Friday, May 27, 2011

Necron Rumor Reactions

Been waiting month for an excuse to use this one
Hi, everyone. Welcome to another exciting installment of Tainted by Xenos. Today we will be discussing everyone favorite cypt crawlers the necrons. The interwebz has seen an influx of necron rumours and I would like to post them here, along with my own reactions. One thing that needs to be noted is that these are just rumours. As such, detailed synopsis is quite pointless. My opinions are as concrete as said rumors and could be easily changed with great understand of the actual rules. The original rumors come from the ever-benevolent yakface over at and can be found here. His words are in white, with mine in green. Enjoy!:

Hello everyone,

I have gotten my hands on some fairly solid Necron rumors. I say they are fairly solid because the source I got them from has proved reliable in the past, however the rumors themselves are indeed 2nd hand (I didn't see the codex myself), and therefore I can't personally verify any of this. That also means if you have any more questions on anything I (probably) won't be able to provide you with any more details (as I don't have them).

Anyway here goes:

1) No surprise here, but Necrons are still essentially Tomb Kings in space fluff wise. A shift in fluff is now that all of the higher up necrons are intelligent while the lower level ones are still basically automatons. I guess that's roughly the same as it used to be, but apparently there is more emphasis in the sentience of the higher Necrons now (hence the named Lords).

2) C'Tan are still in the codex...sort of. They have been moved to the Elites section and are now a single unit choice, but with variable upgrade powers you can take.
Hmmm. This one is a tad strange. I love the idea game wise. Three c'tan along with some of the other rumoured MCs not in the elite slot could be awesome, allowing an all MC cronzilla list. The weird part is how the fluff is gonna work. Other rumours have suggested that in the codex, c'tan would simply be lords that have somehow been instilled with the "Essence of the C'tan" much like in the Dawn of War video games. This would also allow for Forge World to create large C'tan sculpts for Apoc that would represent the actual gods, making them much stronger and inline with fluff. Time will tell, but I like it.

3) We'll be Back is no longer called that and it is NOT Feel No Pain. Basically it is a 5+ bonus save similar to Feel No Pain, but doesn't get cancelled out by double strength, AP1/2, etc. In addition, this save is made at the END of the phase after morale tests are taken. If the unit is wiped out or is falling back at the end of the phase, then the save cannot be used. So as an opponent, if you manage to wipe the unit out or make them fall back, then you prevent any Necrons from getting back up...unless the unit has something called the 'ever-living' rule, in which case it gets to attempt this save even if the unit is wiped out.

Whether this works or not will depend completely on the accuracy on the rumor translation. If it happens at the "end of the phase" does that mean it happens at the end of every phase? That would make it much harder wipe out a unit if I got my WBB roll 4-6 times a game turn. Couple that with not being ignored and this version is much better than the current 4+. Ever-living rule? Yes, please!4) Gauss Weaponry does NOT have rending. It retains the 'auto-glance' on a penetration roll of a '6' rule, but apparently otherwise has lost the 'auto-wound' on a roll of a '6' regardless of Toughness that it used to have. The Gauss Cannon is now apparently Assault 2 & AP3 (I'm assuming the Strength is still 6). The Gaus Flux Arc on the Monolith no longer automatically hits every unit within range, instead each one fires separately and can hit four different targets.
BOOOOOO! I hate all of these. HATE!!! This means basically our status as the best vehicle killers in the game is not coming back. It means we are still gonna have problems with heavy infantry. Destroyers aren't going to be able to be taken in mass anymore, because they aren't gonna be as viable against vehicles because we lose a shot. And lets be honest, anti- heavy infantry really needs to be AP 2 to kill termies and ignore FNP, otherwise you still need something to fulfill that roll. As far as the monolith, I love the death blossom and will be very sad to see it go.

5) Phase out is gone.
Hallelujah !!

6) Destroyers now count as jump infantry and there is a new Fast Attack Jetbike unit called Tomb Blades.
Ok, so now my Destroyers can't even turbo-boost. One of there best abilities is the ability to relocate quickly/ run away. Seems destroyers have been Carnifexed( ie. very good in the last 'dex, so are nerfed badly so you need to replace them in your armies). You certainly don't need all 15 of the models you currently have. Tomb Blades might be cool though.

7) Immortals are now a Troops choice. Pariahs are gone. Flayed Ones are Elites.
Immortals as troops are great and I will expound on this later. Pariahs gone?: Now I've had the handle Pariah Stevo since I was in high school so this ones kinda personal. Honestly I don't buy it. Pariahs have a significant amount of back store. The story line of DOW: Dark Crusade was based around a pariah. Not only that, pariahs are seen throughout Necron artwork, and we know how GW likes to recycle artwork. Pariah were always that unit that everyone loved, but just were not up to par in games terms. I think everyone expected them to be the Bad-A s of this dex and get a brand new plastic kit. To get rid of them would be just... stupid. Even if they are shafted as a unit, they will appear elsewhere as a special character or something. I half expect Cypteks (see below) to renamed pariahs. Like I said, I just hope yakface is wrong on this one. As far as flayed ones, in their rules I see no reason why they shouldn't be troops. In the book "Hellforged" from the Black Library, flayed ones basically hide out in dead bodies and ambush people. Maybe we got some cool new ambush rules similar to Ygmarls. Of course, maybe they got nerfed like Mandrakes, who knows.

8) There are indeed 6 named characters (although I have no more info on them). There is also a Necron Overlord and a bodyguard unit called Crypteks. Crypteks can be split off before the game to lead units of Necrons, very similar to Wolf Guard in the Space Wolves codex. Crypteks can take a bunch of different technology upgrades, so there is kind of a way now to have personalized squad leaders in a Necron army.
Cypteks sound cool. I hope this is something I can do without using a special character. I love how special characters are worth a darn, but I hate when they seem competitively mandatory. (ie Ghazkull) For any of you not familiar with Warmachine, Cryx have a unit called Necrotechs, and now Necrons have a unit called Crypteks. effed up, ain't it?
9) They army is much more mobile now in general.(Ya!) They have several units of jump troops, and 2 new transport vehicles. 1 transport can carry 15 necrons while another can carry 10. Jump pack units count as 2 models and jetbikes count as 5. The one that holds 10 is able to recover casualties to a unit (although can't take it beyond its starting strength). Necron vehicles besides the monolith are open-topped skimmers. However they have something called 'Quantum shielding' which gives their front & side armor +2 until the vehicle takes its first glance/pen, at which point it loses the shielding. One of these two transports (not sure which one) is apparently a personal transport for the Lord (and his retinue).
Sounds cool. They definitely are changing the way the army works.

10) There are six new vehicles in the codex (including the two transports mentioned above). Two of which seem to be based around this old Jes Goodwin design:
six? I doubt it. That's a crap-ton. Even if we get two kits that make 3 variants that is a ton of  new vehicles and kits.

11) In general Necrons have a lot more long ranged fire support. There is also a new weapon type called Tesla weapons. These weapons, on a roll of '6' to hit automatically cause two more hits. The biggest version of the Tesla weapons has a chance of hitting all other units close to the target; both friend and foe. One of the new vehicles carries the doomsday cannon: 72" S9 AP1 Heavy 1 large blast. BS4.
sounds awesome

12) In the Elites section there is a big new walker. It has a heat ray that that is either a melta or flamer depending on what you want to do. Any unit hit by this vehicle is marked (as in: laser targeted), which means that all other necrons count as being twin-linked for shooting at the marked enemy unit that turn.
Necron Tau dread? wtf? sounds cool

13) Necron Warriors have the same basic stat line they had before except they now have a 4+ save. Now before you go crazy, also note that their points cost is 12 points, which is a 1/3 price drop (down from 18 points). That means you get 1/3 more Warrior models in the army for the same amount of also makes losing an entire unit due to sweeping advance, not nearly as painful.

I know a lot of cynical people will hate this and accuse GW from simply making the change to sell more Warrior models, and you could be right. But personally I was always hoping they were going to make Necron Warriors not quite as tough and dump the points cost on them, so you could really take a ton of them...given in my mind they are supposed to be more like a shambling horde of undead robots than some sort of small elite force of super-warriors (but that could just be me).

So this change alone totally changes the army from out of the 'MEQ' umbrella and makes their base statline unique in the game (which is good, IMHO).
Ok, here I have a problem. Not because of the 4+ save. With a 6pt. drop in price I can accept and even like that. My problem is that they didn't fix anything else wrong with them. In 3rd and 4th edition warriors were durable, could drop vehicles, and more importantly had high leadership and numbers that let them hang in assaults. In 5th, the game mechanics changed that took away their ability to kill vehicles effectively and to hang at all in assault. Instead of trying to restore how they once were it's like GW thought "They suck and they are expensive. Let's make them cheaper! It doesn't matter that they still stuck, heck, let's make'm suck more?" I like the idea of the robot horde. I used to run 40 to 60 warrior in a 2000pt list. The problem is with the current rule set, mass infantry won't work if you can be caught in a sweeping advance. Just ask any Guard player. When was the last time you saw big IG blob squads in competitive play? How bought with no special or heavy weapons? Thought so. If this holds true, it will be a tragedy. Warriors suck right now, a cheap cost doesn't change that at all.
14) Immortals have lost their T5 (down to T4), but keep their 3+ save. However, their points cost has dropped to 17 pts a model, which is an 11 point drop (more than 1/3 a drop from the previous cost of 28 pts)!
And here in lies our redemption!!! I propose a question: Why take warriors at all? Immortals are troops now. Let's compare new immortals to old warriors. Stat lines are exactly the same. Instead of a S4 rapid fire weapon I would have a S5 24" assault 2 weapons and New Immortal are a point cheaper. Now let's compare new immortals with new warriors. For 5pts you get a 3+ save and a way way better gun. I think 4 X 10 Immortals at 170pts each is amazing. It's like having the firepower of PAGK for half the points and being just as durable. The bad news: I own about 100 warrior models and Immortals are probably gonna cost about $33 for 5. Hmmm that's 246 dollar just for troops, about the cost of and entire Warmach.... ok, ok, I'll stop.

15) All units in the army benefit from the new WBB rule, not just the units that were formerly classified as 'Necrons' in the current codex (even Scarabs!). So although you're only getting a 5+ save in many cases, you're still getting it on some of the more expensive stuff in the army as well (and there are some pricey new units to counterbalance the relatively cheap Warriors and Immortals). Also the vehicle that can add models back into the unit is also able to use this ability on any unit.
Hmmm. Vehicle that adds models back into the unit? Someones been reading the Cryx rules. All of the excellent upgrades to WBB are making that 5+ look not so bad.

15) Rez Orb is still in the game and boosts the new WBB rule to a 4+ instead of a 5+, but only affects the unit it is in. I have a strong suspicion that this is an upgrade that Crypteks can take (I'll confirm if I find out), so I'd imagine you can get quite a few units in the game getting the 4+ bonus save if you want to pay the points to take them for your Crypteks and then split those Crypteks off to lead units.
Dude, Sweeeet
16) Veil of Darkness is now definitely something Crypteks can take (so you can have a bunch of 'em in the army), but it no longer allows a unit to be pulled out of combat (and neither does the Monolith), except in the case of the Veil carried by one of the named Lords.
BOOOOOO!!!! Teleporting out of combat is like, my favorite thing ever. That makes me sad. My 4th edition army was completely based off of teleport out of combat. Sad Panda.

17) In the new fluff it sounds like the C'Tan were mainly killed off by the Necrons (or something like that), so the C'Tan that you field in the game are just remaining shards of their power. They're naturally still a really mean Monstrous Creature who rocks in combat, but you can also purchase a bunch of different abilities. These abilities are in line with a lot of the things we've seen in the last few codecies, things like: messing around with Deep Striking enemy units, making enemies moving through terrain differently, and allowing the Necron player to change some of his deployment, etc. So it sounds like you have a lot of different options with the C'Tan that really mess with the enemy army and/or supplement your own. And they are not one per army (so you can have 3 if you want to use up all your Elites on them, although it sounds like the other Elites choices are pretty awesome as well).
C'tan killed off by necrons? that makes no sense. This dex is really starting to look like Ward wrote it. I mean, that just sounds stupid. I do love the thought of fielding 3 of them though.

18) Some of those six new vehicles include flyers (not sure how many), which can move at cruising speed and fire all their weapons.
Nice. I hope GW decides in 6th edition to let everything move 12" and fire all their weapons, as anything worth a damn has some way of ignoring the shooting rules.

19) Besides a few units that are Fearless (Wraiths, Tomb Spyders and Scarabs), the army doesn't have any sort of blanket immunity to morale. They are still Ld10, but obviously we know that still leaves them very vulnerable to being run down in combat, and it looks like that will remain a big Achilles heel.
It's like GW nerfed necrons and then decided that they liked it. W.T.F.?

20) Scarabs sound great. They are cheap, have the new WBB rule, move like beasts and have an ability that erodes enemy armor when they get into combat with it. Any non-vehicle model they wound, but don't kill, has its armor save turned to a dash (i.e. nothing) for the rest of the game. If they hit a vehicle, on a 4+ the vehicle loses a point of armor value on ALL facings, and if any facing is reduced to zero, then the vehicle is destroyed (I'm not sure if this ability kicks in for each hit they get on the vehicle, or just once no matter how many hits they cause). There are some items in the army that also have a similar ability to erode armor, including one of the C'Tan powers.

So it sounds like Scarabs may play a major role in most Necron armies!
These rumors are awesome. I love scarabs. They have a very unique feel in the 40k universes. Making them beast is amazing. I wonder about the mechanics of the armor eroding rule. I seems a little trite as well as difficult to actual make balanced. If it were me, I would have just gave them stock disruption fields and made them rending, but that's just me.

21) Overall, CC is definitely still the weak point of the army, but it looks like they've got a lot of different places they can take special rules to slow down or screw with approaching enemy, including some of the C'Tan powers, but also some of the different gear they can take. But they also have some different potential counter-assault units, which mainly come out of the Elites section (besides the new Walker, the C'Tan and the flayed ones in Elites there are 3 OTHER brand new units in there as well, for a grand total of 6 Elites choices). The Flayed ones are, being consistent, cheaper than they were and now have 3 Attacks base (but their save is now 4+ as with standard Warriors). One of the other new Elite units is also CC oriented, but is very pricey points wise (but is S5/T5/3+save). This unit can wield a Warscythe, but they are not called Pariahs (no idea if that's what Pariahs have 'turned into' or not).

We definitely need more CC. Strange how they made a unit similar to pariahs, but they are not. I really gotta see more on these to form any real opinion.

Another new Elites choice is a sniper style unit that can Deep Strike into play normally or it can choose to immediately Deep Strike immediately after the opponent brings an enemy unit on from Reserves, and they have some nasty additional damage ability against one nominated unit...obviously we need more info to know how useful this will really be, but the concept of countering an opponent's Reserve deployment immediately sounds interesting at least.
Hmmmm. sounds interesting.
The last new Elites choice is an Elite Jump Infantry unit with very close range shooting and some decent CC ability (and are also S5/T5/3+save).
Jump pack, not-pariah-pariahs!!!! yeah!!!

22) Fast Attack has 4 choices...Wraiths, Tomb Blades (jetbikes), Scarabs & Destroyers.

And that's it! Kind of all over the place and certainly not a full snapshot of the codex, but a lot of these things are completely opposite from many of the other rumors I've seen out there.

There you have it. Like I said, I'm very concerned about the fact the army seems like it's gonna play more like 5th edition necrons that 4th. I just don't know if i like it, because I've grown to hate the way necrons play now. Even so. I'm very optimistic about the new units and everything the codex will bring. Have at it guys, what do you like or dis-like about these new rumors?

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