Thursday, November 10, 2011

[Lantz's Corner] Necron Codex Review:
Part VII - Heavy Support

Here we are, the heavy hitters. Last time we looked at the Fast Attack choices available, and while you may think that the Heavy Support is full of slow-crawling powerhouses, the Necrons are significantly faster than they once were. The options available in the Heavy Support FOC slots are extremely diverse so you can create a list to your playstyle with the big shooters, which is something this codex does well. So let's move into it.

Doomsday Ark
First up is the Doomsday Ark. This thing shares some similarities with the Ghost Ark in that it's an Open-Topped, 11/11/11 Skimmer that comes with Living Metal, Quantum Shielding and two Gauss Flayer Arrays. That's where the similarities end, though. Where the Ghost Ark carried troops, the Doomsday Ark carries a giant weapon of doom, literally. The Doomsday Cannon fires in 2 modes. If it sat still; 72" S9 AP1 Heavy 1 Large Blast will bring death upon...well, anything. If the Ark moved, however, it fires a less impressive 24" S7 AP4 Heavy1 Small Blast.
Considering this thing has a front/side armour of 13 for a time, thanks to Quantum Shielding means it can afford to sit still in the backfield and have a chance at Space Wolves' missile barrage. Should something get close enough to melee, however, you'll typically have two choices. First, move and take your weak shot at probably a vehicle considering a small blast isn't going to do much if you're fighting infantry that knows to spread out. Second, sit still and hopefully blast the crap out of them with your pie plate of doom. Outflank armies are going to cause this thing issues, but aside from that this is a powerful choice coming in at 175pts.

Annihilation Barge
This Open-Topped Skimmer shares the same statline with the Doomsday Ark and also comes with Quantum Shielding, Living Metal and a Tesla Cannon that can be exchanged for a Gauss Cannon for free. What makes the Annihilation Barge powerful is the Twin-Linked Tesla Destructor.
This thing is a powerful anti-infantry tool that I think will see some use. While most things in this codex can kill infantry quite easily, this thing is durable with Quantum Shielding and comes in at a slightly more than half of a Doomsday Ark.

Anyone who's seen Necrons knows about the Monolith. While it still retains its hefty 14/14/14 statline and can't move more than 6" a turn, a lot has changed. First, the Gauss Flux Arcs no longer hit everything, but instead fire three S4 AP5 shots at 24" each and each weapon can fire at a different target. It comes with Living Metal and if held in reserve must arrive via Deep Strike. The Particle Whip's Strength has been reduced by 1, but still retains its Ordnance, Large Blast, AP of 3 and range of 24". The Eternity Gate has changed quite a bit. Any unit in reserve or anywhere on the board can disembark from the Monolith's portal at the beginning of the moving phase as if disembarking from a moving vehicle. If this option isn't used, this thing can choose to use its Portal of Exile ability: any models within D6" of the portal must pass a Strength test or be removed from the game without any saves. This includes Walkers, but not tanks as anything without a Strength value automatically passes the Strength test.
First, I want an FAQ on this thing. Can I use the Portal of Exile on things locked in close combat? The rule doesn't say I can't, but this ability counts as a shooting attack. On the flipside, in the 40k Rulebook it says when picking your target you can't choose a model/unit that is locked in close combat, but this weapon doesn't choose a target, it just fires away. This needs to be clarified, badly. If you can hit models in close combat, this thing gets significantly better, if it can't I don't see this used much as anything can outrun the portal of doom with ease. You see, the Monolith has a lot of issues, the first of which is the reduced Strength on all of its weapons compared to its 3rd Edition self. The Particle Whip is a strong hitter, still, but isn't as much of a tank-popper anymore. And the Gauss Flux Arcs are just awful... In this day of T4 3+ armor saves, the Flux Arcs aren't going to do much. As for the Portal, it's nice there's infinite range for teleporting units, but since this is happening at the beginning of the movement phase you've now crippled your ability to move in whatever direction the portal is facing since the unit can't move out of your way. 200pts for 14/14/14 is still good, but with how slow this is it can't outrun anything and with the loss of Melta-immunity it becomes a liability upfield. If killed, it's an expensive loss without much killing power past the Particle Whip. For teleporting units; there's nothing else as reliable in the codex, and supposedly it'll be errataed so it can teleport units out of close combat, again. With heavier hitters like the Doomsday Ark and Doomscythe to compete with I just don't see this thing being used much. And speaking of the Doomsday Ark...

Doom Scythe
The Doom Scythe's counterpart is obviously the Night Scythe, with the same statline, Fast/Skimmer type, movement up to 36", Twin-Linked Tesla Destructor and the ability to fire all of its weapons at cruising speed. And speaking of weapon, the Doom Scythe comes with what I consider to be one of the more powerful weapons in 40k; the Death Ray. Do you have chills? Well you should. This weapon fires a S10 AP1 laser that works in a unique way. When fired you choose any point (not enemy) on the board within 12" of the weapon and then select another point on the board within 3D6" of your original point and draw a straight line between them. Anything under this line takes S10 AP1 hits equal to the number of models hit by the line.
I'm a fan of this vehicle. Even though the first time I used it I used its Death Ray in an incorrect and overpowered manner, I still feel it has a lot of oomph. It's pricey, at the same cost as a Doomsday Ark, but with both the Destructor and Death Ray it's a potent hitter and is meant to pay for itself quickly. The downside is that flimsy 11/11/11 statline since this thing needs to be pretty close to do what it needs to do.

Canoptek Spyder
The Canoptek Spyder is modeled after the Tomb Spyder of 3rd Edition, though like the Canoptek Wraiths looks like it'll be getting a new model. This unit has changed so much from 3rd Edition it's not even worth making the comparison, so I'll start fresh. This thing is a MC with Fearless and a powerful T6, S6, W3 and a 3+ armour save. You can bring 3 in a unit and each comes with the Scarab Hive ability: on a roll of 2+ a Spyder will generate an extra Scarab model for a Scarab unit within 6" of it. On a 1, however, the Scarab model still gets placed, but the Spyder takes a wound with no saves. For upgrades, you can buy a Twin-Linked Particle Beamer for 25pts per model. For 10pts per model you gain the ability to repair Weapon Destroyed and Immobilised results on vehicles and for 15pts per model anything within 3" of a Spyder, including itself will ignore psychic attacks on a 4+. The price for each Spyder is 50pts.
I don't have words to explain how powerful this unit is. Even without upgrades, a MC with a great statline and the utility provided by pushing out more Scarabs is obnoxious at 50pts. If Scarabs are a pivotal unit for your Necron list you'll want a Spyder or three hanging around.

And there we are; the entirety of the codex. In the final installment I'll go over my final thoughts on the codex as a whole and provide some game-play experience that I've had thus far.


  1. I think three Spyders and a big unit of Scarabs is a good staple for any Necron list. Being that you can get a 10 base Scarab unit and 3 Spyders for 300 points that can be really powerful. That coupled with a couple of Annihilation Barges or a Doom Scythe or in my case I like the Doomsday Ark. That comes in at (Scarabs included) 480/475. That is reasonable.

  2. I agree. And the ability to add 3 scarabs to a unit each turn is amazing and kinda cheese if worked correctly.

    You create three Scarabs and put them in a line from the unit towards your assault target. 2" apart with bases about 2" in diameter gives you ~12" you didn't have before...nuts...

  3. I have to say, the Monolith's wording is unambiguous. It's a shooting attack--it can't fire into CC. Nothing CAN "intentionally" fire into Close Combat.

  4. My question would be, where in the book does it say that and if it does say that then what if you're attempting to shoot a guy out of combat right next to a group in combat. If you reach the guy OOC you'll definitely reach the guys in combat, are you allowed to shoot or not?

    I'm not saying there isn't a rule saying you can't purposely shoot into melee, I just don't remember seeing it.

  5. >Can I use Portal of Exile on things locked in close combat?

    I think you answered your own question. It's a shooting attack, so no. It really does need an FAQ, though.

  6. page 15 of the 5ed. rulebook-Disallowed Shooting.