Having painted 1000 points of Necrons I have been desperate to use them. I used facebook to arrange a game at the local Games Workshop store in Shrewsbury and despite my concerns I was looked after well and had a very enjoyable game.
These are my learnings and musings about my 1000 point list. Clearly this is a small army that cannot include much of the new Necron goodness but it’s the army I intend to take to the Invitational so I shall now proceed to tell you all how to beat it!
Arriving at the Games Workshop store I was greeted by Will Duncan who had brought 1000 points of Imperial Guard for me to fight as the Necron’s Maiden skirmish. His army included five veteran squads all armed differently, some with melta bombs, others with camo cloaks. A lord Commissar and a Company command squad with medic and sniper rifles, an armoured Sentinel with plasma cannon, a Chimera and a Leman Russ.
Across the 4 x 4 table I had an Overlord with Orb, Phaeron and warsythe, Cryptek with Tremor Stave and Seismic Crucible and a Lord with warsythe and Orb. These heros were leading a phalanx of 2 units of 17 warriors, 6 scarab swarms and a Monolith.
I won the first turn and deployed as per the photograph in my quarter keeping one unit of warriors in reserve led by the Lord. I do not intend to write a battle report but I do want to highlight the lessons that seemed to become apparent.
Firstlly, a 4 x 4 table is very small and deployment was a challenge for armies that include a lot of infantry. Will had over 50 warm bodies and three vehicles. I had over 40 (not warm) bodies and I found it difficult to find anywhere to deploy a model as large as a Monolith. Hopefully this will be less of a problem on a 6 x 4 table and was no doubt compounded by the ‘Spearhead’ deployment.
Second, moving the monolith was awkward as its size meant that it was always in danger of moving through difficult terrain and this severely limited where it could operate as I was reluctant to risk immobilizing it.
Third, at one point I received a ‘weapon destroyed’ result and seemed to remember that this didn’t apply to Monoliths and they simply lost a shooting attack for each similar result. However, after looking in the codex I think that must apply to the old rules as it seems weapons can now be destroyed so I immediately lost the Particle whip.
Fourth, if you use the Monolith’s Gate to bring a unit onto the table, how many warriors will fit within 2 inches of the gate and where actually is the gate? If it is where the green interdimensional access is then you can only fit about eight. If it is at the base of the steps (which is what I used) you can fit around 14. I would be interested to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this as I am sure it will be an issue in the future?
Fifth, I found that large units of warriors with an Orb were very hard to shift. The Imperial Guard shooting attacks were generally pretty ineffective despite their volume. A 4+ save followed by 4+ reanimation protocols is very handy. In addition when made relentless their shooting is much more effective. As for shooting I found the Gauss weapons to be much better against vehicles than against Infantry. 17 warriors shooting at a Chimera blew all the weapons of it in one turn, and wrecked it on turn two. They also wrecked the Sentinel in one turn of shooting. However, they were pretty useless against even Guard infantry that were in cover. I may have to rethink my anti tank requirements and boost my anti infantry firepower!
Sixth, the Scarabs did their job well, admittedly helped by the small table they were able to charge the Leman Russ, hitting it 13 times and wrecking it with their special entropic strike ability.
Seventh, The Cryptek worked well. As he had joined the relentless unit he was forced to shoot at whatever they did – in the first two turns this was a Chimera and a Sentinel – His tremor stave forced a difficult terrain test on the Chimera which of course failed and immobilzed its self leaving it a static target for a second volley of gauss flayer fire.
Eighth, So what were the tin heads like in combat? There were only two combats in the game. One very one sided affair when by second 17 man unit arrived from reserves (not via the Monolith) and assaulted straight into three Ratlings who died instantly. The second one was the last turn when a unit of Guard charged the 12 remaining warriors with the Phaeron and Cryptek. The guard found it tough but knocked down four warriors. However the Phaeron and remaining warriors meant that I won by three and the Guard bounced off. I totally forgot to use the seismic crucible that could well have prevented the Guard charging at all, doh!
Overall, the battle felt right with ranks of robotic figures striding towards the Guard, taking casualties but many reannimating. I was surprised by the effect of gauss against vehicles and wonder whether I need more anti personnel weapons if my big units are going to be shooting at tanks? The cryptek was fun but I forgot to use him when he could have been really important. In games against combat armies he could be a game winner by preventing assaults reaching my lines.
Finally, the monolith causes me a headache! It is always useful to have a AV 14 building on your side that fires a battle cannon shell and allows you to move infantry around the battlefield. But it didnt do much. I am considering replacing it with two Anihilation barges but they dont have the resilience of the monolith and makes the army more static!
What to do!