Thursday, September 5, 2013

NOVA Wrap Up - Day 3 and Final Thoughts

As detailed in previous posts, Day 1 saw me go 1-2, progressively getting better after being tabled in Game 1 while on Day 2 I went undefeated, setting me up to play the semi-finals of my bracket on Sunday morning.

When my alarm went off Sunday morning at 5:30, I seriously considered going back to sleep and just not showing. But that would have been a huge jerk move, particularly after Paul essentially conceded to get me to this point. So I sucked it up and got out the door by 6:15 so I would be able to pick up coffee and still get to the hotel by 7. The atmosphere was much different Sunday, with probably about half as many games going on as the day before. The hall was also quieter.

I set up across from Josh McKinney and his Chaos Space Marines, ready to play Nova's custom mission, Fennell's Angle, which was a Vanguard Strike deployment with 3 objectives across the center line 18" apart, and one objective placed in each deployment zone. Josh's list consisted of:

3x10 Plague Zombies
8 Plague Marines
3 Heldrakes
2x1 Obliterators (2 obliterators in separate squads)
Land Raider
Tau Allies (Farsight Enclaves):
Commander w/ 2 fusion, 2 shield drones
3 Crisis Troops 2x Fusion

I opted to go first, and deployed aggressively as normal. My termagants held my rear objective while the rest lined up across the front edge of my deployment with the Tervigon in the middle, Swarmlord to her right and Trygon and Hormagaunts to her left. Josh deployed very conservatively, with most of his army in reserves. He started the Plague Marines and Typhus in the Land Raider behind the rear ruin, with the two obliterators in the ruin out of line of sight. Everything else was in reserve.

He chose not to seize and so I began by moving up aggressively with the Flyrant, though keeping to cover. My shooting managed to wound one obliterator, but that was it. In his turn, the obliterators moved up and shot at the Flyrant, but missed or failed to wound.

Turn 2 I popped the Mawloc up in between the Oblits, but scattered off to the side. The Devilgants scattered onto the same spot and poured out into the ruin. Because of where they ended up, I had no choice but to shoot at one obliterator, killing him just barely and getting first blood. The flyrant had flown over to give them preferred enemy instead of flying off the board and wounded the other obliterator. Meanwhile, my second spawned gaunt squad (15 strong) jumped on the right objective, with the hormagaunts on the left, and the first squad in the middle. I spread everyone out in preparation for baleflamer death.

Josh rolled for reserves and ended up only getting one Heldrake and two Zombie Squads, while his Tau allies also jumped on. In shooting he managed to ground the flyrant without seriously hurting him. The Plague Marines and Typhus gave up their objective to the newly arrived zombies, while they went after the mawloc, killing it in assault. The Obliterator assaulted the flyrant and was skewered by the monster. The Helldrake burned some hormagaunts, but overall not too bad. The crisis suits were just out of range of the big bugs in the middle and opted to blast the Zoanthropes into oblivion instead.

In turn 3 I moved the devilgants to get shots at the Plague Marines, while the Flyrant went after the lone Heldrake, gunning it down with surprising ease (5 pens on the rear armor). The Trygon tried making his way for the plague marines, but was severely out of position. The devilgants only downed a couple plague marines while the biovores killed a drone. In the bottom of the turn, the remaining heldrakes arrived and vector struck/burninated the right termagants into oblivion, before burning the rear termagants out of synapse and chasing them off the board. The crisis team shot down the Tyrant guard and wounded the Swarmlord. The plague marines charged the devilgants and destroyed them.

For the remainder of the game I moved the Tervigon onto the middle objective and worked the swarmlord and flyrant toward the Crisis suits and opted to shoot up the suits rather than the heldrakes since they could capture objectives. The suits got taken down to a single Shas'ui with one wound, but couldn't wipe him out. The swarmlord got taken down by a vector strike and then the hormagaunts were burninated, with two left in synapse. It came down to two models, one of which was the only model close to the objective, but he was just barely further from the heldrake, keeping the objective. Meanwhile, the lone crisis suit got an 11" jump onto the right objective.

The game ended after 5 turns. Each objective was three points, and we each held two. Josh had Slay the Warlord and Kill Points while I had First Blood and Linebreaker (1 point each), giving us a draw. The tiebreaker was points destroyed, which gave Josh the win, having killed 980 points to my 619. I was sad to lose, but this was without a doubt my favorite game of the weekend. It was fairly relaxed, despite the implications, very friendly, and quick; we were both very comfortable with our armies and the tournament setup at this point, so everything went smoothly and we got through 5 turns without a problem.

After the game against Josh, everyone not playing in a bracket championship game was more or less told we could play if we wanted, but it didn't matter. I was a little frustrated getting paired with "RINGER" and then told to just pick someone for an unofficial game. Even if it didn't count for anything, I would have liked to play for third in my bracket.

In the end I matched up against Harley Jelis and his Traitor Guard army. We set up on one of the back tables and ended up having an extremely relaxed game talking, telling stories, and generally having fun. Each of my big psykers got Iron Arm and so, were toughness 8 or 9 for most of the game. The game was very much going my way early on and I honestly stopped caring too much, which turned the game quickly when I forgot to cast powers, leaving my swarmlord in the open and flyrant unprotected from Vendettas. The Tervigon munched on the Chaos Marines while the Zoans sucked the souls from an entire squad of veterans before the rest of the army turned on them and shot them down. Guardsman Marbo popped up and missed with his demo charge before getting eaten by a dozen hormagaunts, who then suffered the wrath of a heldrake. The final result was a loss, but I was more concerned about shooting the breeze than winning at that point, and had a great time.

After that game, I packed up and headed home, with the intention of coming back for the awards ceremony, but once I got in the door, I changed my mind and, after lunch, made the four hour drive back to my home, concluding my NOVA Weekend.

As +Todd Sherman mentioned in his post yesterday, I expected to be burnt out after NOVA, and definitely was in the day or two before. Instead, I find myself inspired and antsy to work on new projects. Out of respect for my wife (she already put up with a lot leading up to the tournament), I'm being good and putting stuff away for now, but I'm not sure how long it will be before I bust out the paints and embark on something or another. My goal was two weeks off, but it's looking like I might only make a single week, if that.

Expect the blog to return to more or less regularly scheduled programming next week, with a Space Marine Codex review Sunday or Monday (so long as I get my hands on a copy, which isn't certain at the moment) and some other small things while I refresh.

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