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The Carbon Throne | Development
Welcome to The Carbon Throne

It's an exciting new day for cycling. The new look world of cycling is yours for the taking. New riders, new races, new teams, same fun. Riders from across the globe are ready to ride for you, to fight for you, to win for you as you set out on your path to be the best team in world cycling. Your path to The Carbon Throne.

What is This?

The Carbon Throne is somewhat of a hybrid - it's not a mini-game, but it's not the full-fledged and quite time consuming story game that is ICL or MG. This is intended as I liked the idea a lot and wanted to do something big-ish with it, but knew that many (including maybe myself as player or host) would not want a third big game as it's just too time-consuming. Less work for me and you. Simple Smile

It's a combination of my desire to create a realistic game in the vein of, well, real life, and a mini-game in the style of Ian Butler's idea of Little League Cycling. Asides from my own visions, it draws inspiration from plenty of the best story games PCM.daily has had to offer, but quite some parts of it are heavily adapted from the LLC idea. I have recycled quite a few ideas, such as the teams creation, the idea of running a lot of it in a spreadsheet and a few individual sheets from Ian's game.

As for what it actually is, it's a text-based game. There is a lot to read below but I do believe I have stuck to the script and created a less time-consuming game than "the big two". The only things that may be harder to do here is activity would be needed at at least six points throughout the year to do the bare minimum for race planning as well as in off-season.

The races are not run by PCM's fallible AI and limiting stats, it's run by me, with short, faster-paced summaries based on customised attributes, which should tie into my vision for realism. Summaries do mean just that - less time consuming for me as well as less for you.

These attributes are in turn adapted from your sign-ups, which are already available to do in our Game Spreadsheet. However, before you do that, I would implore you to inform yourself about the inner workings of this game. And before you do that, I'd like to thank Croatia14 and trekbmc for their insights, advice and encouragement along the development of this idea and for help with the calendar.

Rules n' Stuff

The Stats
Probably the key change from any other story game you may have played: new stats. Many will be familiar to you, some won't, but none of them are hard to understand. They all just do what they say on the tin.
When crafting the stats I’ll make up some weaker areas based on age and specialty. If you want to personalise the riders a bit more I’ll follow your descriptions as close and put in any strengths and weaknesses you mention - giving no weaknesses is fine, but your rider won’t have big strengths either. If you want to make all of your riders without weaknesses or something similar I’ll ask you to reconsider Pfft If you were to want to do these stats even more hands-on for any or all of your team then I’d ask for you to put them on a 1-5 scale relative to each other, 5 being the rider’s strongest attribute, 1 being very weak. You don’t have to have a 1 if the rider is a very good all-arounder. I’ll then put these relative stats into the main stats of the rider.
After the stats are confirmed you will receive the sheet of the stats for your team - but in the main spreadsheet you will only see an approximation of the other team’s stats. Via scouting you can uncover them a bit more.

I would like to make very clear to you in terms of thinking of progression: this is not PCM, or any kind of formula to run the results. Making sure you have good backups matters a bit more than in other games where you may think dumping all your funds on mountain is the best way (and it is, if he has average backups). But if they doesn’t have the acceleration, the intelligence, the energy stats, good skills over smaller hills then he will be left behind by fast attacks, tricky race situations, long stages or stage races, or on shorter climbs by his rivals. Basically having the best mountain stat in no way means you have the best climber, though of course it is the most important stat there.

These are the stats - they’ll be statted from 1-99. Along with these there are hidden stats which you’ll discover a bit. However these don’t make huge differences and are fairly predictable, e.g. experience, fairly explanatory, and happiness, explained below.

- Flat: Fairly self-explanatory, how the rider rides on the flat roads
- Climbing: For the longer slopes and high mountains.
- Hills: For the shorter hills.
- Sprints: How the rider does in a sprint finish, purely based on their power.
- Acceleration: How fast a rider can reach higher speeds, either in an attack or a sprint.
- Cobbles: The rider’s ability over the cobblestones.
- Time Trialling: How good a rider is in TTs.
- Short Efforts: The rider’s skill putting out solo efforts for under 10km - for finisseur - style attacks at the death, and in prologues in a stage race. However it is not all that is required to master either discipline. You must need skills in Time Trialling to win prologues, and a lot of Power to successfully make a late attack.
- Power: The rider’s power and capabilities for short-to-medium-distance efforts.
- Hilly Sprints: The rider’s speed in an uphill (not a drag, a proper hill) finish. This helps to differentiate between a rider who just likes hilly finishes vs a rider who does really well over a much more hilly course. That isn’t to say that you can’t have a Valverde, etc. who is good in both but it helps to create an Ulissi-type rider, for example.
- Tactics: How the rider can follow tactics set by the manager or which make sense pre-race.
- Race Intelligence: Slightly different to tactics, this is how the rider can adapt to race situations, read the race and the strategy of others.
- Fearlessness: This affects a rider in a bunch sprint or in a big group negotiating corners, etc. as well as a rider going downhill (which is partially done by bike handling and approximated weight as well)
- Bike Handling: Fairly self-explanatory, helps in downhill, sprints, classics and a little bit in crash avoidance of course
- Recuperation: In stage races and between races, how fast the rider regains energy and shakes off the efforts of previous races.
- Stamina: How the rider goes over longer-distance races.
- Fighter: The rider’s usual aggression when it comes to attacking: for leaders it’s more of an aggression stat. This may sound great for some leaders but could overrule some tactics if the leader doesn’t follow them closely enough! For domestiques it’s more for breakaways.
- Loyalty: Both to the leader and team in a race and in things such as renewals. Will give more loyalty to the team but less likely to pursue a free role or breakaways. For a leader it might see the rider become more easily unhappy as he feels like he let down the team with a bad result. Ditto for a domestique who did a poor job.

The Calendar
The system for the calendar shouldn't be too hard to get as it's a regular cycling season calendar. However think of this as a definite career mode in terms of how riders perform and have to be planned, opposed to how in PCM-run story games for obvious reasons they have to be single races.
Whilst there’s no form planning akin to PCM careers, etc. Riders will get tired with too many successive races or cumulative races, i.e. too many races in a time period and too many overall race days will both see negative form and temporarily worse energy stats. Obviously given what will likely be a shorter season than real life, cumulative tiredness will come in with less race days than normally required. I won’t say when, that’s for trial and error by seeing riders perform.

Form is key here and is built up via good race planning - getting the rider fit comes through a good mix of race fitness and being well-rested - if you get the scheduling right your riders should be hitting their peaks very well with perfect timing.
With a realistic calendar comes realistic injuries: those riders caught in a bad crash or with sickness will be out for a specified period of time.

The calendar will see a number of race days decided at a later point depending on the number of teams. We’ll see a fairly realistic calendar in terms of setting, with a few antipodean, African and South American races in January and February, before Europe, North America and Asia take more of a front seat, with maybe a mixed September. October will see our first World Championships. There are three breaks throughout the year: After February, May and August.

There are two categories of races: Cat.A and Cat.B. Cat.A races give more points than Cat.B races and are slightly less common.

All races are compulsory and have different rider requirements which must be filled exactly: If you can’t submit a full squad during a big race clash (which will only happen once or twice depending on the calendar length) then you do not attend that race and will miss out on the opportunity to score points. If this feels a bit malicious it directly is to combat the budget advantages gained via less salary. The loss of potential points and small prize money, plus strength in depth should balance out the extra money gained from having fewer riders.

Most of your spare budget will come via prize money, be it from individual races, stages of a Tour or the overall rankings. Cat.A races yield more prize money than Cat.B races do. This means that even though some teams will have younger, more solid bases for the future and not have to pay as much in wages, they will struggle to make as much money as big teams throughout the season unless they make some good choices.

All races also give points toward the final rankings. The only ways to earn points are via placings, be it in a classic, stage or GC. As with winnings, placings in Cat.A races will given more points than their opposites in a Cat.B race.

Race Planning
In the spreadsheet, there will be a tab for the race planning. All the info you should ever need is below.
Each race will have its own strict deadline however the races for each month will open well in advance so you will have time to do them all at once, and can change them in case of injury before then. Otherwise I will lock them in once done. You have to fill in your full squad in the spreadsheet as well as their role in the team.

- Leader: The leader is either for the GC in a stage race or for the win in a classic and will be protected at all costs: There can only be one leader but there doesn’t have to be one if you have two Co-Leaders.
- Co-Leader: Can be used as a slightly protected role behind a leader who has less domestique duties and will save themselves slightly for their own chances. Max of one with a leader or two and no leader.
- Lieutenant - One rider who will stay with the leader at all times, their right-hand man and strongest domestique.
- Domestique - Regular pace-setter, protector, and water battle carrier.
- Sprinter - In a stage race, the team’s designated sprinter. If the sprinter is your only good rider there he can be leader and I’ll understand though, this is just if you have a GC rider already as leader.
- Leadout Man - Will be the designated leadout man for your sprinter and will do a little bit less work than the rest of the eventual train during the race. Again only in a stage race where you have a GC guy, if the leader is a sprinter just put the leadout as the lieutenant.
- Free role - Be it a KoM or stage hunter or just looking for breakaways, these riders have a free license and aren’t bound by team duties.

Tactics: For those that played CX you’ll understand how I’m doing this, but to break it down for each race along with the compulsory roles you can optionally send me a PM with as much or as little extra tactical detail as you like, e.g. “Rider X is only free role in the flat stages”, “Attack with 20km to go”, “Don’t ride when Froome is in the group,” “Make the race hard with domestiques.” or even more detailed plans. Two very important things to remember here:

Just because you plan it doesn’t mean it’ll work! It may not work in the race situation, it might be infeasible, your riders can’t manage it. Also, it (on average) doesn’t give you more or less chance of winning than somebody who doesn’t submit tactics. I will simply make a reasonable assumption given rider stats, race situation and the roles for those who don’t choose to submit extra tactics.

Scouting and Staff
Two areas on which you can spend some of your hard earned race winnings, or less hard-earned budget from not hiring many riders!
Scouting: There are two types of scouting in this game. The first type is team scouting. This will give you some details about how teams are spending their money, and give closer approximations of their riders' stats. The second is rider scouting. Ignoring talent regens which will come later, this is about scouting riders currently on teams. If you've played Football Manager you'll understand this a bit more clearly. As well as a close approximation of their stats (closer than in a general team scout) you will also see details on their happiness, form, strengths and weaknesses, and if they've received training, etc.

Staff: There are four staff types in this game:
- Doctor: The doctors will decrease injury risk for your riders slightly and speed up recovery time, especially for muscular injuries or illnesses.
- Sports Psychologist: To help the riders cope with the stresses of travelling the world constantly and high-performance sport, they give happiness boosts to your riders and help resolve any issues they have.
- Mechanic: Always useful to have around, the mechanics will give you more reliable bikes and quicker in-race fixes from the team car.
- Chef: What can be more integral than food? The chef helps your riders during stage races and long races, particularly in boosting staminas and recovery in stage races.

Training and Progression
During the breaks and off-season, there is the option to train your riders. The costs are in the spreadsheet. As well as this there is natural progression for young riders.
There are two ways that riders develop in this game: There is natural progression, which based on hidden potential (talents will have a higher potential naturally, whilst other young riders have it randomised somewhere below it), and training, which costs money and is done in the spreadsheet.

These jobs take place in the off-season for natural progression, and pre-season for training (team of the past season does natural, team for next year does training), and optionally during either of the three breaks during the year. Don’t fear if you miss a break: natural progression stacks, but it is always a bit better to progress them throughout the year.

Training costs are explained further in the spreadsheet. There is also a tax on training riders until they reach their “soft max” of natural progression - at age 25. They can then be trained as normal riders, and continue to receive small bonuses for two more years.

There are also natural declines based on the rider - you will start to see these happening to your riders sometime in the early-to-mid thirties.

Natural Progression doesn't have the exact numbers attached to it yet but will not contain shock to anybody who sees ICL or MG, just has its own twist on it. You basically have packs for each specialty bar barodeur you can train riders in as the primary focus. However on a level from 20-50% you can add in a secondary focus. Along with this you can pick three stats to give a small boost to in the outcome of the blending formula not included in the packs (usually secondary stats).

Happiness System
The happiness system isn't too in-depth but provides another nice bit of realism to proceedings.
It’s not a big factor in this game - I’m aiming, of course, to keep it not too involved in that way or role-play-ey Pfft But it’s one of a couple of factors in the game that humanises the riders and adds some detail. A happy rider who’s enjoying some unexpected free roles, or some good form will benefit from their positive state of mind. A rider with not enough good results, leading roles or free roles could become unhappy. A loyal leader especially is affected by bad results, whilst occasionally a loyal domestique, for all their advantages, can take a poor performance hard. For a while this isn’t directly conveyed to you, the manager. But the rider could “talk” to you about it at some stage. This will also affect their contract demands.

The Spreadsheet
The Spreadsheet is the info hub for the game: it contains sign-ups, the teams and approximated stats list, the details on race classifications, training costs and other prices, and sometime towards the start of the season, the race planning tab. Most of your job throughout the season is done in there in the race planning, however progression, etc. is done in seperate sheets.

The tabs that are set in stone, i.e. costs and details, are locked to no-edit to all players. Once you sign-up or complete some race planning, those are too. However I'm not on it every day or all the time, so when things are complete but still editable, please don't screw with the sheet, it just ruins it for everyone. Not that I don't trust you good people, more about accidentally touching something that isn't to be touched. Dammit that still sounds like I don't trust you. You know what I mean Pfft

Things such as previews, results, news, etc. will happen in it's own thread. There will be a thread for me to post these things in, this thread for general discussion and jobs to be done, and a season discussion thread.


Here's the good bit! The sign-up process is fairly straightforward and not overly time consuming, though adding more detail via PM is appreciated but in no way necessary or going to gain you an advantage in terms of points, only in customising your team and creating hybrid riders. However the main sign-up takes place in the opening tab of the Game Spreadsheet.

Please give an appropriate name for teams and riders. Give a primary nationality, and three secondary Nationalities are optional. When creating the initial teams, there will be a certain number of slots that can be filled for an overall number of 14-18 riders. These are:

- Leaders: You can have one to three leaders to start. They can have any speciality: not necessarily different either! However, if they are in the same speciality one or all may become unhappy with less leading opportunities and demand a significantly higher contract: or just refuse to resign! Choosing two leaders will see them probably be of higher quality than three leaders overall, however, one of the three leaders could still be at a top level. Their age must be between 26 and 31 initially, the older ones with a slight advantage initially. In the first season they have a wage of 80k.

- Luxury Riders: You can have the same amount of, or one more, luxury riders as you have leaders. They can be lieutenants/co-leaders for your leaders by specialising in a similar terrain, or as decent points scorers for you by riding their own terrain, e.g. as a secondary leader in sprints in a team with mountains leaders. These riders have a certain appetite for leadership but not to the extent of leaders These riders’ quality is a step down from the leaders but they stand out in the team still. Their age must be between 24 and 33, though the 24 and 25 year olds have a bit of natural improvement left and so won’t have very good stats like the luxury riders at their peak. Luxury riders and leaders are balanced out of 7 total with talents. In the first season they have a wage of 50k.

- Talents: Talents are the young riders with a lot of potential in your team that will go on to become high class luxury riders/low class leader or even top leaders with some great care. They can be of any speciality irregardless of each other or your leaders. They will naturally progress faster than other young riders. In the first season they have a wage of 35k.

- Domestique: Explains itself. No limits on specialties, except that there is a max of 2 specialist fighters if you have 14-16 riders and 3 if you have 17-18 riders. Older, experienced riders will be able to take on a “road captain” role in some races, with a positive impact on the team and benefitting younger riders especially, though their skills on the bike won’t be as high as domestiques in their prime. In the first season they have a wage of 20k.

Other rules for creating riders: They can be any age from 19-36 inclusive, which will impact the stats I give them. You can give as much detail as you like in a PM to me, with descriptions giving me a better idea of what stats to give them initially (see below for more info) I would like realistic names, age and nationality for them all, and a specialty for luxury riders and leaders at least. No teams of 19 year olds please, a nice spread is necessary for good stats and results - in this game, you can’t win anything with just kids. You can give me descriptions and specialities for all of them though if you’d prefer too Smile

One more thing which would be useful in any customisation PM would be weather preferences/ones they’re less good at, e.g. bad in snow, handles the cold well, can’t handle the heat, very affected by wind.

Specialties: These tell me what kind of rider I’m statting. If you don’t provide specialities for domestiques, talents, and road captains it’s fine, I’ll do them according to the leaders’ specialities as well as partly being a general mix. If you do then I’ll make them according to that of course. More description in a separate PM will further customise your rider but as with any of these things, will not make them better. The options are fairly basic:

- All-round: Jack of all trades, master of none. Good at many terrains and usually has good energy stats. These are the only specialty where generally I’d like even a little description in a PM because I’m not making infallible riders here, but it’s not necessary - usually they will have one weaker terrain or be slightly weaker than regular all-arounders at everything, and focused on hill/cobbles/sprints over TT and MON slightly, though variation comes into it.

- Climbing: Good in the high mountains, pretty good at hills as well. Good energy stats and usually acceleration, but struggles on the flat and in TT races.

- Stage Racing: Less punchy and attacking than the climber but is a complete Tour rider, with good mountain and TT skills.

- Puncheur: Good in shorter hills, usually has decent skills in mountains and is good at uphill sprints

- Cobbles: Specialises in the cobbled races.

- Time-Trials: A rider, usually good on the flats as well, but has a particular skill in chrono races.

- Baroudeur: A true fighter, usually has one or two preferred terrains but will never give up and is always looking to attack, will join a lot of morning breakaways. (Not a leader)

- Rouleur: A rider who is particularly good on flats and shorter hills, usually has a nice fighting spirit and good at domestique duties, is powerful and so is decent in time trials. (Not a leader)

When you have signed up please say it in this thread along with your team name. I will then lock the cells in the sheet and start to stat your team.

What Else?

Nothing that I can think of really, though I'm sure you have questions and I may have missed things out. I'm happy to answer any questions and take any advice. I completely understand this game isn't for everyone and despite being slightly less time consuming some still won't have the time, that's fine.

To start this game I would want over ten teams. If we are desperate but close there will be bot teams (I would play myself but would like to be completely impartial of course Pfft). If there is not enough interest we can't do it. There is no set upper limit and I can't imagine a need for one really. I'd be happy to be proven wrong though!

So I would love you to sign-up, and if you don't that's okay. If you do, I hope you enjoy. Sign-ups are very much... open!
Edited by jandal7 on 12-03-2018 06:21
Sounds intriguing! Might sign up later in the afternoon when I'm home.
Looks neat, just need to find some time to read it through in detail Pfft
Join the EPIC madness! https://pcmdaily.c...d_id=31670

Voted Best Forum Game 2014!

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Obviously in for it!
I'm in too.
Ollfardh wrote:
Looks neat, just need to find some time to read it through in detail Pfft

Ill try too Smile
Yellow Jersey
I'm In! Sounds like a great idea Smile
Just a question, how will the races be "done"/reported?
Awesome to see some interest Grin

Yellow Jersey wrote:
I'm In! Sounds like a great idea Smile
Just a question, how will the races be "done"/reported?

The results will be done by me based on the stats, etc. So no maths involved. The reports will be summaries, not sure how long yet but most likely two paragraphs. Depends on how much went on in the race. Will include BotD and at least as much "results" as needed for rankings/prize money, as well as any other pertinent stuff (e.g. I'll show the time of a top GC rider(s) even if they weren't in the top 10 of a stage).

30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing p/b Octagon
[CX] Listerijns & BoK

Rothaus - Lindt is hereby officially founded! Pfft
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Intriguing, time to start scheming up a team.
I might sign up.
Well, this looks interesting Grin I'll read everything properly before creating my team though Pfft
Manager of [MG] Repsol - Netflix

Manager of [ICL] Wilier Triestina

Real Madrid has decided to open a Cycling section in order to draw attention for the disaster that is the Football team lately Pfft Sad
Manager of [MG] Repsol - Netflix

Manager of [ICL] Wilier Triestina

Yellow Jersey
Aquarius97 wrote:
Real Madrid has decided to open a Cycling section in order to draw attention for the disaster that is the Football team lately Pfft Sad

And with Contador retiring it's not a good period for the city Shock
Rothaus and Real Madrid are both confirmed!

A reminder to everyone that the number of luxury riders must be equal to or one higher than the number of leaders!

30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing p/b Octagon
[CX] Listerijns & BoK

Krka Slovenija is complete! Grin


"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
Ubisoft is ready Cool
trekbmc wrote:
Krka Slovenija is complete! Grin

Bloody ...

I claims 365 - Islandsbanki already...with a Scandinavia-Baltic focus
Croatia14 wrote:
trekbmc wrote:
Krka Slovenija is complete! Grin

Bloody ...

I claims 365 - Islandsbanki already...with a Scandinavia-Baltic focus

Gotta admit I was pretty certain this was your team when I checked the spreadsheet.
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