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Whalix

What, in your opinion, is the best way to go about making a tactic?

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I've been playing FM for 7 years now and love the game. I've learned lots and have turned friends into FM addicts. I'd say I'm decent enough at the game, usually managing to achieve what the board ask of me first and foremost before starting to progress the club.

However, I browse these forums every now and then and I'm regularly surprised at the level of detail people play the game in, making me feel like I'm still an absolute newbie!

I've always followed and played football, so I have a pretty decent understanding of football dynamics and how I think football should be played. When I start a save (usually lower leagues), I take a look at the squad report, have a brief look at each players' stats, and then create a tactic roughly based on the players I have, spending no more than 15-20 minutes on it (usually an attacking tactic, then I create a more defensive version of said tactic). I sign players for what I believe are the weak points of the squad, and give all players a chance during preseason, which forms my starting XI for the start of the season. I don't go intensely in-depth in any aspect of the game, but instead slowly shape all aspects of the club to my liking.

I have regularly created demanding tactics for non-league teams with 10+ instructions (something which seems to be an ungodly sin among these forums) yet have won leagues with those tactics. I rarely consider how one mental stat may counteract a technical stat, such as how a player with high finishing but low composure might fluff 1-on-1s all the time). I don't massively tweak or change my tactics based on one bad performance (I believe that if you train any squad in a tactic which vaguely suits them, they will eventually become accomplished at it which will yield very positive results in the medium to long term). This all seems to me like the opposite of how most people here and on youtube play the game. Yet I seem to do okay. 

So, how do you guys go about creating a tactic? What do you focus on? Which stats matter most to you in your players, technical, mental or physical?

I'm curious!

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Depends how you want to play. I find out who my best players are and play them in their preferred roles.

I then mould the other players to the remaining roles / positions.

My usual go to, is a 4-1-2-2-1 (4-3-3) with a centre midfield running into the box (usually CM-a)

 

 

 

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I would say a lot of users are influenced by their own style/preference, for me that would be a defensive/possession based but that doesn't mean I can't go for something different if the team doesn't suit my preferred style.

Generally when taking over a club I'll look over the first team, see what positions the better players play and go from there.  The basic questions concern attack & defence:

A) 3, 4 or 5 defenders?

B) wingers?

C) 1, 2 or 3 strikers?

 

Once you have a handle on that you have 2/3 basic shapes in your head and you can start building the tactic with roles/duties.  The tactic is always more important than the players for me so you build the tactic and then slot the players into it each game.  As you progress through matches you then tweak the settings to maybe make something work better or to make it more suited to a certain player.

I also take not of the more common shapes used by other teams in the league and adapt to suit as shapes have inherent strengths & weaknesses against other shapes.

In terms of players I try to give all players a chance when I start at a club and those that come through the youth team but some simply don't suit my tactic and have to be moved on.  Overall I then try to buy players who fit the shape/roles I'm using.  I tend to prefer more rounded players who can play more than one role in the tactic to more specialist players but I still tend to end up with a handful of specialists in a squad.

 

36 minutes ago, Whalix said:

I have regularly created demanding tactics for non-league teams with 10+ instructions (something which seems to be an ungodly sin among these forums) yet have won leagues with those tactics

I want to comment on the above as well.

Even if you stick to the default you are still issuing instructions to the players.  All you are doing by setting TIs & PIs is moving away from the default instructions (set by role/mentality/duty/shape).

Why it tends to be frowned upon on the forum is because users change the default instructions without knowing why they are doing it or what difference it will make.  Generally speaking if you don't know why you are changing a default instructions then you shouldn't do it.

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I always find I will develop tactics that use a DLP, no wingers and flying Wing Backs. I think you get used to what certain roles do which makes it easier to build from a familiar base. In all my years of playing I have only recently used a BWM for the first time so there are still plenty of opportunities for me to start a new save with a fresh feel to it.

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If you start by reviewing your players and their strengths/best roles and then looking at tactics to get the best out of them.

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For me, I want a tactic that is solid in defence. Goals may win matches, but clean sheets stop you losing them.

If someone at the start of a Premier League season said to me: we can guarantee you a clean sheet in all 38 games or that you will score at least 1 goal in all 38 games, I would take the 38 clean sheets.

That way, I know at minimum I’m getting 38 points. However, scoring one goal every game doesn’t guarantee me the win, because I could lose every game 2-1.

I know it’s not necessary for all positions or roles, but high stats for determination, work rate and teamwork are important to me.

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On 1/3/2018 at 08:16, Whalix said:

I take a look at the squad report, have a brief look at each players' stats, and then create a tactic roughly based on the players I have [...]
I sign players for what I believe are the weak points of the squad, and give all players a chance during preseason

That sounds spot on to me, when you are just taking over a team.

Beyond, I think my personal style is different than most from what I've read. It takes me a while to build it to comfort, but in general this is where I'm going over 10 seasons:

I don't play a starting 11. My first team has 22 people in it. I want to have a rotation of players I'd trust for the CL and to win me the league, and I plan my week according to tactics and fitness. On a typical week I'll make roster decisions for the upcoming games and I'll play 11 for the league game and a mostly different 11 for the cup game right after.

I play mostly youth. My typical average age is about 23-24. Once my team is settled, I think of players as seniors at around 23, and I usually sell everyone I've developed before 28, save rare exceptions.

Super flexible formations. I go for control of the middle, usually with something that looks like 433, but I'm constantly tinkering the positions based on the game and roster. So I seldom start 433, but instead I may have a lone striker with a poacher CAM behind him and an attacking winger playing wide on the other side. Or I'll have a box striker with a support striker on the side and a CAM on the other side, etc. Any combination of 3 people upfront- any of strikers, CAMs and wingers, which includes going with 3 all-out strikers or 442 diamond narrow for spells. I'm flexible in the middle as well.

Players must know 2+ positions. Every player that comes through my system must learn to master at least 2 positions on the pitch. Even a striker that seems to be good at nothing but poaching, I may place him in CAM training to improve vision and passing. But overall all my players can move around, strikers as wingers and viceversa, most my CMs double as CAM or CDM, fullbacks can play either side or CB, etc. Makes it very easy to make big tactical changes during a match, when I can swap players or change formations without subs.

so when I'm playing a game, my team formation and tactics are a whirlwind to the opposition. There's no way they can know how I'm going to play, and they can't figure me out from the roster either because every player can be a part of different positions and roles, so a roster that shows 3 strikers may actually be a lone striker with a winger and a CAM. And within 30 minutes I'll move them again, swap my fast striker with the winger because I see that their fullback is getting complacent, swap my CAM with a stronger CM because I'm seeing a chance at stealing the ball high, etc.

 

 

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5 hours ago, tacticsdude said:

There's no way they can know how I'm going to play, and they can't figure me out from the roster either

Just so you are aware, the AI is incapable of doing that anyway :thup:.

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2 hours ago, herne79 said:

Just so you are aware, the AI is incapable of doing that anyway :thup:.

Oh, I noticed. I just played Barcelona for the first time (after making it into the CL by winning the Serie A on my second year since promotion). We played at Camp Nou and Barcelona came out with a defensive 451 and sat back in their half. I dominated possession with 63% in the first half, using a team that has an average CA of about 128. Let me repeat that 'cause it sounds like a series of typos: I just played Barcelona at their home, for a CL match in the year 2020, and I achieved 63% possession in the first half, using a team that should not be good enough to qualify for continental spots.

I'm beyond thinking the match/tactics engine has competent logic behind it. Pretty disappointing TBH.

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Personally, I tend to use the same core of 13 or so instructions in a variety of different formations. High line, closing down much more, more direct passing, be more disciplined, Attacking mentality. If a player doesn't fit into said formation, I generally look to sell him. Occasionally, when looking to grind out a result, I'll revert to an ultra-defensive 4-1-4-1, but not often. 

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I am going to wade in with something completely different then.

I am the opposite of the people who look at the squad and try to fit a tactic to the players. I know the tactic I want to play, because I almost always play with it (or slight variations of it). I stick with that tactic as much as possible, and the players will have to suit the roles I have. So what I will usually spend a lot of time at the start of a game doing is looking at player attributes and deciding what role they can fill at my club. I do not necessarily look at position when doing this, I will simply look at a player and think "you would be a good CM who makes forward runs) or "you are great as a holding DMC". Then I set them on personal training regimes to get them ready to play that role. Any player I decide does not fit into my scheme (I never use AMC, for example) and cannot be retrained, they can leave. I have a very distinct idea in mind for play style, and I know exactly what I want. I also dislike players who have low team work and work rate, and low determination. Unless they are absolute beasts elsewhere, I am usually happy to let them go also.

I actually do this for every single player on a permanent contract at the club (who is not on loan). Work out what is their best way to fit in my squad and try to train them for that. Even players who will likely never make it to the first team. One of my core goals for playing the game is we make every player the best player he can be, even if that is not good enough for the first team. I want all players from my club to have a successful career somewhere.

After this, I will know very well what are the weak areas of my squad, and I also know very well how severe each weakness is, so I can grade how important a new player in a given position is. I also mostly ignore the star ratings of my scouts (to some extent, I still check out highly recommended players more than those with low ratings), and instead look at attributes to decide if a player will fit in at my club. I am always on the look out for an upgrade, and keep an up to date shortlist of interesting players (especially young players I want to watch progress). When it comes to picking teams, I am also not afraid to play young players who I think will work well for me. Even if this comes at the expense of a bigger, more well known player.

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