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Tactical Theorems and Frameworks '08


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Originally posted by wwfan:

Even I have to refer back, and I wrote the bladdy thing!!

My comments were not to criticise your guides wwfan, as I'm sure you appreciate. Indeed I am now printing out the complete postings and will peruse them tomorrow while at work. They really are very good. Many thanks for doing them. Oh! Your one liner made me smile. I'm not known for smiling!!!!!

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Originally posted by gareth richards:

just a couple of quick questions (dont think im stupid)

when you talk of adjusting sliders and give them a value say 14 attcking what does this mean (is it just the position on the slider bar)

is there a basic template to download that i can tweak myself just to begin with??

thanks again really good read

As of now, I only have a few Beta testing tactics uploaded at FM-Britain. They are OK, but nothing special. They were designed for an earlier build; somewhere between 8.0.1 and 8.0.2. However, there are many TT&F tactics at FMB, all of which have received decent feedback, and can all be used as a base set.

Sliders run from 1 (far left) to 20 (far right). 14 is 13 clicks form the far left position.

And I made a Scouser smile. If you are a 'Pool fan, that is some achievement given the result over the weekend. If an Evertonian, I imagine you were smiling already icon_smile.gif

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Originally posted by wwfan:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gareth richards:

just a couple of quick questions (dont think im stupid)

when you talk of adjusting sliders and give them a value say 14 attcking what does this mean (is it just the position on the slider bar)

is there a basic template to download that i can tweak myself just to begin with??

thanks again really good read

As of now, I only have a few Beta testing tactics uploaded at FM-Britain. They are OK, but nothing special. They were designed for an earlier build; somewhere between 8.0.1 and 8.0.2. However, there are many TT&F tactics at FMB, all of which have received decent feedback, and can all be used as a base set.

Sliders run from 1 (far left) to 20 (far right). 14 is 13 clicks form the far left position.

And I made a Scouser smile. If you are a 'Pool fan, that is some achievement given the result over the weekend. If an Evertonian, I imagine you were smiling already icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, I am a Liverpool supporter of over fifty years standing - and sitting. Yesterday's result was of little surprise to many of us. The good Lord forbid that we may be going in the direction of Leeds, if we're not careful. All is not well in the state of "Denmark", I fear.

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wwfan you're a god! I'm playing Telford in the Premiership and 8.02 broke my old tactics. So I decided to follow your instructions and made a few tweaks in my 442 tactics. Atm I'm having great success with the balanced version of the tactics! KUTGW!

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thanks for the reply wwfan really appreciate it.

just one other quick question that may have already been covered .

when setting up individual settings does this override team settings if this is the case do i need to just leave team settings to normal and just concentrate on individual instructions to players or do they work in conjunction with one another?

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Originally posted by Jablome:

As usual, outstanding, insightful and fun to read. It printed out to 32 pages!!!

A question: For your Counter and Defend tactics, do you really set your entire team and/or defense on Easy tackling? If yes, could you discuss why?

Thats because he wont his players to stand position and not to rush in to tackls. If they rush this could probable result in players bee dragd out of position and loos man mark, wich again results in planty of room for opponent. When on easy tackling, players just fallow man mark and only tackls when he is 100% sure he can win a tackling. I hope you understand.

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Individual overriding team is a big can of worms, but I'll explain my reasoning for why it does.

1: You don't assume that any other team instruction works in conjunction with individual. i.e. individual short passing plus team direct passing does not mean a player passes mixed

2: All settings work on a 1-20 radius. If team-individual works in conjunction, that means 400 settings, rather than 20, if my maths is right. Why would one setting have 400 settings, whilst all the others only have 20.

3: SI explicitly stated individual overrides team in GQ when the question was raised last year

I never touch the team mentality slider, but you do have to be sure all your players have individual settings or it will come into play for someone which may disrupt your entire playing pattern. If you want to be on the safe side, set it to the median for each tactic.

As Jascko said, easy tackling and low closing down ensures a team keeps shape. If you watch match stats, you'll see a team has a higher tackling percentage with these settings than it does with heavy. However, heavy can be useful in winning 50-50 balls in attacking positions, hence my recommending it for aggressive tactics.

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An example of getting things right and how pre-match preperation can work wonders. As with Cleon, I make decisions every match that such forum threads can't replicate. I usually get them right, however they can go horribly wrong at times. The following is an example of when things go very, very right:

L2: Aldershot 4 - 0 Luton

The pre-match odds were heavily in Luton's favour, due to better reputation and Aldershot having gone through a dodgy run over the last few games. However, Aldershot were doing better than Luton over the course of the season.

Progression of Decisions

1: In the media commentary I decided to stir the team up by saying that Luton were a team I expected to beat, despite the odds being against me.

2: I use two scouts in the league; one to scout opposition, the other to socut the league in general. That way I have the best possible information on opposing players prior to the match. Because I had full knowledge of pretty much the entire Luton side, I could then target some players.

3: Opposition instructions: Their left back had a very low aggression and bravery setting, so I targetted him with 'Heavy Tackling Always'. Both the midifielders were very, very slow, although reasonably skilful, so I had them targeted with 'Close Down Always' with the less brave one of the two also 'Heavy Tackled'. Both strikers were totally one-footed, so I 'Showed onto Wrong Foot'.

4: Team-Talk: I had noticed one of my strikers was feeling the pressure of not having scored for a while, so I told him 'I have faith'. The rest of the team were 'You Can Win' other than my two most determined and loyal players, who I told 'I expect a performance' which links in twith my pre-match media interaction.

5: Tactics: Playing at home I started with the standard Attack setup.

6: The First Half: My no-confidence striker scores with his first touch, and then again later in the half. The Luton left back is first booked and then begins to struggle to contain my right winger (who has a storming game), nearly always losing 50-50 balls to him. I score two more and lead 4-0 at half time. All my outfield players are on 8s and 9s.

7: Half-Time: I check the formation screens. Luton are still playing a short-farrowed 4-4-2, so I decide to stay with attack. I tell the whole team I am pleased, except for the two-goal striker, who I tell I am delighted.

8: Second Half: One of the two MCs I am targetting gets injured and replaced by a far worse player. Then the other gets sent off for retaliating. I switch to Control and see out the game, being unlucky not to score any more. I give three of my subs a run out for the last half an hour to rest regular players.

9: Post-Match: I tell the whole side I am delighted at the end of the game. Morale is high across the board and I go on a mini winning streak, including a couple of great away wins, before getting outclassed away to the league leaders. However, based on match stats I played well, and was just undone by a better side with better players, so I tell them "Good Effort'. I am rewarded days later with a battling 1-0 away win over a L1 side in the semi finals of the JP Trophy.

Hope this is useful in terms of preparing for specific games. I don't do much of this against much poorer sides, but against the divisional big guns, it is vital.

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Originally posted by wwfan:

An example of getting things right and how pre-match preperation can work wonders. As with Cleon, I make decisions every match that such forum threads can't replicate. I usually get them right, however they can go horribly wrong at times. The following is an example of when things go very, very right:

L2: Aldershot 4 - 0 Luton

The pre-match odds were heavily in Luton's favour, due to better reputation and Aldershot having gone through a dodgy run over the last few games. However, Aldershot were doing better than Luton over the course of the season.

Progression of Decisions

1: In the media commentary I decided to stir the team up by saying that Luton were a team I expected to beat, despite the odds being against me.

2: I use two scouts in the league; one to scout opposition, the other to socut the league in general. That way I have the best possible information on opposing players prior to the match. Because I had full knowledge of pretty much the entire Luton side, I could then target some players.

3: Opposition instructions: Their left back had a very low aggression and bravery setting, so I targetted him with 'Heavy Tackling Always'. Both the midifielders were very, very slow, although reasonably skilful, so I had them targeted with 'Close Down Always' with the less brave one of the two also 'Heavy Tackled'. Both strikers were totally one-footed, so I 'Showed onto Wrong Foot'.

4: Team-Talk: I had noticed one of my strikers was feeling the pressure of not having scored for a while, so I told him 'I have faith'. The rest of the team were 'You Can Win' other than my two most determined and loyal players, who I told 'I expect a performance' which links in twith my pre-match media interaction.

5: Tactics: Playing at home I started with the standard Attack setup.

6: The First Half: My no-confidence striker scores with his first touch, and then again later in the half. The Luton left back is first booked and then begins to struggle to contain my right winger (who has a storming game), nearly always losing 50-50 balls to him. I score two more and lead 4-0 at half time. All my outfield players are on 8s and 9s.

7: Half-Time: I check the formation screens. Luton are still playing a short-farrowed 4-4-2, so I decide to stay with attack. I tell the whole team I am pleased, except for the two-goal striker, who I tell I am delighted.

8: Second Half: One of the two MCs I am targetting gets injured and replaced by a far worse player. Then the other gets sent off for retaliating. I switch to Control and see out the game, being unlucky not to score any more. I give three of my subs a run out for the last half an hour to rest regular players.

9: Post-Match: I tell the whole side I am delighted at the end of the game. Morale is high across the board and I go on a mini winning streak, including a couple of great away wins, before getting outclassed away to the league leaders. However, based on match stats I played well, and was just undone by a better side with better players, so I tell them "Good Effort'. I am rewarded days later with a battling 1-0 away win over a L1 side in the semi finals of the JP Trophy.

Hope this is useful in terms of preparing for specific games. I don't do much of this against much poorer sides, but against the divisional big guns, it is vital.

Pretty much way I do things too icon_smile.gif

Spending 2 mins a game to prep makes all the difference

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Originally posted by Martyrium:

How much closing down would you recommend for wingers, CMa and CMd in the different versions of the tactics? Been testing a bit, but i has not worked that well yet.

Excellent post though icon_smile.gif

Wingers I tend to CD high, no matter what tactic, to make sure the opposition doesn't get uncontested space out wide.

Midfielders is player specific. As in the OP, for defensive tactics you need to be making sure the MCs face the opposing players before they get to the last third. Pace, aggression, stamina etc make these settings varied, dependent on the player. For more attacking tactics, you want to close down higher up the pitch, and thus should adjust accordingly.

Watch the 2d carefully (and tweak) until you see the MCs contesting balls in the areas you want them to do so.

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Originally posted by Cleon:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Serpico:

I found this hugely helpful in stopping being completely awful. However I do have difficulty in getting my head around why central defenders need such a high attacking mentality when part of an attacking side.

I strongly believe that SI should use these theories on the default tactics within the game to give noobs and no-hopers alike some chance.

I agree with you, it would be good if SI could base the preset tactics around this. However, if they did, they'd need some sort of documentation like this thread. To explain things and help you understand what you're actually using and the reasons why it works.

If someone just gave you a tactic based on this thread and you'd not any knowledge of this thread, you'd still be as confused as you wouldn't understand what its about. It's the documentation what's more important imo. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've been toying with this idea for a bit now...and think a new set of preset tactics should be created. Consider it a T&TF project. And in all fairness to those who guard their best tactics closely, the project should be focused on creating presets based on say 2 formation shapes a 442 and a 4132.

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Originally posted by rashidi1:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Cleon:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Serpico:

I found this hugely helpful in stopping being completely awful. However I do have difficulty in getting my head around why central defenders need such a high attacking mentality when part of an attacking side.

I strongly believe that SI should use these theories on the default tactics within the game to give noobs and no-hopers alike some chance.

I agree with you, it would be good if SI could base the preset tactics around this. However, if they did, they'd need some sort of documentation like this thread. To explain things and help you understand what you're actually using and the reasons why it works.

If someone just gave you a tactic based on this thread and you'd not any knowledge of this thread, you'd still be as confused as you wouldn't understand what its about. It's the documentation what's more important imo. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've been toying with this idea for a bit now...and think a new set of preset tactics should be created. Consider it a T&TF project. And in all fairness to those who guard their best tactics closely, the project should be focused on creating presets based on say 2 formation shapes a 442 and a 4132. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Please refer to my post of 16.02.08. I have been asking for this type of assistance in playing the game since FM'07. It has usually been answered negatively by those who replied.

Without giving the game away, at least one set of presets based around the most common formation of 4-4-2 would be of much assistance in starting up a new game.

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rashidi1, I've been looking for wwfan's '08 set but without success. I can only find the '07 ones.

I want to upload my screenshots of my own poor tactics to try to get some help. My problem is, when I have them onto Imageshack, which do I click on out of HTML, Forum, Alternative Forum, Instant Messenger or Direct?

Then, how do I find them when I am posting in the forum?

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I dont suppose, as I have a week off work and I have finished decorating the living room, that wwfan could possibly release the tactic set sooner rather than later as I am pants and really want to try and get some enjoyment out of the game before I have to go back to work?

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Originally posted by Cleon:

Pretty much way I do things too icon_smile.gif

Spending 2 mins a game to prep makes all the difference

This is also very similar to what I now do and it works a treat. Tactics, while important, are by no means the only part of the game that you need to concentrate on to have sustained success.

I find the opposition instructions and team talks in particular very important.

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Great guide (again) wwfan.

I have used your guide playing with Newcastle on the new patch. I have used four of your suggested settings (balanced, attack, counter and defensive) with, in my opinion, success (5th place with three games left).

Although, I tend to have problems facing something like a centralized 4-2-3-1 (Ferguson's using it for ManU). One of my CBs always step up against one of thgeir players having the ball, a ManU-player takes run into the space the CB just left, and they get an oppurtunity. How would you recommend playing when facing such a formation?

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Hello, great read. icon_smile.gif

I have one small question regarding target man supply: does it still apply, that when set to "mixed" around 20% of balls are still played on feet and 80% on head?

I'm just brainstorming how to set up my - relatively slow but dominant in air- towering target man, who got fairly good technique as well. It's either mixed or to head, but just can't put my finger on which would be better and whether this aforementioned thing about mixed supply still stands... Thank you in advance. icon_smile.gif

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This is a great read, and there's definately some food for thought here. It's nice to see both some of my own ideas confirmed, as well as a whole bucketfull of new things to think about incorporating.

One question though, when you start out with a new team, do you always look to work with what you've got? Or do you take the approach that you've got say nine players that will fit nicely into your preferred system, whilst two may perhaps hinder what you are tryig to achieve, and look to replace them?

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@ 0105301g: Looks fine to me. Check the Home/Away stats page and see if anyone is losing the ball to often. You could then tweak their settings individually.

@ rymdgubben: Use Specific Marking to ensure your players are marking all their midfielders (in the system you want). A little tedious to set-up, but it should help you enormously in defence.

@ Towerofpower: Can you spend an hour on it icon_wink.gif In 07 mixed supply undoubtedly favoured head. Not too sure about 08 I'm afraid. Don't have the requisite player to try it. If anyone else knows, please can you help? Thanks.

[@] Martyrium: [/b] I don't use tight martking at all in Control! In Counter the back six tight mark (not wingers), in Defend the back eight.

@ badbee: I tend to play in the lower leagues to start with, so choosing is a luxury I don't have. If I do have the money, I will try, first and foremost, to get the defence and MCd I need. If I don't concede, I am always going to be in with a chance of grabbing a win. Later in the game, I cherry pick the player type I want.

As tactics are a work in progress until you have played throughout the divisions, I can only offer my BSP Promotion Winning Set for perusal. It will not be suited for higher levels, but it will give a taster of what is required. CF is squad specific, so will need to be changed to fit your team. Passing will also need to be shortened at a higher level, and you will probably need more Free Roles.

BSP Promotion Winning Set

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In 07 mixed supply undoubtedly favoured head. Not too sure about 08 I'm afraid. Don't have the requisite player to try it. If anyone else knows, please can you help? Thanks.

From what I've seen so far it's still fairly "head-centric". More so obviously if you're playing a system that lends itself to get crosses in.

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Originally posted by jaycar:

wwfan, how would you counter a team that is sitting defensive, high tempo and very direct, they just keep closing down, nicking the ball them constantly pumping the ball forward, its a bugger to attack teams like that. icon_mad.gif

A very slow tempo Control system, with FWRs and RWB often on all wide playes, HUB up front. This will draw fouls and enable you to keep the pressure up.

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Originally posted by saab693:

Hi wwfan

Currently doing Gundo's challenge with tactics based on your TTandF theories. I'm in the top league in Sweden and it looks like my players are far, far worse than the division average. What would you recommend? Do I stand a hope?!

Yes, of staying up anyway, although you'll need to absorb The next Diaby's Communication and Psychological Warfare first. Winning with terrible players is not easy (nor should it be) but you should be able to get enough points should you do everything (tactical choice, media and man-management) 'right' as often as possible icon_smile.gif

I'm not exactly sure of the details of his challeng. If it is winnign the league with your side, then, no, you probably don't have a hope with TT&F. You'll need to exploit the engine!!

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Originally posted by wwfan:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by saab693:

Hi wwfan

Currently doing Gundo's challenge with tactics based on your TTandF theories. I'm in the top league in Sweden and it looks like my players are far, far worse than the division average. What would you recommend? Do I stand a hope?!

Yes, of staying up anyway, although you'll need to absorb The next Diaby's Communication and Psychological Warfare first. Winning with terrible players is not easy (nor should it be) but you should be able to get enough points should you do everything (tactical choice, media and man-management) 'right' as often as possible icon_smile.gif

I'm not exactly sure of the details of his challeng. If it is winnign the league with your side, then, no, you probably don't have a hope with TT&F. You'll need to exploit the engine!! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm surprised I've never seen you in the Challenge forum actually, you'd be very welcome! All I need to do this season is stay up, but I'm being spanked in every single game, home and away, regardless of whether I use the Attack,Counter,Balanced of Defend options. (Needless to say I'm not trying Control!)

I use the TT&F sister thread exclusively for my media and man managament and it was doing me fine until this season!

Is there any chance I could send you over some info to see what you think my best plan would be? I know that's what you want at 1230 on a monday eve icon_wink.gif

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I'm a little confused on Team vs. Individual settings. I read a thread from Cleon (granted, from FM '07) that broke down scouting reports and the need to tweak an existing tactic based on reports. I did, and things went great. I went on a huge run before crapping out at the end (I may have over-tweaked).

However, this thread seems to suggest that tweaking individual players is the way to to.

Is there a "better" or "worse" way to to do it? Or is it based on a) quality of team and b) willingness of user to spend time adjusting for each player?

Full disclosure: I'm Spurs in 2012. Constantly a top-5 team jumping between UEFA Cup and CL.

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I was playing with Arsenal - new patch, new game - and was doing well with a regular 4-4-2 of my design. I've since tweaked it into something along the lines of the 'attack' template and it's still doing well.

Where I think I have really benefited from reading this thread is in creating a 4-5-1 with instructions similar to wwfan's counterattack suggestions. I never thought I would win the league when I noticed that I had Liverpool and Man U away as two of my last three games, but using this tactic I beat them both easily and won the Prem (just, from Chelsea) in my first season.

So - in my opinion they're very helpful. Will set up a 'control' tactic tonight to combat any re-ranking.

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Originally posted by Uncle_Sam:

wwfan, have you experimented with "funneling" the ball to certain midfielders? Maybe never close down a player with poor passing stats so that he can just surrender the ball right back to you?

No, have you? I might experiment with it a few times tonight.

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Originally posted by wwfan:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Uncle_Sam:

wwfan, have you experimented with "funneling" the ball to certain midfielders? Maybe never close down a player with poor passing stats so that he can just surrender the ball right back to you?

No, have you? I might experiment with it a few times tonight. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, about 3 times I think. I couldn't determine anything conclusive. I remember one match in particular where a club I played against started an MC with a passing stat of 6. So I set the other 3 middies to tight marking and the poor passer to loose/never close down. The thought was, force them to either play the ball to him or launch lofted hopeful balls. It worked a treat as he ended completing 23 of 79 passes and I won 5-0. His final rating was a 3. The other couple of times I tried it I didn't really notice a difference.

I wish I still had that save, it was one of those games where afterward you really feel like a manager.

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Originally posted by Uncle_Sam:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by wwfan:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Uncle_Sam:

wwfan, have you experimented with "funneling" the ball to certain midfielders? Maybe never close down a player with poor passing stats so that he can just surrender the ball right back to you?

No, have you? I might experiment with it a few times tonight. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, about 3 times I think. I couldn't determine anything conclusive. I remember one match in particular where a club I played against started an MC with a passing stat of 6. So I set the other 3 middies to tight marking and the poor passer to loose/never close down. The thought was, force them to either play the ball to him or launch lofted hopeful balls. It worked a treat as he ended completing 23 of 79 passes and I won 5-0. His final rating was a 3. The other couple of times I tried it I didn't really notice a difference.

I wish I still had that save, it was one of those games where afterward you really feel like a manager. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sounds like a good idea I might try it.

Also wwfan, have you ever shown the full backs inside? Seems to limit play a little bit the odd times i've tried it.

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Originally posted by jaycar:

Does anyone know if to many OI is a bad thing? In other words, if you set to many does it have an affect on your own tactics?

I generally target two to three players. However, The next Diaby does it for almost the entire side with no ill effects.

Different strokes....

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