Over the past few years, I have written numerous tactical articles. Most of these articles finished on the end product, the downloadable tactic. Some of these tactical articles focussed on specific aspects of the tactic. I even had a brief series of articles on how to edit and tweak them. While I am still content with the quality of the material, the nagging feeling that I could have done better still remains. This series of articles is my attempt to do better, to show you how I created the tactic, what I had in mind and how I tweaked it to work as intended.
This article will be the third installment in what is effectively a case study in reactive tactics. The Hungarian national team is playing the 2052 European Championships with yours truly at the helm. In the first game, we kept the Czech Republic to a draw, whereas the second game saw us effectively nullify the mighty offensive power of the Spanish national side, gaining a second draw. In this final game of the group-stage, the Magyars take on an old adversary; the Austrian national team.
Last week, I offered you an insight in my tactical tinkering during a match. I was managing the Hungarian national team in their opening match of the 2052 European Championships versus the Czech Republic, gaining a creditable 1-1 draw and keeping the somewhat superior Czech threat contained for most of the match. In this match, we’re going to be needing a whole lot more of that defensive containment seeing as we are up against La Furia Roja; the mighty Spanish national team.
Creating a tactic in Football Manager is rather easy. You open up the tactics creator, walk through the steps the program has to offer, work out whichever style and options appeal to you, and the game is even kind enough to fill in some default roles it deems best suited to what you had in mind. It may not be perfect, but it’s a robust and relatively reliable instant tactic. From start to finish it takes mere minutes to create a tactic.
While creating the tactic may take mere minutes, making sure the tactic works consistently and against every opponent is a process that takes far more time and understanding of the game. Maintaining the tactic and tweaking it when necessary is a constant balancing act, a continuous process of observation and adjusting specific settings and roles to deal with the opposition you are facing.
One of the most common questions I receive is how I tweak the tactics that I create. While there are no sure-fire circumstances and hard variables that determine how and when I tweak, I can show you some case-studies of how I maintain and tweak my tactics. This article is the first part of a series in which I show you how my tinkering and tweaking has worked for the Hungarian national team during the 2052 European Championships.
As we continue looking at the process of creating a tactic, I have stumbled across the greatest hurdle of all; the fine-tuning of the tactic. Your tactic looks great on the drawing board, you’ve thought it all through and you think it will work. That is when reality sets in and you actually have to test the tactic, adjust it where necessary and tinker with it to see if you can improve the concept. I dubbed this the greatest hurdle of all because you have to watch the games, analyse what you see, assess the probable cause and come up with ways to remedy whatever is wrong.
In the “Inside My Mind” series I want to take you along on the road go down when I develop a tactic. In the previous post of the series I looked at the theoretical process, but I promised to actually apply said process on a real tactic, to put the theory into practice. I want to take you along on a journey to create a new tactic and that means I’m going to start by putting the first steps of the process into practice. I am going to show you the concept that underlies most of my tactics, as well as walking you through the process of coming up with a basic shape, the team style and the first setup of the roles.
In Football Manager, the process of creating your own tactic is one of the simplest things imaginable, especially since the inclusion of the tactics creator, it takes a little time to create your own tactic. You start the creator, walk through a couple of steps, select whichever option appeals to you based on the description and presto, an instant tactic. From start to finish, the entire process takes a few minutes to complete.
Creating a tactic takes minutes, but there’s no actual guarantee your tactic will work and work consistently. That is a process that takes far more time and it’s an end result that is a lot trickier to achieve. It’s a constant balancing act and a continuous process of observation, rethinking and tinkering with various settings and roles until you get it right for the specific players, specific opponents and specific circumstances you are facing. Chucking together random roles and instructions within a specific shape will most likely end disastrously.
“Inside My Mind” is going to be a series that takes you into the process of how I create a tactic. Let me be clear upfront that this is by no means the only way to create a tactic or the ultimate way to create a tactic. As the title indicates, it’s how I create a tactic and I reckon there are some interesting aspects to my approach. Naturally, it will not be all theory and I will apply the concept in a real case of a tactic I am developing. This first post, however, will remain theoretical and will simply focus on the process.