Gamer-Friendly Improvements in 
Strat-O-Matic Pro Basketball 2015
By Glenn Guzzo
            We won’t soon be hearing James Taylor tunes in NBA arenas, but no matter how you play, you’ve got a friend in the just-released Strat-O-Matic Pro Basketball 2015 for computer gamers.
            For competitive leagues, there’s the new Online Draft, already popular in other Strat-O-Matic Windows games. For solo stock-team play, there’s automatic re-generation of computer managers with every roster move tied to auto transactions. For everyone – board gamers, too – there are the new consequences of playing safe with your star in foul trouble.
            There’s more, including the rosters for the 2014-15 NBA. So you can fire up Stephen Curry and the champion Golden State Warriors, or see if you can coach LeBron James and a healthier supporting cast to give Cleveland its first NBA championship. If you want to coach Bill Russell’s last championship in Boston or re-live the inaugural season of the wild-and-crazy American Basketball Association – which introduced the 3-point shot, red-white-and-blue balls and future NBA superstars – Version 2015 supports the newly released rosters for the 1965-66 NBA and the 1967-68 ABA.
            Superstars aside, for many, Online Draft will be the headliner of this year’s show, not least of all because it’s free with Version 2015. It’s a versatile program that allows any league to conduct its draft in real-time, with features that allow coaches to prioritize picks and lets the draft continue even when a league member has to step away from the computer.
             The automatic re-generation of computer managers offers a huge time-saver to those conducting realistic season replays, auto-play or manual play against the computer coach. With Auto Transactions activated, any time a team has a roster move, the computer will re-generate the computer manager for that team. You won't have to interrupt auto-play to put the new man into the lineup. You won’t have to take time out from manual play to re-calibrate the next opponent.
            There’s another time-saver in Version 2015: A swift way to automatically import team nicknames for the whole league rather than typing them in one team at a time.
            Strat-O-Matic agrees with gamers who thought the reward outweighed the risk when it came to playing safe with a star in foul trouble. The new rule – strongly encouraged for use by board gamers, too – says that for the man playing safe, all F(2) results by his opponent become baskets instead. And, the playing-safe guy’s X-column defense is downgraded one grade in each shot category. For instance, if he was 2-4 in the X-column under normal circumstances, he’s now 2-5, 11 while playing safe. If he was 2-5, 11 routinely, he’s now 2-6, 10.
            That’s not all. There’s a post-game show, of sorts, and it’s pretty cool.
            A new, expanded boxscore show how many points, rebounds and assists each player got each quarter. Very nice, but the best part for Strat fans is the display of how many field goals each guy got on 3-Pointers, Outside Shots, Penetration Shots, Inside Shots and Fastbreak Shots. In other words, now we can see how the damage was done.
            Combine that with the team data on points off the fastbreak, and in the paint, and on second chances, etc. and you have a treasure trove of info to analyze any game and alter strategy for the next one.
            A little frosting on this cake: Version 2015 allows appending the play-by-play (scoring plays, fouls and running score) to the boxscore display.
            Here’s the official list of improvements from the Help file:
1) Free Online Draft
- Now your league members can hold your draft in real-time on the Strat-O-Matic servers, and the best part about it is that this is a free service!  To hold the draft, the commissioner of the league sets up the league files using the Windows game and then uploads them to the Online Drafting website.  From there, the entire draft is held online, in real-time.  After the draft, the commissioner downloads the files and imports them back into the Windows game so that league play can commence. 
2) Expanded Boxscore
- An option has been added to display an expanded boxscore.  The expanded boxscore will show another section that lists each player's field goal breakdowns, showing how many field goals he scored from each section of the court - 3 Pt, Outside, Penetration, Inside, and Fastbreak.  In addition, quarter-by-quarter totals for points, rebounds, and assists are shown for every player!  If a game goes into overtime, then a separate section is shown for each player's overtime totals (for multiple overtimes the totals for all overtimes are grouped in this section).  To enable expanded boxscores, use the League Options dialog and select the Expanded Boxscore in the "Boxscore - What" section.  You may also use the "Update Pref" button during a game to turn on expanded boxscores.
3) In-Game Play Account
- You can now view the Play Accounts on your boxscores during the game.  To add the play account to your in-game boxscore, click the "Update Pref" button during a game and select a boxscore option that includes the Play Accounts in the "Boxscore - What" section.
4) Automatic Generation of Computer Managers when using Auto Transactions
- A new checkbox has been added to the League Options Rules screen called "Automatically Regenerate Computer Manager after Transaction".  This checkbox controls what happens after a transaction has been processed.  If this box is checked, then the game will automatically regenerate the computer manager for any team involved in a transaction.  This will allow Autoplay to continue on without any manual intervention.  However, if this box is left unchecked, then Autoplay will be stopped after the transaction has been processed.  This will allow you to manually adjust the computer manager to account for the player moves. 
5) Import Team Nicknames
- This feature will allow you to import nicknames for teams. Strat-O-Matic cannot distribute the team nicknames due to licensing restrictions.  However, using this feature, you can create your own list of nicknames that can be imported.  Instead of manually typing in nicknames every time you buy a new league, now you'll be able to do this once, then import the nicknames for each league in a matter of seconds.
6) Automatic Transactions
- Automatic transactions have been changed so that the .TRN file now refers to the 3-letter team abbreviation instead of to the team nickname.  For stock Strat-O-Matic leagues, this should not be a problem as the 3-letter team abbreviation and the Nickname are the same.  This change allows you to alter the team abbreviations without having to alter the league's .TRN file.  This will be a convenience, especially when using the new Import Team Nicknames feature.
7) Playing Safe
- Support for the Playing Safe rule change has been added.  Now when playing safe the defender's X-Col is reduced one level as an additional penalty for using this strategy.
8) Process Opening Day Transactions
- After the Opening Day Transactions are processed, you will now see a dialog box that allow you to automatically regenerate the computer managers for all teams. 
9) Most Productive Performances
- The formatting has been improved for this report.  The background in the main body of the report when run from the League Stats menu item was previously too dark.  Additionally, when this report was run in PRT format from the Batch Reporting menu item, it previously did not fit across the page properly.
10) Help File
- Microsoft does not offer a Winhelp Viewer for Windows 8.1 or later.  To allow you to view the contents of the Help File, we have converted our Help File to RTF format, which is readable using Wordpad or any Word Processing software.  The file is located in the Bin folder of the game and it is named "Strat-O-Matic Basketball Help Contents.rtf". 
11) Transaction Files
- Thanks to gamer Karl Coleman new transaction files have been added for the following seasons: 
  • 2014-15 NBA
  • 1965-66 NBA
  • 1967-68 ABA
  • 1969-70 ABA
            You must reinstall a fresh copy of these seasons in order to have access to these files.
12) New Seasons
- Support for the 2014-15 NBA, 1965-66 NBA, and 1967-68 ABA seasons have been added to the program.
1) Schedule Batch Change
 - If multiple teams were checked, the selected status (autoplay, manual, etc.) was only being set for the first team that had a check mark.
2) Replacing Free Throw Shooter
- When a player fouled out, any player could be substituted on either team, including the player who was about to shoot free throws (he is now prevented from being subbed for).
3) Computer Manager Report
- Fixed spelling error.
4) Blogger
- The Blogger interface has been replaced, as we are no longer able to authenticate your blog credentials using the Blogger API.
5) Player Notebook
- Assigning an encyclopedia to the notebook was sometimes causing the program to hang when viewing the notebook during a game.
6) Encyclopedia
- If two players on different team had the same name, the encyclopedia was displaying the same bio information for both players.  Note: In order to fix this your encyclopedias needs to be recreated.
7) Encyclopedia
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's name was not showing properly in the encyclopedia. 
Note: These data fixes cannot be used for seasons already in-progress.  You must reinstall a fresh copy of these rosters in order to see these changes.
1968-69 Changes
  • Ken Wilburn moved from Denver to Minnesota

1992-93 Changes

  • Alan Ogg, Washington - Outside column s/b all blanks, not all O's
1970-71 ABA Changes
  • Arvesta Kelly moved from Pittsburg to Carolina
  • Bobby Croft moved from Texas to Kentucky
  • Charles Beasley moved from Texas to Florida