Tuesday, February 28

Necron codex frustration

As I was building lists over the weekend I came to have an interesting appreciation for the Necrons codex. The whole weekend I felt that I was about an inch from glory, but every time I thought I had "that unit," I found out some other horrible downside... I don't know if GW did this on purpose with good game balance or if it is an interesting accident, but lets get into what I saw.

My first foray into the land of the robotic-everliving was (In all honesty) a little frustrating.  Every-time I saw something that I liked in the codex it had a pretty good downside. For example:

Triarch Praetorians:
Good- s 5 ap2 and power weapons sounds great at first glance
bad- only 6" range and on a neuron model... Sure they are T5 but they are 200pts for 5 and 400pts for 10!  They also can't have any crypteks or lords attached without losing their jump troop status... Bummer.

Good - at first glance I had thought that the Transdimensial beamer was my answer for death stars. You could stick multiple ones on a single squad.  Take a st test or die was awesome, until...
Bad - Transdimensional beamers are heavy 1! Wraiths are not relentless since they are jump infantry, so you don't have the ability to move and shoot your 12" gun, and you also can't assault after you do! Sure you could attach a phaeron, but that is just stupid expensive and then you lose jump infantry. So, the only time you would be able to use it is if the opponent failed a charge. /sad panda

Doom scythe/ Night Scythe:
I really want to love both of these vehicles, but I just can't right now... Maybe I'm just too noob-ish to know how to use them :0
Good- st 10 ap1 with a line is amazing! And it has a tesla destructor to boot, the Night scythe has awesome firepower for 100 pts its and troop carrying capacity.
Bad - AV 11 and no Quantum Shielding! You better hope your opponent doesn't roll well for night fight cause he is going to blow those things out of the water the second he can see them. Glass cannons. Not only that but when he does kill your night scythe (and he will) the troops inside come on from the board edge (Which could be good or bad.)

Doomsday Ark:
Good- St 9 ap 1large blast is always cool.
Bad- Can't move and fire?! In my opinion this tank isn't so good that it needs a downside like "can't move and fire," especially when the main gun isn't even ordinance.

Heavy Destroyers:
Good - Lascannons on fast models and up toughness! yes please
Bad - 60 points each! No thank you. (unless the sixth edition rumors are true and they get preferred enemy in shooting, but even then they are still pretty expensive)


I really want to like the Necrons codex, but it seems that it will take longer than a weekend of intense study to fully grasp the inner workings of the book.  That said, I still learned a ton about the necron book and what to watch out for when I am playing against them... Which (I feel) makes me a more well-rounded player.

What are your goods/bads with the necron codex?



  1. With the Triarch it seems their big strength is deep striking behind weak armor and popping it (at least in thoery).

    The command barge you could say this:
    good: delivers the scythe in close and can destroy vehicles.
    bad: if it gets blown up the lord is all on his own until he can run and join a unit.

    Personally, I think GW was trying to balance things out as some of the past codex books just had units that was must haves and stuff that just sat on the shelf. I think the thought process was to balance out things so nothing may get left behind and that a general would have to be clever with their builds to be successful instead of jump going to the standard lump units to win.

    Again, I think this army was really written for 6th and that the dynamics will change when that happens.

  2. I think your just having trouble coming down off the high that was GK... Most other books don't have as many ridiculously broken combinations as the GK book.

    Not every unit in other codices is capable of destroying twice their points in any other book.

  3. @styx: I agree, I really feel that Necrons are a sleeper codex for 6th edition. The destroyers and heavy destroyers are a perfect example... Who knows what will happen with fliers as well.

    @ CV: while I do think the GK have some ridiculous combinations I don't think that is what is skewing my opinion. I don't feel that way about any other codex for the most part. I also like the Necron codex on the whole and I feel it is much more like DE than a GK type book which is awesome. My frustration comes from things that just don't seem to add up, ie why does a doomsday ark need to not move to balance it?

  4. Well Duke, I have my theories and I am staying quiet until I hear more offical 6th. I tossed the 6th rules (fake or not) out after looking over them. No need to worry about them until they are about to roll out. Still, I think several armies are going to explode into highly competative armies and others that currently are top dogs may find they will have to adapt and change their styles to keep up....I keep getting the hints GW is seeing some issues and is trying to steer the game back, will it be perfect? No, I doubt that, but I hope more playable again...

  5. I'd chime in but I really don't know necrons very well. They sure as hell can't seem to handle my y-stealers though.

  6. Triarch Praetorians are just bad. Not horribad, but bad enough there is no reason to use them because anything they can do, another unit can do better.

    I'm not sure why you even care about the Transdimensional Beamer on Wraiths; it's like the throwaway gag gift in their unit listing. S6 Rending A3 W2 3++ is plenty enough, especially with Whip Coils.

    The Doom Scythe is a bit of a specialized unit- basically, I would only want to run it with an 2000pt list using Imotekh; his Night Fight protects your expensive, expensive airplane and it brings AP1 firepower to help your list along. If you've got a pair of Solar Pulses you can make a good argument for it, though.

    The Night Scythe, on the other hand, is an excellent transport. Wait, did I say transport? I mean "unit that takes no FoC." Due to its rules you'll rarely want to put anything inside it, but 100pts for a vehicle that is immune to suppression, Fast Skimmer, and comes with an excellent twin-linked gun? Sign me up for four or five of them! When backed by a variety of other targets (HDestroyers, double-Cryptek squads, Anni Barges, Scarabs, Stalkers) you end up with something that is tough enough to require real firepower to bring down (remember, it's actually stronger than a Rhino) but plentiful enough in targets to make it a reasonably low priority.

    The Doomsday Ark is another niche unit, but the more I've looked at it, the closer it becomes to a reasonable pick. It provides high-strength/low-AP firepower, something that isn't common in the Necron codex- if you can take advantage of that, it can be very helpful. Oooh, some Marines disembarked from a transport you killed? Lay a pie plate on 'em. Unlike the Vindicator it so resembles, it doesn't have the crippling weaknesses of side AV11 nor 24" range, so you can sit one in each back corner of the board and blast away- and unlike a Conversion Beamer, if the enemy runs up next to you, you're still bringing a big gun.

    60pts for a single Lascannon isn't really that bad a price- remember, it's on a 100% mobile platform and it's one of the longer-range guns in the codex. When you're oversaturating the enemy with threats, shooting at that one guy hiding in the back pipping away at transports becomes a lot less of an issue, because there's also Night Scythes and Anni Barges and troop squads and all that other stuff to worry about killing. It's not going to be an early pick, to be sure- you'll fill out your last few points (and FA slots) with them, but they're far from unusable.

    The Necron book is reasonably unique in that most everything in it is usable. Almost every single unit, in fact- Monoliths, Praetorians, and Flayed Ones are the only units I've found with no real purpose. Apart from that, everything else is varying degrees of good, but the "range" is a lot lower than in most codices we've seen, so there are fewer obvious must-have picks and fewer shit-useless ones. Necrons rely heavily on building a synergetic army with a strong purpose and focus, which can be tough to do- but when built right, they're a tough contender in 5th edition.

    1. I've seen monoliths used quite effectively. It's got a good amount of fire power, can block LoS/provide cover for alot of stuff and it's great for redeploying troops on foot. Immortals on foot can start on one side of the board and instantly be on the other. You can also use it to bring in your reserves early. Theyre far from unusable it's just that the annihilation barge is such a good buy for the points in the same FOC slot.
      I totally agree on the flayed ones and Praetorians though...

    2. >good firepower
      One S8 pie plate for 200pts is not good firepower. Remember, it can't shoot any other guns (including the Arcs or Portal) in the same turn it uses its Particle Whip because the Whip is an ordnance weapon.

      The ability to redeploy units is available elsewhere much more easily (Crypteks/Obyron) and doesn't rely on a platform that is a huge magnet for Meltaguns. It's also important to remember that the Monolith's teleport is only sort of mobility- the enemy knows exactly where you'll be going, so they can easily head you off with whatever they're using to hunt the Monolith.

      Since Necrons don't have a good reserve-based strategy, the ability to bring in reserves is largely irrelevant. If you could bring in vehicles it might serve as a good platform for utilizing Doom Scythes/etc, but lacking that there really isn't much you'll want to be pulling through that couldn't have just started on the table anyways.

    3. See, this is is exactly what I mean. The monolith can only move 6" and can't fire any other weapons when it shoots a s8 ap3 blast... It is just an unreasonable downside. Even IG Leman Russes get a special rule to get around the ordinance thing. Don't get me wrong, I don't want everything to be wtfmegaawesome! It's just that some of these 'downsides,' seem too big.

      @Abuse Puppy 9:41: I made an army list out of night scythes and such and it seemed like fun, your right in that you absolutely have to have pulses/ imohotek though. All in all I want to try out a few things that I do like in the codex. Maybe tonight.


  7. I really do hope that some kind of rule change in 6th (being able to Tank Shock from a DS?) gives more functionality to the Monolith. It's a shame it sucks so hard now.