From the Shadows & How Dawn of War Wrecks Ravenguard
And - as promised - a fifth short battle report. This time a foot-slogging Nebula Raiders force under command of Captain Achilles, who counts as Shrike ruleswise. The army list is thus similar to Ravenguard lists and relies heavily on infiltration.
It was supposed to be a test game for that type of army, and I got just about the best test conditions I could get: dawn of war and annihilation totally screwed my strategy and showed me that such an army definitely has a huge weakness and is not equally suitable for every type of objective and deployment type...
From the Shadows - Nebula Raiders versus Necrons
Annihilation, Dawn of War, 1500 points.
Since the Nebula Raiders hold the respective sectors on the campaign map they were entitled to a Superiority and a Bombardment TACOPTs, but forgot to use the latter.
Refer here (Tactical Options (TACOPTs) System) for more information on TACOPTs.
Captain Achilles [counts-as Shrike]
Asfaloth [Librarian] w/ Gate of Infinity, Avenger
Assault Terminators  w/ 6x TH/SS, 4x LCs
Scouts w/ Boromar [counts-as Telion], ML
Scouts w/ Camo Cloaks, PF, ML
Scouts w/ Camo Cloaks, PF
Scouts w/ Camo Cloaks, PF
Landspeeder Storm w/ HF
Landspeeder Storm w/ HF
Landspeeders  w/ 3x Typhoon Launchers
Lord w/ Resurrection Orb, Veil of Darkness
Lord w/ Destroyer Body, Warscythe, Phase Shifter, Chronometron, Gaze of Flame
I took first turn but deployed nothing: I declared that both missile launcher scout squadrons would infiltrate and that the rest of my army would arrive on turn 1.
My opponent deployed his foot lord with a squad of warriors in pretty much the center of the board to keep me from infiltrating to far up the field, and kept all destroyers and heavy destroyers in reserve. The rest was to come on on turn 1.
I infiltrated both my scout squads into hiding in a ruin fewer than 12" from the ruin the Necrons occupied. I then used my scout move to advance the Boromar squad up a level into a good firing position and to close in to almost 12" with the Necron warriors.
My opponent failed to steal initiative.
I used my first turn to advance the storm landspeeders 12" towards the Necron warriors and disembark the scout squads, running towards the Necrons. The missile launcher scout squad also advanced and ran towards the Necrons, while the Boromar squad shot and failed to inflict any damage. Achilles and Asfaloth joined the assault terminators and ran onto the board from the table edge in a large spread-out line. The typhoons hid behind a building because of the darkness and for fear of the Necron player removing the warrior models closest to my scouts thus denying the charge. It wouldn't have mattered, though, as through a combination of unlucky run and terrain rolls none of my three scout squads managed to get into combat and were left in the open.
My opponent teleported his lord and warriors out of reach and moved on his other two warrior squads into opposing corners of the board, with the destroyer lord and his wraiths shielding the warriors closer to my forces. Since it was dark and the long-range firesupport wasn't there yet, nothing else happened.
The nightfighting rules lifted, my typhoons destroy both wraiths and put a wound on the destroyer lord, while Boromar's squad downs one Necron warrior and puts a wound on the foot lord. Two scout squads reembark and move flat out, closing in but staying out of rapid-firing range, the missile launcher squad advancing into the ruin the Necrons had formerly been in. Asfaloth uses Gate of Infinity to teleport himself and his unit closer (but not too close) to the Necrons.
The dead warrior got back up. The Necrons had all of their heavy destroyers and one unit of standard destroyers come in from reserves on the far side of the board where the lone warrior squad was. They shot at the terminators and killed two. The foot lord teleported his unit into the rear of my typhoons but failed to inflict damage. The warrior squad close to my forces remained stationary and shot at a storm landspeeder, but cover saved it. The destroyer lord assaulted my missile launcher scouts, failed to inflict any wounds but received one from the power fist.
Achilles unjoined the terminators and moved towards the warriors that had shot at the storm landspeeder. Asfaloth and the terminators teleported towards the other side of the field where the destroyers were hiding to keep them from moving forward and engaging my weak scouts and skimmers. The typhoons and Boromar's squad killed only two destroyers. The storm landspeeders tried to deliver their scouts to the foot lord and his squad but only one managed to get into combat and lost losing two models and inflicting no casualties at all, but passed morale. The destroyer lord killed two scouts from the missile launcher squad but in return received his final wound from the power fist and died. The scouts consolidated further into the ruin. Achilles assaulted the warrior squad that had shot at the storm landspeeder and killed three, but they passed morale.
The second squad of Necron destroyers arrived. The new destroyers and the heavy destroyers all shot at my terminators killing another one. The lone destroyer from the decimated first destroyer squad moved out of the way into hiding. The foot lord tried to teleport behind my scout squad that had attempted to assault but failed and was thus caught in the open, but the squad scattered badly and mishapped, destroying it. Achilles killed another two warriors, but again they passed morale.
I reembarked the intact scout squad into a storm landspeeder and moved both skimmer transports flat out into hiding. The decimated missile launcher squad attempted to move further into the ruin but roll a triple-1 on its difficult terrain test. The decimated close combat scouts who had fought the foot lord want into hiding in the ruin below Boromar's squad. The latter killed the three freshly arrived destroyers with the help of the typhoons. The terminators advanced towards the enemy firebase as quickly as possible. Achilles killed another two warriors, but the remaining three still passed morale.
The lone standard destroyer from the decimated first squad moved back near the dead destroyers of the second squad to let them attempt WBB next turn, while two of the heavy destroyers turbo-boosted along the Necron table edge to get off a shot on my storm landspeeders next turn. The third shot at my terminators, but I pass my saving throw. Achilles finally kills the remaining three of the warriors and consolidates towards the ruins.
My terminators run towards the turbo-boosted heavy destroyers and attempt to multi-assault, but again due to low run roll and an unlucky terrain test in the assault phase I end up an inch short and utterly fail. [I could have attempted to assault the sole remaining warrior squad instead of the heavy destroyers, but we play without Phase Out, so two kill points were the better target.] Boromar's squad failed utterly, which is why the typhoons wasted their firepower on the last remaining standard destroyer to prevent WBB. The storm landspeeders move flat out away from the enemy, while Achilles joins the decimated scouts hiding in the runis.
The Necrons shoot at my typhoons in a last desperate attempt, wrecking one. My opponent conducts the roll whether the game will go on and fails it. Nebula Raiders win six to zero.
Thoughts and Conclusion
Now to the interesting part: what does that tell me about this type of army?
Of course the list above is a failure against most other opponents. Normally the scout sergeants have combi-meltas. I changed the list because of the extra points I had, and usually I wouldn't have had a librarian - who actually saved my behind!
The terminators didn't deal any damage at all throughout the game, and yet they entirely dominated the battle, proving their worth.
The plan would have been to infiltrate and scout everything as close to weak enemy targets as possible and then assault them. The terminators would have split into combat squads, one infiltrating with Achilles, the other teleporting with Asfaloth.
Depending on opponent and mission, the scout squads would either start on objectives or remain in reserves to grab them later in the game - possibly via outflank. The missile launcher squad is extremely flexible, Boromar's provides fire support, the other two go into the landspeeders and are quickly deployed to where they are needed. The typhoons stop transports and light tanks.
The army is fragile and maybe short on anti-tank, but its real weakness is its slow speed and its low range. If it can't infiltrate it really has problems getting close in order to do some damage.
This was made clear to me by the Dawn of War deployment: I could have infilatrated Achilles along with the two scout squads, but not the terminators! This is death to my strategy. Without the librarian teleporting them they would have spent half the game slogging towards the enemy without posing a threat. And had it been possible for my opponent to ignore the terminators, the rest of my army probably would have died quickly.
Annihilation made this only worse. Objective games are based on movement. Even if the enemy wants to stay away he is forced to move towards objectives. I can easily reach those even when walking in from the table edge.
But if the enemy has the option of staying back, huddling the table edge and castling up, it really ruins armies that rely on infiltration of multiple units.