Wednesday, August 12, 2015

NOVA Bound: Hobby Weekend

This past weekend, Ron and Chandler came over and we hobbied late into the night on Friday and Saturday. I hadn't done much hobbying or made much progress toward my NOVA army in the last couple months, but on this weekend I had nearly everything assembled and ready to go.

I started Friday evening assembling all the remaining models I had, including 11 Warp Spiders, 2 Tomb Spyders, 2 Tomb Blades, and a Wraith. Then I primed everything I had on my table. Starting Saturday morning, I hunkered down on my Necrons and knocked them out.

 I started with Burnt Sepia for all the Necrons. This was followed by highlights of Tan Earth.

The final base color highlight was a bone/sand color.

From there, I went in with a brush and painted all "glowy" bits white in preparation for my OSL look. This was followed by airbrushing Plasma Fluid ghost tint and then a mix of Plasma Fluid and white.

Finally, I added squad markings to keep my various harvests straight. They're simple circle and line designs on the carapace for the Wraiths and the Spyders. For the Scarabs, I'm probably going to put the design on their base somewhere to distinguish them. With that, the Necrons were tabletop ready, though I still needed to paint their bases.

Saturday night, Ron and I took a break from painting and played a test game with our Invitational lists.We played the Relic on Hammer and Anvil. I took end-game scoring, with Linebreaker, Kill Points, and Marked for Death as my secondaries. Ron meanwhile took end game and Linebreaker, Marked for Death on a Spyder, and Heart of the Matter for his secondaries. We also decided to use the alternate terrain layout, which is very different from the standard layout.

I deployed with my Necrons across my front edge, with one squad of Wraiths set to pick up the relic top of 1. The Warp Spiders were held in Deep Strike Reserve in part because of the deployment limitations of Come the Apocalypse allies. Ron deployed his flyrants behind his line of sight blocking terrain, Spore Mines in the Bastion, and a Mucolid behind it.

I predictably jumped on the Relic and began drawing it back. The flyrants began making a loop, taking out Scarabs and Spyders as high priority targets, while the rest of my army largely chased down and tried to kill off Lictors and Mawlocs, taking some pot shots at flyrants in case of getting a lucky grounding.

This game saw some of the most hot and cold dice I've ever seen on both sides. It all balanced out in the end, but it was wild.

Note, the Ravener is a stand-in for a Wraith - he's a traitor to his race.
The final score was a 10-8 victory for the Necrons. Had the game ended on turn 5 it would have been a 10-10 score, with a very close difference in points destroyed to decide the winner - my best guess puts it at 984 points of Necrons destroyed or damaged compared to 945 points of Tyranids.

While the wild variations of good and bad rolls make it hard to take lessons from any one interaction, it was pretty leveled overall, meaning I can look at how the game went and take some lessons. I got a bit unlucky with the Marked Mawloc surviving and staying off the board most of the game. I was surprised to actually draw Kill Points, meaning I didn't earn that secondary. In hindsight, I have a bunch of small units that, while fairly tough, can be concentrated down, and Ron did a great job of doing just that. Most of the time I probably don't want to pick this objective.

One strength of my list is the ability to score either end game or turn by turn fairly reliably. This will help me the most when I successfully pick against type for my opponent, forcing them to do something they're not hoping to win at. That is, against Ron's list, he would have a bit more difficulty contesting me turn by turn compared to end game. While I wouldn't have been able to move the relic, moving it ended up not helping me as Ron was still able to contest. Against a fast, ObSec heavy army, I want to go end game and play to keep their scoring down and clear off enough area to score end game.

After the game and into Sunday, we got back to the painting table and I began working on my Warp Spiders. I opted to go with a black and red scheme, with the Red being a reverse highlight to the black. This would be contrasted by bone weapons with blue OSL to compliment the Necron portion of the army. Finally, markings on their back carapace will differentiate the three units. I only managed to start the second of three layers on the bone portions, so I have some work left to do, but feeling much more confident in my time frame.

After the hobby weekend, my to do list looks like this:
  • Must Paint:
    • 12 Wraiths - 11 painted but not based
    • 4 Spyders - 3 painted but not based
    • 12 Scarabs - all painted, not based
    • 3 Tomb Blades - painted but not based
    • 21 Warp Spiders - all about 50% complete
  • Stretch Goals
    • Army-wide touchups - Sepia Wash, edge highlights, squad markings, base additions
    • 5 Immortals - painted but not based
As you can see, I was missing one Spyder and Wraith when I did my painting spree, so they need to be painted. I ran into a slight snag by not looking carefully at the eBay listing of the Wraith I picked up and it's missing a shoulder plate, so I'm going to have to work out something for that. Once I paint those two up, I'll just need an hour or so to slap some Agrellan Earth on their bases and the Necron portion will be done. Warp Spiders will take considerably longer, but going a bit at a time will get me there in time without needing to cram I believe.

We're in the final stretch to NOVA. Who else is going and how is your army coming along? Ron and I will be there Thursday through Sunday, so come find us and say hi - we'll be wearing FTGT shirts all weekend. 

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