When the game server processes each match it carries out millions of calculations before reaching the final result. The piece of logic that carries out this task is commonly referred to as the match engine.
This section of the rules has been written in an effort to try and give managers a basic insight into some of the things that the match engine takes into account when generating match results.
Batting and Bowling Tactics
When setting match tactics for your players, keep in mind that the orders specified are general guidelines that can and sometimes will be
overridden depending on the match situation.
For example, if your batsman is on aggressive orders and comes in at 40/4, he will tend to bat more cautiously than his aggression settings indicate. Alternatively, if the same batsman is set to defensive orders and comes to the wicket with the score at 250/4 in the 40th over, he may largely ignore the defensive orders and instead attempt to score quickly.
Setting and Chasing a Target
After every over or so, the batsmen currently at the wicket will attempt to determine if they are scoring quickly enough.
If a few early wickets fall, you may see the batsman slow their scoring and attempt to consolidate. Conversely, if things are going along well and few wickets have fallen, the batsman may attempt to take a few risks and accelerate the scoring rate.
When chasing a target, the progress the chasing team is making relative to the target is also taken into account. For example, if a team has lost a few wickets but still needs to score quickly, the batsmen might choose to keep chasing hard instead of consolidating.
Each player begins a match with a specific amount of energy. The amount of starting energy is determined largely by two factors, endurance and fatigue. Players with high endurance will start with slightly more energy than players with lower endurance. Players affected by fatigue are deemed to be a little weary even before play begins, and will have a reduced amount of starting energy.
Actions such as bowling, batting, fielding, keeping and captaining a team cause energy to be depleted. Once a player's energy falls below a certain level he will start to feel the effects of tiredness, which in turn will affect performance. Tired batsmen will score at a slightly slower rate and will be significantly more likely to be dismissed. Tired bowlers are likely to become a little wayward and tend to concede more runs. Tired fielders and wicketkeepers are more likely to misfield or miss wicket taking opportunities.
Energy is partially replenished during drinks breaks and during the change of innings.
Player talents can be categorised as passive (eg gifted and skilled talents) or triggered (eg accumulator, swing, yorker). Triggered talents are those that can activate, or 'proc' during a particular delivery. Whenever a triggered talent is activated, the commentary text will display the name of the talent in square brackets.
Cameron to Blackwell : [Slower Ball] Blackwell sees a slower ball, throws everything at it and only manages to get a thin edge behind the wicket.
In the above commentary line, the bowler's 'Slower Ball' talent has triggered, and has caused a wicket to fall.
The skill of your fielders has three primary influences on the match engine. Firstly, it affects the number of run scoring opportunities available for the batting team. Secondly, it influences the chance of a wicket occurring during each delivery. Lastly, when a catch, runout, or stumping (for wicketkeepers) chance eventuates, the skill of the relevant fielder affects the chance that the opportunity will be taken.
Fielding Skill Checks
The overall fielding skill of a team has a passive and constant influence on restricting run scoring opportunities and on creating wicket taking opportunities. Occasionally during a match, a fielding skill check will occur. A fielding skill check involves a roll of the dice against a fielder's overall fielding skill (or a keeper's keeping skill) to determine whether the player successfully passed the skill check. When a fielding skill check occurs, the commentary for the delivery will contain one of the following pieces of text:
- [great fielding] A fielder has passed a skill check and has denied the batsman a run scoring opportunity.
- [misfield] A fielder has failed a skill check and has provided the batsmen with a run scoring opportunity.
- [catch] A fielder or keeper has passed a skill check and has successfully taken a catch and dismissed a batsman.
- [dropped] A fielder or keeper has failed a skill check and has dropped a catch.
- [runout] A fielder or keeper has passed a skill check and affected a runout.
- [missed runout] A fielder or keeper has failed a skill check and has missed a runout opportunity.
- [stumped] A keeper has passed a skill check and has successfully stumped a batsman and dismissed him.
- [missed stumping] A keeper has failed a skill check and has missed a stumping opportunity.
There are two main factors that determine the likelihood of a successful fielding 'skill check':
- The higher the fielding skill (or keeping, for a wicket keeper) of the player, the more likely the player will pass the skill check
- The higher the quality of the match (ie reflected by match ratings), the higher a fielder's fielding level needs to be in order to pass a skill check.
Bowling with the New Ball
When a cricket ball is new, bowlers can usually extract more bounce, seam movement and swing. This generally equates to a higher
chance of bowling a wicket taking delivery for seam bowlers. As the ball ages, it loses its shine and hardness and batting generally becomes easier.
This is also the case in From the Pavilion. With this in mind, it is generally a good idea to open the bowling with your faster bowlers, as they will receive the most assistance from the pitch at the start of the innings.
As a general rule, it is usually wise to avoid opening the bowling with your spinners, as spin bowlers usually find it more difficult to grip and spin the new ball.
Bowling Attack Variety
When selectors are choosing a lineup for a match, bowling variety often plays a part in the selection process. Selectors usually
prefer not to have too many bowlers of the same type in the bowling attack.
All things being equal (ie skills, experience, conditions), a balanced bowling attack including a mix of left and right handed spinners and seam bowlers will in general perform slightly better during a match.
Please keep in mind that the benefits gained by selecting a balanced bowling attack are relatively minor and it is often still advisable to select the bowlers best suited to the pitch and weather conditions, regardless of style, when choosing your lineup.
LH & RH batters
Partnerships involving a left hand and right hand batsman cause a small penalty to be applied to the bowlers, to reflect the fact that the bowlers will regularly need to adjust their line and length when the strike rotates.
Settling in Period
The settling in period refers to the time at the start of a batsman's innings when he is attempting to 'get his eye in' and become accustomed to the pitch and bowling. During this time, batsmen are likely to score at a slower rate.
Captaincy plays an important, if somewhat abstract, role in the match engine. Skilled captains are adept at setting the
correct field, are able to inspire their teammates and place pressure on the opposition during a match.
In terms of the match engine, a skilled and experienced captain can help increase the number of wicket taking opportunities and reduce the number of run scoring opportunities when in the field.
Farming the Strike
The practice of 'farming the strike' involves the higher skilled batsman in a partnership protecting the lesser batsman by attempting to face a high percentage of deliveries during a batting partnership. The likelihood of a batsman attempting to farm the strike (for example by refusing to run a single during the early part of the over, or by only running a single towards the end of an over even when two runs are possible) is influenced by a number of factors including the relative batting skills of both batsman, the experience of both batsman, and of course the current match situation.