How to play Kickest: the correct strategy and mistakes to avoid

Rookie’s guide to Kickest: how to approach the early days and what moves to make

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Hello, I’m John. I’ve been playing Kickest Fantasy Football since the first season, so this will be my fourth year dealing with the game.

Over the years, I’ve always ranked in the top positions, but I remember my first approach wasn’t the easiest. Kickest is a very unique fantasy game. It requires more dedication than other fantasy games, but once you understand the mechanics and the strategy to apply, I assure you that it’s twice as fun!

And it’s precisely about strategy that I want to talk to you. It might sound a bit fancy when applied to a fantasy game, but it’s what you need to stay in the top ranks here on Kickest. In this article, I won’t name specific players to pick, but I’ll try to reveal to the rookies how to navigate, what can work, and what doesn’t, especially in light of the recent changes to the scoring system.

How to approach the start of the season

There’s a new championship this year. It’s called “Apertura” and only lasts for 3 Matchdays (M)! After the first three, which will lead to the break for National matches, we’ll start again from scratch, but with the teams that were created during the first three Matchdays.

So, there are two approaches:

  1. Focus on the “Apertura” championship and try to immediately create a competitive team with 11 starters and 4 budget players (it’s tough, though).
  2. Build a balanced team that includes what I call “Budget Boosters,” players who can increase the initial credit pool (180) and allow me to buy stronger players through the market as the season progresses.

Yes, because with the initial 180 credits, it’s really difficult to have more than a couple of top players in your roster. Personally, despite the prize money in the “Apertura” championship, I’ll aim to build a roster that allows me to achieve a good score but, most importantly, see the credit value of my players grow, and consequently, my budget. I do this because, like every year, I’m aiming for the big prize: the overall championship and maybe even winning a few matchdays!

This on Kickest is called making Capital Gains. Just like in classic fantasy football, the credit value of players fluctuates. The algorithm for “Gains” works like this: the lower the cost of a player, the more their value will rise after a good/excellent performance. So, in the early matchdays, it’s essential to identify those players I mentioned earlier, the “Budget Boosters,” buy them, and resell them at the right moment!

How to set up the team

You can’t play Kickest without knowing what “Rounds” (R) are. I’ll copy and paste from the rules:

“Each Matchday (M) is divided into “Rounds” (R), which are blocks of matches played on a specific day. A practical example related to the first Serie A matchday:

  • Saturday (R1): Empoli-Verona; Frosinone-Napoli; Genoa-Fiorentina; Inter-Monza
  • Sunday (R2): Roma-Salernitana; Sassuolo-Atalanta; Lecce-Lazio; Udinese-Juventus
  • Monday (R3): Torino-Cagliari; Bologna-Milan

Between one Round and another, you can make substitutions. Yes, because automatic substitutions don’t exist on Kickest. Besides being good at selecting players, you also need to be good at managing them.

But be careful because, obviously, a player who has already played cannot be put on the field from the bench. So, the strategy is simple and consists of two rules that cannot and should not be broken:

  1. Always choose players from different “Turni” (T), thus changing the team every week, perhaps using Wild Cards!
  2. Always field players in T1, even if it means starting Luperto (T1) and benching Tomori (T3). Tomori can come in for someone whose score hasn’t fully satisfied you, possibly through a tactical formation change.

I hope I’ve been clear, but let me give you a practical example. It will often happen that in Round 1 (R1), there will be only one match. This happens when the matchday starts on a Friday. Let’s imagine that this early match features Empoli facing Frosinone (it will happen, you know better than I do). I choose which team to baptize and take one, two, or three players from Empoli or Frosinone. I put them on the field, select one as the Captain (who multiplies the score x1.5), and wait. If those scores don’t satisfy me, I’ll replace them with the right players from the bench at the right moment. And I’ll do the same with the Captain. Simple, isn’t it?

On Kickest, you play with 15 players, not 11!

How to act during the transfer windows

We talked about capital gains. Well, it’s all here. On Kickest, there’s a very useful tool: the stats board. In the “Plus” column, after each Matchday, you can see how much a player’s value has gone up or down. But there’s also an overall indication of the number of credits accumulated in a day for the team.

It’s crucial to understand when it’s the right time to sell a player. Again, I’ll try with another practical example. In a couple of matchdays, the value of Adli (6.5 cr), mysteriously resurrected by Stefano Pioli and fielded in the first three matches due to some absences, rises to reach 8 credits (+1.5). During the September break, the unavailable players become available again. I assume, then – this is fiction, I reiterate – that Adli may return to the bench. So, during the transfer window (which always goes from the close of the previous Matchday to the opening of the next), I sell Adli, earning the difference in credits between the purchase (6.5) and the sale (8).

I’ve achieved a capital gain that increases my budget by 1.5 credits, allowing me to aspire to a player who is always or almost always a starter, who can, in turn, grow and ensure me even better purchases.

I think I’ve given you quite a bit of useful information but for any further information please see the full game rules. Good luck!

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