Off-track betting 🥇 2020 Sports Betting Sites

[Politics] - Off-track betting could return to Virginia city

[Politics] - Off-track betting could return to Virginia city submitted by AutoNewsAdmin to MIAMIHERALDauto [link] [comments]

New York City to shutter Off-Track Betting

New York City to shutter Off-Track Betting submitted by MrDNL to sports [link] [comments]

NFL: Let's talk about teasers (Week 4)

6-point Teasers

Our methodology for playing 6-point teasers is:
The strategy listed above is very similar to a strategy introduced by Blackjack expert Stanford Wong. There's debate in Wong teasers over whether we should play games at exactly +3, whether home teams are more reliable than road teams, and whether we should care about the total. I did a deep dive into the mathematical details of those debates in my week 1 post.

Sweetheart Teasers

10-point teasers are often called "sweetheart" teasers. I'm grateful to u/hyperkinesis247 for inquiring if there's an edge regarding sweethearts. After looking at a small sample size in 2017-2019, I've decided to track 10-point teasers according to the following methodology:

Previous Results

I'm using the closing line at Bovada to determine which games qualify as Wong bets. (You can use sbrodds.com to verify I'm being honest.) The plays last week were:
Off-the-board spread 6 pt 10 pt
Chicago +3 Win
Green Bay +3 Win
Kansas City +3 Win
Los Angeles Rams +2 Win Win
Miami +3 Win
Minnesota +3 Win
New York Giants +3 Loss
Assuming a -120 payout for 2-team teasers, we must demonstrate better than 73.9% probability on each leg to show we have breakeven-or-better EV. For a -130 payout on 3-team sweethearts, that threshold is 82.7%. Including last week, the results since 2017 are listed below.
Teaser Year Team Record
6 pt 2017 +1½ thru +3 61-23 72.6%
6 pt 2018 +1½ thru +3 63-19 76.8%
6 pt 2019 +1½ thru +3 52-16 76.5%
6 pt 2020 +1½ thru +3 13-2 86.7%
6 pt 2017 -7½ thru -9 27-10 73.0%
6 pt 2018 -7½ thru -9 16-9 64.0%
6 pt 2019 -7½ thru -9 17-7 70.8%
6 pt 2020 -7½ thru -9 6-1 85.7%
10 pt 2017 +1½ thru +2½ 22-1 95.7%
10 pt 2018 +1½ thru +2½ 24-5 82.8%
10 pt 2019 +1½ thru +2½ 23-4 85.2%
10 pt 2020 +1½ thru +2½ 4-0 100.0%
The chart above counts pushes as losses. You should strongly consider betting at a book that has a "pushes reduce" rule instead.
The reason why my results only count the last three years (2017-2019) is because that's all the time I've had to look at so far. There's no real reason why I'm actively avoiding 2016. I'll be making an effort to look at the 2016 data soon.

Beating the Spread

The thought process behind this methodology is that we assume we will win half of our games against the regular un-teased spread. Then the hope is that we are able to "steal" another 23.9% (or more) via line movement. That'll get us to the required 73.9% win percentage.
Last week's Rams were a perfect example of this.
We believed that the Rams would cover the +2 spread about half of the time. (If you didn't believe this, you should've just bet that game against the regular un-teased spread.) But the reason we chose this game as a teaser candidate is because we realized that +2 would go through 3 and 7 when teased. We gain the most bang-for-the-buck if our teaser movement goes through 3 and 7. As it turned out, the Rams indeed lost by exactly 3.
There's no mathematical reason to believe that we should win against the un-teased spread more than half of the time (nor less than half, for that matter). The data in the three years prior (2017-2019) to this year show that all games fitting our methodology were a modest 155-147-18 against the un-teased spread. That comes out to 51.3% which is not a statistically significant departure from the half that we expect. More importantly, 51.3% is not good enough to beat the usual -110 vigorish.
In 22 games so far this year, the selections fitting the methodology were 16-5-1 against the un-teased spread! This pace is not sustainable. This bit of positive variance is also largely responsible for the astonishingly good 19-3 record in teaser legs. I expect a "regression to the mean" soon and strongly caution people against getting too giddy over three weeks of success. My official advice on Wong teasers remains the same as it has been in previous weeks: inconclusive, until we gather more research.

Line Shopping

However, I know that a lot of people are choosing to ignore my above advice and bet real money anyway. If you do, let me take a moment to talk about line shopping. At the very top of this post where my methodology says to "tease (this team) when the line is (this number)", that's shorthand for "when that team deserves to be at this spread". The reason why the suggestion is to use closing numbers is because it's thought that the closing number most accurately reflects the number of points that team deserves to be getting.
In terms of discussing when different books have slightly different point spreads: suppose that every book in the world has the Bears at +2½ but your book is listing the Bears at +3½ for no apparent reason. If you were intending to tease the Bears at +2½ all along, then of course you should tease them at +3½. Don't be this meme. If your book is giving you a free point, take it.
That's a different story than if every book agrees that Bears should be at +3½. In that case, that's probably what they deserve and an indication that maybe the quality of talent is not enough to justify the bet.
An analogy is that if I have a rule that says I'll only eat steak if it costs between $15-$50. The logic is that less than $15 would mean that the quality of the meat is unsatisfactory and more than $50 means that I can't afford it.
If a restaurant is offering to sell me a steak at a price of $10, but everyone else in the world thinks that $20 is the fair price for this steak, then I should purchase this steak at the incorrect price. Even though the actual price was outside my rule of $15-$50, the quality of the steak would be satisfactory enough.
On the other hand, if the restaurant is offering to sell me a steak at a price of $10, and everyone else in the world agrees that $10 is the fair price, then it means that the quality isn't to my liking.

This Week

I'm only going to post once per week. Normally, I try to make that post on Saturday evening but I'm forced to move up my timeline when the Thursday game is relevant. As of the time of this post, the Thursday game in Week 4 is not a tracked play but it's close. I'm making this post now to explicitly say that it might become a tracked play, so be aware.
In addition to tonight's game, the tentative list of tracked plays are:
  • Chicago +3
  • Jacksonville +3
  • Las Vegas +3
  • Tennessee +1½
  • Green Bay -7½
I emphasize that the list above is unofficial. Lines may move between the time of this post and kickoff, especially Tennessee! The determining factors are what sbrodds.com says Bovada's line is at time of kickoff and the methodology laid out at the top of this post. If Bovada's spread happens to be a point or so off of the consensus or if they engage in line shading, then so be it.
However I reserve the right to reject Bovada's number in situations where it's obviously wrong, such as a typo causing -8 to turn into -80. In all of my data so far, I've yet to invoke this right. If I ever do in the future, I promise to disclose that information anytime I post tracking results.
submitted by blackjack_counter to sportsbook [link] [comments]

First Contact - Chapter 321 (The War)

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The city was overcast, as was most of the planet, the rain thick with uptake from the orbital bombardments, the atomic weaponry, the directed nuclear weapons, and, as always, the fires. It coated heat sinks, sensors, visors, armor, buildings, and the dead alike. The sun was barely visible, unable to warm up the landscape or the day despite it having been summer before it had all began.
In orbit the Precursor Autonomous War Machines had brought in reinforcements, obviously intending on dedicating the amount of metal needed to take the system away from the Lanaktallan Unified Council, the people who lived on it, and deny the Confederate military any semblance of victory.
The PAWM's had announced their next wave of reinforcements by simply Helljumping straight into the system and going guns clear.
With a hundred Goliath class Haverster vessels.
More than had been seen in any one place the entire war.
Their new tactic, of making directly for the planets, not bothering to secure control of the system first, was resulted in debris slowly spreading out from the system as the Confederate Space Force Naval Vessels had engaged them at ranges they could not answer.
Hundreds of millions had died already.
But there were billions left to fight for.
Vuxten was riding on the back of one of 3rd Armor's medium tanks. He had dialed down the psychic shielding until he could hear the screams again after the first two attempted ambushes. He could hear it, the steady screaming from up ahead and had jumped up on the back of Captain Lee's tank, a member of 8/68 "The Warsteel Dukes", to let her know that he could hear it. He was crouched down slightly, using the turret for cover while he knelt on the back of the medium tank.
Medium. It weighs nearly eight hundred tons, half of that is armor, Vuxten thought to himself. His visor gave a pop of sparks and the rain and debris cleared off.
"Drones out," Captain Lee said from where she was half out of the tank commander's hatch. She wasn't wearing her helmet and Vuxten kept having to restrain himself from yelling at her to put her helmet on.
He could see the three red rounded end bars stacked at the base of her skull.
The two tanks from 8/68 and the one from the Great Herd sat idling, the Terran tank's engines rumbling and the Lanaktallan tanks hoverfans howling.
Thankfully Vuxten's armor automatically edited out those sounds.
After a moment she put her hand on the datalink on her left temple and cursed. "Give me a spiral search pattern, let's see if that's a pattern."
"What?" Vuxten asked over the channel.
"Here, look. We've got a problem," Captain Lee said. She made a tossing motion and Vuxten 'caught' the data packet, opening it up and putting it on his visor with zero transparency.
The building was largely gutted, small and medium Precursor Autonomous War Machines inside. There was one of the big ones in there, heavy tracks and the armored surface covered with guns.
Strapped around the guns were civilians. Lanaktallan and neo-sapients both. Vuxten could see where the cabling had been run through their bodies, woven around them, then sloppily welded to the hull. Some of them were screaming, others were weakly crying out, still others were just slumped against the hull of the war machine.
He counted fifty total just on one side.
"Shit," he said.
--what-- 471 asked from where he was keeping an eye on Vuxten's heat.
"Look," Vuxten passed the data to his little green battle buddy.
--shit-- 471 agreed.
Captain Lee put her hand to her temple again and Vuxten could tell she was subvocalizing, talking to someone. After a minute she looked around.
"All non-Terran units are to pull out of the city," she said. She gave a heaving breath. "3rd Armor and 8th Infantry will be handling this," she turned and looked at Vuxten. "That includes First Telkan. Get your men out."
Vuxten frowned and opened his mouth to object then closed it.
The Battle Tactical Network was already updating.
"Let's go, men," Vuxten said, jumping down off the back deck.
"What, we're leaving?" Nultek asked.
"Yes, Lance Corporal, we're leaving," Vuxten said. He began jogging down the torn up asphalt road. Behind him he could hear the sound of the Lanaktallan hover tank turning around, the graviton generators howling as they balanced the weight. "Fall back to Log Base Tau."
----------------
Vuxten could tell everyone was angry. Non-Terran units had gone to the nearest Log Base, meaning 1/1 of 1st Armored Scout Division was present, all of Second Telkan Marine Division, and close to two hundred of the Lanaktallan hover tanks.
A lot of people wanted to know what was going on and even more were mad at the perceived slight of being pulled out of the city.
Colonel O'Malley, in charge of Vuxten's 1st Assault Regiment, was hurrying over to him, Lieutenant Colonel N'gatu right behind her. Vuxten altered direction to meet up with her between two of the five hundred ton Lanaktallan battle wagons.
"Your men out?" she asked.
"First Platoon's all accounted for, ma'am," Vuxten said. "All Telkan elements have fallen back to the log bases."
She turned her visor clear and nodded. "Trucker called everyone back who isn't 3rd Armor or 8th Infantry. He doesn't want any non-Terrans to clear that city."
"Why?" Vuxten asked, following her into the 'Main Gate' tunnel and moving through the ten meter thick wall.
"General Vandu wants to order First Telkan back into the city but General Ko'Draka overrode her," the Terran Colonel said. She paused when they left the tunnel, looking at the few blocky buildings that were more or less blocks of armor with a few doors cut into it to access the inner spaces. She reached out and touched Vuxten's helmet and he saw the "PRIVATE CHANNEL" icon flash.
"I'm bringing you because you're the highest ranking Telkan. If you survive, someday you'll take my place, so you need to see what kind of shit show you can walk into through no fault of your own," she said.
"Yes, ma'am," Vuxten said.
He suddenly wished he was anywhere else.
Preferably being shot at.
They moved into the bigger armored block, O'Malley moving down the center of the corridor. Troops in adaptive camouflage and light armor called out "Make way!" or "Make a hole!" as she approached and moved against the wall. The only exception was six enlisted carrying a long loop of armored fiber optic cable.
Vuxten and O'Malley both pressed against the wall to let the work detail get by.
Finally they reached the command center, or at least what was passing for one. Four days was a lot, especially when backed by nanoforges and troops who had decades or centuries of experience, but everything was pretty much ad-hoc still.
The holotank was pretty much just the tank itself, with enough of a flat surface around it to hold the datascreens for individual dataslates, the chairs were missing or had only the bases installed, and cabling still hung down from the walls, the plating that was supposed to cover it either missing completely or leaned against the affixed plate next to it.
Vuxten's armor immediately pinged the holograms and living beings in the room.
Colonel Kalnek, Commander of Log Base Tau was physically present, as was General Vandu. Trucker and Kilkatrikak were visible from the waist up. Vuxten saw Trucker spit as his arms and upper body shook and knew the big Terran was engaged in combat. Kilkatrikak had a cigarette in his mouth and obviously jogging. General Papatonis, in charge of combined armor operations, was present physically, his face tired looking and the blackish tinge of propellant residue on his face. Planetary Armor Great Most High A'armo'o was physically present, leaning against the wall and injecting a stim-cone into his forearm.
General Kilkatrikak's face and upper torso, armored all in black, suddenly lit up, reflecting rapid flashes. Around him little bubbles reading "DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA" floated up in the hologram.
"The Treana'ad Infantry Hordes are still engaged," O'Malley whispered.
General Ko'Draka and General Ullmunka were present virtually, Ko'Draka with a cigarette in his mandibles and Ullmunka sitting in a comfortable chair, her grayish-green hands folded over her adaptive camouflage covered knee.
"Colonel O'Malley, welcome," General Ko'Draka said, taking a drink from a plastic bottle. "This should be enough."
"Moment," Trucker's hologram said. "GODDAMN IT, FLE-" his hologram cut out speech.
"Just listen, Trucker," Ko'Draka said. "Pay attention to your fight. I'll 'tach you the transcript."
"Roger! TWO O'CLOCK, PANAMA PAM! YOUR OTHER TWO O'CLOCK, YOU MORON!" Trucker said.
Ko'Draka made a motion and the sound from Trucker was muted.
"All right, we're here to discuss my obviously unpopular decision," General Ko'Draka said, folding his hands and crossing his bladearms.
"You pulled a fifth of my power armor troops out of that city," General Vandu snarled. "They're needed to sweep the buildings."
Ko'Draka nodded slowly. "In normal circumstances, yes."
"You pulled 9th Warborg Division in to take their place, completely disrupting my war plan," Vandu added.
"You still have eighty percent of your power armor troops. 9th Warborg can easily fill the gap. They've got the most experience at city fighting against Precursor Autonomous War Machines out of every unit in Task Force Angry Duck," Ko'Draka said.
"Except First Telkan," she shot back.
Vuxten was tempted to tell her not to bring him into it.
"General, do you understand why I pulled all non Confederate forces out of that city?" General Ko'Draka asked.
She shook her head.
"I do," A'armo'o said, pushing himself off the wall and trotted up by the half-completed tactical holotank.
General Vandu turned, opening her mouth, then shut it.
"The Type Three Autonomous War Machines have attached civilians to their heavy armored vehicles in hopes that it will make any who face them pause for the critical milliseconds for them to get the upper hand," A'armo'o said. He shook out his arm he'd injected the stim-cone into. "Lanaktallan and neo-sapients obviously taken prisoner from the city's population that have not yet been placed into what is being called a 'screaming array' by the troops."
"The power armor troops can go in to free them," Vandu said.
A'armo'o laughed, a sound like a gorilla jumping up and down on bagpipes. "And when they rush in they can wave their magic wands and turn all of the Precursor machines into soap bubbles so that they don't have to fight against dozens, scores of Precursor machines and hope that the hostages don't get injured."
"How dare you!" Vandu started to say.
"He's right," O'Malley added. "Standard procedure for the big ones is to fire off their anti-personnel strips if power armor troops get close, which would turn those hostages into..."
"Did I ask for your opinion, Colonel?" Vandu asked, turning and glaring at the lower ranking woman.
O'Malley shut her mouth and stepped backwards to stand next to Vuxten.
"The fact that Lanaktallan troops are working next to Confederate troops is politically charged enough, but when, not if, when it got out that Lanaktallan troops took part in what is going to be a slaughter, there would be reprisals by allied species troops as well as civilians," A'armo'o said. He undid his canteen, a Space Force version, not a Lanaktallan one, and took a drink. "Recalling First Armored Scout Division as well as Telkan First Marine Division, that ensures that the only ones taking part in the fighting in the city are Confederate forces."
Vandu pointed at Vuxten. "His people are part of the Confederacy."
"His people were neo-sapients less than three years ago, deemed unsuited even for cannon fodder and not even trusted with weapons," A'armo'o said. He looked at Vuxten. "No offense."
"None taken," Vuxten said, blocking 471's profane emoji.
"All anyone will see, is rather than fight a difficult battle, the Confederacy sent in what the inhabitants of this planet will see as Unified Military Council forces if my own forces, General Ekert, or the Telkan Marines are sent in," A'armo'o said.
"So you're just going to force 3rd Armor and 8th Infantry to wade through gore?" Vandu asked.
A'armo'o shrugged. "I am unbothered by it either way. I have spent centuries inside a tank. I no longer even see what is in my gunsight beyond a target," he took another swallow off his canteen. "Tying hostages to equipment is standard procedure in the fights I have been part of."
He moved back to the wall and leaned against it. "Nothing convinces local guerillas not to shoot at your tanks like tying their mates and young to the hull."
"Space Force doesn't do that," General Ko'Draka said.
"Any more," A'armo'o shrugged. "You outgrew something that we still routinely practice. It is why I am comfortable following your orders."
There was an uncomfortable silence.
"So, it's OK to have the Terrans wade through blood," Vandu started again.
"General, compose yourself," Ko'Draka said, lighting another cigarette. "I realize that things are difficult with the SUDS issue, but attempt to comport yourself as an officer."
Vuxten managed to keep from snickering.
"And to answer your question, yes. It is acceptable for the Confederate Space Force to fight their way through even though there are civilians attached to the vehicles," Ko'Draka said. "Which is why I'm having 108th Military Intelligence pin-point the houses that ambushes are waiting and using artillery to destroy them and damage the ambushers. A high impulse thermobaric pulse round from a Poohawk Missile System should be acceptable to ensure those poor bastards don't feel any pain."
Vandu clenched her jaw.
"We can't send anyone in, the lesser machines will rip them up. We can't send forces against them, just firing the weapons near them will severely injure them or kill them," Ko'Draka leaned into his hologram. "They're already dead."
Vandu turned her head away.
-------------
TELKAN FORGE WORLDS
I've managed to get some of the records from Second Telkan untangled.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
AKLTAK FREE FLIGHT
What's wrong with the data?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TELKAN FORGE WORLDS
The data's timestamps are messed up. Apparently there's temporal warfare going on out there. Looks like someone keeps making the forces out there relived the same events over and over, trying to change the outcomes.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TNVARU GRIPPING HANDS
Will that work? Keep refighting the same day over and over until you win?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOLMIL
No.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TELKAN FORGE WORLDS
BAH! Where did you come from?
Ok, now I sound like Treana'ad.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TNVARU GRIPPING HANDS
Why doesn't it?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOLMIL
Because Terrans don't do the same thing over and over. There's... anomalies. There is always anomalies. Someone who remembers each day, someone who does something different. It then causes a butterfly effect.
The best bet is to rewind the day for you so you have fresh troops, but leave the enemy troops still in same linear time stream, so they're damaged and have casualties.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
AKLTAK FREE FLIGHT
Except that won't work on Terrans. Nanoforges and clone banks mean you just rearm, refit, and reinforce.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOLMIL
That's one of the reasons we have those protocols.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TNVARU GRIPPING HANDS
Wait, could that be what's happening to the SUDS?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOLMIL
Who knows.
The SUDS is a cludged together hodgepodge that's been half blown out a dozen times so far.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOL
What ever happened to the SUDS is more than just temporal warfare. The SUDS system is built to handle that due to the Second Temporal War, so there has to be something else that effected the SUDS to cause it to red-dot.
////////
TELKAN FORGE WORLDS
The Second what?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOL
What?
/////////
TELKAN FORGE WORLDS
What do you mean what?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOL
Sorry, time lag. Temporal resonance issues. Can't understand you.
////////
MANTID FREE WORLDS
You get used to that.
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submitted by Ralts_Bloodthorne to HFY [link] [comments]

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ open world is still fantastic even after 16 years.

So over lockdown I decided to revisit what I cautiously once said was one of my favourite games of all time, based off nostalgia alone, GTA SA.
I launched the game and was in for a shock, it took me a good few hours to get used to the clunkiness (why are all rockstar games so undeniably clunky?)
Even though I was questioning the stiff and dated controls there was one thing I did find to be up to par, the open world. There are 3 main cities in the game - Los Santos (Los Angeles), San Fierro (San Francisco) and Las Venturas (Las Vegas), each of them having their own charm. I was really surprised as to just how much there was to do in the respected areas, it actually had fun activities.
You had the basic vehicle challenges with the driving schools (car, motorcycles and boats) and the racing which included rally racing and dirt tracks. If driving isn’t your thing you could challenge someone to a game of pool in the numerous bars which also featured basic arcade games or play some basketball. There was betting shops you could use to do some track betting and the large casinos in Las Venturas which included the standard roulette, blackjack, poker and the wheel of fortune.
There was numerous nightclubs to visit, burglary missions available at night that saw you break into NPCs homes, gyms to visit, marathons to race in, gang territories to take over and the vigilante, paramedic and taxi driver missions, skydiving points spread throughout high points in the world, flight schools and countless interiors to visit that made the world feel as alive as it could feel back then.
The point is, for all this to be crammed into such an old and technically limited game that’s only a few years younger than me I found to be really surprising and there’s more to do here than in some AAA open world games today.
I managed to get the platinum trophy despite a few rage inducing trophies but I regret nothing, I can safely say that this is still one of the best open world games of all time and my favourite game I’ve ever had the privilege of playing. I would honestly give my left testicle to see a true remaster of this game.
submitted by johnny_cba to patientgamers [link] [comments]

A whole bunch of Bannerlord tips and tricks you may not know (as of version e.1.5.1)

Bannerlord is a great game that is currently plagued by some serious issues, from glitches and bugs to simply not bothering to explain its own mechanics. Without any mitigation or forewarning, these little problems can really snowball and ruin your experience. I've compiled this list of tips and tricks to help other players get around some of these problems and also to maximise your fun while the game remains in early access.
 
I've separated everything up into categories so that you don't have to dig through too much to get to the stuff you're interested in. Also, stuff that's relevant to new players only is marked with a [NP] in front of it, so you can skip that if you already know the basics.
 
Edit: Wow, I hit the 40000 character limit so now I have to add more tips as comments instead!
 

How Stats, Skills and Perks work

[NP] Your character's progression consists of increasing stats, skills, focus, perks and levels. Stats govern your base aptitude in a set of three skills. For example, the Vigor stat affects your aptitude with one-handed, two-handed and polearm skills. Skills represent your ability with that particular skill. For example, the Bow skill affects your aim with the bow and the Steward skill directly affects how many members you can have in your party. Perks are essentially special abilities that are awarded at specific skill levels, e.g. 25, 50, 75 and 100. Sometimes you will get to choose between two perk options. Make sure you check whether a perk is implemented before you choose that perk! (See paragraph below) Lastly, focus points allow you to increase your max skill level with a skill and also provide an exp multiplier, making you gain skill points faster. Note that if you try to train a skill that's reached its limit, it will grow very slowly and eventually stop growing altogether. Thus, you need a constant investment of both stats and focus points to max out a skill. Since your stat and focus points are limited, I suggest you prioritize only a few skills to max out, and accept that the rest will never be fully completed.
 
[NP] In the character creation screen, the various skills are grouped by stats (in bold, above the individual skills) and each specific skill can have up to 5 focus points assigned (the vertical bars). Each skill you can learn is limited to a max number which is determined by the combination of stat and focus points you have for that skill. With full focus (5 bars), you will need about 6-8 stat points in a skill to allow you to completely max it out. Furthermore, the perks available for each skill are only partially implemented. This means that investing points into some skills is currently useless. To see which perks are implemented, I recommend using a site like https://www.bannerlordperks.com. At the time of writing this post, the entire "Cunning" stat has zero perks implemented, making it virtually useless to you. If you're new, I highly recommend getting points in Social, Vigor and Endurance. Social (specifically the charm skill) allows you to convince nobles to marry/join you more easily and improves your troops' morale (leadership skill). Vigor is your basic melee combat stat, which you will use a lot in the early game and especially in the arena. Lastly, endurance allows you to improve your movement speed (riding/athletics) and is necessary for smithing (skill), which is a really useful mechanic that I highly recommend you try. Another good choice is Control, if you wish to be a ranged character.
 
So how does leveling work in Bannerlord? Well here's what the Skills screen looks like using the character (C) menu Using skills with slowly increase your ability with them. The more focus points you have in a skill, the faster it's skill points will go up. Furthermore, your character will gain "exp" every time he/she gains skill points. Or more accurately, exp in this game IS skill points. That is to say, training the various skills is the only way to level up. NOT killing enemies, as you might have first thought. This means you can level up just by trading, smithing, running around, or leading armies. You don't even need to fight simulated battles mostly, though doing so will award you with tactics points and some combat skill points. Every level you gain will award you with either a stat point, a focus point, or both. You can spend these points to increase the relevant stat or skill focus bar. When you have points to assign, they will show up on your character screen. In the earlier screenshot is your NPC brother who you always start with, though his name and appearance is randomized. Because I chose the "assign perks myself" option, I can choose his perks right away (represented by little numbered shield icons next to his skills that tell you how many perks are available to choose). You'll note that to the left and right of the "Skills" table there are weird icons with the number 0 next to them. The left number represents stat points to assign, and the right number is focus points. Your new character will start with 1 free focus point to assign. To assign a focus point, select the desired skill and click the "+" sign. REMEMBER: No choices will be saved unless you click "Done", and you can revert all changes made so far by clicking the curved arrow between "Done" and "Cancel". To assign perks, click on the shield icons in the banner in the middle of the skill page and a popup will appear. Click on the perk you wish to choose - again making sure it's actually implemented first - and then when finished click "Done" to finalize your choices. Don't forget that you can use the left/right arrows to assign skills and perks for your NPCs too!
 
One more thing about perks. The "Governor" perks DO NOT APPLY to your character, because you can't be the governor of any of your cities/castles. Thus, don't pick governor perks for your main hero unless they also come with side-abilities that you want.
 

Starting the Game and the Main Storyline

[NP] The various factions each come with a special ability. You can use all troops from all factions, so don't worry about being shoehorned into any particular troop type by your choices. Instead, focus on the ability you'll get. Not all abilities are made equal and not all factions are equal either. Currently, the Khuzait faction is kind of OP due to the AI being too dumb to figure out how to handle horse archers, so select them for an easier early-game. Vlandia gets bonus troop exp, which means you can promote veteran troops faster than others. Empire skills are building-focused, which means you need to own fiefs to really gain any benefit from using them. Sturgia are... faster in snow. Also their troops are supposedly weaker than normal (this will eventually change), so pick Sturgia if you're a masochist. Battania are kind of situational with their forest boost (so maybe don't pick them either), and Aserai get trading bonuses, so pick them if you want to be a merchant or just like money.
 
[NP] Clicking the various family options will show you the potential change in stat points and focus points that you will gain for that choice. You will have about 7 different choices to make before your character is ready to play. Try to pick choices which focus on your ideal stats and skills while minimizing the other ones. Here's a sample character I generated using the stats I recommended earlier. Don't worry too much about making perfect choices here, since you will gain many more stat and focus points throughout your game too. Plus, you'll use most of the stats/skills at one point or another. After this, your brother will ask if you want to do the tutorial. The tutorial only teaches you how to fight, so if you already know that you can skip it.
 
If you follow the story you will play through a storyline quest for a while until you've rescued your siblings and experienced the execution mechanic in action. Then you will have to chase down a bunch of clan leaders and lie to two special characters who will never interact with you again once you've made your final choice. However, and this is something I want to emphasize heavily: You do NOT need to make a choice about what to do with the dragon banner immediately. In fact, I strongly recommend you do NOT make a decision until you're very well situated in the game. Why? Because it starts a doomsday timer that you cannot slow down or affect in any way, and when it runs out 3 factions will declare war on you all at once and try to grind your entire faction into the dust. Instead, forget about the story quest and just enjoy the game at that point until you are extra powerful and ready to take on the world. Once you succeed at that quest I'm pretty sure you win the game, and if you start it before you're ready you'll be in for a world of hurt.
 

The Campaign Map

The game has a really useful feature called the "Encyclopedia". Press 'N' to open it when in the campaign screen. If you want to track down a notable figure, you can search their name or clan in the search bar and it will tell you where they were last seen. Anytime you speak to another noble or visit a settlement, town or castle, it will update the rumours of where that noble was seen most recently. This will allow you to track down anyone with ease. You can also see if they were taken prisoner, got pregnant, or switched allegiances recently. Furthermore, you can use the Encyclopedia to check nobles' relations with you or each other, allowing you to single out the nobles who hate their liege and are ripe for conversion to your kingdom. You can also use the encyclopedia to check troop upgrade paths, details about cities/settlements, and info on minor factions, who are like secret clans that you can recruit if you choose to be your own kingdom. All in all, it's incredibly useful for planning your next move.
 
There's a circle next to city/settlement names in the overworld and the encyclopedia. Clicking that circle "bookmarks" the city/settlement, which means you can easily find it on the map. Clicking it again removes the bookmark.
 
[NP] If you hover over any of the symbols at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, you can get detailed info on how the values are calculated. The symbols are, from left to right, money, influence, HP, troops, food and morale. The money icon will show you your daily income vs daily expenses. Influence will show your influence gain/loss over time. HP is your own health and recovery rate. Troops shows what troops you have in your army. Food shows how much food you have and morale shows what's affecting the mood of your soldiers. Using these icons helps you figure out what you need to do to make their values go up instead of down.
 

Fighting Battles

Against minor enemies like looters, it's usually relatively safe to use "Send Troops" instead of going in there yourself. You won't gain tactics skill from this, but your troops will gain all the exp instantly instead of spending 5 minutes fighting first.
 
[NP] You can issue commands to your troops by using the F keys. F1 is the movement menu, F2 is the direction menu, F3 is the formation menu, F4 is whether or not to use ranged weapons, F5 is mount/dismount for cavalry, F6 enables AI control, and F7 allows you to split your groups up and assign the split members to other groups. (e.g. split infantry and assign half to "heavy infantry"). You can also use the number keys (i.e. 1,2,3 etc) to select specific groups of troops to give orders to. 1 is infantry, 2 is archers, 3 is melee cavalry etc. Any non-mapped number selects all troops. This allows you to have fine-grained control during combat. HOWEVER for the most part the numbers and relative experience of the two armies is the deciding factor in how a battle goes. Sometimes you can use the terrain to your advantage, but mostly your tactics will do very little to actually affect the battle's outcome, especially in sieges where taking control of the AI will completely break their ability to use siege equipment and attack or defend properly.
 
Some basic strategies for manually commanding troops during simulated battles are as follows:
 
You can cheese simulated battles by abusing the "Retreat" command. Hold "Tab" to bring up the stats menu, and press middle mouse button to get your cursor back. Then you can click "Retreat" to teleport your entire army safely out of the battle. Then you can restart the battle with the number of troops remaining from before, but both armies are placed far away from each other again. Combine this with a lot of archers, and you can whittle the enemy numbers down before they reach your army and then simply retreat and start over again until the odds are solidly in your favour. This lets you overcome basically any odds so long as you ensure your opponent takes more losses than you do each time.
 
Levelling up your troops can be tricky as the experience system isn't very clear as to what gives the best troop exp. However, the following things seem to work fairly well: * Some of the Leadership perks grant lots of free exp over time. In particular, Raise the Meek will rapidly turn all of your lowest-level troops into higher-level ones over time, and the level 225 one, Companions, basically gives you the Vlandian empire troop exp bonus, which stacks with actually being Vlandian * Steamrolling fat groups of looters using "Send Troops" is relatively safe and usually awards a handful of troop upgrades each time * Beating nobles' armies when you have about a 2:1 ratio of your troops to theirs is also usually pretty safe and the higher-level troops they have with them yield much more exp * Winning a siege will be extremely costly in terms of deaths, but the troops who survive will gain tons of experience. Defending a siege will be less costly due to having the home turf advantage, but it's harder to engineer those to occur * Doing hideout raids and taking along a group of only archers is a great way to level up those 9 archers, so long as you don't aggro the entire hideout at once. Just make sure you use F4 frequently to enable/disable "Fire at will" or they WILL try to shoot bandits at the other end of the map and summon the wrath of god down on you * Keep your troop morale high by buying lots of different varieties of food. I'm not sure if morale is fully implemented yet, but you won't have the awkward issue of your troops all running from a difficult battle at least
 

Building your Clan

[NP] Your clan has a ranking in the clan screen (press L), shown at the top right. Earning renown increases this ranking, and every new level adds more soldiers to your armies and other useful clan perks to your arsenal. Max clan rank is 6, but you won't get there for a very long time. The easiest way to gain renown is through winning large battles, so battling lots will quickly raise that renown score.
 
The game doesn't tell you this anywhere, but you can have your family join your party by visiting them in whatever city they are hiding in and talking to them (or left-clicking their portrait in that city). Your brother in particular is basically a veteran soldier right from the start of the game, so adding him to your party will give you a huge early-game boost. His high steward score also increases your party size by a lot, so having him around lets you field more soldiers until your own steward score catches up. Later on, set him up as governor of your best city/settlement to give it a huge boost.
 
You can recruit companions at taverns in major cities. Not all companions are created equally, so I recommend using a companion guide to figure out which ones have skills that you want. You can also manually check their skills by right clicking the character's portrait from the city screen or searching them in the encyclopedia. That way you'll know what they are good and bad at before you go through the long dialogue with them. I personally find the tacticians/stewards most valuable as you can make them lead armies for you (more on that in a bit), and the ones with high trade are helpful because you can create caravans with them for bonus income during peacetime. You can only recruit your clan level +1 companions at a time, (e.g. 2 at clan level 1). This means you should be very picky about who you hire.
 
If you have joined a kingdom (or started your own), you can persuade other factions' nobles to betray their current faction and join yours. For this you need three things: High charm, luck and money. Save your game. Speak to the noble and say you have something to discuss. Ask about their liege. This will lead to a skill challenge where you have to get 4 successes in 4 attempts (either 100% successes or at least 1 critical success). This is entirely RNG, so choose the highest % options and pray. Or load back a lot. If they hate their monarch you'll have a very high chance of succeeding in at least 1 of the 4 challenges. Once you've successfully convinced them, you then need to bribe them. The bribe usually is about 100k denars, but can go all the way to more than a million denars if they own lots of land (because your team gets the fiefs too when they convert). Unless you're insanely rich, use the encyclopedia to find the poorest, most disenfranchised nobles and you'll discover that you might be able to pay them even a single denar and they'll happily convert. Beware, others can convert YOUR allies too, so try to make sure you give every noble at least one castle to keep them happy and on your side. Also if you save a lot and see the message that a noble has left your kingdom, you can load back and often they won't leave the second time.
 
If you release a noble whom you beat in combat instead of taking them prisoner, you will get a 6-7 point relationship increase with everyone in that noble's clan. Doing this is an excellent way to butter them up for future conversion to your kingdom.
 
Convert the head of a clan to your kingdom and their entire clan will also convert along with them!
 
You can use your influence points to put policies in place that suit you before adding others to the clan. In the Kingdom menu (K), you can go to the policy tab and scroll through the various policies there. Basically, most policies either benefit only the ruler, benefit only the vassals, or adjust your kingdom's rates (e.g. tax rate and growth rate). If you're going to start your own kingdom, take this chance to vote in all the royalty-favouring policies before you add people who disagree with you. Conversely, if you're a vassal, you want to add more vassals to the clan and THEN vote in all the vassal-favouring policies. Both of these strategies will not only increase your influence gain rate, but also make it much harder for a rogue AI to steal powecities from you later on in the game. It will also prevent you from getting disliked by other nobles from voting against their wishes since they won't even be in your kingdom yet.
 
As a male character, you can marry a noble to have her join your clan. I'm not sure if it's the reverse situation for female heroes or not (i.e. you join their clan). This provides two main benefits. One, you gain another party member to bring along in battle, and two, you can make babies (heirs) who will inherit your stuff if/when your character dies. If you end up playing for enough time you can also eventually add those heirs to your party once they've grown up enough. To woo a noble, simply profess your love to them then return and visit them a few times. You'll have to pass charm checks to woo them properly, so as always, save beforehand! Eventually they'll tell you to talk to the clan leader, and then you'll barter for their hand in marriage. Usually it's pretty cheap.
 

Kingdom/Clan Management

Did you know that war declarations can be avoided (by sort of cheating)? If you save often and then suddenly get war declared on you (or by your kingdom on someone else), just load back to that save. It's a (low) random chance for war to be declared so there's a strong likelihood that the next time you get to that point in time literally nothing will happen. This allows you to avoid all wars that you don't want! Since the game AI is so bad right now, sometimes this is the only way to save your kingdom from utter annihilation.
 
You can equip the companions in your party with awesome gear too! This took me 40 hours to realize, but on the Inventory (I) or trade screens, there are arrows at the top that let you select a different character to equip. This works with the Character (C) screen too, allowing you to assign perks or stats/skills to your companions.
 
In your clan management screen (L), under the parties tab, you can assign your companions to various roles within your party. Generally, this causes the game to act as if your own skill with that particular role is the same level as the assigned companion. For example, if you assign a companion with 80 medicine skill as surgeon, the game will cause you and your troops to heal as if you had 80 medicine skill. Keep in mind that if you don't assign a party member to a role then you will gain the exp for doing that role. In other words, it's a trade-off between gaining free experience and having your party be more effective on the campaign map. The one role in your party you definitely don't want to assign a companion to is Quartermaster, because that trains the Steward skill which you want to raise as high as possible.
 
You can create separate parties under your clan management screen's "Parties" tab. This allows you to send companions off to raise armies and gain exp all on their own without your intervention. You can also assign them to their own personal role within that party (even the Quartermaster role!) for bonus exp and it won't affect your own exp. Parties have three major benefits that make them very useful. Firstly, they will recruit their own troops for you! The max party size is dependent on the companion's steward skill and your clan rank. This means that with enough time you can create an allied party that's virtually equal in size to your own army. Secondly, those parties can be summoned to your army on a whim (click the flag icon down the bottom right of the screen - you must be in a kingdom to do this) and it costs 0 influence! Thirdly, the parties automatically will go around fighting battles for you and increasing your own influence and reputation. I highly recommend creating at least a few parties. There's a few downsides to be aware of, however. Firstly, you pay all the troop wages for the other parties. This can get VERY expensive if you're not at war and constantly defeating armies for money. Secondly, like any roaming entity, your companions can get attacked and captured by enemy armies. If that happens, you have to wait for them to escape or be ransomed and then track them down in whichever city they end up in to reclaim your companion. This can be very annoying. Lastly, if you're a vassal, your liege can actually summon your companions to their army, thereby using your hard-earned troops for their own personal gain! That's the price of being a vassal though.
 
Sometimes you cannot assign roles to party members through the clan screen. This tends to happen if you assign a companion to a role and they die in battle. If this happens, instead select them in the party screen (P) and talk to them. You can assign them roles from the conversation menu instead.
 

Making Money

[NP] In the early-game you will find the tournaments in city arenas to be almost impossible to win. However, with the power of save/load and determination, you can win big in tournaments by betting on yourself every round. If you win the tournament, not only will you get a sweet prize but you will also be several thousand denars richer. At least until your reputation catches up to you and they start offering less and less money for your bets.
 
The best way to make money in Bannerlord is smithing (once you've unlocked enough recipes and have about 140 smithing skill). Early on, the stuff you produce is worthless, but as you start making tier 4 and higher weapons you will discover combinations that create weapons work up to 100k denars in value! Make a handful of these and you can go around from city to city, buying up all the expensive armor while still walking away with 20k+ more denars each time. There are many guides to smithing that can be found elsewhere, but here's a few minor tips:
 
The second-best way to make money is by thrashing other nobles in combat. If you're at war, target every enemy noble you see whom you can easily beat and trounce them. Not only do you get money and items for beating them, you can also ransom them at taverns for even more money. You also get money when you capture cities in sieges. Naturally, when you're at peace, you'll find it much harder to make money this way.
 
You can purchase workshops in cities and have them produce goods for a small profit (around 75-125 denars per day). It generally costs about 13k denars to buy a workshop, so it won't become profitable for approximately 140 days. Because of this, if you wish to use workshops you should select cities which you are unlikely to be at war with for a long time (e.g. your own faction's cities!). After all, if you end up at war with a faction, all of your workshops in that faction are stolen from you. To buy a workshop you must physically walk around town. If you hold alt you will see three semi-random workshops throughout the city (e.g. wine press, brewery, smithy). If you walk to one of these shops during the day you will find NPCs loitering around nearby called "Shop Worker". Talk to the shop worker and tell them you want to purchase the workshop.
 
To decide which workshops to build in which city, examine the fiefs which feed into that city. You can also use a workshop guide, but I find these aren't always correct due to frequent patches. The bottom line is this: Pick a city which has at least one source of workshop materials (e.g. grain, sheep, hardwood) in its settlements. More than one source is even better. Next, buy a workshop and select the type that uses that material. For example, grain is used by breweries, and wood is used by a wood workshop etc. Then, you wait. You can check the workshop's profitability from the clan tab (L), but remember, don't expect it to become super profitable anytime soon. These are long-term investments.
 
Another way to make money is caravans. Caravans are more profitable than workshops, but come with significant risk, especially if you're at war with anyone. Basically, you assign a companion to manage a caravan (which costs 15000-25000 denars to make depending on the troops you assign), and the caravan will travel from city to city buying and selling goods. Companions with high Trade skills are essential here. While travelling, the caravans can be attacked by looters, bandits, and worst, enemy armies. If the caravan is captured, you'll have to go rescue your companion or wait for them to be released. Then you'll have to spend another 15-25k to get the caravan going again. Basically, don't do this if you're a warmonger. Anyway, to form a caravan, talk to any merchant in a city and choose the "I want to form a caravan in this city" option. Caravans will net you varying amounts of money, and the income will not be every day, but in my experience they are more profitable than workshops and much more annoying to keep track of.
 
If you have a high trade skill, instead of making caravans you can be a caravan. Load up on sumpter horses which increase your max load, and then use trade rumours (talk to civilians hanging out in town markets) to determine the best places to buy and sell stuff. Buy low, travel, sell high. If you make 30 denars per sale and sell 100 trade items, that's 3k of profit. If you make 100 denars per sale, that's 30k profit! Again, keep in mind that cities generally only keep 20k-30k denars on them at a time, so if you take too many goods you will not be able to sell them all.
 

Siege Warfare

Holding the alt key highlights both important people and weapons that are lying around. You can use this during sieges to replenish ranged ammo and locate nearby interactible things.
 
You can use the siege weapons that your army/city has built. This will train your throwing skill and also open some neat opportunities. For example, you can use catapults to smash siege towers! It takes 4 hits to achieve but boy is it worth it!
 
Catapults and trebuchets can be aimed left and right but also have a red gauge on the side which affects the distance that your shots travel. You can change this bar using W/S to choose how close or far to shoot. Generally you want the distance to be less than half the red bar because your targets are a lot closer than the range on the siege engines.
 
When defending a city you will notice piles of rocks (called merlons) lying around upstairs in the gatehouse. You can take these rocks and drop them on enemy troops for massive damage (400+). You can also use them to smash the battering ram with a few good throws, thereby protecting your gates.
 
You can place your troops before a siege by pressing the numbers (e.g. 1 for infantry) and then clicking where you want them to go. However they just run back to where the AI would have put them anyway, so it's not worth it right now. But someday it might actually work as intended!
 
Is the castle you were staying in being beseiged by overwhelming numbers? You can sally forth to attack, use archers to pick some troops off, and then retreat from battle before their enormous army starts hacking your party apart. Repeat this about a dozen times and you'll have a much more manageable enemy to fight, with very few casualties on your side. For the love of god though save before you try this. Also note that, due to a bug, when you sally out of the castle you'll be plonked onto the overworld map when you retreat and won't be able to get back in without sacrificing troops.
 

Misc

THINGS NOT TO DO

 
And... that's it for now! I'm sure I forgot some tips but I'll edit them in as I remember. At the very least it should open up some new gameplay avenues for some people, and maybe make things a little less stupid for others. If you made it to the end of this very long post: well done!
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Offseason Blueprint: if the Boston Celtics turn their Big Hero 6 into the Magnificent Seven, they may be in the Finals themselves next year

The NBA Finals are underway, but there are now 28 teams sitting at home with nothing to do but twiddle their thumbs, watch LeBron, and wait for next season to start.
For their sake, we wanted to look ahead with the next edition of the OFFSEASON BLUEPRINT series. In each, we'll preview some big decisions and make some recommendations for plans of attack along the way. Today, we're looking at the Boston Celtics.
step one: don't flush money down the toilet
This is a difficult entry to write, because the Boston Celtics are a good team without any major problems hanging over their head. They were top 5 in W-L record, top 5 in point differential. They finished 4th in offense, 4th in defense. They advanced to the Conference Finals, knocking off a tough Toronto team along the way. If they rolled it back next season, they should be considered a top 5 team once again.
If you can nitpick, you can find reasons to quibble with some of their big splash free agency signings. Gordon Hayward got a huge contract and didn't sustain his All-Star level (for reasons out of his control.) Last offseason, the team gave out another huge contract to Kemba Walker ($32M + $34M + $36M + $38M player option), and they may be regretting that now. Walker never looked at 100% health and he got picked on some defensively in the playoffs. The idea of paying him that kind of money for three more seasons may be a little scary.
Of course, there's no use crying over spilled milk. Gordon Hayward will likely "opt in" to his $34M player option. Is that an overpay? Sure. Still, Hayward is still a solid starter with a balanced skill set. With another year removed from that injury, he may take another step up.
As for Walker, the hope is that he'll do the same with an offseason to recover and another year in the system. It can't be easy to go from the star of a franchise to the 2nd or 3rd option. In fact, most of Walker's offensive decline can be chalked up to a reduced role. His PPG dropped from 25.6 to 20.4, but that comes after his minutes dropped by 3.8 and his field goal attempts dropped by 4.4 per game. In terms of his efficiency, there wasn't a big difference. He actually scored a higher true shooting percentage (up from 56% to 58%). His offensive box plus/minus stayed near the same at + 4.9, which ranked as the highest on Boston's team.
Walker didn't look great in the bubble, but I'm going to chalk that up to some lingering injuries. He's still only 30 years old, so he hasn't gotten materially worse in a year. Will he get much worse by age 32? At 33? That's possible. But again, the Celtics have already committed to that. They can try to float trade packages for Walker to get off that contract, but I don't see teams beating down their door for it. If a team like the Knicks wants Walker, they may not offer anything back in return (aside from their willingness to take the contract.) Given Boston's situation as a team on the verge of the Finals, it doesn't make a lot of sense to take a step back like that just for cap relief.
step two: promote a temp to a full time desk
The Boston Celtics have a very strong "top six." You have the two rising stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. You have the two veterans in Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward. You have the super role players in Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis. After that, it's more of a grab bag. No other player on the team averaged more than 20 minutes a night in the regular season, and no other player averaged more than 18 minutes a night in the postseason.
A team can make a deep run in the playoffs by going six strong, but it makes the margin of error narrower. When one of those players gets hurt -- like Gordon Hayward did this postseason -- it strains your depth. Beyond that, having an extra member of the full-time cast allows your players to take nights off and manage their minutes in anticipation of that deep playoff run. Hayward and Walker are both 30 now, so it's going to be important to keep them fresh.
Effectively, we want to take this "top six" and make it a "top seven." (Hence the post title.)
The top candidate for a promotion would be rookie PF Grant Williams. To me, Williams has more offensive potential than fellow forward Semi Ojeleye. After three good years at Tennessee, Williams dropped to # 22 in the draft based on the perception that he was more of a "college player" who couldn't keep up with NBA athletes. That didn't look to be the case so far for Williams (or for Cam Johnson in Phoenix, by the by.) Williams is a high-IQ player who can potentially play several different positions. He needs to keep increasing his range (25% from three), but he's been working toward that over his career. If he can take a leap next year, that'd be a major boon for the Celtics.
Fellow rookies Romeo Langford and Carsen Edwards may be slightly behind on the development curve, but it'd be great if they could get on the track toward the rotation eventually. Langford projects as a quality scorer who could potentially replace Gordon Hayward in the lineup in 1-2 years. Meanwhile, Edwards was a major shot maker in college who still has a lot of work to do. It may be too optimistic to think he could be a starter one day, but perhaps he could take the reserve role from Brad Wanamaker (a free agent.) If not, Tremont Waters (another rookie) may try to vie for that spot himself. It's not exactly Game of Thrones, but it's Game of Bench Seats. If nothing are ready for 15 or so minutes, then the team may need to re-sign Wanamaker or another filler vet.
In an ideal world, the Celtics would have faith that Robert Williams would be ready for an elevated role himself. They may lean more toward smallball bigs, but it's nice to have the option of a more traditional big at center as well. Enes Kanter has a player option for $5M that he may take -- he may not. He may try to finagle a longer-term deal somewhere. But if the team trusts the Time Lord, they can negotiate from a position of strength on that front.
No matter what happens, the Celtics will likely need their "7th man" to come from within. They have $120M committed on the cap for next season, so they're going to need to rely on internal improvements.
step three: bundle like the Big Short
If you thought the Boston Celtics had a lot of prospects in their "farm system" already, just wait. In this upcoming draft, they'll have pick # 14. And pick # 26. And pick # 30. And pick # 47.
Danny Ainge has always valued the draft and having a lot of picks, but we don't need this many. After all, we're trying to win the NBA title, not the G-League title.
The most obvious tactic would be bundling up these assets and trying to upgrade somehow. Like in The Big Short, perhaps a bunch of low-end assets can equal something of value. Still, the Celtics and their fans need to be reasonable here. They've tried bundling up lower draft picks in order to move for a while now, and always seem surprised when teams reject it (thinking of the potential Justise Winslow trade-up, primarily.) The truth is, these mid-to-late R1 picks aren't as valuable as many people seem to think. If the team packages all four of those picks together (14, 26, 30, 47) in order to move up, they may only land around pick # 9 or so. This isn't the NFL; NBA teams tend to value quality over quantity in the draft.
For a team that's already pretty strong and balanced, there may be a tendency to keep all their picks and just swing for a home run or two. The trouble is: there's only so much room on the roster. Consolidating (or pushing some of those picks back to future drafts) may be necessary.
If the Celtics can't move up and stay at # 14, they should have the option of getting another solid prospect. Some that may be intriguing to me personally would be Arizona SG/SF Josh Green ("Green"? karmic!), Villanova SF Saddiq Bey, or Maryland PF Jalen Smith. All three are quality prospects that project as rotational players in a year or two. A bigger home run swing may be Aleksej Pokusevski, the skilled 7'0" stretch big from Serbia. Pokusevski's narrow frame would make me nervous to bet on him if I was a GM on the ropes who needed to hit on my pick, but the Celtics have more freedom than that. They can take some chances if they want. Other upside plays would include PG/SG R.J. Hampton (U.S./New Zealand) and SF Jaden McDaniels (Washington).
With the # 26 pick, the Celtics could also get a decent prospect as well. You can never go wrong with a traditional 3+D prospect like SF Robert Woodard (Mississippi State). I also wouldn't rule out taking a traditional big like Vernon Carey (Duke). No one wants traditional scoring bigs anymore, but that's the reason that a player like that (who averaged 18-9 as a freshman) would slip down to # 24. In another era, the kid may be a top 10 pick. At the very least, he could replace the Enes Kanter role as a scoring sub.
step four: keep on truckin'
Hmm. Usually these offseason blueprints have 4 or 5 steps, but I'm running out of ideas here. As mentioned, things are running pretty smoothly for this franchise. I don't think Danny Ainge needs much help from reddit right now.
Still, I'll throw in some minor little notes that don't even merit a full section.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU? The Celtics have a lot of shot makers, but sometimes their offense can stall and fall into iso or hero ball. They need to keep pushing forward with ball movement and set plays if need be. One stat I noticed: Jaylen Brown is an exceptional shooter from the corner. He's at 43% from his career, and that swelled to 48% this season. Running action to get him more of those shots would be helpful.
REUNITE GERMANY. The team has a $5M option on center Daniel Theis that they'll definitely pick up. After that, Theis will be an unrestricted free agent. If I ran the team, I'd start talking to Theis about an extension. There may be a perception that the team can play any smallball center and save some money at the position, but I'd disagree. Theis is an underrated player that fits the modern NBA well. There may be a matchup here and there where he struggles, but overall he's a good starter and may need to be paid like one. He's still a little "under the radar," so perhaps they can get a team-friendly deal if they extend him now.
KEEP YOUR COACHING DEPTH STRONG. Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga is one of the better lieutenants in the game. He had been floated for some head coaching jobs in the past, but seems to have been lost in the shadows with all the major movement on the sidelines this year. Hopefully, for Boston's sake, Larranaga doesn't feel discouraged by that and doesn't start looking for head coaching opportunities elsewhere. His father is a good college coach, and he may decide to go that NCAA route eventually himself. The team should keep him well compensated so he doesn't feel the need to do that.
Overall, we're talking minor tweaks for this next season. The Celtics' chances of winning a title will hinge on how much they can improve -- both from their young stars and from their young bench.
other offseason blueprints
ATL, BKN, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, HOU, IND, GS, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NO, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX, POR, SA, SAC, TOR, UTA, WAS
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nba [link] [comments]

[Share] My Collection Index (646GB)

Sharing my library. It's a mixed bag, from some truly atrocious quality to some hi-res titles. I don't have a huge online storage as I'll just be using the free Mega account (It just went down to 15GB from 50GB). Please comment on any specific titles you'd like me to upload and I'll reply with the link once uploaded.

-If there's no quality specified in [], then it's 16/44.1
-Sample rate is only listed when it's higher than 44.1/48
-[16 or 24] is 16-bit or 24-bit
-[When this # is 3 digits] Indicates MP3 and the number is kbps
-[96] MP3 at 96kbps, stay away from these. I told you it's a mixed bag lol



2 Chainz - Based on a T.R.U. Story
2 Pac - 2Pacalypse Now, Strictly 4 My NIGGAZ, Me Against the World, All Eyez on Me, Americaz Most Wanted
8 Mile Original Soundtrack
8Ball - Lost
21 Savage - Slaughter King [320], Savage Mode, Savage Mode II [24]
50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Tryin', The Massacre
112 - 112, Room 112
A Boogie wit da Hoodie - The Bigger Artist [256], Artist 2.0 [24]
A Great Big World - Is There Anybody Out There? [320]
A$AP Ferg - Furious Ferg
A$AP Rocky - Live.Love. ASAP, Long. Live. ASAP
Aaryan Shah - In the Making, The Arrival: Part II [24]
Ace Hood [320] - Studio Album: Gutta, Ruthless, Blood Sweat and Tears, Trials & Tribulations
Mixtape: Ace Won't Fold, All Bets on Ace, Final Warning, Street Certified, The Preview, I Do It.. For the Sport, The Statement, Body Bag Vol.1, Sex Chronicles, The Statement 2, Body Bag Vol.2, Starvation, Starvation II

ACG:
.hack_Sign OST 1+2 [320]
Castlevania - Akumajo Dracula Best Music Collections Box
Curse of Darkness - Prelude of Revenge
Harmony of Despair
Lament of Innocence
Lament of Innocence Limited Edition Music Sampler
Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate
Symphony of the Night
Death Note OST 1+2+3 [320]
Detective Conan OST 3
Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite
Final Fantasy VII OST
Final Fantasy VII Reunion Tracks
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy X
Gensomaden Saiyuki - OST, Single Collection
Guilty Gear X - Heavy Rock Tracks, Rising Force of Gear Image Vocal Tracks
Guilty Gear XX OST
Guilty Gear XX - Sound Alive/A.S.H.
Hikaru no Go - Theme Song Selection
Howl's Moving Castle - OST, Symphony Suite [320]
Hunter x Hunter - OST 1+2+3, The Last Mission
Joe Hisaishi - Dream Songs/The Essential Joe Hisaishi
Koudelka
Legend of Mana [320]
Madlax
My-HiME - OST 1+2
Neon Genesis Evangelion - Single Collection
NieR:Automata
Noir - OST 1+2+3
Ragnarok Online Complete Soundtrack
Rurouni Kenshin - OST 1 [320], OST 2+3+4, CD BOX [320], Director's Collection, Premium Collection, Songs, The Best Theme Collection
Shaman King - Comics Image Album, Melody of the Spirits, Osorezan Revoir ~au revoir~, Osorezan Revoir ~prologue to shaman~, Single Vocal Album, Vocal on Parade!!
Slayers TRY Treasure BGM
Spirited Away [320]
The Legend of Zelda - Majora's Mask, Ocarina of Time
Tsubasa Chronicle - OST 1+2+3+4
Yu-Gi-Oh! Theme Song Single Collection
Z.O.E. - Zone of the Enders, Anubis: Zone of the Enders
Zenki - Character Song Collection 2, OST 2 Raigou Shourin!!
軒轅劍三外傳:天之痕 - 三個人的時光
風色幻想 - 1+SP+2+3+4+5

Adam Ben Ezra - Discography
Adam Lambert - Trespassing
Adam Lopez - The Popera, Showstopper, Till the End of Time
Adele - 21
Afek-T - Les brumes
Agnes Obel - Philharmonics, Aventine, Citizen of Glass [24], Myopia [24]
Akon - Trouble
Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls [320], Sound & Color [192~320]
Alejandro Fernández - de noche - clasicos a mi manera, Confidencias [320]
Alicia Keys - Songs in A Minor
Aloe Blacc - Shine Through, Good Things, Lift Your Spirit
Amber Run - 5am [320], For a Moment I Was Lost [320]
Amy Winehouse - Frank [160~320], Back to Black [196~246], Lioness: Hidden Treasures [320]
Andrea Bocelli - Romanza, Verdi
Angra - Discography (1992 - 2010)[160~231]
Anita Baker - Rhythm of Love
Anthony Ramos - The Freedom EP, The Good & The Bad
Ariana Grande - My Everything [24], Dangerous Woman [24], Sweetener [320], Thank U, Next [24]
Arvo Part - Various works
Aurora - Discography (2015-2019)[24, except Infections of a Different Kind which is in 320]
AZ - Do or Die
Az Yet - Az Yet [320]
Babyface - The Day
Bad Meets Evil - Hell: The Sequel
Ballet Class Music [320]
Banks - Discography (2014-2019)[16~24]
Basso Profondo from Old Russia
Belly [320] - Another Day in Paradise, Inzombia, Mumble Rap
Beyoncé - 4, Beyoncé, Lemonade
Bilal - 1st Born Second
Bill Evans Trio [320] - Explorations, Sunday at the Village Vanguard, Waltz for Debby
Bill Withers - Lovely Day: The Very Best of Bill Withers
Billie Eilish - Discography
Birdy - Discography [320]
Bishop Briggs - EP [320], Church of Scars, Champions [24]
Black Hill - Discography (2014-2019)[16~24]
Stvannyr - Secrets of the runes 
Black Panther - Original Score [24], The Album [24], Wakanda Remixed [16]
Blindspotting - The Collins EP [320], The Miles EP [320]
Bloom - Sinses [320]
Blue - All Rise
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Legend
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony - Creepin on ah Come Up EP
Brent Faiyaz - A.M. Paradox EP, Sonder Son, Lost EP, Fuck the World
Bruno Mars - Discography (2010-2016)
Busta Rhymes - The Coming
Call Me By Your Name OST
Camila Cabello - Romance
Cardi B - Gangsta Bitch Music Vol.1 [128], UnderEstimated - The Tour Album [128], GBMV2 [128], Invasion of Privacy
Carolina Eyck [320] - Theremin, Waves
Case - Open Letter
Céline Dion - All the Way.. A Decade of Song, Courage
Charlotte Cardin - Big Boy EP, Main Girl EP
Charlotte Cardinale - Florescentia
Chase Holfelder - Major to Minor (Vol. 1)
Chet Faker - Thinking in Textures, Built on Glass [320], Lockjaw
Childish Gambino - Camp, Because the Internet, 3.15.20
Chingy - Jackpot
Chloe x Halle [24] - Sugar Symphony EP, The Kids Are Alright, Ungodly Hour
Choral: Aliqua, Chor Leoni Men's Choir Discography, Christmas with The Princeton Singers, The Manitou Singers - Repertoire for Women's Voices, Vol. 2
Christina Aguilera - Christina Aguilera [320], Stripped, Back to Basics, Bionic, Lotus [320], Liberation [24]
Cirque du Soleil - Discography (1992-2015)[128~320, 3 albums in 16]
Clann - Kin Fables, Seelie

Classical:
100 Great Symphonies
Bach - Selected Organ Works, The Famous Cantatas, The Six Motets
Beethoven - Complete String Quartets, Piano Sonata No.8 op.13 'Pathetique', Piano Sonata No.14 op.27 'Moonlight', Piano Sonata No.23 op.57 'Appassionata'
Brahms - Brahms on Life and Love, Requiem, Symphony No.1
Bruckner - Te Deum
Chopin Complete Piano Music [192]
Dvořák - Mass in D, Requiem, Symphony No.7+8+9
Fauré - Requiem
Glazunov - Violin Concerto in Am op.82
Grieg - Piano Concerto op.16 in Am
Liszt - 10 Hungarian Rhapsodies, Piano Works
Mendelssohn - Symphony No.4, Violin Concerto in Em
Mozart - Clarinet Concerto in A, Concerto in C for Flute, Harp, Orchestra, Horn Concerto No.4, Piano Concerto No.20, Piano Concerto No.21, Requiem
Paganini - Salvatore Accardo plays Paganini's Guarneri del Gesu 1742
Schubert - Piano Sonata No.14+19
Schumann - Piano Concerto op.54 in Am
Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No.1, Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, The Symphonies [192]
Verdi - Requiem
Vivaldi - Concerto in C for Violin and Double Orchestra, Concerto in D for Violin and Double Orchestra, The Four Seasons

clipping - CLPPNG [24], There Existed an Addiction to Blood
Coco OST
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise
Corey Payette - Children of God, Les Filles du Roi
Craig David - Born to Do It
Curtis Clearsky and the Constellationz - Indigifunk
D12 - Devil's Night, D12 World
Daley - Those Who Wait [192], Days & Night [320], The Spectrum [320]
D'Angelo - Brown Suger, Black Messiah [24/96]
Darren Hayes - Spin
Daveed Diggs - Small THings to a Giant, Seven Nights in Chicago [320]
David Morin - Every Colour
Deen Squad Mixtape 2015 [320]
Destino - Forte, Beginning Again
Destiny's Child - Destiny's Child, #1s
Disclosure - Caracal
DJ Danger Mouse - The Grey Album
DJ Drama - Quality Street Music 2
Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony No.1+2+3+4+5+6+8+9+12+14+15, Violin Concerto No.1
DMX - It's Dark and Hell is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, ...And Then There Was X
Dr. Dre - 2001, Compton
Drake - So Far Gone [320], Thank Me Later [320], Take Care [320], Nothing Was the Same [320], If You're Reading This It's Too Late
Dream Theater - Discography (1989-2019)[16~24/96]
Dream Warriors - Subliminal Simulation
Dru Hill - Dru Hill, Enter the Dru
Dumbfoundead - We Might Die [320], Inside/Outside [24]
Dylan Brady - All I Every Wanted, Choker [128], Dog Show [128]
Eagles - Hotel California
Eazy-E - It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa, Eternal E
Elijah Blake - Bijoux 22 [128], Drift [253~276], Shadows & Diamonds [320], Blueberry Vapors [320]
Eminem - The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show, Encore
En Vogue - Funky Divas
ES Posthumus - Unearthed [320]
Evanescence - Discography (2003-2017)[16~24]
Fantastic Negrito [320] - The Last Days of Oakland, Please Don't Be Dead
Far East Movement - Free Wired
FKA Twigs - LP1, Magdalene
Flipsyde - Discography (2005-2012)[128~320]
Florence + the Machine - Discography (2009-2018)[16~24/96]
Flume - Skin [24]
For vance - From Muscle Shoals [24]
Frank Ocean - Discography (2011-2016)[16~24]
Frank Sinatra - Ultimate Sinatra
Frozen OST
Fugees - The Score
Future - Beast Mode [24], Future [24/96]
Gallant - Zebra [320]
Game of Thrones - S1-8 OST, Various Orchestra Albums, For the Throne
Ghost - Meliora [24]
Ginuwine - Ginuwine... The Bachelor, 100% Ginuwine
Gorillaz - Gorillaz [24], Demon Days [24], Plastic Beach [24], Humanz [24/96]
Grace VanderWaal [24] - Perfectly Imperfect, Just the Beginning
Guru - Jazzmatazz Vol. 1
GZA - Liquid Swords
Hamilton: An Americal Musical - Cast Recording, Hamildrops, Instrumentals, The Hamilton Mixtape
Hans Zimmer - The Dark Knight [24/96], Inception [24][5.1], The Dark Knight Rises [24], Intersteller [24], The Classics [24/96]
Harry Potter OST
Hercules [192]
Higher Brothers - Black Cab, Five Stars
Hozier - Discography (2013-2019)[16~24]
Igorrr - Hallelujah [320]
Il Divo - Discography (2004-2018, except A Musical Affair)(320~16]
In tha Beginning... There Was Rap
Ingrid Michaelson - Discography (2005-2014)
J.S. Ondara - Tales of America (The Second Coming) [24/192], Folk n' Roll Vol.1: Tales of Isolation [24]
Jacques Loussier Trio - Vivaldi- The Four Seasons
James Blake - Discography (2011-2019)
James Vincent McMorrow [320] - Early in the Morning, Post Tropical
Janelle Monáe - Discography (2010-2018)[16~24], Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase) EP
Janne - Meeting the Wolf EP
Jay-Z - Discography (1996-2017)[16~24]
Jeremy Dutcher - Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa [320]
Jessie Ware - What's Your Pleasure? [24]
Jhené Aiko - Chilombo [24/96]
Jimi Hendrix - Experience Hendrix- The Best of Jimi Hendrix
JMSN [320] - Priscilla, Pllajë, JMSN
Joe - All That I Am, My Name is Joe
John Coltrane - Both Directions at Once/The Lost Album
John Legend - Discography (2005-2016)[320~16]
Jon Mcxro - The Fifth of Never [287~310]
José Tomás Molina - Discography (2014-2019)[16~24]
Josh Groban - Discography (2001-2015)[320, except Stages in 16]
Joss Stone - Introducing... Joss Stone
Juice OST
Justin Timberlake - Discography (2002-2013)[16~24]
k.d. lang - Ingénue, Invincible Summer
Kadebostany - Pop Collection
Kanye West - Discography (2003-2019)[320-24]
Kendrick Lamar - Discography (2011-2017)
Kerry Muzzey - Trailer Music 3, The Architect, Trailer Music 4: Neo
Kid Cudi - Discography (2008-2013)
Kiel Magis - Kiel Magis
Kieran Fearing - Reprieve
Kieran Martin Murphy - The Painter's Hand, Theatrics

Korean:
DJ Doc - 4th Album
eAeon - Guilt-Free
H.O.T. - We hate all kinds of violence, I yah!, Age of Peace OST, Outside Castle, The Best
Rain - First Drop
Shinhwa - First Mythology, My Choice, Wedding

k-os - Exit, Joyful Rebellion, Atlantis: Hymns for Disco
Krizz Kaliko - Son of Same [239~270], Go [320]
Kwabs [157~246] - Wrong or Right, Pray for Love, Walk
La La Land - The Complete Musical Experience [24]
La Quinta Estación - Sin Frenos [192]
Ladysmith Black Mambazo [192~257] - The Very Best of
Lana Del Rey - Discography (2012-2019)[16~24]
Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Le Flow - The Definitive French Hip Hop Compilation
Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares - Vol.1+2 [320]
Le mystère des voix Corses - les plus belles polyphonies [320]
Led Zeppelin - Discography (1969-1982), Remasters [24/96]
Lenny Kravitz - Greatest Hits
Leonard Cohen - The Future
Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien - The High Road to Kilkenny
Leslie Odom Jr. - Leslie Odom Jr. [24], Mr.
Lhasa de Sela - La Llorona [320]
Lil Dicky - Hump Days [256], So Hard [320], Professional Rapper [128]
Lil Uzi Vert - Eternal Atake
Linkin Park - Discography (2000-2017)[16~24/96]
Lionel Richie - Back to Front
Loïc Nottet - Selfocracy [320]
London Grammar - If You Wait [24/96], This is a Beautiful Thing [24]
LP - Lost on You [320]
Ludacris - Chicken-Beer, Release Therapy
Ludovico Einaudi - Echoes: The Einaudi Collection, Divenire [320], Nightbook, Islands: Essential Einaudi [320], Elements [320], Seven Days Walking [24]
Luniz - Operation Stackola
Mac Miller - Circles [24]
Madredeus - Various albums (1987-2005)[128~320]
MAGIC! - Don't Kill the Magic [320]
Maksim - Discography (1999-2010)[320, except 2 albums in 16]

Mandarin:
5566 - 1st Album
Energy - E3, 無懈可擊, 米迦勒之舞
F4 - 煙火的季節
IPIS 蟑螂 - 第四蟑
RuRu - 美麗心情
S.H.E. - 青春株式會社, 美麗新世界, Together
不能說的秘密 OST [148~224]
伍佰 - 夢的河流, 冬之火 九重天演唱會特選錄音專輯
伍思凱 - 分享
南拳媽媽 - 南拳媽媽的夏天
周杰倫 - Discography (2000-2004)[16 except 同名專輯 in 320]
宋岳庭 - Life's a Struggle
張信哲 - 精選, 從開始到現在
張學友 - 走過1999, 張學友音樂之旅Live演唱會
張智成 - 凌晨三點鐘
張衛健 - 齊天大聖孫悟空
徐婕兒 - 愛之初
戴佩妮 - 怎樣
手牽手大合唱
林俊傑 - 樂行者, 第二天堂
海豚灣戀人 OST
王心凌 - Begin...
臥虎藏龍 (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) OST
范逸臣 - 同名專輯
蔡依林 - 看我72變, 城堡
薔薇之戀 OST
許慧欣 - 孤單芭蕾, 幸福
謝霆鋒 - VIVA, 了解, Viva Live 謝霆鋒演唱會
郭富城 - 目眩城迷 全精選
陳冠希 - Edison Chen
陳小春 - 抱一抱, That's Mine

Mandido - Time on Our Hands
Marc Anthony - Discography (1993-2013)[320]
Marian Hill - Act One [24], Unusual
Mario Frangoulis - Various Albums (1998-2014)[128~320]
Marques Houston - MH
Mase - Harlem World
Master P - Ghetto D
Max Richter - Discography (2002-2020)[16~24/96]
MC 900 ft. Jesus - Welcome to My Dream, Open Step Ahead of the Spider
Meek Mill - Dreams Worth More Than Money [24], Championships
Metallica - Discography (Remastered)(1983-2020)[24]
Metro Boomin - Not All Heroes Wear Capes [320]
Miah Luz - The Coming LP
Michael Bolton - Only a Woman Like You [320]
Michael Bublé - Discography (1995-2013)[96~320]
Michael Conway Baker - Four Musical Portraits
Michael Jackson - Discography (1972-2014)[320 except Invincible in 16]
Migos - Discography (2015-2018)[209~24]
Miguel - Discography (2010-2017)[16~24]
Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool [24/192], Bitches Brew [24/88], Kind of Blue
Mirah - Discography (1997-2009)[198~256]
Misha Mishenko - Discography (2016-2019)
Missy Elliott - Under Construction
Moana OST
Mobb Deep - The Infamous
Mos Def - Black on Both Sides, The Ecstatic
Moulin Rouge! OST
Muddy Waters - Anthology
Muse - Origin of Symmetry [24/96], Absolution [24/96], The 2nd Law [24/96], Simulation Theory, Drones [24/96]
Musical Theatre - Various Musical Cast Recordings (1934-2017)[170~202, except Come From Away and Hamilton in 16]
Nahko - Dark as Night, On the Verge, Hoka [320], My Name is Bear [320]
Namie Amuro - Break the Rules, Genius 2000
Nas - Illmatic, It Was Written, Stillmatic, God's Son, The Lost Tapes, Street's Disciple, Life is Good
Naturally 7 - Discography (2000-2015)
Naughty by Nature - 19 Naughty III
Nav - Good Intentions [24]
Ne-Yo - Discography (2006-2012)[320~16]
Night Lovell - Discography (2014-2019)[320]
Nina Simone - The Essential of Nina Simone [24/96]
Nipsey Hussle - Crenshaw, Victory Lap
Niykee Heaton - Bad Intentions, The Bedroom Tour Playlist
Norah Jones - Come Away with Me, Feels Like Home, Not Too Late, Pick Me Up Off the Floor [24/96]
Notre-Dame de Paris (Musical) Cast Recording
Obie Trice - Cheers
October London - Discography (2016-2018)[320]
Omar LinX - A Cold Welcome [320], City of Ommz [320], The Living Dead EP [128], Victor [320], M.O.R [320]
Omarion - O, 21, Ollusion
Once OST [96]
Onegin (Musical)
Opera Babes - Beyond Imagination
P. Diddy - No Way Out, The Saga Continues...
PartyNextDoor - PX3
Pentatonix - Various albums [128~320]
Peter Gundry - Discography (2016-2019)[16~24]
Pharrell - Girl [24]
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon [24/88][DSD64], Pulse
Playboi Carti - Die Lit
PNL - Deux frères [320]
Portishead - Discography (1994-2008)
Post Malone - Discography (2016-2019)[16~24/88]
Prince - Discography (1978-2019)
Pusha T - Daytona [24]
Putomayo - World Reggae, Asian Lounge
Quavo - Quavo Huncho [320]
Queen - Greatest Hits
Rae Sremmurd [320] - SremmLife, SremmLife 2
Raincity - Tell Me, Stuck on Replay, Raincity EP
Raleigh Ritchie - You're a Man Now, Boy [320]
Rick Ross - Discography (2006-2017)
Ricky Martin - Ricky Martin, Música + Alma + Sexo [192]
Rihanna - Anti
Rockapella - 2
Roscoe Dash - J.U.I.C.E. [320], Dash Effect [160]
ROSK - remnants
Ruelle - Up in Flames, Madness, Emerge
Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2, RTJ3 Instrumentals [24/96]
Sade - The Best of Sade
Sam Cooke - Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964 [123~252]
Sam Smith - Discography (2014-2017)
Sandra van Nieuwland [320] - And More, Banging on the Doors of Love
Santino Le Saint - Cloud 304, Xeno, Blue Pill [24], Rage of Angels
Sara Bareilles - Discography (2007-2015)[320, except What's Inside - Songs from Waitess in 24]
Scorpions - Discography (1972-2015)
Scott Leonard - 1man1mike
Sevdaliza - Discography (2017-2020)
Shai - If I Ever Fall in Love [128]
Sia - Discography (1997-2017)[16, except OnlySee + Healing is Difficult in M4A260, This is Acting in 24/96]
Sigur Rós - Discography (1997-2013)
Snoop Dogg - The Doggfather, Tha Last Meal, R&G (Rhythm&Gangsta): The Masterpiece, The Blue Carpet Treatment
Solange - A Seat at the Table
Southern Journey - Bad Man Ballads (Songs of Outlaws and Desperadoes, Vol. 5)
Stacey [128] - Stacey, Stacey (Reconstruction), First Move
Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection
Stromae - Cheese [256], Racine carrée [24]
Sun Kil Moon - Discography (2003-2017)[320, except Benji + Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood in 16]
Swollen Members - Bad Dreams
SWV - It's About Time
System of a Down - Toxicity
SZA - Ctrl
T.I. - Trouble Man Heavy is the Head
Tamia - Tamia
Taylor Swift - folklore [24]
Tech N9ne - Discography (1999-2013)[192~320], The Storm, Enterfear
TGT - Three Kings
The Beatles - Discography (1963-2009)
The Carters - Everything is Love
The Chorus OST
The Chronicles of Narnia OST
The Cinematic Orchestra [320] - Every Day, Man with a Movie Camera, Ma Fleur, To Believe
The Game - The Documentary, Jesus Piece [320], Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf [320], The Documentary 2+2.5 [320]
The Godfather I+II+III OST [320]
The Great Gatsby OST
The Great Tenors - Vol.1+2, In Concert
The Lion King - Complete Score [128], Return to Pride Rock [128]
The Lord of the Rings OST [24]
The Lumineers - Cleopatra [24/96], C-Sides [24], Live Tracks [24], III [24]
The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again
The Nutcracker (Ballet) [24/96]
The Pink Panther OST [320]
The Savannah Leigh Band - City of Grey
The Tango Project - The Tango Project
The Tenors - Discography (2008-2015)[156~254, except Under One Sky in 16]
The Tony Rich Project - Words
The Weeknd - Discography (2012-2020)[16~24/192]
The xx - Discography (2009-2017)[320, except I See You in 16]
Three 6 Mafia - Most Known Unknown
Timbaland - Shock Value
Tinie Tempah - Demonstration [320]
Toni Braxton - Toni Braxton, Secrets
Tony Bennett - The Essential Tony Bennett, a wonderful world (with k.d. lang), The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection, Duets II [320], Tony Bennett Celebrates 90
Tory Lanez - Discography (2010-2020, except Daystar)[160~320, except Chixtape 5 + The New Toronto 3 in 24]
T-Pain - Discography (2005-2012)[192~16]
Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
Travis Garland - Discography (2011-2015)[160~320]
Travis Scott - Discography (2015-2018)[24~24/88]
Trey Songz [320] - Trey Day, Passion, Pain & Pleasure, Chapter V
TroyBoi - icekream [128~320], SoundSnobz [128~320], Left is Right [128], V!BEZ [128], V!BEZ, Vol.3
Tsar B - The Games I Played [320]
Tyga - Discography (2008-2016)[320], Legendary
Tyrese - I Wanna Go There
UltraVillain - Lost in You [320]
Ulvesang - Ulvesang [24], The Hunt
Unity: Athens 2004 (Olympic Games Album)
Usher - Discography (1994-2018)[16~24]
Van Morrison - Moondance
Vitas - Discography (2001-2009)[128~256, except A Kiss as Long as Eternity+20th Century Hits in 16]
Waka Flocka Flame - Flockaveli
Whitney - Light Upon the Lake
Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston
Wisin & Yandel - Discography (2000-2012)[320]
Wiz Khalifa - We Dem Boyz [320], various songs [320]
Wiz Khalifa & Curren$y - 2009 [24]
Wyclef Jean - Carnival, Vol. II- Memoirs of an Immigrant
X Japan - Discoraphy (1988-2017)[16~24/96]
XXXTentacion - Revenge [320], 17 [24/192], ? [320]
Xzibit - Restless
Yann Tiersen - Discography (1995-2003)[96~160]
YG - My Krazy Life, Still Brazy, My Life 4Hunnid [24]
Young Bleed - My Balls and My Word
Young Buck - Buck the World
Young Thug - Barter 6 [320], Slime Season [24], Slime Season 2 [320], I'm Up [320], Slime Season 3 [320], Jeffery [320], So Much Fun
Yuki Kajiura - Discography (includes side projects: FictionJunction/YUUKA, Kalafina)(Anime soundtracks 1996-2018)
Yuna - Chapters [320]
Zed Yun Pavarotti - French Cash [320]
Zeina [320] - Odd One Out, various singles
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2020/21 Italian Superlega - match week 2 recap

SUMMARY
The most anticipated match of the week was the one between Piacenza and Perugia. The home team was without Hierrezuelo and Tondo, who did really well subbing in for Candellaro last week and who is now risking a long stop, so Bernardi (against Perugia for the 1st time) played with Izzo as a setter. Heynen, instead, started once again with Ter Horst instead of Vernon-Evans as OPP. The 1st set was very balanced (20-20), then 2 controversial calls by the ref and an error by Grozer sealed it for Perugia (22-25, 0-1). The guests kept the momentum and dominated the 2nd (17-25, 0-2). Piacenza reacted in the 3rd (17-12), then more controversy, as a serve out by Plotnytskyi was called an ace and a doubtful net fault by Travica was called as well (23-17), before Russell sealed it (25-19, 1-2). Not much to say about the 4th, which was led by Perugia from start to finish (20-25, 1-3). The absence of Hierrezuelo was a big blow for Piacenza (37% kills), with only Candellaro (8 points, 57% kills, 4 blocks) able to finish over 50% kills. All wings finished under 40%, with Grozer (13 points, 31% kills, 1 ace, 1 block) very far from week 1 dominance. Perugia had a good-but-not-great attack (47% kills) but compensated with 13 blocks. Leòn had very unusual stats (19 points, 32% kills, 64% positive reception, 2 aces, 5 blocks), while Plotnitskyi (16 points, 72% kills, 1 ace, 2 blocks) and Solé (10 points, 36% kills, 5 blocks) were more like their usual selves.
Lube hosted Ravenna to keep up the good work shown in match week 1. De Giorgi started Kovar over Juantorena, while Bonitta confirmed his lineup. Lots of errors by the hosts in the 1st (14-18), with Ravenna’s middles recording a clean sheet on offense (100% kills). Simon didn’t want to be overshadowed and took charge (22-22), then, on 23-23, made a silly net fault, and another error by Lube gave Ravenna the 1st (23-25, 0-1). The 2nd set was a high-precision one, with both teams killing over 70%. Juantorena went in for Kovar and, after being down 14-17, Lube went up for the first time (21-20). An ace by Leal and a kill by Rychlicki tied the game (25-22, 1-1). Lube mauled Ravenna in the 3rd (25-14, 2-1), with an ace by Yant Herrera as the closing act. The tide changed in the 4th, with Ravenna blocking everything and going up 13-18. Hadrava in for Rychlicki and Lube almost closed the gap. Almost (23-25, 2-2). Great start by Lube in the 5th (6-2), but Ravenna didn’t want to give up (8-7). The usual Simon took charge with a block and 2 consecutive aces (12-8) and the hosts could finally close it (15-9, 3-2). I guess nobody expected Lube to swear so much in order to edge Ravenna. The guests closed all doors to Lube’s offense (15 blocks), so the home team reacted with great serving (15 aces). Also, having Juantorena (15 points, 52% kills, 65% positive reception, 4 aces) helps a lot, despite his 35 years. Leal (18 points, 61% kills, 2 aces, 2 blocks) and Rychlicki (18 points, 47% kills, 3 aces, 1 blocks) were good as well. In Ravenna, nice match by Pinali (22 points, 48% kills, 2 blocks) despite a bad day from the line (13 serves, 0 aces, 6 errors) and Grozdanov (14 points, 83% kills, 4 blocks).
Trento hosted Verona, the so-called “Adige derby” (from the river which flows through both cities), in what was supposed to be another easy match for the home team. Lorenzetti started with the ideal lineup for the first time, having both Podrascanin and Lisinac available, while Stoytchev didn’t have many alternatives. The 1st set was very balanced, with frequent lead changes and nobody able to go on +3. Verona got the first set ball (23-24), Trento cancelled 3 but when Boyer blocked Abdel-Aziz the set was over (26-28, 0-1). Lisinac out, Cortesia in. Despite Verona’s good start (3-6), the 2nd one was a very balanced set as well (21-21). Once again, though, on 23-23, Nimir was key for Verona, with a spike out and another one blocked by Boyer (23-25, 0-2). In the 3rd set, after giving Trento fans so many joys in the past, Kaziyski showed no mercy with an ace (13-17) and the guests gained 6 match balls a little later (18-24). Lucarelli tried to ignite an impossible comeback (21-24), but fate decided that the Bulgarian OH should have the last point (21-25, 0-3). What an upset! 2015 is already history, otherwise I could definitely see Biff Tannen betting lots of money on this match. The first 2 sets were tight, but Trento made too many errors in clutch moments. Errors were also key in the 3rd set, where Trento actually out-killed Verona (52% vs 43%) but a staggering 11 errors (6 serving, 3 spiking, 2 faults) added to the previous 18 ones and gave the guests an incredible victory. Giannelli probably hasn’t a lot of faith in Lucarelli’s condition, as Nimir got once again 40% of sets. He did good on paper (21 points, 56% kills, 1 ace, 1 block), but it was him who made the clutch errors in the first 2 sets. Still, Lucarelli wasn’t that bad (9 points, 44% kills, 1 ace). Spirito, instead, concentrated his game on the wings (87% of sets) and especially on a regenerated Jaeschke (14 points, 46% kills, 1 ace), who was named MVP. Still, the clutch points were courtesy of Kaziyski (11 points, 45% kills, 1 ace) and Boyer (12 points, 53% kills, 2 blocks).
Another interesting match was the Lombard derby between two ambitious teams, Monza and Milano. Soli confirmed the lineup that sacked Modena last week, as did Piazza. Another very balanced 1st set (18-18), then Milano took the lead with an ace by Maar and a counter attack by Ishikawa (21-23). The Japanese OH then closed it (22-25, 0-1). The 2nd set started with a great defensive show by 19-years old libero Federici, who gave Monza a lot of counter attacks (9-7). Sbertoli then started riding on Patry (14-16) before 2 aces by Galassi turned the tables once again (18-17). Monza kept the momentum and tied the game (25-21, 1-1). The 3rd set started with a duel between Sedlacek and Dzavoronok (13-13), then the middles took charge, first Beretta, who went in for Galassi, then Piano (15-17). Milano with some nice serving, while the same can’t be said about Monza. On 19-22, the hosts tilted and were even called for a formation fault, so the guests could take the lead (19-25, 1-2). Milano kept up the good job from the line and the 4th set was no big deal for them (20-25, 1-3). Huge step backwards from Monza, after the convincing win in Modena. 33 errors (23 serving, 9 spiking, 1 fault) and 6% reception efficiency are definitely not the way to keep the momentum up. Orduna rode a lot on Lagumdzija (22 points, 48% kills, 2 blocks), but couldn’t get much from Dzavoronok (10 points, 33% kills, -3% reception efficiency, 2 aces). Nice all-around game from Milano, instead, with great pressure from the line (despite only 2 aces) and good blocking (11). Ishikawa took the lights (17 points, 63% kills, 63% positive reception), while Maar and Kozamernik shut down Monza (8 blocks).
After the disaster in week 1, Modena was called for a much better game in the Vibo road match. Giani made some changes, moving Karlitzek back to OH and starting with Vettori, while Baldovin confirmed the team that made Perugia sweat. Lots of bic in the 1st, with Vibo going up 11-8. Modena reacted with a 0-4 break, but then Rossard blocked Vettori (16-16). The guests got their first +2 thanks to Stankovic (20-22), then closed the set after some great defenses, including a foot save by Karliztek (21-25, 0-1). Modena tried to keep up the momentum in the 2nd (3-6), but Abouba’s serving broke hell (10-8). Baldovin sent in Almeida for Defalco, while Giani took off Karlitzek and Vettori for Lavia and Estrada Mazorra. Not a good idea (20-14). On 21-16, Modena’s coach pressed CTRL+Z on his subs and the guests were back on track (22-21). Vibo gained 2 set balls (24-22), but Modena sent it to overtime (24-24), and Karlitzek finalized the comeback (26-28, 0-2). Cester out, Gargiulo in. The 3rd set was very balanced until 16-16, when Vettori decided that warm-up was over and took charge (20-25, 0-3). Modena finally added a nice-level attack (52% kills) to the usual high-level defense and that should give them some hope for the future. Everyone played well, especially Karlitzek (19 points, 56% kills, 1 ace, 4 blocks) and Mazzone (10 points, 88% kills, 3 blocks), who were kinda disappointing in the first match. Also, while his scoresheet isn’t that good, Vettori (9 points, 39% kills, 1 ace, 1 block) played great in clutch moments and stayed on court for 3 sets, which should allow Modena to play with less “creative” lineups. Vibo lost 2 good opportunities in the first 2 sets, when they were +4 and +6 respectively, and with both Defalco and Almeida finishing with 14% kills they could have definitely done more. Abouba (16 points, 60% kills, 1 ace) and Chinenyeze (12 points, 64% kills, 2 aces, 3 blocks) can’t always carry the team by themselves.
Finally, another disappointing game by Cisterna, a 0-3 (56-75) home loss against Padova. 32% kills, 33% aggregate kills by the middles and Cavuto (9 points, 44% kills) as best scorer despite playing 1 and a half sets as OPP in place of the disastrous Onwelo (3 points, 38% kills). Tubertini better hope for a quick recovery by Sabbi, or it’s gonna be another hard year for Cisterna. Still, kudos to Padova and, once again, to youngster Bottolo (16 points, 58% kills, 2 aces), who was the best scorer alongside Stern (16 points, 46% kills, 3 aces, 1 block) and who showed again great personality. With the Under 20 NT winning Silver at the European Championship and 2 OHs winning MVP (Michieletto) and Best OH (Rinaldi) respectively, will the senior NT finally solve the OH problem?

RESULTS AND SCORE SHEETS
Vero Volley Monza 1–3 Power Volley Milano (22-25, 25-21, 19-25, 20-25)
Monza: Dzavoronok 10, Galassi 10, Lagumdzija 22, Sedlacek 18, Holt 6, Orduna, Federici (L), Calligaro, Brunetti, Beretta 2.
Milano: Piano 6, Sbertoli 1, Ishikawa 17, Kozamernik 8, Patry 13, Maar 16, Pesaresi (L), Daldello, Weber.
MVP: Yuki Ishikawa (Milano)

Top Volley Cisterna 0–3 Pallavolo Padova (22-25, 16-25, 18-25)
Cisterna: Seganov, Tillie 6, Szwarc 3, Onwuelo 3, Randazzo 6, Krick 4, Rondoni (L), Cavuto 9, Cavaccini (L), Sottile, Rossato, Rossi 1.
Padova: Shoji 4, Wlodarczyk 6, Vitelli 9, Stern 16, Bottolo 16, Volpato 2, Danani La Fuente (L), Casaro, Merlo.
MVP: Mattia Bottolo (Padova)

Callipo Vibo Valentia 0–3 Modena Volley (21-25, 26-28, 20-25)
Vibo: Saitta, Rossard 12, Chinenyeze 12, Aboubacar Neto 16, Defalco 2, Cester 2, Rizzo (L), Almeida Cardoso 3, Gargiulo 2, Dirlic.
Modena: Christenson 2, Karlitzek 19, Stankovic 5, Vettori 9, Petric 14, Mazzone 10, Grebennikov (L), Lavia, Estrada Mazorra 1, Bossi.
MVP: Moritz Karlitzek (Modena)

YouEnergy Piacenza 1-3 Sir Volley Perugia (22-25, 17-25, 25-19, 20-25)
Piacenza: Izzo 2, Clevenot 10, Polo 10, Grozer 13, Russell 13, Candellaro 8, Scanferla (L), Antonov, Botto.
Perugia: Travica 2, Leòn 19, Ricci 9, Ter Horst 11, Plotnytskyi 16, Solé 10, Colaci (L), Vernon-Evans, Zimmermann.
MVP: Wilfredo Leòn (Perugia)

Lube Civitanova 3–2 Porto Robur Costa Ravenna (23-25, 25-22, 25-14, 23-25, 15-9)
Civitanova: De Cecco 3, Kovar 3, Anzani 9, Rychlicki 18, Leal 18, Simon 13, Falaschi, Hadrava 1, Balaso (L), Juantorena 15, Yant Herrera 2.
Ravenna: Redwitz, Loeppky 5, Grozdanov 14, Pinali 22, Recine 11, Mengozzi 9, Koppers, Batak 1, Zonca 4, Kovacic (L), Arasomwan 1.
MVP: Osmany Juantorena (Civitanova)

Trentino Volley 0–3 Nuova Blu Volley Verona (26-28, 23-25, 21-25)
Trento: Giannelli, Lucarelli 9, Lisinac 3, Abdel-Aziz 21, Kooy 8, Podrascanin 9, Rossini (L), Argenta, Sperotto 1, Cortesia 1.
Verona: Spirito 1, Kaziyski 11, Aguenier 7, Boyer 12, Jaeschke 14, Zanotti 4, Peslac, Bonami (L), Kimerov.
MVP: Thomas Jaeschke (Verona)

STANDINGS
Milano, Perugia - 6
Civitanova - 5
Modena, Verona, Padova, Monza, Trento, Piacenza - 3
Ravenna - 1
Vibo, Cisterna - 0

STATISTICAL LEADERS – PLAYERS
Points (match day): Adis Lagumdzija (Monza), Giulio Pinali (Ravenna) - 22
Points (Superlega): Adis Lagumdzija (Monza) - 45
Points per set: Nimir Abdel-Aziz (Trento) – 7.17
Aces (match day): Osmany Juantorena (Civitanova) - 4
Aces (Superlega): Wilfredo Leòn (Perugia) – 11
Aces per set: Nimir Abdel-Aziz (Milano) – 1.67
Blocks (match day): Wilfredo Leòn, Sebastián Solé (Perugia) - 4
Blocks (Superlega): 6 players - 6
Blocks per set: Andrea Zanotti (Verona) - 1.33
Most times MVP: Wilfredo Leòn (Perugia) - 2

STATISTICAL LEADERS – TEAMS
Kill % (match day): Milano - 53 %
Kill % (Superlega): Civitanova - 53.9 %
Aces (match day): Civitanova - 15
Total aces: Civitanova - 20
Aces/set: Trento - 2.83
Blocks (match day): Ravenna - 15
Total blocks: Monza - 24
Blocks/set: Monza - 3.00

NEXT ROUND (October 7th, 8.30 pm CET):
Civitanova - Trento (RaiSport)
Perugia - Padova
Milano - Vibo
Ravenna - Modena (October 8th)
Verona - Monza
Cisterna - Piacenza
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First Contact - Chapter 301 (Hesstla)

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"If you fuck with the universe, it fucks back." - Pre-Diaspora Astrophysicist.
"I don't have to explain shit." - Universe-chan, Meme of 2nd Millennia Post-Diaspora
"If you mess with time, the universe brings in all the dicks. Dicks until the end of time." - Temporal Researcher, unknown era
"If God plays dice, they're loaded." - Alberto Einstein, Pre-Diaspora Physicist
"If you make the universe angry, it will crush you like a bug. The problem is, the Universe is always annoyed." - Unknown
"WHEEEE!" - Terran Descent Humanity
--------------------
There are always military theorists who will espouse their pet theories to anyone who will listen.
From those who said that tanks spelled the end of infantry to those who claimed drones spelled the end of tanks to those who stated that the nanoforge ended the need for logistics lines at all, everyone all has their pet theories.
Of course, they usually espouse them from the comfort of their lavish homes or from far back from the front lines where any soldier will tell you the one simple fact:
Kill the enemy, break his shit, and convince his population to end the fight.
Hesstla was a small planet, only 80% the size of Earth, originally populated by a small people only a meter and a half high compared to the Terran and Treana'ad and Rigellian two to three meters. They were covered in soft fur, they had little whiskers, they had long sensitive ears, and their legs had a hock joint.
The first few Terrans who met them said that they looked like someone taught a bunny to walk upright.
They were a peaceful people. When they had discovered the radio they had rapidly progressed to the Information Age and had been edging on the Atomic Age.
The Lanaktallan had arrived only two hundred years after the people of Hesstla had discovered the radio. The people of Hesstla had found out that their planet was claimed by a MegaCorp over a million years before the Hesstlan people had discovered fire.
To their credit, they tried to fight.
It took the Lanaktallan nearly twenty years to put down the last of the rebellion.
Four hundred years of debt peonage had followed. Crushing poverty, their resources exploited, their cities rebuilt for Lanaktallan comfort and aesthetics, their planet no longer alone.
Then had come the Precursor Autonomous War Machines.
They had come into the system, most of them damaged, fleeing a greater threat. They had destroyed the Lanaktallan military forces and seized the extraction and refining facilities. They had landed mechanical horrors to destroy those that lived on the modest little planet.
As the first machine landed the entire population of Hesstla had heard the roar.
HEAVY METAL INCOMING!
The foe that the Autonomous War Machines were fleeing was arriving.
The Hesstla, running and hiding, had frozen. A prey's response to the roar of a predator.
Then the predators had arrived.
HEAVY METAL IS HERE!
The Autonomous War Machines had screamed at the foe that was harrying them.
THERE IS ONLY ENOUGH FOR ONE!
The Hesstlan people had huddled down, scurrying to basements, storm shelters, underground parking garages, wherever they could take shelter surrounded by their own kind.
The predators screamed back.
THEN DIE ALONE!
In less than a week it was over. The AWM's that did not flee, pursued by the predators, were destroyed.
The Lanaktallan returned or left their own shelters, immediately demanding that the new people, the predators, leave the planet, that it was the Unified Neo-Sapient Council's property and property of the corporations.
The predators had said one simple line: "Make me."
The Lanaktallan had fled, promising dire retribution, telling the Hesstla people that the predators would destroy them.
Two years had passed. The damage was repaired. The Hesstlan people consulted about what they wished, and the Terrans had built several military bases and helped the Hesstlan people build orbital structures.
Then the newest ones had arrived.
Without warning.
But still with a scream that told the Hesstlan people where they stood.
YOU BELONG TO US!
The predators, those confusing chaotic primates, the Terran Descent Humans, and their allies, had raised up their voices as one to the newcomers.
EAT A DICK!
The fighting had been fierce. Atomic weapons had been used. Cities reduced to rubble. Farms burnt to the ground. The newcomers had swarmed Hesstla, a seemingly endless stream of enemies that had pushed the Hesstlan people to the brink.
The Terrans and their allies had pushed back.
Step by bloody step they pushed the newcomers, the Slorpies, back even as they destroyed them.
Four months of bitter fighting on the ground and, somehow, seventy-five years in orbit, the Terrans had thrown themselves at the enemy guns, had smashed their machines, had raised their voices in defiance.
EAT A DICK!
On the afternoon of the first month of the year, on the nineteenth day, at approximately 1750 Hours (Out of 28) Local Time, the last of the newcomers was finished off by a single shot from a pistol's accidental discharge.
The war...
...was over.
Not that the fighting was over. That raged on. The newcomers Autonomous War Machines kept fighting, even without supervision, attempting to open up a portal to bring in reinforcements. To harvest the living brains of the people of Hesstla in order to generate enough psychic energy to open a gate to allow more of the newcomer race, the Slorpies, to enter the battle and change the course of history.
The only problem was, for the first time in a hundred million years, the Slorpies were facing a race that did not crumble before psychic assaults. That replied to the cold logic of their psychic powers with feral screams of red hot rage.
In orbit, the fighting came to a slow stop. Even with the loss of the Black Fleet, the remaining Terran vessels managed to smash the enemy from the skies. On the ground, even with the loss of the Enraged Ones, the ground forces managed to rally, managed to deny the Slorpie machines landing zones, scattering their forces into packets and smidgens. To jawnconnor them into nothing more than smashed junk.
Not without a price.
There was valor and sacrifice. Too much to count.
From a Terran that gave his life to stop the Slorpie machines from getting into a shelter to the Telkan who stood defiant at the gate of a hospital base to the black Mantid fire team that had boarded a Slorpie command and control AWM to destroy the linked brains at the cost of their own lives.
There was tragedy too. Too much to count.
There always is in war.
But there is always hope. Perhaps small and flickering, but still hope.
-------------------
Elu watched as the door opened after the two-three-two knock. He had covered the shotgun with a cloth, making sure it was pushed back to where Nee couldn't reach it, when the knock had come. Still, it was close enough for him to grab if he needed to.
His sister, Dambree, came inside, quickly turning to close the door behind her and block out the snow and wind.
She was wearing heavy boots, thick coveralls, and a grav-skiiing mask to protect her face from the cold weather outside. She wore a thick leather belt with a heavy Terran pistol in a holster. In one hand she held winter tubers, in the other hand she had four fish on a lead. She moved into the kitchen, setting the fish in the sink and the tubers on the counter, then took off her thick gloves and stripped off her mask.
Elu saw the scar on his sister's head and winced. It had been a month since that thing had come in to attack them. It had somehow split his sister's skin open from right between her eyes, up over her head between her ears, and halfway down the back of her head. The scar was an angry upraised purple thing.
And a reminder of why they stayed in their little cabin.
"Gunka roots and fish for dinner tonight," Dambree said, taking the pistol out of the holster. "Lock," she ordered.
The telltales on the pistol switched from green to red.
"Can we have the roots fried?" Tru, Elu's sister, asked hopefully. "I like them best when they're fried."
"I know. That's up to you. It's your turn to cook dinner," Dambree said, taking off the belt. She moved back to the doorway. "It's snowing again. It's going to be a long winter."
The roar of jets went by overhead and off in the distance.
"Fried roots and baked fish," Tru said, standing up from the couch.
Mister Mewmew looked up from his little nest and made a plaintive complaining sound.
"Everyone's OK, Mister Mewmew," Dambree said, hanging up the mask, her gloves, and starting to strip off the coveralls.
Mister Mewmew laid back down in his nest, flashing a ":-)" on the display on his forehead.
Dambree went into the bedroom and changed out of her heavy outside clothing, putting on a dress and changing her shoes. She came back out and put her boots next to the door, the heavy leather belt acting as a belt or sash to her dress.
The pistol went back in the holster.
"How's Nee?" Dambree asked.
"Sleeping," Tru said, sharpening the knife and trying to decide whether she wanted to slice up the tubers first or clean and bone the fish.
"She's cranky," Elu said helpfully, moving over and sitting down on the couch. He reached over and petted Mister Mewmew, who began to rumble happily.
"I know. Growing does that to you," Dambree said. She opened the cold box and pulled out a fizzybrew, cracking it open and taking a long drink before sitting down. "Lake's almost completely covered with ice."
Elu felt a little despair. He missed his friends, missed school.
Missed his parents.
Mister Mewmew opened his eye, the other one always stayed closed, and rubbed his head against Elu's hand to ease the young Hesstlan's stress.
More jets roared by overhead.
"Where will we live when that stops?" Elu asked quietly. His sister Dambree didn't like to talk about the future, just saying none of it mattered till those noises stopped.
Dambree stared at the lip of the fizzybrew bottle for a long moment.
"I don't know," she sighed. She took another drink. "Part of me thinks I'll just stay right here, in this little cabin, for the rest of my life," she said softly. "People in charge will probably want us to leave, go to a camp or a foster home."
"I want to stay here, with you," Tru said, slicing open the belly of the first fish.
"I know," Dambree said. She gave another deep sigh and took a long pull off the bottle. "I want you to too."
Elu moved over and opened the curtain a tiny bit, staring outside. He could see the markings from the snowshoes his sister had worn on the snow but the tracks were starting to disappear as more snow came down to add more to the waist high snow.
At least it was white and not gray or black.
"Remember when we used to play in the snow," Elu said quietly.
"We'd make snowmen and throw snowballs," Tru said, smiling. "We'd go to Aunt Fenn's house and have a snowball fight with Ultrek and Ellaf and..."
Tru's smile vanished and she sniffled. "I miss Aunt Fenn."
"I know," Dambree said. "I do too."
"I wish we could go back to how it was before the gross things came," Tru said softly, staring at the fish as she sliced away the flesh.
"I know, but we can't. Babies wish," Dambree said. She got up, drinking down the last of the fizzybrew. She dropped the empty in the garbage and grabbed another. She sat back down. "Babies wish, we're not babies any more."
Mister Mewmew jumped down off the couch, staggering slightly, then limped over to Dambree, putting his front paws on her leg and meowing. Dambree lifted him up and set him in her lap, petting him with long strokes.
Mister Mewmew didn't walk or jump so well since the Slorpie had come in the house.
She could still remember it. The horror of not being able to move, her brother and sister crying out in pain and confusion. The way the Slorpie had lifted her up, had started to peel open her head, had touched her brain somehow with a long and disgusting tongue.
Dambree closed her eyes tightly and shuddered, then took a long drink off of her fizzybrew.
At least her headaches had slowly eased up.
She sat in the chair, feeling tired, closing her eyes. She sipped at her fizzybrew without opening her eyes, even when she heard Tru start to fry the fish and tubers. She wasn't as tired as she had been, but she still got tired easily and the effort to catch fish wasn't as easy as it had been.
Her eyes opened when she heard it. The sound of aircraft outside. It wasn't flying by but instead was getting louder, changing sounds.
Mister Mewmew looked up as Dambree stood up, setting Mister Mewmew on the ground as she looked at her siblings.
"In the basement, now," Dambree said. While her little brother and sister grabbed their emergency bags and hurried into the basement Dambree put a lid of the pan of frying fish and sliced tuber rounds and moved them off of the heat.
The roar changed pitch, getting softer, but not because it was moving away.
Nee bit her when Dambree grabbed her but Dambree ignored the pain, cradling the toddler as she hurried to the kitchen. Dambree picked up the shotgun and hustled after her brother and sister, closing the basement hatch behind her. She had tacked the carpet to it so it would hide the basement access so now all she could do was hope.
Mister Mewmew was held tightly by Tru as they sat quietly in the basement.
Dambree aimed the shotgun at the opening, moving her finger to take the shotgun from safety mode to killing mode. The button went from red to green, colored plastic instead of lights.
The door opened upstairs and Dambree heard Elu suck in his breath.
"Shh," Dambree said.
There was footsteps upstairs. Strange sounding footsteps.
"Someone's in the cabin," Tru whined.
"I know, shh," Dambree said.
There was the noise of a chair scraping on wood.
Dambree moved her finger from beside the trigger to the trigger, putting light pressure on it, pulling it tighter into her shoulder.
"There's a lot of them," Tru said helpfully.
"I know, shh," Dambree said. She could hear that both bedrooms were being searched as well as the front room and the kitchen. She heard the back door open, the little chime she'd rigged up ringing on the door and in the basement.
The footsteps stopped. Complete silence upstairs.
"I'm scared," Elu said, his voice tight.
"I know," Dambree said. She licked her dry lips and wished she could take a drink off her fizzybrew.
The hatch started to lift, hit the chain lock, and stopped.
Dambree's scar ached.
A black segmented and insect looking hand reached in, grabbed the chain, and yanked.
The chain popped free.
Dambree pulled the trigger.
The shotgun roared, blowing off part of the hatch.
"YOU WON'T HURT THEM!" Dambree screamed, ignoring the pain in her shoulder and neck as she pumped the action on the shotgun and stood up. She fired again, into the ceiling, blowing a hole as big as her fist in the wooden floor. She cocked it again, moving up to the base of the stairs.
"HOLY JESUS FUCKBALL SHITTING CHRIST!" someone yelled when she blew a hole in the floor on the other side of the hatch.
"FOR FUCK'S SAKE, STOP FUCKING SHOOTING!" another voice yelled.
Fuck? Dambree paused.
"Terran Army! Hold your fire," another voice said, much more calm.
"Terrans?" Dambree asked, still looking down the barrel at the top of the stairs.
"First Cavalry Division. One of our search and rescue flights saw the smoke from your cabin," the voice said. "How many of you are there?"
"Stop biting me," Tru told Nee.
"Four of us and Mister Mewmew," Dambree said. "I'm coming up. Anything funny and I'll blow you in half."
"I'll bet you will, kid," the voice said.
Dambree slowly walked up the stairs, her finger on the trigger. Six more shells, counting the one in the chamber. Extras are in the kitchen drawer and on a belt hanging next to the back door.
At the top she looked around.
Six large figures in black armor were in the room, three of them aiming heavy black rifles at her.
"You're Terrans?"
One of them tapped the side of his helmet and his black faceplate turned clear.
Dambree sagged slightly, lowering the shotgun. "You are."
"So you're the masked killer of Sparkling Lake?" the man asked.
Dambree nodded as she slowly walked over to the table, setting the shotgun down. She sat down and picked up her fizzybrew and took a drink.
"Yeah," she said. The exhaustion filled her again and she took another drink.
The Terrans looked at each other and the one she could see the face of, that she assumed was a male, looked at her. "We're here to save you."
She took another drink.
"I know," she said, getting up. She moved the pan back to the heat.
The human shuffled for a second. "Do you need assistance?"
Dambree took another drink as she slowly turned and looked at them, looked at the shotgun, then at the Terrans again.
A flight of jets went by overhead.
Dambree jerked her thumb up at the now receding jets. "As long as I hear that, we're staying here."
The human nodded slowly. "Is there anything you need? A doctor to look at that scar?"
Dambree shook her head, backing up to lean against the counter. "Mister Mewmew fixed it up."
"Food? Water? Anything?" the Terran asked.
Dambree shook her head. "No."
"Are you parents still alive?" the Terran asked.
Dambree shook her head. "No. They got shlorped."
"Any relatives alive?" he asked.
She shook her head again. "Probably not."
"I'm supposed to take any unaccompanied children to a refugee center," the Terran said carefully. Dambree wondered why his eyes seemed to glow a cold amber.
"You will try," Dambree said. She could hear the faint roar of approaching aircraft again. "I will not allow anyone to take away my siblings until," the jets roared overhead and receded. "Until I do not hear that any longer."
There was silence for a moment before the human nodded. "We'll drop you a survival pack."
The humans turned and started to leave. The one with the transparent visor waited until they were gone.
"The Terran who that pistol belonged to?" he asked.
"Slorpies got him. Sucked out his brain. He killed the Slorpie from inside of it. He gave me the pistol, told me to save the last four shots for my siblings and myself."
The Terran nodded. After a moment two Terrans came in carrying backpacks. They dropped them on the floor and left.
They hadn't turned their visors clear.
"Good luck, kid," the Terran said, his visor going opaque. "You might be here a long time."
Dambree took a long drink off of her fizzybrew as the Terran left, closing the door behind him.
"I know," she said to the empty cabin.
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UPDATE 2 - Advice about NICU Baby and Grandparents

Update:
So I just got my first extended family flying monkey. My uncle (dad's side) just sent me a valedictorian video about "having no regrets and reaching out to family members you have disrespected". So I sent this back to him:
" I appreciate the point you're trying to make but I have no regrets. They forced my hand when they told me that they will never respect our wishes in regards to [daughter] if they disagree. They also made it clear that they will always hold someone elses opinion on a situation they are only getting third-hand knowledge of in higher regard than mine. And instead of listening to me over months of trying to work with them, they would rather blame it on [SO], when he has been the one for years advocating for me to strengthen my relationship with them. I wanted to cut them off years ago after they kept trying to interfere in my life and move me back into their basement once I finished school.
Plus I don't believe they're actually this excited over the fact I had [daughter], when they screamed at me when I told them I was pregnant and told me I fucked up my life and it would be better if I didn't have her. So keep in mind that the way they talk and interact with you is very different than how they talk and interact with me.
I'm betting my dad hasn't told you that he needed to take medication so he would stop trying to physically attack me any time I disagreed with him. That's also the reason the bathroom door on the main floor got repainted - he had to patch the door after he "missed" punching me in the face and put a hole through the door instead. This decision has been a long time coming, and this was the final straw. I'm not going to put my daughters life in danger to appease them, and I'm not going to let her see them treat me like this and grow up thinking its normal or acceptable. "
~~~back to post~~~
It's been almost 3 weeks since the previous post, so I figured I should post an update, and a thank you.
Thank you to everyone who commented on the previous post. Every couple of days I go back to that post to re-read the comments, and it re-inforces that I made the right decision. Thank you also to madpiratebippy because your comment specifically really hit home to me (I mean really, who wouldn't resonate with HP), and you are 100% correct. That was one of the hardest things I've had to do, which is saying a lot considering everything that has happened in the last 5 months since she was born. Not only did I have to finally stand up for myself and my daughter, but I had to come face to face with the fact that the parents I believed I had didn't exist - it was an illusion of what I always hoped they could or would be, not who they really were.
In the last few weeks, I have still felt immense guilt over that decision, which is quickly followed with rage because I know they were the ones who forced my hand. I am also coming to terms with the fact that this probably won't be a temporary NC. When they reach out again, and if they do attempt to apologize or try to reconcile, I truly don't think that anything will change. They will never acknowledge me as an adult having my own thoughts and opinions. They will never put in more than the bare minimum with my daughter, trying to buy her affections and giving her shiny toys to keep her busy instead of actual interaction. They will also never stop directing their anger and other emotions about this situation at me, because they are unable to manage them themselves. The fact that they outright told me they would never respect our wishes in regards to our daughter already made my decision for me. My SO has also expressed guilt over the relationship with my parents as well. I had discussed cutting them off a few years ago due to their behaviour, but at that point in time, he thought that we just weren't getting through to them well enough, and that they were just extra anxious about me moving away, etc. He felt that if we could just reassure them properly that they would still be included, they would be more "normal". Now he feels responsible for pushing me to be nice to them and to keep in contact with them which ended up extending the damage it has caused.
So for the main part of the update - I really don't have much to update! It has now been almost 3 weeks since we have heard from them, and have had no further attempts at flying monkeys. I also have had a major increase in my milk production - YAY. The day I had the blowup with my parents, i hit a low of 370ml for the whole day. My highest since then has now been 605ml with an average of 580ml. My daughter is doing fantastic, and at 7 weeks adjusted, she is already learning how to crawl and stand (all from her own insistence, not ours). And my daily stress has hit an all-time low. I can truly focus on my own little family without having to worry about everything in regards to them - when will they try to show up unnannounced, how to reschedule my day if they do show up since I will make them uncomfortable if I have to pump with them here, they will make trying to feed her extra painful since they'll distract her, will they drop more things on our doorstep which will increase my workload and clutter, etc.
Also, in taking the advice from one of the comments on the last post, I wrote out a large post on FB for all my family members and close family friends to alert them to the situation. I know relatives on both sides of the family have seen it, and while I haven't received outright "support" for it, I still have relatives in contact with me, and they have made references to the message. I didn't expect any boundary lines drawn in the sand, and I'm okay with that. I understand that my parents will be having a difficult time as well (in their minds) and will also feel the need for support, so I would rather they have their family there for it as well. I'm just glad that in the process I didn't lose all of mine. Here is the message I sent to all the family and family friends:
"To all the family and family friends that I have on here,
I am sure it has begun to be spread around that my parents and I are no longer on speaking terms. When you are told about what happened, please remember that there are two sides to every story. While this situation should have stayed between my parents and I, I already know other people have been involved, so to at least try to defend the slander against us, here is our side.
While I love my parents very much, their behaviour recently has been unacceptable, and it absolutely breaks my and [SO's] heart that it had to come to this. As per the recommendations from both our pediatrician and other NICU parents of micro-preemies, we have been advised to quarantine and isolate for the next year. These are fairly common recommendations for micro-preemies even in non-COVID times, but especially during a pandemic. This is due to the fact that not only are her organs still underdeveloped compared to babies that were born at full term, but she has essentially no immune system. Being born at 26 weeks and 1 day, she missed the entire third trimester where the mothers immunity is passed to the child. While I am still providing her breastmilk, the immunity she would get from that would be roughly 1%, which would be essentially useless against any disease or pandemic.
In the case that [daughter] gets a cold or something more severe, the best case scenario is that she would be re-hospitalized, and the worst case is she dies. It Is already a miracle that she is alive and thriving, and neither of us could mentally or emotionally handle it if she has to be re-hospitalized over something preventable. As soon as [daughter] came home, we repeatedly tried to work with them so that they could still see her, while keeping her safe. When we set up chairs inside our entry-way and asked that they not come in further so as not to track germs in, they proceeded to run through our apartment to the bathroom, disregarding what we say. The next visit, after [SO] finished changing [daughter's] diaper and went to wash his hands, my mother jumped out of her chair to run over and start touching [daughter] and standing over her. She did this with no mask, without washing her hands and against our wishes of not coming further into our apartment for [daughter's] safety. The next visit, they ran to the bathroom again and on the way back kissed [daughter] on the top of the head while she was on me in a baby wrap, again with no mask. We have been told that our concessions are not good enough and that they need to be able to touch and hold her and we are purposely excluding them from our lives.
At every turn where we try to give them an inch to feel involved, they disregard our wishes to take a mile and put us and our daughter in harms' way. My mother is unable to quarantine or isolate as she works in a hospital, which makes her a high risk person to be around in regards to getting a virus. While my father is currently not working, he works as a bus driver of children, which are also high risk virus carriers. Even if they were able to quarantine, they seem to have no desire to. As soon as the businesses opened here, they rushed to go shop at the stores, go for supper in restaurants and even come to [our bigger city] for a shopping day through Costco and the [large mall].
Setting aside the germ aspect, we also have her brain bleed and blood clot to address. We have told them that we are being extremely careful of her head. Our and our doctor's hope is that as she grows and her brain develops more, it will reabsorb the blood and the clot. In the case that the clot doesn't reabsorb, and it moves, it can block of the flow of CSF causing her brain to swell. To fix this, it will require a shunt to be installed, which means brain surgery. As she grows, the shunt will need to be replaced and re-fitted to fit her growing body, which will require more brain surgeries. We are aware that this is a very real possibility and are doing everything we can to ensure that that clot does not move by protecting her head. Even if these measures only temporarily work, it will give her body and brain more time to develop before it has to be subjected to brain surgery, and may mean she requires one less surgery than if we weren't this careful.
Due to how careful we are being, we do not feel like it would be safe for my parents to interact with her yet. They do not know her movements or mannerisms, have slow reaction time and have difficulty getting up from sitting on our couches. While this is harsh, they are still things we have to factor in because one bump at this point could mean catastrophic consequences. They are angry that we won't be visiting their house anytime soon, but they have dogs that they cannot control who with certainty will try to jump at us and our daughter. They also cannot seem to comprehend the concept of a micro-preemie or preemie. They consider me, born at 38 weeks, a preemie comparable to what she is, being born at 26 weeks, and that now that she has passed her original due date, she is no longer a preemie and a normal baby.
When we try to explain our reasons for decisions, we have been met with yelling, criticism and demeaning comments. I have been called a terrible mother for struggling with the NICU experience. When I told them that I feel like I have PTSD from the NICU experience, they told me I was exaggerating and making a big deal over nothing. I have been told that I am overblowing the germ aspect and that I'm using it as an excuse to punish them since when they showed up unannounced at our apartment, I had a plate of food left out (that I had been eating when they showed up, but that didn't seem to matter). They have yelled at us about our medical choices for [daughter] numerous times. This time they went so far as saying that I am not safe around [SO], who has never raised his voice at me, meanwhile my dad punched a hole in a door beside my head. They have told me that I am being a cruel daughter because I seem to have no sympathy for what THEY are going through. They seem to have no comprehension that we are going through the hardest moment in our lives and trying to muddle our way through, and they are actively making it worse and pushing us both into a breakdown. We have had to waste so much time having to think about them and their needs, when we should be spending that time focusing on our daughter instead.
Every step of this process to include them has been met with resistance or more demands. Their responses to simple requests do not inspire confidence in them or allow us to trust them in any regard with our daughter or our wishes. At every turn they have blatantly made it clear that they are not looking out for her well-being and instead are looking out for their own interests, which is not acceptable. Their wants and desires are not more important than my daughters' life.
While yes, we could have handled this blow up better, so could they. It never would have gotten to this point if they had respected our wishes at one of the many opportunities and chances they have been given. While I understand that I may lose many family members and family friends, I am willing to take that trade if it means that my daughter is safe and alive. If there is any family left that will still want to associate with us, we would love to have [daughter] grow up getting to know some of her family, even if my parents may not be included in that."
/ Mic Drop haha
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