Wednesday, 9 November 2011

My initial thoughts on the new Necrons

Great, I hear you saying, another guy eager to give his opinion on the new Necrons. Well, opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one I guess (except from Adam and Eve maybe) and I think there might be a couple of people out there that would like to hear mine. I've been waiting for this release for far too long not to be excited anyway. 

Let me start with the fluff. I've seen many people hatin' on the new Necron back story. I think one mistake my fellow hobbyist are doing is to presume that GW's fluff is written in stone by the hand of God (I'm feeling very pious today) for us mortal to behold. Well, it isn't. It could change anytime, in anyway possible. And that's not a bad thing. 

To be honest all this knee jerk reactions of negativity invokes images in my mind of the worst nerdery possible, something reserved for hard core Star War fans maybe. Hissy-fitting over some fictional story is just...unappealing (and definitely not sexy). I, for once, liked the new direction the fluff is going. Even though I loved the old necrons, I couldn't connect in any level with them. Their back story was cold, empty and kinda boring. The fresh approach of honourable yet driven aliens is much more to my liking. This is something the other "evil" races lacked until now, they were always too brutal I think. 

As far as the list goes, I think they are a pretty strong codex. As with every other single army that exists, there is going to be a unit that dominates each FoC slot. What's important in my opinion, and makes a codex great, is how the second best option compares to the first. If it's very close to the optimal choice across all the FoC, then we are talking about a good and balanced codex. 

I think that is the case with Necrons. For HQ we are spoilt for choice. So many interesting Special Characters, and the Crypteks are also very neat. Maybe not so much in Troops though to be honest. The Night Scythe is much better than the Ghost Arc so I can't see anyone choosing the latter (except that there is a model for it). I think Warriors are better than Immortals, they are scoring and form a meat shield for the Crypteks cheaper than Immortals, and that's pretty much the use of both unit. 

Stalkers are awesome but Lychguard and Praetorians have their uses (if someone wants to focus on a more close combat oriented list) and also Deathmarks can be useful (even though you'd have to use a lot of them to be effective). Flayed one and Shard (too expensive for what they deliver) are pretty bad though. 

Fast Attack is actually my favourite. Scarabs and Wraiths are pure awesomesauce. Even Heavy Destroyers can be used now fairly effectively in a way. Not sure about the jetbikes yet.

In Heavy Support I can see the Annihilation Barge dominating the field. Cheap as chips and very effective for what it does (killing small vehicles and also doubling up for anti infantry). Doom Scythes have a lot of potential too against certain list but they are a bit on the expensive side. Also Spyders are awesome if you use them in conjuction with some Scarab Swarms.

All is not so nice and dandy though. I have my complains too. For a start, GW didn't make models for the most useful units again. No Night/Doom Scythe kit and instead we got the fugly (rules wise) Ghost Arc. Why? No model for the Stalker too which is a bummer. 

Secondly, a lot of the units (well, two to be precise) that I used a lot with the previous codex are now almost useless. I am talking about Destroyers and Monoliths. They got hit pretty bad with the nerf stick and also there are much more cost effective units in their relative FoC slots. I guess I could sell them to someone before they realise how bad they've become.  Have to be quick though!


  1. I agree that the Necrons are now more appealing from a 'story' point of view. There is also plenty of options for the army:

    Overlord riding a command barge with phylactery and resurrection orb. Swoops around hitting units with his warscythe. Lets face it, low initiative means he won't hit first otherwise. Every time he takes damage, he uses a wound to repair. When the barge is destroyed, he fights on foot until taken out. 4+ resurrection with D3 restored wounds.

    If the overlord is on foot, he will have 10 lychguard with hyperphase swords and dispersion shields. T5, 3+ Sv, 4+ Inv with ability to bounce shots back at the enemy. 3 crypteks will stand by his side. Gaze of flame counts as defensive grenades. Seismic crucible reduces their charge by D3. Lightning field hits them with D6 S8 AP5 hits. There are other abilities, but these I feel are needed against my assault mad space marine opponent. Might add mindshackle scarabs to the overlord for the same reason. Two lords with warscythes might stand with this unit but I am aware of the 'all eggs in one basket' syndrome.

    Destroyer Lord would be a simple matter of warscythe and resurrection orb. Will fly with destroyers, so that they can add their firepower and he can add his muscle.

    Squad of 20 Necron warriors provides a 'shield wall' for a triarch stalker and wraiths. Walker shoots first and, if he hits, allows those 20 rapid firing gausses to be twin-linked. After the enemy charges, in your turn jump the wraiths behind them and ATTACK! Initiative 1, with nowhere to run, the enemy is as good as dead.

    My army won't have ghost barges. You were right about the night scythe. Swoop in, deploy your squad of immortals point blank and add the aircraft firepower. The doom scythe I would deep stike as close as possible, to as many targets in a line. You can guess the rest.

    Scarabs are my vehicle assassins. I may use doom arks and scythes to deal with dreadnoughts though. Of course, no scarab swarm is complete without at least one spyder to build up the numbers.

    Both tomb blades and destroyers are simply flying guns. Will do a 'Tzeentch-style' deep strike and FIRE! Otherwise, keep behind cover until within range. Tomb blades will be getting shield vanes and nebuloscopes to make them deadlier.

    Why deep strike Flayed Ones? Personally, I intend using flayed ones in a terror attack. Deep strike, or infiltrate, close to enemy devastators or heavy weapons teams. Do they shoot at the flayed ones? If not, they're gonna get you.

    Annihilation barges, at the moment, are to accompany my overlord in his barge. They shoot, hopefully get shot in return, while their ruler goes around decapotating. No thoughts on the doomsday ark. Love the model, want it, but really need to stand still and shoot which isn't always easy when the enemy refuses to stand still in front of it.

    Monoliths really come into play should my overlord choose to fight on foot. Monolith deep strikes, shoots at nearby enemies, then beams in the overlord and his retinue. Or beams him from one side of the battle to another.

    Deathmarks will do what they're supposed to. Deep strike when enemy deep strike, they can't assault you unless playing planetstrike. In your turn, you can shoot them with your rapid firing sniper rifles. Ouch!

    Triarch praetorians. I prefer the rods of covenant, being 6" S5 AP2 and power weapons they are ideal space marine killers. But those voidblades are tempting to strip armour and weaken tanks. Likely I will teleport them using monoliths or riding those night scythes. Or, if overlord is on foot with retinue, they walk behind then jump behind an assaulting enemy and assault them.

    Last, but not least, there are the C'tan shards. If I included them, I might use the grand illusion and writhing worldscape to really frustrate my foes. Otherwise, they would fill a shooty or scrappy gap in my army.

  2. Thank you for your extensive reply Mr. T. There are some good ideas you got there although I don't agree with everything you say. I will give a sample list and some more thoughts about my favourites units (can't be bothered going though every unit in the codex) a bit later. Cheers!

  3. Please disagree Antipope. Every player must be unique or the whole hobby is just dull. Perhaps you can tell I've studied the codex, but have no Necron gaming experience. I hope soon that they will be my first army. Until then, I will sleep in my tomb and dream of war. Any 'corrections' to my ideas are most welcome.