Thursday, July 19, 2012

Necrons - The New Power in 6th Edition?

So there's no doubting that Grey Knights were the army to beat in the latter part of 5th edition but Necrons were giving them a run for their money thanks to their Night Fighting shenanigans. In the early part of 6th edition however, it seems to me that Necrons have the edge. Allow me to explain.

This is, in my opinion, the main reason Necrons are going to be so good in early 6th edition. With most people still using 5th style builds with lots of mech gauss becomes a very viable anti-tank option. Being able to move and shoot at range with Rapid Fire means vehicles should fear Gauss. At short range your standard 5-man warrior squad should be stripping a couple of hull points each turn on anything from venoms to land raiders. Overwatch works nicely too.

Command Barges
These were already irritating in 5th but weren't too difficult to deal with once you'd scored a penetrating hit. However, with their new classification as a Chariot they've become pretty potent. They can't move as far in the movement phase to make their sweep attacks but they can still assault afterwards! Have a read of the Chariot rules and try to convince me they aren't awesome!

Couple this with the fact that warscythes are one of very few CC weapons that are AP1 and they're really laughing!

As many people suspected the Preferred Enemy rules now apply to both shooting and assault. This makes destroyers and lords pretty nasty. I can imagine seeing a lot more of these guys.

Night Fighting
This is where most people believe Necrons have been punished. However, the increased likelihood of the mission using Night Fighting means with Solar Pulses there's a good chance you can keep it dark for a long time. For the most part this will give you an improved cover save whilst still being able to hit things and anything sitting at range e.g. rifle/psyfleman dreads will likely be out of range.

These guys were nasty in 5th edition and they've only gotten better. Vehicles are easier to kill in general so it could be argued they aren't needed as much but with the changes to "to hit" rolls for vehicles they'll now never hit them on worse than a 3+. Random charge and fleet hasn't helped them but (correct me if I'm wrong cos I don't have my rulebook handy) they now move faster in the first place and can still run. The sheer volume of attacks they get, which are now more likely to hit, means that they can easily multi-charge vehicles without caring about the "disordered charge" penalty.

A single scarab base scores 3 hits on a moving vehicle and will reduce the AV by 1-2 points. Against rhinos that means AV8 on the rear and then S3 attacks should at least strip a hull point. Therefore 3 scarabs can deal with a rhino pretty easily and there's less risk of them taking hits from an explosion. They're still not going to win a combat but by that point they've probably done their job. Let's not forget Fearless isn't going to affect them as badly in combat as it did before either!

Night Scythes/Doom Scythes
At this point in time, Imperial Guard are the only army with a "Skyfire" unit in the form of the Hydra. Whilst other armies have the option of taking a fortification with a quad gun this, like the hydra, involves sacrificing some points in anti-surface firepower to deal with a flyers. This means that the only other option for dealing with flyers is to take some yourself. In my opinion the best of these at the moment is the Stormraven thanks to it's high strength weaponry, hover mode, AV12 and transport capacity. However, this comes at a premium of >200pts. For this price the Necrons can take two Night Scythes. Not only does they have decent firepower from the T-L tesla destructor but being able to still to transport upto 15 models safely into battle regardless of whether they get blown up in the process!

If they're forced to make a Jink save and only Snap Shot in the following turn, any hits they manage (with twin-linked) will still get the bonus 2 hits from rolling 6s! This means they're still dangerous even after being hit. They aren't brilliant dogfighters mind you as those flyers with Hover mode can easily get into a position where the Night Scythe can't touch them. Mind you there'll probably be another one ready to help!

The low points cost means a Necron army can feasibly field a lot of Night Scythes without hampering their plans too much. At the moment this would be a very difficult prospect for an opposing army to deal with and even if they do then they're not shooting at the other Necron units. By flying the Scythes off the table early on the Necron player can try and drop troops off in the later turns to claim objective. The only risk here is that pumping too many points into flyers means not having a lot on the table in T1/T2 and risk getting shot off the board in the new rules. However, it isn't hard to hide something long enough to get some flyers in T3.

The Doom Scythe isn't all that great mind you as the death ray can only be used against ground troops and I don't think it justifies the 75 point additional cost. However, it's there as an option for getting more fliers into your list. Now I'm not saying Necrons get best flyers, they are AV11 after all, but their low cost makes them a much more viable option than others.

When you consider most people are saying that 6th will be dominated by footslogging shooty armies can you honestly think of a better option than Necrons? You have to ask yourself if it's a coincidence that they're good in 6th since Matt Ward wrote Codex: Necrons whilst writing the 6th edition book!

There seems to be a lot of talk on the internet about Necrons suffering in 6th but I really don't see it. They've got several viable builds and options for dealing with anything another army can throw at them. Expect to see a lot more of these guys on a battlefield near you!

Will I be getting them? Nope. They really don't excite me and I'm waiting to see what delights the CSM book brings whenever it hits.


  1. Have you encountered Mindshackle Scarabs in a challenge yet? Kill the chariot and there is over 50% chance the Overlord will be immune from combat. Not fun if you are on the receiving end.

  2. I've seen a few people talk about Gauss but no one seems to be mentioning tesla as much which for me has become awesome in overwatch, 6's to hit anyway means that you are getting 3 hits for the price of 1

  3. My opinion? Vendetta's are the easy king of fliers at the moment over the Stormraven. 3 TL lacannons, AV12, hover, 12 unit capacity all at only 130 points. Plus it will knock every single enemy flyer out of the sky with relative ease. Doesnt get much better than that.

    Again, thats just my opinion, Stormravens are still a very good flyer.

    1. I agree they're good but mainly because they're cheap. However, being able to transport a dread too and having BS4 and twin linked weapons makes the stormraven a strong contender. Aren't vendettas av10 on the rear too?

      Don't get me wrong vendettas are good but I still think the stormraven is better.

  4. How the hell do you assume death rays can only hit ground troops? They can hit fliers and skimmers as good as anything else.

    1. It was my understanding that they counted as a template so therefore couldn't affect flyers. This is how they were played at the design studio open day.

      Bit of an overreaction don't you think? It's just how I've seen it played but if you disagree fair enough. Better to debate it than just say I'm wrong though?

      Regardless I still don't think they're worth the points.

  5. Seriously, necron have options that are not inly very conpetitive, but they also have an abundance of those options, and at sensationally low point cost too. That makes them not only top contender for any tournament win in early 6th but also an extremely boring and frustrating enemy to play against.

    I also do not see their dominance go away very fast as most of their strength comes from basic rules or point costs. So either the coming Codices will be pretty overpowered or necron will stay the top army for a long time

  6. Death Ray works agaimst flyers. You cam choose to go skyfire ignoring the snapshot rules. Therefore being allowed to use it.

    1. As I said above I wasn't sure about this. They don't use a BS value and I thought that was why they couldn't hit flyers. Either way the Night Scythe is more useful.

  7. Does no one else have issues with the fact the majority of them get FnP without having to worry about it being negated by instant death?


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