As the title suggests, I will be attending the SCARAB GT in January. The guys from The 11th Company podcast are hosting and publicizing the event. Due to an apparent lack of knowledge of South Carolina geography, I was very surprised to see that this wasn't much farther than I traveled for NOVA. Being a Staurday/Sunday event, I could even attend without needing to take time off, so that's a bonus.
Full info is on their sites, but the basics are it is an 1,850 Point, BAO/LVO-style event, with only 32 players. It's an inclusive event so painting is not mandatory, but is required for most of the prizes. There are the typical bracket winner, best in show, best general, and overall champion prizes, but there is also a best in Codex prize for each codex, which is neat.
As I'm planning for the tournament, I really have to ask myself what army to bring. Despite the inclusive rules, I would much prefer to bring a fully painted army, which limits me to my Tyranids in all likelihood. That said, as rumors go, Tyranids are expected to get a new Codex in January, meaning I would have all of two weeks to get familiar with the new codex, develop a list, and bring it.
My other concern with the Tyranids is that there is a very harsh set of penalties for not completing games in the allotted three hours. While most competitive gamers I've heard say this should not be an issue at all, at NOVA I believe each game was determined by time with the exception of my first round, in which I was tabled. I need more practice to get my game in general up to speed, but fielding a new codex with new special rules would definitely not help, particularly since I wouldn't be able to get much practice in.
If the tournament were before the new codex, my Tyranid list would look like this:
Hive Tyrant: Wings, 2xTL Devourers, Hive Commander
*Hive Tyrant: Wings, 2xTL Devourers, Old Adversary
2 Zoanthropes: Mycetic Spore
Doom of Malan'tai: Mycetic Spore*
*3 Hive Guard
Tervigon: Crushing Claws, 3 Powers, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs
20 Hormagaunts: Toxin Sacs
14 Termagants: Devourers
With this list, I have it mostly assembled and painted. I would need to assemble and paint the second Flyrant, Mycetic Spore, and the three Hive Guard. Also, with the Hive Guard, I could consider swapping them out for 5 Raveners, who similarly would need to be assembled and painted. The list does suffer a little from too few troops. I could conceivably add warriors, trying out how T4 multiwound works better with the rise of S7.
To some degree though, the viability of the list will be dependent on how the new 'dex shapes up. I should have plenty of models and options to choose from, though it should be somewhat predictable that whatever new kit is released will probably be awesome and central to any competitive Tyranid build.
My other option is to use my extremely early NOVA list of Eldar with allies, most likely Tau. The issue there is that I don't have all the models yet, and very few of the ones I do have are painted. If I brought my Eldar with Tau allies, it's most likely that I would not have the army fully painted, which doesn't sit that well with me. That said, it would be excellent practice for NOVA to play the army competitively, and I would be a lot more comfortable and familiar with it following the tournament. Also, while a month and a half isn't much time, it's more than I would have to prepare with the Tyranids.
My Eldar Tau list is looking something like this:
**Farseer: Jetbike, Spirit Stone of Anath'lan (or Runes of Witnessing), Shard of Anaris
*Autarch: Fusion gun, Power weapon
5 Dire Avengers: Wave Serpent w/TL Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon
*5 Dire Avengers: **Wave Serpent w/TL Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon
**3 Jetbikes: Shuriken Cannon
*6 Swooping Hawks
**6 Swooping Hawks
*Tau Commander: Vectored Retro-Thrusters, Multi-Spectrum Suite, Puretide Engram Neurochip, Iridium Armor, Onager Gauntlet, Positional Relay
**Riptide: Ion Accelerator, Velocity Tracker, Early Warning Override
*10 Kroot: Kroot Hound
*10 Kroot: Kroot Hound
**Do not own
This is more or less the list I want to bring to NOVA 2014. I hadn't really planned on it seeing the gaming table this soon. As such I would have to speed up my accumulation of the parts (which I already have begun, recently picking up more Kroot, Kroot Hounds, an Autarch, and a Skyray). The big pieces at this point are two sets of Jetbikes to convert, a plastic farseer to mount on one jetbike, and a Riptide.
But even should I accumulate all the pieces and painted like a madman, I can't imagine I would get much more than half of the list painted in time, particularly with the holidays coming up, meaning less time at the painting table.
Right now, I'm leaning toward the Eldar list just because I want to shift gears from my Tyranids and get work in with something new. That said, I am hoping the new codex bump in January is both exciting and flexible enough to let me bring my bugs and not feel like I'm just bringing a list of what happens to be painted.