The 11th Company 40K Podcast

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Epica New Album in March WOOT

the opening track of Requiem for the Indifferent, which will be released by Nuclear Blast on March 9th (March 13th in the US

Friday, January 27, 2012

Game Play Tip: Exposing Yourself Properly

I decided not to start this article off with a Google searched, related image!

Let me put your fears aside about what this article is about and define where I am going with it. One very advanced tactic that can be useful in a game of 40K is knowing how to maximize the potential of units by knowing when to expose them to the enemy. This is a very basic concept to explain, but as with many advanced tactics, it's easy to learn and hard to master.

The idea of exposing a unit to the enemy is simply put as holding back until the right time to strike. The concept of "holding back" is where this moves from a simple tactic to an advanced tactic.

Let's start with a simple example. Suppose I have a Dreadnought in a Drop Pod with a Multi-Melta (DDM). The simple tactic for a DDM is to deep strike him next to your opponent's valuable vehicles, and destroy one. You want to deliver a crippling blow right away, one in which your opponent may not be able to easily counter.

So, the part that's critical to this game play tip is, you are exposing your Dreadnought to the enemy for the chance to destroy an important target.

What are the downsides of the DDM?

Easy. You drop in, you roll a 1 to hit, and now the enemy greases your Dreadnought and his drop pod, picking up 2 easy kill points and brushing away 140 points of your army.

But wait! There's more!

There are other downsides as well. What if your opponent doesn't have a good target for your DDM? What if you can only get into melta-range of a group of worthless rhinos? What if he bubble wraps? What if he reserves? And on and on.

Where Simple Becomes Advanced

So, very often, when someone has a simple tactical plan for attack, such as our DDM scenario, a good player will simply counter the tactic. As mentioned above, maybe he bubble wraps. Maybe he reserves. Maybe he does any number of things.

The DDM player, his tactic now being thwarted, all to often shrugs his shoulders and just drops the Dreadnought anyways. Maybe he'll get a sweet rhino kill! Maybe he'll not die on the opponent's turn and get to assault something! Who knows? The plan failed so just press on.

Sometimes, like with he DDM scenario, the trick, suicide, alpha strike is the best plan. Often, the opponent will counter thus nullifying the advantage. What if, then, instead of just throwing our Dread away, we place him and his drop pod elsewhere on the board where the opponent won't just LOLroll him on his turn?

Drop him away from the enemy? Drop him behind terrain where he can't be seen? He might not be useful right now, but later on in the game, he could become useful.


Now, rather than just tossing him away because your initial plan didn't work, you have a resource in your list you might be able to leverage. Maybe, later on in the game, you start to whittle away at your opponent's melta fire or his long range fire. Maybe, the Dread can stand behind terrain in board mid creating a threat bubble to prevent your opponent from advancing.... afterall he can't shoot you if he can't see you.

This is a simple idea, but it gets more complex. What to take away from this DDM scenario is not a better way to use a DDM but to understand the concept of WHEN and HOW to expose your units to the enemy. Above all, don't just throw them away.


There are a lot of very good 40K players out there, and many have very eccentric army and unit choices. A common mantra of many great players when questioned about some of their choices is, "they are good. People just don't know how to use them."

I've heard people defend everything from Wraithlords to Scout Bikers and beyond.

Now, once you get over yourself and realize that these guys really are very good players and not just lucky, the next logical question is, how in the heck are they making this crap work?

Does this line of thinking sound familiar?

- Dude, I'll just blow _____ of the table. It sux.
- ______ doesn't kill XXXX or YYYY and is a waste.
- My army will LOLZpew _____ away.

So, if something looks so bad on paper or to the internet arm chair general, why does someone else, often a very good, proven player, think it works?

Unit Exposure

It's easy to dismiss a threat as not credible. However, if the opposing player is actively seeing to note expose a unit to you until the time is right, things change dramatically.

Wraithlords are LOLZERZ to melta guns, right? What if the Eldar player just waits to bring the Wraithlord out until the melta guns are dead? Now, what are you going to do to stop that T8 monstrous creature?

Marbo sux because he just jumps out, maybe kills something and dies? What if your opponent places him behind terrain where he can't be seen.... but funny, close enough to maybe contest an objective next turn? Now what are you going to that you have to commit forces to see him or take him out?

See where I'm going with this?

The reason why this is an advanced tactic, although simple concept, is because the amount of tactics and thinking that has to go into not exposing the unit until the right time. Is there enough terrain? Can you leverage LoS or the movement phase well enough to make it useful later? Can you see how to eliminate key threats to the model before it comes out on Turn 3?

Hope that gets you thinking for today. The bottom line is, never throw a unit away unnecessarily and NEVER assume you will just herpADerpPEW some kind of threat away from you... especially when a player who is as smart or smarter than you is actively seeking to make sure that doesn't happen.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why Wraith-Barge Necrons Work

One thing that has really been running through my mind of late when it comes to working towards my own flavor of Necrons is...

Why are Wraith-Barge lists working so successfully? Honestly, on paper, they don't look that good! (Need evidence that they work? The UK Masters was just won by a Wraith-Barge list.)

What is a Wraith-Barge list? I've already posted one twice here even as I was trying to decide what I wanted to play, and I feel like, seeing as how many other people are using it, it's the "common" Necron list at this point. (Especially now that the whole Scarab fever seems to be done.)

A "Wraith-Barge":

Anrakyr/Overlord + Warscythe in Command Barge
Overlord + Warscythe + Command Barge

Royal Court #1:
(Optional other Teks, especially a Veiltek)
(Optional other Destructeks depending on list)

Royal Court#2:
(Optional other Teks, especially a Veiltek)
(Optional other Destructeks depending on list)


3-4 x 5 man Warrior or Immortal Squads
(Possible Night Scythe transports)

5-6 x Wraiths with some wound allocation
5-6 x Wraiths with some wound allocation
(Possible 5-6 x Wraiths OR 5-10 x Scarabs)

3 x Annihilation Barges
(Possible Spyders for a mini-scarab farm)

The core of the list combines Command Barge, Annihilation Barges, and Wraiths. These are married to some cheap troop choices which will either contribute supporting fire via attached Destructeks or Night Scythes.

Sometimes, you can build a mini-Scarab farm into the list to by dropping a Anni Barge or 2 for some Spyder Units to beef up a Scarab swarm. This is points dependent.

Why Does This Look Bad on Paper?

Yes, your eyes deceive you.

There are several reasons this list looks bad on paper. The first is a big weakness to melta weaponry.

It doubles out wraiths. It kills Barges. Barges all have 24 inch range which makes it very easy to get into melta range in 2 turns. So much so it would appear like a solid Mech Guard build should really just run this list over.

Yet, even in my play testing, the exact opposite happens. I've found that Mech Guard is actually the one getting run over. What's going on here?

It's Messing with You

This list functions exactly like this:

Step #1) Place Wraiths in a position to create a sizeable 18 inch threat bubble. Wraiths are sturdy and won't die very easily.

Step #2) Flank or position Anni Barges to get good side shots or fire support.

Step #3) Turbo Barges up to create a massive threat bubble.

Step #4) Use Solar Pulse to help ensure the enemy can't put to much fire on your Turn 1.

Step #5) Hang giant HIT ME sign on your Command Barges and Wraiths while placing your Troops in the most unassuming way possible.

Step #6) Hope your opponent reacts exactly like he would against a normal Marine army.

The overall goal is to distract your as much as possible with a credible Wraith and Command Barge threat while peppering away at you with sub-par fire support. From there, use Solar Pulse to try and mitigate return fire.

Also, reserve or give up first turn.

Lastly, specifically target the portions of the opponent's army which will be the biggest late game threat to your Troops, generally by destroying the enemy mobility or long range support.

In a nutshell...

Act exact like a Hammer list with solid Fire Support just without the expensive hammer.

The thing is, it's not a hammer list. Wraiths, although good for their points, aren't a very credible hammer. They will die in droves to concentrated fire or real hammer units.

But against Guard or more shooty oriented lists, they sure look like one. They rend. They are S6. They have a 3++. They are decently difficult to kill with shooting.

And Command Barges! How annoying these can be! Living metal combined with a rule to "heal" immobilized results. Further, it's 13 armor!

The Solution

The solution to this list is to do EXACTLY what the "on paper" tells you to do. This include not getting intimidated by the pseudo-hammer and red herrings running around.

Your melta really can take out those Wraiths. Command Barges really do die a horrible, horrible death after their sweep attack because they will now be in counter-range with Melta guns. You really can tie up and destroy Wraiths with dedicated assault units.

Close support is the key as well as a forward push.

My play testing thus far against Guard players has shown that the Guard player resorts to base instinct when faced with this list. He wants to go to corners, split his force up, or focus way to much on killing Wraiths.

Instead, the better approaches are to treat this exactly like you would fighting Space Wolves. Sacrifice a few Chimeras where you have to, counter with the heavy hand of a plethora of melta when they get close, and otherwise, remove their long range support as quickly as possible.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Building my Necron List Part 3

Thank-you for a FAQ! Best part is, the Necron FAQ is, in my opinion, one of the best first pass FAQs GW has ever released. It answers many of the burning, hot-button questions, and it does so pretty succinctly. There are still several problems, but at this point, I can now at least stamp the dex as PLAYABLE!

Because of the FAQ, many a thing has changed about my list building theories. Before I get to that, though, let's discuss some things that I think are working and why.

Also, keep in mind that the UK Masters (if you don't know what that is, that's where the top ranked 16 players in the UK battle it out each year to determine the best of the best!) was won by a Necron player this year.

At 1750, the list he used is very similar to the Night Scythe build I was talking about in the last post, but there aren't any Night Scythes in it. INSTEAD, he was using dual Destructeks in small warrior squads as his fire support..... something I couldn't do because no FAQ was present yet to allow me to do it. Now that the FAQ allows us to put 2 Crypteks in a single squad (this is a great ruling!), it's better, in my opinion.

So, here's why the list is working in my opinion and why!

Here's the short of the list @ 1750:

Anrakyr + Barge
Lord + Barge (warscythe etc.)
2 x Royal Courts with 4 destruteks each, 2 being pulseteks)

4 x 5 man warrior squads.

A couple Wraith squads, and a small Scarab Squad.

3 x Anni Barges.

The new BRB FAQ now blocks Anrakyr from using his "Mind in the Machine" ability while aboard his barge. At time this wasn't true. However, now due to this, Anrakyr has lost most of what makes him worth his points!

In play testing, prior though, Anrakyr was a beast, especially against heavier Mech Armies. What the FAQ DID DO, though, was to now confirm that you can sweep attack, jump out, mind in the machine a target, then assault a different target.

Anyways, the FAQ now allows 2 Crypteks to be in single squad. This means that 5 Man Warrior squads can now become fairly reliable fire bases with 2 S8 AP 2 shots each that, more importantly, can move and fire This is pretty decent anti-tank with 2 shots, instead of 1.

In play testing a similar list, here's how this list works.

- It creates enormous threat bubbles that distract the enemy from shooting your troop units.

The Wraiths absorb a lot of shooting as do the Command Barges. Since they can absorb so much melta and anti-tank fire, this leaves the Anni Barges largely unmolested most of the game and the anti-tank troops free to hang out in the back.

Remember that Night Fight is going for the first, critical 2 game turns. This means the Wraiths get right up on you to be a huge threat. It also means the enemy can't see troop choices to fire on them.

Thus, the list can disable your long range threats early and then play the objective games once your long range and mobility is hampered when the night fight lets up.

- It confuses target priority for most experienced players.

Most experienced players think "if I kill the hammers, the game ends." So, they want to target the Wraiths and the CCB's early.

Meanwhile, the Necron player is going to use his fire power and CCBs to surgically disable the opponent's ability to handle his troop choices and Anni barges in turns 3+, when the Night Fight ends.

I recognized this right away in play testing. As the Necron player, it just seems like the natural course of the game. However, for my opponents, I would find that they would expend an inordinate amount of energy to deal with what basically amounts to Red Herrings which would net me a close win in the end.

Experienced players are going to have to learn to do the opposite of what they "normally do" when fighting Necrons. This is a window that can be exploited by a canny Necron player.

On to the FAQ

The FAQ has opened up a new list type for Necrons that I think will work beautifully. It's going to be next shot at a list type.

The KP Denial List

Working with these FAQ answers:

- Crypteks now allow Imotekh to re-roll Night Fight. Since this is allowing a re-roll during the "start of the game turn" which is no phase in my book, they basically set the precedence now that the Chronotek will allow a re-roll pretty much whenever. :P
- Veilteks can now come on the board with deep strike instead of walking on.
- 2 Crypteks can now join squads.

Here's the core concept. Let's build a list around very sturdy blocks of troops packed with Crypteks. The core concept will be to abuse Veils to stay away from the enemy, leverage the ability to now greatly prolong Imotekh's Lightning with a Chronotek re-roll, Veils to claim/contest late game, and basically, the snag easy KPs while denying your opponent the ability to counter.

You can't kill what you can't see!

So, here's the basic strategy:

- Stay off the board.
- Teleport squads around behind LoS terrain and/or leverage Night Fight to prevent the enemy from ever getting close to spot light, assault, shoot, etc.
- Wrack up easy KPs with Imotekhs lightning.
- Otherwise use Wraiths as a Red Herring and to prevent the enemy from getting close.
- Tie Objectives/Win KPs

Imotekh (Mr. Lighting)
Zahndrekh (Because I want Obyron and still have 2 courts :P)
Obyron (Because has a pimptastic, get me out of combat veil)

Royal Court #1:
Veiltek (needed for veil)
Chronotek (of course!)
Pulsetek (want one to keep night fight going all the time)

Royal Court #2:
Veiltek (right!)
Chronotek (you'll see in a second)
Optional Pulsetek (if you have points)

That's a ton of points in to HQs! But remember, the idea will be to run away not to stand and fight.

10 x Immortals
10 x Immortals
10 x Immortals

(3, 3+ save troops to teleport around with which are hard to kill)

Fast: (options)
5 man, wound allocated Wraith Squads (great for blunting assault units or keeping the enemy at arm's length)
5 man Tomb Blades (great for dumping a ton of S6 fire and/or turbo-contesting in the late game)

The idea would be to use Wraith Squads to block, Veilteks to teleport units to safety and basically leverage Lightning + Light Shooting to wrack up easy KPs on things like vehicles.

Chronoteks get used for all kinds of trickery .... like....

- Rerolling scatter on veilteks
- Rerolling Imotekh's lightning.
- Rerolling failed saved.
- Rerolling failed RP rolls

And more.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Internet Strike

Don't really know how to make this site shut down for the strike. So, figured least I could is provide a link to the strike.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nightwish: Holy Concept Album Batman

Anyone out there a Nightwish fan and listened to Imaginaerum yet?

Now, I realize that they changed their sound a good bit in Dark Passion Play (after Tarja left), but holy crap, it's like an entirely different band on this one. Clearly, this is a concept album as the whole thing, musically, is actually very good and comes off to me like the sound track of a movie or a play.

Seriously, though, been waiting on a new album for a few years here, and uhm, wanted more Nightwish goodness or what? On top of that, I think they had lost a lot of the core fan base with the sound change in the last one. Have a feeling like anyone who was hanging on there is going to be gone after this one!

It's not bad, it's just completely different! If you are into a very well orchestrated CD which borders on neo-classical, you'll love it. If you are into some sweet Finnish symphonic metal.... gonna recommend you ignore this one.

There are just a few songs on there that are reminiscient of what one expected, but I guess like the DVD said, that era has ended?

Also, should add, if you used to like Nightwish before Tarja left.... this band is for you.

Dear Internet...

I am very thankful for the new Necron FAQ. I think this is one of the best first round FAQs GW has ever produced.

It really only left me with one very burning, unanswered group of questions:

1) Do Royal Court members who are attached to a squad count as separate Kill Points?

2) Do Royal Court members who are attached to a scoring unit themselves count as scoring, even if the entire squad save the Royal Court members is wiped out?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Building my Necron List Part 2

More thoughts and moving forward with a 'Cron list. Several new things came up over the past few days as I delved deeper into a new list which I think are worth sharing. I'll also hit ever so briefly on the troop choices.

- Imotekh and reserve.
- The Dark Eldar Problem
- The MSU Melta Problem
- The Anni Barge Problem
- Scarab Farm
- Night Scythe

Let's start with the Troop Choices:

Keeping in line with most of the GW codices, the troop choices for the Necron codex really just make you want to cry in some ways.

Seriously, why do some codices get troop choices that actually lift their own weight and others don't?

Some codices get troop choices that are actually useful outside of the transport option they have. (Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Imperial Guard, Tyranids, Orks, etc.) Unfortunately, Necrons are one of those codices where the troop choices are good for little else except their scoring and providing access to their transport.

Now, I realize there is an argument out there for putting a huge block of warriors or immortals on the field and attempting to glance someone to death. I can even one up that and say that doing this with a Veiltek is even better.

At the end of the day though, we need to understand the common baseline here that glancing something, isn't "to death". Indeed, most Grey Knight players are just rubbing their hands together in that evil, maniacal way going... "yes, believe that glancing hits will stop us!"

you are aware we have fortitude right? And that for most armies, we really don't care if you blow the gun off because we can just bum rush and kill you in assault anyways?

My fellow Necron enthusiasts. Please never forget that more Marine players don't need to shoot you to kill you. So, knocking the gun off a Razorback, unlike for most armies, doesn't eliminate it as a threat. It can still bum rush you and set up assaults which will easily kill you.

Anyways, here's what has been working for me as far as troops:

- Take small troop squads so you don't waste points on them.
- Take a Night Scythe, probably the most useful thing out of the troop choices.
- Or, take larger bricks for a unit which is very hard to kill, will be extremely stand off-ish, and score multiple objectives. Seriously consider a Veiltek here so you can teleport out of trouble.
- The Ghost Ark doesn't do anything, at least on paper. I haven't tested it yet, but it looks pretty awful. It has crap for guns. It can regenerate troops that I likely won't shoot at. It's 13 armor but no threat at all.

One last thing on troops.... DUDE CAN I GET AN FAQ? I need to know if we can put members of both royal courts in the same squad. If we can, troop choices get a LOT better. I'm having to assume we can't at this time, and it sucks.

Now, on to very brief discussions about problems I have noticed building lists....

Imotekh and Reserve

As I mentioned in the previous article, I think Imotekh has potential to do a lot of damage. (He's rocking the house if you can use him in conjunction with a Chronometron.... but alas, WE NEED AN FAQ! Did I mention that already?) Imotekh also brings Phaeron to the table which is very handy with a Veil squad which play testing has shown me are very good.

Alas, he has a fatal flaw which I think most players will learn to exploit. The best way to handle Imotekh is to give the Necron player first turn and then go into reserve. Odds are in your favor that the Night Fighting will end before you come on the board, and if not, you'll only suffer one turn of it. This completely neuters Imotekh, and for that reason, I have decided that he is probably better off not in most lists.

The Dark Eldar Problem

This army annoys me like Demons! They are stupid good versus certain kinds of lists but stupid bad against others and thus not altogether a good tournament army. Unfortunately, against Crons, they are stupid good.

The Dark Eldar problem is very simple. They have almost everything they need to completely cripple almost any Necron force. The only thing they don't have an immediate answer for is killing big blocks of Scarabs, but do they really care since they can just avoid them?

The mass of poison can easily wipe out squads to prevent Reanimation Protocols as well as kills Spyders and Wraiths. The Lance weapons giggle at Quantum Shielding. Their fast movement means they can easily stay out of your 24 inch kill zone with guns. Their ability to turbo right into your grill with Wyches means they can very easily setup assaults on you. The have night vision. Everything about Dark Eldar screws Necrons.

I'm having the hardest time trying to build a list that can even remotely compete here on paper.

The MSU Melta Problem

One big problem with Cron lists I'm trying to overcome is how do you stop a Space Wolf Razor Spam player from going, "You know what, screw this night fighting crap. I'm just going to bum rush you with my Razors, hop out when I get there, melta whip all your tanks, and assault what gets out?"

The Anni Barge Problem

Has anyone had any luck play testing these things yet? So far in my play testing, they have been very lack luster. :(

Scarab Farm

To combat a lot of problems, I've been looking at 2 lists to play test next. The Scarab Farm is one of those lists.

The Scarab Farm would seem to work best, on paper, in a more defense "hold mid" kind of fashion than a rush out and kill fashion. Back this up with Wraiths, some Veils, some Phaeron shooting blocks, and I think you got something that will work against most armies (not Deldar).

The reason is that the best defense against Scarabs is to bubble wrap and out-assault them. This won't work if you can leverage decent anti-infantry fire with Phaeron bricks against the bubble wrap and back the Scarabs up with Wraiths in assault.

You also take Imotekh here to provide you with 2 solid turns of Night Fighting plus the ability to seize. This allows you to wind up the Scarab Farm for a couple of turns as you advance.

Necron Overlord + Phaeron + Warscythe - 120

Imotekh - 225

1 x Pulsetek - 55
2 x Veiltek - 120

10 x Immortals w/ Gauss Blasters - 170
10 x Immortals w/ Gauss Blasters - 170
5 x Warriors - 65

5 x Wraiths + 2 x Coils + 1 x Caster - 200
5 x Wraiths + 2 x Coils + 1 x Caster - 200
10 x Scarabs - 150

3 x Spyders + Gloom + Claw - 175
3 x Spyders + Gloom + Claw - 175
3 x Spyders + Gloom + Claw - 175

Night Scythe

Unfortunately, this may end up being the better Necron list as it may have fewer bad match-ups. (Deldar still annihilate this but at least it matches better versus Tyranids!)

I say it's unfortunate because all you are basically going to be doing is MSU 'Crons which is what most Marine armies already do very well!

This army does have CRAZY speed though, like Deldar. As such, it makes you have some serious advantages versus Demons and Nids which otherwise really wreck most Necron builds.

I'll expand on this more as I get a chance to play test and see how it works.

Anrakyr - 165
Barge - 80

Necron Overlord + Scythe- 100
Barge - 80

2 x Pulseteks - 110
1 x Veiltek - 60
1 x Stormtek - 25

5 x Warriors + Night Scythe - 165
5 x Warriors + Night Scythe - 165
5 x Warriors + Night Scythe - 165
5 x Warriors + Night Scythe - 165

10 x Scarabs - 150
5 x Tomb Blades + Beamers - 150
5 x Tomb Blades + Beamers - 150

Anni Barge - 90
Anni Barge - 90
Anni Barge - 90

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Defensive 40K and Sisters

I'm still trying to take time off from the 40K smashing army that is the Grey Knights. Part of that is looking for a new way to play 40K. One thing I have truly realized about playing the top tier armies is that they are all very, very good at just smashing the opponent. More often than not, the easiest solution to most of their problems is to simply crush it. A great grasp of rules and tactics makes these armies go from good to great. In the few times where you can't just smash your way out of a problem, you generally have just enough tools to think your way out instead. One thing I noticed right away as I have started play testing new army ideas both on the table and off, is that I often look at a problem and go, "you know, if I had my Grey Knights right now, I would just kill those threats and there wouldn't be a problem." Alas, when you step down into the murky waters of non-top tier armies, eliminating threats isn't always an option.

This very idea has led me down a road, more like spiritual journey, towards a new play style model... new to me not to 40k of course... that I refer to as the defensive model of play. Speaking to the basics, the entire concept is to turn the power of the top tier armies against themselves by blunting their ability to just GREY KNIGHTS SMASH! their way out of a problem. If one can somehow prevent themselves from getting swatted away, you can drag them down into the murky depths of tactical play and hopefully onto a more level playing field.

If they can't break down the wall, they'll have to think of some canny way to get past it, and let's face it, Guard and GK players rarely have a reason to sharpen their skills at thinking around a problem!

I'm not really sure if walking this path will bear fruit at the end of the day, but I'm giving it the college try. A lot of this thought process came from writing that long series of articles for the RALPH project on the podcast.

One of the things that I know Guard and Grey Knights, more than Wolves really, will struggle with is a defensive style horde. When you simply don't care about the Vendettas, Manticores, Psybolt Dreads, and Melta Vet squads, that will turn the majority of power lists on their head. So, how do you go about not caring about these things?

But not just superior numbers, you need superior durability too. (See the RALPH articles).

The explanation is actually quite simple! If I have 100 models on the board, and you fire at me with a Vendetta, you will likely cause 2-3 wounds. I will get the same cover save as any other model. You will kill 1 model per Vendetta. If you have 3, firing at me for 7 turns, you'll get 21. That's a very slow return! You are hoping that I don't kill your Vendettas before then!

The reality of most top tier lists is they gear themselves to fight other top tier lists. This generally includes a healthy dose of anti-tank. Taking something from the Horde Ork play book, you know that army that everyone always says you should worry about but nobody secretly does because no one actually takes that army to a tournament, you can defeat anti-tank measures simply by not having any useful targets for them to shoot at.

We live in a good time in the meta for this. The reason is that the most effective anti-infantry armies generally fall on their faces trying to fight heavy mech armies. Thus, the meta has driven them into near obscurity on the tournament scene. Further, because Grey Knights are so adept at annihilating hammer units with Paladins, Purifiers, Death Cultists, and Psyko-broke grenades, those lists are trailing away as well. The fact is, Blood Angel terminators in a Storm Chicken actually kind of suck pretty bad now when a Psybolt Dread or 5 can take out the chicken and a pack of 10 Death Cultists backed up by a grenade battery will cut through your Terminators like a ginsu.

So, I'm going to give this concept a shot and put my money where my mouth is. (Also because the Necron codex is just frustrating me to no end because of lack of an FAQ and lack of models!!!!!)

I'm going to be play testing some Sisters of Battle list ideas along with my 'Crons. Why Sisters? Two reasons. First, because it's the army nobody plays. Second, because they can horde up pretty well with infantry which is a cross between Imperial Guard foot lists and Space Marine armor saves.

My first stab at this is going to be as follows:

7 x Death Cult Assassins

Saint Celestine

10 x Battle Sisters w/ Multi-Melta and Melta Gun and Power Weapon
10 x Battle Sisters w/ Multi-Melta and Melta Gun and Power Weapon
10 x Battle Sisters w/ Multi-Melta and Melta Gun and Power Weapon
10 x Battle Sisters w/ Multi-Melta and Melta Gun and Power Weapon
10 x Battle Sisters w/ Multi-Melta and Melta Gun and Power Weapon

10 x Dominion Squad w/ 4 x Melta Guns
10 x Dominion Squad w/ 4 x Melta Guns

10 x Retributors w/ 4 x Heavy Bolters + Simulacrum
10 x Retributors w/ 4 x Heavy Bolters + Simulacrum
10 x Retributors w/ 4 x Heavy Bolters + Simulacrum

I know, it looks crazy, and crazy bad to boot. Here's the notes, and I'll report back once I get some play testing done.

- Kyrinov is a requirement to keep my girls from running away, especially due to shooting casualties or the likes of psychic abilities like PBS or FotD. Yes, I really want little Jake for the faith reroll, but unfortunately, I only have 2 slots and right now, Saint Celestine is really just to awesome to pass up.

- Saint Celestine is the ultimate harass and contest unit in the game. Hard to pass her up.

- Dominions can scout or outflank and provide also an emergency suicide melta unit to take out things like Land Raiders.

- The small DCA is there for counter-punch only. The goal with them will be to hide behind terrain and only come out of their hole when a now fearless battle squad ties something up.

- Retributors can roll their faith before they choose a target. So, if they succeed, shoot a tank, else shoot infantry.

Remember, the idea is to overwhelm objective with bodies and in KP missions, to simply deny KP while plinking away to get my own.

I'll report back to let you know how it goes!

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.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Building my Necron List Part 1

Building my Necron List Part 1

So, I’m still in the process of building and digesting what will be my Necrons for 2012. Thus far, most Necron discussion and lists I have seen doing well have been doing so, in my opinion, due to gimmicks. What I mean by that is that the list is/was doing well most likely because the opponent had little to no knowledge about the gimmicks. This type of “bear trap”, works great when you play against people who haven’t studied your codex and thus step right into it. When you play against people who know your book as well as you, it’s a whole different ball game.

The best discussion I’ve seen thus far on building that balanced Necron list comes from “The Voice” on the 40KUK blog. Most of the thoughts he suggests I’ve independently started to arrive at myself. Further, his list idea presented there is basically the same kind that I am arriving at. So, by this, I’m stating two things. First, he has beat me to it. Second, it’s another good resource for discussion.


I should also recommend Mike Brandt's recap on the Necron codex on the Whiskey and 40K blog some time ago. This is also reflective of the thoughts I have arrived at, and he beat both Gary and I to the punch so far!


Before starting on my thoughts about how I am going to proceed, let me cover a few bases first.

- A lot of the Necron models I want to play with haven’t released yet. This is SERIOUSLY putting a damper on some more vehicle heavy lists that I want to run because of the lack of a Night Scythe. Hopefully this will get fixed soon. Second, the Wraith has also not been released yet! AAARGH! Because that’s the other unit I really, really need in order to make a list without a Night Scythe work!

- Scarabs only work because people get lucky. The fact is, people have already started figuring out that the easy button way to kill Scarabs is to bubble wrap and kill them in assault. Scarabs get a lot of attacks, but when you need 4’s followed by 5’s, each base of Scarabs only produces about 1 wound on the charge. That means every 3 bases kills a single marine. A dedicated CC unit, usually swinging first, will destroy scarabs.

The other big deal is the terrible need for an FAQ for Necrons. For the record, here’s how I am assuming the rules will be FAQ’ed.

- You will not be allowed to put 2 members of 2 different courts into the same squad. The word “the” in the “the royal court” is intended to mean the entire court, as in both units. I’m 95% sure this will be faq’ed this way otherwise we have the first codex EVER that allows two sergeants in the same squad. If it doesn’t get faq’ed this way, that’s great too as it will give me more options, but I really think it will.

- I expect the chronometron will not be allowed to be used for Imotekh’s night fight. I think this is RaW already as the start of game turn is not a phase, but I digress.

- I actually do not think Writhing Worldscape will stack with Orikan or Tremor Staves. I hope it does! However, I don’t think it will.

So, using that as a basis, let’s move on!


First off, right away, I think Anraykyr in a command barge has got to be one of the best choices out of the slot. I was laughing about him the other day as he is the only unit in 40K that has a chance, albeit ridiculously small, of destroying an entire parking lot, single-handedly, in a single game turn. The short is, he has a GREAT shot at killing 3 tanks in a single turn by doing the following:

- Command Barge Sweep Attack across one vehicle with S7 + 2d6 penetration on the rear armor, hitting on a 4+. He hops out.

- Controls a vehicle during his shooting phase to shoot and destroy another vehicle, highly likely in the rear armor with no cover because you will properly select the right firer.

- Assaults into another vehicle and destroy it with S8 + 2d6 armor penetration on the rear.

However, when I make a movie about Anraykyr and all his awesomeness, here’s what will happen:

- Anraykyr flies over a Vendetta and sweeps it to death, hopping out.

- He snags a Manticore and fires it off into the midst of a IG Chimera parking lot, getting 3 shots that scatter, hitting Chimeras on side armor, rolling 2d6 take the highest armor pen, and exploding, tossing Guardsmen everywhere who break and run.

- Anraykyr assaults the Manticore destroying it.

Anraykyr single-handedly destroy the entire Guard army. Flawless victory!

More seriously, the command barge, at least on paper, looks like one of the best units in the dex. Not only did they give you an easy button way to kill tanks, you can even snipe models like Sanguinary Priests or Power Fists, out of a unit. (Or Melta Guns which is important to protect all those 13 armor vehicles!)

What I really want to do in a lot of lists is run Anraykyr in a barge followed up by “Red”, his Necron Overlord buddy in his own barge with warscythe.

However, Imotekh may end up being a better choice. At first, I wasn’t a big fan of Imotekh, but the concept of him has started to grow on me. I’m not saying at this point I will or will not drop “Red”, but play testing will tell. The thing about Imotekh is the lightning. I, more than anyone, know what having to roll “6”’s means. I also know that in the mech heavy environment of 40K, most mech armies bring around 10+ vehicles. This basically means that the lighting attack will hit at least one vehicle a turn with a good chance at 2. Since you won’t get a cover save against it, and it is on side armor, this is a very compelling reason to take him. Since Imotekh can also be hidden, he’s basically like having an unstoppable Long Fang pack that ignores cover in your army. Yes, 225 is a bit much, but not if he snags 4-6 vehicles in a game. The other thing is that it’s roll of the dice. What about the one game where you go totally WILD, roll a bunch of 6’s, and destroy your opponents most important vehicles like Vendettas or Manticores on Turn 1?

The thing about Imotekh is you can’t STOP IT. That’s why this idea is so very compelling. You can’t shut it down. You can’t deflect it or blow it off. The best you can do is smoke your tanks for a turn. Lastly, Imotekh will have a very fancy hole to hide in with Anraykyrs super duper special immortals.

I’m going to have to play test with Imotekh to see if I like him.

To wrap up, I need to discuss the royal court. This one is actually pretty easy:

- You are required to take 2 crypteks with Solar Pulse.

Don’t think about using your pulse at the start of the game, especially if you took Imotekh. Think about using them at the 5th or 6th turn, while you are holding objectives or barely winning on KPs, and now, your opponent can’t see you to do anything about it. Then, think about combo’ing it with this:

- Take 2 crypteks with Veil of Darkness.

I really think any list I take will consist of this. The Veil is just stupid useful for contesting, getting out of trouble, claiming, etc. Without a Night Scythe to work with, this is what you get for mobility.

The only issue now that I am having is running out of points! No matter which route I go, I sink a full third of my army into the HQ slot. Right now, though, this is what I am thinking:

Anraykyr – 165
Command Barge – 80

“Red” – 90
Warscythe – 10
Command Barge – 80

2 x Pulseteks (crypteks with solar pulse) – 110

2 x Veilteks (crypteks with veil of darkness) – 120

Total: 655



Anraykyr – 165
Command Barge – 80

Imotekh – 225

2 x Pulseteks (crypteks with solar pulse) – 110

2 x Veilteks (crypteks with veil of darkness) – 120

Total: 700

More thoughts to come in another article!