2016-07-08 11:50

Chapter 01 - Getting Started
Version 1.2.0 - 02.07.2018

So you decided to be an American Football coach and manager?

Well ... we will see ....

Welcome to the game!

You got your team now and will have to get used to all the big and small tools to manage your team successfully.
I want to give you a hand with those first steps and bring you on the same level as all other managers are, or should be ...

Where to start?
The first step should be to fulfil your manager license.
You will get money for every completed task (75.000$ for each task) which will help you big time to start your franchise initially.

Before we start with the walkthrough of the licence tasks I feel the need to give out a warning.
Many managers do start the game and treat it like it’s a full simulation of a NFL franchise. Hire players, hire coaches, hire staff and so on, before they have a good overview of the game.
This leads to big problems, so my advice here is, DON’T HIRE ANYBODY BEFORE YOU DID UNDERSTAND THE BASICS.
In best case you do read the manual, my guide and s e l e c t a mentor in the forum before you start making big splashes on the transfer market and even worse, the coaches market.

Back to the licence.

The game will give you reminders about the not completed tasks of the licence until you finish it, so don't worry about a link, but if you like to know:
You always find the link on your teams overview page on the right side, next to your team name as a certification icon (if the license not finished, it has a red bar over it).
It's a good idea to finish the tasks almost in order, but you might have finished some already because you were curious and browsed through the pages, which is a good thing!
You get the money for calling up the pages at the first time. Nobody is tracking your surf behaviour or your knowledge. So no real tests and this is only a get-used-to-the-pages-license, not a learn-to-play-in-detail-licence. The details you will learn over time and hopefully you take away a few details and tricks by reading this guide.
Still, read all texts on the license page, and later the manual, it helps a lot.

#1 - Enter the FAQ.
That's a good start. You can reach that point through the "Help/FAQ" link on the top of page.
Most of the stuff is self-explaining.
I will come to many of those points during this guide step by step.
But I suggest reading the FAQ, because it's directly from the source of the game.

Read it and at least remember where it stood.

#2 - Walk through the manual
It should be called RTFM - READ THE F*peeeep* MANUAL, but the admins don't want to be too harsh, so they were polite.
It's essential that you read that stuff.
This should give you a good start and if something is not well explained, ask for clarification on the forum or at least search for the topic on the forum (link is under "Forum/Forums" or "Forum/search forums").
I will explain many of those things later in this guide from a different perspective.

#3 - Watch your players list
You can find here an overview over your squad, sorted by Offense, Defense, Special Team and Youth Academy and on each of those groups by positions (link is under “Team/Players”)
Your initial squad is a bunch of random created players, talented, not so talented and fillers. Old guys, youngsters and mid-agers.
Sorted by their randomly given initial positions and by Offense, Defense and Special Teams.

The POS position shows the position the player is assigned to at the moment.
You can change that in the player details (that's the next task).
The stars under RAT shows you the rating of the player at that position at the moment. If you change the position, the rating will change, too.
If you train your player and he gains some skill points on the right, needed skills or when he gets more experienced, his rating will go up and he will have more stars.

The rating is NOT a guarantee for a good player, it's only an indicator, based on a simple (but unknown) formula.
It basically calculates all position relevant skills and other values together and the result is displayed as stars.

The MOR stands for the moral value of that player.
Moral will rise and fall, depended on your success on the field, your training facilities and other things.

PC stands for physical condition and gives you an instant overview of the ... well ... physical condition of your player.
It should be at least in the 90s, so at the start you will have to train it early and more to get it in the right value area.

Please note on TOP of the page the HINT with the links. They allow a download of the roster in different formats.
This helps a lot, if you track your squad with excel or whatever program you like to work with, which can process tables.

#4 - Check your players details
Ah ... now we get to the first real management task (access to players details page is possible where ever you can see players, except stats pages).
You start with a bunch of amateurs, of whom some have to chance to become pro players.

I do suggest to first work yourself through the licence and do other stuff, before you do on details the rework of your roster, but feel free to play around if you like. To complete the licence it is enough to call the details of one single player.

Later you have to go through your complete roster and have to evaluate their skills, talent, age, teamwork and intelligence.

Once you made up your mind about the supposed players position you can adjust his position with the combo box and pressing the button SET.
The green hook will show you the successful change.

You will also have to adjust the training setting.
Once you made up your mind regarding the position you should train him in one of the primary skills and for the start on physical condition with a higher percentage than 50%.
Once your squad has reached the 90s in PC, you can switch that to any setup you think is best for your team and your player.
With STORE the training settings are stored (wow!) and a green hook shows the success.

Oh .. wait a minute ...

How should you evaluate your players?
That’s the reason I did suggest to wait on that task a bit.
I will explain the evaluation process to you later.

#5 - Set match settings
You should do this later, after #6 and maybe #7
With #6 you will set a depth chart, with #7 a playbook.
AFTER that stuff it makes sense to set up a match setting.

#6 and #7 done? OK, the settings are important.

The settings are the first step to control the behaviour of your players on the field (link is behind every game you find under “Games/Games”).
The second step is the playbook, which overrides some rules of the game settings, if a rule for the game situation exists.

You should not change much in the beginning, maybe the substitution rule "At which level of Fitness / Energy you want start to substitute your players?" or the kicking distance "Try Fieldgoal instead punting on 4th down when distance".
You should set the depth chart and the playbook (normally "standard") and your playing style for each down.
I suggest a more running oriented style, since in the beginning your QB and your WRs are bad and the running game is much easier.

You should set a default setting (at the bottom "make this your default"), to prevent a bad setting if you forget to set a setting on a game once in a while.
The engine will pick the default and it will be OK.

You can save the setup with a name like "initial setup" or whatever and then you can make a quick setup on the "Games/Games" pages with a few clicks from now on.

For the licence it's not needed to setup THE final setup, any will do.

#6 - Set your depth chart
For the licence it's OK to set up any line-up.

Later you will have to do this in details and with a bit more analysis and plan.

Go to the team menu and s e l e c t the depth chart menu point (link under “Team/Depth Chart”).
Let's start with the standard depth chart. As a supporter you can later setup additional depth charts, for example for cup games, BOT games or friendlies.
You can now s e l e c t a specific position, like the QB and you get your complete roster under the position window.
Now you have to s e l e c t each player to play on the QB position by pressing the ">"-Button.
The player will be set as a QB (under POS) in the players list and more important he will also be visible right to the players list as "Your depth chart for QB:"
If you have more than one player you can setup a ranking.
The first player is the starter; second the backup and so on.

You should do this for every position, even for positions your playbook will NOT play, like NT if you play only a 4-3 defense.
You never know, when you need it.

The depth chart will help you in every game if everything is OK, but more important it will help you if you have missed something or something went wrong, like an injured player, a forgotten playbook setup and so on.
It should prevent a totally goofy line-up on gameday in most cases.
But it cannot prevent total chaos, if some real bad stuff happens like all QBs are injured at once. Bad luck.

You should fill it up in total (so 55 players), because if you don't do it, the engine will fill it up to the max on gameday and then you might have players on your game roster you didn't want. To be fair, the engine does a good job usually by doing so, so it is not that important to have 55 players on the roster.

All of your players have now a position they play on gameday, so let's move on.

#7 - Check the playbook
You can setup a playbook for offense and defense to play certain plays in certain situation.
These rules in a playbook will always have the highest priority, so they will override the game settings if the configured game situation happens.

You can specify these situations on offense through: quarter, on down, yards to go, distance to GL, score, clock, formation, pass/rush and direction.
You can specify these situations on defense through: quarter, on down, yards to go, Distance Goalline, score, on formation, use pass formation, use rush formation, prefer, LB Blitz % and SF Blitz %.

There are several wildcards "any" possible, so you can make general rules like last second FG or Hail-Mary-passes.

You don't have to setup rules in the first place, but you should consider some basic rules to avoid stupid engine decisions, like on 1st and 10, 15 yards from the GL, 10 seconds to play in the 4th quarter, behind 1 point and the engine decides for a FB dive, instead winning the game through a FG.
But since your players are amateurs at the start, don't bother about the rules yet, come back later and set some up.
Be aware that this can be really hard work, quite frustrating and you might even get the feeling you don’t get a grip on this. It might be a good idea to tackle this topic after you did get comfortable with all the other aspects of the game.

There is an example offense and defense playbook linked to the manual, you should have seen them, since you completed task #2, right?

There are 2 links to the playbook page, one over “Front Office/Playbook” and one over “Team/Playbook”.

#8 - Check the economy
The economy should be your number one priority at the start. Don't bother with getting better players or getting coaches.
First you have to setup the INCOME!
Income will come from TICKETS on gamedays (regular games, Supercup games, playoffs and free friendlies, no income from additional friendlies and friendly cups), merchandising from your shop, sponsors and selling players. Since a few seasons you can also get money from the mediacenter. You also get money at the beginning by completing the manager license, but that’s only a one-time event.
Setting up the stadium will be task #9 of the licence.
Selecting a sponsor is no task in the licence, so go and s e l e c t one now if not done yet! You will get additional money for your stadium setup. Go "Front Office/Sponsor".
You will get 3 sponsors to choose from. If you are in a league with many human teams, I suggest the one with the highest amount per u p d a t e and the lowest bonus on game wins, since you will not win many games in the beginning. If you play in a league with a lot of BOT teams, I suggest the sponsor with the lowest amount per u p d a t e and the highest bonus for wins, since you will likely win more games than you will lose.
If you like to have more details on the sponsors, deep down in the guide I do cover all financial aspects in detail.

Don't bother with the fanshop at the moment. Even it brings good income in small packages it's not worth to invest in it now, since you get bigger income through the stadium setup.

The licence task for economy is completed by calling the page (link “Front Office/Economy”).

#9 - Build your stadium
Visit the page(link “Front Office/Stadium”) and get the money. Now finish task #10, #11 and #12 and THEN come back!


Now put any dime you have into the stadium, but don't touch the already setup seats at the home sideline.
Build seats on the visitor’s sideline.
Please notice that you can only setup 1/10 VIP seats of the executive seats, and only 1/10 executive seats of the regular seats.
So the optimal new visitor sideline seats should be something like 1000 regular seats, 100 executive seats and 10 VIP seats or a multiple of that.
At the moment there is no limitation on when which seats are more preferred by the fans, so always max them out regarding the 1000/100/10 rule.
It doesn't make sense to put only regular seats in, because the income by those seats is the worst of all three categories!
There is more on stadium building in the next chapter!

#10 - Challenge another team for a friendly match
For this one, browse through the teams in your league (link “Games/League”, then klick on the team names to get to their overview page) and look for a team without a friendly match.
The challenge Button is the telephone icon on the chosen team’s overview page.
You should challenge for a free of charge friendly. Don't hesitate to challenge 10 to 20 teams, the engine will cancel all other challenges, once one team accepted your challenge.
Later you might use the challenging tool to get automatic friendlies regularly.
You can also ask for a friendly in the forum!

#11 - Set the training
Go to the training page (link under "Team/Training") and setup the training for your players (if not done while you checked your roster).
Remember, that physical condition should be your first priority in the beginning.
Once you have a better income you could also buy a mountain as first facility (I suggest NOT to do that, since you very likely need that facility only at the start and you will have to demolish it afterward, but feel free to do that, if you like) to get better results, but for the start you have to settle with training it with 50%-90% priority.

Licence only needs to page call-up for completing the task.

#12 - Check the Mentors page for additional help
This task is easy to complete (just go to "Help/Mentor") but you should also READ the infos on the page and even consider to contact one of those fine managers who volunteered to help new managers through the first phase of the game. Don’t feel offended if a mentor doesn’t answer you fast enough or never, some are quite busy, and some did volunteer ages ago and their personal situation might have changed a bit over the time. Simply ask another one or even ask for one in the forum.

Now you should have completed the whole license.
Build your stadium (I will tell you how to do this in the next chapter) and your life as a football manager begins!

So, now start to roll up your sleeves and get to the real work.

forward to Chapter 02 - Build a stadium
back to Chapter 00 – What’s this all about?

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