New Adventures in TTS, Part 3: Rise of the Machines

(Artist unknown)

So as promised, here is yet another short batrep from my explorations of Tabletop Simulator, 9th edition 40k, and how Sisters of Battle fare with both. This time around, I was fortunate enough to run against someone fielding the Necrons, whose new codex I had not yet had the privilege of facing. Given what I’d heard about how the army had been massively improved across the board to be more durable and able to deal more damage, I knew I was in for an interesting experience.

This game was Outriders, played vs the new Necrons. This game, again, I was running the following:

ORDER OF THE BLOODY ROSE PATROL
Canoness– Benificence, Brazier of Holy Fire, Righteous Rage
5 Battle Sisters- 2 meltaguns
5 Battle Sisters
Preacher
8 Repentia
5 Seraphim- 2 inferno pistols, Seraphim Superior w. plasma pistol
5 Dominions- 4 storm bolters
5 Retributors- 3 multi-meltas, heavy bolter, armorium cherub
2 Mortifiers- penitent flails, heavy bolters, Anchorite
Immolator- Immolation flamers
Rhino

This is more or less the same game as last time, with some minor adjustments (ie the storm bolters on the one Battle Sister removed to make way for Note that I had adjusted my list a bit after discovering that I was over points in the previous games. Apparently, though, I was still over by 1 point in this game. Apparently I just suck at math, it seems.

My opponent, meanwhile, ran the following:

NOVOKH PATROL
Overlord- Blood Scythe, Eternal Madness
10 Warriors- gauss reapers
10 Warriors- gauss reapers
5 Lychguard- hyperphase swords & dispersion shields
6 Canoptek Wraiths
Ghost Ark
Ghost Ark

A very close ranged, durable army– I was especially scared of those Wraiths, as they were both fast and very hard to kill. All told, it looked like a game that was going to be settled up close and personal

For Sacred Rites, I ended up rolling The Passion and Aegis of the Emperor. With no psykers to worry about, I rerolled with Battle Rites, ended up with The Passion again, rerolled and got Divine Guidance. Note: did I do this right, or would it have been the Passion again, and thus that would have been my only Sacred Rite for this game?

For secondaries I took Raise The Banners High, Bring It Down and Engage on All Fronts. He took Bring It Down, Attrition and Exterminate The Vermin. My deployment looked like this, with the melta Sisters going into strategic reserve and the Seraphim deep striking…

…while the Necron deployment looked like this.

I won the roll off for first turn, and immediately took it, with my Dominions using their free scout move to run up and grab one objective…

…while my Rhino carrying the Repentia zoomed up to potentially go grab another, and get Engage On All Fronts, popping its smoke launchers as it did so. I tried to keep the Rhino just out of charge range of the Wraiths. (Spoiler: I would fail terribly at this)

In the rest of the movement phase, I decided no guts, no glory: I advanced up with the Mortifiers towards one of the Ghost Arks, disembarked my Retributors just behind them, and disembarked and advanced my Canoness out of the Rhino to get into reroll aura range of them. The overall plan was to hit the nearest Ghost Ark with an overwhelming alpha strike on turn 1, and either wreck the Ark and assault the passengers with the Mortifiers, or damage it enough so that the Mortifiers could hopefully finish it off.

This…turned out to be a bad plan. In the shooting phase, my Retributors, Mortifiers and Immolator all poured fire into the Ghost Ark…which used the Quantum Deflection stratagem to turn its 5+ invulnerable save into a 4+ invulnerable. Even though I used an armorium cherub to get extra shots in with the multi-melta, in the end I only managed to do some 5 wounds in total to the Ghost Ark.

Then, using Holy Rage, I tried to charge the Ghost Ark with my Mortifiers, hoping to at least limit its movement and deny it a turn of shooting. Unfortunately, even with a command point reroll, I failed the charge. For what its worth, my Sisters on my home objective planted their flag.

In his turn, the Necrons used the Protocol of the Sudden Storm (I think) to boost their charge distances and gain extra movement, and the Ovelord declared to his attendant Lychguard that His Will Be Done. A squad of Warriors disembarked from the damaged Ghost Ark to go say hi to the Dominions

The Overlord and Lychguard moved up to deal with the Mortifiers, while another squad of Warriors disembarked and advanced up to attack my Rhino (which had popped smoke the previous turn, I had forgotten to mention.) The Ghost Arks manouvered to grab objectives and bring their guns to bear, and, not pictured here, the Wraiths zoomed up to go after my Rhino.

In the shooting phase, massed gauss fire proceeded to annihilate my poor Dominions, do 3 wounds to my Mortifier, and I think a few wounds might have also been done to my Rhino. (Gauss reapers are MEAN!) Alas, once again, my Dominions died in the first turn.

In close combat, the Overlord and his Lychguard buddies charged my Mortifiers…

…while the Wraiths charged my Rhino.

I can’t remember if they charged it but failed to surround it, or if the Warriors attempted to charge it but fell short, but either way, I was relieved that my Repentia were at least left with some disembarking space for when their Rhino was inevitably torn open. In close combat, the Lychguard used Blood Rites, and proceeded to absolutely WRECK my Mortifiers. I got the last laugh, though, as both Mortifiers promptly exploded, killing 2 Lychguard and dealing 3 wounds to the Overlord! The Lychguard consolidated into my Retributors, who swung at them but did absolutely nothing to them.

Meanwhile, a miracle occurred on my right flank, as the Wraiths unleashed a bucketload of attacks on my Rhino. After the Wraiths had dealt a hefty amount of damage to it, however, my Rhino emerged from the fight still alive with 2 wounds remaining! Somehow, it– and more importantly, my Repentia– were still in this fight.

In my turn, the Retributors used Judgement of the Faithful to back off, while the Canoness moved up to confront the Overlord, ready to pit righteous rage against eternal madness.

My Repentia and Preacher, predictably, disembarked…

…while my melta Sisters and Seraphim arrived in the Necron backfield to threaten objectives. My Seraphim used Deadly Descent as they arrived, and actually managed to do some decent damage to one of the Ghost Arks.

Further on the left flank, my Immolator revved its engines and moved around the building that the Dominions had died near, getting line of site to the Necron Warriors that had killed them.

In the shooting phase, the Retributors tried to redeem themselves for their earlier to failure to kill the Ghost Ark by turning their guns upon the Lychguard. In a stream of melta blasts and a volley of heavy bolter shells, the ancient bodyguards were annihilated in one fell swoop. As an encore, the Canoness levelled her Brazier of Holy Flame at the Overlord, and did 3 mortal wounds, incinerating the xenos fiend in one fiery blast!

The Overlord, moments before my Canoness threw a lit firecracker at him…

To add insult to injury, the Rhino fired its storm bolters into melee, and actually did a wound to one of the Wraiths. Finally, the Immolator turned its guns upon the Warriors, dousing them with promethium and raking them with heavy bolter fire. All told, after Reanimation Protocols, it managed to kill four of the Necrons.

In the charge phase, the Canoness, deprived of a Necron Overlord to personally duel, instead tried to charge the remaining Warriors, but fell short. The Repentia, however, had no such difficulty as they charged the Wraiths, used the Tear Them Down stratagem… unsurprisingly, tore them all down with horrendous overkill. Even the high toughness, high number of wounds and invulnerable saves of the Wraiths could not save them from the absolute blender that is a unit of Bloody Rose Repentia. (Seriously, I am starting to think that taking a unit of them at 1000 points its pretty dirty). The Repentia then consolidated into the nearby Warriors, who swung their rifle blades into them and felled two of the Zealots.

The Necrons were hurting this turn, but they weren’t out of the fight yet. The damaged unit of Warriors turned round the corner to confront the Retributors.

The Ghost Arks manouvered to bring their guns to bear on my forces, and, where possible, to contest objectives.

And finally, the engaged unit of Warriors fell back from combat, leaving the Repentia out in the open to be shot at.

In the shooting phase, the Necron Warriors managed to bring down two of the Retributors with their gauss reapers. Also, the combined fire of one Ghost Ark and (I think) the other Warriors wiped out the Repentias, while another Ghost Ark blasted down three of the Seraphim.

In the charge phase, one of the Ghost Arks, in a suprising move, charged my Rhino. The two vehicles fail to hurt each other, but at least it left the Ghost Ark holding the objective.

Also in the charge phase, the damaged squad of Warriors charged the Retributors, prompting a heroic intervention by the Canoness. Thanks to the buff granted to them by Novokh, the Warriors hacked down two of the Retributors, before the Canoness unleashed half a bajillion attacks back and annihilated them in reply.

In the morale phase, however, both the last Retributor and my Seraphim were looking pretty frail. I used a 1 from my miracle dice pool to auto-pass the Seraphim’s morale test; the last Retributor, however, sadly failed, and retreated back to the Sororitas lines, carrying her fallen Sisters’ prayer beads with her.

A shot of how the battlefield looked at the end of that turn.

In the Sisters’ turn, the Canoness and Preacher both moved up to confront the remaining Necron Warriors.

Elsewhere, the melta Sisters and last Seraphim both zeroed in on one of the Ghost Arks…

…while the Immolator continued to sit quite comfortably on one of the objectives.

Elsewhere, the Rhino fell back from combat with the Ghost Ark, in order to let the Sister have a crack at melting it.

In the shooting phase, the Battle Sisters and Seraphim poured melta fire into the Ghost Ark, and after some incredibly good rolling, managed to bring it down to 1 wound remaining! Both units then charged headlong into the xenos construct. Alas, despite the extra attacks and armour-piercing hits that they gained by being Bloody Rose, none of them could take the Ghost Ark’s final wound.

The Canoness and Preacher, on the other hand, both charged the remaining Necron Warriors. Vowing to Tear Them Down, the Canoness unleashed a whirlwind of attacks with Benificence, sawing through metallic bodies with each swing, and within moments she had obliterated all ten of the Necrons!

Although the game had very much turned against my opponent at this point, he resolved to go down swinging. His sole mobile Ghost Ark moved up into rapid fire range of my characters, while his damaged Ark stubbornly remained sitting on the objective. (I think it also regained a wound thanks to Living Metal or something like that).

In the shooting phase, the damaged Ghost Ark fired at point blank range into the Seraphim, and freemed them to death. The other Ghost Ark, meanwhile, focused its fire onto my Canoness: although I used a miracle dice to make one of her saves, she still took 4 unsaved wounds, leaving her clinging to life on one wound remaining!

In melee, the Battle Sisters continued to do nothing to the Ghost Ark, and actually lost a Sister to its return attacks!

In my turn, my Canoness was thoroughly annoyed, and moved up to express her displeasure to the Ghost Ark that had shot at her.

In the shooting phase, the Canoness threw a krak grenade at the Ghost Ark to no effect, and the engaged Battle Sisters failed to hurt the other Ghost Ark with their pistols either.

In the charge phase, my heavily damaged Rhino charged the Ghost Ark. Once again, however, all sides failed to hurt each other, and the ongoing slapfest continued.

The Canoness, meanwhile, charged the other Ghost Ark, and once again used Tear Them Down…and proceeded to single-handedly saw the Ghost Ark in half! Luckily for her, the Ghost Ark did not explode.

At the end of the turn, I was in the lead 51 points to 44, but at this point my opponent conceded, figuring that by the end of the next turn it would be about 60/44 or so. And with that, we shook virtual hands and called it a game. Near-Tabling by the Sisters of Battle!

THOUGHTS:

What an absolutely bloody game! Just as I had anticipated, the game quickly devolved into a series of short-ranged firefights and close combats against the Necrons, and whenever the Skelebots shot, they usually ended up freeming one of my frail units. I thought the game was over on turn 1 after my Retributors and Mortifiers failed the way they did against that one Ghost Ark, but two lucky breaks saved me– firstly, that the Wraiths failed to destroy my Rhino (as that would have allowed them to then consolidate into the disembarked Repentia, denying them a lot of attacks), and secondly, that both of my Mortifiers exploded the way they did, doing horrendous damage to the Lychguard and Overlord that allowed me to then easily mop them up.

I will say that even I was genuinely shocked at how good my units were in this game. I had expected at least a few Wraiths to survive my Repentia’s onlsaught, but instead my half-naked chicks with chainsaws tore through them like Homer Simpson through a box of doughnuts, eliminating one very scary threat to my army. Similarly, my Canoness was absolutely on fire in this game (and not just because she has a big flaming brazier on her back), one-shotting the Overlord and then proceeding to mow through two squads of Warriors and a Ghost Ark. Having exploding 6s to hit helped both units, of course, but I truly understand why the Benificence Canoness (nicknamed “Becky” on many Sisters of Battle boards) is such a force of nature. Given how powerful both units are at 1000 points, I am thinking of switching things up in future games to make them a little more friendly. I may possibly even try a different Order Conviction out, such as Our Martyred Lady.

In summary, it was a close, fun game against the Necrons, though I can’t say that I got a sense of what they are capable of and what to watch out for in this game. There are a number of apparenty very scary things in the new Necron codex (such as massed Scarabs, giant blobs of 20 Warriors, and the Nightbringer, to name a few) that I have yet to run into. Hopefully I will be prepared to deal with them the next time I face the Skelebots.

Next time…everyone’s favourite religious fanatics take on everyone’s OTHER favourite religious fanatics!

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