So, the real inspiration for my “not dead yet” post earlier this week was that I actually got a game of 40k in this past weekend! No, it wasn’t at my regularly scheduled game night. Instead, Albert dropped by on Saturday and we managed to knock out a game.
The amount of rust was absurd. At one point, I had to go back and remember that BS3 now meant that you hit on 3+, and not on 4+, while another time I had to go look up the wound chart to figure out how that worked again.
Yes, undoubtedly, I’m more than a little rusty.
There’s really only one way to fix that, so we pushed through the cobwebs and threw down…
Hive Fleet Proteus
- Swarmlord (The Horror, Catalyst)
- Broodlord (Psychic Scream)
- 15x Genestealers
- 15x Genestealers
- 5x Genestealers
- 5x Genestealers
- 10x Hormagaunts
- Heavy Support:
- Trygon Prime w/ Scythes of Tyran
- Trygon Prime
- Trygon Prime
I forgot that I had to choose a hive fleet to play, so I just went with Behemoth as it was the first one in the list and has a rather good ability. For construction of the list, I went with the mindset: we don’t need no stinkin’ guns. Of course, a couple of models came with guns by default, and I wasn’t going to ignore their existence entirely. I started with my HQ’s, and then added a bunch of genestealers. Trygons gave me fast points of synapse to make it up the field. Everything else was just filler.
I was trying to avoid using devilgaunts because I was just talking to someone about just how good they are in the game. That’s really the inspiration for the all-assault list. Plus, I think assault in this addition is typically considered a little less powerful, so it was a way to ease myself back into things.
- Fast Attack:
- 6x Wraiths w/ beamers & claws
- Heavy Support:
- Doomsday Ark
- Annihilation Barge
- Fast Attack:
Albert has traditionally been a Chaos player over the years, but he has branched out as of late and picked up a large number of Necrons. I’m not sure, but this may have been his first game with them. Looking at his army list, I’m not sure his list was quite what he thought, as I’m pretty sure you need to split up the Sautek & Mephrit units into separate force org charts. Likely, this would’ve resulted in fewer command points at his disposal, but he didn’t use all of his anyway (it was like pulling teeth to get him to expend some of them), so I don’t think it would’ve made a huge difference.
I suspect he’s going to need to paint up at least a minimal amount of troops and characters in the Sautek scheme though to make it work.
Otherwise, this is about the same Necron force I’m used to seeing. Cole used to play Necrons against me, so nothing here was radically unusual to me.
Mission & Deployment:
For mission, we rolled up um… the first one–wherein you draw “up to three” cards per turn, and don’t have any special rules aside from random game length. He started deployment and I cheated and mixed up my list during deployment.
Originally I had 2 squads of 20 ‘stealers, but I seemed to recall a rule that said you couldn’t reserve more than half of your army. To make things work, I went ahead and split off a 5-man squad from each so that I could drop all three Trygons and the two larger squads of ‘stealers. I couldn’t find the rule in the rulebook, but I seem to recall something coming out at one point or another in a chapter approved article that said this is the way to do things.
For the record, there was a good bit of “I think it’s supposed to work this way, so we’ll do it that way” rulings.
I wound up null-deploying to see where he was going to go. He put his big gun on a building with relatively clear LOS to everything, and then pushed most of his units to my left flank. So, when I started deploying models, I pushed them to the same side. I wound up winning the die roll for going first, and after he failed to seize, I took the first turn–figuring that would mean my Trygons could come in quicker.
Turn 1: Tyranids
My first turn was rather uneventful. I pushed forward what I had, but didn’t figure I’d see combat with anything. Realistically though, due to the Swarmlords leader ability-combined with the behemoth’s ability to re-roll charges, it was entirely possible that I could’ve been in combat right off the bat. I’m sure that I knew this at one point–and I knew that he had an ability to slingshot–I just wasn’t clearly remembering how big of an impact that is.
Since ‘stealers move 8″ plus a D6 for advancing, and they get to to that twice, we’re talking somewhere between 18-28″, and that’s before a 2d6 re-rollable charge. Given that we started 24″ away from each other, it’s perfectly reasonable to assume a squad of ‘stealers would be in combat with something–with good odds of having some ability to pick a target.
The problem was that I only deployed 5 man squads, who weren’t likely to weather incoming overwatch and also be able to do any real damage to his units. Instead, I opted to just boost the Hauraspex so that he could hold an objective, and throw catalyst on him (something I’d forgotten to do before passing the turn, but Albert graciously allowed me to go back and do).
I figured he was a goner, because he was sure to face the wrath of entire army–but at least those shots wouldn’t be going at the rest of my units…
Score: Tyranids 1 vs. Necrons 0
Turn 1: Necrons
I had one squad of ‘stealers crouching behind a wall to defend objective 6, but they were out of sight. Likewise, the Swarmlord was largely parked behind a wall where most things couldn’t see him, and the lone squad of ‘gaunts was sitting back and holding an objective. As a result, the Hauraspex was the only thing of measure that was within range and line of sight for the metallic men. As expected, Albert unloaded everything into the Hauraspex.
What wasn’t expected was that, as the smoke cleared, my monster was still standing. Better yet, he had taken exactly zero wounds to shooting.
Granted, he had a good armor save and a high toughness, plus I made a few feel-no-pain saves to help thwart off danger. The biggest factor was that the Doomsday Ark missed and failed to wound with everything (which I didn’t understand how lucky I was).
When he charged his scarabs in, they managed to do one wound in combat, and then sacrificed another to explode and do a mortal wound with a strategem (well, actually it was two strategems, as he had to start by rolling a 2+ to do d3 mortal wounds and rolled a 1 the first time).
He earned a point for holding the line–which is clearly one of the best tactics to get on the first turn of the game–while I earned two points for successfully defending objective 6.
Score: Tyranids 3 vs. Necrons 1
Turn 2: Tyranids
My reinforcements all landed this turn. I had originally debated about keeping one Trygon (the one without an additional payload) out for another turn, but figured he at least provided target saturation. One Trygon dropped in back with the Swarmlord, in such a way to slingshot the ‘stealers to charge into a 20-block of warriors, while the other dropped on the far side of the table, to squish the other warriors. In truth, I positioned the Tryon Prime in such a way so that he’d get to shoot at the Cryptek, and managed to take off three of his four wounds, but not quite enough to earn me the “assassinate” victory condition.
As for the wraiths and command barge, I put two squads of five genestealers and a broodlord into them thinking that would at least tie them up until the Hauraspex freed himself from combat. The ‘spex was tearing through scarabs, leaving only one base remaining, and was picking up wounds each turn, so he’d be fresh for the fight. In practice, it didn’t work out that well. Though my first squad of ‘stealers hit the wraiths, I did no damage. Likewise, the broodlord managed to do only a couple of wounds himself before he took two thirds of his wounds as damage. The last five man squad of ‘stealers didn’t survive the overwatch of the command barge–despite me stripping six wounds off it during the psychic phase.
My larger blocks of renders didn’t fair that much better. Sure, they killed a number of necrons, but they would almost all stand back up in the ensuing turn. My “Scythes of Tyran” Trygon chose to charge his warlord, but plinked harmlessly off his 4++ invunerable save.
On the plus side, I managed to kill his squad of Tomb Blades with my Swarmlord (no contest), so that earned me points for killing a flyer, killing a unit, and first blood.
Score: Tyranids 5+1 vs. Necrons 1
Turn 2: Necrons
The lone scarab backed out of combat, and cleared a path for the Doomsday Ark, who obliterated the Hauraspex. I had to do a triple take on that gun–is it really d6 S10 AP-5 shots that do d6 wounds each? Egads, in that turn, the gun set forth a course of action that would result in one monstrous creature dying to it per turn with basically no recourse.
My broodlord managed to squish a wraith, but it was futile, as the remaining models wiped him and the last of my genestealers off the board. His warriors weren’t quite so successful, though each did manage to kill off enough ‘stealers to ensure I didn’t get a bonus attack for each.
He earned points for killing something in his shooting phase, and another for killing something in assault, bringing his total up to three.
Score: Tyranids 5+1 vs. Necrons 3
Turn 3: Tyranids
At this point, I was feeling pretty good. I had a bit of a lead (though it wasn’t as evident because we had miscounted during the game)–I always take pictures of the objectives we score, so the write-ups should be more accurate than the in-game score if there’re any discrepancies. I had all of my Trygons, my Swarmlord, and a good deal of my ‘stealers left. Granted, I hadn’t killed all that much of his army, but that would soon change.
Trygons joined both clashes of our troops, and they proved to be deadly enough to turn the tide. All warriors were dead by the end of the turn. Likewise, his Overlord fell to the Scythes of Tyran (doing two unsaved wounds at three damage each), which would earn me a point for slaying the warlord and another for assassination. I also spent a command point to successfully manifest three psychic powers with my Swarmlord to earn a point for “Dominate” as well.
I still had to deal with the Doomsday Ark, Stalker, and Wraiths, but if I could throw multiple units at them, I’d be ok. Besides, I’d already thrown “the horror” on the wraiths, so they were going to be a little less terrifying this turn…
Score: Tyranids 7+2 vs. Necrons 3
Turn 3: Necrons
I’d forgotten to mention the command barge and the Immortals who, together, managed to destroy virtually all of my remaining troops. Likewise, the Doomsday Ark continued it’s reign of terror, evaporating the only Trygon not in combat from the table.
The wraiths and Stalker picked on another Trygon, but somehow managed to do no appreciable damage.
He still managed to eek out a couple of points for Big Game Hunter & No Prisoners on that Trygon though.
Score: Tyranids 7+2 vs. Necrons 5
Turn 4: Tyranids
Things went about as predicted. I charged in the Swarmlord at the wraiths. Did you know that the Swarmlord no longer makes you re-roll successful invulnerable saves? I found that out quickly when I did no damage. The wraiths swung back at the Trygon and killed him before he had a chance to attack at all.
The Swarmlord managed to kill off the Triarch Stalker in the psychic phase, which freed up the other Trygon to charge the Annihilation Barge and destroy it. I was down to my hormagaunts, Swamlord, a Trygon and a handful of genestealers. At this point, I recognized that there was a real possibility that I might get tabled during this game. Granted, he didn’t have that much left either: ark, wraiths, and immortals. He just had the upper hand with that big ass cannon over there.
I did score a point for being in his deployment zone with Behind Enemy Lines and another for Crush wherein I killed a unit with a Monstrous Critter though.
Score: Tyranids 9+2 vs. Necrons 5
Turn 4: Necrons
No surprise: the turn started off with the Ark melting the face off another Trygon. Was there anything I could do about that? I mean, can a Monstrous Creature even climb up the ruin to get to it? (not that he’d survive long enough to do so–if he made any effort to run towards that ark, I’m sure he’d be the next to die).
The rest of the stealers survived, but only barely, as they were down to 10% of their original numbers. If they couldn’t find cover, they’d surely be picked off in the following turn. And they were in a horrible spot, so this seemed like an eventuality.
The wraiths did little against the Swarmlord, who finally managed to sneak in some unsaved wounds and killed off all but one of them. Albert scored no points for the turn, but drew into a defend objective that his Immortals were already standing on, so he would wind up scoring that during my next turn.
Score: Tyranids 9+2 vs. Necrons 5
Turn 5: Tyranids
Swarmy killed off the final wraith, but couldn’t get out of line of sight from the doomsday ark, painting him as the next (and final) target for the nightmare machine.
Before he died, one genestealer was able to scuttle over to objective four and secure a point. Likewise, my ‘gaunts came out of the building they’d be in to Advance out of my deployment zone as well as to get cover behind a building. Despite being ahead on points, things weren’t looking good for our hero…
Score: Tyranids 11+2 vs. Necrons 7
Turn 5: Necrons
As fortold, the Swarmlord got arked, and my three genestealers died horribly to a round of immortal fire, leaving me with just 10 hormagaunts on my side. Luckily, I was behind a building, so he couldn’t do much about it. Unlucky for me, the game didn’t end based upon random game length, and pushed into a sixth turn.
Score: Tyranids 11+2 vs. Necrons 8
I won’t bother doing a proper-write up for turns six and seven (yes, it went into another turn after that). The necrons came down from their perches, but were out of position enough that they couldn’t get line of sight on my hormagaunts, huddled in the shadow of a decaying building. I had positioned them so, with “ghetto sticks” (the affectionate name we’ve given to the taudry plastic rules that used to come in starter boxes). That way I could see the line of sight and position my guys in a way that they couldn’t be seen.
And, as everyone knows, a Necron can’t shoot what a Necron can’t see.
Had it gone one more turn, I would’ve been tabled for sure. As it was though, I pulled off a victory!
Score: Tyranids 11+2 vs. Necrons 8
What I Learned:
- I’m out of practice. I seem to “learn” this every time I play anymore. It’s natural though to be out of practice when it’s been 5+ months since you’ve played a game or cracked open a book.
- Swamlord’s slingshot is great. I knew it existed; I planned on using it–I just didn’t realize how great it is.
- Doomsday Ark is insane. Ok, it was great because I had a bunch of monstrous creatures which didn’t have invulnerable saves. I also had no guns to kill it at range (not that I expect that would be a great way to deal with it, since it does have “quantum shielding.”
- Necrons are nuts. According to Albert, they don’t win tournaments, so I’ll take him at his word. What I do know is that he basically just ran an assortment of various units, and all of them were pretty fantastic. The only ones I wasn’t particularly impressed with were the immortals and the Cryptek. The rest of them I would’ve gladly run, especially..
- Wraiths are stupid. Necrons are an entire army of models that are good at shooting but kind of Meh at hand to hand. Wraiths have great damage output and almost unparalleled tanking ability, plus a great move to boot. God, I hate those things.