(also see http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/btf/pages/basesim/somrules.htm)
Introduction
Welcome to Strat-O-Matic. We are proud of our reputation as the baseball simulation with an unequalled combination of ease of play, baseball realism and statistical accuracy.
Like such classic games as chess, Trivial Pursuit, Othello, and baseball itself, Strat-O-Matic baseball is easy to learn, yet can provide a lifetime of challenge. Since 1961, when Strat-O-Matic baseball made its debut, the game has been enjoyed by children and adults. Many have played Strat-O-Matic for more than 30 years!
Strat-O-Matic baseball is really three games in one: Basic, Advanced and Super Advanced. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the Basic game first, then add as many Advanced or Super Advanced options as you wish, depending on the amount of strategy and statistical precision you enjoy. Many adults still prefer the simplicity of the Basic game, while others want all the strategy possible. The choice is yours!
In the options below, the Advanced and Super Advanced rules often supplement the Basic instructions, so it is worthwhile to learn the Basic rules even if you intend to play in a more advanced way.
In other instances, please note that rules (especially for fielding and baserunning) for Advanced and Super Advanced play differ significantly. More than the other Strat-O-Matic game versions, Super Advanced play tries to account for the wide variety of circumstances that can occur in a big-league game. So the outcome of a play in Super Advanced Strat-O-Matic may differ depending on whether you are reading similar results from a player card or from a chart.
In every case, the heart and soul of the Strat-O-Matic board game are the individual player cards (a two-sided card for each player, one for Basic play and the other for Advanced/Super Advanced play) and the dice (three 6-sided dice and one 20-sided die).
Ease of Play
Your game includes several easy-to-use charts. Easier still, more than 80 percent of the results come directly from the player cards themselves. As you play the game more often, you will notice that the hits on the player cards are grouped in familiar patterns. This makes it easier to evaluate a player's skill and to play the game without delays. But it also adds excitement as you anticipate a pitch (the dice roll) that the batter loves to hit!
Your first games probably will be much slower as you learn the rules, the cards and the charts, but it is common for experienced players to complete a game of Basic Strat-O-Matic in 20 minutes or less, and to complete a game of Advanced or Super Advanced Strat-O-Matic in 30 minutes or less. Because of this, many who play Strat-O-Matic can play a complete season for one team or even a whole league!
Baseball Realism
You will make all the decisions a major-league manager must make - creating a batting order; deciding when to swing away, bunt or steal; deciding when to bring in a relief pitcher or a pinch-hitter, and more. You must decide whether a certain pitcher is best against your opponent of the day, and whether your starting lineup would be best with a slugger or a slick defensive player at a key position.
In Basic Strat-O-Matic, each batter is rated for his ability to reproduce his batting average and power, walks and strikeouts, how often he hits into double plays, and his overall fielding. He has separate ratings for his stolen bases and his ability to take extra bases on teammates' hits.
Each pitcher is rated for how often he allows hits and walks, how often he strikes batters out, his fielding ability and his batting ability.
In Advanced and Super Advanced Strat-O-Matic, batters are rated additionally for their abilities at bunting and the hit-and-run, their ability to hit in the clutch and how often they are hit by pitches. There is a more precise stolen-base system. And there is a much more advanced fielding system, with separate ratings for range, errors, throwing arms and passed balls.
Additional pitcher ratings in Advanced and Super Advanced Strat-O-Matic include ratings for endurance, balks, wild pitches, ability to prevent stolen bases and ability to make opposing batters ground into double plays. There are separate ratings for fielding range and errors. Pitcher batting is more detailed, too, including individual ratings for batting average, power and bunting. Individual baserunning and stealing ratings for some pitchers are found on the roster sheet.
In Super Advanced Strat-O-Matic, performance may be affected by the major-league ballpark the game is played in, and even the weather.
Most important, the Advanced side of each player card shows how each player will do against left-handed and right-handed opponents. When you play Strat-O-Matic this way, you can make the pinch-hitting and relief-pitching decisions with all the strategy that big-league managers must consider.
In these ways, each player card truly is individual. On a single play, or in the short run, a lucky or "hot" weaker player may outperform an unlucky or slumping superior player, just as in big-league baseball. Additionally, some players may gain or lose effectiveness against a certain opponent or in a certain ballpark. It is up to you to decide who to play and when.
Best of all, you get all of these features by rolling the dice just once or twice each time a player bats. It's really that easy.
Because we make it so fun to play one game after another, you may join the thousands of gamers who say that Strat-O-Matic has taught them the most about big-league baseball. Now, you can learn as much about each player on other teams as you know about your home team. You might even learn a good bit more than you thought you knew about your favorite players!
And with our wide selection of oldtimer teams and seasons, Strat-O-Matic is also an enjoyable way to learn about baseball history. In fact, our extensive research into historical seasons has unearthed statistics that no one ever compiled before (such as lefty-righty differences for pre-1980s seasons, and doubles and triples allowed by pitchers).
Statistical Accuracy
We are extremely proud that we can offer you a game so easy and so fun that also delivers life-like accuracy with baseball statistics. This is true because each player has his own card and because each outcome is determined by a roll (or two) of the dice.
Dice are fun to roll, but they also provide the statistical accuracy, because certain dice combinations are more likely than others. For instance, when you roll two 6-sided dice and add them together, it is much more likely that you will roll a 6, 7, or 8 than a 2, 3, 11, or 12.
So, high-average batters will have more of their hits on 6, 7 and 8 than low-average hitters. The same is true for doubles, triples, home runs, walks, strikeouts and double plays.
Getting Started
All rules of baseball apply to Strat-O-Matic, so use them in the unlikely event that you encounter something not covered in these instructions.
A game of Strat-O-Matic may be played solitaire or by a group of people. The examples below assume you are playing the most popular way, one person against another.
GAME PARTS: Your game comes with complete teams of real major leaguers, four dice (one white 6-sided die, two colored 6-sided dice and one 20-sided die), a playing field, four markers to locate baserunners and the number of outs, several scoresheets, 8 pitchers' hitting cards, a two-sided strategy chart, and separate fielding charts for Basic, Advanced and Super Advanced play. You should also find two charts with ballpark effects and weather effects (for Super Advanced play) and a roster sheet for each season of cards you received. Some important player ratings are included on the roster sheet.
SETUP: Each person chooses a team. Referring to the information at the top of each player card, select a starting pitcher and one player for each of the other positions. To play a position, a player must have that position shown on his card (if you are using the designated hitter, any player may be the DH). The statistics at the bottom of each player's Basic card will tell you who played most and which players were most effective. These are the statistics that Strat-O-Matic uses to create each player's card and you may wish to use them to guide your lineup selections.
Place the pitcher in the box containing the picture of a pitcher on the playing field. For his batting card, choose one of the 8 pitcher's hitting cards, taking care to select the card that matches the batting number found in the upper right corner of the pitcher you chose to start the game.
Arrange the batters in the starting lineup (including the proper pitcher's hitting card) in a batting order, with the first batter on top of the stack. Keep the reserves separate.
The team in the field should display its pitcher in plain view. The batting team should put the current batter in plain view. The batting team rolls the dice.
You are ready to play Strat-O-Matic baseball!
The Basic Game
(1.0) How to read the dice and cards
Typically, each batter's roll involves all three 6-sided dice. The 20-sided die is used for secondary rolls (such as "split chances," fielding and baserunning).
When rolling the three 6-sided dice, read the white die first, then add the two colored dice together. If the white die comes up 1, 2, or 3, refer to the appropriate column on the batter's card. If it is 4, 5, or 6, refer to the pitcher's card. The two colored dice will total 2 through 12. Cross-reference the sum of the colored dice with the appropriate line in the correct column.
Example: A white 3, a colored 2 and a colored 6 would be read as 3-8 (batter's column No. 3, result No. 8). A white 4, a colored 1 and a colored 5 would be read as 4-6 (pitcher's column No. 4, result No. 6).
Using the players whose cards are pictured here, let's say that Lefty Gomez is pitching to Al Simmons. If the dice roll is a white 1 and the colored dice total 4, the result is read as 1-4 and is found in column 1 of Simmons' batting card: HOMERUN. If the white die had been a 4, however, the result is read as 4-4 and we would look on Gomez' pitching card: STRIKEOUT.
Splits: Some readings on the player cards require a second roll. These add drama and statistical accuracy.
Using Al Simmons again, say the roll was 1-5 instead of 1-4. Instead of an "automatic" HOMERUN, the result would be HOMERUN 1-10, DOUBLE 11-20. Roll the 20-sided die. If the number falls within the range of 1 to 10, it is a homerun; if it falls within the range of 11 to 20, it is a double.
Many card readings are self-explanatory (WALK, strikeout, popout, foulout). But others are resolved differently depending on whether you are playing Basic, Advanced or Super Advanced Strat-O-Matic.
(2.0) Runner advancement on hits
(2.1) Baserunners advance 1 base on a single, 2 bases on a double, 3 bases on a triple. Disregard asterisk (* or **) and plus (++) signs.
(2.2) For additional realism, use this option: A single followed by one asterisk (*) indicates an automatic one-base advance for all runners. A single or double followed by two asterisks (**) indicates an automatic two-base advance for all runners. A single followed by no asterisk is a one-base advance and a double followed by no asterisk is a two-base advance.
However, when no asterisk is present, the manager of the team at bat may elect to have his baserunners attempt to advance an extra base. To attempt the extra advance, consult the lead baserunner's running rating at the top of his card (if the lead baserunner is the pitcher, he may have a different running rating listed on the roster sheet than the standard 1-10 found on the eight pitchers' hitting cards).
Then roll the 20-sided die. If the roll falls within the range of the lead runner, all baserunners advance one extra base. If the roll is greater than the lead runner's rating, the lead runner is out, while other runners advance one base.
(2.21) NOTE: The batter never advances an extra base. He remains at first on his single, or at second on his double.
(2.22) When there are two outs, add 2 to the lead baserunner's running rating before rolling the die.
Example: With two outs, a player with a running rating of 1-15 would have his running rating increased to 1-17.
(3.0) Flyball () A, B, C
The abbreviation in parentheses indicates which fielder the ball was hit to: (lf)-left fielder, (cf)-center fielder, (rf)-right fielder.
(3.1) Upon reading such a result, refer to the FLY BALLS section of the Basic Strategy Chart, and to the specific type (A, B or C) of FLYBALL in question. The results for the batter and any baserunners are shown. Disregard baserunner advancement if there are no baserunners, or if the out is the third out of the inning.
(4.0) Groundball () A, B, C
The abbreviation in parentheses indicates which fielder the ball was hit to: (p)-pitcher, (c)-catcher, (1b)-first baseman, (2b)-second baseman, (3b)-third baseman, (ss)-shortstop.
Upon reading such a result, refer to the GROUNDBALLS section of the Basic Strategy Chart. The results for the batter and any baserunners are shown. Disregard baserunner advancement if there are no baserunners, or if the out is the third out of the inning.
(5.0) Flyball() X, Groundball() X, Catcher's Card X
Every fielder will record most of his assists and putouts on the routine plays already described. But the tougher chances, the "X-chance" readings on the pitching cards, will test a fielder's skill.
Whenever an X-chance occurs, the fielding rating of the defensive player whose position is indicated in the parentheses is needed to determine the outcome.
Each player's defensive rating is indicated at the top of his card.
Fielding ratings range from 1 (star defensive player) to 5 (very poor). A lower number always indicates a more skillful fielder.
(5.1) Consult the Basic Fielding Chart (one 2-sided chart).
Find the correct fielding position for the play in question and the proper fielder's rating (the horizontal line with columns 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5). Roll the 20-sided die and find the correct number in the vertical column titled SPLIT NO. Then read across to find the result.
Example: With Lefty Gomez pitching to Al Simmons, a 5-7 is rolled. The reading is GROUNDBALL(2b)X. Assume that the fielding rating of the New York second baseman is 2. The Chicago manager then would refer to column 2 of the second base section of the Basic Fielding Chart and then roll the 20-sided die. Assume the number 16 was rolled. Reading across, the result is "1 base error-1." The "1-base error" allows the batter to reach first base and the "1" following the word error refers the manager to the bottom of the fielding chart, for information on the advancement of baserunners. In this example, all runners will advance one base.
(6.0) Other card results
(6.1) GROUNDBALL()++: This result occurs only on batters' cards. Ignore the "++" and treat the result as any other groundball reading.
(6.2) For added realism: If the infield is in or a runner is being held, regard any groundball()++ reading as a SINGLE** (all other runners advance two bases).
(6.3) LINEOUT() INTO AS MANY OUTS AS POSSIBLE: If no runners are on base, or there are already two out, this is treated as a normal lineout. But with fewer than two out and runners on, this is a double play or even a triple play.
(6.4) ... PLUS INJURY: Injuries may occur to any batter (including pinch-hitters), if the result of your dice roll includes the phrase, "plus injury." If you are using the DH rule, an injury occurs to the pitcher in the field when a white 6 and colored dice total of 12 (6-12) is rolled and the DH is at bat.
First, complete the play. Then roll the 20-sided die and consult the INJURIES table on the Basic Strategy Chart to determine the duration of the injury.
(7.0) Offensive Strategy
You may use all the strategies that big-league managers use (intentionally walk batters, change pitchers, pinch-hit, etc.). You must announce your strategy to your opponent before rolling the dice for any of these changes.
(7.1) In order to use the sacrifice, squeeze play or hit-and-run, it is best to invite your opponent to announce his defensive decisions first (infield in, holding the runner, intentional walk, etc.), then announce your offensive strategy.
(7.2) SACRIFICE / SQUEEZE: These bunts may not be used when there are two out. The Sacrifice may not be used when there is a runner at third base. The Squeeze Play may be used ONLY when there is a runner at third base.
Roll the colored dice only, add them and refer to the appropriate result on the Basic Strategy Chart.
(7.3) HIT AND RUN: The Hit and Run may not be used with a runner on third base.
When the result of an attempted Hit and Run results in "batter misses pitch ..." the base runner(s) must attempt to steal. Proceed as you would with any other steal, making all necessary adjustments.
Roll the colored dice, add them and refer to the Hit And Run column on the Basic Strategy Chart.
(8.0) Stealing / Holding baserunners
All batters have individual stealing ratings (AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, or E) at the top of their cards.
(8.1) Roll the 20-sided die. Consult the STEALING section of the Basic Strategy Chart, under the baserunner's stealing rating and the base he is attempting to steal (treat a player with a AAA steal rating the same as a player with a AA rating).
(8.11) In double-steal situations, use only the steal rating of the lead runner. The trail runner(s) automatically advance one base.
(8.2) For added realism, use this option: Before play commences, the team in the field may declare that it is holding one or more runner(s) on base. For each runner being held, check the catcher's defensive rating and make these deductions from the STEALING section of the Basic Strategy Chart:
catcher-1/-4 catcher-2/-3 catcher-3/-2 catcher-4/-1 catcher-5/-1
These deductions apply only to AA, A, B, C, D, and E stealing ratings. No deduction is allowed for a player with AAA stealing.
Example: An A stealer on first base would have a 1-15 chance to steal second base if he is not held on base. If held and the defensive catcher is a 2, then the A stealer's safe chance would be reduced to 1-12.
(8.21) Note that while holding a runner on base reduces his chances of stealing, it increases the batter's ability to hit safely.
Whenever a runner is held on base, any groundball followed by a "++" becomes a SINGLE** (all runners advance two bases).
(8.22) The defensive manager may change instructions about holding any of the runners whenever a new batter comes to the plate, or whenever there is a change in the pitcher or catcher.
(8.23) A runner may be held on base only when the infield is playing back.
(9.0) Defensive strategy: Infield back, Infield in
(9.1) The normal infield position is Infield Back. But for added realism, you may use the option of bringing the Infield In when there is a runner at third base and fewer than two outs.
With the Infield In, the chances that the runner will score from third on a groundball are sharply reduced, but double-play possibilities are significantly diminished. The batter's ability to hit safely rises dramatically.
(9.11) If the result is a groundball A, B, C, consult the INFIELD IN table on the Basic Strategy Chart.
(9.12) If the result is a groundball X, resolve the play in the usual manner, then consult the INFIELD IN table on the Basic Strategy Chart.
(9.13) If the result is a groundball with "++" following it, then change the result to a SINGLE** (all runners advance two bases).
(9.14) NOTE: The defense may not play the Infield In and hold a runner on base at the same time.
(10.0) Player usage: Injuries and rest
(10.1) BATTERS: For the most realistic results, limit batters to their actual at-bats. Batters should be used only at the fielding positions listed on their cards.
A manager is not permitted to pinch-hit for, pinch-run for or otherwise voluntarily remove the last player on his team eligible to play a position. However, if injuries temporarily eliminate all eligible players for a specific position, fill the position with the most logical remaining player. In most instances, it is advisable to rate the player "5" defensively in this unfamiliar position.
(10.2) PITCHERS: For most realistic result, limit pitchers to their actual innings pitched. Starting pitchers should not be used as relievers and relief pitchers should not be used as starters, unless the pitcher has listings for both on his card.
If a pitcher's name on the roster sheet is followed by an asterisk (*), he may start a game with only three games of rest between starts. Pitchers with no asterisk need four games of rest between starts.
Any pitcher may pitch until his manager chooses to remove him.
Advanced / Super-Advanced Strat-O-Matic
(11.0) Lefty-Righty Ratings
There are many differences between Basic and Advanced Strat-O-Matic, but none more important than the Advanced side of the player cards, which divide each player's performance against left-handed and right-handed opponents.
(11.1) For the batter, use only the left side of the card when he is facing a left-handed pitcher; use only the right side of the card when he is facing a right-handed pitcher.
For the pitcher, use only the left side of the card when he is facing a left-handed batter; use only the right side of the card when he is facing a right-handed batter.
Check the upper left corner of the batter's card to determine if he hits left (L), right (r) or is a switch-hitter (S). A switch-hitter must bat left-handed against right-handed pitchers and right-handed against left-handed pitchers.
The hitting style of the pitcher is indicated as the last letter in his batting rating at the top of the Advanced side of his card. Example: #1WR indicates this pitcher uses Pitcher's Hitting Card No. 1, with W power and is a right-handed hitter.
Check the top of the Advanced side of the pitcher's card to determine whether he throws right or left.
(12.0) Power ratings (N/W)
Advanced Strat-O-Matic limits the ability of low-power batters to hit homeruns off pitchers' cards.
You will find each batter's power rating(s) below his name, and above his hitting columns, on the Advanced side of his card. The possibilities are N for normal power and W for weak power. Some batters may be N against left-handed or right-handed pitching, and W against the other.
(12.1) In Advanced play, all homerun readings on pitcher cards are preceded by the letter N. The hitter must have "N" power for this roll to result in a homerun. If the batter's power rating is "W" then any homerun chance becomes a SINGLE** (all other runners advance two bases).
Example: Say a left-handed batter with W power is batting against Lefty Gomez and rolls a 4-5. Instead of a possible homerun, the possibilities would become "SINGLE** 1-6, fly(rf)B 7-20."
(12.11) If, as in this example, the result is split and the subsequent roll of the 20-sided die is in the range of the second results, always accept that reading, even if it is a double or triple.
(13.0) Runner advancement on hits
(13.1) Advanced
- Use Basic rules 2.1 through 2.22 with the following modifications:
- An outfielder's throwing arm will affect all baserunning attempts for an additional base on singles and doubles not followed by asterisks. Such hits on the Advanced side of player cards show which outfielder should be used (cf, lf, rf). If there is no outfield symbol, assume the throw is to be made by the center fielder.
- Each outfielder's arm is indicated at the top of the Advanced side of his card. You will find it in parentheses, after his first outfield position.
- Simply add or subtract the number in parentheses from the running rating of the involved baserunner.
- The maximum combined running rating and throwing arm total is 1-19, and the minimum is 1.
- (13.2) When a runner is held on first or second, subtract 1 from his running rating when that rating is needed to determine whether he can advance an extra base on another player's hit. If the baserunner is not being held, add 1 to his running rating.
- NOTE: When using the cutoff rule, with the bases loaded or runners on first and second base, the trail runner is the runner on first. This rule applies to that trail runner. If the lead runner is held, consider the trail runner held. If the lead runner is not held, consider the trail runner not held.
- (13.3) ADVANCED CUTOFF RULE: This rule comes into play on a single followed by no asterisks when there are runners at first and second, or the bases loaded at the time of the hit.
- (13.31) If the offensive manager elects to let the runner from second base attempt to score by taking an extra base, the defensive manager is asked if he wants to cut off the throw to the plate.
- (13.32) By cutting off the throw, he allows the runner from second base to score, but "holds" the runner from first base at second base.
- (13.33) If the defensive manager chooses to throw for the runner attempting to score, the runner from first base automatically takes third.
(13.4) Super-Advanced
- Use Advanced rules 13.1 through 13.2 with these additions:
- On throws from rightfield to third base, increase the baserunner's rating by 2. On throws from leftfield to third base, decrease the baserunner's rating by 2.
- (13.5) In Super Advanced play, there are times when the batter can advance an extra base on an outfield throw to another base:
- When a manager decides to advance a man from first to third on a single followed by no asterisks, the defensive manager has the choice of whether to throw for the runner going to third (make all the normal adjustments before rolling the 20-sided die to determine out or safe), or to concede third base to the runner, thereby holding the batter to first base.
- If the defensive manager tries to throw out the runner at third base, then the batter always takes second on this throw.
- (13.6) SUPER ADVANCED CUTOFF RULE: If you use the chart titled, "SUPER ADVANCED CUT-OFF RULE COMPUTATIONS" on Page 15, it is not necessary to read the following detailed explanation of this rule.
- (13.61) When a manager decides to try to score a runner from first base on a double followed by no asterisks, or the runner from second base on a single followed by no asterisks, the defensive manager has the choice of throwing home or conceding the run, thereby preventing the trail runner(s) from advancing.
- (13.611) Note: This rule also applies when a runner tries to go from 1st to 3rd on a single with no asterisks. In this case the trail runner is the batter.
- (13.62) If the defense throws home, the offensive manager must decide whether to allow the trail runner(s) to attempt to advance an extra base.
- (13.621) Calculate the lead trail runner's chances as: Running rating -5, plus or minus the outfielder's arm, plus the adjustment for baserunner hold (-1 if held, +1 if not held, see rule 22.3).
- Example: Lead trail runner's running rating is 1-15, and center fielder's arm is -2 and this runner is being held on base. Safe chance is 1-7 (15-5-2-1 = 7). The calculation may not be lower than 1.
- Don't forget to add 2 if there are two outs (except if the trail runner is the batter), and to make any adjustments for outfield location if the throw is to third base (+2 if throw is from right field, -2 if throw is from left field).
- (13.622) If the offensive manager chooses to hold the trail runner(s), then the throw is automatically made to home by the defense. Roll the 20-sided die to determine whether the runner is safe or out.
- (13.623) If the offensive manager has decided to send the runner home and let the trail runner(s) try to advance, then the defensive manager must choose one of two options:
- A. Let the throw go through to home. Roll the 20-sided die to determine whether the runner is safe or out. The trail runner(s) advance an extra base.
- B. Cut off the throw and attempt to throw out the lead trail runner. Roll the 20-sided die to determine whether the lead trail runner is safe. The last trail runner, if any, automatically advances. The run automatically scores, even if the trail runner is out for the third out of the inning.
- (13.63) CATCHER BLOCKING THE PLATE (part of the super advanced cut-off rule): Whenever there is a play at the plate the catcher's defensive ability may be challenged, and it can make the difference between a runner being called safe or out. The rule comes into play when you are rolling the 20-sided die to determine if the runner is safe or out at home. If the last number in the safe range or the first number in the out range is selected then the catcher's ability will be checked with another roll of the 20-sided die. For instance, if the safe range (after all adjustments have been made) is 1-14 and you roll a 14 or a 15 on the 20-sided die then you must roll the 20-sided die again and refer to the following chart to determine if the runner is safe or out:
Catcher's Rating | Safe | Out |
---|---|---|
1 | 1-2 | 3-20 |
2 | 1-6 | 7-20 |
3 | 1-10 | 11-20 |
4 | 1-14 | 15-20 |
5 | 1-18 | 19-20 |
(14.0) Fly() A, B, C and Fly()B?
Advanced
(14.1) On the Advanced side of the player cards, the flyball readings are abbreviated to fly()A, fly()B, fly()C. Treat these in the same fashion as their Basic Game counterparts.
(14.2) There is an additional reading: fly()B? On such readings, if the caught fly ball is not the third out, a runner at third base does not automatically score, as he would on fly()B. The offensive manager must decide whether to attempt to have the runner score, or to hold him at third base.
To attempt to score, add the baserunner's running rating, +/- the outfielder's arm, +2. The result may not be higher than 1-19 or lower than 1. Roll the 20-sided die to determine if the runner is out or safe.
Example: 1-14 runner vs. a -1 outfield arm. Safe = 1-15 (1-14, minus 1, plus 2).
(14.3) On a fly(rf)B to right field only, a runner at second base may advance with this calculation:
Baserunner's Running rating +/- right fielder's arm, +2 for the throw to third base from right field. Roll the 20-sided die. However, the only OUT chance is the split chance of 20. If the roll is higher than the highest safe chance, but lower than 20, the runner holds at second base.
Example: A 1-14 runner and a -1 arm. Safe: 1-15; Hold: 16-19; Out: 20.
- (14.31) This baserunning option is available whether the fly(rf)B occurs off a player's card or the Advanced Fielding Chart.
- (14.32) NOTE: This rule does not apply to fly(rf)B? readings from cards or to F2 readings from the Super Advanced Fielding Chart. The Super Advanced Fielding Chart contains its own rule for potential advances from second base to third base on F2 results to rightfield.
SUPER ADVANCED CUTOFF RULE: fly()B?
If you use the chart titled, "SUPER ADVANCED CUT-OFF RULE COMPUTATIONS" on Page 15, it is not necessary to read the following detailed explanation of the rules.
(14.4) Use the Advanced rules above, with this addition:
If there is a runner at third base and at least one more runner on base when a fly()B? reading occurs, if the offense decides to send the runner home, the defense has the option of cutting off the throw to the plate.
- (14.41) By cutting off the throw, he allows the runner from third base to score, but "holds" the other runner(s).
- (14.42) If the defense throws home, the offensive manager must decide whether to allow the trail runner(s) to attempt to advance.
- (14.43) Calculate the lead trail runner's chances as: Running rating -5, plus or minus the outfielder's arm.
- Example: Lead trail runner's running rating is 1-15, and center fielder's arm is -2. Safe chance is 1-8 (15-5-2 = 8). The calculation may not be lower than 1.
- As on attempts to advance on hits, on throws from rightfield to third base, increase the baserunner's rating by 2. On throws from leftfield to third base, decrease the baserunner's rating by 2.
- (14.431) If the offensive manager chooses to hold the trail runner(s), then the throw is automatically made to home by the defense.
- Roll the 20-sided die to determine whether the runner is safe or out.
- (14.432) If the offensive manager has decided to send the runner home and let the trail runner(s) try to advance, then the defensive manager must choose one of two options:
- A. Let the throw go through to home. Roll the 20-sided die to determine whether the runner is safe or out. The trail runner(s) advance.
- B. Cut off the throw and attempt to throw out the lead trail runner. Roll the 20-sided die to determine whether the lead trail runner is safe. The last trail runner, if any, automatically advances. The run automatically scores, even if the trail runner is out for the third out of the inning.
(14.5) OUTFIELDER ROBBING A HOMERUN (a super advanced rule): Whenever there is Homerun/Flyout split (from the cards or the ballpark chart) the outfielder's defensive ability may be challenged, and it can make the difference between a homerun or a flyout. The rule comes into play when you are rolling the 20‑sided die to determine if it is a homerun. If the last number in the homerun range or the first number in the flyout range is selected then the outfielder's ability will be checked with another roll of the 20‑sided die. Refer to the following chart to determine which outfielder has a chance for the catch:
Batter Bats | Last number in HR range | First number in Flyout range |
---|---|---|
Left-handed | Rightfielder | Centerfielder |
Right-handed | Leftfielder | Centerfielder |
For instance, if the safe range is 1‑14 and you roll a 14 or a 15 on the 20‑sided die then you must roll the 20‑sided die again and refer to the following chart to determine the outcome:
OF's Rating | HR | Flyout |
---|---|---|
1 | 1-3 | 4-20 |
2 | 1-7 | 8-20 |
3 | 1-11 | 12-20 |
4 | 1-15 | 16-20 |
5 | 1-19 | 20 |
Note: If the height of the wall (at the point where the fielder would try to make the catch) exceeds 10 feet then ignore this rule completely. The height of the wall we are referring to is the height in Left‑Center Field for a right‑handed batter or Right‑Center Field for a left‑handed batter.
For your convenience, here is a list of current stadiums where the wall is greater than 10 feet: Boston (LCF), Chi‑NL (LCF & RCF), Detroit (RCF), Florida (LCF), Houston (LCF & RCF), Minnesota (RCF), Montreal (LCF & RCF), Oakland (LCF & RCF), Philadelphia (LCF & RCF), San Francisco (LCF & RCF).
(15.0) gb() A, B, C
Advanced
- (15.1) On the Advanced side of the player cards, the groundball readings are abbreviated to gb()A, gb()B, gb()C. Treat these in the same fashion as their Basic Game counterparts.
- (15.2) Also, on the Advanced side of more recent Strat-O-Matic card sets, you will notice underlined gb()A readings on pitching cards, and underlined gb()C readings on batter cards. Ignore the underline and proceed normally when using these players against contemporary opponents.
- However, in earlier issues of Strat-O-Matic card sets, gb()A readings occurred only on batter cards and gb()C readings occurred only on pitcher cards. If you are playing recent teams against earlier teams, you may wish to reverse any readings that appear with an underline (i.e. the gb()A readings revert back to gb()C and vice versa).
Super-Advanced
- (15.3) Follow the Advanced game guidelines above, but add these two rules:
- (15.31) When there are fewer than two outs and a runner on second base only, the runner moves to third on any gb()A or gb()B that is hit to the first baseman or second baseman. The batter is out.
- (15.32) When there are fewer than two outs and the second baseman and the shortstop are positioned back (either the entire infield is back, or only the corners are positioned in), a runner on third scores on a gbA or gbB hit to second base or shortstop. If the ball is hit to the first baseman, third baseman or pitcher when the infield is back, the runner from third does not score.
- These two rules apply only to readings from the player cards. For the outcomes of G1, G2 and G3 readings from the Super Advanced Fielding Chart, refer to the tables on that chart.
- Outcomes of all gb()A, gb()B and gb()C plays in all baserunning situations are consolidated in the GROUNDBALL RESULT CHART found on Page 15.
- (15.33) When the bases are loaded and the infield is in a gb()A results in a home to first double-play. Also, the chart on page 15 should be amended and in this situation play result "9" should be used instead of play result "7." The text for play result "9" is Batter out, runner on 3rd out -- double play! Other runners advance one base."
- CLARIFICATION: Outcomes of all gb()A, gb()B, and gb()C plays in all baserunning situations are consolidated in the GROUNDBALL RESULT CHART found on page 15. When there is a runner on 1st, or a runner on 2nd, or with runners on 1st & 2nd, if the Corners are In and a gb()A, gb()B, or gb()C is hit to the 1st or 3rd baseman refer to the “INFIELD BACK” portion of this chart for play results.
(16.0) FLY()X, GB()X and CATCH-X
Advanced
- (16.1) "X-chance" readings, abbreviated as shown above, are obtained from the pitcher's card as in the Basic game. However, on the Advanced side of each player's card, there are multiple fielding ratings and a different fielding chart is used:
- A. A range rating (from 1, the best, to 5, the worst) that determines whether the fielder will catch the ball or whether it will become a hit.
- NOTE: Occasionally, a player may have a different range rating on the Advanced side of his card than he does on the Basic side.
- B. Throwing arms for outfielders (from -6, the best, to +5, the worst) and catchers (from -4, the best, to +5, the worst). These are indicated in parentheses immediately after the range rating. Note that an outfielder's arm rating is the same, no matter which outfield position he is playing.
- C. Error ("e") ratings that determine the frequency of the player's errors at each position. The lower the "e" rating, the fewer errors the fielder will commit.
- Note that if a listed "e" rating is higher than the maximum shown on the Advanced Fielding Chart, use the maximum "e" rating. The higher rating applies to the Super Advanced game.
- D. A "T" rating for catchers only. This range of numbers (1-3, 1-9, etc.) is the range for possible throwing errors on successful stolen bases (see instructions for Advanced game stealing).
- E. A passed ball "(pb)" rating for catchers only. This number indicates the highest number in a range that begins with 0 for possible passed balls (see Advanced game instructions for passed balls, wild pitches and balks).
- (16.2) Consult the Advanced Fielding Chart (one 2-sided chart).
- The same referral process for the Basic Fielding Chart applies to the Advanced Fielding Chart with one major exception - certain 20-sided die rolls (those involving e-ratings; for example, First Base 20-sided die rolls 7-15) require a second dice roll with the three 6-sided dice.
- When the Advanced Fielding Chart calls for a dice roll, roll all three 6-sided dice and refer to the defensive player's "e" rating section located under the split number results on the Advanced Fielding Chart. The series of numbers located to the left of the results represent the total of the colored dice. If a reading yields a double result (e.g., E(2) 1-4, gbA 5-6), the white die number determines the correct result. In this example, if the white die is 1, 2, 3 or 4, a 2-base error - E(2) - has occurred. If the white die is a 5 or 6, a gbA has occurred.
- (16.21) The Advanced Fielding Chart has a variety of abbreviations and symbols, all explained at the bottom of the Centerfield Chart.
Super-Advanced
- (16.3) Defensive ratings are as in the Advanced game, except that higher "e" ratings are possible for Super Advanced play. Use the "e" ratings found on the player cards.
- NOTE: In some earlier versions of the game, any "e" ratings higher than the Advanced game maximum were listed separately on the roster sheet.
- (16.4) Consult the Super Advanced Fielding Charts (two 2-sided charts).
- The 20-sided die and all three 6-sided dice will be rolled on every reference to resolve "X chances." Also note that instead of reading the white die separately, the three 6-sided dice are added, to reach a result ranging from 3-18.
- (16.41) Also note that in addition to the usual hits, errors and outs, the Super Advanced Fielding Chart contains a variety of Rare Plays. Here you will find such plays as inside-the-park homeruns, catcher's interference, the hidden ball trick and many more exciting surprises!
- (16.42) Resolve "X chances" this way:
- A. Roll the 20-sided die and refer to the Range Section of the X-Chart and cross-reference the number rolled with the fielding range rating (1-5) for the defensive player in question. Obtain the correct reading.
- B. Then roll all three 6-sided dice, add them and refer to the Error Section of the X-Chart by finding the row with the defensive player's "e" rating. The possible readings are RP (rare play), E1 (1-base error), E2 (2-base error), E3 (3-base error), or no reading at all (which means no error).
- C. Take the two symbols derived from the above steps and match them in the appropriate Symbols Chart to determine the outcome of the play.
- Example: A reading of GB(1b)X and a first baseman who is rated as 1b-4e15. The 20-sided die roll is 5. Cross-reference the 5 with the range rating of 4 in the Range Section for 1B/2B/SS/3B and find "SI1." Then roll all three 6-sided dice (a 6, 5, and a 1) and add them as 12. In the Error Section for First Base, find the "E RAT" of 15 and read across. The dice roll number 12 appears under the column marked E1. Now go to the Symbols Chart, find the "SI1 section" and look at play result "E1." Final result: Single and Error.
- (16.5) If a "PO" rare play occurs with fewer than two out and runners on first and second bases, or with the bases loaded, consider this an Infield Fly Rule play - the batter is out and the runners hold. Otherwise, accept this play as a single.
- (16.6) Special Instruction for Catcher X-Chart: If the reading is "P/P" or "P/F" and no error occurs, there is a possible passed ball if there are also runners on base. See the section on Individual Balks, Wild Pitches and Passed Balls in this instruction booklet.
- (16.7) Cutoff clarification: On an F2 from the Super Advanced Fielding Chart with runners on second base and third base, do not subtract 5 from the running rating of the man on second, as this is not a cutoff play. However, do make the appropriate adjustment for throws to third base.
- Also, on this reading, when there is a runner on second but no runner on third, the runner on second can try to advance.
(17.0) Other card results
(17.1) gb()+
Advanced
- (17.11) The Advanced-side batter's card reading is abbreviated from "GROUNDBALL ()++" to "gb()+". Use Basic game rule 6.1.
Super-Advanced
- (17.12) Convert the "gb()+" to a SINGLE** ONLY when the infield is all the way in. When the team in the field is playing only Corners In, do not award a SINGLE** on a "gb()+". Instead, treat it as a groundball without the "+". Extra hits when the defensive team is playing Corners In occur on the Super Advanced Fielding Chart. For details, refer to Section 20.7, the Super Advanced instructions under DEFENSIVE STRATEGY / CORNERS IN.
- (17.13) Also, do not award a SINGLE** on a "gb()+" while runners are being held on base. For details, refer to Section 23.8, the Super Advanced instructions under STEALING / HOLDING BASERUNNERS.
(17.2) lomax
Advanced
- (17.21) This reading, abbreviated from "lineout into as many outs as possible," is treated the same as in the Basic game (section 6.3)
Super-Advanced
- (17.22) When this result occurs in a situation where a triple play could occur, the result is not an automatic triple play. Instead, roll the 20-sided die. If the roll is 1-7, it's a lineout/triple play. If the roll is 8-20, it's a lineout/double play, with the lead runner doubled off.
(17.3) ... plus injury
Advanced
- (17.31) Injuries occur as in the Basic game (see section 10) and are resolved by consulting the INJURIES table on the Basic Strategy Chart to determine the duration of the injury.
Super-Advanced
- (17.32) There is a slightly different Super Advanced Injury Chart under the Super Advanced Miscellaneous Charts (found on the reverse side of the Super Advanced Fielding Chart).
- (17.33) For information about handling substitutions, see section 25, INJURIES / PLAYERS OUT OF POSITION.
(18.0) Sacrifice / Squeeze
(18.1) These bunts may not be used when there are two out. The Sacrifice may not be used when there is a runner at third base. The Squeeze Play may be used ONLY when there is a runner at third base.
Advanced
- (18.2) Each batter has an individual bunting rating (A, B, C or D) shown at the top of his card. Consult that rating on the Advanced Strategy Chart, then roll the colored dice to get the result.
- Each pitcher also has his own bunting rating. Use this rating, and not the bunting rating at the bottom of the pitchers' hitting cards.
- (18.3) If the defense is playing the Infield In, then the bunter's rating is reduced one grade (Example: An A bunter becomes a B).
- (18.31) With the bases loaded, and the corners or infield positioned in, downgrade the bunting rating two levels instead of one level. This is because there is a force play at home plate, and on a bunt the runner on third must try to advance if the ball is bunted on the ground. EXAMPLE: The bases are loaded and the corners are in with a batter who is an A bunter. In this case refer to the C bunting column on the squeeze play chart. Note: The worst possible adjusted bunting rating continues to be a rating of E.
- (18.4) In Advanced and Super Advanced play, the Sacrifice also may be used with runners at first and third base in order to move the runner from first to second. Simply use the sacrifice as you would in other situations and follow the results.
- However, in all instances, the runner on third base remains there, even if the batter beats out the bunt for a hit. If the batter pops out into a double play, the runner on first is doubled-up and the runner on third base holds.
Super-Advanced
- (18.5) Use the individual bunting ratings and the Sacrifice Bunt Chart and Squeeze Chart on the Super Advanced Miscellaneous Charts (which are on the reverse side of the Super Advanced Fielding Chart).
- There are a variety of different readings on these charts, some involving the bunter's speed or the fielder's defense. The necessary procedures and the results are explained on these charts.
- (18.6) If the defense is playing the Infield In, or Corners In, then the bunter's rating is reduced one grade (Example: An A bunter becomes a B).
- (18.7) As in Advanced play, a runner may be held on base when the infield is playing Back. However, in Super Advanced play, any runner or combination of runners also may be held on base when the infield is positioned as Corners In.
- (18.8) If a reading of 1AND2 occurs after one attempt to bunt, the offense may not switch strategies to attempt a hit-and-run.
(19.0) Hit and Run
(19.1) The Hit and Run may not be used with a runner on third base.
Advanced
- (19.2) Each batter has an individual hit-and-run rating (B, C or D) shown at the top of his card. Consult that rating on the Advanced Strategy Chart, then roll the colored dice to get the result.
- (19.3) If the defense is playing the infield in or if a runner is being held on base, then the batter's hit-and-run rating is improved one grade (Example: The batter's B hit-and-run rating becomes an A).
- In the Advanced game, a runner may be held only when the infield is playing back.
- (19.4) As in the Basic game, when the result of an attempted Hit and Run results in "batter misses pitch ..." the base runner(s) must attempt to steal. Proceed as you would with any other steal, making all necessary adjustments.
Super-Advanced
- (19.5) Use the individual hit-and-run ratings and the Super Advanced Hit and Run tables on the Super Advanced Miscellaneous Charts (which are on the reverse side of the Super Advanced Fielding Chart).
- There are a variety of different readings on these charts, some involving the pitcher's card. The necessary procedures and the results are explained on these charts.
- 19.6 As in Advanced play, a runner may be held on base when the infield is playing Back. However, in Super Advanced play, any runner or combination of runners also may be held on base when the infield is positioned as Corners In.
- 19.7 The Hit and Run is not permitted after a bunt-attempt reading of 1AND2.
- 19.8 When using the Supplementary Stealing system and the result of the Hit and Run is "batter misses pitch ..." roll to determine whether the lead baserunner achieved his "good lead" only if the baserunner had not already attempted to do so before the hit and run was employed. He does not get a second attempt at a "good lead."
- Even if the lead runner does not achieve a good lead, he must attempt to steal. If this turns out to be men at first and second bases attempting a double-steal, the catcher's throw is for the lead runner.
Defensive Strategy
(20.0) Infield Back, Infield In, Corners In
The normal infield position is Infield Back. But there are times when it is important to reduce the batter's bunting ability and to cut down the chance of a runner scoring from third on a ground ball. Then, the team in the field will want to bring the Infield In or, in the Super-Advanced game, bring in the corner infielders (the third baseman and the first baseman) while leaving the middle infielders (the second baseman and the shortstop) back.
With the Corners In, the team in the field cuts down on the batting team's ability to score the runner from third base on a ground ball, but also slightly diminishes its own ability to turn a double play. Meanwhile, the batter's ability to hit safely increases.
With the Infield In, the effects are much greater: Chances that the runner will score from third on a groundball are sharply reduced, but double-play possibilities are significantly diminished. The batter's ability to hit safely rises dramatically.
With either Infield In or Corners In, the batter's bunting ability is reduced in Advanced and Super-Advanced play.
Advanced
- (20.1) Use rules 9.11 through 9.14 from the Basic game, with these additions:
- (20.11) With the Infield In, reduce the batter's bunting rating by one grade. Example: An A bunter becomes a B bunter.
- (20.12) In anticipation of a sacrifice bunt, the defensive team may bring the Infield In at any time.
Super-Advanced
- (20.2) In Super Advanced Play, the manager of the team in the field has the choice of Infield Back, Infield In and Corners In.
- (20.3) Because Super Advanced play provides for Corners In to defense the sacrifice bunt, Infield In may be chosen only with a man at third.
- (20.4) The Groundball Result Chart (see Page 15) replaces the Basic Strategy Chart for any gb()A, gb()B and gb(c) readings from the batter or pitcher cards with the Infield Back or the Infield In. It does not apply to gb()X chances.
- (20.5) With a runner on third base, always consider the pitcher to be playing in on a gb(p)A, gb(p)B or gb(p)C from the batter's or pitcher's card.
- (20.51) On a gb(p)X or CATCH-X, the pitcher and catcher are considered to be playing normal (back) when rest of the infield is playing normal and they are considered to be playing in when the entire infield is in.
- When the defensive manager is playing Corners In, the pitcher and catcher are considered to be playing in when there is a runner on third base only, or when there are runners on second and third base only. Otherwise, the pitcher and catcher are considered to be playing back.
- (20.6) With Infield In, convert any batter's card groundball followed by a "+" to read "SINGLE**" (all other runners advance two bases).
- (20.61) With Infield In, convert any Super Advanced X-Chart result followed by "#" to read "SI2" (single, with all other runners advancing two bases).
- (20.7) The manager of the defensive team may position his infield as Corners In until there are two outs, whenever a runner is on any base. Corners In preserves some double play possibilities while limiting the batter's advantage of hitting safely more often through the drawn-in infield.
- With Corners In, use these rules:
- (20.71) Do not award a SINGLE** for a batter's card groundball followed by a "+". Treat the play as if the "+" did not appear.
- (20.72) On a groundball hit to the first baseman, third baseman, follow the rules for Infield In (including changing X-Chart results followed by a "#" to read "SI2").
- (20.73) On a groundball to the second baseman or shortstop, follow the rules for Infield Back.
- (20.74) Rules 20.5 and 20.51 also apply.
- (20.75) Any runner or combination of runners also may be held on base when the infield is positioned as Corners In.
- (20.8) For gb()X results, refer to the Super Advanced Fielding Chart. Under each table for G1, G2 and G3 results, there are guidelines for each baserunning situation, with Infield "Normal" (back) and Infield In. There is also a Super Advanced Groundball Results Chart printed on the Fielding Chart that describes the outcome of each event that can occur on the Fielding Chart.
(21.0) Bringing the outfield in
(21.1) This is an option for Super Advanced play. This strategy is used only when the potential winning run is on third base with fewer than two outs and the game can end on a sacrifice fly.
If the defensive manager positions the outfield IN, make these adjustments:
(21.2) On a reading of "fly()B?" subtract 7 from the baserunner's speed instead of adding 2.
(21.3) Consider all readings of "fly()A" and "fly()B" to be a single with the runner on third scoring.
(22.0) Stealing / Holding baserunners
Advanced
- (22.1) Use the AAA, AA, A, B, C, D and E stealing grades shown in parentheses on the Advanced side of each batter's card.
- Some pitchers have different stealing grades than the generic E grade on the eight pitcher's hitting cards. These pitchers will be listed separately on the roster sheet.
- (22.2) Use Basic game rules 8.1 through 8.23 with these modifications:
- (22.21) The catcher's throwing arm (a rating from -4 to +5 in parentheses following his fielding rating on the Advanced side of his card) will be subtracted from or added to the stealer's safe chance.
- (22.22) "T" Ratings: If the runner steals second or third base on a roll of 1, 2, or 3, roll the 20-sided die again. Refer to the catcher's card for his "T" number(s). If the second roll is within the "T" range, the catcher has committed a throwing error, allowing all baserunners to advance one additional base. If the second roll was outside the catcher's "T" range, no error occurs.
- (22.23) Holding runners on base: The rules for holding a runner are the same as in the Basic option, except for a different way to calculate the deduction for the runner's safe chances of stealing.
- In Advanced play, first add or subtract the catcher's throwing arm (regardless of whether the runner is being held). Then, if the runner is held, make this further deduction, depending on his stealing grade:
- AAA: -1 AA: -2 A: -2 B: -3 C: -3 D: -4 E: -4
- Example: A man on first base with a B stealing grade attempting to steal second base, while being held, against a catcher with a throwing arm of -1, will have a safe chance of 1-9 (13 - 1 - 3 = 9).
- (22.3) In Advanced and Super Advanced play, when a runner is held on first or second, subtract 1 from his running rating when that rating is needed to determine whether he can advance an extra base on another player's hit. If the baserunner is not being held, add 1 to his running rating. NOTE: see the note on the "Super Advanced Cut-Off Chart" on page 15 for more information regarding this rule.
Super-Advanced
Use the Super-Advanced Supplementary Stealing System below.
(23.0) Super-Advanced Supplementary Stealing System
For the ultimate in strategy and realism, we recommend the Supplementary Stealing System. In this system, each baserunner is rated for the frequency with which he runs (the ability to get a good lead) and his success rate. He will be working against both the catcher's throwing arm and the pitcher's ability to hold runners close to the base.
(23.1) Ignore the baserunner's letter-grade stealing rating. Instead use the numeric rating found on the Advanced side of the batter's card, after the letter-grade rating. Here is a sample:
*8-10/11,12 (19-14)
The numbers preceding the slash are the range (when the two colored dice are rolled) indicating when the runner will establish his good lead. The numbers immediately after the slash are the range indicating when the runner will be automatically out stealing. Better base stealers have no automatic outs; you will see a hyphen (-) instead of a number range.
- (23.11) Players who steal often have an asterisk (*) in front of their good-lead range. The asterisk indicates that if the defensive manager does not elect to hold the runner, the runner automatically achieves his good lead. If a runner does not have an asterisk, or if he has an asterisk but is held on base, he must roll the two colored dice to determine whether he achieves his good lead.
- (23.12) Most pitchers and some batters have no number rating for stealing. If these players attempt a steal, they begin with a success chance of 0. After all adjustments (for hold, etc.), their minimum success is 1.
Some pitchers have Supplementary Stealing ratings. These pitchers will be listed separately on the roster sheet.
- (23.13) The two numbers in parentheses indicate the runner's stealing success ratings (on a roll of the 20-sided die), the first when he has his good lead, the second when he does not.
(23.2) If the runner attempts to achieve his good lead and succeeds, he must attempt to steal immediately. So you will want to calculate his success chance first.
Here is a typical sequence for determining whether to steal and how to do it:
(23.3) Stealing Second Base
A. Combine the catcher's arm (which will range from -4 to +5) and the pitcher's hold rating (which will range from -6 to +9). This sum may not exceed the range of -5 to +5.
Example: Catcher's arm is -1, pitcher's hold is -5. Instead of a combined -6, the adjustment is -5.
Adjust the runner's success ratings accordingly. Example: Instead of (19-14) above, this runner is now 14-9 after a -5 catcher/pitcher adjustment.
B. The defensive manager decides whether to hold the runner on base. If so, there is further adjustment: -2 from the first steal success rating and -4 from the second steal success rating.
Example: Instead of 14-9, this runner is now 12-5.
Note that the effect of holding the runner is applied after calculating the catcher/pitcher adjustment, so the total effect can exceed -5.
C. The offensive manager decides whether to attempt a steal. If so, then first check to determine if the runner achieves his good lead.
- 1. If the runner has an asterisk (*) rating and the runner is not being held on base, then the runner automatically has his good lead.
- 2. If the runner does not have an asterisk (*) or he has an asterisk and is being held on base, then roll the two colored dice and check the runner's number range(s). If the roll falls within the range of the first set of numbers, the runner achieves his good lead. If the roll falls within the range of the second set of numbers, the runner is automatically out stealing. If the roll does not fall within either range, the runner has failed to achieve his good lead.
D. If the runner rolls for his good lead and achieves it, he must steal immediately. If the runner fails to achieve a good lead, he has the option of stealing at any time, or of holding his base.
The baserunner may make only one attempt for a good lead while he occupies the same base, unless:
- 1. If a runner being held on base attempts and fails to achieve a good lead, he may try for the good lead once more if the defensive manager later decides to cease holding the runner on base.
- 2. If the defensive manager changes to a pitcher with a worse hold rating or a catcher with a worse arm, a runner who has previously attempted and failed to achieve a good lead may try for the good lead once more.
E. If a steal is attempted, use the runner's adjusted first success rating if he has his good lead, and his adjusted second success rating if he fails to achieve his good lead.
If the runner is not being held on base, his adjusted success rating may exceed 20, in which case he is automatically safe. If he is held on, then his success rate may not exceed 19. His success rate may not be lower than 1.
Roll the 20-sided die to determine whether the runner is safe or out.
(23.31) On a successful steal with a dice roll of 1, 2, or 3, there is a possible throwing error by the catcher. Roll the 20-sided die again. Refer to the catcher's card for his "T" number(s). If the second roll is within the "T" range, the catcher has committed a throwing error, allowing all baserunners to advance one additional base. If the second roll was outside the catcher's "T" range, no error occurs.
If the defensive manager decides that the risk of the throwing error is greater than the value of attempting to throw the runner out, the catcher may elect to hold the ball rather than attempt the throw. This decision is made after the offensive manager has announced his intention to steal and before the 20-sided die in rolled to determine safe/out. If the catcher elects to hold the ball, the runner(s) safely steals the base and there is no possibility of a throwing error.
(23.4) Stealing Third Base
(23.41) To steal third, the runner will be using his adjusted second steal-success rating. So if he is being held on base, deduct 4 from his rating as well as the catcher/pitcher effect. Example: The (19-14) stealer above held on base by a pitcher with a +1 hold and a catcher with a -2 arm, would have a success range of 9 (14 -4 +1 -2 = 9)
Ignore the runner's asterisk on attempted steals of third base and home. He must roll within the range of his good lead in order to attempt these steals. If he fails to achieve his good lead, he may not attempt to steal. If the roll falls within the range for his automatic outs, then he is out stealing.
Otherwise, follow the instructions above for stealing second base.
(23.5) Stealing Home
(23.51) To steal home, the runner will be using his adjusted second steal-success rating. But there is no adjustment for the catcher/pitcher effect. Instead, deduct 9 from his second steal-success rating. And if he is being held on base, deduct an additional 4.
Example: The (19-14) stealer above will have a success range of 1-5 if stealing home while not being held, and a success range of 1 if being held.
Ignore the runner's asterisk on attempted steals of third base and home. He must roll within the range of his good lead in order to attempt these steals. If he fails to achieve his good lead, he may not attempt to steal. If the roll falls within the range for his automatic outs, then he is out stealing.
(23.6) Double/Triple Steals
In double or triple steals, only the lead runner's ratings will be used. The defense may attempt to throw out the lead runner only. The trail runner(s) automatically advance one base.
(23.7) Forced Steals on the Hit and Run
If the lead runner has not yet rolled for the good lead when a Hit and Run result requires the runner(s) to steal, then do so and proceed normally, making all necessary adjustments. If the runner has previously failed to achieve the good lead and the Hit and Run subsequently requires a steal, then proceed as you would for a runner who does not have a good lead.
If the lead baserunner is on second base and he fails (or has already failed) to obtain a good lead, he is automatically out trying to steal third base.
(23.8) Holding runners on base
(23.81) A runner may be held on base when the infield is playing Back. Additionally in Super Advanced Play, any runner may be held when the infield is playing the Corners In.
(23.82) Depending on the runner's base, he is held on by different fielders. Consult the RUNNER BEING HELD CHART on Page 15 to determine who has responsibility for holding the runner (the fielder covering the runner's current base and, if the potential steal is at second base, the infielder who would be taking the throw from the catcher).
(NOTE: Use the Runner Being Held Chart to determine the infielders responsible for holding runners, which supercedes the table titled, "Super Advanced Holding Runner Chart" on the Super Advanced Fielding Chart.)
(23.83) When an infielder is responsible for holding a runner and a gb()X is hit to him, add 1 to that fielder's range rating. Example: With a runner held at first and a lefthanded hitter at the plate, a shortstop rated 2e20 becomes 3e20. The maximum range rating is 5.
(23.84) Do not award a SINGLE** on a "gb()+" while runners are being held on base. Instead, when a gb()X to an infielder responsible for holding the runner results in a symbol followed by a "#", change that result to "SI2" (single, with all runners advancing two bases).
(23.85) When a runner is held on first or second, subtract 1 from his running rating when that rating is needed to determine whether he can advance an extra base on another player's hit. If the baserunner is not being held, add 1 to his running rating.
(23.9) Delayed steal of home
(23.91) With runners at first and third base, the offensive manager may attempt a "delayed steal" of home (this may not be attempted if either runner has previously rolled for a good lead). Use this procedure:
A. Do not roll for the lead. Instead, calculate the safe range for the runner at first by using his second steal rating number in parentheses and plus/minus the catcher's arm (do not adjust for the pitcher's hold rating or for the fact that the runner is being held on base).
B. If the runner on first attempts to steal, the defensive manager chooses whether to have the catcher hold onto the ball (this permits the steal of second, but prevents the runner on third from attempting to score), or to throw to second in an attempt to throw out the runner.
C. If the defensive manager chooses to throw to second, the offensive manager has the option of having the runner on third attempt to steal home. Calculate the safe chance by subtracting 5 from his second steal rating number in parentheses (do not adjust for the pitcher's hold rating, the catcher's arm or the fact that he is held on base).
D. If the runner on third attempts to steal home, the defensive manager has the choice: Let the throw go through to try to get the runner attempting to steal second, or cut off the ball and throw home.
E. After all choices are made, roll the 20-sided die to determine the result.
F. With two outs, if the defense throws out the runner going to second base, the runner on third does not score.
(24.0) Pickoffs and balks (optional)
If you are using the optional system for individual balks, wild pitches and passed balls, pickoffs and balks are possible when using the Supplementary Stealing System.
A more complete description of the balk-wild pitch-passed ball system is in Section 29. We include the pickoff/balk play here for your convenience:
(24.1) When rolling for a lead, also roll the 20-sided die along with the two colored dice.
- A. If the 20-sided die roll is 3-20, discard the 20-sided die and continue normally with the Supplementary Stealing System. (If a steal is attempted, you will need to roll the 20-sided die again.)
- B. If the 20-sided roll is 1, the runner attempting the lead may be picked off. Refer to the runner's second steal success rating (in parentheses) and roll the 20-sided again. If the number rolled is less than or equal to the runner's rating, the runner dives back safely, but has failed to achieve his good lead.
- If the number rolled is higher than the runner's rating, the runner has been picked off (statistically, this does not count as a time caught stealing).
- C. If the 20-sided roll is 2, there is a possible balk. Refer to the pitcher's balk rating (at the top of the Advanced side of his card) and roll the 20-sided die again. If the number rolled is less than or equal to the balk rating, a balk has occurred and all baserunners advance one base. If the number rolled is higher than the balk rating, the runner dives back safely, but the runner has failed to achieve his good lead.
(25.0) Injuries / Players out of position
(25.1) Injuries may occur to any batter (including pinch-hitters), if the result of your dice roll includes the phrase, "plus injury." If you are using the DH rule, an injury occurs to the pitcher in the field when a white 6 and colored dice total of 12 (6-12) is rolled and the DH is at bat.
First, complete the play. Then roll the 20-sided die.
For Advanced play, refer to the INJURIES section of the Basic Strategy Chart to determine the duration of the injury.
For Super Advanced play, refer to the Super Advanced Injury Chart under the Super Advanced Miscellaneous Charts (on the reverse side of the Super Advanced Fielding Chart).
(25.2) Sometimes injuries will force a manager to use a substitute at an unfamiliar position. If there are no remaining players rated for a position, try to use a similar player there - an infielder in the infield, an outfielder in the outfield.
In most cases, the substitute at the unfamiliar position plays with the worst possible defensive ratings: A 5 range rating, the highest "e" rating for the position, a +5 throwing arm, and/or catcher "T" and "pb" ratings of 1-20.
- (25.21) The exception is a rated outfielder playing another outfield position that is not listed on his card. In such cases, the outfielder's "e" rating and arm rating remain unchanged. And he does not automatically become a "5". Use the OUTFIELD FIELDING ADJUSTMENT chart on Page 15 to adjust his range rating.
When assigning a player who is rated at two outfield positions to play the third (for which he is not rated), base the new rating on the first outfield position listed on his card. For example, a player is LF-1, CF-3. If you needed to move him to RF, use LF as the basis, which would make him a RF-2.
(25.3) Bringing in a position player to pitch
In extreme emergencies, a manager may bring in a position player to pitch.
The penalties are steep: Defense - 5e51, Hold (+9), relief endurance (1)/N, bk-20, wp-20.
Use the pitching card on Page 15 while a position player is pitching.
Unless you know which hand the player throws with, assume that a left-handed batter throws left and a right-handed batter throws right.
(26.0) Resting position players
(26.1) As in the Basic game, you should limit position players to their actual at-bats and pitchers to their actual innings pitched.
Position players should be used only at the fielding positions listed on their cards. Starting pitchers should not be used as relievers and relief pitchers should not be used as starters, unless the pitcher has listings for both on his card.
If a pitcher's name on the roster sheet is followed by an asterisk (*), he may start a game with only three games of rest between starts. Pitchers with no asterisk need four games of rest between starts.
(26.2) The only additional rule for resting uninjured position players is a guideline, recommended for solitaire play, in Super Advanced Strat-O-Matic.
When used together, the Super Advanced Injury Chart, the Solitaire Player Rest Chart, and the Solitaire Starting Lineup Usage Chart (all three are found under Super Advanced Miscellaneous Charts on the reverse side of the Super Advanced Fielding Chart) will provide realistic player usage:
- A. Select the starting lineup.
- B. Roll one 6-sided die and check the Solitaire Starting Lineup Usage Chart to determine which three batters may have to be rested.
- C. For each of these batters, total his actual at-bats and walks (found on the Basic side of his card), refer to the proper section of the Solitaire Rest Chart and roll the 20-sided die to see if the player must rest.
- D. If a player to be rested is the last player available rated to play a position, then he may start the game.
- E. If a player is to be rested, he does not start the game. However, he may be used as a pinch-hitter, pinch-runner, a late-inning defensive replacement, or as a substitute in case injury eliminates all others who can play a position that the resting player is rated to play.
(27.0) Pitcher endurance
Advanced
- Find each pitcher's point of weakness (POW) in the upper right portion of the Advanced side of his card. The number in parentheses following the word "starter" or "relief" is the inning of work when the pitcher becomes vulnerable to fatigue. If a pitcher is both a starter and reliever, he will have two different POW factors.
- (27.1) All Advanced-side pitcher cards have out readings followed by a dot. When a pitcher is fatigued, these readings change from their original outs to SINGLE** (all other runners advance two bases).
- (27.2) Once a pitcher reaches his POW, it cannot be overcome, no matter how well he pitches afterwards. So we strongly recommend that you relieve a fatigued pitcher.
- (27.3) A pitcher reaches his POW in either of two ways:
- A. He reaches his POW inning (or any inning after that) and allows any combination of three hits or unintentional walks in the same inning. His POW begins with the next batter after the third hit and/or walk.
- B. He reaches his POW inning (or any inning after that) and allows any combination of four hits or unintentional walks in any two consecutive innings. His POW begins with the next batter after the fourth hit and/or walk.
- Intentional walks, batters hit by a pitch or errors do not contribute to a pitcher's POW. Nor do any hits or walks that occur before the pitcher's POW inning.
- Example: A starting pitcher with a POW of 6 becomes fatigued as soon as the third hit and/or unintentional walk occurs in the 6th inning. Or, he retires the side in order in the 6th, but becomes fatigued by yielding two walks in the 7th inning and two hits in the 8th. His POW is reached with the last hit, in mid-inning.
- (27.4) A relief pitcher's POW is determined by outs. A reliever with a POW of (1) is immediately vulnerable to fatigue. He could reach his POW by yielding three hits and/or unintentional walks without recording an out. A reliever with a POW of (2) would become vulnerable after he has recorded three outs. Then, whenever three hits and/or unintentional walks occur within a subsequent three-out period, the reliever reaches his POW.
- Example: A reliever with a POW of (2) enters the game with one out in the 6th inning. He becomes vulnerable after one out in the 7th. Then, after getting the second out in the 7th, he walks the next two batters before getting the third out. But he allows a single to the leadoff batter in the 8th, and becomes fatigued, because he has allowed three hits/walks in a three-out period after reaching his POW.
Super-Advanced
- Use the Advanced POW system, but add these features:
- (27.5) Starting pitchers
- (27.51) The Super Advanced Starting Pitcher Rest Chart determines how many games of rest a pitcher needs between starts. The amount varies according to whether the pitcher is an *-rated starter and how many innings he pitched in his last start.
- (27.52) A pitcher used in relief in his last outing should have at least one day of rest before starting. If he does not have this day of rest, consider him fatigued for his entire start.
- (27.53) If a pitcher who does not have a rating as a starter must start a game, give him a POW inning of 4.
- (27.54) The maximum number of innings a starter can pitch without fatigue is 11.
- (27.55) A starter who "doesn't have it" may "lose his stuff" before his POW inning. If a starter gives up 5 runs in any one inning, 6 runs in any two consecutive innings, or 7 runs in any three consecutive innings, consider him fatigued and convert all readings followed by dots to SINGLE** (all other runners advancing two bases).
- (27.6) Relief pitchers
- (27.61) A pitcher used as a starter in his last outing must rest the number of days indicated in the Super Advanced Starting Pitcher Rest Chart before his next appearance, whether it is as a starter or reliever. If a relief pitcher is used without this proper rest, consider him fatigued for the entire relief outing.
- (27.62) If a pitcher who does not have a rating as a relief pitcher must pitch in relief, give him a POW inning of 1.
- (27.63) The maximum number of innings a reliever can pitch without fatigue is his POW inning, plus 2.
- (27.64) Relief pitchers cannot be used more than two straight days. After pitching two straight days, he must rest at least one day.
(28.0) Closer Rule
This Super Advanced system encourages realistic use of relief pitchers, emphasizing the use of pitchers in late-inning save situations who were the real big-league closers.
Since 1992 (and for each of the oldtimer seasons Strat-O-Matic has issued since then) each reliever is given a second POW rating, call it "closer endurance." For example, a rating of "relief (2)/3" indicates a regular POW rating of 2 and a closer endurance rating of 3.
(28.1) Closer ratings range from 0-6, with 6 being the big-league's most frequent and successful closers. If a relief pitcher is rated "N" for closer endurance, he should not be used as a closer.
(28.2) Closer endurance is the duration, measured in number of outs, a pitcher can maintain his effectiveness in closer situations. In Strat-O-Matic, a "closer situation" is defined differently than a big-league save opportunity. Your pitcher will be in a "closer situation" whenever you have the lead in the 9th inning or later and the tying run is on base or at bat.
(28.3) A pitcher may enter a game in a closer situation or a game he already has entered may suddenly become a closer situation. Here are some rules to govern both possibilities:
- (28.31) The closer rules do not affect the current game's starting pitchers, who always use their starter POW (even for starting pitchers who have ratings both as starters and relievers).
- (28.32) Each reliever enters the game using either his closer endurance (if the game is already a closer situation) or his regular POW rating (if the game is not currently a closer situation).
- (28.33) If the pitcher begins his appearance with his regular POW and the game becomes a closer situation, he changes to his closer endurance rating. At that time, reduce his closer endurance by the number of outs he has already recorded. This number cannot be reduced to lower than 0, unless the pitcher's closer endurance is "N".
- (28.34) Once a pitcher begins to use his closer endurance rating, that is his endurance for the remainder of his appearance, even if the score changes and the game no longer is a closer situation.
- Example: A reliever enters the game in the bottom of the 9th inning with a 3-2 lead - a closer situation. The opposing team ties the score in the bottom of the 9th. In the top of the 10th, the pitcher's team scores four times. If the same pitcher remains in the game for the bottom of the 10th, he is still using his closer endurance rating to determine when he becomes fatigued.
- (28.35) The closer endurance rating is the number of outs the pitcher can record before becoming fatigued. Once this number has been reached, reducing his endurance rating to 0, he becomes fatigued as soon as he allows a hit or walk.
- Example: A pitcher with a closer endurance rating of 0 will become fatigued as soon as he surrenders a hit or walk, while a pitcher with closer endurance of 6 can pitch two full innings without risking fatigue.
- (28.36) Any pitcher with a closer endurance rating of "N" is immediately considered fatigued with the first batter he faces in a closer situation.
- (28.37) As with regular POW, once a reliever becomes fatigued under the terms of the Closer Rule, out readings followed by dots become SINGLE** (all other baserunners advancing two bases).
- (28.38) When using the Closer Rule, also be sure to use the rule which limits a reliever's innings to his relief POW rating, plus 2. At that point, he automatically becomes fatigued.
OTHER SUPER-ADVANCED RULES
(29.0) Individual balks, wild pitches, passed balls
At the top of the Advanced side of their cards, each pitcher is rated individually for his balk (bk) and wild pitch (wp) frequency. And each catcher is rated for his passed ball (pb) frequency. Each is on a scale of 0-20, with 0 being the best, resulting in the fewest of these plays.
To use these ratings, follow these rules whenever there is at least one runner on base:
- (29.1) When pitching to batters
- When rolling the three 6-sided dice to get a result from the players' cards, or when using the Bunt or Hit and Run charts, roll a 20-sided die at the same time.
- A. If the 20-sided die roll is 3-20, continue with the normal reading of the three dice (if you will need the 20-sided die again to resolve this play, you must re-roll it.).
- B. If the 20-sided die roll is 1, a wild pitch may occur. Refer to the pitcher's wild-pitch rating and roll the 20-sided die again. If the number rolled is less than or equal to the wild-pitch rating, a wild pitch occurs and all baserunners advance one base.
- C. If the 20-sided roll is 2, a balk or passed ball may occur. Roll the white 6-sided die first. If it comes up 1, 2, or 3, a balk may occur. If it comes up 4, 5, or 6, a passed ball may occur. In either case, roll the 20-sided die again and refer to the appropriate rating (the pitcher's balk rating or the catcher's passed ball rating). If the number rolled is less than or equal to the rating, then a balk or passed ball occurs and all baserunners advance one base.
- D. If your initial roll of the 20-sided die yields a 1 or 2, but no wild pitch, balk or passed ball occurs, you must re-roll the three 6-sided dice (without the 20-sided die) to continue the play. If a wild pitch, balk or passed ball did occur, you must re-roll all four dice to continue (if the bases are now empty, only the three 6-sided dice are needed). In this fashion, more than one of these events can occur while a single batter is at the plate.
- (29.2) When runners attempt to steal
- When rolling for a lead in the Supplementary Stealing System, also roll the 20-sided die along with the two 6-sided colored dice.
- A. If the 20-sided die roll is 3-20, discard the 20-sided die and continue normally with the Supplementary Stealing System. (If a steal is attempted, you will need to roll the 20-sided die again.)
- B. If the 20-sided die roll is 1, the runner attempting the lead may be picked off. Refer to the runner's second steal success rating (in parentheses) and roll the 20-sided die again. If the number rolled is less than or equal to the runner's rating, the runner dives back safely, but the runner has failed to achieve his good lead.
- If the number rolled is higher than the runner's rating, the runner has been picked off (statistically, this does not count as a time caught stealing).
- C. If the 20-sided die roll is 2, there is a possible balk. Refer to the pitcher's balk rating (at the top of the Advanced side of his card) and roll the 20-sided die again. If the number rolled is less than or equal to the balk rating, a balk has occurred and all baserunners advance one base. If the number rolled is higher than the balk rating, the runner dives back safely, but the runner has failed to achieve his good lead.
- (29.3) Fielding chart adjustments
- The individual wild-pitch ratings also simulate the difficulty catchers have with some wild pitchers, such as knuckleballers. When using this system, the "P/P" and "P/F" readings from the Catcher X-Chart Range Section of the Super Advanced Fielding Chart are handled differently.
- These readings indicate that a possible passed ball occurs, with runner(s) on base and if no error occurs on the play.
- If those conditions exist, refer to the pitcher's wild-pitch rating and roll the 20-sided die. If the rolled number is less than or equal to the pitcher's rating, then a passed ball occurs and all baserunners advance one base.
- If the rolled number is higher than the pitcher's rating, no passed ball, and the batter pops out to the catcher.
(30.0) Ball park effects, Weather effects, Clutch hitting
Big-leaguers' power and batting averages are affected by the stadiums they play in. A homerun in one ballpark will be only a catchable fly ball to the warning track in another. A sharply hit ball might get past the infielders on artificial turf, or be a catchable ball on grass. With Strat-O-Matic's Ball Park Effects and Weather Effects, you will feel the effect of every big-league stadium.
And some batters drive in more runs than their batting average and power statistics would suggest. These clutch hitters show their worth in Strat-O-Matic.
(30.1) These are Super Advanced features. If playing Advanced Strat-O-Matic, ignore all the symbols to the left of the card numbers, and all of the second readings beneath the primary outcomes. Accept the primary outcomes.
(30.2) Ball Park Effects and Clutch Hitting are designed to work together. In order to use either feature, ALL symbols to the left of the card numbers must be used.
(30.3) BALL PARK HOMERUNS (black diamond): Ignore all readings that have a (black diamond) symbol to the left of them. Instead, refer to the Ball Park Effect Chart. Find the home stadium and the correct batting stance of the current batter (L=lefty or R=righty). This is the new dice range for the homerun. Roll the 20-sided die to determine whether the batter has hit a homerun or a Flyball()B.
As in Advanced play, players with weak power (W) may not hit home runs. In this situation, change all Homerun results to SINGLE** (all other runners advance two bases).
(30.4) BALL PARK SINGLES (upside down black triangle): Ignore all readings that have a (upside down black triangle) symbol to the left of them. Instead, refer to the Ball Park Effect Chart. Find the home stadium and the correct batting stance of the current batter (L=lefty or R=righty). This is the new dice range for the single. Roll the 20-sided die to determine whether the batter has hit a SINGLE* or a lineout
(30.5) WEATHER EFFECTS: The Weather Effects Chart may be used in place of the Ball Park Effects. Before the game, refer to the Weather Effects Chart, find the home team's section and find the grid containing the proper month and time (day or night) of the game. Roll a 20-sided die and read down within the proper grid to determine if there will be Good, Average or Bad weather conditions. Read across to determine the new dice ranges (with the 20-sided die) for homeruns and singles.
(30.6) (white triangle): When this symbol appears, ignore the first reading. Instead, use the second reading (in italics) beneath it.
(30.7) CLUTCH HITTING (horseshoe): Ignore this symbol - and accept the original result - unless there are two out with at least one runner at second or third base. But when this clutch-hitting situation exists and the batter's dice roll yields a result with a (horseshoe) to the left of it, handle the results this way:
If the original reading is any type of out, make it a SINGLE** (all other runners advance two bases) instead.
If the original reading is a SINGLE, make it a popout instead.
NOTE: Ball Park Effects are based on a three-year period, although results for stadiums with revised dimensions or extreme weather data are based only on current data. In a typical year, several stadium ratings change based on this experience.
A few words of experience
For the most realistic results, use Strat-O-Matic player cards realistically - on their actual teams against actual opponents. Keep at-bats and innings pitched in line with actual use and use each player as his big-league manager did that season. And use each Strat-O-Matic rule as it was intended. Until a player approaches a full season of use, it is not uncommon for his statistics to reflect wide swings of slumps and hot streaks, just as in big-league baseball.
However, because each player has an individual card, Strat-O-Matic is an incredibly flexible game for a wide variety of "what-if" possibilities. You could "draft" players onto make-believe teams, even mixing players from different seasons and eras. Or you could reverse a big-league trade to see "what could have been." You might even want to tinker with a Strat-O-Matic rule to match how you think baseball should be played.
There is almost no limit to the possibilities. Just keep in mind that the further your playing style varies from reality, the further your statistical results will stray, too.
We at Strat-O-Matic want you to have fun. So play our game any way you like. But keep these instructions handy, because when you meet a new gamer, this booklet is the way to keep everyone playing by the same rules.
Playing methods. While most gamers prefer to play face-to-face with an opponent, Strat-O-Matic baseball plays very well as a solitaire game, too. If your schedule or your preference means you will be playing solo, you will make the decisions for both teams. You may find that it works best to make the decisions first for the team in the field, and then the team at bat, before each batter.
Some gamers, especially those who are very busy or who live far away from other gamers, combine solitaire play and having an opponent in "play-by-mail" Strat-O-Matic leagues. In these leagues, each gamer plays only the home games, while sending instructions for road games to the opposing manager.
Sportsmanship. Like real baseball, Strat-O-Matic attracts competitive people. While the strategies you employ often will be crucial to your success, the randomness of dice rolls means that anything can happen. This is what keeps each game fresh and gives each underdog hope. But sometimes, when you have outsmarted your opponent, only to have an unlikely dice roll go against you, you may become frustrated, just as a big-league manager does when his best fielder boots a grounder or his slugger strikes out with the bases loaded.
To avoid disagreements with friends, we suggest a few considerations that will make your game-playing more enjoyable:
1. Display all current pitchers and batters in plain view. Everyone misreads a card once in awhile. If everything is in view of both players, mistakes can be corrected without suspicion.
2. Make sure your opponent has had adequate opportunity to make all strategy choices (change pitcher, infield in, hold the runner, intentional walk, etc.) before you roll the dice for the next batter. You may wish to ask, "are you set?" or, more specifically, "is your infield back or in?" and "are you holding the runner?" before the next roll. Think of it this way: No pitcher would throw the next pitch until all the decisions had been made by his team.
3. Shake those dice well before each roll. The mathematical "chances" and randomness are the same with each new roll. When you roll the same number twice in a row (it will happen!), and get great results each time, you don't want hard feelings to develop, just because your opponent thinks you weren't trying to be fair by not "shaking them up."
4. Agree in advance on when you will re-roll the dice for the same batter (e.g., if any of them falls off the table; if one is tilted when it stops rolling, etc.)