Sunday, November 25, 2012

Batrep: Necrons Vs CSM, 1750 pts

It's been a while since I'd last put together a battle report with the Necrons, so here's a quick one against CK's Iron Warriors. I was particularly curious how my Necrons would do against his list, seeing as its clearly made for close-range violence

My List:
Overlord with Mindshackle Scarabs, Warscythe, Sempiternal Weave, Phase Shifter and Resurrection Orb
Destroyer Lord with Sempiternal Weave and Mindshackle Scarabs

20 Warriors and a Ghost Ark with a Harbinger of Eternity, Chronometron
9 Warriors and a Ghost Ark with a Harbinger of Destruction, Solar Pulse
9 Warriors with a Harbinger of Destruction

6 Canoptek Wraiths, 2 with Whip Coils
5 Scarabs
5 Scarabs

Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge

Warlord Trait: Inspiring Presence, which, to Necrons, is about as useful as a box of band-aids...

Instead of the 10 Immortals and their Lord, I opted for a Destroyer Lord and 2 small Scarab swarms. I really wanted to test drive the Destroyer Lord as the numbers just looked really good to me. 160 pts for 3 T6 wounds and a 2+ armour save, zipping about at jump infantry speed, swinging a great, horrible warscythe. That's pretty awesome as it is, and Preferred Enemy and Reanimation Protocols is really just icing on the cake. Oh, and its got mindshackle scarabs, so no matter how mean the opponent, there's at least a 50% chance (even at Ld10) that the poor sucker is going to end up stabbing himself.

CK's Siege Breakers:
CK's list this time was almost identical to his original list; the squad of Cultists was left out in favour of some more bells and whistles for the CSM squads, I think. For this scrap, CK chose to roll for a Personal Trait from the rulebook, getting Master of Offence, which is absolutely useless for a Khornate Chaos Lord walking with Terminators carrying an Icon of Wrath.

Mission: The Emperor's Will
Deployment: Dawn of War. I won the roll off and deployed first. Night fighting was active on the first turn.

I placed my objective in the open, a little in front of my line, where I planned to advance. CK placed his a little behind his lines and used the Warpsmith to lower the cover save on the ruins

Because of the terrain I'd deployed over a wider front than I usually would. The Crimson King and his Warriors and Arks deployed in the usual fashion with the blob in between the 2 arks. The faster elements of the army, i.e. the Scarabs, Wraiths and Destroyer Lord sat on the flanks. At each end of the line, a nice big gun: an Annihilation Barge. The idea was to present a clear and imposing front (the Warriors) that CK would try to hurl the bulk of his forces towards.  This would absorb the abuse, all the while softening CK's army with a deluge of Gauss weapon fire while the flanks close in. The biggest threat I was worried about was the Lord and his retinue of Terminators. It was a reasonably strong close combat Deathstar unit which I think could reliably hit my Warrior blob in close combat hard enough to cause them to break and run, even assuming the Crimson King manages to have the Chaos Lord succumb to Mindshackle Scarabs.

Read on for how it played out...

Turn 1:
Necrons: Nothing fancy here. Just moved the whole army forward, making sure to keep a reasonable distance away from the Maulerfiend. Not 24", mind you. More like 20-22", as a calculated gamble that the Maulerfiend wouldn't roll something truly nasty like 11 or 12 for its charge distance. Anyway, that's what I was keeping in mind as I moved my left flank up. I also figured this would be a good turn to turn on my Solar Pulse, letting my Eldritch Lances take potshots at the closest Vindicator.

Shooting was quite fortunate, as the 2 squads of Warriors and their Crypteks in the Ghost Arks fired on the right Vindicator and wrecked it. A salvo from the left Annihilation Barge managed to take 2 hull points off the other Vindicator. And to top it off, a little trickle of gauss fire from the Warriors in range managed to take a hull point from the Land Raider. Ah, the joy of First Blood...

Iron Warriors: The Iron Warriors surged forward, mostly. The Maulerfiend burst through the foliage, hungry for carnage. To the left the surviving Vindicator trundles forward to make good use of that demolisher cannon. On the right, the Land Raider moved up 6", then out popped the Terminators looking to charge the Crimson King's squad. Further to the right, the Khorne Berserkers disembarked from their Rhino to take potshots with their bolt pistols at the nearby scarabs. Finally, the Warpsmith, who had been puttering around behind the Rhinos, moved up behind the Land Raider to try and fix that lost hull point.

The Vindicator fired, hitting the Wraiths and Annihilation Barge, but only managed to kill one Wraith. The Khorne Berserkers got a good volley against the Scarabs, killing one base and wounding another. The Hellbrute took a shot at the Annihilation Barge on the right from cover and managed to glance it.

Assault held nothing but disappointment, though given the ranges involved, I was hardly surprised. The Maulerfiend needed 11" to get to the closest Ghost Ark. The Terminators needed about 10". Not that likely, even with rerolls. So, on to the next turn...

Turn 2: 
N: The Terminators popped out of their Land Raider a bit quicker than I'd expected. so the Warriors and Arks back off as far as they could to pepper them with Gauss fire. Between them and the Annihilation Barge on the right, I manage to kill 2 Terminators. The Scarabs on the right ignored the Terminators and headed straight for the Land Raider. With 4 bases of Scarabs, the Land Raider didn't stand a chance, and was easily wrecked.

Assault on the left yielded good results as well, with the Wraiths charging and blowing up the Vindicator, and the Scarabs doing the same to the Maulerfiend, thus wiping out CK's heavy hitters threatening the left flank.

IW: The Berserkers clambered back in their Rhino, which zipped down the side of the table, apparently looking to get behind my lines and catch the Warriors between them and the Terminators. Having seen how easily the Scarabs could shred vehicles (notably even a daemon engine built specifically for close combat) the Terminators split up - the Lord headed left, for the Scarabs that had blown up the Maulerfiend and the other 3 headed right and back, towards the pathetic remains of their Land Raider.

Meanwhile, the Hellbrute broke cover and stomped out of the ruins, firing its multimelta at the Annihilation Barge but failing to penetrate the powerful quantum shielding.

The Chaos Marines disembarked and unleashed the fury of their bolters on the Scarabs by the Land Raider wreckage, taking down a base. The Terminators assaulted and finished the job, but only after losing one of their number to the skittering constructs, leaving just one to hurry into the cover of the nearby ruin. The Chaos Lord, meanwhile, vented his frustrations on the other group of Scarabs with his Lightning Claw, shredding 2 bases and remaining locked in combat. The Wraiths turned towards him, long bladed limbs twitching...

Turn 3:
N: Time for my left flank forces to close in, I think. The Destroyer Lord split off from the Wraiths, making a beeline for the Chaos Marines in the ruins past the Land Raider. This was, in retrospect, a bad idea, not that it really mattered at this point. The Wraiths headed for the Chaos Lord. The Annihilation Barge on my left headed at full speed to my right, and the rest of the army just moved ahead.

Shooting was a mixed bag. The Annihilation Barge on my right nuked the Hellbrute in one volley of lightning death. The Warriors and Arks, however, only managed to take 2 hull points off the Berserkers' Rhino. I wondered where they'd go next turn...

The Wraiths charged into battle with the Chaos Lord, ripping and shredding with their blades and taking 2 wounds off him. They lost one of their number to his powerfist and remained locked in combat.

"Getawayfrommeyou... Will none of you mechanical abominations face me in single combataaaarrrggghh!!!"

IW: Not much happened. The Khorne Berserkers disembarked on the right beside my Annihilation Barge, ready for death or glory. Given the sheer amount of guass firepower I could bring to bear on them, I wouldn't put much hope on the latter. The Chaos Marines and lone Terminator fired everything they had at the approaching Destroyer Lord and managed to down it. Stupid me, I'd forgotten how much plasma he was toting!

In the assault phase, the Wraiths finished off the Chaos Lord.

At this point, with nothing left but his Berserkers and Chaos Marines to stand against my Warriors and their vehicles AND the Wraiths, CK decided he hadn't a chance and conceded.

That went rather well, I thought. Be that as it may, looking back on this battle, I do think this could have gone very, very differently indeed, due to 2 mistakes on CK's part:

1) The Land Raider should have moved up 18" in the first turn (12" + 6" Flat out). That would have put a lot more pressure on me to kill it and its deadly contents. Against Terminator armour, I'm not sure I'd have been able to cause enough damage to take them out of the game.

2) The Berserkers and Chaos Marines probably should have moved flat out in close support of the Land Raider. Again, the purpose is pressure. Against such an advance, even if I managed to take down the Terminators and their Land Raider,  Chaos Marines are still far superior to Necron Warriors in close combat, and they could quite easily carry the day.

I'm pretty satisfied with my own performance in this game, though I should probably have been a little more careful with the Destroyer Lord. I don't see much reason to change my Necron list or the tactics employed, at least until I get my grubby paws on a Doom Scythe. Or two, which is the maximum number of flyers I'd ever field in a faction, honest...

What this battle really highlighted for me, though was how difficult it is to wield Berserkers in a Rhino now. In turns 1 and 3, the Berserkers popped out of their Rhinos and from my point of view, I saw them simply as a small, insignificant volley of bolt pistol fire rather than a serious close combat threat. Why? Because they couldn't charge, leaving me plenty of time to turn my attentions elsewhere to counter more immediate threats. In this light, I'm not sure how useful Berserkers really are, anymore, and they certainly don't have any place in my own Black Legion army.

So, that's it from me for now. Until next time, happy wargaming...

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