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Problems with Necrons
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Old 12 Oct 2006, 03:02   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Problems with Necrons

Ive played the Necrons several times and have had trouble each time. My opponent just kept making his we'll be back rolls and ive had trouble wiping out his units since he keeps many others nearby. Each game I am able to kill hundreds of points but I just cant seem to keep them down. Any ideas?
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Old 12 Oct 2006, 03:05   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems with Necrons

How Many points?
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Old 12 Oct 2006, 03:06   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems with Necrons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shas'ui Ra'shan
How Many points?
2500 or 2000
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Old 12 Oct 2006, 03:13   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems with Necrons

Well I'm no expert on Necrons but I do believe that they have something to help their "we'll be back" rule and first off you need to take thoughs out,and second I would pack some Rail Guns cause if they keep returning you need to take larger numbers out with one shot then with a handfull,then finsishing off whats left with the numbers of Fire Warriors or what ever it might be your using.
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Consider it a success if you can talk a Khorne Berserker out of taking your skull at the first instant he meets you

(loads plasma rifle) BANG!

Oh look, he understood me. =D -Faolin

I could almost see that.
Like if a few Tau went off and they were found and brainwashed and what not. Then, they are made into Tau Marine things. That would be crazy. "And they shall know no close combat skills"~ Xv15 Stealth
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Old 12 Oct 2006, 03:15   #5 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Problems with Necrons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superchicken 189
My opponent just kept making his we'll be back rolls and ive had trouble
WBB rolls are what the Necrons are known for, and while they can get annoying when you are facing them with normal troops, there are many ways to get around them. While of course, Tau don't have power weapons to ignore their saves in close combat (or if you have the Farsight model he might be an interesting thing to try out with normal Necron troops), we do have weapons that can pierce their armour from afar (ignoring their WBB rolls), and weapons that are 2x Necron toughness (yet again, ignoring their WBB rolls). Normal troops like Firewarriors' best hopes are to land a few markerlights on Necron troop squads, and then nailing them with everything they've got. As troop squads don't have the right effects to ignore WBB rolls, you just have to go for the practical approach for knocking out their saves, and that is to get as many of them to fail (and the more dice your opponent has to roll the more 50% of them he will fail averagely per turn).

Battlesuits can do quite a big deal of damage to Necrons. Take Plasma Rifles, and Fusion Blasters, they pierce Necron armour, and are strong enough to wound them easily (not to mention the Fusion Blaster is also 2x Necron toughness). Ion Cannon equipped Hammerheads can also get very helpful if you make sure to move them a good 6" per turn. Keep the Ionhead as far away from enemy range as possible (60">24-36 average Necron weapon range"), and you should get a lot of shots (and casualties based on the AP of the Ion Cannon) before any anti-tank units have a chance at hitting you, and then you have your no penetrating hits to look forward to as a special bonus. The Hammerhead's main targets should be Destroyers, as they cost a lot of points in the Necron force, and they are really the only thing in his army that would cause immediate danger (based on average distance from eachother at the beginning of a game you should be out of range of normal troops for a turn or two), and then you are free to shoot out whatever else is threatening (Necron troops can get knocked down quite easily and will offer you a decent amount of VP/phase out credit).

Basically it's just take weapons that will find some kind of weakness in the WBB roll format;
  • AP weapons
  • 2x toughess weapons
  • Weapons/squads with a LOT of shots (stealths, large Firewarrior squads, etc). WBB roll only offers 50% chance of getting back up, so enough shots will cause casualties.
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Old 12 Oct 2006, 03:43   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems with Necrons

ToastMaster said it, getting the AP weapons is key. I've only faced the Necrons a couple of times, but with the way there army is built, it seems that the way to kill them would be very similar to the way to kill Marines: getting Rapid Fire/volume of fire (Stealth Suits), and getting AP weapons. For killing Marines, I use a generous number of Sniper Drones (the max, 9) and two full squads of Devilfish Fire Warriors. The Sniper Drones are more efficient points-wise for AP firepower than the Ionhead, and they can't be easily shot back at (they have Stealth fields). Crisis suits would also be good, if you have the extra points, but I'm not a fan of Crisis suits as they tend to get deaded easily in my games, so I give the Sniper Drones priority. Basically, shoot the crap out of them with as much firepower as possible, and you should be good.
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Old 12 Oct 2006, 12:02   #7 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Problems with Necrons

I've yet to fight Necrons myself, but I have been wondering whether it might not be better to turn the tactic around. Let me explain.

There are three things that you need to beat to kill a model, and four for Necrons. This is the WBB roll, the armour save, the S vs T roll and the roll to hit.

There is nothing that can be done about the WBB roll, except outright killing. I am not convinced the Tau can pack enough low AP weapons to seriously decimate a whole squad of necron. ION cannon could be handy, but apart from that, to be really effective, most of the weapons need to get horrendously close to the Necrons rapid fire line, or only get one shot.

So beating the saving roll can be tricky.

Beating the S vs. T roll is much less of a problem. At range, the Tau have a great many weapons that can easily harm ordinary Necron soldiers, just as they can any with most armies. Pulse rifles and missile pods spring readily to mind.

That leaves the to-hit roll. Obviously Tau are only average at this, but you can use markerlights to really improve on it. This means that that two of the four rolls can easily be beaten by tau with plenty of missile pods and pulse rifles, whilst keeping well out of Rapid Fire range, and even out of Necron range altogether.

The way to beat the saves is to stack up loads of wounding hits, which is what will happen if enough shots are used. and the way to beat WBB is to do the same.

So, I am thinking that the way to beat necrons, squad by squad, is to take masses of pulse weapons and markerlights, markerlight, markerlights, plus deathrain crisis with targeting arrays. This handles two out of the three rolls we can influence, which is as much as you can hope for against many opponents. The odd ion cannon and plasma rifle needs to be included, but these are you finishing off weapons, these are what you use to make certain there are no stragglers and that the WBB roll is also beaten.

You can of course take an army with nothing but plasma-broadsides, Ionheads and helios crisis, but I think this will be a much more fragile choice than hoards of firewarriors and pathfinders, plus stealth suits with markerdrones, and only a few heavy choices.

Just some thoughts, and only theoretical, but it's how I was thinking I'd play my first match against Necron.

Best,
Gram
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Old 12 Oct 2006, 13:07   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems with Necrons

I played a game against Necrons last night... End result - necron phase out at turn 4. While I agree wholeheartedly with the statements made above, there is/was an article on the old MTT site that dealt with this issue specifically.

Here is the link http://www-personal.engin.umich.edu/~leebj/necrons.html

As that article states, the key to winning against necrons definately seems to be proper abuse of their WBB rules--ie, deny them whenever possible. I'll avoid going into much detail, since the article does it better than I could here...
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Old 12 Oct 2006, 16:25   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems with Necrons

Heya,

Necrons are a manageable fight at lower points for Tau. At higher levels, it greatly depends on the Necron player as to what this game is going to be like. If they bring two Orb Lords and 90ish warriors, then the Tau aren't going to do much at all. But if they show up with a lot of Destroyers and Monoliths, we have a better chance at crushing them.

There's one thing I will definitely suggest and one thing to avoid:

A) Penetration power. If you can penetrate Necron armor saves, do it. This is rather critical. This removes an entire dice roll from the equation. A rather good dice roll. The best dice roll in face. That 3+ armor save. If they're getting a 3+ save, they're on the winning side of the odds compared to you. For each Necron you drop, he has a 4+ chance to stand up and do it again. That 4+ is a far better gamble than a 3+. Let alone a 3+ combined with a 4+. You will not win betting on the combined two. Penetration simply is a must.

B) Dakka power, ie: forcing as many saves as possible, doesn't really work with Necrons unless they're low model count and heavy on the specialty units (where squads are 3 to 8 in size typically). Dakka works on Marines and other infantry types, because once they fail their save, they're gone. This isn't the case with Necrons. It takes a serious amount of punishment to kill a single Necron with our standard Dakka weaponry. And for all our work and pressure, half of it is literally just ignored. That's the losing side fo the equation. When they shoot you back, you don't get back up. You die. When they die, they get back up, half the time, and shoot you in return again. Your dakka weapons also require to be in range of Necrons--which just so happens to also be pretty much near their rapid-fire range. The difference of only 6 inches. Once they start killing a handful of your units, you lose dramatically the ability to keep up any kind of reliable damage dealing. Dakka works against marines and others. But it simply doesn't work with Necrons when it comes to Tau Dakka (some armies can, but Tau simply doesn't have the right kind of of unit to hold the dakka; our dakka is vulnerable, which is a bad combination for a Necron fight).

Quote:
**So, I am thinking that the way to beat necrons, squad by squad, is to take masses of pulse weapons and markerlights, markerlight, markerlights, plus deathrain crisis with targeting arrays. This handles two out of the three rolls we can influence, which is as much as you can hope for against many opponents. The odd ion cannon and plasma rifle needs to be included, but these are you finishing off weapons, these are what you use to make certain there are no stragglers and that the WBB roll is also beaten.

***You can of course take an army with nothing but plasma-broadsides, Ionheads and helios crisis, but I think this will be a much more fragile choice than hoards of firewarriors and pathfinders, plus stealth suits with markerdrones, and only a few heavy choices.
(**) Your pulse weapons and massed dakka power, requires to hit, requires to wound, requires them to fail a 3+ armor save, and then requires them to further fail a 4+ roll which literally erases all your effort that turn. A string of 6's of perfection totally stopped on a 4+. This works against many opponents, but it doesn't work against Necrons in general. It does work against a low model count Necron force built on Destroyers. But it doesn't work on a heavy Warrior/Immortal based force. Even if you could throw 100 Str5 @ BS4 shots at them every turn, of those 100 shots, you'd end up killing about 7 Necrons in the end, after the others stood back up from a successful WBB roll. Now, 7 dead Necrons is a nice thing to have. But now, consider how you're supposed to get 100 Str5 shots at BS4 that is usable and not going to be equally destroyed over the course of 6 turns? Now consider that even if you did manage to drop 7 of them per turn, if they had 60 total Necrons, you still didn't even phase them out. All this time, they're damaging you as well. They win the attrition dakka fight. Tau are not resilient enough to mount this kind of attack and survive long enough to keep doing it. And even if they did somehow manage to survive through pure luck, they still wouldn't force a phase out typically.

The problem is, you go through a series of building up a large number of successful 4+ and 3+ hits, then you build up a large amount of dice to get a successful number of 3+ and 2+ wounds, and all of that has to then hope to get passed a 3+ dice that stops all of your effort. And then of the few that do pass through that 3+ shield, 4+ of them are still going to ignore all of that. It's like having an extremely big bottleneck on your fire power and effectively reduces you to the shooting ability.

(***) How are 3+ and 2+ saving battle suits more fragile than a non-mobile pile of T3 infantry who break moral? They're not more fragile. Your Ion Head is going to be a little fragile, but in the end, it's not that bad. Even though Necrons can glance our tanks easily, it doesn't mean it's much different than if a few lascannons were being fired at you every turn. On average, 3 lascannons would glance your Hammerhead (BS4) 1 time. A squad of 20 Warriors at 24" range, would put 2 glances on your Hammerhead. That's 360 points of Warriors to cause two glances. Now, 20 Warriors will not really always be firing at that tank. And it's subject to their 24" range. Destroyers and Immortals are also still only able to force a single glance, or two at best at ranges of 24" and 36" inches. Well, your force can easily take down Destroyers and your skimmers move faster and outrange everything else that shoots in the list. And Necron assault units that move fast are designed to stop large firing units like FireWarriors who are hopeless in assault against Wraiths and even Scarabs, but yet a group of battlesuits can actually take a rather large beating from those same Wraiths. The simple problem is, large groups of static Tau infantry are totally decimated by a deep striking Monolith and are assault bait for several turbo-boosting 3+ invulnerable saving units that come their way and have them assaulted by turn two. It's a huge uphill battle and Tau don't have the kind of resolve to play an attrition war on foot.

--- In the end, all we can do is approach them with a mix. It's better when we focus the most on penetration power so that we can remove Necrons as fast as possible and ignore as many of the dice involved in the process as possible (if we can negate the armor save and WBB roll, we can actually win the shooting phase and stop return fire bit by bit). The longer we try to beat saves, we have our own saves to roll and we donít get back up. The whole time, we have to stay mobile. Static Tau is dead Tau against Necrons. Monoliths are easy pie to gun down with a Railgun, but a Monolith that falls in your lap where all your pathfinders, fire warriors, etc, are all sitting around are all going to feel the pain of that monolith reducing them and ignoring all their saves and tearing through on 2's. Even if we destroyed it in response, it already did enough damage and disruption to throw the game in their favor immensely. This doesn't happen if you don't have loads of vulnerable infantry and then the monolith simply because a victory point wagon and phase out tool for us.

Here's a simple general way that I would break it down:

Fire Warriors - Not a good idea against Necrons. They're a liability because they're a great place for an assault unit to hunker down, not worried about losing assault, and easily avoiding your shooting phase. Then suddenly they finish up assault towards the end and are still a scoring unit that can take more punishment than you have left to give. Not good. They're required though, so one team is going to be there. Keep them small and keep them moving. A markerlight is useful on turn one and two, but after that, they better be moving or they're going to be a tactical safe-haven for the Necrons to abuse to avoid you, or simply dead.

Pathfinders - Pathfinders are wonderful. They're perfect for killing Destroyers on turn one (if we can see them). We have seekers and railrifles. We also have a Skimmer which can disrupt assaults like Wraiths and Scarabs. But once you've done the job on turn one, they quickly become a liability. They're literally just there to remove critical first turn targets, like Destroyers, Heavy Destroyers and putting a nice fat dent in Immortals if they're around. They're best to target the small squad size Elites and Fast attacks because they cannot use WBB if you drop the whole squad and there's not a like model within 6" (even with an orb near). So 4 Destroyers will be dropped by a handful of seekers or railrifles mixed in and they simply will not even get WBB (even if we didn't negate) due to not having like models within 6". That's what pathfinders are for. Spot removal. They are not for killing Warriors unless it's all there is and you have no choice. The problem with this even, is that a smart Necron player will have Tomb Spyders to extend that WBB range to 12" and will also use the size 3 monster to block line of sight to precious units on turn one so that you cannot get them; and then they get you turn one instead, with equally ranged weapons of 36" which have a 12" move behind them for a perfect shot lined up who ignore terrain.

Battle Suits - Penetration power, pure and simple. We need to deny rolls to Necrons (armor and WBB) as often as possible, and that's what these do. They're just as important as heavy support, because even if we take hits, and a wound here and there, we're not stunned like a tank is. So they just go until death. Plasma and Fusion are what we use. Missile Pods are useful against some thing, but in general, it's a lost effort against most Necron units who just ignore it on a 3. Missile Pods are good for dropping Scarabs and punishing Tomb Spyders. Otherwise, we should be focused on dropping as many Necrons as possible, and being able to move around all the time. That's what the Crisis is for. Not the stealth; who's damage is cut in half. Sure, Stealths can kill marines--but a 4+ WBB roll means you have 1/2 the power your Stealths used to have. That cuts them off big time. A Crisis who can ignore that 3+ and sometimes even ignore that 4+ follow up WBB is what you need. And XV88's are sublime. The 2+ save is very hard for Necrons to beat. They have very poor penetration ability beyond a Warscythe and Heavy Destroyer (Heavy Destroyers easily dropped and low in model count). They're a static unit we actually can get away with using. But, they're easily trapped by Wraiths and even Scarabs, or worse, a Necron Destroyer Body Lord (who will murder all your infantry on his own and cannot be instakilled and has 4 wounds and gets back up, a lot). The HQs are very valuble. With the inclusion of the Vectored Thrusters, we can now kill Necrons in the shooting phase, and then deny their shooting phase. Warriors are easily suffered in asault by a Shas`O. He has the wounds, the save and the feel no pain save available and can hit and run out of assault. We can drop 3 necrons with the Shas'O every turn he's in range, assault them, deny them to do anything or even move, and then leap out and do it again. And when he shoots, so can the rest of the army. He's like a control switch. Very, very useful.

Skimmers - The Hammerhead is still useful. Ion Cannons remove Necrons. Half of them get back up, but that's ok. We have superior range and can keep that range while moving. Simply cut off anything in the Necron force with 36" range and you're fine. You're still vulnerable to the Veil fo Darkness, but any Necrons who go deep striking after a Skimmer who can hover over terrain or near friendly models is a pretty poor target to go after. Even the board edge becomes a concern. Veiling against a Skimmer who is used in very bad places to deep strike is a serious gamble. Sure, they may get stunned or destroyed, but every time they waste entire units firing to get that glance or more, that's less damage elsewhere in the list you're taking. Your skimmer can take more damage than your other units many times when it's just glances. Would you rather have 20+ Necrons firing on a Skimmer, or a squad of BattleSuits? Exactly.

Anyhow, that doesn't even scratch the surface (we have many other units obviously, but these mentioned above come up the most often), but Necrons are not an easy fight for Tau unless the Necron player built an army that we just so happen to be able to take good advantage of (like a Monolith, Destroyer rich force with low Warrior count). A Necron force with just Warriors and Tomb Spyders, lead by two Destroyer Body Lords and Wraiths would be pretty much too difficult often times for even a tailored list to hope to be an even match with.

Just remember to try to remove dice from the equation! The more you do this, the more Necrons go away.

Cheers!
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Old 13 Oct 2006, 20:08   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems with Necrons

While Mal is an extremely tough act to follow I do have a couple of suggestions.

Deny your opponent the easy kills. Don't minimize FW, hide them until they can be usefull. 2-3 mounted FW squads is a good buffer of victory points that you can generally keep out of reach of mass gauss fire until the later turns. While the usual massed fire techniques associated with these fellas isn't really usefull against full strength squads of warriors or immortals, by the time your opponent gets around to hunting them your Ionheads and Vespids (can't praise Neutron Blasters enough against Necrons) should have whittled the attackers down to manageable size.

Also, don't be afraid to be aggressive. You will lose some expensive units on occasion but remember that Necron's pay for their elite status by being restricted in their numbers and choices for support. Every dead destroyer reduces his resources to hurt you further than the stealth suit or piranha you risked losing to kill it. You've got more options than him, don't be afraid to risk losing an option to make him lose one as more often than not the balance still ends up in your favour.

Other than that I generally just do a lot of praying to the dice gods for 2's :-\

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