Gridiron Dynasty Player's Guide v3.0

Introduction

The Player's Guide was written using information gathered from coaches playing Gridiron Dynasty, the FAQ, and Developer Chats. Special thanks to Buckicoyote for compiling and organizing all of the information. While we try to keep this guide up to date, if you have a correction or addition, please let us know here.

Schedule of Events
Schedule for a season of Gridiron Dynasty
Days 1-4 New Coach Sign-Up
Days 5-11 Recruiting (Day 7 signing starts at 2:30 PM cycle)
Day 12 Freshman added to Roster
Day 13 Get ready for season day
Days 14-18 Non-Conference Schedule
Days 19-26 Conference Schedule
Day 27 Conference Championships
Days 28-32 Playoffs/Bowls
Days 33-35 Job Changes
New Coach Sign-Up

It is first come, first served. When it is announced that sign ups are open, you can take a look at all of the Division III teams that are available (unless you have previous experience in a world that will allow you to start higher). You can choose to pick an established team and try to keep it at a high level of performance or try to build up a struggling team from scratch. If you choose a high performing team, you will be competing with other high performing schools for the best players at a disadvantage since you do not have excess recruiting money from the previous season nor the coaching resume of the other coaches at these schools. If you choose a rebuilding project, you can build up your recruiting money pool as your team improves, though you can only save 25% of your remaining money each season. Both ways are challenging but it is up to you to decide which challenge you want to face.

Practice Plan

At the start of your season, you should set your practice plan. You need to set up for both your team practice sessions and your positional practice sessions. Your practice time will total 180 minutes. It is generally accepted to not spend more than 20 minutes (some say 25) practicing any one formation or individual drill. It's probably best to focus on 2 to 3 offensive sets and 2 to 3 defensive sets. You should probably spend some time practicing special teams as well. Formation practice will improve your players' formation IQ ratings which will help them play better while using the associated formation. Since this time takes away from the players' positional practice time, it is a balance that you will have to find. Keep in mind that 0 minutes in the formation practice will keep your players where they are, while 1 minute or greater will improve them.

Each player has attributes that are important for their position (See recruiting section for details). There are eleven tools for practicing at each position. Each tool will have a different impact on player attributes.

Tool Improves
Conditioning Athleticism, Speed, Durability, Stamina
Strength Strength, Athleticism, Speed
Agility Elusiveness, Athleticism, Speed
Passing Technique
Pass Routes Elusiveness, Technique
Hands Hands, Technique
Blocking Blocking, Technique
Tackling Tackling, Technique
Study Film Game Instinct, Technique
Kicking Technique
Punting Technique
Recruiting

Note: This is intended and written for D-III coaches. If you are coaching at a higher level, then you likely already know the information contained in this section.

Your team has a roster of 50 players and all of them are on a scholarship. Each year, when seniors graduate, you will have new scholarships available to replace them. To recruit them, you will need to spend recruiting money. Each season, you are given $3,000 per open scholarship to help you recruit. If you do not spend it all, a maximum of 25% will carry over to the next season if you have filled all of your scholarships. This is an important concept if you want to compete for the best players when your vision increases. You also need to decide which positions that you need to recruit. The positions are QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB, K, and P. Please note that you won’t be recruiting a Center, Guards, and Tackles on the offensive line but instead are just recruiting Offensive Lineman. The same is true for Defensive Lineman, Linebackers, and Defensive Backs. How many players you have at each position depends on which offensive and defensive formations that you will be using.

You can follow these general guidelines as to the number of players at each position:

Position # Players
QB 2-4
RB 3-6
WR 3-6
TE 3-5
OL 6-10
DL 6-10
LB 5-8
DB 6-10
K 1-2
P 1-2

Please note that the minimum number of players on the chart will only give you 36 players. You need to choose where the other 14 players will go. While not recommended, you may go with 1 kicker and no punter or vice versa if you wish to save an extra roster spot. In this case, the kicker or punter will perform both kicking and punting duties. Each position has core abilities to look for when recruiting. Below are the Core Attributes, Secondary Attributes, and a list of what to look for in a Solid Player and a Star Player at each position.

Position Core Attributes Secondary Attributes Solid Core Values Star Core Values
QB Strength, Game Instinct, Technique Athleticism, Elusiveness, Speed 30, 35, 35 40, 50, 40
RB Elusiveness, Speed, Strength Athleticism, Game Instinct, Hands 45, 35, 25 60, 55
FB Block, Strength Athleticism, Elusiveness 45, 45 40, 40
WR Hands, Speed, Game Instinct, Elusiveness Athleticism, Technique 40, 35, 25, 30 55, 45
TE Strength, Blocking, Game Instinct* Athleticism, Hands, Technique* 35, 40, 30 45, 50, 40
OL Strength, Blocking, Game Instinct Technique, Athleticism 40, 45, 25 50, 50
DL Strength, Tackling, Game Instinct Atheleticism, Speed, Technique 40, 45, 25 50, 50
LB Strength, Tackle, Game Instinct Atheleticism, Speed, Technique 35, 35, 35 35, 35
DB Speed, Tackling, Athleticism Technique, Strength, Game Instinct, Elusiveness 35, 35, 35 50, 45, 45
K Strength, Technique Game Instinct 40, 40 40
P Strength, Technique Game Instinct 40, 40 40
* If you want a receiving TE, you may want to use more of the WR stats.

Now that you know what to look for, how do you get these players on your team? As a new coach, you probably want to avoid battles with other schools for your recruits. Your funds may be lower than theirs since they could have carryover money from previous seasons and money earned by their conference during the post-season. If you battle, you will could lose out and then not have the funds to recruit other players. If you run out of recruiting money before filling all of your scholarships, the AI will sign players for you. You want to avoid the AI signing any players for you because they will be below average and your assistant coach will use any remaining money that you may have in your budget.

The first thing that you need to do is search for recruits. Under recruiting, click on the search function. Put in your criteria and search for players. As a new coach, you probably want to stay as close to your college (under 360 miles) for your search as possible. You will also need to stick with projected D-III players because higher level players will not sign with you. Once you have found players, you can move them to your summary by clicking the check mark box on the left side of the screen or opening their profile (click the recruit's name) and performing an available recruiting action.

When searching by a specific position, you can search based on player total ratings or by your position role ratings. You can switch between these options on the Overall Rating Dropdown. Position role ratings allow you to view players based on your custom weights for each rating and are explained further below.

You now have all of your players (and hopefully some backup players so you can avoid battles) that you are interested in signing on your summary page. At 12:00 PM EST on the day recruiting starts, you can start using your tools (other than adding a watch) to recruit these players. The following is a list of the available recruiting tools:

Tool Cost Description
AC Phone Call $10 Have your assistant coach call the recruit. It is not very effective in getting recruits to become interested in you, but it is good at finding out a recruit's initial level of interest in your school and learning his distance preference and favorite school.
HC Phone Call $15 You call the recruit. It carries more weight than a call from your assistant coach, but it is not a very impactful action. It is good to use to find out where the recruit stands with your school.
Letter and Materials $15 You will get a letter back indicating the interest level of the recruit in your school.
AC Scouting Trip $125-$700 Send your assistant coach to scout the recruit. It is very helpful in generating interest in your school from the recruit. The resulting scouting report can be useful in deciding which recruits to pursue further.
HC Scouting Trip $225-$1000 Scout the recruit. The recruit will take notice that the head coach of a school is scouting him and therefore it is useful in getting recruits interested in your school. You will also gather some notes on the recruit that can be helpful.
AC Home Visit $400-$1500 Send your assistant coach to visit the recruit at home. This is very effective in getting recruits interested in your school. If the recruit does not have a minimal amount of interest in your school, he may decline the visit but you will not be charged for it.
HC Home Visit $500-$2250 Visit the recruit at his home. This is considered to be the second most effective way to get recruits interested in your school. Like the assistant coach visit, this action may also be declined by the recruit but there is no charge if it is.
Campus Visit $800-$4000 Invite the recruit to come and visit campus. Like the home visits, this can also be declined by the recruit (no charge). If the recruit visits, it is extremely effective in getting the recruit interested in your school.
Guaranteed Start - Fr. $250 A promise to the recruit that he will start in his first season with the team. It is effective in getting recruits interested in your school, but you will have to live up to the promise or they may get angry, stop working hard, or even leave your team.
Guaranteed Start - So. $100 A promise to the recruit that he will start in his second season with the team. It is less effective than a freshman start promise, but still effective in getting recruits interested in your school. The downside is that you must keep your word.
Guaranteed % of Plays $150 A promise to the recruit that he will participate in a minimum percentage of the team's plays during his first season. All recruits want to play as much as possible, so this is an effective way to get and keep a recruit interested in your school.
Scholarship Offer $100 To get a player to sign, you must offer a scholarship. In order to sign most players, you must have met them face to face (home visit or campus visit). For some players, a starting spot guarantee or promised playing time can make them not need a visit in order to accept the scholarship offer.
Booster Gifts N/A This can either generate interest or you could lose all the influence that you have gained. You could also be investigated by the WCAA and receive suspensions and be put on probation. Use at your own risk. If caught, it will also hurt your reputation as a coach.

During the recruiting period, you will also be able to schedule up to three pre-season exhibition games. These are important so that your players will have time to practice and improve. Two of these games must be played before your freshmen join your roster. The third game can be played before or after they join. If any players are hurt in an exhibition game, you may lose them for the regular season. The earlier you play your games, the more time they will have to heal but your freshman will not get to play. If you play after freshmen are added, they will get a practice in but you could lose some players for the regular season due to injuries.

Scheduling Opponents

As soon as recruiting starts, you can schedule pre-season exhibition games (max of 3) and next year’s non-conference schedule. You can challenge any team to an exhibition game, but it is best to stay at the same level as your team. These games are simulated at 2:30 AM EST. Make sure you have a depth chart and a game plan set up before the game is played. Exhibition games are important so that you can start improving your team. You only practice on days that you have games (both preseason and regular season). You can also start scheduling your next year’s non-conference schedule. You need to have 5 non-conference games. You can request a home or an away game. AI controlled teams will automatically accept while user controlled teams can either accept, decline, or counter. You must have all of the games scheduled prior to the end of the post-season or the computer will try to schedule them for you. If you do not schedule the games yourself, you may not end up with 5 non-conference games the next season.

Coaching Setting

There are two coaching modes: Basic and Advanced. Most coaches will start off in Basic and then can switch to Advanced when they feel ready to do so. Gridiron Dynasty provides default system settings so you won't feel overwhelmed and can dive into into each at your own pace. You can switch back and forth between Basic and Advanced on the Coaching 101 page .

Depth Charts

Before playing any games, you will want to set up your depth chart. There are two different modes, Basic and Advanced - which you'll use is based on your coaching setting. In Basic Mode you will have one depth chart for each position. In Advanced Mode you will have one depth chart for each position role. The players will fill the positions in the order that you choose to place them on the chart (i.e. top player will be used first). If a player is not on the depth chart to fill a needed slot, the sim will choose the player to fill the slot and your team may suffer for it.

For starting purposes, you'll want to make sure that your best players and those with promised starts/playing time are at the top of your depth charts. Starters are based on which formation you use most and the players that played the most. You can use the Save All Recs button to save all of your depth charts based on your position role ratings.

Player Settings

The Player Settings page allows to set the subsitution settings for your players as well as provides a quick glance at their game information. By setting the rest level for a player, you control how long they play in regards to fatigue. The default setting is 85%. As you move the setting options higher, the players will sub out more quickly and as you move down, more slowly. The same effect holds true regarding a player's stamina rating. The higher the rating, the longer they can play without rest.

Game Planning

Game planning is the part of the game where you choose how you want your offense and defense to play. Your game plan is broken up into three sections: Offensive, Defensive, and Special Teams. For each you'll set which playbooks your team will use for the various game conditions. You can choose to create custom playbooks or use the default system playbooks. The Offensive and Defensive sections contain Main, Winning, Losing, Tied, Overtime and additonal optional conditions while the Special Teams allows you to set your maximum FG attempt distance. For the various conditions you can control the time at which they will kick in, how you wish to manage the clock, and your aggressiveness on fourth down. For the optional playbooks you can set whether they are activated based on the game score.

Playbooks

Playbooks allow you to have control of how your team plays. Set which formations are used, your rush vs pass frequency, whether to rush inside or outside, and where to target your passes.

Under offense, there are settings for each of the four downs. For each down, you must choose from 1 – 3 formations, for long, medium, and short situations. The first thing that you need to do is set the yards for each situation. For example, on first down, Long could be set to 11 or more, Medium to 6-10, and Short from 1-5. Then you'll set your Inside Own and Inside Opponent lines - this allows you to use certain formations only in certain situations. You then can choose 3 offensive formation sets to use (you can use the same set more than once). You then pick the play call tendency which controls the resh vs pass frequency. The following chart is an example of how you might want to set your play call setting based on specific tendencies:

Setting % Pass % Run
Always Pass 100 0
Heavy Pass 85 15
Pass 65 35
Balanced 50 50
Run 35 65
Heavy Run 15 85
Always Run 0 100

You also get the ability to control how you rush and pass. For rushing plays, you can specify the frequency at which you rush inside vs outside. More conservative offensives would rush more inside while more aggressive would rush outside. For passing plays you set a your target distribution. Conservative passing would target closer to the line of scrimmage while aggressive passing would target deeper.

Target Location Yard Range
Pass Very Short 0 - yards (Behind LOS)
Pass Short 1-6 yards
Medium 7-12 yards
Long 13-20 yards
Deep 21+ yards

The defense is set up similarly to the offensive settings. For each down, you must choose a yardage for short, medium, and long and set your Inside Own yardage lines. You then need to choose a defensive formation set to counter each possible offensive formation. You choose the rush vs pass tendency next, the percentage you wish to blitz, and the area you wish to have your secondary play cover. High aggressiveness (high blitzing) on defense will cause more turnovers but you are more likely to give up the big play. The tendency marks the type of play, run or pass, that your defense is looking for out of the offense and therefore be in a better position to defend against it.

Formations

Formation Settings give you full control of how your team utilizes each formation. While your playbook settings will tell you how you want the play to play out, the formation settings will tell specify how your players will participate in that play. For instance, your playbook may tell that you want to rush 40% of the time and that you want to rush inside 80% of the time that rush is called, but your formation set will tell you which player slot is most likely to be the ball carrier for an inside rush.

For each play, a player will be selected to fill each slot based on the assigned Depth Chart and from top to bottom, so the topmost slot for Running Back will pull from the depth chart first and any subsequent slot pulling from Running Back will pull next. When using Advanced Coaching settings you can set which depth chart to used based on the position roles for that position.

Under offense, you can control whether the players block, which players rush, and which players are targeted for passes. For blocking eligible position slots you can set whether they stay in to block or not. Then you can specify which players can rush inside or outside and the frequency in which they do so. Last you'll do the same with the receiving eligible position slots - set which players to target for each of the varying target locations.

Under defense, you can control players' assigment and which players blitz. For some position slots you can specify whether they will play towards the line or back in coverage. The position slots that can blitz allow you to set the frequncy in which that position slot will blitz.

Job Changes

During the 3 days of the job period (after the renewal deadline and prior to when new coaches can get teams), you can try to move up to a new division or laterally within a division to a new team. You will lose all of your accumulated recruiting money with any change. To change jobs, you must apply for a job. To do that, you go to the office tab and click on jobs. You will get a listing of all of the jobs available in every division. You may only go up one division (i.e. D-III to D-II) at a time. Pick the school that you want a job at and click on the apply button. Your loyalty will take a hit moving laterally to a new team within the same division that you are already in (i.e. D-III to D-III). The jobs list will list the qualifications of each job and during this time indicate which jobs you may be qualified to take.