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Sports Simulations 
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:16 pm
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Location: Crystal Lake, IL
Post Re: Sports Simulations
Theron wrote:
I went through a period of addiction to such games back in the early 80s, with occasional re-visits. Looking at my shelf, my clear poison of choice was Statis-Pro (I have baseball, football, and basketball). I also had Avalon Hill's "Title Bout," but I think I lost most of the action cards for it when I looked a few years ago.

A friend of mine was really into APBA football, IIRC, though I didn't much care for it.

Nowdays, the closest I get to a sports game is playing Battleball with my son.

Being as clueless as I am about this segment - how many games are still produced?

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Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:29 pm
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Post Re: Sports Simulations
Jim Skach wrote:
Being as clueless as I am about this segment - how many games are still produced?


APBA and Strat-O-Matic are still being produced. Strat is quite strong, APBA less so. They are the two companies that pay licensing fees to the players unions of the sports they cover. It's expensive, but it gives them a strong competitive advantage over the publishers that don't and thuis have to go to extraordinary lengths to use contemporary players.

And example is the old classic Replay Baseball. You have to buy a separate "book", which consists of the player cards bound together, to get contemporary teams because books don't have to be licensed. Quite a dodge all things considered.

Most of the action, though, is on the computer. Strat has PC versions of all four sports they cover. There are numerous companies that publish computer sportsgames. The most notable one is Dave Koch Sports, at least as far as my own experience. They produce football, baseball and basketball sims and are working on hockey.

Then there is the subcategory of management sims. In these games you aren't the coach -- instead, you're the general manager controlling the on-field and financial aspects of running a team -- evaluating talent, signing free agents, managing contracts, etc. Some even allow you to set ticket and concession prices for your team. Football Manager is probably the most famous of these games (controlling a soccer club).


Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:55 pm
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Location: Montréal, Québec
Post Re: Sports Simulations
MPHopcroft wrote:
My other love, besides RPGs, are sports simulation games. You know, games in the style of things like APBA and Strat-O-Matic where you coach a sports team and try to win games with the real players.

I'm very curious about whether anyone else here plays those games, which ones they play, and whether they do anything special with them. IN my case, it's leagues. I think I'm in six total online leagues right now. Strangely, I've never won a title in any of them and have epically bad teams in two of them.


I was in a Strat-O-Matic hockey league for many years during the 80s and 90s. We would meet and play games face to face. I thought the actual simulation of a game was weak and the game was more about probabilities than coaching decision. We added extra management rules because of that. It became about drafting players in the hope we would get the rights to their cards should they make it to the NHL and about long term planning of a championship team through trades, signing and so on. We created a draft system, and a whole financial system to it, messing with various designs.

But really, it was eating a lot of roleplaying time, especially since simulating games was the part we enjoyed least and took the most time.

In the late 90s we discovered the internet and online simulators. After a few years trying various leagues and sims I settled for a hockey league using a simulator called FHL. I managed a team for nine years and once again, the simulation aspects were pretty crappy. The real fun for me (and many veterans I talk to) is to pit yourself against your human opponent GMs, trying to outsmart them in trades, signings and drafting rights to future players.

I kept hoping an amazing, more realistic hockey sim would pop up but it never happened so eventually I just gave up. I've heard there are fun sims for other sports, such as football and even Euro football (soccer) but the cup has been pretty bare for hockey.

When/if the right simulator comes out, I'll get back into that :twisted:

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Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:16 am
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Location: Hartford, CT
Post Re: Sports Simulations
The only game I played that remotely simulated sports was Speedball 2 Brutal Deluxe. It wasn't meant to be played as a strategic simulator or should I say most people played the game for the action inside a match itself. But there was the option to let the computer play both teams and then only the team management mattered at that point. Since I sucked at the match part I tried playing in "coach" mode and it was kind of fun, except the simulation of the match by the poor Atari ST took forever.


Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:12 am
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Location: Crystal Lake, IL
Post Re: Sports Simulations
Found this in a sig over on CM...don't know nothin' 'bout it, though I suspect it's, like it's title claims, an MMO baseball dealio.

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Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:31 am
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Post Re: Sports Simulations
Consonant Dude wrote:
In the late 90s we discovered the internet and online simulators. After a few years trying various leagues and sims I settled for a hockey league using a simulator called FHL. I managed a team for nine years and once again, the simulation aspects were pretty crappy. The real fun for me (and many veterans I talk to) is to pit yourself against your human opponent GMs, trying to outsmart them in trades, signings and drafting rights to future players.

I kept hoping an amazing, more realistic hockey sim would pop up but it never happened so eventually I just gave up. I've heard there are fun sims for other sports, such as football and even Euro football (soccer) but the cup has been pretty bare for hockey.

When/if the right simulator comes out, I'll get back into that :twisted:


There was a game called Eastside Hockey Manager, but that was discontinued last year because of poor sales.

There's a company called Wolverine Studios that makes decent sims for basketball.

I could never really get into management sims. I'm the opposite of you -- I find playing the games to largely be the fun bit (unless my team stinks, then I'm in trouble).


Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:13 pm
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Post Re: Sports Simulations
My favorite of these games was Paydirt from Avalon Hill.

It was simple and pretty good at capturing the feel of the strategy in NFL action.

I still have two boxed sets and three full sets of team charts for it (1982, 1985, and 1991).

I always thought that Paydirt would make for a fine online game. Oh well.


Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:03 pm
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Post Re: Sports Simulations
GW made a game called Blood Bowl, which was a Warhammer style approach to football. It was alright for a one shot, and they had campaign rules that we never really explored as other games like Car Wars and Battletech took over the spotlight.

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Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:24 pm
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Post Re: Sports Simulations
Ulthar wrote:
GW made a game called Blood Bowl, which was a Warhammer style approach to football. It was alright for a one shot, and they had campaign rules that we never really explored as other games like Car Wars and Battletech took over the spotlight.


There's a computer and Xbox 360 edition of Blood Bowl that just became available in the United States.

http://www.bloodbowl-game.com/


Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:03 pm
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Post Re: Sports Simulations
Lately I've found console-based baseball to be surprisingly fun, but I don't think that's quite what the OP is looking for.

Playmaker Football was a game for the Mac, don't know if it's still around or available for other platforms, but it was a great coach-level simulation (albeit, of fictional teams).

Aside from Strat-O-Matic, the old grognard in me would suggest a look at Avalon Hill's Statis-Pro Baseball. Incidentally while refreshing my memory of the game, I came across what looks like a good list/overview of tabletop baseball games: http://tabletopbaseball.org/

However I never played Statis-Pro except one time, when a friend without a very good grasp of the rules tried to play it with me.

What I've played a fair amount of, are Football Strategy and Cadaco's All-Star Baseball. Both great fun, both highly flawed from a simulation standpoint. In Football Strategy, it's a pure guessing game of offensive-play vs. defensive play, with no randomization and no player stats. Still I believe there are folks who do league play with it. In All-Star Baseball, you've got a keen bunch of components (look it up on BGG) and presumably a decent representation of batters' abilities...but pitching has no effect on the game whatsoever. You can call offensive plays, though.

Oh, yeah, I also played a lot of Earl Morrall Football Spectacular. Quite fun, similar to Football Strategy but with randomization. I still have the matrix sheet from the game although I've lost everything else. But that's enough to reconstruct the game.


Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:46 am
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