Monday, July 13, 2015

Road to NOVA Championships

Last weekend, Rick and I headed up to Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn for the Road to NOVA Championships RTT. It was definitely a bit intimidating knowing I would be going up against some really solid players using some really nasty lists. Before the drive up, I knew my first round matchup was going to be against Matt Schuchman and his Seer Council. I didn't know exactly would be in his list, but he's been running Seer Council for years, so that was a safe bet. Rick meanwhile was matched up against Werner and his Necrons, which followed the list Neil came up with and I played a couple months back.

Game 1 was Mission 1 from the NOVA packet. Matt's list was absolutely nasty, with 2 CADs of Eldar plus a Seer Council and just all Scatterlaser Jetbikes.

I really had no idea how I was going to handle this list. I opted for end of game scoring, as he could easily blast me off any objective. For secondaries I marked his D-cannon battery, took Linebreaker, and then was at a loss for my third. I ended up taking First Blood, thinking maybe it might make him choose to go first, giving me end game.

I won the roll for deployment, and in what I can say is the biggest mistake of the game, chose to deploy and go first. I deployed to the right of my deployment zone with the Bastion and then the three flyrants around and behind it. Matt countered by deploying about 45" away in his corner with his essentially 2 councils (2 farseers joined the 9 man jetbike squad along with Baharroth, while the 5th farseer joined the Council. I then infiltrated my Sporefield and a couple Lictors behind cover as best I could.

I flew forward cautiously, keeping the center line of sight blockers between me and his corner, but it was a pretty useless turn 1. In Matt's turn, he spread out from his corner, lined up some shots, and cast a bazillion powers, including gating his secondary council over and Cleansing flame on a Lictor or two and some mines.

By the end of the turn, Matt had achieved one of his secondaries (Moment of Bloodshed) and denied my first blood.

In my turn 2 my Mawlocs came in and took out a couple of the forward council's jetbikes, and I think the Warlock. All three of my remaining Lictors dropped around the D weapon battery, while the Dimachaeron dropped forward nearby.

In the bottom of the turn, the D-Cannons nuked the Dima, while a lot of his shooting took out the pod (his marked for death), more mines, and one Mawloc. Maybe even a flyrant.

It was quickly looking pretty grim. The three Lictors took out the D-cannons pretty easily and tried to spread out. One flyrant flew off and vector struck a jetbike from the second council. As the game continued, I quickly came down to just flyrants alternating back and forth on the board picking off a squad here and there, and some rippers hiding in my Bastion (which he couldn't touch with the removal of the D-Cannons).

The final score ended up being 19-6, a resounding victory for the Eldar. The biggest mistake was choosing to go first. Had I forced Matt to go first, I could have placed the Bastion out of range of the D-batteries and reserved most of the army, staying safe and out of the way, and then picking my engagements a bit better. It might not have really changed the final outcome, but it would have put me in a position of greater power.

In game 2 I was matched up against Mike and his Blood Angels and Grey Knights. He had a BA Libby and three small tac squads in pods, and 10 scouts, along with three Fast Attack Pods, in which he put 10 man Purifier squads. He won the roll for deployment and chose to make me go first. I reserved heavily, and ended up only deploying Sporefield and three Lictors. I totally underestimated the alphastrike (in part because I didn't consider he could drop the 3 pods of Blood Angels and roll for his Grey Knight units) and was tabled in the bottom of turn 1.

We played it out as if the game would have continued, and I clawed back in. I ended up using a couple of the flyrants on the ground to push units around and was able to clear out a good part of the board. I wasn't taking it too seriously and didn't really jump on any objectives. We'd been taking our time and had to theory out turn 5. I would have picked up some or most of my secondaries, and most of the kill points for the tertiary. I believe we tallied it up as a 17-13 Victory for the forces of the Imperium.

In game 3 I came up against Pat with his Space Wolves. His list was lead by Krom Dragongaze, and had a bunch of Grey Hunters with comabat weapons in 2 LasBacks and a Rhino, along with 2 Vindicators, 2 Land Speeders with Typhoon missile launchers, and a Sicaran. He also had 4 thunderwolves and an Iron Priest on Thunderwolf. Pat picked up the Relic in the top of 1.

I ran the flyrants around and caused chaos, and for a while, let the Thunderwolves keep the Relic and generally avoided them while blasting everything else. I got a little lucky (like rolling four 6s on 5 hits to glance out the Sicaran). In the end, the game went to turn 6 and I was able to wipe out the final Thunderwolf holding the Relic.

All in all, it was a good time, and I got to walk away with my bracket prize and a second Gladiator Star Destroyer for Armada (via a gift certificate).

Now I just have to figure out what to do with this Purity Seal. And finish painting my Tyranids for NOVA. That too. 

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