Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Immortals: Tesla Vs Gauss

The list is in for my last tournament of the year and it includes 2 x 10 Immortals with Gauss Blasters.

How did I arrive at this decision and is it the right one?

I use one of the units with a Veil of Darkness/Abyssal Staff/Nightmare Shroud Crytpek and, from another Royal Court, I have a Destruction Cryptek w/ Gaze of Flame - these attach to Anrakyr's Phyrrian Eternals.

The other unit of Immortals has a Destruction Cryptek w/ Pulse.

For context, the list is:

Anrakyr the Traveller - Command Barge (Warscythe, Tahcyon Arrow, Mind in the Machine)
Overlord - Command Barge, Warscythe, Sempiternal Weave, Mindshackle Scarabs
Royal Court - 3 Destruction Cryptek w/ 1 Pulse, 1 Despair Cryptek w/Veil
Royal Court - 2 Destruction Crytpek w/ 1 Pulse and 1 Gaze of Flame
1 x 10 Phyrrian Eternals (Immortals with Furious Charge and Counter Attack)
1 x 10 Immortals
3 x 5 Warriors
1 x 7 Scarabs
1 x 6 Scarabs
Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge

So Tesla or Gauss? It is a tough decision. For the Eternals, the decision was, for me, easy...

With the set up they have, they will often sit back, slowly advancing on foot and firing off the AP2 missile from the Cryptek, once the 2 Solar Pulses have been spent, they will use the Veil to port in close to an enemy infantry unit, typically an isolated unit, often dismebarked in the early turns through firepower.

Combining the Abyssal Staff (template ap2, tests vs LD - so Breath of Chaos as alot of the time, it'll kill on 4+) with 20 S5 AP4 shots we can put some very serious hurt on a unit, addin the additional Ap2 S8 shot, and we can really take down a unit.

The return fire should be minimal as we have 12 bodies in the unit and 10 3+ saves. We can of course, get back up on 5's..  the selection of target unit is critical, as is the level of support from the rest of the army - both of these factors will help to minimise the casualties on the Crons.

What if it is a combat unit? Well, our initial volley should put some very real hurt onto the unit. We then have 3 other factors that'll help in assault..
1) Counter Attack - giving 2 attacks to the Immortals
2) WS4 means most people hit on 4's 
3) Gaze of Flame - defensive grenades reducing the attacks of the enemy by 1.

So, are the Eternals going to win the fight? Against a 'real' CC unit? Nope. But the question should really be in that case - "why did you put them near a cc unit?"

Against MSU units, yes, they are going to, especially after a good round of shooting when the Eternals port in.

Are they a comabt unit? Hell, no. don't get confused! Just becuase they are slightly more resilient to assault than other necron units, that's all it is - resiliency.

During the first 2 turns as they are keeping their distance from the enemy army, the Gauss weaponry will not be having any real impact on the enemy. During Night Fight/Pulse periods, the idea is to maximise distance from the enemy, whilst getting into position ourselves and maximising our firepower.
Gauss doesn't really help with this.

Tesla could though.
Or could it?
10 Tesla's with an effective range of 30" (due to 'Assault') will kill 1.8 MEQ per turn. Turn one you may not get this, but from T2 - T5 (which we can be sure of) we'll get it...so about 7.2 MEQ over the game.

Vs Rhino's (the most common chassis on the tabletop) we can only glance it to death. Whilst we'll hit around 40 times, due to S5, glancing (-2 to table) and Tesla Ap '-' we are minusing 3 from our glancing result.. so we need 6's to glance, followed by 6's to cause meaningful damage.

That's about 1 result per game. Or 2 as we could have 2 units..

and No Land Raiders..but that is what Scarabs and speeding Warscythes are for.. lol.

How does that comapre to Gauss?

Well, the units WILL be moving all the time, whether to maximse distance FROM the enemy or to Veil in or walk towards the enemy.

So, we'll look just at rapid fire figures. Straight away we know we'll be producing more than the 2 extra Tesla hits that are produced on average. 20 Shots is impressive. Vs MEQ it produces 3 dead per turn instead of 2.
Vs Rhinos we can produce 3 decent results per game, or 6 with two units..
LR's we can actually do something to, but are not likely to as we have to be pretty close and then will die...so whilst it is a possibility, let's not even look at it!
Last ditch effort...lol

Vs enemies that are not marines, the AP4 is fantastic. We cut down literally hordes of guys with gauss. The vast majoity of non 3+ saves are T3.
So we kill on 2's, resulting in 11 dead per turn. Impressive.

None of these figures factor in the AP2 S8 missile or the Abssyal Staff (kills on a 4+ vs most targets at Ld8) as we are trying to purely consider the 2 guns.

However, the role of the unit is crucial in figuring out what's what.

The Eternals will be up close and personal, veiling in and vaporising a unit. Receiving a charge and hopefully fighting them off through weight of numbers and the +1/-1, 2 attack swing from CA/GoF.

The second unit of Immortals will maintain their distance and fire missiles are transports for the first two turns, before or as they move towards the mid field objective. in the md field, their rapid firing gauss will make a real impact whilst spraying enemy troops approaching the objective.

Due to the role of the untis and the roles of the rest of the army (which I'm keeping stumm on til after Blog Wars, but is pretty freakin' obvious) then Gauss is the way forward for me.

How about you guys? Have you been using Gauss or Tesla? Which do you find to be better and for what reasons?


  1. So far I've used tesla on my two units of immortals. I really liked the ability to move and fire at max distance, plus the extra hits. I think the tesla came off bad in your MEQ comparison, 9 tesla will get 9 hits on average against 6 for gauss at long range. If you assume that the enemy will not conveniently stay within 18", you must rapid fire the gauss weapons a few turns to offset the extra tesla output at range.

    However I like that you have built your list to maximize the option for rapid firing at the enemy.

    I will continue using teslas for the near future, but I look out with interest for your reports how your immortals do at Blog Wars.


  2. good decision in my opinion. i like the list a lot, especially the considered use of veil and immortals. i also like that you are not going overboard on Scarabs like some are. i don't think it is necessary at all in most lists.

    actually, this list bears quite some resemblance to the first 'gut feeling' list i posted on release day.

    Overlord - Phaeron upgrade
    Overlord - Phaeron upgrade
    Cryptek - eldritch lance, solar pulse
    Cryptek - eldritch lance
    Cryptek - tremorstave
    Cryptek - tremorstave
    Immortals - 10, gauss blasters
    Immortals - 10, gauss blasters
    Immortals - 10, tesla carbines
    Immortals - 10, tesla carbines
    Warriors - 5
    Warriors - 5
    Scarabs - 10
    Scarabs - 10
    Annihilation Barge
    Annihilation Barge
    Annihilation Barge

    of course yours is much better, because of the tricks you can pull off, and i had too many troops without a clear idea of what to do with them, but it is quite gratifying to see that some of my initial feelings might be correct.

    oddly, i am seeing a lot of lists for this event which, given average luck, i could give some serious problems to, yours included. in your own case of course, you are too experienced a player to give me anything other than the minimum targets for demo charges, but i suspect some other players may not be so canny...

  3. I've taken tesla carbines on mine, this is mainly so they can advance and still fire, but also because they will be sitting on objectives. I have kept the gauss blasters ready for 6th ed changes ;)

  4. @Rathstar - with regard to the Tesla/Gauss comparison..I was applying numbers based off of use. The Eternals can get rapid fire from Turn 1 if necessary mate. The other squad can't of course.. but neither are they likely to get shot at. Conversely, the same would be true for tesla Immortals.

    @Atreides - I must admit to being more scraed thn I think I should be to play your force, I will of course provide minimal targets and soft options such as scarabs or warriors...but still, I'm not looking forward to the demo charges...time to work on that deeep strike defense strategy...spread out boys between the cover!! Make him mishap!

    @Mercer - Thats a fair few points sat on objectives bud? Not better for saving a solar pulse for later in the game and protecting small warrior squads that way?

  5. Great analysis and some good points. Thanks.