75T2: Operation Pliers Battle 3 – VS Necrons
It is with the fifth game played with the 75T2 I finally end up playing against Necrons again, after months of no activities from their tomb world. The prospect of fighting against them are a mixed feeling, as I would play them really often when I was still in the process of testing out the majority of the Tau units, and as such was often surprised by their incredible resilience, which accounted for many losses for the blueis.
Here’s a quick list rundown:Commander Shadowsun
XV8 Crisis Mesme Team: 2 Fireknife
XV8 Crisis Mesme Team: 2 Fireknife
XV8 Crisis Mesme Team: 1 Deathrain, 1 Shas’Vre with AFP
Fire Warrior Team: 9 Fire Warriors
Fire Warrior Team: 6 Fire Warriors with Pulse Carbines on a Dumbfish with Sensor Spines
Kroot Carnivores Kindred: 10 Kroot and 5 Kroot Hounds
Kroot Carnivores Kindred: 10 Kroot and 5 Kroot Hounds
Pathfinder Team: 6 Pathfinders on a Warfish
Sky Ray Defence Gunship, Warray with Blacksun Filter
XV88 Broadside Battlesuit: 2 ASS suits, one team leader with Bonding Knife and 2 Shield Drones
XV88 Broadside Battlesuit: 2 ASS suits, one team leader with Bonding Knife and 2 Shield DronesOpposing ArmyNecron Lord with Destroyer Body, Solar Pulse, Gaze of Flame and Chronometron
3 Heavy Destroyers
3 Heavy Destroyers
As some of you may have already have guessed after noticing the downed Devilfish chassis, this board was exclusively prepared for my persona with the excuse of my departure for Cardiff being soon. The guy who outfitted the terrain used really didn’t hold back at all.
Anyway, the field was most definitely uneven, which is generally a good thing in my opinion- it creates tactically interesting situations, though sometime it may be pretty dire on some kind of armies and/or to the one not choosing where to deploy. Which is actually a good thing really, as the game is a mock-up war
I could find use for both the hill on the middle-left, and the huge tree formation on the right; the several pieces of difficult terrain with mixed in broken chassis were mostly an annoyance really, as their positioning wasn’t going to do any good as cover, and could actually contain my movement.
I really hoped for a nice objective game in which I could deploy in the south-west corner if at all possible, as I could’ve had my Kroot advance in the forests while my typical double fire base could slowly split up while marching to the north and the east.Mission
Annihilation with Spearhead deployment, the Tau going first.
What the mission did force me to try and take advantage of whatever cover I could find in order to protect my softest targets, otherwise way too fragile with that many S6 AP4 shots on the field. I start questioning whether I should go for the nice quarter I already spotted, or go for the opposite one in order to achieve a better protection for my forces.Deployment
As with Necrons I really want to start shooting from as soon as possible, I end up opting for the north-east corner despite the little space it allows me for deploying my troops- which will be even less as there will be no reserves, which would otherwise fail my aim of shooting and shooting some more since the very beginning.
Knowing it will be a problem to move anywhere, I basically create a sort of firing corridor with the strongest shots coming from the bottom of it, and with several others coming from the side. After a sloppy deployment which I already know won’t be sufficient for me to JSJ the XV8s correctly, I infiltrate the Kroots with the intention of having them pop out as far as possible into the forest, giving me some early pot shots and the chance to go and hug some ‘crons as they come by.
The Necron player deploys in a typical if not fluffy legion formation, the Warriors in front and the Heavy Destroyers in the back, as far forward as possible. Their Monolith is going to come in by Deep Strike.
The Kroot successfully deploy as I wanted them to after the Pathfinders deep in the forest relocate for that little they could.
The opponent fails to seize the initiative.Tau Turn 1
After a little relocation which saw the Skyray go back a little in order to free up some firing lanes and much cursing from my side as I realize my deployment was even crappier than I thought
, I start opening up.
The Pathfinders score 5 Markerlight hits on the middle Destroyer squad, letting me with the serious chance of launching an effective Seeker barrage; I take it, as even though this squad will not be down for good (as per We’ll Be Back rules), thus ‘wasting’ the missiles, I actually get to effectively reduce the Necrons’ fire output by reducing the number of targets they can take during any given turn. So I end up having to fire all five Seeker Missiles, but eventually am successful in taking the Destroyers out.
The rest of the shooting sees off a couple more Destroyers from the left [Lilla] squad, one of which is down for good thanks to the Railguns, but overall is pretty unexciting as even with the Skyray’s markerlight support most of my shots are ineffective or predictably out of range.
The assault phase predictably doesn’t end up well, with none of the Crisis Suit Teams succeeding in hiding (one for such a silly mistake it’s not even worth typing it out), so I end up using Shadowsun as a screen for at least one of them (the [Azure] one).Necrons Turn 1
We’ll be back rolls see only two Destroyers getting back up, one going to the Lilla squad, and the other reinforcing the already strong [Black] squad.
The legion advances as the Heavy Destroyers relocate in a conga line to have a better line of sight, and the Necron Lord joins the Red squad. Shooting sees one XV8 off each of the Crisis Suit Teams and one wound remaining on the Azure survivor.
Shame befalls the lone Shas’Vre as he’s the only one that actually gets scared- though he runs only 6’’. Discipline rolls from left to right: 4, 11, and 9. Shadowsun actually saved one suit from breaking, good job girl!
.Tau Turn 2
The running Shas’Vre regroups with a roll of 10- O’Shaserra saves the knight from losing all honours
As the static Fire Warrior Team should be getting in range by now, I have the Dumbfish get out of their way so they can start shooting, and the [Green] Kroot Kindred starts getting out of the forest; the rest of the movement phase is just more relocating, and though this time it is a little better than before, I still am in a cramped little space for maneuvering.
Shooting takes focus on the Heavy Destroyers, and basically outright takes them all out thanks to great markerlight support coming from both sources. The sole survivor is actually gone to ground in order to still be. The 6+ saving throw saved (pun?) him from a friggin’ Railgun shot!
Predictably, and as to offset the good performance of the big guns, the pulse and Kroot shots only manage two downed Warriors in the [Purple] squad.Necrons Turn 2
Incredibly none of the downed Necrons gets back up.
In exchange, the Monolith comes out of the ground, and with a little scatter ends up in the midst of the upper left of the Tau’s formation, effectively forcing the Warfish, [Fuchsia] Fireknife and the Shas’Vre to relocate a little.
Taking advantage of the newly erected pyramid, the Purple Warrior squad teleports in the face of Shadowsun and opens up on her, inflicting two wounds on the commander and taking care of the two Shield Drones.
Meanwhile, the Destroyers close up in a close formation protecting the already badly damaged Lilla Squad, and open up on the Pathfinders who are reduced to a man. This lone Shas’la passes his leadership test with a roll of 8. Having a go at it again, eh, O’Shaserra?
The Destroyer is moving flat-out towards the right side of the Tau’s formation. Before you ask: no, he did not use the Solar Pulse, as he used it during the previous turn. Yeah I know.Tau Turn 3
Well, an enormous self-moving piece of LoS blocking terrain has just appeared in front of the Fuchsia suit. She’s more than happy to take advantage of it!
After some good repositioning of all of the XV8s and a consistent backtracking from the Warfish and the Skyray, the mounted Fire Warriors advance a little and disembark, the Fish hiding the lone Pathfinder, ready to start shooting their heart out at the Necron Lord while the [Lemon] Kindred moves up to confront it. [/i]I was forgetting I was not going to get the bonus attack from the charge, so the gamble for stalling the Lord was actually looking a little better than it was. Still, a silly mistake from my side, as the charge with the Green Kindred.[/i]
Shooting takes care of the Purple Squad, and sees Shadowsun actually using her Advanced Target Lock and target both the last Warrior and the Lord. She’s also the only one to put a wound on the Necron Lord during this whole turn.
Also, the left [Orange] Broadsides score the kill point on the remaining Heavy Destroyer, and the right [Brown] Broadsides actually end up taking a pot shot at the Monolith; it started to look good when they scored a penetrating hit, but the damage chart roll was a 1, meaning Stunned.
Both Kindreds charge, scoring a kill on the Black Destroyers, but ultimately failing and breaking in both cases. The Lemon Kindred is caught by the Necron Lord in the process.
As I forget the Particle Whip can fire regardless of Stunned results, I move all of my suits bar the Fuchsia Fireknife.Necrons Turn 3
We’ll Be Back rolls keep failing, with only one Warrior getting back up despite the teleporting Black Destroyers. I sigh out of relief when the Particle Whip is not fired, though I have now a good chance of seeing a multicharge going off.
The now 11-strong Necron Warriors squad advances, taking the only shot it can against the fleeing Kroot who are reduced to only two members, and the Lilla Destroyers move to the side while killng off the Shas'Vre. Shadowsun is… Well, Destroyed by the Blacks, with 12 wounds being scored, and the Brown Broadsides get charged by the Lord, again proving that my Shield Drones are meant to die at the very first wound I assign them, but successfully inflicting a wound and remaining locked in combat. For the worst, I fear, as I won’t be able to shoot at the Lord during my turn.Tau Turn 4
Just minor movements again, as the Cadre readies its weapons to finally get rid of all the Destroyers left on the field.
The Pathfinder and the Skyray get all three markerlight hits on the Black Destroyers, which are annihilated thanks to the hard work of the Broadsides and the Fireknifes’ (though the Warfish proved itself useless, not scoring a single hit
. The Lillas are killed off, and again the rest of the small arms fire is pretty ineffective- all but the fleeing Kroots’ actually, who manage to down a Warrior.
The melee combat ends up with a good 0 to 0, meaning I won’t have to worry about the Lord for now.
A couple of jumps later, the Azure suit is finally hiding behind something, and the other is most definitely going to be out of range of all but the Monolith during the next turn.Necrons Turn 4
The downed Warrior doesn’t get up, confirming the Kindred’s kill. A nice, little revenge.
The Necron Warriors move so the Kroot won’t be able to stay on the table and fire at the static Fire Warriors Team, downing two.
The Necron Lord finally kills the Broadsides.Tau Turn 5
Again, just minor adjustments during the movement phase.
The suits get rid of the Lord, while the Warfish tries to save them the hassle but fails once again at hitting people.
The Pathfinder gets into the Dumbfish ‘just because’, while the Skyray scores two Markerlight hits, giving the Broadsides the best possible accuracy while firing at the Warriors squad, predictably obliterating two. The squad is then pounded by a total of 29 Pulse Shots equivalents, and three more are down.
JSJ finally sees its purpose fulfilled.
The Necron turn doesn’t take place, as even without rolling for We’ll Be Back the army would be under the required number of Necron models required not to phase out.
Tau victory, Phase Out and 7 Kill Points to 5.Post-Game Thoughts
I did commit mistakes, as not taking better care of my deployment (which is often fatal) and taking an almost impossible gamble with both Kroot Kindreds, basically throwing two KP away, but the general failings of the WBB rolls and the opponent’s long hiatus from the hobby really made the difference.
As for the game plan, mine was arguably nothing spectacular, though it proved at least a little effective. I was actually surprised at the Necron player’s missed chance of running to the side left with the Destroyers during first turn, from where he could’ve launched an attack from which I couldn’t easily (if at all) escape. He normally pulls off this kind of tricks on people; I guess he really was out of practice.Honorable Units
1. Pathfinders: these guys kept scoring an insane number of Markerlight hits all game long, giving my shots a much better chance of scoring any kill, and even refused to give out a kill point by having a member survive a barrage of 24 S6 AP4 shots.
2. Broadsides: the heavily armored Shas’uis proved once again to be the list’s main means of giving out hurt, their accurate firing only to be subpar during the first turn. One team also successfully neutered the Necron Lord for a full turn against all expectations, keeping him in melee.
3. Shadowsun: Though she eventually died, she was the main reason the Tau line held, with 3 morale checks out of the 6 rolled passed thanks to her presence, and only one failure scored with an 11. She also scored a wound that would prove fatal to the Necron Lord later in the game, as the combined firepower I directed at the guys was actually capable of inflicting only the very last wound he had- a symbolic victory even in her death.Bonus: Skyray
As the holder of the Seekers launched at the beginning of the game, and as a markerlight source that only once failed to deliver both of the counters onto the enemy, the tank deserves at least this much space.
I have one more game scheduled before I leave for Cardiff on the 23rd, though I’m yet to discover whether it will actually be held or not. We’ll see.