Strat-O-Matic Hockey FAQ

Computer hockey game and troubleshooting FAQ can be found here.

1. Do I need the card image option?
     This is strictly a personal preference.  Player card images appear in
     the "player notebook" and during a game when a shot occurs.  The card
     images will help you in comparing players.  The card images are NOT
     required to play the game.

2. If I buy the card image option does it work with all seasons?

3. If I buy the card image option do I get more players than were originally
   printed in the SOM card set?
     No.  Player cards are contained in the Season sets, not the card image.
     The card image option allows you to see the card images that are in the
     season set.

4. Do I need to buy the card image option each year?
     If you want to use the card image option, it WILL need to be purchased with
     each upgrade of the software that you buy.  For example, if you purchased
     v2017 w/Card Image option and want the card image options again for v2018, you would have
     to purchase it again.  The card image option from v2017 WILL NOT work with
     future versions.

5. Can I enter in player cards from old set of cards that I have?
     No.  There is no support for entering in a player card.  As of v2018, you may only update
     a player's first name, last name, ID, primary position, secondary position and whether
     he plays the point.

6. Can I transfer/import information from the SOM Hockey Utility?
     No.  The file formats are not compatible.  The utility is used separately.

7. Can I import a schedule from an outside source?
     Yes, but it must be formatted correctly in order for the game to read it and saved as a
     .txt file.

8. Do the season sets sold by SOM contain all the players that played in the
   NHL for that season?
     Yes.  All players are contained in the set, including players that did not
     receive a physical card for that season.

9. Are draft leagues supported?

10. Can the # of Action Cards that a line plays for a shift be changed?
     Yes.  There is a league setting that controls how long a shift is.  You
     can change this # to fit your style of playing the game.  This number can
     be set for offensive lines and for defensive pairs.  Each one can be

11. How does the computer manager handle line shifts?
    Each team has what is called a computer manager.  Within the CM you can add
    as many "lines" as you would like.  You can then set up what is called a
    "rotation" for these lines.  Each period can have a rotation. The rotation
    is a list of the order that the lines would be used.  For example, assume you
    create 4 lines, called 1,2,3 and 4.  You can set up the order that those lines
    get used in each period.  You can play 1,2,3,4 in period 1.  4,3,2,1 in period 2.
    Whatever you want.

12. Does penalty time effect the line "rotation"?
    No.  If a team gets a penalty, the special teams units will play.  When
    the penalty is up, whatever line is next in the rotation will play.  For
    example, if your order is line 1, line 2, line 3, and line 1 gets a penalty.
    Line 2 will not get skipped because of the penalty.  When the penalty is
    over Line 2 will play.

13. I have seen the logos on screenshots.  Do they come with the game?  How
    can I use logos with the game?
    The logos do NOT come with the game.  That would have required SOM to get
    additional licensing.  You can use whatever logos that you want to use.  When
    you install the game a LOGO sub-directory is created.  All you have to do is
    put the image files in that directory.  The game only accepts .jpg images
    for logos.  The best size to use is 132 x 132 for the size of the image.  
    Smaller images will be stretched to fit that size and may lose image quality.
    Once you have the images in the LOGO sub-directory you will need to assign a 
    logo to each team.  You can do this from the menu.  Select Team --> Update Teams
    and you will get a screen where you can select a logo for each team.

14. How about rink images?
    The original way to do so would be taking the rink.bmp default rink file (located in your
    SOMH\DATA directory), backing it up (call it rink_old.bmp or something, so you'll always be
    able to revert back to it) and then taking your preferred rink image file and re-naming it
    as rink.bmp.  The game would then use your rink image for all games played.

    If you download Chris Halleran's rink images, you will notice a file called SOMHOPT.INI.
    This file allows you to set a particular rink image to be associated with a particular team
    and season, without having to have it re-named to rink.bmp.

15. And player images?
    Player images are divided up into two groups - PLAYERS (forwards and defensemen) and GOALIES.
    Each has its own folder.  Simply name a player image file you wish to use in the following
    format --> firstname_lastname.jpg and place it in its proper sub-directory.  The game should
    then recognize it and pull it up during game play when that player controls the puck.

    If you have more than one player with the same name, you must use an alias.txt file to help
    the game differentiate between them.  This method can also be used if you have more than one
    image of a player and you wish to use them all, depending on which season/team is being used.

16. When there's a breakaway goal coming off an action card, is that just a one assist goal 
    with the one assist being assigned to the player who had possession of the puck when the 
    breakway card was drawn or is the normal assist assigning procedure used?
    Normal assist procedure.
17. Chicago is down by 2 and their net is empty. Phil Esposito takes an inside shot and a Goal+ 1-8 is the result. Chicago is not on the they get the + or not? No goal - it's treated as as if the puck had deflected off a stick and into the stands.
18. If a defenseman takes a shot and another player deflects it for a score, does the defenseman get one of the assists? If the shot is deflected in the defenseman should be credited with an assist.
19. If you chose to try for a deflection and the 2nd offensive player loses the puck on his inside shot attempt are there NO shots/saves recorded even though the defenseman originally tried for an outside shot? Credit the SOG to the deflector once he hits a GR or a split chance and on ANY other result I would give a SOG to the defenseman and just consider it as if the forward missed the tip and the shot went right on through to the goalie who made the save.
20. Aside from J, K, and L, there is no passing in basic hockey. Is this right? All I can do is try to penetrate to get an inside shot. Can't try to pass to anyone? No. According to the official rules you're not allowed to pass in the basic game, but some people do play that you can pass in basic. It depends on your preference.
21. What does Faceoff followed by a black dot mean on the goalie's card? It means if the goalie is fatigued it's a goal instead of the faceoff.
22. If the shooter's card says X-Reb do you ignore the rebound ? If the shooter's card refers you to the Goalie rating and you roll "Rebound" do you play the rebound? In the basic and advanced power plays there are no rebounds, you simply just credit the shot on goal and move on to the next shot listed. And no, according to the rules, you are not allowed to penetrate on the basic and advanced power plays.
23. If the shorthanded team gets this reading(goal+ or Goalie rating+) is it a goal or not? If the shorthanded team gets those ratings while shooting, no, it's not a goal. The + only applies to the power play teams shots.
24. On a line change do you still change lines when the next action card comes up if the skater in control is involved in the line change. Yes, and that position player retains the puck.
25. If a skater draws a penalty and he's on the short-handed team to be used do you just use the other short-handed team or do you sub in for him. Just sub for him
26. What does the great pass reading mean(on passing L I believe). I assumed it meant nothing in the basic game since I couldn't find it in the rules. It means you get an inside shot.
27. I can't find in the rules what point means on the players cards. Single point (*) can be used once per game as a defenseman while a team is on the powerplay. A double point (**) can be used as a defenseman on powerplay whenever they are on the powerplay. Please remember that you should have two powerplay lines and that you must always have at least one person rated as a defenseman playing as a defensemen. Also, LD can play RD can play LD on powerplay.
28. I'm finding it impossible to place a substitute player into a line and have the computer use the new line combination. I've tried changing the computer manager both after launching a game and the main computer manager and neither works. When the game is launched the line will show "open" where the sub should be. Why should this basic function be so difficult? When you change a player you have to remember to hit the 'edit' button near the top, or it just reverts back to whatever the line was anyway.
You also have to make sure that you put a player that is eligible to play in that game in the line. ie, a guy that has a check mark beside him on the opening roster screen.
29. Do you award assists to penalty shot goals? No
30. How does Strat handle fatigue in hockey. What's to stop me from playing the Yzerman line as much as possible? Or just keeping Lidstrom as my top defenseman on every powerplay, shorthanded line? There is a shift change system that Strat developed. It does not address the use of the 4th line and 3rd pair very well IMHO, but there are parameters established for ice time. The shift length is not hockey realistic but one can come close on the ice time. With the CPU I believe gamers have several options for how frequently line changes occur. If I were playing CPU I would recommend 2 maximum, in the NHL an actual shift is getting too long if it exceeds 45 seconds. However, with the constraints of the board game, most gamers have shifts that go much longer than that.
31. I am in the middle of a game - 3rd period - my main goalie has fatigue rating of 5, this is the 6th game of the series. My main goalie did not start, but my replacement goalie went fatigued, can my main goalie now come in a play? It depends if the goalie is "hot" as according to the SOM rules. If your goalie has a fatigue rating of 5 and has started 5 straight games, but not allowed more than 4 goals in any one of them he is allowed to play unfatigued. However, if the goalie had allowed 5 or more in any of those games he would come in fatigued.
32. If a game misconduct occurs the player is ejected and there is not a power play for the 10 minutes I believe. Is another player on the ice at the time of the penalty selected to stay off the ice for 10 minutes? If it's a game misconduct, there is no 10-minute penalty. It's a GAME misconduct, player ejected. If it's a misconduct penalty, then that player serves his 10-minutes in the box with no adjustment to on-ice strength. He may leave the box when there is a stoppage in play AFTER the 10-minutes has elapsed (Strat terms, after 15 Action Cards).
33. Can you change O/F settings during the run of play? SOM rules dictate that O/F settings can only be changed on faceoffs, not during the run of play. they can legally be changed when a new line hits the ice as well - not just at faceoffs.
34. I have the baseball game and football game and the way I like to play them basically is just let the computer control both teams... on the football and baseball game that can be done. Can you do that on the hockey game? Yes. You can set each team to "Computer" and watch the game played, rather than have it auto-play away from the game screen.
35. Does the hockey game have the "out of town scoreboard" feature? As of v2018, no.
36. The timer is on 15, the puck was iced, the timer moves to 19+, the icing reading was "SH LD 14 (OS-C)". The LD does not take away the puck. The C tries to penetrate and rolls a 15. I know that the PP is over with the penetration, but what does is above result? Is it a loose puck, or does the player coming out of the box get control of the puck? I played it as the player coming out of the box gets control, then changed lines, and drew an action card.
37. NY Rangers take a penalty on card 28 of period 3. Montreal wins the faceoff (flip card, move timer to 7), gets inside shot for LD(RD) I-RW(LW). LD is forced off the puck (move one space on the PP timer to 8). Rangers ice the puck (move 5 spaces to 13) and RD gains possession after the icing. Is the game over here? If action card 30 is flipped once the timer gets to 13 and the SH RD has the puck -- in other words, if there are no more ACs left and the defense has the puck -- the period is over.

Last Updated: June 17, 2019