Bottom of the 9th, designed by Darrell Louder (designer of Compounded) and Mike Mullins, is a quick dice and card game for 1 or 2 players that encapsulates the thrills and spills of baseball's final inning into a head-to-head competition between an ace pitcher and a star-studded line-up of heavy hitting batters. A game of Bottom of the 9th can easily be played in 5 to 15 minutes.
Bottom of the 9th will feature 20 player cards with beautiful custom art from artist Adam McIver that capture the look of classic baseball trading cards. These cards will even feel like classic trading cards since they will be printed on 1mm punchboard, just like vintage cards.
Each player card features abilities that can be used when they gain an upper hand on the opponent, allowing them to manipulate dice. Pitchers have an ace pitch that will activate when they choose to throw it as long as the batter doesn't predict both of the pitch variables (High, Low, Inside, Outside).Batters will have a unique MVP ability that activates whenever the player is able to accurately predict the type of pitch thrown. Most players also have a latent trait that can affect the game, alter their play style - or even give an advantage to the opponent!
With myriad customizable line-ups, the possibility of two added expansion packs in the stretch goals, and rules for advanced league and solo play, Bottom of the 9th will keep gamers wanting to play ball time and time again.
Bottom of the 9th will offer the same hallmark replay value as other Dice Hate Me Games titles, with high-quality components, thick punchboard bits, and lots of wood. Here's a list of what you'll find inside the box:
- 20 punchboard player cards, full-color front and one-color back, in a foil-wrapped pack
- 2 reference cards
- 2 playing field pieces in card stock
- 1 custom silk-screened Pitch Die
- 1 Pitching Control Die
- 1 Swing Die
- 4 wooden base-runners
- 4 wooden Pitch Tokens (2 red, 2 white)
- 3 wooden Out markers
- 2 wooden Strike markers
- 3 wooden Ball markers
- 2 wooden Fatigue markers
- Punchboard "stick of gum" batter ball and strike count tracker
- 15 Event & Scenario mini cards for solo play
- Full-color rulebook
- Sticker sheet (for Pitch Tokens and Fatigue Markers)
Bottom of the 9th will come in the Dice Hate Me Games "Monkey"-sized box - the same size as The Great Heartland Hauling Co., Belle of the Ball, and Carnival. What's this crazy talk? Take a look here for more information on our box sizes and game categories!
Bottom of the 9th is a distinguished alum of the Unpub program - a series of public and private playtest events held each year to help designers present, hone and polish their game designs with the gaming public, as well as board game production professionals.
How to play Bottom of the 9th, from Rodney Smith of Watch it Played!
Watch a full game of Bottom of the 9th!
Want to try out Bottom of the 9th for yourself? You can download the print-and-play files right here! You'll need to provide a few components of your own (like some tokens and three dice), but we'll give you the board, the rules, and a sampling of enough pitchers and batters to really get a feel for the game.
For those wanting a video how-to-play, here's a great overview of game play by Steve Tower of After Further Review.
Rodney Smith of Watch It Played is also preparing one of his excellent gameplay videos that should be available later this week. Stay tuned, and we'll post as soon as it's ready!
And for those wanting to know more about the development of the game and a discussion on gameplay, you can listen to designer Darrell Louder talk all about it on Ep. 80 of The State of Games podcast! It's a great episode, all about the Dice Hate Me Games and Greater Than Games merger, but for those just wanting jump straight into the Bottom of the 9th action, that starts at the 1hr 11min mark!
Bottom of the 9th was originally designed as a head-to-head competition between two players - that is, until veteran game designer Richard Launius (Defenders of the Realm; Arkham Horror; Run, Fight or Die) caught baseball fever after playing the game.
Richard has been a fan for much of his life - the Chicago White Sox adopted his uniform design for the ball club back in 1981, after all - so when the veteran game designer dropped us a line and said he had an idea for solo play? We were all ears.
Richard's design concept pits one player, controlling the batting lineup, against a randomly-controlled ace pitcher. Scenario and event cards control the game state, creating managing decisions during the game for the player-controlled team. Mike Mullins has been developing and refining Richard's core concept through tweaks and tests, and we are very excited to offer this solo play option inside the box.
Stay tuned to future updates for a link to the refined solo rules!
Achieving our base funding goal ensures that Dice Hate Me Games will be able to publish Bottom of the 9th with the quality that we all have come to expect. The base game of Bottom of the 9th is priced according to our initial funding goal; however, if we exceed that funding goal we will be able to add more to the game!
Here is a list of potential stretch goals that would allow us to upgrade components and help us add expansion decks to the game!
ACHIEVED! Folding Playing Field game board - One goal we're super excited about, which is why we put it first! We can now upgrade the Playing Field from cardstock to a thick, dual-fold game board!
ACHIEVED! Laser-etched Pitching Die - We can now afford to upgrade the custom Pitch Control Die from silk-screened to laser-etched.
ACHIEVED! Big League Support expansion pack - This stretch goal introduces 12 new player cards to the game in an expansion pack outside the box (some of which you can see above). There'll be some new pitchers and batters, but with this pack we'll also introduce support personnel such as general managers, a trainer, and even mascots. It'll even be foil-wrapped like baseball cards! The retail value of the expansion pack will be $4.95, but each backer will receive the Big League Support pack for free as part of their pledge!
ACHIEVED! Silk-screened Pitching Tokens - We can now do away with the sticker sheet and silk screen the information right onto the wooden Pitching Tokens!
ACHIEVED! Custom Base Runner Meeples - With this stretch goal, the base runners will be wearing little hats and sprinting for the next base!
ACHIEVED! Sentinels of the 9th expansion pack - In case you missed the news, Dice Hate Me Games and Greater Than Games (makers of the awesome Sentinels of the Multiverse line of card games) have merged! That means we can easily combine resources and do crazy things like put superheroes in our baseball games! In this expansion, you'll be able to bring some familiar Multiverse heroes and characters like Legacy, Haka, Tempest and Mr. Chomps to the field. This would be another expansion pack added outside of the box and retailing for $4.95 - but, of course, backers will receive it for free, adding even more value to your pledge!
ACHIEVED! Custom Pitcher Meeple - This stretch goal will be a little meeple for the mound! It serves no in-game purpose, but it's still amazingly cool. This will be a Kickstarter promotional not included in the regular retail version of the game, and will only be initially available as convention or contest promotionals.
Please help spread the word of Bottom of the 9th to family, friends and anyone else you think would enjoy the game so that we can reach our funding goal and roll out those stretch goals!
“Bottom of the 9th is the best baseball simulation I have ever played.” - Mike Fitzgerald, veteran designer of Wyvern, Mystery Rummy, Hooyah, and Baseball Highlights: 2045 (and not to take anything away from Mike's own Baseball Highlights: 2045 which is one of the best baseball games we've ever played)
“Not since APBA have I enjoyed a baseball game as much as Bottom of the 9th. Suspense, strategy, getting into your opponents head, and dice make this a game that is a Must Buy on the Rolling Dice & Taking Names game scale.” - Tony McRee, Rolling Dice & Taking Names podcast
“Bottom of the 9th is exactly what I wanted it to be - a tense and exciting showdown between pitcher and batter with everything on the line.” - Ben Pinchback, co-designer of Fleet and Eggs & Empires
"I could give you a longer review – yes, but this is a meeple-sized one. And in the end, it really boils down to this – Bottom of the 9th feels like a game that Dice Hate Me Games would put out, not just in its classic Americana theme, but also in its gameplay. Games published by Dice Hate Me seem to have their own rhythm and cadence in their gameplay, and Bottom of the 9th fits that “Dice Hate Me Games feel” to a tee. If you are a fan of baseball or even a fan of games published by Dice Hate Me Games, Bottom of the 9th really should be a game you take a closer look at." - Ryan Sanders, The Inquisitive Meeple
"Bottom of the 9th is reminiscent of the old, pure, luck-based dice-rolling baseball games. It adds strategy and replayability while retaining enough of a luck mechanic to keep you twitching for your d6 when that pesky batter manages to catch a piece of a pitch and you need to throw him out at first. Quick, fun, and addicting. Best sports game you don't play with a ball." - Brian Gerdwagen
"This game is tons of fun. It offers up the same feeling of tension as you would while playing (or watching) a real game when it is all on the line. Each game you play will tell a different story." - Steebin, The League of Nonsensical Gamers
"Love how much tension was crammed into such a small game. The selection of pitch location and then the die roll really had you on edge. I also really enjoyed the nostalgia you incorporated with the layout/design.” - Dan Halstad, League of Nonsensical Gamers
"Loved this game. Instant backer when it hits Kickstarter!” - Steve Seebode, Unpub designer and playtester
For those true ball fans who want the very best, we're proud to offer a limited amount of ALL-STAR GAME pledge levels. When you pledge for this level, you'll receive one full copy of Bottom of the 9th signed by Darrell and Mike with all applicable stretch goals, as well as a special clipboard field, signed and numbered, complete with several sheets of box score tracking pads to record your games and league play! You'll also receive a limited promotional Blüdle the Noodle mascot card - the official mascot of the Unpub Network! Blüdle was given away as a promotional at Unpub 5 in Baltimore, so only attendees of that convention own an official Blüdle.
These promotional items will only be available for purchase during this Kickstarter campaign. However, you may still be able to find Blüdle through certain convention giveaways, or by using Sentinels Points at the Greater Than Games booth at conventions. The clipboards will be given out as prizes for winners of upcoming Bottom of the 9th tournaments at conventions. So if you don't grab the ALL-STAR GAME pledge level here, keep an eye out for these possible promotions at conventions throughout the year!
And if you still really, really want Blüdle and can't get an ALL-STAR GAME pledge level, you can add on a promotional Blüdle card to any pledge for an additional $5! This card is slightly different than the limited card given out at Unpub 5, but it'll still enable you to easily add Blüdle to your games of Bottom of the 9th!
Without our Kickstarter Backers, Dice Hate Me Games would not be able to bring quality games to market. To show our respect and appreciation, DHMG promises that backer copies of Bottom of the 9th will be shipped out before copies are available for purchase at retailers or conventions. DHMG also pledges to keep all backers informed at every step in the development, printing and delivery processes. We love staying in touch with all of our supporters, so please never hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns.
Greetings ball gamers!
It’s officially spring training time and I am super excited for this Kickstarter campaign! Since we started developing and showing off Bottom of the 9th a year ago, so many board game and baseball fans have been expressing enthusiasm and support for the game. Honestly, I can’t remember a game that we’ve announced that has generated more buzz and excitement than Bottom of the 9th, and that is humbling and amazing!
It’s also an exciting time for Dice Hate Me Games, as we recently announced our merger with Greater Than Games, which you can read all about here and listen to us talk about here. Some of you who have been supporters of Dice Hate Me Games for a few years now have asked if this will change anything about what DHMG is known for or what we love to do. The emphatic answer is absolutely not - this can only make things better! Dice Hate Me Games and Greater Than Games will be able to work together to bring you the absolute best games out there, guaranteed. This is an amazing opportunity for us - and an incredible time to be a fan of both companies!
As always, I appreciate the continued love and support from our Kickstarter family. You’re the absolute best in the game!
Risks and challenges
As with any project that involves the production and manufacture of a good to be delivered, there is certainly a real chance for hiccups, delays and more than one or two gremlins gumming up the works along the way. Many boardgame projects on Kickstarter have been seriously hampered by art production delays, problems with an overseas factory, missing units and one shipping snafu after another.
Luckily, we have a few projects under our belt, and have dealt with many of those snafus and gremlins along the way. We have a good working relationship with our overseas manufacturer and have become accustomed to their protocols, communication styles and general idiosyncrasies. We try to plan for all contingencies, and have worked through - and learned from - kinks we may have encountered in our past projects.
We won't lie - stuff happens. Delays can occur. Sometimes you have to go back and forth on color samples six times just to get the color right, and even then the color isn't perfect. Sometimes even personal life events can blindside you. But what we do promise is that we will hold ourselves to the same high standards we expect from other board game publishers, and we will be completely honest and open with each of you every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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