View Full Version : Tactics Don't Evolve?

07-07-2010, 12:54
There is a fascinating article today in the New York Times about the way in which football tactics evolve: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/what-economists-can-teach-world-cup-coaches/?src=twr. In short, the article argues that any superior tactic is only superior for a short time... other teams will develop tactics to effectively counter a prevailing tactic, and so tactics must constantly evolve in order to remain successful.

I am about 20 seasons into a save, and still using basically the same tactics and formations I used in season one. The only real change is that I have become more attacking because other teams have become more defensive -- but that's not the same as someone figuring out a way to counteract the Barcelona-style pressing/possession approach I have been using.

Obviously, it's very difficult to create an AI that learns in this way (rather than one that simply learns to park the bus because my team is better than it was at the start of the game). and of course, it's even more difficult to imagine how tactics will evolve over the next 2 decades, what new approaches people might come up with -- if people knew how to defeat Barcelona, they would presumably be doing so already, and then Barcelona, or someone else, would come up with a new way to counter than newly-successful strategy.

I suppose it's asking a lot for the game to "learn" and evolve in this way, but it would certainly make the game more interesting and more authentic.

Aaron Armstrong
07-07-2010, 13:40
A big danger with that would be tactics getting far fetched in the future..

07-07-2010, 13:42
The Dutch have used basically the same tactic for decades...tactics may evolve but there are only so many "basic shapes" you can have with 10 players.

07-07-2010, 13:43
So you're asking for the game to have artificial intelligence? Hmmm, it's a big ask.

THere used to (and still might be) a "feature" where your tactic would get cracked after a few seasons. T'was annoying but kept you on your toes.

07-07-2010, 14:01
Its definitely still there, u notice more and more teams playing the same system as u after a few seasons.

07-07-2010, 14:02
It does evolve a bit I think. For example on my game in 2033 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 have become the the popular formations in the prem. I've had to change from my attacking 4-4-2(wingers as inside forwards) to a 4-2-3-1 which is working a treat, as my old formation, which I'd used for 10 years wasn't as effective.

07-07-2010, 15:20
A thread of just a few days ago suggests the very opposite...


I'm actually fine with FM not trying to predict the future too much.