Hey everyone it’s iNcontroL. A couple weeks ago we went to the NOVA open on the cheesecoast I mean East Coast and it was a lot of fun. Mike Brandt and company put on a great tourney with plenty of activities for the hobbyist, competitor and casual attendee alike. They even had a play place where Reece and I could leave Frankie while the grown ups played space dolls. Check out the Tactics Corner for more great tournament reports!
I ended up going 6-2 and placing somewhere in the low 50’s. They have a bracket system so your overall ranking is almost purely dependent on whether or not you went 4-0 to start.
Before I get into each game lets go over my list:
Flyrant w/ TL dev + e grub 240
Flyrant w/ TL dev + e grub 240
2×4 Rippers with DS 120
5 genes + brood lord 130
2x Carnifex w/ Adrenal and Crushing claws 300
2x Mawlocs 280
2x Zoanthrope 100
3x Biovore 120
3x Warrior 1 with Barb 100
The list is certainly competitive but I did not make it with the intention of going for the most brutal Nid list possible. Mawlocs in 7th are pretty OK. They are cheap, relatively hard to kill and CAN pack a punch when they hit but the true value I find in them is their ability to cancel out an opponent’s hold on an objective OR representing infinite ranged ap2 that Broadsides, troops and other low toughness units fear. This was the first tourney I took them to and in retrospect I will give serious consideration to them in future lists. They did great!
Outside of the oddball Mawlocs we have the standard stuff for me. The Flyrants are cornerstone units that have the haywire flamer to deal with heavy armor like Knights. They were all-stars rarely dying and always doing the heavy lifting. Venomthropes are mandatory in any Nid list that wants to do well at a tourney. If allowed he can be subbed for a Malanthrope. Rippers are ObSec, deep striking troops choices that have become auto-takes for my lists. I swear by them and highly recommend the Forge World 9 pack.
Outside of the backbone I will explain some of the more unique choices in my list. The 5 genes+Broodlord is a trick I can thank Reece Robbins for helping inspire (You’re welcome! -ed). This allows me to reliably hide my Warlord and allows my Flyrants the freedom to be ultra aggressive. I also generate 1 warp charge for just 130 points. In a pinch they can hold their own but as we all know with Genes, if you shoot a mean look at them several will die. The Crusher Carni’s were OK. In the games where assault was the word they excelled. But, in 7th Nids are no longer really an assault army. This was more of a backfield protector squad with some answer to armor and the option (depending on missions) to throw a giant distraction at my opponent. They did OK. Living Artillery is damn near an auto-take for me. Ranged / blast ap2 and the some of the best troop killing barrage in the game with Biovores. Twin-linked in this node is the secret sauce.
Well that is my list. Lets talk about the specifics in how it did at NOVA.
I KNOW HE WAS TAU. But that is about all that I know. I can’t remember… Suits were involved. I win this one but I literally cannot remember anything else. Yes I checked Torrentoffire. I even checked my twitter to see if I talked about it.. lol. Ah well, I remember the rest!
Game 2 was vs a fellow Seahawks fan. I know this because he was wearing the hat. We immediately became friends and had a really pleasant game. He brought a semi horde like Nurgle army with a lot of great cover saves. The beef for his stick was Spawn with a JuggerHerald accompanied by Plague drones and 2 Soulgrinders.
I deployed aggressively and used the firing base of my living Artillery to pepper and soften his army for the first few turns. The real problem for him was my double Flyrants (can say that about all the games). The Soulgrinders have decent AA but I did typical Nid tom-foolery and remained out of range/site or I simply cast paroxysm on them to keep them ineffective. From there I secured First Blood by wailing on some pinks with the combined might of my Biovores and Flyrants. His army mostly sat on objectives and got 2+ cover saves thanks to the terrain/nurgle. The real all-stars of this match was my 2 carnifexes. They made every charge and ended up running down a herald/pinks then connecting to his Spawn/Herald where they won combat and he rolled boxcars effectively removing his main unit (He also scattered off the table with a spawned group and rolled a 1 on the mishap table). The dice were not friendly to him. The game ended with his WL running for his life from the Carni’s who had traveled the entire board due to big charges. Most of his army was dead and this was a solid Nid win. He did sacrifice a herald to become a greater Daemon at the end which was funny but ultimately inconsequential.
This game was played on the top table and streamed to over 400 people, not bad for WH40k! My opponent was a good ol’ southern gentleman that continuously made me giggle with how damn southern he was.. it was awesome. I hope he doesn’t hate me now.
He brought Tau with Farsight enclave. TONS of crisis suits accompanied by 2 Riptides and 6 Broadsides. In general this game was a blood bath. I ended up seizing the initiative on him with a 5+ seize due to my WL trait. This was key as I was able to take to the air. He had not made his army AA friendly as per usual with Tau forces so my 2 Flyrants remained fairly staunch. I was able to grab First Blood by bringing down a squad of Crisis Suits and saving myself due to LoS terrain/depleted Tau from a huge return of fire on his turn. My army tip toed around in cover helping me to survive the savage Tau onslaught of fire. The game went on with me pummeling him with Mawlocs and Flyrants. A couple times my Mawlocs would scatter off and he would fire his entire army in interceptor to try and bring them down.. usually only doing 4-5 wounds. The problem with this is that means his army doesn’t fire it’s nasty stuff on his actual turn which empowers my Flyrants/Living Artillery to be more bold. I was beating him badly and did that thing where when you “KNOW” you are going to win you start to fudge things in their favor, coach em up a bit etc. This was funny though because towards the end of the game he took my advice and started to return the favor in the game. One of my Flyrants failed 2, 3 up saves from small arm fire and immediately died in cover. My dice went cold at the same time and my firing yielded no results for a solid turn. Definitely on stream there was a GULP moment. We ended up tying on everything and going to battle points where I won by a mere 200 points. Definitely a humbling moment there.
This was the second hardest beat down I have ever taken. This beatdown was delivered by none other than the eventual tourney winner himself, Tony Kopach. His list was 6 Wave Serpants (yeah, I know), 2 Night Spinners, 1-2 Wraith Knights (can’t remember), 2 packs of Swooping Hawks and the bare minimum of troops for the transports. We had relic/vanguard and the board had some LoS but little to offer in terms of cover. Outside of getting my ass handed to me this was one of the more odd tourney moments I have had. I won the roll off to decide corners/place first objectives (which this mission only had the relic I believe). After I picked my ruin corner he said “I don’t agree with these positions so we can just randomize it.” This of course was really really odd to me as I had won the roll off and I literally didn’t understand what he was saying for a few explanations. Eventually it became clear that apparently in the NOVA rules for vanguard if you don’t “agree” (dice off) on starting locations you can 100% randomize where people start. We called a judge over and he confirmed this to be true. I was pretty.. miffed to say the least. There is almost no justification for this and it felt really dirty. I respect the hell out of Kopach as one of the best players in all the world but it was annoying to have this non-sensical dick move pulled on me. Anyways, it mattered little. My lowly Venomthrope needed to make 9, 5 up saves and he… didn’t come close. After that my poor deployment was blasted off the table. I “ONLY” lost both my Flyrants and the Venomthrope but that is my entire army basically. We talked it over and had I deployed out of cover (due to the table) but as far away as I possibly could I MIGHT have been able to save a single Flyrant! Oh joy! Well I quickly conceded which I hate to do and almost never have done but it would have been a useless endeavor to just drag it out. I really couldn’t do anything about those Wave Serpents.
Ask me another time about the worst beat down I have ever taken! It was a practice game for the NOVA invitational.
Fresh off my first loss and secured in the fact I wouldn’t be making history (need to go 4-0 to win this tourney) I limped into a match vs a Dutch player who brought an (old) Grey Knights list. Shockingly this included a Centurion Star alongside Coteaz and random other named dudes who do “cool” stuff. He had a Bastion, Psyfilmen Dreadnaught and a bunch of psy-bolt Razorbacks.
He took really long on his turns but he used them well. He was a extremely cerebral player who was extremely intelligent/meticulous about everything he did. We didn’t draw first blood until turn 3! I wanted nothing to do with the Centurions in the bastion which he put at the edge of his vanguard deployment as close to me as he could. Otherwise he sat back and popped smoke, took cover saves and just tried to outlast me. He had 3 Drop Pods 2 of which he dropped defensively on his half of the map but the last one he plopped right on top of me and after the smoke from his double flamers cleared only my lowly Broodlord from that unit remained with a single wound. He would take pop shots at it for the remainder of the game with his Dreadnaught / the Pod itself but he could never kill him! Needless to say I got my clenching exercises in for that day. Eventually the game became interesting when through LoS terrain I was able to sneak out my 2 Carnis and crash down the bastion WITH the Centurions inside. He only lost 1 centurion though because I forgot you do the damage for each pen result.. we only had him do the 1! Which is still something like 4d6 str 6 hits… devastating! This game came down to the wire in which he let me take a mulligan and move 2 ripper bases into his deployment zone for a chance to win off of Linebreaker. I had to make a bunch of saves where he doubled me out but due to my WL trait I was getting a 2+ in ruins.. which is great until literally the last two saves I rolled a double 1 (1 in 36) to lose the game! He was a super friendly guy who ended up winning our bracket and making good use of his trip from Europe. Didn’t hurt that he was a fan of mine too 😉
These last 3 games were some of the most fun I’ve had in a tourney.
My opponent here would feature a double IG blob with Inquisitors, Azrael, Creed and everything else that is cool like Priests etc. He had some Lascannons and a whole lot of shooting.. but he also had something I’d never seen before… WHAT IS THIS? Two Deathstrike missiles? I laughed! They looked amazing and I had only heard the legend. Then he explained what they do and I peed/cried a little. WHAT THE HELL? Strength 10 ap 1 ignores cover humungo blast? Why does not everyone take these? They can’t miss with that huge blast. They double out my entire backfield! I sighed and knew I was in trouble.
He had 150+ some odd models and didn’t bother to space them out.. I even reminded him that I had biovores and other blast markers and he shrugged, spat his chew into a bottle and said “I don’t care” with a huge grin. Was really funny. The entire game is me doing 20+ hits into his blob with my biovores/exocrine and him making sky shield saves or cover saves of some kind but mostly grabbing 12-16 models at a time and dumping them in his tray. When the missiles DID fire they as predicted nuked my backfield. My 3 Biovores were single shotted and I had 3 Warriors single shotted. I had 2 turns to prepare so I spaced them as much as I possibly could and he scattered a LITTLE. That said though it was devastating. To make matters worse I had a Flyrant perils, drop and get assaulted by Azrael and friends. He survived for 2.5 turns though and actually got away for 1 turn only to get charged again, drats! The big clinching moment was again when my 2 carnis made an assault into a small blob, survived the empty space after, then assaulted again. They cleaved through a quarter of the table and soaked up fire the entire time. I had a Flyrant get ID by a Inquisitor weapon though. The game was extremely close and again went to BP where I narrowly won. He shared crafted beer with me all game long and was laughing at his own army time and time again.. really fun guy and a great game.
Almost to the end! Here I got a really cool assault Chaos Space Marine list. Hounds with a JuggerHerald and Spawn with a Sorcerer on bike + a lord on a bike. In his backfield he had Pinks and Heralds spawning whatever he wanted. Need to grab an objective? Here come screamers! Need to assault some rippers? Ok plague drones! Spawn armies really have all the tools.. it was tough. The big clutch moment in this game was seizing, gave me extra fire but then 2 Carnifexes holding off his entire army for damn near the entire game. He made a turn 2 assault into me but by then I had back up into a corner with my backfield to limit the availability of what he could attack. His Herald had insta death on a 6 on it but his dice never g ave it to him until the end of the assault. By then the 2 Carnifexes had endured both sides of 3-4 turns and trimmed down the dogs/spawn to almost nothing. By the time they had died my mawlocs, Flyrants and Rippers had grabbed the other table quarters along with my outflanking Broodlord and crew giving me 3 of the table quarters to “win” the primary. Then the game went on and we tied there.. after it was all said and done we again went to BP and I won by… 9 points. WHAT? Yes, 9 lowely points. This was as close as it gets for me but I was happy to survive. He was a super friendly and awesome opponent.
To finish off my NOVA run I faced a Eldar list that featured 4 Wave Serpents, 1 Wraith Knight, 2 groups of 10 Warp Spiders, a fully kitted out Farseer by itself with all kinds of odd artifacts. His list was very unique and seemed a bit scary with all those Wave Serpents. That said he started the game with not 1, not 2 but 3 immobilized results on those Wave Serpents. Thank you dice gods! From there it was a bit of a cake walk. My Mawlocs were nuking the troops that got exposed and my Flyrants for the most part dealt damage with impunity as most of the Wave Serpents fire was reduced by their immobility. My opponent was a really nice guy who stated that his goals for the tourney were 1. to play all his games and 2. to play iNcontroL! This is a smart and cool guy 😉
All in all I had a great time at NOVA. I was with my great friends Frankie and Reece which made for a fun experience socially. The tourney itself featured decent terrain (tables didn’t have F.A.T mats though so it looked rather mid 90’s ish) and most of my opponents were extremely friendly. Outside of Tony’s list most of the guys I played had really unique and cool lists that didn’t really dabble in those lists you read about in Reece’s and Frankie’s reports. Through my WH40k travels I have made a lot of friends on the East Coast and as always it was great seeing them. One note of disappointment was the restrictions of the NOVA meta. No forgeworld and no LoW just makes things slightly less interesting. Admittedly, as a Nid player we feel this more. Nid codex isn’t AS BAD as it was made out to be but it isn’t very deep. In order to compete somewhere around half of your list is predetermined. FW and LoW opens up the options and makes you more competitive. It also gives more answers for that Knight spam we were seeing which would help thin out the freedom for which players were taking Knights.. if they know a barbed heirodule could be lurking around that corner suddenly all those points in Knight spam seem hugely risky.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoy my stuff I tweet about WH40k a lot from @EGiNcontroL and I also stream (mostly SC2) on twitch.tv at www.twitch.tv/iNcontroLTV