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LONG SHOTS Tactic - the 6th finger on the hand?

On the 13th of January 2009 the developers introduced in HT one of the most controversial tactics: LONG SHOTS (LS).
There were opinions that this tactic should be removed because it was inefficient and also there were many who would not recommend it as a good tactical solution.

Does the Long Shots tactic deserve a chance?

Let's have a closer look at that and see what it means.

This is a translation of (13124), (13125), written in Romanian by Alex_Bere (1187125).

Let's start with the beginning. Until the LS Tactic had been introduced in HT, long shots were considered special events (SE). After HTs released the LS as a proper tactic, long shots were modified, in order to have them as tactical long shots, so that SE long shots could still exist, differently than that of the tactical long shots. After a while the non-tactical LS disappeared, this type of chance appearing only when someone was calling for them, playing LS tactic. Since the 17th of May 2011, the non-tactical LS reappeared in HT, at the beginning only in the youth academy matches. At the end of August 2011 they came back on senior teams as well.

So how does the LS tactic work?
The rules say that up to 30% of your side and middle attacks are converted into long shots.

What exactly are long shots?
The long shots are ordinary chances that don't use the usual criteria we know (comparison between the attack of the team who gets the chance and the defence of the team who wants to block it) in order to come to a result (goal or missed chance).

To establish the number of the ordinary chances converted into long shots, the tactical level is an important factor. In order to decide if a long shot will be scored as a goal the match engine compares the shooter's Scoring and Set Pieces skills with the opponent goalkeeper's Goalkeeping and Set Pieces skills.
The probability to receive a LS is higher for an Inner Midfielder and a Winger rather than for a Defender or Forward, but the highest scoring rate of a LS is met on the Forwards (better Scoring skill). Some recent studies show that a long shot was received by an Inner Midfielder in 19.44% of the cases, by a Winger in 17.00%, by a Forward in 8.17%, by a Wing Back in 9.23% and by a Central Defender in 8.82% of the cases a long shot was offered.

Thanks to EngelRS4 (3033076) we have some statistics: number of long shots in relation with the LS tactical skill level: (14611267.127), rate of success and possession (14611267.131), players position (14611267.141).

LS Tactic skill level
The manual tells us that the outfielders' Scoring and Set Pieces skills determine the LS tactic skill. Scoring is three times more important than Set Pieces.


An empiric formula to calculate the LS tactic skill level was discovered by Reptil (9375327), but it works accurately on high levels, with the low ones is not quite good.
LS level = 1,66*Sc + 0,55*SP – 7.6
Sc = the average of the outfielders' Scoring skill
SP = the average of the outfielders' Set Pieces skill
7.6 = the constant

GM-Dikwetz (296057) made a table with more accurate data:

LS level - TOTAL

2 wretched - 15 to 18.4
3 poor - 18.5 to 20.3
4 weak - 20.4 to 23.0
5 inadequate - 23.1 to 24.6
6 passable - 24.7 to 25.9
7 solid - 26 to 27.8
8 excellent - 27.9 to 29.4
9 formidable - 29.5 to 31.1
10 outstanding - 31.2 to 33.1
11 brilliant - 33.2 to 34.2
12 magnificent - 34.3 to 36.2
13 worldclass - 36.3 to 37.8
14 supernatural - 37.9 to 40.0
15 titanic - 40.1 to 42.1
16 extraterrestial - 42.2 to 43.9
17 mythical - 44 to 45.5
18 magical - 45.6 to ?
19 utopian - 47.7
20 divine - ?

TOTAL = 3*avg(SC)+avg(SP)
where avg(SC) = average Scoring of all your ten field players
and avg(SP) = average Set Pieces of all your ten field players

As any other tactic, the LS Tactic has some disadvantages, adding a penalty in the team ratings. If some tactics affect the defence ratings (Play Creatively, AOW, AIM), some affect the midfield rating (CA), some affect the stamina (Pressing), the LS tactic adds a penalty of ~2.7% in your attack ratings and ~5% in your midfield rating.
But the main disadvantage of this tactic is not the penalty in attack and midfield ratings, but the fact that it's quite hard to obtain a good LS tactical level and in order to score the long shots you get you have to have a team made for LS tactic.

When do we use the LS tactic?
Taking into account that the LS tactic converts regular chances (which use the attack vs defence ratings in order to score them) into long shots (which use other criteria in order to score them, as I showed before), a good idea to use it is when your opponent's defence ratings are a lot better than your attack ratings, in this way there is the possibility that all your regular chances to be missed.

How does an optimized LS team look like?
As those managers that play LS give up on attack (at least theoretically), the most indicated coach is the defensive coach. Also, all your team force is used for defence and midfield. Therefore the best secondary skill for a Defender is the Playmaking skill and for an Inner Midfielder is the Defending skill (I won't mention again the Scoring and the Set Pieces skills, which determine the LS tactic level).

Why are the Defending and the Playmaking skills so important? Because you'll get a limited number of long shots (usually 3, in exceptional cases 5: (318164005) or even 6: (331824237)) and the first condition to avoid losing a match is to not have conceded goals, so a very good defence is necessary.
The Playmaking skill is also important, as the possession of the ball has almost the same importance as the LS tactical level has, in order to get a higher number of long shots (more chances for you, so more chances to convert a regular chance into a long shot).

Both for the Inner Midfielders and Defenders the best specialty is Head (for Corner+Head SE), followed by distance by Powerful (Powerful players gain Defending and Playmaking in the rain and they lose only Scoring and Stamina in the sun).
On Wingers the most important skill is the Playmaking (and of course, a decent skill of Scoring and Set Pieces, to help in the LS tactic level), so you can play an Inner Midfielder as a Winger Towards Middle. As usually you'll give up on attack ratings, Passing skill is not important, but it would be nice to have some Defending skill. The best specialty for Wingers is Quick. The reason is very simple: they are the only players who can get the Quick SE and score it, as most of the time the LS teams play a 5-5-0 formation. The Scoring skill is also important in order to score the Quick SEs.

How does a team that plays LS score?
Obviously, by long shots. :)
The Special Events (SEs) are also important and this makes the battle for winning the midfield more important.
The IFKs will be always a sector where the LS teams are very good. They will always have a good SP Taker and their IFKs skill will be a high one, both in defence and attack.
Also, they can score from ordinary chances, but it happens very rare, as usually their attack ratings are very low. But you never know when you'll be that lucky to score from a regular chance, as it may happen, no matter how low is your attack ratings comparing to your opponent's defence ones, especially when you have a high possession. There is a probability that your ordinary chances won't even appear in the match report (most of them being missed with such a low attack). But as you know, a 100% percentage to miss a chance is not a common thing in HT, at times you can score even the odds give you a 0.1% chance to do it, HT is a game of probabilities and we have to be aware of that.

Tactical formations and training types
The most used formation is 5-5-0 with 2 WTMs. Another used formation is 4-5-1 with 2 WTMs and DF, especially when you're having troubles with the possession and your opponent's attack is not really good.
No matter if the formations you can use are quite a few, you'll have loads of options in training:
- Defending - All your team needs that.
- Defensive positions - in 5-5-0 we can train at maximum, 22 players/week, but less effective than the Defending training, where we can use the Inner Midfielders as Defenders in the friendly matches.
- Shooting - you'll train the Scoring and Set Pieces skills, very important for a good LS tactical level.
- Set Pieces - the most used training by a LS team.
- Playmaking - in the official matches you can train your IMs and in the friendly matches your Defenders.
- Through passes - 100% efficiency, 20 trainees/week in 5-5-0.
- Crossing (Winger), Goalkeeping - not the very best options, but definitely you can do that if you want.

How can I fight a Long Shots team?
A good Goalkeeper with high skills in Goalkeeping and Set Pieces is a must, he could block the long shots. Usually when you play against a LS team you can neglect your defence ratings, focusing on better midfield and attack ratings.
Considering that the long shots are ordinary chances and they could result in counter-attacks if they are blocked, playing CA may be an idea.
This is an example when 3 long shots resulted in 3 non-tactical CAs: (205777817) (min. 25, 36 and 44).
Another solution may be playing Pressing. Pressing acts different against a long shot, having the opportunity to block the chance twice: once when the opponent team gets the chance and once when your opponent succeed to convert the chance into a long shot.

The end
Now maybe you're asking yourself: "Why would I use such a tactic, where even if I play it very close to perfection, it may bring me bad results?".
Let me answer you: "Isn't it what you're actually doing every single match?". ;)

A huge thanks to Alex_Bere (9070210), who gave this epic form to different studies made about LS, to EngelRS4 (3033076), to Tactics federation (13038), to Raptor39 (622070) and his federation, Tir du loin (80114), to Mr_Hahn (566338) and to Long Shots Federation (93046).

Also, if you read this line, thank YOU for taking your time to read this article. ;)

Editors note: Want to discuss this article? Feel free to jump to the forums for discussion at: (15210364.1) . Also, if you like this article, show your appreciation and hit the "like" button!

2011-09-14 19:12:08, 12118 views

Link directly to this article (HT-ML, for the forum): [ArticleID=13875]

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