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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Sep 12, 2011
Strat hockey
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Hi everyone,

I've been playing Strat hockey for about 5 years now.   Some background: As a kid in the early to mid 70s, I played baseball, football and basketball (hockey wasn't around at the time), probably with one of my older brothers.  I have no recollection whatsoever as to how or why I stopped playing.  Fast forward to 2006 and I googled Strat and was happy to see that it was still available.  Bought the baseball board game and then bought the hockey board game later.  Needless to say, I got hooked on both.

Anyway, Strat hockey is not nearly as fully featured as their baseball game.  But they do a pretty good job of simulating the flow of the game, both in C&D and on the computer.  There are lots of mods that people use to enhance the game experience with C&D.  Some of them are pretty ingenious.

My first project with the cards was a replay of the 2006-2007 playoffs.  It took me about a year to complete, because I play intermittently.  Anyway, it was fun.  Ended up with the Senators and Ducks in the final, like real life.  The Sens won in 7 games and game 7 ended in dramatic fashion.  Score was 2-2 late in the third.  On the last action card, Pronger had the puck but it was stolen by Patrick Eaves and he scored on the outside shot with 9 seconds left!

I haven't played with the cards much since then.  I did replay the 71 playoffs series between the Bruins and the Habs.  That was the year that Boston broke all sorts of scoring records and were a lock to win the Cup.  Then Ken Dryden and the Habs spoiled that in the first round.  I HATED Montreal for years after that (that wore off, not even a big Bruins fan anymore).  So I had to replay that series to see if I could put a proper spin on history biggrin.  Alas, same result.  Montreal won in game 7.  Beliveau tied the game on the last action card in regulation and then they won in OT.

I've since bought the computer version, because I can complete a game in less time.  It's not as interesting of course, in that you watch the play by play and there's not a lot of decisions.  But it's fun nonetheless.

I usually do playoff replays, but I also do tournaments by season and those are fun because with single games, you can get some interesting upsets.  I've read about issues with the game's computer manager that don't give representative ice times.  Hence, some people don't do a season replay for this reason.  I haven't tried one myself.

I did an as-played project of 1950-1951 using the information provided by a member of the SFF.  He has a spreadsheet showing which players started each game for each team.  So you just have to tweak the lineups to reflect this and use his suggested settings.  And then you can quick play to the end of the game or play the whole game.  It was fun.

My curiosity has gotten the best of me, because last year I bought a couple of other hockey games for the computer:  Inside The Crease and Action PC Hockey.  I haven't played the latter yet, but I tried ITC and I like it.

If anyone's interested in trying Strat hockey and have questions, feel free to ask.  I'll do my best to try and help you out.

Peter



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Third Base Coach

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Date: Sep 12, 2011
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Hey Pete thanks.  

I have never played Strat hockey, but it always interested me.  Glad to hear your positive review of the game.  Maybe it will inspire me ...



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Baseball ... this field, this game ... It is part of our past.  It reminds us all of what once was good -- and could be again.



Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Sep 17, 2011
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I've always meant to look into the SOM Hockey game, just never got around to it, so much going on with my Baseball and Football endeavors.

As an aside, back in the mid 60's to mid 70's, one of my neighborhood buddys always erected 2x6's around the perimeter of his back yard during the winter and ran the garden hose. Voila, a backyard rink for us to play pick-up games.

It helped greatly that his Dad played in the IHL at the time and his Mom was a really cool lady, his Dad, Chick Chalmers was pretty good, he got called up to the N.Y. Rangers and played one game, he was checked into the boards very hard and got injured, never played another game in the NHL again but had quite a career in the IHL.

Are all the subletys and intangibles of Hockey represented in the SOM C&D version?



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I'd wake up at night with the smell of the ball park in my nose, the cool of the grass on my feet...The Thrill of the Grass...Heck, I'd play for free!



Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Sep 22, 2011
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scorpio rising 2 wrote:

I've always meant to look into the SOM Hockey game, just never got around to it, so much going on with my Baseball and Football endeavors.

As an aside, back in the mid 60's to mid 70's, one of my neighborhood buddys always erected 2x6's around the perimeter of his back yard during the winter and ran the garden hose. Voila, a backyard rink for us to play pick-up games.

It helped greatly that his Dad played in the IHL at the time and his Mom was a really cool lady, his Dad, Chick Chalmers was pretty good, he got called up to the N.Y. Rangers and played one game, he was checked into the boards very hard and got injured, never played another game in the NHL again but had quite a career in the IHL.

Are all the subletys and intangibles of Hockey represented in the SOM C&D version?


 I had friends who had a backyard rink when I was a kid.  I even made one for my kids when they were younger.  I'll have to look up Chick Chalmers.  I have a book that was published about 5-10 years ago that lists everyone who ever played an NHL game, with a little bio on each person.

My dad told me that, back in the 40s, he was in the military and they would play hockey games.  At the time, there were some NHLers who enlisted.  He told me that in one game, Bep Guidolin (I had to look him up, I had never heard of him) checked my dad right over the boards at an outdoor rink.  I believe Guidolin didn't start skating until he was 13 and he was in the NHL by the time he was 16 or 17!

As for the C&D version of the hockey game, it flows quite well, actually.  But I wouldn't say that it does a great job of representing the subtleties.  I'm not sure if any game would be able to do that, because there are just so many of them.  For instance, momentum swings.  I don't know how one could incorporate that into a simulation.

That being said, I have played one game of Inside The Crease hockey (the PC version, they do have a board version) and I found it to be more complete.  In Strat, players have ratings for offense, defense, intimidation, penetration, face-offs, assists (used in determining passes).  In ITC, players have a lot more ratings (same as Strat, more or less, but also loose puck, hit, takeaway, much more detailed penalty ratings) and it seemed to make more "sense", because it takes more things into account.  However, I have only played one game but I'm looking forward to playing some more.

Anyway, Strat hockey uses action cards to determine the play.  After you use a chart to determine who gets the puck from the faceoof, you take an action card and it will say things like, "Lose puck to opponent, opponent has outside shot only" (there are two kinds of shots:  inside and outside, rebounds and breakaways are separate), or "passing E" which means you attempt a pass and you look in the player's Passing column in row E.  Another common action is to refer to the opponent's Defense column, where it might say they take away the puck, or the puck carrier successfully passes to a teammate. The major decisions you make are whether to penetrate, pass or shoot when you're in the offensive zone.  Defensively, you can choose to intimidate the player with the puck.  Choosing yes increases the probability that you will get a penalty from it.  There is not a lot of dice rolling:  only when you go to shoot, basically.  Sometimes, your shot will be referred to the goalie's card to determine the result.  So it's like Strat baseball where they divide the results between the shooter's card and the goalie's card.  Also, you decide what level of offense and defense you will play.  For example, go with one forechecker for a more conservative style, or go with 3 forecheckers when you need to come from behind.  The action cards have different results, depending on what level you're using at the time.

It was a bit of a challenge to learn the mechanics of the game itself.  I find the instructions a bit scattered.  I'd like to see instructions that are similar to how the baseball game instructions are written.  But once I mastered that, it was fine.  I play solo, so I've incorporated a lot of home-made modifications that others have posted.  There's a great website, www.strat-hockey.net, where I found all these mods.  These really enhance the gameplay and make it more realistic.  I am in total awe of people who can come up with these charts for different things, like odd-man rushes, and dump and chase (both of these are not part of the Strat game engine).

It takes me about 45 to 60 minutes to play a c&d game and about 25 to 30 minutes on the computer.  A fair amount of the time in c&d comes from changing the lines.  Each period has 30 action cards, so each card represents about 40 seconds.  Instead of changing lines after every 1 or 2 cards, people have devised various systems, where you have line 1 out there for 7 cards, line 2 for 7 etc.  On the computer, you set how often the lines change.  You can set the computer to change the lines for you or not, and you can have the computer make the decisions (shoot, pass, penetrate) or not.  There's a scrolling play-by-play, and you can choose to show the results from the action cards and player cards too, as it goes by.

One thing you cannot do with the computer hockey game is roll the dice yourself and manually enter those dice results, like you can do with the baseball game.  It does have a card image feature, so you see the shooter's shooting column and the goalie's card on shots.  That website I mentioned above has add-ons, like rink images (just the ice surface is shown in the game, so the images have the home team's logo), team logos.

All in all, I love playing it because I love hockey and I feel it does a pretty good job of simulating the flow.  I just wish they would update the hockey player drawing on the back of the cards, so that the player is wearing a hockey helmet, not a football helmet!

Sorry to go on and on.  I thought it might be useful for you to get a handle on how the game engine works.

 

 



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General Manager

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Date: Sep 22, 2011
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I played hockey once, back in high school. Jim Rutherford was incredible for some reason. I think it was 1977-1978, or maybe 1978-1979. I enjoyed it actually, but of course I would now only do the comp game.

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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Sep 22, 2011
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71 Bruins,

Sorry for what? I enjoyed reading it.
Yeah, look up Chick Chalmers, he was a cool guy too, every once in a while he would come out to the back yard and play a p-ick-up game with us kids,  never showboated, very workman-like.
Some day maybe I'll give the sim. hockey game a look, I'd much rather go out to the local pond and try to be young again but those days I fear are long behind me.



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I'd wake up at night with the smell of the ball park in my nose, the cool of the grass on my feet...The Thrill of the Grass...Heck, I'd play for free!



Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Sep 23, 2011
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trying to be young again reminds me of a funny story.  Always used to play hockey as a kid, and ball hockey on the street too.  Back in the late 90s, a couple of my best friends got married in the summer and they combined their bachelor parties into one.  The day started off with us renting a gym and playing some ball hockey.  We were all in our late 30s by this time.  Anyway, we started playing and we tore around the gym at quite a pace.  After a few minutes, we all called a timeout and were bent over and panting.  It was hilarious!  We're not young anymore.

We slowed the pace down after that.smile



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Bullpen Coach

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Date: Sep 23, 2011
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haha, a great 3 minutes, before reality set in though, right?

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