Dynasty League Baseball
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Players: 1 - 2
Weight: 700 grams (estimated)
Average Rating: 4.3 in 6 reviews
I've played Pursue The Pennant (DLB's old version), strat-o-matic baseball, and Diamond Mind baseball. I have found Dynasty League Baseball (DLB) to be the most realistic simulator by far.
Strat-o-matic baseball has reasonable re- production of player stats, however it has no situation controls. Example: if you have Eric Gagne pitching in the ninth inning, he has no advantage against everyday hitters. In Strato, the results are totally based on dice rolls. In DLB with a special rating called "jam", Gagne is given an advantage base on this rating.
Diamind Mind (a PC game) is ludicrously unrealistic by comparison. In one recent season I had Mark Mulder OAK (P) hit 2 HR's in and a steal a base in 1 game as a batter?!!? Over 8 games Barry Bonds went 0 for 31!?!?!
The Dynasty League game bases results on probabilites based on player cards as well as situation controls. The controls allow players who excel in real life to excel in gameplay. After 24 years of playing baseball simulators, the dynasty league game is the most accurate and it leaves you feeling that you were involved in a real MLB contest, not like you have been playing a game of random chance, like other simulators. I recommend this product to ANY Baseball enthusiast..
the things i look for most in a baseball game are realism and accuracy. Dynasty League Baseball excells at both of these. From the well designed cards to the extensive and complete charts, this game is an over-all must buy. I highly reccomend this game to all persons that like baseball.
The ad and brochure are hard to resist, with catch phrases like: 'A new era in baseball has begun...realism you never thought possible...for those fans who won't settle for second place.' Well, these guys aren't kidding.
This year's newcomer to the tabletop, Windows and Macintosh baseball simulation market, Dynasty League Baseball, is a clear winner in all respects!
But Dynasty League's coded cards make for a world of difference from other games and eliminate some of the extra chart referencing that slows down PTP. For example, if Roberto Clemente is batting against a left-handed pitcher and the roll falls between 230 and 251, he gets a home run in a 'normal' situation. If the pitcher is in a 'jam' situation, it's a deep drive. On a hit and run play, he fouls it off. And all of this comes right off of Clemente's card! The only one of these three situations that would require additional die rolling is the 'deep drive'.
This is accomplished by the novel use of coding on the player cards. A single range of die rolls on a player card may have up to four different results, depending on the situation (normal, clutch hitting, infield in, tired pitcher, etc). Each of these different situations is coded right on the player card (and the key to what code corresponds to what situation is given on each card as well). If two situations apply, you use the situation closest to the left side of the card. The effect is that you get a wide variety of play results right on the player card without a lot of additional chart referencing.
The basic playing procedure will be familiar to PTP players: three ten-sided dice are rolled and results of 000 to 499 are read from the batter's card while rolls of 500 to 999 come from the pitcher's card. Each player card has
two columns of numbers, one for results vs. lefties and one for results vs. righties.
But Dynasty League's coded cards make for a world of difference from other games and eliminate some of the extra chart referencing that slows down PTP. For example, if Greg Gagne is batting against a left-handed pitcher and the roll falls between 192 and 203, he gets a home run in a 'normal' situation. If the pitcher is in a 'jam' situation, it's a deep drive. On a hit and run play, he fouls it off. And all of this comes right off of Gagne's card! The only one of these three situations that would require additional die rolling is the 'deep drive'.
While we're on the subject of additional die rolling, there WILL be some situations that require extra charts and rolls: deep drives, possible errors, non-forced baserunner advancement, and bizarre plays, to name a few. Cieslinski claims that around 70% of the play results will come directly from the player cards without the need of other charts. I think the percentage is slightly lower, but I won't quibble. There's still less additional chart referencing with Dynasty League than with many other games and no other tabletop game approaches this high level of detail with such a minimal amount of hassle.The rules are easy to learn. The rulebook is twelve pages long, but only the first five are actual game rules. The remaining pages are devoted to rules and tips on how to run your own draft and league. Most of the game's charts come in a spiral-bound booklet (no more fumbling around with scads of loose charts!), plus there are two additional big charts for weather and ballpark effects.
Nearly EVERYTHING affecting a baseball game is quantified in this game (in fact, I can't think of a thing that's left out)! There are numerous ball park effects. Home run chances are affected by wind direction and speed, air temperature, fence distance and height, and how well the ball carries in different parks. Fence distances will affect a baserunner's chance of grabbing extra bases. Ballparks are rated for the size of their foul territory. Park visibility (i.e. how well a batter can see the ball) is taken into account. Pitchers are rated for how well they hold the runners, while catchers are rated on how well they handle pitchers. Runners have three different steal ratings (for second, third, and home). Of course, there are weather effects (with seperate charts for different ballparks and geographical areas). There are even ratings for UMPIRES (i.e. size of strike zone)! Plus there's the usual fatigue, injury, and usage ratings.
But don't think for a second that all of the extra detail makes this acomplex or slow-playing game. Dynasty League Baseball is simple to learn and is a fairly fast play. The box claims 30 minutes as a typical playing time. It'll probably play that fast once I'm more experienced with it, but after a half-dozen games, I'm still hovering around the 40 to 45-minute mark.
The game is graphically well-done: the player cards are easy to read and are the same size as standard baseball cards (always a big plus in my book!). Players' real-life stats are presented right on the cards. The charts are clear and easy to use. Even the dice are good quality; I've been using the exact same brand and style of dice in wargaming for years and I haven't chipped one yet.
Customer service is a big plus with Dynasty League Baseball, too. These are the nicest bunch of guys out of all the game companies that I've talked to. In fact, Mike Cieslinski himself has taken a lot of time from his busy schedule to discuss his theories of game design with me.
I won't recommend this game for AutoLeague play, because only a total masochist would try to play a 162-game season using ANY tabletop game (but take heart, Autoleagers! Dynasty League Baseball has comeout in computer Windows format. But this is a great game for Head-to-Head events, especially if you love color and detail in your baseball simulations.
I honestly try to avoid superlatives and hyperbole in my reviews but, at the risk of sounding like an NBA promo, I LOVE this game! You really owe it to yourself to check this one out. You're going to have a lot of fun with Dynasty League. The ads don't lie: this really IS the last word in realism in baseball simulation gaming!
This Dynasty has everything, and then some
June 19, 1997
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports columnist
For those of us who can never stop replaying the 1982 World Series, there may be a solution: Dynasty League Baseball.
In the spirit of interleague play, we sat down recently with the creator of this game, Michael Cieslinski, formerly of Brookfield. Cieslinski has relocated to Florida, undoubtedly in search of better baseball weather, but during a recent visit he was happy to preside over a rematch between the '82 Brewers and Cardinals.
Cieslinski, 38, is a professional in this endeavor. He previously developed the board game Pursue the Pennant, which was an amazingly lifelike representation of baseball. Dynasty League Baseball, which is available as both a board game and a computer game, is even better.
Cieslinski works from a data base that the Internal Revenue Service would envy. It is one thing to have variables on all the basics -- hitting, pitching, fielding. It is another to have range, clutch hitting, injury frequency. It is still another to have weather conditions, umpiring tendencies, team chemistry.
A lifetime of work went into this game, and that is why it works. Cieslinski has a degree in marketing from the University of Miami and he formerly worked in public relations for the minor-league Miami Marlins and the Baltimore Orioles.
But his inspiration for developing these games came in large part, he says, from the excitement generated by that 1982 Series. You can match up just about any teams you want in Dynasty League, but with the 1982 Brewers and Cardinals available, there was no other direction in which to go.
I get to be the Brewers because I wasn't the one who moved to Florida.
So we open in St. Louis, Pete Vuckovich against Joaquin Andujar. That Andujar is really tough, and I believe that my best bet might be to have Jim Gantner get in a fight with him and have him ejected. However, in the spirit of sportsmanship, we just play, the computer version.
It is overcast, but the temperature is in the 70s. That is all of the good news. This is how true-to-life 'Dynasty League Baseball' is: Bob McClure loses in relief.
The score is 10-3, and it reminds you a little too much of the real Game 6 in St. Louis. This time, Silent George Hendrick allows his bat to do the talking, driving in four runs.
We return to Milwaukee County Stadium, where the weather is much colder. But at least the game will be played on natural grass. It's Don Sutton against Bob Forsch in the board game.
The Brewers win, 7-4. Ted Simmons haunts his former teammates with a three-run homer. I would like to take credit for brilliant managerial strategy, but it comes down to this: Cieslinski lets me use Rollie Fingers.
As you know, Fingers was injured during the '82 Series. But he isn't injured in Dynasty League Baseball. Rollie bails the Brewers out of an eighth-inning jam, pitches a spotless ninth, gets the save and justice triumphs.
It just goes to show you what many of us have said all along: It's easier when you can use your Fingers.
Win or lose, this is a terrific game. Cieslinski has done what he set out to do, which was to develop a game that somehow incorporates the multitude of nuances that baseball contains.
You know when the starting pitcher tires. You know which hitters can be counted upon to move the runner and which cannot. You even know which players can be counted upon to break up that double play through sheer hustle.
We don't do much advertising in this space, but a richly deserved exception will be made. You can get more information on the game by calling (561) 752-3323 or visiting designdepot.com.
I picked up a second-hand copy of DLB, and while I am not a huge fan of sports simulations, I still have to admit that this is one class act. I doubt that there has ever been a sports simlation game with this degree of detail, and yet still retaining a good degree of playability and fun.
Each major league player is represented by a stat card, as is usual for this sort of game. What is surprising is how much detail has gone into each player's statistics. Each player is rated for a dizzying array of factors, all of which may come into play during the game.
The rules, while hardly a model of clarity, are also no worse than most games of this genre. They assume (rightfully) that anyone playing the game has more than an average interest in baseball and will have a grasp of most of the rules of the game.
This is not a game about flashy components or interesting new game mechanics. You pick your lineup and begin rolling the dice. You make your decisions as manager about when to steal, when to play in or out, and so on. Much of the game seems to run on auto-pilot, but every roll of the dice feels important, and when you hit a long, high ball and start factoring in the temperature, the wind, and the specifics of a ballpark, realizing that it just sailed over the outfield wall, you know that this game comes closer to any baseball game that doesn't have actual grass under your feet.
Recommended for the serious baseball fan, but for those into it, this will become the One True Game.
I am a baseball boardgame nut and I have owned (and played extensively) over 20 baseball boardgames in my life. This is not one that I would rank near the top of my 'best baseball boardgame' list.
For starters, the charts in the game are tedious and painstaking to use. Just to attempt a stolen base, for instance, requires a minimum of two dice rolls, each one referring to a different set of player ratings (from each team) and then having to be consulted on different charts. While most of the routine results are found on the player cards themselves, there are so many chart references required when attempting to employ any managerial tactics that it almost discourages me from employing some even when I know the situation would be right if it were a live baseball game. The charts are that cumbersome! This is a shame and it leads me to my next point...
The makers of Dynasty Baseball tried to include far too much detail in their game. Many of the ratings are in absurd categories such as catchers receiving grades for how they call a game, umpires getting grades for how large their strike zone is, stadiums being rated for their size of foul territory, or players having results of plays changed based on their 'rust' if they've missed a lot of playing time. How can these things (with the exception of stadium size) be quantified? Do the makers of the game interview every major league manager for their opinions on which catchers call a better game than others??? How about the 'rust' thing? If a player missed one month of the season, for instance, but didn't miss any other playing time all year, then you've only got one 'rusty' period to base the player's rating on - and even that is debatable, since some guys don't get 'rusty' after taking time off. How long does this 'rusty' period the player experienced last? Who decides at what point the player is no longer 'rusty' and that the stats from that point on count as his 'regular' stats? Is everyone considered 'rusty' for the purpose of this rating when the season begins?
There are just too many things in this game that detract from the realism, simplicity, and enjoyment of major league baseball. Every couple of years or so I go back to playing it again for a week or two just to see if my opinion has changed with age, or if I somehow appreciate the game differently, but every time I am soon reminded why this one stays on the shelf 23 out of every 24 months.
There are much better baseball board games out there.