Like pretty much everyone I have always used gaming as an escape and when it comes to FM, for many years for me it has even been an escape from the English leagues as well. I have always been of the opinion that you play the game as you want and in the past I have liked nothing more than starting with an obscure team in a different country to see where I can take it. This might seem odd to some of the community who prefer the Premier League or similar but each to their own and this is how I get my kicks (I also like sticking needles in my eye for a laugh and kneel on broken glass everytime I have dirty thoughts 🙂 ).
It’s not always obscure though, sometimes it is just non Premier League, such as after I had been on holiday to Italy with a Napoli save way back in the day, then went on to the Pumas in Mexico and also to the horrible experience that was Dreams FC in Hong Kong that nearly made me pack the game in (I know, I don’t know why either) among many others in different countries. There has been the odd English save along the way, such as Morecambe in 2013 and a 13 club journeyman when I finally won the UCL with Everton, but mostly it is across the waters.
I also love edited leagues and often have one on the go as a respite for those times in my main save when it all becomes a bit of a chore and this is what this blog is about, this year’s completely daft (but very well planned) edited league save, with the Corinthian Casuals in a UK league as featured in the first part of this blog Edited leagues: your final FM18 fantasy? It was very much a labour of love that I had been planning all through FM17 if only the right club come along ..
Ladies and gentlemen, the Corinthian Casuals
Back in October last year, in perfect timing for the release of FM18, I read this excellent BBC article entitled How the English influenced AC Milan, Juve, Corinthians, Real Madrid & Barcelona. here is a screenshot:
In it the author, Andrew Aloia, as per the title explained how certain English teams had seeded the growth of the game around the world and the part about Corinthian Casuals really caught my eye. To summarise, after resisting all attempts to force them to go professional they decided to take their game global with many foreign tours to countries such as South Africa, Canada, the United States, South America, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Denmark and Germany. It was on one of these tours to Brazil in 1910 where they inspired a group of locals to form the Corinthians, whom now of course are one of the most successful clubs in South America. They also gave birth to the word ‘soccer’ (their Captain used it as a shortening of ‘Association’ when talking to someone about why rugby was called ‘rugger’) and, so they claim, inflicted Man Utd’s biggest ever defeat of 11-3 in 1904 (though the Utd wiki is strangely silent on this 🙂 ).
So you can see why they drew my eye – they are obscure, have an incredible history and would certainly be a challenge for an FM save. But that wasn’t enough – time to get to the editing.
The ultimate league? (aka how many f***ing cups do you need?)
As I said, gaming of course is an escape, and I wanted this Corinthian Casuals save to be a respite from my Newton Heath 1878 adventure, which is honestly the best (but hardest) challenge I have had in all the years of playing the game. That said, I needed something completely different to anything I had ever played before. I don’t want this blog to be about the editing so won’t bore you with the 3-week long edit but basically I wanted it to look like this:
- A wide selection of UK teams in 5 graded divisions, to give as level a starting point as possible within that division (though not always due to team rep and finances).
- A ‘Minnows’ (non)league with teams posing either a difficult or historical challenge, either because they are amateur/low finances, fan-owned or with another interesting history.
- A wide variety of money-earning comps, each with a different challenge (from domestic to continental, even at the Minnows level, and with varied subs etc)
All that said, this is how it came out (click to enlarge):
Also, to give you a quick idea on the teams included, here is a snapshot from the leagues in focus (though it shows only half the teams and just one of the tri-leagues):
So after all the screaming and shouting at the editor and about 15 ten-year holiday tests, what does the league play like and where are we now?
A Corinthian assault on the UK league
I have to say we are doing very well indeed and the database has been an absolute blast to play. In terms of the team, it took us two years to escape from the minnows league and we have now reached the dizzy heights of League Two after 4 years. There have been some brilliant highs on the way which have mostly come from winning prize money via the comps and we have won the Golden Goal comp outright twice. To give you an idea of how this can affect finances here is a prize money summary for last season:
Now you might think this means you can waltz your way up the leagues and leather everyone by splashing the cash (I did) but unfortunately that is not the case as every other team is earning the same. There is also the problem of your reputation and the fact that the REAL Premier League in England and every other top league in the world still exists, and given the DB is based on the template from Lichtenstein (though I upped it’s world rep a bit), attracting players is not always easy.
I will probably turn this into a proper blog post following the team as per a regular save so I will end it here, but just want to leave you with this teaser so you know the sort of interesting schedule and variety of challenges that this database gives you – as you can see, this is for last season when I used 3 up front for 6 games because fuck it, I thought, it’s not cheating if it’s a completely mental league anyway 🙂
So there you go – if you fancy a crack yourself the steam link is below and I hope to see you soon for the second part which will be a proper save update. Until then ..