16 Tips to Win Matches in Rugby Manager
These easy-to-follow tips will make you a better manager in the game Rugby Manager, allowing you to win more games and gain more points.
1. Heal Kits
Heal kits allow your players to be in better physical condition when they play. This means they play better if they are over about 60%. Heal kits also allow you to remove one hour of injury time per kit, so for 48 kits you can completely remove injury time for a player injured for two days. That's important, because while they are injured they cannot train.
To request heal kits, click on your guild building, then click the little heal kit icon and confirm. This costs nothing. You should have five kits sent each time you request them.
To send heal kits, click on chat on the left side of the screen. Look for people who have requested heal kits and click send. This costs you nothing and really helps your guild mates.
Request heal kits every time you are on. Your friends can’t give them out if you aren’t requesting them.
You should be training your players as close to all the time as possible. One four hour training session provides the same training benefits as two two hour sessions or eight half hour sessions. While there is no benefit in terms of training point gains, it’s much more efficient in terms of player energy to train in lots of 30 minute sessions rather than longer sessions.
30 minute sessions cost six energy per hour, two hour sessions cost 7.5 per hour and four hour sessions cost nine per hour. Without a high-level hospital and a level three bandage from the sports store, you won’t get near nine energy recovered per hour. You will need to supplement this with heal kits.
The second thing to be aware of is that lower level players accumulate training points faster than higher level players. This is meant to be balanced by the ability to generate more training points with a higher level training ground, but can actually be used to your advantage.
If a player is not a high enough level to make your match team, just let the points accumulate on him and train him at the end of the season. You’ll gain more levels than if you just assign them as they come in.
Finally, never auto assign your points. This will average out your available points across any category. You don’t want to do that. You want to train the skills that are the most important to that player and your strategy.
3. Where to Put Training Points
Find someone who plays a game style you like, then take a look at how they have allocated points. You will usually see that they have prioritised key stats to strengthen their ability to play the style of game they want. A few key suggestions regarding stats:
- Hooker: Your hooker doesn’t need to train lineout strength or jump. He’s throwing the ball in, so train him on pass accuracy.
- Locks: Train lineout jump and receiving to win more lineouts.
- Forwards: Max scrum and ruck strength to win scrums and rucks. Coordination makes you less likely to concede penalties in rucks and scrums respectively.
- Number 9: Train pass accuracy and pass distance accuracy. It’s very difficult to train a running halfback because the game sends him straight into the forward pack every time.
- Number 10: How you train your number 10 dictates a large part of your game plan. For instance, I prioritise speed and penetration because my game plan is basically to throw him the ball and watch him score tries. Others kick for territory (to do this, train kick accuracy and power) or want him to pass it on to attack from midfield (to do this, train pass and pass length).
- Numbers 12-14: Do you want them to run, pass or kick when they get the ball? Decide, and then train accordingly.
- Number 15: If the ball gets to your fullback, you are one stuff up from conceding a try. Train his kick power, and set him to kick 100% of the time. There is very rarely anyone for him to pass to, and if he tries he usually just drops it for the opposition to pick up and score. If he runs, he’ll get tackled, turn over the ball and concede a try.
4. Strategy 101
The most important thing you can do to get more wins is to train your players up in their key stats. Assuming you are having regular training sessions and assigning points sensibly, the strategy you set is incredibly important. A couple of key points:
- Player Rhythm: This the most influential strategy setting. Put simply, it makes your player play better. The higher the rhythm, the faster they will run and the more likely they are to break tackles. However, they are also going to tire faster. So, very high-rhythm players need to be replaced during the game. You want to train your player stamina to as high as possible to allow them to last longer before fatigue hits. I have both team and player rhythm at about 75%. I bump up player rhythm to 100% if I’m going to be online and can actually sub.
Consider what you want your players to do, and set the strategy accordingly. I know that sounds obvious, but whenever I see people with default strategies, I know I have a win coming.
If there’s anything you are unsure about, ask. We are all here to learn to play the game better. Most importantly, do not leave team or player strategies in default mode.
The lineout is quite a complex mishmash of different skills. Basically, the order your guys stand in the lineout is as follows.
You can throw to whoever you want, but for the best chance of success, you need to throw to someone with both high lineout jump and receiving (Lineout Jump, Receiving and Reception Range). Normally, receiving is only for passing, but it also influences your ability to catch a lineout ball.
Likewise, your hooker (number 2) should have a very high passing ability (Pass Accuracy and Pass Distance Accuracy) as this controls his ability to throw the ball to the right place.
The players on either side of your jumper are your lifters. These should have a high lineout strength. So, if you are throwing to number 4, train Lineout Strength on numbers 1 and 3.
Keep in mind that having high rhythm on your forwards seems to have a very negative effect. I find that once I go above 60% for individual rhythm, they start negatively affecting set pieces. This seems unrelated to actual fatigue, as a high rhythm setting on an individual can cause him to lose lineouts he would otherwise win from the first lineout of the game.
Also, if you put the above tips together, it’s possible to scout out many opponents and either move your better jumper against theirs, or move them so your own throws are always going to their weaker jumper.
Your Stadium is one of your most important buildings. How you grow it determines a large part of how you play the game.
Put simply, the higher your stadium level, the more money you earn from each match. So, you should bump that stadium level up whenever you can, right?
Well, actually, there's a catch. The higher your fanbase, the harder the opponents that are selected for guild challenges. So, if you want more success in challenges, you should keep your stadium level lower.
You have a choice to make: individual success says max out the stadium, but team success says don’t max out the stadium.
Personally, I’ve gone with a lower level stadium to get easier guild opponents.
7. Level 15 Stadium
A level 15 stadium gives players two big advantages. Firstly, you get a second strategy building. That can give you a big increase in your team's performance right off the bat. The second big advantage is the Sports Shop, which lets you bid on special items that increase the individual stats of your team. Some of the things you can buy and the specific stats they increase are listed below.
You can also increase the level of an item to increase its bonus.
- Level 1 items give +5% bonus
- Level 2 items give +10% bonus
- Level 3 items give +15% bonus.
The combination of the extra strategy center and the store bought items gives you a huge advantage over others who don’t have them.
8. How to Beat Higher Level Teams Regularly
If you watch top rated players in the guild challenges, you will notice they use a different tactic against high-level teams than they do against same or lower-level teams.
The reason for this is that the game is naturally biased against players who are lower level. What that means is a player 20 levels above you can be inactive and sit at the bottom of their league, but they will still win every scrum and lineout due to their higher stats. They will break tackles even if you are maxed on tackle, and you will have trouble breaching their line even if your penetration is at its max.
So, how do you beat a team you can’t run through or get the ball off? Basically, you hope they kick it (and most do). Then, you kick it back and use higher rhythm to run to the ball faster than them. Set team kick to 100%, rear cover to 100% and increase your penalty distance to the maximum you can kick from. Put rhythm at 100% and roll your subs halfway through the match. Then, play a practice game to see how it goes. If it goes well, take them out of the guild challenge and laugh at them for being an old noob.
9. How to Spend Gold Balls
Gold balls are the purchased in-game and act as currency, but you can also accumulate them through completing your achievements (viewable by clicking the medal on the righthand side of your screen) and winning tournaments. You should all be playing and winning tournaments. Between the advise available and some tactics I’ll send out later, you should be able to achieve at least a 50% win rate, which means more gold balls every day.
But what to spend those balls on ...
The first thing you should buy with gold balls is extra builders. The low-level buildings complete quite quickly, but even at low levels there is a big advantage of having multiple builders working at once. Remember, you can have up to three. Get them before you spend gold balls on anything else.
Once you have that, you have the benefit of choice on your hands. You can spend on training, but I don’t recommend it. If you are actually buying the balls, then go for it. But if you are only accumulating between 1 (first round tournament win) and 4 (tournament final win) per day then you probably want to save them up for a key purchase.
The next most useful thing you can buy with balls is land, but beware! When you buy land with coins the coin price goes up. When you buy land with gold balls both the gold ball price and the coin price goes up. You should definitely not purchase land with gold balls until the coin price is too expensive.
The final place to use gold balls is in changing a player's position. For the longest time I considered this a complete waste of gold balls, but then I realized how much more people pay, particularly at high levels, for a couple of key positions. Those positions are half back (number 9) and fullback (number 15). If you have a player with a high rating, but not high enough to break into your top team, you can use gold balls to switch their position to 9 or 15. Put them on the market and you will earn a crazy amount of recruiter coins.
10. The Importance of Subbing
If at all possible, you want to sub your players during your match. Players set to high rhythm operate much higher than their star rating would normally allow, but they tire much faster too. At 100% rhythm, your players can play effectively for around 30-50 minutes. If you don’t sub, by the end of the game they will be walking around the field, unable to tackle anything and also unable to fulfill basic functions such as kicking or competing in set pieces.
If possible, you should try to sub in all your games. It can be the difference between a loss and a win. Generally, you want to sub your players about halfway through the game. To achieve this, you need to press the strategy button at the bottom left of your game screen and switch the subs into the game team at around the 30 minute mark. The game pre-calculates the next phase or two at each new set piece, so your subs will not roll until after the game stops for a scrum, lineout, penalty or kick off.
To effectively sub you need to be training a squad of your playing 15 plus 7 subs, so think of a squad of 22. Ideally, your subs should be the same level as your starters, but if they aren't it's not a huge problem, so long as they have decent key stats. They will be playing against a tired opposition and so should do fine.
11. Match Bonus and Team Morale
Without changing any other settings, there are two sliders you can move which will change your teams overall performance. These are Match Bonus and Salary.
This is accessed via your finance building. It’s generally accepted that you should have your salary set to 100% all the time. Salary dictates how much you pay your players every day, and the more you pay them, the better they play.
At low levels, this salary is hardly noticeable. But as you get to higher levels, the combined salary can cost you millions every day. Player satisfaction affects about 25% of your performance. So, if you set your wages to 0%, they play 25% worse than if you set it at 100%. You always want it to be set to 100%.
While Salary applies to all your matches, Match Bonus allows you to make a one-off payment that will increase their performance for the very next match. You can adjust Match Bonus by clicking on "Match" in the bottom right corner, then moving the slider from zero to the right.
At low levels, this makes a huge difference on your star rating, but the effect does diminish as you get to higher levels. Of course, as you reach higher levels, the difference between teams is generally less, so a small percent increase can still swing the result of a match. However, your goal should be to never have to use Match Bonus. Some players even consider it cheating. There is nothing to stop your opponent from using it, however, so you always need to assume when scouting a player that they can play better than their history or star rating would allow.
Match Bonus affects cup matches, championship matches and guild cup matches that you initiate (it doesn’t help on defence, but it helps on attack).
12. Scouting an Opponent
There is an art to scouting out an opponent. In most cases, scouting an opponent is all about convincing yourself you are capable of beating them, while at the same time not convincing them that you can win. Why wouldn’t you want them to think you can beat them? Because there is still an annoying thing called Match Bonus, and if an opponent feels they can’t beat you clean, they may bump up match bonus and steal a match from you. This is increasingly likely as you increase your level and perform well in tournaments.
So, to scout an opponent without tipping them off that you are scouting them, you can do the following things:
- Check out their players: Player stars and strategies are publicly viewable. Try and work out from the star ratings how they will play. For instance, it’s pretty easy to see from looking at my star ratings that my forwards are set to pass the ball out and my backs are set to run it. With some players, you can go straight to their 10 and see that they are set to 100% kick. This means you are are going to need your back three to have high kick receiving ability and the ability to return strongly (either high kick or run it back, but don’t try passing at the back!).
- Watch a couple of their replays: Generally, one is enough. When watching a replay, you are looking for two things. Firstly, verify that they play like you thought they would from looking at their star ratings. Secondly, take a look at where the ball goes in the lineout. Once you know who their lineout jumper is, you can move your best jumper to compete, or you can make sure your own throw stays away from them (or both). You can also tell from looking through the summaries of their last few matches whether they are likely to sub. If they are subbing, it’s going to be tough for you to beat them without being considerably stronger, or subbing yourself.
- Check out their history: Go to their schedule and check who they’ve been playing and whether they won or lost. A good way of figuring out your relative strength to an opponent is picking the last couple of teams they have lost to (not been smashed by, that usually tells you nothing) and playing a friendly against them. If you can comfortably beat teams that have recently beaten, you can probably beat them.
13. Faking a Loss
You shouldn’t overuse this, but it can be an effective tactic to convince future opponents you are not a threat (thus ensuring that they don’t invoke match bonus).
Set your rhythm to less than 20% and switch in a few bad players in key positions (generally 10 and 15) and play a friendly. Be smart about what scoreline you will allow.
If you have smashed your way into a tournament final, sweeping everyone before you by 40 points or more, a 30 point loss in your scouting match is going to be pretty obvious, but losing by a try and a few penalties is something they will probably happily buy. If the score looks like it will blow out, increase your rhythm and potentially even roll subs and put guys back in position.
The end goal is a comfortable win for your opponent which doesn’t look forced or lucky.
Two important points:
- Be aware that your opponent may well play you back, and ideally the response match will go the same way as your challenge. So, you may need to leave your weaker strategy on.
- For the love of god, don’t leave your losing strategy on for the match itself. It’s very easy to do and very depressing when you get smashed because you didn’t switch back to your ass-kicking strategy.
13. How to Win Championships
Winning championships is pretty simple. Just beat all the other teams, right? In most cases, yes. But it is possible to beat out a team to the number one position even if they win all their games and you don’t. The secret is accumulating bonus points as the season goes on.
You get four points for a win, two points for a draw and zero points for a loss. You also get a bonus point for scoring three more tries than your opponent. So 3 tries to nil, 4 tries to 1, 5 tries to 2 will all get you a bonus point.
In most championships, the results are clear cut and you don’t need these extra bonus points. But in a close championship, you will always do better if you put away the poor teams and ensure you get your bonus points. There are 13 games in a season, which means a maximum of 12 bonus points. If you lose against the top team but thrash everyone else (and the top team doesn’t get bonus points), you will finish with eight points (two clear wins) ahead of them.
For this reason, it makes sense in championship matches to drop your penalty range as low as possible against any team you know you should comfortably beat. You don’t want penalties, you want to kick for the line and score a try.
If two teams finish on equal points, it is point differential, not win\loss, which decides the outcome.
15. How to Win Tournaments
Winning tournaments is pretty simple. It’s a flat out case of beating four opponents in succession. But there’s a few tips and tricks that can increase your odds.
First, take a look at tip #11 regarding scouting your opponent. When you look at their matches, focus on their last four tournament matches, and, in particular, if and how they subbed in those matches.
The same fake out tactics to prevent them from using a match bonus apply. So, when you look at their previous games, be sure to look at whether they played a friendly against the last tournament teams they were scheduled against. If they did, you have a great chance to fake them out by playing a losing strategy when they challenge you. Don’t make it obvious, but make sure they walk away with a confidence-building win. When it comes to the actual match, you can return to your winning strategy and blow them out of the park.
One variation to a regular game is that a tournament game must have a winner. There is no concept of a draw. If the scores are tied at 80 minutes, the game goes to golden point. This is where drop goals and kicking penalties is important. If you are online and the game goes to overtime, make sure you know your kickers range, and that he takes any penalties within that range. Likewise, increase your dropkick rate, but be aware that while any player can take a dropgoal, it’s going to be your number 10 about 80% of the time. If your 10 can’t kick, and it’s in overtime, switch him with someone who can.
If overtime goes on for too long (I think it’s 120 minutes), the game stops at the next breakdown and you’ll see some stupid, and usually impossible, score as the result - like 5-4. This is because Rugby Manager is just basically a rewrite of football manager, and the game decides that after a full half of golden point it makes sense to have a penalty shoot out (sigh).
One final point on tournaments: If you win 3-0, but there is no record of your game to watch, it’s not because the game is broken, it’s because your opponent decided you were unbeatable and left the tournament before the match. In this case, you get paid so you don’t lose income from the opponent wimping out.
If your opponent is unbeatable, it is worth going down this route. If you are absolutely going to lose, you get zero gold balls that day. If you quit the tournament, join another one and win a round 1 match. This will give you one gold ball for the day. Still, it’s better to just be able to beat everyone.
16. How to Win Guild Challenges
Guild challenges can only be started by a guild leader. Once a guild leader requests a challenge, the game tries to find an appropriately matched guild. Once one is found, a 24 hour preparation period starts. Because the game system prioritises finding any match over actually finding closely matched opponents, it is usually quite quick to start a new challenge.
The guild challenge includes all of the teams from the smaller guild, and the number of teams in the smaller guild from the larger guild. For instance, if one guild has 23 players and the other has 25, it will be a 23 team challenge with the two worst (by fanbase) missing out from the larger guild. However, the larger team can swap players in and out during the 24 hour preparation period.
Once the 24 hour preparation period is over, everyone who hasn’t been excluded can play two matches against anyone on the other team that hasn’t been eliminated. You are eliminated once you lose a match, although you still get the chance to play your two matches even if no-one else can play you.
At the high levels, where all guilds are filled with active players, the tactics can get a little complicated. At our level, winning a guild challenge is very easy. You win by being more active than the other guild.
If everyone who plays wins their games, then you play twice as many attacking games as defensive ones. As the lower and mid levels see only a portion of the guild playing, it’s most important that you get two wins. Take a look at the opponents and pick the two highest level teams you can beat. Then, make sure you beat them. The higher the level of the team you take out the better, as it leaves more lower level teams for your guild mates to pick points off of. But remember, each win is worth 1 point. A win against a level 60 is worth the same as a win against a level 6.
Hopefully, it’s clear from the above that the key to victory is having as many people active as possible, and making sure all games played get wins.
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