December 13, 2011

Battle Report: Necrons vs IG

Just Picture The Robot Sucking Out Souls And The Chick In A Sergeant's Hat And The Chess Board As A Battle Of Epic Propor....You Know, This Metaphor May Be Getting Out Of Hand. Just Enjoy The Chick's Hotness.

Lantz and Eric here! We're going to be attempting something a little unorthodox; a collaborative battle report. This is our first attempt at such a thing so bare with us while we work out the kinks. This week we wanted to try some Necron on IG action. 1500pts was our mark for this game. We had to use our secondary table as the main table was in use by the other members of our gaming group, the only downside is that it's a 4x4 instead of the standard 4x6, which gave Necrons and their mid-range shooting expertise the advantage. How much of an advantage? Find out more after the break.

Lantz's Necrons List
Lantz here. For my Necron list I wanted to bring something as balanced as possible. Something that didn't really focus on one enemy type, but could hold its own against horde, mech and deathstars alike:

245 - Anrakyr w/ Catacomb Command Barge

Royal Court
55 - Cryptek w/ eldritch lance, solar pulse
35 - Cryptek w/ eldritch lance 

180 - Warrior x5 w/ Ghost Ark
180 - Warrior x5 w/ Ghost Ark
65 - Warrior x5 
150 - Triarch Stalker
150 - Triarch Stalker

Fast Attack
130 - Canoptek Wraith x3 w/ whip coil x2, particle caster x1
130 - Canoptek Wraith x3 w/ whip coil x2, particle caster x1

Heavy Support
90 - Annihilation Barge
90 - Annihilation Barge

The idea behind this list is pretty self-explanatory. Everything's out when deployed except the 5 Warriors without a transport who will walk on to my point for capture games. The Stalkers either twin-link something or melta vehicles. Barges go after light vehicles/infantry. Wraiths play defense or offense for melee units. Warriors shoot infantry or go after vehicles that are hopefully twin-linked by the Stalkers. Crypteks join in to the 2 Warrior units on Arks for extra fire-power. And Anrakyr makes his way carefully across vehicles or Terminator units with his Sweep Attacks, all the while making enemy mech fire for him.

Some things I realized typing this out, I forgot a lot on this list. The night prior I made probably 10 different lists just messing around, and I guess some of them melded together in my brain. During the game I forgot I had Crypteks, except one time and it whiffed... I also forgot I had a Solar Pulse, for some reason I was convinced I didn't have one or I would have used it on turn 1. I also forgot that AnnBarges have two weapons, not just the Destructor...doh! Lastly, and this one was kind of in my favor, I thought I had Immortals, not Warriors. Which is pretty major since they can't get into Ghost Arks... I thought I brought Tesla on them, which hindered me in some spots (mech,) and helped me in others (infantry.)

Eric's Imperial Guard List
Primaris Psyker x 2 - 140

Vet Squad - 310
- Sgt Bastonne
- Melta x 2
- Heavy Flamer
- Shotguns
- Grenadiers
- Demolitions
- Chimera
* Hull Heavy Flamer
* Extra Armor
* Pintle Mounted Storm Bolter

Vet Squad - 180
- Grenade Launcher x 3
- Grenadiers
- Chimera
* Hull Heavy Flamer
* Pintle Mounted Stubber

Vet Squad - 180
- Grenade Launcher x 3
- Grenadiers
- Chimera
* Hull Heavy Flamer
* Pintle Mounted Stubber
Storm Trooper Squad - 130
- Seargant w/ Plasma Pistol & Power Weapon
- Melta
- Plasma Gun

Heavy Support
Leeman Russ - 195
- Battle Cannon
- Las Cannon
- Heavy Bolter Sponson
- Dozer Blade

Leeman Russ - 195
- Battle Cannon
- Las Cannon
- Heavy Bolter Sponson
- Dozer Blade

Leeman Russ Demolisher - 165
- Hull Mounted Heavy Flamer

So this list is somewhat of my "All Comers List" designed to take on pretty much whatever comes my way. It has 5 threats to heavy armor, 7 to light armor and just as many for troops and I thought it would come in handy against Lantz's army. In previous games he was running around with light skimmers, MCs and scarabs. I knew that he had the ability to run high armor too so, on paper, I thought I had my bases covered.  

Game Type: Seize Ground
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Initiative: Imperial Guard

Deployment (IG)
As you can see I did the old IG tactic I like to call the "Iron Curtian" if there isn't anything to hide behind give them the good ol' armor 14. Let them break their teeth trying to crack that while I pound the crap out of you at range. Bastonne was set to rush the point and the Psykers hung out with the grenade vets to deliver a buffet of strength 6 goodness. I held the Storm Troopers in reserve along with Matilda the Pug who had managed to find a wood screw... she likes to find and eat things. 

Deployment (Necrons)
First, what you need to know. My proxies consisted of DEldar Barges (Ghost Arks), DEldar Venom (Catacomb Command Barge), Ork Choppa (Annihilation Barge) and Imperial Guard Sentinel (Triarch Stalker). I've intended on having the real models for a few of these for a couple of weeks, but I just haven't had the time to construct them.

As for deployment itself, Eric spread out his ranks pretty well, so naturally my first thought is to push one side of the board with all of my units giving me the advantage for a turn, maybe two. Unfortunately, one word puts that idea to death: Blast. You may think infantry are the only things that fear Blast weapons, but vehicles bunched together fear them just as much (what could have been a miss can become a direct hit.) So I attempted to spread out. Stalkers and the CCB going after Russ', AnnBarges going after Chimera side armour and Wraiths/Troops acting as adaptive or cleanup units depending on the situation. I attempted to hide my Wraiths from view and rolled to steal Initiative:

Turn 1 (IG)
After Lantz's deployment we were pretty much stacked face to face across from each other. I figured this would work out to my advantage. Each Russ' had enough kick in them to really bloody his nose so I lined up my shots and let fly...

Wah waaah waaaaaaaaaaaaaah
...and did this. For those of you who are not familiar with the little green tiles that is a "Crew Stunned" result. No worries, I thought, I still had my Psy-meras in the backfield, I will bury those silly little Annihilation Barges in a strength 6 barrage! Then this conversation happened:

Me: I'm going to shoot my multilaser at that barge..
Lantz: Whats the strength on those multilasers?
Me: Six
Lantz: The armor on the barges are 13
Me: Oh..... well, I guess I pop smoke.

Bastonne? He ran for the border and popped smoke.

Turn 1 (Necrons)
Things are looking good so far. A lone transport is stunned and will fight next turn as I'm sure as hell not getting out just to fire with 5 6 dudes.

Anrakyr jets forward 22" and back 2" to take some Sweeping Attacks at his Leman Russ target and manages a wreck!

Wraiths manage to baaarely reach and stun a very scary Leman Russ saving their buddies from some hurt for a turn by stunning it.

The rest of the army shoots at these two Chimeras and manages to stun both (reduced to a shaken...damn you extra armour!) and remove a weapon from both. The one on the left has melta inside, so they'll have to get out in order to use it.

Turn 2 (IG)
Aww hell...
I have definitely seen better turn twos in my day but it was far from over. I still had my psykers, Bastonne was still mobile and I had a working Russ. Yeah, I lost a Russ to what I like to call the "Cheese Weasel Maneuver" but I was about to do some pretty bold and daring stuff.

Now to clear those pesky wraiths off of my Demolisher with some of those strength 6 shots I was bragging about before.

Well that didn't work... not all was lost though there were two barges side by side right in the middle of the board. Perfect fodder for my one active Russ... I roll to hit, penetrate, and didn't do a damn thing. Well, I still have Bastonne, he can't shoot but that ark looks about the right distance AND its closer to Lantz's point. RAMMING SPEED!

Next slide please...

Turn 2 (Necrons)
With nothing resulting from the ramming (it sure looked good for the readers, though!) it was time to take care of this Chimera-filled-with-melta problem.

My two AnnBarges (one without Quantum Shielding) zipped forward to get a side-shot of the melta-Chimera to use some S7 on AV10.

The Wraiths still have some spunk left and prepare to get into some juicy Chimera innards...and they do. May I present to you the most successful round of 40k I've ever had:

Wreck #1: Chimera taken out by Stalker's Heat Ray melta.

Wreck #2: Chimera taken out by Anrakyr's Sweep Attack.

Wreck #3: Leman Russ taken out by Stalker's Heat Ray melta.

Wreck #4: Leman Russ taken out by Wraith close combat.

Wreck #5: Chimera taken out by AnnBarge and Troop fire. The infantry inside are then assaulted by the Wraiths they shot at previously: payback's a bitch.

Turn 3 (IG)
Ok, lets take stock of where we are at this point. All of my tanks are gone, one psyker is huddling in the ruins and manages to immobilize a Barge, my storm troopers drop and pop the Necron Lord's transport, that leaves my other psyker and his squad dealing with the wraiths...

Oh wait! Bastonne is still kicking around though!
They were never seen again.
I gotta say I love Bastonne. Yeah, some might argue that he is over-costed and I could spend my points elsewhere but what can I say? I'm a fluff lover and carrying around a portable "Bring it down!" is rather nice. That, plus a well thrown demo charge, took care of the walker no problem.

I think its obvious at this point I have him on the ropes.

Turn 3 (Necrons)
With the IG vehicle-less, I'll need to clean up quickly. My 3rd Troop choice still refuses to come in from reserve, but should still have time to get to my point by turn 5. After Anrakyr gets knocked down from his thrown, he wants some payback and fires off his Tachyon arrow at the Storm Troopers that just dropped in, ready to assault them.

With one of my AnnBarges Immobilized and without a Destructor, I am forced to remember it has another weapon which it fires into its only target; Veterans near a point. With the help of the Ghost Ark, they are wiped out.

Wraiths prepare to assault either target in range (have I mentioned lately how much I love ignoring terrain?)

My mobile AnnBarge and a Ghost Ark zip in to finish off Sergeant Bastonne's unit.

At this point everything IG is gone except the Storm Troopers. I assault with all of my Wraiths and Anrakyr, pushing 15 wounds into the 4 remaining Imperials: too much for them to handle. I have tabled my opponent.

End Of Game
With IG tabled, the game ends with Necrons victorious.

What I Learned (Eric)
Oye.. that was rough. Fun, but rough. The new Necrons are a very versatile, very tough opponent. They have an extensive toolbox at their disposal and are NOT to be underestimated. I think I have only seen the tip of the ice-burg when it comes to the different synergies/combos. With that being said, I am not willing to scrap my entire force until I have played a few more games against them with what I have. While I am no expert I think if I keep the following in mind I will have a better chance.

1) Have a kill list
- Until I have more hand-on experience with them I cant really tell what the "lynch-pin" unit is going to be, but I am still going to have a good idea going into the game as to what I am going to go after first to better further my goals.

2) Focus Fire
- Necrons can be tough little buggers, I am not going to leave anything to chance next time I see them. My priority targets are going to be good and dead before I move on to something else.

3) Be versatile 
- Necrons can be as tough as nails, move faster than greased lightning, and hit like a ton of bricks. Usually all at the same time. You have to bring the right tools for the job.

What I Learned (Lantz)
Every week I say this and every week I mean it more and more; anyone who says the new Necrons suck is a moron. Now, our group isn't the most competitive of players, including myself, so one might argue we're not hardcore enough about it. That may be fair; we play to enjoy our time together and hang out, winning is a second priority. Regardless, playing with casual, untested, weird lists where I try off-the-wall tactics I have yet to lose a game with the Necrons. And I think this is my eighth or ninth game. The Necrons are powerful, make no mistake. On paper they may seem gimmicky and unorthodox, but the right combination of units can be infinitely more powerful than a standard tourney list for the big names out there. It's all about mixing and matching the right units and applying their very specific tactics accordingly. The Necrons are not a lazyman's army.

On that same note, Eric brought up finding the linchpin in Necron lists. This is probably a subject for an entirely separate post, but I want to touch on it a bit. With armies like Space Marines and Tyranids, there are HQs or specific units that make a list work. Taking out said unit can force the whole enemy's plan to fall to pieces in seconds. The reason I think Necrons are so powerful is, if built correctly, there is no singular unit that holds a plan together. Using my list as an example, what unit could be taken out that would have forced me to restrategize or lose hope of having a fighting chance? Take out the Stalkers? They only accounted for 2 units killed by themselves. Take out the AnnBarges? They only accounted for 2 units killed by themselves. Anrakyr? He only accounted for 2 units killed by himself. The list is strong because there is no powerhouse unit, there is no primary target; they all did equally well in supporting my goal as well as each other in combat. With that said, you start getting into C'tan Shard lists and this gets more debatable, but for a balanced list such as this there isn't going to be an obvious kill-target.

Another couple of things to keep in mind are this was done on a 4x4 table. IG excel at long range and Necrons excel at midrange. Necrons had the advantage in this game when fighting an army like IG (even with me forgetting about some Tesla weapons and my Solar Pulse.) The trick with beating Necrons I think is either staying really far away (shooting) or being really close (melee). The midrange is where the 'crons dominate. Something else to consider is that the new Necrons are barely a month old. Where as it took very little time to learn the Space Wolves' tricks trick, the Necrons have far more builds that could be competitive, so it's going to be hard to learn these tricks and how to react accordingly. Given enough time, I believe Necrons will be pushed back down to a DEldar-ish standing in the competitive ranks.

One thing that came up during our game is Tesla and cover. The extra automatic hits you get from Tesla; do they ignore cover? We both hesitated when this came up against a Chimera that popped smoke and for ease of gameplay we allowed the cover saves. Looking into the rules after the fact though, it's clear that you would in fact get the cover saves. Cover saves for vehicles are made after a Glance or Penetration is made. So if a Necron player tries to cheese you out of this; say nay.

As a side note, all of you readers can thank Eric for this collaborative battle report. The idea and format were all him. Thanks, Eric!

Finally, I think I've played Ghost Arks enough that I'll eventually get 3 total and Barges enough that I'll eventually get 4. Luckily for me, my friends are good at picking what I want and surprised me with this:
Merry Christmas To Me! Thanks Guys!

Have a good one! - GV
Until Next Time. ~Lantz


  1. I like this format a lot. It's interesting to see both sides of the battle and the thought process that was going on each turn. Too bad Eric's first two terms were so anemic.

  2. Glad you like it, the report went together surprisingly fast. As for the game itself...ya cant win em' all. Or at all in this case.

  3. Interesting report - not excessive detail - thoughtful breakdown - rules issues highlighted - all the points are yours, gentlemen!

  4. I'm glad everyone seems to enjoy the format. I'm hoping we can do another one of these soon.