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PCM.daily » PCM.daily's Management Game » [Man-Game] The Rules and Announcements
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Management Game FAQ
Thanks to Aidan for writing this! Note that this was written during the 2013 season, but updated in 2015 for the last time to rectify some details.

Many members of PCMDaily have come across the name of "Man-Game" or simply, "MG". However, many don't know what it is or how it works. If you are curious as to how it works, what it is or interested in joining in, you might want to consider reading through this article. I hope to explain it in as little words as possible, but I'd also like to add details for anyone applying to be a new manager.

For just the basics, read the first 3 headings, as well as the very last one. It will give you an overall knowledge of the game.

Man-Game - What is it?
"Man-Game" is an abbreviation for Management Game. The entire game is centered around the managment aspect of your own team, rather than taking control of your team in a 3D race. Each manager takes charge of their very own team and can control all aspects involved with its management, from choosing sponsors and designing a jersey to recruiting riders and selecting races (explained below). Pre-season months (December/January) are the busiest for any manager. It is during this period that managers participate in an interactive transfer season, decide on sponsors, create the team jersey/equipment, select races for the team to participate in and create the race schedule for riders. Managers are also required to open a Team HQ - a thread where you present the team along with any info you want to add; typically the riders of the team, sponsors, jersey, races and background info. It is also worth mentioning that a MG season is equivalent to about a whole year, although they got shorter lately!

How do races work if I don't control my team?
It is quite simple, actually. Man-Game has a set calendar of real and fantasy races with different rankings, such as the UCI's WT, .HC, .C1 or .C2 races. As mentioned before, each manager selects races and riders for these races pre-season. When the time comes for the race during the season, an independent race reporter, who has willingly applied to help out, creates a preview for the race with an overview of profiles, participating teams and potential winners. The reporter then plays the race on their PC (with a control team that has no influence on the result) and takes screenshots throughout. He then writes and posts a report explaining how the race panned out, much like we see in a PCM story. The exported results are also included in a race report. Click here for an example of a typical race report. A "Discussion Thread" (including the race preview) is also opened before then, and there managers discuss their team's performance in the race or anything related with fellow managers. Click here for an example of a race discussion thread.

MG's database: Who are the riders?
Click here to download the MG database of the 2015 season. It is an Excel file, so all you need is preferably MS Excel or Excel Viewer (free) although you can use an alternative program to open the database as well. Upon opening it you'll be bombarded with colour-coded columns and rows of names and numbers, but just take a few seconds to find your bearings. You'll soon see that it's a PCM-style database with riders, their stats, teams and all the relevant info.

You'll also realise that riders have different stats than what you might think. Some riders are over-developed, other well-known pros have weak stats and there are quite a lot of riders with very high stats compared to a normal PCM database. This is all due to the evolution of MG: a game running for so many years is bound to be pretty different compared to real life! At the end of a season riders are nominated by managers to be added to the database. MG has a unique flavour as it allows almost any rider in the world to be added, such as unknown Kenyan or Egyptian riders who develop to be stronger than someone like Nairo Quintana. Riders don't develop randomly, each rider has a specific development path which is also directed by their manager (explained below).

Stat Increases/Decreases, XP Levels and Training
In the DB, you'll see each rider has an XP level (1,2,3,4 and 4.max) and potential. As you know, the higher the potential, the bigger the stat gains for a rider. Rider earns experience (XP) by racing in different races. XP levels are divided into 100XP points. To gain an XP level, a rider needs to accumulate 100XP points, which isn't difficult to achieve. Levels work as follows:
- Level 1 (100 XP points)
- Level 2 (100 XP points)
- Level 3 (100 XP points)
- Level 4 (100 XP points)
- Level 4.100 (maxed out)
After advancing an XP level, a rider gets a stat gain, but only at the end of a season. The size of the gain is dependant on potential and the change of XP level. For example, a rider jumping from XP level 3 to 4, has a bigger gain than when he jumped from XP level 1 to 2. Managers also choose specific training programs for riders, based on how they want them to develop, eg. climber program, sprinter program, cobbles program, etc. Click here to download the stat gains form. You'll see the different program names, as well as the gains per XP level change. Please note that a rider can only advance one level per season, except for level 1. Level 1 riders can jump from level 1 to 3 in one seaon (they receive stat gains for level 2 and level 3 changes).

Riders receive XP points when racing. Different races offer a different amount of points for different XP levels. For example, a continental category 2 (lowest cat.) race offers 0 XP points for a rider on level 4, but that very same race offers 2 XP points for a rider on level 1 XP. An exception is made for the 'Tour de l'Avenir', where every U23 rider can be nominated by his manager to take part and gain 20 XP.

Riders have a fixed number of race days per year, i.e. a rider can't race more than his race days. Typically, continental teams racing continental races are better suited for riders on level 1 and 2, whereas WT teams are better for riders on level 3 or higher. Maxed out riders are suitable for any team.

A typical scenario in MG is when managers try to recruit young riders on level 1 and loan (loaning explained below) them to continental teams to develop. These riders return with a higher XP level and stats for the next season. Likewise, it can often happen that Continental teams loan their self-developed Level 4 riders to WT teams to max them out.

Furthermore, a maxed out rider can be trained to permanently improve stats, but at a very high cost of the team budget.

Pre-Season Planning: Racing Calendar and Goals
Before a team enters the transfer season, it is required to enter races for the following season. As mentioned, races have various different classifications and contribute differently to ranking points. A team has a fixed number of total race days for a season. During the planing phase, managers fill in a form indicating which racha they wish to partake in.

After a team's racing calendar has been finalised, it is required to list 5 official goals which it hopes to achieve. The criteria for goals varies every year, but generally each team is required to have a win goal and overall standings goal (eg. top 5 in team rankings for Continental Europe Tour). Goals are essential in determining a team's budget, explained in detail below.

Team Budgets and Riders' Wages/Salaries
Riders are recruited and bid for in the transfer season (more info below). Each team is assigned with an annual budget which is spent on riders' wages, training riders and buying riders from other teams. Each budget has a wage/salary cap, the maximum amount that the team can spend on all the riders' wages. The size of the cap is dependant on the team's division (i.e. Continental, Pro Continental or Pro Tour), for example, in 2013 the salary cap was €1,2 million for a continental team. This means that a CT manager can spend up to €1,2million on all the wages, but he does not have to spend all of it. If the manager does not spend all the money of the salary cap, he can use the remainder of the money as he pleases, eg. training.

Each team in a division has the same salary cap, but not all teams have the same budget. The size of a team's total budget, is determined by the difficulty of the 5 pre-season goals selected, more difficult goals = bigger budget. However, bigger isn't always better - the amount of goals accomplished by a team determines the budget size for the following season. Obviously, more accomplished goals = bigger salary. Let's say a CT team has a budget of €2million. And they've used up their entire salary cap (€1.2million), that leaves them with €800 000 left to spend for training or buying new riders.

Transfers: Renewing Contracts, Recruiting Riders and Loan Deals
At the end of a season, before the transfer period, established teams need to renew contracts of riders they wish to keep for the following year. There is a specific procedure that needs to be followed when negotiating contracts. A manager will offer his riders contracts and this info will be sent to an administrator. The admin returns a form that has processed by an algorithm which shows which riders have accepted the offers, who have declined and who is asking for more. Managers have a total of 3 offers per rider when negotiating. Riders whose contracts are not renewed, will be released into the free agent market. Note that riders who are under contract can be sold or traded to other teams during the transfer period.

Recruiting of new riders begins after the renewals period and after team goals have been finalised. The process is open for set period of days, usually ~ 2 weeks. There are specific rules and procedures to follow when a manager wants to sign a rider from the free agent market, buy a rider from another team or establish a loan deal; all rules can be read here.

In summary, when attempting to sign a rider, a manager opens a thread with the rider's name as well as the amount he is willing to offer under its team name. Fellow managers can improve on that offer by bidding with higher offers, whose increases are regulated by the transfer rules, just like in an auction. The thread remains open for 48hours after the last bid/post, after which it is locked and the rider contract is given to the highest bidder. Click here for an example of a bidding thread.

Deals where riders can be transferred from one team to another are also made during this transfer period. It works in a similar fashion to free agents, but generally managers have communicated to one another via PM to establish deals. A deal thread includes teams, riders, amounts and contract agreements in the main post. Deals are sealed after 24 hours in this case. Click here for an example.

Loan deals are similar to transfers, but a rider is loaned to a different team for a season, usually to gain XP points in a relevant division (such as level 1 rider loaned to a CT team). Loan deals also include specific clauses that need to be met, such as team A being required to ensure that a rider from team B gains 1 full XP level. Riders can be exchanged for money or for other riders. The salary of a rider can also be split between the loaning and borrowing team. Click here for an example of a loan deal.

Ranking System: Races and Teams
Man-Game's points system is identical to the UCI's point system. Races are classified as follows, in order of importance:
- Pro Tour [.PT] | Subdivided into normal PT races, Monuments and Grand Tours.
- Continental Higher Class [.HC]
- Continental Category 1 [.C1]
- Continental Category 2 Higher Class [.C2HC]
- Continental Category 2 [.C2]
Races with different classifications carry different weighting a for points, eg. C2 vs HC: HC races count more points towards continental races than C2. Stage races and one-day races also have different point weightings. Overall classifications, Points classifications, Mountains classifications and U25 classifications also contribute different amounts (listed in order of class, carrying most points). Click here to have a look at the ranking's point scales.

Different rules apply for which races different teams can enter. Continental teams are limited to C1, C2 and C2HC, but can receive wild cards for HC races. Pro Contonental teams can enter C2, C2HC C1 and HC races, but can only enter riders below a certain average (~72) in C2 and C2HC races. PCT teams are also elegible for wild cards to World Tour races if they pay a fee, but the points they potentially gain don't count towards the rankings. WT teams obviously compete in WT races, as well as the option of HC races. Click here to have a more complete look on it all.

Team HQ
When a new manager is appointed they are required to open a HQ thread for their team. It contains all relevant info about the team and should, ideally, be upted throughout the MG with previews of races, race reports and rumours regarding the next season. Admin members who run the MG often take note of up-to-date and neat, good-looking threads when making promotion/relegation decisions. Browse the MG's HQ forum for examples. It is always appreciated when a manager has made an extra effort in their HQ, it also promotes the team with other players.

What is expected of managers?
1) Staying active in MG: nothing is more annoying than a manager that applies and goes though the whole planning process and becomes inactive after a month. Only sign up if you are willing to stay active in a season. You don't have to be 100% up to date with your HQ all the time, but just let managers know you are still alive. That being said, if you are in the MG and you feel like no longer continuing, feel free to write a brief report in your HQ on the disbanding of the team, or just let everyone know you are know longer a part - it's common courtesy.
2) Submit your planning/requirements on time: MG is run and played by people in their private time. Please meet the deadlines of team planning that has to be submitted, else you hold up the entire MG with your late submissions.
3) Adhere to the rules: MG has specified rules, mostly regarding transfers. Make sure you are familliar with them (there really isn't a lot, so make an effort). And relax, this isn't a fascist regime, there aren't strict rules governing every aspect of the game. Just be sure you follow the minimum (you'll see a thread pop up with the rules when the time comes).
4) Post in discussion threads: Reporters are using their spare time to report races for you, so have the decency to comment on previews of races, as well as commenting as reports are released, such as what you thought of a particular stage or general small-talk. Also, be patient with reporters - it's their free time. Quick reporting is a luxury, not a necessity.
5) Keep your thread up-to-date: Your head won't be axed if your thread isn't up to date all the time, but a stated prior, it's nice to browse through a good-looking team HQ.
6) Enjoy it! It may be a cliché, but this really is about the fun. Don't sweat the small stuff, remember that you're in this thing to have fun!

A word from me
Although it may seem pretty complicated at first sight with all the planning and organising, that is exactly what makes it so unique and fun. I never thought I'd enjoy this thing as much as I actually am, so give it a shot. For any first time managers I suggest you read this whole post if haven't already done so. The more you know, the better - it stops you from making rookie mistakes due to insufficient knowledge. Don't be afraid to ask current managers for advice, if you join MG. Also, drop me a PM if there's something you'd like to know.
Edited by matt17br on 04-11-2015 14:03
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