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0 "What we've got here is a failure to communicate"

About ZdlR

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  1. What the new tactics creator highlights best is that many of the TIs are relative to your overall strategy. If you're using an Attacking strategy, then it is already quite wide, so the default width (Balanced) is relatively Wide. Compare it with the Balanced width setting for Counter or Defending and you'll see that the width is relative. Width also specifies the attacking width of your team. But, as Cleon says, how wide you are in attack will impact how well you can regroup to a narrower defensive shape. You generally defend as narrow as the opponent forces you to, but often you can end up narrower than that if there are late-arriving wide-players like wing-backs.
  2. The most important thing that you must do before you can read the match engine is: have in mind exactly what you want each of your players to do and the style of play you expect of them. For example, ensure you know whether your inside forward should be getting on the ball during the build-up or at the end of an attack, or whether you want your DMC to charge at the opposition player with the ball at all opportunities or to sit back and intercept passes to the striker(s). Similarly, if you have set yourself up to be an attacking force that will dominate the game through possession and movement, but instead all of the highlights and stats show that the opposition has more of the ball and is running through your midfield like a hot knife through butter - well, you know that your expectations aren't being met. The next action is to determine why. It could be that your tactic is not very well trained, so the team is unfamiliar with it. Or your players do not fit your desired system / instructions. Or the opposition players are better than you. Or the opposition manager's tactics are better than yours. Or your players have low cohesion. Etc., etc. Sometimes, the problem is large: no highlights of your team attacking. To me, this is indicative of a strategic problem- too high a mentality for a close battle, too low a mentality against an attacking opponent, your formational shape being exploited by the opposition's formational shape, etc. This requires a bit of a rethink, but could be a simple as altering mentality or switching to an alternative formation - if you have a suitable one trained. At other times, the problem is smaller: you are unable to break down the opponent and they are having some decent forays forward on the counter. This could be solved by a smaller, more tactical, change- lower the d-line or pass into space or exploit the flanks. Or a combination of a couple of instructions. In neither scenario would I advocate changing a lot of things all at once. The final problem is something that I go through whenever I'm initially creating a tactic: the players aren't quite doing what I want them to do. For this, I tweak player instructions- make my b2b midfielder get forward more, make my AMC tackle harder, switch my inside forward to an advanced playmaker, etc.
  3. Interesting about tempo. I never really made a rule of it, but I can't say I've been going into a match with a modified tempo. I either choose Counter or Control depending on various heuristics (definitely not guesswork ) and maybe add one or more of 'push higher up' / 'pass more direct' / 'pass into space'. Finally, after years of wrestling the tactic creator, I'm finding that tactical consistency + tweaks is not such a bad combination
  4. If you changed d-line, tempo and tackling then that will affect two of the familiarity bars: let's say closing down and tempo, because a lower d-line also lowers closing down but tackling doesn't have dedicated familiarity. Note, though, that if you selected 'stand off' or 'hassle' then this affects closing down, not tacking, so that's a third familiarity component that would be affected. Remember that the familiarity sliders aren't binary 'I know this/I don't know this'. It's a continuous measure of familiarity. If you have 'hassle opponents' selected and decide, for this next game, you want to back off and so choose 'stand off opponents' instead, then it's quite possible that the familiarity bar for closing down will go from 100% 'fluid' (agreed that this is a terrible term) down to 0% 'awkward'. (To complicate matters, this will only happen if you have no other tactics with 'stand off opponents' trained to any degree.) That's a giant drop in familiarity to reflect a big difference in your tactical setup for closing down. Does this mean that your players are suddenly idiots that cannot defend? I would say no, that would make no sense. I think it would be sensible if a lack of familiarity gave your players a handicap on relevant attributes. It should also be regressive, so an absolute handicap of, say, 2 points for 'awkward closing down' on relevant attributes or closing down situations. This means that the impact for a player with 20 positioning is only a 10% handicap, yet the impact for a player with 10 positioning is a 20% handicap. Regardless of speculative underlying implementation, your players should not become total idiots. It's all relative. If the tactical changes are only minor, then the impact to familiarity is only minor, and the impact to attributes would only be minor. For the second question, I agree that there should be an attribute that serves as a 'tactical intelligence' index for players which determines how quickly they can adapt - if at all - to a new system. I'm not sure if one exists, so we're back in the speculation zone. I could ruminate that the component familiarity bars are actually an average of all of your player's individual familiarity with a certain level of closing down / marking / tempo / etc. This actually bears a bit of scrutiny because of the Assistant Manager's comments that 'Player X is used to closing down more often than he is beind asked to'. This hints that the player has a personal, individual familiarity level for closing down. It would then logically follow that one or more attributes could be used to determine the 'velocity' at which the player learns to adapt (oddly enough, there's an adaptability attribute, but I'm fairly sure that's only used to determine how well/easily a player settles in at a new club/country).
  5. I don't think it's ridiculous. It's actually a realistic concept: it takes time for players to learn a tactic's intricacies and, during that learning period, the team will not correctly execute on the ideas of the tactic. It is a poor game mechanic though, because it is such a shallow representation of real-life in comparison to most of the other parts of FM. Sure, under the hood, I'm sure there's a lot of machinations that coordinate to make it all work, but what the user sees and can interact with in order to affect the levels is very minimal. You get to see: An overall familiarity level for each tactic. The familiarity levels are represented a continuous bar with four labelled segments: awkward, competent, accomplished, fluid. I assume this is an unweighted average of familiarity for each component of the tactic. A breakdown of familiarity levels for eight different areas of the tactic: formation (shape), mentality, passing style, creative freedom, closing down, marking, tempo, width. Probable evidence of less than 'fluid' familiarity in the various areas of a tactic during a match, represented by a degradation in quality of play for the aforementioned eight areas. You can influence tactic familiarity in only two ways: Alter the amount of tactical match training: by increasing the training focus (up to 50%) for tactical match training, and/or increasing the number of matches that are played (which just serves to create even more tactical match training). Changing your tactic will negatively impact the relevant component familiarity levels. Changing mentality will lower the familiarity of mentality. Changing for formation will lower the familiarity of formation, etc. The speed of the tactic 'learning' is negatively impacted by adding more tactics to learn. Training 1 tactic is quicker than training 2, and both are quicker than training three. That's it. It's a shallow representation of real-life. It's a realistic addition but there just aren't enough ways to tailor the tactic familiarity. There is pretty much one way to work with familiarity, as set out by Cleon: Set up ~10 friendlies in preseason, ramp up match training to 50%, set the focus to 'tactics' and do not (significantly) change your tactics. Any change that affects any of the eight component areas that make up familiarity will move the team away from what they have learnt and thus lower familiarity. Feels very 'arcade' and not at all how I am used to FM being designed. Having said that, I could expand this 'shallowness' argument to the whole training module since the sliders (which were in no way realistic, but were much more customizable). It sounds like FM15 will introduce another way of altering the velocity of increase of tactic familiarity levels: being a 'tactics manager' (as opposed to a 'tracksuit manager'). I worry about this 'feature' though, because it sounds like the effectiveness of some in-game interactions will no longer be determined by your 'skill' in making the right decision (which is what management is: making decisions), but instead will be determined by some 'score' that you have for a certain area. Indulge this analogy for a minute. Consider the difference between combat in a FPS and combat in a RPG. In the former, your accuracy is overwhelmingly determined by your aiming with the controller (either gamepad or mouse). Sure, there are other factors such as the inherent accuracy of the weapon (shotgun vs sniper rifle), but your skill at aiming is the primary factor. However, in an RPG, you don't even aim with the controller. You select an enemy to target and you elect to shoot at them. Your character's 'aiming skill', likely represented as a number or 'level', is the primary factory to determine accuracy (with the weapon accuracy still a secondary consideration). In an RPG, you 'level-up' through success over a period of time. The new 'manager type' selection feels a lot like FM moving into RPG territory - or at least exposing the RPG elements of the underlying game mechanics: making it explicit. The RPG element of FM is already somewhat visible in the reactions of your players to team talks. Giving the exact same team talk to the same players under identical conditions yields different results depending on your reputation as a manager. If you are a Sunday league manager in a top division club (therefore your manager character's reputation is significantly less than that of your players), then you will see less positive reactions. If, however, you have a Guardiola/Mourinho/Ferguson level reputation, then the reaction to players is much more likely to be positive, irrespective of what you say. This is a number unconnected with your own personal skill at choosing the right motivating words dictating the error margin for a key game mechanic. Ergo, RPG. A positive aspect of RPG game design is that it provides a customizable difficulty level in a realistic context. There are ex-pros who walk into top management jobs all the time. It is not because they have yet accomplished anything as a manager, it is due to a carry-over of their reputation as a player. It gives them a foothold at a higher level. Alternatively, it gives them more time to learn if they take a job significantly lower than their reputation: they are less likely to be sacked for a couple of poor results. Conversely, a lower-reputation manager given a job at the top level will be given much less margin for error. See Tim Sherwood or, as a more extreme example, Les Reed at Charlton.
  6. I wonder about a few of those choices for this season's Chelsea. Azpilicueta is the supportive fullback compared to Ivanovic's more attacking wingback. The former barely barely dribbles or shoots, but does pass a bit. Ivanovic's has two goals so far and gets into the box almost Alves-like in the frequency. If he's not in the box he's out wide and high on the right while Azpilicueta remains deep, often in a line of three with Matic and Cesc. The next quandary is the midfield pivot. DMCs or MCs? I would probably go for the latter, although Cesc plays like both a modified Regista and a modified Advanced Playmaker. As a Regista, he'd be far too far back in the DMC strata to get into the box as often as he does, but perhaps he possesses the right PPMs to do that unaided by Player Instructions? As an MC, he would be a good Advanced Playmaker (support), which would aid his ability to assist the finish - something that a Regista does less frequently than 7 in 7 (over 3 key passes a game so far, which is a lot for a deep playmaker). He also gets to the edge of the box a lot. So, perhaps Regista is correct, but I'd watch for his contribution. Matic is surely a Ball-Winner (defend)? He stays back primarily and shields the defence, but gets stuck in when players enter his zone. This could work in the DMC strata, but is a BWM(d) + Regista(s) enough protection for the centre backs? Probably not, but look at the yawning chasm that Leicester's Nugent had on the counter and at least we can say it is a realistic flaw! I agree with Oscar as AMC(support), but FM doesn't replicate his 'jack-of-all-trades' role in that position. Expect low ratings as he doesn't assist enough and defends 'too much' for an AMC to achieve 7+ every game. Willian isn't the primary starter in AMR, that's Schurrle, and his role is a bit of an odd one to replicate, too. He would need 'sit narrower' Player Instruction if placed at AMR - so that Ivanovic can overlap him. But he times his runs in behind so well that I'd want him to be given an Attack mentality. I'd probably have to try a good few options before arriving at the right combination to replicate his role. He and Willian, when played in that role, both try to find space between the defence and midfield, so perhaps a supportive role would be apt, but with 'get further forward'? Lots of possibilities, including the 'roam from position' PI. I would argue that Hazard is not a supportive role, but an attacking IF with 'stays wider'. He starts on the touch line to draw defenders toward him and, on receiving the ball, has only one aim- run directly at the opposition. He is the least 'team player' in the starting XI- almost an uncharacteristic luxury for Mourinho. Costa doesn't have to create goals and is charged with pushing the opposition back line to create space and to finish moves off. However, he isn't so one dimensional to require a poacher role. I'd say he is an Advanced Forward. Given all of this, I'd stick to a rigid philosophy because everyone in the team has a defined role, except for perhaps Oscar who does a little bit of everything. This season, the typical Mourinho low-block is gone, in favour of a higher press in all but the bigger games. Similarly, a Control mentality seems apt. This should combine to emulate a Chelsea which is more dynamic, more attacking and less defensively sound than previous incarnations. 21 goals scored and 7 conceded is a very healthy 3:1 ratio, but Mourinho has won the PL previously with a goals-conceded of under 0.5 per game. Without a regular back six, it's easy to imagine that the goals conceded this season would be even higher, but there is a definite 'first XI'/'backups' theme to squad selection. In the bigger games, the 4231 is eschewed in favour of a more conservative 4411, with Willian in the hole behind Costa and two banks of 4 staying deep, conceding possession and unashamedly looking to counter/capitalise on set pieces.
  7. You have no protection in front of your back four in that 442. An AP doesn't look to defend and a BWM us prone to leaving his position to close down an opponent. This means that there is no-one to intercept passes to the opposition striker(s). I imagine you fare particularly badly against teams with an AMC.
  8. Won the league with Newcastle in the first season with this: Counter/Fluid GK(d) WB(s) DC(d) DC© FB(a) DM(d) B2B(s) AM(a) IF(a) W(s) AF(a) Drop deeper More direct passing Of course, there was a hell of a lot more to it than that.
  9. If you follow Cleon on twitter, you'll know that he's a he after a short while...
  10. I'm about to embark on my first ever back three for one of my tactics - a 3232, with wingbacks. What sort of settings are most applicable for the three defenders? At the moment, I have the central defender playing as Cover, which I hope means he does a little bit of sweeping but in a more reactive way than an actual sweeper. The other option I have is leaving him as a normal defender but setting the two lateral defenders to Stopper. This latter option would mean that I have someone stepping up into the DMC area if a midfielder breaks through my three MCs, but I think it could also leave a pretty gaping hole on the wings behind my complete wingbacks. Having said that, I don't think I'd use this formation against a 433 or anything with advanced AMR/Ls. Also, what options are there for the midfield three here? I guess one of them needs to play as CMd but that's now 4 central players on defend. Sounds like a soak-up-pressure-and-counter sort of tactic.
  11. The whole season I think I had about 40% match training. General training was Balanced, I think. My focus for the first season was to win something or, failing that, get into the Champions League. I had some awful coaches and didn't address training for much of the season, just changed a setting if a player complained about not enough training or something. I've already spent a lot of time preparing for the next season, which is going to be a transitional one for sure, trying to improve the coaching staff, etc. I used 'tactics' for match training for the first few games until it was about 70% full and then I would select one of the other options depending on how I thought the match would go. If the opposition were lumps that might get some corners against me: defending set-pieces. If they were a stronger opponent with lots of attacking flair: defensive positioning. If they were a bit weaker or I felt they were a bit defensively suspect: attacking movement. If I figured they would park the bus and I'd win a lot of corners/free-kicks: attacking set-pieces. If I see an opponent weakness, I pounce. No question. Fluidity never enters the equation if I think it's the right thing to do. For example, that last game of the season away to Hull was the very first time in the entire season that I switched to 'Overload'. I don't think my players would have been too fluid with the tactic because we barely even used Attack throughout the season. However, I got two goals because it was the right tactic at the right time. That trumps fluidity, from what I have seen. It's another bit of misdirection from SI. Fluidity helps just like morale and giving good press conferences/interviews, managing your players with private chats. All they do is widen or narrow the error-margin. You can still win even with poor morale, crap team talks, a huge lack of fluidity - it's just much, much harder. So it's better to be good at all aspects of management because then the tactical side is a little easier.
  12. If it's early in the season then I pay very little attention to it because the chances are that other teams are suffering from low tactical familiarity, too. As I've said elsewhere, I'd rather play the right tactic that is only partially trained than the wrong tactic at 100%. Tactical familiarity has become another scapegoat for poor tactical decisions. It has an affect, but I'm not sure it's as pronounced as some people seem to think.
  13. This is definitely a myth. If it takes that long for every game then you're doing more than you need to. For big or pivotal matches sure, it pays to put in more effort to understand how the opposition play and what you can do to limit their effectiveness. For most games, though, you can look at the odds and tell whether you're up against a big challenge, whether you should breeze to a victory, or anything in between. I do agree that it's difficult to get right. But you're not prevented from changing things early, or at any other time during the match. I sometimes got my tactics so wrong going into games that I was struggling against teams I should probably beat. If I hadn't made a couple of changes within the first 10 minutes, I would probably have conceded and possibly drawn or lost the game. Instead, I made the right decision based on what the match engine was telling me. There's an irony to so many people complaining about both the match engine and the lack of feedback in the game, yet the two go hand-in-hand. The match engine gives you far more information about what is going right and what is going wrong in the game, more so than any stats could.
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