I’m feeling the need to have a bit of a catch up here on the last day of August, as we start to look down the barrel of Autumn and all of the attendant loveliness that can bring! I usually like to spend my time painting miniatures at this time of year, and often look into playing more board games now that the nights are drawing out, and whatnot!
Yesterday, I had a wonderful game of 40k round at my buddy JP’s house. We’ve played at the local GW a handful of times, and it’s been a blast, so it was nice to have a more relaxed game in the domestic setting, and all! We’ve been incrementally increasing the size of our games, as well, and had gotten to 1250 points by this latest bout, though obviously with the various upgrades he’d gone up to 1300ish, so I added in an additional scarab swarm to bring mine up a bit more.
Maelstrom of War is a format that not a lot of people seem to enjoy at my local store, but is something that I just intrinsically associate with 40k due to the amount of battle reports I’d listen to while painting miniatures back in the early days of my hobby – I think I had the idea that I’d listen to batreps and hope to absorb the rules that way! As such, phrases like “defend objective 3”, “big game hunter” and “priority orders received” are deep-rooted in my association with the hobby, so playing these games is almost like some kind of nostalgia trip for me!
I’ve been playing the core of this list now for what feels like forever, but with the ability to go bigger, it has seen some quite interesting additions made! To start with, Illuminor Szeras is a great support character, though one that really needs to be deployed well to get maximum benefit. We only played two rounds, but I didn’t have a target for Mechanical Augmentation at the start of round two, so couldn’t do anything with him again.
For the first time ever, I was playing Necron Warriors in my list, and while I wasn’t exactly impressed with their performance, I think I can see some real advantages to having big blobs of cheaper troops hanging about the place. At the start of turn one, I used Veil of Darkness to redeploy the CCB and the Warriors, which both helped me secure one of my tactical objective cards, and also bring the Warriors closer to the enemy lines and get some shooting in right there and then.
I had used Wraiths in my last game, but had fallen into the trap of camping an objective and therefore lost a lot of the point of the unit. This time around, with the help of the stratagem that allows them to advance and charge, I managed to get right up to the enemy backline by the end of my second turn, and the fact those guys are just so damn deadly in close combat meant that, despite losing one in Overwatch, I was still able to Slay the Warlord, and secure another of my tactical objectives!
I think I’ll be using Wraiths a lot more, and I think I’ll stop paying the points for those guns…
Definitely time I got some more paint on these guys! Between the Wraiths making that impressive cross-the-board sweep, and those Scarabs sweeping from Objective to Objective, they were incredibly useful.
Less useful were the Tomb Blades, I’m sad to say! They’re wonderful models, but they just didn’t seem to be of much use to me, if I’m honest. I’m not going to give up on them, for sure, as I’m positive that I can figure something out for them, but I had expected more from the unit…
JP’s army consisted of a Daemon Prince, Dark Apostle, three units of ten Chaos Marines, a Predator, a Rhino, five Terminators and ten Bloodletters. I think there was some hope to get some Havocs into play as well, but sadly not enough time to build them. It’s a list that felt quite familiar to me, as it is similar to mine in that we’re building up from a core battalion, but it really felt a little bit off this time in that I seemed to have so many more units on the table. I suppose that’s the simple beauty of the Necron army – you don’t get the opportunity, by and large, to upgrade your units with fancy weaponry, so instead just have quite basic squads, but the points are somewhat proportionate, and so I could afford to throw in an additional Outrider Detachment here, and get the additional CP as a result.
We played Disruptive Signals, one of the missions in Chapter Approved 2018 that removes six of your tactical objectives from the deck, then gives both players the chance for 1CP to prevent their opponent from achieving one of their objectives that turn. Neither of us used that, I think mainly due to forgetting about it, and while I suppose removing the six is meant to be some sort of hampering mechanism, it only really served me well in that I was able to remove those cards that I had no hope of achieving!
I’d had to make notes on the front of my list print-out, as I was determined to not forget any of my special rules and get the sequencing right. As it happened, I didn’t miss any Reanimation Protocols, which was handy! Although I lost very few models with the rule, which was also handy! I only got to use Wave of Command once, as I then jumped the CCB up the field with Veil of Darkness, only to then see the model (my Warlord, no less!) promptly annihilated in JP’s first turn! Oh, hubris…
However, the cards were with me, the dice were with me for the first time in what feels like a long time, and I was even getting an average of 3 rolls of 6 on my tesla shots, which was just unprecedented! I managed to score two of my tactical objectives in my first turn (secure objective 3, secure objective 6), and then three more in my second turn (secure objective 2, kingslayer, and behind enemy lines), plus getting Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker and First Strike.
We ended the game at the end of the second round, because it was 0:20 and we’d both been in work all day, but it was already 9-3 to me, so while Maelstrom of War games can be quite swing-y, we called it with a victory for me. Four hours of playing a game definitely feels long enough when it’s this tactically intense, anyway!
It was definitely a fun game, though, and I’m really enjoying getting to grips with the Necron army in a really serious way like this. I’ve got a couple of ideas for some tweaks I’d like to make to the list, including adding some Triarch Praetorians with particle casters and voidblades into the mix, so stay tuned for that!!
You know, while I am loving the time I’ve been spending with my Necrons, and getting to grips with them as an army after all this time, I am finding myself beginning to think wider once again – maybe it’s the time of year, but I’m considering finally getting round to painting some Tyranids… For now, in case this is just the need for a change from painting the same scheme, I’m painting some terrain for use in future games, but you never know – there may be some big bugs coming to the blog as the winter months approach us!!