Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New APBA Quest

I'm a big fan of APBA Baseball. By printing sets of cards for every baseball season since 1901, the possibilities are endless. But where does one start? I know some who have started a replay of the entire history of baseball since 1901. Others replay seasons here and there, in no particular order, or will replay the season for one particular team. I knew I wanted to do something, but couldn't decide what.

Then Stan Musial died.

Stan "The Man" Musial was indeed one of the greatest players of all-time and the best player to ever don the redbirds uniform. What does this have to do with APBA? Well, while I've never met Musial, I did send him an APBA box score to autograph for me back in the early 1990s, which he did and at no cost. I can't remember the details of the game, only that it was between the Cardinals "Original Franchise All-Stars" team and some other team. I believe he went 3-4 with 2 HRs and several RBIs. I figured it fitting that he sign it, which he did. It was my prized autograph until I was forced to sell it for financial reasons. Think Curt Schilling's "Bloody Sock." Still, it is one of my fondest memories and my "Stan Musial" story.
While reflecting on this man's career, his contributions to baseball, and his connection to APBA in my mind and in my heart, it dawned on me -- why not replay his entire career? I'm a Cardinals fan, so it's not like I'd be replaying a team I didn't like and frankly, they had some good years in the 40s. The 50s were a dark time in Cardinal history but maybe with me at the helm things will turn out differently?

Then I got to thinking...who else was a great player of that same time? Ted Williams of course! And since the Red Sox are another of my favorite teams I figured it I was going to replay Musial's career, I might as replay Williams's too! So that's what I decided to do: replay the careers of two baseball greats: Ted Williams and Stan Musial. Here are my guidelines:

1) I will start with 1939 (Ted Williams's rookie year) and replay the Red Sox. All 162 games. From there I'll play 1940 (Sox) again, and for 1941 I'll pick up both teams. However, since I currently have a few years in their careers, I probably won't necessarily play them in chronological order. I know. Bad, huh? And I think I'll start with 1944. Williams was off to war, but Musial was home and that was the year the Cardinals played the Browns in the World Series.

2) Unlike some fans (or fanatics), I am not going to look up the details of every game. Instead, I'll just use the lineups provided by APBA. I will, however, limit Williams and Musial to the number of games they played during the regular year--or at least come close. As for the war years, if they did not play during that season, I won't do a replay. Also, I'll probably play all the games against each team at the same time, instead of trying to follow the regular season schedule.

3) As for the playoffs and World Series, I plan to implement a playoff system. The 2nd place team will play the 3rd place team in a best-of-three series and the winner of that will play the pennant winner in a best-of-five series. World Series will be a best-of-seven affair. I will use the regular season records for all teams other than those I am replaying. For those I'm replaying (and I will replay even the non-Williams and non-Musial games) I will substitute my record for their actual season record and see where they would place.

So, that's it. We'll see how far I get :).

Happy gaming! Roll well and live!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy New Year!

Well, Happy New Year! Albeit a few weeks late. I've had quite a busy year so far this year, mostly related to work and the job hunt, so I haven't been gaming very much. I do hope to turn that around in the coming weeks.

I have been playing quite a bit of Pathfinder -- at least two sessions this year. Both of which were fun, but neither of which went well for my characters. Yes, that's right, characters plural.

For the past year I have been playing a fighter. Not a very good one I should add, but I did enjoy mixing it up during combat and wielding my two-handed magic sword with only one hand. I was building up quite a bit of wealth as well and had already reached third level, on the verge of leveling up to fourth level. I was even studying to be a cleric. Life was good. Then we were attacked by some creatures and one of them scored a double 20 against me. Yeah, my head came off. That was early in the session so I rolled up a new character, a cleric of Desna.

I was ready to go with Varion. I had my spells, my figure, and my backstory--I was the step brother of my fighter who was killed. I quickly proved my worth by dispensing luck and healing the injured. But during our second session of the year, I tried to hide myself in some rock outcroppings, tripped, and was killed and eaten by an orc's lizard mount. Not a pleasant way to go. So, figuring I was doomed to death, I decided to roll up a bard.

I had never played a bard before, but it always seemed like a lot of fun. My instrument of choice would be a crude self-invented harmonica, in honor of the Stan "The Man" Musial, who had died just the day before. Once again I had my spells ready and my figure in place. My first chance to prove myself came when we encountered an orc patrol. My group was hidden in a rock outcropping (a different one from where my cleric was killed) and I mesmerized the patrol with my harmonic and brought them past the rock outcropping where my group laid in wait to pick them off one at a time.

Things went downhill after that. We tried to infiltrate an orc camp to liberate some ant-people who had been taken as slaves but we were discovered and a mass of orcs pretty much slew our party. Our rogue had a magic deck which helped to some extent, but ended up drawing the "magic sword of death" card and was killed and turned into an evil sword, but not before he could liberal the ant-people slaves to help us fight. Yeah, they were pretty much slaughtered by did serve as speed bumps.

Our one fighter was killed and replaced by a barbarian, who was also killed. Our wizard and druid fought bravely, but the druid tried to escape by casting a disguise spell to hide as an orc, but one orc wasn't fooled and he slew the druid. The wizard, who killed a total of--get this--16 orcs, managed to cast a spell that helped him escape while my halfing bard was able to sneak past the battle and make his own escape.

It was a bloodbath, but it was a fun bloodbath.

On another note, I ended up buying Britannia for myself for Christmas and have only one game left on my wish list -- Guildford -- which I may soon buy from a friend. After that, I'm done for a while.

I write this on Martin Luther King Day, a day where I and many of my fellow gamers have the day off. As is tradition, we are getting together to play games. We usually play an all-day wargame (yeah, I know, ironic since the day is to celebrate the life of a man of peace) but with the inauguration today and busy schedules, we are getting together for a quick game of Formula De. It's a fun game and we will have about 1/2 dozen or so--maybe more.

Happy gaming! Roll well and live!