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 ;)


  1. I think torrent of fire is really cool but I don't see it making any money. I mean, there are already tons of stuff we are asked to spend money on - models, hobby supplies, travel to events, event tickets, additional tournament tickets, food at said events. The list goes on. Personally I really don't care enough to pay for access to TOF. Don't see how this is needed to enhance my hobby. I mean...lately our community has been bombarded with independent gamers trying to make money off the scene...IMO we're tapped out.

    1. Exactly, this hobby is expensive enough as it is. And I'm still not clear what you get for the subscription fee.

  2. I agree with the comments on ToF, the game-day stuff is cool, the paid site access to statistics etc seems like a loser. As I pointed out to the ToF survey, with GW releasing new codices, supplements, etc at the current rate, the stats are pretty much obselete within a month if not a week.

    1. That's a really good point. There's always going to be a # skew with each flavor of the month. I'm not sure there's enough events within a year and certainly not enough historical data to provide a decent sample size or to draw any conclusions at this point.

    2. I didn't even think of that, so very true, with the large number of codexes being released, you really won't know whats coming at you from the top tables, even with Torrent of Fire.

  3. I enjoyed reading this, and agree with most of your observations on ToF (though to be honest, I'm going to pay to subscribe just because I'm really curious to see what they think is so worth it!)

    I didn't understand what you meant by this, though:

    "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."

    Can you explain? How does one tailor their list to their next opponent in a tournament where a) you can't change your list; and b) you don't know who your opponent is?

    1. One of the marketing/sales pitches talked about knowing how well your opponent does versus x,y,z army and using that data to inform what goes into your list. I don't know, it just sounded an awful lot like list tailoring to gain an advantage. And you're absolutely right, most of the time you would have no way of knowing who you are playing at a large event (maybe you'd have a better idea at a smaller one); whether or not the service provides that type of advantage remains to be seen (and I haven't seen a demo of how one would gain an edge by having access to the data they are tracking) but I guess the whole idea of that just turned me off a bit. It definitely wasn't a selling point for me as I don't think that is the sort of thing that should be encouraged in a tabletop wargame/hobby.

      I'd really like to know what you think of the subscription/service though! I don't mean to come off like a total naysayer; it's possible I've only been exposed to the not so glamorous sales pitches instead of the actual product/service. Although, I am very curious how they can promise 200% more wins by signing up... ;-]

    2. The 1st rule of being a Hero in TOF is... YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT TOF!!!

      The 'secret weapon' is really just loaded dice... shhhh, don't tell anyone!

  4. I took that blurb to mean more of a meta and anti-meta review. If you expect to fight Tau/Eldar or Tau/Tau (or Eldar/Eldar...sigh), then you can see how that kind of army does, and how your army does against that army. It's more of a tourney prep tool (that's how I read it, anyway), tailoring your list to what you expect to see at an event, not tailoring to a specific opponent.

    To be frank, though, I DO tailor against specific opponents. If I knew I'm going to an event with Werner Born and Nick Nanavati, for example (which I do a lot up here) then I'm definitely taking an army that has a way to deal with what I expect them to have. I think TOF will make that kind of thing easier for more folks. Maybe I'm a douche for doing that, but I know who the top players are going to be usually, and I try to prepare to meet them.

    I just got my first TOF article today, I'm hoping the wife will let me read it tonight! It's about facing Tau/Tau! I'll let you know how it looks! :)

    1. That makes sense, and honestly I find all the data mining & statistics to be interesting too. I'm just not sure how helpful this will be prior to an event, as Hudson pointed out, with all the rapid fire releases we are getting from GW it should be expected that players are trying out new units & combos. That and anyone seriously trying for a top spot at a GT knows they should try to build a balanced list that can take all comers since you never know what armies you'll be facing.

      I get what you're saying about knowing the local meta or if a couple top dawgs from your club are sure to be in attendance at an event; those factors will always have an impact on list design. I don't think you are a douche for preparing for what you are likely to face :)