Premier League: Expectations

So we are just 3 minutes into the Arsenal vs. Leicester City fixture and Lacazette has already scored to give the Gunners the lead. While I decided against Lacazette to start the season, I have made other drastic changes to my lineup within the last 90 minutes before they were locked for the week. However, it’s not to late to show my GW1 squad and post, some goals for he upcoming season.

It’s been a month of research and tinkering, shuffling players in and out and deciding what formation I would favor to start the season. While I did put together a comprehensive article on rotating 3 budget defenders, based off Peter Blake and his excellent work at Mathematically Safe. However after FPL Towers announced prices, I decided to change my strategy this year after doing an article on alternative formations.

Oddly enough I never brought up the idea of running out a 5-3-2 or a 5-2-3 until I read Firetog’s article, In Search Of The Best Fantasy Football Formation. In some strange, Etienne Capoue start to last season, way I thought his article made sense and I concentrated my efforts on running out a 5 defender set, taking advantage of the good early schedules of teams like So’ton and Man United. I took Firetog’s article and did a series of posts on this uncommon formation.

Just today, about 2 hours prior to kickoff, I got a wild hair up my ass after listening to the latest shoutcast on FFS. While driving to work, I agreed with some of what the guys spoke about, but two things stood out. First, going with three So’ton defenders, based purely on their strength of schedule to start the season (SWA/WHM/hud/WAT/cry). I believe it was Luke who commented on this strategy.

The other comment that changed my mind and saw me transfer out Lukaku, was a comment from Andy and how Jose could potentially set up show defensively if Man United jumps out to a 1-0 lead over Swansea City. While he is a Man U supporter, the comment seemed to ring true, based on how the Red Devils played last season, posting many shutouts, but also many low scoring games. With that in mind, I moved Lukaku and Fabregas (or Willian) out of my squad in favor of Jesus (10.5) and Firmino (8.5) up front, while dropping my 5th midfielder to a non-playing 4.5 in Jack Colback. This provided me with this 15-man squad:

The formation, while unconventional feels good as we head into GW1. Maybe it’s the plan in place through GW7 that provides that (false) sense of security, knowing that one poor performance or injury could derail a month’s worth of effort and planning. But, that’s the life of a fantasy manager.

After finishing in the top 75k 2 seasons ago, I set that as my goal last season. While I failed miserably, after a poor 20 week run, in which I saw 15 red arrows, I did rebound, albeit too late to make a real change. However, I feel the experience I gained was invaluable in how I approached this season.

Read further posts and blogs, I enjoyed Rob Reid and his thoughts as we approached GW1 at Fantasy Football Geek. While it wasn’t the first time I had read one of his columns, I did note his goals and decided to use this as a “standard” as we are underway with GW1. With that said, here’s what I want to accomplish to consider this season successful.

 

  1. Top 10k finish in the Overall Rankings
  2. Average 60.0 points/week
  3. Survive 4 rounds in the cup
  4. Win my private H2H league

Not sure any of these are out of the realm of possibility. The top 10k OR will be the tough as my last 4 years finishes haven’t been impressive: 877k, 537k, 75k and 446k last season. So, while still new to the FPL, it feels different heading into GW1. Hopefully that translates into success to start the season.

NCCC Responds

After putting out a call for help Sunday on the NCCC Reflector I’ve had a good number of club members respond providing feedback, opinions and their past experiences. I have read the responses numerous times in order to get some idea on how I will proceed.

Some of the ideas that were brought forth were:

  • Operate more in a team environment, for example N6RO or K6LRG when the major contests rolls around and bodies are needed.
  • Consult the antenna experts in the club to see if I can further maximize my signal from my QTH.
  • Buy the second radio and work towards and SO2R set up, even if the remaining equipment is not yet in place.
  • Approach the HOA looking for a broader exemption to include a crank up tower.
  • Plant a sequoia and then mount a stack of aluminum on top.
  • Operate a remote setup, similar to K6VVA on Locust Peak.
  • Park a tower trailer on the street, since the HOA has no jurisdiction here (this information not brought to me by a lawyer)
  • Replace the vertical and hex beam with an 80M inverted vee at 60 or 70′.
  • Install a Carolina Windom with the feed point at 30-35′.

Those were the options that took into consideration the $1000 budget I placed on the project. I did receive one response, off the reflector that really got me thinking.

“I think that in this day and age, operating skill, and the tricks that you can learn, are severely underestimated. The ability to think your way to a contact is an irreplaceable skill, and one that many op’s do not understand (or pay attention to).

This is something that I have started to do as it relates to each contest. I purchased N6BV’s propagation CD and use it prior to all contests now. Taking that information into account helps me decide on bands and possible conditions we will see during the contest.

I also do much more preparation as it relates to my personal goals. Not that I have a full year of contesting under my belt I have some sort of baseline as to how I performed the prior year. Sometimes these numbers are not impressive, but it provides me with a starting point from which I can work.

While I hope for a few other responses to come in, I am working on composing a follow up piece to the reflector to see if it stimulates any further discussion. Beyond that I think another worthy piece of information given was to get some of the “experts” over to give my two antennas a good shake down.

The Floor in 2004

Good morning, afternoon or evening, depending on where you are. It’s only taken me 18 days into 2004 to FINALLY get off my ass and update The 6th Floor. Now before you all jump my shit asking, “Oz, why no updates or map reviews? Where are the rants? What’s the deal dude?” One thing those in the Urban Terror community don’t want are excuses. Hell, don’t you give enough of those to your parents, teachers, spouse or boss? Heheh…I know I do. Well, not the girlfriend, she’ll gimme the proverbial “knuckle sandwich” and right now I am not too hungry.

What can you expect this year from The 6th Floor? While not really considering many changes, I would like to get some more concise reviews out of more of the quality maps in the community. I admit, I am not one to jump on many community levels, because honestly many of them are not that good. Some will cite SID as the problem, because they (or shall I say we) do not promote them. Then again, why should the development have to promote something that looks like it was created for Quake 2 or worse, Half-Life? I also might not be a creditable source, because I myself have never completed any of the levels I have started. Believe me when I say, not only is it time consuming, but does take some planning and execution on the part of the level designer. I also do not consider myself an “expert” when it comes to mapping. Much of the information I present is thanks in part to an active community.

In conjunction with the upcoming release of the NEW Urban Terror Forums, I would like to run a month long poll to draw results from the community as to what the most played community levels are. Community, not SID created levels. These are already included in the distribution files, so there is no reason to include these. I’ll be honest, I like eye candy, I am sure most do. But many gamers don’t give a damn about how a many looks, but how it plays. Why do you think there are still so many playing Counter-Strike? So I would like to put together a list of 10-15 maps that are played throughout the community and see if we can pull these together into a distribution.

I think I sorta got off track here, as to why no updates since November. Over the course of the last 6 months there have been many changes in my life, outside of Urban Terror and the Internet. I have shifted my priorities somewhat and am not spending 12-16 hours a day in front of my computers, supporting Urban Terror or shoutcasting on TsN. More on that in a bit. Since the last news post, I have moved out of SoCal and up to NoCal, but still have to commute to SoCal for work. So I am spending many hours a day traveling and the time I have to spend in front of my computer has dramatically decreased. This should change around February 1, 2004. Hopefully I update before that time.

As for TsN, the Team Sportscast Network, I have resigned my position as Public Relations Director/Shoutcaster. It was a difficult decision, since I had been part of this organization for close to 2 years. But with changes in my life and scheduling of priorities, I could no longer commit the time or energy to casting. It always bothered me in the past of casters who idled in the staff IRC channel, but never casted. Being a member of the management staff, I felt I had an expectation placed on me to be a leader and set an example. I felt I had to make a decision, so I did and respectfully stepped down. TsN is still a leader in online coverage and I wish them the best. As for Urban Radio and any further Urban Terror coverage, I will be using any number of “other” shoutcasting streams, in the coming months. Normally I would turn to Spellbinder, who has gracefully offered up his server at times, along with a few others in the community.

The only other real change on The 6th Floor recently, as I mentioned a few months back, has been the addition of Oswald’s 6th Floor Urban Terror server. The admins are .223|Hottlipz and myself. We also have a few good friends who have admin or referee abilities. So far, I have been very pleased with the success of the server, sponsored by Play Dedicated. We are currently playing Urban Terror 3.2, CTF with the following map cycle: ut_pg2-27, ut_precinct, ut_oz, ut_rommel, ut_docks, ut_turnpike, ut_golgotha, ut_sliema, ut_druglord2-urt3 and ut_abbey2. Each map is specifically set with a caplimit and/or timelimit.

Beyond that, I make no guarantees as to what happens the remainder of 2004. Like previous years, I will continue to roll with the punches and see what sort of free time I have to continue updating The 6th Floor. One thing that has made the web site successful has been the input from you, the community. If you have something to say or contribute send it to oswald [at] planetquake.com. You can also find me on IRC in #urbanterror on Enter The Game or Quakenet.