At last count we were about 2 weeks from the start of the NFL season, which means that Huddle should be in the final stages of readying the new build for the upcoming 2015 season. Considering that the digital apps Topps makes have garnered considerable attention lately, this is a big year for an app that we all feel has serious potential. Of course the wild card of the way the game is presented is always a big deal, and another year of head shots could be a turn off for people.
Regardless of the presentation, if you are like me, Huddle remains a fun way to experience the regular season and playoffs. Here is how I would go about prepping for the eventual launch, sometime before the Kickoff game on 9/13.
New Releases Prior to Launch
By now, you should be in save mode. Save save save save save. There will likely be releases up until the app shuts down before launch, but try to weigh the value of the new card against the coins you will lose to get it. Cards like Editor’s Choice and other weekly non-sig inserts will have little value come next year, and unless you are a player/team collector that wants the card for your collection, I would pass.
This is the one spot I would advocate spending if you so desire. Being that these cards will score in 2015, the value should be better off than many of the other releases in the game. If 2015 Huddle is anything like 2015 Bunt, the potential to score a higher boost player from the packs you will receive from pulling the preview card is a worthwhile investment. More importantly, the cards should be pretty rare, especially the mini chase cards, so if you havent saved up a few hundred thousand over the offseason, its worth dumping that last 50k into the preview packs. The cards do look freaking incredible.
If you have dupes of stuff to trade, I would highly suggest trying to unload what you can to ensure you get as many previews as you can. Dont go trading variant sigs or anything, but definitely troll the feed to see if you can trade some of your past inserts for some newer cards.
Old Insert Value in 2015
I believe I have said this before, but the only inserts that will really have the staying power to make a difference in 2015 are sigs and other SUPER low count stuff. The higher the count on the insert, the more likely it will not be very valuable in the new season. If Huddle somehow comes to a position where action shots return, these cards will be worth even less. Trust me on this one, its not going to be pretty. In 2014 and 2015 Bunt, old inserts arent even worth new base cards in some cases, and that’s just the way things go. Im not saying to dump all your cards now, but use this opportunity to trade up if you can. Package some cards together to see if someone will be more likely to give you a shot at some really nice inserts. Sometimes, nice inserts will have carryover value because they look cool or are rare enough to make a difference.
Also worth mentioning that your collection score will drop significantly once the new cards hit the sheet, so dont be alarmed. Once you collect the base and some of the other releases, it will start to creep back up in direct correlation to the rest of the users in the app. I would guess your score should hover around 80+ depending on how much old stuff you have.
First Day Planning
When Huddle starts up, there will be packs to buy and there will be a crap load of 2015 base cards to collect. However, I am going to urge you to wait to buy packs until the first inserts hit packs. Base cards will rarely ever sell out, which means that wasting coins on empty packs is probably not the best plan. I would guess there will be a number of sets that will be released in the first few days:
- Kickoff cards (day 1-2 likely)
- Signature Series (day 2-3 likely)
- First non-marathon insert set (day 1-2 likely)
- First marathon inserts (day 1-2 likely)
- Go Boosts (Wed-Thur of release)
With so much content likely planned, its in your best interest to survey the scene before diving in. You do not want to miss out on a sweet card just because you got trigger happy on the first base packs of the year.
I would heavily expect the pay wall to be in effect. This means that the Super Rare base cards and maybe even the scarce base cards to be behind a wall that is only accessible through buying any coin bundle. I will say, it will likely be worth it to spend a few dollars in the beginning to get some nice trade bait. Once the inserts are released, if Master packs come into play, try a few to see what you get. It may cost a dollar to get access, but that is well worth not having your 4th cup of coffee to save the money.
Hitting the Fan Feed
Get ready to trade and trade hard. There will be HUNDREDS of people who will jump onto the feed and post “Trading 2014 for 2015” the second the new app launches. Even though you will be one of those individuals, I would definitely find a way to get some trades done. Try to unload 2014 cards that have no value to get higher boost cards of players who might not be the top guys. Use the red paperclip technique to parlay them into some trade bait you can use to get some cards of people you actually want. It wont be easy, but it will pass the time until the real inserts hit packs and you can finally dive in. Expect to enormously overpay for 2015, and that should not be a concern.
If 2015 is anything like 2014, the app will launch a few days before that Thursday game. playable Steelers and Patriots cards will be in high demand, and that means they might not be ones you can trade for easily. Pick up some of the preview cards for Roethlisberger and Gronkowski to avoid the chase, and you might get a head start.
I would guess that Go Boosts will come early on, and those should set a precedent for trading in that area. We have no idea what scoring will be like, but unlike Bunt, there wasnt a huge issue with it last year. My only expectation would be some changes to make defense more worth playing on a consistent basis. I dont expect much of a change with it, so that shouldnt be something you need to pour your attention into until it is time. Ill post an article with any changes as soon as I have a full breakdown.
Position Scoring Value
Last year, all offensive skill position guys were worth picking up as long as they were starters. Here are how I thought the breakdown went, in order of value:
- Wide Receiver
- Running Back
- Tight end
- High tackle count defensive player
- High sack count defensive player
- High interception count defensive player
Outside of that, its basically a jumble of other defensive guys and players that dont score. Dont get caught up in getting a top QB, because the way scoring was set up in 2014, the receiver almost always scored a ton more points for any nice play.
Based on what we have seen, here are my top players at each of the most important positions.
- QB: Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck
- WR: Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Brown
- RB: Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, LeVeon Bell
- TE: Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce
Not all of these individuals will have cards from day one, so pick out the ones that will likely be your top targets.
I would guess that the Bunt contests will make their debut in Huddle with the new build, and I actually think this is going to be awesome. Considering they already were a major part of Huddle in 2014, and did EXTREMELY well, I have no reason to believe that wont be the case here too. With only 3 game days per week, a lot less daily work has to go into making the contests awesome, although the major wild card is the prizes.
In Bunt, the work necessary to win a prize has never really been worth the prize you get, and hopefully Huddle will remedy that situation. I can almost assure you that Best of Huddle will be back, but hopefully that isnt the only set that is delivered through the contest system. At least, we can hope that the coin prizes will be worthwhile, but it all depends on the way TOPPSMARC wants to work through things. I would also guess that action shots vs head shots might play a role, as another year of head shots will probably put more of a focus on making these amazing. We will have to see.
Bottom line, head shots or no head shots, this will be a fun season. It was last year despite the change in week 2, and the team will find a way to make it work this year as well. Huddle is my main app, so you can stay tuned for some extensive coverage here upon launch.