APBA Pro Baseball Master Game Add-On
The original edition of the Master Addition was first released as a board game in 1976. That first version was followed in 1987 by a second version that incorporated some refinements prompted by suggestions from many of our loyal fan base. In July, 2003, the "game" underwent a major transformation into its current form, a spiral-bound booklet, again with subtle refinements made to enhance its accuracy and realism.
WHAT DOES THE MASTER ADDITION DO?
Essentially, the Master Addition picks up where the Basic Game ends. Then it provides abundant detail as you'll read here.
If you have been playing the Basic Game and don't want more detail added to it, we suggest that you do not buy the Master Addition. We strongly recommend against purchasing it if you are not an expert in Basic APBA Baseball, or if you are not thoroughly schooled in the game of baseball itself. THE MASTER ADDITION INSTRUCTIONS AND RESULT CHARTS HAVE BEEN PREPARED FOR THE SKILLED APBA BASEBALL ENTHUSIAST ONLY. An APBA novice will have difficulty playing the Master Addition, and we surely do not want you to invest in a "game" you cannot enjoy.
THE SAME PLAYER CARDS AS THE BASIC GAME
The Master Addition Booklet is comprised of Play Result Charts for the eight base situations (Bases Empty, Runner on First, Runner on Second, etc.), a second set of "Rare Play" or RP charts encompassing the eight base situations and two pages of additional charts used for baserunner advancement, base stealing, dropped throws, wild throws, injury duration, pitcher fatigue, and fielding. BUT YOU USE THE SAME PLAYER CARDS AS YOU DO WITH THE BASIC GAME; HOWEVER, THOSE CARDS DO MORE... MUCH MORE... WITH THE MASTER ADDITION. The cards need not be marked or altered in any way. Besides using the cards, you will also refer to certain additional ratings (symbols as we call them) as the game situation requires. The Symbols, a separate purchase from the Booklet, are available for ALL the APBA card sets produced since 1976, either in their original commercially printed form or as photocopies. These Symbols interact with the Master Charts and the cards to produce increased realism in play results and much greater managerial challenge, compared to the Basic Game.
THIRTY PITCHING GRADES, GRADE FLUCTUATIONS FOR LEFT AND RIGHTHANDED HITTERS
In the Master Addition each pitcher is assigned a numerical grade rating, instead of a letter grade as in the Basic Game. These grades range from 1 to 30. A Basic Game Grade B Pitcher, for example, may be graded anywhere from 10 to 15 in the Master Addition, so his level of effectiveness is truly fine-tuned.
A hurler's grade can fluctuate up or down from batter to batter, depending upon each hitter's ability to handle left or right-handed pitching.
Long rain delays (yes, the Master Addition has this feature, too) make take points from a pitcher's grade after the game is resumed. Grade advancement and reduction procedures from the Basic Game carry over into the Master Addition (as do all Basic Game features), and can work in conjunction with the Pitcher Fatigue feature to enhance or diminish a pitcher's grade.
When third base is occupied by a runner who is a threat to steal home, the defense may elect to have its pitcher stretch instead of winding up. This will decrease his grade slightly, but will prevent the offense from calling for a steal of home. A pitcher's ability to hold runners on at first will have a measurable effect on a baserunner's chance of stealing second successfully, too.
Every pitcher's wild pitch frequency is reproduced (along with each catcher's passed ball frequency). If a moundsman did not hit a batter during the season represented, only a very slight possibility exists that he will do it with the Master Addition. Likewise, pitchers charged with no balks in real life will have virtually no opportunity to commit one in the Master Addition, unless the extreme rarity of a catcher's balk should occur.
Effective pitchers may convert usual extra base hits to singles, and those who allow less than the average number of home runs per nine innings will occasionally reduce normal home runs to doubles. On the other hand, hurlers prone to the gopher ball will sometimes see probable doubles become home runs.
The pitcher's grade affects the outcome of sacrifice, squeeze and hit-and-run plays to the same degree it affects regular results. The outcome for those special plays are incorporated into the Master Addition Result Charts. There are no separate pages devoted to just them.
BATTERS ARE CLASSIFIED AS STRAIGHTAWAY OR PULL-HITTERS
All batters are classified into one of three categories: straightaway hitters, leftfield pull-hitters or rightfield pull-hitters (some switch-hitters pull both ways). In addition to the symbol representing this characteristic, each batter is given two numerical ratings (they can be plus or minus) which are his "handicap" against left and right-handed pitching. If the batter's rating is a plus, the pitcher's grade decreases by that number of points; if the rating is a minus, the pitcher's grade increases by that number of points.
A hitter's Batting Characteristic often has an important bearing on the play result. For instance, if the firstbaseman is holding on a runner at first (another Master feature) who is a threat to steal, a left-handed pull-hitter may single through his position. If the defense chooses to play its firstbaseman off the bag - behind the runner - to lessen the chances of this type of hit, the trade-off is that the runner will have an advantage if he attempts to steal, or the defense may fail to execute what normally would have been a double play because the runner was allowed too big a jump from first, or the runner will have a somewhat better chance to score on a double or reach third on a single. Such decisions are yours to make with the Master Addition.
The hitter's Batting Characteristic has further significance. The same result number which takes a single or double by a right-handed pull-hitter into left field may guide the ball into right field if a left-handed hitter is up. Therefore, the location of the hit, and the fielding talents of the outfielder involved, will greatly affect baserunner(s) advancement.
CONSISTENT FIELDING EFFECTIVENESS ON ALL BASE SITUATIONS
Whenever a play result is a fielding number (numbers 12 through 41), the fielding category (1, 2, or 3) is determined by a separate dice roll. The best fielders, naturally, will be in the top fielding column most of the time. An outstanding shortstop, for example, will perform at a consistently high level regardless of the base situation. Fielding skill not only eliminates some errors, but some hits as well. Poorer fielders will allow more grounders to sneak through for hits, and weaker outfielders will permit more fly balls to fall safely. Fielding ability will also influence the outcomes of sacrifice, squeeze and hit-and-run plays just as it does the standard results.
Fielding ratings also play a crucial role on the RP Charts, which contain the unusual plays which can take place in any game - injuries, ejections, multiple errors, for example. The RP Charts are activated only sporadically, so that such happenings are limited to a realistic frequency. But strange plays can come up in any base situation, and they can result from any of the fielding numbers. This means you cannot juggle your lineup in an attempt to avoid having them occur.
RUNNER'S SPEED, FIELDER'S ARM & HIT LOCATION AFFECT BASE ADVANCEMENT
You decide whether your baserunner(s) should try for an extra base. Unlike the Basic Game, where all baserunner advancement is spelled out as part of the play results, extra base advancement by runners in the Master Addition is based on the consideration of three factors. Every player receives a numerical Speed Rating (Slow runners from 1 to 6; Average runners from 7 to 14; Fast runners from 15 to 20), and every non-pitcher has a numerical Arm Rating (21 to 40). Hits and fly out are assigned Hit Valuation Numbers, representing the distance the ball traveled and the distance and direction the fielder had to move to reach it. This Hit Valuation Number, in combination with the differential obtained from the comparison of the fielder's Arm to the runner's Speed, produces a Chance Number denoting the probability of the runner advancing an extra base on the hit or fly out. A Chance Number of 23, for example, tells you the runner has 23 out of 36 chances (there are 36 dice-roll possibilities) to make the extra base safely. You, as manager, must decide whether or not he tries.
If you decide to advance the runner the extra base, a single roll of the dice provides the umpire's call. If the runner is out, there is still the possibility, though slim, that the ball may be dropped on the tag. The skill of the fielder making the tag will determine just how slim.
If a trailing runner or the batter tries to advance a base on a throw for the lead runner, the Master Addition allows the defense, on most plays, the option of cutting off the throw for the lead runner and making a play for the trailing runner or batter. Again, runners' Speeds and fielders' Arms have a significant effect on such plays. And on long hits, the Arm of the relay man (shortstop or secondbaseman) is as important as the Arm of the outfielder who retrieved the ball.
CONTROLLED OPITONAL BASE STEALING
Where stolen bases are generated primarily by result numbers on each player's card in the Basic Game, practically all steal attempts are "called" at the manager's discretion in the Master Addition. There are only a handful of instances in which a steal occurs without the manager "signaling" for it (botched squeeze bunts, for example), and they won't come up often.
Every player is given a Steal Allowance Letter and a Steal Success Number. The letter when referenced to the Booklet's Steal Allowance Chart tells the manager when a particular player is eligible to attempt a steal of second, third or home. The Chart has nine different categories - the limiting factors are score, inning and number of outs. Once a particular player reaches first (or second, or third) and it is determined that he is eligible to attempt a steal, the offense manager simply declares that he is trying. But another factor is involved: the Steal Success Number, which is calculated according to the player's real-life stolen base success percentage.
The Steal Success Number is subject to alteration. The pitcher's Move To First Rating may drop the Success Number as many as three points, and the catcher's Throwing Rating on steals (separate from his Arm Rating) may cause the Success Number to rise as much as four points or sink as many as six points. If the firstbaseman is not holding a runner tight to the bag, the Steal Success Number increases two points, and if third base is occupied at the time, it goes up another point. All these adjustments must be made to determine the final Steal Success Number for the attempt.
When a batter fails to make contact (play result numbers 13 and 14) on a hit-and-run play, the runner's Steal Success Number (adjusted for the factors above) determines whether or not he makes second safely. He gets no automatic steal as is the case with some result numbers for the hit-and-run play in the Basic Game.
When the runner is initially called out stealing, there remains a chance that the fielder will drop the ball, making him safe after all. And on successful steals, a wild throw may allow him to advance another base. Such results are uncommon, but they're there... again, the fielder's talent will have a bearing.
VIRTUALLY EVERY CONCEIVABLE KIND OF RARE PLAY IS POSSIBLE
It is probably impossible for you to imagine a play which can't occur on the Master Addition. But you won't be overburdened with weird outcomes; you may play hundreds and hundreds of games without seeing certain plays ever develop. In addition to injuries and ejections, here is a sampling of these rare plays: multiple errors on one play, pickoff play, batter thrown out taking wide turn at first, inside the park home run, runner declared out for passing another runner in the basepath, inter-ference and obstruction calls, fan touching ball in play, runner hit by batted ball, unassisted triple play, runner out on appeal, grounder deflected from one infielder to another with batter out at first, fly ball deflected by one outfielder and caught by another, batter out for leaving three-foot lane running to first, runner advancement on infield pop-ups and caught foul flies, batter thrown out at first by outfielder, two-base advancement on wild pitches and passed balls, runner out on hidden ball trick, base hit nullified for use of illegal bat, lucky hits hitting bases, freak double plays, batter out for stepping on home plate, runner colliding with fielder, two-base hits on a bunt, wild return throw to the mound, fielder missing bag, rain delays and in-progress rain-outs... and there's many, many more!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PLAY A GAME?
It takes longer than it does with the Basic Game, of course, but not nearly so long as you may think from reading the preceding description. The routine hit and out results, particularly with the bases empty, are no harder to find than in the Basic Game. The plays which are more time-consuming are the ones with several dice rolls - where runners are trying for an extra base, or a stolen base is being attempted, or throws are being cut off, or referencing the RP Charts is required.
More detail, naturally, requires more time. Additional decisions will slow down a game for just as long as it takes you to make them. Once you have learned the Master procedures, you should need only 30 to 35 minutes to play an average game.
Master Game Symbols also required to play.
Be The First To Review This Product!
Help other Milsims Games users shop smarter by writing reviews for products you have purchased.