129 flags

When you play Hattrick, you play two matches a week that contribute to your training. One is in the weekend, that’s the competition match (and during the end of season, when the competition is over, there are friendlies) and the other one is in the middle of the week. When you’re still playing in one of the Cups, it’s a cupmatch, otherwise it’s a friendly.

 

Both the competition and the cup are interesting matches from a competitive standpoint, the friendly less so, it’s actually only good to maximize your training. That’s why managers in Hattrick try to “spice it up” a little. They organise non-official Cups (outside of Hattrick, but using the friendly matches in Hattrick), they play with their friends and some have decided they would like the visit the whole Hattrick world. In other words, they collect (chase) flags.

In Hattrick you have 129 leagues (128 “countries” and HTI) and you can invite them at your home or visit them. If you can calculate a little, you know you can collect 258 flags, 129 home and 129 away. There is even a page within Hattrick that shows the flags of the different countries you played with, both home and away. And there are some tools to make logo’s with your flag collection!

I got hooked to flag chasing the first time I played Hattrick, so when I restarted Hattrick I immediately started again. My old team and therefore my old collection were lost, I had to start from zero.

Lucky for me, shortly after I restarted the second teams were introduced and I have to be honest, this has made the flag chasing a lot easier. Not entirely a bad thing, because some teams in rare countries (countries with very few users) were asking real life money to play a match with them and even then had a long list of people waiting to be able to play with them. Nowadays, the rare countries still exist, but at least there are a few second team owners there that will gladly play a friendly match with you.

In order to organise a friendly international match, you have different tools available. I’m pretty sure I have used them all.

You can go to a team’s page and challenge them. You can make up to 25 challenges. Then you wait for them to accept, refuse or organise a match with someone else. Best is to check whether or not the manager is still active and if he has played international friendlies in the past, as you can only make 25 challenges, you need to make them count.

Another possibility is to exchange flags. If you are a second team owner in a rare country yourself, you can promise another manager that you will play his first team while you play against his second team. It does work well, but from time to time things can go wrong or the other manager can be dishonest and you end up with nothing.

Then you also have managers that “manage” the flags of teams in rare countries. If you give them a “prize” (you promise them to let them manage your second teams flag for example), they will get you a flag. This also works well, but sometimes the manager of the rare country team doesn’t log in and you get screwed too.

There are also managers that “manage” flags from teams in rare countries and want nothing in return. They either tell you that they have certain flags to give away and you can choose or they organise a lottery, where you can sign in, and if you’re lucky you get drawn. This works equally well as the previous method.

And last but not least (and lately my prefered method): you can select which country you would like to play in the Friendly Pool and then wait for another team to play against you. This is a nerve wrecking method, as you usually only get a match on Monday evening or Tuesday morning while the window for international friendlies closes on Tuesday at 18.00. But that can be said about the other methods as well and it has one huge advantage: you put your team in the pool and you wait, no big effort needed!

 

Last season I realised I was close to the 129 home or away flags (you have played all leagues either home or away) and there were even enough friendly matches left to get all 129 flags away. The last flags I was missing were even easy ones! And so I did, the last friendly match from last season I visited Ireland and now I have a complete away flag collection, all 129 flags. Next up: all flags visited as well and then, who knows, do the same with my second and third team!

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