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!

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