Kirb your enthusiasm!


"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

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Newcrons & Crypteks

Gentlemen's Ones

In this post I'm going to look at some of what I have found to be the better Cryptek choices over my play-testing so far. Crypteks are an obviously important piece of the new Necrons codex but their effectiveness is going to hinge quite a bit on how GW FAQ's them. If you take two courts, can each court detach a model to the same squad? If yes, well there are so many options here it's not funny. If no, it's unfortunate and won't really impact the effectiveness of Crypteks, but it would be another "we hate Xenos" blow by Games Workshop and will impact army list building (i.e. you have 2x Royal Courts and grab 10x Crypteks...what do you do with the extra four?). We shall all hold our breath and hope GW does the right thing and does allow it...but let's not get our hopes up.

Regardless, Crypteks are a neat tool for the Necron general as they can bring some unique abilities to the Necron army and help plug some holes in units. They are nearly exactly like Wolf Guard for Space Wolves in that they can be spread around in multiple squads (most notably Immortals and Warriors) and become part of that squad (i.e. can become a Troop model and score) or remain as part of the original unit (for a larger unit of badassery). With five specific Cryptek types each with some unique wargear (one per Royal Court) this gives the Necrons a lot of flexibility. The only downside is two Overlords (or Overlord Special Characters) need to be taken to access two Royal Courts (and thus two special pieces of wargear each or 6+ Crypteks). This is often expensive and restricts some HQ choices (i.e. Destroyer Lords) and forces you to find places for both Overlords in your army (which can be pretty easy - hello Command Barges).

So, what do Crypteks really provide for the army? The most obvious answer is some mobile anti-tank due to eldritch lance. Range 36", S8, AP2, Assault 1 is a very nice statline and adds some S8 firepower to an army which sort of lacks it. The problem here is saturation of Lance Crypteks and if the FAQ goes in the wrong direction, finding places for 10 of these guys is going to be hard. Also, 2x Lance shots from Warrior/Immortal squads is a lot scarier than 1x Lance shot. Furthermore, 10 Lance Crypteks is 350 points (not to mention the standard Solar Pulse and Overlord costs). Whilst many point out that the Lance Cryptek is a similar price to a foot Dark Lance in Dark Eldar with added advantage of mobility (but disadvantage of no Lance profile), rarely do you see armies dropping so many points into infantry based heavy weapons when we include the cost of the Overlords as well.

Beyond the Lance Cryptek however there are a few good abilities available and a load of crap ones. We've already mentioned the Solar Pulse which is a great defensive and offensive tool every Necron should have at least one of but there are others as well. The Harp of Dissonance, whilst expensive and requires two Courts to access two Harps, has some amazing utility. Yes, it requires a 3+ to hit and a 4+ for Entropic Strike to engage but the range at which it can operate (infinitely) and inflict negative AV damage to vehicles is a great bonus to have. Consider that dropping a vehicle one AV point will increase every weapon in your army's effectiveness. For example, a Rhino/Razorback loses 1 AV point and can now be penetrated by your basic Teslamortal whilst the Lance Crypteks are causing damage on an armor roll of a 2+ and Tesla Destructors on a 3+. Suddenly AV14 is far less scary when you can throw two Harps at it a turn. Whilst two harps are only going to drop an average of two AV every three turns...that's two tanks you have to worry less about. For 50 points? Not bad and some nice utility but not great.

Veil of Darkness provides some decent mobility options to the Necron army but like Solar Pulses and Harps, you are restricted to two per army (which requires two Overlords). Not being able to take you out of combat anymore is a bit crappy, as is the 30 point price tag (plus 25 points for the Cryptek) but being able to move units around the tabletop to avoid next turn assaults, move units onto objectives/table quarters, move units into side/rear arcs of tanks, setup assaults for next turn, etc. are all very nice options, particularly since you can do this anywhere on the board.

Chronometron is also a nice wargear choice but like the others, can only be taken twice in an army which requires two courts. Chronometron allows one D6 for the Cryptek or its squad to be re-rolled. There are a lot of applications for this - simply ask yourself how often do you wish you could re-roll just one die for a unit? Well now you can each turn. This could be particularly effective in re-rolling a damage result on the vehicle damage chart, special abilities (i.e. Traveller's tank control, Stormlord's storm, etc.), entropic strike, so on and so forth but its true effectiveness will be known after the FAQ (i.e. can it affect the Stormlord's storm). Either way - re-rolls are nice and one could often find use for this in their army.

The Seismic crucible and tremorstave are also nice options for Crypteks. Tremorstaves are nice enough that when taking Crypteks with the crucible (or harp) you gain some extra utility but could also be considered just for this ability alone. Like the Solar Pulse which can control the table in relation to Night Fight, tremor staves (along with other Necron options) can control the board in relation to terrain by forcing opponent's to count as moving through terrain. Opponent's will learn to hate this as when they roll double 1's or if you have other Necron terrain affecting abilities (hello Writhing Worldscape). It's a bit unreliable due to the nature of terrain but forcing certain units to take dangerous terrain checks (i.e. Jump Troops, tanks, etc.), not make specific moves (i.e. turbo-boosts) or simply forcing your opponent to roll extra dice to reach you or objectives is a nice option to have and range 36" allows this to be used early and often.

The crucible compounds this movement limiting effect by reducing charges against the Cryptek unit by D3 inches. This could stop a charge from opponent's even 1" away if it goes through terrain and the dice match-up (prepare for this to be FAQ'd away) but even if this is not the case, reducing charge distance against the Cryptek's unit is going to greatly improve the unit's ability to stave off combat (a place where Necrons suck) and allows the Necron general more control over the battlefield and their units. This wins games and for 10 points is a nice option but is only really going to see full benefit in an army using larger units. Still, not a bad use of 10 points on Crypteks you may already be purchasing for tremorstaves or harps.

Other than that unfortunately there aren't a lot of great options - most of the Staves for Crypteks are lacklustre outside of the eldritch lance or tremorstave. A lot of people have made waves about the volatic staff which is an assault 4, haywire weapon. This can really cause some havoc to vehicles and is excellent at suppression but the Necron army is pretty good at suppression already. It's also hampered by 12" range meaning you shoot with it, screw around a transport and then get assaulted and very likely lose. There are some options for it but its not really great and the unique items available to these Crypteks aren't great either.

In the end I think Destruction Crypteks are going to see the most use for obvious reasons - eldritch lance and the couple of Solar Pulses an army can get. Transmogrification Crypteks will likely also see significant use with their ability to affect the tabletop and how the opponent moves/assaults as well having the only (infinitely) ranged entropic strike weapon available to Necrons. There are a few other uses for Crypteks such as Veil of Darkness and Chronometron but I feel those two will see the most use as they have good extra options and their basic staves are nice. That being said, one must be very careful how inclusive they are with their Crypteks - they support the army, they are not the actual army.

Follow us on Facebook!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...