November 4, 2011

5th Edition Necrons
A Quick Review

As some of you might know, I'll be doing a full unit-by-unit review of the new Necrons over at MWC later this week when I've had time to mull over the whole thing six or fifty-seven times. Speaking of which, Christmas came early! So last night I received the new Necrons a couple of days early. I'm excited to get started on my review for MWC, but until I've given the book more than a once-over I want to toss a little bit of my opinion on the new rules. More after the break.

First and foremost, I'll say that this new dex is a huge improvement over the last one for 5th Edition rules. Though that statement is pretty worthless as really any dex that came out would have been better than the fail that is the 3rd Ed. codex in today's 5th Ed. rules. However, I don't make that statement lightly, it's a very solid codex. There's a lot of removing models without any hope of a save. Where Grey Knights and Space Wolves may have one or two, I think I've counted five or six in this dex. There's also no better dex to shoot infantry. Plain and simple. No, I haven't played with the new rules yet. No, no one I know has either. However, once you see these rules you'll know what I'm talking about. About 80% of this codex is meant to kill infantry.

Which brings me to the bad news: Necrons will still struggle to kill vehicles reliably/quickly. There are a crap ton of tricks and gimmicky tactics to kill vehicles, but as far as single-shot, long-range, more-than-one-use-per-game weaponry; this dex is extremely lacking. Another failing is prolonged close combat. When it comes to the first round or shooting just before close combat, the Necrons are extremely powerful. However, should that combat overwhelm the zombie-robots by even the slightest bit they still have that lovely Initiative of 2.

Does lack of long ranged tank-popping and melee finesse make the army awful? Not by a long shot. I'm not entirely sure they'll be in the top tier as far as competitiveness goes; gun to my head I'd guess they'll be in between top tier and middle tier armies like DEldar. Only time will tell, though. Missile Spam SWs didn't come to light until a couple of months from their dex's release; who knows what "the list" will be for my boys in green.

On a similar note, it seems to me that GW is making an effort to steer away from spam lists in the Necrons. As an example, there are reasons to take two units of troops and only have one in a transport. There are also really tough decisions to make for each FOC slot. And with a lack of long-range tank-popping, there isn't really a cheap way to spam what we do have in the department. If this is the tactic GW will start taking from now on; more power to them. I'd rather fight a diverse list than 12 Razorbacks and 26 missile launchers any day. If this is the case, however, the Necrons are the first to dip their toes in and I think they'll have issues against vehicle lists because of it.

Stay tuned to MWC for the full codex review and TLA for some conversion posts.


  1. i was about to yell first.... but failed epically...

  2. Your first was there in spirit, Pat. :P