Saturday, November 16, 2013

NOVA Open 2013 - Narrative Batrep 2

Big Trouble in Little Capitol 
A more cinematic way to end the tournament would be hard to find - the raging Hive Tyrant screaming its challenge at the Lamenters' Librarian dreadnought, rising on the Wings of Sanguinius for a duel to the death on the roof of the Capitol.  The NOVA Open 2013 Narrative was a fantastic event - exactly the sort of games I most enjoy.  With no next round looming, it was far easier to relax and get to know the other player a bit better, to banter back and forth, and create storylines within the battle as we went.  I'm very much looking forward to next year.  But the above is just a taster for the final batrep. Here's the batrep for my first battle. This is the batrep for battle #2.

  For simplicity, here's my list:  
Hive Tyrant: Wings, Hive Commander, TL Devs.  Biomancy 2:
Parasite of Mortrex:  Warlord, with chosen ability: Coordinated Assault (+1" assault range to all friendly w/in 12")
Doom in a SPod
Tervigon: AG, TS, ScyTals. Biomancy 3:
Tervigon: AG, TS, ScyTals. Biomancy 3:
Tervigon: AG, TS, ScyTals. Biomancy 2:
Termagant x10 (x3)
Ravener x9, Rending
Gargoyles x27, TS 
My second battle was vs. a gentleman named Harley who had come down with a small contingent from New York , playing IG/CSM (the 42nd Infantry Division).  Overall a very entertaining game - the surprise mission was definitely a shocker.  List after the jump:

CCS with Regimental Standard
Infantry Platoon
- Infantry Squad, Lascannon, SGT
- Infantry Squad, Autocannon, SGT
- Command Squad, 4 flamers, Platoon Cdr
Veteran Squad, 6 lasguns, 3 meltaguns, SGT
- Chimera, HB, ML
Veteran Squad, 6 lasguns, 3 plasma guns, SGT
- Chimera, HB, ML
Vendetta (x2)
Leman Russ Demolisher, HB
Aegis Line w/quad gun
Daemon Prince w/combat familiar, Lvl 2 mastery, Power Armor, Slaanesh, Wings, and The Black Mace*
Noise Marines - Champion w/pistol, CCW; 3x bolter marines, 1x Blastmaster, 1x Sonic Blaster
CSM squad - Aspiring Champ, Pistol, Bolter, Power weapon; 6x Nurgle marines, meltagun, votlf
- Chaos Rhino
Heldrake, w/baleflamer
I judged his list to be more flexible than most - it had a lot of tools available.  Worse, with the increasing codex expense, it is very hard to keep up with the codexes without spending a ton of money - which I hadn't.  As a result, I was literally going in blind vs. the Chaos Codex.  And he had a Heldrake - which according to the interwebz is auto-win.  So, I knew the Heldrake was bad news, but that's about it.

The scenario was "No Timeframe in Which to Exsanguinate" with two missions: Mission 1: each player places two objectives, 2 points awarded if you controlled your objectives, and 1 point for scoring or contesting an opponent's objective.  Mission 2 was relic, but if the unit carrying didn't shoot the prior round, enemy units had to pass a LD test to fire on it.  Dawn of War deployment.  I won't cover the Fame/Infamy conditions here for brevity as I didn't try for either condition.  I lost the roll and ended up going first.  We both placed our objectives in cover, one on each side in our deployment zones, so no surprises there.  His Aegis and quad gun were centered between two pieces of terrain on his side.  My psychic powers were decent:
Hive Tyrant: Enfeeble, Iron Arm
Tervigon (Hex-conversion w/6 legs): Life Leech, Endurance, Warp Speed
Tervigon (Hoofer-conversion w/fex hooves): Enfeeble, Iron Arm, Warp Speed
Tervigon (Big Nelly-actual Tgon) : Haemo, Endurance
With psychic powers making such a big difference, I can't just play my tervigons interchangeably, and it often dictates how I'll play my Tyrant as well.  With Iron Arm on the Tyrant I could keep him on the board turn 1 relatively easily to support the main (and very typical) plan:  flood the middle and pin him on the far side of the relic with raveners and gargoyles until my tervigon/termagants could get to it and bring it back, while camping on my objectives.  Doom and Deathleaper would do what they do in his backfield and hopefully between the ravs, gargoyles, tyrant, doom and deathleaper I could contest at least one of his.  I also put one tervigon/gant pair off to the flank to advance on his left objective behind LOS, or simply to dash back into my objective once the rest of the force moved forward.  It was also bait as one more thing to shoot at if he seized while being 6" out of range if he did seize and managed to drop Nelly.  Here's my deployment:
Hex on the left flank would buff and had warp speed if it got into combat, Nelly on the left center was my objective holder and buffer, while Hoofer on the right would go for the relic with Iron Arm but also had enfeeble if a good opportunity presented itself, or warp speed if he managed to get into combat.

Turn 1 - he didn't seize; I moved forward, spawned w/no doubles on all 3 tervigons, but the only meaningful fire my list had was from my Tyrant, which zoomed down the right flank behind the hill and put two glances on the CSM rhino.  I moved up with Nelly for the relic rather than Hoofer with two vehicles and a DP aimed at my back objective.  Below is the start of his movement phase on the bottom of Turn 1, threading the terrain and moving forward cautiously.  His CSM and one Chim/vet squad are on the right, CCS and platoon in the center, and another Chim/vet squad and Russ on the left.
As in the first battle, Virtue had one unit it could give +1T and 5++, at the cost of the models exploding d6" for S=T damage when they died.  I again put this on my raveners, who, along with Endurance from Nelly, managed to soak almost his entire army's fire taking only a few wounds, and losing one or two on their way across the center.  (Tactical note: that 5++ was far more effective than I would have thought, making me give venomthropes a second look since NOVA).  In contrast however, the gargoyles got hit by a slaanesh spell from the DP that waxed 13 in one shot, and his Russ managed to pop a few more.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any more pictures in this battle as Harley had to play the next day and I didn't want to slow things down further.  I may have some of the details a little off, but here's the gist of how I recall it playing.

In turn 2, Doom came down on the far left and ate the noise marine squad in the ruins on his objective over the next two rounds, and damaged the Russ.  In turn 3 killed the command squad in the left center, and managed to blow up the Russ. In turn 2, the tyrant continued down the right flank, and managed to wreck the chimera, spilling out the vet squad into the terrain near his objective, and managed to go left along his backfield in range in turn 3 to finish off the rhino, dumping the CSM squad into the gap between the ruins and the hill.  In turns 2 and 3, the remaining Raveners made it to (and through) his infantry platoon; Deathleaper came in on turn 2 on the right side behind his newly debarked squads.  Between the two, they killed the 3 infantry squads in the center, and then rolled up the veteran squad from the right flank chimera - though to be fair they were helped a lot by some unlucky rolls when Harley activated his Humanity special power for the IG platoon - gaining fearless, S6, AP2, and 2+ poisonous attacks, but at the cost of rolling the following for each model:  1-2 take a wound (w/armor save), 4-6 safe.  He lost 2-5 models each time he rolled (at least 3 times).  In turn 2, I enfeebled the DP with Hoofer and charged the remaining 10+ gargoyles and PoM into the Black Mace wielding DP, causing a couple wounds firing on the way in - but they were wiped out in one round of combat for their trouble (Wisdom Objective Achieved:  Black Mace bad!).  So once again my Warlord got punked by me being stupid.  Fortunately for me, the DP failed his charge on gants in the center in the bottom of 2.  I kept Enfeeble on him in Turn 3 and gunned him down with termagants.

Ultimately I spawned 6 gant squads (10, 5, 11, 8, 5, 8), pooping out with Nelly and Hex, but made it to the relic easily in turn 2 - triggering the Humanity secret mission: the relic was concealing a very powerful drone (the T1000, S6 T6 W3 and I forget how many attacks, but enough) but I fortunately had two gant squads and was able to tar pit the drone with one and get away with the relic with the other, then keep the tar pit going by charging in additional gant squads to keep his drone from moving.  In the bottom of 3 his Heldrake came in and killed a few gants, but over flew a squad of them...  who promptly shot it down from behind in the top of 4 - though flyrant helped a little by glancing it a couple times first ;)  At the top of 4 the one remaining ravener and Deathleaper - both with one wound remaining, dogpiled into the few remaining models from his CSM squad on the right (having lost some in the exploding rhino and to termagant fire) and freakishly managed to bring it down to 2 models and survive through the end of 4.  The immobilized chimera with vet squad was facing assault from a gant brood and two tervigons when we called it - Harley was in the GT early in the morning; I held the relic, two objectives, and contested one of his with Doom - achieving both mission conditions.  Harley was a class opponent and I hope to see him next year.

So for me, just about everything went about as well as it could have, and my gambles paid off.  Everything did about what it should or I hoped it would, except for the dunce cap award of charging something with a Black Mace...  sooner or later the dice would come back to haunt me though, I was sure of it.


  1. Nice report. I actually played Harley as well in "Round 8" in a very fun, relaxed game.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks! I noticed you had also played him in your batreps here: Definitely a cool opponent.