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How to influence auto-resolved matches in a football management sim?

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Some friends and I thought about the possibilities of asynchronous games since we are living in different parts of the world at the moment, and one thing that came to mind was a football management sim where everybody could setup their teams during the week and have matches on weekends (or whenever all players from a league have finished doing the weekly things). Now, due to different time zones matches would have to be resolved automatically, especially when two player teams compete against each other. A lot of online F2P management games do it this way, so that's not really uncommon.

However,  to keep things interesting I think there should be some way to at least influence the match even when you cannot actively get involved in any way, so now I am looking for possible mechanics to solve this issue. I have been playing some Hattrick over the last few months, and while it allows to set individual orders for players it's pretty complicated to a degree where I usually just skip it altogether.

One possible mechanic I could think of is dividing a match into phases, maybe 15 minute segments, so each halftime consists of three phases. For each phase you can set a general strategy or maybe even a tactic your team trained during the week. Think of Endless Space's battle phase cards for example - if your team trained offside traps during the week you could have them use it during a certain segment of the match (and hope your opponent hasn't chosen to play defense during that phase of course).

The nice thing about this would be that you see a direct connection between weekday trainings and matchday tactic settings. Furthermore studying your upcoming opponent's general strategy would be vital to prepare before the match.

Do you think this would be a good idea? Any changes you would suggest, or maybe even better ideas than the one above?

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On 17-11-2017 at 4:21 PM, c-Row said:

However,  to keep things interesting I think there should be some way to at least influence the match even when you cannot actively get involved in any way,

Hmm, how about giving one of the players, the home-team, the capability to get actively involved ?

It would ask for some rebalancing, maybe make players challenge each other and have the defending player play "home."

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You might find an old copy of Front Page Sports: Football, made by Sierra in the mid-1990s.  That game had playbooks and coaching profiles.  The playbook allowed you  to establish which plays your team used, and the coaching profile (which was very extensive), allowed you to essentially create your own AI for how the plays would be called.  We played it online, in coach mode, but sometimes when two players wouldn't be able to arrange to actually play that week they would just send in playbooks and coaching profiles and allow the AI to resolve their game for them.

 

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On 21.11.2017 at 6:22 AM, Kavik Kang said:

You might find an old copy of Front Page Sports: Football, made by Sierra in the mid-1990s. [...]

Definitely sounds like the right direction. Thanks for the suggestion!

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2 hours ago, c-Row said:

Definitely sounds like the right direction. Thanks for the suggestion!

FPS:FB had 64-play playbooks, but nobody really liked using more than 20 or 30 plays during a game.  In the mod I made for that game I used this to enhance the AI by adding another layer too it.  If you make the playbook twice as big as it needs too be, then in addition to the coaching profile you/the player can weight the playbook by putting multiple instances of the same play into it so that play will be called more often.  The coaching profile would choose a random play from a category like Middle Run, Sweep, Short Pass, Medium Pass, etc.  So within this system weighting the playbook in this way gives you/the player even more control over how your team functions in a very simple way that works very well.

Since you are making this from scratch, instead of a larger playbook you could actually just have a weight the player could set for each play.  1-3 would probably work just fine, don't confuse the player with big numbers;-)

Edited by Kavik Kang

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