Why SI cannot Win with their Match Engine & Tactical Observations

"FM Just cheated again. 94th minute goal!"

Yeh, we've all been there. That 94 minute goal that denies you the title, relegates you, loses the cup, whatever. And, at some point at some time, we have all accused FM of cheating us. I have as well. Recently the more in depth tactical players, their work of which I follow, have found that there is no cheating.

Not to preach to you football fans about the regularities and managerial skills in the modern game, and FM is the modern game, but in real life it's all about decisions. If Man Utd are being out-played after 20 minutes, Sir Alex, maybe unknown to the innocent watchers like us, makes just a slight change to his tactic. "Play it shorter" is all it might consist of. Later on, when his side are now leading 2-1 with 5 minutes to play. he commands his side to just defend. Obviously he does not do this via sliders like we must, but that's what happens. He also must make the decision on how his side start the match.

So, were am I going with all this? Well, first let me trace myself back. On my shelf I have CM04. I played that constantly and loved it. Basically, I downloaded 1 tactic off the net, and won everything. FM05, similar story. But the age of the super tactic has now gone, anyone claiming to have 1 tactic to beat them all is being mythical, it will not happen. SI have upped their engine, slid it up into fifth gear, and realised the importance and regularity of which match turning decisions occur in real life football, and try to copy that in their game.

And they have done a good job. If I am leading by a single goal with 5-10 minutes remaining, the AI will switch into the dreaded 'cheat' (more on this later) formation, the 4-2-4, and push forwards. Keep playing with your normal attacking tactic and you will concede at least 5 times out of 10, if not more.

I'm trying not to divulge from the central issue, which is Why SI can never win, this article was indeed planned to be just this long, but I must continue now that I have gone off on a tangent, at least it is a relative one.

FM-Britain, no offence to any other forum, has long been the tactical mastermind on FM. People such as The Next Diaby, wwfan and more have studied to immense detail the workings of the match engine and how to win matches.

Now reverting back to my decisions, now I am a firm believer that to have success, you must no longer have 1 tactic, but a set of tactics. More than usual, these consist of exactly the same formation but with different instructions to the team and players. In my first tactic set, which the download link is at the end of this, I had the following: All Out, Att, Balanced, Counter, Keepy, SUS. Most are very obvious, keepy being a formation that keeps the ball, SUS is 'Shut Up Shop' and wil hold the lead, I would say at least 8 times out of 10.

So, back to my original aim, if you are still with me, and I will understand if you are not! Let me take a scenario which you should have experienced during FM:


Late Goals

If you concede a late goal, as in 85th minute+, and especially after 90 minutes, your first reaction is upset, but then it turns into 'cheat'. The phrase 'I was all over them and it cheats because it knows if I fail to win Arsenal overtake me at the top!' or similar is seen online much. But, if you had been using a tactic set, you could switch to SUS with 5-10 minutes to go, and this issue would more or less go away. In 12 games with Newcastle with my set, I have yet to concede in the last 10 minutes. This surely goes some way to proving my theory on decisions? This includes matches against the dreaded cheat 4-2-4.

So, Why can't SI win? Because, if you score a late goal, it's always fine. You might have only just got your first shot at that point, but it's always deserved. Imagine how the AI feels! This may seem really sad to you but do you understand my point? It's all in the mentality of the average player, how late goals are always unfair.

Other examples, such as deflected shots, off your defender into your net, is always unfair. But if it happens to you, it's fine.


This may seem like a waste of time to you, but it's something I have always studied the match engine and the mentality of members on FM forums, who are constantly complaining at SI. Why not try and credit SI for this immense work which they have done on what an amazing match engine they have produced, and lets face it, it can only get better.


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Last edited by Dylan on 21 June 2008 at 09:50
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