Time for another 40k 9th edition battle report - the Orks are back, taking on the new codex Necrons, playing Frontline Warfare from the main rulebook (4 objectives, classic 'dawn of war' deployment) at 2000 points. I was playing against regular opponent John, who's Necrons did not have the best of times in 8th edition, but the new book seems like a different beast entirely.
I took another list built around the core of a big blob of Feral Orks, that seemed to be working fairly well. I added in some expensive heavy hitters that I hadn't used for a while - the Gorkanaut (upgraded with the Slug Gubbin kustom job from Saga of the Beast) and a big mob of Flash Gitz in a wagon with Da Booma. Not as 'lean' a list as it could be, but I thought suitably varied to give the Necrons a fair try out. My secondary objectives were Engage On All Fronts, Raise the Banners High (I wanted to use the banners I'd made!) and the mission specific Vital Ground - extra points for holding the central objectives and/or the one in your opponent's deployment zone.
Feral Orks Battalion
HQ: Warboss (kombi-skorcha, attack squig, Relic: Da Killa Klaw, Warlord Trait: Follow Me, Ladz!, Da Biggest Boss), Big Mek with Kustom Force Field, Weirdboy (Warphead, Powers: Da Jump, Warpath)Troops: 2x 30 Boyz (Powerklaw), 2x 10 Boyz (Powerklaw)Elites: Painboy, Nob with WAAAGH! BannerFast Attack: 2x 1 Deffkopta (Kopta rokkits)Heavy Support: 10 Flash Gitz (2 ammo runts), Gorkanaut (kustom job: Slug Gubbin), Battlewagon (kustom job: Da Booma)
John was running an in-your-face horde/melee style board control list, so this was going to be quite an intersting matchup. He had a Novokh (+1 to charge, +1 AP in first round of combat) battalion, and spent a bunch of CP on things - additional relic and warlord trait, plus Hand of the Phaeron to upgrade his overlord to demand his will be done twice a turn. His secondary objectives were to Thin Their Ranks (no brainer really), Vital Ground and a new Necron specific objective, The Treasures of Aeons, which gave him additional points for objectives selected by me, effectively doubling up on Vital Ground. Also as a note, the Praetorians (I think) were proxies for Lychguard.
HQ: Overlord (Warscythe, Relic: The Orb of Eternity, Warlord Trait: Thrall of the Silent King, Hand of the Phaeron), Cryptek Cronomancer (Entropic Lance, Prismatic Obfuscation, Warlord Trait: Implacable Conqueror, Relic: Veil of Darkness), Skorpek LordTroops: 2x 20 Warriors, 10 Immortals (Tesla carbines)Elites: 10 Lychguard (Warscythes), 5 Skorpek DestroyersFast Attack: 5 Canoptek Scarabs, 5 Canoptek WraithsHeavy Support: 3 Lockhust Heavy Destroyers (Gauss Destructor cannon)
Deployment saw us split our forces to go around the big central ruin. I placed my Boyz and characters centrally and on the left flank, facing off the Wraiths and Destroyers, with the Battlewagon full of Flash Gitz on the right against the Warrior blobs. My Deffkoptas took up flank positions to push up for Engage On All Fronts. The Gorkanaut was placed on the Tellyporta, while the Immortals were held in strategic reserve. I think ultimately going first wasn't going to be a huge advantage for this game since we had both deployed pretty defensively and didn't have much long range shooting (I had made sure the Battlewagon was out of range of the Lockhusts on turn one). John did win the roll though and chose to start off first.
First turn, plenty of Necron shuffling, not much else. The Destroyers advanced with no good targets, while the Wraiths moved onto the objective on my left, and the Scarabs onto the one on the right. A unit of warriors managed to line up some shots on the Battlewagon, using Disintegration Capacitors to ensure some automatic wounds on 6s to hit. John rolled well and racked up a load of wounds, but I also rolled well on the saves, only taking 4. No points scored, but the 'crons were sitting on 3 objectives.
Orks turn one, and Da Boyz got movin'. I planted a flag on my home objective, while a big blob of character supported Boyz moved up on the Wraiths. The Battlewagon trundled forward, while the Deffkoptas zoomed over to enemy territory. In the psychic phase Durrork the Weirdboy did good, putting Warpath on the unit lining up the Wraiths and Da Jump on the other big unit to put them in the far left corner, eyeing up a charge on the Lockhust Destroyers.
In the shooting phase the Battlewagon fired the full 12 shots from it's blast weapon into a warrior unit, with fairly disappointing results. The Flash Gitz then opened up, splitting fire to try and remove the Scarabs and hurt some warriors. They did good, but left the Scarabs with 3 bases on the objective, which was worrying, until I rolled a 6 for their crazy show offs rule, meaning they all had to fire again at the scarabs, wiping them out.
In the charge phase the Boyz went in to the Wraiths, while the other mob failed to make it to the Destroyers. I also took a gamble and charged the Deffkopta into a warrior blob to ensure I had Engage with all four quarters. Luckily it survived the return attacks, even with stratagem support, on a single wound.
The Boyz fought hard, with a load of buffs and playing the strat to fight twice, but the Wraiths proved tough to shift. Both rounds I killed two, but one got back up! Still, I had a big obsec unit on the objective so it was a success.
Necrons turn two, and it was time for some big moves. The Wraiths fell back, able to charge again they were looking at hunting some characters. The Destroyers lined up targets, the wagon for the Lockhusts and the Boyz on the objective for the Skorpeks. The Warriors marched up to claim the other objective, while the Cryptek used the Veil of Darkness to move himself and the Lychguard behind my lines on the right. The Immortals arrived to counter my jumped Boyz in their deployment zone.
In the shooting phase the Lockhusts opened up on the Battlewagon, blasting it apart. The Flash Gitz were then torn into with Gauss weapons, halfing the unit even after they Looted the remains of their ride. The Immortals were a bit disappointing however with their Tesla output, only clearing a few boyz from each big mob, though they did cause a mortal wound on my Warboss with their Malevolent Arcing stratagem, as well as one on the Wraiths!
In the charge phase the Necrons got some good rolls to make in to all their targets, bar the Lychguard who were no longer in range of the Flash Gitz after casualty removal. In addition to Wraiths and Skorpeks, a Warrior blob mobbed over the Gitz on the right flank (while holding the objective), killing a couple, and the newly arrived Immortals plowed into the Boyz on the left. They didn't do much damage in combat, but their toughness 5 enabled them to hold up the Boyz for a long time. The Overlord also sauntered up to the damaged Deffkopta and dispatched it with ease.
The Wraiths killed off the Painboy (who had not stopped any wounds yet until this point - rolled a bunch of sixes for himself but not enough) but Redtoof heroically intervened and took two of them out to show that he was Da Biggest Boss. The Skorpeks and their Lord blended through the boyz in an impressive display, dealing enough damage to kill them all with one wound to spare. A big deal obviously as I would otherwise have been able to bring the Boyz back with the Unstoppable Green Tide stratagem. Going into my turn two the Necrons once again had control of three objectives and I though it was looking a bit ropey for the Orks.
Turn two movement, I didn't have too much to do. The remaining Deffkopta lined up a charge on the Lockhusts in the backfield, while Redtoof lined up to fight the Skorpeks, and eventually get to that big shiny boss behind them. The Small boyz mobs moved up to line up charges as well, supporting Redtoof on one flank and relieving the Flash Gitz on the other, who fell out of combat. This left the Weirdboy to hold my home objective (who managed to get a perils and reduce himself to 1 wound. Oh Durrork...). Then, there was a flash of green light...
And the Gorkanaut appeared! It's Slug Gubbin ripped into the red Warriors, while it's rokkits combined with the Deffkopta to fell a couple of the Skorpeks. Elsewhere slugga fire was surprisingly effective this round, knocking down a few necrons.
A big charge phase saw the two little mobs make their targets, as well as Redtoof piling into the Skorpeks. I used some valuable command points on Ramming Speed to ensure the Gorkanaut made it into melee with the Lockhusts (after the Deffkopta had eaten the overwatch and been utterly annihilated).
The fight phase went well again, Redtoof and da Boyz polishing off the Skorpek Destroyers, while the Gorkanaut crushed the Lockhusts to dust. The red Warriors on the objective were left with a few standing, but the Boyz outnumbered them, leaving the Necrons with no objectives going into their turn 3. Some cheeky casualty removal from that unit also ensured I had a unit wholly within every quarter once again.
Here's what it looked like at the end of turn two. Little skirmishes all over the place, not much in the way of primary scores for either side as the central objectives kept changing hands, but Engage On All Fronts was working for me, while John was racking up Thin Their Ranks. I had removed the main threat to the Gorkanaut and the left flank was mostly in my hands, but on the right the Necrons were still in significant numbers. Anyone's game from this point!
Turn three for the Necrons, not much chance of removing the Gorkanaut from their home objective, but John set about making sure I wasn't controlling any of the others. The Overlord activated the resurection orb to bring back most of the red Warrior unit, who, supported by the blue one, firmly controlled the right objective. Flash Gitz were easily removed by the Lychguard and the last Wraith, having finished off the WAAAGH! Banner Nob, moved in to slice up the Weirdboy who was holding my objective with one wound remaining, and tearing down the banner. The Skorpek Lord had a tough choice between fighting the Warboss or removing the Boyz from the objective, but ultimately opted to go for the points denial. He was unsuccessful, leaving a couple of Boyz left to hold the objective.
This meant going into my turn three, one of us was finally holding more than one objective for extra Primary points! I also got bonuses for Vital Ground. In this so far low scoring game, this was a big boost.
For my movement I sent the Gorkanaut up to plunge fire into the warriors and try to block them from their home objective, while the Big Mek ran past the Lychguard to draw some fire or something? He didn't really have anything to do, but he was in a quarter for Engage On All Fronts.
Then in the charge phase, there was just one thing to do - Warboss into Skorpek Lord for an epic duel (though the Orks cheated a bit by firing rokkits at him beforehand). Da Killa Klaw proved it's worth, and Redtoof crushed the big shiny tin boy.
Turn four, the Necrons matched the Orks on the Primaries from last turn, holding one in the middle and the one in my zone with the Wraith. this also scored them some secondaries for Vital Ground and Treasures of Aeons, finally. Some shooting at the Gorkanaut stripped 8 or so wounds off from Gauss weapons with stratagem use and I think a bonus from the command protocol. The Big Mek got blasted by the Cryptek, and the warriors charged in on the 'naut. The Lychguard failed a long charge to assist, but the blue unit were able to wrap around and take back their home objective. They did some more damage but took some casualties back from the claw of Gork (or possibly Mork). Elsewhere my diminished jumped mob finally finished off the Immortals.
Not much left on the board for the Orks in turn 4, and only objective held, so the Warboss advanced over to get a charge on the Wraith on my home objective, and the remnants of the Boyz on the left objective planted a flag. I'd just about saved up enough CP to bring back the full mob of pink Boyz that had been scrapping with Immortals, so the Unstoppable Green Tide ran on behind the Gorkanaut to charge the Warriors on their home objective. Between shooting and combat the Gorkanaut removed the red Warrior unit, though the pink Boyz once again failed their 9 inch charge, leaving the blues firmly controlling their objective.
Redtoof however was up for a fight, and he charged in to the Wraith...
And chopped it in half! He was however in an unfortunate position on turn 5...
The Cryptek lined up a shot with his Entropic Lance and obliterated the Warboss, thanks to a CP reroll (with nothing much else to spend it on, this was a denial of primary points to the Orks on the last turn).
The rest of the Necron turn 5 involved the Lychguard making it into the Gorknaut and utterly smashing it apart. At this point it was down to below half wounds, but they would have destroyed an undamaged one! John was left bemoaning his command protocol choices however, as if he had picked the one he didn't select for turn 5, his warriors could have fallen back and shot my Boyz for more Thin Their Ranks points.
In my turn five, I was once again restricted to one objective, but it was Vital Ground and it did have a banner on it. I chose not to feed Boyz to the Necron Warriors, since I wouldn't get any points for it (and it was a long game - I think if it had been shorter I would have charged in just to be Orky!). And that was the end of that. As we added up the points it was looking very, very close. Both of us had been restricted on the primary objective, and were struggling to get our objective based secondaries. I did however score a single point at the end of the game for having one banner remaining - which turned out to be the margin of victory as the scored ended up (including painting) as 57-56 to the Orks! WAAAGH!
What a scrap! By a long way the closest game of 9th I've played and probably my favourite so far. A real scattered battle with fights breaking out all over the board and over all the objectives. Both armies wanted to get up close and push the opponent off the objectives, and they did so repeatedly. I think it was a good showing from both sides, and we got to see what both armies could really do. Plenty of key moments going one way then the other, meant this game was on a knife edge all the way, and then was finally won by a flag!
The new Necron book seems like it's got a lot of mileage in it, certainly allowing for much more variety in play style than the older one, and while talking about it, we didn't really think any of the units massively under performed or failed to do their job. The Immortals were probably the least effective, but their new T5 profile meant they kept a 30 strong mob busy almost all game. The Wraiths were probably the most valuable unit, despite getting hit with the nerf bat, they still held against a full Boyz mob, assassinated three of my characters before claiming a load of points for my objective. I didn't mention the Command Protocols much, but they were working away to provide little buffs through the game, some coming up at the right time, some not. I think most players will settle on an order that they will use pretty much every game with a given list, but the option for flexibility is nice once a player gains mastery over the system. It's encouraging for the future books, who knows what the Orks will get?
We both probably could have done a better job with our secondaries, Vital ground scored middling for both of us and Treasures of Aeons and Raise the Banners were both fairly trivial. Lesson learned I think - while it's good to double down on getting points for holding objectives, it's not so good if your opponent is as aggressive as you are when it comes to taking board control. Something like the new Space Marine secondary objective that gives you points for grabbing an objective off your opponent would have been really good in this game.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading, this was an absolutely epic game, and I always love a tight finish. Stay safe out there.