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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Necron Codex Review part 4 of 4: Lords of War and Formations


Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming with the 4th and final installment in the Necron Codex review series!


Sorry this one is so late, with the LVO and moving, I got way behind my normal schedule. But, as they say: better late than never! Plus, I have now had a chance to play with and against the crons a few times now, so I feel this review will be the better for it.


Let’s get to it!



The Good


Tesseract Vault


What’s not to like? A 14/14/14 9HP vehicle that reigns death down on the enemy and then explodes spectacularly, hopefully while in their lines? Yes please! For 550pts, this is a really solid LoW. It is durable and has a lot of firepower with the upgunned C’Tan powers and 4 Tesla Spheres. Living metal is icing on the cake. The only downside is the random nature of the C’Tan powers and the fact that you measure LoS from the C’Tan model itself, you could cut off LoS with your own model, so be careful when positioning it. I think that while you won’t see this guy a ton due to its points cost, it is a solid unit.


Decurion Detachment


This is a formation of formations that caused a lot of concern prior to it coming out. Rumors indicated it was a way to play “fluffy” Necrons which is true as it enables you to have a walking Phalanx of the metallic undead….but it also makes for absolutely brutal lists, too! My only complaint about it, really, is that I feel the majority of Necron players you go up against in a tournament setting will be using this. But, that is no big deal in the big picture as this is a fun way to play.


All that said, what it is a way to play Necrons that makes them extremely durable with +1 to RP, which is incredible. You have to take a Reclamation Legion Formation but from there can do a ton of different stuff. You can add in any of the other Formations in the book, or add in auxiliary units such as Flayed Ones, Deathmarks, or a C’Tan. A really nasty combo I played against was 20 Flayed ones in this detachment + Zahndrekh who gives them Zealot. The unit was mega durable due to the improved RP, and had 100 reroll to hit and wound, AP5 attacks on the charge: Holy crap! It was brutal on a unit that is also Fearless. I am a big fan of these style detachments as they are flexible, fluffy but still powerful. You really can’t ask for much more than that. Well done GW!


Reclamation Legion


This formation is solid on its own as it gives some really killer benefits (better than ObSec, though? Not sold on that, but still great). It consists of 1 Overlord (which can be substituted for an Overlord named character or Command Barge), 2-8 units of Warriors, 1-4 units of Immortals, 0-2 Lychguard, 1-3 units of Tomb Blades and 0-3 Monoliths. The Formation grants you MtC and Relentless and all units with RP within 12” of the Overlord get to reroll RP rolls of 1. Wow, that is awesome! So, you get a core of solid troop units, that become very durable (typically a 4+RP with rerolls of 1), and Relentless which allows you to double tap and then charge if you want, plus MtC which is awesome for the Tomb Blades and attached vehicles such as the Monolith or any Ghost Arks you take for the Warriors. I good choice for the Overlord is to take Zhandrekh, who comes with Zealot as his Warlord trait. Stick him in a 20 strong unit of Warriors backed by a Ghost Ark, giving them Fearless+Hatred on a mega durable unit that has turbo-charged RP plus the Ghost Ark brings them back to life. Savage! Zanhdrekh+Lychguard is also incredible. This formation will be the core of many Necron armies.


Judicator Battalion


This formation consists of 2 units of Praetorians and a unit of Stalkers. These are all good units, already, and in this formation they gain MtC which rocks for Jump Infantry like Praetorians, and an enemy unit in LoS of the Stalkers gets hit with Target Designated, which gives all models in the formation the ability to reroll to hit, wound and armor pen rolls for that shooting phase. This plus the solid ability of Praetorians in melee, bonuses from the Decruion Detachment and the Stalker buffs makes for a really solid formation and the only reason you won’t see it more often is because everyone will be taking Wraiths!


Destroyer Cult


I have grown to really dig this formation. It consists of 1 Destroyer Lord, 3 units of 3+ Destroyers and 0-1 unit of Heavy Destroyers. These are all good units on their own, but in the Formation they all gain MtC, which is awesome for Jet Pack Infantry, but the secret sauce is the ability for all models in the formation to reroll to wound and armor pen rolls! That is really good, especially considering they already have Preferred Enemy. This formations gives you a ton of mobile, effective firepower.



Deathbringer Flight


This is not a spectacular formation, but solid. It consists of 2-4 Doom Scythes. The formation bonuses are: +2 BS to every Doom Scythe that fires on the same target another Doom Scythe in the formation fired on and enemy models within 12” of at least 2 of the formation’s Doom Scythes get -1 ld. That makes firing on the same target super accurate for the second Scythe which helps a lot to get a hit with the powerful Death Ray. Mainly though, this gives an option for solid AA in a Decurion detachment, but is good on its own, too.


Canoptek Harvest

This is an incredibly good formation. It consists of 1 Spyder (and yes, that is a single Spyder, not a unit of them), a unit of Wraiths and a unit of Scarabs. They all gain Relentless and MtC...and, wait for it, the Spyder can choose to give all units in this formation within 12” of it, Fleet, RP, or Shred for a game turn. Good lawd! That is nuts. Wraiths are already brutally tough, this takes it to an extreme. With a 3++ followed by a 5+ or 4+ RP, at T5 with 2W….good luck! MtC is just icing on the cake. The RP also makes that singular Spyder twice as hard to kill and makes the Scarabs really tough, too, as RP works even with ID attacks. This is a formation that will be in a LOT of Necron lists, particularly in Decurion lists. If you go first against this, and can draw LoS to that Spyder...kill it! Kill it with fire! Don’t let them get juiced up or it is very hard to stop.


Royal Court


Another solid formation. This gives you 1 Overlord (which can sub out for a named Overlord character or CCB), 1-3 Lords (which can sub out for Obyron), and 1-3 Cyrpteks (which can sub out for named Cyrptek Characters). They also gain relentless and MtC because hey, why not? This gives you extra HQ slots+benefits. Obviously, this helps a ton if your list needs that, and it allows you to gain access to models such as Orkian, Obyron, or Szeras in your Decurion Detachment which can be extremely useful.




The Bad


Imotekh


Ye Old Stormlord is just not what he used to be. Now, let me preface that saying on his own, he isn’t bad. He has a lot of cool utility, and is durable, but is a bit pricey and doesn’t have much offense. Plus, he comes in the LoW slot which means you have to take an HQ. That alone is why you will rarely see him as the actual HQ choices are better for less points. That said, if you do want to take him, you won’t be upset about it. His Hyperlogical Strategist is pretty dang good, allowing you to add or subtract 1 to reserve and the seize roll. He also allows Flayed Ones to reroll the deep strike. That is really solid in an army that uses lots of reserves. He also always triggers Night FIght turn 1, which is good in a list built with that in mind (again, favoring a reserves heavy army). He also is a tough nut, with RP, IWND, 2+ and 4++. However, his offense is pretty meh at best. He has a flamer, and a Str 6, Ap2, Assault 3 gun (which in and of itself is solid, but not at his price point). If he had some sort of melee power, he’d be a good all rounder, but he doesn’t, and he is neither fearless nor stubborn, so he is very susceptible to being run down if caught in melee. For all these reasons, you will rarely see Imotekh on the table.


Living Tomb


This formation is a bit clunky and doesn’t really provide much utility at a high price points. It consists of 1 Obelisk and 0-2 Monoliths. All models in the formation must Deep Strike, the Obeslisk automatically comes in turn 2. Monoliths that come in within 12” of the Obelsik don’t scatter. Necron units that are Infantry or Jump Infantry that are in reserves can then move out of the Eternity Gates of the Monoliths. So, if it works, you get a sort of Russian Doll effect where the Obelisk comes in, then Monoliths, then Infantry...but it all hinges on the Monoliths coming in on turn 2, lol. Meh. Expensive, unreliable, not much utility, comprised of not the best units. I’d pass.




The Ugly


Obelisk


This is an interesting unit and one I would love to love, but it has some really poorly written rules. In general terms, it is an AV14/14/14 6HP vehicle that has decent firepower with 4 Tesla Spheres and is really cheap for what you get at 300pts. However, it’s big, cool power, the Gravity Pulse, is worded in such a way that it doesn’t actually do what it clearly (IMO) was meant to do. It forces Difficult Terrain checks on FMCs and Flyers...but all MCs have MtC, which means they auto pass these tests...lol! For the ITC, we voted that it does work on FMCs if they roll a 1 despite MtC, as if that was not the intent, why go to the bother of specifying that they take the test? At any rate, per RAW, it doesn’t do what it says it does, but it depends on your local groups house rules as to how that goes down. Regardless, it is a nice deterrent to flyers as with an 18” radius off of a big model, it covers most of the table. It won’t work all of the time, but it can be really nasty when it does. Otherwise, the unit can start the game in defense mode wherein it has a 3++ which is nice if you find yourself going second. Not a bad unit, it is cheap as chips after all, but not great.


Annihilation Nexus


This Formation consists of 2 Anni Barges and a Doomsday Ark. The bonus is that if the Doomsday Ark loses its Quantum Shielding, an Anni Barge within 6” can give it back by sacrificing its shielding. Nothing special here. The Formation is comprised of decent units that you may want to use in your Decurion Detachment which is why it is not in the bad category for me, but it definitely flirts with bad.

And there you have it! The Necron codex kicks serious butt, GW did a great job. My only complaints are that Wraiths are a bit too good, the Monolith actually got worse, and some of the formations are just a hair too good and will be very common. In all though, this is a really great book and I can only hope future codex offerings have as much character, variety, and fluffy, powerful builds to offer as this one does.

Post a Comment

26 Comments

  1. "...but all MCs have MtC, which means they auto pass these tests...lol!" Necron Codex clearly states about gravity pulse: Zooming flyers and swooping monsterous creatures MUST ALSO TAKE a Dangerous Terrain test if they move within 18" of an obelisk, even though they do not NORMALLY DO NOT need to take dangerous terrain tests.

    Its pretty clear even they have move thru cover, Obelisk own special rules over write the move thru cover and they must take dangerous terrain test they normally do not need to take. Codexes special rules always trump BRB rules. This is classical example.

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    1. But the rule does not say they don't have to take the test, it says they automatically pass it...

      I also think MC should test, but thats not what the rules tell us.

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    2. I agree. Codex FAQ>codex>BRB FAQ>BRB.

      Now if there was a rule in the codex that Necrons was going up against I would see an issue, but for now since it's a Universal Special Rule in the BRB the Gravity Pulse overrides Move Through Cover.

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    3. Codex overrides universe rules. Do they test? YES!

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    4. They do test... but it could be argued that they automatically pass even if they test. Tournaments rule that they don't autopass, and I think so as well, but the wording is vague.

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    5. Jamppa is right, the rules are clear. Just the same old type of asshats trying to argue clear rules aren't clear enough. My last game against necrons I lost my warlord flyrant to this. Failed terrain test, failed grounding, shot up.

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  2. Plus all vehicales in the duricon ignore stunned and shaken plus if heavy or super get iwnd on a 6 so another benifit.

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    1. well all vehicles in necron book ignore crew shaken and heavy/superheavy have IWND (6+) standard per the living metal rule.

      All decurion does is models with living metal ignore crew stunned as well as crew shaken.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. I'd also like to add that the living tomb can be brutal. The oblelisk auto comes in turn 2 and if the monoliths come in as well any crons in reserve can come out the portals the same turn. If combined with zahndrekh choosing the warlord trait that helps with reserves you can have 3 armour 14 all round vehicles and a couple of big units in the enemy lines turn 2! Rapid fire galour! Plus you then create an 36" radious where his fliers may wanna avoid. How many armies can effectively deal with so much av14 at once?

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  5. This is perhaps the best codex, cover-to-cover, GW has ever written. Powerful, but not broken; lots of variety, and most every unit is playable. The rules are clear and concise, without fluffy words in place of rules words (a la the BRB).

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    1. And everything is crossreferenced with page numbers. Very nicely

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    2. Not broken? 4+RP and rerolls of one on RP? Are you retarded?

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    3. Not broken? 4+RP and rerolls of one on RP? Are you retarded?

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    4. You only reroll the 1 if you are within 12" of the warlord. I've only seen it come into play during a game once. And the robot still died

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  6. Lots disagree regarding that it doesn't have broken units/formations. But we will see during adept-icon just how broken it is.

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    1. Very true. I have seen amany people sayong that with a decurion detachment they have not lost a game. Necrons have a seriously stronger force, and can be the toughest army to kill. They also have better offensive shooting at a mid range than any other army.

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  7. The Decurion detachment is the reason I've put my Blood Angels on hold while I figure out if I want to pick up my Necrons again or not. My reasoning for it is I'm not sure how well I'll handle a Decurion formation if I run into one...

    It just looks so incredibly powerful.

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  8. Question about the Royal Court. Do they remain independent characters? it doesnt say that they lose it or have to be deployed as a unit.

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    1. they still remain IC. For them to lose it there would need to be specification under formation rules. But there isn't. You are just thinking of the previous book, which doesn't matter anymore. new Royal court is not the previous royal court...

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  9. I almost got tabled with my Decurion detachment a few days ago. On turn 3 I had failed 80% of my RP rolls and my opponent had 3 times the VP. Tyranids FMC and AP4 ain't good for my robots. Also, maelstrom of war missions is quite hard without Objective secured.

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  10. Wait, he thinks the tessaract vault is good? Destroyer cult good? Man, this guy is tripping.

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    1. Vault I'm not sure on, but the Cult? Giving Lascannons and AP3 weaponry both Shred and Tank Hunters is good. Giving Destroyers Move Through Cover so they can Thrust Move into cover and not hurt themselves is good. If you're taking Destroyers in any number over a single squad, taking the Cult is a clear winner.

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    2. Well tesseract vault isn't bad either. I wouldn't say it is very good, but it is definitely solid. It's only downside is randomness of C'tan powers. If it could choose the powers he would be so totally broken it wouldn't be funny.

      I still think that if you aim at medium infantry and let your gauss goodness deal with vehicles and tarpit the heavy infantry/MCs, then this thing has a good chance to kill a lot of enemy models with all those apocalyptic blasts

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  11. necron must have some stronger unit/ formation than others codex because they are the only one (with the poor Dark Eldar) that have no access to psichic powers. Won't be easy for them to deal with all those invisible units out there...

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