In game two its Novitiates vs Hierotek ​​​​​​​Circle

This was round two of the us Tacoma Kill Team Grand Tournament. In this game I probably had the most jitters pregame of the entire tournament. I was really hopping to end with a 3-3 record at the end of my run and I felt like if I could walk away with a win from this game I pretty much could guarantee my goal. And the fact that I had scored 6/6 secondaries in the first round had me spooked that I would have a really good opponent.  And that was definitely the case, my partner across the table was David, playing Hierotek circle.

I have never played Hierotek myself, but I knew two general ideas about it:
The Chronomancer slow down from the leader can be game ending,
 and you should treat the team like a 6 model elite roster mostly ignoring the two  small 5 wound operatives unless something crazy comes up.

Before we get into the details of the game, the important part of this game took place before we ever rolled a die, David was generous enough to walk me through the team and took time to answer all my questions about the team. I think we sat and talked for nearly 30 mins before the game started simply to answer all my questions about how they worked. I generally had no idea and David did an amazing job explaining allowing for us to have a great game based on a shared understanding of his team. Thank you David.

The map is junction
Mission is secure

The novitiates bring
Reconsecrate ground
Secure vantage
Recover item

Hierotek circle chooses
Unearth Artifice
Central Control
Center Line

Attacker defender decision goes to my opponent, he chooses to take his side of the board with defender. This is the second time I think I end up with the better side of the board even though I lose the roll. The fact I got to the event a day beforehand and had 2 practice games I think is helping with selection.

 Its this game that I really lock in where I think I want barricades for the rest of the tournament, once central around 4” past the door on my heavy piece of terrain, and one providing some extra cover on my other close objective.

Map thoughts
 now that this is my 3rd game on this map im starting to see efficacies I was missing before. On the far left there is a change to dash to rubble pile then scramble to the other side remaining in cover. On the far right this is also possible, but one might end up just outside the objective. HOWEVER the far right side also is place so a model can be behind the wall completely and still interact with the far right objective. These two plays allow my 10 model team to remain pretty safe while only using 2 models to cap the far sides. Against elite teams this spreads them out and I can keep my combat pieces central to the board and respond if I see a weak flank…. Lets see if that idea works against this new-fangled Hierotek team… going in to the game I pretty much have no idea.

For deployment its looks like this:
This deployment will also pretty much be my go to on this map. My militant to the far right to contest the flank, supported by my medic if someone chooses to shoot her some how. Then a flamer on each side of my single piece of heavy terrain.

My opponent deploys all of their operatives on engage, im assuming he believes that I wont be able to remove more than 2 models so they can ensure they get reanimation protocols on a 3+ I think David is right, but that’s not going to stop me from taking out two operatives regardless. He also places one operative to the side to come onto the board at any time he might activate a model… scary… not sure how to deal with that.
I select infiltration I think this is the best choice for the team as it doesn’t telegraph my intention, and I can play reactive to my opponent. If I see them be too aggressive I can flip a flamer and punish, or if they present no targets I can move up my leader and switch to conceal for some good targets turn 2.
I think My opponent selects recon dashing up my right side of the board. To be able to capture the far left point.

I see that only one operative is positioned on the left side of the board and place reconsecrate ground and recover item on the far left objective.

Turning Point One
With so many operatives on engage and assuming in my head that I should treat Hierotek like a 6 body team I set a goal of trying play cagy for a 2,2,4,4 primary scoring plan. That means TP 1 I want to move up just a bit and remove two operatives from the other side of the board if I can.
Im able to generate 3 additional faith points and blinding aura 2 shots into operatives.

 I also see two chances for shots onto two different immortals.
One being an operative set up on his side of the board, I use my leader to pop up onto vantage, shoot that model, then lead by example my flamer to reduce the number of activations on myside as I already have the advantage secured and want to remove overwatch opportunities. The flamer confirms the kill.  

another immortal teleports in, on the right side of the board capturing the right objective and preparing for an overwatch order, but the order never comes as my penitent is able to chuck a Krak grenade to remove the model before my opponent gets the chance.   ​​​​​​​
Overall im low of faith points but have a good amount of CP and have yet to lose an operative… I’ll have to see how reanimations go before I feel like this turn ended in my favor.

this all leaves the Despotek isolated on the left side of the board where i have my recover item token and reconsecrate ground selected. 
Turning Point Two
the immortal on my opponents side of the board fails to revive. but the one on the far right of the board pops up with 5 wounds… a very interesting number for my penitent…
initiative goes to me and I see a high variance play that may give me the upper hand, and takes little to pull off. I charge my penitent into melee with the revived immortal. But don’t have enough APL to capture the point back in my favor. Im able to place my operative behind heavy cover on engage. If I can survive through one shot from my opponent’s shotting I think I can put myself ahead with a large offensive activation advantage…. Maybe… I dunno never played Hierotek before lets see if it works.
My opponent responds by removing my flamer that pushed up turning point one. I respond in kind by moving another flamer up to kill another immortal. Who then is shot off by the Despotek(?) on the far left of the board. After the obvious trades come the big rolls. I’ve banked  faith points in hopes to save the penitent. And she ends up surviving two activations of shooting with only 1 health remaining. This takes 4 of my faith points and im left on empty.

I make some waiting moves, and find a great placement for the exactor right behind the door in the middle of the map. This hinders my opponents ability to score center control and move onto my objectives. ​​​​​​​

With the right side threatening to hold for me, the center blocked and the left overrun my opponent is in a desperate situation. And moves up the leader to the center board in hopes to clear the center, remove models for Secure Center Line and score recover artifact. But this allows my leader to move dash forward and shoot. But only takes 5 damage thanks for a 4+ invulnerable save from the phase shifter equipment. This ends the round 3/3 on primary. I think my opponent thanks a good initiative roll will put  Hierotek in the lead, but my faith in the emperor gives me hope.

Turning Point Three
 Hierotek wins initiative. And my opponent games out a lot of the turn before choosing ploys. But I think I have the ability to shift the game plan, my first ploy is defenders of the faith, granting me another free shot onto the leader with 3 faith points to back up attack. On 4 dice 2+ I roll 3 hits and one crit, I spend my faith points to upgrade one hit to a crit 2 crits and 2 hits is too much to ask for form a 4+ invulnerable save. The enemy leader dies before the first activation of turning point 3. (didn't grab an image of this as we were under time pressure but this is the general positions, my leader in red.)

Hierotek tries to push as many models into the center as possible to score tac ops the situation from them in pretty untenable, they could attack the penitent but give up 2-3 victory points by losing initiative.  This means the penitent moves to safety and score the far right objective.
On the left side of the board 3 novitiate operatives charge onto the point, very simply saturating the APL throwing their bodies into harms way for the glory of the god emperor of mankind.
Im also able to push up some support units to engage the small 5 wound models.
When all is said and done for TP 3 I’ve scored 4 secondaries and 4 primary erasing the early game lead from Hierotek.

Turning point four
With a larger number of activations and bodies the novitiates are able to saturate the middle and left side of the board to ensure another 4 score on primary ending our game at a score of 20 to 18 for me. 

After Action thoughts

Like I said at the top David was great to catch a game with, due to my lack of knowledge about the team we go right up until I think 3 mins before the round cut off and that puts us both in a bit of time pressure our last two turns. This game was a nailbiter and at the end of turning point 2 I really had no idea what way it was going to go. teamwork makes the dream work and its great to be able to catch such a close game and still look forward to another 4 games, i think I'm starting to get what people see in this tournament thing. 

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