September 25, 2010

Rules: Necron Tomb Stalker

Jumping in late on the topic that's already been posted everywhere imaginable; I'm here to give my 3 cents on the topic of one of Forge World's new Necron pre-releases for Games Day UK this year: The Necron Tomb Stalker.

Truly a fearsome sight, this giant centipede of robot-zombieness is arguably the most interesting model FW has come up with, and the fact that it's Necron makes me happy in the pants. I would imagine the way the build is setup you could pose the body in many ways. That's always a nice added bonus when everyone's model will typically be posing differently from one another.

The sheer size of this thing is pretty awesome. Typically it's the Nids that get monstrous creatures this big--spreading that joy around is welcomed. Especially when it's to the only army I play currently. Here's a size comparison from FW:
I'm guessing that little duder isn't going to last long in a one on one with this bugga'!

Speaking of which, lets look at the experimental rules for this thing. First, its stats. The thing is a 5 Wound, 6 Strength, 7 Toughness MC with 6 attacks on the charge. Quite the tough cookie. But from the stats on is what concerns me with this thing. First, it's a Heavy Support slot, and I'm not entirely sure why. Heavies typically have some sort of tank-busting encouragement, and other than S6 melee attacks, this thing has nothing to speak of. Its ranged weapons are wimpy, and while every Gauss Weapon is capable of glancing a vehicle, this guy only has a 3.7% chance per turn to wreck a vehicle that has no weapons and no cover save (rolling Immobilization from a 6 twice.)
So, it has no shooting viability as the guns are clearly just there to look cute. What do we have in the range of melee? This fella has Fleet, Deep Strike and Move Through Cover to get close up and nasty with your enemy as well as Hit and Run once in combat (And don't forget Night Vision for all those night-fighting games no one plays!) That's a poop-ton of tools to get the job done, so what exactly is my problem with this?

Necrons have
plenty of
high cost
meleeing MCs...

The Tomb Stalker is super neato and all. But come on... Do we really need another Necron unit dancing around the 200+ point value? Aside from the fact that nearly every unit in the Necron codex is overpriced (a victim of non-5th-edition-ism. It's a real disease, look it up,) do the Necrons really need another target-practice model for the enemy?
That's about the size of it, in my opinion; a cool looking model with crap-filled rules. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very ecstatic that something new has come out for the Necrons after so many years, but a Heavy Support choice that can't reliably range* kill a tank, has no ranged finesse with a nearly 200 point price tag is the definition of incorrect, Forge World. Don't make me get my belt.

Those antennae look retarded.

Some great news on the Fan Dex coming soon. Stay tuned.


  1. Sadly I couldn't agree more...

    I actually double checked the codex just to make sure that the weapons they gave it for the experimental rules where indeed the weakest ones in the Necron army.

    For the price of that model I could put in 3 Tomb Spiders that would add up to twice as many attacks on the charge while actually providing useful abilities for the army.

    This unit has crap shooting, weak melee, and at best could be used as a distraction for a turn before it gets killed off.

  2. Dont forget that a MC rolls 2D6 when attacking the tankage. Dont know if that tips it in your favor or no but w/move through cover and fleet makes it mighty nasty.

  3. I did totally forget about 2D6 on vehicles, so that's neato burrito, but this thing is still a walking contradiction for Necrons.

    You either want something good at killing tanks at range or good at ruling infantry in melee. The concept of hand-to-handing a tank is typically desperation in most armies. This thing wants the charge and it wants it on infantry, always always always. If you're busting a tank, you're putting S6 MC hits into it, which is the definition of overkill. And if you're busting a transport, the dudes inside are getting the charge on you next round.

    Aside from another model in the Necron codex being labeled as a "could be used as a distraction" for almost 200 points, Necrons biggest weakness above all else is reliable ranged high strength...well, anything.

    So what's the first and only model in over 5 years? A h2h MC... /golfclap

    P.S. This model angers me the more I think about it. Does it show?

  4. Another unit with 2D6 is fine and everything but there are already 3 other units that get 2D6 armour penetration against vehicles in cc. The Lord, Ctan, & Tomb Spiders and all of these provide the army with other very useful roles.

    The main problem I have with it is that I don't or want another vehicle busting MC but rather a better counter charge one and this thing does not have the attacks or weapons needed to fill that roll.

    The rules give it fleet and hit and run which make it look like something meant to go from melee to melee to cause plenty of mayhem but with only 4 attacks and 6 on the charge and WS4 someone would be lucky kill just 3 infantry.

    Add to its weak killing power in melee they give it Gause Flayers, a S4 Rapid fire weapon... For what reason? It may kill something weak from time to time, but I don't know who would ever use them instead of fleeting.

    There are so many things wrong with this centipede it makes me mad just thinking how lazy the rule writting was after waiting years for something new...

    P.S. All MC's get move through cover so putting that in the rules just shows how pathetic the rule writting was

  5. A squad of heavy destroyers, S9 AP2. A squad of 3 is 195pts. There's your ranged tank busters and it only uses up one heavy slot in the force organization chart.

    As for killing tanks,there's nothing wrong with going tank tipping with a MC. It's going transport tipping that gets your MC killed. If I'm not mistaken, if a MC melee's standard troops, none will live that get hit assuming no invuln save applies.

    Two of the three necron MC's are HQ choices. I think everyone needs to evaluate that before getting their proverbial panties in a wad.

  6. I think it fills a heavy support role the Necrons were lacking. You could argue a tomb spider is better, but tomb spiders are much more support oriented than made for offense.

    The monolith is expensive and slow. I love seeing one on the battlefield, but I never really consider one much of a threat.

    Heavy Destroyers are just plain awesome. Probably one of the best Necron units in the game, but they are all ranged support. You aren't getting any hand to hand use out of these guys.

    I love the fact it can deep strike. Some people don't like to take the risk, but having a tank buster popping up in your rear ranks can make for a very bad day. You can also use Hit and Run to get it out of trouble in case infantry tries to bog it down.

    I do agree that the gauss flayers seem pointless. Yes, he can fire both of them on rapid fire because he is a monstrous creature, but what's the point? He is better at assaulting and they aren't assault weapons. Replace those with a war scythe and then we're rocking.

    Lastly it is expensive. But it is a forge world model and a necron. Neither one of those suggest you'll be getting a cheap unit.

  7. Above Post Correction. "Destroyers" are probably the best Necron unit. "Heavy Destroyers" are ok, but the arguement remains the same.

  8. I see the points all around, but thinking a single 36" S9 AP2 shot for 65 points is the solution for an entire army's transport busting ability forces me to assume you're joking. If you're not; Good luck with those 12+ armour values (spelling it out; you have an 11% chance per shot to wreck/explode 12 Armour Value per Heavy Destroyer).

    Moving on, Necrons have a lack of options with nothing incredibly powerful in any slot.
    Monolith is really strong and durable, but incredibly slow, expensive and typically needed for teleport-support.
    Pariahs can wound practically any infantry in the game, but are expensive, slow and lack survivability.
    Wraiths have extremely fast movement and melee, a S of 6 and have great survivability, but have no power weapons and again...are extremely expensive.

    Seeing the trend?

    The point of my whole post wasn't that this model would be bad in gameplay. I get my panties in a nerdy wad when Necrons are an army of ridiculously expensive units and few choices. Putting a 195pt melee MC into an army where 3 of the 11 choices out of the _entire_ book are already melee MCs is asinine. We've been waiting years for something new for the Necrons and this model is what we get.

    Something I haven't touched on is C'Tan replacement. The rumor for years has been that the Deceiver and Nightbringer both will be made much more powerful in the future, but put into Apoc-Only mode. If that rumor become a reality, this guy might be a stand-in for the C'Tan departures. This I would be fine with, but a rumor is a rumor is a rumor. I believe with my eyes.

  9. I honestly hope that this isn't the replacement for our C'Tan in the new codex without some major rule adjustments. Two Tomb Stalkers for 390 points have hardly any chance of being able to deal even two wounds to the C'Tan before getting killed. Sure they are slow but even the Deciever has nice/interesting abilities to provide the army while the Tomb Stalker has nothing but speed with little killing power to do anything but annoy an opponent.

    Yes, Heavy Destroyers have trouble against high armor targets but hopefully Gauss will be changed to be more powerful vs vehicles in the new codex. Lets not forget that just one rule book edition ago that even a Necron Warrior could wreck a Land Raider on a 6. Thats how the codex was originally designed

  10. I don't think I'd label a S6, 4(+2) Attack MC (meaning power weapon hits and 2D6 on vehicles) as "little killing power", but I do see your point.

    I'm in support of the C'Tan going to Apoc-Only to an extent, if only for the fluff. The C'Tan can't die according to lore. They're the originality of the universe. They're fracking Gods, quite literally. The fact that a 1500pt army could mow either of them down bothers me... Their stats don't match that of a God, but to reach God-like stats they'd be too powerful for the normal game. Tossing them to Apoc-Only would solve the problem of no Titans for Necrons, as well. They wouldn't have armour values of course, but they could be made to compete.

    I'm completely with you on Gauss; its purpose has been annihilated. To destroy a vehicle in 5th with a Warrior squad you'd have to get two hits, two 6's to glance and two 6's to Immobilize which would wreck it IF the vehicle didn't have any weapons.

    So in a perfect scenario of a vehicle with:
    -No weapons
    -No cover save
    -Within Rapid Fire range
    You have a 0.69% chance to wreck a vehicle with 10 Warriors.

    And then we toss in some reality:
    Vehicle has a cover save = 0.34%
    Vehicle is outside RF range = 0.34%
    Vehicle has 1 weapon = 0.01%

    Granted, if you just want to stop it from firing at you your odds get a lot better, but that's not the debate here. Gauss was meant to do something it cannot do thanks to updated universal rules.

    My hope for the future codex is they keep Necrons unique. It would simplify things to make We'll Be Back, Feel No Pain and Gauss, Rending. But the uniqueness is part of what draws me to the Necrons. Here's to hoping!