Why Your Starting Roster Is Important:
The one thing all teams have in common is that you have to pick an initial roster to start the team with. The current version of the rules allow for greater flexibility in your starting team, whilst still allowing them to be competitive in the short and long term. (Obviously if the team is playing an infinite number of games they should get some “long term success” at some point.) Some things to consider when starting your team is: how long your season is, which order of races you are facing (not always known), what other races are in the league, the attributes of your own chosen race and how other coaches are likely to start theirs. If you know that you are in a really bash heavy league for example you may decide to favour more heavily armoured players than low armoured players, or you may look to start with more than 11 players and less rerolls to avoid getting outnumbered. The race you have picked probably pays the biggest influence though, with regards to player costs, reroll costs, starting skills and player fragility. Due to the changes in Fan Factor and winnings and the fact you don’t need to start with much (I would start most teams with none) you have more money at your disposal for players or rerolls.
Number of Games Your League Lasts:
This is important to know from the outset as it will change the importance of the different components that go into creation of a team. The longer the league the less important your roster in the long run as given enough games you can turn things around (that doesn’t mean you can ignore the points laid out here though). It is of most importance in really short leagues. If you are playing what I would consider a rather short league of 10 or less games then most of your players aren’t going to get a chance to skill up. This means your team as a whole will probably not have many skills on it, so getting more players that start with skills on the team may take more of an importance. I would still start with a minimum of two rerolls though or you can suffer on the pitch. The shortage of games also means you won’t have as much time to get money to buy new players, replace injured and dead players or get more rerolls. This perhaps puts more of an emphasis on taking players with higher armour and leaving off those with lower armour until you have purchased an Apothecary.
Reroll Heavy or Reroll Light:
One of the biggest mistakes beginning players make is starting with too few Rerolls. They are generally vital to success in most games as any given die roll can fail, some skills can make up for this somewhat but you are going to need Rerolls more often than not in a game. At the very least I would start any team with a minimum of two Rerolls, the fact they double in cost after team creation can make saving up for more take quite a while if you took too few and can’t win games. The other advantage that Rerolls have over both Players and Fan Factor is that you can’t lose them. Fan Factor can go down and players have a habit of missing games, getting injured and sometimes outright death. Rerolls will stay on your team and be available for every game unless you decide to drop one, or in some games have them stolen by Master Chefs, though this tends to be rare for starting teams.
If you do start Reroll heavy though you will have less money to spend on players, so will tend to be filling your team up with cheaper ones than the better yet more expensive options. Having more Rerolls though will counter for having less skills and you can also use them on any of your players and not just the specific player with the dedicated skill. You can then attempt far more things than you would after you have run out of Rerolls, giving you both an advantage on the pitch and can also aid player development through SPP generation. If you took more expensive players and they die or get an injury which makes you retire them, you then not only have to save up to buy that player again, you also then have to save double the cost to get more rerolls and all the time you are saving up, you have to use a Journeyman player with Loner during your games.
The flip side, starting Reroll light does let you get better players early on. The advantage this brings is that they are more likely to succeed on the pitch and are less likely to need Rerolls. They can come with skills to aid moving or ball handling, or skills that help knocking over opponents or making it hard for opponents to knock them over. If they have a skill reroll for dodging or catching, it saves your Rerolls for doing Go For Its, picking up, or hitting opponents. You can only use one Reroll per turn and if you are doing passes, dodges and go for its with unskilled players, fail the first roll and you are walking a tightrope for the other rolls.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages and you want to get a combination of both that will give you the best chance of winning games. You get more money for winning games and so which ever method you go, the more money you can win will let you afford what you decided against taking at the start. The other thing to consider is the cost of the Rerolls for your team as well, as Reroll prices differ from race to race, the more expensive the Rerolls are the biggest the amount you need to save up to buy more Rerolls further along in your teams development. Having to save up 140k is quite a bit more than having to save up 100k, so bear this in mind before splashing out on all the expensive players.
Starting With an Apothecary:
With more money available to spend it is now more viable to start with an Apothecary, I still don’t do this with most teams though as I would prefer to get more Rerolls. Usually you will have an odd 10-30k left over when creating a team now and I would look to save that instead of spending it on Fan Factor, then hope to get enough money after the first game to be able to afford an Apothecary. If you don’t start with one then I would put an Apothecary as the number one purchase for any team that is able to take one. The reason to start with one is that they are often cheaper than your better players and saving one from death makes more financial sense than buying another Lineman would have. Of course the Apothecary can still fail and players can die regardless though most of the time they will save you money.
You do need to start with eleven players though and by the time you have eleven players and some Rerolls you probably don’t have enough money for an Apothecary. You can of course take more Linemen instead of more expensive players, but then you don’t have many players who cost more than an Apothecary to warrant the cost in buying one when you start your team. The other thing to consider is that some games you don’t need to use the Apothecary at all, players need to be knocked over, have their armour broken, then injured and then a bad serious injury roll. Usually if this does happen it is to your Linemen or whoever it is you tend to put next to opposing players to tie them up and not usually your more expensive players which you bought the Apothecary to save.