It’s probably time that I put in my nearly annual post on this blog. I do enjoy writing, but in terms of time, typically I feel going and setting up another game is more fulfilling & important than a blog post. There really aren’t enough people who put fingers to keyboard to talk about the nuts and bolts of the tabletop hobby. For every writer about theory there are a hundred guys playing the same game over and over again on Youtube, often aimlessly…
So let’s get into this “Alternative Premier League.”
My style is experimental. I’ve done replays, they serve their purpose (and on Youtube, that purpose just seems to be fodder to have a few people chatting while you play). But I’ve found very little joy in that project type, as a large percentage of the project is already decided for you (lineups, rotations, current roster makeup, injuries, etc.). Surely there’s a good feeling when it comes to seeing and hearing names you once knew and loved, but after a couple of games it’s just rote playing everything straight up.
In some ways, this “Alternative Premier League” structure resembles a replay. This is all based on APBA Soccer’s 2020-21 English Premier League card set, and the season structure will be quite similar – 20 teams each play the other 19 opponents twice, for a total of 38 games per team and 380 in the entire season. This stands to be quite an overwhelming project, and thus my target completion will be 2023 at least.
Where it will differ: I have constructed a randomized schedule maker, and so I’ve made a completely novel 38 Matchweek schedule. I find it interesting to see how the point totals will amass if teams meet tougher (or weaker) opponents at different points in the schedule (i.e. maybe at a point before or after a key transfer was made in real life which swung the balance of power for a team).
I’ve also mapped out team’s tactical tendencies. I will be starting by rolling for each opponent to decide if they’ll go with a 4-man backline, or if they’ll be using a 3/5-man defense. At that point, the next check would be to determine the number of forwards used in the formation based on frequency in tandem with defender manpower. From those two data points the number of midfielders can be deduced. While I could have set up a check to decide the general makeup of midfield (attacking mids, holding mids, etc), there will also be a random fitness check for each player. So in some games a team might need 4 midfielders, and it is inherently better to pick the 4 that are fit vs. 3 fit and 1 fatigued though he might fit a role better against a certain opponent.
I intend to use the adjustments of a guy who goes by Dr. Z on the APBA Delphiforum. His Mini Premier League thread contains the Excel sheet which detail his modifications, and they add a Super-Advanced feel to the game.