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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2 Comments »

  1. Love your work. Certainly helps to try and get an edge. Keep it up!

    Comment by Avid Fan — July 21, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

  2. Great stuff mate! This has been a HUGE help for me. Keep it up.

    Comment by Sam — July 28, 2009 @ 8:59 am


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