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The travesty that is the AI 4-2-3-1 tactic - an urgent fix is needed!

95 posts in this topic

In some sense, this is just a data issue as 4231 Denmark was evidently programmed to be a late game, ultra-attacking formation similar to a 424. However, at this point, the assumption that 4231 Denmark is the standard, "real world" 4231 has shaped the database to such an enormous extent that it just makes more sense to treat it as a bug.

EDIT: Fantastic post, perpetua.

Maybe the only thing they -can- do at this point is to move the "defensive line" of the midfield and attack back a bit, so that all four strata in front of the defensive line (which we can move up and down using team instructions) are closer to each other and to the defense. This should also affect backtracking. However, that's a major ME change and it is unlikely that it can be done before FM13 the earliest. The reason I called this thread "urgent" was that I hoped that the database changes coming up soon could include the disuse of the 4-2-3-1 "Denmark"-

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In some sense, this is just a data issue as 4231 Denmark was evidently programmed to be a late game, ultra-attacking formation similar to a 424. However, at this point, the assumption that 4231 Denmark is the standard, "real world" 4231 has shaped the database to such an enormous extent that it just makes more sense to treat it as a bug.

EDIT: Fantastic post, perpetua.

4231 Denmark is no good at pressing opposition defense so it's not even a good late game, goal down tactic. Players positioned as AML/C/R an FC are poor at pressing or do not press at all in current ME. This is partly masked in AI vs AI matches as defenders (set to def mentality and low creative freedom) tend to freeze/spin/pass back in proximity of opposition player no meter how inactive/catatonic he is. Setting AML/C/R and FC to defensive mentality somewhat increases their defensive activity but ruins their attacking play as they play far too conservative in offensive phase and expectantly in transition and on counter. Setting them to man marking specific player increases their defensive activity to an acceptable level.

Most of the issues described above are result of following ME deficiencies in my opinion:

1. Absence of separate defensive and attacking formations (formation transformation)

2. Absence of separate defensive and attacking player mentalities

3. Very poor and very unrealistic positioning of DL/C/R prior to goal kick (DCs are positions to close and are often more advanced than FBs! This is probably the worst possible disposition.)

4. Improper implementation of men and zonal marking

5. Absence of dynamic repositioning of player according to ball position. This really kills effectiveness of pressing. Pressing is in it's ultimate (and possibly unachievable) form should transcend static formation as a concept; players should position them selves according to position of ball, opposition, teammates and unmarked space. Unfortunately due to current tendency of player in possession to freeze/spin/pass back in proximity of opposition along with general preference of sideways and backward-diagonal passing properly implement dynamic repositioning and pressing would probably throw ME out of balance.

6. Excessive precision of long passes and unrealistic ball trajectory in combination with defenders that seem completely unaware of incoming long ball produce some realty strange situations (such as static wingers receiving long ball that just flew over the equally static fullback absolutely uncontested).

7. It seems to me that AML/R have hard-coded tendency to disregard defense. As an experiment position the same player once as a ML/R with very attacking mentality (20) and the other time as AML/R with very defensive mentality (0). He will act better defensively in first case!

PS I'm sorry perpetua for the rude reaction above in post #20, this is detail explanation why I think that 4231 is no good late game, goal down tactic.

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We didnt make any ME changes for 12.2, and this was made clear some time ago.

Since last year our ME coding resources are fully focused on an improved version for release at some point in the next couple of years. Whether that is FM2013, 14 or even later is yet undecided.

I will make sure stuff like this is high up the QA priority list as and when the new code goes into test.

Cheers,

Paul

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Not surprising given that fundamentally changing positional behaviors would require extensive testing.

Still, unlike most ME problems, this one can be fixed with the editor. Search People by "Preferred Formation", change all instances of "4231 Denmark" to either "451 Defensive Midfielders" or "4231 Defensive Midfielders", do the same for "Second Formation" then remove it from any nations' tactical attributes to keep it from showing up among regens.

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Not surprising given that fundamentally changing positional behaviors would require extensive testing.

Still, unlike most ME problems, this one can be fixed with the editor. Search People by "Preferred Formation", change all instances of "4231 Denmark" to either "451 Defensive Midfielders" or "4231 Defensive Midfielders", do the same for "Second Formation" then remove it from any nations' tactical attributes to keep it from showing up among regens.

Have you already done this, Hand of God?

If so, would you mind uploading the edited database?

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Have you already done this, Hand of God?

If so, would you mind uploading the edited database?

I'm still working on it, but I'll see what I can do when it's done.

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We didnt make any ME changes for 12.2, and this was made clear some time ago.

Since last year our ME coding resources are fully focused on an improved version for release at some point in the next couple of years. Whether that is FM2013, 14 or even later is yet undecided.

I will make sure stuff like this is high up the QA priority list as and when the new code goes into test.

Cheers,

Paul

Yes the 4231 tactic must be a very balanced tactic, not the ultra-attacking gung-ho tactic it is now.

As The Hand of God points out - this is more a database issue than an ME issue. The 4231 Denmark tactic used so widely in the database is simply put not good enough as it doesn't in any way enable the teams/managers using it to simulate its real life counterpart.

The AMRLC positions not backtracking or helping the defense at all is a problem for all tactics using those positions. That could be fixed quite easily by auto-setting every player in those positions to Man Mark Specific regardless of instructions in the tactic itself.

In the long term, these behavioural problems can in my opinion only be addressed by switching from one single Mentality slider to a Attacking Mentality plus a Defending Mentality slider and having player behaviour rely more heavily on attributes. For instance, every technical attribute should be a Tendency plus Skill attribute negating the need of Long Shots, Run With Ball and Tackling sliders. This way, while Rooney and Tevez could both enjoy high values of both Mentality sliders enabling them to help the midfield while joining the attack, Berbatov and Dzeko would not function well with those duties because they wouldn't work hard enough in the defending phases and would rather like the ball to feet etc.

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Can the default tactics be edited in the database? That way we could tweak the 4231-Denmark tactic, and still let AI use it.

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OK, this DBC file will completely remove "4231 Denmark" from a new save and also removes the similarly flawed "424" as a standard preferred formation (it is, however, preserved as an attacking formation). Enjoy!

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OK, this DBC file will completely remove "4231 Denmark" from a new save and also removes the similarly flawed "424" as a standard preferred formation (it is, however, preserved as an attacking formation). Enjoy!

Nice work! Can i ask what you replaced it with?

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Nice work! Can i ask what you replaced it with?

"4231 Defensive Midfielder" in most cases. Not ideal, but most teams that use 4231 Denmark have a star AMC that isn't competent as an MC. Still, the two holding midfielders will provide more cover and prevent a massive gap from forming between the defense and attack. "451 DM" and "4411" were used in a few instances to better reflect the positional preferences of certain clubs' strongest players.

In regards to 424, it was mostly replaced with the similar "4222 Defensive Midfielders", though in the case of Juventus, I used "352" and "532 Serbia & Montenegro" as these better reflect Conte's actual tactical preferences (in addition to being more balanced formations).

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"4231 Defensive Midfielder" in most cases. Not ideal, but most teams that use 4231 Denmark have a star AMC that isn't competent as an MC. Still, the two holding midfielders will provide more cover and prevent a massive gap from forming between the defense and attack. "451 DM" and "4411" were used in a few instances to better reflect the positional preferences of certain clubs' strongest players.

In regards to 424, it was mostly replaced with the similar "4222 Defensive Midfielders", though in the case of Juventus, I used "352" and "532 Serbia & Montenegro" as these better reflect Conte's actual tactical preferences (in addition to being more balanced formations).

Cheers for that, best fix possible before an ME reworking

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OK, this DBC file will completely remove "4231 Denmark" from a new save and also removes the similarly flawed "424" as a standard preferred formation (it is, however, preserved as an attacking formation). Enjoy!

Would some kind soul be willing to upload this file again? It's no longer available from the above link.

I'd really appreciate it, thank you.

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Would some kind soul be willing to upload this file again? It's no longer available from the above link.

I'd really appreciate it, thank you.

I no longer have the plain "NoDenmark" database, but I do have a database file with all the various changes that I use. You can download it here.

This file makes over 20,000 changes to the default database, mostly tactical. These include:

* Removal of 4231 Denmark

* Adjustments to managers using AML/R to improve defensive performance

* Hundreds of changes to reflect real life manager's tactical preferences (particularly in non-British leagues)

* Adjustment of Attacking and Defensive formation preferences to better align with a manager's primary preferred formation

* Adjustments to national tactical preferences and youth output (makes regen managers more likely to have balanced tactical attributes and slightly tones down the number of high PA regens)

* Adjustments to club tactical preferences and youth quality (mainly to improve average player quality in smaller nations)

* Increase the number of viable managerial candidates in major European divisions (this slightly tones down manager merry-go-round)

There are a few adjustments to players to reflect 2011/12 performances (as well as Tevez's unavailability in the first half of the season) and ensure more accurate squad selection on certain teams... there is also a slight reduction in the number of potential English wonderkids, but nothing major. If this isn't your cup of tea, you can manually clear these changes, though this may result in some key players being underused (e.g., Balotelli, Yaya Toure, etc.).

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EVERY tactic has its strengths and weaknesses. No one tactic ever stands out. Just becuase modern day trends say 4-2-3-1 doesn'y mean its a great tactic. 4-4-2 is just as good with the right players as is 3-5-2, 5-3-2, 4-4-1-1 and so on. Wouldn't recommend 0-0-10 though. ;)

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I no longer have the plain "NoDenmark" database, but I do have a database file with all the various changes that I use. You can download it here.

This file makes over 20,000 changes to the default database, mostly tactical. These include:

* Removal of 4231 Denmark

* Adjustments to managers using AML/R to improve defensive performance

* Hundreds of changes to reflect real life manager's tactical preferences (particularly in non-British leagues)

* Adjustment of Attacking and Defensive formation preferences to better align with a manager's primary preferred formation

* Adjustments to national tactical preferences and youth output (makes regen managers more likely to have balanced tactical attributes and slightly tones down the number of high PA regens)

* Adjustments to club tactical preferences and youth quality (mainly to improve average player quality in smaller nations)

* Increase the number of viable managerial candidates in major European divisions (this slightly tones down manager merry-go-round)

There are a few adjustments to players to reflect 2011/12 performances (as well as Tevez's unavailability in the first half of the season) and ensure more accurate squad selection on certain teams... there is also a slight reduction in the number of potential English wonderkids, but nothing major. If this isn't your cup of tea, you can manually clear these changes, though this may result in some key players being underused (e.g., Balotelli, Yaya Toure, etc.).

Wow! Legend! That sounds impressively comprehensive. I shall look forward to starting a new save :)

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If you ask me, the "narrow 4-2-3-1" is just as big of a travesty. The AMCl and AMCr leave opposition wingbacks completely unmarked. In short, some formations are just out of sync with real-world football.

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If you ask me, the "narrow 4-2-3-1" is just as big of a travesty. The AMCl and AMCr leave opposition wingbacks completely unmarked. In short, some formations are just out of sync with real-world football.

This should be much more dependent on players mental qualities and to a degree managers mental abilities (look at the difference between Ronaldos performance for Real and Portugal). For example in Dutch team at least four players (Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Ibrahim Afellay, Robin van Persie + yesterday Rafael van der Vaart) do not press opposition or track back ever. This basically splits formation in two as in FM ME. I doubt this is managers intention/tactic. However in FM when you put hardworking player such as Dirk Kuyt in AMR position he will still act as lazy as Arjen Robben. Even worse when you select Arjen Robben as MR he will do more defense work there than Dirk Kuyt when selected as AMR!

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Another poster here who is infuriated at the reluctance of AML/AMRs to track back or close down consistently. The only way to get them to do so is to set their Closing Down to the 18-20 range. Personally I've given up on AML/AMR and either opt for a pair of FL/FR or ML/MR.

Other issues:

- The AI also generally plays too wide compared to real life, where you see teams much more frequently keeping things narrow.

- There is too great a space between the DM and MC positions. Central midfielders stay too far advanced while I'm reluctant to play DMs without two men ahead of them because they struggle to hold possession in the center of the park.

- Set-pieces aside, ariel prowess is almost entirely useless. Where 1 in 4-5 goals in real life comes from headers, there is nothing like that frequency in FM and definitely not from open play. Those you do score tend to be from wingers or inside forwards nodding in at the far post. I'm not asking for a return to 07, where the target man was king, but it's currently ridiculous watching every single unmarked header loop over the bar. It's a massive disadvantage if you generally prefer teams with intelligent, physically-powerful players over a team of tika-taka passers.

- Height also seems to make a ludicrously small amount of difference in heading ability. Being taller seems to let players get to a ball better, but whereas in real life being taller allows you to get over the ball and knock it downwards -and therefore more likely on target- in FM it makes no appreciable difference after your player has reached the ball. Cue Lancina Traore (6'8) scraping the bar with 3/4 of his virtually uncontested headers.

- Players are terrible at playing the ball up to the heads of their teammates, sending in crosses onto the heads of their teammates, knocking headers onto the run of their teammates... I could go on. I haven't used 'Target Man - Head Ball' more than a handful of games over the last few versions. In my view the whole ariel side of the game needs an overhaul.

---

I'm not saying there aren't work-arounds for all these issues, just pointing out discrepancies between what generally happens in the game and what happens in real football.

I doubt this is managers intention/tactic. However in FM when you put hardworking player such as Dirk Kuyt in AMR position he will still act as lazy as Arjen Robben. Even worse when you select Arjen Robben as MR he will do more defense work there than Dirk Kuyt when selected as AMR!

I agree and this is actually highlights a pretty serious problem: All in all players are currently too dependent on manager's instructions and don't quite do their own thing often enough. I admit that the opposite can be frustrating, but on balance I think it can be very rewarding as you get a much better feel of players' matchday personality.

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Another poster here who is infuriated at the reluctance of AML/AMRs to track back or close down consistently. The only way to get them to do so is to set their Closing Down to the 18-20 range. Personally I've given up on AML/AMR and either opt for a pair of FL/FR or ML/MR.

As I understand it, "Closing Down" determines how far up the pitch they will close down but, even if you max it out, AML/AMR typically just ignore the instruction altogether and will roam around in midfield even when an opposition fullback is in your penalty box.

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As I understand it, "Closing Down" determines how far up the pitch they will close down but, even if you max it out, AML/AMR typically just ignore the instruction altogether and will roam around in midfield even when an opposition fullback is in your penalty box.

Unfortunately this is exactly what will happen. Position somehow wondrously overrides players character, logic and defensive instructions given to him. Man marking specific only partly solves the issue for human managers. AML/R (set to man marking specific) still look somewhat disinterested and passive but at lest make halfhearted effort to track back before they switch off around 30 meters from goal. On top of there is no way to force player to disregard position, ball movement and phase of play and stay with designated opposition player at all times.

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Setting them to man mark full backs does the job for me. They have a free role if that means anything I don't know. Don't know any other tips except maybe just play them as ML/R except force them higher up the pitch on attack through instructions.

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Setting them to man mark full backs does the job for me. They have a free role if that means anything I don't know. Don't know any other tips except maybe just play them as ML/R except force them higher up the pitch on attack through instructions.

This is the best option for human manager. It's fairly simple to force ML/R to transform into AML/R when in possession.

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Hi Hand of God!

I was wondering if you'd kindly be able to re-upload the database you mentioned. I attempted to use both links but they didn't work.

I had previously cooked up something similar (though far less extensive) and would very grateful if I could play with your changes.

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We didnt make any ME changes for 12.2, and this was made clear some time ago.

Since last year our ME coding resources are fully focused on an improved version for release at some point in the next couple of years. Whether that is FM2013, 14 or even later is yet undecided.

I will make sure stuff like this is high up the QA priority list as and when the new code goes into test.

Cheers,

Paul

Cant you just outsource the coding or hire ( temporary ) more coders? The ME is the most important part of FM so waiting till FM14 or even longer is counter productive.

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Strangely this is the tactic that causes my 4-1-2-1-2 the most problems lately, can't seem to get through their midfield and get the ball to my AMC. If I try over the top, their DC always steps up and intercepts.

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Im managing Spain and the 4-2-3-1 with 3 being AMR-AMC-AML are doing just fine. In fact, I won Euro 2016, Olympics 2016, Confederations Cup 2017, and World Cup 2018 with that formation. Probably the roles of the players should be altered to make this formation work?

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As long as SI keeps this paleolithic design where a player being put in the centre can't be assigned a DM role or a player being put in the right midfield area can't be assigned a winger role, the tactics mechanic will always be unrealistic and restrictive.

It's also funny how people don't seem to understand that the topic is about the A.I. using the tactic.

But as long as we are winning who cares, right? ;)

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As long as SI keeps this paleolithic design where a player being put in the centre can't be assigned a DM role or a player being put in the right midfield area can't be assigned a winger role, the tactics mechanic will always be unrealistic and restrictive.

It's also funny how people don't seem to understand that the topic is about the A.I. using the tactic.

But as long as we are winning who cares, right? ;)

MCs can be assigned a Ball winning midfield role on defend duty or actually place them in the DM position.

MRs can be assigned a winger role.

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It's also funny how people don't seem to understand that the topic is about the A.I. using the tactic.

Who has time to read when you have to inform people of your miraculous success with one of the strongest squads in the game? :brock:

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MCs can be assigned a Ball winning midfield role on defend duty or actually place them in the DM position.

MRs can be assigned a winger role.

You are correct about the Wingers, my mistake.

About the others though, no. And don't forget that there are many other faults too, like not being able to set an AMC from a MC position, etc. It's paleolithic design and not versitle at all, especially when we consider that tinkering with the instructions is also a questionable mechanism.

This game could actually show some real progress if people didn't defend it all the time.

Like I said in another thread, it will only take one game from the competition that will actually show how illogical are the basic design choices of FM. Untill then, unfortunatelly, we have only this.

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I have the 4-2-3-1 with great success, it is weird that the AI tactic does not work maybe the cms have less defensive

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Can somebody help me please? Everybody is saying how 4231 is ridiculously easy to beat, but AI is killing me with it. I am currently playing with Osasuna and I am getting killed against 4231. What is the trick? I am using 4132.

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Can somebody help me please? Everybody is saying how 4231 is ridiculously easy to beat, but AI is killing me with it. I am currently playing with Osasuna and I am getting killed against 4231. What is the trick? I am using 4132.

4-1-3-2 is probably not so fantastic against the wide 4-2-3-1 formation. The biggest problem is probably that they send their full backs forward so that they have 3 vs 1 (or 2) on the flanks, moving the ball until your back four is out of position. That formation, with two strikers, will also not take advantage of the holes left behind when the 4-2-3-1 goes ultraattacking leaving only the central defenders back.

Setting your full backs to never close down may be your best bet. That or changing your formation when you meet it, to use wingers and/or an attacking midfielder.

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4-1-3-2 is probably not so fantastic against the wide 4-2-3-1 formation. The biggest problem is probably that they send their full backs forward so that they have 3 vs 1 (or 2) on the flanks, moving the ball until your back four is out of position. That formation, with two strikers, will also not take advantage of the holes left behind when the 4-2-3-1 goes ultraattacking leaving only the central defenders back.

Setting your full backs to never close down may be your best bet. That or changing your formation when you meet it, to use wingers and/or an attacking midfielder.

Thanks for the answer. However, I did try many other formations with other teams, and I could never even beat Real Madrid (or any other elite team), let alone dominate them. How do you beat a superior team just because they use 4231?

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I feel the 4-2-3-1 AI version has improved in FM13 even though the defensive setup still is weird.

In FM12 the only thing that ever worked for me was a 4-2-3-1 with defensive midfielders instead of central midfielders but even the DM version feels a bit awkward in FM13 atm.

Usually a 4-2-3-1 would defend like the 4-4-1-1 does atm in the game, which by the way feels quite good defensively in the game atm, even the AMC tends to get involved defending if the opposition uses three in the center.

The main weakness of the 4-2-3-1 in this game has always been that the wide players don't act as compact as they should and leave huge gaps on both sides, the fact that MCs didn't track back properly either in FM12 didn't really help the situation so most people who wanted to play the formation, like me opted to go for the 4-2-3-1 with DMs.

Playing DMs instead of CMs even helped with getting the AMC involved with defending, since he would try to cover the space in front of the DMs when defending or at least would close down players that had the ball in that area, if you then proceeded to man mark the opposition FBs with your wingers you could have a quite stable defense and at least prevent that your FBs were constantly facing at least two players alone.

I feel AMs still don't get involved enough in defending in FM13 and the problem that the tactic offers quite a lot of space to exploit is still a problem, the only thing I feel has improved is the defensive behavior of the MCs, they seem to be willing to do much more defensive work then they did in FM12.

It's a bit sad that the tactic still seems to not work properly in defense since it's actually one of my favorite formations, so I hope SI will put a bit more work into this formation over the next couple of month so that we will see some improvements.

Otherwise there is still the possibility to use the 4-4-1-1 and have it play fairly attacking but the problem is that most wingers drop in their rating if you use them the midfield strata instead of the attacking midfield area.

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Thanks for the answer. However, I did try many other formations with other teams, and I could never even beat Real Madrid (or any other elite team), let alone dominate them. How do you beat a superior team just because they use 4231?

Oh don't worry. Real Madrid has so much quality in their original team that they can often actually pull off playing a 2-0-8 formation (which is what the 4-2-3-1 becomes when attacking). After 5-6 seasons, when they replace their original team with high-potential players who don't have the right attribute combinations to do this, they become easy to beat. RM is never easy to beat the first few seasons even though this AI tactic is very poor.

For the record, I did never dominate against this tactic when I got promoted with Las Palmas in FM11 (until I had a world-class team that is). They were camping inside my third playing 5-aside all over until one of my six defenders (4+2dmc) got a tackle in and handed the ball over to one of the four players I had up front, thus creating 4 against 2 situations several times per match. People using AMRL and one striker reported doing the same for a 3 against 2 situation, especially if they also used an attacking midfielder. Thus, as Flohrinho said above, the 4-2-3-1 with two DMC's was also vastly superior to the one the AI uses. Straight 442's or the 4-1-3-2 you use would not be as efficient since your two counter-attack outlets would be marked and wide midfielders are tracking back.

In FM13 Demo the 4-2-3-1 tactic seems more realistic, but I am playing in League 2 so I doubt winning against it means that much...

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I've stuck with the trusty old 442 since CM01/02 and it has never let me down.

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In FM13 Demo the 4-2-3-1 tactic seems more realistic, but I am playing in League 2 so I doubt winning against it means that much...

I feel that at least one of the MCs plays a much more defensive role now, the FBs don't over extend that much anymore and the wingers now seem to automatically response to FBs going forward and follow even without man marking instructions but overall it's still a tactic that has 4 players defending very little which becomes a problem imo.

Every tactic that has more then 2 players not participating in defense will run into defense problems sooner or later if they haven't got a world class squad.

So I really hope that SI can work on the defensive shape of these tactics and make the 4-2-3-1 in defense look more like a 4-4-1-1 looks in defense and the 4-5-1 (or 4-3-3) more like a 4-1-4-1, meaning that wingers actually help out defending, at least if they are on support duty.

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I feel that at least one of the MCs plays a much more defensive role now, the FBs don't over extend that much anymore and the wingers now seem to automatically response to FBs going forward and follow even without man marking instructions but overall it's still a tactic that has 4 players defending very little which becomes a problem imo.

Every tactic that has more then 2 players not participating in defense will run into defense problems sooner or later if they haven't got a world class squad.

So I really hope that SI can work on the defensive shape of these tactics and make the 4-2-3-1 in defense look more like a 4-4-1-1 looks in defense and the 4-5-1 (or 4-3-3) more like a 4-1-4-1, meaning that wingers actually help out defending, at least if they are on support duty.

My FM11-12 tactic had 4 players not participating in the defensive work and I never had any defensive troubles because of that. In FM13 it appears to have finally died, although I am now testing a 4-2-2-1-1 tactic (two DMC's, MLR & an AMC) with Oxford in the Demo and it seems to work really well so far. It works similarly to my old tactic, but is more defensively sound according to real-life logic. I may try to move the wide midfielders to AMRL positions to see if they become involved more like the wide playmakers they were in my previous tactic.

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My FM11-12 tactic had 4 players not participating in the defensive work and I never had any defensive troubles because of that. In FM13 it appears to have finally died, although I am now testing a 4-2-2-1-1 tactic (two DMC's, MLR & an AMC) with Oxford in the Demo and it seems to work really well so far. It works similarly to my old tactic, but is more defensively sound according to real-life logic. I may try to move the wide midfielders to AMRL positions to see if they become involved more like the wide playmakers they were in my previous tactic.

Well I think FM13 is even less forgiving in that way, the AI has become pretty good at exploiting your weaknesses I fear.

So far I can only tell as I see it, imo 4-4-2 and 4-4-1-1 are the only really defensive sound formations in the game atm because they defend the wide areas better then any other formation.

The reason why wide areas never really were a problem in FM12 or 11 was that there were rarely if any goals scored from crosses or wing play in general.

This however has changed in FM13, wing play and crossing have indeed become viable tools of playing the game, as it should be.

In previous versions it was enough to have two good CBs and two good DMs in front of them and you would be fairly save but like I said I feel that this has changed in FM13 and is one of the reasons a lot of people have trouble getting a good defensive setup going atm.

For example I tried implementing my tactic from FM 12 that basically had only 4-6 players in defense and the front 4 almost always staying high up the pitch, this tactic was defensively so sound that I never had a higher ratio then 0.6 being scored against my team over an entire season.

In FM13 this tactic didn't work at all so far and I'm still searching for a way to get my beloved 4-2-3-1 working again as solid as it did in FM12 but so far the only viable defensive setups I found were in 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 formations, to a lesser extent even in 4-5-1 formations even though I think the midfield setup works a bit weird.

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