New Core Necrons Battle Report

Wow Games Workshop really threw me for a loop on with the release of their balance patch to Warhammer 40k.

I admit I was getting pretty down on the state of competitive 40k, and I felt the meta was getting extremely predictable. This new balance patch from GW doesn’t solve all of the issues with the current game, but it does a great job of knocking down the worst offending army builds that give people some negative play experiences. What is even more important than the content of this patch is the commitment from GW to release one of these quarterly! By no means does a quarterly balance patch mean the game will be perfectly balanced (if this game is ever perfectly balanced the content creators are going to be in trouble, just think of how boring all the content would be!), but this is a huge step in the right direction in making competitive 40k fun and engaging for more hobbyists then just those with certain armies sitting on their shelves.

Ok, now that my mini rant about the balance patch is complete we, like the competitive 40k community, can move on. This week I played a game against one of my 40k teammates using a lot of the new Core keyworded Necron units. I won’t be posting my full list (because I don’t think it is very good), but basically it was a Silent King build with 3×5 Wraiths, 1 units of Skorpek Destroyers, 1 unit of 3 Heavy Destroyers, and a Technomancer.

The mission we rolled up was Direct Assault which I was happy with. I knew my opponent’s shooting would be devastating with 2 Demolisher Tank Commanders, the new flat 3 damage Cadian Tank Commander, and 2 Full Payload Manticores. While this amount of firepower worried me I felt good about my chances of fighting it out for control of the all important middle objective in this mission with my all ObSec army against his only 2 close combat units of Bullgryn.

I ended up taking Code of Combat, Direct Assault, and Stranglehold for my three Secondaries. Obviously my plan was to hold the middle of the table or die trying, and the Silent King being able to kill Guardsmen units and Leman Russ’ at will meant I would be getting a decent Code of Combat score. The failure points in this game plan would come if I allowed my opponent’s heavy firepower to take out the Silent King before scoring Code of Combat points, or if I failed to hold the middle Objective against my opponent’s 2 units of Bullgryn.

My opponent chose Engage on all Fronts, Retrieve Octarius Data, and Direct Assault. Engage is a no brainer when you can Move, Move, Move order roughly 1 million Guard squads around the table, and the same goes for ROD. After seeing my opponent took Direct Assault also (surprise, surprise) I knew this game would be decided on who controlled the middle Objective.

After Deployment

As you can see I deployed my Silent King way in the back behind some obscuring terrain. While this meant the big guy wouldn’t see close combat in the middle of the table until later in the game it also meant my opponents Tank Commanders would be getting shot by the Silent King before they could shoot him. I did make one critical error in my deployment in not making sure all of my Wraith units were in range to receive My Will Be Done from the Silent King. I figured the front unit would be fast enough to get on the center Objective, murder whatever Guardsmen came near them, and solidly hold the center for at least a turn until my opponent had to use some of his shooting to deal with them (boy, was I wrong).

Guard Turn 1 Movement

Guard Turn 1:

My opponent won the first turn roll off, and above is how his army ended up after his Turn 1. Again, nothing too surprising, but his flat 3 damage Tank Commander used the new exploding 6s in shooting Cadian Stratagem to annihilate an entire squad of 5 Wraiths. His other Tank Commander and Manticore shooting didn’t work as well and managed to only kill 1 Wraith and 1 Lychguard combined.

Loosing a unit of Wraiths Turn 1 hurt, but by no means was it game changing. What WAS game changing was this little Move, Move, Move order pulled off by my opponent:

So Annoying

With a couple of solid advance rolls my opponent successfully move blocked my Lychguard from moving onto the center Objective during my Turn 1. This meant I needed to spend an entire turn of Lychguard movement and combat on killing 10 Guardsmen. Not ideal in a mission where I took Stranglehold and Direct Assault.

Necrons Turn 1:

During my first turn I moved a unit of Wraiths (who were not +1 to hit from My Will Be Done) up into the middle forest to charge the unit of Guardsmen my opponent had used another new Cadian stratagem on that made them only woundable on 3+ and count as 2 models when checking to see who controlled an Objective. In my Shooting Phase I managed to kill the Guardsmen screening in my Lychguard with Silent King shooting, and was able to kill a Demolisher Tank Commander with my unit of Heavy Destroyers. The big moment in the turn came when my Lychguard made their 11 inch charge into a Guard unit (not the same unit the Wraiths charged) holding the center objective. All I needed now was for my Wraiths to murder 10 Guardsmen with their 20 attacks…

Go Lychguard! 11 inch charge!

Remember when I said not getting in My Will Be Done range for all my Wraiths was important? Well, those 20 attacks hitting on 4+ from the Wraiths managed to kill a whooping 3 Guardsmen. Even with the Lychguard blending the unit they miraculously made it into combat with the Cadian Stratagem to count as 2 models when contesting an Objective meant I would not score Stranglehold or Direct Assault on the first turn. Not the end of the world, but not a great start for the Necrons.

Guard Turn 2:

During my opponents second turn he moved his Bullgryn into position to charge the Wraiths and Lychguard sitting on the middle Objective while falling back with the Guard unit who survived the Wraith’s charge. He smartly left a single Guardsmen within three of the center Objective to ensure he still had an ObSec unit holding it. The shooting phase from the Guard on Turn 2 was very lack luster and resulted in just killing the Silent King’s 2 Menhirs. The Guard’s close combat was more effective unfortunately with the Bullgryn wiping out the unit of Wraiths sitting on the middle Objective and getting into combat with the Lychguard.

A Mess in the Middle

Necrons Turn 2:

This is the turn where things start to go very badly for me. I am quickly running out of units, and as you can see, my opponent is spreading annoying Guardsmen all over the table taking away my Primary points. Not good. Also not good was the complete failure of the Silent King or Heavy Destroyers to even hurt a single Tank Commander. The positives for this turn was the Silent King managed to kill the Guardsmen sitting on the center Objective, and the Lychguard surviving combat to score me Direct Assault and Stranglehold.

Guard Turn 3:

This is where the game gets away from the Necrons. My opponent’s shooting phase wipes out another unit of Wraiths but accomplishes little else. Unfortunately, his close combat was more effective knocking the Lychguard down to a couple models. After moving yet ANOTHER unit of Guardsmen to within range of the middle Objective it was clear the Necrons were getting further and further away from victory.

Necrons Turn 3:

If I was sad last Turn about the Heavy Destroyers and Silent King not doing anything my mood was not about to be improved. Not only did the Silent King and Heavy Destroyers fail to do anything (aside from kill some more Guardsmen), but the Skorpek Destroyers failed their re-rollable charge to get onto the middle objective. During my Fight Phase the remaining Bullgryn cleaned up the Lychguard, and I told my opponent he played a good game.

Great job Skorpeks!

Final Thoughts:

I was just outplayed in this one folks. My opponent used each of his units wisely by move blocking my slower close combat units, protecting the center Objective with his durable close combat units, and not letting me get a foothold on the middle Objective. Just by allowing the Wraiths who charged in Turn 1 to hit on 3s with My Will Be Done would have been a huge swing in the game. Lesson 1: 20 attacks hitting on 4s is NOT going to get it done!

Lesson 2 is more for Necron list building. The Silent King is an amazing model with some amazing rules (and an amazing Secondary), but he takes up too much space for a Necron army like this. Necrons are just not pointed efficiently enough where spending 450 points on a single model is going to allow you to build an army that can trade units onto Objectives even somewhat efficiently. As much as I love having access to that solid third Secondary in Code of Combat the King is going back on the shelf.

I will say the new ability of the Technomancer to revive Skorpeks, Wraiths and Heavy Destroyers now is amazing. Turn 1 my opponent killed 1 Lychguard and a Wraith with some Manticore shooting, and the Technomancer brought them both back for 1 CP. That’s 63 free points just coming back into my army!

Necrons got a lot of new options from the GW balance update, and I think I will need a couple more games to figure out the new way forward for them. I have an RTT coming up on December 11th at my local gaming store, so I will need to come up with something by then! Any help is appreciated, and stay strong my Necron brothers and sisters!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About Eric Shifflett

If my wife ever makes good on her threat to do an inventory of the models in my garage I'd have a real problem on my hands. Until then, I enjoy playing GSC (along with some other armies located in the garage) at local tournaments and hope one day to prove my gaming group wrong about how terrible I am at this game I love.

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