Starting out (Week 1)
Some things to consider:
In week 1 you can sign 3 free agents (subsequent weeks will allow for 1 FA signing each week until the trade deadline)
What I did at the start was go with a Kicker, Running Back, and Line Backer. The reasoning for those choices is thus:
Kicker: You’ll likely struggle to consistently move the ball early on. Having a dynamite kicker gives you the opportunity for long field goals when/if your drives stall out, and has the added bonus of putting the ball deep on kickoffs. In addition, even the best kickers cost next to nothing contract wise compared to say…a QB.
Running Back: Early on, with everyone on the team being rubbish, getting a good passing game going will be a struggle. You’d need a decent QB, WR/WBR (TE), and solid O-Line, this is too much to get even with your 3 free agents. Instead, grabbing a lights out RB from the get-go should allow you to chew up yards early and often.
Linebacker: Almost every formation will have at least one LB on the field, and their combination of tackling, and at times coverage skills can really help a struggling defense.
Each week you’ll also be able to spend up to 1.5 million on purchasing xp to boost your players (400k per player). In Week 1 I invested all my boosting xp into my three O-Line starters, specifically in Run Blocking. This way your RB’ll have an easier time getting into the open and getting you first downs or TD’s.
Your first few games players will get killed, sometimes entire position groups will get wiped out. If you run out of QB’s, you’ll forfeit the game. If you run out of any other position group, you just won’t have any of that type of player on the field even if they’re supposed to be there. This can be especially tough on defense where, say, all your CB’s get killed and you have no one back in coverage. A good thing to keep in mind when assigning early XP is to invest in the Toughness skill for your players so they’re more resistant to death (I initially went for 70 toughness per starter)
Weeks 2 through the Trade Deadline
In weeks 2-4 I continued to build up my Defense and Special Teams, grabbing a Kick Returner, Blitzer, and Corner Back. After that I signed whatever I had holes to fill or whatever I felt was the biggest need. I tend to run a defense that rarely if ever has Enforcers on the field, so I didn’t sign my first Enforcer until my second season. I would recommend getting a good QB before the trade deadline of your first season, just to start making things easier on the offense.
Other helpful tips/info
Speaking of the playbooks, make sure to check yours often during your first season. As those three position’s intelligence rises, you’ll unlock more formations and slots for plays within each formation that you can use (while your smarter players are alive). When/if your QB goes down and the backup comes in, you might well lose several formations or plays out of the playbook as a result.
Certain attributes will cost more or less than the standard 1xp per point for different mutant types. A prime example is that Intelligence and Speed are quite expensive for Orcs. I do not know all the increased expense attributes for each type, nor do I know all the discounted attributes for each type, but don’t be surprised if for some reason it costs more (or less) xp than you anticipate to boost certain attributes for certain player types.
Intelligence is always doubled in cost for QB’s, this will stack (I believe) with Mutant type penalties and overall rating xp cost increases, so an Orc QB might not be the best way to go, for example.
When your players hit an overall of 70, xp costs double. When they hit an overall of 85 (I believe) they go to 3x. Keep that in mind when spending xp. If a player is about to hit one of those thresholds and some attribute that doesn’t affect their overall is still low, perhaps invest in boosting that up a bit before you cross the 70/85 plateaus.
Keep track of the player goals, these will open up new attributes for you to spend xp on as the players progress up the ladder.
When signing Free Agents, take a look at all the attributes and go for what suits your needs. You don’t always have to take the ‘best’ at each position. Also, pay attention to their contract costs. A good WBR (TE) will cost about half that of a similarly rated WR, and can be just as deadly in the passing game, while at the same time helping out a ton when running the ball with their blocking ability.
Last but not least, have fun. I’ll try and add to this guide as I get more things figured out (primarily in regards to what attributes are discounted/penalized for each type). Or answer any questions that you might have. This is by no stretch completely comprehensive, just a quick batch of things I thought might help when starting out a new Dynasty game.