Sports Games For Hardcore Sports Fans
Shane Hoopfer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Sports and board games generally don't mix, but sometimes a game comes out that really will catch the attention of hardcore fans of a certain sport. Whether it be a true simulation of the sport or more of a live action game that captures the feel of the game.

Here is a geeklist that starts to cover a few sports games that fans of the sport should really try out. Please feel free to add your own games as I'm not a fan of every sport and I couldn't give an honest assessment of some sports.

I've avoided adding the fantasy themed games as they really don't scream out to me (Blood Bowl of course being a classic) but feel free to add those as well if you feel they are worthy!
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1. Board Game: Statis Pro Baseball [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:3102]
Shane Hoopfer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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If you like a good Baseball simulation in a board game you can't go wrong with Statis Pro. The game of course relies on charts and the like so a casual fan would get bored quickly. But for a hardcore fan of baseball I don't think you would be disappointed.
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2. Board Game: Subbuteo [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1494]
Shane Hoopfer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I really don't care for soccer (football I know I know to all our European friends) however this game does not need you to be a soccer fan to truly enjoy it. It consists of flicking your figures to make contact with the ball (or block the opponent if on defense) and getting the players in range to generate shots on goal.

The biggest innovation in the game over the last 10 years is the introduction of a base that is much flatter than the traditional bases which makes controlling your players far easier especially for new players to the game.

The game is easy to learn and most importantly fun! Give it a try one time and you may be surprised.
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3. Board Game: Strat-O-Matic Hockey [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:3812]
Shane Hoopfer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I've been playing hockey since I was 4 years old and no game has ever captured the statistical accuracy and feel of coaching a team in a board game quite like Strat-O-Matic does.

The nice thing this game does is it doesn't matter if you want to play one game or get a few buddies together for a season each game gives you meaningful decisions every game.
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4. Board Game: Statis Pro Football [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:4710]
Shane Hoopfer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Chalk another one up for the Statis Pro games. In fairness this is the only 'sim' football game I've played in a board game but it really gave me the sense of importance in my decisions.

The biggest downside I found with this game is the time commitment is quite long, but for the hardcore fan that shouldn't be an issue.
 
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5. Board Game: Rod Hockey [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:3176]
Shane Hoopfer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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If you are Canadian you have grown up with some form of Rod Hockey in your life. No matter the version or maker of the game you have the game is fun to play and anyone who has never seen the game played takes one look and says "Oh. I see how this works" and is immediately involved in the game.

So whether it's a game from the 60's that had the metal players, to the more commonly found Stiga games, or going to the ridiculously high end Benej games. They all will bring a smile to your face, and it is amazing that you can put a couple of younger kids down in front of this game and they will not even think about the video game they are missing out on.
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6. Board Game: Electric Football [Average Rating:4.71 Overall Rank:17347]
Shane Hoopfer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I had Electric Football as a kid. It SUCKED!!! The players spun around aimlessly and you had no earthly idea what was going on, until someone (who should probably be working for NASA) figured out that the prongs on the player bases can (and should) be 'tweaked'

The bases came with a microscopic residue that needs to be removed, which is done by 'flashing' the prongs (basically taking a lighter and touching the prong with the flame for a fraction of a second) once you do that the players actually 'run' down the field with speed! Secondly using a pair of SMOOTH needle nose pliers, you can get the prongs all the same length which gets the players to run straight! Suddenly the game is playable!

Tweaking also allows you to make guys stronger and/or faster so you are suddenly bringing life to your players and are starting to develop your own team.

There is obviously a lot more to it than that brief description but you can find out more through the Miniature Football Coaches Association at http://www.miniaturefootball.com/forum/ they have a ton of info and people that are more than happy to help guide you through the process of restoring your old game into something worth playing!

Bottom line is suddenly Electric Football is a fun game that incorporates a ton of strategy!
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7. Board Game: Formula D [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:465]
Shane Hoopfer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I'm a open wheel racing fan and for me Formula D (and of course Formula De) really fills the gap for me in a racing game. While the dice of course add randomness, with a few rule adjustments and some common sense the game starts to shine.

It's good to pull out for a quick play with non gamers and is kid friendly, but the game shines when playing in a full season with a few other racers that are just as into the simulation side or racing as you are.
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8. Board Game: Rugby World [Average Rating:6.30 Unranked]
Roberto Vaccari
Italy
Nonantola (Mo)
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The best rugby simulation, very close to reality!
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9. Board Game: Speed Circuit [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1851]
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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Speed Circuit (in the 3M edition) is IMHO one of the best motor racing games ever made.

It has no dice or chance cards involved - basically, all you do is select your speed (within the limits of your car's specifications [which you can select at the beginning of the game]) and move. But be aware: your tires won't last forever, other players try to block you out of the racing line and if you are too fast in a corner, you even might crash.

The Avalon Hill Game Co published a version where a dice was used when you drove through a corner too fast, but it paled beside the original game.
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10. Board Game: Dynasty League Baseball [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:3888]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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I've tried almost all of them, and Dynasty League baseball is the best one. Loved Statis Pro for the pitcher fatigue- one of the best out there - but Dynasty tops in all the other areas.
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11. Board Game: Tour: Cycle Free [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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Time to blow my own trumpet.
I developed this free pnp game as a cycling game which is not dependant on dice for movement, which sought to provide realistic results but also be strategic and to reward well thought out cycling strategy. I think I achieved that (with plenty of help from guys on BGG who suggested rules tweaks). I don't think it's really for non-fans of cycling though...
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12. Board Game: Title Bout [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:4840]
Shane Hoopfer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Can't believe I forgot to add this one.

Title Bout was in the same vein as your Statis Pro or Strat-o-matic games and came with a ton of historical fighters. You definitely are not getting non boxing fans to play this one, but if you enjoy the sweet science this is a must play!
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13. Board Game: Rallyman [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:833]
Alan Gaskell
England
Lancashire
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This for me is better than Formula De. Way better.

Your starts are staggered as in a real rally and you're trying to get the fastest time. It's all about driving better than your competitors and knowing when to push to the limits or conserve your tyres.

Excellent.
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14. Board Game: Strat-O-Matic Pro Basketball [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:5587]
Michael Lucey
United States
Ellington
Connecticut
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I found this to be the best sports game of the big 4 American sports as a game goes. The length is good, and there is some solid decision making involved throughout which allows for a good game when other sports (especially Baseball) can have that multi-player solitaire feel.
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15. Board Game: Harry's Grand Slam Baseball Game [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:4405]
David G.
United States
Moorpark
California
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I think this game is for the baseball fan that loves the game more as a state of being than a collection of stats.

The game is far from deep, but the game unfolds much like a baseball game. One reviewer said it matches the experience of listening to a game on the radio.
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16. Board Game: SPIKE [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Mario Sainz Martínez
Netherlands
Den Haag
Unspecified
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SPIKE is a card-driven beach volleyball simulation for four players, in two teams of two.

Cards are numbered from 1 to 5 and may also contain special icons (e.g. Spike, Block, Dig). Each player has their own individual deck of 12 cards with different combinations of numbers and icons: some are better blockers, attackers, passers, etc. Scores are kept by removing cards from the teams' decks, which become thinner as the game progresses and fatigue sets in.

Each team can only communicate by means of choosing and sharing a "strategy card" hidden from the opponents - but changing the strategy card mid-rally costs a valuable action!

It's still unclear what the final components will look like, but here's some pictures of my prototype:




 
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17. Board Game: Hoops on Fire [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
Mario Sainz Martínez
Netherlands
Den Haag
Unspecified
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A fast and furious basketball simulation. During each possession, the attacking coach decides which type of attack will be attempted (3-pointer, dunk, pick'n'roll...) and by which player. Then a card is drawn that randomly determines the outcome of the attack based on the type of attack, and the characteristics of the players involved on both sides (e.g. players are more likely to succeed at blocking if they are taller than the shooter). Fatigue and fouls accumulate, so coaches should rotate their star players.

Hoops on Fire is freely available as a Print-n-Play game.
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18. Board Game: Solo Baloncesto [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
Eduardo Crespo
Spain
Madrid
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SOLO BALONCESTO is a two-player board game that recreates a real basketball match. Each player takes the role of one coach of the two teams facing up.
You have point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards and centers. Each player has 5 different skills, according his position on the field. Passing, action points, play skill, height, and scoring (percentage).

Passes, rebounds, fouls, two-point shots, layups, three-pointers, slam dunks, freethrows, blocks, pick& roll, steals... any basketball action is possible in SOLO BALONCESTO!

Thanks to its mechanic, mixes a great realism in the actions with high simplicity. Players move one by one alternating between attacker and defender, not the entire team at once, making it faster.
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19. Board Game: SEGUNDOS...fuera! [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:8748]
Eduardo Crespo
Spain
Madrid
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The game consists of 12 rounds as in a boxing match. Each player will have a number of attacking and defense cards (value from 1 to 5) in each round that must play following a few simple rules. This will affect both figther´s ENDURANCE and DAMAGE tracks. Damage points can get a knockdown (and you´ll have to try if your boxer stands up or not) and if there are cuts. You have 100 endurance points to manage all over the fight. You have attacking cards (punch and feint+punch) and defending cards (block and dodge).
The way of playing cards sometimes is face down or face up (bluffing mechanic). If you play smart, you'll see it only doesn`t depend on the cards value, but also the way you raise your strategy in each round.

At the beginning of each round, there will be an auction with endurance points to see which boxer has initiative for that round.

The goal is to beat your opponent. You can get it by K.O. or by judges scoring at the end of the fight (going to the scorecards).
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20. Board Game: Hoops on Fire [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
Daniel Kazaniecki
Poland
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"Hoops of Fire" is a print-and-play two-player card game in which you coach a basketball team. The goal is for the game to be enjoyable both for basketball junkies who are new to card/board games, and for gamers who have little idea about basketball.

Draft your players and defensive strategy, then control the line-up throughout the game as exhaustion and fouls pile up. Stick to the shots that your star players are most comfortable with, or set up a pick and roll to see how the defense reacts. Finally, steal an unlikely away victory with that buzzer beater!
 
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21. Board Game: Basketball SimStats [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
pau bo
Portugal
Porto
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A basketball simulator that allows you to feel all the adrenaline of a game.

It is important to apply plays to enhance the players' individual characteristics.
 
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