The [ppm] eyrie

July 16, 2009

Tactics Check XL

Filed under: PPM.statistics — glanvalleyeaglets @ 8:31 am

Recently we have witnessed quite a few controversal discussions about the use and abuse of tactical tables. In the course of the discussions, the focus has shifted from “how do I use tactics to beat my opponent” to “how do I do my best to outshoot him”?

The shot differential is influenced by many factors. First there are the offensive and defensive skills of the guys on the virtual ice – all other factors being equal, the better team should outshoot the opponents. (Just for the record, in many cases it is far from being clear, which team is better.) Further important factors are game importance and seasonal energy – this has been documented in another article. The chemistry of the lines is a big deal too, and as the experience of the best players increases it might also play a major role in the coming seasons. There are more factors like home ice advantage etc. Now the tactics are supposed to act on this complex background.

Believe me, I would like to make scientifically correct statements about the tactics-countertactics relations, but I’m not in position of doing so. Technically speaking, we are dealing with multidimensional data with in part large uncertainties. We are about to ignore all the various “dimensions” – save the tactics 🙂 – and try to extract information on distribution of victories, goals, shots and penalty minutes. In theory, such model reduction requires a careful preparation and pre-conditioning of the incoming data. The main point is that if we want to ignore a variable, we ought make sure that the data are not biased by that variable…

The sociologists are dealing with similar problems when conducting some polls – the point is to choose the sample pool so that one can extrapolate the data from 1000 people to many millions and obtain realistic results (contrary to my intuition, this is indeed possible). In PPM we would require a range of teams with parameter distributions characteristic of the whole PPM, and getting this is hardly possible without breaking the rules (e.g., creating a thousand of teams for tests).

In the present study we go another way and sample the huge number of games by… a very large number of games! There is a certain doubt whether the skill distributions of teams preferring a given tactics is close enough to the skill distributions of all teams of PPM. All I can say is – nevermind.

To be sure we are after something that is real, let me cite one of the leading guys in PPM from the English forum.


vlady 10.07.2009 15:59:10
THE OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM

You have been waiting for this for a long time and here it is. The number of shots is determined by the overall strength of the team compared to opponent and by the the tactic that you use. We will not disclose the details but these are the two main components that determine the number of shots on goal. It means that if you have a better team and if you have chosen the right tactic, you will most likely outshoot your opponent.

This part of the game engine is planned to be improved in the future though. We plan to take into account several other factors for you to ponder about.

Enjoy the game and don’t stress too much! Chill out people!

Ok, enough of text, let us turn to the results. Again, the data are given in the format Row vs Column. First line shows the percentage of wins, OTs and losses, S shows average shots per game, P penalty in minutes and N is the number of samples (i.e., games).

Normal Defensive Offensive Counteratt Breaking Forecheck
Normal 58.5-10.2-31.2
G: 4.41 – 3.17
S: 30.1 – 22.9
P: 2.98 – 4.00
N: 1855
42.6-11.7-45.5
G: 3.83 – 3.87
S: 27.1 – 27.2
P: 3.46 – 3.55
N: 3866
48.1-11.8-39.9
G: 4.04 – 3.61
S: 27.8 – 26.5
P: 3.31 – 3.68
N: 2548
36.1-11.0-52.7
G: 3.47 – 3.99
S: 23.9 – 29.3
P: 3.79 – 3.20
N: 1902
47.9-11.3-40.6
G: 4.12 – 3.63
S: 28.0 – 26.7
P: 3.29 – 3.73
N: 2816
Defensive 31.2-10.2-58.5
G: 3.17 – 4.41
S: 22.9 – 30.1
P: 4.00 – 2.98
N: 1855
53.7-11.2-35.0
G: 4.13 – 3.39
S: 29.7 – 23.8
P: 3.08 – 3.88
N: 1335
42.0-12.9-45.0
G: 3.77 – 3.88
S: 27.4 – 27.1
P: 3.39 – 3.75
N: 844
44.8-9.9-45.1
G: 3.80 – 3.83
S: 27.5 – 26.9
P: 3.40 – 3.59
N: 591
45.1-11.6-43.1
G: 3.93 – 3.80
S: 27.3 – 27.1
P: 3.54 – 3.51
N: 915
Offensive 45.5-11.7-42.6
G: 3.87 – 3.83
S: 27.2 – 27.1
P: 3.55 – 3.46
N: 3866
35.0-11.2-53.7
G: 3.39 – 4.13
S: 23.8 – 29.7
P: 3.88 – 3.08
N: 1335
47.0-10.9-42.0
G: 3.92 – 3.74
S: 27.4 – 26.8
P: 3.47 – 3.55
N: 1722
45.7-9.8-44.3
G: 3.90 – 3.69
S: 27.4 – 26.2
P: 3.25 – 3.63
N: 1116
60.7-11.3-27.8
G: 4.62 – 3.06
S: 30.4 – 22.1
P: 2.89 – 4.11
N: 1801
Counteratt 39.9-11.8-48.1
G: 3.61 – 4.04
S: 26.5 – 27.8
P: 3.68 – 3.31
N: 2548
45.0-12.9-42.0
G: 3.88 – 3.77
S: 27.1 – 27.4
P: 3.75 – 3.39
N: 844
42.0-10.9-47.0
G: 3.74 – 3.92
S: 26.8 – 27.4
P: 3.55 – 3.47
N: 1722
56.6-13.0-30.3
G: 4.27 – 3.14
S: 29.9 – 23.0
P: 2.98 – 3.94
N: 738
35.5-9.2-55.2
G: 3.32 – 4.24
S: 23.4 – 29.8
P: 3.77 – 3.23
N: 1343
Breaking 52.7-11.0-36.1
G: 3.99 – 3.47
S: 29.3 – 23.9
P: 3.20 – 3.79
N: 1902
45.1-9.9-44.8
G: 3.83 – 3.80
S: 26.9 – 27.5
P: 3.59 – 3.40
N: 591
44.3-9.8-45.7
G: 3.69 – 3.90
S: 26.2 – 27.4
P: 3.63 – 3.25
N: 1116
30.3-13.0-56.6
G: 3.14 – 4.27
S: 23.0 – 29.9
P: 3.94 – 2.98
N: 738
45.8-12.2-41.8
G: 4.00 – 3.84
S: 27.3 – 26.9
P: 3.48 – 3.51
N: 716
Forecheck 40.6-11.3-47.9
G: 3.63 – 4.12
S: 26.7 – 28.0
P: 3.73 – 3.29
N: 2816
43.1-11.6-45.1
G: 3.80 – 3.93
S: 27.1 – 27.3
P: 3.51 – 3.54
N: 915
27.8-11.3-60.7
G: 3.06 – 4.62
S: 22.1 – 30.4
P: 4.11 – 2.89
N: 1801
55.2-9.2-35.5
G: 4.24 – 3.32
S: 29.8 – 23.4
P: 3.23 – 3.77
N: 1343
41.8-12.2-45.8
G: 3.84 – 4.00
S: 26.9 – 27.3
P: 3.51 – 3.48
N: 716

The results have been compiled from games played in some German, Slovak, Czech and Latvian leagues in game days 22 through 38 (the games with participation of noname teams have been excluded), so all from the second round. Hence, this summary does not include any games used in this previous study.

We see that even though the teams have developed, the tactics still work in a very similar way, in particular, the ring of countertactics Normal > Defensive > Offensive > Forechecking > Counterattacks > Breaking up > Normal remains valid.

My last words for today: I am looking for new ideas. If you want a certain aspect of this game being dissected in a similar manner, please contact me or drop a line in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

Good luck in the upcoming play-offs, folks!

Legal disclaimer: Dear guest who might have stumbled at this site and wonder what it is all about, please be aware that you are reading and using this ressource at your own risk. I won’t be liable for any kind of damage, whether direct or indirect, resulting from use of the information provided in this site, including but not limited to screwing up vitally important games and getting a round-house kick from Mr. Chuck Norris after having advised him to use this site. I am just a regular user of PPM and have no connections to the development team, however, I do assume that the game engine will change with time and this information will eventually be out of date. In such cases I am under no obligation to update this information. Ich habe fertig.

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July 13, 2009

1st season: 3/4 completed

Filed under: GVE chronicles — glanvalleyeaglets @ 7:56 am

With 2 games left to go in the regular season lets take a look back at the past 4 weeks.

League games. Trying to break the curse of Counterattacks vs Breaking, Eaglets set out with normal game importance and miserably failed to convert the many chances they got. Penalty minutes 0:14, shots 43:22, final score 1:1.
Ulm’s keeper Denis Jahns was amazing in the 65 mins. Two days later V.I.P. was downed in a defensive battle – 5:0, however, the next game day saw the next defeat – a 4:5 in an away game against the underdog O-Town City. The Eaglets had shown their dislike for destructive tactics again, failing to beat Normal with Breaking up.

The situation was saved by a few stellar games in a row – 7:2 against Ludwigshafener Freezers, 5:1 over Ortlfinger EV, 8:2 over EC Crossover and, finally, a 9:0 against Blue Lions in an away game. The winning streak of offensive tactics coupled with low importance ended abruptly against another underdog – 2:3 against Eisbären Dielbach. Our top goalie Florin had caught a flu and two other first team players were injured, but that’s no excuse according to the manager in chief. Nevertheless he put the first goalie back in net even though he was not fully recovered (and the goaltending in team strength section dropped from 16 stars to 14…). The opponent was no-one less than ESV Kaiserslautern Koi´s in front of 998 spectators! Playing offensive against counterattacks, the Eaglets equalized the score thrice, but in the last minute of the regular time made the deciding mistake – the game ended with a 3:4 defeat and Koi’s took over the leading spot in the league table. As if this hadn’t been enough, Briesnitzer Eisballerinas managed to beat us again, 4:3.

A losing streak of 3 games is not the best way to face the play-offs, the only bright side of that is – we have been warned! The plan is simple now – to secure the 2nd place in the league and show the best in the last and hottest phase of the season.

National Cup. Our rivals in the 1/16 final were Ruhrpott Icetigers. Their last login time suggested they’d use the same tactics as in the previous league game, namely, normal and forechecking, so the Eaglets chose to play normal, attacking. The start of the game was delayed due to technical problems, so for a while I felt like a Schrödinger’s cat eagle – a superposition of dead and alive states. Luckily, the tactics worked well and after nearly 30 minutes of goalless pressure the Eaglets broke the deadlock. Capitalizing on 3 of 9 powerplay chances, Eaglets won the game with 6:1 in front of almost 600 attendants.

In the round of last 16 we faced one of the strongest teams in the pool – TowerStars from II.1. Even though TowerStars use Normal tactics for official games, we didn’t expect an easy game and actually used High game importance for the very first time. Since the rivals were rated 16 star overall at the moment (equaling my Eaglets), breaking up tactics did not seam misplaced to me. Actually the tactics worked out quite well, leading to a shot differential 14:5 after the first period. Unfortunately the goalie Florin had a bad day and could not stop two of the five shots. Our forwards kept silent – 0:2. Uli Nock came for the unlucky Florin and in 42nd minute Jacobsen equalized – 2:2, however, soon after another blunder TowerStars took the lead again. Uli Nock had to leave his place for another forward and Andi Jacobsen scored again – 3:3. A pretty quite overtime followed where the teams hardly got scoring chances. In the penalty shoot-out, the captain Jonathan Schirmer missed three chances, Rafael Grundmann two and MojmĂ­r Vávra one chance, however, Uli Nock kept the Eaglets in the game, stopping first 5 attempts. However, the 6th was the last. 3:4 SO ends our dreams of international cup games in the next season… TowerStars have reached the finals after beating the very strong DĂĽsseldorf Allstars in semis, 2:6! So tomorrow is the final – Bodensee Devils (III.4) vs TowerStars (II.1).

Libertadores Cup has reached the final stages as well. Having eliminated HK Valmet in a best-of-three series 2:1 (2:3, 6:4, 5:4) and the finalist of Latvian NC – RTM Tigers with 2:0 (4:2, 6:5 OT) (gee, why can’t we play like this in official games!?), the Eaglets face LionTeam in semis.

Development: TF 5(6), REG 5, HRED 4, SA 6. Yep, the best OR of a player from SA was 171… No, it isn’t the world yet, is it?

Current team rating: 96.85 making us 157. in the world and 8. in Germany. The best position ever was reached on 2.07.09, #44 WR, #2 DE. Team strength: GK 16, DF 17, OF 17, SH 16

Coming next: a big update on the stats is planned after the regular season.

Yep, take care anybody who reads this, best of luck and have fun!

July 9, 2009

Game importance revisited

Filed under: PPM.statistics — glanvalleyeaglets @ 8:02 am

In a previous posting I had published some data that suggest a very minor impact of game importance on the final result. There was this feeling that playing with higher importance was as “D&G” – expensive and stupid (Dorogo & Glupo as they say). Now this is not the whole truth. Taking a bigger sample of match reports from League match days 1 through 4, this is what came out.

Low vs Normal
Sample size: 700 games
Result in percents: 41.1 – 11.2 – 47.5
Average result (goals): 3.71 – 3.96
Average shots per game: 25.4 – 28.9
Average penalties in minutes: 2.54 – 4.44

Low vs High
Sample size: 88 games
Result in percents: 35.2 – 10.2 – 54.5
Average result (goals): 3.15 – 4.07
Average shots: 22.4 – 30.0
Average penalties in minutes: 2.65 – 4.36

Normal vs High
Sample size: 1978 games
Result in percents: 41.9 – 14.0 – 44.0
Average result (goals): 3.88 – 3.89
Average shots: 26.2 – 28.5
Average penalties in minutes: 2.67 – 4.35

So we see that the team playing the higher importance has a slight but firm advantage in the games in spite of more time spent in the cooler. In a sharp contrast to this, the following are results from the second round (match days 22 thru 35).

Low vs Normal
Sample size: 2649 games
Result in percents: 51.0 – 12.1 – 36.7
Average result (goals): 4.00 – 3.42
Average shots per game: 26.6 – 27.4
Average penalties in minutes: 2.43 – 4.61

Low vs High
Sample size: 582 games
Result in percents: 74.3 – 7.2 – 18.3
Average result (goals): 5.42 – 2.56
Average shots per game: 28.9 – 24.1
Average penalties in minutes: 1.85 – 5.12

Normal vs High
Sample size: 5188 games
Result in percents: 71.4 – 8.4 – 20.0
Average result (goals): 5.27 – 2.69
Average shots per game: 29.7 – 23.2
Average penalties in minutes: 2.14 – 4.84

Actually that’s it for today. The figures here seem to say more than thousand words. Ok, I’ll write the essence of this all anyway: High importance should be used only a few times in a season. Misuse shall be punished by the game engine.

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