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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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Roland's NOVA Experiences: Games 3 & 4

Roland here again to get into my third and fourth games from the NOVA open a month ago. As always, the BatReps will be short and hit the highlights, followed by my quick analysis of how I played.

As an aside, this is a photo of Sandwyrm's AWESOME IG army, which my camera phone does poor justice too.

And now, without further ado....Games 3 & 4. My list is, again, here

Game 3 vs Chris S.

Mission: KP (Primary), Quarters (Secondary), Objectives (Tertiary)
Deployment: Dawn of War
Army List: Coteaz, Techmarine (Rad/Psyko Grenades, 3X Skulls, NFS, SB), Ven Psyfle Dread, Vindicare, 5X Henchmen Warband (3X Acolytes w/ bolters, RBack w/ Psybolt ammo), Henchmen Warband (1 Banisher, 2X Crusaders, 5X DCA, RBack w/ Psybolt), Storm Raven (TLMM, TLLC), Interceptor Squad (5X GKI, NDH, Incinerat0r), 2X Psyfle Dreads, LR (HK)

Photo 1 is the board prior to set up. I had the bottom half, he had the top. I believe I had first, I honestly don't remember anymore (downside I guess of putting off doing my reports). Terrain wise, it definitely favored him over me and I'd have to work harder to pull of the win, especially since he had more shooting then me. DoW is my least favorite deployment due to the fact it ROYALLY bones my long range shooting. When 90% of my shooting can't (i.e. Long Fangs), I'm forced to play more defensively turn 1. 

Photo 2 shows end of turn 1 or 2. I bungled my deployment here. I honestly don't know why I tried the spread deployment, when the wise choice should have been a more refused flank. As you can see, I put 2 GH squads and a Speeder on my left and hid them (somewhat) behind the ruin. I put my Rback in the center in all that terrain to get a guaranteed 4+ cover. Again, why? Don't know. Objectives were the last mission so I should have used them more aggressively to block my far right Rhino squad and give them support. I ran 2 LF squads into the center terrain / the open area where they would still be blocked by the center LoS piece. The third squad ran into the ruins in the bottom right, along with the other speeder, last GH squad, and my TWC and Lord. As for his deployment, he castled in the back left, and only put two small squads on the right (my right) to put some pressure on me. The LR held his DCA doom squad and the Vindicare was hidden in the top right ruin. How did the game go? Well, to summarize, I shot a bunch, did diddly to his units, he shook then blew up my RBack, wrecked my left rhino, used the SRavens psyker missiles to kill my RP, and basically shut me down. I also played like crap. I was utterly indecisive on what to do with my TWC and tried to hide them all they ended up hiding in the bottom right by the ruins for like 3 turns. Instead of rushing them up the center and putting a "must deal with" threat in his face...I cowered. Not that doing so would have won me the game, but it definitely would have taken some pressure off the rest of my army.

Photo 3 is above and I believe it's around turn 3. As you can see he's completely shut down my movement on the left. 1 Rhino blown up, 1 wrecked, both squads taken some wounds and trying to get cover. The squad by the ruins went to grab the objective (again why? Objectives were tertiary....DOH!), the left squad went to knock out that vile Storm Raven which almost single handedly took out my left flank (granted the LR got a lucky LC shot at the rhino hugging the ruins and wrecked it...stupid cover save fail). As you can see my TWC are still floating around doing nothing in the corner and my right GH squad rushed forward and disembarked by the ruins to kill the Vindicare and hopefully start causing havoc on his right flank and grab the objective. Sadly that didn't happen. Fast forward this game and the center Fangs got wiped out as he rushed his LR forward, disembarked, and went to town with the DCA.

Overall: Loss. KPs very little to his a lot; 1-3 Quarters; 0-3 Objectives; 545-1170 VP. So yeah a thorough drubbing I received.

Deployment: I'll be honest. My deployment was Below-Average this game. I should have used the terrain to my advantage (particularly the large center piece) to deny him shots and castled in the center. That way he'd have to move out into the open firing lanes to get my vehicles. I know there's a lot of...commentary on the web about the terrain at NOVA, but really terrain is what separates GREAT players from just GOOD players. I failed to utilize the terrain to my advantage and got pwned for it. Yes on the far right there was about a 1' open gap which was kinda meh, but I didn't need to use it, and in fact should have avoided it. Playing the center was the only way I could have won because the restricted terrain hurt his shooty army more than it did my hybrid army.

Tactics: I'll say I played Below-Average tactically this game as well. My indecisiveness with the TWC and my splitting of my forces allowed him to shoot me to death. Massed S6 shooting is just annoying to deal with. I was also very worried (for some reason) about the Psybacks from demeching me...which is funny b/c the odds of S6 penning AV11 is...well not that great. Side note on this - while Chris was a nice guy and fun to play against...gun line armies like this are...meh to play against. They sit and move very little and just shoot, meanwhile I have to close the distance. Had I not played poorly I think it would have been a closer game as SM and Rhinos don't fear massed S6 shots, and only his 3Dreads and the SR had any real AT capability.

Opponent: Christ was a great guy, super nice (he brought candy to share!), and I'd love a rematch. Especially since I played like crap and DoW does my army no favors :P

Game 4 vs Clayton C.
Mission: Objectives (Primary), Quarters (Secondary), KP (Tertiary)
Deployment: Spearhead

Army: Libby (Shield, Fear of Darkness, JP), Furioso (Magna-Grapple, HF, Blood Talons), Furioso (Magna-Grapple, Frag Cannon, Drop Pod), Assault Squad (10X, 2X Melta, TH Sarge), 2X Assault Squad (5X, Flamer, Sarge with PW, RBack w/ TLAC, HK), Scout Bike Squad, 2X Baal Preds (Flamestorm Cannons), 2X Storm Ravens (4X Blood Strikes, TLMM; 4X Blood Strikes, TLMM, TLLC)

Sorry kids, but no photos of this game. Quick summary - there was a ruin in the top right corner, a hill in the bottom right corner around and in which I put my Fangs, a big LoS blocking hill in the center, some area terrain on the middle center edge of both sides (so right "below" the big LoS center hill), another small hill on the far right in the corner, and a large LoS blocking hill/plateau in the top left corner (it had a cool little archway which a vehicle could traverse and see through going through the center). So Fangs hid in the hill and the area terrain in the center/middle back edge, RBack castled around the back right corner Objective, and the rest of the Squads hid behind the center hill. He hid his Ravens behind the hill in the top left corner, as well as all his vehicles (either there or behind the center hill). He scout moved the bikers to the top right. I went first, moved a squad up to the top right ruins and killed all but 1 of those pesky bikers. I think I managed to also shake his Ravens...don't remember. Think I did some damage to his Baals too. Anyway his turn 1 he DPs the Frag Cannon Dread behind my Long Fang line and inflicted some nasty casualties on me. He moved his Assault squads and a Raven forward behind the center hill (so on his side of the table). I push forward some more, kill off the last Scout, and fail to kill the Furioso in my DZ with a 3" meltagun. I will say this, this was the first of many games where I couldn't roll higher than a 3. No lie. That coupled with some shitty playing on my part cost me. 

Anyway, I still fail to inflict significant damage and just keep his Raven's shook. His top Raven I believe pops one of the Rhinos thats in the center hugging the hill on my side. He deployed his other Dread from that Raven and rushed my squad and killed them all. I REALLY hate Blood Talons. My turn 3 I run my Lord and TWC forward toward the upper Dread and a nearby Assault Squad. Forgot how, but my TWC with Thunder Hammer takes a wound (this is key). I managed to finally kill the Furioso in my backfield. Assault comes along and I pulled off a BEAUTIFUL multicharge - the Lord and SS TWC hit his assault squad and the TH TWC hits the Furioso. My Lord manages to kill the assault squad, my SS TWC is no longer in b2b with anyone and so can't swing on the Dread, so the Dread strikes against the Squad and does 3 wounds. Sadly I MUST put one on my TWC which effectively kills him before he can make the dread go pop. The SS guy makes his saves and now...I'm locked in combat with a Dread who has AV13 and I only have 1 guy who can hurt it....with rending. Fast forward a few turns - Dread kills the SS TWC, wounds my Lord (who breaks), his Dread runs through another GH squad of mine, and I manage to only knock out a Raven, kill an assault squad, kill his Baals. I tried to make a last minute grab for the top right objective to make it an even 2-2 (he held the top left, the center, and top right after pushing me back from it...I held bottom left but failed a LD test and fled the board....yay).

Overall: Loss. Objectives 1-3; Quarters 1-3; KP - a little to a lot; VP 1075-1456 (this makes the game seem close, and it was but for some stupid mistakes on my part and bad dice rolls).

End of Day 1 I was 1-3. Ugh

Deployment: I think my deployment was Average. I utilized the terrain at hand to minimize/deny his shooting, castled effectively enough to prevent mass deep strikes (if he so chose), and had good cover/LoS for my shooting and vehicles. Downside of my deployment and terrain somewhat, was the largish 18" or so of open ground on my right flank (sort of like the battle above) which gave his DS Dread a little more buffer room to land and not risk scatter. That didn't bug me too much (the terrain), because my frickin' GH with Meltagun SHOULD HAVE killed that dread with 1 shot from 3". But he failed. And so did some Missiles I fired at it. So dice rolling fail.

Tactics: I'll give my self an Average to Below-Average on my tactics. Overall I had a solid plan and was executing it well. My only real big mistake was charging the Furioso Dread with my TWC. I should have pulled everything back, and adjusted my tactics. Instead of rushing at it, I should have done a full rverse, and refocused my efforts onto the bottom half of the board away from it and secured that area. That way I could have used my Fangs and Speeders a bit more to try and take it out. His army was pretty reliant upon the two Storm Ravens for fire support and I wish my dice hadn't been so poor. 19 Krak missiles should have knocked out both Ravens pretty quickly, but hey, my dice like the numbers 1-3. Had I used my TWC better and not suicide charged the Furioso, I could have held his army off a bit longer and pulled out the W.

Opponent: Clayton was a super awesome guy and fun to play against. He also tolerated my semi-intoxicated stupidity for the first 2 or 3 turns. Intoxicated you say? Why yes, after a 2 game losing streak I needed a drink. So 2 Bombay Sapphire and Tonics later, I was ready for Game 4. Note to the kids - getting tipsy makes you a sloppy 40K player - your decision making is blah, and you have a tendency to knock your own shit over. So it's awesome to do with friends during friendly games, but I'd recommend staying away for it at a tourney unless you don't care how you do.

And so, Day 1 at NOVA is over and I'm pushing the 1-3 bracket. Until next time when we see how I do on Day 2....

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