Many people around the world play fantasy hockey. The game has been around for years, but has recently seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to social media platforms like Twitter.
The basic idea of fantasy hockey is to compete against your friends and random Twitter followers in a game of skill. The goal is to score as many points as you can while limiting the damage your opponents do to you.
Even if you’re not one of the millions of people around the world playing fantasy hockey, you may still want to try out the fun mode. If you’re looking for a competitive gaming experience, however, you may want to look into professionally-organised leagues or similar competitions. The following will guide you on how to play fantasy hockey, whether you’re a seasoned gamer or simply want to give it a shot for fun.
Choose Your Hockey Players
Before you get started, you’ll want to decide on the size of your hockey team. The game supports up to 24 players, so if you have a few good friends playing together, you can have fun with a team of that size. If you’re playing on your own, it’s recommended you choose a smaller team of 8-12 players.
Decide on whether you’ll use real players’ stats or make up fake ones. The former is quite popular as it adds an extra layer of strategy to the game, making it more engaging. If you use real players’ stats, you may also want to consider their contracts as they can have an effect on your team’s budget. You can read more about contracts in the ‘Investigate Your Team’s Contract Details’ section below.
Determine How The Scoring Works
While some might regard fantasy hockey‘s emphasis on scoring as a bit cheesy, it’s an important element of the game. After all, the more you score, the better your chance of winning. The game implements a traditional points-per-goal system, however, to determine its winners. Simply put, you get one point for each goal you score, plus one bonus point for an assist. If someone on your team assists a teammate who scores a goal, you’ll also get credit for the assist.
The following diagram demonstrates how the scoring mechanic works.
It’s important to note that while the points system works as you’d expect, the position of your team in the league table isn’t dictated by your score. For example, if you have three players and finish the season with 10 points, yet your team is in third place, you won’t automatically win the league. The following screenshot from the game’s FAQ explains this further.
“Q: What happens if I have more points than the other team but am in third place?
A: You will still win the league if you have more goals than the other team. The points system in Fantasy Hockey takes priority over ranking in the tables.”
Set Up Your Goalies
If you’re playing on your own, you don’t need to worry about setting up a goalie as the computer will protect the puck indefinitely. If you’re playing with other people, however, you’ll need to decide on who’ll be the man between the pipes.
It’s a common oversight to forget to set up a goalie, especially early on in the game when you’re still learning the ropes. If you have a friend who’s a good hockey player, he can take on the role of goalie and help you get started. The majority of the game’s population uses the manual goalie mode, which randomly picks a player to act as the goalie. This mode is perfect for beginners, as it allows for easier experimentation.
Investigate Your Team’s Contract Details
When you form a team of players in Fantasy Hockey, you’ll be presented with a brief overview of their contract details. This includes their salary, how long they’ll be with you, and any bonuses or perks that might be available. The overview can be accessed from the ‘Team’ menu or button at the top of the screen.
It’s essential you read through these details as they can have an effect the way your team functions. For example, you may want to consider slashing a player’s salary if they have a bad contract or are about to become a free agent. You may also want to upgrade any player’s contract if they have good stats or are within days of reaching the end of their current contract.
You’ll need to keep an eye on your team’s budget as well as the details of their contract as it can affect both. For example, if you have players with a salary of $1M and two weeks left on their contract, but your team’s budget is only $500K, you may want to sell some high-priced players before the end of their contract.
Play With Real Or Fake Puck
You may regard the decision to use real or fake puck as sacrosanct to the sport. The former is quite popular as it adds an extra layer of strategy to the game, making it more engaging. If you go with the real thing, you’ll want to decide on its size, shape, and weight before you start the game.
If you decide on the use of a puck, it’s important to remember that its behaviour is dictated by the rules of hockey and doesn’t change no matter what. This means you can’t, for example, shoot the puck into the corner to create a rebound.
Additionally, if you’re playing on your mobile device and want to know where to aim your touch screen, the puck will be in the centre of the screen, so you can simply touch anywhere to shoot it.
Play The Regular Season Once You’ve Set Up Your Team
Once you’ve set up your team, you’ll be presented with a lengthy checklist of important things to do before you play the first game. You may be asked to verify the details of your team’s formation and the rules of hockey, as well as set a team name and logo. Once complete, you’ll be able to play.
The following screenshot from the game’s manual highlights some of the things you should do before playing.
“Before you start playing, please do the following:
- Set a team name and logo
- Create a team formation (3 or 4 forwards, 2 or 3 defenders)
- Set up your goalie (either manually or with a randomly selected player)
- Check all personal information (first name, last name, address, etc.)
Additionally, you may want to consider upgrading your team’s lineup and setting up a practice facility. These items are all available in the in-game store, but it’s important to do them before you play as you won’t have enough money once you finish the season. The following screenshot from the game’s manual shows you what each item does and how to use them.
- Gives your team an additional practice room (indoor or outdoor)
- Allows you to select an area for your practice sessions
- Treats your team like a real one and keeps track of their stats
- Changes the face of your team (3 forwards, 2 defenders)
- Makes them stronger
- Makes them faster
- Makes them better at winning battles for the puck
- Changes the way your team performs
- Adds an extra layer of strategy to the game
- Makes them more expensive to purchase (in the shop)
- Changes their behaviour (in the stats section)
Manual Versus Auto Tagging
One of the things that makes Fantasy Hockey so special is that it tags your players for you. This allows you to focus on the game instead of worrying about other things like emailing your buddy to see if he wants to play or setting up a practice facility. If you want to have a bit more fun, you can play with manual tagging, which allows you to manually tag your players.
Manual tagging can be a pain though. If you have a large number of players to tag, you’ll want to set up a short cutlist of frequently used players’ names and a bit of a brainstorming session to come up with something unique for each player.