Pro Cycling Manager - anyone played it

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Dekker_Tifosi said:
I'm using the "own effort" the whole ride, even on the flat. Always start climbs in front, and then use a low % effort when you know the peloton is not going to break anyway. I often go from front to middle/back of peloton the whole time but it doesn't matter because I lose very little energy, much less than sitting in front all day on "hold position" anyway. Only exception are downhills, where I use hold position.
Then on the final climb I make sure I start near the front or on the front, then keep a steady but high pace during the climb.
I don't care who attacks or how many times, usually they get gobbled up if my GC rider/climber is in good form. And then attack at the very very end (using energy gel also). Ideally you still have red left at the sprint then you can make a huge difference.
Sometimes I've won 2 minutes just in the final 2km...
what sorts of effort percentages are you using?
I've used hold position near the front on 25% and they'll stay there even in the final few k's of a sprint finish...
and are you using this for the entire team? controlling all 8 or 9 at once that way must be a nightmare to organise?
 
No, I only focus on the leader. Sometimes 2 leaders.

The rest are used to:
1) make the race hard (using relay), when needed
2) pull back breakwaways (using relay) when needed
3) protect leaders and get bottles

Also in flat stages I don't bother with riding dot with my GC rider, he's just at hold position

but with my sprinter I'm very careful so he doesn't lose any energy on hills.
The biggest problem with the "hold position" option is that, on the top of every hill, when the peloton accelerates to normal speed, you're heart rate will skyrocket and you'll lose energy, especially with sprinters who have only 68/69 hill or lower.

And if there's a hill in the finale, even your GC rider might lose loads of energy because of the accelerating at the top of the climb/going into the downhill. That's why "hold position" waists a lot of energy and why I ride on the dot nearly all the time with my leader for the stage...

As to what percentage. That's really hit and miss and you have to learn that. You just have to adapt to the pace of the peloton. Especially with the breakaways in the beginning and the sudden acceleration at halfway or 75% of the race it might take some time to get used to and be fast enough to up your effort. Otherwise you'll drop.

There is really no helpful general % and in the beginning it's best to play at x1 or x2 speed to get a hold of the "own effort" strategy. But nowadays I can do this at even x8 speed, as long as it's not a very hilly stage.
Hilly classics, or stages with a lot of hills (not climbs) are the hardest, because it switches so many times from uphill to downhill you have to change the percentage so often. And switch to hold position in downhills ofcourse... That's why I call the Amstel Gold Race the "hilly hell"

Anyway the most helpful advice I can give on riding own effort is: keep an eye on the heartrate. Heartrate is the key... once it's in yellow zone you should watch it. Once it's in red zone your screwed and you'll drop energy faster than Quaranta drops on a hill.
 
Jan 27, 2011
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From 163 (iirc) is yellow heartrate, losing your Yellow bar, 177+ makes you lose red and that'll cost you too much energy. And yes hills with every sprinter except for Freire are a *****..
 
The problem is also the weird way the energy bars work sometime.

For example, in Kuurne, with good own effort riding, I managed to get Bos through the cobbles and hills perfectly without losing an inch of yellow and red energy. Yet in the sprint, he lost a lot of energy by trying to go in front and cobble specialist and sprinters with good cobble rating owned the race.

So even sparing all that energy didn't matter in the end, even though the last 40 km has no cobble stroke or hill.
This is one of the things to keep an eye on regarding the AI.

Also, when you encounter a hilly stage, with the hilly stage icon, then forget trying to win with your sprinter, even if he survives all hills. The sprint will be one by a good hilly rider even if the peloton is 120 man big...
Same principe as with forementioned cobble stage. The AI disregards the amount of energy left or sprinting stat, because the stage was defined as hilly stage...thus hilly specialists rule.

It's one of the annoying things in Cycling Manager for years now. The game is very static that way. A very black/white line for every stage type..cobbled, sprint, hills, mountains.. The in betweens are impossible to handle.
Then again, it is incredibly hard to program for cycling dynamics. And cyanide does get closer each year. But PCM 2010 was a setback in terms of AI, gameplay and realism. Only graphics improved.

Hopefully in PCM 2011 they get the AI/gameplay/realism a bit back on track. They were heading in the right direction in PCM 2009.
 
Mar 8, 2010
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Ok, makes sense and sounds "clever".

I use the dotbutton, or "own effort", when I am on my own or nearly alone on climbs.
But everything else would cause huge crashes in peloton in reality.
Thats why I don't use it elsewhere and use "hold position", when in peloton.
I also use dotbutton to ride to the front slowly. But I never suddenly hit the brakes or fall back like a rock watching my heartrate. That is like stopping as soon as you start sweating.
I don't want to mess with the peloton. :D

Winning Tour and races with full dotbutton-rides is like winning de Ronde by attacking on decent.
Like winning at Mortal Combat by just punching or wild buttonpushing.
Like winning at Fifasoccer by doing some straight R or L button trick till in front of goal all, for the time. :p

Still figuring out the setback at 2010. So far it all made sense. But may also depend on db. Never played the original one.

First impression is that breakaways are stronger and were somehow improved tactically.Real fireworks and serious attacks start earlier. Sometimes with 50 km to go in mountains. Thats what I like.
I don't like beeing blocked in sprints. That is strange sometimes. Happens even behind leadout man. Sometimes leadout man just wins because I can't pass him (ok, that was with Team THC). What also happened is, that the blocked sprinter then suddenly accelerates like a rocket.
 
Cobblestoned said:
Sometimes leadout man just wins because I can't pass him (ok, that was with Team THC). What also happened is, that the blocked sprinter then suddenly accelerates like a rocket.
that just happened me today.

to me they need to work on the stuff D_T said and the distance issue.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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kurtinsc said:
One interesting thing is finding stages where the peloton lets the break go. I won the Giro with Uran once when on a multiple mountain stage I realized the break was at 15 minutes with 100km left. It was clear the peloton weren't chasing (or maybe they expected my team to... I think my main GC guy was in 5th or 6th). So I attacked with Uran who was 4-5 minutes down on the GC in 10th-13th... and won by 9 minutes. Held on to win with him by 30 seconds or so.... losing bit by bit each stage. Kind of reminded me of last year's Giro in some ways.
I had a similar experience in 09' (much better game), Kai Reus won a break away stage early in the mountains, by like 22mins :D I ended up losing the jersey on the last mountain stage.. he still took 2nd. Was pretty fun Gt tho.

Havetts said:
Cobble, tell me the 'secret' what is gesinks climbing in 2011 DB ;p?
it is 80.
Although so much better then cyanade database, the daily peleton databases ratings aren't the best either. I always find myself spending ages editing the database myself after download. Also the last update/db was like 6-7gb. Pretty big, not so bad if you have good internet tho. It really wasn't worth downloading in my case, as every time I attempt to play a stage the game crashes. Had this problem consistently with PCM10'. It has programming flaws.

Parrulo said:
only thing i dislike about this game is that the distance goes way to fast and the attacking and pace setting options should be better.

for example i think that for the last 10k of a stage the scale of the distance should go back to real scale so you could place yourself and have a leadout and all that at real time. also all mountains should be real scale as well. if its an easy mountain or you don't care about the sprint you can just fast foward.
real time, or like you said last 10km or something real time would be so much better. Mountain finishes are over in like a minute. But it just takes something special away from the climbing stages. I remember this old school non-commercial cycling game i played before playing pcm (supertour or something) was real time, and the climbs were so much better. Watching riders slowly drop off the back as the pace rose was awesome (the game had massive flaws tho, but it was just a simple game). I'd love to play pcm and really ride the climb in real time, pushing the pace with my team forcing riders to drop of the back... hoping to see one of the other big favorites falter. This is my biggest problem with the game anyway.

But yeah, this probably wont happen :(

ps; we should do a tour of CN online one day... 7 stages, keep overall individual, climbers rankings etc. wonder who's 'dot' tactic would prove the best :p
 
May 25, 2010
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One thing that annoys me is in the sprints your sprinter can lose wheel, seemingly at random. Its very frustrating see him fall back for no apparent reason and there goes your chances.

I find dot riding is ok but often the attacks from the AI pull a big enough gap that you can't chase down on the smaller climbs. "Dot-riding" the whole way is very excessive micro-managing. Stages will be slower than they already are!

In terms of straight up gameplay I think I prefer PCM07 over '09 but you can see they have tried to make it better.

I just love some of the magazine stock responses too. "If you think I'm going to reveal my form to my opponents you have another thing coming."
 
For the ones wanting to play real time. There is also a game called Eurotour, with a small community making updates each year.
They had the source code of the game and implemented AI for cobbles, wind stages (echelons) and many more. It's very very realistic and very fun to play, if you can live with 2001 level graphics. :)
The only downside is the Database being made by Ryo Hazuki, so the colombians and south americans are giganticly overrated :p
 
May 27, 2010
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Youtube how to do a perfect sprint, you will win almost everytime, if you want your sprinter to get around the leadout man then either get him to sprint about 1km or more out or just knock your leadout man back to 10 or so and click hold position
 
Dekker_Tifosi said:
For the ones wanting to play real time. There is also a game called Eurotour, with a small community making updates each year.
They had the source code of the game and implemented AI for cobbles, wind stages (echelons) and many more. It's very very realistic and very fun to play, if you can live with 2001 level graphics. :)
The only downside is the Database being made by Ryo Hazuki, so the colombians and south americans are giganticly overrated :p
The good thing is there's a very easy to use database editor, so you can overrate your own fetish nationality! :p

Also, many parts of the game are coded in text files, so it's very easy to play around with the values if something doesn't suit your personal tastes (it takes some trial and error, of course).
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Havetts said:
Its a good game, I think Season / Campaign is odd to understand at the start. But its nice to play, though sometimes it isnt really wanted to manually race everything, especially sprint stages cause they take so much time without anything exciting even happening..
But they (Flat stages) are more fun than to watch real races. I love them.

All starts about 20 km to go. You have to built your "train", carefully try to max the energy they use so they can still lead with 3-4 km to go. Then you have to find the right wheel for your 75+ Sprinter and sprint as late as possible, but not too late*. That´s a very fine line. Very stressing, fun and difficult.

* Sometimes it works if a (own) 70+ Sprinter leads out and your top sprinter follows him until with 1-2 km to go. Then your superstar goes full speed.
 
Heh I have a totally different tactic for sprints... I just sit near the front with my sprinter and leadout man... then at 5/5.5km I put my leadout at 99% (and energy gel at 7/8km)... at 2.7 he leads out and then I wait as long as possible with my main sprinter. Depending on what the opposition does I either sprint myself, take another wheel and still come out as late as possible, or sprint immediately.
 
Mar 8, 2010
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hrotha said:
The good thing is there's a very easy to use database editor, so you can overrate your own fetish nationality! :p

Also, many parts of the game are coded in text files, so it's very easy to play around with the values if something doesn't suit your personal tastes (it takes some trial and error, of course).
Besides some editing fetish, I also like 3 week custom-tour fetish. :D

Picking all the "best" stages and races.
L-B-L for warmup. :)
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Heh I have a totally different tactic for sprints... I just sit near the front with my sprinter and leadout man... then at 5/5.5km I put my leadout at 99% (and energy gel at 7/8km)... at 2.7 he leads out and then I wait as long as possible with my main sprinter. Depending on what the opposition does I either sprint myself, take another wheel and still come out as late as possible, or sprint immediately.
I´ll try that. But for now i am very satisfied with my tactic, because it´s beautiful to loose one after another rider coz of exhausted energy until only my top sprinter is left. Sometimes i win, sometimes i loose. So it never gets boring. I hope i won´t use all your tricks for mountain stages. Up to now i have never won a GT (my best were 2nd´s with Gerdemann and Scarponi). But that might be only because i waste more time editing the DB than actually playing (for 2 years, am still working on the 2009-DB. It´s almost perfect now :)).
 
After playing some Eurotour for a while, damn, PCM is too much better as a manager game. One thing I love is checking the statistics and the data from past seasons - you can't do that with Eurotour. But still, if you want to actually play a race, PCM's bizarro world time ruins it. Why oh why won't they implement real time races?
 
Hey even I don't use all my tactics for mountain stages. I like to keep my careers exciting.

Most of the time I restrict myself using just relay and "go in front" instead of own effort. That makes winning mountain stages a lot harder, until you really have the best.

For example, with Gesink in top form I can dominate Contador in an unseen way with "own effort" tactics. But if I restrict myself to using relay and go to front, I won't even come close :p Just finished Tirreno and Pais Vasco as 3rd because of that.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Dekker

I solved the "Hilly-Stage-Problem" by editing some sprinters to very good Hill-Rates (70+). Now sometimes sprinters win those stages and sometimes the "Hill-Stars".
Top-CG-Contenders, i really made them bad sprinters (50s, low 60s) and bad "Ebene" (don´t know the english word for it). Now the likes of Cunego don´t show up in front of hilly or flat stages anymore. :)
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
Hey even I don't use all my tactics for mountain stages. I like to keep my careers exciting.

Most of the time I restrict myself using just relay and "go in front" instead of own effort. That makes winning mountain stages a lot harder, until you really have the best.

For example, with Gesink in top form I can dominate Contador in an unseen way with "own effort" tactics. But if I restrict myself to using relay and go to front, I won't even come close :p Just finished Tirreno and Pais Vasco as 3rd because of that.
You spoiled me ;)
Now i know i´ll try your mountain tactics and soon win my first career GT. I´ll do it like Armstrong (even tough i don´t like that guy for some pretty good reasons): Using the first mountain stage to destroy competition and then control my lead and win the ITT´s.
 
That is the best strategy. Although incidentally I did it a bit different. Taking it easy the first mountain stages, staying with the other contendors rather than attacking them.
Then I saved up as much energy as possible for the hardest stage (the game does take that into account), and then really strike HARD.. making the stage hard with your entire team and then dominate on the last MTF.
 
Dec 27, 2010
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Same tactic as me that Ruben, as in real life it's possible to make the biggest gaps on the hardest mountain stages.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
That is the best strategy. Although incidentally I did it a bit different. Taking it easy the first mountain stages, staying with the other contendors rather than attacking them.
Then I saved up as much energy as possible for the hardest stage (the game does take that into account), and then really strike HARD.. making the stage hard with your entire team and then dominate on the last MTF.
OMG. Now am really sure to win a GT. I´ll do it your way. But i don´t say thanks, because i know soon i´ll loose interest because you spoiled me. ;)
 
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