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Subject: RUN PHASE RESOLUTION with user Poll rss

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Mike Mullins
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As many of you have noticed, there is a discrepancy in the rules/FAQ about how to resolve an Out with a runner already on base. First off, let us apologize. The rules have dramatically improved, but this one slipped by us. Here's the story of why...

- Originally, this didn't matter at all. There were no extra-base hits, so the game was basically 4 successes for the batter vs 3 successes for the pitcher.

- The Crush rules and some player abilities introduced the possibility of doubles, which required a ruling. The question that arose was whether to keep things as simple as possible (batter is out, runners stay in place), or to allow the pitcher to get the lead runner out (which was an important factor in early game balancing).

- The balance issue is this: If a runner on 2nd will advance to 3rd on a single, shouldn't the pitcher be allowed to throw them out? One possible resolution is to change the baserunning rules so that runners only advanced when "pushed" by a runner behind them.

After seemingly endless discussion and playtests, Darrell and I are fairly deadlocked. We decided to crowdsource the decision, so here is your chance to impact the world of Bot9. Please note that this is only one of the outlets we are using to seek input, but the poll results will be a big factor!

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There is a runner on second base, and Contact is made. How is the Run Phase resolved?

Choice A: On an Out, the lead runner is out, and the batter reaches 1st base. If Safe, there would be runners on 1st and 3rd.

Choice B: On an Out, the batter is out, and the runner remains in 2nd. If Safe, there would be runners on 1st and 3rd.

Choice C: Runners do not advance unless "pushed" by runners behind them. On an Out, the batter is out, and the runner remains in 2nd. If Safe, there would be runners on 1st and 2nd.

Poll: Baserunning User Poll
Which option above do you prefer?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Choice A
16.7% 8
Choice B
75.0% 36
Choice C
8.3% 4
Voters 48
This poll is now closed.   48 answers
Poll created by Mullins014
Closes: Sat Oct 1, 2016 6:00 am


Thank you for your help in improving this little game we love!
- Mike & Darrell


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Jonathan Meltzer
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I have not played this game (yet - someday I will), but I am following everything I can about it.

Thematically, with a runner on 2nd, the runner will only move toward third if he has a great chance of being safe. If there is a chance of being thrown out, he will not move.

So, B stays most true to that. If the batter is safe, it generally (not always, but enough for this scenario, I think) means that the play was difficult enough that no one is looking to get the runner at third, and therefore the runner gets to third. If the batter is out, it is likely a routine play that keeps the runner at 2nd. I don't know if there is an option to "sacrifice" the runner along to 3rd by deliberately hitting into an out on the right side (between 1st and 2nd base) in a way that the runner would have a great chance to advance - is there something like that in this game?

Choice A just does not occur most of the time, especially when the runner at 2nd is the potential winning run. That runner would not risk moving to 3rd unless it is a safe move.

One thing I do not know is whether "Contact" means that the ball stays in the infield. If "Contact" always means an infield ground ball, then maybe C would work, but if it could sometimes just be a single, then B is best, in my opinion.
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Jordan S.
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First off guys, thank you for the wonderful game! I've already enjoyed many memories play it both solo and with others.

Second, I think it's really cool that you're approaching the players to help make informed design decisions. It shows that you care, not just about the game but about the people who play it.

I personally voted for "B" and here's why: In my early plays, I waffled back and forth on whether to use option A or B to resolve outs while running. While it perhaps makes sense for the Home Team to tag the lead runner to keep him out of scoring, I found it made progress as the Home Team feel overly difficult. That's what ultimately got me to swing the direction of Option B: it (for me at least) makes for a an experience that feels more balanced for both sides. The Home Team's got just 3 Outs to make it in (less in some solo scenarios and sometimes needing more than 1 run to win) and since the vast majority of hits are singles (and about half of those will get tagged out), losing a runner on 2nd or 3rd is a huge setback. That's true enough of real baseball, sure, but in a head-to-head game that's just half-an-inning, it can be really demoralizing.
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Brett Lamb

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In real life the answer depends on where the ball is hit, of course, but it's probably well beyond the scope of the game to compute that with any precision. But.....
What if you were to make the answer situational based on right-/left-handed batting?

It's not a perfect solution thematically but it would make batter selection more interesting. If you make the choice between (for instance) a right handed batter with a chance to get the lead-runner to third, but risks getting him out OR a left-handed batter that can ensure the safety of the lead runner, but has no hope he'll get that runner to third (until he's pushed).
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Mike Mullins
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I love the idea, but part of the charm of Bot9 is its baseball feel with relatively simple mechanics. "Contact" just means the ball is in play, so you can imagine the shortstop checking the runner back to second or the 2nd baseman making a diving stop and flipping to first.

The advanced rules (allowing the batter to decide whether or not to advance the lead runner) should scratch the baseball fan's itch. It seems like the risk/reward would always suggest running, but maybe the slugger is on deck and you don't want to give up a chance at a game-winning double? Lots of possibilities for interesting decisions.
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Argyle Moonwalker
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Making a batter with a sacrifice fly MVP move (or trait?) would be another way to play with this interaction.
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Murr Rockstroh
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I chose "C" because it seemed like it would be easier to remember (and explain) that a lead runner will only advance if "pushed" along by an advancing base runner behind them.

I was actually looking for option "D" (same as "C" except on an out, the lead runner would be out), but I haven't played this enough to know how much that may upset game balance, so I figured the designers already knew that couldn't be an option.
 
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Kevin Jonas

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A) What BotOf9th does now. In real life this doesn't happen often.

B) is more likely to happen on a ground ball, get the easy out. Or ona sac fly. However, the guy may or may not go the 3rd depending on the situation.

C) See B, this happens more often than A, but not B. Depends on which side of the infield the ball was hit.

In real life if a sac fly then the guy on second would try to tag up. If a ground ball int he infield then depending on the side of the field the ball is on they will hold the guy on second and throw to first at last possible moment.

Here's the possible situations and choices that would be made in real life.

No one on base: Throw out at 1st.
One on 1st: throw out at second
One on 2nd: This situation, roll off?
One on 3rd: Throw out at home to prevent run
Two on 1st and 2nd: Throw out at 3rd
Two on 1st and 3rd: Throw out at home to prevent run
Bases loaded: either game wins or loses at this point on a run or out anywhere.

So for all but this situation the choice if obvious if you gave a choice to the pitcher. Giving the pitcher a choice for this situation is also obvious as you would want the lead runner out so less likely to score. If you throw out at 1st then only a single is needed. If you throw out at 3rd then a triple is needed. If safe then keeping the runner at 2nd is tougher on batter. So it depends if you want to tweak the balance of the game.

So I could see this being a another dice roll but then I think you would start to get too fiddly for basic rules.

I think the way the game currently gives the pitcher the best chance of winning. If the balance needs to go more towards then batter then I would say do solution B. If for advanced rules then maybe some type of roll off to determine where the the ball was hit. If int he outfield the lead runner advances. If in the infield then it depends on on which side of the infield it happened (if real life). This could be simulated with simple dice rolling.

If for advanced rules I am thinking something like this. If out pitcher rolls the dice. 1-3 is thrown out at 1st. 4-5 thrown out at 3rd. If safe then batter rolls die. 1-3 lead doesn't advance. This would give an opportunity to adjust the odds based on traits.

OR it would depend on what value the run phase die was. If out, then if pitch die was a 5 or less (due to modifiers) then lead runner is out. If 6 then 1st base is out. Similar if the batter wins the roll off then on a 5 or less runner advances to 3rd, on a 6 stays at 2nd.
 
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