|Attack in the middle|
|Attack on wings|
The long shots (LS) tactic is used to trade a central or side attack with a long shot event. All long shots converted in this way are shown in the match report, including any chance lost or saved by the opposing goalkeeper.
LS could be a tactical option for a team facing a really strong defence and / or having difficulty scoring regular chances with inappropriate attacks. However, it should only be chosen by those who have decent shooters.
The tactic is available from January 25, 2009, the beginning of season 38. Long shot, which existed before but only as a special event, was consequently integrated into the tactic. The non-tactical long shots have therefore disappeared for years from the match report, making their comeback on May 17, 2011 (see chapter "History" for more details).
When playing LS, your players are asked to go for long shoot rather than play the attack sequence through. Basically, a long shot puts the shooter and the opponent goalkeeper directly against each other. In order to decide whether the shot is transformed into a goal, the match engine compares the shooter's Scoring and Set Pieces skills with the Goalkeeping and Set Pieces skills of the opposing goalkeeper.
|A long shot skips the usual criteria of comparison between the attack of the team that gets the chance and the defence of the team who wants to block it, in order to determine whether it is a goal or a missed opportunity.|
The formula for "probability to score a long shot" (PLS) is the same as the more generic probability of scoring P = 100 * Attack rating / (Attack rating + Defence rating) modified using only the shooter and the goalkeeper:
PLS = 100 * Shooter ratings / (Shooter ratings + Goalkeeper ratings)
Shooter ratings = 0.0643 * Scoring ^ 2.3808 * Set Pieces ^ 2.7720
Goalkeeper ratings = 1977.4524 * Goalkeeping ^ 0.9 + 31.4827 * Set Pieces ^ 2.3262
You can get a limited number of long shots and in order to convert more chances, your team needs a high level of the LS; but first of all, your players need a lot of Playmaking skill. In fact, ball possession has almost the same importance as the tactical level, since, as always, getting more chances means to leave less of them to the opponent, and also more opportunities to convert a regular chance into a long shot for you.
Additional condition to avoid a defeat is to have a very good defence in order to prevent as much as possible the goals on the possibilities left to your opponent.
|Tatcical level||Probability first LS|
The tactical level factor determines how many regular occasions can be converted. As already mentioned, relevant skills to determine it are Scoring and Set Pieces of all the players who take the field for the team playing LS, goalkeeper excluded. The value of the Scoring counts three times more than SP.
A good tactical level can allow you to convert into long shots 1/3 of the chances generated by side and central attacks.
An empirical formula can be used to calculate the tactical level. It was discovered by recalculating the higher levels and therefore it is not precise with the lower ones.
LS tactical level = ( 3 * SC + SP ) * 11 / 20 – 7.6
SC is the average of the outfielders' Scoring skill
SP is the average of the outfielders' Set Pieces skill
11 are players on field, 20 is maximum level in player abilities (Divine), 7.6 is a constant
The probability to convert into a long shot your first chance is the percentage expressed by the formula. After the first one has been converted, the probability of the following ones decreases and continues to drop after each further success until it becomes null. Usually there are less than 4 long shots in a match and only in exceptionally 5 or even 6.
The increase in probability follows a curve, which bends in order to make it difficult to go beyond a certain limit. In other words: the higher the tactical level, the slower the probability of conversion will increase. The probability of "disastrous" (1) tactical level is 3.48% and is 25.28% on "outstanding" (10) level which is almost 22 percentage points more. Then the curve bends faster and faster between levels "outstanding" (10) and "utopian" (19) showing an increase of less than 12% - from 25.28 to 36.26. "Divine" (20) level is less than 1 percentage point from "utopian".
Benefits and drawbacks
With your LS team you can almost completely ignore the offensive ratings and focus mainly on strengthening defence and midfield. Another advantage of the tactic is that you'll not be longer afraid by low confidence since there is no need for high ratings in attack.
Let's move on to the negative aspects of LS. First of all, the tactic produces a significant loss in ratings of 4 sectors out of 7:
your side and middle attacks will get a little worse, by -2.7%, as well as your midfield that receives a penalty of -5%.
There are more drawbacks that need to be considered. It is clear how difficult it is to get a good tactical level and to do it you need a team built on purpose to get long shots and then to score them. As we have already said, primarily all your players, forwards, inner midfielders, wingers and defenders, require high Scoring and Set Pieces; but they also must be equipped with good amount of Playmaking, once again not only IM, but all the players on the field; and the Defending skill should not be overlooked too.
You are basically forced to revamp your entire team with the sole aim of creating another one suitable for this tactic. Furthermore, since these types of players on the market are expensive, rare or unavailable, the option of train them by yourself is the only left, at the cost of redefining from scratch the training schedule for whole seasons.
How can you face a team that plays LS tactic? To fight long shots usually the defence is neglected to focus on improving midfield and attack. For short, an "All Offensive" strategy.
Another solution could be a more conservative pressing tactic, that has a very peculiar behavior against LS, allowing to block the chance twice; PR could in fact succeed and block the opposing action on the first attempt even before checking if it was converted into a shot, but it could also succeed on a second attempt to steer off the shooting opportunity.
Besides, if we think that long shots are nothing more than regular chances reconverted, it could be an idea to give up the possession and try with the counter-attacks tactic, but only if you are able to count on a goalkeeper very talented against free kicks.
Whatever the strategy chosen, your opponent will convert an opportunity from time to time, and one of his/her players (midfielders and wingers twice as likely) will throw the shot. Here it is, the real and only counter to LS: the goalkeeper, your last hope, will try to save you using his Goalkeeping and Set Pieces skills, both at the highest level possible (the game manual reads: "A bit of both skills is needed, and it's better to have some of both skills than much of one").
Speaking of tactical level, we say that SC and SP are relevant skill for all 10 players on field. We also stressed that Playmaking and Defending are required in as many players as possible. Cross ability is practically unnecessary. Passing has no relevance for tactics.
|Even if a forward gives the most important contribution to the tactical level, thanks to the higher Scoring skill, the probability of throwing a long shot is greater for a inner midfielder (19.44%) and for a winger (17.00%), rather than for a central defender (8.82%), or for a wing-back (9.23%) and only at the bottom are the forwards (8.17%). |
Therefore, the advice is to place the players with the highest Scoring skills on midfield.
In theory, the best solution is to buy all the players with a high Scoring skill (and of course, a decent skill of SP); this not only raises the tactical level but also makes scoring easier. In practice, players with high Scoring are never enough n a team; so, if you play with a defensive lineup, it is much better to place at least those few available as midfielders because in that position they are more likely chosen as shooters.
In summary: for the purposes of tactics, the most important skills for a defender are Defence and then Playmaking; the best skills for a IM are Playmaking and then Scoring, but Defence should not be neglected; the best skills for a winger are Playmaking and Scoring also important for scoring Quick SEs; it would be nice if they had Defence. Giving up offensive evaluations, midfielders positioned towards the center can be used instead of wingers.
As for all other players, Passing is not important. A high skill in SP for everyone, of course, to help in the tactical level.
And for the forwards? They may not even be there at all!
You will need to score goals to win! Special events are extra opportunities, so you need to make yours those chances as well. Anyhow, make sure that you always play with at least five Headers, since this event occurs most often.
The specialties are the main reason why it is practically impossible to build a decent LS team starting from Youth Academy: you don’t have enough youth players with nice specialties, let alone 10 players that also differ only one season in age!
For both inner midfielders and defenders the best specialty is "Head" (events on corners and crosses), followed by distance by Powerful (weather event in case of rain with a + 5% bonus to skills and to tactical level; Powerful Defensive IM event which interrupts the opponent's attacks).
The best specialty for wingers is Quick (to get the Quick SE and score it).
Variations: one or two Header wing-backs could be sacrificed in favor of others with Quick to stop the opponent's Quick players; or a couple of Powerful players, instead of Headers, could be useful for the pressing tactic (in the case of a superior opponent in midfield) or they could act as Powerful Normal Forwards waiting for the "rebound" special event after a missed chance (remember that pure forwards are not required, but if you really want to have them, you can try).
Your whole team is devoted to defence and possession, so the right coach is usually the defensive one. Starting from this assumption and from the certainty that Passing will never be trained (you don’t have the time to do it), we can say that playing with three or even two decent attacks is almost impossible.
The standard formation is 5-5-0, with all 10 players proficient in Playmaking, Defence, Scoring and Set Pieces (we have already repeated it ad nauseam). In any case, it's not recommended to use always the same lineup becoming very predictable. LS teams are very strong even with the 4-5-1, perfect with a powerful neutral forward over there.
Of course, many opponents will try an " All Offensive" strategy, so you may want to scare them off now and then attacking on one side only (Offensive Wing-back, Offensive Winger and Forward Towards Wing) if you have suitable players.
Following up on that, no matter if the formations you can use are quite a few, you'll have loads of options in training:
- Defending training with 5-5-0 (or rarely 5-4-1): All your team needs that and you can train 10 players using the Inner Midfielders as Defenders in the friendly matches.
- Defensive positions with 5-5-0: you can train at maximum level, as many as 22 players per week, but with less effectiveness than classic Defending training.
- Shooting with any lineup: you'll train the Scoring and Set Pieces skills, very important for a good LS tactical level.
- Set Pieces with any lineup: the most used training by a LS team.
- Playmaking with 5-5-0 or 4-5-1 (or the rarer 3-5-2): in official games you can train your IMs and in friendly games your Defenders (who should be the ones to take 50% training if possible).
- Through passes with 5-5-0: 100% efficiency, 20 trainees/week, rarely used as useless for the tactic.
Which players to choose? To buy 26-27-year-old trainees won’t give you much satisfaction, since you can play LS at a high level only for a couple of seasons. Another reason for not picking this option is that LS players are rare on the transfer market, especially with the right specialty. The best, but slower, way to be successful with this tactic is to train your own LS Dream Team.
Building such a team requires a tight schedule. How do you define the training stages for such a team? For example, you could first of all chose to grow 5 IMs in Playmaking, then you could buy 5 more defenders to train all 10 in Defense; or vice versa. You can start with 17-year-old players to be shaped from scratch. Would you train Scoring first? And Set Pieces last? Your choice!
A more ordinary training
What is the best balance of skills? Does LS really force you to train nonsense defenders with endowed with Scoring? Maybe that's not really how tactics are meant ... But let's first of all think about the viable way to score goals of a team that plays LS:
- 1. The first thought is "Scoring is easy, long shots are enough". But with LS you can make at most 2 or 3 per game of them and only if you reach high tactical level ... And you must also be careful because scoring is impossible if the opponent's goalkeeper is gifted in SP (or maybe the selected shooter for the only chance is just your player with low SP).
That's why to score a goal we need alternatives. Certainly, the higher the average SP of our team, the better. And, since SP is exactly what LS teams train, we can certainly count on:
- 2. Direct and Indirect free kicks, even if they don't happen in all games, are important for scoring.
There are also other scoring opportunities, regular or special chances, which do not depend on SP and they happen much more frequently during a every match:
- 3. Special events are dangerous if the opponent gets them, so better try to get as many as possible with your LS team specialized in conquering SE.
- 4. Score on regular chance can happen, even if very rarely, to your LS team with low attack... not every day; start a game thinking “this is my lucky day”, fight and give no quarter for the control of the midfield.
That's the point: does it make sense to completely throw away regular chances? Is it possible to go beyond the manual and try a team that can win a game with both long shots and all other opportunities? You need the right balance between the Attack skill and the other ones.
Let's start from the basic relationship: to obtain the same tactical level we can replace 1 level of Scoring with 3 more SP levels. But that's not enough: a team with an average of SP 20 and Scoring 2, it's almost impossible to score a goal! Players will not be able to take advantage of any opportunity or create LS with too low a tactical level. This is precisely because Scoring counts three times SP.
Let's start from the basic notion from the rules: to obtain the same tactical level we can replace 1 level of Scoring with 3 SP levels in a player. But that's not enough: scoring is almost impossible for a team with average SP 20 and average Attack 2; because of tactical level too low (just because the Scoring counts three times SP) your players won't transform any chance.
|Player Type 1||Player Type 2|
|Scoring||Passable (6)||Inadequate (5)|
|Set Pieces||Excellent (8)||Brilliant (11)|
|LS tactic level (with 10 identical players)||6,76|
|Probability to score (PLS)||9.25%||13.78%|
|The formulas in the "Effectiveness" and "Tactical level" chapters have been used|
Whether the tactical ability, as explained before, guarantees a probability of converting one action out of 4 into a long shot, then is it worth increasing it further? The answer may be no, and let's see why.
Let's take these 2 players as an example: Type 1 and Type 2. We can select just one of the two for our LS team.
As you can see in this table, they give the same tactical contribution to LS; Type 1 will do better as Forward; but let's move on analyzing the probability of scoring against a goalkeeper with Goalkeeper 7 Set Pieces 7 (for simplicity we don't consider loyalty and experience of anyone).
The first to shoot is Type 1 with a probability of scoring of 9.25%. OK.
And here comes the Type 2 bomb with a better probability of 13.78%, 4.53% more! Not bad.
Type 1 and Type 2 are interchangeable for their contribution to tactics, Type 1 could also be better as forward; yet Type 2 is more likely to score a long shot, so he is the one to choose for our team.
The explanation is that in a player with pretty balanced skills, SP provides the most relevant advantage regarding the probability of scoring. And that's good because SP is easier and faster to train than Scoring and with 22 trainee you can also make cash.
In conclusion: it is economically and tactically preferable to focus on SP and neglect the Scoring of your LS team, but only after reaching a minimum level. From a managerial point of view and with reference to match ratings, increasing the tactical ability regardless the actual increase in probability of scoring is a bad choice. For example: a defender with high Scoring implies giving up some level of primary or secondary (PM or Wing in the case of wing-backs); this negatively affects the defensive, midfield and offensive ratings, for the sole purpose of tactical level.
LS can be another arrow in your bow, but can't the only one. Attacks, which remain the main source of goals, should not be neglected. A classic defensive and renunciatory formation, like 5-5-0 or 4-5-1, can be abandoned in favor of a more balanced 3-5-2 to increase the chances of score.
Invest in primaries (above all, as always, the Playmaking) may be the right move; even paying more money, if necessary, or buying older players. Probability of scoring may be low, i.e. around 30%, but during a season this percentage would guarantee an interesting and perhaps decisive loot of goals.
Before the LS tactic, long shots already existed as special events (SE). In 2009 the HTs released LS as a proper tactic and long shots were modified, in order to make them part of a tactic: not randomly created match events, appearing instead when someone calls for them, playing LS tactic.
|Long shots tactic ready for use||13/01/2009|
|The long shots tactics are now ready to test in friendlies. We're including it this week already as a last beta test on this new feature. When the new season starts in two weeks you can use this tactic in all your games. Long shots is an attacking option for teams who have problems scoring on regular side/middle attacks, but it could also be a tactical option for any team facing a really strong defence. How the long shots tactic works can be found in the manual.
There are currently no teams in Hattrick which can take full advantage of this new tactic right away (and deliberately so), even though teams with good set pieces skills are in a better starting position than other teams. With time, we hope to see managers build their teams with good shooters.
The non-tactical long shots disappeared for two years. However, they made their comeback in HT on 17 May 2011, at the beginning only in the youth academy matches. At the end of August 2011, they return on senior teams matches as well.