Edain 4.4

A friend at work inspired me to start gaming, so I patched up to 4.4. Imladris I have yet to fully comprehend, but I’m getting there. However the one thing I did notice since the patch is a significant increase in AI difficulty for Brutal and Hard. So significant that I can’t beat Brutal in maps I already beat on Brutal. I look at the aftergame data and something really sticks out. Right from the get go, I spend most of my resources on buildings, and my line plummets. AI on the other hand, starts gaining resources right from the get go, steadily increasing. Source unknown. But he doesn’t spend resources until a few minutes in. What this looks like on the receiving end is approximately 500% more units than I have to defend with. Overwhelming sums of low level battalions, escalating rapidly. It’s probably possible to develop a fast turtle strategy to defend against it, but that poses the question: why play the AI? It aught to be that the AI behaves like a human player and has a few different strategies to employ. It’s not realistic that a human player can come up with as many units as the Brutal AI can. Why practice defending yourself from something you are not likely to face in a multiplayer setting? 

Medium however, has a much more realistic chart. Medium has to spend the first thousand and work on getting it back with resource buildings. That I like. So I started playing Medium and had some great games. 

I had one game where silverthorns and Ents were the crushing blow. Those hero battalions for Lothlorien are deadly. There was another where Rohan farmhands and heroes swarmed over everything. The one faction I can’t seem to get a hold of is Gondor. I love them, but I can’t win with them. I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’m dead long before I get to hero battalions, or sequestered in my base waiting to die. My early and mid game strategies are lacking. I need to rethink the whole thing. Hero first approach doesn’t work because of Boromir’s cost, and Beregond doesn’t last long for the 1000 he costs. No, no, I need to rethink the way I use Gondor. We shall see what comes of it. 

I’m eagerly awaiting 4.5, as the final race will be added: Misty Mountains. Or Goblins. They haven’t decided, I think. It’s actually a tad overdue already. It makes me wonder what they are toiling over. Is it the unique mechanics of the race? Or are there any? Many questions. But we only need 1 more and then Edain is complete. It was a long time ago that Edain first came out. Several years. But well worth the wait. Gameplay is fantastic, graphically stunning, ingenuous mechanics, ample unique races to fit every style, I could go on. Point being, they’ve worked hard on providing a genuinely fantastic product. It is classy and polished. EA better take note of how the professionals handle things. 

I’m going to update the RTS preferences right after I post this. It’s time. 

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Playoffs

So now I am in the post season in both leagues. In the family league, its championship time. I’m in, but I lost Gordon right in the home stretch so I’m basically fucked. I needed him back this week against Cleveland. So I’m going to lose out on a huge chunk that I need to build a lead. I barely survived round 1. I’m not going to get lucky twice in the same season. It’s not even a remote possibility that my scrubs will post a higher score than his. He has New England’s defense and that one is sure to go off. He also has Tom Brady, Tod Gurley with a juicy match up, Thomas Rawls, Jordy Nelson. I could go on. Justin Tucker. Ok. So I have to climb over some ridiculous average scores. I have no one that competes with them by position with the exception of Bell. My TE has been a disaster all year. I’m making a move this week for one because I don’t trust Ebron anymore. My WR position doesn’t consistently produce for PPR the way I had hoped. Crabtree has dropped 17 passes. So far. And I’m probably stuck starting him this week. He and his drops. Dropped balls in the championship are killer, and could cost you the crown. No doubt. It’s happened to me before. 

I give my logical effort to play the lineup I think will do the best, and just let it go. I’ve won before. I know how great that is. I had an inkling I would win last year but stayed humble. Now I’m sure I will be eliminated I feel somewhat liberated from pressure. I feel like I should strive to win while knowing that goal may not be achievable. When the ratios are aligned against you, victory is long gone. I am thinking there is a 10% chance I will win after having looked over the two weeks we play. He has just st so many choice matchups, and I’m missing out on one of my best. My best is probably done for the season. I realize the reality of my situation, and we are moving on. I’m being very Klingon about all this. “Perhaps today IS a good day to die!”

At work my lineup is stronger. I’m in the semifinals. I have little concern for the work league to be honest. I can’t beat Tony no matter how hard I try. I’ve thrown everything at him to no avail. Will he go 4-0 against me? Last time this happened, I went 3-0 against him but lost in the championship. It may well shape up to that very scenario, but not end the same way. I think he will thoroughly kick my ass with his super-team if I get past the first round. Tubby has no shot. Points aren’t there. Joseph (my opponent) has taken some hits. His lineup has been underperforming, but then again, so has mine. Mine even to a more severe extent I contend. So I may be out by the conclusion of Sunday. Christmas Day playoff elimination doubleheader. 

In truth, I’ve been only using football as a crutch. I have just had no other things I was doing rather than football. Recently I started gaming again. I’ve been exercising. I’m trying to diversify. So yeah I’m playing this year, but I’m not committed to it as I have been in the past. There’s just so much going on right now. And I get to be with family this weekend and Amanda too. Christmas is almost here. I’m being buried alive in debt. I’m alive. The world is going on all around me. I want to be a part of life. I don’t really have much concern about football right now. Survival is the priority. Things are improving. Goodnight. 

Top Score

It’s nearing the end of NFL Sunday and I’m still quite undecided as to my FFL fate. I have opposing players going tonight that greatly concern me. Namely Zeeke Elliot. He could go for 200 like it was nothing. So if he does, I’m sunk. If he is mediocre, I might just build a strong lead headed into game 2 of round 1. I lead in both leagues, both with Edelman going Monday night as insurance. I really hope this works out. Why all of a sudden? Because I would be riding on the back of the single greatest player performance of the year. Le’Veon Bell’s line today: 38 carries, 236 yards rushing, three rushing touchdowns, four catches, 64 receiving yards. 61 fantasy points. Record setting performance, one for the ages. Nearly 300 yards of offense. Unbelievable. So I lost Gordon today too. Bell helps augment my suffering. I hear that the injury is not severe, so hopefully he gets back to cutting and sprinting soon. Only 3 games left in the season. I have no one I can replace him with who has a chance at his volume. But Martin should fill in at least for next week. I’m tired of betting on wide receivers. Fucking impossible. I can’t guess for shit on right ends either. I’ve got to have the lowest output from the TE slot in the entire league this season. I have little doubt. But anyway. Wish me luck. 

The Playoffs!!!

It’s getting down to the last 4 weeks of the regular season and fantasy football 2016 is coming to a close. Despite my low expectations, I have once again clinched the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. In the family league the playoffs have begun and I finished the season with an 8-5 record. Each playoff round in the family league lasts two weeks, so it’s significantly more difficult to achieve victory since your foe gets two chances to knock you down. Winning 4 weeks in a row to clinch the championship is precisely what I did last year, but I have about a 15% probability of repeating that feat. My wide receivers are substandard… but I have a strong ground game, which has carried me this far. I need exemplary performances from below-average players in order to advance, and that is asking an awful lot from the fantasy football gods. The gods have rarely been forgiving, but sometimes they are. Either way, I don’t think I have much shot at it in the family league.

In the work league, the regular season is still trucking right along and into next week as well. We play 1 week per round and we most certainly play week 17. No football is omitted regardless of status of starting players. Good fantasy football is built around two skills: ability to select talent during the draft and ability to see talent on the free agent market and capitalize with waiver moves. So making some last minute streaming waiver transactions is exactly what fantasy football is about, and we should all be capable of assessing free agent talent based on matchups (at least). Therefore, making waiver substitutions for starting players on week 17 is business as usual, and even more of a challenge to overcome to achieve victory. I likes me a good challenge. Both my leagues play on week 17 during the most critical game of the season. High stakes, high risk, huge reward.

At work I’m 9-4 and have clinched a playoff spot (currently in 3rd place). I was in first place last year in both leagues heading into the playoffs. I’m thinking I have a real shot at the championship again at work. My running game is fucking stellar, and my wide receivers are at least mediocre. I have a soft schedule in the matchup department for several players, including my two biggest point scorers (Gordon and Bell) facing at least two bottom 10 defenses in the last 4 weeks of the season. Right when I will need a big performance most I have the highest likelihood of getting one… or at least, that’s the theory. I have big matchups mostly week 16, but a couple that carry over into week 17. In the family league (the one I particularly would like to win), a big performance week 16 could provide me with enough cushion to secure it even mid way through week 17 (unless I were to seriously implode week 17 [<— very possible]).

But my point is, hey, I just took the crown in both leagues last year, and here I am back in the playoff picture the following season. Above expectation. I had a rock solid draft, have made some dynamite waiver moves, and basically played the same way I did last year: not overthinking it, sticking to the basics and trusting the initial instinctual impulse. It has paid off with a return to relevancy once again. Even in the event that I end up battling for third place, I will still have proven that my victories, and constant presence in the playoffs is no fluke. I really do know what I’m doing. It’s not even as hard as we seem to all think it is. I’m not saying I’m phenomenal by any stretch, but I do have a talent for this.

But the family league this year might be out of reach. I sense an early demise at the hands of a significantly more well armed team. I don’t have the best matchups this week, a lot of stuff that could really go either way. That’s the type that’s hardest to assess, since the factors don’t favor any particular outcome. Those are the matchups that get decided by that initial instinct, and a lot of times they work out for me. Frankly, more often than not. Off waivers, I started Carson Wentz and he put up 20, Jaquizz Rodgers and he put up 154 yards and Steffon Diggs, who put up 13 receptions. I’m keen on things sometimes. But then again, I started Ebron and he goose egged me, and Crabtree hit me once for 3.5 early in the season and again this last week for 6.1. Sigh. Sometimes you knock it out of the park… other times, you whiff like a novice.

Ok blog, you are now caught up on the status of my FFL world. Wish me luck!

Week 12

It’s a pivotal week in the family league. The playoff push is well underway, but now it’s time to seal the deal. I need to win my last two games and hit the postseason with the same record I had last year. Pretty shocking considering I won the championship in 2015. 

Anyway, my gambles are WR and RB. I’m starting L. Bell, M. Gordon and D. Martin. Doug is the one I’m worried about, considering he has to run against a good Seattle defense and there’s no certainty he will have much space to rumble. I need a solid 20 out of him like I got last week. WR is another story. I have two slots for three recivers: S. Diggs, D. Thomas and J. Edelman. Right now Edelman and Thomas are in with the idea that because this is PPR they look like higher-floor options. Diggs is hurt right now and not practicing so he’s no lock for Sunday at all. He let me down last week too. 

Projections have me very far above average but I never believe them. They have limited relevance. I just look at my matchups, which I like, and hope his aren’t better. It’s the commissioner of the league I’m playing this week, and I need to avenge the ass kicking I received at our first meeting. 

For defense I had a choice between Baltimore at home vs Cincinnati, or Green Bay at Philly on a Monday night. I like Baltimore better because Cincinnati just lost 46% of their offense to injury and that will lower the point scoring potential. Baltimore needs a redemption game after last weeks debacle, and I think they will get it. 

So the future looks better than it did last week, but this team I’m going up against is damn good. They are in first for a good reason. I just hope for another above average day and a W if I can get it. 

Week 11

So it’s getting closer to the end of the fantasy football season, and in the league where it counts I’m in 3rd place, and in (for now). Last year I went 9-2 and lost my last two. This year I’m 7-3 with three games to go and, like I said, it is within the realm of possibility that I would set my all time best record mark, adding that to my accomplishment of the 2nd highest single game score in league history (6 seasons) already this year. I was not expecting to make the playoffs drafting 8th, and still may not if I lose my next three. But regardless, my team is pretty good. They’ve propelled me to four straight wins with some bigtime scores. Although my game with David was decided in my favor by .3 points. It’s been that kind of season. I only cost myself one game so far to making moves right before kickoff. Left the win on my bench. This is why I preach the gospel of “don’t overthink it.” It’s worked wonders for me. Got me two championships last year. 

I’m hoping that somehow Crabtree gets a good matchup that Carr can exploit all day. That’s a tough secondary, but the Raiders are good. That’s a fact. Hopefully it’s not all about Oakland running the ball like it was before the bye. Luckily he was on my bench. In both leagues. 

The work league I don’t pay much mind to, as 3 teams don’t play. 7-3 there with weaker wide receivers but stronger running backs. Had been peddling 4 RBs most weeks. Just now flopped over to two QB. I figured, Dak and Cam? What could go wrong? Both have good motivation to play their guts out, and that’s just the sort of motivation I mean to capitalize on. Determined players don’t go down on first contact, they keep chugging. They move the fucking pile. Or like Bell, wait till the linebackers suck up to the line of scrimmage then bounce a fatty to the outside. 25 yards, just like that. Boy is he fun to watch. 

Anyway. This week at work I play a derelict team without a full starting lineup. Ian the quitter/cheater did not come back after losing to yours truly in the championship. So he let his team drift like plastic in the ocean. In the family/money league, I go against the 8th place team, of which there is still a strong possibility that I will lose. We both have good matchups this week, but some of his look like they could explode. Anyway, I’m still a constant skeptic. I’ve seen some pretty remarkable things in my time. It’s never over until is OVER. Q4 00:00. That’s when you can have your champagne. 

Worked Out Pretty Good

Score: +3.5

Well remember my pesemism about my two games this week? Turns out it was unfounded. I posted the single highest score ever recorded in my family league. Nearly every position player went for 20. Most more. It was insane. I was wrong on Fiedorowicz but meh, I’m never right on tight ends. Ever. It’s my one great flaw. Had league’s best receiver, 164 yards for Diggs. I had the second best scorer in Le’Veon Bell. 38.7 fantasy points second only to Dallas’ ‘Zeke the freak. So I hit a couple big home runs en route to a historic blowout. I’m in awe of all this good fortune… where is the post championship lull? I was supposed to suck this year, and I’m 7-3 and in the playoffs if the season ended today. Three more games left, I’m still within reach of best record ever at 10-3. It would be quite a feat but it is possible. 

So a good evening tonight with positive results. Much unexpected. Still have some scores to post in the work league but I think I have that one locked down. It would take a pretty otherworldly game from A.J. Green to get that done. Chances are low. So another 2-0 weekend. Not bad I say. 

Tristan and Amanda came over and we all played around for two hours. He and I played chess, and discussed the game and it’s rules. Then we got to playing Final Fantasy X. I have a save game with Nemesis unlocked. Never beat that particular monster, but I have the potential to try. Capturing 10 of everything was a BITCH. 

Anyway, it was fun to have them here. I want them to come over more often now that everything has settled. 

I’m ready for work tomorrow. I feel recharged after some very relaxing alone time. I feel calm and collected. 

Have a good night.