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 Post subject: Tactica Tau vs Necrons (Draft 2)
PostPosted: Jul 31 2006 07:15 
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There's been a lot of discussion on how to beat necrons lately so I thought I'd write something about it. I've written a summary of necron capabilites and how to deal with them.

I originally intended to include some stuff on what to take in a tau force, but T0nkaTruckDriver's original MTT article is fine already. Follow the link a few posts down. I do think some words need to be added regarding new options available since Tau Empire was published though.

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Tactica Tau vs Necrons

Introduction:
Tau players widely regard necrons as one of the hardest armies to beat. This article aims to provide you with the information to recognise and exploit necron strengths and weaknesses.

The Necrons:
At first glance the necron army appears to present a similar problem to the space marines, both have T4 and Sv3+. There are however big differences in manoeuvrability, durability, armament and armament distribution.

Manoeuvrability:
The necrons have three movement types available to them: infantry, jet bike and teleportation/deepstrike.

For tau, the jet bike troops are the most dangerous, these include mobile firepower units (destroyers and heavy destroyers) and fast assault units (wraiths and scarabs). The destroyer types are capable of applying firepower in normally secure areas, making JSJ tactics more difficult. The assault units can tie-up and destroy our units by turn 2, making for a potent threat in the lines.

Infantry units (the rest) are slow, tough and can put out respectable firepower. Basic warriors will probably be more static as they use rapid fire weaponry. Immortals (and more rarely pariahs) have much better assault-type weapons, capable of destroying fire warriors with ease.

Teleportation is a force multiplier, gained through necron-lord wargear and the monolith. It only applies to units specifically classed as ‘necron' i.e. not pariahs, scarabs, tomb-spyders or monoliths. It works in two ways, one is to remove a lord and accompanying unit from their location and deepstrike them elsewhere, the other is to teleport through a monolith from within 18". A common tactic is teleporting a lord with a squad of immortals into an advanced position, possibly in your deployment zone. Another one to watch out for is a deepstriking monolith being used to reposition units more rapidly than you expect.

Durability:
Durability is the necron army's principal gimmick, much like tau jetpacks and firepower. In addition to high toughness (4 to 5) and armour saves (3+), the resilience comes from a rule called ‘we'll be back' (WBB). At its simplest this means that each model you kill, that is classed as ‘necron', will keep fighting if your opponent rolls 4+ on a D6 at the start of their turn. Over the course of a game this will, on average, double the number of necrons you have to destroy compared to a similar number of marines.

There are weaknesses to WBB though.
Weakness 1: It will not work if a model is killed by an attack that causes instant death, or a close combat attack that allows no armour save.

Weakness 2: It won't work if there are no active necrons of the same type within 6" (lords excepted).

Weaknesses 3 & 4: There's no WBB if the unit is wiped out in a sweeping advance or during a failed death or glory attempt.

The necron commander also has a few ways to counter these weaknesses. The Resurrection orb (almost every lord will have one) counteracts weakness 1 for all units within 6". The tomb-spyder helps with weakness 2, if it's within 12" and another unit of the same type is on the board. The monolith allows failed WBB rolls to be re-rolled for the unit that it teleports that turn.

Exploiting the weaknesses in WBB is the key to defeating the necrons.[b] So apply instant death (or O'Shovah's attacks) beyond the range of the resurrection orb. Destroy whole units before moving on. Remove the WBB infrastructure where possible/necessary.

[b]Phase out:

As a counterweight to WBB the necron army also has the ‘phase out' rule. What this does is give you automatic victory if over 75% of enemy models classed as ‘necron' are dead after the necron player makes their WBB rolls. This may affect your targetting priority re. shooting dangerous units vs. going for phase out.

Armament and its Distribution:
Necron armament is distributed in a similar manner to tau. This means units with uniform armament, with the heavier stuff entirely in a few key units. As tau players you should be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages this will cause a necron commander. Suffice to say no ‘meatshields' for their good stuff, but also no deadweight either when they shoot back at you.

The necrons have very few options for their units, only the commanders have any real choice of wargear.

Necron weaponry on the whole is fairly low power for shooting at heavy (Sv 3+) infantry. It gets markedly better vs 4+ saves though, so firewarrior based armies need to be careful. The main thing to note about necron weaponry is that, apart from the staff of light, every gun can potentially hurt everything. Even so, the necrons' only serious anti-tank weapon is the heavy gauss cannon, every other gun will rely on rolling a few 6's. Even your fast-moving, fully-upgraded hammerhead can be shot down by a basic necron warrior, so beware.

Summary:
The necron army's manoeuvrability is comparable with the tau. Large parts are static in nature, but the more powerful units have much greater ability to move. These fast, powerful units present the main threat to a tau army.

Necrons' low overall weapon strength and extremely high durability lend themselves to an attrition style of play. They'll grind you down slowly and you'll do the same to them. Unfortunately they can get up again, so you have to make your attacks hit hard for minimal return fire and stop the WBB rolls to win. (This will apply to any opponent of course, with the exception of WBB.)

Thanks for reading.

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Last edited by Prophaniti on Aug 02 2006 06:30, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jul 31 2006 07:37 
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Nice summary! Points out the important parts and gives a very nice overview :)
I would also point out that another drawback of the Necrons is their extremely high point cost, making their numbers relatively small. So although every second model is likely to be saved by WBB, you also will have a smaller number of models compared to Space Marines, which will eventually "only" put them on par with them "amount-wise".
And I'm not sure if you meant it that way, but anyway...the Necron makes his WBB rolls on his turn not on yours ;)
Others than that, gute Arbeit :smile:

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PostPosted: Jul 31 2006 08:03 
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Very nice, but there is a lot of reinventing of the wheel going on here, T0nka's already written a pretty comprehensive guide, and all it needs is some updating for the new codex.

http://www-personal.engin.umich.edu/~leebj/necrons.html

Hate to rain on your parade, but it's usually a good idea to check if an article has already been written before you write it.

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PostPosted: Jul 31 2006 08:17 
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That doesn't mean we can't cross-reference the two guides to see if one author said something the other didn't... after all, comparing results and methods is a good way to turn tactics into science! :smile:

Also, the more guides for Necron-smashing, the better! :fear:

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PostPosted: Jul 31 2006 08:26 
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I agree. My old friend who got me into 40k was going to play as Necrons! Unfortuantly, he moved away a year ago (Stupid Army), and, as such, have noone to play 40k with. Needless to say, I'm quite sad. :::(

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PostPosted: Aug 01 2006 04:37 
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thats pretty good :)


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PostPosted: Aug 02 2006 06:41 
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I've revised the original draft slightly having read T0nka's article. I agree there's a lot that's similar, but I think I've added something worthwhile. For what to take in a tau army I can't add much to the original article.

From all the new stuff, I might consider sniper drone teams against necrons. You will need to protect them though and have a place for them in your army. Vespids have the right weapons, but are too fragile for me to consider seriously. I don't think any of the other new stuff really adds to the tau capabilities vs. necrons.

I forgot to add anything regarding necron army size, so anyone reading this look at the 2nd post.

Thanks for the feedback.

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PostPosted: Aug 03 2006 01:22 
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The thing is, this is still a summary, and while it is good and all, anyone with a decent brain can figure out that much just by reading the codex. What these Tacticas are for is to help a player who has no experience against said race, to tell him what to expect and how to counter it, what tactics and maneuvers his opponent is likely to use and what he needs to watch out for.

Here's an example:
A number of Necrons players do this: 2 Monoliths teleport roughly 18" in front of their army and instantly bring two large Warrior units into your face while at the same time the Lord teleports a unit of 10 Immortals beside them.
This is a standard and utterly devastating tactic for Necrons, now how does one counter this ?

Or this one: If your opponent is playing a Destroyer heavy force then watch out for this trick: a Tomb Spyder, a single H. Destroyer and a Destroyer team will be found lurking somewhere near the back where you cannot get at them. The reason is, so long as the Spyder is near those teams, his other (H) Destroyers will get their WBB roll even if there is no model of their kind nearby.
How does one counter this ?


So, those are the kind of things I'd expect to see in a tactica article. A summary is good, a good intro, but what tactics to expect and how to counter them is the most important bit.

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PostPosted: Aug 03 2006 01:31 
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Mephet'ran wrote:
Or this one: If your opponent is playing a Destroyer heavy force then watch out for this trick: a Tomb Spyder, a single H. Destroyer and a Destroyer team will be found lurking somewhere near the back where you cannot get at them. The reason is, so long as the Spyder is near those teams, his other (H) Destroyers will get their WBB roll even if there is no model of their kind nearby.
How does one counter this ?


Show him the rulebook! ;)
It won't be a huge problem, as there'll only ever be two heavy destroyer units, as you have to take tomb spyders as well (all heavy slots), and the HD has to be within 12" of the tomb spyder when it dies. It's just as easy to keep them within 6" of each other.

And the trick is to kill both HDs in the same turn, so there aren't any HDs on the board, so they can't WBB. This shouldn't be too hard, if the HD misses or doesn't destroy its target the target can shoot back.

But yes... that is the kind of thing that is really useful, though the summary is really good for people that aren't familiar with a particular army. A Tyranid one would be really handy.

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PostPosted: Aug 03 2006 02:27 
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Quote:
But yes... that is the kind of thing that is really useful, though the summary is really good for people that aren't familiar with a particular army. A Tyranid one would be really handy.

There already is one lurking somewhere, I hope it hasn't been irretrievably buried, it was quite good.

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PostPosted: Aug 03 2006 03:15 
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OK. I'll re-read T0nka's article, have a look at some necron sites and take on board any more 'dirty tricks' people suggest. Suggested solutions for each problem would be good too. I don't know everything about beating necrons ;) I'll put them in the article at the top later.

Thanks for all the input, this is a community after all.

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PostPosted: Aug 03 2006 09:30 
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Mephet'ran wrote:
Here's an example:
A number of Necrons players do this: 2 Monoliths teleport roughly 18" in front of their army and instantly bring two large Warrior units into your face while at the same time the Lord teleports a unit of 10 Immortals beside them.
This is a standard and utterly devastating tactic for Necrons, now how does one counter this ?


Pray. :D This is completely destructive to any Mechanized army as the number of gauss shots (+ Gauss Flux Arcs!!!) will at the minimum prevent the Hammerheads from firing. An overall counter is to utilize large numbers of Kroot/Fire Warriors to screen your firebase. The pushback keeps fire from hitting your heavy guns, and you can focus on destroying one warrior pack and hopefully a Monolith. At close range, two Fireknife teams guided by Markerlights and a Broadside team should do the trick. This is a case where Static/Hybrid has a distinct advantage over their Mechanized counterparts.

Mephet'ran wrote:
Or this one: If your opponent is playing a Destroyer heavy force then watch out for this trick: a Tomb Spyder, a single H. Destroyer and a Destroyer team will be found lurking somewhere near the back where you cannot get at them. The reason is, so long as the Spyder is near those teams, his other (H) Destroyers will get their WBB roll even if there is no model of their kind nearby.
How does one counter this ?


Utilize SMS fire to pick off the hiding Destroyer(s). This isn't that great a Necron move as it takes an entire Destroyer unit out of play. It's much better to use the Destroyers' speed to position a single member of their unit behind LOS-blocking terrain and allow the other 4 to rain shots down.


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PostPosted: Aug 03 2006 11:18 
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Prophanti, I liked it. I would do a write up considering known tactics that can be used against us however.

For instance, the monolith that deepstrikes into a firebase, then unloads warriors who disembark, move and assault a few units. They aren't great in HTH, but they are better then us.

I think the focusing on units is a good idea, but how do we do this? What would you sudgest is the best way to take out enemy units.

Also, what has target priority first? In my opinion it is the destroyers. With the cast number of shots they get, I would think they would be enemey number 1.


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PostPosted: Aug 07 2006 11:38 
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A unit of 17-20 necron warriors charging anything short of Farsight is utterly devestating to us. Kroot aren't capable of killing enough to stop the inevitable destruction by their lack of saves and that many attacks. Being outnumbered means they are gone. Necrons then massacre into another unit.

The problem with the firebase to make a pushback to save the railheads is the fact that the Necrons can either charge the Kroot and expect to stay in a fight or massacre into a new unit also causing pushback, or the rear elements blow apart the kroot packs and then the warriors shoot the tanks anyway. I've been on the receiving end of 4 units of 17+ warriors with a monolith and a veiling lord. Immortals aren't necessary when you pump 40 shots at 12" anyway. The guy charged units, shot apart ones that were too far to charge, and used the monolith to pound 4 vehicles when it arrived.

Necrons that aren't optimized to kill marines actually devastate us fairly easily. They just rely on numbers to win, and even marines can't really counter these lists easily.

(2 lords, both with orbs, 1 with veil. 2 units of 20 warriors, 1 of 18, 1 of 17. 1 monolith all in 2K points.)

Beware these lists. They appear tame until you see them in your face turn 2.

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PostPosted: Aug 08 2006 12:06 
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warriors are easier to kill (just FB and rapid fire PR!) than T5 Immortals.

20 man necron teams are impossible to kill

3 x 3 strong Helios are the only way to get enough, they kill 18 (assuming all the shots hit). And they have to be at 12" to do so, which means the 2 survivors can rapid fire back, kill any drones and probably nail a crisis in the process (with the "roll a 6 insta kill" rule)


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PostPosted: Aug 08 2006 08:03 
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there is no roll a 6 insta-kill for gauss. It's just a 6 always wounds. Those helios are not all going to hit and even then, they get back up. The lords never allows a unit that is in your face to be denied WBB with the Orb as long as the unit has 1 model within 6" of the same type. It's not like you can't kill the Necrons, it's that they just get up and ruin your day.

Immortals aren't that great when you think about how utterly unimpressed these 17+ man units are with enemy fire as long as there is a lord nearby and they maintain good coherency. Kill 15 and watch 8 get up and then teleport and another 4 show up next to a monolith. Those 14 then charge a unit after moving 8 away from the monolith and you lose a unit or actually have your stupidly brave shas make their morale check and so now you can't shoot those warriors.

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PostPosted: Aug 12 2006 02:01 
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I was going to start a thread about this but I might aswell just ask it here....

What does everybody use to combat Wraiths? I was thinking of maybe using a stealth team or a crisis suit with a high fire rate? Because it seems a waste using plasma or fusion on them because of there bloody 3+ invunerable save!


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PostPosted: Aug 12 2006 04:00 
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Wraiths ? Dead easy. SMS fire really, really hurts them because they cannot hide from it. Wraiths are no tougher than Marines, and you're not going to face more than 3 or so, because Destroyers are so good, so SMS fire is the answer.

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PostPosted: Aug 12 2006 05:04 
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lovely stuff. Cheers :biggrin: I'm fighting Necrons quite soon and my brother just bought a squad of 3 Wraiths. SMS it is


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PostPosted: Aug 12 2006 09:52 
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Mephet'ran wrote:
... you're not going to face more than 3 or so....


I saw 9 the other day and two monoliths in a 1500pts game.... :fear: Beardy his army was.

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