Looking for a good baseball sim

OK, I’ve been playing various fantasy baseball games for years now.  I’ve been active in at least one Stratomatic league since 1992.  Yet I still can’t seem to find a game that can produce realistic and reasonable end of year statistics. 

Oh, I’ve tried a bunch, and they all have problems.  Most of the PC and console games tend to be geared towards arcade style play, which emphasizes hitting, particularly home runs.  MLB06 The Show is like this.  If you play your AB’s, you can dominate, and put up some truly gaudy numbers over 162 games (.506 average?  366 Hits?  No problem!).  The old Tony LaRussa games for the Sega Genesis were equally as bad.

Baseball Mogul for the PC is a nice baseball business sim, but a lousy baseball game sim.  The financial aspects of this game are nearly unparalelled, and are very realistic.  However when it comes to the on field stuff, it fails miserably (Guys hitting 90 HR, 1200 Career HR, etc).

I have only fooled around a bit with Out of the Park.  From what little I’ve tinkered with, it seems fairly solid.  It has a minor league system, an OK trade AI, and the end of years numbers generally tend to be reasonable.  Now, I must admit that I’ve only played a few seasons with OOTP, so I can say for certain if the mechanics of the game are truly on target or not.

 Some people have reccomended APBA to me over the past few years.  I have yet to try this one out.  I will look into it over the summer as my search for the perfect PC baseball game continues.

But what prompted this, and is a source of both joy and frustration is Stratomatic.  This game, in one form or another, has been around for years upon years (in modern speak).  It is perhaps the most successful of all baseball games ever made (you don;t stay in business for 40 some odd years otherwise).  Yet while I find the game enjoyable, and entertaining, it continually frustrates me, and has some glaring issues.

First off, the game favors the hitters.  Oh, don’t spout off about statistics to me here.  In the real world (ITRW), it is not a 50-50 chance as to who has the advantage in a hitter-pitcher match up.  That’s a gross generalization, that in Stratomatic, gives far too much advantage to good hitters.  So, even good or great pitchers will get hit, and hit hard in Stratomatic.  This is just plain wrong.

Even worse, are trends that others besides myself have noticed.  If you’re a Yankee, you will get a better card than you deserve.  If the designers like you as a player, you will get a better card.  If they don’t like you, you will get a worse card.  Oh I’m sure Hal Richmond and company will deny this untill they’re blue in the face.  But it does happen, as we have compared cards for players with similar, if not exact stats, and you can see that there are definite differences between the two.  It’s a flaw in teh system, and one that skews the whole game.

This is why I keep hoping someone will make a PC version of the old Avalon Hill game, Statis Pro.  Now that was a well balancd game.  Sure, it lacked a lot of “chrome,” but as a baseball sim, it was nearly perfect.  Good pitchers were good, and bad pitchers were bad.  The basic mechanic was you rolled a die, and if it wasn’t on the pitcher’s card (and the range varied by pitcher), it went to the hitter, and most hitter’s cards, even the crappy ones, were pretty good. 

Sure there were problems with Statis Pro.  The fielding and base running rules left a lot to be desired.  Stealing was far too complicated, and there was no accounting for odd ball rare plays.  Still, a modern revamp of the game could potentially fix all that, especially in a PC format. 

 Thus, I am stuck.  Untill that perfect game comes along, I will continue to muddle along with Stratomatic as long as I have a league, and as long as I am still having fun.

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12 thoughts on “Looking for a good baseball sim

  1. Seems like either you got a corrupted version of Baseball Mogul or you downloaded a bad database somewhere. I’ve played over 1000 seasons using Mogul and never had anyone hit more than 71 homers. Seriously, make sure you get the current version 10.24 and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

  2. The High Heat Series of about 5 years ago was the best I’ve come across that had the right mix of graphics and management. 2002 was the tops (the one with Vlad Guerrero on it). The manger function was awesome!

    Strato is too statistical and even with the roll of a die, you can already do a good job predicting the outcome of the play. Not to mention that it does not take into play diminished abilities because of ‘nagging’ injuries. Your player can’t get hot (aka Dustin Pedroia) nor cold (ala Bobby Abreu).

    Baseball Mogul and OOTP are pretty lousy when it comes to actual game play and after 1 or 2 seasons the game starts to get crazy. I’ve never played APBA either so can’t comment. MLB 07 the Show plays very well, but you can mash, like any console game. Humans play much better than computers (at least they pitch better).

  3. As was commented, Baseball Mogul fails after a season or two, and gets even worse when auto-created players start creeping in. I’ve had seasons in BBMogul with a player getting 93 HR, and 210BI. Same player (game created), finished with 1142 career HR. This was on the base version of the game. Never had a .400 hitter though.

  4. MLB Power Pros. I couldn’t really get into it, since I’m not a big sports game fan — but from what I played it’s fun and the controls are pretty solid on the Wii. It’s cartoony, but it’s got great statistical realism and an “RPG” mode where you bring a player up from college ball into the minors or major league.

  5. My favorite table game was Big League Manager, second favorite was Statis Pro. BLM was the ultimate geek game. For a lot of plays you had to plug numbers into a formula to get the result. It was designed like a computer program. It also produced great results. Statis Pro (Bought by Avalon Hill from Midwest Research) was more playable but didn’t have the transparency that BLM did.

    BLM actually had detailed instructions for creating your own player cards from stats which included an interesting take on the average pitcher concept and required you to calculate the percentage of balls put in play.

    BLM’s parent company went bankrupt quite a few years ago. They also put out the Negamco sports games and a boxing game that had a cult following.

    I’ve always wanted to do a simple computer port of BLM. The part that’s held me back is play against the computer. The rest is laid out very clearly in the directions.

    • Joel:
      Don’t even know if you will get this, as your post is over two years old. The reason I found your comments is I have read where Strat-O-Matic is celebrating its 50th birthday. I have always “burned” at the fact that they are widely recognized as the best Table-Top baseball game out there and was searching the web for comparisons between BLM & SOM.
      I started playing BLM in 1960 and still have the game parts and a few seasons as well as several old-timer teams (ex: ’61 Yankees, ’54 Giants, ’64 Dodgers). I plan to start playing again when I retire next year.
      How can a game (SOM) that uses a dice to determine results from only the hitter or pitcher card exclusively be considered superior to BLM that meshes Pitcher & Hitter stats to get results?
      Just asking.

      • Booklover:
        I recently purchased BLM on eBay and enjoy it quite a lot. I’ve played several tabletop baseball games over the years so I don’t exactly consider myself a rookie. I’ve found some of the rules very difficult to understand. For example, in one scenario I had a man on third. The defense was playing with the infield in. I wanted to attempt to send the runner from third on a grounder to short, but I read, and reread the rules over and over but couldn’t figure out how calculate it. If you can, would you mind walking me through the process?

        Thanks,
        Ron

  6. Check out PureSim. I cannot believe it hasn’t been mentioned. The best in order are : 1) OOTP or PureSim, 2) Baseball Mogul … then a huge fall off.

  7. You have to experience APBA. Started in 1950 its by far the oldest/first. the basic dice game had its flaws but the computer version is the BEST stat based sim ever. its totally addictive. ive played since 65 & spent thousands on accessories. Ive also played all the others so i know

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