Friday, November 11, 2011

[Lantz's Corner] Necron Codex Review:
Part VIII - Final Thoughts

So after everything we've covered I'd like to go over my final thoughts on the new Necron codex. First, let's get a list of what we've gone over so far:
5) Elites

For my final thoughts I want to go over some things that need to be FAQed, the great/good/bad units in this dex, playstyle and tactics and finally the new fluff. We're going in-depth into the mind of Lantz, so strap yourselves in. It's going to be a bumpy ride full of an abundance of commas.

FAQs Needed
So, issues that I've run across either on the tabletop or in my head. It's a new codex, it's going to need FAQs, it happens with every army. A lot of the debate on what needs FAQ isn't something that's written poorly, we just need specifics on whether it's as-written or as-intended. I want to hear everyone's opinion on these or others they have found along the way, but for now, here's what I've got:

Anrakyr The Traveler's Mind of the Machine
This is the ability that let's you shoot an enemy vehicle's weapon as if it were your own. My question is, there are a few vehicles in this game that would have the ability to shoot themselves. Namely blast weapons, but also vehicles like the Razorback, that if magneted, could shoot the top of its own hull. Is this allowed or is it not? I would assume it's not allowed, but the question is there for someone who really wants to cheese-out.

Monolith's Portal of Exile
This is the ability to remove models from the table from sucking them into the Monolith's portal. Can this weapon be used to remove models locked in close combat? It's not clear. Shooting rules for 40k state you can't select a target locked in combat, but this weapon doesn't pick a target. In my opinion, this is an as-intended rule as being locked in melee with your enemy isn't going to save you from a portal of doom.

Lychguard's Dispersion Shield and Melta Range
Scenario: A Multi-Melta shot gets reflected from this shield to a vehicle within the 6" range for the shield. Does it get the melta effect off of the Multi-Melta's range or the Dispersion Shield's range or does it get it at all? The Mindshackle Scarabs clarify any bonus' are taken into account, but this wargear doesn't. I could see this argument going all directions so I'm not sure which is correct myself.

Imotekh's Staff of the Destroyer and the Doom Scythe's Death Ray Shooting into Melee
Both of these weapons either nominate a direction or pick points on the board and anything under the line drawn is wounded. The question is, can you intentionally direct these shots into melee or shoot towards a unit out of combat even though to get there you'll be going through a group that's in combat? It's my opinion that you can. See my argument for the Monolith above.

Mindshackle Scarabs and Cryptek's Abyssal Staff Leadership
Both of these items base their results off of the enemy's Leadership The question becomes, with Mindshackle Scarabs is the model or unit's Ld used for the Ld test? And for the Abyssal Staff, does each model use its own Ld or can they all use the unit's? For Mindshackle it's as-intended for me; a scarab takes over the model's brain, not the unit's. For the Staff I say it's against the whole unit just for speed and ease of the game.

Trazyn: Mindshackle Scarabs and Empathic Obliterator
Trazyn's EO ability allows him to wound everything in a unit with the same name as something he wounded. However, he comes with Mindshackle Scarabs. Are wounds caused by this ability included in the EO rule? I don't think this was intended, but I could see people making the argument otherwise.

The Great, The Good And The Bad
Next let's talk about some of the key units. I'll put some of the ones with an obvious category to me in here, but I'd like to hear what the community's take on all the units are as well.

The Great
I categorize these things as under-costed for what they do. The first thing that comes to mind is Canoptek Spyders. Spyders are a mere 50pts for an incredible statline. Tyranid players are going to hate that we get this. And as if the stats weren't crazy enough, you can bring 3 of them in a unit and wargear them out differently making 9 wounds on toughness 6 that you can pick and choose where they go. On top of this they come free with Scarab-making that can go beyond the Scarab's starting size. With some extra costs that are on the cheap you can get even more utility out of them including Psyker-denial.

Probably next in my book is Imotekh the Stormlord. What doesn't this guy do? The Night-Fighting for possibly a whole game for a mid-range shooting army is arguably worth his cost of 225pts. But you additionally get a staff that could wipe out half of a Terminator squad, stealing the Initiative on a 4+, more wounds for assault results, 2+/3++ with 3 wounds and is a Phaeron with a Phylactery. The only downside to this guy is he doesn't have a power weapon, but no one is going to whine about it considering all he gets instead.

Finally, the Barges. One's a transport that allows an HQ to sweep across the battlefield with a Warscythe and the other comes with a Twin-Linked Tesla Destructor. Both comes with Quantum Shielding and a Tesla Cannon. The cost for these things? 80 and 90pts respectively. A steal.

The Good
Triarch Stalker pops up in my brain first. While a lot of people consider these guys to be great, I think they're distracted by the fact that everything else in the Elites section is lackluster in comparison. Even the C'tan Shards that are insanely powerful, but unfortunately they'll cost you an arm and a leg. The Stalker is perfectly priced, not under- or over-costed in my book. The Heat Ray is something very important to this codex and the Twin-Linking the rest of your armour is just icing on the cake.

Scarabs are another good unit in this dex. Their ability you might say is crazy, overpowered, cheese; and I won't argue to some degree. But they're 15pts which is a good price in my book. The glaring issue is getting tied up in combat, but that's just something you can't factor into cost. They're the epitome of good; plain and simple.

Finally, Canoptek Wraiths. Yes, they got a ton of boosts from 3rd Edition, more-so than anything else. While I might say they're slightly undercosted considering they have 2 wounds, I'm sticking with good. My own bias of them losing WBB is definitely taken into account on this opinion, but they're not bad by any means.

The Bad
I'm not going to delve in too much as I think the units I'm labeling as bad are quite obvious. While I guess I don't think any units in this book are unplayable like some codices *cough* CSM *cough*, it's more like they pale in comparison to other things in the codex or in their FOC slot. The thing of it is that the units that seem bad right now have a flavor that screams "I'm going to rock the house in 6th Edition." My opinion of Bad Units are Destroyers, Lychguard, Flayed Ones and Deathmarks. My assumption is that that Preferred Enemy rule on the Destroyers, the shields on Lychguard and Deep Striking with Flayed Ones and Deathmarks are all key pieces to a 6th Edition puzzle. Only time will tell.

Tactics And Playstyles
Now that you've gotten my take on categorizing unit usefulness, let's get into a short tactics and playstyles discussion. I've only played a 2000pt game so far with this dex, but a lot is going on in my head. First, Night Fighting is going to be a key role for this army. With either Solar Pulses, Imotekh or a mix of the two, you're going to see these in lists and often. Another central theme is going to be Stalkers and their Twin-Linking. Anyone else noticed the rules say that units firing at the Stalker's target get all their weapons Twin-Linked? That means Ghost Arks and Monoliths can fire one weapon at that target and fire the rest of their weapons elsewhere all the while getting Twin-Linked on everything. Another playstyle I can see is terrain manipulation. There's so much of this in the codex it's not even funny. Another tactic I see is Res Orbs; maxed out model count on units and Lords tossed out with Res Orbs. Now that WBB/RP isn't hindered by melta and power fists, a Res Orb (while expensive) can make the Necrons tougher than nails. Finally, Scarabs. Basing an army around Scarabs is something you'll be seeing on a regular basis thanks to their cheap point costs and Spyders pooping out new ones every turn.

The Fluff
Last, but not least, I'm putting the rules away and I want to dish about how I feel about the fluff. A month or so ago if you asked me what I thought of the rumors of the new fluff I would have raged for 20mins about it. I hated it. I hated the idea of it. I chose Necrons because of their frightening appeal. There's nothing more menacing than an onslaught of stoic robot-zombies without remorse. So now that I've read it all, what's my take? I like it. Damn me, I like it and I don't understand why anybody doesn't. If you still have the same mindset I used to, the fluff explains there are a lot of Necrons still like this. If you don't like the mindless robots then you have tons of options. It's like Codex: Space Marines. Pick your own story.

Now my fear of Matt Ward and his ridiculous fluff was answered, but only in one entry. Flip your books over to the Thanatos and the Celestial Orrery entry on Page 15 and tell me with a straight face that you couldn't tell if that was written by Matt Ward or not. All in all, Mr. Ward didn't go too crazy with the fluff and gave everyone a way to play with the backstory they prefer.

I suppose that's all I've got for now. In the coming weeks and months I'm sure I'll be pushing out more battle reports over on my blog at Twin-Linked Awesome so be sure to keep an eye out and good luck my fellow Gauss-brethren.

For the Phaeron!


  1. 1. NO it says " if it were youre unit...."

    2. NO it says "..uningaded..."

    3. No... the rules only indicate S & AP is used not spezial rules of weapon


    5. Model and the Staff vs the majority in the squad. I wonder how Fearless ect. effects this?
    guess Immun

    6. No... the rule is for the closecombat kills only... and mindshakle is before attacks are made in CC

    IMO the really tricky stuff in this dex is combineing powers... for example Cryptek Tremor-staff with C`tans Writhening Worldscape

    Every well tricked out codex with a lot of chees potential.

  2. Thanks Lantz. This was a very useful series.

  3. @Warlord22
    I agree with most of those, but that's just two people. WAAC players will want to challenge these things. Let's just hope GW puts out some erratas soon.

    My pleasure. I love the Necrons so very much, this was a lot of fun to write.

  4. With regards to Ld for Mindshackle Scarabs and Despair Staff:

    Mindshackle Scarabs use the model's Leadership; when you test Ld for a UNIT, you use the highest value, but models that are forced to test individually use their own particular value. This is already something that happens plenty of times with existing effects (Boneswords, Nemesis Force Weapons, etc.)

    The Staff is also something that has come up before, but it has a fairly simple solution: resolve it the same way you do toughness. The rules say you wound against Ld instead of T, so you do exactly what you would do with toughness: use the majority value for the unit, or the highest in the case of a tie.