July 7, 2012

Necrons In 6th Edition

Oh the fires of 6th keep on burnin'! Hello there and welcome back. Today I have some discussion on 6th Edition once again, but I want to focus on the greatest race that ever lived; Necrons (they were here first, they have dibs.) Necrons, while (somehow) arguably competitive in 5th Edition seem to be turning up the heat in the current 6th Edition conundrum we find ourselves in currently. Here and there I'm spotting extremely positive talk about Necrons on blogs and podcasts alike (I stay away from forums as I don't enjoy actively decreasing my IQ.) So why, you might ask, are Necrons slowly gaining ground on the minds of the masses as the top tier army? Well, let's go over things in detail.

The most obvious increase in power for the 'crons is probably Gauss. With the new edition vehicles are not just shut down, but wrecked fairly easily by mass fire that is capable of glancing. Most vehicles will have three Hull Points and each time a successful glance occurs a Hull Point is removed. Once all Hull Points are removed the vehicle is dead.
Gauss is probably what Necrons are most known for and with good reason; it's everywhere. A majority of the units in this codex can take Gauss weaponry in some fashion and that is a big bonus for them in 6th Edition. What this essentially means is no vehicle (no matter the AV) is safe from Necrons when Gauss always has a chance to Glance. Contrary to popular belief, rolls of 6 do happen.

Speaking of hurting vehicles, if you thought Canoptek Scarabs were deadly before...jeebus muffins they're beastly now. First of all the best a vehicle can hope for when being assaulted is to be hit on 3's compared to the 4+ and 6's of yester-edition. Secondly, the Fearless special rule got beefier, and thus all units with Fearless got a boost (more on this in a bit.) This means that Scarab farms will more than likely be the new tie-you-up-in-combat-for-an-entire-game unit due to their overwhelming numbers. Scarabs are weak, this hasn't changed, but they will no longer take Fearless wounds in melee giving them a massive boost in survivability. While you may lose a lot of Scarabs to your enemy, even a melee focused army can get overwhelmed with Canoptek Spyders pumping out more Scarab bases behind the scenes. Finally Scarab's average charge distance was extended slightly. Not much, but it's worth noting.

I will also note that Swarms no longer get the Stealth special rule, so gone are the days of a Scarabs with a 2+ cover behind a small dirt mound. This is a pretty big change to the sit-and-build strategies, but not detrimental to the unit itself.
Scarabs and especially Wraiths made up two of the most powerful units 40k had ever seen in October of 2011 in the forms of armour-eating bugs and extremely cheap two-wound, 3++ save Jump Infantry that ignores all terrain and has Rending. So what could possibly make either of these units even better? If they were scoring. That's right; one out of every six missions has all Fast Attack units count as scoring giving the Necron codex an edge over...well, most of the codices out there considering Fast Attack is probably the least used FOC slot in 40k as a whole (though bikes may be making a comeback.) As an aside, when you bring Scarabs you'll be bringing (or you should) Spyders which, being a Heavy Support choice, also counts as scoring in one of the six missions for 6th Edition. That makes two of the six missions very beneficial to a popular Necron build.

While we're on the note of Spyders; repairs! While other codices have similar units, the Necrons have one of the few tough and survivable vehicles in 40k at its present; Ghost Arks. Having AV13 and four Hull Points alongside a Spyder that can return Hull Points that are lost makes the Ghost Ark a beastly option for any force. The great thing about the Necron's repair unit is it has so many functions unlike the Tech-Priest and similar models. Being a Monstrous Creature that creates Scarabs and provides psychic defense for your force; the Spyder will only grow in popularity.

Finally, the power of anti-infantry. With the change to how reliable glancing hits are in 6th Edition, my guess is shooting weaponry is going to move more towards weaponry that can handle low to mid-range AV as well as infantry. I'm talking about moving from Bright Lances to Scatter Lasers, Lascannons to Missile Launchers, Meltaguns to Plasmaguns, etc. Penetrating hits will no longer be all the rage (which will also assist in Necron Quantum Shielded vehicles surviving longer) and anti-infantry that can handle some glancing will be more sought after. Of course high-strength low-AP weaponry will still have their place and will still be needed in a lot of cases, but just like vehicles I feel we'll be seeing much less of them than we did in 5th Edition.

So who are the top contenders in higher strength anti-infantry? Tau (a lot of 30" S5 shooting), Grey Knights (a lot of 24" S5 and S8 shooting) and Necrons (a lot of 24" S5, 6 and 7 Tesla shooting). There are other armies that bring plenty of anti-infantry, but not quite in the volume that these armies do. Out of all of these armies I believe that Necrons are the furthest along in anti-infantry shooting and were designed as such. Tesla really gives them an edge in this respect along with the rest of their trickery like Death Marks which I also believe will be making more appearances than the zero they were making before. This is all speculation of course, 6th Edition has only existed a week so who knows what will change (including my opinion.)

That's all I've got off the top of my head at the moment. As always; questions, comments and screaming go below.


  1. This might be crazy talk, but I think las cannons might increase in popularity. While las cannons had good range they fell awkwardly between meltas and auto cannons when it came to anti-vehicle or anti-infantry. Now, that the one shot win against vehicles is less critical and monstrous creatures are on the rise a Str. 9 AP 2 shot looks pretty good.

  2. I can see your point. While Rhino-popularity may go down, the Land Raider popularity may go up and armies will need some way to deal with high-AV vehicles like that. I'm excited to see how things unravel!

  3. You forgot to mention the early power of Flyes in 6th, and Necrons can field them both in the troop slot and the heavy support. That Night Scythe/ Doom Scythe kit is sexy!

  4. Necrons also have a lot of options for dealing with nasty multi-wound-dealing characters; lords with mind shackles and a war scythe And sempitermal weave (for those pesky power swords)

    Not to mention jump infantry getting a boost with hammer of wrath.