The core of Derby Manager is the match engine. It decides your fate in every match.
Derby Manager uses custom engine that vastly simplifies and abstracts the real football game.
The engine encourages adjusting your tactics for each opponent, as countering his vital spots
can make all the difference between a win and a loss.
Even though this is quite a long read, all you need to know is covered in this first section.
The rest is a list of events that can happen that are all resolved in the same manner that is described here.
The engine is intentionally simple so that managers can understand it and use it to their advantage.
The match is divided into a number of events. There are different events for building up play, creating an action, and getting into a position to shoot on goal.
For each event the total power of all attacking team players is calculated and compared to all the players of the opposing team.
How much each player contributes to an event depends on his field role and skills.
Each position/role on the field contributes to different events in different ratios.
For a simplified example, defenders might contribute 80% to defense event and 20% to attack event, midfielders would then contribute 50-50 to each of those two events,
and attackers would contribute exactly the opposite of the defenders. But the total contribution is the same for each position.
On player's screen you can see to which areas his supported roles contribute and how much.
For each event the engine takes into account different skills. In the simplified example above,
defensive event might require tackling and marking skills while attacking event might require movement and technique skills.
Since all players contribute to an event the total power would be the sum of each player's appropriate skills multiplied by his position's contribution.
I.e. a defender with all skills at 10 would contribute to an attacking event with (10 + 10) * 0.2 = 4,
while the attacker with those same skills would contribute (10 + 10) * 0.8 = 16. Together, their power in that event would be 20.
When one team advances forward their total power selected event is compared to opposing team's total power as explained above.
Let's assume that the home side has the ball and power of 6 for certain event. The away side has the power of 4 to defend against that same event.
To select the winner imagine that a random card from 1 to 10 is drawn from the deck of cards.
If it comes up between 1-6 the home team succeeds, and if it's 7 or higher the away team stops their approach.
The deck of cards analogy is important because you are guaranteed to draw 7 different cards before the deck is reshuffled.
Even in a worst case scenario where only the highest 7 cards are drawn, the home team is still guaranteed to get at least 3 successes before the deck is reshuffled.
Events follow in logical order. First, one of the possession events is tested, if successful the engine continues to one of the approach events,
and finally to related shot creating event if successful again. In case of a corner or a foul the engine might skip over some of the events earlier in the chain.
Which exactly event will be chosen depends on your tactical options. Selecting to build up play through the middle will skew the usual distribution more towards the middle.
On the match screen stats you only see your successful events. It is possible (but not probable) that the opponent quite successfully blocks your midfield possession
and you end up with more flank possession events even though you've selected to exploit the middle approach.
All events below are presented from attacker's point of view. Forwards are countered by defenders,
and play on the left side of the field is countered by opponent's right side players etc.
Keep in mind that the whole team contributes to all of the events below.
Whichever team succeeds at an event, one player from that team will be represented in the commentary.
Players that contribute the most to that specific event have a better chance to get chosen.
Player's rating at the end of the match is a combination of his total contribution to all areas and being randomly selected to represent specific events.
These are the starting events. They are tested repeatedly until one side manages to succeed and start an action.
By default your team will equally attempt to build up play over the left side of the field, right side, and the middle.
You can skew the distribution by selecting different build up tactical option.
Build up from the left.
Players playing on the left side of the field (including left-centre players) and closer to the field's half contribute to possession on the left side the most.
Skills used are ball_control + technique for attackers vs work rate + speed for defenders.
Midfield build up.
Players the closest to the centre circle help build up play through the midfield the most.
For example, box to box midfield role equally contributes to both attack and defense for midfield build up.
Skills used are ball control + accuracy for attacking side vs work rate + positioning for defending side.
Build up from the right.
Symmetrical to the above, players playing on the right side of the field (including right-centre players) and closer to the field's half contribute to possession on the right side the most.
Skills used are ball control + technique for attackers vs work rate + speed for defenders.
This is a special event that works slightly differently than the rest. It can only happen after a successful tackle on your side and it is always successful when it happens.
Your defenders (must win the ball) and attackers (must open up fast) together contribute to the chance to start a counter attack (and opponent's to prevent it).
By default, the chance for this event to happen is rather small, but it can be increased by choosing counter attack play style as your tactical option (at the expense of your power in other possession events).
Skills used are ball control and vision by attacking side, and work rate and reaction by defending side.
If one of the possession events is successful the match proceeds to approach events.
Depending on your approach tactical option your team will try certain options more often than others.
By default the distribution is equal for through balls, cross balls and edge balls. Focusing on one type of approach will reduce the attempts in other two types.
Through ball approach.
This approach covers passing long vertical balls from the deep towards your outmost attackers.
Your team skips play in front of the opposition's box in an attempt to surprise your opponents and catch them off guard.
The most responsible positions for this step are your centre midfielders.
Skills used by the attacking side are passing and vision, and by the defensive side tackling and reaction.
Cross ball approach.
This approach will try to get a ball into a good position for a cross, usually from the side of the box but not exclusively.
The most responsible positions are those to the side, primarily FL and FR.
The skills used are passing and accuracy by the attackers, and tackling and positioning by the defenders.
Edge ball approach.
This approach will try to work the ball into a good position for a shot, usually near the edge opposition's box.
Attacking midfielders are specialists for this type of play (and defensive midfielders to prevent it).
The skills used are passing and technique by the attacking side, and tackling and strength by defense.
Set piece approach.
This event is used in case of a corner or far away free kick. Both sides have the time to prepare the best they can (and even change their positions on the field if necessary).
Set pieces is the most important skill for both sides. Additionally, attackers benefit from movement and strength while defenders need reaction and marking.
If successful, the team will create an edge or cross shot.
Shot creating events
Succeeding in one of the approach events means the team managed to make a cross, send a through ball or open up space near the edge of the box.
Now it's time for your attackers to get into position to receive that cross, through ball, or ball in a great shooting position.
Your opposition will, of course, try to prevent you from doing exactly that. In this step the type of event to test is directly related to the previous step.
Success means your player gets to shoot on goal.
Through ball shot attempt.
The team tries to react to a through attack that was started by your midfielders and get into a chance to shoot on goal.
The skills used are movement and speed by the attackers, and marking and speed by the defenders.
Cross ball shot attempt.
After the successful cross your team has to fight for a good header position while your opponents try to prevent that from happening.
The skills used are movement and strength vs marking and strength.
Edge ball shot attempt.
Your team tries to exploit the opening near the edge of the box while the opponents try to block it.
The skills used are movement and vision against defender's marking and positioning.
Shooting on the goal
After a successful shot creating event the player gets to make an attempt to score a goal.
This test is performed individually between the shooter and the goalkeeper.
Some of the power from the previous step is carried on into this one (i.e. having a lot of power in cross ball shot attempt event will be a bonus to an actual cross shot).
Different skills are used depending on the type of the approach.
The goalkeeper gets a certain bonus against attacks further away from the goal.
Shots from distance are easiest to create but at the same time the hardest to score.
The attacker compares his finishing and accuracy vs goalkeeper's handling and positioning.
Direct free kick.
Direct free kick is somewhat easier to score than edge shot but still rather hard.
The attacker compares his set pieces and accuracy to goalkeeper's set pieces and positioning skills. Both benefit from having good composure.
Headers, quick shots and the like. They're the middle ground when it comes to shooting on the goal, moderately hard to create and finalize.
The attacker uses finishing and reaction skills against goalkeeper's handling and strength.
One on ones
One on one chances and trick shots behind opponent's line of defense. They're easiest to score but also hardest to create.
The attacker uses finishing and technique and the goalkeeper uses handling and speed.
This one is as ideal of a situation as it can be.
The attacker uses set pieces and technique to trick the goalkeeper who uses reaction and set pieces. Both benefit from having good composure.
There are certain events that are tested individually for the selected player in certain situations.
When a player is selected as the one who stopped the opposition's approach, his decision making, tackling and fitness reduce the chance that he made a foul while doing it.
Defenders will throw the ball into a corner if they're out of energy or have no other choice. Those with high decision making, reaction and fitness skills are less likely to do so.
Defenders benefit from composure, reaction and positioning to try and set up an offside,
and attackers benefit from decision making, reaction and speed to avoid it.