Monday, November 7, 2011

Necrontopia, a Warrior list for thought.

Well the Necrons are here and with them a wave of interest, feigned disinterest, bandwagoneering and genuine first time players joining us through the aspect of this reprehensible races allure.

An initial analysis is all this is.  As the games wear on, and we see more, we will know more.

I will start be going over the most interesting nuggets that assist those who want a Warrior heavy army specifically.  Many will gravitate to Immortals BUT for those going the Warrior route I think this will be interesting for you.

1st:  Certain characters are Phaerons.  Put simply, this is going to be huge for those who want to play a Warrior heavy army instead of an Immortal heavy army.  I have already experienced in other armies how useful the Relentless rule can be, but this makes a 14 Necron Warrior Squad a highly economical terror.  Imagine two of these units with a Necron Overlord who can drop out of their Night Scythe, rapid fire you and then assault the remnants.  For those who like the math to be solid, let me tell you what that means against an Assault Marine Unit with Powerfist:  The Necrons would inflict 7-8 unsaved wounds.  The Assault Marines would cause 2.  The Necrons would likely be lodged in combat after winning, given the low Necron Initiative, and would finish the Assault Marines off in the opponents melee phase, in time to shoot again in their own.  This is exactly what you want.
Assuming the worst:  Another friendly unit comes to help beat up on the Necrons.  The second assault Marine unit is unlikely to break the unit on it’s charge, killing 4.5 while the entrenched Necrons+Overlord would kill 3.  In other words unless the Necrons are just flat unlucky, they are going to be able to survive into the enemies turn again!  It could take an opponent three game turns to nuke that unit, all because of the Relentless dynamic, and they would need to concentrate considerable shooting on that unit in that third round, shooting they may no longer have so late in a game.
I’ve not even addressed the positive effects of the Resurrection orb on the equation in the third round when the enemy is finally able to shoot them et al.
The Phaeron rule could really make a Necron Warrior army work.
Some may wonder why not Immortals?  Because the Immortals, same scenario, do less damage both in the shooting and in the assault phase against this foe and can take subsequent shooting less easily.  There’s only a 20 point difference between the two.
2nd:  Cryptek’s are a part of an HQ that takes no slots and you can have 5 of them per Phaeron you have, albeit only one of each type of Cryptek weapon per unit.  What I found interesting was the Harbingers of Transmogrification version.  With such a Cryptek, a Warrior unit, which it can join, can severely affect the enemy’s ability to come help a combat in which the Necrons are engaged.  The primary threat to the Necron Warriors is the second unit that comes to interfere.  With this Cryptek, your problems are lessened considerably.  He can make the enemy who wants to charge reduce their charge by d3 inches!  Also, if the Necrons are shooting a unit that will be close enough to charge but the Necrons themselves cannot initiate, then the ground can be made into difficult terrain for the oncoming enemy unit.  This would potentially allow the Necrons to instead move the next turn, shoot and charge the enemy who was not able to complete their charge!   This is a pretty interesting ability.

3rd:  As a long time Tau player I really appreciate synergy units.  Necrons now have one:  the Triarch Stalker.  This terrifying thing can turn the simple Warriors and their gunboat transport you purchased into an even better buy.  It fires two Heatrays (Multimeltas effectively) and it merely needs to hit in order to cause other units to be twin-linked against that target!  That is a great compliment to the Warriors and anything else in the army that is asked to level the enemy unit.  The fact that you’re firing a 2 shot Multimelta does not suck either.

4th: C’Tan Shards:  As you know the enemy of Necrons is being unable to shoot in their turn.  This has to be avoided at all costs.  Enter the C’Tan Shard with the Writhing Worldscape ability.  It makes difficult Terrain Dangerous and already Dangerous Terrain will wound on a 1 OR 2 (see the synergy with the Cryptek?).  Stepping through Rhino wreckage never sounded so terrible. 
The other one that’s interesting if you want a Warrior heavy army is Grand Illusion.  You essentially can redeploy D3 units, even taking them out of (OR INTO) reserve if you choose!  This is such a boon because you can steal from the enemy the ability to use scout moves to massive advantage when you go second.  You simply take their target away and then put it where it can do the most evil (or vice versa).  This is a big help to a Warrior unit that gets threatened by a bad deployment decision, since they are so central to your ability to win objectives and not inconsequential when you want to deal anti-personnel fire cheaply.

5th:  Canoptek Scarabs (Fleet Beasts with stealth and vulnerable to templates) seem an important inclusion for a Gauss Flayer heavy army.  You must always be shooting but sometimes your best attempt to stay away from close combats you cannot win is limited by circumstance.  These little guys are dirt cheap and just a few of them is all you need in order to forestall a charge on a more important unit.  A real value to a warrior laden army is the fact that they can weaken vehicle armor, making Gauss Flayers more effective!  This is a synergy with warriors that can be exploited.  The chittering li’l bastards can multi-charge on turn 2 on just about anyone’s parking lot and start peeling the armor from them with ease if they didn’t move.  It’s actually funny to imagine a group of Necron Warriors firing their Gauss weapons into a Leman Russ squadron that has been reduced to AV 9 by scarabs.  With 5 attacks on the charge, two bases can take a Leman Russ that didn’t move down to AV9 in a single round when they charge in turn 2.  Those cheap Gauss Flayers will really make you look smart then.

6th:  Necron Monoliths seem like a smart way to steal objectives with Warriors.  Imagine having two of them deep strike near the rear most objectives and stand there killing enemies that come close to it and then always able to pull unengaged Warriors back to them late game!  This allows the Warriors to be very aggressive upfront, yet always able to come backwards nearly any distance they need to for objectives later.  That’s really strong.  You could ask for a LOT worse guardian for an objective than a Monolith but its ability to also suck things back to the objective makes even the loss of transports while up front and center not as big a deal.

7th:  Night Scythe:  This is effectively the most awesome Rhino in the History of 40K.  Armed with an uber scary weapon, faster than any Rhino ever thought of being and able to unload it on enemies at cruising speed is, needless to say, awesome sauce.  If you choose not to disembark in round 1 (which is probably what would happen), you can go supersonic and get the 4+ cover save that rhinos would have effectively gotten (only they would not have nearly the speed to show for it this one does) and then you can dump your payload on the enemy.
Ghost arcs are going to see more use I am guessing because of their Repair Barge ability and Quantum Shielding, which is in place of the Night Scythes speed cover saves.  People will also like that you can fire from within it’s confines (BUT…only if it moves 6”).
Unfortunately it is MUCH slower (as slow as a Rhino), Open topped and the weapons on it are not as good (though they are not bad either).  It also can’t fit the number of Warriors we want to take with us.  My main objection though is that there are so few vehicles in a Necron army, really, that enemies may well find getting past the initial Quantum Shielding to be non-problematic in comparison to a 4+ cover save since the enemy really will have very few things better for their AT to shoot at!  Also the repair ability happens specifically before anything moves, so it’s ability won’t be useable, effectively, until after I jump out in turn 2, meaning it won’t do anything for me at the front of the battle til the start of my turn 3!  That’s a long time to hope it survives to heal something.  The Ghost arc seems more useful in the back, stationary and surrounded by units it can heal. 

8th:  Nemesor ZahndRekh is a strong synergy for Warrior builds.  Unfortunately he is not a Phaeron.  I listed him here just because he fit the bill of being helpful to Warrior builds.  He can make the unit, which Illuminor Szeras can also augment, Counter attack, Furious charge or Tank Hunters.
Illuminor Szeras is good for a Warrior army.  He elevates the less expensive Necrons to respectable combat status with either the toughness OR the STR upgrade he provides!  That would be GREAT in tandem.  The two of them can really empower a Necron unit, but like I say, neither is a Phaeron which is a bit limiting.  You almost want to take them if you’re investing in a 20 Necron unit at the rear to protect objectives and beat face (imagine 20 STR 6 Necron Warriors charging you at Init 3!  That would be something you don’t see every day).  The two of them could hide in the Ghost Arc they don’t use and use their powers from its safe coffin-like confines.

All these units would be really interesting.  Here is a 2000 Point list I made with this in mind.

120pts              Necron Overlord (Phaeron, Warscythe)
120pts              Necron Overlord (Phaeron, Warscythe)

169pts              13 Warriors
100pts              Night Scythe
169pts              13 Warriors
100pts              Night Scythe
169pts              13 Warriors
100pts              Night Scythe

40pts                Cryptek of Transmogrification (Tremorstave from Court 1, Seismic Crucible)
40pts                Cryptek of Transmogrification (Tremorstave from Court 2, Seismic Crucible)

150pts              Triarch Stalker

200Pts             Necron Monolith

200Pts             Necron Monolith

260pts              C’tan shard (Writhing WorldScape, Grand Illusion

50pts                4 Canoptek Scarabs


  1. The Phaeron ability looks great. Really great. I also like the Cryptek idea. That seems like a Cryptek that will get underused a ton, but it makes sense. If you are good with distance, you should be able to make people pay using that idea.

    Why only one Triarch Stalker? Land Raiders could be a problem.

  2. Land Raiders will always be a problem no matter what you have locked and loaded. They are one of 40K's most feared behemoths. Unstoppable firepower and relentless surges into the enemy make it scary to say the least.

    The Scarabs are going to be called upon to help with this, the triarch is going to shoot it in the face and the C'Tan Shard is going to beat on it if necessary in that order. if all else fails and lets hope it does not, then we can always throw the Necron Overlords at it. That would be a worst case scenario though.

    Of course, in the end it's also a points issue. to maximize the strategy at work here, the points just aren't there for another Stalker, but they are a really nice model to have and I can foresee their use becoming more and more common in place of the more expensive alternatives to tank killing in the codex.


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