Friday, September 2, 2011

NoVA Day 1

NoVA comes and NoVA goes. Its been hard recovering after not really having a weekend. Thank god for Labor Day.

As you probably heard, we had Irene roll through here, but luckly with minimal damage to the area. I came into the Open with the goal of breaking even. My list definitely wasn't set for tourney level competition but set for a fun game with (what I think is) a cool character. Let me break down some the Pros and Cons of the weekend:

Pros: Terrain was important but not exactly game breaking. Each table had a good set up and you knew what to expect with each game. The different piece allowed for some creative line of sight options. Everything was considered flat but being in an elevated position gave you better line of sight overall.

Bracketing levels. I've been to a few tourneys but never a two-day one. Day one (which I'll get to in a bit) was very random how you got paired up. Day two, you played people around your same level. Pretty much all of my games on day two were very close or at least a blast to play. I think it makes it a better experience for everyone overall. No one likes getting stomped out for two days straight, though I'm pretty sure that happened to a few people.

Cons: The venue was nice and all, but no cell phone reception at the tables. Nit picky, I know, but it sucks having to go up top to get reception. I heard from multiple people that it was wicked hard to find something to eat. Since I'm from the area, I either brought things to eat or waited until I got home.

There were a few issues with getting some of the table assignments correct. Plus whenever they were posted, everyone would create this mass of humanity around the list. Then someone would need to put their hand on the page to read an individual line, blocking half the page. Really now? Still need a hand to read in a straight line? Come on, guys. Not really an issue with the tourney, just an observation. Maybe next year, a big projection of the table placement or a TV, I don't know. The list on the wall is low-tech and cheap. We're a hobby of creative folks: let's find something better.

Ok, now for some meat. For each I'll just give a brief overview and a highlight, good, bad or otherwise:

Day one, Game one: Nids
Lots of bugs. 2 sets Hormagaunts with 24 bugs each, Two terrvagons with their 10 each gaunts, three sets of Zoans, Flying Tyrant. I felt good that I had somethings that could take that much but my hopes were dashed quickly when my Stormraven crashed the second turn. I played too conservatively and let him come to me instead of meeting him half way. I ended up getting tabled, badly. Game Highlight: Watching my Terminators get charged by 22 hormagaunts that were boosted by two of the other big bugs. 66 attacks with re-rolls. I ended up taking 10 wounds on each of my four remaining Terminators. Result: Loss. Horrifyingly apparent, I still can't squish bugs.

Day one, Game two: Mech Blood Angels
Predators maxed out, 3 small assault squads in Razors, and two assault jump packs full, one with a chaplain/priest, and the other with a librarian. The terrain was all pretty flat but tall enough to create these valleys. Those created choke points that let me set firelanes and take out tanks as I felt it required. I did have a really good bum rush turn early (turn 1 or 2) and popped four tanks in one turn. What would have helped my opponent is if he included more melta into his army. A lot of his normal squads had either flamers or nothing. Once the troops hit the ground, my Dreads could walk up and bash them up. EXCEPT MY GODDAMN VENERABLE DREAD WHO IMMOBILIZED HIMSELF STEPPING OVER A RHINO. He has flame throwers. File under "Not Helpping". Game Highlight: After his deep striking librarian nailed the landing with his unit, I dropped a few templates on the unit to try to get it wiped. Didn't wipe it but caused just enough to cause a panic check the unit. I was more than happy to escort them off the board. It was a rough game and we both got bloodied, but really it was the terrain setup that made the difference here. Result: Win. At least I know how to handle BA's now. I wanted to play more BA's throughout the weekend so I got a better feeling how they played (since I'm doing them next), but he was the only one I got to play against.

Day one, Game three: Mech IG
Chimeras for as far as the eye can see, three gunships, a PBS, two heavy blasting tanks (the ones with rockets and, I think, a colossus). An Inquisitor lord and a Callidus from the Witchhunters Book as a last hurrah from the Codex. Lots of shooting and me taking covers saves trying to outflank where I could. This was probably my worst match-up and game. I see where everyone was getting their gripe on competitive IG. The PBS targeted down my Terminator squad to reduce their leadership to a "2", the Callidus pops up and templates them with the better shredder. I lose only two but now a check on a "2", and I'm the one getting escorted off. My incinerator squad outflanked in and managed to kill off a tank and the Inquistor with one turn of creative template placement. Highlight: Had to be the Callidus coming in like a hot rocket of anger that her codex is now in a magazine. I'm kinda glad she's not raged out now in the GK codex. Result: Loss. Felt like I was on a steady diet of my own teeth at this point.

Day one, Game four: Grey Knights
After hearing about how many GK's were there, I finally played against one!
Grand Master, Librarian, Paladins and a Stormraven. MSU Strike Squads in Psybacks. Purifiers and a Vinnie.
I thought I had the upper hand after he reserved a ton of his stuff and I killed the Assassin and a whole unit of Strikes before his other stuff got there. I still have much to learn. They came in and rocked my silver plated world. Psyk-Out grenades, rad grenades, and tropes all on the grand master. My Terminators never stood a chance. They all hit themselves at I1 but it didn't matter since he charged with the Psyk-outs, I'm going last :(.  Highlight: I found the proper way to utilize the Brotherhood Banner. In that unit, Mordrak can't be singled out but through wound allocation, and I failed a save on him. Banner activates. Bye-Bye Ghost Knights. His list felt stronger than mine and he gave me some good advice on not overreaching myself. Result: Loss. Tied for objectives. Tied on table quarters. Tied on Kill Points. He won by victory points by a 27 point margin. That's 27 out of 2000 points. Ugh. A fantastic game to end day one, but still, 27 points.

I'll hit up Day Two later, but here's a photo of my army with Mordrak's Fancy Lads up front against Belial on the Second Day.
"Come on, lads!"

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