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Necrons Renewed: An Overdue Addendum to NINO  by Kenton Kilgore

NOTE: This post was written for the version of Codex: Necrons released in 2011, under the 5th Edition rules.  You can find a review of the 2015 version here.


Starting back in November 2011 (or almost two years ago, as I write this), I posted a series of scathing critiques of the then-recently released Codex: Necrons.  In summary, I said that the overhauled Necron fluff was terrible; that the new codex had, for the most part, not addressed the weaknesses that had made Necrons nearly unplayable under the 5th Edition rules; and that while some of the new and revised units were good, others were decidedly less so. 

Some visitors agreed wholeheartedly; others objected strenuously, particularly about the fluff.  Few refuted my analysis of the army’s effectiveness on the table.  But all that was largely overtaken by events in the summer of 2012, when Games Workshop released the 6th Edition rules.

If in 5th Edition, Necrons were chumps, in 6th, they’ve been champs: the codex was clearly written with the new rules in mind (one could debate the wisdom of publishing the new codex more than 6 months before the new edition).  While my objections to and misgivings for the codex were, I believe, valid under the 5th Edition rules, I am happy to say that they have been alleviated under 6th.  So for the sake of fairness to Games Workshop, and to recognize the merits of Codex: Necrons, allow me to address several items and make appropriate retractions.

Re-Reviewing Codex: Necrons—Weaknesses under 5th Edition and Revised Rules
Let’s skip over my lengthy dissertation on Necron fluff (I have not become convinced that it is anything other than terrible), as fluff has no effect if you pay it no attention.  Instead, let’s discuss two areas where I felt the new codex had failed under the 5th Edition rules: killing vehicles and surviving assaults.

In the previous edition, vehicles were more difficult to kill, especially when gauss flayers could only inflict glancing hits. The new codex did nothing to remedy that situation, but the 6e rules did: now, vehicles have Hull Points, which glancing hits strip.  

Under the 3rd and 4th Edition rules, each Necron Warrior was, in effect, armed with an anti-tank weapon, making the army extremely capable of destroying vehicles.  Under 6th Edition, they have returned to their roots, which makes me very, very happy.  So please disregard my previous comments bemoaning Necrons’ inability to take out vehicles.

I was also mortified that the revised assault rules under 5th had neutered Necrons’ ability to survive a melee. The Reanimation Protocols and reduction of Warriors’ armor saves from 3+ to 4+ did not give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.  

What reassured me, though, was 6e’s emphasis on shooting.  Rapid Fire weapons were now able to move and shoot 24": under 5e, if a Rapid Fire weapon moved, it could only fire up to 12" (albeit 2 shots).  Random charge ranges sometimes keep attackers from reaching Warriors (on the flip side, some attackers get lucky and are able to charge targets they couldn’t reach under previous editions).  Overwatch helps to deal with those who do get close. So while the codex itself did nothing to help Necrons in close combat, the main rules did. 

Let’s go on to a new Necron rule—the aforementioned Reanimation Protocols—that I had been ambivalent about.  Having had several games under my belt, I appreciate more the simplicity of the new rule as compared with its predecessor, “We’ll Be Back.”  So forget my reservations about it: it does fine.



It's ok: it's all over.  It's all over.  Everything will be fine now.

Re-Reviewing Codex: Necrons—A Few Units Reconsidered             
Let’s go on to amend some comments about several units that I made under the influence of the 5e rules.  I said of the Overlord that: “One of my favorite options…is the ability to upgrade to a Phaeron, making him and any unit he joins Relentless, good for de-nerfing gauss blasters.”  Gauss blasters being Rapid Fire weapons—see discussion above on changes for the better.  I also said that I liked “being able to take a tachyon arrow” for killing tanks—see discussion above on gauss weapons and vehicles. 

I’ve already retracted several of my misgivings about Warriors, but in the previous article, I whined that one couldn’t give them special- or heavy weapons; one visitor was kind enough to point out that Crypteks fulfilled that role nicely if one didn’t want to rely on gauss weapons’ new-and-improved potency under the 6e rules. 

I also sneered at Warriors’ ability to take Night Scythes as transports, never guessing 1) that Flyers were on the way; 2) what game-changers they were; and 3) how awesome it is to be able to take Flyers for each of your Troop choices.  I have 5 Night Scythes in my current army and wouldn’t mind having 6—consider me convinced.




These are only some of my (proxied) Flyers that I have in my Necron army

I also pooh-poohed the changes to Immortals, but 6e gauss blasters + ability to take Night Scythes has changed my mind back again to strong approval.  I similarly dissed Deathmarks, who have Rapid Firing Sniper weapons.  Yes, yes, stop telling me about Rapid Fire—what’s that you say?  Sniper weapons allow Precision Shots?  Do they, now?  Well, what’s not to like?  And they can take Night Scythes, too?  You don’t say….

I had been less than enthralled about the codex’s version of the Necron Destroyer, lamenting its change from jetbike to jump infantry: under the new rules, jetbikes are awesome, but jumpers don’t suck, either, and after all, GW needed to sell Tomb Blade models (the new Necron jetbike).  Under 5e, Preferred Enemy applied only to close combat, which is NOT where you want Destroyers to be; the 6e version makes perfect sense for them.

I failed to properly praise Canoptek Scarabs for their tank-munching ability, and for that, I deeply apologize to the little guys.  The proof is that I added more of them to my army.

Conclusion
When the latest version of Codex: Necrons was released in Fall 2011, it suffered from serious deficiencies under the 5th Edition rules.  Sixth Edition has negated many of those deficiencies and made it one of the most powerful—if not THE most powerful—codex released to date (October 2013).  It is still true that the rejuvenated Necrons are not the same as they were under 3rd and 4th Editions, but if anything, they have become more capable (and certainly have much more interesting unit choices). 

I was dismayed when the codex initially appeared, being unaware of the changes that 6th Edition would bring.  I am happy to say that under the latest rules, I deeply appreciate the codex, and my Necrons are among my favorite army to play.

That fluff, though…..
 





NINO (Necrons in Name Only), Part 1
NINO (Necrons in Name Only), Part II
NINO (Necrons in Name Only), Part III


Posted October 2013.  Necron  images copyright GW 2011.  Used for review purposes.

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Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle