By Kent L. Forechecking system

Use of Fourth Line and Third Pair While Maintaining Strat’s Single Shift per Period

 

Like many other board gamers I have incorporated utilizing the 4th line and 3rd pair into my replays.  However, for the board game Strat-O-Matic only addressed the 4th line and never made any suggestions for the 3rd pair.   In my opinion, Strat giving the 4th line 7-8 cards per period was significantly too much ice time for these players, especially come playoff time.  However, being a dedicated board gamer, I think one of a dying breed; I have always liked Strat’s system of one long shift for each line and pair.  I have made feeble attempts at trying other systems with multiple shifts for each line/pair per period but found them too cumbersome and disruptive of the flow of the board game.  Therefore, this is a system that I have been using for several years and think it gives a reasonable amount of ice (9 total cards for 4th line and 12 total cards for 3rd pair), although running probably 4-8 minutes low for the third pair of defense, but maintaining Strat’s one long shift per period and their matching system.

 

Defensemen will be broken into three pairs; the top two pairs will play 13 Action Cards each period.  The third pair will play 4 Action Cards each period and can be used as substitutes for penalty and injury situations, as well as offensive and defensive situations at the coach’s discretion not to exceed 13 even strength Action Cards per period.  Forwards will be broken into four forward lines, with the top three lines playing 9 Action Cards each period.  The fourth line will play 3 Action Cards each period and can be used as substitutes for penalty and injury situations, as well as offensive and defensive situations at the coach’s discretion not to exceed 9 even strength Action Cards per period.  Players may only play positions that are listed on their individual cards.  When injuries occur during a game, a player from the top three lines and/or the top two pairs may play a position on the fourth line and/or third pair in addition to his normal shift thus double shifting.  However, a player may not double shift more than one period per game.   If all players eligible to play a given position have been eliminated, the next logical player left among the substitutions may play a position not listed on his card.

 

Within the 30 Action Card deck, a forward line change card will occur at the 3rd, 12th and 21st Action Card draw, and a defensive pair change card will occur at the 4th and 17th Action Card draw.  The first three Action Cards of each period, both teams 4th lines will play against each other and the first four Action Cards of each period both teams 3rd pair of defensemen will play against each other.  After that the visiting team must first declare which line and/or pair will be coming out for its shift and then the home team’s coach may then match up lines and pairs of their choice to provide the most advantageous offensive and defensive situations.  When a game goes to overtime, the 4th line and 3rd pair will not be utilized.  Therefore the forward line change cards will occur at the 10th and 20th Action Card draw and the defensive pair change will occur at the 15th Action card draw.  The top three forward lines and top two defensive pairs will split playing time evenly during overtime.

 

 

Pulling the Goalie at Even Strength and During Power Plays

 

Strat-O-Matic has not addressed this situation to my satisfaction, including clarifying how an X on the empty net is not a shot on goal where it is in every other situation but that is another argument in and of itself, yet a couple of things need to be clarified with these systems.  First I do not follow the any player shot Strat rule for a few main reasons.  Primarily, I hate tracking the damn thing, especially solitaire were I track minimal stats.  Beyond that I find it has too much impact on how gamers try to setup their line and pairs to isolate top snipers as the only 4 offense on the ice at any given time, particularly in stock replays.  Moreover, I utilize a varying opponent against system as well as a modified version of Gord’s Goon Rule that can help minimize the impact of ignoring the rule.  Therefore, when the extra skater is overloaded (as described below) on one of the wings, that player still will have an opponent against in intimidation situations, defensive situations, as well as pass/penetrate chances, unless that defending position has been vacated due to penalty.

 

 

The goalie may be pulled in two situations: delayed penalty and during the last two Action Cards of the hockey game.  Although there is an extra attacker this situation does not count as a power play; therefore, goal+ and goalie rating+ still are considered a save and faceoff.   During a delayed penalty, the offensive team may pull the goalie for an extra attacker and place the player at either wing; player must be able to play a forward position (LW, C, and RW).  If a defensive rating, offensive rating, or intimidation rating occurs to the position with the extra attacker, the coach may choose between the two players for the result.  When the delayed penalty results in a goal the penalty is wiped out and both teams remain at even strength, unless a 4 minute double minor (serve 2 minutes and wipe out 2 minutes) or a 5 minute major (serve entire penalty) is called.  If a goal does not result, the play is whistled down as soon as a faceoff occurs or when the defensive team takes possession of the puck.  At the end of a game, if the goalie is pulled the Offensive team can place an extra attacker at either wing; player must be able to play a forward position (LW, C, and RW).  If a defensive rating, offensive rating, or intimidation rating occurs to the position with the extra attacker, the coach may choose between the two players for the result. The Offensive team is considered to be in Offense 3 and Forecheck 3 and the defensive team can be in any offense and forecheck alignment.  When the Offensive team draws an Action Card, they will refer to the power play section. If the defensive team causes a turnover without a shot resulting, the defensive team draws an Action Card, follows normal even strength procedure, and considers the opponent to be in Forecheck 3.   If a shot attempt results, any shot (x (rebound), goal, goalie Rating, goal +, goalie rating +) that reaches the net, is an open net goal.

 

When the power play unit is trailing during the last two cards of the game and pulls their goalie for a sixth skater, all normal rules concerning power play and pulled goalie procedures apply.  The only change is on the penalty kill, where an icing attempt that results in a defense rating of 12-14 is changed to defense 14.  Therefore, if a penalty killer has outside shot listed in his defense 14 spot, the power play player that is indicated on the Split Card has an outside shot / pass/ penetrate opportunity.

 

When the penalty kill unit is trailing during the last two cards of the game and pulls their goalie for an extra skater, the extra skater fills one of the vacant positions.  If the penalty kill unit and power play unit have an equal number of skaters, the penalty kill unit will refer to the normal even strength sections of the Action Card and both the power play and penalty kill units must declare offense and forecheck settings.  Although the power play unit declares offense and forecheck settings, when the power play unit gains possession of the puck with no shot options, thus having to draw an Action Card, the power play unit still refers to the Power Play section on the Action Card and all goalie + and Goal +’s are considered empty net goals.  However, even strength rules for faceoffs, passing, penetration, breakaways, forechecking, intimidation, and the goon rule apply for both the power play and penalty kill units.  Although even strength rules apply in this situation, the 19 board clock must still be utilized to time the duration of the power play.  All normal timing procedures are still utilized.

 

Adaptations to Strat-O-Matic Power Play System

 

Faceoffs:  How Strat ever decided that any faceoff won by penalty kill unit should take four spaces off the 19 clock is beyond me.  Winning the draw and moving 4 spaces accounts for 27 seconds of game time.  Simply put way too much time for winning a draw, all faceoffs only 1 space on the 19 clock.

 

Forwards playing the point:  I ignore the asterisks for playing the point.  I figure that if a player had any time playing the point, it should be the coach’s discretion as too how much he uses the forward(s) at the point.  Although each point player would be limited to every other power play while using two separate units.  However, there needs to be risks for playing forward(s) at the point.  Therefore, increase all penalty killers ( ) breakaway rating by one with one forward playing the point and no defense position on his card and by two if there are two forwards playing the point and neither has a defense position listed on their cards.  This includes players with no ( ) breakaway rating; I debated on this but figured it was a needed risk/reward for this system.   When considering how uncomfortable most forwards are with skating backwards as well as their lack of experience in one-on-one coverage, this system makes sense.

 

Revised Forechecking System

 

After getting some feedback from a Forum member, I decided to reevaluate my forechecking system.  Although for the most part it has stayed the same there are some changes.  From my perspective, the most fundamental flaw to the Strat board game engine is in essence combining forechecking ability with the defense ratings.  They are very different skills and need to be treated as such.  However, keeping the past years player cards compatible with rule changes is a huge factor, so I do not think it is feasible for the company to address this.  The unfortunate part of my system is it does nothing to address the defense columns.  The purpose of this system was to reward strong forechecking lines were the players are not given better defense ratings that cause turnovers for strong scoring chances, Philly’s Legion of Doom being an excellent example.  Upon review of the system and looking over past seasons, I found a couple of things.  1.  Not having enough variety in ratings for forechecking lines (need to find a method to create more forecheck 2 players).  2. Needing to distinguish on the charts between 4 on 4 and 5 on 5.  3.  Incorporating in differing scoring chances from the breakout pass.

 

FORECHECKING FORWARD LINES:

Forechecking can only occur during even strength 5 on 5 and 4 on 4 play as well as 5 on 5 with a team pulling the goalie for an extra skater (if the extra skater is a forecheck 0 the original line out remains at its normal forecheck level.  If the extra skater has a 1 or 2 forecheck rating add that onto the lines forecheck grade but do not exceed the maximum of 6 for 5 on 5 and 4 for 4 on 4).  3 on 3 even strength and power play situations are not considered forechecking situations.  Each forward will receive a forecheck rating which is calculated upon the boxed assist rating + intimidation rating.  A forward with 0-9 receives a forecheck rating of 0, a forward with a 10-19 receives a forecheck rating of 1, and a forward with 20+ receives a forecheck rating of a maximum of 2.  Then the entire forward line will be added together to come up with a forecheck rating.  In order to declare a line as a forechecking line, the three forwards must average a minimum of 1 forechecking rating or 3(5 on 5)/2(4 on 4) total for the entire line.  After establishing that a line has the minimum requirements needed to be declared a forechecking line, additional forechecking points can be added to player(s) from that line if every forward on the line has an offense ranking of 4.  When all forwards on a forechecking line have offense 4, 5 additional forechecking points can be awarded.  Therefore, if a forward has 10 Int + 6 BAR = 16, that player could be awarded 4 points to bring him to a total of 20 or a forecheck rating of 2, which would increase the line’s forecheck ranking by one grade.  Moreover if one forward has a total of 17 and another 18, both players could be awarded additional points bringing both players to a 20 and thus increasing the line’s forechecking rating by 2 grades.  While playing 5 on 5 forechecking lines can have up to 4 grades and 3 grades while playing 4 on 4; refer to the breakdown on the Forechecking Rating Chart. To declare a line a forechecking line a team must be in a 2 offense and 2 forecheck or higher.  For a forechecking situation to occur, when the forechecking line is set in a 2/2, the forechecking line needs to have a shot on goal resulting in a goalie rating or rebound, which results in a defensive defenseman taking possession of the puck.  When the Forechecking line is set in a 3/2 or 3/3, a defensive defenseman controlling the puck from a shot on goal from the shooting column is also referred to in addition to the goalie rating and rebound.   Do not draw an Action Card; instead refer to the Forechecking Chart.  Find the forechecking line’s rating on the chart and the defensive defensemen’s pass rating.  Roll the 20-sided dice.

 

 

5 ON 5 FORECHECKING CHART (20 chances)

Defensemen’s passing rating Forecheck

3(5on5) 2(4on4)

Forecheck

4(5on5) 3(4on4)

Forecheck

5(5on5)

Forecheck

6(5on5) 4(4on4)

0 Lose puck outside shot only 1-10

Lose puck outside shot

11-12

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 13-14

Defensemen makes breakout pass 15-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-9

Lose puck outside shot

10-12

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 13-15

Defensemen makes breakout pass 16-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-8

Lose puck outside shot

9-12

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 13-16

Defensemen makes breakout pass 17-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-7

Lose puck outside shot

8-12

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 13-17

Defensemen makes breakout pass 18-20

J Lose puck outside shot only 1-9

Lose puck outside shot

10-11

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 12-13

Defensemen makes breakout pass 14-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-8

Lose puck outside shot

9-11

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 12-14

Defensemen makes breakout pass 15-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-7

Lose puck outside shot

8-11

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 12-15

Defensemen makes breakout pass 16-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-6

Lose puck outside shot

7-11

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 12-16

Defensemen makes breakout pass 17-20

K Lose puck outside shot only 1-10

Lose puck outside shot

11

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 12

Defensemen makes breakout pass 13-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-9

Lose puck outside shot

10-11

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 12-13

Defensemen makes breakout pass 14-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-8

Lose puck outside shot

9-11

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 12-14

Defensemen makes breakout pass 15-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-7

Lose puck outside shot

8-11

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 12-15

Defensemen makes breakout pass 16-20

L Lose puck outside shot only 1-9

Lose puck outside shot

10

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 11

Defensemen makes breakout pass 12-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-8

Lose puck outside shot

9-10

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 11-12

Defensemen makes breakout pass 13-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-7

Lose puck outside shot

8-10

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 11-13

Defensemen makes breakout pass 14-20

Lose puck outside shot only 1-6

Lose puck outside shot

7-10

Lose puck inside shot Int-Opp 11-14

Defensemen makes breakout pass 15-20

 

During 5 on 5 play a given line total is 1+1+1=3 forecheck rating.   For example, when the forechecking line is in a 2/2 and the defensive defenseman who takes possession of the puck is a passing K, refer to Forechecking Chart Passing K versus Forecheck 3.   There is a 50% chance the result will be the defensemen losing the puck and an outside shot only develops.  Roll 1 six sided dice to determine offensive player: 1-LW, 2-LD, 3-C, 4-RD, 5-RW, and 6-Any player (In 4 on 4 situations, a roll of 3 to the center results in a loose puck).   There is a 5% chance the result will be the defensemen losing the puck and an outside shot develops.  Same dice roll to determine offensive player and normal passing/penetration rules apply (opponent determined by appropriate Varying Opponent Against Chart).  There is a 5% chance the result will be the defensemen losing the puck and an inside shot intimidation opponent develops (opponent determined by appropriate Varying Opponent Against Chart).  Same dice roll to determine offensive player and normal intimidation rules apply.  There is a 40% chance the result will be the defensemen attempting a breakout pass to one of the forwards.   Roll 1 six sided dice to determine forward: 1-2=LW, 3-4=C, and 5-6=RW (1-3=LW, 4-6=RW in 4 on 4 situations).  Defensemen is a Passing K and is against a 2/2 alignment.  Refer to the Breakout Pass Chart.

 

BREAKOUT PASS CHART (20 chances)

Defenseman’s passing rating vs. opponent’s offensive and defensive alignment Offense 2

Defense (forecheckers) 2

Offense 3

Defense (forecheckers) 2

Offense 3

Defense (forecheckers) 3

Passing zero Icing 1-12

Outside shot 13-20

 

Icing 1-12

Outside shot 13-20

 

Icing 1-12

Outside shot 13-18 (4 on 4 play 2 on 1)

2 on 1 19

Breakaway 20

Passing J Icing 1-10

Outside Shot 11-20

 

Icing 1-10

Outside Shot 11-18

2 on 1 19

Breakaway 20

Icing 1-10

Outside Shot 11-17 (4 on 4 play 2 on 1)

2 on 1 18

Breakaway

19-20

Passing K Icing 1-8

Outside shot

9-18

2 on 1 19

Breakaway 20

Icing 1-8

Outside shot

9-17

2 on 1 18

Breakaway

19-20

Icing 1-8

Outside shot

9-15 (4 on 4 play 2 on 1)

2 on 1 16-17

Breakaway

18-20

Passing L Icing 1-6

Outside shot

7-17

2 on 1 18

Breakaway

19-20

Icing 1-6

Outside shot

7-15

2 on 1 16-17

Breakaway

18-20

Icing 1-6

Outside shot

7-14 (4 on 4 play 2 on 1)

2 on 1 15-16

Breakaway

17-20

 

 

Roll the 20-sided dice and refer to chart.  There is a 40% chance the result will be the defensemen has iced the puck and the faceoff is in the defensive zone.  There is a 50% chance the result will be the defensemen has successfully made a breakout pass to the already determined forward who has an outside shot/pass/penetrate option against one of the defensemen, if LW has puck it would be against RD, if RW has puck it would be against LD, and if center has puck roll 1 six-sided dice (1-3 LD, 4-6 RD).  Normal shot/pass/penetrate rules apply.  There is a 5% chance the defensemen has successfully made a breakout pass to the already determined forward who has a 2 on 1 breakaway (forward joining the 2 on 1 will be determined by the alternate passing chart so if LW has puck joined by RW, C joined by LW, and RW joined by C; during 4 on 4 the remaining forward joins the breakout).  If LW has the puck the RD would be defending the 2 on 1, if RW has puck the LD would be defending the 2 on 1, and if center has puck roll 1 six-sided dice (1-3 LD, 4-6 RD) to determine the defensemen who defends the 2 on 1.  There is a 5% chance the result will be the defensemen has successfully made a breakout pass to the already determined forward who has a breakaway opportunity.  Both the 2 on 1 and clean breakaway are automatic; do not flip a split card to determine if the breakaway/penetration rating is high enough.  When the forechecking line is set at a Offense 3/Defense 3 during 4 on 4 play, assume the defensemen not back defending pinches in the offensive zone and is caught.  Thus all outside shot results on the breakout chart under 3/3 are turned into 2 on 1 breakaways.

 

If a 2 on 1 breakaway occurs, the player who received the breakout pass has the option of taking an inside column shot or passing to the player who joined the rush for a rebound/breakaway column shot.  If an attempt to make the pass occurs, determine the passing ability of the player who received the breakout pass and the defensive ability of the defensemen defending the 2 on 1, and then refer to the 2 on 1 Chart to determine outcome, and roll the 20-sided dice.  Successful pass results in a rebound/breakaway column shot.  An unsuccessful pass can be turned over to the opponent’s defenseman who was defending the 2 on 1 with an Action Card being drawn, the pass being blocked for a faceoff in the defensive zone, or a pass being blocked for an uncontrolled rebound.  When an uncontrolled rebound results, draw a split card and follow normal procedures for an uncontrolled rebound situation.

 

 

2 ON 1 BREAKAWAY PASSING CHART (20 chances)

Defensemen’s defense rating 5 vs. Passing L Passing K Passing J Passing 0
Pass successful for a rebound/breakaway shot 1-10 1-8 1-6 1-4
Pass blocked, defensemen takes possession 11-16 9-16 7-16 5-16
Pass blocked for a faceoff in the defensive zone 17-18 17-18 17-18 17-18
Pass blocked for an uncontrolled rebound 19-20 19-20 19-20 19-20

 

Defensemen’s defense rating 4 vs. Passing L Passing K Passing J Passing 0
Pass successful for a rebound/breakaway shot 1-11 1-9 1-7 1-5
Pass blocked, defensemen takes possession 12-16 10-16 8-16 6-16
Pass blocked for a faceoff in the defensive zone 17-18 17-18 17-18 17-18
Pass blocked for an uncontrolled rebound 19-20 19-20 19-20 19-20

 

Defensemen’s defense rating 3 vs. Passing L Passing K Passing J Passing 0
Pass successful for a rebound/breakaway shot 1-12 1-10 1-8 1-6
Pass blocked, defensemen takes possession 13-16 11-16 9-16 7-16
Pass blocked for a faceoff in the defensive zone 17-18 17-18 17-18 17-18
Pass blocked for an uncontrolled rebound 19-20 19-20 19-20 19-20

 

Defensemen’s defense rating 2 vs. Passing L Passing K Passing J Passing 0
Pass successful for a rebound/breakaway shot 1-13 1-11 1-9 1-7
Pass blocked, defensemen takes possession 14-16 12-16 10-16 8-16
Pass blocked for a faceoff in the defensive zone 17-18 17-18 17-18 17-18
Pass blocked for an uncontrolled rebound 19-20 19-20 19-20 19-20

 

Defensemen’s defense rating 1 vs. Passing L Passing K Passing J Passing 0
Pass successful for a rebound/breakaway shot 1-14 1-12 1-10 1-8
Pass blocked, defensemen takes possession 15-16 13-16 11-16 9-16
Pass blocked for a faceoff in the defensive zone 17-18 17-18 17-18 17-18
Pass blocked for an uncontrolled rebound 19-20 19-20 19-20 19-20

 

 

 

 

 

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