James’ Necrons - 9CP - 2000pts
BATTALION - Novokh Dynasty
Catacomb Command Barge w/ Resurrection Orb and Warscythe (Relic Blood Scythe) (Warlord - Warlord Trait Enduring Will)
Chronomancer - Entropic Lance (Extra Relic Veil of Darkness)
Skorpekh Lord - Implaceable Conqueror (Extra Warlord Trait)
5x Immortals w/ Gauss Blasters
10x Immortals w/ Gauss Blasters
20x Necron Warriors w/ Gauss Reapers
Hexmark Destroyer (Extra Relic Guantlet of the Conflagurator)
6x Skorpekh Destroyers
3x Ophydian Destroyers
3x Ophydian Destroyers
9x Canoptek Scarab Swarms
Annihilation Barge - Gauss Cannon
Annihilation Barge - Gauss Cannon
3x Lokhust Heavy Destroyers - Gauss Destructors
Liam's Tyranids - 9CP - 1996 pts
BATTALION - Hive Fleet Kraken
HQ 1: The Swarmlord (Warlord, Adaptive Physiology, Onslaught, Paroxysm)
HQ 2: Broodlord (Resonance Barb, Catalyst)
Troops 1: Hormagaunts x20
Troops 2: Hormagaunts x10
Troops 3: Rippers x4
Elites 1: Lictor
Fast Attack 1: Dimachaeron
Heavy Support 1: Scythed Hierodule (Adaptive Physiology - Dermic Symbiosis)
PATROL - Hive Fleet Kronos
HQ1: Neurothrope (Symbiostorm)
Troops 1: Rippers x3
Elites 1: Zoanthropes x6 (Psychic Scream)
Elites 2: Hive Guard x6 (Impaler Cannons, Adaptive Physiology - Enhanced Resistance)
Heavy Support 1: Exocrine
Grand Tournament 2020
Necrons Won the Roll Off
Necrons Picked Deployment ZoneTyranids Won First Turn
I’ve played this list a few times now and get how it operates. I’ve struggled to beat it without going first but we’ll see how it goes. I think if I play a bit more defensive on the early turns, I may be able to outlast and zone out some of his shooting / psychic capabilities. One of the bigger problems I have is picking secondaries. There are really no good kill ones, either scoring 6-12 points for killing everything. I opted for Vital Ground as my third pick but I’m not sure on this. If i can get to the middle objectives with my Warriors and Scarabs, I may be able to hold them for a few turns and rack up 6-8 points, more than I’d get from any of the Kill Secondaries. (I know killing all of his characters is going to be tricky, and he only gives up 9 points for Assassinate and 11 points for Abhor the Witch anyway.)
If I go second, I've really gotta protect my Skorpekh and Lokhust Destroyers, they're going to be vital to winning this.
So I built this list with two things in mind. First of all, it’s designed to work in all phases of the game. This is especially useful for facing things such as C’tan which would normally soak up all the damage you put out in a single phase, and also gives me the flexibility to focus on what damage output is most beneficial for me. The other focus was on secondaries; almost every game I will be picking Engage on All Fronts and Deploy Scramblers, which this list excels at achieving thanks to the Rippers and Lictor. We rolled for the mission and it landed on Battle Lines. This meant the deployment was Hammer and Anvil, with 4 objectives placed on the board (1 in each player’s deployment zone, and 2 in no man’s land). James won the initial roll off and elected to be the defender, and we proceeded to alternate deploying our units.
The first thing I thought when I looked at James’ list, was that I didn’t have an obvious third pick for my secondaries.
Mental Interrogation could have been a decent choice, but most of his characters like to sit back out of range, and I need as many smites and other powers as I can cast, so instead I opted for While We Stand, We Fight. My Hive Guard are unlikely to be targeted by anything thanks to their guns ignoring line of sight, and the Zoanthropes are rocking a 3++ making them exceptionally tanky. The last unit this affected was the Swarmlord, who I would have to play careful with to help secure those points.
I’m feeling confident having turn 1. My list is designed to put in a lot of damage early on regardless of terrain placement thanks to the Dimachaeron and the Hive Guard. However, James has deployed his units very conservatively, meaning if I were to throw the Dimachaeron up the board, he would only be charging warriors or scarabs. I decided to hold him back this turn, and instead focus on using my shooting to whittle away at his surrounding units and then smashing into his more valuable stuff with all my units turn 2.
I move the Exocrine up the right flank, spending a CP on Symbiotic Devastation to have him count as being stationary. The squad of 20 Hormagaunts Deploy Scramblers in my deployment zone, and the Zoanthropes fly up the other side of the board to try and ping some mortal wounds on the Ophydian Destroyers.
The psychic phase is pretty successful for me. The Zoanthropes smite and psychic scream into the Ophydians, dealing 8 mortal wounds in total. The Broodlord also luckily rolled an 11 for his psychic test, blasting apart a Scarab base with his smite! Every dead Scarab means more room for my bigger models to move through next turn, so this proved incredibly helpful for me. Catalyst and Symbiostorm are both successful as well, with the buffs being placed on the Hierodule and Hive Guard respectively.
The shooting phase arrives, and I immediately spend 2cp on Pathogenic Slime on the Scythed Hierodule, bumping his Acid Spray to damage 2. This means only two wounds need to get through to kill a Scarab base instead of 4. This turned out to be huge, as the flamer alone manages to kill a whopping 4 scarab bases after reanimation! However, this was where my shooting phase started to fall apart. The Exocrine fired both volleys into the unit of 5 Immortals on the right and, due to a combination of dense cover and bad luck, only resulted in 3 dead Immortals. The Hive Guard then fired twice with the use of Single Minded Annihilation (2CP), although thanks to incredibly bad luck, the Immortals survive without any further casualties! 2 more scarab bases fall to the Impaler cannons however, which will help with moving my Dimachaeron in the next turn. I don’t score any points for Engage on All Fronts this turn, but I’m sure I will on future turns.
And with that, it’s back over to James for his first turn! Lets see how he responds.
Protocol of the Eternal Guardian is active, gaining Light Cover for everything other than the 5 Immortal Unit. Going 2nd vs Liam's list is always painful. The combination of double shooting Hive Guard and Psychic is always painful. He held his Diamacheron back this turn, which I understand, my Skorpekhs are a pretty good response to take one out and I assume he respects their damage output not to throw his big guy away to kill some Scarabs or Warriors.
I lose most of my Scarab unit and 3 Immortals, thanks to some great Re-animation rolls and poor wounding from Liam's Exocrine and Hive Guard.
Going into the top of my turn, I'm quietly confident, I’ve lost a lot more in previous games we’ve played on his first turn. I pull the single Ophydian back and Deploy Scramblers with him in turn two as my Immortals up on the top side of the board will do it in turn one. My Lokhust pop out to try and get a few wounds off the Scythed Hierodule. My Warriors advance up - they've got My Will be Done so should be able to also help dent the Scythed Hierodule, I don't expect to kill him but if I can strip half his wounds off this turn it’d be good. Mostly, I'm quite defensive this turn.
My shooting is… okay, my Lokhusts do nothing to the Scythed Heirdrule, but the Warriors with the Disintegration Capacitors stratagem with a few pot shots from my characters strip 10 wounds off him. My Immortals however, perform admirably. With the Relentless Onslaught stratagem they kill four of the Zoanthropes.
Unfortunately, they fail the charge onto them, the Scarabs do however, make the charge. They fail to do anything however, as expected to be honest.
Overall, not a terrible turn one.
OK, overall I weathered the storm pretty well from James in his turn 1, but man, losing 4 Zoanthropes to those Immortals was brutal! Just shows how powerful the Viel of Darkness relic is! I score 5 points on the primary, so I gotta try and do better for the remainder of the battle.
Turn 2 is when I hit the gas. I move the Dimachaeron up 12”, positioning the Swarmlord just behind him and within 6”, ready for Hive Commander. The Hierodule is still acting on top profile thanks to Dermic Symbiosis, so he runs up towards the Warriors and the Annihilation Barge. The smaller squad of Hormagaunts moves up to Deploy Scramblers on the midboard, while I stretch out the back unit of Hormagaunts to help prevent any deep strike charges from those Ophydians in reserve. I also bring in some Rippers in the far corner of James’ deployment zone, just to help me score some points for Engage on All Fronts.
Psychic phase, unfortunately, is a bit of a blunder. I manage to kill the rest of the Scarabs and the Immortals that survived the barrage in the previous turn. However, I fail all three of my important spells; Catalyst, Symbiostorm AND Onslaught! I spend a CP to reroll the casting for Onslaught and luckily it passes… what a rough psychic phase!
The shooting phase arrives, and I spend the CP on the Dimachaeron for Opportunistic Advance to double his advance roll as the Swarmlord moves him again. He rolls a 6 on one of the 3 dice, resulting in a whopping 24” move that moves over all models and terrain! This guy is a beast! Setting himself up for an easy charge on those Lokhust Destroyers. The Hive Guard and the Exocrine both manage to bring down one of the Annihilation Barges as well as a few Warriors.
And now for my favourite phases in the game, the Charge and Fight phases! I charge the Hierodule into the warriors to try and tarpit them for a bit, and the Dimachaeron charges into the Destroyers. They overwatch, getting a lucky 6 to hit that also autowounds, but the 5++ comes in clutch and I pass the save. The Skorpekh lord also declares to heroically intervene, which opens up an interesting choice for me; do I attack the Lokhust like I originally intended to, or do I seize the opportunity and go for the Lord?
The fight phase kicks in, and I decide that the Lohkust are already tied up in combat with no way to fall back and shoot, so I’ll go for the Lord. I spend a CP on Voracious Appetite to reroll all wound rolls, and utterly annihilate him in a single swing! I declare the Destroyers as the target of the Thorax Spine-Maw ability, and James rolls a 1, resulting in 4 mortal wounds on the Destroyers! I can see why people run more than just 1 of this guy! The Hierodule also kills a few Warriors, but in the end they just trade blows and stay stuck in combat with each other.
I manage to score 3 points on Engage on All Fronts thanks to the Dimachaeron and the Rippers, which helps swing the score into my favour. Over to James’ turn 2!
Well, we expected to lose the Scarabs and Immortals up-field, but losing them both to Psychic was painful, Liam’s rolling hot on his D3 mortal wound spells. Liam’s whittled down a bunch of my Warriors, but they’re still holding strong. Some lucky re-animation rolls on them mean I’ve got 11 left, with a Resurrection Orb next turn I might be looking okay at the start of my turn. I traded my Skorpekh Lord in the hopes that his Diamacheron won’t get his 5+ Feel No Pain against my Lokhust. (I do roll a 1 on the test, but he only rolls 4 Mortal Wounds.) Elsewhere on the field I lose one of my Annihilation Barges and a few Immortals.
Hungry Void Protocol is active this turn, which is great - the extra strength is really going to help here. If I can push him out of my deployment zone and consolidate back on the mid-board objectives I should be able to start bring back the secondary scoring. I use the Resurrection Orb to get back 4 more Warriors and link them in range of the Chronomancer who puts his Chronometron on them, and they also receive My Will Be Done. I fall back with the Lokhust, back into the ruin out line of sight from his Exocrine and I fall back with the Warriors. If I can get a good shooting phase and manage to get him out of my deployment zone, I should start getting some points for Purge the Vermin and hopefully set myself in a good place for a turn 4-5 Vital Ground. My lone Ophydian Deploys Scrambler in my Deployment Zone. My 2nd unit of Ophydians pop up to try take the other mid-field objective.
Shooting doesn't go amazingly, my Hexmark and Annihilation Barge push his Rippers out and they stop that quandrant being occupied. Otherwise not a lot to mention.
The charge phase - the Skopekhs and the Ohydians are in! The Immortals fail to get in on the Zoanthropes again, they did manage to kill another one in shooting though. I pick the Skorpekh first and I use the Blood Rites stratagem for 1CP to give them another attack. I roll for the threshers and get 10 wounds through, he fails all but 2 of them and the Diamacharon is dead! The Ophydians also clear up the Hormagaunts and hold the objective.
Now I should be able to push back into the midfield and start challenging some of Liam's While We Stand We Fight units.
James continues to pressure my units with those Ophydians stealing that objective from me and the Immortals swarming the objective on the opposite side, so I gotta do what I can to try and retake some ground. I only score another 5VP on the primary this turn as a result of this. The Hierodule stays in the centre to keep pressuring the warriors, whilst the Swarmlord moves up to try and wipe out those Immortals. The Exocrine also moves up, spending another CP on Symbiotic Devastation to count as not moving. I deep-strike the Lictor into the same corner the Rippers went and Deploy Scramblers, netting me 10 victory points.
Psychic phase is moderately successful, with the smites and screams managing to kill an Ophydian and some more warriors, but Catalyst fails again! Luckily Symbiostorm goes off and I buff the Hive Guard to give them some exploding 6s.
The Exocrine manages to wipe the remaining Ophydians on the flank, with the Hive Guard managing to kill some more Warriors, but they still remain on the board. These guys have taken so much punishment and just keep getting back up! The Swarmlord charges into the Immortals on the flank and the Hierodule charges back into the Warriors to keep them pinned.
The Hierodule tarpits the Warriors as usual, only killing a few short of wiping the squad. The Swarmlord however, despite being the pinnacle of the Tyranid bio-organisms, manages to roll THREE ONES on his wound rolls after hitting all his attacks! The Immortals live, which proves to be a huge swing for James and his primary points. I again manage to score 3 points on Engage on All Fronts this turn.
The Lictor comes down and completes Deploy Scramblers, this was expected and I should be able to get rid of him in my turn. My Warriors take another dent, going down to 6 models. I roll some crazy saves on the Immortals and they end up holding the objective for me - With a good shooting phase from the Lokhust I may be able to shoot him down and take those 5 While We Stand We Fight points off. My Ohydians also go down to the joint effort of the Exocrine and Psychic powers. My turn starts - the Chronomancer gives his buff to the Skorpekh, they then move up to help charge the Swarmlord if the Lokhurst fail to shoot him. My Annihilation Barge that's left pops up on the building in line of sight of the Lictor and the Hierodule. I also spend my only CP to put the lone Ophydian back into reserve, he can come back in turn four and finish my Deploy Scramblers.
My shooting is poor at best. I fail to do any damage to the Swarmlord due to some hot 4++ saves from Liam, and even with Extermination Protocol stratagem I don't down the Hierodule.
In the charge phase however, my Overlord and Warriors make it into the Hierodule and my Skorpekh make it into the Swarmlord. Unfortunately, the fight phase is a bit of a mixed bag. My Skorpekh only managed to get 2 wounds in leaving the Swarmlord on 9 Wounds left and lose two in return, however, my Overlord does down the 2nd big bug.
Thank goodness for that 3++ on the Swarmlord! And thanks to the Exocrine having moved up last turn onto the objective, I secure 10VP this turn for the primary, things are starting to look good! I move my remaining smiters up towards those Destroyers, and the Swarmlord stays in combat. I move the Exocrine further up the flank, paying for Symbiotic Devastation again.
My psychic phase seems to have fallen into a routine, Catalyst fails again! And I even have +1 to the casting roll! Luckily my smites remain on point and kill 2 more of the Destroyers. The Hive Guard also fire their shots into the Warriors and finally manage to wipe the squad, those guys certainly earned their points back purely from the amount of damage they soaked up!
The combat phase arrives and the Swarmlord seems to have remembered all of his past experience as a close combat fighter, and ends up finally wiping out the Destroyers! I really wish I managed to kill those Immortals though, as their obsec is gonna net James 5 more primary points. I only score 2 points for Engage on All Fronts on this turn, but I’ll take what I can get at this point.
Liam has a pretty good clear-up turn, he gets rid of my Skorpekh and finally downs the Warriors in my turn.
My shooting flank moves up a little more and shoots the Swarmlord. I got three wounds through! - He fails two 4++ saves and 11 damage goes through killing him. He blows up… and kills both my remaining Immortals, does 3 mortal wounds to my Catacomb Command Barge AND only gets 1 mortal wound on his remaining Zoanthrope. A bit of luck comes my way however, and the Annihilation Barge downs the last Zoanthrope. It's going to be a tight game - I've downed 10 While We Stand We Fight points this turn, I'm unlikely to get to the Hive Guard but if my Barge can survive I can potentially threaten them and at the very least go for another few points on Vital Ground and Purge the Vermin.
My Ophydian does come back on the board in Liam's deployment zone and completes my Deploy Scramblers too.
That Swarmlord explosion was clutch! Killing off those Immortals and doing those extra wounds to the Command Barge was a huge swing in my favour despite losing my warlord. I score 15VP on the primary, and thanks to it being the last turn, I don’t have to worry about sitting on objectives anymore! I just have to kill as much as I can to try and mitigate James’ turn 5 scoring, as he scores at the end of the turn instead of the beginning. The Broodlord advances up next to the Command Barge, and the Hive Guard step up to the building to try and hide themselves better incase the Command Barge survives. The Hormagaunts also run up, but I make a crucial error here: I leave the Rippers exactly where they were. This proves to be a big mistake, as I’m sure James will tell you about in his turn!
Hardly anything remains for my psychic phase, but my smites manage to plink off 3 wounds from the Command Barge. Symbiostorm is now useless thanks to the Hive Guard moving, so I opt not to cast it. The Exocrine fires his volleys into the Lokhust and only manages to kill 1.
The Broodlord and the Hormagaunts both declare charges on the Command Barge and both of them pass. The Broodlord makes his attacks and shows the Swarmlord how it’s done: he manages to plink off the last 3 wounds from the Barge and brings it down! With his consolidation he moves into the table quarter to secure me another 2 points for Engage on All Fronts. Lets see what James can do in his final turn.
Oh dear, the Mortal Wounds end my poor Command Barge and I’m left with 1 Ohydian, 2 Lokhurst Destroyers, an Annihilation Barge, a Chronmancer and a Hexmark. Not a great combination to deal with a unit of 20 Hormagaunts.
Highlights for this turn, I move, shoot and charge the Lokhurst Destroyers, an Annihilation Barge and Chronmancer into the Hormagaunts, but even with all of their shots, fights and a Blood Rites stratagem I only down 12 of them so Liam still holds that objective. My Hexmark pops onto my own objective.
On the other side of the board my Ophydian annihilates Liam's 4 Ripper Swarms, getting a lucky 6+ to hit on his Hyperphase Reap Blade and scores 4 wounds killing them all. With a consolidate he puts me on a 2nd objective. Unfortunately, even with this lucky play the game ends at 54:60 to the Tyranids.
Post game thoughts
What a brutal and close game! Out of all of James’ units I really feel that the Ophydians were his MVPs: both units together managed to deny me 5 primary as well as score 15 points between scramblers and a final gambit on the primary on T5! Out of my own units, I feel like I gotta give the MVP award to the Hive Guard. They did exactly what they were designed to do all game, plink off wounds from units whilst remaining hidden themselves.
Thanks again to James for a cracking game, and thank you all for reading!
To be honest, the game went better than expected. I wasn’t running the strongest list out there, the Lokhust Destroyers are VERY swingy on a good day, let alone a bad one - those turns they did not damage the Heirodule or Swarmlord definitely highlight this. This is something I see often with Necrons dedicated anti-tank, very high damage, but usually limited shots.
Liam definitely kept me on my toes throughout this game, and it definitely shows he’s got very good at playing this list. It's really well constructed, fights in every phase and is incredibly fast with the Swarmlord's double movement.
It was good fun playing with a “Destroyer Cult” type list, I really wish I had some of the normal Lokhust Destroyers to go with the list - They're definitely next on the list to get hold of.