Friday, May 6, 2016

Warhammer 40,000 Necron Warriors

Decurions are cool and all but I really am not a big fan of the loss of Objective Secured.

Though some will obviously argue the point with me, the reality is that Objective Secured matters and now that we play FormationHammer and Apocalypse as often as Warhammer 40,000, it pays to get down to the basics because elite heavy armies tend to be killing machines more than scoring ones.  There are certainly exceptions, but the exception just goes to show the rule.

So I ventured into the world of Necron Warriors.  I wished to see if there was a way to actually CENTER a list on them and a more traditional picture of Necron might.

The central problem you run into with Necrons is mobility.  In order to get it you pay mightily. Necrons have a hard time accepting death, but because they can be so ponderous, it is no wonder units like Wraiths and Ghost Arks have become very popular additions to peoples armies.  Neither of these is really a traditional unit for the Necrons, but they have become important for the role they fill in crossing the distances more expeditiously.  The same can be said for Scarabs.  They also are a good tool for mobility and speed.

If we want to go with a Warrior-centric force though, and a more traditional one, there's nothing more iconic than the Monoliths and the Necron Warriors.  So I really wanted to feature them effectively.

In looking at the different ways you can include them I had to answer all the core questions:  How to handle armor (answer: Gauss), how to whittle MEQ into bite sized morsels (Answer: Monoliths and volume of fire), how to handle TEQ (tough one at all times for Necrons and they really have few answers, but the Doomsday Ark at least can provide some relief in that way), Hordes (Answer:  Monoliths and volume of Fire), Anti-Air (Their only option:  the Obelisk or Night Scythes) and objective handling (Objective Secured units like Warriors).

When I thought about it globally, the only area a Warrior based force might struggle is against TEQ type opponents and anyone with a really good melee presence.  But then again, anyone with a good melee presence could be gotten around with good mobility, again an area Necron Warriors struggle without fair expenditure.

The first version of the list I could come up with was as follows:

Mephrit Dynasty Resurgence Formation (Monoliths heal D6 Warriors or D3 Immortals)
200 1 Monolith
130pts 10 Necron Warriors
130pts 10 Necron Warriors
85pts 5 Immortals
85pts 5 Immortals
Combined Arms Detachment
65pts 1 Cryptek
65pts 1 Cryptek
130pts 10  Necron Warriors
130pts 10  Necron Warriors
Combined Arms Detachment
90pts 1 Cryptek (Mindshackle Scarabs, Solar Staff)
130pts 10  Necron Warriors
130pts 10Necron Warriors
130pts 10 Flayed ones
Living Tomb Formation
300 1 Obelisk
200 1 Monolith
2000 Points

Now this isn't ITC legal obviously, so if ITC is your thing, I'll get to you in a moment.  What this incarnation of the list does is gives you some of the utility of the Ghost Ark with a LOT tougher chassis (especially in light of the Lance vs. Quantum Shielding ruling from GW that just dropped) and FAR more reach than the Ghost Arks allow.  Ghost arks give you the illusion of mobility but the fact is, you rarely move much faster in one than you would on foot; usually by choice because you want to shoot out of it.  So it is really just a glorified weapons platform to fire from and it's not truly dedicated to mobility even though it can provide some.

The Mephrit Dynasty Resurgence Formation allows you to gain the healing powers of a Ghost Ark on one of your Monoliths.  If you plan to have a unit in the backfield or are forced to, it can do its work. It is mostly meant to project force forward however and protect that force forward.  You do lose Objective Secured on the Warriors and Immortals the Formation requires you to take but never fear, many more are there to pick up the slack.

My next stop for designing this was that I wanted to be able to take three units forward and taking THREE Monoliths would squeeze out the Obelisk which I consider one of the more reasonable Super Heavies in the game.  But lo and behold, the special formation benefit of the Living Tomb Formation allows you to do just that.  The monolith can bring two units through its portal on the round it arrives, bringing the total number of untis I can slingshot across the board (or from reserve as the case may be) to three.  That is plenty, and it happens so much faster than a ghost Ark could have hoped to do it, so much more reliably and with heavy fire support.  Particle whips are not a trifling weapon when they can get position via deep strike on you.

The Obelisk has two useful pieces about it.  First it has an unusual and somewhat unreliable "Gravity" weapon it can use against flying things; and the second is that it can thunderblitz.  Its weaponry is maybe below average as as Super heavies go, but because it can deep strike, it can be threatening a considerable swath of the enemy and gives them less time to actually do something about it which is an advantage other Super Heavies don't necessarily share.  The fact that it allows its accompanying Monolith to drop flawlessly is awesome.

Finally we required the volume of fire and the Objective Secured components I mentioned.  If we are to sling shot things across the board, we need to give them a reasonable chance of surviving counterfire given that they will be right up against the gates of hell when they loose their vicious volleys.  So I used TWO Combined Arms Detachments in order to gain a third Cryptek and of course the Mephrit Monolith adds an element of healing the Ghost Ark would normally give to defray some of the cost of being so bold (and such boldness does always come with a cost).  The Monoliths form walls behind which the Warriors can carry out their mission safely, but barrages will always be a concern and that's where the healing ability can assist a little as can the Crypteks.

The Solar staff is the final little touch for defensive ability.  Three units using Crypteks means a fourth can use the Solar Staff to ablate the enemy shooting; and then use the Monoliths to suck them far away from melee danger after the enemy bites on the bait.  So you have four units that can utilize some form of defensive measure without the loss of Objective Secured and I think it's pretty important for this kind of list to have that ability.  Sure, there's some nice things that come with a Decurion, but if you can create a mechanism like I have to grant yourself enough in the way of defense, perhaps foregoing those other "nice to have" elements isn't such a bad thing.

The Flayed Ones can serve either as red herring or as an actual melee force.  Flayed Ones are quite a bit more effective than you'd think against most targets and they sometimes do get underestimated.  Most would rather have Wraiths in their place.  Understandable.  But the Flayed Ones have more deployment options which pairs well with the Warriors.  What you want is to quite suddenly saturate the enemy with threats, not drip them in and allow the enemy to focus one down.  The Wraiths are generally better, but they have a habit of just not having enough attacks to get through enemies quite as easily as one would like.  It takes a lucky round of rends to get the job done with them.  Canoptek Wraiths are quite expensive comparatively, so all in all the Flayed ones fit a bit better.  A melee unit is always a good idea because even if it can't overpower someone, it can hold them off for a pivotal round while the true threats do their work.  The Flayed ones will tend to break their enemy or die on the correct phase more often as the goal may be than a Wraith unit will (Wraiths tend to get tied up for a while).

Timing is a big thing with this force and so I have null deployed a number of times to draw the enemy into a corner where their drop forces can't support the rest of the force and stranding them all by their lonesome there.

This list has won.  To be honest it has been far more effective than expected.  I can honestly say that in all the games it has played, none have ended in anything but convincing victory.  Some had close scores, but victory was always in sight.  I have a few Battle reports I can post below as to its efficacy against tough and not so tough lists, but overall the list has done a surprisingly good job

As for doing this as an ITC list, it's really easy to convert.  You can literally move the Monoliths into the Living Tomb and the other elements into the CAD's.  If you do, I suggest moving the Immortal points spent into a Dooms Day Ark instead.  I would have done that in this list but for theme.  However, the Dooms Day Ark does add a great deal to this list and I would recommend its inclusion in place of the Immortals as TEQ is, again, always a concern for the Necrons and multi-wound wolfstars are now a thing.  The Doomsday Ark is an impressive tool.

Thoughts are welcome!  Here is a link to a Battle Report someone else did of a game against this list:
Necron v Astra Militarum Battle Report Link