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We heard this concern during our early playtesting, and have remained open to the possibility, but decided finally to stick with our two-player design for the time being. We recently addressed the question via our blog post: “Solitaire Baseball: Can It Be Done With UBTG?”
Most any game could be adapted for solitaire, but UBTG would lose most of what makes it unique and exciting. The Avalon Hill classic, Diplomacy, for example, which simulates pre-WWI Europe, utilizes “simultaneous movement orders”. It is what makes that game what it is. Each turn, gamers break off into small groups and engage in private sessions, making deals with each other (e.g., I’ll attack France if you attack Germany, etc.). Of course, the very gamers you just formed a treaty with might then privately ratify a contradictory treaty with your enemy. When everyone is done conferencing, they secretly write their moves down, based on their best estimate of what everyone’s plans are. Then everyone’s moves are made public simultaneously, and everyone must follow through with their written orders (i.e., you can’t wait to see other moves before you make yours). Gamers can be delighted that their treaties were honored or can be frustrated by backstabbing tactics. Playing this kind of game solitaire simply doesn’t make sense. It could be done, but the very essence of the game would be completely lost. All the fun and intrigue would be missed.
In UBTG, gamers are afforded many more strategic and tactical opportunities than in traditional replay games. For example, the pitching team must commit to a pitch and defensive set while the batting team must decide whether to bunt, take the pitch, swing away, steal, hit and run, or take a big lead. Each team commits secretly. You can’t wait to see what the other team is planning before you commit to your base running plan. Real baseball involves this kind of cat-and-mouse baiting and outfoxing on nearly every pitch. You could adapt this for solitaire, but you would lose out on most of what makes this feel like real, cat- and-mouse baseball. This is precisely one of the main factors that we believe is missing from traditional replay games, and why we believe UBTG has something new to offer.
The UBTG game box comes with 240 player cards representing our top picks of all time. We have researched EVERY player on record ever to have played in American major leagues. We include players from the Negro leagues, the All Nations teams, other extinct leagues and all the way back to baseball’s obscure beginnings in the 1840s. We are confident, at the time of publication, that UBTG has player cards that can be found in no other baseball simulation on the market. We have rated and ranked all these players so as to place them all on a level playing field. Just as sabermetricians adjust for different eras when establishing “true talent” and making their “top 100” lists, we have adjusted for such factors as the high mound era, giving Yaz credit for being the great hitter he was. So, you can draft any player from our pool and can rest assured his card represents how he played in real life and that his skill—-when up against any other player—-will represent his true talent without distortion. We have included over 4,000 players in our OFFICIAL UBTG 2010-2012 PLAYER REGISTER and we believe our ranking list is the most comprehensive and accurate listing in existence. Customers have called it “amazing” and “unrivaled”. So, with a player pool that accurately matches up the greatest players of all time, you have a ready-made foundation for drafting the greatest dream teams of all time.
In short, no. We strongly assert that customers are getting more bang for their buck when they buy UBTG. You can follow this link to view a chart which compares prices of 3 major replay games (APBA, STRAT, and REPLAY) with UBTG, but allow me to summarize that chart as follows.
The price of a “basic” game hinges on what you mean by “basic”. For example, if you buy a “basic” APBA game, it costs only $22. But you only get player cards for 2 sample team rosters. If you get the “master” game with all the bells and whistles, along with what most replay gamers expect and buy (cards for every player of every team for a complete season), you end up paying nearly $100 (includes S & H). REPLAY’s price for essentially the same contents is nearly $90 (they include S & H for free).
UBTG’s “basic” game and “advanced” game all are included in the game box, along with 240 player cards representing the top players of all time. Each player is represented by only one all-time card. You don’t need to buy additional seasons to fulfill your dream team goals. Our game board is far more elaborate than any of the other replay games, and we include several more charts and tables and playing pieces. Our game box is considerably bigger and heavier than any of the other games, so you’re getting more bang for your buck even on that basis alone. STRAT’s game weight entails almost entirely its single-season player card set; if you take away the player cards from both games, UBTG’s game materials alone outweigh STRAT’s game materials by 3 to 1. Veteran replay gamers claim UBTG’s game components are the best of any baseball simulation they have seen.
If it’s dream team baseball you want to simulate, we estimate that you’d have to spend at least $90 (probably a lot more) on any other replay game. In fact, that is what you’d have to spend if you just get more than one complete season’s card set (and even that is no guarantee you will get all the dream team stars you want). I know several replay gamers, none of whom is satisfied to own only one season’s card set. UBTG’s “basic” price of $59.99, on the other hand, gets you everything you need (plus 21.99 for S & H). And you never have to worry about era-to-era distortions. What’s more, we often offer discounts of up to $10, and we offer premium packages with discounts (packages include our OFFICIAL PLAYER REGISTER, HOW TO WIN AT UBTG book, cap and t-shirt, etc.), which means you have access to great deals.
Conclusion: You’re getting a LOT when you buy UBTG!
Yes, many games claim to be realistic, but how well they deliver is subject to question. Again, we have produced a chart that compares other replay games to UBTG. I’ll summarize as follows.
UBTG’s pitch-by-pitch simulation alone affords gamers many more choices than exists in other replay games. The set of options available on every pitch (whether to bunt, take, steal, throw a dead-red strike, pitch around the batter, etc.) are either non-existent in other replay games (most of them don’t simulate each pitch) or are relatively devoid of any gamer-elected strategic intrigue.
UBTG also simulates several other plays we have found in no other simulation: gamer-elected attempt to advance just as a pickoff is being attempted on that runner (or on another runner); gamer-elected determination of direction of bunt; gamer-elected choice of whether to dive for a catch or play safer, containment defense, and many more.
UBTG simulates every double and triple play possible in real-life baseball, as well as every possible error. On some errors, gamers are given a choice as to whether to “prevent” it or not (e.g., letting a pop foul fall when there is a tag-and-run threatening at 3B). On some bunts that end up rolling close to the foul line, gamers must decide whether to field it or let it roll in hopes it will go foul. For more detail, feel free to browse our detailed designer’s notes [here]. We don’t want to denigrate the great tradition of replay games out there (APBA, STRAT, REPLAY, DYNASTY LEAGUE, and so on), but sometimes we are tempted to issue veteran replay gamers a challenge: are you afraid to try UBTG because you’re afraid you’ll have to manage plays that you are used to resolving simply by die rolls?
Be assured that UBTG teaches sound baseball strategy, and challenges gamers to make strategic choices on nearly every play.
First, you should definitely check out Ultimate Baseball The Game’s product description in our online store for a full list of features.
Here’s what comes in the game box:
– The basic Quick Start Guide which gets you playing Ultimate Baseball The Game easily and quickly.
– Complete rules, charts, supplements, and game pieces for all of your gaming needs.
– 30 Pitcher Rotation Charts so you can employ real baseball strategies like managing a pitching staff (this you have to see)!
– 60 score sheets (like the ones used in the pros), with a guide for advanced score keeping.
– 240 Player Cards representing Ultimate Baseball The Game’s top-ranked players of all time: includes 40 starters, 40 relievers, and 20 at each remaining position. There are enough Player Cards to accommodate at least a 4-team league (with plenty to spare). Each player is rated according to Ultimate Baseball The Game’s exclusive Player Rating System.
– A beautiful full-color game board (in 3 parts), including a diamond and several of the most commonly used charts and tables.
In short, you get a complete, self-contained awesomely realistic baseball board game that is worth its weight in endless hours of simulation fun and strategy!
We have published a blog post on game play time, but will summarize it here.
UBTG’s basic game is relatively simple and takes an hour or less. The advanced game takes about as long as a real-life baseball game. Unfortunately, many replay gamers are used to the traditional replay game standard of resolving entire at bats all at once by rolling the dice (involving little, if any, strategic intrigue). Many of them appear to be more interested in playing out entire seasons (often solitaire!) in the span of a few days or weekends. Some can play entire replays in 20-30 minutes. So, many of these gamers seem hesitant to buy into UBTG’s more detailed and rigorously strategic simulation.
UBTG, on the other hand, is a gamer’s game. That is, it is much like many of the role-playing and strategy games out there (Dungeons & Dragons, Civilization, etc.) and its focus is on strategic intrigue and interplay between gamers who are trying to outplay each other. Many such role-playing games can take several hours or even days to complete and their adherents are anything but bored!
Some replay gamers have questioned whether we ever get bored playing every pitch. All we can say is, we LOVE playing UBTG… experiencing the tension and excitement of every pitch and play, just as we love that same excitement in real-life baseball. UBTG really does feel like real baseball. The tension can get very thick! So, the answer is, no, we never get bored playing UBTG, and the playing time (just like real-life baseball) is all part of what makes UBTG the exciting simulation that it is. We hope you’ll give it a try.
If you love baseball or strategy gaming, we believe you’ll love UBTG!
UBTG is a very realistic baseball simulation and it features vintage stars from baseball’s recent to remote past. So, I suppose you can call it a kind of “replay” simulation. Nevertheless, UBTG is focused more on celebrating and simulating how individual players played baseball and how you as a gamer manage them in a dream team context more than how past teams or seasons fared or could have ended up. We’ve summarized many of the differences in these charts.
When you play UBTG, your Ted Williams card will play very much like how Ted Williams played in real life. Babe Ruth will hit more home runs than Pie Traynor. Jason Giambi will make more errors than Keith Hernandez. But you have to manage well or you will lose. So UBTG’s player cards and game parameters make for very realistic outcomes. Gamers must draft their dream teams from an all-star player pool and pit their players and their own managerial skills against a real-life opponent. You can see how Ruth would have fared against a Greg Maddux or a Pedro Martinez. It’s fun and addictive!
Check out what others are saying about UBTG. Our game truly is revolutionary–the dream game of dream team simulations. We hope you’ll join the revolution!