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Monday, January 9, 2012

Necron Playtesting Breakdown #1

I'm going to be writing articles about my list choices as I go forward and probably doing a segment on it. Here's the first article which is a pretty good read on my thoughts going into play testing.

So, I got 2 games in this weekend with Crons. One was against an elite BA jump army that Pat was trying out. The other was against Steve who went all out with his Guard and built an extremely nasty Mech Guard list which was basically melta vet spam with trip manticores and trip vendettas.

Here was my list:

Anraykyr + Command Barge

2 x Pulseteks
2 x Veilteks

10 x Eternals (Immortals)
9 x Immortals
5 x Warriors
5 x Warriors

5 x Wraiths + 2 x Whip Coils
5 x Wraiths + 2 x Whip Coils
8 x Scarabs

3 x Spyders
Anni Barge
Anni Barge

Here's what I got so far:

1) Imotekh easily paid for himself in both games with his Lightning Strikes before the night fight let up. As I predicted so far, the lightning ability does a lot of damage to mech. It wasn't very useful in the game versus a DoA list of course. However, the Phaeron ability on top of that to make my immortal units be able to fire at full distance was useful, and in both games, Imotekh actually bailed my immortals out of a couple of fist fights they got into. Granted, Imotekh can barely fight his way out of a wet paper bag, but the extra wounds helps. You aren't going to get your immortals stuck in a position against a dedicated assault unit anyways.

So far, Imotekh has been paying off. He has been a good buy. Also, due to command barge performance thus far, he probably will still be a better buy than another command barge.

Here's a rules question:

Does imotekh have to be on the board for the lightning strikes to go off? Nothing in the rules says anything about his presence being required and actually seems to imply the opposite.

2) Anraykyr did very little in both games. Not his fault in the IG game because I had to reserve him because Steve got first turn, and he didn't come on the board till turn 4. Had he come on Turn 2 or even Turn 3, his potential to snag a manticore and do some big time damage was high. By the time he finally did show, it was too late.

Anyways, the command barge is a lot harder to use than it looks on paper. The reason is that it's actually pretty hard, even with a 24 inch move, to be able to move over a unit and have enough movement left to land some place that is 1 inch away. Furthermore, you will almost invariably take a few melta guns to face because you are now so close. This makes you want to hang it back and use it surgically, but in doing so, you are missing valuable turns of potential sweeps to pick out units.

Overall, not enough data on Anraykyr in barge to make my mind up. He was lack luster in both games, but a large part of that was dice fail. I will have to keep playtesting.

I do know that although Anraykyr was my top choice for HQ, if he ends up not being that good, I will take Zahndrekh next most likely.

Rules question:

Can I sweep a unit that is engaged in an assault? Nothing seems to imply that you can't.

3) Shooting from Troop Choices was as bad as it appears on paper. Many times, I couldn't even get effective range or did no shooting at all.

What was surprisingly bad was my decision to put my two pulseteks into my 2 warrior squads. In both games, my warriors were so busy cowering to try not to die, the pulsetek was barely useful.

I really, really hope we can put 2 court members in a single squad. That would help me make my Crypteks very much more useful.

If a unit runs off the board due to shooting casualties, but the cryptek had already dropped due to shooting, does he get to stand back up?

4) Scarabs, in the not crazy aggressive way I was running them are awesome. They are much, much better in this role than as an assault role. Wraiths are also very good so far.

5) Annihilation Barges did very little in both games. I've very disappointed here because they look so good on paper. Although my anni barges did help me win the game against Pat with some late game shooting, this was only because I had worked so hard to kill Priests so they would do something. Also, because they are such a non-threat, nobody even tries to kill them.

My next test game, I will be dropping both barges and adding another 3 tomb spyders with gloom.

6) Veil of darkness is even better than it is on paper. This ability is what put me in contention for both games.

7) My list was extremely terrain dependent in my game versus Steve. Had terrain not been in NoVA format for that game, he would have easily blown me off the table. No sweat. I was absolutely reliant on LoS blocking and area terrain to function.

This makes me very nervous about the 'Crons. So long as I take them to events that have enough terrain, they are fine. If I go to an event with little LoS blocking terrain, which is so very common at FLGS events, IG will blow me off the table. If IG can do it, then so can GKs.

8) Necrons are leaps and bounds harder to play than GKs. Having spent last year playing GKs, in both of these games there were several scenarios where looking at it I was like, "if I had my GKs right now, this would be easy." GKs can handily eliminate threats. Necrons have to use shenanigans to avoid them. This also tells me that if 'Crons struggle where GKs don't, that also by almost default means that IG and Wolves are going to be better too.

9) Stun locking won't win you a game against a heavy mech opponent.

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