August 14, 2011

Title Bout: The Game of Professional Boxing

Avalon Hill's classic boxing board game
By Jeffrey Freeman -- By popular demand I have dug out my old "Title Bout" boxing simulation game and will be blogging on the fights and the results. For those who may not be familiar with the game, Title Bout was introduced by the gaming company Avalon Hill in 1979. They also offered a line of other sports simulation games and their products were very well respected by gamers. There was really nothing else that even compared to what Avalon Hill was doing in terms of statistical realism, and overall fun. Title Bout is not a game of chance, there are no dice. For what it is, it's a pretty realistic simulation of professional boxing. The game was also a blast to play and I spent my youth playing it. It's been many years since I've played but I have been really wanting to rediscover it and so with my discovery of the fine folks on the Boxing History section of the forums, I have a good enough excuse now to dust it off and have a go at it. Seems at least a few others share a similar interest in it.

What I will be doing is having classic and dream fights on the game and then blogging on the action of the fight, and the results. Not sure yet what exactly that will look like as a post/blog, but hopefully it will be as entertaining for the readers as it is for me, the player/blogger.

In terms of what fighters I have access to it breaks down like this:

I have just about every fighter you can imagine from 1991 going back to the early days of the sport. All the ATGs (all time greats) are included as are a host of other top rated boxers from the past. You name the fighter, he's probably in the game. Every edition of Title Bout came with these classic fighters and they have not changed. They are considered to be "in their prime." The initial (1979) edition also came out with modern cards for all top level fighters who were active in 1979, when the game was first issued. I'm pretty sure there is a 1979 Muhammad Ali fighter card whose skills reflected on his card are nothing compared to his prime issue. I also have updated modern fighter cards that were issued in 1982, as well as updated modern fighter cards issued in 1986/87 and then again in 1990/91. What this means is that some fighters (Tommy Hearns for instance) have multiple cards from different time periods and also reflecting the different weight classes they fought in. The 1979 welterweight Hearns card is very different than the 1990/91 card featuring Tommy as a Super Middleweight on his way to Light Heavyweight.

I have resorted all the fighter cards into their appropriate weight classes and by year issued, and I am currently relearning how to play, most of it is coming right back to me like riding a bike but there are some details of game play that I will have to work out with a few "amateur" fights before I kick off the "real fights" and start blogging on them.

Title Bout lets you recreate all the great ring matchups of the past and present, with over 400 boxers individually rated for their abilities in over 20 key areas! Rewrite Boxing History. What would have happened if Rocky Marciano had fought the legendary John L Sullivan? Or if the great Joe Louis had met Muhammad Ali when both were in their prime? You can find out with Title Bout, as all the old time greats appear along with the current rated fighters in every weight class.