Saturday, February 26, 2011

Necron Wishlisting: What Would You Like To See?

by SandWyrm

Ok, so it's pretty well known in the rumor circles that Necrons are the next Codex in line for an update after Grey Knights. So, what would the community like to see in a new codex?

Personally, I'd like to see a force that gives the feeling of being an unstoppable, oncoming power. If Grey Knights and Blood Angels are super-fast, I'd like to see the Necrons be slower and more relentless. But with some powers that either speed them up or slow down an enemy, as would befit true masters of time and space. Something akin to how Jason seems to always be 5 steps behind a running teenager, only to disappear and suddenly reappear in front of them.

The feeling should be one of being hemmed in with no place to hide... until you just barely manage to phase them all out at once.


  1. Well, they should definitely be simplified somewhat. FNP+Stubborn would be good, given that they're an army of pissed off machines. I'd also like to see Gauss weapons count as AP1 when they do their auto wound/glance thing, that right there would make warriors a lot more useful.

    Phasing out should really be a per unit thing, and not a per army thing. Fail a leadership test and just dissappear from the board.

    Plus some more toys/options. This *is* 5th ed, after all.

  2. I'm guessing 3+ re-rollable with a 4+ We'll be Back, which can be modified by the proximity of special things.

    Probably some Lances, or all gauss weapons get rending, with it being auto-pen on a natural '6'. They just 'know' where to shoot, being machines and all.

    I think a 1st turn Deep Strike option might be nice.

    I'm also kind of expecting to see some big, mean horranasty named guys. that will make my mech army cry.

  3. From the rumors I've read WBB will almost certainly be replaced with FNP.

    Stubborn would make a lot of sense and would greatly help prevent sweeping advances, which are a serious danger for necrons.

    Rending would be an excellent replacement or even addition to the gauss special rule. On S4 weapons, you auto-glance up to AV11 and can actually penetrate up to AV12. Of course, you cannot touch AV14 and will only glance AV13 1/3 of the time, but if you combine both rules (auto-glance plus the extra d3 for a chance to penetrate lower AVs) then you get the best of both worlds. On higher STR weapons, it gives you an even better chance to penetrate with less of the disadvantage if you replace gauss with rending instead of combining. And of course, on non-vehicle targets rending would let you ignore armor in addition to auto-wounding on a 6.

    New units are definitely needed as well as Necrons are one of the armies that have very few options available to them. There are only 12 different units in the whole codex! Some new vehicles would be great and only having one type of troop unit is pretty detrimental unless they are really good. Warriors are not bad, but not nearly good enough to be an only troops choice.

    I like the nowhere to run, nowhere to hide theme. Any ideas on how you would want to see it implemented?

  4. A couple of ideas come to mind. Such as:

    1) Each HQ unit has a psychic power that allows them to alter the pace of time. Roll a D6, the Necron player can choose to either move that much more in the movement phase for each necron unit within 12", or subtract that much from the movement of a single enemy unit within 24".

    2) Certain Necron units may voluntarily phase-out in the movement phase and then deep-strike back in during the shooting phase. No actions (i.e. no shooting or running) may be performed by the unit during the remainder of the turn.

  5. Had circumstances been different, it would be a Necron army collecting dust in my closet as opposed to a Plague Marine army. I am psyched about this and hope that whatever they come up with does the army justice and not just make them inferior because they aren't Space Smurfs.

    The ideas I see here would work pretty well, especially giving them the feeling of being a slasher movie villain.

  6. I'd like to see a "Liquid Metal" ability where warriors can pick a range of weapon loadouts at the start of each turn, i.e. CCW and pistol, rapid fire gauss flayer or some kind of beefy heavy weapon for if they stay still as they reform their bodies to be best suited to the job at hand.

    I think they could do with something like a drop pod that has the monolith's teleportation abilities for some mobility.

    Finally instead of we'll be back being on a per-model basis it should be combined with phase out and done on a per unit basis.

    If a unit fails a morale check or is wiped out it phases out but on a 4+ it goes into reserve and can re-enter play as normal at its original strength. On a 1-3 it counts as destroyed. Units could also opt to fail morale checks voluntarily, or even opt to phase out in their movement phase in which case they'd automatically go into reserve.

    Fighting against them would be all about shutting down their warp gates to deny them mobility.

  7. I find myself wondering if phase out is needed at all. I'm not convinced one way or the other but it's something I've been thinking about. I'm wondering if phase out was originally implemented to help balance a powerful army or if it was thrown in there for fluff reasons with no real regard to balance at all. Neither answer would surprise me honestly.

  8. I would really like for Phase Out to stay, so long as it's done in a proper fashion. If it means on a unit-scale rather than army-wide, that's cool by me.

    I think it adds a dimension to the army that you simply don't get anywhere else, in both terms of gameplay and fluff.

  9. true but i dont like the idea of having an army, where a person uses phase out to take my butt out. i definitely remember playing my friends army and focusing everything on troops and saying forget the monoliths and tomb spyders, and deciever. once i got those gone and the wraiths, he phased out and i won by turn 3. justdoesnt seem fair.

  10. It's a bit trickier than the norm, but with the right points cost, just about anything can be validated.

    The Monolith, for example, was for quite a long time considered broken/cheesy by many opponents - and so help you if you took three. It was AV14 all around, ignored terrain, ignored Lance, Melta, and any other ability that most armies relied on to get by AV14, had weapons that could never be destroyed, could safely deep strike (the first ever, IIRC, to have such an ability, and for some time at that), and would not be destroyed by Immobilization even though it was a skimmer.

    Surely a tank so powerful would be at least 300 points (afterall, a Land Raider has only a fraction of these abilities). Maybe 350, just so Marines don't feel so bad.

    But what??!!??!? It's about the same cost?!!?!!?

    How is this possible!!!!???!!!!11one

    Oh... right. Because you don't actually have to destroy it. You can just go for those 20 warriors over there, which are still tougher than your average nut, but way easier to kill than that death beast of a tank.

    Good list building has to include Phase Out - you have to keep that number high. But everything that's not a NECRON should come at a lower-than-it-should-be price.

    Let's say the Necrons got a Raider (Dark Eldar style). Same boat, same weapon, same upgrade options. Except for them, it's only 50 points. Maybe 45. A fairly significant price cut.

    So yeah, you can deck out on all the extremely cost-effective units. But what happens then? People target the 2 units you took that count toward Phase Out, and you get pwned like a silly silly newb.

    Sure your stuff is extra killy.... for the turn or two that you get to use it. If you take the time to build a list with enough NECRONS to stick around for a while, you probably end up with an extra 50-100 points (effectively) above your opponent, in a 2k game. So you have a more potent force, although a risk of phasing out if they (and they should) focus on your "vulnerable" units.

    Its the job of your extra 50-100 points to add extra protection, usually in the form of killing them harder before they can kill you.

  11. I can't believe people are honestly defending phase out.

    It isn't a "fun" rule in the least, Foodie. No one likes being told that they shouldn't use all the models they want to because if you don't run enough Necron units (which are invariably the most bland and unfun units in the codex) you have a decent chance of just losing turn 2 because Sandwyrm drives up with his Guard and phases you out turn 2.

    How about this Foodie, next time you play Dark Eldar and take Raiders, if your opponent blows half of them up you lose. Tell me how "fun and thematic" this is/feels. I mean, it makes sense fluff wise because if all the Dark Eldar rides are blown away, they can't make it back home, and since they are relatively few they are trapped and destroyed by the oncoming enemy reinforcements. Makes perfect sense!

    It sounds like to me you are really just wanting GW to try to limit the "MSU WAAC cheese" by enforcing a hard cap to how many interesting/fun units I can take to justify what you believe is good list building. Eh...

  12. @M

    "How about this Foodie, next time you play Dark Eldar and take Raiders, if your opponent blows half of them up you lose."

    Sure, it sounds unfair... until you hear that you also get to take 50% more Raiders to compensate. That's Necrons. Everything is cheaper than it should be because of phase-out. It allows Necrons to bring more force to bear than they otherwise could. But if they don't kill you... bye, bye.

    I say keep it. Just re-balance it for the current game so that it's both fun and fluffy.

  13. Also, nothing says that new troops units can't be added or swapped in from other FOC slots. Necron troops don't HAVE to be boring any more than IG or Marine troops are.

  14. Kind of how like if I don't take enough Synapse Creatures in my Tyranid army, my swarm is reduced to a seething mass of uncontrolled animals?

    I understand your sentiment, but I think you're making harsh calls that are rendering your argument invalid.

    Taking the Raider example - would I agree to it if they were cheap enough? Sure. As I said before, just about anything can be balanced with the proper cost.

    That aside, comparing the survivability of the Necron army to that of Dark Eldar... well. That really throws things off. While Necrons aren't (right now) the most survivable army on the heap (as in, not *the* most survivable, not saying they drop easy), they were always meant to be hard stuff.

    And, looking at it, a Rapid Firing Marine has a .07 chance to drop a Raider.
    That same marine has a .11 chance of dropping a Necron.

    So, against the "standard" basic weapon, my Armored Transport is only .04% more survivable than a Necron's basic guy. For three times the cost.

    The idea, again, is this. Since you have the limitation of only being able to lose 75% of your applicable force, you get a discount, particularly on those units that are not applicable to this limit.

    This allows you to purchase more killy-per-point units than your opponent, in the hope that your enhanced offense is enough to quickly cripple the opponent's ability to destroy enough of your Warriors and other ilk.

    Extra killy bodies would need to be used as a distraction from the "ones that matter", further keeping your opponent from making you teleport back to the tomb world.

    As far as "good list building", it's just something that you'd have to keep in mind. If you go too far, taking too many of the cheaper-than-they-should-be units, you're extra vulnerable to those players who are able to quickly target the Necron-Necron units.

    It's essentially the same see-saw as troops vs specialists. Yeah, the Elites and Heavies get some of the more fun toys, and are generally going to break a lot more face (or do whatever it is that they do better), but you still need enough troops to hold objectives (in most games).

    As for MSU, I really wasn't considering that at all. I think it has the inherent weakness that a 5-man squad is doing less damage, and dieing faster than a 10-man squad. Plus, it really hurts on KP missions.
    Further, in my mind at least, MSU is really more about putting as many transports as you can on the board, preferably with some sort of anti-tank weapon on it, or in the squad inside (that can shoot out of a fire port). In terms of standing there and surviving, a 35 point Rhino is head and shoulders above the 60 point Raider, for example. The guys inside are used almost as a vehicle upgrade in many cases to keep them scoring, or to give them a quick turn of anti-infantry blasting if needed.

    The short version - Necrons don't have "proper transports" anyway, so this style is really moot for them. Actually, whether you take 4 squads of 5 Necron Warriors (if you could, that is) or 2 squads of 10... the Phase Out number is the same. Unless, of course, it did change to a per-unit basis.

  15. You guys missed the most important point of my statement, the rule ISN'T FUN. The rule is only "fun" for the person they are playing against, it is a kick in the dick for the person actually playing the army.

    Ask some Necron players whether or not phase out should stay (if you can find any still playing).

    Also, this isn't high school debate class where me making "harsh calls" suddenly makes my argument invalid. It wasn't a perfect analogy but it got the point across.

  16. Sandwyrm:

    Everything is cheaper for Necrons right now, really? In an army where 500 points buys me... 2 meh warrior squads and a lord w/ orb?

    Marine and IG troops are boring? At least they do something, unlike most armies troops. Of course this could all change with a new codex.

  17. i think the thing is m: your arguments are valid, just coming across as the drama kid who didnt get the lead. not trying to be a jerk, but im just calling it.

  18. @M

    You're comparing apples to oranges when you talk about the cost of Necrons vs. other armies now. Don't forget, we're talking about a NINE YEAR OLD codex here. Consider the costs from the 2nd Edition Imperial Guard book that would have been valid at the time of the Necron's last codex release.

    A Veteran Squad with 3 meltas in a Multi-Laser/Heavy Flamer Chimera now costs 155 points. Back then it cost 273 points (76% more), and Vets were an elite choice instead of a troop choice.

    Or consider a minimal platoon such as this:

    Platoon Command Squad w/4 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
    Infantry Squad w/Autocannon, Grenade Launcher
    Infantry Squad w/Autocannon, Grenade Launcher

    This platoon now costs 255 points, but back then it was 335 points (32% more).

    When it was first released in '02, Necrons were considered quite strong and competitive. But that was 2 editions of the game ago! If GW follows the IG trend, you'll see a unit like Immortals become troops at only 18 points a piece (instead of 28) with disruption pods included. While regular Necron warriors will drop to 15 points each (instead of 18) with pods included. Plus you'll get better rules to go with them.

  19. @Korona

    I like the liquid metal idea. Maybe it's something that Pariahs could get.

    As for drop pods, I'd rather see some sort of droppable, armed mini-lith (like a small Washington monument) that could act as a teleport homer for all crons coming in from reserve. Or maybe as a ressurection point for dead 'crons.

    We definately need a new model of a blond in a red dress. They watch Battlestar Galactica in England, right? ;)

  20. Maybe the liquid metal could allow them to switch between 2 power weapon attacks and 5 regular attacks?

  21. Hmmm... I sort of covered this with my wishlist in November. I don't wanna re-type it all, so here's a link:

    Also, if they're going to do away with WBB (which, along with Gauss Weapons, is what makes Necrons what they are; Necrons) , they should also do away with phase out. No other army has a Lose Button, and the Necrons shouldn't either.

    That said, they'll probably FAQ out half the improvements they make to the new Codex, just like they did with the Tyranids. (which makes me sad)

  22. WWBB replaced with FNP, and the whole army getting Fearless, as they are heartless machines without concern for their wellbeing. Also, Rend Guass weapons, and nothing in the codex, that is 'not a Necron' is looking at you Pariahs.

    Also Warscythes just need to go down to being a power weapon, maybe causing instant death (like a bonesword.) This would make the army go go go in my opinion...they would be scary...and i would run away.

  23. @ Sand, I think we're on the same page with the mini-lith thing. I just meant it entered play like a drop pod and has similar stats, functionally it'd be identical to the monolith warpgate.

    I like the choice between mass attacks and power weapons, how about a 3rd option where you can boost up toughness - they'd be like the old wood elf dryads? It would let you choose whether you wanted to tar pit, kill meq or kill hordes-

    How about:
    +2 T, 5+ invuln
    +2 S, no saves allowed
    +2 attacks, reroll to hit

    And they should absolutely cut the C'tan in favour of Tricia Helfer clones :D
    I actually like the idea of humanising their masters, it actually made the cylons seem creepier with them trying to mimic the humans.

  24. Also isn't Phase out like the Necron way of Survival? I thought that they phased so that they could return to the tomb, and the spiders could repair the destroyed ones while the others slept until the next time the machine woke.

  25. How about keep the phase out and give them FNP and toughness 5? That would make them more able to stay around. Plus that would be more like the fluff anyways. Harder to kill than humans, even superhumans.

    "I'll be back!"

  26. Phase out should just be done away with. It's an annoying rule and given that the scale of battle a game represents and the time frame it just doesn't make sense. I think compensating for it by making units harder to kill honestly takes away from the enjoyment of the army.

    As far as a mini-lith maybe if they had something like drop-pod assault or the ability to start on the table via infiltrate. I would hate to see another nid dex with all kinds of cool reserve stuff but it’s all in reserve so it never works. But it would be cool to see some sort of teleport homer for Necrons.

    I think the way Necrons play now is fine. They are very tricky and it takes a lot of skill to do well with them. I think making it easier to teleport around and changing some special rules such as gauss=rend, disruption fields=rending or maybe PW, WBB=FNP, Slow and Purposeful, Stubborn and army wide deepstrike. Some new units would be nice but for the units they have move flayed ones to troops, re-calculate and balance the points on their units and I think they would be ok. These few minor changes would greatly enhance the ability of units to multi-task and maneuver which would make them easier to play and also be a competitive army again but not over the top. I don’t think Necrons need a new army just some small changes. We will see Nid players just needed a few minor changes and they got a whole new army it just happens to look the same.

  27. I wonder... what if one unit a turn could teleport from one mini-Lith/homer to another? Or in through a Monolith and out through a homer?

  28. What an interesting concept that would be... an army that is mostly slow and purposeful but has the best mobility in the game because they can teleport around all over the board.

    That is if GK don't beat them to the punch >.>


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