Sunday, 6 November 2011

Review: Necrons

And so, the time that all Necron players had waited for had come. Like a dark cloud of scarabs, we descended on Games Workshop, Oxford Street, clutching our new found tome in our steel like grips. The time had come for us to reap our rewards and conquer the galaxy for the first time since 3rd edition.

Hello everyone. When I'm not cleansing heretics with my Emperor blessed boltguns, there's nothing I quite like more than fielding a horde of mechanical monstrosity against my foes, which became problematic for a while since the last codex, which was made back in 3rd edition as previously stated, didn't quite work with all the changes made to 5th edition, and so my meager choice in troops and confusing rules (which, when not confusing were just plain irritating) led my mechanical constructs of death to pale in the shadows of the galaxy, and so the Necrons withdrew into the darkest corners of the universe, waiting for their time to rise again...

So just what is in this new tome? Well, obiviously I can't just tell you all the rules. There's courts and legal issues with that. What I can do, however, is give you a low down of what the new and improved codex provides you with. So let me give you the low down on the big changes...

  • Pariahs are no more.
  • The phase out rule is no more (happy days).
  • "We'll Be Back" is now Reanimation Protocols (or Ever Living for characters) and has been tweaked. It's now a 5+ (unless boosted by a Resurrection Orb) and is safeguarded against Instant Death.
  • Living Metal has been nerfed. It can now be affected by melta weapons and will only occassionally save against a "Crew Shaken/Stunned" result.
  • C'tan are no longer special characters. Fluffwise, the Necrons turned on them and eventually overcame them, shattering them into thousands of shards. These shards are now under Necron control and can be fielded as Elite Monstrous Creatures with a fraction of the power they once wielded (but are still deadly).
  • 7 brand new special characters, including the already announced Imotekh the Stormlord and Trazyn the Infinite.
  • Necron Overlords have now replaced the function of the original Necron Lords, whilst Necron Lords have some nerfed statlines and can form part of the Overlord's retinue along with a new unit called Crypteks. Crypteks are the Necron equivalents to Psykers, although their "powers" do not function the same as psychic powers and are instead technological upgrades. Both Lords and Crypteks can be removed from the retinue to lead other units.
  • Necron Warriors now have a 4+ saves but are cheaper.
  • Immortals are now troops, their toughness has been dropped slightly and they can now take a variant of the new tesla weapons as an alternative option to Gauss Blasters.
  • Flayed Ones initiative has been nerfed.
  • Destroyers now count as jump pack infantry and have the Preferred Enemy (Everything!) special rule (this includes Destroyer Lords).
  • Scarabs close combat attacks now destroy armour.
  • Tomb Spyders are now Canoptek Spyders which are more or less the same, but with more upgrade options.
  • Wraiths are now Canoptek Wraiths and are no longer affected by the Reanimation Protocols, but are now fearless and have a few upgrade options. They are also classified as jump pack troops.
  • Monolith have been nerfed, although their portals can now instantly kill models without save up to D6" away.
  • With the exception of Overlords and Crypteks, there are now 4 new troops types (including jetbike troops akin to the first Destroyers, a sniper unit and 2 elite close combat specialist types) and 7 brand new vehicles (including 2 troops transports, 1 command vessel for Overlords, 3 tanks with very nasty guns and a Necron equivalent to a Dreadnought).
  • All vehicles, with the exception of Monoliths, are open topped and have +2 armour to front and side until the first penetrating hit.
  • Lots of new and very nasty wargear options (some of which can instant kill), as well as new weapon types (including tesla weapons, which can potentially hit triple the amount of troops as shots fired).
I haven't had a chance to use Necrons in a battle just yet, but from reading the new codex, it feels like Games Workshop did a good job with this one. The Necrons themselves no longer feel like Space Marines who just get back up from time to time and are far more shooty oriented (easily able to outshoot Marines in a firefight). Their weapons punch hard, they're more likely to get up than before and their vehicles are like armour plated paper... hard to punch through, but when you do, they're done for.

There are many people who say this army is now broken. I disagree. There's been as much nerfing going on with this army as there has been powering up, but all in all, these changes have worked in a way that has made the army more about tactics and flexibility, than "let's see who can take the most blows". I agree that aspects of this codex can be considered "broken" (the Doom Scythe vehicle and Lords being able to take Tesseract Labrynths spring to mind) but, on reading, most units seem fairly well balanced, but I will have to see when I finally get a chance to field them in battle...

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