Tactical Roles control how individual players approach the game and contribute to the effectiveness of their team’s tactics. Tactical roles are assigned via the Role button on the Player tab of the tactics screen.
Assigning suitable tactical roles to your players is very important. Each player is assigned a numerical rating from 1-20 in every role he is eligible to play. The higher the numbers (they go up to 5), the better he performs that tactical role. Players are only assigned one tactical role; this guides their play in all situations.
Game Rating Effects
The tactical roles greatly influence how the Game Rating (GR) scores are calculated, particularly the Offensive and Defensive sub-ratings. Successes and failures in particularly important ways to the role are rewarded or penalized in larger amounts, while less important things affect the score to a lesser degree. For example, consider a player who loses a fight but gets an assist in a game. If the player had an Enforcer role, his GR would suffer significantly because of the fight loss and only be rewarded modestly for the assist (he’s out there to fight, not create offense; while that’s a nice bonus, it’s not his primary job.) However, if he had the Setup Man role, the penalty for losing the fight wouldn’t be as large, and the bonus for the assist would be larger (winning fights isn’t essential to his role, but setting up goals is, and he succeeded at that.) Remember, the GR scores indicate how well the player is performing the job he has been assigned – not just a simple measure of overall performance.
Tactical Role Attribute Effects
Individual Tactical Roles will slightly modify the player’s ratings to reflect what he’s been told to focus on. The descriptions of the roles will give you an idea of what exactly will be changed; for example, a player with the Punishing Defenceman role will have his Hitting attribute increased, so he hits more often and with greater success. However, there are also rating penalties applied in equal measure – that big-hitting defenceman will lose some of his Positioning ability, as he’ll tend to get out of position while looking to make a big hit.
In addition to the attribute changes mentioned above, some tactical roles have additional special effects while they’re on the ice, changing the attributes of opposing players or teammates:
Goons and Enforcers will reduce the opponent’s bravery unless countered by the presence of the opponent’s goons and enforcers.
Agitators will lower the Temperament attribute of opponents, leading them to take more penalties.
Crease-clearing Defencemen will lower the screening abilities to opposing forwards.
Shadows will reduce the ability of the opposing line’s best player to get into scoring position and make plays.