Friday, August 11, 2017

NOVA Bound: 2017

It's been a pretty quiet year on the blog, but as far as my first and biggest event of the year, NOVA, not much has changed this year. We're in the home stretch, and I feel like I'm still a ways away in terms of preparation; business as usual.


With the addition of ATC to my tournament slate this year, NOVA has managed to sneak up on me a little bit. On the other hand, with 8th Edition still being new, it's also limited my tendency to waffle on army at least. I have been pretty locked in to taking Tyranids this year, so from there it's mostly the flavor that's up in the air.

For ATC, I took a list that I largely seemed to stumble in to right out the gate, that relies on a heavy upfield presence from Deep Strikes and fast movers. The list was:
  • Battalion Detachment:
    • Broodlord: Warlord (+1A on the Charge)
    • Swarmlord
    • 26 Hormagaunts
    • 15 Genestealers
    • 15 Genestealers
    • 3 Tyrant Guard: Adrenal Glands, Scything Talons, Rending Claws
    • Harpy: 2 Heavy Venom Cannons
    • Tyrannocyte: 5 Venom Cannons
  • Spearhead Detachment:
    • Hive Tyrant: Wings, 2 Deathspitters w/Slimer Maggots, Monstrous Rending Claws, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs
    • Mawloc
    • Mawloc
    • Trygon Prime: Adrenal Glands
Because of the proximity of 8th Edition's release, ATC opted to lift the painting requirement this year, and while I'd hoped to get everything at least 3 colored, I didn't manage to when it came to all of my Genestealers and some of the weapon options. That won't be the case for NOVA so I will need to have everything painted. Additionally, one of the negatives I had from last year was not making the top tier in painting, which really bothered me (I didn't deserve to, either). 

Taking some of my lessons learned from ATC, I have made various updates to the list I took. The first update is just taking advantage of Forge World being permitted to lighten the load on my HQ points and add a Malanthrope in exchange for the Flying Hive Tyrant, who did decent, but not worth 200 points decent.

Another change is to swap the Broodlord for a Magus from Genestealer Cults - the benefit here is largely that he gives access to Mass Hypnosis, which can stack with The Horror for -2 to Hit for an enemy unit, as well as denying overwatch. The downside to this choice is that he'll have to walk, being in a non Genestealer Cult detachment. 

Further trimming included dropping the Tyrant Guard and then working to offset the reserves units a little bit. In the end, the list I've been building towards looks like this:
  • Battalion Detachment:
    • Swarmlord: Warlord (+1A on the Charge)
    • Malanthrope
    • 19 Hormagaunts
    • 16 Genestealers
    • 3 Rippers
    • Harpy: 2 Stranglethorn Cannons
    • Harpy: 2 Stranglethorn Cannons
    • Biovore: Spore Mine Launcher
    • Biovore: Spore Mine Launcher
    • Biovore: Spore Mine Launcher
    • Tyrannocyte: 5 Venom Cannons
  • Spearhead Detachment:
    • Magus
    • Mucolid Spore
    • Mucolid Spore
    • Mawloc
    • Mawloc
    • Trygon: Adrenal Glands
    • Trygon: Adrenal Glands
The list uses the Malanthrope, Magus, Harpies, Biovores, and Mucolids to offset the other half of the army starting in Deep Strike reserve. In the couple playtests I've managed so far I'm pretty happy with how the list performs, though am predictably waffling on a few choices.

One option I have been debating is because I feel a slight lack of Synapse and Psykers, so I am considering dropping a Harpy for a Broodlord and some more Hormagaunts. The concern with this the duo of Harpies seems to work better than just the single Harpy, but not sure what I would drop the second Harpy for.

Another consideration is to drop both Harpies for a third Trygon and second unit of Genestealers. This option is appealing in that it streamlines the list a little. The downside is that I lose what little shooting I do have and it would also be more models to paint.

The WiP pile - includes some extra genestealers
All that said - I think I'm most likely sticking to the list I've playtested a couple times and generally requires a bit less painting. My ToDo list for the next couple weeks looks like this:

  • Must Paint:
    • 6 Genestealers
    • Harpy Head and Weapons
    • Tyrannocyte Venom Cannons
    • Magus
  • Stretch Goals:
    • +10 Genestealers
    • PuppetsWar Wound Markers
    • Add Details to Hormagaunts
    • Touchup and basing additions for Swarmlord
I'm actually in a pretty good place right now; everything in the Must Paint section is at least base coated with the main three colors for my army and could pass by with basing. That said, the Genestealers are predominantly from the Space Hulk set, so they have a lot of integrated basing elements that are currently just primed. Similarly, the Magus has a lot of details that haven't been picked out yet, and little to no highlighting. 

I should have 3-5 more painting sessions, so finishing shouldn't be a problem. That said, I've also got plenty of other projects waiting on the wings that I would prefer to not totally abandon until after NOVA. Regardless, check out my Twitch Stream to keep up to date on my progress. My regular streams are Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting around 9amEST and running for 3-5 hours. In addition to painting, the last two Thursdays I've streamed practice games with James, and might look to get one more game in before NOVA. 

As always, if you'll be at NOVA definitely come say hi. My current plan is to be in the 40k hall for most of Thursday watching the Invitational, and then will be playing in the GT Friday through Sunday.