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MrMourinho

People's ideas of how to enjoy and appreciate this role-playing game the very most?

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I have thought for a while to start a thread that is about people's ideas of how to enjoy this game the most. This game can be immensely addictive and compelling. What is it that makes this game so amazing? It's a whole world that centres about football and your chosen team. In my opinion, it's the most addictive and enjoyable role-playing game I have ever encountered.

Let's see if we can be as detailed as possible in sharing our "secrets" of how we go about and approach this marvelous game and what it is that we do that make us addicted and staying with a save game for a long period.

I will start with sharing my thoughts about what makes this game so interesting and compelling:

I always play as Chelsea. This is my team and although I am from Sweden, Chelsea have been my team since I was five and I have always followed them closely and supported them. I try to visit Stamford Bridge at least once a year. I have tried to play with other teams, but I can't seem to get into it. Playing the same team over and over again works fine for me, that is what I care about. My problem before with Football Manager (I have played it since the 97/98 season) is that I always tended to loose interest in my save after about two seasons. I made one grave error when playing this role-playing game and that was in my opinion to play the game too fast. I started to play it in a moderate tempo, but after half a season I started to play it much quicker. I could play a season in just two days and this was my big mistake. I lost interest because I didn't take notice of all the small details in the game. I also took hasty decisions which ruined my game later, because this game is most enjoyable when you think carefully about every decision that's affecting your club.

SFraser opened my eyes in one of his often brilliant threads. In his "Creativity and Flair" thread he told the following in an answer to another person's question:

The short answer, when I am playing FM, is keeping this up season after season:

1zuij5.jpg

Keeping a First Team Squad of 25 players fit, happy, on form and playing well game after game is a bit of a challenge. 2/3rds of the way through the season and there is a not a complaint, a whinge, a concern to be seen. Barring one injury and one player back from a very nasty and long injury there is not a player lacking match fitness, an obvious backup veteran getting upset about his role, a newcomer failing to settle or any really stand out issues with form and performances.

It is to this date in my entire time playing FM by far my most well run and throughly enjoyable team. You can see just how much of the original squad remains, and ultimately everything I have written about, discussed and debated here and elsewhere I have been putting into practice. Taking the game at this pace and with this degree of care and attention to detail means I don't get very far very quickly, but I get there knowing my players inside out and seeing every inch of what the game has to offer.

qp1d2h.jpg

Getting this kind of thing to happen also takes a lot of time and care. Technique, Composure and Creativity increasing in my young, hot-shot striker who was somewhat deficient in those areas, let down a bit by his inability to remain calm under pressure and really strike a ball sweetly. So those are the areas I look to increase first and it takes attention to these details to achieve it.

And look at the attributes improving in this young attacking midfielder:

1zvwwli.jpg

Creativity and Flair!

As much as FM is a tactical game, a football simulator, I have said all along that it is also an absolute beast of a roleplaying game with plenty of interaction between manager and ingame characters and hundreds of tiny little details of personalities to be tweaked and studied and to get involved with. For me the matchday is the culmination of all the little things done beforehand, it's where my players go out and display what an awesome club from top to bottom this club is, and it's my job to ensure that it is that awesome.

You see Jaume and Ozil at "Good" Morale? Well it's my job to fix that, that's where I need to step in. Jaume is "Optimistic about his future at the club" which means I need to give him a game soon and then praise him and he will perk up and be "Enthuisiastic about his future at the club". It doesn't take much, but it's still all there if you know where to look and how players react and what that tiny little difference means by studying players and paying attention to them. He is only 17 and a little bit unsure about how highly I think of him, so I'll put the proverbial arm around his shoulder and let him know he is a top young striker. Might even give him a start in the next match in the FA Cup against Everton because he is genuinely that good and it will prove my faith in him, but it's also a bit of a risk as he does lack Composure and it will be a fairly high pressure match. So decisions to make.

So between that and writing all those rather wordy threads and posts about what I am seeing in the game, a season doesn't go by fast at all.

This great answer made me realise that I played this role-playing game in the wrong way. Nowadays, when I play my Chelsea save, I play it in a way that is totally different to how I played it before I read SFrasers answer. Now, one season may take a couple of weeks for me to go through and the enjoyment I get is immense. Now, I appreciate all the small details and my club is a well run club with a long time strategy of how to develop my club and players to the next level. One little thing that makes the game more fun and rewarding is thinking carefully about your squad. Before when I played I bought players in a whim and without much strategy and forward thinking. Eventually it ruined my save because I took decision and played the game in a haste. I always ended up with a poorly run club with too many players that were bought without a strategy. Now, when Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba is about to retire or to be sold, I have a plan since long before which player is going to be bought and fill their shoes. It makes the game more realistic and it keeps me from getting bored. Instead I play it with a strategy always in my mind and this keeps me going season after season, trying to develop my club to the next level.

I would be very interested to hear what other people do that make them appreciate and enjoy Football Manager. How do you approach the game? What advice can you share that makes the game addictive for you? What do you do to keep interest in a save for many seasons? I am curious to hear what SFraser among other great posters on these forums think of how to play the game.

I hope this thread will a long and useful one, which can help us to appreciate the game even more.

So, come on. Tell me your thoughts and ways to play the game!

p.s. I hope my English is ok for you to understand. It can be hard to express oneself in a different language and to really say what it is you mean. If I had posted in Swedish, I guess this thread would be a very short one :)

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I had a similar experience. When I first started playing all I really did was getting good players and making a good tactic. That was where I put almost all my time in and as a result I had really good players that had the right attributes and I worked on my tactic a lot which resulted in a lot of slider tweaking and putting one extra notch here and there. I also got easily upset when I lost games and was never satisfied with one tactic. What I completely missed was how realistic this game actually is. It's not about one notch here or one notch there or lame rules about giving creative freedom to creative players and tweaking all the mentality settings. It's about thinking football and using common football logic and football ideas to manage a club.

Now I put more of my time into squad management, adapting my tactic to the next match and developing a good player development system for my club which ensures a healthy income and continues squad improvement. I approach the game not like a game where you can use the sliders to get an optimal tactic that works every time when using good players. I approach the like it's real life football management. Now I'm going to give HUGE credits to this game by saying that by approaching this game like real life football I actually am far more successful and the game is far more enjoyable. It shows just how good of a football simulation this game really is and sadly most people don't realize this and as such don't get the most out of the game IMO.

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It's about thinking football and using common football logic and football ideas to manage a club.

Now I put more of my time into squad management, adapting my tactic to the next match and developing a good player development system for my club which ensures a healthy income and continues squad improvement. I approach the game not like a game where you can use the sliders to get an optimal tactic that works every time when using good players. I approach the like it's real life football management. Now I'm going to give HUGE credits to this game by saying that by approaching this game like real life football I actually am far more successful and the game is far more enjoyable. It shows just how good of a football simulation this game really is and sadly most people don't realize this and as such don't get the most out of the game IMO.

Brilliantly said.

It's a game that doesn't just try to encapsulate good looking football or fun to mess around with football, it's a game that tries to bring football to your PC full stop. It's a game aimed at a passion. I don't think success at FM reflects knowledge of real life football, I think success at FM reflects passion about football. Success is always subjective though, but that's one of the biggest points.

What you get from FM directly equals what you put in to FM. It's not the real deal, it's just a game, and those that enjoy the game most are in my opinion passionate about the virtual clubs. FM has flaws but what it brings to the table is an attempt at the complete football experience. You can tell that this a game that has it's roots in some football fanatics bedroom, because when the end product ends up in another football fanatics bedroom it is the greatest game of all time.

However that's not the point of the OP. The OP is talking about how to truly enjoy this mightily impressive simulation of football as a whole. It's not a question of how FM relates to the real world, but how you relate to FM.

And on that point I think the best I thing I have to say is this:

m7b3ms.jpg

Four seasons after the Jaume I posted first, this is the Jaume that Jaume has turned in to. It's only four seasons later, his career is not done and dusted. I am watching the development and evolution of his career. And the path his career has taken is interesting:

In my original system he was a young prospect that had no chance of usurping the combination I had between Berbatov at AMC and Rooney at FC. No chance. That combination was absolutely lethal.

Berbatov then reached and passed his peak and started to decline rapidly and so I went on the lookout for a new AMC. Jaume continued to develop and started to give me real questions based on his ability. I refused to drop Rooney though as he was my best player at my club every season. You simply can't drop a well played Rooney.

My quest for a new AMC ultimately resulted in a bunch of nearly men that are all useful but none of them fit the bill. At the same time Rooney is peaking and Jaume is turning into a God. I experiment with Rooney at AMC and Jaume at FC but in my system this combination is a dud. I could drop Rooney and build my team around Jaume or drop Jaume and build my team around Rooney, but I want both players and I don't want to sign any more nearly men.

So I change my system. I start by testing out 4-4-2, which lacks the midfield strength of my 4-2-3-1. I consider Rooney or Jaume playing wide but they lack the legs to make the position work.

Instead I find something completely subtle but radically different. My young hot prospect CM develops into a lethal deep lying playmaker with little pace, so I drop my midfield back slightly. At the same time I push Jaume forward as the Lone Striker so he is constantly on the shoulder of the last man, and this system of a deeper CM and more advanced ST gives Rooney at AMC the space his technical skills requires to work in. And it's working excellently.

This is a football story.

Simply by taking interest in my players and trying to manage them, I can come on here and talk about attributes, and tactics, and the creation of space. I can talk about different types of playmakers or the tactical options opened up to you by different types of strikers. I can talk about what kind of AMC is needed for X player, or how to use X player in order to get the most out of your AMC.

Simply by paying attention to my clubs football story. By being involved in my clubs story.

If you miss the story, you miss the entire game. I mean that literally. But it is just my opinion.

By the way, your language is brilliant. More threads like these please. It's the best thread to strike right into the heart of FM as I see it, that this forum has had.

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Well i also used to just look at this as just a game and trying to get that slider right or just look for something that worked and sticked with it.

But the game is a lot more enjoyable if you look at it from a footballing perspective instead of just trying to beat the game and SFraser's threads are a lot inspiring on that department, i started being a lot more careful about my players fitness for instance, i just used to "press more" for the entire game but now i try to start the game just holding the ball,probing around for a goal and if i'm not getting it,i'll push forward and take the game to the opposition for the last 20 minutes of the first half, then if by the 60-70th minute mark i have a good lead, i just sit back, hold the ball and save energy for the next fixture.

I also started to giving a lot more attention to my youth team, i don't want just prospects to bring good money, i want to develop good players that will find a role in my team and if they aren't good enough to just make a good career somewhere else, i try to have at least a good starting eleven on my U-19 team so they have a good chance of winning the youth league, sometimes i think i enjoy more the victories from the youth team than my own senior squad.

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one way or every other way I think SFraser is the Best Contributer on the Forum. Thank You SFraser.

I'd like to endorse that too. i've similarly been inspired to play the 'SFraser' way. What I will add is that I'm a lower league manager [NOT 'LLM' as in that forums rules], managing at the opposite end of the scale as Manchester United (actually I'm managing FC United!), and at that level the philosophy is every bit as applicable and enjoyable.

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Nothing more to add other than that I endorse this thread. What I love about the game the most, is that you can play it when your'e not playing it. Boring meeting at work? Why not recap your young DC loan options. Wife doing your nut in in Tesco? Spend some time planning your away trip to Dynamo Kiev. :-)

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Although I'm a Manchester United fan, born and raised, I think it's not since FM09 or even FM08 that I played with them, though I do remember a couple of threads where SFraser and I were batting ideas at one another. Especially if I recall, about free roles and creative freedom.

When it comes to playing as any big club, I'm afraid that the saves don't last more than three or four seasons, as creating an all-conquering side feels too easy. Sometimes though I would carry on with United and see if I could, like Sir Alex, build team after team and maintain the high standards I'd set.

Most of all though, I really enjoy taking a small club by the scruff of the neck and seeing how far I can take them, what success I can bring, or if I can turn them into a big club over time. I've enjoyed my adventure with my first save, taking AFC Telford to League One, before leaving for Central Coast Mariners in Australia, where I'd not managed since their league was first implemented into FM.

My current save with Granada CF is no less challenging, as I seek to break the Real Madrid/Barcelona monopoly, firstly in Spanish football, then on the European stage. It will take some time, as there's absolutely no way I can compete financially. I'm building the club from the ground up, improving training facilities and coaches to get the very best out of the players I can attract, whilst also improving youth facilities and the academy, so I can try to develop the next generation of stars.

Part of my inspiration for that approach, came from none other than Eric Cantona, during his interview on Football Focus, where amongst other things, he was discussing his role with the newly reformed New York Cosmos. He described how a big part of the focus for the club, was to build a strong youth academy and generate world class talent not only for Cosmos, but that might go on to represent the USA national team. My "role-playing" with Granada CF, is to do the very same thing. Although I will always likely bring in foreign players, I will hopefully be a base for the very best Spanish talent that comes through in the game.

I'm sure the board get sick of me constantly pestering to improve this or that, but for the same token, they already seem more than happy with the success I'm bringing to the club, at the same time.

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Nothing more to add other than that I endorse this thread. What I love about the game the most' date=' is that you can play it when your'e not playing it. Boring meeting at work? Why not recap your young DC loan options. Wife doing your nut in in Tesco? Spend some time planning your away trip to Dynamo Kiev. :-)[/quote']

Don't forget the impromptu press conferences, when you're driving to work. :D

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Don't forget the impromptu press conferences, when you're driving to work. :D

Or whilst in the shower, or on the toilet?

I usually entertain myself whilst walking the dog with press conferences or FM stuff.

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Great thread. You’ve inspired me to make my FM confession. Since I first got into FM 07 I have never been able to finish more than two seasons with a team. I’m now still playing fm 10, but have only managed one full season before re-starting. I think the problem I have is I maybe think too much about real football when I play FM. I normally try to play as Arsenal (the team I support), but for all the new saves I’ve started, I tend to find that ‘real world’ frustrations take over and I can’t continue. I also struggle to be ruthless enough because I have an attachment to some of the players.

I have also tried starting saves with several other teams (Everton, Villa, Udinese, Valencia, Bayern, Benfica), and with lower league teams (but not on fm10), but I find that I don’t have enough attachment to these, and tend to get inspired by some ‘new idea’ to go back to Arsenal….that is until I get frustrated again! I hope you can see the pattern I’m stuck in! I work full time and have a family so I no longer have a great deal of time to play, and I get quite envious of others on this forum who seem to be so into their saves.

I’m hoping that somewhere in this thread I might find some advise or whatever that can help me get into a game properly for once!

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I have an ongoing way of playing FM as well as having specific challenges within each game. My ongoing challenge is to win a 'big league' title (Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, England, Portugal, France) that I haven't collected in any previous FM game. Having won the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg in FM11, I only need Brazil now for the set.

My specific challenge in each FM is to win the Champions League at least twice with a team that has never won it in real life, having started managing in the BSS/N. I've done it with Lazio, Southampton, Wycombe, Athletico Madrid, Spurs, Sporting Lisbon and Fiorentina. My 2011 challenge is with Arsenal, having arrived at the manager's job via Havant and Waterlooville, Crewe and Wolfsburg. A second challenge I give myself is to ensure the teams I leave are in good shape to keep/improve their level for a number of seasons, having developed their infastructure and brought in a number of good prospects to maintain the team. My Havant side managed to achieve promotion from the BPP the year after I left, Crewe have twice been promoted to the EPL and my Arsenal side have twice put Wolfsburg out of the ECC in the quarters, so I have fulfilled those expectations of myself.

In order to do that, I do play the game in a manner very similar to the OP and SFraser. I work hard at developing a rock solid back room team, club infastructure and scouting network. I design very specific training schedules, rotate my squad and have a structured loan program to ensure developing players have the best possible chance of acheiveing their potential. I probably play slightly quicker than SFraser and Heath as it is the tactical element of match play that I most enjoy, so I may miss some of the subtleties that they pick up on. However, I by no means play quickly and try to keep on top of everything in the club.

I actually think SI's biggest challenge is to make this method of playing more accessible and explicit to the wider user base. It currently takes too much in depth knowledge to really grasp all the amazing subtleties in the game, which requires a lot of immersion in these forums. You also have to avoid all the rubbish that is spouted about the game, which will take you in the wrong direction and increase your frustration levels. I think T&TT is undoubtedly the best place to find useful information and that its regular contributors should be proud that their hard work leads to threads like these.

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I think T&TT is undoubtedly the best place to find useful information and that its regular contributors should be proud that their hard work leads to threads like these.

hear hear!!!

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The game for me has always been about taking an underdog and turning them into champions. That is the greatest enjoyment I get.

When i initially started managing Shrewbury Town in league 2 (because i went to a game when viisiting a mate!) I was obsessed with tactics. I had wet weather tactics, hot weather tactics, underdog, slight underdog, slight favourite all the way up to high tempo, high creativity, high pressure ones to get rid of the bus parked in front of goal. (constantly playing through good/bad tactic choices in my head on toilet breaks at work- a la Heath/Dion).

I then signed a couple of promising youngsters and the game became about player devlopment. i micro managed training schedules, first team football and tutoring as much as possible. i scouted for the next player i could afford to sign who i could develop in league 2 and would make it in the premiership.

Before i knew it motivation was brought to my attention and i started using player interaction, team talks and press conferences to inspire better performances.

only then, and i think i had shrewsbury in the premiership by this point, did i realise that FM is about how to combine all of these. player quality, tactics, motivation, developing youth and the club structure.

Having finally won the prem with shrewsbury , i had a decent grasp of most (not all) of these areas. My own personal life has moved on and i have less time to play the game now. My guilty secret is that i have ditched the detailed tactic strategy and use a plug play, reacting only when absolutely necessary. this allows me to get through a season faster, focusing only on player buying and youth development on my way.

Making the underdog a world force, and keeping them there, is now the enjoyment i get out of the game. or it will be when i achieve it.

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I found this old thread I once started. Sfraser contributes in it and it is a shame that we don't get to hear more from him anymore. I feel it could interesting to update this thread again and see if more people are willing to share their thoughts. Please, let us inspire each other again! I am on holiday and it is raining heavily. Make me long for coming home and starting a new save in FM 2012 :)!!

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