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How to Play FM13: A Twelve Step Guide

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wwfan - Without wishing to drag this fantastic threat into a debate about the ME, how much do you feel the current state of the ME impacts upon the game tactically? I've been patient but am personally coming to the conclusion that there's too many faults to play it properly and am now going to hold off to a later patch.

Also, what your views of FMC? For me, the lack of match analysis detracts from what is an otherwise excellent feature.

I think it is playable if you double mark great dribblers, but don't think you should have to. There are too many wild long shots and undefendable crosses. However, you should generally do OK with a solid tactical system. I don't think you need to play the ME (bar the double marking) but that you need to come to terms with only producing a small handful of genuinely realistic chances. With a good tactic, you'll still do that more often than not and more often than the AI, so will still do well.

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Guest sciegu
I think it is playable if you double mark great dribblers, but don't think you should have to. There are too many wild long shots and undefendable crosses. However, you should generally do OK with a solid tactical system. I don't think you need to play the ME (bar the double marking) but that you need to come to terms with only producing a small handful of genuinely realistic chances. With a good tactic, you'll still do that more often than not and more often than the AI, so will still do well.

Yeap it's true that with solid tactic you will do fine. Problem is that, even if I'm winning I don't fell any joy because nearly all goals are from crosses. Worst part of it is that I didn't designed my tactic to play that way...It's first time I feel like I'm exploiting ME even on FM12 which had a lot more exploitable bugs i didn't had this feeling.

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If it's any consolation, the same small coterie of 'wise men' wrote off FM05-FM09 when 10 came out, FM05-10 when 11 came out, and FM05-11 when 12 came out, pointing to insidious 'exploits' that had been once and for all stamped out in those versions that now required everyone to learn how to play the game 'properly', and consistently adopting the same patronizing, holier-than-thou tone. It grates, as you're discovering, and it doesn't help get their case across. Worst of all, it makes FM sound like a game only 1 in every 1,000 people is capable of enjoying; the other 999 are scurrilous cheaters who are presumably faking satisfaction and success. But they'll soon be found out and exposed for the impious pretenders they really are! In the next version. When the holy monks at SI ensure the 'exploits' are stamped out once and for all! Again. Personally I can't wait to see what they come up next year to explain why so many people succeeded at FM13...

(I say this as someone who enjoys playing the game 'properly' as decreed by this same ponderous clique, and hasn't struggled with the game since the CM era. I don't even necessarily disagree with anything they're saying, though they do their best to bloviate and obfuscate rather than giving consistent advice. It's a tonal thing. They're just downright pompous. About a football simulation videogame, no less.)

What a fantastic post.

Unfortunately, the more complex the game has become, the more numerous the mirrors and thicker the smoke. The way it's being written about on here you'd have thought you require a thesis in order to become proficient; alas, you are just juggling numbers, and have even less control than you ever thought. It boggles the mind that people would attempt to be so pathetically elitist about, as you say, a simulation video game (and using the football hipster's bible Zonal Marking as evidence just compounds this).

Exploiting the AI hasn't always meant discovering a glaring flaw; I used to really enjoy FM05-08 - when I actually think the match engine was at its most sensitive and intuitive - when you were truly able to set your team up according to its strengths, literally developing them around one player. The game is meant to be about enjoyment, finding your own way to skin the cat, developing your own tool for success. That it's perceived that the player ought to spend hours and hours on the 'training field', or even worse negotiating the minefield of pointless frippery and baubles on the way to playing the game, is a sad indictment of where the series has ended up.

I

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WWFAN the opening to this thread is me all over to be honest and I would say for the last five or six versions I have been one of those "Download someone else's tactic" load it up and get one with it FM'ers! For years I have sat here with every intention of doing what you have, to learn and understand the ME and AI, to really get to grips with it because like you said, I would have far more enjoyment in doing so.

It all comes down to patience I guess as I have tried before, lose a few games and literally give up and download another one. To actually understand the tactical side of the game is something I am determined to do now. I used to play the game at a decent level for god sake!

I am going to take part in Dafuges challenge and have just taken over Brackley in the BSN. Wish me luck!

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Inspirational...right...let's start again from scratch then, hopefully this time I can really get into my save with out doing a Gordon Strachan, offending all my players, media in a huff and then being in Mauritius for Christmas. #letsgettodecembergraeme

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wwfan,

I played a 4-2-3-1 Deep formation in FM12 as detailed below and really liked the potency of the striker who grabbed a large majority of the goals. The TQ would contribute a few also when ghosting into the area to receive balls from the wingers when high up the pitch. The tactic was totally built using the TC and the roles, as you'll see, were as per the default tactic menu for this formation.

Philosophy: Fluid

Strategy: Standard

Goalkeeper (Defend)

2 x Full Backs (Automatic)

2 x Central Defenders (Defend)

2 x Defensive Midfielders (Support)

AMR - Winger (Support)

AMC - Trequartista (Attack)

AML - Winger (Support)

ST - Advanced Forward (Attack)

Zonal Marking, everything else on Default

Target Man: ST, Run Onto Ball

Was I succesful with this tactic because it exploited the 'collision' flaw in the FM12 match engine?

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Hello to all the Fmer´s who might read this post,

Hi just wanted to thank you all for helping a poor "manager" as myself to understand (a bit) how to translate my interpretation of football in to this game that we all love.

As i was reading this thread and the indications of wfan on how to make a decent tac for my team, i just realized that i never did use the team comparision to establish my tac, i did use the team indications about the formations, best positions, et., but never even glimpsed about this.

Im struggling to understand how this "tool" can be translated into instructions, i mean, if for example a team as good work rate, leadershipe, team work, passing and first touch (in the 5 top teams in the league), how do i put this in to the tactic instructions? and if a team has poor aceleration and pace at defense but have good team work and tackling in the midfiel thus this mean "stand-off" plus "agressive" tackling?

Im sorry if this has no interesst or relevance for this thread, but im just wondering how to use whit eficiency this "team comparision" option.

Thanks in advance.

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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).

I realise this is just an example without being a specific 'step' but the exact same thing occurs with me. DM and FBs receive the bulk of possession but this doesnt seem to translate further up.

I play a 4-1-2-2-1 with my DCL playing as a Ball Playing Defender and a DMCR to create space for him.

Lopsided full backs with FBL on Support and WBR on Attack.

AML plays as an Inside Forward on Attack and AMR is a Winger on Support.

MCR is a DLP on Support and MCL is an AP on attack.

Treq/DLF upfront (still tinkering with this to see which works best)

I play a counter attacking strategy already so what would you recommend as a logical step to move my possession further up the pitch?

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question about double marking dribblers.

Which player(position) would be ideal to do so, and not get too exposed. Sometimes I have to double mark both wingers/dribblers, and that creates space for their striker or another player.

Playing with Spurs, 4231 or 41221. Ussually have Sandro doing the marking.

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hope this question hasnt been asked, if it has I do apologise, but when you say dont touch the sliders, is this the whole team ones only, or the individual player ones as well?

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question about double marking dribblers.

Which player(position) would be ideal to do so, and not get too exposed. Sometimes I have to double mark both wingers/dribblers, and that creates space for their striker or another player.

Playing with Spurs, 4231 or 41221. Ussually have Sandro doing the marking.

The better thing to do is have your wingers marking their wingers, but you only need to do so when playing a Bale, a Ronaldo, a Shaqiri etc. Not every game.

This means that you start to mark them further up the pitch and so lessen their influence, and keep Sandro in position to mop up any scraps.

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hope this question hasnt been asked, if it has I do apologise, but when you say dont touch the sliders, is this the whole team ones only, or the individual player ones as well?

I think the "don't touch the sliders" mantra only applies when you don't know exactly what the sliders do.

If you have any doubts about anything, don't touch!

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i have been trying to set up my tactic, and admittedly I am only pre season to which I let my ass man take control of the team, but look at the analysis I have made about 20 interceptions in my own half in each of the friendlies, is this something that should concern me? how do I counteract this?

thanks

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A thought came to me as I was reading some of these posts lamenting how complicated this all seems and why can't the game explain this better.

Perhaps it's all confusing because it's such a fluid game with innumerable variables, few chances to score, and a razor margin between success and victory? Plenty of managers have been paid a small fortune to make a disaster out of a real life team, so if the players of FM are a mixed bag of success, maybe it's simulating things really well?

One thing I would chip in to wwfan's many encouragements is this: try not to get sucked into the short-term view of a fan. Fans react emotionally to every moment, every game. As the manager, you need to have a long term view. Especially when taking over a new team or bringing in a lot of players. Yes, you should make short term adjustments to face immediate challenges, but keep your long-term plan in mind and don't too quick to judge your success and failures. Unless you take over a successful operation and just keep things going as is, it will take time to organize things so that they run smoothly and consistently.

Of course, the board might not grant you that time . . .

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When you say use a one support duty in attack, are you including the AM strata or just the strikers?

Also what do you mean when you say save 3 core strategies?

Cheers

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From my experience in the latest ME you need to deal with opposition crosses and go three at the back to deal with any crosses that do come in. I've found that two center backs can't deal with crosses properly in this latest ME and the forward will always get on the end of it, scoring 8/10.. It's no coincidence when I take a look at the player stats in the league the top scorers are all target men, powerful in the air and the players with most assists are wingers and full backs.

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wwfan,

Just wanted to say thanks for this guide. Playing as Betis, and after the first two seasons, I was getting frustrated with our inconsistent scoring and midfield link-up play. Added a couple new players, and implemented two of your suggestions (simplifying player roles/duties and giving one of the FB's an attacking role) and now my club is playing almost exactly like I envisioned. And we're leading La Liga with two months to go. :)

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Step 13-Get no responses and quit anyway because you'll never figure it out.

You can't expect everyone to be on call when you want, people have lifes outside of this forum you know and don't always have time to reply. So in future please don't post such rubbish.

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There was enough time and there are enough people who read here for someone to say something. That is evidenced by the number of posts in other threads since mine was started. My expectation was not at all unreasonable.

There's a reason my location is "Killing Your Thread." I signed up here almost four years ago (sadly) and keep seeing this same pattern. I don't know what double secret ritual I haven't gone through, but I'm not playing that game anymore. It's clear that I won't be missed.

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There was enough time and there are enough people who read here for someone to say something. That is evidenced by the number of posts in other threads since mine was started. My expectation was not at all unreasonable.

There's a reason my location is "Killing Your Thread." I signed up here almost four years ago (sadly) and keep seeing this same pattern. I don't know what double secret ritual I haven't gone through, but I'm not playing that game anymore. It's clear that I won't be missed.

Weird because when I look through your post history with posts you've made and threads you've created you've been given plenty of help, tracing all the way back to 2009 with the exception of the latest thread you've created. But then again you don't really give any indication of what it is you are actually asking.

In fact the way you have created the thread and posted in it suggested you was going to show how you came up with a tactic and talk through the proccess of why etc. With the exception of what you posted earlier today there wasn't any real tactical questions or anything anyone could have really given you advice on. I suspect this is why no-one posted in your thread yet have in others.

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Weird because when I look through your post history with posts you've made and threads you've created you've been given plenty of help, tracing all the way back to 2009 with the exception of the latest thread you've created. But then again you don't really give any indication of what it is you are actually asking.

In fact the way you have created the thread and posted in it suggested you was going to show how you came up with a tactic and talk through the proccess of why etc. With the exception of what you posted earlier today there wasn't any real tactical questions or anything anyone could have really given you advice on. I suspect this is why no-one posted in your thread yet have in others.

I have learned from the forum, but my interpretation of how others have responded to my own posts is different. Let's just leave it at that and not completely derail wwfan's thread here.

I am bewildered at your second paragraph. I never said I was laying out what I was developing. I made it very clear I needed help and I was specific in what I needed answered. It would be most helpful to me if you showed me how I could have done it differently. If that isn't too much trouble.

I do still have that save and I do still want help on the questions I posted. The game I don't want to play anymore is posting stuff that gets ignored (save for petulance-pity that's what it took).

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wwfan would like a bit of advice if possible. I'm playing as Barnsley (arguably the worst teamin the Championship) not sure that matters. I've made a tactic that doesn't have any specialised roles (Unless inside forward is?) and I was wondering if i'm getting the best out of them.

I'm right at the start of pre-season in my first game so ignore the tactic familiarity.

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I want my team to be solid at the back first and foremost and as you can see by the creativity and flair of the players I don't have much of either so would fluid be a hindrance or am I way off

base and don't have a clue what fluid is/does? I am looking to improve my team a lot over pre-season so this isn't the team I will be going into the season with.

I guess what i'm asking is a bit of tweaking to my starting point that I came up with, or even just a few little pointers so I can work off a good base. I'm also very reluctant to change one of my defenders to an attack role as I don't think they are good enough to carry the role out.

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Ok I think it is finally time for me to post and ask for some help.

I have my save with Rangers and I won the 3rd, 2nd and 1st div without losing a match. I then went on to finish 2nd in the SPL in my first season however towards the end of the season my team struggled and I was drawing a lot of matches. That has seemed to move over into this season.

The tactic I am using is the same as what I used in FM 12 4-5-1

Fluid, Standard, Short Passing and Zonal Marking.

GK - GK Defend

RB - Full Back - Auto

CB - CD - Defend

CB - CD - Defend

LB - Full Back - Auto

DM - DM - Defend

MCR - Advanced Playmaker - Attack

MCL - Ball Winning Midfielder - Support

AMR - Winger - Attack

AML - Winger - Attack

ST - Complete Forward - Attack

I have tried to use shouts but I cant get any difference with my team. I didnt use shouts in the previous seasons. I am not sure what to look for that gives the indication of which shout should be used therefor Iv tended to avoid them.

Any ideas why my team is struggling and what I can do to turn it around?

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For Example this is what is happening to my team all the time now.

I just went 2-0 up against Celtic at home there in the 50th min. They then pull back 2 in rappid succession and I might add they had 0 chances on goal until those two came out of no where then thye went all the way up to 10 chances with me somehow scoring a scrappy winner 3min into injury time.

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I've lost a lot of faith in this game, but after reading this, I'll start from scratch and hopefully get somewhere.

The cold, hard truth is that ridiculous success 99% of the time came from tactics that exploited the ME in some way. That is no longer possible, so expectations must be lowered to gain any sense of achievement.

Longevity will be my goal in my next save, rather than quitting out after half a season.

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I want my team to be solid at the back first and foremost and as you can see by the creativity and flair of the players I don't have much of either so would fluid be a hindrance or am I way off

base and don't have a clue what fluid is/does? I am looking to improve my team a lot over pre-season so this isn't the team I will be going into the season with.

I guess what i'm asking is a bit of tweaking to my starting point that I came up with, or even just a few little pointers so I can work off a good base. I'm also very reluctant to change one of my defenders to an attack role as I don't think they are good enough to carry the role out.

Fluid is fine given your role selections. There's no correlation between player quality and style/philosophy. Basically, if you want lots of specialised roles, go to to the rigid end of the spectrum, lots of generic roles the fluid.

Still think it will be a better tactic if the DL has an attack duty. Movement between the lines is more important than the skills of the player.

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Ok I think it is finally time for me to post and ask for some help.

I have my save with Rangers and I won the 3rd, 2nd and 1st div without losing a match. I then went on to finish 2nd in the SPL in my first season however towards the end of the season my team struggled and I was drawing a lot of matches. That has seemed to move over into this season.

The tactic I am using is the same as what I used in FM 12 4-5-1

Fluid, Standard, Short Passing and Zonal Marking.

GK - GK Defend

RB - Full Back - Auto

CB - CD - Defend

CB - CD - Defend

LB - Full Back - Auto

DM - DM - Defend

MCR - Advanced Playmaker - Attack

MCL - Ball Winning Midfielder - Support

AMR - Winger - Attack

AML - Winger - Attack

ST - Complete Forward - Attack

I have tried to use shouts but I cant get any difference with my team. I didnt use shouts in the previous seasons. I am not sure what to look for that gives the indication of which shout should be used therefor Iv tended to avoid them.

Any ideas why my team is struggling and what I can do to turn it around?

Doesn't look to be a lot of movement in the front three, or anyone overlapping from deep. I'd experiment with a couple of Support duties up front and an Attack duty in defence. Should result in better movement and more penetration.

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I've lost a lot of faith in this game, but after reading this, I'll start from scratch and hopefully get somewhere.

The cold, hard truth is that ridiculous success 99% of the time came from tactics that exploited the ME in some way. That is no longer possible, so expectations must be lowered to gain any sense of achievement.

Longevity will be my goal in my next save, rather than quitting out after half a season.

Well said. Realising that is the first step towards not just falling back in love with FM, but recognising quite how good it really is and how much all the different management modules interlink. There's nothing quite like knowing you've snuck a late-goal win when your title chasing rival has drawn because you kept your team calmest under pressure, or reacting tactically to see out a half when you have a complacent squad, before turning things around in the dressing room with a well timed boot up the backside to the main culprits.

If you relied on exploits, then none of the subtleties ever meant anything. You either scored through the exploit or didn't. Didn't matter how nervous the team was or how badly it was playing. Only took one moment to totally undo the AI. The only player that could cost you the match was the player who you relied on to score. If he had a shocker, you'd experience a few 25 shots to 1, 0-1 scorelines.

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I'm not sure if this is the correct place for this, but as it broadly fits into the ideas of the 12 point plan, what the heck.

One word: Symmetry.

Provided there is the movement between the lines and that the player and team roles are sensible, I presume there is no real compunction about having a symmetrical formation? I ask, through a combination of scratching my head at how to deal with a horrible Aston Villa squad and being inspired by Shrewnaldo's Danubian Whirl formation on his blog. Is a rather asymmetrical formation something, like changing player slider settings, best left to the pros?

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No reason at all not to have an asymmetrical formation bar the extra time it takes for a squad to learn it. This will result in you having to get a lot of other decisions spot on in the early stages as your football will be far from flowing.

I've twice employed the following formation because of the limitations of my squad in lower divisions:

GK: GK/D

DR: FB/S

DCs: DC/D

DL: WB/A

DMC: DM/D

MCR & MCL: role & duty dependent on starters and quality of opposition

AMC: AM/S

AMR: W/A

FC: AF/A

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Posted this elsewhere, but want it here as a reference as well, so I can find it again if needed.

Mentality: A risk and reward setting that needs to be arranged in a strategically coherent manner. The range of mentalities determines your strategic approach to the match. If the rage is too far apart, you do not have a strategic approach and will be incoherent. The incoherence will see players moving too far apart from each other as half think the overall strategy is defensive and half think they have to rush forward whenever the opportunity arrives. That is when you will see the "the gap between your defence and midfield is too big" or "your strikers are too far from your midfield" messages. If you get your mentality and Run from Deep / FWRs structures right, you can't go too far wrong.

Creative Freedom: A flair boost. Also requires strategic coherence. Either you a) think all players should have and follow highly defined jobs, b) think all players should do a bit of everything or c) position yourself between the camps. Low CF means that players have a greater tendency to follow instructions. High CF gives them permission to try alternatives. Because Andy Caroll is a bit of a lump does not mean he has to be given low CF. High CF might encourage him to try a few other options than blasting the ball at goal. It cannot be perfectly defined because it will affect each player differently according to their natural tendencies. Creative freedom is defined by how the manager wants his team to play. Tuning down individual players' CF because you don't think they should have CF is 100% the wrong way to look at it. The question is whether you want them to rigidly obey your instructions or have some freedom to play as they feel best. NB: I realise SI's Hints and Tips on CF doesn't help. It is wrong and should be removed.

Roles: The whole point of roles is that they provide the user an opportunity to interpret what a player does in real life into FM. Wayne Rooney does not play on the shoulder of the last defender. He gets involved with deeper play. Consequently, in basic football terms, he is a second striker. That immediately rules out Poacher, Target Man and Advanced Forward. The question is whether he is a DLF, TQ or DF. I think he puts too much effort into defending to be a TQ, so is arguably best used as a DLF or a DF. The question for the user is whether that fits his tactical ideas or whether he should fit his tactical ideas around the player qualities. Age old conundrum of real life management. You can apply this for every player in every position. Unless you are really lucky and have a perfect player range, you will have to sacrifice player for system or system for player somewhere down the line.

Philosophies/Styles and the Above: The philosophies/styles are mentality and creative freedom structures. They range from being very structured with low creative freedom, to being very unstructured with lots of creative freedom. A useful interpretation would be as follows:

Very Rigid: Each player is given a job and is supposed to stick to it (usually 5+ different roles across a team)

Rigid: Players are assigned a responsibility that contributes to a specific element of play (Defence, defence & transition, transition & attack, attack)

Balanced: Players focus on their duty (Defend, Support, Attack)

Fluid: Players are given instructions to focus on defence or attack

Very Fluid: Players contribute to all aspects of play

As you can see, each step reduces the level of specialisation. At Very Rigid, you have five different roles, Rigid four responsibilities, Balanced three duties, Fluid two focuses, Very Fluid one method. In Very Rigid philosophies, you expect players to stick to their role, so can assign multiple specialist roles. In Very Fluid philosophies, you expect everybody to do a bit of everything, which means specialist roles are redundant.

Closing Down: How far up a pitch the player will begin closing down his man. I believe there is an ME bug that makes high CD with forward players less effective. It seems to me that their high mentality results in them getting the wrong side of the ball, knocking onto their not closing down high up the pitch in the manner they should. As a result, high CD midfielders often close down the space the fCs should close down, resulting in the midfield opening up. However, other than that, CD is what is says on the tin.

Zonal and Man-Marking: I agree with rashidi that man-marking is anachronistic and should be removed from the game. We should have zonal and specific-man marking, which would both do what they said on the tin. Because of the anachronism, I don't think either works as well as it should. Personally, I'd avoid man-marking and stick with zonal.

Reading the Match: As many frequenters of these forums are undoubtedly aware, Football Manager's ME has long been criticised by a vocal minority as being inherently unfair. The gist of this argument is that while they can accept that teams lose matches in which they've dominated possession and the shot count, it happens far too often in FM. On most occasions, these people are losing slightly over a handful of matches this way per season. Out of this argument come theories about AI super-keepers, a cheating AI, the AI "knowing" and "cracking" your tactic, matches being pre-determined as it is "just time you lost", etc, etc.

CCCs: Thanks to OPTA, we know that most players convert less than 50% of their CCCs. Of the 33 players having 10 or more CCCs in last season's EPL, only 8 scored with 50% or more of them. In contrast, 11 converted 30% or less. Further, some strikers are almost completely reliant on CCCs for their goals, normally Target Man or Poacher types. As we've explained in these forums for FM13, that is one reason why they generally don't make good lone forwards. In contrast, as page two of the article illustrates, more complete strikers can fashion chances out of nothing.

In this Guardian article, OPTA even go so far as to determine a probability conversion for each chance. In a match in which Newcastle outshot Reading by 16 to 7 and had 56% of possession, they lost 2-1. The OPTA analyst suggests that Reading deserved to win, for they had the two best chances in the match with a 49% and 69% probability of conversion, compared to Newcastle's best chance, which had a 34% probability. In actuality, Reading won because they scored from a 17% probability chance. Across the match the data suggested Reading should score 1.6 goals and Newcastle 1.4, so the 2-1 result was a fair one. Whereas FM doesn't yet have that level of analysis, an educated subjective eye on the match analysis screen should be a good substitute.

Possession: Thanks to OPTA stats and The Guardian, we have exact knowledge of how often a team wins when having more possession (57%) and more shots (71%). Even if you always dominate the shot count, over a 60 match season you should expect to fail to win circa 18 times. Obviously, you will win some matches very easily. The key to being good at FM is not those matches, but reducing this 30-40% figure to one that will ensure you win some trophies.

A Holistic Approach to Tactics: Doing that takes a holistic approach. You must have good strategic skills and manage your squad so you buy the right players and keep them fit for the right matches. You must have good tactical skills and make the correct pre and in match decisions to ensure that the conditions, opposition players and formation, and the narrative of the match are under your control as often as possible. You must have good man and media management skills to ensure as many of your players as possible are mentally prepared for the game, extending your streaks and preventing slumps.

We've long argued that a subjective and contextual reading of a match is far more important than a statistical one (at least at FM's statistical level). We now have the data to back that up. You need to understand what is going on at a tactical and motivational level, not merely keep possession high and count shots. That only goes so far. Learning to win on the counter, in horrible conditions, against teams that park the bus, and when your players are nervous or frustrated is part of the management experience. Grasp that and you will master FM.

Winning and Losing Streaks: You embark on winning and losing streaks because you do not make logical tactical changes and/or are not god enough at other aspects of the game, such as media and man management. No matter how good your tactics, at some point, the players will play better or worse than expected. If they player better than expected, and you turn it into a win, morale will go up and you should be able to turn it into a streak. That's the easy part. If they play worse than expected, you firstly need to try to turn things around at half time and turn a draw into a win or a loss into a draw. If that fails, you need to have a man/media management strategy that stops the bad performance turning into a slump. If you don't have that, then you will consistently experience seemingly random winning and losing streaks. At other times, you will simply lose to the better team. You need to work out how to stop that defeat from badly affecting your players, so you can forget about it and move on. Again, a poor managerial strategy here can knock onto a losing streak.

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Closing Down: How far up a pitch the player will begin closing down his man. I believe there is an ME bug that makes high CD with forward players less effective. It seems to me that their high mentality results in them getting the wrong side of the ball, knocking onto their not closing down high up the pitch in the manner they should. As a result, high CD midfielders often close down the space the fCs should close down, resulting in the midfield opening up. However, other than that, CD is what is says on the tin.

IS this bug still valid as of the latest ME update 1339?

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Wwfan I was wondering if this set up looked logical enough?

RFB: support

RCD: stopper

LCD: cover

LFB: attack

LDM: dlp support

RCM: ap support

LM: wm support

RAM: if attack

LCAM: if attack

RCF: elf support

Rigid

Counter

Short passing

Press more

Zonal marking

I have tried to make I hybrid 442/451. Want to defend deeper and keep my shape as I have a slow defence and poor stamina in the middle. I use the attacking midfielder to man mark a deep play make on the opposition if he's influencing the game and then break forward off him once in possession, like wellbeck on alonso almost. In possession I want to keep the ball but also have penitration, not just 60% possession and no chances. To do this I'm looking to overload with my right side, if there center back follows my forward deep there is a big gap for my inside forward to exploit, while being more patient on the left and using my left back to stretch them on he outside and get crosses in.

One question I had is would a DM be better used in my deep midfield position as he would help recycle possession better?

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No reason at all not to have an asymmetrical formation bar the extra time it takes for a squad to learn it. This will result in you having to get a lot of other decisions spot on in the early stages as your football will be far from flowing.

I've twice employed the following formation because of the limitations of my squad in lower divisions:

GK: GK/D

DR: FB/S

DCs: DC/D

DL: WB/A

DMC: DM/D

MCR & MCL: role & duty dependent on starters and quality of opposition

AMC: AM/S

AMR: W/A

FC: AF/A

Thanks for that wwfan. You've actually described the exact formation I was thinking about due to the almost complete lack of decent left sided players in the squad. Whether N'Zogbia, with a stamina of 12, can actually do the WB/A role is another matter, but it's certainly given me something to think about. Thanks again.

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Just want to add my thanks in this thread. Seriously I have never won anything in FM since I started 12 years ago. This is normally because I like to pick low level teams and work with them as long as I can. Thing was, I thoroughly enjoyed the soap opera. I always played doing everything myself.

FM13 biggest jolt was I felt the players were just not following any instructions. It seemed they would do something one match and the next match do it completely differently. So I ventured into the tactics thread feeling rather dirty, and I must say this thread has been a savior. I can clearly see that most people who continue to complain about the game are just not following rule 1.

I feel now that the haphazardness of my tactics and continuous tinkering was reflected by my team. Now I focus far more on building a vision and working the team towards the vision. I am now beggining to enjoy the game again. Thanks to the guys who are putting in the effort.

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I have a couple questions. Probably basic but I'm a somewhat inexperienced player. I saw the OP said to always have your FC on support, especially if you play with one up top. I do play with one up front with my Southampton team but I always have that guy on an attack duty. Is the reason for putting him on support so that he doesn't become isolated? If that's the case, I play Jay Rodriguez in that role and he has comes deep to get ball as one of his traits. In that case is it okay for me to have him on attack duty since he's naturally programmed to come deep anyway?

When I play Rickie Lambert as TM is it more beneficial to play him on support and why?

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Fantastic thread and great advice. I'm wondering if anyone has any more info on Media and Man Management? I've always felt I've been guessing at that side of the game. Like for example, when the post says using a Media strategy to stop a poor performance becoming a bad run of results? Thanks.

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This thread is brilliant!

I fell out with my Villa save because I didn't feel like my heart was in it anymore. However, after reading this thread I went back to the drawing board and have noticed a huge change in the way I personally play the game.

Although my team don't perform exactly how I want them to yet (A number of other factors such as language barrier and cohesion still affect my team), I have found that I can read the game better and aid the team from this.

I've had a 1-0 win at Anfield and a 0-0 at VP against Chelsea with the commentary saying my defence were impregnable, which is what I set out to do. Add a tonking of Wolves and coming back to beat Swansea after changing my style with shouts and I'm really happy with this incarnation now! Only bad spot was losing 1-0 away at Stoke, but seeing the goal came from a cross from an overlapping fullback is want a problem as I play a 4-3-2-1.

Only question I have is would a DLF (A) or an AdvF be the better choice up front in this formation? Been finding my striker isn't particularly effective...

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coming back to beat Swansea after changing my style with shouts

Could I ask what prompted you to change the shouts and which shouts did you change from / to? Cheers.

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Could I ask what prompted you to change the shouts and which shouts did you change from / to? Cheers.

I had been using the retain possession and work ball into box and other possession based shouts. I realised that they won't always work, so when I play a match I now look at the weather which I never paid much attention to, so using a get ball forward shout helped me out. I had a bit of success using the play wider/exploit the middle shouts (that were suggested in this thread) when playing Wolves, who were down the table and were playing very deep and narrow. I found it helped open them up nicely

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TC = Tactical Creator

FC = Centre Forward/Forward Centre

OI = Opposition Instructions

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Hey wwfan/everybody. Hope all is well.

I keep coming to these supposed magnificent epiphanies after reading such great chat in regards to tactics, all to have it crumble at my feet every time. I think I'm reading something that makes a light bulb go off in my head, thinking I've finally found my cure. But alas, more failure. Enough of the moaning, and on with the details! First, my tactic.

Yet another beloved user of the 4-1-2-2-1

GK: GK-D

DR/L: FB-A

DC: CD-D

DMC: DM-D (varies depending on opposition formation)

MCr: DLP-S

MCl: AP-A

AMR/L: IF-A

ST: Treq.

In terms of players, let's just say they are world beaters. It definitely isn't quality I'm lacking!

Instead of telling you what I'm going for, I'll just list my shouts/strategy etc and it should be all too obvious :D

I'm using a Balanced/Standard formation (have been close to changing either of them to Rigid/Counter), shorter passing, pressing more and zonal marking. Only alteration is a tick on Counter Attack due to my team's immense skill in passing, decisions, first touch etc (1st in the league for all mentioned). In terms of shouts, I generally start with Pass Into Space and have been known to throw in a Push Up and Retain Possession on occasion.

Anyway, I'm having next to no luck. My passing and possession are quite high (naturally), but through study of my match stats, my main problems are a complete lack of penetration in the final third. An absence of any CCC's (maybe 1 every 3 games), and all but zero passing going on in the penalty area. I'm in no way saying it's an issue with the ME, I'm just totally dumbfounded as to what I'm doing wrong. With a front three of Mata, Ronaldo and Messi (and a midfield supply from De Rossi and Iniesta), I really didn't think that would be an issue no matter how terrible my management is :D

Team Cohesion, fluidity etc aren't the issues as they are all well and good!

Let me know if you have any ideas and I'll be more than grateful! Thanks so much for reading.

-Xeno

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Without knowing more about what's going on during the matches I can't say for sure, but lack of penetration generally means lack of movement. Try adding some roaming and/or increasing/decreasing forward runs for some players (through changing roles or team instructions, NOT ticking boxes... :D).

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Thanks for the response Fabian! If you need to know any specific details, I'll provide whatever necessary :) I've got all the time in the world ;)

In terms of your advice, the front three all have roaming. And the default settings means only the two IF's have forward runs on often, with the Treq sitting in the hole and Iniesta (the AP) making forward runs occasionally too. It seems that every game I play, the opposition manages to get the entire team into the penalty box in a matter of seconds, meaning as soon as I get near the penalty box I misplace a pass, get the ball taken off me as I attempt a dribble, or shoot some horrific ball into the stands. From seeing this, I'd usually push up, play wider, retain possession but this never works. Am I being counter productive with my shouts? Would it be better to sit deeper and stand off to drag them into my half then employ a directer passing style?

Thanks again

-Xeno

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Hi wwfan,

I'm a bit late to the party on this one, but I just wanted a bit of extra clarification on your points in relation to philosophy.

Philosophies/Styles and the Above: The philosophies/styles are mentality and creative freedom structures. They range from being very structured with low creative freedom, to being very unstructured with lots of creative freedom. A useful interpretation would be as follows:

Very Rigid: Each player is given a job and is supposed to stick to it (usually 5+ different roles across a team)

Rigid: Players are assigned a responsibility that contributes to a specific element of play (Defence, defence & transition, transition & attack, attack)

Balanced: Players focus on their duty (Defend, Support, Attack)

Fluid: Players are given instructions to focus on defence or attack

Very Fluid: Players contribute to all aspects of play

You mention that very rigid should be used if you have over 5 different roles throughout the team, but if I was to use the default 4-4-2 then that would be 7 different roles (GK, FB, DC, CM, WM, DLF & AF) so using that initial logic it should be using a very rigid philosophy rather than the balanced philosophy that is selected. I appreciate the main point of this is to get across the differences and uses of each of the philosophies but some further clarification for my understanding would be great.

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By roles it means SPECIALIZED roles. Like Treqs etc. By looks of your roles, you'd actually be looking more towards a Fluid philosophy :)

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