The Shawn Abreu Treasury: Necron Stalkers
More from Mr. Abreu, today we're looking at the Necron Stalker Construct. The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is there is already such a thing as a "Necron Tomb Stalker" but this is very different. Although both units are designed to give the Necrons a little more of a close combat edge the Stalker is a much more dynamic and intimidating unit.
The Stalker is a rare sight that is only becoming more common in the late 41st millenium as the Necron awakening phenomenom spreads to more and more worlds. It's gargantuan in scale making it a formidable foe on the battlefield - even more so than its menacing warrior counterparts.
Of course any fluff that involves Elysians is bound to get my attention and this entry was no different. Mr. Abreu manages to give the background a broad scope whilst still furnishing the blurb with enough detail to impart this mysterious construct's harrowing effect on the battlefield. I will comment that some sentences read a little awkwardly. The repetition of the word "these" in the 2nd and 3rd sentences and the descriptive repetition of the sentence fragment "At first the facility seemed deserted upon arrival," threw me off for a moment. Also the shooting profile of the Gauss Garrotte is not expressed in the typical weapons format (Range/Str/AP/Special) though this last point is a matter of preference and GW conditioning more than inefficiency of language.
The rules for the Necron Stalker are impressive. At 30 points a model and 3-6 to a slot they can be taken in numbers and the Beast designation means that this unit can be used aggressively to put pressure on the opponent as quickly as turn 2. The above average WS, Str, and Toughness coupled with the ability to ignore saves of all kind makes this unit a "must kill" for any opponent that wants to make it past turn 4. Hardcore combat units will no longer be able to hide behind their toughness and Stormshields. Wolf Lords and TH/SS Terminators, two of the most capable CC units in the game, will be wounded on 4's and 3's respectively with no defense at all finally giving Necron players an answer for these threats besides the expensive single model C'tan units.
But the Stalker isn't quite the unstoppable juggernaut it appears to be at first glance. Slow and Purposeful could throw a monkey wrench into even the most flawlessly planned movement phase and could strike again in the assault phase where a failed charge will likely mean ample shooting suffered in the next turn. Toughness 5 won't save these guys from such common enemies as Dreadnoughts and Vindicators whose Strength 10 Attacks could easily cripple the unit in one phase. Besides that, the Stalker is not 'Fearless' or even 'Stubborn' and could easily fall victim to modifiers or one of those Deathstar-killing Psyker Battle Squads. All of these weaknesses are underscored by the typical Initiative value of '2' as with most Necrons.
Mr. Abreu has balanced this unit well in my opinion ensuring with the careful addition of drawbacks that adding this entry to the Necron codex can be a fun endeavor for both the owning player and his opponent. This says nothing of my favorite part which I enthusiastically confess is the artwork. An eerie lump of a mishapen skeleton - almost human looking until your eyes are drawn to the wicked curves of serrated blades. Next time I need artwork done for a unit entry I'll know who to turn to!