Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Nova Style Tourney in the UK?

I have, for a long time, only ever played 1750pt Armies or less at Tournaments or in friendly games. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my friends over at Oxford Gaming Club will be hosting their first of hopefully many 2 day 40k events. So what makes this one different? Well for a start its going to be 2000pts which is very unique for a UK 40k Tourney. This alone was very surprising, but what made it extra special was the fact that they will be using the renowned NOVA format produced by MVB over at whiskey & 40k

Introduction to the Tourney

So how will this work? Find the rule pack HERE It’s fairly interesting, with 3 different types of missions. Capture quarters, win by VPs and capturing objectives. Each of these will be used for Primary, Secondary and Tertiary missions. Now what makes this tourney unique even further is that you get more points for winning the Primary over the Tertiary. I really like this addition as it stop player trying to aim for their favorite mission by contesting the other two. I really like this, and what’s even better is that, your opponent will still get points for losing. I think this is a nice touch as it still leaves the loser with something to go away with. The winner will still receive more points for winning even on a Tertiary, but your opponent still gets a fair amount of points which doesn’t throw them out of the game.

Army List Creation

How will I go about creating an army list which not only is competitive & fun, but slightly different? Creativity is always fun, so today I’m feeling creative. I fancy a Storm Raven. I’ve always wanted to take a Storm Raven in an MSU army, but never had the points. With the objectives being as it is, I’m really feeling the need to upgrade my GK army even further, so a Storm Raven could be a great addition

To do this, I will start with my usual choice, big man Coteaz. His here to accompany my bad-ass unit in the Strom Raven which I will go into further down.

Next up is my Elites. Three units of 5 Purifiers equips with 2x Halberds, 2 Psycannons & 1 Hammer. These lads will be making their way around the board in their trusty Automobile, a Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy bolters & Psybolt ammo. I decided I would perhaps need as much shooting as possible to counter some lists which can put out a lot of things at 2k. The hammer & Halberds are a great addition, with reasons explained in my previous Crowe post HERE. They are an all round great unit to counter almost anything my opponent throws at me.

So with my Elites choices filled up, time to start on our scoring units. I want two units to sit on the backfield on objectives and hold my own quarter, so 2 units of 5 Henchmen in Las/plas razorbacks should do the job nicely for a minuscule 184pt tax. Lovely jubbly. Next, I want some Deep Strike disruption, so 2 units of five Strike Marines with a single Psycannon in a Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy bolter & Psybolt ammo. No hammer for these as from experience, these guys don’t really have a chance against anything where the Hammer would be useful due to their lack of attacks. So they will be simply used in a support role whilst attempting to capture Quarters/Objectives.

Now that we have a solid scoring base, I now need to sort out a nice unit to put in the Storm Raven. Terminators are always a nice choice, as are paladins, but I would only be able to take 5 or 6 (without Coteaz) which isn’t a big deal. I want this unit to come out, smash a target to pieces, and then…well, that’s it. If they do any more, awesome! To this end, I want to keep them cheap. I also want to try and keep them scoring, as against some armies it might be a good idea to use the Storm Raven as a last minute objective grabber. Cheap, awesome in combat and scoring…Yes you guessed it, Death cults. 7 of these lovely ladies and 2 Crusaders just to throw some ablative wounds on, and they still have a Power weapon awesome. Certainly can’t complain for 135pts.

So there’s our Troops done. Fast Attack? Not exactly much to choose here, but baring in mind the list, I will obviously need to take a Storm Raven. I will be giving it a Twin-linked lascannon & a Twin-linked Multi-melta to help give it some anti-tank to break open transports etc for the cargo inside. Also allows it to be used as a Gunboat.

Finally we come onto the mandatory Heavy Support section. I think we can all tell what’s going on here, and 3 Psyfleman Dreads (Twin linked Autocannons with Psybolt ammo for those of you who don’t know) will take up all three of our slots.

This brings our total to 1946pts. Now, I can’t really get another scoring unit for that many points, so what else can I do? I could grab a few more Death cults, but I think that would just be overkill. 28 WS5 Power weapon attacks should be more than enough most of the time. I could take an Inquisitor with Psycho & Rad grenades to buff the unit even further? I could also give the Death cults a dedicated Razorback to give me further saturation, a speed bump and some additional firepower. Lets go with that option, as it can be great to give my army a n extra hull to give my parking lot a cover save without the loss of one of my Units mobility. 4 points spare, let’s throw out some Searchlights on some Razorbacks.

Army List

The list should look like this:

Coteaz: 100pts

[5] Purifiers: 199pts
(2) Psycannons, (2) Halberds, (1) Hammer. Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy Bolter & Psybolt ammo.

[5] Purifiers: 199pts
(2) Psycannons, (2) Halberds, (1) Hammer. Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy Bolter & Psybolt ammo.

[5] Purifiers: 199pts
(2) Psycannons, (2) Halberds, (1) Hammer. Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy Bolter & Psybolt ammo.

[5] Strike Squad: 160pts
(1) Psycannon. Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy Bolter, Psybolt ammo & Searchlights.

[5] Strike Squad: 160pts
(1) Psycannon. Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy Bolter, Psybolt ammo & Searchlights.

[3] Henchmen: 93pts
Razorback with Lascannon & Twin-linked Plasma gun & Searchlights.

[3] Henchmen: 92pts
Razorback with Lascannon & Twin-linked Plasma gun.

[9] Henchmen: 186pts
(7) Death cult Assassins, (2) Crusaders. Razorback with Twin-linked Heavy Bolter, Psybolt ammo & Searchlights.

Storm Raven: 205pts
Twin-linked Lascannon & Twin-linked Multi-melta.

Dreadnought: 135pts
Two Twin-linked Autocannons & Psybolt ammo.

Dreadnought: 135pts
Two Twin-linked Autocannons & Psybolt ammo.

Dreadnought: 135pts
Two Twin-linked Autocannons & Psybolt ammo

Grand Total: 2000pts


Let’s throw out some figures:

3 Str 9 shots
13 twin linked Str 8 shots
2 Str 7 twin linked shots
12-24 Str 7 shots
18 Str 6 twin linked shots
34 Str 4 shots

All of which have a range of 24-48 inches. I think that validates my shooting phase fairly nicely.

For counter assault we have Purifiers and the Grey Knight strike squads if necessary and to punch other death stars I have my own Death cult unit. The Storm raven will go in reserve most of the times and have a 24 inch threat range from its weapons, and a 21 inch charge threat range as well, pushing some assault armies back. The razorbacks provide cover to one another and can shoot over one another fairly easily, taking down lighter amour, putting wounds on MC’s or thinning out troops, and the Dreads along with the Psycannons De-mechs my opponent. Fairly standard tactics which should hopefully work well at this point range.

Most of the time I should be aiming for the primary mission, and depending on which ever it is dictates my deployment. I don't like splitting my army up so capturing quarters can be a pain, but If I stay fairly central, I should be fine to split off in any direction. For Collecting VPs, my army should be able to out shoot most bar Guard & maybe Wolves, so I can simply hang back and pick up VP's that way. Objectives will be interesting as they are already in set places, so I will have to constantly think ahead as my army isn't too great pushing up with only a few solid units capable of handling themselves up close.


If anyone has any feedback, input or comments I would love to hear from you. Also if anyone is interested in also applying for this tournament which is held at Warhammer World on the 18th & 19th of February 2012, please feel free to contact the guys at Oxford Gaming Club HERE.



  1. I get the feeling that you do not understand what makes the NOVA open event different. It is not the 3 objectives with different point levels, this is pretty standard in many events. The NOVA Open uses a single elimination style which means that when you lose any game you are out of contention for the winner spot.

  2. @eriochorme

    If it's single elimination from top spot, what's all the internet hype about then? To read some people you'd think the NOVA was handed down from on high. It's a nice format, but hardly original. Basically the same jist as M:tG and Warmachine tournaments.

  3. Venerable Brother29 June 2011 at 18:23

    I like it mate. Strong, plenty of shoting, scoring, mobility, counter assault ... all the usual good stuff.
    I always find it amazing what you can get for 2k, but then with Coteaz you can get so much at 1750 so it shouldnt be a surprise!
    Storm Raven is the only odd chicken in the coop...I actually really like them, but I like to take 2 personally.
    In addition, the DCA have a dedicated transport, so will that not require a little shifting around and ride stealing? Only issue in DoW for ride steal shenanigans..
    As for tactics for a NOVA event, I think its a case of strong push for primary, but a far greater presence of mind regarding secondary and tertiary so board control, mobility etc become even more important..
    Anyway, my 2 cents..

    OH, and sign me up bitch!

  4. I never claimed it was all that and a bag of chips since it is a competitive event built on a flawed to the core rule structure and unbalance codexes(internally and externally).

    I believe that the NovaOpen format is a revolution against 2 things that are common in WFB and W40K:

    Soft scores (points for painting, sportsmanship, army composition) determining the event winner. Not that they do not give awards for these things except for composition since most of the people attracted by these events think the balance issues just is another skill test to tell good and bad units and armies.

    Battlepoints and Swiss Pairing which allowed people to game the system by not winning earlier games with as many Battle points as possible to avoid harder pairings later on. I remember either Jawaballs or Fritz mentioning this as a tactic in playing these systems. The battle points then allowed if the 2 players at the top table who you think are playing for the championship to both lose in a tight game to someone a few table down who beats up weaker competition. Also swiss pairing will lead to the best players playing each other early which is anti-climatic for the final round.

    The problem with single elimination in 40K is that the number of rounds scales with the number of players and 2-2.5 hour full round lengths are pretty common (setup, game, report, move to next table). 32 players is 5 rounds so at least a whole day. Another problem is the seeding. Assume totally random first round. If you reseed by battle points after each round then getting a weak opponent first round gives you a major advantage since it will make your opponent from the fellow winners weaker but if you do not reseed then the best players can run into each other early eliminating 1 far earlier than he would normal loss.

  5. @eriochrome - big thing here in the UK - even for our GT's is that we use textbook missions, and W/L/D formats (and VP's to split diff's etc..) there are other scorings, but more often than not your going to be at an event that you can draw.

    Nova has become synonymous with multi-tiered missions to create the win loss - and lets face it, Killswitch is not the first, nor the last to refer to "nova format" in terms of mission and w/l.

    That said, its all a good thing that we'll see something different here, not that I don't enjoy normal missions, just gives another edge.

  6. @eriochrome

    I'll have to look that up, but is seems more a issue with battle points then then swiss system from what you describe.

    I've been out of 40K awhile. It's nice to see the tournament seen catch up with warmachine and focus on a w/l swiss pairing. I remember talking with a local TO back in 4th about following the standards at chess tournements and the look he gave me when he asked how their score sportsmenship was basicially what lead me to giving up 40K for chess as my prime hobby.

  7. Yeah, people really do not losing an event to someone they beat because he was able to beat up weaker people better than you did.

    Swiss is single elimination will run into the problem that just barely winning is better than crushing your opponent in terms of your advancement which is something that is easier to game.

  8. oh man, INAT faq... who's great idea was that?

    i'll still go, but that is a major downer

  9. Probably someone who wants people to know ahead of time how the rules will be read.

    I think the problem with this missions is that they limit the value of scoring units (1 of 3 instead of 2 of 3) in standard missions and remove kill points as the counter balance to multiple small units. Assume GW does any play testing to set the points cost for balancing the armies these changes remove that balance further.

  10. Inat isn't that bad is it? The things ive read which im interested in makes sense, not sure about it as a whole.

    As for the format, as stated this is "different" for us here in the UK which makes it unique. Its also not 100% Nova. There is still "winner takes all" just means that you have to play primary over tertiary which makes sense.

    The loss of KPs is fine by me as I have never been a fan. The "Win by certain VP" margin is also something that I love.

    I don't think anyone can balance the game except GW.

    @ Venerable - The DCA are in the storm raven, their ride is used as an extra metal bawx to use as a blocker/mobile terrain for my more important bawxes. Its also nice to give a ride to those whove been bailed out due to wrecks :)

  11. Venerable Brother30 June 2011 at 09:13

    @Killswitch, I got that man, but for some reason was mildly retarded last night (that or in a rush to get a practice game in...) and confuzzled myself with dedicated transport rule..never mind.
    Any thoughts on the necessity of 2 Ravens?
    @eriochrome - how else can you ensure that when reseeding the players you match appropriate skill levels without swiss pairing? I am unfamiliar with other game/tournament formats so its not a niggly comment, an inquistive one..
    You can game regular 40k tournaments in the same way as you describe prior to NOVA formats, n fact in all 40k tournaments you could do this..too risky for my taste as you could get stranded mid table and not make it back strongly enough, or get bogged down.
    Removal of KPs is ok and VP margin encourages MSU builds over anything else. Which again, I am fine with...Downgrading the essential nature of scoring units through missions is not something I am a fan of, but can most certainly deal with it...

  12. i am going to pay for my ticket later today. i hope everyone else is going as well!

  13. I will be paying soonish...not today though.. times are tight for teachers these days mate, I have to save for my pension even harder now...just lost £243,874 from it in one fell swoop... :(

  14. Such a joke for teachers these days. And they wonder why they struggle to recruit people.

    I'll pay up today as well.

    Being 2k really opens up some options.

  15. INAT is terrible. The rulings are stupid. All the rules you need are in the 40k rulebook, codices and FAQs. I'm not saying I know them all, but they're there if you read them all. Anybody that think INAT is good is crazy. It's a different 40k.

    eriochrome.. "Another problem is the seeding. Assume totally random first round. If you reseed by battle points after each round then getting a weak opponent first round gives you a major advantage"

    That's part of the point of NOVA. To find the best general it doesn't matter if the top 2 seeds play each other game 1. The winner of the tournament will have won all of his games. Compare this to the bad W/D/L variant and seeding becomes an issue. Blog Wars recently finished with nobody on 3/0/0 about 5 players on 2/1/0 and another 5 on 2/0/1. This is where seeding becomes of MASSIVE importance.

    It's nice that Mike's format is getting our there and I know there have been many more pushing such formats for many years (e.g. Stelek). I'd like to see a whole host of them for the UK and have a proper GT circuit. I can think of 3 more locations to start... Brighton, Cardiff, Cambridge. Would people really want that do you think?

  16. @BroLo. A proper GT circuit would be immense....Throw in WHW/OGC plus above 3, ONE per quarter so as not to 'dry up the well' too quickly..

    How does one qualify an event as a 'GT' though?
    - Standardised missions/format
    - Standardised points size
    - Large (50+) volume of players?

    How does a 'tournament' go to 'GT' in the states? Any input from US...?

    Sons' - Atreides, Bully, Bringer - I have emailed OGC and asked to reserve tickets, have said you guys may very well be in touch seperately...

  17. Cool Ven.

    States - being a bigger place, plus what seems like more active LGS communities (bigger stores that encourage RTT's and even get GT's down) there always seems to be some form of tourney on - even if its not a biggie or has "internet celebs".

    Its a shame, as take London for example, we have a handful of stores (Kensington, Oxford Street, Angel, Brent Cross, Kingston) and none are really "that far away", yet we have no inter-store comps (there used to be) - worse yet - no store competitions.

    Its grass roots stuff this. I've played a lot of games competitively - and the one thing was, that all of them had something going on constantly.

    I've offered to organise AND fund prize support at my local store (not much, but winner gets choice of say up to 20 quid model/box, or painted model of their choice by me) - even that (apart from 1 guy) wasn't even listened to other than "thats nice". Here I am basically offering to do their job AND give them a sale at the same time, plus get bodies in the store, not to mention if I did encourage painting scores etc... that instantly would boost sales as people pick up those last bits to finish up armies etc... Still no love. Pain in the ****ing ass.

  18. Well I'm going to my local club tonight that could easily host a 50+ player tournament, so I'll enquire about that. With only winners heading through to play in the 'final' it would either need to be 5 games (32 players) or 6 games (64 players). I think 64 maybe a big ask, but I'll speak to Mike about getting a NOVA pack and how he deals with making odd numbers - I know in NOVA'10 5 guys went through with 4/0 and the top 3/1s. But the 3/1s couldn't win it I don't think... I'll have to ask.

    I'll get on to the case. WHW wouldn't be an option... they would never run a competitive event silly! It's a 'GT' when you want it to be a GT. It's not exactly a 'professional' hobby. If there can be 3 tournament (South West/South East/North... and then a final that would be great, anybody else that wants in... bonus!

  19. Hi, i am the TO for this event and thought i would answer the questions regarding the use of the INAT for this event. The main reason for using it is to just let people know in advance what any major rules questions will be answered by, to be honest i dont expect to use it at all over the weekend, as if myself or a judge is called over, we will first check the rulebook then the GW FAQs and if the question is still not cleared up then we will go to INAT. Hope that clears it up a bit for you, and hope it does not put you off coming to our event.

  20. We've all signed up so not put us off I think ;D

    I've not actually looked at it beyond a cursory glance a while back. I'll give it a good read myself, might put up a post here.

    Will be interesting to see if it actually comes up over the weekend though.

    2000 point Deathwing. Interesting! I might actually get "tactical" squads in. 4xTH/SS Squads, 2x"Tactical" (with 1xTH/SS) and 2xBike Squads, with some points spare. Or add in Ezekial and another bike squad.

    Looks like Atreides and I are going to be doing a few 2k games after brighton lol.

  21. @Royemunson - thanks for clearing that up, judge, rulebook, faq, inat is a good sequence...almost everything should be done by rulebook or faq stage.. nice one.

    @Bully - been reading too much Hulksmash there mate.."tactical" squads...

  22. Negatory Ven - You have assault and tactical versions! If I say tactical terminators you KNOW I mean SB heavy haha.

    Enjoying Hulks reports, he is playing v.similar to how I played early on lol. Its almost scary.