Thursday, September 1, 2011

NOVA Open Report: Sunday

I woke up Sunday morning and had a bowl of cereal and a Greek yogurt.  I knew full well that these rounds would be a grind and that the chance of a burn out was high.  My plan was to eat clean food to make sure that didn’t happen.  I’ve talked before about the importance of tournament day nutrition, and I tried to practice what I preached.  Let other people eat McDonalds 3 meals a day on tournament day, and when they are sweating profusely and complaining about exhaustion, I will be completely fresh.

So I walk the mile or so from where I was staying to the Hyatt (some hurricane if I can walk outside in it) and set up shop waiting to see the pairings for round 5 to go up.

Round Five – Pitched Battle with Table Quarters

Opponent – Matthew Swasey – Grey Knights

Venerable Psyfleman
Venerable Psyfleman
10x Strike Squad in Rhino
10x Terminator Squad
Land Raider
Land Raider
Land Raider


Killing 3 Land Raiders is hard enough for my list, so I knew it would be an uphill battle to beat him on table quarters since his units were so valuable.  Hard, but doable.  The big problem was kill points as a tiebreaker.  It would be extremely hard to beat him by 3 kill points without tabling him.

In any event, the game was very defensive, as he was content to sit back and shoot with Land Raiders, and I was content to kill everything but his Land Raiders.  On the last turn, I set up a charge where 20 Purifiers were going to charge 10 Terminators, however, my pre-charge shooting softened them up a little too much and they broke and fled and boned my charge.  The lone remaining terminator from one of the combat squads rallied on his turn and took his full value to help contest a table quarter.  So instead of me wiping over 400 points of terminators, I got nothing to show for it.  I also moved a 5 man Purifier squad to sit on an objective (3rd tiebreaker) but rolled snake eyes for difficult terrain and only an inch on my run move.  That left me 1” away from claiming the objective.

When the game ended, we tied 2-2 on table quarters, tied on kill points, and he beat me on objectives 2-1 for 3rd tie breaker because I rolled triple 1’s.  When we calculated victory points, I was ahead by almost 250 points.  Had the terminators not fled, it would have been 650 and an easy win.  Sigh.  I will give Matthew credit, he played smart and did what he had to do to get a win, but I will say that his terminators breaking combined with my terrain and running rolls is what decided the game.  I just don’t think I lost this one to being outplayed by a superior opponent.

But a loss is a lose, and that’s that.

Record: 3-2

Round Six – Dawn of War – Kill Points

Pat Higgs – Daemons of Chaos

6x Fiends of Slaanesh
4x Flamers of Tzeentch
4x Blood Crushers
7x Bloodletters
7x Bloodletters
Nurgle Prince
Nurgle Prince
Nurgle Prince

Pat was a super cool dude who worked with the 11th Company crew and he had an amazingly painted and converted Daemon army.  It used a lot of green-stuffed up chaos-bitzed Ogre Kingdoms minis and looked a million bucks.

Unfortunately, Pat suffered from some bad luck.  His first bit of bad luck was having had to play against my Purifier list with a close combat Daemon list.  Even had I been blind, deaf, and dumb I would have had a huge advantage based on list alone.  Basically, he had to come to me to kill stuff, and my shooting was enormously good at short range.  And my CC ability was such with Preferred Enemy: Daemons that he wouldn’t stand a chance in CC.

I deployed in a corner, castled up in a semi-circle so he would have to deep strike in front of me, and I’d get plenty of shots at whatever he brought in.  He divided his waves with all the big stuff in his primary wave, and all his small stuff in the second wave. 

His next bit of bad luck was getting his small stuff wave first.  He deep struck in aggressively, and I killed his Flamers and Fiends before they could do anything.  His first reserves were all three Princes.  They came on my left  flank to try to overwhelm me, but my shooting was strong and I believe I killed one of the Princes outright and wounded the others.  On his next turn he got Fateweaver, but the Princes needed to charge my lines rather than sit in a bubble and wait a turn, so he did, and popped a Razorback and a Rhino.  On my turn, I counter charged and wiped out both Princes.  I also did a wound to Fateweaver.

His next bit of bad luck was his Bloodcrushers having a deepstrike mishap and being destroyed.  I think once that happened, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion how the game was going to end.  His Blood Thirster came in, but scattered far away, and I got into combat with Fateweaver.  He may a lot of re-rolled saves but eventually I wounded him and he failed his Leadership and fled.  The Blood Thirster moved closer but 4 units’ worth of dakka from my Purifiers put him to bed.  After that, I advanced my Rhinos to contest the objectives his ‘letters were sitting on.

I won the match 5 Kill Points to 1.  I believe the victory point spread was ridiculous, like 1710-50.  That’s a pretty big margin.  While I’m glad I won, I wish it had been a bit closer because I could tell Pat wasn’t having much fun and that bummed me out a bit.

On the plus side, notching my 4th win meant I achieved my pre-tournament goal of going 4-4, and still had two games left to do even better.

Record: 4-2

Round Seven – Pitched Battle – Objectives

Opponent: Robert Evers – Salamander Space Marines

5x TH/SS Terminators
5x TH/SS Terminators
Rifleman Dread
10x Tactical Marines with Melta, MM, Rhino
10x Tactical Marines with Melta, MM, Rhino
Land Speeder Storm with Multi-melta
Auto-las Predator
Land Raider Crusader
Land Raider Redeemer

“Great, more Land Raiders,” I thought to myself.  Since the mission was objectives my plan was to kill his two units of troops and hope he couldn’t wipe me out.

Unfortunately, Bob was a good player and kept his troops in reserve in order to reduce the amount of firepower that was coming through to them.

The game boiled down to a combat of 25 Purifiers against Vulkan and 10 TH/SS terminators.  Despite me getting the charge, and the math-hammer odds being vastly in my favor, he rolled 3++ like a son of a bitch and it took me 4 turns of combat to finally kill the last of the terminators.  All I had left when it was over was 2 of the original 25 Purifiers.

The game came down to two of my Purifiers desperately holding an objective, facing down a Redeemer’s Inferno Cannon which would surely kill them next turn… but the game ended.

We tied 2-2 on objectives (had it continued he would have won it 2-1)
We tied on kill points

I pulled out the table quarters 3-1, however.  Troops counting full points for quarters meant that those two Purifiers were worth more than his undamaged Redeemer, and thus gave me the quarter.  I actually lost on victory points pretty heavily, too.  The key to the win was in the list, I had five units of troops to claim quarters and objectives and he only had two.

All in all, a super close, super fun game.  Definitely a nail-biter.  

Record: 5-2
At this point, I’m ecstatic.  No matter how I do in the 8th, I’ve already exceeded my pre-tournament goals and I can call the NOVA a success.

Round Eight: Spearhead Table Quarters

Opponent: Troy Esposito – Grey Knights

Land Raider
Psyfleman Dreadnaught
Psyfleman Dreadnaught
7x Purifiers in Passback (gave their ride to Crowe and hopped in the LR with Libby)
6x Purifiers in Rhino
5x Purifiers in Passback
5x Purifiers in Passback
5x Purifiers in Passback

Interesting, a Crowe mirror match.  I was next to Troy during the Whiskey, so I knew he was a good player and his list seemed to match up well against mine.  His Shrouding Librarian would be safe and sound in the Landraider giving his mech wall 3++ saves, while mine would be exposed.

Additionally, I got stuck in an awful corner of the board with literally no vehicle cover, whereas he had full cover. 

First turn he basically destroyed all my Psyflemen, since I got no cover saves and his did.  Then he began to systematically demech me.  I figured the game was over, as it was getting ugly, but I rallied back.  My shooting got hot, and I demeched his entire army and started putting strategic pressure on him by strongly claiming several table quarters with big Purifier squads in cover.

Unfortunately, the early game advantage he jumped out to began to wear me down, as his Psyflemen were able to shoot every turn.  Eventually, his libby and boys were able to get the charge off on one of my 10 man squads.  Thanks to Psyk-out grenades and Hammerhand and Might of Titan, he was able to mow me down in combat.

Even then, on the last turn I firmly held a table quarter and sent a lone former 10 man Purifier to scurry to claim another quarter.  As troops counted their full points, his 302 point value would be enough for me to get that quarter as he only had 7 Purifiers in the quarter.  As we each had one objective, it would have sent the game to kill points, which were tied in, and coming down to victory points, I actually had the edge.

Unfortunately, one of his 6 man squads was able to roll 6 through difficult terrain, and then another 6 on the terrain to charge in order to reach my last dudeman, which ofcourse kill him.  Thus Troy won 3-1 on objectives.  A great game, and Troy was an awesome opponent.  Probably the nicest dude I played all weekend in terms of personality, which you might not expect from a guy who closely resembled a Viking. 

Record: 5-3.

All in all, I was happy with how the tournament played out for me.  I took a pretty non-competitive list and finished 34th overall on the competitive track.  Hard to argue that it wasn’t a success for me, and I walked out of the convention hall pretty proud of how I did.  I also considered that all of my losses were close, and some of them came down to a single die roll, and that I could easily have had an even better record.

Post tournament:  I left the hotel and went back to Chipotle for some celebratory tacos and guacamole.  Most excellent.  I then watched some football and crashed.  Woke up early Monday and headed to DCA to catch my flight home. 

NOVA over.

Post Script.

It was a great event.  I was super stoked to meet everyone I’ve only talked to online.  Especially cool to meet Timmah, Xaereth and Laeroth.  I know I met a lot more of my reader peeps, so don’t feel left out if I missed you, it became hard to keep everyone straight and I didn’t take very good notes.

I don’t know if I’ll be back next year due to logistical reasons, but I would definitely like to.  I’ll either bring a nasty 40k list with the intention to be hyper-competitive, or I’ll play in the Fantasy GT.  Depends what I’m more into at the time.  But it was a great experience, and I’d love to return next year if I can.


  1. Heh. Yeah, 200ponies and I didn't know what you looked like to come find ya and say hello. So I'm like, "Well, I DO know what his army looks like, so I'll find him that way!" Sure enough, it only took me about 30 seconds and there you were. ;)

    Was a little disappointed that I couldn't manage to find you for a game, but it wasn't meant to be. Perhaps sometime soon! :D

  2. In the description of your last match, you wrote:

    "His Shrouding Librarian would be safe and sound in the Landraider giving his mech wall 3++ saves, while mine would be exposed."

    How do you figure that his vehicles got 3++ saves? Were they already obscured (e.g., Smoke, or actually hidden), or was this just because of Shrouding?

  3. The lead vehicles would smoke, the ones behind would get cover from the lead ones. And the Shrouding would turn the 4++ to 3++ for all of them.