Batter Up! by Astra Game Co.

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Batter Up! by Astra Game Co.

Toddster64
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Toddster64
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Joined: 08 Jul 2017, 13:19

09 Jul 2017, 03:31 #1

Hey all!
First a little background, since every game always offers the opportunity to share a bit of context.
I'm new to this board, but thrilled to be a member and read all the great posts and view photos.

I’m a longtime tabletop baseball gamer, from the ‘70s with Strat-O-Matic and APBA to now,
albeit these days spending time with Replay (fantastic), Ball Park Baseball (amazing), APBA (still),
History Maker Baseball (game-changing), and a few others.

I parlayed some of that original interest into writing a few articles (primarily on fielding and hit & run
ratings) for the APBA Journal in the ‘90s, and even doing a basic Excel helper for an earlier version
of the wonderful Box Seat Baseball game.

Several years ago, I traded another local gamer (I’m in the SF Bay Area) for a game called Batter Up! by
the Astra Game Company. This game was marketed and sold (I believe) for 3 or 4 years, and the version
I traded for included the 1977 season.

Recently, I rediscovered the game in a set of boxes of “stuff” that I had kept with my in-laws in Ottawa,
and decided that it was a cool enough game that I would take it for a spin (or roll, as it would be).
Immediately, I remembered how easy it was to play, and how it captured the pitcher/batter interaction
in a very similar manner to games like Be A Manager, SI Pennant Race/Superstar Baseball, and
a handful of others. It seemed to offer a lot of depth for a 40-year-old game in terms of having some
built-in controls for home run avoidance/addition (now a standard, but in the late ‘70s with 50-50 games,
not such a no-brainer); ballpark effects; a sophisticated stamina process; and even ball location tendencies.

The batter-pitcher interaction generates 30 possible results on each card, with 50 possible results
cross-referenced to a base situation contextual (a la APBA) set of outcome charts. The play process
as noted above gave the pitcher the first shot at calling the action, as the first roll came off his card;
if there was a result, the play would resolve immediately on the appropriate base result chart;
if there was a blank, you would roll again for the hitter, and then refer to the same chart with the
hitter-centric result.

Clearly, this process provides the best pitchers with the ability to create “automatic outs” that
“take the bats out of the hitter’s hands” - while also adjusting for factors like hit prevention (or creation),
walks, strikeouts, and even wild pitches.

I'm going to be doing a "mini-replay" with Steve Carlton, based on that 1977 season - he won
the Cy Young award that year, and it would be a good, low friction way to test how the game engine
works (within the reason of limited sample size).

Photos of the game are included below.


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stone193
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stone193
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Joined: 01 Jan 2014, 20:04

10 Jul 2017, 02:06 #2

Hi Todd
Would I be correct and this us a complete game you're referring to?



I enjoyed reading about your experiences.
I'm in a different type of collector group and don't play any of those kind of games. I enjoy
the esthetics/graphics of games; reminding me of my childhood, I imagine who had the game
- how much they enjoyed it....

From my perspective, I just didn't want you to think you were being ignored.
Thanx for sharing - I'm sure the fellas in the front office will have plenty to share/say.
Mike
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BaseballGamesBKW
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Joined: 25 Oct 2013, 10:10

10 Jul 2017, 20:53 #3

Hello Todd, welcome to the Forum, and thanks for introducing yourself and providing those pics!
Speaking of which, apologies to you and all our Forum members for the current problem with
posted photos -- it seems to be affecting only Mike's account at the moment, but in the weeks ahead,
it'll hit most of us (including your front-office knuckleheads) who trusted PhotoBucket to host photos
on this and other sites. You should be fine on ImageShack. More on all that in our upcoming
Update post...

We think Mike was referring to a certain subset of gamers and game collectors, and not to an
alternative Forum, when he said he's in a "different collector group," and that would include
your moderators here as well -- we're into the antique generic games much more than we are
the modern sims -- but don't let that put you off! Plenty of guys on this Forum are more into
the modern stuff, and some enjoy both genres. We're always surprised (and disappointed) that
our Baseball Sims sub-forum here doesn't see more action, but maybe you can get it cranked up
a little bit!
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Toddster64
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Toddster64
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Joined: 08 Jul 2017, 13:19

21 Jul 2017, 23:44 #4

Thanks for the replies! Indeed, I think of Batter Up! - which is now (at least my copy) approaching 40 years of age -
as a “vintage” game! But I know so many older games capture everyone’s attention - I’m just intrigued by the period
from about the late ‘60s to around 1990, when so many great (and a few not-so-great) games made it to the market.

I’ll continue to look for good topics to post on, and anxiously await other member stories as well.

Thanks again for having me on this forum.
Todd
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Stikman
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Stikman
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Joined: 13 Oct 2017, 20:20

13 Oct 2017, 20:23 #5

Hi Todd:
I also live in the SF Bay Area and have great memories of playing Batter Up with my older brothers.  
We have incomplete sets for the 1976 and 1977 seasons.  I am interested in buying any of the years 
that may become available (I am not suggesting that you want to sell your set but if you become 
aware of a set that is for sale can you let me know).  

This is a really cool site ! 
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BaseballGamesBKW
Site Admin
Joined: 25 Oct 2013, 10:10

16 Oct 2017, 17:34 #6

Hi Stik, welcome to the Forum and thanks for your comments!  
Astra's Batter Up! is a tough number for sure, showing up on eBay 
only very rarely, so you might also want to add a "wanted" post in our 
Transactions subforum just to possibly get a few additional sets of eyes 
on your search.  Good luck with the hunt!  
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