George R. R. Martin said this, and I surely don’t disagree: “It is always great to see the Patriots lose” (Source: http://grrm.livejournal.com/468756.html). Sorry to any of our New England readers, but here in Baltimore, the League is stoked to know that Tom Brady will have to watch this game from his sad couch. With Super Bowl 50 upon us, the League has taken the time to reflect on their favorite sports-themed games for you, the dear reader. They may or may not be real sports, but the spirit of healthy competition remains.
Baseball Highlights 2045
The oft tense match-ups are exciting and the card draft following each allows you to build a team tailored to your liking. Easily one of my favorite games to date.
Let’s cut to the chase! Baseball Highlights 2045 is hands down the best baseball-themed game you can currently put on your shelf. Created by renowned card game designer Mike Fitzgerald and published by Eagle-Gryphon Games, the game pits two players against each other in a game of baseball fueled completely by cards and an innovative deck-building mechanic. It truly encapsulates the tactical spirit of both baseball and deck-building into one of the most original, well-designed games I have played in a long time.
Bottom of the 9th
Bottom of the 9th is simple to pick-up and play. The variety and abundance of players creates a new contest each game and nothing beats the feeling of rolling that natural 6, then crushing with Anvil McIver!
A small box game that packs the tension of a real baseball match-up. This two-player contest has one player pitching and the other batting trying to get “three up, three down” or drive in the game-winning run. Every game offers a story and memories that has you coming back for more.
All Star Baseball
This is nostalgia talking, but All Star Baseball still remains one of my fondly-remembered games. Drafting players like Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron for your teams, slotting those nifty round cards into place, and giving the spinner a flick! Sure, there wasn’t any strategy to it, but for my younger self, the fun was in just seeing how the game played out.
Carnage. You’d best pray to Nuffle, or you’ll find your star players going down underneath the horns of some grotesque chaos-spawned daemon.
Not sure if this is a ‘sports’ game, but it is racing; racing and betting on camels! Mathing out some probabilities, making bets and flipping dice out of the 3D pyramid is tons of fun. And as Smee says, “Camel Up or Camel Cup, you decide”.
Yeah, it may be a hexagonal portrayal of the popular fantasy deathmatch, Blood Bowl, but this fast-paced sci-fi spin on futuristic sportsball is immensely fun. Do your best to score fast and often to end the game in a Landslide, or smash your opponent’s head in until there’s no one left standing in your way.
Blood Bowl: Team Manager
While Blood Bowl remains out of print (though not for long!), Team Manager fills the void nicely, introducing the full spectrum of fantasy sports-brawlers to the tabletop in an easy-to-play area control card game. All of your favorites are here and the small amount of deckbuilding and customization keeps things fresh season to season.
This game is great! What’s not to love about stacking hordes of scary Orcs and Skaven up against each other to literally beat one another for a ball?! I think it’s fantastic! I like that, as a card game, it’s easier to move around – no minis to keep track of – and that it’s really easy to learn how to play. This game works pretty wonderfully at two players. It only gets better as you bulk up your team, too!
VOLT: Robot Battle Arena
Let’s fight some robots! This game is tough, because of the simultaneous action selection, and even the best laid plans of destruction can be thrown off when you fall into a pit. VOLT is wild and only gets wilder when you introduce new modules for your robots to use.
This time-honored middle-school tradition never ceases to be fun. While the other kids were busy learning long division, I was huddled in the back of the classroom perfecting my paper folding skills. At night, I would spend hours at the kitchen table working on my soft-touch passing and accurate flicks through the uprights. This game is a nostalgic treasure!