The Talk Show – May 2016

Host: Glenn Guzzo
You can submit your question or insight on any Strat-O-Matic game to When you do, kindly include your name and town. Other gamers like to see that.   And the display format below works better that way.
Reminder: Send us your “‘Great Moments in Strat” – your playing experiences that you just have to share.
Reprints, not Updates
I had both the 1950 and 1970 baseball seasons in basic/advanced format, but they got lost through the years. These two sets are so important to me because they are basic/advanced, not with three-colored super-advanced like every set Strat puts out nowadays. They were cards like we all had growing up as kids. I see these sets pop up from time to time on eBay, but they want at least $200 each. I also check moonlightgraham from time to time, but he almost never has them, and if he does they are usually graded in not very good condition. Would Strat ever think about reselling these sets or taking special orders for them, only printing them as ordered?
Mije, Clearwater, FL
Some variation of this question – would Strat-O-Matic re-publish cards in older format – has been asked several times in recent years. While I think that, inevitably, SOM will update 1950 and 1970 in Super Advanced format, the company never has reversed course technologically. The demand for those, and other, sets would be greatest on initial release. The audience for a reprint, sans improvements, would be smaller – and probably too small to justify. Theoretically, digital print-on-demand would be ideal for small-run releases, but even then SOM will want to expect steady demand.
The Open 3
This is a bit puzzling. When using the NBA computer game with card image, the card image indicates that a player being guarded in “sag” mode has a better chance of making the trey than if that same player is completely unguarded based on the team defense column. That seems counter-intuitive.
Jim McLachlan, Mattawan, MI
Here is the reply from Strat-O-Matic’s Director of Development Bob Winberry: The computer game uses a team concept for defense which more closely approximates the hybrid-zone that real-life NBA teams utilize. The hybrid is somewhere between a true man-to-man (which the board game replicates) and a college-type zone. Remember that in Strat-O-Matic all players in 3-point land are essentially "unguarded" (since the X result is always the same). If a defender is sagging, he has zero chance of getting back to the 3-point area in order to disrupt the shot, as he is positioned to help stop inside scoring. In essence, sagging means his team is in a hybrid-zone defense and he is supposed to always stay closer to the basket. Using that alignment, he is not going to slide out to help defend outside shots (and therefore his team is less effective stopping the three). The result is that the more guys who are sagging on defense, the better chance there is for the opposing team to make threes. There is a bit more information regarding this in the "Board and Computer Game Differences" section of the Help File.
Hockey Swaps
I’ve been a Strat player since 1971 and can’t say enough great things about the enjoyment your game has given me. I have been a Strat computer-gamer since you first introduced your Windows games. I love replaying MLB seasons as the GM/Manager, executing trades to try and help my teams. Is there any consideration being given to a Swap-O-Matic feature for your NHL Hockey games? I would really love to be able to play the GM for my favorite NHL team just like I can in MLB.
Thanks for making such great games.
Jeff Bangma, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
The standard answer here to requests for new features applies in this case – your suggestion gets added to Bob Winberry’s list. If/when the demand warrants it, Strat-O-Matic will make it happen.
Throwing it Away
Is there any consideration for adding T-ratings for outfielders’ arms? 
Lou Guanella, Santa Rosa, CA
Not that I’ve heard. Before the Super Advanced Fielding Chart, I had my own adaptation, using the outfielder’s error rating on throws to third and home. In exchange, I lowered the error rating on catches, because I knew that most outfield errors occurred on bobbled hits and throws, not dropped fly balls. The Super Advanced Fielding Chart did that for me – reducing the E(2) plays and adding E(1) plays. The Windows game also has throwing errors on baserunner advancements when the defense does not cut off the throws.
Made to Last
I am an ancient SOM gamer – since 1969, and I am currently playing a C&D basketball season from 1991-92. Has anyone ever looked into laminating action cards for hockey and basketball? A thousand-plus games can put a lot of wear and tear on a deck of action cards. Granted, you can buy new ones, but I would be willing to pay more for playing-card-quality decks. Do you think there is a market for premium-quality Strat cards and game parts that would last longer and possibly retain more value in after-markets? I constantly search eBay to purchase vintage action decks from the 1980s which I feel are of better quality than the cards being produced currently; I like the die-cut cards on heavier card stock paper. Are there enough people like me out there like me to make this viable?
Scott Kuzma, Portland, OR
 I sold laminated SOM fielding charts, football X-charts and hockey strategy charts for years when I published STRAT FAN in the 1990s (and still have a few left) and there was small, but steady interest in those. I like the idea of playing-card quality action decks, but have my doubts that including them with the game would be successful. The board games are being purchased for the players cards; the components mostly are a means to that end. A higher price for the entire game would be more likely to discourage sales. Laminated action decks sold separately as an upgrade could be attractive, but SOM would have to sell a lot more of those than STRAT FAN’s sales of laminated charts to make it worthwhile for the company. But since you’ve raised the issue, I suppose if SOM suddenly is flooded with requests to make this happen that would get the company’s attention.