Day 2 of NOVA began with me driving to the hotel and then checking out the Vendors' tables while I waited for Todd and Sean to return from breakfast so I could grab my stuff. There was one more game before seeding, though we would have to wait on the pairings to be posted. (Post on day 1 is here)
Game 4: Craig Sniffen - Necrons
Round 4's mission was Crusade, with Vanguard deployment. The scenery had moved from day one, now there was an additional piece of terrain in the middle, in this case, a chapel building. The primary goal was 5 objectives, followed by table quarters, and then Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker, and Kill Points.
Craig's army was:
Nemesor Zhandrekh (Warlord)
Overlord with Warscythe, Mindshackle Scarabs, Sempiternal Weave, and a Catacomb Command Barge
Royal Court of 2 Harbingers of Storm, one of Eternity, and one of Destruction
6 Immortals in a Night Scythe
5 Immortals in a Night Scythe
5 Warriors in a Night Scythe
2 Annihilation Barges with Tesla
Aegis Defence Line
I opted to go second (or didn't win the roll, honestly can't remember. Craig's Monolith was on my left, while the command and one annihilation barges were on my right, with 5 warriors on one objective and the 11 warriors in cover with Nemesor toward the middle of the line, behind Scarabs. I deployed centrally, leaning a little to my right to avoid the Monolith, which I just about had no chance of killing. Night fighting was in effect, so I was mostly safe turn 1, and most of the Necrons stayed put, with the command barge and one annihilation barge moving up to my right behind the Aegis. The scarabs hopped the line and made for the central objective. I spawned out first turn, but got a good number (around 15 I think), who rushed forward onto the middle objective. The rest of the army moved up and hugged cover. The biovores hit the scarabs and wiped out three bases, putting a wound on a fourth before I assaulted with the gaunts, who just stayed within 6" of the Tervigon, but disappointing rolls meant the combat went on, with at least two bases left. This combat would rage until about turn four, when the two remaining termagants would kill off the scarabs and consolidate back to the center.
The flyers came on and moved up, shooting some, but not discharging their cargo. The Overlord had dismounted and assaulted my Trygon, who passed his Mindschackle test and then failed to kill the overlord. My second turn would see the flyrant vector strike (at S9 thanks to Iron Arm) one of the Night Scythes into oblivion and then shoot the 5 Warriors off the rear objective. The Devilgants and Mawloc would kill a few of the large warrior squad, who went to ground. My Trygon hit itself and along with the Overlord, took himself down to a single wound.
The remainder of the game saw the night scythes drop their cargo onto the objectives on my end, though the Trygon and Tervigon saw the Immortals off, while the Mawloc moved the warriors just into charge range of the Swarmlord, who annihilated that squad. The Flyrant also kept the Necron rear objective clear, despite gliding to avoid flying off the table.
In the end, I secured a major victory with 2-1 on objectives, 2-1 table quarters, and a surprising lead on kill points. This round was the last round in the Open part of the event, leading to bracketing, where I would be in the 9th Bracket, facing off against Craig's brother, Jason.
Game 5: Jason Sniffen - Daemons
For the third game in a row, I was facing off against an army I'd never faced before. The first 20 minutes or so was taken up with Jason and I rolling on tables and explaining the results. The mission was Emperor's Will, with the alternative layout as I'd faced Chandler in our prep game. Jason's army consisted of two Lords of Change, 2 units of Flesh Hounds, 2 units of Horrors, 2 units of Daemonettes, and 2 Soul Grinders.
I got first turn and deployed aggressively, but very similar to how I had against Chandler, with the Tervigon in the middle and the Swarmlord and Trygon to her right, with the Flyrant holding down the left flank. My Termagants cowered on the rear objective, along with my Biovores. Jason was likewise fairly agressive, with his Greater Daemons toward the front, Flesh Hounds prepared to run around either side of the central ruin, and Horrors holding each rear objective. The Flesh Hounds made a scout move up, staying about 15-16 inches away to make a first turn charge on my part unlikely.
First turn I moved up and dropped a couple spore mines on the Flesh hounds, causing a few wounds, killing one or two. Otherwise my turn was pretty quick outside of moving spawned gaunts up (got 12, but would be able to spawn again) onto the central objective, flanked by hormagaunts and the Trygon, all screening the Swarmlord. Jason moved the hounds up and flew both greater daemons forward, vector striking objective holding gants (holding a Grav-Wave generator) and then blazing away at the Trygon and Biovores. The biovores died, but the trygon was mostly fine. The flesh hounds charged the objective gants and Zoanthropes respectively, wiping each out without trouble.
Turn 2 saw swift retribution for the hounds, wiping them all out with the Swarmlord, Trygon, and Hormagaunts (which was a poor move, they got wiped out by the hounds, when I did not need them to win the combat) on one side, and the Tervigon and her last brood of 15 on the other. The guns of my forces surprisingly managed to ground and kill the Warlord greater daemon in my backfield (I honestly can't remember who or how). The Mawloc largely missed his target, while the Devilgants dropped on one of the rear objectives, killing all but two of the horrors, who they couldn't see. In Jason's turn, he rolled a 12 on his Daemon table and manifested some Blodletters in my backfield, who dropped on top of one of the uncontested objectives. The Daemonettes charged and killed the Mawloc while the Soul Grinder moved up and charged the devilgants, who startlingly stayed in combat on top of the objective.
In my turn I would run to contest the Daemon objective with my Flyrant and the Bloodletter one with Termagants, while the Tervgon perched on the central objective. The Trygon and Swarmlord took out the second Greater daemon. Then bottom of the turn saw the daemons kill off the termagants with the bloodletters, unsurprisingly, but unable to ground the Flyrant and so, wipe him out and reclaim their objective. The daemonettes were unable to assault and contest the central objective as it was a grav-wave generator, turning their 7" charge into an impossible 14" charge.
The final tally was one corner objective each, while I had Slay the Warlord, the Central Objective, and Linebreaker for 3 points, to Jason's 1 point from Linebreaker, resulting in a Minor Victory and a 13-7 split.
Game 6: Paul Facknitz - Tau with Eldar Allies
As we were moving to our tables, Paul placed his army on the end of the board, turned to say something to someone, and had his board tip and fall, dumping his army to the ground while I yelled nonsense in horror from 50 feet away. Understandably, Paul was a little morose while he dumped his models onto the board and set up. The mission was the Scouring, with 3 objectives across the center of the table, and then one in each deployment zone.
I really liked Paul's list, which was extremely Troop heavy, with 8 Troop units in total. His list was:
Commander with Broadsides
2 Burst Cannon Riptides
4x10 Fire Warriors
2x15 Kroot with a Kroot hounds
I went first, hoping to rush up behind a screen of hormagaunts. Spawned gants jumped on one objective to the left while the Flyrant swooped over and blasted some Kroot. Going to ground saved the Ethereal (though he was down to 1 wound) from direct Spore Mine hits. Meanwhile, one Riptide shrugged off the effects of Puppet Master. In Paul's turn, the two Skyrays combined to blast the Swarmlord off the board while the rest of the army killed what hormagaunts they could see (though half the brood was out of sight). Some lucky shots on my rear gants killed just the ones in Synapse, causing them to run off the board. The Zoans attracted a lot of fire, but survived.
My second turn consisted of securing the left flank a bit and moving up on the broadsides with the Flyrant, who unfortunately didn't have much in the way of good powers, and only managed to kill a couple drones. The Ethereal survived another bombardment and while the Zoans successfully cast Psychic Shriek on some firewarriors, I rolled poorly and didn't cause any wounds. Neither of Paul's jetbike squads turned up, though he honestly wouldn't need them yet. The Flyrant was shot down surprisingly fast due to poor rolling on my part - failed over half of the saves required. The remaining big bugs were shot to pieces, though the Tervigon remained, if barely.
Paul asked to call the game then. We were both tired and his heart just wasn't in it after watching his army fall on the floor. We determined he would have won had the game continued, with me quickly running out of units, but as it stood, I would win a minor victory with 2-1 on objectives, but neither the secondary or tertiary missions going my way. Paul also wasn't interested in playing the next day, so offered to take the minor loss so I could keep playing for something on Sunday. Very nice of him, if a little bit of a hollow victory - I was more bummed for him having broken models than excited to play in the semi-finals of my bracket.
At the end of the day I was 3-0, and going into the semi-finals, even if it was out of a bit of charity. It was another exhausting but fun day. I said goodbye to Sean and Todd, who weren't coming back for Sunday, and went home to get some rest on a short night. Day 3 would start early, with the first game starting at 7:30am.