The Player’s Club – Fall 2014

Pictured below is page 8 of Print Edition Volume I, Issue 2 (Fall 2014).

It was my great pleasure to highlight these three individuals and bring some attention to their terrific work. Here are some links to their projects:

Steve Heller’s Hockey Blast 1979-80 Replay

Frank Albidone’s “Hall of Fame Leagues”

Greg Barath’s Oguard62 APBA Football Blog

I’m excited to bring you three new Player’s Club members in the Winter 2014-15 issue of Print Edition, to be hitting mailboxes on or around January 1, 2015.

If you have completed an impressive project recently or if you want to nominate someone to be recognized for a particularly amazing project, please email me at with the subject “Player’s Club.”

Click on the image below to download the PDF.

Players Club

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  1. Wow, thanks Paul for including me. To say I was surprised is an understatement. Very cool. I will say that Frank’s replay was one of the best ever, it was so much fun to follow along with it.


  2. Very cool Paul.

    As someone new to table top sports games it’s great for me to get my hands on as many examples and models as possible. I love it.

    Not a nomination at all- but I thought I’d share my own experience here. I’m still under a year playing strat-o-matic. I feel like I’ve learned a ton about the game and the company in that time already and about a month into playing I decided to start my own league project. New to the game, none of my friends play so a solo league made sense. (Also why I loved to follow Jeff’s Freak’s League). My league’s not done but I’m playing a best of 5 semi finals series right now with the 2013 Current Edition players. I drafted my own 10 team league with each team playing each other 3 times and the top 6 teams moving onto the playoffs. The top 2 teams each got a bye with the first round being a best of 3, 2nd round best of 5, and championship will be a best of 7.
    It’s been a crazy first season!
    I had one team (The Steubenville Stench) start the season off 2-9 before going 12-4 to make the playoffs and sweep the first round. (Currently tied 1-1 in the 2nd round). While the top team (the Woodstock Wacos) pulled away from the competition early only to see the top seed slip away from them in the final week of the season. Still gets a bye and actually avoids having to play Steubenville in the 2nd round- but then starts the 2nd round losing the first 2 games to the 4 seed (the Bloomington Red Birds) and actually looked like they were going to get swept heading into the 8th inning of game 3 down 6-3 and into the 9th down 6-5 with the Red Birds closer (Joe Nathan) coming in before scoring SEVEN (7) runs in the 9th to win 12-7! (yup- they still let up a run in the 9th just make the fans nervous).

    Needless to say I’m having a ton of fun with Strat. When I saw this post I immediately thought “Hey! I want to share!” As my wife usually does an eye roll when I excitedly tell her about some crazy double play I just “witnessed.” So thanks for letting me share!

    And keep up the good work here! I read often- but get my notifications on my phone and don’t like reply on that. So I wait until I’m sitting here in front of the computer.

  3. I have been playing APBA football off and on since 1974 when I received for Christmas the APBA football game, which included the 1972 season cards. I have so far played 12 seasons of 14 game schedules. I prefer the 60s and 70s seasons and players to more modern players. From the 1972 season cards, I followed the pro game more closely and I learned practically all of the players on the pro teams in the 1970s.
    I purchased the 70, 71, 76 and 80 seasons when APBA was having their sales back in the early 80s. I was able to acquire the 64 NFL and AFL, 66 AFL, 68 NFL and AFL, and 69 NFL cards from Ebay. Using most players from the ’72 season, I would add some from another season – like adding ’68 Houston’s Don Trull to the ’72 Oilers to improve the QB, and putting (’68) Lance Alworth back where he belongs – in San Diego instead of Dallas where he finished his career.
    I have the Football Encyclopedia from Neft, Cohen and Korch. I have learned a lot about football’s history and many of the players. I strongly recommend this valuable resource to anyone interested in football. Reading about the players from that book I have many “favorite” players – even though I never saw most of them play – players like Dudley Meredith who played for Buffalo and 1 or 2 other AFL teams, and the famous John Henry Johnson who carries the ball a lot for me, and Bucky Pope from the Rams – check out his pro carreer (especially the ’64 season) cut short by a knee injury, and stats. (Meredith is a member of my All-Name team made up of players with interesting names – like E. J. Holub, Lionel Aldridge, the Bills’ Booker Edgerson, and others). With one of APBA’s blank player cards I made a Johnny Lujack QB/cornerback card for the Chicago Bears based on his ’49 season. In every game he has played (I made the card a couple of months ago so it hasn’t been more than about 4-5 games) while at cornerback , he has either recovered a fumble or made an interception. In one game against the arch-rival Packers, he had a 4th quarter interception that he returned for a 56 yard TD contributing to a Bear win. Talk about having a nose for the ball!
    The football encyclopedia has been very valuable for me. When someone is offering a football season for bidding on Ebay, I check the encyclopedia to see if I would be interested based on the kind of season many of the players had. I especially liked being able to get the 68 AFL cards. That 60s AFL season had the most good QBs. Usually after Dawson, Lamonica, Hadl, Namath, there wasn’t much else at QB. But the 68 season has my fave Don Trull card. He had his best year and has done pretty well for me. He starts ahead of Bobby Beathard.
    When I play a season, I am not interested in accurate re-plays. I feel free to give O J Simpson the ball 30-35 times a game, or one season I threw the ball to another of my fave receivers, Ron Sellers (3-A, 1970 Patriots) where he ended with 110 catches. ’72 John Brockington never got 1000 yards rushing for me the first few seasons I played, so I changed a couple of his numbers so he became a little better. He has now had several 100-yard games, yet he doesn’t necessarily COMPLETELY dominate a game.
    I know this is getting long….. but the Washington Redskins have made it to the Super Bowl in 8 of the 12 seasons, but winning only 3 times.
    The last thing I’ll discuss is how I play the game. After playing 9 seasons and using many players from different seasons, I wanted many of the teams to have a chance to make the playoffs instead of the usual ones, but without creating parity where most everybody ends with something like 6-8 records. I still wanted a few teams to dominate and also have a few not doing so well. So instead of adding the player ratings for each of the platoons to determine what board columns to use on offense, I decided that all the teams would be in the “B” column for rushing (I always liked running the ball a lot). This way, lesser teams would be more fun to play, and I could avoid boring games like ’72 New England vs ’72 Green Bay where there would be almost guaranteed low scoring because of the Pats offense being in the C column, and the Pack trying to pass successfully with Scott Hunter throwing (43% completion – ugh!). The column to be used for pass plays would just be the receiver’s letter rating modified by the opposing team’s secondary as usual. I then came up with die roll modifiers when determining the outcomes of plays. What I do is I give each team 4 die roll modifiers – offense running, offense passing, defense vs the run, and defense vs the pass. I use a 20-sided die for each play with a base of a 50% chance that the defense will “key” on the ball carrier or receiver. How it works is like this:
    The ’72 Steelers had a strong defense vs the run and strong vs the pass but without a secondary of at least 16 points to reduce their opponents’ receiver ratings (they had at least 8 points to reduce ratings on long passes). So one season I gave them a modifier of -7 vs the run and -6 vs the pass (the Steel Curtain pass rush!). The Rams had a strong running game, but so-so passing. I gave them a + 4 for running and +1 for passing. All four ratings are based on each team’s personnel. So a play worked like this – The Rams have the ball and will run on 1st down vs the Steelers. I pick Willie Ellison to carry the ball on a plunge play. I roll the 20-sided die and a 6-sided die and get a “4” on the 6-sided and an “11” on the 20-sided. I figure a base of 1-10 on the 20-sided as to whether the defense is keying on the offense player (50% of the time). So because the Rams have a modifier of +4 for the run and the Steelers have a -7 vs the run, I start at “10” on the 20-sided die and modify that. A roll of 1-14 would mean a defense is not keying on the selected player (1-10 baseline plus 4 for Rams modifier). But the Steelers have a -7 vs the run, so the runner is actually not keyed on on rolls of 1-7 (14 minus 7). On 20-sided rolls of 8-20, Ellison is keyed on and I go down 2 lines for the plunge play in the B column (with the play result number determined by the usual two dice of different colors). The abstraction is if the Rams’ runners are keyed on 70-75% of the time, they will not be gaining as much yardage as if they were keyed on less. This is the abstraction – the Steelers have a tough defense and will limit the yardage most other teams will get. So most of the time vs lesser opponents, I’m going down two lines on the boards. Against opponents with weaker running attacks than the Rams (based on their offensive line strength and overall runners’ ability) the Steelers opponents will be “keyed” on more often. The die roll of “4” on the 6-sided die means the defense has a medium line setting. 6-sided rolls of 1-2 are small lines, 3-4 medium, and 5-6 large lines. I modify these line settings based on the down and yardage to go for a first down. Late in the game with a team down by several points, the opposing defense will be in more pass defense settings.
    So this system makes the game more fun to play as there is the potential for more offense. But still, there is no parity and teams besides the usual ones have made the playoffs. Even the ’72 Vikings and ’72 Bengals won the Super Bowl with this system – very exciting actually!
    So, this was long-winded, but I have played all these seasons and have very much enjoyed playing the game. It has taught me more about how football was played in the 50s, 60s and 70s (also thanks to the encyclopedia) and the players involved. I have found (created?) some heroes – Lujack’s heroics on defense for example.

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