Batrep: Tyranids vs. Necrons (2988 pts)

Brandon and I were supposed to play a game of Planetstrike this week, but we had a last minute showing in the form of Cole, so we opted to play a 2v1 battle.  Brandon had brought both his bugs and his marines, and Cole his ‘crons.  Since Brandon and I had two practically identical armies, it made sense for the two of us to go vs. the zombie skeletons.  Brandon already had a list of marines built, so naturally I decided we should play our bugs!

Brandon’s Tyranids:

  • wh39kWBrandonVCole (3) (Medium)HQ:
    • (Warlord) Hive Tyrant w/ HVC, Lashwhip & Bonesword w/ 1x Tyrant guard (Warp Blast & Onslaught)
  • Elites:
    • 3x Zoanthropes (Warp Blast & Paroxysm)
    • 1x Lictor
  • Troops:
    • 16x Termagants w/ Fleshborers
    • 16x Termagants w/ Fleshborers
    • 3x Tyranid Warriors w/ Deathspitters & Venom Cannon
    • 4x Burrowing Ripper Swarms!
  • Fast Attack:
    • Hive Crone w/ Cluster spines
    • 3x Raveners
  • Heavy Support:
    • 1x Carnifex w/ scything talons & Heavy Venom Cannon
    • 1x Carnifex w/ Adrenal glands
    • 1x Trygon w/ Adrenal glands

As Brandon picked up his bugs from a trade with Cole and hasn’t really purchased much to supplement them (just the flyer, I think), he essentially played what he had.  I’m pretty sure he has another Trygon and some squads of ‘stealers, but that’s probably about all he has that wasn’t accounted for in this battle.   We opted to make him the Warlord because, well, why not?  The more obvious choice would be one of my Flyrants, but I’m not for going with the obvious choice every time…

Hive Fleet Proteus:

  • HQ:
    • Flyrant w/ twin-linked devourers (Psychic Scream, Onslaught)
    • Flyrant w/ Lashwhip/sword, Old Adversary  (Paroxysm, The Horror)
  • Elites:
    • 1x Malanthrope
    • 1x Malanthrope
    • 3x Zoanthropes inc. a Neurothrope (Warp Blast, Spirit Leech, Catalyst)
  • Troops:
    • 1x Mucolid
    • 1x Mucolid
    • 1x Mucolid
    • 3x Ripper Swarms
  • Fast Attack:
    • 20x Gargoyles
    • Harpy w/ Clusterspines
    • Harpy w/ Clusterspines
  • Heavy Support:
    • Tyrannofex

I started the list making it essentially all flyers.  I wound up using what was basically the Skyblight Swarm (short of having more gargoyles) without the “objective secure” rule or the without number.  I probably should’ve just pushed it over the edge, because I do own the gargoyles, and they’re quite good.  But oh well.

I did take all of the flying monstrous creatures that I own, but I didn’t feel comfortable taking two dakka flyrants, so I made one into an assault variant.  I did give him old adversary because it wasn’t too expensive and would make him into a better assault beast (I seem to want to give him maw claws, but this does essentially the same thing and doesnt’ require that he kill something first).

I did toy with the idea of going unbound with 80+ spores mines in my list, and the other guys said that was fine, but I couldn’t tell if they were serious or not.  I love the idea of so many spore mines thematically, but it might be a big pain in the arse as far as movement and deploying goes, so I eventually paired them down to 21 or so, and then out of the list completely when I decided not to go unbound.

Side note: to this day, I’ve still not played an unbound army–or even seen one played.

So, with the last 500 points or so, I threw in a couple of Malanthropes (they seemed like a venomthrope with synapse–how can that be bad?), and a few mucolids.  I also added a Neurothrope to see how they’d fair.  Rounding out the list were a Tyrannofex and with the last 39 points, that was the perfect total to get three bases of rippers.

Cole’s Necrons:

  • HQ:
    • Destroyer Lord w/ Weave & Mindshackle Scarabs
    • Overlord w/ Weave, Orb, Mindshackle Scarabs & WS?
    • Crypteks
      • Destruction
      • Despair
      • Destruction
      • Crytek
  • wh39kWBrandonVCole (4) (Medium)Elites:
    • 10x Deathmarks
    • 5x Deathmarks
    • 5x Lychguard
    • 1x Triarch Stalker
  • Troops:
    • 10x Immortals
    • 10x Immortals
    • 10x Warriors
    • 10x Warriors
    • 11 x Warriors
    • Ghost Ark
  • Fast Attack:
    • 5x Wraiths
    • 3x Wraiths
    • 1x Destroyer
    • 6x Scarab Swarms
  • Heavy Support:
    • Annihilation Barge
    • Annihilation Barge
    • Monolith
    • Doomsday Ark

I don’t know Necrons all that well, so I’m at the whim of the list that Cole provided.  In general, I have an understanding of what each unit does to me, but I can’t speak to what each piece of weaponry is called.  For instance, the Immortals all had the cheater guns (Gauss?) where they hit more times than they shoot.  His list didn’t specify, but they’re pretty standard purchases for him, so I’m sure he just assumed that I’d know.

Little does he know: my ignorance is boundless.

He recently picked up a bunch of unpainted ‘crons from a guy getting out of the hobby, so I’d say his total number of models has about doubled.  In total, he played with (I think) everything he has painted, and threw in some more units from the new stuff.  I think this is the first game that I’ve played against a monolith, doomsday ark, triarch stalker, or a destroyer from him, so there was quite a bit of new stuff.

Since we played 2v1–and he was the 1–he had twice the points that we did.  I think he said he stuck to once force org chart, but clearly he spilled over a bit in a couple of categories.  No worries though, it’s perfectly legit to do so.  I do like that he basically filled up an entire force org chart and spilled over slightly in elites & heavies.

Mission & Deployment:

This is the part where I tell you that the game was a bit out of sorts.  I only played this a couple of days ago (well, at the time of writing this), but I don’t have good documentation at all.  For some reason, we played this game much more like an Apoc game than a normal game–perhaps it was the higher than usual points limit, or the fact that we haven’t played in a while, or that we had more than two players.  Whatever the case, my documentation skills were atrocious.

I found myself skipping over taking pictures each turn, documenting particularly interesting events, etc.  Heck, we didn’t even get proper army photographs for this game.  In the interest of keeping things documented (particularly my win/loss record) I’m going to post this, but it’s far from a normal battle report.

Ok, so for mission, we had the escalation mission where you draw one mission for the number of the turn you’re on with corners for deployment.  We won both rolls for choosing sides and deploying, and opted to go with whatever side Brandon wanted.  I don’t recall the logic behind it, but it didn’t much matter to me.  I had decided earlier to defer to him whenever we needed to make a decision, as he was our warlord.

For warlord traits, Brandon got to infiltrate three units (Carnifex, Trygon, & my Tyrannofex), while Cole wound up with Feel No Pain on his Destroyer Lord.  Cole tried to seize the initiative, but failed, so we lumbered forward for turn one.

Turn 1: Tyranids

wh39kWBrandonVCole (5) (Medium)All five of our flyers took the to skies and the line surged forward.  Being bugs, we didn’t have all that much shooting, but we peppered them where we could.  Between my harpies and dakka-armed flyrant, I was able to take out a whopping two models: a wraith and a deathmark from the top of a building.  Oh, I take that back, my Tyrranofex managed to kill off quite a few immortals, including their cryptek buddy that was escorting them.

Brandon, on the other hand–not so much.  I think he was able to glance one of the annihilation barges.  Our psychic phase was abysmal.  In total, I think we managed to get just one ability off: Catalyst–but it wound up targeting the wrong unit).

On the plus side, the one objective we had was one that we were already on, and by the end of the first turn, we were already blanketing four out of the six objectives.

VP Total:  Tyranids 1 – Necrons 0

Turn 1: Necrons

wh39kWBrandonVCole (8) (Medium)By the end of this turn, things seemed rough.  Brandon lost our right flank with both the Carnifex and Trygon falling hard, and the two wraith units managed to charge into my gargoyles and my dakka-Flyrant (after failing a grounding check).  The Tyrant didn’t stand a chance against five wraiths and a destroyer lord with mindshackle scarabs, but the gargoyles proved to be rather resilient.

In that turn, we wound up losing about 500ish points, plus position in the game.  In what amounted to be 2900ish points per side, losing 500 points to a shooting army really isn’t that bad though.  That helped put things into perspective.  Having the wraiths on us already and little we could do about it?  Well, that was another problem.

Cole managed to secure first blood, but I don’t think he was able to capture an objective this turn, so that left us tied up.

VP Total:  Tyranids 1 – Necrons 0+1

Turn 2: Tyranids

About half of our reserves wound up coming onto the board, but when you’re talking about a lictor, 3 raveners, 3 mucolid spores, and 4 rippers–that’s not exactly something to be ecstatic about.  Still, we were able to use it to our advantage, because the lictor came in and was able to secure objective 6 for us (conveniently left exposed by some overzealous wraiths who wound up slaughting my poor flyant).

The psychic phase was nominally better, but not terribly effective.  Shooting turned out to be fair–but not amazing.  The one side of the board where we were doing well was the side with my Tyrannofex: who was constantly flaming 6+ guys down, and Cole was failing all of his WBB rolls (in fact, during the course of the game, I don’t think he made more than two of those–even with the guys with the res orbs), so we had that going for us.

In assault, my gargoyles were proving to be too much for the wraiths.  Granted, I wasn’t really doing much in the way of damage, but the fact that he was failing his initiative tests (at I2) made him strike me on 5’s, and gave the gargoyles the staying power they needed.

VP Total:  Tyranids 2 – Necrons 0+1

Turn 2: Necrons

wh39kWBrandonVCole (9) (Medium)Cole took turn focusing down key units of ours, and ignored the flyers (which he practically had to do, since they were so hard to hit).  Sadly, he drew two “secure objective 5” cards for this turn, and though it was on the other side of the table, he dropped a squad of deathmarks right on it, and snagged it out from under us.  It was being contested by a single termagant, but that guy didn’t stand a chance against their sniper weapons (especially since he singled them out to die on 2’s!).

In assault, my gargoyles were still holding fast, so Cole charged in his scarabs, which would swing the battle for him.  The gargoyles held this turn, but they’d die in our following turn…

VP Total:  Tyranids 2 – Necrons 2+1

Turn 3: Tyranids

wh39kWBrandonVCole (11) (Medium)Again, the one side where we were holding our own was the left flank, and we kept pressing forward.  By this point, he was down to a triarch stalker, a squad of lychguard, a monolith and half an immortal squad, so he pressed the advantage.  He wound up shooting up the nearby gaunts, but couldn’t manage to hurt any of the medium sized bugs (despite dropping several large templates on them), thanks to the shrouding provided by the Malanthropes.

He did manage to charge the Hive Tyrant with his Lychguard, and somehow managed to score enough wounds to kill her in the assault, considerably weakening our stance on that side of the board, and scoring him another point for “slay the warlord.”

I wound up landing my remaining flyrant as far away from the battle as I could, and made sure she had feel no pain before the end of the turn.

On the bright side, we earned two more victory points for successfully manifesting three psychic powers that turn (even though they were not terribly effective, they were “successful.”)

VP Total:  Tyranids 4 – Necrons 2+2

Turn 3: Necrons

wh39kWBrandonVCole (10) (Medium)I took the photo on the right for some reason–though I can’t think of why it’s significant now.  Those guys did have an objective which earned them the ability to Skyfire, which you think would be great for a unit with gauss weapons against an army full of flyers, but they were largely worthless for most of the game.  They did stand pat and hold down that objective though, so no complaints from Cole.

By this point, the score was even, but our side was crumpling.  I wasn’t about to land my other flyers, as they would all die.  Cole did wind up focus firing much of what he had at the flyrant, who miraculously staved off the attack with one wound remaining.  Sadly, she wasn’t going to be very effective in combat with one wound.

The wraiths wound up killing off my gargoyles (with the help of the scarabs) and another combat between the other wraiths (led by the destroyer lord) against a squad of termagants and a malanthrope ensued in the middle of the board.  We were woefully outclassed, but the fact that the wraiths had gotten wounded on the way in did help us out a bit.  Also, that Malanthrope isn’t bad in hand to hand either…

Cole did pick up another objective to take the lead…

VP Total:  Tyranids 4 – Necrons 3+2

Turn 4: Tyranids

wh39kWBrandonVCole (15) (Medium)

Somewhere in there, I lost a turn.  Because what I’m going to report now was really the end of the game, which I believe we made it to turn 5 (it’s also possible that I just didn’t document the final turn(s).  Anywho, what happened was that we eventually lost the middle assault, and things were really thinning out for us.  I don’t think we got a single objective we could score on turn four, but Cole picked up 3 (part of this was luck of the draw, and part of it was the fact that he was systematically destroying our army while still having quite a bit of his).

So, but the end of turn 4, we were down by four points.  We had a tricky gambit which involved dropping our flyers in turn four in an attempt to grab last minute objectives in turn 5.  We had the ability that we might be able to pick up 3-5 points, contingent upon whether we could push guys off two objectives.  I managed to do it with a small group of wraiths, but Brandon wasn’t so lucky with the immortals pictured in turn3 above (maybe that’s why I took that picture?  They killed off a squad of rippers and a squad of raveners after running them down–insulting, eh?)

Our stuff was clearly on it’s way out.  I think by this point, we had one malanthrope (in combat with 6 scarabs and a destroyer lord), a flyrant (in combat with three wraiths), a hive crone (on the ground, surrounded by a ton of necrons), and a tyrannofex in the far corner of the board.  It was clear that the only thing that was going to live through turn 5 was the ‘fex, so we conceded.

“Final” VP Total (before we allowed Cole to score more):  Tyranids 5 – Necrons 6+2

What I Learned:

  1. Play the mission: Despite being tabled, it was still relatively close towards the end (though, with five mission cards and the potential for more turns, Cole should’ve won by more than 8:5–and he was going to get linebreaker as well).  Still, playing the mission gave us a chance to come back, despite facing a superior foe with superior tactics.
  2. Learn assault flyrant tactics:  Brandon was baffled why I’d run an assault Tyrant, but I think that running “the good stuff” all of the time is silly.  I get annoyed when I run up against hardcore tournament style lists from other people, so why would I do that to others?  But if I’m going to run a flyrant, I need to learn how to use her.  Brandon used a flying MC to his advantage in our last game, so I should definitely take a page out of his playbook: get him forward and then get him into assault.  Otherwise, he was just a point-suck.
  3. Anything with the maw claws needs a gun:  Ok, so I didn’t use the Maw Claws this time, but the same is held true for assault flyrants.  If he’s in the air, he does nothing without some sort of gun.  An HVC would’ve been nice against vehicles, but most likely he’s supposed to jink, so the twin-linked devs would probably be a good investment.
  4. Malanthropes rule:  Glancing at the rules made me think that they’re a cross between a venomthrope and a synapse creature, but they’re definite more than that.  S/T 5 with a 3+ armor save makes them far more durable, and they can put out some damage in assault as well.  A fantastic unit option for Tyranids–can that be so??!?
  5. Warp Blast gets multiple shots in units:  I’m not sure that this was an oversight of mine, possibly of Brandon’s though.  I’m not sure that we were taking 2-3 shots when we were powering up our Zoanthropes for warp blast.  But we should’ve been…
  6. Wraiths are disgusting.  This is nothing new–I’ve always known that.  I think they’re the most broken thing in the Necron codex though.  They do have an amazing amount of (really effective) shooting, but the fact that they have a cheap assault unit that basically walks through anything I can throw at it (except gargoyles, apparently), makes them so difficult to deal with.  Perhaps I’m not playing against them right though.  If I poured a ton of low strength weapons into them, maybe that would be enough to take them out?  Sadly, Cole always runs them with the destroyer lord, so he just tanks all of the S4 shooting.  I can’t wait for Necrons to get nerfed in the next edition.  Sadly though, I was pulling for them to get nerfed last time (the highest commented post on my blog of all time, mind you), but that didn’t come true.  So it’s more likely that scarabs will get a points reduction, WBB, FNP, Eternal Warrior and all attacks cause instant death…

9 comments on “Batrep: Tyranids vs. Necrons (2988 pts)

  1. yeah i left off some unit upgrades when writing the list itself, but the points are there if they even cost points and i always go with what the models have on them.

    Tesla = Extra 2 hits when rolling a 6 to hit
    Gauss = Always glance vehicles on a 6 to pen

    Both guns have a few sizes available that change some stats. Generally Tesla is always ap – and 24 range, but gets stronger, more shots, and at the biggest version gets arcing. Gauss gets higher str and lower ap, along with more shots and increased range.

    You guys asked about my force org chart, i assumed i was good because i could basically be fielding 2 of the normal charts legally, if i did that wrong in the new edition my bad.

    I dont disagree with anyone who says Necrons are really strong still. They have a lot of fantastic options available and few if any real holes in their strategy options. I suppose they have no real defense against psychic(or contribution there either, so i suppose they make your psychic defense worthless. And before someone says it, no i don’t consider a gloomstone thingy a valid defense…) But i don’t think that’s a big deal at all.

    If they were to be nerfed i would assume it would come as a decrease to various models str/toughness, making them easier to wound and less capable of close combat.

    • Oh, you did nothing wrong from the FoC standpoint. In the new edition, you can take anything you want and play unbound (Which would’ve been wrong, because you did use the “objective secure” at some point in the game, and that wouldn’t have been valid), but you certainly could’ve taken two FoC to make this list–which is effectively what we did too.

      I’m not sure psychic defense is really a big deal anymore. I mean, everyone has innate psychic defense in that they can roll to dispel. Armies that have rules to enhance psychic defense (such as the Tyranids “Shadow in the Warp” rule) seem to have almost no impact in the game anyway. And despite being reasonably psychicly heavy, we didn’t really accomplish much of anything in that phase of the game either.

      What I think Necrons need as a nerf and what will happen are drastically different. I’d like to see Matt Ward be in charge of the next codex, whereas GW will probably just buff them in the next edition. Wraiths are crazy powerful, but perhaps I’ve been treating them wrong the entire game. Yes, they are undercosted and overpowered for what they do, and ridiculously survivable, but they should die reasonably to lots of small arms fire (something I don’t exactly take in droves for most of my armies). Typically I deal with mass troops by dropping large pie-plates on them, but that doesn’t work so well against them. Perhaps I need to start incorporating more things like the fleshborer hive, or just some devil-gaunts would do me good?

      On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 10:11 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  2. You might be on to something there as really a Wraith is no harder to kill with non low ap weapons then two space marines. They are Toughness 4 with 2 wounds and a 3+ save, and they don’t get back up.

    • Don’t get me wrong, they’re still far undercosted for what they do (two marines are 30ish points, and the wraith has so much more durability vs. any other weapon, plus higher strength, better mobility, etc.). I still think they need to be nerfed, but I also think there might be a better way of dealing with them in general.

      On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 10:57 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  3. I think the only thing you forgot was to award my termigaunt squad of death our MVP. That squad of 16 gaunts charged and killed the lich guard and the immortals, then subsequently died to the stalker squishing them underfoot.

    • You know, I’m not sure that I agree with that either. While they did do pretty great (they killed half a squad of immortals and um… well, maybe nothing else, but they did prove surprisingly staunch during that game). I was also quite proud of that Tyrranofex, who killed a couple of squads himself, and was ultimately the only model that managed to survive the game for us (unharmed, I believe).

      On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 12:23 PM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  4. You went all out with your troops selections I see!

    A fun batrep with unusual (for me) armies. And some nice photos too.

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