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EscapePlan9

Beginners Guide to Competitive TSB (NES) Play

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I decided to write a guide that I think would help many of the new players on this site, as well as another site where I'm playing against an abundance of casual players. I wish I had all this information available to me when I first started!

I'm by no means one of the top players in this game, but I know that I've become good enough where I can remain competitive against the majority of TSB players.

Without further ado, the first edition of the guide:

Beginners Guide to Competitive TSB (NES) Play

by EscPlan9 (aka EP9 or EscapePlan9)

This guide assumes you know the basics of the gameplay. It is tailored towards players not familiar with the competitive TSB scene, or simply those who are struggling and want to substantially improve their play in TSB.

GENERAL TIPS

* Due to the limited amount of possessions you have, knowing both how to execute a strong offensive gameplan as well as how to shutdown or contain the strongest plays in the game is paramount.

* Make the best use of your team's strengths - do not play each team the same way. And on the other side, take advantage of the opposing team's weaknesses.

* The most important attribute for most positions is MS (Maximum Speed). HP (Hitting Power) has no impact on gameplay outside of popcorning drones when you have 50 HP greater than the drone (in MAN v MAN play, whoever taps fastest wins).

* Since he who taps fastest wins, make sure to warm up your A button spamming! When you're about to receive the ball (kickoff, pass, handoff, whatever), start gradually tapping faster and faster until you get near the opponent then spam as fast as possible. I don't use any special method for tapping - I just get a firm grip on the controller and using a short efficient motion, "vibrate" over the A button as fast as I can.

* The KR's and PR's maximum speed is fixed and based off your team's right guard or strong safety (respectively) and therefore you should not select KR or PR based off their MS. The best KR and PR attributes to look for then is HP and BC (Ball Control).

* On defense, calling a run play will force your defense to play more aggressively towards the line, therefore leaving more receivers open. And calling pass plays will make runs slightly more difficult to stop, but will give you better coverage of the receivers.

PLAYBOOK SELECTION

Your playbook selection is the single most important factor to developing a strong offensive gameplan. Many of the plays in this game are extremely easy to shutdown or contain. Remember that throughout the game you must stick to those same eight plays, so make them count! Choose one of the following playbooks depending on your team's strengths and your playing style.

Before I get into them, this is a basic glossary to understanding the abbreviations I'm using:

players.jpg

1) THE STANDARD R&S PLAYBOOK

two_backs_fb.jpg

This is the most utilized playbook in competitive TSB because it is the least exploitable. It contains some of the strongest run plays in the game, and the pass plays almost always will leave some receivers open.

The safest ways to defend against the plays (more aggressive ways are not covered here):

R1: Use CB1 and hold down before the ball is hiked. Once you notice it's the pitch up, take out the top blocker, then you have an open shot at the RB. Do not over pursue him - contain him if you don't have backup nearby, or if you aren't confident you can outtap him.

R2: Use LB2 or LB3 and move straight forward or slightly diagonal (depends on which player you chose) and you will find a gap in the offensive line, allowing you to chase the runner from behind.

R3: Use CB1 and hold down before the ball is hiked. Once you notice it's the pitch down, continue moving straight down, avoiding any blockers in your path. Again, don't over pursue. This play can easily be explosive if he runs by you. If you're still being chased by roaming blockers, don't fall into the trap - run circles around until you have backup on the way or an easier shot at him to slow him down.

R4: Use LB2 or LB3 and move straight forward or slightly diagonal (depends on which player you chose). You will have an easy shot at the RB.

Against a strong running team with a weak passing game, pick R3 very often. Some examples of teams like this are the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. Otherwise, to be on the safe side, call mostly pass, and contain the runs as best you can.

2) THE TWO BACKS PLAYBOOK

two_backs.jpg

You typically use this playbook when both your RBs are fairly weak (low MS), and sometimes when you have two fast RBs (usually the standard R&S playbook would be better in this case). Some of the plays are exploitable which makes this an easier playbook to shutdown or contain.

The safest ways to defend against the plays:

R1: Pick LB4 and move diagonally in towards the center. Once you notice it's the sweep, outgrapple the drone and then move diagonally back to chase down the runner.

R2: Pick SS1 and move diagonally up towards the top receiver. Once you notice it's the draw, you will have an open shot at the RB. If you're having trouble, at least don't let him get to the top sidelines - do this by hovering slightly above him, forcing him to run into you or move towards the center into likely traffic.

R3: Pick SS1 and move diagonally up towards the top receiver. Outgrapple him and try to contain the RB using the same methods as earlier. This may be the most difficult run play to stop in the game!

R4: Pick LB4 and move diagonally in towards the center. Once you notice it's the handoff, spam the tackle button for an almost unavoidable loss of yards. If his RB if fast enough, he may be able to evade, in which case, just chase him into traffic.

Because of the types of teams that typically use this playbook, and how easy it is to contain R1 and R4, you should call R3 often. By picking R3, you will also make shutting down R2 extremely easy (LB2 moving straight in gets a free shot at the RB in the backfield). However, if they are a strong passing team, only call it when it's likely to be a run play.

3) MINOR VARIATIONS

For the most part you should stick to the two playbooks mentioned above, however there are some minor variations you can do that are still effective. One example:

oneback_qb.jpg

R2 and R4 both have fairly weak selections. With R2 you can sub in one of the T formation draws or the motion draw towards the bottom. With R4, you can use the T formation power dive up the middle, or the R&S QB sneak up the middle.

For passes, P2 can be subbed with the T formation play with a billion receivers - you're GUARANTEED an open receiver on that play. The best shotgun play in P4 by far is the weird formation motion one. The bomb play is terrible since it's so easy to cover, and the other shotgun play takes too long to develop (most of the receivers will be zig zagging and curling, and your QB tends to lead them horribly).

HOW TO BEST PRACTICE

* Setup the controls for Input 2.

* Go into Team Data and select a team that gives you trouble.

* Give them the playbook that gives you the most difficulty (or any playbook you want to practice against).

* Then go to Preseason and select MAN vs COA.

* At the play selection screen, hold shift then press 1 to save state. This allows you to instantly return back to the play selection screen just by tapping 1 to load the state, which makes your practice time more efficient. Use this after each down.

* On offense, try to make the most yards out of called plays. With runs, you usually can at least get back to the line of scrimmage with most plays. With passes, you will almost ALWAYS have an open receiver still. I won't go into the details of which players are open for each pass play - experiment and you will figure it out. If no one is open, throw to someone who is just starting to zig-zag or curl - this increases your chance of having a leaping or diving catch which is a very low risk, high reward play.

* On defense, call a pass play and practice defending against the runs. Experiment with different defenders than I mentioned to find other ways to stop the play. Also, practice calling a run play and defending against a good pass play.

* Join a league like Tecmo Players Circuit (TPC) (http://www.sois.com/tpc/main.php) to play against other competitive players. You likely will lose the majority of your first few games. That's okay, don't get frustrated - keep playing and keep practicing. I started off something like 2-21 when I got there.

FINAL NOTES

Everything in this guide has come from me practicing extensively in MAN vs COA, reading guides and forums, and playing against TPC members. Thank you everyone in TPC for helping me become a competitive TSB player! I'd especially like to thank Malferds and MrTecmoSuperBowl from TPC for their assistance during my beginnings there.

Feel free to PM/IM/MSN me for any questions, feedback, advanced/aggressive tactics, or practice games.

AIM: EscapePlan9

MSN: dmontur1 (at) gmail (dot) com

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I liked this a lot. A few things I would suggest.

1. Keep in mind not every team has a good player at the most likely position to stop a play on tpc. You should mention a second and thrid technique. I do like how you make sure to suggest ways to stop a play that do not expose you to another run play.

ex rs run 1 is very weak to lb 3 and lb 3 can contain the sweep rs run 3. either saftey can effectively stop both plays.

2. You do have the two most common play books but run 2 and run 4 change a lot in those books. Run 2 varitates more often than any other play. I would advise you to make a list of all the common run 2's.

3. Go into more detail on pass contain. I would focus on the hard to stop passes even when guessing pass. Shotguns, r and s pass 2 and routes with curls. Finally the common outs when passes are guessed. Also qb's runs even if they are slow.

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Mort can you post that insane play book you used with the run 1 motion and run 2 motion. Also which one would be good to use against a good lb 4. Thanks! How do you contain run 3 r &S sweep with LB 3 someone please help!!

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why don't you guys go look at 'Lief Powers Tecmo Super Bowl FAQ' - it has got to be the most comprehensive (and correct) TSB strategy guide ever created by man.

There really isn't much else to do beyond what Lief already did.

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why don't you guys go look at 'Lief Powers Tecmo Super Bowl FAQ' - it has got to be the most comprehensive (and correct) TSB strategy guide ever created by man.

There really isn't much else to do beyond what Lief already did.

except that he bases his strategy on the nose tackle dive

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About the only other thing you could do would be slowed down video examples with audio to go with it.

Lief's faq was very thorough and pretty accurate.

Also to answer maddog haddix:

Containing run 3 with LB3 is pretty tough. That's not the player you want to be if you are trying to stop that play for few yards. Your best bet (off the top of my head) if you want to use LB3 is to try and move down and either stand in a location so that you plug the gaps and the RB can't make it through and would have to reverse all the way around (hard to plug the gaps). Or you can move down and try to dive at the RB before the blockers get you. Diving is also hard to do as you likely won't have a clear shot and will dive wildly and miss. If its a fast RB that might mean TD.

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why don't you guys go look at 'Lief Powers Tecmo Super Bowl FAQ' - it has got to be the most comprehensive (and correct) TSB strategy guide ever created by man.

There really isn't much else to do beyond what Lief already did.

except that he bases his strategy on the nose tackle dive

:lol: There is a lot of good stuff there, though.

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About the only other thing you could do would be slowed down video examples with audio to go with it.

Lief's faq was very thorough and pretty accurate.

Also to answer maddog haddix:

Containing run 3 with LB3 is pretty tough. That's not the player you want to be if you are trying to stop that play for few yards. Your best bet (off the top of my head) if you want to use LB3 is to try and move down and either stand in a location so that you plug the gaps and the RB can't make it through and would have to reverse all the way around (hard to plug the gaps). Or you can move down and try to dive at the RB before the blockers get you. Diving is also hard to do as you likely won't have a clear shot and will dive wildly and miss. If its a fast RB that might mean TD.

so how do you stop that play? even against the cpu if they start busting TDs off of that i just start calling it every play.

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I decided to write a guide that I think would help many of the new players on this site, as well as another site where I'm playing against an abundance of casual players.

I play on tpc a lot. What's the other site with an abundance of casual players? Would be nice to find more games.

Thanks!

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I decided to write a guide that I think would help many of the new players on this site, as well as another site where I'm playing against an abundance of casual players.

I play on tpc a lot. What's the other site with an abundance of casual players? Would be nice to find more games.

Thanks!

None. It's a 20 year old game that requires roms and emulators, not to mention even finding out about the possibility of playing it online. Be glad that you even have TPC! :lol:

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About the only other thing you could do would be slowed down video examples with audio to go with it.

Lief's faq was very thorough and pretty accurate.

Also to answer maddog haddix:

Containing run 3 with LB3 is pretty tough. That's not the player you want to be if you are trying to stop that play for few yards. Your best bet (off the top of my head) if you want to use LB3 is to try and move down and either stand in a location so that you plug the gaps and the RB can't make it through and would have to reverse all the way around (hard to plug the gaps). Or you can move down and try to dive at the RB before the blockers get you. Diving is also hard to do as you likely won't have a clear shot and will dive wildly and miss. If its a fast RB that might mean TD.

so how do you stop that play? even against the cpu if they start busting TDs off of that i just start calling it every play.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8727

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Yeah, I didn't think there was another tecmo site like tpc, and I am thankful for it. But in the original post from april 2009 the guy said he was playing on another site too "with an abundance of casual players". So I just thought I'd inquire about that because if there was one, I'd like to know about it. I happened to stumble across tpc by chance a couple months ago, so I didn't know what else was out there.

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