Thursday, December 1, 2011

NOVA Open 2012 GT Registration Open! Additional Information on GT Schedule and NEW Narrative Event!

click to enlarge
Good Morning,

Registration for Weekend Badges and the Warhammer 40,000 GT for 2012 is now open.

The NOVA Open occurs from Thursday evening, August 30 through Sunday evening, September 2, 2012.

A huge variety of events and activities is on the offering for this year, and more information for every event will come out as we go forward, such as for Infinity (mentioned a few days ago on the blog).

For Warhammer 40,000, an integrated and comprehensive weekend full of events is available, highlighted by the GT.  Some highlights for next year are included below.

Please Carefully Review the Following Flyer for Improvements to the Hyatt Regency Hotel

More Time for Rounds, More Time to Relax

The NOVA Open's schedule for 2012 is much friendlier to the more casual gamer.  This combines well with the format we use for pairing and scoring ... further gearing our event toward ALL player types, all within the same event.

The draft schedule at present for the NOVA Open 2012 40k GT is as follows:
Friday, August 31, 2012

Up until 1:30PM, all day check-in and paint judging
2:00PM - 4:30PM - Round 1
5:00PM - 7:30PM - Round 2
Saturday, September 1, 2012
7:30AM - 10:00AM - Round 3
10:30AM - 1:00PM - Round 4
1:00PM - 2:00PM - Lunch break, Bracket Splits and Record Resets
2:00PM - 4:30PM - Round 5
5:00PM - 7:30PM - Round 6

After Round 6, the Final 4 for each bracket advance to Sunday's Final Fours.  Renaissance Man will be determined after 6 rounds instead of 8.  All players will be able to continue to participate in organized competitive or casual gaming on Sunday morning if they wish, or they can sleep in and enjoy the day, check out DC, or whatever they feel up to.  Players no longer in the running for Generalship awards within their bracket will not be required to continue.

So, in a nutshell - 6 rounds mandatory instead of 8, 2:30 minute rounds instead of 2:15, and only a single day of 4 rounds in a day even for Final Four attendees.  Plus those in it for Ren Man and the like are evaluated based upon 6 rounds instead of 8.

All 40k All the Time - "Nighthammer" - Integrated Experience

For those of you looking for the most comprehensive and universally appealing 40k experience out there, we're proud to add our night project to the 40k offering.  Internally referred to as "Nighthammer" while we finish hammering out details and processes and missions and the rest, this will be a comprehensive all-player-style-integrating 40k experience covering Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as Sunday all day and Saturday during the day for non-GT players.

A couple of highlights to anticipate for "Nighthammer."
 - Unique, balanced, fun and interesting scenarios fine-tuned to player styles and narrative gaming
 - A weekend-long, club-involving, mass-results-incorporating story unique to the NOVA's style and geographic location ... results of all game styles - from competitive tournament games to casual narrative games to "Gladiator-esque" (ref: AdeptiCon) Apoc-inclusive games - will be incorporated in the overall story
 - Custom designed terrain built to the tune of some of Washington DC's most iconic memorials, with table layouts and structures designed to evoke the feel of battling for the future of our nation's capital
 - Comprehensive social enhancers ranging from swap meets to drink specials, all designed and aimed at integrating and bringing together players after a long day of gaming for a blast of an evening every single night

Many of the NOVA's "side" 40k tournaments will occur amidst these evening events, including:
 - The NOVA Invitational's Round 1 will be Thursday Evening
 - The Warhammer 40,000 Trios Team Tournament will occur Thursday and Friday evenings, and Sunday afternoon
 - Narrative Singles and Narrative Doubles Gaming will be added covering Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sunday afternoon
 - Additional offerings and side events, to possibly include 6e if it is released, across the evenings
 - Drop in organizer-assisted gaming for all player styles - competitive gamers deployed to square off against other competitive gamers, all the way to hobbyists with gorgeous armies deployed to square off on scenic tables with other hobbyists fielding gorgeous armies

Saturday DC Narrative-Tied Scavenger Hunt
 - For hobbyists looking to participate in evening narrative gaming, but not wishing to participate in the GT on Saturday, we'll be building and directing an event through our Nation's Capital during the day on Saturday.  The results of this event and the teams sent out for it will have an impact on the continuation of the Narrative Gaming for Saturday evening.  Explore the city with missions in mind during the day, and battle across its iconic monuments at night!

Hotel Reservations - Make sure you reserve your hotel rooms now; the weblink is on the NOVA Open's frontpage.  We'll be once again holding our multi-thousand-dollar hotel cash raffle, and you get more raffle tickets the earlier you reserve your rooms.

There's a GREAT deal more information to come on the NOVA Open 2012, so stay tuned to the website, facebook, blog, twitter, forums and more as we move forward for the best NOVA Open ever!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Note on Scarab Freak-Outs

I have no affiliation with the Southern California Adventure Racing Buddies ... but the organization's name is funny.

Hey all,

Just a quick PSA that the probability is nearly 100% that any major FAQ and tournament out there is going to confirm all scarab swarms spawned in a given turn are spawned at the same time, and thus cannot be placed more than 2" from any scarab swarm base that was there at the beginning of the turn.

So, while some of you out there are laughing and playtesting away with the ability to create the Scarab conga line of doom ... it's not actually going to be something you can do at tournaments unless GW specifically FAQs that you CAN.  That's to say - even if GW doesn't FAQ that question in its Necron FAQ, it will still be played per the above in any major GT you attend (INAT, NOVA FAQ, whatever) once all is said and done.

So ... I strongly encourage the pointless arguing to stop, and the playtesting and playing to occur at a more normal pace.  It's just silliness.

Re: Entropic Strike timing ... I play it as it is written, which is to say the armor reduction is applied immediately following the hit (and therefore prior to the armor penetration roll, which is separate from the roll to hit).  This makes Scarabs even more exceptional against vehicles of all sorts ... but freaking out over this isn't probably a necessary thing.

Necron actively struggle with ranged anti-tank, and Scarabs oddly enough ARE ranged anti-tank (in that they can rapidly and effectively disable or damage multiple tanks in the early phases of the game, in a way that does not expose critical units to counter-punches, and in a way that doesn't take until Turn 5 to be applied, a la Tyranid Monstrous Creatures).  If you significantly reduce the effectiveness of Scarabs with overreactive FAQs or "homebrew" "this must be what they meant" playstyles, you'll quickly find Necron struggling against top tier "parking lot" armies.  A handful of single shot Eldritch Lances walking around ... a couple of over-priced over-fragile Triarch Stalker shots and some AP- Annihilation Barge fire is going to kill a tank or three, but it's not going to level the playing field against 9-Chimera/3-Vendetta melta-spamming IG lists ... or Razorback and Long Fang spamming wolf lists.  Necron need Scarabs to better build them for all comers win-loss tournament play.  Blame the odd design choices in the rest of the Codex if you wish ... or lament the more mandatory nature of the unit ... but take care  not to try and eliminate the only super-reliable option they have by over-home-FAQ'ing or over-complaining ... b/c you'll wind up with a lot of unhappy Necron players excoriated for "just taking scarabs like everyone else" or nerfed into Tyranid/Demon levels of Codex struggle against the broad field of an all-comers tournament.

Just my $.02

Friday, November 25, 2011

Infinity is Coming to NOVA 2012

We are pleased to announce the addition of Infinity to the games played at the NOVA Open. Infinity will make its entry at the NOVA Open 2012 with a 16-person Infinity ITS tournament run over two days. We will be using missions from the Infinity Campaign book due for early 2012 release.

What is Infinity?

Infinity is a 28mm miniatures skirmish game simulating combat and special operations in the near future. Infinity’s miniatures exhibit a futuristic aesthetic characterized by high levels of detail and dynamic poses. In addition to free, downloadable rules, there is a detailed wiki available for those looking to learn more about the game and universe.

What if I’m already signing up for another big event at NOVA?

We’ve organized the schedule so participants can play in both the Infinity tournament and other events, including Warmachine/Hordes, the Warhammer Fantasy GT and the Warhammer 40k GT. The first two rounds of the Infinity tournament will be played on Friday morning, August 30th. The Final Four will then play on Sunday afternoon in Rounds 3 and 4. We will use a similar “Day 2 Brackets” style to the NOVA Open Warhammer 40k GT, ensuring players compete meaningfully for prizes and recognition on the 2nd day of the event. This system earned high praise at the NOVA Open 2011, and we will continue that trend and many of the same themes of fairness and reward for all player types with Infinity events at the NOVA 2012.

We will also be running demo events over the course of the weekend. Have a friend who’s playing in the 40K/Fantasy/Warmachine/Malifaux/Flames of War events that’s interested in learning about Infinity? Bring them over to the demo table, and we’ll be glad to show them how it’s played.

What else?

Tickets for the event will go on sale January 1, 2012. Tickets will allow you to game on both days of the Infinity tournament, as well as put your name in for the results of Corvus Belli’s ITS system. Prize support will be generous, coming from a wide variety of sources and sponsors.

If you’re new to Infinity or a seasoned veteran, sign up for the first NOVA Open Infinity Tournament and test your skills!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Personal Reflections - Codex: Necrons, quickhits


After a lot of playtesting and vassal and brainstorming and the like, I figured I'd do a quick rundown on how I feel about each unit, and where my lists are at personally right now.

Necron were my very first 40k army since returning to the game from a brief bit of playing in High School.  So, I had a bunch of Necron models lying around, and we've gotten a fair # of games in here and there, plus via Vassal.

Anrakyr the Traveler - This is my favorite HQ.  He's cost appropriate for what he does, works just fine in a Command Barge, and his "vehicle control" is actually reliable (in a way that something like Chanegling never was).  Movement talented players will find using Overlords w/ Scythes in Command Barges pretty simple, and they're pretty darned useful to have around.  Anrakyr is the best of these, though you don't want to do any other special character in a barge.

Most important thing to consider when weighing him vs. other Overlords is Anrakyr in a Barge =
1 unit of Immortals gets SLIGHTLY better; this actually can be semi-useful in a larger unit w/ a warscythe lord attached for your "advance" troops ... they aren't going to fight anything especially dangerous any better than regular Necrons, in that they are going to die horribly, but S5 attacks and a warscythe will allow them to punch most basic marine type units in the face pretty good (Esp. led off by tesla carbines).  Don't underestimate this in a list built with it a little bit in mind.

An Overlord w/ Warscythe, Barge, Tachyon Arrow is 210 points
Anrakyr w/ Warscythe, Barge, Tachyone Arrow, Control Vehicles, Buffed Immortals is 245 points

Can you find 35 points in many lists to give you the power to control things like Psyfleman dreads at least once in a game, and to slightly (ever so slightly) improve one of your Immortal squads?  Um, yeah.

Imotekh - There are a lot of internet know-it-alls out there posting in as contrarian and loud a fashion possible about how awful Imotekh is ... chillax please.  His lightning bolts are plenty relevant and useful for a long-range-meh army, night fight is valuable and replaces one Cryptek's worth of points (55) plus a 2nd overlord to enable a 2nd Cryptek, and of course this means you can keep that "Turn 5 backfield objective protection" solar pulse for Turn 5 either way.  He's not over costed because of this, though he only works in certain lists.  You lose a Scythe Command Barge by having him, but you do gain Phaeron.  His lightning bolts are absolutely worth a single Eldritch Lance, and his night fight is stronger than a single Solar Pulse in lists that aren't long-range-shooting intensive at all.  Take out 55 for the Eldritch Cryptek w/ Pulse he replaces, and take out the Phaeron you'd buy in a list with a Phaeron'ed unit, and you're looking at a 150 point Overlord with 2+/3++.  It's fine.  Just don't put him in lists simply because ... put him in lists he belongs in.

Most of the other lords and such - Trazyn has some value, and his value will increase when 6th rolls around and Deathmarks become better (scoring Deathmarks that doubletap on the move, thanks).  The rest of these special characters kinda suck, as far as I'm concerned.  Nemesor's abilities are fun but I don't think you'll see a lot of good use out of him ... he doesn't have the same pros as Imotekh, but still costs more than an overlord would, and doesn't have a warscythe ... so you lose the value of command barge flybys.

Speaking of which,

Command Barges - These suckers are your win-machines.  Hidden power fists, meltaguns, psycannons, sanguinary priests, Coteaz, and a million other things are perpetually at a 50/50 chance of being allocate one-shot without a save when a fast AV13 skimmer 24"'s over their heads.  Scarabs will roll over 10-man marine squads with a fist ... if you flyby gank the fist first.  You'll be able to dakka down FNP BA ... if you cut down the Priest.  Two command barges gives you 6 swings, to boot.  We already know they gank tanks just fine with their +2d6 rear armor hits, but the key to these units is their ability to single out giant pains in the ass for Necron ... hidden pfists, sanguinary priests, coteaz, etc.

There are obviously plenty of times where you aren't going to be able to just run your Barge over enemies ... they aren't going to let you, or you won't be able to without sacrificing your lord inherently to the return fire, etc.  It is often a good idea to give the Lord a Tach arrow, to have one of the lords be Anrakyr, and to enjoy having just a couple more Tesla shots on a durable platform.  This sucker is a great unit ... and its mechanics amplify with player skill in a very gratifying way.

Crypteks - These guys are good for Eldritch Lances on backfield scoring warrior units, and for Solar Pulses.  If you want to get creative and do other things with them, be my guest, but that should be reserved for the player types that really don't need my input.  2 Crypteks means you can solar pulse away your opponent's alpha strike ... and also means you can do it twice in a pinch, or protect your backfield scorers from lategame firepower to clear them from objectives ... probably the most overlooked advantage by the average player.  They also of course couple with 3+ cover and small sizes to protect Scarabs from a desperate alphastrike by opponents who really don't want their psyback spamming, dreadspamming lists to get disintegrated by them.

Lords - There's nothing wrong with a warscythe lord in a unit or two, especially if you wind up with a furious counter-attacking immortal unit ... which suddenly gives you a power fist that doesn't go at I1, and helps ensure your wussy immortals can actually win a midfield combat against a marine-heavy force on rare occasions ... this can actually come in handy if you are facing something like blood angel jumper spam w/ a few priests, b/c these types of armies can get up in your face, murder whatever vehicles you have with melta, and FNP through your teslatorrent ... whereupon you have warscythe barges to target some priests, a lord with a scythe in an immortal unit to suicide target via base-2-base another priest, etc. etc.  You won't use these nearly as often as a few Crypteks of course.


This section of the FOC is the one upon which the largest dumperoonie was taken.  It is not strong.

Triarch Stalker - This sucker is ... well, not very good.  Open topped AV13 with a 2 shot 24" missile launcher.  Yes, it's AP1, I know ... but it's not a two-shot multi-melta in the way it would be for an army like marines, and it's on a vehicle.  In order for it to be anything more than a very expensive double-missile dreadnaught, you need to be within 12" of your target ... which means you're readily target-able by return melta fire from a huge array of armies out there, and your own vehicle is extremely fragile.

It is additionally expensive enough and unique enough in the dex that any kind of opposing ranged anti-tank fire is going to be leveled at these guys ASAP, should their firepower actually be threatening in the first place.  They're too expensive, they don't shoot very hard, and they twin-link an army's worth of equally lame long-range traditional anti-tank fire ... whoop dee doo.  Don't try to build a max-long-range-shooting army with Necron, or you will end up disappointed in Necron.

Praetorians - 1 attack, I2 and no invul on assault jump infantry?  Blah.  These are crap.

Lychguard - It would make so much sense if they shuffled some things about between this selection and the one prior.  Give Lychguard jump packs, and enable them to hitch a ride on a command barge in squads of 5 ... or swap weaponry and gear around so Lychguard are simply jump-capable, and Praetorians have a longer range AP2 shooting attack that's a power weapon, as a counter-assault-capable unit that can actually fire while trudging along the board.

The problems with both of these units are related to the really awful dedicated transports Necron have ... but I'll hit that up when I cover Dedicated Transports.

Deathmarks - I suspect these will be amazing in 6th edition.  For now they are crap.

Flayed One - Call me crazy, but for cheap I can actually see taking a squad or two of these and outflanking them to attack long fangs and/or tie down gundreads and other sorts of shenanigans.  They really aren't all that expensive for 15 S4 attacks on the charge, even though they are really easy to kill, and Ld10 + RP will occasionally help you stick around for a combat or two that you lose by a model or two.  These are "bad" in the same way Mandrakes are bad, and good in the same ways ... and as such there's actually occasionally reason to take them, especially since there's nothing else in the barren wasteland of Necron Elites.  If for some reason you feel like having a few affordable models in your list that can outflank into someone's backfield ... go ahead.  I haven't been finding myself with spare points to include a squad in most of my list builds, so please don't translate this to me saying Flayed Ones are good.  I just think people will put them to good use if they have 5-10 of them in a handful of list archetypes.

C'tan Shard - 3 Psyfledreads statistically kill 1 with a round of fire.  Lots of people have 3 psyfledreads.  You can only put the ranged anti-tank weapon on one of them, for an absurd points cost.  They still use really tall impossible-to-easily-hide models.  They cost a crapton.  They are WAY less durable as a result of T7.  No, it won't matter as much for the weapons that need 6's to wound T7 or T8, and I'm not talking about lasguns.  I'm talking about multilasers, psycannons, psybolt razorbacks, missile launchers, autocannons, psybolt autocannons, lascannons, plasmaguns, plasma cannons, plasma rifles, meltaguns, grenade launchers, hell WHATEVER .... every attack in the game S6-S9 just got better against C'tan, and that's a huge quantity of the current metagame's firepower and combat power.  AND if you want them to e very good at all, they really didn't drop in price all that much.  When I heard you could take 3 C'tan I was excited, b/c I love monstrous creatures.  When their points and stats came out I was very disappointed.  Fortunately, the Heavy Support section would save me later on.

Warriors - These guys are cheaper, but they are dramatically weaker.  They still are effectively very short-ranged, and their firepower is not all that effective (Even with gauss) unless they are in large #'s and attached to a Phaeron.  I'm not saying you can't do this, but I think they're kind of an underwhelming unit in all respects if you want them to be offensive at all.  The best use for Warriors right now = filling out your Troops in points-restrictive builds with 65 point scoring units that you can hide in backfield and/or attach lances to.  Most opponents won't be able to take focus off Scarabs and Spyders to kill them, and if you think they will just reserve those units.

Immortals - Unfortunately there's no strong ranged anti-tank in Troop for Necron, and this applies to Immortals as well, but Tesla Carbines are extremely good anti-infantry firepower, and the Assault nature of the weapons is a very important component to keeping your Immortals out of combat longer w/out losing firepower in the process.  This also obviously combines with the assault nature of Eldritch Lances when you take a few to up your "hope I get lucky and hurt a tank" firepower.

Personally I've been enjoying taking 2 larger Immortal sqauds and 4 minimum warrior squads for scoring, though sometimes it's more 4 immortals / 2 warriors ... all very list dependent.

Dedicated Transports
Night Scythes - So Night Scythes are how you get Tesla Destructors when you use your Heavies on "NOT Annihilation Barges."  Night Scythes are also how you contest objectives and periodically try to transport small squads to objectives.  Night Scythes are just plain AWFUL as dedicated transports.  Fragile, easy to see (They will indubitably be on the large valk flyer bases), hard to cover, and with 24" range firepower ... they're everything bad about Twin-Assault Cannon Razorbacks, but even worse in that they knock their occupants back to reserve when they are killed, are less likely to have cover while also being able to fire, etc.  They also of course cost 100 points, which is pretty damned pricey for such a fragile platform.  You're paying for some really weird crap here ... like 12" to move and shoot all with a vehicle that only has 1 weapon, the ability to move 36" (but no better cover save for it), and a fancy transport option that they really didn't think through.  Even giving the option to "emergency disembark" with a dangerous test or something when it's killed would have been a perfectly fine fix, i.e. as the aircraft is going down the Necrons leap through the portal .... but the way it is now makes it not wise to ever use it to carry things unless you desperately need to race after an objective or something.  Still, they have twin-linked Telsa Destructors, and twin-linked Tesla Destructors rock (Will talk about with Barges).

Ghost Ark - Look, I know some people are all about these, but ... a 115 point slow-moving melta-fragile open-topped transport with NO meaningful firepower whatsoever and whose occupants at best are going to have a single S8 shot at absurd points investment (at least 215 net points for 5 warriors + lance cryptek + Ark) ... is TERRIBLE.  YES, they create this durable scoring unit ... but you're just as durable walking on from reserve with 5 dudes and hiding behind a wall or something near an objective, and walking over to it late with help from your 2nd Solar Pulse to keep from getting shot off.  It's not like if a blood angel army full of meltaguns or something is in your lines ... you're going to somehow be just fine hiding in your ark.  There are some rumors that point to being able to score ONLY from within OPEN TOPPED TRANSPORTS in 6e ... and look, that's cool, but Necron aren't wanting to score from inside their transports right now anyway, because their transports are pretty bad, and way too expensive.  Pass.  Deal with being afoot, and having lots of high pressure units to advance at someone, and having good suppressive and anti-infantry firepower, and learning to keep units not in transports alive.  Not that hard.  Bandaiding bad playing/moving skills with 115 point quasi-durable transports = not wise.

Fast Attack
This is the money slot in the dex, IMO
Canoptek Wraiths - Wound allocatable, affordable units with solid WS/BS, S6 shooting attacks, lots of S6 rending attacks, multi-wound, jump back moving, terrain ignoring badasses.  Many, many lists are completely justified taking a unit of 6, or a unit of 6 with particle casters, and letting them do their thing.  They also make a legitimate "mini" deathstar in that they are FEARLESS, which is huge.  Unless they FAQ entropic strikes to the end of the phase or end of combat swings or end of initiative step, they are also an excellent support unit for multi-charging scarabs in a pinch ... it's one thing to throw a bunch of scarab bases at vehicles with S3 against "I hope I reduce each vehicle enough" ... but it's another thing to have a bunch of equally multi-chargeable S6 multi-attack bases coupled in with that roll on reduced armor in case you whiff your entropic rolls on a few of your targets.

HERE'S an important tangent point.  The Necron army has a ton of good anti-infantry firepower ... enough to punch a hole in most bubblewrap with relative ease.  It also has units in Scarabs and Wraiths that are very fast moving and also very good at racing forward, multi-charging and instantly ganking or disabling large #'s of vehicles all at once.  The traditional sound logic that "close combat to kill vehicles" is bad DOES NOT apply to Necron.  You can do it on Turns 1 and 2, you can do it from a long distance away, and you can do it without sacrificing any of your anti-infantry firepower, large #'s of points, or scoring units.  This is so dramatically different from every other codices' "close combat anti-tank" that you need to consider it, play around with it, and give it a shot.

Canoptek Scarabs - Akin to the above point, Scarabs are the heavy lifting anti-armor of the codex.  Tachyon Arrows and Lances and Wraiths and Spyders in a pinch may let you deal with things like Land Raiders, but Scarabs are what let you deal with vehicle-spam armies quite readily.  They are also amazing vs. dreads.  They are also quite durable and fine against marine units that aren't force weapon or power fist enabled (and as above mentioned, Command Barges can pretty reliably help you deal with the power fist issue).  One of the things to note here is that they will as often crush the odds as fail them vs. marines, b/c of the sheer # of dice and attacks you roll ... 10 scarabs charging 9 marines who just lost their powerfist (even grey hunters) are going to throw 50 attacks, 25 hits, and about 8 wounds ... and 9 counter-attacking grey hunters will throw 15 attacks for 10 hits and 6.67 wounds ... and you're going to get the charge on them reliably.  This is a combat the Scarabs will invariably win, but they are just as capable of throwing 10 or 12 or 15 wounds w/ that charge ... and if they t hrow 0 you really don't care, b/c you lose 2-3 bases at most after res and the rest are done.  These guys are tank maulers ... and they are MULTI-CHARGE kings due to their charge range and base size ... it's not unusual for a movement master to pull off multis against 3-4 rhino hulls despite an opponent spreading them some, and to kill or disable all 3-4 on one charge with a healthy 8-14-model Scarab unit (depending on Spyder spawns).  It's also not hard to bang holes in even durable bubble wrap when you have a 12" charge to take advantage of whatever holes are made.

Tomb Blades - I never find room for these in my lists due to Scarabs/Wraiths, but they are plenty fine units for their points and firepower.  Sad kinda.  Crammed Fast Attack.

Destroyers and Heavy Destroyers - Similar to Tomb Blades in terms of rationale for not taking.  Unfortunately Necron are too expensive to try and make a traditional "shooty" list with ... 3 x 3 Heavy Destroyers and 3 Triarch Stalkers = 990 points, and your firepower is pretty crappy and fragile at that ... 630 for 3 stalkers and 3 solo heavy d's ... still bad.  Stop trying to build Necron this way, you will be disappointed.

Necron are much more like what Nids would be if Raveners were 15 points with a 3+ cover save, and had entropic strike, and you could take like 10 in a squad.  Everybody would take a shitton of Raveners, and screw "all you have is Hive Guard" when you can chuck that many tank-murdering wounds across the board lickety-split.  You also would not bother trying to shoehorn in crappy overpriced super fragile ranged-anti-tank Harpies ... or crappy overpriced ranged anti-tank Tyrannofexes.  Starting to feel me?

Heavy Support
I like the HS slots here ... lots of the units are interesting or worth taking

Canoptek Spyder - Killa Kanz, but cheaper and way more durable and easier to give cover to and better in combat and not one-shottable and wound allocatable and able to create 15 point scarab bases and can't burn out (Even though they can take wounds) and quite capable of running over several of the things that scare Necron combat wise.  Plus they are great places to hide valuable characters you don't want to run away or go anywhere.

Spyders are the absolute badasses of the dex.  They are slow as crap, they won't fight anything until late game, but so what?  6-9 spyders will break the back of most opponents and what they have left in a close game, and they'll power up your scarab swarms to stupid levels early game.  Anyone who has played the 26 vehicle ork list, shot the crap out of it for 4 turns, laughed at someone trudging across the board with it, and then confusedly wondered what happened to their army at the bottom of turn 6 while staring at a couple of banged up Kanz wandering around in their backfield ... well, Spyders are going to do the same sort of thing for Necron armies that you shoot up and laugh at for 4 turns, only to suddenly have yourself broken in half with a bunch of wounded Spyders wandering around in your backfield.  These are "win-loss tournament" Necron armies' wet dream.  They are, in the same vein, terrible in battle point / massacre tournaments, b/c very often they'll only really help seal a close game, ensure a win, etc., vs. race forward and clear a board or shoot someone away.  If you are one of the handful of very inaccurate internet players who believe 40k is simply a shooting game ... well, I can understand why you wouldn't like Spyders.  I can also understand when you blame your tournament losses on bad dice, or when you base your opinion upon winning at your store all the time or having a "mostly good" tourney win-loss record, etc.  This isn't meant to be inciteful of angry retort from said player type ... just insightful about Spyders.  They are great.

Annihilation Barges - If you have slots not used on Spyders, or an army build that doesn't at all work with Spyders, these puppies are cheap, durable, and hit really really really hard.  Pick up a few dice, and start rolling twin-linked tesla destructors against ... oh ... Rhino chassis, and Venom chassis, and the like.  I need say no more.

Doomsday Ark - Awful.  Unreliable, inaccurate large blasts on platforms that can't move to fire them and are probably also going to be low enough to the ground that crap's going to persistently be in the way, forcing you to move and reducing you to a S7 attack that's worse than a twin-tesla-destructor.  Apply warscythes and scarabs to land raiders, torrent to terminators, and don't take one of these expensive crappy things.

Monolith - I'm sadface about the Monolith.  It used to have the Doomsday Ark's large blast, but better ... Ordnance that can be fired on the move and is S9 AP1 under the hole (which, if you're shooting vehicles, was always all that mattered ... you either missed and were S4 so who cares, or you hit and the hole was over the target, so it was AP1).  The gauss on it was nerfed badly, the main gun was nerfed badly (no more ordnance, no more S9, no more AP1 even under hole, etc.), the teleportation capabilities were nerfed badly, the durability was nerfed horribly ... should I continue?  This went from great to crap.  You could still take a trio of them and hope you run into someone so "meta" they go without melta ... or something ... in their Imperial army, I guess ... but even other Necron armies are going to laugh you off the board with things like ... scarabs ... and stuff.

Doom Scythe - The best anti-whatever gun in the game, bar none ... on a flying razorback that sits where cover isn't really possible, and doesn't have something machine spirit like to enable firing while maintaining a cover save ... and that costs a LOT of points.  These are cool, but putting them to good use is going to be more a matter of hoping your opponent is stupid or fails dice rolls against it ... than a matter of you being able to skillfully apply it.  I wish you could pay even a significant quantity of points to turn the Triarch Stalker's Heat Ray into a Death Ray.  C'est la vie.

Such is my unit review. Here's the most recent list I playtested with ...

Anrakyr the Traveler - 165
Catacomb Command Barge - 80

Overlord w/ Warscythe, Sempiternal Weave (2+) - 115
Catacomb Command Barge - 80

Royal Court - Cryptek w/ Lance, Solar Pulse; Cryptek w/ Lance; Lord w/ Warscythe, Mindshackle - 150
Royal Court - Cryptek w/ Lance, Solar Pulse; Cryptek w/ Lance

10 Immortals w/ Tesla Carbines, Pyrrhian Eternals - 170
10 Immortals w/ Tesla Carbines - 170
5 Warriors - 65
5 Warriors - 65
5 Warriors - 65
5 Warriors 65
(Lord attaches to Pyrrians for QuartersVP, "most" advanced unit - still not crazy about CC)
(Crypteks attach to 10 Immortals for late-game pulse holder, and 3 warrior units, with 1 warrior unit typically in reserve for backfield scoring / staying safe)

10 Scarabs - 150
10 Scarabs - 150
10 Scarabs - 150

Annihilation Barge - 90
Annihilation Barge - 90
Annihilation Barge - 90

Just my $.02 as ever ... I'm no smarter or savvier than most of the other decent gamers out there, but I hope it's been helpful to some, or conversationally provocative to others!

Monday, November 14, 2011

NOVA Open 2012 - Date and Initial Announcement, Registration Opens Dec 1, 40k Event Initial Round-Up

Click for a larger view.

The flyer above went out last night to all NOVA Open registrants from last year.  We're planning on opening registration on December 1, to give people as much lead time as possible for acquiring cheap plane tickets, making proper travel arrangements, etc.

There are a number of changes coming in 2012, and a number of improvements.  It's in our fundamental mission and set of goals to always make the next year better in all ways than the year prior.  We'll be sticking to that for 2012.

Take careful note of the various comments on the flyer - while we are returning to the Hyatt in 2012 (our biggest source of mixed reviews), we've teamed with them to address nearly every major concern from 2011 ... from beer prices to cell phone reception, they've pulled out all the stops.

The 40k GT will likely be moving to a different format ... based on user comments and thoughts, and on the notion of giving people more time and more relaxation, and not burning people out quite so much.

The GT is looking to start later on Friday afternoon, to give locals a chance to simply take off work a little early, and give travelers the chance to arrive on Friday instead of Thursday PM if they need to, and still make the start of the GT.  The first two rounds will occur on Friday night, with the 3rd and 4th rounds on Saturday morning before the Lunch break.  During Lunch, we'll split down to brackets just like last year after Round 4, with Rounds 5 and 6 being the first two rounds of the sub-brackets.

Renaissance Man will be determined by 6 rounds, instead of 8.  More importantly, only the Final Four for each bracket will be required to play on Sunday morning.  Continuation of a wide variety of evening trios, unique and narrative events from Thursday-Saturday will combine with Sunday only events to give 40k players not in each bracket's Final Four a huge range of competitive and casual gaming opportunities to continue throughout Sunday.

Narrative Gaming
The NOVA crew is busily working on a fully developed narrative gaming experience for the entirety of the NOVA Open.  The Narrative track will be woven in among a variety of events in the weekend, and the overarching story will be built with a "setting" of Washington, DC.  Our Minister of Terrain is busy planning with us to actually build out a variety of tables matching our nation's capital, and incorporating scale / half-scale versions of some of the most iconic monuments and landmarks of the city.

Narrative gamers will not only be able to participate in a unique, finely-tuned (we've been working on the framework for this quietly for a couple of years) gaming experience ... they'll also be able to participate in Washington, DC "scaveger" style competitions throughout the city during some of the days of the event.  These excursions will directly impact and tie in with the overall gaming narrative.

There'll be more on the narrative opportunities at the NOVA as we move further, but expect an awesome product for those looking to take a less competitive, more immersive approach to their participation in NOVA 2012.

Longer Rounds, Food Lines, Extended Breaks are all things we're finalizing to help ease your experience and strengthen your ability to finish rounds, and be less stressed in getting around to your next games.

Note - Less $$ - Some of the biggest keynotes you should take from the Flyer are: Hotel Room Nights from $110 -> $85/night; Daily parking from $25 -> $12.50/day; Internet from $10 -> $5/day; Cell Reception installed throughout hotel, including gaming space; $4 beer.
Flames of War, Infinity, Expanded Fantasy and Warmachine/Hordes, Seminars, A Full Independent Painting Competition

It's important to the NOVA that we expand into something more than a 40k event with smaller side events.  Warmachine and Hordes will be expanding to 64 slots, Fantasy will be expanding to 64 slots and will be adding weekend-long gaming events and opportunities.  We are finalizing plans to add a 32 player Flames of War tournament.  We've begun discussions with Corvus Belli to bring fully supported Infinity gaming to the NOVA.

There'll be much more to come in the next few weeks.  Looking forward to seeing all of you back, and plenty of new faces for the NOVA Open 2012, which will be the biggest and best NOVA yet.  Please continue to keep an eye on the website, the blog, the forums, and more as we get closer to next year's NOVA ... your input has always shaped how we build our events and plan our formats, and it will continue to be used as such.

Infinity, Flames of War, Terrain, Appearance, Warmachine/Hordes, Fantasy, and More Will All Be Blogged About This Year.  Our various event heads are all signed on to participate in the blog, our newsletter, and the website; look forward to all of these subjects being discussed informatively, and in discussions for your feedback.

That's it for my "off the cuff" initial notice!
 - Mike

Monday, November 7, 2011

Texas Update

Drinking in Roanoke tonight, the stockyards on Tuesday night and the East Side of Dallas on Thursday night.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Texas oh Texas

I'll be in Texas M-F this week. Will be working on some quality blog posts as time allows. Anyone residing within the DFW area or in reach of it feel free to let me know and we'll grab lunch or drinks or something.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Feast of Blades UStream


I meant to get this up sooner, but it's just been one of those weeks. Passing of close ones and all.

Chandler spent a lot of time on the phone with me and undoubtedly many others leading up to the Feast this year, whose invitational component has a lot of elements that will remind the average viewer of NOVA and AdeptiCon in both missions and format. All signs point to Feast being an annually excellent event, so keep it in mind.

Some well known players are going at it over there right now; check out their ustream:
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Friday, October 28, 2011

NOVA Open 2012 - Brewings and ... Details Soon

Just a quick update for you all.

It's looking possible that NOVA Open 2012 will be Labor Day weekend 2012, for a variety of reasons - August 30-September 2 or so.

Dramatic improvements on all fronts, and an increase in the # and variety of events offered are all in the finalization to development stages.

Expect a significant offering as well for more casual and narrative loving gamers, as well as seminars and the addition of major painting competitions for pure hobbyists.  There's a TON in work, but we're getting close to formal announcements.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

NOVA Brewfest Fall 2011 and New Necron Thoughts

Well today is the Fall version of the NOVA Brewfest. This is a biannual reliably awesome good time outdoors with music food and of course brewze. I'm a little under the weather so will be the light drinker of the crew today ... but there are still a good handful of highly touted consumables I'll be targeting with my limited "under the weather" tolerance.

New Necron are going to pose an interesting conundrum for the 40k metagame/community as a whole in that they are like to be a finesse army. The nature of scarabs and relatively anti-tank-incapable Troops that also get rolled in combat and ride expensive or strangely operating transports will combine to force players seeking broad Necron success to master the movement phase and its nuances more than ever before.

Can you effectively apply entropy to enough vehicles in vehicle spamming armies to make your warriors anti-tank capable and thus compensate for the very Tyranid-like dearth of FOC-wide reliable ranged anti-tank? Can you master the movement phase well enough to keep your troops out of combat yet also in play on the board for widespread objective grabbing?

The dex will be a very potent one in the right hands, but trust it will be the precise opposite of GK's "point psyflemen psybacks and dca's at things" playstyle.

I'll be drinking brewskis but I'm interested in what the more focused among you has begun to think about how Necron can play ... I know I've already ordered tomb spyders and scarabs off ebay to supplement my existing collection.

Necron were ny first army, and I've been waiting for a new dex to inspire me off Strakenguard. Here's hoping ...

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Friday, October 14, 2011

Necronballs - For anyone who hasn't seen it yet

New Necron releasing formally on the 5th of November looks like.  The new Necron Lord looks kinda re-re- tho.

Other of the Necron leaks accumulated here, with first cred to Beasts of War:

My personal fave so far is the Overlord (one on left; one on right I believe is a Cryptek):

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hey Jawaballs!

This is my payback for the scurrilously photoshopped image he provided of me in the following BOLS post:


Love ya Chris,
 - Mike

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Battle for Salvation Day 2 Bat Reps - Gold Bracket / Finals

Alright, to continue ...

After my Round 1 loss, I successfully fought back up into the "Gold" / Championship bracket for the BFS.  I scored well on sports and appearance, and earned nearly all possible quarters/objectives/vp in rounds 2-4, so I knew I had a "shot" at Best Overall.  Best Overall was determined at BFS based purely upon the first 5 rounds, after which players were eliminated and Ren Man / Overall scoring ceased.  So, I had to win my first round in the Gold Bracket.

My opponent was to be Jorge Ruiz, a fairly successful BA player from the NE region, and a NOVA Invitational attendee.

Let me refresh on my list:

Company Command Squad w/ Straken, 2 Meltas, Reg Standard, Med Kit, 2 Bodyguard, Astro
Dozer Chimera w/ Heavy Flamer


5 x Vets w/ 3 Melta, Shotguns, Chimera w/ Heavy Flamer

3 x Vendetta

Jorge was running the following:

Reclusiarch with I forget what

Sanguinary Priest w/ Power Weapon
5 x TH/SS Terminators

Death Company x 7 w/ Power Fist, Power Weapon, Rhino
9 Assault Marines w/ Meltagun, Power Fist or Weapon (I don't know), Rhino
5 Assault Marines w/ Meltagun, Twin-Linked Ass Can Razorback
5 Assault Marines w/ Meltagun, Twin-Linked Ass Can Razorback

2 x Speeders w/ MM/HF

2 x Autolas Predators

This is actually more of a nightmare style list for me than I really want to deal with, for the simple reason that if he can get his Death Company, Assault Squad w/ Priest, and Mephiston across the board at me ... they in addition to an "I'll probably cross just fine" Mephiston were going to ruin my day, especially in the mission.  I have a lot of meltaguns, and Straken can handle A squad/threat just fine, but when you hit me with 5 deep striking th/ss terminators *and* Mephiston *and* death company w/ a reclusiarch *and* a full assault squad ... well, things get hairy in a big damned hurry.  Alex Fennell used this very fact against me last year at the BFS to nearly take me down in the Semi-Finals.

SOOOOO ... onto the game.  Dawn of War / Kill Points, and I forget who won the roll but I went first.

Al'Rahem and Marbo reserved b/c they were required to
Straken and his 5 Chimera Vet guard rolled on Turn 1 on the left side of the board.  The 3 Vendettas "fast moved" on, relying on cover saves and dawn of war to stay safe.

Jorge banked perhaps on Al'Rahem not arriving on Turn 2, so he rolled onto the board with everything but his Speeders (simple reserved) and his Terminators (deep striking).  He put one rhino (assault marines) and one razorback (assault marines) in front of a 2 wide / 3 deep choo choo cover train, doing his best to place the middle LOS blocking terrain (a bastion in this case) in between my Chimeras/Vendettas and him.  He put his Autolas predators in the back, with the 2nd razorback and the death company rhino in the middle.  Hmm, I'd better make a Vassal image here ...

So the problem for Jorge here is Al'Rahem arrived on the Top of 2.  My 2 left-most Vendettas skiffed upfield some to get open sideshots, my central Vendetta skiffed right some, my Chimeras adjusted a little, and Al'Rahem came on in the bottom right corner, with open Multilaser shots on the side of his back Rhino (Death Company) and back right (from my perspective) Pred.
9 Multilaser shots can be surprisingly reliable, and they were so here, getting just open shots on the back pred and blowing a Lascannon off, and on the Death Company Rhino.  I shot the DC Rhino first with them, and wrecked it, spilling the DC out so that they were closer to Al'Rahem than to my core ... trouble for the DC in this sense.  I also immobilized the lead right Assault Marine rhino (9-man + Priest) and Vendetta fire wrecked the back left (from my perspective) Predator.

This left him with a lascannon down on one pred, two assault cannon razorbacks alive and well, an immobilized rhino, a dead death company rhino, and a dead pred.  Mephiston is there in the back.

In Jorge's Bottom 2 he decided he could / would try to get 6 kill points by balls to the wall'ing it at Al'Rahem and company.  Mephiston wing and ran through the ruins and avoided dangerous terrain successfully.  The Death Company walked and ran straight at Al in the bottom right corner.  The Assault Marines got out and joined in, also running across midfield toward Al.

One of two speeders arrived, as did the Terminators.  He plopped the Terminators down between Al and the Chimera core, hoping to help further box him in.  The speeder came on my far right, his far left edge, and knocked out one of Al's infantry chimeras with a solid long range multi-melta shot.

His Assault Cannon razorbacks moved up to the middle, and shot along with the preds for a net damage result of blowing a lascannon off my middle Vendetta, which I was naturally quite alright with.

On Top 3, I huddled further back in the corner with Al'Rahem and prepped to fire Multilasers off at more kill points (like the newly arrived speeder), and kept the guardsmen who were knocked out of Chimera in a position along the edge right side back, to further kite the Death Company out of material position (other than chasing Al and company).

Multilaser fire succeeded in immobilizing the newly arrived Speeder where it would do no more harm, and Vendetta fire succeeded in knocking out the other Predator.

Bottom 3 Jorge perils'ed Mephiston on boxcars, and walked him upfield a little more.  His Death Company, Assault Marines, and Terminators further trudged toward Al, but my shuffle back had kept me at least another turn out of any kind of charge range, and everything ran rather slowly.  His assault cannon razorbacks both sped up right into my face and popped smoke, hoping to get out and cause trouble in bottom 4.

His 2nd speeder arrived on Bottom 3 also, but missed with its Multi-Melta at its target Vendetta.

Top 4 I adjusted Straken and the Veteran core to unload a bunch of meltas on the newly arrived Razorbacks, shuffled Al back just a tiny bit further, and aimed my "only 2 left" Vendetta lascannons at Mephiston, who was stuck in the open.  This Vendetta earned its worth well above and beyond the call, and plinked both Lascannons successfully into the exposed Mephiston, dropping him to 2 wounds left.  The other 2 were too far away from that side of the board to shoot at him, so took aim at his Land Speeder and Assault Cannon Razorbacks, and succeeded in doing absolutely nothing (cover does work sometimes).  Between multilasers, heavy flamers, meltaguns, and the like, I de-meched one of his assault squads and blew the assault cannon off his other razoback.  My Al multilasers had little worth shooting at, so they fired at the immobilized speeder and immobilized assault marine rhino for kill points, but only blew the heavy flamer off the immobilized speeder.

Bottom 4 the Assault Marines, Terminators, and Death Company continued to trudge toward me, and Mephiston ... well, he boxcar perils'ed again, reducing himself to 1 wound and winding up sorta kinda still in the open, instead of flying and fleeting in to mess up Al'Rahem and co.  At this point by shuffling into the corner as much as possible I had Al'Rahem in his Chimera, a guard squad on foot, and a guard squad in a Chimera all slightly out of Terminator / Assault Marine / Death Company charge ranges, and Top of 5 coming up with a big kill point lead.

His assault marines in the middle, the ones who were previously de-meched walked up to a Veteran chimera next to Straken's Chimera and whiffed.  They charged it with Krak grenades and immobilized it.  Meanwhile, the other 5 got out of their weaponless razorback and shot at the 2-lascannons-left Vendetta, but only succeeded in taking off a 2nd lascannon.  That Vendetta now had weathered a meltagun, a couple of rounds of predator/assault cannon fire, and had done 2 wounds to Mephiston, while only losing 2 lascannons.

His Speeder that I whiffed on zoomed fast to center to contest the central objective, hoping to force the game to secondaries and tertiaries if the game ended on 5, as he knew by now he was either going to lose or barely tie kill points.

Top 5 came and I lined up all of my spare meltaguns not holding objectives on his 10 assault marines in center, and the weaponless razorback, to ensure I had the kill point situation under wraps under the presumption he would nail Al'Rahem finally on Bottom 5.  I raced one of my back left vet squads across the board with a 12" chimera move, flip/pivot, disembark and run to grab his side's top left objective.  I hopped the other back left Vet squad out to hold my back left objective, and put their Chimera to use firing at whatever popped its head up.  I skimmed my two left most Vendettas further around the corner of the bastion to shoot at the semi-hidden flat out moved speeder.  Straken's Chimera tank shocked over the middle assault marines to contest the central objective, and Straken got out to shoot meltas at the same fast moving speeder.  In the process he tried to stop the tank shock with his sarge, which had a power fist, and he went splat (Rolled a 3 on the pen roll).

I had 3 unused squads of Vets in the middle, and Marbo (who arrived on Turn 1 and had been hanging out with the Vet core b/c he didn't want to be an easy kp, and had no real good targets).  They bustled over and blew up the weaponless razorback and the 5 assault marines who'd gotten out of it to shoot my near-weaponless Vendetta.

Speaking of which, Al'Rahem ... knowing his fate one way or another ... got out of his Chimera nad moved to within 12" of the stumbling Mephiston ... he ordered Fire On My Target on himself, and did 2 melta and 1 plasma wound to Mephiston, who went to ground with his last wound and promptly made all 6 3+ saves.  Mr. Lone-lascannon Champion Vendetta meanwhile had lined up a single shot across no cover with his final lascannon at Mephiston in case Al missed, and sniped Mephiston away.  Good job, Crackerjack.

I rapid fired my 2 al'rahem guard squads into the Terminators, successfully killing one  (hooray), and used the surviving basic guard squad chimera to fast move onto and contest the objective in Al's corner just in case (though by now I had 2 objectives controlled, and only a speeder and 4 assault marines in the way of the 3rd at mid field).

Speaking of which, my third Vet Squad (whose Chimera had been immobilized by the middle assault marines) got out and shot down all but 1 of the middle assault marines, and would charge and kill the last thereafter.  Straken and the Vendettas combined in some capacity (I don't know which actually had the kill shot) to dust off the flat outed speeder at middle, and the vets consolidated off killing the last assault marine in middle to hold the middle objective.  I now had vets on the top left objective, vets on the bottom left objective, and vets protected by Straken on the middle objective.  I was up on Kill Points, and Jorge had an immobilized weaponless speeder, 4 terminators, 5 or so death company, and 7 or 8 assault marines (scattered multilaser fire by this point had tweaked a few of these out, as softer targets ceased to be).

The game wound up going to 7, but it was just gunning things down and mopping up as part of scoring as much as I could for Ren Man consideration there at the very end.

Jorge was one of the nicest and most fun opponents I faced all weekend, and his army was a bad match for me in seriuosly ugly fashion if he could get across the board.  Unfortunately he didn't pop all his smoke in anticipation of Al'Rahem's arrival on Top 2, and that was what spun the game out of reach in the end ... with one of his hammers struggling the wrong way across the board, it forced him to support them in chasing after Al, and a pair of assault squads in razorbacks weren't enough to hold off and deal with a Straken-supported veteran core.

I think also that a lot of his list depends on perhaps obsessive focus fire on the Predators distracting people, and I did my best to resist that ... I took shots where I could, but only after de-meching his two key rhinos.  Jorge mentioned maybe using Ravens or Raiders to get his Death Company across the board more reliably, but IMO the Rhino works just fine ... just need to be a little more careful with how he presents it as a target.  Also, this is another game (I've played a lot of them) where the value of having a bunch of "trash" Multilasers can't be overrated ... they can and will bang up a rhino or two here and there over the course of each turn, and that's more than enough in most cases to break up a person's game plan and get him ad-libbing.

I think a lot of people might look at Jorge's list and go DEATH COMPANY WHAT?!  The truth here guys is they are a pretty affordable hammer unit, and their uncontrollability becomes less of an issue when you can chuck 'em at something in a rhino while ALSO chucking Mephiston, 5 Terminators, and a proper Assault Squad at that same enemy core ... it's one thing to kite and deal with 7 death company and a reclusiarch.  It's another altogether to deal with those AND terminators AND assault marines AND Mephiston all at the same time ... suddenly 20 meltaguns doesn't feel like enough.  When you put them in the hands of someone like Ruiz or Fennell or others who can typically get 'em all across the board and into you, you really wind up in a trickier situation than the mathhammer would suggest before you know it.

Since this was a pretty long report, I'll hold off on the other two for subsequent articles, as I must be away for the evening!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Quick Recap and Short Batreps - Battle for Salvation GT

Alright, while some of this is fresh in my mind, I'm going to do a rapid fire recap of the blow by blow and overall impressions of the event.

First off, a couple VERY minor critiques ... and there'll be some ENORMOUS accolades in follow-up ...

1) Create and disseminate in advance a tournament FAQ (even if it's just to say: "Use INAT" or "Use NOVA FAQ" or whatever).  While nominally it is admirable to go with a "Rules as Written" stance, I think we all are aware there are some grey and fuzzy areas throughout the rules even with the GW FAQ's in play.  Answering them only when they are first asked creates unfair situations where two players finally play who see a rule differently, even if they've each played it "their" view / vision of it all the way up until that point in the event.  If you answer the big fuzzy questions in advance via a released document, you avoid this.

When you make a ruling on one of the fuzzies in Round 6 on a player who has played it the way he normally does with no opponent complaints Rounds 1-5 and say "well that's how we play/rule it" ... it doesn't help him much when it's changed up mid-game, or would have influenced his selections.  It also isn't fair to his opponent to rule in his favor on that issue - i.e., you can't very well go "well, we'd screw you if we ruled that way now, so we won't ..." etc. etc.

Long and short, there are too many fuzzy important questions in warhammer 40k (unfortunately) to not give your players a clue on them ahead of time.  It influences unit selection, army build, playstyle, etc., and often actually comes up in play at the worst imaginable times.

2) It's arguable that the NOVA put too much terrain toward the center.  I would suggest many of the BFS tables put too much terrain off in the corners.  The more toward the corners you place terrain, the more wide open / shooting gallery you  make your boards, and the less useful a significant % of your 25% coverage is for the average players.  The terrain was sound, and there was a lot of it per table, but it was effectively way too little in most games b/c so much of it was shoved off into the corners of the boards.  Finding a middle ground is good.  I may have some photos on my phone that can help show this, or I'll snag some from other post-event coverage.  Terrain creates a shadow behind it from the p.o.v. of firers; when your terrain is way back off toward the corners, you advantage armies that deploy and shoot across board ... and I suppose you advantage like, wolf scouts or something, and Manticores that can hide behind those deep corner pieces and shoot at wide-in-the-open models everywhere.

Everything else the BFS did was great ... I liked it a great deal, and would go again and again so long as my schedule and energy levels sustained.  Prize support was just right for the # of players, there were a lot of raffle giveaways (I got a captain off those, that was cool).  Most importantly, the BFS operators are AWESOME people.  The venue was in a good location for getting food and drinks post-day.

I wonder if 7 rounds is necessary for 64 or less players, as 3 rounds Saturday would have enabled better socializing post-event for a larger # of attendees, but it was no big deal either way.

On Friday we got in evening-time, and spent the evening drinking brews and bullshitting at BWW with Jawa, Bob, Shaun (Sean?) Kemp, Fishboy Johnson, Bob Evers and a host of others I'm forgetting b/c I'm forgetful.  Something I love about the circuit is the connectedness of folks, and the genuine joy you see in familiar faces' eyes when they see you and come up to shake your hand.

Saturday morning things kicked off, and the first round was the worst mission for my short-ranged high-KP army - Dawn of War Kill Points.

Here's my list, as I finally went with:

Company Command Squad w/ Straken, Carapace Armor, 2 x Vets w/ Meltaguns, Vet w/ Reg Standard, Vet w/ Medkit, 2 x Bodyguards, Astropath
Dedicated Chimera w/ Hull Heavy Flamer, Dozer Blade

Guardsman Marbo (and boy am I glad I chose him)

Infantry Platoon w/ 3 Dedicated Chimeras w/ Hull Heavy Flamers
Platoon Command Squad w/ Al'Rahem, 2 x Guardsmen w/ Meltaguns, 2 x Guardsmen w/ Flamers
Infantry Squad w/ Meltagun
Infantry Squad w/ Meltagun

5 Veteran Squads w/ Dedicated Chimeras w/ Hull Heavy Flamers
Veteran Squad w/ 3 Meltaguns, Shotguns
Veteran Squad w/ 3 Meltaguns, Shotguns
Veteran Squad w/ 3 Meltaguns, Shotguns
Veteran Squad w/ 3 Meltaguns, Shotguns
Veteran Squad w/ 3 Meltaguns, Shotguns

Vendetta Gunship
Vendetta Gunship
Vendetta Gunship

Round 1 I drew Brad Nichols' Deathwing.  This is not a good match-up for me on the mission.  He has 4 easy kill points and 7 extremely difficult kill points, especially for my army (which does the majority of its heavy lifting up close and personal, wearing someone down but trading kp).

Belial w/ SS/TH

2 x Typhoon Speeders w/ Multi-Meltas (not squadron'ed)
3 x Bikes w/ Power Fist, 2 Meltaguns
Attack Bike w/ Multi-Melta

5 x Deathwing Terminator Squads w/ Chainfist/Stormbolter + 3 x TH/SS + 1 x TH/SS/Cyclone

Godhammer Land Raider

Brad won the roll to go first and rolled onto the board somewhat evenly spread across, with his Godhammer on a far side.  I rolled on in a corner opposite with Straken + the 5 Vets, and reserved the Vendettas.

When the Vendettas started to arrive, they would take down the Speeders for Kill Points.  His attack bike and bikers rolled on and failed to kill smoked Chimeras, then died in return.  His Godhammer and missiles would kill Vendettas over time, and as the game started to fade it was about even on VP and KP, and we were working on tying the various other objectives.

We were given various different game end-times at various points, and this resulted in the game being called despite their being more time left to start a new turn, b/c of confusion here.  The net result was a game Brad himself said he didn't want - one where we both played "weird" b/c of Kill Points.  He won by 46 VP on final tiebreaker at the artificial deadline, but we rolled to continue the game and played out the rest to see what would happen, which was a several hundred VP finish in my favor.  Basically at the bottom of 5 Straken, Al'Rahem and some vets charged Belial and his surviving couple terminators, won the combat, but couldn't get the last wound off Belial or the last 2 terminators down.  By Turn 6 both died, but the artificial game end prevented that mattering.

This was a great game / great example of me doing all I could with a bad mission, and Brad doing what he had to do, and the game coming down to fractional time and dice ... aka two peers battling it out in a close one that was going to go either way by a nose hair.  Against many good opponents over the weekend, this would become a redundant theme.

Round 2 vs. Blood Angels (I don't have my army lists in front of me and can't remember for sure, but I think his name was Chris)

Really nice opponent, his list was:

Librarian on foot w/ Shield, Sword

2 x Sanguinary Priest w/ Power Weapon, Jump Pack
Sanguinary Guard w/ 3 Infernus Pistols, Banner

2 x 10-man Assault Marines w/ 2 Meltaguns, Power Fist
3 x 5-man Assault Marines w/ Infernus, Meltagun, Plasmaback

3 x Baal w/ Twin-Assault Cannon and Heavy Bolter Sponsons

I won the roll to go first and took it, in Spearhead - Quarters - Objectives - Kill Points.  I deployed the Vendettas centrally with every intention of scouting, and deployed Straken and his Chimeras centrally.

My opponent deployed his Baals in front of his Razorbacks, with all 6 models hiding behind the central hill and at the edge of their deployment zone.  He put his 2 Assault Squads in reserve w/ the priests attached, and put the Sanguinary Guard in reserve, all 3 squads deep striking.

I scouted the Vendettas so that they were in good open firing positions on his vehicles, with each Vendetta in a different location in case he tried to deep strike meltaguns onto them.  He proceeded to steal the initiative; we talked about whether he was committed to stealing, since he would be giving up cover against my first round of fire to take covered shots against my flat out Vendettas, but he went with it.  The other issue at question was the mission (primary and secondary being advantageous if going 2nd). The sum limit of his fire was 3 twin assault cannons and 3 lascannons, and the odds aren't THAT great to pen a vendetta ... his total odds after cover saves were 1.39 pens and .17 glances ... with my return fire being doubled on multilaser and surviving vendetta fire due to no cover on him.  He could have used his Baals' Scout move to firmly screen his razorbacks, and smoke, so that my first turn fire would do nothing, and leave me pants down (or force me to take a more cautious route).

My Vendettas and Chimeras proceeded to start de-meching and disabling his mobility and firepower by the Bottom of 2.

On Top 2 his Sanguinary Guard arrived in a deep corner going after 1 Vendetta, and one of his 10man ASM w/ Priest arrived in an opposite corner going after a 2nd Vendetta.  He shot a little at the third Vendetta and knocked a lascannon off, and shook one of my Chimeras.  The Sanguinary Guard killed their Vendetta, and the ASM immobilized theirs.

Bottom 2 saw Al'Rahem and Marbo both arrive thanks to the Astropath.  His 10-man ASM w/ Priest hadn't "Run" in order to shoot their meltas at their now-immobilized Vendetta target, so Marbo had his job.  Meanwhile Al'Rahem rolled on in the other corner right on top of the Sanguinary Guard, ready to unload 4 meltas a plasma pistol and a bunch of trash on those guys, which were not covered from the angles I arrived by.

This is the point where the game started to go pear shaped for him.  Spare multilaser fire immobilized and/or killed his remaining plasmabacks, Vendetta fire disarmed and/or killed all but one of his remaining Baals, Marbo's demo charge more or less waxed the assault squad out of functional merit, and Al'Rahem killed 3 of the 5 Sanguinary Guard, including all the infernus pistols.

The game ended with a Turn 6 tabling, and I lost a couple hundred VP (this was one of Marbo's only times dying).

Round 3 was against an interesting Elysian Guard list that was very nicely painted

His list:

Company Command Squad w/ Carapace, Officer of the Fleet, Astropath, 4 Plasmaguns, Plasma Pistol (Commander)

6 x Vet Squads w/ Lasguns, 3 Meltaguns, Carapace Armor

3 x Vendettas w/ Heavy Bolters
2 x Vendettas w/ Heavy Bolters
2 x Vendettas w/ Heavy Bolters

This was on a WIDE open board, with any meaningful terrain jammed in the corners.  I deployed Straken and his 5 Vet squads in a corner, figuring I was going to get de-meched but having a plan from the get-go that is akin to turning your head into the rain.  Al'Rahem, Marbo, and my own Vendettas were all naturally reserved, and my opponent was going first.  He deployed everything, and killed or immobilized 3 of my Chimeras with his 3 vendetta units.

I started getting out and moving with the squads that had been blown or immobilized out of their Chimeras.  Turn 2 he stunned a fourth Chimera and killed 2 more.  So, I now had a stunned chimera, an immobilized weaponless Chimera, an immobilized Chimera way in a tight corner, and a fully de-meched force of flak armor veterans and Straken run run running up the right side of the board toward midfield.  BUT he'd elected to hover over midfield aimed into the corner at me in order to take that 2nd turn's fire, which was what I needed.  Al'Rahem arrived.

Al came on BEHIND 2 of his 3 squadrons.  2 of Al's Infantry Chimeras rolled 6 on preparing to multilaser rear armor on the squadron of 3, and Al himself rolled 12, spun and disembarked within 6 of the rear of one of his nearest squadron of 2 Vendettas.

I also had a Vendetta arrive.

My Vendetta immobilized one of his Squadron of 3 out of the sky (dead due to squadron rules).  My one immobilized multilaser chimera shook one of his squadron of 2 furthest from me.  Al'Rahem's Infantry Chimera multilasers shot and rear armor killed another from his Squadron of 3 in the middle (leaving 1 w/ command squad alive), and Al'Rahem used bring it down on 2 meltaguns and his plasma pistol to gank both of the vendettas in the squadron nearest him.

So, Top of 4 began and I'd made a game of it thanks to Al.  He had 2 disembarked vet squads on the left near Al's jazz, one of them pinned.  He had 2 vet squads still embarked in a shaken and open vendetta near the right back, closest to where Straken and his beat up horde of foot veterans were running toward.  He had a single vendetta in the middle that emptied its command squad to go try and order the pinned fellows back into the fight.

In the process of trying to deal with the sudden spurt of threats facing him, my one stunned chimera freed up and Straken hopped in, whereupon it promptly raced up into his deployment zone and smoked.  Marbo arrived and bombed a full carapace vet squad w/ his demo charge and "hit" ... killing I think 9 of them.  Al'Rahem's Chimera barbecued the vet squad he'd de-meched the turn prior.  Straken's vets were freed from taking much fire and advanced toward midfield, and used their meltaguns to bring down one or two of the surviving Vendettas at long range with orders.

Straken would eventually mow through two vet squads, and when all was said and done my Vendettas arrived later on and finished off his last Ven or two.  He had a banged up command squad alive at the end, with the rest of his army dead.  For the 2nd game after the first round loss, I picked up nearly full VP, 5 objectives, and 4 quarters.  I figured if I could max it out again, I could in theory make it back into the top bracket, or help my chances at Renaissance Man.

Round 4 vs. Simon Leen's gorgeous Blood Angels jump army using Seraphim models.

Simon's army was pretty straightforward:

Librarian w/ Jump Pack, Unleash Rage, Shield of Sanguinius

2 x Sanguinary Priests w/ Jump Packs, Combi-Meltas

4 x 10-man Assault Squads w/ Jump Packs, 2 Meltaguns, Power Fists
1 x 5-man Assault Squad w/ Jump Packs, Power Weapon, Infernus Pistol, Meltagun

1 x 5-man Vanguard Veterans w/ Jump Packs, Meltabomb/Storm Shield, Power Fist/Storm Shield, Power Weapon/Storm Shield, Nude Dude, Nude Dude

3 x 5-man Devastator Squads w/ 4 Missile Launchers each

Spearhead deployment with me going first (the only game I'd end up going first all weekend, due to the seize on me in round 2), Quarters/Objectives/Kill Points

He deployed his 4 10-man Jump Squads in lines one in front of the other along his deployment edge behind the central hill.  He spread his devastators about in cover in the back.  He deep struck his 5-man ASM squad and his Vanguard Vets (with Divine Intervention).

I scouted all 3 Vendettas sideways up the board until they had wide open shots on his front assault squad ... I think he probably could have been a little less "right on the edge of deployment" an d had them obscured better by cover.  He popped shield but lascannon and multilaser fire killed 6 of 10, rendering the squad relatively harmless.  Problem solving Simon's list wasn't hard, though the list itself was a major pain for me, b/c most of the damage I Could do to it would have to be done up close and personal with Straken and meltaguns ... meaning I was going to get hit by a lot of assault marines with furious and fnp.  Giving me 25% of his assault marines open to lascannon fire on turn 1 was a huge boon, b/c it took that much more threat out of the game.  The 4 survivors would hop behind a pillar and get set for quarters/objectives stuff later on.

His turn 1 he jumped up behind the hill and shimmied a little with slow run rolls, getting set to try and multi-charge all my Chimeras on Turn 2.  I felt like I would oblige that ... I much prefer people krak grenade and punch my chimeras to meltagunning them and charging the occupants.  Straken's auras and tons of meltaguns are such that I'd rather the Chimeras get banged and the vets get out and shoot things / charge things, than lose entire chimera + vet squad chunks at a time.

This worked ... by lining up my Chimeras he jumped across and mass multi-charged several of them with his 3 10-man squads (I think I killed 1 model with a multilaser on turn 2 ... a deep strike of 5 assault marines killed 1 of my vendettas and devastators killed a 2nd and shook the third, which skimmed flat out for cover on top 2).  So, 29 assault marines, 2 priests and 1 libby hit my lines.  The Vanguard also arrived, but scattered out of divine intervention range and into a nice little clump of 5 models.

His multicharge killed 1 Chimera and banged up a couple others.  Bait taken, I suppose.

Top 3 I had 3 assault squads in front of my 5 vet + straken core, a 5-man assault squad off away a bit that had just downed a vendetta, and a vanguard squad a couple inches behind his assault marines.  Marbo and Al'Rahem arrived.

Al came in off in h is own deployment corner, and started multilasering down devastators and controlling his rear.  Marbo dropped a demo charge on the vanguards and a couple of nearby assault marines who happened to eat the blast.  It killed several of the vanguard and the assault marines it hit.

I tank shocked half an inch into two of the assault squads that had multi-charged one of my chimeras, and this broke the game open.  One squad was fine, the other - with his Librarian attached - broke and fell back a bunch toward his board edge.  My surviving Vendetta immediately gave up any crazy ideas of shooting something and skimmed flat out 24" right next to their path, so that they'd fall back off the board with another couple of turns.  I crossed my finger it would survive his devastators shooting at it.

Every meltagun shot up one of his 2 remaining assault squads, clearing it, and also finishing off the Vanguard.

So at this point he had a 5-man ASM squad w/ infernus + meltagun near my "chase" Vendetta, a 10-man assault squad somewhat near it that had been part of the multi-charge with his surviving priest attached, and a few increasingly banged up devastator squads now having to deal with Al in their backfield, plus the 4 ASM surviving from the first turn lascannon volley.

I'd lost a Chimera and 2 Vendettas.

He knew he had to try and save his Assault Marines, so he jumped backward with his last 10-man squad and priest toward the Vendetta, jumped at it also with his 5-man squad, and aimed all his devastators at it.  His fleeing marines fell back to within 3 or 4" of the board edge, and within a few inches of center as well due to the stretched out position they wound up in off the multi-charge prior to breaking.

All his devastators, the fleeing marines' meltaguns, the 5-man meltaguns, the 10-man meltaguns succeeded in deweaponizing and immobilizing the Vendetta, which he subsequently charged.  I think he probably should have used his 10-man ASM to go block off my other units from doing what the Vendetta was doing (aka get close to and chase off another 30% of his army's punch), but he fixated on the Vendetta.  The charge killed it due to immobilization, but it did its job.

Al'Rahem was also totally unmolested, b/c the Devastators had to fire at the Vendetta.

Top 4 came, and I ran Marbo over to within 6" of the fleeing assault marines.  I raced Straken upfield as well just in case, and got him out so he could shoot at the 10-man ASM not yet broken/damaged if Marbo ran far enough on his own.

Several other vet squads that were still in-tact proceeded to move up and get ready to add their melta fire to the survivors around the wrecked Vendetta.

Al' advanced further upon the devastators and such, and positioned on his deployment zone objective, while one of his squads broke off for the isolated objective next to my deployment zone.  One of my vet squads stayed back on my deployment objective (I wanted every objective / quarter).

I killed several of the assault marines from the big squad, and a couple from the small squad, and all passed morale.  I killed some more devastators, and killed his 4-man assault marine squad with Al and co.

In bottom 4 he in desperation c harged his sang priest + surviving assault marines from both squads (10 and 5 originally) into Straken, and banged straken up pretty effectively, but not completely ... Straken killed a few marines in the process, dusting off the smaller squad.  Devastators didn't really do anything, with 3 survivors from one of the 2 remaining squads (the other suffered casualties and broke off board) charging Al'Rahem and 10 guardsmen, and losing over the remaining rounds to Al's power weapon hits.

I charged a vet squad and marbo into the fight w/ Straken and the assault marines, and ran some vets up to the top objective.  That eventually wound up with a cleared fight, Marbo finished the sang priest and straken finished the marine bodies.  I poured tons of fire into his last devastators, one of which survived through the end of 7 to deny me 65 more VP.

Simon's one of my favorite opponents ... he has a great attitude, he tends not to make to many mistakes, and he is just plain fun to play against.  This is one of my least favorite match-ups believe it or not ... I even labbed against it some, b/c I have a local buddy who runs a nearly-identical list.  He just made a mistake in deploying a squad too exposed, and a mistake in multicharging chimeras instead of popping them and charging their occupants with Meltaguns.  My next opponent would be the last one after Simon to buy any baits I laid out, and that would make life harder.

This ends my Day 1 recap.  I'll cover the quarter, semi and finals in a follow-up post.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

BFS Day 2

Round 1 loss on final tiebreaker by 46vp to deathwing in kp dow
Round 2 win max vp max quarters max objectives in quartets spearhead vs mech + jump hybrid ba
Round 3 win 1800vp 5 obj 4 quarters pitched objectives vs vendetta meltavet guard
Round 4 1935 vp 5 objectives 4 quarters win vs mass jump angels with devastators (simon leen) ... couldnt get last devastator

In Gold/top bracket vs Mephiston mech ba J. Ruiz and am the 4 seed. Only 3 undefeated and I'm the high seed 3-1.

Joining me in top are
Mannahin's CSM (4-0)
Holliday's GK (4-0)
Somerville's Guard (4-0)
Nanavati's Tau (3-1)
Ruiz's aforementioned BA (3-1)
Gilstrap's GK (3-1)
Hoerger's vanilla sm (3-1)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Here at the Battle for Salvation

Trying out blogger for android and getting ready to head over. Here with locals Mike Somerville Eric Hoerger Mark Aksel Ryan Holliday etc. Spent last night drinking and socializing at bee dubs with Joe Johnson (fishboy), Bob Evers, Sean Nayden, Nick Nanavati, Sean Kemp, Chris Jawaballs Dubuque, Ed Pissclams Miller, Bob Sinnott and many others.

I come to the BFS to support Ed and the guys who are always there to help me out, and to connect with the great social environment present.

I anticipate 2-2 today ... that's my gut feeling at any rate.

I'll try to update during.

My final list is

Straken kitted with Dozer
5 chimera shotgun meltavets
Al and his two inf squads in chimeras
3 vennies

Till I'm able to post again ... happy Saturday all.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4