For the Greater Good! NOVA Open 40k GT Final Breakdown

Greetings Frontline Gaming Community, my name is Richard Siegler (T’au Empire) and today I am going to discuss my match against Nick Rose (Genestealer Cult) in the final of the NOVA Open GT. I am going to focus especially on my thought process before and during the match and explain why I made the decisions that I did.

My list:

Outrider Detachment, T’au Sept

  • Commander in XV85 Enforcer Battlesuit, Advanced targeting system, 3x Cyclic ion blaster, 2x MV4 Shield Drone
    Darkstrider
  • Strike Team, 5x Fire Warriors, 2x MV4 Shield Drone
  • Pathfinder Team, MV31 Pulse Accelerator Drone, MV33 Grav-inhibitor Drone, MB3 Recon Drone, 2x MV4 Shield Drone, 5x Pathfinders
  • Pathfinder Team, MV31 Pulse Accelerator Drone, MV33 Grav-inhibitor Drone, MB3 Recon Drone, 2x MV4 Shield Drone, 5x Pathfinders
  • Tactical Drones, 6x MV4 Shield Drone
  • Tactical Drones, 6x MV4 Shield Drone
  • Tactical Drones, 5x MV4 Shield Drone

Supreme Command Detachment, T’au Sept

  • Cadre Fireblade, 2x MV4 Shield Drone
  • Cadre Fireblade, 2x MV4 Shield Drone
  • Cadre Fireblade, 2x MV4 Shield Drone
  • Commander in XV85 Enforcer Battlesuit, Advanced targeting system, 3x Cyclic ion blaster, Warlord, 2x MV4 Shield Drone
    Ethereal, 2x MV4 Shield Drone

Vanguard Detachment, T’au Sept

  • Commander in XV85 Enforcer Battlesuit, Advanced targeting system, 3x Cyclic ion blaster, 2x MV4 Shield Drone
  • XV104 Riptide Battlesuit, 2x Smart missile system, Advanced targeting system, Heavy burst cannon, Velocity tracker
  • XV104 Riptide Battlesuit, 2x Smart missile system, Advanced targeting system, Heavy burst cannon, Velocity tracker
  • XV104 Riptide Battlesuit, 2x Smart missile system, Advanced targeting system, Heavy burst cannon, Velocity tracker

Nick’s List:

Genestealer Cults Battalion (Mixed)

HQ

  • Magus (4 Armed Emperor)
  • Patriarch (4 Armed Emperor)

Elites

  • Kelermorph (Bladed Cog)
  • Nexos (Twisted Helix)

Troops

  • Brood Brothers Infantry Squad: x10
  • Brood Brothers Infantry Squad: x10
  • Brood Brothers Infantry Squad: x10

    Genestealer Cults Battalion (Bladed Cog: Deliverance Broodsurge)

HQ

  • Acolyte Iconward
  • Jackal Alphus

Elites

  • Kelermorph

Troops

  • Acolyte Hybrids: 20x Hand Flamers
  • Neophyte Hybrids: 6x Autogun, 2x Mining Laser, 2x Webber
  • Neophyte Hybrids: 6x Autogun, 2x Mining Laser, 2x Webber
  • Neophyte Hybrids: 6x Autogun, 2x Mining Laser, 2x Webber
  • Neophyte Hybrids: 6x Autogun, 2x Mining Laser, 2x Webber
  • Neophyte Hybrids: 6x Autogun, 2x Mining Laser, 2x Webber

    Genestealer Cults Battalion (Twisted Helix)

​HQ

  • Patriarch
  • Primus

​Elites

  • Clamavus
  • Aberrants: 8x Power Pick, 2x Heavy Improvised Weapon
  • Hybrid Metamorphs: 9x Hand Flamers, 9x Whips/Rending Claws, Cult Icon
  • Hybrid Metamorphs: 9x Hand Flamers, 9x Whips/Rending Claws, Cult Icon

​Troops

  • Acolyte Hybrids: 5x Autopistol
  • Acolyte Hybrids: 5x Autopistol
  • Brood Brothers Infantry Squad: x10

Pre-game

Going into the final match against Nick Rose, I had played two consecutive matches against Genestealer Cults (GSC). Fortunately, my list is designed with GSC in mind. One of the reasons that I take so many small drone units is to use them as cheap screens to prevent assault units from easily reaching my riptides and commanders. Because I have 13 different units of drones after the army is deployed, I can easily screen out armies like GSC for at least three consecutive turns when the bulk of their army will be deployed out of reserve. While I believe that my list has a favorable matchup against GSC, I felt that the Games Workshop stream table, which featured much larger L-shaped ruins and massive cargo container hills, would negate that advantage and ensure a close match.

Primary: Nick chose progressive scoring while I chose end game scoring. Nick knew that I would have to play fairly conservatively in screening out his multiple waves of assault threats, which would allow him to take board control and score progressive points at the start of his turns after the first battle round. Meanwhile, I had chosen end game scoring in my previous eight rounds and acknowledged that I would need to destroy most of Nick’s army piecemeal over the course of several turns and then take objectives on the final turn. This is partially due to the highly synergistic nature of Tau, which benefits enormously from several powerful 6-inch auras and special rules (For the Greater Good, Invocation of the Elements, Volley Fire, etc.).

Because Nick chose progressive scoring for his primary, I knew that if I could shoot him off of the two midfield objectives each turn, denying him crucial points for holding more objective than me, that I would restrict him to at most two primary points over five turns (10 pts total). In this case I would only need to hold three objectives at the end of turn 6 (worth 4 points each for a total of 12) in order to win the primary and likely the match.

  • Nick’s secondaries: Moment of Bloodshed, Headhunter, Marked for Death (3x Tactical Drone units and 1x Riptide)
  • My secondaries: Recon, Cull the Hordes, Headhunter (I had mistakenly chosen Moment of Bloodshed, but Nick generously allowed me to switch).

Deployment

Why did I deploy in the middle of the table, instead of closer to the container hill where I knew Nick would deploy most of his blips? The first reason is that the NOVA format has two forests on the table, each in the middle of the table on either side. Because the forest subtracts 2-inches from units that move across it, I knew that I could combine that penalty with a further -d3 inches from the grav inhibitor drones in my pathfinder drone teams for a potential -5 to charge rolls. Failed charges are the bane of GSC existence and so I knew that even if my screens were destroyed, I would still have the defense of the forest as a backup to protect my riptides from the aberrants and patriarchs.

Secondly, because Nick picked progressive primary, he was going to have to be on the midfield objectives as soon as possible, forcing him into my range. By stationing my army in the middle, I had three clear firing lanes to his side of the board and especially the two midfield objectives.
And finally, if I needed to, I could move the riptides to my right flank so that they could look into the L-shaped ruin facing Nick’s deployment zone.

Turn 1

Why did I not use Mont’ka to try to get into range of the blips behind the cargo container hill? Because of progressive scoring, Nick was always going to have to spread his army across the entire board in order to attempt to hold four objectives at the start of each of his turns. Thus, I did not want to take my army out of position and give Nick and easier time in scoring the objectives on the left side of the board. I also knew that the brood brothers behind the hill would be out of line of sight and the SMS shots were unlikely to kill enough models to make it worth burning Mont’ka.

Turn 2

I continued moving and advancing my small two-man drone squads out onto the midfield objectives to prevent Nick from deepstriking multiple units and characters onto them. The easiest way for him to rack up progressive points would be to have multiple units strung out across at least two objectives with characters just behind them and within 3 inches of the objectives. So that even if I ended up killing the brood brothers or neophytes on the objectives, the characters would likely survive and net him the points he needed. I also covered the center Ls with multiple squads to prevent him from deepstriking within them in front of my castle. I shot away the brood brothers squads in range and prevented Nick from gaining any progressive points at the start of his second turn.

Because of the position I had put Nick into where he would not be able to drop most of his army directly onto the midfield objectives and because he was already behind on progressive points, I knew he would drop most of his army this turn. So I used branched nova charge to give the marked for death riptide the 3+ invulnerable save and the 18 heavy burst cannon shots.

Turn 3

Nick had dropped his neophyte units and a metamorph unit so I decided to Kauyon in order to do as much damage as possible to them. My goal was to kill the acolytes on the right midfield objective so he would only gain two progressive points that turn, destroy the metamorph unit that it could not blender drones the next turn, and take out as many mining laser squads as possible. It was reported on stream that I gave the riptides the 3++ invulnerable save, but for most of that game I was giving all of the riptides 18 shots with the nova charge, and using the branched nova strat to also give the marked riptide the 3++ while the mining lasers were alive.

Turn 4

Going into turn four, I still had a few small drone units to continue netting me recon points, while the two pathfinder drone units remained close to the riptides. If Nick decided to go for the hail mary aberrant and patriarch charges in the coming turns, the grav drones and forest would make the charge exceptionally difficult. I knew I would need to kill roughly 40 models this turn to take Nick off of the two midfield objectives so I put five markerlights on the 20-man hand flamer acolyte unit and then one each into the brood brother and neophyte squads. I used one commander to kill the nearby Kelemorph to secure my first headhunter point.

Nick positioned himself to charge in with the patriarch with the ignore overwatch relic, but he failed his charge due to the grav drone and forest. He had forgotten to charge the mining laser neophytes into the orange drone in the middle, we went back to it, but they failed to kill the drone in combat.

Turn 5

At this point I needed to secure my last recon point and then attempt to kill three of his characters on the left side of the board to earn the maximum headhunter points. Since my list has only one small objective secured unit, I knew I had to finish off as many of Nick’s troops as possible so that I could safely secure at least three objective at the end of the game. Because I was able to deny him so many progressive points, the 12 end game points for holding three objectives would likely ensure I could secure a win. To that end, I positioned the commanders to snipe characters and left the riptides stationary so that they could finish off the last brood brothers and neophytes. I also repositioned the white grav drone unit into the forest so that if Nick attempted the charge from out of line of sight he would need an exceptionally long charge to make it into the riptides.

Why did I charge the Kelermorph? Yes, I knew his pistols could shoot into combat, but he only had one wound left and I felt that the commander could take the last wound in combat and then I would consolidate the drones onto the objective. I ended up killing him in combat during Nick’s turn. Secondly, it positioned that commander to kill the last 5-man acolyte squad in my final turn.

I could have repositioned my army to the left side of the board so that the aberrants would never be able to charge me, but I did not mind him attempting that long charge because it kept my army within range of 4 objectives with multiple units. And if he did charge the aberrants I could finish them off in my last turn and not have to worry about them during the bottom of the turn.

Nick ended up walking them through the wall to make their charge manageable, but even after tagging two riptides with the no overwatch relic patriarch, the aberrants lost 8 of 10 models from the two pathfinder teams, the fire warriors, one riptide, three fireblades, darkstrider, a recon drone, and a commander. I rolled hot on the heavy burst cannon and that alone killed 3 aberrants. The two who survived overwatch did two wounds to a riptide and killed the last two drones.

Turn 6

At this point Nick had 8 primary points and five secondary points while I had all 12 secondary points and thus holding at least three objectives at the end of turn six would secure me 12 primary points and the win. So I moved units onto five of the six objectives and was able to kill the last patriarch, the acolyte squad, the two aberrants, the icon ward, clamavus and magus. At this point Nick called the game with the primus and nexos left on the board. Great game, Nick!

Final Score: 33-19

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About Reecius

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

5 Responses to “For the Greater Good! NOVA Open 40k GT Final Breakdown”

  1. Reecius
    Reecius September 28, 2019 8:34 am #

    Great write up, Richard. That game was seriously one of the best displays of T’au generalship I have ever seen. Congratz on your victory!

    • Avatar
      Richard S. October 3, 2019 7:34 am #

      Cheers, Reece! You and Frankie did a great job all weekend with the stream, having went back and watched several of the matches.

  2. Faitherun
    Faitherun September 29, 2019 5:20 am #

    A very interesting read – now I need to see if I can find a video of it to watch and really see it in action.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts

    • Avatar
      Richard S. October 3, 2019 7:35 am #

      I have only been on stream once and that was during this NOVA GT final. You can still watch the VOD of this match if you subscribe to Warhammer TV on twitch. It’s in their video history.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 3, 2019 8:42 am #

        Yeah, I think you have to sub to them to see the VODs, but the sub is well worth it.

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