I have been playing football manager since CM2 back in the 90s and have found the game increasingly frustrating year on year.
I have been running an experiment with Manchester City to try and understand the mechanics of the game better. I do what many people have probably done in the past and take control of the other team and mess up their tactics so my team will win. This has thrown up some interesting points about the mechanics of the game.
1. The first game in charge with a new club if you ask assistant to pick team and do NOTHING with the tactics, training or anything, you can almost guarantee to beat/perform really well against your established team. I am Man City and this has worked for teams such as Burnley etc even though I have played around with numerous tactics etc.
2. I then tried to upset the newly controlled teams before the game to lower their morale and see if that had an impact. Again they performed exceptionally even though I changed their captain to worst on the game, refused press conferences, asked top young players to quit international football etc etc.
3. The more you take control of other teams to win, the worse your team becomes and find it much harder to win even against easy teams computer controlled.
4. In some games where the team I have taken control of to lose are doing well, I change their tactics so that goalkeeper is outfield and all players out of position. This had little impact and they still do well. Only when I place every player on left side of pitch do my team start to score goals.
My theories on what is happening.
Ever since CM2 I have noticed that the game is much harder for both teams if you control two teams rather than one.
I also think that no matter how good your players are, their best training is against other teams. If you take control of other teams and make them awful then your team never gets to play truly decent football. Although Morale is high, player stats are high and form is high, there is something in the game lowering the standard of your players football to the previous few teams they played against.
New managers at clubs seem to produce a disproportionate bonus to the teams performance if playing against human players (never seems to work against PC)
Buying lots of new players unsettles your team so much that they cannot play together. Cohesion I have heard is a big thing in this game. My Man City game I cheated and gave myself all the best players in the world by taking control of their teams and selling them free. These players are next to useless and seem to want to lose all games unless I drastically alter the other teams tactics.
Anyone got any thoughts? This is not a moan, I am just trying to work out the mechanics of the multiplayer in this game as I do not suffer too much when playing as just one team. (Although I will still never get past season 3 in the game because after 1st season I just cant win anymore, whether new tactics, new team, new players. Just cant do it!)