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PCM.daily » Pro Cycling Manager 2018 » PCM 18: General
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First impressions of PCM18
Is there a demo of the game?
gargatouf wrote:
Is there a demo of the game?

no, but if you buy the game through steam you can get a refund if you played it for less then 2 hours
1st impressions (played few hours) - this game is worth buying;

The best improvement is the AI, which is way better in comparison with the PCM 2017.
Can anyone comment on AI and breakaway on flatter/hilly stages? I know this was a severe limitation in previous games even more so than mountain stages (once in a rare occasion you'd see a breakaway succeed on a mountain stages but never on flatter/hilly stages).

Linking what I've heard so far, hoping this year will be great!
Hi guys,

after reading Goldberger's gread report I decided on doing something similar but with a different purpose (results should still apply to this though).

As I am pretty new to this game (not counting a couple of hours on earlier PCMs) I wanted to know how good the strategy system works for PCM 2018.
On my first try I selected Giro Stage 19 but I rode it as a single race which apart from no fatigue also lead to other strange situations that would hopefully not appear in a tour (like Kiakowski attacking twice even though Froome was in the group and basically giving his rivals the chance to counter-attack and distance Froome, or maybe even better: Tony Martin being the sole surviving escapee up until the last climb towards Bardonecchia).

This time I simulated the earlier stages of the Giro do have a meaningful GC (and thus maybe forcing other riders to attack).
As you might have guessed for this I selected Team Sky.
The selected difficulty is Normal.

The standings before Stage 19:
1. Vincenzo Nibali
2. Romain Bardet +1'41"
3. Chris Froome +1'45"
4. Richie Porte +4'47"
5. Tom Dumoulin +5'13"
6. Simon Yates +5'44"
7. Rigoberto Uran +6'11"
9. Mikel Landa +9'57"
12. Rafal Majka +11'47"

Bahrain Merida also has Pozzovivo on 8th place so I expected him to play a significant role in supporting Nibali later on.

As I said I was interested in the Strategy System so I set the strategy for the race and never ever touched any manual settings.
Here was the go to plan:
Froome - Do not ride for Mountain/Points or Stage Win; Ride for Overall Jersey, Ride in a Breakaway; Attack
Supporters (Knees, Poels, Castroviejo, Bernal) - Ride for nothing, do not follow attacks
I gave the 2 Punchers De la Cruz and Rosa a Carte Blanche and set them to Ride in Breakaway and Attack

2 things I want to point out here:
You can only set a rider to attack or follow attack (or do not follow). I do not know if Attack also means Follow Attack but I will hopefully find that out soon.
Strangely I can not tell the Free Elements to go for the Stage Win. For that I would have to make them Leaders. This probably means free elements that are allowed to attack will try to get into a breakaway early but will not do so later on.

At the beginning of the race there are a lot of attacks, neither De la Cruz nor Rosa bother to try and follow.
Some really strong riders are in the first attack. Namely Fabio Aru, Adam Yates, Louis Meintjes and some other decent ones like Thomas De Gendt and Maximilian Schachmann.
This group seems to strong and the Peloton works hard to reel them back, most of the work being done by AG2R but other teams support as well.
However after a while the Peloton decides to let them go.
Here are the names of all escapees, and the time of 3 best placed in the GC.
Adam Yates
Fabio Aru 16'32"
Louis Meintjes 18'48"
Guilio Ciconne
Gianluca Brambilla 22'37"
Maximilan Schachmann
Thomas De Gendt
Robert Kiserlovski
Tobias Ludvigsson
Jhonathan Narvaez

In the Peloton Castroviejo is protecting Froome and Knees is slowly making pace together with Colbrelli from Bahrain Merida.

After 30km Primoz Roglic decides to attack the peloton and makes a huge effort to catch up the escapees which have over 3 minutes at this point.
He is now the best placed GC rider in the escape group at 12'15". I wonder if he will have to pay for this effort later on.

Up to the Colle del Lys the only riders with noteworthy mountain standings are Ciccone (41) and Brambilla (47). However they are far behind the leader Romain Bardet (168).
Brambilla actually attacks and takes the points, De Gendt is second and Schachmann third. This acceleration however splits the group in 2 which will then merge again after the decent.
In the decent Brambilla showed signs of weakness, not being able to stick to the first group. Will this be a sign for the future?
The Peloton passes the Colle del Lys over 6 minutes later. Not a lot has changed, it's just more teams working on the pursuit now.

The first sprint is completely ignored by the escape group.

The Peloton significantly increased the speed which some riders in the Peloton could not hold up to and are now falling behind. No one worth mentioning though, and only a handful.
At the foot to the Finestre the lead is down to 1 minute.

In the climb the first riders of Team Sky are starting to show weakness. Knees, Castroviejo and Bernal are spent. The Peloton however slowed down allowing them to hang onto the back of the Peloton.
In the meantime Chris Froome decides to ride to the back to fetch some water bottles despite still having Poels and in theory De la Cruz and Rosa around. A very strange decision by the AI.
Froome is now protected by Poels, as Castroviejo can no longer perform this job.

Apparently the Peloton is not happy with reducing the lead that much and the escape group manages to get it back up to 5 minutes on the Colle delle Finestre. The mountain points are collected by Brambilla again, who is the only one really fighting for it anyways.
The Peloton is down to 33 riders at this point, with no attacks of any of the GC favorites.
Team Sky lost Knees and Castroviejo so far. Bahrain Merida is down to 4 riders including Pozzovivo and Nibali. AG2R still has 5 riders. All top contenders are still in the Peloton at this point.

AG2R is now doing most of the work trying to get back to the escapees. Going up the Sestriere the speed is however not high enough to really challenge the Peloton which has grown back up to 43 riders after the decent and flat.
2km before the summit this changes and the pace from Bakelants drops some of the weaker riders. Team Sky loses Rosa
Brambilla attacks for the mountain points again and collects them easily as no one else is interested He has now collected 61 points on this stage which would mean the 2nd place in this ranking.
The Peloton passes the summit with 4 minutes on Brambilla.

This time Brambilla is not reeled back in on the decent, his constant attacks must have cost the other escapees a lot of energies and he starts the ascend to Jaffereau with over a minute on them and over 6 minutes on the Peloton.
It seems the Peloton decided to hand the win to one of the escapees. Which apparently could also be Meintjes who accelerates and leaves the group behind following Brambilla on his ascend with a distance of 30".

The pack has finally reeled in all other escapees apart from these 2 and AG2R is setting a really high pace.
Romain Bardet confirms the effort by attacking Nibali with 5.5km to go. Majka and Nibali try to follow but have to leave a gap of 20". Not enough for the Jersey though.
Chris Froome in the meantime sits in the pack and follows neither of these attacks. He still has some energy left to spend but probably not enough to answer this attack. Poels is still with him but does not seem to be able to help his captain. I wonder if fetching water bottles earlier cost him too much energy.
In the meantime Meintjes is caught leaving only Brambilla from the original group of escapees but his lead is down to 30" which will probably not be enough to hold back the mountain goats.
Nibali accelerates and catches up to Bardet, Majka however has to let them go with a gap of over 40" now.
Nibali and Bardet attack each other and overtake Meintjes in the process.
As expected Froome ran out of energy and is now following together with Porte and Simon Yates who seem to be in a similar situation. The rest of the GC contenders cannot even hold the pace of these 3 and is falling behind further.

Bardet does not have the energy to attack Nibali further and Nibali wins the race with Bardet on his back. Simon Yates apparently had some energy left and manages to distance Froome and Porte who come in 4th and 5th.

Here are the final top 10 of the stage:
1. Vincenzo Nibali 5h54'44"
2. Romain Bardet +0'0"
3. Simon Yates +1'05"
4. Chris Froome +1'33"
5. Richie Porte +1'33"
6. Rigoberto Uran +2'34"
7. Rafal Majka +3'15"
8. Ilnur Zakarin +3'39"
9. Gianluca Brambilla +3'39"
10. Wout Poels +3'59"
13. Tom Dumoulin +3'59"

The result does not change the GC significantly (Dumoulin drops 2 places and Landa 3).

So what do I now do with this information?
First I hope that it gives you guys more information to work with. Hope this write up was not too detailed or confusing.

Regarding the AI it feels like it does what it is supposed to do. Let's be honest, not a lot of us expected an attack 80km from the finish line. Yeah sure the pack would have been thinned and maybe some GC contenders in trouble but not in the way it really happened.
I would say there were still too many riders in the Peloton on the Finestre but the final result is decent.
I liked that Bardet attacked on the final climb, trying to win the jersey. I also liked that most of the GC guys could not follow that attack, but some did. The following attack and counter-attack between Nibali and Bardet were really entertaining to watch and in the end it feels like Bardet had to admit Nibali strength and followed his wheel.

Regarding the strategy part which I wanted to test for myself mostly:
I think not a lot can be said about Froome. He simply did not have the power to attack on the final climb. Might be interesting to see what would have happened if he did. But I guess he would have done a Bardet.
The strategy do attack and ride in a breakaway did not work at all. I guess the AI is not trying to get into all breakaway groups so maybe on a larger smaplesize I would see different results.
The Team-Mate strategy worked OK. Froome was protected most of the time and he had Knees making pace early on while having Poels with him at the end. However the situation that Froome had to fetch water bottles is very strange, to me the AI failed at this point.

Well I certeinly hope you enjoyed this wall of text.

Not sure if these features were there in 2017, but man are they horribly inaccurate. Check the "Zoom on" section on Yates who is 3rd place 17 seconds behind before the last stage.

I've played 1,5 season in Pro Cyclist mode as a stage racer so far (difficulty: extreme), first impressions are good.
The breakaways are more realistic; sometimes the break goes early with a few riders on stages that aren't really suited for breakaways to go all the way, and sometimes the fight to get in the breakaway is quite tough on stages that typically favours a breakaway. I've had stages with constant attacking for 50-60km before establishing a break (without me or my team being involved).
On these hilly stages the breakaway sometimes stays away and gets the win.
What I also like is that sometimes a team sends 2-3 guys in a big breakaway in hilly stages where they use their weakest riders to completely empty themselves on the flats whilst saving their best rider for the finale or an attack from the break.
I haven't played the classics or any GT's yet so I don't know if that would be any different.

The fact that you can choose a secondary "skill" is great and you get to personalize your rider much more compared to last years edition. You can become a stage racer / puncheur with a good sprint like Valverde or a "pure" stage-racer like Froome.

I am a bit disappointed with the tactics in flat, windy stages however. For example the races in the middle-east ends up in a mass sprint in a large peloton even though there are big crosswinds in the stage. Would be cool to see a team completely blowing up the peloton in the crosswinds to create some time gaps.

The mass sprints are a bit more aggressive, and the AI also attacks more in the decisive part of the race which is realistic. It can still improve in my opinion, for example that a team rides hard earlier on a stage to isolate a favorite, and then attack, or attack on the second last climb (or earlier) and have teammates in the breakaway wait for him and help him. When the favorites only attack on the last climb it is hard to make up much of a gap on the leader of the race, especially if he has teammates.
At least this is how I've experienced it so far in races that I've done so far in the "smaller races", HC-races and a couple of WT-races. Looking forward to seeing if there are any differences in GT's and the classics.

edit: I also noticed that some of the riders from the U23 teams did some Nations Cup races in U23 (Tour de l'Avenir etc.), but in the results page they were listed with their nations as their team. I didn't get any contract-offers from any of the U23 teams so I didn't get to check it out, but is it possible to do these races?
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SuperJelle wrote:
Not sure if these features were there in 2017, but man are they horribly inaccurate. Check the "Zoom on" section on Yates who is 3rd place 17 seconds behind before the last stage.


Yes that was in 2017 as well.
Ulrich Ulriksen
There were two AI issues in '17 that really annoyed me. Ran some tests against those and the signs are good:

1. The breakaway winning flat stages particularly short ones with a lot of corners: Tested 4 stages in single race mode all less than 120k with circuits. The break didn't come close to winning any of them. The sprints were messy with minimal organized lead outs but they were all won by sprinters (although Skujins finished 2nd in one of them).

2. Big groups contesting hard hilly races like Lombardia: Ran it twice and one time was contested by a 6 rider group with Kwiatkowski winning and one time by a 4 rider group with Dan Martin winning. Both of which I think are reasonable.

So agree the initial signs are good on the AI improving.
Played through 2018 Tour, can't complain much as this was on Normal difficulty. Most of my damage with Bardet was done on descents plus a somewhat remarkable time in the time trial. My main issue came with the Team Time Trial. I basically was able to turn everyone to 99 and maintain that pace with my 5 best TT'ers with everyone else just sitting on and I managed to only lose around 30 seconds to Sky. That was kind of ridiculous.

Edited by MikeSurb on 30-06-2018 07:26
"We will continue to attack, even if we die in the process."

-A. Schleck
I'm mid way first season Pro Cyclist. The game is noticably harder (on extreme).

The has become a lot better, no more easy wins in a hilly stage which ends in downhill..
Breakaways are better.
I love the 2nd specialisation you can make. And the changes in potential you can add in pro-cyclist mode. You can really customize your rider
thegame69dx wrote:
pepecs98 wrote:
Is there any real name database or will it relaese?

look in steam workshop, there are a lot

Not in steam workshop, I don't have the original game I have the downloaded
PCM Italia: https://www.procy...cm-italia/
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
The Carbon Throne


I have seen guys: check their watch, suffer cramps and angrily wave me through to take a pull. I don't know if these animations were in 16 or 17, but I do love them even if they aren't big game-changers Grin
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
The Carbon Throne

I was in the beta this year. I reported exactly ONE bug: The game doesn't work on 4K monitors.

Four months later, they haven't fixed it.

GG Cyanide, good thing I didn't pay for the game.

Sprint stages are are insanely better than they were last year. first big change Ive noticed
Waghlon wrote:
I was in the beta this year. I reported exactly ONE bug: The game doesn't work on 4K monitors.

Four months later, they haven't fixed it.

GG Cyanide, good thing I didn't pay for the game.

Working fine for me
Please can someone give a first impression of how the Transfers have changed when they get that far in Career mode for those of us that have not bought the new game yet.
Although I have seen many improvements in AI behaviour, i have just won the first stage of Tour de France 2018 with Alejandro Valverde, doing second with Nairo Quintana. I was experimenting a bit. I used a 8 man sprint train for Valverde, as he was having a great day, and only Quintana was following him. What happens is that I decide to sprint with Valverde with 2km to go, while I don't see many action of the others teams. Valverde and Quintana then gets a gap and the stage win.
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