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!
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.
Here’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.
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!