[The Von Report] – And Their Novels Are Better, Too

Well. Umm. That ‘fortnightly’ thing isn’t working out as well as I’d hoped, is it?

In my defence, that’s largely because the Clapham Wargamers Guild didn’t actually meet for most of February. No way in hell were we going to play nerd games on St. Valentine’s, hoo no, and the week after involved some sort of comedy night and some sort of cancellation and some sort of not having our usual space to play in and all our terrain being stashed up there. Still, we juuust about managed to squeak in the second game for February’s precious, precious league points, and since some of those precious, precious league points were riding on painting a Flyer, I took the time to get my first Night Scythe painted up and ready to fly.

Now, the thought had occurred to me that this month was likely to see a spot of dogfighting, since most of the chaps are painting up something that goes VRROOOOOOOM and doesn’t stay on the board for very long (sometimes by choice!), so my list for the week may have had a weather eye on anti-aircraft potential. Alas, as you shall see, this came back to bite me in the arse big-time, as I proceeded toward Game 4 vs. Rohan’s Chaos Space Marines.




Game 4
1200 points vs. Rohan’s Night Lords
Von’s ‘Crons
  • HQ – Vargard Koschei – Necron Overlord with warscythe, sempiternal weave and resurrection orb
  • Troops – 5 Necron Warriors in Ghost Ark
  • Troops – 5 Necron Warriors in Night Scythe
  • Elites – 5 Lychguard with hyperphase swords and dispersion shields (Koschei goes here)
  • Heavy Support – Annihilation Barge
  • Heavy Support – Annihilation Barge
A spot of busywork with the pliers and scalpel went on this month, and now my painted Barge has both painted crew and a slot-in Tesla destructor for those occasions when my HQ prefers footslogging and my army needs more guns. Koschei, having been deprived of his ride, would spend this game trekking around with the Lychguard in an attempt to repeat his previous glory during the game I played on holiday. The Troops, fragile and minimalist as they are, would spend the game hiding in vehicles unless there was something to be gained by jumping out, while the Barges gunned for whatever airborne death-menace showed its face.
Frankly I don’t think it’s that good, but I’d wasted my painting time on WoW-RP and big games, and my 300 painting points were most swiftly met by painting six models – the Lychguard and the Scythe.
Rohan’s Chaosmen
  • HQ – Chaos Sorcerer – Terminator armour, Telepathy power (Puppet Master)
  • Troops – 10 Chaos Space Marines – meltagun, autocannon, Champion with lightning claw
  • Troops – 10 Chaos Space Marines – meltagun, autocannon, Champion with lightning claw
  • Fast Attack – Heldrake with baleflamer
  • Heavy Support – Obliterator
  • Heavy Support – Obliterator
  • Heavy Support – Predator with autocannon and heavy bolters
I’m scared. It’s better than mine. It has a lot of Necron-hating guns in it, and a lot of efficient firepower choices, and that ruddy psychic power turned out to be the icing on the proverbial cake, ’cause now he’d be stealing one of my Tesla destructors on pretty much every turn. That said, I wasn’t that scared – if I could lay down some punishment in the first turn and get rid of that Necron-butchering Predator early on, keep the Barges central to shoot down the Heldrake no matter where it turned up, and then have my vehicles strip off the ground troops as and when called upon to do so, I could stay in it.
It helped that we rolled the mission we did: Purge the Alien, on a Vanguard Strike deployment, with Princeps of Deceit as my Warlord’s Trait and Master of Offence as Rohan’s.
Round One
I managed to retain the initiative, which is always a plus, and set about my business. Alas, my business of the day seemed to be ‘make poor target priority decisions’, as a vigorous round of everything I could throw at the Predator resulted in a couple of Hull Points being stripped off and not much else. The reason I deem this to be a poor choice is simple; those solo Obliterators were within line of sight and represented three fairly easy Victory Points to the amount of firepower I could throw at them (one each and one for First Blood). They were also, Heldrake notwithstanding, the only things which my vehicles were really worried about – on Rohan’s side of the table, anyway.
Rohan made more sensible choices than I did. While his attempt to Puppet Master the painted Barge was Denied (first time for everything, I guess?), the Obliterators Immobilised it and the Predator glanced it to death, securing First Blood and denying me a crucial bit of ordnance. The second Obliterator, mercifully, whiffed on the second Barge, although the combined firepower of Rohan’s infantry did plug a Lychguard.
Chaos 2 – Necrons 0
Round Two
The Night Scythe showed up, coming in low and slow toward Rohan’s Predator and Obliterators, disgorging its Warrior cargo to boot, while the Ghost Ark moved to enfilade Rohan’s infantry with a broadside. (I think it lends the report some gravitas if I use all the clever words I’ve learned off historical gamers, don’t you?). The surviving Barge had no reason to move, and so didn’t, while the Lychguard continued their game advance on Rohan’s infantry. With my ability to make sound decisions apparently restored, I carefully stacked firepower in order to avoid wastage; the Night Scythe, with its side-shot on the Predator, shot and wrecked it, while the Barge downed one Obliterator and the Warriors, alas, failed to accomplish anything between the whole manky lot of them apart from one wound on an Obliterator and one dead Chaos Space Marine.
Rohan’s Heldrake, alas, also put in an appearance, tearing into the middle of the board and ripping a Hull Point off the Ghost Ark along the way (rassafrassin’ Vector Strike grumblemuttercarpmoan). The Sorcerer left his squad, moving around to square off against the small Warrior squad nearby, while the Chaos Space Marines who do not appear in the above photograph closed in on the Ghost Ark.
Then there was a Shooting phase. Oh, my, was there ever a Shooting phase. The Sorcerer Puppeted my Annihilation Barge, turning its guns on the Night Scythe, which was forced to Evade and still ended up suffering a Locked Velocity result. Troubling, but not the end of the world. The Heldrake farted flaming death all over the Lychguard, dropping the whole lot and, insult to injury, not taking any damage from the dispersion-shield induced rebounds. Armour Value 12, turret guns, sweep attacks… these Chaos players don’t know they’re born. Anyway, the Marines failed to do much to the Ghost Ark, but the injured Obliterator’s heavy flamer tore through the Necron Warriors, killing four and sending the other scurrying for his worthless metal life – not far enough, however, as the Obliterator charged him and ran him down even as the Chaos Space Marines failed to do squit-all to the Ghost Ark in melee.
Chaos 4 – Necrons 2
 
Round Three
 
 
Left all on his lonesome, Koschei shuffled forward into midfield, while the Night Scythe elected to make the best of a bad lot, turn, and move the 18″ it was allowed to move toward the wretched Heldrake. The Ghost Ark backed up to clear some landing space for the Night Scythe, if it lived, while the Barge closed in on the wounded Obliterator. My shooting was a wash – only the Ghost Ark accomplished anything, claiming a couple of kills on Chaos Space Marines. In a fit of pique I sent Koschei into the nearest Chaos Space Marine squad, figuring he was better off locked in combat with them than standing around failing to hurt them – imagine my surprise when he predictably butchered the Chaos Champion in combat and made the Marines run away and… okay, so he didn’t quite catch them, but it was still pretty impressive, even if it did leave him standing in Rapid Fire range of Rohan’s infantry core on his turn.
Maybe not that impressive, actually.
The Heldrake popped its Daemonforged ability, flew into the Night Scythe, and tore it into tiny bits which went crashing down into the central tower; the Chaos Sorcerer backed away from the now-furious Koschei and ordered his newly-rallied troops to shoot the Overlord down. Everything except the meltaguns missed, but naturally both the guns which could bypass Koschei’s 2+ save hit and wounded him. The Sorcerer attempted a spot of Puppet Mastery on the Barge, but alas, it didn’t have line of sight to any Necron models – at least, we don’t think it did. It doesn’t look like it has turret guns, so we’re guessing it’s a fixed arc of fire. The last Obliterator took his last shot at Koschei with a lascannon, wounded, dropped him – only for the Overlord to lurch back to his feet, waving his Resurrection Orb and grinding his gears in vengeful fury. The Heldrake, sensing discretion to be the better part of valour, went Flat Out and left the board.
Chaos 5 – Necrons 2
 
Round Four
 
 
Things were not quite as bleak as this image makes them appear to be, but they were close. I had the two models you see here, plus five Warriors and a Ghost Ark, and very little capacity to do anything about the marauding Heldrake now that two of my Tesla destructors were off the field. Nevertheless, I haven’t said ‘die’ since I nearly died of heatstroke at that Warmachine tournament last year, instead I said “bzaat” as the Barge turned, shot the Obliterator down, and arced a blast of lightning into the Sorcerer, putting a wound on him too! The Ghost Ark and Koschei failed to capitalise on these early gains, though, flubbing their shooting and charge rolls respectively.
The Heldrake made its triumphant return, Vector Striking the Ark again and this time tearing all its worky bits out. The Sorcerer backed off yet again, Puppet Mastered the Annihilation Barge yet again, shot Koschei down yet again and then watched in horror as his Resurrection Orb put him back on his feet yet again. Obviously this put the Chaos Space Marines off their swing, as they utterly failed to harm any Necron Warriors with shooting or quite finish them off in the assault. The lone survivor of their charge passed its Morale check and watched two of its mates get up to hold the line. Five models left. I could totally get this.
Chaos 7 – Necrons 3
 
 
Koschei continued giving chase to that cursed Chaos Sorcerer who’d so spoiled his day, while the Annihilation Barge turned on the spot to look menacing at the Heldrake and, of course, flub all its shots. Koschei made his charge, though, shrugging off the Sorcerer’s ineffective swings but failing to hit with any of his attacks in return. The Chaos Space Marines fighting my Warriors over on the far flank dropped one Necron, but – not to be outdone – the Necrons pulled down a Chaos Space Marine of their own and drew the round.
Rohan’s Heldrake attempted its third Vector Strike vehicle kill of the game, but alas, didn’t quite manage to put the hurt on the Annihilation Barge. The Chaos Space Marines managed a glancing hit, robbing the crew of a Hull Point and their good temper, while the various combats around the board were characterised by their lack of spectacle or, indeed, event.
Chaos 7 – Necrons 3
Round Six
 
With the game continuing and my inability to keep accurate records of Victory Points, I actually thought I was in with a chance of a draw, though it would come completely down to luck. The Annihilation Barge made a good start, pivoting to put its back to the tower and the Heldrake in its sights, and at last scoring a penetrating hit and downing the horrid thing in one go. Koschei pushed the agenda still further, hacking the Sorcerer’s head clean off and standing proud in Rohan’s deployment zone, out of line of sight for all Rohan’s remaining guns and firmly within his deployment zone, as a Denial Unit, securing the Linebreaker and Slay the Warlord objectives in one turn. Rohan’s only chance now – or so I thought – was to finish off the Annihilation Barge or run his Warriors into my deployment zone for a Linebreaker of their own after chowing down on the Warriors.
He failed to roll sufficiently well to do either – a glancing hit and a 2″ run just ain’t gonna do the business. However, as I’ve been writing this report up, I realised that I’d dropped two of his Victory Points from the notes somewhere (did I mention I teach vocational mathematics of exactly this ‘practical stuff’ variety?), and he’d actually secured his win in Round Five and all I’d managed to do was close the gap somewhat.
Chaos 8 – Necrons 6
Woe to the Dynasty of Kadavah…
 
Post-Mortem
 
I remember, at the time, thinking there was no way this could have been a draw, and that’s probably because it wasn’t. Rohan comprehensively stonked me from the list-building stages up – he had boyz, I had toyz, and the toyz he did have were perfectly equipped to trash the toyz I had. The loss of tempo I inflicted on myself in my first turn – why in hell’s name didn’t I shoot for those comparatively squishy Obliterators? – didn’t help matters. Neither, admittedly, did the bloody Sorcerer, nor my inability to achieve anything meaningful with shooting for a full turn, but that’s the icing on the cake which Rohan had already thoroughly taken.
Now, this is the part where I admit that I stopped tracking the actual league scores a while ago. I can only make it down to the club for two out of four nights a month, so I don’t have the luxury of cherry-picking my scores, and my unabated loathing of Kill Team means I’m not picking up any points from that. My league objectives are as they have always been; force myself to paint the rest of my Necron army (which, incidentally, now stands at 4,000 points, as ‘complete’ as it’s ever going to be) and make inroads into my Iron Warriors Allies.
During the month of March, I will have next to no spare money, a case of affairs not compatible with spending between £6 and £16 on club visits. I will also, however, be correcting that whole ‘toys before boys’ problem. While I don’t think the Necron Codex needs them, I want them, and if I can get 300 points of them painted I can at least secure all the hobby points going begging for March’s league table.
It’s time to start painting Chaos.

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