SPEEDBALL II Typed by SIDEWINDER of LSD. KICK OFF Providing that you have built up your centre-forward to maximum power on all stats, gaining possession of the ball when it comes into play is actually a doddle. When the ball is thrown into the arena, wait for you opponent to rush for it, and then barge in with a well timed push. With their centre- forward out of the way, this leaves a clear path to your opponents goal with only the deflection dome to avoid. Alternatively, if your centre-forward is sufficiently powered-up, you can risk gaining possession as soon as the ball appears, and then barge past. TACKLING As a rule, it is best to barge the player in possession from either the rear or from the side. Aiming for a head-on confrontation normally results in your player taking a tumble, whereas sliding from behind allows you to turn on the spot and throw the ball to one of your attacking team mates. Similarly, to avoid losing possession never keep hold of the ball too long. And if you do risk a long run, ensure that you keep weaving from side to side so that any pursuing player's can't get too close. However, to avoid any risk, it is better to keep the ball moving by passing from player to player. PASSING AND INTERCEPTION Passing has been made as easy as possible and as your players get more intelligent, tight moves can be performed. Always use the wingers for runs up the side of the pitch as they might be able to try for a sneaky shot at the accumalator during the run. Also when performing long passes, if you have a player between the thrower and the would-be catcher, make him intercept the floating ball as it lessens the possibility of the oppositions defence collecting it before it reaches the player it was intended for. Intercepting the ball during an opponent's throw should be attempted in the same manner, and is particularly effective if the player crosses the ball's path from the side, as he can then turn and throw it down to the waiting attackers. ATTACKING Thanks to the number of pitch-side features, attacking offers a number of useful tricks. Whenever possible, use the score multiplier to add extra pointage to any goal scored. A neat little cheat here is to throw the ball into it mid-run and, if your timing is spot-on, you collect it before it emerges from the tube and before the opposition get to it. Another advantage of using the multiplier is that it doubles the number of players that are stunned when the ball is electrified using the charger. This is an added bonus when the ball is thrown towards the goal. If the opposing team position a defender between the goalie and the goal, even the weakest of shots will get through. It'll be sure to stun both the players on contact. Another neat feature is the ability to bend shots. As in KICK OFF 2, after touch can be added by keeping the joystick pushed into the direction you want to curl the ball after shooting. This enables shots to curl around the goalie with ease and foxes most of the defenders, too. In addition, if all else fails, simply run in and nobble the goalie. As he tries to throw the ball, intercept it, and throw it back. Then run in and barge him and slam the ball in. Finally, never take a shot from directly ahead of the 'keeper, because even if it curls, he will get to it every time - aim from a diagonal whenever possible. THE STARS Throwing the ball at the pinball-esque stars adds two points to your score - however, the opposition can remove them by hitting the lit star again. As you become more proficient, experimenting with certain angles as good positioning often allows you to light two stars at once. In addition, whenever you make a run, aim for a star (providing the opposition aren't breathing down your neck) as hitting all five grants the player an extra ten points which can't be taken away. When you're ahead you can allow yourself the luxury of cancelling out your opponent's stars. GOALKEEPING Intelligence is of paramount importance for goalies, as is strength. As a goalie's intelligence is raised, he gets progressively more daring and takes less risks. Likewise, the goalie doesn't come into play until really necessary, and this avoids confusion between the 'keeper and the defenders. Also, other basic rules are: NEVER throw the ball across the goal, and NEVER keep hold of the ball for longer than is genuinely needed. Breaking these cardinal rules means disaster, as the 'keeper will get nobbled and a goal is almost certainly going to be conceded. Finally, although the goalie can wander roughly quarter of the way up-field, try to make the defenders do the running, leaving the goalie free to cover his area if need be. GOALKEEPER It is essential to have a strong 'keeper, he must be able to win any head-to- head tackles, losing almost certainly guarantees the opposition a goal. Intelligence is also important. A goalie with a high IQ is more likely to go after rogue balls or intercept passes. He also needs to be able to clear the ball effectively, so increasing his passing skills. DEFENCE A powerful defence stems from its ability to block. Concentrate on boosting your defender's strength, power and passing. Don't hesitate once a defender has the ball; pass it up field straight away. MIDFIELD The midfield's there simply to pass the ball to the attackers so build up their speed and passing ability. Midfielders are also useful for operating the score multiplier to increase points. WINGERS Next to the centre-forward the winger are the most important players. Possessing high strength, aggression and intelligence, your wingers will concentrate on occupying the opposition goalkeeper and defence, allowing the forward to get a good scoring position. CENTRE FORWARD The centre-forward is the anchor man of the team. His role is to win possession at kick off, do the bulk of the team's running and, most importantly, score goals. Strength, speed and a good passing ability are a must. This must be the first player you build up. SUBS Substitutes are usually overlooked when a team is being built up, which is a mistake. The centre-forward is generally the first player to be injured in a match, so he needs to be replaced by someone with almost equal skill. TOKENS Going out of the way to collect tokens can be risky, opening holes in the defence or attack, so you need to be selective. Go for tokens that have a lasting effect, these include Freeze, Shut, Reverse and Transport. Any other tokens should be considered as luxuries and aren't worth going after. End.