Wednesday, 3 March 2010

[Necrons] Necrons in 5th Edition: Initial Thoughts

I know it's been a while since 5th Edition 40k came out, but I've still yet to use my Necrons under the new rules, so I thought I'd do a bit of a run-through for each unit and then discuss what's changed, how I used to use them and how 5th edition makes them different.

The first and most noticeable issues are with the army-wide special rules:

Gauss Weapons
First and foremost, we Necron players now have to get used to the fact that Gauss Weapons can't insta-kill Vehicles anymore. Forget about the glory days where a unit of Warriors could jump out of a Monolith and then take down the Land Raider by glancing it to death... we now need to rely on bigger guns and other units to take these down.

Whilst it's still viable to stun, shake and immobilise stuff to solve the problem, you'll quickly find that with the rise in Vehicles, due to the durability of 5th Ed vehicle chart, you're now going to have to pour a ton of fire into them and hope you can Immobilise them and remove all their weapons in the same turn, leaving them as Pillboxes scattered around the land.

We'll Be Back
Not much has really changed with We'll Be Back in terms of the overall flow of the game, but with combats being decided a lot faster and drawn combats being fewer for the Necron player, it means your dying units will have fewer chances to WBB.

Leadership and Assault
Necrons LD value of 10 is extremely good for the majority of situations, however, with no access to Fearless troops or even Stubborn they easily get dragged down in combat, especially due to their poor Assault skills (with the exception of a few units). Now in 5th, Necrons are a lot more likely to get done over in an assault and even more likely to run away and get chased down by the attackers.

Overall... it doesn't look too good for we Necron players, so the next step needs to be to look at our individual units and what changes are made for them in 5th.

The Lord still acts primarily in his role as a Support unit for your Elite choices, and as an Orb Weilder. He now however has issues with certain wargear builds... for example the once prominent Destroyer Body, Res Orb, Phase Shifter, Phylactery,Warscythe build I used to run. This guy relied on preying on the weak units of the enemy, turbo-boosting around claiming his 3+ invulnerable save and providing his aura of Resurrection.

I'd prefer now to keep this guy in unit of Warriors, then maybe boost him out of the unit at a later stage. There's also, as you get with any rules change, some wargear thats taken a dip in effectiveness.

The Phase Shifter now becomes even more useful with the rise in Melta weapons aiming to splat your Lord and deny him his saves. There's nothing worse than him getting Bwomped by a Guard squad holding 3 Meltas.

Pariahs are one of those units I really wanted 5th edition to help out. It does slightly, but at the same time, they're still not worth taking over Immortals really...

Running in 5th edition helped them a lot, getting across the table faster is a C'Tan-send for these guys, despite the fact they have 24" assault Gauss weapons.

Their ability to reduce people within their aura to LD7 means that if they win combat, even by 1 or 2, you're looking at Ld5 or 6 for your precious Terminators to check to see if they run away. It does mean they can now fend off squads of Terminators quite well, as even if they only manage to kill 1 or 2, provided they can withstand an attack back, the Ld drop the Terminators take is extremely useful.

Immortals are, and always have been, just Warriors but bigger, stronger and better. The real dip I found with these guys is them not being able to be a scoring unit anymore. Veil of Darkness Lord, plus these guys, really helped scare the enemy. Either by dropping in behind the enemies precious vehicles, or by appearing near a vital unit and then the Immortals unleashing a hail of fire upon the enemy.

These guys are still the bodyguard of choice for my Lord, you just have to be more careful now about getting into Assault. Your lord can handle himself, but the Immortals getting chopped to pieces won't help when it comes to LD tests.

Flayed Ones
Flayed ones again suffer the loss of scoring unit. These guys infiltrating behind enemy lines were able to pick off weaker units that would have to sit back - Devestators, Grots, Heavy Weapons platoons. They could then camp there in relative safety, able to defend the position against anything that tried to make it back to capture / contest.

Also, again the Leadership issue creeps in here, in that without Power weapons, Rending or Extra attacks compared to other army's assault specialists, 1 or 2 losses and the Flayed ones are looking shakey. In the next Codex Necrons could really do with making these guys Troops in some way.

Warriors are the backbone of the Necron army, as already expected. However they're no longer the anti-tank squads they once were. Enemies can once again feel confident in plonking their transports and precious vehicles within rapid fire range of these squads, safe in the knowledge their vehicles are even harder to destroy.

The warriors will now have to rely on picking clever combats and using either the Veil of Darknes or Monolith to bypass tricky combat... so not so much different from 4th ed.

Also now these guys are your only scoring units... meaning if you did the old 2 units of 10 warriors and be done with it, you're now going to have a fair bit of trouble in this edition. I usually run either 4 units of 12 or 3 units of 15. 1 as forward objective grabbers, 1 as mid ground and 1 to hold my own. Then rely on the more elite units to clear the opponents objectives for the win.

Destroyers now can't reliably kill tougher vehicles like they used to, through sheer weight of numbers and firepower. Nowadays, these are the guys I want cracking open enemy Rhinos and Chimeras to unleash the insides, ready for a torrent of fire from Warrior squads, or to line up an assault from somewhere else.

With their 3+ invulnerable save lost when Boosting, they now get a 3+ cover save, which isn't so hot against certain weapons and in assaults. I'd stick to the usual approach of keeping these guys on the flanks, or buddy them up with a Warrior unit each as can-opener units.

Scarabs are those annoying little things every enemy either seems to ignore them and get tarpitted by them later in the game, or focus on preventing the tarpit and expending firepower into a cheap unit.

These guys DID benefit from the Turbo boost = 3+ cover save change, meaning they can Turbo boost and be more survivable from those nasty insta-killing Plasma guns and grenade launchers and whatnot. If I'm right in saying, you can also happily use these guys to screen your more expensive troops, giving them a 4+ cover save which is handy.

Wraiths were one of my favourite units in 4th edition. Effortlessly phasing around the board, creeping up on units, then, accompanied by a Destroyer Lord, smashing into them and consolidating into another unit, keeping them safe for the following turn.

One now has to use a lot more finesse when using Wraiths. Their inability to destroy tough targets due to the lack of rending or power weapons means that they need to be backed up by a Destroyer Lord in order to prevent the grind of combat. The fact they're also 1 wound each means even though you're toting a 3++ save, the rise in Melta guns means 1 shot from that and thats a 40+ point model down the drain.

Lurk as much as you can, turbo-boost through terrain and hide out of LOS where possible, then launch an attack near to where you can get to safety the following turn, and don't always rely on being able to wipe out the enemy in a single turn.

Heavy Destroyers
Heavy Destroyers are now the only real choice you have at taking down vehicles from range. The major issue with relying on these guys is they're more expensive than normal Destroyers and only get 1 shot, which only half the time will hit. Meaning you need 2 - 3 for the unit to be effective.

Their role is now reversed from 4th ed really, where as in 4th Ed I'd use these guys to character snipe or guarentee blowing up a Transport vehicle, I now have to rely on these chaps to take down the Leman Russes, Battlewagons and Land Raiders.

Tomb Spyders
Tomb Spyders are now prime, since you'll be needing them to boost your WBB stuff and also, them attacking as Monstrous Creatures, chucked into the right combat to support someone or against a transport vehicle, can mean the vehicle is the majority of the time destroyed.

Personally, I'd avoid using these guys to try and spawn too many Scarab swarms, instead, buy the swarms as a screen for the Spyders working. I've had too many Spyders die because of bad rolling with the Scarab spawning process. These guys are all out support unit. Stick them near to a Warrior unit each and lend a hand to those guys!

The monolith is now even tougher, thanks to glancing hits not being able to destroy it. The enemy must now rely on Meltas being within Melta range, or rely on the AP1 factor.

This is your strongest unit, able to withstand a punishing amount of firepower, and then give it back out - along with clever use of the transport gateway, it can be the difference between losing a game and winning a game. I personally like to try for the Rapid Fire > Allow my unit to be assaulted > bring back through the Monolith to get an extra WBB roll for those who died > Rapid fire the unit that assaulted me.

I've had my Monolith absorb the full weight of an entire Ork army, eventually with 1 Warboss getting lucky and bringing it down. But the key is to make your opponent forget about Phase Out. In purchasing the Monolith, you've cut down your Phase Out number significantly - should your opponent realise this, then it's a hard time for you.

Now that the C'tan characters can run, it's even better... meaning they can whizz around the battlefield a bit more and avoid being outrun by pesky Fleeters or Jetbikes (where the C'Tan get lucky that is).

Their ability as a Monstrous Creature helps in bringing down Land Raiders and other high AV vehicles, which is now one of the major issues for Necrons.

They're still a hefty drain on your Phase Out number, not to mention points cost, but you can now happily field Special Characters without opponent permission, which is only fair... considering the C'tan are some of the coolest models and rules in the game. Plus, if you're willing to pay the heavy price cost involved, compared to some of the newer Uber CC units (Bloodthirster, Swarm Lord, Thunderwolf Lord etc.) then fair play to you.

Necrons themselves have changed a fair bit in 5th ed, but the way you play Necrons should still be very similar.

Use them as a finesse army that can take a beating if necessary, but avoid heavy casualties and sacrificing units where you can. Utilise the cover saves offered more frequently in 5th edition, to prevent things like Battlecannon's smashing a full unit of Warriors to pieces without offering WBB. Then remember that Necrons Ld can't be relied on in Assault, nor can every unit be a Tank Hunter thanks to the Gauss rule.

I'm intending on trying out the Necrons some more over the next few months, get back to using them and see how I do at the club.

For the moment, it's back to the WAAAAAGH!


No comments:

Post a Comment