After my last article I realized even five minutes after its posting that I left so many things out and any continuation of the article will only result in several other continuation articles as my brain slowly reminds me of things I've left out throughout my day. So, to ensure I've analyzed every nook and cranny of the Necrons I'm going to do something I haven't done before. A codex re-review! Over at MWC last year I ran through my initial thoughts of the codex when the new 'crons hit store shelves and that was all fine and dandy for 5th Edition, but we're in 6th now and the robot zombies deserve a fresh once-over.
I don't want this review to span across eight posts like my first review of the codex back in November, so what I'm going to do is list key items, rules and units and how things have been changed with the release of 6th Edition. Simple as that. Part 1 of 2; let's get to it!
Rule: Entropic Strike
Since vehicles can be glanced to death far easier now, Entropic Strike is that much more important for the vast amounts of Necron mid-strength firepower.
Unit: Overlords, Lords, Destroyer Lords and Crypteks
With the addition of the "Look Out, Sir" rule, characters became a lot more durable and may not require purchased increases in armour/invuln saves or even a lack of such saves in the case of the Destroyer Lord and Crypteks. With the new Warlord traits tables, you may just find yourself with a incredibly powerful HQ as well.
Unit: Warriors and Immortals
Being able to move and shoot at full range with Rapid Fire weaponry gave Warriors and Immortals both a boost which is vital to 6th Edition where a lot of unit types got increased movement range.
Overwatch now allows all units in the 40k universe to Snapshot at enemies charging at them making the Dispersion Shield immensely more valuable than it was before. Is it worth their points cost? Only time and playtesting results will tell.
This unit, along with all units with Sniper weaponry get to choose where their wound is allocated on a roll to wound of 6 making this unit undercosted in my opinion. Because of this, I think we'll be seeing more of this unit on the battlefield.
Unit: Flayed Ones
Having no shooting weapons to take advantage of Snapshots, the nerf to Infiltrate and Deep Striking more or less the same as it was before, tactically; this unit is worse than it was before.
Unit: Triarch Praetorians
Jump Infantry as a whole got vastly better. With Hammer of Wrath and more reliable charge range all Jump units rejoiced. This unit got an even bigger boost, however. Combining their Rod of Covenant's ability to Overwatch S5 AP2 back at charging enemies, an AP2 in close combat and the FAQed +1 strength for no apparent reason, this unit may just be an up-and-comer. In 5th Edition the Elite FOC slot in the Necron codex was definitely the weakest making these guys and Lychguard possible new front-runners.
Unit: Triarch Stalkers
It's no secret that ranged weaponry is incredibly important in 6th Edition making this already good unit and its ability to Twin-Link other units fire (including all of the Snapfiring going on) a possible need. Vehicle survivability may have gone down for AV10 and 11 vehicles, but with AV13 until an unsaved Penetrating hit, this unit may just continue its trend of popping up in lists here and there or get an increase in appearances.
Unit: C'tan Shards
There's too much to cover on changes for these guys, but the most dominant in my book is Writhing Worldscape since there's now 4+ Pile-in moves in every Assault Phase in respect to several unit types having to take dangerous terrain tests whenever they move in Difficult Terrain. A lot of the C'tan's uses are still very specific to what they're fighting, so I don't see them becoming anymore popular than they already are due to their points cost, but who knows what people will come up with.
Unit: Tomb Blades
Tomb Blades got a lot of boosts with 6th Edition. Giving them Stealth now provides a 6+ cover out in the open and all Jetbikes in the game got some increased movement. I'm under the impression they're overcosted still, but not as much as they were a little over a week ago. It's worth noting that one out of the six available missions in 6th Edition uses Fast Attack as scoring units which gives the Necrons quite an edge with their Fast Attack slot being one of, if not their best FOC slot.
Unit: Destroyers and Heavy Destroyers
The great debate has finally ended and we now know Preferred Enemy allows to-hit rolls of 1 to be re-rolled in shooting and assault. Considering this is weaker than Twin-Linked for a unit that never wants to get into close combat I still don't see these guys as worth it. Sorry, internet.
Unit: Canoptek Wraiths
The good just keeps getting better. Wraiths being a powerhouse before are improved further by the removal of the existence of "fearless wounds" and the addition of Hammer of Wrath at their base strength of six. Were you bringing twelve to eighteen of these before? Yeah, keep doing that.
Unit: Canoptek Scarabs
Vehicles are more easily taken out in close combat for so many reasons in 6th Edition. For starters, worst case scenario you'll be hitting on 3's. Combine that with the mentioned bonus' mentioned above under Entropic Strike and the loss of "fearless wounds", Scarabs got better overall. The cons are present, however. Swarms no longer get increased cover saves, so survivability goes down when they're shot at and also note when you do the math the overall average a Scarab can move in a player turn was decreased, but not by much. Basically the pros completely outweigh the cons here.
Unit: Canoptek Spyders
At this point I'll just say it; anything in this book with the word 'Canoptek' in it is a great unit. Spyders are the new utility unit of the Necrons, if they weren't already. Again, we have a Fearless unit that can hold its own in close combat and like the Wraiths get Hammer of Wrath at strength 6. The addition of the bonus to the repairs they can make (now including restoring Hull Points,) this unit is a vehicle-repairing, psychic attack-denying, scarab-pooping machine at one hell of a cheap points cost. In addition, this is the only unit in the Heavy FOC for the Necrons (since it's not a vehicle) that can count as scoring in one of the six missions available (a perfect compliment to Scarabs who have a one in six chance of being scoring as a Fast Attack unit as well.)
And that's it for now, folks. I'll finish up the rest of the codex in Part 2 so stay tuned.