Welcome to Librarium Online!
So, I've recently gotten back into Warhammer 40k after a 5 year long break, only to realize my Necron army is far from as useful as it was 5 years ago. Back then, my 'crons had no trouble beating up Chaos Space Marines and Tau alike, with the occasional game against Ultramarines, Orks or Imperial Guard usually ending in even more wins for me. Now, however, I seem to have to work twice as hard to do half the damage most other teams tend to throw out against me.
I know Necrons have taken a beating with the new assault layout, and maybe they aren't even viable against new Chaos Space Marines or Tau, but I have managed to beat both teams, although it happens very rarely, and has had more to do with lucky dice rolls and favoured terrain than tactical changes, so I figure it's not impossible to build a viable army against either of the teams I normally play against.
My three main opponents are Eldar, Tau and Chaos Space Marines, the latter being the one I play against the most by far. Eldar tends to run with a lot of mid-range firepower, which isn't much of a problem for me, and the Tau does the usual "shoot-shoot-shoot-die" tactic, meaning I usually win if I do get into close combat. My problem lies with the Chaos Space Marines...
My brother, playing Chaos, used to sit with a boring long-range Black Legion army, and has decided to mix things up a bit. So now he's fielding Khorne Berzerkers and Possessed squads, together with a close-combat oriented Defiler, some normal Chaos Space Marines and a group of Obliterators to back 'em up. As an HQ choice he usually goes for his Sorcerer with a Terminator Armour and the oh-so-annoying power Lash of Submission. That psychic power itself is usually enough for him to drag 500 points worth of units to their death in the first three or so turns, basically just moving my mid range units into close combat range. Other than that he goes for pretty straight-forward tactics (Khornes/Possessed grabbing Rhinos, Obliterators either Deep Striking in to bash vehicles, or giving fire support from his table edge).
I've got quite a lot of Necrons to work with. Unfortunately my Monolith managed to break during these past years, and I haven't gotten around to grab a new one. I figure a Monolith should be able to deal with Berzerkers and Possessed if nothing else, but considering it's an expensive piece of firepower, I can't afford it for at least a few more weeks, and I'd rather not lose every game 'til then. Anyway, on to my avaliable troops...
2 Necron Lords (Normal bodies, one with Staff and Res. Orb, one with Warscythe)
1 C'tan Nightbringer
87 Necron Warriors
8 Flayed Ones
20 Scarab Swarms
3 Tomb Spyders
We usually play 1500 point games, though 2000 and 2500 point games do happen every now and then.
At 1500, I normally try to field at least one full squad of Immortals, with a Lord with Res. Orb and a Staff, sometimes grabbing a Veil of Darkness while I'm at it. Sometimes I field either another 10 man squad of Immortals, or two five man squads, depending on points and enemy lineup.
If I don't go for two/three groups of Immortals, I usually grab another HQ choice, either a Lord with Warscythe to protect my units in close combat (though he usually fails miserably due to my lack of other close combat units), or my Nightbringer, who is one of the few units I have that more often than not kills more points than he's worth.
Other than that, I tend to go for the bare minimum of Warriors (20), sometimes 30, two three man groups of Destroyers and all three Spyders, creating Scarabs and acting as close combat road blocks.
I know I'm pretty lacking in the anti-tank department, but the only one who really fields enough tanks to make anti-tank weapons viable is the Tau player, and he usually only grab two Hammerheads, which can be brought down by my Spyders or my C'tan anyway.
Anyway, on to my question... Am I doing something very wrong with my army list, do the dice just hate me, or are Necrons just so gimped I can't compete on an even level against Chaos Space Marines anymore?
(If this is in the wrong section I apologize, hopefully someone can move this for me)
Well, it couldn't hurt to bump up the number of destroyers that you take. Maybe 4 man groups? For quite some time and still now, they are a solid workhorse for the necron warmachine.
Gauss is still useful, you just need to put in more shots to achieve tank death by stripping the weapons + immobilising, but not so concerning vs. hammerheads and vindicators, just take the main gun off and suddenly, there's a sizable investment running around gunless.
Yeah, I can imagine the disappointment in finding that your once glorious army doesn't dish out that same satisfying damage as they used to. I'll leave the others to update you after your long, long slumber in the tombs.
Necrons W68-D13-L10 (3rd edition codex)
Necrons W3-D1-L1 (latest codex)
Skaven still being assembled
Yeah, Destroyers seem to be one of the few Necron units still worth fielding in large numbers. The reason I've been going with two times three right now is because that's the amount of Destroyers I own.
As for Gauss, I managed to glance a Land Raider to death in a turn just the other day, so they still work. As I think I mentioned in my essay over there, my main problem is with close combat units. They tend to always get the jump on me, and even if I bring a Berzerker squad down to half size, they have no problem just walking over my poor skellies.
It just feels weird to me that a Berzerker can dish out 4 attacks with strength and initiative 5 when they assault, while my poor 'crons get one attack each, if they even survive the first turn of fistikuffs from the 'zerkers.
You've discovered one our 5th edition weakness, Close combat . However, there's a couple things I do to combat this big shortcoming, a Ctan will usually destroy most CC threats (terminators, berzerkers, etc). I'm a bigger fan of the Deceiver (lots of threads about the 2). But the big deal is ignoring all saves, even invul. As for purely shooty armies like Guard, Tau, Eldar (without CC uber units) we're still fairly well matched up. In fact all 3 of those types of armies I'd try to charge forward and actually get in their face. We're still mostly a gunline, however if you use your tomb spyders in mass you can get some other no save attack (but I've lost my like for tomb spyders, with no invul save it's sad since so many CC units have power weapons galore now). And yes, maxing destroyers rules. I currently own 10 and field 2x5 with effective results.
My best list for 1850 is the following:
Simple design, hide the warriors to survive (unless there's no CC units), Deceiver is the assaulter/counter assault threat, wraiths add 12 swings on Deceivers 5 for the assault (great opener). Destroyers and monolith shoot up the scene. Simple and effective (earned 3rd place general in a tourny.)
For what you have, here's a couple 1500 lists I'd start with (before you consider buying more. If I considered buying anything. I'd personally focus on Deceiver, monolith, and more destroyers. Try proxying first to save yourself some cash).
Gunline, minimal counter assault
8 Flayed ones (outflank these guys, great surprise late game)
2 Tomb spyders
These are just ideas, and not ideal lists for my tastes. at 1500 I usually try at least 3 squads of warriors to hold objectives. I'm not a fan of spyders so I'd try to do base warriors, max destroyers, flayed ones and Ctan (fill in blanks).
Necrons are difficult to earn a victory, but it can be done. Requires for more general abilities than it did in the past
Last edited by Dark Trainer; July 22nd, 2010 at 16:57.
"There is only do, or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
Thanks for the pointers. Your 1850 point army list is somewhat similar to what I'm aiming for, except the wraiths. I'd rather roll with spyders myself, since I keep getting the feel they pack an even better close combat punch, combined with decent anti-walker and support abilities. A deceiver is probably something I'll buy pretty soon, combined with a destroyer lord, just to have all HQ choices avaliable. First priority is a monolith or two, though. I will grab more destroyers in the future, but I'd like to avoid cheesing too much, and going for deceiver with lots of destroyers, immortals and a couple of monoliths feels a bit too much. Then again, my brother did change his army from a shooty one to close combat specialists when he noticed the assault changes since last time we played...
Every time I've used my flayed ones, they've pretty much gotten into close combat, then died, no matter what they faced, so I can't say I'm loving those guys right now.
I agree flayed ones were lack luster for me too, when I go from 1850 to 2000 I add flayed ones. This shows how much priority I give other models before them. However with outflank, they pop into the back lines of my enemies and that's usually where they have NON CC units (foot slogging them is horrible, but outflank in my last 2 games has really made me reconsider their role).
"There is only do, or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
The problem with flanking in behind enemy lines is that I just feel like a VoD Lord with Immortals could do the exact same thing, only much much better. That unit would also be useful for other things than killing weak long-range units.
Also, against CSM, I'll be going up against a Defiler and three Obliterators. Not really much I can do against those with Flayed Ones in the first place.
Scarab swarms, although vulnerable to blasts/templates, do get to turbo boost and can take Disruption Fields. Getting a unit of ten of them into CC with the Defiler could reap benefits, since you will have up to 40 attacks on the charge. Doesn't matter that you can't actually harm it with str vs av, as the Disruption Fields take care of that for you. All you want are some 6s. A double whammy of two Scarab units on the same target should reduce its effectiveness somewhat.
Taking two sets of Swarms leaves you with one Fast Attack unit, so max out the Destroyers and use the remaining one as a 'counts-as' Heavy Destroyer.
If you're facing Berserkers, Gaze of Flame and Lightning Field would be good fun. Reduce the in-coming hurt, then inflict your own attacks plus the extra ones from the Lightning Field. It isn't just the Lord who does this IIRC; as far as I can remember (Codex not immediately to hand) the unit which the Lord is with also benefit from the LF effect.
I would tend to leave the Nightbringer at home. He's a huge points sink, very slow and will attract huge amounts of firepower. That save of his is not really that brilliant for such an expensive unit. Use his points to field more Warriors to get the Phase Out figure up by having more bodies on the table.
I would add more but it's *really* late (1am almost) and I'm tired!
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
Okay, I'll quickbuild an army list out of what you had. It will be "tailored" for Khornite-type CSM, so not really an all-comers list:
1 Necron Lords w/Orb, Gaze of Flame, Chronometron 155
1 Necron Lord w/Gaze of Flame, Chronometron 115
8 Immortals 224
8 Immortals 224
10 Warriors 180
10 Warriors 180
5 Destroyers 250
10 Scarab Swarms w/D-field 160
Idea is to castle up with Warriors at back, tight together and Immortals forming a wider "screen" up front. Lords will be attached to Immortals. Destroyers and Scarabs will be reserved. Idea is to force the enemy to close up under fire (don't move your warriors, but move Immortals to block any advance towards them) and assault Immortals. With T5, Fearless, GoF and Lord with power weapon they should be able to tie in pretty hardy CCers. Once the assault becomes tied charge in with warriors and and drown the enemy in a mass of close-combat attacks. Even Khornites will go down if they are already facing 8 Immortals and Lord when 20 warriors charge them. Also, assaulting in will protect warriors from being lashed out and eaten piecemeal. When reserves come available use Destroyers to shoot up anything laying back (Prince, Oblis) and Scarabs to eat the Defiler or charge into Khornites/Possessed to deliver more attacks.
Yes, its risky, but Khornite Berzerkers in Rhino is only 10 models... If they assault something with Gaze of Flame they won't get the extra attacks and with Necron 3+ save your Immortals should last. After first round of assault is over your T5+WBB and Fearless starts to bog down the combat for turn after turn and neither of you can change it without charging in something new. Charge first, with massive numbers and you'll win the CC. After that what he has is a few shooters facing the bulk of very shooty Necron army.
Revenant Moon Necrons: (W/L/D) 0/1/0 (6th edition: 13/2/2)(5th edition: 14/6/4)(3rd edition Codex: 16/4/7)
XIX Legion: (W/L/D) 0/0/0 (5th edition: 14/12/2)(5th edition Codex: 4/3/0)
Black Legion: (W/L/D) 1/0/0 (6th edition: 2/3/0)
Something Wicked... Reikwald Beastmen: (W/L/D) 10/4/1
Eiglepulper, scarabs could actually work against that pesky tank. Even though 320 points to sink down a below-200 point tank feels a bit heavy, they could probably be useful against CSM and Berzerkers too. Gaze of flame and light. field are pretty much a must if my only real close combat units are my lords. I used to share your views on the nightbringer, but seeing him beat down 20 'zerkers, 10 possessed and by some freak accident a rhino in three turns made me change my mind, though he is a bit heavy on points before 2000 or so.
Polaria, I'll try your list, or at least something similar to it later on today, though I do believe your miscalculated your points on those lords. Gaze of flame plus chrono is 25 points, is it not?