2016-07-08 12:34

Chapter 15 - Game settings or death
Version 1.2.0 - 17.07.2018

Regardless of the game type you have to play or want to play, the game settings have to be set up to ensure a good game performance. Because in case you did not set up a game setting for the game, the engine will get creative and that’s never a good thing. Normally that means your team will not play better than a BOT team, since no depth chart is selected and no rules for substitution and game plays are setup. Better avoid that and set up a default game setting, at least.

Once you did set up a default set and did save this, it gets a bit more secure.
With a default game setting you will have the security that you have at least THAT setup used if you might have forgotten to setup a game specific setting.
But this system can be corrupted. For example it can happen that you did delete you depth chart or your playbook for a new one and the old default game setting were not adjusted. In that case that nonsense setting is used and whenever there is no useful part available (no playbook, no depth chart) the engine will again become creative and you will very likely lose that game.

Step by step a game setting

Depth Chart
Let’s start with the selected depth chart. As non-supporter you just have one single one, so if you like to have different players playing in a friendly or an easy to win league- or Supercup-game you need to adjust that on the depth chart page. In the game settings it’s only stored which depth chart should be used and 1 hour before the game you can’t change that anymore in the settings or in the depth chart page.
If you are a supporter you have the choice to store different depth charts and you better use that. I suggest at least 2 different depth charts, the default one and a chart including all the prospects. With the prospects you can now play all games which are easy to win and grant EXP gain and TC gain and the game settings will help you to do that without a big effort. Just create 2 game settings to play with, one with the default depth chart and one with the prospects depth chart and at the end you can use both settings with a few clicks on the games-page with no real effort furthermore, as long as you don’t like to change something inside the settings.
So to s e l e c t a depth chart, s e l e c t one out of the drop down list and keep in mind, that changes after that on the depth chart page on those depth charts will have an effect here. That goes as far that if you might delete one, the game setting will of course no longer use that and does switch to the standard depth chart or gets creative.

Fitness Level
The fitness level for substitution will give a general rule when the players should leave the field for a short period to take a breath and recharge their energy.
During the game they will lose a virtual energy threshold and that selected percentage does determine the barrier, when the substitution has to be done.
So if you set up a value of let say <90%, you will see the backup entering the field earlier in the game than if you set up a value of <50%. This does lead to different behaviour on the field.
Imagine your backup enters when your starter is at 89% and plays a few plays, until the starter is fit enough to come back, maybe 93%. Then the starter will play again some snaps and the backup will enter again. This will go on until also the backup might get under the 90% rule and if the starter is still not fit enough, the backup backup comes to play, until the starter or the backup is fit again.
This dance will happen over the whole game and will very likely start in the 1st quarter with a level of 90% selected.
Now, with a level of 50%, your starter will play, every down, until he is down to 49% for example and your fresh backup comes into the game. He will play a few downs until the starter is fit enough to take over again. Then the backup will play again once the starter is again under 50% and so on. It’s quite unlikely that the backup will also get down to 50% in the rest of the game, but can happen. Anyway, in this example the process will very likely only start to happen in the 3rd or even 4th quarter.
The high level (like <90%) will that way balance the plays more out than the mid-level approach (like <50%). You can even go much deeper than 50%, with <21% is the smallest value selectable, which would mean that very likely your backups will enter very late in the game or never.
On the other side of that process will your overall-game-PC-loss be much higher for the starter of he plays more downs, means you s e l e c t a low level substitution barrier. That means the starter will train slower, since he needs more PC training over the season.
There is no real right or wrong here it’s all depended on your players and your starter and backup situation.
The problem is, you can only set this for ALL positions in general. The next checkboxes and radio buttons will help to make exceptions in some kind of way (see later), but overall there is no way to say, QB at 50% and OL at 70%, DL at 60% and K at 100%.

Handle Substitutions
The radio buttons under the topic ‘how to handle the substitution’ will work on top of the energy level setup.
If you s e l e c t the radio button with energy level it uses the described barrier set up.
Otherwise you need to s e l e c t the radio button to not substitute for some quarters or even all game long, which will make this the primary rules for substitution until the rule is fulfilled and after that the energy level with its barrier is used. That means ALL positions and ALL players will not substitute based on that rules. It’s hard on PC loss after the game, so be aware of the results.
The last radio button is not active, so don’t bother. For now, playbook ruled substitutions are not possible.

Next comes the more interesting substitution option which allows to stop substitutions based on positions. Just s e l e c t the check box with the position you would like to see play all game with their starter(s) and it will happen (as long as no injuries come up). Many managers do s e l e c t not so position heavy positions like QB, FB, TE or SF for such an option.
This is only overwritten by the “first string” check box in your depth chart (see Chapter 14).

Next comes the playbook selection part for offense and defense and that’s almost similar from the process point of view as the depth chart. Non-supporters just have one, supporter can have more.
Changes on the selected playbooks AFTER the setup will have impact on gameday.
And also changes after the game do have an impact, because you always can see afterward your game settings and the selected playbook, but if you did change the playbook (or the depth chart also) since then, the information is no longer 100% correct. There are no versions stored of the same playbook or depth chart. Anyway, for supporters it’s better to have several playbooks to easily switch between game strategies based on the next opponents values. You expect a pass heavy opponent, you might have a playbook to counter that better than your default one. You need a better run offense from time to time, you better setup a run heavy playbook to s e l e c t it here.
Keep in mind that if you like to use the quick setup feature on the games page, you need to create different game settings with good names to handle this easily. If you did, it’s all just a few clicks for each game to setup the wanted game setting against each different opponent.

Play Intensity
The next option is the play intensity. It allows you to set up a level of let’s say motivation you team will bring to a game.
‘Relaxed’ is quite self-explaining. The players will not play on 100% and therefore a game against an opponent playing normal or even MOTY will very likely end in a loss if the opponent is not way weaker than your team. Your players will not lose much PC after the game and they will not gain a lot of EXP out of that game.
This might be an option if you like to lose on purpose or the result of the game is not important and you like to keep your PC hit of a game as low as possible. Keep in mind that a loss will also cost you a MOR loss, but not as high as normally, if that game was a regular season game or a Supercup division game (if it’s a playoff game for any competition you will also lose MOR, but it does not matter much, since you are ending your season on that competition with that game) and if you have to play a game the next few days, you might enter the next game with MOR < 100%. The manual does explain it very well. On friendly cups this intensity is not possible to use, all setups are interpreted as ‘normal’.
Anyway, if you like to use that option, use it, it can be used for any game (except friendly cups) you like to use it for.

The intensity type ‘normal’ is the regular intensity which is used for most of the games. Some managers do use only this kind of intensity. There is not much else to say about this, only that this is the highest intensity you can use in any playoff competitions and the only intensity useable in friendly cups.

The intensity type MOTY - ‘match of the year’ is an option you can use only once a season during regular season league games and during Supercup division games. No MOTY for any playoff game and if you did use it once on a regular season game you can’t use it again in a regular season game and if you did use it once in a Supercup division game you can’t use it in another Supercup division game. This setup will motivate your players the most and they will fight with greatest effort, resulting in higher MOR gain, higher EXP gain and higher PC loss (which is even a bit higher than most will expect). This is a joker you should use only if needed and you should think about the consequences, because there is no win guarantee in this and even if you win that game, the PC hit might spoil not only the next game coming, but also a few more. It can help big time if a special game is the most important one for your team and a playoff spot or a promotion or relegation is depended on that result. Sometimes it happens that a favourite to win a Supercup or league division it facing several weaker opponent on MOTY gameday after gameday, because for all other teams THAT’s the important game and for the favourite it’s fighting for live because he now might face several opponents better than they are advertised on paper.
There is also no MOTY in relegation games.

Punt and Field Goal
The next setup point is the Punt / Field goal-Settings.
This allows specifying the distance to the goalline from which point on the team should try a field goal instead of punting. The distance can be between <5 yards (so max a 21 yard field goal) up to < 50 yards (max a 66 yard field goal).
Be aware that this setting is overwritten, if a line in the playbook does fit for the game situation, regardless of the result (in terms of go for it, kick a FG or punt or whatever).

Next entry in the settings is the ‘Go for 4th down when yards to go’ option.
This is also a setup which is overwritten by a playbook, if a line which fits is found in the playbook.
You can configure distances from < 2 yards to < 6 yards, so in general between 0 to 5 yards.

Down Rule Settings
As last setup you get the option to configure some general rules for 1st , 2nd and 3rd down and in case you did setup a rules to go for it on 4th down even for that.
This is always the same logic, you can setup a Rush / Pass distribution, with’ mainly rush’ having the engine selecting somewhat of around 90% to 95% run, ‘prefer rush’ with around 75% pass preference, ‘pass and rush’ with a 50%/50% setup for passes and rushes and ‘prefer pass’ and ‘mainly pass’ analogue the run options only with a preference on passing.
You can then s e l e c t a preferred Direction which can be chosen from ‘only left flank’ up to only right flank’, ‘both flanks’ and as wildcard ‘all directions’. The engine will s e l e c t plays directed to that positions, so if you avoid a certain area, use a direction which should be penetrated.
Next do come to formation selection drop downs, holding all formations available, ‘Big I formation’, ‘Flexbone’, ‘Goalline O’, ‘I-formation’, ‘Pro set’, ‘Shotgun 2 WR’, ‘Shotgun 4 WR’, ‘Singleback Big’, ‘Singleback Spread’ and ‘Wishbone’. On top you can s e l e c t ‘random’ as wildcard.
The wildcard are quite useful, because can allow all kind of formations by this, which might confuse the defense. But it can also backfire, since right that moment the formation is selected the opponent can defend best against.
The important info on this is, that down setups can be overwritten by a playbook, so most managers with a matured roster will have a playbook and therefore won’t use much of this play calling tool. Anyway, at the start this is very helpful and it is also the fallback if the playbook does have a hole for some scenarios. Review your games and if you did find odd looking plays, they might result out of this situation, no playbook line and the engine did pick a play based on the setting.

Save your default or for a single game
If you did setup all option in all fields and combo boxes you can save the setting for a single game, or as a default (or special) game setting which can be used on the games page for setting up game settings with that very easy way with checkboxes and a small combo box (where you should be able to find your game settings)

forward to Chapter 16 - The gruesome playbook
back to Chapter 14 - Create and maintain your Depth Chart

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