NOVA 2013 Recap - Part 2

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Time to finish up my NOVA matches and final thoughts. This will be a quick one since I really didn't get pictures from my last couple of games.

Saturday morning was rough! I wasn't even sure I was going to make the first game that morning due to a combination of things but all were ultimately my own fault. Nevertheless, I toughed it out and gave it the old college try. I actually managed to play pretty well (not making a lot of mistakes that is) despite feeling pretty sick most of the day.

Game 4

CSM + Tau (Farsight Enclaves) allies: 3 heldrakes, 2 oblits, typhus & plague marines in a land raider, 30 plague zombies and tau commander + crisis troops. A pretty tough list to start the second day off. The mission was objectives.

I lost the roll off but my opponent (Josh M.) made me take the 1st turn, which was a really smart move on his part. His army was tough and could withstand my ranged shooting. I quickly got my army in position to capture all 5 objectives but also tried to ready myself for all the potential nastiness that was in reserves. I aggressively went after the few targets on the table and really lucked out that his heldrakes decided not to show up until turn 4. By the bottom of turn 5 (last turn), I was still just barely controlling all 5 objectives -- my two 3 man bike squads each had one on my half, 2 below half squads controlling the 2 on my opponent's half of the table, and my 10 man warrior squad holding the middle. I was pretty lucky to be in such a strong position this late in the game; had those drakes come on earlier, I would have been toast! But my opponent knew what he was doing making me take the 1st turn. He was more than capable of blasting/flaming me off the objectives last turn, and still had enough troops left to run onto an objective himself. I still ended up with a few battle points for this round which despite the loss, in my hungover book was a win ;)

Game 5

Ugh... CSM + Daemons: 3 heldrakes (again!), 2 flying daemon princes, soul grinder, and a handful of troops (the list isn't readily available and I'm feeling lazy right now haha). But yeah, another list that I was pretty sure my list couldn't handle. The difference this time was my opponent was also feeling the same way about my list. Either he wasn't familiar with Dark Eldar or he faced some vicious dark kin lists in the past, but he set up and played very conservatively. I held back until I had grounded both FMCs, then went full tilt crushing both in assault (but timed just right to be in close combat when 2 of his drakes came on). Protected from the initial pass, I moved quickly out of baleflamer torrent range and hit hard into his backfield troops which were no match for my beast pack and highly mobile shooting. My opponent still had the right idea and was going after my troops aggressively with his heldrakes as this was also an objectives mission. But I was able to keep one 5 man venom squad out of harms way long enough to grab an objective turn 5 (or maybe 6) when the game ended. I had pretty much wiped his army besides those flying dragons, enough to earn me 17 battle points! I was really proud of this game; here I thought I was dead in the water, but saw an opportunity and with a little luck was able to pull it off for a solid win.

Game 6

Drumroll... another chaos list, but this time Daemons were primary with CSM allies. 3 FMC's (one of course was fateweaver), a bunch of hounds, more heldrakes and some other stuff. My opponent was a really cool guy. By this game I was starting to feel better and finally able to eat some food. But the better I felt, the worse things got for me on the table. This guy was good! Really well organized with a dry erase board to track all the powers across his army. He rolled up some sick powers and abilities which resulted in his huge hound pack having a 2++ the first 2 turns of the game. I tried grounding fatey and another FMC that was up on my grill but to no avail. I put the rest of my list into his hounds which scouted up turn 1, poised to tie up most of my army. Things were going really bad this game. I was 100% sure I would be tabled eventually (this realization came at the bottom of turn 2) so I called it there. My wife and son were on their way to the hotel at this point so I was ready to pack things up and meet up with them.

Again, all great opponents for the day! Even though I was feeling better by the end, I decided to drop the last 2 rounds so I could sleep in the next day and get some quality time with the family. I was already out of the running for things and it was nice to have the option to pass on day 3.

Closing thoughts

It was another awesome NOVA! I had a great time despite going overboard the first night. All my opponents and everyone I met that weekend was awesome. I was really proud of my Dark Eldar army; it performed better than my marine army that I took to NOVA 2011, and certainly scored higher in appearance / paint score. The format of the GT was still top notch and I'm really glad they moved to an easier schedule (3 games per day instead of 4). But I still had some games not even come close to finishing, so I wouldn't mind seeing the rounds gain some extra time or the points limit coming down a bit. The terrain was alright, but I actually thought the terrain from 2011 was better (at least compared to the tables I was on this year).

Torrent of Fire... ok, I think everyone can agree getting pairings on your phone is nice. I never remembered to do it, but I heard self-scoring from the app was also pretty nice (although the digital score sheets didn't match the paper ones; for example there was no way to enter sportsmanship scores). I like the idea though. From a business endeavor standpoint, I'm not sure going after GT attendees is the best approach for monetization. I can see TO's maybe throwing a bone for the service, maybe allocating a portion of the entry fee's, but anything else seems like a money grab. I didn't really pay much attention to it, but a lot of attendees were talking about it; marketing materials promising a 200% increase in wins guaranteed if you pay for their "service". Come on guys, warhammer players by and large aren't stupid, but a statement like that is. Mostly because something like that isn't quantifiable (different missions, different points etc) nor is it verifiable. It also sounds a whole lot like a "service" to encourage list tailoring, which doesn't make you a better player just a douche paying to gain an unfair advantage against your next opponent. Also, the results aren't even accurate; at least what was recorded from my matches. Even if they did have accurate data, this isn't something I'd pay $60 for, especially since most events publish the relevant data points & army breakdowns for free anyway. Just my 2 cents.

Anyway, I had a great time and I'm looking forward to the next NOVA! Also before I forget to mention, the swag bag was totally awesome ;)