Wednesday, September 3, 2014

NOVA in Review

Three days later and I'm still recovering from the trip. Unlike last year, I really went in for the full experience and stayed at the hotel Thursday through Sunday. I also managed to squeeze in one of the classes Friday morning, in which I built my display board with Eric from the 11th Company.

I left for Richmond on Wednesday, planning to get a practice game or two with Ron at FTW, home of SpikeyBits. I was running a little late, so we only got a few turns in before Ron had to head out. We did, however, say hi to Rob. I ended up joining Rob in recording Forge the Narrative's Episode 63, which was a lot of fun, but I ended up leaving Richmond after midnight, arriving in the NOVA area around 3:00am.

Thursday morning I was up bright and early and headed over to the hotel for Trios with Ron and Todd. I didn't take many photos - there just wasn't time - we didn't even really have time to eat! However, Greg from Feed Your Nerd took a nice set of photos of our games. Game 1, Todd and I faced off against Hoerger's Heroes, with our Eldar and Necrons facing Necrons and AM. Meanwhile Ron's bugs took on super drop pod Ultramarines. The highlight of game 1 for me was Eric Hoerger's Overlord charging my Overlord and them both passing mindshackle tests, then blowing each other up and not rising from the ashes. 

In Game 2 I broke out the C'Tan and his Dirty D against some Imperial Fists and Dark Angels. I felt bad, as there was really nothing to be done against him. I seized, after infiltrating the C'Tan with my Warlord Trait, and did considerable damage turn 1. My opponent fired everything he had at the C'Tan and did all of 1 wound. He more or less spent the rest of the game running around and D-Flaming things.

Game 3 I was back to my 1k list, along with Ron, facing off against White Scars and Eldar. My army took the brunt of their fire and evaporated pretty quickly, with scaredy-pants Immortals running away and my two Night Scythes left on the board at the end. With that, gaming on day 1 was over and we went to get food, considering we hadn't eaten all day.

Day 1 of the GT, I made my display board and then rolled up to my first table, finding myself matched up against Tim Deetlefs and his BeastStar. I made a couple mistakes in deployment and then added on a few more mistakes as well as some poor luck of grounding myself next to the beast pack with a Perils wound. In the end, Tim tabled me in about 5 turns, maybe 4, and took a 13-0 victory.

Game 2 I came up against Larry Oliver and his Grey Knights with an Imperial Knight. I paid too much attention to the knight and left his Rhinos alone, which prevented a lot of my army from doing much of anything. My Warriors outflanked on his back board edge to get me linebreaker, but that was all I had, and ended up with a 12-2 loss.

Game 3 was a kill point mission, and I was matched up against ArbitorIan and his Hellfist Murder Pack and other Chaos Space Marines (You might recognize them from a Frontline Battle Report). Ian was a blast to play against, and fun to hang out with later as well. We managed to completely tie both Primary and Secondary goals, so it came down to points destroyed which, with my termagants taking down Belakor in the final turn, was fairly decidedly in my favor.

Day 2 kicked off with Round 4, which saw me facing Frank and his UltraCrimson Fists and Inquisitors. We had a very relaxed, fun game that only went 3 turns, but saw plenty of bloodshed. I only got 2 points from my primaries, but accomplished all of my secondaries by killing off Tiggy and Coteaz, thanks to some miserable dice on Frank's part and the sacrifice of an MVP Hive Tyrant.

Game 5, and the first of the bracketed rounds, was against Steven and his super blob guard army. He had two 50 man conscript blobs and a knight taking up just about all of his deployment zone. For the second time, I tied my opponent on Primaries and Secondaries, while winning on points destroyed, if barely this time (under 50 points was the difference).

I really thought the day was over after game 5, but no, I went into my ninth game in three days against Andy Anderson and his Veil-heavy Necrons. It was an extremely tight match that went down to the wire. Andy made a bottom of 5 gambit to claim a 6-5 lead on the primaries, and then on the roll for the game to continue, rolled a 2. He also had 3 secondaries to my 2, finishing with a 12-9 victory.

I finished day 2 at 3-3 and more or less out of my bracket. I was actually back in the running the next morning due to drops, but was matched up against Stepphen Vincent and his Eldar, who worked me over handily for my second tabling of the weekend. That said, he was a great opponent and fun to play against.

In the final game of the weekend, I was matched against Andy again. We opted to switch up our lists and try something different. Andy made fairly minor tweaks while I overhauled my list, dropping the Living Artillery Node and my termagants for lots of combat beasties. I also converted one of my Flyrants to a combat monster. I finished the game with an 11-6 victory.

I ended the GT 4-4, which I was honestly a bit disappointed with. That said, I blame my record partly on my list - I don't think it fit the format all that well, and had I done more serious playtesting, I think I would have realized it in time to make tweaks.

Despite my record, I had a great time meeting fellow gamers, and competing across the table with them. I had no bad opponents. The weekend was also exhausting, with lots of late nights driving there and back or just not going out for dinner until nearly 9:00pm. I'm still recovering, but already looking forward to next year.

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