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Baseball Highlights: 2045» Forums » General

Subject: Discussion Series #1: The On Deck Card rss

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Zalerious
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INTRODUCTION
I'm Zalerious, and I may be the most avid Baseball Highlights: 2045 fan on the planet. I'm certainly not the best player and would never claim to be, but this is my favorite board/card game of all time. I've played it well over 200+ times between solo, exhibition, and competitive tournaments.
The Discussion Series is written under the assumption that the reader is already aware of how the game plays. It is not meant to be a tutorial, but rather a more in-depth examination of whatever the topic happens to be. As the name implies, this is a series that encourages not just discussion, but (friendly) debate on topics regarding this game.

With that being said, let's get to it.

The On Deck Card
To me, the On Deck card is the best mechanic in the game. It is simple and subtle, but it adds so many layers of strategy that it is nearly impossible to quantify in a single forum post. I would say, barring some extraordinary circumstance, you always want to put a card in the On Deck circle. The presence of the On Deck card singlehandedly give PH symbols an argument for being the most important attributes of a card. If you put a card On Deck (and you almost always should) that you think you will need but you aren't able to use it, then what's the point?

So clearly I like the On Deck card idea, and so do many others. There are debates among competitive and casual players alike as to what card is the best to put in the On Deck circle. Search 'On Deck', 'PH', or 'pinch hitter' in this very forum and you'll find hundreds of posts, theories, and arguments to slog through.

We will likely never be able to pin down which cards are objectively the best to place in the On Deck circle. There are simply too many variables to consider to make such a statement. However, we can attempt to narrow it down as best we can.

I believe that the most important factor to consider when placing an On Deck card depends on whether you're a Home or Visitor player. In the case of the Visitor player, there is mostly a consensus that you should place a defensive immediate. It can be played for free during the Visitor Save (also largely eliminating the need for PH cards in your hand) and can spoil a timely Home team comeback contingent on getting that last runner home.

As for the Home team, the decision is usually more difficult as there is no Visitor Save equivalent for them. With the Visitor team there is the 'defensive immediate' camp and then everyone else. With the Home team there isn't really one prevailing school of thought, although with the addition of the expansions and immediate actions I personally have found myself and the others in my group using them far more often than most other immediate actions when possible.

I have attempted to shy away from thoughtlessly placing a defensive immediate in the On Deck circle as the Visitor, which was something I did when I first began playing the game. I find that I play on the back foot a lot when I do so, playing to not lose rather than trying to win if that makes sense. Although it has produced mixed results, I have found that fighting conventional wisdom and rules of thumb have helped me grow as a player and think outside of the box.

As far as the Home team goes, there is a point from earlier that I'd like to expand on. With the introduction of the new expansions came two immediate actions I have loved throwing in my On Deck circle: Home Cookin' and Hero. Many in my group, as well as some of the online community here on BGG, have mixed thoughts on these cards. I, however, have taken a liking to them as On Deck candidates. I have even employed the rather unusual tactic of placing a Home Cookin' card in the On Deck circle as the Visitor simply to save them for the next outing as the Home team. With Hero, you don't even need to be the Home team and it has worked to great effect as the Visitor for me as well. The joy of watching 3 cost Extra Extra singlehandedly score two runs for my team to seal a win in extra innings is one of the most rewarding experiences I've had playing this game.

What are your thoughts? What cards do you like placing in your On Deck circle? Or are you one of the few anti-meta players who doesn't ever use it, and why? What is your favorite On Deck card story? If you could choose one card to place in your On Deck circle for an entire series, who would it be?
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Peter Kossits
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As visitor it's almost always a visitor save. The presence of that card there often forces the home team to play his home run early in a sub optimal inning.

As home team, I'll dump a card if my hand isn't well balanced just to get a new card in my hand. Cards that you can only play when you're ahead/losing will be good candidates. A lot of times as home team, I won't use the On Deck.

As both visitor/home I may dump a card for financial reasons if the "money value" of my hand is too low to buy a free agent I want. This is particularly true in the 3 game season (which I always play out).
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Jason Brown
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Zalerious wrote:
INTRODUCTIONI'm Zalerious, and I may be the most avid Baseball Highlights: 2045 fan on the planet.

Alex Goldsmith, care to weigh in?
 
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Ralph H. Anderson
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This is a great idea - to have discussion threads! Thanks for posting this.

Here are a few of my thoughts off the top of my head:

A lot depends on how many cards I have left in my Lineup draw deck. If only a one or two, then I know what they are and can be MUCH more flexible with what I put On Deck as I now have two reliable sources of cards to pick from.

I sometimes place my most recently bought free agent there, especially if my opponent bought a counter to what I bought for a nice bit of cat and mouse play.

I frequently put a Clutch immediate action or other offensive action that requires specific conditions to play. I can then save it for the next hand if the conditions do not occur.

I have also put 0 Revenue cards there when I need to have cash for an important Free Agent in the Buy Row.

As you have said, the On Deck card gives you so a very wide range of options.

There are very rare cases when I don't put a card on deck, and that is when my hand is very strong but doesn't have a PH in it (and I am the Home Team). This is very rare.

Go Wiffle!
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Brad Miller
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The zero money immediate out single rookie is my favorite starting On Deck card. Try to keep him until I can get a closer.
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A Frag
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Wow, very interesting discussion. It is really hard for me to comment though as it is really situational. I do like having a defensive immediate action as the visitor, but frequently early on, I am willing to sacrifice an optimal play to position myself for a prime free agent. Also as Ralph mentioned, if I draft say Barry Sosa and my opponent picks up a Fastball, I am more likely to stuff Barry on deck for a future hand.

In the end, what seems like a simple mechanic simply used for the end game save is far more than that. It is a subtle “hand crafting” mechanic within a “deck building” game. So very nuanced and overlooked just as the PH ability. Man this game is so sneaky deep, when at first it appears to be just another light card game at first blush...
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Brad Miller
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I hadn't considered the home/away split as much as I perhaps should. Barry Sosa is a player, that if I see the opponent draft, and can't be sure he won't be in their next hand or not, I'll certainly hope I can drop the "All Hits to Walks" in the OD. Barry is a beast.
 
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vins baudet
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I´m with Pete, as visitor is near always a defensive card.
But as home team, as said before, you have so many possibilities, it depends always on your hand, but I love to have always a card in the on deck, in some cases just for bluffing.
 
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Zalerious
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afrag wrote:

In the end, what seems like a simple mechanic simply used for the end game save is far more than that. It is a subtle “hand crafting” mechanic within a “deck building” game. So very nuanced and overlooked just as the PH ability. Man this game is so sneaky deep, when at first it appears to be just another light card game at first blush...


This is why the game is so good to me. This game is incredibly simple to learn, but very difficult to master and play at a high level. There is a ridiculous amount of replayability between starter decks and the massive FA deck. I don't even use the Coaches or Ballparks outside of friendly games! The only thing that could make BH: 2045 better to me is more content.


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Alex Goldsmith
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Zalerious, you are my new best BH: 2045 friend! It's also my favorite game ever and I've helped organize tournaments in Albuquerque and at Dice Tower Con.
Curious for your take on something.... Do you ever play with Coaches? It's the one expansion I consistently avoid.

Thanks for starting this!
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H.C. Bagger
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I'm not Zalerious but BH2045 is my favorite board/card game of all time and I still play regularly.

I don't use coaches either. I generally play w/ the standard issue deck + the 3 primary expansion sets (nat/rob/cyb). Personally, I think that (or simply the original deck alone) presents the best blend of depth/strategy/balance. I'll mix in other expansions for fun sometimes, knowing a % of the reward/punishment for good/bad plays is diminished. That's why my boys love the other expansions. It's the only way they can win a game.
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Luca Piganzoli
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Hi,
If at the end of mini-game you don't use a On deck card.. in the start of another mini-game you can select another On deck card? The old On deck card go to discard?
 
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Martin G
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opiganz wrote:
Hi,
If at the end of mini-game you don't use a On deck card.. in the start of another mini-game you can select another On deck card? The old On deck card go to discard?


At the end of a mini-game, if you haven't used the on-deck card, you can choose either to discard it or to leave it there for the next mini-game.
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Karl Fast
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qwertymartin wrote:
[q="opiganz"]At the end of a mini-game, if you haven't used the on-deck card, you can choose either to discard it or to leave it there for the next mini-game.


In the app you have two slightly different choices.

1. Discard it to the dugout

2. Discard it to the top of the draw deck, which means it be in your lineup for the next mini-game. You can, if you wish, make it your on deck card again, but you can also keep it in your lineup.

I haven't read the new rulebook, so I don't know the wording, but I like this method the best.

The rule is simple: you must clear the on deck card. But it also gives the most flexibility since you effectively have three options: get rid of the card, get the card in your hand, or get the card in your hand and move it back to the on deck spot.

 
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Rupert Cullum
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That's what the new rulebook says - discard to dugout or back on top of the deck.
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Martin G
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Sorry, you're right - that's what I meant to say.
 
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