Spacecurves here, this time with an editorial article on the new Necron codex. I’m not going to be micro-analyzing units or regurgitating wargear rules, there have been plenty of articles on such things in recent days, instead I want to talk about something more abstract.
Let me first take you back in time to just before the new Dark Eldar codex came out. I’ve played Dark Eldar since 4th edition, and I’ve always loved that army. However as time wore on, the unfortunate truth was that the best Dark Eldar armies were static shooting forces with tons of dark lances frying people. A shooting gunline was the opposite of how Dark Eldar were supposed to feel, and yet that is what worked the best. So when I learned there was a new codex about to come out, I was very excited and had high hopes. Here is how I wanted the army to play, based on what type of force I like to command and how I think the army is supposed to “feel”:
1) The army should be comprised of specialist units who are excellent at what they do.
2) The army should be extremely mobile, fast fast fast!
3) The army should have tons of awesome combos/crazy wargear/dirty tricks that allow for endless “evil laugh” scenarios while playing.
When the codex came out I jumped all over the gorgeous new models and played as many games as I could. I love the new codex, and I think it is one of the most balanced and well written rule books Games Workshop has ever produced. So I really enjoy my Dark Eldar still, and play them pretty frequently. Lets go back and take a look at my wish list and see how the codex scored.
1) The army should be comprised of specialist units who are excellent at what they do: B
The Dark Eldar are definitely an army of specialists, they have excellent units for killing big monsters, excellent units for killing heavily armored enemies, excellent units for killing numerous weak armor foes etc. However, they are completely lacking an effective anti-vehicle specialist. All the units that are supposed to fill that role are too expensive or fragile to do it well, and this is the by far the biggest weakness with a Dark Eldar army today, their anti-tank is pretty poor.
2) The army should be extremely mobile, fast fast fast! A
What is there to say here? The Dark Eldar are every bit as fast as they should be. Aether sails allow you to get your troops wherever you need them, and numerous deep strike options allow other units to arrive wherever you want. The one caveat here is that mobility often doesn’t last all game. When you are depending on paper airplanes to get your guys around, you probably won’t have many transports left alive at the end of the game.
3) The army should have tons of awesome combos/crazy wargear/dirty tricks that allow for endless “evil laugh” scenarios while playing. D
Now we get to my main disappointment with the Dark Eldar codex. They don’t have any dirty tricks to speak of. Sure there are a few pieces of neat haemonculi wargear like the shattershard that give you great excuses to cackle like an evil villain, but even those are completely predictable by a savvy opponent. There really aren’t any devious moves a Dark Eldar player can do to surprise their opponent. This isn’t to say they are a boring army, but I wanted more. I wanted crazy leadership attacks to make my opponent’s guys run in terror. I wanted weird combos I could put together by combining different units. I wanted shenanigans!
Now lets return to talking about Necrons. When this new codex came out I thought I’d give them a try, I had never played Necrons before, and the new models and fluff intrigued me. The more I played them, the more excited I’ve gotten about the codex. Let’s see how the Necron book scores on my “army feel wishlist.”
1) The army should be comprised of specialist units who are excellent at what they do. A
The Necron army is full of units who excel at what they do, but aren’t that great in other areas. For example Immortals are great at infantry shootouts, but pretty bad in melee. Scarabs are incredible against any vehicle, but will get swept away by opposing melee specialists. The list goes on, but what this means is the feel I was looking for has been accomplished. When you use your units correctly and outmaneuver your opponent, you can be confident of success. If you make a mistake, your units are going to get punished.
2) The army should be extremely mobile, fast fast fast! A
Now at first glance, the Necrons are a slow army, shuffling around in a phalanx. However at the least with my style of army list, they are in fact incredibly fast, in some ways faster than the Dark Eldar! Scarabs have a huge charge range, allowing them to not only get the jump on most people, but cover a lot of ground quickly. Monoliths allow you to pull your units around the board risk free and with infinite range. But the real core of my mobility, veils of darkness. I take two Overlords in my army, and two courts each with a Harbinger of Despair who each have, among other awesome items, a veil of darkness. This allows my two maxed out Immortal squads to teleport around at will, and translates to an incredible amount of mobility. I can be anywhere I want to be every turn! Its amazing!
3) The army should have tons of awesome combos/crazy wargear/dirty tricks that allow for endless “evil laugh” scenarios while playing. A++++
The Necrons have got to be the trickiest army ever released by Games Workshop. Where oh where to begin. They can change their units footprint during the enemy turn by careful placement of Reanimation Protocol models, they can force key units to take a series of morale checks through the use of multiple Harbingers of despair, they can redeploy units with a C’Tan, they can increase charge range of Scarab units by spawning more with spiders, (and I don’t conga-line, I think each spider unit should place their bases at once) they can force night fight at will and only for the enemy! I could go on, but you get the idea.
As I started playing with this new army I realized, “Holy cow, this is everything I was hoping for in the Dark Eldar codex!” I am enjoying Warhammer 40k in a way I haven’t for a long time with this codex. It is SO much fun to play. Every turn it’s like Christmas as I realize the huge variety of ways I could use my units, and the numerous combos I could pull off if I chose too. So Matt Ward, I take back almost all of the bad things I’ve said about you in the past, I love this army!
So BOLS readers what has your experience been with the new Necron army book? Do you have a similar opinion or are they still the same old boring chrome robots in your eyes?