Ok here goes. I’m not going to to lie but I’m struggling to find a decent and consistent tactic to use on fm18 at the minute. Would anybody point me in the way or have any recommendations? I used to be an avid player of the game but fm18 is the only one I’ve bought in the series for quite a while. I’m finding all the options and detail brilliant, but rather overwhelming! Is there a tactic that you’d recommend that I download? I understand the days of plug and play tactics are gone, but I’d really quite like a tactic that needs very little tweaking!
Much the same as you, it has been many years since I picked up the FM series again and as you said, gone are the days or simply downloading a tactic that gels instantly with any team.
This time around I did a bit of research. I won't bore you with the full details of my findings but essentially there are some startling pieces of info I have come across which changed my whole view of tactics creation and so far, although not perfect, it has allowed me to do my own tinkering off of the basic findings. I will list a few things below which I hope will stand you in good stead and help you create a tactic which works with your team.
1)Do not shoehorn your players into a tactic you feel you want to play.
You should always select your best 2 or 3 players and mould the tactic around them and their qualities.
2)The strangest of all my findings was the change in my view of what the instructions Defend, Counter, Attack etc actually mean when it comes to the way your team play. If you are wanting to play a possession based system which I think most would agree, gives you the best chance of winning or at least a higher number of chances created, play the 'DEFEND' and NOT 'ATTACK' or 'Control'. This choice of mentality actually has a massive impact on how patient and well drilled your team are at keeping ball and patient with creating higher number of quality chances.
3)Play a Higher line. Maybe not push much higher but fairly high should keep you team in the right areas to win possession back and create the best chances.
4)Always pack the midfield with at least 3 midfielders, whether it be 2 CM's and a DM or 3 CM's or 2 CM's and 1 AM. This will massively improve your chances or winning the ball back, defending anything that comes through the middle and give you better numbers in your midfield to keep possession.
5)Some player roles are completely pointless. Keep things simple in this department and tinker slowly with 1 player at a time so you can see the benefit and disadvantages of each change.
6)Closing down more with a higher defensive line seems very effective in FM18.
7)Don't use tight marking as this pulls players our of position.
8)Use attacking wingbacks on attack duty. Even if their stats do not seems to match the role, their placement on the field yields much better results.
9)Work ball into the box keeps your team patient.
10) Stop your players from shooting too often.
12)Change your attacking set piece instructions often as the AI seems to learn quite quickly. This should give you the edge time to time.
13)Always use a sweeper keeper even if the cant play there.
14) Use Ball Playing CB's even if their stats don't match the role. As long as they are set to short passing, it is very rare they will make a mistake and stops them from doing stupid things and messing with your flow.
15)Have your full back over-lapping.
16)Use a DM Registra, this should protect your attacking wingbacks quite well.
Although this is not a guide and I understand it is a bit short. As I have some back to the game after a long time out, these are just some of the things I found helpful to me and I hope this helps you.