Thursday, August 12, 2010

Battle Report: Necrons vs Space Marines/Eldar, 2,400 points.

2,400 points of Necrons face an allied force of Eldar and Space Marines. Prior to the battle, D’Ork and Necronoob modified the Necron codex to make Necrons more competitive. The point cost for Warriors and Flayed Ones was reduced by 2 pts per model, and the Phase Out rule was suspended.

The Necrons...
HQ - Nightbringer
HQ - Lord w/ Destroyer Body and Res Orb
Troops - 13 Warriors
Troops - 13 Warriors
Elite - 8 Immortals (Mistake - Should have been 6)
Elite - 4 Pariahs
Elite - 10 Flayed Ones
Fast Attack - 5 Destroyers
Fast Attack - 3 Wraiths
Fast Attack - 3 Wraiths
Heavy Support - 3 Heavy Destroyers
Heavy Support - 1 Tomb Spider
Heavy Support - 1 Monolith
Total Points as deployed - 2455 Intended deployment value 2399 - Self reported army list mistake.

The Alliance
The Space Marines:
HQ - SM Captain outfitted as Terminator (Terminator armor, storm bolter, power sword)
Troops - 10-man Tactical Squad with 1 flamer, 1 missile launcher
Troops - 10-man Tactical Squad with 1 flamer, 1 missile launcher
Troops - 10-man Tactical Squad with 1 flamer, 1 missile launcher
Rhino transport for 1 Tactical Squad (Short Bus)
Elite - Terminator squad
Heavy Support - Dreadnought w/ Heavy Flamer, CCW w/storm bolter
Total for the Space Marine Army Points 990
The Eldar in the allied force totaled 1,400 points and included two Dire Avenger squads led by gun-slinging Exarchs in scatter laser-armed Serpents; eight Fire Dragons in a missile Serpent; five Pathfinders; six infiltrating Scorpions led by a Exarch with a Scorpion’s Claw (Power Fist); a scatter laser War Walker; and a Fire Prism, all led by a Farseer with the typical Guide/Doom tomfoolery.

Noting that one of the Necron missions and one of the SM missions are garbage, we chose two missions from the Necrons and Space Marine sections of the Battle Missions book and picked one by a roll of a D4 (yes we all played D&D, and if you know what a D4 was so did you, whether you’re willing to admit it or not). The mission selected was the Space Marine Surprise Assault mission. 

Necronoob set up first, with the Monolith in the center of the board, flanked by Warriors and the Nightbringer. The Immortals held down one short edge of the board backed up by the Heavy Destroyers. The other side of the board was anchored by the Pariahs and the Destroyers.
The allied Marine/Eldar force came in from the table edge on Turn 1, so there was no deployment for them.
Eager to silence their AP3 guns, the Striking Scorpions infiltrated behind a hill, 12 inches from the Pariahs. Necronoob countered by placing a wall of Flayed Ones between the Pariah and the Scorpions. D’Ork then placed his Pathfinders with a clear shot at the Nightbringer, and Necronoob finished by adding to the wall of Flayed Ones (Mistake! the Flayed Ones were supposed to be one unit due to force org chart issues, but they all ended up acting as one unit during the game anyway).

Turn 1: Alliance
Most of the Elven and Marine forces moved onto the eastern side of the board. This included the Fire Dragons, both Dire Avenger squads, the Farseer, twenty Space Marines and six Terminators, including the Captain. On the north side, the Dreadnought and the War Walker squared off against the Destroyers. In the south, the Necron Warriors were opposed by one Marine tactical squad and their Rhino, “The Short Bus” (proxied and shown below in all its glory). 

The Farseer Guided the Dire Avengers near him, and Doomed their Wraith+Destroyer Lord target.
The Shooting phase was a carnival of disappointment for the allies. The Fire Prism aimed for the Monolith and hit, but failed to even glance the thing with its strength 9 gun. The Dire Avengers laid into the Wraiths, but only knocked down two in each squad. The Fire Dragons did better, knocking down 5 Immortals, but the Space Marines nearby had no effect on the Immortals and downed only one of the Heavy Destroyers. The Wave Serpents missed most of their shots and knocked nothing down. The Dreadnought shot up two Destroyers, but the War Walker failed with all eight of its shots. The Pathfinders managed a single wound on the Nightbringer, irritating the 5-wound God. Then D’Ork realized that he forgot to even move the Striking Scorpions, compounding his bad luck with bad play. They ran for 2 inches, stepping back from the Flayed Ones in front of them.

Turn 1: Necrons
After taking a moment to collectively wipe their mechanical brows for their good luck, the WBB rolls started. One Destroyer and Heavy Destroyer both got back up, as did 3 of the 5 Immortals. One of the Wraiths attached to the Destroyer Lord got back up, but the other Wraith squad failed both WBB rolls.
Movement started with the single Wraith being drawn into the Monolith for a second attempt at WBB, which failed again. The lone Wraith then moved towards the Pathfinders. The Flayed Ones and Pariahs advanced toward the Striking Scorpions. The southern Warrior squad moved toward the Marines and their Rhino, and the northern Warriors took up shooting positions on the Eldar War Walker. The Destroyers saw an opportunity, and sped behind the Space Marine Dreadnought.  The Heavy Destroyers got down off of the bridge and advanced toward the Fire Prism. The Nightbringer slowly made his way towards the Space Marine line. The Destroyer Lord and his Wraiths moved towards the Dire Avengers and their Wave Serpent. The Immortals advanced toward the Fire Dragons.

The Destroyers started off the shooting by unloading on the Dreadnought. Twelve Str 6 shots later, a stunned, weaponless and immobilized stump of a Dread smoldered. The Warriors, seeing that impressive display, tried their hand at the Eldar Walker, but only managed to stun it. The Heavy Destroyers maintained their impeccable track record by missing the Fire Prism right in front of them (I guess I should be happy the rules don’t allow them to shoot each other...)  The remaining Immortals wounded five of the Fire Dragons. The Nightbringer fired at the short bus (Rhino) and it detonated, taking two Marines with it. The southern Warriors then opened up on the survivors, downing three more.  Last but not least, the Pariahs opened up on the Striking Scorpions, leaving just one standing.

In the assault phase, the lone Wraith attacked the Eldar Pathfinders, downing three and catching the remainder in a sweeping advance.  The Flayed Ones and Pariahs attempted to assault of the Scorpions and just make contact, wiping out the remaining Scorpion. They took a 4-inch consolidation move towards the now Rhino-less Space Marine squad. The Tomb Spider attacked the Fire Dragon Serpent, but failed to hit. The Immortals assaulted the remaining Fire Dragons, reducing them to two men and forcing them to flee, but the Immortals failed to capitalize on the sweeping advance. The Destroyer Lord attacked the Dire Avenger’s Wave Serpent, but failed to cause any damage.  The Wraiths attacked the Dire Avengers, killing two, but getting wiped out in return. The turn ended with kill points awarded to the alliance for the Wraiths, and to the Necrons for the Pathfinders and the Scorpions. No points were awarded for the Dreadnought as it was still technically alive, leaving the score 3 to 2.

Turn 2: Alliance
Feeling like they had just punched a brick wall, the allied forces had to decide what to do next. The Pathfinders and the Scorpions were gone, the Fire Dragons were running, the Dreadnought was ruined, and the War Walker was punch-drunk from 26 gauss shots. Both squads of Dire Avengers were in good shape, but they were busy reloading from their Turn 1 Bladestorms. The Marines were relatively intact, and could snap off some missile shots if they didn’t move. 

The northern Avengers re-embarked onto their Wave Serpent, which then redeployed beside the Fire Prism to get some turret shots off on the the Heavy Destroyers. The southern Avengers also re-embarked, and their Wave Serpent repositioned itself to face down the southern Necron Warrior squad, in what would turn out to be a unfortunate place to stop. What was left of the Dreadnought turned to face the Destroyers, in a feeble attempt to keep from being shot in the rear again. The Dragon Serpent rolled forward towards the Necron Warriors, attempting a tank shock, which failed. The Fire Prism stood its ground, facing off against the Heavy Destroyers that couldn’t hit the broad side of a battleship anyway. The Farseer advanced towards the Heavy Destroyers to clean up whatever the Fire Prism and the Serpent did not take out.

Things fell apart again in the shooting phase, where the combined firepower of the Fire Prism and the northern Wave Serpent produced a harmless firestorm of inaccuracy and incompetence. The southern Wave Serpent also managed to fail against the Tomb Spider, despite having four twin-linked Strength 6 shots going up against a 1-wound target. The bright spot was the Fire Dragons who fired over their shoulders while running from the Immortals, downing two. The Space Marines fared a little better as they made 1 Immortal and 3 Warriors fall.

In the assault phase, the Farseer charged the Heavy Destroyers. One Heavy Destroyer fell, but they passed their leadership check.

Turn 2: Necrons
The turn started again with WBB rolls. The Immortals and one Warrior failed, everyone else got back up. 

The movement phase started with the single Wraith charging into the closest Space Marine squad, followed by the Flayed Ones and the Pariah.  The Destroyer Lord headed towards the Heavy Destroyers still locked up with the Farseer. The southern Warriors moved to consolidate after the tank shock spread them out.  The Nightbringer slowly moved toward the Fire Dragon Wave Serpent and the Tomb Spider moved to join the Immortals preparing to assault the Space Marines. Finally, the Monolith moved to get a clear shot on the Terminators.

The first shots of the phase turned out to be the most interesting, as the southern Warriors unloaded on the Dire Avenger Wave Serpent, resulting in a loss of its weapon, but more importantly an immobilized result. Due to the placement of the hatch and the position of  the Serpent, the Dire Avengers could not disembark without leaving the playing surface and were destroyed. The Nightbringer took a shot at the rear armor of the Fire Dragon Wave Serpent, destroying a weapon. The Pariahs shot at the closest Space Marines, taking down 2. The walkers did not fair well this turn as the Destroyers put the dread out of its misery and the northern Warrior group fired on the War Walker, wrecking it. The Space Marines finally pay for their tightly grouped formation, as the Monolith dropped a pieplate on them, killing 4 tactical Marines and a Terminator. The lone tactical Marine decides he has better things to do and heads home. The Immortals fire at the Marines and kill 2, the Tomb Spider fires on the other half of the combat squad downing one.

Assault started with the lone Wraith engaging the remaining 3 Space Marines. The Marines lost one and failed to wound the Wraith. Next the Destroyer Lord joined the fight with the Farseer and resulted in the Farseer being destroyed. The Nightbringer missed the Fire Dragons’ Wave Serpent with his scythe. The Tomb Spider and its Scarabs headed into combat with one combat squad while the Immortals attacked the other. The Tomb Spider lost a scarab, but killed two Marines and the Immortals killed one Marine without any losses on their part. The Space Marines managed to pass all their morale checks.

At the end of the turn, one Wave Serpent was destroyed along with its Dire Avengers, one Serpent was disarmed, two combat squads had been routed, one full tactical squad had been reduced to 2 models, the Farseer was dead, the Dreadnought and the War Walker were destroyed, and the Fire Dragons were a 1/4 inch from leaving the table. Given the massive amount of casualties sustained and the points left on the board, the alliance conceded, ending the game on Turn 2 with a final kill points 12-2.
Honey, What is that in the rear view mirror?? Things are bad when the Nightbringer is behind you. Things are worse when there’s a Monolith behind him.
After action thoughts:
Necronoob: Apparently the dice gods felt sorry for royally screwing me in the July 4th game and were amused by my chasing of D’Ork with a folding chair (done in good fun and mostly to freak splinter fleet out when he got back from getting more beer). With very few exceptions, I did not fail a critical roll, and the Alliance suffered from storm trooper syndrome, which made me almost feel sorry for the way that I won (almost if I did not have such a poor overall record against D’Ork). I do not feel that my tactics were terribly well played or that my units choices were superior, just sometimes the dice land just right. I would have much preferred a longer drawn out and closer game.

The elimination of the phase out rule allowed me to play without continually counting units, which made the game more enjoyable. As it stands, phase out would not have been an issue, but I would never have free to have the monolith, nightbringer and the Pariah in the same game as over 600 pts of non-necron units would have made phase out way to easy. The point reductions we played with on the Flayed Ones and Warriors was nice, but I would like another game to really evaluate it. I have never fielded the Pariahs before, and they proved to be more effective than I had thought they would have been, but their slow speed really showed once their immediate targets were removed. Being able to transport them either using the Veil of Darkness or the Monolith would make them much more fearsome, as they were, they did provide a good distraction. The ultimate distraction in the game, the Nightbringer, never proved to be that much of a threat due to the spread out enemy units and his slow speed. I can see his potential when waded into a large line of troops though.

The Wave Serpent being immobilized with the hatch off the board was something I had not contemplated as being an issue before, as D’Ork mainly played Orks with open top vehicles. The Dire Avengers got a raw deal in this game as half of them died in that freak incident. Had they been able to exit the vehicle, they were primed for a point blank bladestorm that would have resulted in between 3 and 7 losses, after WBB and not including the Exarch’s attacks, (yes I have a spreadsheet for this, I am an engineer and cannot help it).  The remaining unit proved to be capable and tougher than expected, taking out two Wraiths that I thought would walk right through them. Even though its impact on the game was limited, I could see that the Eldar War Walker could prove to be very formidable unit in greater numbers. As D’Ork has a birthday coming up, I see this may be getting corrected soon, if it doesn’t happen before then. 

I have never played Space Marines, but the inability to move a squad and fire its main weapon seems to be a little counter intuitive for an assault force. Splitting into combat squads helped, but this could be a game-losing move in a kill point mission. The Terminators could have posed a very big problem had they used the turn one deep strike, but as played they did not have too much impact as I kept their targets limited. The Dreadnought and walker both suffered from being unsupported by additional units. Once stunned, they were easy to eliminate. Having other units in the area could have kept me from directing all my attention to a damaged unit, and may have allowed them to stick around a little longer.

D’Ork: Despite what Necro says, his deployment was excellent, especially considering that he had to deploy first, move second, and his enemy could come from any Direction. His coverage of Tomb Spider and Resurrection Orb was flawless, and he spread his high-value targets around nicely.
Conversely, our deployment was way too aggressive. As the man in charge of deploying the allied forces, this was my fault. Faced with the decision of either (1) piling on to one part of the Necron line and overrunning it, or (2) spreading out to tackle all the high-value targets, I chose (2). Our Turn 1 targets included the Destroyers, the Heavy Destroyers, the Monolith, the Nightbringer, the Pariahs, both Wraith squads, and the Destroyer Lord. Even with the best of dice rolls, that was never going to work. When we rolled badly and Necro started making armor saves left and right, we were immediately in trouble. Add in three bone-headed moves on my part (not moving the Scorpions, not using the Farseer powers on Turn 2, and sticking the Wave Serpent’s ass off the edge of the board), and I got what I deserved. Poor Synack was simply taken down with me.

In retrospect, we should have piled onto the western side of the board and hit those squads with everything. At least two allied squads should have been in range of the Tomb Spider to make sure it was taken out. The rest should have poured firepower onto the Wraith squad + Lord and the Heavy Destroyers. Any remaining firepower would have been spent on the Immortals. This.would have put Necro in a bad position, as his Orb and Spider would be gone and his anti-tank ability severely reduced, and his slower troops on the other side of the board wouldn’t be in play until Turn 2 or even 3.


  1. D'Ork is much too hard on himself. I think there were a few things that took us down from the beginning.

    First, the Marines were not select units drawn from an elite Chapter. It was pretty much fielding what I could, which was not a cohesive force. As D'Ork, 'Noob, and Splinter have mentioned before, SM troops are "meh". I had a lot of them, and realized that the missile launchers would slow things down, so I combat squadded them. That was probably a good idea, but I deployed the missile launchers poorly. Not getting a shot on the first turn (due to movement, a requirement from the scenario), the destroyers easily moved into hard cover before the MLs could fire. They did nothing the entire game.

    The Dreadnought had no support. Though he fell from direct front fire, at least some support could have counter-attacked the Destroyers and tied up that side of the board (the whole point).

    Finally, some damage could have been done had our initial salvo gone a little better. However, that's the dice and the randomness of battle.

  2. Well, I think Chapter Master SynAck hit on the salient points of the tactical debate. I will say this: The picture of the Space Marine Rhino Shortbus would have made me snort soda through my nose if I had any soda handy.

  3. I forgot to bring my old Chaos Rhino for Syn to proxy, and that was Necro's solution. At least the color matched. Plus, 10 marines could actually fit inside the thing.

  4. I'm thinking of paying 'noob $30 for that Short Bus. Maybe even make up some "special" rules for it. (oh, snap!)

    For the Wave Serpent...I got around to reading the Vehicles section in 5th ed rules. Could we have used "emergency disembarkation" here? How does the edge of the known universe factor act here? Would it count as impassible terrain?