Sunday, November 6, 2011

[Lantz's Corner] Necron Codex Review:
Part III - Named Characters

Welcome back. In Part II we took a look at the generic options for HQs and Retinues which will help segue into Part III; special characters. The previous faceless Necrons didn't have any options for an inexpensive special character, but not anymore! The Necrons, along with their new fluff, now have a personality all their own. Like it or not, with the new personality comes numerous named characters to select from. All of the following characters have the EL, RP and Independent Character rules, so keep that in mind as I won't be mentioning it 7 times. We have a lot to cover in Part III, so let's get to it!

Nemesor Zahndrekh
For roughly the price of two Overlords you get this fellow. Stat-wise he's the same as an Overlord, except a 2+/3++ save. He comes with a Rez Orb (which hardly any of the named characters do, which I find odd,) and a Staff of Light and can take that Command Barge as a personal transport. As for his neato abilities he's able to give a USR from several choices to a unit each turn for a whole turn. Included are some nice choices such as Furious Charge and Stealth. In addition, so long as he has line of sight to an enemy, he can also take USR from his list away. As a final ability, while he's on the table anything that's arriving via DS can come in on the enemy's turn as long as something of theirs has come into reserve.
While that last ability may not seem glamorous, this means an enemy can outflank in ready to pop one of your transports or tie up your infantry in combat, but is denied because you've dropped a Monolith in their way. This also means that the enemy (typically) can't assault from DS, but if you DS something next to them, when it's your turn you can assault.
As for this HQ as a whole, he's a STEAL, and I truly hate capitalizing words people. Think of it this way, to get an Overlord with 2+/3++ and a Rez Orb it'll cost you 5pts less than what this guy costs. So for 5pts you're getting the giving and taking away of USR as well as some reserves tactics. You'll see this guy a lot.

Vargard Obyron
Obyron is a bodyguard of sorts to Zahndrekh as far as I can tell without getting to this point of the fluff. If you take both Zahndrekh and Obyron, Obyron won't take up an HQ slot. If Obyron is by his lonesome, he will. Obyron is a bit cheaper than his counterpart and has the exact same statline except you'll be trading out that Invuln save for a WS of 6. He comes with a Warscythe for free. His abilities include the 3rd. Ed Veil of Darkness (the one that can pull you out of melee) and it isn't just a one-time use ability for him. Where this guy really starts looking sexy is his Cleaving Counterblow ability. It works like this; any enemies that fail to hit him in close combat before Obyron swings count up their misses. The number of failed hits on Obyron, to a maximum of 6, are how many additional attacks Obyron will get for that round of combat. So on a turn he launches an assault he could potentially get 10 attacks with a Warscythe. His last ability is more of an addition to his Veil of Darkness; essentially if he Veils within 6" of Zahndrekh he won't scatter. But there's a downside, too. If Zahndrekh is ever assaulted Obyron pretty much drops what he's doing to move towards him. Not locked in combat? Move towards Zahn. In close combat? Veil towards him. In a transport? Get your butt out. Part of a unit? Not anymore.
I want to like this guy so much with his upgraded Veil, but he's too much of a gimmick HQ. Competitively, he's a nightmare if you bring him and Zahn. If people use this guy, they won't be coupling the two unless you're keeping them together. Another thing that irks me is the additional attacks rule. Sure it looks good on paper, but without an invuln save as an Independent Character this guy isn't going to be living very long in close combat. I'm also just not a fan of abilities that rely on your enemy's actions.

Illuminor Szeras
This Cryptek is an interesting choice and dirt cheap. At barely more expensive than a base-cost Overlord, his stats are that of a Cryptek with the exception of a 3+ save, 2 wounds and 4 attacks. He comes with the Eldritch Lance and Gaze of Flame we talked about for Crypteks in Part II. His claim to fame is the Mechanical Augmentation which randomly gives a unit of Warriors or Immortals either T5, BS5 or a S of 5 for the game.
I just don't think this guy is worth it. His points cost seems a little high for only having 2 wounds, but the real thing that bothers me is not having Solar Pulse. You would think he'd come with it, but does not which is unfortunate as I see that as the breaking point for whether this guy will show up on the tabletop or not. However, he is the cheapest HQ option aside from a base-cost Overlord, so he has that going for him I suppose.

Orikan The Diviner
Stat-wise, this guy is weak to start. With the stats of a Warrior with the addition of 1 wound and 1 attack. He has a 4+ armour like a Warrior but comes with a 3++ save which is odd. Point cost coming close to Obyron's his stats don't seem to reflect his cost, but things get interesting. First his staff is a power weapon that rerolls failed to-hit rolls in close combat. He comes with a Transdimensional Beamer mentioned in Part I. As a once-per game use he'll force rerolls to failed reserve rolls for a turn. In addition, the first turn of the game he makes all enemies move like they're in difficult terrain. Lastly, every turn Orikan has a chance to Hulk out, should the "stars align", and get a huge boost to his stats; +1 WS/BS, +3 S/T, +2 W/I/A; essentially making him a MC without the MC rule. However, he'll always have a chance to turn back to Bruce Banner, and wounds lost are carried over. So while he might have 4 wounds for a bit, if he takes more than 2 in this form and turns back to his normal self he's gone.
Not since the Ork codex have I seen an HQ's rules mirror his/her fluff so perfectly. Does that make him viable? I'm not so sure. While his boost to stats is cool, he basically always has 2 wounds depending on luck. It would be far better if he stayed beefed up, and while this is possible, it's not likely depending on how many turns the game is. This is more of a 'fun' option than competitive.

Anrakyr The Traveller
Arguably the most boring out of all of the selections available is Anrakyr. Stat- and wargear-wise he's a pre-made generic Overlord. He comes in with the exact same stats as an Overlord, comes with a Warscythe and Tachyon Arrow mentioned in Part I and may take a Command Barge as a personal transport. His Special Rules is where things get changed up a bit. He comes with Counter-Attack and Furious Charge, but also gives these rules to a unit of Immortals if you so choose. In addition, he gets a 2/3 chance to take over a vehicle's weapon within 18" of him.
I assume everyone's minds went to a Grey Knight Dread popping his buddy in the side like mine did. While not the most exciting of choices, this guy's price is about right and is pretty competitive. His biggest failing? No invuln save. So don't expect him to last long should your opponent really choose to focus on him.

Trazyn The Infinite
Just like Anrakyr, Trazyn will have the same statline and fail to possess an invuln save, but for only 10pts more than Anrakyr, this guy has some amazing abilities. First, he's a Phaeron as mentioned in Part II for Overlords. He comes with Mindshackle Scarabs, can take a Command Barge and always counts as a scoring unit (that's right, you can have 7 scoring units in an army.) Also, when he dies, on a 2+ he'll come back onto the battlefield replacing a random Lychguard, Cryptek, Lord or Overlord much like the Chaos Space Marine's Summoned Greater Daemon comes into play. Finally, the ability that's made the internet abuzz with cries of cheese; if Trazyn kills a model in combat you'll roll a D6 for every model with exactly the same name in combat with him. On a 4+ those models take a wound, but are allowed armour saves.
This guy is another case of rumors that kinda, sorta came to light. He's the guy that just won't die and can cause a whole unit of Genestealers to die off, but with a 50% chance after surviving to wound something and the after-wounds still get armour saves this thing was not as powerful as everyone anticipated. Don't get me wrong, it rocks, but it's not an auto-lose for Orks. Ontop of this, his Initiative is still a 2 and he has no Invuln saves and the armour of a Space Marine. It won't be hard to keep this guy from attacking if planned accordingly. Overall I like him and his cost is dirt cheap. He's got some gimmicks, but they're just reliable enough to be used tactically.

Imotekh The Stormlord
Last, but certainly not least is Imotekh. Coming in at a little cheaper than a Land Raider, this guy is pricey. So what do you get for this price tag? Once again we have that typical Overlord statline, except Imotekh gets 2+/3++ for saves. He can take the Command Barge and always counts as a Phaeron. As far as basic wargear, he comes with a Gauntlet of Fire and Phylactery as mentioned previously. Now for the extras; he has the ability to randomly choose a non-vehicle enemy unit. Any Flayed Ones that DS within 6" of this unit will not scatter. He also comes equipped with the Staff of the Destroyer; a 2D6, S6, AP1, Assault 1 shooting attack that is one-time use. In addition, when you roll the range for this weapon it affects any units in its path and a unit will take hits equal to how many models are in their unit (I'll give you a minute to get a change of pants as there's more to come.) Imotekh will count as having scored an extra D3 wounds for the purposes of the assault result in close combat if he's the one that killed an IC that round. On top of this, if you take Imotekh you'll be stealing the Initiative on a 4+. No I'm not kidding. The only exception is if you're fighting against Orks you don't even get to attempt to steal the Initiative. Finally, if all of this wasn't powerful enough, the Stormlord himself can create storms. On the first turn of any game he creates night-fighting for everyone and every turn must roll for a chance to keep it going (and if your game ends on turn 5, it can last the entirety of the game.) In addition to this, as long as the Storm is going, you get a small chance of shooting a S8 AP5 lightning bolt down upon unengaged enemy units (hitting vehicles on side armour.)
This guy is expensive for a reason and in my opinion slightly undercosted. I would like to see how a list built around the Night Fighting would work. If you end up taking a Solar Pulse you could effectively turn on the lights and shoot before the storm darkens things again, or prolong the dark for an extra turn. Considering the expensive nature of transports in this codex I could see this being an alternative to transports, though not nearly as reliable. With his staff, the bonus to stealing initiative, 2+/3++ saves and creating a giant storm; this guy is going to be scary for his enemies.

That's all this codex has to offer for named characters, and I'm sure my fellow Necron players will join me in my opinion that we're not disappointed. The options are vast and diverse and allow many kinds of playstyle.

Stay tuned for Part IV where we'll cover Troops and Transports!


  1. Wait a minute, Imhotek is cheaper than Vect?!

    *Head asplodes from nerdrage.

  2. Leave it to Ward to take Vect, make him a Cron and give him better stuffs.