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A Twelve Step Guide towards Playing FM13 & Understanding the ME

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Pretty sure the AI uses the TC, based on the formations set by researchers?

I would not imagine so as the sliders are still programmed into the system and thus still used,The TC has not taken over so the ME still uses the sliders.

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Pretty sure the AI uses the TC, based on the formations set by researchers?

As far as I can tell, researchers assign tactical attributes which correspond to classic slider settings. These are combined with one of four "preferred formations" each of which has unmodifiable individual instructions (wide play, forward runs, etc.). From here, the AI appears to make universal mentality adjustments for strategy changes as well as various shouts.

Managers who don't have assigned attributes and newgen managers just have their tactical attributes generated randomly which can lead to totally incoherent tactics (and is one more reason why the game gets progressively easier as newgens replace real players and staff).

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For example, I think Barca should play between Very Rigid and Balanced, defaulting to a Counter strategy (won't go into the reasons. There's a thread in the Tactics Forum that explains.). I don't think the AI interprets things that way.

Would you mind pointing me to this thread please? I've been looking for it but can't seam to find it :(

Thanks!

EDIT: NVM, found it! Was looking at the Tactics Sharing forums and not the discussion one...

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Managers who don't have assigned attributes and newgen managers just have their tactical attributes generated randomly which can lead to totally incoherent tactics (and is one more reason why the game gets progressively easier as newgens replace real players and staff).

I'm not doubting your word, but you have evidence of this? Because, if this is true... then this could be the BIG explanation why the game gets easier after 3 or 4 seasons

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I would not imagine so as the sliders are still programmed into the system and thus still used,The TC has not taken over so the ME still uses the sliders.

The AI only uses the TC and has used it exclusively since FM10. Researcher info is interpreted into TC settings.

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The AI only uses the TC and has used it exclusively since FM10. Researcher info is interpreted into TC settings.

Then why do researchers (and the editor) still use the old tactical attribute settings instead of just assigning TC settings? You're also capable of changing the AI tactics with the old tactical attributes (which correspond to classic sliders). You're also not capable of telling the AI to do things like using inverted wingers.

I'm not doubting your word, but you have evidence of this? Because, if this is true... then this could be the BIG explanation why the game gets easier after 3 or 4 seasons

It's not really some big secret. Newgen tactical attributes use a national template as a baseline with each individual attribute having a randomized deviation (which can be quite large... inevitably leading to some weird settings as there are over a dozen individual attributes, each of which is randomized to a significant degree). The templates + random deviation also leads to newgen managers from certain nations having a high number of managers with tactical settings at the furthest extremes. English newgen managers, for example, often have 20 Directness and 1 Creative Freedom. You can see this in their manager profile as most of them will have "Long" passing style and "Very Cautious" playing style.

The four preferred formations are also random to some degree which can lead to some strange decision making by AI managers. For example, it's not uncommon for newgen managers to have something like "433" as their preferred formation but then use "442" as their attacking formation even if it means playing some of their key players out of position.

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Then why do researchers (and the editor) still use the old tactical attribute settings instead of just assigning TC settings? You're also capable of changing the AI tactics with the old tactical attributes (which correspond to classic sliders). You're also not capable of telling the AI to do things like using inverted wingers.

Some elements relate to manager attributes and research data being interpreted into TC settings. Other elements relate to the type of players he has. It certainly could be better (although it is continually becoming more sophisticated). Nevertheless, that's how it works.

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Some elements relate to manager attributes and research data being interpreted into TC settings. Other elements relate to the type of players he has. It certainly could be better (although it is continually becoming more sophisticated). Nevertheless, that's how it works.

In that case, things are certainly better than I had thought. But there are still many TC settings that don't correspond to any staff attributes. So does the AI actually use different philosophies or does it still just employ universal mentality settings? Does the AI set winger wide play instructions to correspond to their strongest foot?

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In that case, things are certainly better than I had thought. But there are still many TC settings that don't correspond to any staff attributes. So does the AI actually use different philosophies or does it still just employ universal mentality settings? Does the AI set winger wide play instructions to correspond to their strongest foot?

I'm not sure exactly how all the data is interpreted. Paul would have to answer that.

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I'm not sure exactly how all the data is interpreted. Paul would have to answer that.

Thanks for sharing what you know.

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In that case, things are certainly better than I had thought. But there are still many TC settings that don't correspond to any staff attributes. So does the AI actually use different philosophies or does it still just employ universal mentality settings? Does the AI set winger wide play instructions to correspond to their strongest foot?

It certainly uses the different philosophies. Not sure about the wide play instructions.

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It certainly uses the different philosophies. Not sure about the wide play instructions.

Do the researchers know? Because it would make quite a difference if directness "1" means "always uses [shorter] passing in the TC" as opposed to "the lowest possible setting on the passing slider," and much more of a difference if directness "1" has an effect on mentality. Similarly, do things like depth (which doesn't correspond to a TC setting) have any effect at all?

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Do the researchers know? Because it would make quite a difference if directness "1" means "always uses [shorter] passing in the TC" as opposed to "the lowest possible setting on the passing slider," and much more of a difference if directness "1" has an effect on mentality. Similarly, does depth (which doesn't correspond to a TC setting) have any effect at all?

Again, questions for Paul, I'm afraid. I know the TC in and out, not how the AI interprets data into it.

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I would say that City don't employ an attacking system (at least in FM terms). I think they play a more controlled system, in which an AP would prosper.

My best advice about the AP in an attacking system is to try it and watch through a full match. In my team, he gets too far ahead of play and is useless. This might not happen with really good players, or players with the right PPMs, as their movement might prevent it. However, he might also be useless. You'll never know until you've tried. The important thing is knowing what to look out for.

Just when I thought wwfan's legend status couldn't get any more legendary, it does. I had been having trouble getting my AP playmaker to "play well." His season stats were good enough but he did not seem to really fit in with the team while watching the ME. On the basis of this advice, I switched from an attacking system to a control system and BOOM, he becomes the centerpiece of my team's attack, just as I had always wanted him to be.

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this thread is fantastic...I'm still playing FM12, for now, but after reading this, I'm definately thinking harder on dropping the 40 USD for 13. Thanks to wwfan for starting this thread and the dozens of responses that I've read through over and over again!!

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Most of his advice here applies to FM12 as well btw, it's just much more relevant with the new match engine changes introduced in 13.

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Do the researchers know? Because it would make quite a difference if directness "1" means "always uses [shorter] passing in the TC" as opposed to "the lowest possible setting on the passing slider," and much more of a difference if directness "1" has an effect on mentality. Similarly, do things like depth (which doesn't correspond to a TC setting) have any effect at all?

Flamboyancy is philosophy (10 = balanced, 1 very rigide, 18 very fluid, 14, fluid, 5 very rigid, etc...)

Attacking is not diretcly equal to a strategy, it is a biais towards something. If match odds/respective reputation, neutral stadium are all equal, a 10 attacking manager would choose normal as a starting strategy. A 20 attacking manager has a biais towards offensive play, so he may pick control or even attacking. A 1 attacking manager would pick counter or even defensive. It is a "perception biais" when it comes to strategy decision

Depth is contrary do D-Line. The more depth you have, the lower the D-Line would be. But to be fair, I don't know for sure how TC AI take into account collectives slider since it is tied with strategy...But, for what it's worth (almost nothing), I do think they are biais as well when using shouts.

I used to do some research in FM11, I'd just copy it and paste it

Before I go through each team instructions, I shall remind that AI managers tactics are based on TC logic and on its flexiility. So, tactics attributes does not define AI strategy in every game and in every context. For most of tactics attributes, I think a good way to understand them is as tactical tendencies rather than inflexible behaviors. As far as I am aware, AI managers use the full range of the TC and almost the full range of shouts IIRC to fit the context. Attacking attribute is a good example to illustratre my point.

Attacking - How agressive the AI manager is when it comes to strategy call. So, attacking attributes does not equal directly to thementality slider for every games, it is a perception biais towards agressive play. For example, if odds are tight a 1 attacking manager will go for a defensive starting strategy as he is a cautious manager. A 20 attacking manager will go for the offensive option as he is more risk averse.

Flamboyancy - Related to philosophy settings (average creative freedom). A 10 flamboyancy manager will go for a balanced philosophy, Mourinho is a adept of the balanced philosophy for example. A 19 flamboyancy manager will pick a very fluid system, like Wenger and Guardiola. IIRC, Ferguson was inbetween and a "fluid" manager. As far as I am aware, AI manager don't seem to switch around philosophy that much.

I have studied the 2 previous attributes in depth through testing, and I am pretty confident in their meaning. I have not studied thouroughly the other but here is my take from what I have seen.

Directness - Related to the passing setting. The higher the attributes, the more direct will be the passing either or both with team "more or less" option or shouts, based on TC default logic of course.

Pressing - Related to closing down, stand off more or hassle opponent more, the higher the attribute, the less averse is the manager regarding closing down intensity. Once again, if the strategy is "counter" and the pressing attribute is 20, it does not mean average closing down will be 20, it means the AI manager is very likely to use the "close down more" team option, and maybe the "hassle opponent".

Marking - Related to marking system, the higher the more the AI manager has a tendency to use man-marking. So a 1 marking AI manager will use a zonal system most of the time for example.

Width - Related to the width setting, the higher the attribute, the more likely AI manager will play toward a wider game. The thing is I don't know for sure if AI manager take into account pitch size, so it could alter as well default width choice...and the the tendency come into play. I don't know if IA is that developped, but it wouldn't surprised me if it was the case.

Depth - Related to the defensive line, tendency to play a lower defensive line, so the higher the attribute is the lower the defensive line will be. Be careful and keep in mind this is relative to the TC logic. So a depth 20 manager playing an offensive strategy will not play a D-Line of 1, but he will lower his D-Line from the default D-Line value.

Tempo - Related to tempo of course, the higher the attribute, the higher the AI manager will try to play fast tempo game and increase or decrease tempo based on TC logic.

Sitting back - Related to time wasting, represent the tendency of the urgency of play. 10 means a neutral, don't waste time more than necessary but don't rush as well and default time wasting slider is very likely not to be altered. A 1 sitting back manager will always increase the urgency of play (ie decrease time wasting from the default setting), on the contrary a 20 sitting back manager will decrease the urgency of play (increase time wasting from the default setting).

Now are the tricky settings, non team sliders related.

Use of playmaker - Related to the playmaker box. The higher the attribute, the more likely AI manager is to pick one of his player as a playmaker.

Flexibility - A tricky one, but during my testing I have put flexibility to 1 and AI coach seems to keep a unique formation through the whole season of monitoring whereas a 20 seems to adapt more, but it could be pure coincidence as I didn't design a method to investigate this and observations were carried out during other tests. So if I'd have to put a meaning on this, it would be the tendency to divert form preferred formations, 1 being a "442 or nothing manager" for example if he has 442 as a preferred formation. Keep in mind as well, there is other "tendencie" like "trying to fit player into preferred formations IIRC.

Free roles: - Related to the roaming/free role thing. The tendency to play with more or less free role than the TC suggested.

Offside - Tendency to use offside trap, the higher, the more likely. More testing is definitely needed here, could be weird to play offside trap in a defensive strategy for example. So I am not exactly sure what is the impact on offside setting.

End of off topic.

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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.

Sorry in advance if I am being really stupid now, but can you explain your abbreviations (TC, OI, TM etc.)

Thanks

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TC is tactic creator, OI is opposition instructions. The rest are pretty much roles in the tactic creator - Target Man, Ball Winning Midfielder etc.

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Flamboyancy is philosophy (10 = balanced, 1 very rigide, 18 very fluid, 14, fluid, 5 very rigid, etc...)

Attacking is not diretcly equal to a strategy, it is a biais towards something. If match odds/respective reputation, neutral stadium are all equal, a 10 attacking manager would choose normal as a starting strategy. A 20 attacking manager has a biais towards offensive play, so he may pick control or even attacking. A 1 attacking manager would pick counter or even defensive. It is a "perception biais" when it comes to strategy decision

Very useful. Thanks.

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TC is tactic creator, OI is opposition instructions. The rest are pretty much roles in the tactic creator - Target Man, Ball Winning Midfielder etc.

Thanks, very helpful.

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Here's an analysis breakdown of an away match in which my team, Chester, took on one of the strongest teams in the division, Middlesboro. Chester screens on the left, Middlesboro on the right.

Screenshot2012-11-29at103209AM.pngScreenshot2012-11-29at103227AM.png

As you can see, I focused on clearing my lines quickly and trying to gain control of the ball in midfield. I played two reasonably aggressive central midfielders, who, while they weren't technically as good as the Middlesboro midfielders, could give as good as they got physically. I also play more directly down the right than I do the left, which the screenshot perfectly illustrates. I'm extremely happy with the range of passes I'm getting into the area. I have some from both corners of the box, plus a few from central positions. Given I'm sitting back and soaking up pressure, I'm very happy with what I'm seeing.

My high line, narrow width and aggressive pressing, coupled with my decision to start two uncompromising MCs, compresses Middlesboro's passing into the deep centre of the pitch. It is difficult to see from this screen, but neither of their two most creative midfielders ever get to make a dangerous pass. With their possession all cramped into the deep centre and being unable to break into my half, they barely hit a dangerous pass into my area and are restricted into hitting long balls forward for their wingers and striker to chase.

Screenshot2012-11-29at103311AM.pngScreenshot2012-11-29at103252AM.png

As I was sitting back, I wasn't expecting to make many high interceptions. I'm very happy with making the vast majority of them just inside my own half. I'm even more happy that I've only had to make ten inside my own box. Although I didn't score from either of the high intercepts, they were both excellent plays that Middlesboro were lucky to keep out.

In contrast, Middlesboro are having to make their interceptions far deeper, including 15 in the area and many more just outside. The only interceptions they make in my half get immediately snuffed out by my aggressive midfield, meaning I am never in danger of being hurt by quick counters

Screenshot2012-11-29at103328AM.pngScreenshot2012-11-29at103345AM.png

This is where evidence of the plasticity of strategies is most obvious. I played a defensive strategy from beginning to end, whereas Middlesboro were direct and attacking. Yet, as the heat maps show, Middlesboro were under far more pressure during the game. My different flanks strategies are clear. 10, 8, 15 and 14 are far closer together than their opposing numbers on the right, 23, 17, 7, 12. You can clearly see that Middlesboro were trying to put me under more pressure late in the game by looking at my subs positions. 25 is deeper than 7, 3 deeper than 14, and 9 deeper than 23.

In the Middlesboro heatmap, you can see how compressed their midfield triangle was, trapped in their own half and unable to make an attacking contribution. Even their starting striker, 17, is barely getting out of his own half. They pushed forward more at the end, but it was too little too late.

Game ended 2-0 to me. Both goals were very similar, but from opposite sides of the pitch. In both instances, an FC got involved with a passing move on his side of the pitch, freeing up central space for his strike partner to move into. The ball was played into this striker as he moved into the open space. For one goal, he beat his man with a skilful dribble, for the other he did him for pace.

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Here's a very different type of game, in which I was trying to impose myself on weaker opposition at home. Chester screens on the left (me), Bournemouth screens on the right (AI).

Screenshot2012-11-29at112254AM.pngScreenshot2012-11-29at112242AM.png

The different in strategy between this and the Middlesboro game is obvious. I'm no longer clearing my lines at every opportunity, but playing the ball around deep before feeding it up the flanks to my wingers. I have far more passes in the final third, and way more attempts to pass into the box. I'm playing exactly the same passing strategy on both flanks, so the clear difference portrayed in the Middlesboro match is no longer to be seen.

Bournemouth are obviously second best. Their passes are compressed deep in their half, and they are making far less successful ones. They barely try a pass into my area, and most of those are from deep.

Screenshot2012-11-29at112316AM.pngScreenshot2012-11-29at112329AM.png

Four in my own area is fantastic, and I'm very pleased with how much I've pinned them deep. Bournemouth did almost score from the intercept by the number 10 on the far left, where he beat my winger to the ball and got clear of the defence, before crossing to his striker. My 18 your old reserve keeper made one of the best close range saves I've ever seen on any FM ME to keep the shot out. I doubt it would have made a significant difference to the final outcome had he scored.

Screenshot2012-11-29at115515AM.png

This is the best evidence as to why the tactic displayed in the above screenshot isn't very good (a user posted in another forum saying he should have won this match). I am totally dominant. I end up winning 4-0 and Bournemouth were lucky it was that close. Yet, even in such a dominant performance, I've hardly made an intercept past the halfway line. He, however, gives them up all the time.

Screenshot2012-11-29at112214AM.pngScreenshot2012-11-29at112225AM.png

The heatmaps again show my almost total dominance. I'm using a 4-2-4, which is clearly displayed in the map. Bournemouth are using a 4-4-2, which isn't, as they are getting pulled so much out of position trying to cover my attacks.

You can see how much I took the foot off the throttle by the sub positions. Match was won at 75 minutes, so I slowed it all down and sat deeper, as clearly illustrated by the 11 v 14 and 9 v 23 positioning.

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I'd have to refer you to Jonathan Wilson's stuff on deep lying, counter attacking formations for the definition I'm using. He argues that this style of play focuses on retaining possession deep then striking at pace when the interchanges have drawn the opposition out of shape.

You can do that in FM by using the Counter strategy (which has a slow to quick tempo shift as it moves into a counter attack), and employing all the short passing, retain possession instructions to ensure all the core passing moves are possession focused. I think it interprets quite well, although there are some movement patterns missing.

But Barcelona do not retain possession deep. They retain possession in the opponents' half. That is not what I consider "deep".

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But Barcelona do not retain possession deep. They retain possession in the opponents' half. That is not what I consider "deep".

Most of their possession is in the interchanges between players who are deep in their formation. They use 'deep space' well. That deep space might still be high up the pitch.

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Most of their possession is in the interchanges between players who are deep in their formation. They use 'deep space' well. That deep space might still be high up the pitch.

But then players who are deep in their formation are not so because of the team strategy as represented in FM, but rather because of their roles and duties relative to their teammates.

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I am beginning to pinpoint an attacking version of my 5-3-2 tactic. I use the counter strategy but increased closing down greatly and push up. Passing is also shorter. What I don't quite understand is the implementation of Width in relation to this short passing game. With an Attacking mentality Width is Wide, while with a Counter strategy Width is Narrow. But since Mentality affects passing direction and high values make the players aim rather directly forward quickly, there is not much need of creating space the way I see it. I'd say the need of using the width of the pitch is greater with a slow passing game, since the players often choose to pass sideways with a more defensive mentality.

So when attacking, there is a need for my counter-minded attacking strategy to employ the whole width of the pitch. But this contradicts the "sound tactical settings" of the TC.

Also, I understand the need to tighten up space when playing defensively so the Width setting being Narrow on defensive strategies make sense, but this leaves amazing space for their wingers to cross when I don't have double cover on the flanks like you do with your 442. Hence, I usually adjust width even when playing defensively so that the wingbacks is not so out of position in relation to the winger and full back on overlap. Consequently, there is more space for their strikers to move into channels and this creates the space I complain so much about - between the wing-backs and the CDR/L, allowing those passes behind them and a free path to the goal.

Have you tried 5-3-2 tactics and how they are translated from the TC? I feel they are somewhat... -off-

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WWFAN, thank you very much. A very helpful set of advice and guidance. I am looking forward to applying these theory's now the new patch is out, infront of Soccer Saturday on the weekend. Missus is away! Wohoo!!

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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.

This is an amazing suggestion which would actually be worth a thread of its own :thup:

I'm pretty sure that at least certain illogical combinations instructions can be hardcoded to produce an assman recommendation saying that it may not be wise to combine lots of pressing with a deep d-line, for example. Or that the roles and duties in the current tactic may allow for holes between strata.

I'm sure that lots of users with no deeper understanding of tactics who are just not inclined to spend much effort on that would be grateful for being given some assistance and hints why things are not going as they want them to.

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Here's an analysis breakdown of an away match in which my team, Chester, took on one of the strongest teams in the division, Middlesboro. Chester screens on the left, Middlesboro on the right.

Screenshot2012-11-29at103209AM.pngScreenshot2012-11-29at103227AM.png

As you can see, I focused on clearing my lines quickly and trying to gain control of the ball in midfield. I played two reasonably aggressive central midfielders, who, while they weren't technically as good as the Middlesboro midfielders, could give as good as they got physically. I also play more directly down the right than I do the left, which the screenshot perfectly illustrates. I'm extremely happy with the range of passes I'm getting into the area. I have some from both corners of the box, plus a few from central positions. Given I'm sitting back and soaking up pressure, I'm very happy with what I'm seeing.

My high line, narrow width and aggressive pressing, coupled with my decision to start two uncompromising MCs, compresses Middlesboro's passing into the deep centre of the pitch. It is difficult to see from this screen, but neither of their two most creative midfielders ever get to make a dangerous pass. With their possession all cramped into the deep centre and being unable to break into my half, they barely hit a dangerous pass into my area and are restricted into hitting long balls forward for their wingers and striker to chase.

Screenshot2012-11-29at103311AM.pngScreenshot2012-11-29at103252AM.png

As I was sitting back, I wasn't expecting to make many high interceptions. I'm very happy with making the vast majority of them just inside my own half. I'm even more happy that I've only had to make ten inside my own box. Although I didn't score from either of the high intercepts, they were both excellent plays that Middlesboro were lucky to keep out.

In contrast, Middlesboro are having to make their interceptions far deeper, including 15 in the area and many more just outside. The only interceptions they make in my half get immediately snuffed out by my aggressive midfield, meaning I am never in danger of being hurt by quick counters

Screenshot2012-11-29at103328AM.pngScreenshot2012-11-29at103345AM.png

This is where evidence of the plasticity of strategies is most obvious. I played a defensive strategy from beginning to end, whereas Middlesboro were direct and attacking. Yet, as the heat maps show, Middlesboro were under far more pressure during the game. My different flanks strategies are clear. 10, 8, 15 and 14 are far closer together than their opposing numbers on the right, 23, 17, 7, 12. You can clearly see that Middlesboro were trying to put me under more pressure late in the game by looking at my subs positions. 25 is deeper than 7, 3 deeper than 14, and 9 deeper than 23.

In the Middlesboro heatmap, you can see how compressed their midfield triangle was, trapped in their own half and unable to make an attacking contribution. Even their starting striker, 17, is barely getting out of his own half. They pushed forward more at the end, but it was too little too late.

Game ended 2-0 to me. Both goals were very similar, but from opposite sides of the pitch. In both instances, an FC got involved with a passing move on his side of the pitch, freeing up central space for his strike partner to move into. The ball was played into this striker as he moved into the open space. For one goal, he beat his man with a skilful dribble, for the other he did him for pace.

WWFan., Great thread. A few questions on your thinking behind this as im trying to understand.

1. I note in the post after that when you played bornemouth you played 4-2-4 I assume in here you went 4-4-2.

2. Your sitting back soaking up pressure and hitting them on the counter all of which makes sense to me against a stronger team. You do say however you played with a high DL what was your thinking behind that? IMO i would have sat deeper letting them push onto me then countering giving me more space to run into. I can see that having a higher DL means they are attacking from deeper and further away from your box. Also if you win the ball back quicker you have less distance to travel before your attacking. I think i might have just answered my question. With a High line i would fear getting caught with a ball over the top/through ball or a quick hit into space was this a concern?

3. All lot of the things you talk about here High DL, Pressing more, Narrow width, Different passing./movement/attack for the wingers for that game only when did you make these decisions and how pre-game in game what helped you decided that was the way to go?

4. Trying to interpert how you sett up here I would guess you played Rigid/Defensive?

Moving onto the the Game V Bournemouth

1. your playing a different passing style to the Boro game. Was this a decision taken pre match with a change to the tactic or with a shout in game or did it just happen due to players having more time?

2. Did you move to a more fluid/attacking style here or did you still try to keep some balance within the side?

Final question.

Ive been obsessed with trying to get a 4-1-2-1-2 to work. Using your methods here can any tactic be a success or am I wasting my time here? Obviously I appreciate no tactic is gonna work if the players are not right for it.

I've been very stubborn in my approach to FM13 this thread has my mind change that it may not just be the stupid ME errors costing me every game. I can't bring myself to blame the stupid manager in the dugout just yet though :D. But your help has kept me playing over the last few days.

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This is an amazing suggestion which would actually be worth a thread of its own :thup:

I'm pretty sure that at least certain illogical combinations instructions can be hardcoded to produce an assman recommendation saying that it may not be wise to combine lots of pressing with a deep d-line, for example. Or that the roles and duties in the current tactic may allow for holes between strata.

I'm sure that lots of users with no deeper understanding of tactics who are just not inclined to spend much effort on that would be grateful for being given some assistance and hints why things are not going as they want them to.

While I do agree that assman advice would be good here, I wonder if a lot of problems could be solved with an extra step in the tactics creator. The first step could be some kind of 'playing philosophy' question, with options like:

- Play long to a target man

- Get the ball out wide and get crosses in

- possession centric

- Solid at the back and counter attack

And so on. You'd ideally have a lot of options here, maybe with even sample teams (e.g. Possession Centric - Guardiola's Barcelona). Once you'd selected an option, it would then default the subsequent options to a consistent set for that style. So choosing Possession Centric would default to a 433 with lots of DLPs, supporting forwards, ball playing centre halves and with Press More and Shorter Passing on (or whatever a sensible set is for playing like Barca). You'd still be free to modify the settings of course, but it would certainly guide people down the right path to creating a specific playing style. I'm not sure if it would maybe make thing too easy though.

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Tackles are far too frequent and tackling is absolutely overpowered in game currently (13.1.3). Check real life stats at WhoScored?com and compare them to in game numbers since latest patch. My central defenders average above 8 tackles per game (with success rate above 90%) since update and it is very similar in AI vs AI matches. Interception are way off, top defenders in game average above 10 interception per game in league fixtures and above 9 in continental competitions!

What this guys said, tackling is too effective after 13.1.3.

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While I do agree that assman advice would be good here, I wonder if a lot of problems could be solved with an extra step in the tactics creator. The first step could be some kind of 'playing philosophy' question, with options like:

- Play long to a target man

- Get the ball out wide and get crosses in

- possession centric

- Solid at the back and counter attack

And so on. You'd ideally have a lot of options here, maybe with even sample teams (e.g. Possession Centric - Guardiola's Barcelona). Once you'd selected an option, it would then default the subsequent options to a consistent set for that style. So choosing Possession Centric would default to a 433 with lots of DLPs, supporting forwards, ball playing centre halves and with Press More and Shorter Passing on (or whatever a sensible set is for playing like Barca). You'd still be free to modify the settings of course, but it would certainly guide people down the right path to creating a specific playing style. I'm not sure if it would maybe make thing too easy though.

This would get my vote.

EDIT: In regards to it being too easy, that maybe true, but I think it would 100% get some people of the right track in terms of understanding what a logically sound tactic looks like (roles, philosophy etc). Maybe SI would consider releasing some "official" tactics that address some of the playing philosophies that you have pointed out above.

I do think this would massively help to reduce the amount of feedback.

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This would get my vote.

EDIT: In regards to it being too easy, that maybe true, but I think it would 100% get some people of the right track in terms of understanding what a logically sound tactic looks like (roles, philosophy etc). Maybe SI would consider releasing some "official" tactics that address some of the playing philosophies that you have pointed out above.

I do think this would massively help to reduce the amount of feedback.

I have my doubts if an option that would auto-construct logial tactical set-ups would actually help people to understand what they are doing there ;) it would just rather make things work...

I share the doubts if that may be a bit too easy though. An additional layer along these lines would still be worth thinking about :thup:

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I have my doubts if an option that would auto-construct logial tactical set-ups would actually help people to understand what they are doing there it would just rather make things work...

I share the doubts if that may be a bit too easy though. An additional layer along these lines would still be worth thinking about :thup:

Fair point, I was thinking (I didn't articulate it very well) that this may help people to understand what they need to do to play the way they want to play, and maybe answer why what they are doing now isn't producing.

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Right are we sitting comfy wwfan?

Okay I shall begin :D

I decided to try the TC,yes I said it!

I am now in the second Division with my Tonbridge side and I could not wait for the patch as I love this series to much.

Anyway I ditched all my tactics and started up the TC,I set everything the way I wanted it through the TC and started my pre-season,I noticed something a bit strange with my defence even in the games I was winning,it was not until the first defeat I checked my team tactics,God knows why I did not check it after I set up the TC.

Now I know this must have been something I did but my defence was set to 'push up',something I hate and I feel it never works in the lower leagues.

Anyway here is my tactic..

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=110770149

I did set up 2 tactics,the 1 above was for most of my home games and maybe also against teams away that I thought I should be winning,my second tactic I have yet to use as this tactic is working well enough.

Here is my fixtures so far and the league table.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=110770105

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=110770191

Now it is hard for me to judge as I did have back to back promotions using the sliders and I am still seeing quite a few things on the highlights that bother me,when I see the ball getting launched into my box I am no so much worrying about a goal as I am seeing my team make a mistake.

I will say this though,I have no idea what I did to set my defence so far up the park,as you can see I used the slider to bring them back to a deep defensive line but I will admit it is a lot easier for people to understand what they are doing by using the TC.

I have no idea if I would have been this successful in Division 2 if I had stuck to the sliders,I think the fact I spent hours upon hours getting in the right players has helped a lot.

In the future though I will now continue to use the TC.

I know you may say I should have 1 of my full backs set to attack but I feel that gimps the other side,I feel modern day full backs should always be willing to attack,if 1 attacks then the other should stay back,I have set them to automatic in the hope the ME does not let both of them go for 1 attack.

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WWFan., Great thread. A few questions on your thinking behind this as im trying to understand.

1. I note in the post after that when you played bornemouth you played 4-2-4 I assume in here you went 4-4-2.

2. Your sitting back soaking up pressure and hitting them on the counter all of which makes sense to me against a stronger team. You do say however you played with a high DL what was your thinking behind that? IMO i would have sat deeper letting them push onto me then countering giving me more space to run into. I can see that having a higher DL means they are attacking from deeper and further away from your box. Also if you win the ball back quicker you have less distance to travel before your attacking. I think i might have just answered my question. With a High line i would fear getting caught with a ball over the top/through ball or a quick hit into space was this a concern?

3. All lot of the things you talk about here High DL, Pressing more, Narrow width, Different passing./movement/attack for the wingers for that game only when did you make these decisions and how pre-game in game what helped you decided that was the way to go?

4. Trying to interpert how you sett up here I would guess you played Rigid/Defensive?

Moving onto the the Game V Bournemouth

1. your playing a different passing style to the Boro game. Was this a decision taken pre match with a change to the tactic or with a shout in game or did it just happen due to players having more time?

2. Did you move to a more fluid/attacking style here or did you still try to keep some balance within the side?

Final question.

Ive been obsessed with trying to get a 4-1-2-1-2 to work. Using your methods here can any tactic be a success or am I wasting my time here? Obviously I appreciate no tactic is gonna work if the players are not right for it.

I've been very stubborn in my approach to FM13 this thread has my mind change that it may not just be the stupid ME errors costing me every game. I can't bring myself to blame the stupid manager in the dugout just yet though :D. But your help has kept me playing over the last few days.

Middlesboro Game

1: Yes. 4-4-2 v Middlesboro

2: In relative terms, I always play a high line, because my defenders are so quick and have excellent positioning. My central midfield is also very hard-working. My pressing adjustment is always set to press more and I often use the push higher up shout. With an attacking system, my line is very high. However, even when I play a defensive system, because of the adjustment and shout, it is still reasonably high.

3: The high line, press more and narrow width all relate to how I want to defend in any match. I have a fast but short defence. With a narrow width, I expect the FBs to press the winger to stop the cross getting in, and the defence to pack the box to reduce space and make it more difficult for the opposition to win a header if the cross does come in.

The different passing movement for my wings is a standard ploy when I'm not using an attacking system. My MLs are really converted central midfielders, whereas my MRs are out and out wingers. So, on the left wing, I play with an overlapping WB/A, who has good winger attributes (pace, crossing, dribbling), a BWM to cover his going forward, and a DLF to stay in touch with the deeper winger. This translates into short passing interchanges. On the right, my FB is on Support, feeding an AP, an out and out W/A and a Poacher. That side attacks far more directly.

4: I always used a balanced philosophy (biased, because it was one of my concepts and I like its elegance). As mentioned earlier, I'd recommend using a fluid system if you don't want to have any specialised roles and a rigid one if you do.

Bournemouth Game

1: Merely putting my DL onto FB/S to stop him getting caught too far upfield when he went forward. Means the passing patterns on both wings were very similar.

2: Used the Attack strategy with less TBs and more direct passing than I use when I play more cautious strategies.

Final Question

Any shape can work.

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Right are we sitting comfy wwfan?

Okay I shall begin :D

I decided to try the TC,yes I said it!

I am now in the second Division with my Tonbridge side and I could not wait for the patch as I love this series to much.

Anyway I ditched all my tactics and started up the TC,I set everything the way I wanted it through the TC and started my pre-season,I noticed something a bit strange with my defence even in the games I was winning,it was not until the first defeat I checked my team tactics,God knows why I did not check it after I set up the TC.

Now I know this must have been something I did but my defence was set to 'push up',something I hate and I feel it never works in the lower leagues.

Anyway here is my tactic..

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=110770149

I did set up 2 tactics,the 1 above was for most of my home games and maybe also against teams away that I thought I should be winning,my second tactic I have yet to use as this tactic is working well enough.

Here is my fixtures so far and the league table.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=110770105

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=110770191

Now it is hard for me to judge as I did have back to back promotions using the sliders and I am still seeing quite a few things on the highlights that bother me,when I see the ball getting launched into my box I am no so much worrying about a goal as I am seeing my team make a mistake.

I will say this though,I have no idea what I did to set my defence so far up the park,as you can see I used the slider to bring them back to a deep defensive line but I will admit it is a lot easier for people to understand what they are doing by using the TC.

I have no idea if I would have been this successful in Division 2 if I had stuck to the sliders,I think the fact I spent hours upon hours getting in the right players has helped a lot.

In the future though I will now continue to use the TC.

I know you may say I should have 1 of my full backs set to attack but I feel that gimps the other side,I feel modern day full backs should always be willing to attack,if 1 attacks then the other should stay back,I have set them to automatic in the hope the ME does not let both of them go for 1 attack.

Firstly, glad to see you are giving it a try. Hope you enjoy it. Now to your issues:

1: Did you employ the press more adjustment? That pushes up the d-line a bit as you need a high d-line to successfully press. A low d-line and high pressing is suicide. Further, the higher you go up the strategies, the higher your d-line will be. If you want a lower d-line with an attacking strategy, you will need to use the stand off adjustment and the drop deeper shout

2: In general, you can trust the FBs to move logically with WB/A settings in the more defensive strategies. You might find they push unrealistically high, unrealistically early in the attacking strategies, which is why I recommend a support role.

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Firstly, glad to see you are giving it a try. Hope you enjoy it. Now to your issues:

1: Did you employ the press more adjustment? That pushes up the d-line a bit as you need a high d-line to successfully press. A low d-line and high pressing is suicide. Further, the higher you go up the strategies, the higher your d-line will be. If you want a lower d-line with an attacking strategy, you will need to use the stand off adjustment and the drop deeper shout

I did employ the press more,it is just how I like to start the game.

I will give what you say a go.

The problem I have with a higher line in lower league is if you have a striker with some 14 in quickness he will tear defences apart,I have such a striker in my team and he has 16 goals already this season,I am very wary of that so like to play a deep line.

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I am beginning to pinpoint an attacking version of my 5-3-2 tactic. I use the counter strategy but increased closing down greatly and push up. Passing is also shorter. What I don't quite understand is the implementation of Width in relation to this short passing game. With an Attacking mentality Width is Wide, while with a Counter strategy Width is Narrow. But since Mentality affects passing direction and high values make the players aim rather directly forward quickly, there is not much need of creating space the way I see it. I'd say the need of using the width of the pitch is greater with a slow passing game, since the players often choose to pass sideways with a more defensive mentality.

So when attacking, there is a need for my counter-minded attacking strategy to employ the whole width of the pitch. But this contradicts the "sound tactical settings" of the TC.

Also, I understand the need to tighten up space when playing defensively so the Width setting being Narrow on defensive strategies make sense, but this leaves amazing space for their wingers to cross when I don't have double cover on the flanks like you do with your 442. Hence, I usually adjust width even when playing defensively so that the wingbacks is not so out of position in relation to the winger and full back on overlap. Consequently, there is more space for their strikers to move into channels and this creates the space I complain so much about - between the wing-backs and the CDR/L, allowing those passes behind them and a free path to the goal.

Have you tried 5-3-2 tactics and how they are translated from the TC? I feel they are somewhat... -off-

There are two big issues related to team width. First is inability to set separate width settings for situations when your team is in possession and when your team is not in possession. Second issue is lack of lateral movement/transformation by defending team in attempt to cover the attacked flank since 13.1.3 (probably result of very crude fix for far post issue that was caused by issues in marking and cover programing).

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I did employ the press more,it is just how I like to start the game.

I will give what you say a go.

The problem I have with a higher line in lower league is if you have a striker with some 14 in quickness he will tear defences apart,I have such a striker in my team and he has 16 goals already this season,I am very wary of that so like to play a deep line.

He won't do if your defence are reasonably quick and you have balanced settings. He will if you are pressing high and have a low d-line, as he'll drift into the gap between the pressing midfielders and the retreating defenders. One missed tackle then leaves an unopposed pass for him to run onto, with the d-line having no chance to react. Might seem counter-intuitve at first read, but think about it.

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Rich

Have a beer on the rocks mate top class once again.

I have long listened to you even bought the book inverting the pyramid because of you and millie mate

i have started to enjoy the game because i made my tactic and it basic for but here goes this is what i did

I was bottom of the League 3 with Port Vale have a average side nothing flash bar a couple of decent strikers so i thought of this

GK--D

FB--A

LD-X

LD-C

FB-S

W-S

CM-A

CM-D

W-A

AF-A

DLF-S

a bog standard 4-4-2.

If they play 5 in midfield i ask them to push higher up and get stuck in if 4-4-2 like mine i tend not to.

I play home and away Overload as my start tactic because i feel i have no actual attacking presence in midfield bar the actual roles there both not natural attacking players.

If i go 2 up i tend to then go counter and deeper maybe bring a cm on for a striker but only it is the 2nd half.

I looked at my team stats and bar the strikers i very average but after 8 games since reading this and actually applying the theory it worked and i currently sit 4 points outside the play offs.

I play some cracking stuff too better than i did with any downloaded tactic and i feel like i'am enjoy the game more because i more focussed on the team than individual player and actually have a philosophy behind my madness and take ownership in what i'am doing

I for the first time put team needs in front of the individual...

Cheers Rich

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@ watsonsclarets: I remember your original rant :) Pleasure to help, as always.

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Middlesboro Game

1: Yes. 4-4-2 v Middlesboro

2: In relative terms, I always play a high line, because my defenders are so quick and have excellent positioning. My central midfield is also very hard-working. My pressing adjustment is always set to press more and I often use the push higher up shout. With an attacking system, my line is very high. However, even when I play a defensive system, because of the adjustment and shout, it is still reasonably high.

3: The high line, press more and narrow width all relate to how I want to defend in any match. I have a fast but short defence. With a narrow width, I expect the FBs to press the winger to stop the cross getting in, and the defence to pack the box to reduce space and make it more difficult for the opposition to win a header if the cross does come in.

The different passing movement for my wings is a standard ploy when I'm not using an attacking system. My MLs are really converted central midfielders, whereas my MRs are out and out wingers. So, on the left wing, I play with an overlapping WB/A, who has good winger attributes (pace, crossing, dribbling), a BWM to cover his going forward, and a DLF to stay in touch with the deeper winger. This translates into short passing interchanges. On the right, my FB is on Support, feeding an AP, an out and out W/A and a Poacher. That side attacks far more directly.

4: I always used a balanced philosophy (biased, because it was one of my concepts and I like its elegance). As mentioned earlier, I'd recommend using a fluid system if you don't want to have any specialised roles and a rigid one if you do.

Bournemouth Game

1: Merely putting my DL onto FB/S to stop him getting caught too far upfield when he went forward. Means the passing patterns on both wings were very similar.

2: Used the Attack strategy with less TBs and more direct passing than I use when I play more cautious strategies.

Final Question

Any shape can work.

Thanks for the advice. As an update I played my first season in MLS with Portland finishing near the bottom of the MLS. Couldn't score was getting out passed and conceding to poor through balls and goals from crosses out wide. All ME bugs IMO.

Second season with the same team I opened to a 5-1 defeat at home to the worst team from the last season all with the same errors.

After applying everything I have read from in here I moved to a 4-5-1 created in the TC I have a record of 5w 3d 1l 14f 3a. And surprise surprise the ME looks really good. No bad defending and im just starting to really hit the back of the net with 10 of those goals in the last 3 games as the team is getting more used to the formation and style of play. I may not always be dominating possession but I am dominating chances in every game and restricting the opp to scraps. On the plus side the team is more balanced and has more options to play the ball.

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

Best advice ever. Many thanks.

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Thanks for the advice. As an update I played my first season in MLS with Portland finishing near the bottom of the MLS. Couldn't score was getting out passed and conceding to poor through balls and goals from crosses out wide. All ME bugs IMO.

Second season with the same team I opened to a 5-1 defeat at home to the worst team from the last season all with the same errors.

After applying everything I have read from in here I moved to a 4-5-1 created in the TC I have a record of 5w 3d 1l 14f 3a. And surprise surprise the ME looks really good. No bad defending and im just starting to really hit the back of the net with 10 of those goals in the last 3 games as the team is getting more used to the formation and style of play. I may not always be dominating possession but I am dominating chances in every game and restricting the opp to scraps. On the plus side the team is more balanced and has more options to play the ball.

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

Best advice ever. Many thanks.

You're more than welcome. As I've said before, every time I get a response like this, I'm inspired to continue posting.

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The different in strategy between this and the Middlesboro game is obvious. I'm no longer clearing my lines at every opportunity, but playing the ball around deep before feeding it up the flanks to my wingers. I have far more passes in the final third, and way more attempts to pass into the box. I'm playing exactly the same passing strategy on both flanks, so the clear difference portrayed in the Middlesboro match is no longer to be seen.

How do you play the ball around deep?

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Just wanted to report back in after my earlier post. Still applying the guide and have now won the premier league despite having atleast 8 injuries to key players throughout the season and not the 4 star squad I'd have wanted.

After this season I can see where you've been coming from wwfan, this game is alot more about overall strategy and strategic choices than it is about tinkering with tactics and for what it's worth I'm really glad the games heading in that direction. You don't have to be the new Bielsa or Guardiola, you just have to have good long think going into EVERY match about what a real life manager's strategic choices would be give the league standings, form, injuries, conditions etc.

You've brought this game to life for me, it isn't perfect but I'm seeing it in a new light. Keep posting mate.

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Just wanted to report back in after my earlier post. Still applying the guide and have now won the premier league despite having atleast 8 injuries to key players throughout the season and not the 4 star squad I'd have wanted.

After this season I can see where you've been coming from wwfan, this game is alot more about overall strategy and strategic choices than it is about tinkering with tactics and for what it's worth I'm really glad the games heading in that direction. You don't have to be the new Bielsa or Guardiola, you just have to have good long think going into EVERY match about what a real life manager's strategic choices would be give the league standings, form, injuries, conditions etc.

You've brought this game to life for me, it isn't perfect but I'm seeing it in a new light. Keep posting mate.

You can be the next Bielsa or Guardiola, but it's not easy, which is how it should be. It is, however, relatively simple to play solid, effective football.

Agree with you about the direction, although that's how I've always played. It's about spending a minute or so thinking about each match within the context of the season, rather than half an hour playing around with the sliders and then pressing continue. I believe that once you've embraced this way of playing, you will never want to go back. It's just far more rewarding to win and know why you've won.

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Good post, just one question though: your point 6. I never used shouts on my tactics (and on previous FM versions). Do I really need to use them to be successfull? Thanks in advance!

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