Hey all. Son of Adam here from MasterCraft Gaming. Well fellas, I’m heading out to NOVA this year, and with the advent of 6th edition this is going to be a crazy and challenging tournament. I’m looking forward to it.
I’m opening up this series on the road to NOVA with some introductory thoughts, predictions, and aspirations about this year’s competition.
To start off, for those of you who don’t know, NOVA is one of the top five largest events in the country for 40k. This GT is a three day, eight-round, 256-player, 2k tournament down in Arlington Virginia. The results of the 2012 tournament will go a long way to shape the meta and conventional wisdom about 6th edition.
I, for one, am very excited about the opportunity to participate in such a rare tournament. Let me explain to you what I mean. Each year the top players in the country travel out to these tournaments, and they bring the best they can to fight for glory (or mediocre internet notoriety and some respect at their local club). These players seek out to break or beat the meta. This year however, things are different. This year there is no meta.
Players will be trying to break what they think the meta will be. There have already been some extreme and frightening combinations that people have come up with in the new rules, and people are starting to think of them when considering what to bring. In addition to all of the different predictions and their proposed counters, other players will simply be bringing what they brought to 5th edition tournaments. The diversity of lists should make this a very entertaining event. Contrary to this years Adepticon, I don’t expect to find 25% of the players bringing Grey Knights, for the one reason that, nobody knows what the “Grey Knights” of 6th edition is yet.
This edition does seem like a bit of a rock, paper, scissors type of game, which I like, but this makes the eccentric quality of the lists being brought very interesting. Let no one fool you, as much skill as will be present, luck will play no small part in determining the victor this year. Some of the new lists are fantastic against what was good in 5th edition, some lists, in anticipation, counters those, while other list, that remain 5th edition lists, will naturally be good against those counter lists.
This type of event happens very rarely. A huge national event, with the advent of a new edition, where there has been no other national event to shape the meta prior. Needless to say, I am stoked to be attending.
Now that I have put out some introductory thoughts with some predictions hidden in there, let’s talk about some of the particulars of what I expect. I think there are five new aspects of the game that got a big change in the new edition and I think people will be looking to break the game there. Those aspects are; fliers, psykers, monstrous creatures (flying and otherwise), 2+ save/Deathstar units, and allied combinations.
If you are building a list for NOVA, consider using one of these and make sure you build your list with a defense against all of these. I would count on having to play each one of these. We don’t have space to give a brief overview of all of these groups here (believe me I tried) so I am just going to post up, bullet style, some considerations for each.
• Fliers excel with their fire power, denial of targets, and mobility.
• However, I have seen that they struggle with keeping something on the ground alive, contributing points to table quarters (a bigger deal for NOVA than other tournaments), and killing enough mass models with a solid cover save.
• The new psykers have some crazy tricks, but they are hard to play and the powers are random to get.
• With the powers being random and easy to stop, most are simply trying to make sure that no one can use psykers against them rather than employing some themselves.
• Monstrous creatures do have an inherent weakness against fliers as they can be hit by them but can not hit them easily in return.
• They have gotten better with an easier time at getting cover, and a potentially longer charge range.
• With the advent of challenges I think where these guys will shine is in tar-pitting units or hiding in combat.
• Large hard to kill death-stars will be harder to kill and more deadly with the changes to wound allocation and with the combination of allies.
• However, with NOVA and the focus on objectives/table quarters, they can be fought with good deployment, and tactical evasion.
• Some of the allied combos are great a combating an armies weaknesses and pulling off some great complimentary effects.
• These are really limited by the allies chart and the fact that you still need to stay within the points allotment. (It seems obvious, but will startle you every time you build a list with them).
• They may shine best with small allied detachments to throw in some unexpected quarks and filling in wholes.
Those are just a few quick tips on what I expect and how to treat them.
As for my aspirations; this year I have been trying to stay pure and go with a single army (no allies). I have always enjoyed the challenge of taking what could be considered a bad list and doing well with it. We will get more into what I am taking in another post.
I have done some play testing with it against some of the aforementioned lists and done fairly well. My hopes are simple; to represent my dex well and shake up some things for 6th edition. I have built a list that I think counters most of what I am anticipating, without suffering too much from what people holding onto 5th will bring. It’s a tough line to walk, but I’m trying hard. More on this as things move forward.