GPRaceGames

forums.gpracegames.com

Revisiting the Minardi strategy

Discussion about the game Grand Prix World.
If you need help, post here.

Moderators: Veedub, Sean, RacerBG

Revisiting the Minardi strategy

Postby Ferrim » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:49 pm

I've found some time to play GPW during the summer, and I've been testing the limits of what's possible to achieve as Minardi during the first season.

As you know, playing as Minardi is the game's ultimate challenge. It's tricky to survive the first couple of seasons, with little money, a bad car, dropping morale and so on. So the usual way to play the early Minardi game is scrapping the first season, not doing any car development, no testing, no hospitality, even failing to qualify on purpose in order to save wear...

Now, GPW is just a game. But if Minardi did those things in real life, they would have been banned from F1 really soon for bringing the sport into disrepute. So I wanted to have a go at playing "the real way", as intended, and see how far I would get.

My goals for 1998 were:
-Try to finish every race with both cars.
-Do testing before every race, even if only the free miles. I would usually cap my testing expenditures at $50,000 per race, so a maximum of $800,000 for the whole season. Sometimes, if I got something like 40 free miles, I would spend less. Whenever miles are cheap (they can go down to $500/mile) you can get a decent testing program of 100-120 miles at that price, although I was quite unlucky in this game (I think I saw the cost at $2,750/mile once, that’s $50,000 gone with less than 20 miles!)
-Do hospitality every race, even if at the minimum.
-Bring at least one chassis update to the 1998 car. As I was doing testing, I could slowly fill the development bar and start development, by Barcelona I think. I also filled the research bar once or twice.
-Do not invest in factory improvements (CAD, CAM) the first season. I find ridiculous that you can complete improvements in just a few races at the end (construction doesn’t take a full year, the total costs are just pro-rated for how many races are left in the season). So the rule is: if you are not certain to survive the season, you have to wait until the next one to get those things. And of course I wasn’t certain of that :1grin:
This would hurt my progress in 1999, but help with cash flow in 1998.
-Survive!

Basically, all I would skip was merchandising. This looks hard enough, and would be made even harder by the following house rules:
-Do not sell shares
-Never reload
-Spend a few points in setup (at least four) for every race
-Forbidden to spend all setup points on rain, as long as any other setup part is below the rating for rain

The results
So, how did it go?

The bad news first: I failed to survive.

The good news: I failed on a technicality. I had enough money and a chassis to start the 1999 season, but 90% of my commercials on a Bridgestone tyre deal weren't enough to make it move one square forward and get the customer deal during the Luxembourg GP, so I had to go to Japan with no tyre contract signed. And that's game over.

It was terribly tough, because I actually managed to score a f****** point at the death with Tuero, precisely at the Nurburgring. Was looking good for a top 10 finish because of attrition, then rain started and a few people messed up. Towards the end Tuero was running 8th and last, three laps down, but catching Hill who was on the wrong tyres. Four laps from the end Irvine retired right before the chicane (two corners from the end of the lap), then Hill pitted and rejoined a few seconds behind Tuero. So it was a matter of staying there and pick up Irvine's 6th place right at the end, which he managed to do!

Image

That was for 8th in the Constructors' (Stewart and Arrows, as well as Tyrrell, were scoreless), and I was convinced I had the Bridgestone deal on the bag, so imagine my face when that failed to materialize...

The whole success of my game rested on surviving until a loan as big as possible became available, then finishing as high as possible in the FIA ranking to secure the cash flow for 1999. Such a loan materialized quite soon, by Argentina I think, and I took $8 million.

I got lucky with pay drivers (Diniz and Takagi, of course) and had $16 million safe for 1999, plus whatever I could get from sponsors, plus the FIA. I settled on 7th in the FIA ranking, and towards the end of the season my expected income for 1999 hovered at around 32-33 million, enough to make some money. In fact, enough to survive 1999 with just one pay driver (Diniz), a house rule I also wanted to use, but probably money would get too tight and I wouldn't be able to see through 2000.

With all orders down to 1 square, except for line defence in case my drivers found themselves in front of other people, I managed to finish a grand total of 26/32 races. A couple of the failures to finish were actually one of my drivers rear-ending the other one! I was lucky that, in both cases, the car losing the front wing managed to get back to the pits (the one losing the rear wing is a sure retirement, no matter what you do). The final of those two happened precisely at the Nurburgring race, where I scored my point, and at exactly the same place where Diniz crashed with Takagi in JayOTT’s playthrough, by the way… that may be related to other overtaking issues in the game, or may not, but it’s interesting.

I also had this funny event at the Hungaroring:
Image

Image

The only caveat is that my game version uses more realistic handling percentages, which results in more people "within reach" of my Minardis in a race. While in the default game you can only beat Tyrrell and the odd Prost, in mine you can also finish in front of an Arrows or a Stewart from time to time. And maybe I'm finishing some races in 10th or 12th instead of 12th and 14th, and that's making a difference in morale and in the FIA Funding position.

Because I’ve learned a number of interesting things from this playthrough, and the most surprising one is that morale held unbelievably well for all my departments, save commercial, to the point that I thought there was some kind of bug with my game (a quick test allowed me to discard that). It seems that, by giving the guys some tasks to do every race, and completing such tasks, morale becomes far less of a problem. Following that logic, maybe skipping merchandising is what made the negative difference for my commercials (as well as signing only customer deals, which is a house rule I use with smaller teams; I think Veedub told us that converting your team sponsor to cash sponsor and signing customer deals were hits on your morale).

In fact, towards the end of the season, morale started to boom! Design and engineering hit 4 and then 5 squares. This allowed me to keep completing more and more tasks with a team full of averages and trainees: I limited myself to 1 good employee per department, to keep costs down (otherwise I couldn’t expect to survive). By the end of the year I took advantage of some staff leaving to increase to 2 good employees and 1 very good employee per department, but in any case, I was very cautious.

More skilled team personnel tend to leave your team more easily, and people leaving tends to impact morale, so that probably also helped to keep my morale high. And because morale was high, as I say, I could get things done in time: up to 4 spares a race with contractors, and develop in parallel a 1998 chassis update and a 1999 chassis. Because I was doing a bit of research testing, I could speed up these developments as well. I had to cut some corners to complete the designs in time, but I still got a 4% chassis improvement for the final races of the season, and 80% efficiency in my 1998 design, which is quite decent.

My drivers’ morale was black and white: Nakano’s sunk quite early, but Tuero’s held and even went up to 5* at times. I guess doing testing and having a decent setup (I avoided the “testing complains” messages, because I spent setup points) helped with that.
Ferrim
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:52 am

Re: Revisiting the Minardi strategy

Postby Niehoff » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:06 pm

Very nice Play! Sad you havent recorded it and developed in on youtube. Still enjoying emwrongs Stewart play!

I tried the same that you did a wek days ago with Minardi and i got a similar outcoming.

I didnt done any hospitality. Its just too expensive for Minardi. But i developed a B spec and spend a few setup points. The free testing is very very precious and helps a lot keeping up moral. Its a fact lots of us just ignore.

What i found out is, that the first season with Minardi is not the hardest one.
In the first Season you get a 1998 full sponsor lineup. Its just not possible to get a full sponsor lineup in 1999 with Minardi. Thats the hard stuff. You are not able to pay back a loan in 1999, even if you got Diniz. That was my dead, the 1999 Season
Niehoff
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:53 pm
Location: Emsdetten

Re: Revisiting the Minardi strategy

Postby Simul810 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:09 pm

To help with your Commercial departments morale, complete the fan club or even clothing contracts in the licensing section. Use 40% or more during the openning rounds of the season while around 5% can be assigned to each sponsor until the licensing deals are done after 2 races.

It all depends on funding and having secured a full sponsorship package with a 3+ star Cheif of staff in 1999. Any works deals, any pay drivers. Save and gain money in your first 2 or 3 seasons, so that you can upgrade your factory in the next.

For testing you can do two or three tests with a lot of miles for development and research. Just spend a 1 or 2 turns on each stage of the upgrade for you current car. This means you will upgrade your car by 1-3% instead of 6%. This won't move you up the grid but it helps keep morale up in each department used and less time spent the wind tunnel.
Simul810
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:34 am
Location: UK

Re: Revisiting the Minardi strategy

Postby Ferrim » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:46 am

I will now post an addendum with some tips and ideas that I've come up through my recent playthrough, and that I think could be useful for other people:

Some tricks for your engineering department

1) Always build a fourth car
We are so obsessed with saving cash in the Minardi game, that we miss some obvious avenues to help our game. The fourth car seems like a waste of money, until you realize that chances are you will have to build at least one during the season, because your drivers will crash and destroy one, and you won’t have enough time to repair the damage. If this happens twice, then you are forced to build a new car, because you will lose the game if you don’t. This is particularly likely if you watch the races.

For a start, the fourth car makes your testing more efficient. You will fill the bars quicker, for the same effort. If you don’t test, that’s a moot point, but I was. And if your third car is damaged and you can’t fully repair it, your testing will get even slower. So, having the fourth car built as soon as possible allows you to test with at least three cars, even if you don’t have enough time to repair one of them.

You can’t subcontract mechanics, but you can subcontract engineers, so you can always build a fourth car, but you won’t always be able to repair the whole damage of a car. That’s another thing that tends to push you into building a fourth car, even if you don’t want one.

And why wait until the game “pushes” you to build a fourth car, if you can pick up the time? A new chassis costs between $400,000 and $600,000, so if you are lucky and get the $400,000 price at one of the early races -by all means, do it! Even if you won’t test. $400,000 for a full car.

Take into account that two spares (needed to repair 100% wear) already cost you $100,000 on average, possibly more. And you will need spares for wear AND spares for damage. The difference is not that much, and the flexibility is much bigger. If you come back from a race with two cars fully worn and one of them is also very damaged, you can always go to the following race with your other two cars and focus all of your mechanics in repairing the car.

2) Take care of your spares
The gain you get from increasing race orders is relatively small. Playing as Minardi, you have bad drivers and bad reliability: raising race orders only results in more mistakes and “overheating” messages. And you cannot afford to build as many spares as you would want.

So, reducing all or most orders to 1* is the way to go. With reduced orders, most races take under 50% wear, and one spare is enough to cover that wear. With one spare, you can reduce your wear by up to 40%; once wear goes over 40%, you will need two spares to remove all wear.
Two spares is also enough to remove 100% wear, so if you spend just one spare, you are slightly inefficient in the long run – but you’ll rarely be able to adjust wear so precisely that your cars finish the races at 90-95% wear (although the fourth car, see above, certainly helps with that, if you know how much wear your cars get at each track).

Therefore, if you come back from a race and your race cars are 51% and 63% worn – just use one spare for each. That will bring wear down to 11% and 23%. Only use two spares if wear is close to 100% (and even then, sometimes I prefer to use just one spare, if my mechanics are too few or too depressed and repairing 100% will leave me no time for testing).

Never repair damage unless you absolutely need it – always focus on wear. If the car is good enough to race, it’s good enough to you.

Some tricks for your commercial department

1) Focus your efforts
Playing as Minardi, there are only so many things you can do (even if I’ve tried to do more of those things). So, I think it’s a bad idea to negotiate several deals at once. Progress will be very slow. I believe there’s a random component, and I’m not sure whether “partial progress” is saved. I mean, let’s say you put 20% on a sponsors and the bar doesn’t get filled after the race: for the next one, does it start at 0.7 “squares”, or is it rounded down to 0 because you didn’t make progress the previous time? I’ve always assumed progress isn’t saved. In any case, a slow progressing deal means less deals signed until later in the season, morale decreasing, and more chances for other people to steal your deals.

Use the first race to start negotiations with a few sponsors, then put whatever you aren’t using for hospitality on one of them! And so on. Never underestimate how much effort may it take for Minardi to make just one square of progress.

2) Consider to chase lower-rated sponsors!
Once you get your team sponsor for $4-5 million, it makes no sense to pursue the highest-rated sponsors. They take a long time to complete for your low-skilled, depressed staff, and they tend not to be value for money. I’ve seen 5* sponsors offer you as little as $1.8 million, although the range goes up to $2.5 million I think. Given that, it is much better to focus on 2* sponsors – they might offer just $0.6k, but sometimes they go over $1 million, and you only have to fill two squares of progress.

You don’t have time to get a full portfolio of sponsors anyway, so why waste time chasing a sponsor that takes double the time, even if you get double the money? (and many times you don’t!) That’s double the chances to get another team steal them (and NOW YOU SEE THEM is the single news item I hate the most in the game). Smaller sponsors that take half the time to sign are also double the chances to sign a deal, which are double the chances to push up the morale of your commercial staff, which in turn allows you to get more deals in time!

3) Use your hospitality staff with intelligence
You won’t be able to recover your hospitality expenses, but if you play with intelligence, you will get more money than expected from your sponsors, instead of losing money. As the season progresses, the difference between paying your sponsors attention and forgetting about them can reach over $100,000 a race!

Forget about doing hospitality for your customer deals (they don't pay you and won't charge you less!) and focus on your better sponsors. With a bit of effort, you might get your $4.4 million cash team sponsor up to 5* support – and that means they’ll pay you an extra 20%.

But don’t put your personnel on three sponsors and forget about them. If a sponsor reaches 5* support, stop doing hospitality on them and move to others who have dropped to 2*.
Last edited by Ferrim on Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ferrim
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:52 am

Re: Revisiting the Minardi strategy

Postby Niehoff » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:31 pm

Yeah, saving spares is a major key with minardi.
Going for low level sponsors is a mistake i always do. i always go for big sponsors and mostly end up with one :1rolleyes:

I would LOVE to see some GPW playing from you. sad you dont go to youtube!
Niehoff
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:53 pm
Location: Emsdetten

Re: Revisiting the Minardi strategy

Postby Ferrim » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:56 am

Niehoff wrote:I would LOVE to see some GPW playing from you. sad you dont go to youtube!


Sad that you don't! :1grin:

I have a job, a wife, one (soon two) kids, English is not my mother tongue and I don't even have a microphone...
Ferrim
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:52 am

Re: Revisiting the Minardi strategy

Postby Niehoff » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:02 pm

I do! Iam recording videos and share them on youtube. But for now, only in german.

When do you think is the best time to upgrade the factory with minardi? i think the CAD is very important
Niehoff
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:53 pm
Location: Emsdetten

Re: Revisiting the Minardi strategy

Postby Ferrim » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:51 am

Nice to know! Any links? Doesn't matter that they are in German.

As with everything, factory improvements must be build as soon as possible...
Ferrim
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:52 am

Re: Revisiting the Minardi strategy

Postby Niehoff » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:31 am

sure, but as i said its german

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0YdD7e_YEM
Niehoff
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:53 pm
Location: Emsdetten

Re: Revisiting the Minardi strategy

Postby Ferrim » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:06 am

Completely off-topic, but I was amazed to see that you also enjoy Hearts of Iron! :1shocked:

You must be the brother I never had... :1grin:
Ferrim
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:52 am

Next

Return to Discussion & Help

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron