Frankie’s Nova Invitational Report.

Hello everyone last weekend I was in Washington DC playing in the Nova Open. Great event and I will be back next year. Let’s dive into the Invitational. Check out the Tactics Corner for more great tournament reports!

Most interesting man in 40k

This is the list I brought:

khan Moondraken 1
Chaplain Bike, Auspex 1
Tactical Squad melta,  Grav Cannon 10
Rhino Dozer Blade 1
Tactical Squad melta,  Grav Cannon 10
Rhino Dozer Blade 1
Tactical Squad melta,  Grav Cannon 10
Rhino Dozer Blade 1
Tactical Squad melta,  Grav Cannon 10
Rhino Dozer Blade 1
Tactical Squad melta 5
Rhino Dozer Blade 1
Tactical Squad melta 5
Droppod _ 1
10th Company Task Force
Scouts _ 5
Scouts _ 5
Scouts _ 5
Fast Attack
Space Marine Bikes Grav x2, Combi-Grav, Multi-melta Attack bike 4
Attack Bike Multi Melta 1
Heavy Support
Devastators Grav Cannon x2 5
Rhino Dozer Blade 1
Devastators Grav Cannon x2 5
Rhino Dozer Blade 1

The invitational is comprised of 32 of some of the best 40k players in the country. I was lucky enough to get invited this year.

Round one I was paired up against a unique Daemon list without Fateweaver and without a Screamerstar. He had a unit of 20 Seekers with a Hearld, Unit of 20 Khorne Hounds, Lord of Change, Belakor and 2 units of Pink Horrors with a Hearld in each. I won first turn and got ready for an alpha strike by scouting all my Rhinos up and infiltrating my Scouts close to the Seekers. My opponent seized the initiative which hurt a lot…. He multi Charged into all of the scouts with the Seekers, killed one Rhino with shooting and charged 2 more Rhinos with the Hounds. The Hounds were only Able to kill one Rhino and the Seekers killed all but one Scout who hit and ran away. Unfortunately, two of my Grav units were pinned getting out of the Rhinos. I popped a Tactical Doctrine and emptied all of my Rhinos. I shot more than half of my army into Belakor who rolled poorly for his saves and ended up dying. The rest of my shots went into the Seekers, killing all but 3 and the Hearld. Daemons turn two, he charged the hounds into my bikes and lands the Lord of Change who he cast the Grimore on. The seekers killed my 5 man Tactical squad that had come out of the Droppod and my Bikes failed to hit and run, darn 6. I charged a few more units into the hounds and was able to kill the last Seekers with the Hearld. I also ran a few units into my back field to kill some units he had deep struck back there. The next turn he charged the Lord of Change into the combat killing 5 Marines. I was also able to hit and run and nuke the Lord of Change with all my Grav. The game only went 5 turns and ended in a Space Marine Victory, Space Marines 13-6. I was still in it to win it in this brutal, single elimination event!


Round two I pulled another Daemon list, played by the gentlemen that had won the invitational last year. He was playing two full Screamer units, one with 4 Tzeentch Heralds, a Full Plague Drone unit with 2 Nurgle Heralds and of course: Fateweaver. Three deathstars that I wasn’t sure I would be able to kill. I decided to out flank everything and give him first turn. I also picked the end of game objectives so I didn’t need to worry about missing any points. He moved to control the center so he could see where my army would come in. My Drop pod came in on my turn and put some shots into his Pink Horror unit along with grabbing me line breaker as long as he didn’t kill it. He flew one of his screamer units over next to the marines and moved Fateweave to mid field. My turn I got 3 Tactical units in Along with my bikes and a Devastator squad. One devastator squad came out on the wrong side and the rest came out next to the Screamers. I used a Tactical Doctrine and was able to kill the Screamers with weight of fire! My Devastators were hugging the edge of the board. His turn, Fateweaver flew next to my army to kill a five man unit and a Rhino. His Drones charged in and were able to wipe out some of my bikes and bring two units of Marines down to a few guys. His remaining Screamers moved towards my Devastators.  My turn I had the rest of my army come in except for one unit of Tactical Marines. I brought the pain onto Fateweaver bringing him down to one wound. Khan was also able to kill one of the Plague Drone Hearlds in a challenge. My opponent’s turn he flew Fateweaver away and killed some more Marines in the Combat. I Hit and Run with my bikes and a unit of two Marines. The game only went to turn five again and Fateweaver ended up blowing off his head with a perils, which gave me Slay the Warlord and sealed the deal for Linebreaker. I also got some big Hit and Runs so that I could control 2 more objectives. End of the game Space Marine Victory 16-14, it was very close.

IMG_1155 IMG_1154

Round three I pulled a Tau and Eldar army which I knew would be very tough for me since they have no problem killing my vehicles. He chose to go second which seemed odd to me but I was okay with it. I deployed and scouted forward for my alpha strike. He chose not to seize… well okay, I emptied most of my rhinos and moved my bikes forward, it was time to bring the pain! I was able to kill 5 and 1/2 of the Broadsides, along with the Buff Commander. The last Broadside broke towards the board edge but was able to re-group. His turn he tried to overcharge his Riptide and failed dealing one wound to it… He shot his Skyray into a Rhino dealing two hull points and charged his Riptide into the Drop Pod killing it. My turn, I brought the Riptide down with Grav and Brought two of the Scatter Bike units down. I also charged my Scouts into the Skyray and killed it. It was looking grim for his at this point. His turn he got one unit of Bikes in which he flew into a corner and got both flyers in which opened up on my bikes, killing all but Khan. My turn I was able to get around the hill and kill the new bike unit along with charging Khan into the Warlord and killing him. At this point my opponent gave up. Unfortunately he wasn’t ready for the alpha strike my army can deliver with mountains of Grav weapons all starting within 24″ range, otherwise it would have been a lot closer. Space Marine Victory 17-2. -I have to jump in hear and offer a friendly tease to our friend Tomb King a bit, who was Frankie’s opponent. He is always on me saying that going second is an auto-choose for 7th ed, but in this case it turns out that was not the best choice! All in good fun, buddy! -Reecius


Round four I pulled a Thunderdome army that has Space Wolves, Dark Angels and Space Marine Conclave. I knew this would be a really tough match up since his army is fast and resilient. He gave me turn one which was a great play. I decided to outflank everything again since the objectives are table corners. He deployed in two separate Deathstars and moved up the field on his turn one. My turn I brought the Droppod into a corner pretty far away from his unit and hid it unit behind a hill. His turn he moved his deathstar in that table half towards the Pod and ran the unit. His other star summoned a unit of Flesh Hounds. I ended up getting 2 units of Scouts, the Bike unit, 2 units of Tactical Marines, and one unit of Devastators. I put a lot of fire power into both units doing quite a bit of damage but couldn’t kill any characters since my Grav Guns were split on the outflanks. His turn he was able to kill two units of scouts 3 rhinos and 3 units of five Marines. My turn 3 I only got two units in, one on each side luckily. I was able to kill all but two Iron Priests on the left side and killed a Librarian and an Iron Priest on the right side. On his turn he has two Rhinos come in mid field away from my army. He charged into a Devastator squad and a Tactical squad with the two Iron Priests, unfortunately for him I rolled really well on the over watch and ended up killing one. The other deathstar charged into two units, killing all but one guy. I tried to Hit and Run in both combats and was able to get away from the single Iron Priest, however I failed the Hit and Run on the big Deathstar in which each character only had one wound left..damn! Had that not hapenned, I would have almost certainly blown it away with my shooting! My last unit came in next to the big unit but unfortunately wasn’t able to shoot them since they were locked in combat. The left side I easily killed the last Iron priest but unfortunately I was not able to bring down the big star by the end of the game. He got two Psychic shrieks off that killed two five man units and controled the entire right side of the table. I ended up losing because he still had a lot of points left on the board. If I had picked progressive missions I might have had a better chance but instead I picked end game…Oops! But oh well, it was my first time playing the mission so of course mistakes were be made.

IMG_1159 IMG_1158

So I got knocked out in the semi finals and my opponent went on to win both the Open and the Invitational. Congratz, Aaron! Great player and he was using a very solid list. I had a great time, and can’t wait to give it another shot next year. Hope you all enjoyed the article and hope to see you all next year.


About White925

Frankie is the greatest 40K player on the planet. Nuff Said.

27 Responses to “Frankie’s Nova Invitational Report.”

  1. greggles September 14, 2015 3:32 am #

    Was great seeing you and your awesome army there Frankie. The fact your last opponent won both the GT and invitational should at least make you feel a bit better :).

    • white925 September 14, 2015 8:53 am #

      It was great seeing you too buddy and I really liked your Ork army.

      • greggles September 14, 2015 10:25 am #

        Thanks Frankie! Someday we’ll face off!

  2. tag September 14, 2015 7:48 am #

    A little note on going 2nd vs 1st. There is a world of difference between Nova missions and ITC missions on that front. In ITC missions you want to go 2nd 90% of the time. The exceptions to that are rare matchups where an alpha strike will be decisive.

    In Nova missions, going 1st vs 2nd is a much harder choice. For my Ork army I’ve found that I prefer to go 1st about 60% of the time because I usually pig Progressives, but there are serious benefits to going second as well.

    In ITC you roll off to decide who gets to go 2nd. In Nova you roll off to see who gets to make the choice.

    • Reecius September 14, 2015 8:30 am #

      It’s funny when I hear this as I just so strongly disagree. I go first almost every time in ITC missions. I really feel that this is a skewed perception. We’ll start tracing the data again, but last time we gathered a good amount of info, going first in the ITC lead to slightly higher odds of winning.

      • winterman September 14, 2015 8:38 am #

        Granted the last time that was tracked was when First Blood was in every mission, wasn’t it? And when progressive/maelstrom was worth less then primary? My hypothesis would be that is a big enough change to shift things a bit. Maybe not hugely in favor of second, but even a 5-10% difference is significant imo.

        Of course also that depends greatly on mission and matchup too, so it seems like looking at it on a mission basis at the very least would be interesting.

        • Reecius September 14, 2015 11:02 am #

          Yeah, I agree. It is hyperbolic to say you “always” go first or second. But, with less First Blood and the maelstrom counting for more, there is a possibility that the scales have tipped a little bit.

          • abusepuppy September 14, 2015 11:18 am

            One simpler way to track it, potentially: check the first vs. second records of, say, the top5 or top 10 players in the tournament. If your upper echelon of players are consistently favoring one option or the other (even if the population at large is split more evenly), that is likely an indicator there is a problem.

            I think scoring Maelstrom points at the end of your own turn, rather than the game turn, would go a long ways towards mitigating the issue, but it’s definitely worth testing out to see if that holds true (and whether it’s a problem in the first place, though my intuition says that it is.)

          • Reecius September 14, 2015 12:21 pm

            Tournament players tend to only focus on the top players which I get, but it really isn’t indicative of the tournament experience as a whole for the majority of players. If you cater your event strictly to the top players you narrow your field and will get diminished attendance. It is important to create a play experience that is fun for everyone. I really believe it is important to acknowledge the complete spectrum of players.

            And do you mean roll for your missions and score them in your game turn? If so, then neither player gets a chance to counter. If you both roll at the beginning and then each player scores in their game turn, the player going second will never get to counter them unless they just get lucky and are in a good position to do so.

          • dr.insanotron September 14, 2015 11:27 am

            I agree with puppy you should roll for maelstrom at the start of you turn and score at the bottom. that way ito the same for both players.

          • Reecius September 14, 2015 12:22 pm

            But then you literally NEVER have the chance to counter the other player. It’s pure luck of the draw, it reduces skill. I never understood this argument. If both players roll for and score their objectives in their turn, the other player just watches it happen, there is no interaction at all.

          • westrider September 14, 2015 4:32 pm

            “But then you literally NEVER have the chance to counter the other player. It’s pure luck of the draw, it reduces skill. I never understood this argument. If both players roll for and score their objectives in their turn, the other player just watches it happen, there is no interaction at all.”

            So you’re saying it’s OK if the first Player has this experience, but not if both Players have it? Because that’s pretty much how the Maelstrom goes if you’re going first.

            Honestly, the probability space of the Maelstrom Objectives in ITC is small enough that even without knowing what the other guy’s going to have, you should be able to position to counter most of them if you have to, or at least make the other guy put in way too much effort to get them.

            Have you compared just the Maelstrom results with the choice to go first or second?

          • Reecius September 14, 2015 5:16 pm

            When you generate missions at the beginning of the game turn and then score at the end of the game turn, both players know what the other is trying to do, and have the opportunity to try and counter. If I am going first and know my opponent needs to take objective X, then I can move to counter. Yes, it is easier to do in some instances going second with objectives, but it is easier (typically) to do going first with a kill point style objective. Every mission has both. Plus, it gives you the chance to stop the opponent from getting an objective in the process. If you do it all in the player turn there is no interaction at all other than by chance. The way we do it now, both players have the knowledge of what their opponent is trying to do and can attempt to counter.

          • Venkarel September 14, 2015 5:29 pm


            It is not necessarily true that you cannot counter your opponents maelstrom objectives. ITC only has 6 possible malestrom missions. It also means that you can try to actively deny your opponent’s malestroms as well as fulfilling yours. Sometimes your opponent rolls one or more of the objectives you got, so it provides a natural counter. As well as letting you use good play to try and deny your opponent those crucial points. Meaning including in your plan, getting more units to no mans land, keeping more than three units in your deployment zone or getting linebreaker early even if you do not have these as your maelstrom. IDK maybe asking to much for some armies.

    • white925 September 14, 2015 9:10 am #

      Hey Tag I felt that dependent on match up of course going second was beneficial in Nova missions. If you picked progressive the player that goes second gets to react to everything the first player does as its scored at the beginning of the player turn starting turn 2. Also if you picked end game like any other format the player that goes second gets to jump on all the objectives or cancel the objectives the player that went first is holding.

      Also by going second you could deny some of the secondaries if they picked “linebreaker, have your warlord in the center”. Not that a whole lot of people were picking those against me haha.

      Anyways I feel like in any mission, the main factor whether going first or second is usually the opponents army not so much the mission itself.

  3. Dbiesto September 14, 2015 8:40 am #

    Daemons, TauDar, and Deathstars, damn dude you put in work. Talk about hard matches, awesome work Frankie, cant believe “vanilla” marines are competitive again.

    • Jural September 14, 2015 10:22 am #


      • dr.insanotron September 14, 2015 11:28 am #

        yeah Franky was doing awesome in the invitational and could have beaten Aaron if he chose progressive

  4. fluger September 14, 2015 9:39 am #

    Well done sir.

  5. ragnarthebloody September 14, 2015 9:49 am #

    was there a stream for top tables at this event? I was told that there was but can’t find it anywhere.

    • white925 September 14, 2015 11:07 am #

      Yeah it was streamed on torrentoffire twitch

    • Fagerlund September 14, 2015 11:55 pm #
      You can check out past broadcasts there. I believe two of Frankies games from the Invitational are there. 🙂

  6. Black Blow Fly September 14, 2015 4:42 pm #

    Very impressive Frankie – I’d be very proud to have done as well as you. I love your list too… Best battle company I’ve seen so far.

    • white925 September 14, 2015 5:32 pm #

      Thanks buddy

  7. bigpig September 14, 2015 8:12 pm #

    You stuff looks good buddy. Glad I could inspire you with my incredible list building 😉

  8. Jy2 September 16, 2015 2:42 am #

    Great job Frankie! Way to represent (the West Coast). Btw I love the slogan:

    East Coast might be the Beast Coast, but the West Coast is the Best Coast. LOL!

  9. NOPE September 17, 2015 2:23 pm #

    I would like it if you rolled 4 maelstrom dice and you and your opponent got to discard one of the rolls!

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