Tuesday, 28 August 2012

MTT Build-Up, Round 2

Well, I was going to go through a brief point by point of my upcoming Maelstrom Team Tournament list, and I’m still going to do that, but with a brief caveat.  The list has now changed.  Feel free to eye-roll.

I’ll go through the list as it was and then talk about the changes as well as potential further alterations, although it is perilously close to the deadline so too many changes should be avoided.  Anyway, the brief rundown, in no particular order:

Immortals:  They are troops.  There shouldn’t even be a discussion about this.  I run them in small squads, as the list as a whole is fairly light on troops and the inability to daisy-chain a big squad over two objectives reduces the effectiveness of large Infantry squads when you still have the Force Org slots to accommodate another small unit.  Also, by keeping them small, they are less likely to attract enemy firepower, as I have found out in numerous practice games.  The rest of my army is big and scary, so these guys do tend to sneak under the radar and are resilient enough to shrug off the firepower that does come their way.  Plus, they are short (well, 24”) range guys who frequently have to hang around the backfield on an objective.  There’s not too much point in lavishing a tonne of points on them.  I kit them out with Tesla, because I like the random bonus hits every now and again.  The Gauss option has got significantly better for these guys since the dawn of sixth and is much more of an even contest for the Tesla.  However, with AP - weapons no longer doing any worse than normal on the vehicle damage table, the two stand even on killing anything less than AV13.

Necron Warriors:  Again, Troops.  I ran a ten man squad to hold an objective at the back and try for some cheeky vehicle harassment if anyone got close.  So far they’ve claimed points fine, but not really had much more of an effect on the game than that.  They’re rarely picked on by my opponents for the same reason that the Immortals are ignored.  The only different is in durability, which I make up for in numbers.

Triach Stalker:  A handy additional.  This unit is a holdover from the idea of AV13 being the key focus of the army.  AV13 walkers are real buggers to take down in assault for most units and can shrug off a lot of firepower, even anti-tank shots.  The twin-linking effect it imbues the rest of the army with definitely makes it a strong asset.  However, the relatively light weapon loadouts (it can only ever have one gun, and the maximum range is only 36”) and its poor performance as an assault heavy hitter (no dreadnought close combat weapon) renders it mainly as a strong support player with good durability to keep doing its job.

Deathmarks: Love these guys.  I’ve already gone into why I like using them in a previous Necrautopsy post, and now that sixth edition has hit, they are made even better by the new Sniper rules for precision shots as well as the softening of the Rapid Fire rules.  The marking of enemies or easy wounds is godsend versus certain enemies and their ability to deep strike anywhere on the field makes them ideal for surgical strikes against backfield elements or lynchpin units in the opponent’s list.

Night Scythes:  Unless you’re taking fortifications or whatever filth is available from your local Forgeworld cheese-merchant your best anti-flyer defence is going to be your own flyer.  Flyers are going to be rife in this edition (I think), and if I’m going to a competition, I should be prepared for that.  Night Scythes are good in this role as they are fairly durable (for flyers) and the troop transport capacity (my Night Scythes are usually filled with Deathmarks) allows it to pull double duty very effectively.  Also of note is the fact that they don’t have to drop into Hover mode to disgorge their cargo.  Which is handy, as Night Scythes don’t have a Hover mode. Unlike other transport flyers, they don’t subject their transported unit to horrible screaming death when the get shot down and the Twin linked Tesla Destructor is a very handy gun for your light vehicles and for arcing fun whenever the enemy are too clustered together.  In this list, I run two of these with 8 man Deathmarks inside for added reliability.  Although the Night Scythes themselves do not always strike true, the speed of them and their ability to plant Deathmarks where I want them due to the Invasion Beams make them a very nice combo and one I have used to great effect in many of my practice games.

Anyway, those were my Elites and Troops.  Tomorrow (or the day after, or the day after that, or… you get the idea) I’ll go through the rest of list and frantically justify my choices to you.

So long!

Friday, 17 August 2012

MTT Build-up: Evolution of the list

Well, it may be no surprise to many of you, but I’ve been spending a lot of time recently working on my Necron list for the upcoming Maelstrom Team Tournament at the end of next month.  For those with long memories and much patience, this was the same tournament that I did a full review of early on it my blog’s life. Back when it was a strapping young thing with points to prove rather than a shambling dishevelled wreck forever searching for another excuse to have a nap.

But, hey, time and tide wait for no muppet and I’d better get on detailing my prepwork if I’m ever going to cement my reputation as the Underlings’ premier loquacious timewaster.

This list has actually been through a few iterations before settling into the 6th-ready form it has adopted now.  If you remember many months back when I wrote the ‘Necrautopsy’ series of posts about various Necron units, their application and how much I like them.  Back then, I wrote a lot about Crypteks, anvil units of Necron warriors, warscything Lychguard, all that good stuff.  Pretty much none of that is in this list.  I just decided to run the ‘crons a little differently for this.

I can imagine many, maybe even most, Necrons players would be using Crypteks in a variety of ways, with a variety of weapon and a whole host of tricks.  I tried that way in a tournament and it worked quite nicely. (Throne of Skulls, by the way; I think I batrepped that one too).  However, the tricks I was using have, since 6th Ed, been massively downgraded as Dangerous Terrain really isn’t all that dangerous any more.  Not to say that Tremorstave are bad, by any means.  Interfering with your opponent’s movement phase can be fantastically useful, but you can’t build an army around the tactic anymore.  At least, I don’t think so.

So, I switched my focus from Cryptek Gimmickry to Massed Armour, aiming to flood the board in AV13, which the Necrons can field in spades.  My initial 1650 list had a grand total of six AV13 vehicles, enough to give missile-toting opponents a headache and still providing me with enough points spare to run a solid core of Troops.  One thing I have learned over the past couple of editions is to not skimp on your troops. 

I’d also run a couple of Overlords in Command Barges and abuse the hell out of their sweep attacks.  Sadly, (or not depending on your perspective) they are just not what they were in the new edition.  The Sweep attack is nowhere near as easily to pull off, what with the reduced movement in the moving phase, and the inability for vehicles to score or contest deliver real hits to the semi-brokeness they once displayed.  Again they are far from bad now, but they don’t deliver the right amount of payoff for their points cost any more.

This is as I feel it should be.  6th edition has had a good stabilising influence on the game as a whole, barring the odd curiosity I have with the rule set (certain challenges in assault and vehicle to-hits rules being two of them).  So the Command Barges went.  The Ghost Ark went, since Troops can’t capture when embarked and the vehicle itself can’t even contest.  6th Ed had taken apart my plans for the Iron Tide list (or Necrodermal Tide list, if you’re being picky).

That said, this list still has a decent quantity of vehicles in it and packs a little AV 13, but it’s by no means the central theme to the list anymore.  In fact, I’m not sure there is a central theme to this one.  It’s just a collection of units in some sort of broad symmetry that work well and consistently.  If anything, the list is more notable for what it leaves out than what it includes, which seems strange to me.  Anyway, enough preamble, I may as well detail what (as of today at least) is in my Maelstrom list and thus give all my opponents a massive head start on me.  Assuming of course that all my opponents read this blog.  Which they don’t.  So I win.  I think.

HQ: 1 Destroyer Lord with Warscythe and Sempiternal Weave
ELITES: Triarch Stalker with Heat Ray
ELITES: 2 x 8 man Deathmark units in Night Scythes
TROOPS: 10 man squad of Necron Warriors
TROOPS: 3 x 5 man squads of Necron Immortals with Tesla Carbines
FAST ATTACK: 6 man Wraith Squad with three sets of Whip Coils
FAST ATTACK: 2 x 3 swarm squads of Scarabs
HEAVY SUPPORT: A squad of 3 Spyders with one Fabricator Array
HEAVY SUPPORT: 2 Annihilation Barges with full Tesla loadouts
And that’s about it.  A couple of points going spare, but not much to spend those on.

Anyway, that’s the rough sum up of my MTT list.  I’ll go through the various units and tactics with it next week, provided my typing fingers don’t develop gangrene from complete lack of use.

So long.