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The Game – AFL Dream Team 2013

We would all agree that 2012 was one of the toughest years we have encountered as AFL Dream Team coaches. There was a bit of a drop off in engagement mostly due to the multi-bye rounds (in our opinion). We want to find a good solution for all parties – the hardcores and the Regular Joe players. Have your say now!

  • Warnie

The 2012 season was a big year for AFL Dream Team but it was a frustrating one. The playing field has changed in AFL and the way we are playing DT has changed as well. While 2011 was a unique season with multi-bye rounds and a weekly bye due to 17 teams in the competition, this year was arguably much tougher thanks to a trio of multi-bye rounds through Rounds 11-13. Even with being able to use 3 trades a week over those rounds, coaches copped numerous donuts. The AFL have announced that the fixture for 2013 will remain the same as this year. This means that we’ll have the byes again in the same format.

I’m of the opinion that something has to change.

I am a hardcore DT coach… but I’m not a stupid one. The selling point of AFL Dream Team is simplicity and that there are thousands of coaches that play the game for leagues. The problem is that the byes seemed to have lost some players.

On the right is the traffic increase we had on our site this year. We were basically looking at a 50% increase on 2011 figures (the January 73% increase would have been in part to the early release of the Team Picker for people who purchased the Assistant Coach).

The bye weeks ran through June and while there was still an increase, there was a fair drop off of traffic. This is a usual thing around this time we’ve noticed in our 6 years of running DT Talk as a lot of coaches have used trades at around this time… but the percentage goes off the traffic at the same time last year. It did pick up slightly in July but then dropped off in August getting back close to the same traffic as 2011.

So a long story short, our traffic dropped off due to the byes. I don’t have access to the actual DT site figures, but I am tipping there would be a correlation.

How do we fix this?

I would say that about 5-10% of coaches take the game seriously (and this is being conservative). This isn’t a definitive number, but somewhere between the top 15,000-30,000 teams are the ones who would frequent sites like ours, have strategy in how they play the game, know what they are going when it comes to the byes, etc. That leaves a lot of coaches who you would call your ‘casual’ players.

We need to keep people engaged in the game for the duration of the season.

Before I ramble on any more, some things that people need to know before they offer up their solutions/opinions:

  • Why don’t we just start playing league games from Round 1?” – all well and good, but the maths doesn’t work. We have two ‘non-league’ rounds and play through the three byes. If we were to play the first two round, then we’d have to choose one bye round to play. How would we choose which round? Once we do, teams will be similar based around that. The game won’t go on hold around that time as there would be more of a drop off. Combining rounds is an answer for some, but coding, manipulation, etc would put a line through that.
  • What about smaller leagues?” – not a bad idea, but DT prides itself on being close to the real game, so I think leagues of 18 will stay – therefore this won’t be a desired solution.
  • How about a rolling lockout?” – no, no, noooo… this is not a solution. I’m sorry – I live and breathe DT, but even I won’t be able to stick to my computer, iphone, etc to be on top of late outs for 9 games a weekend over 23 weeks. It can’t be biggest nerd wins.
  • What about the supposed 2-2 substitute structure?” – I’m not even entertaining this fact… it won’t happen as far as I’m concerned.

There’s probably a heap of other stuff that people have thrown around in discussions about changing the game… but we have to keep it in mind that the game isn’t really broken. It just needs a few tweaks. Simple solutions are the key. Something that will be a winner for the hardcore DTers as well as the Average Joe that logs in on Friday arvos to check their team to take on their mates.


RELATED READING: Griff’s “State of the Game” and Tbetta’s “Bullets



Without knowing all of the ins and outs of Virtual Sports, but understanding what could be likely scenarios without going crazy, here are some options for how the game is played in 2013.

1. Keep the game the same

Maybe we just had a mega unlucky year, especially during the byes. Everyone is on the same playing field and as a coach who loves a challenge, I didn’t mind how it worked… but being realistic, I am in a small % of coaches who enjoyed this. While part of the charm of DT is to enjoy the highs and lows, the lows were very deep for some and therefore we lost players.

2. Increase the bench like in 2011

If we increase our squads to 33 – adding a bench position in the defender, midfield and forward positions – will allow us greater flexibility to cover players through bye rounds. This will still require some luck and adequate trading as you’ll still need to work hard to field 22 players. The positive is that this will be much easier to cover bye-donuts, but the negative is that I feel the extra three bench players is a bit of overkill for the second half of the season and changes the game a bit there. The number of trades should just stay the same here… but a small increase to help with engagement would be fine by me.

3. Play a smaller team during bye rounds

This was my preferred solution for this year and as Tbetta has mentioned it in his Bullets this year, would make a lot of sense. In short, instead of playing 22 players over the byes, we play 18 players – one less per position (6 defenders, 5 midfielders, 1 ruck, 6 forwards). This would mean that less than two thirds of our squad was playing and getting us closer to being able to field a full team. The ‘zeroes’ is what irked coaches the most about the MBRs so this would help coaches all round. The negative here is that teams/scores may become similar over these weeks, but it would only be for 3 rounds of 23 and wouldn’t effect the rest of the season like extra bench players would. Keeping the 24 trades – still with the ability to use 3 trades over byes – is the way to go with this structure in my opinion.

4. Take best 18 scores during byes

This is an extension of the above suggestion. The best 18 scores would be taken regardless of position. This should keep unique team structures a big part of the game and not dictated by the byes more than the above method. While this set up would annoy coaches who like the challenge, it keeps everyone on the same playing field and would get us through the byes with limited carnage.

Ok… so they are 4 of the simple and likely ways the game will be played in 2013. If you have other ideas, post them in the comments, but remember that simplicity will be the key.

How should we play AFL Dream Team in 2013?

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Maybe we look at the game in another way… keeping it the same but having two trades per week, use them or lose them. Keep our squad of 30 but we can have two trades per week. I would suggest that would be increased to 3 per week of the MBRs to make sure we can get close to having a full team on the park.

I would love this as it would keep people playing for longer… the trick will be in making the magic number work properly so it’s not ‘too easy’ (I hate using ‘easy’ as I’m not driving a Toyota around from DT). Maybe prices increase from Round 1?


Here is a chance for you to have your say on the state of the game and how you would like to see things change in 2013. It could be as simple as some functionality within the game… some suggestions for features such as the Assistant Coach, the iPhone/Android apps, etc.

FOLLOW @WarnieDT on Twitter

Co-captain of DT Talk since inception in 2007. Finally had a good season with an overall ranking of 137th for 2018... next goal is to replace the dirty old trucker hat with an AFL Fantasy one! Follow on Twitter: @WarnieDT



  1. Avatar


    September 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Raymond query 5.23pm and Warnie response 5.34pm.

    Sorry, Warnie, but I fail to see how this would be difficult for “casuals”.

    How hard would it be to tell everyone that results for rounds 11-13 will count for the equivalent of two normal weekends and, that rounds 11-13 results will be combined with one winner in the rounds 11-13 period.

    • Warnie


      September 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      I fail to see how this would make the game better… apart from adding an extra ‘game’ element to DT (ie, a super round to win a prize). If you’re talking about combining round scores, there is still that HUGE luck factor that annoyed coaches this year that isn’t solved.

      Maybe I don’t really get what you’re getting at… which is a problem in itself, hence your question above is answered!

      • Avatar


        September 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm

        You may have donuts from amongst the six teams that didn’t play in ,say, round 11.

        It doesn’t matter as those teams will play in round 12 and 13 resulting in DT scores for both weeks.

        The twelve teams that played in round 11 will miss rounds 12 or 13 – more donuts.

        But, overall, the end result is that all teams will have DT scores for two “normal” weeks of AFL during the MBR’s 11-13.

        I suggest having full trading rights each week during the MBR’s – this being three trades per MBR.

        The “HUGE” luck factor is not so.

        Top class DT strategists could make this a sensational three weeks.

  2. Avatar


    September 11, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    For the three rounds an automatic replacement score for the missing player based on a formula, not his average,..somthing for the mathematicians.

  3. Avatar


    September 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    What about you get given 6 trades during the bye weeks, you can use all 6 if you want in one week. Then get 24 trades for the rest of the season. This helps alot during the byes and makes it bit more fun for everyone.

  4. Avatar


    September 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Hey Warnie,

    Posted this before but got lost somewhere.

    Great topic mate and clearly plenty of interest. I know we’ve discussed this at length elsewhere but this seems as good a place as any to crystalise a few thoughts.

    1. 2 trades pw, use or lose – The obvious massive Pro is simplicity to keep interest high throughout the whole season, great for all websites traffic flow. The downside however is teams will generate massive cash flow and will finish up with premiums across all lines including emergencies. Players who score 150 will be traded in and rail ramped for 3 weeks, then moved on for the next hot property, rookies the same. The expected offset to this would be a higher MN meaning less starting premiums however most “casual” coaches want Ablett, Swan and 10 others in their starting lineup. If they can’t get enough in DT they may well move to SC to find them.

    2. MBR solution – Clearly this year was not ideal and changes need to be made. As you know Warnie I 100% agree with you on a reduced size starting lineup of 18 (6-5-1-6) through the MBRs. The key factor for me with this is the solution is stand alone nature in that is has absolutely zero impact on the season outside the MBRs. No need for extra trades, no need for increased bench size, a lot less need to require on a good injury run through the 3 weeks. Extra benches are not the solution IMO. Firstly 1/3 of the extra players will be missing for each bye week anyway and secondly the extra benches impact the rest of the season outside the bye rounds. A stand alone solution is definitely the way to go and reduced team size for 3 weeks is obvious.

    3. Emergencies – 1 on each line makes perfect sense. 4 in total. I understand trying to make the game as close as possible to AFL is important but in reality if an AFL team had a ruckman as a late out they would bring in another ruckman to replace them from the emergencies. DT coaches should have the same choice.

    4. Rolling lockout for every game – No thanks. I love DT but would pretty much lose every weekend if this happened. Couldn’t help myself and would need to be around for every late change. Plus the huge amount of work to go into manipulating loopholes for captains, trades and emergencies through the weekend



  5. Avatar


    September 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I have not read all of the comments so I do not know if this has been discussed. Why cannot the trades during the 3 bye rounds be free wild trades. Say 3 per week totaling a maximum of 9 trades. The normal season weekly trades can be formatted as previously with the limit between 20 and 24?

  6. Avatar


    September 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    150th Comment

    • Avatar


      September 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      I look forward to your 200th.

      That’s life membership territory!!! Please remember us little people when you reach your milestone.

      • Avatar


        September 12, 2012 at 10:40 am

        Not overall, on this thread

  7. Avatar


    September 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Would this work,
    Squads of 36 players – 11 defenders, 10 mids, 4 rucks and 11 forwards
    still use the 7,6,2,7 scoring system however instead of emgs. we rank
    non starting players 1,2,3,4 (1,2 for rucks) then any of these players can
    cover late withdrawels in their respective positions.

    I understand that VS wants to keep it as real as possible with the naming
    of emgs. but its more realistic to have full lineups rather than playing short.
    To compensate for the extra squad players remove all dpp and limit trades
    to about 16 to still allow for upgrading of rookies or season ending injuries
    without making it too easy.
    This would also help greatly over the mbr’s as we would have better depth
    in each position and counter all the other crap that went on with naming
    players who were never going to play.

  8. Billz


    September 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Im not sure if this has been covered already.Probably a highly unlikely solution. But what about implementing the format done in EPL Fantasy style, just over the MBR’s. This would mean your able to change your structure through having anywhere between say 5-9 backs/fwds, 1-3 rucks and 4-8 mids making up your squad of 22. Thoughts?

  9. Avatar

    Andrew S

    September 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I like a lot of the ideas above, some are just plain crazy as well but there’s certainly some great discussion being had anyway!

    Like many others I would love to see the 4th emergency (allowing one per line) come in to play. This does go against the ‘real thing’ yes, but in reality no team ever starts with 1 less player than the opposition – sure some incidents like Carrots 1, Stevie J’s 1 etc all happened – but the Sub meant the team doesn’t lose out, so why should we! Therefore smart (or lucky) coaches who have good bench cover can negate against a donut with relative ease, not having to pick where the the biggest risk is of someone being a late withdrawal – which I found myself doing often this year. If there is 1 change to make for next year, this has to be it in my opinion.

    On that topic quickly, it’s certainly not anything to do with how DreamTeam is setup, but I think we all wish the AFL would do something to sort out this late withdrawal business! To be perfectly honest, I don’t think that 2012 will be the ‘exception’ when it comes to late withdrawals if the AFL does nothing to change the current system, it will only get worse.

    Anyway, some of my specific thoughts on the options being thrown around, the result certainly needs to appease the casual but not at the expense of the addicts (such as ourselves). I don’t mind the 2 trades per week (use or lose), however like you mentioned Warnie this needs to be coupled with a change to the magic number – there still needs to be a premium on getting your initial team right (for the elite amongst us, focussed on overall). This absolutely cannot be coupled with extended squads or reduced squads during byes – that will be overkill. Extended squads on their own will probably not solve the problem, however the smaller squad during the bye rounds (6-5-1-6 for example), certainly has a lot of merit. If this could be setup easily enough by VS then I imagine this would be probably one of the best options. However I suspect the difficulties to make this work for 3 weeks in isolation during the middle of the season may mean that this option probably isn’t explored thoroughly enough.

    An increase to trades during the bye rounds, or specific “wild” or “use it or lose it” trades for bye rounds only is another good idea – it will certainly appease the casual DT’er during the byes and the experts may be able to gain an additional advantage on their nearest rivals with regards to overall (utilising one of these trades as part of their normal trading strategy for example). What this probably doesn’t help with as much as the 2 trades per week option, is the casuals will still likely run out of trades before the year is out, but at the very least their interest should remain during MBR’s and for a longer period of the season as well.

    I really, really dislike the suggestions of adding scoring for bounces, spoils etc. The scoring is sometimes subjective enough as is (with tackles sometimes or “soccer” kicks), but imagine adding spoils! What if there were effectively 3 people spoiling, or if the spoil is not by the players fist somehow, or if the player then rushes a behind with the spoil – do we register it as a behind as well or a negative for giving away a score? I think one thing that works for DT over supercoach for example is that you can’t really argue too much about the scores. Plus personally I enjoy watching games and being able to guage how much my players have scored during the quarter as it happens (I’m a beanie so numbers are in my head all the time.. don’t judge me, much!).

    Personally I did very well out of the byes this year, which basically saved my year (in terms of overall anyway), so I wouldn’t be totally unhappy if not a lot did change next year from that perspective! However I do recognise the need to appease the greater majority, the casual players. Come the end of the year I ended up having to follow-up my mates to see if they had any questions about their teams pre-lockout – the complete opposite to the first few weeks where I didn’t have enough time in the day on Fridays (obviously nothing on how Warnie, Tbetta & co feel!).

    There’s always going to be reward there for the people who put more effort into it, so whether there’s 100,000 players or 500,000, players such as most of us here aren’t ever going to give up on it. Increasing the total player base is therefore only a positive thing in my eyes, it works for sites like this and it works for ALL players (with more exposure will come better prizes, or simply just more esteem for that top 1,000 overall ranking for example). Simplicity, without changing the fabric of the game is the key!

  10. Avatar


    September 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Why not stick with 3 emergencies and allow DPPs to be used in either line that they are eligible?

  11. Avatar


    September 11, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    The final point I forgot to cover above is a change to the DT positional structure. Like the majority of serious DTrs I’m highly in favour of a 6-8-2-6 structure. This has been discussed heavily on EDT and has almost universal support.

    The 2 key benefits as I see it are

    1) Team diversity – By definition having the most players to choose from in the position where the most players are available creates diversity. Added to this everyone wants the best of the best when building their team throughout the season, which is currently quite easy to achieve given the higher price flucs and lower overall prices in fwds and backs compared to mids. Remove a fwd and back, add 2 mids from a bigger pool of players and more variety will follow. It will also be tougher to create a team full of premiums given the cost of upgrading to mids.

    2) Alignment to true AFL – The game has evolved dramatically over the past 5-10 years and 8 mids in each AFL 22 is simply reality. Working in the industry I see this each week with match ups and all teams are running with 5 fwds / backs as a maximum with all others on-ballers. 8 mids is where the game is currently at.

    Mids also miss far less games than the other 3 positions so coverage of the 8 players with 2 subs and DP would not be an issue.

    • Avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      I really like this idea of the 6-8-2-6 structure. Most games are won and lost in the midfield so why not make DT the same.

  12. Avatar


    September 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Trades definitely keep people interested. So does winning. A lot of casual players stop paying attention because they’re just not in the top 8, but this is hard to fix. Two trades per week changes the game significantly – it won’t make the overall win any easier but it will make it easier to be more competitive in leagues come finals time.

    Give us one ‘free’ trade in each MBR. If you don’t use it, it’s gone. Given the mass carnage this year in the MBRs, I think this trade will help to achieve the following:
    Improve interest levels across the MBRs – for all players, good & average (it will keep people logging in & not just avoiding Dream Team for three weeks, which I know many average players did), and
    Reduce the guilt in ‘sideways’ trading just to avoid a zero during the MBRs.

    And/or: Let trades accumulate over the season. Start with, say, 6 trades at round 2. Max of 2 per week still. Accumulate one more trade per week, including the extra ‘free’ ones in the three MBRs. That’s 30 trades total (one per week before rounds 3-23 is 21, three free ones in the MBRs & the six to start round 2 with). i.e. if you don’t trade, you’ll have six trades at r2, seven at r3, eight at r4… thirty at r23. Numbers can be tweaked but as you keep accumulating trades over the season it will keep people involved.

    That’s similar to Warnie’s idea of 2 free trades each week, but in a way that lets you limit total trades to less than 44 (which may change the game too much).

  13. Avatar


    September 11, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    For a simple solution though, reducing the 7-6-2-7 structure to 6-5-1-6 for the MBRs, perhaps in addition to squads of 33, will eliminate most of our zeros.

    Giving an extra ‘use it or lose it’ trade in each of the MBRs will also encourage good & casual players to keep logging in.

    Those three things together would be my preferred solution.

  14. Avatar

    Greg Mays

    September 11, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Long time reader, first ever post!

    I think it worth reminding everyone (as it hasn’t been mentioned yet), that there are no new teams entering the AFL in 2013. Everyone made lots of easy money (to enable easy upgrades to premiums, using fewer trades) because GWS were playing 15 or so rookies every week (with higher job security than rookies at non expansion clubs). That won’t be happening in 2013. It is going to be alot harder to raise money, and therefore alot harder to have a team full of premiums (depending on starting prices).

    I have been a fan of a number of ideas posted here, people spend alot of time thinking about it obviously.
    I am a fan of the 4 emergencies (one in each line), and the reduced numbers of playing during the byes.
    Flexibility is needed somehow as the days of most players playing all 22 games each year reduce.

    Keep up the good work Warnie!

    • Avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      I agree, these are my only two additions I would want to dreamteam next year.

  15. Avatar

    Magpie Mayhem

    September 12, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I have absolutely no doubt an extra player on each bench, and 2 more trades is the way too go, less Homer Simpson fav food will keep coaches more interested, but we cant do much more, we need to still leave room to reward coaches for researching new talent or knowing which young players nearly exploded last year and will in 2013, I went crap this year because I did not prepare for the MBR’s and suffered badly in 2 of the 3, that and not trading out Cloke and bringing in danger mouse in early ……..cant wait for another crack in 2013….well done to the DT lads who got inside the top 100…

  16. Avatar


    September 12, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Heres one from the clouds…. Last time I checked AFL teams had 18players on field. So,

    1) each week we select a starting 18 and designate 3 bench and 3 emergency
    2) the best 18 scores of the 21 are counted, (accounts for mid game injuries)
    3) the 3 emergencies are just that, they cover late withdrawals and sneaky docs.

    Note: point 2 would still have to fit into the line structures, that is, I am not suggesting a MID bench player would score in place of a FWD etc.


    • Avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 10:42 am

      I actually REALLY like this idea

  17. Avatar


    September 12, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I vote to bring leagues back to 16 teams. If everyone plays each other once then that’s 15 round games plus 4 finals games = 19 full rounds. The 3 bye rounds can then be byes for the leagues as well.

    This means we would be straight into the season from the first bounce but that doesn’t matter! I’d rather the bye rounds not be counted than a round with 9 games.

    This also includes everyone in finals, not just the top 8 and the next 8.

    This way the structure and trades need not change too much if at all!

    • Avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      I definitely second this. I know the op said he isnt in favour of this, but it is the most sensible and easy way of doing it i said it right from the start this season, its ludicrous not to just do it this way such an easy easy fix.

    • Avatar

      We Got Big Cox

      September 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      wont help if you are going for overall rank instead of league win

      • Avatar


        September 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

        How about if the bye weeks are completely ignored and you dont score at all in those weeks?

  18. Avatar


    September 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    It might surprise some people but I’m not in the biggest nerd wins camp. I’m in the expanding the game and users camp. DT would be better for me if more of my social and family circle played it well, and this was a similar theme from the women who responded during the women’s round article.

    So that means making it simpler but with more ongoing grab. Also I don’t want to punish people for one or two bad calls (or unlucky ones) so they can’t come back later in the year.

    The issues of concern seem to be:
    – fall off in interest,
    – handling the MBRs,
    – temptation to use G&R on speed strategy to get team set ASAP to have a chance in overall,
    – lack of variation in teams and a desire to encourage more mid priced players,
    – risk due to imperfect information on injuries and late withdrawals, and can’t cover well enough with limited bench.

    As Coaches we can’t drop our players to improve their attitude, and we can’t order extra training or skills sessions to improve them. We can’t berate them or even get accurate information on our players’ injuries or whether they will really step over the white line on game day.

    The only thing we can do to improve our teams is trade, and rotate the bench.

    So I’m all for more trades, and I liked the use it or lose it strategy the first time Tbetta floated it. I’m for 2 per round, with no restrictions. I don’t care if someone swaps Swan and Ablett and Waters and Scotland every round. Because after 10 rounds they will still only have the same number of premiums they started with and will start to lose most league games. They will handicap themselves enough.

    Two use it or lose it trades will mean:
    – There is compelling reason for every player to log in every week to think about and manage their team,
    – Very simple for novices to understand – the “who to trade” decision is simpler than “whether to trade or not”,
    – Your team can stay viable in all competitions – league, overall, eliminator – without having to pick one at the expense of another, therefore more interest for longer,
    – Less league games will be gimmes, with few uniques, because you never know what your opponent will do with their two trades.
    – A lot less incentive for people to enter lots of teams with risky early trading strategies hoping to get one right.

    Expanding the bench. It would really only help with the MBRs. In the second half of the year it would mean there was more capital for the starting 22 and these would be even less unique than now. So if MBRs can be solved some other way, I’m against increasing bench.
    But the ability to have 4 emergencies, 1 per line is a good suggestion. Not having 4 seems to be just making the game hard for the sake of it.

    Mid Priced players. Two things go against picking mid price players:
    – The strike-out risk is too high – for every Ivan Maric there are 50 Harry Taylors.
    – The pricing formula that values a player at 75% of past performance and 25% of last 3 performance. This advantages Guns and Rookies, at the expense of mid-priced players (I won’t bore you with the maths). If this was changed to 80:20 or taking the average over 4 games instead of 3, this would make mid price players more viable. However I think it would make DT less fun though and I don’t think anyone actually wants to do this.

    Increasing Magic Number v salary cap won’t improve effectiveness of mid-priced players – G&R will still be the way to go to be successful. Increasing MN will just piss off novices. I’m with Virtual Sports here – you have to give novices enough money to pick players they know.

    The best thing to increase starting 22 variety would be to change to a 6D – 8M – 2R – 6F structure. I did a bit of analysis on this after Tbetta said VS didn’t want to do this because there would be less variety in teams. Wrong. Looking at only DT relevant players there were over 60 times more selection combinations. Even looking at just the backs there are 40% more combinations picking 6 rather than picking 7 because the viable pool of defenders is pretty small. So if you want more team variety this is the way to go. 8 starting mids will also allow novices to pick more players they know – e.g. Tuck, Priddis, Barlow, Hocking, Rosa, Hayes, Jack, Sloane – these struggle to get into a good DT midfield otherwise.

    As for MBRs. I’m for a simple solution such as just counting the 18 highest scores (irrespective of position) + nominated captain in each of those rounds. It matches the problem – i.e. less players are available – and will not have any effect on the rest of the rounds. Its fair and easy to understand. Even this will require some thought and planning in the lead up rounds – getting even 18 starters will be difficult in all 3 MBRs. But with 2 trades a round most players should be able to achieve this.

    • Warnie


      September 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      HERE HERE! Well said. I agree with that wholeheartedly!

    • Avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Your comments on the “More Trades” and “On-field Structure” are spot on!

      If we are talking about the casual DTer, this is easily the best solution.
      The most entertaining parts of DT for 99% of people are:

      1) Selecting your team
      2) Conducting trades

      And your two points hit the nail on the head perfectly.
      Big deal if the old fashioned DTer complains about no skill in saving trades.
      DreamTeam is more fun when your mates are still interested in it, and this will fix that I reckon.

    • Avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      Bloody great post mate, I wholeheartedly agree with your suggestions!

      • Avatar


        September 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm

        Thanks guys,

        I actually posted it last night but my browser crashed .. plan got to zero cents. Had to go to the shop to buy more internetz today.

        Luckily I still had a copy of my post in Word because I copied it there to spell check it before posting. LOL!

    • Avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Epic post mate!

    • Avatar

      Andrew S

      September 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      Absolutely brilliant comment Nix. Like many others, agree with it all.

      One question I did have with the pricing mechanism you mentioned around mid pricers, are you suggesting the 80/20 is better as it doesn’t leave their price as exposed to inconsistency? What it will slightly work against (not massively), is the player who has a breakout. Although conversely that may allow more players to jump on board before their price escalates significantly.

      Regardless, I totally agree with you that such a pricing strategy would detract from part of the game a lot of people really enjoy, which is improving their side through increased team values. So really it is bit of a moot point anyway.

      • Avatar


        September 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

        Actually changing to 80:20 or the latest average to 4 games will reduce the size of the biggest price movements in Guns (down) or Rookies (up). These are the biggest price movements and the ones the G&R strategy relies on.

        These changes will have less effect on Mid priced players where the movements are smaller already so their attractivenss will be improved a bit relative to premium players and rookies. So there would be more reason to pick them in your side than now.

        But agree I don’t think anyone really wants to disable G&R strategy.

        • Avatar

          Andrew S

          September 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm

          Sorry I see what you’re saying now. I was aware that the 80:20 obviously restricts the price movement (be it up or down) as compared to 75:25, but I thought you were trying to say mid-pricers are inconsistent therefore the 80:20 mechanism reduces their price fluctuations. I guess it depends what you are after, generally when I look at a mid-pricer for example it’s not so much for their consistency but in hope they might have a few big games at least (therefore price spike & stepping stone to a premium).

          The G&R strategy in reality is probably more adopted by the serious players. I see too many casual players picking the players they know – that leads to a team loaded with established mid-priced players. I think that is likely to be the case whether there are changes to the pricing mechanism or not, so hopefully they aren’t in any way tempted to change that element of the game, as I don’t think it would favour anyone on the whole.

          Interested to hear your thoughts on possibly having price increases from R1? It would pose a lot of issues with the pricing structure as I mentioned in one of my comments above, but what I like about it in theory is the fact that players can be rewarded significantly by choosing the right team to start with, or near enough to. It’s one more for the serious players vying for overall positions obviously, which probably counts against it from the perspective of VS and the expansion of the game as a whole.

          • Avatar


            September 13, 2012 at 11:50 pm

            As I said in my first post I don’t support punishing people for making a few bad or unlucky calls early in the season such that it is hard to come back.

            So, sorry I don’t support changing to 25% pricing based on 1 game rather than last 3, if the only basis for it is to reward those who set up their teams better before the first round.

            I doubt anyone will set up their team perfectly – most years players use a few early trades to jump on to rookies they missed or jump off premiums who are going to fall in price. It will still be the same – but players who set up their team better will need less trades / weeks to readjust their team.

    • Avatar

      Dead Last

      September 13, 2012 at 1:48 am

      It’s a sensible post that covers how I think the DT game needs to evolve, to keep more people interested. The longer you can keep the majority of coaches involved makes for better league involvement.

  19. Avatar


    September 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Great post i agree with most of it, still not sure on the 18 best scores theory though, we could just ditch the bye rounds completely and take no scores from these weeks, would be better for leagues maybe not overall, but i suppose there would be no dt traffic for 3 weeks so Virtualsports probably wont like this, also DTTALK Fanfooty etc who have more power than the average person when it comes to changing things would not probably be in favour of this which i understand.

    • Avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Warnie. Whats the chances of us (Dttalk Community) being able to influence on what happens for next season 0?

      • Warnie


        September 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm

        Pretty good… as long as you’re thinking about all stakeholders. I reckon they’ll go with 4 emergencies based on what has been said here. ;)

        • Avatar


          September 12, 2012 at 6:48 pm

          I am a minnow in the ocean here but this is the simple solution that will assist, as would a few more R/F, R/M, R/D , D/F options. I am all for the ‘kiss’ principle.

          • Avatar


            September 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

            The dual postion players are decided by champion data i think so they arent going to do this.

        • Avatar


          September 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm

          Definitely agree with 4 emg for sure makes so much sense, or at least make the 3 emg be able to cover all positions like in epl. if a defender pulls out of a team in real life the side are not gunna play short obviously.

  20. Avatar


    September 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    increase squad to be the same size as team’s list (40 i think)


  21. Avatar


    September 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    @Nix nice post mate. Agree with pretty much all.

    The one comment I have grave concerns with is 2 trades pw, use or lose. If this happens I’ll have 30 premiums by Rd 12 and will sideways trade them all the way home based on injuries and matchups. Game will be ruined

    • Avatar

      Andrew S

      September 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Can’t see how you’ll get to 30 premiums by round 12, especially considering we won’t be blessed with expansion team rookies like we have been in 2011/12. I think you’ll find they make up a large portion of the viable ‘rookie’ options we’ve had – losing that will have a significant impact on everyone’s ability to fill our teams starting lineups with premiums, let alone our benches.

      The only thing it does mean is that no one will really miss out on any good rookie that comes about and “surprises” us (either just post R1 like Greene/Kennedy, or mid season like Gibson/Zorko). However, with more trades people may be more willing to choose unique players, as the risk of “wasting” your trades would be significantly reduced.

      • Warnie


        September 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm

        Maybe there isn’t a 3 round rolling average? Could prices change from Round 1? Would that help with that? It would reward those who picked the right guys from the start…

        • Avatar

          Andrew S

          September 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm

          In theory I like the prices changing from round 1, it rewards those who have put in the time to research players rather than those who kneejerk after R1/R2. However, it would perhaps cause some issues with the pricing mechanism though (eg. a Stevie J/Carrazzo 1 point game would reduce their price like we’ve never seen before).

          I guess that could probably be resolved by including two prior season games to continue using a 3 round average for pricing, however that wouldn’t work for rookies which conversely causes problems if they score well in their debut game. If the price of a rookie escalates too much based on a 1 game score, the already limited pool of ‘viable’ rookies is reduced further. I think that could therefore significantly impact the casual players ability to form a team of “players they know”.

    • Avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      How about 1 “use it or lose it” trade per round.
      And then give us a limited number of “normal” trades (Somewhere between 6-10)

  22. Avatar


    September 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Pretty simple really. Rookies obvious cash generators but with 46 trades per year every hot property gets traded in and moved on. Riewoldt pumps out 150, trade him in, take the price spike, move him on to the next player scoring 160, take the rise again and so it goes. Cash so easily generated no need to take risks on borderline players. Teams will create endless cash supplies used to trade in the best. Every team who knows how to play will have a bench full of premiums. The only way to prevent it happening would be a complete overhaul of the pricing system with removal of the 3 week rolling average. Doubt VS would want to go down that path, the current price movement system is sound.

    • Avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Good input and I’ll think further about this.

      But most fully priced premiums don’t rise very much above their starting point. A falling magic number at the start of the year means that premiums have to perform above their rating to even stay at their current price. They have limited upside but can fall a long way with a bad game.

      So I don’t think it is going to be quite as easy as you suggest.

      I think there is more opportunity to surf the price peaks of mid priced players but that is probably a good thing as there is no reason to include them in DT sides now – so you will get more players passing through teams.

      Rookies will still have the largest and fastest price rises.

  23. Avatar


    September 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    No question rookies will still have the fastest price rises, followed by mid pricers and these are the 2 areas where fast cash is made. The ability to move to every new rookie as they hit game 3 will generate 80K each week alone with a single trade, do it twice and multiply by 10 there’s 2 mill in half a season, excluding the cash being generated by your other rookies and mid pricers.

    The added bonus is this now extends to mid pricers who have a monster game. The only thing which currently prevents this is restriction of trade numbers, if this is removed it’s open slather and the back half of the year becomes a game of who trades in the right premium for that week and who puts the best of their 30 premiums on the park.

    • Avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      As a newbie this year I am sucking all this information in like a vacuum cleaner.

    • Avatar

      Andrew S

      September 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      Whilst I can see your point a lot clearer now, I don’t think it will be as extreme as you state – however it certainly has merit. The reason why I think it won’t be as extreme as you say is simply because the limited pool of rookies we’ll have at our disposal to cash in on. This does however open up the opportunity to cash in on mid-price player fluctuations due to “one-off” games, however I think if a 3 game average still exists the impact of this won’t be too severe (in the best of cases you’ll make $30-$40k at the most IMO, unless you hold them for consecutive weeks of price increases).

      I’m certainly warming to the idea of the 2 trades per week (use or lose), more so by the day. I think it will add a new element of strategy for the serious players, whilst also significantly increasing the casual players interactions with the game THROUGHOUT the season (that’s the important part!). There are potentially some slight negatives to the issue no doubt, but those impacts I think will be minor in comparison to the positives it will bring for the majority of players who play the game and in regards to engaging new players who deemed the game “too hard’ before.

  24. Avatar

    The x Factor

    September 13, 2012 at 8:47 am

    get ready aidan! just 5 more posts!

    • Avatar


      September 14, 2012 at 6:30 am

      Darn, I missed it. I just got off my flight from Sydney to Miami and the 200th comment occured when I was up in the air

      • Avatar

        The x Factor

        September 14, 2012 at 8:46 am

        nup, just not enough dedication there I’m very dissapointed mate.

        • Avatar


          September 15, 2012 at 7:33 am

          Yeah mate, there was free wifi on a plane

  25. Avatar


    September 13, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I’m really struggling with increasing trades to 46. Essentially that is the 2 pw (use or lose) proposal, closer to 50 trades if you give 3 each for the bye rounds.

    6-8-2-6 seems so obvious with no downside, closer to true AFL and creates more diversity.

    4 EMGs (one per position) again seems a clear winner, no AFL teams starts 1 short so if you want DT to be close to AFL reality have both teams starting with 22 if there’s a late change.

    Also love the 6-5-1-6 choice as a standalone MBR fix.

    • Avatar


      September 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      You wouldn’t have any trades before Round 1. So it is 44 trades. 20 more than this year.

      Under my MBR proposal of taking 18 highest scores irrespective of position – you wouldn’t get any extra trades for Byes. You have to set up for the byes with the lead up trades of 2 per week, although obviously less onerous than this year.

      A lot of players will also use up trades sideways trading and not holding injured premium players to win eliminator or key league games. So they won’t all be team building.

      Andrew S raises a good point about rookies next year. Without the expansion teams a lot of rookies next year will be wearing green vests which will slow their price rises. Also VS changed the pricing of first round draft pick rooks to around $150k this year. It didn’t have much impact this year because there were lots of other GWS rookies to choose. But it will make a difference next year – the best ranked rookies will have slower price rises, as well as finding it harder to get game time.

  26. Avatar


    September 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Has any thought been given to pricing DT players based on popularity, similar to EPL.

    Not sure how it would work but I imagine it would create diversity and bring in more mid pricers.

  27. Avatar

    The x Factor

    September 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    oh bad luck aidan. missed out on your massive milestone :(

    • Avatar


      September 13, 2012 at 11:15 pm


  28. Avatar


    September 14, 2012 at 1:12 am

    A few minor things I would like to see for DT 2013 that probably wouldn’t be too difficult to implement.

    Have your rankings for each year and your scores “saved” in your account. So you can click on a link on your team and see how you fared in previous years. Would be great if this info is available when you looked at the other teams in your league too so that you can gauge how good or bad they are, as well as respecting those who do well. The official EPL game does this and I quite like it. From a business angle it could get players more involved in their team from year to year as there is a bit of history there to connect with.

    Match ups like what we see in the match centre available in the week leading up to the game (of course this won’t show you what trades your opponent has done but just based on the teams at the start of the week). This could be a paid feature of assistant coach. I know I can do this manually but I would pay for the ease of having it available at the click of the button.

    A DT “Hall of fame page” accessed through the stats centre. This hall of fame page will show things like
    – the top 10 highest scoring players of all time over their entire career (Ablett, Swan, Bowden etc). Would be curious to know who this actually is.
    – the top 10 highest game scores ever (Buddy etc)
    – The winner of DT each year and the points they scored – Possibly even show their final side.
    – The highest total round scores ever from a DT player
    Stuff like that. Not only would I be interested in it but it could get more people logging in to the DT site to check these things or could create a greater “connection” with the History of DT and keep people coming back each year.

    Wouldn’t mind in leagues that fill up before the start of the season seeing the draw before the season starts. But doubt this will be possible.

    If you win your league, how about some sort of exciting graphic or at least a picture of the premiership cup with your name on it that everyone sees when they log in!

    Still can’t think of a “perfect” solution to the bye round issues, but to keep people interested until the end of the season, perhaps at round one everyone starts with say 4 trades. Then each week you get one more trade until you have been given 24 in total at the end of round 20. This will keep people interested in trading right up to round 20. And at round 20 you’re either in the finals and interested regardless of trades, or out of the finals and probably not interested regardless of the number of trades you have. The numbers could be moved around, ie start with 5 and then 1 a week until round 19 or something similar. Haven’t thought it through fully but it’s an idea. Could possibly annoy me if I had to “save up trades” so I could pull some double trades. Saying all this, I like it the way it is now, but I understand that to the powers that be, keeping site traffic up is important.

    Anyway, there’s my 2 cents.

    • Brak


      September 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      +1 for all of this, and the impact would not be minor, it would be fantastic, without changing the way we have lovingly played DT for years.

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