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Main / Dragons / Blowing Smoke Search Forum
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posted: 2019-03-23 19:11:42 (ID: 100137872) Report Abuse
Nice article guys!! Thanks for taking the time to write it.

Now onto my what a disappointing half season. Not sure where i went wrong, now I need to try to get rid of some coaches and players and get ready for next season.
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punch drunk
Dark Matter


Joined: 2014-12-05/S15
Posts: 1576
Top Manager

posted: 2019-03-23 22:40:39 (ID: 100137893)  Edits found: 1 Report Abuse
Congrats on your win Monster. You've only beat me twice ever and both were this season.

My team sure played inexplicably poorly today. I call bull shit on this play

3:21 3 and 10 to go on opp 43, Yannis Baudry (OC) snaps the ball to Pierre – Antoine Saulnier (QB), Pierre – Antoine Saulnier (QB) selected Simon Dubos (WR/L) as target, the receiver of this inner left pass catches the ball, Luke Purdy (FS/R) missed his chance for a tackle, this was a 43 yards pass (Wishbone vs. 5-2) more
3:04 touchdown more

For some unknown reason my D played run D when it's orders are PASS D in this situation. Also found a couple other times my D wasn't playing what it was ordered to.

Oh well. Pete and his shitty game engine.. Yes pete. It is shitty..

Good luck!

Last edited on 2019-03-23 22:42:14 by punch drunk

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posted: 2019-03-26 21:06:47 (ID: 100137987) Report Abuse
Thanks for the wishes Punch

Happy to have defeated Jonny's prediction aha.

Still can't believe I prevailed against 2 North Teams on my way to the Elite League

Can't wait to get my ass kicked as badly as during my first 1.1 season... 10 seasons ago ! What an anniversary aha
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posted: 2019-03-26 21:08:43 (ID: 100137988) Report Abuse
Congrats to monster and dissolve for making it to the dragon bowl!
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posted: 2019-03-26 21:25:34 (ID: 100137990) Report Abuse
well done guys great achievement
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posted: 2019-03-27 09:23:39 (ID: 100138009) Report Abuse
Yeah congratulations guys!
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Jonny Utah
Chelt Nam Bobbers

England   Jonny Utah owns a supporter account

Joined: 2015-02-18/S15
Posts: 1425
Top Manager

posted: 2019-04-29 20:31:41 (ID: 100139370)  Edits found: 1 Report Abuse
Not sure how I posted that twice, gonna blame my phone

Last edited on 2019-04-30 09:05:51 by Jonny Utah

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Jonny Utah
Chelt Nam Bobbers

England   Jonny Utah owns a supporter account

Joined: 2015-02-18/S15
Posts: 1425
Top Manager

posted: 2019-04-29 20:31:41 (ID: 100139369) Report Abuse
It's Blowing Smoke time again!

To celebrate Monster's 4th RZA birthday, and a belated celebration of making Elite, we'll be doing a slightly different episode today.
Hopefully you'll find this one interesting and not too narcissistic, if not then... well... we don't care cuz that's narcissism for you

So congratulations Monster! Did you think you'd be here four years later when you started? Did the game instantly grab you?

Aha thanks dear Jonny, too bad we didn't celebrate your 4th birthday

Well, at first I saw how complete & complex RZA was, but I was also playing -TOG-. I didn't really got into RZA before several & several seasons, I just bought average (Zweig) & Excellent (Nik') QB and kept rollin' in 2.2.

Then my focus shifted gradually from -TOG- to RZA, for the better

Though we joined in the same region in a relatively short span, could you tell us (me) how did you start here ?

Jonny: Total random chance! I don't really play games, never played an American Football manager game before, but bored at work i thought i'd see if there were any out there. I read some reviews and this one had loads of people saying it's too hard, it takes forever to get anywhere, the guys who've been here forever can't be caught, and i thought this sounds like a challenge! I was pretty much hooked straight away.

I'm glad your focus shifted so what do you feel made the difference last season that got you to Elite? I think the thing that helped me was a massive coaching overhaul, was there any major changes or was it a case of player development and the pieces fitting just right?

Monster :
Well, If you ask punch, the answer would be... Luck Lots of managers got there before, and I don't know if one single answer would win the votes. The interesting question would be : how to maintain there

Jonny: The easy answer is luck again! I'm only mildly joking there. Planning as much as possible for future seasons is important in my view, being ready for players retiring helps a lot, but many managers do well by getting vets off the transfer market to fills the holes, works really well if you get them early enough to sort their TC out before the new season.
Luck definitely plays a part in it though and it's important to remember that when the game starts to have a negative affect on you. Whether it's one game that makes the difference between staying up and relegating or players capping too early, it's something you can't control, it sucks, but if you can't control it you've gotta let it wash over you and move on to the next.

Four years seems like quite a long time now It's strange thinking back to when I first started and how overwhelming, to an extent, this game felt, looking back to when you started is there anything you wish you'd done differently in those first few seasons?

Yeah, planning and managing your salaries are very important indeed, my new-look offense will testify that too much this season unfortunately

Well, I would have gone to the forum more often at the time to avoid making rookie mistakes aha, I didn't really get the game functionning until S25-26, before that I drafted my players based on their positions and talent ratings and I would have much more money on my RZA account too thanks to avoiding buying average and expensive vets and missing the SC playoffs !!

Playoffs are very lucrative right ?

Jonny: heck yeah they are, a good playoff run can be huge for a new team. There's been occasional talk about the idea of seeding the Super Cup playoffs so the best teams are rewarded for a strong group phase, I'm not in favour of this because I love the way young teams can often make a good run with a bit luck in the draw

I definitely made the same mistakes as you with drafts and players off the transfer market. Some of the TM players though were definitely worth it, I bought players before finishing my stadium, I would do the same again as I planned my finances for the offseason and it gave me a head start on training up the young guys. I should've paid more attention to their physicals though

Let's talk about team building. As a very brief overview I went about mine by deciding on playbook principles first then getting the players I needed. When I started I saw the Flexbone and thought "excellent, I'm building a triple option team!" But realised quite quickly I wouldn't get away playing just one formation without an array of plays to chose from or design.
I'm still sticking to split backs as much as possible, I like the concept of the RZA triple option, definitely more to work on now QB rushing has been added. I'll be scouting the Bandits when it comes to this

What's been your process in building the team and are there any elements you feel have been important to maintain over the seasons?

Monster :
I think you can't really enjoy success in the long run with low salaries, and/or pass out of SG4 on any single play. That's why I focus a lot on personel, I don't want my whole team to rely on my QB, as he, then, takes a beating all games long.

About personel, if you are motivated enough to look for it, all things said in my Coaches itw by Punch Drunk is true at first I had an excellent QB, solid CB and nice WRs, then I enhanced my OL an front 7 and became better.

Success (roster ) costs money, but it aslo gives you money, so it's all about balance (again).

I remember you earned quite some wins while running on a reduced budget before investing and then promoting to Elite, how did you manage to get so much win with that much of a bargain ?

Jonny: Back then i had a lot of average players, which kept wages really low, but also meant i could play a lot of players, which i believe kept then fresh throughout the game and made them competative.
I also used to put a lot of effort into game planning, i had a boring job and only one child at home, when we had our second and i got a much better job i realised i literally don't have any time for that now, so i trained up my players to stay competative without all the planning.
Oh, and i didn't use SG4

So what's your draft policy? I really try to stick with the "best player available" philosophy, but it can be suprisingly difficult when you feel you've got a need or really want to take a punt that the two trait LB won't have any physical caps! I will fully admit i've definitely not made the most of a lot of my drafts.

Monster :
For the draft, I really focus on the 1st round, and consider the rest as a sort of an extra. When I am lucky enough to draft late, I sometimes take a chance on a player with some flaws. That's how I got a 49 STR 48 SPD LB at #30, because he was 23yo at the time of the draft. Overall I try to follow the BPA way, as because I'm a bad planner, I'm usually not able to predict my needs seasons in advance so it makes no sense for me to go for need

I think I grantly benefitted from then enhanced player development, as I'm paying far less attention to the TM as I've been in the past, do you feel the same about the market ?

Jonny: It's definitely harder to make money off the TM than it was previously, and not just because of the tax. People seem a lot more switched on to get players with high physicals and talent, and there's more of those players around.
This has been good for me as i never used the TM to make money, i think it's caused a lot difficulty for teams where use of the TM was a big part of their plans. In theory these changes are good for parity.

Have any of the changes, since we started, had a major effect on you? I've seen a lot of teams totally re-do their playbook since the lopsided rules came in.

Monster :
Well, I've seen much less SG addicts, so I'd say my defense greatly benefitted from it
One major change I'd say is the Mediacenter, collaboring together in order to get more money and have a competitive team when you fight against other regions in the SC (and, eventually the CoC) is really is good idea and I love it !

The game changes, so does the players ! I feel old when I think about some of the old dominating managers that left, did any of them let a big print on your playing style ?

Jonny: None influenced my playing style, my aim was to try and be different with my offence so the only way anyone influenced that was by me not wanting to do what they were doing
Looking at coaching set-ups and player builds by the top teams has definitely helped, i've scouted just about all the teams that have won the Elite league, these are the guys worth watching and i'd be missing a trick if i didn't try to pick something up from them

You're right the mediacentre has been a massive change, it's essentially raised everyone's budget. Why do you think Dragons 1 finds it hard to make as money as some of the other regions? Ignore bot filled leagues of course.

Monster :
Wild guess here, I'd say maybe the rivalries are stronger and we had a lot of turnovers in recent seasons so we don't have as much of a cohesion within our region. Furthermore our region forum hasn't always been the most active one, but I've heard that or two crazy men tried an original theme out there

Jonny: Oh those guys, pair of lunatics! It is worth checking out the other regions' forums, there's loads going on out there, season and teams reviews like ours, halls of fame, designs of the teams jerseys in their division, and i think it's Thunder that has their own Facebook group.

If anyone would like to do any of these things for the dragons it'd be greatly appreciated

Ok, here's a couple of slightly more personal questions, they're not bad ones
How long did you spend thinking about your jersey design/colours? And...
Have you ever kept a player for sentimental reason who you propabaly should've let go?

Monster :
Well, just like many managers out here I think, I didn't spend much time for the jersey's designs. That may explain why they are not as good looking, to say the least

As for holding onto the players for too long, I may have been guilty, especially for the player I drafted. Sometimes I get the replacement but hold onto the older player...

Other times I just should have the aforementioned player at all aha... I was a pretty bad player buyer back in my early days on RZA, that kept my finances from flourishing

But know holding onto players too long can cost up to 1M$ per u p d a t e so I might become more greedy

Since you were able to keep your team on a reduced bankroll for some time, I guess you didn't have the same problem ?

Jonny: That's true, i'm fairly well off. I wanted to not have to worry about occasionally going over yearly budget and i like changing coaches a lot, just to see what will happen. One day, if i do decide not to play this game anymore (it's not going to happen any time soon ), and i haven't spent it all, i might have a masive push for trophies.

Are there any teams you really like because of a particular way they play the game? Such as a different approach to coaches or use of a highly skilled single postion group? I think i've said before about my admiration of Pumas' 43 defence, if anyone says they're not doing so well then i think that's for financial reasons over their defensive abilities!

Monster :
Yeah I remember having heard about these Pumas defenses Personally I'll talk about the Erudite Linstock LB's ! I mean you could thay could make an ad with a catchphrase that would sound like "Linstock's ! Harrassing QB's since 2016 !" I mean, how they dominated the Sacks stat column year in and year out... It's insane !!

Weirdly enough, we both thought about defense ! Maybe you could tell something that impressed you on offense ? After all, this game is about moving the ball up the field

Jonny: That's true, but there's not much I've seen that's made me think "wow, that's different!" I liked how quickly the Bandits made use of the QB rushing though, and to great effect. I really need to bring that aspect into my playbook, I can't really call mine the RZA Triple Option as I never use one of my options! Need a quicker QB first though.

Holy crap, it's the 29th! Ok last question; it's been four years, how much longer do you see yourself playing this game for? Ok, two questions, and what are you plans for the future of your Colts? Or is this to be kept secret

Monster :
I plan on playing as long as it's fun aha ! I'm not into setting a time goal, as you don't know what the future has in reserve.
As for my Colts, I plan on being a better manager, I got 3 starters on offense that retired after last season (1 QB, 1 WR and 1 OL) and I didn't have a proper replacement at QB so next time i'll try to be properly ready

I guess yourz is winning this Conference ?

Jonny: I want to build a winning 43 D
Conference and Bowl would obviously be nice, but my team's in a bit of a transition phase at the moment, might be a few seasons before I can potentially challenge for that, I also might need to get back into the Elite by that point.

We've reached the end folks and as it's Monster's 4th RZA birthday I'd very much like it if after reading this episode you would stand up and sing happy birthday to Monster, no matter where you are or who's around you

Monster :
Well don't worry, folks, I'd be very happy if it would be used as an excuse for you to enjoy a beer

So that's it for this special episode, maybe more self-focused than older episodes, we wanted to do something different and this 4 year excuse had a perfect timing

See you soon (?) for another Blowing Smoke episode
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posted: 2019-04-29 21:26:11 (ID: 100139371) Report Abuse
great article guys thank for doing this narcism or not makes me smile and learn alot
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posted: 2019-04-30 21:27:28 (ID: 100139397) Report Abuse
Thanks guys. always a good read
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