As I’m not writing FM stuff any longer, I’ve found I have quite a bit of free time for other projects again which has been great. Recently I got back into playing Eastside Hockey Manager and thought I’d write about the save and post it here on the blog. I wouldn’t really call myself a hockey fan, I’m more (or was) a casual fan. I followed Washington Capitals for many years casually, ever since 2004. I can’t remember how or why I chose them but I did. More close to home though, I used to go and watch Sheffield Steelers quite regularly and went to most of the home games for many years. Then last year after talking to a few friends and people I know online I started following hockey more closely and became a Detroit Red Wings fan!
I’ve become a lot more interested in the sport over the past year or so and I’d class myself as not being a casual fan any longer. I follow all of the Red Wings games and watch majority of them live. If I can’t watch live then I’ll watch the next morning but I always watch them. Now while I might follow the sport more closely I’m dumb as fuck when it comes to understanding the sport. I know little bits and I kind of get the gist of the basics but at the end of the day I’m still clueless.
So writing about my game and how I play might make me understand the sport more and learn from my mistakes as I play. As I’m hoping those of you who understand the game better than me will offer me advice and tell me how I could have done things better or explain the things I am struggling with. Either way I thought it would be a good learning exercise for me.
As you’ll be able to tell from the title, I’ll be playing as The Detroit Red Wings. Before I start though you might want to check out https://twitter.com/acidphire21 because he is also blogging about his Red Wings save on EHM and that can be found here http://www.ehm.acidphire21.co.uk/
I’ve played as the Red Wings a few times already so have a good understanding of the squad and what’s needed. But no doubt I’ll still make lots of mistakes along the way.
I always need a strategy and plan on a game to have some kind of direction, so I’ve tried to apply this to this Detroit save. The basic outline of my plan is as follows;
- Play aggressive/exciting hockey
- Player development
- Focus on prospects
I’m not sure why but I’ve always enjoyed the more aggressive in your face style of hockey that produces high scoring games. I guess it’s the entertainment value really, so this is something I’ll be looking to apply to this save. I’d rather see scores of 6-4 than 2-0 and so on.
As for my approach to trades, I’ll be focusing on prospects then developing them in the hope they’ll be good enough in a fair few years time, when they get called upon. Or if failing that, I can maybe trade them on at a later date for either trades or as part of a deal to bring someone better in. To be able to focus on this properly though I will need to set up a proper scouting network as outlined in the brilliant guide be @ZeGerman which can be found here;
It’s these bits I will be focusing on;
You’re going to have a pretty large scouting department at the NHL level so you’ll easily be able to divide the Pro and Amateur responsibilities. In terms of Pro, you’re going to want to assign a guy to scout “Next Opposition” – just like in FM, he’ll give you a quick rundown on how the team likes to play, their record and maybe some notes on key players. Secondly, it’d be a good idea to set a few guys on a rotating schedule to scout each team individually. This will give you a report on every player in the league eventually making your trade decisions (or UFA contract offer decisions) far easier.
At the amateur level, we are talking about scouting players that are coming up in the next draft and the game allows us a few different ways to do this:
- The quickest way is to scout “NHL Entry Draft” from the drop down list within the “Scouts” tab of the “Scouting” page. You’ve got a few options to choose from here as well. I set the age maximum to 19 (as there are a few decent players older than that), the tempo to “Intensive” (so they spend the max time possible) and “No recommendation updates” (because, seriously, your inbox will be overloaded each day with emails from your scouts otherwise). This setup I think takes about 2 months to complete for each scout. I send my scouts off (5 of them, minimum) each time the new ISS rankings come out (so start, mid & end of season). 5 scouts viewing the top 200 players 3 times each should give you a pretty good read.
- The next way is to individually scout the players you are interested in. Go to the Draft screen and sort by the ISS ranking. Right click on the player you are interested in and select “Get a Scout Report.” You’ll be given a list of scouts available for the trip or just select “Any Available” if you’re happy that all the scouts there will give you an accurate report. As you “scout” a player in this way, he’ll be added to your Shortlist allowing you to easily go back and see the players with reports at any time. Now there is an argument to be made here that an “individual scout report” is more accurate/detailed than a report made via “NHL Entry Draft”. I’ve not tested the difference but I know some of the guys at TBL have noted it. So maybe throw a couple of these reports at players you want to sign to ensure you get the most data.
- Lastly, there’s another option to scout “Young Players”. This option is pretty broad and covers pretty much every Junior player in the world, depending on the nationality of your scout. This means that you’ll get reports on 14y/o’s that are still three or four years away from the NHL Draft. I’m not certain of the benefit of scouting players this young but it is an option for you if you desire. It also covers most of those eligible for the NHL Draft too.
So with this in mind and what I want to focus on with finding prospects to develop, my scouting will be focused on all the youth levels all the way up through the draft and the teams in the NHL/AHL to make sure I have as much knowledge about players as possible. This will make it much easier for when I’m trading players or going into a draft.
This post is just a short introduction but I hope to have more posts up soon. The next one should be a season one review as I look to implement all the above into the game and recap how the season went. Wish me luck!