I've got a 1750 point tournament in under 20 days, and I'm still dithering of which army to take and even which list from said armies to take. The choice is between Dark Eldar and Necrons.
I have been trying out my necrons recently, and I've been getting a few games down by local GW (last battle report here). Vehicle wise I have one command barge and 2 monoliths painted. As I believe a list has to built around monoliths to make them worthwhile that leaves me with only one vehicle. I have 2 Annihilation barges ready to be built, but whether I'll be able to built and paint them in time with the bits of painting I'd have to do on the rest of the army is a bit of a gamble.
If I have one vehicle my options are:
1) Use just one command barge (with the risk that it always get shot down early and doesn't achieve much)
2) Use no vehicles at all (with the risk that the wraiths and scarabs take more instant killing shots earlier)
3) Use my one vehicle as an annihilation barge (which could draw some firepower while not having to get so close to the enemy to be effective like the command barge)
The command barge always shows that it has the potential to do well in games, however it doesn't tend to do that well at the moment, as it is normlly targeted by most of the enemy's anti tank.
For my game last week at my local GW I decided to try out a list swapping the usual Overlord on a command barge for Anrak'yr the Traveller. Now I wouldn't have any vehicles but I do have wraiths and scarabs which are succeptable to being instant killed by those heavy weapons that I have given no other good targets.
I ended up fighting a poorly constructed space wolves army. My opponent decided to swap his landraider for a wolf lord as soon as he knew I was playing necrons :) His list was as follows:
Wolf Lord, tooled up for combat with twin lightning claws, eternal warrior, necklace, belt of russ, 2 wolves.
Rune Priest with Living Lightning & Murderous Hurricane
4 Wolf Guard, all with Frost Blades
[one joined a grey hunter squad who were to sit on the space wolf objective, while 3 others joined the wolf lord and rune priest to form a mini hammer that was very small and had no transport, why they didn't nab a grey hunter rhino i'll never know]
1 Wolf Guard in terminator armour with a cyclone missile launcher who joined the long fangs.
Lone Wolf with terminator armour, storm bolter and storm shield [WTF ! - no that's not a typo with the equipment]
3 x Grey Hunter squads each 10 strong, with meltagun, plasmagun, plasma pistol & powerweapon. All three squads had a rhino.
1 Long Fang Squad with 3 Lascannons & 2 Plasma cannons
Predator with Autocannon & Heavy Bolter sponsons
A quick recap of my list following the adjustments:
Anrak'yr the Traveller - 165
Destroyer Lord with 2+ Save, Midshackle scarabs - 160
10 Immortals - 170
Harbringer of Despair with Veil of Darkness - 60
[joined by Anrak'yr the Traveller]
10 Immortals - 170
Harbringer of Destruction with Solar Pulse
3 x 5 Warriors each with a Harbringer of Dstruction - 100 each
6 Wraiths with 4 Whip Coils - 250
2 x 9 Scarabs - 135 each
3 Spyders - 150
We played the 1 objective each mission, and they were placed in diagonally opposed qradrants. The space wolves deployed agressively accross from my objective with the long fangs (plus cyclone wolf guard) in a ruin, the vidicator and predator behind the ruin, and the mini hammer of the wolf lord, 2 wolves, rune priest & 3 wolf guard next to the ruin. One grey hunter squad sat on the space wolves objective (on the other flank) joined by a wolf guard, while the 2 remaining grey hunter squads sat in the rhinos in the middle of the deployment zone aong with the lone wolf.
I decided to deploy agressively opposite the long fangs. The wraths and destroyer lord formed a line on the edge of my deployment zone with the spyders and both scarabs units behind. The traveller and the immortals with harbringer of despair was on my flank. 2 small warrior squads trailed away from my objective in the corner to give the harbringer on the other end of the unit a decent line of fire.
On the flank with the space wolf objective I placed the other immortals with the intent to just walking up the flank shooting the unit on the space wolf objective, to hopefully be reinforced later with the other immortal unit once the other flank was secured.
The last warrior unit went in a ruin in the middle of deployment zone to target the rhinos.
I got lucky and seized the initiative. The traveller's immortal unit was able to move up and just be in range of the long fangs, and bad rolling, meant that the cyclone wolf guard and a couple of lascannons died, 2 further lance shots meant that a further lascannon and one of the wolf guard with the wolf lord died (even though both had cover saves). The wraiths moved up to just behind the centre line of the board with the scarabs and spyders right behind. The harbringer with the warriors in the middle of the deployment zone blew up a rhino, killing 5 marines in the explosion (so statistically improbable), and the immortals on the flank with the space wolf objective killed a couple of grey hunters sitting on the objective.
My dice were running hot, and my opponents dice were so cold they were frozen. I popped the solar pulse at the start of the opponents turn and awaited his response.
The vindicator moved 6", spotted the wraiths and fired it's cannon as well as lighting the wraiths up for the rest of the army. The vidicator hit 3 wraiths and 2 scarab bases behind. The destroyer lord took one wound for the team, and the wraiths saved the other 2 hits. The scarabs failed one of their 3+ cover saves and 2 base exploded.
The predator shot the wraiths, one shot got through the destroyer lord's 2+ save leaving him on one wound and another normal wraith was wounded.
The wolf lord's mini hammer moved forward a bit - note: combat units that's aren't just counter attack are almost useless without mobility.
The grey hunter squad in the middle that still had their rhino moved forward the 12" got out their rhino and fired into a scarab unit. Unfortunately I had advanced to go round a ruin in the middle of the board instead of going through it, so I had no cover save from the rapid firing plasma gun, plasma pistol, meltagun, and loads of bolter shots, and the scarabs were reduced from 10 bases to 5.
The immortals on the space wolf objective flank did not take any damage from grey hunters sitting on the ruin, and the remains of the grey hunter squad who had been blown out of their rhino hid by some terrain near the centre of the board.
With little damge taken I moved onto my 2nd turn with the intention to gut the enemy resistance on the long fang flank. The wraiths moved to charge the wolf lord and rune priest's unit (while ensuring they weren't in the way of the trveller's immortal unit). A larger scarab unit went to charge the vindicator, and the small unit went to charge the rhino of the grey hunter squad that had shot it last turn.
The traveller with his squad moved up and was just in range to fire on the wolf lord and rune priest, and with the wraiths not giving the unit a cover save both fernsian wolves died, a further wolf guard died and even the rune priest took a wound.
To add insult to injury and prove how hot my dice were running, a single lance shot blew up the vindicator that the scarabs were about to charge. The scarabs tried to charge the predator but were to fire away leaving them in the open in front of two plasma cannons.
The immortals on the space wolf objective flank killed a few of the small grey hunter squad (who had there rhino blown up and were hidding in terrain in the centre).
The wraiths charged the wolf lord's unit. The wolf lord passed his mind shackle scarab test. Careful positioning of the whip coil wraiths meant that the necrons all stuck first. The last wolf guard died, the rune priest lost his last wound, and the wolf lord lost 2 wounds. The wolf lord tried to finish the destroyer lord, but failed to roll a 6 to wound. the lord broke and the wraiths consolidated so he was within 6", so next turn he ran off the board.
The scarabs against the rhino only reduced it's armour by 2.
The space wolf response was weak again, with the large grey hunter squad in the middle, shooting, then charging and killing the small scarab unit. The long fangs killed 6 scarab bases in front of them (but that only meant that the spyders behind could bring them back to their starting number the following turn by adding 2 more back).
My turn 3 and it was time to end this as a contest. The spyders tried to charge the large grey hunter unit in the centre of the board who had just despatched the small scarab unit, but were slowed down to much trying to go through a ruin, so it was left to the wraiths. A plucky grey hunter tried to kill the destroyer lord but failed, allowing the destroyer to kill 3 grey hunters. The couple of grey hunters not next to whip coils did another wound to the wraiths (they had not lost one model but had 2 models on 1 wound each). Next the wraiths killed 4 more grey hunters. Combined with a couple of wounds the middle warrior squad had inflicted on them this left one grey hunter which broke and ran.
The remaining scarab unit wreaked the predator. Also this turn the overlord teleported to the flank with the space wolf objective, a kind scatter left them more than 12" away from the lone wolf that side. One immortal unit finished off the small grey hunter squad hidding in the centre, and the other continued to kill 2 or 3 of the squad sitting on the space wolf objective.
The game was effectvely over now and the space wolves were tabled next turn. A large scarab unit killed the last 2 long fangs, spyders and destroyer lord killed one rhino, while immortals with harbringer of destruction killed the other, wraiths killed the last grey hunters on the objective. The harbringer of despair's staff failed to wound the lone wolf, and just when the trveller thought he'd get to use furious charge the immortal unit he was with gunned down the lone wolf.
So a comprehensive win, but mostly due to a weak space wolf list, my hot dice, and my opponent's cold dice, so more importantly what did I think of the changes I had made:
Anrak'yr the Traveller:
With Anrak'yr you're paying 65 points extra over a basic Overlord with a Warscythe. For that you get furious charge & counter attack, the ability to give furios charge & counter attack to one unit of immortals for the game, a tacyon arrow and (the biggie) the ability to take over an enemy vehicle within 18" for one shooting phase on a 3+
In this game I did not benefit from any of his extra abilities. As he was with a large squad of immortals, each turn I'd rather fire the immortals into infantry rather than use his tacyon arrow on a vehicle and waste the immortals shooting.
His unit was never in combat, so his furious charge & counter attack, or the furious charge & counter attack he had given his unit, was never used. I could see how it could come in useful. On the charge he would have 4 str 8 attacks and each immortal would have 2 str 5 attacks, good enough to take on non combat specialists. Also it would allow me to risk deepstriking better because I wouldn't need to worry so much about scattering within charge range of some units. However how much better is this combared to just having a basic overlord with a warscythe, particulrly when the unit should be doing it's best to avoid combat.
I was really looking forward to taking over an enemy vehicle, however the enemy vindicator was dead turn 2, the predator turn 3, so before he was in range to use it the enemy was down to rhinos. Now other armies will have more vehicles, but now that the FAQ has stopped him using his power from a command barge I'm not sure he's worth it. Being within 18" while on foot takes a 2-3 turns and can be very risky getting that close (particularly if it's as assult or open topped vehicle which would put you in charge range). Also vehicles coming forward tend to be light transports, apart from landraiders (but if they are coming forward coming with 18" puts you well within charge range of ny unit the landraider is carrying). Ideally the traveller wants to target a decenty amed tank in the enemy's backfield allowing it to shoot some decent guns into the rear of vehicles that have gone forward.
Overall the FAQ stopping the traveller from using his special power from on a command has really hit him hard, and I think I'll stick with a basic overlord for now, but I'll try out the traveller in a few more games before I write him off. The 65 points saving will be put towards having my first vehcile.
Having No Vehicles:
Normally this tactic works well because all the anti tank guns the enemy has bought will be inefficient firing at infantry all game. However in my army there are some units, manly the wraiths and scarabs, who are very succeptable to being instant killed by anti tank guns. This game in particular showed how fragile the scarabs are when the right sort of weapon fires at them (ie. str 6+ templates/blasts or just str 6+ outside cover).
My army feels like it is a fragile deck of cards, and if the right point is hit hard the whole deck will come crashing down. Ie. Hit the scarabs and wraiths and my army will have very little, almost non existant, anti tank killing ability or close combat power. The infantry tends to gets less attention from the enemy who are dealing with the wraiths and scarabs, but this would change if the wraiths and scarabs were killed early.
The vehciles are good because they are an alternative target for the enemy's anti tank firepower, and they give me more anti light tank killing. I will ask my mate to give me game against his mech marines to see of the traveller can shine when there are more vehicles, but if that does not go well I will go back to using some vehicles, first adding the either the command barge or an annihilation barge back in, while I build the two further barges I have on sprues.
For my next games I will switch the traveller for a basic overlord and lose one scarab base for a command barge, or 2 scarab bases to try out a annihiliation barge. Once I build two further barges I will try fielding the list further down.
Let me know what you think of the Anrak'yr the Traveller, foot necrons, my new list or what you think is a good balance between mech and infantry for a necron army.
Necron List I'm Building Towards:
Overlord with Warscythe - 100
Command Barge - 80
Destroyer Lord with 2+ save - 140
Royal Court - 185
Harbringer of Despair with Veil of Darkness (joins 8 Immortals)
Harbringer of Destruction with Solar Pulse (joins 7 Immortals)
2 x Harbingers of Destructions (joins 2 warrior squads, other warrior squad left in reserve)
8 Immortals (Tesla Carbines) - 136
7 Immortals (Tesla Carbines) - 119
3 x 5 Warriors - 65 each
6 Wraiths (4 Whip Coils & 1 Particle Caster) - 255
2 x 7 Scarabs - 105 each
3 Spyders - 150
2 x Annihilation Barges - 90 each
Totals: 1750 pts, 62 models,