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Crack of the Bat Baseball- brings the 1934 Negro League to life. Between 1 and 4 players can enjoy the smooth, fast game action.
Crack of the Bat Baseball- brings the 1934 Negro League to life. Between 1 and 4 players can enjoy the smooth, fast game action.
34 backers pledged $1,244 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Crack of the Bat Baseball - Combining History with Fun project video thumbnail
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Crack of the Bat Baseball (COTB) is a fun and fast paced dice and card game for 1 to 4 players. The game features smooth game play and highly accurate results based on real life stats. The game is intended to be a gateway game, one that avid baseball fans can enjoy while also having a rule set that allows up to 4 people to share a more casual gaming experience.

Thanks to "Seamheads.com Negro Leagues Database - Powered by the Baseball Gauge" for use of the stats that will allow me to portray these athletes as close to their real life potential as possible.

Sample position cards - final appearance subject to change slightly
Sample position cards - final appearance subject to change slightly

Note: I am unable to find images for many players and it is difficult to research when Negro league photos were taken. Therefore some players will not have an image. For players without photos available I will likely use a logo I have created.

Sample pitcher cards - appearance subject to change slightly
Sample pitcher cards - appearance subject to change slightly
Crack of the Bat Baseball is specifically designed for seasons like the 1934 Negro NL that contain missing strike out data for batters. In 1934, only strike outs by pitchers were recorded for the league. The game designer, James Formo, takes this into account by having strike outs and walks come off the pitchers card. This ensures that the correct number of strike outs are determined for each pitcher and the total league strikeouts will also be accurate.

Game play involves rolling four 10 sided dice each a different color; red, white, blue and green. There are 3 pairings obtained in this way; a blue/white combo, a red/white combo, and a green/white combo. The colored die is always read first for each pairing. This is explained in the campaign video. Play moves from the pitcher card, then to the batter card. If a hit occurs, the location is found off the value of the green white die pair. Any base advancement is also found via the green/ white combo.

The beauty of the above system is that every play (except for steals. error checks, and tagging on fly outs) is resolved off the initial batter roll.

While 80% of COTB's game mechanics are brand new, the other 20% is brought in from the previously released game 'Pine Tar Baseball'. (also by Life is Sport Games) This is the portion that makes up hit location and base runner advancement. Both tried and true streamlined systems that keep game play moving fast. The video below demos hit location and base runner advancement from Pine Tar that will be brought into Crack of the Bat Baseball. Note that the range values shown will vary in the new system.

In total, eight teams are available for the 1934 Negro NL season. You can select a reward that either has 4 teams or all 8 teams. You may also select between a Basic game version or an Deluxe game version. The differences between those 2 versions are explained below.

Basic game: The basic game comes with the players printed in full color on 110" heavy card stock sheets that measure 8 1/2 x 11". Each team has 2 sheets with a maximum of 9 players. A total of 18 players per team.

Deluxe game: The deluxe game comes with the players professionally printed in full color on individual poker sized cards that measure 2.5 x 3.5" They come on 305 gsm black-core matt card stock. This is the same type of card stock that is used in 'Magic: The Gathering' cards. These cards will have color art work on the back side.

Rewards that include the printed instructions will come with the chosen card set and then all the components listed below.

Game component editions include:

  •  4 ten sided dice ( one each of red, white, blue, and green) 
  • One twelve sided die (used for error checks)
  • 3 red game pawns
  • 1 disk marker
  • One 8 1/2 x 11" game mat (baseball diamond)
  • 1 dice pouch
  • 6 blank score sheets and 2 scoring pencils
  • 1 main instruction manual

The player set varies by which reward level is selected.

STRETCH GOALS

If the Project reaches $1500: A special score sheet will be designed for use when 3 or 4 players play COTB Baseball. When playing the game with 3 or 4 players, the game length will be limited to 3 innings. In the event of any ties, players will play up to the 5th inning. After which the game is called a draw.

The special score sheets for multiple player games will have room for up to 4 players with extra space to make score keeping more visible to all participants.

These score sheets will then also be available for download in a PDF file.

If the Project reaches $2200: A score sheet booklet will be included that will contain 16 regular score sheets. (for 1 to 2 players) The score sheets in the booklet will be printed in black and white while the cover will be in full color. (Though it may appear mostly sepia because of the era being portrayed)

Risks and challenges

While all projects have some inherent chance for delays, Life is Sport Games will be working with a printer that we have used many times in the past. They have always corrected any errors on orders that were placed with them in a timely manner. LISG allows extra time to review the product we receive back from the professional printer in case anything needs to be re-printed.

All packaging of items for delivery is done by LISG. This is why some reward levels have been limited to ensure that we are able to ship out all rewards in a timely manner.

Our experience from releasing two different Baseball game titles, along with 6 previous season sets, means LISG knows how to resolve any printing issues that may arise.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Become part of the 'Crack of the Bat' project by donating $1. Every dollar brings us closer to our goal. You will receive my sincere thanks for backing the COTB project!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Receive a PDF that contains the top 4 teams of the 1934 Negro NL, along with the game instructions.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Receive a PDF that contains all 8 teams of the 1934 Negro NL, along with the game instructions.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $21 or more About $21

    BASIC VERSION - 4 teams

    Receive the printed basic version of the game that comes with the top 4 teams from the 1934 Negro NL. This reward includes the full color printed instructions and game components.

    The basic game comes with players printed on 2 sheets per team. Maximum of 9 players per sheet.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $26 or more About $26

    BASIC VERSION - 8 teams

    Receive the printed basic version of the game that comes with the top 8 teams from the 1934 Negro NL. This reward includes the full color printed instructions and game components.

    The basic game comes with players printed on 2 sheets per team. Maximum of 9 players per sheet.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    DELUXE VERSION - 4 teams

    Receive the printed DELUXE version of the game that comes with the top 4 teams from the 1934 Negro NL. This reward includes the full color printed instructions and game components.

    The DELUXE game comes with players printed on individual cards. The card stock used is 305 gsm black-core matt finish.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL - DELUXE VERSION - 8 teams

    Receive the printed DELUXE version of the game that comes with all 8 teams from the 1934 Negro NL. This reward includes the full color printed instructions and game components.

    The DELUXE game comes with players printed on individual cards. The card stock used is 305 gsm black-core matt finish.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $42 or more About $42

    NOT QUITE AS EARLY BIRD SPECIAL -- DELUXE VERSION - 8 teams

    Receive the printed DELUXE version of the game that comes with all 8 teams from the 1934 Negro NL. This reward includes the full color printed instructions and game components.

    The DELUXE game comes with players printed on individual cards. The card stock used is 305 gsm black-core matt finish.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    DELUXE VERSION - 8 teams

    Receive the printed DELUXE version of the game that comes with all 8 teams from the 1934 Negro NL. This reward includes the full color printed instructions and game components.

    The DELUXE game comes with players printed on individual cards. The card stock used is 305 gsm black-core matt finish.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    GIFT PACK

    Receive 2 copies of the printed DELUXE version of the game (at a savings over a single copy) that comes with all 8 teams from the 1934 Negro NL. This reward includes the full color printed instructions and game components.

    The DELUXE game comes with players printed on individual cards. The card stock used is 305 gsm black-core matt finish.

    Add $40 for each additional copy.

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Funding period

- (45 days)