Thursday, August 04, 2005

Losing Season


We need to face up to the fact that we have been getting creamed on the floor lately. You can blame the match-ups, or the schedule, or the quality of the food we get on the road if you want to, but winners don't focus on blame, they focus on game.

Over our last five matches we're 1-4, and that's not going to get us into the Tournament. We had a promising lead against the Vampires, but then blew it when we let their lead scorer get loose. In the park against Grond and the Mercs, we never even got our head into the game. Then we lost to Foxbat -- let me say that again, FOXBAT --who's the joke of the league. We won out at the Terminal, but we played like we were in high school, so those characters must have been even bigger losers than we are. OmegaWorld....

I'm not going to give you a cutesy sports metaphor about OmegaWorld. I just don't feel like it with over 30 people dead.

These games are for keeps, and we can't even play like they were just basketball.

When I was a junior in high school, I played for a season under the worst coach I've ever had. It was one of the more depressing experiences I've had in my life. His name was Mr. Nonie, and thanks to his "leadership" we had a near-winless season, in spite of some major talent on the team. I transfered.

That was the coach's fault, but what's happing to us is our fault. We play like we belong on Mr. Nonie's team.

The new season starts today. We need teamwork, we need drill, and we need a solid playbook. At the end of the season, we don't want Dick Vitale saying we belong on his "Foxbat's Favorites" team.

We all need to work on the playbook. I have some preliminary thoughts, but I don't know you guys' powers as well as you know them yourself. Let's think about this, and see what we can put together.

Preliminary Thoughts...

The first thing is, we're pretty much always on defense. That's just the way it is in the superhero game. We play a kind of bastard form of the man-to-man defense, and that's it. Sometimes we would be better off in a zone, or in a box-and-four. When we do play man-to-man, we need to arrange batter matchups.

Some players are hard to hit: If it's 'cause they're small, then I matchup well. Otherwise Triple Forte with his mental powers or Hooligan with his accuracy are good choices. Or do you do some kind of area effect, Vanguard? At least you could wrap them up in your force wall. Who would be best? It should be their default role.

Some players are hard to hurt: My punch can be telliing, and I have my Flea Bite as well. Trauma's also a heavy hitter, and again TF's mental powers can be good. And of course Hooligan's "Head-butt of Justice" combined with his uncanny ability to observe a player's weak spot, makes him a natural. Again, who's best?

Some players hit too hard: But nobody is going to throw them out of the game for intentional fouling, unless it's us. I dodge pretty good. Vanguard, does your force field give you the highest defense on the team? If it does, given your slower speed, you would be the best person to go one-on-one with the heavy hitters, keeping them tangled up while someone else on the team goes for the ball. Hooligan often seems to end up with this role, and it's not working for him or the team.

Hooligan would shine on the fast break, when the other team has the ball and is driving for the basket ahead of us. He's fast, and could get there to slow them down and throw off their shot until the rest of us catch up.

Another good role for Hooligan would be floor fights -- finishing off the cripples who are down but not out. I'm not good for that. I hate hitting a man when he's down (with my strength I could hurt somebody), and usually my tiny fist would be more useful somewhere else anyway. Hooligan's speed would allow him to get a quick blow off against a downed foe without throwing off his game.

But those are both incidental to his main role: Point Guard. He's the best player we've got for keeping his eye on who might be in trouble, and getting there with a little extra whallop. His speed and flexibility should allow him to add whatever might be needed at a given point, and so he should hang back from the cliches and keep himself available. This means that the power forwards have to drive for the basket and draw the other team, so Hooligan can shoot a three-pointer, or get the ball to whoever is open.

I've kind of focused on Hooligan a little bit. I suppose it's because I'm naturally drawn to critiquing a sports motif.

But these are just examples. We need to put our heads together, and work up a playbook. And then we need to stick to it. In the last combat, the Idiot King made a fast break for the door, and Vanguard called for backup, but nobody came. I was the last man for that job, because I can't manuever in confined spaces and still deal out any damage, but I was elected by default, and was pretty useless when it came right down to it.

Basketball is a science, and it demands 110%. The superhero game is the same, only more so. We need default roles in fight, we need contingencies for villains with different goals and motivations, and we need to work the playbook until it becomes second nature. We need all this if we want a winning season, and we want a winning season.

Anyway, that's how I feel about it.

The Flea


Womachka said...

I hate to say this but I think our failure runs much deeper then just our ability to fight as of late. I believe it is my inaction that has caused us to fail on every occasion. We are being forced to react to the bad choices of my past instead of acting on things that will benefit humanity. I've been to busy chasing tail when I should be going after what's right. So much blood on my hands now. It's hard to see past it. 30 at the amusement park. 2 at the Ramirez estate. How many more once Nicodemus is cured & working for Deamon. It's time I changed. Time to let them know that I mean business.It's time to take the fight to them like we did the Churnibog.

Womachka said...

With my force field I have a hefty Defense(15/15)Plus my natural defense.(23/23)
At any rate I can take a few solid hits before I go down.

Big guys usually have open brains so taking them on is easy for me. I just need a couple rounds of interference before they really big ones come after me.

Like with Grond. If someone could have grappled with him keeping him unable to hit me. I think I could have taken him down with a few pings to the Brain.

Barilas said...

That's the problem.

The current "strategy" seems to involve me tangling with the wrong baddie right off the bat and getting my lunch handed to me.

My defenses aren't all that great, really. The odds of ever doing a meaningful amount of body to me are slim, since I regenerate, but I get knocked out a whole lot. Utilizing my speed would seem to be the way to go.

My point is, I'd love to tangle with baddies long enough for you to take them down, Edgar. It's a good plan, and one we'd ideally follow. The problem is - who among us can go toe to toe with someone like Grond long enough for you to ping him to pieces?

I agree with your ideas, Flea, beginning to end. We DO need a game plan. Our complete lack of one to this point should have finished us long ago. Now that we're defending the largest residental population in the U.S. of A., we won't be able to get by on good looks and luck anymore. We're in the Premiership now, to borrow a bit of footy jargon. If we don't have a game plan, we're going to get spanked on a consistent basis.

Womachka said...

Do you think we have a good enough game plan as it is right now?

Leaving out the two companions that came with Holocaust we should have had plenty of time to come up with a cohesive plan of Defense. I think we should talk about this.

Like Vanguard said I think it's a good idea if I try to use my telepathy to read his mind & see if I can't read a weakness from him.

If I can get in & get some info I think we need form a line of protection around that person while they use their power to nail him to the wall. If I can get into his head this may be me. Since we know he feeds off energy based powers I would consider myself the best candidate at this point to take him out.

Now We've had all day to talk about the bulldozer incident. I seem to have severely underestimated his power & potential. I hate to say it but it has crossed my mind that he is working for the other side. There are two possibilites. One he is working for Holocaust as a plant thus that is how they knew the plans for the building. Two he is a back-up paid contingency for the four partners to ensure the building gets damage. I of course could be wrong about this but I think someone should be ready to take Bulldozer out if necessary at some point.

I have some more defined ideas if anyone want to hear them as well.

I won't speak of the others because they are unknown factors.

However knowing how the fights have been in reguards to this in the past. I would expect more then one wave of villians come in.

Both the mall & the park have several waves of criminals.I think we should expect no less. That means we need to take things out fast in order to keep up & not let anything get damaged. we can't afford wasted attacks.

Barilas said...

I think that ol' Bulldozer is just a big dude, myself.

A guy you weren't equipped to face toe-to-toe. You pinged his brain, he pinged your face.

I would have liked to see if he could have been some help in this little tussle we're entering, because he seemed a little, well, above average.

My out of character theory for some time has been that it's the IHA that has been taping us, and having CCB general partners with ties to the group doesn't change my opinion in the least. The question is, as they're anti-mutant, why have they been taping us? To figure out who best to send in and make us look bad, or what?

I guess we'll find out soon enough...

Womachka said...

Guess I wasn't expecting a construction worker to have over a 40 strength & matching con.

I don't think my charm was going to talk my way out of them bringing guns into the fight either. They had their minds pretty set.

Besides I really didn't have much of a choice. My attempt to scare them off didn't work. I figure scare the big one & the rest will follow. I gambled & my dice luck failed on me. Next thing I knew I was taking a boot to the head.