Sunday, January 20, 2013

Batrep: Necrons Vs Chaos Marines, 1750 pts

After last week's dismal defeat, I wanted another scrap against Peter's Chaos Marines, and he kindly obliged. This time, I wanted to test drive the Scythes - one Doom Scythe and one Night Scythe.

My Necrons:
Destroyer Lord with Resurrection Orb, Sempiternal Weave and Mindshackle Scarabs
20 Warriors
10 Warriors and a Ghost Ark
10 Warriors and a Ghost Ark
5 Immortals in a Night Scythe

Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge
Doom Scythe
6 Canoptek Wraiths, 2 with Whip Coils and 2 with Particle Casters

Warlord Trait: Night Attacker

Besides the flyers, this list has a little departure from the way I usually field my Necrons: No Overlord. As such, no Royal Court and no minor Necron Lords and Crypteks. No Chronometron rerolls, no Solar Pulses, no Eldritch Lances... Man, now that I'm writing this, I'm wondering: What the hell was I thinking? Well, I figured I definitely wanted to have the Destroyer Lord with the blob of 20 Warriors because Preferred Enemy on 20 Warriors is just fun. And I just didn't have the points for Royal Court jiggery pokery, not if I wanted to have 4 Tesla Destructors in my army. So, I decided to rely mostly on sheer number of gauss and tesla shots, with 1 Death Ray to carve up anything that needed some Death Ray love.

Peter's Chaos Marines:
Chaos Lord on a bike with Mark of Nurgle, Sigil of Corruption, Power fist, Blight Grenades, and a gift of Mutation
9 Plague Marines with 2 meltaguns, gift of mutation and power fist for the champion in a Rhino
9 Plague Marines with 2 meltaguns and power fist for the champion in a Rhino
10 Cultists
10 Cultists
Helldrake with Hades Autocannon
3 Obliterators with Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War
3 Obliterators with Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War
3 Obliterators with Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War

Warlord Trait: Master of Deception. 1 unit has Infiltrate.

Only a slight change from my previous encounter. One less Plague Marine and a gift of mutation for one of the Plague Champions. This time the gift of mutation rolls weren't as crazy as before. The Plague Champion got Eternal Warrior (hah!) and the Lord got Icy Aura.

Mission: Crusade. 3 objectives.
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. Peter won the roll off and deployed first. Night fighting was not active on the first turn, but I turned it on anyway with my Warlord Trait.

Peter kept the Cultists and, of course, the Helldrake, in reserve, with one squad of Plague Marines outflanking. My Immortals were sitting in the Night Scythe. Note that during this battle, the other tables in the shop were occupied, so we had to keep our reserves on the table we were using. The units which aren't actually in play have been marked out with red circles. Read on for the full account of how this played out...

Turn 1:
CSM: The whole army advances, guns blazing, but shooting on the Wraiths only resulted in 2 wounds on 2 separate Wraiths. Some Warriors fell, but they just got back up. A salvo of Lascannons into one Ghost Ark was thwarted by Quantum Shielding and the cover save afforded by Night Fighting and a convenient building.

Necrons:  The Wraiths moved up at full speed and the rest of the army just blasted away at the oncoming Obliterators, with disappointingly little effect. I think I caused one wound! Some firepower was directed at the Rhino, but it had popped smoke, so at the end of the Shooting Phase, it still had a hull point to spare.

The Wraiths assaulted the nearest group of Obliterators, but only managed to take down one, suffering no losses in return.

Turn 2: 
CSM: The outflanking Plague Marines arrived, and disembarked, right next to the Ghost Ark on my right flank. The other Plague Marines moved up in support, disembarking and using their Rhino as a shield as they made for the Annihilation Barge on the same flank. Meanwhile, the other 2 squads of Obliterators and the Chaos Lord all converged on the melee in the centre.

Shooting saw the Plague Marines take down the Annihilation Barge, but the Ghost Ark managed to jink away from a melta blast. As for assault, the Wraiths managed to reduce the squad they'd assaulted previously to one member. A massive barrage of powerfist attacks later, only one Wraith remained. Not good....

Necrons: The Night Scythe arrived, and it made a beeline for the closest squad of Plague Marines, unloading its own squad of Immortals. The rest of the army shifted round and turned to focus as much firepower on the Plague Marines as possible. At this point, an absurd number of Feel no Pain saves were made. Now, I fired 89 gauss shots, 2 Tesla Destructors and 5 Tesla carbines into those freaks. As I recall, each squad took not even 5 casualties!

Meanwhile, the combat in the middle of the board took an interesting turn - though the Wraith failed to cause any damage, it made 12 invulnerable saves against as many powerfist wounds from the Obliterators and the Chaos Lord! Note to self, I need to finish that Wraith's paintjob....

Turn 3:
CSM: The Helldrake and 2nd squad of Cultists still refused to make an appearance. The Plague Marines charged a Ghost Ark and the Blob. Meanwhile, the squad of Cultists who had arrived the previous turn quietly plodded towards the objective in the centre.

The Plague Marines who charged the Ghost Ark somehow managed to deal no damage whatsoever, even with a powerfist. Against the blob, the Destroyer Lord easily gutted the Champion with his warscythe, but the Plague Marines' absurd resilience meant I couldn't take them down that turn. The blob lost the combat by a bit, but made their morale check and between Reanimation Protocols and the Ghost Arks' doing their thing the next turn, the blob was at full health.

Meanwhile, the lone Wraith's luck finally ran out, and it was smashed under another hail of powerfist attacks.

Necrons: The Doom Scythe arrived and bisected 2 Obliterators with its Death Ray. The Night Scythe turned towards the middle of the battlefield and fried 3 Cultists. Meanwhile, the Ghost Ark backed up and, together with the Warriors inside, tried to blast the Plague Marines who had tried to wreck it earlier, but only managed to reduce the squad to 2 members. Nothing else of note was achieved in shooting against those wretched Obliterators.

Meanwhile, the Plague Marines' refusal to die meant the blob was stuck in combat for yet another turn.

Just fricking DIE!

Turn 4: 
CSM: The Helldrake and tardy Cultists finally arrived. The Helldrake made a beeline straight for my Night Scythe, activated Daemonforge and blazed away with its Hades Autocannon... and did nothing.

 The Obliterators plodded towards the blob, and a close-range melta blast exploded the Ghost Ark on the left, killing 2 of the Warriors inside, and 3 of the Warriors in the long, slow melee against the Plague Marines.

On the right flank, the long-suffering squad of Plague Marines finally charged and wrecked the nearby Ghost Ark, and the 10 Warriors spilled out and failed their pinning check.

The Lord attached to the squad of 3 Obliterators, charged and challenged the Destroyer Lord. Unfortunately, he got mindshackled, and whacked himself with his powerfist, losing one wound. He lost another wound to the warscythe. The Obliterators, however, just tore into the Warriors, and the blob lost the combat. Thanks to the Plague Marines being there, the blob and the Destroyer Lord were wiped out in a sweeping advance. Fortunately, after all consolidation moves had been made, the Destroyer Lord hauled himself back together and got back up.

Necrons: Things were looking pretty ugly right about now. The 2 Scythes headed towards the Cultist squads, with the Doom Scythe mauling the nearer one and reducing it to just the leader. The Night Scythe suffered horrifically bad rolls and only managed to kill one Cultist from the further squad.

Token pot shots from the Immortals and the remaining Annihilation Barge achieved nothing.

 The Destroyer Lord charged into the Chaos Lord and his squad, failed miserably and was smacked down again. Then got back up...

Turn 5 - 6: At this point, Peter was set to hunker down and sit on objectives. The Cultists went to grab two. The Plague Marines took another. The Destroyer Lord went down and stayed down after taking a melta blast. The nearest Warriors were easily blown away by the Obliterators, who pulled out heavy flamers for the occassion. And that was that. Chaos Marine victory!

Once again, I find myself lacking the killing power to win the day. As I was writing this, I was crunching some numbers and I think I have an idea why my Necrons and Blood Angels have been having trouble and it's this: I don't have enough AP 3 and AP 2 in my armies.

While this may seem obvious enough, I have gotten past this problem before with sheer number of attacks, whether it comes from hurricane bolters, a Death Company charge or massed gauss fire. Here's a list of what you can expect to kill with 10 gauss flayer shots:

- 1.1 hull points off a non-flyer (doesn't matter what vehicle, as we all know)
- 1.1 plain vanilla MEQ
- 2.2 Fire Warriors
- 4.4 Guardsmen (and therefore Guardians, Cultists and the like)

Reasonable enough, yes? Between the fusillades of gauss fire coming from my Ghost Arks and ~40 Warriors, I can chuck out about ~50 shots at 24" and ~100 at 12", so a lot of armies and their vehicles will simply wither and die to no more than sheer gauss spam. However, there's a couple of things gauss doesn't do so well with. 10 shots of gauss can expect to kill:

- 0.74 wounds from a Marine with the Mark of Nurgle
- 0.49 wounds from a Plague Marine
- 0.37 wounds from an Obliterator

Not good. Especially when you have 9 Obliterators to think about. I've got mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, Obliterators are an unbelievable pain in the neck, and I'm not sure how to deal with them without filling up my list with as many Eldritch Lances, Doomsday Cannons and Death Rays as I can fit. Or indeed calling in Imperial Guard allies with a squadron of Leman Russ Demolishers at my back... But on the other hand, this tremendous resilience of the Obliterators kind of reassures me of the potential of my next army project... the Deathwing...


  1. my jedi senses tell me there is a slight dissatisfaction with the Obliterator spam....

    1. Hehe... I wouldn't go so far as to say that. 9 Nurgle Obliterators just strike me as an interesting problem that I've yet to figure out how to counter using an all-comers Necron or Blood Angel list.

  2. i think u only had 2 arks in this game...not 3 as listed