Football Manager Series Catch-All

Oh, also, is there anyway to go through 'inductions' that I chose to skip? I hit skip because the emails for them hadn't actually come in yet, I just clicked on the relevant section of the interface, but I didn't get a chance to run those inductions when the emails did come in. Those that I did run through seemed helpful to a complete neophyte like me, so I'll be sad if I'm missing useful information for skipping too quickly.

The MLS is a little complicated with its salary structure, right? We have a salary cap and yet designated players that are exceptions, which I'd think could get a little tricky to work with as a player learning the game.

I'm not sure on the 'inductions' piece, sorry.

Relegation and promotion is super fun in this game though. It generates a ton of drama at either end of the table.

In case it helps, the first time I played, after about two hours I was ready to throw my computer out the window. I HATED the game. It was overwhelming. At the time I didn't know soccer well. Most of what was going on I had no idea what to do or how to handle. I completely gave up. I was angry at the game.

Then about six months after that I came back to the game and gave it another shot. This time I just didn't worry at all about the things I didn't understand. Just took my best guesses at things, ignored stuff I didn't know, and kept moving forward. Our team was horrible for half a season, but little by little things started to click and I started having ideas about how to solve problems. Then we started winning a few games here and then, and I was hooked. It probably took me about four hours on the second career of largely saying, "Okay, no idea what that does, but whatever, drive on."

With that in mind, I'd be inclined to look at whatever first shot you take as a learning experience. Play it for a while, then start for real once things feel more comfortable.

I knew pretty much nothing about club soccer when I started playing aside from "Manchester United are evil" and "4-4-2 formation with a big, good in the air, man and little, fast, man up top should work" and FM was as much a part of me learning how things work as watching actual matches, reading the Guardian's football section, and listening to podcasts was.

I think Godzilla Biltz has it right, just do what you understand and manage the games as they come whether it's in MLS or a traditional league. You'll muddle through and pick things up as you go along and what you don't understand won't be that big of a deal at the end.

I'd probably focus on just managing the games and your tactics at first (at least that's what I did), so MLS actually isn't a bad place to start since the teams are fairly even. When you've got your feet under you there you could just keep going and figure out how MLS works or choose a team in a traditional league and get your head around the transfer system.

I would ordinarily say 'watch some Let's Plays', as that's how I've been doing the opposite journey trying to learn OOTP Baseball.

However, most of the LPs that I look at (Golden FM, Doctorbenjy, Work The Space) tend to run very long series which go light on explanations - for example Golden FM's latest series, with a constructed team called Regen Rovers, is on episode 116 and is currently in 2031. So I'm not sure whether they'll give you the sort of help that I get from watching OOTP streams where people go at a slower pace (ironically because they sim huge numbers of the actual games) but go slowly through the things I struggle with, like free agency, lineup settings and the draft.

That said, if you go to episode 1 of most FM series, there is a bit of explanation, because people will often review their existing squads and tactics, and say if/how they are planning to change them.

Thanks for the good advice.

I sort of feel like I understand the MLS rules better than I would understand the rules elsewhere. They are not completely out of place when compared to MLB/NBA/NFL rules, and without the expectations of a normal soccer fan coming it, they don't seem so strange to me.

I took that trade I mentioned, then realized that I had forgotten to check their expected placement. It was second, which made me much more skeptical of their value. Then I read that MLS superdraftee's tend to be busts for the first several years (it sounds like they improve once fictional players start taking over) ... so I cheated and started over. I followed the advice of moving even more things to AI management; I think I can already see them doing weird things, but thats ok for now (the best was a transfer they setup where the transfer fee exceeded my transfer budget).

I've tried to focus on the morale and PR related things, and managing the games themselves (I'm only three friendly matches in so far). Even in-game I'm mostly following the GM analysis and suggestions, though I've made a few changes of my own volition (with generally not-so-great results).