Age of Cricket (AOC) is a league loosely based on the AOE spin-off RTS video game Age of Mythology (AOM), with some elements adopted from past leagues here such as Iridium's Ultimate Team and Cricket Dynasty, which was co-run by Aislabie and myself a few years previously. Like the AOE & AOM series, managers here will also advance their teams through various "Ages" starting with the Archaic Age which every team starts at by default and finally ending with the Mythic Age. Every Age progressed to unlocks stronger level players, different upgrades a player can purchase for their team and also increases the CP limit, thereby allowing room for more players in a squad. All purchases in the league inlcuding progressing to the different ages are to be made in Gold (fictional, obviously), which is gained from every match or tournament your team plays in. GODS Starting players are also required to select one of 6 available mythological dieties to worship, with each diety offering something different in terms of god powers and upgrades. For eg, worshippers of Hades, the Greek god of the underworld have the ability to resurrect the dead right from the very start and therefore have no need to purchase the "Necromancy" feature that comes available at a price for all other players. The 6 available gods for worship are Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Ra, Anubis and Kronos. Spoiler: Zeus ZEUS AOM bio "The youngest son of the Titans Kronos and Rheia, he was hidden by his mother when Kronos learned of the prophecy that one of his sons would supplant him as ruler of the world. When fully grown, Zeus forced his father to regurgitate his other children that he had swallowed, and then Zeus led a revolt against the Titans, who were banished to Tartarus, below even the underworld. Zeus and his two brothers drew lots to decide each god's part of the world. Zeus drew the heavens, and supreme rule over all the gods and humankind." "Zeus was always considered a weather god, with lightning, thunder, rain, and thunderstorms attributed to him. Later he became associated with justice and the law. He could shape-shift, taking the shape of any object or living things, and he used this ability in his seductions. Although he took his sister Hera as his wife, he seduced many other goddesses and mortal women, siring many children who became prominent in Greek mythology. There were many statues erected in Zeus' honor, the most magnificent being the colossal statue of Zeus at Olympia, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Olympic Games were held originally in his honor." Features - Makes your Gold/Elite level players 10% more effective. - Gives you the Lightning Bolt power, which can supercharge a player to his full potential for a maximum of 3 matches. Can only be used once on a single player and takes 3 matches to recharge. Spoiler: Hades HADES AOM bio "The brother of Zeus, Hades drew the underworld as his to rule when the Titans were overthrown and banished to Tartarus. He shared rule of the underworld with Persephone, whom he had abducted from above. Although required to release her, she was tricked and forced to remain with him. Hades sat on an ebony throne and wore a helmet that made him invisible. There he ruled the dead and accepted those newly arrived from above. Hermes brought the souls of the dead to the River Styx where Charon, the ferryman, carried them across. The three-headed watchdog, Cerberus, prevented any escape. Most souls remained on the empty Plain of Asphodel. A lucky few of extraordinary merit went on to the blessed islands of Elysium. The unlucky were sentenced to unending torment further down in Tartarus. In rare instances, Hades allowed living mortals, such as Odysseus, to enter the underworld and then leave again. Even more rarely did Hades free the dead to return to the living. He was the richest of the gods, possessing all the mineral wealth in the Earth." Features - Worshippers of Hades have no need to purchase the "Necromancy" upgrade which unlocks deceased players. - Gives you the Prosperity power, which helps your team generate 20% more Gold from results for a period of 3 matches. Takes 4 matches to recharge. Spoiler: Poseidon POSEIDON AOM bio "The third son of Kronos and the brother of Zeus and Hades, he drew the seas as his domain to rule. He was known also as the god earthquakes and the god of horses. The symbols most often associated with Poseidon were the trident and dolphin. Sailors relied upon him for favorable winds and safe voyages, but he was moody. Despite sacrifices including drowned horses, he could cause storms, bad winds, and earthquakes at a whim. Like Zeus, he projected his power and masculinity on women, fathering many children. In a famous contest between himself and Athena to decide which of the two would be the patron god of Athens, he threw a spear into the ground to create the Spring of the Acropolis. Athena surpassed him, however, by creating the olive tree. He often used water and earthquakes to exact revenge, but could be cooperative as well. He greatly aided the Greeks in the Trojan War, but took years of revenge on Odysseus, who had harmed one of Poseidon's Cyclops offspring, Polyphemus." Features - All upgrades cost 15% less if you are a worshipper of Poseidon. - Gives you the Restoration power, which helps a struggling player return to form instantly. Can only be used once on a single player and takes 3 matches to recharge. Spoiler: Ra RA AOM bio "As one of the earliest and most successful agricultural cultures on Earth, the ancient Egyptians gave their sun god, Ra, supremacy, recognizing the importance of sunlight in producing food. The Pharaohs of Egypt believed they were descendants of Ra. The daily rise, overhead passage, and setting of Ra greatly impressed the Egyptians. At dawn, Ra was seen as a newborn child, issuing from the sky or a heavenly cow. By midday, Ra was thought of as a flying bird or sailing boat. At sunset, Ra was seen as an old man descending to the land of the dead. Overnight, Ra as a boat sailed eastward through the underworld in preparation for the next day’s ascent. Along the way he had to battle or evade Apep, the great serpent of the underworld that sought to devour him. Part of the worship of Ra involved creating magic to aid or protect Ra in his nightly struggle with Apep, helping to assure the return of the sun. Later in the ancient Egyptian period, Ra was diminished by being forced to reveal to Isis his name, thereby giving her access to some of his magical power. Despite the uplifting of other gods by some cults, however, worship of the sun remained paramount in ancient Egypt. Ra was often combined with other deities to enhance the prestige of the latter, as in Ra-Atum or Amun-Ra." Features - Your players are 10% more effective in 5-day matches. - Gives you the Rain power, which if used shortens limited overs matches by 15-25 overs and 5-day matches by anything ranging from 1-2 days. Cannot be used for 5-day tournament knockouts/finals however, and takes 4 matches to recharge. Spoiler: Anubis ANUBIS AOM bio "Usually depicted with the head of a jackal or as a black dog, Anubis was associated with funerary rites. His mother Nephthys had tricked Osiris, then ruler of Egypt, into giving her a son because she had no children by her evil husband Set. When Set overthrew Osiris, the baby Anubis was hidden in the Nile swamps to preserve him from Set’s wrath. There he was found by Isis, who adopted him. When Osiris chose to go west to rule the underworld, Anubis performed the embalming with the help of Isis’ magic. Prior to the rise of Osiris as ruler of the underworld, Anubis had been a principal guardian of the dead. Anubis carried on as a guardian under Osiris, guiding the dead to the site of judgment and helping to weigh their souls." Features - Worshippers of Anubis have no need to purchase the "Necromancy" upgrade which unlocks deceased players. - Gives you the Ancestors power, which summons 5 random deceased players of to play for your team regardless of your CP for a period of 2 matches. Takes 4 matches to recharge. Spoiler: Kronos KRONOS AOM bio "The youngest of the Titans, his name meant time. Kronos became king of the gods after he castrated his father, Oranos, with the help of his mother, Gaia, who wished to free her children whom Oranos had imprisoned. Kronos ruled over a time of prosperity known as the Golden Age. Kronos and his wife/sister Rheia produced six children, including Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. Fearing a revolt similar to his own, Kronos attempted to swallow all of his children at their birth, but Zeus avoided that fate and ultimately freed his siblings and banished the Titans to Tartarus." Features - Worshippers of Kronos have no need to purchase the "Sands of Time" upgrade which helps time travel retired players from their peak years. - Gives you the Titan Gate power, which summons a random Titan into your squad for a period of 1 match. Takes 4 matches to recharge. PLAYERS Players are obtained through different player packs, each supplying your team with 5 players at a time. There are five different types of packs a manager can choose from: Starter pack (Free) - Given to all managers upon signing up. Contains 18 players and can only be asked for once. Batsman pack ( 150) - Supplies your team with 3 specialist batsmen, 1 batting all-rounder and 1 wicket-keeper batsman. Bowler pack ( 150) - Supplies your team with 2 pace bowlers, 1 bowling all-rounder and 2 spin bowlers. All-rounder pack ( 200) - Supplies your team with 2 genuine all-rounders, 1 batting all-rounder, 1 bowling all-rounder and 1 wicket-keeper batsman. Keeper pack ( 100) - Supplies your team with 3 regular wicket-keepers and 2 wicket-keeper batsmen. Multi pack ( 250) - Supplies your team with 1 specialist batsman/batting all-rounder, 2 specialist bowlers/bowling all-rounders either pace or spin, 1 genuine all-rounder and 1 regular wicket-keeper/wicket-keeper batsman. The quality of players obtained through packs depends on what Age your team is currently in, with players in the Archaic Age only getting bronze level players, those in the Classical Age getting silver level players and those in the Heroic and Mythic Ages getting gold/elite level players. Additionally, those in the Mythic Age have the option of summoning a cricketing "Titan" for a fixed price. The Titan summoned, as with players obtained through various packs will be completely random. But unlike regular player packs, you are supplied with only one Titan at a time. Classification of players: Since the player list for this league involves every international cricketer since the dawn of Test cricket in 1877 (those playing low level T20Is for the likes of Spain, Philippines etc excluded obviously), I will simply mention what you can expect them to be classified as rather than make up a player list. Bronze level (CP 1) - Players that are either unestablished at international level, or simply lack the numbers to fall into a higher category. Eg Scott Kuggeleijn, Krunal Pandya, Farhaan Behardien etc. Silver level (CP 3) - Players that are adequately established or well established in one format of the game but have generally struggled whilst playing other forms. Eg Kieron Pollard, Dean Elgar, Rubel Hossain etc. Gold level (CP 6) - Players that can be considered genuinely established at international level and can properly pit themselves against the best in business. Eg Mohammed Shami, Aaron Finch, Jonny Bairstow etc. Elite level (CP 6) - Players that are counted among the best the world has to offer. Eg James Anderson, Mitchell Starc, Steven Smith, Virat Kohli etc. Titan (CP 10) - Players that are considered among the best to ever play the game. Eg Don Bradman, Sydney Barnes, Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis, WG Grace etc. GOLD Gold is obtained from every match or tournament your team appears in, and also by selling off excess players in your squad. Those who win the Age of Cricket lottery held at the end of every major tournament also have the option of using a cheat code to obtain Gold. Additionally, each team is given 300 Gold upon signing up in this league. Amount paid out at the end of every match (skirmish 50 overs): Victory - 250 Tie/NR - 100 Loss - 50 Amount paid out at the end of every match (skirmish multi-day): Victory - 500 Draw/Tie - 250 Loss - 100 Amount paid out at the end of every match (tournament 50 overs): Victory - 500 Tie/NR - 250 Loss - 100 Amount paid out at the end of every match (tournament multi-day): Victory - 750 Draw/Tie - 300 Loss - 100 A 10% bonus is given to teams for the following: Winning by a margin in excess of 125 runs/9 wickets in a 50-over match Winning by an innings/a margin in excess of 225 runs/9 wickets in a multi-day match Amount paid out for the sale of players: Bronze level - 40 Silver level - 80 Gold level - 140 Elite level - 220 SQUAD COMPOSITION & COMMAND POINTS The number of players you have in your squad will depend on your Command Point (CP) limit, which starts at 40 and finally ends at 100. Every Age progressed to increases your CP limit by 20 points and each player consumes between 1-10 command points apiece - bronze level players consuming 1 apiece, silver level players consuming 3, gold/elite level players consuming 6 and Titans who consume 10. You also have the option of selling off your excess players for extra Gold and CP, with each player fetching a different price. Titans, however cannot be sold off. The minimum requirement per squad though is 18 players, which means you must have the said number of players in your squad at all times. GAME MODES SKIRMISH There are two types of game modes available to players - the skirmish mode and the tournament mode. In the skirmish mode, you have the option of staging exhibition matches or series of between 1 to 5 matches with other players upon agreement in the thread, or against any international/domestic team from any year starting from 1877. The match format i.e either 40-50 overs or 5 days in length will be determined by your choice or upon agreement with your opposing manager. This is an effective way of building up your team and making good progress in terms of upgrades before entering the main tournaments. Each team can play up to 12 matches (max 6 multi-day matches) in the skirmish mode per season. To arrange an exhibition or series, use the following form: Code: Home team: Visiting team: Match length (40-50 overs/5 days): Series length (1-5 matches): TOURNAMENT The tournament mode involves the the three major tournaments a player can participate in - the Knockout Cup (50 overs in length), the AOC One-Day Cup (50 overs) and the AOC Shield (5-day matches). The matches in the tournament mode have a significantly higher payout than those in the skirmish mode, and players emerging victorious have the option of claiming a Titan free of charge or 2000 Gold depending on their requirements, runners-up a Multi pack featuring gold/elite level players or 1000 Gold, and 3rd place 500 Gold. The other participants stand to gain between 50-200 Gold depending on their places in the overall standings. AGES & UPGRADES AGES Archaic Age (no cost) - Players start at this Age by default upon registering with a team Classical Age ( 400) - Unlocks Silver level players for your team. Increases CP by 20 points. Heroic Age ( 700) - Unlocks Gold level players for your team. Increases CP by 20 points. Mythic Age ( 1200) - Unlocks Elite level players and Titans. Increases CP by 20 points. UPGRADES Armor of Achilles ( 200) - Makes your players immune to injury for a period of 4 matches. Restoration ( 250) - Restores your used god power 1 match in advance. Sands of Time ( 300) - Helps you unlock retired players. Also rejuvenates active players currently on the wane. Necromancy ( 500) - Helps you unlock deceased players. Titan ( 1200) - Summons a Titan to play for your team. Only available once you reach the Mythic Age. AOC LOTTERY The AOC lottery shall take place at the end of every major tournament, where a team will be randomly awarded the right to use a cheat code of their choice for just the one time. The following are the cheat codes available for use: ATM OF EREBUS - Gives you 1500 Gold. TITANOMACHY - Summons a Titan to play for your team free of cost. ISIS HEAR MY PLEA - Gives you 1 Elite player, 2 Gold players and 2 Silver players. PANDORAS BOX - Gives you a random god power to use. To use one, simply post one of the above in the thread. SIGNING UP In order to sign up, managers need only mention a team name, home ground and their choice of deity from one of the six available. Use the form below to make things easier: Code: Team name (eg VC's XI): Home ground: Deity (Zeus/Hades/Poseidon/Ra/Anubis/Kronos): Sign ups will be on a first-come-first-serve basis and will remain open unless stated otherwise. Lastly to those signing up here, I cannot give you any guarantees regarding statistics or lengthy match presentations as in my other leagues as I'm simply too busy on most days ending with a 'y'. There's a possibility I might completely skip both and simply focus on running this at a manageable pace along with my 2019 WC league for which I will save most of my efforts.