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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Roland's NOVA Experiences: Games 1 & 2

Hey all! So after three weeks of work, modeling my Necro gang, and a general break from 40K in general, I'm finally going to begin my overview of my 8 games at NOVA. I remember most of the details of the games, but many of the individual play by plays are lost to time. Thus, these will be quick battle summaries where I hit the highlights of the games and then discuss briefly (ala Stelek) how I feel my Deployment, Army List, and Tactics went in every game and where I failed and could have done better. Additionally, these overviews will generally be devoid of photos as I by and large got too caught up in the games to take photos. Game 1 was the real exception as you'll see as I managed to take photos about once a turn. Anyway, without further ado, here is my army list (I'm abbreviating everything so if you have a question leave it in the comments and I'll reply):

Varyags of Miklagaard VII

Wolf Lord - TWM, WC, SS, WTN, WTT, SotWB, 2X Fen Wolves
Rune Priest - CotS, LL, TW

3X Wolf Guard - 3X Combi-Melta, 1X PF, 1X TH, 1X WC
5X Wolf Scouts - Melta, MotW

7X Grey Hunters - MotW, Melta, Wolf Standard, Rhino
7X Grey Hunters - MotW, Melta, Wolf Standard, Rhino
7X Grey Hunters - MotW, Melta, Wolf Standard, Rhino

5X Grey Hunters - Melta, Razorback

2X TWC - 1X SS, 1X TH
Typhoon Speeder
Typhoon Speeder

6X Long Fangs - Pack Leader, 5X ML
6X Long Fangs - Pack Leader, 5X ML

6X Long Fangs - Pack Leader, 5X ML

GAME 1 vs Nathan M.

Mission: Objectives (Primary), KP (Secondary), Quarters (Tertiary)
Deployment: Pitched Battle

Army List: Libby (Might, Quicksilver, Sanctuary, Shrouding, Warp Rift), Coteaz, 2X Purifier Squads (6X Purifiers, 1X MC Warding Stave, 1X DH, 4X Halberd, Rback w/ Psybolt Ammo), Ven Dread (2X TLAC), 4X Inq. Warband (5X henchmen, 3X Melta, Rback w/ Psybolt), 2X Inq. Warband (4X Henchmen, 3X MM Servitor, 1X Jokaero, Chimera w/ ML/HF), 3X Dreads (2X TLAC)

So here we go. I had first turn and took the bottom half of the board. Due to only being able to set up 12" in, I had a LF pack somewhat out in the open and had to use the Area Te
rrain to the left to give them that nice 4+ cover. The other two packs set up n that middle piece. I had the Lord and his TWC pals hug the right hill and on the first turn run up the side and move toward the center LoS blocking hill. My right Speeder hung out in the open while the middle one hid behind the area terrain. I put two of my squads on the left to grab the objective in the ruins (on the left) and the other squad sat betwixt the ruin and the area terrain to try and hide/get cover from anything that set up in the middle. Off camera on the right my Rback squads is sitting butts up to the objective marker on the hill and the last squad is hiding behind the hill. My turn 1 my shooting is meh. I knock off an arm from one of his dreads and shake/stun some of his Rbacks/Dreads. My right Rhino squad pushed up enough to still remain in the shadow of the mountain. His turn boned me. He immobilized my left most Rhino squad, wrecked the middle squad, knocked off the Missiles from my center Typhoon and killed two Fangs from one of the packs. 

Photo 1 shows the end of turn 1. 

Photo 2 shows the end of turn 3. Quick turn 2 summary - run the Lord up behind the hill and hide from all shooting, right speeder jumps forward for better shots, middle Greys walk forward a bit, and (off camera) far right rhino speeds forward to top right objective. My shooting did nothing (again - stupid shrouded vehicles and Fortitude). His shooting kills a few more Fangs.

Photo 3 shows the end of turn 3 I believe. Basically My Lord and pals ran around the hill and assaulted the Purifiers and their Rback that was behind the hill on the far right. End result? I blew up the RBack, killed some Purifiers (green card is crater). My Scouts arrived turn 2 on the right corner and slowly made their way across his backfield. I also moved my RP and center GH squad toward the middle objective. As you can see I now have a three objectives in my control. His turn saw him push a RBack forward to the ruins on the left side, as well as immobilize my middle speeder and stun my right speeder. He also charged my Lord and remaining TWC with his remaining Purifiers and Coteaz and company. He wins, I kill of the Purifiers but die in return to Coteaz who consolidates backward. He also pushed two more squads up to the center objective. 

Photo 4 is the end of the game. Here's what happened in turns 4 and 5. Turn 4 my Scouts, in a heroic move, charged Coteaz and killed his crew and put IIRC 1 wound on him. They died in return. Coteaz consolidates to the right closer to the far right objective. The top right GH squad disembark and surround the objective in the ruins. The center GH squad with RP move up the hill to contest the center objective and shoot/assault his squad there and win combat. I now hold 4 objectives. The bottom left GH squad disembark and surround the objective. They shoot the RBack and immobilize it. His turn he wrecks my right speeder, kills off my far left (and weakened) Fang squad, moves Coteaz closer to the ruins in the top right and pushes more RBacks into the center. I don't remember if he disembarked his right RBack squad but it's irrelevant. Turn 5, basically I shot some shit, shot/charged Coteaz, killed him, re-consolidated back on the objective, I think I wrecked his center RBack but failed to charge the dudes who came out. His turn he shuffled the center dudes around to contest the middle objective.

Overall: Win. 3-1-1 Objectives (held-drawn-lost); 3-1 Quarters, 4(or 5) KP to 3; 724-730 Victory Points.

Deployment: I think overall my deployment was Average. I used the terrain effectively to my advantage to mitigate his 4 Psyflemen as well as to set me up in a solid position to grab 2 objectives early.
He chose to refuse flank me, which probably wasn't the smartest choice as the center LoS hill really allowed me free mobility all over the right side of the board and to focus my fire on his few exposed units. If he had put some units more in the center or right (from my view) he could have really hampered my movement.

Army List: This will be the only time I rate my army list since...well it stayed the same the whole tourney. Overall I think my list was Average-Above Average. It was nothing spectacular but it was solid overall.

Tactics: Here again I'll say my tactics were Average-Above Average. Outside of deployment, the TWC center slingshot, coupled with the GH objective encirclement and denial. Basically my semi-aggressive stance kept him off-guard and I bottled him up in his corner the whole game.

Opponent: Nate was a great guy, quiet and real friendly. I'd definitely play him again anytime.

Game 2 vs. Dave N.

Mission: Quarters (P), Objectives (S), KP (T)
Deployment: Spearhead

Army List: Archon (Agonizer, PGL, S. Field), 4X Trueborn (4X blaste
r, Venom w/ 2X SCannons, FF), 8X Incubi (Klaives, Raider, DL, Aethersails), 3X Wych Squads (7X Wyches, Hekatrix w/ Agonizer, Raider w/ DL and Aethersails), 1X Wych Squad (7X Wyches, 2X Shardnets, Hekatrix w/ Agonizer, Raider w/ DL and Aethersails), 2X Warrior Squads (5X Warriors, 1X Blaster, Venom w/ dual SCannons, FF), Razorwing (2X DCannon, SCannon, Monoscythe Missiles, FF), 2X Ravagers (3X DL, FF)

That's Dave's beautifully painted DE army and display board. I loved it. It's a dock within the infernal city of Commorragh. A lot of love and detail went into it. Anyhoo, the game (this will be quick). I go first and take the bottom right corner where there was a huge two sory ruined building in which I put 2 Fang Squads, with the third in a center piece of area terrain (akin to the one from Game 1). Everything else spreads out, Scouts outflank. He holds everything in Reserve. This is key, so pay attention friends, as I'll say it again: he holds EVERYTHING in Reserve. Needless to say, game begins and I push a squad into the top right corner, one goes for the center, the other to the left. I pop smoke across the board. He looks at me quizzically and say, "Why'd you pop smoke? I'm in Reserve and won't arrive for another turn?" To which I laugh and have my first (or many) "DOH!" moments this tournament. Now being a courteous and professional competitive player, I accept my fuck up, I don't ask for a redo or take backs, and I play on. Yet this one mistake royally boned me mentally. I SHOULD HAVE realized this bonehead move and pulled everything back in to castle up. Instead I kept pushing forward. Needless to say, he arrived turn 2, isolated and pwned my squad in the top right, poisoned my Fangs, and generally began taking me apart piece meal. That was pretty much game from there as I was too spread out and was picked off little by little (PS my Fangs HATE poisoned weapons). This was a quick, painful game in which 1 HUGE mistake on my part cost me early. Kudos to him though for capitalizing on it and exploiting it to the fullest.

Overall: Loss. 1-0 Objectives, 0-4 Quarters, no idea on KP, 658-1220 VP. So yeah a pwn-fest.

Deployment: I think my deployment was Average. There was nothing special about it - castled up in a corner using the large ruined building terrain piece, the LoS blocking hill in the center, and the area terrain on my left to give me good cover saves all around.

Tactics: Bad, in fact Terribad. The two biggest mistakes I made were: 1). Not paying attention to my enemy's game plan and his deployment. Had I listened more carefully and actually processed what he said when he said "I'm reserving everything" my game plan would have been executed differently. This bring me to mistake #2 - I was too aggressive. Dave talked to me afterward and said he was afraid I was going to castle up. His biggest fear was facing all those missile shots as well as the distance between us as it would have given me almost two turns of shooting before he could close the gap and hit me up close. I completely agree with him and realize now I should have played more defensively. Allow him to come on and yeah sure snipe my Fangs with the few things that could see them, but otherwise he'd be staring down 19 Krak Missiles turn 3. Had I held back in the castle until turn 4, then rushed forward when I demeched him a bit, the game could have ended differently. So dear readers, take these two lessons away: 1). PAY ATTENTION - for real, listen to what your opponent is saying, not just because he's not misinterpreting a rule or trying to pull a fast one on you, but typically people will give you (unintentionally) tips and hints as to their game plan, and 2). ADAPT YOUR TACTICS TO THE ENEMY - I let one mistake feed into another and figured an aggressive stance would work against one of the fastest armies out there. I failed to adjust my plan to fit the army I was facing.

Opponent: Dave was an excellent player and an overall nice guy. He used this really cool excel spreadsheet for his army list which he kindly sent me later so I can use it now :). I'd rematch him in a heartbeat

Well folks that's it for Games 1 & 2. So for those keeping count halfway through Day 1 I was batting 1-1 along with Gramps. Games 3 & 4 are coming soon!

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