Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Overthinking the Overload!

Well, the Overload event was fun!

It was very interesting not only to have the Spearhead itself as the new ‘n’ shiny, but also random pairings per game.  In fact, the random pairings aspect was so much fun that we are thinking of incorporating it into more regular events.  Having to come up with synergies and tactics on the fly with your (temporary) team mate can be very challenging at times, but is a lot of fun and very rewarding when it actually works.

It also cuts down on the amount of cheese, as you can’t tailor your lists excessively for one particular task.  Your opponent might not be able to capitalise on your list and that could cost you again, because if you don’t support your ally you’ll be outnumbered and outgunned.  That said there is still a ripe harvest of cheese to be gathered.  Can cheese be harvested?  Ah, sod it.  Onwards!

I ran with an odd Necron list for the event, with no Troop choices at all, as Spearhead lets you do stuff like that.  There are no compulsory choices for your force, although you are still limited by the Force Org chart.  So I went a little nuts and mad a force comprised entirely of all of my available HQ, Fast Attack and Heavy Support slots and a stack of AV13.  Two Annihilation Barges, two Spyders, 2 minimum squads of Scarabs, a squad of 5 Wraith and 2 Overlords with Warscythes in Command Barges.  For some odd fluff I made a bit of back-story around those two; the basic idea being that during the biotransference process, an error occurred and this Overlord was accidentally transferred into two bodies sharing one consciousness.  Thus Drathykyr the Twain was born.

This was my first major attempt at running Sweep Attacks (a special move permitted by the Command Barge), and I have to say that they’re lethal.  Basically, sweep attacks allow you to make three attacks at unit you pass over during the movement phase.  These attacks hit on a 4+ (or a 3+ if you’re only moving at combat speed).  Vehicles hit on rear armour, no cover save.  Combo that up with an S7 power weapon and 2D6 armour pen and there is no target it’s not good for.  To make matters even nastier, it you roll a 6 to hit when attack infantry, you get to pick who gets the hit!  Drive-by character sniping.  Be a bastard, it works.

So, my list was based around the Twain, and they were priced to match, costing 360 of my allotted 1,000 points.  In addition, I put them in a Mechanised Assault Spearhead, which basically allows them to outflank on turn 1, guaranteed.  Nothing is safe!  Unless they turn up on the wrong side of the board.

The first game was against a pair of Eldar generals and my ally was another Necron player.  My ally had not really played a great deal with his ‘crons though, which left me feeling like a bit of a dictator as I just kept barking orders at all and sundry whenever he asked for advice.  I wasn’t relishing the Eldar game, as the irritation they’ve inflicted on my Dark Eldar still runs deep.  As you can imagine, there was a fair amount of mech going around, although one of my opponents (occasional compatriot Skew), ran three Wraithlords in something of berserker Spearhead, giving them rage, counter attack, furious charge and all manner of nastiness.  Very nasty to behold.  The setup began with the Necrons basically fielding every damn thing in a tight wedge for a unified sluggish march up the table and the Eldar field as little possible, as is their pointy-eared way, the little cowards.  They deployed two tanks of stuff, safely tucked away behind a building.

It wasn’t enough to save them from the Twain though.  I rolled nicely for the side and the Twain inflicted a nice bit of damage on the pair of them, destroying weapons and immobilising the tanks where they stood.  Well, at least stunning them.  That’s nearly as good, right?  The Eldar countered with a Mechanised Assault of their own, but moved in to reinforce their stricken tanks rather than attack the body of the Necron forces.  This, I feel, was a mistake.  They would have been better laying a heavy strike down on the Necron rearguard and leaving their two starting tanks to be rescued by their regular reserves, including the berserker Wraithlords.  My Overlords hit what they could, as hard as they could and retreated back being sure to stay out of possible Wraithlord reach.  To be fair, those things were a major concern of mine.  The Necrons can do a lot, but I wasn’t confident in their ability to handle three T8 monstrous creatures on the rampage.  The game continued in this vein for a bit, with the footslogging Necron forces making a steady advance, the Eldar forces trying to consolidate in the back field and lacking the concentrated firepower to really dent the Necron forces.

A squadron of Tank-hunting Warwalkers outflanked to one side near the Necron forces, but concentrated their fire on scarab swarms.  I was lucky with my cover saves though, and was left with plenty of bugs on the field.  My Wraiths made good ground, very quickly and threw themselves into the Wraithlords to hold them up or kill them.  Wraiths were pretty much the only thing I had going that could be effective against that threat.  They’ve got a good invulnerable save and plenty of rending attacks, plus Fearless as well.  Unfortunately, they were slacking that game and didn’t quite kill the Wraithlord they charged and two of the Wraiths got doubled out with the return swings.  Then next turn the other two Wraithlords joined in…

The Necron advance was finally reaching its destination, with the Annihilation Barges laying down constant streams of lightning and the Scarabs chowing down on whatever tank they could reach.  Those little buggers can move when they want to!  My ally was laying down the support fire as well, his Doomsday Ark and his two Annihilation Barges hurling firepower downfield wherever they could.  It was a good day to be an unfeeling metal bastard.

The game was called on turn four, as we were timed out.  I blame the relative unfamiliarity with the Spearhead rules for that.  The subsequent games went a lot quicker.  Anyway, the end result was a Necron victory; two objectives to one.  The Eldar had flung a tank next to their home objective and the my team mate had our objective thoroughly swamped with Necron infantry.  The midfield objective was a hard sell though, what with the all the corpses and tank wreckage.  In fact, for some reason, I was convinced the game was a draw and that no-one held the middle, until it was pointed out that my Overlord, fresh from wiping the floor with some Dire Avengers was scoring (part of a Spearhead formation) and actually within 3” of the objective, but only just.

I exhaled.  Phew.  Long game, and were it not for the bad luck on the Eldar side (their reserves were decidedly less than punctual and the outflanking units kept appearing on the wrong board edges), it could easily have been a draw.

Never mind, eh?  On to game two!

Later, though.  Definitely later.

No comments: