Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tyranids at NOVA 2012

I had some pretty high hopes for Tyranids at NOVA this year, but it just wasn't to be - there were only three Tyranid players in the GT this year, and none in the Invitational.  Despite an overall lack of experience (one had never been to a tournament, one had never even rolled to see if the game would continue on turn 5 before, etc...) in my opinion, their scores and placing in the end is pretty amazing. I think all three ended the day pleased with how well they did, and one was quite distressed at winning his last game Saturday night as he wasn't able to come back on Sunday.  He actually tried to lose by racing across the table with everything, thinking his opponent would just shoot him down: instead he practically tabled his poor opponent.

So let's talk about the lists themselves for a moment. None approached  'psychic choir' level (22+ powers), with a max of 14 powers in any of the three, so that's one build that didn't even show up.  If possible to do so without being condescending, I would characterize the lists as having indicators of a lack of tuning/playtesting, especially when seen through the lens of needs for 6th: small units of Hormagaunts, Raveners, and Ymgarl, trygons with adrenal (not tox); Doom is risky, and not an indicator of a lack of playtesting etc.., but I don't see the point of having him without a spore pod.  In an overall sense not related to any of these lists, significant for their lack of presence were multiple squads of zoans, gargoyles, devilgants, devilfexes, Primes, or even Harpies (which are surprisingly durable under NOVA FAQ rules of flying MCs can only be hit on a 6, even when Grounded).

Here's the lists and their standings, and a couple (mostly horrible) photos:

List #1 - Peter Thomas:
Ranking      |Name                   |Bracket|Generalship|Appearance|Overall
48              |  Peter Thomas     |     2     |    50.417   |   0.559       |  1.059
Tyrant, armored shell, regen, OA, LW/BS, HVC, Leech, Parox
Tyrant Guard, lash whip, x1
Zoanthrope x3
HGx3 x2
Tervigon, tox, adrenal, dom, cat x2
Warrior, scytal, deathspitter x3; Warrior, scytal venom cannon (4 total)
Termagant x12
Termagant x12
Hormagaunt, ag x14
Trygon x2
The pic up top is from this army

List # 2: Jonathan Tomczak:
Ranking      |Name                   |Bracket|Generalship|Appearance|Overall
117            |Jonathan Tomczak|      7    |   50.487    |   0.000       |  0.500
Tervigon, tox, adrenal, dom, catalyst x3
Termagant x13
Termagant x10 x2
Trygon, adrenal x3

List #3: Nate Berman:

Ranking      |Name                   |Bracket|Generalship|Appearance|Overall
137            |Nathan Berman     |     8     |   33.739   |   0.000       |   0.334
List #2: Nate Berman
Tyrant, wings, 2x TL dev, OA
Tyrant, wings, 2x TL dev
HG x3
Ymgarl x8
Doom, spod
Tervigon, tox, crushing claws, dom, cat, onslaught
Termagant x15
Termagant x13
Ravener, spinefist, x3
Trygon, tox x2
Aegis, quad gun

Conclusions from watching hundreds of games this past weekend:
  • I'm firmly of the opinion that 3 Tervigons are almost a requirement in order to sustain the tarpits needed for the killy things to do their jobs - and still be able to hold or contest objectives and quarters.
  • More than ever, it comes down to generalship, not the list.  While there are definitely bad matchups, this seemed to be an artifact of the inability of many lists to prioritize effectively vs. flyers.  Success vs. many flyer-heavy lists often came down to ignoring the flyers.
  • With the above in mind, there are multiple list possibilities a skilled Tyranid player could be successful with.  Psychic Choir and Nidzilla are both viable, and a Flying Circus may be.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hobby: NOVA Open Terrain Quick Look

I'd originally tried to post this on Friday evening as a bit of a celebration of the creativity and effort that went into building the terrain at NOVA this year:  I know I was certainly inspired to see it - in fact nearly all of my purchases at the vendors this year were for bits I could use to build terrain much like these pieces.  However, neither my smartstupidphone or Picasa cooperated, and Stelek has since posted many of these here as well, but mostly to complain about how the terrain wasn't fair for both sides.  I could go on for hours about that comment and the thought processes behind it, but it's a waste of my time.  This post isn't about defending the terrain:  it's for those of you who've always wanted to build your own terrain, feast your eyes, your brains, and your creativity.  These shots are the terrain pieces that I found most interesting, well done, or creative, and most of all - inspiring.  Massive kudos to the team, and the NOVA Minister of Terrain.  The last few shots are of battles over the monuments in the narrative - so very rewarding to see people having an absolutely great time, and knowing all that hard work paid off.