At the time of writing, the Football Manager 2013 beta is 54 hours away from being released, and my anticipation is creeping higher and higher as the days go by. I don’t usually pre-order, but with the beta incentive, and the distant memory of Tesco not having any copies left when I went in on release day one year, I took the plunge. The voucher codes from Twitter certainly helped too!
“Football Manager Classic is a less time-consuming way to enjoy Football Manager. The essence of the game is exactly the same – the manager still takes charge of a squad of players and competes at whatever level he or she chooses – but they will now find that a number of their responsibilities have either been taken over by their support staff or have disappeared completely.”
This is the big addition for me this year. Not just will it allow the older FM players to cram in more seasons in less time, but it adds a new dimension for the wider audience; if you want a quick play around with a certain tactic before you have to go out, or if you just want to get far into the game to see what super-regens you can find then the classic mode is perfect. I have plenty of free time but I’ll still be trying it out, maybe as an easy side-game with Manchester United to go back to whenever my main game (probably Udinese again) gets boring or a bit stale. The instant result feature seems a bit of an odd addition to me, considering how frowned upon holidaying already is within the community, and the possibility of people really abusing it, but I suppose it has its uses for the really time-thin.
Director of Football
A much-mooted idea for many years now is the addition of the role of Director of Football, and this year the wishes have been granted. I’d seen a lot of people asking for the role to be playable in the past, so I was sceptical when I first heard that it would be added, but it turns out that the role will be unplayable but extremely helpful to you as a manager if you choose to use it. You can pass on however much of your workload as you like to the Director of Football, and they will go off and do as you tell them; you can tell them to sell players, buy players, disperse your scouts, deal with contracts and hire and fire staff members. This should be really handy for everyone this year, regardless of what kind of style you take. I for one find it difficult to sell players, and most of the time I can’t be bothered to renew staff contracts (an absolute pain if you have 15 scouts and a coach for each category!) so a Director of Football will be a lifesaver for me. It’ll be interesting to see how different each Director is, whether you can get a mischievous one who undermines you and signs players you don’t want. Really looking forward to seeing how it all works.
The new training module looks way way different to the old one. I’d say it was a little less in-depth than last year, which may be a blow to the training elite, but for the majority it’ll be a positive. There’s not much I can add to Miles’ video blog because I don’t fully understand how it works and probably won’t until after playing with it for a couple of weeks (we’ll be sure to write an article on it when one of us works it out) but I’m really pleased to see that we can now train players into role-specific schedules. If it means that we can’t use tailor-made custom schedules for each player then I suppose it’s a trade off that we have to deal with, but most of my schedules were to fit players into roles anyway so it doesn’t bother me too much. The training camps look good as well, though a little cosmetic.
The majority of players don’t use network games anymore which is a real shame to me. They can be a lot of fun, but the past few games have made creating and maintaining a network game like cracking the Da Vinci Code, unfortunately, so it’s not hard to see why many have stuck to playing alone. This year it should be a lot easier, a lot more user-friendly and hopefully a lot more fun. I like the idea of a league, and the lads on Golden FM (@golden_fm) have suggested a league competition. It’s definitely something I’ll be getting involved with, whether it be with them and their fans or with our fans, if there’s any interest. There may be some prizes in it for the winners!
Friday 19th October. Not long now.