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markharrison
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PostSubject: Newbie Guide   Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:28 am

So you've just joined Blackout...

First things first, click on 'Me', 'Account', 'Store' and then scroll down and click on the green tab which says '2 weeks trial FREE'.

Premium membership gives you a few extra benefits, such as giving your players nicknames and seeing when one of their skills increases.

As it’s free for 2 weeks, you might as well give it a try. The full list of benefits can be found here.


Now, where are my players?...

Click on My club at the top of the screen and then click on squad. This is where in all honesty; you'll be blessed with a bunch of no-hopers.

The best player in my 'test team' was this guy



I would place his value at $1. Yes, that’s one single Blackout Rugby dollar!!!

He, along with the rest of the squad will be fired during the next month as I look to improve my squad.


Why is that guy valued so little? and what should I be looking for in my players?...

Put simply his stats are very low & in the wrong key areas. His CSR (Complete Skill Rating) at 11,647 will not interest other managers on the transfer market and you can buy much better players for next to nothing.

Props
Your props are vital in the scrum. Therefore they need to have good strength and technique.

Your props should weigh more than 110kg and be shorter than 195cm. Heavier = better

Taller props will help your lineout work more effectively, but shorter props are able to scrummage better. It’s about finding the right balance.

Hooker
Your hooker is vital for winning lineout ball. His handling is a good indication on his throwing ability, so bare than in mind when selecting a hooker.
Ideally he will also have good technique for hooking the ball in the scrum & good strength for defending scrums.
His height is important. If he is taller than your props it creates an imbalance in the front row.

Locks
Your locks will be the tallest players in your forwards. Anything above 200cm is usually a good height for a lock.
They need to have good jumping and handling, for contesting and securing lineout ball, along with good strength for pushing scrums.

Flankers & Back row
Flankers and number 8's provide support in the scrum, so need to have good weight and strength. Flankers provide a good opportunity to turn over the ball at the breakdown, so technique is very important for them, along with good defence.

Scrum half
Your 9 will need to be a good all rounder. As he handles the ball more than any other player his key skills are handling, speed to keep up with play and attack for a quick pick and go.

Fly Half
As your designated kicker, your fly half will obviously need high kicking.
Handling, attack, defence, speed and agility are all vital skills.

Wingers
Wingers will usually be your fastest players, so speed is vital here. Good attack allows them to break through tackles and agility also plays a part in this.
In defence, it is your wingers who will often track back to make that all important tackle, so a high defence level is also useful.

Centres
Centres are usually big, strong and powerful runners. They need good attack, speed and strength when your side are attacking, but also good defence as an opposition line break in the centre of the pitch will often result in a conceded try.

Full back
As the last line of defence, your full back will need high speed, defence and kicking ability.
They need to be a bit of an all rounder, as they find themselves working in both attack and defence.


How do I improve my team then?...

A vital tool for improving your squad is the transfer market.

Click on 'Global’ and then click ‘Transfer Market’

As a new team there is the temptation to go out and spend a huge amount on players, but in reality your bank balance will quickly vanish and you could find yourself in financial difficulty.

The key is to get a squad capable of winning your league, without having to spend over the odds.

Its worth remembering that as players age, they gain experience through playing matches.
A 30 year old player with Reputable experience will far outperform a 17 year old with similar skills, but with non-existent experience.

How'd you do it then?...

Within 10 minutes of looking on the transfer market I had purchased my first player



For a grand total of $2k I have managed to secure my first signing- who is also by far my best player.

By picking up similar bargains you should be able to get 15 players for less than $100k. Note that there is a higher price to pay for props and locks.

Your captain plays a very important role in your side. The key skills which determine their ability as a captain are their leadership and their experience

But I want to develop my own players?...

The ability to promote and train one of your players is one of the best aspects of the game.

To start off, you'll need to hire some staff and upgrade your facilities.

Click on 'My Club', 'Facilities', 'Youth Academy' and then click 'Construct New Level'

This will open up your level 1 youth training facility. However, it is useless without having staff to run it.

Click on 'My Club', 'Staff', 'Academy' and then hire a Level 1 Youth Coach and a Level 1 Youth Scout.

What now?...

Now you need to set your training.
Click on 'My Club', 'Training', 'Youth Training' and then click on the two drop down boxes and select which skills you would like to train.

What do the staff do?...

Youth Coach - Is the man who trains your Youth Academy players each Thursday.

Youth Scout - Gives you 5 scouting stars per week, which you can use towards scouting a player.

Stars can be built up over a period of weeks and then used at once to promote a player. Generally, players who were scouted with between 15-30 stars will be good enough to make your first XV squad in your first 2 seasons.

Youth Manager - He reveals a small number of your youth team players skills each week. At this stage is not worthwhile having a Youth Manager as his wages will far outweigh the benefit to you while your YA is in its infancy.

Note: When you first join Blackout, your Youth Academy will be similar to your Main Squad in that there will be very few decent players in there. It will take a season or two before your Youth Squad starts to see the benefits of your scouting.


How do I spot potential?...

Spotting the next big thing can be very tough! You’re likely to stumble across many ‘Stephen Jones’ before you come across a 'Dan Carter'.

To get an idea of who is worth promoting, Click on 'My Club', 'Junior League' and then onto your most recent fixture and click 'Reporters Summary'.

Scroll down your list of players and you'll notice that they have a star rating beneath their name. These stars indicate how well they played during that match



Anything over 2 and a 1/2 stars usually indicates a player performed to a decent standard. However, the players form needs to be taken into account.

As an example, a player with Impressive form who achieves a 3 star rating, will usually not be as good as a player with Horrible form who achieves a 2 star rating.

It's about finding a balance between the form and star ratings.

What next?...

To promote your player, click 'My Club', 'Office', 'Academy'



On this screen you will see how many Scouting Stars you have available.

Then click the Promote a youth player option.

Click on the player you wish to promote & then select the amount of stars you wish to use to scout his replacement.


Training?...

In order for your players to improve, they need training.

Training initially is very cheap to do, but as your facilities and coaches get upgraded, your costs fly up.

For this reason I would suggest not upgrading beyond level two for your first season and to look to upgrade to level three in your second season.

Levels 4 and 5 take a major hit on your finances, so should only be bought by clubs who make around a 100k profit over every two week period.

By spreading your upgrades out over a number of seasons, it allows you to build up a decent bank balance. With my test team I was able to build up a bank balance of over 600k in just 4 weeks, partly by not upgrading my facilities straight away and also because I bought only the very necessary players to improve my squad.

What to hire?...

Your trainers' performance is dictated by the level of your facilities.

A level 2 trainer who works in a level 1 facility, will only be able to train players at level 1 standard.

For this reason you should never upgrade your trainers level above that of your facility level.

To start off, click 'My Club', 'Facilities', 'Senior' and 'Construct New Level'

You will now have a level 1 facility with 20 training slots available to use.

Training routines can vary from training a small number of players on a high level of training- to training each member of your starting lineup on 2 sessions - Both offer their own advantages

From a quick financial gain point of view, I would suggest a training routine which will allow you to develop two prospects to a level where they will be worth a lot of money.

The next step is to hire your coaches. At this early stage of the game it is best to just hire attack and defence coaches, but if one of your trainees has a high kicking level then buy a kicking trainer too.

***Kickers are very valuable on the Transfer Market, so a well rounded player with a high kicking stat will can be very rewarding***

To do this, click 'My Club', 'Staff' and then hire both Attack and Defence trainer. How many of each trainer you sign is totally up to you, but you should base the decision upon the training needs of the two prospects you will be training.

My trainees...

I have broken down their training to show my reasons for each choice. My aim with these two will be to sell them for a huge profit, so their training has been based around that fact.



I am training this guy up to be a centre

Handling
x1 session - Handling is a great stat to have for backs, but no one looks at a player and thinks 'WOW he has great handling'. By improving it with one session he will slowly get it to around the 10 level, which is when I will remove it and put it elsewhere.

Attack
x2 sessions - His attack is great for his age. A high stat will gain higher CSR amounts through training than a lower stat does, so by putting 2 attack sessions on him he will gain a good amount of CSR, whilst improving his already good attack.

Defence
x2 sessions - His defence is a key skill for a back. A bad tackler can lead to the opposition creating line breaks, so prospective buyers will want to see a decent level of defence.

Speed
x3 - It is never advisable to train a stat using 3 skills, as for each extra session you put on a stat the returns become slightly diminished. However, speed is a very valuable skill to have and buyers will spend a lot of money to acquire a speedster.

Agility
x2 - As with speed, his agility is someway behind his other stats. The 2 sessions should help this catch up.

That’s 10 sessions, which will require 8 attack trainer sessions and 2 defence trainer sessions.

My 2nd trainee:



Because of this guys good kicking level, I will train him up as a Fly Half

Handling
x1 - As above re. the handling. He is close to having a 10, which looks much better than 8. As soon as he reaches 10 the extra session will be moved elsewhere.

Defence
x2 - Defence is a key skill for all positions. His low starting level should mean he pops quicker than his other skills will.

Speed
x2 - A vital skill in both attack and defence and as mentioned above - HIGHLY PROFITABLE

Kicking
x 3 - His kicking will be trained in the short term up to level 12. When it hits this level the trainer will be sacked. As he is the only player benefiting from the kicking trainer I want to try and maximise his skill level quickly and avoid wasting any extra expense on the trainers wages.

Attack
x 1 and Agility
x1 - Whilst these skills are two of his lower back skills, I want to try and get his best skills up quickly so have put minimal focus on his attack and agility. As soon as his kicking and handling reach the mentioned levels, the extra sessions will be put on attack and agility.


Tactics

Possibly the most difficult aspect of Blackout Rugby. Just how do you select your tactics???

I'll try to keep it basic...



A Drift defence works best against teams who use a high % of expansive play.
The tell tale sign of a drift defence is when a team makes a lot of tackles which send a player into touch.



A Rush defence works best against teams who use a high % of driving plays. It is also thought to be the best defence type against teams who play a lot of pick and go, although all defence types work well against pick & go.

A tell tale sign that a team is using a rush defence is that they concede a large number of line breaks, but very few are converted into tries.



A Man On Man defence works best on teams who play a high % of creative plays.

Intensity

Intensity plays a big part in deciding the result of a match.

With next week in mind (WNWIM) - For games where your side are much better than the opposition and you want to conserve energy. For your first few seasons it will be a rarity for you to play wnwim, unless you want to 'throw' a match to save energy.

Normal - For games where you think you have an advantage over your opponent on 'an even playing field'. A normal will see off a BOT team as long as you pick a reasonable squad.

Like there’s no tomorrow (LTNT) - For games where you need to go all out for the win. Used for when your opponent is better than you, but you fancy sneaking a win. Or you could be up against a team who fancies sneaking an upset against you.
Note: LTNT takes a lot of energy from your players.

Rough guide to energy loss

League TNT: 32% - Cup TNT: 16%
League Normal: 16% - Cup Normal 8%
League WNWIM: 8% - Cup WNWIM 4%

Discipline

By the book - your team will sacrifice its rucking ability at the break down area, in return for a reduced penalty count. Highly recommended if your team has a lot of rebellious players.

Normal – Your team will try and play a balanced game.

Aggressively - Your team will go hell for leather at the breakdown in search for turnovers. Should only be used by teams who have well-disciplined players.


For a list of detailed tactics, check out this site http://www.brcentrum.99k.org/tactics2.html


Full credit must be given to Wilf3uk from Wales who designed the initial guide.


Last edited by markharrison on Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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fatman
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Guide   Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:14 pm

Nice one mark, there are a couple of bugs in there though.. for instance your 'best' test team player seems to be the same one you 'bought' on the TM.
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markharrison
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Guide   Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:35 pm

Thanks Fatman, the formatting on something like this is quite long and I must have hosted the same image twice. All fixed now though, and please let me know if there are any other mistakes.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Guide   Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:31 am

markharrison wrote:
please let me know if there are any other mistakes.

well apart from a couple of small spelling errors and the incorrect 'bold' and 'colour' headers in the Defence types section (you did ask) i think it a good job well done.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Guide   Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:31 am

I am unsure about the trainers part, IMO getting to level 3 ASAP is a key part to getting a good team as the team that does this first (if they start at the same time) will find themselves with better players 2-3 seasons down the line, all the players will have better stam, hand, tech, defence etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Guide   Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:28 am

I think thats about right Sean, level 3 trainers in your first season would be quite a stretch financially, unless you got lucky and were initially in say division 2.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Guide   Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:08 am

I think the guide is designed to be more conservative, so that a new manager can have a mix of senior and youth facilities. If they go all out for lvl3, yes they will get better results down the line but it will be very hard to afford for a new club.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Guide   Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:24 am

I wish i had read this when earlier.. now i have a more rounded picture of where i should be going.

Thanks Mark and Wilf3uk!
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Guide   Thu May 31, 2012 4:18 am

Just a heads up gents. I have started work on a money making section to the welsh newbie guide

Its a work in progress, but some of it might be useful.

edit - here's what I have so far. Feel free to use the screenshots etc - im not shy about having my players details revealed Very Happy




Money Making


BR is a money driven game - those able to generate the most cash, are usually the ones who progress furthest....and fastest

The beauty of BR is that teams are able to find cash in a number of ways. I'll list a few of them.

Play the long game

BR can be a very frustrating game for newbies. In Wales, you are likely to yo-yo between divisions 3 and 4 for your first 4 seasons, which can be very frustrating.

Why not just stay in division 4 with the worst possible squad you can possibly find?

Sanka has been doing this for the past few seasons and has generated a bank balance over $30 million apparantly(i've not asked, just going off rumours). He has been playing the game slightly longer than me, so I am basing his savings on my own squads current outgoings.

How does this work? Its simple. He aims to have the worst possible squad that he can possibly have. This keeps his squads salary low, allowing him to save around 300k each week on salaries. Over the course of a season, that is $4,8000,000 saved, compared to my salary bill.

A newly created welsh team could realistically look to build up a bank balance of over $20,000,000 by the end of their 7th season in BR(enough to buy a div.1 standard squad).

Pro's - Massive earning potential. Avoid yo-yoing between div.3 and 4.

Cons - Frustrating being a whipping boy. Need to be very focussed to see it through.

Play the TM -

I like to think of myself as a bit of a wheeler-dealer. I buy players on the cheap and sell them for a profit.
Spotting a bargain is one thing, but getting them for that price is a different kettle of fish. You need to be aware of how the Transfer market works, to make the most of it.

When a player is transfer listed, they are given a set deadline for when they will sell. The only time this deadline gets extended, is when a bid is placed inside the final minute of the auction. Basically, you want to bid as late as possible, without extending the auction time....so slap your bid on 1 minute and 10 seconds before the auction ends.

This serves two purposes -
Firstly, it allows you to sneak a player from other bidders, as they may not remember to refresh in the final minute.
Secondly, it p*sses off the other bidders. If you do this numerous times on the same player, the other bidder may get bored of you constantly forcing him to extend the auction and just gives up.

How to spot a bargain?
This is very tough to do.....and even tougher for me to explain.

My TM tactics quite often involve buying good players who are low in form. This will put some managers off buying them, as they don't want to sign someone who won't be able to play at a high standard.
For me this is a perfect scenario, as I get my player for cheap....and also in 6 weeks time, the players form is likely to rise, so I'll be able to make a nice profit on the back of that.


The above player is a perfect example of someone who I have bought for profit. I paid $638k for him 5 weeks ago and since then he has only popped in technique. His form has just started improving by 3 each day, so I am hopeful that his CSR will hit 90k by the 12th of June, which is when his contract with me expires.

At 90k CSR, aged 26 and at 130kg, I would have no worries with starting this players auction at $900k. He will have cost me $66k in wages by that time, along with $45k in listing taxes, so that would give me a minimum profit of $151k. Whilst this isn't a great amount of money, it is still a profit....and I will have benefitted from a useful prop/hooker during the time that he has been at the club.

Another good way to make money is buying to train.



I paid $170k for this player and he has had no pops in the 2 weeks that I have owned him. During this time he has gone up by 1900 CSR, despite being on just 5 training sessions.
This player has some major plus points in his favour: He is aged 17 and world cup eligible - He has admirable leadership, so has captain potential - His core skills(apart from defence) are all pretty high for his age - He is from a newer nation, so there is a possibility that he will get an U20 cap - He was bought in low form, so his CSR could quite easilly go as high as 36k if he was to hit impressive form. That would make him one of the higher CSR 17 year olds out there.

In this instance, I am training the player for my team, so he is only getting 5 sessions each week....but to make a massive profit, you should look to train him on 10 slots.
In just 32 weeks of training(10 slots), this player would sell for a minimum of $1 million with facilities of level 3 or above. If he gets a call up to the German U20s, you could expect anywhere from $1.2 to $2.5 million for him.

Take a risk

I am pretty confident that I can work out the highest possible amount that I can expect a player to sell for. For this reason, I quite often list a player for their maximum value.

Nathan Thomas - was a massive talent, with 167k CSR aged just 21. I needed to raise funds to purchase a better prospect (Gethin Edwards-see below), so I decided to sell Thomas.
As I had trained him since he was aged 17, I didn't want to risk him going on the cheap, so I listed him for $3.5 million, which is right at the top of his value. He got one single bid on him - for his asking price, so my risk paid off. Had he not sold, I would have been left with a tax bill of $175k and would not have been able to raise funds to buy the other prospect.

Play smart

This kind of follows on from a lot of the above sections, but there is massive money to be made on the TM.
(At the time of buying these 2, I had no intentions of selling them....but a subsequent NT/U20 ban for me meant that I had to change my long term BR plans. I bought them just a few days apart, so in just 7 weeks, I made a profit of $1.035 million)




Gethin Edwards - I signed him for $3.3 million and then sold him for $4 million 6 weeks later. I listed him for $4 million, as I was convinced someone would pay the asking price. I risked paying an unnecessary 200k in taxes to make sure I got maximum profit on Gethin, but experience told me that this player was worth that amount.
After wages and tax, I made a profit of $400k for him in just over 6 weeks.



Dean Scullion - I signed him for $2.6 million and then sold him for $3.5 million 6 weeks later. He was listed at $3.5 million, so also only received 1 bid.
After wages and tax, I made a profit of $635k.

The reason I was able to make such big profits, was because I was confident that someone would pay the asking price on the them. Not everyone is able to get online to get involved in bidding wars, so some managers are willing to pay a premium to make sure they get a player.
Had I started the auctions off at a lower price, I have no doubt that I would have made very little profit.

Be a night owl

Quite often, I find that I am able to pick up some good bargains very late at night. The majority of BR users are based in Europe, so players who are sold in our day time are able to fetch a premium.
As the majority of people like to sleep at night alien I tend to look for good players who are selling at very late at night(uk time). I am less likely to get into a bidding war this way and often have the chance to snap up a player in the final minute of the auction. At 3am(uk time) there are usually around 200 managers online, so I have half as many managers to worry about.

There is nothing worse than going to sleep leading an auction, to find when you wake up that you were outbid by one manager whist you slept. For this reason, I sometimes set an alarm to wake me up minutes before an auction ends. I can slap a fresh bid on, knowing that I have got my man.

Disclaimer - If you do this, be prepared for your missus to kick you out of bed and force you to sleep on the sofa. Your marriage may suffer, leading to a costly divorce. On the plus side, your BR side will have benefitted.

Get a full crowd

In BR, a full attendance brings with it great profit. I don't have the time(or knowledge) to be able to offer stadium building advice, but teams should be looking to get as many people through the doors as possible.

To do this, make sure that you regularly monitor your stadium %s for league/cup matches and look to increase areas where you consistently sell out. I usually upgrade once a season(usually at the end of the season, as by the time the upgrade finishes, the bot matches in the cup are usually already out of the way).

DO NOT UPGRADE AREAS WHERE YOU ARE NOT CLOSE TO SELLING OUT - you will be paying gas and electricity costs for those empty seats. In some cases where teams have over-expanded, it may even be worth demolishing some seats.
I believe that it is still not beneficial to ever upgrade your standing section. No one has offered any evidence to prove that the recent changes have impacted this, so its better to stay safe and never upgrade standing.

Now, a sly way to improve your attendance is to boost your contentment rating. Contentment is linked to ranking points exchanged after league and cup matches only. Monday friendlies do not impact your contentment, but they do allow ranking points to change place.
For this reason, teams should look to lose all monday friendlies. This will lower your ranking points, which means that you will gain more/lose less contentment after your league and cup matches.

Contentment plays a huge part in helping to boost your attendances, so teams who actively look to win monday friendlies are doing so at a cost.

Higher contentment is also linked to increased member numbers, so having a low contentment level will be holding your team back both short and long term.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Guide   Thu May 31, 2012 8:19 am

Thanks for this Wilf.

I would urge any newer managers to follow the simple steps on here as it will help you to progress faster.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie Guide   Thu May 31, 2012 11:44 pm

muzza wrote:
Thanks for this Wilf.

I would urge any newer managers to follow the simple steps on here as it will help you to progress faster.
i agree this is great as good as your earlier one
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