40k: Battle Report – Necrons vs Tau – 2,000 points

Mercer here from Imperius Dominatus with, a recent battle I had again with Necrons. Got a game in last night with Poddy at Powerfist gaming. This is Poddy’s first time against Necrons so I’ll give him a run down on what’s what and give him any help if needed, though usually he refuses as he’s so money super market!

First up, the Lists

Necrons – 2,000 points


Overlord w/ Catacomb Command Barge – warscythe, mindshackle scarabs & sempiternal weave
Royal Court – 3 x Crypteks w/ – harbinger of destruction & solar pulse


Triarch Stalker
Triarch Stalker


8 x Necron Warriors w/ Ghost Ark
8 x Necron Warriors w/ Ghost Ark
8 x Necron Warriors w/ Ghost Ark
5 x Necron Immortals

Fast Attack

5 x Canoptek Wraiths – 3 x whip coils & particle caster
8 x Canoptek Scarabs

Heavy Support

Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge
2 x Canoptek Spyders – fabricator claw array

Tau Empire – 2,000 points
Shas’El – missile pod, plasma rifle & multi tracker
Crisis Battlesuit Bodyguard – missile pod, plasma rifle, multi tracker & hard-wired target lock

Shas’El – missile pod, plasma rifle & multi tracker

Crisis Battlesuit Bodyguard – missile pod, plasma rifle, multi tracker & hard-wired target lock


2 x Crisis Battlesuits – 2 x missile pods, 2 x plasma rifles & 2 x multi tracker
2 x Crisis Battlesuits – 2 x missile pods, 2 x plasma rifles & 2 x multi tracker
2 x Crisis Battlesuits – 2 x missile pods, 2 x plasma rifles & 2 x multi tracker


6 x Fire Warriors
6 x Fire Warriors
13 x Kroot – 2 x kroot hounds
13 x Kroot – 2 x kroot hounds

Fast Attack

6 x Pathfinders w/ Devilfish – Devilfish w/ disruption pod
6 x Pathfinders w/ Devilfish – Devilfish w/ disruption pod
Piranha – fusion gun, target lock & disruption pod

Heavy Support

3 x Broadside Battlesuits – team leader w/ target lock & 2 x shield drones
Hammerhead – 2 x burst cannons & disruption pod
Hammerhead – 2 x burst cannons & disruption pod

Pre-game Analysis

At first I was worried about Tau. To be honest I am always worried about Tau, as before I ever played Tau I was told they are a good shooting army. I would say they are a good shooting army at all, they don’t have weight of fire power and need extra wargear or units to make them shoot better. Looking at Tau a little deeper, the only thing my Necrons have to fear are the railguns. These will blow my Necron vehicles to pieces and it’s not like I am going to get cover on most of them. If I can move up the field and send fast units i.e Canoptek Wraiths, Canoptek Scarabs and Overlord to tackle railgun units I should be fine. Ghost Arks then can move up with Annihilation Barges and both units fire in concert at infantry.

The Mission: Seize Ground + Pitched Battle


Poddy wins the roll and he deploys first. He puts all his vehicles in the centre with the Battlesuits and Fire Warriors behind them. In a ruin to the right is a lone unit of Pathfinders and in a ruin on the left is another unit of Pathfinders. Unit of Kroot are deployed in a ruin on the far left while the other Kroot unit act as bubblewrap for the Broadsides. Poddy keeps his Piranha in reserve.

I deploy in the centre, like a noob as I am not paying attention. I really should have deployed refused flank on the left and then moved up. Drat! I’ll have to try and turn this around some how. To be fair I was too busy buying Assault Marines for my Red Fleas list and just come back to the table and plonked my stuff down. Fail! I keep my Immortals in reserve for objective sneaking.

Two objectives were placed near Tau’s deployment zone, one by the ruin where the Pathfinders are on the left and another in the ruin where the Kroot are on the left. I placed the other one near a ruin in the bottom right corner.

* Tactical Notes

Right, ok, I think I can turn this tactical deployment fubur around after I’ve had some thought. With any luck I should be able to get the Scarabs in for a turn 1 charge, Poddy has deployed 12″ from the table edge and so have I. I just hope he doesn’t move his vehicles too much. If I use the Scarabs to deal with a Hammerhead along with the Overlord and then send the Wraiths up to assault the Pathfinders and spring board into the Broadsides I should be alright. I’ll use the Crypteks to blast the Broadsides and hopefully take a few down via shooting. Everything else will eat gauss or heat ray :).

Turn 1

Poddy scout moves the Pathfinders in the right so they are more in the ruin and got better LOS. I attempt to seize the initiative and fail.

Poddy’s first turn; he moves the bulk of his armour over towards the right and the Battlesuits follow. Kroot in the left ruin move to bunker down and so LOS cannot be drawn. I also, of course, declare I am using solar pulse – let there be light!

Shooting; Poddy does attempt to fire everything, though the only things which are in range are both Hammerheads – one kills two Scarabs as the Scarabs get cover and the other Hammerhead misses and lands on a Ghost Ark, which S6 blast does nothing. A jolly good ho ho from me then echos :).

In assault the Battlesuits jump away and hide behind the vehicles.

Necrons first turn; Wraiths move and run into the centre terrain piece. Scarabs move and run, the Spyders spawn two more (one Spyder takes a wound) before they move, the Scarabs maybe in assault range, though I don’t want them stuck in the open, so I play it safe and put them in the centre terrain to get cover too. Everything else moves up and the Triarch Stalker on the right flank runs while the Command Barge moves just under 24″ so over half away across the board.

Shooting; Ghost Ark on the far left blasts and kills a single Pathfinder. Triarch Stalker on the left blasts a Devilfish, which saves with disruption pods. Annihilation Barges fire at the Pathfinders and Hammerhead respectively, Pathfinders make all their saves and nothing happens to the Hammerhead. Gauss flayers from the Ghost Arks blast out but either do nothing or disruption pods make the save. Crypteks all fire lances at the Broadsides hoping to take out some shield drones but only pop a single drone.

Necrons advance towards Tau lines. At the moment my force is pretty evenly spread.

* Tactical Notes

Ok, that was a poor first turn. I was hoping to kill more from the Broadsides, though I guess that was fair enough. I think really everything was fair enough and perhaps I am expecting too much. At least both our first turns are pretty even in damage output, that solar pulse is just so awesome!

Next turn I’ll move the Wraiths up to the Pathfinders and assault them – this will springboard the Wraiths close to Tau lines so they can get the Broadsides. Scarabs will assault a Hammerhead while the Overlord will sweep another. Barges will blast infantry, probably the Kroot bubble wrap to clear a way for the Wraiths and lance shots while the other Barge will thin out the Pathfinders on the right flank.

Turn 2

Tau: Poddy rolls for reserves and nothing comes on.

Hammerhead moves 12″ back towards the infantry gunline while the other Hammerhead and supporting Devilfish just move a little bit. Other Devilfish moves so it’s by the Kroot on the far left side. The Battlesuits move over to join the rest of the infantry formation.

Shooting; one railgun from a Hammerhead blasts my Scarabs, it scatters and hits the Spyders, one takes a wound. Other Hammerhead blasts the Command Barge but fails to do any damage. Broadsides split fire, team leader explodes a Ghost Ark – all Warriors are fine and pass pinning while the other two Broadsides blast the Command Barge, which passes both cover saves. Battlesuits blast the Scarabs, I get cover but instant death from plasma rifles and missile pods isn’t good, I lose several swarms. Remaining Battlesuits, Kroot and Devilfish blast the Wraiths, one is killed and several take a wound each after it is all said and done.

In assault the Battlesuits jump towards the infantry bulk.

Necrons: I roll for reserves and the Immortals come in and run into terrain and claim the objective in the bottom right.

Spyders spawn more Scarabs replacing those which were lost, the Scarabs move through terrain and no doubt will be in assault range of the Hammerhead. Spyders follow through terrain and the Wraiths move up to assault the Pathfinders, Warriors on foot move up to support the Canoptek Spyders. Remaining vehicles move up to get into range, though the Annihilation Barge on the right flank holds position to unleash a full torrent of fire at the Pathfinders. Overlord sweep attacks a Hammerhead while moving flat out and scores immobilised and stunned – that will stop it from shooting and make it easier to assault if need be.

Shooting; lances blast at the Broadsides and pass all cover saves. Triarch Stalker on the left blasts the Devilfish and scores stunned and immobilised, the Ghost Ark rapid fires taking advantage of the twin-linked effect and only scores stunned again. Wraith fires particle caster at the Pathfinders and misses. Annihilation Barge in the centre fires electric bolts at the Kroot and fries three, I also auto hit my Wriaths and a unit of Battlesuits, though do no damage to either unit. Remaining Ghost Ark attempts to long range gauss the Hammerhead the Scarabs are going to assault, I hope to immobilise it to auto hit, though disruption pod makes the save. Annihilation Barge on the right flank fires all weapons at the Pathfinders, I get 3 6+ for the tesla destructor and wipe out the entire unit – a Battlesuit unit supporting the Pathfinders also takes a wound, which the Triarch Stalker then gibs with the heat ray – the Battlesuits fail morale and jump back off the board.

In assault; the Wraiths charge and rip up the Pathfinders and now contest the objective the Pathfinders were sitting on while the Scarabs charge the Hammerhead, they reduce it to av5 on the rear and proceed to make it go boom!

My Necron forces have hit the Tau with some force. Assaulting units have done some damage and now in the face of the Tau and the bulk of armour isn’t far behind. Next turn the Ghost Arks and Warriors will be in rapid fire range and both Annihilation Barges can lay down a torrent of fire.

The Tau have a bit of a mess going on here as Poddy hangs them back in a gunline to keep distance between my Necrons. Unfortunately for him the Wraiths are on his doorstep, though I don’t think they will be there for long :(.

Does this look cocked to you? 😛

* Tactical Notes

A very impressive second turn for me which has caused some serious damage to Poddy’s Tau and now has set the wheels in motion. I’ve lost a Ghost Ark, which isn’t too bad and if the Warriors did take damage both Ghost Arks were close enough to regen the Warriors. Things have been better for me as both Hammerheads have been neutralised, one full time. I’ve also got the Scarabs and Wraiths on Poddy’s doorstep and he will have to deal with them which should allow the rest of my force to advance without any problems.

Next turn I’ll charge the Scarabs into the Broadsides and stop them from shooting. I am hoping weight of attacks will cause some damage, but main point is to tarpit them. If the Wraiths live they will assault the immobilised Devilfish while the Triarch Stalker and Crypteks will start blasting some Battlesuits. Overlord will sweep the immobilised and stunned Hammerhead while the Triarch Stalker acts as a first line of defence against the Devilfish, which will no doubt sweep down the flank.

Turn 3

Tau: Poddy rolls for reserves and the Piranha arrives. It moves over the immobilised Devilfish ready to blast my Triarch Stalker to kingdom come.

Battlesuits move closer and bunch up in order to stay out of rapid fire range. Fire Warriors and Gundrones bail out of the immobilised Devilfish. I think that’s about it.

Shooting; It takes all Battlesuits, gun drones, Fire Warriors and the depleted Kroot unit to reduce the Wraith unit down to a single whip coil Wraith – good job he’s fearless! The Piranha fires at the Triarch Stalker and misses. To sooth Poddy’s shooting frustration, his Broadsides pop my remaining Ghost Arks and rob me of valuable fire power and Warrior regeneration. Several Scarab swarms get shot at, though five still remain.

Necrons third turn; Warriors out of the recently wrecked Ark move up ready to rapid fire some Kroot to death, the single Wraith moves out their way ready to attack the immobilised Devilfish while the Triarch Stalker moves up to support. Scarabs move through terrain ready to assault the Broadsides while remaining units on foot in the centre move up. Triarch Stalker on the right flank moves to blast the Devilfish while the Overlord moves 6″ and sweeps the Hammerhead and wrecks it.

Shooting; Triarch Stalker on the left blasts and explodes the Piranha while the other Stalkers the Devilfish on the right, disruption pods make the saves. Annihilation Barge on the right is out of range on the Kroot, the other one isn’t and fires all weapons and fries the Kroot, Warriors in the centre lend their support and gauss down the unit with a single Kroot left – he passes morale. Warriors who just came from the Ghost Ark wreck lance and rapid fire a Shas’El unit, Shas’El is left, who then gets lanced and gibbed by the last remaining Cryptek.

In assault the Wraith charges and scores weapon destroyed and stunned on the Devilfish while the Scarabs lose combat, though more importantly tie up the Broadsides and will stop them from shooting for the rest of the game.

My Necrons have hit the Tau hard this turn and made a massive hole in the infantry block. A single Kroot remains, Battlesuit unit is gone and Broadsides are now locked in combat. On the right flank just a single annoying Devifish, which has to get past the guardian Triarch Stalker and will have a angry golden Overlord chasing it!

Scarabs go to work on the Broadsides. Broadsides haven’t failed a armour save yet, but when they do they will start going down.

Necrons control the objective (white dice) and only a single Kroot opposes them. Battlesuits and Fire Warriors will no doubt move up to support next turn though.

Skeleton reinforcements are on the way with Annihilation Barge support. These will come in handy thinning out the remaining Tau troops next turn.

* Tactical Notes

Things are going pretty well for me at the moment. I’ve made a nice hole in the Tau infantry block thanks to a lot of fried kroot courtesy of the Annihilation Barge and gauss flayers. Unit of Battlesuits has gone, though three are still left and the Broadsides are locked in combat. Not to sound cocky, but I haven’t got a lot to worry about.

Next turn the Triach Stalker will move up and blast the Devilfish while the Overlord comes from behind (ohh err) and sweeps it. More Warriors will move up to issue gauss death while the Triarch Stalker will use the flamer attack on Fire Warriors. I’ll move the Spyders to assault the single Kroot, this is over kill, but will get them close to the Scarabs so more Scarabs can be spawned.

Turn 4

Tau: Devilfish moves down the right flank 12″ towards the Triarch Stalker and the objective I hold, probably will contest the objective turn 5, maybe. I think that’s all the movement to be honest.

Shooting; all units available blast into the Warrior squad, Poddy gets some bad dice rolls, like one unit hit with a single missile pod and plasma rifle shot – several Warriors are knocked down and fail to get back up, 25% is lost and the unit passes morale test – that’s it!

In assault the Broadsides take a wound and the team leader now has no armour save.

Necron’s turn; Overlord moves 24″ on his barge and sweep attacks the Devilfish and scores stunned. Triarch Stalker holds position while the other Stalker moves and runs through terrain, my idea was to contest the objective the Kroot are holding but I am not close enough yet. Spyders move up to assault the Kroot while the Warriors move up more into the ruin which holds one of the objectives. Both Annihilation Barges move up.

Shooting; Triarch Stalker fires at the Devilfish and stuns it, Immortals long range fire gauss blasters and I think disruption pod makes the save, again! Warriors and lance blast into a Battlesuit unit and gib a Battlesuit and leave one with one wound. Other guns are out of range, so I just fire lances at gun drones because I can 😛

In assault the Scarabs kill the team leader and a Broadside fails a wound, Tau fail morale and fall back off the board while the Scarabs consolidate into terrain for cover. Spyders move up and strip the flesh from the single Kroot, they consolidate to get cover.

Triarch Stalker and Overlord have the stunned Devilfish surrounded while my forces move up to contest or claim objectives.

Necron Warriors hold the objective with Canoptek Spyder and Scarab support, these units will counter charge any Tau unit which comes close.

* Tactical Notes

I can confidently say that the bottom right objective is in the bag for me, if Tau get out then they are going to get shot by gauss blasters, Triarch Stalker and then assaulted by the Overlord. The other objectives are pretty busy, though if I can just contest I’ll be ok.

Next turn is to swarm a unit of Battlesuits with Scarabs and send the Spyders to assault another unit while Warriors gauss down the Fire Warriors. Triarch Stalker will move up and burn the Kroot with the flamer attack.

Turn 5

Tau: The club is starting to close at this point, from what I remember the Fire Warriors and gun drones bail out the stunned Devilfish and move down the flank, they run also. Battlesuits blast the Canoptek Spyders, one of them takes a wound while the rest blast the Warriors on the objective, though they hold fast.

Necrons: My turn not a lot happens due to time. I move the Triarch Stalker up to contest the objective the Kroot have while Immortals move out through terrain and blast the gun drones. If I would have had more time then the Scarabs would have charged the single Battlesuit, Spyders charged another Battlesuit unit while Warriors and Annihilation Barges fired at remaining Battlesuits and Fire Warriors. The other Triarch Stalker would have fired at the Devilfish while the Overlord would have assaulted the Fire Warriors, btw he did sweep and killed a single Fire Warrior.

Necrons win claiming two objectives and contesting one.


That was a interesting game against Tau and it went better than I thought. At first I thought about the Tau shooting, but I’ve been playing against Tau a lot and know now it’s only railguns which are really the threat and other guns depending on what army you’re using at the time. In this game the railguns were a threat only, as soon as they were silenced my Necrons managed to move up without much problems.

I made a few mistakes this game. One was my deployment, that was because I wasn’t paying attention. I did manage to work around it so that wasn’t too bad. Other mistakes was forgetting about the special lightning arc from the tesla destructor, need to remember that. I don’t think I made much else.

Poddy played well, I felt he was a bit disappointed in this game, which is really down to Tau as he’s not getting any wins with them, which is a shame. His target priority was spot on, he fired at Scarabs first, then Wraiths and the Ghost Arks. Unfortunately his rolling to hit wasn’t as good as his saves. Only mistake he made as moving the Hammerhead and Devilfish towards the right flank – he should have kept them together with the rest and allowed me to single them out, he realised this when he moves units back over, though for those it was too late. It would have been better defending the two objectives he held from deployment.

Poddy is going to start a Salamanders army soon. It’s going to be Dreadnoughts and Drop Pods, so it should be a tough list with lots of melta (I know, I wrote it!). I think he will do much better with this army and Salamanders are a nightmare for my Necrons.

So what would you have done differently Monday morning Quarterbacks?  

Comments are closed.