Back to the substitutes’ bench where your goals were stolen

The interactive movie called PES2019 Master League: Season 12 is heading towards its predictably dramatic conclusion. With 9 fixtures remaining, I’m a point off the top spot. My form is such that I can predict with reasonable certainty how the last 9 league matches will go. I’ll get about 5 wins. There’ll be about 2 defeats and 2 draws. However they go, plus-minus a win or loss here or there, my results will be matched by the teams around me to create Last Day Drama.

Forlan scored all four goals in a demolition of Palace. It was a stunning return after he spent about 6 matches on the subs’ bench following an awful run where I barely knew he was on the pitch.

I also met Arsenal in what was always going to be a 6-pointer. I eased to a 0-2 win, at their place, after a tense first half of minimal chances for both sides and a few close shaves at my end.Look at the fouls count above. I’m passing through a period of matches with a respectable amount of fouls for both teams. 2 AI fouls against me is abou average at the moment – which is of course pathetic by classic PES standards. But for nuPES, it’s pretty good, and the quality of the matches is higher as a result. The only appreciable fly in the ointment being that when the game wants to steal a goal, it just takes one.

The table:I think it’s between the three of us up there now. The gap to 4th place is too far for Tottenham to make up the distance. One of the top 3 would have to collapse. That could be me, of course, but is unlikely to be – and the other two teams will of course more or less match my results. So yes, a three-horse race.

The Team of the Month for February reflected a good month for my strikers:Forlan and Gomez were absolutely dominant up front, with Benat excellent in support. Castledine also had a great month and was unlucky not to make this team.

In other news, one of my long-ago Youth promotees has been around in my First Team long enough to pick up a quirky Konami nickname.

The jury is still very much out on whether this sort of thing is anything more than cosmetic mood-music.

Certainly I sometimes believe that the likes of Castledine and Forlan are meeting my expectations of what Master League players should feel like. I’m always looking for that classic ML feeling in my PES sessions. Always. But nuPES has coarsened our palates so much in recent years that I could never put my hand on my heart and say that players feel different, or my team feels different, after these milestones come along.

I have played the first leg of the first knockout fixture in the Champions League. Opponents: Real Madrid.

It was tight and tough, and ended 0-0 at my place. My main aim was to stop the away goal and see if I could snatch one myself. A fair result on the balance of play. It was a proper filthy match with the fouls count ending 4-7.

I’ve got the rest of this week off work. There will be some epic PES sessions over the next few days. Friday’s post will definitely be the end of Season 12, with whatever honours it brings or doesn’t bring. They’d be my first in PES2019.

Updated: 2nd April 2019 — 12:36


  1. n-G: There’s nothing like a holiday PES session followed by that blurry headedness that comes after a long day at the controls. Sadly, that’s not something I get to do any more. Good luck with the rest of season 12 and I hope you at least claim top spot.

    I’ve started season five of my return to PES 5 unbeaten after 10 games but with six draws. Chelsea are already 10 points clear at the top, not that I’m under the illusion that winning the league is possible so early on in a classic PES as tough as this gem of a game.

    Scoring is also still gloriously hard with Toto Schillacci providing a fascinating ML sid-story with his all-energy but no-goals displays. His stats make him by far my best player and he did get 8 goals last season, mainly from a late season flurry, but there’s definitely a whiff of the PES gods about his lack of disturbing the net.

  2. Shed – I remember the historical Schillaci being much the same at his club(s) following his star turn at Italia 90, so the greatness of PES5 strikes again with that one. Only in classic PES are such things possible now, really and truly.

    I must say I’m not as keen for PES2019 to be over as I thought I would be a few weeks ago. Season 12 might still be the last one though as I really do want to try a few other things now. As ever I won’t walk away with unfinished business behind me.

  3. NG – Enjoy your time off and good look with the run in. Not been posting of late as I have found myself heavily invested in the Tropico series and have been playing that for the last few months. I have a copy of Tropico 5 on the PS4 that came with all the DLC content and Tropico 4 on the little one’s (not so little now) X Box One. The level of micro management required is quite breathtaking. However, it is also a sign of the times as Tropico 5 is a much more dumbed down version, with less building options and less control over every aspect of the ecconomy. Other than that nowt much has changed, a bit like Brexit really.

  4. It must be nice to be in with a shout of the title heading into the final 8-10 games, adds a bit more excitement that just playing for a mid-table or top 6 spot.

    The player form/obscurity is evident in FIFA too, Dennis has periods where he will go 3 or 4 games without scoring and largely be anonymous, but over the course of a season, it balances out and he’s a 20 goal a season striker every season.

    Finally managed to get a new post up at 10am this morning.

  5. Afternoon chaps.

    Not really the forum I know but Google and others eg boardgame geek drawing a blank. Just been given a classic old school copy of waddingtons table soccer – the tiddlywinks one if anyone had it? I’m trying to remember the rules as mini turf loves the bastardised version I tried to recreate but I know I’m missing some aspect of play. I’ve assumed you get to flip the ball with a player till it either touches or goes too close to an opponent. At the same time I’ve imagined you were also allowed to move a player each flip to provide support. I was sure there was a rule about fouls if the ball knocked over a player but that might be another game. Anyone shed any light?

  6. Turf, best I could find was this…

    Translated from french:

    Table Soccer or Table Football is a strategy and skill game on the theme of football.

    Each player has eleven players, rigid plastic pawns, with which he will attempt to score goals in the opposing cages. The ball is a puck that is moved according to the method of “chips”. The player’s pawn is pressed on the token to propel it in a direction and at a distance theoretically chosen …

    The basic movement breaks down as follows:
    1) One determines the pawn closest to the balloon, which will be able to shoot.
    2) The player who controls the ball may move two of his footballers at least 7 cm from the shooter.
    3) The opponent can then move two of his footballers at a distance of at least 2 cm from the shooter.
    4) The shooter fires, hoping that the ball ends his run next to one of his pieces, which will allow him to play again.

    The rest of the rules quite faithfully respect the world of football.

    An unknown game, but very interesting, as long as you are skilled at the game of chips.

  7. Darryl – I think it’s just me and abbeyhill still on PES2019, most other players – here and on the forums – seem to have either moved on completely, or be locked into a #1-style cycle of endless tweaking and experimentation in a fruitless attempt to hit their personal golden spot. Meanwhile I’m heading for 200 Steam hours on XCOM2 and there is no end in sight. There’s various mods and DLC (Long War 2 and War of the Chosen) that I’ve yet to conquer, and the way the game is, I could play it forever. XCOM2 (and XCOM1, come to think of it) will be as remembered and revered in 30 years’ time as the original UFO Defense edition is today.

    Paul – caught your new post right enough, and as I say over there, we are aching to see the footage of the finished room and you playing FIFA on a wallscreen. That’s some good Googling about the Waddingtons game btw, I turned up nothing.

    Uncle Turf – it’s one of the few nostalgia toys from ‘our’ era that I don’t really remember. I know I didn’t have it myself, but I do remember playing somebody else’s, although I don’t recall any rules. Much like Subbuteo rules, they were generally made up by the players. Why not get Subbuteo?! If you do, get a complete edition with the same satisfyingly thick rulebook that I tried and failed to get my fellow 9 year olds to pay heed to, back in the day. It was 3 flicks per side as the basis for the whole game, and I’d bet Waddington’s (clearly meant to be a direct Subbuteo competitor) was much the same.

  8. Paul – that’s fantastic mate, thanks for doing that. It was the distance I hadn’t recalled. I knew we couldn’t simply stand in front of the player with the ball. Moving two players makes sense as well otherwise kick off is simply a hoof forward.

    NG – I didn’t have it either but I did play it at an older kid’s house (ie. his first World Cup of memory was 74 and not 78) and on returning fashioned a game for myself – basically a load of ‘winks’, some blu tak, cardboard cutouts of footballers and my subbuteo goals. It was post initial subbuteo foray and pre me acquiring Casden soccer. Spectrum football management games rather signalled the end of those league table, dice and imagined tournament days.

    I deliberately avoid regular mention of subbuteo as I know it pains you but I was for a time a subbuteo collector – now there’s a wormhole of scandal, fakery and quite vitriolic claim and counterclaim. I was an amateur but for some it’s like the trade in old masters and all the attendant lovejoy esque swindling that goes on. I eventually sold my collection to someone whose forum postings made goebbels sound conciliatory. I retain a modest number of items that would enable me to play a game. You can pick up loads of stuff on eBay, including a thriving custom made inventory (which sadly made the fakery all the more easy).

  9. No worries Turf, glad it helped mate!

  10. NG – even I am off my usual cycle of tweaking and have settled on fifa. Have not been tempted anymore as there is nothing in pes really for me at this moment. A new update hit today supposedly, zero gameplay changes. Fifa has its faults for sure but at least it’s a consistent product.

    For those interested in all things skyrim, ultimate skyrim 4.0 is set to hit this weekend. It’s an enormous collection of mods that requires zero effort as it comes with an automated installer for the first time. I’m not diving in anytime soon as my current “proper” game is dark souls 3 but it does look mouthwatering. Check it out, utter insanity. In a good way.

  11. #1 – rightly or wrongly I have come to identify you with that restless questing after PES perfection. Pleased to hear FIFA is holding up for you, and I’m looking forward to my own forthcoming FIFA busman’s holiday.

    And I’ve got Skyrim on PC remember… very interested in this Ultimate Skyrim. p.s. Fallout 4 is still being played, albeit occasionally. I play a mission a week on average.

  12. Crikey Turf, talk about a blast from the past. I had Waddington’s Table Soccer, and probably every other football game from that period. I played alone, controlling both teams (single-player mode, with no AI cheating :), so, maybe for that reason, as the sole arbiter, I can’t remember much about the rules apart from the fact that it was a nearest-to-the-ball vibe. Are the goalposts mal-aligned with the goal line in the version you have. I can only imagine the friendly debates that might have led to in “two-player” mode. I also had another tiddlywinks-type football game. it may have been this:

  13. Rhymes….. a genuine trip down….

    Because I was such a keen subbuteor (the factory was only a couple of miles away from where me and Werd lived – not together of course, but broadly speaking – so we might have been blessed with a lot of product in our local shops) not many other tabletop games got a look in. I did get casdon soccer from an older kid (same one who inspired me to get tank command – I’m still not sure if you could use some sort of logarithm to ensure success in that, surely simply choosing numbers could be game theoried or the like?). I also had the bastardised table soccer and I loved my twenty sided dice. I often played subbuteo five a side mode, usually during the summer months when match of the day was off air – pitch folded in half, etc. And of course I played alone as well, my brother being cut from far different cloth to me.

    In this table soccer I now have the goals have two small hooks that are meant to clip under the edge of the board. The goal line system would fail completely and var would be shagged as the flying wink could just blow the net off and then rebound out but generally it works as intended – ‘the whole of the wink has to be over the line’. I may end up using some gaffer tape to anchor them permanently.

    Just for Paul’s benefit I used to get great pleasure out of my owzat cricket set – two metal rollers with numbers and ways to be out. Still available on eBay. I filled exercise books with those scorecards.

  14. oh yes I had that one Turf, rolling the ball down a chute from the bowler, you could change the pace of the delivery and add some curve, wonderful game, lots of tactics involved in field settings. Remember long test matches against my Dad with proper scorecards while he sipped his home brewed beer

    Took a deep breath and reloaded my PES2019 ML save, temporarily turned off Challenge mode to get through Dec 31st 2020, and played on. Not ideal but I couldn’t stomach another restart and am keen to see where this group of players can get to. Had to sell Giorza and Karlsen to balance the wage budget but have managed to retain all the key players – presumably the financial constraints will ease in D1. Cruising to promotion, 14 points clear of 3rd place Nancy in late February

  15. Phew! The list on that link you’ve posted Turf makes me a bit embarrassed about my “and probably every other football game from that period” claim. There ain’t half been a shed load of football games.

  16. I had Casdon Soccer and Subbuteo, but never got into Striker, peculiarly. I always had the impression there was a PES/FIFA kind of gulf between Subbuteo/Striker, but looking back and considering that nobody actually played Subbuteo by the rules, I might have been better off with Striker.

    abbeyhill – the financial constraints ease only a little, while your players’ demands increase by many orders of magnitude more than you can cope with. I have balanced the budget in 1 season out of all 12. if you win things, things might be different of course.

  17. Abbeyhill – that was test match (I had that too). Problem with test match was that a very firmly struck cover drive could knock the fielder over so rendering catches in the deep within the half moon base very hard to pull off. I well recall Larry Gomes of my West Indies side scoring a triple hundred despite being ‘caught’ many times. My dad was involved with a school for the physically handicapped and they played in a modified test match tournament which led to them being invited down to Lords by the Taverners to play the game down there at ‘the home of cricket’. I would have insisted on my name being carved on the board had I been playing.

    This is owzthat

    It’s one for the dice rollers among us.

    Rhymes – many more than I’ve ever heard of. I did have Brian clough- the bridge between board and computer games. Surely ‘master league the board game’ is one of those bored Friday afternoon at work projects for one of you?

  18. A friend of mine had the astro turf subbuteo pitch mounted on a table with the stadium all around it, scoreboards, trophies the lot, looked the business.

  19. Yes, but is there any record, anywhere, of anyone ever actually playing Subbuteo as the turn-based game it was supposed to be by the rulebook? In my memory every kid insisted on treating it as a realtime flick-’em-up, and they jeered the very idea of a structured game. It still annoys me now.

Comments are closed.