Friday, September 2, 2011

NOVA: SandWyrm's Games - Part III

by SandWyrm

...Continued from Part II.

So at the end of Day 1, there I was with 1 Win and 3 Losses. To salve my wounded pride (and terrain frustrations) a bit, I went out drinking with Farmpunk and Spag. Three 7 & 7's later (it doesn't take much), I was feeling beeeeeeeeetter (hic). Of course we ended up eating/drinking with a bunch of other NOVA guys and got into arcane half-drunken arguments over such subjects as whether Walkers can pivot to shoot at something if they're immobilized.

It's right there in the rules guys! Of course they can! :P

When all was said and done, we got back to the room at about 12:30. A flier from the hotel shoved under our door warned us to fill our bathtub with clean water before going to bed as a hurricane precaution, so we made sure to shower before bed. When my head hit the pillow, it was about 1:00.

I don't know what it was that startled me, but I sat up in bed suddenly and looked at the clock. It read 3:15. I looked out our top-floor window and everything outside was perfectly calm. The power went out for a couple of minutes soon after, but then came back on.

And... I was awake. My brain kicked into high gear, going over all the events of the previous 2 days and after about an hour I gave up on sleeping and went downstairs. I was surprised to find quite a few staff milling about. Evidently whoever was watching the hall thought that he smelled smoke after the power cycled and started calling people down.

So I had a nice long talk with John the head judge about the terrain at 4:30 am. He looked at the table I'd played the Tau on, decided that it wasn't right, fixed it, and promised to talk to the judges about terrain spacing later that day. He was true to his word, as Kevin can attest.

Eventually other people started to filter down and the tourney got underway again at 8:00.

NOVA Game 5: Bill Grim's Rat-Guard

As huge conversion projects go, Bill's Rat-Guard takes the cake.

It's basically a StRATkin build with Al RAThem in support. Lots of autocannons...

...and a Psychic Ratter Squad. I liked this army a lot!

The mission was Table Quarters/Kill Points/Objectives with a Pitched Battle deployment. I think I went first. It's all kind of fuzzy considering my sleep situation. I hid everything on my side of the table and tried to play Kill Point denial with a last turn rush for his weakest quarter. That didn't work so well though, as I eventually had to peek out from behind the hills to try to and kill things.

Strakken's squad took quite a few hits but kept on coming. Though I did manage to at least hold him on his half of the table and keep the objective contested. What I should have done is sent my carapace vets into *his* flank (like Al Rathem was doing to mine) using the Vendettas and done some real damage to the horde. Which would have worked even better if I'd had 2 squads of flamers instead of one. Oh well.

In the end we tied on quarters and Bill won it 11 KP to 1. My one point was for killing Al Rathem. I chewed up several Heavy Weapons Squads, but none ran away. Kudos to Bill for not letting me make a really stupid mistake in the course of the battle. :)

NOVA Game 6: Owen Beste's Ultramarines

It was Kill Points/Objectives/Table Quarters, with a Dawn of War deployment. We were both proud of the fact that we actually did roll to see each other on the first turn instead of forgetting. :)

His army was very similar to CaulynDarr's Codex Marines:
2 x Rifleman Dred
Sternguard w/Heavy Flamer, 2 x Melta, and Melta Bombs in a Rhino
5 x 5-Man Tactical Squad w/Melta Bombs in a Las/Plas Razorback.
2 Squadroned Land Speeders w/Multi-Meltas, Typhoon Missile Launchers
2 Single MM/HF Speeders

I won this one, despite what must be the worst, most boneheaded deployment I've ever made in my life. Fortunately for me, my Demolisher and Demo Vets scared Owen so much that he moved on the center too late. While good target priority on my part dropped everything that he could use to easily contest objectives. In a fit of insane final-turn luck, it took every bit of firepower in Owen's army to down my Vendetta on the last turn. Which kept Owen from being able to kill anything else and score the winning Kill Point he needed.

We tied on the primary, secondary, and the tertiary objective. It went to pure Victory Points, where I won by a mere 20 points. We decided that it was as close a game as was possible with our lists. Since neither of us had anything of just 20 points or less to lose.

NOVA Game 7: Jason Driver's Flying Death Company

It was Objectives/Kill Points/Table Quarters for this one.

Jason't list was pretty simple:
2 Chaplains
2 x 10 Death Company w/Power Weapon and Thunder Hammer in a Raven
1 x 8 Death Company w/2 x Power Weapon in a Raven
While I was setting up, Mike comes by and tells us that we're both on the wrong table, but that our actual opponents left early. So we each got a by with full points. Jason and I decided to play a relaxed game anyhow.

On to the game...

Jason kept his birds off the table (a mistake I think). He came on one at a time and I dropped the first one that had Astorath inside. Killed him and his squad in 2 rounds of shooting. Jason decided to play keep away after that. Tied on Objectives and Kill Points. It went to table quarters, where I out-pointed him in one quarter thanks to my moving up a 75-point heavy weapons squad. Good game!

We were done in under an hour and got to talk for a bit about the NOVA vs. other tourneys. Jason put it in perspective for me by describing what Adepticon used to be like before NOVA, and how even with all the scheduling problems Mike ran a better tourney than any he witnessed when working for Games Workshop. Right on!

NOVA Game 8: Some Guy Lemenhead's Chaos Space Marines

When the next round's pairings were announced, Jason and I were set to play each other again for real. At which point he decided to leave. Somewhere he found me an opponent though, who's name I honestly don't remember. Everything is a zombie-like blur at this point. I know that he was a big fan of the blog and was really excited to get to play me. Maybe he'll comment and let us know who he is. :)

Anyway, Mr. NiceGuy Lemenhead was running a clearly uncompetitive Chaos Space Marine list with 2 units of 6 bikes, 2 Land Raiders full of assault troops, and 2 Rhinos full of Plague Marines. Backed up by one squad of 3 Oblits.

We decided to play it extra-casual, and I gave him every break I could. Letting him take back some moves that were bad and de-immobilizing a Rhino when I realized I'd fired with one more Lascannon from a Vendetta than I actually had left. Even so, the game was over in about an hour. It was Table Quarters/Objectives/Kill Points and I won it on the secondary. Lemenhead was a very good sport!

During the game I was so exhausted that I entered a weird mental state that can only be described as autopilot-40K.
LandRaider ---> Block w/Chimera
Guys On Hill ---> Torrent w/Autocannons
Stimulus ---> Response
The Drive home was um... pretty interesting. Half of my brain was wide awake and working, while the other wasn't. :)


I wasn't sure how the final scoring would be done, but it looks like the wins were added up indeterminately. Meaning that each win had the same overall value. So even though I was in the third bracket from the bottom, I scored just below the 50% mark.

My final scores were:
Best General Track: .4763 (114th place)
Best Overall Track (my Goal): .712390625 (5th Place)
Best Appearance Track: .9484375 (3rd Place)
Not as awful as I'd feared, but kind of disappointing all the same. Particularly as I felt screwed by the terrain in 2 games. One of which was due to a judging error.

At least it's an improvement on my Best Overall performance at Adepticon, where I came in 24th. :)


  1. Game 8 was me. Thanks again for the game. Now you can legitimately say "I could beat that list in my sleep" because you basically did

  2. Please don't be too down about the game. You were a great sport! A lesser man would have packed up and run away after my Vendetta killed all 3 Oblits (in cover) on the first turn.

  3. 5th Overall and 3rd for appearance is an awesome result and goes perfectly with the ethos of this site!

  4. Yeah but... Well you know how it goes. I can look at my final placings and not feel too bad. But I also know that 5th place is not what I was aiming for. I also know in my heart that I'm a better player than my flawed showing at the NOVA suggests. But I let my own insecurities get the best of me.

    NEXT TIME!!!


  5. Like you've said, there were variables that you were just not expecting this year. Next year I'm sure you'll make a much stronger showing in the 'generalship' side of things and then compete for Renaissance and the upper brackets.

    Hopefully see you there.

  6. It depends (among other things) on the date for next year's NOVA. This year it fell on my anniversary (the 27th), so there were a LOT of negotiations that went on with Mrs. SandWyrm for me to be able to go. Fortunately, her best friend's daughter was getting baptized that day. So I got off the hook.

    Next year is our 7th though, and "Thou shalt not be gone on our 7th!". :)


Recent Favorites

All-Time Favorites