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CElliott

Default tactical settings when using the Tactics Creator

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Hi,

I've read the Tactics section in the FM2014 manual and many posts on this forum - but I have some questions on Tactics created via the Tactics Creator Wizard (bear in mind I have just made the jump from FM2011 to this version).

Let's say I create a Rigid Fluidity and Counter Mentality 4-4-2 Tactic (just as an example).

After the wizard completes you have a basic tactic you can save - but before I change any player roles, or add team instructions or individual instructions what has it just created?

I mean what has it actually created tactically at this point? By choosing the 'Counter Mentality' have any passing, defensive line, tempo or any other tactical settings been changed? I would imagine they must have applied some basic changes or what is the point of selecting Counter Mentality at all?

The reason I ask this is I have seen a number of forum posts along the lines of "I created a 4-4-2 Counter Tactic and selected More Direct Passing, Drop Deeper etc from the Team Instructions...."

But if you create a 4-4-2 Counter Mentality tactic, surely these defaults such as Drop Deeper are an integral part of the Counter Mentality? If I then add Drop Deeper as Team Instruction as well, is this not going to mean the team is being told to sit too deep (ie told to drop deeper twice) and expose the goalkeeper to too much pressure?

Do I need to add Team Instructions to dictate every single tactical decision or only those that differ from the 'norm' for that mentality?

Also a related question - say I have a first team Full Back and I have a substitute who plays better as a Limited Fullback. If I switch the substitutes role to 'Limited Fullback' when I bring him on at half-time, does this reduce his effectiveness because the saved Tactic had that role as a regular Fullback? In other words, are the player roles saved and taught as part of the main tactic or can I change them to fit the players during the match without any tactical loss of ability.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Each Mentality should be considered to be a template.

They each affect the things you mention ("passing, defensive line, tempo or any other tactical settings"), and in a very generalised summary, the settings range from a Deep Defensive Line, Slow Tempo, Narrow width and more Time Wasting at the Contain end of the scale, up to a High Defensive Line, High Tempo, Wide width and no Time Wasting at the Overload end of the scale.

Passing in Defensive Mentalities is shorter for Attack Duties, more direct for Defend Duties (to get the ball away from danger, faster).

Also in the mix are general tendencies to be more cautious defensively at the more Defensive end of the scale - players will tend to Stay On Feet, Stand Off and Hold Position.

At the Attacking end of the scale, the higher defensive line means that you by default will exhibit more of a tendency to Close Down, as you are higher up the pitch and therefore able to engage the opposition earlier. Whilst Defensive Mentalities tend to Stand Off, you will find players more likely to Get Stuck In as you go more offensive. Everything is logical in this respect, and that is the cornerstone of these Mentality templates.

Movement increases as you go up the scale, as Attacking players may show more inclination to Roam From Position - so the pursuit of space and opportunity can come at the expense of shape and structure. Passing flips at the Attacking end of the scale relative to Defensive Mentalities - Attack Duties will play quick, direct stuff to try and break down stubborn defences, whilst Defend Duties will be more likely to play short to retain possession deep, to create space at the other end of the pitch.

So that's roughly it in terms of Mentality, but then all of that is affected by the individual Mentality of the Roles you select within that framework, and then again by the Fluidity you select.

With regard to the last Role question ("If I switch the substitutes role to 'Limited Fullback' when I bring him on at half-time, does this reduce his effectiveness because the saved Tactic had that role as a regular Fullback?") Shouldn't have an impact in terms of his contribution, but may affect the balance of your team because the LFB plays a noticeably more simplistic game than a standard FB.

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When calculating team familiarity with a tactic, I'm pretty sure the engine ignores which roles you have assigned - and even which duties you have assigned too. You only take a hit if you change the team instructions.

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Thanks both of you for the responses.

So my assumptions were more or less along the right lines. The Tactics Creator behaves somewhat as it did in FM2011, each Mentality setting is essentially a basic tactical template which you may need to tweak according to your players and/or formation. It seems the tactics sliders are still there under the hood, they have default values according to the mentality you select, with the fluidity settings determining who gets creative freedom and how much.

Player roles & duties will adjust these team defaults (for the player in question) but are not actually 'part of the tactic that is learned'.

So would I be right in assuming then that in the example of the Countering 4-4-2, if the mentality is set to Counter - the default tactical choices will already include a deeper defensive line (for example) so it is either irrelevant to pick Drop Deeper as a Team Instruction or even detrimental (dropping too deep).

This begs the question, in the absence of the old tactics sliders, how can we see for certain what settings are applied when we select a particular mentality?

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So would I be right in assuming then that in the example of the Countering 4-4-2, if the mentality is set to Counter - the default tactical choices will already include a deeper defensive line (for example) so it is either irrelevant to pick Drop Deeper as a Team Instruction or even detrimental (dropping too deep).

Spot on. While I'm very happy with the sliderless system, the one thing I still sometimes think "in slider terms" are the changes to width, defensive line, and speed when changing mentalities or giving shouts. As far as I understand, if you, for example, give a "pass shorter" instruction and are using "Defensive Mentality", it does so relative to the passing settings of your mentality, meaning your forward players will pass it even shorter. Also, it should logically mean your team will probably play more narrow as players get closer to each other in order to pass it around.

I found the slider system a bit too unrealistic, although I got used to it as a means of "measuring", however abstract it may have been.

One thing I find both addictive and maddening is the language in FM. As football fans, we have preconceived notions of concepts such as "direct", "counterattack", or "fluid". They are slightly different in FM, in that, they tend to be layers of an overall strategy or style of play. The Arsenal Invincibles counterattacking style, or Barcelona's possession game, or Stoke's stokeball, are difficult to recreate based on language alone.

For me, wwfan's Tactical Theoroms and Frameworks (book?) was the single most useful guide to FM (among many), and football in general.

One of the reasons why it seems so many people overload their tactics with Team and Player Instructions is because it can often feel safer to "articulate" your style of play by dictating as much as possible, rather than trust the full implications of a strategy. So, for example, "hassle opponents" within an Attacking strategy, for better or worse, is a modifier of an already high level of closing down your team will do since they are on Attacking. This strategy is possible and can often be very successful, but it can also lead to sheer absurdity in play, with high amounts of red cards or people losing it and screaming the game is broken because you're bombarding a team sitting deep and not getting anywhere but sent off...

I'm sure many of you will remember CM3 (I think), where virtually every match, the favored team (90% of the time the home side) would start off defensive, then switch to more attacking on 20 minutes, and it was pretty easy to predict the opposition's style of play. In a recent match I was up against a Torino side who were heavy underdogs, away from home, but they played a very direct style which couldn't possibly be called "defensive". Yes, they sat deep and were organized and their goalkeeper took ages for every goal kick, but it was a a quick, physical, direct style, which could certainly be achieved using the TC and modifiers, and suitable for their squad and manager. When they went behind, in the second half, they seemed to switch to an Attacking strategy, but "drop deeper" - although of course I could be totally wrong and they played Defensive with "route one" - either way, it's a a series of highly modified variables.

I apologize if this is incoherent. I think this is a very valid discussion and the root of a lot of people's frustration with the game, but also which makes it such a wonderful simulation of football

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