Tuesday, August 18, 2015

NOVA Bound: Playtest Bat Reps

Earlier this week I managed to get a couple play test games in with my Arachnophobia list, against two fellow Invitational players. In both cases we played Crusade (Mission 1) on Vanguard deployment. We also ran out of time to complete both games, but got to turn 4 and were able to postulate on how it would have turned out.

My first game was against Aidan and his Chaos amalgamation list: CSM primary, Daemon Ally, Gorepack. For missions, I opted for progressive primary, while Aidan took end game. I also chose Linebreaker, Marked for Death (Nurglings) and destroy a detachment as my secondaries. Aidan chose Marked (Warp Spiders), First Blood, and Linebreaker.

In deployment, I strung out across my zone, with my infantry weighted to my right. Aidan deployed second with his Hounds across the front line, a Grimoire Herald in the Bastion, and Soul Grinder in his back corner.

In my first turn, I rushed everything up. Aidan had redeployed slightly with Scout (and joined an Infiltrating Cypher to the dogs) so there was no worry about the hounds getting a charge. Considering they had hit and run, charging them would have just provided free movement, so I worked to surround objectives as best I could and jumped on 4 of the 6.

In the bottom of the turn, Aidan shuffled a bit and was able to contest one of my forward objectives I couldn't surround. And that was about it, the Hounds were Grimmed and Invisible, so were pretty well set.

At the top of my turn, all three Warp Spider units arrived from reserves. I also scored two points for my primary. I continued my infantry push to the bottom right, and lined up a long charge with one unit of Wraiths at the Soul Grinder. In shooting, I collapsed the bastion, killing the Herald inside to deny first blood and get my kill point. I then assaulted the tail end of the hound unit with 2 units of wraiths and two units of boosted scarabs, managing to kill a couple dogs for little in return. Aidan then hit & run and was just barely able to get away - an inch shorter he would have been stuck.

In Aidan's turn, both units of bikers, one unit of cultists, and the nurglings arrived. The Nurglings mishapped on their deep strike and went into ongoing, while the cultists and bikes moved to contest or claim 3 different objectives. The dog star also moved to assault the Tomb Blades and both units of Warriors while the Soul Grinder assaulted the Warp Spiders. In assault, the Necron durability paid off against the dog star, with only losing combat by 5, and having 2 of the three units remain in combat. The dogs were contesting two objectives, so decided to stay in the combat. The Soul Grinder killed 4 of the Warp Spiders, who hit & ran away.

Aidan successfully denied me any points this turn, so I went about positioning myself to take back those objectives. I threw a unit of Scarabs and a unit of wraiths into the dog star, threw a unit of each at the Soul Grinder, and surrounded the bikes with Spyders, spiders, and wraiths, while circling those two objectives with Scarabs. Shooting from the Warp Spiders removed one unit of bikers while assault removed the other unit and the cultists, as well as taking the soul grinder to a single hull point. In the combat with the dog-star, I actually won combat, and Aidan hit & ran away.

In his turn he went about denying points again. He summoned a unit of hounds with blood tithe from losing the bikers to contest one while the dog star lined up a charge on the warriors and Immortals to tie down two others. finally, the Nurglings successfully deep struck without scatter to take one while the last unit of cultists ran on and claimed another. Assault saw the dogs largely wiff and only win combat by 2, with both units staying put. He again decided to stay put to deny points.

Turn 4 we started running out of time. In my half I killed the nurglings, soul grinder, and cultists, and charged into the dog star again. He hit & ran out to re-position in his turn, which we had to theory out. In his turn, his Fire Raptor would have finally arrived, and he was debating hovering it to contest an objective again. He could contest two more with the dog star, but I would get at least two points the following turn, as well as have a shot at taking out either the fire raptor or the hounds (whichever he chose to not Invis that turn).

As mentioned, I would have scored a couple more primary points, and likely kept Aidan to a single objective at best (2 points). I would get all three of my secondaries while Aidan likely would only get one. He also missed out on a kill point turn 2, and both of us would have had to claw to get one turn 5. He would get D3 victory points for the Fire Raptor living most likely, evening up the secondary count a bit. In the end, it would have likely been a Necron victory, 13-9, give or take.

In addition, I also got a VASSAL game in against Nick Rose, playing the same mission. This time, we both opted for end-game scoring, with me choosing Detachment, Linebreaker, and Marked (centurions) as my secondaries, to Marked (Wraiths), First Blood, and Linebreaker.

I only remembered to take screen shots before and after the game, unfortunately. Nick null deployed (I made him go first) and I deployed across my front, surrounding Spyders and keeping the marked Wraiths off the table. Nick dropped in with two Dreadknights and 2 Centurion squads, and managed to kill several wraiths and scarab bases, but not wipe out any squads. I ran a unit of Scarabs at a pod, and otherwise shifted right, away from the Centurions, who had dropped in the bottom left. The scarabs wiffed pretty bad on the pod and were summarily wiped out for First blood in the following turn.

One Spyder was taken down by Centurions and Dreadknights in Nick's shooting. In the bottom of the turn I tied up a Dreadknight which had failed a charge and they would stay there for the rest of the game. Nick was able to keep most of his army off the board until turn 4, so the bulk of my army ceded the left side and set up on the right, taking out the Culexus who dropped in.

At the end of turn 4 the board looked like this. In the next turn the Spiders in the bottom would have died, and the Warriors and warlord in the middle locked up by the Librarian most likely. He would have claimed the left 3 objectives without much contest, while I could easily grab the right 3. We both wouldn't get our marked squads, but would pick up our other secondaries. In the end, unless I got lucky and was able to get some distant wraiths or Spiders to contest one of his objectives with a good run, I would lose a close game, probably 14-13 thanks to missing out on a kill point turn 2. Had the game continued to 6, I would have had a better shot at contesting one objective with Tomb Blades, though the free Dread Knight would be trying to cause trouble on my right half of the board.

All in all, I had a great couple of games that taught me a good bit about how I think I need to play my list at NOVA. My game against Pajamapants is definitely going to be tough, and I'm not quite sure what to expect in mission or list. I am confident though that it should be a good game and a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it.

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