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A Comprehensive Guide to Flag Chasing (Part I)

Flag Chasing: like a famous British food spread, you either love it or hate it. But what is it actually all about? What makes it so appealing to those who do it? And, most importantly, how do you do it effectively?

This article will answer any question you ever had about flag chasing. If you're new to the concept this article will introduce you. If you just can't understand why it's done this article will tell you. And if you're already hooked on the idea, this article will show you just how to get that flag collection complete!


Part I
• Introduction
• What is flag chasing?
• What's so appealing about it?
• What not to do!

Part II - (15227)
• How to complete your flag collection
• Conclusion
• Resources


Recently I received an HT-mail from someone who wanted some help with flag chasing. He was becoming frustrated at not adding to his collection and was at a loss with what to do to progress whilst staying within the rules. I tried to help as best I could but there is only so much space in one or two HT-mails.

So I decided to write this article to try and help all those out there who are struggling with this mini-game within Hattrick. Flag chasing can be great fun but can also be difficult to those who don't understand what they're doing - many people find themselves on the wrong side of the rulebook.

So let's dive straight into the article shall we? Grey headers denote new sections as listed in the contents so look out for these. Alternatively you can jump to a certain section by using ctrl+F to search for the section titles listed in the contents.

[th]-----------------------------What is Flag Chasing?-----------------------------[/th]

The concept of flag chasing is simple. Each team in the world who has purchased the Supporter package has a "flag collection" page. You can see mine here: (/Club/Flags/?teamId=62264). Basically, when your team plays a friendly match against another team, the flag of the country in which the other team is based is added to your flag collection.

Home or Away?
There are two different types of flags - home and away. Home flags are gained by having a team from another country play at your team's stadium. Away flags on the other hand are gained by visiting the stadium of another team. You get a flag for each encounter and there are separate sections to distinguish between these two types on the flag collection page.

As an example, if a Syrian team comes to play at your stadium for a friendly match the Syrian flag will become highlighted in the top section of your flag collection. On the other hand, if you travel to Syria by playing against a team in their stadium the Syrian flag will become highlighted in the bottom section of your flag collection.

You don't get flags for neutral venues. Almost anyway. As long as the neutral venue is in the country of one of the teams playing the game, a flag will be awarded to the away team as usual (though to get a home flag you always have to play at your stadium). What you don't get a flag for is playing in the stadium of a team in another country with two random teams. So if two English teams play a friendly in the stadium of a team in Syria, neither of them will be awarded a flag.

Flag Rarity
Flag chasing is quite a popular pastime on Hattrick and there are many people doing it. However this becomes somewhat of a problem when thousands of teams from all over the world are seeking the flag of a small country which may consist of only forty or fifty teams. There just aren't enough games to go around.

Getting games against teams in these small countries is extremely difficult and it is considered a great achievement to even have one flag from one of these countries. As you can therefore imagine, these rare flags are highly sought after. There is a CHPP website which tracks the sizes of countries and rates their flags in order of "coolness (or rarity)", with the smallest country having the "coolest (or rarest)" flag: (http://maptrick.org/coolness.php).

This is all great for flag chasers as it provides a way to compare how well different teams are doing with their collections and gives something to aim for, but it's not so great for members of these small countries who have to deal with spam on a regular basis from inconsiderate teams. Be sure to read the section on what you shouldn't do when flag chasing to ensure you are respectful of other teams and don't break any rules!

Only for Supporters?
No! Despite it only being supporters who get their flag collections displayed on Hattrick, any team can chase flags. All flags you gain are recorded by Hattrick regardless of whether you are a supporter or not and if you do get supporter they will all be automatically displayed on your collection. Non-supporters can also use the CHPP tool I talked about earlier to track their flags by entering their team ID or logging in via CHPP.

[th]-------------------------What's so appealing about it?-------------------------[/th]

So what do people find so appealing about flag chasing? Why do we all do it? Well everyone has their own reasons, but for those who can't understand it I'll attempt to outline a few of the most common reasons.

The Pursuit of a Goal
Achieving goals is a central theme to everything in Hattrick. Whether your goal is to win the league, cup or HT-masters, get all the achievements, horde the most money, produce the best player or collect all the flags, you're trying to achieve something just the same as anyone else.

Hattrick has many facets to it that people enjoy. Winning their league isn't always the top priority for some people and everyone plays for different reasons. Some will only focus on one thing, such as league performance, every season whereas others may spread their wings and try to achieve some goals in a few other areas. You don't necessarily have to have won the HT-masters to be successful in Hattrick.

The Happiness and Kudos
There's no doubt that snagging those uber-rare flags brings happiness to those who get them, and the kudos one receives from friends for having a few rare flags enchances that even further. Each additonal flag brings with it some more happiness and kudos to the point where it becomes addictive - having that completed collection must feel even better, surely?!

Something to do
Let's face it, if you're stuck in a league of bots and are out of the cup by round 3, the chances are high that you're going to be bored. Flag collecting gives people something to do with their friendly slots. It allows for focus on another aspect of the game to keep people amused in periods of what would otherwise be boredom. That's reason enough for it to be worthwhile.

Other Reasons
There are of course many other reasons why people go flag chasing. Some people are just born collectors - once they've started something they want to finish it. Others may actually have an interest in each country they play in and read about each every week as a rule, like a sort of substitute for real travel. Whatever the reasons, it's not hard to see why flag chasing is so popular. And with 256 flags to chase, it isn't going anywhere any time soon.

[th]---------------------------------What not to do!---------------------------------[/th]

So you know what flag chasing is and you understand why people do it. You're sold - you want to start chasing flags. Maybe you were already sold and have been chasing flags for years now. But hold on just a minute. You can't just jump in at the deep end and expect to get a game in Yemen or Barbados every week. There's a skill to flag chasing which requires patience and knowledge, but most importantly, adherence to the rules!

One of the biggest problems people get into trouble for when they're flag chasing is for spamming teams in smaller countries. That is, sending HT-mails, PA comments, guestbook comments, etc asking to play a game at yours or their stadium. It's extremely inconsiderate to do this and it's highly likely that you will be rightly punished for it.

Imagine you're a team in a country with only fifty other teams, and there are approximately ten thousand people who need to play in your country every week (not an unreasonable number). Even if just 0.1% of those people send you an HT-mail, you're getting ten HT-mails every week. Your inbox will be crammed and you won't be able to distinguish between important HT-mails and those just asking for friendlies. Put yourself in that position - wouldn't you get sick? Wouldn't you report that user for spam?

And it's not just about being respectful to teams in smaller countries - it's simply good sense to not request friendlies in this way. If you're in the situation above, would you ever actually accept a challenge from one of the teams who has messaged you? The success rate of getting games via sending messages of any kind is pretty much zero. And you'll be quickly punished by the GMs for your behaviour too. It's just not worth it, so don't do it.

Becoming an NT/U20 Manager
Having long time involvement in the NT and U20 operations of a small country, this is something I see more often than you'd think. People put themselves up for a position as an NT or U20 manager of a small country, without even being involved in the set up before the elections, and expect to firstly win the election and secondly get games with residents as a thank you for being such a great help to the country.

This never works. All it does is cause unecessary clutter and hassle in the forums at election time as most of these candidates are woefully illequipped to deal with the job and are clearly never going to be elected. Also, imagine you were elected - two seasons of really hard work for one or two (or most likely zero) flags? There are easier ways.

This is somewhat of a sensitive issue so I'll keep it short, but some teams tend to think that bribery will work for them and that if they buy supporter or make a logo for a team they're entitled to a friendly against them. This couldn't be further from the truth. Apart from the fact that you'd have to violate the rules of spam to communicate what you've done for them and request a game, teams are under absolutely zero obligations to do anything for you no matter what you've done for them.

Some people even go so far as buying a week of supporter for a team and then complaining to GMs when that team doesn't give them a game! Don't be that person. You'll be banned in the blink of an eye. By all means feel free to do something nice like create a logo, but certainly don't expect anything in return, and don't go asking for a friendly in return either.

So, we've ended Part I on something of a negative note here. After reading what you shouldn't do it may seem difficult to even begin to imagine ways you can get that collection complete. However it was important that you read what you shouldn't do when flag chasing not only to avoid punishments for yourself, but also to improve the situation for those in smaller countries who are giving away their flags! Remember, they're the ones who make this whole thing possible.

But do not worry one little bit. In Part II of this article I will be divulging all of the secrets, tricks, and tips there are to know about flag chasing. Once you read that you'll realise it's not so bad after all, and the more you take in and follow, the better your chances will be of getting that collection complete.

So be sure to continue reading by clicking below to be taken to Part II, and feel free to like and comment the article :)

Part II - (15227)

2012-05-14 18:19:55, 7132 views

Link directly to this article (HT-ML, for the forum): [ArticleID=15182]

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