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Jambo98

FM18 - The community formation experiment

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So it's January, everyone is feeling blue, fatigue with FM18 is perhaps setting in for a few people, everyone is trying to stay in / save money / not drink / lose weight so social pass-times are non existent. 
 

What better way to blow away those blues than a revival of the formation experiment (I mean, I can think of about 42 better ways, but we work with what we have eh). 

For those not familiar,  this is i think the 5th incarnation of this experiment (the first was swallowed up by the forum updates a few years ago, but i think at some point, someone came forward to claim the original idea - it was not mine). Previous threads, in reverse order

 

Background / Premise
This is really designed as a bit of fun. A change for people to try something different in tactical terms. It is not a "challenge" as such - there are no points award, not league tables or anything like that. It is an experiment around challenging our ideas of how much a "formation" truley matters. 
 

There have been various great threads over the years specifically challenging that fact, and this is just taking that concept and adding an element of getting users outside their comfort zone and trying something they might never have tried before. 

With more new roles added this year to the ME, this should provide even more variety to this challenge. IT has always generated plenty interest, although inevitably a chunk will sign up and never start the challenger, or drift away after a few games (A man, starting off a job and never bothering to progress it........surely not, you say....)  

General Principles 

  • Everyone has to use the same database (18.2.2 i think we are on now?) - with no database edits
  • Other add ons are fine - its only important that the starting squads are the same for everyone
  • Past experience the same for everyone - "international experience" for everyone and coaching badge the same (highest level) 
  • Everyone has to use the same starting team - We would agree in advance, and if it was popular maybe run 2 versions with different teams
  • Inward transfers limited to 2 permanent signings, one loan signing (a bit arbitrary, but its how i vaguely remember the original thread)
  • No limitations on outward transfers / loans
  • The experiment tends to be about what you can achieve in 1 single season, but there is no reason you cannot continue beyond that, including providing tactical updates in here 
  • It is preferable to play this on "full fat" FM, rather than FM touch as, i believe, the later has quite a difference in terms of tactical familiarity. Given that this experiment likely involves quite a bit of tactical maneuvering, it would mean we dont compare apples with apples. That said, it is designed to be fun and not competitive, so if for some reason you really refuse to play the full game and must play the "kids version" ( ;) ) Then i wont stop you taking part. I do however reserve the right to mock you.
  • Updates in this thread are highly encouraged - Obviously with a tactical slant given this is TTF, but give as much detail as you like - Telling / showing us how you took your allocated formation and made it work is what it is all about - Share ideas, give feedback to others, all the things this forum does well in general. 

Tactics

  • Each user who wants to take part gets given one of the default formations - I use a complex machine (e.g, a bit of basic VB code...) to make sure the picks are random, they are not allocated by me. 
  • The formation (that is to say the player slots on the pitch), must not be changed in anyway. So if you get 5 - 4 - 1 you must keep a flat back 5, a flat midfield 4 and a single striker in the central slot.
  • Any other tactical options can be customised - This is the essence of the experiment - using roles, duties, team and player instructions, you can try to take a basic shape and make it function in different ways
  • We have tended to exclude the "most popular" default formations. So 442 flat and 4231, and of course 41221 which is probably the most used). It can be a bit subjective, and you can argue to exclude a few others but that sort of limits the number of people we can involve
  • If we get huge interest, like last year, we can easily start to allocate a second round of formations. No huge issue if we eventually end up with 2 people using the same formation
  • If the interest is sustained, we could run a second iteration with a different team (also relies on me not losing interest in organising!) 
  • REALLY EXCITING (not)- You will see the actual process of the formation being allocated, less there be any suggestions that i manipulate things! 

The Team

Ah always the hardest part! We will never get a team that everyone will agree on, but as a general guide:

  • Avoid the EPL, as in general we all know that league so well. There is a nice additional aspect to this being a team that a lot of us will not have managed, or come up against quite as often
  • Generally stick to big Euro leagues - So Italy, Spain, Germany, France are the obvious ones. Holland / Portugal possible but the squads outside the CL Teams there can be a bit patchwork
  • Avoid teams who are in the Champions League - The challenge of making your formation work is that little bit more fun if you are not a true top tier team
  • If we can pick a team who are in the Europa, that certainly adds an extra aspect 
  • Stick to teams who are probably expected to finish outside the CL spots, but also stick to teams likely to be in the top 8 / 10 to give us balance between making the best of the players we have, and not being too hard by having a terrible squad
  • Try to find a team with a relatively balanced squad, since transfers are limited and the formations will vary a lot. 

I will do  second post detailing the suggested teams shortly and we can get going! If you want to be involved, just post saying so and comment on the team if you like, will aim to start drawing formations tomorrow, unless we agree on a team earlier! 

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Ok so the always difficult bit. Choosing teams. Initial Thoughts (based on looking at teams in the Europa League - good starting point IMO)

Italy - Great fun league, huge amount of tactical variety, but we did Sassuolo last year and Fiorentina a few years before (plus the very very original was Napoli) so probably swerve it this time

Spain

Athletic Club - Brilliant varied squad, good level of quality and versatility, but the huge BUT is that the basque restriction likely makes it tricky to even use up the 3 transfers 

Villareal - Good mixed squad but we used them a 3 years ago, so possibly avoid the repeat 

Real Sociedad - A strong candidate IMO, plenty cover across lots of positions, good quality and the chance to succeed where Moyes failed....

 

France

Bordeaux - Squad maybe a bit low on quality, but a big club recovering after a few down years

Lyon - Probably a bit too strong for this? 

Marseille - Bordering on maybe too strong, but a good squad and arguably only 4th best in France (well behind PSG and Monaco, and probably behind Lyon)

 

German (NB - there is an obvious consideration here around how the license situation impacts enjoyment of the game, but we cannot discuss that here beyond just stating it)

Frieburg - Pretty low on quality, how did they even get into Europe!

Hertha Berlin - Could be interesting, bit lacking in fit strikers if anyone gets a top heavy shape though

Koln - Somewhere in between the 2 above, more quality than Frieburg but less than Hertha, although some interesting players


Left Field / Other nation options

Braga (Portugal) - Quite a bit squad, in a somewhat odd league where the big 3 are massively better and most of the rest of the league is really poor. 

FC Utrecht (Holland) - Did consider PSV as they are Europa this year,  but they are probably too good. Utrecht have quite a few versatile players though and are again in Europa and would be a challenge to get amongst the big 3 

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This is assuming they have not changed the default formations from last year, and given that the press conference answers have not changed in 4 years, I would be amazed if default formations have :D

b3e315e5ca4e1309009f26c6acc1d815.png

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Interested. And you can pick my team for me. Random formation, random team. Let’s do this.

edit: oh I get the team part now.. I’ll vote when there has been more posts haha

edit 2: Hoffenheim are my vote 

Edited by craiigman

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I'm up for the challenge this year.

Just had a quick rummage through the suggested leagues and Villareal and Koln look like prospects - both in the Europa League and both with a fair spread of players. If we go back to Italy, then AC Milan and Lazio are the candidates.

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Yeah updated post 2  with the candidate teams as i see it 

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Count me in, looking forward to this. :thup: Will need to have a proper look at the squads, but Koln get my vote. Atalanta not a bad shout too.

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Yeah i think it would be good to keep consistency in terms of picking teams who are in the Europa League, tends to give a nice standard but still a challenge. Appreciate though that you could argue that the likes of Hoffenhiem and Nice are Europa standard, they just had great seasons and are playing in the CL. 

 

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6 hours ago, Jambo98 said:

Yeah i think it would be good to keep consistency in terms of picking teams who are in the Europa League, tends to give a nice standard but still a challenge. Appreciate though that you could argue that the likes of Hoffenhiem and Nice are Europa standard, they just had great seasons and are playing in the CL. 

 

Hoffenheim were in the Europa League this season no?

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Count me in. As far as club goes, all your suggestions from France, Spain and Germany seem fine to me. I'm not to over excited about Portugal or Holland.

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I am down to take part - haven't really got going on FM18 so far and these threads are always a good read every year.

I'd say Germany.  I like the Hoffenheim suggestion but of the teams listed I'd go for Hertha.

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2 hours ago, craiigman said:

Hoffenheim were in the Europa League this season no?

Nope, they qualified for the CL through finishing 4th in Bundesliga. They dropped into Europa IRL when they lost the playoff round i think but they are still a CL team. 

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Just now, Jambo98 said:

Nope, they qualified for the CL through finishing 4th in Bundesliga. They dropped into Europa IRL when they lost the playoff round i think but they are still a CL team. 

Adds another challenge though to this, who can qualify for the Champions League, and who drops into Europa.

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This is why i should just pick the team before i post the thread :D Always gonna be loads of different opinions. 

Alright, I am saying now we should go to Germany, since it is a top league we have never done in this. So probably down to Hoffenheim, if we go with a team with a CL Chance, or probably Koln. Hertha's squad really only has 1 fit ST for the first 4 months which would be unfair for anyone who gets a top heavy formation.

Lack of natural sweepers is gonna be an issue for an unlucky few i think, regardless of who we pick!

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Alright either team is fine but I'd prefer Koln because they're in Europa. 

Edited by Pattric_b

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FC Utrecht has some good talents like Giovanni Troupee and Nick Venema. There first team is also really strong and you can win the Eredivisie title in the first year. It being my local team I play with them every year and this year is by far one of the best squads at your disposal and in the Europa League Qualification Round 2 you have 6 matches to get trough - a challenge on it's own. 

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RIght, sorry lads. The Edinburgh Derby then work got in the way of me doing anything. I shall randomly decide between Koln and Hoffenheim in the next hour or so and start giving out formations for those who have said they are in. 

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Right, through no other process than they were mentioned i think once more in the thread, and it keeps with the Europa teams tradition, the team we will use is:

fc_cologne.png

 

So means you get a couple of younger potential stars, in Timo Horn and Jorge Mere, as well as stalwart Jonas Hector. There is even a somewhat capable sweeper in Sorenson. 


Will do the formations shortly 

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Jambo, thanks for organising this. I think :eek:.

As soon as you mentioned the issue of sweepers I felt a shiver down my neck. So it was, perhaps, inevitable, that I'd get one of the sweeper formations.

Two thoughts:

1. I've never played with sweepers, so that's an opportunity to learn something.

2. I've never played with sweepers!!! Not once, in nearly 20 years of playing FM, have I ever given a moment's thought to playing with a sweeper. And now that I've set up the formation with Koln, I can see why. It's nuts! What's worse, I can't see a single player in the database who's a natural - or even accomplished - at the position. I'm sure there are some, but they're not known to my scouting team.

Still, that's the challenge so let's see what we can do.

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I was sorta hoping for a more oddball formation but I like the 4-3-1-2. I used that mostly in FM17 so I'm hoping for moderate success at Koln!

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So in all the excitement, i forgot to give myself a formation thus far.....

Jambo98 - 4222DM 

f5a7482d57efb113b6285137efa2eee7.gif

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Eek, so a brazilian box for me. Long time since i tried anything of that ilk! Have a few thoughts in my head, almost certainly once which will fail miserably. Not sure the squad is best suited to it either. Bit lacking in CMs and winger heavy. Will start to look properly in the morning and sketch out some ideas 

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I'd love to join in on this adventure, having visited Koln but never using them in FM I feel like this will be an interesting chance to. 

Formation me up please

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9 hours ago, Jambo98 said:

Ok, without further (Freddy) Adu, the first 3 formations...

@craiigman - 52210 DM (oof)

d584044509f171e5c8329b1ff59b7ce3.gif

@warlock - 442 Sweeper (ooof again..)

eb5b6a7895d8442d1693c543b4454f36.gif

@jc577- 5122 DM Narrow

6f979070dfbabbf6cbf8da9143b42e6c.gif

 

 

Just to confirm the rules then:

Team: Koln

Formation: 52210 (sigh)

Can sell who I want

Can sign up to 2 players and 1 loan

manager starts with highest qualifications/experience.

Also I’m at work, is a 52210 this:

GK

flat back 5

2 dm

2 cm

AMC

Edited by craiigman

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33 minutes ago, craiigman said:

Just to confirm the rules then:

Team: Koln

Formation: 52210 (sigh)

Can sell who I want

Can sign up to 2 players and 1 loan

manager starts with highest qualifications/experience.

 

Yep...

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