Dark Eldar (Combined Arms) vs Necrons (Decurion Detachment) (2500 pts.)
From the memoirs of Archon Dragao, House Rilyn Vuz-Stra (House of the Forgotten Spider)
The Imperium outpost lay in ruins. Several small bunkers looked to still be intact. Hollow shells, but intact nevertheless. Several outlying buildings had not fared as well as their small, sturdy counterparts. Their walls and roofs having begun to collapse as centuries of storms battered them. The planet itself was pock-marked with craters. Some looked to be caused by meteorites while others bore the tell-tale signs of wars long forgotten. Altakhsas surveyed his forces as they moved single-mindedly. His nightscythe seeming to slice thru the sky nearly silently as he silently communicated with his troops on the ground. The Necron lord was no stranger to war. His forces had served him well for centuries. Their dedication and unwavering loyalty only served to increase his desire to conquer. Desire, such words were no longer meant to have meaning to one such as he and his kind. They were called soul-less, robots, automatons by their foes. Yet they were so much more. He had once cursed his metallic frame, as did many of his ilk. Now, he felt its power. Its invulnerable, crushing strength. He would have smiled if were able remembering all who had fallen before him. The countless generals and their armies crushed beneath the wave of destruction at his command was staggering. As he was pondering his latest battle, he noticed an alert incoming from one of the remaining satellites in orbit around the planet that his forces had commandeered. The alert had disappeared just as quickly as it had shown onscreen. Something had been there and now there was nothing. Ever the thorough commander, he checked data logs within nanoseconds. There… a tear in realspace had left the slightest trace for the sensors to pick up. He changed course and signaled his forces to be ready. They had guests. He wanted to be there to greet them when they arrived.
Realspace was always so very bright. Although it took fractions of a second for his senses to compensate for the oppressive glare, as a member of the Eldar race, everything they experienced was to the Nth degree. Part of which had led to the Fall. Their descent into debauchery was known throughout the galaxies. Into the material of the warp itself. Archon Dragao lounged on his latest toy, a custom built Tantalus, which he had acquired with no small sum of slaves as trade. As such, he needed to secure new slave labor to do his bidding, and keep him and his house supplied with pleasure from their pain. Pain which kept them looking ever youthful and vibrant. His warriors, always eager to please, for he was known to be generous with the bounty they captured on such raids, eyed the landscape for animal and humanoid alike. Such worlds were often husks. Left behind by the Imperium to rot. Some held pilgrims, or rejects from wars. Even bounty hunters had been taken to give of their life essences. His Craftworld kin would abhor the thing they had become. They opted to use soulstones to keep “She who thirsts” at bay. The Dark Kin of Commoragh preferred a much more, direct, means of prolonging the kiss of the void. Dragao looked over to the side of his ship to his latest Succubus, Felnadria, as close a friend of his consort Selani as could be in Dark Eldar society. She had recently lost in the arena to one of his Incubi and he had spared her life in exchange for servitude. Felnadri signaled that all was in readiness as they approached the abandoned colony. A shimmer on the horizon caught the eye of the Archon. A shimmer that seemed to spread, continuously taking up more and more of the landscape. Sitting up on his dais and absently reaching for his Huskblade, Dragao licked his lips in anticipation. Necrons. They were already here. For what purpose he could not begin to fathom. They had their reasons he was sure. They had no souls to speak of but they fought with a ferocity. They also made excellent slaves for the fighting pits, spare parts aside of course. The Haemonculi covens would pay dearly for Necron limbs to attach to their monstrosities. He sat back, again appearing almost to lounge despite knowing what he would soon face. Knowing all eyes were on him, he casually flicked his finger. The signal to bear down on the enemy. The signal to attack.
The Necrons were ready. Gauss guns flared, Tomb Blade bikers hurtled across the field. A canoptek spider and several hordes of scarabs skittered over the desolate ground. Wraiths undulated undaunted. Their speed fearsome to behold. Necron soldiers moved forward as one. Prepared to give their all for their commander. A Triarch Stalker loomed over all, its limbs keeping pace with the forces beneath it. The Praetorians and Immortals guarding it ready to deliver their deadly payloads. The Dark Eldar fired first, cutting down a unit of Tomb Blades with their precision volleys of focused fire. The remaining bikers returned fire and forced the venoms approaching them to evade their fire with spectacular mid-air maneuvers. As the Necrons pushed forward the Dark Eldar continued to fire volley after volley. Slowly whittling down the forces of the metallic wave of death that approached them. Tomb Wraiths fell to poison splinters from the Dark Eldar rifles and splinter cannons. Tomb Blades dove into the landscape, their bodies burnt by disintegrator rounds and filled with splinter fire. A troupe of Dark Eldar had secured a building just out of the Necron range of fire and were firing pot-shots at the approaching Necrons. The Wraiths, focused on reaching the lightly armored vehicles of their enemy, fell one by one until, crashing into a venom and spilling its passengers into the dirt they turned to attack the warriors that had jumped out. Only to have several dozen splinters pierce their armored skin and wreak havoc on their bodies. The Dark Eldar, ever rehearsed in battle tactics, moved their forces at the whim of their commander. Abandoning one flank to focus on another. His merest movements speaking volumes to their practiced eyes. The warriors that had captured the building experienced a short lived victory as a unit of Praetorians brought their guns to bear and the building came crashing down on them. Its once strong walls and bulwarks now standing as tombstones to those crushed underneath.
Dragao signaled, and mere moments later, Razorwing jets screamed onto the battlefield. Darklight flaring at the stalker. Undaunted, the stalker fired its own volley. Forcing the pilots of the jets into daredevil dodges to evade not only the incoming fire but each other. One of the jets was not so lucky. Necron troops on the ground had located a Skyfire Nexus and were able to home in on the jet with their sky shredding firepower. Bringing it down in a smoking fireball of metal. The Necrons continued their advance, their Commander signaling that he was almost in range of the battle. Bolstered, the Necrons fired volley after volley. Trying to restrain the subtle but deft movement of the Dark Eldar vehicles. The Dark Eldar gunners firing continuously despite barrel rolls and turns that would have dislodged members of lower races from their seats. The battle continued to intensify as the forces drew ever closer. The Necrons keeping pace despite having lost several key units to their forces. The Dark Kin celebrated a pilot as he eliminated the Necron Spider, and another devastated the horde of scarabs that were approaching them A Ravager went up in flames as Praetorian fire hit the fuselage. The Triarch Stalker, limping yet pressing forward, turned its cannon toward the approaching Raiders, keen to prevent them delivering what was sure to be a deadly payload, only to explode in a mushroom of fire and smoke to a shot from one of the Razorwing lances. The Dark Eldar seemed to press this advantage, moving all of their remaining vehicles closer to the Necron flank. Incubi jumped over the side of their Raider, rushing into the Necron warriors ahead of them. A second group sped off towards the Necron line at the behest of their commander, following orders to the letter lest they find themselves in the fighting pits. With a nod, a unit of warriors in a Venom sped off behind them to secure whatever objective their Lord decreed.
Dragao pointed toward the Necrons and his pilot increased speed. Narrowly missing the squad of Praetorians with the huge scythes on the side of the Tantalus. Behind enemy lines now he was taking a risk. Still, he relished such opportunities. His new toys were eager to get involved in the fray. Hulking monstrosities, the Grotesques were his favorite accompaniment into battle. Obedient, ridiculously strong and expendable. They were perfect engines of destruction. Hearing a near silent hum, Dragao looked up and smiled. An approaching Night Scythe. It flared several times and before he knew it several formidable looking Necrons stood on the ground before him. One of their number, obviously the enemy Commander, turned to face him and brought his weapon to bear. Dragao motioned and the Tantalus pilot brought the huge vehicle into a spin, narrowly avoiding the blast from the weapon. His smile widened into a grin as he noticed a small group of Necrons hunkered over a Skyfire Nexus. His pilot did not wait for the command and opened fire, disintegrator shots tearing them to shreds. The battle raged all around. Eldar and Necron alike falling. Some Necrons attempted to rise again only to be struck down by the Dark Eldar. The two commanders saw only each other. Dragao sent his pack of Grotesques raging into the Lych Guard surrounding Altakhsas. Their liquifiers dissolving several of the elite guard down to puddles of bubbling metal. Felnadri, looking to impress her new Archon, leapt to the challenge of the Necron Lord. Her movements sure and precise. Deadly and lithe, she approached at a run, circling ever closer amidst the turmoil of combat. Altakhsas drew back his blade, then suddenly released hundreds of tiny mind-shackle scarabs towards Felnadri. The confused look on her face would have been humorous had it not meant her end. She was cut down mercilessly with one fell stroke. Shrugging, Dragao turned to meet Altakhsas, his Huskblade leaving the remaining Lych Guard in smoking heaps of blackened metal as the Grotesques loomed over his shoulder. Altakhsas surveyed the battlefield. Scanning and re-scanning he noted that his forces had lost, and lost again. He opted to be prudent and began the teleportation sequence to return to his Night Scythe above. He would not leave unscathed however. He would hold onto this loss and ponder over it. Memory whirling to determine where he had gone wrong.
Dragao sat once again on his dais. The loss of Felnadri was a minor one. There were hundreds if not thousands more where she came from. Obviously she was of inferior stock. He was tempted to have her remains brought with him back to Commoragh to have her “reborn”. Deciding she may be worth the effort, he had her carcass tied over the side of the ship. At the very least his consort Selani may feel some modest amount of gratitude towards him for that small recognition. After all, he wasn’t completely soul-less. Several Raiders had come thru the Webway to deliver the scrap Necron bits to his Haemonculous coven. They would serve him well in the years to come. Robotic limbs needed so much less maintenance than flesh.
All in all it was a very good game. Necrons are tough and hit hard. Dark Eldar as much as I love them have paper-thin vehicles of speedy death. This actually saved the game for me as I had to contest an objective and claim two others with troops and HQ. I think our friendly neighborhood Necron player has something in store for me in our next game and I look forward to it!