Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Awakening of the NDG

I haven't been able to muster the guster for a 40kology post in a long time, but I probably don't have that many readers anyway (not a pity party!). First thing, I HAVE been playing quite a bit, and only with the reawakened Necrones de Guerra. I made a video battle report a week or so ago that was going to be the start of something great, but but windows movie maker sucks a bag of assholes and I don't have the coin for an Apple, so for now that idea is sitting the bench. Also, my camera doesn't take high res video anyway, so nothing lost, etc.

So, the Necrons. This is my new favorite army, for sure. And my Berzerker Blood Angels were the culmination of a 15-year love affair with khorny skulltaking, so that's saying something. Maybe it's the rules, maybe it's the models, maybe it's the fact that only a few people locally are playing Necrons and I started out with a full army on day 1. I've had a fairly even mix of wins and losses but always enjoyed myself. I will note that against strongly competitive army lists, I haven't done so well. But screw those types anyway, who cares. So boring. Here's my favorite units to play:

* The Stormlord - If you've played only one game against the Stormlord, you might think he's either total cheese or a waste of points. If you've played two, you might be more lukewarm about him. In any case, I think he is a great idea for a Necron special character. The nightfighting and lightning can really change up your normal game, are great fluff-wise, and both come in handy against those little-shooting-box armies. And now that they faq'd the chronometron (though I still don't get what "phase" the beginning of the turn is), you're much more likely to keep it going for at least the first two to three turns. And destroying someone's most beloved vehicles before they have a chance to do anything is cracktastic. You know it's bad for you, but what a rush. And it's often more entertaining than devastating for the enemy. The last game I played, lightning wiped out both of Robert's small ratling squads in a single turn. Not a real gamechanger but totally hilarious: the shortest guys on the table!

* Wraiths - These guys are my linebackers. Whatever comes at you, they're likely to either wipe them out or tarpit them until you can move up some more gauss. Since I bumped my original squad of four up to six wraiths, I've only been loving them more. I just run em with 4 or 5 lash whips in there. Well worth the points. Sometimes I'll run a destroyer lord with them, burying him real good in a dense layer of wraithfat, and either charge them all in together or break him out of the squad at the last minute to go carve open some nearby tanks or stragglers. You have to watch out for whole gangs of powerfists, but you can usually see guys like that coming a ways off.

* Annihilation Barge - I magnetized my single barge, so for a while I was running Anrakyr the Traveler in a command barge. I had a lot of fun skimming around firing other people's vehicles at themselves, scything up their other vehicles, or just using that flat-out cover save to be a general pain in the ass to finish off. But after the FAQ took all the fun out of ole Ann-Racky, I switched to the slower, shootier barge species. Short range, but by the time nightfighting has run out, there's plenty of enemy stuff within 24 inches anyway.

* C'tan - Another fun unit that can make for a totally different game with the inevitable writhing worldscape ability. I was running mine with spirit dust for a while, but recently I switched to pyreshards, which I think are better and more S4 dice rolling fun! Stealth and grenades were just not adding that much to the C'tan experience. He usually underperforms in assault, so he usually camps out behind a nearby monolith or pick your targets carefully.

* Scarabs - Ok, ok, scarabs are cool too. I start with six and usually wait until I have Spyder'd them up to ten or twelve to let them off of the scarab leash. Those are really small leashes! Usually I'm totally fine with sacrificing a 90 point unit to take out a charging land raider, and I'm even more fine if they can stick around a little bit longer to annoy something else.

Here's some random pictures from recent games:

Against Brandon's Space Marines:

Against Kings' Mant-ass Warriors:

Against Will's Salamanders:

Against Rob's Dark Eldar:

And another game against Kings' Mant-assers:

Here's a bonus battle report against Kings' guard

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Return of the Necrones de Guerra

A while back I bought my buddy Mack's Necron army. They've lain dormant waiting for the new codex and I'm excited to get them back on the battlefield. I took them out for a trial run the other day against Robert's Tzeentch demon army and ended up squeaking out a win, but more importantly, got to really experience how different they feel from other armies, including the Necrons of the previous codex. I had just enough models to put together a classic 2k list, with a modern general:

Imotekh Stormlord
Cryptek - harbinger of despair with nightmare shroud and veil of darkness
Destroyer Lord - warscythe, resurrection orb, semipternal weave
C'tan Shard - worldscape, dust
4 x 10 warriors
4 Wraiths - 4 lash whips
5 Destroyers
8 Scarab Swarms
Tomb Spyder - gloom prism, fabricator claw

Robert was running a Lord of Change, 2 Tzeentch heralds on chariots, 3 squads of flamers, 4 squads of horrors including the Changeling, and 2 Tzeentch demon princes. We were playing for 4 objectives with Dawn of War Deployment and I went first. Things looked bleak when the Stormlord's gimmick stopped on the second turn before he had even dropped anything in, and then when he did, he wiped out Imotekh, the cryptek, and the attached warrior squad right away. I had nothing left to do except buckle down and go after the horrors and be prepared to fight for a draw. The destroyers, c'tan, and wraiths were able to take care of that fairly quickly. The warriors went down pretty easily, with the reanimation not having much of a positive effect. Because he didn't have much in the way of heavy strength guns, the monolith survived for quite a while but didn't do all that much damage. I did manage to suck up a few flamers with the door, which was probably the high point of the game. The scarab swarms didn't have any vehicles to eat, but they surprised a unit of flamers that would have otherwise wiped out my last troops unit. One of his chariots was mishapped to a far corner of the board late in the game, while the other one and the Lord of Change raced to push me off my last objective. The surviving wraiths and scarabs and the tomb spyder successfully held them at bay and I won 1-0.

After further consideration, I want to try playing with Nemesor Zandrekh for a while. At 185 points, he is a steal. He has great equipment choices, and for only 5 points above a similarly equipped lord, you're getting his master strategist buff/nerf powers (along with the dubious phased reinforcement ability). I think the nerf part of that ability is the more useful one, though stealth and tank hunters for my own guys will be nice, too. I want to try pairing him with a troop squad and a cryptek with a chronometron and try to keep him and his buds alive for a while. I picked up an annihilation barge that I'm pretty stoked on using. I had to repose and rebase all the models and fix a few broken ones, and since I'm already missing a few arms and legs here and there, I thought I'd go for a complete broke-down, emerging-from-the-swamp look. I'm going to take advantage of their already rusty-looking paint job, somehow incorporate water effects into the bases, and judiciously apply some hanging seaweed-looking goop from their limbs. I eventually want to paint the neon gun tubes, too, since none of the newer models use them and I always thought they looked a little off when light is generally painted on any other 40k miniature, rather than using some kind of effect that depends on the actual physical properties of the miniature.

Lately I'm generally over the competitive approach to 40k. I still prefer 1500-2000 point games with standard missions, but since I barely have enough time as it is to build, paint, and play for fun, I'm not inclined to spend that precious time messing with any kind of spam. If a unit is halfway decent, has a neat effect, and/or just looks cool, I'll include one in my collection; otherwise, I probably won't be motivated enough to paint it.