Friday, August 20, 2010

NOVA Open Round Three

The third round saw me facing Joseph Trueblood, a gamer I had not met before. He plays mostly in the VA area, and, like me, was undefeated coming into the round. Scenario 3 saw us setting up as a pitched battle, with table quarters as the primary, with objectives as secondary, and VP's as the tertiary. As you can see from the very brief video above, I completely slacked on the recording of my games as the day wore on. This was the last video that I took for the day.

Joe was playing a highly mobile BA force.
3 5 man assault squads with various special weapons in Razorbacks
3 Furioso dreads
3 Vindicators
3 Baal Preds, 1 flame storm, 2 Twinlinked Assault Cannons

I won the first turn, and set up in the far corner, castling and waiting for the pain to come my way. He toed the deployment line, getting as close to me as he could. He attempted to sieze initiative, but failed.

He scouted forward, and my valk scouted to the flank to get side shots on his preds and vindicators. The valk also served as a distraction to draw away fire power, as did my ratlings, which were also deployed to get side shots. I had Marbo and a guard squad in reserve. The guard squad was to enter on another table quarter and hide to add 75 points to my total there.

With the set-up we had, I was able to whittle him down over time. Anything that threatened my area of the board got unloaded on until it was stunned, immobilized, or destroyed. He clumped his vehicles together, which allowed my manticore, devil dogs, and medusas extra leeway in targeting, and indeed, got me extra hits. That being said, it was still a hard row to hoe. I had to maneuver to get shots in his vulnerable side armor for his baal predators and his vindicators. He made excellent use of cover as well. My guard squad that was meant to hide was actually forced to do something, and plasma-gunned on of his vindicator's guns off.

It was another desperate, hard fought battle, but in the end, it was tied for quarters, tied for objectives, and I won in VP's. Set-up was very favorable to me, and it accounted for my victory.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

NOVA Open Round 2

Round two was possibly the hardest fought game that I had. The impossible happened, and we ended up going through tieing all three victory conditions until a winner emerged.

Out of eighty-eight possible opponents, my foe was no less than Leigh Brady, a fellow I knew I was in for a hard fight, but little did I know how hard. I don't have his list, but you can see it on the video: Razorspam with Gating Terminator bully boys and Dakkadreds. It was hard as hell, and twice as ugly to have to face. The mission was objective capture, and the deployment was pitched battle. Secondary tiebreaker was VP by a 250 point margin, and tertiary was table quarters.

As with the last post, my camera work was hit and miss, but I hope that it lends you all the impression that after turn two, I thought I was done. My losses at that point: My Devil Dog, two Manticores, a Chimera, a Platoon Command Squad, and I was sitting looking at Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators squarely in my deployment zone.

Then it all took a turn for the better. I torrented the Libarian away from the Terminators, and they took a ton of wounds. I passed my Weaken Resolve roll, and they fled for the rest of the game. My hydras, Chimeras and autocannon squads pummelled his vehicles senseless, and my melta vets captured a key objective in the center. Each of us were tearing each other to pieces, but the game ended all too soon. At the end, we tied on objectives with two each, we failed to clear a 250 threshold for a VP victory, and both of us had two table quarters. It came down to raw victory points.

I won the game by 5 points. Let me repeat that: 5 points. Less than 1/3 of a Marine. But a "W" is a "W", so... Leigh sucks. Forever.

Seriously, though. This was a hard fought game, and it couldn't have been closer had I tried. It also goes to prove that whole addage of "never giving up". Had I conceeded after turn two, I never would have had that great game. Neither of us can beleive that the game turned out that way. It just goes to show you what massed firepower can do.

NOVA Open Recap, Round 1

After watching these videos from the weekend, I realize that I am unqualified to do these things in a tournament environment. I'm far too into the games to actually remember to take the videos in the first place. But the videos are all I have, as my still camera crapped out on me. So, they're what you get. My apologies.

That being said, the NOVA Open was a great time. 4 rounds of some of the best (and closest) 40k games I've ever had. I can't say enough about the level of competition and sportsmanship on display this weekend, and the dedication of the staff on hand to resolve issues that arose during the game. The format can be found on the Whiskey and 40k blog.

So, let's get onto the games, shall we?

Game 1 had me facing Casey Campbell, from the Iron Fist League, a group of veteran gamers based in Northern Virginia/DC.

His list:
2 Tyrant Guard
Warrior Prime with Lashwhip/Bonesword, Deathspitter
8 Warriors with Rending Claws, Deathspitters, 1 Barbed Strangler
9 Stealers+Broodlord with scything talons
9 Stealers+Broodlord with scything talons

10 Termagants with spine fists - 60
Tervigon with catalyst, scything talons, cluster spines, adrenal glands, toxin sacs - 200
3 Hive Guard
3 Hive Guard
Doom with Pod
3 Ravenors with rending claws

What did I bring? The glorious Valhallan 42nd Mountaineers, pride of the Motherworld!

Lt. Sorin Company command with lascannon, plasma x 2 Chimera with HHB and TML
Chef Gordo Ramsey and Kitchen Crew (3 Ratlings)
Psyker Battle Squad 7+1 Overseer, Chimera with HHF, TML
Guardsman Marbo
Revnik's Ragers, 1st Platoon, Faith Company
-Platoon Command, flamer x 4, Platoon Commander, Chimera with HHB, THF
-3 Autocannon/plasma squads
-Commissar Price, power weapon
Veteran Squad with 3x Melta, Chimera with HHF, TML
Al-Marakesh's Irregulars (Veteran Squad) Plasma riflex3*
Devil Dog, HHF
Devil Dog, HHF
Vendetta Gunship *(The plasma rifler's ride)
Medusa squadron of two
Hydra squadron of two

Mission: Dawn of War set up, VP primary objective/Table Quarters tie-breaker/Objective secondary tiebreaker

How do I sum this game up? It was a dawn of war mission with a shooting army opposing a close combat army with no real form of transport. Casey's only chance was getting his infiltrating stealers into CC early, and getting Doom quickly to distract me. Due to his terrain rolls and reserve rolls, it just wasn't happening. He made some interesting choices for his list that-- which as someone who doesn't play tyranids-- I just didn't understand. Not spawning, including warriors, not including another tervigon, allowing termigants to slow the Swarmlord down... I think the cards were stacked against him, but I think at that point, you have to play more aggressively than he did. He attempted to keep the termigants in cover, and the tyrant guard/Swarmlord squad behind them to give them cover. All that ended up doing was hold the Swarmlord back, and I never had to worry about him. I know what he was attempting to do, protect all at all cost, but that was the wrong strategy to employ with a Tyranid list. He was so afraid of failing that he ended up failing. All my list had to worry about was: the Hiveguard, stealers, and the Doom and pod. 2000 points versus 806 points tells you how that scenario will end, no doubt.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fantasy Flight Games: Out for my Soul?

Or at least for my wallet?

I've often joked that GW will own my soul upon the shuffling off of this mortal coil, but lately, a new contender has arrived, demanding my nonexistant hobby dollars. Between Dom and myself, the list is long:

Horus Heresy
Chaos in the Old World
BattleStar Galatica
Pegasus Expansion
Twilight Imperium
Warhammer Invasion
Arkham Horror

If we expand that even further, I know that Tony owns Runescape, and I'm fairly certain he owns the WoW board game and Age of Conan as well.

I think we need an intervention.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oh, Blog, you're right, I have been ignoring you!


I had been preparing for two tournaments, one of which has passed (the Inner Circle GT qualifier), and one which is still coming up, the NOVA Open in Dulles, VA. And my brother was in town this week, so we got a few board games in this week. See also the Chaos in the Old World pic above. We played that about 5-6 times over the week, falling more and more in love with it as we did. I can't recommend it more highly. Buy it, buy it now.

How did the ICGT go? Four games in one day is exhausting mentally, and I didn't get enough sleep. See how I'm building excuses right there? I took my IG instead of my Flesh Tearers as I couldn't come up with a list that seemed to work on paper. Game one had me facing off against PJ Brady of F.R.A.G. who had a wonky Shrike/Khan/TH/SS/Melta Drop pod list. It was victory points/dawn of war. I ended up killing all his troops, and he returned the favor. Khan and my Marbo counts as had an epic duel, and, sadly, it did not end well for Sly. It was a 400 point difference in the end, and sadly it was not in my favor.

Game two was another marine list, a great looking Aurora Chapter list that was a tad bit underperforming. The Mission was objectives/Pitched battle. I would have had a clear victory with it, but I made a silly mistake in not chasing after a broken Sternguard squad with Vulkan attached, so we had to go to the tiebreaker of VP's, where I was the clear winner. That led me to game against another, Pete, who's Eldar raked me over the coals. It started with the turn two loss of my Manticore, which hadn't fired a shot. The worst part? The scatter die that wrecked my tanks was mine own! Part of it was dice, but over all, my target priority was off the entire game. I hate grav tanks, with a passion, and I chose to shoot them over the Dire Avengers that wrecked my infantry.

So, I'm 1-2, and that means at best I'm mid-tier. So the last game is a fun one. I ended up playing Dave Johnson's exquisitely painted Nid Army. All the target priority problems I had in game three were gone, and I got hits all over the place. I also ended seizing initiative .His Hive Guard were halved the first turn, and gone by turn three. A Tyranofex had 5 wounds by turn one's end. It was a pitched battle old school recon mission, with whoever had more scoring troops in the enemy deployment being the winner. It came down to two squads of termigants, one with two, and one with one. He hid them so well, I had to maneuver my entire army to get them. One survived, getting him the tie, but I won the tie breaker (VP's). So, 2-2 isn't all that bad, and I was only 4 points behind the Paint Score winner.