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 Post subject: Idea for short leagues with low TV
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:16 pm 
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Background:

We have recently started a league, loosely following the pre-2489 NAF league system from 2ed (40 teams, AFC/NFC conferences, 4 groups per conference) with all the old teams and some of the stars in those teams (Griff, Morg, etc)

Reason for this is we are just 2-3 friends and there would not be enough teams to make a proper league. Also, we like the 2ed fluff :-)

Anyway, we basically have a team each and we play against each other, with a coach playing with the "non player team". That also allows us to play many different races and have fun playing against each other. All the "non player vs non player" matches are done automatically with a simple excel table, assigning results, SPPs, etc to those teams.

In case anybody is interested, this is the first season and this is the second season, that we are currently playing.

Problem:

After the first season, we realised that we had a few problems:

1) Some teams (because of a fixed calendar for Cups, play-offs, etc) play many more matches than the rest. That creates an imbalance and makes more difficult for other teams to compete. This can be offset making play-offs and finals as resurrection matches, but that is not very fluff friendly.
2) Teams get into high TV fast, while we enjoy more playing low-mid TV.

Solution (?)

So this is what I have thought of. We call it the "Zidanes and Pavones", although that's a joke that will be irrelevant for any non spanish soccer follower.

1) Teams play as many matches as they need to any season (between 9 and 17), and the teams develop normally
2) At the end of the season, each team selects 2 players. Those players keep their SPPs. The rest go back to having as many SPPs as they had at the beginning of the season (that usually means 0 SPPs)
3) If a team wins one or several trophies (there are 4), they can select an extra player to keep their SPPs.

In my mind this accomplishes two things:

1) TV/skillset is maintained low and similar between all teams at the beginning of each season, giving all teams a shot at making a good season.
2) It creates a few special star players you can build a backstory on. I think that kind of fits the fluff, where blood bowl players are usually morons and there are few stars in each team. The players that do not keep their SPPs might be replaced by newcomers next year (as they havent performed particularly well) or given that the season is less that half a year, they come back broke and without having trained, so they are back to 0.

Problem is I am not a min/maxer or have much experience with long team development, so perhaps this is a terrible idea. People in this forum have a ton of experience, so maybe I can get some ideas as to how to improve it, what are the main problems, etc :-)

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Idea for short leagues with low TV
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:57 am 
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Hi, I found myself in a similar boat. I started a league in 2nd edition with 3 other people. We also wished to base it as closely as possible to the NAF structure.

How we ran it was that we had a pool of teams. Player 1 chose a team, then player 2, then player 3, then player 3, then player 2, then player 1 and so on until all the teams were taken.

For us it wasn't so much which of us won, but which famous franchise won. Over time the others moved on and it was left with just me; playing all 80 teams. Eventually I moved on to a computer client to play my games and I'm still going. I make my own icons and pitches for the client and this season I have 90 teams with the Elfheim Eagles being hot favourites, to retain their title and win it for the 3rd time.

What I have found is that all teams should play the same amount of games. If they don't it just doesn't work out fair. So there are 3 ways you can do this.

1. The best way is straight out divisional leagues. Leagues suits BB very well as teams play other teams of around their level. In fact if you have lots of depth, it negates the need for handicapping.
2. If teams are knocked out, they have a cup/league/friendly matches to compensate. If you base it on an NFL format (like the NAF from 2nd ed)
3. Base it on a similar system to the Belgian/Swiss football leagues. These are divisions (or mini divisions, so for example as 2nd ed NAF) and you move into another division when that finishes based on your finishing position.

For example you have 4 divisions of 4, worked out how you wish. All the 1sts go into the same div, all the 2nds etc etc. The bottom line though is that all teams play the same amount of games.

"2) At the end of the season, each team selects 2 players. Those players keep their SPPs. The rest go back to having as many SPPs as they had at the beginning of the season (that usually means 0 SPPs)"

No offence but this is a terrible idea. The main thing is that it's tailoring teams to rely on these 2 players, and only these. This is what min-maxed teams tend to do. Also once players get higher in SPP the more imbalance there is. As well as these, not all players are created equally. Your Skaven have an OTTer and a CPOMBER while your zons just have 2 well endowed blitzers. This for me wouldn't work at all.

Better would be to have a TV cull, in that each team has to be under a certain TV. However although this system was popular under LRBs pre 5, they don't tend to be needed now. Although for your league you have a different criteria (i.e. you want to stay at low TV).

Personally, I think you should go at it the other way around. Kind of how the old 7s leagues used to handle big TV players. What they used to do is that any player that aged is recruited to the big leagues. So you could have a SPP cap on players, or a roll each time the skill up. If they fail the roll the player has been sold to a bigger league (team receive the money and lose the player).

The great thing about this is that it encourages teams to spread the SPP between players, rather than giving them to one hog who leaves anyway. This will give teams much more balance.

You can then add a max TV limit for the start of each season if you feel it's needed. As teams would have a balance of players, that would never be too hard to cull for.

I can understand how you want to build the stars, but I think it's a bad idea. One thing you could do though.......that I've just thought of and would work. How about if a star is recruited by a bigger league, they are still available to that team as a Star Player/inducement. That way they don't lose them totally and are still part of the league.

Something like

"The team can no longer pay the player his astronomical wages. In a fit of prima-donna anger, the star player elects to go freebooter, he feels he can earn more money that way anyway! The player is removed from the roster, the team receive monetary compensation (as per the player's contract). However the player has strong ties to the club and agrees to still play for them when needed (so long as the club can pay his extortionate one of fees that is!)"

I think that would be perfect for you and the balance of your league.


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 Post subject: Re: Idea for short leagues with low TV
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:21 pm 
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Thanks a lot for the answer!

harvestmouse wrote:
Hi, I found myself in a similar boat. [...] I have 90 teams with the Elfheim Eagles being hot favourites, to retain their title and win it for the 3rd time.


That sounds really cool! We only have time for around one game a week, so playing all the matches (20 every in-game week) would be a never ending story. Works much better with the automated results :-) In our league, the Eagles did not perform very well last season. They have bought Lucien Swift this year so they might turn things around.

harvestmouse wrote:
What I have found is that all teams should play the same amount of games. If they don't it just doesn't work out fair. So there are 3 ways you can do this.

1. The best way is straight out divisional leagues. Leagues suits BB very well as teams play other teams of around their level. In fact if you have lots of depth, it negates the need for handicapping.
2. If teams are knocked out, they have a cup/league/friendly matches to compensate. If you base it on an NFL format (like the NAF from 2nd ed)
3. Base it on a similar system to the Belgian/Swiss football leagues. These are divisions (or mini divisions, so for example as 2nd ed NAF) and you move into another division when that finishes based on your finishing position.


Correct. If they don't play the same number of games, the TV distance grows. As the program to simulate results is based on TV difference, it makes good teams better and it stop being fun.

Option 2 could work, but it is not that fun to have lots of meaningless blood bowl matches (I know, oxymoron). We tried doing all the play-off, etc matches resurrection last year, but it doesn't feel right either. So what we would need is to bring teams after every season to a similar low TV point without having to restart completely the teams.

My main concern with this is that teams lose most SPPs but not the rest of the development (new/better positionals, etc) and expensive teams (dark elves, wood elves, for example) might benefit from it. They also usually suffer more casualties, so perhaps they cannot develop so much as it is short leagues. We will see after this season.

harvestmouse wrote:
No offence but this is a terrible idea. The main thing is that it's tailoring teams to rely on these 2 players, and only these. This is what min-maxed teams tend to do. Also once players get higher in SPP the more imbalance there is. As well as these, not all players are created equally. Your Skaven have an OTTer and a CPOMBER while your zons just have 2 well endowed blitzers. This for me wouldn't work at all.


No offense taken :-)

It is important to note seasons are short: 9 matches. Longer if you qualify for Cups, play-offs, etc, but at that point you are more interested in winning than team building :-) You need lots of luck to get a OOTer and a CPOMBer with skaven before they lose their SPPs. But it is true it is a problem on the long run (if we ever get that far) as perhaps you will not keep the gutter runner that got 3 normal skills that season but the one bought before the last match that got a lucky +MV.

Given most matches are not played but simulated, I am not sure it is really a big issue, though. Simulated matches are based on team TV. Having a better star player, other than the small addition in TV it gives, will be useful for the webpage when we update their file and create weekly DYK. Also, they can be injured/die in all those matches as easily as the next player on their position so it is down to their luck, really. And yes, it is not an optimal system but it was simple enough to create, which was our main concern. Also, it can give really hilarious results (for DYKs).

Those players can be a problem if they face one of the player teams in a game, but then you just have to suck it and try to get them. So I understand your point but I don't see it as a game breaker. NPC teams with a uber star might have a shitty performance, if they are unlucky in the simulator. This season, for example, the Reavers only have 1 victory so far even though they have Griff and Zug (house ruled)

If one of the player teams is lucky enough to get a good star player (my wardancer got +AG and +MV on her first skill ups), then that player will be facing a team that will try and take him out (as he is the main threat) every game. THey will likely not last too long as sooner or later, we all get nuffled.

But, I can see the point of the teams relying on those few players to be succesful. Somehow, it is an idea that I don't find that bad as it makes sense from a fluff perspective. What would the Gouged Eye be without Varag? Etc, etc.

I know it sound awefully like I am just trying to defend my idea and not listen, but I assure you it isn't the case! :-) Some teams have better potential that others under this system and in the long run it creates imbalance. It is a very good point to consider.

harvestmouse wrote:
time the skill up. If they fail the roll the player has been sold to a bigger league (team receive the money and lose the player).


It is a good idea, but from a fluff perspective, NAF *is* the big league :-/

Also, we never really liked the whole freebooter that shows up for one match idea. It makes sense for the game to be better, and give an edge to underdogs, etc, etc but it sounds like a weird concept for a "real" sport. I guess we can implement aging as you suggest. That should help with long term imbalance as it will recycle stars if it is done after each season. Maybe, once a player hs been selected, roll 2d6:

1st season after selected 10+ he retires
2nd 9+
3rd 8+
And then, keep it t 8+ afterwards.

Is that also a bad idea? :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Idea for short leagues with low TV
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:59 pm 
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MacHurto wrote:
That sounds really cool! We only have time for around one game a week, so playing all the matches (20 every in-game week) would be a never ending story. Works much better with the automated results :-) In our league, the Eagles did not perform very well last season. They have bought Lucien Swift this year so they might turn things around.


The problem with automated results is that in the end it will skew. You can tailor your teams progression. Also it would be very difficult to get the average spp, scores and cas the same. What if each coach was tasked with playing some games. It's still a lot for a week mind....

My take on the Eagles is that they can have extra catchers, but no throwers. They are the top of the throwing game tree. Mine have had silly rolls on the catchers. All 8 are fantastic. 4 are ST4, another is AG6 and another is MA10. Eventually though one of the hard hitting teams in the top league (most likely Westside Werewolves) are going to bring them down to size. Until then, they'll be dominant I think.

MacHurto wrote:
My main concern with this is that teams lose most SPPs but not the rest of the development (new/better positionals, etc) and expensive teams (dark elves, wood elves, for example) might benefit from it. They also usually suffer more casualties, so perhaps they cannot develop so much as it is short leagues. We will see after this season.


Having a TV cap works, in fact it's quite healthy as if you need to cull it's usually the injured that make way. I think capping was more necessary in LRB than CRP as inducements work well. Also as money doesn't count towards TV, teams could have a free reign on money to bring them to the required TV.

MacHurto wrote:
You need lots of luck to get a OOTer and a CPOMBer with skaven before they lose their SPPs. But it is true it is a problem on the long run (if we ever get that far) as perhaps you will not keep the gutter runner that got 3 normal skills that season but the one bought before the last match that got a lucky +MV.


This was just an example. There are many others. I think a Skaven team would do this in a couple of seasons. Then to start a season with those 2 players against rookie teams (with 2 skilled players) would be terrible. Other teams could also do a similar thing with dominant players. Where some teams wouldn't. It would be 'hero bowl' for the first few games of each season.

MacHurto wrote:
This season, for example, the Reavers only have 1 victory so far even though they have Griff and Zug (house ruled)


Star players tend to be fairly well balanced. They also are quite costly. Created players can be much more dominant. I know what you mean though. I am playing a vampire roster that allows 2 Lords and they're doing terrible. Also my Cragg Counts have the Duke and they're struggling too!

MacHurto wrote:
It is a good idea, but from a fluff perspective, NAF *is* the big league :-/


I did think this, but it's not really accurate having low TV teams representing the league either. The fact you can buy stars (ok I did say there were more balanced than created stars) also makes it difficult at low TV. From a fluff point of view you could say it's a young talent or a 'B' league. And that once a player reaches a certain level they leave for the A team. Also stars wouldn't play full time for the talent team, but will in certain situations.

I don't know..........personally I'd let it go, and play high TV. But the game is more balanced at lower TV, so I see your point. My advice though is that a TV cap would work much much better than keeping 2 players and clean slating everyone else. Especially if teams can buy stars 2.

In my league teams can buy stars, but they leave at the end of the season. Like you my seasons are 9 games long (10 team divisions). The thing that works well with this is that teams that are not in contention can save money to buy a star at the start of the season.


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 Post subject: Re: Idea for short leagues with low TV
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:36 pm 
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harvestmouse wrote:
The problem with automated results is that in the end it will skew. You can tailor your teams progression. Also it would be very difficult to get the average spp, scores and cas the same. What if each coach was tasked with playing some games. It's still a lot for a week mind....


Not sure what you mean. How will it skew?

The excel decides the winner (TV difference influences it), TD, CAS, etc. In average we have 3TD per match (consistent with a typical 2-1 result) and 3.6 casualties per game (which hopefully is consistent with FUMMBL Box CAS/match if you take all teams, as I used that data :-))

Sure, the random will make some teams better than others but that is just like if we played those matches, right?

We cant play all games as there are 20 games per in-game week. That would be 10 weeks of real time per in-game week :-)

harvestmouse wrote:
This was just an example. There are many others. I think a Skaven team would do this in a couple of seasons. [...] My advice though is that a TV cap would work much much better than keeping 2 players and clean slating everyone else


I really think it only become an issue if a coach controlled team has one of those players. For simulated matches, the only thing that counts is TV, and if both teams are rookies with the same number of skilled players (2), the TVs will still be very similar and the odds to win are matched, regardless how those players would fare in a real match.

And if one of us gets a uber player... Yes, it is clear that could make the few first games easier. Until it rolls a 1 and they gangfoul him :-D And that will eventually happen as the that teams plays for real every week (and we are at best average coaches :-)

But, in any case, I asked for advice/opinions, and you gave it, so thanks a lot for the feedback :-) I am sure we will start season 3 with these rules and quickly realise you were right :-D

I will consider a TV cap at the beginning of the season to make sure seasonal development is more important than just having a better TV

harvestmouse wrote:
I did think this, but it's not really accurate having low TV teams representing the league either. The fact you can buy stars (ok I did say there were more balanced than created stars) also makes it difficult at low TV.


Well, the story is NAF has restarted in 2491 after a blood bowl cataclysm, so other than a few star players still around, everyone else is basically new. Franchises have reappeared but players are freshmen. Wont bore you with details as you probably arent interested and anyway, they are on the links in the first post :-)

Also,you cannot buy stars (or induce them). We play with BB1:Chaos league so we are limited with what we can do. When I say Oberwald, I refer to our caped version of Oberwald which is just a blitzer with ST4 AG4 and Blodge. He will improve to become as good as he was (or die trying). Same goes for Ghoulchewer, or Valen Swift, or the 9-10 stars that survived.

harvestmouse wrote:
In my league teams can buy stars, but they leave at the end of the season. Like you my seasons are 9 games long (10 team divisions). The thing that works well with this is that teams that are not in contention can save money to buy a star at the start of the season.


Thats also a great idea. Will think how I can implement something similar. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Idea for short leagues with low TV
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:07 am 
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MacHurto wrote:
Not sure what you mean. How will it skew?


Your SPP gaining isn't random. You essentially choose (in over half the cases) who scores. You farm SPP to gain skills where you want them. It might not sound much, however over time that makes a big difference. Tailoring and randoming SPP.

MacHurto wrote:
Well, the story is NAF has restarted in 2491 after a blood bowl cataclysm, so other than a few star players still around, everyone else is basically new. Franchises have reappeared but players are freshmen.


Makes sense. I based my league similar, probably a little later down the line than you. NAF have made a comeback but are competing with the smaller leagues and open scene. My fluff piece is here.

https://fumbbl.com/help:SecretLeagueclassic


harvestmouse wrote:
In my league teams can buy stars, but they leave at the end of the season.



MacHurto wrote:
We play with BB1:Chaos league so we are limited with what we can do. Thats also a great idea. Will think how I can implement something similar. Thanks!


Well Cyanide's game limit's things massively. There are probably a lot of skin sets you can use or make though. I use an independent gaming client. I was using an LRB5/6 client, however in game I prefer LRB4. So I reverted back to the old FUMBBL LRB4 client. So all my teams are fully custom, with custom rosters.

Unless that's your thing, I wouldn't advise anybody going down that road for a group league though.


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 Post subject: Re: Idea for short leagues with low TV
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:05 pm 
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harvestmouse wrote:
MacHurto wrote:
Not sure what you mean. How will it skew?


Your SPP gaining isn't random. You essentially choose (in over half the cases) who scores. You farm SPP to gain skills where you want them. It might not sound much, however over time that makes a big difference. Tailoring and randoming SPP.


The simulated matches are not totally random either. Some player types have more chances to score or do a cas or pass the ball. Feally good players of that type, also do better. I have to say, so far it has worked very well. Development is very similar to the teams we play with.it is not as customizable as if you play, but that only makes NPC teams slightly worse, which is ok as the objective would be to have two PC teams play the Blood Bowl final and stuff like that. So far, we play better (or are luckier) with NPCs though :-D

One of us got two ST5 BOBs yesterday, so he is now a clear favourite to win, though. He is also a clear favourite to prove next season your point about keeping two players being a terrible idea :-D

Ah, and nice backstory for your league!


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 Post subject: Re: Idea for short leagues with low TV
 Post Posted: Sat May 28, 2016 6:23 pm 
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Just to update, after finishing the season (where one of the player teams managed to win the Chaos Cup) we have decided to go with a different method (partially inspired by the answers here :-))

- season beginning cap of 1400TV
- on top of that the extra abilities of one player (the star) in each team do not count for the TV cap (but do for the matches)

That way each team can improve the players as they see fit but we keep the "star of the team" fluff, allowing that player to reach very high SPP rankings


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