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Monday, September 19, 2011

NoVA Battle Reports: Game 5

So, I wisely decide to go to bed Saturday night rather than trying to stay up to late. I still didn't get enough sleep, but I was way better off rolling in on Sunday than I was on Saturday morning.

I was thinking coming into Day 2 that I would be in one of the upper 3/1 brackets. I figured I would have a hard day but a good chance at winning my bracket. However, that wasn't what the cards had in store for me. Rather than being in a 3/1 bracket, they had me bumped up into the 4/0 "Tournament Ace" bracket. Doh! This would mean that rather than, in my opinion, playing against my peers I would be playing against a whole group of guys who are better than me. Oh well! At least when your expectations are low, there isn't a whole lot of pressure. This helped me out a good bit in Game #1. Whereas my opponent had full expectations of being able to take home the 8-0 prize and win it all, my expectations were to lose all 4 of my Day 2 games. So, I wasn't really sweating (for the game that is... more on this later) at all.

Good thing too because they have placed me as the last seed in the 4/0 bracket. This meant that I was paired up against the #1 seed coming into Day #2, Nick (yermom) ( Nick is the guy who had just won the NoVA Invitational on Friday, and he is a known killer on the GT circuit.

Let's up the ante for me and put us on Table #1. Cool! So, now I get to have my ass handed to me LIVE using my OWN recording equipment.

So, on to the game.

I didn't have to look at Nick's list because I already knew what it was from following his BLOG. It was kind of humorous to me that I had had a lot of considerations about running a list similar to his. I knew that my list could stand up to his in terms of fire power, but it was a big ??? for me as to if I could he would simply outlast me given all the Marine bodies. This was going to come down to me outnumbering him with Dreads and more useful Dreads, Venerables, at that. I also knew right away that this was going to be a slug fest ala Rocky IV where we just beat the crap out of each other and see who is left standing.

Nick's list is this:


Inquisitor ????

5 x Purifiers + Hammer + 2 x Psycannons

5 x Purifiers + Hammer + 2 x Psycannons

5 x Purifiers + Hammer + 2 x Psycannons

5 x Strike Squad + Hammer + Psycannon

5 x Strike Squad + Hammer + Psycannon

5 x Strike Squad + Hammer + Psycannon

5 x Strike Squad + Hammer + Psycannon

5 x Strike Squad + Hammer + Psycannon

5 x Strike Squad + Hammer + Psycannon

3 x Psybolt Dreads

So, basically, if you want to see what was going on, you can go to our UStream channel and watch the game. This will breakdown how I felt about the game.

First things first, I rolled and got first turn. I was pretty pleased by that and set up. My army has a good bit more alpha strike potential than his thanks to extra Dreads and monkies, but not really to much more. I did recognize right away though that aside from his Dreads, his major threat to my army would be his Psycannons. The idea I would go for then would be to keep most of my stuff out of range of his on Turn 1. I would keep some there to give him something to shoot at rather than blitzing forward into mid. This would cause him to take another turn of movement for the "blitz", or even better, if I could somehow hold him near his quarter and turn his vehicles into parking lot hell hole or wreckage which might slow him down for advancing into quarters.

The missions objective was quarters.

Nick uses the terrain to his advantage and deployed mostly out of LoS or in cover to mitigate my alpha strike. Then, he stole the Initiative from me.

Two things to say about that. First, Nick was way more happy about it than I was sad about it. I had already resigned myself to doing poorly in this game. So, losing first turn didn't phase me to much mentally. Second, I had also deployed myself in such a fashion by being back from him and mostly in cover in case he did seize. So, it wasn't that big of a deal. This would also give me last turn, and in a quarters game, that's not a terrible thing.

I promptly lost a couple Razorbacks, and he moved up. I returned fire, and he lost a couple Rhinos. He did end up shooting at my right elements as I had deployed semi-center. This kept him back for an additional turn. This would prove useful to me later. The next thing he did was bring out his Dreads to shoot me.

I have already learned by this point in the tournament that Ven Dreads >>>>>>>> Regular Dreads. The reason is that my Ven Dreads will gladly trade fusillades with "normie" Dreads. Mine will outlast them more often than not. So, right away, I decided I would step into the line of fire and chance getting hit by his Dreads and Psycannons with my Vens to take his Dreads down. It paid off and I got 2/3 of his Dreads.

So, what I thought was very unfortunate, Coteaz and my DCA were sort of pinned in behind my own lines for fear of getting killed. I thought I wouldn't get to use them that game because they were in front of his whole army. However, I needed to make the prospect of him driving up and using that center large hill as a fire base as "risky" as possible to keep him from controlling all the quarters. I therefore brought up my Purgation and Smiley's girls. This would take a couple of turns.

The next thing that happened is we traded a few more shots. However, you will see in the video that I was slowly getting the better of the vehicle destruction rampage because of my Ven Dreads. Thank you Ven Dreads! Eventually, by the end of the game, all his vehicles had turned into the bone yard I was hoping for. However, so did mine!

The game takes a turn in my favor when he finally mounts the hill in the middle to open up on my Librarian's chimera to kill the Assassins in it. He also assaults with his no disembarked squads into my Ven Dread on the right.

The game turns because he rolls very poorly against the Chimera. The Libby and DCA live to fight on. I can then assault into chunks of his GKs to kill them. Even though my DCA will go at I1, so will he thanks to Smiley's Psykouts. And, honestly, I don't care if a lose a DCA or 2 to wipe out GK squads. Meanwhile, his boys get tied up with my Ven Dread. This opens up a window of opportunity for Coteaz and his girls to rush in and fight now that they don't need grenades. He wiffs pretty badly on some critical cleansing flame rolls, and then, the DCA eat his remaining purgation.

The Coteaz and his girls will claim another strike squad before it's over. Past this point though, I still got fire power to lob into his strike squads to make them fail saves. Eventually they go down.

The nail biter though was he did manage to charge one of my Ven Dreads and kill it with a hammer justicar and his Coteaz. This then allowed him to break out of a combat I was certain I could hold him in and charge 2 more dreads and kill them too! I thought for sure he had just tied quarters there, but i still held my quarter by just a handful of points and by moving another Ven into the quarter.

What a blood bath this game was!

In the end, I won on Quarters.

In retrospect, I think that this game was a 50/50 match-up for either of us. It did answer my curiosity about if a cheaper henchmen list with a little more fire power could outlast a GK heavy list. That's the main reason I settled on not taking GKs. At the end of the day, I feel like they are generally over-costed. If you stay in vehicles and out of LoS, their Storm Bolters provide them no advantages. Thus, you can mitigate a lot of what makes them 20 point models. If all they have then are Psycannons to threaten you, that's not much of a threat to a Dread, or anything for that matter. Unless they rend, it's just an Autocannon!

However, I think we could play that game again and again, and a different winner would come out each time. Different damage results, a few armor saves one way or another, different decisions on charges, etc. could have swung that game in many different directions.

Either way, I was definitely pleased and ready to retire from 40k.

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