The hated nemesis! The Necron menace! This would be one hell of a match. I've only played Necrons a handful of times even in 7th, and in 8th... They're a different animal entirely.
Are y'all ready for Round 5??
To make matters worse, this is a Board Control mission - so not only do I have to not die, but I have to stand my ground and hold points. My chances of being overwhelmed on the ground are high, but being pushed off multiple Objectives on a big board is pretty much guaranteed. That said, I stuck with my list more or less, since it's both what I've been playing and what I have. Here's the Mission:
"Standard" Dawn of War Deployment, with a 12" Deployment Zone on each long table edge. The Scenario is Big Guns Never Tire:
Again, I didn't have enough prep time before this round. So it was lucky for me that I only have 1 Heavy Support choice at all, let alone in my army!
Here's my list:
Aeldari, 1750 pts.
Battalion Detachment - Ynnari
HQ- The Visarch (Warlord, Tenacious Survivor)
HQ- Eldrad Ulthruan
HQ- Autarch Skyrunner (Banshee Mask, Fusion Gun, Laser Lance)
Troops- Kabalite Warriors (5x, Blaster)
Troops- Kabalite Warriors (5x, Blaster)
Troops- Storm Guardians (8x, 2x Fusion Guns)
D. Trans- Raider (Disintegrator Cannon, Shock Prow)
Heavy- Wraithlord (2x Flamer, Ghostglaive, Shuriken Cannon)
Flyer- Hemlock Wraithfighter
Flyer- Crimson Hunter
Outrider Detachment - Craftworld
HQ- Farseer Skyrunner (Singing Spear)
HQ- Warlock Skyrunner (Singing Spear)
Fast A.- Windriders (3x, Shuriken Cannons)
Fast A.- Windriders (3x, Shuriken Cannons)
Fast A.- Windriders (3x, Shuriken Cannons)
7x Command Points
A little backstory I didn't cover in my Round 4 report - I added a second Detachment because I wanted more HQ's, especially the Farseer, and Command Points. In the end I opted for the Outrider Detachment because it's small and points efficient, and makes use to the Jetbikes that I have in my collection. Since I don't have any Ynnari HQ, aside from the Visarch, it couldn't be an Ynnari Detachment, so naturally it had to be a Craftworld Detachment.
Which, once I'd put some thought into it, a Jetbike blob is a perfect example of Aeldari synergy, especially in 8th. You get aura abilities from an Autarch, Warlock and Farseer, and with the changes to the damage chart, Shuriken Cannons are suddenly far more adaptable weapons than they used to be. And they go terrifically with Battle Focus.
But, what about the Necrons I was about to face?
Necron, 1750 pts.
HQ- Catacomb Command Barge (Tesla Cannon, Voidblade)
Fast A.- Canoptek Scarabs (5x, Feeder Mandibles)
Fast A.- Canoptek Wraiths (3x, Vicious Claws)
Fast A.- Destroyers (4x Dest, 1x Heavy Dest.)
Heavy- Doomsday Ark (Doomsday Cannon)
HQ- Cryptek (Chronometron, Technomancer, Staff of Light)
Elite- C'Tan shard of the Nightbringer (power: Antimatter Meteor)
Elite- Deathmarks (6x)
Heavy- Triarch Stalker (Twin Heavy Gauss Cannons)
Heavy- Tesseract Ark (2x Tesla Cannons) *Forgeworld
5x Command Points
Some background on this list, my opponent brought big guns because he expected me to bring big stompers like a Wraithknight or tough nuts like Wave Serpents. While I didn't bring any of those, in fact I brought quite a bit of Infantry, what I did bring is vulnerable to that kind of firepower. Last round I got lucky, my weaker tank and monster standing up multiple rounds to a half a dozen Lascannons. This round, I had no reason to expect I'd be so lucky
I'd planned for that, somewhat. With the twin Flyers, and hopefully Conceal, I hoped to soak fire and take some heat off of the more fragile elements of my army.
But. I had no idea what kinds of heat those guns were packing! Yikes!
Our game started off in the most auspicious possible way: we tied on the Deploy First roll. Three times. Dun dun duuuuun!
In the end though, the Necrons did Deploy first, and since my army has so many small units, I took considerably longer to deploy. So, Necrons got first turn, and I failed to seize.
The above is Deployment. You can barely see some of the Objectives, my home one in the trees, Necrons home Objective behind the black wall center. Left Objective in the rocks, Right Objective in no-man's-land. My two Flyers are in Reserve, to keep them out of harm's way at first, and to make sure I knew where I needed them.
Cover was limited, but I kept my forces split. Once again the Visarch and the second Warrior unit are in the Raider.
That Stalker is awfully intimidating over there...
Based on how we both Deployed, I originally assumed he was treating my infantry/Wraithlord as the greater threat, but now that I know how many points a C'Tan is, I think I had it backwards!
0 - 0, tied
This was eye-opening. What I saw when I looked over the list was *not* a super-heavy shooting list. I was a bit rushed and unfamiliar with the units, but I also had an overblown idea of my list's durability.
In movement, the Wraiths moved up to take the left side Objective, while the Scarabs screened the C'Tan moving onto the right side Objective. He had the Cryptek camp on his home Objective, while everything else just shot the living hell out of me.
Of my nine Windriders, two died outright, and another one and a half of another unit went down too.
Much worse though-
My Wraithlord! I barely knew ye!
That one did trigger a Soulburst, and my Warrior unit actually sniped a Wraith!
Aeldari Turn 1-
0 - 7, Necrons
I took, what felt at the time, like a pasting. It made very clear very quickly that I needed to make up the difference, fast. I couldn't weather firepower like that for long, so I had to cross the table and do some damage!
First - the Wraiths.
My shooting here proved very effective, with Guide on the Storm Guardians making them actually hit very hard. Plus Eldrad's Smite and the Disintegrator Cannon.
...Although, you will note that Eldrad has suffered three Wounds. How, you ask? Perils.
Didn't you use Eldrad's re-roll, you ask further?
And he took THREE Wounds and failed all of his 5+ Ghosthelm saves?
Did you at least try to re-roll the Wounds with a Command Point?
WHAT THE $%#@, Eldrad?!
Sigh. I love Eldrad, he kicks butt even when his Powers only trigger maybe a third of the time. When it works, it's worth it all, even in a game where he nearly kills himself in turn 1 by rolling three 1's in a ROW.
My bikes moved up very aggressively, knowing I had to take the point to make up the difference. I also flew my Flyers in, assuming my Crimson Hunter could make short work of the Stalker, especially with my Autarch's aura. My Hemlock successfully cast Conceal, which is great on that big of a base. My Farseer hit the Stalker with Doom and fired off Smite, doing some damage to the Scarabs.
As you can see here, I made short work of the Scarabs, even with all those Wounds. However, I had brought in units from Reserve, so those Deathmarks came in too in response. I got lucky there though, because they weren't able to hit the Hemlock.
In all the chaos here, killing the Scarabs did trigger a Soulburst, and allowed by Autarch to take out a couple Deathmarks too! I wanted to tag the Nightbringer, but as a Character with 8 Wounds... Nasty customer, that one!
Around here is where I learned how important Doom is, because apparently I can't roll a 4+ with Bright Lances :P
THEN I learned what exactly the new "Quantum Shielding" does. So, anytime a Necron Vehicle takes an unsaved Wound that does multiple damage, if the owning player can roll under the amount of damage dealt on a d6, all of the damage is ignored (!?)
So, I was proud of myself for hitting that Stalker with a brutal nine total damage (a six and a three), but it took zero damage.
OH SHIT. How many tanks are in that army?!
I'd done ok. I wound up taking both side Objectives, since I had more models on each. I didn't hold my own home Objective though, and I was down a Heavy Support point and First Blood
Necrons Turn 2-
4 - 7, Necrons
Oh hey! Necrons:
Man! They both came back!
So the new rule for Necron's old "We'll Be Back" is that any Infantry or Biker model that's killed can come back at the beginning of any Necron player turn on a 5+, as long as the unit still has any models left standing before you make the roll. It's a terrific rule, and far more powerful than the last few versions.
I'd done a lot more damage, and gotten a lot closer, than I think the Necrons had expected. Those Wraiths and Scarabs were both supposed to gum up Objectives well into later turns, especially the Wraiths (I was surprised how quickly those went down this game too...)
The natural response from the Necrons was to push my army back, but shooting the living hell out of it. And it worked for the most part, but several of my units were total rockstars, including the Hemlock with Conceal, which took fire from the entire Destroyer blob. Even though it went down to two Wounds (making it essentially a slow-flying brick, hitting on 5+) it protected the rest of my army from truly devastating firepower for at least one more turn!
The Snipers though, yikes. I'd forgotten Deathmarks were Snipers, but remembered very quickly when they started directly targeting my Autarch! They didn't roll terribly well, but getting those extra Mortal Wounds on 6's to-Wound made a big, big difference.
That Nightbriner... Yikes, he Charged my Jetbikes and started chainsawing through my Characters, Farseer and Warlock first, although they held up admirably.
Last, but not least, the final surviving Wraith zipped around my Raider and charged Eldrad (!) who made me so proud. He not only didn't take any Wounds (3++ ftw!) but proceeded to slap that Wraith square in the robot face and take it down in one round of combat. Woo!
All things considered, I held. I took some damage, but not as much as the first turn, and I protected both side Objectives, conceding only a single point to the Necrons. I needed that, after that first turn!
Aeldari Turn 2-
4 - 8, Necrons
I was still leaning heavily on my Fusion Guns and Blasters, so I needed to get in close ASAP. Most of my Infantry Advanced, Eldrad and my Raider moved to secure the left Objective. I was taking a lot of pepper on my right flank though, and I was in that awkward spot where my Flyers had to move, and had to bank hard not to fly off the board. So, I naturally split my forces.
To get away from the Nightbringer, I flew my Autarch and remaining 3-man Windrider unit over the rock to engage the Stalker.
Since the Destroyers had had little trouble tagging my Hemlock despite Conceal, I opted to cast Smite instead, and got lucky enough to drop a 3-Wound Destroyer! But that was about it for what the Hemlock did.
On the left flank, Eldrad cast Doom on the Tesseract Ark, and Guide again on the Storm Guardians.
In shooting, my Flyers did respectable damage to the Annihilation Barge, but nearly all of it was saved or Shielded. I was on fire rolling 6 for Damage, but that made it really easy to negate with Quantum Shielding. Curses!
In better news, I brought down the Tesseract Ark! Hilariously, my Kabalite Warriors and their Poisoned weapons did the most damage. Since I couldn't get through Quantum Shielding with most of the heavier guns, the single-damage small-arms did most of the work.
Once again though, I held both side Objectives for another 4 points.
Necrons Turn 3-
9 - 8, Aeldari take the lead!
I had taken the lead, by a narrow margin, but my forces were dwindling. And while I was giving as good as I got (probably even better) I was still taking attrition, and it was taking most of my units' fire combined to bring down one target per turn!
In their turn, the Destroyer unit (I was lucky in that the one I'd killed didn't come back) moved to take my Home Objective (!) and while he wasn't getting the Left objective, we were trading the right one back and forth now. Those same Destroyers also handily obliterated my Hemlock, no surprise there, but it didn't Explode!
The Nightbringer once again pushed back my Jetbikes, so we both were getting the right Objective nearly every turn.
Aeldari Turn 3-
9-15, Necrons bring it back!
I'd been sniping and holding my left Objective, while trying to get the rest of my forces in range to tackle that Annihilation Barge. With one Warrior squad back in the weeds and the other creeping around the rocks behind my Storm Guardians.
These damn Deathmarks just keep getting back up...
But! On the plus side, finally took down that Triarch Stalker!
I kept feeding the Nightbringer units here, managing to keep just *one more* model on the Objective most turns, and doing some damage, but he was quickly chainsawing through most everything I had even so. And, I wasn't doing anything to keep him from scoring, so at best here I was treading water...
Still, I got both side Objectives, so I managed to pull out another four points, for-
Necrons Turn 4-
13 - 15, Necrons still in the lead...
The Necrons didn't do much, but the Annihilation Barge moved up aggressively, knowing that it was going to take fire anyway, he opted to bring it in closer to make use of those broadside guns!
I'd moved back with my remaining Jetbikes, one full unit and my Autarch to hold the right Objective, and as scary as the Nightbringer was, he wasn't able to shift them. The Destroyers ripped on my Hunter and the Annihilation Barge fired a *lot,* but fortunately did minor damage.
At the end of the turn, the Necrons easily held my Home Objective and theirs, for 5 new points...
Aeldari Turn 4-
13 - 20, Necrons easily carrying, with my Home Objective
Now, I was watching those 4-pt Objectives quickly rack up, so I knew I had to make some big moves, and do it fast. So the Visarch jumped out of the Raider, and the Raider itself gunned it top-speed for the back field, hoping to shift that Cryptek from the Objective, and even more hoping to take it myself!
On the right, my Jetbikes hit as hard and fast as they could, and in shooting I actually managed to kill the Nightbringer! Even better, it died in shooting, and triggered a Soulburst that allowed my Autarch to finally take out those damn Deathmarks!
Even my Assaults went well here, with the Raider actually managing to take out the Cryptek, and my other combined forces bringing down the Annihilation Barge.
Now... This was an odd moment, because at this point I was hit, and hard, with a 24-hour flu that knocked me flat on my ass. I was still in the game, and really enjoying myself, but the notes I wrote at the time say I only got 6 points here - which means I took one side Objective and the Necron Home Objective. Near as I can tell, I should have gotten both side Objectives, but I'll just trust the notes and say I got six points-
Necrons Turn 5-
19 - 20, Necrons
I was closing the points gap, but couldn't hold on forever, as proven very quickly by the Command Barge that rolled in and played merry hell with my forces. My Autarch, weakened as he was, fell quickly.
*The Annihilation Barge in this photo below was dead, just moved out of the way-
And here is where the game ended, with very little left standing, and nearly even board control, it looked like a super even game. And we hadn't been tallying points throughout the game, just keeping track of how many points we each earned each turn, so it was time to math it up!
Our final scores were tallied, and on Objectives the Necrons had it. They had some strong early turns, but the one turn where I'd denied them all but 1 point really made it neck and neck. At first accounting, the Necrons scored First Blood and 24 Objective points, plus Linebreaker.
I had 24 Objective points, plus Linebreaker.
Total stood at 25 to 26, Necrons (!!) but then we remembered the bonus for destroying Heavy Support units. I'd destroyed three and lost 1, making the final score:
28 to 27 Aeldari win! What a squeaker!!
Huff! Necrons are scary as crap!