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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Guest Article: Counterpoint to Darkwynn on Necrons

Vanus Temple

Hey guys, General smooth here again. I feel the Necron codex is a fine piece of work by Mr Ward, exactly how good will be revealed in time. However recently an experienced, successful and intelligent Internet personality commented that the Necron codex is …..... well, underwhelming. I'm just a normal bod of little stature in comparison to Darkwyn but I beg to differ!

From reading the comments below his article, Darkwynn's post was not out of the blue. On the contrary it captured the mood of many of you out there and came after the boy of goat's “I'm not feeling it” article. With many of you making the same criticisms as Darkwynn, so let's look at them.


Firstly the over costing – well this is hard to counter really until we see how it performs on the tourney scene and even then, the validity of such is always going to be questioned. Whether what you can take is enough will just have to be seen. However, when I have been running maths hammer on the damage they can put out I have to say, at first glance it looks like Darkwyn is right. I'm not getting the kind of figures across the board I want for the point levels compared to other armies. That being said, there are two problems to this. Firstly, the army is so durable and you will pay points for this. This means you can expect your units to A) take a more punishment than most and B) continue to do their job for longer. Why is this so significant? Well it has to do with why we spam units. We require redundancy, if a unit is our main mobile anti-tank, then if we lose it our opponent can use their tanks to out manoeuvre us with impunity unless we have another such unit = spam/redundancy. The Necron alternative is providing more durable units which are harder to take down. Of course having multiple platforms has other benefits but this isn't a discussion on MSU. My point is that we may not get the level of redundancy we are used to but neither will necrons expect to experience the same amount of attrition that other armies may.

This means that the anti tank units will continue to perform their role for longer. So the theoretical output does not need to be at the level of others as it will last longer. Warning though, you need to know how to make the most out of this durability. As for the book not having a must have unit? Well that for me is a positive. Anyway moving on.


Well now where do I start? How about the inconspicuously named death ray. Is there a more iconic/clichéd (which ever way you want to turn it) weapon name in science fiction? It actually originates from a theory Nikolai Tesla (recognise that name from anywhere?) had but anyway. So we have an auto-hit st10 ap1, I don't know what to say how good a gun do you want? It is on a rhino level platform but it can still shoot if it moves 12 inches (eat your heart out vindicator). We look at the equally subtle Doomsday Cannon – a 72 inch ap 1 weapon on a av13 platform – it's not cheap but it is there. Then there is heat ray on the stalker. The heat ray is essentially a double shot multi-melta for anti-tank purposes. The multi-melta is widely regarded as the King ding-a-ling of vehicle destruction in the Space Marine codex and this one has a second firing profile just for utility. The pick of the bunch for me though is the twin-liked Tesla destructor. This pumps out a maths hammer average of 5.33333 st7 hits per weapon and it's available on a transport where your troops enter reserve if it is destroyed. Mortis pattern dreadnoughts everywhere are biting their fists (well they would be if they had fists). Don't forget Lascannons on jump infantry everyone!

As for close combat anti tank, well we have a 50pt monstrous creatures, rending jump infantry with storm shield saves, two wounds who ignore terrain, a huge availability to models which use S7+2D6 to penetrate with the war scythe. I haven't mentioned scarabs because firstly their potential value requires a tactica in itself and secondly I don't really need to figure them in if there is sufficient anti tank elsewhere.


I looked up this word before I wrote the article and it suggested that they are there to make something appear more attractive or something that works because it is concealed. I don't think the mechanics just make necrons look cool (some would argue even that) nor do they require naive opponents before they can work. Let's take an easy one to make the point, entropic strike on the harp of dissonance. Put it in a unit of immortals and you have a lot of chewing to do to get rid of it so by all means expend vast amounts of fire power to destroy it (already noted as difficult due to durability). Is it of value or just a cool trick? If I hit a landraider with it and successfully take an AV point off it, my lascannons are now doubly effective, penetrating 1 in 3 hits instead of 1 in 6. Equally Tesla destructors are doubly effective against av12 after one hit from a HoD. This does not rely on you not knowing about it and I hope this brief example demonstrates it has real value.

I can also make it very difficult for you to destroy the HoD as well as making it quite reliable but that, again, is a separate article. The idea that these combos are a jenga tower where you pull one brick out and the combo collapses, is a fallacy. If you destroy lascannons the HoD will continue to augment the rest of my armies anti tank performance – one successful entropic strike on a rhino means immortals can penetrate a rhino with a 6 and glance on a 5. If you shot my HoD you aren't shooting my lascannons so hurrah. They are not co-dependent but inter-dependent in that they function on their own but better together and this I feel is the key to Necrons.

Other Stuff

I didn't go into things like scarabs, they will make their presence felt in short order, lychguards with dispersion shields being t5 4++ and then 5++, praetorians being jump infantry with 3+ then a 5++ , ap2 shooting and a power weapon. Don't get me wrong about this codex, running the numbers on the fire output I can't get the digits I want, so I'm relying on maximising my durability. There will be gimmick armies out there too (scarabs with nine spyders) that will stomp newbies but be pulled apart easily on the table by experienced players but that doesn't mean there aren't effective builds they're just not obvious. But that's a good thing! Right?

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