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A Twelve Step Guide towards Playing FM13 & Understanding the ME


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A Little Context

I know people tend to think I'm blindly defending the game, but my whole relationship with SI and FM started because I was feeling exactly the same way many of you are now about the FM06 ME. My first ever thread was entitled (something like) 'FM06: Deeply Flawed ME?'. In those days, I had no real understanding of football tactics. Like most of you, I'd played a bit and watched a bit, but hadn't ever really taken any time into understanding the fundamentals of football tactics. Simply a lurker, I'd followed forum dogma about what beat the ME. This had stopped working between FM05 and FM06. I didn't know what to do. Whatever I tried, the football looked horrible. I did OK at first, and then my team collapsed. I finished dead last in the BSP, something I've never done before or since.

Although I was frustrated to hell, I couldn't believe that SI would release an ME that didn't allow basic football formations to succeed. Consequently, I experimented with lots of different settings until I found something that worked on a consistent basis. I downloaded and tested all the so-called super tactics. All failed, either losing badly or producing horrible football. I then tried working out my own system. I must have played Maidenhead v Cambridge City 50+ times. Eventually, I worked out the logic that the ME was applying and began to win the match every time I played it. I then played through the whole season and did very well, winning and being happy with how I won. I then posted the findings and results on the forum and TT&F was born.

FM07 required a slight mindset change as mentality had become more sensitive. You could no longer play a system that was very stable in attack and defence at the same time (without exploiting the ME anyway). The result was designing a tighter mentality system, which has worked ever since. From that point on, I've never had to change my underlying logic (coherent mentality system + forward runs/run from deep pattern = solid tactical structure). From FM07 - FM13, this has run true. Since FM10 and the introduction of the TC, the AI teams have also used the same logic (albeit without the creative alternatives a user manager can try out).

Up until FM12, even these solidly logical tactics could be beaten by user tactics that took advantage of an ME flaw. The core one was the lack of collision detection, which meant that users could play a static target point lone FC formation (i.e. 4-2-3-1 with a poacher/target man) and channel balls through to him. Because he could run straight through defenders literally as if they weren't there, he could be guaranteed a certain number of chances every match in such a system. Get a good player in this position, a couple of good passers and keep your defence back, and Bob's your uncle.

Was this way of playing unbeatable? It tended to struggle when AI teams sat deep, because the lone forward then had to beat or was chased by lots of defenders, making his shots very difficult. Lots of users would experience the multiple shots, no goals, AI scores with its first shot scenario. This happened because, as FM13 reveals, players would get anxious, upset, angry or frustrated when chances weren't being put away, resulting in the greater likelihood of mistakes. The lower ranked AI team, happy at holding off a higher ranked side, would grow in confidence as well, making it more and more likely they'd score. However, users employing this kind of system still tended to do well against better teams, as their lone FC would get more space in which to operate.

However, these tactics should not work in reality. Although the AI couldn't counter them, we have actually proved that they wouldn't work against a decent human user. Just before the demise of FML, I guided a number of frustrated human users through the tactical logic required to stop these one dimensional tactics working (stop the supply, open spaces, counter into or attack them). Every one of these users succeeded. We now come to FM13.

The collision detection in FM13 means that the static lone forward being supplied by one-dimensional attacks won't succeed. He can no longer run through the defence. He has to go round DCs, who easily block him off and kill his space. 90% of the tactics we've seen posted in the tactics forum have been this type of tactic (with the other 10% being illogical atrocities). So, how to fix it? Please read on:

The Twelve Step Guide

1: Be prepared to admit you have a problem and need to change your approach. Until you do, nobody can help you.

2: Unless you are 100% sure you know what each and every slider does and how they interact, abandon them. Don't manually tweak a single setting. Embrace the TC (at least in the short term). Only use the playmaker and target man checkboxes to specify them and the TM's supply type (should you wish to).

3: Become aware that the strategy names are more plastic than they seem. The defensive strategy still attacks on the counter, whereas the attacking strategy can still be defensively solid. Bar the two extremes (Contain and Overload), each strategy is both defensive and attacking. A good rule of thumb is that if you want to play with a lot of deep midfielders and a short passing game, choose a less attacking strategy, whereas if you want to have high, effective wingers and a direct style, choose a more attacking strategy. Choose and save three core strategies for your trained tactics, but don't worry about the reserve ones or how well trained they are. Just focus on a specific style and use that as your base tactic in all matches until you are becoming more confident about your decision making.

4: Focus on roles and duties in the TC. Make sure you have one Attack duty in defence, one Attack and one Defend in midfield, and one Support in attack (especially if you have a lone FC). Make sure you have at least one no-nonsense, hard-working midfielder role. If you want to use a PM, will he be in the best position to hurt players, or will your approach see him isolated (see point eleven). More detail here.

5: Look at the team comparison page to determine how strong / weak your team is to the divisional average. Use the tactical adjustments to take advantage of / cover for this (e.g. if you have a very slow or lazy team, stand off more, whereas if they are quick and hard-working, press more)

6: Use the shouts to develop and save a favoured playing style, which should also suit your team strengths / weaknesses. For example, a highly technical team can sit deep and counter at pace, so using retain possession, pass into space, run at defence with a counter strategy may be worthwhile. A less technical but more physical team might want to impose themselves in a different way, so consider using get ball forwards, hit early crosses, get stuck in with an attack strategy.

7: Before each match, look at the weather conditions and the opposing team's formation to determine your match strategy. It can be very difficult to counter attack on a heavy, chewed up pitch, so you might have to abandon your preferred style and play an uglier game. You might want to expose an opponents lone wide player formation and exploit the flanks or look for overlap. You might be happy with your starting system.

8: Look at the opposing team formation or player condition / skills and use OIs to counter them. You could use OIs to counter dangerous players or stop crosses coming in, or to target unfit, slow or cowardly players.

9: Play the match. During the game, don't be afraid to change things up through shouts and strategies if things are not working. Do it logically rather than willy nilly though. For example, you might think that sitting deeper and countering will produce more chances than becoming more aggressive, as it will pull the opposition out a bit more. Once you've scored, decide whether you want to push for more goals or hang onto a lead and change things / keep things the same based on that decision.

10: Realise that teamtalks are contextual. They do not relate to the scoreline, rather how expected the scoreline is versus the quality / reputation of the opposition and the football you actually played. Sometimes you can be delighted at 0-0, at other times, if you've scraped a 2-0 lead with very few chances against a poor team, warning the team against complacency is required. React to what you think should have happened, not the scoreline.

11: Never stop learning. I recently worked out why my pass into space strategy wasn't working when I employed an attacking staretgy. Watching through the match after a dour 0-0, it became obvious to me that everyone was rushing so far forward, that my main deep creators were my BWM and FB/S. Not ideal. However, with a less aggressive strategy, my main deep creators were my AP and W/S, which was what I wanted. Hence, I abandoned the attacking strategy and played on the counter as a standard approach, changing my roles and shouts if I ever decided to play more aggressively (usually because of the weather / pitch conditions).

12: Finally, if you get stuck and frustrated, rather than posting in GD to complain, come to visit the tactics forum and explain your problem. As long as you are clear and detailed, then it is very unusual for us not to be able to help.

Good luck and play well. Remember, we are here to help. We all want you to enjoy FM13 as much as we are.

Please read: An FM13 Success Story

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I applaud your efforts in trying so hard to help out the average player struggling with the ME..

2: Unless you are 100% sure you know what each and every slider does and how they interact, abandon them. Don't manually tweak a single setting. Embrace the TC (at least in the short term). Only use the playmaker and target man checkboxes to specify them and the TM's supply type (should you wish to).

I think this is one of the biggest problems, theres far too much confusion surrounding the sliders.

Yeah, obviously, you set your to short and the player is far away he will have to launch it.

Then its the explanations.. direct, attacking, whole pitch, its not even true describtion of what will happen.

I've been playing this game for years and I dont think I 100% fully understand, despite reading the explanations that I dont want to have to read.

Basically its a case of putting this slider here and that slider there and that will cause this, instead of why it cause that, so you never understand the true effects each notch have.

Its a problem real managers dont have to face. Even fergie would struggle to get his team to play the way he wants on FM.. Its not always just about being a bad manager that causes bad tactics. Just having a problem trying to translate it on the football pitch. Maybe is about time they came up with a simpler way to get your players to do what you want too.

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Edit: Just so people can understand this post, I was replying to a query by the previous poster about, if the sliders were so difficult to understand, why hadn't SI introduced a better way of making tactics. He since edited that out of his post.

They have. The TC. Forget the sliders even exist and use the TC concepts and descriptions. You never, ever need to look at a slider should you not want to.

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They have. The TC. Forget the sliders even exist and use the TC concepts and descriptions. You never, ever need to look at a slider should you not want to.

I want too, or should I say I have too.. or I will have even less chance of getting my players to do what I want them 2.

I find its more a trial and error than any sort of science behind it. Thats wrong.. hmm, try one notch down.. ohh, thats worse 2 notches up.. nah, better put it back the way I had it.. :)

You cant ignore the sliders or you sacrifice most of the control.

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Great post!

I have before fm13 always relied on downloaded tactics but with this game for the first time I decided I wanted to learn and started reading up alot in the tactics forum. I'm starting to get a basic grasp of how a tactic should work and have been successfull at making my own tactic for the first time ever.

With alot of trial and error I have as you say in point 11 noticed that my team works alot better with a counter attack rather then an all out attacking that I have been more inclined to use before.

I still have alot to learn though and the one big thing I havent even started looking at yet is shouts. I do want to learn and I plan too look into them but the task look quite daunting with all the changes they can make.

Bottom line is I truly enjoy fm13 and have as of yet not had any major problem with it. Ofcourse its not perfect but I create a decent amount of shots, dont get any more injuries then normal after adjusting my pressing/tackling after last patch (as in no need to overdo it anymore as before the patch, default/normal settings are more then enough) and my tactic still works great with no real changes since release beside small tinkering from me getting better at understanding how the options work.

All in all I'm happy with the game even if it could use some fixes here and there ofcourse

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I want too, or should I say I have too.. or I will have even less chance of getting my players to do what I want them 2.

I find its more a trial and error than any sort of science behind it. Thats wrong.. hmm, try one notch down.. ohh, thats worse 2 notches up.. nah, better put it back the way I had it.. :)

You cant ignore the sliders or you sacrifice most of the control.

See Point One. You are trying to play the ME, not virtual football. If you tweak sliders to the point you have worked out the micro settings to ensure your players are always in the best position relevant to the current ME, everything will have to be thrown away if the next ME has slightly more aggressive pressing, or slightly decreased tackling, or whatever.

If you trust the concepts and take a few losses on the chin when learning how to best employ them, you will soon develop a system that is logical, coherent and successful in any ME.

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I recall you (wwfan) stating that a manager's tactical instructions have to be logical and not consist of contradictory player or team instructions, so is there currently a simple way for a player to find out if he's issuing such instructions or creating confused tactics? For instance, would it be possible to implement a kind of feedback system that allows for your assistant or other coaches to inform you of possible flaws or mistakes in the tactics you've created? The accuracy of their analysis re. your chosen tactics, slider positions and player/team instructions would be contingent on their own abilities and personality attributes.

Because although I'm sure you're guide here will be appreciated by those who take the time to read it in its entirety there will be people who play the game but don't visit this site or have the ability to read English, and therefore the implementation of an enlightening feedback system within the game itself could aid in their in-game success and lessen the number of comments concerning the difficulties some people encounter in creating their own tactics.

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See Point One. You are trying to play the ME, not virtual football. If you tweak sliders to the point you have worked out the micro settings to ensure your players are always in the best position relevant to the current ME, everything will have to be thrown away if the next ME has slightly more aggressive pressing, or slightly decreased tackling, or whatever.

If you trust the concepts and take a few losses on the chin when learning how to best employ them, you will soon develop a system that is logical, coherent and successful in any ME.

No I'm not. I'm just trying to get a basic vision of my standard set up to translate on the pitch.

I want my wing backs to play less defensive than my centre backs, I want my AMC to play less defensively than my DMC, I want my wingers to get forward to how far I want them forward..

See like FM10 (maybe fm11) I wanted a DMC, but it was crazy, he was further back than my DCs.. reguardless of sliders. My AMC was like a DMC. Got beat week on week. Moved DMC to MC and start getting back to back promotions..

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I recall you (wwfan) stating that a manager's tactical instructions have to be logical and not consist of contradictory player or team instructions, so is there currently a simple way for a player to find out if he's issuing such instructions or creating confused tactics? For instance, would it be possible to implement a kind of feedback system that allows for your assistant or other coaches to inform you of possible flaws or mistakes in the tactics you've created? The accuracy of their analysis re. your chosen tactics, slider positions and player/team instructions would be contingent on their own abilities and personality attributes.

Because although I'm sure you're guide here will be appreciated by those who take the time to read it in its entirety there will be people who play the game but don't visit this site or have the ability to read English, and therefore the implementation of an enlightening feedback system within the game itself could aid in their in-game success and lessen the number of comments concerning the difficulties some people encounter in creating their own tactics.

Would be great if the AI could become sophisticated enough to do this. Big job though.

I wouldn't worry about the "not visiting the site" or "reading English". Most of my guides (large or mini) get reposted in other forums and translated into many languages, often very quickly. I'd absolutely encourage those regularly frequenting other FM fansites to repost this in their forums. No need to contact me for permission.

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No I'm not. I'm just trying to get a basic vision of my standard set up to translate on the pitch.

I want my wing backs to play less defensive than my centre backs, I want my AMC to play less defensively than my DMC, I want my wingers to get forward to how far I want them forward..

See like FM10 (maybe fm11) I wanted a DMC, but it was crazy, he was further back than my DCs.. reguardless of sliders. My AMC was like a DMC. Got beat week on week. Moved DMC to MC and start getting back to back promotions..

Unfortunately, this guide won't help if you don't address point one. As Morpheus once said to Neo, I can only show you the door.

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Great post wwfan, and real hope this became a sticky!

On the sliders subjects, i think sometimes we need to tweak them. For example, the closing down slider. Let's say i want that my defend and midfield stand down a little bit, but still want that my attack keep closing down like mad dogs. It's very hard (impossible) to do this with shouts.

I think that in some cases we need to tweak the sliders, and when those situations happen... the truth is... many times we (the users, myself included) dont know what they mean. One very explicit example for you:

If we set one wingback with a attack role we will get the creative freedom push to "much". My first reaction when i see this is..."Man, i better reduce this, because i dont want my wingback doing crazy **** at the edge of my box"

Many of the confusion in the tactic forum and in the GD forum is related with people dont knowing how the TC works. Everybody knows what closing down means, or what i high defensive line means... but do they know what it means if they set a high D-line with a narrow width? Or if they set a low D-line with very high closing down? I think many people dont know.

This why i think the game lacks a good tutorial. Perhaps with some videos or even standard tactics samples to explain basic tactics, basic player roles.

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Great post wwfan, and real hope this became a sticky!

On the sliders subjects, i think sometimes we need to tweak them. For example, the closing down slider. Let's say i want that my defend and midfield stand down a little bit, but still want that my attack keep closing down like mad dogs. It's very hard (impossible) to do this with shouts.

I think that in some cases we need to tweak the sliders, and when those situations happen... the truth is... many times we (the users, myself included) dont know what they mean. One very explicit example for you:

If we set one wingback with a attack role we will get the creative freedom push to "much". My first reaction when i see this is..."Man, i better reduce this, because i dont want my wingback doing crazy **** at the edge of my box"

Many of the confusion in the tactic forum and in the GD forum is related with people dont knowing how the TC works. Everybody knows what closing down means, or what i high defensive line means... but do they know what it means if they set a high D-line with a narrow width? Or if they set a low D-line with very high closing down? I think many people dont know.

This why i think the game lacks a good tutorial. Perhaps with some videos or even standard tactics samples to explain basic tactics, basic player roles.

It's fine to tweak sliders if you are sure you know what you are doing. Of course, to get your attack to close down like mad dogs, you could also choose the 'defensive forward/winger' roles. You also have to realise that this might expose your midfield if the attackers are bypassed high up the pitch.

My advice would be to forget sliders exist in the short-term. Don't worry about such abstract concepts as creative freedom and mentality. Trust the TC interpretation. Just think about what you'd do in reality. If you wanted to aggressively press, then it would make sense to reduce space as well, hence a high pressing adjustment can be supported by the push up and play narrower shouts. If you dropped very deep and pressed very heavily in reality, all kinds of spaces would open up and you'd get ripped apart. Same in FM.

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It's fine to tweak sliders if you are sure you know what you are doing. Of course, to get your attack to close down like mad dogs, you could also choose the 'defensive forward/winger' roles. You also have to realise that this might expose your midfield if the attackers are bypassed high up the pitch.

My advice would be to forget sliders exist in the short-term. Don't worry about such abstract concepts as creative freedom and mentality. Trust the TC interpretation. Just think about what you'd do in reality. If you wanted to aggressively press, then it would make sense to reduce space as well, hence a high pressing adjustment can be supported by the push up and play narrower shouts. If you dropped very deep and pressed very heavily in reality, all kinds of spaces would open up and you'd get ripped apart. Same in FM.

Is it fair to say though that tweaking sliders can be our way of directing players as we would in reality?

For instance, decreasing creative freedom for specific players who constantly make poor decisions when left to themselves, or as you said, asking attackers to close down more without requesting they work as defensive wingers/forwards.

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Is it fair to say though that tweaking sliders can be our way of directing players as we would in reality?

For instance, decreasing creative freedom for specific players who constantly make poor decisions when left to themselves, or as you said, asking attackers to close down more without requesting they work as defensive wingers/forwards.

Yes, but you need to be careful. Manually setting sliders overrides elements of the shouts, which reduces tactical dynamism. Extreme settings can also expose your team.

Personally, I think the risk will outweigh the reward unless you are clear in your mind exactly why you are doing this. If in doubt, then leave well alone.

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Would anyone be able to give information on each slider?

Forget about them. It would take me 10,000+ words to explain them all to you. You really don't need to know anything about them to do well in FM.

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Forget about them. It would take me 10,000+ words to explain them all to you. You really don't need to know anything about them to do well in FM.

They shouldnt be in the game then.. they obviously over complicate it if it takes that much explanation. And why should anybody have to ignore a feature of the game just because it cant be understood by the average player.

You cant get the same effct using the TC as you can with the sliders. It could be the difference between winning the league and getting relagated or mid table.. So you cant just ignore them.

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They shouldnt be in the game then.. they obviously over complicate it if it takes that much explanation. And why should anybody have to ignore a feature of the game just because it cant be understood by the average player.

You cant get the same effct using the TC as you can with the sliders. It could be the difference between winning the league and getting relagated or mid table.. So you cant just ignore them.

They are tools. The TC offers concepts. The TC needs the tools, but the user doesn't.

Going to go for a Kriss-friendly car analogy. Although most people know how to drive a car, very few people can make one. If you use the sliders, you are making a car. That's fine if you know what you are doing. If you don't, then the car is likely to be a rickety, rusty pile of junk. It sometimes gets you from A to B, but you can't rely on it as it often goes wrong or breaks down. If you use the TC, all you have to do is learn to drive.

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But, dont you think that, if the sliders are in the game then they should be well explained? Because the truth is.... at this moment it would be best if they were removed because it's something that the large majoraty of the people dont know how to use it and just gets everybody confused! :lol:

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They are tools. The TC offers concepts. The TC needs the tools, but the user doesn't.

Going to go for a Kriss-friendly car analogy. Although most people know how to drive a car, very few people can make one. If you use the sliders, you are making a car. That's fine if you know what you are doing. If you don't, then the car is likely to be a rickety, rusty pile of junk. It sometimes gets you from A to B, but you can't rely on it as it often goes wrong or breaks down. If you use the TC, all you have to do is learn to drive.

But in that analogy the aim of the game is to make the car. The drivers would be the players.. So you need to understand the sliders.. If the aim of the game is to make a car then you need to know what the sliders do. huh?? :confused:

I mess with the sliders. trial and error basically, like I always do.. until I win the prem with bromley. I probably do sort of understand them more than probably the average player, but I should do the amount of years Ive been messing with them.

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But, dont you think that, if the sliders are in the game then they should be well explained? Because the truth is.... at this moment it would be best if they were removed because it's something that the large majoraty of the people dont know how to use it and just gets everybody confused! :lol:

It's very difficult to explain them quickly and easily. I'd have no issue with them being removed, but that's not my call.

But in that analogy the aim of the game is to make the car. The drivers would be the players.. So you need to understand the sliders.. If the aim of the game is to make a car then you need to know what the sliders do. huh?? :confused:

I mess with the sliders. trial and error basically, like I always do.. until I win the prem with bromley. I probably do sort of understand them more than probably the average player, but I should do the amount of years Ive been messing with them.

No, the analogy is to learn to drive your car as well as you possibly can, unless you are sure you know how to make one.

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Forget about them. It would take me 10,000+ words to explain them all to you. You really don't need to know anything about them to do well in FM.

I wouldn't mind reading 10,000 words if anyone would take the time to write them. Even then I probably wouldn't use the sliders, but I'm curious either way.

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Great thread, although I think you have neglected an important point. Building a tactic is one thing, having the players to orchestrate this tactic is another. There is not much point in wanting to play deep, counter attacking football with slow wingers.. or a slower, more controlled style with midfielders who have no composure or poor passing abilities. I play as Arsenal, a team who in FM13 barely know each other. I prefer to play a really controlled style of football with 5 midfielders - which I found really difficult as I was asking the players to play outside of their capabilities both position wise, and technically. I relied on a much more rigid set up in my first season, allowing the players to gain some cohesion, focusing on their strengths and maintaining a tight defence. This is not the way I like my team to play, but it was the way to grind out results. I don't envisage I will be able to play the way I really want to until about season 3-4 when I can accumulate the type of players necessary to carry out my vision. I really have no idea why people download other players tactics. Unless you are both playing as Chelsea and have the exact same squads, it is suicide. Take notice of what your players are good at, and build a tactic that suits them - then implement everything in this thread, which to be honest, is bloody informative!

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I wouldn't mind reading 10,000 words if anyone would take the time to write them. Even then I probably wouldn't use the sliders, but I'm curious either way.

Google Tactical Theorems and Frameworks 09 for a breakdown of the sliders and Tactical Theorems and Frameworks 10 for a breakdown of the TC.

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Good read. One question though - is the "lone striker should be on a support mentality" a blanket rule, or just a recommendation?

I ask as I currently play a lone striker as an advanced forward, where attack is the only mentality available, but he is flanked by two wingers in the AML/R (one attack, one support) and an advanced playmaker (support) in a CM position. He still gets into good spots and gets his 20-30 goals, but I wonder if I am not getting the most out of him.

If I was to switch him to a support duty, would he still weigh in with enough goals to justify playing a lone striker, or will it make my wingers more important in terms of being a goals outlet?

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Great thread, although I think you have neglected an important point. Building a tactic is one thing, having the players to orchestrate this tactic is another. There is not much point in wanting to play deep, counter attacking football with slow wingers.. or a slower, more controlled style with midfielders who have no composure or poor passing abilities. I play as Arsenal, a team who in FM13 barely know each other. I prefer to play a really controlled style of football with 5 midfielders - which I found really difficult as I was asking the players to play outside of their capabilities both position wise, and technically. I relied on a much more rigid set up in my first season, allowing the players to gain some cohesion, focusing on their strengths and maintaining a tight defence. This is not the way I like my team to play, but it was the way to grind out results. I don't envisage I will be able to play the way I really want to until about season 3-4 when I can accumulate the type of players necessary to carry out my vision. I really have no idea why people download other players tactics. Unless you are both playing as Chelsea and have the exact same squads, it is suicide. Take notice of what your players are good at, and build a tactic that suits them - then implement everything in this thread, which to be honest, is bloody informative!

I thought points 4, 5 & 6 sort of covered this, but it is a point well made.

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Good read. One question though - is the "lone striker should be on a support mentality" a blanket rule, or just a recommendation?

I ask as I currently play a lone striker as an advanced forward, where attack is the only mentality available, but he is flanked by two wingers in the AML/R (one attack, one support) and an advanced playmaker (support) in a CM position. He still gets into good spots and gets his 20-30 goals, but I wonder if I am not getting the most out of him.

If I was to switch him to a support duty, would he still weigh in with enough goals to justify playing a long striker, or will it make my wingers more important in terms of being a goals outlet?

With the right system and the right player, you should be able to get good performances out of a lone AF, because he drifts to the flanks and gets involved, at least to a degree, in build up play. So, as long as you are secure in how you are supporting his movement, then it should work fine. However, the limited movement patterns of a poacher and TM make it very difficult to be successful with them in lone FC formations.

A lone Support Duty FC will still score goals. He'll also create space and chances for others, meaning if he goes on a dry spell, your team will still be able to score.

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4: Focus on roles and duties in the TC. Make sure you have one Attack duty in defence, one Attack and one Defend in midfield, and one Support in attack (especially if you have a lone FC). Make sure you have at least one no-nonsense, hard-working midfielder role. If you want to use a PM, will he be in the best position to hurt players, or will your approach see him isolated (see point eleven).

So given that they minimize the effect of individual roles and duties, do "Fluid" and "Very Fluid" philosophies have any place in FM13? It seems to me that effective representation of "Fluid" and "Very Fluid" tactics (the real life tactics) would require an option for automatic role/duty switching between players, similar to the current option for players to alternate positions during the match. After all, real "fluid" and "very fluid" tactics do involve players taking up specific and very distinct roles and duties (as you advise all players do here), but their "fluidity" manifests in the ability of players to exchange roles/duties as the situation demands. Can we expect SI to change how the TC represents these real life tactics in future?

Finally, if even experienced players are now expected to stick to the TC, are there any plans to expand the selection of roles available? Personally, one of the main reasons I adjust individual settings is to represent player types that aren't offered among the TC roles.

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So given that they minimize the effect of individual roles and duties, do "Fluid" and "Very Fluid" philosophies have any place in FM13? It seems to me that effective representation of "Fluid" and "Very Fluid" tactics (the real life tactics) would require an option for automatic role/duty switching between players, similar to the current option for players to alternate positions during the match. After all, real "fluid" and "very fluid" tactics do involve players taking up specific and very distinct roles and duties (as you advise all players do here), but their "fluidity" manifests in the ability of players to exchange roles/duties as the situation demands. Can we expect SI to change how the TC represents these real life tactics in future?

Finally, if even experienced players are now expected to stick to the TC, are there any plans to expand the selection of roles available?

When we were researching the TC, we looked at the various tactical schools of thought in world football. In the end, we used the Jonathan Wilson 'generalist' v 'specialist' distinction. The specialists are represented by the more rigid end of the spectrum. These tactics best suit the highly specialised roles, such as playmakers, box to box MCs, complete forwards, poachers etc. The more fluid end would support more generic roles, such as wide midfielder, central midfielder, deep lying forward, advanced forward etc.

I'd love there to be more roles.

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It's very difficult to explain them quickly and easily. I'd have no issue with them being removed, but that's not my call.

Interesting, but it wouldn't be a smart move, it would spoil the game a lot.

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There seems to have been a bit of negativity in relation to this thread across the scene. I'll quickly try to clear it up.

1: Firstly, I accept there are bugs. I am only looking at ensuring you can play in a manner that helps determine between genuine bugs and bad football caused by poor tactical settings.

2: I am not saying you can't use the classic slider system. I am only saying you shouldn't use it unless you are clear how each slider works and how they interact. If you are absolutely sure you know what you are doing, fire away. If you are randomly fiddling or deliberately trying to get an exploiting advantage, please don't come back and complain that the football your team produces is rubbish or the next ME stops your tactic from working. We can predict that already, which is the point of having a thread like this.

3: I am not trying to promote Tactical Theorems and Frameworks. However, Tactical Theorems '10 was written in conjunction with the development of the TC and is, as such, an unofficial guidebook to its mechanics, endorsed by Ov Collyer. If you want to read a 17,000 word book on it, then by all means Google and download it. However, the 12 points above should cover 90% of the actual playing advice.

4: I'm deliberately rather than subconsciously comparing playing FM to Alcoholics Anonymous. As the context section makes clear, in 2005 I was in exactly the same position as everyone going crazy-frustrated with the current ME. I couldn't get anything to work, nothing I previously knew about the game made any difference, and I was tearing my hair out, rage-quitting and yelling at my little dots. I solved this by accepting that my knowledge was to blame, not the ME. Once I did, my mind cleared and I worked out how to play the game again. The FM scene is littered with false myths about the AI cracking tactics or the ME knowing which team the user is and punishing it because the tactic is too good, bad slider theories and micro-tweaking super-tactics that only work because they exploit the ME. If you want to really, really become good at FM, then you need to avoid this stuff. Yes, it is a quick fix, but it won't keep you going through every ME change in every FM. The above methodology will.

As I said in my OP, I'm only trying to be helpful. I don't want to upset or alienate people. However, I am battling against a plethora of false myth, bad theory and micro-tweaking methodologies that have actually hindered people from getting to grips with the fundamentals of FM, which are far, far simpler than they believe. I don't know how to write an explanatory guide without making it clear that I think these theories and ideas are bad and promote false knowledge, which means I am going against marketing lore and saying, "yes, in this instance, you, the customer, is wrong". I'm also getting very close to telling people that they don't understand football as well as they think they do, which tends not to go down very well. That doesn't mean that people following these theories and methods won't succeed, in the short-term at least, only that they'll enter into a repeating cycle of anger, frustration and negative emotionality. Which is what I want them to avoid. Hence, the AA reference.

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Hi wwfan, you mentioned not to mess with the sliders unless you know what it means and its impact. That is how I play as well, however:

My AMR winger attempts too much through ball on support duty where as attack duty have him attempt less through ball. He can cross and dribble, I want him to do just that. His passing stats are horrible and his pass completion rate drops to 50% when on support duty vs attack duty.

My AML is a terrific 5 star players who is probably among the best IF on attack in the world and would be a waste to have him on support and not directly attacking.

My question is do you recommend my winger stay on attack function so he doesn't attempt through ball as often, or should I manually change the try through ball slider and keep him on support?

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Here's my honest feedback. Had the crappiest season playing Arsenal so far, Only won about sixty percent of my games but the squad looked good when it played well, we just lacked consistency. Started applying your insights towards the end of the season last night with about ten games to go.

End of the season we've pulled ourselves from a hopeless 7th to a 4th fighting for 3rd, and we've just raised the Champions League trophy after a win against Bayern at Wembley.

Couldn't be happier really as I've taken your simple advice and made it my own. Sticky this thread!

*Just had to add that the most enjoyable part is seeing logical tactics in action. I play a lone striker and I know you've advised wariness when using this tactic, but my DLF in Giroud sets up my inside forwards so well that i'm enoying the formations play. Also having one of my midfielders on attack has done wonders. The space created by Wilshere bombing forward from midfield has allowed Mikel arteta the space and freedom to get off some excellent passes and long shots - this I may add is something being constantly whined about in the feedback thread (Lack of long shot potency)

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Hi wwfan, you mentioned not to mess with the sliders unless you know what it means and its impact. That is how I play as well, however:

My AMR winger attempts too much through ball on support duty where as attack duty have him attempt less through ball. He can cross and dribble, I want him to do just that. His passing stats are horrible and his pass completion rate drops to 50% when on support duty vs attack duty.

My AML is a terrific 5 star players who is probably among the best IF on attack in the world and would be a waste to have him on support and not directly attacking.

My question is do you recommend my winger stay on attack function so he doesn't attempt through ball as often, or should I manually change the try through ball slider and keep him on support?

I'm not adverse to changing an individual slider (RWB, TTB, LS, CB, CF) if it helps get a player to perform. Nowhere near as risky as fiddling around with team sliders. Just try not to do it for too many players as it can upset the passing coherence in a tactic.

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Here's my honest feedback. Had the crappiest season playing Arsenal so far, Only won about sixty percent of my games but the squad looked good when it played well, we just lacked consistency. Started applying your insights towards the end of the season last night with about ten games to go.

End of the season we've pulled ourselves from a hopeless 7th to a 4th fighting for 3rd, and we've just raised the Champions League trophy after a win against Bayern at Wembley.

Couldn't be happier really as I've taken your simple advice and made it my own. Sticky this thread!

Congrats. How does the football and ME look?

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Congrats. How does the football and ME look?

*Just had to add that the most enjoyable part is seeing logical tactics in action. I play a lone striker and I know you've advised wariness when using this tactic, but my DLF in Giroud sets up my inside forwards so well that i'm enoying the formations play. Also having one of my midfielders on attack has done wonders. The space created by Wilshere bombing forward from midfield has allowed Mikel arteta the space and freedom to get off some excellent passes and long shots - this I may add is something being constantly whined about in the feedback thread (Lack of long shot potency)

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*Just had to add that the most enjoyable part is seeing logical tactics in action. I play a lone striker and I know you've advised wariness when using this tactic, but my DLF in Giroud sets up my inside forwards so well that i'm enoying the formations play. Also having one of my midfielders on attack has done wonders. The space created by Wilshere bombing forward from midfield has allowed Mikel arteta the space and freedom to get off some excellent passes and long shots - this I may add is something being constantly whined about in the feedback thread (Lack of long shot potency)

Happy to hear it. DLF is fine as a lone forward. I prefer Support, but the Attack duty won't be horrible. On either, you should see him opening up central space for the IFs and MC/A to move into. That won't happen with some of the higher line roles.

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Happy to hear it. DLF is fine as a lone forward. I prefer Support, but the Attack duty won't be horrible. On either, you should see him opening up central space for the IFs and MC/A to move into. That won't happen with some of the higher line roles.

Yeah. I play him on support. I still struggle sometimes with through balls catching my defense off guard and the fact that my team struggles to get the ball off of the opposition. I knew this would be a problem though because like you suggested I checked out my team comparison states and we're rated 17th at tackling in the midfield. I'm going to try and bring in a Fellaini or Yann M'vila type player to bolster our ability to win possession back and that might knock on and stop the opposition being in a position where they can launch those defense splitting balls.

It is easy to see how this engine might frustrated people. If you've set up your tactic in such a way that you maintain possession but don't make any quality chances you're bound to get hit on the counter and the only way the engine can communicate this is by giving your opposition two or three goals off two or three chances. This looks unfair in the stats but to be honest you always seem to be asking for it when you watch the engine in play.

What I'd like to see, and wwfan you may disagree here, is more mistakes from lesser teams and players. I think that when an inferior team picks a counter attacking strategy they have a slightly better chance of having one of those games where they can't put a foot wrong. It never appears completely unrealistic, but I think it may alleviate some of the vicious and punishing counter attacking we're seeing in the engine right now.

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Forget the sliders even exist and use the TC concepts and descriptions. You never, ever need to look at a slider should you not want to.

I occasionally move the defensive line up or drop deeper, depending on certain circumstances obviously, but that is the only slider I've used so far in FM13 beyond setting up my initial playing style.

There are countless sliders "below" the players (if that is the correct way to say it?) on the main tactical overview screen that I have never once fiddled with, and I'm having huge success so far.

Managing Liverpool, I'm 10 points clear with 30 matches played. I watch comprehensive highlights and use shouts to change my tactical approach, also changing style and strategy as I see fit (but not "willy nilly").

Cannot recommend strongly enough that people keep it simple as far as instructions are concerned. If an amateur like me can be this successful (so far!), anyone can :D

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What I'd like to see, and wwfan you may disagree here, is more mistakes from lesser teams and players. I think that when an inferior team picks a counter attacking strategy they have a slightly better chance of having one of those games where they can't put a foot wrong. It never appears completely unrealistic, but I think it may alleviate some of the vicious and punishing counter attacking we're seeing in the engine right now.

Interesting point. I think it depends on how well the aggressive tactic uses space. If it uses it well, then I'd expect it to stretch the defence enough to force a few mistakes and punish them. If it doesn't (and I've been guilty of this, as point 11 illustrates) then the deeper team probably should hold out easily. If the aggressive tactic then overcommits to compensate, I think I'd expect it to be very vulnerable to the counter.

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I occasionally move the defensive line up or drop deeper, depending on certain circumstances obviously, but that is the only slider I've used so far in FM13 beyond setting up my initial playing style.

There are countless sliders "below" the players (if that is the correct way to say it?) on the main tactical overview screen that I have never once fiddled with, and I'm having huge success so far.

Managing Liverpool, I'm 10 points clear with 30 matches played. I watch comprehensive highlights and use shouts to change my tactical approach, also changing style and strategy as I see fit (but not "willy nilly").

Cannot recommend strongly enough that people keep it simple as far as instructions are concerned. If an amateur like me can be this successful (so far!), anyone can :D

Those stats are amazing because Liverpool really struggled in my game, maybe if I'd applied the logic laid out here earlier I would have been winning the league too.

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Interesting point. I think it depends on how well the aggressive tactic uses space. If it uses it well, then I'd expect it to stretch the defence enough to force a few mistakes and punish them. If it doesn't (and I've been guilty of this, as point 11 illustrates) then the deeper team probably should hold out easily. If the aggressive tactic then overcommits to compensate, I think I'd expect it to be very vulnerable to the counter.

Absolutely and I think that is the challenge in this engine, effectively attacking while ensuring that you're not shot down on the counter but that keeps the player on his toes and I can no longer skim through games once I have my tactic sorted like I used to in FM12. All in all, I've come to see the steps taken forward here.

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They shouldnt be in the game then.. they obviously over complicate it if it takes that much explanation. And why should anybody have to ignore a feature of the game just because it cant be understood by the average player.

You cant get the same effct using the TC as you can with the sliders. It could be the difference between winning the league and getting relagated or mid table.. So you cant just ignore them.

I'm still waiting for the day, the sooner the better, that SI abandon all sliders in the game. None of them are needed.

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nah Ackter actually this is wrong... The sliders are perfectly for pros, if you want to have a whole new community, your way is the way to go for newbies. But we all learned it that way, and I think many of the "oldschoolers" wouldn't change that game against an EA FIFA Manager. Cause that is the way you are going into.

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I'd say that 1% of you, if you're lucky, actually learned to use the sliders.

The other 99% randomly move things, see what happens, and then think they know what's just happened and why.

"old-school" means people too stubborn to try new things tbh.

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Absolutely and I think that is the challenge in this engine, effectively attacking while ensuring that you're not shot down on the counter but that keeps the player on his toes and I can no longer skim through games once I have my tactic sorted like I used to in FM12. All in all, I've come to see the steps taken forward here.

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/330655-4-2-4-with-2-striker-2-wingers-Did-anybody-try-it-Does-it-work

One of my favourite threads as it illustrates that ultra direct and attacking tactics also work well in the ME.

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I'd say that 1% of you, if you're lucky, actually learned to use the sliders.

The other 99% randomly move things, see what happens, and then think they know what's just happened and why.

"old-school" means people too stubborn to try new things tbh.

And people think I'm direct!!

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