Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nova Coverage: Games 7-8.. I am a weiner!

I woke up very tired (6am came fast) with a cold coming on.  I hate that feeling when you know you're getting sick.  After sauntering down to the gaming floor I set my army on a table and anxiously awaited my next pairing. 

Game 7 (Round 3 of mini-bracket)

I finally got to play against an army I feared... a flyer-wing with more flyers then me!  The most important roll of the game was the roll to see who went first or 2nd.  Luckily I won the roll and went 2nd.  I knew if I had deployed my flyers first they would have been shot out of the sky with Doug's 8!

Doug also had Immotek which is a flyer killer himself and 3 squads of scarabs (which ended up almost costing me the game).  He had one loss where his opponent was able to table his army off before his flyers arrived.  That is the danger when everything is off the board with the exception of a few models. 

This mission was Objectives then Quarters then Kill Points.

The other scary combo that Doug was fielding was 2 squads of deathmarks with the crypteks with the flamer o'doom.  The one that wounds vs your leadership on strength 8 ap1.  With the deathmarks causing the unit to be wounded on 2's it meant for some nastiness.  Since he had 2 of those squads, both of my wraith units were marked. 

Doug's big mistake was that he pulled his flyers into my one flank (to successfully annihilate my one wraith/lord squad) but then set himself up in a nice formation for my doom scythes.  NOVA had FAQ'd that the beam from the death ray could hit flyers (but not both flyers and ground at the same time).  My flyers then rolled up and shot / beamed the crap out of his. 

Lucky for doug he did save 2 flyers with jink saves on my beams, and I failed to pen on one of the others.  In the end I downed 3 of the flyers and evened up the odds.  My other wraith unit then ran (away from the deathmarks now on foot) to try and clean up the right flank of the pesky 5 man units. 

This fight was tough.  Immotek successfully lightning struck down one of my doomscythes and put some wounds occasionally on other units.  I lost my left flank but rolled up Doug's right.  Since Doug got the scoring ability on his warlord trait, Immotek was able to stretch his way down my left flank to cover off on that objective.  The middle was a huge scrum of immortal on immortal fighting.  My last immortal squad was able to stop within 3 inches of the center objective and melee.  Had the game ended on turn 5 it would have been a tie on objectives and quarters. 

At this point I figured I would ignore Doug's flyers for the most part.  I did forget to move one on (this happened twice over the weekend) after I zoomed off.  That loss of firepower was big in these final turns.  I need to make sure I always check for a flyer off the board.  

The pesky scarabs did what they needed to do and joined the melee in the middle and won the fight, piling into my unlocked immortals on turn 6.  He brought a second unit in as well.  My other unit of immortals had 2 remaining.  I threw my remaining 2 wraiths who had pulled his units off his back corner objective into the middle and killed off Doug's remaining troop on the center objective.  Doug caused 3 wounds on my immortals... 2 remained... I failed both saves and lost the middle objective. 

We both had 2 objectives, 2 quarters and I ended up winning on kill points.  Very close game.  It was on to the final round!

Game 8 (Final round of mini bracket)

I went into game 8 nervous.  Not that it really mattered, it was just a fun tournament at this point, but I now really wanted to win this.  That also would mean I would exit with a 6-2 record, which is more then I could ask for.  I was up against a list my opponent said he designed for the NOVA missions... drop space wolves.  He was right, he had an army that was great on table quarters and could weather a ton of firepower. 

He had a strong drop list combined with 3 long fang missile units and corteaz with a unit of grey knights.

The mission was Quarters then Objectives then Kill Points

I completely spaced out and didn't take any pictures outside of turn 2.  I decided to try and roll up a flank and use my flyers to concentrate firepower and soften things up for my wraiths.  I figured if I could hurt one of his home quarters and camp out with my wraiths I could use firepower to knock out his "lighter" quarter late game.  It almost worked...

I set up my barge on the right flank behind the hill.  I figured it would be a bit of a bait for one of his drop squads.  It ended up doing just that as I got lucky that one scattered off the board (I placed it in the rear right).  Stupid for me, I think my opponent would have castled up in that quarter regardless.

My flyers all came in on turn 2 and I committed them all to the left side. The combined firepower of all my flyers allowed my wraiths to work over the remaining space wolves in combat. 

Turn 3 I angled my flyers to the middle and concentrated on the grey knights.  It worked as I pulled down them all in shooting and insta-killed corteaz (due to one missed 2+ save on strength 7).  He did the smart thing and focused his missile shots on my wraiths.  I had one unit that had one wraith and an injured destroyer lord left.  They fled to try and use their points to hold a quarter.  The other unit pressed the center of the board to stop the advancing pod on the right.

My flyers on turn 4 failed miserably to either hit or wound much of anything and he made most of his saves.  My 1 man wraith and lord unit worked back to my home objective (my lord had the scoring warlord roll) to grab my objective as one of my opponents drop pods landed in my left quarter and tied up my back units in shooting / assault. 

Turn 5 I made some pretty big mistakes.  At this point I knew we would probably tie quarters and it would turn to objectives. 

I had the one on my left (with my lord and solo wraith).  The one on my opponent's side (my left) I had as well.  He took the middle with some advancing grey hunters and had his rear right.  On my side left, I was able to drop a 5 man warrior squad to contest the objective.  Hooray I figured I would have the win if I could knock out one guy (the only one within 3") of my right objective.  It worked. 

In case it would go another round I pulled two flyers off the board.  I then shot up the one guy off the objective (unit was still intact) so I know had the 2-1 objective bonus... and then realized my mistake.  I forgot to move a flyer that had a unit embarked.  I asked my opponent if I had moved it and he thought I had... I thought back to the flight path and did the honest thing.  I destroyed my flyer since I failed to move it.  Zooming flyers are considered destroyed if they don't move at least 18".  Since this was such an important game I didn't want to "take back" a move. 

Still with that, I figured I had the game, but go figure I didn't think about the fact that combat was won by my opponent on my left side flank.  He rolled high enough on the consolidation and proceeded to contest my objective!  Crap! 

The dice gods did have something to bless me with.  His unit with his rune priest that was on my right side objective (although not claiming) broke on a roll of an 11.  Now this isn't normally bad since they would auto rally if the game went on.

Well it didn't.  We rolled and the game ended.  Crap on a stick.

Quarters?  We each had 2. His center unit was more in the quarter that his broken unit was in.

Objectives? We each had 2. 

Kill Points?  Well my honesty killed me on that.  Since I moved two flyers off the board (for the next round of shooting) and I self-killed the one I didn't move, plus the fact it had a unit on board which is then forced into ongoing reserve.  oh, and I didn't bother to assault or shoot at his drop pods.  I was only up by two kill points.  Yup two.  So we tied on all three and it went to victory points.

After recounting at least three times and adding up our totals at least three times I won by a total of 70 points. 

Had I lost on victory points I would have had a hard time moving on from those mistakes. Either way I'm glad I did the right thing about killing my own flyer since I forgot to move it in the movement phase.  It would have cost me the game combined with the fact I put two flyers into ongoing reserves.  And since I ignored (and forgot to charge a couple rounds) the drop pods, that was easy kill points I should have grabbed.

What a nail biter.

With that, my NOVA games were done and I finished 6-2 and won my bracket.  An exciting weekend of gaming and I think I'm better equipped to run my necron flyer / wraith list. 

Since I'm horrible at battle reports (I need to take notes and take pictures), you'll be happy to hear I'm back to hobby and painting articles! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

NOVA Coverage: Games 5-6

I'll apologize right now, during the mini-tournament in my 2-2 bracket I got caught up in the games.  As I mentioned before I was able to win all 4 games; in the process of concentrating and working at it I didn't take many pictures.  Here's the lightning round of how each went!

Game 5 (Round 1 of the bracket tournament)

I played Jason from Texas who borrowed a friend of his army.  I loved the Kromlech (I think) Mexican sombreros and bits.  Unfortunately the army wasn't painted.  Jason had an ork list that had 3 big mobs of boys, 1 stormboy mob, 1 massive nob biker mob with boss and a big squad of lootas.  He had all infantry which is great for scoring at NOVA and had very little killpoints.  I had some concerns about running against this style of a list as the nob bikers can brutalize my wraiths.  At least there was only 1 loota squad so I wasn't as worried about my flyers being destroyed.

The mission was objectives, quarters then kill points.

I deployed my wraith units away from each other.  I wanted to use one as a sacrificial bait squad (I know, pretty expensive) and one to try and roll up a flank.  I knew with that many orks, I would have to soften them up before assaulting.  If the squad was small enough I could split my destroyer lord off and take advantage of his toughness of 6.  It actually worked that I would issue a challenge.  If the nob accepted, I had a good chance (which worked) to kill the nob before he could use all of his challenge rerolls (from cheering orks) to strike with his klaw.  After that the second time I charged a mob with my lord, the orks needed 4's by 6's by my 2+ save.  A depleted mob was decently easy to handle.

The nob bikers zoomed forward on the left flank and I retreated my unit into the ruins so I would at least get to strike first.  My unit of other wraiths played hide and go seek with the unit of storm boys and held behind the right hill until they got within my charge range.

As I expected my unit was utterly destroyed but fortunately my destroyer lord got back up (to later annoy the far boys squad).  Once combat was finished my opponent was relatively bunched up for my flyer strafing run.  This is where my doom scythes paid dividends.  They both came in and their laser beams of doom along with 3 sets of twin link teslas killed all but 2 bikers and a wounded boss.  It neutered the squad enough that I could take it apart with the rest of my army.

I proceeded to tear into the rest with my flyers and strafed around the board.  In the end I tabled my opponent and got the win.  He was a good sport about it and it advanced me to round 2.

Game 6

My 6th game was against Jimmy V.  Before the tournament started, we set up together to get our armies judged for painting.  I really loved the way his biker list looked, and was very impressed it could fit into a small case... what a perfect army for traveling.

This mission was Quarters then Objectives then Kill Points

We had another hammer and anvil style deployment which in this case worked to my advantage. I went 2nd and made sure I was out of any range of shots the opening round.  Jimmy's command squads (he had two) were nasty in combat.  Toughness 5 with storm shields, combat weapons and an apothecary.  The captains had 2+ armor so could take the bulk of wounds before the rest of the squad was touched.  I knew I wouldn't get to escape them long with their mobility so decided to "attempt" to refuse one flank with my wraiths and double up on one of the squads.

It worked  only due to the fact I had some good rolling but more importantly Jimmy missed some major 2+ saves.  My one unit of wraiths tied up the command squad long enough to have the other one jump in.

My flyers all failed their first roll for reserves, but with the communications relay, I made every second roll.  It paid for itself for the whole tournament in this game alone.  I committed all 5 flyers at the right flank and tore into his other command squad wiping them out.  Between death rays and tons of tesla, the pulled them down. 

My combination of 2 wraith units finally pulled down the other command squad and my flyers then proceeded to hunt down the rest of the bikes.  Strength 7 on toughness 5 negates a lot of the bonuses of the bikes.  Jimmy did have one lone attack bike that chased after a hiding leftover wraith (I was using one to help claim quarters) and assassinated it!  My immortals were not too happy with that fact and decided to shoot and charge the remaining attack bike. 

In the end Jimmy was left with a wounded attack bike on his far corner and I picked up all 4 quarters.  It was a rough matchup for him.

With the night being done, I was excited and nervous about going into my game 7 and 3rd game of my mini bracket tournament!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

NOVA Coverage: Awesome Armies

I try to get as many pictures of armies that inspire me.  Since the lighting was a bit dim, I had to play around with whether my flash was on or off.  With the flash on it washes out the photos but at least they can be seen.  Here's a compilation of armies that inspired me.  This is probably one of my favorite parts of going to major tournaments... seeing great themed lists!  I hope you can take some inspiration from these pictures.

Yeah it made me chuckle...

I'm now getting set to take on my next big projects.  One of them is kicking around the idea of my shock and awe (half drop pod) space wolf infantry list. The next is my thoughts on a themed guard / dark angels army that will be painted in dark silvers and red.  I'm going to call it Knights Angelus, or something of that nature.   I also need to settle in on a army for the Badab War.  I could really use your help on inspiration!  More to follow...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wreck-Age Kickstarter: Pretty Cool!

If you haven't checked out the Kickstarter from Wreck-Age, do yourself a favor and do so.  It looks to be a fun game and the artwork and back-story is beautiful. 

Here's a link to the Kickstarter:    Wreck Age: Tabletop, RPG and Board Game
Here's a link to their website: Wreck-age: Hyacinth Games

I am a sucker for post-apocalyptic fiction and the miniatures have a lot of character.  I decided to go with the $155 pledge to support their rulebook and two factions.  Honestly I am very tempted to do a third (if they had that option).  Either way I am for sure doing two to be able to host some fun games with friends.

The whole kickstarter concept is a great way to get small companies off of the ground.  I applaud the team for putting in the hard work to get their concept rolling and I'm looking forward to the additional quality miniatures and background they come out with!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

NOVA Coverage: Games 3-4

With a loss under my belt, it took the pressure off the games.  At this point I just wanted to stay at least 50/50.  My next game was the big heartbreaker for me.  Lots of mistakes on my part, mainly due to inexperience.

Game 3

The third game was against another awesome opponent, Peter.  He had a balanced tyranid list with a combination of 2 trygons, 2 tervigons, 3 zoanathropes and a Tyrant with preferred enemy. The preferred enemy was brilliant.  It allowed his hive guard two re-roll their one's to hit on shooting.  Very cool.

He rolled two spells on the zoans that would make one of my units fire under his control.  This scared the crap out of me as I worried that a flyer would fire on another (easy way to down my own).  This put them as a high priority for me.

The mission was Objectives then Kill Points, then Quarters.  We deployed Vanguard. 

Target priority was my biggest mistake.  After the zoanathropes I should have really concentrated on the Trygons.  The 6 wounds for some odd reason intimidated me... which seeing that they are only toughness 6 (against my strength 7 guns) and 3+ save, it should have been a no-brainer. 

Peter did do a great job putting the forward pressure on me with the trygons.  With them crashing the middle followed by the Tyrant and pals, I had to knock them out so they didn't obliterate my ground troops.  In hindsite, I should have just retreated and avoided them or sent sacraficial troops as my flyers wrecked havoc. 

Instead I did knock out both Trygons but in the meantime, his Tervigon pumped out unit after unit.  One of his Trygons went 6 turns putting out units... crazy.  Had I knocked them out early it would have been a wholy different game.  I did go hard after his zoanathropes on turn 3 (when the rest of my flyers came in) and caused them to pop.  This was the game that even with rerolls on my com relay, I only got a couple of flyers in to start. 

I had a failed charge by a couple of wraiths (had this happen multiple times with a 5 needed or more) meant I couldn't pull a unit off his far corner.  My flyers also pulled the Tervigon in the lower right down to 1 wound but I waited way too long... this meant it was able to capture the bottom right objective.

Damn you resiliant Tervigon!

My mistakes on target priority cost me the game and Peter won 3 objectives to 2.  My flyers ran rampant but I just didn't close it out.  All those extra units generated worked me!

Game 4

I was a little bummed out now going into my 4th game 1-2, but very pleased I had 3 great opponents.  To be honest, I wanted to dish out some hurt.  I drew one of my favorite opponents of the weekend, Casey.  Congrats Casey, by the way for winning your bracket.  He went on to go 4-0 in his 1-3 bracket. 

Casey had a tau list with ork allies.  This is the great thing about 6th edition, you can help the weaknesses of your army (resilient troops for tau) as well as paint a nice distracting force without having to go all in on a new army. 

Having played some of my local players with Tau, I have come to respect the tau rifle.  Strength 5 and 30" can chew through my wraiths.  Additionally when the broadsides get hot on their to hit rolls of 6, they tear through my flyers.

The mission objectives were: Quarters then Objectives then Kill Points

Normally I prefer to go second but I wanted to neutralize the shooting as fast as possible.  I won the roll and went 1st, trying to overload a flank.  Since his defense lines were on the left side, I figured I would charge them with my wraiths and potentially take out his AA quad gun with my annihilation barge.

Casey won a roll to seize initiatve which put me in a panic.  So much for pushing the flank! I decided to refuse the left flank and keep the orks and kroot out of the fight as long as possible while I worked on his shooting.  I pulled the one wraith unit into the ruins (since kroot don't have frag grenades) and pushed the second around and towards the middle to hide behind the middle piece of terrain. 

I got lucky and took out the AA gun with my barge which allowed my flyers to come in unmolested.  They proceeded to pick apart the army, but did get a couple downed by broadsides.  Casey got hot one round and rolled 3 6's in a row.  I luckily got 2 jink saves.  In the end he pulled down 2 flyers; the total number my first 3 opponents did combined. 

In the end I was able to push Casey down to a few units remaining and capture 3 quarters.  He was a great sport and we had a great close to the last round of the qualifying set.  I was then seeded into bracket #5 with a 2-2 record. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NOVA Coverage: Games 1-2

The first 4 games of NOVA determined your bracket seeding.  I knew I didn't have enough practice with my army to truly go undefeated... with that said I wasn't going to let any confidence keep me from trying.  I ended up going 2-2.  It seemed like my wins tended to be big ones (as many armies couldn't handle the flyer / wraith punch), and I had two very close losses.  I made a couple of big mistakes that cost me.  Here's my lightning fast recap of my first 4 games.

Game 1

My first opponent was a great local named James.  He brought a Vulkan list with Ultramarine colors.  The twin-linked melta definitely had me worried (as one big hit will vaporize a flyer) but ultimately I knew if I played it safe I should be fine.

The mission was Kill Points (win by 3), Quarters, then Objectives.

My army can do very well with Kill Points, so I played it safe.  I decided to bait my squads on foot behind the aegis defense lines for his Sternguard drop and then run my wraiths away until the flyers did enough damage for them to play clean-up.

Here's how we deployed.  I retreated with the Wraiths until turn 3 (and the flyers arrived).  I'm drawing a complete blank on whether this was the round where I had horrible re-rollable reserve rolls (and only 1 or 2 flyers came out) or was it my game against the Tyranids... my fault for not writing down!

Both Wraith squads worked their way around the board clockwise.  One squad ending up in the far left back quarter (in case it went to quarters) and the other holding the middle to jump out on the remnants.  My flyers did the damage they needed to do, destroying armor.  It went very fast, I felt sorry for my opponent with the melta shots he did get through he rolled 1's on the damage results table.

We did have one remaining stearnguard model go 7 rounds of combat with a 5 man immortal squad before he finally went down.  

We called the game after turn 5, and wrapped up the game in a little over an hour.  The kill points were in the 12-2 range. 

Game 2

Up to table 4.  I was matched with Alex Fennel, a great player.  We had a very tight game throughout and he was a joy to play against.  Highly competitive games do not need to be a boring grumpy affair.  We took time to point out when each other missed something obvious and kept the game moving.  I'll feel fortunate that one of my two losses were to the overall tournament champion.

This mission was the modified hammer and anvil deployment with Quarters, then Objectives, then Kill Points.  I had a hard time grasping the quarters at this point (eventually got the hang of it).

I deployed in the back portion of my board expecting my flyers to do the dirty work.  I went too cautiously and should have overloaded a side to allow my flyers to thin the herd on the other.  Alex had a great balanced necron force with a grey knight allied contingent of a strike squad, inquisitor and dreadknight (damn you dreadknight!)

Alex's MVP's by far were his scarabs, mind shackle scarabs (on his lord) and his Dreadknight. I had a unit of wraiths and destroyer lord tied up by a dreadknight that just wouldn't go down.  He smartly kept challenging my unit and since my lord cannot take an invuln save, I had to continue to refuse.  Ultimately with 1 wound left he escaped and put a hurt on me!

The last turn, the dreadknight shunt moved to my back quarter, killed all 5 warriors in the corner with a sucesfull flame template (could have failed one to-wound), and presented a target that tipped the corner to his favor.

The scarabs were able to make it to my back line and tie up my troops, keeping my units on the wrong quarter.  The mindshackles on Alex's lords caused my lord to self-destruct!  I just couldn't line up charges the right way in this game.  

There was a congo line of immortals to my objective that I made a huge mistake on how I targeted them, my flyer came in the wrong direction and with the new "pick closest to-wound" meant I left a troop on an objective.  In the end, there wasn't too much on the board left (except my flyers) from either side.

We had to quickly get our 5th turn in which meant I couldn't push to a 6th and put more shots in by my flyers.  It was a well played game by Alex and he won 3 quarters to my 1.

It was his "mastery" of his army (he has been playing it for awhile) that has inspired me to work on my necrons more to get practice on honing my experience with an army.  I think I'll see some more of my flyer / wraith force.

Next up games 3 and 4!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Crusader "Titan" Kickstarter - Check it out from Dreamforge

If you haven't gotten the chance to check out this kickstarter, please do.  These "titans" and infantry are seriously awesome looking and most importantly plastic.  I'm chipping in to get two of the crusader versions and one of the mortis along with some weapon variations.

Dreamforge Crusader & Infantry Kickstarter

The infantry are top notch.  If we allowed more alternative miniatures I would be all over them, but I play in a lot of games workshop sanctioned events and at this point I don't need a ton of miniatures I can't use in games.
They have 4 days left to go!  Pledge if you can.  I'm excited about a potential stretch goal of  an awesome looking APC.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Necron Flyers at NOVA - Caught on Film!!!

After my first game at NOVA I started paying attention to all of the flyers.  I had some time between the rounds since I finished early so I figured what better way to count them down then go on a photo scavenger hunt. I tried to capture all of the Necron flyer armies that had at least 3 flyers.  I threw mine into the mix.  I counted at least 14.  One wasn't painted and I didn't grab that one.  Here are the pics!

Yep they were all over the place.  Many people just haven't had the experience to go against them or brought the right tools to deal (or ignore them).  It was a bit of an unfair advantage to me.  Honestly it makes me feel guilty playing the list, but we've seen others that have had their day...

- Rhino Rush
- Lash Princes
- Godzilla
- Guard Leafblower
- Nob Bikers

When any of these hit the scene everyone freaked... later they were countered.  Balance will be restored!
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