Hear Me Out, Rob Part 2 – Elves vs Robots

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Pump up the dramatic music (maybe that one song from Kill Bill) because it’s time for the showdown! Last week I tried to convince a skeptical Rob that my new and improved Necron list had legs, and in particular that I hadn’t driven myself half-mad straightening finecast guns for nothing. This weekend, I conquered my fear of running test games against myself (having first cunningly distracted my wife with the Final Fantasy 7 Remake in case it turned out to be just too embarrassing) and played out two versions of a clash between my C’tan spam list and one of my current Eldar builds. We decided I should play it twice because of Rob’s (not unreasonable) concern that a good first turn from the Eldar would be something the Necrons just couldn’t recover from. Let’s see how it went, then work out where we go from here.

The Contest

We went through most of this last week, but to summarise so you don’t have to click back, the rundown is as follows.

The Armies

Necron Army - Click to Expand

Battalion Detachment – Nephrekh – 1248pts

HQ

Catacomb Command Barge w/warscythe, gauss cannon – Warlord, free relic Lightning Field – 134pts
Cryptek, staff of light, chronometron – 95pts

Troops

10 Warriors – 110pts
5 Immortals w/tesla carbines – 75pts
5 Immortals w/tesla carbines – 75pts

Elites

C’tan Shard of the Deceiver – 180pts
C’tan Shard of the Nightbringer – 155pts

Fast Attack

6 Canoptek Wraiths w/vicious claws – 252pts
4 Scarab Swarms – 52pts

Dedicated Transport

Ghost Ark – 120pts

Spearhead Detachment – Nephrekh – 751pts

HQ

Lord w/hyperphase sword – 58pts

Heavy Support

Transcendant C’tan – 180pts
Transcendant C’tan – 180pts
3 Heavy Destroyers – 111pts
3 Heavy Destroyers – 111pts
3 Heavy Destroyers – 111pts

The Necrons took the Lightning Field as their free relic both times, with the Skin of Liquid Gold going on the warlord. They also spent a CP on buying the Veil of Darkness for the Lord.

C’tan power wise my loadout was:

  • Nightbringer: Time’s Arrow, Cosmic Fire
  • Deceiver: Antimatter Meteor, Seismic Assault
  • Spear C’tan: Cosmic Tyrant (double power), Time’s Arrow, Antimatter Meteor
  • Sword C’tan: Immune to Natural Law (3++), Sky of Falling Stars, Transdimensional Thunderbolt

Eldar Army - Click to Expand

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 14
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1997
+ POWER LEVEL: 116
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
== Battalion Detachment == Asuryani, Alaitoc [ 67PL, 1197pts] 5 CP

HQ: Farseer (110), Witchblade (0) [6PL] [110pts]
HQ: Warlock (45), Witchblade (0) [2PL] [45pts]

TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3), Exarch Power Bladestorm [3PL] [58pts]
TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3), Exarch Power Bladestorm [3PL] [58pts]
TR: 8 Storm Guardians (48), 1 flamer (6) [3PL] [54pts]

FA: 8 Shining Spears (160), Exarch (0), 8 Twin Shuriken Catapults (16), 7 Laser Lances (56), Star lance (10), Exarch Power Skilled Rider [14PL] [242pts]

DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Shuriken Cannon (17), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [139pts]
DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Shuriken Cannon (17), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [139pts]

FL: Crimson Hunter Exarch (150), 2 Starcannons (26), Exarch Power Hawkeye [9PL] [176pts]
FL: Crimson Hunter Exarch (150), 2 Starcannons (26), Exarch Power Hawkeye [9PL] [176pts]

== Spearhead Detachment == Asuryani, Alaitoc [ 30PL, 492pts] 1 CP
HQ: Warlock Skyrunner (60), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Witchblade (0) [4PL] [62pts]
HQ: Autarch Skyrunner (95), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Laser Lance (8), Warlord [6PL] [105pts]

HS: Night Spinner (110), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [8PL] [117pts]
HS: Night Spinner (110), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [8PL] [117pts]
HS: 3 Dark Reapers (27), Exarch (0), 2 Reaper Launchers (44), Aeldari Missile Launcher (20), Exarch Power Rapid Shot [4PL] [91pts]

== Battalion Detachment == Drukhari, Kabal of the Black Heart [ 19PL, 308pts] 1 CP

HQ: Archon (55), Huskblade (6), Splinter Pistol (0) [4PL] [61pts]
HQ: Archon (55), Huskblade (6), Splinter Pistol (0) [4PL] [61pts]

TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0), Shredder (8), 4 Splinter Rifles (0) [2PL] [38pts]
TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0), Shredder (8), 4 Splinter Rifles (0) [2PL] [38pts]
TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0), 5 Splinter Rifles (0) [2PL] [30pts]

DT: Raider (65), Disintegrator Cannon (15) [5PL] [80pts]

The Eldar took Faolchu’s Wing on the Farseer as their free relic, and stuck to An Eye on Distant Events as the warlord trait on the Autarch. The latter could arguably have become Seer of the Shifting Vector, but avoiding the (small) chance of getting punked out by Heavy Destroyers when charging is helpful. The Eldar bought the Autarch the Phoenix Gem both games.

Power wise, Doom and Executioner went on the Farseer, while the Bike Warlock picked up Protect/Jinx and Focus Will. The foot Warlock took Quicken/Restrain and Focus Will round one, but switched to Protect/Jinx as well round two, as in the first game I found Quicken wasn’t needed on the Spears, as they didn’t want to just dive in to the enemy, whereas being able to Protect and Jinx was higher value.

I should also say that I completely brain freezed on the fact that I’d given the Archons Huskblades, and played then as if they had venom blades. Keeping track of micro stuff like that when playing two armies at once was definitely challenging.

The Game

I rolled up ITC mission 4, What’s Yours is Mine, where there’s a central objective and each player places one objective anywhere (usually their own deployment zone) and one in their opponent’s deployment zone. The bonus point is for holding both.

The game was played on the following table:

For each round I assumed one side had won the roll off to choose Attacker/Defender, and both chose to be the attacker. I think that’s broadly accurate to what would happen here – both have a reasonable hope of doing some good damage with the first turn. The Eldar are maybe a bit closer to considering choosing to be the Defender because they can backline, but the Heavy Destroyers add a threat that can actually punish that badly with some high rolls.

In terms of how I resolved the game, I made a good faith effort to switch myself back and forth from trying my damnedest to win as both sides. I didn’t fudge any dice rolls, and in order to ensure I could properly get into the competitive mindset I rigged myself up an opponent out of a plastic Halloween skeleton I have kicking around for complicated, long-winded reasons:

Perfect

TheChirurgeon: I am both shocked and appalled that you didn’t vandalize Liam’s face in some way. Next time please cut out a word balloon that has him saying “I’m a huge idiot!” and put it by his head.

With that done, it was game time. Round one would see the Necrons as the attacker – would they be able to capitalise and take the game?

Game One – Necrons Attacker

This started poorly for the Eldar, as with their map roll they got a 2 and a 5, so had a choice of Dawn of War or Pointy Dawn of War. They went for DoW, as they ideally don’t want the Wraiths to be able to charge without needing to use Adaptive Subroutines, as if they try with the latter the Eldar can Vect it.

Necron Plan

Dawn of War (and Frontline Warfare) is great for the Necrons as it ensures two things:

  • It’s impossible to hide the Eldar vehicles from the Heavy Destroyers once you account for The Grand Illusion redeploy.
  • The moving castle can get up the board quickly and start to threaten any direction.

That basically informs the plan here – set up so that wherever the armour goes the Destroyers have eyes on it, then move the castle up to hug the inside of an l-block, minimising the ability of the Shining Spears to easily interact with it and controlling where firepower can come from. From there, lash out as needed.

Secondaries

  • Recon
  • Headhunter
  • Butcher’s Bill

Eldar Plan

The saving grace of this deployment for the Eldar is that they have a lot of space to play with. The long board lets the planes keep themselves at a safe distance while picking stuff off, ideally only getting any closer if a perfect C’tan snipe lines up. Meanwhile, the Raider is a great threat to any objectives that are out wide, and indeed in a mistake that I didn’t pick up on till it started playing out, the Necrons have put their home objective out of the way with the Scarabs hidden on it. The Raider can close the gap to them in a couple of turns, after which it will be a big thorn in the Necron’s side.

Other than that, aim to use the Spears to take out the Wraiths so their highly mobile is gone, and then play the objective game throughout, and aim to combine a healthy rate of killing with dominating on objectives to take the win.

Both the Spears and Raider are planning to start on the board, so in both games the Eldar chucked one of the Archons into deep strike to act as an objective grabber later on.

Secondaries

  • Recon
  • Headhunter
  • Gangbusters

How it Went

The Grand Illusion activates and allows the Necrons to do some setup, moving the Ghost Ark up towards the L-block and setting up the Destroyers with shots on lots of tanks. The Warriors get out of the barge and line the inside of the L-block, more than an inch from the wall but close enough in that the Spears won’t fit (as discussed in our ruin tactics article). The ghost ark forms the other side of a sandwich into which most of the army moves, bubbling up and screening from most directions, while ensuring that the Destroyers are in a target rich environment and mostly within the Cryptek and Lord bubbles. The Wraiths, meanwhile, move to the centre to force the Eldar to do something about them and secure Recon.

The Destroyers start blasting, taking out one Night Spinner and hurting a Wave Serpent, with the latter also taking wounds from C’tan powers. That’s it for the Necron turn.

The setup of the Warriors and the bubble means there isn’t a massive amount that the Spears can do against the main body, so they plan to take out the Wraiths and then force the C’tan to divert from going after the main body of the force for a turn. They do this, and a squad of Heavy Destroyers also gets smoked, but agonisingly for the Eldar they miss killing off a second squad by a single wound, re-rolling a 1 on a starcannon wound roll into another 1. The Eldar do, however, take a healthy four-point turn, and the Raider is steaming at speed towards the scarabs hiding on a far objective.

As if to mock the elves for their hubris, both dead Destroyers from that squad immediately get back up, and this turn the Necrons do some damage.

Further blasting of tanks occurs, the Spears are disintegrated by a mix of C’tan powers and melee, and the Spear C’tan deletes a warlock with Time’s Arrow. Sneaky charge movement with the Warriors also lets them move out and steal the bonus objective.

The Eldar are on the back foot now, and need to get back into it badly. Their best bet is to remove the Ghost Ark and shoot out the C’tan that’s immediately behind it, who moved up to get in Time’s Arrow range. Unfortunately, they manage to miss Doom on the Ark, and while the firepower of Dire Avengers still does a decent amount of damage, it clings to life with Quantum Shielding rolls against the last few shots from bigger stuff. A Heavy Destroyer unit does at least get smoked, and the Raider removes the Scarabs and takes that objective, but things are now far from ideal mid board.

The Necrons see a chance to capitalise, and use Damage Control Override to let the Ghost Ark act on full, planning to smoke a bunch of Infantry. This duly happens, while the C’tan also rampage a bit (with Spear C’tan switching to Cosmic Fire) and the CCB charges round the corner to take out the Dark Reapers. Meanwhile the Sword C’tan breaks off to try and take out the Raider, relying on its 3++ to prevent the planes being able to easily shift it, with some Immortals heading that way too.

All told this is a blood bath, and things look even worse for the Eldar as the Warriors wrap the lone surviving storm guardian.

However, here the Eldar get the first of a series of good breaks. Despite only two Storm Guardians dying, the Eldar roll a 6 for morale and the wrapped one flees. The Farseer duly puts doom on the Warriors and a monstrous high roll from a Dire Avenger exarch (who kills five, thank to bladestorm and great wound rolls) and a wounded wave serpent flattens the whole squad. The Ghost Ark also dies, while the Raider’s passengers smoke the Immortal squad moving towards them, leaving it unlikely that the C’tan will ever quite chew through the presence on that side of the board. They also put down the first C’tan amongst the two rampaging through the castle. Trying to get an even bigger swing, the Archon comes out of Deep Strike and tries to charge an Immortal squad holding the home objective, but misses the charge. However, the Autarch has seen that this is likely the best way to rack up some points, and that it’s only a matter of time before the C’tan pick up everything they’re rampaging through, and scoots off to join in next turn.

All that still doesn’t knock the Necrons off their big turn, but losing the Warriors to the spike roll there was huge, as they now have very little left to screen against planes. Their next turn also isn’t great – some characters get picked up, and the CCB heads off to charge the Autarch to stop him going and taking out the Immortals (or at least force the use of Feigned Retreat) but easy targets are now largely done, and the Eldar have the mobility advantage. The Sword C’tan has started chewing through the first squad of warriors (who got out of the raider to ObSec the objective against him), but agonisingly fails to finish them off by a single model – it kills one with a power and gets all four melee attacks in, but rolls a 1 for damage on the last one and the Kabalite rolls a 6 to deny the Necrons the bonus. They do at least blow away the last Serpent, making scoring Recon suddenly very hard for the elves, who haven’t been doing great at it.

On the next turn, the Autarch breaks off and, working together with the Archon, punks the Immortals. For those keeping track, yes the situation is now that each army holds the two objectives in its opponent’s deployment zone, with the Necrons having rolled through the Eldar and sneaky elf mobility options taking the ones in the Necron zone. This is good – but elsewhere the news is bad, as a plane swoops in to try and take a C’tan and just completely fluffs it. However this was apparently a cunning ruse, as when the C’tan and the CCB gank it next turn it blows up and deals three MW to all three of them. This lets the Eldar take out one with their remaining firepower on their next turn, and they also pick up an outrageous piece of good luck to nick hold more – the Raider shoots its Disintegrator at the Necron Lord who is holding the central objective (touching the ruin for cover) and just kills him outright. Welp.

Eventually, the dust settles and we’re at the end of Eldar Turn 6, with the only remaining decision whether the Autarch charges into the 1W C’tan in front of him and I count up the points. It’s 28-27 Necrons, but if the Autarch lives he scores the final Recon point for a draw. However, if he charges and kills the C’tan it’s worth two points, as it’ll pick up kill more and finish Headhunter. The Necrons are also missing Headhunter, but with the Phoenix Gem the autarch is mildly favoured – he can position so that he’s got the CCB (which moved to body-block him from taking the objective for the bonus) in the Phoenix Gem’s aura as well, so as long as he kills the C’tan, he should be safe even if it blows up.

With all that considered, and me deciding that I’d probably go for the outright win as either side, he charges in. His attacks whiff. The C’tan punches him to death in response. The Phoenix Gem blows up and kills the C’tan. The C’tan blows up and kills the Autarch. Both sides get their Headhunter, but the Eldar miss their final Recon point, just handing the Necrons the game.

M-m-m-m-mutual kill!

Results

My Thoughts

I mean, the Necrons won so that’s got to be promising, right?

It was, admittedly, by the absolute skin of their teeth and there are still clear challenges to playing this list right, most notably that against an opponent who understands how to prioritise targets you can end up in a situation where you have nothing left to screen with. That’s still workable against some armies, but against high-mobility firepower like planes it can be a real problem.

The good news was that the Heavy Destroyers absolutely justified my faith in them. Being able to just blow stuff up when you really need to, especially early on, is such an improvement to the list’s capabilities, and they did actively work with what the army was trying to do better than Doomsdays would have. Being able to move and be part of the castle (and benefit from Wave of Command and The Lord’s Will) while still shooting at full effect was just much, much more useful, and the spike potential of sometimes getting them back up was monstrous.

As for everything else, The Ghost Ark warrior squad did do their job well here – while moving and wrapping with them wasn’t viable, just being able to get the warriors neatly positioned for maximum interference over turns 1 and 2 helped get the game off to a good start. Having a CCB as a warlord was just generically good too – another mobile unit to be where it needs to be is generically helpful, even if it missed pretty much every shooting attack

Finally, I learnt an important lesson about objective placement in this mission – the list absolutely can’t go wide, so on Dawn of War you want to place your “free placement” objective near where you want your castle to be, maybe even outside your deployment zone mid-board where you plan to move to. It works a bit like Imperial Knights in that regard. If the Necrons had lost this it would have 100% have been because of how easily the Raider and passengers were able to take the wide-out objective and lock it down all game.

Rob’s Thoughts

That ending was about as metal is it gets. I’m not shocked the Heavy Destroyers put in some work, and it’s cool to see the Deceiver’s tricks making a real difference for the Necrons. On the other hand, it feels like the Eldar had some phenomenally bad luck early on, but being able to go toe-to-toe with them is still a promising result.

 

Game Two – Eldar Attacker

Time to see if that was a fluke. Things start poorly for the Necrons with the dice reversing their fickle ways and giving the robots the choice of Hammer and Anvil or Pointy Hammer and Anvil. They pick Hammer and Anvil.

Secondary-wise, on this map the Eldar switch Recon out for Engineers, picking the “spare” Kabalite unit and the Storm Guardians. There’s almost no way, barring the Eldar screwing up and allowing the Veil of Darkness to wreck them, that the Necrons can prise the Kabalites off the back objective within the scope of a close game. The Necrons also should have changed an objective here – Headhunter is too high risk on Hammer and Anvil, as it’s too easy for the Eldar to keep their characters screened and out of Time’s Arrow range. There’s no great choice outside that if you want to keep Butcher’s Bill, but having considered it Old School is probably a reasonably good plan, and another thing that the Heavy Destroyers open up that wasn’t possible before.

The one big advantage the Necrons have, through choosing their deployment zone, is being able to take the end where they can actually hide most of their Heavy Destroyers inside a cool robot house, also letting the CHARACTERs stand on top with essential impunity

Would that be enough to stop the Eldar’s assault?

How it Went

The Necrons used The Grand Illusion to move the squad of Heavy destroyers that didn’t fit in the deployment ruin up into the crook of the L-block, again positioned so the Spears can’t wall-hack them. The Ghost Ark comes up too – it can’t really hide, but this at least forces the Eldar to come at it from specific angles if they want to kill it.

The Eldar very much do. They swing up the flank to get shots on it, with the Spears closing in to shuriken range on the Ark, planning to Fire and Fade back onto the central objective. The goal here is to leave themselves as far as possible from the Wraiths, risking a charge if they roll well but making the prospect dicey (especially with Vect an option on the re-roll). Doom lands on the Ark and it is shredded by Shurikens, but perhaps worse for the Necrons the Farseer puts a cheeky Executioner into the forward Heavy Destroyer squad (as it doesn’t need LOS) and vaporises two outright. The only consolation for the Necrons is that Protect on the Spears missed. One wraith is also plinked off by a Crimson Hunter.

Things look bad for the Necrons right off the bat here – losing that Destroyer squad as well, without the Eldar really having to properly commit, was a huge blow. After a bit of thought, I decide that this is one of those situations where you have to swing for the fences – all the Eldar need to do to win from here is evaporate the remaning Heavy Destroyers next turn, and the planes combined with the long slog the Necrons have down the board will make this unwinnable. I calculate that the only way out is to punk a plane and kill as many spears as possible, and proceed on the assumption that this will work.

Surprisingly, it does. I put Phaeron’s Will out so both remaining Heavy Destroyer squads have +1 to hit, and move the army up. C’tan powers put a decent number of wounds on the Raider and evaporate a Spear, and then we get to shooting. First Heavy Destroyer squad pops Extermination Protocols and shoots at a Crimson, which uses Lightning Fast. Despite this, with a mild high roll, two wounds go through and I roll a double six for damage, killing the plane instantly. OK then. The Raider gets nuked by the second squad, and the Wraiths then roll a ten for their charge, slamming into the Spears and killing three. The Spears hit back, taking one out, but then roll and re-roll a 6 for their morale, losing two more.

Skele-Corrode calls bullshit on my turn.

That’s an appalingly good turn for the Necrons, and makes this an actual game, further helped by Eldar turn two being lacklustre. The remaining two spears resolve to remove the threat of the Lord – he’s behind a light screen, and taking out the Veil of Darkness will make things easier later on. They used Feigned Retreat to jump out, while the rest of the army picks up the Wraiths and clears the Necron Warrior screen. After the screen drops the Dark Reapers also have a shot on a C’tan, but completely fluff it, doing nothing. The same is, sadly, true of the Spears, who only manage a single wounding hit on the Lord between shooting and melee, and are killed for their troubles.

The Necrons attack in force to try and capitalise on this stumble. The Kabalites who bailed out of the Raider are removed from the objective by the Nightbringer, with Immortals helping out, while the rest of the C’tan push up the board and the Heavy Destroyers consolidate into a defensive bubble to try and repeat their trick with the second Crimson.

This time they just miss, with the plane sneaking through on a single wound, but elsewhere things are brutal – with the reduced threat from the planes, the C’tan can just throw caution to the wind and push up the board, hoping the Reapers and Night Spinners don’t do much. On Eldar turn 3 they don’t – despite Jinxing the 3++ C’tan the Eldar roll like absolute trash and kill nothing, the only positive being that they still have the models to completely screen their backline, keeping the Engineers safe from a teleport kill. The Archon also comes in to menace the Scarabs holding the Necron home objective, forcing some resources to be diverted to kill him. If he can luck out and survive a turn, that’ll tie up Necron resources that are wanted elsewhere.

The Necrons continue to capitalise. Sword C’tan switches to Cosmic Fire and drops it on a large swathe of the Eldar army, but mercifully it rolls poorly (though he is able to take out a Warlock in combat). The Heavy Destroyers keep blasting, but the Eldar get a couple of big breaks this turn.The Crimson Hunter holds on, making all the saves it’s called on to take and surviving on one wound, and while a C’tan is able to charge and finish off a Wave Serpent the Destroyers had softened up, it takes a mighty four wounds doing so, with the flamer from the Storm Guardians it multi-charged getting a vicious high-roll on Overwatch. Less fortunately for the elf menace, the Archon gets taken out, with a good Tesla volley blasting enough wounds off for the Lord to finish him in combat.

The good breaks do, just give the Eldar some play though. The Crimson flies mid board and cold-cocks the Nightbringer, while the Farseer is now facing down two single-wound C’tan thanks to the Overwatch spike. His Warlock hype man casts Focus Will to ensure his spells go off, and Executioner and Smite smoke two C’tan like it ain’t no thing.  The Eldar are desperately short of resources at this point, but still fighting – killing three C’tan in a turn is huge.

They are helped in this by the Crimson Hunter exploding again in the middle of several Necron units, taking out a Heavy destroyer and some Immortals, though at least for the robots they’d been burned bad enough the first time that they’d kept as much stuff as possible outside 6″.

Destroyer Squad 2 and the Deceiver demonstrate proper social distancing

The Lord can, now, teleport the other Immortal squad up the board too, planning to charge and wrap the remaining Dire Avengers and Storm Guardians if possible, who are skulking beneath the Dark Reapers. They only manage to get the Storm Guardians, but every little helps here, and the Deceiver is floating up the board menacingly while Overlord Wings flies around the Eldar backline on his CCB trying desperately to grab some Headhunter and Bonus points (on the turn the Archon and Warlock died, one was put towards Butcher’s Bill instead). He does not succeed in this, and worse, the Eldar actually manage to blow him up, with some exceptional rolls from a wounded Night Spinner combining with a Smite to take him out through all of his defences. Elsewhere, the Dark Reapers have continued to fail to shoot anything, but calculate that a charge into the Immortals from cover is now their best shout, as closing off that anti-infantry firepower will make a big diffference. They do this and it sticks, allowing the remaining Dire Avengers to keep a screen up in front of the characters, making Headhunter very tricky.

Despite this, the attrition from the Heavy Destroyers floating up the board blasting everything keeps the Eldar on the back foot enough (and locked out from the central objective) that they can’t get back in. They make a valiant attempt over the last turn – the Autarch just misses killing a whole Heavy Destroyer squad, and a Necron Lord gets in a fight with an Archon to try and high roll a headhunter point, and well…

Necron Lords.jpg

It wasn’t enough though – a Heavy Destroyer got back up, allowing them to float onto the bonus objective and claim it, and although the Deceiver missed his final charge into the Autarch, who was sitting tantalisingly on 3W, and the Necrons thus got a shameful 1 point on headhunter, they still had the primary advantage to take the game.

Results

My Thoughts

I can only re-emphasise that I swear I didn’t fudge the dice rolls here, but I won’t pretend I’m not delighted with the outcome. Yes, it took an early high roll to get the Necrons into this game, but the crucial thing from the list analysis point of view is that the Heavy Destroyers give you a unit that you can swing for that kind of high-roll on – the old version of this list, bluntly, could not have recovered from the bad first turn, even with the high-roll from the Wraiths. Having something that can actually fight back against mobile shooting threats again really showed the strength they add. They also, here, helped capitalise on the lead once the army had it – a bubble of highly accurate lascannon-equivalent shots will gradually whittle down most opposition, and if they get to your opponent’s big guns first they’re tough to deal with.

I did still feel in this like the army was missing somethingI definitely found myself wanting some sort of mobile screen and a bit more anti-infantry punch, as I think I might struggle against a more horde list. The obvious answer is ugh Tomb Blades. These are extremely on the list of things I do not want to paint, but I think the list wants them – either in place of the Wraiths or instead of a C’tan. The former is more likely, as the latter stops you being able to double up powers, which sucks.

That’s a problem for the future though – for now I can, at least, be happy that the list concept seems basically solid.

Rob’s Thoughts

This is, again, a result where I’m pleasantly surprised by the outcome, but I’m scowling disapprovingly at that boxcars damage roll that might have been the defining moment of the game. That’s a huge and rare outcome, but it’s hard to argue that you didn’t do your diligence here with two games and alternating first turns. I appreciate that level of rigor in the analysis and have to conclude that yes, just maybe, this list has Necrodermis-covered legs. I’m interested to see how it might do in a match-up against marines, where Raven Guard have the ability to pick off the C’Tan. I think this list has a pretty good chance of 4-1 at an event, though, and I agree that swapping out the Wraiths for Tomb Blades is the right call — they’re just a better unit, and much more versatile. I wouldn’t remove a C’Tan, since I think the power redundancy is an important part of what you’re doing. 

 

The Verdict & Wrap Up

With two wins under their belts I think I’m comfortable that this is a list I could take to an event. Apart from anything else, one factor that wasn’t at play here was surprise – the list is very unusual, and playing against someone who isn’t me I’d get a bit more of that working in my favour. The more I think about it the more I think a large squad of Tomb Blades instead of the Wraiths probably is the X-factor this list needs to go to the next level, as it’s lost some of its previous anti-infantry punch to add in the more anti-tank elements. I’ll probably shudder think real hard about painting up some of those, especially if GW starts shipping again before tournaments spin up, but ultimately this is a list I’d be happy to take to an event as is.

Thanks for hearing me out, Rob!

If you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions (is there something else I should put in that slot?) give us a shout at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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