Today I am once again a bit scattered with forays into fantasy baseball, SMITE, and comics. I’d say my theme for the day is taking care of one’s self. My first week in my Fantrax league went really well and I easily came in first place, the Human Torch goes solo in Strange Tales #101, and I run into a bunch of AKFs in SMITE and have to deal with things on my own.
Fantrax Fantasy League
This league is the one I mentioned previously that is sort of a hybrid style – with features of Head-to-Head and Rotisserie rules. Basically the idea is to play EVERY team in the league each week so there is little luck in the matchups. The reasoning being that so many times in standard Head-to-Head leagues there are multiple matchups where 2 teams are against each other and they both score 10 points above everyone else playing that week. Either would have won if they were playing any other team in the league, but they were matched up against each other so even though one got the most points in the league that week and the other got 2nd place, only one team actually got a victory. I think this works pretty well to balance things out for each week so I decided to give it a try. Of course I’ve played normal Head-to-Head leagues where I came in 2nd place among 16 teams and got the loss for the week – it happens all the time.
In any case, this first week of the season, I actually scored the MOST points of every team in the league and ended up winning each matchup. I scored a total of 199 points in the Win colume for categories won in my head-to-head matchups, and I Lost 70 points. 11 were ties. I scored 16 points higher than the 2nd place team and I feel pretty good about my draft picks. I ended up with 4 guys who hit 2 HR apiece, 2 who had 8 runs, and picked up 11 SB among my hitters. For pitching, my starters threw 9 quality starts – it would have been 10, but Garret Richard only threw 4 2/3rds innings before his injury and had an ERA of 1.94. Not too bad and I hope I’ll keep things up going forward. I thin I’ll have to keep my eyes on the waiver wire to make sure I keep performing well as this seems like a pretty competitive league.
Strange Tales Issue #101 – The Human Torch
This is an interesting part of the Complete Marvel Reading Order in that it’s the first “spin-off” from one of the main titles. The only thing is, Strange Tales has been ongoing for a while and I think the Torch may have been in a few of the earlier issues. And there are multiple mentions that the Torch is in this magazine by permission of the Fantastic Four so it’s interesting in that way too. In any case, this issue focuses on what the Human Torch does when he’s not with the Fantastic Four, though the Thing does make an appearance but that’s about all the FF there is.
The story starts with the Torch out racing a guided missile and then heading to Sue’s house for some rest. We get a diagram of his room showing off the asbestos bed and such and then get another retelling of how the FF got their powers.
It’s after the flashback that the Destroyer shows up to cause problems at a local amusement park. First he targets the roller coaster and Johnny saves the day, then the parachute tower is sabotaged and Torch welds the girders back together. All the while, Johny works hard to keep his secret identity since none of the locals know he’s a member of the Fantastic Four. With all the troubles at the amusement park, the Thing shows up to offer help (the better drawn Thing) but Johnny has things under control even when the Destroyer lures him to a cabin and sprays foam on him, dousing his flames. Sneaking out of the cabin, the Torch starts to figure out who’s causing the trouble when he spots a Commie submarine off the coast and the Destroy turns out to be the lead spy…the publisher of the newspaper (how about that for fake news AND Russia – things sure don’t change much).
The story seems like something from a Scooby Doo episode, but the Human Torch adds his superhero ways to the tale. It’s interesting how in over 50 years we’re still seeing scares about Russia and fake news…you’d think all those things would have played out in all that time, but I suppose each generation has to throw these ideas around. I enjoyed the story and the art keeps improving for the Thing and overall, its growing on me. Sure it’s different from what we see in today’s comics, but I like watching the evolution. On the whole though, I’ll give this issue a C+. It was better than the last Fantastic Four issue – #7, but still, the story could have been better.
This morning I had a “fun” run of games in SMITE on the PC…AFKs were everywhere. I even had one game where 3 people quit after the first 5 minutes and the two of us that were left had to dance around for 5 minutes till we could surrender…at least I think the 10 minute mark is when we surrendered. At least it’s not a 20 minute minimum like in League. Other than that game, I had 2 other games, all that I was able to play this morning that had an AFK on my team. It’s really hard to get a feel for a game when 1/5th ot more of your team is missing and I was pretty ticked off.
I’m still working on learning to play Neith on the PC but I’ve been running into some issues. While these games with less than a full team aren’t the best to play, they do provide something of a learning experience. With Neith, I seem to do well early game and into mid – I’m considering mid starting when the first tower goes down. But there’s definitely a point where it seems I start getting taken out too easily. One or two shot and I’m sitting back in the fountain dead. Perhaps it’s the teammates I have not playing as tanks or it’s my lack of knowledge pushing me too close to the enemy, but double digit deaths are not what I want. This is definitely something I gotta keep working on.