Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Star Wars Armada Regionals Roundup 2018

Star Wars Armada Regionals Roundup 2018
Aka - Why Armada is the best competitive game going right now... 

One of the only advantages of slowly becoming an old fart is the advantage of hindsight. As someone whose been playing competitive tabletop games for over 20 years I’ve got a fair bit of that and it’s a big part of the reason why I love Armada so much.

              You see to me a quality competitive environment is really defined by 2 things. The first is absolutely that you want a tight rules set. Nothing worse than a system with obscure rules or endless issues with LOS and movement. With Armada’s custom movement tools and some really intuitive LOS systems I could count on one hand how many times I’ve needed a TO for help but I’d have to take my shoes off to tell you how many comps I went in just last year.
      The second factor, arguably more important is that when I turn up to a weekend worth of games what I really want to see is some variety in the lists. This harkens all the way back to 3rd edition 40k which I really enjoyed except for the fact that at any given event I would inevitably find that ¾ of the players were running marines… If you wanted to include Chaos marines and Necrons it was more like 80% of everyone was running around with a 3+ save and a bolt gun (or equivalent), while it was still fun killing the same lists over and again the novelty does wear off.
      In the age of netlisting that we live now its ever more difficult to ensure the balance of unit options essential to getting a varied meta. We see it time and again in X-wing where a solid build appears and dominates for a while before FFG errata’s it into oblivion. Imperial assault seems to fall into the same trap time and again where it really only takes a month or so after a wave is released before  people have worked out the latest awesomeness which replaces the previous awesomeness… Anyone who follows IA will be overly familiar with the 4x2 which copped the nerf stick, followed by the Imperial trooper spam which went the same way, then it was scum hunters for a year where if it wasn’t double Weequay it was IG and probably some Weequays…  Currently the trending podium finishers are basically some combination of Emperor/Darth/E-Jets/1-2 officers and an ATDP to flavour… Its fun for a while but I must admit the last regionals where every game I played was against Vader/Palp/Jets/Officers + one extra something left me feeling a bit lacklustre about the game.
      This brings me to why I feel Armada is just brilliant. See I’ve been following the regionals data as it is collected and published by the amazingly engaged Armada community and the proof really is in the product. Don’t take my word for it just check out what I’ve collected below, it won’t take you long to work out what I’ve noticed:

2018 Regional Season Lists

1st place in the NJ regional goes to y-wings – 4 Activation Bomber Horde led by Garm Bel Ibis, not a list I could imagine doing well with but here it is…

Fleet 280 (397/400)
Assault Frigate Mk.II B (72 + 42)
    + Garm Bel Iblis (25)
    + Flight Controllers (6)
    + Boosted Comms (4)
    + Electronic Countermeasures (7)

Assault Frigate Mk.II B (72 + 19)
    + Ahsoka Tano (2)
    + Flight Controllers (6)
    + Boosted Comms (4)
    + Electronic Countermeasures (7)

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 + 17)
    + Toryn Farr (7)
    + Bomber Command Center (8)
    + Bright Hope (2)

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 + 5)
    + Leia Organa (3)
    + Comms Net (2)

2 x VCX-100 Freighter (2 x 15)
Gold Squadron (12)
2 x A-wing Squadron (2 x 11)
7 x Y-wing Squadron (7 x 10)

Next up we have  3 activation ISD led Imps clearly using the Wave 7 tricks and a full toolbox of tricks.

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 398/400

Commander: Moff Jerjerrod

Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Planetary Ion Cannon
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions

[ flagship ] Imperial Star Destroyer Kuat Refit (112 points)
- Moff Jerjerrod ( 23 points)
- Devastator ( 10 points)
- Governor Pryce ( 7 points)
- Darth Vader ( 3 points)
- Electronic Countermeasures ( 7 points)
- Leading Shots ( 4 points)
- External Racks ( 3 points)
= 169 total ship cost

Raider-II Class Corvette (48 points)
- Hondo Ohnaka ( 2 points)
- Veteran Gunners ( 5 points)
- Disposable Capacitors ( 3 points)
- Heavy Ion Emplcements ( 9 points)
= 67 total ship cost

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
- Minister Tua ( 2 points)
- Electronic Countermeasures ( 7 points)
- Slicer Tools ( 7 points)
= 39 total ship cost

1 Morna Kee ( 27 points)
1 Gar Saxon ( 23 points)
1 Colonel Jendon ( 20 points)
1 "Mauler" Mithel ( 15 points)
1 Saber Squadron ( 12 points)
1 Boba Fett ( 26 points) 

At Liverpool we have a Darth led double ISD build with 2 activations and a huge bid for first place. All of these events took place over the span of only a few weeks in different parts of the world. Can you see the awesome variety I’m talking about yet? Armada might only have 2 sides but far from stifling variety I’d argue that it makes it much easier for the designers to balance the options available.

Faction: Imperial
Commander: Darth Vader
Assault: Most Wanted
Defense: Capture the VIP
Navigation: Intel Sweep

ISD Kuat Refit (112)
• Governor Pryce (7)
• Boarding Troopers (3)
• Early Warning System (7)
• External Racks (3)
• Avenger (5)
= 137 Points

ISD Cymoon 1 Refit (112)
• Darth Vader (36)
• Strategic Adviser (4)
• Gunnery Team (7)
• Quad Turbolaser Cannons (10)
• H9 Turbolasers (8)
• Devastator (10)
= 187 Points

Gozanti Cruisers (23)
= 23 Points

• Ciena Ree (17)
• Lambda Shuttle (15)
= 32 Points
Total Points: 379
Next it’s Sloan with a build focussing on high activations and squadron advantage rather than worrying about going first at all costs like the some of the previous builds.

Name: Ryan Rhodes    Points: 26
Faction: Imperial
Commander: Admiral Sloane
Assault: Most Wanted
Defense: Contested Outpost
Navigation: Superior Positions

Imperial II (120)
• Admiral Sloane (24)
• Strategic Adviser (4)
• Gunnery Team (7)
• Electronic Countermeasures (7)
• Leading Shots (4)
• Avenger (5)
= 171 Points

Gozanti Cruisers (23)
• Comms Net (2)
= 25 Points

Gozanti Cruisers (23)
= 23 Points

Gozanti Cruisers (23)
= 23 Points

Gozanti Cruisers (23)
= 23 Points

• Dengar (20)
• Howlrunner (16)
• Maarek Stele (21)
• Mauler Mithel (15)
• Saber Squadron (12)
• Soontir Fel (18)
• TIE Interceptor Squadron (11)
• Colonel Jendon (20)
= 133 Points
Total Points: 398

And another double ISD Darth build but this time there’s huge investment in those ISDs and no real attempt to include squadrons at all. It’s so cool in the current wave seeing so many big ships going around.

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 399/400  

Assault Objective: Most Wanted
Defense Objective: Contested Outpost
Navigation Objective: Solar Corona

 [ flagship ] Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer (120 points)
-  Darth Vader  ( 36  points)
-  Devastator  ( 10  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Early Warning System  ( 7  points)
-  Quad Battery Turrets  ( 5  points)
-  Heavy Ion Emplacements   ( 9 points)
= 201 total ship cost

 Imperial Star Destroyer Kuat Refit(112 points)
-  Avenger  ( 5  points)
-  Strategic Adviser  ( 4  points)
-  Boarding Troopers  ( 3  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  External Racks  ( 3  points)
= 134 total ship cost

 Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 25 total ship cost

 Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
= 23 total ship cost

 2 TIE Fighter Squadrons ( 16 points) 

Another really unusual build and one that I’ve never considered. Who would have thought that a horde of Z-95s and Pelta of all things would take out a regionals but there it is.

Name: Untitled Fleet Faction: Rebel
Commander: General Dodonna
Objectives - Assault: Precision Strike Defense: Contested Outpost Navigation: Solar Corona

Pelta Command Ship (60)
General Dodonna (20)
Toryn Farr (7)
Engine Techs (8)
All fighters, Follow Me! (5)
Rapid Launch Bays (6)
Phoenix Home (3)
Flight Commander (3)
= 112 Points

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57) • Yavaris (5)
= 62 Points

GR-75 Medium Transports (18) • Bomber Command Center (8) = 26 Points
GR-75 Medium Transports (18) • Comms Net (2) = 20 Points
GR-75 Medium Transports (18) • Comms Net (2) = 20 Points
GR-75 Medium Transports (18) = 18 Points

Gold Squadron (12)
Dagger Squadron (15)
Ten Numb (19)
B-wing Squadron (14)
2 x VCX-100 Freighter (30)
2 x HWK-290 (24)
Z-95 Headhunter Squadron (7) = 121 Points
Total Points: 379

Squadrons? Who needs squadrons when you’ve got the fattest of fat triangles, interestingly though this guy missed the memo about how good Wave 7 stuff is, using almost entirely old tech to take out his regionals.

Motti ISD 2 and isd1 (390/400)
Imperial II-class Star Destroyer (120 + 58)
    + Admiral Motti (24)
    + Agent Kallus (3)
    + Gunnery Team (7)
    + Quad Laser Turrets (5)
    + Reinforced Blast Doors (5)
    + Leading Shots (4)
    + Quad Battery Turrets (5)
    + Avenger (5)

Imperial I-class Star Destroyer (110 + 24)
    + Strategic Adviser (4)
    + Ordnance Experts (4)
    + High-Capacity Ion Turbines (8)
    + H9 Turbolasers (8)

Raider I-class Corvette (44 + 7)
    + Ordnance Experts (4)
    + External Racks (3)

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 + 4)
    + Hondo Ohnaka (2)
    + Comms Net (2)

Contested Outpost
Solar Corona
Station Assault

Dodonna strikes again, this time it’s a 4 activation build with a good ol wave 2 space whale in the middle.

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 400/400  

Assault Objective: Precision Strike
Defense Objective: Fighter Ambush
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions

[ flagship ] Assault Frigate Mark II B (72 points)
-  General Dodonna  ( 20  points)
-  Gallant Haven  ( 8  points)
-  Raymus Antilles  ( 7  points)
-  Flight Controllers  ( 6  points)
-  Expanded Hangar Bay  ( 5  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  XX-9 Turbolasers  ( 5  points)
= 130 total ship cost

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57 points)
-  Yavaris  ( 5  points)
-  Flight Commander  ( 3  points)
-  Fighter Coordination Team  ( 3  points)
= 68 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Bright Hope  ( 2  points)
-  Adar Tallon  ( 10  points)
-  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points)
-  Bomber Command Center  ( 8  points)
= 42 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Ahsoka Tano  ( 2  points)
-  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 26 total ship cost

1 Keyan Farlander ( 20 points)
1 "Dutch" Vander ( 16 points)
1 Wedge Antilles ( 19 points)
1 Jan Ors ( 19 points)
2 B-Wing Squadrons ( 28 points)
1 Luke Skywalker ( 20 points)
1 Gold Squadron ( 12 points) 

And again with Dodonna, clearly the cheapest commander in the game must be broken AF! With no bid for first and some clear objective synergy with the strategic ships you can see the flexibility of this build.

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 400/400  

Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Fire Lanes
Navigation Objective: Intel Sweep

[ flagship ] MC80 Battle Cruiser (103 points)
-  General Dodonna  ( 20  points)
-  Mon Karren  ( 8  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Caitken and Shollan  ( 6  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  X17 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Spinal Armament  ( 9  points)
-  SW 7 Ion Batteries  ( 5  points)
= 172 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Leia Organa  ( 3  points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 23 total ship cost

 GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Ahsoka Tano  ( 2  points)
= 20 total ship cost

 GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
= 18 total ship cost

 GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
= 18 total ship cost

 GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Bright Hope  ( 2  points)
-  Toryn Farr  ( 7  points)
= 27 total ship cost

  GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
= 18 total ship cost

2 VCX-100 Freighters ( 30 points)
1 Jan Ors ( 19 points)
5 A-Wing Squadrons ( 55 points) 

Back to imperials, 4 activations, huge bid for first and so many black dice it’s crazy…

++ Standard (Imperial Navy) [386pts] ++
+ Objectives +
Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Contested Outpost
Navigation Objective: Solar Corona

Imperial I-class Star Destroyer [162pts]:
·         Admiral Sloane [24pts],
·         Governor Pryce [7pts]
·         Boarding Troopers [3pts]
·         Leading Shots [4pts]
·         Spinal Armament [9pts]
·         Avenger [5pts

Gladiator I-class Star Destroyer [80pts]
·        Assault Proton Torpedoes [5pts],
·        Ordnance Experts [4pts],
·        Captain Brunson [5pts],
·        Demolisher [10pts]

                 Gozanti-class Cruisers [25pts]
·         Comms Net [2pts]

Gozanti-class Cruisers [23pts]

·         Lambda-class Shuttle [20pts]:
·         Colonel Jendon [20pts]
·         2x TIE Defender Squadron [32pts]
·         Maarek Stele [21pts]
·         TIE Fighter Squadron [8pts]
·         "Mauler" Mithel [15pts]

Now I know most people will look at this one and go he’s done well because of the squadrons… but hell, anyone who can win a regionals with an interdictor as their flagship has my vote no matter what they back it up with. Literally thought I would never see the day. It was a 5 game regional with a top cut too if anyone wants to think it was a fluke…

Fleet 300 (379/400)
Most Wanted
Contested Outpost
Superior Positions

Interdictor Suppression Refit (90 + 59)
    + Admiral Sloane (24)
    + Captain Brunson (5)
    + Disposable Capacitors (3)
    + G7-X Grav Well Projector (2)
    + Targeting Scrambler (5)
    + Heavy Ion Emplacements (9)
    + Engine Techs (8)
    + Interdictor (3)

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 + 23)
    + Minister Tua (2)
    + Slicer Tools (7)
    + Expanded Hangar Bay (5)
    + Vector (2)
    + Electronic Countermeasures (7)

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 + 4)
    + Repair Crews (4)

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 + 2)
    + Comms Net (2)

Maarek Stele (21)
Colonel Jendon (20)
Dengar (20)
Howlrunner (16)
Mauler Mithel (15)
Zertik Strom (15)
Valen Rudor (13)
Saber Squadron (12)

Guess who! Dodonna, whale and squads, again, it’s amazing how a few tweaks to the original wave stuff keep it going and going.
1st Regional Dortmund 2018 
Author: Tlist
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 400/400  
Commander: General Dodonna
Assault Objective: Precision Strike
Defense Objective: Fire Lanes
Navigation Objective: Sensor Net
Assault Frigate Mark II B (72 points)
-  Gallant Haven  ( 8  points)
-  Toryn Farr  ( 7  points)
87 total ship cost
[ flagship ] Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57 points)
-  General Dodonna  ( 20  points)
-  Yavaris  ( 5  points)
-  Flight Commander  ( 3  points)
-  Fighter Coordination Team  ( 3  points)
88 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Adar Tallon  ( 10  points)
28 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Bomber Command Center  ( 8  points)
26 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
20 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
18 total ship cost
1 B-Wing Squadron ( 14 points)
1 Ten Numb ( 19 points)
1 Corran Horn ( 22 points)
2 VCX-100 Freighters ( 30 points)
1 Luke Skywalker ( 20 points)
1 Gold Squadron ( 12 points)
1 "Dutch" Vander ( 16 points)
133 total squadron cost
Well if you survived through that giant pile of lists I hope you see what I’m excited about. Almost every ship is represented to some extent including ships that are from the original waves but are still competitive in a way that contradicts claims of power creep. I’ve even been amazed that ships I frankly consider write offs are doing well in some metas with large player bases. Nebulon’s and Corvettes come from the starter pack and though we don’t see hordes of them they still punch well in their respective categories. Hammerhead corvettes that I personally don’t rate just contributed to winning this year’s vassal world cup due to an interesting amalgamation of old tech with new ideas as Raddus/Profundity pop out a hammerhead for some surprise death. Even the Pelta and the interdictor feature though clearly not as much as Imperial Star Destroyers which are totally dominating the tables in many places right now… I’d have to ask though, is that a bad thing? We’ve seen enough waves of small ships nobody has ever heard of (looking at you Demolisher…) taking down everything. Seeing the big boys dominate really does just illustrate the active efforts of Armada’s brilliant design team.

Come to think of it the only thing they haven’t managed to fix is the victory, the good ol space brick isn’t represented anywhere here… Many who read my previous opinions on it decried my hate for the Vic offering overwhelming piles of anecdotal and ‘in a vacuum ‘examples to support their positions claiming that the Vic is still great. I put it to you that even Trump himself couldn’t make the Vic great again, it’s about as useful as a hat full of assholes.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Balancing Epic Tournament Lists with DBAD
Establishing a healthy meta

Quite a few people, mostly from outside Aus have asked me just what DBAD (don’t be a dick) is all about since it turned up in our tournament setting about a year back. Some have asked what the criteria are and how it is enforced consistently. 

The answer is both simple and hugely complex. At its simplest DBAD has come out of a series of competitive events in Australia where our top players have frankly pushed the boundaries of Epic well into power gaming territory. DBAD is the reaction then to a situation which was poisoning our competitive system and gaming community. Essentially we started to recognise a few realities in our context.

There are probably only 5-6 players in our country who represent the top tier of possible gamers. The sort of people who invest significant time and energy researching, refining, practicing builds. Dredging the forums for top builds and obscure lists and finding ways then milk the power from those lists. The vast majority of our tournament players are likely to be far more casual than this so DBAD comes from a concern for the enjoyment of all players at our events. Our most controversial lists have all been covered in the past but I’ll give you this one as an example we recently saw from the Uk. 

Epic UK Space Marines 2018

Thunderhawk Thunderhawk Thunderhawk Thunderhawk Thunderhawk Thunderhawk Scouts Scouts Assaults Assaults Titan/Air Third Thunderbolts Thunderbolts Thunderbolts Thunderbolts Thunderbolts

Now of course this list is entirely legal to use but what DBAD is trying to recognise is the reality that our game doesn’t have the same level of fluidity and adjustment to list design that we would expect from many other systems. Those of you who have played bigger systems like Warhammer 40k or X-wing would be familiar with the inevitable process where OP lists are identified at comps and there will be an inevitable nerf bat cycle completed through errata or new builds etc and the cycle continues. In those games it works to an extent because their is an active governing body but our systems are glacial if anything. DBAD is about giving TOs more discretion to decide not just whether lists are powerful but when they cross the line between competitive and just plain not fun. 

Using the list above as an example would anyone try to argue that its in any way themey, or fun? If you are also running a hugely powerful list it might make for a super tactical game and be really challenging but thinking back to the fact that only a few players at any given comp will be running lists in that category. For the players who turn up with just a standard/balanced list reflective of a more casual gamer they will ultimately get smashed and have no real chance of even engaging with that game. DBAD is saying use lists like that at home against players of equivalent skill and list building. 

Now while some of you are no doubt reading this and getting ready to argue away about how tournaments are for competitive play and nothing else so people who don’t want to bring an air cav abomination just get what they deserve remember I’d suggest you’ve missed the point. Taking that position will just lead to a decline in the number of people bothering to play at your tournaments and a stagnation of your community. Accept the reality that Epic is so easy to break and exploit that it just isn’t the place to go if you want to be an Uber gamer. There are plenty of other systems better suited. Hell, come play Star Wars Armada with me, it’s got incredible strategic depth and nobody has ever questioned the power level of my lists at comps, no matter how hard I try to break the game. 

The best Epic tournaments are the ones which are competitive but still friendly. Where all players can walk away knowing that the best player, not just the best list won. I would encourage every community around the place to give this adaptation a go. As I said initially, there are no magic limits or criteria, the power level is determined by your own community and TOs and even here there is certainly variety. At our events I’d suggest that 10-15% of lists are initially rejected and most commonly the reason is just spamming of a single powerful unit like Vessels of Pain in Dark Eldar, or Orkeosaurus in Feral Orks. 

No system is perfect but the proof to me is in the data. In anecdotal terms all of our comps played with DBAD have had positive feedback from players which is not something I would have said before hand. For those who prefer quantitative data I’d point to our tournament attendance numbers which have been steadily growing as news of these changes spread around. To me our comps are the healthiest and most enjoyable we’ve ever seen.  

If you happen to be an Aussie sitting on the fence about attending a tournament I would encourage you to get along to one at some point. heavy Bolter is just around the corner, Castle Assault in August and of course Cancon every January which seems to be the one with the biggest representation from across the county. 

Thanks for reading, feedback is always appreciated, especially those ads for penis enhancement and other drugs that seem to pop up in the comments. And remember, Don’t Be A Dick! 

Friday, 2 February 2018

State of the Meta Part III - Rebel Ships

Star Wars Armada Wave 7 Rebels

Continuing our look at all the Wave 7 awesomeness its time to break down the strengths and weaknesses of the Rebel ships. As always remember that the Australian meta might be radically different to where you are so my suggestions might not mesh with your experience, as always a guide is a guide and discussion is brilliant. 

MC80 Mon Calamari Star Cruiser – Still the best home for Akbar that exists but always a tricky ship to include. By the time you pay for one, and some toys and Akbar you’re going to struggle to include enough activations to keep yourself getting taken out in one hit by BT Avenger or getting squadroned to death since you don’t have gunnery teams… Taking two of them seems to be a common enough option and works beautifully with a couple of GR75s and a minimal squad screen unless you’re in a seriously high squadron meta. Overall it’s a good ship but lacks flexibility, the new wave will be good for these guys too.

Overall usefulness - 4/5

MC80 Liberty - Another solid capital ship but just like the Akbar Wagon above it has some clear weaknesses. Much like the ISDII, it can pump out solid dice, with solid speed and access to gunnery teams but also much like the ISD 2 it struggles with only generating medium damage, enough to kill a small ship like a Corvette in one shot but not enough to crack a whale or gladiator. The biggest problem is its awkward shield placings and real lack of manoeuvrability which have made it a subpar option overall compared to the absolute effectiveness of the ISD. I’m wondering if it will pair well with a MC75 ordinance frigate which may boost its value again. At the moment to me, it’s a middling option with too many weaknesses to offset its quite nice points value.

Overall usefulness – 3/5

MC75 Cruiser - Not sure about you but I’m damn excited to get this new toy on the table. I think they are the best new ship that Rebels have access to and just combo so well. Some people have been talking about kitting them out like they are an ISD but my gut says to keep them cheapish, max out at 20pts of upgrades and you can easily fit a couple into your list or run multiple hitting ships. Akbar might have found a cheap flexible support for his traditional MC80 build and I think its pretty easy to mix one of these in with any of the other MC variants and not run out of activations or squadrons too quickly. Not to mention what shenanigans you can get up to with Profundity!

Overall usefulness 5/5

Assault Frigate Mark II - I remember how the whale used to be top of the tables in the early waves but these days it just doesn’t have the same value. The guns on this guy generally aren’t worth shooting, ISD’s laugh at you, Gozanti’s laugh at you, Demolisher laughs at you and the raiders and corvettes you used to love shooting at just aren’t that common anymore. With the current wave being all about boosting big ships I can’t see these guys coming back into flavour soon. Still not a bad carrier for your Reikan Aceholes but the biggest problem with this guy as a carrier is that BT Avenger will reliably one shot you off the board and if you’re spamming squadron activations you can’t do much to avoid that. These days I think your points are better invested in big ships.

Overall usefulness 3/5 and dropping…

Pelta Class Frigate -  This thing was junk when it was first released and its still junk now. It’s biggest problem has always been its speed and really ordinary dice pool. To fix these things you end up spending more points than its worth and become big ship bait. I applaud anyone who is persisting with this thing but to me whether you want a gunboat or a carrier there are just so many better options going.

Overall usefulness 1/5

Corellian Corvette - One of those rare ships that has beautifully survived power changes to the game overall. Realistically it’s either TRC Corvette A or Engine Techs Corvette B ramships but both versions are good sitting around the 50pt mark. The last couple of waves has seen their value diminish a bit because squadrons are so damn lethal right now and big ships are hard to take down with lots of little hits.

Overall usefulness 4/5

Hammerhead Corvette - Let’s face it, these guys are corvette light. Awesome in the movie and I’m probably not alone in hoping that they would have some sort of super ram effect or something cool. Instead, we got something that hits about as hard as a wet tissue and can be easily killed by pretty much anything. Cheaper than a standard Corvette sure but the points cut isn’t worth what you lose in utility. I know some peoples are exploring potential shenanigans with Profundity and Raddus so maybe we will see some more use out of these guys but by themselves, they just don’t cut the mustard.

Overall usefulness 2/5 

 Nebulon B - Much like the Gladiator the value of the Neb is entirely dependent on its title. If its Yavaris it’s a great ship 5/5, salvation is more like 3/5 because the bonus damage potential doesn’t balance the obvious weaknesses of the Neb and without a title, it would be lucky to rate a 2/5 because your points are better invested anywhere else.

MC30c Frigate - Also similar to the Nebulon the value of an MC30 is largely impacted by the title you put on it. Titles are the best upgrades for an MC30 regardless of which version you are taking and both types of Frigate have their uses. If you are investing in the Scout Frigate you should consider an Akbar fleet or similar to maximise the red dice broadsides. If you were going the torpedo option it really depends how much you want to invest. H9s are fantastic in combo with APTs and combining missiles and lasers is one of the unique things that MC30s can do to balance the obvious strengths of it's imperial counterpart.  The scout varients also combo really well with Mothma so while it's hard to put a generic value on an MC30 I'd be putting it around the 3/5 category for a nice balanced ship with a significant change to that value depending on upgrades, titles, fleet build, admiral and bid. A tricky ship to use well, especially in the Maarek/Jendon meta.

Gr75 Transport - Though I don’t rate either version as highly as the Gozanti these guys as super cheap and fill lots of different roles so I still consider 2 to be about my minimum in any fleet. Add in Torryn Farr and Bright hope for a cheap super effective squad booster that’s surprisingly resilient. Their value is increased if you need cheap squadron pushers and ideally have a couple of VCX handy.

Overall usefulness 5/5

That's it for this batch, feel free to offer comments and feedback wherever you can, healthy discussion is fantastic for our game and If I've given you anything to think about that's fantastic. Check out some of these ships on the table in my game night AARs.


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Necrons @ Cancon 2018 - Pew Pew, Zap Zap

Deathbots take down Cancon 2018

After a long drive and a great night of board games we kick off Cancon 2018 and it looks like I've got marines game 1. It's going to be an interesting weekend for the rons with some solid lists that counter the strengths of rons well in the mix combined with me being rusty as hell with using them. Still I'll attempt to provide a concise write up of the games (no promises...) and we will see if they end up exterminating all before them, or going down in flames over and again... Time for some robots! 

Game 1 - Brent Craske - Codex Astartes

Marines form a solid line across the table and necrons respond to the interlopers by deploying in two distinct wedges.

Turn 1 
Whirlwinds fire first at a unit of monoliths but their silly flak missiles do nothing.
The pylon malfunctions after a fault entry and manages to break itself, luckily it’s backup pylon was going fine and manage to activate overwatch. Waiting for a thunderhawk.
Marine scout speeders advance on the right flank only to be introduced to the warbarques guns, sadly his guns were underpowered and only managed a single kill.
Thunderbolts arrive to strafe the warbarque putting a wound on him
Monoliths on the left double forwards to see if we can’t temp marines to come at us putting another hit on land speeders that seem to be impervious so far.
Predators on my right continue to bring the pain down on the warbarque putting another wound through its armour and breaking it. Of course it runs directly towards them and disgorges a unit of flayed ones onto the predators. Like my guns though the flayed ones need to warm up only managing to kill 1 predator, luckily the lords macro attack brings down another. Predators are broken but sadly not wiped out.
The marines response for their predators would be swift with a thunderhawk dropping down to strafe the flayed ones killing 2.

Necrons warriors poured out of a portal on the right to engage the land speeders killing 3 but losing 3 in return. Blast markers and numbers helped the rons wipe out the last speeder.


The left flank continues to disappoint with the marines holding the line while the rons are experiencing serious malfunctions as a result of bad teleports. Both units of monoliths have failed to activate leaving their passengers short of engagement range. The only hope is that the marines will break them... never a good plan.
Luckily for the rons marines decided to advance on my left with the speeders giving the warrior unit a chance to pounce. Killing another few landspeeders in engagement but losing more warriors to macro death.
Marine warhound pack doubles forwards to unleash everything into the bleeding warbarque which miraculously survives it!

Flayed ones stand down to wait for better prey and the land raiders sustain on the monoliths hurting none but breaking them.
Monoliths pull a classic necron move double forward after being broken allowing the BTS to jump out and call intermingle on the land raiders and whirlwinds. They slaughter the whirlwinds but the raiders are too tough bouncing normal and macro hits. Marines lose by 5 but a solid roll only sees one land raider die to overkill while the rest escape.

In the rally phase planes fly off safely.

Everything marine rallies and for the rons everything rallied thanks to the sup com.

Turn 2

Shockingly marines won initiative again!

The land speeders decide to flee for their lives, tripling across the board towards the necron Blitz.

Flayed ones bailed out of a monolith newly teleported into the middle to attack the land raiders before they could activate. Killing 2 outright and the last succumbing to the monolith support fire.

Tactical squad in the buildings next to blitz sustain on the flayed ones who just munched the land raiders killing 1

My monoliths on the left continue to disappoint failing to activate on a 2 and also failing the sup com rerolll. This left the bts stranded without transport. Patience is a virtue I guess!

Pylon in middle blasts a land speeder out of the sky as it flees.

Marine thunderhawk decides discretion is the better part of valour and stands down.
Monoliths on my right pick off the last land speeder who was runnnig to the necron blitz.

Necrons manoeuvre into position to encircle marines.

Rally phase - Marines have nothing to rally and the necrons aren’t cooperative with a warrior unit and the warbarque failing to rally.


Turn 3
Necrons win initiative and decide to go for the big one.

Warriors jump through a portal to prep the Marine tacticals sitting on their blitz. Followed by the necron BTS jumping through to call a mingled engagement on the marine formations around the blitz. Marine armour proves incredible again and only a rhino succumbs to the initial volley. Luckily support fire killed an extra 3, another appalling roll for the necrons to resolve combat saw the marines only lose a couple of stands but all the key formations are now broken. Only the thunderhawk worth of terminators can foil our plans.


The rest of this turn would be necrons consolidating to grab all the key objectives they could, the BTS was out of reach for us being two undamaged warhounds but the rest of the points were wide open.

The terminators decided one last hurrah landing to engage the flayed ones guarding the necron blitz and unsurprisingly killing them all! In hindsight, I had a pylon on overwatch that could have blown that thunderhawk up when it landed but that seemed a bit brutal for a new guy to have to experience!

Final result was a 2-0 to the necrons with them claiming all three objectives in the opposing half of the board. A tight fight until the end!

Lessons learnt
The marines really suffered this game because of intermingle, twice they lost key engagements because of the necrons hitting something nearby and that ultimately decided the game.

Necrons learnt that monoliths need to be deployed more aggressively. Being so far back in turn 1 did me no favours. Also, my pylons weren’t well positioned. I did manage to cut down the marine options well but not shut them down completely, getting zero AA shots all game as they flew around my bubble.

Game 2 - Chris Smith - Knight Crusade

Necrons win the strat roll off so pick corner deployment basically so that the ron BTS would be a damn long way away from the knights. Similarly I put one objective near the knight Blitz and the other on the absolute extreme most right spot so that it would also be a long run for the knights.


Necrons win roll off for first turn and decide to go hard straight up. Monoliths move up and BTS comes out for an engage against the Warden unit intermingled with the AA. The knight shield proved almost impervious. Only letting a single wound through from both macro and normal including support. A tied engage saw us fight again only to have the same thing happen, one wound for me and 3 this time for the wardens. A double 6 for the knights sees them win the combat roll off and the BTS is broken and flees back through a portal. Rough start for the rons.

Knights kick off with a double and shoot from errants to fire at the warbarque in the middle but miss completely.

Necrons respond by using monoliths to call another engage on the wardens this time as a clipping assault so only one of them can shoot. After the dust clears he has killed a monolith for no damage back... monoliths lose the roll off and are broken.

Knight errants on my left move up to fire at monoliths in cover, 3 shots sees another dead monolith and another broken unit.

Necron pylons now decide to change tactic and sustain fire on the nearest knights only to have the Titan shield bounce the damage... twice.

Knights in the middle respond shooting their battle cannons at the offending pylon but doing nothing.

More knights advance in the middle putting fusion into the monoliths but their living hides bounced the shots. While the warbarque in the moves up slightly to ping a damage into an errant and hopefully prep them for an assault.

On my left I continue to pick away at the wardens, this time a clipping assault from warriors on one warden only being too much for them and seeing the unit wiped out from combat res. Phew.

Knights fail to activate marauder bombers so some more warriors pour out of the portal to engage and destroy an AA formation, these little units are way easier to fight!

Baron and his paladin bodyguard sustain against the monoliths in the middle killing another and the necrons finish the turn by doing a risky engage with flayed ones against the errants in front of the monolith. I lost two flayed ones and the support fire from the warbarque missed but a lucky roll off for combat res saw the last two errants explode.

Operation chip away was working well but the casualties were mounting. At the end of the turn I and killed 5 wardens and 3 errants along with the AA but the necron BTS was shattered and I’d lost a full unit of monoliths.

Luckily the BTS and monoliths both rallied which took a bit of the pressure off.

Turn 2
Necrons win initiative again but I don’t have much of an idea where to start. Too many knights still in a big block around the enemy blitz. I decided to sustain with the pylon which managed one hit through the shield, sigh, damn shields.

Knights respond by bringing on the marauder bombers who attack the warriors on my left failing completely to hurt warriors but managing to ping another monolith off.

On my left the warriors begin to advance and hopefully pressure an errant unit to death with support fire. The knights responded by pinging a couple of the warriors off. The monoliths would be the engage unit doing a clip against one edge of the unit supported by almost 15 supporting shots which go straight through the knight shields wiping out another unit of errants.

Rally phase -
sadly the last unit of monoliths didn’t rally but battlefield was firmly in my control.

Opponent called it there making it a 3-0 for necrons with take and hold, hold the line and they shall not pass. The enemy BTS was super safe and there were 3 units of knights guarding the blitz. A hard fight beginning to end.

Lessons learnt 

I think for the knights the only real mistake they made was not being more aggressive in engaging. They spent most of the game moving up and shooting with fusion guns and battle cannons that could have done more damage in direct engage. Shooting allowed me to focus multiple units onto knights for the support fire and that’s when the casualties started to mount. If you look a the battlefield position as well I had the knights boxed in from turn 1 and just focussed on picking off any random unit who stepped out.

For necrons I think my positioning was better than last game but those wardens proved tougher than I expected and I left myself vulnerable for a counter attack had the knights been more aggressive. I think knights are a really hard match for rons because they are so good at clipping engagements, it was only once I managed to win a couple of lucky early engages and tip the scales more in my favour that I could make any real traction. I couldn’t decide if I’d be better just fighting one round against these guys, glad I didn’t in the end but I wasn’t confident of my choice during turn 1. I think I was lucky to get away with it actually.

Game 3 - Mick Fair - Titans

A bit earlier than our usual Game at Cancon and with Mick winning last year I’d love to say I was going to balance the scales. Sadly it just isn’t going to happen this year, Titans are possibly the worst possible matchup for necrons, everything in this list is reinforced armour, fearless and drowning in void shields. My usual attrition tactics just weren’t going to achieve anything here so I’d decided the best chance was to just ignore turns 1 and 2 and push for something to happen in the third. It’s a wierd reality that I’ve never done before.

Turn 1
Titans move forward taking up commanding positions and wondering where the necrons are.

Turn 2
Still no necrons. Titans elected to stay put.

Turn 3
Necrons turn up all over the board!

Titans win initiative and lead off with front left warhound who runs for the necron blitz and shoots the warbarque for zero damage but auto breaks me through 6bp inferno guns.

A retain sees the back left warhound move and shoot the pylon which sadly had also taken a blastie on teleport and so was also autobroken.

Necrons start with the remaining pylon that strips the shield off the warhound back right and Titans respond with planes attempting to snipe that same pylon but only succeeding in getting blown up.

Necron monoliths need my blitz advance stripping the shields off a warhound Titan holding my blitz.

Titans double forward another warhound who sniped out the remaining monolith. Ouch. Only one portal on the blitz now. Warriors poured from that spot however to contest the Blitz killing a warhound in the process thanks to it having no shields.


The remaining reaver doubled backwards to fire two volcano cannons at the monoliths threatening the Titan blitz with the reaver guarding that blitz with its life. Forge knights go for a retain to engage those same monoliths but fail to activate. Ouch.

Monoliths move out double to put pressure on the forge knights and their Warhound friend before retaining with warriors to engage and destroy the warhound. At this point the Titans were out of activations

The first unit of flayed ones jumped out to engage the forge knights but managed to get wiped out before support fire achieving nothing... the second unit was more clever and hit them for a clipping assault breaking the forge knights.


Finally the monoliths at the far back jumped towards objectives and the BTS left the portals to take up positions in the woods. Looks like we go to turn 4.

Forge knights failed to rally, but necrons returned the favour with the warbarque, pylon and warriors holding the blitz all failing to rally. Ewww.

Turn 4
Necrons win intiitative and attempt a cunning plan to kill the warhound on our blitz. The plan doesn’t last long because that blast marker we didn’t clear last turn on a 2+ is the reason we fail to activate this turn on a 2+. Easy come easy go. Plan B!

The warhound we didn’t kill then uses its Vulcan Bolter to gun down 3 warriors, exactly enough to break him... I sense a cascade coming on.... a retain from the other warhound sees a triple move to keep two warhounds firmly on the necron blitz.

Necrons initiate operation stall by running some warriors up to the middle objectives to keep the reaver busy... we are super keen to see what the titans do...

Titans unveil their big gamble. 4 volcano shots into the bts, if all 4 do it the bts is gone... luckily they only manage 3 and it survives and marshalls away the blasties.

Monoliths snipe off the last forge knight for some points.

The best chance now would be to push two warhounds off the necron blitz so flayed ones came pouring out of the portal to engage the warhound with no support. Ultimately they tore it to pieces, killing it outright and breaking the second Titan through a blast marker.

Rally phase - warhound Titan rallies and the supreme commander warbarque fails twice... doh...

In the end it came down to points as a tie breaker with nobody securing a single objective. Necrons took the win by 275 points.


Necrons really have a horrible time against Titans. Nothing in that game changed my opinion, I could focus down a warhound but do nothing significant to the reavers. By the time I managed to organise the volume of fire needed to hurt a reaver I’d be cut to pieces by the rest of the forces firepower. Glad to walk away with a small win from that one. One thing Mick and I were discussing afterwards was his positioning. My gut says that he would have been better to concentrate on a few objectives rather than spread himself out to contest everything but that's just hindsight. I completely threw him by not landing in turn 1 so I'm glad I went with that plan... If we played it over again though I doubt the same trick would work twice. 

Game 4 - Dave Dinglestead - Dark Eldar

No stuffing around this time, Dark Eldar form a line and Necrons get straight in... 

Turn 1
Dark eldar win initiative and kick off with ravagers advancing to kill a monolith in the middle and break the unit.

Warbarque kicks it off for necrons pinging off a single ravager on my left.

In the centre a vessel of pain advanced and used 2 TK shots so wipe out the remaining monoliths from the centre unit. Ouch.

Necrons on the left kept the good times going with a popping attack from monoliths breaking the left ravager unit followed by a dark eldar response being to shoot the left most monoliths with a warrior formation, no casualties this time.

Keeping up the pressure on the left flayed ones pour out of a portal to clear the warriors attacking my left most monoliths, a narrow win seeing the dark eldar broken and flee. BTS retains to engage the Vessel of pain that was hiding behind said warriors wiping out the VoP.

In the middle tormentor Titan advances to ping another 2 monoliths in the middle. Now down to 5 active portals... ouch.

Pylon on the left Marshall’s to clear its blastie.

Dark eldar infantry on the right advance towards the pylon gaurding my blitz which warms up its main gun with overwatch.

In the middle my last active portal spews warriors to engage and destroy the last Vessel of Pain. To which the Eldar bring on bombers to respond, mr Pylon doesn’t do his job this time and the bombs rain down killing one warrior. The lance guns pick off another monolith... down to 4 portals.

Final activation would be warriors jumping out to put a blastie on the broken warriors on my left.

Rally phase - Dark eldar planes have taken all the flak they are going to and fly off.

Broken eldar infantry in the middle fail to rally and the ones on my left rallied.

Necrons cleared blast markers.

Turn 2

Dark eldar hold mandrakes back in reserve at the moment

Necrons win a tied initiative roll and engage the recently rallied warriors, wiping them out easily. A retain by warriors in the middle to engage the ravagers doesn’t go well with the warriors winning the engage but losing the roll off and breaking.

Ravagers respond by moving up and shooting the warbarque but only scratch the paint.

Left most pylon goes onto overwatch which is handy because it shoots down a bomber which the Eldar bring in shortly afterwards.

Warbarque moves up and skims to snipe a blast marker and a shield off the tormentor Titan.

Dark eldar warriors in transports continue to sneak up to threaten by pylon/blitz. I’m wishing I’d paid for the upgraded Blitz with portal!

Necrons Marshall some flayed ones waiting to see what the tormentor is going to do....

Dark eldar fighters come on after clearing the blast debris of his friend only to meet the same fate on an attack run to the pylon.

The right most pylon just Revs his engine on overwatch.

Finally the tormentor moves into range of the left most pylon inflicting a wound and breaking it. Losing one shield in the process
Necrons now decide to go big... bts goes up towards the tormentor, monoliths go towards the tormentor but their shooting fails to scratch the ravagers. This means the ravagers are fully operation for support fire and the plan goes to shit. Plan B... flayed ones clipping assault the ravagers instead and they are wiped by support fire... tormentor is unscathed....

Rally phase

Eldar infantry in the middle rally, both necron formations rally too and everyone else clears blast markers. Going to be a big turn 3

Turn 3
Dark eldar Mandrakes drop down to contest objectives on the necron left with no teleport mishaps.

Necrons win initiative... holy shitballs

Warbarque decided to take on its Titan counterpart for an engage. Solid FF engagements and support fire reduce it to a single health point and it breaks and flees for the hills.

Necrons retain and send the flayed ones after the mandrakes, both units slaughter each other badly and the Eldar are wiped by combat res.


Dark eldar return the favour by engaging the pylon gaurding the necron blitz. Sadly with all the portals down it was on its own. Overwatch snipes a single witch. Incubi and the combat for the blitz ensues. Despite the pylons best efforts fighting the Eldar to a stand still it lost on res and the blitz fell.

Necron monoliths double to pick off a ravager and re break the middle unit.

Dark eldar planes would be their final activation and stand down in the ultimate anti climax.

Necron pylon decides to finish off the tormentor Titan. One shot from 100cm. Boom!

Final result, 3-1 Necrons with capture the flag, BTS and Blitz.

Lessons learnt - having never had much of a crack against Dark Eldar it was an interesting experience. Having such a wierd combination of light vehicle ravagers with solid armour saves it was tricky at times to get the big damage through. Same as the tormentor which seems to be almost invulnerable right up until it explodes completely. Same as Vessels of Pain that are the definition of glass cannons. Their damage and moves are amazing but if you can pin them down their lack of fearless makes them die pretty quick. I think necrons have a lot of advantages against Dark Eldar.

Game 5 - Minervans - Jim Wallace

That’s a heap of super heavies... this build will be just as hard to defeat as the Titans were in many ways, lots of reinforced armour, fearless units and solid engagement options. Even sitting here watching Jim deploy I haven’t decided whether I’ll come down turn 1 or later. It’s more a question of if I see an opportunity.... so far the deployment is looking super conservative so I won’t be holding my breath.

So here’s the deployment I was facing...


Turn 1
Necrons elect to hide off board and minervans advance to take objectives.

Turn 2
Necrons teleport in to surround the minervans. Whoever wins the roll off is going to have a field day...

Necrons win. Shit now I have to work out what to do...

Pylon goes first and snipes out the supreme commander from his super heavy. Gold! Quickly followed by poop as the second pylon miss the same unit... bugger.

Minervans kick off with the deathstikes firing at the warbarque whose living metal hull proves too much for the emperors overcompensating missile. Minervans retain with a hydra unit who snipe another wound off the warbarque and break it.

Necrons respond with monoliths near the minervan BLitz killing 2 manticore and breaking the unit. Sadly the second unit failed it’s retain roll and then wifffed it’s shots against the second manticore unit. The minervan response was to fire the mantcores who had a blastie but they failed to activate.

Monoliths on my left moved cautiously forwards to snipe two shields off the warhound. And the minervan BTS super heavies marshalled away their blastie.

Necrons began full engage mode with flayed ones emerging from a portal to attack the warhound. Flayed ones managed 7 wounds including a macro toppling the warhound in a rude display of bullshit good dice.

Minervans needed a strong response and that would come from... the hydras?!? They blasted a lot of nothing into the monoliths on my right adding a blast marker.

Necron warriors poured from a portal near the minervan side to engage the salamanders killing them down to a fearless commissar.

Minervans respond with a super heavy formation who move up to shoot the pylon breaking it and killing a monolith caught in the blast. The broken monoliths advance on the double and flayed ones pour out to fight the hydras on my right flank. Unsurprisingly the hydras were wiped out.

The final minervan activation would be a super heavy unit to advance and shoot the flayed ones killing one and breaking a monolith formation in the background.

Necrons now go for a big hit on the minervan BTS. We manage 8 hits plus 3 macro which kill the shadowsword but the fearless commissar is still kicking. A tied combat sees us fight a second round where the commissar goes down. Unit destroyed. But the Necron BTS broken.

  Rally phase - Necron BTS rallies, 3 monoliths and a warbarque rally as does the broken pylon leaving two monoliths broken only.

Minervans fail with salamanders and manticores.

Turn 3
Two Flayed ones teleport onto the necron BTS to defend the temple but a serious malfunction sees them broken through blasties.

Minervans win the initiative roll off and kick off with a super heavy formation that single move and shoot at the flayed ones killing 1 and breaking a pylon in the blast. A retain with manticores who breaks monoliths in the middle.

Warbarque kills hydras on my left and retain with Warriors destroy deathstikes

Minervan super heavies triple backwards to contest their Blitz.

With Minervans out of activations it’s now time to see whether we can close out this game this turn. To do it we needed to shift 3 super heavies off the minervan blitz. First the necron BTS emerges from a portal and and marshalls to regenerate warriors.

The Monoliths formation engages the super heavies counting on support fire from two units of warriors to do the job but it all goes pear shaped and we don’t even get a wound through.

The final warrior unit engages the super heavies with the BTS in support fire and destroy the formation with supporting fire from the BTS contributing most of the damage. The last super heavy bites the dust and the blitz and the game is ours.

Final result 3-0 to necrons with BTS, Capture the flag and Blitz.

Game 6 - Norto - Dark Eldar

3 points behind the current leader... after 3 rounds and playing someone who was only 3 points behind me. So one of those games where you know that a big enough win would be huge and a loss would drop you off the podium. In fact this year’s Cancon was the closest set of results we had ever seen with 4 players all within reach of a top result in the final round.

For deployment this time I figured I would drop down turn 1 and keep the pylons together because there was plenty of air coming through. I also parked a unit of monoliths on top of the webway portal so that whatever came through had to engage straight away. Deployment needed to be super flexible this time because of all the flexibility and speed in this Dark Eldar list.

Turn 1
Bad teleports leave the necrons pretty vulnerable first up and dark eldar win initiative to capitalise. Both vessels of pain go first with one breaking a pylon and the other putting a blastie on monoliths.

Necrons start slow by marshalling a pylon and then a monolith unit, need to drop those blasties fast before he breaks me and his planes have a field day.

Dark eldar troopers double forwards and shoot the monolith formation putting s blast marker that the wych formation then engages from out of the web way the monoliths were sitting on. The monoliths proved too tough for dark eldar taking no casualties and breaking them with combat res. Dice on fire so far.

Monoliths in the middle Marshall off a blast marker and put one on the raiders

Dark eldar respond by standing down the slave bringer... oh dear.

Monoliths in the woods on my left slowly and carefully advance through the woods to put a blastie on a vessel of pain.

Eldar bombers stand down.

Warbarque Marshall’s and advances to support range of engagement against a vessel of pain.

Eldar fighters stand down.

Necron warriors advance from a portal to engage the VOP but a paltry result phase sees the VOP win to combat and break the warriors.

Eldar bombers stand down.

Warriors emerge from portal to engage the VOP again, it loses combat by 3 but still survives... Urgh.

Flayed ones kill warriors in middle get broken

Flayed ones kill Vop at back through res alone

Rally phase
Wyches fail to rally and fall back again.

Monoliths on the web way portal fail to clear a blastie. Both infantry formations rally.

Turn 2
Dark eldar win initiative again and the remaining VOP marches off to my right flank to claim objectives.

Necrons Marshall a blastie off the newly rallied Pylon.

Eldar fighters stand down.

Warbarque shoots the wyches at the back but doesn’t hit.

Eldar bombers stand down

Slavebringer with witches stand down

Monoliths on my left emerge from the forest to put a blastie on the broken wyches.

Empty slavebringer stands down.

Warriors emerge from a portal to threaten the Eldar Blitz, marshalling to regenerate as they go.

Eldar are out of activations, time for the rons.

Flayed ones engage to wipe out the wyches on the Dark eldar blitz using support fire and the rest of the turn is just repositioning for turn 3

Rally phase - Nothing much to report.

Turn 3Dark eldar scourges teleport in to threaten a pylon and the necron blitz I have left quite open in hind sight... whoops. Slight mishaps lead to 2 blasties being applied.

Necrons win initiative but due to not having any sort of a plan the dark eldar take initiative instead.

VOP doubles up and shoots the pylon but doesn’t hurt it and a retain by the scourges fail to retain

The pylon responds with a Marshall and shot at the VOP doing a single hit.

Dark Eldar respond with... a good hard think....

Eventually the eldar warrior unit emerges from the webway to engage the monoliths sitting on top of it. They win the combat, consolidate towards my blitz and drop a webway portal. I detect shenanigans...

Crons respond with flayed ones on the far side grabbing the Eldar blitz.

Dark Eldar BTS emerges from the portal to attack the pylon doing a single wound and breaking it with combat res.

Warbarque responds to the new threat by doubling back to shoot the warriors who emerged from the webway doing 3 hits to raiders only to have them all bounce.

Wyches in a slavebringer drop down taking two damage from the pylon but being saved by shield to engage the second pylon. They win combat and the last AA option is broken.

Necron warriors in the middle engage the wyches wiping them out with combat res.

Eldar fighters come in to shoot shiny lights at the monoliths

Flayed ones in the middle engage and destroy the warriors who dropped the portal earlier and consolidate.

Eldar bombers zoom on to bomb the warriors attacking the blitz and killing a trooper.

Monoliths Marshall.

It all builds up to the final engagement as the necrons swarm towards their own blitz and engage the Eldar BTS. A very one sided combat sees them wiped out and the necrons return to their tomb triumphant.


Final result 3-0 to the necrons.

This leads to an interesting final comp result. Necrons did super well winning all of their games and being the only army to beat the event winner and two time Cancon champion Mick fair. Mick took it out with Titans this year which is an impressive achievement overall and nobody can begrudge that final result.

If I have a final conclusion about necrons I would say they are a really solid and flexible, capable of having a crack at anything they come across but with a really solid learning curve in many respects. You need to practice your engage moves really well and not hesitate to do sneaky engages that our opponent may not like... they do feel a bit asymmetric though in that as soon as you run Into lots of reinforced armour and fearless, of anything else good at engage like knights or titans you are really going to struggle.

Well done to Mick for the win, a huge thanks to our organiser Kendall for his time and effort and to all of my opponents for a great comp.

Our epic comps have been really great since the introduction of the DBAD rule and I for one encourage all comps to give it a go. The lists at Cancon this year were a solid example of competitive but still fun games we all want to see in Epic. Here’s hoping for more of the same down the track.

Much like my army I’m going back to slumber now until Castle Assault rouses me in August.