Saturday, November 6, 2010

Codex: Royal Necrons

Because I usually take long daily hikes that last an hour or so, I have a lot of time to ruminate on things and stave off crippling suicidal bouts of depression. Today I started thinking, as Necron players do, of how to make the old war-horse better and more fun to play. In terms of what it offers in terms of sheer gameplay, Codex: Necrons is dry, simplistic, boring, and easily misunderstood by the thick and unwary. You have a couple of good builds, but are hamstrung from using many of the things in the book by sheer cost and practicality, not to mention the appalling lack of variety for all the cool-ass fluff they wrote. An enormous, star-spanning (and devouring) empire built on.... a bunch of skeletons and some spiders? Meh. 

So, as you do when you trudge for miles surrounded by nature, I started to think aloud. What follows is a listing of my vocal notes, with more things added later as I thought of them:

Necrons: are Relentless and have FnP
Gauss Weapons: are Lance weapons autowound on a 6, ignoring invulnerable saves; vs vehicles they
 ignore cover/obscurement saves and autoglance on a 6.

Gauss weapons are a tough nut because they need to be effective against vehicles without mowing down troops and such willy-nilly. I thought about giving them the Melta ability but then no Necron packing one could successfully wound an Eldar Avatar, and the Eldar are really who they were made to give fits to. Plus, they're supposed to be the army that inspired the creation of the rest of the other races in the galaxy so the list, as a whole, should be hard.

C’tan: Nightbringer, Deciever, Outsider. 
Wraith Lord- Wraiths may be bought as troops; +1 to FNP for
             Wraiths and Ghasts
Destroyer Lord: Destroyers maybe be bought as troops; Heavy 
            Destroyers get twin-linking; both types get +1 to FNP
Flayed Lord: may buy a retinue of Pariahs that can deploy with it;
             Flayed ones have +1 to FnP

Std Lord: may buy a retinue of Immortals that don’t count on ToE;
          Necron Warriors +1 to FnP

There. Now you have an additional C'Tan, plus a variety of Lord choices that empower different selection of other things. They're expensive, so you really shouldn't buy more than 1 or 2 Lords for the entire army, and certainly not more than one C'tan. 

Pariahs: for 36pts, they are now T5, have 2 wounds, Fleet,
         Move thru Cover, Stealth and the Necron Stat
Immortals: are T5 and 2W, but otherwise unchanged
Poltergeists: expensive shooty creatures armed with a 
              Gauss Destroyer, are ethereal (3++ and MtC) like
              Wraiths (but have normal mvt), have Etheric Tempest 
              ability as per Nightbringer. 
Gate Spiders; a big tough MC that allows other Necrons to be
              reserved and DS as per Monoliths

Now we're seeing more constructs (with decent WS/BS), not to mention carrying forward the "undead army" theme that was half-assed by the 1st book. Also, finally, some anti-tank in the Elite slot.

Necron Warriors; are T5, and have Immortals as sergeants for
                 upgrade cost, Tomb Spiders are cheaper, and now 
                 bought as upgrades, are treated as part of the
                 squad, and allow a reroll of FnP within 12”
Flayed Ones; Pariahs as sergeants; have fleet, stealth, and MtC;
             may assault after DS
Ghosts: assault troops that are T3, ethereal/move/save as per Wraiths

We don't entirely suck in assault anymore, and get a little more bang for our 18pts/model cost. Spiders no longer generate Scarabs, but who cares? Now they make Necron Warriors much, much tougher. Flayed ones are now worth playing with.

War Barque: Dedicated transport; cheap with tiny anti-infantry guns.

You didn't think this army was just going to walk or plod around in Monoliths, did you?

Fast Attack
Banshee: tough shooty MC that moves like a jetbike
Destroyers: squad max size of 8, are 2 wound models; for every 5,
            1 destroyer may be upgraded to a Heavy
Wraiths: are still Ethereal, but now 2 wounds, T5 and bought in 
         squads of 6. +D6 attacks on charge. 
Scarabs: May be upgraded to include Scarab Queen (1 higher S/T/WS,
         W, generates scarabs as TS used to)

Now Wraiths are tougher and worth buying (as they should be) and Destroyers reward you for buying 5 of them without punishing you for not saving points for heavies. Yes, you can still put all of your points into scarabs, but honestly, they're there so you can buy them as a screen for your legions of other guys.

Heavy Support
Monolith: as per codex
Tomb Stalker: is really fighty, but has disappointing guns
Cyclopean Annhilator: a shooty monster that has a big gun or three
               and some minor melee ability, should it get rushed. 
Heavy Destroyers: as per codex

Though the Heavy Destroyer listing is unchanged, buying a Destroyer Lord gives your snipers twin-linking, which is huge for the Necrons. The other creatures are there as big tough distractions to draw fire alternatives to boring old Monoliths.

Lastly, if this list looks a little Tyranid-y  at first glance, that's because it is. I wanted a Necron list that used my Tyracron models, so there. No, it's not balanced. These are just notes, not something you should bring to a table as of yet. I have a few too many side projects to go writing rules and codexes, but if I did, this is a nice jumping off point.

Thoughts? Criticisms? 


Max said...

Interesting ideas, and the change from WBB to FNP is probably one that GW will make (though it does kinda change around the functionality dramatically...)

I really like the Gate Spyders as quasi-dedicated transports, but actually giving the Crons a transport (the Barque) seems wrong. I would think they would focus more on their awesome teleportation abilities- making the Gate Spyders Elites that don't take up slots (so they are "dedicated transports") or even as 1-3 per slot and giving some of the more badass Necrons the DS at will thing that Lords currently have.

Basically the Necrons should be tough enough to withstand firepower out in the open but also use their teleportation to exploit the most useful attack vectors. It would give them a different kind of mobility and survivability than any other race out there, which is cool and very doable with 5th edition rules.

Messanger of Death said...

I agree with Max that Necrons shouldn't be getting "transport".

Everything else is interesting...


Darkweaver said...

agreed, the barque just seems... wrong

loving the new lord types though, and the Gate Spyder is pretty awesome

could you check out my blog too?

#2501 said...

I do like Max's 1-3/no slot idea, and to take it further, giving the Gate Spiders the ability to teleport around the battlefield (and take a unit with them) would solve the mobility problems that so plague a Necron infantry list. I think it might be worth going to the extra mile and giving them some kind of DS-associated reroll for landing distance/accuracy.

The War Barque was partly in response to seeing this thing:

and I liked the idea of Necrons being toted around on racks, being treated like equipment by their masters instead of beings. Honestly I can take it or leave it, especially with giving the added abilities to the Gate Spiders (not to mention the other, more mobile things on the list).

Honestly Fritz, where are you? I even addressed some things you commented on in your blog a while back.

@ Darkweaver: nice Blood Pact. have you seen the Greatcoated Infantry models from Wargames factory LLC? There's a lot of stuff on those sprues that you would benefit from, and they're a steal price-wise.

Lantz said...

Really like the direction you're headed. But the main thing that bugged me was giving crons a transport (as I now see Max noted on as well.) When I think of Crons I think of foot slogging, slow heavy hitters. And thanks to your Toughness increases they can take the extra punishment for not having a transport. And the extra teleportation options doesn't keep them from falling behind with the faster armies that seem to spew out of GW like they're going out of style.

When we have 5 Space Marine codex's all with the same Rhino and Nids with drop pods... I feel like the game is becoming too streamline.

Necrons are the only codex I feel is really unique from all of the others, and my main concern above all else is keeping them completely unique.