Sunday, 20 January 2013

Battle Report: Necrons vs Deathwing

In time with keeping my resolution of a battle report each month, I thought it was only fitting that I should write up about today's game at the Wood Green store against my friend's Deathwing army, what with all the rage over Dark Angels this month. I'll be honest, I went into this game very pessimistically, I'm not the biggest fan of single squad terminators, let alone a full army of them. At the same time, I was intrigued by their shiny new codex.

The Army of Aeons Past

  • Necron Overlord with Gauntlet of Fire, Resurrection Orb, Mindshackle Scarabs, Phase Shifter & Phylactery (200pts)
  • Royal Court: Harbinger of Despair with Veil of Darkness, Harbinger of Destruction with Gaze of Flame (105pts)
  • Necron Warriors: 10 man unit (130pts)
  • Necron Warriors: 10 man unit (130pts)
  • Necron Immortals: 10 man unit with Gauss Blasters (170pts)
  • Necron Deathmarks: 5 man unit (95pts)
  • C'Tan Shard with Gaze of Death & Transdimensional Thunderbolt (280pts)
Fast Attack
  • Canoptek Wraiths: Unit of 2, Whip Coils (90pts)
Heavy Support
  • Monolith (200pts)
  • Annihilation Barge (90pts)

Total: 1,490 points

Deathwing Company

  • Belial (190pts)
  • Deathwing Command Squad with Apothecary, Revered Standard, Plasma Cannon, 1 x Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield (295pts)
  • Librarian with Terminator Armour, Force Weapon, Frag/Krak Grenades, Psychic Hood, Mastery Level 2 (140pts)
  • Deathwing Squad: 5 man unit, Assault Cannon, 1 x Chainfist, 1 x Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield, Sergeant with Power Sword (250pts)
  • Deathwing Squad: 5 man unit, Assault Cannon, 1 x Chainfist, 1 x Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield, Sergeant with Power Sword (250pts)
  • Deathwing Knights: 5 man unit, Mace of Absolution, Storm Shield (235pts)
  • Dreadnought with Plasma Cannon, Storm Bolter, Power Fist, Venerable, Searchlight, Smoke Launchers (135pts)

Total: 1,490 points


To begin with, we began by rolling our deployment zone and I rolled a 6 giving us the Vanguard Strike deployment zones. Afterwards we laid out the terrain alternating between myself and my opponent until the board was looking sufficiently interesting. We then decided on our warlord traits to see what our leaders would offer to our armies. Having included Belial in his army, my opponent was forced to take the Dark Angel warlord trait Master of the Hunt. As I've taken a liking to choosing command traits in every game I play as Necrons, I decided to keep with the trend and rolled for the trait of Intimidating Presence, meaning all enemies within 12" of my Warlord use the lowest leadership as opposed to the highest. As I was fighting a Deathwing army and they are all fearless, this wasn't likely to work in my favour.

A watcher played the role of our objective
After the table and precursor stuff was all done, we got to role for our mission. As with my last battle report, a 6 was rolled and The Relic was chosen as our mission. My opponent suggested using a watcher as our objective marker. Brilliant idea, my Necrons are obviously trying to capture a Dark Angels relic to gain a tactical advantage in a bigger war! We then rolled off and my opponent won the roll, but elected to give me first deployment.

In order to give it more survivability but to enable it to assault more quickly, I elected to place my C'Tan behind the Bastion where Deathwing Terminators could not attack it immediately, backed by two Wraiths for added punch. My Warriors and Immortals were spread out with my Overlord leading the Warriors on the right flank, my Harbinger of Destruction the Warriors on the left flank and my Harbinger of Despair was put with the Immortals. My vehicles were placed at the back of my ranks in support and my Deathmarks were placed in reserve The plan was to split my attacks and attack the Terminators from all sides. A risky tactic, but I was pretty sure my Necrons would outnumber my heavily armoured foes.

The Dark Angels player decided to keep half his forces in reserve in preparation for for a Deathwing assault. Belial and his command squad, a single unit of Terminators with an attached Librarian and a Dreadnought was all that was elected to set up to begin with. The Librarian rolled his psychic powers, rolling once on the Divination chart (gaining Precognition) and once on the Pyromancy chart (gaining Spontaneous Combustion). With everyone in place, it was time to begin turn 1. The Dark Angels attempted but failed to seize the initiative.

Turn 1

I kicked off my turn by immediately using my Harbinger of Despair's Veil of Darkness to teleport my Immortals to the other side of the board to put them in the prime position to shoot at the Deathwing squad whilst my Overlord and his attached Warriors flanked around to the right. The rest of my army marched forward. The Immortals launched a volley of gauss fire towards the Librarian and his attached Deathwing squad, killing a single Terminator. The Harbinger of Destruction and his Warriors let loose at Belial and his command squad but failed to do any damage. Similarly, the C'Tan fired his transdimensional thunderbolt at the Dreadnought and failed to damage it. With the rest of my army unable to fire, I finished my first turn.

The Deathwing laugh off the Necron attacks
The Deathwing kicked off their turn by moving forward to meet the Necron advance, unleashing a volley of Storm Bolter and Plasma Cannon fire from the Command Squad and Dreadnought at the Wraiths, inflicting a total of 1 wound thanks to the Wraiths invulnerable saves.

The Necrons survive the first volley
On the other side of the battlefield, the Librarian prepared his powers, first off all successfully gaining precognition, then unleashing his power of spontaneous combustion at the Immortals, choosing the Cryptek as the focus of his power. The power was successfully executed but hit a random Immortal instead, instantly killing it. The explosion then killed the Cryptek and another Immortal. None of the victims reanimated. The Terminators then charged their victims, losing their Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield in the ensuing overwatch, but smashing two more Immortals in melee, again neither reanimated. The Immortals passed their leadership test and stayed in combat to fight another round.

The Immortals are hit hard by the Deathwing assault

Turn 2

With the Immortals taking so much damage, it was time to call in the Deathmarks, who passed their reserve rolls but scattered off the table, putting themselves back in ongoing reserves. The C'Tan continued to advance towards the enemy line and once again shot it's transdimensional thunderbolt at the Dreadnought, penetrating it's shell and making it explode, stopping the threat in a single shot and granting me a single victory point for First Blood. Simultaneously, the Annihilation Barge let loose it's Tesla Destructor at the command squad and rolling two 6s. With an almighty 8 hits (all but a single one successfully wounding) the Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield Terminator bit the dust.

The Dreadnought was no match for the Nightbringer's might
The remaining Necron forces crept forward, with the Overlord sneaking past the Deathwing forces to infiltrate the enemy deployment, whilst the Harbinger of Destruction and his unit headed for the objective, backed by the Monolith. The Immortals in the meantime were proving less successful as they lost 2 men in the first round of combat and another 2 in the Deathwing's combat before failing their morale. Fortunately, due to the Deathwing Terminator armour, they fled easily with no risk of a sweeping advance.

The Immortals fight a valiant battle...
...before fleeing due to heavy casualties
It was clarified by an independent third party that my opponent chose turn 2 to launch his Deathwing assault, as the second Deathwing squad used Belial's teleport homer to land without scattering. The Deathwing Knights decided to teleport further away and scattered on top of the Wraiths, resulting in a mishap and putting them back into ongoing reserves. The remainder of the Deathwing forces preoccupied themselves with attempting to take out the Wraiths who were fast moving to come to the Immortals aid, killing one Wraith and knocking the other down to a single wound.

The Deathwing fire at the Wraiths

Turn 3

The Deathmarks finally arrived without incidence this turn, choosing the Dark Angels Librarian as their target, naturally extending to his attached squad. Shooting on the Necrons part failed for the most part with the exception of the Nightbringer's transdimensional thunderbolt killing a single Deathwing terminator before charging the squad, killing another 2 terminators in melee in the first combat phase and another 1 in the Deathwing combat phase, only losing a single wound in the process! The last remaining Wraith also charged the Librarian and his squad only to fall on the Deathwing's assault phase without having inflicting a single wound itself. It fought valiant to no avail.

C'Tan at the end of the Necron Assault phase...

...and the C'Tan at the end of Turn 3
The Wraith fought valiantly
Unfortunately for me, the Deathwing Knights also turned up successfully this turn, forming a tight circle to increase their own toughness, but fortunately could not assault due to just deep striking. The Necron Warriors led by the Harbinger of Destruction, only an inch away from the objective, caught the attention of Belial and his command squad, as they shot and assaulted the unit, killing 6 Warriors and forcing them fall back, but placing them in convenient direct line of sight of the Annihiliation Barge...

Warriors flee from Belial's command squad
The Dark Angels Librarian convene after a second successful combat

Turn 4

The Harbinger of Destruction and his squad regrouped, and with the end of the game in sight, they decided to head towards the objective, hoping to claim it and the victory points attached whilst the Monolith filled the gap, stopping 4/5" away from Belial's Command Squad. Meanwhile, the Necron Overlord decided to back away with the looming threat of the Death Knights in front of them. When it came to shooting, the Annihilation Barge lined up it's Tesla Destructors at Belial and his Command Squad, rolling two more 6s and granting many hits and wounding on two dice. My opponent decided not to make a "look out sir!" roll and, in a shocking bout of bad luck, failed both armour saves and FNP rolls (from the Apothecary), killing him in a single round of shooting and giving me another victory point for Slay The Warlord! See the picture below for the exact rolls my opponent got, it was serious bad luck.

Belial falls in the heat of battle
2 armour saves and 2 FNP saves, all bad luck...
To add insult to injury, the Monolith opened it's portal and sucked both the Command's Apothecary and Assault Cannon into nothingness, leaving a Sargeant and a single normal Terminator.

The Monolith traps 2 Dark Angels in the eternal void
The C'Tan in the meantime finished off the Deathwing squad, robbing my opponent of a scoring unit and putting him in a prime position to support the other units. When the Deathwing turn rolled around, my opponent decided it was time for all out combat at the Command Squad turned around and joined the Deathwing Knights in assaulting the Overlord and his unit. The combined effort lead to 3 Warriors and a single Deathwing Knight biting the dust and the unit turned tail and fled. The Librarian also opted to attack the Deathmarks who had targeted him, exploding one of them with his Spontaneous Combustion power before being killed by overwatch fire. The remaining 2 Terminators managed to destroy 3 Deathmarks in combat, but all of them made their reanimation protocols and lived to fight on!

The Nightbringer surrounded by the bodies of his foes
Deathwing Knights pursue the Overlord and his unit
A mad dash for the objective
We rolled to see if the game would continue and a 5 was rolled. The battle raged on!

Turn 5

Zero hour was upon the us! With the objective still not held and a Deathwing squad still in play, it was still anyone's game. The Overlord and his retinue regroup and shot the Deathwing Knights, killing 2 of them before finding themselves in combat where the Overlord challenged the Deathwing Knights and killed their leader using his Mindshackle Scarabs. The Warriors were able to finish off the last remaining Deathwing Knight in which most people would call a lucky bout for the Necrons.

The Necrons prevail in combat!
In the mad dash for victory points, the C'Tan chose to completely ignore his allies and dash directly into the enemy's deployment and remained untouched and gained me the Line Breaker secondary objective.

King of the hill!
Back at the relic area, the Harbinger of Destruction and his unit made a dash for the relic, easily reaching it and held it for this turn. Fortunately, the Deathwing Squad nearby didn't kill off the Deathmarks, killing another 2 but 1 of them rose again and the unit passed their morale check, locking them in combat as the dice roll showed a 3 and the game ended.

Necron Warriors barely snatch the objective
We counted the points. I received First Blood (destroying the Dreadnought), Slay the Warlord (Belial was dead), Line Breaker (The C'Tan was in enemy deployment) and I held the objective. My opponent didn't score any secondary objectives and failed to hold the objectives.

Final Victory Points Tally
Necrons: 6
Dark Angels: 0

Victory to Necrons!


What? I won my first one-on-one battle report? Seriously not the result I was expecting when I strolled into this battle. I was expecting much Power Fist death and being hammered by those Deathwing Knights. When the Librarian rolled Precognition as a power, I was sure I was done for. I've never had good luck again 2+ armour save models in the past and an entire army of them put the fear of the Emperor in me!

I'd love to say it was all down to my tactical genius and cunning, but truth is I would be lying if I said that's what I believed. I think my tactics played some part, but my opponent was afflicted with the same cursed luck I had back in my last battle report against Daemons. I think we counted something along the lines of 52 1s being rolled on his part alone, but all you have to do is see the rolls for Belial's save against the Annihilation Barge to see what I mean. In fact, the presence of Chaos was almost certainly to blame as we were afflicted by an abnormality that could only be explained by the presence of the warp...

Unnatural cocked dice is unnatural
But getting back on subject, this game has certainly made me re-evaluate my units. For starters, the Annihilation Barge kicked a lot of backside this game, rolling two 6s to hit on average it spewed out an insane amount of damage, most of which was ignored by the Deathwing armour but quantity is definitely a quality against these types of army. They're heavily armoured but boy are they expensive, and they're bound to fail their saves eventually!

C'Tan are by far one of the finest Terminator killers in my entire army, especially as my Nightbringer cut through a squad of Deathwing like butter, all the whilst only losing a single wound. I would definitely take this C'Tan set up again against Deathwing, it is amazingly expensive but, then again, so's the opponent.

Also, my Warriors and Monolith really did me proud this game. The portal of exile is far more deadly than I ever anticipated, but it is difficult to get the damn thing close enough before the opponent drop a game equivalent of a nuke on it's head. The Warriors were far more durable this game, and I reckon it was down to the recklessness of me throwing my Immortals at the Deathwing. I over estimated the Immortal unit's survivability and underestimated my Warriors, I will have to invest in more.

Speaking of the Immortals, they ended the game about 1" away from the table edge and never made their insane heroism roll. But it would have been boring to mention this every turn, so I didn't. What cowards.

And finally, I want to talk about the Dark Angels, the Deathwing in particular. Actually not as ridiculously powerful as I originally thought, but it has a lot of flavour. The Deathwing Knights are very, very combat effective, but were very unlucky this game. When the entire unit can get +1 toughness for standing base-to-base, all have +2 strength power mauls with AP4 (AP3 for the flail) and WS5, A2, they are absolute combat monsters. As for the Deathwing, the fact they're all fearless can hold up your troops in combat which can be annoying, but it works both ways as when they lose combat, they just allowed my Overlord to make them slowly mutilate themselves using Mindshackle Scarabs. Also, Plasma Cannons on Terminators are disgusting, but the scatter makes them vastly unpredictable and not as bad as you might think. All in all, I like the Dark Angels rules now, they are very much acceptable.


  1. Great battle report! T

  2. I enjoy reading your battle reports :) and good pictures of the battle scene. Keep them coming.
    uhm, aren't those power mauls AP4, and only AP3 vs csm?

    1. Yes, you're right, sorry I was working from memory. I remembered they didn't give my Warriors a save, but they're 4+ and my Overlord had an invulnerable save, I'll change that in the post.

    2. The sgts flail is ap3 base, 2 vs csm

  3. great battle report,

    how did you choose your forces ? Did you make choices which aimed at a power armored list, or deathwing in particular ? Or is it your "standard" list modified here and there vs DA ?


    1. I used what I had available, so essentially my standard list modified to take out heavily armoured foes. For example I didn't take my personal favourite Harbinger of the Storm since S8 AP5 hits against 2+ armour, 1 wounded foes didn't sound particularly useful. A 32" AP2 ranged attack did, however.