Xpert Eleven - A New Player's Guide

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Xpert Eleven - A New Player's Guide

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:42 pm

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I will break this into multiple posts so as it doesn't seem like one massive post.

This was posted on the Power League boards by Admin, and I think it excellent reading for new players, as well as a reminder to returning players:

I want to make point out a few things that you might want to be aware as a newbie.

1) Be aware of that the agents that offers you to buy players are not equally skilled at estimating the players' skill. The most skilled agents will always give you a player with the same skill as the agent stated. But the most unskilled agents can give you a player that is not as good as the agent said the player was going to be. These "bad" agents can also under-estimate the player's skill and give you a player that is better than the agent stated, but it's more probable that he over-estimates the player's skill. To be really sure that you don't get screwed by the agent you can evaluate the player before you purchase him. This costs some money the information about the player's skill and special qualities that you get when you evaluate the player is 100% correct. If you don't evalute the player you might discover that the player was not as skilled as you thought he was going to be when he arrives to your club.

There are currently 3 agents that are "reliable" and always gives you a player with the skill the agent stated. The other agents might fool you.

2) Be aware of the Referee's values. The referees has 2 values. The S-value which show you how skilled the referee is. And the H-value that shows you how hard (strict) the referee is. The values are on a scale of 1 to 9 where 1 is a low value and 9 is the highest value.

You will be able to see the referee and his skill on the next match page (tactics page). If you for example see a referee with the values S9 H9 you are facing av very skilled but very strict referee and you might wanna consider setting a tactics according to the referees values. Or else you might have to face a lot of bookings and freekicks etc.

3) The players can increase or decrease their skill level at the season update. If the player increases or decreases his skill and how much depends on the player's average form during the past season and how old the players is. If the player's average form is over 10 form bars his skill will increase. If the player's average form is below 10 form bars his skill will decrease. Young players has more potential to increase their skill than old players and old players has more potential to decrease their skill than young players.

4) Be aware of that the skill you see on a player is NOT the player's exact skill. It's only an approximation of the player's exact skill. This means that if a player has a visual skill of 6 skill bars his exact skill is somewhere in the interval between 5,50 and 6,50. This also means that a player can increase his skill quite significantly at the season update without changing his visual skill.

5) Be aware of that it's a different story to play a match at home from playing a match away. Some tactical things that might work well at home might not work as well away.

6) The main source of income comes from the sponsors and the sponsoractivities. If you do a sponsoractivity well you will get 1 millon econ. But be aware of that the questions about the rules in the sponsoractivity may be a bit tricky. Some questions is asking for the false statement and some for the true statement.

7) Be aware of that daytrading is not profitable. The prices you pay for players are higher than the money you get when you sell a player. This is due to the agents and the player that will take about 15-25% of the transfer cost.

8) Be aware of that the direct effect of a form training is NOT the biggest gain from a form training. The biggest gain of a form training is that it is very probable that you will change player's hidden form tendency from negative to positive. If the player already has a positive hidden form tendency it's quite unnecessary to give the player a form training (unless the player has a very lousy form or if you want to strengthen the players average form). But as the name suggests, the hidden form tendency is hidden so you can't actually see if the player got a negative hidden form tendency. You have to feel it

If you have read this and understood it you are well prepared for the game. This and a lot more is in the rules althogh it might be hard reading it all.

If you have any further questions you can post the in the forum and you will probably get a good answer for me or someone else.

Good luck to you!
Walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

[16:22] <SoulSeeker> i know its not the pc version but i kill kids for fun

<whizbang> Who's the ref?
<Isileth> Some dickhead

Re: Xpert Eleven - A New Player's Guide

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:43 pm

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Something else I just remembered wan't in the Rules section, but was in the Xpert Daily:

This is from the Xpert Daily article on Preparation and Experience:

Tactical option to prepare for opponent111s formation

You will be able to prepare your team for how your opponent will play. If you think your opponent will play 4-4-2 you will be able to choose to prepare your team for that by selecting that formation in a dropdown list on the tactics page. The tactical option will also be possible to save within the default tactics.

If your opponent uses that formation this will have a negative effect on your opponent111s ability to create chances. How much effect it will have depends on how accustomed your opponent is to playing with that formation. That is determined by the formations used by your opponent the last 3 matches (including friendlies). The more matches (out of the past 3 matches) the opponent has played with a certain formation, the better he will be at playing that formation.

In other words this means that if the opponent uses a formation that he has used before and you didn111t prepare for that formation then your opponent will get a boost in his ability to create chances.

This new feature will replace the old bogey team factor. The effect of this tactical option will work in the same way as the old bogey team factor and affect the opponent111s team to create chances. The examples below will use the old bogey team factor (BTF) as a measure of the effect.

This example below will show:
CFP = Correct formation preparation
NMFO = Number of matches formation has been used by the opponent (out of his latest 3 matches)
Effect = The effect on the opponent111s ability to create chances
BTF= The effect of the old bogey team factor.

Yes 0 -1.5 BTF
Yes 1 -1.0 BTF
Yes 2 -0.5 BTF
Yes 3 +-0 BTF
No 0 +-0 BTF
No 1 +0.5 BTF
No 2 +1.0 BTF
No 3 +1.5 BTF
Walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

[16:22] <SoulSeeker> i know its not the pc version but i kill kids for fun

<whizbang> Who's the ref?
<Isileth> Some dickhead

Re: Xpert Eleven - A New Player's Guide

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:43 pm

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I found this list about prize money in the forums:

The prize money is as follows:

1st place 1 000 000 econ
2nd place 500 000 econ
3rd place 250 000 econ

Top goalscorer:
250 000 econ

Most assists:
250 000 econ

Most points (goals + assists) :
250 000 econ

Most nominations to the Xperteleven all star team:
500 000 econ

If number of goals, assists and points(goals+assists) are equal the winner will be the player with most nominations to the all star team and if the winner still cannot be decided the player with most nominations as captain of the all star team wins.
Walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

[16:22] <SoulSeeker> i know its not the pc version but i kill kids for fun

<whizbang> Who's the ref?
<Isileth> Some dickhead

Re: Xpert Eleven - A New Player's Guide

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:44 pm

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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:16 pm
Remember that in X11, money is your friend! You can use it to form-train, purchase the contracts of new players on the transfer wire, motivate your club to perform better in matches, and bet in the pools (if you are so inclined). How do you get this money?

1) Complete your sponsor activity each week (1 mil units)
2) Post a press release each week (200k units, can add up to 2.8 mil over a season)
3) Choose a sponsor once a month (250K)
4) Win, place, or show in the league (1 mil, 500k, 250k)
5) Go to the finals of a cup (750k winner, 350k runner-up)
6) Have the MVP of the league (500k)
7) Have the player with the highest points, goals and assists (250k each category)
8) Win in the weekly pools (Award based on number of participants)
9) Sell players on the transfer market
Walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

[16:22] <SoulSeeker> i know its not the pc version but i kill kids for fun

<whizbang> Who's the ref?
<Isileth> Some dickhead

Re: Xpert Eleven - A New Player's Guide

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:44 pm

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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:16 pm
Here is an awesome piece by Colinzink that adds a good deal to Leftblanks workup of formations!

Coach's Corner - Formations
Coach111s Corner is an article composed by a 111subject matter xpert111 with the idea of helping all of us get better and to understand the facets of the game in a much clearer way. In this edition, Colinzink will be taking us through the theory behind formations.

First off, I want to apologize to all of you that it took so long to get another Coach's Corner article into the Daily. Many of you know that the next article was supposed to be on the Transfer Market; I had my writer all picked and he had begun development quite a while ago. But unfortunately, real life has a tendency to creep in at the worst time and the writer I chose has been unable to cross the finish line with the article. I do not blame him of course, in fact I am happy that he volunteered, I think we all need to remember that nobody has to do anything for anyone else on this site, and I am confident that once it is completed, it will be well worth the wait.

I also want to preface what I am about to write here as such; I really never wanted to write one of these myself for quite a few reasons, the most obvious is that I don't consider myself an "expert" by any means, but I felt like the only person I could trust to get this done properly and in haste was me, so you are stuck with me, haha. Hopefully you can take something away from this article that you didn't already know and it makes you a better manager.

The Theory

Inevitably, you have stumbled into the Xpert Forum, and seen a scenario where one manager will lay out for everyone an expected formation and asks what they should play to counter it...this always bugs me, but not for the reason you might think. I don't blame the manager for asking, what I don't like is the narrow-minded answers that always follow questions like this. It is general commonplace that managers have "counters" built into their thinking and will just blurt them out without thinking. For instance, if we expand the example and the manager says his opponent will play 442 and someone just posts "use 451" as the response, it seems we have a clean and concise answer...but we don't. What if in order to play the 451, the manager has to play a midfielder well under the skill of the rest of his players, and in the process leaves a highly skilled defender and/or a highly skilled forward on the bench? Does that advice make sense now? Probably not.

So what am I really rambling about here? I think the first point is that too much stress is put into the concept of counterformations...sometimes they just don't work because this is not a perfect world. What I mean by this is that not every team has the same strengths and weaknesses, and formations only act as the conductor if you will, for these strengths and weaknesses. And this adage plays into what I think is the key element of formations, which are the ratings.

When thinking about formations and how to use them, you must think about what kind of ratings they are going to produce. Without that, all of this talk on formations is a complete waste of time. On the match report, you see 3 rating values for each portion of the team. The higher your offensive rating, the more potent your attack is, meaning the more likely you are to score the chances your team creates. The midfield rating is a good indicator of how successful your team will be at creating chances and lastly, the defence rating is how effective your team will be at keeping the opposition from creating/scoring. The piece of the team that isn't highlighted here is the goalkeeper. The better the goalkeeper, the least likely the other team is to score on those chances. It should be noted that playing style has a MASSIVE effect on the way that these rating translate into results, but that is another topic altogether that will be tackled more at a later date. ;-)

So before we start talking about what works, it is important to visualize what each formation means in terms of the ratings that they produce. But before we get to that, I want to discuss the opponents you are likely to see out there.

I know what you are gonna do!

Being prepared, meaning on the tactics board selecting the formation that your opponent will use, is part of the formation battle, but it isn't overly theoretical. For more information on the impact of the basics of preparation, I recommend reading Leftblank's guide which can be found here: http://www.freewebs.com/leftblank/xpert11guideIV.pdf. What I want to do is talk about the tendencies of the managers out there, and how you can react to them. I like to think about them in animal types; I once read a poker book that used a similar system and it really helped me, so I have applied a lot of the similar notions here:

1) The Sloth: The Sloth is the manager on X11 that NEVER changes their formation. You look at his club stats if you are VIP or just check his last matches and you know what this manager is going to use for their formation, without fail. A lot of managers look down on the Sloth, but it does have its advantages, one being that every time someone doesn't prep their formation, they get a massive boost, and when they do get prepped, it is only as if they are using this formation the first time in a 3-match series. The Sloth can frequently lull another manager into a false sense of security by nature, but if the Sloth is able to guess what you will try to counter him with and hits, you are the one in the hole now, so be careful! But really, this manager is the one that is the easiest to deal with, you know what they are going to do, and they by nature aren't the most crafty individuals for the most part. Just be wary of a high-ranked Sloth...he sees you coming, don't fall into the trap!

2) The Lion: The Lion is a manager that has a few formations picked out that they like to use at home and away, and basically never strays from them because hey, they work. This manager is a bit more crafty than the Sloth, but they are still have a pattern even if at first it isn't blatantly obvious. In general, most managers think the way that the Lion does...they don't get too fancy and stick to what works at home and away. Frequently when looking at a Lion's past matches, you can get lost in the weeds that they have no pattern, but look closer...look at the formations that your opponent uses at home and the ones they use away and if they use one or two formations for either case, you have spotted a Lion. The best way to beat a Lion is to identify the few formations that they use and then think about which one makes sense for them to use against you and be prepared to counter it if possible. Typically, the Lion is a solid player, they are rarely ranked outside the top 5000 unless they don't have a full 6 month cycle.

3) The Hyena: No, not the Dutch support member, haha. The Hyena is the laughing lunatic of the xpert11 world. The Hyena has no pattern beyond that they don't have a pattern! They NEVER play the same formation twice in a 3-set, and everything they do is erratic. When I think of the Hyena, I like to think of the kid in the backseat who never shuts up and is just bouncing all over the place for no reason, it is just who they are. A lot of good players are Hyenas, but they'd do well to settle down a bit. Playing the Hyena can be challenging if you try to catch them out, because by nature they are very hard to catch, and in some instances trying to catch out a Hyena does more harm to you then it does to them! So sometimes, it pays to be a bit more cautious and play to your strengths against a manager like this who is basically all over the place.

4) The Hawk: The last type of manager is what I hope you are or can become when this guide is completed, and that is the Hawk. The Hawk flies above all the rest of the managers and can spot their tendencies from a safe distance. The Hawk picks apart their opponent and is always the one that has the best tactical plan. To beat a Hawk, you need to think like one...and the best way is to look at yourself and your own team...how would I play against myself? Just be aware, that the Hawk is always one step ahead of you and this has entered his mind as well...especially if he can't get a read on you as one of the other 3 types. Hawks are rarely ranked outside the top 1000 unless they play in the top divisions in the xpert leagues and thus have to play against each other quite a bit.

Now that we understand how ratings work and how to read the formations of our opponents, I think we are finally ready to talk about what works.

It is all about Strengths and Weaknesses

Every formation out there has a strength and a weakness, there is no perfect formation, despite what all the 352 junkies out there would have you believe. I am going to break down each one and give my best thoughts on how to utilize them properly. This would be a good time to remind you all that this is just my opinion, and REMEMBER THE RATINGS!

1) The 541: The 541 is a formation with a strong defence, a balanced midfield, and a weak attack. Therefore, the 541 is best used when winning isn't exactly what you had in mind, and does well against other relatively defensive formations, or formations that give away too much in the midfield, like the 424 and 523 for instance. A great "box it in" formation, the 541 with a defensive playing style is extremely hard to beat. When coming up against the 541 it is important to remember that by nature, the 541 doesn't have a strong attack, so you can typically lean towards formations with 3 defenders and be relatively safe. Just don't overdo it, or the more aggressive 541 that isn't looking to box it in, could catch you out in the right circumstances.

2) The 532: An acquired taste, the 532 has a strong defense, a weaker midfield, and a balanced attack. Personally, I like using the 532 and lobbing my opponent when I think they are going to try and boss the midfield, especially if they have only 3 defenders at the back. What I will say about the 532, is that you do give up a bit in the midfield, so you need to make what chances you do get count. The 532 is definitely not the most aggressive formation in the game, so if you were counting on a win, you might have been better choosing something else. In my opinion, the best way to crack the 532 is the 451 or 442 that utilizes the long rang shots offensive strategy. I know this goes a bit outside the formation talk, but if you can dominate the midfield over the 3 midfielders and highlight that with LRS, you have a great chance of cracking this tricky formation.

3) The 523: The 523 is an interesting bird....being that it has a strong defense, a pathetic midfield, and a strong attack, it has very odd tendencies. The 523 does well against other formations that take a step back in the midfield department, but it tends to do poorly against the 424 as the extra attacker out there gives it the edge. The 523 also can shine against 3 at the back formations that don't use LRS as their offensive strategy, since the 5 defenders to a good job curbing the chance count.

4) The 424: Yikes...the 424 is scary on so many levels. The 424 has a balanced defence, a pathetic midfield, and a menacing attack. The key to any successful formation is to know when to use it, and the 424 is best used against other formations that skimp on the midfield or against 3 at the back formations that simply can't deal with the bum rush. The issues with the 424 is that you take your life in your hands; with the by nature low midfield rating, you are really banking on the fact that the chances you create are going to find the net. The best way to stop the 424 is similar to the tips I gave on the 532, except this time we can take it a step further back and use the 541 with LRS to ensure the 4 attackers are dealt with and still use the 4 mids to our advantage and use the midfield dominance to our advantage with the LRS. 451 works well too, it is just a smudge more risky, but not overly so.

5) The 433: The 433 is the most balanced of the "lobbing" formations, as it has a balanced defence, a weaker midfield, and a strong attack. Managers have fought for centuries over whether or not the 433 beats the stronger mid formations like the 352 and 451 and I am here to put it to bed forever by saying....it depends. Haha, now who didn't see that one coming? Really though, the ratings output really swings this one; I favor the 451 over the 433, but the 352 is more interesting as with the 433 you put the 3 defenders to the screws, but the 5 mids if utilized properly can really create problems for a 433. This formation is probably at its best against the 343, as it can lob the midfield to a 3 at the back formation.

6) The 442: Ah, Mr. reliable, you aren't likely to get dominated too badly using this formation, as it is balanced everywhere. But you'd be a fool to look down on the 442, as it does have its uses. For instance, I have always found that 442 longballs works very well against a 352 of similar strength, as it fixes that problem we saw with the 433 in that the 442 doesn't give up too much in midfield. It also stands up well against the extreme formations that give up too much in midfield, like the 424 and 523. In my experience, the best way to beat the 442 is usually to take one step in either direction by lobbing it with a 3 midfield formation or crowding it out with a 5 man formation. Just remember your ratings before picking one of these methods.

7) The 451: Simply put, you lose the midfield battle with a 451, and you don't have much hope of winning the match as this formation has a balanced defence, a strong midfield, and a weak attack. As I said, you put a lot of pressure on that 1 attacker to win you the match if you cannot boss the midfield, so make sure that you do or else you are in trouble! This is why so many managers like the 352 against the 451 because if they can win the midfield battle, they have them absolutely trumped. As I have been mentioning throughout this section, winning the midfield battle and playing LRS with the 451 is a great tactical strategy, one that will win you many games. Just remember, you gotta win the midfield battle!

8) The 352: Took me long enough to get here, didn't it? The 352 is the golden child of xpert11, with a weak defence, a strong midfield and a balanced attack, but I think that has more to do with the way people build their teams than anything. A good lob formation that doesn't give up too much in midfield can slay this mighty formation on their good day. But really, the reason why so many people believe this is the best formation in the game is because the 5 mids create a lot of chances and unlike the 451, you have 2 forwards there to convert the chances created. If you are confident in the rest of your tactics, you have a great formation choice that can topple your opponents with relative efficiency. Just be wary, as it isn't invincible!

9) The 343: This is the gung-ho formation on xpert11, a weak defence, a balanced midfield, and a strong attack, this one takes it a step beyond the 352 and really wants to hammer home that offensive dominance. When using the 343, it is important to be careful as you can get undone by a good lobbing formation or a manager opting to boss you in midfield. The 343 shines the most against those pesky defensive formations, where you can run the park on them given the chance. Just remember, you have 3 at the back and not much stopping your opponent from scoring so don't get too careless out there.

So that wraps up all the theory I wanted to talk about in this article, hope it isn't too daunting to go thru! Now for some questions:


Richardfenn asks: How far below your strongest first eleven would you go to field a "counter" formation?

This is a good question, and goes back to what I was talking about with ratings. If you have to bench a much higher skilled player just to fit in a counter, I don't think it is the most advisable course of action. If I can stand up against another manager and play the same formation as them, I'd just as soon do something like that rather than give them a strength advantage just to force a counter, especially if the rating output isn't going to be swayed too much by what I am forcing in.

Grassbandits asks: Would you prepare for a formation an opponent has used in 2 of their last 3 games even if you think they'll probably play another formation? Would you consider hedging your bets accordingly i.e. Prepare for the formation your opponent has used but set counter tactics and your own formation for the formation you really expect him to play?

I like this strategy personally; it does have a place in the game for sure. What I wouldn't do however is play a formation that my opponent used in 2 out of the last 3 matches that was a poor counter even if it was the perfect counter for what I might think he will play and hedge by preparing, as that has a potential to open up the game more in their favor if they stick with the 2 out of 3 formation, especially if they are stronger. If you are going to play a more cautious, balanced game, I'd play it all around and not leave myself exposed anywhere if possible.

Jimbo_204 asks: What formation would you most like to see added?

I personally would like to see the 334 formation added, I think it would spruce things up a bit! Also, the 361 formation isn't the worst idea either; I think both would have their place in X11 tactics.

Rosscoe asks: At what point does formation become relatively unimportant due to the strength of your team?

Hmm, hard to say, but I don't think formation ever becomes irrelevant if that is the underlying question/concern here. I think it always has a place in the game, and no matter how strong your team is, it needs to be considered.
Walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

[16:22] <SoulSeeker> i know its not the pc version but i kill kids for fun

<whizbang> Who's the ref?
<Isileth> Some dickhead

Re: Xpert Eleven - A New Player's Guide

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:46 pm

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Here is an article about referees by Rosscoe. I think I have not been paying as much attention to this aspect as I could, but here is something to think about (and use against me? Hmmmm...)

Coach's Corner - Referees
Coach111s Corner is an article composed by a 111subject matter xpert111 with the idea of helping all of us get better and to understand the facets of the game in a much clearer way. In this edition, Rosscoe will be taking us through referees, and it is a long one so I'd recommend grabbing a drink now!

So, the honour (or burden!) has fallen on me to tackle the issue of referees for this issue of Coach's Corner. It is an area of the game which I didn't spend a lot of time considering when I was a new manager, but the man in the middle can actually have a noticeable impact on the outcome of games.

Before we look at each referee individually, let's start with some basics.

The "S" Value

S stands for Skill. The higher the value, the more likely the referee is to make the correct decision. Fair enough. But what decisions will have a bearing on the game's outcome?

* Offside decisions
* Whether a foul has been committed
* Whether a player is cheating or diving
* Whether a goal should be disallowed or not (effectively in conjunction with the other 3 factors, and it should be noted that
disallowed goals do not actually affect the outcome of matches 111 they are thrown in as "extras")

Presumably there are other factors which don't have any real bearing on a match simulation, such as awarding throw-ins the right way, allowing advantage to be played at the right time and so on.

The "H" Value

H stands for Hardness. Essentially this affects how the referee administers discipline. He or she is more likely to hand out red and yellow cards the higher this value is. It is also likely that the value reflects how likely a referee is to blow his or her whistle. A hard referee has a lower threshold on what is considered a foul (though this will also be affected by the "S" value) and awards free kicks and penalties more often.

So which of our tactical choices should be affected by who is officiating a match?

111 Aggression level.
111 Whether to Cheat
111 Whether to use offside traps
111 To a lesser extent, offensive & defensive strategies (in conjunction with offside traps 111 predominantly whether or not to use through plays, since this will affect how often the referee will be called upon to make offside decisions)

Analyzing the Referees

When looking at individual referees, these first 3 points above will be considered each time. However, to save us some time we can probably group the referees into 5 different categories, as most respected managers will be in agreement in the approaches for the four main categories.

1) The Enforcers: High S and High H (Tony Nolan, Al Reddy, Dick Tator)

These guys do everything by the book and will usually make the right decision, but will come down on you like a ton of bricks for any infringement.

Aggression: Careful is the most sensible option, as you will not incur so many cards or free kicks. Normal can be worth a gamble in order to get that performance boost, but don't cry if it doesn't work out. Bruise is pretty much asking for a red card, which is likely to completely undo any performance boost you get. Also, how much can your performance really be boosted if you keep giving possession away due to cheap fouls?

Cheat: Don't do it. Your attempts to gain advantage will not only be spotted, they will be heavily penalised.

Offsides: You must use offside traps with these referees. Not only will they make the right decision most of the time, they are more likely to err on the defensive side if there is any doubt (being whistle-happy).

2) The Grandparents: High S and Low H (Wanda Rinn, Michael Steen)

So-called because they know the difference between right and wrong, so they will award penalties and free kicks if a genuine offence has been committed, and spot cheats, but will tend to let you go with just a telling off when you transgress, because they're quite nice really.

Aggression: Certainly there is no need to resort to Careful with these refs, unless your primary aim is to avoid injuries. Normal aggression will carry a fairly standard set piece risk, which will increase further if you bruise, but risk of red and yellow cards remains low, no matter how aggressive you are. Feel free to bruise if you can absorb the increased injury risk, and the increased risk of conceding a penalty. Otherwise, go normal.

Cheat: You are unlikely to gain much by cheating, as you are likely to be spotted. But at the same time you will not risk much by trying. Use your own discretion.

Offsides: The high S value suggests that offside traps are a good idea. However, the risk is increased compared to Category 1 refs, as they are less whistle-happy, and so are less likely to blow on borderline decisions, and low H value refs are less likely to disallow goals. Overall, using traps seems worth the risk.

3) The Wildcards: Low S and High H (George Buske, Constance Paine, Manuel Ficuz, Stellan Offsajed, Seymour Red)

These referees can be awkward to deal with, as they are capable of getting things very wrong. And if they think you have transgressed, you can get the harshest penalty.

Aggression: One thing is clear, you will get cards no matter what. But playing careful will reduce your risk. It will also reduce your exposure if your opponent decides to cheat. Increasing your aggression level will significantly increase your risk of having a man sent off and of conceding a penalty.

Cheat: These refs are perfect for cheating with. You will usually get away with it, and can often get an opponent booked or even sent off, or win a penalty in the process.

Offsides: The popular school of thought is to avoid offside traps at all costs with these refs. But occasionally a gamble could pay off. The combination of S and H values means that offside decisions could be wildly unpredictable, so on occasions you could see some of your opponents' genuine breakaways being pulled up wrongly for offside. But this is hard to measure, and is definitely a risky strategy.

4) The Big Softies: Low S and Low H (Luke Bribe, Hugh Cango, Charlie Fender)

Carte blanche to do what you like with these refs. They will not whistle much, and will not hand out many cards even when they do. They will award penalties from time to time though.

Aggression: Bruise if you want the maximum possible performance. These guys hardly ever dish out cards.

Cheat: Cheating will help you defensively (shirt-pulling etc), and may earn you a few more free kicks. But on the whole, the ref is likely just to let the game play out without intervening, so there may not be much to be gained.

Offsides: Not on your nelly. I have never been beaten by a team using traps with a Big Softy in charge.

5) All the rest!

While it is reasonable to come up with fixed approaches for all the referees in the above categories, the same cannot be said for the rest of the bunch. This category basically includes any referee with either of their values in the range 4-6. This mid-range means that choices are not clear-cut, and it may be worth delving into observed stats to see what can be learned. So let's take the remaining refs individually111

Al Beback (S6 H 3)

Aggression: Normal aggression will bring you a lower than average risk of yellow cards (about half the typical amount), and an average penalty risk. Careful is an ultra-safe option and need not be used under normal circumstances. Bruising is risky. I have only observed 2 occasions of bruising with Beback, and those two games resulted in 1 red card and 1 penalty conceded. Although he is not particularly hard, he is sufficiently skilled to determine that some offences deserve to be punished, and is not afraid to award penalties.

Cheat: I have only cheated with Beback on 2 occasions, so the results are not sufficient for analysis. However, my opponents have used this option on around 40% of occasions. The results are a little confusing. Although my team's results have been slightly better when my opponent cheated, the actual statistics involved were actually quite a lot worse. I created 23% fewer chances when my opponent cheated, and they created around the same proportion more. The proportion of goals from free kicks I conceded increased to well above average (17% compared to 7.6% across all my games) though they got no more penalties than normal. My opponents received fractionally more yellow cards when cheating, but still below average. I must point out that the sample is quite small but the results are still worth taking note of. Conclusion: Cheating is worth a gamble, but whether you do or don't, the game is not going to hinge on this decision.

Offsides: I have used offside traps on almost every occasion with Beback, but again my opponents have use a mixed approach, so it's their figures I will use for analysis. The results are difficult to analyse. Both teams performed better (in terms of chance creation and conversion) when my opponents used offside traps. In particular, my opponents seemed to perform very poorly when not using offside traps, scoring only 0.5 goals per game. I find it hard to come up with an explanation of how this option could have affected their offence so heavily, and to be honest I can't. They created twice as many chances and scored three times as many goals when they used offside traps, although the outcome of the games was not much different. The percentage of my goals coming from breakaways was twice as high when my opponents did not use traps. Conclusion: Use offside traps.

Hans Gruber (S5 H 9)

Aggression: In my experience, Gruber gives out a lot of yellows (you'll get one even if you play careful usually) but not that many reds in comparison (6 in 76 games with normal aggression). In two observed bruise games, Gruber did not hand out any red cards at all. However, you need to consider the penalty risk as well. With normal aggression you can expect to concede a penalty once every 6 games on average, and he did award a penalty in one of the 2 bruise games. Many managers will go careful with any H9 referee (which is sensible), but if you are looking to get an advantage with only moderate risk, normal aggression will be worth the risk on occasions. Bruising is probably not wise, but is not guaranteed to backfire.

Cheat: When cheating I incurred 35% more yellow cards than when not cheating, and my opponents only got 7% more. This suggests that Gruber is good enough to spot a good deal of cheating, though I conceded no more goals from set pieces than usual. My team's results were significantly worse when I cheated, with my chance conversion rate seeming to be the culprit. Conclusion: I do not think that the extra yellows cards received is worth it. There may be other explanations for why my results were so much worse, but cheating seems to have been a factor.

Offsides: When my opponent used offside traps I got results you would expect 111 I created slightly fewer chances but converted them at a higher rate (though I got no more goals from breakaways). Overall I scored fewer goals, but my team's results were better. Conclusion: There's not much in it, so it could work for you sometimes but not others. Taking all things into account, no offside traps seems to work better.

Ian Hartman (S4 H4)

Aggression: Hartman seems to award penalties at a similar rate regardless of aggression, meaning that bruising is not out of the question. In terms of discipline, he awards more yellows as aggression increases, as you would expect, but does not give out many reds. You are more likely to lose a man due to 2 yellows than a straight red with this guy. Conclusion: Bruise is a reasonable risk to take, as long as you are prepared for the increased injury risk.

Cheat: Cheating seems to increase the rate of penalties being awarded for both teams, with the more significant effect going to the team that cheats. However, when my opponent cheated, the proportion of my goals coming from free kicks rocketed. I received a lot more yellow cards when my opponents cheated. Once again, the results are hard to draw strong conclusions from. I have cheated virtually every time, yet my results have been markedly better when my opponents also cheated. This may suggest that cheating is not a great idea, but it's far from clear cut. I see no reason to stop cheating with Hartman in charge.

Offsides: I have never used traps with Hartman in charge, but opponents have on occasions. My team results have been much better when traps have NOT been used against me, which is curious. One thing I noticed is that I scored 18% of goals from breakaways when traps were not used against me 111 a lot more than the 13% when they were 111 but both noticeably higher than the 11% in all my matches. All this shows is that through plays is an effective strategy with Hartman, as offside traps are unlikely to be used, and the ref is unlikely to blow his whistle and rule them out. Conclusion: My figures say offside traps can work well, but I can't understand why. Maybe 12 games is not a big enough sample for effective analysis. I won't be changing my stance based on the figures.

Sten Koll (S9 H5)

Aggression: Koll is not card-happy, despite being fairly hard. Expect to receive a below-average amount of yellow cards when using careful or normal, but slightly above average when bruising. Similarly, the risk of conceding a penalty is pretty average when using careful or normal aggression (around 1 in 10 games). Conclusion: It is unwise to risk bruising, but you could get away with it. On the other hand, there is no real need to resort to careful.

Cheat: Teams have rarely cheated with Koll in my experience. When they have, it has often been because tactics were not set 111 which skews the results. I therefore have no reliable data to use here, but I don't think anyone would advocate the idea of cheating with an S9 referee.

Offsides: I have a reasonable sample of games where my opponents have failed to use offside traps. Unfortunately, a number of these took place in my early days, when I was making significant tactical errors myself, and these losses are clearly skewing the figures. I have not lost to a team failing to use offsides with Koll since Sept 08. You're better off using them.

Irre Levant (S5 H6)

Aggression: This guy gives out a yellow on most occasions even when you play careful, and you carry around a 10% chance of incurring a red card if you choose normal. Bruising is very risky from a discipline perspective. Normal aggression also carries a strong risk of conceding a penalty (around 13%). Careful is the safe option, but normal will work out well most of the time. Bruise not recommended.

Cheat: This is quite interesting to look at, as I have used cheat around 50% of the time, and my opponents have also taken a mixed view. In terms of match outcome, cheating brings poorer results. It is not clear from the other figures (possession, chances) exactly why this is, but the sample size it quite large, and the results are consistent from both sides. My best results occurred when I didn't cheat but my opponent did. Conclusion: Don't cheat.

Offsides: Both myself and my opponents have used offside traps with Levant around 1/3 of the time. Using traps improves match outcomes not massively, but noticeably, as chances allowed are reduced. Conclusion: Use them.

Robert Nixon (S8 H6)

Aggression: In terms of discipline, Nixon is pretty average. So he doesn't give out many cards with careful, is the exact middle of the bunch when you go normal, but he is actually surprisingly lenient when bruising. Yellow cards are not handed out willy-nilly, but he is not afraid to dish out a red when necessary. From a penalty perspective, you can expect to concede one at least every 10 games 111 which is below average. The recorded figures when bruising, although a small sample, suggest the risk is not worth it. In conclusion, normal is pretty low risk, and careful is being too cautious.

Cheat: Cheating has been used very rarely with Nixon. His high skill level suggests he won't fall for it, and the very small sample backs this up. Don't bother.

Offsides: As S8 H6 is not very far from the guys we looked at in category 1, offsides are perfect to use with Nixon. Failure to use them is far from a guarantee of losing though. The effect is only small.

Laura Norder (S7 H 4)

Aggression: Yellow cards awarded with normal aggression are pretty scarce, at less than 1 per game with no reds. Only one use of bruise has been recorded, which resulted in 3 yellows but no red. Penalty risks are also low, although these are bound to be higher if you bruise, but the sample is not sufficient to test this. Certainly careful is not necessary, and bruising could work out OK.

Cheat: Rarely observed with Norder in charge. Findings show that you are more likely to bring yourself more yellow cards than your opponents. Don't do it.

Offsides: Again, most teams will use offside traps with Norder. Failure to do so increases the proportion of goals coming from breakaways. It's still perfectly possible to win if you get this wrong though.

Ann Onym / Travis Tee (S6 H4)

I have combined these two together, as logically there should be no difference between the two 111 even though observed results differ.

Aggression: Very low card-showing at both careful and normal settings. Expect a yellow if you bruise, but you will get away without a red most of the time. Penalties are also rare, except when bruising. If you really need that performance boost, bruising is worth a shot. It won't always pan out, but the risk it lower than for most other refs.

Cheat: Cheating is not frequently seen with these refs, but the evidence shows that you are likely to generate extra yellow cards for your opponents and not get cautioned yourself. Presumably in the process you will pick up a few extra free kicks. Conclusion: Believe it or not, this is well worth considering. The effect will be small, but the risk to you minimal.

Offsides: Surprisingly, my opponents have failed to use offside traps around half the time. My team results were slightly better when they didn't, but there is not a lot in it. When they didn't, they were less likely to have used a win bonus 111 suggesting less active managers, and therefore contributing to my improved results. It's unlikely that this decision will ever make or break the game for you. Conclusion: Might as well use them as they tend to restrict chances. But the effect will be small.

Warren Peace (S5 H5)

You don't get a tougher call than this ref-wise. Let's see what the stats show!

Aggression: This is the easy decision. Middle-ground ref: go with the middle option! Red cards are very rare with normal aggression, though not unheard of. When bruising, however, Peace becomes a card-thirsty monster. Beware! The penalty risk is below average at each aggression setting, but the red card factor effectively rules out bruise as a sensible choice. Stick with normal.

Cheat: Most managers choose not to cheat. There is very little difference to note, except a slight preference to the non-cheating team. Both teams will get slightly more cards if one team cheats. Conclusion: Sometimes it will work for you, sometimes it won't. Unlikely to swing the outcome either way.

Offsides: Results slightly favour teams using offside traps, but as usual, there is not much in it. This will not be the deciding factor in the game.

Frank Redkard (S4 H8)

Aggression: Redkard by name, red card by nature. Watch yourself with this guy. Only Constance Paine has awarded more red cards with normal aggression than our friend Frank, so Careful is a wise choice. Only one brave soul has tried bruising and they got away with it, but common sense says they were lucky. Similarly, he also awarded more penalties per game at normal aggression than any other ref. Going normal will work for you sometimes, but it is risky, especially if your opponent has a good free kick taker.

Cheat: Cheating has been routine for me with Redkard, but I was surprised to note that my opponents hadn't ticked this option over 50% of the time. When my opponents cheated, they reduced my chances and increased their own, although this had no overall effect on the outcomes of the matches. Cheating increased yellow cards for both sides, but put my totals up by 60%. Conclusion: You gotta cheat with this dude.

Offsides: I have never tried offside traps with Redkard, but after reviewing the evidence I may be prepared to reconsider. When my opponents have tried it they have cut my chances from 5.4 to 4.9 and my goals from 2.2 to 1.8 per game. I may have scored proportionately more breakaways, but I find those figures quite persuasive. I imagine that he is skilled enough to get offside calls right much of the time, (which can work both ways if your defence mess things up) but when there is any doubt he blows his whistle and pulls play back. Conclusion: There is evidence that offside traps carry an advantage, even with his relatively low skill rating.

Donald Scott (S3 H6)

Aggression: Scott is slightly more card-happy than your average ref at normal aggression. In the limited sample of bruisings, he brandished a red in every game, suggesting we should avoid that tactic. The penalty stats back that up. Normal is a pretty safe bet, although careful should not be ruled out if you have tough or mouthy players.

Cheat: My approach has always been to cheat with Scott, but my opponents have mixed it up. The results are quite convincing. When my opponent cheated, my teams managed just 1.6 points per game, compared to 1.88 when they did not. I may have scored more goals when they cheated, but they came close to doubling their output compared to when they didn't. Conclusion: Cheat.

Offsides: On the fairly rare occasions my opponents have used offside traps, my results have been boosted. The sample is not really adequate for strong conclusions to be made, as my team was usually the stronger anyway. You can certainly get away with using them, but there doesn't appear to be much to be gained.

Will Taykabribe (S3 H5)

Very similar rating to Mr Scott above, so you would expect similar recommendations.

Aggression: Taykabribe is actually far less likely to award a red card at normal aggression, but like Scott, he's heavy handed when you bruise. Penalties are awarded at the average rate with normal aggression, but above average when bruising. Recommendation: Normal.

Cheat: While cheating has been automatic for me with this guy, again I'm surprised how often my opponents have neglected to do so. However, aside from nearly doubling my yellow cards, there was no discernible effect either way. Conclusion: If cheating earns your opponents more yellows, it is logical that you are more likely to pick up a few more free kicks. But otherwise the tactic is surprisingly ineffective.

Offsides: The results are hard to analyse, as a high proportion of the teams using traps failed to set a win bonus, which clearly gives them a notable disadvantage. My team results were better in these games, which is what you would expect. For more confidence it is worth looking again at the results for Donald Scott, suggesting traps are not worthwhile here.

Justin Thyme (S5 H7)

Aggression: The figures show red cards are quite common at normal aggression, though he is not particularly heavy-handed with yellows. No bruise games have been observed as yet. The penalty figures show an absurdly low rate of penalty awards, so the main risk of normal aggression appears to be with red cards. Careful is a sensible choice, but as ever, normal will work out just fine a lot of the time.

Cheat: This is clearly a decision I'm unsure about, as I've dallied about with both options. My team results have been a good deal better when I have cheated, though a few big wins against poor teams will have strengthened my stats. Both teams picked up about 50% more yellow cards when I cheated, and I scored more than usual from free kicks and penalties. I'm still somewhat unconvinced, but I think cheating can work out quite well on the whole.

Offsides: Another decision that I don111t seem to have a common approach to, and it seems I am not alone. But the results are pretty overwhelming. My team results are drastically better when I have used traps. In fact, when I have, my opponents have really struggled to create and convert chances (though when they did, it was with breakaways). Similarly, when my opponent used traps my own chances and goals were reduced by as much as a third.. Conclusion: Use offside traps you muppet!

Home advantage

Did you know that refereeing decisions are affected by the crowd? At least, that seems to be the case based on the evidence. Let's consider discipline:

In all games where both teams used normal aggression, 55% of yellow cards and 60% of red cards went to the away team.
Even more convincingly, two-thirds of penalties were awarded to the home team in those matches.
What this means is that you need to give extra consideration to taking an aggression-related risk away from home, While you may think you need a performance boost to get a result, what you may get as well (or instead!) is a red card and a penalty against you!

And that's about it. I've written a huge amount, yet I feel I haven't given you everything. That is because I have such a huge amount of data that it is simply not practical to present it all, let alone discuss it. I have tried to pull out any significant patterns, but you'll have to take my word on much of it. With some referees, your tactical decisions may not have much impact, but with others it can be very significant. So next time you're planning your tactics, remember to consider all the possible effects of your decisions!

I have published my figures for cards and penalties for each ref, split by aggression level for you to peruse at your leisure. These can be accessed in the link below, and have been used to formulate my views on aggression. Do note that observations do not necessarily reflect that actual probabilities that have been coded, but the sample sizes have been shown so you can make your own mind up as to how reliable the figures are. There are separate tabs for Discpline (cards) and penalties.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key= ... 2d0E&hl=en

Your Questions

Many of you took the opportunity to submit questions in the Xpert Forum. I would have really liked to answer them all, but space prevents it. Please note that much of what I have to say is my opinion only 111 others may have different, equally valid, viewpoints.

_______Jeff asked: "How important is it to play the referee values correctly? Can we get away with breaking 'the rules' on these values, and still win matches?"

A: Good question. It is important to play the referees "correctly" if you can, but it is not always clear exactly what that entails - Warren Peace being the perfect example. There are a lot of elements to the tactical mix, and each of them can give you small advantages. We should be looking to gain as many small advantages as we can. That said, it is pretty rare that the referee alone directly affects the outcome of the game. This is really only true where crucial penalties or red cards are awarded. It is absolutely possible to win matches even when you play the referee wrongly, especially with Cheat and Offside traps. You can take calculated risks with aggression levels, as these give quite significant boosts to performance, but can also carry a significant impairment. If manager ranking is important to you, use bruise and cheat when it seems sensible, but if you need to get results it can help to break the rules a little.

Monkey3889 asked: "Would you consider playing more aggressive against a harsher referee (e.g 7/7) in any case? How far does the referee go to dictating how aggressive you play during a game and does this change again for the more important games?"
And Kknox86 asked:
"In what circumstances would you disregard the ref's H value (if it is high) and play normal anyways?

A: I will consider stepping up the aggression if I have a weaker team and I need to take a risk in order to get a result AND my opponent does not have a particularly dangerous free kick taker. If I have nothing to gain or lose from a game's outcome, I am quite happy to go careful even when the referee appointment does not require it, as this does help avoid injuries.

Jimbo_204 asked : "Who is your favourite referee?"

A: I'm not sure I have an individual favourite, but I tend to prefer hard referees as teams are more inclined to play careful, in turn leading to fewer injuries and thus better team development. It also gives you a chance to take a risk and gain an advantage.

He also asked: "Which referee do you worry most about facing?"

A: I think Irre Levant (S5 H6) as the tactical choices are far from clear cut, particularly aggression, which can make a big difference to each team's performance.

He went on to ask: "Do you think we need linesmen and 4th officials?"

A: I have considered the addition of linesmen to the game in the past, as it is really these guys who make the offside decisions in real life, and the ref is pretty much tied to follow his assistant's call. The issue with this strategy game is that it would make tha tactics too complicated. Imagine you have two linesmen, one of whom is highly skilled and one who isn't (hardness would not really be a factor for liners), how would you decide whether to use offside traps or not? Presumably it would well one half but not the other. Also, the referee's S value would become less important as it would apply to foul/advantage decisions only. The current game reflects the level of football most of us would play at, i.e. with one referee who has to make all the calls. I think that is the only sensible option. Fourth officials? Not if we don't have the second and third!

Michelep asked: "Are all referees with the same H rating consistent or do some give bookings/FK more frequently?"

A: It is my belief that identical referees (eg Rinn/Steen) carry exactly the same probabilities behind the scenes (though it's possible that there is some rounding involved), but these probabilities will not provide perfectly consistent results in reality, especially with small samples. Also, bear in mind that player SQs will affect the number of fouls and cards awarded, even if the ref and aggression are the same.

Eaglesrjh asked: "How much do you allow the ref to affect your team selection?"

A: For me it is rare for the ref to impact my team selection. If I had two almost identical players, but one of them was tough and I only needed to play one of them, my decision would be influenced by a particularly hard or soft referee. Another thing I might do is pick a tough playmaker when bruising, as he should play better than usual. But on the whole, if a player is valuable enough to me, he plays 111 even if he has negative SQs that could get him in trouble.

Somerandomer asked: "What is the lowest S value ref you'd consider 'safe' to play offside traps with?"

A: Frank Redkard is the only ref under 5 skill I would consider using offside traps with, though I have not actually risked it yet! I wouldn't consider him "safe". I guess you'd be looking at one of the S5 refs to be safe.

Neowhite asked: "Do you think about aggression and cheat together, or as 2 separate choices? How would this vary from ref to ref?"

A: They are definitely separate for me. I might always use careful with both Nolan and Buske, but I would NOT take a common approach with cheating!

He went on to ask: "What's more important when deciding to cheat or play bruise or normal, the opponents FK taker, or the ref?"

A: They are equally important. You cannot make an informed decision unless you have both pieces of information.

Z0la asked: "Why are the high harshness refs sometimes ok to play normal with and other times they card you a lot."
And Zippo112261 asked: "What makes referees give straight red cards to players with no aggro SQ and never carded in their career? Especially at the end of a game, when it is one of your 3 defenders, ergo they score in the 91st from a breakaway and the computer gets thrown across the room!"

A: I imagine that all referees carry a possibility of awarding a straight red even with careful aggression, though this probability may be only fractionally above zero for some referees. Very occasionally, you will get a red card that cannot be explained by SQs or tactics. You just have to imagine that the player did something out of character, or something that was misinterpreted by the referee 111 both of which happen in real life, and both of which are completely out of your control.

Thanks for reading. I hope you found something useful!
Walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

[16:22] <SoulSeeker> i know its not the pc version but i kill kids for fun

<whizbang> Who's the ref?
<Isileth> Some dickhead

Re: Xpert Eleven - A New Player's Guide

PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:23 pm

User avatar
Posts: 721
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:16 pm
The creator of X11, Iwe, puts some explanation to the new DV issue that has gotten all X11 buzzing...

Assistance with DV & ME
Since the introduction of the development value and the increased importance of match experience for the player's development there has been a lot of discussions and theories based on misunderstandings and false assumptions. To put this straight and get rid of the most common false assumptions we will in this article try to explain and comment on the most common issues.

The purpose and our intentions
The reason why we have introduced the development value and increased the importance of match experience is mainly to make a better simulation of the real world. Players playing in a weaker surrounding should not develop as easily as equally skilled players that play in a high skilled surrounding. We also wanted to enable several different ways to get a great development of a team. With the old system there was more or less only one way to get a great development and that was get a team full of youngsters and then just pump them with form trainings. After this change there are several ways of getting great development of a team.

We have since the development value and increased importance of match experience was released made some slight adjustments in the match experience reducing the differences between the players a little bit. This means that fewer players will end up with minimal or maximum match experience during the matches. There were a little bit too many players ending up with minimal and maximum match experience in the matches initially after the implementation.

We will below comment and explain common misunderstandings and arguments heard in the forums.
Here are first some explainations for the abbreviations used below.
AF = Average form
DV = Development value
ME = Match experience

111A player that plays all matches should be guaranteed to get a DV at least equal to the AF111
This is a very common argument that is the same as the following argument:
111Theo Walcott should be able to develop just as easy playing in Leeds Utd as if he would playing in Arsenal FC if he just plays all matches during the season.111
We disagree with this opinion. We do not think a player playing with weaker teammates and facing weaker opponents should be able to develop as well as when playing with stronger teammates and facing stronger opponents. He can still develop in a weaker surrounding but it would require him having a higher form throughout the season compared to playing in a high class surrounding. It is also likely that the player would be able to sustain a higher form easier in a lousy surrounding as he probably would perform better which would have a positive effect on his form.

111This change just benefits the teams with all young players111
This is a common belief, but there are no real evidence for this theory. We have been running a lot of tests previous to the implementation and in our development environment those teams that has benefited most from this are teams with a good mix of players in more or less all ages young and old. Teams with all young players has not been represented among those that has benefited most from this change. Teams with only very low skilled youngsters facing much stronger opponents can find themselves developing better now than before though. So there may be exceptions.

111This change only benefits the teams with all old players111
Surprisingly this is also a common belief. Teams going all old would probably be the teams that lose most from this change as old players are more likely to have their skill reduced after this change. But old highly skilled players would still be valuable to have in a squad as they would give a lot of experience to their teammates. But a team with a squad full of old players without any young talents are not likely have any success.

111This change only benefits the teams with smaller squads111
This is also a false assumption that many believe is true. We can also here refer to our tests previous to the implementation. The teams that benefited most was not the teams with smaller squads. It is easy to believe that this would benefit teams with smaller squads. And if each match experience would be of equal weight then it would benefit smaller squads. But a player's first match experiences in the season weigh more than the last match experiences and that is why this change does not make any significant difference between smaller or larger squads.

111The skill differences will be equalized and all teams will have the same skill111
There will of course be some equalization between the teams. Especially in leagues where the same teams faces each other all the time. But this should not be exaggerated as it will be very marginal and only noticable when there are big differences in skill between the teams. It will still be a lot of differences between how managers manage their teams. Some will do it better than others and that will show.

111The skill differences will be equalized and all players will have the same skill111
There will of course be some equalization between the players. But this should not be exaggerated as it more or less only will be noticeable on players that have very low skill or very high skill compared to its teammates/opponents. It will still be a lot of differences between how players develop and some players will be have a better season than others and some players are given better opportunities than others by the manager.

111It has become too complicated111
Well it should really be easier now than it was before as you now only have one value to look at instead of having to keep track of the average form and match experience separately. Now you only need to look at the development value. And the development value is just like the average form. If the player has a DV above 10 before the season update then his skill will increase. If it is below 10 then the skill will be reduced. But the match experience before was really no concern as it was very easy to get 100% on all players. Now there are no limit to strive for anymore and that is probably what makes everything complicated for the common manager.

Thing is that the common managers really doesn't need to keep more than this in mind:
1)The more matches a player plays the better
2)The higher form a player has the better
3)The better skilled players the player plays together with and against the better it will be for that player.
4)If the DV is above 10 right before the season update then the player's skill will increase.
5)If the DV is below 10 right before the season update then the player's skill will be reduced.

Currently a lot of managers are now striving for a DV equal to AF on all their players believing that would be the optimal for development of their team. If the player fail to reach that then they look at it as a failure. But that is an illusion. A player getting DV equal to AF may not at all benefit the team most. It may be better to let another player get a DV beyond the AF instead. For example if you have a player that is 30 years old that has an AF of 15 and a DV of 11. Then it is probably not the optimal thing to strive for him getting a DV equal to AF as he won't develop his skill very much anyway. And for that player to have a DV of 11 even though his AF is 15 that would be just fine.

But anyway we do understand the desire for something easy and concrete for the manager to hold on to and provide better guidance. We don't want to introduce indicators that will make managers chase illusions though. So in order to make it easier for the managers to decide if a player isn't getting enough playing time we will now introduce the assistant coach.

Recommendation from the assistant coach
To help you when choosing the starting lineup you will now find recommendations from the assistant coach in the player tooltip on some players on the page where you select your lineup. The assistant coach will tell you which players that would be roughly most efficient to give more playing time in terms of actual skill development at the season update assuming the player will sustain the current average form and be given the same share of match experience the rest of the season as he has been given so far. This means that the recommendations may change during the season if the players average form changes or if the players share of match experience changes. The assistant coach will always recommend more playing time on those players that would gain most of playing the next match under the assumption that the factors up til now remain the same the rest of the season.
Walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

[16:22] <SoulSeeker> i know its not the pc version but i kill kids for fun

<whizbang> Who's the ref?
<Isileth> Some dickhead

Re: Xpert Eleven - A New Player's Guide

PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:59 pm

User avatar
Posts: 721
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:16 pm
This is courtesy of Basilbrush303's post in Club 24, although he didn't originate it. Here is how to spot a hard trainer!

I guess I might as well start at the beginning....

Some time ago the crew changed the value of some of the SQ's. All of the visible SQ's bar intelligence went up and two hidden SQ's changed too.

The following is a list of the SQ's that changed and by how much

Freekick 25%

Ice 5% 105%

Shot power 15%
Header 15%
Quick 15%
Goal instincts 15%
Allrounder 15%
Positioning 15%
Air 15%
Breakaway 15%
Reflexes 15%

Training 15%
Fragile -15%

This meant training had increased by the same amount by most of the visible SQ's and therefore having the same value as them could be tracked.

Some points to remember

1. That this only works when a manager lists a player at its default value. There are two values to search for /5 and /3.

2. That 'Average price on past transfers of similar players' is different for each position. So that Goalkeepers, Defenders, Midfielders and Forwards all have different values.

How to find them.

When a player is listed on the market at the default price this is at 20% of his value. His value is the price that is 'Average price on past transfers of similar players' which you can find on any player for sale.

So the equation is

(Average price on past transfers of similar players/5) * 1.15

This gives you the default value of the player and then adds in the 15% increase that the Training is worth. As the player is for sale, the agent fee is already factored in.

An example:

If we look at current 18/4 defenders on the market we can see if we can find a trainer.

Today's average price on past transfers of similar players is 503 328 for 18/4 defenders

(503 328/5)*1.15=115 765 so we are looking for players around that value.

Go on to the transfer page and set min/max age for 18 and then set min/max skill for 4. Then order by price.

At the bottom of page 2 (assuming you get the players i do) you will see some defenders at that price.

Terry Gentle
Ludano Albertini
Jos11-Antonio Cid

There is a slight difference in price for Terry to the other two but as the 'average price on past transfers of similar players' changes every day based on a 3 month average you can see it is pretty spot on.

Teryy and Jose both have a visible SQ but Ludano does not so the chances are that Ludano has training by the formula we are using.

Training is good but training plus another SQ is much better.

You can use the same equation but just add in change in value for the second SQ.

Looking at the 18/4 Goalkeepers with 'Cool' we would use

(Average price on past transfers of similar players/5)*(Training*Cool)

(642 126/5)*(1.15*1.05)= 155 073

So if we set the transfer market specifications for this sort of keeper then we find that

Alfredo Paroli is listed at 155 000 with cool
Asbj11rn Galting is listed at 155 000 with cool/all rounder

They are both sitting on page 2 of 18/4 keepers listed by price.

Recently (ish) the default value of players changed from 20% to 33% so to properly search for Trainers you need to /5 and also /3 as there are players listed at both values

Lastly it needs to be said that this is one of the worst kept secrets on xpert 11. Thus is you happen to get a 18/4 fragile diva you might want to list as the default price of a trainer. You might not get much for him but often if the price is still low buyers won't evaluate. You can find a handy tool for this here http://vitterlig.no/xes/node/15 as you need to have the agents fee factored in.

If I have missed anything just add it to the thread.


Audub: Working out the formula
Neo: Noticing that the default value had changed
Richard: Xpert Secretary
Walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

[16:22] <SoulSeeker> i know its not the pc version but i kill kids for fun

<whizbang> Who's the ref?
<Isileth> Some dickhead

Re: Xpert Eleven - A New Player's Guide

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:26 pm

User avatar
Posts: 721
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:16 pm
Coach's Corner: Conveyor Teambuilding
Typically, I'd intro this, but this man needs no introduction, and the article is already really long as is! So take it away, Richardfenn!


Before recent changes, there were three basic strategies for setting up a squad - all old, for short term success and little sustainability; all young, for long term success but heavy defeats in the short term and a balanced squad, which attempted to be competitive in the short term while developing decent youths into stars over the long term, as well as being sustainable.

The main problem has been that all-old teams (some of which have developed over three or four years) have been ruling the roost for some time now, with managers driving teams to destruction for short term success then moving on, much to the chagrin of those managers that loathe to switch teams. The two-way average age rule and DV changes have seriously affected the way all-old and all-youth teams work and it seems that a more balanced approach will be the way forward. The term 'conveyor' was coined sometime in 2007 and quite aptly describes the way balanced teams are run.

Starting a conveyor

Assuming you're starting from scratch, the main consideration is that your team really isn't going to be worth much and you're not going to have a lot to spend - probably about a million or so, plus any money you can raise selling players.

How aggressive you want to be when reshaping your team is up to you; you might only wish to bring in a handful of youths or you may want to try to overhaul the squad completely. In part it depends on the balance between competition and development.

In the Xpert leagues you might want to keep a couple of players that will help you get out of Division 8 straight away or if you are in a short private league with not many tiers then you may want to go primarily for development knowing it won't take long to move up the ladder once the players mature. If there are any older, higher skilled (7+) players, then you probably want to retain their services, but my advice would be to shore up any weaker team parts with cheap 30-something 7-8 skillers. Knowing the reliable agents will save you big time on evaluations. The latest changes to retirements and DV mean that old players will definitely give you two seasons' service, but you may have to work a bit harder to maintain their skill.

The youngsters that you are looking to develop should probably be 18/4s, preferably with an SQ and ideally with at least one FK specialist, probably two - SQs will increase sell-on value later. These sort of players are generally cheap and readily available and it's not worth evaluating.

I'd recommend trying to get your squad to have as many players as you can reasonably afford to train in the first season or two, as 4-skill players should gain experience fairly easily and if any gain two skill bars in the first CR, you can sell and use the cash to reinvest in players or to fund training. Having a larger squad means you can potentially increase the value of your squad (and therefore assets at your disposal) more quickly and this will be of great benefit in the long term.

Maintaining a conveyor

As players improve in skill after the first couple of seasons, reducing the squad size may come in useful for a couple of reasons. First off, some of your improved players can raise much needed cash, but also other changes (shown here: http://www.xperteleven.com/xpertdaily.a ... =3&lang=EN ) mean that developing players won't gain full match experience for as long so players may need more game time.

It is also in the first two to three seasons that you will want to start cycling players, bringing in further youths, preferably 17/4 or equivalent if you can afford them. 18/4s can make very good players if you train them all the way, but they won't make great ones. Your starting youths may also not develop as quickly as later ones since you won't start with top notch veterans to help supply experience but they can become the players you need to mentor your youngsters further down the line.

The long term strategy is a case of continuing to bring in younger (and, if you can continue to improve your squad's value, stronger) players periodically depending on how you wish to build your team. You may occasionally need to bring in an older player as a foil - reaching an average age of 25 minimum is desirable from both a performance and a DV perspective. Funding signings and training (since I'd expect to spend more than comes in from sponsors and presses) should come from selling older players that are surplus to requirements and maybe the odd youngster if their value has increased enough and you can handle losing them.

Squad size and composition

Squad size in my view can be dependent on a few things: the division you are in, the length of your league and whether it has a cup are probably the main ones.

Shorter leagues probably support smaller squads than longer ones - this is because of the way match experience is distributed. Players need the same amount of game time relative to the length of the season, so that would mean where a player needs exactly 5 games in a 20 game season for example, they would need 2.5 in a 10 game season. However, while you can give four players five games each in the longer league using one space in the team, you can't give four players two and a half games each in the shorter one.

Cups with leagues may be used to support larger teams, especially if they only run one league game a week. Cup games offer extra match experience so the further you progress, the more experience you can gain for your squad. If you are eliminated and the league is one game a week, you will find form much easier to maintain in the long run as you can complete training sessions between matches.

My personal preference is to have a squad that is loaded in midfield, these days with a couple of all rounders. My ideal lineup is something like 2 - 5/6 - 7 - 3/4, which should support 4-5-1 and 3-5-2 for the majority of matches, but potentially using the excess mids for cover or supporting other formations.

Classic team building

The age gaps between players do not have to be rigid, but for a basic conveyor that's maintainable you could have ages like:

GK (8 year gap)
[33] - 25 - [17]
Def (2-3 year gap)
[33] - 31 - 28 - 25 - 23 - 20 - [17]
[33] - 30 - 27 - 24 - 21 - [18]
Mid (2-3 year gap)
[33] - 31 - 29 - 26 - 24 - 22 - 19 - [17]
[33] - 31 - 28 - 26 - 23 - 21 - [18]
Att (4-5 year gap)
[33] - 29 - 25 - 21 - [17]
[33] - 28 - 23 - [18]

The numbers in brackets indicating possible ages to sell / buy, which you'd usually do at roughly the same time. The scheme described above would keep a steady turnover of players and should be reasonable to manage, but one downside is that you won't have a first XI of players at their peak and another is that all the players are important to prevent a big gap in ages.

With a system like this, there will ultimately come a time to push for success. This can be done by suspending the process and deliberately allowing the team to mature and maybe even dropping to one GK - there are risks to this but if you can get away without injuries then it's a big help knowing you don't have to field a young GK.

Another approach would be to group the players together in age beforehand so they all reach the top of their game around the same time. Due to recent changes (here: http://www.xperteleven.com/xpertdaily.a ... =3&lang=EN ) regarding DV for older players, I'd suggest the latter of those two options, as letting players go too far past 32-33 in age increases risk of decline and retirement as well as making maintaining form harder.

Alternative building style

One way of increasing a team's peak strength is to have all the players reach the height of their ability at the same time. The downside is that the team's strength will come in waves and troughs, as the age gap between developed and developing players is going to be larger, and the players will be developing in 'waves'. One notable other feature is that, should one or two players develop better than expected, you may be able to sell them for a massive profit without impacting the squad too much.

An example of the desired end result is probably something like yuran's CCCP side (here: http://www.xperteleven.com/players.aspx ... ost=0&dh=1 ) in the Master League. It did start as all youth originally but the basic premise isn't all that different. You could also look at Doomonyouall's Big Boyz in the Super League, or Roberto11x's Midgar Meteors in the Euro League.

An age gap of just a season between players in a team part would help to achieve this. This approach is probably easier (and less painful in terms of results) to take on with new teams that are either just starting in a league or at the bottom of the ladder in the Xpert Leagues.

One thing to bear in mind is that you will need older players to assist with DV and average age throughout, so you may only be able to train a core of around 14 / 15 players for when the team reaches its maximum ability, so choosing your squad composition carefully and using all rounders will make a difference.

Once the average age of the core reaches around 28-29, it will become time to bring in the next set of players. The very oldest players should be sold first if possible and younger ones brought in in the same pattern as before, with small age gaps. The outgoing wave will then become the foil for developing the new wave of youngsters and the process begins again.

When / who to buy

You should often be planning a season or two ahead on likely players to buy, as this will allow you to plan your cashflow more carefully so you've got funds to make necessary purchases. Don't set yourself too rigid a schedule though - if you're looking to bring in a 17/4 but don't have the cash, maybe you could afford to wait and pick up an 18/5 for not much more next season? Likewise, you could bring in a 16/3 a season earlier instead.

The quality of player you should buy very much depends on what you can afford and what you can get out of them. 18/4s (preferably with an SQ at least) should be the starting youth as they're so cheap to start and if you get a duff one you can sack and buy another. 17/4s are the very least I'd recommend to build a competitive side and, if you know what you're doing with AF and DV, you can turn them into real quality players. Some people will say you want 17/5s or 16/4s and you can admittedly turn them into monsters, but I often find it hard to justify the expense - I've had a 10m 17/5 become a 24/12, but a 1m 17/4 become a 22/11 in the same team. A bad CR can wipe a huge chunk of value from a 16/4 in one fell swoop. There's no denying that you want the best GK and FK specialist you can get though - on their day (and with the right ref), those two players can win you games on their own.

There is one other thing I should state; while it is fine to make use of talents from the youth team whenever they arrive, you should ALWAYS buy your new young players at the start of the season. I can't stress this enough. Due to "cashing out", the later in the season you buy a player from the market, the less skill (s)he will get at the end of the season.

When / who to sell

The metaphor of a conveyor does imply that it will be the older players that should get sold as younger players join at the other end. This is true for the most part, but not every player you sell should be one of the older ones, and there will be some players that will benefit you more if you can keep them on as long as possible until they retire.

Be aware that, while it is always best to buy your youngsters as early as possible in the season, you may find it more useful to hold onto your older players for a short while before you sell them unless you desperately need cash. They can be used to get your very youngest players experience at the start of the season and they may come in handy as reserves. If they're not going to play though, get shut early doors as the longer you keep them on the bench, the more likely they are to drop skill when they leave.

The other times you may wish to consider selling are if a particularly young player might gain two bars at a change report, or if one of your mid-age players starts getting overtaken by most of the younger players in the squad in terms of development. Always consider the following when looking to sell, though:

1. Is the player essential to the team? Would they need to be immediately replaced to keep first team strength up, or will they cause problems with average age if they leave?

2. If you are intending on replacing the player, is it cost effective to do so? Selling a 17/4 >> 18/6 might make sense if he has no SQs, as you can pocket the difference and buy another 17/4 and you've just paid for a season's training. If it's your up and coming FK specialist though, then you might want to keep him as good ones will cost you big to replace.

Other things to consider

Finally, there are things that are worth learning that are not directly related to the conveyor itself that you should know in order to get the best out of your team.

1. Training is essential. Ideally you want around 5m free in the bank at the start of the season, as you would probably expect to spend more a week on training than you'll get in income. If you don't know the ins and outs of training, you can read up in Roberto11x's very helpful Coach's Corner article: http://www.xperteleven.com/xpertdaily.a ... =1&lang=EN

2. Plan when to get ME for your players. You want all your players under 26 to get their Development Value as high as their average form or better. Looking ahead at when you can field players will help, but may depend on your team's aims. If you're weak, play them in games you don't expect to win. If you're strong, play them in games you don't expect to lose.

3. If you can get to grips with farming, it will certainly benefit you to do so. Extra income means you can bring in better youths and fund training. The guide here: http://www.xperteleven.com/viewGlobalMe ... 21#3890921 is a little old, but it still holds lots of useful pointers.


Cmsmith asks: "If a player within an organised age structure has a poor season (form/injury/suspension etc) to the extent they're no longer got decent potential, do you wait for the change report, or get rid pre-emptively before this?"

The answer to this is based on whether I think the player can still gain a bar on the CR. If the answer is yes (but they are likely to be low in their skill bar next time) then keep. If the answer is no, then sell.

Cmsmith also asks: "What DV would you aim for for the youngest players - and to what extent would you risk results to achieve this?"

I'd say 15 should be the minimum aim, but preferably 16 or more.

Bejjita asks: "Why bother making a conveyor belt team when it is quite clearly - one of the least successful methods of building a team. Longevity aside (as 10+ seasons of winning nothing is useless), why would somebody looking for trophies build a conveyor belt side?"

At the very top I believe you do need to make a push, but on the way up a conveyor is useful for putting together a strong team and remaining competitive. The likes of Audub, Marcone and Pelikano have all taken their teams up the ladder and won the top division, Pelikano being particularly effective, and he showed a desire to push on by bolstering his team with a few older players when he got near the top. His record speaks for itself, IMO: http://www.xperteleven.com/clubhistory. ... 29339&dh=1

Uncle Wilf asks: "Promotion from the Juniors, or buy in select youths? Are there differences to each method?"

Mostly buying these days, for a couple of reasons. First, the youth team is not a guarantee of talent. Second, you should always be buying youth at the start of the season, which will give you more time to prepare to play them. If a junior turns up with four games to go and needs to play in them all to get sufficient ME, it can be awkward for plans.

Michelep asks: "Is the normal 1.2m/week income adequate to work a successful conveyor or do you need to generate extra income."

I spend far more than that on training alone and that doesn't factor in win bonuses and tactics reports. You will most likely have to generate income from sales.

Knowleser asks: "How can a 'conveyor belt' team keep up with, and compete with the managers that will still persist with their 'super youth teams' ?"

That is a fair point and I would say that the strongest team you can have is probably going to be a bunch of players that are all 28-29 that have developed to their maximum ability at that point. I'm hoping that I've demonstrated that the conveyor is not strictly about having a rigid structure; the purpose is to have teams that can regenerate but also remain competitive, even at the highest level. Grouping players together in age means you'll get closer to that 'ideal' squad.

CosmicRichie asks: "Do you rate success with a conveyor belt team as more worthy than an OAP team?"

No, but I would rate it more highly if somebody with a conveyor team was able to win a trophy and then win another one a few seasons later when the OAP team has crumbled. :-)

Jibber123 asks: "Do you play your young players early in the season to ensure DV, leave it till late on or cherry pick the poorer opposition and play them then regardless of their form?"

I have covered this in part, in that you should prioritise games based on your team's realistic aims for the season. It is definitely worth planning youth slots ahead, and make the most of particular formations as well - if you're looking at playing a formation that's 'heavy' in one area, it may be a good idea to use a youth. Planning goalkeepers is tricky - look for games where teams are not likely to cheat, or the H-value is low so there should be as few free kicks against as possible - they can be costly.

Bejjita asks: "How different an approach would you take given that now the skill of a top player (presumably young) affects the DV earned to a point where it could impair their development."

I think in part the answer would be that, when the younger players begin to reach a point where they are gaining less match experience from their peers, they should probably be playing more anyway which would counteract this, especially if the player's opposition is still strong enough for them to gain more ME that way.
Walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

[16:22] <SoulSeeker> i know its not the pc version but i kill kids for fun

<whizbang> Who's the ref?
<Isileth> Some dickhead

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