Bastard Coated Bastards: FM24
During FM23, I leant heavily on the wisdom of Nicolai Machiavelli. Prior to that, I’ve used stats and number crunching to shape the way I approach Football Manager. But for FM24 I think I’m going to pivot to the musings of modern day poet and hero, Dr Perry Cox to guide my FM24 hand.
“ Lady, people aren’t chocolates. D’you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with a bastard filling. But I don’t find them half as annoying as I find naive bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.”Dr Perry Cox – Scrubs
So that’s how I’m going to play FM24. As a bastard coated bastard with a bastard filling. Cynical fouls and hard tackles, aiming to injure and maim. Unsettling players and managers, playing dirty in the transfer market and being generally deplorable.
But FMTahiti, I hear you say, how is that any different to how you always play? It’s not. At all. The only things different this year are:
- I’m taking the bastardry on tour. I’m loading all the vanilla leagues in North and South America.
- It’s going to be a journeyman. I’m going to leave a trail of twisted and morally compromised teams behind me rather than just spending my time running one club into the ground.
- I’m planning on updating more often so I can talk more about the horrible and reprehensible things I make my players do.
- I have two kids now so I’m really sleep deprived.
Being this cynical is not new. For me or for Football Manager in general. There’s obviously the legendary Milwall reddit posts for example that plumbs new depths even for Milwall. I’ve worshipped at the altar of the dark arts a lot. I just love it. I could play FM24 more like a purist, and I could be all about the transitions and positional play, but honestly nothing quite compares to an off the ball tackle for me.
Bastards on Tour
Why am I off to the Americas? First of all I’ve rarely played there on FM. I often find myself revisitng nations and leagues like Scotland and Northen Ireland, even Finland has gotten more than a few version of FM out of me. Likewise I’m partial to the Dafuge or British Steel Challenge. So moving to North and South America means I can try out some nations I’ve never really spent much time on.
The much more important reason though is that football over there, in Central and South America has a reputation for handbags at dawn and passions that overboil. During World Cups I often end up following the fortunes of Mexico because of a match I saw them play against Argentina years ago. It was absolute warfare. To be honest you could pick most matches (like Argentina and Chile below) and get a similar atmostphere.
It’s fair to say there are plenty of ‘characters’ in there neck of the woods. From the eccentric to the psychopathic. That’s before you even touch on the illegal and dodgy dealings off the football pitch as well. In the Football Manager world we are also blessed by the inspirational #CreativeFM Bastardo Universe. I won’t be going down quite the same route (I couldn’t do it justice the way FM Grasshopper does) but it all makes for a very history and narrative rich area of the world to play in. It should be fun.
As mentioned above I’m also looking forward to the freedom of treating this as a bit of a journeyman save as well. I’ve always tended to stick it out with one club and develop them. Whether that was Route One Rovers last year, or Scarborough or even Belfast Celtic. I’ve always had a tendency to one to build something of a dynasty. To have stadiums named after me. I have a feeling though with the way we aim to play no one is going to be rushing to name even a park bench after my manager.
What are the rules? What are your aims?
There aren’t really any. Tactically, I’ll do what I want when I want. Same with transfers, moving jobs etc. I’m not going to work out whether my fictional manager can live on his fictional wage in the suburbs of whatever town we end up in.
I might well end up playing direct because I love it. But I might not. I’ll start unemployed with the lowest badges possible and all the North and South America leagues loaded (that come in the vanilla early access anyway). I’ll stop when I get bored. And if I can give everyone a good kicking every Sunday then I probably won’t get bored.
I’ve no targets. My aims are to hear the lamenting of the oppositions women to…oh wait I’ve posted that before. Still stands though.
To be honest I did sort of want to create the dirtiest team imaginable by slowing improving the dirtiness attribute of my players but I don’t think that attribute actually changes over time. Whether I refused to fine players for bad tackles or not in previous versions when I experimented it didn’t seem to budge. I’ll check again but I fear I’ll have to make the team proper bastards via other means.
Bastard of Choice
As (almost) always my manager avatar of choice is going to be Mexican born (5th of May in Tequila of all places) Rodrigo de la Vega. I won’t repeat myself too much but since FM05 this has been my go to manager, based on a face in the game player who destroyed the Scottish leagues for me.
This time round his Mexican background has the potential but be fairly meaningful. And in terms of languages known actually quite helpful.
I mentioned on Twitter (or X if you’re a corporate social media filled bastard) that I gave my manager double hearing aids because I have two in real life. I like the idea of my manager also struggling to put batteries in, as well as blatantly turning the hearing aids off during a board meeting.
I did mess up slightly with the creation of the avatar (not the colour scheme). I accidentally made him 75 because I didn’t check the year of birth and I can’t be bothered to change this. I’m just embracing that fact that we can explain my managers love of antiquated tactics and concepts, and physical football, as a result of his advanced years. He is a footballing dinosaur. But more Spinosaurus than gentle giant.
First Bastarding Stop
De la Vega got his personal assistant to start applying for jobs and then put himself in cryostasis (he is a pensioner after all) until the offers started coming in. A few in the lower leagues of Brazil came through first but nothing really took my fancy. A few from Chile and Argentina started to and I generally failed to impress. That is until one team got really desperate.
Deportes La Serena. Also affectionately known as the papayeros. Which I think just translates as the papaya’s. Which is a much better nickname than the alternative of Gigante de La Cuarta, which they got because they won the Chile cup. Once. Back in 1960. We seem to be at a club with idea’s well above their station.
Look at the fan badge though. Hubris in pixel form. And I say that because they are in the Chilean First Division B. Which is a very fancy way of saying the 2nd tier. It’s like calling the Championship the Premiership B.
I’ll save the update and detail for the next post but you can see here that when we join we are 19 games into the 30 game season, and my bastard papaya’s are two points above the drop. In the next post I’ll go through the background, the end of this season and the the next, and start outlining what the Bastard Coated Bastard will be doing over in Chile.