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#384 Game Planning Q. How do the game plan settings work?
  A.

The game plan is broken down into 3 main sections: general, offense, and defense. Each of the offense and defense sections is further broken down into 1st down, 2nd down, 3rd down, and 4th down settings.

General
The general section is used to set your primary offense and primary defense which are used in situations where you do not have plays set in your playbook. If you do not set your down specific offense (Off. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th tabs), then the primary offense will always be run. The primary defense settings work the same way -- it determines your starting defensive lineup, basic defensive style and tendency, and will always be used if no other defensive settings (Def. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th tabs) have been saved.

Offense: 1st Down, 2nd Down, 3rd Down, and 4th Down
The down sections are used to specify your offense in every down and distance situation - i.e. on the 1st tab you set your offense for 1st and long, 1st and medium, and 1st and short situations. The 2nd tab is for second down situations, 3rd tab for third down situations, and 4th tab for fourth down situations. The distances for long and medium can be set for what your team considers each situation to be and the short distance is automatically set to be 1 yard up to the medium setting. Under each down and distance situation, there are 3 "play" options consisting of set, tendency, style, normal, red zone, and 2 min. settings. The set is the offensive formation. The tendency is the run/pass balance used for play calling:

Setting % Pass % Run
Always Pass 100 0
Heavy Pass 85 15
Pass 65 35
Balanced 50 50
Run 35 65
Heavy Run 15 85
Always Run 0 100

Note: The percentage break down does not guarantee a certain percentage of total plays. For instance, if all of your plays were set to Balanced, it does not mean you will have exactly the same number of passes and rushes within the game. It means that for each play there is a 50% chance of calling a play or run and it does not consider past plays, so it would be like flipping a coin on each play.

The style determines how aggressive the play calling is. A more aggressive play will have a higher chance of throwing a deep ball but doesn't exclude the chance of a short pass. For rushing, a more aggressive play will have a higher chance of rushing wide versus inside the tackles. The normal checkbox indicates whether or not this "play" can be used during normal play calling, i.e. not in the red zone. The red zone checkbox indicates whether or not this "play" can be used when the team is in the red zone (inside the opponent's 20 yard line). You may check any combination of the checkboxes for each of the "plays":
Normal Red Zone Availability
X   Only available when not in the red zone
  X Only available when in the red zone
X X Always available

If no "plays" have the checkbox checked for a given situation (e.g. none of them have the normal checkbox checked), then ALL of the listed "plays" are available to be called in that situation.

Defense: 1st Down, 2nd Down, 3rd Down, and 4th Down
Just like the offense section, the defense section allows you to specify your defensive set, tendency, and style when facing every offensive formation in long, medium, and short yardage situations broken up by down. The distances for long and medium can be set for what your team considers each situation to be and the short distance is automatically set to be 1 yard up to the medium setting. The set is the defensive formation. The tendency is what the defense is looking for or leaning towards -- pass or run. For example, if a heavy run tendency is chosen, then the defensive players are pulled up closer to the line of scrimmage to try and stop the run but potentially leaves the defense open to a big passing play. The style is the overall style of play for the defense -- the more aggressive this setting is, the more often the defense will blitz, jump passing routes for interceptions, etc. The more conservative it is, the more likely it is to hang back in coverage. An aggressive defense could lead to a lot of turnovers, but it may also give up some big plays to the offense.

#390 Game Planning Q. Can I set who returns kicks and punts?
  A. Yes, this is the return man setting on the general tab in the game plan section of your office. The player chosen here will be inserted into the game to return all punts and kickoffs.
#655 Game Planning Q. How do the game plan settings work?
  A.

The game plan section is broken into 4 parts: main, general, offense, and defense. Each of the offense and defense sections is further broken down into 1st down, 2nd down, 3rd down, and 4th down settings.

Main
The main game plan page lists the game plans that are available to the team. The list contains any custom game plans that have been created by the coach along with default game plans available to everyone. When a game plan is selected from the available game plans list, a description of the plan is displayed along with options to view, edit, or delete the selected plan. The only option available for the default plans is view, while custom plans have both edit and delete options. A custom game plan can only be removed if it is not currently set in any of the 5 active game plan settings. If no game plan is selected in the list, a brief summary of the next opponent on the schedule is shown to aid in game planning for the upcoming game.

Offensive Game Planning/Defensive Game Planning The active settings section is where up to 6 game plans can be set to be used in the next game. The main game plan is used when the game situation does not match the criteria to use any of the other 4 game plan options. The winning game plan and the losing game plan settings are always active and cannot be disabled. The two optional game plan settings can be set for either winning or losing situations and can be deactivated by not checking the active checkbox. The score and time criteria for using each game plan are used in both the 2nd and 4th quarters. There are two sections of these settings, one for Offensive Game Planning and one for Defensive Game Planning. The Offensive Game Planning section sets your preferences of which game plans to use during your offensive situations, including 4th downs, and only uses the offensive settings of the selected game plan. The Defensive Game Planning section sets your preferences of which game plans to use during your defensive situations and only uses the defensive settings of the selected game plan.

Choosing Game Plans: When more than one game plan is valid, the one closest to your point requirement will be used and in the case of the same point requirements, the one closest to your time requirement will be used. For instance, if you have a "Losing by 8 or more with 3 minutes to go" and a "Losing by 1 or more with 1 minute to go" and you are down by 9 with under 1 minute to go, the engine will use your "Losing by 8 or more with 3 minutes to go" plan. If your second one was "Losing by 8 or more with 1 minute to go" then that would have been used.

Tied Games: To use a game plan during tied situations, you must set the conditions to "when winning by 0 or more points".

The special teams section is where the maximum field goal distance for a field goal attempt is set (remember to add 17 yards to the line of scrimmage to account for the placement and the end zone). The max field goal setting is the maximum distance from which your team will attempt a FG. If you are within your max field goal range and your team decides not to go for the first down, then it will attempt the field goal. The decision to go for the first down on fourth down or not is based upon the base offensive style in the active game plan at the time of the decision along with field position and distance to go.

Game Plan Settings:

General
The general section is used to give a name and description to the game plan as well as set the base offense and base defense. The base offense settings are used to determine the starting offensive lineup and basic offensive style and tendency. If the down specific offense (offense section) is not set, then the base offense will always be run. The base defense settings work the same way -- it determines the starting defensive lineup, basic defensive style and tendency, and will always be used if no other defensive settings (defense section) have been saved.

Offense
The offensive down sections are used to specify the offense in every down and distance situation - i.e. on the 1st tab the offense for 1st and long, 1st and medium, and 1st and short situations are set. The 2nd tab is for second down situations, 3rd tab for third down situations, and 4th tab for fourth down situations. The distances for long and medium can be set for what the team considers each situation to be and the short distance is automatically set to be 1 yard up to the medium setting. Under each down and distance situation, there are 3 "play" options consisting of set, tendency, style, normal, red zone, and inactive settings. The set is the offensive formation. The tendency is the run/pass balance used for play calling:

Setting % Pass % Run
Always Pass 100 0
Heavy Pass 85 15
Pass 65 35
Balanced 50 50
Run 35 65
Heavy Run 15 85
Always Run 0 100

Note: The percentage break down does not guarantee a certain percentage of total plays. For instance, if all of your plays were set to Balanced, it does not mean you will have exactly the same number of passes and rushes within the game. It means that for each play there is a 50% chance of calling a play or run and it does not consider past plays, so it would be like flipping a coin on each play.

The style determines how aggressive the play calling is. A more aggressive play will have a higher chance of throwing a deep ball but doesn't exclude the chance of a short pass. For rushing, a more aggressive play will have a higher chance of rushing wide versus inside the tackles. The normal checkbox indicates whether or not this "play" can be used during normal play calling, i.e. not in the red zone. The red zone checkbox indicates whether or not this "play" can be used when the team is in the red zone (inside the opponent's 20 yard line). The inactive checkbox indicates whether or not this "play" can be used in the game. At least 1 play must be marked as available in normal situations and red zone situations.

Defense
Just like the offense section, the defense section is used to specify the defensive set, tendency, and style when facing every offensive formation in long, medium, and short yardage situations broken up by down. Additionally, it allows for the defense to change in the same situations when defending in the red zone. The distances for long and medium can be set for what the team considers each situation to be and the short distance is automatically set to be 1 yard up to the medium setting. The set is the defensive formation. The tendency is what the defense is looking for or leaning towards -- pass or run. For example, if a heavy run tendency is chosen, then the defensive players are pulled up closer to the line of scrimmage to try and stop the run but potentially leaves the defense open to a big passing play. The style is the overall style of play for the defense -- the more aggressive this setting is, the more often the defense will blitz, jump passing routes for interceptions, etc. The more conservative the setting, the more likely the defense will hang back in coverage. The red zone settings work the same way, but are used when defending inside the 20.

#659 Game Planning Q. How do I create a game plan?
  A. To create a game plan (you can create up to 10), select New Custom Plan from the list on the left side of the Game Plan page. This will display a brief description and a New button on the right. Click the New button -- this will take you to the general settings page for the new plan. Enter a name and description and then select your base offense and defense for the game plan. These will be used if you do not setup the down specific settings. Additionally, your base offense style will guide general game decisions for your team. After entering this information, click Save. Make sure you get a success message and then click on Offense in the top right --- this will take you to the Offense down settings. (You can also click Save & Next to save the general settings and go directly to the offense section.) Follow the same procedure for setting each offensive play you used setting the base offense (tabs are the downs) -- make sure to click Save or Save & Next on each down. Then do the defense the same way. When you are finished, click Back to return to the main game plan page.
#801 Game Planning Q. How is the decision to kick a field goal, punt, or go on fourth down made?
  A.

The decision to go for the first down on fourth down or not is based upon the base offensive style in the active game plan at the time of the decision along with field position, distance to go, skill of the kicker, and max field goal setting. Score and time remaining are also factored in during the 4th quarter.

When a 4th down call is made, the engine determines the chance to pick up the yardage, the chance to make the field goal, and the likely field position of the opponent if you don't make it, miss the field goal, or punt. It then picks which option is the most favorable with regards to wanting to score while not putting the opponent in an easy scoring position. During the fourth quarter it will adjust the play call based on score and time remaining. The play aggressiveness setting affects the decision making by allowing you to go for it in more conditions as your aggressiveness increases, so a Very Aggressive settings doesn't always mean you will go for 4th, but you will go for it in more conditions than if the setting was more conservative.

The following is a table of expected calls to go for it on 4th down based on your aggressiveness settings and situation. The results are based on an average Kicker and team for the FGA. Results may vary based on your Kicker and team's ratings.

Aggressiveness Down Go For It
Very Conservative 4th and 1 OPP 41 - OPP 30
Conservative 4th and 1 OPP 45 - OPP 28
  4th and 2 OPP 32 - OPP 31
Balanced 4th and 1 OPP 48 - OPP 26, OPP 1
  4th and 2 OPP 36 - OPP 30
  4th and 3 OPP 32 - OPP 31
Aggressive 4th and 1 OWN 47 - OPP 1
  4th and 2 OPP 41 - OPP 26, OPP 1
  4th and 3 OPP 36 - OPP 29
  4th and 4 OPP 34 - OPP 30
Very Aggressive 4th and 1 OWN 41 - OPP 1
  4th and 2 OPP 42 - OPP 24, OPP 14 - OPP 1
  4th and 3 OPP 38 - OPP 27
  4th and 4 OPP 35 - OPP 29
  4th and 5 OPP 34 - OPP 30

All other situations will make a FGA according to your Max FG settings. Also, it will not Punt within the OPP 30. These decisions may be altered based on end of game situations, like needing to score a TD at the end of the game will force you to go for it on 4th rather than making a FGA.

#829 Game Planning Q. I had a play called from a different playbook than what I had selected in my Game Plan settings. When are the Game Plan conditions checked in the game?
  A. Which Game Plan to use is determined at the end of the last play. Each play in the play-by-play shows when the actual play was snapped, so the game plan may be selected well before the time you see next to the play.

For instance, if you have it set to switch game plans when 3 minutes or less, and a play ends at the 3:05 mark, the next play may be snapped under 3 minutes, but will be called from the previous game plan because the game plan to use was selected at 3:05 (the end of the previous play). Please keep this in consideration when setting your Offensive and Defensive Game Planning settings.
#854 Game Planning Q. What is the maximum number of formations I can create?
  A. You may create up to ten formation sets for each formation.
#855 Game Planning Q. What is the maximum number of playbooks I can create?
  A. You may create up to twelve playbooks for each the offense and defense in addition to the five default playbooks.

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