How to play
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You select lineup by choosing 11 players that will form the team for next game. To select player for lineup click on any element of the row of his data. Once player is selected his data will be highlighted with red colour. To remove player from lineup click on his row. You will be able to save the lineup and tactics after the 11 players limit is reached and each of the formation has at least one player (goal, defence, midfield and attack).
You can choose up to 4 substitute players that might be used during the match, but they are optional. To select player as substitute click on the "sub" button at the end of the line.
In game preferences ("setup" page) you can change the type of the selection interface, so it would contain less data that the default version.
Together with lineup you select tactics and team approach for the next game.
- normal tactics - default choice, normal tactics mean that the players will adapt their efforts to situation on the field
- attack on wings - players will keep in mind to use wings if possible
- attack through middle - players will try to attack through middle if possible
- try long shots - instead of trying to find the way into opponents box the players will try shots from behind 16 meters line
- try long passes - to overpass strong midfield of the opponents players will try long passes from the defence straight to forwards
By choosing any tactics other than normal you will affect the performance of your team, but f.e. selecting attack on wings does not mean that your players will constantly try wings - they will try other options, but if possible will use wings.
The team approach defines how much effort you want the players to put in the next match:
- not important - the match result is not important for your team, players will not try anything brave and will concentrate on saving their energy for other matches
- take it easy - players will try to avoid hard tackles and save the energy
- normal approach - no orders, players will play according to their mood and nature
- put some effort - players will try harder than usual
- match of the season - players will give 110% of their motivation, no matter how tired they will be at the end
Also on the tactics screen you choose set pieces taker - list of players with best potential in set pieces is available to choose from current lineup. Small soccer ball icon is indicating the player that is currently the set pieces taker on the list and the formation block.
Keep in mind few things:
- the approach orders will affect only the motivation of the players, not their actual skills
- more effort put in the game means that the players will lose more fitness points
- even if "not important" orders are given it doesn't mean the players will completely concentrate on defence, it means they will use the opportunities to score goal if they will occur
- team formation do affect the team performance (f.e. if you won't send any wingers the situations from wings will be unlikely to say the least), but does not limit their skills (f.e. even formation 6-3-1 could produce goals, but it will take more skills)
On the club page you can choose team captain for the current season. If his charisma level is known it will be given in brackets next to his name as a hint who would be suitable for the position. Charisma is important, but not the only factor to take under consideration.
But here's the twist - once you choose team captain it can't be changed until the next season, nor you can choose anyone else if the team captain is unavailable for any reason (f.e. injury or he was sold to another club). To make things a bit more complicated your team will benefit from captain's charisma during the matches if he is in starting lineup, but if he is absent in this particular match (or you haven't yet chosen a captain) their morale or team fit could suffer.
Also team captain is vital (together with assistant manager) in determining other team members current form.
Same match engine is used to simulate all the matches - not only those that involve your club, but all the games in all divisions. Of course you're not gonna find here technical details of the match engine, but we can share some of the basics that would give you some insight into the game mechanics.
- all the player parameters may be used during the match (not only technical, but also mental, like intelect, aggression, experience),
- each player takes part in the match on two levels - as team member (with main skill level and team fit as most important factors) and as individual (in duels against opponents, where technical skills and mental skills are important factors), so every single parameter of every single player can have influence on the outcome of the match,
- player technical skills are very rarely used alone, usualy combination of two or more parameters are used to determine outcome of a duel or situation,
- main skill level (between 1 and 10) is used to determine the potential of each player, but it does not mean that player with level 10 main skill is 10 times better than that with level 1 - it means that he has more value for the team, but exactly how much value is determined by other factors (his own technical skills and mental skills, but also skills of his team members),
- match ratings are based on player performance in this particular match and have very little to do with his potential - even the best player, if not given a chance to show his skills, will have lower ratings, even the low potential player, by pure luck, could become a hero,
- team morale is one of the vital factors during the match - team that loses goal will be affected by it, but not necesserily in a bad way, ambitious players could be motivated by lost goal, less ambitious could lose morale,
- how players are understanding each other is another important factor in match (team fit parameter) - new player, especially foreigner, will need time to fit into team style, so at the beginning of their career in your club they could not use their full potential in the matches, the understanding between players is improved if they play together,
- and finally, the answer to the question that is being asked in every single online soccer manager: why did my team lost? well, in Santa Monica FC there is no simple answer - there are many factors that influence player performance in particular match, also the events during the match will influence his performance, so, just like in real life, there is isn't a single factor that can be given as explanation why this match ended with that particular result
In every single game of the genre random factor is essential to the match engine and in most cases users complain that "the game is random" or "game is too random". Of course SMFC Online match engine does involve random factor, just like the ball or players unpredictible errors are random factors in real football. In our engine player skills are the most important factor, but without random interference the game would be extremely boring - players with best skills would always win.
In months of testing the match engine we have determined that the random factor influence in SMFC Online is kept within reasonable range and in long games it often happened that the same team won the championship few times in a row or team winning Division 3 would end up on top Division 2 next season.
During the match random element is used mostly to simulate different situations that take place on the field, f.e. most of the duels include which of the players was lucky enough to be in better position, closer to the ball or the ball bounced right way so it was easier for him to take a shot. But it is one element that still requires from him enough skills to make use of the advantage, so random factor does influence the match flow, but do not define it.