Top Bryss Reviews the Necron Codex
("Jessica" by the Allman Brothers Band plays for 20 seconds.)
Tonight, Felix gets a magnet stuck to his finger, Atrotos discovers the boiling point of Orks, and I read some poetry in a suit....
Hello! Yes, hello and welcome to the first half of this edition of Top Bryss! Now, ages ago, GW released the Necron, a minimalistic but efficient little car that performed well against its competitors. Unfortunately, the engine got outdated, fast, and now there's a new version.
It's called the Necron as well, and almost immediately I noticed a difference. In the old car, the engine would stall as soon as it was functioning below 25% capacity, something GW claimed gave the car "character." Unfortunately, this problem didn't age well, and in the end it had all the character of a turkey playing Macbeth. Not only does the new car solve this problem, it also tweaks the Necron concept, allowing more acceleration from the Monstrous Creatures in the book using the classic feature of the Monolith portal.
Now, all the old Necron-spec cylinders have Necron replaced by Reanimation Protocols, a somewhat worse version of the old We'll Be Back rule. It's not as likely to work as the old version, but it does shrug off missiles, melta, and more importantly, power weapons. However, there is a problem. The entire book is slower than a tortoise at ambling speed.
Therefore, when you lose combat, you will be killed. Now, Ld10 is a semi-decent aid for your army here, but it will crack eventually against power weapon units. It also means that combat for Necrons is a double-edged sword, with Lychguard, Wraiths, Flayed Ones et al cracking as soon as they lose. Even your best HQ is I2, something Rune Priests everywhere will love, I'm sure.
"But wait," you say, "weren't Wraiths I6 before?" Yes, yes they were. Which brings me to how Mat Ward delivered a crushing blow to those planning old-model armies. Let's go through all of them, one at a time:
"I'll have a Necron Lord as HQ..." No, you can't. It, like the unfortunate Broodlord before it, has had its pips ripped off and been forced to hand in its badge and gun. It's now a decent support, but is overshadowed by Crypteks.
"Massed Warriors as Troops..." Warriors are now weaker and cheaper, but more importantly, are overshadowed by Immortals, who are one point cheaper than Old Warriors and about three times bettter. Because of their horrible range, expect to see them mainly as Cryptek caddies. On the other hand, they now get an open-topped transport that replenishes them, so it's not all bad news.
"Destroyers are awesome, let's take 15..." Ward seems to got into his head that we wouldn't notice a 12" range drop, -1 shot, no Turbo Boost and -1S if their gun was AP3 and they were 10 points cheaper. He might have got a more positive reaction if he was caught fondling a wasp. The Destroyer slot's main purpose now is Heavy Destroyers, who are cheaper and basically identical bar no Boost. They fit more naturally into FA, so I suppose this too is a plus.
"Wraiths were solid in the old book..."...but no longer get up, have sillier looking heads and can't Turbo Boost either. They can however Rend, have multiple wounds, come in bigger units and have Initiative reducing gear.
"Ah, the Monolith, my old unkillable friend..." Nope, you explode like a petrol-coated Rhino now. But you are cheaper, and have more use as a utility unit, except not letting you re-roll WBB any more.
It's clear to see then that Ward has desecrated many old units, but strangely, I forgive him. Not because this is his first crack of the whip at Xenos, but because of the many, many good things he has also done. Pariahs are gone. Scarabs are better (when protected). Flayed Ones are as bad as they were, but much cheaper and more viable. Immortals are worse, but also Scoring and somehow better as well. Each slot is filled with options, unlike other Elites-heavy Xenos books (I'm looking at you, Tyranids).
And then we have the new units. Apart from Triarch Praetorians, I can see myself using every single one of them at some point. The Special Characters are a mixed bag, all of them a large investment, but amongst them are Zahndrekh (all-round good Lord), Szeras (my choice for <750 points) and Trazyn (scoring undying, if only the Empathic Obliterator was FAQ'd to be a CCW...).
I suppose my heaviest critique is that the engine doesn't handle shorter races very well. Nought to Turn 6 is good, but each HQ needs a heavy investment to be good, and all will go over 100 points. Necrons will take up points like Marines, but thanks to cheaper Troops can still have room for the disruptive gear the car includes. Things like Solar Pulses and Writhing Worldscapes give this car the drop on any opponent in a drag race.
The Necron was my first car, and my old model needed silly amounts of maintenence towards the end of its life. Now, I have a new model that I'm proud to use, and I feel blessed to play this army again.
Aww, a positve review for once. Top Bryss continues on Bryssling tomorrow when it reviews the Ghost/Doomsday Ark kit.