40k 8th: Escalation

"I want a Monolith." These were Escape's words to me before this game. Naturally, I obliged, because sometimes I like to pretend I'm a good human. By the end of my first round of shooting, most of its wounds were gone. And then I charged it. The question is, was this just posturing on my part? Or was I actually going to win this one...

This game was different. Most of this was down to the step up I wanted to take in my last game prior to my proper and not at-a-glance 8th Edition review. But it was also partially because army construction was so different for both of us. At a level of 1250 points, we could go beyond the limits of a mere Patrol and start taking bigger and more impressive detachments.

EscapeToTheSea's Nihilakh Battalion: 1250 points
1x Illuminor Szeras (Warlord, Tenacious Survivor)
1x Overlord - Warscythe
10x Warriors
5x Immortals
5x Immortals
5x Deathmarks
3x Tomb Blades - 3x Particle Beamer
1x Annihilation Barge - Gauss Cannon
1x Monolith

Escape opted for a Battalion, which forced them to sink points into HQ and Troops much more than the old standard of 1+2 we were used to. Combined with the sub-400 point Monolith, this didn't leave too much room for other stuff but somehow a Barge got in there too.

Master Bryss' Stolen Soul Spearhead: 1241 points
1x Drazhar (Warlord, Legendary Fighter)
1x Talos - Macro-Scalpel, Chainflails, 2x Splinter Cannon
1x Talos - 2x Macro-Scalpel, 2x Splinter Cannon
1x Ravager - 3x Dark Lance, Shock Prow
20x Kabalite Warriors - Splinter Cannon, Dark Lance
6x Incubi
4x Reavers - 1x Cluster Caltrops, Adrenalight
1x Razorwing Jetfighter - 2x Dark Lance, Splinter Cannon
1x Raider - Dark Lance, Shock Prow

Meanwhile, I decided to try out a Spearhead, essentially taking good ol' Fridgey and my classic Talos like they were two classic Troops, plus a Ravager. There was a part of me that wanted to throw in a Cronos here as well, but in the end I took the Reavers on the basis of them being able to overwhelm small squads (a ha ha ha).

The first picture represents the end of Necron Turn 1. We'd rolled up the 'one objective only' mission and decided collectively to just stick it in the dead centre of the board. I was going to take the first turn, but the Necrons stole initiative, which they used to put a few wounds on my Ravager and Razorwing and plop down the Monolith (but not the Deathmarks, who were still in hyperspace).

I went for the Monolith heavily in my first two turns, eventually reducing it to four Wounds. Unfortunately, the size of the board meant that the Razorwing could only get in three rounds worth of shooting before I had no choice but to move it away, not that its anti-infantry stuff could do much to the resilient Necrons. My torture machines, reduced to a Strength and Toughness of 6 in this new edition (unless it got reduced in 7th which I wouldn't know about), didn't have as much of an impact as I would have liked, getting in a few hits but ultimately not really doing that much damage.

Drazhar and the Incubi were, in hindsight, misdirected. I originally had them go after the Immortals and Szeras, which meant they got tied up a bit. Also, dear lord did the Klaive nosedive in usefulness. Gone from a mighty power weapon to a mere -1 AP, the Immortals and Szeras (who was no slouch in combat with his Eldritch Lance) held up way better than they would have previously. Sure, Drazhar had them putting out more hits, but in hindsight I would perhaps have fared better with Lelith and a unit of Wyches or Bloodbrides.

By the midgame, one Talos was gone to massed shooting and the other to the Overlord's mighty Warscythe. Also, my twenty Kabalites were down to eight. The standout units for the Necrons here were the Tomb Blades and the Annihilation Barge. With Quantum Shielding active, high-damage weapons were practically useless at actually doing high damage, which meant I had to rely on consistent and constant low damage to hurt it. Command Re-Rolls were particularly useful for Escape in this regard.

In the end, I was down to a mere six models, three of which were contesting the objective to Escape's six. Whilst my intentions with the Spearhead were good as regards the Monolith, I simply didn't have the firepower to oust the Warrior unit reliably, especially with them coming back every turn. Perhaps if I'd deployed differently I'd have had a better shot, but here the Necrons reign supreme.

Results: Major Necron victory

Thoughts: I think I can comfortably say that D6 damage is one of our least favourite mechanics now. I did 11 damage to the Monolith just with the Ravager in my first turn, whilst 1s and 2s were being rolled on the Necron side. This then worked against me later thanks to Quantum Shielding.

If I'd committed all my assault units to the left side rather than trying to take on multiple things at once, I'd maybe have had better results here. The Necrons love it when you split your firepower because they know they'll shrug a third of it off later if you can't destroy units. Still, I fought as hard as I could, and I'm happy with the end.

Next time, the proper proper 8th review...