Monday, November 7, 2011

[Lantz's Corner] Necron Codex Review:
Part IV - Troops and Transports

The posts just keep on comin'. Last time we looked at all those spiffy special characters the Necrons have access to. In Part IV we'll be taking a peek at the two Troop options and the three transportation options for the Necron army. While the Troops section is pretty underwhelming, the transports the Necrons have access to are very interesting. More after the jump.

Necron Warriors
I suppose the best way to make an assessment about these guys is comparing them to their former 3rd Edition selves. All stats are the same for these guys as it was before except their save is now a 4+ instead of a 3+. Aaaaand that's it. They have RP which has changed from WBB, but they're still infantry and still carry a Gauss Flayer which hasn't changed either. With an armour save reduced by one, the Warriors receive a 5pt reduction from their last codex and can take a Ghost Ark or Night Scythe as a dedicated transport.
Considering RP can always be rolled, unlike WBB, I put them both at the same cost even though RP is on a 5+ to WBB's 4+. So really all we lose here is a point of armour for 5pts. This is pretty fair in my opinion, after making a fandex the last couple of years and researching the crap out of point costs 5pts is spot on if the only change is the armour. On top of everything, the ability to take a minimum of 5 Warriors instead of 10 is a godsend. But, just like before, there aren't any weapon options for these guys.

Necron Immortals
Next up we have Immortals, the second of two Troop choices for the Necrons. Previously these guys were a popular Elite choice for 3rd Edition Necrons. With S5 Assault 2 weaponry and a Toughness of 5, these guys were tough to kill and tougher to survive. Unfortunately, the new Immortals are pretty underwhelming compared to their former selves. Currently an Immortal shares the same statline as a 3rd Edition Warrior (no more T of 5.) Their weapons have been changed to Rapid Fire as well, meaning you must be close to still get those 2 shots, but they still fire S5 shots. With a 1 point reduction in Toughness and weapons changed from Assault 2 to Rapid Fire, an Immortal costs 11 points less than it did previously and may take a Night Scythe as a dedicated transport. As a change from previous Immortals, all models can exchange their weapons for Tesla Carbines for free, which will give you a 24" S5 AP - Assault 1 shot that will cause two more hits on a 6 as with all Carbine weapons.
While the S5 shooting is nice, I'm just not much of a fan of these guys anymore. The Toughness change doesn't bother me as much as the Gauss Blaster change, but Tesla Carbine makes it easier. I'm just not sure these guys are worth their points cost. In my mind I compare them to a Tac Marine which costs 1 less point, has numerous weapon options if you bring enough, has ATSKNF and 2 higher Initiative, though they suffer from 1 less S on their shooting, don't have RP and have 2 less Ld. I suppose the point cost isn't too off-base, but I would have liked to have seen these guys at 1pt lower than their current cost and those that understand the value of ATSKNF I would guess would agree with me.

Catacomb Command Barge
The CCB is a single-character transport that's BS4, 11/11/11 (as most vehicles are in this book.) Also, like most vehicles in this codex the CCB comes with Living Metal and Quantum Shielding. This transport is a Fast, Open-Topped Skimmer that comes with a Tesla Cannon or Gauss Cannon. An interesting ability is using the IC's wounds in exchange for ignoring Immobilised or Weapon Destroyed results. The big claim to fame for this vehicle is its sweeping attack. One enemy unit this thing has flown over will get hit three times on a 3+ at combat speed or 4+ if any other speed. For each hit you roll to wound/pen using the character's melee weapon and any bonus'. Hits on vehicles are resolved on back armour and rolls to hit infantry are allocated by the Necron player on a 6. No cover saves allowed.
This thing is impressive. Though with an 80pt cost plus the cost of whatever guy you put in it it's a quick way to lose a lot of points to your enemy. Its wound soaking keeps it going, however, and the sweeping attacks are pretty awesome considering you can move as fast as possible and still do damage.

Ghost Ark
The Ghost Ark carries 10 models and has the same stats as the CCB. Also like the CCB this thing comes with Living Metal and Quantum Shielding. It's an Open-Topped Skimmer that is only allowed to carry Warriors, Lords, Overlords, Crypteks and Special Characters. On either side of this thing it has what's called a Gauss Flayer Array which is essentially 5 Gauss Flayers shooting as one, and both Arrays can shoot at different targets. Another claim-to-fame of the Ghost Ark is its repair ability. On a 2+ this thing will add D3 Warriors to a unit, though it can't exceed its original starting size. On a 1, the Ghost Ark takes a glancing hit with no saves allowed.
I keep going back and forth on this, which will probably end up being my tactic. This is a transport where you want to keep your infantry on the outside rather than within. I see 10 Warriors inside and 10-20 outside swapping places when one of them runs low on bodies. The limitations on what can and can't be carried in this transport is curious...I'm wondering if this thing will be the beginning of how transports work for all armies only allowing certain units to ride. The price of this thing seems steep at first, but when you consider it replaces lost bodies within 6" of it, it's essentially protection for numerous units.

Night Scythe
With the same stats as the above transports, the Night Scythe is supposedly the first flyer for 6th Edition. For current rules it has the same statline as the two transports above and is a Fast Skimmer, but does not benefit from Quantum Shielding making this thing significantly weaker. As mentioned in Part I of this codex review, for every roll To-Hit a Tesla weapon fires it will get an additional 2 hits. As a weapon, it comes equipped with the Twin-Linked Tesla Destructor. The unique thing about the Destructor is that it has the Arc ability: any units within 6" of the initial target will take D6 S5 AP - hits on a roll of 6. This thing can also DS into battle. The base of the model is the access point as it sucks up its buddies like a bad sci-fi movie. The weird quarks this thing has is it can move flat out at 36" and can fire all of its weapons at cruising speed. It can also carry 15 infantry, 7 1/2 jump infantry or 5 jetbikes. The most unique quality is the fact that if the Night Scythe is destroyed the stuff inside isn't allowed to disembark, but instead is put into reserve and cannot DS in.
That last bit is what makes this thing either really good or really bad. If it's last turn and you've got stuff inside going to contest a point and it gets taken out; it's really bad. If some GK assassins are just outside your Night Scythe when it goes down; it's really good. It's a little cheaper than the Ghost Ark and can transport anything, but without reliable disembarking this thing could end up being a nightmare for point-capturing games and a MVP for annihilation games.

That's all for now. Come on back for Part V where I'll be going over the Elites section of the new Necrons.


  1. Hmm... I don't think that Immortals can be looked at in isolation. A Phaeron can give them relentless which effectively provides them their old ability back, but you also have to consider that they are now scoring troops... So where as before you may have been bouncing them around using a veil of darkness, they simply aren't being used in the same way... they are more likely going to be used for sitting and holding objectives against heavy enemy fire.

    I'd also say that I love the principle of the Night Scythe. I can see peoples disdain at the whole disembarking troops when destroyed thing, but I don't particularly see this as a terrible thing... if, like you say, it is the last turn then the simple answer is to drop the unit out and let it whither the fire (using the repairs to hope they are still around)... It will at least stop the whole last turn burst onto objectives which essentially takes tactics out of the game anyway...

    If the enemy takes it down before you get your last turn then thats not necessarily the end of the world either... by that point in teh game they will arrive automatically anyway, and a monolith on the board will be able to pull them in so they don't have to walk regardless.

    I do think it would have been much cooler if all transported units could step out of any portal (Night Scythe). Still, I'm pretty excited about the Scythe... the artwork makes it looks awesome!

  2. I don't get your reasoning about Warriors and Immortals.
    First you say the Warriors are put at a fair prive by loosing a point of armour save compared to before.
    The Immortal is exactly as the old warrior but with +1S RF or +1S and assault 1 on his weapon.
    For no point increase at all.

    And with tesla, I think they average at one hit per model, but I'm not sure here.
    (six models sort of makes one roll of each number and that makes six hits)

    It's a shame nothing in the book compares to the old Immortals, with new Destroyers or Tomb Blades probably being closest,
    but the new Immortals seem pretty decent to me, compared to old and new warriors.

  3. Your points on the Immortals are very true. While I was comparing them to their former selves, I suppose that's not exactly a fair argument. Though even with Relentless they'll still only get 1 shot at 24" instead of 2, but I digress.

    The Night Scythe I'm still torn on. After playing in a game with it it saved some of my Immortals from being assaulted early in the game, so that was fantastic. I haven't played a point-capturing game with them, yet, so I'll wait till I've playtested more to make more of an opinion. Either way, if you have a Monolith on the table you can just teleport units where you want so going back in reserve isn't an issue.

  4. @Speedfreak
    I'm not sure what you mean on the Warriors. I think their price is spot on considering all the changes. But I'm saddened by the fact that they still don't get weapon options.

    As for Immortals see my previous comment I just posted. I guess my opinion on them is changing with the mindset that they're now a squat-n-score unit rather than the mobile death-bringers they were before.

  5. I'm with the crowd that disagrees with you on the Immortals, Lantz. I think the +1 point is fair given the increase in survivability and shooting over Tac marines, even with ATSKNF. I mean, think about what that extra point of strength and AP means about shooting at warriors or Fire Warriors--or anything with a 4+, really. Rapid Fire sucks, but if it gets changed for 6th (even the extremely inaccurate rumours going around about 6th have to be right on *something,* right?) that'll be a huge boon.

    But the reason I posted: How does the Ghost Ark's ability work? Is it one unit of Warriors within 6"? Or all units within 6"?

  6. You nominate one unit withing 6" and on a 2+ you get D3 'crons back.

    Keep em coming Lantzer!

  7. @Abakus
    After playing with the Immortals my tune has changed slightly. As I commented earlier, I was putting them in the Elite-light and not thinking of them as Troops, which isn't fair. I'm still not happy about the weapon change, but I'm getting over it.

    Thank you, sir.