Action! PC Hockey uses a system of "play potential" to represent the flow of a hockey game. After each change of possession, a number is assigned that represents the chance of the play being successful. High potential means that the play is more likely to result in a scoring opportunity, and low potential is more likely to result in dangerous turnovers. Play potential is determined by previous play calls and results, team strategies and strength, line changes, intimidation levels, ice quality, random factors and more. As a result, each play has a unique feel, and no two games will ever be alike.
For plays beginning in the defensive or neutral zones, choose to proceed aggressively, safely, with a balanced attack, or to clear the puck. Each option has strengths and weaknesses. Playing aggressively will generate more scoring chances, but at the risk of dangerous turnovers, while playing safely will rarely give up bad turnovers, but will also not create many scoring opportunities. When the play potential is low or your team is over-matched, it may be best to simply clear the puck. In general, these play call opportunities occur every two or three changes of possession.
When a team has control of the puck in its offensive zone, there are several different play calling scenarios that may occur. These include:
Setup Plays - Shoot the puck, attempt to pass to a specific open player for a shot, or cycle for a new setup. Taking advantage of screens, getting the puck to the net for a rebound, or setting up safe turnovers by clearing the puck in deep are just a few ways to use these scenarios. Setup plays occur often on powerplays, and occasionally during even strength play.
Match-up Plays - An offensive player has the puck with a scoring opportunity, defended by an opposing player. Do you shoot, attempt to penetrate for a better shot, pass, or send the puck deep for a safe turnover?
Other play calling opportunities occur according to game situations. When shorthanded, attempt to ice the puck, or take chances to try to create shorthanded goals. Attempt to shoot for an empty net with the chance of icing, clear the puck back to the neutral zone, or try to cross center ice before shooting. Make an odd man rush, try to set up in the offensive zone, or dump the puck in for a safe turnover. These situations and more create an exciting and diverse game experience.
Making timely and efficient line changes is an important element of success in hockey, and that holds true in Action PC Hockey. In most situations when your team has the puck, you have the option to make a line change. When a change is called for, potential for that play decreases according to how many players are being changed. As a result, it is often best to play safe or to clear the puck when attempting to make a change. Trying to make a change in a low potential situation may result in a dangerous turnover.
Line management is made simple by an easy to use line change interface. Put an entire line or individual players on the ice with a single click. Player strength on a zero to 100 scale makes it clear who is ready to play and who needs more rest. Lines are automatically adjusted when injuries and penalties occur. Double shifting star players is easy to accomplish. The simple yet powerful interface ensures that line management is never a hassle.