Game Buzz: Baseball Highlights 2045

I’ve mostly been saving my Kickstarter previews for the Kickstarter Blitz I do on the last Friday of the month.  But this is one I definitely wanted to highlight (pun intended):

image by BGG user DragonCat
image by BGG user DragonCat

Baseball Highlights 2045 is a new card game from Eagle Games and designer Mike Fitzgerald.  Fitzgerald is most well-known for designing the games that are officially and unofficially part of the Mystery Rummy series – Bonnie and Clyde, History’s Mysteries, MR: Jack the Ripper, MR: Murders in the Rue Morgue, MR: Jekyll and Hyde, MR: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld, MR: Escape from Alcatraz (upcoming), and Wyatt Earp.  Baseball Highlights 2045 is something different as it is more of a deck-building game.  It is set in the future, where technology has invaded the sport of baseball and changed the way the game is played.  Basically, pitchers now have bionic arms (Borgs), hitters are robots (Bots), and fielders are regular humans that also attempt to hit (Naturals).  The game is for 2 players, with 3 and 4 player variants.

The game comes with four 15-card starting decks, a 60-card Free Agent deck, 4 player stadium mats, 4 sets of wood cubes in three colors each, 4 runs scored markers, 4 games won markers, and 2 home field markers.  6 cards from the Free Agent deck are laid out face up in a buy row, and each player draws the top six cards of their deck.  One player is determined to be the home team, and will go second.

Baseball Highlights 2045 is more about simulating highlights of baseball games rather than entire games.  The standard mode suggest that you play a 3-game mini-season, and then play the World Series as a best-of-seven match.  A mini-game consists of each player alternating play of the six cards in their hands.  The active player plays a card, then resolves the immediate action if there is one.  Cards will also have potential hits, and you’ll be attempting to block the potential hits your opponent played.  You’ll then place cubes representing your potential hits on the home plate.  If your opponent doesn’t stop them, they will advance, and anyone who crosses the home plate scores a run.  The mini-game ends when both players have played all six cards.  If there’s a tie on runs, play extra innings.

After each mini-game (including during the World Series), players total up their revenue from each player in the In Play box, then buy players from the buy row.  For each new player you buy, you must send a player to the Minor Leagues – you can only have a 15-man roster (i.e. a 15-card deck), no more or less.  Then, you play again until a champion is declared.

I’m a big baseball fan.  It is my favorite sport, despite the fact that my team hasn’t won a World Series in going on 106 years (three guesses which team that is, and the first two don’t count).  But I admit, it’s not the most exciting of sports.  The excitement comes in the thrill of the chase, and it looks like that’s what Fitzgerald was trying to accomplish with this system.  Like Blood Bowl Team Manager, the game focuses more on the season and building a team rather than on individual games.  And I think that’s a strength – it’s very difficult to simulate an actual game, but you can get the excitement by simulating highlights.  In fact, I’ll be interested to hear some comparisons between BH2045 and BBTM once this one comes out.

Of the Mystery Rummy games, I’ve only played Jekyll & Hyde.  I think it’s a great rummy game, and I’ve wanted to play others – just haven’t had a chance.  This one is getting some pretty good buzz, and I’m excited to see how it comes out.  The game is Kickstarting until April 3 and is already funded, so go take a swing at it.  (Sorry, that was terrible.  My puns always seem to strike out.  I should take a walk.  Maybe my next post will be a hit.  I’ve got a good one on deck.  Hope you don’t think it’s foul.)  Thanks for reading!



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