Friday, 2 December 2011

Read and Respond: Necrons in Name Only (1)

Normally, I look forward to a new article from The Jungle. So, naturally, I'd be looking forward to the Necron review, as it would catch things I might have missed, or reinforce my own thoughts. However, this time there is a problem. The author has somehow decided it is a bad book. And I don't get this.

Now, the accepted internet practise here is to 'snowmobile,' which, although it's certainly the right season, isn't an option for me. Therefore I'll just quote bits that particularly annoy me and respond without reaching my limit and vomiting profanity onto this oh-so-pure blog. Here we go:

1) Necron Characteristics; These are given as follows:

Extraordinary resiliency. "Your basic Necron Warrior had T4, a 3+ Save, and the “We’ll Be Back” rule. " That's not a characteristic, that's a Marine with an Austrian accent. The correct description of this characteristic is "Necromancy." And they've still got that, even if it's a bit worse.

Short-ranged firepower: Still there, move on.

Phase Out. "The key to defeating Necrons was to knock their total number below 25%, whereupon the rest of them would “phase out,” disappearing from the battle and causing the opponent to automatically win the game. Canny Necron players loaded up on Warriors, one of the cheapest actual “Necron” units (Scarabs and a few other units didn’t count for Phase Out), to bulk up their numbers. "

If you read 'canny' as 'anyone with a brain,' you'd be right. This isn't a characteristic, it's a detriment to list-building.

Plenty of vehicle-killing. "Most Necron guns were “gauss weapons,” meaning (as it still does) that rolls of “6” to penetrate any vehicle, no matter its Armor Value, would result in glancing hits. As even your basic Warrior packed a gauss flayer, opponents quickly learned not to get their vehicles too close to the ‘bots—or even to take vehicles at all when facing the Necrons. "

Yes, but this was in the days when vehicles were seemingly made of explodium. I'm happy enough shaking, and if you get the sheer weight of firepower you can still strip a vehicle bare. Maybe not destroy, but I'd settle for no guns/movement.

Vehicles? Necrons only need one. "Necrons had Destroyers and Heavy Destroyers, jetbikes which were massively over-armed compared to their equivalents in other armies. The only true vehicle they had, however, was the aforementioned Monolith, a pyramid-looking floating tank that had all kinds of freaky abilities, including an annoying resistance to lance- and melta weapons. Plopping down a Monolith elicited groans from opposing players; using two or three Monoliths was sure to ruin their day. "

If a gauss cannon is over-armed, I'm a parrot. I don't see what's wrong with moving with the times, either.

The nigh-mandatory Orb + Veil: Why is it all of these 'characteristics' seem to be things that promoted bland army design?

God(s) on their side. Yep, still there.

The 'review' then goes on to highlight how key Necron problems have not been tackled, ie. I2 in combat, the gauss nerf. Oh boo-hoo. We lost Phase Out and Warriors are cheaper and less valuable. You're still better than a bolter, get over it.

It is suggested that Gauss be made Rending (but oddly, not against vehicles only (the logical parallel to old rules), which smacks of wishful thinking), and that Necrons are made Stubborn (which I agree with, but again, squads are more plentiful and you don't need to worry about Phasing Out any more). This would normally be where I'd insert a rebuke, but I've already done that in brackets.

The next point is that the fact that AT is made most readily available in vehicles is a marketing ploy, pure and simple. I repond to this by highlighting that Warriors can now have special weapons in the form of Crypteks, which your Pariahs can be used for if you had any. If you don't, it's not hard to convert them with the array of new plastics.

We now come to the fluff. This is more whining, along the line of why the C'tan weren't Isaac Asimov fans and why the Necrons slept of their own will for so long. Well, the C'tan aren't actually omniscient gods, allowing them mistakes, and to be fair, the Eldar empire lasted a fair while. I'm pretty sure if the C'tan aren't omniscient, the Necrons are allowed one wrong guess.

We then get another bit about how Lords have personalities, and humans can relate to them, and that's bad. Somehow. Maybe I'm missing a trick, but I'm sure that the fluff-wise the Necrons precede the Eldar and humanity. This means that they get first claim to personality stereotypes.

Plus, how hard is it to use the following as your army fluff?

The Overlord of Fubarland wakes up, however his memory circuits have gone a bit awry and he still believes he is a servant of the C'tan. Therefore, he is very happy to find his 'master' again, in a shard found in his travels. Insert something that justifies the old Cyberman attitude of the Necrons, and you've got the old fluff back. And a better book. Praise be to the Deceiver!

Hopefully the actual unit reviews will be better. Hopefully.

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