Football Manager 2006

I know it’s a long shot on a mainly US forum, but what the heck.

Anyone else taken the plunge with this one? I missed out on 2005, but I am really impressed with the latest incarnation of what used to be Championship Manager (SI kept the game engine, Eidos got the name).

Funnily enough the biggest change is the speed it updates, having got used to every release running slower and slower, this runs considerably faster than the copy of CM03/04 that still lurks on the disk somewhere.

Media and player interaction is potentially a lot more involved than previously and I love the option to “play mind games” with your rival managers before or after a match.

Match/Tactics engine is a lot more involved making it much easier to give your players specific instructions and the halftime/fulltime teamtalks do have a lot of bearing on the performance of the team.

It’s definitely not a sit down for a quick fix game, but for armchair Footie managers, the best has definitely got a lot better.

Just as an aside, has anyone tried Eastside Hockey Manager which is produced by the same company? From what I recall it is supposed to be based on the previous CM engine and it’s something that, despite knowing nothing at all about hockey, I’ve considered getting hold of but I’m just not sure there are enough hours in the day to get hooked on them both.

I tried the demo, but it did not convice me that I had to buy the new one. I don’t want to be hooked again ! I did not play that much FM 05, although it was quite good. Last week I started a season with PSG, and I only begin to feel the FM 05 engine, I had a hard time getting used to it. I’m not very fond of the media interaction, which is a bit hit and miss… And i’m afraid the half-time talk might be hit and miss too on FM 06 (although playing with Lyon, I tried criticizing Wiltord who had a poor match, then he scored…). Because it’s quite hard to create proper interaction with the psychology of players. I always wanted to talk to players (no, you idiot, you won’t be titular, you’re only 15 this is Juve and we’ve got like Thuram, Cannavaro and Terry in central defence), but now that I can, I’m afraid it will feel too artificial.

When CM 00/01 was released, though, I played that to death, hundreds of hours… Ok, I’m quite tempted by FM 06, is it really good ? :oops:

I’m not sure anyone in the States understands a thing about such a game.

I haven’t played the SI release of Eastside, but I played it back when it was freeware (still have that, in fact), and it was good fun. Not as good as CM/FM or OOTP back then, but I’m tempted to pick it up.

Ok, I’m quite tempted by FM 06, is it really good ?

Part of the reason I didn’t pick up FM05 was that I had heard that the ideas were good but didn’t seem to work that well in practice. Also without an internet connection, buying a first issue SI release can be a little risky. They’re good for patching, but if you can’t get the patch then you can be left really frustrated.

The team talks work, in some, cases perhaps a little too well at times and I’ve found a couple of games running that I can pretty much guarantee that my team will play half heartedly until half time, I’ll then do the equivalent of chuck cups at the walls and call them all a shower of bastards and then they’ll come out and play like Brazil on speed.

That said, the more I get into the game the more the subtleties become apparent, you’ve got the ability to single out specific players who are doing well in the game for some praise/encouragement will still having a good old shout at the rest. That and figuring out which players need encouraging and which ones need a kick up the arse makes it a little more involved than just selecting the same option over and over again.

Compared to CM00/01 or CM03/04 it is light years ahead. Although the tactics engine is a lot more involved I’ve found it pretty easy to use what is essentially the same tactic I had in 03/04 with pretty good results without feeling like they’ve completely changed how the match engine works.

I’ve not had a huge amount of player interaction outside my own squad at the moment so it’s difficult to judge how well non media/squad bits work. I know what you mean about 16y/o unheard of players making outlandish demands from previous versions and I suspect that element of it might still remain though perhaps with a little more “maturity”. Certainly players will react within their characteristics based on both your own manager profile and the club you’re at. A young, unknown, inexperienced manager (i.e. you, when you first start the game), even at a big club might have problems getting Ronaldo to sign for him. Personally I like that kind of thing but I know that more than a few people, taking on clubs like Chelsea where money is no object, were a little frustrated that even then, they can’t just go out and sign anyone they like.

Usually the FMs become playable after some serious patching, you’re right (except for CM 4 which remained non-playable…). FM 05 was quite good when compared to the fourth version of the engine; I guess a little more speed won’t hurt, though.

With FM 05 I had a problem with the condition of player, as they tired faster than with previous versions. I know you can correct it with proper training, but frankly I never tried to grasp training since they made it so complicated with CM 4.

I’m okay with players not trusting me when I begin my career… I usually play an okay club from first division(Lille for exemple), or a good french club where I try to win the CL.

But some IA reactions are always strange. At least they corrected the unhappinness when you’re second with two matches less played and the player used to be angry because you’re not at the top. But I had this young bulgarian player with PSG. Quite promising, I bought him when he was 16, at 17 tried to maker him pro. Tried like 5 times to offer him more than what his agent asked, and he always declined. Hmm…

I’d also like to know if it is easier to sell players. In FM 05 you had to litteraly spam the IA with proposals in order to get rid of your players. And it’s especially painful when you start at a club with lots of below average highly paid players. Friendlies where also a pain to arrange, because most teams would refuse to play with you. One of the biggest problem of CM/FM is when realism negates playability.

Well I might buy FM 06 when the patch is out, and when I’ve got time to play it.

The first patch was released before the game was.

Condition compared to the CM series is certainly different and takes a bit of adjustment to. If you can accept that 100% condition is rare, especially when playing 3 times a week, then it’s not too bad. I can understand why it still bothers some people but equally I think it actually makes the game more realistic when the guys who played 3 days ago are only at 90-95% of their peak condition. There does seem to be some issues surrounding stamina/condition in the matches themselves though I don’t think SI have said anything specific about it yet and in truth I haven’t considered that it’s been detrimental to the gameplay.

But I had this young bulgarian player with PSG. Quite promising, I bought him when he was 16, at 17 tried to maker him pro. Tried like 5 times to offer him more than what his agent asked, and he always declined. Hmm

This isn’t a problem that I’ve encountered, but so far it does look like there is more feedback in general terms regarding why someone is taking apparently illogical action.

I’d also like to know if it is easier to sell players. In FM 05 you had to litteraly spam the IA with proposals in order to get rid of your players. And it’s especially painful when you start at a club with lots of below average highly paid players.

Again it’s nothing something I’ve had a lot of exposure to just yet, I’ve seen lots of reports from others seemingly having no problem getting rid of the below average players. I’m about to enter the winter transfer window on the game and I’ve got a few players I want to ship so I will have a look and see how it goes.

In the specific case you mention though it is perhaps not that unreasonable. If they are highly paid average players then other clubs that might normally view them as worth having might be put off if they think they can’t afford the wages, but yes, it is still annoying not being able to ship out that donkey that’s sucking £30k a week out of your wage budget.

Well condition is quite realistic, although I sometimes feel that in real life a lot of players in big clubs play 50 + matches per season, which is very difficult with FM. I usually use a lot of turnover, but some players just never get rested. It’s not much, although it sometimes make the game less fun than previous iterations. But I guess my memories can be rose-tinted.

As for selling player, I think it actually gets better with FM 06 demo. I often transfer-list them for free, and with previous versions even quite high profile players did not find a club. I mean when you try to sell a pretty good player who does not fit in your team, more lower profile teams should at least be interested. But it seems you have to offer players for the team to actually be interested. For exemple, if I was playing with Liverpool and wanted to get rid of Cissé, the simple fact of tranfer listing him would interest clubs. Maybe it would avail to nothing as the guy must have a pretty decent contract, but clubs should be more eager to at least try to sign him. I might be nitpicking though.

I’m reading Marc Vaughan’s guide to FM 06, which seems quite useful.

Vaughan’s stuff is normally pretty good.

I might have to see about Cisse, he’s as infuriating in the game as he is in real life; but unlike real life, he does at least set up loads of goals for other players.

I do get what you mean about transfers, it’s been a complaint about the series for as long as I can remember. You’ll transfer list a relatively well known player and get no interest in him at all until his contract runs out 2 years later.

Unfortunately I haven’t gotten my hands on any newish Championship Manager titles… it’s just nearly impossible to find copies in stores here. I’m still kicking around with Bundesliga Manager (released ca. 1991)… I really, really wish Pro Evolution Soccer Manager was coming to North America.

This might be of interest then:

Worldwide Soccer Manager 2006 has been confirmed for a ship date (bar any manufacturing problems) of November 1st, 2005.

There will be boxed copies of the game available in North America and Canada from this date. Details of retailers will follow at a later date.

We will also be releasing a digital download version of Worldwide Soccer Manager on the same date. This will be a “try before you buy” version of the game (so a 6 month demo, and if you like it, you can then “unlock” the rest of the game) and will be available for customers throughout the American continents, so, for the first time, the game will be available for those in Central and South American countries.

We are still finalising the details with Sega of America’s online distribution partner to see if any of the countries in these continents will not be able to purchase, but at the moment it is looking like we’ll be able to sell to customers in all countries in both continents.

This is a big test for the game, and we are hoping to turn a lot more people enjoying our game in these countries into legitimate purchasers to test the market for the future. With your support, we might even manage to get boxed copy releases in these countries too.

Oh, and the price of the download (and the boxed copy in the US & Canada) will be under $30.

Thank you all for your patience whilst waiting for this announcement, but there’s been a lot to sort out!

I guess they dropped the Football bit out to avoid confusion.

Apparently ships the UK version of Football manager for about $56 US.

You could try the demo at least. It lets you play six months with small database, which is enough to be addicted, usually. usually carries this stuff. I have quite a few different “football” managers but haven’t really tried them… guess I’ll give FM06 a shot.

I do want to try Eastside for the fun of it.

— Alan

Eastside is spectacular. This year’s game is really just an incremental improvement, although it’s worth it for the expanded league support that gives you proper AHL, CHL, etc., support. I’ve got a review in next month’s CG, so grab a copy if you want a more detailed review. But I will say that the game is definitely worth buying if you’re at all into hockey.

SI is making a nice marketing push with the game this year, too. They did an NA press tour a couple of weeks ago, including a stop in Ottawa to see yours truly, and as always, I’m blown away by just how on the ball these guys are. Can’t wait to see the SI-enhanced version of OOTP next spring. Sorry to sound like such a fanboy, but I dreamed of a hockey manager like Eastside for years before Risto Remes did that great freeware Eastside, and I’m still amazed that somebody actually produced such a game.

Just hope that Sega gets SI games into more NA stores. Last year it was impossible to find either Worldwide Soccer Manager or Eastside in any stores in Canada. Well, aside from this one EB I wandered into in a Montreal mall, which bizarrely had something like four copies of each on the shelves in February. I think that was the entire complement of copies Sega was selling in Canada, because I never saw any SI games anywhere else.

I have quite a few different “football” managers but haven’t really tried them

There are other football managers? I tried one when CM2 (I think) came out because it did a few of the things I thought I wanted that CM didn’t. In the end I decided that the stuff it had that CM didn’t wasn’t that great and the rest of it couldn’t hold a candle to Championship Manager. This is pretty much the only game series ever that I’ve remained totally loyal to and never needed to buy a rival version.
If the review for a rival title doesn’t start “OMG this actually beats Championship/Football Manager” then I know I don’t need to bother with it.

From the mutterings on the Official site, it does sound like between them and Sega they are trying to “crack” the American markets with the game, I am surprised to hear that it has never been on sale in South America though, they are more bonkers on football than we are.

I hope they succeed, they are a good bunch at SI and spend a lot of time on their forums chatting, trying to sort stuff out and just being generally “good guys”.

  1. I’m currently playing FM2005, trying to take a conference south team all the way - so far i am running top of the conference(we got promoted last season) with half the season gone.

Having played with LMA manager 2004+2005 on Xbox(pretty good for a console game), and then the mess that the Championship Manager games became after SI left Eidos; Its been great to have a serious stat busting footie game with real depth. I’ll be getting FM2006 soon to keep the fix going.