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Subject: An old favorite re-discovered rss

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Ian Clark
United States
New Hampshire
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When I was younger, my uncle (a huge hockey fan) gave me a number of hockey games like PTG, Strat-o-matic and some others. Of them, SOM and PTG really stood out. I hung onto the SOM (and have since bought new seasons since it is still going strong) but the PTG game got scattered about when I went to college and was no longer playable. I picked one up on ebay recently and got a chance to play last night. The set I bought has the 1980 (78-79 stats) of the NHL and the final 6 WHA teams.

I played a solitaire game last night between the NY Rangers and Flyers, with the Rangers taking a 4-1 win (with an empty net goal in the final 20 seconds).

It had been probably 15 or more years since I played the game, and there were some things I did not remember. Basically, you set up your lines (defensemen pairings and center/right wing/left wing combos) and roll them out like real lines in hockey. There is a face off chart to decide who gets the puck off stops in play and then you roll two 6-sided dice in the D66 manner (reading the small dice first. Example small dice reads 3 and large reads 4 read result as 34) and check the result on the player card of the man with the puck. From that result (11-66) it gives you a number to look up on a chart, cross-referenced with the defensive skill of the man lined up against the puck-carrier (example, your right wing has it, he is lined up on the ice against the opposing left wing) and read the result from that chart, which included shot on goal, passes to teammates, puck stolen by opponent, puck shot out of the rink or icing.

The dice roll and look up on card/look up on chart mechanic slows things down and is a but clunky. Plus, the shot out of rink result, while realistic and forcing another face off, seems a waste of time.

Timing is handled on the play sheets, with each puck handle roll of the dice ticking off 20 seconds of play. The overall stats in the game I played were realistic in score (4-1) and shots on goal (33 for Philly, 28 for NYR) and penalty chances (Philly 0-5, NYR 1-6).

You can replicate pretty much any real hockey scenario, such as pulling the goalie late (as Philly did while on a power play to make the ice strength 6-4 in Philly's favor).

Overall I am looking forward to continuing to play some games to see if the stats hold up realistically. Playing against a human opponent would also change things.

While a bit clunky, the game flowed faster as I got used to it. I do like it, but compared to Strat-o-matic, it seems a bit slow and that your coaching options are limited (in SOM, you have choices to make such as choosing to penetrate for an inside shot, how many players to forecheck, etc).

It is out of print, but I found several on ebay. It seems right-on as far as the stats of the players, so that is a plus, but in the long haul, I see myself playing more Strat hockey than PTG.
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