What is the Talent Agency good for?
The Talent Agency in Underworld Football Manager is a place where you can literally buy players. There are two things you need to be successful:
- You need enough money to buy a player
- You need enough bidding tokens to be the last bidder in the auction
There is no way of knowing how much money and how many tokens will be needed, as this is purely determined by how much a player is wanted by the people playing the game. If you're lucky (like I was once), you can get a nice silver player with one bidding if everyone else is asleep. But most of the time, you will be in a bidding war. During an auction, every token you use is gone, so be aware of that!
Should I use Talent Agency or Community Pitch?
This question depends on your preferences, but one thing can be clearly said: At some point in the game, you will have collected so many bidding tokens that it would simply be thrown away currency not to use them. Let's say you have never bidded before, and now you have 150 to 300 tokens, it's about time to use them! At the same time, if you also have 2 million dollars or more in your bank account, there is a decent chance you can get the player you want.
As for the Community Pitch: The good thing about it is that you don't have to fear competition. The players there will be only for you to sign. However, there are some things to consider:
- You will get random players for random positions
- You will have "misses" (agencies used with no player you want to sign at all)
- You will need the best and most expensive agencies if you want to be successful in the long run
- You have to keep using these agencies day in and day out and be willing to spend millions along the way
I think that the community pitch (especially with the final agency there) is a great tool. It's a bag of surprises, but once in a while you even get a gold player! You should use the Community Pitch when you want to sign good players in general, and not just one specific player for one specific position.
Now, let's focus on the Talent Agency, because at some point, you need a specific player!
Which player should I bid for?
One thing you should remember is that you can choose the exact player type and position that you want. Any position you want is okay. I personally like to buy players that are used for a large variety of formations, such as Central Forwards, Central Midfielders and Central Defenders.
I don't like buying Wing Strikers, as they only work for some formations, but that's my personal choice. You can stick to your 3-4-3 system if you like.
Here are some other factors to keep in mind:
- Talent: This value determines how quickly your player reaches a level up. If you combine this with a nicely developed Sports Lab, your player will boost through the levels like crazy as long as you have the money and budget points needed
- Loyalty: Especially when you approach Leagues D to A, you need loyalty. You can still develop that value over time, but if it's very low, you will not get it into the needed range (80 and beyond) to be safe from bribes
- Age: Don't underestimate the age of a player. A player at the age of 25 doesn't have a lot of time to level up. At age 30, he will become weak again already. Try to go as low as possible. I usually don't bid for players that are older than 20 years old. 19 is good, 18 is great, and 17 is just perfect!
- Starting level: You might think that a high level is good. But it depends. A high starting level is great if the stats are all nice, but it's also possible to get a high-talent, super young level 10 player. If he is silver, he still gets +2 stats for loyalty and other special values for each level up, so you can shape him any way you like and he will grow fast. Also, low level players sell at cheaper prices
- Gold or Silver: You have to choose whether you want to bid for ultra rare gold players or less rare but still special silver players. If you bid for gold players, the demand will be high and a gold player will cost millions of dollars. You must be sure that you actually CAN get the player, and many strong managers will bid against you! Silver players can still turn into gold players later in their career, so keep that in mind.
Now that we know these things, let's talk about the basic bidding process...
How does bidding work?
I roughly distinguish between three phases of bidding:
1. Orientation phase
In this phase, you bid for the player to "mark" it, so that you will see this player coloured in red or green whenever you enter the Talent Agency. You will be able to look at the player and see who else is interested. This phase is useful to get some information on the other people who want that player. Which level are they? Do they look rich? Which facilities do they have, especially Tournament Arena and Finance HQ, as they are a good sign of wealth. Use this phase to get an idea whether you even have a chance to win!
2. The "serious business" phase
This is the phase of bidding after the timer has initially run out. It is the time when everyone who has not bidded in the final minute or so is eliminated and only the final bidders are left. They can be three bidders, 5 bidders, maybe even 10 bidders or more.
This phase is extremely crucial. Up to this point, you should have spent only about 2 tokens, which is okay. Now, you can see who is serious about buying the player. Keep in mind: If there is a manager with a much higher level (20+ above yours), just give up! He is probably much richer and has more tokens!
If you are determined to stay in the bidding process, bid once per round so that you are qualified to the next round. Don't bid too often as you would waste tokens. If you are qualified, that's all you need to do. No need to be constantly in first position! Keep this up until there is only one opponent left.
3. The final phase
This is the phase when it's only you and one other person. There is one thing that's very important here, and I really wish more people would consider this: For some reason, all people I play against in this phase keep waiting until the end of each bidding round and only bid once per round. To me, that's bullshit! If it's only you and another player, you are not wasting any tokens if you just keep bidding against each other.
My advice here: Keep bidding against each other! It's already clear that both of you want the player, so just keep bidding back and forth between you two, that way it will be clear who is out of money / tokens after only some minutes. If you do this so slowly, it will take 45 minutes or more until one of you runs out! Ignore the rounds, just bid if you're not the highest bidder.
Don't be an idiot!
If you keep anything from this article in mind at all, please let it be this! I beg you!
1. Don't bid against someone who is at a much higher level! I have had bidding wars for hours against people half my level! This is so unnecessary because it is totally clear that I have much more money and tokens. Please have the courtesy, respect and dignity to give up, because it only costs you the initial few tokens (up to the "serious business" phase) and not 100 tokens or more. Don't keep bidding if you have a clue that the opponent has more money (for example, he has a well-developed Tournament Arena and a big Finance HQ).
2. Don't be a slow-ass bidder. If it's only you against one other person, be so nice and just bid the hell out of each other. Why would you wait until the end of the round to bid again? Just bid whenever the other one has bidded, as this is only between you and him / her. Let this be over quickly! Whoever runs out of money or tokens, loses. No need to drag it on.
3. Be determined: If you know that you have a respectable manager level, enough money and tokens, you should pull through. Never go into the final bidding phase if you are not sure about the player you want and the money and tokens you have. If you bid, and the competition can be beaten, then you must be willing to use every last token and every last dollar. This is how it's done!
If you need more advice on the game, return to my tutorial / guide / walkthrough on Underworld Football Manager!