Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Epic 4K: Sautekh Necron vs Orbital Strike Tau

Another Epic Game, with a monstrous scratchbuilt spacecraft being brought to this one by my opponent! Astounding! In addition the list was an experimental one with three Mantas able to planet fall!

I was taking exactly the same list I used in the last game, as I felt I didn't use it as well as I could have previously, wasting my "tanks" and air power in particular.

Incompertus, 4000 POINTS
Necron Sautekh Legion (Developmental V1.0)

2 Doom Scythe

2 Doom Scythe

6 Sautekh Warrior unit, Necron Overlord, Tomb Spyder

Necron Lord, 6 Sautekh Warrior unit, Tomb Spyder

Necron Lord, 6 Sautekh Warrior unit, Tomb Spyder

Necron Lord, 6 Immortal units, Tomb Spyder, Cryptek character

5 Doomsday Ark units

5 Doomsday Ark units

4 Triarch Praetorian Units, Necron Lord

4 Triarch Praetorian Units, Necron Lord

4 Sentry pylons

2 Monolith, Monolith

2 Monolith, Monolith

2 Monolith, Monolith

1 Warbarque

Here's Andrew's Tau list.

Third Phase Tau, Orbital Strike Group

First Wave (deployed prior to battle)

Manta Dropship, Command Bridge (Shas'o added to Manta) [675]
Pathfinder Group, 4 Pathfinders, 2 Devilfish [200]
Kroot Kindred, Shaper, 9 Warriors [175]
Kroot Kindred, Shaper, 9 Warriors [175]

Second Wave (deployed by Planetfall)

Manta Dropship [625]
Crisis Cadre, 4 Crisis Suits, Shas'el, 2 Gun Drones [275]
Manta Dropship [625]
FW Cadre, 6 Fire Warriors, 3 Devilfish [225]

Orbital/Air Caste Support

Explorer Class Battleship (counts as Custodian) [225]
2 Tiger Shark AX-1-0s [350]
Orca Dropship [150]
2 Barracuda [150]
2 Barracuda [150]

And the Tau force with the space craft in all its glory!!

The slots on the sides are the launch bays. Despite being huge the ship is still 10x smaller scale than the Epic figures. Mantas 1/10th of the scale of the Epic scale Manta can be seen the launch bays. According to the background material these Tau Explorer class ships are 1.8km long.

Nice details in the Launch Bays!

Andrew has also made a fleet of these proxy Tau ships in Battle Fleet Gothic Scale, so we will be playing that soon.

Turn 1

Here's the setup, both of us having little on the table at the start of the game. I have my Doom Arks, Overlord and Sentry Pylons on table. Tau have the Commander's Manta, plus their Kroot and Pathfinder formations garrisoning the town.

I placed one Take and Hold objective in the town, and another near the wood on the right. Tau placed both their Take and Hold objectives on my right and I expected this would be the drop zone for the Mantas.

I teleport in a single Monolith formation on my left flank. Then, boom, the Spacecraft arrives and drops the two Mantas unexpectedly on my left flank! Given I have no War Engines on the table, the Spacecraft at least has no targets to shoot.

The first Manta on the right, blasts my Overlord's formation, killing all but one Warrior unit and the Tomb Spyder...

...which flee towards the right flank. My other on table formations double away from the oncoming Mantas.

My Monoliths and Doom Arks manage to do a couple of points of damage to one of the Mantas, and kill a Kroot or two. The other dropped Manta advances and destroys only a single Sentry Pylon, and the already on-table Manta tries unsuccessfully to wipe out my Overlord's formation.

Tau aircraft target my Monoliths, and don't do any damage but do break the formation. I don't intercept due to all the AA from the Mantas, despite being on CAP orders this turn with my Doom Scythes.

The Kroot advance and capture my Blitz objective, with the Mantas hovering menacingly nearby!

My on table forces redeployed to the right flank this turn. All my formations rally.

Centre of the board.

Turn 2

With my Blitz already in enemy hands I decide to do the same to the Tau. Remaining Monoliths and Warbarque teleport in, each formation taking a blast marker as they do so. 

I win Strategy Roll, and my Warbarque crossfires the Commander's Manta causing a damage and 3 blast markers.

Then my Overlord formation (just a Tomb Spyder left), Marshall and move to the woods and recover all but one unit due to their Necron ability! Important to keep my Commander alive!

The Commander's Manta thinks the same thing and retreats to the centre of the town, firing ineffectively at some Monoliths. Tau Tiger Sharks kill a monolith on my left, and then the remaining two are destroyed by the next Manta and Crisis Suits.

Monoliths advance into the town and a Necron Warrior formation eliminates the Kroot here with a firefight, after they had been suppressed by Doom Arks. I take three casualties in the process though.

My Triarch Praetorians then jump forward from the Monolith Portals and wipe out the Pathfinders.

Another Manta then wipes out my Warrior formation with the assistance of air support this turn.

My Immortals and another Warrior formation manage to firefight and break the Commander's Manta, dropping it to a single damage remaining, and destroying it's deflector shield! It falls back next to its neighbour behind a wood. I try a Doom Scythe ground attack run against it, but both of them are shot down by the AA on the nearby Manta! (2/4 dice hit needing 6's and I failed both 4+ saves).

I jump forward my other Triarch Praetorians ready to assault next turn and to make it harder for the enemy to rally by being within 30cm of them.

A look at the table end of turn 2. (The Spacecraft is gone of course, just left there because it looks cool, and because well it's got to go somewhere!). 

The Kroot that were holding my Blitz have moved towards my right flank, but then been targeted by my other Doom Scythes. These Doom Scythes are protected from air attack by my Sentry Pylons. Fire Warriors dismounted from a Manta now hold my Blitz.

 Sadly for me the Commander's Manta rallies, but it is not looking healthy!

Turn 3

Tau win Strategy Roll and the Commander's Manta blasts and destroys the Triarch Praetorians in front of it. Then a double one on trying to reroll activation for another Manta resigns it to some ineffective long range shots at Immortals, killing only one unit.

My remaining Triarch Prateorians engage and destroy the last Kroot formation for no losses.

And then my Doom Scythes attack! One is shot down by the hail of AA fire...

...but the last survivor of the Doom Scythes destroys the Commander's Manta giving me Break Their Spirit Victory Condition!  

The Tau get their revenge though, hunting down my (not so) Immortals with remaining Manta and  their air force and eliminating them all, giving the Tau "Break Their Spirit" victory condition too!

The Fire Warriors holding my own Blitz are one blast marker off breaking after I throw most of my firepower at them, and my Overlord's formation is driven back broken by Tiger Sharks after it tries to contest.

Crisis Warriors perform in mediocre fashion as they usually do, managing to kill a single Necron Warrior. 

And then, it has come down to my last two activations, with an Orca Drop Ship desperately trying to contest the Tau Blitz and stop me taking it.  In a moment that breaks Necron hearts everywhere (if they had hearts) I do the dumbest move in history. I portal in my remaining Warrior formation and ASSAULT the Drop Ship.

The odds are substantially in my favour, but the unexpected happens and the Orca wins! (Surviving 5 hits at 4+ to save, including the firefight support from two Monoliths).  This means I have to rely on my other Monoliths doubling in and successfully damaging the Orca, which they fail to do!

The truly terrible consequences of that action are revealed. I fail to take the Blitz, and am out of actions. End of turn, and I lose the game 2-1 on Victory Conditions! "Break Their Spirit" and "Blitz" to "Break Their Spirit".

The Tau were beaten! All I needed to do was SHOOT with the Warriors rather than risk a completely unnecessary assault and I would have automatically won the game with three victory conditions ("Break Their Spirit", "Blitz" and "Take and Hold") to two. But no, I had to ruin everything. What have the Necrons ever done wrong besides wanting to exterminate all life in the galaxy you may ask!? THIS!! :)


In spite of my ignoble end, this was indeed an interesting game with both sides dropping forces onto the board in dramatic fashion, (and a huge spacecraft overseeing everything!). I concentrated on staying away from the Mantas as much as I could, being content to nibble away at the weaker Tau units and preserving my own strength for a late game, hoping to use the Necron regeneration capacity which did at least save my Overlord. I also saved my air power and Doom Arks and only committed them in safe or important situations. Putting some suppression on as many Tau units as I could to increase command problems also helped. 

For his part, Andrew effectively targetted down several Necron formations, paying particular attention to eliminating the Tomb Spyders.  Like any list with multiple large expensive War Engines, it is a challenge to avoid the troubles of being outactivated. Given the nature of his list, in hindsight we both suspected  he probably would have been better off dropping on the predictable but hard to counter landing zone where the objectives were clumped. Also he could have put his Take and Hold objectives closer to either his or my Blitz objective to make better use of his strengths as a multiple big war engine list perhaps. Much to think about!


  1. superb looking battle and love ya necron minis. rule query you kight be able to help witj. I just wanted too ask how you use the portals on monolith formations. Do you class the whole formation as 1 portal or do you count each monolith individually, this could mean 3 monoliths have 3 portals in the formation.

    1. Hi thanks Chris! Each monolith individually for Portals, turn them around to show it has been used.