As I mentioned in my last post, you have a lot of narrowing down to pick your team - especially if you hurried out and bought the French sets, rather than waiting for the English releases.
So how do you narrow it down to the eight characters, six objects and two pairs of rooms you need for Free Choice Tournament Play?
There are four steps I follow when setting my force up:
Step 1: Determine Your Strategy
Will you be using the Hit, the Run, or a balanced strategy? You need to decide this early, as your core strategy impacts the other decisions you will need to make.
If you can't decide on a strategy, play a couple of games with your friends - use the characters and items from one set and the rooms from another. Figure out if you get more points from escaping the maze or from killing your opponents, and build your strategy accordingly. I don't suggest using the Mercenaries set of characters for this, as it's set up primarily to support the Hit.
Step Two: Determine Your Balance
Regardless of what strategy you're going with, you'll probably want a character or two who can support a different strategy. When I'm going for the Run, I'll still tend to include a couple of Hitters. You also need to balance your offense and defense - will you be including Blockers? What Specialists or support do you need?
My usual mix is four strategy match characters, together with two Blockers, and two Specialists. If I know my opponent, I may juggle that a bit. Against the Run, I tend to add more Blockers, for example.
Step 3: Determine Your Strong Characters
I don't use my Wall-Walker very effectively. For me, she's a weak character. Because of this I will almost never include her in a free choice team. By contrast, my Mekanork is one of my stronger characters - I'll use him in almost every team I assemble.
Know who your strong and weak characters are. Build your team to your strengths. I know that this is something that should be plainly obvious, but far too many people overlook it in favor of cool-looking or cool-sounding characters that they can't use effectively.
There are two more steps but - once again - this post is getting a bit long. I'll post those two steps (Choosing Items and Choosing Rooms) later.