Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chaos/ Necron List Thoughts 6th (1 year in), Time to Change My TourneyList

Regardless of what some people say there is a meta, nationally and locally, no matter where you live. That meta is defined by the types of lists and the capabilities those lists bring to the table and the kind of players who pilot those models and use the tactics behind them. That being said, 6th edition has been out for some time and we can now look back at list building over the last year and what has happened to change our lists and the way we approach coming to the table competitively.

Let's Start at the Beginning

When 6th first came out, the question was "Can you deal with flyers?" and either you could with your own flyers, board control or well, you just didn't. What this led to was first, the flyer armies coming out and ROFL stomping and earning my precious night scythes a bad reputation. From there folks started adding blobs to their armies and suddenly hordes of guardsmen and orks were tacked onto armies to help provide board control (oh and nids got much better, haha). Eventually, this kind of stablized and became the meta.

Blobs and fliers, sprinkled with some psyker-abuse armies like Nids and the Old Eldar/ Dark Eldar. For me, this was pretty much what I saw at the local tourneys and bred from my armies a list that could deal with these issues; My Chraons, or Chaos and Necron Allies. 

Basically, I wanted something that could reliably take first blood, kill quad-guns, score in the backfield and provide linebreaker, while denying the enemy those same things and since it didn't benefit from massive buff, I knew it would need to have an offensive output that would actually be my best defense.

The following became my list roughly, for months:

(There to give me zombies, provide a tough warlord and cause a zombie blob to require a serious CC threat to neutralize)

25-30 zombies
(For Typhus, but also to deny objectives, possibly multi-contesting and to absorb firepower, but mostly taken for all the same reason other blobs were)

2-4x 10 zombies
(depending on how I felt and what was in my list, there would be a few of these squads just to score and be annoying for shooty armies)

2x Heldrakes
(Power armor still shows up and when drop wolves come knocking, these guys come rocking. These two saved my ass in many tourneys and also killed quite a few of the cover hugging scoring units out there like rangers and guardian jetbikes. The offensive power of the two drakes would often kill so much that it was also a great way to provide defense to my army) 

Single Obliterator
(If I had points, I would sometimes make him Nurgle, but he was really there to either drop in late and linebreak while killing a minor backfield unit OR sometimes I would hide him early and pop out to snipe a rhino or venom for a first blood. Everyone online told me to take him out, but he has been the tipping point in every close game I have ever had in 6th) 

Destroyer Lord with Mindshackle Scarabs and Weave (This guy runs around with the wraiths and kills warlords, MCs, vehicles and tarpits units, while also breaking off of the wraith, if they survive, late-game to contest objectives. He protects my zombies from the things that really hurt them and attacks the things most precious to the opponent.) 

6x Wraith, 1-3 whip coils
(The wraiths have always been clutch in this list because I can use them to obscure other units, race forward to provide a targeting priority mess for my opponent or rapidly reposition to deny a flanking unit. They have always been useful, even if that use was to die to massed fire.) 

10x Guass Immortals in Night Scythe
(These guys are an assasin unit, in the meta that put them in my list, there were tons of crappy armor saves hanging out behind defense lines and I needed them to drop out and gun them down with rapid fire and then be there to withstand the retort and they usually worked out well)

5-15 warriors in scythe
(At first, I took larger units of 15, but eventually, this unit became a little five man as other things in my list changed. With that their role changed from that of a light hunter to that of a cheap scoring unit.)

Annihilation Barge
(This beauty is usually taken in triplicate in my Necron based lists, but here it still shines. I use it to shank fliers, cause massed wounds to Quad Guns early in the game, hunt light tanks, pop drop pods and generally add to the firepower of the scythes. It was another unit people would tell me wasn't efficient on papr in this list, but worked sooooo well.) 

Aegis with a Comms Relay
(The Aegis itself was useful for the time this list was made because there weren't a lot of things to deny cover that could also take away FnP, but now that isn't true. The Comms Relay is pretty much mandatory in this list now though as it allows for the massed reserves to come in and pull a turn 2 alpha strike and max out the damage potential of the Heldrakes while also making sure there are more important things to kill in the sky than my Night Scythes.) 

Overall, the list did well, with a host of 1st and 2nd place wins at a number of local tournies across a few stores, but fighting Tau and Eldar recently have made me take another look at the list and how to build the Chraons to withstand this new meta. 

So What Now? 

That being said, having come up against some powerful Tau and Eldar recently and even some really speedy Daemons (though I can usually manage the flying circus), I have come to a point where I know there is some clean up to do in the army. 

The main issues I am identifying are as follows: 

1. Low Damage Output - The army was geared toward denying first blood and then exploding out to kill as much as possible, but what is out there has changed a bit and now I need things that can down Wave Serpents in the opening of the game to name just one of the new threats. Otherwise, I am still looking to assault and troop killing firepower for the heavy lifting and now I think I need a little more anti-tank. 

2. Loss of Cover - Tau can take those resilient zombies out early and so can Eldar. Now it seems that Thunderfire cannons will also do so, While I can mitigate this with placement, I am feeling the sting in Zombie land. I am just not sure if zombies are going to move out or just change for the moment. 

3. Low Target Saturation - With increases enemy firepower on the field, the wraiths are taking more heat and I am considering adding to the forward threats in the list. This could work with my concept of offense as a defense, so I am starting to identify units to fill the role.

This leaves me examining things that could/ need to go and deck chair units like zombies are easy to write off, though not for the zombies themselves - afterall, insulating objectives, soaking firepower and holding off weaker units are all still things they can manage. It is the cost of Typhus and the fact that he rarely contributes a whole lot to the fight that really puts the zombies on the block. 

Pulling Typhus nets me a lot of points, but leaves questions in the troop department. He could be replaced with a flying DP, but after running a Codex Daemons DP list, I really just don't like Chaos Marine DPs as much, plus, once one it hits the ground, it will be subject to a ton of fire, which basically makes it a sacrifice unit, which is not what DPs are for.

 I could also look into running a Nurgle Lord and Plague Marines for the resilient scoring presence, but a squad will cost the same as pretty much my entire zombie allowance in the previous list, so something else would have to live ... 

This leads me to Necrons for my Main detachment (though I don't want to lose the Double Dragon effect), but I can net a couple of hardy HQs, some good forward threats and even cheap scoring. 
I can also semi-mimic the dragon effect with units like the Despairtek w/ Deathmarks in a scythe, though that is even more expensive and another throw-away unit.

For the moment, I am entertaining a brand lord with Mark of Nurgle and two squads of 7 plague marines, 2 drakes, some oblits and then see what fits from Necrons.  

The bottom line is that I may just have to ditch the concept entirely and go to the drawing board with something fresh. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not crying myself to sleep, after all, I have been running two drakes AND scythes, so I have been having my cake and eating it too, but perhaps it is time to shake it up.

 I have several armies to work with including the Crons, Chaos Marines, Daemons and Orks (even a limited number of GK). I am going to be running Daemons when try are all painted, but I still love my crons and really enjoy allies, just for being able to put cool combos and a wider selection of my collection on the table.

I will be on a boat in the middle of the ocean when this post drops, but would love to hear any feedback from like-minded players.

 Sometimes an outside perspective is good, especially with the time I will have to reflect on building my next tournament series list concept. 

That's it for now. I would love to see what you guys do with these ideas and what you think (hell, if any of my opponents are out there, I would also love to hear what you think as well).


  1. What do you feel about normal cultists or necron warriors as backfield units? Not quite as durable but are sufficient if you plan to use offensive units as your defense.

    You also wanted to put more forward and fighty units in the list, perhaps typhus needs some bullet sponges and can trudge up the field. While it would limit their mobility spawn are always a good choice and if you really need them to, you can always leave typhus behind like you do now and rush them forward to harass a unit.

    I'd like to see the evolution of your army as I enjoy seeing it at the tournaments in Greenville. We had an 11 person turnout last weekend and were sad to see you not among them.

  2. I wish I could have been there too but my predeployment schedule is pretty brutal and keeps me away for half a month at a rime. I think I should make it for the October tourney though. I will think about some of your suggestions while at sea forthw next couple weeks.

  3. Why not drop the Crons all together and go IG?
    Total Roster Cost: 1850


    x35 Zombies
    x35 Zombies
    x35 Zombies

    Heldrake (Bael)
    Heldrake (Bael)
    Heldrake (Bael)

    CCS (Autocannon)
    PCS (x2 Flamers)
    Platoon (Power Weapon, Plasma gun , Autocannon)
    Platoon (Power Weapon, Plasma gun , Autocannon)


    Manticore Rocket Launcher

    Aegis Defence Lines + Quad-gun

    1. Not too bad Stalin, though I do think those naked guardsmen are first blood bait. I think I will try this out though with some minor changes, like a comma relay for those flyers.