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Feb 12, 2013
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Scroll down to the bottom of this post, files are attached there.


This is a two tactic strategy, aimed at keeping the opposition on their toes and giving you that "fans hail tactical genius" message. Screenshots of the 2 formations are below - the "Zulu" tactic (so called because of the prominent "Z") I developed first, which then evolved into the "Yankee" tactic.
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Bundesliga Champions and European Champions Cup winners first season.
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I wanted to develop 2 tactics with the following aims:

- Hard to beat
- Different methods of play in different attacking channels
- Good possession
- Players involved in different phases of play
- Incorporate a Defensive Winger (I just like the role!)

Using Dortmund as my base, I created the Zulu formation centred around these philosophies and the players available. Yankee was a natural evolution from this.

Both tactics use the same playing styles and player instructions, which simplifies training and player rotation.

Attacking Movement

As you can see from the formations, there is no symmetry - neither in the shape nor the player roles. This provides different methods of attack which (hopefully!) confuses the opposition defence.

Left Wing - an attacking wing back to provide midfield width, hug the touchline, launch crosses and overlap the Inside Forward (Zulu) or Attacking Midfielder (Yankee). Ahead, we have an Inside Forward to cut inside (Yankee) or an Attacking Midfielder in the AMCL position (Zulu) to provide an additional attacking option.

Central - the intention is for pin-point passes from defence through to attack. I use a Ball Playing Defender to start things off, sitting behind a DLP with an Advanced Playmaker (support) ahead. As you can see, all 3 of these roles have various passing options open to them.

Right Wing - the attacking Defensive Winger is set to move into channels going forwards to: run at the defence, play through balls, provide a passing option, or shoot. An attacking Full Back behind is to provide extra width, overlapping runs and crosses.

Anchor Man

Both formations uses an Anchor Man. Positioned slightly off centre in the Zulu formation, this is to help provide cover on the left wing with the attacking Wing Back whilst still being available for taking out those pesky opposition AMCs. On the right, not much will get past the Defensive Winger, off centre DLP and Full Back.

Slightly different in the Yankee formation - the AM is this time centralised due to the positioning of the Inside Forward, DLP and Defensive Winger. Whilst that may block passes from the BPD to the DLP, there is a route for the BPD through to the Advanced Playmaker instead (or the right wing).

When to Play Which Formation

The million dollar question ;).

I have found the Yankee formation to be slightly stronger, especially away from home and against tougher opposition. All of my away games against decent same nation sides and tough European matches were played using Yankee from the start. Zulu can be brought in against lesser sides, especially at home, to help reduce the chance the ME is learning how you play.

Moving the Parked Bus

Sometimes, no matter which formation you play, your opposition will just build a wall and dare you to break through. To try to get through, you can :

- Switch up the Strategy from Control to Attacking after 25 mins or so
- Swap tactics at half time / after c.60 mins
- Switch up to Attacking again (after c. 60 mins) if you swapped tactics at half time
- Hit Overload if you are really desperate for the win
- Substitute two (or three) from the striker / IF / AMC / AP / DW / WB / FB

Pre-Season Set Up

a) Training Schedule

Will look like the following for the first month. From 1st August, change from Fitness to Team Cohesion (still very high) until the season starts. Ignore messages if some of your team are unhappy with the workload.
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b) Friendlies

I cancel as many friendlies as I can, then set up new ones every 3-4 days (Tues/Weds & Sat/Sun) at home against very small opposition. Substitute the entire team at half team, so everyone is getting 45 mins of play every 3 or 4 days. This gets your whole squad match fit, fit for the coming season and boosts their morale as you are almost guaranteed a win.

In Season Training

Default Focus : Balanced
Default Intensity : Average
Match Train Default : Teamwork
Allow rest after matches, not before.

Individual Training can be set once you have come off the pre-season Training schedule. Set each player's Individual Training to reflect their team role OR focus on a specific attribute OR work on PPMs. Don't try to do all 3 at once, they won't like it and you could cause injuries.

Opposition Instructions and Team Talks

1) OIs

I always set them, and always let my assistant manager (or coach) handle them. It takes 2 seconds to do, so no excuses ;). You must have a coach or assistant mgr with excellent tactical and defensive knowledge. Good examples of this are:
David Court
Mark Bowen
Remember to redo OIs when the opposition makes a substitution.

2) Team Talks

a] Easy option - have an assistant mgr or coach with excellent motivation stats take them. They can still get it wrong, so I always use option b]

b] Harder option - take Team Talks yourself. Always. There are so many different factors (such as your own managerial reputation, which team you are managing, who your opposition is etc) involved here that there is no easy way of describing how to do this yourself. The best way is to actually start doing it, and learn what reactions you get. And don't be afraid of using aggressive talks if you are losing (or drawing) at half time.

These links are a great starting point for Team Talks:
Team Talks Ruining Game Experience
Darthrodent's Morale Toolkit

Other Bits and Bobs

a) Pitch Size - Minimum

b) Player Sent Off - Take off the striker

c) 2 Players Sent Off - reshape to have 4 at the back, 2 x DMs, 1 x DLP in midfield, 1 x ACM

d) 3 or more sent off - you deserve to lose, you are on your own :).

Player Types and Attributes

Work Rate, Work Rate, Work Rate. I can't stress that enough.

I'll list players for each role, simply look up similar players in game.

Note - there is only one player that I would expect to fulfill 2 different roles in the 2 tactics - the Inside Forward / Attacking Midfielder.

Goalie - Tim Krul
Fullback - Martin Montoya
Wingback - Marcelo
BPD - Toby Alderweireld
CB - just about anyone
Anchor Man - Bender Brothers
DLP - Huge choice. Gundogan, Sahin, Alonso, Strootman
Defensive Winger - Blaszczykowski, Ayew, Asamoah
AP - Gotze, Modric
IF / AM - Reus
CF - Lewandowski, Volland

NOTE - the IF/AM should have opposite foot to the wing they are on, so a right footed player for the AML/ACML position.