Sunday, February 22, 2015

Star League Season 4

I have begun yet another season of Star League. This time, I am using my streamlined rules, which I automated in Excel so that I can play a game with the push of a key. To make the season more interesting, I chose a team and am playing its games manually. I mentioned adding some other features, like Star Power to add some decision points to the games I play manually.

I am currently halfway through the season. The current standings look like this:

Galactic Division
Blitz                        4-1
Knights                   4-1
Dynamos                3-2
Avengers                0-5

Stellar Division
Fury                        3-2
Helix                      3-2
Electrons                2-3
Gravitons               1-4

Note that I renamed the teams, although (aside from the Knights) the new name starts with the same letter as the old.

My team (the Knights, formerly the Canopans) is tied for 1st with the surprising Blitz (former Betelguesans). The Blitz already have more wins than they ever had in any season! It is interesting that last season's champs, the Avengers (former Antarens) have utterly collapsed. I didn't even make any changes to their roster and yet they are struggling. Part of their problem is their utterly anemic offense, which has scored only 3 goals to date.

Speaking of offense, the new rules have greatly curtailed scoring, which has dipped from 2.5 goals per game last season to 1.6. In 9 of 20 games, one team has scored no goals. I think part of the reason is that if a team missed a shot in the old rules it could (depending on the dice rolls) get the ball back and take another shot. The new rules don't have a provision for rebounds, lessening the number of shots, and therefore goals. I'll have to review the stats to see if my theory is correct. I'd like to increase scoring but I don't want to mess with the simplicity of the rules. One simple solution is to increase the offense ratings, but I may wait until next season to do it.

Anyway, allow me to leave you with a game report:

Knights vs. Gravitons
For game 4, the undefeated Knights visited the 1-2 Gravitons. It should have been an easy victory for the Knights. Should have been.

Early on, the Gravitons stunned the Knights when they managed to slip by the defense and smashed a difficult shot toward the goal. The goalie managed to get a hand on it and deflected it away. The Gravitons gathered the rebound and shot it past the sprawled out goalie. 1-0 Gravitons.

[Game note - I am using Star Power for both sides in my manual games, giving each side 1 per half. On this play, I used Star Power to re-roll the goal. It came up a no-goal, hence a save. But then the Gravitons countered with their own Star Power, which came up goal. I declared that they scored on a rebound!]

The angered Knights retaliated by powering their way to 2 goals. Then they grew lax and the Gravitons slipped a shot in to equalize the game at 2 goals each. The Knights had an opportunity right before the half, but the Graviton goalie made a tremendous save.

Early in the 2nd half, the Gravitons stunned the Knights with another rebound goal.

[Again, back-to-back Star Powers saw a goal denied followed by a goal scored]

The Knights coach ordered his players to push forward. For the rest of the half, the Knights controlled the ball and rained shots upon the Gravitons' goal.

[I choose a strategy of Aggressive Offense in an attempt to equalize the game. This put the Knights at risk defensively, but fortunately they managed to control the ball and remain on offense\

The Knights managed to put one shot into the goal to tie the game. Then, as time was winding down, they managed a break-away. The shot flew from the forward's hands. It curved past the goalie into the nets. Goal! With a last second shot, the Knights managed a thrilling 4-3 victory.

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