Bring your A game

At the moment, playing the A tactic is like agreeing a murder-suicide pact with yourself. I appreciate that’s logistically impossible but you get the sentiment.

To demonstrate how catastrophically rubbish the attacking tactic is, I ran 400 games with Team 1 playing A and an identical Team 2 playing a different tactic that I’m not going to name:

TM1 (A)TM2 (?)DrawsGames
Goals6611549400
Wins1312318
Win %8.4%79.9%11.7%

Playing A is footballing harakiri.

If you look at the last match report that was generated (they get overwritten each time, I don’t have 400 reports I just have the final one) then both teams are scoring 1 in 7 of their shots on target, and Team 1 is creating proportionately more shots off target, it’s just that Team 1 isn’t creating many shots in general:

*************  FULL TIME  ****************



Shots off target     : tm1  5 tm2 12
Shots on target      : tm1  7 tm2 21

Score                : tm1  1 tm2 3

If not many shots are being created then it’s likely that part of the problem lies in midfield.

I made a few changes, tested a few versions and settled on this…

Old

# A – Attacking

MULT A DF TK 1.0
MULT A DF PS 0.5
MULT A DF SH 0.5

MULT A DM TK 0.5
MULT A DM PS 0.75
MULT A DM SH 0.68

MULT A MF TK 0.0 lol
MULT A MF PS 1.0
MULT A MF SH 0.75

MULT A AM TK 0.0 lol
MULT A AM PS 0.87
MULT A AM SH 1.13

MULT A FW TK 0.0 lol
MULT A FW PS 0.75
MULT A FW SH 1.5

New

# A – Attacking

MULT A DF TK 0.9
MULT A DF PS 0.75
MULT A DF SH 0.5

MULT A DM TK 0.4
MULT A DM PS 0.85
MULT A DM SH 0.68

MULT A MF TK 0.2
MULT A MF PS 1.0
MULT A MF SH 0.8

MULT A AM TK 0.0
MULT A AM PS 0.87
MULT A AM SH 1.2

MULT A FW TK 0.0
MULT A FW PS 0.87
MULT A FW SH 1.4

… which gave this outcome against the mystery tactic:

TM1TM2DrawsGames
Goals803797400
Wins747039
Win %40.4%38.3%21.3%

It’s almost exactly equal – there’s only a 6 goal swing out of 1,600.

I was keen to make the tactics equal. I didn’t want to create a tactic that’s better than another tactic, or worse than another tactic, I wanted to create a tactic that is equal but different. All six tactics are supposed to be equally powerful – if one was fundamentally better than the others we’d all just use that – but some tactics are more suited to different situations.

For me, it’s more about how and when you use the A tactic. For example you might want to use A if:

  • You are a goal or two down and don’t care about conceding so you might as well see if you can outscore them
  • It’s late in the game and you think your stamina is better – with A you’ll score more and if they’re tired you’re less likely to concede
  • Your team is vastly superior and you think the opponent can’t score against you anyway, you might as well fill your boots
  • You think your players are more suited to this particular tactic – your midfielders have awful Tk secondary stats which is fine because they’re not going to be used much anyway

It’s Keeganology: You’ll score loads but leave yourself vulnerable in defence; but that doesn’t matter if you score one more than the opponent. There were 1,600 goals scored across 400 games, that’s an average of four goals a game.

But judging by that test there won’t be many draws – it won’t be boring.

A vs D

I thought it would be a bit spicey if there was an advantage for A playing against D.

Currently managers slam the brakes on and play D if they go a goal up. That might not happen as much now that D has been weakened, although it is still the most effective defensive tactic.

If a team will predictably switch to D when they go a goal ahead then the opposing manager can simply choose to switch to A if they go a goal down to negate it. After time this will give those playing D something to think about.

However C, which is the second most defensive tactic, has an advantage over A.

So if you’re in the lead do you switch to D and hope that the opponent doesn’t switch to A. Or do you switch to C which isn’t as defensive as D but does cover you in case the opponent switches to A?

Big decision.

I tested the two new tactics against each other and it doesn’t take a big change to ensure A has a significant edge over D, although it does make a big difference…

MULT A FW SH 1.5

What do you think?

Mike

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