Sunday, 30 December 2012

Battle Report: Necrons vs Chaos Daemons

Just in time for the New Year, I played a game against a buddy of mine down at Games Workshop Wood Green as part of their Winter Crusade today. I have another Battle Report ready from a few weeks ago but that will have to wait until I have the points values from my opponent. My Chaos loving foe today was good enough to give me his army list so I can complete today's report, so here we are!

The Army of Aeons Past

HQ
  • Necron Overlord with Gauntlet of Fire, Resurrection Orb, Mindshackle Scarabs, Phase Shifter & Tesseract Labrynth (205pts)
  • Royal Court: Harbinger of the Storm with Lightning Field & Ether Crystal, Harbinger of Despair with Veil of Darkness (110pts)
Troops
  • Necron Warriors: 10 man unit (130pts)
  • Necron Warriors: 10 man unit (130pts)
  • Necron Immortals: 10 man unit with Gauss Blasters (170pts)
Elites
  • Necron Deathmarks: 5 man unit (95pts)
  • C'Tan Shard with Swarm of Spirit Dust & Sentient Singularity (235pts)
Fast Attack
  • Canoptek Wraiths: Unit of 3, Whip Coils (135pts)
Heavy Support
  • Monolith (200pts)
  • Annihilation Barge (90pts)
Total: 1,500 points


Daemons of Khorne

HQ
  • Bloodthirster with Deathstrike & Unholy Might (290pts)
  • Bloodthirster with Deathstrike & Unholy Might (290pts)
Troops
  • Bloodletters: 10 man unit with Chaos Icon & Instrument of Chaos (190pts)
  • Bloodletters: 10 man unit with Chaos Icon & Instrument of Chaos (190pts)
  • Pink Horrors: 5 man unit with Changeling (90pts)
Elites
  • Bloodcrushers: 3 man unit with Chaos Icon & Instrument of Chaos (150pts)
Fast Attack
  • Flesh Hounds of Khorne: 5 man unit with Karanak (110pts)
Heavy Support
  • Soul Grinder with Phlegm & Tongue (185pts)
Total: 1,495 points


Deployment

Ignore the Daemons, they're not there...
After our armies were decided, we agreed to a long table edge set-up (not that Daemons care, they all deep strike) and rolled for our Warlord Traits. I chose to roll on the Command Traits table and scored The Dust of a Thousand Worlds, allowing my Warlord and all units within 12" to gain the move through cover rule, which could well prove useful. The Daemon player rolled on the Personal Traits table and gained the Master of Manoeuvre trait, rendered utterly useless for his pure deep striking army...

Afterwards we rolled on the mission table and got The Relic. The Objective was immediately placed in the centre, next to the Skyshield Landing Pad. We then rolled to see who went first (since rolling to see who deployed first was pointless). The Daemons won the roll and graciously gave me the first turn.

It may also be worth mentioning that we both agreed that the Skyshield Landing Pad was fully function as per the fortification, albeit totally neutral. I also elected to keep my Deathmarks in reserve for now...

Turn 1

Predictably in a game versus Daemons where they go second, very little happened in the first turn. My Necrons lurched forward, running where possible and splitting off into smaller detachments so as to make assault harder for when the Daemons arrived. Nemekh the Summoner (the Overlord) ran his Warriors through craters around the back of the landing pad, whilst my Immortals ran towards the relic, followed by the Wraiths who secured the Landing Pad and my C'Tan Shard ran headlong into the woods which turned out to be an Iron Bark Forest, granting it a 3+ cover save.

A Bloodthirster appeared!
Half of the Daemon forces were sent forward in their first turn, throwing out a Soul Grinder, a Bloodthirster, some Pink Horrors and a unit of Bloodletters, all of which were unable to move in the first turn, however, the Soul Grinder unleashed a fury of shots at the Immortals, killing an overall 1 post reanimation. My Deathmarks attempted to call on their Ethereal Interception only to suffer a mishap and putting them back into ongoing reserves.

The Daemon Host arrives

Turn 2

The Annihilation Barge unleashes hell... quite literally
Spotting the Bloodthirster swooping down on to the battlefield, the Annihilation Barge unleashed it's Tesla weaponry at it, needing 6's to hit and scoring two of them, causing an astonishing 6 hits in total, inflicting 2 unsaved wounds and grounding the beast. With the Bloodthirster downed, the Monolith fired it's Particle Whip and hitting on the scatter dice robbing the Greater Daemon of another wound bringing it down to it's final wound! Things were starting to look up.

The Necrons launch their counter attack
With the relic in hand, the Immortals began their retreat to secure it whilst the Wraiths and the C'Tan lurched forward to hold off the advancing hordes. The C'Tan failed to charge, but the Wraiths hit the Bloodletters with full force, removing 5 of them but losing a Wraith in the process.

Also seizing the opportunity, the Harbinger of Despair cloaked his Necron Warriors in a veil of darkness, landing next to the Soul Grinder to destroy it. The hail of gauss fire removed 2 of it's hull points. The Deathmarks (who had arrived at this point on the Landing Pad) attempted to assassinate the second Bloodthirster that just arrived but failed to do anything.

The rest of the Daemons arrive
During the Daemon's second turn, the entire force was lucky enough to all appear, causing things to look very bad for the Necrons. The Soul Grinder fire a full force of phlegm and tongue at the Warriors before charging the unit, killing 6 Warriors and the Cryptek in total. Seeing no way to damage the vehicle, the remainder of the unit fled into the Ironbark Forest, easily beating it's sweeping advance.

Tesla and Ordnance fire only annoyed it further!
Meanwhile, enraged by the force of Tesla and Ordnance fire only served to enrage the Bloodthirster as he launched an assault into the Annihilation Barge and exploding it in a single combat phase. He eyed the Monolith next menacingly...

Turn 3

Leggit!
Player's Note: I'm fully aware the models are out of coherency above, we couldn't balance the models properly so we made the best of a bad situation.

The Immortals continued to fall back, trying to outrun the inevitable slaughter coming their way whilst gunning down the Horrors that had arrived, killing several of their number before the Monolith, in an astonishing display of accuracy, finished them off with a pinpoint strike with it's Particle Whip. In an attempt to buy time for the Immortals, the C'Tan charged the Bloodcrushers, but in an abysmal display of dice rolls failed to even wound a single one!

The Wraiths finish off their foes
The Wraiths meanwhile successfully finished off their daemonic foes, losing one further wound but standing fast as a new unit of Bloodletters and a Soul Grinder stares them down. The Soul Grinder then promptly fired at the Wraiths, inflicting 3 wounds of which cursed rolling meant I failed all of them! Damn! However, luckily, the ordnance blast stripped a Bloodcrusher of a single wound.

With precious little else, the Daemons were relentless in their assault and charged everything in sight. The Hounds of Khorne charged the remaining Warriors in the forest and promptly ripped them to shreds, the 1 hit wonder Bloodthirster charged the Monolith and exploded it, the new Bloodletters joined in the assault against the C'Tan and together the Daemons brought the pseudo-god down to a single wound and the C'Tan, still cursed by bad rolling, failed to even cause a single wound! Curse those dice rolls!

The C'Tan seems helpless to do anything
The Bloodthirster relishes it's victory
Finally, and inevitably, the new Bloodthirster charged the Immortals. Overwatch failed to wound and, still accursed with poor rolling, the Lightning Field rolled a single automatic hit then rolled a 1 to wound! I had obviously been cursed by Khorne to fail this time around as the Bloodthirster killed 4 Immortals and locking them in combat. The Immortals still held the relic, hope was still there.

Turn 4

Nemekh unveils himself!
Finally pulling themselves forward, Nemekh and his group of Warriors finally appeared for a flank attack on the Soul Grinder, shooting and inflicting those precious 2 hull points I was hoping for. Unfortunately, being a Daemon, it saved one of the points and lived to fight another day. Damn!

The mayhem continues...
Realising that the ominously quiet 1 hit wonder Bloodthirster was lurking to earn points through Linebreaker, the Deathmarks turned about and shot at it, failing to inflict a single wound again! The C'Tan, realising the Bloodletters could take the relic (finally) turned it's attacks on the Bloodletters, killing 3 of them, but the Daemons overwhelmed it and the loss of it's last wound caused it to explode, killing a Bloodcrusher and 3 Bloodletters and inflicting another wound on another Bloodcrusher. Ironic how he causes more damage in death than in life.

The Bloodletters then consolidated towards the relic, whilst the Bloodcrushers headed towards Nemekh.

The Daemons consolidate
The Immortals keep on fighting
The combat with the new found Bloodthirster was looking hopeless as the Greater Daemon destroy another 2 Immortals before the unit was charged by the Hounds of Khorne and the remaining Bloodletters. Fortunately the Cryptek's Lightning Fields responded better, killing 2 Hounds and 2 Bloodletters before the unit was wiped out and the relic claimed by the Forces of Chaos.

Nemekh holds his ground
Meanwhile, the Soul Grinder returned fire at the Warriors, killing all but the Overlord in a single shot before the Necron leader was charged by Bloodcrushers. In the ensuing conflict, both sides inflicted a single wound, but the Daemons won combat due to their Chaos Icon. Nemekh passed his morale test and stood his ground!

At the pinnacle of Turn 4, we rolled to see if there would be a Turn 5. A 2 was rolled, and the game was ended.

The Deathmarks look on in dismay...
The final tally counted up, it turned out that the Daemons got the relic, Linebreaker and First Blood, whereas the Necrons only counted Linebreaker since Nemekh was so far into enemy territory...

Final Victory Points Tally
Daemons: 5
Necrons: 1

Victory to Chaos Daemons!

Post-Mortem

Damn! So close! It was a tight game with some bad tactical decisions (my C'Tan attacking the Bloodcrushers instead of the Troops choice for example) and some incredibly, incredibly unlucky dice rolls... seriously, if I was playing Yahtzee, I would have cleaned the table there!

That's not to say however that I didn't have fun, it was awesome and I got some more insight into my army as a whole:

  • Tesla weapons are some of the best anti-flyer weapons in the Necron codex. Even when snap firing, every hit gives you 3 hits in this case which is how I was able to do so much damage to that Bloodthirster. My faith in my Annihilation Barge is restored!
  • Remember kids, always attack Troop choices in objective based games. There's a very good chance I could have at least nullified the objective if I chose to attack the Bloodletters and not the Bloodcrushers with my C'Tan.
  • Always think of an escape route in Relic missions! Seriously, I got stuck and paid the price.
  • Also, taking wargear that screws up Deep Strike doesn't quite work as well on Daemons as you might think... unless they stray too much on the Deep Strike. However, I would definitely use Ethereal Interception with my Deathmarks again, I cannot begin to tell you how awesome that rule is against Daemons!
All in all, fantastic game. Well done to the Chaos Daemons and their victory!

Edit: Okay I had a limited time to write all this report up last night so I'm going to add the rest here now that I have some time to add to it. First of all, I miscalculated my opponent's list, not my opponent, I was accidentally referring to the Daemonettes of Slaanesh's points cost for the Bloodletters, d'oh! I've rectified the points values at the top of this report and will do so again if I'm yet again proved wrong.

Secondly, Staff Member Steve gave a brief background as to what the relic actually was, however, due to my agreements with the FWP group, I shall attempt to edit it down so as to make it more "family friendly". His story was that the relic was a girl who the Daemons wanted to capture to sacrifice and the Necrons wanted her because she carried a... how do I put this? "Crystal artificial appendage that acted as a power source that would be entered as a suppository would". To be honest I think a Slaaneshi Daemon army would have fitted that theme too... 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Badab War in Cambridge Blog

Just dropping a quick post to let you know about a new blog I'm adding to the blogroll created by a talented hobbyist I have been swapping hobby project discussions with for the last few months called Badab War in Cambridge.

Check out his stuff, I'm particularly impressed with his recent Kill Team project.

Also I have new things to show soon, just need to get pictures taken and up. Bring on the New Year and new hobby projects!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Just thought I'd pop on and wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas! I hope you got everything you wanted and stuff yourselves full of delicious Christmas food!

Normal posting shall resume after the festivities, stay tuned!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Meanwhile, at the legion of doom...

As it turns out, I have a few things I could post about, but unfortunately obstacles block my path putting yet more delays on my post. I have the pictures and notes to write a battle report from the weekend, but I'm waiting on my opponent to send me the points value of his list. I have finished my entry for a painting contest I'm entering, but it's preferred that I don't post it until the deadline next month so as not to influence the other entrants and put me at a disadvantage. Very, very frustrating when it comes to updating a blog, most of my time and effort have been put into these.

That's not to say I have nothing to post about fortunately. Recently I have been putting thought back into planning my Ultramarines properly once I have enough Necrons to satisfy me (I will keep working on them, but you know, have to mix it up at some point!). As such I've been experimenting with the idea of using different painting methods, particularly over a white undercoat. These are test models, so neatness wasn't priority here...


The model on the left was painted using Drakenhof Nightshade directly over the white undercoat followed by a covering of Guilliman Blue glaze. It didn't come out very Ultramarine-y, and I discovered Blue Glaze just refuses to stick to a model. Could very well work for Space Wolves though...

The model on the right was painting using Enchanted Blue and heavily washed with Drakenhof Nightshade. It is definitely closer to the effect I was looking for and I was quite surprised with how smooth the blue paint looks after washing, especially as it was an old style paint and it wasn't thinned. I may just investigate this one a bit further.

It was an interesting experiment that proved something a friend of mine told me. It may not be clear in the picture above, but shades really do go on layer paints better than directly over undercoat, the application is somehow... smoother, whereas over undercoat it looks a little rough.

Anyhow, that's my 2 cents for today, with any luck I will have a battle report by the end of the week...

Friday, 14 December 2012

Where'd all the updates go?

Just checking in to let you all know I'm still alive and haven't forgotten about the blog! Hobby business is a little slow at the moment, having been working more than the usual on the run up to Christmas, plus my flat is cold and shivering whilst painting really doesn't do your paint job any justice I've found. I've been working on my Wraiths when I can but I've learnt quite a valuable lesson with them.

They're fun to put together, hell to paint.

Well, that's just my experience. Fact of the matter is my painting technique for Necron metal is a little more involving on these critters. For example, each individual segment on the tails.

But otherwise I should have a few cool things to update about, which I shall explain in bullet point format for ease and convenience.

  • I finally got my copy of Space Hulk back, and am eyeing the models up to paint.
  • I bought some Bretonnians and some replacement heads from Mirliton (my first attempt to use alternative parts on models) which I am waiting to arrive. I will let you all know the results.
  • I finished my attempt at icy ponds in the 40k craters. Not great but it's reasonable. Will post pictures and a quick tutorial when I can.
  • I got some money I intend on buying a particular Forgeworld model with...
  • A hobby group I am a part of is running monthly painting competitions to it's members in which the winner chooses the next contest. This month it's Non-Astartes Imperials, so expect an Assassin of some sort.
  • Finally, I have a game in the Games Workshop Wood Green 40k league on Sunday against Daemons which I will be writing a battle report on. They seem to be popular!

That is all. Should be another update latest Monday. If not, I will post eventually so watch this space!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Quick as Lightning

A blog post title meant for irony and as a play on words. My Necron army's progress has slowed down considerably due to changes in my own life, namely I have been working. So I've been painting when I find the time and I've realised that I am an incredibly slow painter sometimes!

Anyways, I've finished up my Harbinger of the Storms - the one used in yesterday's post, albeit without a staff. I will go into more detail about what I've done and why I've done it in a later post when I've got a full contingency of Crypteks (only 2 more to go!). So here it is:

Harbinger of the Storms
Also, I thought I'd post a picture of my Deathmarks since I actually finished them off since my One Eyed Freaks post.

Not so 'armless now, geddit??
I've also painted some more Warrior arms up but I've got a long way to go to do every single one I have. I've decided to do these in between projects as they are so tedious to do, best to break up the monotony.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The day Wood Green didn't close

As a serious one off for a friend's birthday, the Wood Green store stayed open a bit longer than the usual last night for a massive, 5 v 5 battle for Warhammer 40k!

This isn't an official battle report however, far too much I missed being at the other end of the table and far too many variables (we had one person arriving late to come in as reserves on the evil side, then didn't play so we had an extra army to even it up, then one army on the evil side could respawn to make up the points but then one of our people, who was playing 2 armies left and took his fortifications and turrets with him). Instead, this is a summary of what happened, some pictures to show the carnage that had occurred and some after thoughts on the battle itself.

The armies were as follows with whatever random occurrences happened. Please note that as the two Necron armies were the more neutral armies, each side were given one each:

The Armies of The Imperium

The Imperial Guard (Left at the start of Turn 4)
Death Company Blood Angels (Arrived at the start of Turn 2)
The Black Templars
Orks (Left at the start of Turn 4)
The Imhotep Dynasty (My army)

The Forces of Chaos

The Iron Warriors (Respawned on Turn 4)
Khorne Beserkers
Beastmen Marines of Chaos
The Sautekh Dynasty

Deployment

The Wood Green Manager set up the terrain and scenario for us, and both sides set up simultaneously. We were informed that all secondary objectives would play a part in this game, with each Warlord slain granting us a Victory Point each. On top of this, there were 3 main objectives, the Imperial Bastion and a ruined Adeptus Mechanicus building were worth 3 points each (and were set up in opposing corners) and the Landing Pad in the centre was worth 5 points.

The Imperial and Chaos Forces set up - Bastion in the top
left and Landing Pad in the centre.
As old adversaries, the two Necron forces set up opposite
each other, with my forces holding the objective.
To determine who would go first, everyone rolled a dice (baring in mind one person on our side played two armies, giving each side 4 dice). The side with the highest number chose turn order. We won the roll and elected to go first.

Battle Summary

With both sides being so far apart and the Blood Angels all in reserve, very little occurred on either side for the first turn. Both Monoliths suffered a glancing hit from the pure gauss fire and both forces moved more or less into position for Turn 2.

The Deathmarks arrive from reserve to provide the Black
Templars with back up from Khan and his Terminators
In Turn 2, my Deathmarks arrived from reserves, deep striking and picking Khan the Betrayer as their designated target as the Black Templars pushed forward. I have been informed that the Imperial Guard cleared the Bastion of all but 1 Iron Warrior which was promptly forgotten, allowing him to hold the objective.

The Sautekh Dynasty moves against their rivals
With my Necrons holding a vital objective, the opposing Necron forces began to move in. meanwhile, my Immortals positioned themselves to choke off any flank attacks by taking cover in a nearby crater.

The Valkyrie arrives to drop off Storm Troopers
And here is a picture of what was happening on the other side of the battlefield. I honestly have little knowledge of what was happening here.

The Deathmarks find their target
I decided to take a risk in Turn 3, marching my Deathmarks within rapid fire range of Khan's squad, taking aim and killing 3 of the Terminators in a single shooting phase, with 4 wounds, 2 rending (both failed their 5+ invulnerable and another rolling a 1). This allowed the Black Templars to bravely engage the unit in close combat and win, killing the remaining 2 Terminators and Khan, but losing their own Warlord in the process. 1 Victory Point for both sides!

The Monoliths stand as smoldering wrecks
And here's what happens when two Necron forces fight each other. By the end of the Imperium's 3rd turn, both Monoliths had been glanced to death, forming a rather convenient line of cover and valley of living metal.

The Deathmarks get charged by Beserkers
Probably one of my favourite moments in the battle was when the Beserkers charged my Deathmarks. The Deathmarks yielded no damage but lost 3 men in the first round of combat (2 of which reanimated). In the second round, they lost a single man and failed their morale check...

Flee!
... However, despite their low initiative, they narrowly avoided the Sweeping Advance and immediately regrouped to take out another Necron Warrior! Points well spent!

Brown Trousers Time!
With the Imperial Guard/Ork player leaving, the fortifications and turret magically disappear from the objective as the Iron Warriors respawn, using it's Vindicator to annihilated most of my men. If that wasn't bad enough, the Sautekh Dynasty had, not 1, but 2 Doom Scythes heading my way. The largely untouched contingency of Warriors and my Overlord suddenly found themselves in hot water. One Doom Scythe even killed my Overlord, but he proved far too tough and reanimated using his ressurection orb, robbing the Chaos Forces of a Victory Point! It was here that the game ended...

Final Victory Points Tally
Armies of the Imperium: 11
Forces of Chaos: 6

Victory for the Armies of the Imperium!

Post-Mortem

What a battle! I know I couldn't fit all the details in, too much happening, too little time to take notes. But thoroughly enjoyed it! If only the opposing armies contested the Landing Pad, we would've drawn, but I loved every moment of it! For the details I missed, here's a quick bullet point summary of all the cool things that happened:


  • My personal unit of the match is easily the Deathmarks - To wipe 3 Terminators in one round of shooting, hold up a unit of Khorne Beserkers for 2 rounds, survive a Sweeping Advance then take out another Warrior, they more than justified their points cost!
  • The man of the entire match was definitely the birthday boy's very own Lemartes - He took on staff member Steve's very own Beastman Marine Warlord in single combat, fighting the last round with 1 wound each. With his own 4 attacks against the Beastman's 9, both ignoring normal armour saves, he killed the Warlord then made every invulnerable save he was called to make, prompting a team-wide high five!
  • Very little was said about my Harbinger of the Storms but this bad boy has NEVER let me down. Seriously, in previous battles he has killed many Gargoyles and even an Emperor's Champion with his Lightning Fields. This game, the other Necron player almost had a heart attack when his Voltaic Staff scored a penetrating hit on his Doom Scythe. Sadly I rolled for a Crew Shaken which his Living Metal ignored. Still 1 hull point was lost.
  • Black Templars are great for Necron support - I'm not entirely sure if this is legal (we weren't abiding by the allies chart). I've played against the Black Templars player before, and lost in what we both called a close game, but it was interesting to see them working together for this game.
  • Monoliths are pointless against other Necrons. In 2/3 turns, both me and the other Necron player realised we threw 200 points down the drain. Oh well.
  • And finally, no-one remembered to take out the lone Iron Warrior holding the bastion. We think he's still there now...

Friday, 23 November 2012

It's going to be a busy time...

Well as you can see I decided to splash out and buy myself the Necron Megaforce, just to ensure my army is big enough come the apocalypse. This set expands my total force to over 50 Necron Warriors, a full unit of Spyders, a full squad of Tomb Blades (which I have plans for, oh yes...), over a full unit of Scarabs, 2 Triarch Stalkers, another Annihilation Barge, 2 Ghost Arks and a second unit of Immortals. I'm happy with the purchase, crying at the task of putting it all together and painting it. Sigh...

But that's not all I wanted to update about, I have other projects to do and updates I have in mind. I've decided that updating about Necrons (and painting them continuously) is getting a little stale and the blog (not to mention my sanity) needs to break things up a bit. Don't get me wrong, I will still be hard at work on my metal monstrosities, but I want to add a little variety now.

First things first, since I've finished my Realm of Battle board I've already started a minor terrain building session, specifically craters. I'm testing out a way of snow-ifying them and I'll write up a tutorial on how to do it my way if they turn out good. I also still have an old Imperial City kit (not Sector, City) that is almost entirely untouched that I really should put together and paint.

Secondly, I still have Space Hulk with all the lovely miniatures still on the sprues that I've decided need to be painted and played with.

And finally...


Okay so the picture's a little misleading, I'll explain in a moment. I plan on finally starting up a Warhammer Fantasy army, partly to expand my playing options, partly because so many people have been pushing for me to start it. But the question was, which army do I collect? Originally it was a coin flip between Vampire Counts or Dark Elves as they are my favourite races in any fantasy setting, but after much agonising, I decided not to go with either as I've briefly played Vampire Counts in the past and got absolutely slaughtered, didn't like how they played but they may have improved. As to the Dark Elves, I was swaying towards them but I was being told they were a cheap army that were overpowered, and I don't want to jump right in with an army like that, besides, I have been reading the Song of Ice and Fire series (more commonly known as "A Game of Thrones") and have become a huge fan, so much so that I wanted to emulate it's feel into my hobby. The choice was obvious...

Bretonnians.

I want to make a Song of Ice and Fire-esque Bretonnian army, but unlike other collectors with the same idea, I won't be basing it on characters from the book, no sir. I've been playing a very long running Song of Ice and Fire roleplay campaign using a house me and my fellow players came up with together. I will not only be using this specific house but I am challenging myself to include every character we've ever played in the campaign (living or dead) and I will write about my workings as I go on.

Happy Birthday Games Workshop Wood Green!


I thought I would post about this whilst I'm updating. Tomorrow marks the Wood Green store's 5th birthday, and to celebrate the staff there are running some fun events. There will be a Warhammer Quest style game going on (£20 buys you your own warband) and, I'm not 100% sure if this was a joke or not, but apparently a "Take the Fort" style game where the Fort is made of cake! If that doesn't sound appetising (pun not intended) then I don't know what will.

Come join in the fun if you can, I will be down there, and the staff and community at the store are awesome and cool people.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Realm of Battle Board Finished

I apologise for the poor picture quality in this post - all photos were taken on my phone.

Well I finally went and done it! I went out and bought myself a Realm of Battle board to play some games at home instead of relying on other peoples tables and going to Games Workshop. Sometimes it's nice to chill out and game in your own living room, knocking back a couple of cans of beer and not having to worry about carrying your precious models to and from a place. Yes, it's a nice dream for a hobbyist and one I intended to live out, no matter how long it took

But just buying the Realm of Battle Board is not enough, and the £175 tile set needs painting to make your battles truly epic, and for a while this is where I was stumped. I have no garden, no garage and no large ventilated areas... or any ventilated areas for that matter. This was a matter of pure frustration as I desperately wanted to start and finish the board fairly quickly, plus I needed to come up with a scheme for my board. For the scheme, this was a fairly quick decision, I decided to go with a snow themed board because a) I don't see enough of them and b) it suits my Necron army's bases. As for the time and space to do it, fortunately last Saturday I was able to hitch a lift with my flat mate to the London Hackspace, a community run hacker space where I had enough room and tools (excluding paints of course) that I could get the job done.

Day 1: Rocks, Snow and Hills


After much thought on my painting method, I decided go with the method used on Games Workshop's website, mostly because it seemed a simple and effective way to do a snow board. I began by spraying all the tiles with Chaos Black, then using the Citadel Spray Gun (with free propellant thanks to a working air compressor someone was just throwing away!) to spray The Fang over all areas of the board except the rocky areas. I purposely made the grey splotchy and non-uniform to imitate the pattern of fallen snow. I then gave a heavy drybrush of Codex Grey over all the rocky areas. I spray a bit more of The Fang around the rocky areas to blend the sections together. I was quite surprised at how clear the grey came out on the rocky areas, and even though it does fit in fantastically with the rest of the board, this was the undercoat colour to give more definition to the board once it's finished.

Finally I dusted the entire board with Skull White primer and was hugely surprised at how much difference it made! I kind of went a little mad with this step, sporadically changing the speed and distance with each pass over the board, but to be fair, snowfall is irregular, it does come out clump and I was more than happy with the final results:

The Skull White layer makes all
the difference.

Day 2: Fine Tuning and Details


With the lion's share of the work done, I was able to complete the rest of my battle board at home. I started by laying the full thing out on my customised wall pasting table I made a while ago - though I will say if you use a wallpaper pasting table to play on, avoid putting a boarder around it unlike me as the table won't fit the whole thing perfectly. This was where I would fine tune the board and finish the infamous (and not particularly great) pit o'skulls.

My original plan was to paint the skulls then layer blues over them before using realistic water to make a pool and dust over it with Woodland Scenic Snowflakes to imitate a frozen pool.

This didn't happen.

Instead, I accidentally created something that looked even more awesome before I I even got to the realistic water stage (note, the picture is terrible but you get the idea):

Pool O'Skulls!
It turns out you don't need realistic water to make these things look like pools. I started off with painting just the skulls, which was simply a matter of painting them white and coating them with Agrax Earthshade - nothing fancy, and I did this with every bone and skull on the board. I originally planned to drybrush them with Bleached Bone as well, but I was happy with them as they were and felt it was unnecessary. I then drowned (and I meant DROWNED) the skulls in all the places I wanted my ice with Drakenhof Nightshade to give the base colour for my ice. 

Now, here's the thing...

Something I have learnt about the new Games Workshop shades is that, when used in extremely heavy quantities like this, they dry gloss, not matt like the old washes. However, this happy accident actually worked to my advantage as it gave the pools more of a wet look, really making them look like icy cold, shimmering pools. I loved it so much I didn't want to tamper with it, so I left it and haven't regretted it.

I also troubled myself to add definition.
Finally, my flat mate pointed out that the cliffs would look better if the cracks in the hills were more defined. After spending the time to do this I am inclined to agree. This was simply a case of painting some Agrax Earthshade into the deeper cracks on the board.

And there you have it! Thoughts? Criticisms?... anyone up for a game? ;)

A Small Note of Paint Quantities


I decided to add this last section after I learnt how much paint this bad boy takes up, mostly for your sakes more than anything. Any paint you spray to create this thing eats paint for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Throughout the whole first day process, I went through 1 and 3 quarters worth of Chaos Black primer, and entire can of Skull White primer and 3 pots of The Fang, and even then I reckon I should have chewed through more of The Fang than that. If you take on the project of a Realm of Battle Board, be prepared! Stock up on spray paints!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Tutorial: Beginner's guide to painting

4 Ultramarines painted by me, from my first model (left) to
my latest creation (right)
Sometimes, I enjoy visiting my regular Games Workshop store to do my painting, to commune, to see other peoples works. It still astounds me that so many people rate my painting so highly, with many people saying that I'm a "pro" and some even saying I should enter Golden Demon. Personally, I don't entirely agree with either statement entirely.

Don't get me wrong, I'm hugely flattered by such praise, but the truth is that my first steps in the hobby are just as humble as many others (see the picture to the left), and the techniques I use are not particularly hard to learn or employ. You see, I genuinely believe that good painting isn't the art of making a complicated technique look simple, but rather making a simple technique look complicated. In the past, I have passed on the following rules to remember to people that have asked me for painting advice and their painting abilities improved almost over night. Finally, I have gotten around to publishing these tips on my blog.

Please note, these are not tips for the pro amongst you, there is no "Original Source Light" or "Vector Shading" techniques here, but merely simple things to bare in mind that can make models look 100 times better.

1. Keep it neat!

This may well seem like an obvious thing to say, but neat paintwork is an absolute must for making your model look great. Such a simple tip that is the difference between a model looking terrible and a model looking good. The way I describe it to people is think of miniature painting as "Advanced Colouring In". Keep your paints within the lines, keep the colours sharp.

Example 1
Take the above picture. These are two models I painted in two very different points in time. Both use the same colours and similar techniques, except the model on the right had great care taken to keep within the lines. As you can see, there is a massive difference in the quality of the paintwork. Simply taking care to clean up mistakes and neaten up your brushing can make a world of difference, as you can see.

Now, obviously there are exceptions to this rule, the main two that spring to mind are basecoats and washes. These layers on any model are, as a rule, messy and part of the creative process, giving you definition or a foundation with which to expand. Just remember, these can and will improve the quality of your work, but unless you clean this up when finishing up your model, it'll still leave the model looking unfinished.

2. Avoid relying too heavily on drybrushing

This is a step that everyone I know has been guilty of at some point or another, including me - painting your army almost entirely by drybrushing. It's an understandable solution to the old age problem of not having an army painted quickly enough, the drybrushing covers quickly and catches the edges of models well. However, if it is well painted models you're looking for, avoid this urge. The reason is simple:
  1. Drybrushing gives a very dusty look and, unless you're painting dried mud or something similar, it doesn't look natural (see example 2, below).
  2. Drybrushed colours tend to look very dark without many, many layers (see example 3, below).
Example 2
Example 3
In example 2, we see two Necrons painted in two different methods. The one on the left was painted simply by 3 drybrushed coats of metal in escalating brightness on straight black undercoat, whilst the one on the right was painted with the method I posted up 3 months ago. You will notice the Necron on the left looks very two dimensional colourwise, and quite scratchy, whereas the Necron on the right looks more three dimensional and smooth.

In example 3, we see two Ultramarines. The one on the left was painted with 2 or 3 heavily drybrushed layers of Ultramarine Blue over black undercoat, whereas the one on the right was painted using the method I posted last year. As you can see, the one on the right, again, has a smoother finish and is even a little brighter, which is shocking since the blue used on that model is actually darker than the blue used on the drybrushed model and has 1 less coat.

Now that's not to say you should avoid drybrushing completely, in fact...

3. Learn how to get the best from drybrushing

Example 4
The problem with drybrushing is purely down to the grainy effect you get from it. Therefore you may very well be surprised to learn that the cape on yesterday's post's Harbinger of Despair was painted almost entirely using drybrushing, but lacks any of the grainy qualities associated with the technique. How was this possible? There are two things to remember when you decide whether or not to use drybrushing:
  1. Drybrushing always looks better when done over a darker shade of the colour your using. The above example had 3 shades of green (Warpstone Glow, Goblin Green and Moot Green in that order) drybrushed over a basecoat of Orkhide Shade.
  2. Glazes and Washes do wonders to blend colours together and remove any grainy parts of the model. Glazes also do a fantastic job of really making colours look more vibrant.

4. ALWAYS shade and highlight

It's the ye olde question - manual highlighting or natural lightning? Manual highlighting as it happens. Painting models is very different to real life objects catching light for a few reasons. Firstly, real life objects are made up of varying materials, whereas models will always be reflective of acrylic paints and undercoat, and secondly, the scales are different. Models are a work of art, they come to life when they show off their details and highlighting.

But shading and highlighting doesn't need to be difficult, far from it. This is where Games Workshop shades and glazes come in. Shades can effectively be applied in one of two ways:
  1. Basecoat the model, wash the entire model with the relevant shade (generally Nuln Oil, but Agrax Earthshade works well for reds) then go over the model again in a layer colour, avoiding the recesses.
  2. Apply the shade only to the recesses.
Both these methods work well, try experimenting with both and see which works best for you.

As for highlights, as a general rule of thumb, the more shades of one colour you use to highlight give better results, but only if done right. Applying these in the right quantity takes some practice, but glazes work wonders in blending these to the base colour and making the overall miniature look more vibrant.

5. Practice makes perfect

Unless you are naturally talented, the chances of starting day 1 of your hobby and painting to the same standards as someone like me who has been in the hobby for 16 years is, not unheard of, but very, very unlikely. You need experience to truly know how the brushes flow, how colours work together, what products work best for you, what type of style of look you personally prefer etc. it is very rare that you will know straight away what you want and how you'll get it.

Even if you've been in the hobby for a while and you want to improve, no-one ever gets better without experimenting and getting stuck in. I have a few models that are abysmal failures that I used purely to test out a theory I had, or to test a look before finally stumbling on the look I want. At the end of the day, you won't know how a model will look until you go ahead and do it.

A few final thoughts

As I said at the beginning of the post, I don't think I'm an amazing painter, and I don't use complicated methods to make my models look how they do. I have done some tricky painting and pulled it off, but this has purely been down to practice, getting my eye in, learning to steady my hand. For the first time in 16 years I have shown everyone a picture of my very, very first model for one, simple reason. 

Many people see other hobbyist who are better than them at painting by far, and it can put people off the hobby. By putting a picture of my first steps into the hobby, I hope to inspire you all to pick up that paintbrush and practice, I was likely worse than most when I started!

One of the things I love most about the hobby is seeing other peoples works, seeing how their style and vision differs from my own. We are all overly critical of our own works, but to judge your own work harshly in comparison to someone else's is not the way forward. Everyone has their own style, and it should stand out as your own.

I'd like to say just one more thing before I end this post. I have recently been scoping out the work of kids younger than I was when I started in the hobby, how they paint, what they envision and some paint way better than I did when I was older than them. Because they get stuck in, because they want to experiment. That is how we all get better. That is how I got better also.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

One Eyed Freaks

I thought it was time to unveil my latest project today, and that would be my unhealthy obsession with my one eyed minions - specifically, two Crypteks and a group of Deathmarks. You have probably seen the unpainted version of my Harbinger of Despair, but I now let loose my Harbinger of Destruction loose upon the internet! I didn't post any work in progress pictures of the conversion before, but that is because the flames I made from green stuff just didn't show up before I painted them - it was fun trying to find them whilst I was painting them too!

I plan on writing an indepth post later in the future about how and why I have modelled my Crypteks the way I have, but that'll be when the other 3 are put together and painted, but for now, I thought I would go through a few points about each model individually.

Harbinger of Despair
First off, the Harbinger of Despair, an utter joy to convert and paint. I did steal using the Cairn Wraith idea off of the internet, but I decided to put my own spin on the model, specifically I wanted to model him after the idea of the Grim Reaper, so a Scythe was in order. I made this with a kit bash of a Lychguard/Triarch Praetorian staff, a weapon from the Wraith kit (using Whip Coils myself, I have them lying about) and two Spyder fabricator claws, trimmed down to form Necronesque scythe blades. The fact that half of the body is missing is purely a representation of a Veil of Darkness, whilst the skulls, twisting and contorting out of the cape are a model representation of a Shroud of Despair.

Harbinger of Destruction
Next up, my Harbinger of Destruction. I always loved this particular Necron Lord model and I thought it would look amazing for a Cryptek conversion, but the head needed a swap (not a problem, I have a knife and plenty of Deathmark heads) and the scythe was replaced with yet another Lychguard/Praetorian staff, but used two warscythe blades to make it look more like a staff and less like a scythe. The Gaze of Flame was a fairly simple green stuff sculpt and painted almost entirely with Gryphonne Sepia Wash, Lamenters Yellow Glaze, Baal Red Wash and Bloodletter Glaze over a white base. The same goes for the Solar Pulse, located between the blades of the staff in the form of the ball. I also painted a lava crack on the base to highlight the themes of fire, war and destruction.

Deathmarks - Work in Progress
And then finally we have my Deathmarks which, like my Warriors, are armless (seems to be a running trend in my paint schedule lately). I was a little worried about how they would look with the blue shoulders and gold heads, but luckily my worries were unfounded. I'm really pleased with how they came out, and I actually think they look better than my Immortals at the moment! I'm going to try and get these guys finished soon...

Monday, 5 November 2012

So I should probably explain...

Some of the more eagle eyed readers might have noticed that I included myself a "Harbinger of Destruction" in my battle report last week - yes, I have made a miniature for it, no, I am not posting it up until it's finished.

The reason for this is that I've done a bit of green stuffing converting on it, but before I even thought to take a work in progress picture of it, I undercoated it and, even in person, the green stuffing I did doesn't show up particularly well. I'm hoping that once it's all painted up it'll stand out enough to showcase it, but for now, all I ask is patience...

In other news, I have a Realm of Battle board now I will hopefully start work on this week (damn my lack of spraying space!) and a lovely new Necron Megaforce is available to reorder Saturday, so I know how I'm spending the week! In the meantime, I will be working on my Deathmarks. Sorry, I have no pictures at the moment...

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Battle Report: Necrons vs Tyranids

On Monday 29th October, I had yet another game against my friend's Tyranid swarm in the hopes of evening out the scoreboard - he won the last game and I wanted another chance to taste victory, so using some of the funky new models I've prepped up, I thought I would shake things up a bit with the 1,500 points I had to play with. So, without further ado, my first battle report:

The Army of Aeons Past

HQ
  • Necron Overlord with Gauntlet of Fire, Resurrection Orb, Mindshackle Scarabs, Phase Shifter & the Phaeron upgrade (185pts)
  • Royal Court: Harbinger of the Storm with Lightning Field, Harbinger of Despair with Veil of Darkness & Harbinger of Destruction with Gaze of Flame (140pts)
Troops
  • Necron Warriors: 10 man unit (130pts)
  • Necron Warriors: 10 man unit (130pts)
  • Necron Immortals: 5 man unit with Gauss Blasters (85pts)
  • Necron Immortals: 5 man unit with Gauss Blasters (85pts)
Elites
  • C'Tan Shard with Entropic Touch & Gaze of Death (245pts)
Fast Attack
  • Canoptek Wraiths: Unit of 3, Whip Coils (135pts)
Heavy Support
  • Monolith (200pts)
  • Annihilation Barge (90pts)
  • Canoptek Spyder with Gloom Prism & Fabricator Claws (75pts)
Total: 1,500 points

The Devouring Swarm

HQ
  • The Swarm Lord (280pts)
  • Hive Tyrant with Wings & Twin-Linked Devourers (Brain Leech Worms) (245pts)
Troops
  • Termagants: 18 man unit with Devourers (180pts)
  • Hormagaunts: 16 man unit (96pts)
  • Warriors: 3 man unit with Lash Whips, Bone Swords & Toxin Sacs (150pts)
  • Tervigon with Cluster Spines, 'Onslaught', Catalyst, Toxin Sacs & Adrenal Gland (210pts)
Elites
  • Hive Guard: Unit of 3 (150pts)
  • Zoanthrope (60pts)
  • Venomthrope (55pts)
Fast Attack
  • Gargoyles: 10 man unit with Toxin Sacs (70pts)
Total: 1,496 points

Deployment

The layout of the battlefield
After setting up the battlefield (see picture), we promptly rolled for our mission and deployment set up. We rolled an almighty 2 for our mission meaning we had Purge the Alien, so no objective markers would be set up this game, the victory would entirely hinge on dead units. For our deployment we rolled an even mightier 6, so we would deploy in the Vanguard Strike set up.

Afterwards, we both rolled for our Warlord Traits. I chose from the Command Traits for my Necron Overlord and rolled a 6, giving me the Coordinated Assault trait, conferring a +1 bonus on any friendly charge ranges within 12" of him - useful for my C'Tan and Wraiths but not much else. My opponent rolled on the Strategic Traits for his Swarm Lord and rolled a 1, Conqueror of Cities which gives all his units Move Through Cover (Ruins) and Stealth (Ruins) special rules - not so useful for moving but will give his units an amazing 3+ cover save if he got into the ruins, far end of the board.


The Swarm set up in the ruins
Unfortunately for me, the Tyranids won the roll off to deploy first and sensibly took quick advantage of his new found Stealth special rule by setting up in the ruins, fielding the less armoured troops in the ruins and the big, nasty monsters closer to where I would soon call home.






The Imhotep Dynasty set up in the hills
Trying to make the best of a bad situation, I decided to keep as much of my army out of sight, hiding a squad of Warriors with my Harbinger of Despair behind the Monolith, with my Spyder close to hand just in case. A squad of Immortals set up nearest the enemy with my Harbinger of the Storms in case anything attempted to charge me.





With the mission, traits and set up complete, I attempted to seize the initiative, and failed, thus beginning what would become an epic battle...

Turn 1

The Tyranids wasted no time in trying to get into close combat, with the majority of the swarm moving forward to get up close and personal with the metal constructs. The Hive Guard moved forward out of, what they quickly realised to be, a Demon Bile Swamp to line up their shots, whilst the Tervigon moved up from their flank, spilling it's vile spawn onto the battlefield. The Tervigon rolled an incredibly lucky 4, 5 and 6 on it's spawn dice, creating 15 more Termagants directly into a forest for the Necrons to deal with - the lack of any doubles meant that the monstrous brute's reproductive glands were still intact and it could spawn more later. Meanwhile, the Flying Hive Tyrant attempted to circle around it's metallic foes, arcing around the Necron's left flank. The Hive Guard lined up their shot, thanks to their lack of needing direct line of site, and fire at the Nightbringer Shard, inflicting 3 wounds, and with the help of Devourer fire from the Flying Hive Tyrant, it exploded in a glorious display of shrapnel, hitting a nearby Necron but failing to kill it.

The Necrons quickly find themselves surrounded by the Swarm
Sheltering themselves from the chaos, Nemekh the Summoner, his retinue of Warriors and the Harbinger of Destruction and his retinue of Immortals take cover in the nearby woods to discover, much to their benefit that the woods were in fact an Iron Bark Forest, granting them all a much needed 3+ cover save. Predictably, the Monolith moved forward with the Spyder accompanying it in case any repairs were needed later on. In a surprise move, the Harbinger of Despair used it's Veil of Darkness to teleport itself and it's accompanying Warriors behind enemy lines into the industrial sector, blasting the Gargoyles with Gauss Flayer fire and a beam of despair from it's Abyssal Staff, killing all but 1 of the unit!

The Harbinger of Despair teleports and kills many Gargoyles
The Annihilation Barge pushed the assault by following a unit of Immortals led by a Harbinger of the Storms towards the centre of the battlefield, with Wraiths accompanying them on the left flank. The Immortals and the Annihilation Barge open fire at the Hormagants, killing a measly combined total of 5. Back on the plain, the Immortals, Warriors, Overlord, Harbinger of Destruction and Monolith open fire at the spawned Termagants, but due to poor visibility and cover, only a handful of the aliens died.

At the end of the turn, the Tyranids are still pressuring the Necrons.

MAN DOWN!

DISASTER STRUCK! With all the excitement of my rolls, I accidentally punched my own Annihilation Barge off the table, breaking the miniature in the process! Until it could be fixed, we had to make do...


Turn 2

Dazed and confused from the surprise attack from the Harbinger of Despair, the nearby Tyranid Warriors and their accompanying Venomthrope moved awkwardly nearby and the Hormagants turned to run in their general direction. The lone Gargoyle flew out of synapse range and into a nearby building, where it failed it's leadership test and lurked there. With the majority of the Swarm still pressing into the wooded area, the Hive Guard lined up a shot from their guns and fired at the Spyder, dropping 2 of it's wounds. The Flying Hive Tyrant swooped over and dived down against the damaged Canoptek and smashing it to pieces once and for all. Not content with just destroying the Spyder, it turned it's attention to a nearby unit of Immortals and Devourer fire brought down 3 of them. More Devourer fire soon engulfed the Wraiths nearby, but even with their 3+ invulnerable saves, they were no match against the Termagants who were being buffed with "Preferred Enemy" by the nearby Swarm Lord and they lost an almighty 5 wounds to the hail of fire!

The spawned Termagants made their way from the hilly woods only to lose a member of their brood to the Carniverous Wood. This was made up for, however, by the Zoanthrope finally making it's appearance from the back ranks, unleashing a screeching Warp Lance unto the Necron Monolith, removing a hull point and immobilising it as well!

The Zoanthrope marvels at it's own work
With unit dropping like flies, the Necrons made the best of a bad situation, concentrating it's fire power from the Immortals, Warriors and Monolith towards the Termagants bursting from the woods, wiping them out in a single, awesome wave of energy. Elsewhere, in the industrial sector the Annihilation Barge along with the infiltrating Warriors, the two nearby Crypteks and a unit of Immortals were able to kill the advancing Hormagants with their combined fire power, hoping to avoid a close up confrontation with the melee superior brood.

The Warriors are able to hold their position

Immortals maneuver  their way into the industrial sector

Turn 3

The Tyranid strategy was seemingly coming to fruition. With the Swarm Lord's plan coming together, it cast "Endurance" and "Iron Arm" on it's self, buffing it's strength and toughness to an insane 9 each! With it's new found power, it charged Nemekh and his Warriors, laughing off all shots as they came in from the Overwatch. The Tervigon bolstered it's attack by spawning another 16 Termagants onto the battlefield at the cost of it's own spawning glands. Meanwhile, the remaining Termagants finally turned their fire at the Harbinger of Despair's unit and, with the aid of the Venomthrope, killed the Cryptek and 3 of the Warriors, but they stood strong and didn't run.

The Termagants turn their fire at the Warriors
Meanwhile, towards the back of the Necron forces, the Winged Tyrant brought all it's weight to bear upon the Annihilation Barge, smashing it to bits and triumphantly stalking away. Back with the Swarm Lord, Nemekh and his Warriors prepared for a hopeless battle, but as the Tyrant's blades lifted up, it failed it's 3D6 leadership test against the Mindshackle Scarabs and proceeded to attempt surgery on itself, inflicting a single wound on itself! Electing not to accept the "Our Weapons Are Useless!" circumstance, Nemekh bravely stayed in combat with the hulking monstrosity.

Nemekh deploys the infamous "Stop Hitting Yourself" tactic
Running low on troops, the Immortals bunkered down in the Iron Bark Forest turned their fire at the Zoanthrope nearby, wounding it in the process. More Immortals in the industrial sector fired at the Tyranid Warriors in front of them, killing 1 in the process. The Warriors bunkered behind enemy lines remained standing, but did minimal damage to the Termagants they were confronted with. Meanwhile, the Mindshackle Scarabs kept their hold on the Swarm Lord, causing it to inflict yet another wound on itself!

An overview of the industrial sector at the end of the turn
Termagants and Zoanthrope surround the Monolith

Turn 4

Fearing the worst for the Swarm Lord, the Winged Tyrant charged Nemekh and his Warriors. Although the Mindshackle Scarabs still maintained their hold on the Swarm Lord, causing even further injuries (but no death) the extra support won the two Tyrants the combat, breaking the squad and, consequently, wiping them out. The Tyranid Warriors charged at the nearby Immortals, but failed to reach and lost a single wound to the ensuing Overwatch. More Devourer fire was launched at the remaining Warriors, but without their boost of "Preferred Enemy" (due to being out of range of the Swarm Lord) they killed only the 2 Warriors.
The resilient Warriors stand fast until the bitter end!
The Immortals fend off the Tyranid Warriors
With such few troops left, the Necron's turn was minimal. The Immortals and the Harbinger of the Storms fired at the Tyranid Warriors, causing no wounds, the Necron Warriors fired at the Termagants, killing minimal numbers and the Harbinger of Destruction, with his Immortals, used the Monolith's Gate of Eternity to move them further away from the two Tyrants than they would get otherwise, before turning their guns on the Zoanthrope and killing it dead.

The Tyrants savour victory

Turn 5

In the final turn, the Tyranids tasted victory. The Tervigon spawn combined forces with the Swarm Lord for one final assault, cutting the Immortals and their Cryptek leader down without a second thought, whilst the Winged Tyrant smashed the Monolith in close quarters, making it explode and killing a single bug. Elsewhere, the Termagants finished off the last remaining Warriors, and the Tyranid Warriors finally get up close and personal to finish off the Immortals, causing a total wipe out and a default victory for the Tyranids!

The last Tyranid Warrior remaining

The Bugs scatter from the battlefield. Victory is theirs!

Final Victory Points Tally
Tyranids: 11
Necrons: 3

Post-Mortem

Well, that was a fun game, even if I did get totally slaughtered! Congratulations to my opponent, he played well.

I've been analysing how the game went, trying to adapt my tactics. I've learnt a lot from this that I never knew before, such as the Swarm Lord being able to confer "Preferred Enemy" to any single unit within 18", or how squishy the bog standard bugs are when an Abyssal Staff is introduced! I think my main key error here was the fact the Tyranids were outshooting me, and if Tyranids are outshooting Necrons, something's wrong! On a related note, Termagant broods firing 54 shots a turn, rerolling all rolls of 1 on both To Hit and To Wound really, really hurts!

Next time I think taking out the Swarm Lord needs to be done as soon as I am able to, if just to avoid the major pain "Preferred Enemy" deals out, and I think a massive weight of fire is needed in this instance, so more Warriors (which were surprisingly resilient this time around!) and Immortals are a definite must, and in larger units. I don't think I will take Spyders against Tyranids either, it did literally nothing for me the whole game. The same could be said about my C'Tan shard, but that was just major bad luck losing it in turn 1.

I also want to test out a Triarch Stalker and some Deathmarks next time. With the Deathmarks 2+ to wound their target, it may make the Swarm Lord much easier to kill, and the Triarch Stalker may just put me on par with the Swarm Lord's damn "Preferred Enemy" rule.

I think I will keep the Harbinger of Despair next time, if purely to wipe out smaller units. Tyranids maybe fearless, but leadership 6 against an Abyssal Staff is just an absolute dream. I think the Harbinger of the Storms is a must keep too, because the Lightning Field is just so utterly destructive if you maneuver him correctly.

Finally, the Annihilation Barge. This thing is the wildcard of any Necron force. They can be very "meh" if you don't roll many 6's, but if you do, they can be devastating. They are very much a "roll of the dice" unit, but I'd like to experiment with it some more.

Finally

The ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny!
We had a second game after this one, which I will say now I also lost (same army list) where my C'Tan didn't die like a bug. The above picture was not set up or doctored in anyway, this is a genuine photo of the genuine second game we had. Both models were on full wounds and full strength. I wanted to see who would win in a match up between these two guys. It's the Swarm Lord. Bleh.

I'm also happy to report that the Annihilation Barge has since made a full recovery. Peace out!