I’m sure there are lots of pages that are devoted to answering the question, “What is Strat-o-matic Baseball?” Let’s see if I can spell it out in few words that might pique your interest.
For a novice, Strat-o-matic Baseball is a board game for 1-2 people which boils the sport of baseball down to the level of a fun, interactive family room setting.
But for the intermediate baseball fan and above, Strat-o-matic Baseball becomes the study of a sport that may be as much mathematical as it is physical.
The Strat-o-matic Company over the years has optimized the quantification of player performance to accurately reproduce game play. Much like the sport itself, given a large sample size (say, 162 games), players’ outputs should be within reasonable expectation.
You can pull out a great team and an awful team, play them in a series of contests, and the great team likely will win the majority of the games. But the awful team will have their chances, and some of their ability to overcome their weaknesses reveals the true joy of Strat-o-matic.
That’s because you become the manager. You choose when to relieve pitchers. You choose whether to sacrifice bunt to move a runner along rather than rely on that .223 hitter to come through. In the most advanced form of the game, you can even choose the ballpark you want for your home, which can tie into your strategy.
You have the introductory Basic gameplay, which is easy enough for grade-schoolers to follow. At it’s most realistic, Strat has the Super-Advanced rules of play, which add factors like the ballpark, whether a hitter is clutch, a more realistic stolen base model, and additional pitcher factors like balking and pick-offs.
That allows for the most intense seasoned players to compete in tournaments and leagues. But with Basic and Advanced rules, you still have the realistic stat generation which gives solo players the joy of recreating seasons or simulating their own tournaments (such as happens here at the Ten-acious Baseball League).
If this interests you, check out the Strat-o-matic corporate website and invest in a game. Personally, I’d recommend getting the Current Edition with Additional Players ($70). I didn’t get the extra cards, and I feel like I’d be able to use them at this point now. For the additional $20, it’s probably worth it (and I’ve had other players agree).