Friday, 25 November 2011

Necron Autopsy

Last time, I did a quick run through of the kits I bought for my Necrons and what I thought of them.  However, I did forget one thing.  Seeing as Canoptek Spyders in the book are quite good and interesting when double-teamed with Scarabs, I wanted to have them in my list.  However, the Tomb Spyder model is ugly, complicated and metal, making it highly undesirable for me.  I had spent while looking through various sites on the Internet casting around for Spyder Proxies, but then I had a bit of an idea.  I’ve been using the Lychguard dispersion shields you get in the kit and cutting up the Praetorian ‘ribcage’ back parts and sticking them together, with the ribs looking like tiny legs or mandibles.  When you mount that piece on a skimmer stand, it actually looks quite good as a kind of creepy hovering robot bug-thing.  As Spyders are Monstrous Creatures in the book, just one of the shield conversions wouldn’t cut it, so I dug out a 60mm base and glued three of the shields to it as a sort of swarm, but counting them as a single monstrous creature in game terms.  I’m actually really happy with the results, and it gave me a new unit to use in my cheap(ish) thousand pointer.

Speaking of which, I should probably elaborate as to what it actually comprises of.  I didn’t end up using the Lychguard at all, as it happens, because even though I really like the models and they can punch unbelievably hard, I just think they are too expensive in 1,000pts.  I decide to focus on Troops for the most part and play with the shinier and more expensive toys when I graduate to higher points levels.

HQ: Overlord (the plastic one you get with the Annihilation Barge kit) with Sempiternal Weave, a Warscythe, Mindshackle Scarabs and the Phaeron upgrade

Troops: 20 Necrons and a Lord with a Resurrection Orb and a Warscythe

5 Immortals with Tesla Carbines and a Cryptek of Transmogrification

Another one of the above

Fast Attack: 6 Scarab Bases

Heavy Support: Annihilation barge with an all Tesla load-out

2 Canoptek Spyders as a squad

I played a couple of games with this setup; one against Tzeentch Daemons and another against Tyranids.  I wasn’t anticipating going against Daemons and they are one of the least useful armies for practising with a new list, unless you specifically want to practice against Daemons.  They just play so differently from everything else.  Anyway, the Daemon game went well, with me getting into as many close combats as I could, as Tzeentch are one of the few forces that Necrons can feel really confident about killing in an assault.  Things got hairy for a little while and, due to concentrated firing from my opponents forces, the big Warrior squad was beaten down to just the Overlord, the Lord and just one regular Necron.  However, after the resulting Reanimation roll, 10 of them got back up and continued fighting!  A major plus for me in that game.  One trick I learnt in that game is that you can be a little sneaky with your Reanimation, as the risen models just have to be placed in coherency with the rest of the unit, not where they died.  This came in handy with the Horrors, as I was able to place the Warriors closer to the Horrors each time, prepping myself for some hefty rapid firing next turn. 

Another thing I planned for the army was sticking the Phaeron in with the big Warrior squad.  A lot of people, reading the new book and picking up the army seem to have the natural instinct to put him with a big squad of immortals, which is understandable, but I feel he does better with the bigger squad of regular Warriors, as they can pack many more shots in with the Relentless upgrade, easily offsetting the marginally reduced strength.  If I want my Immortals to move and fire (and I do), I give them Tesla (which I also do).  The Immortals weren’t brilliant in this game, as the Crypteks weren’t really able to play enough mobility tricks and I resolutely failed to get any extra hits in with the Tesla.  The Scarabs worked though.  I was pleasantly surprised by just how far that extended charge move gets you when an enemy’s about.

The next game was interesting, as Nids really are an army that Necrons can have trouble with.  Their vehicle-suppressing tricks won’t work, and they don’t have a great deal of things that can deal with high toughness and high armour.  I was up against a Trygon Prime, a Tervigon, two Hive Guard, a big squad of Hormagaunts and two squads of Genestealers.  This would be a challenge, as Necrons stand up well against ranged firepower, but their low initiative and lack of Stubborn or Fearless definitely put them in a bad way against assault armies.  I had planned for this eventually in my list design though and, for the most part, it worked.  The key to my fighting assault lists is the Cryptek of Transmogrification.  Their main weapon afflicts whoever it hits with Quake, with basically means that they move as if moving through difficult terrain for their next turn.  Very useful in slowing up the big units to allow you some more shooting.  By the time they reach you, they ought to be weak enough for the Necrons to handle them.  By and large, I found that this was the case. 

However, I made a critical error in target priority which saw the Trygon Prime reach my big Warrior squad and, due to some poor rolling (none of my Warscythe attacks hit, the regular Necrons didn’t score a single wound and the Mindshackle Scarabs failed to do anything) and the entire squad fled and got run down.  From then on, the game changed into one that could’ve gone either way into a rout from the ‘crons.  The Scarabs managed to swarm all over the Tervigon, but the fat bastard just kept spawning Termagant squads which doubled back and helped out killing the Scarabs and poisoned Hormagaunt took my Spyders down and, to add insult to grievous injury, the lone Hive Guard rolled a double hit and then a double pen on my Barge, detonating it immediately.  Buggerations all round.

Overall, two very fun games though.  It was odd taking the offensive and assaulting heavily in the first game, as that is clearly not what the army is meant to do and maybe my close combat confidence was a little too high when it came to fighting the Tyranids, but you live and learn.  Or something like that.

All the units in the list performed well, with the exception of the Annihilation Barge, which underwhelmed me a little.  In an odd move, I think I’m going to add another one as I feel that these guys would perform better when teamed up and both focussing on the same target, or one of them covering the other whilst moving.  The mid-range nature of the weaponry and slow movement rate of the vehicle (seriously, they can only move 6” and fire a single gun) is definitely going to be something for me to get used to, as I do really like the models and dearly want them to be worthwhile.

Anyway, that’s enough for now, I feel as if I’ve already typed for too long!

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