Nick Nanavati vs Mike Brant /Finale

Today’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! After ~96 hours of waiting your patience is finally being rewarded! You can see how the epic clash of titans comes to a close in my third and final part of this epic tale. If you missed parts 1 or 2, or just want to reread them because they’re amazing, I even linked them here for your convenience.

Nick Nanavati Vs Mike Brandt: Part 1

Nick Nanavati vs Mike Brandt: Part 2

But wait there’s more! At  the end of this lovely article, I go onto highlight the key takeaways of the game and how you should analyze your own games after the fact!

A quick recap for those of you keeping up, my berzerkers just got out and cleaned up most of Mike’s character’s. Mike then responded by unloading the last of his guardsmen in my face, killing the berzerkers and trying to reclaim the left flank.

On the other side of the board, I killed Mike’s tertiary unit early and then quickly abandoned that side of the board so I could concentrate my efforts on the left side. Here’s a picture of how the game looked at the end of turn 3.


And now onto the good stuff.


Here’s a look at the game after bottom of 4.

-I charged my exalted champion into the little combat with guardsmen vs Dark Apostle, and turned them into mince meat.

-The bloat drones evaporated the last 10 man floating about and charged into a bunch of characters and a taurox to keep them under control.

-The psychic phase was a bit less forgiving. In my last turn I spent my last CP to keep ahriman alive from the world’s fastest bike captain, only to have him perils and kill himself on his first power this turn. Another prince also perilsed for the second time this game.

-Collectively, both princes charging, smiting and a bloat drone shooting brought down the shield captain and the BA jump captain that were in my deployment zone.

I did what I needed to this turn, but took a lot of silly wounds to perils doing it. And in the end game stages of a grindy game like this, little wounds add up.

-Mike’s portion of the turn saw him scoring another recon point, and 2 points towards his primary, slowly bringing himself back into the game score wise.

-He started positioning his remaining 2 shield caps near the action

-Mephiston, Lord of the Butt Kicking, decided to go Super Saiyan and chop a bloat drone in half. That was really sad.

-Ahriman killing himself and Mephiston killing a bloat drone was also enough to give mike another moment of bloodshed to close the point gap even further.

This was mostly a turn of positioning for Mike and setting himself up to really score on turns 5 and 6. Mike’s 2 remaining shield captains are about to pounce and I’m running out of physical models to keep up on the objective front, as I’m down to essentially 2 princes, 2 bloat drones and 2 rhinos.

Here’s the score after 4:

Nick Mike
End Game Objectives Progressive objectives 3
Moment of Bloodshed 3 Recon 4
Cull the Hordes 4 Old School 1
Head Hunter 4 Moment of Bloodshed 3
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 10 infantry 1
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 5 Scouts 2
Total 15 Total 14


Here’s a picture after my turn 5.


-Mikes sentinel and shield captain (not pictured in turn 4) were camping my top right objective, so I was working on removing them, but it wasn’t happening quickly enough, and on top of that the shield captain was ob sec-ing my objective.

-My two princes and bloat drone went to work on the last bit of Mike’s characters, finishing Mephiston, the priest, and his last commander.

The left half of the board is well under control as it’s basically 2 princes, dark apostle, exalted champ, a rhino and a bloat drone vs a shield captain and 3 Tauroxes. The issue is that I’m really low on killing power and model count, and Mike only has hard targets left over there and bottom of turn. The game is coming to a close to finishing  it out from there with a lot of objectives may prove to be difficult.

Mike’s bottom of 5:


-Given the abandonment of the right side of the table, Mike was finally able to rack up a lot of points on his primary, which unfortunately pulled him ahead. Though, I still have yet to account for my end game objectives.

-Mike drove his tauroxes and sentinel to the top left and bottom left objectives. Putting 2 models on each, basically ensures that one of them is held through the turn.

-His ob sec shield captain boltered away my wounded exalted champion and then charged in and killed a weakened prince (the prince who perilsed twice throughout the game already). He then finished on the middle objective, with ob sec, making my life even more difficult.

Mike was in a great spot, he wrestled back board control and is now scoring progressively on the bottom of 5. Unfortunately, I have one turn left to finish Mike off and secure some objectives, but he seems to have too many obnoxious things like Tauroxes left, and I’m running out of offensive potential.

Nick Mike
End Game Objectives Progressive objectives 9
Moment of Bloodshed 4 Recon 4
Cull the Hordes 4 Old School 1
Head Hunter 4 Moment of Bloodshed 4
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 10 infantry 1
Tertiary Nurglings 2 Tertiary 5 Scouts 2
Total 16 Total 21

Nick’s turn 6:


I saw the opening. It was a hail mary but it was all I had. I abandoned the objective with the ob sec bike captain. The prince went over to the top left objective. He needed to finish the sentinel with 3 wounds left with smite, then charge and kill the taurox. On the bottom left I needed my bloat drone and dark apostle to kill a taurox with 6 wounds left.

None of that was “average” but that’s why they call in a hail mary!

-The prince went in and landed the smite on the sentinel. He then charged the Taurox and rolled 3 6’s on his hit rolls, giving me a total of 10 attacks! There was a chance! And then I followed up the 10 3+ to wound rolls with 7 1’s/2’s. And then the Taurox lived. On the bottom left of the board the bloat drone and apostle managed a whole 1 wound onto the Taurox.

And thus the hail mary failed, and we called it there. Victory to Mike and his little green plastic army men.

I wanted to give such a highly detailed and tactical report of this battle because it really highlighted some of the excellent macro-40k skills necessary to win. There were multiple times where Mike had an abundance of options, and I set out a lot of traps and bait for him to fall for, but he stuck to his plan and ignored them all. Furthermore, Mike was in a very down and losing position for most of the game, and most players would have gotten overly aggressive in order to compensate, where Mike didn’t.


Now, let’s cover what the takeaways were.

The first thing you should look at when you review your game is what you could have done better or differently. In my opinion the biggest thing I screwed up was my berzerkers. I got them out on turns 2 and 3, with the intent of gaining tempo, denying points, establishing board control, and removing Mike’s ability to score tertiaries. All of these things fell in line with my overall plan, which was to establish a points lead and force Mike into becoming overly aggressive, which I could then capitalize on. This plan had a fundamental flaw: it was contingent on Mike making a mistake. Any plan that relies on your opponent screwing up is not a good plan.

The game devolved into a grindy character and vehicle mosh towards the end, which I very well could have won, but that left the game to mercy of the dice ie. the few perils and prince whiffs costing me dearly. Now, I personally preach to never blame dice, so instead of looking at the game from the perspective of I lost to some dice because my prince whiffed some saves or Ahriman perilsed, I looked at what I did wrong, and reached the conclusion of the berzerkers.

Finally, I’m sure you’re curious how I could used the berzerkers differently to reach a different end game scenario. The only other option I had for them was to just sit in the rhinos and hang out in mid field thank’s to Mike’s lack of shooting, but that could have created a situation where Mike was able to nickel and dime me for points in the early turns and reverse the situation, since I wouldn’t be killing anything due to my lack of shooting as well. So, the real remedy to this situation would have been to alter my list a bit to have more options. If I could do it again, I’d try to work in a unit of Noise marines (probably by dropping a prince). That way I could interact with my opponent without committing a significant portion of my force to combat.

The point of all this was to convey how to critically think about your games and list choices to really make improvements moving forward. Next time you lose, or even win, try to be really critical, self reflective, and objective about how everything played out and what could have gone differently.

Stay tuned for Thursday’s article. It’ll be part one of a new 3 part series written by the newest list doctor, Matt Root, on playing to lose!



2 Comments on “Nick Nanavati vs Mike Brant /Finale

  1. An interesting game for sure. In retrospect, do you feel that you chose the correct missions? Take with more than a grain of salt from somenone who has never played NOVA format, but there seems to be some internal clash with conservative, end-game scoring primary and very active, killing-oriented secondaries?

    • Great observation. I think my list wasn’t well designed for the missions. I wasn’t going to score well on progressive because mike can run run run guardsmen to contest my objectives all day. (Though making him do it has merit) and i wasn’t really capable of achieving any other secondaries either, which was mostly due to the nature of my list

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