I have owned and played every single football manager since championship manger 92-93 on floppy disk. I was 8 when I started. My favourite game, I loved it, I would spend hours after hours taking 3rd division teams to the top of the premiership. I had a formula, the search system was much simpler back then, you could choose from like 8 attributes to search for, stuff like flair, shooting etc. What I would do is by all young players with high creativity and flair.
It worked, after some time I would have a top class team, players would regularly get sold abroad (that was a big thing back then) and I would win league and european competition. No matter how many leagues I won in never got boring. Also there were the super players that you would work out after playing A LOT. I can't remember them all but one I can remember is..... Anthony Bird. Anyone who played 92-93 like me will remember anthony bird. You could sign him for any club..... for cheap...... and he would play and score like ronaldo.
My point is it was just so fun. Tons of replay value.
In 2013 we have the most complicated version of championship / football manager ever released. You can appoint directors of football. You can talk to your players. You can interact with the board like never before. Complete 3d match engine. Does everything.
There is one thing however, it does not seem to do. It does not make any sense. This applies to the last football manager as well.
I really only enjoy playing lower league teams and trying to go for the whole career thing, however I cannot get past two or three seasons in this because it is so infuriatingly un fun to play now because of one thing. The slump that makes no sense. It is not even a slump, in my case it is a complete u - turn. From unbeatable. To unable to get a shot on target, and unable to get a clean sheet, no matter who you play.
Now I know most people are going to read this and just be like, your using wrong tactics.... or.... your players arent good enough, or whatever. But I swear I have everything and it is not even about turning it around, it is just the complete change in form is unrealistic.
In my new game I started as Brighton. First season as usual I created a new tactic, tailored everything including all of the individual settings for all my players to suit there strengths and weaknesses. It didn't work, was something like 4-1-2-2-1, but they just didn't play well. So I changed to a 442 using AMR/L rather then MR/L. I set back line to defend deeper and play more counter attacking football. Brighton have a lot of technically gifted players, so I set them to play a kind of short passing game. I also do not use long shots so they get better chances at goal.
It worked. And boy did it work. The first game with the new formation was a win. It moved us out of relegation to 18th in the championship. We got the message saying that 'The manager changed his tactics and won (basically'. We then went on a straight 11 game winning streak. We beat everyone, played good football and scored loads of goals. Teams didn't get near us. We went up to second.
Now up until this point it makes sense, I found a formation that worked for my team right? I struggled at first, but I twigged it. I thought promotion was a certainty. I could not have been more wrong. So the 12th game we drew. We then started drawing a bit and winning the odd game. Then eventually it was just predominantly draws, this seems to happen in all of the recent FM games. No matter what I do tactically, we could not hold a lead. In the end we managed to win the odd game, draw most and loase the odd game. The last 8 games were really bad though and we ended up finishing 4th.
We lost play offs. However I could tell the point when it all changed was that 12th game, it was completely obvious from watching the games before and after that point that a switch had literally been pressed that completely changed our teams play. It was literally overnight.
SO next season, started full of optimism. We were expected to gain promotion. We were even touted as possible title challenegers. I thought the season break might help reset the bad form. The season before I didn't buy one player, I loaned one, but didn't buy any. I spent the whole season scouting and researching players who would help lift the team. I invested in quality scouts with 17+ ratings for judging PA and CA. I only bought players who were consistently rated by 3 or more scouts as being 4 star. In total I made 4 or 5 major signings and about 4 or 5 19 or under players for the future. I spent 11 million.
I was sacked within 2-3 months. We couldn't do anything and it got worse and worse. The same formation and style that won 11 games in a row with stronger players went from being unbeatable to not being able to create a chance, not being able to score a goal and never hold a lead. I think if I got back 10 or 15 games from the last season we had not kept a clean sheet in maybe 20-30 games in a row.
I didn't quit there. Although I think it unrealistic and stupid, I thought it must be the formation. personally I think that kind of extreme change in performance does not make any sense, a bad game here or there, sure. Players being tired and making mistakes, of course. But from 2nd and unbeatable to sacked, in 30 games, doesn't make sense. It also means that as a manager you cannot really have a style. I put so much time in developing a formation and style that I thought would work and it did spectacularly, so to have to change the entire thing for what seems to be no reason does not make sense to me.
Anyway, as I said I didn't quit there. I went back about 8 games. I tried about 8 different formations. Ones like:
FM13. The Pav Tactic Thread. 442, 433, 451 (all 3)
JP Woody's Simple & Solid 442 (13.1.3) - Downloads - Football Manager 2013 Tactics, Wonderkids & Cheats
Might and Magic™ by Raikan007 Fm13 - Downloads - Football Manager 2013 Tactics, Wonderkids & Cheats
Awesome 4-3-3; Loads of Goals - Downloads - Football Manager 2013 Tactics, Wonderkids & Cheats
I also made up some more. Nothing worked. I had the same wingers as last season. The same star striker. The same 'Team of the Season' Goalkeeper. The captain in the center of midfield was their last season. All the players added were vast improvements. 4 star rated all of them.
It is not just fun anymore. There needs to be a way out. I am not asking for automatic promotion, but it was obvious the exact moment it all just changed to absolute shit. Surely that is super unrealistic, surely if you were going to go from second to relegation zone it would be a gradual thing? Or at least like you have 10 of your first team players injured. How can all your players just stop performing overnight, for over a season.
So after being sacked for the tenth time as Brighton I think I am quitting the game. It was exactly the same for FM2012 when I tried playing with a league 2 team. I think they need to look at this in the mechanics of the game because the dramatic change does not allow you to establish a style or favoured formation. Which is non sensical because all real managers favour a formation a style and try to get their teams to play with them consistently.
If anyone agrees with me, has some suggestions, has a actual wonder formation, wants any more information on my team, or wants to slag me off for whining and not being good at the game, please post a reply here. I love this game so much and I just cant play it anymore. I have been playing the series for 20 years. I have actually lost relationships over my time spent playing it. I have sat and played for 16 hours straight before. I am a real fan. But it just is not fun for me anymore.
Sorry for the long message just had enough and needed to vent my frustrations and cry out to the community for help. If you include FM2012 I have this experience nearly everytime I have tried to manage a lower league team and I just cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel. Rant finished.