The game plan section is broken into 4 parts: main, general, offense, and defense. Each of the offense and defense sections is further broken down into 1st down, 2nd down, 3rd down, and 4th down settings.
The main game plan page lists the game plans that are available to the team. The list contains any custom game plans that have been created by the coach along with default game plans available to everyone. When a game plan is selected from the available game plans list, a description of the plan is displayed along with options to view, edit, or delete the selected plan. The only option available for the default plans is view, while custom plans have both edit and delete options. A custom game plan can only be removed if it is not currently set in any of the 5 active game plan settings. If no game plan is selected in the list, a brief summary of the next opponent on the schedule is shown to aid in game planning for the upcoming game.
Offensive Game Planning/Defensive Game Planning
The active settings section is where up to 6 game plans can be set to be used in the next game. The main game plan is used when the game situation does not match the criteria to use any of the other 4 game plan options. The winning game plan and the losing game plan settings are always active and cannot be disabled. The two optional game plan settings can be set for either winning or losing situations and can be deactivated by not checking the active checkbox. The score and time criteria for using each game plan are used in both the 2nd and 4th quarters. There are two sections of these settings, one for Offensive Game Planning and one for Defensive Game Planning. The Offensive Game Planning section sets your preferences of which game plans to use during your offensive situations, including 4th downs, and only uses the offensive settings of the selected game plan. The Defensive Game Planning section sets your preferences of which game plans to use during your defensive situations and only uses the defensive settings of the selected game plan.
Choosing Game Plans: When more than one game plan is valid, the one closest to your point requirement will be used and in the case of the same point requirements, the one closest to your time requirement will be used. For instance, if you have a "Losing by 8 or more with 3 minutes to go" and a "Losing by 1 or more with 1 minute to go" and you are down by 9 with under 1 minute to go, the engine will use your "Losing by 8 or more with 3 minutes to go" plan. If your second one was "Losing by 8 or more with 1 minute to go" then that would have been used.
Tied Games: To use a game plan during tied situations, you must set the conditions to "when winning by 0 or more points".
The special teams section is where the maximum field goal distance for a field goal attempt is set (remember to add 17 yards to the line of scrimmage to account for the placement and the end zone). The max field goal setting is the maximum distance from which your team will attempt a FG. If you are within your max field goal range and your team decides not to go for the first down, then it will attempt the field goal. The decision to go for the first down on fourth down or not is based upon the base offensive style in the active game plan at the time of the decision along with field position and distance to go.
Game Plan Settings:
The general section is used to give a name and description to the game plan as well as set the base offense and base defense. The base offense settings are used to determine the starting offensive lineup and basic offensive style and tendency. If the down specific offense (offense section) is not set, then the base offense will always be run. The base defense settings work the same way -- it determines the starting defensive lineup, basic defensive style and tendency, and will always be used if no other defensive settings (defense section) have been saved.
The offensive down sections are used to specify the offense in every down and distance situation - i.e. on the 1st tab the offense for 1st and long, 1st and medium, and 1st and short situations are set. The 2nd tab is for second down situations, 3rd tab for third down situations, and 4th tab for fourth down situations. The distances for long and medium can be set for what the team considers each situation to be and the short distance is automatically set to be 1 yard up to the medium setting. Under each down and distance situation, there are 3 "play" options consisting of set, tendency, style, normal, red zone, and inactive settings. The set is the offensive formation. The tendency is the run/pass balance used for play calling:
Note: The percentage break down does not guarantee a certain percentage of total plays. For instance, if all of your plays were set to Balanced, it does not mean you will have exactly the same number of passes and rushes within the game. It means that for each play there is a 50% chance of calling a play or run and it does not consider past plays, so it would be like flipping a coin on each play.
The style determines how aggressive the play calling is. A more aggressive play will have a higher chance of throwing a deep ball but doesn't exclude the chance of a short pass. For rushing, a more aggressive play will have a higher chance of rushing wide versus inside the tackles. The normal checkbox indicates whether or not this "play" can be used during normal play calling, i.e. not in the red zone. The red zone checkbox indicates whether or not this "play" can be used when the team is in the red zone (inside the opponent's 20 yard line). The inactive checkbox indicates whether or not this "play" can be used in the game. At least 1 play must be marked as available in normal situations and red zone situations.
Just like the offense section, the defense section is used to specify the defensive set, tendency, and style when facing every offensive formation in long, medium, and short yardage situations broken up by down. Additionally, it allows for the defense to change in the same situations when defending in the red zone. The distances for long and medium can be set for what the team considers each situation to be and the short distance is automatically set to be 1 yard up to the medium setting. The set is the defensive formation. The tendency is what the defense is looking for or leaning towards -- pass or run. For example, if a heavy run tendency is chosen, then the defensive players are pulled up closer to the line of scrimmage to try and stop the run but potentially leaves the defense open to a big passing play. The style is the overall style of play for the defense -- the more aggressive this setting is, the more often the defense will blitz, jump passing routes for interceptions, etc. The more conservative the setting, the more likely the defense will hang back in coverage. The red zone settings work the same way, but are used when defending inside the 20.