Monday, June 22, 2015

How to stumble into a new replay project

In the past few years, I've done my share of Googling Strat-O-Matic Baseball, APBA Baseball, and Status-Pro Baseball. I'd even searched out "replay" for seasons like 1967, 1982, and 1991 for obvious reasons (if you know what I mean and I think you do).

Along the line, I stumbled upon One For Five magazine more than once. At first, it might have been a result of a failed attempt to track down whether or not Elysian Fields Quarterly was still publishing. But looking for online writing about baseball boardgames brought me back to their website again and again.

It actually seems to be the case that One For Five began as a labor-of-love blog (, and has become a magazine thing as well. And one of the beautiful things about 2015 is being able to order said magazine despite being in Lithuania... The PDF travels light! (This nudged me into getting an electronic subscription to Sight And Sound this summer as well, but that's another topic for another time.)

It turns out that the magazine covers more than baseball--this issue reviewed a number of hockey games (yeah, I'm pondering a Strat tourney that will hopefully end with Bobby Orr soaring over the crease), and even provided a lead for a friend looking for Formula 1 fodder.

But the big bonus for me was the extended interview with Greg Sovan, who has created a number of different baseball games over the years. This was absolutely fascinating to me: hearing him talk through his ideas of how these games differentiated...and why.

Part of the coolness of picking up Strat for the '67 replay was to grapple with another way to convert a season's worth of stats into a fun, playful board game. Having grown up with Status-Pro, that was always THE way to do it... but of course it's remarkable to see how other folks do it. And to hear them TALK about how and why they chose to do this or that... well, to quote my little boy, "That's so cool!"

Another bonus with the magazine was a sampler from Sovan's Lineup Card Baseball, with all necessary rules & charts, along with tables for the 1975 Reds & Red Sox. Instant '75 WS replay potential!!!

And so yes, now that the semester here is over, and before the online summer session course kicks in, I am indulging in revisiting 1975. More to follow on this game vis-a-vis Strat and Status-Pro, the 1975-ness of it all, and such... But for now I am happy to report that Louis Tiant notched 13 strikeouts for Boston en route to a 4-2 victory in Game 1.