PPM Tactics Revisited: What We Know & What We Learned

Almost a full season ago PPM made some pretty big changes to the game engine regarding tactics and counter-tactics, and the ability to score goals.

Now, 100+ days later, how have those changes stacked up? Did PPM screw the proverbial pooch with the changes, or did they improve the game?

To be perfectly honest, I believe you could ask 100 people that question and most probably end up with a 50/50 split on the resulting thoughts. Clearly, a season on and the changes have been met with plenty of mixed emotions.

tacticsFor a little catch-up, the primary changes were the reduction of counter-tactic strength and a much greater influence put on the shooting attribute. Up until this season, if someone player the Offensive tactic, you could guarantee an advantage by playing Defensive, and so on. This season that changed, with tactics being much more influenced by actual team strength. Of course, counter-tactics DO still work, just not as much or as good as they used to. The changes to the shooting influence was the biggest and most felt change to the system though, with teams who had dominated on the scoreboard finding it hard to put the puck in net this season. My own team, who had averaged 150 goals over seasons 5 and 6 dropped to just 128 this season.

So were the changes an improvement?

I can’t speak for the thousands of other managers in the Powerplay Manager community, but from my own experience the changes were, for the most part, exactly what PPM wanted them to be; as could be seen from my own goal scoring figures.

The issue however, is how do you train a strong team that uses the PPM Tactics to your advantage while still playing to the strength of your team? First of all, you need to think team first, instead of just thinking tactics. PPM Tactics are no longer a pick and play thing; they require effort and a team that can actually play the style of tactic you choose.

By this I mean, if your team has very few snipers (high shooting attribute players), then one could argue that the offensive attribute would be less effective for your players. Saying that, the other side of the coin is that the offensive attribute could mean you take more shots, and as they say, the more shots you put on net, the more chance you have of scoring goals.

The PPM Guide talks about the individual tacts at Powerplay Manager and gives a description of the type of team you need to have in order to best benefit from them. I suggest you read the tactics section of the guide often, as knowing this information will not just help you win games, but will help you build a MUCH more stronger team going forward.

PPM Tactics aside though, you need to score goals, and to do that, PPM have made it VERY clear that you need a highly trained shooting attribute on your players. If you ask around the forums you will find that most often, teams with the most goals and best seasons all have a lot of highly trained scoring players. This is no coincidence, and is pretty much the way PPM wanted it to be when they changed the influence of the shooting attribute.

Lastly, I want to briefly talk on the game importance option when you setup your games. This season saw the change from the 3 step (Low-Normal-High) importance system to a much more detailed 5 step (Very Low – Low – Normal – High – Very High) system. As with all my previous posts, I suggest playing on the lowest possible game importance you can while still ensuring wins. Teams who favoured the higher importance are now at a disadvantage in the playoffs because they have much lower seasonal energy for their players. So please keep in mind that while game importance is often overlooked, is is as vital a PPM Tactic as any of the other things I have touched on in this post.

Good luck to all the teams in the playoffs this season, and to those fighting for promotion or to avoid relegation. Remember, even if things don’t go well, there is always next season.

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PPM Hockey: The New Game Engine Tactics Explained

Do you sense that? That strange sensation… as if 10,000 voices screamed out and were suddently silenced.

PPM TacticsNo, this isn’t a scene from Star Wars, it’s the unveiling of the new tactic and Game Engine at Powerplay Manager for season 7. To all the critics out there who complained that PPM don’t listen and all the people who demanded more control of their team… your wishes have been answered.

And answered incredibly well at that!

PPM introduced some pretty major changes to the game engine for this new season of PPM Hockey, giving you, the manager, much more control over how your team plays on the ice. In this post, i want to run briefly through these changes especially the tactical changes.

Game Importance

Game Importance

As you can see from the image above, PPM have added 2 new game importance options. Now, instead of just Low, Normal and High you also have Very Low and Very High. Naturally, the energy usage of these levels has changed also (see below).


Game type Very low Low Normal High Very high
Friendly and tournament games 0.02 0.05 0.10 0.20 0.30
Competitive games 0.10 0.25 0.50 1.00 1.50


Game Importance By Period

Game Importance by period

This is a fantastic move that allows you to step into the locker room and tear your team up, inspire them and send them back out with much more (or less) desire to win. Yes, you now have the ability to start the game with one game importance level and finish it on another. Incredible you say? Yes indeed!

Special Teams

ppm7tactics03

Quite possibly the BIGGEST improvement to the game engine, you now have control over your Special Teams. You have 3 options for both Powerplay and Penalty Kill which will determine how your team plays when on the PP or PK. Naturally, for every PP tactic there is a corrosponding PK tactic, so select a tactic that plays to your teams strengths. Be sure to read the guide carefully to learn which style suits your team best.

Ice Time By Line

ppm7tactics04

Ever wanted your top line to truly be a TOP line, play more ice time and give you a better chance of winning? You now can! No longer will your 4th line grinders play the same amount of ice time as your top line franchise players. PPM have now made it possible for you to manually set your own ice time levels for each line. Simply change the figures to suit your needs, just make sure that the line totals add up to 100. So for example, want to play a game much like an NHL team, you would use something like 35-30-20-15. This is an incredible feature, BUT, use it wisely, for the amount of ice time directly relates to seasonal and game energy loss, so playing your top line heavily will damage your team later in the season.

Other Changes You Can’t See

I touched on these 2 changes in my previous post. The first is that the shooting attribute now has a much more relevant role in your teams scoring success, so it is vital that you have your players trained to shoot, not just in offense.

The other main change is that the technique attribute is now more importance. Teams with low technique will start to see their team playing much more on the Penalty Kill, and we all know what happens when you spend most the game killing off penalties…

You will have noticed that the goalie star rating has decreased. Don’t worry about this, as PPM made some changes to better display the goalies strength. This is an appearance thing only, and does not mean your goalie decreased in skill.

What Now…

If you have pre-defined tactics you are going to want to check them all and make the relevant changes to bring them in-line with the new game engine. Same goes for training, especially those shooting and technique attributes.

Best of luck in season 7, may the force be with you all.

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3 Things You Should Do For PPM Hockey Season 7

The Puck Has A Secret About PPMUnless you’ve been living under a rock or have not been paying attention to the updates from PPM, you will be well aware that there are going to be come changes made to the PPM Game Engine at the start of season 7. These changes aim to make the game more competitive and more challenging for managers, which should, I believe, make the game more fun.

But fun and challenges aside, it is very important to stay on top of the changes that PPM make to their system if you intend to stay on top of your team.

So, here are 3 simple suggestions that everybody should be doing leading up to, and well into the next season of PPM hockey.

Train Shooting

The shooting attribute is fairly self explanatory; it is involved in how often and how well your players send the puck on net. But up until now, you could get away with high offense and lower shooting attributes because of the way the game engine worked. Not any more. Players with low shooting will be less effective next season, so if you are one of those who have neglected your shooting attribute on players, get them training in it now.

Train Technique

Another training suggestion you ask? Well, yes. As of next season the way the system calculates aggression and technique will changes, which means if you have low technique across your team you can expect to take a LOT more penalties. So, unless you have a great team of penalty killing monsters, get the technique on the rise now! This applies especially to wingers and defenders who both use aggression as a key attribute to their position.

Study Your Lines

This suggestion comes from a discussion i had recently with a friend who was confused as to why they kept losing games even though they had a strong team. After looking at their lineup i realised their problem was simply that they had not put much effort into setting up their team. Don’t put players who prefer the right side on the left and vice versa. Don’t put a winger in a center position or a defender as a winger. Don’t train the offense attribute on a goalie. It may sound stupid, but I have seen ALL these things done on a regular basis. With the coming changes to the PPM system, it is even more important than usual to make sure your team is set up the VERY BEST it can be. So take the time to study your players. If you’re not sure, ask on the forums for advice or drop me a message here. There is always someone willing to point you in the right direction.

As always, please feel free to leave comments below.

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5 Seasons Of PPM Hockey – Part 2: Home and Away Stats

This is a followup to my previous post talking about match data from the past 5 seasons of PPM Hockey and the Brisbane Stars (my team).

This post originally started out as a collection of my teams OTR over the seasons so I could create a graph depicting how the OTR growth has increased. Like any other group of stats in my posession, it kind of just grew into something much larger.

Instead, so what we have here now is my teams entire history of wins, losses and draws, as well as goals for, goals against, OTR Gains and also a few dandy shootout and overtime stats.

Note: This information includes ALL my teams games from day 1, season 1.

Part 1: OTR Data Graph

As you can see, the OTR has a steady increase, even with the seasonal decrease in OTR. This last season has been my most successful as far as OTR goes.

Brisbane Stars OTR Increase

Part 2: Total Game Data

TOTAL GAMES
W
L
D
Win%
GF
GFA
GA
GAA
OTR
546
351
141
44
64.29%
2876
5.27
1400
2.56
624.94

Breakdown of Games by Type

TYPE
# GAMES
W
L
D
Win%
GF
GFA
GA
GAA
OTR
League
190
121
49
10
63.68%
1222
6.43
487
2.56
344.62
Playoff
33
23
10
0
69.70%
121
3.67
75
2.27
86.97
Friendly
247
158
68
21
63.97%
1149
4.65
652
2.64
49.41
NC
23
18
1
4
78.26%
165
7.17
39
1.7
58.4
Tournaments
53
31
13
9
58.49%
219
4.13
147
2.77
85.54

I think the biggest thing that actually shocked me was the overall success my team has had since season 1. Almost 65% of my games end in victory, and that jumps up to and over 70% for Playoff and National Cup games. My team it seems make it count when it matters most.

Part 3: HomeGame Data

HOME
# GAMES
W
L
D
Win%
GF
GFA
GA
GAA
OTR
League
95
65
14
6
68.42%
644
6.78
225
2.37
186.46
Playoff
15
11
4
0
73.33%
60
4
30
2
41.06
Friendly
111
65
33
13
58.56%
537
4.84
296
2.67
21.58
NC
22
18
0
4
81.82%
162
7.36
34
1.55
58.4
Tournaments
28
17
7
4
60.71%
124
4.43
89
3.18
43.16

Notes: See Away Game data below.

Part 4: Away Game Data

AWAY
# GAMES
W
L
D
Win%
GF
GFA
GA
GAA
OTR
League
95
56
35
4
58.95%
578
6.08
262
2.76
158.16
Playoff
18
12
6
0
66.67%
61
3.39
45
2.5
45.91
Friendly
136
93
35
8
68.38%
612
4.5
356
2.62
27.83
NC
1
1
0.00%
3
3
5
5
0
Tournaments
25
14
6
5
56.00%
95
3.8
58
2.32
42.38

Home Ice Advantage… as you can see, the difference between my home and away games is remarkable! On average between 5 and 10% increase in victory for home games (on average), although the friendly games seem to buck that trend a little. Saying that, I do tend to play a lot of friendlies against far tougher opponents.

The home ice advantage shows up in the Goals For (average) columns however. Across all types of games my team scores more at home.

Part 5: Shootouts

SHOOTOUTS
# GAMES
W
L
TOTAL
10
2
7
HOME
5
1
4
AWAY
5
2
3
League
0
0
0
Playoff
3
0
3
Friendly
5
3
2
NC
1
0
1
Tournaments
1
0
1

Part 6: Overtime

OVERTIME
# GAMES
W
L
D
TOTAL
26
9
8
9
HOME
15
4
5
6
AWAY
11
5
3
3
League
20
6
4
10
Playoff
2
2
0
0
Friendly
4
1
3
0
NC
0
0
0
Tournaments
0
0
0
0

Interestingly, I am more successful in road overtime games than at home. Go figure.

Part 7: Summary

The thing that jumped out at me the most when doing this was the home ice advantage. There is a clear and precise increase in success when playing at home and it shows up in both win% and also goals for. The biggest disappointment in these stats… my overtime and shootout record is absolutely terrible.

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5 Seasons Of PPM Hockey Match Data

As many of you are aware, I am a bit of a stickler for stats… some would say i’m a little obsessed with them, especially when it comes to my hockey manager games. As the end of the PPM hockey (regular) season has arrived, I thought I would gather up my teams (Brisbane Stars) stats from the seasons and collate them all here.

Enjoy 🙂

Seasonal League Data
Season:
League:
GP
W
OTW
D
OTL
L
PTS
HOME W/L/D
AWAY W/L/D
AVE ATT
Pos. Reg
Pos. POs
1
III.7
38
30
1
1
1
5
94
17-1-0
14-4-1
5
1
2
II.2
38
32
0
2
0
4
98
17-1-1
15-3-1
1057
1
1
3
I.1
38
18
0
1
1
18
56
13-5-1
5-14-
1429
9
12
4
I.1
38
15
0
4
1
18
50
8-9-2
7-10-2
1900
14
11
5
I.1
38
23
2
2
1
10
76
12-6-1
13-5-1
2193
5


Seasonal Team Scoring Data
Season:
League:
GP
GF
GA
GAA
SH
SH%
SV%
TOT PP
PP%
TOT PK
PK%
1
III.7
38
436
72
1.95
1048
31.95
90.71
2
II.2
38
371
65
2.00
1093
33.68
93.18
206
40.29%
51
82.35
3
I.1
38
140
143
3.76
1068
12.80
85.32
175
22.29%
83
76.9
4
I.1
38
103
94
2.47
1087
11.44
82.92
184
18.48%
94
80.8
5
I.1
38
150
83
2.26
1091
13.1
90.4
187
21.4%
74
81.1

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Special Teams: Part 4 – Experience Vs Skill

When I first started this series I had planned to do just the 3 articles. It was after reading a comment on the 2nd one (Penalty Kill) that really inspired this; you could say part 4 is more of an explanation than a new technique.

The comment in question raised the point that I had been innacurate when I had talked about experienced players. I wanted to explain that a little more as experienced players are not always the best guys to use, as I had previously stated.

What I should have said was “all things equal, experienced players are better”. In other words, if you had 10 players all of equal OR and Qualities, the experienced player is always the better option to go with on your special teams. This is never the case however, and many of us have superstar rookies who have killer skills and great qualities but have very little experience. In this case, the best option by far is to play the inexperienced rookie. Doing so will give your special team a boost in skill, and will also give your player more experience.


Juggling the experience vs skill situation can be challenging, especially as your team becomes more developed. You may end up with loads of players all of whom could play on the special teams but are only able to select a handful of them. That’s part of the great part of this game… it’s not as easy as just throwing together 5 guys with good skills. Obviously, your PP and PK units want to have high OR, so they have a higher combined line strength. But, you also want to make sure your best players are getting the ice time, and there will be times that your best players are lower OR rookies with great average qualities.

As a general rule, trust your instinct. Make sure your guys are playing on their preferred side, have great attributes and where possible, have experience. As i mentioned in the previous articles, if you find your special teams have problems, don’t be afraid to pull them apart and try new things.

Good luck out there!

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