Reecius’ NOVA Open Ultramarines Tournament Report Part 2

Hey everyone, Reecius here to continue on with my NOVA Open tournament report featuring my pure Ultramarines army which made it to the top bracket and 15th place overall!

You can read part 1 of this series where I explain how my list works, here.

My first game of the event was in the invitational against none other than Juice, from the Long War crew. Juice is an awesome dude and we’d played one another the year before in the championships event. He’d had a very similar army of Astra Militarum featuring loads of dudes vs. my very similar Red Tigers Space Marines army but at that time being played as Raptors. You can read that battle report, here.

I’d gotten him then so we were looking forward to a rematch this year with some friendly trash talking leading up the event!

Juice was playing a version of “the list” at NOVA with Cadian Astra Militarum, Blood Angels, a Knight Castellan and two Helverins. Instead of Scouts with his Blood Angels, he had a supreme command detachment with three Smash Captains! Yikes, a solid army if ever I saw one. I knew this would be a tough game. However, I’d been practicing my list against this style list and new I could take it with some good fortune and smart play. Well…lol, smart play was not to be had in this game! I made one very big error on turn 1 that cascaded into a series of mental errors. However, let’s start form the beginning.

Juice’s list from memory:

Imperial Knights Lord of War Detachment

Blood Angels’s Supreme Command Detachment

  • Smash Catpain
  • Smash Captain
  • Smash Captain

Cadian Brigade

We both deployed heavily on the same flank, our forces largely facing off against one another. I made one key deployment mistake, leaving a gap behind me for a Blood Angels Smash Captain to jump up and drop down in. For some reason I had forgotten you could do that on turn 1, which was a big mistake as Juice capitalized on it and dropped a BA Smash Captain behind me who then charged into my Banner Bearer, killing him quite easily and snagging Warlord right out of the gates and also denying me my ability to shoot at him as I died which is a core strategy of my list. Ouch. I don’t typically make errors like that and it sent me into a bit of a negative spiral which really impacted my play.

That said, Juice also made a big deployment error, leaving his Castellan in a corner where it had nowhere to run as it was buried behind screens of infantry. My counter-play was to bum rush it with Bobby G and my own Smash Captain whom I screened with two other units: Scout Bikers and a Scout Squad, in layers to make it nearly impossible to blow through them AND target the charging characters. As Juice’s Castellan couldn’t move anywhere, he was trapped and in my turn I blew through his screen units (this army excels at absolutely obliterating infantry). This allowed me to get both G Man and Smash Captain into the Castellan on turn 2 and between them with some psychic buffs (Might of Heroes and Veil of Time are amazing) I was able to chop it in half! This was huge as it allowed me to recover from my early deployment mistake a bit. I had also managed to destroy an Artemia Hellhound which exploded and took out quite a few of Juice’s infantry which was a nice bonus.

Unfortunately, the counter attack left G Man dead and I failed to get him back up…womp womp. However, I still had Smash Captain in the backfield and he would proceed to kill everything within reach over the rest of the game, which included several Mortar teams and characters.

The game was becoming a war of attrition as both of our heaviest hitters had been taken out early. We jockeyed for position and played for objectives in a game that was neck and neck down to the last two turns. The Sniper Scouts were great, helping take out Captains, and the Sternguard earned their paycheck as well, helping smoke infantry and take out Hellhounds (they’re very good at killing T7 and lower vehicles due to their strat and AP-2 weapons) I made one more critical error though (on top of several others, like forgetting to charge Scouts early game into some of his units, etc.) and that was coming down to the final turns, Juice pretty much only had his Helverins left to do any damage to me, and I had just a handful of depleted units left, myself. However, he’d made a mistake in coming in very close to me with them, putting them in reach to charge and surround them with some of my remaining units, pinning them in place and stopping them from shooting or moving for the rest of the game. Had I been able to pull this off (and while the odds were certainly in my favor to do so, in a dice game there are no guarantees) I would have won the game as I would have been able to take few to no casualties in the final turns and hold more objectives.

However, in a truly spectacular display of generalship, I simply forgot to charge them…lol. So dumb. Juice was nice enough to let me go back in time and charge them on a 4+ (we were already in the fight phase) but as my luck would have it, I rolled a 2. Le sigh. Seeing what I was up to, Juice pulled his Heleverins back out of charge range and pasted a few more of my remaining Space Marines while grabbing that one more objective than I could, securing him victory in a a very close game.

So frustrating when you play poorly but hey, that is a part of the game and why we play instead of just looking at lists as some folks online seem to think 40k is. The game of 40k at high levels of play is very much about maintaining your calm and looking for ways to earn victory without letting yourself get psyched out. I am normally extremely sound in that department, this game I was not and it cost me big time. While I did have a few excellent plays (and a nearly game winning play had I remembered to execute the most important part of it, lol) Juice made a few mistakes himself but less than me. Well played to him and as usual, it was a real pleasure to play him. We’re now 1-1, I look forward to the rematch!

So ended my Invitational run but I learned some valuable lessons that would help me to succeed in the next day’s Open!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!
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3 years ago

Thanks for posting this article. Was waiting for it for 2 months or so 🙂

Keep up the good work.

3 years ago

Very happy to read part 2. I hate preventable simple mistakes – just brain blanks. They can haunt me for years. I had a deployment lapse at an LVO one year. Game 3 of the first day. Had gone 2-0. 3rd mission was the Relic. Had a scout army. In the bag right? Not when you forget that it is the Relic mission the second you get to the table and proceed to not put a single unit anywhere near the Relic. Lol! After that game I had a few silent solo drinks.

Anyways enough of making your article about me. Great stuff. Can’t wait to see if there is more to come from your Marines this upcoming year – I am curious if Thunderfire Cannons can make an impact against some of these fast ork hordes that are poping up now. I used the strat against a mob of angry shoota boys twice and it really bought me some space ( still talking about me sorry- 😬)

3 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

That is news I like to hear. I’m slipping more and more to throwing around Guard and Knights – ive even built a some filthy xenos armies lately – but I’m a marine player at heart and would love to go pure.

It’d be cool if GW can pull off the self checking ecosystem – marine eat ork, ork eat eldar, eldar eat chaos etc

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x