Saturday, March 7, 2015

Week 2 Batrep: 1850 pts Necrons vs Tyranids - The Empire Strikes Back

The pre-dawn darkness was nearly stifling as the Necrons of the Dynasty of Y's moved into position. Phaeron Y'san's enhanced senses picked up the sounds of the Tyranid swarms in the distance, though even his optics could not pick out their locations clearly. His sensors told him that miniscule spores were present in the air, fouling optical sensors and preventing clear lines of shooting. 

Still, the visual spectrum was not the only option available to him, and Y'san's lenses glowed as he switched to his enhanced imaging filters. The 3D mapping told him that the Tyranid leader-beast known as the Butcher was amongst those in the distance, directing the swarm. Ordinarily, the Phaeron would have just left the humans he was defending to die, but he had given his word to both the human leaders and his contemporaries in the Mephrit Dynasty, and it would be unseemly for royalty not to honour their pledge. 

Sending out a mental command, he summoned his personal Wraith escort and began preparations to engage the enemy....

After the loss against Ray's Tyranids last week, and the overall trashing the Nids gave the Imperium, it was time for the Necrons to strike back. Had a bit of added pressure since Stephen lost to Marshall earlier in the week too. The lists are below.

Ray's Tyranids                                                             
2 x Flyrants with dual TLD                                            
2 x Malanthropes                                                          
3 x Hive Guard w/ Impaler Cannons                           
1 x Rippers w/ Deep Strike                                        
1 x Toxicrene (in Tyrannocyte)                                   
1 x Tyrannocyte                                                         
1 x Carnifex with dual TLD                                        
27 x Termagants                                                        
24 x Hormagaunts                                                     
1 x Exocrine (Living Arty Node)                                
3 x Biovores (LAN)                                                        
3 x Warriors (LAN)

1 x Catacomb Command Barge w/ Edge of Eternity, Nightmare Shroud, Solar Thermasite, Phase Shifter
1 x Cryptek w/ Staff of Light, Chronometron and God Shackle (joined Immortals)
10 x Immortals w/ Tesla Carbines
5 x Immortals w/ Gauss (in NS)
5 x Immortals w/ Gauss (in NS)
5 x Wraiths w/ Whip Coils
5 x Wraiths w/ Whip Coils
2 x Night Scythes
1 x Night Shroud Bomber
1 x Transcendent C'tan

Some thoughts from Raymond before we begin....

Ray: Managed to play a game with Jason today and damn, the game was definitely going my way until one power turn! Then it was all hell break loose! Ah well...

The Purple Rain
Recognising the threat from the living artillery that sheltered in the ruins ahead, the Phaeron ordered his Wraiths to flank the  main army. The artillery beasts had made the initial landing by the Necron force more costly than expected, though a beachhead had eventually been established at significant cost. The strategic plan itself was fairly simple. Pressure the flanks of the Tyranid swarm, while slowly gaining ground in the middle, eventually encircling and destroying the creatures, and saving whatever survivors still remaining. 

Given the amount of small Tyranids on the field, that would be no mean task. They were obviously searching for the any surviving inhabitants, and Y'san knew from the previous engagement that the small creatures could easily tie up his most deadly units in close combat while the rest of the swarm ran rampant. Signalling to his Cryptek, P'seph, to make ready, Y'san moved his forces out.

In the distance, he could hear a chorus of hisses as the Tyranids recognised the threat and moved to intercept....

Necron Turn 1: Wraiths and Barge move up
Tyranid Turn 1: Everything except the LAN moves up to close the distance

Left flank Wraiths tank all the Nid fire! One Wraith left with one wound.
Y'san watched the living ammunition fly through the air as battle was joined, while lightning from his Immortals' Tesla Carbines did minimal damage to the oncoming horde in reply. While the Immortals' were resilient to most of the fire, the Wraiths of Wraith Squad Beta had no such protection. The constructs literally vanished under a hail of worms, bio-plasma, and spores from the various weapon beasts across the field as the Tyranids fired their weapons at them. When the smoke cleared, only one heavily damaged Wraith remained. The left flank of the Necron army was quickly collapsing.

Nevertheless, the battle was still in the balance. Both the flying warlord creatures and the artillery beasts had focused on the rapidly closing Wraiths, instead of on himself or Wraith Squad Alpha. Opening communications to his reserves, he ordered his air support to enter the fray, and sent a mental pulse to the Transcendent C'tan shard he had under his control. A growing star in the skies served as a harbinger of the Shard's entrance.

Things were proceeding exactly as he had forseen...

KP Count: Tyranids 0-0 Necrons

Necron Turn 2: Barge and Wraiths close the distance to get the charge in, all reserves enter the field

Flyers all come in and put 3W on the Warlord tyrant and ground him

Bargelord sets his sights on the Biovores...

... and wipes them out in one round.

As he saw The Butcher brought low by focused fire from his air support, Phaeron Y'san ordered his driver to bring him closer to the artillery beasts that had done the damage to Wraith Squad Beta. Letting them live would be a severe tactical mistake, one which he did not intend to make. Registering as Biovores in his databanks, their very forms disgusted him, looking like strange reproductive organs which sprayed seed-spores everywhere. On a scientific level, the ex-Cryptek part of his mind wondered how they worked; whether the seed-spores would eventually grow into new artillery beasts, or whether the spores were some other beast altogether. 

Regardless, he intended to discover the truth after he summarily dissected them. As he smashed at full speed into the clustered creatures, their claws ineffectually scratched at his armoured form. With mild amusement, four swings of his scythe eviscerated them into nothing more than wet chunks of meat. 

Holo-alerts went off across his vision as he was notified of Wraith Squad Beta's destruction, after the sole remaining Wraith was destroyed trying to charge the grounded Butcher. No matter, the constructs were easily replenished and he still had many more units to contest the battlefield....

KP Count: Tyranids 2-1 Necrons (Wraiths + First Blood - Biovores)

Tyranid Turn 2: Flyrants vector strike and shoot flyers, downing the Night Shroud, Toxicrene and Rippers DS in

Termagants ready to charge the Wraiths, and Warriors assault the Bargelord

Shooting from Toxicrene softens up the Wraiths with shooting before the Termagants charge
More and more spores fell from the skies as the Hive Fleet reinforced the swarm. Despite the ichor leaking from its wounds, The Butcher spread its wings and once again took to the skies. The strange lightning from the creatures of black alloy had wounded it severely, but while it yet drew breath it would not fail the Hive Mind. Spotting a large black wingless flying thing, The Butcher and its twin, The Shark, immediately moved to engage. 

Raking their razor-sharp claws over the hull, they caused significant damage to the flyer, before a final salvo from The Butcher's devourers blew it apart in mid-air. Switching targets, The Shark focused its fire on another of the black, wingless flyers, turning its lightning generating weapons into scrap. The flying squadron then scattered, looping around to put some distance between them and the deadly Hive Tyrants.

A quiver through the synapse link told The Butcher that the Warriors from the Living Artillery Node had seen their Biovore brethren get slaughtered, and were currently engaged in combat, while the teeming hordes of Termagants charged the black prawn creatures that threatened the newly arrived Toxicrene. The Butcher felt adrenaline rush through its body. There was little that could currently oppose the Swarm, and soon, the Hive Fleet would feed....

KP Count: Tyranids 3-1 Necrons (Night Shroud)

Necron Turn 3: Rippers get shot at by the 10 Immortals
Toxicrene gets shot at by the Night Scythe, taking a wound. Wraiths continue to chew through gants and C'tan shoots Tyrannocyte

Sigh. Tarpits.
Tyranid Turn 3: The Exocrine charges Bargelord! This may not end well...

... but the Exocrine dies to the Bargelord's attacks! No Smashing allowed. In other news, Toxicrene charges Wraiths
Realising the danger on the flank, the Phaeron Y'san sent a mental order to his Transcendent C'tan to engage the enemy. With typical capriciousness, the shard of a Star-God chose to shoot a floating transport spore, barely wounding it. Meanwhile, his multiple squads of Immortals earned their name many times over, shrugging of living ammunition to kill off several feeder beasts in the distance. Wraith Squad Alpha continued to be tied up with dealing with the little creatures, and now Y'san saw a hitherto unclassified beast with tentacles charge into their rear.

As he cut down two of the Tyranid Warriors attacking him, the Phaeron noticed the surrounding terrain and ruins shake. With a thunderous roar, a huge weapon beast he recognised as an Exocrine burst through the walls, intent on killing the Phaeron. Finally, thought Y'san, something approaching a challenge. As the Exocrine fought its way free of the rubble that slowed its movement and swung to strike him, Y'san brought his scythe around to strike. With a single massive blow, Phaeron Y'san cut straight through the weapon-beast as well as its carrier, decapitating both heads.

Not as big a challenge as expected. In ancient times, the killing of such a massive beast would have given him much joy and glory. Perhaps the millenia had begun to bore him...

KP Count: Tyranids 3-2 Necrons (Exocrine)

Necron Turn 4: The Butcher (Warlord Flyrant) gets shot down by combined fire from the Immortals, C'tan charges the wounded Tyrannocyte
An ancient philosopher once said that knowing your enemy was half the battle, and the Phaeron had taken that to heart. Realising the threat of the controlling creatures in the rear, he recalled the air wing that had swung around to evade two Hive Tyrants. Ordering them to drop off their airborne squads of Immortals, he then left them orders to continue pursuing air superiority.

As Phaeron Y'san cut down the final Warrior that continued to ineffectually scratch at his metallic frame, he saw his Immortals gun down The Butcher, sending it crashing to the earth in a mangled heap. Control of the skies was within their grasp.

Realising the potential for study, he sent a message to his Cryptek P'seph, ordering that the remains of The Butcher be kept for experimentation. Ordering his drivers to shift him closer to Wraith Squad Alpha, he moved to aid them in combat....

KP Count: Tyranids 3-5 Necrons (Flyrant + Slay the Warlord + Warriors)

Tyranid Turn 4: The Shark (Flyrant) flies into the midfield for Synapse

Hormagaunts look to prevent the Bargelord's charge

Assault Phase sees Hormagaunts tie up the Bargelord, and the Wraiths taken down to one. C'tan wipes out Tyrannocyte and consolidates to support the Wraiths! Squeaky bum time.
Watching as its leader was shot down, The Shark realised that the tide of battle was slowly turning. It swooped back towards the main area of fighting as it realised the network of synapse was slowly collapsing, leaving the black craft to control the skies at the rear of the black armoured ones' lines. 

With a mental command, it ordered the Hormagaunt swarm to engage, in an attempt to prevent the gliding creature that had single-handedly killed the Living Artillery Node from inflicting further damage. As it flew closer, it saw the large glowing prey tear apart the Tyrannocyte, leaving nothing but ash in its wake. This battle was proving costly in biomass, and its Swarm had yet to find any prey in the ruins.

An explosion from behind The Shark made it swing its neck around; the Carnifex had managed to shoot down one of the flying black craft, leaving only one remaining. The Hive Fleet would yet be victorious....

KP Count: Tyranids 4-6 Necrons (Night Scythe - Tyrannocyte)

Necron Turn 5: The Flyrant in the midfield gets shot down by shooting from the 10 Immortals, Rippers get killed by shooting, and C'tan makes it into combat with Toxicrene/Wraith/Termies

Assault sees the Wraiths, Toxicrene and Termies get wiped out! C'tan consolidates towards the midfield.
The Phaeron Y'san was getting annoyed. For a second battle in a row the little creatures known as Hormagaunts were preventing him from reaching more important targets. Bogged down by the small bladed creatures, he could not reach the combat to help Wraith Squad Alpha, and he could only watch oas the final Wraith construct fell to the combined attacks of the Termagants and the tentacle creature, but not before it killed off the smaller beasts. 

With another mental order, he ordered the Transcendent C'tan to kill off the tentacle-creature. The  creature attacked first, lashing at the star-consuming C'tan with poisonous tentacles and leaving acidic slime on its face. Glowing with incandescent rage at being insulted by an insignificant mortal creature, the C'tan retaliated by grabbing the flailing tentacles in each hand before gorily ripping the creature apart. Increasing its energy output temporarily, the C'tan glowed even brighter as it burnt the ichor off its face.

Y'san sent his approval to his pet as the C'tan sought new prey. Despite being surrounded by the Hormagaunts, Y'san's mind processed the overall battlefield situation near instantaneously. The Immortals had killed or wounded several of the remaining beasts, and the Night Scythes had obtained air supremacy with the slaying of both flying Hive Tyrants.

There were few Tyranids left, and if the few remaining large beasts could be dealt with, victory was his....

KP Count: Tyranids 5-10 Necrons (Wraiths - Toxicrene + Termagants + Rippers + Flyrant)

Tyranid Turn 5: Shooting from Carnifex takes the C'tan down to one wound. Fex charges the C'tan Shard, but gets slaughtered
The remaining creatures of the Tyranid swarm knew no fear, with the power of the Hive Mind behind them, and despite being outgunned and outmatched, fought on to the last. A large Carnifex combined its fire with the smaller Hive Guards to wound the C'tan badly, with pure energy leaking from several rents in the C'tan's necrodermis skin. With a roar of challenge, the Carnifex charged towards the Transcendent C'tan, hoping to finish the glowing being off.

As the Carnifex closed the distance, the Transcendent C'tan braced itself. Absorbing the impact from the huge creature, it grabbed on to the creature's horns, and twisted sharply. 

The crack resounded around the battlefield as the C'tan easily snapped the Carnifex's neck, killing it instantly. The Hive Mind recoiled from the loss, realising as it did that victory was no longer possible. This prey had fought back, and their creatures did not even have biomass to offer to mitigate the losses. The titanic intelligence began to turn its attention elsewhere, leaving the rest of its creatures to their fate...

KP Count: Tyranids 5-11 Necrons (Carnifex)

Necron Turn 6: Both sides have basically slaughtered each other, down to the last few units

C'tan shoots the Hive Guard and charges them...

... wiping them out in assault and consolidating towards the Malanthrope

Tyranid Turn 6: Bargelord takes a lucky wound from one, but IWND kicks in and he regens!
All that remains of the Tyranids: Two Malanthropes and a bunch of Gaunts
The battle's end was imminent, as there was now little on the field that could challenge Necron supremacy. Phaeron Y'san continued to slaughter the Hormagaunts one by one, but their numbers were great and he did not expect to be done with them any time soon. In the distance, his hypersenses detected that the Transcendent C'tan had done its job, and destroyed what little remained of the Tyranids' ranged shooting. 

A sudden drain on his power core drew his attention back to the combat at hand, where he realised that one lucky Hormagaunt had managed to sever his arm at the elbow. Putting aside the surprise at the ignominous loss of his arm, the Phaeron swatted the creature away with his scythe, and as the severed limb at his feet melted down and rejoined the rest of his warframe, a new lower arm section quickly grew from the stump. 

Giving his orders quickly, he instructed all the units of the Y'san Dynasty to scour the battlefield, ensuring that no alien creature remained alive...

KP Count: Tyranids 5-12 (Hive Guard)

Night Scythe, Barge and C'tan secure Linebreaker for the Necrons

KP Count: Tyranids 5-13 Necrons (Linebreaker)

Final KP Count: Tyranids 5-13 Necrons!

Well that was somewhat unexpected. I fully expected to lose after I lost both the Night Shroud and the Wraiths early on in the game. Rolling so many 1s and 2s in a row was pretty demoralising. With one less CC unit and one less template unit/flyer, I had little faith that the remaining units could deal with the flyrants as well as the two tarpit units of Termagants and Hormagaunts. 

The turning point of the game was definitely when snap shooting from two squads of Immortals managed to bring down both flyrants, and I never looked back after that. The CC power of the Necrons was definitely a plus, with the Wraiths proving an effective fire magnet/CC unit, and the Bargelord single handedly slaughtering the entire LAN. The C'tan took a while to get into combat, but once he did, he also was a real CC monster. Read on for the closing fluff!


The shadows on the Phaeron's face deepened slightly as the Cairn-class tombship's holographic display flickered due to intereference. Long range communications from orbit to the world below were still sketchy due to the spores in the air, and the person he was communicating with certainly did not help matters. One of the human warriors known as Space Wolves, this Wolf Lord Eirik Winterhowl was as intransigent as any member of that race that the Phaeron had met.

"You were to hold the line, human, not charge out in search of glory! Sacrificing my warriors to save your precious city will mean nothing if you do not hold the gains we have made!" For a warrior with a supposed thousand years of experience, the Phaeron found it incredible that the Wolf Lord could not understand this.

"I take my orders from the overall commander of the task force, Lord Dante, not from you, xeno. Your combat prowess is remarkable, but the Space Wolves will not sit back idly while you take all the glory!"

A ping chimed from the holographic display as the onboard sensors told the Phaeron that a large number of Tyranid creatures were inbound on the Wolf Lord's position. Interesting.

"Well then, Winterhowl, you will have your chance for glory. I wish you luck in your impending meeting with these Tyranids."

"Tyranids? What Tyra-" A gesture from the Phaeron closed the communications channel between the Space Wolves camp and the tombship. He had better things to do with his time than argue with the lesser races. Turning his attention to the strategic holograph that revolved in the centre of the commandchamber, the Phaeron focused on the next objective. His musings were shortly interrupted by the entrance of his Cryptek, P'seph.

"My Lord Phaeron, a message has been received from Willow. The Ancient Enemy have been detected upon its surface." Raising a holographic slate, the Cryptek showed the Phaeron the images of brightly coloured and masked Harlequins moving about on the surface of the far away Tombworld.

"Eldar? Do they know of Willow's true nature?"

"It is likely they know it is a World Engine my Lord, and seek to disable it. It is also a statistical improbability that we can ready Willow to move towards us in time to prevent the sabotage."

The Phaeron stared out into the darkness of space for a moment, contemplating the potential strategic options. 

"Move us out of orbit, P'seph, we will return to defend our world from these vermin."

To be continued....

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