Wednesday, November 9, 2011

[Lantz's Corner] Necron Codex Review:
Part VI - Fast Attack

Welcome back for Part VI where we'll be looking at the Fast Attack choices available to the Tomb Kings in Spaaaaace! Out of all of the FOC slots, Fast Attack is the smallest aside from Troops, but carries with it what I consider to be one of the most important units in the Necron arsenal. While the Fast Attack choices aren't as powerful as some of the Elite choices, they still fill a pivotal role for the army. Without further rambling; Fast Attack:

Canoptek Wraiths
Canoptek Wraiths are very similar to the old Wraiths of 3rd Edition rules-wise and still fill the same role as before, but looking at the picture for the unit are probably getting a new model. So let's talk similarities from 3rd, first. These guys still hold their same WS, BS, S, T, A, Ld and 3++ save. They still carry no power weapons and while they still have the Wraithflight special rule, it's changed quite a bit. Essentially these guys ignore all terrain tests and aren't slowed by difficult terrain, but they no longer ignore impassable terrain and aren't considered Jetbikes anymore, but Jump Infantry. Other changes include that their attacks are Rending, they now come with 2 wounds instead of 1 and have Fearless, but their Initiative has been reduce to 2. The most unfortunate change is these guys don't get the WBB/RP roll, so once they're gone, they're gone. For 5pts per model you can take a Partical Caster (12" S6 AP5 Pistol) and for 10pts per model you can take Whip Coils which will reduce your enemy's Initiative to 1 insuring they'll strike first. Finally, for 15pts per model you can take a Transdimensional Beamer that will remove models from play after failing a Str test, though this is a Heavy shooting weapon so you'll have to sit still to use it. So, base cost with numerous changes for the better these guys come in at 6 points cheaper than before.
I was a big fan of these guys back in 3rd Edition as I'd run them around with a Destroyer Lord with a Rez Orb and pissed off many an opponent. And while these guys now get 2 wounds, Rending and are Fearless, without the RP rule attached I'm just not sure whether I'll take them as often. For their price they're a steal, don't get me wrong, I'm just disappointed on them losing that RP. The real problem here, along with all of the Fast Attack choices is how pivotal Scarabs are to a lot of Necron tactics. Speaking of which...

Canoptek Scarabs
Here we are, the creme of the crop. Scarabs in 3rd were nothing more than a tool used to tie up Dreadnoughts for an entire game, but now are pretty efficient at killing them. Scarabs work off of the same statline they had before, but now get 4 attacks instead of 3 and are Beasts instead of being considered Jetbikes. The real purpose and major change from 3rd Edition is the addition of ES to their melee strikes. With 5 attacks on the charge, these guys can do some real damage to vehicles. Coming in at a cheap 15pts, you'll be sure to see these in a lot of games.
This unit is by far the most important in my book. With lack of reliable tank-popping ability, these guys can put the balance back in your favor. Having played with a unit of these already, 5 Scarabs assaulting a Land Raider that moved 6" in the previous turn took its armour down from 14 to 8 in one assault. At this point, mere Bolters would glance on a 3 which puts vehicles in alarm. With a full unit of 10 Scarabs only costing 150 and Spyder's (we'll talk about these tomorrow) able to create more Scarabs than you already have, this can create a real mess for mech armies.

Tomb Blades
Tomb Blades are the new shiny toy for the Necrons. They're basically Warriors on Jetbikes with the same stats as a Warrior with 5 Toughness gifted by the bike. They still get RP and have Twin-Linked Tesla Carbines that will give you extra hits on 6's. The entire unit can exchange that weapon for Twin-Linked Gauss Blasters for free or Particle Beamers for 10pts. The upgrades is where it gets interesting; for 5pts per model these guys get a BS of 5, for 10pts per model they'll get Stealth which puts their Turbo-boost cover save at a 2+ and for 10pts per model they'll get a 3+ armour save. Base cost is a modest 20pts.
I'm not a fan, personally. Even if Scarabs weren't as good as they are, Tomb Blades are made to kill infantry...along with everything else in this book. The 2+ cover save is nice, but to get it you'll be spending 5pts less than a Wraith which gets 2 wounds and a 3++ save. The problem isn't what they do for the Fast Attack slot, it's how expensive they are, I suppose. To make these guys worth it you'll want to bring at the very least the Particle Beamers, but you're then paying 30pts per model with 1 wound and a save of 4+... I just don't see many players taking this unit to the field.

Necron Destroyers
Necron Destroyer's start out at 10pts less than their former 3rd Edition selves with the exact same statline. An addition from the last codex is these guys get Preferred Enemy against everything. While they still get RP and a Gauss Cannon, their weapon's stats have gone down the toilet. With a loss of 12", 1 shot and 1S this weapon has lost its flair, though the AP is now a 3. The Destroyer itself is now Jump Infantry instead of a Jetbike, which is why the Gauss Cannon was changed to Assault I would guess. Increase this model's points by 20 and you'll be upgraded to a Heavy Destroyer. That's right, they're no longer a separate unit anymore. Upgrading to a Heavy Destroyer will gift you a Heavy Gauss Cannon which has gone unchanged from 3rd Edition aside from it being an Assault weapon as well.
There's the good, the bad and the confusing in this unit. The good: a reliable mid-long range tank-popping option that doesn't take up a Heavy Support slot. The bad: it'll cost you 60pts for a single wound and no invulnerable save. The confusing: why does a clearly shooty unit have Preferred Enemy? I think this will be the unit everyone will want to take, but just can't justify it. Maybe if Scarabs didn't exist they might be viable just through pure desperation for tank-killing ability, but Scarabs do exist and 15pts for 3 wounds that munch armour versus 60pts for 1 wound and 1 shot that will miss 33.3% of the time is a no-brainer in my book. Maybe with some night fighting tricks they'd survive long enough to do what you need.

There we have it, Fast Attack readers. And we're more than half-way through this codex review! Next time we'll be looking at Heavy Support and what that has to offer. Stay tuned.


  1. Rumour has it that the Preferred Enemy on the Destroyers will come into it's own in 6th ed where the rule will apply to shooting as well. Pinch of salt of course.

  2. I was really wondering about that. All I had heard was the Preferred Enemy was going to get specific to certain types of units, which would explain why this unit's rule is called Preferred Enemy (Everything!).

    If they get a bonus to shooting in 6th with this rule I'll probably rethink their value depending on what it does exactly. I can't see it increasing BS or giving Twin-Linked since those rules already exist. Maybe a re-roll to 1 miss in shooting and all misses in melee? Time will tell.