Welcome to a Friday guest post by Togashi Shinkaze. You can catch him lurking about over at Laughter of the Thirsting Gods talking about “metas” and “fun 40k”. Worth a read!
Well it was alot of fun hanging out and talking smack on thursday night. At this point I have seen MBG wax Jawaballs in a really lop sided match and now I am going to try to get him to play me.
He drunkenly agrees and now I have a chance to totally dominate the Grot Death Cult Assassin army that Master Shake has let him borrow.
All of the sudden I am told that they need a 32nd player for the Invitational. Apparently I will have to interview for it. I end up talking to Mike Brandt and I guess he wants to make sure I am going to play hard. I tell him I got second at the Gladiator once but also that he let Marc Parker in and I whoop up on him all the time. I can’t beat my way out of a paper bag that you wrote your kid brother’s Dark Angel Battle Report style list on but I know how Parker plays from an extensive # of games so I got his #. Hopefully they didn’t let any DA lists into this thing and I’ve got a chance. I’m told to bring a well painted army and to kick some ass. I say well I’ve got 3 colors and half a wash?? Mike says that is fine and to report at 6:30am.
I dutifully report early since I very much want to play. I love to play good players and haven’t gotten to play much at all in the last two weeks. I could use a warm up for Saturday. I had to tweak my 2000 point GK list by dropping the 3rd DCA squad and the 3rd Raven. Luckily Shane lets me borrow some HB Razors to get up to 1750. This is what I ended up playing.
Storm Raven Las/MM
Storm Raven Las/MM
8 DCA, 3 Crusader
7 DCA, 3 Crusader
3 dorks in Psy HB Razor
3 dorks in Psy HB Razor
For those of you not familiar with the Nova mission format I will explain how the missions are scored. Each mission featured a combination of Seize Ground, Table Quarters, and Kill Points. You had to win by 3 to win on KP, have more objectives to win Seize Ground, and Table Quarters were decided by VP and scoring units counted for full even if under half. Those 3 goals would be in a certain order. If you tied on one, you went to the next and if you tied on all 3 you checked for VP. You could win a match by .5 VP!
I forget what the order of the mission goals were for the matches listed below but it doesn’t really matter all that much. I had designed my 2000 pt list to play well in this format regardless of what I was playing against and who went first or second. I could pretty well force a tie on either Quarters or Seize Ground and easily take KP vs many MSU armies and then play keep away with my long range firepower. I would never have played a army with so many Ravens in it if I didn’t think it would work well for the format.
Round 1 Pitched Battle – Luke – Dark Eldar Venom heavy list
Luke was running 5 Venoms with Warriors, 1 Razorwing, 1 max Warp Beast squad, 2 Ravagers, 3×4 Trueborn 2 Blaster in Venoms and Lady Malys and Baron were with the beasts. I thought it was a neat spin on the build Dash made famous.
I got to go second which was huge, thankfully he wanted to go first. I’m not really sure why but I think he was new to the game and after 3 years of 5th I am only starting to see the big picture on the deployment roll.
He spread out across his deployment zone and I then set up my 5 dreads behind a hill on the right of my deployment zone. He redeployed a bit with Lady Malys, then I tried to Seize and failed. I took no damage and then started blasting away on the bottom of 2. It was truly a horrible match up for him and one that I had planned on taking advantage of after seeing the popularity of this build at Bolscon. At least 5 people used it there and I expected lots of MSU shooting GK which I intended to outmaneuver and consequently out shoot.
I easily took out the anti-tank elements of this DE army though at one point I was facing just 3 individual blasters and they managed to destroy 1 Venerable and force my Raven to land. See never give up, you never know what might happen! In the end though I destroyed almost his entire army and lost just a few dreads.
A highlight was his huge squad of Beasts reacting backwards into his deployment zone to get close to a Venom with Grisly Trophies. I did 20 power weapon wounds and the beastmasters who were stretching out backwards died but even then I would have just won by 6 or 7 anyways so they still probably would have broke. I don’t know how the judges ruled that way, even if you decide that is RAW(which apparently means anything ambiguously worded can be twisted to whatever you want) it still flies in the face of Intent and Spirit of the Game.
Round 2 Dawn of War – Mark Ferruk – Crimson Fists as BA Jump Army
Mark had 40 Marines, 15 Missile Devs, 2 Priest, 2 Librarian.
This is the kind of army I don’t want to face, a horde of marines with no vehicles. My army is primarily designed to outplay MSU and Mech armies. However I do have 23 DCA so everything should be ok for me. Even if I have to go second I could go in reserves with the Ravens and let them show up to shoot his Devs with Mindstrikes and Lascannons assuming the Dreads haven’t already killed them. Then the DCA should be able to get into the Marines and kill most of them.
So of course I go second and forget to reserve my Ravens. They come on fast for the cover save in my corner. I do shoot down one Dev squad on turn 2 and fire lots of Mindstrikes that all scatter away. I end up getting close to tabled if not completely so but we had some fun on my way out. I think I could have won if I had remembered to reserve my Ravens like I was planning. Hopefully this is the last time I will screw the pooch but somehow I doubt it. Mark played really well, he did a good job of moving up close but too far away for me to charge leaving my no good options. Well done Mark.
Round 3 Spearhead – Andrew Blackwell – Fateweaver
Scared Chicken, 3x 4 Bloodcrushers, 4x 5 Plaguebearers, 3x Super Nurgle Prince
Andrew had a cool all Nurgle themed and converted force. FW was a giant Eyeball and he used Ogres for Crushers. His Plaguebearers were converted as well.
I had enough firepower to shoot up Fateweaver and the Daemon Princes that scattered away from him. The Crushers were taken care of by the DCA and one squad scattered into me and was destroyed by mishap. Andrew played well but he got some unlucky scatters and that made if much easier on me to take the army apart.
Round 4 Pitched Battle – Sean Nayden – Salamanders
Sean had a cool army with only 10 scoring models and 3 Ironclads in Pods, 2 scout Speeders and 2 Thunderfires with empty Pods.
For the 4th time my opponent won the roll to go first and went first. For the 3rd of 4 games it didn’t matter much at all. 2 of the 3 mission goals were objectives and that favors going 2nd. I ended up in a bit of a bad spot by placing my reserves incorrectly but after my TL MM failed to hit one of my Vens immobilized the Dread that looked likely to rip up at least one of my Dreads.
I had to be careful to blow up the pods on one of the Loot Counters before my DCA moved in to loot it. I could see why Sean could get away with only 10 scoring models because I spent the whole game shooting his AV 13 dreads and Thunderfire Cannons.
Round 5 Pitched Battle – Andrew Gonyo – GK Henchman shooting
Andrew had a beautiful army converted from Bretonnian men at arms. He had 5 squads of storm bolters with PsyHB Razors and a squad of 6 Crusaders/5 DCA/1 Banisher. He also had 5 Dreads and Karamov.
This was an interesting game because for the first time I needed to go first but for the 5th time I lost the roll. I had no choice but to go into reserves. Then I got super lucky getting in all 5 dreads and both ravens! It was a tough game and our Dreads for the most part just shot at the enemy transports.
My Ven Dread survived two direct shots from Karamov but that isn’t so crazy when you notice he has about a 21% to kill it. My Raven did survive shooting from 4 dreads and that is a little lucky. In the end I managed to control the Loot counters and take it down. While one could say that fortune favored me with my reserves rolls then again it would have really favored me much more than him if I were to have gone first.
A theme that comes up over and over again throughout the weekend for me is chance. Sure a BS 4 missile/blaster/bright lance has 7% chance of destroying a AV 12 vehicle. So what? If it happens does it ruin your ability to play the game. I often found the answer to be somewhat of a yes. It’s similiar to the concept that Fateweaver makes for a nasty army but what happens to your armies ability to perform when he is destroyed on his first or second wound?
A critical component of generalship is managing your exposure to risk. Vehicles are inherently risky. They are hard to kill these days(as they should be) but it still only takes one lucky shot to remove them from play. This has me thinking about switching over to BA Assault Marines so the survival of my vehicles isn’t tied to the mobility of my scoring/assault units.
I would just play Grey Hunters in Rhino(I’m a huge fan of Tony Kupach’s list, it’s among the very best) but I’m not very interested in the Space Wolf rules set. One of the reasons Tony’s SW list is so strong because it can’t be unraveled by a lucky hit or two.
I liked my list for this format. If I had the choice though knowing what I know now I would not have brought it. It performed fine but the problem was the terrain made it hard for my Dreads to see the enemy. While the value of every unit in the game went up due to the big pieces of terrain hiding them and granting cover my Ravens were the same old not so hard to destroy considering they were AV 12. It wasn’t even like my opponents could make the mistake of shooting a different unit, they could only see the Ravens.
I would have much rather played my BA Aggro Razor list. I had a bit of trouble with BA Predator lists at Bolscon but at Nova I think I would have maneuvered into position and popped out from behind the hills next turn facing close to zero rounds of shooting.
I had a great time even though there were about 20x as many rules and LoS issues as a normal tournament game. Thankfully each table has a referee to make these decisions. Those people were invaluable. After the fact I was referring to them as my lawyer. Any rules dispute was immediately handed off to the referee making my games more enjoyable than normal tournament games where I have to deal with the issues or go get a judge.
I would happily go back next year if I lived closer. This is a great event but I do not like the W/L format, it takes too many skilled players out of the running. In a Margin of Victory tournament they could soldier on after a loss or minimalize a loss and still end up placing high or even winning. If I can afford it I may make it up there next year but I have to do ATC, Bolscon, and Beakycon 2 before I consider Nova 2012.
So there it is. How would you feel about seeing some more guest spots on here? -MBG