5. Are new cards developed each season reflecting the newly retired MLB players?

It is an interesting concept to have actual pitch factors instead of simply at bat stats. I ask question #4 because that was my biggest complaint with OOTP Baseball, I would have injury prone seasons that may happen to a team once in the majors in 20 years consistently in that game.


Thanks for all the GREAT questions...

1. We are considering including a solitaire mod for UBTG, but, presently, we only provide rules for head-to-head play. The main reason for this is we simulate every pitch, along with a whole host of strategic options (often using simultaneous play), affording a variety of ways to outfox your opponent (much of which would be lost playing solitaire). In fact, this is one of the main differences we tout between UBTG and most other strategy baseball board games, and a large part of why we consider our game to be revolutionary. I know it can be hard to set aside time for two real people to get together and play, but that is precisely our focus.

2. Yes...you can manage your team, from initial drafting to mid-season trades...lineup decisions, and the rest. We really mean it when we say UBTG can simulate EVERY play in real-life baseball, including off-the-field and dugout decisions. We even include a finance option for those who wish to manage virtual money.

3. Yes...we are considering putting UBTG to computer. But, for now, we are focusing on real gamers playing on a real game board across a real game table.

4. Yes, we include an injury component in UBTG. But it is designed mainly to force gamers to manage well (e.g., gamers must be careful not to overuse pitchers, lest they hurt their arms...indeed, the UBTG PITCHER ROTATION is SO realistic!...we believe you'll LOVE it!). But we balance injuries by making them relatively temporary and short-lived. As we state in our rules, our purpose is not to force you to spend a whole season without key players (which, of course, can happen in real life), but rather to focus on challenging gamers to manage their current rosters well.

5. We add newly retired players to our player pool every 2-3 years. This brings us to another factor (also on the heels of 4 above): UBTG does not focus on simulating "teams" and "seasons" per se (as do most replay-type baseball simulations). We are more interested in the players themselves (as individual players). UBTG, therefore, simulates each player as a composite of his lifetime career. There is only one Ted Williams card in the game. So the issue of having to deal with particular player cards simulating an injury-prone season is non-existent in UBTG. We are focused on how each player played the game, not in how they did NOT play.

UBTG features 240 top all-time stars in the game box, and you can order more from our online store. Also available in our store: two PLAYER CARD EXPANSION SETS (120 cards in each set...with more sets coming soon), and our OFFICIAL UBTG PLAYER REGISTER, which features over 4,000 of our top all time picks, all rated and ranked according to our exclusive UBTG rating system. You've GOT to see it! As we have researched every player on record ever to have played American major league baseball (from its obscure beginnings in the 1840s, including Negro leagues and All Nations teams stars), we believe, at the time of publication, that we have player cards in UBTG that can be found in no other game.

UBTG playtesters continue to be delighted in how our composite player cards, juxtaposed with so many strategic gamer-elected options, continue to play like their namesakes did in real life (including defense!). It is great fun to see Walter Johnson strike out, say, Mike Schmidt, or watch Ozzie Smith and Nap Lajoie turn a webgem double play (especially when the game is on the line!).
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TH Gillespie
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Several have asked for reviews of UBTG. We just launched recently, and are still in the process of seeking reputable, in-depth reviews. You can find comments from happy customers on our website athttp://home.ultimatebaseballthegame.com/ . But we hope folks on these forums will give UBTG a chance...and write in their own reviews! Maybe you'll be one of the first...!
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Jack Dillon
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How does it compare to Strat-O-Matic baseball? Will the game have the cards for the 2011 season? Looks interesting.
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TH Gillespie
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Strat and other traditional replay-type baseball games are a wonderful tradition, and our purpose certainly is not to denigrate them. But we believe UBTG is different in several ways, some of which are:

1. UBTG is pitch-by-pitch (vs resolving at bats all at once by die rolls).

2. UBTG affords a much wider spectrum of gamer-elected strategies (partly because we simulate every pitch).

3. UBTG does not focus on particular seasons or teams per se. There is only one player card per player, representing how that player played the game as a whole (not how he played during a particular season with a particular team).

Also, see other comments in this thread...and you are welcome to visit us at home.ultimatebaseballthegame.com for more info. But we will try to engage any and all questions here on BGG as well!

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Ed Lizak
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Can you provide more details of how the pitch by pitch feature works?

Is each pitcher rated for the different types of pitches they throw and their control of each one? That would seem to be very difficult to do with older players.
 
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TH Gillespie
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Responding to Cincinnatus above re: UBTG's pitching simulation:

In UBTG, much of our simulation involves simultaneous play (as in Avalon Hill's classic, Diplomacy). The idea is to outfox your opponent on every pitch. Basically, each gamer (team) hides 4 marbles (4 colors) and several tokens under the game table and chooses from among these pieces--secretly and simultaneously--on each pitch. The batting team tries to "match" what the pitching team is planning, thereby increasing its chances at more effective production. So, for example, the pitching team chooses a "white" marble, along with, say, the "B" token (playing in for the bunt). If the batting team also chooses "white", it has "guessed correctly", and its chances for getting productive contact increase.

This process might appear, on the surface, to be based merely on random odds. But we have given each pitcher and batter a number of ratings which influence each pitch-guess. Furthermore, we have infused each marble color with certain advantages and disadvantages (depending on who the pitcher is, the ball-strike count, the base-running situation, and so on). So, for example, Walter Johnson has a high pitching rating and a high strikeout rating, and his "best" pitch is "white" (he threw mainly--only?--fast balls, but the different colors can represent, abstractly, not merely a "type" of pitch, but several factors...location, for example). So his pitching and strikeout ratings will influence a given die roll by a few points here or there (regardless of what "color" he throws), but, if he throws "white", he has a better chance of getting a strike. But, of course, if he ONLY throws "white" all the time, the batting team will begin to guess correctly. So the idea is that the pitching team must not necessarily throw the "best" pitch every time, but must learn to leverage it in a way that fools the batter. Yes, this is somewhat of an abstraction of real life, but it plays amazingly well, and feels like real baseball! It also means that player ratings play a huge role in outcomes. Johnson will, in fact, tend to get more Ks (and walks) than, say, a control pitcher like Joss.

UBTG applies similar factors to other skills as well (hitting for average, power, fielding, throwing, speed, etc.). Every pitch and play is infused with these factors even as you are afforded strategic choices at every turn. UBTG Player Cards simulate their namesakes extremely accurately. Nevertheless, you still must manage them well if you expect to win!

See a SAMPLE PLAY-BY-PLAY description here: home.ultimatebaseballthegame.com.

As for vintage players, we have spent over 20 years researching EVERY player on record ever to have played in American major leagues (even as far back as baseball's obscure beginnings in the 1840s). While some players' records are more obscure than others, we believe we have rated our players accurately and will place our rankings/ratings up against any other list in existence today.
 
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The Redheaded Pharmacist
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Interesting, thanks for answering my questions. So this game focuses on individual games instead of an entire baseball season. You have an interesting mechanic for the pitching decisions. I guess my main concern now is the length of a typical game given the choices that have to be made for each pitch! It seems like this game could take longer than a real MLB game to play.
 
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The Redheaded Pharmacist
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One last question: are there any carry-over effects in this game? Meaning if I wanted to say start a multi-game league with a friend would any effects during a game such as fatigue or injury carry over from game to game (for example: using a starter only every 5th game etc)? I'm just curious how I would handle a season aspect of this game if I wanted to try some sort of league with other players!
 
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J
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Moved to Press Releases
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TH Gillespie
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Our player cards are based on composite, career skills (vs past teams, rosters, seasons, etc.), but this does not mean you can't form your own seasons, leagues, and tournaments. But we openly admit our game takes as long as a real-life game (longer than most replay-style baseball games). Some of our playtest games last under two hours, others can go a good bit longer (especially extra inning games)...just as in real life, but, generally, the average is around 3-4 hours. Of course, lots of strategy games (even computer-based), like CIVILIZATION, EUROPA UNIVERSALIS, DIPLOMACY, etc., can take hours--even days--to complete. So we hope we're not too far off the mark! We hope you'll give us a try! You sound like someone who would really enjoy it. Maybe you could submit a review!
 
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Jason Smith
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Without the possibility of playing a season, I think this game loses its potential. Baseball is more than just throwing a ball and swinging a bat. Unless it is game 7 of the world series, one game of baseball has little importance. As with most team based sports, the game is played not to just win one game, but to focus energy and talents throughout the season to take home the ultimate prize of a championship.
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TH Gillespie
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In response to Redheaded Pharmacist re: league play and carry over from game to game:

The answer is a resounding YES! This is one of the more significant aspects of UBTG simulation that we believe is extremely accurate and fun. The PITCHING ROTATION system is (to quote a patron) "unparalleled", even in computer simulations. UBTG provides PRC (PITCHER ROTATION CHARTS) which help keep track of the pitching rest cycle. We track pitch count, among other things, every outing. Using pitchers who are not fully rested can result in decreased skill and even injury.
 
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TH Gillespie
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bamf226 wrote:
Without the possibility of playing a season, I think this game loses its potential. Baseball is more than just throwing a ball and swinging a bat. Unless it is game 7 of the world series, one game of baseball has little importance. As with most team based sports, the game is played not to just win one game, but to focus energy and talents throughout the season to take home the ultimate prize of a championship.


I believe baseball strategy can stand on its own even if you play an isolated game here or there (as attested by the millions of pickup games we all played as kids...and adults!)...but, certainly, there is an added dimension when placed in the context of a tournament, series, or ongoing league. The great thing about UBTG is that it can be played in any of these contexts, and plays realistically AND fun regardless. As for baseball being more than "just throwing a ball or swinging a bat", we couldn't agree more, and playing UBTG (even just once) should convince any doubter!
 
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TH Gillespie
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Help! As I'm new to this forum, I'm not sure what "moved to press releases" means (see above under jmilum).
 
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Jason Smith
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You say that the game can be played in seasons, but then you say this:
thgillespie wrote:

3. UBTG does not focus on particular seasons or teams per se. There is only one player card per player, representing how that player played the game as a whole (not how he played during a particular season with a particular team).


How do you play seasons without it becoming stagnant? From what I have gleaned, there aren't cards printed every season. When do new players make it into the game, when they retire?
 
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TH Gillespie
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UBTG simulates players, but you can use those players in a variety of contexts...whatever meets your needs and desires. The players are virtual representations of the way these players played the game in real life. In fact, if you wish, you could "start" with "blank" player cards or cards with mediocre ratings and watch these fictitious players evolve over the course of an entire season (keeping track of their changing batting averages, etc.). If you try this, you will see that UBTG's engine churns out very realistic ratings (even if each card is not tied to a particular historical figure). So UBTG is very flexible and adaptable to a whole host of gaming contexts. If you desire, you could increase some of the injury factors, for example, and tweak numbers to reflect rookie seasons, peak seasons, and waning seasons...so you could simulate not merely one season, but several seasons in succession. But, just as many folks might not have time to play a long game (once a week...once a month?), so many folks might not have time to play a full season or series of seasons (even if each individual game in some replay contexts might take only 30 minutes). The beauty of UBTG is that you can adapt it to your gaming needs in just about any way you wish. And, since we provide our OFFICIAL PLAYER REGISTER on our online store that includes over 4,000 players, our drafts, leagues have been anything but stagnant. But, even playing the same dream team time after time has an intrigue and excitement all its own. It all depends on what you're trying to simulate.

As for which players are ranked and simulated in UBTG and in our PLAYER REGISTER, we focus mainly on retired (or almost retired) players, since we design each player card to be a lifetime composite, good for all gaming situations (vs providing several seasonal cards for the same player).
 
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CubsForever31 CubsForever31

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bamf226 wrote:
Without the possibility of playing a season, I think this game loses its potential. Baseball is more than just throwing a ball and swinging a bat. Unless it is game 7 of the world series, one game of baseball has little importance. As with most team based sports, the game is played not to just win one game, but to focus energy and talents throughout the season to take home the ultimate prize of a championship.


I'm new to this thread, but wanted to respond to the comment above. I have UBTG, including the whole package with full registry and player sets. I play in a 6-8 team league with other players. We are extremely impressed with the game, but I have two comments to make about playing a season: 1) I fail to see why and how any game out there "loses its potential without the possibility of playing a season," and 2) You can play a full season with UBTG if you like (not sure how you interpreted the designer's comment about player cards based on lifetime composites rather than different cards for different seasons to mean that you can't play UBTG in a league context). You can simply draft and/or simulate whatever rosters you like.

You could play 162 games or the pre-1961/1962 schedule of 154 games or even 140 games from 1900/1901 or less than 100 games in the 1870s in the National League (or how about the strike-shortened season of 144 games in 1995?). I may be a baseball purist in many ways, but I see no reason why you can't create your own season and choose the number of games that you and others will agree to play. UBTG may take longer to play than the standard replay games, but whether you're playing UBTG or Strat or whatever, do you have to play a full season every time you play? Surely you can enjoy an isolated game here or there or a weekend tournament involving just a few games.

In any case, UBTG's realistic simulation and pitch-by-pitch play trumps those concerns, in my opinion. I enjoy it whether I'm playing in a league with a designated number of games, in a play-off series, or in an isolated game.
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Jason Smith
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CubsForever31 wrote:
1) I fail to see why and how any game out there "loses its potential without the possibility of playing a season," and


This is a game that is supposed to emulate a sport in which teams play a season in order to win a trophy. It appears to be targeting baseball enthusiasts. I think you would be hard pressed to find a baseball enthusiast who wants to play just one game of baseball.

That being said, unlike the initial statements made, you apparently can play a season. That's great to see and I hope much success for this game.

I have a question about the tedium of playing pitch-by-pitch. Considering the play time is around 3 hours, does it get old?
 
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