Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NoVA List - First Play Through

I may have nailed down my NoVA Open list. It's got a good balance of torrent-o'-fire and gets that punch delivered effectively. Testing now is absolutely required after my first game with it. The best part: I almost have it all painted! Last night I put some finishing touches on the weather for my Stormraven and began weathering the rhino based transports.

Without further delay, here's the breakdown:

Grand Master Mordrak - 200
Ghost Knights w/Halberds x 4 - 160

Librarian w/one power (Might of Titan) - 155

Strike Squad x 5 - 100
-Psycannon - 10
-Halberd - 5
-Psyback - 50

Strike Squad x 5 - 100
-Psycannon - 10
-Psyback - 50

Strike Squad x 10 - 200
-Psycannon x 2 - 20
-Halberd - 5
-Rhino - 40

Vindicare Assassin - 145

Stormraven w/assault cannon and multimelta - 205

Interceptors x 5 - 130
-Hammer x 1 - 10

Psyfleman Dread - 135
Psyfleman Dread - 135
Purgation Dread (twin-linked Heavy Flamer//Heavy Flamer, Psyflame ammo) - 130

Comes in at exactly 2000 points. It took a long time to consider what I was going to run in my HQ slots, because that will dictate the rest of the army build. The Grey Knight HQ's have a lot of great abilities but sinking too many points into them will result you getting stomped flat fast. The Librarian offers fantastic defensive ability and aguments your troops into absolute monsters. Originally, I wanted to run a regular Grand Master but the build I had was almost the same amount of points as Mordrak. Mordrak gets +1 WS, MC Hammer, an extra attack, and an extra wound. The Ghost Knights already have Stealth, so attaching a Librarian with Shrouding is pointless unless you feel like you'll have your units really close together throughout the game. And the Ghost Knights can be adjusted down below 5 man starting squad. With Mordrak taking wounds, he can potentailly bring them back.

The Grand Master's abilities with Grand Strategy fit my play style a lot closer than just the Librarian. The Librarian is included there to really provide a hood and the Might of Titan. Sancturary would have been nice, but with the squad kitted out with Halberds I'll be hitting first at STR 6/I 6, following it up with 4 STR 10 hits. I tried to figure out just how many wounds this unit could effectively take before its lost. If going at best luck (taking one wound at a time, and judging that I could roll a D3 to pull in more Knights) it could potentially take 13 failed saves before being wiped out. 13 wounds on a 6 man squad that could evolve itself into a 9 man squad if your dice like you. To me, it covers the best of defensive and tactical decisions to get you a leg up early and often.

Troops are the basic Strike Squads. Yeah they die like Space Marines, but as my opponent said, you still gotta be able to kill them. Two 5-man and one 10-man feels pretty good. My last list had regular terminators, but the Ghost Knights are filling in for them well. Ghost Knights can't capture but they can tear through enemy troop choices well enough.

My Psyflemen Dreads are sitting pretty again as just really annoying firebases along with the assassin. The Dreads are able to fire every turn and draw fire away from other targets like the Stormraven. Stormraven is stock to save points and carries the HQ's and the Ghost Knights up the gut. Plus it has the Purgation Dread underneath it. The Purgation Dread is quickly becoming my favorite Dread. The Raven can clear that distance it needs to cover in order to be effective and then start wrecking face. Against a horde army like Orcs, its the MVP easy after torching more than 12 orcs in one shooting phase.

The Interceptors are the one element that still gives me a little pause. When they work, they work great. But they also seem to be the first thing to die. Even with a Stormraven in the face of the enemy, Interceptors seem to be a better soft target. That's 140 points that I could invest differently. They may get swapped out later for something else.

My opponent over the weekend was my roommate playing a double Big Mek list with a couple of Dreads, Battlewagons, a lootas unit, a few 20 boy units in transports, and a huge Nob squad. I got him down to pretty much half the Nob squad, one Loota, and a Big Mek with the Nobz left.

Lessons Learned:
Might of Tian is no joke. Getting the boosted damage die lets you grind through walkers. The only thing that was troubling the Ghost Knights was a huge Boy squad that was a thick slog through. I did manage to pull an extra Ghost through during that combat, which made a big difference in the next round of combat.

Nobz are also no joke. I tried assaulting the Nob squad. There's the mistake right there. I activated the force weapons to try to double them out quickly, but I failed the leadership test. We calculated out that his squad got five kill points: the Interceptors, a 5-man squad, a Psyback, a Psyflemen Dread, and the Assassin.

The biggest factor for me was getting Scout on the Stormraven. Getting into the enemy lines by the first turn can screw up whatever plans he had. I went second which was actually better because I got my cover save from the Scout move and then dropped out the next turn.

Sorry for the long post. Now all I need to do is to get a few more games in with this list and I'll feel tactically ready for the Open. Once I get everything full up painted, I'll post the 2011 Class Photo.

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