How To Generate Random Dice Rolls Without Dice

How To Generate Random Dice Rolls Without Dice

Dice are the #1 choice playing board games when it’s necessary to generate random numbers.  Classic games like Monopoly, Yahtzee, Trouble, Backgammon, and hundred more use dice.  Naturally tabletop baseball board games such as Baseball Classics baseball game, Strat-o-matic, APBA, and many more require “rolling the bones” too.

Dice make a great choice because they are conveniently sized, typically last a long time, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes to generate many variations of random numbers.

With the popularity of more and more board games offered as a download, this presents a challenge.  Google is littered with people listing ways to generate random numbers without using dice or asking how it’s possible.  I decided to do some extra research to see what was being proposed to see what options were suggested.  In addition, I’m challenging myself to devise a system to generate random numbers by merely using 1 piece of paper to play Baseball Classics baseball game (which uses 3 six-sided dice and 1 binary die).

Here’s what I learned in my research.  Well, first some people are very funny!  Hilarious even with their witty comments and suggestions on this topic that Google surfaced.  I digress.

Here is a list of some of the suggestions (sans the witty banner) I came across on how to generate random numbers without dice:

  1. Use the random number key in a calculator
  2. Use a spreadsheet
  3. Open to random pages from big fat book (using the last number)
  4. Spinners
  5. Draw pieces of paper with numbers on them from a bag, hat, or coffee mug
  6. Write a computer software program
  7. A deck of playing cards
  8. Use your brain to think of numbers randomly 😉
  9. Ask someone to give you a random number
  10. Use a telephone directory, using last digit(s) of the phone number
  11. Use a stop watch or seconds hand of a clock/watch
  12. Dice simulators online
  13. Pop out numbers from an old key board, shake them in a cup

I’ve used a number of these suggestions to test playing Baseball Classics, the calculator and spreadsheet worked best.  Using a calculator is handy and quick, though takes extra button presses to generate the 3 six-sided dice and binary dice roll.  The one that is most effective is a spreadsheet using the RANDBETWEEN function in Excel (or other similar spreadsheet products).  I can assign a macro to it and just like that am 1 click away from generating the random numbers needed to play Baseball Classics.

Generating Random Dice Roll Numbers Using 1 Sheet of Paper

The system I needed to devise could only rely on a single sheet of paper to generate random dice rolls, nothing else in addition such as a bag, hat, calculator, cup, etc.

Sometimes the answer is right in front of us.  I used a combination of some of the suggestions listed above to create a way to generate random dice rolls using 1 piece of paper.  And I’m happy to report it doesn’t include writing 1 number on a equally torn piece of the paper and tossing them in the air or anything like that.

Since standard six-sided dice are most popular, I used them as the model for the end result to generate a dice roll for 1, 2, or up to 3 six-sided dice.  I thought about shapes like a hexagon (6-sided) putting 1-6 on each corner.  A hexagon with all sides and angles equal could be a card, rotating it, but just 1 card alone would essentially be like using a spinner.  Back to the drawing board…

I still like going with a card system, but not a deck of cards; too many to shuffle.  So then I thought about 3 hexagons, they would be easy to shuffle while rotating.  The corner that points to you is the random dice roll.  It’s that simple and fast to use.  Draw or print out the hexagons with numbers in each corner, cut them out and you have random dice rolls for 1, 2, or up to 3 six-sided dice using only 1 sheet of paper.  Next, what I designed to play using this system for Baseball Classics with 1 binary die and 3 six-sided dice with 1 sheet of paper.

Dice Cards: Playing Baseball Classics Baseball Game With No Dice

The binary die adds a wrinkle here, but one that was easily attainable to iron out.  By adding a ZERO or ONE to each hexagon card; that would make for an uneven distribution of the binary roll availability on the 3 cards.

Adding a 4th hexagon card would work, but as long as that needs to be done it’s an opportunity to add a bit more into the mix in the spirit of random dice roll generation.  By switching to an octagon and going with 6 cards, that would still be a very small number of cards to shuffle and rotate to determine each roll, while adding additional numbers equally distributed across all 6 cards.  They fit on a single sheet of paper, about size of your palm, a perfect fit!  Baseball Classics Dice Cards are born.

How To Use Baseball Classics Dice Cards

Baseball Classics Dice CardsPrint and cut out the 6 Baseball Classics Dice Cards.

To use: hold or place cards face down, next shuffle and rotate them.  Pick 3 dice cards, turning each one face up.  Each point on the 3 Dice Cards facing you is the number of the “dice roll”.  Add the 3 numbers and use the 3rd card for the result of the binary roll ZERO or ONE).

Example – Shuffle and rotate all 6 Dice Card face down.  Then pick and turn face up as follows: 3, 6, and 6 are the points facing you, this adds up to 15.  The 3rd card has a “ZERO” on it, that is the binary roll.  Refer to the pitcher card Roll 15 for the Result.  For the next “dice roll”, place the 3 cards back and repeat

Recommend printing your Dice Cards on 100 or 110 lb card stock, though heavy printer paper is fine too.

Playing with Baseball Classics Dice Cards is a fast and convenient way to play anywhere, anytime!  An added bonus is the build up of what the final roll will be as you reveal each card.  Definitely a lot faster than if you were to roll one die at a time to achieve the same type of suspense.

You can download your FREE Baseball Classics Dice Cards here in PDF format.

Check out Baseball Classics Print & Play format.  Choose any MLB teams or seasons from 1901 to the present, includes everything you need, just print and play!  Perfect match with Baseball Classics Dice Cards.

Let us know what you think, this system can be used to generate random dice rolls for your favorite board games too!

Top 5 Tips For Playing Baseball Board Games

Top 5 Tips For Playing Baseball Board Games

Avid tabletop baseball board game players seem to always come up with very smart, intuitive enhancements to the baseball games they play.  Here are 5 tips to help you no matter which baseball board games you play.  Enjoy!

Baseball Classics Tip with Calculator

5.  Put Your Play Charts In Your Phone

No need to bring your play charts with you, simply take pictures of your charts and such then access them from your phone when you need them.  With the ability to zoom in and scan from top to bottom, side to side on any pictures it’s a convenient way to forgo the need to have those game parts with you when you have a tight squeeze for playing space or are on the go.  A perfect way to make your game parts a travel companion when on flights or road trips (when someone else is driving!).  I have the Baseball Classics Play Chart and Fielding Grid on my iPhone in an Album.  It is easy to do, easy to access, easy to read, and another benefit is you can save them to disk.  This way they are accessible from other devices if you store them in the Cloud or copy them over and backed up.

4.  Use Scotch Tape to Protect Your Player Cards

A clever, inexpensive way to protect your player cards is using Scotch tape, in other words laminating them.  Use it for your favorite player cards to protect them and if you are up for laminating beyond those, then do it for those special teams you want to ensure aren’t ruined from an occasional drip from a beverage.

Try it on the front only or if you want full protection wrap each strip around one row at a time.  Either way, measure how much tape it will take to wrap around your player card and add 1/8” of an inch, then cut that length of tape.

With your player card face up gently place one end of the strip of Scotch tape just past the edge of your player card.  Use scissors to trim the remaining edges of tape.

3.  Use a Calculator Instead of Dice

Dice rolls are all about generating random numbers.  Many calculators, including those on your phone today include a Rand key that generates a random number.  I love this tip, it’s one I’ve used since I was a kid playing baseball board games and still works like a charm today.  It’s quick, quiet, and portable.

Rand TableHere’s how to use it for Baseball Classics, but you can apply the same method for any other type of baseball board games.  Check out this table, you can use it to play Baseball Classics.

Press the Rand button and say .001 through .500 is a roll on the pitcher card; otherwise it’s a roll on the batter card.

Press the Rand button again and use this table to determine the Roll based on the Rand number that comes up.  Notice the first Rand number in the table is .0046, the next is .0185, and so forth all the way to 1.000.

Here’s how to use this dice roll probability table; it’s simple.  Starting at the top row, any Rand result between .0001 up to .0046 is a roll of 3.  Looking ahead a Rand result between .5001 up to .6250 is a roll of 11.  Using this kind of table and a calculator with a Rand button you can really speed up the play of your baseball board games.

Here’s an example:  A Rand result of .7122 equates to the dice roll of 12.  That’s because a Roll of 12 on the table is any Rand result between .6251 up to .7407.

Check out this link, you can create a table that suits your baseball board game and the number of six-sided dice it uses.  http://alumnus.caltech.edu/~leif/FRP/probability.html

2.  Keep Score on 4” X 6” Index Cards

When I want to keep track of my games, especially including the stats I get a stack of 4” X 6” index cards.  It’s a perfect vehicle for writing the lineup on one side and flipping it over to put the other team’s lineup on.  It leaves plenty of room to keep track of your pitchers too after the lineup, including adding columns to enter the IP, H, BB, SO, R, and ER of each pitcher.

I place the game number in the upper right hand corner and using the technique I shared in Blog post How to Play Your Baseball Board Games Faster (section – Keeping Score Faster) it’s an easy and fast way to play your game faster while having it on these handy sized cards.

1.  Make Your Game Transportable

When you have the urge to play away from home, I find it best practice to pack up a “travel” version of your baseball board game.  Just like packing a suitcase for travel, I use the same principle here.  First decide what parts of your baseball game are essential to bring and then figure out what type of “suitcase” to protect it.

Naturally bringing your individual team player cards or team sheets is a must.  If your baseball game uses team sheets, consider making a photocopy of them to bring instead of the original.  Consider making photocopies of your charts, etc. too.  Typically when traveling with your game since you’re out of your usual playing element things happen like drinks spilling, food splatters, etc. and you don’t want to take that chance if you don’t have to.

The next best thing is to pick a “suitcase” for your game.  And like an actual suitcase something that is light, yet protective, and just the right size.  I’ve used anything from a quart size zip-lock bag for Baseball Classics (folding a copy of the Game Play Chart, Fielding Grid, dice, and holds a good number of teams), a tidy plastic container, a small box, and worst case a pocket in my brief case, suitcase, or travel bag.

Of course there’s re-creating your baseball game parts so they can then be accessed by your phone, tablet, or iPad.  This is the inspiration behind the Baseball Classics Scorefield Web App, so you have access to them anytime you have internet access.  A reminder, you can go to www.playbaseballclassics.com/mobile to play Baseball Classics anytime you have your player cards and an internet connection.

In order to avoid the “My mom threw out my baseball cards” experience, make sure you always keep your game tucked away in a safe place when not playing it.  Otherwise one day when you are in the mood to play it (and we all know that mood will strike you sooner or later), it will be waiting for you.  Then again, the reason I designed and created Baseball Classics baseball game was because my Mom did throw out all my baseball board games…so perhaps if that happens to you, you may be the next Baseball board game creator!

Share your favorite baseball board game tips below for all to see and even Tweet.  Don’t be shy, no tip is too small, they all add up!

How to Play Baseball Classics: Advanced Level – Fielding Grid

How to Play Baseball Classics: Advanced Level – Fielding Grid

1954 New York Giants WIllie Mays The CatchOne of the most iconic plays in Major League Baseball history was the incredible over the shoulder basket catch by New York Giants Willie Mays during Game 1 on a deep fly ball blasted off the bat by Vic Wertz of the Cleveland Indians in the 1954 World Series known as “The Catch”.  The ultimate when it comes to representing individual fielding play is in your Baseball Classics tabletop baseball board game play.

When it comes to fielding in Baseball Classics, take your baseball game play to the ground level by incorporating individual fielding.  This article introduces the Baseball Classics Fielding Grid for your game play in the Advanced play level.  The Fielding Grid tracks where the ball was put into fair play all the way to the warning track or foul grounds and which fielder makes the play or commits an error.

In our last article, we explained fielding ratings for each player, that all ratings are based on their actual MLB season performance.  Each player card has up to four different fielding positions.

Recapping our Baseball Classics full color theme, the ratings are color-coded symbols.  There are four rating levels as follows:

 Excellent rating      Very good rating      Fair rating      Poor rating

Players fielding ratings are in the upper right hand side located just to the right of their name.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid

The Baseball Classics Fielding Grid reveals where the baseball was put into play, who fields the baseball, and the type of Out.

The Fielding Grid is a baseball field layout including foul territory and extends all the way to the warning track.  The entire layout is on a grid with the top row and first column each consisting of the numbers 3 through 18 labeled as dice roll numbers using the standard six-sided dice.  The numbers are not in order from lowest to highest or highest to lowest, rather they are distributed based on mathematical equations adjacent to the grid field layout.

The Fielding Grid is organized into 9 areas, one for each of the 9 fielding positions.  Each area is divided by white lines and contains the number for the fielding position covering that area of play on in the grid.  In baseball, each fielding position is assigned a number as follows:

  • 1 = Pitcher
  • 2 = Catcher
  • 3 = First Base
  • 4 = Second Base
  • 5 = Third Base
  • 6 = Shortstop
  • 7 = Left Field
  • 8 = Center Field
  • 9 = Right Field

The Fielding Grid is lined with “dirt” designated by tan color and “grass” represented by dark green.  The play surface also contains a color-coded with light green, yellow, blue, and red square within each numbered position area.  These indicate an error on the play anytime the color square matches the fielding rating color of the player currently fielding that position area.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid

Individual Fielding Play

The Fielding Grid is your reference point whenever the batter puts the ball into play as a Result from ether the Batter or Pitcher player card is any type of out (shaded in red) or hit (shaded in green) with the exception of a Home Run.  Note – when the play Result is Strikeout (shaded in blue) or Walk (shaded in yellow), the Fielding Grid is not used.

When the dice roll of the play Result is an Out (highlighted in red, for example a Flyout), from either the batter or pitcher card, instead of using that type of Out listed on the player card, use the type of Out from that will be revealed in the Fielding Grid.

When the dice roll of the play Result is a Hit from the batter or pitcher card, you will always use that Hit instead of any Out from the Fielding Grid.

Determining where the ball is put into play

To see where the ball was put into play, use the first dice roll for the play Result from the batter or pitcher card, then make one additional roll.  The “intersection” of these 2 dice rolls pinpoint where the ball was put into play as well as if the ball was fielded cleanly or an error occurred.

Here’s how it works:

Once you have the play Result from the batter or pitcher card, follow these steps to see where the ball was put into play in the Fielding Grid:

– Roll all 4 dice to get your first intersection point

– White binary die = 0

Start your cross-reference point on the far left column on the grid with the number from the six-sided dice, this is your starting cross-reference point.  Then roll the six-sided dice and refer to the intersection point on the grid from the top row as your ending cross-reference point.

OR

– White binary die = 1

Start your cross-reference point on the top row on the grid with the number from the six-sided dice, this is your starting cross-reference point.  Then roll the six-sided dice and refer to the intersection point on the grid from the far left column as your ending cross-reference point.

When the play Result is an Out

Whenever the Result from a player card is highlighted in red, the ball is put into play as an Out, unless an error occurs. Instead of using the type of out from the Result listed on the player card, the Fielding Grid will reveal the type of out. If the type of out listed on the player card from the Result is a Double Play, Groundout*, or (Flyout) then play as follows:

Double Play – If the intersection from the 2 dice rolls is not in zone 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 and instead is in zone 7, 8, or 9 then with any runner on base, it is an outfield Double Play, lead runner and batter are out.

Groundout* – If ball not hit to zone 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, roll again.

(Flyout) – If ball not hit to zone 7, 8, or 9, roll again.

When the play Result is an Error

When the dice rolls intersection point lands on a light green, yellow, blue, or red square then check the fielding rating for the player at that position on defense.  If it matches the color square, then an error has occurred.  For example if the intersection is a red square in area 5, check the rating of current Third baseman and if his rating is red (q), an error has occurred.  However if not, then the Hit or Out is fielded without an error.

If the play Result from the batter or pitcher card was a Hit and an error has occurred, the batter is awarded that hit plus an error occurs in addition to the play.

When an error has occurred, roll all 3 six-sided dice again and refer to the Error Chart to see what type of base error the team has committed. Note if the play was an “Infield Play” or and “Outfield Play” to see if it’s a 1 base, 2 base, or 3 base error.  When a batter reaches base due to an error, the team on offense may attempt to send any base runners an extra base just like they would if it was a hit.

Let’s walk through some play examples using the Fielding Grid using these 3 player cards:  at the plate is 2012 New York Yankees Derek Jeter, he’s facing 1975 Boston Red Sox Luis Tiant pitching, and in the field at Thirdbase is Rico Petrocelli.

Baseball Classics Player Cards Derek Jeter, Luis Tiant, Rico Petrocelli

Play Example 1 – Groundout Second Baseman, no error on the play

No runners on base.

Roll the white binary die and 3 six-sided dice to see the play Result: 0, 14 (6, 6, 2).  Referencing Luis Tiant’s card, the Result is Groundout.  Using this dice roll, refer to the Fielding Grid far left column, number 14.

Roll all 4 to get the first intersection on the Fielding Grid, roll is: 0, 14 (3, 6, 5)

Now roll the 3 six-sided dice, the roll is 7 (2, 2, 3).  Cross-reference 7 from the top row with 14 from the far left column and the Fielding Grid Result is “GO” (Groundout) to the 2nd Baseman fielded without an error.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid Example 1

Play Example 2 – Double to centerfield, no error on the play

No runners on base.

Roll the white binary die and 3 six-sided dice to see the play Result: 1, 15 (3, 6, 6).  Referencing Derek Jeter’s card, the Result is Double.

Roll all 4 to get the first intersection on the Fielding Grid, roll is: 1, 15 (6, 4, 5).  Refer to the Fielding Grid top row, number 15.  Since the Result is a Double, that is the play Result that will be used on the Fielding Grid.

Now roll the 3 six-sided dice to get the second cross-reference point, the roll is 8 (3, 2, 3).  Cross-reference 8 from the far left column with 15 from the top row and the Double is fielded without an error.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid Example 2

Play Example 3  – Error on a Popout play at Thirdbase

No runners on base.

Roll the white binary die and 3 six-sided dice to see the play Result: 1, 3 (1, 1, 1).  Referencing Derek Jeter’s card, the Result is (Flyout).  Using this dice roll, refer to the Fielding Grid top row, number 3.

Now roll the 3 six-sided dice to get the second cross-reference point, the roll is 14 (4, 4, 6).  Cross-reference 14 from the far left column with 3 from the top row and PO (Popout) shaded in yellow is the result.  Since the result is on one of the 4 colors that could result in an error, we need to check Third Baseman Rico Petrocelli’s Thirdbase fielding rating.  His rating is yellow, since it matches the color that was landed on in the grid, the result is an error.

Next roll all 3 six-sided dice and lookup the type of error on the Error chart.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid Example 3

Play Example 4  – Groundout Double Play without an error

Runners on 1st Base, 1 out.

Roll the white binary die and 3 six-sided dice to see the play Result: 1, 6 (1, 3, 2).  Referencing Derek Jeter’s card, the Result is Double Play.  A double play is now in order.

Now roll the 4 dice again to get the first cross-reference point, the roll is 0, 10 (5, 1, 4), refer to the Fielding Grid far left column, number 10.

Now roll the 3 six-sided dice for the second cross-reference point, the roll is 9 (3, 3, 3).  Cross-reference 9 from the top row with 10 from the far left column and LO (Lineout) is the result.  Since a double play is in order, the batter hits into a lineout to Third Baseman Rico Petrocelli and the lead runner (at 1st Base in this example) is picked off.

Baseball Classics Fielding Grid Example 4

 

In this article on Individual Fielding in the Baseball Classics baseball game Advanced play level, we reviewed individual fielding and to play using the Baseball Classics Fielding Grid.  Two dice rolls are plotted on the grid to determine which of the 9 areas the ball is put into play and if the Result is an Out, the type of out as well is if the play was fielded cleanly or there was an error.  If the intersection is on one of the highlighted squares on the grid, refer to the position player’s fielding rating to determine if the play was fielded cleanly or there was an error on the play.  If the highlighted square on the grid matches that fielder’s rating, there is an error, roll again and refer to the Baseball Classics Error chart for the type of error committed.

The next article, will be our 7th in this series of How To Play Baseball Classics as we continue to focus on the Advanced play level.  It will explore how virtually anything that can happen in a Major League Baseball game can happen in Baseball Classics when using the Play Action Simulator.

Which fielding method do you prefer, team or individual based?  Please share your comments, questions, and feedback.

How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Team Fielding

How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Team Fielding

Some of the greatest players of all-time in Major League Baseball history received their glory due to their ability to field their position with excellence.  Brooks Robinson comes to mind among many that developed an outstanding reputation for his glove more than his bat.  He was a master at his craft.

Baltimore Orioles Brooks Robinson

Some would argue fielding in baseball is as important as hitting, if not more so.  Regardless of your position in that debate, it is safe to say that fielding is crucial in any Major League Baseball game.  It’s just as important when playing Baseball Classics next generation baseball board game as well.  That is why we offer two fielding options to play Baseball Classics; one is with our straight-forward Team Fielding & Error Chart and another is with our Individual Fielding Grid for those who want to see where the ball is put into play and if it was handled with or without an error by that player.

This article will cover fielding using the Team Baseball Classics Fielding & Error Chart and a subsequent post will explore the usage of the Individual Baseball Classics Fielding Grid.

In Baseball Classics baseball game Intermediate play level you determine just how valuable fielding is to you when creating your lineup.  This adds another level strategic thinking to your play.  Each player card has one or more Fielding ratings.  All ratings are based on their actual MLB season performance.

Keeping with the consistent easy to play full color theme, the ratings are color-coded symbols.  There are four rating levels as follows:

 Excellent rating      Very good rating      Fair rating      Poor rating

Players fielding ratings are in the upper right hand side located just to the right of their name.

Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart

The Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart has the same look and feel format of our colorful next generation player cards and uses the same lookup when looking up the results of your play actions.  There are 5 columns including the Roll and one for each red, yellow, blue, and red symbol rating.  To the right of the Fielding & Error charts there is a Legend for each.  Note the colors and symbols used to indicate whether a fielding play has been made with or without an error.

Baseball Classics Team Fielding Chart

Team Fielding Play

The Fielding & Error charts in the Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart is your reference point whenever the ball is put into play.  This includes any of the following fielding plays:

  • Groundout
  • Popout
  • Lineout
  • Flyout
  • Double Play
  • Triple Play
  • Single
  • Double
  • Triple
  • Bunt
  • Steal
  • Base Running

Immediately after any of these play results occur, the team on defense rolls all 3 six-sided dice to determine if that play was fielded cleanly or an error occurred by referencing the Fielding chart based on the team’s collective fielding rating.  If there is no error on the play, then continue with the next play or at bat.  However, if an error has occurred, the team on defense rolls again to determine if the error is a 1-base, 2-base, or 3-base error.

In Team Fielding Play, individual fielding ratings of every position player are very important. Each fielders rating symbol are weighted using the following values:

(1) (2) (3) (4)

Add up the values by position to determine the Team’s Fielding Rating. For example, the position players have the following ratings:

Pitcher

Catcher

First baseman

Second baseman

Third baseman

Shortstop

Leftfield

Centerfield

Rightfield

Based on these ratings this Team’s Fielding Rating is 20. (3+1+2+1+2+4+2+3+2 = 20) A 20 is a Blue rating (see the Fielding Chart Legend in the Baseball Classics Game Play Chart).

After each fielding play roll all 3 six-sided dice and look up the outcome based on the Team’s Fielding rating color in the Fielding Chart. If the dice roll equals the color square in that column, an error has occurred.

If an error has occurred, roll all 3 six-sided dice again and refer to the Error Chart to see what type of base error the team has committed. Note if the play was an “Infield Play” or and “Outfield Play” to see if it’s a 1 base, 2 base, or 3 base error.  When a batter reaches base due to an error, the team on offense may attempt to send any base runners an extra base just like they would if it was a hit.

Remember to re-calculate the team’s fielding rating anytime you make a position player substitution during the game.

Play Example 1 – Flyout, no error on the play

No runners on base, the team on defense has a collective rating of 12 points (Green Team Fielding rating).  The Result is a Flyout.

Roll all 3 six-sided dice to see if the play was fielded without an error, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 14 (6, 6, 2)

Referencing the Fielding chart, under the Roll column to 14, then looking under the Green rating column, a roll of 14 is a white filled square.  The Fielding chart Legend indicates “No error on play”.

 

Play Example 2 – Double Play, no error on the play

Runner on 1st Base, the team on defense has a collective rating of 15 points (Yellow Team Fielding rating).  The Result is a Double Play.

Roll all 3 six-sided dice to see if the play was fielded without an error, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 11 (4, 2, 5)

Referencing the Fielding chart, under the Roll column to 11, then looking under the Yellow rating column, a roll of 11 is a white filled square.  The Fielding chart Legend indicates “No error on play”.  That first out was fielded cleanly and is applied towards the base runner who was heading to 2nd Base.

Next, roll all 3 six-sided dice again to see if the second out in the Double Play was fielded cleanly.  Standard six-sided dice total 16 (5, 6, 5)  A reference of the Fielding chart and lookup based on the Yellow column indicates the second out has been recorded successfully.

 

Play Example 3  – Single plus error on the play

Runner on 2nd Base, the team on defense has a collective rating of 27 points (Red Team Fielding rating).  The Result is a Single, putting runners on 1st and 3rd Base.

Roll all 3 six-sided dice to see if the play was fielded without an error, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 16 (4, 6, 6)

Referencing the Fielding chart, under the Roll column to 16, then looking under the Red rating column, a roll of 16 is a red filled square.  The Fielding chart Legend indicates “Error for fielding rating 25 points & up, else no error on play”.

Next, roll all 3 six-sided dice again to see what type of error occurred when the team on defense fielded the Single.  Standard six-sided dice total 7 (1, 3, 3), a reference of the Error chart and lookup based on the Red column indicates “1 Base Error” has occurred on the play, thus moving both base runners 1 extra base.  The runner on 3rd Base scores and the runner on 1st Base advances to 2nd Base.

 

In this article on Team Fielding in the Baseball Classics baseball game Intermediate play level, we covered how important it is to consider the impact of fielding when building your lineup through the easy color-coded, symbolic rating system.  After adding up the total of the team’s defensive point rating, that rating is used to determine if a infield or outfield play was fielded cleanly by referencing the Baseball Classics Fielding and Error charts.  It’s remarkable how one player in your lineup can make or break the defense rating to the next level up or down.  Team Fielding adds a very exciting element to every play all the way to the last out.  It’s easy and fast to use in Baseball Classics.  However if you want to get down to the individual player level, stay tuned for our next article.

The next article, will be our 6th in this series of How To Play Baseball Classics as we focus on the Advanced play level.  I will delve into the 2nd fielding option we offer in Baseball Classics; individual fielding through the use of the Baseball Classics color-coded Fielding Grid.

We always appreciate hearing from our readers, please share your questions, comments, and thoughts on playing Baseball Classics with fielding.

How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Bunting

How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Bunting

Though bunting seems to becoming a lost art, let’s rediscover this fine hidden gem and how to use it when playing Baseball Classics baseball game.

The second of three playing levels available in Baseball Classics is the Intermediate play level.  This level includes everything in the Beginning play level (see Blog post How to Play Baseball Classics: Beginning Level) and adds more baseball fundamentals to enjoy to your play, tapping into more strategic moves including bunting, base stealing, base running, and fielding.

All batter player cards contain individual ratings for bunting, base stealing, base running, and fielding while pitcher cards also contain individual fielding ratings.  All ratings are based on their actual MLB season performance.

Keeping with the consistent easy to play in full color theme, the ratings are color-coded symbols.  There are four rating levels as follows:

 Excellent rating      Very good rating      Fair rating      Poor rating

Each batter’s bunt, steal, and base running rating are grouped to the left just below the name of the player and team.  There are up to four different positions listed for each batter card and one per pitcher card for how they field their position.

In this article I will cover how to play using bunting in Baseball Classics baseball game and provide several play examples.

Bunting

The team on offense can call a bunt anytime prior to rolling the dice for the current player’s at bat and there are less than 2 outs.  There are 3 types of bunts available in Baseball Classics depending upon the game situation.  Let’s review them.

Sacrifice Bunt – The batter is attempting to move any base runner(s) up 1 base in exchange for being thrown out at 1st Base.

Suicide Squeeze Bunt – The batter must be attempting to move a base runner on 3rd Base to Home safely in exchange for being thrown out at 1st Base.

Safety Squeeze Bunt – The batter must be attempting to move a base runner on 3rd Base to Home safely in exchange for being thrown out at 1st Base.  There are 2 differences between this type of bunt and a suicide squeeze bunt.

1)    if a batter strikes out, the base runner on 3rd holds and is not forced to steal home.  See play example 4 below.

2)    a safety squeeze is successful only when the result is a green box with a check mark; a result of a green box with a black dot in the center is considered a foul ball.

The Baseball Classics Play Chart contains a Bunting Chart and Legend.  After either a sacrifice or suicide squeeze bunt is called, roll the 3 six-sided color dice and refer to the Bunting chart for the result based on the sum of the dice total for that batter’s Bunt rating on his card.  The Legend states the meaning of each color-coded square in the Bunting chart.

75 MorganLet’s use the following 1975 Joe Morgan Cincinnati Reds player card for the following play examples.  He has a yellow bunt rating.

Play Example 1 – Attempted sacrifice bunt result is a successful

1 out, base runner on 1st Base, a sacrifice bunt is called by the team at bat.

With a roll of all 3 six-sided dice, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 7 (2, 3, 2)

Looking under the Yellow rating column, a roll of 13 is a red filled square with a DP.  The Legend indicates this is a “Sacrifice bunt, otherwise foul ball”.  Since a sacrifice bunt was called, it is a successful sacrifice bunt.  However if a Suicide Squeeze bunt was called, it would have been a foul ball.

 

Play Example 2 – Attempted sacrifice bunt result is not successful

1 out, base runner on 2nd Base, a sacrifice bunt is called by the team at bat.

With a roll of all 3 six-sided dice, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 11 (4, 4, 3)

The result is a GO when cross-referenced in the Yellow rating column.  The Legend indicates a GO as a Groundout.  The team in the field applies one the options available listed in the Baseball Classics Groundout Result Table located in the Field Manager’s Rulebook.

 

Play Example 3 – Bunt result is a double play on an attempted suicide squeeze

1 out, base runner on 3rd Base, a suicide squeeze bunt is called by the team at bat.

With a roll of all 3 six-sided dice, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 13 (6, 3, 4)

The result is a DP when cross-referenced in the Yellow rating column.  The Legend indicates a DP as a Double Play.  In the case of bunting with a DP, it is a popout so the batter is automatically out and the runner coming Home is out as well, doubled off from 3rd Base.  The same result holds true when attempting a sacrifice bunt and DP is the result, both the lead base runner and batter are out with less than 2 outs.

 

Play Example 4 – Sacrifice bunt result is a strikeout

1 out, base runner on 2nd Base, a sacrifice bunt is called by the team at bat.

With a roll of all 3 six-sided dice, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 8 (2, 4, 2)

The result under the Yellow bunt rating is a Suicide squeeze bunt, otherwise foul ball.  Since a sacrifice bunt was called, it is a foul ball, thus strike 1 on the batter.  The team at bat may elect to take the bunt off and swing away, however let’s proceed with another sacrifice bunt attempt in this at bat.  A roll of (6,1,1) is another 8 which means this is strike 2 on the batter.  Again, the team at bat may elect to swing away, but should they choose to continue attempt to sacrifice again they may, a very risky move, though could pay off.  A third dice roll of (2, 5, 1) is another 8.  In this case the risky move does not pay off.  This would be a strikeout, as the result is another foul ball.  Since MLB rules apply, a batter attempting any type of bunt with 2 strikes and fouling the ball is out via a strikeout.  In this example the batter is out and the base runner on 3rd Base must attempt to steal the base.

 

Next let’s look at how base stealing is played in the next Blog post article titled “How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Base Stealing and Running”.  When you manage your team, do like to bunt and when or do you feel bunting has gone by the way side in today’s modern Major League Baseball play?  Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

How to Play Baseball Classics: Basic Level

How to Play Baseball Classics: Basic Level

Baseball Classics is a tabletop baseball board game played with dice featuring the realism of Major League Baseball with full color individual player cards generating accurate results based on each player’s actual season performance.  There are 3 playing levels; Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced thus any baseball fans from ages 8 to adult can enjoy.  All standard Major League Baseball rules apply to Baseball Classics game play at all levels.

Baseball Classics Scorefield

Basic Play level follows standard baseball rules and includes only the most basic plays such as double plays and sacrifice flyouts. Little League players are familiar with these concepts.

Intermediate Play level adapts Basic play level and includes bunting, base stealing, and base running. Casual baseball fans will enjoy these aspects of the game.

Advanced Play level adapts Basic and Intermediate play levels and includes fielding, hit & run, as well as virtually anything that can happen in a Major League Baseball Game.  Plays such as pitch outs, wild pitches, rain delays or rain outs, arguing with the umpire, injuries, and more are incorporated in this level. Expert baseball fans will appreciate the attention to detail in this level.

Use the same player cards for all levels—no need to purchase different player cards for each play level. From youth baseball to expert baseball fan, Baseball Classics gives you everything you need for realistic MLB game action.

This article will highlight how to play using the Basic level and provide game play examples providing a jumpstart.

The Basic level is the fastest way to play Baseball Classics baseball game. The player performance results are just as accurate in this level of play as they are in Intermediate or Advanced play levels.  There are no charts involved, simply use the player cards and dice to play.

Baseball Classics Dice

There 3 are standard six-sided same colored dice and one white binary die with either a 0 or 1.  These 4 dice are used to play for all levels of Baseball Classics.  A great side benefit for the baseball youth is how beneficial it is for the math skills while adding up the various combinations of the 3 six-sided dice rolls.  See the Blog entry I posted on January 2nd, 2013 on “Baseball Board Games Generate Brain Power” for more on this valuable topic.

A good way to remember that a 0 is for the pitcher card and 1 is for the batter card is a 0 is the shape a baseball ball that a pitcher throws and a 1 is the shape of a baseball bat used by the batter.

Baseball Classics Player Cards

There are two types of Baseball Classics player cards; one for the batters and one for the pitchers.  Each at bat the batter will face the current pitcher.  A graphic image in the upper right hand corner of each player card simply shows if the card is a batter card of a pitcher card.  Another indicator besides the batter or pitcher graphic image is the position or positions for that player are listed just under the image.

There are 3 columns in the center of each card, Roll, Result, and Stats.  The Roll column lists numbers 3 through 18, more on this in the next section.  The Result column lists the possible color-coded outcomes, these have been generated based on each player’s actual MLB playing statistics.  The Batter and Pitcher Stats column is your reference guide for how the play performed that season.

Each Baseball Classics batter cards can list a range of various fundamental outcomes such as Groundout, Flyout, Popout, Lineout, Double Play, (Flyout), Strikeout, Walk, Single, Double, Triple, and Home Run.  The difference between a Flyout and (Flyout) is all base runners hold on a Flyout, and any base runner on 3rd base scores on a (Flyout) with less than 2 outs, also known as a sacrifice flyout.

Baseball Classics pitcher cards offer the same possible outcomes with the exception of (Flyout) and Double Play.  In addition, the pitcher card includes a Groundout* and Triple Play.  A Groundout* indicates any base runners advance 1 base with less than two outs.  A Triple Play indicates that the inning is over if there are at least 2 base runners, or if 1 base runner it is scored as a Double Play.  If no base runners, it is scored as 1 out recorded.

Another indicator of a possible Triple Play on the Pitchers card is when a Result outcome is surrounded by brackets, for example <Groundout>.  When an outcome has brackets the white binary die must be rolled.  If a 0 then the play outcome is the same as Triple Play, otherwise the outcome is as indicated within the brackets.

How To Play

It’s very easy and fast to play Baseball Classics baseball game.  Play solitaire or against an opponent.  Make your lineups and choose the starting pitchers and you’re ready to play.  You can use the Baseball Classics Scorefield to keep track of the outs, innings, score, and base runners.

The current batter in the lineup faces the opposing team’s pitcher.  Roll all 4 dice and if the white binary die is a 0, refer to the pitcher’s card for the Result, otherwise if it is a 1 refer to the batter’s card.  Add up the 3 six-sided dice and lookup the Result next to it for the play outcome.

In the Basic play level any base runner(s) only advance as many bases as the batter.

5 Play Examples

Posey Ellis Beginner Play ExampleOne of the many benefits that Baseball Classics offers that no other baseball board game does is the opportunity to order any MLB teams or seasons since 1901 to the present.  Let’s use the 2012 Buster Posey San Francisco Giants batter card and 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates Dock Ellis pitcher card for some Basic play level examples.

Play Example 1 – Result is a Strikeout

With a roll of all 4 dice, we have the following:

Binary is 0

Standard six-sided dice total 5 (2, 1, 2)

With a binary dice of 0 we go to the pitcher’s card, the play outcome Result next to a Roll of 5 for Dock Ellis is Strikeout. 

 

Play Example 2 – Result is a Groundout

With a roll of all 4 dice, we have the following:

Binary is 1

Standard six-sided dice total 10 (3, 3, 4)

With a binary dice of 1 we go to the batter’s card, the play outcome Result next to a Roll of 10 for Buster Posey is Groundout.

Let’s say there were no base runners and 2 outs.  Buster Posey grounds out and the inning is over.  However if there was a runner on 1st Base with less than 2 outs you could either elect to force out the runner at 2nd Base and Buster Posey reaches on a fielder’s choice or instead throw out Buster Posey at 1st Base and allow the runner that was on 1st Base to safely reach 2nd Base.

The Field Manager’s Rulebook has a detailed section explaining the various Groundout options available to the team in the field with any base runner(s) and less than two outs.

 

Play Example 3 – Result is a Home Run

With a roll of all 4 dice, we have the following:

Binary is 1

Standard six-sided dice total 6 (1, 2, 3)

With a binary dice of 1 we go to the batter’s card, the Result next to a Roll of 6 for Buster Posey is Home Run.

 

Play Example 4 – Result is a Double Play

With a roll of all 4 dice, we have the following:

Binary is 1

Standard six-sided dice total 17 (6, 5, 6)

With a binary dice of 1 we go to the batter’s card, the Result next to a Roll of 17 for Buster Posey is Double Play.

Let’s say there was a runner on 1st Base with no outs, then the Double Play outcome is rolled from Buster Posey’s player card.  Then the runner on 1st base is forced out at 2nd base and Buster Posey is thrown out at 1st base.  Anytime base runners are in a force out situation and there are less than 2 outs, the Double Play is in order.

When any base runner(s) are not in a force out situation, a Double Play is not in order.  Thus the Result changes from Double Play to Groundout.

The Field Manager’s Rulebook has a detailed section explaining the various Double Play options available to the team in the field with any base runner(s) and less than two outs.

Play Example 5 – Result is a Groundout*

With a roll of all 4 dice, we have the following:

Binary is 0

Standard six-sided dice total 14 (2, 6, 6)

With a binary dice of 0 we go to the pitcher’s card, the play outcome Result next to a Roll of 14 for Dock Ellis is Groundout*.

Let’s say there was a runner on 2nd Base with one out.  The batter grounds out, though the base runner on 2nd Base advances to 3rd Base safely.

 

In summary here’s what we covered in this Baseball Classics Blog post:

  • There are 3 play levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced
  • The Baseball Classics player cards are used for any of the levels of play
  • The Basic level uses the basic level of Major League Baseball play
  • Player outcome accuracy is just as high as any other play level in Baseball Classics
  • It is the fastest level to play, almost every outcome is determined with 1 roll of the dice
  • It is the easiest to play level since there are no charts
  • We used 5 Play Examples to showcase the simplicity of using the dice for baseball game flow and how to play using basic to some decision-making options with Double Plays
  • The Field Manager’s Rulebook provides a detailed guide of how to play Baseball Classics baseball game.  It is available as a free download from our Resource section at playbaseballclassics.com/gameresources

We always love to hear from baseball fans with comments or questions.  Post yours in the comment section here and I will reply back here.  I highly encourage your comments and questions below.  They will be very helpful for all baseball fans learning and wanting to enjoy baseball board game play with Baseball Classics.  For those that are new to Baseball Classics, you can sign up for our monthly Newsletter and receive a Free download of Baseball Classics to try out.  Join the thousands who have done so, we welcome you to be a part of our Baseball Classics community.