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Thread: I enjoy handling all aspects of the game, I just find it really hard to sort tactics out.

  1. #1
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    Default I enjoy handling all aspects of the game, I just find it really hard to sort tactics out.

    Hi guys,

    So as topic suggests I really enjoy talking to my players, sorting out contracts, negotiating and trying to find the next Messi or Ronaldo. I feel I am OK – not excellent – but with practice comes experience.
    The only problem I have is with tactics, and I would hate people say to me “Well, if you don’t know tactics then the games not for you” because at the end of the day I may not know how to use tactics, or understand what makes your squad of 11 play to their best ability, but I want to learn.

    Its quite a loaded question because I know there is SO much to tactics, I just don’t know where to begin. I have a base idea of what I wish to accomplish from my squad (Arsenal) where I have spent quite a bit of time – with the minimum budget I had – investing in young new talent. My strategy (if you can call it that) is to think about the future, using the current players I have in my squad the best I can but slowly introducing my new talent into the first team squad after they have had sufficient training and experience in my U18 or Reserve squad (or otherwise, loans etc)

    The overall ‘tactic’ I wish to use is for a team like Barcelona, where they are quite free form, have alot of creativity about them but also have a solid back line who can defend well. But even though I know what it is in my head (I can visualise it) what it is I want to accomplish, its where the pen meets the paper is where I struggle, so I guess what I am asking for is any tips, advice and must knows for when it comes to arranging tactics that I would find useful.

    I apologise with the loaded question and understand as a result the answers may also be quite heavy, but I have to ask because I want to learn : )
    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
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    Use the tactic creator and touchline shouts. They have been designed specifically for FMers like yourself and if you know a bit about football and how you want your team to play then just go with what sounds logical. You want high creativity? Select 'More Creative'. You want a short passing game? Select 'Short Passing'.

    Keep things simple and don't try to over-complicate matters.

  3. #3
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    I've said it before and I'll say it again - tactics are overrated. Players, morale, team talks are much more important than tactics. It's important that you're players are familiar with your tactic and gelled with each other, but it doesn't really matter if you play 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-2-2-1 or whatever you feel suits better to your team.

    Initially, if you take over your team, it's wise to see what formations are most suitable (assman recommends one or two to you) but as said above - motivation and team spirit are more important to get results.

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    In my experience tactics comes down to three things

    1. a balance between your more defensively capable players and your more attacking minded players
    its no use playing david silva fabregas xavi and inesta together if there's no xabi alonso and/or bousquets behind them to cover for them and even though fabregas might be a better overall player than bousquets, the latter might play more games over the course of a season.
    2. playing to your players strengths
    Its no use having 4 of the greatest playmakers in the world in xavi, silva, iniesta and fabregas and playing a rigid 4-4-1 like england

    3. having players in every position that are different in certain aspects so you can adjust according to the game.
    silva might be a better player than jesus navas but some times its useful to have jesus navas who can play in the same position but offer more width if the opposition plays narrow and crowds the middle.

    From here you can see that building a roster comes into it a lot so you cannot look into tactics in isolation.

    If you are just starting in a team I would suggest to set the tactics having in mind playing to the strengths of your team with a long term (3 or 4 seasons) plan to mould the roster in a way which suits the style you want to adopt. For the three available formation slots try to stay within 3 step limit for all options within your three tactics options
    otherwise your team will struggle to become fluid in any of the three through the course of a season.
    For example dont choose a 3-4-3 fluid contain a 4-4-2 rigid attacking and a 4-1-2-2-1 very fluid control as your three tactics as they are too dissimilar to each other.
    I currently employ a 4-1-4-1 counter fluid 4-1-2-2-1 standard fluid and 4-1-2-2-1 control fluid at the moment with zonal marking across all three.
    This allows me use shouts within any match according to the situation with the team still being accomplished in familiar with the formations, unless for example I am using control mentality and i use "get ball forward" which ups the tempo which is higher than the default tempo for the control mentality

    eg: tempo and width in ascending order according to mentality

    contain-defensive-counter-standard-control-attacking-overload

    so my three tactical options cover the middle three mentalities.

    I have three or four players with at least 2.5 star ratings in every position in those three formations that are different to each other in their offensive/defensive capabilities so i can set the tactics according to the team i am playing. of course if you are real madrid you don't adapt to other teams' tactics, it's the other way around!

    Some examples of playing to your team's strenths:

    defence
    if you are going to play with a high line in defence it is useful to have pacey defenders all around
    if you are playing narrow its usefull to have good headers of the ball (jumping bravery heading etc) to deal with the crosses that are going to be coming in from the sides

    It is also useful to pay attention to your team's aggression attribute. for example in the premier league its tempting to fall into the trap of bringing technical nimble players but make sure you have some aggressive midfielders to keep you from being bullied in games.

    some in defence. avoid playing with two low aggression CBs as your defence will be too passive and not have good chemistry even though the individual players might be very good - in my experience

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    * Arsenal's "minimum budget" are you kidding me? They are one of the richest clubs in the world! *

    Well, to the point, then. As has been said above, tactics aren't alpha and omega. What you like to do in the game is more than sufficient to enjoy success. However, what most of us want from a tactic is an advantage over the AI club we are playing against. I suppose you want the same, and it isn't really that hard to achieve this. Just have a look at the most popular AI tactics:

    4-4-2
    4-2-3-1 wide
    4-2-3-1 narrow
    4-3-1-2
    4-1-3-2
    4-1-2-1-2
    4-1-2-2-1

    That's it, basically. The strength of 442 is that it is so balanced - there's players everywhere and it can be solid defensively while still packing a punch up front. The weakness is the lack of density in the centre and the space between the midfield and defense. Trying a short, continental passing style with 442 is likely not a good idea. It is more suitable for a direct passing game and quick counter-attacks. Hence, as their opponent you would want to be careful against their quick attacks while taking control of their weak midfield area.

    The 4-2-3-1 wide tactic is a very attacking tactic in FM. It often ends up in a 2-0-8 formation when they are pushing for goals, and this is something you can exploit. There is a giant gap btween the midfield and defense, and often lots of space behind their attacking full-backs. However, with the right players this tactic can make it very difficult to get hold of the ball, so you need to deal with the threat caused by the wide play and crosses or passes into the penalty area where all four of the central players plus the opposite winger will invariably find themselves. A player or two in the space behind the midfield and one or two defensive midfielders may be necessary here.

    The 4-2-3-1 narrow tactic is much more balanced than the wide tactic, mostly because the crowded area between the forward and the midfield makes the two central midfielders deeper. Since this tactic is so narrow, it is essential to be able to stop the advancing full backs from spreading you too thin, and it is also essential to be capable of denying them space in the middle of your defense. Playing narrowly and having one or two defensive midfielders is almost a necessity. The weakness of this formation is the flanks, so if you can get hold of the ball in the centre and then spread the ball out wide, they have four players up front who won't contribute defensively at all, and giant space between the lonely full-back and the other three defenders. They will likely win the midfield battle, but goals aren't scored from there, so that's how you deal with this tactic.

    The 4-1-3-2, 4-3-1-2 and 4-1-2-1-2 formations are also very narrow tactics and will most likely dominate the midfield against all the other ones, as for the above narrow tactic the strengths and weaknesses are the same. Goals aren't scored from out wide or in the midfield, so these tactics crowd the area where the danger is defensively and where they want to be offensively. This makes them more powerful than wide tactics, except when you manage to draw their central players out of position and exploit the space they leave behind.

    The 4-1-2-2-1 (or 4-5-1/4-3-3) is a very balanced tactic, and it is good against all the other ones because it has players everywhere while maintaining a high density in the centre. However, there is only one striker and the wingers do not always contribute enough in the attack. It is therefore better on the defense than offensively, so as such it can be overloaded in the middle by more central tactics AND overloaded on the flanks by wider tactics.

    What all this boils down to, is that in order to handle all these tactics, it is almost a necessity to have at least one defensive midfielder. It is also a good idea to have an attacking midfielder or at least one deep-lying forward (alternately playmaker-type inside forwards). In other words, you need to be able to break up the narrow tactics first and foremost, and you also need to stop advancing full-backs to draw out your own full-back when he has no cover.

    I would have started with a 4-1-2-2-1, 4-2-0-3-1 wide or 4-2-0-2-2 (4-2-4 deep) and experimented from there. Start with a TC-generated tactic then adjust manually where you are not satisfied with the role.

  6. #6
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    In FM, as in real life tactical choices often come down to simple question - should you play your own game regardless opposition or should you adjust and tweak your tactical settings according to opponent and home/away stadium.

    There are different opinion, but I've found that using same tactic against every opponent often gives better results (possibly because players have used to it) than changing it (even slightly) for every 2nd or 3rd game in fixture list.

    So choose ONE tactic and keep it. I don't rotate 2-3 tactics for my team. Just one principal formation.

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    Get over to the tactical forum and read some of SFrasers threads (Stickied at the top of the forum) and Cleons Sport center thread. They will give you a massive insight into how to build a squad

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbobBRFC View Post
    Get over to the tactical forum and read some of SFrasers threads (Stickied at the top of the forum) and Cleons Sport center thread. They will give you a massive insight into how to build a squad
    What this man says.

    However, the one piece of advice i will give you when you are creating a tactic is this; start at the back - if you dont concede, you cant lose.

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    It is also useful to pay attention to your team's aggression attribute. for example in the premier league its tempting to fall into the trap of bringing technical nimble players but make sure you have some aggressive midfielders to keep you from being bullied in games.

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    It is also useful to pay attention to your team's aggression attribute. for example in the premier league its tempting to fall into the trap of bringing technical nimble players but make sure you have some aggressive midfielders to keep you from being bullied in games.

  11. #11
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    Good post by francescop1, and what BiggusD says about defensive midfielders is very true.

    I remember years ago - I think it was FM2005 - when I got offered the Man City job after a couple of seasons. I was languishing with Preston in the lower leagues and Kevin Keegan had been fired as City manager. I inherited a very good squad that was however underperforming. As you can probably imagine, Keegan had assembled a team full of the most flamboyant and creative attacking players you can imagine. Each one was a threat by himself; as a team they looked like they must be amazing. And yet for the first ten games or so, I was failing much like Keegan had. We looked good going forward, but we got murdered when defending.

    I then looked a bit closer at some of the other players in the squad; there was a defensive midfielder who didn't at first glance look as exciting as all the midfield maestros. But boy could that guy defend. He was rock solid, with excellent attributes for a defensive midfielder - great tackling, great stamina, great teamwork, great positioning, great strength. So what if he couldn't unlock a defence? So what if his passing wasn't very impressive - he only needed to win the ball and play a simple pass to someone who could pass. The moment I introduced him into the team, we were properly balanced (5 defensive minded players, 5 attacking minded players) and became unstoppable.

    So what BiggusD is saying is very important to take into account. You really need to get a balance between players who can break up the opposition's attacking moves and players who can pose a threat themselves. A midfield full of Messis will not win you games.

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