Counter-attacks

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Tactics
Pressing
Counter-attacks
Attack in the middle
Attack on wings
Play creatively
Long shots

By using counter-attack tactics (CA) you will consciously let your opponent hold the ball and, every time the attacking team misses an attack, the defending team gets a chance to counter-attack. These extra attacks are added to regular chances, not reducing the number of chances you can obtain during a match (while other defensive tactics, like pressing, is mostly destroy opponent's game).

Random counter-attacks
 
You do not need to play the CA tactic to get a counter-attack, and you can also get it when you win midfield. They are much less frequent than tactical CAs, but if you have a relatively strong defense they do appear from time to time. They can of course also appear even if you play CA tactic, but there is no way yet of telling which kind you get.
 
How many random CAs can you get in a match? The highest known number so far is 4, which has occurred in 1 known match.

Counter-attack ability is modified by the players form and experience.

All counter-attacks created are shown in the match report, including any missed or saved opportunities.


Effectiveness

Tactical counter-attacks are possible when the midfield of the counter-attacking team is lower than its opponent. The key is to have a midfield lower than your opponent before deducting any handicap due to tactics. In order to activate your counterattacks, you need a weaker midfield than your opponent and this already weaker midfield is then reduced by another 7%. Anyway midfield strength may vary during a game due to stamina, red cards, injuries and substitutions, so the midfield handicap is monitored throughout the match by the match engine.

Midfield ratings
Counter-attack is risky, so try to win the conventional way if you can beat opponent's midfield. It is recommended that you lose only the little possession you need to create counter-attacks. The most counter-attacks you can get in a match is 5 so you need a you must have possession to count on normal chance and Special Events in addition. Midfield rating suggested is 45%-35%.

Defense ratings
The ideal situation for counter-attacking is when you’re playing against a 3-5-2 or 4-5-1 team with a stronger midfield than yours and less than impressive attack ratings. Your defensive ratings need to be much stronger compared to the opponent's offensive ratings. A minimum of 20% higher than opponents attack in all sectors.

Attack ratings
It is at least as important that our attack is strong, because you have received a counterattack in vain if we cannot get it. Since there are not many counterattacks in a match, you need to score almost every attacks as high as possible. It is recommended that the attack should be at least as strong in the middle and one edge as the defense of the opponent. In other words, you need attacks equal to opponent's defense at least in 2 sectors, one of which is central.

Benefits and drawbacks

With a tactics level high enough, you will have extra special-event-like chances that are in addition to normal chances.

As tactics drawback, counter-attacking team loses 7% of midfield ratings, but you don't need possession to have chances.

The Passing skill on defenders is the key to high CA level, but training Passing is not used to reinforce defender, making this kind of players difficult to find and expensive. However Passing is not only used in connection with CA, but also with Attack in the middle and Attack on Wings tactics.

Counters

Midfield shouldn't be an issue if your opponent is playing CA. You should mainlyfocus on your attack and on your defense. You can boost your attacks setting Wingers Normal and Midfielders Offensive or Toward Wings and sacrifice some midfield.

A good tactics against counter-attack are Attack in the middle and On Wings, because they focus the attack and can produce a local superiority of attack over defense. But The inherent weakening of defense is a problem because a counterattacking player will score more easily. You can have the same trouble losing defense with the Play creatively tactic.

The real weapon against a CA is Set pieces. With your good defense settled, a goalkeeper with high SP skill will stop the remaining chances and your shooter will be able to overcome the opponent's strong defense.

Players

CA requires good Defenders and Forwards to work successfully. The bright side is that you don't need winning the midfield ratings.

Don't neglect Set Pieces, they have been the downfall of many a CA.

The Passing skill on Defenders counts double in CA level calculation.

Simplified formula for CA_LEVEL =

(2 * SUM_PS + SUM_DE) / 10

SUM_PS is the sum of Defenders' Passing skill

SUM_DE is the sum of Defenders' Defense skill

Complete formula for CA_LEVEL =

1,042313 + { 0,017272 * ∑ [ Form ( 2 * PS + DE ) ] }
∑ is the same operation repeated and summed for each player set as defender
PS is defender passing skill
DE is defender defending skill

Formula for CA conversion rate =

10.8 * CA_LEVEL / SUM_RATING
SUM_RATING is the sum of the ratings of the two teams, without multiplying midfield by 3

Specialty

Players with Specialty (along with Set Pieces) are very important in getting the maximum out of tactics.

Lineup

With a maximum of 5 defenders (5-3-2, 5-2-3),against only 3 opponent's forwards, beating the other side’s attack ratings should be feasible, especially if you’ve got a defensive coach. Lineups with 4 defenders are still a good idea, neglecting a bit of defense to focus on attack with 4-3-3, or on midfield with 4-4-2 (the last one only against a very weak opponent's defence).

Concentrating your offense on one side of the pitch can also pay off quite nicely because it lays some pressure on one side of your opponent’s defense (pick the weaker one) while leaving the other with nothing much to do.

The following contents are based on the opinion of Hattrick users — which means that their veracity and accuracy have not been confirmed by any official statement, and consequently they do not necessarily reflect the game reality. Please take this into consideration!

CAEX - Extreme counterattack The line used for this is 5-2-3, with two Offensive and Quick Wingers. These tactics do not care about possession and only focus on defense and attack. The idea behind it is that we provide such protection that only 1 or 2 of the 9 passes get through, and we have a high percentage of counter-attacks, point-kick situations and special events.

Training

Training requirements aren’t very high: five defenders with passing skill levels of inadequate is sufficient for "outstanding" at counterattacks.

  • Defending training with 5-3-2 (or rarely 5-2-3).
  • Shooting with 5-2-3, 4-3-3, 4-4-2 or 5-3-2: you'll train the Scoring and Set Pieces skills, very important.
  • Set Pieces with any lineup.
  • Through passes with 5-3-2: low efficiency, 16 trainees/week, rarely used.

Crossing (Winger) and Goalkeeping training are not the very best options, but definitely you can do that if you want.

See also

HTs on Global/Counter Attacks from HT-Jonas.