I hope that some of these tactics will prove useful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Anti-Vehicular Options

I haven't been able to get many games in this past week thanks to some combination of school and Skyrim, but I have been reading a few forums and a lot of people are trying to figure out the best strategies for Necron anti-tank.

Here's the reality: We got lots of new toys with the redesign, and some of them are very good at killing tanks. Tachyon arrow is very powerful against a single target, Eldritch Lance Crypteks can be good when massed in a Ghost Ark, etc. However, everything we have that looks like a traditionally solid anti-tank unit comes with a serious drawback. Crypteks are vulnerable when not part of another squad (which reduces their anti-tank power), Tachyon arrow only has one use, Heavy Destroyers are still expensive and now share a squad with regular Destroyers.

When it really comes down to the wire, Necrons still aren't great at wrecking enemy vehicles. Seasoned Necron players, however, know that killing a vehicle is actually only very rarely necessary. All we really need is tank suppression.

What does tank suppression mean? Instead of destroying a vehicle, just stop it from doing its job on a particular turn. Keep that transport full of a mean assault squad from hitting your lines this turn. Prevent that Vindicator from shooting it's cannon this turn. And Necrons are still the masters of this.

With the advent of Tesla and Particle weapons, Necrons can't rely on Gauss to handle all of their suppression like they used to. In reasonably pointed games, there isn't enough Gauss in my armies to handle lots of vehicles. However, sticking one of the aforementioned Crypteks in a Warrior unit adds a lot of power to that squad, making its suppression much more effective. Next time I'll go into more detail about specific units and how best to suppress vehicles with them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


So I know I'm a bit late, but I finally got to pick up the Necron codex last night. I've only briefly looked over the rules as of yet, but I do have a few thoughts so far:

I love the fact that we now have truly useful troops. I was very much a warrior hater before the new 'dex, but with a 5 pt cost reduction and 1 less armor save, I find them much more reasonable. The ability to grab a Ghost Ark and regenerate models also helps significantly. I'm expecting to run a LOT more of these guys in the future.

I'm still not quite sure how I feel about the new Immortals. Yes, they're a lot cheaper and have the same power on their gun (though they downgraded from Assault 2 to Rapid Fire), but I feel like their role in the old codex wasn't really replaced. I loved Immortals because even for Necrons, they were extremely hard to put off the table and had very strong shooting at the same time. The new Immortals have less shooting power (at mid range, anyway) and lower durability. Which is fine when coupled with the points reduction, but I would've liked to see a new shooty infantry unit with T5.

As for the Lychguard/Praetorians, I'm both disappointed and hopeful. Disappointed because having I2 and costing 40+ points per model means very few people are going to see them as a viable CC unit for the time being. I'm hopeful because I have a feeling that in 6th Ed, Initiative won't play as crucial a role in combat resolution. Important, yes, but not unit-breaking like it is now.

Anyhow, that's a few of the units that really stuck out to me on my first pass. I'll be reading a lot more today and hopefully getting some games in over the course of this week. Expect another post soon!

Monday, October 24, 2011

We Rise Again!

It's finally happening! The Necrons are being updated!

With that piece of news in mind, I've decided to reboot my discussions here to accommodate the new rules. So come November, expect to see more tactics and unit rundowns in this spot!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Core Concept: Target Priority

I know my posts have been getting less and less regular, but this month is kinda a crazy one for me, things should settle down once summer starts.

This time around, I'd like to throw some stuff out there for the people just getting into the hobby. This won't be specifically about Necrons or any other one army, but rather I'd like to talk about a core concept of 40k: Target Priority.

Target Priority is the understanding of what is worthy of your attention (and actions!) on the battlefield. This covers everything from what you shoot at, what you're moving towards, what you try to assault, to what your overall goal is for this game.

We'll start with the small scale stuff. When it comes right down to it, your army consists of several units and vehicles while your opponent has a different set of units and vehicles. Think honestly about the last few games you've played. Think about which targets you chose to shoot at, which ones you avoided. Why did you make those decisions? The truth is, we all have a sort of "list" that we mentally go through to determine what each of our units need to do for the turn. For example, I tend to move my Necron Warriors (troops choices) towards objectives around turn 4, often choosing to run rather than shoot. Why? Because I've determined that, for my Warriors, it's extremely important for them to be near objectives at the end of the game rather than just blindly shooting at targets.

This may sound really obvious when put like that, but consider another example: It's turn 4, and I've only got one Warrior squad left. They're about 12" away from an objective, but there's also an enemy unit (non-scoring) there, and the objective is in difficult terrain, so I may not get my full 6" in the movement phase. So here's the question: do I run my Warriors to the objective, trusting my other units to bring down the contester in case the game ends on turn 5? Or do I choose to let the Warriors shoot, even though they might fall just short of the objective when the game ends?

The answer depends on much more context than I care to come up with at the moment, including the positioning of my units, other objectives, etc. However, this is what Target Priority is all about: trying to determine the best "target" for your unit to go after.

For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to talk about kill point games from here on: Objectives tend to make Target Priority very murky, and I don't want to get into that just yet. When the only goal is to kill more enemy units than your opponent kills of yours, my priority tends to shift mostly towards survival. I guess it's part of being a Necron player, but I always would rather keep one of my squads alive than kill an enemy squad. So when I'm thinking about what my units should do, it's not only that unit's survival I'm concerned about, but also any squad that could be protected by them. Necron Immortals make an excellent example of this. For the most part, I'm not really concerned about the survival of Immortals, but they can put out a lot of firepower, and that can help considerably in keeping a Warrior squad, which is much more fragile, from being knocked off the table.

So with that in mind, you'd probably assume that my first target would be an assault marine squad bearing down on me headlong from across the table. It's clear that they're gonna get to my lines before anything else, so I should shoot at them to keep them away and protect myself, right?

Not necessarily. I try to look beyond immediate threats, and also look at the ones that are slower coming, but far more dangerous. For example, what if, behind those Assault Marines, there was a Furioso Dreadnought hoofing it across the table? It's significantly slower than the Marines, but far more dangerous. In this scenario, I'd probably focus on at least disabling the dreadnought first. Then, if that danger is neutralized, I'll pay attention to the Assault troopers.

Another thing to consider here is what units I have available. Obviously, some of my models are better suited to certain tasks than others: Heavy destroyers are more likely to eliminate the Dreadnought threat than the Marine threat, for example. However, for the Necrons, everything in my army can, to some extent, affect either unit. This is where order of shooting can really come into play. Because I see the Dreadnought as the bigger threat, and my Heavy Destroyers are the best way to deal with it, I'll use them against it first. If they succeed in eliminating the threat, then it leaves the rest of my army available to deal with the next target on the list. If they fail, then I need to proceed down the line of units that can damage it realistically.

Next time you play a game of 40k, analyze what you're doing. Try to figure out what your target priority is, and how you can improve it. After you've figured yourself out, a different tactic is trying to figure out what your opponent's priority is. If you can figure this out even half-way through the game, you'll be able to effectively predict his movements, allowing you to counter him before he even acts. Try it!

Friday, April 2, 2010


Sorry this post's a bit late, the week's been a bit crazy for me.

Annihilation is a pretty straight-forward game type, and it's tactics are also fairly simple, so this'll probably be a short one.

The obvious thing to say is: focus fire targets. Don't leave squads half-dead, cuz they're not worth kill points. Glad we got that over with.

Here's my advice when it comes to Kill Point games - follow the natural flow of the battle. The kill points will come if you focus on taking out high priority threats rather than focusing entirely on the weak links of the enemy army. Have to decide between shooting 2 Marine models who are just barely hanging in there or softening up the assault squad that's about to hit your ranks? Go for the assault squad. Whatever you do, don't put yourself in a position where you're getting one kill point, only to give one back to your opponent - you WILL lose that way.

I always harp on the Necron strong-suit being durability...well this is where that comes into play more than in any other game type. Keep your squads alive, and they'll kill things. You might only get 2-3 kill points, but if you do it right, they'll be just a couple behind you.

If you have things like the Monolith or Veil of Darkness, it's even easier to play the denial game. Got a squad of warrior's that's down to 3 members? Turn your monolith around, and teleport them so that nothing can see them. Let them hide in some bushes somewhere, and keep going.

I keep looking over this, trying to find something to add, but that's really it. Sorry it's so short, but I did say at the beginning that Annihilation is pretty straight-forward, nothing fancy about it.

Starting next week, I'm gonna take a break from the 'Crons and talk about 40k strategy in general...the kind of stuff that they should have included in the manual in a tips & tricks section, but didn't. It'll seem fairly basic to many, but it's good to lay some ground work for the newer players out there. I think I'll be starting with Target Priority.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Team Tournament Results!

I know that everyone has been waiting breathlessly for me to post the results of the team tournament I mentioned earlier, so I'll discuss how it went down for this week's topic.

Spoiler Alert: We didn't win.

I ended up using a simple list of a Lord with Gaze of Flame and Veil of Darkness, 10 Warriors, 8 Destroyers, and a Monolith. My partner switched over to Tyranids at the last minute, using a Flyrant, 3 Zoanthropes (each one taking a seperate slot to increase durability and allow shots to different targets), and two squads of 14 Genestealers + Broodlords.

Our first match was against Vanilla Marines and Tau. The Marine player had a Predator (autocannon turret), two tac squads with lascannons, flamers, powerfists, and razorbacks, a landspeeder with a Multi-Melta, a Vindicator, and a Librarian on a bike. The Tau guy was using a Shas'el (cheaper HQ, only BS4) with Plasma Rifle and Missile Pod, two squads of 2 Crisis Suits with the same weapons, two squads of Fire Warriors, a squad of Pathfinders, and 2 Broadsides. The mission was essentially Dawn of War with Seize Ground, but the 3 objectives were all in a line across the center of the board, and one of them required a scoring unit from both team-members to be near it. Ultimately, I got extremely terrible reserve rolls (my Monolith waited until turn 4 to come in, and the Vindicator killed it on its first shot), so my Destroyers were too busy putting out fires in the form of rushing Razorbacks and keeping the Vindicator from firing to be of much real use to my partner. The game was finally decided when two marines passed their Morale test and stayed on the one objective our opponents were controlling, while we had none. He needed a 9, and rolled the 9 exactly. Oh well.

Second game was against two Black Templar players, and I don't know that army well enough to give much specifics...I know there were three Tac Squads (one with an Emperor's Champion), two Assault Squads (one had a chaplain), and a Terminator Squad. I had a complete brain fart at the beginning of the game and moved my Destroyers too close to the Rhinos with Tacs in them, thinking that "Rhino's aren't assault vehicles, so I'll be fine." Silly me, forgetting that you can still assault if the vehicle doesn't move before you disembark. However, we still came out on top, because he couldn't get his squads into cover quickly enough to avoid severe casualties from my Monolith's AP3 Ordnance...I was killing 5-7 marines per turn with that awesome gun. The Flyrant used Deep Strike to hold the enemy objective (wierd quirck about the scenario: each player could assign one non-vehicle unit to count as scoring), while my Monolith contested the second. A sound victory for us!

Third game was completely retarded. I knew going in that our biggest weakness was probably going to be Dreadnoughts, because they could usually outrange the Zoey's with S8 or better weapons, and Stealers have a very hard time against walkers in assault. It was almost as if our opponents tailored their list to deal with one like ours: Dark Angels (Belial, 3 Deathwing Terminator squads, and an outflanking Scout squad) and Vanilla Marines (Master of the Forge, 10-man Tactical Squad with a Meltagun in a drop pod, Dreadnought with Multi-Melta and Missile Launcher in a drop pod, and THREE Ironclad Dreadnoughts in drop pods). Since the game was based on which player on the team got the least kill points, we were at a marked disadvantage...it was bordering on impossible for my Nid ally to go net-positive on kill points with her fragile squads, and I only did remotely well getting them because I had a lord running around targetting drop pods with his Warscythe. The numbers were close, but the game surely was not - all the Nids had left on the board when the game ended were two Stealer squads that were broken and had no chance to rally, and all we had to show for it was two dead Terminator squads, Belial's death, and one of the Ironclads destroyed (and a drop pod or two, but those hardly affect the game).

Though we did not win the tournament, that is not to say that we did not win a prize! My teammate is absolutely amazing with a paint brush and does awesome conversion work, so between that, the awesome display boards she made for us, the green-glowing Monolith that she created for me, and a distinct lack of completely painted opponents, we were able to take home the prize of best paint job! If I was able to get a hold of a decent camera, I'd post pictures of our armies and the trophy, but alas, such is the life of a college student.

Anyhow, I've been putting it off because it's fairly simple, but next week I'll be talking about Annihilation's do's and don't's.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Necrons: Capture and Control

So next in our lineup for missions is what I like to call the Drawmaster: Capture and Control. I say this because there are only two objectives for this mission, one in each deployment zone. Basically, I have my objective and will defend it with everything I've got, and you've got your objective and will probably do the same. However, Necrons do have a few tricks that can steal a win in this sort of game.

The most obvious tactic is to try just shooting your opponent off of their own objective. It's not terribly sophisticated, but hey, he can't control his objective if he doesn't have any troops, right? The problem with this is that it'll put your opponent into draw-seeking mode, where he'll rush forward with his non-troops (vehicles are particularly effective in this against Necrons) so that he can contest your objective. As I said before, it's very hard for Necrons to stop enemy vehicles from doing this unless you're packing a Lord with a Warscythe or, even better, the Deceiver. If he wants to sit that Land Raider on the objective, that's fine. It means that we don't need to roll to hit in close combat with it.

If you're bringing a Monolith along for the ride, take an especially long look at your opponent's list. If he doesn't have anything that can actually destroy it, in close combat or otherwise (Eldar lists without a Wraithlord or Wraithguard are prime examples of this), this battle could become really easy for you. So easy, in fact, that only one objective will ever need to be focused on. Deep Strike your Monolith near the enemy's objective, and steadily move towards it until you're standing on it. If he can't destroy it outright, there's no way for him to get it off of there, so he'll need to focus all of his efforts on getting your objective. You can plan for this before the game even starts, but your opponent may not, leaving several units awkwardly out of position. If things get too rough on your side of the board, try to move your Warriors close enough to teleport to that Monolith and steal his objective right from under his nose.

Naturally, you'll also need to worry about your opponent going after Phase Out, but that's essentially the same as in Seize Ground, so I won't go over the details (read my last post).

Sorry this is a bit short, but there's really not a whole lot to say that's unique about Capture and Control (it's also my least favorite game type). Many of the strategies from Seize Ground still apply, so look over those again but apply them to the two-objective scenario instead of 3-5.

Next week, rather than going over Kill Points, I'll give you guys a rundown of the team-tournament I'll be going to on Saturday. It's 1000 points per player, with 1 HQ and 1 Troop minimums and each team shares a FOC. I'll be using my Necrons with an Eldar player who likes her jetbikes. Just because the idea of having 2 T8 monsters on the board at once seems fairly nasty, she'll be bringing one Wraithlord along for the ride. My list will probably be as follows:

10 Necron Warriors
10 Necron Immortals

Simple, but has the potential to be brutally effective when combined with some Jetbike scoring units and other vehicular support. I'll let you all know how it goes next week!