BATTLE REPORTS - The Hand of the King - 22 (tactical)

To view the Hand of the King registry, click here. To view the game's battle report, click here.

This game was Relic, Vanguard deployment, at 1,500 points.

My list (Imperial Guard) was:

CCS - fist, standard, lascannon, sniper
Priest - eviscerator

10x stormtrooper squad - 2x flamers
10x stormtrooper squad - 2x fmeltaguns
10x stormtrooper squad - 2x fmeltaguns

PCS - lascannon, chenkov
PIS - lascannon, meltagun
PIS - lascannon, meltagun
Conscripts (20) - Send in The Next Wave!

PCS - lascannon
PIS - lascannon, meltagun
PIS - lascannon, meltagun

3x scout sentinel squad - 3x lascannons

My opponent's list (Necron) was:

Overlord - command barge (gauss), warscythe, mindshackles
- court with 2x stormteks, destructek with solar pulse
Overlord - command barge (gauss), warscythe, mindshackles
- court with stormtek, destructek with solar pulse

Triarch stalker - heat ray

5x warriors - nightscythe
5x warriors - nightscythe
5x warriors - ghost ark

Doomscythe
Annihilation Barge (tesla)

My warlord rolled Master of Ambush, and my opponent's rolled principles of deceit, which he used to shuffle his triarch over with. I'd note that in this game, my opponent came into it with the knowledge that he could make a cryptek his warlord. In this case, his warlord was one of the stormteks, and it started the game in a night scythe.

No night fighting was rolled for turn 1. My opponent won the roll to go first, and I declined to seize.

1.) the game started with my opponent moving the triarch and annihilation barge closer, while turbo-boosting his two barge lords into my deployment zone, one on the left, and one on the right. A few casualties from the annihilation barge, but that's it.

In return, I shuffle my meltaguns forwards and target his barges. None of the meltaguns are in range, but they're still S8, and they're still Ap1. The meltas don't do anything, but the lascannons certainly do. I throw a couple of hits on one of the barges for a penetrating hit which jink doesn't save, I roll a 5, and explode the lord's ride, giving me first blood. I then turn around, and do exactly the same thing to his other lord barge.

It's at this point that I realise that basically all necron vehicles are open-topped. That means that if you only bring enough strength to cause a penetrating hit, you've got a good chance to just take one out. In this case, I was lucky, but it sure beats the hell out of trying to glance these effectively-5-HP vehicles to death.

2.) My opponents fliers show up and do assorted casualties. Support units continue to creep forward. On the left, my opponent charges into chenkov's PCS, and loses a wound from overwatch, and another in close combat proper before wiping the squad. On the right, the other lord struggles out of his wreck, and, not having any guns, just runs forward.

In return, all of my reserves show up. Flamer stormies go on my right to handle the lord. They scatter way away, but they do it towards MY guys rather than towards his guys, which cuts me some slack with mishapping. Flamers are out of range, but they're not going to do much to the lord. Meanwhile, a squad of melta stormies roll a hit and land in the middle of the board behind the triarch, and another rolls a hit and lands behind the ghost ark. Sentinels show up on the left side of the board.

In shooting, the stormtroopers do poorly against their lord target, knocking off only a single wound. Meanwhile, the squad that landed behind the triarch easily wrecked it (I need 3's to cause a vehicle explosion, you say?). The stormies behind the ark weren't so successful. The krak grenade missed, and the two melta guns hit. One rolled a 3 and the other a 4, causing a glance and a pen. The pen was stopped by jink, leaving the ark alive. I then shot at said ark with all of my lascannons, but they used up their luck the previous turn. 7 lascannons only manage to put a second glance on the ark.

Meanwhile, the squad near the left-side lord attacked it. Meltaguns and lascannons are cruel to a W1 lord. He rolls to get back up and does not.

3.) Over the next couple of turns, my opponent shreds my army. The ark, having survived, gets to use its broadside rule, unloading at both squads of stormies, causing the one that attacked them to break and run. Fliers and tesla shred my infantry through weight of fire. The only bright spot is his remaining lord charging the flamer stormies and getting killed by Ap3 overwatch.

Eventually by the bottom of turn 4, I finally wreck my opponent's ghost ark. This proved to be a serious challenge as the running melta stormies failed morale check after morale check, and the lascannon sentinels were swept away by fliers (turns out scout sentinels don't like death rays). I even charged it with krak grenades and managed to get a penetrating hit to throw off the shielding, allowing a stray lascannon to blow it up.

On turn 5, my opponent dropped down some warriors near my stormtroopers in the center, and unloaded the other flier-borne warriors with his warlord in my deployment zone for a little linebreaker action.

4.) As the game comes to a close, it becomes a desperate fight over the relic. My opponent had managed to capture it the turn before with 5 warriors and 2 crypteks. Everything had survived the flier fire had started charging on on turn 4 (what with basically nothing of my opponent's stuff left on the ground other than some warriors and the annihilation barge). Flamer stormies charge in and kill most of the warriors. What melta and lascannon I have left takes down the crypteks. The conscripts manage to down the last warrior with lasgun fire, preventing them from reanimating. The two crypteks do, though.

At this point, my opponent only has two models that can seriously claim or contest the objective. I've got a few dozen in the area. At the bottom of 5, I'm looking pretty good here for snagging the relic.

We roll to continue, and we do. On turn 6, my opponent's cryptek snags the relic. and everything unloads onto my army, seriously whittling down what I have left. What started as 15 stormtroopers and 32 infantrymen gets butchered down to just 2 stormtroopers and a handful of guys thanks to me literally failing every single armor save. In return, because my opponent has the objective (well, and 2 crypteks, preventing me from touching the relic in the movement phase, due to 1" restrictions), I just move forward and kill them. Both of the crypteks get up again.

We roll to continue, and we do. On turn 7, my opponent just finishes off most of the rest of my army. Without the ability to make it into base contact with the relic, I now have no way of actually capturing it. The game ends with my surviving melta stormies breaking and running a second time. As the game ends, the stormies, which had been doing almost nothing but running the entire game, after a long series of failed morale tests, finally decides to do something. The remaining meltagunner rolls a 6 to hit his doom scythe. Rolls a 6 to pen. Rolls a 6 to explode the vehicle.

The conscripts also came back on, and threw enough firepower into the 5x warrior squad to ALMOST wipe them out and prevent linebreaker. I also slayed his warlord. The warlord rolled to get back up, and was successful, along with three of the four other casualties in the squad.

The game ended with my last scoring model (a PIS sergeant) charging the crypteks on the relic, only to be taken down by overwatch.

I had first blood, but my opponent had slay the warlord, linebreaker, and the relic for a clear Necron victory.

- So, overall, this was one of my better games of 40k. It had all the good elements - a little close combat, some attacking and counterattacking, fighting going on everywhere, most armies whittled way down at the end, etc. There of course wasn't much tactically going on, and the outcome of the game basically just came down to a couple of die rolls (rolls to continue, and rolls for reanimation, etc.), but I'm starting to see that relic games aren't necessarily known for their tactical acumen, being basically purge games with an objective.

- I also think my army put up a hell of a fight here. As per my usual, I just ignored my opponent's fliers and tried to beat him at the ground game. There was a time on that game where my opponent only had a couple of warriors and an annihilation barge left. The fliers did do a lot of damage, but if the dice had gone more my way, I easily could have won. In any case, the takeaway here is that a double-down ground game list is at least on par with a flier-heavy necron list, and that's really all I can hope for with what I'm doing here. It would be interesting to see how my opponent would fare in a game with multiple objectives, though.

- This is yet another showcase game for my malta/las setup. Glancing 4HP AV13 vehicles to death is atrocious, and doing the same on what winds up being 5HP AV13 lord barges is pure futility. In this case, low Ap weapons trying to kill things outright are way better, and having the strength not only to penetrate AV13, but also to unlock the benefits of open-topped was huge. As you can see in this game, I ALMOST had it as far as killing off my opponent's vehicles. If my second melta stormies had done their job, I very well could have thrown my lasg few lascannon shots at the barge and left no ground-based vehicles on the table. In fact, I think my list has a little ways to grow still with anti-tank, but I don't see how I can possibly achieve this while still pursuing my anti-scoring unit strategy. After over 20 games of work, I think I'm finally starting to get to the best that this kind of list can be (well, except for the points thrown at the priest, but he stays).

- This was also another study for the conscripts. This game my opponent largely avoided shooting at them, which makes sense given how relatively non-threatening they were compared to all those lascannons, and the fact that the triarch prevented me from just rushing forwards. In the end, though, relic is just going to be another tough mission for them, I guess, like purge or to a slightly lesser extent, emperor's will. As much as I love these guys, I'm starting to notice that they really only shine on half of the missions, and don't have a whole lot to contribute to the other half. I still want to keep them, as they're still good on those two missions, and they still respawn and have other goodies (and, in this game, I only had 2 models left on the board that weren't also conscripts at the end of the game, so they still help with wipe protection), but I'm uncertain that I'm going to reinstall the second squad of conscripts at higher points values.

- It was nice to have my stormtroopers in again. This game helps remind me just how much of a home-run swing these guys are. Either they land where you want them to, and they absolutely beat friggin face, or they scatter and mishap, or roll poorly, and they do absolutely nothing. It seems like there is no middle ground for stormtroopers.

In this particular case, one of the stormy squads scattered, but rallied with single-handedly killing an overlord, and then attacking the relic at the end of the game, causing enough wounds to allow for them to not be able to use their reanimation protocols. Meanwhile, the other stormies showed up and killed a triarch stalker. Then they killed a ghost ark. Then they killed the cryptek holding the relic on turn 5 with a meltagun. Meanwhile, the third stormies showed up, put a single glance on a vehicle with two point-blank melta shots against AV11, and then spent literally the entire rest of the game running away, running on turn 3, staying running all of turns 4 and 5, rallying only to then fail another morale test and all but run off the board by the end of the game. Yeah, they spitefully killed the doom scythe at the end, but really, that squad was a waste of 185 points this game.

Swing big for big hits or big misses. The stormtrooper way, I suppose.

- This was also the first time in awhile I've done anything serious with sentinels. I bought one the day before this game, and am still finishing painting it as of this writing. It's the first vehicle that I'm doing in a new, more serious scheme.

Anyways, in this game, they did bumpkis. 5 lascannon shots did literally nothing before they died. Otherwise, all they did was distract some fliers for awhile. Of course, that's sort of how it goes with guard. I spam lascannons because I can't tell which of my lascannons will actually do their job. That it wasn't the sentinels this particular game doesn't throw down a particularly big strike against them. I'll be playing around with this some more, as it seems the best way to continue adding more anti-tank to my list.

MVP: In this case, it has to go to one of my melta/lascannon PISs, as they scored me my only victory point of this game.

Hero of the Game: The lone sergeant who charged the relic at the end of the game. Seriously, dude, didn't you see what happened to those other 100 guys?