Strat-O-Matic Football 2013 New Features

More Realism, Excitement for Windows Football

By Glenn Guzzo
            The excitement that the NFL’s new breed of running quarterbacks add can be duplicated with new rules for the “Pistol Offense” in Strat-O-Matic’s forthcoming release of its Windows Pro Football game.
            Another optional feature will emulate up-tempo NFL offenses’ ability to call more plays per minute and for clock-milking offenses to shorten the game for their opponents. A third will prevent low-use, high-gain running backs from distorting offensive play calling.
            These advances in realism are part of Strat-O-Matic Football 2013, which, when released in August, will have more than a dozen other improvements.
            Only certain NFL quarterbacks who actually ran the Pistol Offense with some regularity will have the option to do so. That’s Cam Newton for Carolina, Colin Kaepernick for San Francisco, Russell Wilson for Seattle and Robert Griffin III for Washington. Retroactively, 2011 Newton and 2011 Tim Tebow for Denver will have that option as well.
            These quarterbacks all have better End Run cards when guessed Right by the defense than other quarterbacks and are permitted two more End Runs per game than other QBs. When running the Pistol, as opposed to running plays from the customary Shotgun Formation, their running backs will be able to run off tackle and not only through the middle. This gives Pistol offenses the ability to attack in any direction, with the shotgun’s advantages for passing. That will force linebackers and safeties into tough decisions – especially since each of these teams have potent running backs as well.
            Intended only for historical NFL replays involving stock teams (not custom leagues), this optional rule will improve statistical accuracy by reflecting each team’s offensive play frequency. No-huddle offenses will run more plays per minute. Deliberate offenses will run fewer.
            This is strictly a Windows-game feature and it is in force only for the NFL, not college football.
            “The pace rating is an internal computer rating that is not visible to the gamer,” SOM explains. “However, the pace rating will improve statistical accuracy, as the total number of plays from scrimmage will be much closer to historical numbers when the option is used – especially for certain teams that ran a very fast-paced offense (such as the 2012 New England Patriots).”
            There’s a new solution for gamers who have been frustrated by opponents’ reliance on little-used running backs whose statistical performance was distorted by their low use in real life.
            For running backs (not quarterbacks or wide receivers) who averaged fewer than four carries per game the big gains on their cards will be reduced to their actual average per carry whenever the white die is 2 or 3 (not for white die 1 or for rolls on the defensive cards) and the game is not a blowout.
            The rule is a bit more specific – the gain will be rounded to the nearest yard of the back’s average. And the rule applies when the lead is lower than 15 or 22 points, depending on the average carries of the back. But this will take away the confidence of a play-caller who thinks he can defeat a pass defense by bringing in a little-used back with dynamite Wrong columns.
            Draft leagues will love an innovation that adds low-yardage completions to the Flat Pass sections of the Draft League Defense Cards. Gains (mostly +1s, +2s, and +3s) with 1 Man in Zone and 2 Men in Zone will increase completion percentage without distorting yardage, while making it easier to gain a first down with a Flat Pass on 3rd and 1-3 yards to go. That better simulates today’s NFL.
            As always, the new Windows game will support Strat-O-Matic’s latest season releases, official NFL and NCAA rule changes and social-media provider changes. Support for the 2012 NFL, 1971 NFL, 1988 NFL, and 1983 USFL seasons has been added to the Pro game. Support for the 2012 season has been added to the College game.
            Strat-O-Matic Football 2013 will eliminate a few bugs and correct some player/team data errors from previous seasons. It also offers more information and convenience when displaying various game reports and statistical reports (see items 4-8 and 13 below).
1) Pistol Offense – *PRO-GAME ONLY, NOT AVAILABLE FOR COLLEGE* – An exciting new offense has hit the NFL and now it is available for your Strat-O-Matic leagues. The Pistol Offense can only be utilized by Quarterbacks who actually ran it in real-life. Just like real-life, these Pistol Quarterbacks bring a new dimension to the game.
2) Historical Team Pace – *PRO-GAME ONLY, NOT AVAILABLE FOR COLLEGE* – This optional Game Rule adds to the statistical accuracy for historical replays of seasons. The option is not available for the Custom Leagues with Stock Teams and Custom Leagues with Free Agency. When this option is selected the time that comes off of the clock for each play will be affected by the team’s real-life pace. The pace rating is an internal computer rating that is not visible to the gamer. However, the pace rating will improve statistical accuracy, as the total number of plays from scrimmage will be much closer to historical numbers when the option is used – especially for certain teams that ran a very fast-paced offense (such as the 2012 New England Patriots).
3) Low-Usage Running Back Containment Rule – This optional new Game Rule is designed to prevent low-usage high-average running backs from dominating games. Some of these backs have outstanding cards, which mirror their real-life averages. However, often times these backs accumulated large totals on a relatively small number of carries because they were used in blow-outs against second-team defenses, or because they ran draw plays in obvious passing situations. In short, while their cards reflect their real-life averages those average do not necessarily reflect their real-life abilities. This rule places containment limitations on these running backs that will limit their ability to dominate games. Please see the text of the entire rule in the Football Rules.PDF file to gain a complete understanding of how this rule is implemented.
4) Possession Chart Improvements – A number of improvements have been made to the Possession Chart:
  • If a punt results in a fumble that is recovered by the punting team then a new (and separate) possession is now listed in the chart for that team.
  • The definition of a "play" in the chart has been improved so that certain game situations (such as false starts or when timeouts are called) are no longer counted as plays.
  • If an interception is returned for a TD that will also be counted as a play by the offensive team.
  • College overtime periods now display in a format that helps you determine which possession came when. The first college overtime possession will be listed as "OT 1A". The second possession of the first overtime will be shown as "OT 1B", the first possession of the second overtime will be "OT 2A", etc.
  • College overtime possessions have been improved so that consecutive possessions by a team are listed separately. Consecutive possessions by teams occur, for example, on possession "1B" and "2A" (as described in the previous bullet point).
  • If the offensive team fumbles the ball and it is recovered by them for a touchdown then the Drive Result should be "Touchdown" instead of "Fumble".
  • When the half ends on a kickoff the final drive shown will now display the kickoff but it will display blanks for the Drive Began and Last Scrm fields since the drive did not officially begin with a play from scrimmage.
  • Better penalty handling code has been added. For example, penalties called on the punting team were being added to the possession chart when they should not have been.
5) Easier Way To Display Team Notebook – The Team Notebook can now be displayed by clicking the team name in the upper-left hand portion of the scoreboard.
6) Card Image, Play Percentage, So Far Today – These three dialogs now save their positions and show/hide status from game to game, so you no longer have to manually show and position them.
7) Team Roster Report – The Team Roster Report has been greatly improved. It now includes sections showing the real-life passing, rushing, and receiving statistics of players on the roster. The year and team code of the player is now shown for all players, which is handy for draft leagues. And the players are now sorted alphabetically to make it easier to locate them.
8) Free Agent Roster Report – A new League report has been added that displays all of the players in the Free Agent pool. This report shows the same information displayed on the Team Roster Report. This will be a handy report for draft leagues to use when the commissioner wants to post a list of available free agents for his league members.
9) Draft League Defense – The Draft League Defense Cards have been improved. All of the changes are to the flat pass columns to add some more very small gains (mostly +1s, +2s, and +3s) to the 1 MIZ and 2 MIZ columns to a) increase completion percentage without increasing yardages much at all and b) make it easier to gain a first down with a flat pass on 3rd and 1-3 yards to go (something which is too difficult compared to how it is in the NFL).
10) College Football Real-Life Rule Changes – Support has been added for the following rules changed in college football starting with the 2012 season:
  • Kickoffs will be moved up to the 35 yard line from the 30, mirroring a similar change by the NFL in the 2011 season and rescinding a rule change made in the 2007 season.
  • Touchbacks will move from the 20 yard line to the 25 yard line only on kickoffs and free kicks after a safety. Touchbacks on punts rolling into the end zone, fumbles into the end zone, and interceptions in the end zone will remain at the 20-yard line.
11) Pro Football Real-Life Rule Changes – Support has been added for using the new Overtime Rule in the regular season as well, starting in the 2012 season.
12) Computer Manager Improvement in Overtime – The computer manager logic has been updated so that it will recognize situations using the new Pro Game Overtime Rule where on 4th down a team should always go for it (and not punt). In these cases, if the team were to punt (which is how it previously worked) then the team that punted would lose. For example, say that the team that received the kickoff in Overtime kicked a field goal. Then, on the ensuing possession the other team faced a 4th and 10 from its own 20. That team must go for it because punting would result in their losing the game according to the new overtime rule.
13) League Standings Report – A column has been added to this report showing you the current Win/Loss/Tied streak for each team.
14) Social Media Updates – Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr all reworked their APIs since we released the Social Media features. Tumblr dropped support for our type of desktop applications, so we can no longer offer support for that service. Facebook and Twitter rewrote their APIs, and we have updated our Social Media program to use their new APIs. You will see some differences in how things work due to the changes introduced by Facebook and Twitter. Please refer to the Social Media topic for more information.
15) Data Fixes – Thanks to Fred Bobberts and Mike Kane we are including a number of data corrections with Version 2013. Please see the list below for complete details on which cards have been updated.
16) Support for New Seasons – Support for the 2012 NFL, 1971 NFL, 1988 NFL, and 1983 USFL seasons has been added to the Pro game. Support for the 2012 season has been added to the College game.

1) In rare circumstances a roughing penalty was not being marked off from the concluding line of scrimmage.
2) In League Manager when you imported one of the Generic defensive CMs, everything seemed fine. But when you quit out of League Manager altogether and went back in, the choice of CM was wiped out and the CM, which was there before you imported the Generic CM, is there.
3) The sorting on the main League Manager screen has been improved so that the teams are listed by won-loss percentage in all circumstances. Previously a team that was 0-3 might be listed ahead of a team that was 0-2.
4) When a safety occurred that was wiped out by a penalty the safety would sometimes continue to show in the Scoring Plays section of the boxscore and would be counted on the Out Of Town Scoreboard.
5) The Game Story would sometimes list a play that was called back due to penalty as the biggest play of the game.
6) Defensive penalties that are automatic first downs were not getting credited as first down by penalty if the resulting line of scrimmage was not past the first down marker. For example, this could happen on 3rd and 20 with a defensive personal foul for roughing (15 yard penalty) if the play resulted in a gain of less than 5 yards.
7) Sometimes return fumbles were being added into the player’s Rushing Fumbles field instead of into his Other Fumbles field.
8) Sending the "@" character in the Netplay chat area on the bottom of the game screen was causing crashes. The "@" character will be changed to "-" to prevent this from happening.
9) Netplay games were getting out of sync due to the Out Of Town Scoreboard only being valid on one machine. Therefore, the Out Of Town Scoreboard has been disabled for multiplayer games.
10) Running a double-reverse with a Flanker while using the Tight End offense was crashing the game because there is no Split End in that formation to hand the ball off to. 
11) Free Kicks after a Safety should be counted as kickoffs and kickoff returns in the stats package, but this was not happening (the stats were not registering at all).
12) When using the College Draft League Defensive Cards in a college draft league the Long Gain and Short Gain charts were still being adjusted based upon the team mismatch rankings, which should not happen in a Draft League.

You will need to reinstall all of the following seasons that you are using:
1965, Fixed:
Henry Schmidt, Buffalo, DE/DT, added DE, s/b PR4 rated 4
Pete Mills, WR, Buffalo, deleted DE, added SE/FLKR and receiving card
1968, Fixed:
Preston Pearson, HB/KR, Baltimore, receiving stat line s/b 2 catches for 70 yards, 35.0 average, longest 61*, 2 TDs
1977, Fixed:
Marty Domres, QB, New York (A), long pass defense wrong interception split s/b 2-3 in 11 spot
1978, Fixed:
Broderick Jones, DB, Cleveland, deleted as duplicate (s/b Ricky Jones)
1984 USFL, Fixed:
Michigan Panthers SADV Short Pass / Long Pass defense card, +13 completions in five spots 3 men and 4 men in zone s/b in four spots
Pittsburgh Maulers SADV Short Pass / Long Pass defense card, interception split in 9 spot 4 men in zone s/b 2-5.
New Jersey Maurice Clemons should be Clemmons
Michigan Will Cokely should be Cokeley
Oakland Kevin Grafliss should be Graffis
Memphis Ron Mikojaczyk should be Mikolajczyk
New Jersey Brian Millard should be Bryan
1989, Fixed:
Kenny Gamble, HB, Kansas City, receiving stat line s/b 2 catches for 2 yards, 2.0 average, longest 6, 0 TDs
Tony Zendejas, K, Houston, longest FG range s/b 33-37 yard line
1993, Fixed:
Curt Simmons, DE, Philadelphia, team abbreviation should be PHN
2010, Fixed:
Mark Sanchez, QB, New York (A), End Run 5 spot keyed s/b fumble -8
Eric Weems, PR, Atlanta, Punt Return #2 s/b touchdown
2011, Fixed:
Cam Newton, Carolina, Has been given the Pistol Quarterback designation
Tim Tebow, Denver, has been given the Pistol Quarterback designation
Miami Advanced Pass Rush s/b 2, 6-7, 11** (cards only)
Devin Hester, Chicago, WR/RET- #2 on kick return s/b touchdown
Lance Kendricks, BB/TE, St. Louis, receiving stat line s/b 1 carry for -8 yards, -8.0 average, longest -8, 0 TDs
Aaron Hernandez, New England, s/b listed on his card as a TE/BB/SE. As a TE he is covered by the strong safety (cards only)
Leodis McKelvin, Buffalo, PR, 7, 8 and 12 spots on return columns s/b OPR results