Rob Sutherland goes back to basics to explain how to play SuperCoach NRL
Rob Sutherland goes back to basics to explain how to play SuperCoach NRL

SuperCoach: basic tactics and strategy explained

WE'RE delving into SuperCoach NRL strategy, breaking down the game plan used by experienced players and why it works (most of the time).

The aim is to explore the reasoning behind the tactics used in SuperCoach NRL in an attempt to put some "why" around the advice often given on "how" to play the game.

In this article I look at the predominant selection tactic of "guns" and "cheapies", explain how to employ it and the mechanism of price changes.

THERE'S MORE TO THE GAME THAN SCORING POINTS

I'm going to assume you know the basics of SuperCoach NRL, but just in case here's the gist in 50 words or less: you have a salary cap to spend, you pick a squad of players that you can afford under that cap, players do NRL-style stuff like make runs, tackles and scoring tries, points are awarded for doing stuff and if your team scores the most points you win.

Simple really. Well, yes and no.

Yes, points matter, but so does value.

Every SuperCoach starts with a team value capped at $9.8 million, but that cap can grow - and sadly shrink - and the more you cap grows the more you can spend on high scoring players.

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James Tedesco of the Roosters is the priciest player in SuperCoach NRL in 2020.
James Tedesco of the Roosters is the priciest player in SuperCoach NRL in 2020.

HOW TO SCORE POINTS AND INCREASE VALUE

In three words: guns and cheapies. It's the accepted formula for SuperCoach success and here's how it works.

Of the 25 players you pick to start the season you should aim to have at least seven "guns" (players priced over $550K).

Your guns will score the vast bulk of your points.

Cheapies are there to make you money, and some points too - but the points are a bonus - what we really want early is the cash.

Jarome Luai of the Panthers looks a strong chance to increase his price throughout the season.
Jarome Luai of the Panthers looks a strong chance to increase his price throughout the season.

HOW PRICES CHANGE

A player, let's call him "X", has their price set at the beginning of the year based on his average points per game (PPG) in 2019.

Each week X is also allocated a break even (BE).

The BE is a target that X must reach in order to maintain his price.

As a general rule of thumb the higher price a player carries the higher his BE.

If X's score falls short of his BE, his price drops. Match it and his price stays steady, and exceed it and his price rises.

That's pretty straightforward so let's kick it up a notch.

X's BE is not static - it goes up or down relative to his scores every week.

Putting it simply, if a player scores really well in week one his BE for week two will drop. If a player fails to reach his BE then his BE for the next week will rise.

Damien Cook of the Rabbitohs is pricey, but worth it.
Damien Cook of the Rabbitohs is pricey, but worth it.

NOW TO RECAP

Scoring points is the key to beating your mates, and if you're lucky enough, claiming a cash prize.

However, SuperCoaches must ensure they keep growing their team value if they want to keep in touch with others over the back half of the season and picking the right cheapie is the key to doing that.

Which of course begs the question, having picked the right cheapies, when do you sell them, and what do you do with the profit?