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Home : Articles : FM 2011 (Tactical Guides) : A Guide to Reactive Tactics

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A Guide to Reactive Tactics
Anyone that has been following the Italian Football Thread of late will know that I have been experimenting recently with using exclusively reactive tactics to try and out-think the match engine. I thought given that I enjoyed relatvie success I would start a new thread to try and explain just how this works.

This entire experiment came from a discussion between myself and Shrewnaldo during the World Cup after one of us read this article on ZonalMarking.net and linked it to the other.

The part which caught my eye more than any other was a brief description of how Biesla approached games in a defensive sense;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zonal Marking
Because Honduras started with the one up top, Bielsa did his usual in these circumstances fielding a four-man defence, rather than a three-man defence. His logic was this is that he always wants one extra centre-back against the opposition forwards. If the opposition are playing with two strikers, he uses three centre-backs, if they are using one, he uses two, with the wing-backs dropping back slightly to become more conventional full-backs (although they still have a license to attack). This means that the shape changes from a 3-3-1-3 to a 4-2-1-3, with Millar playing as the second central midfielder.
The idea of switching defensive setups depending on your opponents formation to always make sure you have the extra man was an intriguing one. As we all know having an extra man in any area of the field leads to an advantage in keeping possession of the ball and putting your opponent under pressure. The importance of the 'extra man' can be seen all over modern football with big clubs and astute managers using the extra midfielder especially to control matches as well as to strengthen defensively.

The question of reactivity within football has also been addressed in some depth concentrating specifically on the World Cup by Jonathan Wilson in his excellent feature for The Guardian the question.

In my first full season playing reactive football I won Serie A with Udinese beating more illustrious opponents and employing a variety of formations both symmetrical and asymmetrical ranging from 3-1-3-3 to 2-2-2-1-3 and everything inbetween.

The AI within the FM match engine is sophisticated enough to change formation in real time as the game is in progress in order to react to your tactics. This means that by keeping open a window showing the AI formation I am able to change as quickly both to negate their threat and take advantage of any obvious weakness. In some games I changed formation upto three times before winning comfortably.

In the articles to follow, I will provide an in depth guide to explain how I set up against particular AI tactics and why I choose to do certain things. Eventually I aim to built up a bank of examples to help you react to any specific formations that you find especially difficult to play against.

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Information

Author: Forza
Added: 03-04-2011
Views: 9556
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