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Battrick Newbie Guide By Galstaf

Discussion in 'PlanetCricket Battrick League' started by sid_19840, Aug 9, 2006.

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  1. sid_19840 International Coach

    Jun 28, 2005
    National Team:
    Domestic Team:
    Somerset,and Liverpool(In Football)
    Galstaf a Battrick Player for a while decided to make this guide for newbies.Im very grateful to him that he's allowed me to put this on our PlanetCricket Battrick Site as well.Im sure this will also help pick up some useful things for some Battrick pro's as well.A big thanks again to him.


    Galstaf's Battrick Newbie?s Guide:​

    This guide is based on my experience over the last 6 months on Battrick, going from Newbie to slightly less than Newbie. Using the broad themes below, I finished 2nd in my first season and am finishing 2nd this season as well. The financial outlook is very good and I'm shaping up to have a serious push for Battrick domination by 2020.

    This guide has been compiled through a combination of experience, the good advice that is already available on the sledging boards and the much appreciated help and advice of many members of the Battrick community. It is intended to help consolidate the knowledge already out there into a one-stop shop for the new Battrick player and aims to help them avoid some of the most basic errors whilst giving general guidance on the key features of the game. It is not written to spoon feed, to dictate or to restrict the many paths that can be taken, nor is it a substitute for the Battrick Rules and the Sledging Boards. It does not address the First Class game in any detail at the moment (though later versions may), since this has yet to become a reality, nor does it focus on more than the first few months, since this is of peripheral concern to the new player and this writer can?t be considered an expert in the extended game.

    So, in conclusion, I will simply say good luck with your new team, I hope that this guide can be of use in the weeks to come and I hope that you enjoy the game as much as I have.


    With thanks to the Jon Heath, Jonathan Eggleton, Matt Krevs, Matt (Lazzer) Chittum, A Freeman and Andy Colclough for their support and good advice,

    Part 1: Don't spend any money whatsoever yet

    Is that clear? Don't spend a bean. I can't shout it loud enough ... don't spend anything.

    So many messages that I see on the sledging boards are along the lines of ?Why am I so skint? Why can't I make any money?" and it subsequently transpires that they got a team, spent a wad of cash on transfers and/or their ground and then realised they had been a bit hasty. The time for spending a little of your starting cash is not that far away, but let?s get an understanding of the game before we open the purse strings.


    Part 2: Things to do NOW (if you haven?t already done so)

    1. Read the Battrick Rules ? The rules are very detailed and the information there is not replicated here. This is your first port of call for any questions that you may have.
    2. Browse through the rest of this Newbie Guide, it looks closely at some key areas of the game that the Rules do not expand upon.
    3. Read through the F.A.Q. section of the help menu
    4. Having read through all this information, you will probably be suffering from information overload. It is important that you get a very general overview of what your immediate concerns may be, what would be a big mistake and what should be left for a little later. Once you have this rudimentary feel for the game and your current circumstances, revisit the resources and read the sections that deal with your first priorities in much greater detail. When you are ready to start looking at other aspects of your setup, go back again and read those sections in greater detail. Don?t try to learn everything straight away (for example, you won?t need to take in all of the information about youth development or expanding your ground just yet, simply be aware of the topic).
    5. Supplement these resources with the Sledging Boards, particularly the Newbie Q?s board, there is a wealth of knowledge to be found here.


    Part 3: First Steps: Assessing your initial squad, highlighting youth players to train, acquiring the staff you need to train them.

    So, the point of Part 1 was to stop you spending anything. First you have to look at what you have been given, see whether it's worth anything, see whether it could be worth anything and to see what you do actually need to spend money on. In order to do this, you will need to have your first serious look at each of your players. Some may not be silk purses but maybe you don't need to buy an entire team, so let's see if you can use some of what you've been given. Here's a little something to help you define your batsmen, your bowlers and your wicket keepers (and if you are very lucky, maybe an all rounder of one shade or another):

    A Batsman primarily needs Batting, but his Concentration is important to how he performs.

    A Bowler primarily needs Bowling, but his Consistency is important to how he performs.

    A Wicket Keeper will need Wicket Keeping. There are few other details available about these guys, some believe that concentration and consistency are both important and that fielding contributes towards keeping a small amount as well.

    All players need stamina to maintain their level of performance throughout a game, it's no good being great for the first half of a game only to wilt and die later on in. It's not so big a deal in the one-day game, but even then, your bowlers will tire towards the end and your batsmen will tail off a bit. For the first class game, this attribute is expected to be of great significance.

    The better your fielding, the less runs you will concede and the more chances you will take. Fielding is also influenced by consistency and concentration, so do not ignore this side of the game. If your bowlers are great but you aren't taking those catches, it's all a bit of a waste, so don?t ignore this attribute. At the same time, don?t give fielding greater significance than it deserves, it?s still a secondary attribute and it won?t win you games on its own.

    So, your ideal batsman would have batting and concentration and you would also be interested in stamina and fielding as well. It may be that if these secondaries had significantly high values, you could possibly prefer him to someone with slightly stronger primaries.

    Your bowlers would have bowling and consistency and likewise, you would still be quite interested in stamina and fielding. It would be nice if your bowlers had a little batting as well, but at this stage it's a ?nice to have? rather than a burning priority.

    Your ideal wicketkeeper will have strong keeping skills and stamina is important as well. Concentration and Consistency are of some value here too, given the fact that your keeper will bat, but will never bowl, concentration takes priority over consistency. Aside from the keeping skills, most people consider their wicket-keepers as their 6th batsmen and put a lot of emphasis on batting skills. I feel that you should expect some degree of batting strength from a keeper, particularly if your batting line-up needs help, but don?t go crazy looking for the ultimate all-rounder.

    So, armed with this knowledge you can pick your best 11, identify which are the strongest, identify whether you have any young players (17 or 18, possibly 19 at a stretch) who are worth training and identify the most urgent deficiencies that you need to fill. But in order to do this, you will need some basic parameters:

    ? Primary skills really need to be a minimum of mediocre for you to consider a player as fit for purpose.
    ? A player with a competent stat in one primary skill but worthless/abysmal in everything else is not going to deliver much in this game
    ? Should you have a very young player with a feeble primary but competent secondaries (particularly stamina and consistency (for a bowler) or concentration (for a batsmen), it may be worth training him.

    Finally, in highlighting your best 11, you have probably got 3 or 4 players that are almost in the mix and a few that are utter rubbish (feeble or worse primaries with less than a couple of competent secondaries). Hold on to those guys that are on the edge of your starting XI for a little while, you may change your mind on them as you become more adept at spotting players. Fire the utter rubbish now, goodbye, so-long, go and get a job flipping burgers. It doesn?t cost you anything to fire them and you don?t want to be paying their wages.

    Part 4:The Transfer Market

    So, already we are talking about the transfer market, but we aren't buying at the moment, at least we aren't spending much cash at all. What we want is threefold

    1. An idea of what's out there, how much of it there is and what price it commands.
    2. A couple of makeweight players to improve your squad.
    3. A real bargain 17/18 yr-old that can be trained up, maybe two.

    So, firstly, let's see what is out there:

    Pick a couple of players that are barely making your team, your 4th & 5th string batsmen and bowlers. Taking each one individually, put in their key attributes as minimum requirements into the Transfer Market search engine. For example:

    George Battersby - 23 yo, BT Rating=2,251
    LH Batsman, LF Bowler, competent batting form, woeful bowling form, sublime
    A destructive player with feeble leadership skills and woeful experience.
    Stamina: feeble Wicket Keeping: worthless
    Batting: mediocre Concentration: feeble
    Bowling: abysmal Consistency: abysmal
    Fielding: competent

    George is just about in my side, but I think I can get the same batting skill and much better Stamina and Concentration on the market, I don?t really mind if I can?t get a competent fielder though. So, search is as follows:

    Current bid/price: Maximum ?30,000 (not that I intend to spend this much)
    Batting: at least Mediocre
    Concentration: at least Feeble
    Stamina: at least Feeble

    So, I can see the following guys that are much better, and they shouldn't cost a packet:

    4. Gerry Haran ?7,000
    Age: 22 years old
    BT Rating: 5,759
    Stamina: mediocre W/Keeping: worthless
    Batting: mediocre Concentration: respectable
    Bowling: abysmal Consistency: abysmal
    Fielding: feeble

    Deadline: 25/07/2006 10:38

    6. Toby Reeves ?6,000
    Age: 17 years old
    BT Rating: 3,186
    Stamina: competent W/Keeping: worthless
    Batting: mediocre Concentration: mediocre
    Bowling: worthless Consistency: worthless
    Fielding: feeble

    Deadline: 26/07/2006 12:47

    These guys are not going to set the division alight by any means of the imagination, but they are going to help out a little until I can afford better and/or developed better players. Applying the same idea to my bowlers, I'll put in the following search to find my 4th/5th string bowlers:

    Current bid/price: Maximum ?30,000 (not that I intend to spend this much)
    Bowling: at least Mediocre
    Consistency: at least Feeble
    Stamina: at least Feeble
    Fielding: at least Feeble

    1. Duane Trotman ?2,000

    Age: 20 years old
    BT Rating: 5,794
    Stamina: mediocre W/Keeping: worthless
    Batting: worthless Concentration: feeble
    Bowling: mediocre Consistency: feeble
    Fielding: respectable

    Deadline: 25/07/2006 12:02

    2. Julian Mullins ?6,000
    Age: 19 years old
    BT Rating: 4,135
    Stamina: competent W/Keeping: worthless
    Batting: worthless Concentration: worthless
    Bowling: mediocre Consistency: mediocre
    Fielding: feeble
    Deadline: 25/07/2006 17:52

    8. Evans Holly ?1,000
    Age: 20 years old
    BT Rating: 4,794
    Stamina: competent W/Keeping: worthless
    Batting: worthless Concentration: worthless
    Bowling: mediocre Consistency: mediocre
    Fielding: mediocre
    Deadline: 26/07/2006 15:57

    Using the formula above, you will be able to get in a few little short term improvements that won't set you back too much, get as many as you can within your meagre budget. Set your war chest to around ?30,000 for two or three signings but try to spend a lot less, certainly don?t go much over that figure.

    That's as far as the transfer market goes for you at the moment. Anything Competent could cost you enough to send you straight into financial peril. Nevertheless, always have a look at the transfer market and be prepared to go for that bargain up to a certain value.

    Apart from anything else, this routine will start to help you improve your skill for evaluating your team, for spotting decent prospects and for evaluating the worth of the various different skills. With so many factors being important for each type of player, there really isn't one golden formula to find the player you need, only by looking at lots of players and thinking about how well all their skills work together can you become a better manager. Have the odd look at some highly valued players, look at their stats and work out why they are going for lots of money.

    At this point, it is worth being aware that another approach exists. There are teams who devote a lot of time to scouring the transfer market for hidden talent going for bargain prices, buying them up and then selling them on at inflated prices. This is a high risk-high yield approach that could accelerate your development, but the high risk part of the deal is what you need to be aware of:

    1. You are still new to the game, can you expect to be a good judge of the market without having much experience of it?
    2. This may well involve you selling your best player in order to raise the funds to buy in at the sort of level that these players are being traded for.
    3. When you buy a player, you sign a contract with him for a minimum of 42 days, the return on your investment will therefore not be immediate.

    Having said that, there is one point I would raise in mitigation for this approach

    1. In accepting a 42 day period before you can sell that player for a profit, you will at least have him in your side helping you to win games during this time.

    My own personal message to you would be to treat any dealings at the mid-to-top range of the transfer market with caution until you have got your feet wet with a couple of deals. You aren?t in that great a rush at present, but if you are going to sell your best player, either to finance the purchase of some good squad players or to get involved in trading as a means of making good profit, make sure you know the market value of your best player by comparing similar players on the market.

    Part 5: Train those Youths

    By now, you've got a basic side together and hopefully you have (or have bought) one or two 17/18 yr olds that are already semi-talented. If not, you will be looking to grab one off the transfer market pretty soon. So, what's worth training and how long does it take? Well, the time it takes to train a player is an area that's covered pretty well in quite a few different places already, and the answer to what constitutes a trainable youth to a certain extent is the same as what makes a decent player. Your youths after all will be the 24-30 year-old stalwarts of your side in seasons to come. But to summarise:

    1. Concentration and Consistency take a long time to train in this game, particularly for youngsters as the speed of training is adversely weighted against them since young lads have a tendency to not listen and/or apply themselves to the mental side of the game as they should. The theory being that these are signs of maturity and hence more mature players will appreciate and learn these skills more readily. So, ideally, you want your youngsters to have a bit of a head start in this area already since these skills are the slowest to improve. Further, you cannot directly train these attributes, they come as a side effect to Batting, Bowling, WK and Fielding training and the rate of increase is related to the amount of psychologists you employ. As a start up team, you?d want at least 2 or 3 psychologists, some have been frugal enough in other savings to be able to afford many more, but suffice to say that progress in training this attribute will be very slow so you would want someone with a degree of concentration and/or consistency already.

    Note: If you train a player in multiple sessions of the same type per week (i.e. 2 fielding and 2 batting), the psychologists will only turn up to the first session of each type (i.e. the first fielding session and the first batting session) on any given week.

    2. Primary Bowling/Batting/ Skills take about 10 or 11 weeks to train for a 17yr old using one net, 6 or 7 using two nets, 5 weeks with 3 nets. But, these attributes are where the real value of your players lie, so, you should be looking at a mediocre primary as a bare minimum, unless that youth is outstandingly good in the various secondaries that are key to his position in which case feeble may possibly be viable.

    3. Wicket Keeping takes around 7 weeks for a 17yr old to train, good value for money for a primary attribute and it also gets the attention of the psychologists, we?ll have those brains reprogrammed in no time.

    4. Stamina - takes about 5 or 6 weeks with one net, young and old players improve at the same rate. You should be looking to get this skill up to at least competent, hopefully higher in the fullness of time, and given that it's not an incredibly quick train and you don't get any conc/cons benefits either, some degree of stamina in a trainee would be very nice indeed. The general consensus is that stamina is most important for bowlers, particularly of the fast or fast/medium variety.

    5. Fielding - takes around 5 or 6 weeks with one net session, the quickest of all the attributes to train. Given that you get conc/cons bonuses from fielding it's a cheap and cheerful stat to increase, so having a youth that already has this in abundance isn?t really a great priority.

    So, from the above, generally I look for a minimum mediocre primary with good conc/cons and a little stamina. I even grabbed a feeble primary player once with competent ratings in conc/cons, stamina and fielding, when taking into account the opportunity cost of saving those secondary nets sessions in favour of primary training, he was the best prospect I had for ages. There's no hard and fast rule, you have to work out the time it would take to train each skill and work accordingly from that.

    The final consideration is to whether you wish to train one or two superstars or 3 or 4 players. I recommend training 3 or 4 players up over the course of a couple of seasons to act as the core strength of your squad for a couple of reasons:

    1. The personal fitness of the player decreases a lot if they are doing 5 or 6 nets each week, they are too tired to play in matches. You really do need to have these fast improving youngsters supporting the meagre talent in your side at this early stage of your teams existence. Note that a players personal fitness is different to his stamina, have a close look at the player to spot the stat.
    2. Giving a player more than one net of the same type per week yields a diminished return per additional net. So, that 2nd batting session will be slightly less productive than the first, the 3rd even less productive and so on. Since the psychologists won?t turn up to the 2nd or 3rd net sessions in any week, you are getting hit twice for your money.

    It may be that your strategy changes after a while, there are a lot of teams out there that train one or two players only, dedicating 5 nets each to them and they churn out top notch players as a result, just don?t expect them to play many games until they have become the finished article.

    All of these training timelines are still under study and many differ for 18, 19 and 20 yr olds. There's far more information than I have given above at the very excellent Battrix site, for further details go to http://members.iinet.net.au/~geometrikal/index.html
    The Jumpers for Wickets website is also very useful on this topic: http://www.jfw.me.uk/

    Part 6: Staff

    So, by now you should have an idea of who you want to train and what you want to train them in. This will form the basis of your initial staffing levels. You want 10 coaches, this is why you haven't spent much money yet - these guys are going to cost you ?2,500 each, that's ?25,000 per week, and it's money well spent, the best value in the game.

    You also want a minimum of 2 psychologists and to be ramping up to 3, ,4 or 5 as soon as you are starting to become financially stable. Some people would advise more but some others doubt the effectiveness of additional psychologists above and beyond these numbers, but the fact is that you are still strapped for cash at this stage, so that?s a problem for later. These guys attend nets batting, bowling, wicket keeping and fielding nets sessions and will work to help improve the consistency and concentration of those attending the nets. They will also work to improve the morale of the team as a whole which will help you win games.

    Economists will help you later in the game when you have money that can be earning interest, they also help reduce those repayment rates if you go heavily into debt, but you shouldn't need these guys for quite some time.

    PR Officers are the guys who tell little white lies on your behalf, phrasing things in just the right way to mislead your fans and sponsors into thinking that you are better than you actually are. So, these guys are definitely going to make you money. How many should I hire? The prevailing wisdom suggests the following (based on the number of members you have, so subject to change over time and also based on the confidence of your sponsors being ecstatic, so modifiable downwards for less content sponsors):

    1 PR: 0 members
    2 PR: 603
    3 PR: 750
    4 PR: 943
    5 PR: 1205
    6 PR: 1584
    7 PR: 2179
    8 PR: 3250
    9 PR: 5750
    10 PR: 18250

    If you are in any doubt about how to modify these levels based on less content sponsors, hit the Sledging boards.

    Part 7: Becoming Financially Viable

    OK, you are probably getting the hang of a few things by now, so, when can I start making a profit from time to time and when can I start using some of this money to good effect in the transfer market and youth program? First things first:

    7.1 Start winning games:

    After a few weeks, those youths will start to become the mainstays of your side, your team will improve accordingly, but other teams in your league are also developing players, therefore, your overall strategy will be important. Here are few things to consider:

    -It's nice to have a star player who can bat or bowl all on his own, but you run the risk of having all your eggs in one basket. It's far better to have competent players throughout the side than to have a couple of heavy hitters and rubbish elsewhere, or is it? Those star batters could put the game beyond doubt before your middle order and less than waggy tail are exposed, that star bowler could get them out so cheaply that it doesn?t matter if your top run-getter is always called ?extras?. But maybe these guys can?t put in that stellar performance week in-week out for a whole season whereas a solid all-round team can through strength in depth. This is one of those decision points, you be the judge.

    -Try to improve all areas of your team, if you have no bowling strength, even the best batsmen will struggle to match the total that the other team have just hit you for. Likewise, you need some batsmen of note even if you are toppling your opponent?s batsmen for next to nothing.

    -Challenge people to friendlies and/or accept challenges made by others, these games will give your players extra practice which will improve their form. Form starts off pretty low but with match practice it improves up to superb fairly quickly. Friendlies are also the best time to play around with your batting order, bowling order and the players? individual aggression orders.

    -Different players will perform better at different places in the batting line-up; you should juggle them around a little to find the best batting order. Likewise, the bowling order is very important; you should consider who would be the most effective with a new ball and who would appreciate an older ball.

    -If your star batsman is an aggressive player and he's hitting 30 runs of 20 balls then getting out, get him to tone it down just a little maybe. Don't set him to very defensive as he would not be himself, but tell him to play normal. Ideally, he will now be hitting 50 or 60 off of 50-60 balls, much better. You must play around with the aggression settings a lot to find the right combination, but it?s time well spent, the performance of a player can be considerably improved by finding the orders that suit him best.

    -Likewise, if you are losing matches on run-rate, see if there's someone that's taking 100 balls to make 50 runs, get him to play more aggressively. Same with the bowlers, you want a couple of bowlers who slow down the run rate by defensive bowling, but you can slow down run-rates by getting those top-order batsmen out before they can do damage to you as well. Get your best medium/fast bowler in with the new ball to cause a little damage perhaps? These little tweaks here can make all the difference.

    -Consider taking it easy against teams that you feel you will either certainly beat or certainly lose to. You can do this by setting the team orders to ?Take It Easy? (TIE) and this tells your players to conserve their energy a little during the game. Note that they will not play to their full potential, so as above, only do this for games that you are sure are in no doubt. Each player has his own personal fitness level (different to Stamina) which is affected by playing games and by being involved in nets sessions. One or two nets will not hit a player?s personal fitness too hard but playing games and having a lot of nets in the same week will. By TIE?ing games, you will help preserve the individual fitness of your players and improve your overall team fitness. Team fitness plays a big role in how your team performs so you want to keep it as high as possible throughout the season.

    -Set your pitch to suit your team. If your strength is in spin bowling, maybe you should look to move to a dusty wicket. If your batters need all the help they can get but your bowlers are superstars, go for a flat wicket. The different types of pitches are as follows:

    Pitch Type Favoured
    Uneven Seam Bowlers
    Cracked Seam Bowlers
    Hard and Fast Batsmen
    Green Seam Bowlers
    Flat Batsmen
    Dusty Spin Bowlers
    Slow All Bowlers

    7.2 Expand your ground
    Blowing all of your cash in the first week on new players can be a mistake, but at least it should enhance your chances of winning a few games - you may have got the move-order wrong but it's probably a recoverable situation. Blowing all your cash on a stadium upgrade in your first week in the game is a blunder of epic proportions and it's a real shame as people who are investing in their infrastructure are clearly trying to do the right thing by looking at the long term. But they are doing it blindly, without consideration of the expenses involved and when they are likely to see a return on their capital. To cap it all off they are left without any resources to tweak their team at all. Here's why it?s an epic blunder, and it's summed up in one sentence:

    -Unfilled seats and terracing cost you dearly, there is a weekly maintenance cost associated with them.

    Every week, you will pay a maintenance cost on every space in your ground, so the bigger your ground the more you will be paying out in maintenance costs. If you are not filling your ground consistently, you will be paying the costs but not getting the associated benefits ? simple economics!

    What you should be doing regarding stadium upgrades is as follows:

    1. Don?t increase the capacity of your ground now
    2. Make a note of the attendance at each of your home games
    3. Note how much your attendance is increasing from game to game
    4. Note how many additional members join your club each week
    5. Note the confidence of your members and how it affects the attendance at each of your home games
    6. Keep a track of which parts of your ground (standing, uncovered seats, covered seats and members? seats) are getting close to capacity.

    When you see point 6 becoming more of a concern, you know that it is time to start planning a ground expansion. You can construct terracing, seating, covered seating and members seats. Each costs a different amount to build, draws a different admission charge, imposes a different maintenance cost per week and attracts a different type of fan. The most popular areas will be terracing and uncovered seats so don't build a stadium full of premium seats and expect the punters to roll up. From the Battrick Rules:

    Type Building Build Cost Maint.Cost Income
    Standing Room ?15.00 ?1.00 ?5.00
    Uncovered Seats ?25.00 ?1.60 ?7.50
    Covered Seats ?30.00 ?2.20 ?10.00
    Members Seats ?100.00 ?5.00 ?25.00

    The Gary Jones website deals with the ratios and calculations that you will use to project your stadium expansion in full, I've used the associated stadium calculator tool a couple of times now and found it to be very accurate and user friendly. Therefore, I have included a link below and refer you to it since it deals with the topic in a far better manner than I can do here:


    Before you use this tool though, just a couple of words of advise:

    The number of members coupled with their confidence is a good guide to how many fans you can expect to arrive at your home games. A mid-table side with ?happy? members should see around 12-14 times the number of members they have walk into the ground, top sides with ?ecstatic? or ?over the moon? members may be getting 16 or 17 times their members with the under-performing teams who have ?pessimistic? members (or worse) getting barely 4 or 5 in some cases.

    So, based on whether you are already filling your stadium, the number of members you have, how you feel you will do in the next season (i.e. will you be getting 15x or 16x members next year or will you struggle due to an impending promotion to a higher level of cricket, are you being relegated to a level that you can compete more strongly at), you can start planning for the future.

    When you have considered all of the above, you are attracting new members each week and you can see that you will be filling your stadium pretty soon, it's time to think about stadium expansion. Keep a track of how many members are coming in each week, add 4 or 5 weeks worth of additional members to your current membership level and plug this into the stadium calculator via the link above.

    Part 8: Producing your own youth:

    You can pull one youth each week and you should do so as you never know how lucky you might get. The overwhelming likelihood is that with no investment in the youth academy and/or ITS, you will get utter garbage, but it?s a free spin of the wheel so why not give it a go. If the player you get is rubbish, simply fire him.

    Moving on to the investment side of the youth setup, you are probably at least a few of months into the game. By now you should have a reasonable side that's holding its head above water, you are making money, you've expanded your ground and the training schedule is going pretty well. You are starting to get more involved in the transfer market, but you'd like to see if you can produce some home grown youngsters to avoid a bidding war for the best talent. So, what do I need to invest?

    The answer is quite a bit of money, it's a long term investment and the initial outlay is pretty steep. Couple this to the fact that the return on your investment will be a fair way off and we are already in the realms of the teams that have some cash to spare. So, you may not be ready for this for quite a while ? back end of season 2 for me, you?re doing pretty well to be ready much sooner.

    At this point, it's time to have a look at some of the factors involved:

    1. ITS - Intensive training sessions. Each one of these is like a 'super net session' and will increase an attribute of your choosing. You can get ITS simply by paying for them and you can buy up to 10 a week. Each ITS purchased costs ?2,000 and you can assign up to 12 ITS to an attribute. You can assign a new player a total number of ITS based on the level of your academy and the player?s age. For example, a 17yr old raised with a superb academy, can have a total of 35 ITS assigned over a minimum of 3 skills. If the base level of a player is worthless 12 ITS will give you a mediocre skill level. Basically 12 ITS in a skill guarantees it will be at least Mediocre and it may be higher if the base level you were given was something nice.

    2. Condition of your youth academy - this influences the amount of ITS that you can assign to a player. The better the condition of your academy, the more ITS' you can assign to a player. Improving the condition of your academy will cost you ?30,000 a throw and note that the condition of your academy will deteriorate over time, but once you have got your academy up to scratch (solid or superb), keeping it there will only probably cost you one upgrade every season or two.

    3. Age of youth pull - You decide the age of the player you wish to pull, the older the player (17-21), the more ITS you can assign to him. Note that choosing an older player may allow you to improve more stats, but older players improve their primary skills at a slower rate after you have pulled them, so it's a balancing act. Most simply pull 17 year olds.

    4. Base level attributes - Pull a player without assigning any ITS to him and you will see that you don't always get worthless in each category. Sometimes you pull someone who has a couple of decent stats straight away. The condition of your academy improves your chances of getting someone who already has some skill, but it never guarantees it. Cross your fingers and hope that the base attributes that you are given combined with ITS (if you have spent any) brings you a decent prospect.

    So, having taken all that on board, you need to decide what sort of player you are trying to pull, be it a batsman, bowler, all-rounder or wicket keeper. Choose the age of the player and assign ITS to the areas that you think are appropriate to the player you want to raise. You may come up with a player who has good attributes in other areas as well, that's the luck of the draw.

    Finally - Don?t forget you can save ITS up from week to week. They don?t all have to used each week, but you can only save up to a maximum of 100 ITS, anything over that threshold will be lost.

    Part 9: Final words of advice:

    1. The sledging boards are there for people to communicate. Read them, pick up tips from them and ask questions on them ... particularly the Newbie Q's board.

    2. Be nosey, you are able to look at other teams, see their transfer activity and view a certain amount of information on their players and their match reports. Check out the teams in your league, look at how strong and/or weak they are, see what you are up against.

    3. This guide probably doesn't tell you everything that you need to know, nor should it. It is intended to help you go in the right direction, to help you avoid making mistakes that will cost you seasons to rectify and to answer some of your most immediate questions. The order I have put things in is fairly loose, you don't need to follow it verbatim; it's just food for thought.

    4. The more active you are, the more you look around, the more you question things, the more you understand. Time and effort spent is related to success, so it's up to you how you want to play the game. Do you want to visit once or twice a week just to keep things ticking over or do you want to dive in and shoot for the upper reaches? Either way, this game is great fun, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have...

    4. Other resources on the web:

    Jumpers for Wickets: http://www.jfw.me.uk/
    Planet Cricket: http://www.planetcricket.org/forums/archive/index.php/f-113.html
    Gary Jones? Stadium Calculator: http://garyjones.co.uk/battrick/stadium
    Battrix: http://members.iinet.net.au/~geometrikal/index.html
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2006
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