Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Necrons: Horrors from the deep

So you wanna' play in shooting dominated Warhammer 40K with a melee oriented force, but you don't know where the frakk to start.  

We've all seen the horrors of a landscape blackened by the shadows of Night Scythes and all have wondered not if but when the end would come.  Your sole consolation?  At least they aren't Dark Eldar raiding parties...right?  Famous last words!

Even the most horrified escapee of the tender Dark Eldar mercies would tell you that the idea of a million nanobots infiltrating your skin and animating your body to do things while you watch far exceeds the horrors even the Dark City can visit upon one.  And such a victim would surely recall with absolute blathering insane laughter how he wanted to sleep but never could...  he would speak of the madness that ensues for those who never sleep again yet are doomed to live fully aware.  Nay.  It is the Flayed Ones who truly embody the full cruelty of the star Empire the Necrons gave up so long ago.

It is fitting perhaps that we should wish to explore melee oriented Necrons and be starting with Flayed ones.

Why?  Well lets put 6E melee in perspective:  the key to making it work is unit strength and reducing the time between when you're enemy has you in its sites and when you can launch the offensive.  More and more, infiltrating is proving a valuable tool to bring arms to bear.  Uniquely the Flayed ones can operate forward and pounce on a flank very quickly.

First off, Flayed ones get a whopping 3 base attacks.  That, friends, is the most of any basic infantry type troops.  Their 4+ saves and Reanimation protocols make them a very tough nut to crack in the time you have to try.  This makes up, somewhat, for the fact that they are like most Necrons, I2.  But they are very inexpensive compared to many other mainline troops with comparable attacks.  Now the reason why these intrigue me is that they can infiltrate and be charging in turn 1 if I choose to go second; and they can outflank if I go first.  That's great tactical flexibility.  As there are invariably better targets to fire at than engorged packs of Flayed Ones if you want First Blood, they force a real priority problem for enemies.  On one hand, the enemy sorely wants to end the Flayed ones parked right in their flank, knowing they cant really move forward safely until the Flayed once are gone.  On the other hand, more serious threats are moving and running forward even as the enemy ponders this problem and it wont be long now before the horde of fairly hearty Necrons are in striking distance.  The Flayed ones are the pincers, keeping the enemy where they are while the rest of the force can approach and bring the pain.  It limits the effective range of the enemy somewhat because if unable to move forward safely, with many weapons being 24", that gives the Necrons a round of lesser fire into their numbers for a round unless they just throw caution to the wind.

I am taking two units of 17 because I need bulk to make this work realistically.  Attrition will happen but if I can hold the bookends up for long enough and maybe even get some lucky breaks at the right time It will go a long way to freeing the rest of the army up to form an impenetrable blockade against enemy intrusion of my side of the board.  And objectives are hard to get to once mired int an endless sea of chittering nanobots.

As we are trying to go melee themed here, the meanest close combat monsters are probably the Canoptek Spiders.  Monstrous Creatures that tear tanks and people apart like spongecake sounds good, and they don't go down so easily.  You can equip them with a fairly good ranged weapon, although it is awfully expensive as such things go and is a blast weapon, which means no overwatch can be done with it.  Still, it allows them to affect the battle as they approach behind Scarabs.

The Spyders will feed the Canoptek Scarabs.  Though FAQ's and common sense have tamed them, they are still one of the most terrifying armor killers in the game and with a ton of wounds, it takes higher powered weaponry to mill through them.  However, they have no fear of the milling because for one, the Canoptek Spyders can reinforce the unit quite quickly, and secondly. Nemesor Zhandrek can make even the innocuous little scarabs into actually respectable assault units.  They can be given furious charge on their turn using his Adaptive Tactics rule and steal the Space Wold Counter=Attack ability as they come in using the Nemesors Counter Tactics special rule.  That's just one example he allows (albeit at a stiff premium).  All this combines to make for a very bad day.

We need First blood and we need mobility.  We get that through outflanking, infiltrating and through the beast movement of the Scarab swarms.  But we need the insurance later in the game that we won't get caught in our own mire.  So i recommend at least one Night Scythe for a late game troop drop in a nice safe place.  For First Blood, there isn't much better to try it with than Destrukteks.  their mobile lances allow you to skirt the action at maximum distance, ensconced in a Warrior Squad while blasting the Rhinos and various and sundry metal threats.  5 Lances per round will do a lot of damage ot preferred targets and can pot shot the big boys like Wraithknights from 5 separated platforms.

So we have melee, we have objective stealing power, we have a small bit of anti-air, we have speed, we have anti-TEQ and MEQ, and we have the element of surprise.  What more can a general ask for?

Nearly this entire force is two fisted to the very end.  

221pts  17  Flayed Ones

221pts   17 Flayed Ones

175  3 Canoptek Spyders (1 x TL Particle Beamer)

175  3 Canoptek Spyders (1 x TL Particle Beamer)

175  3 Canoptek Spyders (1 x TL Particle Beamer)

120pts  8 scarabs

120pts  8 scarabs

65pts  5 Warriors
65pts  5 Warriors
65pts  5 Warriors
65pts  5 Warriors
65pts  5 Warriors  

185pts  Nemesor Zhandrek
175pts  5 Destrukteks  =1925
100pts  Night Scythe

Thoughts?  Tweaks?

14 comments:

  1. I would add a squad of 3 H.Destroyers for one squad of Spyders only because long range high powered shot and its jump infantry takes down big units really well the destrukteks are strong but gauss makes it easier to hit them hard in terms of vehicles zahndrekh is also rather vulnerable alone maybe cut a few warriors for obyron cannot recommend him more his ghostwalk mantle is invaluable and you still keep the second hq slot if zahndrekh is in the list

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    1. almost forgot to say put obyron with the flayed one's by ghost walk mantling to them it makes the flayed ones much more scary if they have a total powerhouse leading the charge

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    2. over all a good build though necrons are built for this kind of fighting style or atleast they can tolerate this style very well

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  2. I can see the value in a heavy Destroyer Unit, although I have to admit that paying so much for 3 shots, that in all likelihood will be taken out early hurts a little when you consider the antitank potential inherent in the current list. But i think the idea has merit because there well may be some Whirlwinds or a similar problem that could make the swarms very sad if you dont end them early and it IS good for first blood. My hesitation is in over valuing the kills on the scarabs because, after all, the three spyders you gave up could easily replenish many of the wounds lost to such weapons. So it is a bit of a conundrum there.

    Obyron is not a small points commitment and the second HQ slot isn't really useful here. The Ghostwalk ability is probably a really valid point. I will ponder whether those points are worth what must be given up. I feel as if Obyron would really tilt the list as far as what direction it has to go in. The Night Scythe is the only really expendable item, but then as I have seen in my other games with Necrons, you really do run the risk of not being able to reach your objective just by the enemy tying you up with the wrong unit. that mobility later in the game is fairly critical. Nonetheless, i will ponder this. It's an interesting idea for sure.

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    1. I will be play testing this list of yours with the modifications I put forward against a nid army soon I can see how well the game goes and let you know this will be inflated though since its an apoc game.

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  3. Excellent, please give us details on how it performs. I am eager to see how you do.

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  4. Destroyers are ok but over priced for what they do on the other hand Tomb Blades are 100 points for five and come in telsa and gauss variety for all your tank hunting or anti- infantry needs.
    I also think you've missed one of the best CC units available to necrons; the royal court. I run two overlords, five lords, a harbinger of despair and harbringer of the storm all fully upgraded in one unit. With this I can deep strike all over the place and on the charge I have 21 power weapon hits with the warscythe perks and D6 automatic hits from the lightning field. 2+/3++ and4+ regeneration (with D3 wounds the first time) not to mention the tachyon arrow, thing labyrinth and all the other good stuff I can't remember. This unit can take on anything from T7+ monsters, any HQ unit you care to challenge, dedicated CC units, hoards or even tanks.

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    1. It's Nevzara from dakkadakka btw

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  5. Nevzara, welcome. Feel free to join the blog and follow it.

    You're not wrong about the close combat ability of the Court and i don't think I am underplaying that in this blog at all. The trouble with the unit is delivering it. deathstars get their due attention from a canny foe and having NO super units makes prioritizing a lot tougher (though having them doesn't necessarily help the enemy either, obviously).

    I do like the idea of the court as an assault unit. It forces you to use a Ghost ark to get really the best mileage out of it, as Deep Striking is no sure bet to end in the range and line of sight you want to (both defensively AND offensively). So the points don't come easy if you're going to do that!

    A pair of courts would be the way *I* personally would go if i wanted to use that as my hammers in the list. It means the enemy cannot exclusively pick on just one and expect to stop the hurt from coming. it is the same reason you usually will take two outflankers: gotta' make sure they hit where needed. The insurance is worth the cost.

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    1. You're right its a risky unit with 1000+ points in a group but it suits my herohammer style so I don't mind. The number of times I've lost the whole unit to a horrible deep strike mishap.. Actually it doesn't happen much but when it does I'm tabbled by turn two. However when they make it to anything at all it eats them alive which is fun. They take so much damage too so all the less pressure on my more squishy units. Its not the greatest tactic I'll admit but it's fun and works wonders against the unprepared.

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    2. Primarily a Necron player then?

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    3. Primarily a Necron player then?

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    4. Yeah but looking for a new army, would you please do a codex review on the new Tyranids?

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