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Vol. II, Issue #4 - December 2015

** Don't Need No Armor Upgrade - Doug Brunet **

(Lets welcome our member Doug Brunet with this interesting article to discuss
Strat-o-matic Baseball perhaps in ways you had not considered before??? )

(Comments from the Wolfman:  I have known Doug now for over 5 years as a good friend in Strat and I respect him greatly as a friend and as an accomplished  fellow manager who is very knowledgeable about the game of baseball and how to build a team in Strat.  Doug is the owner of the Montreal Crows in his league and although he hasn't won a championship yet he has been a leading team in his conference making it to the conference finals several times now, so its just a matter of time till he brings home the league trophy.

But also my good buddy Doug holds some key roles in the league he participates in, his titles go from being on the Executive Council, to President of his conference, to Roster & Player Movement Coordinator. One thing Doug does is make these amazing spreadsheets for his league that show all the rosters, which players are available for their draft which also includes the full stats of how each player performed in 2015.  Anyway, Doug is one of those members of the strat world you want to know and pick his brain. So let's welcome him with open arms as he shares his first article with all of us!)

Donít Need No Armor Upgrade

There are a thousand types of people in the world. Those who play Strat-O-Matic, and nine hundred and ninety-nine who donít. And within the first group, like me, there are those who play the baseball game. Of all the sports delivered to us on the platform of Strat-O-Matic, baseball has to be the most complete and comprehensive for the obvious reason that it is baseball. Cricket would do as well, but the game company would need to create a market in India. Wow, imagine what Chris Gayleís card would look like. Probably something comparable to what weíre expecting for Bryce Harperís card. Anyway, I digress. Boy, that didnít take long. I apologize for that. Cricket, geez, welcome to my brain.

While we are surrounded with the fast paced worlds of graphically driven, reaction sensitive video games, we prefer to reside in a world of careful analysis and deliberate conception. We donít progress in levels presented to us through increasingly intricate challenges that require the procurement of advanced mechanical advantages like weapons or better tires. We donít go on scripted quests, nor are we coerced into joining a guild in order to survive. For us, an armor upgrade is making a trade or using a draft pick to get a Ď1í at shortstop. Therein lies the comparison and the difference.

While Strat-O-Matic has itsí basic, advanced, and super-advanced versions that can be effectively described as levels, we all compete at the same level in terms of what level we choose to play at. One can assume that most, if not all, of us that subscribe to this newsletter are playing at the super-advanced level. That is, however, irrelevant to the subject. Itís not about levels. Itís about leverage. We look within the game for ways to leverage potential against probability.

Strat-O-Matic baseball has grown to such an extent that relative knowledge of baseball translates to increased ability to maximize competitive strategy. The finer points of baseball are well represented in our favorite diversion. In fact, as much as it is an obvious advantage to be mathematically inclined because of probabilities and randomly generated results, itís not necessarily required in order to compete in a league environment or in tournaments. Indeed, the random element that drives Strat-O-Matic does enough to level the playing field to enable those with a less cerebral approach to enjoy and succeed at playing the game without an elevated aptitude towards mathematics. And that, in my opinion, is a wonderful thing. All fans of baseball get to have the same fun playing regardless of individual inclination. I feel that that is what sets this game apart from others.

As Iím sure there are exceptions, it seems to me that the more you know about baseball the better you are able to compete with other Strat players. As long as you understand what averages are and what the game ratings represent, you can hold your own. Anyone who has been on either side of a game winning base hit off a 1-2 Si*1, lo 2-20 knows exactly what happened. That result is pretty much as far away from probable as can be. But, these things happen when you play our game. They happen in real life. Thereís only so much you can do mathematically to enhance your safeguards or increase your chances of success. The dice and split cards always have the last word.

Of course, as in any game, we look for an edge. Insightful calculation and knowledge of players are the only means to gain that edge. This speaks more to the draft league format than any other. The pure mathematician has the inside track on building a winner from any card set. For whatever reason, the cards can be put together in a fashion that what appears to be less overcomes what seems to be more when put in the hands, or mind, of a proficient mathematician. However, this can be offset in the long term by the talent knowledgeable. Knowing what to expect in the future is not found in analyzing cards, itís in knowing the game of baseball and the players who play it. And the real fun of it is, whether you are gifted as the former, insightful as the latter, a combination of both, or neither, thereís much to be gained for any baseball fan to get involved.

This is a game that teaches while providing a particular value of entertainment. If your exposure to the game, baseball or Strat, is not as extensive as others you encounter within our community, donít be deterred. Be determined. Get involved. Interact with your game mates. Those around you and the game of Strat-O-Matic will, by default, elevate your knowledge in all aspects.

Given that, there is the beauty of statistics that baseball gives us, and so the same is offered through Strat-O-Matic. A boon of a bonus to those of us who enjoy the aspect of analyzing statistics, the peripheral information generated for us beyond the game engine is as an ocean is to a sailor. And just as deep as to a treasure seeker. By way of how we manipulate the players and interpret how we should strategize, the package of statistics created gives us a diversified view to compare the reality of baseball versus our recreations. There is little else like it.

Baseball, unlike most of our major sports, is not limited by time. Although it is a team sport, it isolates itsí players in their respective positions. We get to explore the manager/general manager experience and sate an appetite for stats to an extent that keeps us adhered to the game all year long, all life long.

If you need to experience quick reward for bursts of effort, get a game console and respond to the provided stimuli. If your interest in competition is of a purely logical nature, take up chess. If you want an adrenaline rush in itsí basest form, play poker. If you just want to get everything right, do crosswords or Sudoku. If you like to solve mysteries, there are games in all media for that, too.

If you want varying degrees of everything, play in a Strat-O-Matic baseball league.

Doug Brunet

(NOTES from the Wolfman: We want to thank Doug for offering this of beat look at Baseball, SOM Baseball and his way to look at the strategies and statistics linked to playing the game we love.  If some part of this article caught your fancy and you want to give Doug a shout out, you can reach him at his email at: doug.brunet@gmail.com.)


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Contained inside this exciting issue of Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter:
(to view the various interviews, articles, columns and special sections click on the links {underlined}
and this will take you to the appropriate webpage)


  INTERVIEW with MARC PELLETIER, another well known and successful strat baseball gamer in the on-line version of the baseball game offers us insights from his genius.

  STRAT WISE with MARC WASSERMAN -- commissioner of the Cyber Baseball Association (CBA) continues his new column sharing various perspectives on SOM Baseball. In this issue he discusses about the Miscellaneous Rules in the computer game (to use or not to use), some special new videos on our Video Channel on Youtube, the fielding ratings given out by the game company and more.

  ARTICLE with CHUCK TINKLER (Part II), a continuation of the article by Chuck, one of our members sharing about a real Strat Master that he met in his early days of playing Strat-o-matic

  SOM BASEBALL LEAGUE REPORT with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, the "Wolfman" puts out a call to commissioners of various Strat-o-matic Baseball Leagues that he discovers on the internet and shares two more replies he received from these leagues to be interviewed and tell their stories! This is the second part of this report.  To read the individual interview, click on the links below or start with Part III and follow the in-page link to read the second interview as well:

INTERVIEW with Glenn Wheeler, NASOMA, P-III (F2F/Netplay/Computer)


  SOM/MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD NEWS with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO , editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" shares about the 2015 Baseball Fielding Rating File released by the Game Company, revisits the status of what 2016 MLB projections are already available to obtain and study and shares about some of the new videos that are available on the Ultimate Strat Baseball Channel on Youtube - more good stuff is on this page - head over there NOW!

  REPORT with TOM NAHIGIAN (1961 cards) Personal friend of the Wolfman, known in Guzzo's book as "The Collector", returns and we take a peak at some of the early strat cards printed from 1961 from the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

  ARTICLE about WOLFMAN SHAPIRO written by DONNA CHEVRETTE -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, the "Wolfman" goes back into the far past and pulls out one of his first articles to the Strat-o-matic Review from 1973, when he really was becoming known as the "Wolfman" (the Skokie Wolfman) as he challenged one of the first female strat gamers, Donna Chevrette to a play against him via play-by-mail.  Two series were played with All Star players from 1971, one report is written by Wolfman and the other by Miss Chevrette, it was called "The Battle of the Sexes", this month we hear Ms. Chevrette report of Series II.

  RECOMMEND ON-LINE SOM RESOURCES -- On-line Strat-o-matic and Baseball related websites
that offer amazing information, special tools and products to improve your game play that we strongly recommend. In most cases, we have had personal contact with these sources who agree with the principle to work together and help promote each other.

  BOOKS TO DIE FOR and Become a BASEBALL GURU -- This page is specifically about special books we are finding that either will expand your insights about the game of Baseball, help you in the creation of your current league teams or with your replays and learn more about the Strat-o-matic Baseball Game and Game Company's history.  We have a special arrangement with Acta Sports, who is a publisher of a number of great baseball books (including Bill James Handbooks) to offer for our members a 10% discount. We will continue to add more books to this page in the future as we uncover other gems our members should know about.


Contact Us for Questions or Submissions:

Wolfman Shapiro
Founder/Editor, the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter

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