Setup: Well, it's an interesting setup with one large ruin in the center-rear of one side and a sizable hill on the right side of the board. A small number of rubble (5+) area terrain were scattered around. We had unfortunately rolled rather high on cover and had to make due with forests. We mutually decided (for our own sanity) that we would not use mysterious forests, but we decided that mysterious objectives would be fine.
Necrons win the roll to go first, but pass it to IG. I'm a bit surprised, but I guess with all the air force, he wants to see where I'm setting up.
I take the side with the ruin and castle up in it pretty heavily, making a 30 man blob with the lascannons in front, Katya with the Cuckoos as the second layer, and then way in the back I put Vasily with the MoO. To the right, in some rubble, I put both squads of Autocannons, and in the far right corner, I put the Deathstrike. On the left, I put the Fire Warriors in cover screening the Broadsides. I put the Baron, Lady Saigo and Shas'shera with her Crisis Suits in reserve, the Baron and the Tau to deep strike. The IG objective went towards the front of their ruin, with a 3" border of Guardsmen who know that large blast templates tend to manifest out of those things.
The Necrons respond by putting the Overord with the Warriors in the right corner behind the hill. Out of range/LoS from most of my army. Balls.
The two groups of Wraiths go in forests directly across from the Broadsides and my Autocannons. That's... going to be an issue. Their objective goes towards the middle of their zone, out in the open. The Flyers and their cargo, of course, go in reserve.
The Necrons decline to steal the initiative and it's on!
Picture Caption: I call this setup "You touch the objective! No, YOU touch it!"
Turn 1: IG/Tau
Vasily swore as he saw the approaching skeletal horde. The scouts were unfortunately right. It seemed a small group, but he had learned that by some whimsy of fate that the Imperial Guard were always the most anemic of fighters. In hand-to-hand anyway. He glanced around a bit nervously, and caught the watchful eye of Lord Commissar Katarina Vaskov. Sweat beaded on his forehead as the two locked gazes.
Vasily licked his lips.
Was she waiting for him to say something? There was a kind of unresolved tension between the two that seemed to rotate between sociopathy and belligerent affection, and he had found out early on that he was always a poor estimator of her moods.
Throne above, he thought. Give me a hint! Should I smile, be laconic, quote the Primer? He was aware of the moments fleeting by, and watched with some horror as her eyebrows knit together.
She barked, "Are you going to order attack or not?"
Vasily jerked his head up to see that the skeletal creatures had gotten a lot closer than he had expected.
"Er, yes, exactly so. Ah, all forces, this is Commander Romanov. Fire at will. Repeat, fire at will. We need to..."
A sudden screech of air made him look to his left, and he saw an enormous streak of bluish light fly through the air and slam into the far away Xenos force.
He popped up his field glasses to see a massive hole burned into the lead Skeleton who crumbled backwards into a heap.
He glanced over Katya who was on her tip-toes trying to make out where the shot had come from.
Please let them be on our side, Vasily prayed, please let them not be out to kill us too...
"Bri! I thought we were going to hold our fire!"
Shas'Ui Bri'ar'eos flicked on his comm.
"Shas'El, I've made positive identification of the creatures. They are Alien-S88, otherwise known as Necrons."
Shas'shera heard the gasps of alarm over the comms. The Necrons were ancient creatures that defied analysis and one thing was certain: wherever they went, they left nothing in their wake. The ruling of High Command was to avoid the Necrons at all cost, as the chances of winning an engagement were infinitesimal. Her hand moved to the comm, but the words for retreat died on her lips. She scanned the masses of Gue'seva. They all seemed scared, and far less armed and armored than her own forces. It would be dishonorable to leave them, especially since the Tau had fired the first shot.
"All forces, this is Shas'El Sha'shera, we are engaging the enemy. Repeat, we are engaging. Fire well my friends, I'm not sure if we'll get a second chance..."
Well, I start the game by moving Tems forward, and rotating the Deathstrike towards the Warriors. I wince a little bit and declare that I am investigating the IG mysterious objective. Thankfully, it turns out to be a +1 cover save objective. The Guardsmen whoop and all clamber over it, thankful that it won't be exploding all over their faces. (That... came out... sounding inappropriate)
Shooting starts with the Deathstrike firing it's Heavy Bolter and downing a Warrior. My opponent notes that he gets a 5+ cover save due to Night Fighting, and is llooking quite comfortable until I turn on the Deathstrike's Searchlight.
The Broadsides open up with a pair of shots at the Warriors. My opponent questions their range, which causes the Tau player next to me to respond that "it's the same as the long edge of the board." Huh, sorted there. The Overlord fails a LoS roll and goes down. The Master of Ordinance fires as well, trying to snipe the Cryptek. It... sort of works, as we hit the Warrior next to him. Since there's no cover, a good chunk of Warriors are wiped out, as is the Cryptek. They also get pinned.
Shooting from the fire warriors do little against the Wraiths, but the Imperials manage to down a Wraith from the right. Huh, I was hoping for a little more. And then all of the Necrons GET BACK UP. That is, except for the Cryptek. Well, that was demoralizing.
Picture Caption: My entire army downed two models. Good job guys, good job.
Turn 1: Necrons
Overlord Vas'ryn shook his Warscythe in barely contained, silent fury. The living had dared to strike him down. Did their incompetent arrogance know no bounds? With a gesture, he sent his Wraiths forward, gliding like ghosts through the trees. The living would soon learn to fear. And then, to die.
Right, so the Wraiths glide up, easily covering half the distance between the front lines. That is... hella fast.
The Warriors are still sucking dirt, so the turn passes rather uneventfully.
Picture Caption: Man, those things are FAST!
Turn 2: IG/Tau
"Bri? Say again? What just happened?"
The Broadside Shas'Ui barked into his comm, "Regenerating alloys, Shas'El. Just like the rumours say. We need to fight this one carefully."
Sha'shera nodded. Bri was his calm usual self. It was good that little bothered him. She shook a bit of sweat off her hand. Glancing down at the Imperial line, she noticed that few had moved. Perhaps the Gue'seva were more brave than she thought?
Vasily tried to not listen to the whimpers and frightful prayers to the Emperor from his front line. The Guardsmen knew what was coming, and nobody was eager to be the first one skewered by the silent gliding creatures.
Vasily swallowed. They were close. Oh so close. His survival instinct kept jumping up and down, screaming for him to call a general retreat, when he glanced at the back of Katya's head. She would order them all killed as cowards. Even him. Especially him.
Maybe he could talk her out of it. As long as everything happened before anybody engaged the Xenos in close fighting.
Indeed, he thought, as desperation decided to kick in and put in its two credits. It would probably show foresight and save the lives of so many. Yes, he thought, it makes sense. Just sound the retreat. Calmly now, as to make it seem well thought out.
As he raised his hand to his comm bead, it suddenly squealed to life, and Temperence's energetic voice called out,
"Sir! Those blaggards are coming this way! Hiding in the trees it looks like! Don't worry, my mates'll flush them out!"
Vasily gripped his comm and yelled, "Tems! No! It..."
A sudden rush of flame enveloped the forest to his right. Vasily whet his lips and waited, hoping against hope.
Temperence's voice came back a bit less chipper than usual. "Uh, sir? Begging your pardon, but they don't seem that flammable. Any chance of fire support?"
Vasily cradled his face with his hand, as the universe once again took his hopes and dashed them against the rocks of reality.
"Yes, Tems. All forces, fire. Just... fire well, please..."
Right, those Wraiths are hella close. They have to go. I move Tems up to flame the Wraiths. They're hugging the trees, so hopefully we can get some decent shots.
Reserves gets me Lady Saigo who goes out to the far left, hugging the corner and left side. Silly 6th says I can't cavalry charge out of reserves, so I'll keep her tight for now. The Penal Squad comes in outflanking on the left, and run a bit forward.
Shooting is kind of astronomical, as I whittle down both Wraiths to a single model each and even take another chunk out of the Warriors, thankfully some actually stay down. Notable in the shooting are the quad-templates that Tems puts out as it actually downs two Wraiths and the Autocannons... uh... try hard and manage to down a Wraith.
Picture Caption: Huh... We're actually doing alright and... and... I should learn not to say things like that...
Turn 2: Necrons
Overseer Vas'ryn watched with stoic silence as the Wraiths began to fall apart. The advance was failing. However, it was enough to provide the distraction he needed.
Glancing up, he saw the shadowy forms of the Death Scythe and Night Scythe. The silent ships brought cries of alarm from the living, and then screams of pain as Tesla blasts laid into them. If Vas'ryn could, he would have smiled, but instead let himself take a moment of satisfaction. The living were learning the folly of fighting that which was already dead.
The Necrons roll for reserve and get... a Night Scythe and the DEATH SCYTHE. Wow, that was... much more than I had thought. I guess -1 to reserves is highly overrated.
Both flyers move out to the right, dumping off the Immortals into the trees that once had
the Wraiths. The Wraiths move up, one aiming for Tems (!) and the other zooming back to assault the Penal Squad. Shooting is painful as the Immortals and Scythes tear out a massive chunk out of my Autocannons, who are forced to go to ground to have any prayer of survival. The Overlord and warriors move out to the left, running to try to get to cover. Somehow, both really shot up Autocannon squads make their morale check, denying first blood to the Crons!
In assault, the Wraith assault the Penal Squad, and I realize, that, once again, I have forgotten to roll for their special trait. I ask my opponent, who admonishes me on my forgetfulness, but lets me roll anyway. I get Knife-Fighters. Hoo-rah
The Penal Squad fails to put any overwatch wounds on the Wraith, but the horde of suddenly two-weaponed Guardsmen manage to put a wound on the Wraith as it tears the guts out of a Penal Legionaire.
The Wraith against Tems gets FOUR templates to the face, and I roll something like 4 wounds. The Wraith fails two of them and goes down. Huh, that's first blood.
Picture Caption: You know it's going to be a tough fight when first blood is done on the tail end of turn two...
Turn 3: IG/Tau
Baron von Oberheim smirked as his Valkyrie skimmed low over the treetops. The pathetic Xenos had thought themselves safe in the trees. Safe to everything but a strategic strike. He smiled as he looked around at the lack of other interfering large-chested females. The other Stormtroopers had been easily fooled, and a simple forged memo had them on the other side of the battlefield, far away from the lines. His lines. He barked for his men to be ready. The day would be saved again by him. The accolades and proper deference would fall again to his squad. Even Romanov would finally...
"My Lord Baron!"
Baron Oberheim looked up as a trio of strange shapes fell from the sky and landed close to them. The Baron sucked in a bit of air as the ground shook, kicking up a cloud of debris into the air.
"Who dares?!" barked the Baron, squinting through the dust.
The only response was a sudden cry that made the Baron's teeth grit together.
"FOR THE GREATER GOOD!"
Streaks of blue and yellow energy bolts flew through the air, catching the skeletal figures by surprise, knocking all but one of them to the ground.
The Baron frowned as he now clearly saw the trio of Tau battlesuits. His men looked at him for orders. As much as he wanted to, the Baron fought against the easy order for his men to turn their weapons on the newcomers. After all, they had left one of the monstrosities still standing.
"Stormtroopers! Take that one down. We'll deal with the greyskins once we've done our job."
The Baron and Shas'shera come in. I deep strike them both to say hello to the Immortals. They land fairly much on target, with the Baron drifting a bit far forward, but the Shas'El sticks her landing proper.
I push Tems and Lady Saigo forward.
Shooting, I have the Shas'El go first and I'm shocked as she just obliterates all of the Immortals. She leaves the Lord though, and the Baron at least picks him up. Huh, that was... pretty good.
The Master of Ordinance also picks out a good chunk of the Warriors in back, as they spread out, but it actually made them easier to hit... The Autocannons finish off the last of them, leaving only the Lord. Bri fires at the Death Scythe, hitting it dead on and knocking it out of the sky.
Assault is pretty quick as the Penal Squad knifes the last wound off the Wraith and continue to move forward.
Picture Caption: That's... a lotta dakka Tau... Good job. Baron? Don't be jealous
Turn 3: Necrons
Vas'ryn was beside himself with rage. The living were like insects. No matter how many he killed, there always seemed to be more. He glanced down the battlefield and noted with some satisfaction that one of his Lords pulled himself off the floor, repair protocols assembling the Necron from the scattered remains.
The Lord marched forwards into the front lines of the living, ignoring the flurry of hastily made shots and starting slicing left and right. The shrieks of pain and desperation filled Vas'ryn with satisfaction. Now things were turning. Their fall was at hand.
The Night Scythe shows up. It moves to the left, shooting at the Broadsides, doing nothing, but the Necron shenanigans somehow lets them down the Fire Warriors next door! Meanwhile, the Immortals disembark and shoot into the Penal Squad removing half the members! Thankfully, Bremen keeps them together and they hold. Oh, and that Necron Lord I knocked down last turn? He GETS UP. Apparently Necron shenanigans lets them get up within 3" of where they fell down, so he moves closer to the IG blob for free. The Lord assaults in and challenges. I decline, hoping that he'll roll us and I can introduce him to the wonderful world of plasma/railguns. However, the Lord only downs two, and since Katya is next door, the blob makes it's morale check.
Picture Caption: Huh... That's probably not good.