[TUTORIAL] How to build a top CM0102 tactic ? FAQ

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[TUTORIAL] How to build a top CM0102 tactic ? FAQ

Post by Xeno »

How to build a top tactic ? >>> Author: Tapani (some details about wib-wob are added into this tutorial from overall posts)

It appears like most of the top tactics (in Tactic Benchmark League etc) are variations of the same basic design. How boring.
To change this, I thought I'd make short guide on how to build a tactic from scratch and good enough to hit top 20 in Tactic Benchmark League.

This is a guide without any tactical advice. Just basic scientific methodology applied to CM :-)

*** You need:
A quick holiday benchmark save and benchmark exe, and a lot of patience. Also, some automated way to gather results from holiday benchmarks is a huge time saver. Also a tool (like CMTacTool) for assessing benchmark result is needed.

[TOOL] Tactics Benchmark Testing Setup >>> viewtopic.php?f=77&t=3625
[TOOL] CMTacTool - Tactic Benchmark Tool >>> viewtopic.php?f=77&t=3618
Tactics download section >>> viewforum.php?f=81

What I did this weekend (actually, most work was done my computer, I only poked at it every now and then) was to test how hard it was to beat top 20 in Tactic Benchmark League. And it was not very hard.

*** Terminology

The pitch is the whole playing field (duh). The pitch is divided into 12 squares where positions can be given with and without ball. A square is 9x9 notches, and the whole pitch is 27x36 notches. Each square has 9 notches from top to bottom and 9 notches from right to left where you can put a player. This makes a total of 81 different notches where a player can be placed. Since wib has 12 squares and wob also 12 squares, there is a total of 1.944 notches available to place players. That's micro management at its finest for you!

A notch is the smallest unit you can move a player on the wib-wob screen.

Wib-Wob is With Ball-Without Ball. The word 'wib' refers to the 'With ball' screen and the word 'wob' to the 'Without ball' screen. When you go to the tactics of a team, you will always get a pitch where your formation is lined out. On the pitch, you will see 11 big 'dots' that represent the 11 players you're managing. The dots have letters in them which correspond with the positions known in football. Above the pitch are three big blue buttons called 'Overview', 'With ball' and 'Without ball'.
- On default, the 'Overview' button is selected and you get a view of your players spread out over the pitch. This is the general look of your formation.
- The button next to 'Overview' is called 'With ball' and if you click on that you'll see that the pitch will get divided into 12 squares. One of the squares is highlighted with a yellow dotted line. This is called the 'With ball overview' and it shows you where your players will position themselves on the pitch when your team has the ball in the yellow highlighted square. You can right click on any of the 12 squares to see how your players are positioned per square.
- The button next to 'With ball' is called 'Without ball' and if you click on that you'll see that the pitch will also get divided into 12 squares. One of the squares is highlighted with a yellow dotted line, just like in the 'With ball' screen. This is called the 'Without ball overview' and it shows you where your players will position themselves on the pitch when the opposing team has the ball in the yellow highlighted square. You can right click on any of the 12 squares to see how your players are positioned per square.

Step 1. Overview
Build basic formation on the overview screen. Place out the players on the overview. And make arrows where you really want them.

Step 2. Basic wib-wob
As you can make changes to your formation in the overview, you can also make more microscopic changes in the wib and wob screens. This way you can actually fine tune your tactic much more in where you want your players to be on the pitch. As a result players will have gotten a thick outline around them if wib-wob is applied, this indicates that the player's natural position has been modified.

There are two ways to wib-wob. One is not actually considered 'wib-wob'ing', but does affect the positioning of your players in the wib and wob screens. The other is actually 'wib-wob'ing' where you can micro manage your squad's positioning.
- The use of arrows: This is the first way to wib-wob and it's the simplest way. When you're in the 'Overview' tab you can hover over a player, hold right click and drag in a direction. When you release the right mouse button you will see that there will be a dotted line going from the player to where you just moved your mouse. This is a 'run' line and indicates where your player will run in either the wib OR the wob screen (never both).
You can drag to any direction, but the way an arrow is facing will determine whether it will affect the wib or the wob screen. An arrow facing upwards or to the left or right will affect the wib screen and an arrow facing backwards will affect the wob screen.
- Manual wib-wob'ing: If you want to have even more control of your players positioning there is another way. With this way you can ignore the overview screen, because you will manually place the players within the 12 squares of the wib and wob boxes.

When you go into the wob screen and highlight a square you will see the players in their 'natural' position in that square. When you hover over a player, hold left click and move in a direction, you can put the player in a different 'spot' within that box. As a result, the players outline will become highlighted.

Basic wib-wob. This is to create a starting point, it does not have to be perfect, or even have significant amount of effort put into it.
I never liked the default positioning of the players, so I kinda move them to my own default locations before I start.
The wob screens are usually okayish, only some minor adjustments here (like moving the left hand squares, I leave the right wingers where they are, but move the two central players 1 and 2 notches to the right, and the left wingers three notches to the right).
The wib screens are based on the wob screens, defenders are pushed around 3 notches up, dms 3-6 notches, midfielders 6-9 notches, and attachers 6-12 notches from their positions on wob screens. Also I spread out fcs and amcs a little on wib screens.
The result I save with a short name like: "451".

Here the tactic building starts.

Step 3. Player instructions
The first I do is to find a basic, decent, setup of player instructions.
I build up to ~8 versions of the tactic, with different forward runs, run with ball, and set pieces instructions. Naming them like 451_a, 451_b, ..., 451_h or smth.
Benchmark each some 50-200 times, until you feel you have a candidate setup that you think is best.
For example, in my experiment this weekend, the chosen setup was the first setting, i.e the 451_b tactic.

Step 4. Player positions
This is the main step.
Start with your candidate best version of your tactic (initially the one from step 3).
Do only one change, and save it with a new name. Like 451_b1. Then you go back to your candidate, and do another one change. Save it like 451_b2 or smth.
So what is one change? Depends on. It usually is a group of players (say MCs) that are moved a few notches up or down on a wib/wob square. The smaller a change, the more benchmark runs you need to run. The larger the change, the greater the chance that you don't distinguish a pattern (some part of the change is good, another bad).

Example change:
► Show Spoiler
A rule of thumb is to start with larger changes (totalling of 20 notches or so), and then gradually go down to changes of 3-6 notches.
A change of 6-12 notches takes about 200-500 benchmark runs to evaluate, and small changes like 2-3 notches can take 3000 (and sometimes that is not enough).

Since my CPU has 4 cores (8 virtual) I can run up to 8-9 CMs at the same time. So I make up to 8-9 variants of the candidate tactic, naming them with another new letter / number appended to the name. (Usually, doing 2-3 changes is enough to find an improvement). To use a computer science term, I'll call these changed tactics children of the candidate tactic. Run these until you feel you have found one or more changes that improve on your candidate (or determined they are all just worse).

In case of one improved version:
- Then the improved version becomes your new candidate tactic.

In case of all worse:
- make 8-9 new changes.

In case of several improvements:
- cut and paste all improving changes into a new "consolidated" version. Benchmark the consolidated version as well, to verify it is better than the previous candidate and its children. (If not, cut and paste together any improved version, omitting some of the changes).
- sometimes the changes that improved cannot be applied at the same time. For instance, you might have moved MCs up in one version, and down in another -- and both are better than your candidate. Then pick one of them, and maybe return to the other variant later.
(In building Iodine, this happened 4-5 times, and all the changes gave birth to interesting tactics in the end).

Step 5. Repeat step 4
Do step four until you give up. This weekend I had to do step 4 around 9 times to beat tactics on top 20 Tactic Benchmark League, and after 11-13 times my tactic was as good as #10 Tactic Benchmark League.
Occasionally you can go back to make a change in player instructions, and see if it changes anything.

*** Advice
Patience. Benchmark more.
- Use CM tactool to determine when a tactic really is better than another.
- Tight cases (<0.10 pts diff or so) also look at conceded and scored. A tactic that scores slightly more points despite scoring less and condeding more is likely a the worse one in tight calls.
- Make your new candidate tactic prove they are worthy. I often run the new leader 2000 seasons or so to make them prove they are the best so far. Picking the wrong candidate tactic can cost you a lot of time (you'll notice it as nothing improving on it ... because your impression of its performance was luck and not its actually scores).
- If you can parallellize your CM runs, you can do 2500 seasons of 8-9 tactics while you sleep. Use that time to verify your findings.
- An improvement of over 0.5 points (or more) in average is very good. You should expect improvements of around 0.2-0.3 points per change.

There is a lot more to say, but this is just a forum post, not a book.
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Re: [TUTORIAL] How to build a top CM0102 tactic ? FAQ

Post by Xeno »

How to build a top tactic ? WibWob >>> Author: Patinoz or churky

On the old website there was a post by Patinoz or churky which explained WibWob in relatively simple terms.
Here's an edited and simplified version of the first post:

I'll present a quick and simple way to play this game in order to win anything you want without using a super tactic.
This is not the only way you can be successful, far from it. It's just one of the simplest ways to achieve great things.

In order to be successful in this game, all you need is take into consideration a few things about the match engine in general and apply a few simple things to the WibWob screens.

1. Use a narrow formation, preferably without wingers. When using a narrow formation you're already one step ahead.
2. Don't play with 3 at the back, use 4. If you don't mind unrealistic tactics, use 2 defenders as the game doesn't cope with that too well.
3. Employ a DMC to your formation because it's the most overpowered position in CM 01/02.
4. Use either 1 or 3 strikers, simply because it works better in this game.

Team instructions
Use short passing, pressing ON, offside trap ON, attacking mentality, tackling hard. You cannot go wrong with those settings.

Without the ball screen
The lowest middle WOB box is the key, you need to fill it with bodies.

On upper WOB screens, you need to push your defensive line much higher than the default position. It will make you both defensively (offside trap) and offensively (pressing) potent.

With the ball screen
Put your fullbacks (or other wide players if you decided to use them) as narrow as possible while maintaining their wide positions on the overview screen.
Crowd the highest middle WIB box with your forwards and (attacking) midfielders.
Place your players on the edges of each box, avoid having more than one player in the middle.

That's it. Just by following those simple instructions you can improve any non-WibWob tactic by a considerable margin.