Craps Strategy: Tips for Betting at the Craps Tables
Craps Bets - A Guide to Craps Betting Options
Craps Betting and Etiquette | HowStuffWorks
Craps Odds And Craps Bets In-Depth Guide | Rules and Tips
ELI5: in Craps, why isn't the Don't Pass bet (no odds) considered perfect even odds?
The way I understand it, you win on a 2 or 3; lose on a 7 or 11; push on a 12; go to point phase for 4-6 8-10. So that means you can win on 2 numbers, lose on 2, push on 1, and go to 50:50 odds with the others. Seems like the house doesn't have an advantage. (As opposed to the Pass, where you lose on 3 and win on 2 in the come out.)
Your 2020 Season Survival Guide and R/Baseball Refresher!
Before we dive in, if you want to participate in the annual Call Your Shot season predictions contest, you can find it here. It's FINALLY coming! Welcome to the 2020 MLB Season! We are so glad you are here. Don't let the length of this post scare you, we just wanted to consolidate all the relevant information that people have questions about into one place to start the season off. This is your survival guide for the 2020 season, it should have all the pertinent information to answer most of your questions! If you are a brand new fan I'd recommend going through most of it, if you're a veteran you'll know which sections you'll want to read by their headings. My goal here is that both new and returning fans can learn how to better enjoy the season and know what's going on on Baseball this year. Okay, take some time and read through what you want to read through below! This is the fourth year of doing this. Every year I go through the previous years comments to find things that should be added or corrected for the next edition, so if you have any great resources or information that you think would be beneficial to add, please comment it below! Sections:
Introduction for new and renewed interest fans.
Rule changes for 2020
Finding a Team
Knowing Where Different Teams Stand
Your Team's Sub
Twitter, Podcasts, and Other General News/Analysis Sources
The Statistical Titans: Baseball Reference and Fangraphs
Where to watch? Your TV and Streaming Guide
MLB At Bat App
How to watch baseball.
Where to watch highlights and game recaps.
TL;DR: Find a way to enjoy the game.
Introduction for new and renewed interest fans.
Baseball normally has a long season. I don't just mean that in terms of time between opening day and the World Series (which can be considered long as it is), but also the 162 games played in 183 days, 18-20 times against the same 4 teams each. It can be daunting, and many people lose interest by "the dog days" of June and July. This year things are going to be a little different. With only 60 games on the schedule (assuming we make it through without a major clubhouse covid outbreak that cancels games versus that team) every game is going to matter about 3x as much as one in a normal regular season. Tensions will be high, but we might not feel it because there won't be that much crowd noise. THAT SAID - they're still playing 60 games in 66 days, which means almost every day for the next two months isn't just packed with baseball, they're packed with YOUR FAVORITE TEAMS baseball, which while exciting after months without any American sports in the regular season (MLS - a tournament is not the regular season) can end up feeling overwhelming when you just finished watching a late game go into extras then wake up to realize there's an afternoon game on in six hours. This guide is meant to help you if you wish to avoid being one of those who feels overwhelmed and loses interest a couple weeks after Opening Day. First and foremost if you are a new fan or newly returning, you must remember one thing: you do not need to watch every game. Many football fans, and even some basketball and hockey fans, find this difficult, they're used to setting aside a few nights a week to watch their team, and they can watch all the games. Baseball isn't like that. For the next two months, your team will only have 6 days where they won't be playing a game. And some of the games they play will start as early as 9:20am (Pacific Time), others will end after 1am (Eastern Time). If you miss a game it's okay, odds are there's another one tomorrow. If you miss a week, no big deal, hell if you get busy for a few months and aren't able to watch you team, that's not an issue, because you can still follow your team. Baseball is a game to be followed. In the old days it meant picking up the morning paper and checking the box scores. Now it means being able to have a final score texted/tweeted/messaged/emailed/what-evered to you the minute the game ends, or rolling over in bed when you can't sleep and grabbing your phone to check the West Coast scores. It means being able to check reddit in the morning to see any breaking news from across the league, or catch a story you missed. We live in a time where you can go to MLB.com and get a recap of every game from last night in less than 10 minutes. Honestly, baseball was made to be consumed, and the technology age makes it easier than ever, whether you want to spend hours every day pouring over stats and analysis, or 15 seconds to see how your team and their playoff rivals did today. The rest of this guide is mostly dedicated to ways that you can help yourself follow your team, and if you have time follow the entirety of MLB. Anyways, enough rambling, TL;DR Don't worry if you miss games, there'll be one tomorrow.
Rule Changes for 2020
For this season only (or so they say...):
The NL will utilize the DH full time.
In extra innings the person in the batting order immediately before the lead off hitter will start on second base.
Games suspended due to rain will continue play at a later date rather than be washed out and restarted.
Arguing within six feet of an umpire or participating in a fight will be met with heftier fines and suspensions this yaer.
Pitchers will be allowed a wet rag to be brought out from the dugout in lieu of being able to lick their fingers for better grip.
Each team has a 20 extra players in their "taxi squad" in addition to their active roster and 40-man roster.
Active rosters will start at 30 players, then will be cut to 28 after two weeks, then 26 after four weeks.
Spitting is not allowed.
Non-social distanced celebrations are not allowed.
Permanent (as any rule change can be in baseball) rule changes for 2020 and beyond:
Three batter minimum - pitcher entering the game must face a minimum of three batters unless they complete an inning.
The MLB Active Roster is expanded from 25 players to 26 players.
Finding a Team
I always recommend following the local team since you'll have more access to news about them in the local media and should be able to get their radio broadcast, as well as TV broadcasts of them if you have cable/satellite/streaming, and depending on where you're at the occasional over the air game, but if you don't live by a team or don't want to follow the local team, or are just looking for a second team to follow, I wrote this in depth guide to picking a team that's the right fit for you.
Knowing Where Different Teams Stand
Every year ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX, NBS, and every other sports related site puts out their season previews. These are great for getting a basic rundown of what is going on with each team, and a simple google search will bring up a plethora of possible articles to read. If what you really want is a fans perspective on what each team's expectations condensed into a few short comments, I'd highly recommend going through each teams day from our annual "Why will X team exceed expectations?" series. All the previous posts are linked in the Astros thread.
Alright, so plugging baseball on baseball seems a bit redundant, but I think it's a good reminder that this is a great hub for all your MLB news throughout the season while still letting you see the occasional amazing college/minor league/foreign league performance. During the season there are a number of features to keep you informed of all the goings on around baseball. Every day of the season (and a portion of the offseason) we have General Discussion threads we call Around the Horn. These are great places to ask questions and discuss anything that you want to know about baseball but don't feel like it deserves it's own post. In the Around the Horn post you'll be able to see a full schedule of what is going on around Baseball every week. Here are the weekly features: Daily: Nightly Pick'Em - A six year running contest to pick the result of one game every day. Details can be found in this thread. Monday: Power Rankings - A team of 30 fans from every team in baseball, led by masochist fearless leader kasutori_jack, releases their composite power rankings of the 30 teams. This leads to well thought out discussions and some in depth analysis, as well as salty fans crying about how their team is underrated (there may be more of the latter than the former, but it's still a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of how every team is doing). Monday (Unofficial) - The last few years thekmanpwnudwn has posted a State of the Subreddits post that gives the top post from each team's subreddit from the last week. This is a great roundup post for staying up to date on what all the different team fandoms are feeling, and helps you catch any milestones you might have otherwise missed. Tuesday: Weekly Awards - Led by lemcoe9 a different team of a fan from every team releases the results of their weekly (and monthly) voting for who the best position player and pitcher was since the last vote was taken. Once again, a great way to keep track of which players are on hot streaks, and who's dominating the league. Wednesday: Wild Card Wednesday - Each week a new contest, trivia game, or just out of the box fun thread will be stickied! Got an idea? Let the mods know! Thursdays: Division Discussions - We rotate between the Easts, Centrals, and Wests to do some more in depth talk about where the playoff races and teams stand. If you only have time for one baseball thread every week and want to keep up with the league, this is the thread to set aside time for. Friday: Trash Talk/Compliment/Complaint - FRIDAYS ARE FUN DAYS, WE ROTATE BETWEEN TRASH TALK, COMPLIMENT, TRASH TALK, AND COMPLAIN THREADS! TRADITION STATES ALL COMMENTS BE IN ALL CAPS AND ENDING IN EXCLAMATION POINTS! WE ROTATE RATHER THAN HAVE A SET DAY FOR EACH ALL SEASON BECAUSE IT'S A LONG SEASON AND ANY ONE OF THE THREE THREADS CAN GET STALE FAST IF YOU DON'T LEAVE TIME FOR MORE AMMUNITION! Saturday: Saturday is when we usually plug in occasional things that don't necessarily deserve weekly attention. Things like in depth stat discussions, memorobilia sharing, craft projects, etc. Sunday: Game of the Week - Sunday is the one day a week where we get together as a subreddit to watch a baseball game together, since it's the one time every week where there's only one game going on and there's guaranteed to be a game. The Sunday Night Baseball game thread is usually posted a couple hours before the first pitch. In addition the playoffs, and select premier match-ups (mostly at the very end of the season where there is a lot riding on a regular season game) we host game threads for all baseball users. These are neutral thread, for more info on less neutral ones skip to the next section. We may experiment with game threads in baseball for the MLB.tv Free Game of the Day this year. In addition to all these features, it really is a great place to keep up with breaking news and highlights. It'll be posted here minutes after someone tweets it, and long before it's on MLB.com. Team beat writers get the stories first, and it's easier to check in here a couple times a day than follow every one of them. Plus there's something the kids are calling "dank memes" (but not too many, because us mods don't allow too much moisture to get into the servers).
Your Team's Subreddit (And other team subs as well)
The mods at baseball have one goal - help you have the best possible reddit baseball experience, and a LOT of that is helping you get connected to other fans of your team (which feels a little like a cop-out because it means less work for us if you're doing more on your team's sub, but your team's mods aren't complaining.) One of the main draws of team subs (other than in depth discussion with like-fan-minded users, getting breaking news and analysis on your team, team-memes, and other reddit discussions that come up from a group of individuals who can agree on one thing) are game threads. At this time (to the best of my knowledge) every team sub hosts game threads for their team's games, and you can easily access them in the sidebar during the season by clicking on the team's logo in the schedule (we're working on getting that up to speed, MLB changed some parts of their RSS and background data and we've had to work around that to get our automated system back up). We like to keep the game threads in team subs for a few reasons, one of which is we want to support the team subs and send them relevant traffic when we can because they really do an amazing job, another is because with 15 games a day this place would look like crap if we had game threads for every game or let users post them as they please (we've tried it, it blots out news, discussion, and highlights and looks like crap, baseball doesn't have only a couple days set aside for games or focus on marquee match ups like many other sports, it's 2430 games played in 183 days and is better when it's spread out.) Even if you're not a game thread person though, getting connected with a good team sub can make disappointing seasons more bearable, and great seasons more exciting, and I know plenty of users that said that their team's sub basically keeps them fans. Team subs are also a great place to get connected to...
Twitter, Podcasts, and other General News/Analysis Sources
Going to be honest here, I don't use twitter and I do not frequently read other people's blogs. I know many people do and enjoy it, and I believe the best way to find the people to follow/sites to visit that interest you the most are to hang around your team's sub and note which Tweets/Sites that are linked to that most often peak your interest. Your list of favorite baseball writers is going to be different than my favorite list, and finding the right twitter personalities, podcasts hosts, and bloggers can make game analysis more interesting for you even if your team is playing like crap and it's the middle of July. Here are some common suggestions for some general baseball twitter accounts and podcasts to get you started, but like I said, find what you like and follow those: Twitter
The Statistical Titans: Baseball Reference and Fangraphs
Literally every day you will find a link or to BaseballReference.com or Fangraphs.com here, it's a given, and it's because these are the two most extensive free baseball databases that are easy to navigate. If you want to look up anything about baseball history, check Baseball Reference, if you want to look up how players stack up with non-proprietary advanced metrics or read an insightful blog post about why someone is overrated/underrated or overperforming/underperforming, check Fangraphs. With these two sites you have all the stats and figures you need to make a competent argument for basically anything you want with a little cherry picking. A large part of the modern baseball world is statistics and you're going to find yourself getting more immersed in discussing the game if you can get a handle on all the terms getting thrown around. If you are brand new to baseball, take a little while to get to know the game before diving into these sites, but if you have a handle on the basics and are ready to know what this WAR everyone is talking about is, dive into the glossaries and find the statistics. When you get the basics, creating your own analysis doesn't seem as daunting, and one of the reasons I love baseball is that I can deconstruct pretty much every play and find some meaning behind it. If you are like that and enjoy numbers, theoretical projections, and breaking things down into simple figures before reconstructing them into something long and beautiful, then learning the basics of sabrmetrics will make you a baseball fan for life. If, on the other hand, you just want to enjoy the game for the beautiful pastime that it is by watching, then we've got a little bit to go through...
Where to Watch? - Your TV and Streaming Guide
So a big part of baseball is, you know, actually being able to watch the games (though as I talk about at the end, it might not necessarily be the case for you, and that doesn't mean you can't enjoy baseball, skip down and see what I'm talking about in the final section). First off, if you are looking for free games to watch, you are in luck! MLB.tv streams one game a day for free on MLB.com and Yahoo.com. These games are subject to local blackouts (details on those in the MLB.tv section) but are definitely worth watching if you're trying to see if you'll enjoy baseball, or just need a free baseball fix. Facebook is also streaming one game a week during the season for free. The other free games available are from May 18 to July 13 on Saturday night and Thursday nights in September when FOX airs games on their OTA affiliated networks. Believe it or not, TV antennas still work in most areas, and these games are free to watch. Some teams also broadcast select games on OTA networks in their region. Okay, so now the more expensive stuff. If you have even the most basic cable package (or log in information) you probably have ESPN. ESPN airs games every Sunday Night as well as Wednesday Night and Opening Weekend. These games are also available on ESPN Go. You also probably have a regional sports channel. This is where almost all of your local teams games will be aired. Here is a decent breakdown of every team and what network they are carried on. TBS is also on even the most basic networks, they air games the final 13 Sundays of the regular season in the afternoon. FS1 and FOX carry baseball games almost every Saturday of the season, and MLB Network carries games pretty much every day. A list of currently scheduled national broadcasts is available here, not all games have been chosen so there will be more added to the list. For all these networks (except for the Dodgers, Orioles, and Nationals regional networks) there are options to stream the games online provided you have cable login information for the channel. During the playoffs FS1, TBS, and MLB Network will carry most of the games, with ESPN carrying a wild card game and FOX carrying the World Series. Now there are also streaming services that grant access to most of the previously mentioned channels:
Sling TV Orange package gets you ESPN, ESPN 2, and TBS.
Sling TV Blue package gets you FOX, FS1, FS2, TBS, and most regional sports networks.
Youtube TV gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, TBS, MLB Network, and some regional sports networks.
HULU Live gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, FS2, TBS, and your regional sports networks.
Playstation Vue Access gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, FS2, and TBS.
Playstation Vue Core adds MLB Network to the Access channels.
Playstation Vue Sports Extra adds regional sports networks in addition to your other channels.
AT&T TV Now Live a Little gets you FOX, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1, and TBS and your regional sports networks.
AT&T TV Now Just Right adds MLB Network to the Live a Little channels.
AT&T TV Now Go Big adds FS2 to the Just Right channels.
FUBO Premier gets you FOX, FS1, and your regional sports networks
Also, ESPN+ will carry select games pretty much daily throughout the season.
MLB.TV - the Ultimate Fan Investment
Alright, so a few things to cover with this, first of all YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO LEGALLY STREAM IN MARKET GAMES IF YOU LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES. MLB.tv uses your IP address to see where you are located, and if it pings back that you are in a team's home market it will not let you watch the game LIVE. Here is where you can find what games MLB.tv will black you out from. National broadcasts on ESPN, FOX, and TBS are also subject to blackouts within the United States (MLB Network games are not). Before you ask, yes there are less than legal ways to get around this (spoofing your IP address, subreddit dedicated to mlb streams, etc.), but I won't be talking about those in detail here. IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, YOU WILL HAVE NO BLACKOUTS. Even if you are blacked out, you will be able to watch the game 90 minutes after it finishes, so if you work a late shift or stay up late it might be worth it for you anyways even if you only want to follow one team. Military members and college students, don't forget to apply your 35% discount! "But I don't want to watch EVERY out of market game, I just want to watch MY team!" Cool, for $25 less there's a single team option that will allow you to watch all your team's non-blacked out games! Personally, I'd pay the extra $25 for the opportunity to watch every Kershaw, Bumgarner, and Scherzer start, or put the Cubs on in the background while working on a Friday afternoon, but to each their own. "But I don't want to commit for a full year!" That's okay, there's a monthly option as well in case you know there are months where you can't watch as much. Some of the fun features of MLB.tv include the ability to watch four games at once and quickly swap your audio from one to another (seriously, I'm never on commercial break when I'm watching baseball, unless there's only one game on I'm able to watch it all, and in September that's huge) and condensed games. What are condensed games? They go through and cut out all the time between pitches and innings, meaning if you want to watch a whole game in less than a half hour (or are searching desperately for a play to make a .gif or streamable out of that for some reason isn't considered a highlight) it's really easy. If you're someone who really wants to get into the game but can't figure out how to grind through watching a full game, Condensed Games are great for keeping up with a team while you learn the little details between pitches that somehow make watching the catcher twiddle his fingers exciting for some fans. Also, new this year, MLB has added some great baseball documentaries to your MLB.tv subscription, giving you access to more than just games for the first time. In addition, there are two great resources to enhance your total immersion into baseball if there are multiple games going on. Please note for both of these you must already be logged into MLB.tv to make them work. The first, and most basic, is Brooks Baseball's MLB.TV Redzone. It will automatically take you to the highest leverage game going on, and will automatically shift you to another game between innings OR if another game enters a higher leverage situation. For a more personalized touch, The Baseball Guage has MLB.TV Game Changer which lets you customize your preferences so MLB.tv will always switch to the game that is most relevant to you. This is great if you play fantasy and want to keep up with your players, are waiting for someone to hit a milestone, or if you want to make sure your action is broken into to follow a no-hitter in progress. It also gives you a free subscription to...
MLB AtBat - The Most Underrated Way to Stay Connected to Baseball
MLB AtBat is MLB's official application. It comes in two versions, the free version which has ads but is useful for keeping up to date with all the scores, and the paid version ($19.99 for the year of $2.99 monthly) which gives you access to ad-free content, Gameday on your mobile device, and (most valuable) access to every team's radio stream for every game during the season and postseason completely blackout free. If there's a day game, you can bet I'm listening to it at work, if I'm mowing the lawn on a Saturday I'm listening to a game, when I can't sleep at night, on comes a West Coast game. To get the paid version you must download the free version, then subscribe within the app, or log into an MLB account that has MLB.tv. Baseball was made to be on the radio, it's a sport that is very easy to follow the action with the right announcer. At work (or school) it's great because you can half listen, and when the announcer gets excited you can instantly tune back in to hear what's going on. This is the most underrated way to stay connected to your team throughout the year. Before I could afford MLB.tv, this was the way to go, and it honestly makes me question every year whether getting the MLB.tv package is worth is when I can get 80% of the entertainment value from listening to the games (and every year I manage to forget to unsubscribe, for many reasons listed above). Gameday on mobile is also a great feature, it lets you quickly check in on the action during brief recesses in meetings (or under the table during meetings), or breaks between classes (or under a desk in classes). This is honestly my primary means of keeping track of Twins games throughout the year. My wife thinks I'm crazy when I could just watch the game, but instead am nervously checking my phone every couple minutes. IF I WATCH I JINX THE TEAM, HONEY!
How to watch baseball?
So this is a question that we get from many new fans who are just trying to figure out what the hell is going on and why people find this game so fascinating. I'll get the elephant in the room out of the way, yes there are some "boring" parts of watching baseball on TV. The camera fans to a batter spitting and adjusting his gloves, the pitcher adjusts his crotch then licks his fingers, random shots of a bored looking manager, etc. When you are actually at the ballpark you can be watching where the catcher and fielders set up to try to predict the pitch that is coming (read The Hidden Language of Baseball by Paul Dickson for some great insight into how to interpret this), but on TV it's not usually the case. This is where I have some suggestions for new fans trying to get into it. First off, if you are looking for just a relaxing day, embrace the slow pace with a beer and veg out on the couch while watching. It's meant to be slow and relaxing (until it gets tense and exciting, usually with runners on). Seriously, when was the last time you just sat and did nothing? Mid July afternoon games are a perfect way to reach that zen of half-consciousness, until something happens to get you sucked into the action. Another option to stay engaged is keeping score. I find keeping score relaxing and looking back through a scorebook can be fun to see what you were doing a few years ago (except for that damn unfinished scorecard from 2015 where A-Rod hit the most predictable home run in Twins-Yankees history and I sent my scorecard flying to the other side of the room). As NPR once put it, keeping score is a knowledge making activity, and if you have the time and patience for it it is a great way to learn the game. There are a couple different guides to keeping score, and most scorebooks/cards will have a brief example of how to do so. If you have any questions, the Around the Horn thread is a great place to ask! Gamethreads are another way to get together with other baseball fans and pass the time between pitches, especially in team subs you get to know the regulars and conversations start to wonder away from baseball at times throughout the game, and that's fine. Baseball is an excuse to enjoy a summer day. For those that want to actually understand what is going on during that time, though, there are some options. Watching Baseball Smarter by Zack Hample (who despite his reputation on this subreddit knows some stuff and actually pops in from time to time to comment on different things) is a good starting place for new fans. Baseball for Dummies and The Complete Idiots Guide to Baseball are also good starting points for those willing to sit and read for a little bit. For those who don't want to read a book, I guess I can touch on what I'm looking for between pitches. A big part of baseball is pitch selection, so scouting out a pitchers repertoire of pitches is a good starting point, BrooksBaseball.net has great cheat sheets on every pitcher in the game, and PitcherList.com has a visual example of each pitcher's pitches so you can see what you can be looking for. Anyways, I mention that because the whole reason the catcher is twiddling his fingers behind the plate is to go over with the pitcher what pitch is going to be thrown. What I'm watching for between pitches is where the catcher is setting up behind the plate and guessing which pitch is going to be thrown. A 2-0 and 3-1 count are known as hitters counts because the pitcher needs to throw a strike or risk walking the batter, when the count reaches either of those pay attention, because the hitters going to be looking for his perfect pitch and there's probably going to be some action on the field. 0-1, 0-2, and 1-2 are pitcher's counts, look for curveball, slider or other somewhat nasty pitch to be thrown to get the batter to swing at a bad pitch, or a fastball inside to catch them off guard. If you have any questions about this, go ahead and ask in an around the horn thread.
Where to watch highlights and game recaps.
There are many many places to see highlights and game recaps, this is not an exhaustive list, but is a good start. For highlights, bigger highlights will often be posed here on baseball a few minutes after they occur, if you wish to post them please familiarize yourself with the subreddit rules. They also appear relatively quickly on MLB.com in each games Gameday area. For a pretty slick collection of highlights from across MLB, https://baseball.theate is a great place to exclusively watch highlights. There are a few ways to get great game recaps. If you have MLB Network, every day Quick Pitch is an hour-long show that recaps every game from the previous day. It usually starts after MLB Tonight (about 10pm EDT) or whatever game MLB Network is showing finishes up, and runs until 10am EDT the next day. MLB.com also puts out recaps of every game by the next morning, usually a 2-5 minutes quick rundown of highlights that can be found on the game recap. It also puts out Fastcast videos on youtube and their website every morning which has a brief rundown of all the games from the previous day. Here's an example of a Fastcast from two seasons ago. If you want one concise place to see most of these, efitz11 was amazing last season and posted video links to every game recap and fastcast in the daily Around the Horn thread. Here's an example. I am unsure if they plan to continue it this year, but it would be surely appreciated!
TL;DR Finding what you enjoy about the game.
When it boils down to it, baseball is about finding entertainment and enjoyment, and don't let anyone try to tell you how to enjoy baseball. If you want nothing to do with statistical analysis and just want to enjoy what's going on on the field, don't let anyone tell you you aren't enough of a fan, and if you want to dissect a player into their strengths and components using statcast and advanced metrics don't let anyone tell you you're reading into the game too much. You can follow one team, and only one team, or you can follow multiple teams, don't let anyone tell you you're not a true fan for wearing another team's gear or enjoying their games. You might enjoy bat flips and flamboyance, or reserved speedy home run trots. You might not even enjoy physically watching a game (especially not if your team isn't playing), but find yourself loving keeping track of your team through the season and tracking your players or maybe just the thrill of the standings race and scoreboard watching or maybe you just love all the numbers that get thrown around and arguing about their relevancy. That's okay, eventually I believe enjoyment of the game itself will come, but even if it doesn't, the long baseball season is still creating a place of enjoyment for you, and that's what matters. If you have any questions, once again, feel free to ask them in our daily Around the Horn thread, or below in the comments, or if you really want to feel free to PM with questions and I'd be happy to answer. So watch games this week and join in the discussion here, you'll naturally find yourself gravitating towards certain players or teams and enjoying different aspects of the game. Baseball is a long season, find what you enjoy, stick to it, dwell on it, and enjoy it. TL;DR for the TL;DR - Baseball is fun
Day Two Here Day Three Here Gettysburg is by far my favorite battle of all time. First, it is an all-American battle in an all-American war, and myself being an old school nationalist it carries significance that other battles simply don’t; I may find Austerlitz or Stalingrad nifty, but nobody there was my people. More, it was an extraordinarily clean fight. At any point, a soldier on either side could hurl down their rifle and grab some sky and be reasonably assured of having their surrender accepted without reservation, and for that matter their captor could rely on their new POWs to trudge back to the rear under light guard in good faith. Even though much of the fighting took place in an urban environment with embedded civilians, only one civilian died in the fighting. Let me tell you, the more military history you read up on, the clearer it is that massacring civilians before, during, and after a rough fight is par for the course. One might even say that butchering unarmed men, women and children of the enemy tribe is the de facto military objective more than half the time; it might be some weird, half instinctual, proto-game theory going on: “We told them to surrender or else. They didn’t surrender, we won anyway, and now there’s gotta be an ‘or else’ to persuade the next batch of holdouts that we mean business.” In the long run, butchering the first village usually made it morelikely the next three villages would get the message and surrender without a fight, saving the invaders men, materiel, and time. Or perhaps it’s that killing civilians has always been pure bloody-mindedness. But not at Gettysburg. Gettysburg is where the American platonic ideal of soldiers fighting soldiers and leaving the civilians be actually happened. Another aspect to the battle that fascinates me is how utterly unplanned it was. Neither army had intended to fight there, and between the scale of the brawl, the rapidity of developments, the intransigence of their subordinates, and the communications lag, neither the Confederate general Lee nor the Union general Meade had a grip on the situation at all until the second day of the battle, and neither could enact their ideal plans until the third day. It was something of a clusterfuck for both sides, and the course of the battle depended on the initiative and guts of small unit commanders with little idea of what the big picture was. Gettysburg tends to be remembered as the turning point in the war, when it stopped being a gallant passage at arms between roughly equal powers and started being a slow, painful inevitable grind towards Union victory. This is not exactly accurate; only with years of hindsight could anybody construct a narrative that framed this fight as the turning point, for at the time Gettysburg was seen as just another grisly slaughter yard in a long series of them. Still, between this fight and the conquest of Vicksburg out west, this does appear in hindsight to be the high watermark in terms of Confederate progress towards successful seccession. Certainly it was the last time any Confederate army went on the strategic offensive. For diehard secessionists (both during the war and in the years after), this was the last hurrah before the war started being truly hopeless. It is also, I should mention, a place of spiritual significance for me. Myself being secular humanist with a vaccination against Protestantism from my younger days, I don’t have much in the way of codified religion. But when I was a youngin’ visiting relatives out east, I got to visit the battlefield. I found myself standing in front of a monument on the field on the north end of Herbst Wood (where the right flank of Iron Brigade stood and charged on the first day of the battle). It described how a Michigan regiment of about a thousand men stood on that spot and suffered two thirds casualties over the course of the day. I read the details on the monument, and stared up at the mustachioed rifleman staring defiantly to the west. Looking left and right, I saw more monuments every fifty yards or so in a straightish line, spreading out to mark where a human line had once stood and bled. And I turned my back on the monuments to face away, and behold, I saw an opposing line of Confederate monuments stretched out horizon to horizon about a hundred yards away. Two lines, violently opposed but unmoving; courage and horror frozen into place forever. And the world there seemed very big, and very grand, and I felt very small and unworthy. The air was at once colder and hotter than any air I’d ever felt. The wind cut through my clothing and reminded me that flesh was mortal but spirit was eternal. This was holy ground, soil consecrated by blood. Shi’ite Muslims have Karbala. Catholics have the Road to Calvary. Australian aboriginals have Uluru. I have Gettysburg. ———————————————————————— BACKGROUND A brief note- I will be including maps periodically to show the progression of the fighting. These maps must be taken with a grain or three of salt. They are intended to show relations between the armies and the terrain, not to mark the exact positions or dispositions of the units, nor to show an exact proportion of numbers involved. This is because I am not an expert mapmaker, and I thank you in advance for your understanding. First, a map of the northern part of the battlefield. Note how many roads lead there, and note the high ground of Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill to the south of the town. The Battle of Gettysburg happened because Lee needed to go on the offensive, and Lee needed to go on the offensive because of the big picture. I shall cover the broad outline just so the significance doesn’t pass anybody by. The Confederacy in the Spring of 1863 was in a terrible dilemma. The leadership had two urgent problems, either one of which could (if unaddressed) destroy their enterprise, and to make things worse they didn’t have the resources to solve either of them alone without a miracle. One, the Union was fixing to shove yet another army down Richmond’s throat. Two years of failed invasions into Virginia had been brutal to both sides, but the North had immense reserves of cash, food, industrial output, and manpower with which to replenish themselves, and the South simply didn’t. The Army of Northern Virginia on which every invasion thus far had broken was underarmed, underfed, and undermanned, and if these issues were not fixed then they’d be seeing Union soldiers in the Confederate capitol before Autumn. There had already been a push that year, which Lee had staved off at Chancellorsville. There was plenty of time left before winter for a second attack. And two, Vicksburg, the railway hub that sat on the Mississippi River, was under dire threat. The Union had already grabbed New Orleans at the south end and pushed north up the river, and had been pushing south down the river since day one of the war, but Vicksburg prevented the whole river from falling in to Union hands. Vicksburg alone let the South shift resources and information from its Western half to its Eastern half. Losing it could be a death blow. The garrison of Vicksburg was also underarmed, underfed, and undermanned. The fresh crops taken off the farm and the fresh host of new recruits also taken off the farm were middling at best. Even throwing all the resources they had at either problem and letting the other develop as it would might mean losing on both fronts. Splitting the resources in half to prop up both didn’t seem promising either. Lee, being something of a strategist, developed a third option. There was no point (he reasoned) in trying to prop up Vicksburg at this point- it would take weeks to shift reinforcements that far west, and by then it would be midsummer. If the siege lasted that long, either the garrison would fold or disease would rip through the Yankee army and drive it back home, as it had the last two years running. In either scenario, further support would affect nothing. Therefore, he proposed a bold plan- don’t sit around waiting to get hit in the face. Invade north. Take the fight onto their turf. The more the Confederate leadership considered it, the better it sounded. Northern land hadn’t been ravaged like Virginia had- it would be easy to live off of the enemy’s food for once, thus lessening the headache of their constant supply problems. It was also an election year, and the anti-war Democrats were raging at the ocean of blood and gold being wasted on bringing States back into the fold who very clearly wanted to go their own way. One good, solid victory on Northern soil could tip the balance, drive home the point that that war was unwinnable. Get the Black Republican warmonger Lincoln kicked out of the White House, get a reasonable Democrat in, and next year they just might get a negotiated peace that would lead in time to true and recognized independence. To which end- Lee snaked his newly reinforced army of about 75,000 men up through the Shenandoah Valley, using the mountain range to mask his movements instead of using to well-worn direct route that the Union was camped on. He would end up north of the bulk of the Army of the Potomac, simultaneously threatening Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, which for a guy trying to score a symbolic victory to discourage the enemy voters put him in a pretty nice spot. Lincoln freaked out, told Hooker and his Army of the Potomac to go out and beat Lee, to utterly destroy his army, and also not leave any weak point undefended, which are just the kind of orders one enjoys receiving. Hooker, having a bit of an ego and a poor history of getting his ass kicked by Lee, got into a feud with Lincoln’s advisors and impulsively offered his resignation as Commander of the Army of the Potomac following some stupid spat with the bean counters back in Washington. Lincoln called his bluff and fired him three days before the battle, putting General Meade in charge of the whole damn army with almost no prep time. I should cut the narrative here to cast moral aspersions right quick. The Union were the good guys, and the Confederates were the villains. That said, the North made for really terrible heroes, and the South had more than its fair share of virtues. This was not a grand crusade of freedom-loving Yankees tearing down the moral abomination of human bondage. This was a brutal, no holds barred death struggle between the efficient new urban Industrial Revolution and the rural Cavalierlatifundias. Only a smallish segment of New England Puritans and bleeding heart Quakers hated slavery on moral grounds- the rest of the North either hated it on financial grounds, didn’t give a fuck one way or another, or were actively supporting racial slavery. And on the flip side, most Southerners who fought in the war perceived quite accurately that outsiders were coming into their world to demand submission, and had decided to give these invaders the William Wallace treatment. This is a normal and admirable response that every healthy society should have in its toolbox, and in my not-even-slightly humble opinion it is a damn shame that so many people endured so much agony in support of so un-American a cause. For you see, when Lee’s army reached Pennsylvania, they kidnapped every black person they could find, free or not, and sent them all south in chains. There was no attempt to ascertain their status by some legal due process, no splitting of hairs. The bare skeleton of Confederate ideology, the great Truth that would have snuffed out by continued political loyalty to the Union, had been that all men were not created equal. To be more precise, men had white skin, and anyone with black skin was not a man and did not have the rights of man. As such, anyone with black skin was to be sold into slavery and threatened with torture and death if they refused to labor in the cotton fields. The army that invaded the North was, in practice, the biggest slave-hunting gang that had ever set foot on American soil. The side wearing grey were staunch defenders of a country based on the Ideal of Ethnic Supremacy, and the side wearing blue were fighting for a country based on the Ideal of Equality. There were a million nagging features of material reality in the South and the North that challenged both of these Ideals, but there were no Ideals to challenge these Ideals, save only for each other. We know that this is true, because as the war shifted away from a Federal attempt to rein in wayward states to an all out assault on the institution of slavery, more and more Northerners balked at the idea of dying to set niggers free; men who had fought for years to bring the rebels into the fold again threw down their rifles and went home in disgust after they heard of the Emancipation Proclamation. And as it became clearer that poor whites who never owned slaves were expected to die for plantation owners’ right to stay rich, fewer and fewer Southerners were willing to jump into the meat grinder feet first; many of them deserted to go home and form Unionist bushwhacker gangs instead. Speaking of the draft, a higher percentage of southerners dodged the Confederate draft than in Vietnam, yet Vietnam is remembered as a deeply unpopular war while the Lost Cause has painted the South as a unified bloc striving as one against the Yankee oppressor. Also, the Confederacy had a draft imposed upon the states by its federal government. So, yeah, State's Rights. Tell me how that worked out. To reiterate. Both sides are not the same. We are rooting for the Union. Slavery. Etc. Pushing on- The two armies surged northward, on parallel tracks with Lee on the west side of the Appalachians and Meade on the east side. Being critically low on recon drones and spy satellites, the only ways to find the enemy army was to send guys out on horseback to physically look at them before riding back, and to talk to locals whether they’d seen anyone wearing the other team’s uniform recently. Clouds of skirmishers, cavalrymen, and small detachments of infantrymen from either side scattered themselves in all directions, straining to catch a glimpse of the other army. The first side to locate the enemy, amass sufficient force, and maneuver against them would probably win, without regard for right or wrong. ———————————————————————— JULY 1st, 1863 Early Morning General John Buford had a 2,500 strong brigade of cavalrymen patrolling southern Pennsylvania, being one of dozens of detachments sent out to find the enemy army. Using human intelligence from locals in Gettysburg, he learned that there was a column of rebel infantry marching down the Chambersburg Pike. And indeed there was. Advance scouts from Buford’s brigade made visual contact with a column marching south towards Gettysburg. The ball was now rolling. The story goes that the Confederates were looking for new shoes and heard that there was a stockpile in Gettysburg. As far as I can tell, this is a baseless legend- inspired by the true fact that the rebel army didn’t have enough shoes, but baseless nonetheless. The three Confederate commanders marching towards Gettysburg (Archer and Davis with a brigade apiece and Heth as division commander coordinating them), were simply doing what their counterpart was doing- reconnaissance in force, hoping to develop a lead for the rest of the army to follow. 7,000 infantry under Archer and Davis were about to pick a fight with 2,500 cavalrymen under Buford. The currents of this morning fight would provide the grooves for the next three days to follow. Buford’s men fought as dragoons; the horse let you scoot around to where you need to go, but you got off it and fought on foot. They Union cavalry broke into tiny little four man teams to bloody the approaching Confederates’ noses. The terrain was a bushwhacker’s paradise- plenty of rocks and trees to hide behind, and plenty of low, rolling hills to speed off behind to break line of sight. One man would hold the horses while the other three crouch-ran forward under cover to pop off rounds into the enemy column from the sides of the road. When the enemy infantry redeployed from a fast moving but harmless column formation into a slow moving but dangerous line, the three shooters would run back to their buddy to mount up and retreat to a new position. The cavalrymen were outnumbered nearly three to one, and their carbines had less range and power than the rebel rifles; then again, the terrain was working for them and their breechloading carbines could shoot much faster than the enemy’s muzzleloading long rifles. It was very close to being an fair fight, as long as the cavalry could stay mobile and keep their distance. Buford and Heth both had unclear, contradictory orders- “Push forward aggressively to locate the enemy, but do not enter into a general engagement until we know what we’re up against.” It was an order that must have made sense in the tent when Lee and Meade sent their own versions off. You wouldn’t want to force a battle until you knew the enemy’s location and disposition and the terrain you were going to be standing on, any more than you’d want bet it all on a poker hand before looking at your cards. But to the guys on the front line, it meant “charge forward, but do not charge forward. Attack, but do not engage. Show some initiative, but don’t pick a real fight.” Heth decided they were up against a skeleton crew of skirmishers, and he had orders to check out Gettysburg. He send riders back with a quick report and a request for reinforcements. Buford decided that if the whole damn rebel army was heading his way, he needed to delay their advance for as many hours as he could to give the rest of the Union army time to get to Gettysburg- the high ground south of the town looked like ideal terrain to fight from and he wanted his buddies to get there before the rebels. He too sent riders back with calls for help. And meanwhile, the murderous, hazardous stalking of the rebel column continued as it trudged towards Gettysburg. Meanwhile, in the Rear with the Gear Imagine running a marathon- 26 miles and a bit from start to finish. That’s how spread out a Civil War army is, from vanguard to rear guard. You can’t really concentrate 75,000-100,000 people together that closely. Disease starts killing people off really fast, feeding everyone is a headache, and if you have to march out, the lead element will march all day before stopping for the night, while the rear element hasn’t even left camp yet. It’s unwieldy. So they all spread out to grab some real estate and forage easier and not choke on each others’ dust and crap. The riders from the Chambersburg Pike were spreading the word through the marathon length of the armies. Units were halting, turning around. Captains and colonels and generals were consulting maps to figure out what roads to take to get south or north to Gettysburg from where they were now. Regiments were putting their heads to together to figure out whose company oughtta go in what order. The movements were slow and and ungainly and awkward, but they were starting up. Mid Morning to Noon The rolling hills on either side of the Chambersburg Pike stopped at McPherson’s Ridge, a grand place to make a stand- plenty of cover, steep incline. In any case, there wasn’t much further to retreat to. Archer and David pushed the cavalrymen, Archer on the south side of the road and Davis on the north. Thoroughly annoyed infantrymen backed up on the Pike behind them, eager to get at the enemy but without frontage to occupy. Buford dug in on McPherson’s Ridge, and the full force of Heth’s division slammed into him. Denied their mobility by the necessity of holding territory, the fair fight turned into a meat grinder for the dismounted cavalrymen. When Confederate artillery set up on Herr’s Ridge, it turned into a bloodbath. Buford, at last, got in contact with somebody who outranked him. General John Reynolds, second in command of the whole Union army, rode ahead of his division to get eyes on the situation. The two struck a deal in the middle of a firefight. Buford promised to hold to the last man, and Reynolds promised to reinforce him. It was an exercise in trust; if Buford’s men held firm and Reynolds let them down, they’d be swamped and slaughtered to a man, and if Buford’s detachment broke and scattered, Reynolds’ reinforcements would march directly into a line of hills held by an entrenched enemy force of equal size. Failure on either side would be fatal. Reynolds rode south again, leaving Buford and his dwindling cavalrymen to fend off 10% of the Confederate army all alone. Meanwhile, Buford’s thin line was cracking. Outnumbered, outgunned, and unable to advance or retreat... That which was inevitable to start with was happening now. Davis’ brigade was pressing against Oak Ridge on the Union right, and Archer's was taking Herbst Woods tree by tree. Buford’s men were giving ground they couldn’t afford to lose. Confederate artillery was blasting giant holes in the ranks of the defenders. That’s when the relief came- two fresh brigades of infantry coming up the Emmitsburg road, under generals Cutler and Meredith. Cutler got there first, taking up positions on Oak Ridge and straddling either side of the Pike with cannons. Their massive volleys disrupted Confederate momentum and silenced some of the rebels’ big guns as everyone scrambled for cover. Grateful and exhausted cavalrymen sidled off to the flanks to safety. Meredith’s brigade is still lagging behind- that’s the problem with columns, only the guys in front can do anything. If Buford and Reynolds expected everything to be right in the world once reinforcements arrived, they were very much mistaken. Those men out there attacking up Oak Ridge were some of the finest infantrymen in the world- dedicated, disciplined, contemptuous of death. They did not stop being efficient killers just because they now fought peers instead of the hornet-like cavalry skirmishers. Cutler’s brigade was facing a small tidal wave of battle-maddened Southern veterans, and had no time to dig in and situate themselves before the moment of impact. Davis’ men ripped into them like a pack of starving wolves. Cutler’s men fell back to safety on the top of Oak Ridge. In pieces. Meanwhile, Meredith’s brigade was finally in position to retake Herbst Woods on the south side of the road. Now, Meredith’s brigade were the absolute elite of the Union army. They were the grizzled veterans, the old crew, the best drilled, the most experienced, the hardest of the hard. They were nicknamed the Iron Brigade, and the Black Hat Brigade, because they were authorized to wear dashing black foraging caps to signify their status as the best of the best. With their comrades north of the road falling back, it was imperative that the Black Hat Brigade protect their left flank. To which end, Reynolds frantically snapped orders for them to line up and charge Archer’s men who were occupying Herbst Wood. Their charge was met by a storm of musket fire that churned the Iron ranks into blood and guts. But this was the Black Hat Brigade. For them, taking ten percent casualties in a single minute was just another Tuesday. They got in close to the rebel line to return the volleys with a vengeance, and then charged with the bayonet. Archer’s men saw the distinctive black hats come for them through the musket-smoke. For the first time, they realized that these were no mere cavalry skirmishers, no half-assed militia company facing them. The best of the best of the Army of the Potomac was coming at them at terrifyingly close range. Archer’s men cracked and scattered. The ones who stood firm, died. The ones who threw down their rifles and grabbed sky were allowed to live as prisoners. The ones who ran, lived, but found the Iron Brigade hot on their heels. Meredith’s elites carved through Archer’s brigade like it wasn’t even there. Reynolds was a good leader. A great one, in fact. He was decisive, experienced, competent. Many thought he should have gotten command instead of Meade. As his men retook Herbst Wood, he turned behind him to check on how close reinforcements were, some rebel rifleman did his cause a world of good, and shot Reynolds in the back of the head. Now the situation got pretty weird- Davis’ brigade had kicked the shit out of Cutler’s brigade and was pursuing them on the north side of the road, and the Iron Brigade had kicked the shit out of Archer’s brigade and was pursuing them on the south side of the road. Neither victor was aware of what had happened across from them, and soon enough they would pass each other by almost touching the edges of their lines. The first one to figure out what was happening would get to win. As it so happened, General Doubleday (in command now that Reynolds was dead) saw the danger and the opportunity first. He broke off an Iron regiment from his reserve to swoop in and protect the flank just in time, setting them up in a defensive stance facing the road. That regiment was joined by another broken off from the Iron assault, and yet another from Cutler’s brigade, who had seen the maneuvering and joined in on its own initiative. It was like a ballet, all three regiments coalescing into a single front facing north across the road, as though they’d spent the last week rehearsing. Under their protection, the rest of the Black Hats gave chase to their prey. When Davis finally turned and attacked, they were chopped down by a mass of highly accurate fire from the newly entrenched men. Confederates died by the dozens and were maimed by the score. As they reloaded, the Black Hats were astonished to find that the whole Confederate brigade vanish into thin air, like magic. The firing stopped; no more targets. It was bizarre. The three regiments advanced cautiously. And were gutted by a close range surprise volley by the hidden Confederates as they tried to scale the fences on either side of the Pike. It turns out that there was a cut in the side of road, deep enough for a man to jump down into with only his head able to peek out. Davis’ men had leapt into it as a source cover when the firefight started and found it was a grand place to shoot out of. But it was also a death trap. Once the Union regiments figured it out, they got in close enough to fire blindly down at point blank range into the milling mass of men. Davis’ men surrendered, thousands of them all at once. Unable to move, unable shoot back, it was really the only choice. And with that, the first round of Gettysburg was over. Oak Ridge and Herbst Wood had held, and about 150,000 odd soldiers were converging on Gettysburg to shift the tide of war this way and that. AFTERNOON The rest of the first day was not free of drama, and heroics, and mass suffering. But it was free of surprises. The iron laws of physics had decreed that more Confederate units would be on hand for the fighting in the afternoon, and so it was. Fresh rebel troops swept down from the north and from the west, relieving their exhausted comrades and preparing themselves to assault Oak Ridge and Herbst Woods. Fresh Union troops arrived from the south to reinforce what they had and to extend their line out east, protecting their right flank and screening off the town itself. Hours passed without a shot being fired. Everybody was reorganizing themselves, resupplying, carting the wounded to the rear to let the surgeons saw their shattered limbs off. Two small things happened that delivered a Confederate victory on day one, and a Union victory on day three. Union General Barlow pushed his brigade out to occupy Blocher's hill, and Union General Steinwehr plopped two of his brigades on top of Cemetery Hill. The first created a huge gap in the Union right, and the second secured the invaluable high ground for the rest of the battle. Meanwhile, three Confederate divisions set themselves up for a concerted attack- Heth would press into Herbst Wood on the Union left, Rodes would assault Oak Ridge at the center, and Early would swoop down the Harrisburg road to threaten the Union right. When the big push came at around 2 p.m., it was badly organized and mismanaged. Southern commanders couldn't get it together and attack at the same time. Individual units charged at Oak Ridge alone, like a mob of Hollywood henchmen attacking the hero only to be smacked around one by one. Cutler's men didn't just fight them off; it was closer to mass murder. General O'Neal's brigade swooped down off of Oak Hill only to be cut down by musketry and cannon fire, and they did it without O'Neal, because O'Neal stayed in the rear while his men died. When O'Neal's brigade fell back having suffered heavy losses, Cutler shifted his men to greet the new threat from Iverson's brigade, who also charged without their commander. Iverson's men marched in parade perfect order across open ground, without so much as a molehill for cover. The story goes that during the assault, Iverson looked out from safety and saw half his men lying down on the ground. Iverson was pissed off because he thought his men were surrendering. In fact, he was watching his brigade die in droves. The issue wasn't morale. The Confederate troops were eager to get at the enemy. The problem was purely organizational in nature. The men in charge of telling people what to do were simply too confused and disoriented to work out the solution in real time. While O’Neal and Iverson were getting bloodied, Barlow’s men on Blocher Hill were getting slaughtered. Barlow’s desire to hold the high ground on the defense was understandable- high ground being a grand place to fight from- but he was about one mile ahead of any friendly units. This meant that it was trivially easy to flank and destroy his brigades. Georgia men under generals Early and Rodes linked up to flank and destroy Barlow’s isolated brigades. A thick stream of filthy, bloody, and terrified Union men flowed back to the town of Gettysburg, leaving a gaping hole in the Union line and spreading their panic like the plague. Victorious Confederates whooped and hollered. As the men to the north of town trade massacres- the failed assault on Oak Ridge being roughly balanced by the disastrous dissolution of Barlow’s brigades- Heth finally attacked the Iron Brigade still occupying Herbst Wood in the west. He’d been delaying it all afternoon, stymied by the contradictory orders from Lee. Lee, who was several miles away and not at all in touch with the situation, still wanted to avoid a general engagement. But now, Heth has been let off the chain to avenge Archer’s brigade. Heth’s full division attacked Herbst Wood. It was a slow, hot, gory fight. The attacking rebels are aggressive, but also methodical and well-organized. The Black Hats made them pay for every tree they seized. But there’s only one outcome for a fight like this. The Iron Brigade has the ghastly honor of having the highest casualty ratio of any Civil War brigade, North or South. Out of the 1,885 men in their ranks that morning, 1,153 (61%) were be dead or maimed by nightfall on the first day. The fates of individual units from within the brigade are even more gruesome- in the 2nd Wisconsin regiment, 397 out of 496 (80%) were killed or wounded. But despite the horrific losses, they didn’t break. They gave ground slowly and in good order, but they gave ground nonetheless. Iron does not break, but it does bend. By late afternoon, the dominoes fell as they were always going to. With the debacle at Blocher’s Knoll, any hope the Union had to hold the right was lost. The Black Hats were being ground into sawdust on the left. And Rodes has finally gotten his brigades to charge at the same time, overwhelming Cutler’s defense. Every Union man was running now, some in a blind panic, some withdrawing in good order like professionals. The open field battle turned into urban warfare as the Confederates chased the Union army through the streets of Gettysburg. Companies blocked the streets to hold off the enemy advance long enough for the comrades to scamper. Marksmen played sniper games in the windows, either shooting men in the back as they ran away or ambushing overly aggressive platoons, depending on the color of their uniform. The Union men were desperate to reach Cemetery Hill, south of the town. High ground and the reinforcements already stationed there promised safety. The Confederates were just as desperate to catch them first and seize that invaluable terrain for themselves. Nightfall A great deal of “woulda coulda shoulda” ink has been spilled over the orders that Lee gave to General Ewell, the man in charge of Rodes and Early: “Take Cemetery Hill if practical”. But Ewell saw two brigades with a lot of artillery standing on top of what appeared to be a natural fortress designed by God to repel infantry, and his men were exhausted to boot. Ewell decided it was not practical, and so did not try. Just one of those things, I expect. In any case, the day was a Confederate victory. Every spot on the map the Confederate troops wanted to go, they had went. They had crushed all resistance, had even gone toe to toe with the cream of the Army of the Potomac and won. Their enemies were in flight before them. There was, possibly, a certain amount of disquiet because the enemy had merely been driven from one ridge into another ridge, one even steeper and with more cover than the last. And rumor had it the rest of the Army of the Potomac was coming at them. But that was a problem for the next day.
[Cryoverse] The Last Precursor 013: Repairing the Bloodbearer
The Last Precursor is a brand new HFY-exclusive web-serial which focuses on the exploits of the last living human amidst a galaxy of unknown aliens. With his species all but extinct and only known as the ancient Precursors, how will Rodriguez survive in this hostile universe? Make sure to read the earlier chapters first if you missed them! Join the TLP Discord! Previous Part Part 001 ....................................... José Rodriguez, the last living Terran, slowly opens his eyes. A plain metal ceiling, covered in plexi-steel tiles, sits some twenty feet above his face. The Admiral lays motionless on his back, his arms and legs held limp in a straight pose. A strange sensation swallows him, akin to floating on a gently undulating ocean while riding atop a piece of plywood. "Hello, Admiral," Umi beeps. "You slept for seventeen hours and fourteen minutes. How are you feeling?" The Terran doesn't reply. He continues to stare at the ceiling while countless thoughts and emotions mix with the strange, lucid dreams he left behind only a minute before. They're all dead. José closes his eyes. Everyone I have ever known. My friends. My comrades. My superiors. My enemies. Even the people I took for granted, those who merely 'existed' and caused me no grief. Every last one of them is long gone. I can't ever see them again. Slowly, the Admiral turns his head to the left. The eleven-foot-long cot from his personal quarters, its bedding material as hard as a rock after 100,000,000 years of calcification, provides no comfort for the Admiral. His 'pillow' proves little more than a flat, half-inch-tall piece of rock. Were it not for his durable body, merely laying on the bed would probably give him all manner of aches and pains. As the Admiral looks around the room, a mixture of nostalgia and sadness glides throughout his veins. A second cot on the opposite side of the room, the bed his former bunkmate once used, Private Azaram, sits empty and covered in a thick layer of dust. A pair of lockers sit against the wall, between both bunks. In José's former life, he might have chatted with Private Azaram when they woke up. They would shoot the shit, tease each other a bit, and yap about all the vague mundanities of life. But no longer will that happen. José stares at his bunkmate's empty bed. Unbidden, a memory floats to the top of his mind. Yo, José, I hear you knocked your lady up. So, you gonna pop the question? Come on, man. Can't hurt to settle down for a couple decades, raise an ankle-biter, then return once you've had your fun. I'm too busy for that, Kiki. Don't give me that crap. The war's been raging for hundreds of thousands of years. One soldier taking twenty years off to raise a kid won't change anything. It will for me. I shouldn't have gotten involved with her. That's love, man. Love! You know what that means, right? You've gotta stop running away from everything. She'll be better off without me. José... The memory fades. José continues to stare at the other cot for several long seconds afterward. "Admiral." Umi's voice beeps above, as she prods the Terran again. "I know you are awake. I have observed your brainwaves shifting into the green spectrum." Admiral Rodriguez sighs. "Just leave me alone for a few minutes." "...Very well." Umi falls silent, leaving José to his thoughts. Slowly, the Admiral moves his left leg toward the edge of the bed. He gently lowers it to the floor, then follows with his right. After twenty or so seconds, he pushes himself into a sitting position and coughs. A small cloud of dust kicks up around him, but he ignores it. José sits on the edge of his bed. He leans forward, face in hands, elbows on his knees. I'm sorry, Evelyn. Tears well up in the Terran's eyes. The shock of the last two days creeps into the back of his mind as he finally takes some time to sit down and sort through his emotions. I left you behind, and our child. I don't even know if it was a boy or a girl. José lifts his thin, gangly arm, and presses his fingers against his eyelids. After wiping away a few tears, he sniffles quietly. What the hell am I supposed to do? Do I even have a reason to live? His thoughts shift back to all the pointless mundanities he once pursued. Promotions. Killing. The envy of his peers. The respect of his benefactor, Ramma. José opens his eyes and glances at a small bedside dresser. With its former brown coloration lost to the passage of time, it now appears white as snow. The lone furniture piece on José's side appears to be on its last legs, as if a gentle nudge would cause it to crumble into dust. Only the lack of oxygen in the room for millions of years has allowed it to remain standing for so long. However, José's eyes look toward the top of the dresser, where a broken picture frame rests. With its glass having long-since decayed into sandy particles along with the glue holding its wooden sides together, the portrait lies in a heap atop the dresser, apparently having fallen forward and broken at some point. Slowly, José reaches over and nudges aside the frame's wooden edges. He pulls out a brown piece of paper, its corners curled, upon which a person's portrait used to rest. Now, its faded coloration shows nothing. José turns the piece of paper around in his hands, searching for any modicum of familiarity. Despite nothing being on its surface, his mind still fills in the image of a smiling, brown-haired woman's face. "Evelyn..." The Admiral lowers his hand and drops the worthless scrap to the floor. His shoulders slump as he leans forward, even more broken than before. Mulling on the immense physical pain he endured during the surgery, as well as the loss of everyone he ever cared about, José's thoughts turn truly dark as he begins to imagine the barrel of a plasma carbine pressing against his skull. It would be so easy. No more pain. No more worries. Maybe I could see her again and... apologize. The Admiral's stomach growls, reminding him that he hasn't eaten even once in the last two days. Still, he doesn't move. "...Umi." "Yes, Admiral? How are you feeling? I'm presently detecting large amount of negative emotions within your-" "I don't give a damn what you detect," José mutters. "Just shut up and answer some questions for me." "Affirmative, Admiral," Umi replies without complaint. "Ask whatever you wish." However, José hesitates. He closes his eyes and sighs. "Do... do you have any... any audio logs? Video logs? Of the other crew, I mean. The deceased." "Negative, Admiral. In the event of a gradual system collapse, my subsystems will automatically convert high-capacity files involving video and audio to text format to save space. I have already converted all available audio and video logs to text, as per my system's parameters. If I did not perform those operations, I would have experienced a much larger amount of overall data loss." "Oh. I see." The Admiral's body seemingly increases in weight. A creeping sense of isolation hits him, making him feel hopeless and lonely. "Not even one person's voice remains. All I have are my memories." "Admiral? Are you... in pain?" "Not physically." Umi's voice lowers. "You have endured an extreme amount of trauma, as of late. The body may heal, but the mind is not always so resilient. I would advise an immediate psychiatric evaluation, if possible, but..." The synthmind trails off, making José nod. "Who's left for me to talk to? Nobody. Just a bunch of aliens. Strangers I barely know." "I have undergone a high-level of degradation to my Emotion Cores," Umi says. "Therefore, I am unable to properly offer counsel on this matter. However, it seems logical to me that you should at least attempt to speak to one of the Kraktol about your concerns, Admiral." "I can't do that," José says. "Megla still considers me her enemy. Soren is probably friendlier than her sister, but she's still an unknown factor. If I reveal weakness in front of them, then perhaps I won't be able to keep them under control. Who knows what they might do when I turn my back?" "Admiral. You seem to distrust the Kraktol conscripts. If so, why did you bring them aboard the Bloodbearer? This move seems... illogical." "I'm human, Umi. I don't operate logically. Even I don't know why I let them come with me." Shakily, José pushes himself off the bed and rises to his feet. His legs tremble visibly as he staggers toward the nearby wheelchair and plops into its embrace. His arms and legs appear slightly more muscular than when he first left the surgery room, but nevertheless, they're far too weak to support his current weight. "If the Kraktol wished you harm, they could have killed you immediately following the operation," Umi says. "You weren't capable of defending yourself. The holo-crew would have posed little threat to the Kraktol, given their limited intelligence. Perhaps you should revise your opinion of Officers Soren and Megla." "Perhaps," José answers, noncommittally. "For now... I can't trust anyone. I don't have a solid understanding of the political situation inside the Milky Way. I don't know who any of the major powers are. I already have at least one major enemy, but no allies." Umi starts to reply, but José cuts her off. "The Kessu don't count. They're primitives. I doubt they'll be a major galactic power I can rely on for support and logistics." "...Understood, Admiral," Umi replies, her voice low. "It seems that we must attempt to establish communication with the Kraktol's enemies. According to the data I've recovered, the Mallali and Avaru are our best bet." "I'll worry about that later," the Admiral says. "Right now, repairing the Bloodbearer is my number one priority." José reaches for his wheelchair's controls. He starts to drive it outside, but pauses. Slowly, the Admiral lowers his gaze to the faded, cracked piece of paper sitting on the floor. The only image he ever had of Evelyn. The Terran turns his gaze away. With a small shake of his head, he drives toward the doorway, leaving his room behind. Too many painful memories here. Perhaps I should make Admiral Baruchen's quarters mine after all. ... José rolls forward on the wheeled machine in silence for five minutes. Eventually, he speaks to Umi. "Where are Soren and Megla?" "The two Kraktol woke up from their slumber five hours and six minutes ago, Admiral," Umi replies. "Since you stressed the importance of time and our limited resources, I took the initiative to guide them toward the engine ventilation system. Under my guidance, the two of them have cleaned out approximately 0.0054% of the accumulated debris and waste byproduct. The Bloodbearer will only reach low-operational-status once your crew clears out at least 20% of the oxidization clogging the engines." "Mmm. Have those women meet up with me along the way." "Orders received. Admiral, I must also mention a severe lack of resources for food production aboard the Bloodbearer. The biomatter storage is currently at 0% after I discarded all the hardened, rotted material. I was able to create some basic ration bars for the Kessu and Kraktol, but their nutritional value was negligible and every officer complained about the taste." José groans. "No food. No engines. No allies. The whole ship is broken. Can't I get some good news for once?" "Affirmative," Umi beeps in response. "The Kessu and Kraktol did not engage in verbal warfare while you were asleep. According to my calculations, this represents an improvement in their relations of 7.5%." "...Thanks, Umi." José says, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "I don't know what I would do without you." Umi replies with a sugary-sweet tone. "According to my predictive matrix; you would die." José's only reply is a long, low groan. ....................................... "Admiral!" Soren says, her voice containing a note of alarm. She and Megla trot toward José as he rolls down the Bloodbearer's primary connective corridor, arriving at his position after a few moments. "Are you alright? Your body seemed to be heavily injured when I last saw you." "I'm dandy," José grumbles. "Just wonderful." The Admiral glances at Megla. He waits for a snarky comeback, only to almost fall out of his chair when she speaks. "That's great, Admiral. I was- I mean, we were really worried about you. We, ah... we thought you wouldn't make it. I'm glad you're okay." José blinks several times to make sure he isn't still sleeping. "You were... concerned? About me?" Megla crosses her arms and looks away. "Erm... only a little." The Terran shakes his head to try and clear away the cobwebs in his brain. "I see. Well, thank you for your concern. I'm much weaker than before, so I can hardly move on my own. I hope you two will assist me in repairing the Bloodbearer's systems." The Admiral's gaze falls toward both Kraktol officer's waists, where steel belts hang with a small assortment of attached repair tools. The two womens' usually pristine red and yellow scales appear dirty, caked with dirt and grease. "Of course, Admiral," Soren says. She walks behind José's wheelchair and grabs its top handles to push him forward. "What are you doing?" José asks, suspicion in his voice. "I don't believe you should be expending any energy, Admiral. Please allow me to guide you wherever you please. It would be best if you could relax and leave the hard work to my sister and I." Before José can reply, Megla strides over to Soren's side and huffs. "Kyargh! Let me push the Admiral. I'm sure you're still tired from sticking your head inside that greasy ventilation duct." "No need," Soren says, a faint smile on her face. "I can handle this simple task." "I know you can," Megla protests. "But so can I! Hmph, listen to your big sister for once, why don't you?" Soren's smile widens. "You seem awfully eager to get close to the Admiral." "I-I'm not!" Megla yelps, her yellow scales brightening intensely. She takes a step away from Soren with a strange look in her eyes. "I... I just want to help!" "Kuhak!" Soren laughs. Her usual stoic demeanor cracks slightly upon seeing her sister's flustered look. "Something seems to have changed with your heart, Megla." José sighs. "Ladies. Please. Stop fighting over me like I'm a piece of meat. We don't have time to waste. I'll drive myself to the Engine Room. You just walk alongside me and listen. I have a lot of information to relay." Both Kraktol women frown for a moment before hiding their emotions. With a sigh, Soren pulls away from José and raises her palms. "I see. My apologies, Admiral. I did not mean to insult your abilities. You can surely move yourself if necessary." The Admiral looks into the disappointed eyes of Soren, before glancing at Megla afterward. Both of them appear miffed that he would ignore their genuine, heartfelt offers. However, José ignores their silly behavior. "Come along. I want to examine the engine room's condition for myself." Soren lowers her head. "Yes, Admiral..." "Do what you want," Megla snorts, her annoyance plain as day. She crosses her arms and walks beside José on his left, while Soren walks on his right. They begin heading toward the engine room at a pace neither too fast, nor too slow. An awkward silence ensues. After a few minutes, José clears his throat. "Did Umi explain the mechanics of a Triple-Induction Drive to either of you?" Soren shakes her head. "No. We asked several questions, but the synthmind did not answer. She only guided us on the cleaning and repair process for the engine exhaust vents." From above, Umi speaks. "Admiral. Given the two Kraktol are newly acquired crew-members, and given their origins, I have registered them as 'initiate crew.' Unless you remove the restriction on Class 4 information and below, I will be unable to provide them with information regarding this ship's features or technical blueprints. Based upon the information I've collected from the Dragon Breath's databases, the galaxy at large is unaware of the capabilities of 40th and 50th Era technology. Very few factions possess ships from later than the 30th era, so I have calculated that classifying this information as Top Secret is a prudent move." José nods. "I agree. However, Soren and Megla are now officers of this vessel. In the future, please provide them with any general information of Class 3 and below as their knowledge-base evolves. I'll evaluate the rest on a case-by-case basis." The Admiral speaks openly with Umi right in front of the Kraktol, allowing both of them to hear his words. They glance at each other out of the corners of their eyes and sigh. The Admiral doesn't trust us. Given he's only known us for a day, that's to be expected. ... It doesn't take long before José and the Kraktol arrive at the entrance to the Bloodbearer's Engine Bay. Its entry doors, barely maintained by one of the six Filth Expunger Units over the past 100,000,000 years, slowly slide open. The top and bottom squeal in a most annoying manner due to a large amount of rust accumulation, but the three officers ignore the awful sound. Jose arrives inside a large, circular chamber, easily twice as big as an open-air football stadium. In the center of the room, three giant circular metal platforms sit next to one another in a triangular formation. They hum with energy, causing the air inside the room to vibrate and rattle all three officers' teeth. An energy field twenty meters tall rises toward the ceiling above each platform, where a second set of platforms on the roof meet the field and keep its energy circulating to form a powerful containment field. Inside the energy fields, three giant orbs of explosive-looking energy rapidly whirl around, revealing themselves to be the cause of the intense, energetic humming sensation. Hundreds of thick, Terran-body-width cables stick out of the walls and slink along the ground, connecting to the platforms on the floor, but also the ceiling. They suck the leftover energy from the energized orbs away to power the rest of the ship, preventing them from detonating with high-yield nuclear explosions. Countless robotic arms, long-since rusted-over, stick out of the engine room's walls. Only twenty or so move around and poke at the various computer consoles scattered throughout the room, but it appears clear to José and the Kraktol that this room is just as decayed and dilapidated as the rest of the ship. "Damn..." José mutters. "Even more things to repair. The work never ends. The inventor of bio-fusion once claimed his power sources would last for a billion years, so I guess he was right after all. The ship is likely to break long before the reactors lose their charge." Soren gestures toward the far wall. "The synthmind had us clean the ventilation ducts over there. I only scraped out out the interiors of the first five, but more than a hundred remain." Nodding, José says, "Yes, but cleaning the engine ventilation ducts is only the first step. We also need to clean and maintain the plasma warp conduits, then exit the ship and decalcify the exterior engines. Beyond that, we have to examine the damage this sector's plasma storm has likely caused the Bloodbearer's hull. If there are any breaches on the exterior, we must seal them up before entering Folded Space." Soren's eyes flash with hunger. "Admiral, didn't you tell us you were going to explain the Triple Induction Drive and Folded Space? I'm dying to know more." José smiles. "Oh, yes. I had almost forgotten! Haha, your thirst for knowledge is quite admirable." The Terran wheels toward one of the many nearby broken computer consoles. He gestures toward Megla's toolbelt, prompting her to step closer. Despite the weakness in his body and his atrophied limbs, his shaking and trembles appear to have mostly worn off since resting, so he easily snatches three odd-looking pen-gadgets from her before turning to the console. Whirr. Bzzt. José's hands become a blur as he gets to work fixing the first of many computers within the Engine Room. "A Triple-Induction Drive is not something those from the 30th era would know much about, given how long it took us Terrans to perfect that technology..." Both of the Kraktol lean in to listen as José explains this incredible technology and its uses to them. Next Part ....................................... Author Note: Klokinator here! I am also the author of The Cryopod to Hell. The Last Precursor takes place in the [Cryoverse] which TCTH spawned. You do not have to read TCTH to enjoy TLP. However, I highly recommend it if you enjoy HFY themes, but be warned it will take some 200 parts to get to the relevant HFY elements due to the nature of the story. (A similar structure involving very few humans fighting against vicious demons that have taken over the galaxy.) If you like this story, please consider subscribing to my Patreon! I am very poor and presently jobless due to Coronavirus, so every dollar helps. You get access to Cryopod artwork, and plenty of other exclusive posts, with more to come soon. Thank you!
Chapter 26 I arrive back at the camp before the coming dragons and the coming army. Knights and soldiers guard the skies, crossbows handed out to men that station themselves apart and watch the growing dots. Sergeants shout their orders and men race to weapons stations, fetching spears and shields. I land in time to see Mahz take off, Sergeant Dunstan with him, flying fast toward the dark column of men I saw marching to the camp. We are met by Knight Atwater, a broad man with hair gone gray, dressed in the armor that makes him into a giant of a man and his hand on the hilt of his sword. Knight Gardiner dismounts, landing on his feet, and greets Knight Atwater, looking to the sky together. “Troops coming?” Knight Gardiner asks. “Black and yellows.” Knight Atwater says. That would be the column of men I saw approaching the camp, so it would seem they are our friends. “She’s finally come.” Knight Gardiner says, still watching the skies. “She has. We expecting dragons?” Knight Atwater looks at me. I look at him. “I was not expecting dragons, Knight Atwater, yet here they are.” Knight Atwater grunts. I look up and can see them clearer now, beginning to descend. Four Citrine and a lone Moonstone, there are so rarely a plurality of Moonstone. He is as large as an Onyx, covered in dark gray scales. I know those twisted horns that protrude back from his head, the ones that make him an imposing looking Moonstone. I am not worried about this Moonstone, despite his formidable looks. I am worried about the smaller Citrine that travels with him, the one that seethes with rage. The air trembles with it. Chrysta is angry. “Prasinius Feram!” She roars on her descent. “You collapsed my mountain!” “That is not entirely true, Chrysta.” I say. She lands, quick on her feet and bouncing the distance to me, thrusting her chin up at me. It would be amusing if she was not so immensely, immeasurably, unfathomably furious. “I let humans into my pass, I let you into my pass, I gift you that and you turn my mountain into dust?!” “I did not do it but I was there.” I say. She does not back down, baring her teeth at me. Knight Atwater and Knight Gardiner both have hands on their swords, as do a score of men around the area while the other Citrine and the Moonstone land. There is a heavy silence that is suddenly broken by a deep, resonant laugh. “Chrysta, you show your love in the strangest ways.” The Moonstone says, once he has finished laughing. “Strange little beast, you are, always barking and never biting. It is delightful to see you again, Prasinius. I have missed you.” I laugh and tilt my neck to him, he returns it even more deeply, and the soldiers relax. “I have missed you too, Baastien.” I say. “Knight Gardiner, Knight Atwater, legionnaires, this is Baastien de Viindt. We once called him the Gray Wind but he looks to have gotten slow and fat so that may not be an appropriate nickname.” “I am not slow!” Bas says, then bows his head to the humans. “It is a pleasure to meet you without fire and blood, for once.” Everyone stares at Bas. There are perhaps ten Moonstone on the Continent. They are a rarity of breeding, an oddity born from two unmatched dragons. Dragons rarely explore beyond their own and we have heard that the hatchlings of unmatched dragons more often do not survive. There is no proof of this, the Sapphire would have studied it but a vote by a council of Primes passed an immutable law that the intentional breeding of unmatched dragons would be punishable by death. Bas is an outcast, the son of an Onyx and a Ruby. His parents live in exile, forced off the continent, Bas was not punished for their crime though. He remains and like all Moonstone he is unique. His scales are heavy like an Onyx but longer and oval shaped like a Ruby. His body is covered with the multitude of short spikes that protect him in combat, like an Onyx but his whole body is sleek, compared to a bulkier Onyx, it gives him the gift of both power and speed. “A gray.” A soldier whispers, eyes wide. “Never seen a gray.” Bas turns on the soldier and lowers his head to the woman, eyes a slate gray that glint with amusement. He grins, much like Mahz, lips lower on teeth so they aren’t so terrifying. “This gray has never seen so many humans that weren’t throwing spears, it is a day for firsts.” He lifts his head up and looks at Chrysta. “This one tells me she is going to kill you.” Swords are drawn, crossbows raised, all in the blink of an eye. Bas grins and laughs. Chrysta bristles and snarls at the nearest crossbowman, the same soldier that spoke earlier. The woman does not flinch. For the first time in a long time, Chrysta looks at me and smiles, just a fleeting one. “Look how they love you.” She says. “Perhaps they want the first dragon emperor?” “He saved my life.” The soldier says, still unwavering. “Saved all our lives. Only fair to return the favor. Besides, we like him, we don’t know you.” “Humans, so passionate. Chrysta is not going to kill Prae, or anyone, no matter how capable she is. We have many life debts among us, do we not?” Bas says. “Including one that is owed to me. I suggest that our little band, in honor of the time spent together those many years ago, begin anew. No debts, no grudges.” “I can accept this.” I say. “I will accept this.” Chrysta says, taking one long deep breath. “Prasinius, I won’t kill you. We will have words one day, and soon.” “Wonderful!” Bas is always loud, that startles the soldiers, but they sheathe swords and lower crossbows. “Then, if you’ll have us, we have come to fight.” “Can you fight?” That same soldier speaks up, Knight Atwater has not interrupted her, nor has Knight Gardiner. I do not know this woman. “Or have you gotten fat and slow like the Emerald says?” “A dragon lives comfortably in hiding for five hundred years and when he returns they mock him.” Bas says, looking at her with with curiosity. “I am not slow.” “Prove it.” The soldier lifts her crossbow and releases a bolt. I yelp, Chrysta jumps, every soldier makes a strangling noise including the knights. Bas’ head moves with lightning speed and snatches the bolt from the air before it passes over his head. There is a silence that lingers before Bas breaks it with laughter. “He can stay.” The soldier says. “Dani! Dani!” Someone shouts, a soldier that runs toward the gathering. Bas looks at me and grins, mouth wide and showing all those formidable teeth. “I like her.” The one who is yelling is a man that rivals Knight Atwater’s size, even while the knight is in his armor. I remember him from the battle, one of Sergeant Allisten’s men, I do not recall his name.” “She’s awake!” He shouts, skidding to a stop near this Dani. “Allie’s awake!” She lays on a wooden framed bed, a cot they call them, outside the tent and under a canopy. Her face is pale and sunken, it’s been a long fight for her. Despite all that, she sits up when we gather around. It takes substantial and obvious effort. “I didn’t expect an audience.” She says. “More dragons than I remember.” “We only arrived just now.” Bas says. “I feel entirely caught up.” Sergeant Allisten says, wincing as she moves. Girl sits beside her, staring at the ground. She might be asleep. Boy is near as well, arms folded and leaning against a wooden pole. He watches Girl, concerned. I understand that he attempted to pull her away from the healing several times. I am told she threatened to break his arm and in return he threatened to sneeze on her and that would knock her right into the ground. They compromised on a few hours sleep every day, enforced by Boy and without any broken bones. “I feel like crap.” Sergeant Allisten says. “You died, a few times.” Girl mumbles, rubbing her eyes. So she isn’t asleep. On the edge of it though. “You shouldn’t be sitting up, or talking, you probably shouldn’t be alive. Feeling like crap is the least of your problems.” Sergeant Allisten nods with that. “Do you remember what happened?” Boy asks. “I remember enough.” Sergeant Allisten says. “I remember walking with Reeve. Something caught my eye, couple shadows. I thought they were just celebrating and needed to find a more private spot but, it was Ege.” “Who, or what, is Ege?” Knight Gardiner asks. “I’ve served for a long time.” Sergeant Allisten says. “Back when I was a fresh recruit, one of the guys in the training cohort was Ege. Good kid. He was fast for a legionnaire but he wasn’t as strong as most. He could hold his own in a shieldwall, sure, just not as long as you might need him to.” “Couple weeks after we finish training, we’re off with a legion to take care of some bandit problem. Don’t use many shieldwalls for them, just cohorts that go hunting. Well, we stumble into their camp and Ege cuts through a dozen of them. Quick, that boy, like a knife. We’re all hammers and anvils around here.” She points to herself and the knights. I do not know which is which. “Ege, he wasn’t that. One day they come for him. Every legionnaire has a story about them. Dark cloaks, leather armor, they walk into a legion camp and the Commander breaks out the best food, the private store of wine or beer, starts kissing boots so much that they end up with black lips.” “Imperial Security.” Knight Atwater says, voice edged with disdain. That sentiment seems unanimous among the gathered. Except among the dragons. “Spies.” Sergeant Allisten says, looking at us. “Like Citrine, but more hated.” “As if that is possible.” Bas says, earning a swift kick from Chrysta. Sergeant Allisten shakes her head and goes on. “Never saw Ege again, that was years ago. Until that night. He was in the shadows with someone else, all conspiratorial. Like spies are. He killed Reeve, stabbed me. Well, you all saw. Whatever he came to do, he did and he walked out of here just like that.” “What did he want? Who was he with?” Knight Gardiner asks. I am also curious about that. “For them?” I say. Boy and Girl look at me. I cannot protect them from shadows and spies, that is not my skill. I am suddenly glad to have Chrysta with us, even if she is lying about the fresh start. “I don’t know why he was here.” Sergeant Allisten says. “But I do know who he was with. He’s older but I recognize the face. Some time after the trouble with the bandits, we were stationed back near Creia. Every so often the Emperor, your father, liked to show his face to the troops. Inspire them, I’m sure. It was more a pain in the ass. We spent weeks practicing marching, polishing weapons and armor until you could count your damn teeth in them.” “No inspection ready legion ever passed combat.” Knight Atwater says, and there are rough chuckles and nods from the soldiers, apparently this is a common joke among them. “Right. Well, we get ready, stand out under the sun all drenched in sweat, pretending like we can hear his big speech from the back ranks. Then he does the walk through with all his attendants and guards. They’ve got fancy armor, fancy clothes, everything that we legionnaires aren’t. Had two kids with him, too.” She looks at Boy and Girl. “You’re older now. You must have been what, ten, eleven? You were seven or eight?” Boy nods. He remembers. Girl doesn’t. I have begun to suspect that Girl does not remember much before coming to the forest. My only concern is the intentionality of that. I do not know if she wants to remember. “Only a few days before you disappeared. They had us tearing the city apart for weeks, searching sewers and cellars and attics and everything in between. Anyway, Emperor does his walk through. He stops here and there, general courtesy. What’s your name? You like being in the legion? What does he expect us to say? No? Shit life, shit pay? Emperor asks if you like it, you give him a ‘yes, your majesty’ or a ‘no life better, your majesty’. He stops and talks to the guy next to me. So I’m staring at this knight, looks almost as bored as I do. Crooked nose, like it was flattened once. He leans over and says ‘wiggle your toes, keeps you from breaking your nose, take it from someone who knows’ and winks at me.” Knight Gardiner deflates. I can feel it, the dread. He knows who it is. Sergeant Allisten looks at him. “You saw Knight Milos. He’s the only man I know that said that, all the time, thought it was clever. You saw him again that night.” “Only found out who he was later. Some legendary swordsman, cut his way through the palace and spirited away those two kids. These two kids.” “He can’t still be in the camp, someone would recognize him.” Knight Atwater says, very nearly growling the words. “There are rumors.” Chrysta speaks. Alcina has joined us, threading through the gathering. We take up a great deal of space, us dragons. “Rumors?” Knight Atwater asks. “Among the Citrine. We have worked with your spies, from time to time. There are rumors that some can change their faces. Infiltrators of the highest order.” “It is possible.” Alcina says. “We have not seen what the humans can do with magic, not entirely.” “So it is possible that no one is who they say they are? Can we trust anyone?” Boy asks, looking at the soldiers and knights. “They are only rumors, it may not be possible.” Chrysta says. “Do not turn on anyone yet.” She looks at me when she says that, right at me. “None of this is good.” Sergeant Allisten says. “Spies and plots, nighttime stabbing, I’m just a Sergeant.” Somewhere else in the camp a horn is blown, a rich tone that lingers. It is followed by cheering and the scent of horses, lots of horses. Mahz is overhead, gracefully circling what I imagine is the approaching column of ‘black and yellows’. They take only a few moments to appear, horses with armored men riding them. A column of them, led by a woman holding a black and yellow banner in one hand, sitting tall in her saddle. She reins her horse in front of the gathering and dismounts in one fluid motion, still holding the banner. In the center of the banner is a gray fortress. “Governor.” Knight’s Gardiner and Atwater both dip their heads. The soldiers remain silent, Sergeant Allisten attempts to stand but the woman waves her down. She hands the banner off to another and removes her helmet, steel that has been darkened to a matte black. Her dark hair is pulled back, her face is narrow and her eyes are dark and intense. She looks familiar, somehow. I look from her to Girl, and back again. “You are related.” I say, tilting my head. This Governor looks at me with those hard eyes and the corner of her mouth pulls up into a small smile. She looks at Girl and then to Boy. “You would not remember me, I think, I had not seen either of you for four or five years before your abduction. Your father was my brother, and I loved him, faults and all. I am Governor Mehira Rin and the Western Provinces answer your call.” “Thank you, Governor.” Girl says, bowing. Governor Rin snorts and in the blink of an eye she has Girl wrapped in her arms, lifting her off the ground with a startled noise. I hear Girl’s breath forced out in a vice grip and I am amused. Boy is next, as surprised even though he could have expected it. “I never liked saying ‘your majesty’ so if you’ll allow me to avoid that, you can simply call me Mehira or Aunt. None of this ‘governor’ nonsense.” “I bet she won’t let us get away with not saying it.” One of her riders says, and the rest laugh. Governor Rin is obviously liked by her soldiers. “And you, dragon.” She says, looking to me, eyes narrowed as she takes me in. I feel vulnerable under those eyes, something that is rare. “You are the one that has evened the odds, no?” “I am, Governor.” “You are the one that protected my niece and nephew when the rest of us thought they were dead?” “I am, Governor.” “Then you, of all living things on this continent, do not have to call me Governor. Mehira will do for you.” “Prasinius.” “If that’s a mouthful just call him Prae.” Bas cuts in, chuckling. Governor Rin looks the gray up and down and seems entirely unsurprised. She claps her hands together and looks to Sergeant Allisten. “I’m told you told that murderous, scum sucking, horrid little beast of a man to ride away on a lance?” “Yes, Governor. I’d stand but…” “Nonsense!” Governor Rin stands before Sergeant Allisten and looks her over. “I hear you’re capable, that the Lieutenants you have left voted for you and another Sergeant, a Sergeant Odom, to speak on the behalf of this legion?” “Yes, Governor.” “Excellent. Then they’ll accept that I’m giving you a field commission as a Captain, the two of you. You need a command structure and I have no officers to spare, not with where we’re going.” It feels good to have someone else take command, I must admit. I can feel the same relief from Knight Gardiner, his task has been completed, as has mine. Boy and Girl are safe, they are surrounded by allies, now victory will be achieved through skill of command. “Where are we going, Governor?” Knight Atwater asks. Sergeant Allisten, Captain Allisten, still has her mouth open in shock and hasn’t spoken. Governor Rin speaks for her. “Why, we have a siege to break, do we not? Captain Allisten, if you would make your legion ready to march. We have sat behind our walls long enough.” “Oh I like her.” Chrysta says, with a vicious grin. That does not surprise me. Not in the least. Chapter 28
Bitch you better read if you want your Robinhood to look like this: gainz, bitch Why am I telling you this? Because I like your dumb asses. Even dickbutts like cscqb4. And because I like seeing Wall St. fucking get rekt. Y’all did good until now, and Wall St. is salty af. Just google for “retail traders” news if you haven’t seen it, and you’ll see the salty tears of Wall Street assholes. And I like salty Wall St. assholes crying like bitches. https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/retail-investors-are-crushing-hedge-funds-again That said, some of you here are really motherfucking dense & the sheer influx of retardation has been driving away some of the more knowledgeable folks on this sub. In fact, in my last post, y'all somehow managed to downvote to shit the few guys that really understood the points I was making and tried to explain it to you poo-slinging apes. Stop that shit yo! A lot of you need to sit the fuck down, shut your fucking mouth and listen. So I'm going to try and turn you rag-tag band of dimwits into a respectable army of peasants that can clap some motherfucking Wall Street cheeks. Then, I'm going to give you a mouthbreather-proof trade that I don't think even you knuckleheads can mess up (though I may be underestimating you). If you keep PM-ing me about your stupid ass losses after this, I will find out where you live and personally, PERSONALLY, shit on your doorstep. This is going to be a long ass post. Read the damned post. I don't care if you're dyslexic, use text-to-speech. Got ADHD? Pop your addys, rub one out, and focus! Are you 12? Make sure to go post in the paper trading contest thread first. THE RULES:
Understand that most of this sub has the critical reading skills of a 6 year old and the attention span of a goldfish. As such, my posts are usually written with a level of detail aimed at the lowest common denominator. A lot of details on the thesis are omitted, but that doesn't mean that the contents in the post are all there is to it. If I didn't do that, every post'd have to be longer than this one, and 98% of you fucks wouldn't read it anyway. Fuck that.
Understand that my style of making plays is finding the >10+ baggers that are underpriced. As such, ALL THE GOD DAMN PLAYS I POST ARE HIGH-RISK / HIGH-REWARD. Only play what you can afford to risk. And stop PM-ing me the second the market goes the other way, god damn it! If you can't manage your own positions, I'm going to teach your ass the basics.
Do you have no idea what you're doing and have a question? Google it first. Then google it again. Then Bing it, for good measure. Might as well check PornHub too, you never know. THEN, if you still didn't find the answer, you ask.
This sub gives me Tourette's. If you got a problem with that, well fuck you.
This shit is targeted at the mouthbreathers, but maybe more knowledgeable folk’ll find some useful info, idk. How do you know if you’re in the mouthbreather category? If your answer to any of the following questions is yes, then you are:
Are you new to trading?
Are you unable to manage your own positions?
Did you score into the negatives on the SAT Critical Reading section?
Do you think Delta is just an airline?
Do you buy high & sell low?
Do you want to buy garbage like Hertz or American Airlines because it's cheap?
Did you buy USO at the bottom and are now proud of yourself for making $2?
Do you think stOnKs oNLy Go uP because Fed brrr?
Do you think I'm trying to sell you puts?
If you take a trade you see posted on this sub and are down, do you PM the guy posting it?
Do you generally PM people on this sub to ask them basic questions?
Is your mouth your primary breathing apparatus?
Well I have just the thing for you! Table of Contents: I. Maybe, just maybe, I know what I’m talking about II. Post-mortem of the February - March 2020 Great Depression III. Mouthbreather's bootcamp on managing a position – THE TECHNICALS IV. Busting your retarded myths V. LIQUIDITY NUKE INBOUND VI. The mouthbreather-proof trade - The Akimbo VII. Quick hints for non-mouthbreathers Chapter I - Maybe, just maybe, I know what I’m talking about I'm not here to rip you off. Every fucking time I post something, a bunch of dumbasses show up saying I'm selling you puts or whatever the fuck retarded thoughts come through their caveman brains.
Sit down, Barney, I'm not here to scam you for your 3 cents on OTM puts. Do I always get it right? Of course not, dumbasses. Eurodollar play didn't work out (yet). Last TQQQ didn't work out (yet). That’s just how it goes. Papa Buffet got fucked on airlines. Plain retard Burry bought GME. What do you fucking expect? Meanwhile, I keep giving y'all good motherfucking plays:
28/10/2019: "I'ma say this again, in case you haven't heard me the first time. BUY $JNK PUTS NOW!". Strike: "11/15, 1/17 and 6/19". "This thing can easily go below 50, so whatever floats your boat. Around $100 strike is a good entry point."
3/9/2020: "I mean it's a pretty obvious move, but $JNK puts."
3/19/2020, 12pm: "UVXY put FDs are free money." & “Buy $UVXY puts expiring tomorrow if we're still green at 3pm. Trust me.”
3/24/2020: “$UUP 3/27 puts at $27.5 or $27 should be 10-baggers once the bill passes. I'd expect it to go to around $26.”
And of course, the masterpiece that was the TQQQ put play. Chapter II. Post-mortem of the February - March 2020 Great Depression Do you really understand what happened? Let's go through it. I got in puts on 2/19, right at the motherfucking top, TQQQ at $118. I told you on 2/24 TQQQ ($108) was going to shit, and to buy fucking puts, $90ps, $70ps, $50ps, all the way to 3/20 $30ps. You think I just pulled that out of my ass? You think I just keep getting lucky, punks? Do you have any idea how unlikely that is? Well, let's take a look at what the fuckstick Kevin Cook from Zacks wrote on 3/5: How Many Sigmas Was the Flash Correction Plunge?
"Did you know that last week's 14% plunge in the S&P 500 SPY was so rare, by statistical measures, that it shouldn't happen once but every 14,000 years?" "By several measures, it was about a 5-sigma move, something that's not "supposed to" happen more than once in your lifetime -- or your prehistoric ancestors' lifetimes! "According to general statistical principles, a 4-sigma event is to be expected about every 31,560 days, or about 1 trading day in 126 years. And a 5-sigma event is to be expected every 3,483,046 days, or about 1 day every 13,932 years."
On 3/5, TQQQ closed at $81. I just got lucky, right? You should buy after a 5-sigma move, right? That's what fuckstick says:
"Big sigma moves happen all the time in markets, more than any other field where we collect and analyze historical data, because markets are social beasts subject to "wild randomness" that is not found in the physical sciences. This was the primary lesson of Nassim Taleb's 2007 book The Black Swan, written before the financial crisis that found Wall Street bankers completely ignorant of randomness and the risks of ruin." I also took advantage of the extreme 5-sigma sell-off by grabbing a leveraged ETF on the Nasdaq 100, the ProShares UltraPro QQQ TQQQ. In my plan, while I might debate the merits of buying AAPL or MSFT for hours, I knew I could immediately buy them both with TQQQ and be rewarded very quickly after the 14% plunge."
"The plunge in US equities yesterday (12 March) pushed weekly returns down to 7.7 standard deviations below the norm. In statistical science, the odds of a greater-than seven-sigma event of this kind are astronomical to the point of being comical (about one such event every 160 billion years).
Let's see what Stephen Mathai-Davis, CFA, CQF, WTF, BBQ, Founder and CEO of Q.ai - Investing Reimagined, a Forbes Company, and a major fucktard has to say at this point:
"Our AI models are telling us to buy SPY (the SPDR S&P500 ETF and a great proxy for US large-cap stocks) but since all models are based on past data, does it really make sense? " "While it may or may not make sense to buy stocks, it definitely is a good time to sell “volatility.” And yes, you can do it in your brokerage account! Or, you can ask your personal finance advisor about it." "So what is the takeaway? I don’t know if now is the right time to start buying stocks again but it sure looks like the probabilities are in your favor to say that we are not going to experience another 7 standard deviation move in U.S. Stocks. OTM (out-of-the-money) Put Spreads are a great way to get some bullish exposure to a rally in the SPY while also shorting such rich volatility levels."
"tinygiraffe21 1 point 2 months ago Haha when? I’m loading up in 4/17 25 puts" "dlkdev Scratch that, helicopter money is here." "AfgCric 1 point 2 months ago What does that mean?" "It means the Fed & Trump are printing trillions with no end in sight. If they go through with this, this was probably the bottom."
Idiot, I have no way of knowing that Billy boy Ackman was going to go on CNBC and cry like a little bitch to make everyone dump, so he can get out of his shorts. Just like I have no way of knowing when the Fed decides to do a bailout. But you react to that, when you see it. Do you think "Oh no world's ending" and go sell everything? No, dumbass, you try to figure out what Billy's doing. And in this case it was pretty obvious, Billy saw the Fed train coming and wanted to close his shorts. So you give the dude a hand, quick short in and out, and position for Billy dumping his short bags. Video of Billy & the Fed train Here's what Billy boy says:
“But if they don’t, and the government takes the right steps, this hedge could be worth zero, and the stock market could go right back up to where it was. So we made the decision to exit.”
https://www.businessinsider.sg/bill-ackman-explains-coronavirus-trade-single-best-all-time-podcast-2020-5 Also, “the single best trade of all time.” my ass, it was only a 100-bagger. I gave y’all a 150-bagger. So how could I catch that? Because it wasn't random, yo. And I'm here to teach your asses how to try to spot such potential moves. But first, the technical bootcamp. Chapter III. Mouthbreather's bootcamp on managing a position – THE TECHNICALS RULE 1. YOU NEVER BUY OPTIONS AT OPEN. You NEVER OVERPAY for an option. You never FOMO into buying too fast. You NEVER EVER NEVER pump the premium on a play. I saw you fuckers buying over 4k TQQQ 5/22 $45 puts in the first minutes of trading. You pumped the premium to over $0.50 dudes. The play's never going to work if you do that, because you give the market maker free delta, and he's going to hedge that against you. Let me explain simply: Let's say a put on ticker $X at strike $50 is worth $1, and a put at strike $51 is worth $2. If you all fomo in at once into the same strike, the market maker algos will just pull the asks higher. If you overpay at $2 for the $50p, the market maker will just buy $51ps for $2 and sell you $50ps for 2$. Or he'll buy longer-dated $50ps and sell you shorter-dated $50ps. Max risk for him is now 0, max gain is $1. You just gave him free downside insurance, so of course he's going to start going long. And you just traded against yourself, congrats. You need to get in with patience, especially if you see other autists here wanting to go in at the same time. Don't step on each other's toes. You put in an order, and you wait for it to fill for a couple of seconds. If it doesn't fill, AND the price of the option hasn't moved much recently, you can bump the bid $0.01. And you keep doing that a few times. Move your strikes, if needed. Only get a partial fill or don't get a fill at all? You cancel your bid. Don't fucking leave it hanging there, or you're going to put a floor on the price. Let the mm algos chill out and go again later. RULE 2. WATCH THE TIME. Algos are especially active at x:00, x:02, x:08, x:12, x:30 and x:58. Try not to buy at those times. RULE 3. YOU USE MULTIPLE BROKERS. Don't just roll with Robinhood, you're just gimping yourself. If you don't have another one, open up a tasty, IB, TD, Schwab, whatever. But for cheap faggy puts (or calls), Robinhood is the best. If you want to make a play for which the other side would think "That's free money!", Robinhood is the best. Because Citadel will snag that free money shit like no other. Seriously, if you don't have a RH account, open one. It's great for making meme plays. RULE 4. YOU DON'T START A TRADE WITH BIG POSITIONS. Doesn't matter how big or small your bankroll is. If you go all-in, you're just gambling, and the odds are stacked against you. You need to have extra cash to manage your positions. Which leads to RULE 5. MANAGING YOUR WINNERS: Your position going for you? Good job! Now POUND THAT SHIT! And again. Move your strikes to cheaper puts/calls, and pound again. And again. Snowball those gains. RULE 6A. POUND THOSE $0.01 PUTS: So you bought some puts and they’re going down? Well, the moment they reach $0.01, YOU POUND THOSE PUTS (assuming there’s enough time left on them, not shit expiring in 2h). $0.01 puts have amazing risk/return around the time they reach $0.01. This is not as valid for calls. Long explanation why, but the gist of it is this: you know how calls have unlimited upside while puts have limited upside? Well it’s the reverse of that. RULE 6B. MANAGING YOUR LOSERS: Your position going against you? Do you close the position, take your loss porn and post it on wsb? WRONG DUMBASS. You manage that by POUNDING THAT SHIT. Again and again. You don't manage losing positions by closing. That removes your gainz when the market turns around. You ever close a position, just to have it turn out it would have been a winner afterwards? Yeah, don't do that. You manage it by opening other positions. Got puts? Buy calls. Got calls? Buy puts. Turn positions into spreads. Buy spreads. Buy the VIX. Sell the VIX. They wanna pin for OPEX? Sell them options. Not enough bankroll to sell naked? Sell spreads. Make them fight you for your money, motherfuckers, don't just give it away for free. When you trade, YOU have the advantage of choosing when and where to engage. The market can only react. That's your edge, so USE IT! Like this: Example 1: Initial TQQQ 5/22 position = $5,000. Starts losing? You pound it. https://preview.redd.it/gq938ty8e5151.png?width=944&format=png&auto=webp&s=734ab7ed517f0e6822bfaaed5765d1272de398d1 Total pounded in 5/22 TQQQ puts = $10,824. Unfortunately expired worthless (but also goes to show I'm not selling you puts, dickwads) Then the autists show up:
"Hahaha you lost all your money nice job you fucking idiot why do you even live?" - cscqb4
You have a downside position, but market going up or nowhere? You play that as well. At least make some money back, if not profit. Example 2: 5/22, long weekend coming right? So you use your brain & try to predict what could happen over the 3-day weekend. Hmm, 3 day weekend, well you should expect either a shitty theta-burn or maybe the pajama traders will try to pooomp that shite on the low volume. Well make your play. I bet on the shitty theta burn, but could be the other, idk, so make a small play. Sold some ES_F spreads (for those unaware, ES is a 50x multiplier, so 1 SPX = 2 ES = 10 SPY, approximately). -47x 2955/2960 bear call spreads for $2.5. Max gain is $2.5, max loss is 2960-2955 = $5. A double-or-nothing basically. That's $5,875 in premium, max loss = 2x premium = $11,750. Well, today comes around and futures are pumping. Up to 3,014 now. Do you just roll over? You think I'm gonna sit and take it up the ass? Nah bros that's not how you trade, you fucking fight them. How? I have: 47x 2960 calls -47x 2955 calls Pajama traders getting all up in my grill? Well then I buy back 1 of the 2955 calls. Did that shit yesterday when futures were a little over 2980, around 2982-ish. Paid $34.75, initially shorted at $16.95, so booked a -$892 loss, for now. But now what do I have? 46x 2955/2960 bear calls 1x 2960 long call So the fuckers can pump it. In fact, the harder they pump it, the more I make. Each $2.5 move up in the futures covers the max loss for 1 spread. With SPX now at ~3015, that call is $55 ITM. Covers 24/46 contracts rn. If they wanna run it up, at 3070 it's break-even. Over that, it's profit. I'll sell them some bear call spreads over 3050 if they run it there too. They gonna dump it? well under 2960 it's profit time again. They wanna do a shitty pin at 3000 today? Well then I'll sell them some theta there. Later edit: that was written yesterday. Got out with a loss of only $1.5k out of the max $5,875. Not bad. And that, my dudes, is how you manage a position. RULE 7 (ESPECIALLY FOR BEARS). YOU DON'T KEEP EXTRA CASH IN YOUR BROKER ACCOUNT. You don't do it with Robinhood, because it's a shitty dumpsterfire of a broker. But you don't do it with other brokers either. Pull that shit out. Preferably to a bank that doesn't play in the markets either, use a credit union or some shit. Why? Because you're giving the market free liquidity. Free margin loans. Squeeze that shit out, make them work for it. Your individual cash probably doesn't make a dent, but a million autists with an extra $1200 trumpbucks means $1.2b. That's starting to move the needle. You wanna make a play, use instant deposits. And that way you don't lose your shit when your crappy ass broker or bank gets its ass blown up on derivative trades. Even if it's FDIC or SIPC insured, it's gonna take time until you see that money again. Chapter IV. BUSTING YOUR RETARDED MYTHS MYTH 1 - STONKS ONLY GO UP Do you think the market can go up forever? Do you think stOnKs oNLy Go uP because Fed brrr? Do you think SPX will be at 5000 by the end of the month? Do you think $1.5 trillion is a good entry point for stonks like AAPL or MSFT? Do you want to buy garbage like Hertz or American Airlines because it's cheap? Did you buy USO at the bottom and are now proud of yourself for making $2? Well, this section is for you! Let's clear up the misconception that stonks only go up while Fed brrrs. What's your target for the SPX top? Think 3500 by the end of the year? 3500 by September? 4000? 4500? 5000? Doesn't matter, you can plug in your own variables. Let's say SPX only goes up, a moderate 0.5% each period as a compounded avg. (i.e. up a bit down a bit whatever, doesn't matter as long as at the end of your period, if you look back and do the math, you'll get that number). Let's call this variable BRRR = 0.005. Can you do the basic math to calculate the value at the end of x periods? Or did you drop out in 5th grade? Doesn't matter if not, I'll teach you. Let's say our period is one week. That is, SPX goes up on average 0.5% each week on Fed BRRR: 2950 * (1.005^x), where x is the number of periods (weeks in this case) So, after 1 month, you have: 2950 * (1.005^4) = 3009 After 2 months: 2950 * (1.005^8) = 3070 End of the year? 2950 * (1.005^28) = 3392 Now clearly, we're already at 3015 on the futures, so we're moving way faster than that. More like at a speed of BRRR = 1%/wk 2950 * (1.01^4) = 3069 2950 * (1.01^8) = 3194 2950 * (1.01^28) = 3897 Better, but still slower than a lot of permabulls would expect. In fact, some legit fucks are seriously predicting SPX 4000-4500 by September. Like this dude, David Hunter, "Contrarian Macro Strategist w/40+ years on Wall Street". IDIOTIC. https://twitter.com/DaveHcontrarian/status/1263066368414568448 That'd be 2950 * (BRRR^12) = 4000 => BRRR = 1.0257 and 2950 * (BRRR^12) = 4500 => BRRR = 1.0358, respectively. Here's why that can't happen, no matter the amount of FED BRRR: Leverage. Compounded Leverage. There's currently over $100b in leveraged etfs with a 2.5x avg. leverage. And that's just the ones I managed to tally, there's a lot of dogshit small ones on top of that. TQQQ alone is now at almost $6b in AUM (topped in Fed at a little over $7b). Now, let's try to estimate what happens to TQQQ's AUM when BRRR = 1.0257. 3XBRRR = 1.0771. Take it at 3XBRRR = 1.07 to account for slippage in a medium-volatility environment and ignore the fact that the Nasdaq-100 would go up more than SPX anyway. $6,000,000,000 * (1.07^4) = $7,864,776,060 $6,000,000,000 * (1.07^8) = $10,309,100,000 $6,000,000,000 * (1.07^12) = $13,513,100,000 $6,000,000,000 * (1.07^28) = $39,893,000,000. What if BRRR = 1.0358? => 3XBRR = 1.1074. Take 3XBRRR = 1.10. $6,000,000,000 * (1.1^4) = $8,784,600,000 $6,000,000,000 * (1.1^8) = $12,861,500,000 $6,000,000,000 * (1.1^12) = $18,830,600,000 $6,000,000,000 * (1.1^28) = $86,526,000,000 And this would have to get 3x leveraged every day. And this is just for TQQQ. Let's do an estimation for all leveraged funds. $100b AUM, 2.5 avg. leverage factor, BRRR = 1.0257 => 2.5BRRR = 1.06425 $100b * (1.06^4) = $128.285b $100b * (1.06^8) = $159.385b $100b * (1.06^12) = $201.22b $100b * (1.06^28) = $511.169b That'd be $1.25 trillion sloshing around each day. And the market would have to lose each respective amount of cash into these leveraged funds. Think the market can do that? You can play around with your own variables. But understand that this is just a small part of the whole picture, many other factors go into this. It's a way to put a simple upper limit on an assumption, to check if it's reasonable. In the long run, it doesn't matter if the Fed goes BRRR, if TQQQ takes in it's share of 3XBRRR. And the Fed can't go 3XBRRR, because then TQQQ would take in 9XBRRR. And on top of this, you have a whole pile of leveraged derivatives on top of these leveraged things. Watch (or rewatch) this: Selena Gomez & Richard H. Thaler Explaining Synthetic CDO through BLACKJACK My general point, at the mouth-breather level, is that Fed BRRR cannot be infinite, because leverage. And these leveraged ETFs are flawed instruments in the first place. It didn't matter when they started out. TQQQ and SQQQ started out at $8m each. For the banks providing the swaps, for the market providing the futures contracts, whatever counter-party to whatever instrument they would use, that was fine. Because it balanced out. When TQQQ made a million, SQQQ lost a million (minus a small spread, which was the bank's profit). Bank was happy, in the long run things would even out. Slippage and spreads and fees would make them money. But then something happened. Stonks only went up. And leveraged ETFs got bigger and more and more popular. And so, TQQQ ended up being $6-7b, while SQQQ was at $1b. And the same goes for all the other ETFs. Long leveraged ETF AUM became disproportionate to short AUM. And it matters a whole fucking lot. Because if you think of the casino, TQQQ walks up every day and says "I'd like to put $18b on red", while SQQQ walks up and says "I'd only like to put $3b on black". And that, in turn, forces the banks providing the swaps to either eat shit with massive losses, or go out and hedge. Probably a mix of both. But it doesn't matter if the banks are hedged, someone else is on the other side of those hedges anyway. Someone's eating a loss. Can think of it as "The Market", in general, eating the loss. And there's only so much loss the market can eat before it craps itself. If you were a time traveller, how much money do you think you could make by trading derivatives? Do you think you could make $20 trillion? You know the future prices after all... But no, you couldn't. There isn't enough money out there to pay you. So you'd move the markets by blowing them up. Call it the Time-travelling WSB Autist Paradox. If you had a bucket with a hole in the bottom, even if you poured an infinite amount of water into it, it would never be full. Because there's a LIQUIDITY SINK, just like there is one in the markets. And that, my mouth-breathing friends, is the reason why FED BRRR cannot be infinite. Or alternatively, "STONKS MUST GO BOTH UP AND DOWN". MYTH 2 - YOU CAN'T TIME THE MARKET On Jan 14, 2020, I predicted this: Assuming that corona doesn't become a problem, "AAPL: Jan 28 $328.3, Jan 31 $316.5, April 1 $365.7, May 1 $386, July 1 $429 December 31 $200." Now take a look at the AAPL chart in January. After earnings AAPL peaked at $327.85. On 1/31, after the 1st hour of trading, when the big boys make moves, it was at $315.63. Closed 1/31 at $309.51. Ya think I pulled this one out of my ass too? Yes you can time it. Flows, motherfucker, flows. Money flow moves everything. And these days, we have a whole lot of RETARDED FLOW. Can't even call it dumb flow, because it literally doesn't think. Stuff like:
ETF flows. If MSFT goes up and AAPL goes down, part of that flow is going to move from AAPL to MSFT. Even if MSFT flash-crashes up to $1000, the ETF will still "buy". Because it's passive.
Option settlement flows. Once options expire, money is going to flow from one side to another, and that my friends is accurately predictable from the data.
Index rebalancing flows
401k passive flows
Carry trade flows
Tax day flows
Flows of people front-running the flows
And many many others. Spot the flow, and you get an edge. How could I predict where AAPL would be after earnings within 50 cents and then reverse down to $316 2 days later? FLOWS MOTHERFUCKER FLOWS. The market was so quiet in that period, that is was possible to precisely figure out where it ended up. Why the dump after? Well, AAPL earnings (The 8-K) come out on a Wednesday. The next morning, after market opens the 10-Q comes out. And that 10-Q contains a very important nugget of information: the latest number of outstanding shares. But AAPL buybacks are regular as fuck. You can predict the outstanding shares before the market gets the 10-Q. And that gives you EDGE. Which leads to MYTH 3 - BUYBACKS DON'T MATTER Are you one of those mouthbreathers that parrots the phrase "buybacks are just a tax-efficient way to return capital to shareholders"? Well sit the fuck down, I have news for you. First bit of news, you're dumb as shit. Second bit: On 1/28, AAPL's market cap is closing_price x free_float_outstanding_shares. But that's not the REAL MARKET CAP. Because the number of outstanding shares is OLD AS FUCK. When the latest number comes out, the market cap changes instantly. And ETFs start moving, and hedges start being changed, and so on.
"But ETFs won't change the number of shares they hold, they will still hold the same % of AAPL in the index" - random_wsb_autist
Oh my fucking god you're dumb as fuck. FLOWS change. And the next day, when TQQQ comes by and puts its massive $18b dong on the table, the market will hedge that differently. And THAT CAN BE PREDICTED. That's why AAPL was exactly at $316 1 hour after the market opened on 1/31. So, what can you use to spot moves? Let me show you: Market topped on 2/19. Here’s SPY. I even marked interesting dates for you with vertical lines. https://preview.redd.it/7agm171eh5151.png?width=3713&format=png&auto=webp&s=d94b90dcd634c8dc688925585bf0a02c3299f71b Nobody could have seen it coming, right? WRONG AGAIN. Here: https://preview.redd.it/i1kdp3cgh5151.png?width=3713&format=png&auto=webp&s=7a1e086e9217846547efd3b6c5249f4a7ebe6d9e In fact, JPYUSD gave you two whole days to see it. Those are NOT normal JPYUSD moves. But hey maybe it’s just a fluke? Wrong again. https://preview.redd.it/fsyhenckh5151.png?width=3693&format=png&auto=webp&s=03200e10b008257ae15d40b474c4cf4d8c23670f Forex showed you that all over the place. Why? FLOWS MOTHERFUCKER FLOWS. When everything moves like that, it means the market needs CASH. It doesn’t matter why, but remember people pulling cash out of ATMs all over the world? Companies drawing massive revolvers? Just understand what this flow means. The reversal: https://preview.redd.it/4xe97l0oh5151.png?width=1336&format=png&auto=webp&s=07aaa93f6b1d8f542101e40e431edccbc109918f https://preview.redd.it/v6i0pdmoh5151.png?width=1338&format=png&auto=webp&s=74d5589961db2f978d4d582e6d7c58a85f6305f9 But it wasn’t just forex. Gold showed it to you as well. Bonds showed it to you as well. https://preview.redd.it/40j53u8th5151.png?width=3711&format=png&auto=webp&s=fe39ab51321d0f98149d33e33253e69f96c48e23 Even god damn buttcoin showed it to you. https://preview.redd.it/43lvafhvh5151.png?width=3705&format=png&auto=webp&s=1ef53283cbc0fb97f71c1ba935c0bd747809636e And they all did it for 2 days before the move hit equities. Chapter V. LIQUIDITY NUKE INBOUND You see all these bankruptcies that happened so far, and all the ones that are going to follow? Do you think that’s just dogshit companies and it won’t have major effects on anything outside them? WRONG. Because there’s a lot of leveraged instruments on top of those equities. When the stock goes to 0, all those outstanding puts across all expirations get instantly paid. Understand that Feb-March was a liquidity MOAB. But this will end with a liquidity nuke. Here’s just HTZ for example: $239,763,550 in outstanding puts. Just on a single dogshit small-cap company (this thing was like $400m mkt. cap last week). And that’s just the options on the equity. There’s also instruments on etfs that hold HTZ, on the bonds, on the ETFs that hold their bonds, swaps, warrants, whatever. It’s a massive pile of leverage. Then there’s also the ripple effects. Were you holding a lot of HTZ in your brokerage margin account? Well guess what big boi, when that gaps to 0 you get a margin call, and then you become a liquidity drain. Holding long calls? 0. Bonds 0. DOG SHIT! And the market instantly goes from holding $x in assets (HTZ equity / bonds / calls) to holding many multiples of x in LIABILITIES (puts gone wrong, margin loans, derivatives books, revolvers, all that crap). And it doesn’t matter if the Fed buys crap like HTZ bonds. You short them some. Because when it hits 0, it’s no longer about supply and demand. You get paid full price, straight from Jerome’s printer. Is the Fed going to buy every blown up derivative too? Because that's what they'd have to do. Think of liquidity as a car. The faster it goes, the harder it becomes to go even faster. At some point, you can only go faster by driving off a cliff. THE SQUEEZE. But you stop instantly when you hit the ground eventually. And that’s what shit’s doing all over the place right now. Rewatch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hG4X5iTK8M And just like that fucker, “I’m standing in front of a burning house, and I’m offering you fire insurance on it.” Don’t baghold! Now is not the time to baghold junk. Take your cash. Not the time to buy cheap crap. You don’t buy Hertz. You don’t buy USO. You don’t buy airlines, or cruises, or GE, or motherfucking Disney. And if you have it, dump that shit. And the other dogshit that’s at ATH, congrats you’re in the green. Now you take your profits and fucking dump that shit. I’m talking shit like garbage SaaS, app shit, AI shit, etc. Garbage like MDB, OKTA, SNAP, TWLO, ZM, CHGG etc. And you dump those garbage ass leveraged ETFs. SQQQ, TQQQ, whatever, they’re all dogshit now. The leverage MUST unwind. And once that’s done, some of you will no longer be among us if you don’t listen. A lot of leveraged ETFs will be gone. Even some non-leveraged ETFs will be gone. Some brokers will be gone, some market makers will be gone, hell maybe even some big bank has to go under. I can’t know which ones will go poof, but I can guarantee you that some will. Another reason to diversify your shit. There’s a reason papa Warrant Buffet dumped his bags, don’t think you’re smarter than him. He may be senile, but he’s still a snake. And once the unwind is done, THEN you buy whatever cheap dogshit’s still standing. Got it? Good. You feel ready to play yet? Alright, so you catch a move. Or I post a move and you wanna play it. You put on a small position. When it’s going your way, YOU POUND DAT SHIT. Still going? Well RUSH B CYKA BLYAT AND PLANT THE GOD DAMN 3/20 $30p BOMB. Chapter VI - The mouthbreather-proof play - THE AKIMBO Still a dumbass that can’t make a play? Still want to go long? Well then, I got a dumbass-proof trade for you. I present to you THE AKIMBO: STEP 1. You play this full blast. You need some real Russian hardbass to get you in the right mood for trading, cyka. STEP 2. Split your play money in 3. Remember to keep extra bankroll for POUNDING THAT SHIT. STEP 3. Use 1/3 of your cash to buy SQQQ 9/18 $5p, pay $0.05. Not more than $0.10. STEP 4. Use 1/3 of your cash to buy TQQQ 9/18 $20p, pay around $0.45. Alternatively, if you’re feeling adventurous, 7/17 $35p’s for around $0.5. STEP 5. Use 1/3 of your cash to buy VIX PUT SPREADS 9/15 $21/$20 spread for around $0.15, no more than $0.25. That is, you BUY the 21p and SELL the 20p. Only using Robinhood and don’t have the VIX? What did I just tell you? Well fine, use UVXY then. Just make sure you don’t overpay. Chapter VII - Quick hints for non-mouthbreathers Quick tips, cuz apparently I'm out of space, there's a 40k character limit on reddit posts. Who knew?
For example, “3-4-5x Odds,” usually means you can bet 3x Odds on the 4 or 10, 4x Odds on the 5 or 9, and 5x Odds on the 6 or 8. Check out some great online casinos such as Sunpalace, Casino Max, or slotsplus. Let’s look at a simple scenario to see how the flat and Free Odds bets work together. Listed below are mostly Craps Pit visitor submitted systems*. Have your system added to the list by e-mailing me at [email protected] 1-3-2-6 System. For all even-money betting. System betting means you're using a specific strategy in trying to be a winner. However, in the long-run, the odds favor the casino and no system can change that fact Craps Odds & Bets. Understanding the Craps odds and bets that you can place is vital to ensuring you don’t lose all your money or embarrass yourself in a live game. You might hear people shouting all types of lingo and vernacular terms such as “Horn Bets” or “Lay 10” which often confuse or put off even the biggest casino degenerates. Craps Betting and Etiquette. Prev NEXT . If the point number is rolled before the next 7, the Pass or Come wager will be paid off at even money, but the odds bet will be paid at true odds of rolling that number -- 6-5 on a 6 or 8, 3-2 on 5 or 9, or 2-1 on 4 or 10. In the best case scenario, a good betting strategy will enable craps players to steadily, though gradually, increase the size of their bankrolls while enjoying themselves at the craps table. Of course, as is usually the case with sticking to any pattern, betting strategically involves a good amount of persistence and discipline.
Craps Odds Strategy Explained: The Only Casino Bet With a Zero House Edge
If you want to play the odds and make the smartest bets you can at a craps table, consider betting the wrong way the next time you’re at the casino. Visit casinotop10.net for more casino ... The world's best craps betting strategy is a field betting strategy authored by the Dice Doctor. With this craps betting strategy you start with the table minimum bet in the field. If you win, you ... Don't Lay Odds - Casino Craps is an informational video comparing laying odds on a don't bet vs not laying odds. In the live craps roll I establish 2 don't points and then lay maximum odds on this ... Free Odds Bet - How to Play Craps Pt. 8 The free odds bet in craps is the very best bet the casino offers. It’s on the craps table, but it isn’t marked anywhere. It’s kind of like ordering a ... Best Low Roller Craps System is a craps strategy using a pass line bet and then placing either 3, 2, or 1x odds on the point depending on the number. This craps strategy is called the 3-2-1 craps ...