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Thread: The travesty that is the AI 4-2-3-1 tactic - an urgent fix is needed!

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    Default The travesty that is the AI 4-2-3-1 tactic - an urgent fix is needed!

    I have yet to win the Premier League with Bradford, although this season (18-19) I am closer than ever. Mourinho's Manchester City seemed invincible, rarely ever giving up points and he had built up a strong squad with signings like C.Ronaldo, Alaba, Neymar, Sigurdsson and Modric. He used an Italian-style 4-3-1-2 tactic which was a struggle to break down. Then the 22nd of February 2019 things changed; he left for Juventus, and City hired Laurent Blanc who is using a 4-2-3-1 tactic which I suspected would make things much easier for me in the future.

    Lo and behold, his debut match is the Champions League 1st knockout round away vs Inter. They lost 4-2 and were overrun. "Well, could be debut nerves" I thought, fearing strong opposition in the upcoming League Cup Final vs... you guessed it - City-

    Nothing to fear, though; they were as chanceless as I hoped they would be. The space my forwards is given is baffling, and the ease with which I create chances vs this arguably stronger side just horrifies me and takes the joy out of the good performance... it isn't me being good it is them not being given a fighting chance. It's like stealing candy from infants!

    Look at this image

    [IMG=http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/3539/abadtacticcity.png][/IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Fair enough - it is in the 86th minute and they are pushing forward for goals, but that gigantic space in between their midfield and attack has been present the whole match, and after every attack where I win the ball in my defensive zone I get to run straight at their defense with all four forwards/wingers and there is nothing they can do about it as long as their tactic is as unbalanced as this.



    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Here's the PKM if anyone wants to watch:

    http://www.gamefront.com/files/21345...v+Bradford.pkm

    ***********

    This tactic is supposed to be one of the most balanced ones in modern football! It is used by many strong sides particularly in Spain (Barcelona comes to mind), and it is strong because it is both a 4-5-1 and a 4-3-3 when defending and attacking respectively. In FM it is unimpressive when attacking and horrible when defending because all three midfielders are unable to both find space and to cover space at any given time, while the wingers function neither as wide strikers nor as midfielders, leaving the four defenders and the striker to influence the game in any relevant fashion. Unsurprisingly, playing against this tactic is like playing against a 5-man side and a keeper.

    SI needs to tighten up this tactic in order to maintain realism, as it is a common tactic globally. I think it needs to be much more narrow, the two MC's must be set to much more defensive duties and the defensive line must be much higher with more aggressive defenders. Alternatively, they can change the tactic to the version with two defensive midfielders with support duties (minimum), as that is a much better tactic both when it comes to balance and realism.
    Last edited by BiggusD; 18-02-2012 at 16:36.

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    The problem with 4-2-3-1 is that if the 3 are AMR/AMC/AML they do not track back or defend as a unit like they do irl & when forming up at a restart (goal kick or free kick) they take up a position too high up the field.
    Last edited by Barside; 18-02-2012 at 17:08. Reason: corrected grammar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barside View Post
    The problem with 4-2-3-1 is that if the 3 are AMR/AMC/AML they do not track back or defend as a unit like they do irl & when forming up at a restart (goal kick or free kick) they take up a position too high up the field.
    Yeah, the four up front are to be considered strikers (just like my tactic), so they do no defensive work at all unless the team defends very deep. On top of that, the two midfielders just runs around doing nothing worthwhile whatsoever! They don't mark, they don't cover space, they don't find space, they don't close down, they don't create chances and they don't finish at goal... They are the greatest problem of the tactic imo - they need to be there for a reason, and right now they are absolutely worthless. As defensive midfielders they would at least close down, be available for passes and cover space.

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    IMO the ME is very good at delivering a solid simulation of attacking play, where it falls down is in the transition from attack to defence & it is utterly woeful at simulating even the basics of defending.

    Without knowing the make-up of the ME team this is purely guesswork on my part but I have a feeling that like many football fans they are blinkered by a desire to see the perfect attacking game & have less appreciation or knowledge about the art of defending.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BiggusD View Post
    I have yet to win the Premier League with Bradford, although this season (18-19) I am closer than ever. Mourinho's Manchester City seemed invincible, rarely ever giving up points and he had built up a strong squad with signings like C.Ronaldo, Alaba, Neymar, Sigurdsson and Modric. He used an Italian-style 4-3-1-2 tactic which was a struggle to break down. Then the 22nd of February 2019 things changed; he left for Juventus, and City hired Laurent Blanc who is using a 4-2-3-1 tactic which I suspected would make things much easier for me in the future.

    Lo and behold, his debut match is the Champions League 1st knockout round away vs Inter. They lost 4-2 and were overrun. "Well, could be debut nerves" I thought, fearing strong opposition in the upcoming League Cup Final vs... you guessed it - City-

    Nothing to fear, though; they were as chanceless as I hoped they would be. The space my forwards is given is baffling, and the ease with which I create chances vs this arguably stronger side just horrifies me and takes the joy out of the good performance... it isn't me being good it is them not being given a fighting chance. It's like stealing candy from infants!

    Look at this image

    [IMG=http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/3539/abadtacticcity.png][/IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Fair enough - it is in the 86th minute and they are pushing forward for goals, but that gigantic space in between their midfield and attack has been present the whole match, and after every attack where I win the ball in my defensive zone I get to run straight at their defense with all four forwards/wingers and there is nothing they can do about it as long as their tactic is as unbalanced as this.



    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Here's the PKM if anyone wants to watch:

    http://www.gamefront.com/files/21345...v+Bradford.pkm

    ***********

    This tactic is supposed to be one of the most balanced ones in modern football! It is used by many strong sides particularly in Spain (Barcelona comes to mind), and it is strong because it is both a 4-5-1 and a 4-3-3 when defending and attacking respectively. In FM it is unimpressive when attacking and horrible when defending because all three midfielders are unable to both find space and to cover space at any given time, while the wingers function neither as wide strikers nor as midfielders, leaving the four defenders and the striker to influence the game in any relevant fashion. Unsurprisingly, playing against this tactic is like playing against a 5-man side and a keeper.

    SI needs to tighten up this tactic in order to maintain realism, as it is a common tactic globally. I think it needs to be much more narrow, the two MC's must be set to much more defensive duties and the defensive line must be much higher with more aggressive defenders. Alternatively, they can change the tactic to the version with two defensive midfielders with support duties (minimum), as that is a much better tactic both when it comes to balance and realism.
    just check my thread and see my results with the 4231 deep. since 2 years, its been one of the best tactics out in the community. so its enough to say, that you can have success with this tactic

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    Quote Originally Posted by el_magico89 View Post
    just check my thread and see my results with the 4231 deep. since 2 years, its been one of the best tactics out in the community. so its enough to say, that you can have success with this tactic
    But you're not simulated or a machine, or are you?

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    I agree and I have previously attempted to open a dialogue about this on the bugs forum.

    The problem, as you point out, is that the AML/AMR act like strikers when they should act like ML/MR just pushed higher up the pitch.

    The ME, thus, operates under the assumption that the trade-off of using AML/AMR is that you get two "wide forwards" who will only defend under the most defensive settings.

    In reality, the trade-off of using AML/AMR is that they will have to expend more energy tracking back to defend, will more often expose the team on the counter, and, due to the game's attribute weighting, will generally be less defensively competent than a standard ML/MR player.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 18-02-2012 at 18:43.

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    AI tactics and managers squad building and rotation is something that SI need to revamp for further releases...

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    Quote Originally Posted by el_magico89 View Post
    just check my thread and see my results with the 4231 deep. since 2 years, its been one of the best tactics out in the community. so its enough to say, that you can have success with this tactic
    This is not a question of whether success can be achieved with the tactic. Obviously, players can tweak the formation to make an ultra-attacking super-tactic just as you can achieve success with a 424 or 4-1-0-3-2. Overloading the AI offensively and exploiting its limitations will net you lots of 5-2, 4-1 results, but it's not realistic and doesn't even remotely reflect what a 4231 looks like in real life.

    And if you're in a league where almost all of the top managers use 4231 or 433 (like la Liga), then obviously, the AI 4231's defensive problems will make these super-tactics all-the-more effective.

    Additionally, due to other factors (man management, generally superior players, etc.), success is conceivably attainable with all but the silliest formations.

    For this reason, the AI, with proper man management and some luck, can also achieve success with the 4231. However, it is unbalanced due to the defensive problems, overly vulnerable to AI tactics that pack the midfield or use attacking fullbacks and incredibly easy for an experienced player to counter. Ultimately, AI managers that use more balanced formations (442, 4312, etc.) will be more successful on the whole and offer a greater challenge to the player. In fact, I've made my games far more difficult by editing the database so teams like Barca and Arsenal use 4312 or the "narrow" 4231 instead.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 18-02-2012 at 18:40.

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    I wrote several times on this issue to no avail. AI AML/Rs do not track back, they don't even close down FBs. At times they seem catatonic. Lack of formation transformation and ability to instruct FBs, MC, WM or W to make forward runs in turns makes it even worse defensively. It should be normal that one FB charges forward while other stays back to form 3 men defense line (as DCL, DC, DCR)!

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    I use a 4-2-3-1 and i get my aml/amr to track back. I just set their marking up to man mark the fb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluemagic21 View Post
    I use a 4-2-3-1 and i get my aml/amr to track back. I just set their marking up to man mark the fb.
    For players, there are workarounds (setting mentality low helps) but the AI doesn't do this.

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    Split offensive/defensive mentality is another badly missed feature. As some tactics need players to take risk defensively to regain possession as soon as possible and then play cautions in offense to retain it as long as possible or the other way around (where it is needed that players defend cautiously but take adventurous and risky approach in attack).

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    This is not a question of whether success can be achieved with the tactic. Obviously, players can tweak the formation to make an ultra-attacking super-tactic just as you can achieve success with a 424 or 4-1-0-3-2. Overloading the AI offensively and exploiting its limitations will net you lots of 5-2, 4-1 results, but it's not realistic and doesn't even remotely reflect what a 4231 looks like in real life.

    And if you're in a league where almost all of the top managers use 4231 or 433 (like la Liga), then obviously, the AI 4231's defensive problems will make these super-tactics all-the-more effective.

    Additionally, due to other factors (man management, generally superior players, etc.), success is conceivably attainable with all but the silliest formations.

    For this reason, the AI, with proper man management and some luck, can also achieve success with the 4231. However, it is unbalanced due to the defensive problems, overly vulnerable to AI tactics that pack the midfield or use attacking fullbacks and incredibly easy for an experienced player to counter. Ultimately, AI managers that use more balanced formations (442, 4312, etc.) will be more successful on the whole and offer a greater challenge to the player. In fact, I've made my games far more difficult by editing the database so teams like Barca and Arsenal use 4312 or the "narrow" 4231 instead.
    currenty in my everton save, Ive managed to only concede 5 goals in 11 games and only score 18 goals. had a lot of 1-0s 2-0 2-1... in my villarreal save, I had the best defence in the league and the 4th best offence. so, still enough to show, that its not right. it all depends on your settings. can you show me one team, which plays this 4231 as you do? all these big teams are playing a 4231 with 2 holding midfielders and not central midfielders. germany did it with schweinsteiger and khedira, real is doing it with khedira and xabi, inter did it with cambiasso and motta when they won the champions league. no team in the world is playing this formation with two central midfielders. it would mean suicide. would be too attacking and thats, what is unrealistic. how about trying it with two DMCs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barside View Post
    The problem with 4-2-3-1 is that if the 3 are AMR/AMC/AML they do not track back or defend as a unit like they do irl & when forming up at a restart (goal kick or free kick) they take up a position too high up the field.
    The formation you set up is the defensive one.

    If you want players to track and defend like the RL 451/433 then you need to set it up as a 451 not a 433 or 4231.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Govnar1 View Post
    I wrote several times on this issue to no avail. AI AML/Rs do not track back, they don't even close down FBs. At times they seem catatonic. Lack of formation transformation and ability to instruct FBs, MC, WM or W to make forward runs in turns makes it even worse defensively. It should be normal that one FB charges forward while other stays back to form 3 men defense line (as DCL, DC, DCR)!
    my experience tells me, that it all depends on whether your players are motivated or not. its not only for the attacking midfielders, when youve used the wrong team talk, or your players morales are low, then your DMCs, defenders and so on, will also hesitate to go into challenges, to make tackles and so on... I am currently using my fm11 tactic, as its still the same ME, at the beginning, I had a lot of difficulties and got really beaten by lower division teams, because I just couldnt get the right team talks and so on... then Ive found out my own way and now can see completetly different results. not only the results, but my wingers closing down the full backs, my amc is trying to go into these rebound challenges, my DMCs are doing their challenges and my center backs dont watch the opposition striker running free till my own box, much rather try to tackle him away. it all is connected and dependant on morale and team talks. thats what Ive learned in FM12 ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barside View Post
    IMO the ME is very good at delivering a solid simulation of attacking play, where it falls down is in the transition from attack to defence & it is utterly woeful at simulating even the basics of defending.

    Without knowing the make-up of the ME team this is purely guesswork on my part but I have a feeling that like many football fans they are blinkered by a desire to see the perfect attacking game & have less appreciation or knowledge about the art of defending.
    Given how often this is brought up, I think it's less to do with being blinkered, and much more to do with the limitations of the ME. Which is why I'm not holding my breath for a fix, its one of the big things that need to be address in the new ME

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    Quote Originally Posted by el_magico89 View Post
    currenty in my everton save, Ive managed to only concede 5 goals in 11 games and only score 18 goals. had a lot of 1-0s 2-0 2-1... in my villarreal save, I had the best defence in the league and the 4th best offence. so, still enough to show, that its not right. it all depends on your settings. can you show me one team, which plays this 4231 as you do? all these big teams are playing a 4231 with 2 holding midfielders and not central midfielders. germany did it with schweinsteiger and khedira, real is doing it with khedira and xabi, inter did it with cambiasso and motta when they won the champions league. no team in the world is playing this formation with two central midfielders. it would mean suicide. would be too attacking and thats, what is unrealistic. how about trying it with two DMCs?
    We're not talking about what teams do in real life and we're not talking about a 4231 with two DMCs. I agree that this is a more balanced formation since the two DMCs will usually provide enough cover to compensate for the AML/AMR not tracking back. Still, this is not quite the same as a real 4231 as it does not collapse into a 451 unless you set the AML/AMR to a relatively defensive mentality (which you can't do with the AI since it uses a universal mentality slider, not individual sliders for every player). The closest to a real 4231 is the AI's "4-2-2-1-1". The problem with this is that many AML/AMR players are incapable of simply playing ML/MR.

    What we're talking about is the AI's "4231 Denmark" formation with two CMs. This is one of the most common AI formations in the game and, while strong on the attack, it is a defensive shambles. You are right no team in the world plays the AI's "4231 Denmark" and that is why it needs to be fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar2010 View Post
    The formation you set up is the defensive one.

    If you want players to track and defend like the RL 451/433 then you need to set it up as a 451 not a 433 or 4231.
    But again, the problem is the AI's use of the tactic and the fact that many players who play in a real life 4231/433 are often, in FM, lacking in positional familiarity with ML/MR, meaning you can't just edit 4231 Denmark/433 out of the game.

    Again, before anyone chimes in to brag about how they took Crawley to the Champions League with a 4231... that's not the point. This is not about human players. Personally, I've had many hugely successful games using a 4231 with carefully modified individual settings for each position. The issue is (a) the AI's use of the formation and (b) the fact that AML/AMR do not track back realistically enough in any formation.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 18-02-2012 at 20:29.

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    I normally struggle against this formation. Averaging a goal every 88 minutes. So I havent noticed it. You are right about the wingers, I never tweaked the sliders for my wingers and they definitely never track back. The room the fullbacks have when attacking is mad, both for me and the AI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BiggusD View Post
    SI needs to tighten up this tactic in order to maintain realism, as it is a common tactic globally.
    I think the common tactic that is used is 4411, with the wingers given an attacking mentality.

    4231, at least the 4231 in the game, is pretty much 424 with a striker and a withdrawn forward in the AMC slot. And perhaps it should stay that way for those instances when you need to be using a 424 formation late in the game.
    Last edited by perpetua; 18-02-2012 at 21:46.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar2010 View Post
    The formation you set up is the defensive one.

    If you want players to track and defend like the RL 451/433 then you need to set it up as a 451 not a 433 or 4231.
    We are talking about AI managers here. Human players can use workarounds such as men marking specific and 4-5-1 with forward runs/attacking mentality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by el_magico89 View Post
    my experience tells me, that it all depends on whether your players are motivated or not. its not only for the attacking midfielders, when youve used the wrong team talk, or your players morales are low, then your DMCs, defenders and so on, will also hesitate to go into challenges, to make tackles and so on... I am currently using my fm11 tactic, as its still the same ME, at the beginning, I had a lot of difficulties and got really beaten by lower division teams, because I just couldnt get the right team talks and so on... then Ive found out my own way and now can see completetly different results. not only the results, but my wingers closing down the full backs, my amc is trying to go into these rebound challenges, my DMCs are doing their challenges and my center backs dont watch the opposition striker running free till my own box, much rather try to tackle him away. it all is connected and dependant on morale and team talks. thats what Ive learned in FM12 ;)
    Again we are talking here about AI managers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by perpetua View Post
    I think the common tactic that is used is 4411, with the wingers given an attacking mentality.

    4231, at least the 4231 in the game, is pretty much 424 with a striker and a withdrawn forward in the AMC slot. And perhaps it should stay that way for those instances when you need to be using a 424 formation late in the game.
    See post #52
    Last edited by Govnar1; 21-02-2012 at 16:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Govnar1 View Post
    We are talking about AI managers here. Human players can use workarounds such as men marking specific and 4-5-1 with forward runs/attacking mentality.
    Why is it a problem for the AI.

    The fact they are starting with a 4231 formation implies they are not trying to play a hybrid 4411/4231 formation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar2010 View Post
    Why is it a problem for the AI.

    The fact they are starting with a 4231 formation implies they are not trying to play a hybrid 4411/4231 formation.
    Because it is does not reflect real life use of this formation, because it ignores 40 years of football evolution since advent of dynamic systems/hybrid formations and finally because it makes AI managers that use it weak against many common AI formations and extremely poor against sophisticated human formations.

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    May I ask what clubs in real life actually use the 4-2-3-1 formation with two CMs? All the clubs I know that play 4-2-3-1 use the deep varient with 2 DMs. I think this should be changed in the DB, since this is the current "big" tactic, instead of the variant with 2 CMs which a lot off managers seem to use.

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    The better quality teams that use 4231 have a more attacking CM pairing but they also have the discipline to shift to a defensive role when required, the default version of the formation used by the AI does not appear to have this level of flexibility & it certainly lacks the fluidity that the 5 midfield players offer irl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freakiie View Post
    May I ask what clubs in real life actually use the 4-2-3-1 formation with two CMs? All the clubs I know that play 4-2-3-1 use the deep varient with 2 DMs. I think this should be changed in the DB, since this is the current "big" tactic, instead of the variant with 2 CMs which a lot off managers seem to use.
    I think it's fine if you set the two central guys to having defensive mentalities, as they don't need to have a starting position right in front of the back four. Often one will be more of a Makelele type while the other will venture forward a little more. I used a 4-2-3-1 to great effect on FM11 and had a defensive ball-winner and the other a central midfielder either on support or defensive (depending on who we were playing) but the issue remains about the '3' not doing any defensive duties or pressuring the opposition defence when they have the ball.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar2010 View Post
    Why is it a problem for the AI.

    The fact they are starting with a 4231 formation implies they are not trying to play a hybrid 4411/4231 formation.
    It is a problem for the AI because five out of ten players (all the five midfielders) are not contributing in any way in any phase of the game. The 4-2-3-1 "denmark" formation is very common among top managers and clubs in FM, and it is so weak that it basically cripples the game. It is not such a big problem for smaller clubs because when the AI defends very deep with it, it actually works as a 4-5-1, but big clubs will be favourites and they will attack and the result is that any opposition with reasonably fast midfielders and strikers will run in space towards a backing up defending four, tearing them apart. The tactic is set up with a 20-meter empty space between the midfield and defense, and any tactic which exploits that space will crush the AI using the 4-2-3-1 Wide. Furthermore, it employs plenty of width, making defense even worse as none of the 10 outfield players are in position to help each other.

    It's an absolute disaster. But it should be a very strong tactic - very balanced. 9 men defending tightly, 8 men overwhelming the opposition defense with two of them sitting back providing both cover and passing options.

    As a side note: surprisingly many posters have seemingly not understood that it is the AI's use of the formation this thread is all about - it is not a problem for us humans to build a strong tactic using this formation. Basically any setup that manages to close that 20-meter gap between midfield and defense will be miles ahead of the standard AI tactic. A quick fix is for SI to simply swap the use of this tactic with the 4-2-0-3-1 (4-2-3-1 deep?) in the database, for both clubs and managers. It is a much more balanced tactic, and thus more realistic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CityAndColour View Post
    I think it's fine if you set the two central guys to having defensive mentalities, as they don't need to have a starting position right in front of the back four. Often one will be more of a Makelele type while the other will venture forward a little more. I used a 4-2-3-1 to great effect on FM11 and had a defensive ball-winner and the other a central midfielder either on support or defensive (depending on who we were playing) but the issue remains about the '3' not doing any defensive duties or pressuring the opposition defence when they have the ball.
    Yes defensive mentalities and no forward runs will help, but not enough. Defensive mentalities instruct the players to cover space behind them and not take risks in passing and closing down too early. The problem is that this translates to a passive playing style in FM - they will find themselves in a too forward position and will therefore backtrack until they have covered that space, and in the process they will not try to intercept or tackle the opponents. They will not contribute offensively either, and as I said in the OP - this makes them entirely useless in any phase of modern football:

    In the defending phase: they will close down but not tackle (defensive), be in an irrelevant position (support) or they will not close down (attack)
    In the transition from defending to attacking phase: they will run forward and not be available for passes (any)
    In the attacking phase: they will not join the forwards in the box and they will not cover space in case of loss of possession (any)
    In the transition from attacking to defending phase: they will run back to a deep position (defensive), run back to an irrelevant position (support), or they will not run back (attack)

    If SI is to use the 4-2-3-1 Wide formation, they need to make sure that MC's are relevant to all the phases of football. I think the only way they can do this is to divide Mentality into Attacking and Defensive Mentality, but meanwhile the 12.3 patch must fix this tactic.

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    double post
    Last edited by BiggusD; 19-02-2012 at 00:43.

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    First you need to understand how the AI chooses the Role/Duty for players.

    If the AI uses the best for each player, and chooses the best XI in terms of ability, then it might have an unbalanced formation.

    Or it will generate a good formation, then fill it with players. The problem with this approach is that star ratings (which I assume the AI uses) are given per position, not Role/Duty. This might lead to inappropriate choices for roles.

    3rd case, the smart way, is that the AI generates the best balanced formation that will fit its players abilities. But that should be a challenge, as it is for the human player, so might be linked to each manager's ability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cezar.sl View Post
    First you need to understand how the AI chooses the Role/Duty for players.

    If the AI uses the best for each player, and chooses the best XI in terms of ability, then it might have an unbalanced formation.

    Or it will generate a good formation, then fill it with players. The problem with this approach is that star ratings (which I assume the AI uses) are given per position, not Role/Duty. This might lead to inappropriate choices for roles.

    3rd case, the smart way, is that the AI generates the best balanced formation that will fit its players abilities. But that should be a challenge, as it is for the human player, so might be linked to each manager's ability.
    The AI doesn't use roles or duties. It looks solely at CA, reputation and positional familiarity (though the latter is often ignored, as you can see when players like Javier Hernandez end up playing MR for several seasons). Its tactics are determined by formation and universal settings for things like mentality, creative freedom, passing distance, etc. The AI makes no attempt to build a tactic around the players it has or even to buy players that fit its tactics. The tactics creator and its roles are only used by the player and the player's staff (when making recommendations).

    There are also no manager abilities linked with squad selection. Staff CA affects coaching effectiveness, detail in tactical advice and man management, nothing more. Attributes like "Squad Rotation" are only tendencies that determine how often a specific AI manager does something (e.g., rotates players).
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 19-02-2012 at 02:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BiggusD View Post
    As a side note: surprisingly many posters have seemingly not understood that it is the AI's use of the formation this thread is all about - it is not a problem for us humans to build a strong tactic using this formation. Basically any setup that manages to close that 20-meter gap between midfield and defense will be miles ahead of the standard AI tactic. A quick fix is for SI to simply swap the use of this tactic with the 4-2-0-3-1 (4-2-3-1 deep?) in the database, for both clubs and managers. It is a much more balanced tactic, and thus more realistic.
    T. Ivic considered that distance between defense and attack should be no more than 30 m at any given moment, A. Sacchi's ideal was 25 meters from center back to center forward!

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    Bringing this up in the bugs forum as well would be a good idea.

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    The OP mentioned he started a thread on this subject in the bugs forum, but without any response from SI. My guess is they either fixed the issue, or we raised the subject too late for them to include a fix on the next patch.

    So we will most likely see changes in FM 13 if the february patch is the last one for FM 12...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ackter View Post
    Bringing this up in the bugs forum as well would be a good idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by andu1 View Post
    The OP mentioned he started a thread on this subject in the bugs forum, but without any response from SI. My guess is they either fixed the issue, or we raised the subject too late for them to include a fix on the next patch.

    So we will most likely see changes in FM 13 if the february patch is the last one for FM 12...
    I didn't, but The Hand of God did. It isn't a bug, though - just a tactic that should be changed in order to maintain realism in the game. I doubt SI's programmers are happy with the result.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Govnar1 View Post
    T. Ivic considered that distance between defense and attack should be no more than 30 m at any given moment, A. Sacchi's ideal was 25 meters from center back to center forward!
    Obviously this will always vary between managers and the players used, but overall for me that AML AMR band doesnt track back enough. Also your general defensive instructions on tracking back are lacking. I dont expect a change for FM12, but i really hope this has been considered for the new ME

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    Quote Originally Posted by themadsheep2001 View Post
    Obviously this will always vary between managers and the players used, but overall for me that AML AMR band doesnt track back enough. Also your general defensive instructions on tracking back are lacking. I dont expect a change for FM12, but i really hope this has been considered for the new ME
    The question you need to ask yourself when comparing these formations/players to real life is:

    Are these players in real life playing an AML/AMR position and tracking back or are they playing a ML/MR position with high mentality.

    Personally I see the hybrid systems in real life converting to players playing ML/MR within FM. As for the AML/AMR positions within FM I can't recall them not tracking the fullbacks when defending and they do take some defensive responsibility when defending. This can be seen when the opposition are in your final third - Your ST in a 4231 is the only player in an advanced position.

    The issue then seems to be that different people have a different opinion of how a player in position X should play.


    EDIT
    Players attributes/style also need to be considered. A player who is a ML/AML will probably track back more from the AML then a player who is a AML/ST.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar2010 View Post
    The question you need to ask yourself when comparing these formations/players to real life is:

    Are these players in real life playing an AML/AMR position and tracking back or are they playing a ML/MR position with high mentality.

    Personally I see the hybrid systems in real life converting to players playing ML/MR within FM. As for the AML/AMR positions within FM I can't recall them not tracking the fullbacks when defending and they do take some defensive responsibility when defending. This can be seen when the opposition are in your final third - Your ST in a 4231 is the only player in an advanced position.

    The issue then seems to be that different people have a different opinion of how a player in position X should play.


    EDIT
    Players attributes/style also need to be considered. A player who is a ML/AML will probably track back more from the AML then a player who is a AML/ST.
    Thing is I can sort my issues by creating a workaround, but the AI cant. I fully accept that this will vary from player to player and manager to manager, but my view overall, from FM11 and FM12 is that its an area to be worked on. Also that we need more options on the defensive side.

    I know there will be some sides IRL who dont particularly rely on their AML/R to track back, but some do, and its not really replicated in FM for the AI

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    Quote Originally Posted by themadsheep2001 View Post
    Obviously this will always vary between managers and the players used, but overall for me that AML AMR band doesnt track back enough. Also your general defensive instructions on tracking back are lacking. I dont expect a change for FM12, but i really hope this has been considered for the new ME
    I just tried to illustrate that some FM formations have to much space between the lines as a result of improper implementation of mentality. Mentality directly and indirectly influences player position and off the ball movement along with players defensive and offensive reasoning. This creates all sorts off issues in current ME and huge amount of space between the lines is one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar2010 View Post
    Personally I see the hybrid systems in real life converting to players playing ML/MR within FM.
    I totally agree with this. Most of the "4-2-3-1 Denmark" you see in-game should really be an attacking 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-2-1-1 (2 DMs, ML/MR).

    However, for the most part, AI manager tactics are not well researched and do not appear to be well tested. Del Bosque plays a direct passing game, Guardiola uses Messi and Iniesta as wingers (not inverted forwards), Villas-Boas uses a deep defensive line, etc.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 19-02-2012 at 13:54.

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    This is clearly a major problem. What is maybe even bigger problem is that AI managers does not take into account opponents weaknesses when deciding which tactic they would use and wich players would be playing before match. Taking this in to consideration, this game is not football manager, because it is only one part who is acting as manager (human). Being football manager is about playing on your streghts and on others weaknesses, and AI doesnt do that. AI managers have one philosophy, and stick with it. When AI doesnt know how to build the team neither, or to by players wich fitts in to that philosophy, then we could, with the great certainty, say that this is not footbal manager. To be honest I do not know what this game is.
    Last edited by jascko; 20-02-2012 at 00:16.

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    thought this thread might be of interest to some:

    http://community.sigames.com/showthr...31#post7594731

    forget the title itself, but the discussion about the flaws is quite enlightening

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    Needless to say, I win the Premier League in Manchester, round 37, after Blanc lost the lead Mourinho had built up. You can see why in this image:

    [IMG=http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/7519/abadtacticcity2.png][/IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    I paused the game right there. Let's see if I get another easy goal. *play* ... neh squandered that one. Nevertheless. There are plenty more where they came from. Roughly every time I nick the ball off their aimlessly short-passing feet in nowhere-land (the area in the middle of that image above, where you can see 7 blue-clad superstars within touching distance of each other)...

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    Only very rarely should an AI team choose this formation instead of two deep DM's but when they do they need to be able to close that gap between def and mid by playing a high line and defensive minded CM's. I'm sure this has already been said but this is just a +1 for a fix.

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    These are the heatmaps and average positions from the first 45 minutes of 4 matches between the same teams (used 45 minutes to prevent fatigue impacting player positions since substitutions would distort the pictures). No tactical adjustments are made except those explained below. The mentality is Attack, Philosophy is Balanced.


    The 4411:
    DCs are set to Central Defender (Defend)
    FBs are set to Full Back (Automatic)
    MRC is set to Ball Winning Midfielder (Defend)
    MLC is set to Deep Lying Playmaker (Support)
    MR/ML are set to Winger (Attack)
    AMC is set to Advanced Playmaker (Support)
    ST is set to Advanced Forward (Attack)

    The 4231DAN instructions are the same as the 4411 except it's the AMR/AML who are set to Winger (Attack).

    The 42211 instructions are the same as the 4411 except DMLC is set to Deep Lying Playmaker (Support) and DMRC is set to Defensive Midfielder (Defend).

    The 42DM31 instructions are a hybrid of the 4231DAN and 42211 instructions. The AMR/AML are set to Winger (Attack), DMLC is Deep Lying Playmaker (Support) and DMRC is Defensive Midfielder (Defend).

    For the 4231 DAN and 42DM31, the AMR/AML average positions make it look like these players behave more like forwards than wingers, since they are so high up the pitch (and perhaps this formation should stay just this way so that the formation is a late game option or a formation against much weaker opposition). So rather than 4231 and 42DM31, they look more like 4213 instead. While the 4411 and 42211 look a little a more like a balanced 4231 formation.

    However in a 4231, ideally the wingers should be higher up the pitch than the player in the middle. That is easily achieved with a formation which shifts back the positions in the 4231DAN by one slot. So the midfield becomes DM DM MR MC ML rather than MC MC AMR AMC AML. Here is the heatmap below. The only difference between this and the 42211 is that the AMC is pulled back to MC and given an Advanced Playmaker (Attack) role.



    So perhaps the 4231 that is probably closest to what it should be isn't even available.

    Edit: I should also mention that the exact same players were used in every single case above.
    Last edited by perpetua; 21-02-2012 at 13:29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BiggusD View Post
    I didn't, but The Hand of God did. It isn't a bug, though - just a tactic that should be changed in order to maintain realism in the game. I doubt SI's programmers are happy with the result.
    If the game isn't behaving as it should, then it's a bug.

    If the game is doing something that allows you to exploit them like this, it's a bug.

    Please mention it there too

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    In some sense, this is just a data issue as 4231 Denmark was evidently programmed to be a late game, ultra-attacking formation similar to a 424. However, at this point, the assumption that 4231 Denmark is the standard, "real world" 4231 has shaped the database to such an enormous extent that it just makes more sense to treat it as a bug.

    EDIT: Fantastic post, perpetua.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 21-02-2012 at 13:01.

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    I have to say that I'm using a 4-2-3-1 (2 MC AM R/L/C version) in my Newcastle save and it's yielded 2 6th places in EPL, a League Cup and a win at the Olympics for me.
    Perfectly happy with that outcome. Have to say though, that I either keep the system rigid or play a counter mentality as otherwise the tactic is leaking too many goals.

    In the OP's case there must be further tactical instructions which disbalance City's team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    In some sense, this is just a data issue as 4231 Denmark was evidently programmed to be a late game, ultra-attacking formation similar to a 424. However, at this point, the assumption that 4231 Denmark is the standard, "real world" 4231 has shaped the database to such an enormous extent that it just makes more sense to treat it as a bug.

    EDIT: Fantastic post, perpetua.
    Maybe the only thing they -can- do at this point is to move the "defensive line" of the midfield and attack back a bit, so that all four strata in front of the defensive line (which we can move up and down using team instructions) are closer to each other and to the defense. This should also affect backtracking. However, that's a major ME change and it is unlikely that it can be done before FM13 the earliest. The reason I called this thread "urgent" was that I hoped that the database changes coming up soon could include the disuse of the 4-2-3-1 "Denmark"-

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    In some sense, this is just a data issue as 4231 Denmark was evidently programmed to be a late game, ultra-attacking formation similar to a 424. However, at this point, the assumption that 4231 Denmark is the standard, "real world" 4231 has shaped the database to such an enormous extent that it just makes more sense to treat it as a bug.

    EDIT: Fantastic post, perpetua.
    4231 Denmark is no good at pressing opposition defense so it's not even a good late game, goal down tactic. Players positioned as AML/C/R an FC are poor at pressing or do not press at all in current ME. This is partly masked in AI vs AI matches as defenders (set to def mentality and low creative freedom) tend to freeze/spin/pass back in proximity of opposition player no meter how inactive/catatonic he is. Setting AML/C/R and FC to defensive mentality somewhat increases their defensive activity but ruins their attacking play as they play far too conservative in offensive phase and expectantly in transition and on counter. Setting them to man marking specific player increases their defensive activity to an acceptable level.

    Most of the issues described above are result of following ME deficiencies in my opinion:
    1. Absence of separate defensive and attacking formations (formation transformation)
    2. Absence of separate defensive and attacking player mentalities
    3. Very poor and very unrealistic positioning of DL/C/R prior to goal kick (DCs are positions to close and are often more advanced than FBs! This is probably the worst possible disposition.)
    4. Improper implementation of men and zonal marking
    5. Absence of dynamic repositioning of player according to ball position. This really kills effectiveness of pressing. Pressing is in it's ultimate (and possibly unachievable) form should transcend static formation as a concept; players should position them selves according to position of ball, opposition, teammates and unmarked space. Unfortunately due to current tendency of player in possession to freeze/spin/pass back in proximity of opposition along with general preference of sideways and backward-diagonal passing properly implement dynamic repositioning and pressing would probably throw ME out of balance.
    6. Excessive precision of long passes and unrealistic ball trajectory in combination with defenders that seem completely unaware of incoming long ball produce some realty strange situations (such as static wingers receiving long ball that just flew over the equally static fullback absolutely uncontested).
    7. It seems to me that AML/R have hard-coded tendency to disregard defense. As an experiment position the same player once as a ML/R with very attacking mentality (20) and the other time as AML/R with very defensive mentality (0). He will act better defensively in first case!

    PS I'm sorry perpetua for the rude reaction above in post #20, this is detail explanation why I think that 4231 is no good late game, goal down tactic.
    Last edited by Govnar1; 21-02-2012 at 16:05.

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    This is after the 12.2.0 update:

    ************



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    Uploaded with ImageShack.us



    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    ************

    Not fixed this time around, apparently...

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    We didnt make any ME changes for 12.2, and this was made clear some time ago.

    Since last year our ME coding resources are fully focused on an improved version for release at some point in the next couple of years. Whether that is FM2013, 14 or even later is yet undecided.

    I will make sure stuff like this is high up the QA priority list as and when the new code goes into test.

    Cheers,
    Paul

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    Not surprising given that fundamentally changing positional behaviors would require extensive testing.

    Still, unlike most ME problems, this one can be fixed with the editor. Search People by "Preferred Formation", change all instances of "4231 Denmark" to either "451 Defensive Midfielders" or "4231 Defensive Midfielders", do the same for "Second Formation" then remove it from any nations' tactical attributes to keep it from showing up among regens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    Not surprising given that fundamentally changing positional behaviors would require extensive testing.

    Still, unlike most ME problems, this one can be fixed with the editor. Search People by "Preferred Formation", change all instances of "4231 Denmark" to either "451 Defensive Midfielders" or "4231 Defensive Midfielders", do the same for "Second Formation" then remove it from any nations' tactical attributes to keep it from showing up among regens.
    Have you already done this, Hand of God?

    If so, would you mind uploading the edited database?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfgrigg View Post
    Have you already done this, Hand of God?

    If so, would you mind uploading the edited database?
    I'm still working on it, but I'll see what I can do when it's done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulC View Post
    We didnt make any ME changes for 12.2, and this was made clear some time ago.

    Since last year our ME coding resources are fully focused on an improved version for release at some point in the next couple of years. Whether that is FM2013, 14 or even later is yet undecided.

    I will make sure stuff like this is high up the QA priority list as and when the new code goes into test.

    Cheers,
    Paul
    Yes the 4231 tactic must be a very balanced tactic, not the ultra-attacking gung-ho tactic it is now.

    As The Hand of God points out - this is more a database issue than an ME issue. The 4231 Denmark tactic used so widely in the database is simply put not good enough as it doesn't in any way enable the teams/managers using it to simulate its real life counterpart.

    The AMRLC positions not backtracking or helping the defense at all is a problem for all tactics using those positions. That could be fixed quite easily by auto-setting every player in those positions to Man Mark Specific regardless of instructions in the tactic itself.

    In the long term, these behavioural problems can in my opinion only be addressed by switching from one single Mentality slider to a Attacking Mentality plus a Defending Mentality slider and having player behaviour rely more heavily on attributes. For instance, every technical attribute should be a Tendency plus Skill attribute negating the need of Long Shots, Run With Ball and Tackling sliders. This way, while Rooney and Tevez could both enjoy high values of both Mentality sliders enabling them to help the midfield while joining the attack, Berbatov and Dzeko would not function well with those duties because they wouldn't work hard enough in the defending phases and would rather like the ball to feet etc.

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    Can the default tactics be edited in the database? That way we could tweak the 4231-Denmark tactic, and still let AI use it.

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    OK, this DBC file will completely remove "4231 Denmark" from a new save and also removes the similarly flawed "424" as a standard preferred formation (it is, however, preserved as an attacking formation). Enjoy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    OK, this DBC file will completely remove "4231 Denmark" from a new save and also removes the similarly flawed "424" as a standard preferred formation (it is, however, preserved as an attacking formation). Enjoy!
    Nice work! Can i ask what you replaced it with?

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    Quote Originally Posted by themadsheep2001 View Post
    Nice work! Can i ask what you replaced it with?
    "4231 Defensive Midfielder" in most cases. Not ideal, but most teams that use 4231 Denmark have a star AMC that isn't competent as an MC. Still, the two holding midfielders will provide more cover and prevent a massive gap from forming between the defense and attack. "451 DM" and "4411" were used in a few instances to better reflect the positional preferences of certain clubs' strongest players.

    In regards to 424, it was mostly replaced with the similar "4222 Defensive Midfielders", though in the case of Juventus, I used "352" and "532 Serbia & Montenegro" as these better reflect Conte's actual tactical preferences (in addition to being more balanced formations).

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    "4231 Defensive Midfielder" in most cases. Not ideal, but most teams that use 4231 Denmark have a star AMC that isn't competent as an MC. Still, the two holding midfielders will provide more cover and prevent a massive gap from forming between the defense and attack. "451 DM" and "4411" were used in a few instances to better reflect the positional preferences of certain clubs' strongest players.

    In regards to 424, it was mostly replaced with the similar "4222 Defensive Midfielders", though in the case of Juventus, I used "352" and "532 Serbia & Montenegro" as these better reflect Conte's actual tactical preferences (in addition to being more balanced formations).
    Cheers for that, best fix possible before an ME reworking

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    so THAT is the formation i need to beat city by more then 1 goal -_-

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    OK, this DBC file will completely remove "4231 Denmark" from a new save and also removes the similarly flawed "424" as a standard preferred formation (it is, however, preserved as an attacking formation). Enjoy!
    Would some kind soul be willing to upload this file again? It's no longer available from the above link.
    I'd really appreciate it, thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Planet View Post
    Would some kind soul be willing to upload this file again? It's no longer available from the above link.
    I'd really appreciate it, thank you.
    I no longer have the plain "NoDenmark" database, but I do have a database file with all the various changes that I use. You can download it here.

    This file makes over 20,000 changes to the default database, mostly tactical. These include:
    * Removal of 4231 Denmark
    * Adjustments to managers using AML/R to improve defensive performance
    * Hundreds of changes to reflect real life manager's tactical preferences (particularly in non-British leagues)
    * Adjustment of Attacking and Defensive formation preferences to better align with a manager's primary preferred formation
    * Adjustments to national tactical preferences and youth output (makes regen managers more likely to have balanced tactical attributes and slightly tones down the number of high PA regens)
    * Adjustments to club tactical preferences and youth quality (mainly to improve average player quality in smaller nations)
    * Increase the number of viable managerial candidates in major European divisions (this slightly tones down manager merry-go-round)

    There are a few adjustments to players to reflect 2011/12 performances (as well as Tevez's unavailability in the first half of the season) and ensure more accurate squad selection on certain teams... there is also a slight reduction in the number of potential English wonderkids, but nothing major. If this isn't your cup of tea, you can manually clear these changes, though this may result in some key players being underused (e.g., Balotelli, Yaya Toure, etc.).
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 14-06-2012 at 22:31.

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    EVERY tactic has its strengths and weaknesses. No one tactic ever stands out. Just becuase modern day trends say 4-2-3-1 doesn'y mean its a great tactic. 4-4-2 is just as good with the right players as is 3-5-2, 5-3-2, 4-4-1-1 and so on. Wouldn't recommend 0-0-10 though. ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    I no longer have the plain "NoDenmark" database, but I do have a database file with all the various changes that I use. You can download it here.

    This file makes over 20,000 changes to the default database, mostly tactical. These include:
    * Removal of 4231 Denmark
    * Adjustments to managers using AML/R to improve defensive performance
    * Hundreds of changes to reflect real life manager's tactical preferences (particularly in non-British leagues)
    * Adjustment of Attacking and Defensive formation preferences to better align with a manager's primary preferred formation
    * Adjustments to national tactical preferences and youth output (makes regen managers more likely to have balanced tactical attributes and slightly tones down the number of high PA regens)
    * Adjustments to club tactical preferences and youth quality (mainly to improve average player quality in smaller nations)
    * Increase the number of viable managerial candidates in major European divisions (this slightly tones down manager merry-go-round)

    There are a few adjustments to players to reflect 2011/12 performances (as well as Tevez's unavailability in the first half of the season) and ensure more accurate squad selection on certain teams... there is also a slight reduction in the number of potential English wonderkids, but nothing major. If this isn't your cup of tea, you can manually clear these changes, though this may result in some key players being underused (e.g., Balotelli, Yaya Toure, etc.).
    Wow! Legend! That sounds impressively comprehensive. I shall look forward to starting a new save

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    If you ask me, the "narrow 4-2-3-1" is just as big of a travesty. The AMCl and AMCr leave opposition wingbacks completely unmarked. In short, some formations are just out of sync with real-world football.
    Last edited by Validicus; 15-06-2012 at 16:47.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Validicus View Post
    If you ask me, the "narrow 4-2-3-1" is just as big of a travesty. The AMCl and AMCr leave opposition wingbacks completely unmarked. In short, some formations are just out of sync with real-world football.
    This should be much more dependent on players mental qualities and to a degree managers mental abilities (look at the difference between Ronaldos performance for Real and Portugal). For example in Dutch team at least four players (Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Ibrahim Afellay, Robin van Persie + yesterday Rafael van der Vaart) do not press opposition or track back ever. This basically splits formation in two as in FM ME. I doubt this is managers intention/tactic. However in FM when you put hardworking player such as Dirk Kuyt in AMR position he will still act as lazy as Arjen Robben. Even worse when you select Arjen Robben as MR he will do more defense work there than Dirk Kuyt when selected as AMR!

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    Another poster here who is infuriated at the reluctance of AML/AMRs to track back or close down consistently. The only way to get them to do so is to set their Closing Down to the 18-20 range. Personally I've given up on AML/AMR and either opt for a pair of FL/FR or ML/MR.

    Other issues:

    - The AI also generally plays too wide compared to real life, where you see teams much more frequently keeping things narrow.

    - There is too great a space between the DM and MC positions. Central midfielders stay too far advanced while I'm reluctant to play DMs without two men ahead of them because they struggle to hold possession in the center of the park.

    - Set-pieces aside, ariel prowess is almost entirely useless. Where 1 in 4-5 goals in real life comes from headers, there is nothing like that frequency in FM and definitely not from open play. Those you do score tend to be from wingers or inside forwards nodding in at the far post. I'm not asking for a return to 07, where the target man was king, but it's currently ridiculous watching every single unmarked header loop over the bar. It's a massive disadvantage if you generally prefer teams with intelligent, physically-powerful players over a team of tika-taka passers.

    - Height also seems to make a ludicrously small amount of difference in heading ability. Being taller seems to let players get to a ball better, but whereas in real life being taller allows you to get over the ball and knock it downwards -and therefore more likely on target- in FM it makes no appreciable difference after your player has reached the ball. Cue Lancina Traore (6'8) scraping the bar with 3/4 of his virtually uncontested headers.

    - Players are terrible at playing the ball up to the heads of their teammates, sending in crosses onto the heads of their teammates, knocking headers onto the run of their teammates... I could go on. I haven't used 'Target Man - Head Ball' more than a handful of games over the last few versions. In my view the whole ariel side of the game needs an overhaul.

    ---

    I'm not saying there aren't work-arounds for all these issues, just pointing out discrepancies between what generally happens in the game and what happens in real football.

    I doubt this is managers intention/tactic. However in FM when you put hardworking player such as Dirk Kuyt in AMR position he will still act as lazy as Arjen Robben. Even worse when you select Arjen Robben as MR he will do more defense work there than Dirk Kuyt when selected as AMR!
    I agree and this is actually highlights a pretty serious problem: All in all players are currently too dependent on manager's instructions and don't quite do their own thing often enough. I admit that the opposite can be frustrating, but on balance I think it can be very rewarding as you get a much better feel of players' matchday personality.
    Last edited by Motherlover; 18-06-2012 at 14:59.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToffeeViola View Post
    Another poster here who is infuriated at the reluctance of AML/AMRs to track back or close down consistently. The only way to get them to do so is to set their Closing Down to the 18-20 range. Personally I've given up on AML/AMR and either opt for a pair of FL/FR or ML/MR.
    As I understand it, "Closing Down" determines how far up the pitch they will close down but, even if you max it out, AML/AMR typically just ignore the instruction altogether and will roam around in midfield even when an opposition fullback is in your penalty box.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    As I understand it, "Closing Down" determines how far up the pitch they will close down but, even if you max it out, AML/AMR typically just ignore the instruction altogether and will roam around in midfield even when an opposition fullback is in your penalty box.
    Unfortunately this is exactly what will happen. Position somehow wondrously overrides players character, logic and defensive instructions given to him. Man marking specific only partly solves the issue for human managers. AML/R (set to man marking specific) still look somewhat disinterested and passive but at lest make halfhearted effort to track back before they switch off around 30 meters from goal. On top of there is no way to force player to disregard position, ball movement and phase of play and stay with designated opposition player at all times.

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    Setting them to man mark full backs does the job for me. They have a free role if that means anything I don't know. Don't know any other tips except maybe just play them as ML/R except force them higher up the pitch on attack through instructions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wearesporting View Post
    Setting them to man mark full backs does the job for me. They have a free role if that means anything I don't know. Don't know any other tips except maybe just play them as ML/R except force them higher up the pitch on attack through instructions.
    This is the best option for human manager. It's fairly simple to force ML/R to transform into AML/R when in possession.

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    Hi Hand of God!

    I was wondering if you'd kindly be able to re-upload the database you mentioned. I attempted to use both links but they didn't work.

    I had previously cooked up something similar (though far less extensive) and would very grateful if I could play with your changes.

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    Double post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulC View Post
    We didnt make any ME changes for 12.2, and this was made clear some time ago.

    Since last year our ME coding resources are fully focused on an improved version for release at some point in the next couple of years. Whether that is FM2013, 14 or even later is yet undecided.

    I will make sure stuff like this is high up the QA priority list as and when the new code goes into test.

    Cheers,
    Paul
    Cant you just outsource the coding or hire ( temporary ) more coders? The ME is the most important part of FM so waiting till FM14 or even longer is counter productive.

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    Strangely this is the tactic that causes my 4-1-2-1-2 the most problems lately, can't seem to get through their midfield and get the ball to my AMC. If I try over the top, their DC always steps up and intercepts.

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    Im managing Spain and the 4-2-3-1 with 3 being AMR-AMC-AML are doing just fine. In fact, I won Euro 2016, Olympics 2016, Confederations Cup 2017, and World Cup 2018 with that formation. Probably the roles of the players should be altered to make this formation work?

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    As long as SI keeps this paleolithic design where a player being put in the centre can't be assigned a DM role or a player being put in the right midfield area can't be assigned a winger role, the tactics mechanic will always be unrealistic and restrictive.

    It's also funny how people don't seem to understand that the topic is about the A.I. using the tactic.

    But as long as we are winning who cares, right? ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSH View Post
    As long as SI keeps this paleolithic design where a player being put in the centre can't be assigned a DM role or a player being put in the right midfield area can't be assigned a winger role, the tactics mechanic will always be unrealistic and restrictive.

    It's also funny how people don't seem to understand that the topic is about the A.I. using the tactic.

    But as long as we are winning who cares, right? ;)

    MCs can be assigned a Ball winning midfield role on defend duty or actually place them in the DM position.

    MRs can be assigned a winger role.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSH View Post
    It's also funny how people don't seem to understand that the topic is about the A.I. using the tactic.
    Who has time to read when you have to inform people of your miraculous success with one of the strongest squads in the game?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar2010 View Post
    MCs can be assigned a Ball winning midfield role on defend duty or actually place them in the DM position.

    MRs can be assigned a winger role.
    You are correct about the Wingers, my mistake.

    About the others though, no. And don't forget that there are many other faults too, like not being able to set an AMC from a MC position, etc. It's paleolithic design and not versitle at all, especially when we consider that tinkering with the instructions is also a questionable mechanism.

    This game could actually show some real progress if people didn't defend it all the time.

    Like I said in another thread, it will only take one game from the competition that will actually show how illogical are the basic design choices of FM. Untill then, unfortunatelly, we have only this.

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    I have the 4-2-3-1 with great success, it is weird that the AI tactic does not work maybe the cms have less defensive

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    Default What is the trick?

    Can somebody help me please? Everybody is saying how 4231 is ridiculously easy to beat, but AI is killing me with it. I am currently playing with Osasuna and I am getting killed against 4231. What is the trick? I am using 4132.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zile2801 View Post
    Can somebody help me please? Everybody is saying how 4231 is ridiculously easy to beat, but AI is killing me with it. I am currently playing with Osasuna and I am getting killed against 4231. What is the trick? I am using 4132.
    4-1-3-2 is probably not so fantastic against the wide 4-2-3-1 formation. The biggest problem is probably that they send their full backs forward so that they have 3 vs 1 (or 2) on the flanks, moving the ball until your back four is out of position. That formation, with two strikers, will also not take advantage of the holes left behind when the 4-2-3-1 goes ultraattacking leaving only the central defenders back.

    Setting your full backs to never close down may be your best bet. That or changing your formation when you meet it, to use wingers and/or an attacking midfielder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BiggusD View Post
    4-1-3-2 is probably not so fantastic against the wide 4-2-3-1 formation. The biggest problem is probably that they send their full backs forward so that they have 3 vs 1 (or 2) on the flanks, moving the ball until your back four is out of position. That formation, with two strikers, will also not take advantage of the holes left behind when the 4-2-3-1 goes ultraattacking leaving only the central defenders back.

    Setting your full backs to never close down may be your best bet. That or changing your formation when you meet it, to use wingers and/or an attacking midfielder.
    Thanks for the answer. However, I did try many other formations with other teams, and I could never even beat Real Madrid (or any other elite team), let alone dominate them. How do you beat a superior team just because they use 4231?

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    Read zonalmarking.net Knowing real life tactics is usefull in this game.

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    I feel the 4-2-3-1 AI version has improved in FM13 even though the defensive setup still is weird.

    In FM12 the only thing that ever worked for me was a 4-2-3-1 with defensive midfielders instead of central midfielders but even the DM version feels a bit awkward in FM13 atm.

    Usually a 4-2-3-1 would defend like the 4-4-1-1 does atm in the game, which by the way feels quite good defensively in the game atm, even the AMC tends to get involved defending if the opposition uses three in the center.

    The main weakness of the 4-2-3-1 in this game has always been that the wide players don't act as compact as they should and leave huge gaps on both sides, the fact that MCs didn't track back properly either in FM12 didn't really help the situation so most people who wanted to play the formation, like me opted to go for the 4-2-3-1 with DMs.

    Playing DMs instead of CMs even helped with getting the AMC involved with defending, since he would try to cover the space in front of the DMs when defending or at least would close down players that had the ball in that area, if you then proceeded to man mark the opposition FBs with your wingers you could have a quite stable defense and at least prevent that your FBs were constantly facing at least two players alone.

    I feel AMs still don't get involved enough in defending in FM13 and the problem that the tactic offers quite a lot of space to exploit is still a problem, the only thing I feel has improved is the defensive behavior of the MCs, they seem to be willing to do much more defensive work then they did in FM12.

    It's a bit sad that the tactic still seems to not work properly in defense since it's actually one of my favorite formations, so I hope SI will put a bit more work into this formation over the next couple of month so that we will see some improvements.

    Otherwise there is still the possibility to use the 4-4-1-1 and have it play fairly attacking but the problem is that most wingers drop in their rating if you use them the midfield strata instead of the attacking midfield area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zile2801 View Post
    Thanks for the answer. However, I did try many other formations with other teams, and I could never even beat Real Madrid (or any other elite team), let alone dominate them. How do you beat a superior team just because they use 4231?
    Oh don't worry. Real Madrid has so much quality in their original team that they can often actually pull off playing a 2-0-8 formation (which is what the 4-2-3-1 becomes when attacking). After 5-6 seasons, when they replace their original team with high-potential players who don't have the right attribute combinations to do this, they become easy to beat. RM is never easy to beat the first few seasons even though this AI tactic is very poor.

    For the record, I did never dominate against this tactic when I got promoted with Las Palmas in FM11 (until I had a world-class team that is). They were camping inside my third playing 5-aside all over until one of my six defenders (4+2dmc) got a tackle in and handed the ball over to one of the four players I had up front, thus creating 4 against 2 situations several times per match. People using AMRL and one striker reported doing the same for a 3 against 2 situation, especially if they also used an attacking midfielder. Thus, as Flohrinho said above, the 4-2-3-1 with two DMC's was also vastly superior to the one the AI uses. Straight 442's or the 4-1-3-2 you use would not be as efficient since your two counter-attack outlets would be marked and wide midfielders are tracking back.

    In FM13 Demo the 4-2-3-1 tactic seems more realistic, but I am playing in League 2 so I doubt winning against it means that much...

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    I've stuck with the trusty old 442 since CM01/02 and it has never let me down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BiggusD View Post
    In FM13 Demo the 4-2-3-1 tactic seems more realistic, but I am playing in League 2 so I doubt winning against it means that much...
    I feel that at least one of the MCs plays a much more defensive role now, the FBs don't over extend that much anymore and the wingers now seem to automatically response to FBs going forward and follow even without man marking instructions but overall it's still a tactic that has 4 players defending very little which becomes a problem imo.

    Every tactic that has more then 2 players not participating in defense will run into defense problems sooner or later if they haven't got a world class squad.

    So I really hope that SI can work on the defensive shape of these tactics and make the 4-2-3-1 in defense look more like a 4-4-1-1 looks in defense and the 4-5-1 (or 4-3-3) more like a 4-1-4-1, meaning that wingers actually help out defending, at least if they are on support duty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flohrinho View Post
    I feel that at least one of the MCs plays a much more defensive role now, the FBs don't over extend that much anymore and the wingers now seem to automatically response to FBs going forward and follow even without man marking instructions but overall it's still a tactic that has 4 players defending very little which becomes a problem imo.

    Every tactic that has more then 2 players not participating in defense will run into defense problems sooner or later if they haven't got a world class squad.

    So I really hope that SI can work on the defensive shape of these tactics and make the 4-2-3-1 in defense look more like a 4-4-1-1 looks in defense and the 4-5-1 (or 4-3-3) more like a 4-1-4-1, meaning that wingers actually help out defending, at least if they are on support duty.
    My FM11-12 tactic had 4 players not participating in the defensive work and I never had any defensive troubles because of that. In FM13 it appears to have finally died, although I am now testing a 4-2-2-1-1 tactic (two DMC's, MLR & an AMC) with Oxford in the Demo and it seems to work really well so far. It works similarly to my old tactic, but is more defensively sound according to real-life logic. I may try to move the wide midfielders to AMRL positions to see if they become involved more like the wide playmakers they were in my previous tactic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BiggusD View Post
    My FM11-12 tactic had 4 players not participating in the defensive work and I never had any defensive troubles because of that. In FM13 it appears to have finally died, although I am now testing a 4-2-2-1-1 tactic (two DMC's, MLR & an AMC) with Oxford in the Demo and it seems to work really well so far. It works similarly to my old tactic, but is more defensively sound according to real-life logic. I may try to move the wide midfielders to AMRL positions to see if they become involved more like the wide playmakers they were in my previous tactic.
    Well I think FM13 is even less forgiving in that way, the AI has become pretty good at exploiting your weaknesses I fear.

    So far I can only tell as I see it, imo 4-4-2 and 4-4-1-1 are the only really defensive sound formations in the game atm because they defend the wide areas better then any other formation.

    The reason why wide areas never really were a problem in FM12 or 11 was that there were rarely if any goals scored from crosses or wing play in general.

    This however has changed in FM13, wing play and crossing have indeed become viable tools of playing the game, as it should be.

    In previous versions it was enough to have two good CBs and two good DMs in front of them and you would be fairly save but like I said I feel that this has changed in FM13 and is one of the reasons a lot of people have trouble getting a good defensive setup going atm.

    For example I tried implementing my tactic from FM 12 that basically had only 4-6 players in defense and the front 4 almost always staying high up the pitch, this tactic was defensively so sound that I never had a higher ratio then 0.6 being scored against my team over an entire season.

    In FM13 this tactic didn't work at all so far and I'm still searching for a way to get my beloved 4-2-3-1 working again as solid as it did in FM12 but so far the only viable defensive setups I found were in 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 formations, to a lesser extent even in 4-5-1 formations even though I think the midfield setup works a bit weird.
    Last edited by Flohrinho; 01-11-2012 at 08:46.

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