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This is my step-by-step guide to 'Formations, maths and opponent instructions'. I have found no step by step easy to understand guide on this, so i will create one. I will be looking at tighter marking, closing down, tackling and show onto foot. This is to help me and other new people to the game. I will update this for any formation v formation that i may come across in my game, with easy to use language and given examples, following my game. I just hope my efforts will reward me to change from not understanding, to total understanding.
Every season, i will jot down all my players height, speed and strength and here are the reasons as to why with regards to the opponent instructions;
442 v 442
Me being 'Mile Oak' may really struggle in this friendly against Boston United. Due to fitness levels, i had to select the following 2 cb's (spd=average of acc and pace; s=strength; d=dribble, b=bravery, c=crossing and h=height)
D Marsden-spd6 s5 h6
A Stott-spd4.5 s6 h6.4
Now their 2 cf;
Danny Davidson-spd 10 s11 h6.3 d7 b5 c4
Miles Hunter-spd11.5 s2 h5.11 d6 b6 c4
Now thats the stats, stcl v cbcr and stcr v cdcl is who is opposite each other. Now using the following, using each instruction and question as a point (answers to 'yes'=1 point;
Tighter marking (tm)-Am i taller? Am i stronger? Am i faster? 3 points total
Closing down (cd)-Is my speed 10+? Is his dribble under 10 and Is his speed 9 or under (The reason speed is asked differently is because for your player, closing down should be a quick thing to do so your player must be at least half decent speed to utilise the closing down effectively; and for opponent for if and when he is past you, its way too late if your slightly faster then him as your player is facing the other way, this is why i am using 10+, meaning if he has the ability to run fast at the goal or not). 3 points total
Tackling (t)-9 or below=hard, 10-14=medium and 15+=hard.
Show onto foot (sof)-'weaker foot' seems like a trick if you ask me, you should look at opponents crossing compared to their speed. Only use weaker foot on opponent players where crossing and speed is the same and on opponent goalie.
So we can only do player on player during match, so you cant do that bit yet, but you can compare the 2 players Marsden v Hunter for now on the following;
tm-2/3 points, cd=1/3 points. Now how does mean, well per point is how much aggressive i feel you should be. So tight marking got 2 points so should be at an average (no specific instructions) and closing down only had one point so is set to as 'never'. Tackling as bravery is 6 for hunter, then it should be on hard, so your guy can 'scare' him. With Sof, now if you compare Hunters speed and cossing, it shows that his running is more of a threat, so play him more towards the wing ie his position being slightly left ie stcl, so play him on his left foot, so his pace is not a direct threat, when he is crossing.
The other example is Stott v Davidson;
tm-0/3 cd-1/3 t-hard (bravery is 5) sof-right (he is slightly positioned right and as his pace is better then his crossing). So dont mark Davidson at all or close him down or quite simply, he will skin you and dominate you fall stop. At least you can focus on the other guy more.
Sounds bizarre i know, that Davidson is a much better player then my defenders so if i were Boston manager and had Davidson tight marking the defence, he could beat them in the air, bully them of the ball and lose his marker by him tight marking them.
As this is a 442 v 442, you should focus on the following match-ups, using the same methods;
opponents Gk=Average speed, strength and height for your both strikers;
opp dr v lm
dl v rm
dcr v stcl
dcl v stcr
mr v dl
ml v dr
mcl v mcr
mcr v mcl
stcr v dcl
stcl v dcr
Also the following player match ups to determine your opponent instructions rm v lb, lm v rb, rb v lm and lb v rm. yes all of them, to fully test this philosophy. With their goalkeeper, work out your average speed, stength and height for your attacking 2 against their gk. Gk cant dribble or cross, so thats 1 point already for closing down and also put show onto weaker foot.
If i am using subs, then only then i have another look at the opponent subs who has taken their place. This is a long process after all lol, i dont want to spend any more time looking at every player that the opponent subs. I usually sub around 60 minutes., so i compare the players then on opponent instructions.
This guide proberbly is rubbish and i am fairly new to the game and it hasnt been tested yet, but it will be tomorrow. Its just an idea i had to calculate opponent instructions in a specific way and i hope i am right. If this guide is half decent, then any match i play with formations that havent been matched eg 442 v 541 or 451 v 433 etc etc. this is the 442 v 442 guide. This may be the longest out of them all i dont know yet. I be testing these philosophies this week to see if this step by step guide is worth carrying on with or not. Gulp.

---------- Post added at 02:46 AM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 09:59 AM ----------

Well just played Boston and only lost 1-0 after frustrating them after 0-0 at half time. I was actually predicting to lose 5-0 or so as their players were much fitter then my players at the start and much better in quality. They had many shots, but i reckon that by spending 30 odd minutes on opponent instructions, despite being bored of it, im glad i did it. Mostly pushing their players out wide as their pace was more of a problem. So far so good in my eyes, though its early days. I have only played one game after all lol. Im going for a break. Then i will continue. Any other formations, i will do a guide like i did above. I hope my philosophy works-fingers crossed.
 
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Could use more spaces mate. Interesting read though.
 
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Im sorry about not being spaced out. Thankyou very much for the praise.

I played a few more matches and i drew or won against slightly better sides. My results using this is 2-2, 2-2, 1-1, 2-0 against slightly better teams. So out of the 5 matches i played so far, using this philosophy, i have 5/5 successful attempts. I class a draw/win against a slightly better team, a success even if its just a draw, i was the weaker side. In the last game, 3 of my guys were faster, taller and stronger against their opposite player, so i went to 'quick tactics' and man marked tightly. In one of my 2-2 draws, i scored 2 goals in the first 3 minutes, then had someone sent off on 6 mins. I noticed on 60 minutes, the opp team were playing 5212;
442 v 5212
One team i played changed to 5212 therefore i did this;
opp gk- my 2 strikers averages. (I had 1 striker due to 10 men, but this is how i hope to do it)
dl v rm
dr v lm
dlc v my 2 strikers averages
drc v my 2 strikers averages
dc v my 2 strikers averages
mcl v mcr
mcr v mcl
amc v ? I didnt know who to match up against (never close down and compare how aggressive marking should be with your fastest cm?)
stcl v dcr
stcr v dcl
The amc is a problem to mirror against if i played a 442, though my original instinct told me to never close down or tight mark, but its only while typing this guide, that i got it part wrong. Imo its never close down and imo, the fastest central midfielder to 'compare' against this amc, as the 2 cb are competing against their front 2 and imo it sounds safer therefore to match the amc against your fastest central midfielder, with regards to how aggressive to mark ie 'never' (0 or 1 point), no 'specific instructions' (2 points), or 'always' (3 points). But imo never close down, as the amc plays between your defence and midfielders. Imo, if closing down wasnt set to 'never' your defenders sometimes or always will rush him leaving a 1 v 2 against you at the back.

Its only now that whilst typing this, i have actually learnt how to improve next time when im in this situation.

A tip to save time. Write down on paper every season, your players best role/duty/speed (pace and acceleration average)/strength/height. Attributes dont change much in the space of a year according to most people.

Here is some stats with 'successful matches/total matches' so far (ie a draw or a win against slight/heavy odds in favour of the opposition);
-442 v 442 (5/5) Im counting the 0-1 loss at Boston in favour because i believe that without using the philosophies in opponent instructions, i would of been beat 5-0 or so, due to them being much higher rated and much fitter players.
-442 v 5212 (has been a new guide written so still experimenting with this)
 
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Really struggling to read it properly, but I believe you're working out instructions for players based on some sort of Maths? Well, I really really do doubt that will work. You picked a handful of constants from a range of them, and ignored many more constants and a whole ton of variables. You'll never be able to create a mathematical formula while so many non-calculable quantities exist, sorry. For a game such as FM, even though it is essentially just a spreadsheet, I can't imagine you ever deriving formula's for the game.
 
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To Joel, to be honest, its way too much time consuming and it seems that the computer picks up on it and changes in the second half, swaps players about etc, but i do believe it is more suited to playing much stronger or weaker sides maybe in the cups/friendlies, i dont know.
If there was an option of 'force outside' or 'force inside' instead of using weaker/left or right foot, i think it would be better.
To be honest, i think there isnt a right answer. Im sorry, ok, i was just experimenting. I am new to this. You cant knock me for trying lol.
To be honest, i been playing my way all day and whether it works slightly more or not, lets forget about that. The thing is you see, it is boring me. I just started my league campaign after 17 hours because i have been doing all this effort in all this. Maybe it should of been 12 hours (i do watch the full matches you see).
I would like the time to actually play the game then look at a load of screens etc.
I guess that it will only truly work if you looked at the opponents formation every 5 minutes. Computer makes changes all the time and as i choose not to look at changes every 5 minutes (as even more time is lost at looking at the tactics and not actually playing) then i might aswell leave all opponent instructions on default.
I have been pleased with the outcomes in the games, but i guess luck has much bearing as do other tactics/team selection/talks.
Well i didnt buy the game to look at opponent formations/instructions lol. I was just experimenting to be a better player thats all, sorry you feel this way Joel. Lets just forget about it and i just leave it on default and i just use it when i play a team in a different tier and i wont use it in the league games.
Anyways, what do you do when bids come in all the time for your players? They all signed new contracts and i re-negotiated the bid at a ridicuolous price and the bidding team pulls out, but then another team will come in. Am i doing the right thing?
 
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