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August 22, 2013 2:34 AM   Subscribe

It has been during his time in charge of Blyth that Jameson has displayed the kind of obsessive-bordering-on-mentally-unstable behaviour that separates a casual Football Manager player from a genuine addict. "The worst it got was probably when I reacted to getting a touchline ban by playing the game from outside my room," he says. "I hit start, left the room, came in again at half-time, hit start and left again. It was a Champions League tie against Espanyol. We lost 1-0." -- Some blokes get a wee bit obsessive playing Football Manager, The Grauniad reports.

Football Manager has been around since 1992 (first as Championship Manager) and is well known enough in the UK for comedian Tony Jameson to have devoted an entire one man comedy show to. This isn't that surprising, because as the comments section makes clear, amongst Football Manager fans there's a burning desire to tell stories about their campaigns, wins and especially losses, so much so that there are entire websites devoted to these.
posted by MartinWisse (50 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
FM is one of those games like EVE Online tht I'm scared to start playing in fear of it taking over my life.
posted by PenDevil at 3:11 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's funny, but FM2010 was my gateway drug into football, rather than having a love of the game first.

As a US sport fan, I had been enjoying "manager/career" modes in the EA Sports Madden/NHL/NBA series before I discovered stuff like Jim Gindin's Solecismic (I hope I have that right - and RIP to those series) NFL/NCAA gridiron sims, EA's short-lived Madden offshoot "Head Coach" and OOTP, so I knew I had a love for the construction/strategy stuff more so than button mashing (I'm 39 and still have trouble using more than my thumbs on a PS3 controller). What got me to FM2010 was a pending move to Australia, with the knowledge that in a sport-crazy society I had better pick a code to back, and quick.

Rugby (both sorts) isn't my bag, and whilst I enjoy AFL live, it's a lousy tv sport. That left me with A-League soccer, which had just kicked off its 2010 campaign as I was prepping my move.

From October to January I bounced back and forth across the Pacific, watching my soon-to-be home club Brisbane Roar live from NT pubs for a couple weeks, then sinking into FM to learn the players and the opponents. By the time January 2011 hit (and the flood waters had receded, which happened the day before I landed in BNE), I knew my McKay (holding midfielder, strong on the left, veteran leader) from my Barbarouses (spark plug winger with decent pace and a nose for the goal) due to my success managing the club in FM2010, and felt as invested in the club as any supporter as Roar kept ticking off wins and draws in what was to become a championship double (premiership plus grand final win - final means more in this league) in 2011*.

Since then, I'm now going into season three as a member, I've gained some mates through our section in the stands, and even went into the away supporters bay for last year's heartbreaking semis loss at to WSW in a feral Parramatta Stadium. The sheer distance from American sport has moved soccer (right, FOOTBALL) into a slot right behind NFL in my list of sports I follow, and it wouldn't have taken hold without FM.

*I left Suncorp Stadium at the 2011 Grand Final at 105' because we were down 2-0, I was soaking wet, and the refs were letting CCM get away with bloody murder. Then this happened. What are the damn chances?
posted by GamblingBlues at 3:14 AM on August 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


How do you play it? Do you ever play on the player level (kicking, dribbling, etc.)? Or is it all in terms of which real players (based on stats) you buy and field? Can everyone have their own Lionel Messi because you're only playing against teams in your computer? Or is there just one Lionel Messi to be traded around between all Football Manager players, because you're playing online against other football managers competing to build their own teams from the same finite pool of players you get yours from? Or what?
posted by pracowity at 3:43 AM on August 22, 2013


No discussion of the glory of Football Manager is complete without a link to runofplay's Pro Vercelli saga, which is as well written an example of how FM gets under the skin as you could hope for.
posted by my face your at 3:51 AM on August 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


How do you play it?

Well, as the name suggests, it's a management game, so no football playing for you. Instead you build and train the team, set the tactics, then sent them out to have your dreams crushed when your centreback inevitably does something stupid and gives the opponent a clear shot at goal.

You can play against human opponents online, but the heart of the game is offline against the AI, managing a team through multiple seasons. To be honest, there's little fun in being Barca and starting with Messi in your team; far better to take a bunch of nohopers and reshape them into the greatest footballing force the world has ever seen.

So frex, the guy I quoted in the post is managing Blyth Spartans, a club that in real life plays in the Norther Premier League Premier Division, a league that's six levels below the top of English football, firmly amateur. IIRC that's a team you can't even manage from the default FM database, instead you need a custom league added for the lower levels of the English football pyramid.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:04 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]




I knew my McKay (holding midfielder, strong on the left, veteran leader) from my Barbarouses (spark plug winger with decent pace and a nose for the goal) due to my success managing the club in FM2010

A team in Greece apparently also got Barbarouses based on FM, but he was rather less impressive on pitch. Word to the wise.
posted by ersatz at 5:04 AM on August 22, 2013


Why yes, I do own an AFC Wimbledon jersey. Why do you ask?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:10 AM on August 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


1. Spend hours setting up your team, fiddling with tactics, trying desperately to sign a defender who doesn't duck every time the ball comes near his head, or a winger who can overtake a sleep-deprived tortoise.
2. Finally push the button to start the match.
3. Watch your team get stuffed 4-0 without having a shot on target.
4. Read a ton of incorrect, speculative stuff on the internet to try to figure out what you're doing wrong.
5. Weep salt tears because you haven't got any way of fixing this because the board won't give you any money, any player who looks half decent won't sign for you because you're frankly a bunch of no-hopers.
6. Repeat

FM is, and always has been, about stories. For me, I think it's the powerlessness you feel when a match is actually going on - yes, there's stuff you can do to try to affect it, but most of it will just make matters worse. It's a bit like being a real fan standing on the terraces - there's little to do but hope, pray to a god you don't believe in, and know that maybe, just maybe if you somehow win this game you might get a big money-spinning draw against Huddersfield in the next round. Go read the Pro Vercelli story linked above, it's awesome on many levels.

I've just started playing Dwarf Fortress and the learning curve for that is gentle compared with trying to pick up Football Manager. Admittedly, I try to manage the team I support in real life (Solihull Moors), and this is the equivalent to playing on hard mode - "What do you mean I get a transfer budget of precisely £0 ? I just got us promoted to the football league for the first time in our history!!", etc. etc.
But because it's so hard, the learning curve so steep, the feeling when you win, or even better, go on a cup run or for a league promotion is absolutely wonderful. Again, it's similar to being a football fan in real life - long periods of struggle and underachieving but when it all comes together, it's so so good. Should I ever get to the FA cup final in FM, I will probably wear a suit and belt out Abide With Me before hitting the Play Match button (and fully expect to lose 4-0, again)
posted by BigCalm at 5:31 AM on August 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


About a decade ago I was playing a freeware football management sim. I'd gotten into the genre another decade or so before that in primary school thanks to a friend who's parents were English. We built up a mighty QPR team after school each day.

In this freeware game I was managing Ajax (and yes I have a Jersey, thanks Scotty!) and was getting a little sick of my best couple of players moving on to bigger and 'better' clubs every transfer window. The club was going along okay in the domestic league, and we were managing to get through the group stage of the Champions' League more often than not, but not going much further.

Anyway, this particular game included youth academies as one of its features. Looking at the financials I realised the club was making some decent bank from the transfer fees we were getting from our 18-20 year old hopefuls that had come up through Ajax's academy system. Not a lot for each player, but it was adding up and giving us some cash to chase more experienced players. Unfortunately though it was often not enough to get the players I wanted, as bigger clubs would just up their offers by another 5m Euros.

So I doubled down and invested everything I could into youth scouting and youth development. At first there were some bad seasons while I waited for these young players to come through and develop. A few more seasons on we were still being pillaged by the Madrids and the Chealseas of the football world, but the income we were getting from those transfers was ever increasing. And our youth academy was churning out enough 3.5 and 4 out of 5 players anyway that it didn't really matter. And every now and then there was a youngster with elite level skills who stayed with the club for a while and would go on to be captain of a Champions League winning team, or breaking domestic goal scoring records, or would be a young goal keeper with a break out season and go on to play for their country in the world cup.

Really regretting having work tomorrow right now.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:48 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


My only experience with this game was playing it, or something like it on the Atari ST when I was around 8 or so. I had no interest in football, and chose to manage Crystal Palace because I really liked the Crystal Maze. I was quite surprised some years later to discover that not only was it a real football team , it is, in fact, a real place. Sadly Richard O' Brien does not live there, to the best of my knowledge. As with all the somewhat complicated games I would play on the Atari at that age, I had no clue what I was doing, so my team would inevitably lose match after match.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 5:52 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


On another note if you're interested in the management side of football, but still want the action and control of actually playing football, the New Star Soccer series is pretty fun - rather than managing a whole team it's a football RPG. EA Sport's 'Be a Pro' mode is pretty much cribbed straight from it. Also, its design borrows a lot from the design and gameplay from Sensible Soccer.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:05 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


And I thought you were talking about the Kevin Toms game from the eighties ...
posted by scruss at 6:10 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tangentially, here is some background for others who didn't understand why people sometimes call it The Grauniad.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:17 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


As an American who understands football (the sport) but is completely clueless about football (the business), I have to say: Football Manager is still one of the greatest games of all time.

It falls firmly into the Civilization category of games, in that you immediately find yourself swept up and unable to stop. "Just one more turn" and "I'll just simulate up to the next match" are interchangeable. The only thing that ends a session of either game, for me, is sunrise and as such I just cannot allow myself to play on an evening preceding a day where I have to wake up on time and be a productive human being.

The stories you make up in your head as you play are the real driving force. I find myself interacting with the game in a way I haven't with others since childhood--I start ascribing motives and personalities to the AI. I had one assistant manager that, for reasons I can't even begin to figure out, I hated. He had low coaching stats to begin with, and I dimly recall he gave me a bad piece of advice or soured a relationship with a player early in the season. From that point on I detested the man. I ignored all his memos, or would explicitly do the opposite of anything he recommended. I would call individual meetings with every staff member except him, just to spite him. I don't think the game has any way of tracking that, but I did it anyway because fuck that guy.

I had a winger once come whining to my office that he wasn't getting enough playing time. The interview got a bit snippy, and my starter was a bit injury prone, so I relented and let him start the next match. First half he plays extremely aggressive, picks up a couple warnings and finally draws a yellow. At half time, I take him aside and tell him to calm down a bit. He gets ANGRY with me! And then goes out there in the second half and draws another, earning a red. He spent the rest of his contract as the second backup to the goalkeeper on the practice squad. That probably wasn't the best use of team resources, but I did it anyway because fuck that guy.

And then there are the press conferences! As a little background, I'm also a big American Football fan and, as a lifelong New Englander, my hero is of course--Bill Belichick. I really empathize with a man who just wants to do his job and hates to be told what to do. For those unfamiliar, the man notoriously detests taking time out of his week to talk to the press and almost always gives the same stock answers to every single question. He never comments on injuries, never speaks ill of other players or teams, he never says bad things about his team and he never says great things, only that they're working to get better. It ends up being excruciatingly dull, but everyone in that room is contractually obligated to be there and the reporters are required to at least try and wheedle some information out of him. It should be boring but I watch every one and laugh uproariously because to me that is some Andy Kaufman levels of comedy.

So I do the same thing in Football Manager. I never give info on injured players. I always choose the middle of the road answer for every question. I never slag off the other players and I never badmouth the other coaches. As such, when the game compiles my answers and spits out a news article, they almost all read exactly and inevitably the same. And O! how I laugh! Sure, playing it up for the media could boost team morale, or ingratiate me to the board, or even garner me some lucrative job offers, but I do it anyway because fuck those guys.
posted by Freon at 6:50 AM on August 22, 2013 [21 favorites]


I always thought this game would be amazing if it involved a real sport like Baseball of Football and not soccer
posted by smackwich at 7:09 AM on August 22, 2013


I always thought this game would be amazing if it involved a real sport like Baseball of Football and not soccer

Inflammatory phrasing aside, there are management sims for most sports. Out Of the Park is probably one of the best for baseball.
posted by Freon at 7:12 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


But which is better for Baseball Of Football? Tecmo World Bowl has not been updated in like forever and a lot of the freemium games on Facebook charge you for extra inningdowns. I had high hopes that Bo Jackson's Strat-O-Magic would punt it out of the park, but that's more a spreadsheet than anything - it just lacked the visceral thrill of watching animated base tackles and got way too fiddly trying to set up a shotgun outfield.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:21 AM on August 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


I was once asked why I hated Dennis Irwin. "Nobody hates Dennis Irwin!" I was told. I hate Dennis Irwin because he scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup final against my Liverpoll side in Champ Man 96/97. A hat-trick. Every time I think of him - and his name floats unbidden through my brain is more often than I think is healthy - it is a struggle not to head over to his Wikipedia page to make it read "Denis Joseph Irwin (born 31 October 1965 in Cork, Ireland) is a fuckstick and an arsehole". This computer game hat-trick took place (to the extent that anything in a computer game can even be said to have "taken place"!) nearly 20 years ago. This is the curse of Championshop Manager.
posted by my face your at 8:44 AM on August 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have FM2010, but haven't really looked at any version since then. How do they compare. Well I hate a newer version?
posted by Windopaene at 8:44 AM on August 22, 2013


This thread is reminding me that I have a game of Dwarf Fortress I haven't checked in on in a while.
posted by nubs at 9:00 AM on August 22, 2013


I have FM2010, but haven't really looked at any version since then. How do they compare. Well I hate a newer version?

2013 is well worth picking up. The in-game engine is great, which makes a surprisingly amount of difference to match day enjoyment.

Also they added what is effectively "Dad mode" with the "Football Manager Classic" game option. It basically cuts out a lot of the really hardcore training customisation and minutae, which is useful for those who just don't have the time anymore to mentally disappear into the game for seven hours at a time.
posted by garius at 9:10 AM on August 22, 2013


So when you get everything setup and push the button to actually start the game, does it play through an entire 90 minute game in real time?
posted by octothorpe at 9:26 AM on August 22, 2013


Oh dear - this is the type of game that's totally up my alley. Every year when the latest Madden or NBA2k game comes out, my favorite thing to do is find some lowly bottom-feeder of a team and figure out a way to make them great. Those games' simulation features don't seem to be quite up to par with Football Manager (NBA2k is especially lacking in this), but it's amazing how sports games have slowly evolved from action games and have encompassed more of the RPG-style grinding.

My first experience with this type of game was Hockey League Simulator, which was a companion game to Wayne Gretzky Hockey for the PC. That league simulator was amazing (at least it seemed like it at the time) - you'd get stat updates, promote guys from the minor leagues when they were ready, trade your old veterans for prospects, etc.

So should I pick up FM2013, or wait the few months until 2014 comes out?
posted by antonymous at 9:34 AM on August 22, 2013


If you want it to, it does.

A more sensible setup is to cut the coverage and increase game speed.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:34 AM on August 22, 2013


my favorite thing to do is find some lowly bottom-feeder of a team and figure out a way to make them great.

I tried that once - my team was the Tonbridge Angels. Pretty sure my daughter's AYSO team could beat these guys, they were so hapless. My player-coach (!) always recommended that I play more defensively. Meanwhile, we'd get thrashed, game after game, because as a left back, he couldn't stop a cross to save his life and would get beaten time and time again to the ball.

If you think that you'll be able to get the Angels-- or, hell, anyone in Conference South (the equivalent of your neighborhood club level team)-- to the Premiership championship (the highest level in the UK, think the major leagues) you will quickly learn that Football Manager will torture you. It is the worst kind of game-- just enough glory, when your attacking mid gets a run and the most beautiful goal-- that makes you keep suffering through loss after loss after loss after loss.

I got the Angels promoted to the Conference Premier in my third season-- probably 40 hours of actual gameplay-- and the next season they were quickly relegated right back to Conference South. This is absolutely nothing like Madden or whatever. Football Manager will break you.
posted by mark242 at 10:13 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


"does it play through an entire 90 minute game in real time?"

If that's what you want, yes. Personally I play on "Key" highlights, (so the game only shows me the... wait for it... key moments in a game), and have the parts between highlights set to "greased Cheetah with a train to catch" so they go by really fast.

If you use the newly added "Classic" mode, there's even an option to just sim the game, which reduces the amount of swearing involved in playing FM by about half, because you never get to see bullshit like this.

"Jim Gindin's Solecismic (I hope I have that right - and RIP to those series) "

Not so! Gindin has recently announced he's working on FOF7. If he then releases FOF:TCY2 and makes them properly integrate with each other, I may need to never leave the house or bathe again.
posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:06 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


"If you think that you'll be able to get the Angels-- or, hell, anyone in Conference South (the equivalent of your neighborhood club level team)-- to the Premiership championship (the highest level in the UK, think the major leagues) you will quickly learn that Football Manager will torture you."

Ahem.

The season after I managed that my hard drive ate itself. Possibly out of disbelief.
posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:09 AM on August 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


a real sport like Baseball of Football

Is that what you americans are calling it these days?
posted by jacalata at 11:29 AM on August 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


there are management sims for most sports. Out Of the Park is probably one of the best for baseball.

The OOTP guys just announced they're coming out with a hockey game which I'm very excited about. I should probably be scared considering how much of my life was spent on Eastside Hockey Manager.
posted by Copronymus at 11:31 AM on August 22, 2013


"I always thought this game would be amazing if it involved a real sport like Baseball of Football and not soccer"

You're adorable.

For the sport of not hitting a ball three times out of four, your best choice is, as mentioned, probably Out of the Park Baseball. It has a complete farm system, Tommy John surgeries and is the reason I have heard of the Rule 5 draft.

For NFL you have a few choices. Barcode Games "Professional Football Simulator" is probably the most heavily developed of the current offerings, in that it has some ongoing development.

RooGames "Second And Ten" is more of a replay simulator and comes from that hotbed of American Football, Yorkshire. You get a bunch of seasons included and it's more about playing out a statistically accurate representation of a past season and less about drafting Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick and then weeping.

A better game than PFS and firmly in the career generator corner, unlike SaT is Solecismic's "Front Office Football 2007". It has all the clunky UI and over-fiddly, confusing playbook creation you could ever want. Plus, despite being six years old now, there's still a thriving multiplayer league scene for the game, which speaks to its strength.

I think Football Mogul is still out there, but last time I checked they were giving their football game away for free. With good reason.

Front Office Football is in a comfortable second place behind FM for "Management Game I've Graced With Most Swearwords", which is the best indicator I know for how invested you can get in a game. There is a demo if you want to try it.
posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:50 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


but I do it anyway because fuck those guys.

This is as close to the pure essence of sport as anyone is going to get.
posted by Errant at 11:56 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


because fuck that guy.
because fuck that guy.
because fuck those guys.


I'm sold and looking for a copy now. Also, your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. As asked above, better to wait for 2014, or get sucked in now with slightly shittier graphics of games you won't watch anyway?
posted by yerfatma at 12:09 PM on August 22, 2013


Why yes, I do own an AFC Wimbledon MK Dons jersey. Why do you ask?

FTFY, because the MeFight league could use more Fight. And more Me, come to think of it.
posted by yerfatma at 12:13 PM on August 22, 2013


As asked above, better to wait for 2014, or get sucked in now with slightly shittier graphics of games you won't watch anyway?

The brilliance of FM is that in place of a yearly roster patch andgraphics update like most sports games, they have a yearly roster patch and increase in the number of midweek meetings and press conferences you get to have!
posted by Copronymus at 12:19 PM on August 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Get 2013 Ma. It's cheaper, which means you can find out if it's your type of swearing or not.

2013 also has semi-reasonable tutorials for the first time and, courtesy of the SFA, has an "easy mode", as 54-times Scottish Champions Glasgow Rangers were reformed and had to start again in Scotland's largely amateur Division 3.

That's a good place to learn the ropes, because it would be difficult to force Rangers to lose to East Stirlingshire, if you were trying to do it deliberately.
posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:23 PM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


As asked above, better to wait for 2014, or get sucked in now with slightly shittier graphics of games you won't watch anyway?

The version on Steam already lets you play under Windows or Mac. In the 2014 version they'll be adding Linux to that list. If that is Of Concern To You, then you may wish to wait until that version ships. Otherwise I don't see any reason not to just grab this years.

One of the features I like is the ability to remove real players from the game. If you don't know your Lionel Messi from your Lionel Ritchie, you can just have the computer randomly create players out of whole cloth and populate entire leagues with fictional people who only exist within the confines of your computer.
posted by Freon at 12:23 PM on August 22, 2013


Fictional mode would take a lot of joy out of FM for me; my favourite thing is in "real life" hearing of a player transfer to a prem club, or seeing them in an international team, is knowing "everything " about him because he was my star signing/massive flop/worst enemy in football manager years ago.

I also once took my wife out for dinner instead of cooking, to celebrate my champions league victory with Watford...
posted by chrispy108 at 1:03 PM on August 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just to note, the original Guardian article is one in which it is definitely worth reading the comments.

As asked above, better to wait for 2014, or get sucked in now with slightly shittier graphics of games you won't watch anyway?

The graphics aren't really the key, they've always been very basic: when I started playing it was just text commentary and you had to imagine what was happening. It was very exciting when they introduced a 2D game screen with little dots running around, now the 3D match engine gives you some idea of what's going on.

You do want to watch the games though - it's the best way to work out whether your tactics are working, or why not (My eureka moment: I was getting into trouble because I'd told my players to make short passes, but they were getting caught too far away from each other, had no-one to pass to, and lost possession. Just by lengthening their passing I was able to improve my game). You don't need to watch the whole thing, but you want to watch the extended or comprehensive highlights while you're sorting out tactics, then switch down to key. You can also change the speed, so even a full 90 minute game wouldn 't take 90 minutes, your guys would be whizzing around at high speed.

Whether you should wait: I love FM13, although it does have some flaws. Some people hate it and won't play it; some claim it is impossible to beat. The counter argument is that in their previous games they were exploiting flaws in the match engine in order to win - those flaws had been fixed, so they were required to actually think about tactics and weren't able to. I actually think it's too easy - playing as Man Utd I was able to sign Falcao, Thiago, Isco, Alaba, Luke Shaw, Ward-Prowse, Lamela, Tello, Varane within a couple of years befre banning myself from signing anyone older than 20 in order to make it harder.

FM14 will probably fix some of the FM13 flaws, but I don't think they are major enough for you to need to wait for it. (Also note: the first release of each version is often quite bug-ridden. FM13 didn't really sort itself out until the 2nd patch).
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:18 PM on August 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I actually think it's too easy - playing as Man Utd

Well, there you go. Don't do that. Man U is seriously overrated in FM.

But yeah, if you know what you're doing and you start in the top leagues, it is fairly easy to do well. One of the challenges I put to myself was to start with Man City and transform the entire squad into English players. Despite the upheaval, the selling off of almost the entire squad and the bringing in of so many new players I still won the Premier League.

But my proudest achievement was taken a relegation threatened HSV over in 2016, saving them from relegation and in the next season, when with a good dose of luck and thanks to the fair play league we got to start in the very first Europa League qualification rounds, meeting amateur clubs from Iceland and beating them. That season HSV did the double, winning the Bundesliga and the Europa League, which was nice.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:50 PM on August 22, 2013


Why yes, I do own an AFC Wimbledon MK Dons jersey. Why do you ask?

FTFY, because the MeFight league could use more Fight. And more Me, come to think of it.


After Wimbledon was stabbed in the back so some dude could build a shopping center, it was Football Manager that stepped up and sponsored the newly formed AFC Wimbledon. Slowly but surely, the team is doing what all FM managers do - slowly wind their way up the leagues, through the heartbreak and the mire.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:01 PM on August 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Fictional mode would take a lot of joy out of FM for me; my favourite thing is in "real life" hearing of a player transfer to a prem club, seeing how long it takes to kill Chelsea once you've given them half a billion quid's worth of future transfer commitments, sold the entire team for fuck all and replaced everyone but John Terry* with Newport County players on 150k a week.

*Because fuck that guy
posted by fullerine at 2:03 PM on August 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh we're doing the sharing thing?

I tell the wife that our wedding was the proudest moment in my life. It wasn't though, it was this.
posted by garius at 2:34 PM on August 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


it was Football Manager that stepped up and sponsored the newly formed AFC Wimbledon.

Ah, awesome, I didn't know that.
posted by yerfatma at 3:33 PM on August 22, 2013


You've sold me. Apologize to my wife some time next year.
posted by yerfatma at 5:18 PM on August 22, 2013


Martin: true, but I'm doing better than I usually do playing as Man Utd, and I'm doing it with a bunch of kids. I've got £250mn in available transfer funds that I've chosen not to use, even after buying lots of star players, getting bored and selling them at a loss. So I think there's a greater big club bias than usual. Or else I've just got really good ;-)
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:35 AM on August 23, 2013


Virtual Fergie Time.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:15 AM on August 23, 2013


Love your evil plan fullerine!

If you're bored of your normal game, the challenge modes within the game are ok, you should check out some of the challenges on http://www.thedugout.net/ or another fan site.

Or do what my little brother did, which was as 5 time Premier League winning Watford, he left his assistant in charge of the first-team and just took control of the U18 team.

Or check out another league, I've had a great time playing the Belgian Premier League recently, the second group stage at the end of the season keeps it exciting right until the end.

It's such a huge game there are so many ways to play it.
posted by chrispy108 at 6:44 AM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seconding Belgium as an interestesting choice. Same with Sweden (which has the added complication of a season that runs January to December).

If you want to revitalise a fallen giant, Pro Vercelli style, then FC Brussels and Landskrona BoIS are the two teams to watch out for in those leagues. Both are former champions in some way, with a lot of history as clubs, and both are languishing in the second divisions in their respective countries.

I managed to get Landskrona to the Champions League final, beating PSG in the Semi 2-0 but was promptly spanked 4-0 by Real Madrid on the day. With FC Brussels I managed to get them to the Champions League, with a group stage win over Bayern being the highlight, but left the club shortly afterwards when Ajax came knocking.
posted by garius at 7:43 AM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Another thing I do, which I definitely stole from someone online, is try to play the game realistically, ie, in real life, if you were doing well:

Would you let your Assistant Manager leave, and replace him with a 26 year old new gen with no experience just because he had better "stats"?

Would you give a 17 year old his debut in the Champions League knock-out stages?

Would you have a squad composed of 27 nationalities without a player from your country?

Would you sign 15 first team players in one window?

Then don't do it in Football Manager!
posted by chrispy108 at 11:26 AM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


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