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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Necron Codex Review: Part 1 Overview/Wargear/HQ

I just bought my copy of the Necron Codex this weekend and have had a little time to review the book. Here is my thoughts right out of the book with it fresh on my mind. Some of these opinions may be subject to change once I play a few a few games with the new units and try out a few lists.
First off, we will start with the Necron Special Rules for the army:
Reanimation Protocols: At the end of the phase, once Morale and everything else has been done is when you roll. On a 5+ they stand up, a 4+ if you have the Resurrection Orb (more on that later under wargear). It no longer matters if you were hit with a Railgun with a STR 10, AP1 shot or a STR 3, “-“lasgun from the lowly IG grunt now. Same goes for close combat, a power fist or a fist still allows a roll to reanimate. One major downside is if the unit is destroyed, you don’t roll to see if that unit reanimates.  In close combat this is going to be painful for a Necron as they are slower and less likely to survive with an average of 4+ armor saves. In a shooting game, they will do well enough recovering every third or every other (if you have the orb). One thing that is nice is that you may fall back, but if the unit reanimates enough models you could rally the next turn if you go above half.

Ever-Living: I am MUM-RA…er, sorry Thundercat moment there! This pretty much is the same as the Reanimation Protocols but just for independent characters to give them a chance to stand up.

Entropic Strike: This can be a nasty thing if a clever player figures out the right army build and rightly can put the fear into mech armies, ICs and Monstrous creatures. A group of Scarabs munching on some armor can be a very scary prospect and to find your IC or MC without armor save can be daunting to anyone.
Living Metal: This ability lost much of its punch from the old codex. It ignores Shaken on a 2+ and a Stun Result on a 4+. Meltas and other weapons now get their bonuses increasing their odds to breaking down armor now. More on that later!
Necron Wargear
Gauntlet of Fire: This is your basic flamer that you can give to the ICs in the army. Nothing special to write home about.
Gauss Weapons: Most average now 24”, ranged at 24” or 36” with the two Gauss Cannon and Heavy Gauss Cannon bringing AP 3 and 2 to the table. The heavy cannon are your lascannon for the army. The Gauss Flux arc has changed and now just targets one single unit within range.
Hyperphase Sword: Congrats the Necrons got a powersword!
Mindshackle Scarabs: These little guys are nasty as you can force someone to roll 3d6 against their leadership. If they fail, you make them attack their own unit instead inflicting d3 hits with whatever options that model has. After that round of combat, they return to normal. This is going to be a favorite among Necron players IMO.
Particle Weapons: A new face to the weapons selection, most are heavy weapons when it comes to shooting and shifts from the lowly pistol to a blast marker, then a large blast and finally the Ordnance (Monolith shot). Only the Particle Whip is AP 3 and these weapons are mostly mass template damaging weapons.
Phase Shifter: Your good ole 3+ invulnerable save is back.
Phylactery: Pretty much as before, the model gets up with d3 wounds. Personally it should have been reanimate with one wound and +d3 bonus wounds up to your max.
Quantum Shielding: All armor on Necron vehicles are 2 points higher until a penetrating hit happens. In essence all of the Necrons are AV 13 for the first half of the game until they take a few pens.
Resurrection Orb: Overpriced now IMO, go into that later. Only allows the Reanimation Protocol on a 4+ to the Lord and Unit only. It lost the radius ability which sucks.
Sempiternal Weave: 2+ save the Necron Runic armor.
Staff of Light: Standard Issue to Lords now. No real changes, STR 5, AP 3 with 3 shots at 12”.
Tachyon Arrow: One shot weapon on ICs, no range with a STR 10, AP 1 shot. Imagine the Necron Hunter Killer Missile.
Tesla Weapons: There are three new types of weapons here, the carbine, cannon and destructor. All have the same range and are assault weapon based gaining a shot each step until you get to the destructor. Every TO HIT roll of a 6 inflicts 2 additional hits. The Destructor has an Arc rule that can last out at other units nearby (friend and foe). Only on a 6, but be warned.
Tesseract Labyrinth: Same as the Grey Knights pick a target, make a wounds check or poof! You’re gone.
Transimensional Beamer: Short range, heavy weapon that can exile something to a pocket dimension.  A STR test is required to see if you get sucked away to never never land!
Voidblade:  A standard weapon that has rending and the Entropic Strike rule. Only allowed on a select few models and could be a viable change from their standard weapons.
Warscythes: You can’t make something that is already the best any better!
More on the other goodies later during unit reviews….
Imotekh the Stormlord: A very expensive character that can give some good benefits if your list is built around Imotekh. Bloodswarm nanoscarabs allow a unit of Flayed Ones to deep strike without scattering within 6” of a target. So, no benefit to charge so you could be assaulted and wiped out before you can do anything. Not too impressive. Staff of the Destroyer, a one use special weapon. Roll 2d6, that many models in each unit that is touched in a line take a STR 6, AP 1 hit. Pretty much a Jaws of the Wolf power with some ump to it. Humiliating Defeat, well if you win, you can win big, but you HAVE to win and based on his stats that is pretty tough against another IC! Hyperlogical Strategy, so I can steal the initiative on a 4+. Ok, that is a good thing. Lord of the Storm, his really good power. He can call first turn night fight and maintain it on a roll of a d6 each turn to try to maintain the night fighting rules. Also the storm can strike things with a STR 8, AP 5 lightning bolt, so if you’re good a rolling a 6’s…..this isn’t a shabby power. Still for the price there is better IMO. Where this guy would shine is Ard Boyz and Apocalypse games!
Nemesor Zahndrekh: Another expensive character, but with a bit more reality to his abilities. He can grant one Necron Unit one of several special rules and he can negate one enemy unit within line of sight to lose all their USRs on a list.  He also allows units that can deep strike in reserve to appear on the opponents turn. Now, this may not sound like much at first, but if they survive their arrival turn, they could take action next turn including, move, shoot and assault!
Vargard Obyron: This guy is pretty good if you’re using Nemesor. One major issue is this is both of your HQ choices and both can eat up some serious points in your list. The Cleaving Counterblow on him if he survives combat can be VERY ugly against a unit and the Ghostwalk Mantle can offer some unique tactical choices. While it works like a Veil of Shadows, he can leave combat, if he appears near Nemesor he does not scatter either and can assault into a combat if Nemesor is assaulted. Thus he will leave his unit to join the combat. Some nice fancy tricks, but still not worthwhile for the investment IMO.
Illuminor Szeras: There isn’t much here to talk about except that he can boost one unit using his Mechanical Augmentation ability. So, one unit can get one of the following: T, BS or STR of 5. This only can be applied to Immortals or Warriors.  Again, there are better options out there for your investment.
Orikan the Diviner: Not a bad character for your points, if a reserve is your plan that is. He allows once per game to reroll all unsuccessful reserve rolls. He also rolls randomly each turn, if you get equal to or less his stats pump up making him a nasty beast in close combat (almost a mini C’tan). His best perk is that during the first turn all enemy units count as moving through difficult terrain. If they are in difficult terrain they must move the lowest result instead! He could stand for further review to see how he works out.
Anrakyr the Traveler: This Necron Overlord has a nifty ability to take over an enemy vehicle within 18” on a 3+ and force it to shoot as it was your own. Sadly, you cannot chance the facing, but a clever player could turn the tables on a mech army turning their own armor against them! He also unlocks the Pyrrhian Eteranals, Immortals that have Furious Charge and Counter Attack. Not bad, but not that impressive either. Sure an extra attack or STR bump is nice, but they still Init 3 with Furious Charge. Yay! I strike before Tau, most Necrons and Orks! Whoo!
Trazyn the Infintate: This guy IMO will be the flavor of most Necron lists! In close combat he can force all models of the same type he kills in that combat to be subject of taking a wound also on a 4+! Fighting Orc Boyz? Kill a few and watch the rest fall like flies, that is if you survive being krumped first. Another great thing about him is that he can be a scoring unit as well. Last as long as there is another IC on the table, he can “Swap” out with him making him a very tough target to kill in missions that require you to destroy a specific HQ, namely the general.
Necron Overlord: This is you’re “build your own Necron Lord” in a nutshell. Most of his weapon swaps are not that great. To take the Gauntlet of Fire for a flamer you take a loss of a good AP 3 assault weapon. Trading up to the Hyperphase Sword and Voidblade are not worthwhile. A Warscythe could be of merit if you survive the combat.  Again, Necrons are kings of shooting, so why would you give up the staff? He can of course take other goodies from the Resurrection Orb, Phase Shifter, Phylactery, Mindschackle scarabs, Semtiternal Weave, Tesseract and the Tachyon Arrow. So you can toughen him up some.
Destroyer Lord: This guy is going to appear as another common fixture in a Necron army. Warscythe plus Preferred Enemy (everything) and you can give him a few toys. Sadly, no Phase Shifter otherwise you could boost him to a 2+/3+ beast with a T 6, S 5 with a Warscythe!
Necron Lord: Part of the Royal court and dropped in points from the old days his Wound also reflect it with a whopping 1! Still T and S 5 that is all he has going for him. He has a few upgrade options but with only one wound, I think he should go lean. The Cryptek’s is where you’re going to get your big perks. The Lord can be taken up to 5 times in the Court and opt to lead one of several units like Wolf Guard can.
Crypteks: The only other choice for the Royal Court and much like a Necron Lord, they can be allocated to join other units like an upgraded sergeant! Whoo! While a tad cheaper, you can pick at least one Harbinger option to kit out all the Crypteks in that unit. So, you have a unit that you can build up to support your army in the long term depending on your needs. They all must take the same Harbinger kit, so if you want a second, you have to work a second Court in via another HQ choice. Out of the Court Choices, this will be the one you will see the most of.

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