Friday, 18 January 2013

Necrons Vs Seer Council Eldar w. Dark Eldar

The draw has been made for Caledonian Uprising 2013, this weekend in Mansfield, UK.
Its a 100 player (ish, not sure final number) tournament at 1850.
5 games over the 2 days.
Draws some very high calibre players.
Gaz Jones is one of them.

He is who I am playing in Game One.
Now, I do not know what the mission or deployment is, but I do know the army...I can hope regarding the deployment and mission..
I also don't know the player.
On Gaz, Killswitch/Alex knows him and he tells me he is a very, very good player.

I can find out from Rankings (not that I didn't know already as someone who has kept his eye on these things) that he is a top player and ranked 2nd in the UK at the minute and has been for a long time.

I can only hope that he is a top bloke as well (I'm sure he is) and we will have a good game.

So, he plays Eldar with Dark Eldar allies.

Let's look.
NOTE: To be honest, this process is more for me than it is for you guys as readers, but I hope its interesting anyway.. It's DEEP analysis..

Farseer - Jetbike, Fortune, Doom, Mind War, Eldritch Storm, Stones
Seer Council x 7 (enhance, embolden, 5 destructors)
5 Fire Dragons - Exarch, Crack Shot, Tank Hunter
5 Pathfinders
3 Guardian Jetbikes
3 Guardian Jetbikes
5 DE Warriors
3 War Walkers - 6 Missiles
3 War Walkers - 6 Missiles
Bastion - Quad Gun

Hmmmm... let's think about it..

So, Council do the heavy lifting. They have the secondary Farseer and the Baron attached. That takes care of that and we can put them to one side for now. We'll assume for now they are a pain in the ass.
I've played against a Council exactly like this just TWICE in 6th, and I know the game and how it works so we'll park these fuckers for now.

Moving on.

Guardian Jetbikes stay in reserve. They come in as late as possible, or failing that, zoom around in hiding until they can zoom out for a last minute objective claim or contest.
That's them nailed. Fuck all offensive capability.
How do we kill them? Well to be fair to them.. whilst they have extra save and toughness from the jetbikes or from turboboosting...they are not actually very tough - they are essentially just 3 very fast moving marines...can you kill 3 marines? yes, yes you can.


The Bastion. a medium sized building which holds 30 dudes across at least a couple of levels. It's AV14 too. Now we all know about the Bastion, but to be honest we've not really seen a great deal of use given to it..
Here however do I see some good use from it.
Anecdotally, I used a Bastion for a couple of games a week or so back with my Crons and a Coteaz allied GK force. It was pretty much just a Dreadknight to tie stuff up and soak fire, with Coteaz and some acolytes/servitors on the roof of the bastion with an Aegis.
I used a Necron Warrior squad inside the Bastion to fire out the Heavy Bolters on an angle and they certainly were able to put out more fire than just 5 dudes.
So how does this fit in here?
In my mind I see the Pathfinders on the roof with good firing spots and excellent cover, they also are almost invulnerable as I'm not sure they can be flamed on top of the Bastion.
Next component is the DE Warriors, they can hang out "mid-bunker"  manning the Heavy Bolters and using the fire points to shoot poison too.
All with relative impunity as they can't be shot at in return. Fuckers.
Eldrad? My guess is this elderly fucker gets his walking stick out and hangs it on the whopping great barrel of  the quad gun.

Hmm..the other alternative before I forget is the Pathfinders man the Heavy Bolters in the Bastion. There are quite a few fire points in the building to fire from so that is no wasted shots, but the main reason I can see is that the Heavy Bolters can benefit from the Pathfinders AP2 on 5/6 to hit. What I need to check is whether this is on the Pathfinder's Long Rifle or just on the weapon they are shooting.
If it is on gun, then manning the HB's in th Bastion could be an excellent way of getting some more anti light vehicle utility in to the list.

War Walkers - these hang around the Bastion in cover of it and in range to get Guided by Eldrad. I guess they do have the tactical option of outflanking, but with weaponry designed to increase their range and maximise the distance between their fragile shells and the enemy...I can't see it. So they get a 4+ cover save from the Bastion and they are Guided to be more accurate.
They will certainly keep my Wraiths honest. But I roll 3+ like a champ so fuck em lol! ;)

On a quick side note - the vast majority of Necron armies at Caledonian are running the Wraith wing with D Lord up front tanking 2+. T6 saves... this may prove to be the counter to S8 missiles which are AP3.
It is fucking boring though..

If I get first turn, it may very well be worthwhile jumping in with Immortals and glance-fucking one sqaudron down and out - first blood and halving the long range offensive capabilities of the Eldar.
Otherwise, my strategy is dependent on the deployment of the mission.
If I am deploying in Vanguard or the Dawn Of War deployment, then I am able to deploy aggressively just off of the 24 away line. Depending where the Council is, I may be able to move forward and shoot at the War Walkers to pimp slap that long range fire support. The issue here of course, is that if I move forward too aggressively, then the Council could, in theory, get on me first turn..which I don't want. What I want is to bring all my forces to bear against them when I am ready, not when he is.

The other options depend on terrain , but if I can keep my Wraiths out of sight and the Barges covered, then I am golden. Sure, the ML can hurt the AV13, but it is glancing on 5's, with cover.. so I should be ok. Of course I will lose stuff, that is inevitable.
Depending on how the terrain is set up then I may be able to nail the council too..

Fire Dragons
These will of course rape my barges if they get close enough. Whilst I am not worried about the dragons ever making it close enough to the Annihilation Barges, they will form up around the bastion and push forward in cover close enough to react if my CCBarge Lord flies over to smash the Bastion with his Warscythe.
Whilst the Dragons have a 3+ save, there are only 5 of them and discounting the Council, there is very little support for them going forward. If they were to move up unsupported, there is very little to stop me from just blasting them away before they get into range..can you kill 5 marines a turn? yup.
Why discount the council? Because of their immense speed. The Council will not sit around and wait for the FD to keep pace on foot, most of all because this means I get more turns to shoot them! So, the dragons will be on their own.
So let's examine. No one wants a throw away unit unless they can definitely get their job done. On foot, Fire Dragons advancing on the enemy cannot promise their general that they will slag a big ass tank.
So what are the other options available to the Dragons?
Sit in the Bastion.
Bottom level by the access door.
Mid level Warriors on the HB's
Battlements - pathfinders with Eldrad on the Quaddie.
What function do they perform here?
They are relatively safe - unless you can repeatedly glance the building multiple times....and they can wait for the appropriate target to get close to them.. like that bit in Gladiator "I have been told of a certain sea snake..."  Lying in wait for the foe to arrive, then storming out and blasting them away.
Their S8 also adds to the Anti-Wraith ability in the army, they also match the close ranged nature of the Wraiths but lack their speed, so what better way to deal with this without Mechanisation...than springing the trap. Inside the Bastion we forget the unit is present. We forget that lethal melta weaponry is just hanging, waiting for us to get close then with a 18" threat bubble all around the Bastion, they leg it out and boom! Melta us...
How do I deal with them in that case? well, we either wait for the boys to come out of their hidey hole to play, or we huff and puff and blow the house down.
If they surge out to melta a target, their juiciest targets are going to be Wraiths - who can counter the melta with a 3++ save, or the Command Barge, which will want to get in close and wreck the Bastion. This guy will have a 4+ from turbo boost, except the Exarch ignores cover so not much I can do there.. the other shots will be mitigated to an extent, but the exarch will hurt.

To deal with them then, what I need to do is cause a large number of glancing hits on the Bastion or destroy it through a Penetration.
How can I do that as a Necron? It is AV14 and this is an area that Crons struggle with at range..
Well, this brings me to my overall solution to the Bastion in general.
I need it to be at least 6" on from the long table edge, or in the hammer and anvil deployment I need it to be at least 32" on.. that isn't possible so in Hammer and Anvil I need to be slightly more patient and get my set up right.
This is the key.
NOT to killing the Bastion.
But to killing the guys inside the Bastion!
A glancing hit on the fortification kills a guy inside with no cover saves.
Voltaic Staff (of which I have a mere two in this army...damn!) can cause up to 4 glancing hits.
Each Voltaic staff also has a 42% chance to penetrate the Bastion, with a um... shitty 6% chance overall to killing it flat out! lol.
But I am not trying to kill the Bastion.
Just the dudes.
Each Haywire volley should cause enough glances to make 3/4 saves. This is excellent as it forces saves on a unit otherwise totally protected. The real question is, who will Gaz assign the wounds to? Pathfinders and Warriors have shitty saves, the Dragons perform a very important task..

Now, are there better choices for the Voltaic Staff? Yes, if the pissing War Walkers are not dead by this point, I could torrent them away through glance-fucking them to death, but why bother when I have a tremendous amount of fire power that glances on 3's and penetrates on 4's against them in all the S7 Tesla weaponry.
So Voltaic will be my principal weapon versus the Bastion..or more specifically, it's contents. If I can penetrate it, which I am reasonably likely to do across two units, then I MAY be able to kill it or at least drop down it's AV. As soon as it drops by a single point, I can really hurt it.
The other way to kill the Bastion is to charge both units of Wraiths at it. However, this is less likely as they will be there to tie up the Council once the Baron Tank is dead and we have the Dragon Trap I discussed earlier to contend with...

Just to finish the Dragon analysis.. I could be totally wrong and he may run them up the board behind the Council in cover. In which case I will murk those poor bastards, lol.

So let's move on to the elephant in the room, the real reason (not Eldrad) that makes this army tick. The seemingly unkillable Seer Council.
If I kill them, to be honest, it is pretty much game over.
Sure, there are a few other things that can cause me a loss, but with the mobility my Necrons possess we should be fine in 4/5 of the missions which are objective based and in the KP mission... well, the Council is 3 in itself plus I then only have to remove the War Walkers and I can be stand off ish..
The Council.
Baron Tank up front. Or potentially in the second row after a meat jockey (Warlock). This is less likely as it means the 4+ "LOS!" has to be made to pass it on to the Baron to tank the 2++ Shadowfield save. Wounds have to be allocated before the armour saves are made, so no trying to palm off a 3+ with a reroll, then shrug it off onto Baron. Not much point in that even if you could as he only has 3 wounds.
So Baron leads from the front.
He has a 2++ save and confers Stealth and Hit and Run to the unit. They cannot be bogged down by Necrons in CC (thinking Wraiths) whilst the Baron is alive.
Once he is dead, I am happy to engage the unit with both Wraiths and deal with the rest of the army whilst the Council is tied with Wraiths.
But to be honest, the real secret to dealing with the Council is the same as it was in "Q2" of 5th ed. (they had died off from tabletop's by 'mid-5th', so I'm putting it here..) namely, torrent of fire. These are T4 models with a 3+ save... hmm...that sounds familiar right?
Space Marines! Knew it.
7 of them.
Except of course they get to re roll saves, making them twice as effective! More than actually..
20 Space Marines!
Can you kill 20 Marines in shooting in one phase?
You damn well should be able to, if you can't...well, I am not sure you are playing 6th ed 40k!
What if you don't kill them all?
Insure yourself.
Get your Wraiths up and into a position to charge.
Let's think about this in context - fully analyse.
The Baron confers +1 to the roll to go first. This stacks it in Gaz's favour that he go first.
There is always the chance that I'll get seized on even if I do win the roll off.
So let's assume the Council, being a distraction to the very weak troops in the army build, get's Fortune up (either from the Farseer..or if he SOMEHOW fails, from Eldrad (for this turn anyway)) and steams towards in a girlie eldar fashion.. perhaps 'minces' is a better choice of vocab. to use!
They are over extended by their very nature. However, they have the resiliency to BE over extended. So this is how they will be used, if they can get a second turn charge off, they will.
we now take a leap of faith, assume that I have deployed well ( I will have) and can now take advantage of my highly mid-ranged army and pummel the unit.
I will not have access to all of my fliers nor the 2 units of Warriors that typically bear the Haywire I am down quite a bit of shooting.
But I do have 3 Annihilation Barges and up to 20 Immortals with 40 S5 shots (wounding Baron up front on a 2+, majority toughness means 3+ though) ... now let's be fair, I deploy very aggressively (which I will, pre measuring charge ranges for the Council as I go, but I can dance on the 24" or 23" distance to make sure I get the shots in and keep the charge a tantalising prospect (again, I am aware that the Council can close the distance to the point that I cannot escape, but we are talking first turn ..and if they get that close then, then I am happy), but the truth be told.. I WANT him to close as much as possible on that first turn. I want him to go first, I want him to get up to me with the Council.
This will mean I can absolutely maximise my shooting against him, including Rapid Fire Immortals x 20... 40 S5 shots will rip the Council, when combined with the Annihilation Barges, I am confident, and...rightly so... that I can kill one 2+ model with that torrent.
Now, I'll be honest.. I want it to be done with the Annihilation Barges because they are more than double his toughness and therefore insta-gibb his ass.
 I only need a single failed roll and it is done.
Of course, rolling the wounds allocated to him one by one as instructed by the is very, very hard to tell where in the sequence of saves that '1' result will come.. as it stands, he could easily survive the whole barrage that comes his way. Thankfully, he cannot re roll those saves. When I played the Council before, he rerolled his 1's.. THAT took some killing, now at least it is just one fail.
The additional benefit of the failed save, even on the Gauss Blasters from the Immortals, is that he goes back down to a 5+ afterwards, which the Immortal guns ignore being AP4. But he has Stealth so they could grab a save anyway, but in the open that'd be a 6+..better'n nought tho.
We all know why the Baron is so important though yeah? Soak bullets sure, but Hit and Run is the biggest pain in the ass for the Council. Sucks dick.
Once he is gone, I can launch in the Wraiths and tie up the Council. Without getting off the charge, Warlocks only have 1 attack and I am OK with that.
Now, the tie up strategy is flawed.
In this scenario - statistically the most likely one, Gaz has gone first. This means my Wraiths will have had to survive through a volley of fire from 2 Guided War Walkers (this is the most efficient use of Eldrad in Turn One as well as to Fortune one of them as well so that they can make use of the Bastion for cover, or to Fortune himself and Pathfinders for a 2+ cover save with rerolls...not that I will EVER shoot at them directly)..
So how many Wraiths will I have left? Each unit of War Walkers has 6 shots. They hit with 4's... so 3 hit, followed by another 2 (lets round up to gain the most pessimistic outcome for the Crons) each unit gets 5 hits. 4 will wound.
I get a 3++, but every one I fail, insta-gibbs a Wraith.. That's 1.3 wraiths dead.. so 1 per unit. 2 dead from 2 guided units... realistically all 5 would wound, but then do you really get to round up.. how many times do you totally fluff a flurry of 4+?
So in one round of shooting the Wraiths should not be too badly hurt.
Let's not forget that there is also a Heavy Bolter, Quad Gun and Sniper Rifles potentially shooting them.
I think it is fair to say that I will be down one unit of Wraiths and First Blood in the first turn.
So back to the main point.
I need to significantly reduce the number of Warlocks AS WELL AS the Baron in my first turn of shooting, as it looks like I will only have one unit of Wraiths to engage the Council after I kill the Baron.
Hmm.. the challenges continue..
It totally depends on which, frankly inevitable, point in the shooting phase the Baron goes down.

There is of course an alternative situation, where the Baron is kept towards the back on the unit in order to protect the Hit and Run ability, which for me, is the scariest part of the unit. If I charge and it is still there..they get to piss off and then hit me with massed Destructors and Eldritch Storm or Mind War, then charge in again.
Baron has to go. Simples.

OK. So I think I have been pretty thorough in analysing this army and the way that it ticks.
In understanding how it works I am able to effectively apply my army to it and think, in advance, which tools to apply where and when.
Of course, the worst case scenario is that he sits back at home and waits for me to come to him. Then I am screwed as I have to weather more shooting on my Wraiths and the Snipers have more time to Precision Shot to death my Veil Crytpek! Must remember that one too... Soo much to think about, but I find being able to do this thinking in advance of the game works wonders for maintaining a cool head in the first game of five.. 20% of the tournament can be thought ahead on.. That's useful.


  1. Well. Reading that made me glad I never worry too much about winning games at tournaments. Interesting read though.

    Be intrigued to see your post battle analysis too

  2. Those Firedragons will be going on the bastion mate with the Exarch manning the quad gun. 4 x Str7 twinlinked BS5 shots with tank hunters and ignores cover = dead Scythes.

    1. Nice one dude.. Ta ... Still only ONE dead scythe per turn. Need them all to come in and kill them.. My scythes that is to godown his dudes..

  3. The regular farseer is taking all of those abilities in order to maximize the opportunity to get invisibility ability from the rulebook. Its a nasty ability as they get shrouded, stealth, and units targeting them count as bs 1 and ws 1. They are just going to run around and just being annoying.

    I'd target the quadgun first to protect your flyers. Then the bastion as that is his anchor. Keep your wraiths alive as you are going to need everything to kill those invisible pansies lol

    1. Once baron goes, they can be tied's like shooting termies.. They go down eventually!

  4. Invisibility only does ws1 ...thank fuck... I can deal with shrouded... But the sleep last night was crap thinking about killing baron when I only hit on sixes.. Lol

  5. While I appreciate this article - and I think its a great exercise for you, if he reads it ....

    Information in gaming is so powerful, put it that way.

    But it demonstrates that people should (if they care about winning) think about matchups not that the deployment stage (99% of gamers) but in the early stages.

    I will be interested to see how the game goes against your perception of what will happen, how close to the mark you are.

    GL though dude.

    1. Lol.. I did think about not posting it until Saturday midday, but I figured I'd throw it up..

      He did see it, one of his mates pointed it out! lol

      And what did he do?

      Sit back and wait for me to come to him over a hail of fire lol!

  6. Looks like the analysis paid off - round 3 table 5. Good job!

  7. so you missed the clutch shot in the final round then?

    1. Yup. Went to win it.. just like you suspected.. but then fell short of the mark!