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Old 01-15-2015, 06:37 AM   #1
John C
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OOTP Groupthink: Preventing Monopolies in Solo Leagues

I am running some tests for a large solo dynasty I'd like to run, and I'm running into a rather severe problem.

The monopoly.

I have been running with reserve-era finances, only team-controlled free agency, no draft. And teams that have early success, or unearth that one megastar, end up acquiring megateams that own the league for decades. For instance, one team won 24 straight pennants.

So, this begs the question...outside of running the draft, what options are there for spreading the wealth? I tried to open up minor-league free agency for players who spend several years in the minors, prevented from playing by guys in front of them; that hasn't been too successful, either.

I'd love to see your ideas, tips, and anything else you can add.

Sincerely,
John
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:00 PM   #2
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Smart AI.

Interesting thread... I'm curious what ideas others come up with.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:12 PM   #3
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It's difficult to control dynasty's from occurring when player movement is restricted.

What did you set minor league FA eligibility at? (years)

Is there much talent in the minors that could play at the ML level?

Also wondering do you have int FA's or amateurs or any independent leagues where other talent might enter the league?
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:36 PM   #4
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Your results seem extreme, but keep in mind this fact: from 1936 through 1964, the New York Yankees won 20 out of 27 pennants. They also finished second four times and never finished worse than third.

Then you have to keep in mind that several of the seasons when they didn't win the pennant were during the war years, when the Yankees lost players like Joe DiMaggio to military service. This was the only time that the Yankees went more than one season without winning the pennant.

The loss of players to the war was the only thing that could stop the Yankees, so if players had never gone into the service, they may have easily won a couple more pennants and nearly achieved the type of dominance you have seen.

Also, consider the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1947 through 1966. During a 20-year span, they won the pennant 10 times, finished second five times, and only finished worse than third twice. That is nothing compared to the dominance of the Yankees, but it's another hugely impressive run that spanned multiple decades.

Neither of these cases matches the results that you saw, but the real life Yankees are pretty close, and it's important to note that both of these examples are from the reserve clause era.

Interestingly, both of these runs came to an end right around the same time, just as the draft was first instituted. This is partly coincidental, but the advent of the draft seemed to help break up the dominance that these teams had enjoyed.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:41 PM   #5
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One team won something like 74 out of 99 pennants. It was extreme...to the extreme.

I set up an Association (I have two major leagues), and set MiLFA at 6 years. I wonder if setting the max wage lower would help things overall, as it would allow all teams (ideally) to be able to afford the new stars that show up.

I definitely think playing time should factor into these decisions; often, it appears that teams will sign players even if they won't get to play, depriving them the chance of starring elsewhere. I will try to locate examples later in another test run. If they go to where they can play, it may even out the playing field a little bit.
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:22 PM   #6
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How many teams are in a league and what is the market size disparity?
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:46 PM   #7
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When I need something to happen in my game I go with roleplaying. Although I'm the only one hearing the story (in my head), a scenario will develop such as war, natural disaster, or anything that would force some player(s) to early retirement, a prolonged vacation (injury), or free agency. And as DM it is my job to see that it happens.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:36 PM   #8
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I've seen a few dynasties in my solo league but none quite as dominant as you describe, John C. There have been consecutive pennant runs with the last being 7 out of 8 seasons. Another is just getting underway with the same teams over the last few seasons. My league has no draft, just player discoveries (signings from the FA pool). I find that OOTP does a pretty good job evening things out over time. However, I'm not afraid to attempt to break up a super-dynasty by creating Stars and then directing them to other teams to drop a little excitement into the mix, as well. So far, only tried it once. It was fun to see the juggernaut get pushed to the brink. They managed to survive, but age eventually caught up with them and they broke naturally.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:39 PM   #9
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I use my financial tools precisely to ensure this doesn't happen.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John C View Post
I am running some tests for a large solo dynasty I'd like to run, and I'm running into a rather severe problem.

The monopoly.

I have been running with reserve-era finances, only team-controlled free agency, no draft. And teams that have early success, or unearth that one megastar, end up acquiring megateams that own the league for decades. For instance, one team won 24 straight pennants.

So, this begs the question...outside of running the draft, what options are there for spreading the wealth? I tried to open up minor-league free agency for players who spend several years in the minors, prevented from playing by guys in front of them; that hasn't been too successful, either.

I'd love to see your ideas, tips, and anything else you can add.

Sincerely,
John
I like the idea of minor league FA however if you're looking to "spread the wealth" you should look into shortening the amount of years to 5 or less plus add in the rule 5 draft. That should start allowing teams to acquire the top talent the dominant franchise seems to be hoarding. It is a "draft" but not the kind of amateur draft you're trying to stay away from.

Last edited by Hajew86; 01-16-2015 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:08 PM   #11
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A year-end clearance sale?
Say the career of a reserve era 1st baseman is 15 years, but the development time of a new rookie is 4, plus a year on the bench to get acclimated. Sell the 2010 models at closeout prices to make way for the 2015. If you did this with all positions on a rotating basis, reloading every 5 years, the rest of the league would be perfectly competitive with the used models with plenty of tread left on the tires.
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:26 PM   #12
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How about adding a high quality independent or international league that will sell players for a high but not ridiculous price? I doubt that the monopoly will be willing and able to buy up all of its stars, which will give the also-rans access to a new pool of talent.
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:59 PM   #13
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I use my financial tools precisely to ensure this doesn't happen.
In the game or external tools? Pray do tell! Please explain I have been struggling with reserve era finances.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:34 AM   #14
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Even in my ABF league with a draft I get dynasties that last a fairly long time. When I had 2 separate leagues the Southern Association and National League, the Dallas Texans won 7 SA championships in 19 seasons. Atlanta Rebels won 6 SA championships. No playoffs.
In 25 seasons the Detroit Wolverines won 10 NL Championships.

Since the merger to the ABF the Philadelphia Liberty have played in 6 World Series and Georgia has played in the last 6.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:02 AM   #15
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I love seeing long AI dynasties for good reasons:

1. It makes for a good story to talk about the once great dynasty of so-so when they finally fall.

2. It makes a great story when a Cinderella occasionally takes their division title.

3. Makes for better competition.

4. It looks less random than every team having the same exact record after 100 seasons and all with about the same amount of playoff berths.
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:53 AM   #16
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I love seeing long AI dynasties for good reasons:

1. It makes for a good story to talk about the once great dynasty of so-so when they finally fall.

2. It makes a great story when a Cinderella occasionally takes their division title.

3. Makes for better competition.

4. It looks less random than every team having the same exact record after 100 seasons and all with about the same amount of playoff berths.
I agree with you; however, seeing teams win 20+ titles in a row (something that was happening in all four of my subleagues), doesn't make for a good history.
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:03 AM   #17
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To follow up on this:

I found out the Rule V isn't activating, and have begun investigating that problem. Right now, outside of minor league FA (one I will definitely try to test and see how that comes out). I haven't had a chance lately, as I've been out of pocket. But I should get to run some stuff tonight, as I branch out to a four-league setup, then eventually eight.
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Old 01-18-2015, 11:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honorable_Pawn View Post
I love seeing long AI dynasties for good reasons:

1. It makes for a good story to talk about the once great dynasty of so-so when they finally fall.

2. It makes a great story when a Cinderella occasionally takes their division title.

3. Makes for better competition.

4. It looks less random than every team having the same exact record after 100 seasons and all with about the same amount of playoff berths.
I agree with HP, and furthermore, I like having an Evil Empire in my games. It gives the league character, distinction, and an elite team to measure your own team(s) against. Parity is boring. Parity is for socialists.
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Well, the average OOTP user...downloads the game, manages his favorite team and that's it.
According to OOTP itself, OOTP MLB play (modern and historical) outnumbers OOTP fictional play three to one.

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Old 01-19-2015, 12:01 AM   #19
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Besides, who wants an advantage or an equal playing field? Better to always be outnumbered, outflanked and with your supply lies cut. It's a powerful inspiration to thought.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus Heinsohn View Post
Well, the average OOTP user...downloads the game, manages his favorite team and that's it.
According to OOTP itself, OOTP MLB play (modern and historical) outnumbers OOTP fictional play three to one.

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Old 01-19-2015, 05:55 PM   #20
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As stated a couple of times, I'm all for dynasties. But winning 63 league pennants in 87 years, and 24 in a row, while another team in another league wins 57 pennants, 23 in a row...that *is* overkill.
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