The Talk Show – November, 2008


Host: Glenn Guzzo


You can submit your question or insight on any Strat-O-Matic game to When you do, kindly include your name and town. Other gamers like to see that. And the display format below works better that way.



Reminder: Send us your “Great Moments in Strat” – your playing experiences that you just have to share.



From the ‘30s to YouTube


            When will Srat make a set for 1936 thru 1939? The Yankees Teams of Past Set – we need a Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig team maybe best ever. And what about expanding “Talk Show” To Video Questions On YouTube? I Think I would love to be part of putting together a web site as a sports reporter – wow.

Joe Glus,
Bronx, NY   


            There’s no schedule yet for those mighty Yankees teams, who thoroughly dominated all opposition. A video Talk Show would be great fun. Maybe someday on the Strat-O-Matic web site.



Make the Greats Greater     


            I realize that the Hall of Fame football teams would be standardized to a degree for when Hall of Fame teams played each other. But the standardization went a bit too far in my opinion because the Hall of Fame teams are very average teams.  For example, the hall of fame Minnesota Vikings team was given a record of 9-7 in the computer game.  I matched them against the 1986 Minnesota Vikings who were actually 9-7 in 1986. After playing those teams four times, each won twice.  Every game was within 7 points.  I doubt that if the 1986 Vikings could have played a collection of the best Vikings ever that they would have split 4 games and been close in all of them. 


            I would have preferred that the Hall of Fame teams be exceptional teams who when they played each other would be a battle of the giants and when they played normal teams they would be superior.  Am I alone in this opinion? 


Bob Riggs, Sunbury, OH


            You are the first to mention it here, although I’m sure it looks strange to see some famous defenders and blockers rated zero and some famous passers looking average. Every opinion is valid, but as you note Strat-O-Matic made these teams to play against each other. And if SOM made 30 teams who each had a full lineup of 6-rated blockers and defenders, both the drama and the strategy would be gone. The cards might be nice to look at, but with little to no variety, the teams would not be fun to play against each other.



A Triumphant Return to the Hobby


            I have just got back to the Strat baseball game after an eight-year absence. I play board and dice and have the cards for seven seasons: 1927, 1930, 1941, 1970, 1975, 1987, and 1999. For my latest project, I took the best 64 teams from these seasons and placed them in a tournament. The first round was a best of five series with the #1 seed 1927 Yankees vs. #16 seed 1987 Expos. The interesting part was the series went five games with New York winning it. A part of the reason was the 13, that’s right 13 errors committed by the Yankees over the five games. It got me to thinking if I was using the correct X-chart for fielding (super advanced). A look at some of the e-ratings for some other players on other teams far surpassed the advanced fielding chart values, but 13 errors in five games by a team many consider one of the best ever? It seemed a little weird to me. Were the Yankees really that bad a fielding team or is this just an anomoly of some sort? For the record, four errors in game 1, three in game 2, and two in each of the final three games.

            Another question: I’m interested in the computer game. The big thing holding me back is can I use the computer game with the cards I already have, or will I need to spend a lot of additional money for additional disks, etc to be able to use them. I tried to figure it our from the price sheet I was sent, but it wasn’t clear to me.

            Strat rules! What an awesome game.

                                                                                        Tim Magoon, St. Albans, VT


            Welcome back to the hobby and here’s more good news: The cards you have are the ratings (and images if you purchase the card-image option) SOM uses for its computer game. However, to play with a season on the computer, you must purchase that season in computer form – an authorization card.


            The errors by the 1927 Yankees were an aberration, but it’s also true that there were many more errors in 1927 than today – more than twice as many. Fielding percentages have improved in every decade. In 1927, the 16 teams made 3,211 errors (1.3 errors per team, per game). In 2008, the 16 National League teams made 1,584 errors (.61 per game).



Legendary Hockey


            I’ve had the Hockey Hall of Fame set since it first was introduced. I hadn’t really figured out just how to use it while I played with some of my other sets. So, a couple weeks ago, I was looking around in The LEGENDS of HOCKEY web site, and then it hit me: Why not an Original Six league? So I picked up an earlier article from Strat-O-Sphere, went back into the LEGENDS site, did a little more research and, presto, an Original Six league with 12 forwards, 6 defensemen, and a pair of goalies.


            I know some of the players on some of the teams participated with that team for a limited time, but it worked and I guess that’s what really matters. I am using the schedule that was kindly provided with the 1962-63 set I recently purchased, and, so far, it has been INTERESTING. The Chicago Blackhawks are 3-0-1 and in the early lead. The New York Rangers are 2-0-2, Montreal is 3-2-0, Toronto and Detroit are 1-2-1 and the Boston Bruins are bringing up the rear at 0-4-1. I am using cards and dice, have made a standard set of cards for solitaire play which give a home-ice advantage (if that’s the way they come up). I also shorten the lines and defensive lines for the home team. I really like the way it works.


            I think the hockey Hall of Fame set is one of the best sets ever produced, in any sport. But that’s only one man’s opinion. I just want to say thanks. I’m 54 years old and a nostalgia buff and I have a great appreciation for the Original Six and how they shaped the game.

Jack Cost, Wellsburg, WV            


            What a history lesson that set provides – perhaps even more than the baseball Hall of Fame set and the football all-time franchise teams. Baseball’s history is better known, better recorded. Pro football as represented in the ATF set is more recent than the time-travel in the hockey Hall of Fame set. All of those sets have the additional advantage of presenting some great players in Strat-O-Matic form for the first time. However, since the hockey game is the newest SOM product of the three, more great hockey players got their Strat debut in this special set than in the baseball or football sets.



Hockey Time Warp


            Somewhat brief question regarding the hockey teams from 1981-1982.  I found a bunch of hockey cards (six drafted teams) from college.  I felt compelled to play the same teams on the computer.  So I opened the Strat-O-Matic software (Ver 6.03) to review the teams.  I was disappointed to find out the 92-goal season Wayne Gretzky card was … to say the least, different.  Why such a drastic change?  I realize the goalie format changed, but come on.  That was an all-time great season, however due to the “adjustments” he might be a third line center on the 2007-08 Red Wings.  There were some awesome cards from 1981-1982: Bossy, Vaive, Gillies, all tamed.  Any reason? Please tell me that I just entered the Twilight Zone.


Larry Grogan, Boca Raton FL


            Much has changed in hockey since 1981-82, not just the card formats. Foremost, scoring in 1981-82 was 8.03 goals per game, 44 percent more than the 5.57 goals per game in 2007-08. In last-year’s terms, Gretzky’s record-setting 92 goals of 1981-82 was the worth 64 in 2007-08 – that’s one less than Alexander Ovechkin’s league-leading number last year. Bossy’s 64 goals in ’81-82 were the equivalent of 44 last year. Vaive’s 54 were the equivalent of 37. Vaive ranked fifth in goal scoring in ’81-82, but at 37 goals last year he would have ranked 13th. In 1981-82, the 20th top goal scorer had 40 goals, vs. 32 last year. Gillies’ 38 goals in ’81-82 were worth 26 last year.


            Play the 1981-82 teams against their actual competition and they will score plenty. The opponent goalies are weaker. The teammate passers (on the top teams) are better. Remember, too, that Gretzy double-shifted that year. The game company recommended you do the same. I played an abbreviated 20-game season with most of the top ’81-82 teams back then. Gretzky was unstoppable. The Islanders were nearly unbeatable – one of my favorite teams ever to play.



Football Draft League Defense


            What are the football draft league defense cards?  Where can I get them?  Are they shown somewhere online?  Thanks.

Warren, OH


            These cards are in the computer football game. There are computer “cards” for 4-3 and 3-4 defenses with all the combinations of strength (e.g. Excellent, Good, Average, Poor) for the run and the pass defense. Here’s a description from the Help file:


            Draft-League Defense Cards are supplied for two purposes. 


            First, they allow all teams in a league to use standardized defense cards.  Without these cards teams must use the defense cards from a real-life team.  With these cards all teams can use the same defense cards which works better in a draft-league setting.


            Second, Draft-League Defense Cards magnify the importance of player ratings compared to the original team defense cards.  Player ratings are used more often with these cards then the originals.  This makes drafting non-skill players a very important part of the your league’s draft.  While the original system is best for replays, the Draft-League Defense Cards are probably best for draft leagues.