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Thread: Tactics: Who understands them and who doesn't?

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    I'm curious to know how others feel about tactics and their various settings, does everyone have a clear understanding of what they all do or do you struggle with them?

    Personally I still find their meaning and how the 2D engine represents them elusive, even after educating myself by reading many threads.

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    I'm curious to know how others feel about tactics and their various settings, does everyone have a clear understanding of what they all do or do you struggle with them?

    Personally I still find their meaning and how the 2D engine represents them elusive, even after educating myself by reading many threads.

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    The problem lies in the disparity between what the engine wants and what the end user is trying to achieve.

    Once you learn the quirks, you can exploit the system the same as the A.i.

    Sadly, a lot of people will loose a lot then decide they can't be arsed.

    Which is why there was talk of 'difficulty' levels being introduced - basically so you can turn a sim into an arcade game for the xb0xorz.

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    This is sadly an area where I find the game lets itself down. The wibble-wobble was unrealistic yes, but then so are the sliders. And the problem is that we have to guess at SI's interpretation of them. It seems so much guesswork to get a match played the way you want and while the answer to a problem should never be obvious, the use of a poor interface to create difficulty is not the way to set an appropriate difficulty level.

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    I don't understand the tactics in FM...

    When I hear people respond to 5-0 or 6-0 losses by saying they got the tactics wrong, or when I hear them say they have to change their tactics after five matches, it makes this aspect of the game seem very random. Almost as if you're trying to crack a code, which makes FM very different from real life.

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    dont reallly care much about it, i only use sliders in 3 positions, minimum,normal,maximum because everything else seems to always be the same...

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    one example that tactics are weird, i was using my tactic and was losing at half time, was playing 4-3-1-2 and then pushed MR nd ML next to the strikers and pushed DL and DR to ML and MR and so i was playing 2-3-1-4 and increased mentality to full offensive, guess what i won 5-3... as if this would ever work IRL

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    quote:
    Originally posted by LFCrouchinho#15:
    I don't understand the tactics in FM...

    When I hear people respond to 5-0 or 6-0 losses by saying they got the tactics wrong, or when I hear them say they have to change their tactics after five matches, it makes this aspect of the game seem very random. Almost as if you're trying to crack a code, which makes FM very different from real life.


    The word is arbitrary, not random. Arbitrary is worse.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by DeathSpawn:
    dont reallly care much about it, i only use sliders in 3 positions, minimum,normal,maximum because everything else seems to always be the same...


    There's a whole forum for tactics where a group of very intelligent guys clearly disagree with you.

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    I'm certainly no expert and don't ever go into the T&TGF so I'm probably waaaay behind many others, but I think I have a reasonable idea of how things work and more importantly WHY they work.

    The FM08 match engine obviously favours certain things in exactly the same way that the FM07 match engine, (and every other engine before it), did.

    In FM07 physical stats ruled the roost and in particular, jumping was a particularly key attribute. I designed tactivs that would allow me to exploit these areas of the match engine.

    With FM08 it's a little different. Physical stats still seem to be key, but the jumping attribute for example doesn't hold the same sway as it did in FM07 and therefore the effectiveness of the Target man has diminished.

    In addition, the introduction of what many perceive to be "the 1v1 bug", the type of chance that you create seems also to have gained more significance. If that doesn't make sense, think og it like this. If your speedy striker breaks the defensive line and attacks down the middle of the pitch, it is unlikely that he will score a high percentage of the time. If however the same player is player in as he attacks from the flanks then he has a far better chance (percentage wise), of scoring.

    Sorry, where the hell am I going with all this ?

    Yes I understand them, (I think).

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    These days, I'm so disillusioned by tactics that I don't bother with them at all. Same goes for any sort of analysis into the game. The thing with FM is that less is the same as more, and leaving the game alone as much as you can (not literally) produces around the same results as analysing tactics, players' attributes, opponents' weaknesses and strengths, at least for me.

    It's just like betting on soccer. Do some basic homework and don't bother about advanced analysis, because things could go easily any way, and it's so random that you can say it is actually luck-based.

    The game's just too arbitrary/random to be able to withstand consistent logical analysis.

    In other words, in short, not bothering about analysing and microing the game tactically produces just about the same result as not doing so, assuming you've got the most basic fundamentals right.

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    I think I've formed a pretty decent idea of how to get tactics to work. Typically I wouldn't concern myself with the little details. My starting point is to get the formation to perfectly suit the squad and the game I want to play with that particular squad. Then I roughly tune the team, using the basic sliders like tempo, passing etc. in no more than 3 points (low, medium, high). I let the game handle the player instructions automatically, and adjust where necessary (fi a winger with a bad dribble, I put "run with ball" on low). Anything else I feel is just guess work, and I don't care about it.

    I'd like to tell my strikers to stay in the center while the team should play wide. I'd like to tell my wingers to not try to get a corner, either cross if there's space or try to shake of their man. I'd really love to tell my attacking mid who runs forward a lot that he should often try one-twos with one of my strikers. I don't have a clue how I should get these messages over to my players, and the game doesn't really give me any hints how to do it. I flat out hate the tactics interface. Then again I've never encountered a game where I like the tactics. Perhaps it's just too complex.

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    Personally I have never used the tactics forum and pick a tactic based on the team that I have, I would like to believe I have a good knowledge of general tactics having watched a lot of football, and not just the football in the glare of the medi,a but English lower league football.
    I very rarely change a formation or tactic during a season unless I get into a slump which I must admit does happen from time to time.

    Although during a game if my tactics don’t seem to be working I am often willing to make a drastic change, for instance switch from a more direct route to a slower short passing game in order to increase my amount of possession, or vise verca if I am getting lots of possession but not doing anything with it.

    So to cut a long story short YES I understand the tactics.

    However despite this I still get my tactics wrong which I believe may be where a lot of people start to complain saying “the tactics are all wrong” or “I get loads of shots but don’t score”, but hey that is another story.

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    I'm quite happy I understand the tactical side of the game and how to work it with the match engine.

    I find that the much mentioned 1v1 problem is solved most often by playing wide, attacking football. That seems to be something that has got better in FM08. In a couple of the previous versions, most success seemed to be obtained using tight "through the middle" type tactics.

    Dispite the knockers of this "buggy" match engine, IMO it's actually the best and most realistic to date.

    I think that people are expecting too much of a game for it ever to be a trully realistic football experience. I do think however, as the game has become more detailed over the years, it has frightened more casual gamers.

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    Sometimes I think I understand tactis but then again sometimes I don't, when you are winning everything seems logical but when you start losing it can be anything and this can be very frustating.
    Sometimes I even win matches and wonder why my team played so well

    I do think that things happening around the actual football match and tactics, like team talks and media responses, have a to big impact on what happens on the pitch.
    Thats why I completely ignore the media and such.

    And it would be nice to have the following tactical option for defenders: "If you really cant think of anything else just hoof the ball forward". Instead of just standing still and let the ball taken away and leading to a counter attack.

    in fm08 nothing is certain

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    quote:
    Originally posted by DeathSpawn:
    dont reallly care much about it, i only use sliders in 3 positions, minimum,normal,maximum because everything else seems to always be the same...


    You would think that but actually a single click (out of 20) can transform a tactic- and this is where the main issue lies with FMs tactics in that a teeny change can be light and day in terms of how a tactic performs. This is why people will get frustrated as this is pure luck and tinkering, its nothing to do with tactical knowledge.

    A recent example I have is that I switched my L1 Burnley side to a slower paced, short, defensive game in order to try and get around the 1v1 issue.

    Anyway I had a degree of success- after 10 games I was 5th with 4 wins and 6 draws- very tight at the back and having loads of possession but I reckoned I should be doing better as Id managed to aquire a striker that was borderline Premiership quality and had a couple of good AMX/STs with good finishing.

    Anyway I raised tempo by one notch out of 20 and suddenly I won the next 7 games, raising my goals per game from 1.something to nearly 3 per game.

    This is just plain wrong- real life managers do not make teeny changes like this and even then a single notch should not be able to transform a tactic.

    Sliders should ideally be 5 notches- eg:

    None, Rarely, Occasionally, Often, All the time

    Or some variation of this. The current system is madness as for many casual players success could just be down to pure luck in your slider choices.

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    quote:
    in fm08 nothing is certain


    Except that my big fat GK will score more than your big fat GK .

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    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    quote:
    Originally posted by DeathSpawn:
    dont reallly care much about it, i only use sliders in 3 positions, minimum,normal,maximum because everything else seems to always be the same...




    Anyway I raised tempo by one notch out of 20 and suddenly I won the next 7 games, raising my goals per game from 1.something to nearly 3 per game.

    This is just plain wrong- real life managers do not make teeny changes like this and even then a single notch should not be able to transform a tactic.



    I dont think it is the sliders that are "plain wrong" but your analysis of what the sliders did, you were already on a good unbeaten run, is it conceivable that it was your players high morale and believe having gone unbeaten for a long time that made them raise their game and start scoring freely and not they slight change in tactic.

    I am not trying to criticise your post but give you an objective view of your great run of form

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Dropp:

    I do think that things happening around the actual football match and tactics, like team talks and media responses, have a to big impact on what happens on the pitch.
    Thats why I completely ignore the media and such.



    Agree totally.

    Especially when for some reason SI have never chosen to give us the options to speak to our players and manage them in a more subtle and realistic manner.

    Saying that subtlety is something I dont associate with FM, as too often new features are introduced that seem to have to show they are in the game by having huge positive or negative effects that at times ruin the game, even when your on the end of the positive effects.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by RichardW:
    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    quote:
    Originally posted by DeathSpawn:
    dont reallly care much about it, i only use sliders in 3 positions, minimum,normal,maximum because everything else seems to always be the same...




    Anyway I raised tempo by one notch out of 20 and suddenly I won the next 7 games, raising my goals per game from 1.something to nearly 3 per game.

    This is just plain wrong- real life managers do not make teeny changes like this and even then a single notch should not be able to transform a tactic.



    I dont think it is the sliders that are "plain wrong" but your analysis of what the sliders did, you were already on a good unbeaten run, is it conceivable that it was your players high morale and believe having gone unbeaten for a long time that made them raise their game and start scoring freely and not they slight change in tactic.

    I am not trying to criticise your post but give you an objective view of your great run of form


    Its a good point, but this happens every new FM, at some point I hit a sweet point through tinkering and then that tactic is the one I use until the next release.

    Regardless of this there is just no good reason for having so many notches on the sliders- if the effects are subtle then they will have no perceivable effect that is visible to the user, if they are not subtle then we get the issue I point to.

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    I suppose this ambiguity is one reason we all want more feedback.

    This is where the media could be useful- if its a confidence issue or a tactic geling then maybe the media can give a match report that states that the team looked confident or just more comfortable in the system.

    ALternatively if it is the tactical change- then then could say that we played with more urgency and they couldnt live with how quickly we played the ball about.

    The "fact" that it may be this or it may be that is why even longterm players of the game may at times find FM a bewildering and frustrating experience.

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    I have no idea whatsoever about tactics. I am a sham and I use a downloaded tactic.

    My main problem is that I stick to 4-4-2 because that's what I like in real life but when it comes to it my team plays lovely football and build up play is excellent but I just can't defend and spurn far too many chances.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    I suppose this ambiguity is one reason we all want more feedback.

    This is where the media could be useful- if its a confidence issue or a tactic geling then maybe the media can give a match report that states that the team looked confident or just more comfortable in the system.

    ALternatively if it is the tactical change- then then could say that we played with more urgency and they couldnt live with how quickly we played the ball about.

    The "fact" that it may be this or it may be that is why even longterm players of the game may at times find FM a bewildering and frustrating experience.


    This is a good point, would like to see more variety in press reports regarding matches. Which would help you with you tactics.
    For instance a match report saying "Despite Team A having a large amount of possesion and dominating the game they could not penetrate team B defence and many of their effors were long range"

    This could silence a lot of critics saying they have a bad shot to goal ratio

    Or even "Team B played superbly on the counter attack today scoring freely at every opputunity" Manager B clearly got his tactics right today"

    Alltough this type of indepth press report on each game you play will never happen as it is probably too hard to incoprate into the game

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Nomis07:
    I have no idea whatsoever about tactics. I am a sham and I use a downloaded tactic.

    My main problem is that I stick to 4-4-2 because that's what I like in real life but when it comes to it my team plays lovely football and build up play is excellent but I just can't defend and spurn far too many chances.


    442 hasnt been that great in FM since FM06 imo.

    Maybe try a 4132 or 41221 (a 433 with DM and AMR/Ls)- they are very solid especially with a good DM.

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    Interesting mix of responses. Personally I feel the tactical settings are too vague and the feedback provided by the match engine rather cryptic.

    Unfortunately SI haven't made any improvements to the tactical settings since they discarded the Wibble/Wobble screen and it seems our pleas for more information or better feedback systems goes unheard each year. Granted SI have finally made the manual more descriptive but still for newcomers to the series it's not enough.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Seagulls Forever:
    This is sadly an area where I find the game lets itself down. The wibble-wobble was unrealistic yes, but then so are the sliders. And the problem is that we have to guess at SI's interpretation of them. It seems so much guesswork to get a match played the way you want and while the answer to a problem should never be obvious, the use of a poor interface to create difficulty is not the way to set an appropriate difficulty level.


    Was the wibble/wobble that unrealistic though?

    After all real life managers use whiteboards or tactical boards to put across tactical ideas- and w/w was imo a decent way of replicating this.

    I so wish SI had refined this rather than chucking it out of the window totally.

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    I have a good idea of how they SHOULD work, but i've found FM08 to be by far the least consistent FM yet, so i suspect that i've yet to find a tactic that actually works for that match engine.

    Although tbh the tiny tweaking that is often neeeded is getting laughable

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Ched:
    I have a good idea of how they SHOULD work, but i've found FM08 to be by far the least consistent FM yet, so i suspect that i've yet to find a tactic that actually works for that match engine.

    Although tbh the tiny tweaking that is often neeeded is getting laughable


    Perhaps you should stop looking for a tactic to beat the match engine but instead a tactic to beat the team you are playing.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by RichardW:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ched:
    I have a good idea of how they SHOULD work, but i've found FM08 to be by far the least consistent FM yet, so i suspect that i've yet to find a tactic that actually works for that match engine.

    Although tbh the tiny tweaking that is often neeeded is getting laughable


    Perhaps you should stop looking for a tactic to beat the match engine but instead a tactic to beat the team you are playing.


    Sorry you've got the wrong end of the stick. I was looking for tactics that would suit the players IRL. But as these just created far too many chances which were then missed i started just trying to beat the game.

    That said, playing 1 up front creates a rediculous amount of missed 1 v 1s, perhaps wing forwards are the way forward?

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Ched:
    quote:
    Originally posted by RichardW:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ched:
    I have a good idea of how they SHOULD work, but i've found FM08 to be by far the least consistent FM yet, so i suspect that i've yet to find a tactic that actually works for that match engine.

    Although tbh the tiny tweaking that is often neeeded is getting laughable


    Perhaps you should stop looking for a tactic to beat the match engine but instead a tactic to beat the team you are playing.


    Sorry you've got the wrong end of the stick. I was looking for tactics that would suit the players IRL. But as these just created far too many chances which were then missed i started just trying to beat the game.

    That said, playing 1 up front creates a rediculous amount of missed 1 v 1s, perhaps wing forwards are the way forward?


    Well i play good old fasion 442 and have no problems in 5th year with wrexham and in the championship just off play-offs.

    Initially in my first couple of seasons i played a fast tempo direct style resulting in lots of shots but also a lot of counter attack agaisnt me, it was team with best forwards would win. Fortunatly i often had the better forwards

    Now i have better quality i play a short passing slow build up, So far this seems to work i have had a lot of 1-0 and 2-0 wins with average shots of bout 10 a game half on half off target

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    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Seagulls Forever:
    This is sadly an area where I find the game lets itself down. The wibble-wobble was unrealistic yes, but then so are the sliders. And the problem is that we have to guess at SI's interpretation of them. It seems so much guesswork to get a match played the way you want and while the answer to a problem should never be obvious, the use of a poor interface to create difficulty is not the way to set an appropriate difficulty level.


    Was the wibble/wobble that unrealistic though?

    After all real life managers use whiteboards or tactical boards to put across tactical ideas- and w/w was imo a decent way of replicating this.

    I so wish SI had refined this rather than chucking it out of the window totally.


    I do actually like wibble wobble. It was a good gaming system, though undoubtedly for the hardcore gamer. However, a manager would no more tell his players where exactly to stand on the pitch when the ball is in section A as he would suggest that a player attack 45% of the time and not 40% or 50%.

    As a purely gaming thing, I'd call the Wibble Wobble the better interface, being more visual, but I recall some mention of it being discarded due to it making it too easy to produce a supertactic in the presence of a 2d engine. If that is so, it's disappointing that the solution chosen was to nerf the interface rather than improve the AI.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Seagulls Forever:
    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Seagulls Forever:
    This is sadly an area where I find the game lets itself down. The wibble-wobble was unrealistic yes, but then so are the sliders. And the problem is that we have to guess at SI's interpretation of them. It seems so much guesswork to get a match played the way you want and while the answer to a problem should never be obvious, the use of a poor interface to create difficulty is not the way to set an appropriate difficulty level.


    Was the wibble/wobble that unrealistic though?

    After all real life managers use whiteboards or tactical boards to put across tactical ideas- and w/w was imo a decent way of replicating this.

    I so wish SI had refined this rather than chucking it out of the window totally.


    I do actually like wibble wobble. It was a good gaming system, though undoubtedly for the hardcore gamer. However, a manager would no more tell his players where exactly to stand on the pitch when the ball is in section A as he would suggest that a player attack 45% of the time and not 40% or 50%.

    As a purely gaming thing, I'd call the Wibble Wobble the better interface, being more visual, but I recall some mention of it being discarded due to it making it too easy to produce a supertactic in the presence of a 2d engine. If that is so, it's disappointing that the solution chosen was to nerf the interface rather than improve the AI.


    Yes, thats why it was discarded.

    This is pure speculation but with SI choosing to nerf finishing for the 8.01 patch rather than fix the defending it does percievably appear that SI have made some decisions because they are easy, rather than possibly being the right ones for the game.

    Thje removal of W/Wo was one such for me- rather than fix the match engine so certain tactics could exploit the 2D engine in its infancy they instead removed what for me was the most intuitive tactical tool there was.

    I agree that real managers dont tell their players where exactly to stand, but imagine how useful a refined W/Wo system would be.......

    We would be able to position our players more creatively and flexibly for set pieces.

    We could give our players more direct positioning instructions, making it so much more intuitive when creating a 451 that turns into a 433 and vice versa.

    We could show our defenders where the line is, even the line for defending freekicks etc. Rather than hope the interface gets what we are aiming for.

    I know all of this can be done using the existing setup but how easier would it be with any kind of visual way to setup tactics.

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    The big problem is that tactics are abstract, they're really hard to communicate in a discrete way that a computer can understand.

    This is what causes all the problems of interpretation. The only way to find the right balance of, for example, the width of your formation is to constantly tweak it, but then every time you tweak it it breaks something else in the formation, so you'll have to tweak that as well. With the dizzying array of sliders and tick boxes plus all the off-the-pitch factors, it's just confusing and frustrating.

    To be honest, I really don't understand tactics, a lot of the subtleties of everything you change is lost on me.

    Maybe the tactics can be broken down in to simpler levels to make it more accessible.
    Something like:
    1. The objective level - Most of the time you'll want to go for the win, but if you're outclassed you can tell you can set your tactics up to grind out a draw.

    2. The strategic level - How the team achieves the objective - Tell your team to be really energetic and positive, or sit really deep and compact.

    3. The player to player level - How each player achieves your strategy - Tell your centre backs to stick to the opposition strikers like glue, and rough them up, tell your wingers to get right beside your fullbacks to harass the opposition wingers, and run around their fullback to exploit is lack of pace.

    I think at the moment, setting up a tactic in FM is akin to level 3. I think the more simple minded of us would prefer something along the lines of level 1 and 2, which can just be tick boxes or three position sliders.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by DeathSpawn:
    dont reallly care much about it, i only use sliders in 3 positions, minimum,normal,maximum because everything else seems to always be the same...


    I'm fairly similar to that, only I use Five settings.

    eg. Ultra Defensive / Defensive / Normal / Attacking / All Out Attack

    I don't buy into that "twenty increments" nonsense.
    How on Earth would a manager IRL get that across to the players?

    "Right Lads, Fulham at home last week was easy at attacking number 17, but Portsmouth away; we'll need to take it down to about 12 and keep it tight for a while..."

    Trash.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Starr_Man5:
    quote:
    Originally posted by DeathSpawn:
    dont reallly care much about it, i only use sliders in 3 positions, minimum,normal,maximum because everything else seems to always be the same...


    I'm fairly similar to that, only I use Five settings.

    eg. Ultra Defensive / Defensive / Normal / Attacking / All Out Attack

    I don't buy into that "twenty increments" nonsense.
    How on Earth would a manager IRL get that across to the players?

    "Right Lads, Fulham at home last week was easy at attacking number 17, but Portsmouth away; we'll need to take it down to about 12 and keep it tight for a while..."

    Trash.


    Exactly- which begs the question- "why on earth did SI decide 20 was a good idea?"

    SI?

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    I base all of my tactics on what I'd do in real life rather than what the game wants me to do. This isn't as successful as some but I find it far more enjoyable than spending all my time trying to crack the match engine, especially as it changes after each patch. I understand real football tactics and can generally say why a team is doing well or badly but this is a waste of time in FM as it would be very difficult based on highlights. If something is going badly wrong it is clear form the stats and I might tweak or change my tactics. But I use one from two for every single game at the start.

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    Personally, I think I'm quite good on the tactical side of things. I'm no genius, but I have had much more success then I have had failings.

    The one thing I don't like is the slider system and how it works. I don't have a problem with sliders being used, it's just that I feel we need a graphical representation on the positions screen of how the changes we make are affecting the shape and positioning of our team.

    For example, if I set my strikers to have a mentallity of 10 and 20, I'd like it to be shown on the position screen that one player is playing further up then the other.

    Also, with closing down, when adjusting this, it would be good if we could see the area of the pitch the player is likely to close down in. More graphical representaion for tactic would make it easier for new players and novices to set tactics IMO.

    Finally, and most improtantly, I feel we need an analysis tool. CM has one in ProZone, and whilst I think it's not really any better then using the match report tool in FM, at least it has one. If FM had a tool in which the assistant gave feedback for each match (with how good this is based upon his tactical knowledge attribute) then it would be a lot easier for people to get a beter understanding of why there tactic doesn't work.

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    It has taken a lot of trial and error, and a peak at the fanzine, before I got to grips with the tactics.

    I should say, however, that I have a friend that never sets individual instrutions and always plays a direct 4-4-2 with hard tackling regardless of his club or players available to him, and generally does very well, doesn't seem to work for me though

    Figuring out the closing down instruction was key for me.

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    There was a very popular thread on just this subject for FM06, where the general consensus was, "no, we aren't given enough information on tactics". The manual is/was (I'm still on FM06) very skimpy on a very central part of the game. There's no indication in the manual on what the setting actually do - i.e. what SI understand a "forward run" or "man marking" to be. The problem seems to be that everyone has a different interpretation of what they think a setting should affect. Rather than guessing, SI should just write a decent manual.

    For example, the description of creative freedom was something like "do you have a team full of Brazilians? Then enable this setting". That's not helpful info, as it doesn't tell you:
    a) what "Brazilians" is meant to mean (skillful players? flair players? creative players?)
    b) what the players will really do if you set it high or low (do they try more creative killer passes? Do they try more tricks? Do they just have more freedom regarding your instructions (as SI claim)). These things should be put in plain and simple English. We need a definition, not a glossing over.

    If you're interested, I can post the link to the old thread...

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Starr_Man5:
    quote:
    Originally posted by DeathSpawn:
    dont reallly care much about it, i only use sliders in 3 positions, minimum,normal,maximum because everything else seems to always be the same...


    I'm fairly similar to that, only I use Five settings.

    eg. Ultra Defensive / Defensive / Normal / Attacking / All Out Attack

    I don't buy into that "twenty increments" nonsense.
    How on Earth would a manager IRL get that across to the players?

    "Right Lads, Fulham at home last week was easy at attacking number 17, but Portsmouth away; we'll need to take it down to about 12 and keep it tight for a while..."

    Trash.



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    I can get my team doing what I want them do.

    However, that doesn't always result in a win.

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    I thought I did. But just when I think I do, it slip slides away...

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    I was playing against Spurs with my 4-3-1-2 (Reading) they ripped me to shreds for 25 mins and eventually scored, I immediately changed to a 4-1-3-2 changing some personal instructions and players, we got back into the game and drew 1-1. Great? Maybe, I don't know if it was because of my changes or just because Spurs scored and 'lost interest' in the game.

    I don't know if I'm a tactical genius or just lucky with transfers/injuries/morale at this point. Actually in no way am I lucky with injuries I have 8 central midfielders injured and only 1 goalkeeper put of 4 fit at the moment.

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    On a good day when I'm outwitting someone like Paul Ince on his own turf despite his team having all the possession I feel as though I understand the tactics. On another day when I'm losing at home again to a crappy team because I always seem to play badly at home despite altering my tactics, then I don't understand the tactics.

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    Unfortunately I still have no idea when it comes to tactics in FM08. I've managed quite well in every iteration of the game so far, but the key points in the 08 engine eludes me. I'm afraid I'm seriously stuck and without a far superior team I'll never be able to "punch above my weight".

    I havent given up yet though, but a sacking is just around the corner in my current game and that may be the proverbial straw.

    FM08 is the very first game I've ever been sacked in

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    I find myself having some idea about the tactics but for whatever reason i can't seem to work idividual tactics and team tactics together.

    i mean one day a can beat the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea at away {all be it im playin as Liverpool} and lose to Portsmouth, Reading and Derby at home.

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    It's frustrating to build your own. I can usually recognize what's going wrong but I don't know how to fix it.

    IE: I was playing Barcelona and Messi and Ronaldinho kept running going the flanks and getting in good crosses. I did what I thought should work and made my fullbacks mark them closely and backtrack, but they still got outran and Ronaldinho and Messi just cut inside and passed to a wide-open Henry. Nothing I did seemed to work.

    Like others have mentioned, results seem arbitrary. One game I struggle to beat Almeria (who are in last) at home and the next I crush Sevilla 4-1 away. Sometimes, things just seem to work out, but I think there is too much emphasis on tactics. If you put Manchester United out there against Derby, for instance, and tell them to do whatever the hell they want, I'm sure United would still win just based on player talent.

    It's made even more unreasonable when your players miss the easiest chances that even I could make (and I suck). I had to quit my old Aston Villa game because my team just would not score no matter what tactic I downloaded. I quit after a game v. West Ham where I had 17 shots on target and scored once. West Ham won in injury time on a blatantly offside goal. La Liga is going better, even though my board was unhappy with a 1-1 draw at Barcelona where they scored (yet another) offside equalizer in injury time. To be fair, they should have scored like 10 goals but their finishing was user-like (20 shots, like 7 on target) while mine was AI-like (1 shot on target, one goal)!

  48. #48
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    It seems like a lot of people have problems with the mystery surrounding tactics, how do others think the tactical settings can be improved upon?

    I'd like to see less rigidity in initial placement of positions for the formation, it's just too restrictive and there is only so much you can do with mentality and the width settings without throwing off the entire formation. I also wouldn't mind the mentality slider being split up into two separate settings: positioning and play style, having them combined doesn't allow enough freedom. Also, do we really need to have such specific increments for some of the sliders, such as closing down, passing style, creative freedom etc? Speaking of creative freedom, I despise this setting because it seems impossible to tell if the setting you've given a player is correct or causing problems, it's too easy to get it confused with the plethora of other settings a player may have.

    I also think it's time the match statistics we're improved upon, these haven't changed since who know's how long. I'd like to see Action Zones expanded and split into possession by position, more indepth passing statistics for each player on what and where worked and what didn't. There is just too much reliance on watching full matches to pick out mistakes that highlights normally don't show.

    Basically we need better match analysis tools I feel because the current match engine/statistics and the way it ties back to our tactics is feeling rather stale making the job of tweaking already ambiguous tactical settings even more difficult.

  49. #49
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    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Seagulls Forever:
    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Seagulls Forever:
    This is sadly an area where I find the game lets itself down. The wibble-wobble was unrealistic yes, but then so are the sliders. And the problem is that we have to guess at SI's interpretation of them. It seems so much guesswork to get a match played the way you want and while the answer to a problem should never be obvious, the use of a poor interface to create difficulty is not the way to set an appropriate difficulty level.


    Was the wibble/wobble that unrealistic though?

    After all real life managers use whiteboards or tactical boards to put across tactical ideas- and w/w was imo a decent way of replicating this.

    I so wish SI had refined this rather than chucking it out of the window totally.


    I do actually like wibble wobble. It was a good gaming system, though undoubtedly for the hardcore gamer. However, a manager would no more tell his players where exactly to stand on the pitch when the ball is in section A as he would suggest that a player attack 45% of the time and not 40% or 50%.

    As a purely gaming thing, I'd call the Wibble Wobble the better interface, being more visual, but I recall some mention of it being discarded due to it making it too easy to produce a supertactic in the presence of a 2d engine. If that is so, it's disappointing that the solution chosen was to nerf the interface rather than improve the AI.


    Yes, thats why it was discarded.

    This is pure speculation but with SI choosing to nerf finishing for the 8.01 patch rather than fix the defending it does percievably appear that SI have made some decisions because they are easy, rather than possibly being the right ones for the game.

    Thje removal of W/Wo was one such for me- rather than fix the match engine so certain tactics could exploit the 2D engine in its infancy they instead removed what for me was the most intuitive tactical tool there was.

    I agree that real managers dont tell their players where exactly to stand, but imagine how useful a refined W/Wo system would be.......

    We would be able to position our players more creatively and flexibly for set pieces.

    We could give our players more direct positioning instructions, making it so much more intuitive when creating a 451 that turns into a 433 and vice versa.

    We could show our defenders where the line is, even the line for defending freekicks etc. Rather than hope the interface gets what we are aiming for.

    I know all of this can be done using the existing setup but how easier would it be with any kind of visual way to setup tactics.


    Another example would be the nerfing of Dean Ashton's stats as he was scoring too many goals, rather than look at the way that his proper stats were not being handled properly by the match engine. It's just not very professional.

  50. #50
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Seagulls Forever:
    Another example would be the nerfing of Dean Ashton's stats as he was scoring too many goals, rather than look at the way that his proper stats were not being handled properly by the match engine. It's just not very professional.


    They did the same thing with john terry, hence why ballack would often end up as chelsea captain in the game, simply because rather than sort out the way the game worked they just dropped his stats.

    Similarly, the tranmere chairperson was changed as it is meant to be lorraine rodgers, however because SI couldn't be bothered changing the text to include female names they just changed it so that she isn't the chairperson.

    The more i play this game, the more it's getting damaged by shortcuts.

    If we're not careful it'll end up like the master league on pro evo - where any player under 19 ahs to have appalling stats just so that the youth model works!
    Am predicting at this rate that'll happen by FM15.....hopefully i'm just being cynical.

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    Funny you mention Pro Evo. That's on a similar path to FM at the moment, even to the point of the main chap admitting the last game was a load of crap.

    Anyway, the point I'm driving at is that many publications normally quite favourable to pro evo have been a bit lukewarm recently and are starting to realise that actually it's not really moving forwards.

    The same would appear to be taking place with FM, albeit at a less advanced stage, in that people are becoming less charitable towards them, less forgiving of faults, both the public and the gaming press.

    A lot of the goodwill SI have spent years building up is evapourating and it must be a source of immense frustration for them. The problem is that while it might not immediately impact upon sales, in the long-term it will. Badly and painfully.

    Personally I'd like nothing more than killer versions of the next PES and FM, but EA and Eidos are snapping ever closer at their heels, and it may be the case that the complacency of both developers can only be solved by being overtaken by someone else.

    All this is my opinion, not to be taken as rock solid fact nor indisputable truth. I'll be back wearing my flameproof suit just in case.

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    Funny you mention Pro Evo. That's on a similar path to FM at the moment, even to the point of the main chap admitting the last game was a load of crap.

    Anyway, the point I'm driving at is that many publications normally quite favourable to pro evo have been a bit lukewarm recently and are starting to realise that actually it's not really moving forwards.

    The same would appear to be taking place with FM, albeit at a less advanced stage, in that people are becoming less charitable towards them, less forgiving of faults, both the public and the gaming press.

    A lot of the goodwill SI have spent years building up is evapourating and it must be a source of immense frustration for them. The problem is that while it might not immediately impact upon sales, in the long-term it will. Badly and painfully.

    Personally I'd like nothing more than killer versions of the next PES and FM, but EA and Eidos are snapping ever closer at their heels, and it may be the case that the complacency of both developers can only be solved by being overtaken by someone else.

    All this is my opinion, not to be taken as rock solid fact nor indisputable truth. I'll be back wearing my flameproof suit just in case.

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    Just found and watched this video on YouTube about ProZone in CM and how to work it to your advantage in adjusting your tactics. This is what we need for FM and after watching that video I can't help but feel SI has dropped the ball by not pursing it themselves.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Seagulls Forever:
    Funny you mention Pro Evo. That's on a similar path to FM at the moment, even to the point of the main chap admitting the last game was a load of crap.

    Anyway, the point I'm driving at is that many publications normally quite favourable to pro evo have been a bit lukewarm recently and are starting to realise that actually it's not really moving forwards.

    The same would appear to be taking place with FM, albeit at a less advanced stage, in that people are becoming less charitable towards them, less forgiving of faults, both the public and the gaming press.

    A lot of the goodwill SI have spent years building up is evapourating and it must be a source of immense frustration for them. The problem is that while it might not immediately impact upon sales, in the long-term it will. Badly and painfully.

    Personally I'd like nothing more than killer versions of the next PES and FM, but EA and Eidos are snapping ever closer at their heels, and it may be the case that the complacency of both developers can only be solved by being overtaken by someone else.

    All this is my opinion, not to be taken as rock solid fact nor indisputable truth. I'll be back wearing my flameproof suit just in case.


    Agree wholeheartedly with this.

    I cant actually remember the last version of FM that really wowed me, especially in terms of new features.

    In the past flaws were forgiven because SI added numbers of new and interesting features- nowadays the formula is getting very stale, especially as longstanding issues such as the transfer system and finances (why do clubs create budgets that are guaranteed to make massive losses?) are still a mess.

  55. #55
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Powermonger:
    Just found and watched this video on YouTube about ProZone in CM and how to work it to your advantage in adjusting your tactics. This is what we need for FM and after watching that video I can't help but feel SI has dropped the ball by not pursing it themselves.


    Agree- CM has its flaws but at least they are showing some kind of innovation and going for it, something that is really lacking from FM of late.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Powermonger:
    Just found and watched this video on YouTube about ProZone in CM and how to work it to your advantage in adjusting your tactics. This is what we need for FM and after watching that video I can't help but feel SI has dropped the ball by not pursing it themselves.


    That looks really good, and the actual game itself looks fresh and exciting.
    FM feels old and tired and very much in need of an injection of life because, as was said by Seagulls Forever, Eidos are hot on the heels.

    I think the problem is that FM were in a comfort zone of being far and away the "Best, most realistic management Sim" on the market, and they were afraid to change it in case they broke it and/or lost money/customers/fans.

    The champ man series had nothing to lose and now it looks ten times better than FM.
    It may not play the better game (Yet), but as a package it's not a waste of money.

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    Has anybody tried the latest CM- any less annoying than FM currently is?

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    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    Has anybody tried the latest CM- any less annoying than FM currently is?


    In answer to my own question- I joined their forums, rather a lot of people over there who have "moved" to CM due to FM08.

    Have yet to find any decent comparisons yet- but very tempted to grab a copy.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Powermonger:
    Just found and watched this video on YouTube about ProZone in CM and how to work it to your advantage in adjusting your tactics. This is what we need for FM and after watching that video I can't help but feel SI has dropped the ball by not pursuing it themselves.


    Agree- CM has its flaws but at least they are showing some kind of innovation and going for it, something that is really lacking from FM of late.


    This is the reasoning behind this post honestly, I want to see the tactical and match analysis side of FM to evolve because the current incarnation has stagnated. SI are putting in alot of effort to optimise and perfect the code which drives the matches but the parts that surround it need to be developed as well.

    The last major change to tactics and the match engine was with CM4 when the wibble/wobble was discarded and the 2D match view introduced. That was about 5 versions ago now.

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    Interesting that CM has a "Match Engine" forum and only 13 threads.

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    Cm's 'innovation' is buying the rights to use the name pro-zone? K.

    Tactics are impossible to simulate but FM's system is as close to 'good' as we'll ever see.

    FM is ****TONS better than CM, but FM is not getting better, so maybe the next releases will challenge each other.

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    It's quite difficult to adapt to some strategies. Sometimes I think it's overcomplicated. For example, I can understand why if you go 1-0 up, suddenly the computer has 60% of the recent possession and you can't pass out of your own area. Unfortunately, it's a result of applying what you think is right. In real life, if you were Watford and you take a 1-0 lead against Chelsea, surely you'd ask your players to:

    1) Be a bit more defensive.
    2) Perhaps slow the game down, and start counter-attacking.
    3) Pass shorter.

    What doesn't work is SI telling people that counter-attacks works best with plenty of width and fast tempo, and longer passing. If Watford tried that, their possession will drop faster than them being relegated a few seasons ago.

    But in real life, does it make sense for Watford to start playing wider and faster?

    What I do find daunting for newcomers is how good the computer is. It comes to the extent that you can't pass along your own defense line without having 3 players closing down. Interestingly, for a defender against say a winger and a striker, the defender almost always comes out on top in real life, while Joe Cole + Drogba flattens the poor full-back in Football Manager 2007/2008. The defender doesn't have to have perfect technique or strength, simply because the defender uses common sense and doesn't hold on to the ball for too long "because I turned time-wasting on higher!"

    It unfortunately gets to the point where the standard 4-4-2 tactic ends up being the most effective after hours of tinkering. But that teaches you absolutely nothing.

    I'm still not great at this game.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    Has anybody tried the latest CM- any less annoying than FM currently is?


    In answer to my own question- I joined their forums, rather a lot of people over there who have "moved" to CM due to FM08.

    Have yet to find any decent comparisons yet- but very tempted to grab a copy.


    To be fair it's not perfect. But it's not bad. Interface needs work in places, it's a bit old school at times, and reminds me of an old amiga game at times, but the innovation, the fact that it allows as much tactical freedom as it does, the fact that tactics make sense, for me, make it a good game. The football is definitely more watchable than earlier versions by a mile, though it's still not as watchable as the FM engine.

    CM isn't there yet but it's coming, and SI better be careful not to get overtaken.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by George Graham:
    Has anybody tried the latest CM- any less annoying than FM currently is?


    Download their demo, it's worth a try.

    Kept me entertained for an hour or two, but there just wasn't enough going on - after using prozone a few times you realise it doesn't add anything useful to CM because the match engine is so superficial (that and the PZ advisor doesn't work very well anyway.)

    PZ itself is good for looking at the stats (even though presentation-wise it's very ugly) and gives more depth to analysing than FM currently does.

    The only thing CM has over FM is basically how easy it is to win things. They've even removed the lovely chalkboard-background from their tactics screen which was my favourite part of past games.

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    quote:
    the fact that it allows as much tactical freedom as it does


    It actually doesn't have any more freedom than FM, but their tactics interface makes it a little bit easier to see that freedom.

    The other thing that's really poor in CM is the team talks - now FM's team talks are poor, but CM's take it to a whole new level. The choices you get are a clear reaction to SI's straightforward and plain choices. Unfortunately it looks like they've got a 12 year old in to come up with the phrasing for CM.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Ackter:
    Download their demo, it's worth a try.

    Kept me entertained for an hour or two, but there just wasn't enough going on - after using prozone a few times you realise it doesn't add anything useful to CM because the match engine is so superficial (that and the PZ advisor doesn't work very well anyway.)

    PZ itself is good for looking at the stats (even though presentation-wise it's very ugly) and gives more depth to analysing than FM currently does.

    The only thing CM has over FM is basically how easy it is to win things. They've even removed the lovely chalkboard-background from their tactics screen which was my favourite part of past games.


    I've tried the demo of CM08, after being so use to the FM interface, CMs seems rather clunky and confusing. Ter has done a great job of FM's interface.

    CM to me seems like it is trying too hard to be FM instead of it's own rendition. Although I must say the the ProZone implementation I found to be the star of the title but it's interface for using it is also confusing.

    After mucking around with ProZone after a few trial matches it's very hard to go back to FM and not having any of that sort of information or statistics available to make use of.

    Since the split with Eidos, CM has been copying alot of features from FM, it's about time SI did the reverse.

  67. #67
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Powermonger:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ackter:
    Download their demo, it's worth a try.

    Kept me entertained for an hour or two, but there just wasn't enough going on - after using prozone a few times you realise it doesn't add anything useful to CM because the match engine is so superficial (that and the PZ advisor doesn't work very well anyway.)

    PZ itself is good for looking at the stats (even though presentation-wise it's very ugly) and gives more depth to analysing than FM currently does.

    The only thing CM has over FM is basically how easy it is to win things. They've even removed the lovely chalkboard-background from their tactics screen which was my favourite part of past games.


    I've tried the demo of CM08, after being so use to the FM interface, CMs seems rather clunky and confusing. Ter has done a great job of FM's interface.

    CM to me seems like it is trying too hard to be FM instead of it's own rendition. Although I must say the the ProZone implementation I found to be the star of the title but it's interface for using it is also confusing.

    After mucking around with ProZone after a few trial matches it's very hard to go back to FM and not having any of that sort of information or statistics available to make use of.

    Since the split with Eidos, CM has been copying alot of features from FM, it's about time SI did the reverse.


    So agree about the interface- they seem to not want to let go of the old CM look.

    Think I might grab a copy for the weekend (only £20 in Impulse I think) as I cant bear to play FM at the moment, especially as I think my carefully assembled squad deserve better.

    Seems that CM09 might be the one though- although I really expect FM to step up its game in terms of new features.

  68. #68

  69. #69
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    quote:
    they seem to not want to let go of the old CM look


    They[I]can[/t] let go of the old look. That was "the thing" Eidos got out of the company split, if they abandoned it it would be tantamount to admitting they made a complete balls up of the decisions.

    They should abandon it, but they won't. Not any time soon.

    Seriously though Graham, try the demo first - it's only a small file and won't take long.

  70. #70
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    quote:
    Originally posted by gubbs:
    The problem lies in the disparity between what the engine wants and what the end user is trying to achieve.

    Once you learn the quirks, you can exploit the system the same as the A.i.

    Sadly, a lot of people will loose a lot then decide they can't be arsed.

    Which is why there was talk of 'difficulty' levels being introduced - basically so you can turn a sim into an arcade game for the xb0xorz.


    I don't quite see why that's a bad idea. It's a game. I just want to pretend being a football manager so there's only a certain amount of time I'm willing to put into it. People who play games where they play as soldiers aren't expected to have to know the infantry six section battle drills and it's a similar thing with FM.

    This of course isn't entirely to do with tactics (of which I have a very limited grasp) but the game in general. It's too damn complicated now. Makes me nostalgic for the old CM2 when you just stuck players in a position and sent them on their way.

  71. #71
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    BobbaW, if you have a PSP give FM Handheld a go.

  72. #72
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    I do understand football tactics and concepts. I'm not a genius at it, by any stretch, but after being a player and fan of the sport for 25+ years you can't help but to pick up a thing or two.

    I understand roles and positioning. Player rotations to drag a marker away and create spaces. Soaking up opposition pressure. Winning the backs of markers. Wingers that hold up play and create room for attacking fullbacks. The difference between a midfielder that sits above the CDs and the same player supporting the AMC. Lots of things, big or little.

    Problem is that this tactical implementation and this match engine (since CM4 and possibly earlier) turns all the knowledge that players might have about the game and turn it into a game of poking and prodding a hermetic black box to see what happens and (hopefully) learn the system by reverse-engineering it. It's a completely backwards approach.

    Problems:

    - Not enough feedback. We normally do not know with certainty what things do. And when we do, and those things fail (which is supposed to happen and it's normal for it to happen), we don't know why it happened. And we don't know exactly how to correct it.

    Example. Suppose I don't play with attacking fullbacks. For 10 games I win 5 and I lose 5. Then I implement attacking fullbacks. The next 10 games, I win 8 and lose 2. Did the attacking fullbacks make the difference? Are they responsible for the improved form? Or was it just a synchronicity of easy fixtures that coincided with the change? Morale? Better weather? Worse weather? A majority of home fixtures vs. away fixtures? Team talks? Media comments? A couple of new contracts signed?

    All of the above? None? We normally have no idea.

    - The sliders are a bad idea because they are too granular. No manager in the world would tell their wingers "I want you to look for attacking options 65% of the time. Not 60%". The granularity is bad enough, but when you factor in that every different setting seems to affect the whole tactic, then you're glimpsing at sheer madness.

    In reality, in the sport as it's played all over the world, every day, the fact that the wingers look for attacking options 65% of their time with the ball instead of 60% really does change very little about the tactic, or the match outcome even. But here it seems to matter.

    - Tactical options are obscure, counter-intuitive, or both.

    Many people are still unclear on what do forward runs really do. How closing down works. How counter-attacking works. How man marking works versus zonal marking. What tight marking is. What run with ball is. And so on. The reason lots of people are unclear is not because they are complete idiots, but just because those concepts, as codified in the tactical options, do not correspond to their real life equivalent concepts. It's just not evident in-game.

    Counter-attacking in FM does not equal the commonly, well-known and well-understood counter-attacking concept in real life football. It's a bit different. It's the same with many other things.

    - Difficulty in translating simple concepts into a working tactic.

    There should be simple, easy, unmistakable options to achieve common tactical ideas in FM. People shouldn't mess with 5+ sliders all with a granularity of 20 just to get their fullbacks to overlap. Or to get a DM to just receive the ball and act as a second playmaker instead of a defensive player. Or to get their players to offer themselves as passing options.

    There should be no need at all to tell experienced centre-backs how to mark their oppositions. Or to tell playmaker AMCs how to pass the ball or lose their marker. Or tell a strike partnership how to interact, or each striker how to finish.

    The inability to translate simple football concepts into the game's tactical framework without having to navigate a million options and deal with 10 million potential slider combinations (8 million of which are either harmful or ineffective, but the game does not tell the player that) is a hard turn-off for many people that still hasn't been resolved, years into the franchise.

    In many ways, we're still basically playing CM4. Most changes through the years have been largely cosmetic. There hasn't been a radical change in the functionality of the tactics, and the approach to tactical creation for at least 4-5 years.

    - Tactical isolation and testing.

    In real life, managers have a lot of time with their team and are able to isolate players, or groups of players, giving them precise instructions regarding what he wants them to do and accomplish. This is done in a controlled environment, where this tactical ideas can be devised and tested by themselves, without any foreign influences, to see what works and what doesn't. To see what the team really can or cannot do.

    This is called training.

    We don't have a place like this, in-game. We don't have a place where we can try our ideas outside of matches, where all foreign factors come in play. We're always testing our ideas "live", under the influence of home or away, morale, weather, injuries, player condition, refereeing, different opposition every game, etc.

    As such, it goes back to point #1: We have little idea of what exactly went right or wrong when things go right or wrong. We cannot isolate elements trying to determine which one is the culprit for both success and failure. And if we don't know what we're doing right, and what we're doing wrong, we essentially cannot learn.

    Disclaimer: I did not buy '08, so I have no hands-on experience with that version. But from what I hear, there hasn't been many changes (other than simple cosmetic features) from '07, so these points should still apply.

  73. #73
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    Don't have the faintest clue about them.

    Sometimes stumble on one that works, but in six months it'll be as useless as a 2-0-8 diamond.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Chandaman:

    LOTS OF GOOD STUFF


    Hear this man.

    He speaketh 100% accuracy!

    Spot. On.

    Played and watched football for 15 years and this game's tactics have naff all relationship with real life.

  75. #75
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    Great summary Chandaman and looking back at Sjm's provided link to an old thread, the same frustrations have been voiced for a long time and sadly all the old arguments in that thread are just as valid for FM2009 as they were for FM2006.

    I'm sure if I put the effort in to digging up similar threads for FM2005, CM03/04 or CM4, we would find the same opinions expressed again. It's actually quite depressing to see nothing really has been addressed by SI in all that time in terms of tactical complaints.

    While reading through Chandaman's thread I had a thought of tactical settings being more visually represented on the overview screen, such that a mentality adjustment would move a players token either more forward or back, closing down would provide a shadowed area to indicate where a player will start to close down the opposition. Players with swapping positions set would have arced arrows pointing to the position they are swapping with and vice versa.

    Perhaps everything could be represented and set via graphical means instead of the slider system, it might look messy perhaps but depends on how intelligently a system was put together. It be much easier then at a glance to exactly see all the settings for your tactic instead of having to constantly sift through team and positional settings.

  76. #76
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by LFCrouchinho#15:
    I don't understand the tactics in FM...


    Generally,when you start to play fm, you should read the tips ant tactics on the forums first,then understand what tactics work for what kind of teams and how your opponents play.Also, use this tip,it has really helped me,use your team strength to your advantage,and exploit your opponents weakness.For example, my team's strength is pace, so i tell my wingers to use more thru balls to feed my pacey strikers who are target men, and tell the team to feed the target men by running to ball.And if u realised ur opponents have weak side backs, maybe you wanna try passing down both flanks?

  77. #77
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    Just been doing a bit of mucking in around in Adobe Illustrator try to put together some ideas on making tactical settings more graphic. Here is a very crude screenshot of some of my thoughts.

    Basically, any graphical object that is bordered in red is a team setting, yellow means positional setting.

    Summary of what some of the graphics mean are as follows:

    • The two long red arrows to side means 'Pass Down Both Flanks'.
    • Small veritcal arrowed line below each player represents zonal marking
    • Small yellow dot below each of the DCs means Man Marking
    • The lines used for the midfielders have a number of different meaning, depending on their format.
    • The wiggle lines as used by the ML, MCL and MR represents 'Run With Ball'. Both the Wingers are set to Often while the MCL is only Mixed.
    • The solid yellow line used on the MCR is a normal farrows. Any line with a arrowhead and a dot end means a farrow, barrow or sarrow depending on their orientation.
    • A dotted line means 'Forward Runs', so in this instance both wingers are set to Often, while the MCL is mixed. The MCR is set to rarely.
    • The shaded arches projecting from the player markers is for closing down. The longer the shaded arch is the more rigorous the player will be in closing down. The two DCs have very low closing down values in this instance.[/list]
      To adjust mentality would be just a matter of clicking a position and maybe holding both mouse buttons to shift the position up and down. This would result in the position being aligned slightly differently on the tactic overview screen.

      The whole system would really work along right-click senstive menus or clicking and dragging graphical elements.

      Obviously a few things have been left off such as representing passing style, creative freedom, set pieces and various other team settings, perhaps a combination of sliders and graphic settings would need to be used.

      This is just one variation I've thought of to make tactics easier to use and visualise but I'm sure others may have even more creative suggestions.

  78. #78
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    tactics are too rigid, ridiculous and in my opinion far to much thought and planning is needed so your tactic doesnt contradict itself

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    In all my games, no matter wether im with a Top team or a minnow in the depths of the league system, i can never keep possession.
    I change tatics so that i play short passes, no freedom, wide, narrow, defensive, attacking, it will always end in 40% possesion top! Its strange

  80. #80
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    I find player quality doesnt count enough. How many times have you seen a team who play horrible, be saved by flash(es) of brilliance from their star player?

    Doesnt seem to happen in my game

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    Powermonger, I would certainly find that useful!

    On the other hand, it might be a bit too confusing for the casual gamer. Maybe, there could also be an option to switch from graphical representation to wording (and vice versa). But I find your idea really good!

  82. #82
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Lyssien:
    Powermonger, I would certainly find that useful!

    On the other hand, it might be a bit too confusing for the casual gamer. Maybe, there could also be an option to switch from graphical representation to wording (and vice versa). But I find your idea really good!


    Thanks...for casual gamers it could do with a legend somewhere on the screen to describe what the graphics mean.

    Personally I'd like it because it be much easier to see at a glance how your tactic is setup instead of having to click through individuals all the time. Currently I keep all my tactic settings in a spreadsheet to look at but it is still messy to deal with.

  83. #83
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Powermonger:
    Just been doing a bit of mucking in around in Adobe Illustrator try to put together some ideas on making tactical settings more graphic. Here is a very crude screenshot of some of my thoughts.

    Basically, any graphical object that is bordered in red is a team setting, yellow means positional setting.

    Summary of what some of the graphics mean are as follows:

    • The two long red arrows to side means 'Pass Down Both Flanks'.
    • Small veritcal arrowed line below each player represents zonal marking
    • Small yellow dot below each of the DCs means Man Marking
    • The lines used for the midfielders have a number of different meaning, depending on their format.
    • The wiggle lines as used by the ML, MCL and MR represents 'Run With Ball'. Both the Wingers are set to Often while the MCL is only Mixed.
    • The solid yellow line used on the MCR is a normal farrows. Any line with a arrowhead and a dot end means a farrow, barrow or sarrow depending on their orientation.
    • A dotted line means 'Forward Runs', so in this instance both wingers are set to Often, while the MCL is mixed. The MCR is set to rarely.
    • The shaded arches projecting from the player markers is for closing down. The longer the shaded arch is the more rigorous the player will be in closing down. The two DCs have very low closing down values in this instance.[/list]
      To adjust mentality would be just a matter of clicking a position and maybe holding both mouse buttons to shift the position up and down. This would result in the position being aligned slightly differently on the tactic overview screen.

      The whole system would really work along right-click senstive menus or clicking and dragging graphical elements.

      Obviously a few things have been left off such as representing passing style, creative freedom, set pieces and various other team settings, perhaps a combination of sliders and graphic settings would need to be used.

      This is just one variation I've thought of to make tactics easier to use and visualise but I'm sure others may have even more creative suggestions.


    Very nicely done- particularly like the closing down option.

  84. #84
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Respected_Boss:
    I find player quality doesnt count enough. How many times have you seen a team who play horrible, be saved by flash(es) of brilliance from their star player?

    Doesnt seem to happen in my game


    Agree- but you know the best way to success?

    Just put your Asst Manager on teamtalks- you will then get the maxiumum out of your players and the tactics that are probably not as ineffective as you think.

    Ive just recently turned a Burnley side that could only draw 2 of it first 10 games, into 4 losses in 36 games and clinching promotion with 1 game to go. All by just going that- same players, same tactics.

    Its absolutely crazy that such a poorly constructed part of the game can have such a massive effect.

    Things I noticed from the AI teamtalks that I wouldnt tend to do:

    * The AI never once went mad at the team, no matter what the score/result.

    * When winning 1-0 HT the AI would pretty much tend to use pleased or disappointed (depending on oppo), whereas I would go for encourage.

    * The AI didnt use "dont let your performance drop" when 2 or 3 up, instead preferred please apart from one game against a side 2 leagues below.

  85. #85
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    surely noone can truly analyse the tactical asepcts of the game being played unless you watch 90mins of the game, cos if you have the game on quicker then surely you only get snippets of play

    i dunno just an idea

  86. #86
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    quote:
    Originally posted by elmullet23:
    surely noone can truly analyse the tactical asepcts of the game being played unless you watch 90mins of the game, cos if you have the game on quicker then surely you only get snippets of play

    i dunno just an idea


    That's why we need something additional that gives us more statistical information and allows us to analyse our tactics better, like CM08 has with ProZone. We need to be able to filter out particular player actions over a course of a match, try and see where they are failing and correct it, highlight trends etc. Trying to do this by watching a full match all the time is tedious and time consuming, FM is no longer the case of 'set and forget' tactics wise and requires constant re-evalutation of your tactics.

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Chandaman:
    I do understand football tactics and concepts. I'm not a genius at it, by any stretch, but after being a player and fan of the sport for 25+ years you can't help but to pick up a thing or two.

    I understand roles and positioning. Player rotations to drag a marker away and create spaces. Soaking up opposition pressure. Winning the backs of markers. Wingers that hold up play and create room for attacking fullbacks. The difference between a midfielder that sits above the CDs and the same player supporting the AMC. Lots of things, big or little.

    Problem is that this tactical implementation and this match engine (since CM4 and possibly earlier) turns all the knowledge that players might have about the game and turn it into a game of poking and prodding a hermetic black box to see what happens and (hopefully) learn the system by reverse-engineering it. It's a completely backwards approach.

    Problems:

    - Not enough feedback. We normally do not know with certainty what things do. And when we do, and those things fail (which is supposed to happen and it's normal for it to happen), we don't know why it happened. And we don't know exactly how to correct it.

    Example. Suppose I don't play with attacking fullbacks. For 10 games I win 5 and I lose 5. Then I implement attacking fullbacks. The next 10 games, I win 8 and lose 2. Did the attacking fullbacks make the difference? Are they responsible for the improved form? Or was it just a synchronicity of easy fixtures that coincided with the change? Morale? Better weather? Worse weather? A majority of home fixtures vs. away fixtures? Team talks? Media comments? A couple of new contracts signed?

    All of the above? None? We normally have no idea.

    - The sliders are a bad idea because they are too granular. No manager in the world would tell their wingers "I want you to look for attacking options 65% of the time. Not 60%". The granularity is bad enough, but when you factor in that every different setting seems to affect the whole tactic, then you're glimpsing at sheer madness.

    In reality, in the sport as it's played all over the world, every day, the fact that the wingers look for attacking options 65% of their time with the ball instead of 60% really does change very little about the tactic, or the match outcome even. But here it seems to matter.

    - Tactical options are obscure, counter-intuitive, or both.

    Many people are still unclear on what do forward runs really do. How closing down works. How counter-attacking works. How man marking works versus zonal marking. What tight marking is. What run with ball is. And so on. The reason lots of people are unclear is not because they are complete idiots, but just because those concepts, as codified in the tactical options, do not correspond to their real life equivalent concepts. It's just not evident in-game.

    Counter-attacking in FM does not equal the commonly, well-known and well-understood counter-attacking concept in real life football. It's a bit different. It's the same with many other things.

    - Difficulty in translating simple concepts into a working tactic.

    There should be simple, easy, unmistakable options to achieve common tactical ideas in FM. People shouldn't mess with 5+ sliders all with a granularity of 20 just to get their fullbacks to overlap. Or to get a DM to just receive the ball and act as a second playmaker instead of a defensive player. Or to get their players to offer themselves as passing options.

    There should be no need at all to tell experienced centre-backs how to mark their oppositions. Or to tell playmaker AMCs how to pass the ball or lose their marker. Or tell a strike partnership how to interact, or each striker how to finish.

    The inability to translate simple football concepts into the game's tactical framework without having to navigate a million options and deal with 10 million potential slider combinations (8 million of which are either harmful or ineffective, but the game does not tell the player that) is a hard turn-off for many people that still hasn't been resolved, years into the franchise.

    In many ways, we're still basically playing CM4. Most changes through the years have been largely cosmetic. There hasn't been a radical change in the functionality of the tactics, and the approach to tactical creation for at least 4-5 years.

    - Tactical isolation and testing.

    In real life, managers have a lot of time with their team and are able to isolate players, or groups of players, giving them precise instructions regarding what he wants them to do and accomplish. This is done in a controlled environment, where this tactical ideas can be devised and tested by themselves, without any foreign influences, to see what works and what doesn't. To see what the team really can or cannot do.

    This is called training.

    We don't have a place like this, in-game. We don't have a place where we can try our ideas outside of matches, where all foreign factors come in play. We're always testing our ideas "live", under the influence of home or away, morale, weather, injuries, player condition, refereeing, different opposition every game, etc.

    As such, it goes back to point #1: We have little idea of what exactly went right or wrong when things go right or wrong. We cannot isolate elements trying to determine which one is the culprit for both success and failure. And if we don't know what we're doing right, and what we're doing wrong, we essentially cannot learn.

    Disclaimer: I did not buy '08, so I have no hands-on experience with that version. But from what I hear, there hasn't been many changes (other than simple cosmetic features) from '07, so these points should still apply.


    Clap clap clap. Impressive post


    I think that tactics screen is not bad, maybe a too many range of sliders (1 to 20 is a big range), but I lack a player's training-tactics screen. In this screen, I could tell the player to dribble wingbacks and then cross, or just try to dribble center back then, and he will do this for any team tactic. Of course you will be able to have more than one tactic for any player and save it (that will be useful for multi-role players).

    Also players interactions should have more impact. Now it's not easy to set tactics correctly if you want to play a big forward and a small pacey striker. Or train defenders in order to have a good offside tactic, assigning one experimented player to make it effective or just any of the defenders. Tell explicitly your wingback to go forward and then your winger to cover his position under certain situations. tell your destructive DMC to find your creative CM and let him distribute the ball, but let one of your CB's to pass any player he wants if he has good decissions.

    FM should let managers to create players "missions". For example, for the big FW you can assign him to RWB rarely, TTB mixed but also "try headers and pass the ball" or "try headers and aim them to goal". Also "find wingers and striker" or "pass the ball to midfielders", "keep the ball safe"... and then valorate the players with those parameters. Of course a defender who scores a couple of goals has done a good match. If you asked the player to head corners and he scored both goals in that way, he has performed well. But if he only score them from 1 yard and he has not marked well forwards and them have not scored due to bad luck, that defender has played bad, despite the two goals. Think about Romario. He didn't never defend, rarely assist players, didn't score from headers... his manager just wanted him to be as forward as possible, get off the ball, dribble one defender and score. But other forwards have to press defenders when they have balls, pass the ball to the wingers, win the ball in the air...

    managers should have more freedom to set players tactics.

  88. #88
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    Re Chandaman's post, and various replies...

    In a nutshell, would you prefer greater Asst Mgr input?

    So post match you get his opinion on how things went, e.g. "your full backs defended well, but didn't support the wingers enough" or "striker A did very well as the big targetman job, he held up the ball well and got decent flick on's" or "the defensive line was a bit too deep".... etc etc.

    So, essentially an expansion of the 'key player' report. Would that help if it provided more input on why things worked well or didn't work???

  89. #89
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    quote:
    Originally posted by achilles elbow:
    So, essentially an expansion of the 'key player' report. Would that help if it provided more input on why things worked well or didn't work???


    I think that would be of some help and add a bit more personality to the game, but I still think more information presented in graphical means and extra statistical data is needed as well.

    I can only speak for myself but I think the whole tactical element of the game feels rather closed off with only the minimal amount of information given. It's rather frustrating and new players to the game must feel kind of isolated.

  90. #90
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    It is just a matter of perseverence and trial and error, I found that tactics i used on FM06 and FM07 didnt work on FM08, so i had to redesign them, but you just need to think about what you want your players to do. If you want your full-backs overlapping then tell them to make lots of forward runs.

    The most important thing is to keep your tactics simple - i see people coming up with ridiculous formations 3-2-3-1-1 or something else stupid like that, i have only ever used 4-4-2, 4-1-4-1 or 4-4-1-1, which are all very common systems. Set the mentalities of the players properly and just take the time to set it up properly in the first place.

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    Chandaman, I think you just wrote the bible for those of us who experience severe irritation with the whole tactics interface.

    It amounts to a ridiculous reverse engineering process. I agree the 20 sliders are ridiculous, we are pretending to manage a team of footballers, not engaging in brain surgery.

    The system is arbitrary and leads to the feeling of pre-determined results.

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    If you take a look in the editor at a Manager you'll see a set of attributes which map directly onto the tactics slider settings. E.g., Manager X has 17 for attacking which maps to 17 on the team Mentality slider. This allows fine-grained differences in tactics between AI managers; surely a good thing. Now if us users were prevented access to such fine-grained tactics tweaking we would complain it was unfair. So the game exposes the same tactics interface to us as it does the AI managers; hence the 20/22 position slider nonsense.

    What might help if, in addition to the fine-grained slider ("Expert") interface, there was an another interface into the tactics more suited for human use. This interface would present more human (intuitive) options to the manager, but under the covers, would map them to the slider settings. Users could choose which interface; the "Expert" or the "Human".

  93. #93
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    quote:
    In a nutshell, would you prefer greater Asst Mgr input?


    Personally I would prefer Asst. Manager input period. Not 'greater'. Greater assumes there is some input going on at the moment, which is not the case. The Asst. Manage could be a lump of coal for all the difference it'd make.

    I think having an Assistant that really assists would be great. At the moment, what does he do? Gives out a team report (which is okay, all things considered, but not spectacular), gives a team talk feedback (based on rules for team talks that have to be reverse-engineered) and gives out said team talks as per its own rules, which seem to be saying "For the fans!" every other bleedin' match.

    The Assistant tells me how are my players getting along with each other, and general morale (which we stare at every time we look at the selection screen, so what's the point?). That's about it.

    - He doesn't tell me how my players are understanding my tactical instructions. ("We're fine in the back, and fine upstairs, but boss, you need to keep it simpler on the midfield because we get the ball there and the guys don't know what to do.")

    - He doesn't tell me why my players may be under or over performing, so I can correct it or know what is working.("I've been watching him over the last three games and there's no point in telling #3 to join the attack so often. He's not that kind of fullback, boss. Either replace him, or tell him not to go forward so often.")

    - He doesn't suggest sets of individual instructions or roles that might be more appropriate to the kind of players I might have, and I might have missed while building up the tactic ("Boss, are you sure you don't wanna tell #11 to look for crosses? He's great at it, you know.")

    - He has no say whatsoever in the kind of reinforcements the team overall needs, in order to maintain the tactical work as is, or change it to utilize the abilities of new players. ("Right, well now that (x) left, we need to look for a similar guy that roughs it up in the midfield, because the youngsters are still not up for it. Mind you, if we can get a more skillful type of guy we would get him more involved in the midfield to support attacks, but you're gonna have to go back to the drawing board for that, boss.")

    And so on.

    Before I get sticks and stones thrown at me, this doesn't make the game any easier by default. This is not the easy way out of anything, because:

    A- Your tactics still have to work.
    B- You still need to have the best players you can.
    C- You will still inevitably face better opposition than you
    D- You still have to deal with injury crises, morale problems, etc.
    E- Your Assistant Manager still has to know what he's talking about. His stats may very well be junk.
    F- You are still free to ignore him and never consult him if you don't want to, and play normally.

    As it is now, we don't have an Assistant Manager. We have a slightly more vocal coach that most of the time sits on a corner and sucks his thumb, every now and then mumbling things like "For the fans!!!".

    I'd love to have an Assistant Manager.

  94. #94
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    G- There would be an option to turn this feature off.

  95. #95
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    Well, sure, it's implied in F, so why not.

  96. #96

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    I don't bother spending much time on tactics because team talks and media have such an enormous effect that your tactics can become almost irrelevant. It's a ridiculous way to play a football management game.

    I've had a quick go at CM and I think the main difference is the database: SI have a much better one than BGS do. If people stopped working for free for SI or transferred their work to BGS we'd definitely see the gap narrowed much further.

    FM [i]probably/[i] remains the better game, FM07 certainly is, but CM is getting there. It progresses massively year-on-year while FM just gets buggier, worse to look at and more irritating.

  97. #97
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    quote:
    Originally posted by This field intentionally left blank:
    If you take a look in the editor at a Manager you'll see a set of attributes which map directly onto the tactics slider settings. E.g., Manager X has 17 for attacking which maps to 17 on the team Mentality slider. This allows fine-grained differences in tactics between AI managers; surely a good thing. Now if us users were prevented access to such fine-grained tactics tweaking we would complain it was unfair. So the game exposes the same tactics interface to us as it does the AI managers; hence the 20/22 position slider nonsense.

    What might help if, in addition to the fine-grained slider ("Expert") interface, there was an another interface into the tactics more suited for human use. This interface would present more human (intuitive) options to the manager, but under the covers, would map them to the slider settings. Users could choose which interface; the "Expert" or the "Human".


    Good points, although as Chandaman points out its just not realistic.

    After all there are literally millions of permutations, so would it really hurt the game if these permutations the AI could use were down to "just" a few hundred thousand, and at the same time giving the human manager a more realistic set of options.

  98. #98
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    Yes, you could reduce the number of permutations. I'd prefer keeping the current implementation, but put it behind a better, more Human, interface. Obviously easier said than done or SI would have done it, the lazy so-and-sos.

    Its a shame SI stopped releasing the code header files. I'm sure some enterprising individual could build a better tactics interface, as an external App.

  99. #99
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Chandaman:
    quote:
    In a nutshell, would you prefer greater Asst Mgr input?

    Personally I would prefer Asst. Manager input period. Not 'greater'. Greater assumes there is some input going on at the moment, which is not the case. The Asst. Manage could be a lump of coal for all the difference it'd make.

    I think having an Assistant that really assists would be great.

    My turn: clap, clap, clap!

    I've been arguing for the same thing since FM'05; you might enjoy - if you haven't read them already:

    In-character helpful suggestions,
    .
    New Media Items and Improved Feedback,
    and
    Metaphysical Angst in FM: Complexity and Uncertainty in Management

  100. #100
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    I think what is needed is that FM09 comes with a warning sticker attached to the case saying:-

    "This is not a game nor is it a realistic simulation of how real-life managers manage. Do not buy if you already have a day job. Don't come crying to us if you can't win".

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