Jump to content
FMM Vibe
Jens

Tactics The new tactics system, for beginners

Recommended Posts

fmm18-beginners-guide-to-tactics.png.40c9620e433439077736ba0cd64cb2d0.png.c2c805f6add8d96a86e2b70fbbd11d73.png

0. Introduction

1. Shape

1.1. Setting up

1.2. Mentality

1.3. Wide/Narrow

1.4. Slow/Fast/Creativity

2. Defence

2.1. Defensive line

2.2. Closing down/tackling

2.3. Offside trap/Time wasting

3. Attack

3.1. Final third

3.2. Passing style

3.3. Passing focus/goalkeeper distribution

---

0. Introduction

If you’re playing the Enhanced Match Engine (EME), then chances are you’ve already discovered the revamp. Fans have been asking for this for years. The new options give you more control, more versatility, and of course: more challenges.

It is the third real revamp of tactical options since the series started in 2005 on PSP. Tactics would consist of a shape that was predetermined and player instructions were quite detailed. You could select which players to go forward when in possession, which ones would get creative freedom and which ones would be simply anchors in your defence or midfield.

The second wave of tactics came on the iOS/Android version. Suddenly the yes/no-era came to an end with the inception of roles. DLM (before it was DLP), BWM, InF, Pcr,... These roles had the previous instructions baked into them, aimed at making it easier for beginning players. Restrictive for the ones who were masters of the old system (such as myself), but nonetheless a logical step forward.

The previous step was modelled to the evolution that was made on the pc version in the years before. The same is true for the changes we now see. It all very much reminds me of the options I had when I played FMT on my PS Vita (THOSE were the days… of slow progress and complete failure. It nevertheless gave me a hunger for the MLS to be included in FMM. AND GUESS WHAT?!).

I remember when I was first confronted with that kind of system. It was overwhelming. That’s why I’ve decided to write down a beginner’s guide to the new tactics system. I’ll walk you through every setting, explaining what it does, when it could/should be used and what to look out for. I’m not saying that this is gospel; FMM has proven before to be a fickle thing that can be goofed into weird results (I’m thinking of Bati’s 2 man defence tactic!). But it will help you get to grips and actually win some games with the new tactics.

1. Shape

Screenshot_20171110-073117.thumb.png.430ea245c7a7086c0bb4b3293e72c446.png

1.1. Setting up

The lesson I quickly learned in the PC version is to keep things simple. The same goes for FMM. If you’re bold, daring, or simple a moron, go ahead and use all the different switches. A careful man, however, would take his time, triggering every option, one by one.

Let’s start with the beginning. You’ve chosen your team, our formation, your players and your roles (you can find out more on the new roles elsewhere on Vibe!). The first thing you need to decide is how you’re going to play. Defensive, balanced, attacking, on the counter, park the bus,...? There are some things to keep in mind here.

1.2. Mentality

First of all: counter attacking is no longer a switch you simply turn on. It was always very counter intuitive if you think about it: you could play attacking and still use counter. People would often refer to ‘gegenpressing’ to explain this, but that still doesn’t make sense: gegenpressing means a high press, combined with a quick paced attack. To me anyways, this didn’t make any sense.

Today, counter attacking has its place on the ‘scale of mentality’: contain, defensive, counter, balanced, control, attacking, overload. In order to play counter attacking, you now have to think about a whole new set of possibilities, but more on that later. (Watch out for the inevitable guides that will be coming: how to play like X, how to emulate Y.)

Why did I start with counter attacking as my ‘first of all’? Because it perfectly shows what I believe is going on underneath the hood. And what I believe again stems from what happens on the pc version. By selecting mentality, you’re already deciding quite some other factors.

For instance: the more defensive you go in terms of mentality, the longer passing becomes. Pressing will be lower and width will be narrower. If you go more attacking, passing will become shorter, your defensive line will be higher and play will be wider. (What narrow and wide play is, will be discussed later.) That means that, if in a later stage you add a high press to your overloading tactic, you will be pressing even more/higher than when you would leave that balanced.

I could be wrong, of course, since this is difficult to measure, but if you’re a beginning player, it can be good to keep this in mind.

A good strategy for the beginning player could be to start the game with a balanced mentality, adapting during the game according to what your opponent does. E.g.: if your opponent plays overload, you have two choices. You can either increase to control/attacking/overload to exploit the spaces in your opponent's tactic, but that’s only a good idea if you have decent defenders. Otherwise, you’re simply giving away loads of space yourself. If you have lousy attackers or defenders, it might be a better idea to go to counter or even defense. Never forget: even a defensive tactic will attack when it has possession.

Starting out on balanced is a good way to prepare yourself for sides that either play contain, or overload: you’ll have an answer to both styles, as opposed to when you go one way or the other from the start, either giving away space or being to defensive against a side that is defensive as well.

1.3. Wide/narrow

These options can be very tricky. When is a good time to play more wide, when should you narrow down the playing field? My advice would be, once again, to start balanced. If you’re on the counter-attack, your players should widen the field naturally to create space, while on the defense, your defenders should be closing down the gaps, making it more difficult for your opponent to circulate the ball.

When do you, then, want to use these options. You could try to play a narrow game when, for instance, you have no intention of playing an open game against an opponent who is a lot stronger than your side. Parking the bus would mean you play contain or defensive, with narrow width turned on. Your opponent will be frustrated because your players will be so close to each other, they’ll hardly get the chance to get into the box. This option of course limits your attacking possibilities as well as your players will have no place to put the ball - unless you have Messi.

The wide option could be utilised when you’re facing a weak team and want to create as much space as possible, hoping to score a lot. This is also a good option when trailing late in a game. Your attacking midfielders will benefit from the space, since the opposing players will be running their legs off, trying to close down or trying to close the gaps.

Don’t be misguided though: it’s possible to play a narrow tactic (for instance without wingers in a 3322) while you’re still using a wider style. This will mean that your players will be further apart from each other. You can still use ‘short passing’ as this merelymeans that they will try to lay off the ball to the player closest to them.

1.4. Slow/fast, creative/authoritarian

A slow or fast paced game is the least tricky in my eyes. If you have competent passers, you can try a quicker game to surprise your slower opponents. If you want to silence a game if you’re in the closing time of a game, you can use slower as well. If you’re behind in that fase, you can try to play fast. Lots of obvious options here, innit?

But again, be cautious: you can play slow if you have lousy passers compared to the league (you can check if this is the case in the team overview), to keep the ball, but that makes your play more predictable. If you’re playing on the counter, slow passing will slow down your attacks, making your attack impotent. If you want tiki taka, you can try to play attacking, with short passing on a slow pace. This will (theoretically) ensure that you optimise your possession. That is, if you have the required player material to pull it off. (As you can tell from my explanations, the possibilities are many. Don’t hesitate to experiment a little.)

On terms of creativity, I don’t have a lot to say. Play creative if you have creative players, play disciplined if you don’t or if you want to make sure you keep a lead. If you’re trailing late in a game, it’s not always a good choice to go more creative as at that time you want incisive attacks, rather than nice flowing, attacking football. You want action and results, instead of pretty football. Then a disciplined approach might be better. I myself never leave the balanced option.

2. Defense

Screenshot_20171110-073121.thumb.png.adcb466fa3d3634befe076a761997267.png

2.1. Defensive line

Let’s start with the tricky one. Whatever you decide to do here, will largely define your other defensive options. If you play a deep line, your defenders will be close to your own goal, meaning the way to your opponents goal is hella long. Great for teams who want to give away as few chances as possible. Less ideal for teams who want to play attacking, free flowing football. Playing this along offside trap makes no sense at all: if your players misstime their trap, your opponent will only have to tick in the ball. Closing down all over the pitch is useless as well, since you’ll only tire out your players while they open huge gaps, exposing your defence. If you play a deep line, play pressing on your own half or even sit back and let your opponents hit the brick wall that is your defence.

A balanced line is recommended for beginners or people who want to play purely based on what the opponent is doing: you won’t give too much away, while you’re still in a good posession to play a pressing game and create chances by winning the ball early. Closing down can be done from all over the pitch, while offside trap is a possibility against an opponent who is playing overload. Doing that against a balanced opponent, though, is once again suicide.

The high line is suited for high pressing. I’d even say that a high press is obligatory if you play a high line. If you play high, without putting your opponents under severe pressure, you risk giving away too many easy chances as they escape the non-existing players that aren’t in their backs.

2.2. Closing down/Tackling

Closing down is kind of taken care of above, but it can still be useful to keep this in mind: closing down a lot is risky, as you give away your defensive shape. Nevertheless, it allows for a good gegenpress and can result in tactics with lots of possession. But make sure you have the players to run their hearts out to close the gaps.

Tackling wise, be cautious: committed can work if you’re playing a pressing game. But it can result in a lot of red cards as well. To decide this, take a close look to your closing down strategy as well: if your playing a deep line, with defenders who are sitting back, it might be best to play a cautious tackling game. If you go committed here, you’ll have no extra player nearby since he’s simply marking his man in a nice and friendly way. Sitting back, you want your players to do standing tackles instead of sliding, which is why cautious tackling is best.

On the other hand, if you’re pressing high, it’s okay to have sliding tackles as chances are that the next player is standing ready to apply the press next. Feel free to experiment, but keep in mind that whatever you decide to do will have an influence elsewhere on the pitch.

2.3. Offside trap/Time wasting

Playing the offside trap or not, is again dependant on everything above. It’s a trickle down effect. If you play deep, don’t play the offside trap. If you play a high press, use the offside trap; it’s ideal here since your players are closer to the opponent’s goal. If a player mistimes the trap, there is still time and space for a speedy player to recover the attacker that has broken through.

Time wasting is what it says on the tin: players will be in no hurry to take freekicks, throw ins and the like since you’re probably leading anyway. Can be dangerous when applied too soon: if your opponent slips through and scores the equaliser, you’ll have less time to get in front again.I wouldn’t use it to park the bus either.

3. Attack

Screenshot_20171110-085714.thumb.png.febbe77b945b328375fcf5aa7f6e6743.png

3.1. Final Third

These are some yummy looking options, I know. But again: beware: applying them all at the same time can be counterproductive. Beginners are advised to start the game with none applied and use one (or maximum two at the same time) per one while in game, according to what you believe is needed to break open the game.

The game wants you to look at these options in a horizontal way: Early crosses/Overlap, Shoot on sight/Work into box and Run at defence/Through balls are all pairs and they cancel one another out. So you can only play one of the options at the same time.

The first one let’s you choose to throw in an early cross. This is perfect if you have a pacey poacher up front or a strong target man. The first will outrun the opponent to tick in the ball, while the second will look to control the ball, shield it from the defenders and look to play in a teammate. Or just nod the ball against the nets. Overlap can’t be used at the same time for obvious reasons: players need time to overlap one another, making an early cross useless since the defenders you’re up against will probably have returned as well by then. Perfect strategy though to play tikki takka since the aim is to keep the ball and work it into the box or place in a measured cross to your strong target man.

Next up we have shoot on sight. Excellent tactic when you’re trailing late in the game. Your attackers will use every opportunity to loose a shot on target. Work the ball into box is its complete opposite: your players will endlessly pass the ball around, hoping to get to your man in the box. Teamwork is required, and against a narrowly defending team you’ll need a lot of technique and skill as well. You can use this tactic if you’re having trouble breaking down your opponents patient defence, as your players in possession could possibly draw out defenders hoping to win the ball. Or if you find that too many players are taking hopeless shots from outside the penalty area.

Finally we have running at the defence. Applicable if you have quick and technical players who can dribble past an opponent. Again this might be useful to draw out a too defensive opponent, leaving gaps other players can dive into. Through balls are fun if you notice that your opponent is doing the contrary: a high press. You’ll basically have the opponent rushing at you, leaving space behind into which you can pass the ball for a storming attacker.

3.2. Passing Style

Everyone should know what this is by now, so I’ll keep it short. Short passing: you play the ball to the nearest teammate. Good for keeping possession. Direct: you’ll play to the teammate who is available and nearest to the goal from every passing option. Carries more risk if you have bad passers who’ll gift the ball away to an intercepting defender. Long ball: you’ll keep drilling in crosses and long balls to reach your attacker as quickly as possible. Best used is you’re trailing or really need that winner.

3.3. Passing focus/Goalkeeper distribution

Not sure what I can say about this to make it any clearer. If you have any questions about this, just ask!

---

I believe that you now know everything you need to know to start building your very own tactics. Don’t be afraid to ignore anything I’ve said. Because this is FMM and, as usual, this game doesn’t always follow logic explanations (as you can see from the screenshots I’ve included, where I go against a couple of things myself). If you have any questions left, feel free to ask away. One final note: a lot of what works and what doesn’t is often dependent on how your opponent is set up. So that makes experimenting a must. And don’t forget to have fun, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've to say i'm already liking the tactical changes that has been made . It's pretty similar to that of FM15 classic Mode which was my favourite time pass option back then. 

Now can implement my tactics that i used on fm15 with which i made Timo werner Score 56 goals with Stuttgart.

 

can't wait to get hand on it 😍😍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great read and some wonderful tips, Jens! One of the things I hope people understand is that finding the right set-up requires patience and more patience. Like you mentioned, lots of little things can affect a game or a result, so it's essential we tweak smart and aren't in a hurry to find that killer tactic. 

@Nick11. will definitely try to make those new roles work ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, BatiGoal said:

Great read and some wonderful tips, Jens! One of the things I hope people understand is that finding the right set-up requires patience and more patience. Like you mentioned, lots of little things can affect a game or a result, so it's essential we tweak smart and aren't in a hurry to find that killer tactic. 

@Nick11. will definitely try to make those new roles work ;)

What was the set-up that made the false 9 work, I wonder?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely loved the clear explanations mate! Thanks for spending so much time and effort on this guide and getting it out so quickly! It's not just going to be beneficial for beginners, im sure even the experienced ones will need to refer to this for help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Jens said:

What was the set-up that made the false 9 work, I wonder?

4-1-2-1-2 (no striker, 2 wide forward cutting inside ,   3midfielder(playmaker) 1 DM  2 BPD  2 WingsBack & SweeperGK )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Nick11 said:

4-1-2-1-2 (no striker, 2 wide forward cutting inside ,   3midfielder(playmaker) 1 DM  2 BPD  2 WingsBack & SweeperGK )

So kind of the lay-out I'm currently using?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Jens said:

What was the set-up that made the false 9 work, I wonder?

Not really sure tbh :D, can't remember. Will need to do some digging and testing :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Jens said:

So kind of the lay-out I'm currently using?

Yeah . That is same to what i used on Fmh15, Fmm17 .

I used to play defensive football (coz of too many attacking player) with mixed passing to retain possesion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something I've noticed so far: smothering your opponent seems to work. Playing attacking, with a high press all over the pitch. Not sure if anyone else has the same idea?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Jens said:

Something I've noticed so far: smothering your opponent seems to work. Playing attacking, with a high press all over the pitch. Not sure if anyone else has the same idea?

Well i have no problems scoring goals when i go overload and high pressing. But can't seem to keep a clean sheet no matter how i adjust my defence settings. Hmmmm maybe will need more time to look at the tactics again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, salohcin said:

Well i have no problems scoring goals when i go overload and high pressing. But can't seem to keep a clean sheet no matter how i adjust my defence settings. Hmmmm maybe will need more time to look at the tactics again. 

I've kept clean sheets by playing everything balanced, using no final third options. It can be done :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Jens said:

I've kept clean sheets by playing everything balanced, using no final third options. It can be done :D 

Im afraid of being bored if i keep everything in balanced LOL but it seems incredibly easy to make 1 player score. So maybe a 1kc will be easier this year? Fingers crossed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, salohcin said:

Im afraid of being bored if i keep everything in balanced LOL but it seems incredibly easy to make 1 player score. So maybe a 1kc will be easier this year? Fingers crossed!

Not sure about that. What are you currently using then? I'm always interested in making one player shine!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

managing villareal

4 2 3 1 

shape:-control

width:balanced

tempo:fast

creative freedom:expressive

defence:nvr touch it lol

attack:look for overlap,work into box,through ball

passing style:short

passing focus: mixed

goalkeeper distribution mixed

 

so far unbeaten in la liga

Edited by zealous_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Jens said:

Not sure about that. What are you currently using then? I'm always interested in making one player shine!

Overload, make main striker a poacher and have feeders in the form of AP and Ws and u are good to go

A few games into a new save and THIS game just appeared LOL hopefully it means goals will come easy this year!

Screenshot_20171110-165255.thumb.png.2b14ba9a387ef73b52d7423d39887aaf.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there’s no primary attacker or primary outlet in this version

 

maybe bad news for 1000 goals challengers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, ShFmm said:

there’s no primary attacker or primary outlet in this version

 

maybe bad news for 1000 goals challengers

sadly yea 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really good and thorough round-up of one of my favourite new features of FMM18!

One thing that it might be good to point out for newer players is that defensive line depends a lot on the strengths of your defenders. If you have a lot of older, slower defenders, you probably want to be playing a deeper defensive line, while a faster back line is going to be better higher up the pitch and playing the offside trap!

Once people are comfortable with that, obviously it can then be adapted based on the team you're playing against. For example, even if your defenders are very pacy, if you're playing against a team with very quick attackers you'll want to drop a bit deeper so they can't exploit the space as easily.

Like I said this is one of my favourite changes. I think it gives us managers a lot more freedom to mould the team and react to situations in game, so I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, samhardy said:

Top work Jens. Will really help a lot of people.

1KC from midfield this year? :D

That's the goal this year. The tactic you see up top is a worthy contender I'd say! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×