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Good simulation games

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  • Good simulation games

    I have played Oldtime Baseball on PC for a long time but it has its limits especially considering its nearly 40 years old. I recently looked at OOTP (Out of the Park) baseball but saw that they actual game play is merely script and a baseball moving around the field. I would like to play a game that is accurate for simulation, has real older and newer stadiums and gameplay for managing where you can actually watch a game being played. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    You kinda sorta may be out of luck. Active historical baseball simulations are a very limited market. Honestly can't think of anything off the top of my head except try to find a copy of MVP Baseball 2005 for PC?
    46 wins to match last year's total


    • #3
      I played OOTP a few years ago. Lately, I've been playing Diamond Minds online. It's a really good sim and, depending on the type of league you join, it can get rather deep in studying players. Quite a few players who've been there for over 10 years. Reference pages are good, most of the players will help you out as well. Only downside is that it's not free - if a free type game is what you're looking for. It costs $20 per season you play with the winner of the league winning the $20 back to play another. I purchased the $100 package which gives you a free extra play (6 games).

      You can play standard-type leagues (DH or no DH based on your preference) or customized ones that can be a lot of fun. There are leagues that only use players from certain eras, certain franchises, or even single years with the ability of having multiple of the same player from different seasons. I was just in a league where a team had both a 1990 version of Bonds playing CF and 2001 Bonds playing LF.

      I'm barely able to scrape .500 so far - but i'm only in my third league. But I'm having a blast with it. If anybody's interested in something like this but doesn't want to jump in with $20 on the line, feel free to reply or PM and I'll tell you more of what I've learned so far.
      "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers


      • #4
        Maybe I can help you just a tiny tad. Like you, I love tabletop baseball games. I have owned Strat, APBA, and Statis-pro games plus others I can no longer remember. I have played Dynasty League and Diamond Mind online as well.

        However, I never fully loved any of the games. There were missing things that I thought should be included, and after looking at many simulation games, it seemed like each one had a fault, but that another one had the solution for that fault. In other words, if you could combine all the games together, you might have a perfect game, at least in your or my own mind.

        The other problem I had with all these games is that I like to play a season with the teams I want to have. None of these games ever offer a version that I want to play. I don't want to play the 1927 Yankees against the 1998 Braves. I don't want to see somebody choose the 1931 Athletics over the 1929 Athletics if I want to have a better Foxx season.

        Here's what I did. I am a rather decent code-breaker. It really doesn't take much analytical skill to break the codes on these games. I started breaking codes in the mid 1960's when I wanted to make my own game of best teams between 1945 and 1965.

        It is rather easy to make your own game these days and make it look rather professional. With Google Sheets or MS-Office, you can design printable cards for each player in your created set. With Baseball Reference, The Baseball Cube, Fangraphs, Seamheads, Baseball Prospectus, Clay Davenport, and other sites, you can get very accurate statistics and even estimate defensive prowess as well.

        After fooling around with defense for a long, long time, and purchasing the Fielding Bible to get even more information, it hit me one day that if you create team sets, then the defensive ability is reflected in each teams' BABIP and thus actually already factored into the pitching cards. All you really have to do is to look at each position on the teams and factor that each position have an average of 0 range adjustment and 0 arm adjustment.

        For instance if 3 players played 3rd base in every inning for one team in 154 games played for 1,375 innings, you might have something like this:

        Player A: 838 innings
        Player B: 330 innings
        Player C: 207 innings

        Let's say that player C is actually the fielding star at third base, and he basically plays in the latter innings as a defensive replacement for the weak fielding, but hot hitting Player A. Player B is a right handed batter that basically starts against left-handed pitching.

        This might be how the defense is calculated.

        Player A -32
        Player B -2
        Player C +133

        These numbers factor to 0 range. The ranges for each position are calculated in such a manner that the shortstop and center fielder have more affect than other positions, while the 1st baseman and left fielder have less. Catcher's range is mostly a factor of passed balls and ability to field bunts, while pitcher's range is hardly a factor at all.

        The same holds true with arm ratings, as the better players can turn double plays and make outfield assists.

        Basically, all you have to do is get yourself three, 10-sided dice for 1,000 probabilities and then calculate each batter's proabilities of non intentional BB, HBP, K, etc. You can get a run rating by looking at multiple factors from all the stats sites.

        I used to divide the hitting and pitching into separate cards with hitting from 1-500 and pitching from 501-1000, but I didn't like this. If you have Koufax pitching to Bobby Wine, I don't want Wine getting an advantage due to 4 ABs with rolls in 1-500, or Willie Mays facing some washed up pitcher who lucks into rolling 4 rolls over 500.

        So, what I did was to make pitcher adjustments for each batter.

        Example: John Sample-Batter has walks from 1-77 and 78-82 HBP and Hits of any kind from 766 to 1000. He hit .256 with an OBP (not counting IBB) of .317 (235-912)

        For this season, the average for a batter is 234 of 921. Obviously, this is also the same average for what a pitcher gave up.

        Pitcher Bill "Aceman" Flamethrower gave up an opponents batting average per 1,000 PA of 197 of 935.

        Thus versus the average pitcher Flamethrower gave up 37 fewer hits per 1,000 PA and 14 fewer BB+HBP than an average pitcher. So, against Sample-Batter, instead of 235-912, he is adjusted to 198-926 .214/.272

        There are adjustments in the types of hits as well. Some pitchers may turn batter's singles into doubles or doubles into singles. Some pitchers may turn long fly balls into home runs and some may turn home runs into long fly balls. Some pitchers will turn a non-hit air ball into a ground ball and vice versa.

        Then, the defense comes into play. If a ball is hit to 3rd base, and Player A from above is in the game, it might get past into left field for a single or maybe a double, whereas if defensive specialist Player C is in the game, a single or even double might be stopped for a possible ground out.

        I have ballpark charts for each park so that one park's home run may be another park's fly out. One park's foul into the stands may be another park's foul pop out. The ball may carry an extra 15 feet on fly balls at one park, while another park may be death to fly balls. I even have real weather affects for each park based on weather data from historical averages for the chance of rain, wind effects by direction, and temperature. In other words, at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, the average daytime high in May is 76 degrees with an average wind of 10MPH blowing from the South, which for this park means it is blowing from Right Field to Left Field, as Sportsman's Park faced True East. There is a 35% probability that for any day in May in St. Louis that there will be rain, but I also factor that the rain can come at any hour of a day, when the game only takes up 3 of those 24 hours at most. So, it leaves a smaller chance that it will rain between 2 and 5 PM. And, rain does not necessarily mean rain out. It might rain in the morning, and the field conditions might be a bit worse (depending on the era, where it could rain out a deadball era game but have no effect at all on a 1985 astro-turf game).

        The best part of the game for me is that I can include what I want and remove things I don't want like goofy rules that are in some games that have no business. Something like, a chance for a particular player to be thrown out of the game, and then in the game, Lou Gehrig is tossed for arguing a call, something that never ever happened to him.

        I can include things like Umpires making the wrong call on the bases or turning a BB into a K or K into a BB. I can include rules for warming up pitchers in the bullpen when a pitcher is tiring. I can include adjustments for twi-light games and adjustments to catchers playing the next day following a night game in which they caught 9 innings. I can adjust for players called up for a cup of coffee who went 14 for 35 not being able to become Ty Cobb and played for an entire season.

        I have been doing this for more than 50 years, partly because I love the act of creating my own, and partly because I am too cheap to spend $75 getting a version of a game I don't really love.

        This year, I am playing a 16-team game of Deadball era teams, actually 1899 to 1920, since I needed 1899 for the best St. Louis Cardinals/Perfectos team in that era (and Cy Young pitching), and I wanted the 1920 Indians rather than the 1908 Indians.

        My league is
        Boston Braves 1914
        Brooklyn Robins 1916
        New York Giants 1905
        Philadelphia Phillies 1915
        Pittsburgh Pirates 1909
        Cincinnati Reds 1919
        Chicago Cubs 1906
        St. Louis Perfectos 1899
        Boston Red Sox 1912
        New York Highlanders 1904
        Philadelphia Athletics 1910
        Washington Senators 1912
        Detroit Tigers 1909
        Cleveland Indians 1920
        Chicago White Sox 1917
        St. Louis Browns 1902

        I got ballpark data from this incredible Deadball era book called: Ballparks of the Deadball Era. You have to find a copy if you are a ballpark fanatic like me. This guy has the best evidence to prove that a lot of the numbers you see in books and online may not be correct. He has precise measurements and lots of stats to back his work up, and it was easy to draw the ballparks up based on this data. I believe in many instances, the Seamheads Ballpark database is not accurate, and the Stats Baseball Scorebook parks are also not 100% accurate.

        I tend to play my seasons with themes. Because I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, I love playing a version of best teams between 1946 and 1972, the end of the war to the end of pitcher's batting in the AL. I have also played seasons of best between 1920 and 1959, best between 1973 and 1998, and then single seasons such as 1950, 1964, 1967, and 1973.

        I have attempted to also make a team stars version of players between 1950 and 1980, so that Sandy Koufax, Don Newcombe, Steve Garvey, Maury Wills, and Duke Snider can play at their best 5-year peaks on one Dodgers team, and Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage, Allie Reynolds, and Ron Guidry can play at their peaks for the Yankees. It was really hard making the cards for this one, and I never completed the set.

        I hope this helps some. I advise you to make your own game. I make new versions between November and March and then begin play in early April. I have not started this year, because our printer died, and I am waiting for our new one to arrive via Amazon. I use card stock to print cards and then a green hacking paper cutter to cut up sheets. I get 12 batting and pitching cards per 8.5 x 11 sheet and 16 fielding cards per sheet. Each ballpark is printed on two sides of one sheet. I also have additional sheets for where long fly balls that might be homers are hit after factoring the batter's handedness plus his ability to pull or go the other way, how far they go after factoring in each player's power rating, a weighted random weather adjustment factor for the park where the game will be played, a home field advantage sheet, and some others as well.


        • #5
          I forgot to mention an important point. You have two options when factoring averages among different seasons.

          1. Let the offensive stats be factored as they occurred in the particular season and then adjust pitching stats based on the total average of all the seasons in the set.
          This will make offensive teams in better offensive seasons much more potent, but it will make the pitching staffs look weak compared to other seasons. For instance, if you play a 1946 to 1972 set, the 1968 Tigers will look lame on offense when compared to the 1953 Dodgers, but the 1968 Tigers pitching staff will look like the 1906 Cubs, while the 1953 Dodgers will look more like the 1930 Phillies. It allows the offensive season teams to score a lot of runs but give up a lot, while the pitching dominant season teams will look anemic on offense but throw a bunch of shutouts and 1 or 2 run games. If you want to see Koufax look incredible, put a 1965 or 1966 Dodgers team in your set and include teams from the offense-heavy 1950's.

          2. Figure offensive cards based on each player's deviation from average for the season involved. Thus if John Smith had 5% more walks than an average hitter in that season and had 62 walks, while Bill Jones had 5% more walks than an average hitter in another season and had 79 walks, these two players would have identical percentages of walks in this set.

          Because it is easier, I tend to stick with option 1, because option 2 normalizes most of the players to where they look identical. Players that hit 49 homers in one offensive-minded season and players that hit 26 homers in one defensive-minded season both hit 34 to 36 homes in an average season, and it loses the individualism a bit. I want my 49 homer guy hitting 49 homers, because his team's strategy is based on him doing so. If you remove 30% of his homers, his team must use a different strategy than they used during the season.

          Also, I tend to play interleague games no matter what the season. I want every team I make to play every other team. It is easy in a 16-team league of original franchises. I play 14 games against every team in their own league for 98 total games and then 7 interleague games for each team for 56 total games which adds up to 154.

          One or two times in my past, I tried something novel. I did a season where the PCL became a full Major League, and the Continental League actually existed past Branch Rickey's plans and fielded 8 teams. I then merged the two into the NABL (North American Baseball League) and played a season where each 1959 Major league team became one of the NABL teams. I placed the Washington Senators in LA Wrigley Field and watched Harmon Killebrew, Jim Lemon, and Bobby Allison combine for 130 homers.
          Last edited by wes_kahn; 04-06-2018, 08:02 AM.


          • #6
            I hope this works. I am attempting to attach pictures of my batter, pitcher, and fielder cards that I make for a typical game.

            To explain, the batter's card breaks down at bats against left-handed and right-handed pitchers. Each number represents a 3-dice roll. The BB/HBP stands for walks and hit by pitch, with the number in parentheses representing the first 9 of the 66 numbers as a hit by pitch and 10-66 as a walk. K stands for strike outs. GDP are tailor-made double play grounders that even weak fielders have an excellent shot of making. G is an average grounder that would be considered routine by not tailor-made for a DP. Better fielders in range and arm will have better chances at turning the DP. G+ are grounders that are either deep in the hole with a possibility of getting through for a hit or becoming an infield single or are tiny dribblers that might allow the batter to reach and eliminates all chances at a DP, except for rare circumstances like when a Brooks Robinson is involved in the fielding of the ball. Foul IF, is a pop foul behind home plate or in the infield foul line (not past the bases). Pop represents all pop flies that qualify as infield fly rule flies. Line is a catchable line drive and not a liner into the outfield. The ball can still be missed by weak range fielders. When caught, the chance of doubling a base-runner is very high. Foul OF is an outfield fly foul ball past the bases and possibly over the fence depending on the batter and the ballpark. Fly- is a short fly ball that is more of a Texas Leaguer than a pop. In cavernous ballparks, it has a good chance to drop for a cheap hit, but in bandboxes, it becomes an easy out most of the time. Fly is a standard fly ball that would be considered a Fliner Fly by Baseball Info Solutions. It is not deep enough to make the warning track, except maybe down the lines at the Polo Grounds, at South End Grounds in Boston, Lloyd St. in Milwaukee, or to left field at the LA Coliseum. LONG represents a well-hit ball that could be out of the park, against the wall for extra bases, or a long out depending on the ballpark and the power of the player. 1b- is a base hit that will most likely not advance any runners on base an extra base, except maybe players like Ty Cobb and Tim Raines. 1b is a standard base hit with standard base-runner advance possibilities (better if hit to RF than to LF on 1st to 3rd). 1b+ is a base hit that almost always advances a base-runner two bases except for somebody like Greg Luzinski or Mickey Lolich. 2b- is almost the same as 1b+, but it is a double for the batter. 2b is a standard double with a decent chance to clear the bases. 2b+ almost always clears the bases. 3b is a triple.

            RUN is the batter's ability to run the bases once on base. It is on a 1-100 scale. SB Attempt is the batter's ability to get a good lead and jump on a possible stolen base attempt. This helps make the guy who stole 4 bases in 5 attempts unable to become the next Maury Wills. Only seldom will he ever get a decent jump to steal, and if he tries to steal 100 times, he is not going to be successful 80 times; it will be more like 45. SB% is the percent chance that the runner will steal the base if he gets the good lead and jump. In this game, the runner doesn't have to steal when he attempts. If the dice roll says that it will be 20% off due to the pitcher holding him on, then he can stay.

            The two letters on Bunt represent on the left sacrifice bunt ability, and on the right bunt single ability. The Spcl box is a rare special occasions box for unique things, like for players like Manny Mota who are better pinch-hitters than everyday players. The number at the bottom is a stamina number. This represents the number of Plate Appearances the batter can make in one week (Monday through Sunday) before fatigue forces him to become less effective. After Sunday's games, everything resets to 0 for the next week. This keeps the batter that went 14 for 35 for the season from becoming the next Rogers Hornsby. This batter will get a stamina of just 2, and he may also have a reduction as a pinch-hitter.

            The Pitcher card shows the affect per 1000 that the pitcher has on batters' cards broken down to against left-handed batters and right-handed batters. The BB/HBP is the affect on walks and hit by pitch with a number in parentheses representing a change in hit by pitch. Koufax has no affect on HBP, so there is no parentheses for him. K represents the affect on strike outs, and obviously, Koufax turns a lot of ABs into stirkeouts. Go/Fo changes grounders to flies or flies to grounders, and in this case Koufax gives up more fly balls and less grounders than the average pitcher. H is the affect on all types of hits that Koufax gives up, and you can see he gives up a lot fewer than an average hitter. You can look at his BB & H numbers and then look at the year in question and deduct from the average to get what Koufax's opponents BA and OBP were. 2b represents the affect on balls that are hits to be for extra bases or extra base hits to be reduced to base hits. LONG represents the affect in footage of how far any LONG hit travels. Against a right-handed batter that hits a LONG on Koufax, 15 feet is deducted from the distance.

            ST/RL is there to adjust certain stats when a predominant starter appears in relief or a prominent reliever starts. Koufax has a blank here, which means if you bring him in as a relief pitcher, he pitches without adjustment (he didn't appear in any relief in 1966). There are two columns for Stamina and Frequency. The left side is for starting and the right side is for relieving. The X's mean Koufax did not relieve in any games in 1966. The 35 represents the number of batters he can face before he begins to fatigue, but if he has had an easy day, that number can extend, and if he has had a rough day, that number can be reduced. The frequency of 3.5 means he can pitch every 4th day until September 15, at which point he can pitch every 3rd day until the rest of the season. Spcl stands for special circumstances; there are 3: B, H, and J. B stands for No Out walks, which means this pitcher has better control with no outs and weaker when men are on base. H stands for bases-occupied home runs, which means this pitcher is less likely to give up a homer when men are on base and more likely to give one up when the bases are empty. J stands for Jam, which means this pitcher might tend to give up more hits when the bases are empty, and less hits when two or more players are on base.

            The Bottom St/Rl stands for the number of days between switching from starter to reliever or reliever to starter. Koufax did not relieve, so he has an X. If it had been 2/3, that means he could start and then would need two days off to relieve, and that he could relieve and then need 3 days off before making a start.

            The fielder card represents the allowed positions for each player, the range, the arm, and the ability to cleanly field the ball. In Range, + numbers mean better than average range, and - numbers mean weaker than average range. It is the opposite for Arm, where negative numbers are good and positive numbers are bad (because this affects batters' RUN numbers). The lower the Field Number the better the player is at avoiding errors.

            I enclosed a sample ballpark chart but not a ballpark picture, since that would violate copyright laws to post from somebody else's webpage, but you can get good pictures of any ballpark during the era you want. If you want the LA Coliseum in 1959, then a Google Image search will give you some good images that print clearly on 8 1/2 by 11 sheets.
            Last edited by wes_kahn; 04-08-2018, 10:12 AM.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Whoman69 View Post
              I have played Oldtime Baseball on PC for a long time but it has its limits especially considering its nearly 40 years old. I recently looked at OOTP (Out of the Park) baseball but saw that they actual game play is merely script and a baseball moving around the field. I would like to play a game that is accurate for simulation, has real older and newer stadiums and gameplay for managing where you can actually watch a game being played. Any suggestions?
              Out of the Park is great and it's getting better each year. A major plus is that you really can juice up the game with mods created by a huge community, primarily logos, caps, jerseys and schedules, but these fantastic 3D ballpark models this year are awesome.

              "I told Mr. Rickey that someday I was going to have to meet my maker
              and if He asked me why I didn't let that boy play and I said it was because
              he was black, that might not be a satisfactory answer."

              Happy Chandler, Baseball Commissioner, 1947


              • #8
                Originally posted by Germaniac View Post

                Out of the Park is great and it's getting better each year. A major plus is that you really can juice up the game with mods created by a huge community, primarily logos, caps, jerseys and schedules, but these fantastic 3D ballpark models this year are awesome.
                That may be true but the stadium is irrelevant if you just see a ball flying around and no baseball action.


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