Saturday, November 5, 2011

[Lantz's Corner] Necron Codex Review:
Part II - Generic HQs and Retinue

Hopefully by now you all have your own codex and can follow along. If not, no worries! We're going to keep trucking along. In Part I we covered Army-wide Rules and Wargear that will help dissect the rest of this codex. With Part II, we'll go over the unnamed ICs and the Retinue options they have. There's some key changes from the previous generic HQ options as far as wargear and rules go, but the Retinue options are what will really get you 'cron players drooling. So let's dig in!

Necron Overlord
This is essentially the Necron Lord from 3rd Edition with a few changes. First, he has a 10pt reduced cost, but also loses 2 Initiative (all other stats are the same.) He comes with the EL and RP special rules and can be upgraded to a Phaeron which gives him and any unit he joins Relentless. While there's hardly any heavy weapons carried by infantry, there's plenty of rapid fire to make use of this rule. For 20pts, though this addition loses its shine. Starting out with a Staff of Light he can exchange this out for numerous options; power weapon, Gauntlet of Fire, Voidblade or Warscythe. As for extra options he can upgrade his armour to a 2+ for 15pts which is a steal in my book. On the flipside a 3++ save will cost you 45pts, so this guy can get expensive quick. Other options include a one-time S10 AP1 unlimited range shot, Mindshackle Scarabs, Phylactery, Tesseract Labyrinth and a Rez Orb. There's no cap on how many points he can take, so that's an improvement over 3rd Edition. Something new is the option to take a single-passenger transport; the Catacomb Command Barge which we'll dive into later next week.
There's really not much to be said about this guy. He's a build-your-own HQ just as he was in 3rd Edition. There's more options, of course, but if you're not careful you could end up paying too much for this guy. One thing I wish he had was the option of a 4++ save for those of us that can't afford that 3++.

Destroyer Lord
This guy is the same as the Overlord except he'll move like Jump Infantry (not a jetbike like in 3rd Ed.) and has a base Toughness of 6. His options are a bit more limited, but still has plenty of things to choose from. He also has the added bonus of Preferred Enemy against everything, literally.
One thing that bothers me is the inability to take an Invulnerable Save of any kind on this guy. Why? I have no idea, maybe it's buried in the fluff I haven't read yet. Other than that his price is a little on the high side (maybe 10pts more expensive than what I think it should be) compared to the Overlord, but not so high that you won't see this guy in play.

Royal Court (Retinue)
For every Overlord (including several named characters) in your army you are allowed a Royal Court. Think of a Royal Court as a Wolf Guard Pack for the Space Wolves in that each model can split off and lead other units. For the Necrons, these units include Warriors, Immortals, Lychguard and Deathmarks. You can bring 0-5 Lords and 0-5 Crypteks for each Overlord and these guys don't take up an HQ slot, or any slot for that matter. Both Lords and Crypteks have the EL and RP rules. So what do Lords and Crypteks do, exactly?

Necron Lord
A Lord is basically a dumbed-down version of an Overlord. He has 2 less wounds and 1 less attack, but everything else including Special Rules are the same (aside from being an IC, of course.) This guy has less upgrade options than an Overlord, taking away that S10 shot and of course the Phylactery (having only 1 wound and all.)
This is essentially a build-your-own Sergeant, but with only one wound it's a good idea to keep costs down. Fortunately this is easy to do since the Lords start out at a cheap 35pts.

Crypteks are a weak statline (same as the new Warriors) but in exchange have a 10pt cost reduction from the Lords and get some pretty ridiculous powers that do not require a psychic test. These powers work in a tiered system. First, you buy one of five staves available. Each staff unlocks two powers that you must also purchase. You can take more than one of the same staff in a Royal Court, but not more than one power. So at most you can take two of each power because you can only have two Royal Courts per army (because you can only bring two HQs.)
Confused? Here's a diagram I pulled out of my butt to help:
  1. Buy an HQ > Unlocks the ability to buy a Royal Court
  2. Buy a Royal Court > Unlocks the ability to buy Crypteks
  3. Buy a Cryptek > Unlocks ability to replace Staff of Light with one of five Harbinger Staves
  4. Buy a Harbinger Staff > Unlocks two purchasable powers under that specific staff*
*may only buy 1 power of the same kind per Royal Court

So what are these staves and powers I speak of? Let's list them out, bare in mind all of these staves and powers range from free to 30pts:

Harbingers of Despair
Abyssal Staff - Template, S8, AP1, Assault 1 shooting weapon that rolls to wound against the target's Ld instead of T.
  • Nightmare Shroud - Force moral check on a unit within 18" instead of shooting.
  • Veil of Darkness - Same 3rd Ed., it just can't pull you out of close combat anymore.

Harbingers of Destruction
Eldritch Lance (it should have been Eldritch Lantz) - 36", S8, AP2, Assault 1 shooting weapon.
  • Gaze of Flame - Gives his unit defensive grenades.
  • Solar Pulse - One use only. Basically the same as before; turns on and off the lights for a turn.

Harbingers of Eternity
Aeonstave - When an enemy takes an unsaved wound from this CCW they lose the Fleet USR if they have it and their WS, BS, I and A values are reduced to 1 for the rest of the game.
  • Chronometron - The model or the unit he's with can reroll a single D6 each phase.
  • Timesplinter Cloak - Confers a 3++ save to the model.

Harbingers of the Storm
Voltaic Staff - 12", S5, AP -, Assault 4 shooting weapon that glances on a 2-5 and penetrates on a 6.
  • Ether Crystal - Enemies DSing within 6" of this model take D6 S8 AP5 hits.
  • Lightning Field - Enemies that assault this model or the model's unit take D6 S8 AP5 hits.

Harbingers of Transmogrification
Tremorstave - 36", S4, AP -, Assault 1, Blast shooting weapon that causes open ground to become difficult terrain for enemies hit by it.
  • Harp of Dissonance - Infinite range, S6, AP -, Assault 1 shooting attack with ES (eats armour.)
  • Seismic Crucible - Reduce a single enemy unit's assault movement towards this model or the model's unit by D3 inches.
In my opinion none of the five options are bad. The worst one is arguably the 'of the Storm' as far as powers go since it relies on your enemy's actions, but the staff is one of the best staves and the powers and staff for 'of the Storm' is the cheapest option of all the Harbingers. My favorite is probably 'of Eternity' considering all it does for how cheap the options are. There are so many combos for this retinue and being able to split off these guys to other groups makes the options endless for an army.

That's all for Part II. In Part III we'll be looking at Named Characters for the Necrons and hoo-buddy are there some amazing choices. Stay tuned.


  1. The destroyer Lord comes stock with a warscythe.

  2. Ha, you're right. Well that makes me feel better.


  3. cracking breakdown, would have been nice for the destroyer lord to have a nice shiney new model rather than the old one,