Battling the Top Lists 40k at Nova Open 2018

By |2018-09-12T08:21:06+00:00September 11th, 2018|Categories: Grand Tournament, Tactics, Warhammer 40k|

Come see the tricksy army build that took down most of the top 40k army lists out there including a Castellan Knight lists with Smash Captains!

Well ladies and gents, I’m finally back from NOVA! What an amazing weekend of friends, and nonstop 40k. There’s truly no other convention like it.

I’d also like to say that this was the most well run NOVA of the eight I’ve attended. The staff was spectacularly friendly and the judges were on point all weekend. The convention seemed to run seamlessly. But I’m here to talk about a bit more than just that. I want to go over my own personal games and how they went.

Eldar Put in Work

Dark Eldar 2

I had 12 great games against fantastic opponents. Overall, I ended up 3rd in both the invite and the open, finishing with records of 3-1 and 7-1 respectively. Definitely not too shabby. Not the best I’ve ever done, but certainly nothing to be ashamed of either. Overall I’m extremely pleased with the way my unique list performed, and the way I played for most of the weekend.

For reference, here was my list:

Prophet of Flesh Battalion

  • Urien- 90
  • Haemonculus- splinter pistol, electrocorrosive whip- 76
  • 5 Wracks -45
  • 5 Wracks -45
  • 9 Wracks -81
  • 7 Grotesques -245
  • 7 Grotesques -245

Ynnari Battalion

  • Yncarne -337
  • Eldrad -150
  • Spiritseer <biel tan> -65
  • 5 Rangers <aliatoc> -60
  • 5 Rangers <aliatoc> -60
  • 20 Guardians- 2 shuriken cannons <ulthwe> -190
  • 9 Shining Spears- star lance <biel tan> -281


  • 5 Kabalite Warriors <kabal of the black heart> 30Today, I’m going to give brief synopses of my 4 invitational games, and how they went, and next week I’ll go through my open games as well!

Invitational Round One: Tyranids

In round one of the invitational, I played against Evan and his Tyranids. He had a mixture of horde ‘Nids and Genestealer Cult with three Flyrants and six Hive Guard. The game started out very fast and even with us trading blows. He got a bit overly-aggressive with his Flyrants which allowed me to kill one. Then he responded with killing my Yncarne.

However, I pretty much ended it on my second turn when I killed another Flyrant and used soul burst to move my spear 32″ over and charge his Hive Guard. Meanwhile, my Grotesques were just obliterating all the little bugs. By turn three he was down to one Flyrant and a smattering of Gaunts vs my Guardian blob, full Spear unit, and full Grotesque unit. From there I just went into clean-up mode. Evan played very well but in the end, I was able to pull out a win.

Invitational Round Two: Necrons

necrons army Dynasty Does GW Needs to Give Chaos & Imperium a Break
Round two, I found myself facing off against Chad and his Necrons. Chad brought two Destroyer units, a giant Pylon, and three units of Scarabs. Against Chad, I deep struck my Spears, my Guardians, and one unit of Grotesques. The beginning of the game started very slow where I just hid behind terrain. He had most of his army in reserve. On turn two, I brought my Guardians in to create some tempo. They shot away two Scarab units and my Grotesques killed a third. He responded by bringing in all of his reserves except for one of his Destroyer units. I used Agents of Vect to block Destroyer protocols and barely took any damage.

After that, I brought in my Spears and remaining Grotesques. My Yncarne walked through his random units of Immortals with impunity. My Spears used the Biel-tan stratagem to charge a unit of Destroyers after deep striking and killed them. From this point, Chad basically had a smattering of random characters, five Destroyers, and a Pylon vs my Guardian blob, two Grotesque units, my Spears, and Yncarne. He fought until the end, eventually killing my Spears and Yncarne. But he couldn’t kill everything and he was mostly out of stuff, so in the end, I won handily.

Invitational Round Three: Juice’s AM/BA/Knights

knight castellan Does The Knight Really Need a FAQ? Deep Thoughts
This was the Boogeyman list we were all so afraid of. The list I specifically teched against in my planning. For those not aware of what this list consists of here’s the basic rundown:

  • Guard Brigade- Characters, 60-80 Infantry, Fast Attack of choice, 3×3 Mortars
  • 2-3 Blood Angel Captains, 3×5 Scouts
  • Castellan from house Raven.
  • My opponent this round also managed to squeeze in two Helverins, instead of a lot of the usual bells and whistles.

I went first and mostly hid my army in the LOS blocker in the middle of the table. I had the Guardians and Spears in reserve. My opponent, Juice, tried to come around the side with his Helverins and Knight but at that point, I was able to start launching assaults into his Guardsmen with my Grotesques. They went from combat to combat, killing 20 Infantry and finding a Character or Sentinel to trap in combat.

They basically acted like a bowling ball just rolling through Juices Astra Militarum and BA Characters. Juice had the idea to try and trade sides with me in this event and used the mobility of his Helverins to swing around and take my backfield. However, I deep struck my Guardians defensively to put an end to his plans there. There were a lot of swing moments in this game, and luckily most of them went my way as well.

Juice played well, but I think he underestimated my Grotesques and got too close to them, which proved to be a fatal mistake.

Invitational Round 4: Knights/Am

Round four in the semifinals, I was pitted against my friend and former teammate Alex Fennel. Alex is no stranger to the top tables and has won several GT’s. He ran three Taranis Gallants, one Raven Castellan, and a Valhallan Guard Battalion with 60 Infantry. He went first this time and ran straight at me with the three Gallants, keeping his Castellan far back and his Infantry screening it.

The Castellan managed to put down 4 Grotesques and the two Gallants that charged managed to kill nearly all my screening Infantry. Through some clever positioning, I was able to block off two of his three Gallants from getting into combat with anything meaningful of mine. I then brought in my Guardian blob, and between the Guardians shooting, Doom, and the Yncarne charging I completely slaughtered one of the Gallants. On turn two, Alex continued his onslaught on my Grotesques and killed five more.

Just some poor saves on some fickle 4++’s on my part, but nothing crazy. His remaining Gallants killed the last remnants of my screens in combat. So going into turn three, I had two Gallants in my face, a Castellan and sixty Guard standing far away. I had five Grotesques, my Guardians, my Character, and my Spears in reserve. I made a plan to go all in on one of his Gallants with my Spears, Grotesques and Yncarne charging in. My Guardians double shot and moved to block the other Gallant to kill another 1/3 of him.

You Can’t Win Them All

dark eldar

Unfortunately, a large part of my plan hinged on Doom, and even with Eldrad and his +1 to cast and runes of witnessing, I failed. Positionally, I was already committed to the plan and went for it. The Gallant I planned to go all in on lived with one wound and the other basically took no damage. From there, Alex used the stratagem to make the Gallant with one wound left act normally and then he completely wrecked my army.

At this point I conceded. I was out of position and butchered. There was just no foreseeable way to win. Alex played very well and congratulations to him for making the finals! I’d also like to congratulate my good friend and teammate for both ATC and ETC Tony (Paul) Kopach for going on to win the entire invitational!

If you enjoyed this report, and want to better understand how to make the right choices and evaluate things quickly and effectively, to the point where it becomes almost second nature, become a PRO and take part in my personalized coaching program!

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