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Thread: AI Experiment - what would happen if?

  1. #1401
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    Originally posted by dafuge:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blakejo:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by dafuge:
    Ter has moved it to the right place though, this forum is for challenges, sign up games and holiday games. I suppose it could go in the FM Stories forum if you want to get really picky.
    How do you know, there is no "Holiday Games / FAQ' on this forum.

    I don't understand - how is it a challenge? It is not asking me to do anything. How is it a sign-up - I can't join this league and that only leaves Holiday Games and this doesn't look like Twister or Scrabble - so why is it in the right forum? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It's a holiday game, which is what this forum is for. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

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    and apparently theres less pages here cos ya get more posts per page in this forum...

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    Originally posted by dafuge:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blakejo:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by dafuge:
    Ter has moved it to the right place though, this forum is for challenges, sign up games and holiday games. I suppose it could go in the FM Stories forum if you want to get really picky.
    I don't understand - how is it a challenge? It is not asking me to do anything. How is it a sign-up - I can't join this league and that only leaves Holiday Games and this doesn't look like Twister or Scrabble - so why is it in the right forum? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It's a holiday game, which is what this forum is for. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Try this again...

    How do you know, there is no "Holiday Games / FAQ' on this forum

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    Originally posted by Blakejo:

    How do you know, there is no "Holiday Games / FAQ' on this forum.
    It has been clarified before what constitutes a holiday game, but perhaps Ter should sticky a 'holiday games including AI Experiments' FAQ so people know exactly what they are.

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    Ruined this thread for any newcomers that might stumble across it! I'll go as far as saying Ter is the biggest moron I have ever seen on this forum!
    Agreed

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    quote:
    Ruined this thread for any newcomers that might stumble across it! I'll go as far as saying Ter is the biggest moron I have ever seen on this forum!


    Agreed

    Result

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    this move has been very confusing

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    No-one ever even goes in this forum whats the point Ter you moron.

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    Plus we've not only lost pages in the move, but the GQ "link" to it is broke, claiming there are still the origional number of pages.

    Bad move all round.

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    lame, just incredibly lame to move this thread. it should be pinned to the top of every section, probably above news on fm 2008. god knows it's a more interesting thread,

  11. #1411
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    Originally posted by r0x0r:
    Plus we've not only lost pages in the move, but the GQ "link" to it is broke, claiming there are still the origional number of pages.

    Bad move all round.
    You've not lost any pages, this forum has more posts to a page than GQ, so threads use less pages.

    I agree that the link in GQ is a little pointless in it's current state though.

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    Originally posted by dafuge:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by r0x0r:
    Plus we've not only lost pages in the move, but the GQ "link" to it is broke, claiming there are still the origional number of pages.

    Bad move all round.
    You've not lost any pages, this forum has more posts to a page than GQ, so threads use less pages.

    I agree that the link in GQ is a little pointless in it's current state though. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Fair enough. Still a silly link though. I can't see why an exception which had already been made couldn't have been maintained...

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    Its not a holiday game its been going for 6 months for crissake. This is the best thread ever on this site, and now its been moved to some forlorn part of the world.

    For example, should Athletic Club Bilbao be forced to play in Sunderland?

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    Originally posted by Craig Williams:
    Its not a holiday game its been going for 6 months for crissake. This is the best thread ever on this site, and now its been moved to some forlorn part of the world.

    For example, should Athletic Club Bilbao be forced to play in Sunderland?
    I think you've misunderstood the phrase 'holiday game'.

    A holiday game is where someone reports on the outcomes of his custom game which are outside of his control. Often the manager will go on holiday for the duration of the game so they can compile the reports analysing their chosen focus faster.

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    To be honest im quite relieved I thought I couldt get in to see the thread.

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    Dafuge surely you understand the point that everybody's making. The fact is peoples main worry is the popularity of the thread which; was surely growing before, now has little chance of expansion. Newcomers will not be able to stumble across the thread; as Lord knows nobody "checks up on" the 'challenges/sign ups/holiday games' thread every-now-and-then, heck Lord also knows I'd be completely oblivious to its existence were it not for the bandits. The link - well to the non informed user; it just doesn't work, why? because it doesn't link you to the right page - or any page for that matter.

    The point dafuge, as I'm sure you understand; is that the splitting and labeling of sections such as "editors hideaway" is such that everybody can find what they want, in the way that most efficiently maximizes each threads capacity to be popular i.e.(so that they are not all in one mass jumble and hence can be found). However placing any thread in a section that nobody looks at; despite the technical correctness of the move, in my (and others mind), contradicts that principle. It hasn't been broke for the last 6 months; so don't "fix" it now...

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    Dafuge! I thought you were ok, however you still support the move of ter "the muppet".

    SI must just be jelous of the fact that none of there threads come close to being as popular as kip's ( btw) and so they move it to a place nobody can find it, why, if the desision is so obvious has it not been done before. I feel let down by ter . He is a right muppet.

  18. #1418
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    The same could be said for any other thread in here. All the others were moved over, why should this one stay in GQ?

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    Dafuge! I thought you were ok, however you still support the move of ter "the muppet".

    SI must just be jelous of the fact that none of there threads come close to being as popular as kip's ( btw) and so they move it to a place nobody can find it, why, if the desision is so obvious has it not been done before. I feel let down by ter . He is a right muppet.
    Watch it I got my Yellow card by calling him a muppet! It can't be because I called him a moron because Graeme Kelly agreed with me

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    Originally posted by dafuge:
    The same could be said for any other thread in here. All the others were moved over, why should this one stay in GQ?
    because this is at leat 10 times better than any other thread that has been moved over. I've just spent 5 minutes trying to work out where this thread was. Whoever this muppet Ter is should be shot.

    p.s. COME ON YOU BANDITS

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    Watford - As much as some people don't like it this thread is in the right place and, let's face it, it's not that difficult to find. I love this thread, but I'm not complaining because it really isn't a problem imo.

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    Ter piensa que él forma parte de la polic*a del foro

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    relieved I thought I couldt get in to see the thread.
    Dafuge, let's not highjack (sp?) Kipfizh's thread and talk about whether it should or shouldn't have been moved, as far as I see EVERYONE but you and Ter think it was dumb to move it and no-one will change his point of view so let's just stop this dumb argument here with most users being unhappy and the dictators in power thinking they made the best move
    Hopefully Kipfizh comes back soon and posts an update so that this thread can start to be about the Bandits again.

  24. #1424
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    Originally posted by Watford_fc_4_lyf:
    Dafuge! I thought you were ok, however you still support the move of ter "the muppet".

    SI must just be jelous of the fact that none of there threads come close to being as popular as kip's ( btw) and so they move it to a place nobody can find it, why, if the desision is so obvious has it not been done before. I feel let down by ter . He is a right muppet.
    There was quite a lot of discussion and pressure to get this forum so that threads like this one could exist. Previously, in GQ, these kinds of threads were limited or locked, this forum has allowed more of them to be started.

    I can only assume that the reason this thread has not been moved earlier was an oversight by Ter, who has been voluntarily moderating this forum in his spare time since it was created.

  25. #1425
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    Originally posted by williamshankley:
    Ter piensa que él forma parte de la polic*a del foro
    Babel Fish Translation
    In English:
    Ter thinks that it comprises of the police of the forum
    Er....he's a mod, so he is police of the forum.

  26. #1426
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    Why on earth has this post moved?

    had it bookmarked and the link didn't work it just took me 20 minutes to find it



    Well at least I know where it is now :P

    Dan

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    Originally posted by Meitheisman:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">relieved I thought I couldt get in to see the thread.
    Dafuge, let's not highjack (sp?) Kipfizh's thread and talk about whether it should or shouldn't have been moved, as far as I see EVERYONE but you and Ter think it was dumb to move it and no-one will change his point of view so let's just stop this dumb argument here with most users being unhappy and the dictators in power thinking they made the best move
    Hopefully Kipfizh comes back soon and posts an update so that this thread can start to be about the Bandits again. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I do apologise for the hijacking, but I don't like the way some people have reacted to this thread being moved. It's a great thread and all that has happened is that it has been moved to the place it should have been put ages ago, surely that won't affect these people's enjoyment of it?

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    Originally posted by dafuge:
    The same could be said for any other thread in here. All the others were moved over, why should this one stay in GQ?
    Because it's consistently lauded by swathes of the community from the n00bs to us oldsters as the greatest thread this forum has ever produced.

    Because, apart from some anally retentive desire to have the actual thread in the right forum, it's been going along perfectly happily for six months.

    Because it's caused absolute uproar by moving it. When this forum exists solely because of the users then they ought to listen to us all when we're clamouring for it to be moved back to it's rightful place.

    Nothing like people flexing their e-penis huh.

    Come on Kip, let's get this back to the Bandits. Even if it has been shoved to the back of the SI cupboard.
    VB

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    Originally posted by danny dainty:
    Why on earth has this post moved?

    had it bookmarked and the link didn't work it just took me 20 minutes to find it



    Well at least I know where it is now :P

    Dan
    I'm the same. I just 'knew' what page I was up to (was page 23)

    Became extremely worried the thread had disappeared

  30. #1430
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    Every other thread managed the transition to this forum, I'm sure this one won't be the exception. It's a great thread, it will continue to be a great thread in this forum.

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    Bunch of power-hungry people showing their power IMHO

  32. #1432
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    Originally posted by Craig Williams:
    Bunch of power-hungry people showing their power IMHO
    I think it was you who actually alerted to that fact that this was in the wrong forum here .

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    What if kip can't find the topic!?

    Can we not all mass message him to make sure he can find it?!



    I'm sure all the arguments will blow over once we get our next update. The move was obviously badly timed as everyone is on a knife edge as to whether the Bandits stay up and whether the "transfer spoiler" is true.

    Stop the bitching now, and concentrate on getting the Bandits where they belong... in Europe

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    Originally posted by dafuge:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Craig Williams:
    Bunch of power-hungry people showing their power IMHO
    I think it was you who actually alerted to that fact that this was in the wrong forum here . </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You think I alerted Ter to the AI experiment in GQ? Get a grip man. Its been on the top page for about six months, I think he would have realised.

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    Originally posted by SpeccyMatt:

    I'm sure all the arguments will blow over once we get our next update. The move was obviously badly timed as everyone is on a knife edge as to whether the Bandits stay up and whether the "transfer spoiler" is true.

    Stop the bitching now, and concentrate on getting the Bandits where they belong... in Europe
    Spot on.

  36. #1436
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    Originally posted by Craig Williams:

    You think I alerted Ter to the AI experiment in GQ? Get a grip man. Its been on the top page for about six months, I think he would have realised.
    I just meant that the recent similar threads prompted the mods to do something, if the other threads hadn't of been started I think this thread would still be in GQ.

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    Eagerly awaiting the next installment ...

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    They stayed up BTW. The knife edge is on who they sign etc!

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    I suppose it's too late to fix this now, but you should take note of the uproar you have caused. Many people follow this thread; they have it bookmarked (from which link they can no longer access it), and they track their progress by which page they are on (which via the different condensing scheme in this forum has now changed). Therefore a move which was made with good intentions has temporarily spoiled the enjoyment of this thread by many users - definitely poor forum management.

    Next time think before you act.

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    Originally posted by crafty bison:
    I suppose it's too late to fix this now, but you should take note of the uproar you have caused. Many people follow this thread; they have it bookmarked (from which link they can no longer access it), and they track their progress by which page they are on (which via the different condensing scheme in this forum has now changed). Therefore a move which was made with good intentions has temporarily spoiled the enjoyment of this thread by many users - definitely poor forum management.

    Next time think before you act.
    The same happened to every other thread which was moved here when the forum was created.

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    Threads with almost infinitely smaller numbers of page views. Threads without anything like the same scale of devoted fans. Threads whose movement did not cause widespread uproar.

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    Originally posted by crafty bison:
    Threads with almost infinitely smaller numbers of page views. Threads without anything like the same scale of devoted fans. Threads whose movement did not cause widespread uproar.
    Have a look at my thread.

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    With all respect dafuge. I think you should stick to your own threads and stop doing a mods job! You can see there is unhappy people about this thread! It isn't your place!

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    I'm having trouble finding widespread uproar in your "Sign-ups" thread. Unless you refer to a different thread? If so, please be more specific.

    Now I'm not trying simply to continue an argument here. I'd much rather get on with the game - I'm anxious to get the next update! All I was trying to do was offer some friendly advice. It seems the powers that be (or even just the First Team Regulars) cannot handle constructive criticism despite their own operations' inadequacies staring straight into their myopic faces.

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    Originally posted by williamshankley:
    With all respect dafuge. I think you should stick to your own threads and stop doing a mods job! You can see there is unhappy people about this thread! It isn't your place!
    You're right, I shouldn't have stuck my nose in, I do apologise.

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    You're right, I shouldn't have stuck my nose in, I do apologise.
    Finally some humanity still remains on this forum All I can say now is I should have used abusive posts to Ter in a foriegn language

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    Originally posted by crafty bison:
    Threads with almost infinitely smaller numbers of page views. Threads without anything like the same scale of devoted fans. Threads whose movement did not cause widespread uproar.
    well said that man.....

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    Originally posted by williamshankley:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">You're right, I shouldn't have stuck my nose in, I do apologise.
    Finally some humanity still remains on this forum </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I haven't come here to argue, I was just trying to explain to people why this thread has been moved in case they didn't realise. I apologise if I come across as a stuck up arse but I'm just trying to justify the existence of this forum.

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    And I've only followed the thread for two days!!

  50. #1450
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    Originally posted by crafty bison:
    I'm having trouble finding widespread uproar in your "Sign-ups" thread. Unless you refer to a different thread? If so, please be more specific.

    Now I'm not trying simply to continue an argument here. I'd much rather get on with the game - I'm anxious to get the next update! All I was trying to do was offer some friendly advice. It seems the powers that be (or even just the First Team Regulars) cannot handle constructive criticism despite their own operations' inadequacies staring straight into their myopic faces.
    This was the thread I was referring to. It was also once popular in GQ and made the transition over to this forum.

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    dafuge, credit to you for keeping people interested in sign up/challenges etc. have followed a few of your threads in the past, though have never had time/inclination to take part.

    But I can also understand the vexed nature of a lot of the people who have followed this thread religiously since it's inception and feel that it's popularity and widespread appeal should be available to as wide an audience as possible, heck even Darth Vaughan himself professed an interest in the results of the experiment at the very beginning of the thread.
    An experiment was how it started out but has since taken on a whole new meaning to supporters of the Bandits, yes they are a fictional team but sometimes fantasy is better than reality.

    Believe me I'd rather watch The Simpsons than Big Brother, a whole lot more interesting and a better reflection on modern life.

    Nobody is criticising (sic) the holiday forum but it's just not the place for something so huge as this.

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    Originally posted by dafuge:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by crafty bison:
    I suppose it's too late to fix this now, but you should take note of the uproar you have caused. Many people follow this thread; they have it bookmarked (from which link they can no longer access it), and they track their progress by which page they are on (which via the different condensing scheme in this forum has now changed). Therefore a move which was made with good intentions has temporarily spoiled the enjoyment of this thread by many users - definitely poor forum management.

    Next time think before you act.
    The same happened to every other thread which was moved here when the forum was created. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That makes it even worse. The problem was there. The problem had been noted before. Yet it wasn't corrected, and instead has damaged another thread.

  53. #1453
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    Smile folks

    It confused me for about a minute, because I didn't realise that the size of the pages differs between the forums, so I was also going to a page 25, which doesn't exist. But it doesn't take long to suss it.

    My way of thinking it - if you know about this thread and like it, you'll find it and bookmark it's new place, and if a newbie wants to read it, chances are they'll start at page 1 and that'll work from either link

    Of course, it'd be fantastic if somehow the page links matched up, but I'm a developer - I know that sometimes what may seem simple may not be

    And technically, this is a holiday game, focused on AI certainly, but a holiday game nonetheless.

    In other news, sorry for the lack of update tonight, 'in law' visit! Update will definitely come tomorrow, as its very close to completion now. Sorry for the delay.

    One last point - thanks for all reading, I like that many will read wherever this thread may be

    Night.

  54. #1454
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    Well played kipfizh, I'm glad you can see the sense in this move

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    Now that I am on this forum, are there any other true holiday games to follow besides this one and the two created recently?

    My only problem with the move is that you have to log in to read this and I don't like to login while at work.

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    at the people complaining at the movement of the thread, it is a holiday game no matter how popular it is therefore it should be in the holiday thread section.



    Looking forward to the next installment hope they survive in the premiership and make some good signings.

    KUTGW Kip

  57. #1457
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    Originally posted by dafuge:
    Well played kipfizh, I'm glad you can see the sense in this move
    You are a complete 'arris. Thank your lucky stars he agreed with it, you stuck our long nose in, admitted and then even came back for a medal - Well done!!

  58. #1458
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    very good update kip, thanks!

  59. #1459
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    Will everyone just get a grip? Please?!

    Really, big deal, it's been moved, Oh no! They're not going to move it back, so deal with already!

    Bloody Hell, what a bunch of babies!

    lets just get back to all eagerly awaiting this next update, and let this moving matter drop.

    What's done, is well, done.

  60. #1460
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    I can't wait for the next update.

  61. #1461
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    i wanna see if i can try what u are doing kip. How do i do it, do i just start as a manager without a team, or do i take over a team and then go on holiday and leave the assistant to do it. i just wonder how you keep track of how everything is going if you are on holiday the whole time

  62. #1462
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    Originally posted by Blakejo:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by dafuge:
    Well played kipfizh, I'm glad you can see the sense in this move
    You are a complete 'arris. Thank your lucky stars he agreed with it, you stuck our long nose in, admitted and then even came back for a medal - Well done!! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    All I've done is to try and justify the thread moving, so people who were not aware of this forum and the way it came about could understand why it was moved. Not once have I aimed any abuse at anyone, unlike some people.

  63. #1463
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    There is a link in GQ anyway. Surely when this thread is updated then the link in GQ will be too, and it will move towards the top of the page.

    Problem solved.

  64. #1464
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    Update coming shortly, and following that I'll have a little AI discussion as that was the point of this thread in the first place - it's become a story certainly, but I like to keep the AI experiment-ness in there somewhere too.

    Originally posted by alexsaxon:
    i wanna see if i can try what u are doing kip. How do i do it, do i just start as a manager without a team, or do i take over a team and then go on holiday and leave the assistant to do it. i just wonder how you keep track of how everything is going if you are on holiday the whole time
    Start with a manager without a team, and then go on an extended holiday. I bring myself back off holiday regularly to see what's happening, and at crucial points in the game just keep hittong continue.

  65. #1465
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    Anyway, back to the original topic of this thread, it was very pleasing to see the Bandits saved from relegation in the last game. Can't wait for the next update.

  66. #1466
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    Season 2036-37

    Club report

    2006-07, English Conference South - 1st, FA Trophy - Winners
    2007-08, English National Conference - 7th, FA Trophy - Final
    2008-09, English National Conference – 7th
    2009-10, English National Conference – 9th
    2010-11, English National Conference – 6th
    2011-12, English National Conference – 18th
    2012-13, English National Conference – 5th
    2013-14, English National Conference – 1st
    2014-15, English League Two – 21st
    2015-16, English League Two – 21st
    2016-17, English League Two – 6th
    2017-18, English League Two – 6th
    2018-19, English League Two – 7th
    2019-20, English League Two – 6th, Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – South Semi Final
    2020-21, English League Two – 10th
    2021-22, English League Two – 1st, Johnstone’s Paint Trophy - Final
    2022-23, English League One – 13th, Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – South Semi Final
    2023-24, English League One – 11th, League Cup – Final
    2024-25, English League One – 11th, League Cup – Semi-Final
    2025-26, English League One – 18th
    2026-27, English League One – 17th
    2027-28, English League One – 14th
    2028-29, English League One – 20th
    2029-30, English League One – 1st
    2030-31, English Championship – 14th
    2031-32, English Championship – 10th, League Cup – Final

    2032-33
    English Championship: (Pos 12), P 46, W 17, D 12, L 17, F 66, A 66, GD 0, Pts 63
    (Media Prediction: 13th)
    FA Cup: 5th Round
    League Cup: 1st Round
    2033-34
    English Championship: (Pos 8), P 46, W 20, D 8, L 18, F 69, A 57, GD +12, Pts 68
    (Media Prediction: 13th)
    FA Cup: 3rd Round
    League Cup: 3rd Round
    2034-35
    English Championship: (Pos 21), P 46, W 13, D 13, L 20, F 53, A 67, GD -14, Pts 52
    (Media Prediction: 10th)
    FA Cup: 4th Round
    League Cup: 3rd Round
    2035-36
    English Championship: (Pos 2), P 46, W 21, D 11, L 14, F 64, A 49, GD +15, Pts 74
    (Media Prediction: 21st)
    FA Cup: 3rd Round
    League Cup: Quarter-Final
    2036-37
    English Premiership: (Pos 17), P 38, W 12, D 4, L 22, F 42, A 72, GD -30, Pts 40
    (Media Prediction: 20th)
    League
    FA Cup: 3rd Round
    League Cup: 3rd Round


    As predicted, the Bandits went on a spending spree in the summer, although interestingly, Phil Edwards decided against buying a few star players, in case they were injured, and instead set about purchasing a squad – he bought no-one with CA above 160, but filled at the squad between 140 and 160 instead, so that although the first team didn’t match up against most of the league, they had the strength in depth not to be crippled by a few injuries.

    To give you an idea of how heavy their transfer activity was, take a look at this:

    Transfers In

    The season started extremely well, and after ten games they were sitting comfortably in mid table, but then the league really kicked into gear, and their defence struggled to hold up. Throughout the season, they conceded four goals on four occasions, and were smashed 5-1 in the FA Cup by Birmingham. Halfway through the season, after a series of losses, they fell into the relegation zone, the memory of their promising start of a few sneaked victories long behind them.

    Eleven games without a win put them in huge trouble until they finally beat West Ham in February, but they spent three months in the drop zone before popping their heads out with six games to go with a win over Derby. A 4-0 hammering by Sunderland brought them back down to earth, before a win over Spurs raised them out of trouble again.

    But the run-in was tough, and losses to Liverpool and Chelsea saw them enter the final day once again with plenty to play for. This time, they were in a worse position than ever before – every time previously, they’d been looking to hold on to a position going into the final day. This time, their appalling goal difference, a sign of how difficult they were finding the league, left them in the relegation zone, behind Aston Villa, who had come up as champions ahead of them last season. Once again, it was a last day fight, but there would be no way the Bandits could survive if Villa won.

    The fixtures weren’t kind – Villa were up against mid-table QPR while the Bandits were up against Man City, just one point off a Champions League spot and fighting hard. The omens looked bad. Would this be their first relegation?

    As half time approached, the Villa matched was evenly poised at 0-0, and the Bandits were hanging on to the same score thanks to the efforts of Dave Banks, their reserve keeper, in for the injured James Wade. But on the stroke of half time, the Bandits counter attacked and scored the goal that took them out of the relegation zone for the time being. At the midway point, they led 1-0 while Villa remained deadlocked.

    The half time message was simple – they had to win this – they couldn’t rely on a Villa loss in a match they were beginning to take control of. As the second half progressed, it became a Man City onslaught as the Bandits fans clung to their radios, desperate for good news elsewhere. With sixteen minutes to go, it all went wrong. The QPR keeper had been sent off for a professional foul outside the box, and with all three substitutes used, they had to send an outfield player in goal.

    Suddenly Aston Villa sensed safety. They had sixteen minutes to score against an outfield player, and they would be safe even if the Bandits clung on to a victory that was also looking unlikely. But Villa attacked too hard, and only two minutes after the sending off they were hit on the break, QPR taking a crucial lead. The Bandits’ fans went berserk in celebration, but only three minutes later their joy was curtailed by a Villa equaliser. With ten minutes to go, a goal to either Man City or the now dominant Aston Villa would condemn them to the Championship.

    But it never came. As the final whistle blew, the Bandits claimed a stunning victory over a deflated Man City, who would’ve secured Champions League football had they won, and Aston Villa only had themselves to blame for failing to beat ten outfield players at Loftus Road. The Bandits were safe.

    I have to be honest – the Bandits got very lucky this year. Their goal difference of -30 shows exactly how much of a struggle they found the league, but they escaped because they only drew four games all season – at the start of the season they turned a few draws into unlikely victories and ultimately that kept them up. They either snuck a victory or got hammered but it was enough. Will it be again?

    Their cup progress was minimal, but that wasn’t the focus this season – they needed to establish themselves in the Premiership and aim for that coveted 17th spot. They got it, but only just.

  67. #1467
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    Player reports

    Goalkeeper 1 – Retired from playing 03/07/2032
    2032-, Sunderland (scout), CA 170, PA 170
    2033-2034, Liverpool (scout), CA 170, PA 170
    2034-, West Ham (assistant manager), CA 170, PA 170

    Continues as West Ham manager, as they improve to finish fourth and clinch the FA Cup. Still appears to have no designs to become a full time manager.

    Goalkeeper 2 – Retired from playing 27/06/2032
    2032-, Tottenham (scout), CA 170, PA 170
    2033-2034, Birmingham (assistant manager), CA 170, PA 170
    2034-, Leeds (assistant manager), CA 170, PA 170

    Once again remains as assistant manager at Leeds, but they finish a distant twelfth after a poor season.

    Left Back 1 – Retired from playing 30/06/2030
    2030-2031, Scunthorpe (fitness coach), CA 110, PA 110
    2031-2034, Tottenham (assistant manager), CA 110, PA 110
    2034-2035, Tottenham (coach), CA 110, PA 110
    2035-, Tottenham (assistant manager), CA 110, PA 110

    Another ex-Bandits who seem content as an assistant manager, remaining at Spurs, who have an improved season to finish 14th after last season’s narrow escape from relegation.

    Right Mid 1 – Retired from playing 25/04/2026
    2026-2027, Aston Villa (youth coach), CA 130, PA 130
    2027-2035, Chelsea (assistant manager), CA 130, PA 130
    2035-2037, Chelsea (manager), CA 130, PA 130
    2037-, Roma (manager), CA 130, PA 130

    In March, he jumped ship from Chelsea to head over to Italy and manage Roma, but he was unable to lead them to Champions League glory, as they lost in the quarter finals to Valencia.

    Centre Mid 1 – Retired from playing 02/07/2030
    2030-2032, Liverpool (youth coach), CA 110, PA 110
    2032-, Reading (coach), CA 110, PA 110

    Remains happily as a coach at Reading, as they have a remarkable season, finishing second in the Premiership having challenged throughout the season. Had they won on the final day, they would have been the most unlikely Premiership champions in many years.

  68. #1468
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    Other stats

    England opened their tough group in the European Championships with draws against Italy and Spain, Ryan Morley starting and scoring in both, leaving them needing to beat Serbia in the final game to qualify. They did, 3-0, with Morley scoring twice and picking up the man of the match award.

    In the quarter finals Morley’s goal was enough to see off Croatia 1-0, while in the semi-finals he turned provider, managing both assists as England knocked out the hosts Holland 2-1 after extra time. But they were undone in the final by Italy, who won 1-0 to become European Champions.

    England have, once again, started their World Cup qualifying campaign with four wins and nothing conceded at the back. Meanwhile, Romania broke the record for not scoring in European Championships, reaching five without hitting the target.

    Right Mid 1 led Chelsea to the top of the league, before heading off to Roma, so John Terry finished off the season and picked up the Premiership trophy. Reading were the surprise package, challenging throughout the whole season and eventually finishing one point off the top.

    Liverpool improved a little to finish mid-table, but regular challengers Leeds fell away to finish in the bottom half.

    Predictably, the Bandits broke attendance records in their first season in the Premiership, given that they have the biggest ground in the country – the new record standing at 124684, for their home game against Arsenal. Most fans went home unhappy though, with the visitors storming to a 4-0 victory. The Bandits also set a new average attendance record of 92234.

    Danny Gamble’s Stoke did not have the funds to give them the ability to bridge the gap between the Championship and the Premiership, and finished bottom.

    In the Championship, Man Utd never challenged for promotion and ended up finishing tenth.

    West Ham picked up the FA Cup, beating Championship side Burnley in the final. Two Championship sides made the semi-finals, with Burnley defeating Birmingham for the right to play at Wembley. Meanwhile, Hillingdon Borough and Hanwell set an unwanted record, beating the previous lowest attendance mark by having only 128 fans turn up.

    Sheff Wed claimed the League Cup, a consolation for their relegation, after squeaking past QPR on penalties in the final after a largely shock-free competition.

    Barcelona became European Champions, beating Inter in the final, while Arsenal didn’t extend their unbeaten run past the 37 game mark they set last season – they lost their opening group match.

    Fiorentina pinched the UEFA Cup from CSKA Moscow, defeating them on penalties in the final, in a season where Tom Piper, Hibernian’s central defender, broke the average rating record, managing 9.33 in their short-lived campaign, in which he played three games.

  69. #1469
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    English Teams and Managers

    Premiership

    1. Chelsea (+3), John Terry (56, 166/170) (new manager)
    2. Reading (+11), Adrian Whitbread (65, 122/150)
    3. Arsenal (-2), Chris Casper (62, 121/149) (new manager)
    4. West Ham (+4), Paul Robinson (47, 120/120) (new manager)
    5. Man City (-3), Ian Taylor (63, 86/107)
    6. Sunderland (-1), Lee Bailey (55, 120/120) (new manager)
    7. Derby (+7), Steve Lescott (63, 99/120) (new manager)
    8. Portsmouth (+2), Michael Bates (60, 94/106)
    9. West Brom (-), Charlie Taylor (61, 118/129) (new manager)
    10. Liverpool (+6), Turgay Tufan (42, 156/156)
    11. QPR (-4), Andy Mason (61, 96/120)
    12. Leeds (-6), Peter Flynn (62, 99/118)
    13. Scunthorpe (+-10), Oliver Hand (63, 91/120)
    14. Tottenham (+3), Liam Marsden (52, 118/120) (new manager)
    15. Newcastle (-3), Steve Brackstone (62, 93/120) (new manager)
    16. Coventry (-1), Chris Swailes (63, 87/120)
    17. Bandits (P), Phil Edwards (60, 98/120)
    18. Aston Villa (P), Paul Moore (54, 120/120) (new manager)
    19. Sheff Wed (-8), Tore Reginiussen (51, 130/130) (new manager)
    20. Stoke (P), Danny Gamble (50, 120/120)

    With half the Premiership changing their managers at some point in the season, this looks a little disjointed, but Chelsea, for the second time, are now managed by John Terry, one of the finest managers in the game. Expectations will be high, but they should be given his ability.

    Adrian Whitbread showed a combination of talent and experience to take Reading up to second, while all of the top four have decent managers. Tufan predictably improved Liverpool’s fortunes, but Ian Taylor isn’t good enough to keep Man City challenging for the title, while Mason and Flynn are taking QPR and Leeds respectively out of the top half entirely.

    Sheff Wed could bounce back under their new manager next season, while Danny Gamble’s Premiership stint is already over. As for the Bandits, Edwards is getting worse, so there could be nervous times ahead.

    Promoted from Championship
    1. Chesterfield (R), Trevor Thurston (63, 103/120)
    2. Bradford (+14), Nicky Grant (55, 114/120)
    3. Birmingham (R), Ian Goodison (64, 111/130)

    Three reasonable managers there. Man Utd were in the bottom half for much of the season, but then they sacked their manager and hired England coach Jeff Forsyth (49, 154/154) so expect them to challenge for promotion again next season.

  70. #1470
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    Summary

    What a finish to the season – I must admit I thought the Bandits were doomed this time, but three wins in the last six games, and a poor run of form by those around them, somehow saved them. It was extremely lucky, especially given that Villa couldn’t score against an outfield player in the final match, but they managed it somehow.

    They lost a lot of games and conceded a huge amount of goals, but instead of picking up the odd point here and there they managed to turn a few draws into narrow victories, while being thumped in other games. They are unlikely to be as lucky again so they absolutely need to strengthen.

    Fortunately, they were very active in the transfer market last summer. In an interesting move, Phil Edwards refrained from bringing in the stars, instead giving the squad some serious depth. Now that it has that, he may splash out on a few star players.

    Because star players are extremely valuable – just look at Ryan Morley. When he came back to the Bandits’ ground, he was given a warm welcome, and proceeded to score a hattrick to give Chelsea a 3-0 win.

    Phil Edwards is not getting any younger though, and is probably only about three years away from retirement. With expectations so low, he is unlikely to get sacked, so it is imperative he keeps the club in the top flight so that a new talented manager can push them on. But his skill (which was never particularly high) is waning, and last season he relied purely on the club’s financial muscle to save them. How much longer can he keep that going?

    Man Utd failed badly in the attempt to gain promotion back to the Premiership, but they now have an excellent manager in Jeff Forsyth and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them winning the Championship next time around.

    Danny Gamble also didn’t have a good season, seeing his Stoke team get relegated, so Phil Edwards can look on that and smile.

    Right Mid 1 has now moved out to Italy to become manager of Roma – how will he do out there? And will any other ex-Bandits join him in management?

    Chelsea reached the summit of the Premiership again, but Reading were superb, and had they won on the final day, the title would’ve been theirs. Can they stay up there, or was it a flash in the pan?

    Bandit’s former manager watch

    Justin Edinburgh has retired.

    Steve Brackstone was sacked with Sheff Wed sitting 19th in the Premiership, but that’s exactly where they finished. He was then hired by Newcastle, who he took down from 13th to 15th by the end of the season.

    With Arsenal sitting fourth in the Premiership, Gary Perry was sacked despite leading them to the treble last season. They managed to get back up to third, but Perry has not been back in work since, and at 64 may retire.

    Dean Glover has retired.

    After losing in the playoff final last season, Martin Lawton’s Blackburn managed only ninth in League One this time around.

    Danny Gamble’s Stoke were outclassed in the Premiership, eventually finishing bottom, thirteen points from safety, and are sent straight back to the Championship.

  71. #1471
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    Bandits squad

    General
    Stats

    Finance Overview
    Interested Players

    The number of players interested in joining took another jump this season after the Bandits’ survival in the Premiership, hitting a new high of 8462, eclipsing last season’s tally of 8352.

    Top 20 in Squad (sorted by CA)

    Name, Pos, Age, CA-PA

    Wade, GK, 25, 158-164 (+2)
    Ellis, AM/F C, 26, 157-157 (0)
    Horton, MC, 25, 156-159 – new signing
    Leroy, AM L, 26, 156-156 (0)
    Baresi, D RC, 27, 155-168 (-1)
    Dyke, DC, 26, 155-156 – new signing
    Holmes, D LC, 25, 154-155 (+4)
    Sabin, D/AM R, 24, 152-158 – new signing
    Avery, MC, 26, 151-154 – new signing
    Harris, DM, 26, 150-157 (0)
    M Nicholson, DC, 26, 148-153 (+1)
    Hutton, ST, 27, 148-148 (0)
    O’Neill, ST, 27, 148-148 (0)
    Leather, AM C, 20, 140-156 – new signing
    Casey, DR, 24, 136-136 – new signing
    Hruska, D RL, 30, 135-135 – new signing
    Dudley, AM/F C, 20, 132-157 – new signing
    Murray, AM C, 21, 132-156 – new signing
    Hristov, AM L, 31, 131-157 – new signing
    Banks, GK, 21, 131-146 – new signing

    Players in last season’s top 20 who have left the club:
    Miguel, D/WB L, 30, 129-134
    Haynes, DM, 31, 114-132

    Players in last season’s top 20 who have dropped out of the top 20:
    Watt, AM C, 31, 131-135 (-2)
    Abbott, GK, 36, 125-133 (-3)
    Rowland, AM R, 24, 121-134 (+1)
    Tomlinson, ST, 25, 120-120 (0)
    Johnson, AM L, 26, 119-119 (0)
    Leary, ST, 29, 119-119 (0)
    Stevens, D/WB RL, 31, 109-125 (-9)
    S Nicholson, AM R, 33, 108-136 (-8)
    McKenzie, MC, 36, 101-148 (-31)

    Impressively, the 20th place CA has risen from 116 to 131, demonstrating Edwards’ tactic of improving the overall squad. Wade is still rated as the best player, but the backup he has now from the squad is far more impressive than before.

    What is also encouraging is that no important players left the club this season – two peripheral players in their 30s were the only two of any note. If the Bandits can keep encouraging players to stay, they can improve quickly, as this set of signings show.

    Phil Edwards has noted the weaknesses in defence and the midfield, and signed hatfuls of players as a result. The question is – will he push on and do the same again this summer?

    CA of X or above:

    190 : 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
    180 : 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
    170 : 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
    160 : 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
    150 : 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 3, 2, 3, 3, 3, 6, 10
    140 : 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 5, 5, 6, 10, 9, 9, 14
    130 : 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 5, 8, 10, 13, 10, 11, 22
    120 : 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0, 1, 2, 2, 6, 6, 7, 5, 5, 12, 13, 14, 18, 16, 15, [B]29/B]
    110 : 0, 2, 2, 3, 2, 6, 7, 6, 6, 7, 8, 7, 7, 9, 10, 10, 12, 12, 13, 13, 16, 23, 25, 23, 24, 21, 22, 39
    100 : 2, 4, 7, 7, 6, 13, 13, 12, 13, 13, 16, 12, 12, 12, 16, 16, 19, 21, 20, 18, 24, 31, 32, 28, 30, 29, 27, 43
    90 : 7, 11, 10, 9, 10, 16, 17, 15, 15, 20, 22, 16, 15, 17, 20, 22, 29, 33, 26, 24, 29, 32, 36, 31, 33, 31, 28, 46
    80 : 13, 14, 13, 13, 16, 21, 21, 18, 16, 21, 26, 20, 22, 21, 26, 26, 34, 36, 32, 31, 33, 40, 40, 33, 34, 33, 30, 50
    70 : 19, 22, 21, 20, 22, 27, 25, 19, 23, 25, 30, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 35, 39, 38, 35, 37, 42, 43, 36, 37, 36, 33, 55
    60 : 26, 26, 25, 23, 24, 32, 30, 24, 26, 30, 32, 26, 28, 28, 38, 33, 40, 44, 41, 37, 40, 45, 45, 38, 43, 37, 38, 60
    50 : 30, 31, 31, 26, 26, 35, 33, 28, 32, 34, 35, 30, 32, 34, 42, 37, 43, 46, 43, 42, 44, 49, 49, 45, 47, 43, 42, 62

    Crikey. Many more 150+ and 140+ players, and at the 130+ and 120+ level there are twice as many. As they haven’t been selling players to compensate for all these purchases between 120-150, the squad is absolutely huge, with a total of 62 players with 50 CA, a rise of 20 from last season.

    Players under 100 CA are now entirely useless unless huge prospects, so I would imagine the bottom twenty players in the squad won’t be getting new contracts when theirs expires.

    Hopefully Phil Edwards will still sign players despite the size of his squad – he can clear out the bottom 20-30 without a problem.

  72. #1472
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    Best and Worst

    New records:

    Highest League Position: 17th in Premiership (previous: 2nd in Championship)
    Highest Gate Receipts: 3.7m, League v Arsenal (previous: 3.6m League Cup QF v Chelsea)
    Biggest Defeat: 5-1, FA Cup 3rd Round v Birmingham (previous: 4-1)
    Highest Transfer Fee Paid: 6.75m for David Sabin (previous: 6m for Frederic Leroy)
    Total Transfer Spending: 28.5m (previous: 17.25m)

    This season:

    Best player – Wade, 7.31
    Top scorer – Hutton, 19
    Worst player – Harris, 6.21

    The Bandits hit a new high in the rich list this season, going past Real Madrid to sit third. They also hit a value of 300m for the first time, and only Arsenal and Barcelona are now ahead of them.

    Rich Clubs

  73. #1473
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    The ‘Ryan Morley’s of the world

    At 26, Ryan Morley has now hit his PA of 186, and continues to be amazing, scoring thirty goals and averaging 7.62 in a stunning season for Chelsea.

    He came second in World Player of the Year, second in World Footballer of the Year, third in English Players Player of the Year, and was named in the Champions League dream team for the season.

    At international level he continues to star for England, scoring five times in last summer’s European Championships, and taking his tally to 37 goals in 35 caps, as good as any ex-Bandit. He is now established as first choice, and with his peak still ahead of him England could enjoy years of success with him leading the line.

  74. #1474
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    Team analysis

    Goalkeepers

    James Wade (25, 158/164) remains the first choice goalkeeper, and was again the Bandits’ best player this season. At 25, he could be excellent for a number of years, so young talent is needed to push him forward.

    Dave Banks (21, 131/146) has been signed as a backup, and he fits the role nicely, impressing when Wade was injured and he faced a Man City onslaught on the final day. Behind him, there is a lot of promise in Northern Irish teenager Tommy O’Neill (19, 125/157), and Carl Bowden (18, 85/147).

    Summary: Wade is absolutely fine, and Phil Edwards has acted in the transfer market, bringing in young backups able to step in when required.

    Defenders

    Ricky Holmes (25, 154/155) has finally been moved out of the centre of defence and into his best position of left back, where he has been relatively solid. He has backup in Stanislav Hruska (30, 135/135), who can play on either flank, and Matt Bryant (22, 123/148), both new signings.

    At right back there was a three way battle between Hruska, last season’s occupant Andrea Baresi (27, 155/168) and newcomer Sam Casey (24, 136/136), which Baresi narrowly won, while struggling to perform well at that level.

    Matt Nicholson (26, 148/153) continued in the centre of defence, and played to a decent level, alongside a new partner, Matt Dyke (26, 155/156), who settled in quickly. Cover is supplied by Craig Glasspool (21, 130/139) and David Carter (20, 119/137), but neither will probably ever hit the first team.

    Summary: Plenty of defensives signings were made, so that there are options all across the back, but if one defender should be signed, it would be a centre back to provide cover to the main pairing.

    Midfielders

    On the left wing, last season’s star player Frederic Leroy (26, 156/156) continued to impress, so there was little need for the short term cover signed in Simeon Hristov (31, 131/157). The rest of the backup is extremely poor and certainly not good enough for the Premiership.

    Meanwhile, on the right, David Sabin (24, 152/158), the club’s new record signing, costing 6.75m from Spurs, proved himself to be an excellent player, settling in extremely quickly and averaging exactly 7.00 for the entire season. His backup comes from last season’s first choice Scott Nicholson (33, 33, 108/136), who is fading badly, and the young pair of Dan Warriner (20, 111/143) and Dean Gayle (17, 110/130).

    The main central midfield pairing was Colin Harris (26, 150/157), who was again deployed further forward than his defensive midfield role in suited for, and Michael Horton (25, 156/159), a new signing who proved himself worthy of the position.

    Another new signing, Ryan Avery (26, 151/154) is pushing hard for a position, while Kieran Murray (21, 132/156) is improving.

    Summary: They signed both the right winger and the central midfielder that they needed, but with Colin Harris performing so poorly they need the strengthen in the centre once again. Otherwise, it is just backup that is required.

    Strikers

    Ross Ellis (26, 157/157) kept his place in the team for the Premiership season, scoring ten goals, while his partner was the returning Craig Hutton (27, 148/148), who top scored with 19, forcing Rob O’Neill (27, 14/148) out of the team.

    There is cover and promise in Karl Dudley (20, 132/157), who is emerging as a serious talent, but beyond them there is no more cover.

    Summary: If Edwards is to sign a star player, a striker would be a good move – the strength in depth isn’t extreme, and while all decent, none of them are likely to propel the Bandits up to mid table.

    Last season’s shopping list:

    Centre Back – signed (Matt Dyke)
    Right Midfielder – signed (David Sabin)
    Central Midfielder – signed (Michael Horton)
    A large squad – signed

    Edwards plugged all the gaps in his squad, while filling out its depth, so he did everything I said he had to do last summer.

    Summer shopping list: Centre Back, Central Midfielder, plus some stars

    Strength at centre back would be advisable given the lack of cover, while Harris needs replacing in the centre of midfield. Otherwise, they just need to improve what they have by attracting a few star players.

  75. #1475
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    Hurrah, good update

  76. #1476
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    First XI Summary

    GK: Wade (25, 158/164) – 7.31
    LB: Holmes (25, 154/155) – 6.71
    CB: M Nicholson (26, 148/153) – 6.71
    CB: Dyke (26, 155/156) – 6.84
    RB: Baresi (27, 155/168) – 6.38
    LM: Leroy (26, 156/156) – 6.95
    CM: Harris (26, 150/157) – 6.21
    CM: Horton (25, 156/159) – 6.84
    RM: Sabin (24, 152/158) – 6.86
    ST: Hutton (27, 148/148) – 7.28
    ST: Ellis (26, 157/157) – 7.21

    Average age – 25.7 (down from last year’s 27.5)
    Average CA – 153.5 (up from last year’s 142.6)
    Average rating –6.85 (down from last year’s 7.09)

    There’s not a lot of age range in their first team anymore – all are between 24 and 27, so in theory it’s a team close to peaking. The average CA has shot up, which was absolutely required, but now some stars are needed – the best player, Wade, is only a few points better than the average of 153.5.

  77. #1477
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    Ones to watch

    Your annual guide to the stars of tomorrow:

    Aleksandras Stazys (19, 161/186), Lithuania’s star left back moved to Man City this season, where he disappeared from the first team after averaging less than 6, but he is expected to play a big part in the club’s future.

    Tony Allison (17, 96/192), Birmingham’s forward who plays superbly in the hole, came through their youth system this season and has yet to make his first team debut. Labelled as one for the future, can he fulfil his massive potential?

    Previous tips

    Carlo Lupo (21, 184/198) has proved all predictions about him correct, the youngster forming a crucial part of Milan’s back line and playing the odd game for Italy.

    Toni Halonen (21, 174, 187), the Finnish centre back, is now struggling for a place in Chelsea’s line up – he wouldn’t be the first to see his career stall at Stamford Bridge.

    Patrick Schmidt (20, 171/184) continues to improve at a tremendous rate, adding 12 CA points this season, and becoming a regular in both the Valencia and German national sides.

    Marian Badea (20, 128/189), the Romanian left sided player, moved from Gloria to Zenith Peterburg, where he is looking to maximise his potential. Currently he is still an unknown force.

    Similarly, Slim Sellami (try saying that quickly) (17, 104/188), the Tunisian forward, gained a whopping 28 CA points this season to give some hint that he may reach his huge potential. He is still employed on a youth contract at his local side, ES Tunis.

    Pereira (20, 155/187) moved to Inter after Chelsea accepted an offer of 10.5m for the Portuguese defensive midfielder. He plays regularly for his new club.

  78. #1478
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    World beaters

    Gerardo Robles (26, 197/197), has taken over the mantle of being the best player in the world. Inter’s Mexican striker is frighteningly good, and his status was confirmed when he won both World Player of the Year and World Footballer of the Year, beating Ryan Morley into second in both.

    Gerardo Robles

    Milan’s Welsh legend of a striker, Jamie Harris (28, 193/193) is a distant four points behind, while newcomers Xavier Pasqualetti (26, 191/194), PSG’s loyal French striker, and Ruben Camara (25, 191/191), Mallorca’s Spanish goalkeeper sit just behind him. The only other player with 190+ CA is Pedro (28, 190/190), the Portuguese left back also at Milan,

    The best player currently lighting up the Premiership is probably the best player ever to come out of China, Meng Tao (25, 187/191), Arsenal’s star striker.

    Ryan Morley (26, 186/186) is now officially the best English player playing his trade anywhere in the world, coming in joint ninth, which puts him second in the Premiership to boot. What a player.

  79. #1479
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    1. Keep up the good work Kipfish, I have been silently following your experiment since the beginning, fascinating stuff.

    2. To the SI moderator that moved this forum, may I point out that technically this is not a holiday game, nor a challenge, nor a sign up game, it is an experiment concerning the behaviour of the AI within your product and judging by the interest from your own staff, is providing valuable information for your own development of the game.

    I am something of a veteran of football management games, having started with Kevin Toms' FM on the BBC 'B' for those that remember this antique (still have both as well, tucked away in the loft)and have bought every instalment of CM/FM since the very beginning so I consider myself in a position to comment on your failing customer relationships at times. As you will note from my limited number of posts,I am rarely moved to comment on these forums unless I have something constructive or important to say - I am certainly not a post junkie, nor do I give a diddly squat about how long the forum say I've been registered etc.

    So take note and remember 'the customer IS always right'

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    I'm desperate to see the summer signings!

  81. #1481
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Since we have a new home for this thread, there may be some new people wandering in, with a whole heap of questions to ask. So, for anyone out there wondering what I’m doing and why, see if any of these answer your question:

    What is this thread
    At its inception, it was an AI experiment designed to test the intelligence of clubs, managers, and players under extreme circumstances. Those circumstances were as follows:

    Club – rich, huge stadium, no reputation, but clear potential to be a big player.
    Players – perfect players, no ambition, loyalty to the Bandits
    Idiots – perfect players, with the opposite of perfect mental traits, in addition they hate all the big clubs, each other and the world.

    For more on this, check the first few posts in the thread, they explain the thread in detail and what exactly I was looking for at the start.

    How do you play it?
    Simple – a lot of database editing, a new game, an unemployed manager, and a very long holiday. When I need data about the Bandits that only their manager can see, I save, add myself as their manager, get the info, and then reload.

    But all the players have retired now – how can a season update be so long when it’s just a team report?
    It is true that the report on the ex-Bandit starlets is now probably the least interesting part of the update. However, their progression (or non-progression) into management has been an AI story all in itself. Sure, the focus is now on the club, but since the players retired I’ve replaced that AI analysis, by looking at other areas of the game, such as squad sense.

    Who is Ryan Morley?
    Ryan Morley was signed by the Bandits when they were in the Championship. He had remarkable potential, and was far too good for them, leaving after one year to join Chelsea. He’s now one of the best players in the world, and a report section has been named in his honour, tracking all the best players that played for the Bandits, even if only fleetingly.

  82. #1482
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    Frequently Asked Questions (Part 2)

    Why do you do this?
    AI is a passion of mine. From studying it, to writing a game as my university project, spending months getting those aliens to work as a cohesive team, to everything that has come since, I am fascinated by every aspect of it. I cannot explain just how phenomenally difficult ‘good AI’ is to write, especially in a game as open-ended as this one, where there are endless debates even about what constitutes ‘good AI’. As a developer, I am interested in just how well-implemented it is, and can be.

    And what are your conclusions?
    The experiment isn’t over, so final conclusions haven’t been made, but in short, the AI in this game is utterly superb. After 31 seasons of the Bandits, huge AI flaws would have bitten us by now, and while there are been some interesting discussions, on the whole I’ve been very impressed. The club is still growing, and the game does not yet feel stale.

    So the AI’s perfect?
    Of course not. There are a few things that have been turned up, and I cannot imagine SI would ever claim perfection anyway. We’ll discuss the AI issues shortly.

    Surely this thread is just a story now?
    I’ve seen this argument stated and I can see the point. But while the thread does drift towards a story, deliberately, especially given my recent attempts at suspense, it always comes back to AI. Can what is happening be rationally explained? Is there logic to seemingly odd decisions? That said, I try to write it like a story, otherwise I wouldn’t imagine it’d be as interesting.

    Are you a Bandits fan?
    Absolutely. Tragic as it may seem, you should see me as the season draws to a close.

    Who are the Bandits anyway?
    They are a representation of our university team, all those years ago (feeling old moment). If only we’d had Ryan Morley.

    If I look at the first few reports, they don’t look much like the current ones. Why not?
    In the beginning, the reports were quite short, as at the time I was giving all the information I could think of. But since then, many questions have been asked of me, and when various people show an interest in a particular angle in the game, I try to include it in my report. Recently, some new sections have been added, purely by requests from the regular readers. In short, if you’re interested in something, shout, and I’ll include it (within reason )

    So what exact part of AI are you testing now?
    The progression of an extreme-conditioned team.
    Ambition and ability of managers and chairmen (which managers succeed and why?)
    Squad sense
    AI of the unambitious ex-Bandits now in management.

    Can you list the point of each of the sections – why are they included and what is their purpose?
    This one deserves a new section, after this post.

    Are you going to upload the database or the save?
    At the end of the experiment, yes. But I’d like the discussion in here to include predictions about what will happen, and analysis of what did happen. If I upload the database especially, people can zip on thirty years and make predictions based upon their save, rather than what is realistic.

  83. #1483
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    What’s the purpose of each section?

    To help any new readers understand why the report is now as long as it is, here’s an explanation of each section, along with what its been looking for. Remember – if you want to request more information, do, this remains a constantly growing report, thanks to you

    Club report
    The staple diet of the report – it’s a simple report on how the Bandits have managed in the most recent season. It contains their entire history of league positions, plus any cup runs to the semi final stage, as well as comparing their position to the media prediction.

    This has been maintained from the start – the slow but steady progress of such a rich club has been a major focus of the experiment. In all, it took thirty years to gain the five promotions required to reach the Premiership.

    Player reports
    For years, this was one of the biggest and most focused upon sections in the report. It tracked the 24 players created at the start of experiment through the highs and lows of their careers, until they retired. Since then, only a few have gone into management, where their lack of ambition has seen their careers become quite uneventful. Once those players retire from management, this section will cease to exist.

    Other stats
    This section has grown over the seasons, but in short it is designed purely to add some weight to the world by describing anything remotely interesting from the past season. It details domestic, club and international tournaments winners, while describing any notable feats, underachievements, and so on.

    Most notably recently has been the fortunes of Man Utd, who find themselves halfway up the Championship, and Real Madrid, who have won countless Champions Leagues.

    English Teams and Managers
    This new section is a sort of ‘chart’ for the Premiership, showing the climbers and fallers, while detailing the managers that lead the way. The point is to see whether a good manager really is worth their salt – is it the best managers who propel their sides up the league? And also, how realistic is the Premiership?

    In real life, the top of the Premiership especially is almost a closed club, while is mid table, teams can rise and fall anything up to about eight places a season. Below the Premiership, the gaps are much smaller, and a team nearly relegated one season can bounce back and challenge for promotion the following year. The question is – is this accurately represented in FM, and the answer, happily, is yes.

    Summary
    Whereas most of the previous sections give a volume of facts, this tries to bring it all together and make some sense of it. What has really happened over the past year, and why? What is likely to happen next? What do I think should happen next? It also give me an opportunity to provide a little information that doesn’t fit neatly into any of the other sections.

    Also at the end of this section is a monitor on the fortunes of all the Bandits’ former managers. Was the Bandits job the best one they’d ever get?

  84. #1484
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    What’s the purpose of each section? (con't)

    Bandits squad
    Number crunching team. This gives an overall feel as to the progression of the Bandits squad. The top 20 players by CA are listed, with their change from the previous season or status as a new signing if appropriate. A measure of the number of interested players is included as a mark of the club’s reputation, and then an analysis of the squad at every level of CA.

    The point of this is to give a very clear indication of whether the Bandits are getting stronger or weaker, from an overall squad view. It does not look into individual positions, so while it may seem that they are getting stronger, they may have no balance, with six keepers in their squad and no strikers. The team analysis and balance comes later.

    This is probably one of the more useful sections for gauging the ability of the manager to take the club forward.

    Best and Worst
    More of a trivia section than anything, this just shows who are the players in the squad performing at the best and worst levels, along with any records (good or bad) that the Bandits have broken over the past years. Finally, their standing in the world rich list is given.

    The ‘Ryan Morley’s of the world
    A tribute to the greatest naturally created player ever to play for the Bandits, this just adds flavour to the report, detailing how those players have done that have starred for the Bandits and gone on to better things. Ryan Morley is a beast, currently the best English player in the world. For one season he smashed the Championship.

    Team Analysis
    This is still a relatively new section, and the one that takes me the longest to write. It analysis the squad sense of the Bandits, and whoever is their present manager, by looking at each position in turn. The strength of that position is examined, and a report given on exactly where they need to improve, based upon the ability, age, performance, and depth available in each spot.

    At the end, a virtual ‘shopping list’ is created, and a check to see if the manager had the sense to plug the holes flagged up the previous summer.

    First XI Summary
    The age, ability, and performance of each of the current first XI, based upon who has played the most over the previous season. An average age, CA and performance is calculated, and this sometimes sheds even more light on obvious holes. For example, a few years ago the Bandits had two major weaknesses – left midfield and left back, and were cut apart by any team with a decent right winger.

    Ones to watch
    Once again, this is included just to fill out the world a little, and give you some idea of who the prospects are, and where they are. One day, the Bandits might even sign one.

    It would be too easy just to list the best few teenagers by CA and PA, so this is not what I do here. Instead, for the most part, I try to pick out a few players plying their trade at a smaller club, who will surely go on to be huge if they apply themselves properly. This is based upon their PA, their age, and their distribution of attributes.

    World beaters
    This just lists the best players in the world by CA. Who are they, where are they? Is there one at a surprisingly small club? Are the players living up to their billing as the best in the world?

  85. #1485
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    Originally posted by kipfizh:
    Update coming shortly, and following that I'll have a little AI discussion as that was the point of this thread in the first place - it's become a story certainly, but I like to keep the AI experiment-ness in there somewhere too.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by alexsaxon:
    i wanna see if i can try what u are doing kip. How do i do it, do i just start as a manager without a team, or do i take over a team and then go on holiday and leave the assistant to do it. i just wonder how you keep track of how everything is going if you are on holiday the whole time
    Start with a manager without a team, and then go on an extended holiday. I bring myself back off holiday regularly to see what's happening, and at crucial points in the game just keep hittong continue. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    cheers for your help mate. How do you get acess to the financial overview section of the club then if u arent in charge of the club?

  86. #1486
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    Originally posted by alexsaxon:
    cheers for your help mate. How do you get acess to the financial overview section of the club then if u arent in charge of the club?
    This one stumped me for a while, but you save it, then add another manager in charge of that team, analyse everything you want through their eyes, and then reload the game to before when you'd added them.

  87. #1487
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    cheers for your help mate. How do you get acess to the financial overview section of the club then if u arent in charge of the club?
    Basicly Your in say May 2009 you save the game! Then you add yourself as manager of that team! You then gather all the information together! To continue with your experiment you then have to go to load game. This will give you your resume point to continue with your experiment

  88. #1488
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    kipfizh - I know it'd be a lot of effort, but how about (at the end of the experiment) uploading a few different scenarios for people to play from (assuming you have the old saves)? They could choose Scenario 1, starting at the very beginning and trying to hang onto the good players; Scenario 2, just after all the good players have gone; Scenario 3, immediately after the signing of Ryan Morley; and so on...

  89. #1489
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    poor ter, everybodies giving out about him. im sure he was only trying to be helpful. none of my business so ill stay out of it

  90. #1490
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    Kipfizh,
    Out of interest, and possibly for future updates, would you be able to list the results of the bandits for the season just over?

    League only if necessary but cups would be interesting too, potentially with a short comment if the game was particularly relevant i.e. a turning point in a run of losses to a win or vice versa, a loss against a rival or a particularly inspiring win.

    Is probably a bit much for the comments/reports but the list of results would at least be interesting.

    Waz

  91. #1491
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    Another quick request to add to your already massive workload but a little section on the lowest ranked club who started in the EPL and any notable rises through the divisions that aren't already viewable on the EPL table would be nice.

    Another superb update KUTGW

  92. #1492
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    And yet another request: Who are The Bandits favourite staff? Are the players whom whe started off with among them? Ryan Morley maybe, or Danny Gamble?

    (my apologies if this has been asked before)

  93. #1493
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    Originally posted by waz_nufc_awk:
    Kipfizh,
    Out of interest, and possibly for future updates, would you be able to list the results of the bandits for the season just over?
    This would easily be done with two or three screenshots.

  94. #1494
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    crafty bison: Afraid not, I have no old game states.

    waz_nufc_awk: I try to include anything of note (big wins, big losses, wins over higher opposition, losses against lower divisions, etc). Would the complete result set be interesting?

    CanaryLawn: I'll have a look to see who has moved the most! Might actually do a quick screenshot of every division so you can see where everyone is this days.

    bnurpo: I'll look them up when I get the chance.

    There's a few summaries of the AI so far, coming up, if you have anything to add, please do, it's all up for debate

    And with that, we move on to some AI questions....

  95. #1495
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    Have the Bandits progressed as expected?

    After a storming start, when the starlets were still at the Bandits, they slowed down considerably, averaging around seven years per promotion. With their transfer kitty, you would expect them to consistently improve, because the can always sign and they never have to sell for financial reasons (although there are plenty of other reasons why they may have to).

    But the progression of the team was perhaps slowed by the ambition of both chairman and manager. The chairman was always content with steady progress, while the lower end manager sometimes didn’t recognize the weaknesses in their side or just chose not to spend big. This is realistic from a business perspective – the club make money year on year, and if financial acumen is the main aim, the ambition of the playing side can legitimately be limited.

    However, there was a long discussion many pages back, in which we talked about the relationship between money and reputation. The standard of players interested in joining the club was always enough to push the club forward, but not dramatically so. With a chairman set as a sugar daddy, a couple of hundred million in the bank, plus a wage budget available to satisfy the mercenaries, you would be forgiven for thinking progress should’ve been quicker. There are a number of possibilities here:

    1) The manager behaves in a way that satisfies the chairman, and the chairman is happy with steady progress and would prefer big money not to be spent on players.
    2) The manager lacks ambition and is happy with a long term aim of steady improvement.
    3) The manager isn’t very good and picks out the wrong talent or wastes them when signed.

    Those, as I see it, are the AI reasons, the other one being not enough of a link between the financial status of a club, and their reputation.

    Check Amaroq’s suggested model, on page 3 (26 Jan), for a good idea about how the two could be linked, in both a positive (for rich clubs) and a negative (strugglers) way.

    This question can’t be fully answered yet though. You would expect them to reach the Premiership eventually, and they have, so they don’t get stuck, but the question is what happens now. There are other rich clubs in the Premiership, so the financial gap is smaller, and as I mentioned earlier, the gaps between each position in the Premiership are wider than in any other division. In theory, their climb should be slow, unless they spend far bigger than they ever have before, or get a far more talented manager than they’ve ever had before.

    Feel free to add your opinions.

  96. #1496
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    What about the good-natured players?

    The 22 starlets were set up as incredibly talented and utterly loyal, but their sense shone through when they all made the step up to the Premiership within a few years. At that point, their loyalty kicked in, many of them never leaving the club they chose. This makes perfect sense. They would fight hard for their places when they were dropped, which happened a lot in the Chelsea midfield especially.

    Once they reached their late 30s, they started to retire, but their lack of ambition came up again as many decided they were fulfilled and disappeared completely. Those that didn’t were either players who retired early because they couldn’t get a game anymore (Right Mid 1) and weren’t happy with that, or those that had such a long career that by the time they retired they’d taken every coaching badge and were superb managers in the waiting (the keepers).

    But since they took that step, they seem happy, on the most part, to play second fiddle, as assistants at Premiership clubs, biding their time.

    I can’t fault any of this model, Marc Vaughan explained the retirement phenomenon a few pages back, check his response for more details.

    Thoughts?

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    What effect did the idiots have on clubs?

    In a word, dramatic. Both idiots struggled to win trophies in their careers, because their attitude was so abysmal. They never played as well as their more professional counterparts, who were blessed with equal skill, and often caused the downfall of clubs by creating a huge amount of fighting in the dressing room.

    This part of the experiment seems to prove that you have to be very careful when you sign someone and the fans instantly speak out against them. These players can cause unrest, and it was interesting to see the number of times they would sign for a new club, play well enough, but the team would suffer and drop down the league regardless. Team spirit is a valuable thing, it seems.

    Because both started unattached and stunningly talented, they both moved to the Premiership early, and started their international careers before the other starlets could make it. But once met by their rivals, they fell away from the international scene, jumped around clubs, and retired early and angrily.

    Be very careful about signing idiots. They may play well, but you may suffer because the standard of their teammates performances slip.

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    Do managers have squad sense?

    Some more than others. There does sometimes appear to be a lot of logic about manager’s decision, but my only complaint about the ones I’ve seen so far is that they do not plan ahead enough – they allow players to get old and really start deteriorating before replacing them.

    Of course, this could just be the individual managers. I’ve yet to have a chance to analyse the squad sense of a 150+ CA manager.

    Does manager ability really matter?

    Oh yes. While all managers can have their day, analyzing the part of the report that shows which managers are at which clubs, and how they are doing, shows this quite clearly.

    In the current game, Turgay Tufan is a young and very talented manager. He took Portsmouth up the league, then jumped ship to Liverpool, whose fortunes he is beginning to turn around.

    There are exceptions, of course, and CA isn’t everything when there are so few attributes, but there is a trend here, which is worrying for the Bandits as the ability of their manager is poor for the league.

    What about ambition?

    Tricky one. AI experiment 2 will attempt to focus on this area, since it is the main conclusion to come out of this one. If ambitious managers and chairman still don’t use the transfer fund, then something is wrong.

    But so far, the best manager the Bandits have had, Danny Gamble, was the most active in the market, excluding this season, where the rise to the Premiership brought with it a spending spree. Whether he was ambitious or not I’m not sure, but it may just have a been a measure of his ability that he thought he could use those funds to take the team forward, rather than risking little and leaving them there.

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    Does the world distribution of talent make sense?

    The best players are (mostly) at the best clubs, and from a couple of seasons ago we can see that there are about the same percentages of players and staff in each CA bracket, as each other. However, this differs from the original database, which appears to have a skewed set of staff data especially, where a higher proportion have a high talent.

    Check out my post on page 13, 26 July, entitled ‘Some maths’. There, for example I showed that at present, the number of players and staff with CA 160+ is around 6%. It seems like the Fred system is settling the balance around this figure (there are similar figures for all ability brackets).

    But the original database, I am led to believe, has a lot more high-end staff, so what would you rather see?

    The original database being labelled as correct, and the Fred system targeted at maintaining the same balance as at the start?

    Or

    The Fred system being approved as balanced, and the original database adjusted to match the long term balance generated by it?

    Or neither?

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    Originally posted by kipfizh:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by alexsaxon:
    cheers for your help mate. How do you get acess to the financial overview section of the club then if u arent in charge of the club?
    This one stumped me for a while, but you save it, then add another manager in charge of that team, analyse everything you want through their eyes, and then reload the game to before when you'd added them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    cool, thanks. Just one more thing, do you find that viewing the matches impacts on the result. The three matches I have watched so far have all resulted in 3 - 0 wins to my team. Could be just coincedence but they were having a very average season at the time so it just made me think

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