Championship Manager 2010 - Getting Started
New games often take a while to get going - and when that game revolves around a vast database containing the playing stats of every footballer on the planet, you know that there is a lot to do. CM 2010 is huge - this walkthrough guides you the opening stages to picking your first team.
Getting Ready for Kick Off
Once you have installed Championship Manager 2010 it's time to setup various options and of course get as quickly as possible to your first game in charge of your new team.
Sadly, there is no option to play a game without building a profile and selecting a team - so it's decision time almost straightaway.
The following steps are necessary to get you through the opening screens, picking a team and making it to the managerial dugout in order to watch the game.
After launching Championship Manager 2010 you're given the option to Start a New Season - from here, choose the database version you wish to use (immediately following release of the game there are two choices, July 2009 and September 2009).
Once this has been selected, click Start Season - the game will launch, taking you to the Select Playable Nations and then the Add Manager screen.
Select Playable Nations and Add Manager
In the Select Playable Nations you need to select which nation you wish to be a manager in. Larger PC's with fast CPUs and plenty of RAM will happily get away with letting you choose as many as you like, but for the best performance you should only choose one or two.
Once this choice is made, it is time to name your manager, choose a nationality, date of birth and Favorite Club. This can prove important later in the game if you choose to manage your favorite club.
Complete all fields and click Next to move beyond this screen; it's time to pick the club to manage from the leagues of the nation you picked earlier. Each team you pick will have certain information attached, such as transfer budget, wage budget, average attendance - all vital information for deciding whether to choose to manage the team or not.
At the top of this screen are two tabs - Club and Nation. It is possible to manage both a football club and a national side, although there is no compulsion to manage a national team at this stage in the game.
When you have picked your team(s), click Next to move onto the Manager Status screen. Your manager will be created and the game set up.
Welcome to the Club
With the game setup and ready, you're welcomed via in-game mail messages by both Board, Club Secretary, Assistant Manager and Club Captain. Each of these welcomes will point you in the direction of various screens - for instance the welcome from the Assistant Manager prompts you to open the team view for picking players for the next fixture.
The buttons in the upper left corner of the display can move you through various screens - click the football icon when you have finished making changes and reading messages to push the in-game clock along, click the envelope button to read mail and use the left and right arrows to move left and right through the recently viewed screens.
More often than not you'll start the game a couple of days before the first fixture - there's time in this case to investigate both the team and the news screens.
Viewing the News
You'll notice a news ticker running across the top of the screen in Championship Manager 2010 - this is a shortened version of the news information available from the Media tab on the message Inbox screen.
Clicking the Media tab opens up a wealth of information, including news stories from computer-controlled teams within the game. If you're familiar with European soccer many of the news organizations names and indeed the types of events reported will seem familiar - this is one of the most interesting and important elements of the new Championship Manager game as it keeps you in touch with other teams and what their players are doing. It's a good way to find players you weren't otherwise aware of, particularly if you start off playing in a lower league.
Meeting the Team
Before you pick a team, it's a good idea to see who is in the squad. By default the Assistant Manager is in charge of the Reserve and Youth teams, leaving you with the task of looking after the senior squad. By default the Squad view will list all players in the main squad, information on their contractual situation and physical condition, their suited position, age, morale, recent form and value. This information can be changed via the View and Filters drop downs in the upper right - you may wish to filter out all but the central defenders, and display only their technical attributes, and these menu options will give this information.
Once you're happy with your team, proceed with the game via the football icon in the upper left of the display; when it is time to pick your team, the football will be replaced with a t-shirt.
Picking Your Team
Picking your team for the first time can be a little daunting - with 18 or more players to choose from as well as an appropriate formation and game plan, there are plenty of chances to get it wrong.
Luckily there are options to get around this - for instance the Actions menu contains an option that will pick the team of 11 players and 12 substitutes (the early games are friendlies) based on the formation you currently have selected (4-4-2 is the default).
Once your team is picked, you'll notice the football icon is now a "speech bubble" - it is time to give your team orders before proceeding to the match... which we'll cover in the next article!