I've been enjoying Downey Games for years, but this is my first time purchasing a Player of the Game line of games, ... and I'm horribly confused. I haven't felt this frustrated with a game's instructions in decades.

Can anyone offer up some kind advice on how to figure out the game's directions? In particular, figuring out which serve to use and whether the number tells me the server or receiver won the point has me confused. And for modifying the serve return? Is the number on the second column for first and second serves supposed to be the number that I use to modify the opponent's RET 1 and RET 2 values?

I feel like I'm reading something that tells me that a first serve number is the receiver's point, because Cats don't wear plaid on Sundays.

Meanwhile, I'll keep trying to figure out the procedure from over here. I think you're right, though. Once I give it a few tries, I should be fine. I'm just pretty hazy on what the proper procedure IS, at this point. Thanks again!

1991 set, John McEnroe vs. Pete Sampras, on a hard surface.

McEnroe serves first, he rolls a 78. His WIN rating (meaning an automatic win, no return by his opponent) is 5, no win. so he moves to his 1st serve rating, which is a 58. 78 is greater than 58, so it's a second serve.

Now a roll for Sampras, on his RET 2 rating, which is 50 or under (his 51 rating combined with McEnroe's -1 2nd serve return modifier). He rolls 74, too bad, McEnroe takes the first game.

Sampras serving now, rolls a 14. His WIN rating is 10 or under, close, but a 1st serve for him (1st serve rating is 66).

McEnroe gets his return roll, his R1 (Return 1) rating is 33, roll is 74, Sampras wins, the set now tied at 1-1.

Serve for McEnroe, rolls a 37, more than 5 but less than 58, good enough for a 1st serve.

Sampras returns the 1st serve, his R1 rating is 31, he rolls a 43, game goes to McEnroe.

That's about it. If you have any other questions, let me know.
Edited by DaveP on 07/24/2020

If the Server's First Serve random number (R#) is HIGHER than his 1st Serve Rating = The Receiver returns using his RET 1 rating.
If the Server's First Serve R# is LOWER than his 1st Serve Rating = The Server is assumed to have used a second serve. And the Receiver uses his RET 2 rating.

If the Receiver's R# is HIGHER than his RET rating = Server wins the point.
If the Receiver's R# is LOWER than his RET rating = Receiver wins the point.

The person serving is trying to roll (or land on) a R# HIGHER than his rating.
The person receiving is trying to roll (or land on) a R# LOWER than his rating.

It's simpler than that. When a player serves, it's either on his Win rating, 1st serve rating or his 2nd serve rating. If it's not a Win result, you use the opponent's matching return rating to get the result. The 1st serve is a harder shot to return than the 2nd serve, and if you look at the opponent's return ratings, the 1st return rating is usually worse than the 2nd return rating.

On the cards the ratings are shown in a shorthand way. So McEnroe's serve ratings are 5 (Win), 58 (1st), 99 (2nd). That means rolls of 1-5 are an automatic win, 6-58 are a good 1st serve (roll on the opponent's 1st return rating for the final result), 59-99 are a 2nd serve (roll on the opponent's 2nd return rating for the final result).

You have the receiver's part of it right.

Keep the questions coming.
Edited by DaveP on 02/26/2020