Saturday, February 16, 2013

Huzzah Hobbies RTT 1850 Batrep#1, Nids vs Tau/IG & NOVA Open Missions

A couple members of the NOVA staff ran an RTT on Feb 2nd at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, VA - basically a live-fire test of the new NOVA Open missions.  Huzzah is definitely a tabletop-focused store with a great selection, and did a wonderful job supporting the RTT - with plans to expand its playing space substantially in the coming months.  Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area.

This year's NOVA Open missions are very different from last year's - you will definitely want to playtest these to tune your lists.  The biggest change is the scoring approach, while the additions of the relic mission, mysterious objectives, and player-placed objectives definitely up the challenge level, and require an additional skill area to consider for player growth.  The only real negative I thought was Hammer and Anvil deployment in a big tournament environment: with tables end-to-end it is a massive pain in the ass and big game delay to run around to the opponent's side of the table to manage complex movement or assault - especially with the large units common to 6th.  I'd originally planned to put all 3 batreps here, but that took too long so here's the first one:

My list:  I had a couple things I wanted to test out, with some good results, and some not so good.  I really wanted to put a Harpy on the table, give the post-FAQ 6" Doom deployment a test drive, and test my theory that three Tervigons are an absolute requirement for NOVA missions, and hopefully get a chance to flex some tervigon crushing claws.  Here's the list:

Flyrant - 2x devourers, Old Adversary, tox
Parasite of Mortrex (warlord)
Doom of Malantai, Mycetic Spore
Tervigon - 3 powers, tox, adrenal, crushing claws
Tervigon - 3 powers, tox, adrenal, crushing claws
10x Termagant
10x Termagant
Harpy - TL heavy venom cannon
25x Gargoyles
3x Biovores
Trygon Prime

This list was designed to have flexible reserve options for deployment, be able to handle large model count infantry, and have at least a couple ways to deal with AV14 and flyers, while not being overly vulnerable to template-heavy lists.  While I was pretty happy overall, it simply didn't have enough troops for NOVA missions, and validated my three-Tervigon theory.  Doubling out on first spawn in 2 of 3 games sucked - you've got to have three or the opponent just has to focus down your tervs and the few gants left after they die.  The 6" deployment range for Doom is a very big deal - in all three battles I was able to put the spod down in a place where it either blocked LOS or was a threat in its own right, and still allowed Doom to be optimally placed to hit multiple squads.  The flexibility of the TL hvc Harpy was definitely welcome and I felt outweighed the fragility - essentially a cheap flyrant.

Round 1 - vs. Phoenix's Tau/IG: The Relic, Vanguard deployment

Shas'el (plasma rifle, fusion blaster, multitracker, HW target lock)
3x Crisis Suit Team - team leader (TL missile pods, flamer, blacksun, drone controller), 2 shas'ui (TL missile pods, flamer), 2 gun drones 
12x Fire Warriors
6x Fire Warriors, Devilfish (disruption pods, drones)
6x Fire Warriors, Devilfish (disruption pods, drones)
10x Kroot, 1 hound
2x Broadside Team - team leader (targeting array, drone controller) shield drone, shas'ui (targeting array)
Commissar Lord (power sword)
Platoon command squad
3x Infantry squad (plasma gun), sergeant (power axe, melta bomb)
Marbo (modeled as a Kroot... aka 'Krootbo')

Warlord powers were pointless; Flyrant had Iron Arm, Endurance; Terv1 had Iron Arm, Warp Speed, Haemorrhage; Terv2 had Enfeeble, Life Leech, and Haemo.  Captain Obvious hint:  power choices should dictate which Terv goes where..., not sure I had really given the power combos much thought in terms of deployments - something to consider doing test rollup/deployments for.

I went first, and deployed Terv2 on the left with a gant brood, the Trygon Prime and Biovores in the back of the ruins, Terv1 and gant brood on the right, and gargoyles/PoM in a wide screen along the center headed for the relic.  Biovores killed a couple fire warriors and put a wound on his warlord.  Both tervs doubled out after spawning only 8 gants each on turn 1.  Bleh.  Sent gants towards the left rear objective, waddled the trygon forward, moved the garg brood forward, with only about 2/3 in cover, but on the relic.  Right gant squad hunkered down on the right rear objective, while the terv1 and new gants started heading for the far right objective.  His fire took down one of my biovores, but that was about it.

Turn 2 saw Doom and the Harpy arrive.  I brought in the Harpy in the center to cover for the relic group, while Doom didn't scatter, landing right in the middle of 2 units and easily placed in range of 3.  Left models went left, right models continued across the table, center gargs mostly stayed in place, picking up the relic, and the Trygon moved up to support the center/left.  Doom was able to take down a mix of about ~10 kroot, IG, and fire warriors with steal life, then put a wound on his warlord and killed another fire warrior with Cataclysm.  Surprisingly, the spore pod managed to kill 2 more fire warriors,and the Harpy's HVC killed his warlord and a fire warrior, while the biovores killed a couple more fire warriors.

During his movement phase, he shuffled a bit and brought on one of his devilfish.  Shooting was painful as expected - first killing a second biovore, then grounding the harpy with a single fire warrior hit, which he promptly instakilled with a broadside.  So much for "he's swooping - he'll be fine!"  He also managed to vaporize most of the gargoyles out of cover and a few in cover, but wasn't able to hurt Doom.

Turn 3 - I continued to push for the left rear and right far objectives, while the gargoyles brought the relic to the waiting center Tervigon (terv1).  The right tervigon was T9 this round as he crossed the open, while the gants made it into the building and almost in range of the objective.

The Flyrant (I re-used the Harpy model as it had wings rather than the Swarmlord model I had brought to use as a proxy for the flyrant) came in on the left and went straight after his devilfish to try and prevent a troop dropoff on the left objective or the relic.  Unable to charge this round, or do enough damage to wipe out the IG or crisis suits, I judged he at least had a chance at the devilfish - but he whiffed completely, even with rerolls.  Doom killed a couple more models, the lone biovore might've killed another, and the Trygon Prime's containment spines zapped a couple IG.

On his turn, he disembarked the fire warriors in the devilfish, moved his IG forward towards the left objective, gave Doom a very wide berth, and hopped two suit units and brought on his other devilfish toward the far right objective.  During his fire phase, a fire warrior again managed to hit and my swooping flyrant crashed to the ground where the Tau mercilessly poured fire into it - and once the smoke cleared, only the mangled wreckage of my Flyrant remained.  The center suits managed to get a plasma shot past Doom's shield, instakilling him.  The IG FRFSRF'd the forward termagant squad, killing 8, and over on the right side, the devilfish and suits whittled down the termagant squad to two, but then he jumped the crisis suits closest to the objective to the other side of the devilfish...

Turn 4: this would be the last turn with time running out.  I raced my second squad of termagants to the left objective, moving the Trygon Prime over to provide synapse and threaten assault into the IG.  I backed my center Tervigon back toward my board edge to try and prevent being swarmed by devilfish and at least have cover from some of the crisis suits/broadsides.  I leapfrogged my gargoyles and Parasite forward into assault range of the crisis suits he'd just moved next to his devilfish, and promptly assaulted in, killing most of the unit, and spawning 6 ripper stands - also netting Linebreaker.  On the left, the Trygon, gants, and biovore poured fire into the IG, killing several.

On his turn - and this is where we made an error regarding the Relic mission:  we played it as if it were an objective that he only needed to be within 3" of to contest possession.  He brought in 'Krootbo within 3" of the Tervigon with the Relic, and victory conditions went to the secondary: objectives.

On the right, he tankshocked the rippers away from the front right objective and and managed to get fire warriors within 3" to contest it.  Although the two termagants weathered the storm from the fire warriors, his crisis suits flamed them down easily, giving him that objective.  He also deployed his drones as far forward as possible to try and shoot my gants off the back right objective - which failed.

To the left, he managed to get a crisis suit within 3" of the objective to contest it, leaving the score 3-2:  I had Warlord and Linebreaker for 2, but I only held one objective to his two, giving him 2 points for majority objectives and Linebreaker (Krootbo) for a total of 3.  It wasn't until after we'd reported in the win/loss and one of the other players asked how the game went did we figure out we'd played the Relic wrong.  He would have had to kill the center Tervigon - which was definitely possible, but unlikely - rather than going for the objectives.  That would have given me the win with 4 to his 3, but since we'd already reported it I didn't push the issue and we let the win/loss status stand.

Overall - this game was a blast.  I got to experiment with Doom, whom I absolutely loved with the new 6" deployment rule, test out the Harpy a little bit - which turned out to be as durable as I'd feared - but still offered a lot more flexibility than I'd expected.  I also re-proved to myself that I just can't depend on two tervigons to provide enough spawn power for NOVA missions.  Besides the ridiculous error with the Relic, my biggest error was forgetting to run *anything* in turns 1 and 2.  Ugh.  Talk about rusty.  Despite our Relic mishap, we both had a good time, and like most good games, this one came down to the last turn, and I think we both went to the next round with that sense of satisfaction you only get when you've played a good game.


  1. good recap, you should post the others if you have time! Glad you had fun!

  2. Slowly drafting them out.. I'll get there. =)