Sunday, January 29, 2012
Necron Tremor Tactica Part 1
So I've got some free time just before hitting the sack and I decided I'd spend some time writing my first serious tactical article for Necrons. The codex has been out for awhile now and we have all seen the more prevalent lists that are gaining popularity. One of the nice things about using Tremor tactics is it does not eat up lots of points so you can incorporate elements from other popular builds such as Wraithwing and the Scarab Farm. Tremor tactics go hand in hand with Stormlord tactics—by combining the two you are both limiting the distance your opponent can target your squads when shooting as well as slowing their approach... The goal is to create conditions such that the enemy cannot see you nor can the opponent assault you. All the while you are moving your units into position to devastate the enemy.
As a general caveat there are strategies the opponent can make use of to mitigate these effects but generally speaking mechanized armies that heavily rely upon treads will have some real problems getting around your defensive affects. I like to call these tactics Enemy Force Divider (FID). The term force multiplier is common now in fifth edition as there are lots of special characters that boost certain units in their army and unlock special modifications to the existing force organization chart (FOC). So basically you are using defensive powers to neutralize the main strengths of your opponent's army. Reserve armies that deploy via deep strike, infiltration and outflanking (e.g., Blood Angels DoA and Tyranid reserve armies) are less affected by Tremor tactics since they can deliver their units right upon your door step—I'll address how to deal with these types of armies in a later article.
Basic Tremor Tactics
So what are Tremor tactics? These tactics make use of the C'tan Shards and Crypteks fielded as Harbingers of Transmorgrification (HoT). The main manifestation of power to select for the C'tan is Writhing Worldscape—all difficult terrain is treated as also dangerous terrain and dangerous terrain tests are failed on the roll of both a 1 and 2 while the C'tan is on the battlefield. The other manifestitation of power I think is very useful for these tactics is the Grand Illusion that allows you to redeploy up to D3 units after both forces have deployed and all Scout Moves have been made–note that you can place these units back into or out of reserve... Generally you'll want to go first if possible so as to pull off the bait and switch tactic. HoT are armed with the Tremor Stave which cause an enemy unit hit with this weapon to treat terrain as difficult ground during their next movement phase and it has a range of 36". You can also field Orikan the Diviner who causes all terrain to be treated as difficult ground for the enemy during their first turn. I am still up in the air about Orikan though as he is a Cryptek that counts as an HQ-independent character and does not have access to a Royal Court. You'll want to make sure you have enough HoT such that they are effective. HoT also have access to the Seismic Crucible which reduces the charge range of an enemy unit by D3" if they attempt to assault the HoT including any unit he is attached.
So these are the tactics you use to impede the forward progress of the enemy. As I said above these tactics go hand in hand with Stormlord tactics including Harbingers of Destruction armed with the Solar Pulse... Your opponent can't see you and they can't reach out and touch you in melee... All the while you are moving into position to blast them to bloody bits !!
One of the inherent beauties of Tremor tactics is besides the cost of the C'tan the HoT are relatively cheap to field so you have lots of points left over—You can still incorporate Stormlord, Wraithwing and Scarab Farm elements into your army if you wish. Tremor tactics basically are an enhancement that help bolster your defense by buying you more time.
This is the first article that discusses the use of Tremor tactics. My next article on this subject will present a couple of army lists to better illustrate how to effectively incorporate these tactics.