Despite countless explanations to folks, numerous written responses and an addenda to the rulebook it appears that come managers still have little clue how the Ball Winner and Creative statistics affect the game as a whole.
They have opted to ignore these rather than try top grasp WHY they have been introduced and when their team loses 1-0 and the newsletter reports how superbly creative their opponents were, those same managers start moaning about their ill fortune. Only recently one manager on the newsserver said that the main thing he didn’t like in the game was the ridiculous 1-0 defeats his teams suffered, suggesting that such “freak” results were a far too common occurrence. It never really hit him that he was losing these matches for a reason. Anyway it seems as good a time as any to try and go through this game mechanic once more, just so the next time people say “how does this work” we can point them to yet another part of the newsletter that they decided wasn’t worth reading.
The Ball Winner and Creative statistic were added to the game for a good reason - they differentiate between players of the same basic type in a manner that was previously untouched. Look at real players for instance. There can be no doubt that Paul Ince and David Batty are very similar types of players. Let us assume, for sake of argument, that both can be called level 11 MF/D’s and, again for the sake of argument, both are power players.
Now in Kickabout that would be that. There was previously no way of trying to simulate the fact that Ince was the kind of player that could break from midfield with powerful runs and get into the box while Batty was more likely to play just in front of the back four. The Ball Winner and Creative stats were introduced to make that difference.
A player who is a good Ball Winners is one that will be in there where the tackles are flying and will, basically, have an edge when it comes to breaking up the moves of the opposition. He will have the better chance of coming away with the ball from a 50-50 challenge than normal. His ability to put his foot in will make the difference between someone getting in a shot and having it blocked. Ball Winners are designed in a defensive frame of mind.
Creative players are just the opposite and, as you would expect, it is they that have the ability to turn a lose ball into oalscoring chance. They thrive on the more skilful type of play, getting the ball on the floor and playing it to feet. They may not be the greatest of tacklers but they will be able to provide that extra touch that puts a striker through on goal.
Every player in Kickabout, with the exception of Goalkeepers, have two figures recorded against them to show their abilities in both these basic areas. Often these two figures will add up to a 100, and in this way they can be looked upon as percentages. The first of the two figures is the player’s ball winning ability while the latter is their creative skill. So if a statistic reads “65/35” it becomes immediately apparent that the player is far more suited to a physical, tackling game than he is likely to be putting in killer passes. These figures may sometimes not ad up to a hundred, or may total to a good deal more. One player in an early auction had figures of “65/65” which are more formidable, a sort of Giggs type character who has no problem in tracking back and winning the ball when required. Whatever the case may be, these two number DO have a fair importance in the game now and they should be taken note of by EVERY manager.
The new statistics are aimed at a simple game mechanic - they are used to give a side additional chances of scoring during a game or they are used to nullify efforts created by the opposition; it doesn’t take a genius to work out which does which.
The individual statistics of each player are only the “base value” for each formulae that uses them. The figures show are modified by any number of different conditions before they are given a final rating, which is used to determine if he directly effects the match in any way. The kind of players he is playing with, the number of players in his part of the pitch, the weather and the team’s formation are all mitigating factors in how this base value is modified.
Ball Winners are players that thrive in the heat of battle, that love to mix it with the opposition and find their talents easier to use when in packed areas of the pitch. They are primarily defensive players and tend to have more effect if the overall stance of the side is weighted in that direction. For each element of this make up that goes their way, they receive a bonus on their ball-winning ability, along with a subsequent penalty to their creative skill.
So, if the Batty of our example starts the game with figures of 75/25 then he will be completely happy playing in a full Power side, with a 4-4-2 formation that uses a negative style. If the weather is cold and the pitch muddy then he has about everything he can get in his favour. The only way of bettering this if for him to be playing in a five-man midfield, but then you lose the negative advantage and his figures won’t look all that much better. Each one of the factors in his advantage will add a certain percentage to his abilities and in the example shown it would not be a surprise to see Batty’s eventual stats change from 75/25 through to perhaps 105/10 or so.
Creative players like the opposite end of the scale, as you can imagine, and they like warm days with a good surface to play one, they like space to play in and a style that allows them to attack the opposing goalmouth. It doesn’t take too much to work out what sort of formations and playing positions will get the best from them. It may well become apparently that there are more opportunities in the game for ball winners than there are for creative players - this is a fact. The balance to this is that when a BW or CR affect kicks in, it only kicks in at the position the player is located. A BW gain by a player in midfield will kill off a shot from the opposing midfield area for example, while a striker picking up a creative chance will do so from his forward position. The creative chances always result in an additional chance where as ball-winners need to have something to stop if they are to be affective. If a side adds an extra four Ball-winner stops to their midfield and the opposition isn’t creating anything in that area, then these efforts are wasted. Thus, while there are many more ways of aiding your ball-winning players, their abilities are not always as valuable as the creative players