Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Shawn Abreu Treasury: Necron Recombinants

Sometimes a unit has such an awesome name you absolutely have to know what it is. Recombinants is not a misnomer - Shawn Abreu's latest addition to the rules bank has a captivating origin story, simple yet interesting. Unnumbered multitudes of Necron warriors and other constructs have collected beneath the churned soil of countless battlefields. Where do all of these extra parts go? Well the re-animated guardians let nothing go to waste.

A misshapen, lopsided killing machine is perfect nightmare fuel and comes attached to some pretty interesting rules (and some very inspiring concept art). The Recombinants are an alternate Troops choice in an army that desperately needs one. Common sense rules additions include Fearless and Disruption Fields. Honestly why Necrons aren't all Fearless is perplexing and signature special rules should rarely be an  upgrade you actually have to pay for. Most of the time they should be a freebie to counterbalance the codex's opportunity cost. 

The Recobinants feature a very interesting new rule to express their background as haphazardly constructed 'Terminators'. "Apotheosis" is the kind of unique special rule that I would like each and every unit entry to partake of. Each unit should have a special rule of this caliber in order to bring the game's focus back to those role-playing elements that separate wargaming from chess and board games.

However the 'Apotheosis' rule does need some clarification. Solar Flare should probably read: "All models within 2D6 inches suffer a wound. This wound causes Instant Death." Also, remember that it's typically good policy to separate a rule's 'fluff' from it's mechanic by placing the latter in a different paragraph. That way any time you have to remind yourself what the rule does you can go directly to the second paragraph knowing that you won't have to look any further. In general I feel this rule suffered from layout issues - there wasn't enough space on the page to expand on it.

The points cost for the Recombinants is fair. They are more expensive than the current warriors but the small increase takes into account that warriors are already overcosted in their current iteration. 2 Attacks stock also gives the unit some compensation for their abysmal Initiative and static deployment options.

As with most Necron units there are no options and that's ok in a situation such as this one wherein the special rule gives enough variety on its own. However I would like to have seen some kind of unit upgrade that makes the 'Apotheosis' rule a little easier to control. Something to the effect of "Roll 2D6 instead of one and take the highest." or a simple re-roll. Totally random results tend to put a damper on strategy which makes the game less fun - predictable averages are the way to go.



sabreu said...

Very good suggestions. It's funny to me; I never realized how much verbiage can effect the meaning of a rule until you highlighted the solar flare rule. What you suggested is a much better mechanism for the rule. Also, you are correct about the layout - it restricts me more often than not. I just have an obsessive compulsion disorder when it comes to 'white space' and really hate filling in half a page. It has to be a whole page, two pages, but nothing in-between.

I didn't really think a re-roll upgrade was warranted initially; I felt the rather strong abilities in 'Apotheosis' was sufficient enough. However, if that is an upgrade worth pursuing I'll amend the unit at a later date. Might as well though - Necron options are scarce and on the endangered species list.

Thanks again for the insight!

Master_Bryss said...

It's a very nice concept indeed. By the way, what is a Gauss Rifle? Do you mean the Rapid-Fire Gauss Flayer that Warriors have? If yes then I have no questions about costing.

You might also want to clarify that the Apotheosis result happens before your opponent rolls for Sweeping Advance when you lose combat, as two of the four results could affect it in some way (this way Etheric Tempest serves as a really nice escape mechanism too, something Necrons need more of).

Other than that I'd like to see a re-roll option too, and I'm really quite impressed with this unit.

sabreu said...

Gauss Rifle is meant to be the Rapid-Fire Gauss Flayer that Warriors have. Apparently, I can't remember the names of such weapons. Maybe it has something to do with the Necron's vast

Your second point is good too. It slipped my mind to add that clarification in. Thanks for your input Bryss!