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VERSION 2.18 UPDATE

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These are the rules changes for NuGameplan, which is version 2.18.
Changes will be added as the rules and software are updated.

ROSTERS

The nominal value of an initial roster selection is now 32. Rosters now have room for six defensive backs, with the extra one being the Dime Back (DCB) and four running backs. The RB slot has been removed so you now have two half backs (HB1 and HB2) and a separate utility back (UB).

PLAYER VALUES

Players are now shown with two values - the first is his nominal value (the "main" strengths that appear in team totals, and the coaching skill) and the second being his extra or special teams strengths (so 2-1 means two main strengths and one extra strength).

POTENTIAL & EXPERIENCE

Players now have ratings for potential and additional experience. Additional experience counts in your favour when you want it (it's added to the "age" value) but doesn't count against you in terms of age on speed skills or for injury and retirement risks.

Potential currently just reduces the LP cost when coaching or fixing that player (eg. coaching with no potential costs 15 LPs, coaching with 3 potential costs 12 LPs and one potential).

SPECIAL TEAMS

Two new player strengths have been added for kick and punt coverage skills (DKC and DPC) for backs, tight ends, linebackers and defensive backs. These count the same as other special teams strengths in LP values and minimum bids but apply on both sides of the ball, blocking for your kick and punt returners as well as coverage against returns on your kickoffs and punts.

Form gains are now restricted to the main strengths (ie. there's no special teams form) and special teams and other extra strengths are not allowed in the bonus category boxes.

NEW SKILLS

Other new player strengths added are :-
AUD - decision making for QBs on audibles and options
AWR - QB awareness, throwing the ball away to avoid sacks
BLZ - DBs when blitzing or showing blitz or in the box
BRK - running in open field & after the catch, backs and WRs
COV - DBs for and WRs against tight man to man defence
CUT - breakout ability for backs on option, counter and gap plays
DEV - development skill allows additional development actions
DMP - QB & WR breaking off routes and checking down
DNG - LBs and DBs for dings, causing fumbles
DOP - for defensive linemen dropping into pass defence
DOR - LBs for reads against run options and misdirections
HAN - sticky hands for backs, receivers and tight ends
HWK - for LBs and DBs when playing for interceptions
JMP - for WRs, TEs and DBs catching and defending jump balls
MAG - for QBs with fourth quarter magic
ODR - extra blocking skill for offensive linemen on draw plays
OTR - for offensive linemen making trap blocks
QBR - for QBs running on designed plays
PWR - ability to run over tacklers for running backs and TEs
QPA - for QBs on play action
QPF - for QBs on pump fakes
RBI - lead blocks inside for backs
RBO - lead blocks outside for backs, receivers and tight ends
RIP - for defensive linemen to cause fumbles on sacks and stuffs
SPD - speed for DBs against the breakout skill
SCR - for QBs and backs scrambling and on broken plays
TIP - for DLs to tip passes at the line of scrimmage
VER - versatility for swapping betwene similar player positions

These are "extra" skills that count in player values and team totals the same way as special teams stengths. All are uncoachable with the normal coaching actions.

RUNNING QBs

ORO is no longer a valid player strength for a quarterback, and any QBs that had an ORO strength should been have assigned QBR & SCR instead. Future QBs may have either, or both and might even have a BRK skill.

SIGNATURE PLAYS

Players have extra skills on up to six "signature" plays. On each play you count an extra training strength if you have a player on the field (ie. in the lineup according to the current formation) with a matching signature play and you count one less if you don't.

Signature plays are subject to step losses. The cost to fix the step loss of a signature play is 2 LPs.

Your bonus plays also count as if you have a player with that play call as a signature play, as do your season bonus plays (see the "Training Camp" section below).

PLAYER TYPES

Fullbacks are now a separate player type FB. There's only one roster spot available for a FB. FBs and RBs can't swap positions.

The offensive linemen OL player type has been replaced by offensive tackles OT, guards OG, and centers OC.

The defensive linemen DL player type has been replaced by defensive ends DE and defensive tackles DT.

The linebacker player LB type has been replaced with ILB inside and OLB outside linebackers.

The defensive back DB player type has been replaced with corner backs CB and safeties S.

The QB, TE, WR, KK and PN player types are unchanged.

The NCB and DCB positions are corners (not safeties).
The NT position is for a DT and the MLB is an ILB.

COACHING

The coaching actions work on all the same players as before,
ie. OC, OG and OT for OL, either FB or RB for RB,
DE or DT for DLs, ILB or OLB for LB, CB or S for DB.

If you add a one-star free agent to your defence using these actions the player type for each action is DT from DI, DE from DL or DO, ILB from LI, OLB from LO or LB, CB from DS or DB, S from DR, OC from OI, OG from OR and OT from OL.

The special teams coaching actions, FK, PN, PR, KR, WP and WK have been deleted.

LOSS OF TRAINING

For any offence play call that isn't in your gameplan and isn't in your current training or bonus plays or your season bonus plays you lose one point of accumulated training (if you've got any). This doesn't apply for dumpoff passes (including the dumpoff screen) or the QR scramble.

TRAINING

Accumulated training and keys are now added up during pre-season, but don't count in team strengths and are reset at the start of the season. The current selectons do count in pre-season games (it's just the accumulated totals don't get added).

BONUS PLAYS

There are now nine extra bonus play boxes on the turnsheet for offence plays. These work when you're playing unscheduled pre-season games during the setup phase and in training camp.

TRAINING CAMP

In training camp you can set season bonus plays, season key plays and bonus quarters. These apply all through the season but you can change them only in training camp.

The season bonus plays can be offence or defence and work in lieu of signature plays (ie. for these plays you count as having a player with that signature play, even if you don't).

The season keys are offence plays the same as the weekly keys, except they apply for the whole season and they have less effect on the play (they also don't have the spillover effect on similar plays that normal keys have). Basically they allow you to downrate a couple of plays you think are a threat over the season, without reference to your current opponent. They don't add to your accumulated keys.

The bonus quarters apply separately to offence, defence and special teams, and you play up in that phase during the quarter selected. There's no downside - your team just plays better during that quarter. But you may have to think hard about these, whether to hit your opponent early and try to knock him out of his gameplan, in the middle of the game when you can still play a balanced game - or save it until later when the game is on line.

UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS

Players not drafted are now available for bids as undrafted free agents in training camp. Each team is allocated 10 LPs extra during minicamp. This is intended for the rookie free agents but you can spend it on something different if you prefer.

FREE AGENTS - TRADE BONUS

When a player is signed from the free agent list the last other team he played for (if any) gets a bonus of 2 LPs per nominal value and 1 LP for each extra value. Note that players waived during the draft don't appear on the free agent list until minicamp (they're still on your roster until the playoffs have finished) - also the bonus for players signed during the draft is paid in minicamp (not sooner).

DRAFTING DOWN

The expected value of your pick is now the actual value of the player at your position in the draft order (ie. if you're picking 9th then the expected value for your 1st round pick is that of the guy at number 9 on the list, for your 2nd pick look at the guy at 33).

If you draft someone with a lower value then the difference is added to your balance of LPs. It doesn't matter if someone with a higher value is still available, or if the guy setting the value of your pick is actually available.

OFFENCE FORMATIONS & ALIGNMENTS

The formation codes have changed. On offence you pick a formation and an optional alignment (in the two character formations box).

The formations are
G is no WRs, same as before
1 is one WR, previously J
2 is two WRs, previously A, I, K and O
3 is three WRs, previosuly C and H
4 is four WRs, previously S
H is two WRs and an H-Back, previously B and E
Z is three WRs and an H-back,
5 is four WRs and an H-Back, previously D
L is two WRs and two H-backs,
B is two WRs and two TEs balanced, previously T
U is two WRs and two TEs unbalanced.

The alignments are
S is shotgun, allowed with any formation
T is three backs, allowed only with formation 1
The A-Near, K-Far and O-Open and I alignments are allowed only with formation 2

DEFENSIVE ALIGNMENTS

Play calls on defence can be customised with alignments to change which players are on the field or move them around the formation by using the "Select Defence" section of the turnsheet. You enter the two letter formation codes as follows:

B1 B2 or B3 to place 1 to 3 extra men "in the box"
N5 D6 or P7 to substitute to make for 5 to 7 defensive backs
H1 J2 or M3 to substitute for 1 to 3 extra defensive linemen
"--" to reset to your base formation with no modifier

Example: PD N5 sets your Pass Defence to use 5 DBs (nickel defence). The other letter codes are D for dime, P for penny, H for heavy, J for jumbo, M for mouse.

ASSISTANT COACHES

Assistant coaches are hired with free agent bids and are subject to reductions, retirements, step losses and free agency in the normal way (the same as players, except coaches usually have longer careers). The ACC skill for assistant coaches is a "main" strength for the purpose of calculating LP costs and values.

Offensive and defensive coordinators can't be waived, only replaced. All assistant coaches are treated as being always subject to a conditional waiver - you don't need to make a CW action in order to sign a replacement (ie. you sign a new one, the old one gets waived and you get back his waiver value).

If your offensive coordinator retires he is replaced by a no-star with the same scheme. If either coordinator retires you need to sign a replacement as a matter of priority - they are the most important people in your team.

OFFENSIVE COORDINATORS & SCHEMES

Each offensive coordinator coaches a given scheme (see table below). He adds to your team strengths when you use formations that fit the scheme and your team will play worse when you use formations outside the scheme.

Formations and alignments in each scheme are
WISHB Wishbone 1 & T
HEAVY Heavy Run 22 G, 1, A, K, O & I
POWER   Power Run 21 2, B, U, A, K, O & I    
PRO21 Pro Set 21 2, L, A, K, O, S & I
WES11 West Coast 11 3 & S
WES12 West Coast 12 H, B, U & S
WES21 West Coast 21 2, A, K, O & S
VER11 Vertical 11 3 & S
VER12 Vertical 12 H, B, U & S
VER21 Vertical 21 2, A, K, O & S
SPRED Option Spread   4, 5 & S
RUNSH Run & Shoot 4 & 5

Two old schemes may be seen but aren't available for new coaches
WEST   West Coast   2, L, A, O, K, S, Z & 3   
ACE Ace H, B, U & S

In short yardage and goal line formations you can remove a wide receiver and remain in-scheme, and in long yardage or third down you can add a wide receiver the same way.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATORS

Each defensive coordinator coaches a given scheme, either Attack, Balance, Blitz, Cover2, Cover3, Deep, Front, Hard, Inside, Long, Outside, Pass, Press, Prevent, Shallow, Short and Takeaway. These add to your team strengths in a similar way to your choice of 3-4 or 4-3 base formation (and in addition to that).

The features of each scheme are :-
Attack - sacks, hurries and tackles for loss
Balance - reduced breakouts and run after catch
Blitz - sacks and hurries
Cover2 - short zones and run inside
Cover3 - deep zones and run inside
Deep - pass rush and deep pass
Front - run defence inside and out
Hard - same as playing hard
Inside - run defence inside
Long - pass defence long
Outside - run defence outside
Pass - all pass defence
Press - short pass and run outside
Prevent - long pass and run outside
Shallow - pass rush and short pass
Short - pass defence short
Takeaway - fumbles and interceptions (dings and hawks)

CHANGING SCHEMES

If you change scheme during the season then you lose form on offence or defence accordingly, the same as if you change your starting QB or your base formation on defence. You don't lose form for hiring a new coordinator with the same scheme as the previous guy.

 

TURNSHEETS

There is no paper turnsheet in this version - all turns are done online using the softsim website. There are four versions of the online turnsheet. You use the normal turnsheet for regular season and unscheduled games. The training camp turnsheet is for scheduled pre-season turns. The draftsheet is for the first three playoff rounds (the draft turns) and the minicamp turnsheet is for the final playoff turn (when the bowl game is played).

REPORT FORMATS

There is a box at the bottom of the turnsheet that allows you to select the report format for yourself. PDF is the default where you get my choice of font (which is LST). Text is the old plain text format if you're going to process the report yourself. The COURIER, MONACO, LUCIDA and LST options are PDF with the selected font. Courier is the font used in old Gameplan.

Whatever font is used in your report you need to have installed on your computer. If you don't have any of these fonts or don't know what to do about it, and your report doesn't come out right, then select EMBED. This selects the default font and embeds it inside your report - the email will be that much bigger as a result but on broadband you probably don't care.

DELETED ACTIONS

The LX extended turnsheet, RA rename all, RN rename own, and RS rename position actions have been deleted in this version.

The HD (play hard) action has been deleted (you do the same thing by signing a "Hard" coach as defensive coordinator).

PLAYER NAMES & NUMBERS

The turnsheets for regular season turns now include some boxes for inputting player names and numbers straight into your roster. You give the player position (ie. which slot on your roster) and a shirt number and name. That's so you can fill out the empty slots on your roster with sensible names and numbers. If either the shirt number or the name is blank then it'll be ignored.

CX - FORM COACHING ACTION

The CX action to coach extra form works only for main strengths (not special teams or "extra" skills) and now costs 3 LPs (it was previously 5 LPs).

STEP LOSSES & GAINS

Normally a step loss has no effect until after minicamp but if you waive a player with a step loss then the step loss is carried out immediately - and applies to your current roster and not just your future roster. Step gains are always applied immediately

Note: This isn't a change - it's the same in previous versions.

CR - CREATING FREE AGENTS

The CR action has been added to replace the FA action for creating new players on the free agent list. It works the same as the FA action except instead of using a coaching/draft code in the "name" box to say what you're looking for, you enter a player type and a strength separated by a dash (eg. OLB-DRO). You can input any combination of player type and strength - but the action will fail if you use ones that aren't allowed. See "New Skills" for which skills apply for which player types. You can still input a value in the shirt number box, the same as for the FA action (if you don't give a value you get a one-star player).

Example: CR 2 OG-OTR

Note: Use the updated player types (QB, FB, RB, WR, TE, OC, OG, OT, DE, DT, ILB, OLB, CB, S, PN and KK) and don't try to use the names of roster spots. The old player types don't work either (OL, DL, LB and DB).

CR - RECRUITING - COLLEGE VERSION

In the college version the CR action is used for recruiting direct to your roster. The cost is variable (the actual LP value of the player, rather than 10 LPs per strength, because we don't want to discourage coaches from using the extra skills). You can use the CR action to recruit during the season instead of just in training camp, and in camp you can use all six actions - you're not restricted to three recruits as you were in the old version).

DC & DP - DEVELOPMENT ACTIONS

These actions are free (there's no cost in LPs) but can be used only once per season. They are limited to rookies and year 2 players and can't be used to coach no-star players. You can also use the same actions on players with a DEV strength and those don't count as your once-a-season (the DEV strength is replaced by the new strength).

The DC action allows you to add a special teams or "extra" strength to any suitable player (the same combinations as when creating free agents - strengths that are possible but normally uncoachable are allowed).

Example: DC 34 HAN

The DP action allows you to add a signature play to any suitable player (for running plays the ball carrier or any OL, for passing plays the receiver or the QB, for defense anyone mentioned in the play name or descripton).

Example: DP 12 SP

DRAFT LIST

The draft list now appears during the regular season, in week 10 to allow time for scouting and workouts to get extra information about particular players (see the next three paragraphs).

WO - WORKOUTS

The WO action brings a player on the free agent or draft list for a workout, providing full data on his skills and strengths (the same as if if he was on your roster - much more information than you could get on a potential signing before).

Example: WO 123

SC - SCOUTING FOR STRENGTHS

The SC action has been added to replace the FS action for scouting the free agent list. It should also scan the draft list when that's available but otherwise works the same as the FS action except instead of using a coaching/draft code in the "name" box to say what you're looking for, you enter a player type and a strength separated by a dash (eg. QB-OPL). You can input any combination of player type and strength - but the action will fail if you use ones that aren't allowed.

Example: SC - WR-OPL

SP - SCOUTING FOR SIGNATURE PLAYS

The SP action has been added to allow scouting for signature plays. It should work the same as the SC action except you enter a player type and a play call separated by a dash (eg. QB-DI). You can input any combination of player type and play call - but the action will fail if you use ones that aren't allowed.

Example: SP - WR-SI

CP - CHANGING PLAYER TYPES

The CP action has been added to allow some players to change player types. The format is the action code, shirt number and new roster slot, same as for a select starter action, except the roster spot must be empty (or a no star player).

Players can change player type between CB and S, between ILB and OLB, between DT and DE and between FB and RB (in either direction in each case).

The cost is normally 5 LPs, but there is no LP cost for players with the versatility skill (VER). Potential reduces the LP cost and is used up in the usual way - even for versatile players. You probably shouldn't be thinking about spending LPs with this action except for players with high potential - unless you're really sure the player is going to be more effective in his new position.

Example: CP 55 ROLB

RS - RESERVE SLOT

The RS action activates a roster slot slot for a signing reserve. You can also use the same action to toggle it back off. Using your reserve slot any player you try to sign that doesn't fit in your roster goes to your reserve slot instead (if it's empty) but while he's there he doesn't play (he shouldn't show up in teams strengths etc). You can move a player from the reserve slot to your roster proper by using a CP (change position) or SS (select starter) action.

CO - COACH OFFENCE SIGNATURE PLAY

The CO action adds a signature play to a given player on offence. The player must be an eligible runner or receiver for that play or have another key skill used in the play call according to the table below, and cannot have more than five signature plays.

The cost is LPs equal to the number of signature plays the player has already. Potential reduces the cost and is used up in the usual way.

Example: CO 82 SI

QB - DMP CP DP FP HP LP SP
QB - QBR QD QK QR QS
QB - QPA FW PI PL PO PS RN
QB - QPF CI CL CO CS
QB - SCR OP OR OT PA
FB - RBI RI RL
FB - RBO PW RW SW
OL - OTR CW DE DR DT DW QD TR

CD - COACH DEFENCE SIGNATURE PLAY

The CD action adds a signature play to a given player on defence. The player must have a key skill used on that play call according to the table below, and cannot have more than five signature plays.

The cost is LPs equal to the number of signature plays the player has already. Potential reduces the cost and is used up in the usual way.

Example: CD 54 RD

  DNG DBZ COV HWK DOR
DE - FD GL ES - - -
DT - FD GL TS - - -
ILB RD OV
UN
LB LJ PD LD MD
OLB RD OV
UN
JB KB LJ PD LD LS MD
SB RD RS OV UN FS WS SB SS ID PD SD TD DD -
CB CB CR RD OV UN - ND PD CD -

ADVANCED GAMEPLANS

Situation numbers in the advanced game are now 1-16 on offence and 25-40 on defence.

ADVANCED - DEFENCE SITUATIONS

For defining situations in the advanced game there are now two boxes, one for formations and the other for alignments - both work the same way as the old formations box (ie. in the formation box you list the formatons for which the situation applies and in the alignment box you list the alignments for which the situation applies, X-with-a-list means "exclude these" and X on it's own means "exclude none" which is the same as "any").

ADVANCED - CATCHALL SITUATION

The Catchall situation applies when your gameplan fails to provide a play call (it replaces the default of A formation and SW play on offence and MD on defence). You can use it as a legitimate part of your gameplan or leave it for emergency use only.

ADVANCED - OVERCALLS

Two "Token" play calls (XO on offence and XD on defence) are available in the play calling sections for the advanced game. When these plays are called in normal situations they're replaced by a play call from the "Overcall" situation.

Reactions are applied to both the original (token) play call and the actual play call (in the overcall situation) separately (note the situations could have different reaction settings).

ADVANCED GAME - SCRIPTS

Any situation in the advanced game can be designated as a script (put Y in the script box) so that any play call which is used and reacts down to zero stays at zero so that it no longer gets called (otherwise with the numbered and "Highest" reactions the play weights don't fall below one). A situation with no callable plays remaining is ignored. For a script situation with "Sequence", "Rotate" and "Alternate" reactions the situation is dropped once the plays have cycled through once (otherwise the sequence rotates back to the start).

HAIL MARY PLAYS

Last-play situations are no longer run the same way as a normal down - there's a separate mini-game instead. In a "long" hail mary situation you call a DX play from S formation againmst WC (that's a "Big Ben" play into the endzone). The chances of success depend on player strengths and the distance to go. There are no fumbles, interceptions, returns etc and currently no passes completed short of the endzone.

For "short" hail mary situations (defined by an additional game parameter, value 0-20) you can call any of four "forcing" plays, which are FX to the full back, HX to the half back, LX to the tight end and SX to a wide receiver. The defence can call any of four corresponding defences (FXD, HXD, LXD and SXD). If the defence makes the right call the pass is batted away incomplete (except if the call is SXD against SX when there is only a 50% chance of the defence making the play). Otherwise the offence has a chance of completing the pass depending on player strengths and the distance to go.

The Hail Mary plays can't be used in other situations. The formation on short hail mary situations is currently pro set (formation A) only but later we'll probably allow other formations.

DERIVATIVE PLAYS

Some play calls in this version (mostly new ones, but not only those) are treated as "derivative plays" that work on what plays you've called before and how successful they were, as well as what defence is called.

You'll probably find you need to work out which play calls you need in order to set them up right, unless the defence sets them up you. Some are obvious, like the passes that use pump fakes (check in, out, slant and long) and running plays that use misdirection.

The more often you've shown the thing you're faking, and the better it worked when you did it, the higher your rating on the play you're really trying to run (it doesn't matter when - the play before or earlier in the game).


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