Friday, September 28, 2012

NOVA FAQ v. 6th.3

Note that the NOVA FAQ is designed to be printed on double-sided paper to conserve printing costs. It is kept trimmed to as small a # of pages as we can while still having it be a useful document, to encourage tournament organizers who use it to print for all attendees. This is so that no opponent can claim the FAQ has a certain answer (and lie in the process), leaving their opponent with a lengthy and unavailable document or wasting time calling a rules judge to prove or disprove the claim. We would rather force honesty by letting all players be provided with a printed copy of the FAQ.

Just a quick note that we've updated the NOVA FAQ for use in the upcoming Battle for Salvation. Ed wanted me to get an updated version out sooner than later, as they wanted to use it. Done.

Mostly it removes rulings made redundant or incorrect by the GW FAQ. We got a couple different than they ruled, and many the same, rendering all irrelevant in the process.

Many of the unique power weapons in the various codices are still not FAQ'ed, but many were FAQ'ed, so that chart is also shorter.

Note that since several of the people in our area are attending BFS, any major changes were run by their judges via Ed Miller without our input, and we went with their rulings. If we end up disagreeing (we do not presently), we will amend following a tournament we'll be participating at.

Very minor changes, except for 2:

1) Imotekh's Lightning and Njal's Storm do NOT affect Zooming Flyers / FMCs. Maledictions and Blessings can affect them, along with any subsidiary or attendant damage effects (i.e. Objuration Mechanicum). This ruling was actually brought up and determined more by the BFS guys than by the NOVA crew; we simply concur with it.

2) The Doom Scythe's Death Ray may still place its initial point and draw its line anywhere within 360 degrees of its weapon, but may only cause hits and allocate wounds to models within its line of sight (so, 45 degree horizontal and vertical fixed firing arc of the Death Ray itself).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Airbrush-Enabled Possibilities


I've been asked privately about why I'm bringing the Nids and what I think of them.

I think they're more match-up fragile than I typically am comfortable with. I think they're more powerful than the internet thinks they are. I think I won't win Best Overall or Best General with them, but I think I'll do fine record-wise regardless.

Also, my guard army is spread across the country, still being shipped back from being shot at for the KR/Basic Black video being worked on. Half the army, the half that actually got shot, came back from Florida ... the other half for some reason got left behind, because they ended up not using it as part of the demo (basically, they weren't miniature soldier guys, and couldn't figure out how to fit all the models in the cases the way they do, so some of them were left out of the bag when it took bullets to the face).

So, I don't really have a fully painted ready to go army anyway, but I DO like my Nids ... they were my first real army, and they're fun to play with, and I've wanted to bite the bullet and paint up a new army for a while now.

Daunting task to try and rush paint an army with a brush (I've never used an airbrush before on minis, only on terrain), but people suggested it so last night I went and tried to figure out how quickly and effectively I could get things done. The Airbrush Gargs ended up looking better than with a brush by far, quite poppy and effective, and I'm happy with this start point. There's a lot of detail that needs to be pulled out, but they look quite good for tabletop / tournament standard as is, so I'll probably try to bring the 100 models I have to build and paint to this standard first, and see where I stand in terms of time left before BFS.

Here's a shot of the gargs I painted in under an hour last night.

I'm also permuting the army to give the Gargs furious charge, and dropping the Tyrant Guard to pull it off. I'll probably also put the Zoanthropes into two squads of 3, instead of 3 squads of 2. This will help a little in kill points (and also discourage people trying to kill them for "easy" kill points), and doesn't really inhibit their value at all, since Blessings and Maledictions don't follow the targeting restrictions that Witchfires do ... you can literally bless or maledict whoever with whichever zoanthrope in whatever order you like.

As an aside, these are the bases the army will be using, by Secret Weapon Miniatures, thanks to Grimlock/Jon for the rec on these:
And the Zoanthropes, by Troll Forged (just a random google image, not my paint, obviously given the color diffs), thanks to ghostin/Jamie for the rec on these:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quarters Goal - Improvement Possibilities

Discussing permutations and changes to the NOVA Quarters Goal has been a hot topic lately.

I think there are a lot of overreactions going on based on limited data (we're working on that); most of the top table armies were NOT large foot-based armies, and most of the top players were also top players in 5th Edition (i.e., the mission didn't cause lists to trump player skill).

That said, there are some significant / meaningful arguments for tweaking things so that you can't just camp centerfield with massive hard to kill units, and shuffle a little bit to whatever quarter is required late.

Thoughts / feedback on each welcome ... do think hard about the impact of any suggested changes; would MOST like thoughts on the changes below; note these are not all the ideas being tossed about or considered ... just 3 that strike me as having merit right now:

1) My BEST thought right now for this, and most subtle, is to require units to be FULLY within a Quarter to count for it. So, if you've got 50 guardsmen in midfield, you have to get every single one of them into the Quarter that counts for them to be worth anything to it. This means that camping midfield carries substantial risks, as if you do not fully get into a quarter, or are pinned in combat, you end up worth 0. More importantly, it adds value to transported units (and so compensates for the ded trans nerf) in that they can more readily move their transportees fully into quarters of merit late in the game.

2) Another thought is the one bandied about by some people where you create a deadzone in midfield - a certain radius from the center objective is a "dead" quarter, and doesn't count.

3) Only dedicated transports and flyers don't count. You could allow non-dedicated flyers to count, but would have to do something about Stormravens and Vendettas (Vendettas most especially). The easiest permutation for Vendettas here is to simply make it so that Flyers must have hovered the game turn PRIOR to the final game turn, or revised in some capacity to properly address that.

Just boiling the thoughts out there ... input welcome.

One thing that I think needs to be accepted is that 6th Edition is not the vehicle heavy edition 5th was, if you even play rulebook missions straight-up. They still have value, but in terms of supporting your army, not being the core investment and focus of it. There's still a lot of 5th-edition-itis out there, and it'll be interesting seeing how things develop as more and more tournaments show Flyers aren't king, durable and versatile armies are, and the game is kind of miraculously and I think not quite intentionally balanced better than it has in quite some time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

BFS List + Caveat; Updated w/ Test Photo

So, here's the list I'll bring to Battle for Salvation, if I can get it built and painted to an acceptable standard in time to actually play.

If anyone is feeling charitable and wants to paint a giant Tyranid army to a professional standard in 2 weeks you can feel free to let me know (wink wink kid kid).

The Swarmlord - 280
Tyrant Guard x 1 - 60

Parasite of Mortrex - 160

2 x Zoanthropes - 120
2 x Zoanthropes - 120
2 x Zoanthropes - 120

Tervigon w/ Furious Charge, Poison, 3 Powers - 210
Tervigon w/ Furious Charge, Poison, 3 Powers - 210
Tervigon w/ Furious Charge, Poison, 3 Powers - 210
10 x Termagants - 50
10 x Termagants - 50
10 x Termagants - 50

30 x Gargoyles - 180
30 x Gargoyles - 180

Dropped furious off the gargs, b/c if they need it, they can get it from Swarmlord.
Tyrant Guard + likely Iron Arm makes Swarmlord ridicudurable, to the point that it's either an auto-win if someone tries to focus fire him on turns 1-2, or he gets there, and that's pretty good for me too. I should clarify, Iron Arm + Endurance from someone + Telekine Dome from someone (I'll get at least one of each in almost any game unless extremely unlikely, if you roll up the math on 19 powers) makes for ridicudurable. Iron Arm alone doesn't cut it so well.

Army largely ignores flyers, which aren't going to have meaningful time on target due to board crossing, and which can't late drop on objectives, b/c they'll be swarmed by model count.

edit - 25 Powers
Here's a mock-up testbed for the paint scheme ... Hive Fleet Dendrobates

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Local Heads Up - Blood Bowl Season - All Welcome

Just a quick note to all locals:

We'll be having a Blood Bowl season here from October through December. Playoffs will be in January, coincident with NFL playoffs.

This is a low-impact, beginner-friendly (but veteran-inclusive) league, and is a great way to both meet other local gamers, and learn Blood Bowl.

We'll be having a learning day very soon, for people to get a better feel for the game, hear about league-specific rules, and try things out / see if they like it. Once the league starts in October (proxies and unpainted teams allowed for the first month), you'll only have 3 games a month you need to play, typically scheduled along geographical lines (so people closer to you in the region will be your more regular opponents each month).

We'll host once/month Blood Bowl nights and/or days to make up games you haven't had, and otherwise you schedule with your opponents at discretion.

More info for those interested, so as not to clutter up the blogosphere. Send me an e-mail at if interested. I'll send out the league's prep e-mail with all interested parties in a couple of days.

Note - this is just an INTEREST request, not a COMMITMENT request. If you'd like to meet some good folks, try out the game, see what it's like, and decide after you get a feel, that's the whole point! Also, do note that Blood Bowl is a very low model count, very easy set-up/break-down game, and takes - at most - 2 hours to play (if you literally burn every second of your 4 minutes/turn clock).

 - Mike

Mainstream Hammer ... Marines Who Love Playing With Marines

A few months ago, I wound up on Elliott in the Morning by dumb luck, and heads ups from buddies in the area who listen to the wildly popular radio show.

Calling in resulted in something of an interview, as a result of prior callers on their Warhammer segment mentioning the NOVA Open. By the end of the call, we'd had a fun time of it, and we wound up catching the attention of a lot of people in the DC area who listen to his show (including some of my family members, who excitedly texted in).

One of these listeners was Alan Siegel, a freelance journalist who has written for a variety of media sources from the Washington Post to Slate, and who lives in the DC area. He heard mention during my on-air time of the high # of service members who participate in our hobby, and contacted us through the website to inquire more about the hobby, the NOVA, and especially the service member angle.

We invited Alan over for a game day, introduced him to a bunch of the people we knew who were comfortable talking about their hobby in relation to their military service, and he took it from there.

Alan's article released yesterday on Slate, and I thought I would re-post/share it here.

Only thing about it that's not spot on? I'm not an attorney! Haha.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Critical Response to Some Crapola on the Internets ... More Importantly, Tournament Army Prep for 6ed!

I'm only kidding with the title. Lies aren't worth responding to!

So I'm getting myself to a point where I really can't decide what army I'd personally like to play in 6th Edition.

I still have a heart-on for my guard (snicker?), and for having lots of bodies on the field.
I partially want to wait for CSM, because the ability to have lots of cheap fearless 30-model cultist squads is actually quite exciting (read: dark apostles).

So I'm in limbo.

That said, if I discount CSM, the lists I'm looking at based upon play are 1) Psychic Choir Tyranid with Swarmlord, 3 Tervigons, Parasite and a butt-ton of gargoyles, or 2) Heavy blobbing of guard coupled with appropriate allies.

Latest thought along the lines of #2 is as follows, and would definitely involve modeling the Primaris Psyker as a psychiatrist, with Yarrick and the Ork Warboss reconciling their differences on therapy chairs/couches. Not actually kidding, either. Enjoy ... and yeah, I have no idea which way to go yet.

Warboss w/ Power Klaw - 85
Primaris Psyker - 70
Commissar Yarrick - 185

Platoon Command w/ Mortar - 35
IG Squad w/ Power Weapon, Meltabomb - 65
IG Squad w/ Power Weapon, Meltabomb - 65
IG Squad w/ Power Weapon, Meltabomb - 65
IG Squad w/ Power Weapon, Meltabomb - 65
IG Squad w/ Power Weapon - 60

Platoon Command Squad w/ Mortar - 35
IG Squad w/ Autocannon - 60
IG Squad w/ Autocannon - 60
Mortar HWT - 60
Mortar HWT - 60
Mortar HWT - 60

Platoon Command Squad w/ Mortar - 35
IG Squad w/ Autocannon - 60
IG Squad w/ Autocannon - 60

30 Ork Shootas w/ Power Klaw Nob - 215
30 Ork Shootas w/ Nob - 190

Dakkajet w/ Fighta Ace - 130
Vendetta w/ Heavy Bolters - 140
Vendetta w/ Heavy Bolters - 140

170 models, 3 vehicles, 12 scoring units

Thanks to the community also for the outpouring of support this past week. I didn't ask, but you all delivered. It's much appreciated.

 - Mike and the NOVA

Friday, September 7, 2012

New FAQ's, NOVA Results, and Upcoming Events

So, the results for the NOVA Open are up on the website, on the frontpage, at

That said, here's some quicklinks:
Results of all Tournaments

40k GT Competitive Sort breakdown
40k Invitational Competitive sort breakdown

Others will be forthcoming as we make details more robust and available ... the time that staff has available to do this sort of thing is definitely an issue with the time required to get it all up in super detailed granularity!

Games Workshop has updated its 40k FAQ's in entirety. These can be found here:

Several of the FAQ answers coincide with NOVA FAQ and rulings, several do not coincide. Thank You GW! Now we get to remove the harder-to-make calls and defer to the designers (i.e. grounded flyers).

I wish they'd ruled on Doom Scythe LOS!

Our ruling on Njal remains the same. They did state that weapons with area of effects / auto-hits (i.e. nova, maelstrom, beam) do not affect Zooming Flyers, but they didn't encompass "effects" or other sorts of things. Since his abilities remain effects, that one doesn't change.

We'll update the NOVA FAQ largely by removing things they answered, and try to have a v2 of that up soon, since several upcoming tournaments have declared a desire to use the NOVA FAQ.

Speaking of upcoming events, I'll be at Battle for Salvation again ... and you should too! A high volume of awesome guys and players are attending, and it'll be a great event to continue stretching out those 40k legs.

I do not know if I'll be competing again, or attending as a judge. It depends heavily on my ability to either
a) Settle on a njal/guard list that I want to use (if you follow the forums, I've been brainstorming these list styles openly for a couple months)
b) Decide to use my psychoir

and coupled with

c) My ability to properly paint and build what I need for these to my newer, higher personal standards for appearance in time.

Right now, signs are pointing to: Helping them out as a judge. (semi sad face)

NOVA just took away my hobby time!

Lots of posts about my opinions on missions, responses to feedback, and many of the things we'll be improving already for next year incoming.

One thing that's nice, is now we actually have a year to properly tune things to the new edition. As we move forward, however, the NOVA has become a true convention ... we sold over 600 weekend badges and day passes this year, with only a little over a third of our actual attendees coming for 40k-related events. My focus, and the blog's focus, etc., will expand to reflect that in the months and years ahead.

 - Mike