Sunday, 25 October 2009

40k Battle Report - 2,000pts Imperial Guard vs. Necron’s (Chris Rea)

It is rare at the moment that I play 40k, with Flames of War dominating my gaming schedule. However, an old friend was coming over to play a game, and with my Lord Of The Rings troops somewhere at the bottom of a packed moving-house-box I offered to bring my guardsmen out of semi-retirement.

Two problems immediately faced me; firstly, my experience with the ‘New Guard’ of the latest Imperial Guard codex was negligible and not filled with glory, secondly the opposition would be the Necrons - my most feared enemies. My record against Necron armies is very bad, with only the one battle won in approximately 6-7 attempts, and that by a squeak while the enemy was distracted at the end.

The face of the enemy.

I turned firstly to two of my fellow generals of Guardsmen for advice, and armed with this picked my army. Tanks were the order of the day, with two demolishers, two hellhounds, two chimeras (with veterans inside) and two basilisks taking up most of my 2,000 points. An additional 67 infantrymen, primarily armed with lasguns, flamers and hope, made up the rest.
I had fought the enemy before, and fully expected a wave of scarabs to precede a line of Necron destroyers and heavy destroyers, with possibly some immortals thrown in for good measure. I was thus very surprised when two Monoliths, lots of warriors, two lots of immortals and only a few destroyers appeared! This did not bode well…..
The Battle:
My hopes of doing some serious damage to the enemy early on were dashed when we drew a Secure and Control mission, and a Dawn Of War setup. The enemy deployed first, and I was happy with my side because I felt I had two of the three objectives in easy striking distance (the hill and the farm, with the third objectives being in the graveyard). The Necron warriors deployed in the graveyard on my left, the destroyers and a unit of immortals on my right. My own deployment saw one squad in the trees to my left, and the HQ and a lascannon squad in the trees to the right.

Metal skeletons in a graveyard, tres bizzare non?

My opening bombardments managed to knock down one destroyer, who was swiftly avenged by his friends; killing all of my lascannon squad. This was almost the high point of my offensive as the monoliths then dropped into my lines and disgorged a unit of immortals and a Necron lord. Thankfully the particle whip thingy did little damage to my units, although the immortals destroyed a basilisk. The lord charged the demolisher in the centre, only to find it had moved at cruising speed and missed it completely!

The monoliths arrive.

A panoramic of the whole battlefield as the monoliths arrive.

My counter attack was quite successful. The lord fell to a hail of infantry and demolisher fire, and the immortals were completely destroyed. Sadly this came at the cost of the other basilisk, who managed the remarkable feat of blowing itself up with direct fire. Equally distressing was the way the Necron lord got straight back up and had another pop at my demolisher! The destroyers moved in on my right, and the two monoliths started to inflict some real damage upon my infantry.

On my left I had sent the two hellhounds to make a nuisance of themselves against the Warriors in the graveyard, however stone walls and steel Necrons clearly don’t burn easily and only one casualty was caused.
The central demolisher survived the lords advances (ooer) and joined in with the two, newly arrived, chimeras to put him back on his backside again. The hellhounds continued to bombard the warriors with no effect, and the right-hand demolisher failed to make an impression on the monolith there, which had, by now, decimated my infantry in the farm.

The Necron lord failed his I’ll-be-back roll, then failed his I’ll-be-back-using-a-monolith roll, then passed using his second I’ll-be-back-using-a-monolith attempt and went off to attack a chimera, rather successfully as it turned out. The survivors jumped out and used a meltagun to kill him for the third time. Meanwhile the monoliths had parked themselves upon both the hill and the farm, and lacking the firepower to remove them (both demolishers had by this time lost their cannons and their will to resist) I would be unable to claim an objective.

I decided upon a desperate, face-saving plan. With my last act of turn 5 I raced a hellhound through two lots of Necron warriors up and into the graveyard, passing the dangerous terrain tests required. All the objectives were now contested, and should the game end now I would claim an unlikely draw. If it didn’t the warriors would tear my tank to pieces and win at least 1-0. The dice rolled and came down on a 1 - a draw had been salvaged! Not only that but the game ended with the Necron lord still down - a moral victory!

The Necron lord on its way to its third, and final, comeuppance.

Simply put: I hate Necrons, and I’m struggling to get used to the new guard.

My Necron kill tally of 13 is definitely (sadly) my best ever, but I really struggle to kill them, and have yet to even scratch a monolith. The monoliths are my biggest problem; minus those bits of pyramids the Necron army would lack mobility, and my ordinance weapons should do the damage. But with them the enemy is upon me and my tanks stunned or shaken in the first couple of turns. I am grateful for the lack of scarabs this time round though!

My guard army, despite the desperate efforts of other commanders to offer advice, still looks and acts like a 4th ed. Army, and lacks ranged punch or sticking power. Both will hopefully come from experience of playing with them.

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