Monday, September 10, 2012

Nova Open Recap: Steam Roller

The lead-up to Saturday morning's SR event could have been better.  The tier tournament ran a little late (1:45 instead of midnight), it took me far too long to fall asleep, and the place I'd spotted for breakfast (Bozzelli's) didn't open until 10 on Saturdays.  Most places around the hotel were closed, so I soldiered on with nuts and trail mix before I got back to the tables.

It was eventually decided that this event was Divide & Conquer, which I was happy about.  There's lots of talk about picking complimentary lists, good/bad matchups, and getting "locked in" to a particular list on the podcasts I listen to, so I was eager to see how the format played out.  I've since tinkered with the existing lists instead of making new ones, as is my custom, so these may be slightly off, but this is what I ran:

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight  +5 points
* 2x Angelius  9 points each
* Seraph  8 points
* Shredder  2 points

10 Blighted Swordsmen  8 points
Shepherd  1 point
1 Spell Martyr  1 point
The Forsaken  2 points

Basically a scaled-down version of my Hardcore list.

Vayl, Disciple of Everblight  +6 points
* Ravagore  10 points
* Scythean  9 points
* Shredder  2 points
* Typhon  12 points

6 Blighted Swordsmen  5 points
Shepherd  1 point
The Forsaken  2 points

The usual pVayl goodness.  I still haven't gotten a Dark Sentinel fueled Crit: Pitch off.

Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight  +5 points
* Naga Nightlurker  5 points
* 2x Nephilim Bolt Thrower  6 points each
* Ravagore  10 points
* Succubus  2 points

2x Shepherd  1 point each
Striders  6 points
* Strider Officer & Musician  3 points

The list I was most excited about since I hadn't really played eLylyth with a proper list before and had never fielded either the Strider UA or Nightlurker.

My first round was against Jeff, a former local who moved up to Columbia this past week.  Games & Stuff looks to be his new FLGS so he'll be in good hands, and much closer than the trip he took to Game Parlor.  Jeff plays Menoth and while I forget all the lists he had I do remember he dropped one of my least favorite casters to play against: pKreoss. He also ran Zealots, a pair of Reckoners, probably Errants, Choir, Vassals, the usual Menoth.  I wanted to play eLylyth so I did, though in retrospect that may not have been the best choice.  This was a pretty straight-forward game where we both went at each other.  I held my feat probably a turn too long which allowed Jeff to pop his first.  He shot up some of my stuff, but Lylyth's inherent Stealth saved her from the worst of it and I was able to blow Kreoss away on my next turn.

While talking to Danny after the game was over Lylyth's Stealth came up when he pointed out she didn't have it innately.  I thought that was preposterous since her whole schtick is Stealth, but when I checked the card it wasn't there.  (I later checked pLylyth's card and found no Stealth there either...)  Since Jeff's entire army would have shot Lylyth and finished her off easily I went up to the PG table to explain what happened and got the result changed as if Lylyth had died the turn before.  A lesson learned the hard way.

Round two I faced off against Dan, a local I'd never met before, and his "eStryker" list.  I put that in quotes because he'd converted the standard pStryker model into eStryker by extending the haft on his sword and adding some extra backpack bits.  There was no problem with the conversion and I never mistook it for pStryker after asking about it the first time, but it did drive home how accustomed I am to the silhouettes of models.  Dan ran some Stormnouns, Ol' Rowdy, Gallant, Squire, and some other bits, a fairly standard eStryker melee list.  I ran eLylyth again because I wanted to use her, though it's worth noting that Divide & Conquer may not have been settled on until this round was underway.  This one went pretty quick.  In my turn two I moved up my Striders to take some shots only to be counter-charged by Rowdy.  (I forgot Rowdy could do that, and also was surprised that he went 6" when I thought Counter-Charge was a 5" bubble, but it didn't really matter.)  Rowdy squished a Strider flat but vacated his spot screening Stryker in the process.  Despite learning how Shield Guarded AOEs work (hint: it doesn't make much sense), one feat later Stryker was in the dirt.  I had planned to gun down Rowdy anyway, which may not have been as successful considering Gallant with Shield Guard could eat an attack, but I felt decent enough about the prospect that I was going with it.  Dan was a great sport in spite of enabling my assassination run and even gave me one of his excess meal vouchers (he had 3 days worth of vouchers but was only there for 2).

Glorious?  No.  Effective?  Yes.
My third match was also my second match in a way as I faced Lee again, this time playing Grim.  I went with pVayl this time as I'd be able to use her full bag of tricks against a Hordes faction. Along with Grim Lee fielded a Bomber, Pyre Troll, Slag Troll, min Champs, max Nyss Hunters, and some other stuff.  I always hate seeing a Pyre Troll as it shuts down most of my shooting, but this time it wasn't such a big deal.  During Lee's first turn I noticed he hadn't moved one of his Nyss, then later in his turn he noticed as well.  There was one detail I hadn't caught: it wasn't just a Hunter, it was Cylena.  He'd gotten caught up in positioning his pieces to get the most out of the Bomber's animus and made a crucial mistake, which cost his Nyss a full turn and allowed (among other things) my Swordsmen to advance unmolested.  In my turn I put up Incite and sent the Scythean into his Champions, killing two and leaving the last one on his but with a single box (I didn't pop the Scythean's animus until after the first successful Tough roll).  I also finally used Rampager (mostly) like the internet has suggested by pulling the Bomber forward into range of Typhon's snappy jaws.  (Lee later pointed out that a) I should have turned the Bomber around to get back strike bonuses and b) I could have made a ranged attack as well as just moving.)  I'd also popped Vayl's feat to reposition, which finished off easily the best pVayl turn I've ever had.  After that I bunkered up behind a wall of beasts and ground Lee's forces down, eventually winning by scenario via Replusion.  Lee was especially distraught at the end of our game thanks in large part to the Cylena blunder, which seemed to keep him off-balance through the whole game.  He'd wanted to qualify for Masters (spoiler: he did anyway), but at 1-2 his road would be hard.  It was an odd reversal off my initial encounter with him on Friday where he'd played Gary, except this time it was Lee who'd made the costly error.

Round four was another rematch, this time Brandon and eSorscha.  There was no Conquest this time, but otherwise his list was mostly the same.  I played Saeryn to keep my options open for the final round, which meant this was a true rematch.  I fared better this time, with highlights including a Ravagore chucking Beast 09 to avoid getting frozen and squish a Great Bear.  This was a closer game than our Hardcore match, but I made a tactical choice that made my plod much tougher.  I decided to defend the flag (we were playing Sacrifice) instead of contesting the zone, which is nigh impossible in Sacrifice and doubly so with a lowish model count list like I was running.  In the end I went for an assassination that didn't quite pan out, which was a pattern for the weekend although this one had a better chance than most.  Despite having Saeryn hanging out, exposed and with no Fury, Brandon took the scenario victory, which was the right choice for purposes of tie-breaking.

For round five I played Gary.  I don't think it was my local Gary as I'm fairly sure I didn't play him at all in the Open.  I remember nothing about this game, not even the outcome, but I know I finished 2-3 for the event which means I lost the final round.

Another event, another losing record, another recap light on pictures.  At least I remembered the majority of these games.  We're halfway to the finish line, only team and masters to go.  Plus a general recap.  As of this writing (Monday around 2:30) I still have a firm grasp on the games remaining.  Hopefully the ol' remembering box holds up until I get all that info out.


  1. Keep up the great updates. It's fun to hear even if you don't remember every detail.

    1. Always glad folks enjoy what I produce. In the wake of the Open I've reconsidered how I do event recaps. With any luck I'll have a new process in place this weekend which will avoid the many, many gaps caused by a weekend of Roman orgy style wargaming.