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A Comprehensive Guide to Flag Chasing (Part II)

In Part I of "A Comprehensive Guide to Flag Chasing" we discovered what flag chasing is, why people do it, and things you should be aware of to ensure you stay out of trouble when collecting those flags.

However now it's time to get into the real meat of the subject - just how on earth do you get that collection complete? After reading this second part of the guide you'll have all the skills you need to get the job done and visit the rarest of countries regularly.


Part I - (15182)
• Introduction
• What is flag chasing?
• What's so appealing about it?
• What not to do!

Part II
• How to complete your flag collection
• Conclusion
• Resources

[th]---------------------How to complete your flag collection---------------------[/th]

This is it - probably the most important section in this whole guide and the content most of you will have been eager to see. Enclosed in this section will be all the secrets, tips and tricks you need to get all the flags you want. It won't be easy, but remain patient whilst following these tips and and you'll be well on your way.

The Basic Philosophy
Flag chasing is all about maximising chances. In Hattrick, you try to improve your team to maximise your probability of winning any particular game. You may be a 80% favourite to lose but there's always a 20% chance you'll win. Flag chasing is quite similar in this regard - you do all you can to improve your probability of getting a flag in any particular week. Sometimes you won't get one, sometimes you will, but the more you do, the better your chances will be.

Keep this in mind when reading the tips below. On their own each action may only give a small probability of getting a flag on any given week, but when you combine them and do as much as you can your overall chances soon become much higher.

Probably the most common form of flag chasing, sending out friendly challenges to random teams has a higher success rate than you might think. If it's done correctly that is, which is easier said than done. It's not just about going to the series page of a country you want the flag for and sending out a few challenges blindly. If you don't spend a bit of time on it you'll get nowhere.

Remember it's all about maximising chances, and you want to maximise your chances of having one of your challenges accepted. Therefore what you should do is check the log on times of every team you intend to send a challenge to. If they don't log on regularly then why bother wasting one of your 25 challenges on them? It probably won't get accepted in time (or at all) anyway. On that note, always have 25 challenges issued at all times. You're not maximising your chances if you're only sending out 10 challenges, as there are 15 being wasted. The team who would have accepted your challenge might have been in that batch of 15 teams which you couldn't be bothered to challenge. When the number of challenges inevitably decreases as teams organise other friendlies, get more sent out!

Also, the earlier you send out challenges the better. You want to be getting them sent out on Thursday, and preferably in the morning, to be at the top of the team's list. It's useless to only start sending them out on Sunday or Monday as most friendlies will already have been sorted and you've wasted three or four days of maximising chances. Some other things that might help get challenges accepted are being higher in your respective country's league structure, having a large fan club or stadium if hosting, being a mod/GM or being in a reasonably small country yourself. Granted all of these things aren't available to everyone but they're things to keep in mind if you're for example being a bit lacklustre with your team management.

One of the easiest ways to get some of those really rare flags is through lottery federations. There are plenty out there, and I even run one myself (102444). Some offer flags every week whilst others pop up once a season with a big blowout of flags on one week only. Either way, you need to keep your eyes peeled.

Flag lotteries primarily come from flag traders (see later) who find they have too many contacts for just themselves - each team can only play one friendly every week of course. So generous traders donate flags to lotteries so those who couldn't otherwise get them have a chance.

If you're serious about flag chasing you'll want to be filling your fed slots with the best lotteries and enter as many as you can. You may only have a small chance of winning in a single lottery draw on a single week, but when you enter multiple lotteries every week across a whole season your chances of winning quickly add up.

Friendly Pool
Make sure you're in the friendly pool every week and are searching for a game with a reasonably small country. This won't be a dealbreaker in getting a flag (it certainly won't work every week) but it all adds up, and if you aim towards some of the medium rarity flags rather than ultra rare you may just get lucky.

Also use the drop down list every so often to check if there are any teams from countries you need who have put themselves in the pool. You can keep refreshing the list by simply clicking on any country, but you'll have to be quick to book the friendly if you see a rare country pop up - others will be doing it too!

The Community
Federations aren't just about lotteries - as you run out of lottery feds to join you can start getting involved in general flag chasing communities. Whilst these may not give you chances to win flags directly, making friends with those in flag chasing circles and sharing information (such as about teams likely to accept challenges) can only help in your quest.

CHPP Applications
There are some great CHPP applications out there that can help you with flag chasing. I've already mentioned Maptrick in Part I of the guide which can be used to get an idea of the level of rarity of different flags and keep track of your progress, but there are others which can help in a more direct way, such as showing you the teams most likely to accept challenges. I'll add links to them in the "Resources" section of the guide.

Opportunities to Help
If you've got a talent for designing kits or logos always look out for chances to help other teams. You might just get a request for a kit from a team in a small country and be rewarded with a game there. Even if you don't make kits or logos, you can always join the Questions forum or other public forums to help out with game knowledge. You never know who you'll get asking questions next.

As long as you're helping everyone, and not just those from small nations, people will see that you are genuine and be more inclined to offer you a game. Remember the "What Not to Do!" section of the guide though, and never expect or request a friendly for helping someone. That's bordering on the sensitive subject of bribery and won't get you anywhere.

NT/U20 Work
Now, although I mentioned this in the "What Not to Do!" section of the guide, if you're genuinely interested in NT/U20 work then why not start helping out in a smaller nation before moving on the the big leagues? However, don't go in at election time expecting to be the next manager and don't make getting a flag your main priority. Just be happy to help out in a smaller nation and, similarly to the above section, have the attitude of "if I get a flag out of it, great, if not, then that's okay too - I'm not here for that reason". If you're not actually interested in the NT/U20 side of the game and only want a flag people will see straight through you and you'll end up with nothing.

Flag Trading
This won't be a viable method for most people, but it's worth mentioning for completeness. If you have some friends in small countries and they're willing to let you arrange some or all of their friendlies, you may just have a very powerful tool to help complete your collection. There are a few federations where you can offer a game to someone in the country of your friend, in exchange for a game in a country of a friend of theirs. This is how a lot of those you see with completed collections have managed to do it, as it ensures a new friendly every week without fail, but it is by no means a necessity.

Be Realistic
Remember that flag chasing isn't an exact science. Some weeks will go by where you do all the right things but just aren't getting any rare flags. Don't be disheartened - it's by no means easy! There are 256 flags to get, meaning that if you went out of the cup in round one every season and managed to get a new flag every week without fail, it would take you just over 17 seasons to complete your collection from scratch.

It's a mighty task and there's plenty of time, so be realistic with what you're going for. Start every week by sending out challenges to those really rare countries. If you get accepted then jackpot! Put the champagne on ice and celebrate! However most of the time this won't happen, so as the week goes on bring your requirements down. Start challenging teams from medium sized countries and book games from the pool from some larger nations than you started out looking for. As the week draws to a close, if you still haven't sorted a friendly just get a game against a team from any country you don't already have the flag for. Italy may have nearly 70,000 teams but if you don't have the Italian flag it's worth just as much as any other.

As long as you get a flag you hadn't got before, consider the week a success. It doesn't matter how common it is, you'll have to get it eventually anyway if you want a complete collection. Of course always aim for the rare flags at the start of a week, but be realistic with your requirements as the week goes on and be happy as long as you get a new flag, no matter what it is.


Flag chasing is a curiously addictive and extremely enjoyable aspect of Hattrick, which if you work at it can be very rewarding. Hopefully throughout reading this guide you've gained a better understanding of what flag chasing is, why people do it, and most importantly how to do it effectively.

Flag chasing gets really interesting when you're drawing ever closer to completing your collection; getting those last few flags can seem painfully difficult. But by that point you'll already be a seasoned flag chaser and will hopefully have learned the art of patience. As long as you're continually maximising your chances you'll get there eventually.

Good luck.

Broughy1322 (3414712)


Here are a few resources that may help you when it comes to flag chasing. A lot of it is done by using the tips above but the things below can only help.

Maptrick - (/Community/CHPP/ChppProgramDetails.aspx?ApplicationId=1045)
Use this to track your flags, compare your coolness rating with others, and know at first glance how rare certain flags are (helpful for "Being Realistic" and "Flag Trading" sections).

HT Flagtools - (/Community/CHPP/ChppProgramDetails.aspx?ApplicationId=4334)
Database of teams from small countries that both accept and do not accept random challenges. Helps you know which teams to focus your efforts on ("Random Challenges" section).

Questions Forum - (/Forum/Overview.aspx?v=0&f=13392)
If you want to help out other teams this is the best place to do it (ties in with "Opportunities to Help" section).

NT/U20 Info - (/Help/Rules/AboutNT.aspx)
Go here to read more about the national teams in HT if you think it might be something you're interested in (almost necessary for "NT/U20 Work" section).

If you found the guide helpful I'd really appreciate you clicking the little thumb on both parts to "like" the article, and feel free to comment as well. Thanks for reading! :)

2012-05-14 18:19:18, 4766 views

Link directly to this article (HT-ML, for the forum): [ArticleID=15227]

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