Still Recovering from NOVA

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Next year I'll be sure to build in a day to recover after such a big event. I'm still going through all the pictures and videos from the weekend and reliving some great times.

As crazy as it sounds, I can't wait to make a few changes to my list and try it out again. I've definitely missed the gaming aspect of the hobby over the past couple years but the Nova bug has bitten! Getting everything painted up to a minimum standard was the original goal, but you have to take some time out to play some games to really get to know your army. Participating in the GT has only increased my motivation level for finishing off more units and trying some new approaches to building my lists. I'm looking forward to sharing some of these ideas over the next several weeks leading up to the next tournament.

NOVA 2011: Quick Recap

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wow, what a weekend! I survived my first GT and not gonna lie, it's very exhausting but absolutely worth it! From thursday night to sunday evening, I played 9 40k games, 2 Malifaux, and even a little throwback magic the gathering, haha. I was also able to meet up with some really cool people like Brandon and Eric from the White Scars blog and a lot of other familiar faces from around the Internet, as well as the infamous Gav Thorpe, author and game designer.

I must say, I've heard a lot of people complain about the people they face on the GT circuit but honestly, most of everyone I've met and played against at NOVA was awesome and a pleasure to roll some dice with at the tournament. From Salamanders to Black Templars, more Templars to Grey Knights, I played some top notch opponents on the first day alone, each of them excellent sportsmen. The second day brought on another Vulcan list, a beautiful Tyranids army, and 2 Blood Angels players, each with vastly different armies and play-styles. While I faced one bad apple who tried to cheat me out of my earned victory points (unsuccessfully) and my second win of the tournament, 1 out of 8 players really isn't bad at all. I ended up going 1 and 3 on each day for a total of 2 wins 6 losses (I'll try to summarize each game and what went on this week). I had a great time and am so glad that this event was the catalyst for me to finally finish painting a 2000 point army. I'm working on editing/piecing together video from this weekend's matches.

I was able to snag some cool pictures of several incredible armies, but the majority were captured using my convenient flip cam; so stay tuned!  I'll be working on editing the pieces of all this footage together this week in order to provide you with a nice reel of footage from the the main events as well as a couple of battle reports. Here's a few shots to tide you over until then:

Mike Brandt runs a fantastic event and I can't thank him enough for all the work he puts into this thing and what it does for the hobby. While this was only the first big 40k event I've attended, from talking to other regular tournament players and my own experience this past weekend, word on the street is NOVA is one of the best (if not the best) 40k events in the world. And I can't wait till next year!

Game On

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The time has come; NOVA Open GT is finally upon us! I've been busy this past week getting in as many games as possible as well as continuing to add paint here and there. I finished painting the "core" aspects of the army a couple weeks ago but there is always more that can be done. I'm happy with them from a tabletop point of view, but I'll continue to add more shading/highlights as time allows. I'll try to get some decent pictures of my army up tomorrow in between games. Until then, here's a few more pics from the floor at NOVA:

Of course, I ended up making some last minute changes to my list. These changes were based on my last few practice games and also what I thought would be the easiest to have ready by the time the 40k GT starts. Here it is:

Click to enlarge

There's a couple things I wanted to include but just didn't have the time to assemble and paint them up. Maybe for the next tournament, which will probably be next month (check out the Battle at Blob's Park).

I'll be sure to take a lot more pictures from the NOVA floor this weekend and might even throw in some video if I can. More updates to come... Good luck tomorrow everyone!

More NOVA Practice: Raven Guard vs Iron Hands

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Now I know what it feels like to face 5 dreadnoughts! That's right, the other night I went up against a fellow marine player who also uses a Master of the Forge with 5 dreads. I was also running 5 in my list and it was an all out dreadnought slug fest!

All of these pictures are courtesy of my awesome opponent who was smart and brought an actual camera (the one on my phone just isn't cutting it anymore). He captured some clutch shots and was able to snag the most action-packed events/turns. This one is from the bottom of turn 1:

I had just dropped my Ironclad behind his Plasma Cannon dread (you don't want to get caught out in the open under one of those blasts!). Unfortunately the IC dread whiffed as he has on most games I've played with him. I don't like leaving two kill points isolated out there so early on in the game and I'm starting to think I could better spend the points. My opponent was using 3 Typhoon speeders, and wow, those things can really dish out some wounds. I really need to get mine built so I can start trying them out in some lists.

Unlike the IC in pod, one unit that has performed really well and consistently delivers a favorable ROI in my games is the 10 man Scout squad led by Telion.

Here, they brought down a Librarian that had gated some termies directly in front of the blue objective. Telion's ability to allocate wounds caused by his special bolter can be a real game changer, and he certainly was the MVP on my side for this match. He dealt some headshots to an enemy sergeant with powerfist as well as the last wound to the Master of the Forge, ultimately breaking a troops squad that was holding an objective.

This match was a lot of fun and I learned some really important stuff, like remembering that even marines don't regroup if within 6 inches of an enemy model and they too can run right off the board if you're not careful. I'm thinking about making some small tweaks to my list that hopefully I can test out this weekend before locking it down and submitting the final list next week. I'll also try to take better notes throughout so I can attempt to have more meaningful posts and more along the lines of a "battle report" entry. For those primarily interested in the results, this game we didn't officially get to finish because the store was closing (we accidentally kept them open an additional 45 minutes...woops!) but were halfway through turn 6. We were dead even on objectives, and the KPs & VPs were too close to call -- a solid draw! At the end, the board looked like a dreadnought graveyard; it was awesome!


NOVA Practice Game: SM vs Orks

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I was able to get in a really great game over the weekend using my freshly painted biker list that I plan on taking to the NOVA Open next week. Following the mission objectives for the first round (details can be found here) I was up against a massive Ork horde. I unfortunately don't have an in depth battle report for this one as I'm still easing my way back into the game -- it took all my attention just to not get tabled by turn 3, lol. But I'll do my best to summarize the highlights. The worst part is I only got 2 pictures with my phone after the setup, and even those fail to capture the entire board and more importantly, the best painted Ork army (of any army for that matter) that I've ever played against. My opponent was awesome to say the least; very helpful with clarifying some rules and giving great feedback on my list throughout the game. I'll be sure to get some close ups of his fantastic army whenever I can get a rematch. Here's the second shot from my other corner:

Deployment was pitched battle and I kid you not, there was barely any open space on his side of the board by the time he was done setting up. I won the roll off and elected to go second since the primary goal was objectives, and thought with my mobility it would be good to have the chance to contest or capture on the last turn of the game (that is if I could actually survive that long...)

By turn 2, half of my bikes (and troops!) were dead due to a couple factors. One, I could have deployed better to stay out of sight of a huge group of lootas that shredded one of my squads, and then the second fell to small mob of orks that came on my opponent's turn 2, middle of the table behind my line! I was scrambling to deal with all the threats closing in on me, both in front and behind my line. Even my dice were scared, or at least they acted like it the first few turns ;)  I sent my podded Ironclad into his front line just to try and slow him down (and I don't think it would have fit anywhere else). The dread and the pod ended up killing more orks in their death than they caused alive; he rolled 6's on the damage chart for each after a round of penetrating blows. The large explosions were definitely amusing!

Most of the bikes on their way to battle

Things were looking pretty bleak for my Raven Guard at the bottom of turn 3. I needed to regroup what I had left and focus fire on the most immediate threats, so I did. I cleared out the Orks in my back field then charged my Master of the Forge into a close combat between my scouts and a group of 'ard boys that had engaged them the previous turn. Luckily, the MotF bailed them out after failing to repair a destroyed dreadnought plasma cannon after 2 rounds (he also had some late game heroics, but I'm jumping ahead). The next round I was able to shoot up another couple squads of boys till they broke. I then charged my Captain and Command squad into another half strength squad and pushed them off the objective on my left table quarter. By turn 5 this squad went balls out and tried to engage a mob of boys protecting another objective on my opponent's side. This one didn't work out so well; I shot a ton into this squad but couldn't get past the cover and then ended up being just outside of assault range. I paid for that the following turn as the orks came out of the ruins and slaughtered them.

Meanwhile on the other side of the board, a full strength squad led by a Weirdboy was closing fast on my half strength snipers, holding my objective in the ruins. I needed to try and hold them up, so I moved the MotF around to catch 6 under his flamer before charging into assault. I guess my dice were trying to make it up to me, so he ended up killing several then made a ton of saves to keep them locked in close combat. I was also lucky in that the power claw didn't wound me in that first round of combat, as I had no invulnerable save. It eventually got him the next round, but by then he had already served his purpose and kept the Orks off the scouts and far enough away to not contest my objective. My last 5 man bike squad was near the second objective on my side, but the orks were able to advance just far enough to contest this one after taking out the Captain and Command squad. The game ended with each of us controlling 1 objective and both contesting an additional one. Primary goal was a draw, so on to secondary goal, kill points. After a review of all the bloodshed and action, Orks had 8 kp's to my 7.

I'll take it! This match was great fun, full of ups & downs and truly came down to the end. I must admit though, if the game had gone on past turn 6, the Orks would have at least contested my last objective and more than likely would have seized it for a clean win on the primary goal. I had a blast and learned a lot about my list and playing against an Ork horde. I've got another practice game lined up tomorrow night against an Iron Hands army. I'll let you know how it goes!

Kill Team

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I just downloaded the Kill Team demo from PSN and while it was short it was just enough to make me want to get the full game. Give it a try now that it's finally available for PS3 owners. It reminded me a whole lot of this game:

Just set in the 40k universe, with better graphics and no 8-bit cleavage ;)

Malifaux: Cult of December

Monday, August 8, 2011

Look what came in the mail today! My first Malifaux crew from the Arcanists faction, the Cult of December. A while back my friend took me through a couple demo games and I really enjoyed it. The back story is engrossing, the models are beautiful, and the poker deck mechanic (instead of dice) is incredibly fun. The rules are also very solid and straightforward. If you've done any wargaming before you'll pick this game up quickly.

I wanted to get my own crew after that first night of playing, but a lot of distractions got in the way. I'm still finishing things up for my 40k NOVA list but really hoping to be done with that this week (knock on wood). But after that I'll be moving fast to get this war-band on the table and painted up. I'm really looking forward to painting these models, especially since they are snow/ice themed. I've got these awesome bases from Dragonforge in the mail which I think will go well with these models.

The hardest part is deciding which faction to play. Here's a great Malifaux resource for learning more about the game and all the great factions & characters within.