’s Road to NoVA, Part 7: Standing Around Yelling

I just drove back from NoVA, and boy are my legs tired. That’s not even a joke, I’m just old as hell and my legs and back hurt, plus I can’t talk anymore on account of screaming all day every day. On the plus side, my Amazon review of NoVA is: had a blast at Nerd Camp, 5/5, would attend again. We’ll be covering NoVA from a few angles this week, but here I’m just going to go over my games and see what exit I took on my own personal Road to NoVA.

7.1: Day 1

Game 1: Grey Knights

I had a moment going into this one, where I saw the pairing and realized I’d lucked out. Grey Knights are bad, so this should be easy, I almost feel bad for the dude. Two Land Raiders shouldn’t be hard to take out, and he had most of his points wrapped up in footslogging Paladins. Seemed like a straightforward winnable game, and with some luck I saw visions of tabling him. I picked my secondaries, deployed to screen out deep strikers, shook his hand, and got ready for my first tournament game of Warhammer 40,000. I’d done my practice and I was ready to, in the words I used to encourage every person I saw, “fuck ’em up”.

I’m not sure I’ll ever get over the withering look I got from Dan Boyd later, when I told him I got tabled by Grey Knights.

Game 2: Eldar Bullshit

I lost 800 points of stuff before I even got to go, and ended up tabled in 3 turns. Nice enough guy, but I think whoever went first was running away with this one, and it just wasn’t me. I asked him, after the game, what the hell he was doing on the loser tables with scum like me. I was too crushed to remember his answer.

Game 3: Chaos Space Marines

In what is either a completely ridiculous coincidence, or something that was utterly inevitable from the moment we signed up, out of nearly 300 people in the GT, I got paired up against fucking Rob. We’d both had rough days up to this point, but I think a game against my oldest and worst friend was exactly what I needed to finish out the day and end on a high note.

Ahh fuck.

I still lost hard, just like the other four times we’d played each other with these lists, but this was the most fun I’ve had playing a game in a long time. Most of the Goonhammer crowd turned up at some point. We might have been at table 144 in the rankings, but it was table 1 in our hearts.

At the end of Day 1, surprising no one, I had played a total of maybe 8-10 turns in three games, and been tabled 3 times. According to the standings I was ranked 295 out of 296, only ahead of a guy who didn’t even bother to show. So I had nowhere to go but up.

I stayed up until 2AM goofing around with Online Pals, and then woke up at 7 to play more games, because I’m an idiot.

7.2 Day 2

Game 4: AdMech with Knights

You love to see it.

The moment that, inexplicably, the entire Goonhammer community had been hoping for, the local boy made good, here it was. I turned in my results and went outside where there was WiFi (the low-end tables at NoVA don’t get much in the way of cell signal, because, and I don’t disagree with this, we don’t deserve it), and proceeded to feel nothing for a while. It sunk in later, and I think it was worth ruining my Personal Brand to get my first win in 20 attempts throughout 2019.

Game 5: Blood Angels

Utter bloodbath of a game, absolutely great. His smash captain killed my bomber, so Sammael gibbed the smash captain. His Death Company Thunder Hammered Sammael, so I bolt-rifled them down. Hellblasters melted a Repulsor Executioner, then got Whirlwind Sicarius-ed, which itself got Azrael-ed. Just a real brutal back-and-forth. He won handily, but we each had about 3 models on the table at the end. So if nothing else, a bunch of stuff died, which is cool. Enjoy your shitty planet full of corpses, Dracula Nerd Marines.

My first game had run almost to time, and the food truck lines were extremely long, so I had to have a friend drop off my lunch at the table and it showed up midway through turn 1. I’d gone with a platter instead of a wrap, specifically so I didn’t risk getting sauce all over the place. Cheers to Crion for swinging by with lunch, but jeers to same for taking all the fucking napkins and forks with him. I ended up hovering over my army tray, eating balls of falafel with my bare hands, and probably looked like a garbage person. I threw most of it away and by the end of game 6 I was so hungry I almost puked.

Game 6: Chaos Daemons

Ah fuck. I still have no idea what any of his units did, other than the 3 Disco Lords (what they do is “punch like 15 times and just wholesale delete units”). I definitely didn’t kill many of them, and scored almost nothing on either Primary or Secondary objectives. I was pretty fried at this point, having had to actually play two full games earlier in the day. I learned two valuable lessons here. One, I position stuff bad, leading to my Nephilim just zooming off the table turn 3 because I moved it up too far for some reason. Two, apparently you can heroically intervene just like, whenever you feel like it, it doesn’t have to be into an exising combat. Neat!

It turns out that actively participating in six turns of Warhammer is exhausting. I still stayed up too late, until 3:30 this time, because I remain dumb as hell.

7.3 Legion’s Lesions Lessons Learned

My biggest takeaway from NoVA is that I’m going to be a really shitty parent. Three nights with 4-5 hours of sleep, and I had to leave before I got so tired that I crashed my car. I’m still barely functional, between lack of sleep and my terminally jacked-up back and legs.

I learned a lot about my army, and I think the potential was there for me to win a couple more, but I’m already risking ruining my Brand by winning at all, and I think the alpha strike of this list is a little too variable – d3 shots on the Dark Talon guns isn’t reliable enough to do much, even with the +1 to hit from the Ravenwing Attack Squadron strategem, and on top of that I kept out-running the buffs from Sammeal and the Darkshroud. But I did also win a game, and had a lovely time with everyone both during and outside of the GT, and literally did not have a bad experience with anyone I met. 

Final record: 1-5. Hell yeah.