Ettin in the Playground
Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop XIV: "Pray for 6's!"
So, as promised, two and a half weeks of play-testing. I can finally say that I'm pretty much done with ironing out the Necron Codex. Winterwind's Guide
covers a lot. But I feel that he's wrong on a few points - see if you can spot the differences. The below is also...Competitive.
Disclaimer; Playtesting was done for and against Codex Marines, Chaos Marines, Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Dark Eldar, Black Templars - all of varying builds - and Deathwing.
Stuff in red
was stuff I was unclear on and hopefully gets Errata'd or FAQ'd.
Reanimation Protocols: All obvious jokes aside; it's basically a 5+ Ward Save. Both better and worse than Feel No Pain. Obviously, it's on a 5+, which isn't very good, but, you can take it against any wound. Including those Instant Death/AP2 shots that wreck Blood Angels and Dark Eldar.
The downside is that it can't be used if all the models in the unit are 'down'. Which, on the one hand, your opponent is forced to unload a lot of firepower into one unit before moving onto the next, or, is encouraged into Sweeping Advance.
Sweeping Advance wrecks Necrons. That's it. That being said, Assault wrecks Necrons, and most of them are Initiative 2, which means they're mostly never striking first - or even simultaneously - and they're really bad at running from combat. Even 'shooty' units like Tactical Squads and Scouts actually want to be in Assault with Necrons. Because they'll win.
Ever-Living: Limited to Independent Characters, it's basically Reanimation Protocols (but it isn't?) for models that don't have units. Like Independent Characters.
Entropic Strike: Borderline useless. Most non-vehicle units only have one wound which means they're dead anyway. And, against vehicle-units, you're either slogging it up to your opponent's DZ to hit Leman Russes (which is not the best idea), or your hitting opposing Rhinos that are in your DZ - which you should use other things for. Most units that can have Entropic Strike, are usually taking it at the cost of something else. Which is bad.
Living Metal: Basically a better version of Extra Armour. Useful when it works. Invisible when it doesn't. Included in the points cost of all Necron vehicles (assumed) whether you want it or not.
Quantum Shielding: Rather than talk about it later, it's like Living Metal and is on all vehicles so why not? It basically makes you FA/SA 13 until the first penetrating hit. Against single-shots it works fine. Unfortunately the meta-game is lousy with Plaserbacks, and so the Lascannon breaks the shield, and the Plasmaguns do the rest. Or multi-hit units like Devastators/Long Fangs or Suicide Sternguard. Similar to Dark Eldar Shadow Fields, we rolled individual hits from the same unit until the first fail which is an exception to the 'simultaneous shooting' rule, I know. But Shadow Fields set precedent.
And Dark Eldar, playing Lance spam (they all do) basically ignore it anyway and treat all your vehicles the same as everyone else's.
Tesla vs. Gauss? Wait...What? Was Nikola Tesla a Necron? Why did Necrons name their weapons that...Moving on.
Tesla weapons have AP-. It doesn't really how many hits you get or at what strength. Imperial Guard don't take Punishers. Tesla weapons only do extra hits on a '6', which means if you miss, you miss (in the case of Carbines), and in the case of others, on a 3-5 you just hit. Remember, AP-. Sanguinary Guard are laughing. Dreadnoughts without DCCWs are S6 and don't even ignore saves and everyone laughs at those in combat. High(ish) strength doesn't mean anything if you can still save. Plasmaguns aren't taken because they're S7. They're taken because they're AP2 and kill Terminators and ignore FNP.
Gauss weapons throw out roughly the same amount of shots that Tesla weapons do. But don't allow Orks or 'Nids out in the open their saves (Imperial Guard are generally in foxholes). And, on '6s', instead of throwing out 'more nothing', do damage to vehicles. So, when your opponent has Meched up and there's no Infantry on the board, your Warriors and Ghost Arks still have targets.
Killing Infantry isn't hard. It's vehicles that are the problem.
An expensive HQ for one that doesn't do much except Force Multiply. At S/T 5 he looks like he wants to be in Assault, but with only 3 attacks at Initiative 2, he pales in comparison to other HQ-level choices in combat. His average WS of 4 doesn't exactly help. So, he wants to be shooting, right? Well. Wrong. His ranged weapon isn't very good and he only has BS4. So, what does he do? Well, Force Multiplies by way of his expensive Wargear.
Unlocks Royal Courts.
Relentless is good for when you want to shoot Rapid Fire or Heavy weapons and then Assault afterwards. Necrons don't want to Assault. Don't waste points.
Staff of Light:
AP3 isn't good. Thousand Sons are not good. Cover saves negate it. Swap this for anything.
Gauntlet of Fire:
Shoots like a Flamer, and allows re-rolls To Hit and Wound. At S5, you want those hits to count, and ICs without Power Weapons are bad. Still, you want to take at least this every time, because Necrons don't ignore Cover very well.
isn't that good for an IC (ask Gabriel Seth), and Entropic Strike doesn't do anything, always ignore for...
Turns you into a Monstrous Creature. S7, ignore saves, 2D6 for Armour Penetration. Why does a Voidblade cost the same? Was somebody drunk?
Pay 15 points for something else. It gets used once, doesn't work for Ever-living which means if you're the last one left nothing happens?
, and only works 33% of the time, and, of that third, you have another 33% chance to be no different from a regular RP roll. It's only really good for when your Overlord gets one-shotted in the first round of combat, and gets to stand back up using Reanimation Protocols instead of Ever-Living if he was the last to die
At T5, you're hard to wound. But, stuff like Force Weapons and Arjac/Lysander will mess you up. Instead, these allow you to mess up your opponent's unit. Particularly funny when you roll more attacks than he would normally have.
On an IC, shooting hits should be directed to the squad, and hits in Assault are generally Power Weapon hits. Space Marines don't get Artificier Armour and Necrons don't get Weaves.
The times when it does work pays for the times it doesn't. Even if it does cost 20 points, there's no reason not to take it.
One use only, at BS4. Space Marines don't pay extra to take an Orbital Bombardment (which is better than Arrow by far), so Necrons shouldn't pay through the nose just to fail. See Phylacteries.
Good. Yes. Doesn't work for Ever-Living?
Independent Characters swear by their Invulnerables. Overlords are 135 points base.
Catacomb Command Barge:
80 points for an Open-Topped AV11 Transport that can only take one guy? Ignore this crap and just put your Overlord in a unit of Warriors and take a Ghost Ark. If you're on your own in a Command Barge, you're not using your Resurrection Orb on a unit of Warriors/Immortals. Tesla weapons are junk and... You know what? Command Barges are bad. If you want to run around on your own, take a Destroyer Lord. And they don't even go on their own.
One for every Overlord in your army. The downside to keeping the Royal Court in one big unit (if you want that
) is that they don't have access to Dedicated Transports and will have to wait a turn (Solar Pulse to stay alive) or pop in through an expensive Monolith.
Regular Lords aren't even bad as they're basically cheap Overlords with less wounds and without the Independent Character rule which means they have as many wounds as the squad around them. Handy for when you need more 'Orbs but don't want to pay through the nose to get them.
The only difference between Overlords and Lords is that for Lords, Phase Shifters are bad. Don't waste points.
Bare minimum you want one
Solar Pulse. And maybe one
Chronometron if you're tooling out your Overlord with One-Shots.
For 35 points, you're exchanging your Staff of Light for a Warscythe (10 points) and gaining the Jump Infantry rule (25 points in other Codecies). That right there you're breaking even. However, you also gain one more point of Toughness (no more Instant Death for you) and Preferred Enemy (Everything!)
. Yes, that's a thing now.
Downsides; No Invulnerable (neither does Mephiston and most TMCs and people still take those), no access to Royal Courts, and, the units he typically joins aren't Scoring. Yes, he's an Independent Character, which means he's not getting shot at. Which means the only time he's getting hurt is in combat and that's where his T6 is.
His Initiative 2 really, really hurts for a combat character. And then he's a prime target for Jaws of the World Wolf. His Jump Infantry status gives him another go, but I2 is I2. And, at I2, Dark Eldar are going to rip him a new one because they don't give a damn about T6.
Gauntlet of Fire:
You're re-rolling To Hit anyway, and with S7 from the Warscythe you don't need to re-roll To Wound. Especially not at the cost of going from a S7 Power Weapon to a S5 nothing.
Staff of Light:
Terrible on an Overlord, and he even wants to be Shooting (sort of).
Warscythes are better than Voidblades in every way. Do not pay points for this crap.
If you can't take an Invulnerable, take a base save. It's good enough for Mephiston, it's good enough for you. What? You want one more Warrior instead? Please.
Because you don't have an Invulnerable, these are even better on a Destroyer Lord than on an Overlord.
Better than on an Overlord, since your Jump Infantry status gives you better angles/LoS. But, not having an Eternity Cryptek brown-nosing your Destroyer Lord makes it a risky effort.
A Destroyer Lord is generally running with small units or units that don't have RP (Wraiths). Not always worth it.
A Destroyer Lord really shines in low-point games (like Swarmlord) where nothing can really hurt him. In larger games, you have more points to throw around on an Overlord and Royal Court. But, in larger point games you also have more points to spend on larger Jump Infantry units for your DL to jump around with.
Overlords and Royal Courts Force Multiply Warriors, Immortals, and Deathmarks (and don't do much for Lychguards).
Destroyer Lords...Kill stuff.
Only because 'Troops => Elites' is the way the Codex writes.
Deathmarks: Relies mostly on your opponents taking Reserves (not always the case), and relies mostly on your opponent actually getting his Reserves (not always the case). The other problem with Ethereal Interception is that you arrive on the enemy's turn, before the Shooting and Assault phase. Which means your opponent can deal with them. Unlike entering in your turn, where the Deathmarks could shoot, or you could move other units to block LoS or Assault the units that could threaten the Deathmarks in their next turn.
The other problem, similar to Veil of Darkness-es, is that Deep Strike is not reliable for Necrons, so don't do it. That means deploying normally on the board and then you end up wasting points like Vanguard without Jump Packs.
If you deploy first, your opponent has no units 'on the battlefield', so Hunters from Hyperspace doesn't process?
Adding a Phaeron makes Assault 2, Snipers which isn't shabby at all.
If Lords/Crypteks join they appear to lose Ethereal Interception like Vanguard and Space Marines.
Lychguards: For 200 points they need to be as good as Hammernators and/or Sanguinary Guard. They aren't. Sure, you're giving them Dispersion Shields everytime (add a Royal Court Lord with a Warscythe), but, a 3+/4++ save is not the same as 2+/3++, and it really will make a difference. Because Hammernators are wounding back on 2s, and may even have a pair or two of Lightning Claws to strike first. Sanguinary Guard and Thunderwolves will crush Lychguard and barely break a sweat.
Dispersion is good, sure. But, during the first two turns, you're likely to get shot at and Dispersion wont process. If, in the first two turns, you've already been Assaulted (by Blood Angels/Dark Eldar), you're probably not going to have fun as both BA/DE have high Initiative and Dark Eldar Assault units (Wyches) likewise have a 4+ Invulnerable and lots of attacks.
Praetorians: 200 points. Again. They want to be as good as Hammernators or Sanguinary Guard. Sort of. As Jump Infantry and Fearless, they make fine Destroyer Lord Delivery Systems, as they will pass Fearless onto the Lord. Their weapons are AP2 (which is not the same as AP3), and with their Jump Infantry status they can get in range to use them. They're also Power Weapons which isn't bad at all. The other thing is, if you're close enough to use the Rod, you're close enough to Assault, so hopefully you end up with more than 1 attack. The Destroyer Lord with Preferred Enemy (Everything!) should do most of the work. The other option is to swap out for Voidblades for +1 attack because the Lord is doing the real damage anyway. Not bad. But not really worth 40 points each either.
C'Tan Shard: S/T 7 with actual Monstrous Creature status (Move Through Cover for free, although C'Tan get better than that) and a 4+ Invulnerable and Eternal Warrior. With the cheapest powers (one bad, one amazing), you're 205 points and don't really need to go past that. Mephiston wishes he was this good because taking Perils wounds sucks. Anyway, must take two;
Entropic Touch: You're a S7 Monstrous Creature. Ignore. Unless you need to be cheap.
Lord of Fire: Defense against Monstrous Creature-bane? Yes please. Why so cheap?
Pyreshards: AP- is bad. Don't pay 15 points to be worse than a Punisher. Why would you do that to yourself?
Swarm of Spirit Dust: Assault Grenades is fine, but T7 should take most of the damage. And getting MCs a cover save is hard enough, so Stealth wont do much. Are Defensive Grenades worth 20 points and a Power Slot? Not really.
Moulder of Worlds: AP- hasn't got any better. Especially for S4. For 25 points. I'm laughing at how bad this is.
Sentient Singularity: I heard Warp Quake makes people cry. This power is the toned down (like it should be) version of that. Pair with Storm Cryptek.
Writhing Worldshape: Paired with Transmogrification Cryptek and you basically cut half your opponent's army out from under them. Shooty armies need to get out of cover.
Grand Illusion: After Scout moves is nice. But if you need to redeploy you've already done something wrong. Putting units into Reserve is handy though.
Time's Arrow: Like a Tesseract Labryinth, but Initiative Tests are easier to pass than Wound checks. But, this can be used all the time. Keep in mind that Power Fists and the like only strike at Initiative 1, they don't actually change the model's Initiative value.
Transdimensional Thunderbolt: If you're going to get a Shooting attack, get this. Hard anti-tank is what the Necrons need. And it's far better than the AP- crap you could otherwise shoot. A Destruction Cryptek is only 35 points. Keep that in mind.
Gaze of Death: If you're charging into cover without Swarm of Spirit Dust (because it isn't good), this fixes everything and ignores FNP while it's at it. 50 points is worth it. You want to bog the C'Tan down with Guardsmen? You do that. We'll see how that works out for you.
Lord of Fire is nearly always good except against Orks. Singularity, Worldshape, Thunderbolt and Gaze are other good ones. Due to Uniqueness, having two C'Tan actually works out pretty well because you don't need Worldshape or Singularity twice.
Flayed Ones: No Power Weapons, Rending or even Entropic Touch, no Grenades, Initiatve 2. Lords/Crypteks can't join them and Deep Striking Necrons is bad. At 13 points apiece ignore them, take more Warriors if you want and use your Elite slots for anything else. At worst, take a minimum unit of 5 and use them for Infiltration denial. That's it. Can't even take a Night Scythe. Speaking of...
Night Scythes: It's not Open-Topped which is already a plus. And the Twin-Linked Tesla Destructor is basically an Autocannon Dread that can get more hits for 100 points. Bargain, really. You don't really even need to Transport anything (say, for Deathmarks or squatting Immortals). Yes, AP- is bad. But, Autocannon Dreads are shooting at Plaserbacks and Predators so AP doesn't mean anything. 100 points for an Autocannon Dread...
It can transport Jump Infantry, but, Stormraven it ain't. It isn't Open-Topped so you can't Assault out of it and doesn't really pack the same firepower that a Stormraven does, and has 1 less AV and is vulnerable to Melta. So, as far as a Transport goes, it's mighty rubbish. But it's 100 points for an Autocannon Dread.
If you are going to Transport something in it, putting the unit into Reserve isn't that bad. Does the unit inside still take S3 hits? Can it make Reanimation rolls? When a Plaserback is destroyed, the unit that was inside it suddenly becomes very vulnerable. Not so for Night Scythes. You basically get to keep your unit safe. Maybe you should've thought about how good it is to have a 100 point Dreadnought and ignore the Transport Capacity?
Triarch Stalker: Not bad at all. A bit pricey for a vulnerable Dreadnought (Open-Topped Walker, really?). Twin-Linked Heavy Gauss Cannon is the best pick. But at 165 points it's not worth it. But off the Twin-Linking you can get that hit, and then go from there. But, with a Heavy Gauss Cannon, whatever you've hit shouldn't be feeling too well anyway. The Heat Ray is excellent, but Necrons need the range of a Heavy Gauss Cannon too.
Not just 'Troops that move 12".'
Wraiths: Fearless Jump Infantry. 35 points apiece. 3, S6 Rending Attacks. 3+ Invulnerable all'round! Praetorians can suck it. These guys make fantastic Destroyer Lord Delivery Systems, especially because Whip Coils allow you to strike first. And, because Wraiths don't have Reanimation Protocols (is that bad?), your Destroyer Lord doesn't really need to carry around a Resurrection Orb. So, points saved there for more Wraiths. I guess. They're really good. Mephistion has a hard time dealing with these guys since they're striking first and wounding him on 4s with more than a few of those ignoring his no-Invulnerable. Not to mention the Destroyer Lord with Warscythe re-rolling To Hit, and then Wounding Mr. Fiston on 3s.
Scarabs: Meh. Lots of attacks with Entropic Strike is good. But 'Beasts' is bad. Wouldn't you just rather those Scarabs to have S6 Rending attacks and move as Jump Infantry with a 3+ Invulnerable save? I know I would.
Tomb Blades: Huh...20 Point Jetbikes with Twin-Linked S5 guns (what? Tesla Carbines? Tomb Blades can't have those), they're actually pretty good. Except for Shield Vanes (and probably not even then), you don't need the other upgrades. Unfortunately, outclassed by...
Destroyers: 60 Points for a T5 Lascannon with Jump Infantry. Not bad. Preferred Enemy (Everything!) means they can assault if they want to, not that they should.
Doomsday Ark: 175 points for an Open-Topped AV11 vehicle. Dark Eldar Razorwings and Ravagers are laughing at you right now. 72" range means you can trade shots with a Fire Prism or Leman Russ...Guess who'll win? Hint: You're AV11(13) Open-Topped.
Annihilation Barge: 90 points for a Night Scythe/Ghost Ark cross, without the Transport Capacity or the Repair Barge rule. Killing Infantry is easy. Just take actual Night Scythes and save your Heavy slots for something else.
Monolith: The Gauss Flux Arcs can't hit anything, AP3 Particle Whip is ignored by cover. The only thing really good about it is that it ignores Reserve rolls - including Turn 1 which means your Deathmarks aren't all bad if you deploy/go first - the issue with the corridor is that 2" from the door isn't very far so you can't pull the huge unit of 20 Warriors out.
Portal of Exile is used when stuff is trying to Assault the Monolith. And the only thing that should be Assaulting AV14 are Monstrous Creatures and they have S6 (usually).
Other than that, AV14 is Melta-bait. Try having a C'Tan with Lord of Fire near it. Dark Eldar Lances are still laughing.
Doom Scythes: Now, I don't really believe that any particular unit 'breaks' the game, or makes any one army win 100% of the time. But Doom Scythes are incredibly, very, very good.
"Every unit underneath the line, suffers a number of hits equal to the number of models in the unit underneath the line."
Wha-...What!? That is incredibly poor wording and rife with broken-ness.
The way it's currently worded, means that if the 'line' clips even one model, every model in the unit takes a S10, AP1 hit. HOLY CRAP. Paladins and Tyranid Warriors are pissing themselves. All Horde armies just got put through the floor. The Death Ray hits more than one unit. And, like a Hellhound, the 'line' doesn't even need to line up with the barrel. Just pick a point, roll some dice and everything dies.
Yes, it has a 12" range, but it has Aerial Assault, which means if it comes on from Reserve, and your opponent is in your face Assaulting you (because you used two Solar Pulses and Assault kills Necrons), the Doom Scythe - or 3, because you're like that - rolls up and wipes the board clean. You win. GG Ward. GG.
What it should be, is
"Every unit underneath the line, suffers a number of hits equal to the number of models underneath the line in the unit."
...See the difference?
But it doesn't. The way it should be worded is like Jaws of the World Wolf or above.
I could be wrong. But a GW Blackshirt told me this is how it works and so that's how we played it. Even if it doesn't, it's still amazingly powerful and destroys 'Death Star' units like Paladins and Tyranid Warriors in one go. If it works like that, it's like Suicide Sternguard. By the time it dies, it's already done it's thing. If it works the terribly worded way (RAW), then it's broke and needs fixing immediately.
Again, similar to Suicide Sternguard, a lot of people haven't yet seen, or refuse to see it's value (boo! 12" range) until it's used on them.
I play-tested the 'makes sense' way, and I play-tested the broken (RAW) way, both are very powerful.
Tomb Spyders: S/T 6 Monstrous Creature, and poops Scarabs. 50 points isn't bad. Fabricator Claws don't do a whole lot. But Gloom Prisms give Psychic Defense. It doesn't stop Mephiston doing his thing. But hang one near a C'Tan and it can mess with Living Lightning. But, due to Card Games, my friends are unclear on what 'Target' could mean, and didn't think it stopped AoE Powers like Null Zone or Jaws. Still messes with Lash though. Necrons do not like Lash. No sirree.
So, yeah. That's Necrons. I'm currently thinking of them as 'New Tau'. On par with Space Marines. But Mephiston, Sanguinary Guard, Thunderwolves, Long Fangs and such generally roll over most Necron armies I put together. And Dark Eldar and Deathwing just made a mess of them nearly everytime, with a few Draws.
I'm probably going to cop some flak over the Doom Scythe bit. But, that's how it's worded.
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Last edited by Cheesegear : 11-24-2011 at 10:32 AM.