With over 1000 games under his belt, Canada's Frank Albidone has established himself as HOCKEY BLAST Pro Hockey Game's go-to guy for game nuances and house rules! Frank has graciously made himself available on the PLAAY Games Delphi Forum for questions about the game, and in this article he goes over some of the common questions he routinely fields.
Many of my "house rules" are actually in the official HOCKEY BLAST rule book, but—interestingly—so are many of the questions I get from the forums! This article pretty much addresses the PM's I get on and off the boards. Pick and choose what you wish to use...
Momentum can be very "subjective." Don't be afraid to extend momentum if/when necessary. My general rule of thumb is two minutes (or less) for Power Plays. If a power play goal is scored, continue momentum for one additional minute. When the goalie is pulled for an extra skater, momentum stays with the team with six attackers, even if the opposing goalie just made a "Spectacular Save."
The subjective part comes into play when Team "A" is out-shooting Team "B" by a wide margin, i.e., 10-1, 15-4 etc., and no goals have been scored. In such isolated cases, momentum should be implemented for a span of one or two minutes, but not more. This is something that may occur maybe once every five or six games. This rule should only be implemented in the period of domination. In real life, if Team "A" out-shoots Team "B" 15-4, and does not score, the inability to capitalize can often back-fire. So this optional rule should not be carried over into another period.
A team scoring short-handed only gets momentum if the goal occurs in the second minute of the power play. The reasoning for minimizing momentum to one minute after a goal is scored is to avoid a succession of goals created by momentum.
Also, should a team be fortunate enough to kill off a five minute major, it should immediately be assessed momentum for one or two minutes, your call! If you have watched a hockey game (live or on TV), a team gets a huge boost from killing off a five minute power play. Also, it may be wise to rotate two power play units for the five minute major that does not end when a goal is scored. You can go to the third and fourth lines after the major has expired.
Lulls should be played as per the rule book. The first and second periods can end on LULLs but the game cannot end on a LULL. A LULL can take you into the eighteenth minute of the third period only. A LULL occurring in the 19th minute should be treated as MOMENTUM. Check the HIT qualities on the ice, the ream with more HIT qualities gains momentum. If both teams have the same number of players with the HIT quality, the home team always trumps the visitors.
LULLs are played as normal in twenty minute overtimes, but not in five minute overtimes. Five minute overtimes are played four-on-four. Should a LULL occur during four-on-four, then check the number of triangles. Again tie goes to the home team. In the rare case that neither team has triangles, then the home team gets a play shot. Twenty minute overtime periods cannot end on a LULL, just like the game cannot end on a LULL. Treat as Momentum.
I have seen numerous house rules for penalties on the forums. This is how I treat the "7" roll which seems to be a really gray area. The first time a "7" occurs, I treat it as off-setting minors. But do not always pick the highest rated penalty players on the ice. This is a good chance to spread penalty minutes around for more accuracy. The second time a "7" is rolled on penalties, I stagger the power plays. One per side. Three or more occurrence again is subjective. You can a) give off-setting roughing minors or b) just take the highest rated penalty guy (1 vs. 5, 2 vs. 4, 3 vs. 3 as per the rules). NO PENALTIES should be called in the 17th, 18th or 19th minutes of the 3rd period. Exceptions are off-setting minors, or fighting majors. Penalties in twenty minute overtimes are as normal. As "7" is the most common roll, you may wish to cap your off-setting minors for roughing at two per game. If a period is completed, and no penalties have been called, my rule of thumb is 1 minor per 6 LULL minutes. There again, if a period concludes with no penalties and 9 or 10 LULL minutes, you may wish to assign 1 minor per team. Consider it an ineffective power play. Again very subjective.
Periods can end with a goal scored in the nineteenth minute, but the game cannot end on a goal. A face-off must ensue. This means that you could have two goals scored in the final minute. But that is where the game would end. I cannot recall one team scoring twice in the final minute of the game, although I am sure it has happened with the All-Time Great franchises. I have chosen not to play five minute overtimes in my three projects 1) the 69/70 replay did not have over-times, ties stood; 2) ATG project and 3) Cross era MGTGG (More Great Teams, Great Games) I prefer to let a tie stand, but that is only because I have very strong opinions on 3 point games. (I despise them! Teams should not be rewarded for a loss. But that's another BLOG altogether!)
In my experience, the HB engine does not produce enough "empty netters" and although Keith has responded that you should roll to see that the shot is within range, I have adapted the following with six skaters: any roll of "7" is a scoring chance for the team that is trailing. Any roll of "5" is an automatic empty net goal. Roll from the "Play Chart" as normal, either from a face-off or from possession. Treat both the same. My only caveat would be if a scissors, or double scissors guy takes the shot, in that case, consider it wide and mark off one minute. Last I checked, I was getting results very much in line with actual stats. In fact 5.5% of all goals scored in the NHL last year were "empty netters," or approximately one of every twenty goals. This one I strongly recommend!
Again, pick and choose what works best for you! This is where I'm at now. And thanks goes out to Keith for letting me share my "House Rules." I will continue to answer PM's or questions on and off the forums. Enjoy! (--Frank Albidone)