Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Batrep: Necrons Vs Chaos Marines, 1750pts

 Following my drubbing at the hands of Peter's Obliterators (again) I wanted a game against somebody with a more normal list. Ian very kindly obliged, with his peculiar pink and perfidious Emperor's Children army...

My Necrons:
Overlord with Mindshackle Scarabs, Warscythe, Sempiternal Weave, Phase Shifter and Resurrection Orb
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
8 Warriors with a Harbinger of Destruction
Doom Scythe
Doom Scythe
6 Canoptek Wraiths, 2 with Whip Coils
4 Canoptek Scarabs
4 Canoptek Scarabs

Warlord Trait: Strategic Genius

100% the same list as the one in the previous batrep. Strategic Genius was a lucky thing, seeing how much I love inflicting Turn 2 shock and awe.

Ian's List:
Chaos Lord on a Bike, with Mark of Slaanesh, Veterans of the Long War, Sigil of Corruption, combiplasma and the Murder Sword (aiming at the Crimson King)
Sorcerer on a Bike, with Mark of Slaanesh, Veterans of the Long War, Sigil of Corruption and Mastery Level 3
4 Chaos Bikers with Mark of Slaanesh, VotLW, Icon of Excess, 2 meltaguns, a plasma pistol and and power sword for the Champion

6 Noise Marines with VotLW, Blastmaster, 4 Sonic Blasters
6 Noise Marines with VotLW, Blastmaster, 4 Sonic Blasters
6 Chaos Marines with Mark of Slaanesh, VotLW, extra close-combat weapons, 1 meltagun, a combimelta and power sword for the Champion, all in a Rhino
6 Chaos Marines with Mark of Slaanesh, VotLW, extra close-combat weapons, 1 meltagun, a combimelta and power sword for the Champion, all in a Rhino

2 x Predators with Lascannon sponsons and Twin-linked Lascannon turret
2 x Hell Blade

Warlord Trait: Princeps of Deceit

4 units of 6 heavily equipped MEQs, 6 bikes with FNP, 2 of which are Independent Characters. Quite a lot of precision hitting power in this list, but is it enough to smash the Crimson King's phalanx?

Mission: The Relic
Deployment: Dawn of War. I won the roll off and deployed first. Night fighting was not active on the first turn.

Once again, Ian's Chaos Marines found themselves fighting my Necrons for some mysterious relic. My deployment is about the same as usual, this time with the Wraiths off to one side and Scarabs on each flank. The plan is simple as it always is with the Crimson King. Advance. Take the relic. Leave nothing within gauss range alive. Let's see how this rolls...

Turn 1
Necrons: Standard opening here. Scarabs and Wraiths rush forward, Warriors plod forth, shooting the Noise Marines in the ruins, killing one. The Ghost Arks hang back somewhat while the Crypteks within took potshots with their Eldritch Lances, killing nothing, as usual.

Chaos: The Chaos Marines advanced and disembarked from their Rhinos, laying down shooty death at the Scarabs on the right, reducing it to one wound on one base. The Predators and one squad of Noise Marines targeted the other group of Scarabs on the left, but two bases were left. The Noise Marines in the ruins fired on the Warrior blob, with minimal effect. In the center, the Lord, Sorcerer and bikes burst through the forest, guns blazing, to crash into combat with the Wraiths, downing one.

Turn 2
Necrons: Both Doom Scythes arrive, thanks to the handy little Warlord Trait.  Time for some violence! The rest of the army advanced. I kept the phalanx's formation a little loose. The 20 Warriors had nothing to fear from Ian's guns, so off they went, marching closer to the relic.

Shooting was most satisfying. The Doom Scythe on the left gutted the whole squad of Noise Marines in the nearby forest. The other sliced apart most of the nearest squad of Chaos Marines, leaving one alive. A few volleys of gauss fire reduced the other Chaos Marine squad to 3.

Meanwhile, in assault, the Scarabs carried out their mission. On the left, the Predator was easily blown up. To the right, not so lucky, but the armour was reduced by 2, making things easier for later. In the centre, the Wraiths and the bikers continued to slug it out.

Chaos: A Hellblade arrived and fired on a Doom Scythe, taking off a hull point. The squad of 3 Chaos Marines quickly sought refuge inside the rearmost Rhino. The 2 Rhinos then moved up at full speed, putting themselves between the Warriors and the Relic. The lone Marine doubled back to take out the single base of Scarabs before it did any more damage to the Predator. A missed krak grenade and a little hand-to-hand later, the Scarabs were no longer a problem. The Noise Marines in the ruins continued to pummel the Warriors with their sonic weaponry. The melee with the Wraiths continued, though the tide was clearly turning against the Wraiths.

Turn 3
Necrons: The Warriors and the Ghost Arks continued their advance, wrecking the rear Rhino with gauss fire and sending the 3 Chaos Marines inside spilling out the back. The Doom Scythes swung to the right, strafing the weakened Predator and blowing it up easily, killing 3 Chaos Marines as well with a sweep of its Death Ray, leaving Ian with a lone Chaos Marine to try and nab the objective.

The Wraiths continued once more to tie up the bikers in combat.

Chaos: The 2nd Hellblade still didn't show up, and with no way to bring its guns to bear on a target, the other Hellblade left the board. The lone surviving Chaos Marine hopped into the surviving Rhino, which then pushed into the Warriors, trying to keep them from touching the Relic.

Meanwhile, the last Wraith finally fell... leaving the bikes open to abuse from the nearby Warriors next turn...

Turn 4
Necrons: Not much to say here. The Warriors and the Ghost Arks continued their advance, while the Doom Scythes left the board. After the Ghost Ark on my right and its contents had finished firing the remaining Rhino and Ian's last Chaos Marine were added to the casualty list. At this point, Ian had the Bikers and the Noise Marines in the ruins left on the board. And 2 Hellblades waiting off the board. None of these things stood a snowflake's chance in hell of stopping my Warriors, especially after I finish shooting up the bikers. With that understood, Ian graciously conceded.

We chitchatted after the game, trying to figure out how Ian could possibly have won this. I'm pretty certain that his army hasn't got the raw firepower to nuke the Warriors. In any case, any attempt to focus fire on the Warriors would mean that the Wraiths and the Scarabs would advance unimpeded, essentially guaranteeing them a chance to charge something vulnerable.

Let's see this in terms of my general strategy, which is virtually unchanged from the recommended Necron Way of War from over a decade (and 2 editions ago):

Apart from the addition of Ghost Arks, Night Scythes and the Crypteks and their toys, my Necrons function in much the same way. A relentless phalanx of Warriors who simply refuse to die, with Scarabs and Wraiths out to stop, harass or destroy anything that could threaten the phalanx. And of course, a Death Ray or two is out there to cut up anything the Scarabs or Wraiths can't reach.

So, knowing this, does Ian's list have the tools necessary to stop the Necrons? The way I see it, his only chance is to hurl the bikers and both squads of Chaos Marines into close combat with the phalanx. With their low initiative and number of attacks, Warriors will quite likely be defeated by combat resolution, which had proven to be where my Warriors had most consistently failed me. Every other gun in the army should then be turned to making sure those forces manage to get to grips with the phalanx.Which would mean having to kill the Wraiths, in 2 rounds of shooting or less. Let's do a little maths, shall we?

This means having to deal with 12 T4 wounds with a 3+ Invulnerable save, thus requiring Ian to inflict 36 wounds to have a reasonable chance at this endeavour. With BS4 , that's about 108 bolter equivalent shots. Or, about 32 Lascannon shots. Note that 3 simplifying assumptions have been made:
  1. That the Wraiths would have to be wiped out completely. Realistically, if only 1 remains, it won't really be able to effectively block a charge. 
  2. The Scarabs are completely idle during this time. VERY unrealistic, of course. Any Necron player worth his salt knows when to throw up a screen of Scarabs to protect his vulnerable bits. 
  3. The Phalanx and the accompanying Ghost Arks aren't firing at the incoming bikers and Chaos Marines at all. Note that though a salvo of 20 gauss shots can expect to inflict ~1.5 wounds on Marine bikers, Ian has 9 wounds in that squad of bikers, including the Lord and the Sorcerer. It is the biggest and possibly only real threat to my phalanx, and as such, every gun available will be turned on it. If it isn't in combat by Turn 2, it can expect to be on the nasty end of a Death Ray, and it only takes one hit to probably render the unit combat ineffective. 
So, at the end of the day, where does that leave the Emperor's Children? Honestly, I don't know, but Ian, if you've got a plan you want to test against the Crimson King, he'll be waiting...

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