Friday, March 13, 2015

List Building: NOVA Madness 2015 Edition

It's only March and I'm already excited for NOVA. The other night, Ron and I had a quick Vassal test game for the updated NOVA Missions and I'm feeling pretty ahead of the game this year. I feel like I have my likely Necron list mostly planned out. And yes, that's right, as of today, I'm leaning to running Necrons in the GT and not Tyranids. There's still a lot on the "to paint" list, but I feel confident about getting everything done.


For our playtest I went with a Decurion Detachment with a Destroyer Cult and a Royal Court. The list looked like this:
  • Reclamation Legion:
    • Nemesor Zahndrek (Warlord)
    • 10 Warriors
    • 10 Warriors
    • 5 Immortals: Gauss Blaster
    • 3 Tomb Blades: Nebuloscopes, 2 Particle Beamers, 1 Gauss Blaster
    • 10 Lychguard: Hyperphase Sword and Dispersion Shield
  • Destroyer Cult:
    • Destroyer Lord: Warscythe, Nightmare Shroud
    • 3 Destroyers
    • 3 Destroyers
    • 3 Destroyers
    • 2 Heavy Destroyers
  • Royal Court:
    • Overlord: Warscythe, Veil of Darkness
    • Vargard Obyron
    • Orikan the Diviner
We randomly chose a mission, rolling up mission 4, Points and Regions with Vanguard Deployment. Ron was running a Lictorshame variant, so I opted to take the progressive board quarters, knowing I'd have free reign on the board turns 1 and 2. We only played through three turns, but it became pretty clear that I had no answer for the three flyrants, while my Lychguard star (half my army's points) was more or less invincible. I overextended the Destroyers and Tomb Blades and so they didn't get great returns on their investment. 

Some big takeaways from the game were that even troops with no support in a Decurion are super tough. One warrior squad got bullseyed by a Mawloc and shrugged him off, only losing 2 thanks to moderately good rolls.

Some quick changes I would make to the list are to add shield vanes and a third particle beamer to the Tomb Blades, and a third Heavy Destroyer. To get those points, I would drop 2 Lychguard. Considering how unbelievably tough that Lychguard unit is, I'm not worried about losing durability or much in the way of punch either. 

Honestly, the Points and Regions mission seems like the hardest for my list, as in other games the sheer durability of the army allows me to camp important spots on the board and shrug off just about anything that hits them. I will continue to playtest the above list, but a variant on the list would drop the Destroyer Cult and add in a CAD to get a Firestorm Redoubt. It looks like this:
  • Decurion:
    • Reclamation Legion:
      • Nemesor Zahndrek (Warlord)
      • 10 Warriors
      • 10 Warriors
      • 5 Immortals: Gauss Blaster
      • 3 Tomb Blades: Nebuloscopes, Particle Beamers, Shield Vanes
      • 8 Lychguard: Hyperphase Sword and Dispersion Shield
    • Royal Court:
      • Overlord: Warscythe, Veil of Darkness
      • Vargard Obyron
      • Orikan the Diviner
    • Auxiliary: 6 Deathmarks
  • Combined Arms Detachment:
    • Destroyer Lord: Nightmare Shroud, Warscythe
    • 5 Immortals
    • 5 Immortals
    • Firestorm Redoubt: Magos Machine Spirit
This list loses some of the mobility that the Destroyers provide, but creates a solid firebase that can handle or at least deter flyers/FMCs. The characters still have 2 Veils to Deep strike as needed around the board. I will be doing a lot of play testing of these lists over the next 6 months, but looking at the painting list, it's looking like this:
  • Must Paint:
    • 10 Lychguard: New on Sprue at the moment
    • 3 Tomb Blades: Will have to order once they are back in stock
    • Obyron and Zahndrekh: Need to be stripped and repainted
    • Destroyer Lord: Assembled
  • Flex - List 1:
    • 9 Destroyers: Will have to buy
    • 3 Heavy Destroyers: 2 Assembled
  • Flex - List 2:
    • 1-5 Deathmarks
    • 5-10 Immortals (see below)
    • Firestorm Redoubt
  • Stretch Goals:
    • 10-20 Immortals: have 10 painted, but want new ones on 32 mm bases
    • Overlord: have a Command Barge Lord painted, but have the new Lord mini and he's cool

While it looks like a lot, considering I painted ~35 Infantry, 11 Scarabs, a C'Tan and 6 Vehicles in just a couple months last year, I'm not terribly concerned; I feel confident in painting 20-25 infantry models and ~15 jetbike type models.

Anyway, what do you think of the lists?