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 position, traits, and skills.
Each position on the field contributes to different events in different ratios as you can see on the Formation and tactic page of the wiki.
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.
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 off the ball 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 for selected attacking event is compared to opposing team's total defensive power for that event as explained above.
Let's assume that the home side has the ball and power of 6 for certain event. The away side has 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 build up events is tested. If successful, the engine continues to one of the key pass events,
and finally to related shot creating event if successful again. In case of a corner or foul the engine will skip over some of the events earlier in the chain (i.e. a corner starts as a key pass event).
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 can see your attempted and successful events. If you focus your efforts through the middle you will get more attempts in that area, but is possible that the opponent quite successfully blocks your midfield approaches and
you end up with more successful build up events on the side in the end.
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.
Build up events
These are the starting events. They represent a string of passes coming together to bring the ball over the half line and into the opposition's half. They are tested repeatedly until one side manages to succeed and create a serious 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, speed, technique for attackers vs positioning, speed, work_rate for defenders.
Midfield build up.
Players the closest to the centre circle help build up play through the midfield the most.
Skills used are ball_control, strength, vision for attacking side vs positioning, vision, work_rate for defending side.
Build up from the right.
Symmetrical to the left build up 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, speed, technique for attackers vs positioning, speed, work_rate for defenders.
This is a special event that works slightly differently than the rest as it can only happen after a successful tackle on your side.
Your defenders may attempt a counter attack after they win the ball while opposition's attackers try to close them down.
By default, the chance for this event to happen is rather small, but it can be increased by choosing counter attack or counter pressing play style as your tactical option.
Skills used are anticipation, ball_control, passing by attacking side, and anticipation, speed, work_rate by defending side.
Key pass events
Successful build up will result in a key pass event, an attempt to place the ball where it can hurt.
Depending on your approach tactical option your team will try certain options more often than others.
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.
These types of passes are mostly initiated by central midfielders.
Skills used by the attacking side are accuracy, passing, vision, and by the defensive side anticipation, positioning, tackling.
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 important players are those on the side - AMLR and FLR.
The skills used are accuracy, passing, speed by the attackers, and marking, positioning, tackling 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 of the opposition's box.
Attacking midfielders are specialists for this type of play (and defensive midfielders to prevent it).
The skills used are passing, technique, vision by the attacking side, and marking, strength, tackling 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 off the ball and strength skills while defenders need anticipation and marking.
If successful, the team will create an edge or cross shot chance.
Shot creating events
After succeeding in one of the key pass events it is up to your attackers to get into position to receive that cross, through ball, or a ball in a shooting range.
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.
You need to win this step to get a chance to shoot on the goal.
Through ball shot attempt.
The team tries to react to a through ball and get into a chance to shoot on goal. If successful, this will often result in an one on one chance for your forward.
The skills used are anticipation, off_the_ball, speed by the attackers, and marking, speed, tackling 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 off_the_ball, strength, vision vs anticipation, marking, 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 off_the_ball, technique, work_rate against defender's anticipation, marking, positioning.
Shooting on the goal
After your team succeeds in all 3 types of above mentioned events the player from the last step 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 header attempt).
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 common but at the same time the hardest to score.
The attacker compares his accuracy, finishing, technique vs goalkeeper's anticipation, handling, positioning.
Direct free kick.
Direct free kick is similar to a long shot but with defense fully prepared for it.
The attacker compares his accuracy, finishing, set pieces to goalkeeper's handling, positioning, set pieces skills.
Headers, quick shots and the like. They're the middle ground when it comes to shooting on the goal, moderately hard to execute.
The attacker uses accuracy, anticipation, finishing skills against goalkeeper's handling, marking, strength.
One on ones
One on one chances and trick shots behind opponent's line of defense. They're the easiest to score but hard to create.
The attacker uses ball control, finishing, technique and the goalkeeper uses handling, tackling, speed.
This one is as ideal of a situation as it can be.
The attacker uses finishing, set pieces, technique to trick the goalkeeper who uses anticipation, handling, set pieces.
Finally, there are certain events that are tested individually for the selected player in certain situations.
Players may make a critical mistake from time to time, a mistake that will give opponents a chance at the goal.
Having a good experience and match sharpness helps reduce the chance of making a mistake.
When a player is selected as the one who stopped the opposition's approach, his work rate and tackling 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 work rate and anticipation skills are less likely to do so.
Defenders benefit from anticipation, and positioning to try and set up an offside trap,
and attackers benefit from anticipation and speed to avoid it.