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Why is it that the fewer Instructions, the better?


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Hey guys, a bit of a theoretical question here.
it seems that a lot of advice about tacticts seem to revolve around keeping Team and Player Instructions at minimum. 2-4 for possession phase, and a couple for In transition and Out of Possession. Player Instructions also seem to need to be treated that way.
Why is that?

As long as Instructions are thoughtfully put together, It feels like micromanagement should theoretically be a good idea. Moreover, I believe stuff like Shoot Less Often, for example, can't really do any harm provided you don't have the full attacking department on it. If, say, a midfielder has 8 Finishing and Long Shots in one of the big 5 League but because of his role does contribute to offensive play (either often or rarely), it would seem that Shoot Less Often can only be beneficial, because in my experience when shooting is in fact the obvious choice, they'll still do that.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not actually trying to argue that the more TIs the better or anything, I'm just arguing that, for somebody that has properly played FM only since this last edition, it's very counterintuive that it is not the case.

I mean, I consider myself and most FM players to be smarter than the AI in most circuimstances, especially because the AI is intentionally making itself dumber to account for non-20 Decision attribute, Pressure, all that jazz. And I also trust my player instructed not to shoot, to, in fact, do just that if he's in front of open goal. 
And even if AI is smarter than me, it's definitely not smarter than a UCL level professional coach. Should Pep, while playing FM, set more instructions than most other people? That feels paradoxical.

The same can be said about stuff like Width. I mean, I got it very wrong in the past and that caused issues, but if you get it right, why wouldn't you set it in a particular way for every tactic? There's 5 "levels" of it, why should most tactic need exactly the third one?

Thank you in advance for your input. Keep in mind that I very much trust your knowledge and this is not insinuation, just a question.

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I think the major issue people have with using lots of TIs and PIs is that if the tactic has a problem, it will be hard to pin point the exact instruction that is causing the issue.

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It's not really that fewer = better, however the advice to use fewer generally relates to:

1) It's easier to figure out how a system works or what might be going wrong if a tactic uses 5 rather than 15 instructions.

2) It's perfectly possible to set up lots of styles of play with fewer instructions, so why recommend using loads.

3) Too many instructions can (not always) become confusing and even contradictory if not handled carefully.

4) There is often a lack of understanding about what Mentality does, thus adding in instructions on top of those already set by Mentality can make your team overly aggressive or overly passive resulting in you "being FM'd" or (more recently) "can't play defensively with this ME".

5) As a great man once said - the game isn't complicated, it's us managers who over complicate it.

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As was written above. Many of the team TIs are intended to be reactionary and thus situational attributes. That’s not to suggest they can’t be employed from the off, but many, if not cancelling each other out, come with a “what’s the point?” prefix at the start of a game.

Run at defence for instance, why? What’s to suggest this will be any more effective than not, before the game’s started?

Pass into space, why, what’s to suggest space will be available? 

These are by and large TIs that require a bit of in-game observation prior to employment. 

Tempo, passing style and focus are largely dependent on formation and tactical intention to me. I want the ball moved quickly to get it into areas of advantage and away from areas of disadvantage.

That being said, to each eye it’s own view. There’s more than one way to play the game and the convoluted mess of one, is the art of another. 

 

Edited by Guv'nor
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19 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Same with tempo and passing length sliders. They can be kept at default unless there's a need to increased tempo or more direct passing.

Well, but if a tactic focuses on possession, then why would default be preferrable to Lower Tempo and Shorter Passing? Or, conversely, if one is playing hoofball, why wouldn't longer passes be beneficial? Also, for Gegenpress tactics, why wouldn't Counter-Press be set on by default?
These are just standard tactical identities, not weird recreation.

4 hours ago, Guv'nor said:

Run at defence for instance, why? What’s to suggest this will be any more effective than not, before the game’s started?

Theoretically, you'd want to turn it on when you anticipate that dribbles will be easier to execute and more effective than usual. The main scenario that comes to mind is a very technically gifted side playing against a weaker team. Chances are their BWMs/CBs/FBs won't be good enough to stop a dribbler that's much better overall than they are.

4 hours ago, Guv'nor said:

Tempo, passing style and focus are largely dependent on formation and tactical intention to me. I want the ball moved quickly to get it into areas of advantage and away from areas of disadvantage.

So why wouldn't you raise your tempo?

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40 minutes ago, stopazricky said:

Well, but if a tactic focuses on possession, then why would default be preferrable to Lower Tempo and Shorter Passing? Or, conversely, if one is playing hoofball, why wouldn't longer passes be beneficial? Also, for Gegenpress tactics, why wouldn't Counter-Press be set on by default?
These are just standard tactical identities, not weird recreation.

Theoretically, you'd want to turn it on when you anticipate that dribbles will be easier to execute and more effective than usual. The main scenario that comes to mind is a very technically gifted side playing against a weaker team. Chances are their BWMs/CBs/FBs won't be good enough to stop a dribbler that's much better overall than they are.

So why wouldn't you raise your tempo?

The weird thing is that to create those standard tactical styles, you don't really need that much input from TIs. Usually it's more important to set up the roles and shape and line of engagement. For instance playing 4-3-3 or 4-1-2-3 with one or two playmakers in the middle will set you well on the way to playing possesion football. And then throw in Balanced or Positive team mentality and maybe short passing and play out of defence. Really all you need for basic possession style are those two TIs. The rest is done by having the right players and roles for it. The problem is that most beginners are confused by game's tactical presets which are examples of tactical overkill. For possession style that could just lead to pointless possession for the sake of possesion with little intent or penetration.

Edited by crusadertsar
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28 minutes ago, stopazricky said:

So why wouldn't you raise your tempo?

Have a tendency to play at a slightly higher tempo as default and believe tempo is dictated by formation. If chasing a game, seldom change the tempo, rather the focus of play and passing trajectory. 

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@stopazricky dude I don’t think this thread is constructive at all. People are giving their answers and you already have a set idea in mind, no matter what people say.

If you like using all the TIs that’s fine, but you don’t need to be validated or counter other opinions here. It’s a single player game, play however you want.

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Well, I can see tho, that the whole system of tactics creation can be quite confusing for people.

despite that fact that concepts of football and tactics in itself are quite demanding.

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There is no such thing as "less instructions is better" or "just click in all instructions and it will work". 

A tactic, any tactic, to work needs:

- a formation (any, one that you like). All can work. Some better. Some worse... Depending on the ME version. The 442 is always a good choice. 

- a set of instructions, more or less, that are logic between them. And don't forget, by setting the mentality you are already setting a bunch of instructions by default. 

- a group of players, with the necessary attributes, so that they can fulfil the criteria implemented by the formation, and roles, and instructions that you set yearly. 

The reason people struggle so much in this game is:

- everybody can set a formation. 

- many don't know what instructions they should choose in order to make the team play the way they want. (this, for me, is th key point and something that SI fails because they haven't find a way to properly explain) 

- almost everybody forget the players they have in their teams, and think its the same to have a team full of Ronaldo"s an Messi's or a team with less than average players.

In the end, and just like irl, luck is important. So you can have a tactic, play a save and win the Premier league with Newcastle, and with the same tactic get relegated in a different save. 

Tip of advice.... just have fun... Its just a game. :)

PS: I usually use very few instructions, because many I don't see any difference in my game play when I choose them!! :D

Edited by Keyzer Soze
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21 hours ago, backpocket said:

@stopazricky dude I don’t think this thread is constructive at all. People are giving their answers and you already have a set idea in mind, no matter what people say.

If you like using all the TIs that’s fine, but you don’t need to be validated or counter other opinions here. It’s a single player game, play however you want.

That couldn't be further from the truth, I'm simply challenging your answers so that I can get to understand them better. There's much that has been said here that I haven't even replied to because it was spot on and I was just going to thank everyone at the end.
Plus, the whole point of any thread is to have discussions about stuff right? It's not even supposed to be something like "question-answer-okay thanks". There's the quickfire thread for that and, most notably, Google.

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The point usually made is to start with few or no instructions. Then add as you see you need a tweak. PIs and TIs tweak what is already there. It's easier to start that way and build to a 'complete' tactic than to add a million instructions before you have any idea how it plays out. It makes it more difficult to analyse.

I run 2 tactics atm. Tactic 1 (my main tactic) started with 3 TIs. It had around 6 or 7 after a season. It has 10 now, after another season. In my view, it's complete (it was a season ago as well though), but things change as teams treat me different and I buy/sell players.

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Read this thread yesterday whilst struggling in my 2nd season of a new save with Crystal Palace. Having finished 5th with an ageing, below average squad, I cleared out the dead wood in the summer and brought in signings which would allow us to play a much more expansive, attractive style of football. 5 months into the new season and my team was languishing in the bottom half of the table.

 

I had over-complicated my new tactic, and I wasn’t sure exactly where. Further tinkering just brought more inconsistency, so after reading this thread I switched to a 4-4-2 with only a higher defensive line and urgent pressing as the TIs. This was the first time in decades of playing CM and FM that I’d used such a basic tactic, and it was eye-opening. Where I had expected to be bored by the lack of complexity in my tactic, I was actually motivated to watch the game closely and make small adjustments in-game depending on the score and things I noticed in the opposition’s play that I could exploit. To my surprise, I felt I had more influence on my team’s result by starting matches with basic instructions and adjusting more during the game, rather than starting with what I thought was a well-thought out tactic and leaving it to run for 90 mins.

 

This thread has opened my eyes to a fundamental which I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t thought to try sooner, so just wanted to say thanks for the advice!

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