I said in my intro that I’ve played since CM 01/02, and actually wrote stories & updates on the old SI forums. (Auxerre to Atletico Madrid was a full-scale story, the old LLM forum frowned on such. But there were still smaller updates, particularly of another French league save that eventually took me across the Channel to Reading, and of my taking RW Essen into the Bundesliga, and then dethroning Bayern with both FC Koln & BVB). I also wrote looong stories of Europa Universalis AARs on the Paradox forum. That, in fact, was where I started honing my long form writing as a craft.
But despite three fun saves in FM15, (Osasune to Napoli to Leverkusen. Ajax to Leverkusen to Arsenal to Dortmund. And Unemployed to Roma to Chelsea), I didn’t write then. I picked up the game far too late in the year to feel I could add something. This time, I was a little quicker, but honestly, FM16 was a bear. I think the litany of my complaints would be common. Basically, it comes down to the fact that although I don’t argue defensive football needed to be made more viable in FM, that attacking football did not, at the same time, need to be made more artificially inviable. A lot of the tactical advice I read for this year’s version simply did not appeal to me. Dialing back the mentality to counter is not my style of play. Not refining the system when playing with high level teams makes no sense to me. It’s not an organic way of playing, IMHO. The beauty of FM, and the beauty of soccer in general, is that there are a multitude of ways to play convincingly. It took me a long time to get FM16 to represent the way I like to play. The way I would coach if I was given the opportunity to take the philosophies I have & used at youth levels and adapted them to more talented players.
With my current save, playing Benfica, I feel I’ve managed to sort out how my tactical blueprint can be adapted to this year’s version. But some major personage in the FM community is already doing a Benfica save (DLP 😛 ). And while I think my style varies enough from his to merit a distinct game, writing about it in story-level detail would still feel derivative. That’s not to say I won’t boast that we romped the league, swept the domestic cups, lost 1 game in all competitions all season, and went out in the CL semi-final to the eventual champions on the away goal rule because Lisandro Lopez went and committed a red-card foul on Lewa 50 yards from goal with defenders covering him. Then he whined when I fined him for the red card. So I demoted him to the B team, transfer listed him, and included him in my part-exchange deal with Ajax for Davy Klassen :). All’s well that ends well!
I honestly was pleased, because while I expected domestic success, I didn’t expect that, given that I’d not had anything resembling consistent form in FM16 yet. Especially not playing a control 4-2-3-1 with strikers of middling quality compared to their solid platinum midfield. My second tactic was still a Standard 4-2-1-3, with the midfield dropped back one level, the wingers converted to IFs, and my IWB/FB pairing in the back switched to CWBs. Very solid, it was my European Away tactic, and conceded only 1 goal to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, and 1 to Bayern at the Allianz. It proved more stubborn than my true “close out” tactic, a 4-1-4-1 counter.
So I’m looking for a quality home for a story, or at least an intriguing place to start a managerial career save. (I tend to be pretty nomadic, so I can’t promise to ‘settle down’ someplace.) One that hasn’t been picked over at the start by the community already, but still has some potential for 3+ years. If I can’t think of one, or someone doesn’t give me an aha! moment, I may just start unemployed and see where things lead.
And before you say MLS, you Yank, I’ll politely decline for this year. 1) Despite the fact I know the league IRL, and have followed it since 96, I suck managing in MLS. To be fair, it didn’t represent the league’s rules until last year, and then the expansion weirdness complicated things anyway. 2) I have a Challenge idea I want to try out. But I think I need to wait until I get FM17 to have the time to do it right. I’m not saying I won’t try an MLS save to see if I can figure out how to win the league in game this year. But I don’t think it’ll be long-save recapitulation material.
As for my quirks: It’s not fun for me to have a whole lineup poached before the season starts (Celta). Or to see the entire lineup in injury hell before you even say Hello (Dortmund). I can deal with debt, and have enough financial/economic acumen to manage funds reasonably. But CRUSHING debt is no fun. Osasuna in FM15 was a doable debt level. Most Spanish teams aren’t. The lesser teams in the Dutch league often makes me cringe. And Brazil…oh no. Not a chance. Germany is my favorite in the big 5. I’m not big on the English lower leagues, as even when I played hardcore LLM, I started in France and Germany. Fallen Giants (Like Der FM’s Wunderteam revival) definitely have an appeal, because I love history as much as I do footy.
Anyway, if you have an idea, throw it at me. Otherwise I’ll look at some teams and have a go. Or maybe just start unemployed. LOL.