Thursday, January 1, 2015

Star League Update - Season 3

As I was reviewing my 2014 gaming materials, I realized that Star League had dropped by the wayside. My latest update was in October although I had finished a couple of weeks of play since then. In that same month I discussed the possibility of completing seasons quicker by automating play. I would choose a team and play its games normally while running other games with the automated feature.

Today, on a whim, I decided to play around with this idea. First, I greatly simplified the rules. Essentially, there are up to 3 die rolls per "possession" (with 6 possessions per half - what I had been averaging in 3 seasons using the original charts). The first roll determines who gets the ball, the second determines if that team can get off a shot on goal, and the final roll determines if the shot scores. All are opposed die rolls modified by team ratings. Rolling greater than the opponent results in a success (either gaining possession, getting a shot, or scoring a goal). I was able to use the randomizing feature in Excel to "automate" the game. A game can now be completed in the click of a single key.

I used my new system to complete Star League's season 3.

The Antarens used a 6 game winning streak to take the lead in the Galactic Division. In week 9, the Antarens and Denebians (both with 7 wins) played for the division lead. It was a titanic defensive struggle. The Antarens only managed 3 shots but converted on 2 of them. They managed to hold the Denebians to zero shots. In the final week, the Denebians and Canopans found themselves one game behind the Antarens, who were visiting the Canopans. A Canopan victory could have resulted in a three-way tie. The Canopans dominated the first half, but they could not score. At the end of the half, the Antarens managed to squeak the ball past the goalie. They added to their lead in the second, but then the Canopans scored to close the gap. Once again, the Antaren defense stiffened and the Canopans could not manage another shot. This victory gave the Antarens the division crown (the first team other than the Canopans to win).

The other division was not so dramatic. After a sluggish 3-3 start to the season, the Hydrans rattled off 4 straight wins. The other teams struggled, allowing the Hydrans to clinch the division in week 9. The Stellar Division also had a new champion (the Geminds won in seasons 1 and 2).

This promises to be an interesting match-up for the Star Cup. The Antarens had the league's best defense (1.6 goals against per game) while the Hydrans had the best offense (3.3 goals per game).

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