Even though I am a born and raised Canadian, and should be a die hard hockey fan, my heart has always belonged to the diamond. However, I found that to pair my love of baseball and board games was often difficult. There are some baseball board games, but I found the ones I had played to be statistics heavy, and I would have a difficult time finding someone to play with. That is why I was incredibly happy to pick up Baseball Highlights 2045 on Tabletop Day.

Baseball Highlights 2045 is a deck building game that was published in 2015 by Eagle-Gryphon Games. The premise of the game is that, in 2045, baseball has been changed to allow cyborgs, and robots into the league, as well as shortening the game to six innings. Some humans are still in the game, and they named themselves after famous players that we would know, and combined their names, such as Moose Giambi.

The game is pretty easy to learn, the rules are simple enough to pick up after you play a round. Each game is a broken down into a number of mini games that are decided by the players before hand. The rule book suggests a best of three to decide who is the home team to start the World Series, which would be a best of seven. To start a mini game, both players draw six cards from their 15 card starting team. The players then decide if they want to play a card face down in their on deck circle, and if they do they draw another card to replace the one played. The visitor team plays a card in their in play section, and trigger any abilities that the card has. Then the player “threatens” the number of hits on the card with the type of runner displayed on the card by placing pawns in the hitter’s box, (white is slow, blue is average, and red is fast). The home player then plays a card, and if their card doesn’t cancel the hit then the threatened hit is successful and the visitor moves their pawns around the bases equal to their hit.

The players continue to play cards back and forth until all six cards in their hands have been played. Players may discard a card with a pinch hit symbol to play the card they have in their on deck circle, or play the top card of their deck. After the home player plays their last card, the visitor gets one last try to defend by playing their on deck card, or drawing their top card, and if those cards have defensive abilities, they are played. When all cards have been played, the team with the most runs wins the mini game, then players add up the value of their played cards, and starting with the player with the lowest value, they purchase cards from the purchase deck, making sure to send the same amount of cards purchased to the minor leagues from their played cards, that way players will always have a 15 card deck.

What Baseball Highlights 2045 Did Right:

  • The rules are very simple to learn, but even though the game seems simple it has an underlying deep strategy.
  • The game is quick to setup and could be played in a short period of time.
  • The cards look great, and are high quality, giving them a baseball card feel.

What Baseball Highlights 2045 Could Have Done Better:

  • Even though the box says 1-4 players and it does come with four player mats, the game is really just a two player game. The three and four player variants are just the players playing multiple games against different opponents.
  • We found that defensive cards are very overpowered, especially if the visitor draws a defensive card that they can put in their on deck circle. It is difficult to prepare an offence when there are so many defensive cards.

Overall, Baseball Highlights 2045 is great pick up and play game. This game had been on my purchase list since it was released due to the comparison to an old SNES game called Super Baseball 2020, and I am glad that I was able to get a copy of it. I would recommend anyone who is looking for a quick game, or is a baseball fan, or looking for a deck builder with a different mechanic to pick this game up.

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