|Life of a franchise||Talents|
|Creating the players||Training|
|Maximum per talent||Experience|
|Season and aging||Draft|
|Fatigue and injuries||Line-up and strategies|
Hello all! My name is Dehan Huncer, I am the play-by-play commentator for Alphasim Hockey. Don't be surprised if the way we play hockey is different from what you may be used to. Alphasim Hockey is a perpetual experience, a test bed for your management skills which should sometimes be applied to professional hockey. If you have played this game before, since 1991, well you surely must have heard of me, or at least you've read my work. There have since been major improvements that you may want to read about .
Tied Games make me sick, so I've used my great influence to eliminate them. If there is a draw after 3 periods of play, your shoot out line up goes into action, each team alternating in rounds of 3 penalty shots each until the winner gets the advantage. A regulation time win is worth 3 points; a shoot out win, 2 points; a shoot out loss, 1 point. Oh, I almost forgot, if a team loses in regulation time, it doesn't even deserve my respect, no points for the weak !
Back when I started as a hockey analyst, there were only wimps playing this great game. Once again, I had to use all of my charm to watch some real hockey again. Fights have been introduced since 2001. No more walks in the park, Alphasim Hockey is not meant for little boys . You can now get your goons to intimidate the opponent. If his players still don't back down, you'll have no other choice than to ring some bells in front of thousands of fans. Unless you get the short end of the stick ? Unfortunately, if a player drops the gloves, he will be assessed a major penalty (5 minutes). I wasn't able to get a free pass for the winning brawler. What can I say, the senior staff is soft.
Penalties last 90 seconds instead of 2 minutes, but they don't end if a goal is scored. All penalties last until the very last second. You can score many goals during the same power-play. If so, good for you. If you allow 6 goals during a penalty-kill, maybe you should change the goalie...maybe you should pick a new team...or hire a new general-manager.
Each team uses 23 players per game : 5 centers, 9 wingers, 7 defensemen, 2 goaltenders; which includes a substitute player for each position, in case of injury. These subs can help the team in two ways : fill in for an injured player or play on the special units (power-play or penalty killing). This means that good substitutes will give you more depth. Yup, players like Mark Messier still have a role to play in some teams... but maybe you'll also be out of the playoffs and people will start comparing you with the Rangers ! What ? You're a Rangers fan ? Well then, create a team and show us what you can do, because you haven't earned your stripes yet!
Seasons last 14 weeks, which includes 11 weeks of regular-season play at the rate of 2 games per week, and then, 3 weeks of playoff hockey ! The commissioner then spends about 2 or 3 weeks preparing the next leagues. Therefore, we play 3 seasons per year.
There are 12 teams in each league that face each other twice for a total of 22 games. In case of a tie in the standings, I will use the following criteria : regulation time wins, shoot out wins, goal for/goal against differential, number of goal for, heads or tails...
I will only pick 8 teams to advance to the playoffs according to the standings (1-8, 2-7, 3-6, 4-5), the 4 last teams (the lousy ones) will compete in the consolation round that I like to call the
Garbage Bowl (9-12, 10-11). All Series are Best 3 out of 5 (First team to win 3 games). The better team in the standings will be at home for Games 1, 3 and 5. You must be aware that in the playoffs, home-ice advantage is very important. Don't take things too easy during the season, you could regret it later. For the semi-finals, the 4 winners are again sorted according to the final standings. #1 will play #4, and #2 will face off against #3. There are no trainings during the playoffs, all you can do is let your beard grow.
By the way, everything is automatic, if you can't manage your team for a while, the games will still take place. You will simply have to prepare your line-up accordingly. I'll take care of the rest...Ha ! Ha! Ha!
Life of a franchise
We conceived this game with the intention for owners to continuously improve their teams. In the following text, you will discover all the resources to build your team to your image. I suggest you take care of that image, otherwise the other GM's will make sure to stomp all over it...
Your team will be able to reach different level of competition at variable rhythms. There are 5 levels. But God (that's me!) knows I've seen it all! To reach a new level, you need to make the grade. At the end of a season, the 6 first teams receive a grade of 1; the 6 last teams, a grade of 0,5. If it were up to me, some would receive a -5 but once again, Alphasim Hockey is too nice. When you add those grades each season, you can qualify for new levels. You won't be able to register your team in lower levels. Don't even try it, I'll be watching very carefully, and I can become very agressive... The top level, All-Star, is a select league where only a limited number of teams can participate. The other teams remain in professional leagues, even if their grade is higher than 3,5. A team can remain in those two top-levels for as long as you want.
|Levels||Grade Min||Grade Max|
|Super Star||3.5||Sans limite|
New teams start at the rookie level, the others will pick their level according to their grade. Next step, the owner picks his 12-team league. You can create your own private league and invite your friends or you can join one of the many public leagues and make new enemies. You can switch leagues as often as you like. Before the start date, the incomplete leagues (public or private) will be matched-up to form 12-team leagues.
Time to talk hockey ! The skaters have three talents that determine their efficiency in all aspects of the game
|Offensive skill||ability to stick-handle, pass and score. For some players, it is more like the inability to...|
|Defensive skill||ability to cover the opponent and to stop the attack, and to avoid penalties in the process.|
|Toughness||player's size and grit, always useful, especially to get loose pucks and to shut the opponent's loud mouth...I even met a virtual player with 360 toughness points...hum...let's just say he was....hum...a great player!|
Goaltenders also have three talents:
|Reflexes||ability to position himself between the goal and a frozen piece of black rubber flying at 200 km/h!|
|Stick-handling||ability to control rebounds and pass to his team mates|
|Mobility||ability to get back into position after a save|
Player and goalie performance also varies according to their experience, which evolves according to their age and ice-time during the season. If he plays regularly, he accumulates experience points. During a season, experience points are distributed to the offensive, defensive and toughness talents (or the respective goalie talents) in proportion with their actual distribution.
All players, including goalies, have their own personality. It is a hidden talent randomly given out during the creation of a team. Each team receives the same amount of hidden talent. The player's personality follows him throughout his career, and never changes. It can explain why an average player will perform well, or the opposite. Each team receives a super-star with a great personality and some above average players. It will be up to you to discover which players are more gifted and to use them accordingly. What can I say? Did you think I would tell you everything? You'll have to work hard to find your stars, or else your opponents will do it for you, and you might make bad trades. We'll talk about that later.
Creating the players
Each expansion team receives 30 players and 4 goaltenders of different ages and talents. It also receives 2 draft picks for the next season. Since you only have to dress 23 players, you can send others in the minor leagues or keep them with the big club and train them. Trades, draft picks and free agents can make your player total vary but be careful, there is a 40-player limit at all time, including your 2 draft picks.
Alphasim Hockey allows identical resources to each team. You can choose the desired type of player by selecting the distribution of his talents. For example, you may want a tough defenseman to play on the penalty-kill. You select one of your 27 year-old stars and you use his 310 talent-points this way : 70 offensive points, 120 defensive points and 120 toughness points. This defenseman will be reliable in his own zone, but not very dangerous at the other end, even if you use an offensive strategy.
To start your team's conception, enter an access key on the home page, the creation page will appear on your screen. If you have doubts during the creation of your team, don't hesitate to leave and try again later.
You can thank me later, but once again, I negociated a long time to obtain identical resources for all the teams, and they are first class. As GM of a Alphasim Hockey franchise, you are helped out by assistant-coaches. The league pays them a few hundred thousand virtual dollars (V$) each season. At these prices, you would, without a doubt, want them to do more than simply open the locker room doors between periods. You want them to work on improving the team. Before each match, you can indicate to your coaches , on the training page, which players you would like to train.
- Team training (free) Team training is a practice where all the players repeat together the same drills. It's the best way to improve the entire team : the forwards and defensemen respectively improve the same talent you have chosen. However, they may also accumulate fatigue, depending on the intensity that you have chosen between the four possible training sessions. For example, the maximum intensity level raises the talent by 2 points and the fatigue by 3 points. It is not recommended to choose this level before each match because all your players will feel like they are dragging a ball and chain. Anyway, your coaches will refuse to prepare this kind of training for two games in a row. The
-1level is an optional training and it can reduce fatigue by 1 point. However, virtual hockey players have the reputation to be slackers when the occasion arises, so nobody shows up for those practices. Consequently, the team loses 5% efficiency in your chosen talent for the next game.
- Skaters training ($V): After a team practice, your assistant coach can stay on the ice for an extra session with a few skaters. There is a maximum of 5 skaters that can participate in this session. They will receive one or two bonus talent points of your choice, but will also be subjected to one extra fatigue point equivalent. It will cost 1,000 V$ to receive +1 talent point, and 3,000 V$ to receive +2 talent points of talent per skater.
- Goalies training ($V): The Alphasim Hockey franchise doesn't have the means to hire a permanent trainer for the goaltenders. However, you can rent the services of a travelling trainer who works occasionally for the league... if you have enough virtual dollars to pay! A maximum of two goaltenders can participate in this kind of training. It will cost 2,000 V$ to receive +1 talent point, and 5,000 V$ to receive +2 talent points per goaltender. Goalies will also accumulate fatigue after this training.
- Farm team training (free): Each team has a minor league club. You may assign as many players as you want to your farm team, as long as you keep 21 players and 2 goaltenders with the big club. The players from your farm team will receive free talent points, but you can't control the way they are distributed. As your players start aging, it will become more and more difficult to receive the talent points in the minors. If he's still in the minors after the age of 24, he can no longer improve. However, it is not really to your advantage to take a player out of the minors too young because he may not be ready yet, he wouldn't be able to perform to his full potential. Your team will lose 1000$ every time you send a player to the minors or recall one. However, when a season begins, you may do all the player movement you wish for free before game 1.
Note that training effect is not as important when player reach 13 of fatigue. Training a very tired player is completely useless.
For the goalies, the farm team is the only way to obtain free talent points. There is also another way to improve the toughness of a player, each time he wins a fight, he receives an extra toughness point. More, its team get energy boost for the following minutes.
Maximum per talent
Maybe at this stage, you think it's possible to create a super hero who will become the terror of goaltenders in your league. Ah yes! It's possible, but even the virtual super heroes have their limits. All I can say is that after you have reached the maximum per talent, the extra points aren't worth as much. It is a linear regression and the player will still improve but not as much as that type of talent raises.
This type of measure promises a certain balance between super heroes from different teams and it permits us to foresee great rivalries between teams on the 5th level (super star).
Experience is a factor that varies. Playing regularly, your players receive points awarded to experience, however an injury could lower them.
Every player younger than 28 years of age, can receive 1 point of experience during the matchs, depending on the time spent on the ice. Please note, that a player 28 years old and older, can't improve this aspect of his game anymore.
An injury represents the only way for a player to lose experience points (or any other talent points). Most of the injuries are usually just minor accidents (cramps, cuts, broken tooth) that will reduce his efficiency for just a couple of seconds, that's all. Here and there, an unlucky player will receive an injury that could leave him out of the line-up for a maximum of 2 games. It's for this reason that you should specify backup players in your line-ups. There is a backup for each position who will replace an injured player automatically. The simulator will not cause two injuries for the same position, this way you will always have the exact amount of players available for each position.
Your players will lose one point of experience with one minor injury and between 2 and 7 points for an injury causing him to miss the remainder of the game or more.
Season and aging
Between two seasons, each player will age one year. Nature being what it is, your players 28 years of age and older, will see their skills begin to deteriorate because they won't be allowed to gain more experience and on occasion the injuries will cause them to lose experience permanently.
Old player are not as good and get tired easily. As players get older, they loses talent points permanently. At the end of the season:
- 35 years old and older will lose 10% of toughness per year
- 37 years old and older will lose 10% of handling per year
- 39 years old and older will lose 10% of defensive skill per year
Before the season begins, the experience points accumulated will be redistributed to or subtracted from offensive talent, defensive talent, and toughness (depending on the proportion) to bring them back at the value indicated on the chart.
|19 to 20||5 pts|
|21 to 24||10 pts|
|25 to 29||20 pts|
|30 to 35||30 pts|
|36 and beyond||40 pts|
When you create your team, you can choose the player names. You have the option to rename a player joining your team and at the beginning of season. There is a limit, a player name cannot be change once the player played more than 50 games in regular season.
If you did not get a
manager burnout at your first season and your wife and dog still talk to you, you will decide to bring your team to the next season in which case you will draft two youngsters. The order for the draft picks depends on the final standings of the regular season. Every two days of the playoffs, 3 teams draft one new player from the list given by the scouting departement of the league. So at game #2 of the playoffs, teams 12, 11 and 10 will draft...and so on. This way you can update your drafting list between the games. After the second game of the season, you will be able to scout the upcoming rookies for the next draft.
You can look at the rookies evolution from Drafting page after third game. Every youngster will improve through the season according to their age and personality. Their talents are going to increase until the game #14, just two game before the trade deadline.
Draft is taking place during the 2nd week of playoff. Look at the draft schedule to know when your team is going to draft. Make sure to have your draft list prepared before! You won't draft the best player available if you keep the default draft list.
Lottery for first four draft
To prevent having teams who try to lose to get the first draft pick, the 4 first draft pick will be decided from a lottery result. There will be 3 draws: for the 1st choice, for the 2nd choice and for the 3rd choice. Lottery participants are teams who did not participate to playoff (those who from 9th to 12th position). For each draw, probabilities to win the draw depends on team position.
Probabilities to get the first draft choice:
- 4th of 4 participants : 4/10
- 3rd of 4 participants : 3/10
- 2nd of 4 participants : 2/10
- 1st of 4 participants : 1/10
Probabilities to get the second draft choice:
- 3rd of 3 participants: 5/10
- 2nd of 3 participants: 3/10
- 1st of 3 participants: 2/10
Probabilities to get the third draft choice:
- 2nd of 2 participants: 7/10
- 1st of 2 participants: 3/10
The remaining team will get the 4th draft choice. The lottery doesn't have any impact on second tour choice.
Fatigue and injuries
Frequent appearances on the ice, and a particularly vicious bodycheck can exhaust your players. They accumulate fatigue points this way all season. Every time a player steps onto the ice, there is a chance that he will sustain an injury. The probability is usually quite small but it grows with the player's fatigue ratings. You can look at this rating in the fatigue column of your players' stats.
The fatigue also has a direct effect on the performances throughout the match. The more your players are tired, the less efficient they become, especially at the end of a match.
Skaters rest and reduce their fatigue if you lower the frequency of their appearances on the ice or if you hold an optional practice. Furthermore, a backup who ends up with no ice-time will also lose two points of fatigue, on the other hand he will not get any experience points. Also, if you play only 2 lines, the skaters will receive 1 to 3 points of fatigue while the players from trio 3 and 4 could lose up to 2 fatigue points. With Alphasim Hockey, a coach can't run away from his most important task, which is showing good judgement towards his players.
Goaltenders will accumulate fatigue according to the number of shots received and they can get injured too. Everybody knows that a goaltender wants to play every game, but like everyone else, he must rest once in awhile. It is inconceivable that a goalie will start all 22 games for his team. You must have a solid back-up. Also, an older goaltender will tire faster. Goalie fatigue goes down much faster than a player's when the he gets a day off.
Anyway, fatigue goes up faster as the player is getting older.
Line-up and strategies
Now the part that I like best ! After studying the standings and your next opponent's stats (by clicking on their team name), you are now ready to play. You must first choose in the line-up page, your starting roster : 4 forward lines and 3 defense pairings, as well as a power-play and penalty killing unit. Your line-up will remain the same for the duration of the game, unless there is an injury. You can also decide how many goals you will tolerate until you change your starting goalie. Don't forget, you must also decide who will go on the shoot out in case of a tie.
You can influence the amount of ice time that your players will get. You can determine the frequency of each line and defense pairs, but not their length: after all, your worst line can stay on the ice for three minutes at a time, if it is trapped in it's own end the whole time! Check the approximate ice time section in the game reports, to see if your strategy has paid off. Note that you can also change the shift frequencies, according to the score, in the third period: if you are trailing by one goal, you may want to bench your checking line, but if you lead 4 goals, you will probably want to rest your stars to avoid injuries.
You may also identify which of your lines will have defensive responsibilities and will compete against the best trio of your opponent at any time during the game.
Each of your lines can play according to one of seven strategies and your defense duos according to one of five strategies (1, 3, 5, 6, 7).
|1||Standard||Do nothing special|
|2||Backchecking||Your wingers come back deep into their end of the ice when the opponent controls the puck|
|3||The trap||If you think that your team is so weak that a scoreless tie at the end of regulation time is your only hope of stealing a point in the standings, set the dreaded Trap|
|4||Breakaways||Skate like crazy and try to generate 2-on-1's all the time. Players implementing this strategy usually don't have a clue as to who they are supposed to cover|
|5||Passing game||Resolutely offensive but more disciplined|
|6||Forechecking||Apply pressure with the wingers, hit the defencemen flat against the boards|
|7||Bullying||Some teams still think with their biceps|
This is where, with all this information, I will comment on the game. By then, everyone will be aware whether or not you know your hockey. You can always have another chance but sooner or later, we will know if you're a natural!
You cantest your talents for negociation and try to improve your team. Players, virtual dollars and your draft picks have value for trade. The league charges 1,000 V$ per team for each trade. This amount plus eventual money involved in transaction is deducted from your virtual bank account as soon as the trade is accepted by the other GM. Attention, if your team or the other involved team do not have enough money to complete the transaction, the other GM won't be able to accept the transaction.
To propose a trade, you must go to the opponent's team page and click on "Propose trade". The other GM will receive your proposition on his team page with a copy by e-mail. The team who receives the proposition has the choice to accept or refuse the trade. If he refuses, he can submit another proposition. If he accepts, the trade will be submitted to all the other members of your league. They have until the next game, if there's one within 48 hours, to indicate their disagreement of the trade. If the next match is in less than 48 hours, the delay to submit your disagreement will be extended until the following match.
If 50% of the members vote against a trade with sufficient justification, the transaction is refused. The league can also refuse a trade at any time. If the trade is vetoed by the commissioner, you and the other team involved in the transaction have your money back.
If you consider a trade to be unreasonable or unfair, let us know by contesting the trade. The commissioner of Alphasim Hockey's decision is final and can not be retracted. The firm decision will help keep the quality of the competition alive. A participant whom we suspect of cheating will be banned from the league for life!
A trade inspected by commissioner will be effective at the end of the next match. The players traded can play one last game for their old team. Trade deadline is game #16 (you have to accept the trade before the game #16) of the season.
Your team will start with 40,000V$ in the bank. The head office of the league will take care of most of your team expenses (coaches salaries, team doctors, hot dog vendors, advertising, plane tickets, hotel reservations, etc.) The few things that your team has to pay for are:
|Skaters training for +1 point||1,000V$|
|Skaters training for +2 point||3,000V$|
|Goaltender training for +1 point||3,000V$|
|Goaltender training for +2 point||5,000V$|
|Sending and calling back from Minor league||1,000V$|
|Making a trade||1,000V$|
|Signing a free agent||Highest offer gets the player|
To pay for all of this, you will need income. In its generosity, the Front Office gives a 1V$ cut on each ticket sold to the teams involved in a game. Sixty percent of the gate goes to the home team, forty percent to the visiting team. The revenues are rounded off. If you think the league profits from each occasion to become rich.... You're right! The best way to increase the number of spectators to your matches, (and in order to have an advantage on your opponents) would consist of marketing and public relation operations. How do we do this? By gaining popularity. Writing press releases for each match. You will be able to publish a press release (small text, a lot of jokes, and mostly to brag about your team and insult your opponents) on the bulletin board of your league. You will receive public relations points by writing press releases, and also reading those from the rest of the league.
The veterans from the play by mail, will no doubt confirm that the reaction and reading the press releases represents 50% of the fun in a game like this. You can use this medium to develop your team concept and establish solid rivalries and amuse your colleagues.
When there no place in your team for a player, you can drop him to the waivers. This player become available to any other team of your league until game #16. You can acquire a player on waivers by submitting him an offer. The player will stay a minimum of 48 hours on waivers to let you enough time to make a good offer. The team that submitted the best offer will sign the player. The player will select its new time on a game day.
Free agent signature is a cost for your team, but if a player you dropped to waivers is signed by another team, you get 80% of the money bet. If a player is not claimed, he is going to retire at the end of the season.
Team performance bonuses
At the end of the season, team will receives money according to their performance in season. Another bonus will be for result in playoff. To earn the maximum amount ($V60000), a team has to both win Sportegy cup and be in first position of regular season standing.
Here are regular season earnings according to team standing:
- 1st: $V25,000
- 2nd: $V20,000
- 3rd: $V15,000
- 4th: $V15,000
- 5th: $V10,000
- 6th: $V10,000
- 7th: $V10,000
- 8th: $V10,000
Here are playoff earnings according to playoff final results:
- Sportegy Winner: $V35,000
- Grand Finale loser: $V25,000
- Semi-final loser: $V20,000
- Quarter final loser: $V15,000
- Winner in consolation: $V25,000
- Loser 1st consolation round: $V20,000
- Loser 2nd consolation round: $V15,000
That's my job ! Let me explain my ritual : on game day, I get up at around 4h30 am. I eat an apple, jog 10 km, go home, shower and shave in case the press comes over for a snap-shot (it's never happened yet, but you never know!) I then drive to all the arenas and describe the games. That's why I have to close the Alphasim Hockey website at around 7 am (EAST) on Mondays and Thursdays during the season and every weekday during the playoffs.
Each match can be followed, event by event, on the game description page. The arrows on the right and left, will allow you to go to the next event, or review the previous event. If you can't wait to see your final results, you can go directly to the game recap, but we strongly advise you to look over your graphic description, so you can identify the players on the ice during each event. This information will help you analyze the opponent's strategies.
Three stars are picked after the game!
I'm not sure why Alphasim Hockey has decided to impose pure incompetence to us, but we have to deal with it.
The biggest plague that afflicts professional sport is definitely the referees! In hockey more than in any other sport, the Whistling Zebra's personalities (or lack of ) have a definite impact on the game. The referees hired by the league are reasonably competent, but not too much (otherwise we'd have to pay them). The three characteristics of a league referee are strictness, cowardice, and pride. A strict referee will call more penalties than most. They don't like rough play, while a coward tends to favour the home team (to avoid incoming projectiles from the bleachers)...what can I say, some refs just can't stand up for themselves. A proud ref. likes to disallow goals with or without reason just to make sure that his picture will be in the nightly newscast. In your scouting reports, you will find the names and profiles of the referees assigned to your games. Consider this when you pick your strategies.
|Roger Cadorette||Very Low||Low||Very Low|
|Markus Borga||Enormous||Very Low||High|
|Andy Van Mayonnaise||Low||Average||Minimal|
|Dave Hebner||Very Low||Ridiculous||Low|
|Paul Oldgoon||Minimal||Very Low||Enormous|
|Pat the Mat||Very Low||Average||Enormous|
|Bam Bam Gigolow||High||Minimal||Minimal|
|Red Mustard||Ridiculous||Very Low||Ridiculous|
To give possibility to more people to try the game, the first season is FREE! Simply create a new team and create a league for you and your friends for next season. If you enter alone, no problem, many public leagues are waiting for you.
Cost to renew a team for another season is CDN$ 18.00 for your first team, and CDN$ 14.00 for 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams. You can renew your team and a friend team together to get access to this special. Plus, playoff winners in full-feature league get a free renewal.
I hope you'll enjoyed the game. Your comments and suggestions are more than welcome.
Patrick Blanchette (alias bobbarker): President, daily operations and developper
If you have any question or comments:email@example.com