The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop., by Robert Coover, is the greatest literature on the topic of the tabletop-sports hobby, bar none.
The novel chronicles the descent of J. Henry Waugh into the rabbit-hole of his Universal Baseball Association, Inc., an eight-team league of fictional ballplayers – each with his own distinct personality and back-story – that Waugh has created and that he plays out with a tabletop baseball game of his own invention. The game engine is described in great detail in the novel, and has some particularly interesting rules.
The game uses three d6 to determine the outcome of any pitcher/hitter matchup. Each hitter can be one of 3 designated types: Star, Veteran, Rookie. Pitchers can be either Ace, Veteran, or Rookie. The pitcher/hitter designations determine which chart on which you’ll find the results of your roll.
It’s a simple engine, with great possibilities. I know that every time I’ve read the book I’ve wished I had a copy of those game charts to roll a couple of games myself.
Now, thanks to Brien Martin and Hot Stove Games, I do.
This is old news to many in the community. Apparently I was the last to know about it, but the Hot Stove Games, Inc. free version of Let’s Play Two! (HSG’s take on Waugh’s game) has been available online since at least 2009.
I’ve read the rules, pored over the charts, and started creating a fictional league, but I haven’t played the game yet. Once I do, I’ll give it the thorough review it deserves, however, I can say confidently now that Let’s Play Two! is a worthy attempt to recreate Waugh’s game, it seems to have fantastic potential, and as a free download, the investment is absolutely zero. You don’t even have to print player cards. Totally worth giving it a shot.
I’m going to host the files here on my site unless the game designer objects, because I don’t want this gem to be lost at the ends of the internet. Please download the game and give it a try.
Is there anyone out there who has played this game and cares to share their experience with it?
LET’S PLAY TWO! by Hot Stove Games, Inc.