Today is a clash between ancient enemies. I field my Craftworld Eldar vs.the Necrons! By Conor Lobb
My friend Mike is our local Necron wizard, and he ran a very wacky list. It is a good example of some of the off the wall things you will encounter in the first few rounds of a tournament.
- Here is his list:
- Novokh Vanguard
- Overlord with Void Scythe
- 5x Flayed Ones
- 5x Flayed Ones
- 9x Lychguard Hyperphase Swords and Dispersion Shields
- Novokh Supreme Command
- Catacomb Command Barge (Warlord: Implacable Conqueror [Tesla Cannon, Voidblade] Free Relic: Lightning Field
- Cryptek: Canoptek, Staff of Light
- Lord: Warscythe( -1 CP Veil of Darkness)
- C’tan Shard of Deceiver
- Seraptek Heavy Construct: Two Singularity Generators
- Here is my list:
- Biel-Tan Battalion
- Spiritseer (Warlord: Seer of the Shifting Vector)
- Warlock (Free Relic: Spirit Stone of Anath’alan
- 20 Guardian Defenders 2 Shuriken Cannons
- 20 Guardian Defenders 2 Shuriken Cannons
- 8 Storm Guardians
- 8 Howling Banshees (Exarch with Executioner)
- 8 Shining Spears (Exarch with Star Lance)
- Alaitoc Battalion
- Maugan Ra
- Avatar of Khaine
- 3×5 Rangers
- 8 Dark Reapers (Exarch with Tempest Launcher)
- Wave Serpent (Twin Shuriken Cannon, Shuriken Catapult)
Tips and Tricks
Recently, I’ve gotten really into playing pure Craftworld. This is definitely a list I would bring to a tournament, especially With Psychic Awakening on the horizon and all the amazing previews from GW. I am excited for a future involving an army with mostly Craftworld Components. I am preparing for the Crozius GT on November 9, and it’s looking like all the Psychic Awakening releases will be fair game for that tournament, so I am beyond pumped. Let’s get into some of the tricks and strategies this list provides.
My first battalion is Biel-Tan for a couple of reasons. First, I have very reliable psychic powers between my Warlord trait and free relic providing rerolls on my Runes of Battle Powers (Quicken and Jinx) while my Farseer gets his Ghosthelm reroll (Guide and Doom.) It also provides the Guardians and Shining Spears a nice buff, giving them reroll ones to hit with their Shuriken Catapults. This lets me use my Farseer to cast Guide on my Dark Reapers, or go full aggressive and take Executioner, since I do have Maugan Ra to give the Dark Reapers reroll ones to hit. It also gives me access to a super useful stratagem called Court of the Young King. This strat adds two to the charge distance of a Biel-Tan Aspect Warrior unit with an Exarch, and reroll ones rto hit. Also, if the unit being affected by that stratagem is within 6 inches of the Avatar of Khaine, it’s plus three to the charge and full rerolls to hit, in addition to his reroll charge aura. This allows my Shining Spears to deepstrike against shooting armies and get a high percentage of sticking their 9” charge (a 6 or 7 with the strat). It also lets me deploy the Howling Banshees on the board and run from cover piece to cover piece, popping that stratagem when needed to dart out of cover and tie up key enemy shooting, or just to wrap a unit in combat to protect my characters.
My Alaitoc choices are relatively basic. It’s just too hard to pass up -1 to hit on my Dark Reapers and Rangers. I do lose out on Forewarning on the Dark Reapers since they are not the same Craftworld as my only Farseer, which is something I may have to tweak in the future to deal with incoming deepstrike threats from Space Marines and Genestealer Cult.
I’ve got some cool conversions in this list, as I am working up toward an Exodite themed army. I’ve got some converted Guardians in the form of Skinks toting Shuriken Catapults and night vision goggles, and a Kurnoth Hunter Representing my Avatar of Khaine.
We played ITC Mission Number 1 on Spearhead Assault. Mike won the roll to go first and I failed to seize. We played this game on The Warp Charged Gaming stream at our friendly local gaming store, BattleGrounds RVA, on a sizzling and very nerdy Friday night.
I knew that Mike had some tricks up his sleeve. The Deceiver has the ability to redeploy d3 units before the game begins, including the Seraptek and the Monolith. With some stratagem trickery, the Lychguard can also get an easy turn one charge.
I screened out my frontline with Storm Guardians and Rangers, and kept my Wave Serpent with the Dark Reapers and Maugan Ra inside on my back edge, along with my Psykers and the Avatar of Khaine. I deepstruck both of my Guardian Squads, and hid my Spears behind an obelisk in my deployment zone.
Mike went all in on his first turn. He only rolled a 1 on his Deceiver redeploy, but used the Dimensional Corridor stratagem to have the Lychguard in his deployment zone redeploy and count as having disembarked from the Monolith in his movement phase, so they could still move normally. My right flank was now swarmed with a Monolith, 10 Lychguard about to charge my Storm Guardians, The Deceiver, and the looming presence of the Seraptek. In his shooting phase, the Seraptek threw everything it had at my Shining Spears, and I used Lightning Fast Reactions for a -1 to hit penalty. Mike rolled poorly, only killing one of the Spears. That would prove to be a very lucky turn of events for me. His Monolith took a couple of wounds from my Wave Serpent, and his Lychguard ripped my Storm Guardians apart in the fight phase piling into the Rangers that were next to them, scoring him a kill and First Strike.
Mike’s list is definitely something you could encounter at a tournament, it’s in the archetype of putting pressure on you turn one with combat prowess and redeployment shenanigans, sort of like the new Raven Guard. These lists want to punch you in the mouth, and the best counter is to screen out your important units and keep a cool head. I knew that the biggest threats were Seraptek and the Lychguard, and taking out those wrecking balls was the key to winning this game.
Im my turn 1, I realized that I just needed to pick up the Lychguard. They would push back my incoming Guardians and generally cause havoc. I played around with the idea of running my Farseer toward the Seraptek to Doom it and light it up with my Dark Reapers, but that would expose my only source of Doom to being killed. And if I failed Doom it would be a moot point anyway. In the end, I casteled up with my characters and Dark Reapers behind the Obelisk in the right side of my deployment zone, and flung my Spears forward. I needed to overkill the 10 Lychguard to ensure they wouldn’t reanimate. Between Doom, Jinx, Maugan Ra, and my Dark Reapers they picked up the Lychguard, and exposed his Overlord to a Shining Spear charge.
The Spears picked up the Overlord after a successful charge but were exposed to the Seraptek absolutely wrecking them. I considered whether or not I should hide them behind the Obelisk in my zone, but in the end I needed to hit Mike back and take the pressure of my character blob and Dark Reapers.
One of the quieter parts of my turn was manueving my Howling Banshees onto the objective on the right side of my deployment zone, placing four of the models on the objective to deny it from Mike.
The Spears ended up grabbing me a Headhunter, piling onto an objective, and scoring a Kill More point. With the Banshees holding the other objective in my Deployment Zone, these Aspect Warriors denied Mike a Hold More point, and we moved into Turn 2 neck and neck.
Mike’s turn two mostly focused on killing my Shining Spears and using his Monolith and characters to screen the Seraptek from my incoming Guardian Bombs. Mike and I have played before; he knows those little guys are excellent at killing big targets, with 6s to wound causing saves on ap 3. With Doom, Jinx, and Dark Reaper support, they would make short work of the Necron behemoth.
After screening out my Guardians, Mike proceeded into shooting. He managed to draw line of sight on my Reapers with the Monolith. Fortunately, he whiffed a bit on his shooting, only killing two of them. The rest of his army went into Spears, and with a short Seraptek charge, the Spears re-entered the Infinity Circuit (we always collect our fallen friend’s Spirit Stones.)
With Mike’s effective screening, I wasn’t going to get much firepower on the Seraptek in my Turn 2, but I did need some more bodies between me and that beast. I maneuvered my psykers around to get in Doom and Jinx range so my Dark Reapers would be as effective as possible. This would also make my other shooting (Maugan Ra, Wave Serpent) effective. I placed the Wave Serpent so that Mike couldn’t clear the hull with his Seraptek, and since the Monolith is very slow, the big spider was slightly penned in at that point. I don’t think Mike wanted to leave his screen and risk the Seraptek getting shot anyway, but that was OK with me. At the end of my movement phase, I deepstruck one of my Guardian squads in front of all my characters, and left a hole for my Avatar of Khaine to Heroically Intervene through should the Seraptek somehow get within charge range.
Off on Mike’s side of the board, I dropped a squad of Rangers and strung them between two objectives to jump up on Hold More and keep myself on the scoreboard.
I got off Doom and Jinx on the Seraptek, and during the shooting phase took it down to 12 wounds between the Dark Reapers (who used Fire and Fade to hide behind a wall) Maugan Ra and my Wave Serpent. Meanwhile, the Brave Guardians and their Fearsome Avatar knocked 10 wounds off of the Monolith in a stunning display of luck, precision, and Shuriken.
Mike’s turn three saw him pick up a few more points, and my Wave Serpent. His Monolith was able to draw a bead on my Dark Reapers and pick up four of the seven that were left, and his Seraptek unloaded on the Guardians. I spent one of my remaining four command points for Celestial Shield, giving my Guardians a 4+ invulnerable save to save them from the Seraptek shooting. In his charge phase, the Monolith waddled up to my Guardians and tapped them in combat, forcing them to fall back in my turn. His Seraptek hung back, still partially screened by the Monolith and his characters. My turn three needed to go well for me to pull the game out. I had to kill the Seraptek.
Up until this point, I had been using almost all of my command points on Lightning Fast Reactions, but with three CP remaining, I spent them all on my turn three. First, I used Feigned Retreat (fall back and act normally) to fall back with my Guardians from the Monolith. They moved toward the Seraptek, screening my remaining characters and leaving a gap in their lines for the Avatar to charge through should he need to finish the Seraptek off.
Mike left a small hole in his screen that allowed 15 of my incoming Guardians to get range on his Seraptek. I spent my last command point on Seer Council to ensure Doom and Jinx going off. Thankfully, they did. One of the bits of good fortune I had in this game was never failing Doom or Jinx.
Fortunately, the combined weight of my Reapers, Guardians, and Maugan Ra (who landed the killing blow) aced the Seraptek. It did blow up, though. 16 inches to be exact. The Seraptek’s explosion killed a handful of Guardians from both squads, two of Mike’s nearby characters, my Warlord Spiritseer and my Warlock. It was also rude enough to nearly kill the Deceiver and the Avatar! As you can see in the picture, we had to pull out the craters for that one.
This was the turning point in the game that ultimately sealed it for me. post-explosion, the Avatar ran in and chopped down the Deceiver, and the only thing left of Mike’s in my deployment zone was the 3-wound Monolith and an Overlord with 2 wounds left. Since I picked Ground Control, I needed to start moving toward Mike’s deployment zone to grab his objectives.
The final epic moment of the game was a showdown between Mike’s Catacomb Command Barge and the Avatar. I couldn’t quite take the Barge down with my shooting, so it got the chance to swoop in and try to kill my Avatar on Mike’s turn 5. Due to the terrifying nature of my particular Shard of Khaine, the Overlord rolled two ones to hit! Mike rerolled these due to his Dynasty code, and picked those hits back up. But he failed both wound rolls! I passed the one wound he did get through, parrying with the Avatar’s Sword. Then Khaine cut the Necron Lord down.
The last moment I want to touch on is the bottom of turn six. Mike had 5 Flayed Ones left, and they were sitting on an objective in his deployment zone. These fleshy guys were last chance for me to get rtwo points for Kill and Kill more. I ran my Guardians up to them and unloaded (I was very happy with reroll ones to hit as a Craftworld attribute on these guys, it makes them very efficient) but with only a handful of guys in range, I whiffed the wound roll and left three Flayed Ones alive. Fortunately, I had my main man Maugan Ra lurking in the midfield. He used his gun, the Maugetar (36” range), which fires 4 shots at strength six ap 1, twice! He leveled the Maugetar at these Flayed Ones and promptly picked them up. This single character scored me two Victory Points by himself! In a tournament scenario having a character with his unique rule set can come in incredibly handy in certain scenarios. If Maugan Ra shoots every turn, thats 48 shots that always hit on 2s, rerolling ones.
We ended the game there, with a final score of 29-15.
Looking back on the game, I think I should have deployed one Guardian Squad and deepstruck my Spears instead. I definitely could have lost the squad to the Seraptek on turn one if Mike’s dice had spiked. His army doesn’t quite have the weight of fire to deal with the Guardians effectively. Fortunately, I got lucky on that one. But it could have been a bad, bad day. It would have been interesting to see how the Spears interacted, because they very well could have made the charge out of deepstrike to the Seraptek using the Court of the Young King stratagem, or just by dropping them out of LOS of his firepower on turn two and setting up a turn three charge.
It was an awesome and epic game! Again, I think that this type of pressure list is absolutely something you have to know how to deal with. It’s all about keeping the opponent off you, and maintaining a good target priority.
Thanks for reading!
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