Monday, September 10, 2012

The More You Know - Nova 2012 Edition

So last year’s article on how much and how I screwed up is officially my most popular post. It’s views doubled any other post since I started this blog so I figured why not go ahead and do a 2012 version. It’s going to be a little long. But we’ll start with what everyone wants to read about, me losing J (I’m only humble 95% of the time!)

So this year was much, much better than last year in terms of my record. I managed to go 11-2 vs. last years 9-5 which is a pretty marked improvement in my overall performance but even those two games shouldn’t have been losses. That isn’t a dig at my opponents, they both outplayed me, but I think I had all the tools to win both games. For those of you who don’t know this is what I brought to Nova:

Grey Knights 1,750

2xTerminator Inquisitors w/Psycannon & Psychic Power
Soladin w/Hammer
4x10 Strikes w/2 Psycannons, Hammer, Psybolt Ammo
3xDreadknight w/H. Incinerator

At 2k I just add another 10 Strikes.

It’s a brutally simple list that is extremely flexible and can put out a ton of firepower. I might have had the highest number of mobile shots over 12” in the tournament at 2k (no matter what some people claim J) with 80 St5  and 28-48 St7 (depending on movement) shots not including how many wounds Heavy Incinerators can put down.

Anyway, onto what people want. Me losing J Again these games have nothing to do with dice. I managed all weekend to play out of bad dice (when I had them) so I certainly can’t blame them in my two losses. So I took one loss in the Invitational and one loss in the Open. We’ll start with the Inviational.

I played against Kelsey in the second round of the Invitational. Very nice guy, even when he’s pushing your stool in J. Anyway we were on the video feed table so some of you can probably see the game live if you want to but here is what he was running (Approximately since I lost his list).

BA Primary List

2x10 Sternguard w/8 Combi-Plasma and 2 Melta in a Pod
2x5 Assault Marines w/Flamer in a Pod

SM Allies

1x10 Sternguard w/8 Combi-Melta and 2 Melta in a Pod
5 Sniper Scouts
Storm Talon w/Typhoon and Assault Cannons

So he has 30 scoring sternguard (which I totally had to double check, well played Kelsey J) with mass nasty firepower on the drop and some spare scoring units to hide. In my opinion it’s designed to put you on the back foot and keep you there so he can win on mission objectives. And it worked.

The deployment was Modified Hammer & Anvil. He chose to go first (obviously) but didn’t deploy anything since he was going to infiltrate his scouts and everything else was in a pod or flying on.  So I moved onto my first mistake, deployment. Now 6th edition has brought back pods in a big way. What do I mean? Well your opponent has to put something juicy out there for you to eat by the rules now and it has to be enough to survive the alpha strike and the first turn so that the game doesn’t end automatically.  I wish I could say that’s what I was thinking but in honesty I wasn’t. I hadn’t played a pod list in 6th yet and man was my learning experience painful.

I proceeded to deploy 30 Strikes, both Inquisitors, and 2 Dreadknights. 2 of the 10 man squads were in cover, the cover wasn’t high enough for my DK’s to get a benefit so they were interspersed with my Strikes. So, the mistakes that cost me the game from the get go? Here is what I should have done:

1)     Deploy all 4 Strike units and combat squad them
2)     Keep all the Dreadknights in reserve to drop in after he’s shot his AP2 wad
3)     Deployed the HQ’s unattached to a squad
4)     Deployed the first squad in the ruins with concentric circles of other units around it.
5)     Selected Psychic Communion this game instead of rolling for divination

Why? It would have limited LoS to some extent. But mostly it would have put 10 targets down instead of 5. He wouldn’t have had the shooting to drop all of them (at most half) and I would have had my nastiest units against his list, my Dreadknights, dropping in the following turns.

And that kids is how you lose in deployment. Kelsey proceeded to smite all but one squad on the table with his drop and then finished the last squad off on the top of turn 2. If none of my reserves had come in I would have lost on turn 2 but they all did. I still made a fun game of it with 10 Strikes, a Soladin, and one Dreadknight but just couldn’t pull it out, especially once my Paladin failed to drop his 1 HP left Storm Talon in CC since that was the only thing left that could pick off decent numbers of my Strikes at range. A great game and one of my few tablings in the last few years. I still hate those damn snap firing melta guns….My dreadknight deserved better J

My second loss was to a local named Bert in the Invitational. Another great opponent (I had 13 of them this year J). His list was something like:

2xLash Prince
2 Oblits
2x5 Chaos Marines
2x5 Raptors w/2 Meltaguns
CCS w/4 Plasma Guns in a Chimera
2xVeteran Squads w/3 Plasma Guns in Chimera
Aegis Line w/the autocannon gun (brainfart)

You guys seeing a theme? Damned AP2 again! Anyway this deployment was also hammer and anvil and while I didn’t lose this in deployment I sure as hell lost it in my movement and by not paying attention. So my opponent chose to go first and deployed across his deployment zone with a lash prince on both flanks and his st10 large blasts behind the aegis line which pretty much ran the length of his deployment facing me. I centered my line with my Dreadknights and put down 30 strikes with their inquisitor friends.

Now it took me till turn 3 to realize there were no windows on the bottom floor of the middle building…..First mistake among many J. I also should have played more aggressively with my DK’s. When you’re playing against Vindi’s and Demolishers they need to go down fast. Instead, since it was quarters and they don’t count for scoring, I was ignoring them and this allowed them to do damage the entire game and wound up costing me the game on turn 5. I also made some movement errors but mostly it was a major target priority issue. I was to caught up that time playing the objectives and didn’t think about the long term repercussions of not destroying non-scoring portions of my opponents army. It ended with me nearly tabled and a win on the secondary for Bert.