Highlight of the day...so many different armies and great players.
Epic fail of the day...my camera's HD crashing...so I'll be stealing all of Jawaballs' & the Warmaster's YouTube vids to back up my words.
So it was a few days out from the tourney and I'm sitting around trying to figure out what army I'm bringing at 2000 points. Saim-Hann? Probably, of course, second choice would have been my harlequin themed army, which looking back I think would also have done very well.
That said, this time I wanted to do something different, something unexpected, and try out some new ideas- more then just the usual “Way of Saim-Hann” stuff. So, I decided to roll with Necrons, my second favorite 40K army.
My 2K list was this- HQ's: Destroyer Lord with nightmare shroud and solar pulse, The Deceiver Troops: 40 Warriors, Fast: 8 Destroyers, 10 Scarabs, Heavy: Monolith. So right away my list looks totally n00b running both the monolith and a C'Tan, plus I have NO immortals or heavy destroyers. True that, but I had a plan, and I told myself I was just going to stick to the plan no matter what and not allow the turn by turn shift of the game to pull me off of what I was intending to do!
Game 1 Vs. Space Marines
First game was against a Space Marine army played Michael D. from Brother's Grim Games out on Long Island. He was rolling with Ultramarines and had like 80 marines on that table- almost a full battle company! Tacs in rhinos, assault marines, sternguard, melta gun bikes, scouts, and three drop pods with a librarian. Mission was an annihilation variant where you pick five of your opponent's units and these are the only ones that count as kill points. He picked my four warriors squads/scarabs, and I picked one of his tac squads in the pod, the two rhinos, the assault marines and the scouts.
I figured the pod would come down near me and I could get that kill point, shroud the scouts since they would be on the back end of the table in terrain, get the two rhinos with my destroyers, and then pick off the assault marines which would be looking to assault me.
So I castled up in my corner with the monolith as a cap piece and waited for him to close shooting off destroyers and 24” warrior shots as my lord and scarabs went out popping off shroud on his scouts and bikes- of which the scouts did eventually fail as my scarabs escorted them within 6” to make sure the kept falling back. No promotion to full battle brothers for them for running from scarabs!
I also adjusted my monolith to where it helped to form a wall with his drop pods to funnel guys in so I could mass rapid fire while the Deceiver pushed out a show of force and counter assaulted what the warriors couldn't finish.
To be fair and honest, the terrain also really helped me..it was a lava world with channels in the shape of a chaos star and so the “lava” was declared dangerous terrain. By castling, capping the monolith, and then repelling the first wave of pods I forced my opponent to come to me and take mad dangerous terrain tests immobilizing a rhino and like killing twenty marines from terrain during the game- this really helped. Game ended with a win for the 'crons and Mike was a great guy, taking it well, since he helped beat himself with such louse terrain roles. He got my favorite opponent vote for the day for still being a cool player in the face of such horrible rolling...
Game 2: Vs. Space Marines
So there we are waiting for the second round pairings and I'm chit chatting with Brother Captain James listening to how he would roll my army and sure enough...we draw each other for round 2! James list was the following- Shrike with 10 infiltrating terminators, three razorbacks with marines, two groups of land speeders, a scout speeder with scouts, and two dreadnoughts. Mission was five objectives of which I won the roll of to place three vs. James' two and I clustered them all on one side of the table. James won the roll of and passed first turn to me...big mistake. Now it is true that I always want to go second with my Eldar, but not with Necrons- they are a go first always army and then James made the mistake of setting up totally underestimating what my army could do- after all they are just Necrons right?
My plan? Drop the speeders first, get the marines on foot, and then draw in the terminators and kill them- from there it is just mop up and take objectives. James set up as close as possible to his table edge and put the terminators with Shrike as close as he could to my units. Being a tourney setting I knew he was going for phase out to get the full points for a massacre which I also intended to use against him...
First turn has me shooting me destroyers into a razorback and the first group of speeders dropping them both. Monolith moves to cap piece and drops the template on the second razorback dropping it. Lord, C'tan and scarabs move out to meet the terminators. I also move up a warrior group so James would get greedy and break off shrike moving 12”, fleeting, and then assaulting into the warrior group thinking he would sweeping advance them with ease. Bait I knew he couldn't resist. I pop of nightmare shroud on the terminators and the Deceiver's powers to try and make James run off the table but he passes. Scarabs then move up for him to assault them so I could further suck him in, playing on the idea he was just going to sweep me. James turn has him shooting my destroyers with speeder missile spam dropping two as the rhino and dreads move up. Shrike breaks off as I predict, terminators chew through my scarabs as I bitch and moan about it pumping up James...
Shrike hits, and here is the thing- what is he really going to do to my warriors? Kill 2-3 a turn? I can pass that morale, and he does kill three, with me passing. So we are locked in combat right? James has crashed my ranks head on with Shrike, termies following up, as the rest of his army is coming from the side- James is a happy man.
I then suck my warriors through the monolith portal leaving Shrike hanging in the wind as my thirty warriors rapid fire him dropping him. I then sacrifice my lord to the terminators to keep sucking them in as I drop two termies with no saves thanks to the warscythe and in turn get punked by hammers. My destroyers then drop James second speeder group.
James then moves with the terminators to hit my lines and is just short as I planned. They then get hit with rapid fire warriors, destroyers, and the monolith and go poof! I know James well enough that the though now crosses his mind that he might actually loose to Necrons. James shifts into a defensive roll and is careful with bringing up the rest of his forces but I have the range with the destroyers, the mass with the warriors, and the monolith set up just right so no matter where he goes I'm getting him. I move into mop up and with the game holding one objective, and contesting the one James is trying to hold.
Game 3: Vs. Eldar
Game three has me playing my worst nightmare- an Eldar list built out how mine should be- no Saim-Hann fluff, no cool units- just lots of skimmers, prisms, and fire dragons. How am I going to beat an army that has speed, range, and numbers, and the best I can do against it is a glance- which then get negated by a 4+ cover save, and holo-fields? Stick to the plan Fritz...
Looking over his list I then knew 100% that I had the game...popular wisdom on the interwebs says extra armor/spirit stones is a waste of points- equaling another unit or two more if you don't take them on your army. I will rant on this all day, but you always take spirit stones/extra armor, lest you set yourself up to be exploited by it...
Mission was good old capture and control- the plan? Hold my objective with warriors while sending my destroyer lord and scarabs to contest my opponent's objective along with deepstriking the monolith on it. C'Tan in the center for projection and destroyers in the center, pulled back to the edge so my opponent can tank shock and if I fail I run off the board guaranteed .
Game pretty much goes off as planned. Skimmers tank shock with my destroyers passing y on my objective and then they move behind with the 12” for rear armor shots which eventually take the skimmers down even with cover saves. Fire prisms link an shoot but my warriors just go to ground for the 3+ . A scorpion wave serpent drops off scorps and I feed them a warrior squad and then rapid fire them to death. Wave serpent then goes tank shocking crazy on my objective but is hit with an immobilization glance and crashes- that is why you always take vectored engines also, but what do I know right?
On the other side of the table my lord zooms up with the scarabs as a meat shield and starts popping off nightmare shroud on the fire dragons, fusion gun guardians, farseer/warlocks which have disembarked to deal with my monolith which deepstruck and landed there. Dragons and a group of storm guardians run off. I tank shock another with the lith, and then just park with my lord. Lord goes down in a mass assault, but by then the objective is contested. Finally shifting to mop up my destroyers just ping the fire prisms so they can't move and shoot stalling them the rest of the game so there is no tank shock contesting or clearing. Game ends turn five with the Necrons holding one objective and contesting the other.
Three games, three wins with perhaps the worst 40K army out there right now. How and why? Lucky dice, yes, some new tactical twists, hell yes, but I think the thing that helped my the most was the fact that it was the reputation of the Necrons themselves. Guys thought they were just going to auto-win and get the massacre points totally discounting the possibility that I might actually have some 40K skillz. Running both the monolith and a C'Tan only helped to confirm the auto-win idea even further.
The only think I wasn't happy about with the Necrons and their limitations was the fact that getting the “bonus” points for the missions were next to impossible. A 2K Necron army doesn't have much in it to deal with preventing phase out, win the mission, and kill the commander, capture table quarters, and have a scoring unit in your opponent's deployment zone for the extra 5+ battle points.
So where did I finish in the end? While there was a best painted, sportsman, etc. the overall ranking was only on battle points, so no “soft” scoring. Out of 40 guys I finished 6th place- not bad for a bunch of wonky robots...
Battle reports, pictures, and further tactical observations to come as I get the vids and pics from the guys...