Friday, April 19, 2013

The Tomb World Awakens 110

Necrons wallpaper
Now who doesn't have character!

Indeed here we find ourselves back at the beginning, once again examining the great generals which command our largely mindless hordes. Commanders fierce and mighty, terrifying to behold. This article will focus on the characters in the codex. Slight addendum: This article was originally posted on 3/29 and was un-posted due to some unknown technical glitch. Bear with me as I have re-written it to the best of my abilities.

On the whole, the characters in the Necron codex are not unlike those in the DEldar codex. They do some interesting things and offer some neat tricks, but the army certainly doesn't need them and arguably functions better without most of them, especially considering some of the price changes made to characters in 6th. Regardless, the models for each character are pretty awesome, so if nothing else they make for cool showpieces.

Our first character is the BBEG of the codex, Imotekh the Stormlord. He's expensive, coming in at the cost of 5 wraiths with whip coils. He's also very combo focused. First and foremost, in order to receive every benefit you pay for with this villain, you'll have to bring flayed ones. His bloodswarm nanoscarabs plague a random non-vehicle infantry unit your opponent controls and flayed ones will not scatter when deep striking within 6" of the victim. This will be important when we consider another named character, but for now, the rule is pretty awful standalone. Next, you've got the lightning strikes, the thing that makes this guy not work well with allies, and also sets the tone for his combo-centric reputation. Each turn, you can roll to perpetuate night fight. This is pretty cool. Being a 24" army works really well with new nigh fight. Not only that, but attaching a chronometron cryptek to Imotekh's squad betters your odds. The other advantage to night fight is that you get to roll d6 for each enemy unit. On a 6, you cause d6 S8 AP5 hits against the unit. Though not amazing, you'll zap 1-2 enemy things each turn, not bad. With the knowledge that this guy likes night fight, you'll often see him accompanied by at least one solar pulse cryptek, if not two. Not only that, but he's got a nifty 4+ sieze, except against Orks. He's a bit awkward in challenges though, since he awards d3 victory points for each character he kills, but this will largely be through attrition (2+/3++ T5) since he doesn't have a warscythe. In fact, his only other notable wargear beyond his armor and phase shifter is his flamer he comes with, and his odd death ray stick. Neither are anything to write home about. And to top it all off, you're paying for the phaeron rule. Which is pretty much the definition of terrible. So, if you can get over the "need" to combo off with this guy, or the volume of dice he makes you roll every turn, you'll see a pricey piece which can absolutely be skipped.

Next comes Nemesor Zandrekh. This guy is often referred to as a "budget" character because you pay very little for his special rules when considering the costs of his wargear. He comes with a res orb, as well as a 2+/3++, but is stuck with a staff of light. His rules are neat in that they allow you to grant furious charge, tank hunters, counter attack, stealth, or hit and run whilst likewise denying the same suite of rules to a single enemy unit. These really aren't bad at all. In fact, pairing furious charge with Imotekh's bloodswarm and his other rule, phased reinforcements, which allows you to deep strike a single unit from reserves for every enemy unit that enters from reserves, allows you to take about the best stab you're ever going to have at getting flayed ones to work. Again, the kit is cheap, and not that terrible, especially considering he lets you bring a court, as well as our next character: Vargard Obyron.
And here we see poses usually reserved for relics of 2nd Edition.

Obyron is the only character in the book to have a WS higher than 4, and he's matching blows with most other characters at WS6. He's not bad, given the overlord statline, warscythe and 2+ save, especially in the wake of AP in CC as well as challenges, given that he gets to make bonus attacks for each attack that misses him. On the whole, if you take him, it'll be for his "old school" VoD, which not only allows Zandrekh to function as a teleport homer, but lets you deep strike out of close combat. The only cost of such a toy is that Obyron MUST deep strike (alone) into any combat involving Zandrekh. The combo isn't bad on the whole, but it's unlikely you'll see these characters apart.

Ah. Yorick. He did not die well.
On we move to our pair of cryptek characters, the first of which is Illuminor Szeras. He's a destruction cryptek by nature, so he comes with the gaze of flame and an eldritch lance, as well as a second wound and 4 attacks. The only rule this little guy brings to the table is his mechanical augmentation, which grants +1 BS, S, or T based on the roll of a d3, to your chosen unit of warriors or immortals. This means that over the course of a three round tournament, you can expect his buff to be "worthless" for one of your games. I'd almost advocate this guy for his cheap price, if not for that fact that a basic overlord is ten points cheaper. Too bad, his model is sharp.

Our second cryptek character is Orikan the Diviner. He's often seen in tandem with a writhing worldscape c'tan, because his temporal snares special ability forces all enemies to move through difficult terrain during their first turn. He's also got an AP 2 weapon, which re-rolls to hit, and the ability to turn into a c'tan, mated with a phase shifter, a transdimensional beamer (don't worry, it isn't good), and the ability to force you to reroll all your failed reserve rolls for a turn. All in all, he's not awful, but he's far from cheap, and never what I'd consider warlord material.

Non-traditional, but the green looks sharp.
Returning to overlord characters, we find Anrakyr, the Traveller. He's oven touted as a budget bargelord, and for the most part, it's easy to understand why. He's got furious charge and counter attack, which he can confer to a unit of immortals in your army (which he need not join to confer said buffs to), as well as a tachyon arrow and warscythe. If you're planning on including a unit of teslamortals in your army, I'd tell you to give him a look, otherwise you'll have a hard time making full use of his points.

Well, this is awkward...
Our final character is the other released in the "first wave" of models, and the other phaeron character for the codex: Trazyn the Infinite. He's a bit of an odd duck, and it's almost impossible to use all of his rules effectively. As stated, he's a phaeron, so you'd hope to use him to allow a unit to move and fire heavy (or rapid fire) weapons, which are nowhere to find in the codex (except on troops, more on that in a bit). Next comes his odd close combat weapon, which forces armor saves on all models like those he slays in close combat. From there, we see that he counts as a scoring unit, meaning that attaching him to a troops choice will cost you efficiency. And finally, his rule "surrogate hosts" means that you'll want to spend more than a few points on a royal court for him so that when your opponent kills him, he can kill your expensive (and probably useful) models as well. He was better when the codex came out, and his model is pretty cool, but at present, I don't know if there's much of a point to our hooded friend.

So, there you have them. The assembled mighty rulers of the rising Necron dynasties. Was there a synergy I missed? Did I undervalue someone in my review? Let me know in the comments and brace for the forthcoming conclusion to the series, where I'll share some of my play test experience and pointers on a basic Necron list.

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