PLAYING SIM DYNASTY - The Strategy Equalizer for Newbies
Howdy all, I have created this information in the hopes that it will help equalize the tremendous gap between the newbie and the experienced players. Perhaps this will enable more newbies to become experienced and continue on into the Dynasty Leagues and/or Private Leagues as I have done. The first part is for SSL leagues and the second part is for DYNASTY/PRIVATE leagues.
(1) You must read and study the RULES located in the forum. You get to this from the drop down menu item RULE BOOK. This will give a basic understanding of SD but not necessarily how to play the game. (2) Read the threads that pertain to the newbie under the Q&A forum section also available from the drop down menu QUESTIONS & ANSWERS. They are the saved threads at the top of this section. (3) If you have not done 1 or 2 .... do them now.
First, when you go to Draft Page, you can ignore the middle and right hand drafting options as they are NOT used in SSL as they are for Multiple Seasons. Amateur drafting comes at the end of a Dynasty/Private Season and Expansion drafting comes when multiple teams in a league need new owners.
The first thing you need to do is to make a decision on is which type of drafting option, TB Totally Balanced, WR Well Rounded or BA Best Available. I will proceed and offer my experience with these 3 types.
I have used the following concepts in 29 SSL drafts. The first 2 I had no idea what I was doing. First I just used the TB type with the original SD defaults where the Pitchers Vel/Ctl is 50/50 and all of the Batters are 16/16 16/16 16 ... This 1st draft resulted in an OK team that finished 3rd 2 games out of the playoffs. I next tried my hand at the BA Best Available draft option with the most unbalanced team you can imagine. 15 minor league RPs with no catchers or shortstops is not a managers dream team. This team finished dead last with the same balanced initial draft settings as my first draft had. However in the SSL this is not a big deal as the minor league team rarely comes into play anyway. Let me tell you ...
It was about this point that I decided to read everything I could on the Q&A board. This is when I began to get an inkling about the SD strategies. For instance in Pitching, CTL is more valuable than VEL, in Batting Power is more valuable than Contact and PvR Power vs Right is more valuable than PvL Power vs Left. That is because 80% of the pitchers are RHP. Speed is more important than Arm, Range, Health, Youth. During this period of reading everything that was posted, I learned an incredible formula for successful drafting in the SSL. With my 3rd through my 29th draft, I used variations of these draft settings but always with the focus on CTL, PvR, PvL, SPEED and flip flopped between TB and WR draft types for the last 27 drafts.
Using the following initial draft settings formula (with slight variations from draft to draft), my last 27 SSL drafts resulted in (14) 1sts, (7) 2nds, (3) 3rds, (1) 4th, (1) 5th, (1) 6th. The most any teams were out of the playoffs was by 4 games.
Pitching Vel 38, Ctl 54, End 6, Trt 1, Hlth 1, Yth 0 Batting PvR 30, CvR 24, PvL 15, CvL 12, Spd 16 Arm 1, Rng 1, Hlth 1, Yth 0
(1) DO NOT USE the BA option for drafting teams in the SSL.
(2) Use TB drafting type. In my experience, it did not matter much on whether I used TB or WR as both created very successful teams. I choose to recommend TB mainly for the ease of substituting players when the starter gets injured or tired and needs rest. If you have another player at the same position, it is easier for ABE or you, the Manager to substitute easily. This also cuts down on the number of errors as you are rarely playing a player out of position. If you want a more hands on managers approach then WR will be better for you.
(3)If you want a more defensive team, then take the points away from PvL and CvL. I have successfully used PvL 10, CvL 6 which gives 11 points to increase Arm, Rng, Hlth In SSL I never worried much about Hlth as I always had backups at each position which were either as good or almost as good as the starters. Note: This is not necessarily the case in Dynasty/Private Leagues as you are frequently converting a player to another position which requires playing them out of position until 100% trained.
(4) Your successful draft depends upon what other GMs are doing. This was hard for me to understand at first. I thought there was a magic formula (the holy grail if you will) that would insure you an awesome team. The formula I have given above comes close but on any given draft, if there is a preponderance of teams going for one thing or the other such as speed and give higher values to SPD than you have given, you will draft slower players. If you want to dominate in speed then use 17 or higher. I have found that using 17 is usually high enough in the SSL due to the default value being 16. Many newbies will not change the default values so you will be insured of more speed in this case.
(5) As soon as the draft has been completed, you must go into the Manager Options and set your RHP, LHP and Rotation. (The rotation is usually pretty well set after the draft.) The lineups however are completely unreasonable so will need lots of work at the start.
The Season Has Started.
I think there is a basic lineup strategy that I will offer here. I know that there are literally hundreds of variations to this depending upon the teams abilities, the managers aggressive or conservative nature, etc. When I was playing ball in the fifties and sixties, this is what was generally accepted.
(1) Leadoff hitter... Someone that can get on base with a higher OBP than the other players. CvR A+, PvR B- and ideally has better than average speed.
(2) Control hitter ... Someone that has good contact and can bunt. Also better than average speed is an asset here.
(3) Best Overall Hitter .. This means CvR & PvR are high. I typically put my CvR A, PvR A hitters here.
(4) Best Power Hitter ... This means PvR is usually higher than CvR. Ex. (CvR B, PvR A)
(5) Next Best Power Hitter ... Hopefully you have more than I Best Power Hitter but in any event an Ex. (CvR B, PvR A-)
(6) Next Best Hitter ... At this point I just try to get my next best Power/Contact hitter here. Ex. (CvR B+, PvR B)
(7) 2nd Weakest Hitter .. You will know him by his C's most likely Ex (CvR C+, PvR C+)
(8) Weakest Hitter ... Whatever is left over goes here.
(9) Pitchers spot... This is filled in for you by ABE. It is the pitchers spot or pinch hitters spot.
If you are a newbie and just can't figure out what to do for the first lineup, here is a helpful alternative. It does not always work but does so in a surprising number of cases. Sometimes the CF has speed and no power and may have to be higher in the lineup. In this case you may want to look at the 3B to fill this power spot and move SS or 2B down to 7th spot, again depending upon their abilities.
(1) Shortstop (2) Second Baseman (3) First Baseman (4) Left Fielder (5) Center Fielder (6) Right Fielder (7) Third Baseman (8) Catcher (9) Pitcher
I am still learning this one. It is a little easier to understand if you only use the managers preferences in REGULAR mode only before trying the more advanced mode. This is a little tricky at the start with no experience in SSL. I just went with the defaults in the beginning until I got a feel for things. You can control which of your SPs pitch the most or least. For example if you have 4 good SPs and 1 stinker, you can make the stinker your 5th starter and put the managers settings on Skip only 5th starters in rotation. He will still pitch when the team does not have any off days between series but will get fewer starts to lose. The RPs have a similar situation in that you can place your two worst pitchers in Long Relief and Short Relief and choose the managers settings of Use Long and MIddle relief sparingly. This puts more strain on your other 3 good pitchers but you will be using the best RPs pitching most of the time.
In the lineup page you will see a set of 5 bars toward the right hand side of the screen. All green 5 & 4 bars means the player is playing to full capacity, where as 3 or 2 yellow bars means the player is playing tired and may be getting close to a red bar (or sitting one out to re-energize). Non scheduled games or off days do not count, an actual game must be played with the player not in the starting lineup. Note that the amount of time a player sits out is related to his health rating. A player with a D health rating will not play as many games in the course of a season as an A health player. ABE will automatically make substitutions in your LINEUP when he finds a red bar. Basically ABE will do a good job of substituting if you have a bench player that plays the same position as the tired player. If you don't then ABE will pick a player that may not be the best one for you. If you have the time, manage your own lineups and don't let ABE choose for you. Obviously if the games are being played and you are not able to modify your lineup, you will just have to let ABE do it. Most of the other managers are in the same predicament so things should even out over the course of the season. As an example of managing your own lineups, I will share with you one of my experiences. I had a team in the CFL that looked to me like it would be contender from the opening 1950 season. The main problem with the team had way too many D health players that were the heart and soul of the team. The first half of the season I never changed the lineups myself, I always let ABE do it. By mid-season I was mired in 4th place 8 games out with a team I thought should be doing better. I decided to start doing my own substitutions between games and discovered that frequently I had no bench player at the same position. I was playing players out of position that first year in order to rearrange the lineup to obtain the highest degree of power hitting possible. Since I am retired it was fairly easy for me to look at the lineups after each game and make changes accordingly. The second half of the season was a whole lot of fun as I went from 8 out to winning by 7 games. I know that ABE could have had something to do with it but I choose to believe that my managing did the trick.
Suggestion... Do not develop players less than C- for your teams unless you absolutely have no choice. D players will be sitting on the bench for more games than healthier ones and they will get injured more.
Pitcher tiredness bars are similar, except a SP can not start unless he has 5 green bars whereas a player can start as long as does not have a red bar, After he pitches he will have 1 red bar, each day after his pitching day, he will gain 1 bar until he again has 5 green bars and can be scheduled by ABE or the Manager to start.
During the course of the season you may have to change your RHP and LHP lineups due to tiredness or injury. You will be notified via email that a Player has been injured and for how many days. In addition you will see a Red Cross Icon next the players name. This injured player may also be in your starting lineup which may need to be attended to. In other words you will need to substitute another player in the lineup for the injured one. If you choose not to do this or simply can't do it, then ABE will substitute for you. If you have a player on the bench that plays the same position as the injured player, ABE will automatically use him. However if you do not have a bench player for the injured players position, ABE will pick someone, (not necessarily the best one) to substitute for the injured player. The same thing happens when your starting player gets tired and has a RED bar indicator. This means he can not start the next game and will have to be substituted for 1 game at which time the tired player will again have 5 green bars.
Players with lower health ratings will also tend to be injured more frequently and for longer periods of time. This does not mean that an A+ health player can not be injured, it just means the probability of an injury is less. The same thing with your lineup as tired players happens and you need to modify your lineup accordingly or let ABE continue game after game making ABE substitutions. ABE's subs may be costing you games. An example of this is when I played a lot of SSL games, as the season wore on, good teams would just start dropping like flies in the standings. I finally figured out that no one was managing the team, ABE was doing it all and checking the lineups confirmed this.
If an injury lasts for more than 15 days you may want to place that player on the DL. This in effect removes 1 player from your Major League Roster. You will need to promote a player from your minor league roster. I have had times when I needed to promote a player but did not have anyone on my minor league roster. I went to the waiver wire and found a player that would work temporarily, I claimed him which immediately placed him on my minor league roster. I then simply promoted him to the major roster using the Depth Chart (Promote/Demote).
This is the chart I use the most. It gives a great perspective on who is in the majors and minors. Also the players in the starting lineups are indicated by R or L next to their name. If you need to promote a player from the minor league roster or demote a player to the minor league roster, this is where you do it. Note that the little red selection boxes indicate a player is out of options and will have to pass through the waiver wire to get back to the minors from the majors.
This confused me for awhile as if the player is out of options (noted by the red surrounding his selection box), he will have to pass through waiver wire before coming back to your minor league roster. When a player passes through the waiver wire, other teams may claim him, thus he may never make it back to your minor league roster. This is particularly the case if the player still has high PvR or high CTL for a P. Players that have no red around their selection box still have options to go freely back and forth between the majors and minors and do not go to the waiver wire. In other words you are under total control of this player and other teams cannot pick him up. Players with options are usually the younger players but I have seen 28 yos with options.
Once you have demoted a player from the major league roster that does not have any options left, he will show up on the waiver wire highlighted in GREEN. Teams wishing to claim him from the green waiver wire will have to make room on their major league roster for them by choosing to demote someone at the same time. If more than I team puts in a claim, the team with the lowest draft pick number will be awarded the player on the claim date. Thus the bottom teams are always able to get the players on waivers, hopefully improving them and making them more competitive. One more note about claiming players from the GREEN option area... you will need to indicate under the DEMOTE PREFERENCES link at the top of the waiver wire page, what player you wish to demote from your major league team in order to make room for this waiver wire selection should you be awarded him. You can have multiple demote preferences choices, in case you have one or more players in a proposed trade, which means they could be off your roster by the time the option date occurs.
You can freely move a player that is out of options from your minor league team to the majors but not the other way around. If you need to waive one of your minor leaguers and place him on waivers without a claim, go to the Waiver Wire and select the link at the top of the page. You will then be asked to choose the player you wish to waive. This waived player from your minor league roster will show up on the waiver wire in the RED highlighed area. Players claimed from the RED section go to your minor league roster upon reaching the claim date. The exception to this would be if multiple teams have claimed the same player. In this case the team with the lowest draft pick number will be awarded the player. This action is one that you will do a lot once you get into the Dynasty/Private Leagues.
This took me the longest time to figure out, mainly due to SDs Improvement System. The minor league roster is there to improve players to be ready for promotion to the majors. In SSL their main purpose is to provide backup for injured major league players. Rarely does an SSL player improve to the point that he will replace a major leaguer for ability only as the SSL draft only places players on the minor league roster that have less ability than the majors. Since my preference is to draft TB, I have rarely needed a minor leaguer during the SSL season. Dynasty/Private Leagues is a whole nother ballgame.
Improvement consists of Coaching Points assigned to each minor league roster player. Major League players improve in the Off Season (OS) which the SSL does not have so we won't go into that here.
After the initial draft, there are 25 major leaguers and 25 minor leaguers. Each minor leaguer gets 1 hidden CP and 1 visable CP assigned to them in the beginning. However the maximum CPs that you can have is 15. This means you need to reduce the size of your minor league roster to 15 as soon as possible before the season starts. At the end of each game 2 Improvement Chances (ICs) are given to each team. These can be seen on the results screen at the end of the box score. Improvement consists of converting these ICs into Improvement Points (IPs). A players ratings are made up from 7 categories, each category requires 8 IPs to get to the next Letter Rating. For example to go from a PvR B to a PvR B+ it takes 8 IPs. To totally understand improvement points it is necessary to understand how the letter grades relate to the SD point system. The SD point system is based on a scale of 100 points where 100-92 pts = A+, 91-84 pts = A, 83-76 pts = A-, 75-68 pts = B+, 67-60 pts = B, 59-52 pts = B-, 51-44 pts = C+, 43-36 pts = C, 35-28 pts = C-, 27-20 pts = D+, 19-12 pts = D, 11-4 pts = D-, 3-1 pts = F
In the beginning you don't really know how many points it will take to get your individual category letter grade to improve to the next level. It could take 1 pt or 8 pts. This means that some B- grade could be just 1 point above a C+ and thus not very much of an improvement at all as far as ABE is concerned. By the way, think of ABE as HAL in the 2001 space adventure, he is the one that is creating this incredible simulation game. I have been talking about improvement in each category. The overall letter grade consists of all 7 categories and therefore means it takes 7x8 or 56 points to go from an overall B to B+
Now that you understand the SD point system you are ready to improve your players. I mentioned that each game your team gets 2 ICs or improvement chances. ABE randomly picks which player is to get the IC based upon the CPs. Initially this means that each player has a 2/50 chance of getting chosen for the IC. Then ABE randomly chooses which category to convert the IC to and Improvement (IP) Once this has been done, ABE uses a sliding scale to determine the conversion based upon the players Rating in that category. In other words it is easier to convert an IC into an IP if your category rating is D+ rather than an B+ The lower the letter grade rating the higher the conversion percentage from an IC to an IP. Conversely the higher the letter grade, the harder it is to convert the IC to an IP. This means it is much slower improving to an A- from a B+ than going from a D+ to a C-.
To improve the chance that ABE will pick any particular player to receive ICs, you must pare down your minor league roster to 15 from 25. This increases the odds from 2/50 (4%) to 2/30(6.7%). This will be the chance for all minor league players if you had 1 CP assigned to each of the 15. Now if you zero out all of the CPs except for 3 that you assign 5 CPs to, your chance of any of those 3 players to be picked by ABE will now be 6/30 or (20%). If you can accomplish paring down your minor league roster to 15 before the season starts and keep 5 CPs on the 3 your want to improve, you might expect 64 ICs for the year. This means that for a C+ 23 yo, you could easily convert 50 of those ICs to improvement points... almost a full letter grade.
Confused yet... Most of this improvement does not come into play in the SSL so if that is all you are going to do, don't worry about any of this. However, to me this is what makes SD Dynasty/Private Leagues so fascinating. The ability to recognize developable talent at any age/rating and then know whether to keep that player in the minors assigning CPs or to promote to majors and get the OS improvements assigned at the end of the year. What fun this is!
Trading in SSL pertains only to trading players. There is no future draft pick trading because there is nothing beyond this current season. In order to trade successfully in SSL you need not worry about how this player will develop in the future as there is no future, just this year. When I first started with SSL teams, trading consisted of other newbies trying to trade me 4 of their second stringers for my ace pitcher or ace batter. Why would I want to do that? I think in all of my SSL leagues, I have only had 1 successful trade offer to me. Once you get to the Dynasty/Private Leagues, the offers become more reasonable and successful trades most always consist of both teams benefiting. I never make a trade offer unless I know both of us are improving our teams. This means you must take more time to analyze what the other team needs not just what you want to give away. Some of my most successful trades have been to teams in my own division where I would swap an older pitcher for a younger one plus draft picks. I have no problem improving a team in my division (as long as I have also improved) as they are needed to beat the other teams that are also competing with me.
In any event after you have experienced the SSL, you will want very much to join a Dynasty League or Private League to experience the multiple years concept. The trading with experienced owners, the development of your young players over the years, the growth of your team over the years...these are truly exciting things to experience. Thanks for being here.
The thing that is mainly different from SSL leagues is that the team you draft or take over keeps on going, year after year after year. This means that while drafting is important, the improvement of players becomes the most important activity to master. This activity is followed closely by trading and the amateur draft. If you are taking over an existing team you may be involved in an expansion draft also.
The entire drafting concept has been changed as of Sept 10, 2005, however the SSL drafting procedures remain the same as described above. There is now a ranking snake like draft by grouped positions. The positions are grouped together in twos, so that whatever direction you draft in one category, you will draft in the opposite direction in the 2nd grouped category. For instance SP/RP is a group, if you draft #1 in SP, you will draft #16 in RP. The groupings are SP/RP, C/SS, 2B/3B, 1B/LF, CF/RF or perhaps they are SP/C, RP/SS, CF/2B, 3B/RF, LF/1B. At this point they are not defined yet but will be by Sept 10th, 2005
The lineup is done exactly the same as in the SSL above. You have a RHP and a LHP that both need to be set up according to the batting order you wish to play with. Keep in mind that I have often found that Contact C, Power A batters hit for a higher average than Contact A, Power C batters. ABE likes Power so is prone to weighing the PvR and PvL more than CvR and CvL. e
The play is exactly like SSL until the end of the season. After the World Series has been completed is where the big difference from SSL takes place. Off Season (OS) improvements are run first, followed closely by the Retired Player Announcements. These reports are available from your top menu bar line. OS improvements will be under the STATS Selection IMPROVEMENTS and Retired Players are found by selecting the NEWS menu. Finally later that day the Amateur Draft is run.
The amateur draft occurs after the end of the season usually after the OS improvements and Retirees List has been run. Each season around Sept 1st SD game date, the new amateur draft players will be available to you by going to DRAFT and then selecting PREFERENCES (next to Amateur Draft in the middle of the page). Don't worry about the far right Expansion Draft options... they are for a special expansion draft when multiple teams need replacement owners for the same league.
Once you have selected the preferences link, you will see a new page that will look very much like your original draft except below it will be all of the amateur draft players ranked in order based upon your amateur draft settings. The draft pick order is based upon the team standings and won/loss percentage at the end of the season. If you are last with the worst won/loss record you will have the #1 pick. If you make it to the playoffs you will have pick #13-16. Teams that finish tied with another team will be assigned the draft pick on a random basis. In other words if two teams tie for the worst won/loss record, ABE will randomly pick one of them to have #1 pick and the other the #2 pick.
I love this part of SD once I joined the private leagues. The analyzation that must go into each trade offer is based upon what the players ratings are today and/or what they can become in the future with proper development. The more you understand how the development system works, the more you will benefit from trading, particularly with owners that do not understand the development system. In most leagues you can trade draft picks up to 3 years into the future as long as you have a paid up account that corresponds to those 3 years. If you are only paid for this current season, you will not be allowed to trade future draft picks. Trades are accessed from the GM menu.
This is normally used by the teams that are going to be in the playoffs at seasons end. The idea is to rest your important players/pitchers so that they are not exposed to injury thus making them ineligible for the playoffs. For each major leaguer placed on Rest, you must bring up a player from your minor league roster. Be careful who you bring up because at the end of the season you have to send them back down. If your player is out of options you may not get him back as another team may claim him.
This is based upon a complex set of rules using a players age, his letter grade settings and how much he played during the season. For position players, the number of Improvement Chances (ICs) is based upon his total ABs. The number of ICs is 10% of his ABs. For example if a player had 500 ABs he would get 50 ICs. If the player was 23 and was a C+ player, he would get approximately 80% conversion... or 40 IPs It takes 56 IPs to go up 1 letter grade level (C+ to B- or B to B+). The maximum age to convert the highest rate of ICs to IPs is 23 for position players and 24 for pitchers. As a player/pitcher ages his conversion rate decreases. After age 30, improvement is basically insignificant and by age 34 the players ability actually begins to decrease each year until he either retires or is no longer capable of being effective at the major league level. Going the other way as you get younger from the max conversion rate, the conversion rate also decreases. Under 20 yos have a much lower rate of conversion (ICs to IPs) than 23 yos.
Pitchers improvement in the majors is based upon their number of games played and innings pitched. The formula changed on Sept 10, 2005 to ((Games * 1,5)+Innings Pitched)/5 = ICs.
The maximum development of a teenager usually means to keep him in the minors with 5 CPs until age 21-23 at which time you promote him to the majors. Now this is where you need to take into account whether your team is competing or rebuilding. If your team is rebuilding you may want to bring up your players younger rather than older. This frees up valuable CPs for really youngsters. Remember you only get 15 CPs to improve all of your minor league roster. My rebuild philosophy is different than many as I do team rebuilds rather than individual improvements. This means that I often bring up good prospects earilier than 21 and place them in the lineup. Even if they develop more slowly than if they were getting 5 CPs in the minors, the team as a whole is developing more quickly. If you leave everyone down on the farm until age 23 you can only develop 3 at a time, 4 at most. The assignment of CPs is recommended to be 5 CPs for 3 players/pitchers or 4-4-4-3 for 4 players/pitchers. You may want to assign the 3 CPs to your youngest talent or to the player that has the highest conversion rate (23/24 yos). I have done 5-4-3-3 and even 3-3-3-3-3 on 1 rare occasion when I had a bundle of good young teenagers.
If you are competing it is a whole different ballgame. You would want to bring up youngsters only if they can help you. If you have CPs to spare you can keep your good prospects down longer. If you bring up a player and just let him sit on the bench, your better off developmentally to keep him in the minors with CPs even if you don't assign any CPs to him. The hidden CP for each minor leaguer will result in about 11 ICs for a seasosn for each player. This means that a 16yo with a C rating would become a C+ by age 23 just by sitting on your minor league roster with 0 assigned CPs & 1 hidden CP. A major league roster player that does not play does not improve.
You can see that player/pitcher development just depends on your roster as to which way to go.. that is where your managing skills come into play.. Who should I develop, how many CPs, when should I promote to majors.... all these questions are answered by KNOWING the developmental system inside and out. Since the new SD developmental system starts Sept 10th, I do not yet have all of the answers to these questions. It will take a few seasons of hands on experience to figure them out. One thing that is clear is that developing more balanced rating players/pitchers will be easier than developing unbalanced rating pairs. For instance if CvR = A, PvR = C this player will never make it to PvR = A but to something like CvR= A+, PvR = B+ since improvements are tied to pairs CvR/PvR, CvL/PvL, Spd/Rng/Arm, Ctl/Vel, Endurance will have less improvement in the new SD system. Be wary of the A+ VEL, C- CTLpitcher as they also will never make it to a A CTL pitcher (the old development system allowed these types of pitchers to become A+, A+)
Above all ..... HAVE FUN with this! Enjoy the excitement of participating whether you win or lose. Know that you have done the very best job based upon the information you had at the time. Know that the experience gained each and every moment will enable you to choose better in the future. If you get too attached emotionally to winning then this may not be the best place for you. However if you want to learn and grow with SD you can enjoy many years of outstanding enjoyment playing SD. Thanks for being here...