There are certain games where it is important to set yourself a goal for what you want to achieve. It may be that you want to be the best Spy on your side in Team Fortress 2, or you may decide that as a Special Ops in Battlefield 2 you want to keep the opponents’ assets out of action. My goal at the moment is on a little game called Football Manager 2011.
This latest version of the game has one change which I am keen to take a closer look at, the dynamic reputation system. This new feature allows people to take charge of a team in a little known league and gradually improve the reputation of the club and the league over a span of years which, if I understand it correctly, means that one day your lowly team from Iceland could be the biggest club in Europe.
I felt like testing this out myself so I took charge of The New Saints, a club playing in the Welsh Premier League. I have a goal in mind, to get them to quality for the Champions League Group Stage within ten seasons. It is a tough ask, due to the low reputation of the Welsh system the winners of the Welsh Premier start their Champions League campaign in the first knock-out qualification round. There are three of these before you get to the group stage and bigger and better teams enter in each new stage.
As TNS were the champions last season, when I took over I had to start off my lofty goal with two games against the might of FK Zeljeznicar Sarajevo from Bosnia and Herzegovnia. I lost 7-2 over the two legs. It was a painful experience and one which I will have to go through again next season if I finish as champions of the Welsh Premier. But, as long as I have my goal, to get to the group stage, I will stick with it, through thick and thin.
You may wonder why, apart from being a mad man, I would set myself a goal like this. The answer is simple, I often lose direction with the Football Manager games after a couple of seasons, often getting frustrated when things don’t go my way or simply getting bored of winning so much. Hopefully, by setting this target I will stick with it and lead TNS to European glory.