As “America’s Pastime” it is not all that surprising that there have been quite a few different baseball board games made over the years. Outside of some sort of dexterity/action game, you can’t really directly replicate baseball in the framework of a board game. Thus a lot of baseball board games try to replicate the sport utilizing dice or cards. Today I am taking a look at Double-Play Baseball which at first glance looked like a simplified baseball dice game. While I didn’t have high expectations for Double-Play Baseball, I was curious enough to check it out for $0.50 as a simple dice game every so often can be fun. Double-Play Baseball is a simple easy to play baseball game that fans of the sport may enjoy if they don’t mind that there is little depth to the actual gameplay.
How to Play Double-Play Baseball
Double-Play Baseball is a dice game that simulates a game of baseball. A general understanding of baseball is required to play the game.
- Decide who will be the home team and who will be the visitor team. The visitor team will bat first.
- Each player will form their batting order of the nine batting dice. Players will write down their order on a sheet of paper so they can follow it between innings.
Playing the Game
The game consists of nine innings with the two players alternating turns as the batting team.
For each batter the defensive team will roll the pitcher dice. The pitcher dice features two symbols for balls and good pitches.
If the pitcher rolls a good pitch symbol the batting player will roll the die for their next batter. The symbol they roll determines what happens.
Once a player gets their third out, the two players swap roles.
End of Game
After nine innings have been played, the player who has scored the most points wins the game. If there is a tie, extra innings are played.
My Thoughts Double-Play Baseball
I am going to be honest and say that I don’t have a whole lot to say about Double-Play Baseball. I personally don’t have strong feelings either way towards the sport of baseball. In many ways the game is exactly what you would expect it to be.
Double-Play Baseball basically tries to replicate a game of baseball through a dice game. The pitching team rolls a dice to determine if a pitch is good or a ball. If it is a good pitch the batter then gets to roll their dice to determine what happens with the pitch. The game follows the rules of baseball where you have to move players towards home before getting three outs. Ultimately whoever scores the most runs within nine innings wins the game.
Ultimately Double-Play Baseball is what you get if you decided to create a very simple baseball dice rolling game. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If you have a basic understanding of baseball, the game can be taught within a minute or two. You basically just roll the dice and the symbols you roll determines what happens next. While the game has a recommended age of 8+, I honestly think children even younger could enjoy the game if they have a basic understanding of baseball.
This simplicity leads to a game that plays rather quickly. Unless you really take your time rolling the dice and resolving what was rolled, the game moves at a brisk pace. Unless a player bats really well, you can finish each inning within a couple minutes. I bet you could finish an entire game within 15-20 minutes. The shorter length is a good thing as I could see the game starting to drag if it took much longer. The shorter length makes it work pretty well as a filler game or something to play when you don’t have much free time.
While the simplicity is appreciated, it does come at a cost for the game. The main problem with Double-Play Baseball is just that there isn’t much to the game. Pretty much the only strategy in the entire game comes from choosing your batting order. After that the entire game relies on luck. Whichever player rolls better is going to win the game as there are no decisions to make in the game after setting your lineup. The game is too simplistic to allow things such as changing pitchers or swapping batters once the game has started. Unless you are really good at rolling dice where you can get a certain side to show up regularly, you don’t have all that much impact over what ultimately happens.
Other than the heavy reliance on luck, there are some other weird quirks about the game. Walking a batter is pretty much non-existent in the game as that would require the pitcher to throw four balls before the batter rolls something other than a strike/foul ball. On top of that the batting averages of the players don’t make much sense. The red die has a .666 batting average which is insanely high while the orange dice are .500 batters which is still way higher than any actual baseball player would ever hit. Finally the worst players are .166 which is quite bad. Because of this you mostly have to score your runs through the red and orange dice as you will rarely get hits with the blue dice. I am guessing these percentages were chosen to make a more exciting game, but they aren’t realistic for an actual baseball game.
Basically Double-Play Baseball is a very simplistic baseball dice game. This could be seen as a positive or a negative. If you want a really easy to play game that also plays quickly, the game could be fun for you. If you want an easy game to play with kids, I could see the game working for you. If you want a game that actually has some strategic decisions or one that even feels realistic, I can’t see Double-Play Baseball being for you. There are much better baseball games out there such as Strat-O-Matic Baseball.
As for the game’s components there were things that I liked and others that I think could have been better. While I question the distribution of symbols on the dice, I like that the game includes unique symbols that are really easy to decipher. I do wish the symbols were engraved though as I think they could fade off after extended use which might make the dice worthless. Otherwise the components are pretty basic as the board is made of somewhat cheap cardboard and the plastic pieces are generic.
Should You Buy Double-Play Baseball?
Double-Play Baseball is a very generic dice rolling baseball game. The pitcher and batter roll dice and the symbols rolled determines what happens. That is basically all there is to the game. The game is quite easy to play and plays rather quickly. The game can be fun if you are looking for a simplistic dice game. The main problem with the game is that it is way too simplistic. Outside of creating your batting order, there are no decisions in the game. Whoever rolls better is going to win the game and there is nothing you can do about it. The distributions on the dice are weird as well as it is almost impossible to get a walk and some batters get hits way too often while others don’t get enough.
Ultimately your thoughts on the game will likely come down to whether a very simplistic baseball dice game appeals to you. If it does you could enjoy Double-Play Baseball and should maybe consider picking it up. If you don’t care for baseball or want a more in-depth game though, there are better games out there that you should look into instead of Double-Play Baseball.
Buy Double-Play Baseball online: eBay
Year: 1979 | Publisher: Lakeside | Designer: NA | Artist: NA
Genres: Dice, Sports
Ages: 8+ | Number of Players: 2 | Length of Game: 15-20 minutes
Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: High
Components: pitcher die, superstar die (red), 5 all-star hitters dice (yellow/orange), 3 team player dice (blue), 2 dice cups, 4 yellow pegs, 1 blue peg, 1 red peg, playing field
- Easy accessible dice game.
- Plays quickly.
- Relies almost entirely on luck due to the game being so simplistic.
- Has some weird quirks which makes it not the most realistic baseball game.
Recommendation: For baseball fans that are looking for a quick easy baseball dice game.
Where to Purchase: eBay Any purchases made through these links (including other products) help keep Geeky Hobbies running. Thank you for your support.