sposfan

Brand new to FM, several game and football questions.

337 posts in this topic

amack1n,

sorry for the lack of updates, I've played a few games, but have spent most of my FM time reading tactical threads and checking out all the screens and options for tactics and training and deciding where to start!

Would you recommend starting with tactics or training? If tactics, do I start with the big picture, decide on my formation for instance, or do I start with the details, setting up my set pieces and individual and team instructions based on attributes?

I've also really started taking a hard look at my team, and started looking at a few teams in my league, 1-2 right around me, 1-2 at the bottom and the top 2 to see the range of attributes and what seems to work and what doesn't.

One thing I have found that I would love to see in the game, is the ability to have a tactical summary screen(s), where I can see the settings for players without having to go through each player and manaully note it on a piece of paper. Off the top of my head, this would be incredibly useful for set pieces and player's instructions.

This is definitely a short term game, I plan on sticking with it for possibly an entire season or two even (definitely until the final official patch comes out), and then embarking on a my "real" career. One of the advantages I'll gain is that I will be playing the exact same team in both careers, so I will not have to learn the players and their strengths and weaknesses all over again.

Thanks for the interest and the ongoing support! I'll have more detailed updates by the end of the week!

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One thing I have found that I would love to see in the game, is the ability to have a tactical summary screen(s), where I can see the settings for players without having to go through each player and manaully note it on a piece of paper. Off the top of my head, this would be incredibly useful for set pieces and player's instructions.

In your tactics screen you can go to 'View' --> 'Attributes' to see you players set piece taking attributes. Not sure if this is what you meant.

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Dappen,

Thanks for the reply, but what I meant was a screen that could show, in one place my set up say for free kicks, where I could see who was in my wall, etc, as opposed to now, where I have to go player by player to check their individual instructions and manually note what their role is for that piece.

Hope that's clearer, but remember, no coffee yet, so brain is not fully engaged! icon_smile.gif

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Ah now I understand, I agree that would be an excellent addition, i've always felt the set pieces side is one area that is somewhat lacking from an otherwise brilliant game.

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oggie26,

Thanks for the welcome and the link, it's been "favourited"! icon_smile.gif

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Sposfan - just caught up on this thread, you look like you're doing a good job. You might be able to dig up some threads posted by Major Raver a year or so ago - he was an American getting into the game so you may get some interesting pointers from his q's.

Also, when you start your career once the patch is out - don't be tempted to shortcut and transfer list all the same players as you did this time, and equally don't buy/loan in the same players. Players, especially in lower leagues, will have attributes determined each time when a new game is started. The quality of the player should be similar, but it might be enough to force a potential 'can do a job player' to actually be 'not really worth it'.

Keep plugging away at the tactics, and you'll be rewarded. I had a pain trying to develop decent tactics in FM07 but got there in the end.

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after reading through this whole thread i think it is the most interesting i have read in long time. sposfan and all that are helping him please carry on icon14.gif

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Originally posted by Mighty Red:

Keep plugging away at the tactics, and you'll be rewarded. I had a pain trying to develop decent tactics in FM07 but got there in the end.

The problem there is just that our learning curve is so much steeper than you folks who are steeped in football culture from birth.

I do really wish FM did more to teach me tactics, rather than expecting me to teach IT tactics. icon_biggrin.gif

I've been searching since signing up for the forum for a good book on the history of football tactics - there don't seem to be any, which somewhat surprised me. Here, at least, all I can buy are skills-drills for American parents who are coaching a youth rec-league team and don't know football .. or biographies of Beckham and Maradona.

If anybody's got a good book to recommend, something that might compare and contrast footballing philosophies from England, Italy, Brazil, and Holland, or cover historical developments like the sweeper, I'd appreciate a link!

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e problem there is just that our learning curve is so much steeper than you folks who are steeped in football culture from birth

This is true - at least we know what to look for in a player for a particular position. To be honest though, I found my successful FM07 tactics were not massively related to real life tactics. Plenty of others will say that they managed to setup a fairly standard tactic and were successful.

It's really just a case of watching the full matches against different types of opponents that did it for me - i.e. watch where your team goes wrong against a lower reputation team, then against an equivalent team and finally against a superior opponent. I eventually settled on the same formation (shape of team) for all situations but varied the style of play (player instructions) depending on whether I expected to win or not.

I've no suggestions for some tactical reading for you - although try searching online for catenaccio (italy) and total football(holland) - you may turn something helpful up.

Without hijacking the thread - Blade is fantastic 'Roq, keep it up!

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icon_biggrin.gif Thanks, Red. Still have plenty more written and "in the can" so to speak, though that last match was exhausting just to post even if I'd written it up a year or so earlier!

Back on topic icon_wink.gif - tactically, I find FM has taught me real-football tactics, and I've had FM success with very much the same approach that you adopt: watching the full matches, and winding up with multiple sets of tactical instruction within the same basic formation.

I just wish I had some "real world" background to go behind it, and from some of what sposfan has said (especially in the linked T&TT thread), I suspect he's really looking for that foundation right now.

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Originally posted by Amaroq:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Mighty Red:

Keep plugging away at the tactics, and you'll be rewarded. I had a pain trying to develop decent tactics in FM07 but got there in the end.

The problem there is just that our learning curve is so much steeper than you folks who are steeped in football culture from birth.

I do really wish FM did more to teach me tactics, rather than expecting me to teach IT tactics. icon_biggrin.gif

I've been searching since signing up for the forum for a good book on the history of football tactics - there don't seem to be any, which somewhat surprised me. Here, at least, all I can buy are skills-drills for American parents who are coaching a youth rec-league team and don't know football .. or biographies of Beckham and Maradona.

If anybody's got a good book to recommend, something that might compare and contrast footballing philosophies from England, Italy, Brazil, and Holland, or cover historical developments like the sweeper, I'd appreciate a link! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Can't reccomend a book i'm afraid, but for some light reading, I found this wikkipedia artice which (very biefly) covers the development of some past and present formations.

I found it by searching for my all time favourite classic formation: WW

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I just wish I had some "real world" background to go behind it, and from some of what sposfan has said (especially in the linked T&TT thread), I suspect he's really looking for that foundation right now.

Just to reiterate I can't recommend anything, but the best advice I can give is to make your mind up on the type of football you want to play and go with it.

Personally, I adopt a 5 in defence and 5 in attack mentality, with direct passing and a high tempo, high pressing game. The idea is to win the ball back as quickly as possible, as high up the pitch as possible and I'm happy to sacrifice people to do this. Then the idea is to get the ball to the forwards as quickly as possible. This is all possible by having a fit, fast team - particularly up front. It does mean my possession count averages around 42-45%, and that I often have a huge amount of shots off-target. But I do keep plenty of clean sheets - only conceded 9 goals in the league last year.

Anyway, I don't expect the OP want's a detailed tactical discussion (he can get that in the tactics forum icon_wink.gif ), but my point is that you must decide on the type of football you want to play - it will help you choose better players for your tactics. Undoubtedly, it will mean there will be certain types of team that naturally defeat your style - that's all part of the game. Sticking to one philosophy is fine until you start challenging for titles as it is then important to not lose as many games as possible.

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Originally posted by Amaroq:

If anybody's got a good book to recommend, something that might compare and contrast footballing philosophies from England, Italy, Brazil, and Holland, or cover historical developments like the sweeper, I'd appreciate a link!

Did a quick google search and one of the first titles that popped up was "Flat Back Four: The Tactical Game" by Andy Gray.

Obviously I've never read it, but from the synopsis on Amazon, it sounds quite interesting.

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Mighty Red,

Thanks for the welcome and the heads up on the threads, I'll do a search later tonight!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if it wasn't for all the encouragement and help I've received in this thread alone, I'm pretty sure I never would have progressed from playing the demo to buying the game.

One advantage of being a total neophyte to the sport is that all the possible bugs and glitches being complained about don't even register for me, since as of now >>I'M<< the biggest glitch and bug to my game! icon_smile.gif

Amaroq has again hit the nail on the head, there's a massive learning curve, when you have no background in the game. Right now, I'm drawing most of my tactical theories from my hockey experience, but reading some of the the threads in the T&T forum, I've had to rethink many of them.

Also, it's one thing to read about something in a book or on paper, it's another thing entirely to be able to see a small part of a pitch on tv and know exactly what's going on EVERYWHERE instinctively. I can compare it to hockey or baseball or NA Football. From watching it so many times and indeed playing it, as well as constantly talking and arguing about it, I have a much more instintive knowledge of what's going on on the periphery of the play, the reasoning for and against a particular play and even certain attributes.

Luckily, there is a pro football team in Montreal, and I'm going to drag my lazy ass to some games, and hopefully that will speed along my learning!

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Originally posted by CoachFlu:

Did a quick google search and one of the first titles that popped up was "Flat Back Four: The Tactical Game" by Andy Gray.

Excellent, thank you. Added that to my Amazon "wish list" (Shtoopid holidayz, I'm not allowed to buy anything for myself at the moment.) .. also trolling the "People who bought this also bought.." led me to "Soccer Strategies: Defensive and Attacking Tactics" and "The Coaching Philosophies of Louis van Gaal and the Ajax Coaches", which also joined it on the wishlist.

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Sorry posted before I had finished, its a bit outdated but I seem to remember reading a copy many years ago (suprised I managed to find its still in print to be honest)

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Anyway, I don't expect the OP want's a detailed tactical discussion (he can get that in the tactics forum

You'd be surprised! Post away please!

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You know, sposfan, I'm half thinking we should start a thread in T&TT entitled "Tactics School", and call it out as very explicitly aimed at teaching neophytes basic football tactics, with very loose tie-in to the game - e.g., this isn't about "teaching how to make tactic X work in the game" or "teaching how slider Y works in the game", but more "teaching how tactic T is supposed to work IRL, and what its weaknesses and strengths are..." and covering a new tactic each week or so.

Shoot me an e-mail if that interests you, I've got rashid1's e-mail and I bet you we can get him onboard with that.

Note also that Google finds a site which claims that "Coming Soon" it will have a series of articles that charts the development of football tactics from the mid-19th century into the modern game:

About A Ball Football Portal

Similarly, Amazon lists a book The History of Football Tactics which is not yet released.

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Originally posted by sposfan:

One advantage of being a total neophyte to the sport is that all the possible bugs and glitches being complained about don't even register for me, since as of now >>I'M<< the biggest glitch and bug to my game! icon_smile.gif

icon_biggrin.gif

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Played another 2 games, went 1-1, should have gone 2-0, but gave up some late goals in the loss. Was too busy watching the game to remember to adjust my tactics, but in some ways that's good, I gotta remember that this is NOT a real career!

A few more questions of course!

Does the AI adapt to my tactics? What I mean is twofold. Do they get a scouting report of my games, just like I do of theirs, and will they possibly adjust their tactics to counter mine, or do they make their tactics without regard to their opponents?

For instance, on my team, I focused the passing to the right side and have my MR, who has shown me he can blow by defenders, carry the ball up and cross it into the box (also has the highest crossing skill on the squad). Will the AI eventually key in on this, trying to focus more on my right side, and then I can counter their counter by passing to the left, or should I just leave it alone?

Do they also make in-game adjustments? If I, later in the game, go to more of a time wasting tactic, do they try to counter it, or simply stay their course? What if I change my formation?

Does it behoove me to tweak my tactics every few games or so, nothing major obviously, but just a bit, so that the AI teams can't easily counter me.

One other more general question:

All players have a dominant foot. I assume it's easier to protect the ball if the dominant foot is to the outside, allowing them to keep their entire body between the ball and the opponent, but (hockey thinking here!), wouldn't they have a better shooting angle if the dominant foot is on the inside, since they could then direct the ball to either side of the net more easily and fluidly, or am I overanalyzing things again? icon_smile.gif

Thanks as always!

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Does the AI adapt to my tactics? What I mean is twofold. Do they get a scouting report of my games, just like I do of theirs, and will they possibly adjust their tactics to counter mine, or do they make their tactics without regard to their opponents?

Yes the AI continually changes tactics and adapts to what you are doing. How they approach this seems to depend largely on 2 key factors (I say seems as it has never been confirmed by SI as far as I know but when you've played a few seasons you will see patterns emerging):-

1. The Match odds (influenced by reputation and form)

2. Whether it is home or away

They will start with a variation of their preferred tactic based on these two factors. They will go

A.ultra attacking

B.attacking

C.slightly attacking

D.normal

E.defensive

F.ultra defensive.

When they change tactic and to which variation they change to will depend on how the match is proceeding (usually the scoreline) and the 2 factors above. For example if you are heavy favourite at home the AI will typically start with a defensive tactic (in England usually the 442 no arrows or the ultra defensive 4141). In this situation I have rarely seen the AI go to a more positive variation after going behind in a match. In fact often when you gain a 2 goal lead in this heavy favourite at home scenario they will switch to a Christmas Tree formation (3 centre backs, 2 wing backs, 1 Defensive midfielder, 2 central midfielders, 1 attacking midfielder and 1 striker). This is just a case of damage limitation.

The same logic applies to other scenarios. The AI manager will flick between the variations A to F throughout a match based on their perception of whether or not they can get something from the game.

The typical variations in England are

1. Christmas Tree [ultra Defensive]

2. 4141 [ultra Defensive/Defensive] Which type it is can be recognisable by how many opposition players get forward when they are attacking

3. 442 No Forward Arrows [Defensive] (often you will see one of the strikers tracking back or dropping deeper than the other striker i.e. he moves closer to his own box when you are attacking)

4. 442 Short Forward Arrow [Normal/Slightly Attacking] (the difference between these can be very subtle but often it will say something in the commentary that indicates the opposition has gone more attackings e.g. looking for more options in the final third)

5. 442 Long Forward Arrow [Attacking]

6. 424 [ultra Attacking or Gung Ho] (usually in the last 10 to 15 minutes if the AI manager thinks they can get something from the game)

A common mistake for new comers to the game is to just look at the formation and assume they are all identical but each manager has hidden attributes which determine how they set up a particular formation. So don't assume that because your tactic worked well against one manager's 442 Short Farrow then it will work against all manager's 442 Short Farrow. How you figure out which ones work against which I haven't a clue. For me it is usually dumb luck more than anything. Also the formations above aren't set in stone but are the most common in England and are the easiest to spot how the manager is approaching the game. In other formations adding/removing forward arrows often indicates a change in the AI manager's approach to the game from attacking to cautious and vice versa.

On the question of do they get scouting reports I haven't a clue although I suspect all AI managers send each other detailed reports to each other on how they beat the human manager icon_wink.gif

For instance, on my team, I focused the passing to the right side and have my MR, who has shown me he can blow by defenders, carry the ball up and cross it into the box (also has the highest crossing skill on the squad). Will the AI eventually key in on this, trying to focus more on my right side, and then I can counter their counter by passing to the left, or should I just leave it alone?

I honestly don't pay enough attention to the game to notice. But I have seen the AI switch their centre backs so their big defender is on your big striker if he is winning alot of headers. They might swap full backs if they have two who can play on either side, but I have never seen it.

Do they also make in-game adjustments? If I, later in the game, go to more of a time wasting tactic, do they try to counter it, or simply stay their course? What if I change my formation?

I don't know about other countries but in England if the AI manager feels they can get something from a match they will 90% of the time go to a 424 formation (4 defenders, 2 central midfielders, 4 Forwards). This is the most hated formation in the game and regardless of the quality of the opposition the best thing to do when you see this is switch to a counter attacking formation.

Does it behoove me to tweak my tactics every few games or so, nothing major obviously, but just a bit, so that the AI teams can't easily counter me.

What happens in the game is what is known here as 're ranking' whereby the AI managers adapt to your tactic if you are successful because they gain respect for you as a manager and your team. To be honest I don't buy into that theory and believe it is fundamentally down to the match odds, home/away and reputation which determines how the AI sets up their tactic and it's success, or lack of, against you. Treating it as a computer game then yes small tweaks every now and then can keep the AI on it's toes, but it does depend on your status. Some people can use the same tactic week in week out and get success while others find themselves tweaking endlessly. There are so many variables involved it is really hard to be absolutely certain of whether a loss was down to tactics or not. And then you have the random element programmed into the game which just adds to the confusion. They have a saying in these parts about football, 'it's a funny old game', in other words on any given day anything can happen and FM does a good job of replicating this (this doesn't reduce the frustration it induces though).

All players have a dominant foot. I assume it's easier to protect the ball if the dominant foot is to the outside, allowing them to keep their entire body between the ball and the opponent, but (hockey thinking here!), wouldn't they have a better shooting angle if the dominant foot is on the inside, since they could then direct the ball to either side of the net more easily and fluidly, or am I overanalyzing things again?

This isn't based on any in depth knowledge of football history and the evolution of tactics so don't take it as gospel. Outside players primary role in attacking is to cross the ball. If it is on their dominant foot this increases the accuracy. At it's most basic form defenders win the ball back, they distribute to midfielders who set up goals for the strikers. A midfielder who can chip in with a decent amount of goals is a bonus (these are often highly valued and sought after players in real life). In old school football, and still in the modern game, a decent percentage of goals come from crosses from wingers (this is based on anecdotal rather than specific statistical evidence), usually delivered to the big man up front (the target man). Hence the accuracy of the crosses and the need for left footers on the left and right footers on the right.

The modern game at the elite levels has evolved beyond this mode of thinking with some of the world's top wingers known for 'cutting in'. This is often assigned as a Player Preferred Move in FM. This means instead of going along the outside of the full back to get to the byline and deliver a cross, they will change direction aand move in a diagonal manner inwards towards the opposition box. The effectiveness of this is that when the opposition has no midfielders covering the gap between their defense and midfield, it leaves the opposition centre backs with one of two options. Either stick with marking the striker or close down the oncoming winger. Thus regardless of the option chosen an attacking opportunity will often arise. If you watch top class centre back partnerships what you can often see is the perfection of the timing and the synchronicity of their movements. They know their opposition player's long shot ability and will often let him keep coming inviting him to have a go from long range (their faith in their own goalkeeper also has a psychological bearing on this). Then at the right moment both centre halfs will step up to try and catch the striker offside if the in cutting winger attempts the through ball. It's a risky approach but when there is a strong awareness of each other's position, usually obtained from playing together in matches and training, this can be an extremely effective strategy for centre half partnerships.

But in the modern game it is common to have a holding midfielder whose role it is to cover the two centre halfs and prevent this scenario from happening. If you've looked at wwfan's posts in the tactics and training forum it gives details on how to set up players for this, and various other positions.

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Thanks for taking the time for the detailed reply!

One thing I can comment on immediately is:

On the question of do they get scouting reports I haven't a clue although I suspect all AI managers send each other detailed reports to each other on how they beat the human manager

My opponents' would be known for their brevity...how to beat this human manager? Like a rented mule!! icon_smile.gif

Thanks for the typical English formations, that's actually a huge help. I typically watch the game in full pitch and then later in the second sometimes switch to the split screen, so I can more closely monitor the fatigue, but now I think I'll start paying more attention to the opponents formations too. Adding the offensive/defensive stance also helps big!

One thing I'll have to get used to is the way teams, especially on the road, go into the "limit damage" stance when losing, I'm more used to the North American way, where, especially in hockey and football, you go more offensive, trying to tie the game up, the thinking being it's more important to try to get the win or tie, and since you're already losing, not worrying about how MUCH you're going to lose by, since a loss is a loss is a loss, and goal differential only comes into play when there's a tie in the standings.

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But, in England at least, goal differential is the first tie-breaker, trumping other things like "head-to-head", so it is pretty important.

As a general rule of thumb, most managers are hoping for 1 point while on the road, and 3 points at home.. 2.0 points per game should see you in touch of the leaders in most leagues, and certainly in promotion/European contention - you'll need something more like 2.2 to win it outright.

(Obviously, you need to take 3 points on the road against the worst teams, period - no excuses! - and against a team much better than you, 1 point at home is probably a good thing.)

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But, in England at least, goal differential is the first tie-breaker, trumping other things like "head-to-head", so it is pretty important.

aha, makes a bit more sense, but wouldn't a win still be more valuable? Just goes against my competitive nature, although after playing about 1/3 of a season, this GAME seems to go against my competitive nature! icon_smile.gif

I can see the logic of course, the team that's winning would be going to a more defensive posture, trying to waste time, making it harder to get the goals and couple that with the fact that the more aggressively you press for the goal, the more likely you are to give one up as well.

I also read your post in the thread about whether it's possible to win all the games, and you mentioned that playing with just England and a small DB will lead to you eventually having the best players on your team. How far down the road are we talking here? Years or decades? What size DB would you recommend, and how many leagues. I don't have the highest end computer, and figured for my first game(s) the smaller the talent pool the easier the scouting for me, and the game in general for me.

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Oh - definitely, for your first game, small DB, England only should be fine for years, at least one decade, probably more like twenty or twenty-five years. And keep in mind, FM years are a lot 'longer' than PureSim years!

The season where it doesn't feel like "work" to win the Premiership, or you feel like you've done everything you wanted to, hang up that game and start another - but that may be around the time FM'09 is out. icon_biggrin.gif

For the "ideal" long-term challenge, I'd recommend the "Big Four" European leagues - England, Italy, Spain, Germany (add France if you want Five), at least at their top level. (Second division if you might want to manage in that country). That ensures that you've always got 'active' teams competing for top European honours with real players and real fixtures.

Notice you can still run those on a "small" DB - but you'll notice a huge difference between player generation for the 'active' countries and the inactive ones; for example, there won't be much point scouting Brazil on a small DB if you don't have Brazil active.

If your computer can handle it, pick two or three of the following to layer in the other countries you might want to manage internationally, see doing well in World Cups, or scout for players: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, U.S.A., maybe Holland, Australia, Scotland, Portugal, Croatia, Sweden, etc. Here, top-level only is sufficient, full stop.

Then pick whatever league you want to start in (England Conference, Italy Serie C1, Iceland, whatever floats your boat) and make sure its available.

If you run a "medium" or "large" DB you'll really increase the breadth of player across the world even in the inactive leagues.

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Thanks for the typical English formations, that's actually a huge help. I typically watch the game in full pitch and then later in the second sometimes switch to the split screen, so I can more closely monitor the fatigue, but now I think I'll start paying more attention to the opponents formations too.

I tend to watch split screen with formations and match stats. This allows me to see when the opponent has changed shape and react to it, and also you get a heads up when things aren't working by looking at possession/pass completion etc.

You may have seen around the forums a 'second season syndrome' - essentially this is where a human team has won the league in the first season and then gets inconsistent results the second season. The is usually down to the rest of the league saying "OK, we don't expect to win here so we'll go defensive and then try and hit them on the counter". This makes them hard to break down and also gives rise to the "OMG, I just had 23 shots on goal and didn't score, but the AI had 1 shot and scored - the game cheats!". Invariably the human team has been taking longs shots as they can't break down the opposition, and by sending everyone forward then they get hit on the counter.

If you look like you are dominating another team, try switching to a patient buildup - high tempo, passing down both flanks, short passing, at least average time wasting. Invariably this causes you to have fewer shots on target, but they will be better opportunities.

On the contrary, if you're getting battered then go direct, fast tempo, low time wasting, counter-attack with a defensive outlook.

As mentioned above, some people swear by constantly changing their tactics - I'm not so sure this is necessary providing you choose your tactic based on the opposition carefully. This requires experience and luck!

You may consider it cheating, but you may find it helpful to replay the same match several times over - to find out what tactics work against that opposition (in terms of attacking-ness), and then save that tactic as patient buildup / counter-attacking / all out attack and this should make it easier to think about what tactic is necessary against future opposition.

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sposfan, if you want to do well at this game my first suggestion understand the game in this order.

Tactics

Pick a formation YOU like and then understand what roles the different positions require. You could get anyone to to play in any position, but whether he plays well or not will depend on his attributes. So you need to prepare yourself by finding out what instructions are needed to make a unit play well.

Always divide a team into 2 halves..a defending group and an attacking group. That's usually the easiest way to start. Once you've done that, determine the important attributes that will be central to your whole team. Mine is determination and workrate.

Once you know what each position needs..its time to turn to:

Attributes

This is easily the most important part. Tactics are easy, its knowing the right kind of player to pull off what you want that's hard. Start by having a base set of attributes for the defending half..here you really need workrate. This will mean the defenders will work for one another. Then look at the other attributes.

Sometimes you'll have a player on the pitch who will almost always pull out of a challenge, before you scream that closing down isn't working..look at bravery if its low and his natural fitness is low..he will behave just like a man on a crutch.

Finally teamtalks...its now much easier than 07, but still with all the personalities in the game it is still very challenging. Getting your head around this one takes time, effort and pieces of paper. Note down their personalities, and remember what you say in different cirumstances. You're looking for motivated and fired up at half time after a team talk.

When it comes down to using tactics, once you find the tactic you like, fiddle with it..but don't go making massive changes in every match unless you are absolutely sure of what you're doing. Even then that's not recommended. I find that once a team has played a certain tactic for a long time and have been together, they tend to do well, but sometimes you need other tactics and these can vary between attacking and possession type tactics. Whatever it is try a tactic in preseason to see how your team respond, and then be conservative and let the tactic take time to gel.

Always get the right player for the right job

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Once again, thanks for the help!

Rashidi, thank you, but a couple more questions! icon_smile.gif

My main problem is that I don't know which formation I like, got to do some more reading on formations, but let's say I go with the standard 4-4-2 in the meantime. My reasoning here is that my team was just promoted to League 1, so I'm assuming I'll be somewhere in the bottom 3rd of the standings and overall talent, so I don't believe I can have any real success with anything more offensive. I don't want anything too defensive either, and the 4-4-2 seems a good balance.

You say to divide the team in off/def. In what way do you mean? Do you mean the individual players or the positions on the pitch ( ie. my strikers part of the offensive half and my defensive line part of the defensive)?

I believe I was going about it counter to your recommendations, since I assumed it would be easier to choose a formation/tactic that would play to my team's initial attributes and then have it slowly evolve as my roster changed to the formation I actually prefer and keep it there.

I think I might go back to the drawing board on this one as per your instructions. I did decide early on that I would eventually settle on a system and get the players to fit the system rather than the other way around, since being a bit of a lower league, it would be a lot easier to find players with overall flaws, but whose attributes made them hidden gems based on how their stronger attributes would fit with my tactics.

I also agree with you about not making wholesale changes in tactics from match to match and even from year to year. I do believe there is a cohesiveness factor involved too, the longer the squad stays with the same tactics the better they will play it as opposed to having to "learn" a new tactic every game. I don't think small tweaks would affect this greatly, especially when played with most of the existing tactical settings.

As I've said before, coming into this with an extremely limited knowledge of football tactics and strategy (don't play te ball with your hands! icon_smile.gif )i smaking this a long, slow process, but all the help I've received, as well as all the great fundamental and basic posts in the T&T forum I'm slowly learning if not the intricacies of the game, at least which questions to ask!

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Originally posted by sposfan:

I think I might go back to the drawing board on this one as per your instructions. I did decide early on that I would eventually settle on a system and get the players to fit the system rather than the other way around, since being a bit of a lower league, it would be a lot easier to find players with overall flaws, but whose attributes made them hidden gems based on how their stronger attributes would fit with my tactics.

Although everyone plays it differently I must admit I tend to work like this, I usually create a tactic that works for me and one I feel I have a good understanding of then I'll build my team around that. The problem I find with building a tactic around my team is that it's too much of a learning curve, If I know what players it takes to make my tactic work then its much easier for me to find those players.

For me its far easier to find players for my tactic than it is to find a tactic for my players. this is just how I play it though, the tactical gurus out there probably play it the other way around icon_biggrin.gif

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Originally posted by Dappen:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by sposfan:

I think I might go back to the drawing board on this one as per your instructions. I did decide early on that I would eventually settle on a system and get the players to fit the system rather than the other way around, since being a bit of a lower league, it would be a lot easier to find players with overall flaws, but whose attributes made them hidden gems based on how their stronger attributes would fit with my tactics.

Although everyone plays it differently I must admit I tend to work like this, I usually create a tactic that works for me and one I feel I have a good understanding of then I'll build my team around that. The problem I find with building a tactic around my team is that it's too much of a learning curve, If I know what players it takes to make my tactic work then its much easier for me to find those players.

For me its far easier to find players for my tactic than it is to find a tactic for my players. this is just how I play it though, the tactical gurus out there probably play it the other way around icon_biggrin.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

In the first chapters of "Blade" I was trying to build a tactic to suit my players, and just couldn't get it to work. Loss after dreary loss, and I was sure I was going to get sacked.

I switched it around, going to the tactical approach I wanted, and 'shoehorning' players into it .. and did better, passably at least, immediately. When I got players in to suit my tactic, things really started to click.

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Originally posted by Amaroq:

In the first chapters of "Blade" I was trying to build a tactic to suit my players, and just couldn't get it to work. Loss after dreary loss, and I was sure I was going to get sacked.

I switched it around, going to the tactical approach I wanted, and 'shoehorning' players into it .. and did better, passably at least, immediately. When I got players in to suit my tactic, things really started to click.

I actually assumed it would be the other way around for you Amaroq, guess what they say about assumptions is true.

Actually when you think about it this makes sense in real life, Arsene Wenger, for example, clearly has a vision of how he would like a team to play and he purchases players to achieve that.

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I made it work later in the story, adapting to a tactic that suited the players at hand for a five-game stretch, so I've gone both ways.

I think its easier to pick a tactic and buy players to suit .. and its also more powerful to buy players who fit your philosophy but tweak your tactics to fit their other strengths and weaknesses.

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Originally posted by sposfan:

Thank you both very much for the prompt replies! Extremely helpful and I should have thought of a wikipedia! I'd still like to grab a good book as well, let's just say the desktop doesn't quite reach the room where I do my best reading! icon_smile.gif

You could buy a magazine, because I cant really think of a book about Football/Soccer, only auto biographys. Four Four Two is the one I buy, got all the best player in it, talks about recent happenings in the footballing world and other things.

Sorry if it wasn't very clear, remember football meaning soccer. (I hate that word - soccer).

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We make that transition right quick, on this forum. icon_biggrin.gif

I've been picking up scattered issues of Four Four Two; I do like it, but I don't think its got anything like the depth of knowledge sposfan is looking for.

However, for covering breadth of knowledge, its pretty good, covering at least one English team and one non-English team in some detail each issue, and usually also including a profile on some historical English team, plus one historical figure and one modern figure (either player or staff).

Plus a lot of random stuff. icon_biggrin.gif

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Joe,

thanks for the idea, I never even thought of looking for a magazine. I'm sure none of the local corner stores will carry it, but there are a few magazine stores that might, so I'll definitely look into it!

I really wish there was a magazine for complete newbies though! Actually thinking of getting season tickets for the local team, very reasonable, I think about $200 for the season and 2 playoff games. I think it's 12 home games per season, but I can't remember off the top of my head!

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You say to divide the team in off/def. In what way do you mean? Do you mean the individual players or the positions on the pitch ( ie. my strikers part of the offensive half and my defensive line part of the defensive)?

Yeah, it's easier to say that group of players are trying to score, and that group of players are trying to defend. I use the word group, because different people have different preferences - eg. 6 defending and 4 attacking, 4 defending 6 attacking. As mentioned above, my personal preference is 5 and 5 - mostly down to prefering to play 3 forwards, I figured most real life tactics, and therefore those derived into FM are designed to handle 1 or 2 strikers. By putting 3 up front, I'm hoping to expose flaws in those systems. By and large it works, apart from when there are massed ranks of defenders, in which case I'm often left outnumbered in the midfield.

Alot of people talk about balance in their formations - i.e. having equal width/strength down both flanks - but is equally important to get the right balance between attackers and defenders. Looking at the premiership gives two good examples - Martin Jol at Tottenham had a group of very good players, but struggled to defend but they were pretty irirestible (sp??) going forward - an unbalanced team(both tactically and in terms of quality players - to many good attackers and too few defenders, although this wasn't helped by injuries). Also Man Utd are offering a good example this year, they are extremely good defensively but rely on quality attackers to attack at pace (Rooney, Tevez and Ronaldo - I can't think of any team in world that would not want any of these three players).

One historical note that I've remembered, is that the traditional English intepretation is to actually have a hardworking, solid right winger and a creative, flair player on the left - when the team attacks then the LW ends up supporting the strikers and the RW holds back a bit to bulk up the midfield. This has evolved a bit over the last 5-7 years, with teams preferring to have two quality wingers going forward to acheive better balance - with Man Utd probably being the best example with Beckham on the right and Giggs on the left (although history still remained, as Beckham was never a dribbler, and therefore his creativity was usually limited to picking a good pass/cross). At the same time Arsenal has Pires/Ljunberg on the flanks with Veira/Petit/Silva in the middle.

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Hopefully this doesn't get lost amongst all the patch talk, but I expect maybe a good 5-10 minutes on page 1 icon_smile.gif

Played a few more games, downloaded the patch and then played another.

Been playing around with tactics, trying to watch closely how individual players react in the basic 4-4-2 and then again with a tweak or 2, trying to change only 1 or 2 things to use the base 442 as a control. I understand the situation will be a bit different since I don't replay the same game over and over (I know I should, but at least this way it looks like I'm actually accomplishing something! icon_smile.gif )

I do, of course, have a few more QUESTIONS (big surprise!):

A player equally adept at playing AMC and MC. Am I better off playing him at MC with a farrow or AMC with a barrow?

Changing tactics. I've read of people having a home and away tactics, but I've also heard that tweaking tactics too often can adversely affect team play. How much tweaking will actually affect team play? If I simply change a few instructions, I'll assume that won't affect anything, that it's more if I keep changing my formation or do major changes that affects things.

I had a scouting report that told me to "defend in depth" in a 442 how would I accomplish this? Would dropping my middle line back with barrows do the trick?

What I did was to change my formation from a 442 with 2 strikers to I guess a 4-4-1-1, replacing one of my strikers with an AMC (played on the left centre) with a barrow to MC and both MCs having barrows as well.

I actually ended up winning 3-1 easily, and despite all the arrows, my teams conditioning was pretty good with only one player falling under 70%.

I gave up some strength in doing so since the ST I replaced was stronger than his AMC replacement, but things worked out so well, that I'm considering keeping this formation against other teams with this scouting report.

Any comments/criticism?

Thanks again!

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Originally posted by sposfan:

Hopefully this doesn't get lost amongst all the patch talk, but I expect maybe a good 5-10 minutes on page 1 icon_smile.gif

Played a few more games, downloaded the patch and then played another.

Been playing around with tactics, trying to watch closely how individual players react in the basic 4-4-2 and then again with a tweak or 2, trying to change only 1 or 2 things to use the base 442 as a control. I understand the situation will be a bit different since I don't replay the same game over and over (I know I should, but at least this way it looks like I'm actually accomplishing something! icon_smile.gif )

I do, of course, have a few more QUESTIONS (big surprise!):

A player equally adept at playing AMC and MC. Am I better off playing him at MC with a farrow or AMC with a barrow?

Depends on your formation and how the rest of your midfield goes. As he is equally good at both you can play him either abit infront of the rest of the midfield or in line with it. The arrow can go in any direction no matter where you play him, my AMC got a forward arrow.

Changing tactics. I've read of people having a home and away tactics, but I've also heard that tweaking tactics too often can adversely affect team play. How much tweaking will actually affect team play? If I simply change a few instructions, I'll assume that won't affect anything, that it's more if I keep changing my formation or do major changes that affects things.

If the tactic work both home and away you don't need to change it. I tend to tweak more considering who I'm facing and how they probably will play.

I had a scouting report that told me to "defend in depth" in a 442 how would I accomplish this? Would dropping my middle line back with barrows do the trick?

There is a slider that says defensive line in your team instructions, it goes from deep to push up. Setting this to deep will hopefully make your defensive line to take a stand furhter back.

What I did was to change my formation from a 442 with 2 strikers to I guess a 4-4-1-1, replacing one of my strikers with an AMC (played on the left centre) with a barrow to MC and both MCs having barrows as well.

I actually ended up winning 3-1 easily, and despite all the arrows, my teams conditioning was pretty good with only one player falling under 70%.

I gave up some strength in doing so since the ST I replaced was stronger than his AMC replacement, but things worked out so well, that I'm considering keeping this formation against other teams with this scouting report.

Any comments/criticism?

Thanks again!

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mimland,

thanks for the help, especially the tidbit about the slider. I knew it was there, and what it controlled, but never realized that "defending in depth" could be accomplished with it!

learn something new everyday! icon_smile.gif

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A player equally adept at playing AMC and MC. Am I better off playing him at MC with a farrow or AMC with a barrow?

Its not going to matter, for the most part - there's not much difference between the two.

The two things I've noticed that it impacts:

1. Where he lines up for dead-ball situations such as kickoffs and goal-kicks. (the "circle", not the end of the arrow)

2. I think I've observed players hustling a bit more to reach the end of the arrow than to "get back in position" - so if you want him to hustle back on defense, you want the barrow; if you want him to race forward on attack, you want the farrow.

Changing tactics. I've read of people having a home and away tactics, but I've also heard that tweaking tactics too often can adversely affect team play. How much tweaking will actually affect team play? If I simply change a few instructions, I'll assume that won't affect anything, that it's more if I keep changing my formation or do major changes that affects things.

I think of it as "formation", really - even that, as long as you're not too extreme, you should be fine. For example, you might do a diamond-midfield-4-4-2 (DMC ML MR AMC SC SC) at home and a similar 4-5-1 (DMC ML MR AMC AMC SC) away without much impact between them. But if you switched to a 3-4-3, you should expect trouble.

I had a scouting report that told me to "defend in depth" in a 442 how would I accomplish this? Would dropping my middle line back with barrows do the trick?

Set the "defensive line" to deep, as mimland suggested. Barrows might also work - this might be the sort of thing where you might add a barrow from MC to DMC, on a flat 4-4-2, or might try a 4-5-1 instead of a 4-4-2 to give just a bit of extra defensive coverage.

What I did was to change my formation from a 442 with 2 strikers to I guess a 4-4-1-1, replacing one of my strikers with an AMC (played on the left centre) with a barrow to MC and both MCs having barrows as well.

Yeah - that sounds perfect, honestly. Two DMC's in defense will really help break up attacks, while in attack there's not really tremendous difference between two SC's and one SC and one AMC.

I actually ended up winning 3-1 easily, and despite all the arrows, my teams conditioning was pretty good with only one player falling under 70%.

Sounds like you'll definitely want to save that tactic off, then, for use again later.

As for the "replacing a stronger SC" - I wouldn't think of that as a huge worry: its about getting the result, not putting the strongest XI on the pitch.

If it all goes south, you can still have the SC to bring in off the bench in the second half, replacing a more defensive player to give you more attacking options.

Plus, giving him one game of rest may be good for him - if nothing else, serving to motivate him when he next gets a chance!

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Thanks as always!

Now that I have that formation saved (used it in an away game) I might tweak it a bit with team and individual instructions and see where it takes me.

One more question: In regards to team and individual instructions, are these top level or formation specific? In other words, I give my striker individual instructions while playing the basic 442, would these instructions stay with the striker if I change to a 343, or do I need different instructions for each tactic that will be saved with that particular tactic?

Also, I found this site while poking around the net looking for basic football sites:

http://www.soccerhelp.com/Soccer_Tips_Dictionary_Terms_A.shtml

while not everything in the site is free, there's enough there to make it more than worthwhile and it seems to be based on teaching kids the game, and since developmentally football (and according to my wife, life) -wise, that's where I am, it's pretty darn helpful!

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One more question: In regards to team and individual instructions, are these top level or formation specific? In other words, I give my striker individual instructions while playing the basic 442, would these instructions stay with the striker if I change to a 343, or do I need different instructions for each tactic that will be saved with that particular tactic?

They're part of the tactic.

In other words, when you load a saved tactic, you will be returned to the Individual Instructions that you had last assigned before saving that tactic; it will overwrite your current Individual Instructions.

That's the biggest annoyance with using "load" to toggle between a bunch of different tactics mid-match, honestly.

If your Individual Instructions are pretty generic, no big deal - but if, instead, you've got two players who play very differently but might use the same position .. say two right wings, one who bangs great long shots but poor crosses, and the other who makes great crosses but can't shoot .. when you load a saved tactic, you'll need to check the Individual Instructions to make sure they match your current personnel

Its particularly annoying, for example, if you have a very specific corner-kick routine you want to use, but you adjust who takes which part of the routine based on personnel rather than position: my super-tall right wing at "Near Post" sometimes, but my other right wing TAKES corners, so I'll use a central-defender or my target-man-striker then ...

People have been asking SI to provide some way to "save" specific Individual Instructions separately from the tactic for a while, but I still don't see it in '08.

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Ahhh, thanks for clearing that up! Guess the easiest work around would be to save each formation before and after games if I make any changes.

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Sorry for the long break, bit sometimes ( for shame!) life gets in the way! icon_smile.gif

I'm currently setting up my real career, taking time to scout my team properly and upgrade my backroom staff. Unfortunately the GK I found in my test career is nowhere close to as cheap this time around, so I'm searching for upgrades there. I figure I'll invest a lot more time in setting up my squad before actually playing a game and then finetune it in the friendlies instead of doing it piecemeal like I did in round 1.

One small question about Long Shots. Are all long shots created equal or are the positionally dependant? What I mean is that would a long shot for a striker be as long as a long shot for a MC (ie taken from the same spot on the pitch), or would the striker's long shot be from a lot closer since he plays closer to the net?

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I may be corrected on this but i've observed that most long shots happen from around just outside the box, regardless of the starting position of the player. So an AMC who is set to attempt long shots will take them from similar postitions to an SC.

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