Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Necrons (2,000pts)

So, the house is getting there, my hobby space is slowly getting unpacked, and I caught enough free time on a Monday to get a game in!  It was a bit of a learner, because I hadn’t played in 4 months, and this also represents only my third battle in 8th edition.

Regrouping following the 13th Crusade from Cadia, Knight Commander Pask sets up camp around some Imperial Ruins.  Within hours, some of the accompanying infantry are not reporting in their patrols.  Techpriests are encountering significant difficulty taming the machine spirits of the normally docile and dim Leman Russes of the armoured division.

Sensing these ruins were abandoned for a reason, the Knight Commander orders his troops to readiness just as the klaxons sound.  Metallic wraiths had phased in around the perimeter, ready to protect the tombs of their forebears, accompanied by two dreaded C’Tan.

Within moments battle was joined.

 

The Combatants:

Astra Militarum:

  • Knight Commander Pask: MBT w/ Lascannon & 2x Multimeltas
  • Tank Commander: MBT w/ 3x Heavy Bolters
  • Master of Ordinance
  • 2x Infantry squads: Lascannon & Plasma Gun
  • Chimera
  • Vendetta
  • Vulture w/ TL Punishers
  • Wyvern
  • Manticore
  • Basilisk (Armageddon Pattern)
  • Sir Winston of House Hawkshroud: Crusader w/ RF Battle Cannon & Avenger Gatling Cannon

I threw this list together largely at the expense of the last minute, trying for a somewhat competitive low-model count.  There’s a lot of big guns in this list, and just about everything is sporting at least T7 with 10+ wounds and 3+ armour save.  Without dedicated anti-tank any list I face is going to be looking for ways to make a dent.

 

Necrons:

  • The Deceiver
  • The Nightbringer
  • 2x Cryptek
  • 2×20 Warriors
  • 6×3 Wraiths
  • 3×3 Scarabs?The Necrons did not bring Anti-Tank with them.  Though everything had a significant volume of dice, it may struggle, particularly with the Knight.  The heavy hitters take the form of the C’Tan, while the Warriors provide significant durability.  The wraiths and scarabs can cover a lot of ground very quickly, and the T5, 3W & 3++ is nothing to sneeze at, particularly given how many heavy guns the Guard can bring to bear.

The Mission: Not having any objective cards handy, or objectives, we opted to play a match where a victory point is awarded if you fully control a table quarter.  Any enemy unit (excluding fliers) could contest that quarter.  Normal First Blood, Warlord & Linebreakers apply, so there’s some incentive to finishing in your opponent’s deployment zone.

Prior to the game, the Necron player had advised that he had built the list for a Maelstrom style game, and really struggles with armoured lists.  With the MSU style for the wraiths it’s pretty clear to see what he was going for in terms of Board control.

Necrons try to seize, but fail.  Guard have first turn!

Guard Deployment
Necron Deployment

Astra Militarum Turn 1:

The artillery is brought to bear, and explosions ripple through the Necron lines.  First blood is obtained through a Wyvern strike on a unit of Scarabs, two wraiths are detonated by heavy artillery fire from the Manticore and Basilisk, having been softened by the punishers from the Vulture and Sir Winston’s atrocious first turn dice rolling.  About 10 warriors between the two units also bite it…

Necron Turn 1:

…and 6 of them get right back up again, taking full advantage of the Reanimation Protocol buff provided by the Crypteks.  If they are to STAY dead, it’ll be of crucial importance to finish off the whole unit in one turn, because it is quite conceivable 10 would get back up if I left a single model standing! (!!!!!!!!!!)

Shaking off the initial barrage, all forces advance forward, with the exception of the warriors which have a firing solution on the Vulture.  Opening up with their Gauss…rifles?  the ‘Crons strip off 4 hullpoints.  Things are looking pretty menacing though.

Wraiths surge forwards overtaking the Vulture, which has sustained some fire from the Warriors.

Guard Turn 2:

The rest of the scarabs are mopped up by the Knight Commander’s Multi-Meltas and Sir Winston’s small arms fire.

All big guns were trained at the one Warrior unit, which was completely annihilated, leaving the Cryptek feeling very, very alone.

The Cryptek is feeling very alone, all of a sudden…

Unfortunately the Wraiths were largely left alone…

Necron Turn 2:

…and they take advantage, charging both the Knight Commander (who’s running interference for the artillery park) and Sir Winston, who starts his stomping.  While no significant damage is done (3 attacks S6 with AP-1 and D1 isn’t an ideal anti-tank weapon), they do keep a good portion of firepower at bay for the following turns, setting up the C’Tans to really cause some problems down the road.

Turns 3-5:

Sir Winston has the ability to stomp on Wraiths, dealing significant damage.  Each turn, he backs up to use his baby-titan firepower, and then charges back in to stomp on them some more.  By the end of turn 5, he has basically cleared the wraith menace from the right flank of the Guardsmen, claiming a minimum of 12 wraiths in addition to an impressive tally of regular Warriors.  That’s not to say the Wraiths didn’t put up a good fight against the Knight Titan, they were surprisingly resilient to just about everything, particularly in crucial moments where I would have much rather been shooting the Warlord in the open (much hilarity!)

STOMP STOMP STOMP

The second unit of warriors was also blown apart by a combination of a strafing run from the Vulture, and some split fire from Sir Winston.

Meanwhile, the C’Tan run rampant amongst the artillery, the Nightbringer in particular swinging with the strength of a lascannon in assault.  Knight Commander Pask is ripped apart in a single turn, and the Basilisk drops in the follow-up.  The Deceiver tears apart the Manticore, then the Wyvern.  The remaining imperial forces in the area flee towards the shadow of Sir Winston, still stomping on ethereal wraith forms, canoptek machinery flying in all directions.

The Nightbringer closes in on the Artillery Park…

Once Nightbringer is done chewing on the artillery, he charges the Vulture, who strayed too closely in his strafing runs, bringing him down.

 

Turn 6:

By the time Turn 6 rolls around, the Board is looking much diminished.  The Necrons find themselves in the smoldering ruins of the Guard camp, though a majority of their original force has been destroyed.  Seeking to control table edges, they strike out across the table, contesting the last corner of the camp that the Guard have cleared (with significant support from Sir Winston).  The second Cryptek is no longer supported by any Warriors (Winston had something to do with that, too), but controls the quarter.

Those Crypteks now only have each other… So lonely…

Nightbringer continues his reign of destruction, assaulting and absolutely wrecking the Vendetta gunship.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t crash and burn, and the occupants survive the crash to disembark and contest the last bastion of Necron-hood.

Necrons:
Control 1 quadrant = 1VP
Warlord (PASSSSK) = 1VP
Linebreaker = 1 VP

Astra Militarum:
Control 1 quadrant = 1 VP
Warlord (Cryptek got Winston’d) = 1 VP
First Blood = 1VP

We’ll call it a draw!

Postlude:

Overall, this was an immensely enjoyable game to play.  The Necrons were stereotypically hard to remove from the field, though they lacked some of that devastating mid-range weaponry that I faced back in 7th edition back at the Miniwargaming Studios…

In 8th it strikes me as crucially important to kill whole units, because leaving even one member alive is going to be an absolute pain down the road.

8th edition continues to be clean, very fun to play on the whole, easy to grasp and difficult to master.  I love it, plain and simple.  Now I’m hoping to get to play more.

Nice to be back in the saddle.  Cheers all!

Post-Postlude Epilogue:

Following the battle the same Necrons took the fight to the Tau.  It looked like a mechanical Tyranid Swarm.  Unfortunately I didn’t stick around to catch the outcome but it looked like it was going to be a doozy!

If these mecha-bugs didn’t phase through matter, I’m sure you’d be hearing metallic skittering…
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One Reply to “Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Necrons (2,000pts)”

  1. “8th edition continues to be clean, very fun to play on the whole, easy to grasp and difficult to master. I love it, plain and simple. Now I’m hoping to get to play more.” This has my ears piqued!

    Glad to see you out & about.

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