Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Tomb World Awakens: 111

Greetings dear readers, as we close our series with a retrospective and summary, looking to apply all that we've learned from our review, so that we may create a more perfect list. There is much to discuss and much more to discover. Onward we surge, our powers amassed and awakened. Let the living fear!

There's a few basic principles to consider when writing a Necron list, not the least of which is the knowledge that much of your army likes to shoot, and specifically, likes to shoot everything. Your anti-infantry guns double as anti-tank guns, and to a lesser extent the inverse is true, in the form of tesla destructor and the doomsday ark. This does mean you'll want to tend more toward gauss than tesla, but tesla still has its place. The codex in general fears CC since the whole book is I2 and assault skirts quantum shielding. There's a few styles of list that can be done, from gun line to meched up (but NOT 'CRON AIR!) and there's flexibility in how elite or horde you'd like your list to be, as well as how balanced or committed to the shooting phase you'd like to be. Some of my advice will be made or broken based on your local meta, but on the whole, I'll try to keep it as general as possible.

The first question that needs asked is how are we filling our nigh-compulsory 4 troops slots and our mandatory 1 HQ slot. If we want to leave lots of room for toys in other slots, warriors are cheap and pretty solid for their points. They don't have power armor, but make up for that with Ld 10 and resurrection. We can either give up some of these little guys' efficiency by buying them a transport, like a ghost ark, but generally speaking, if we're considering a night scythe, I prefer immortals by far. Likewise, buying an ark works best if you buy a full ten man squad. There's the option also of just taking 20 of them with a res orb, (possibly backed up by an ark or two as well) and marching your mechanical selves up the field. Ultimately this question is pretty meta dependent. If the AP 4 from immortals would hep you cut through opposing infantry better or if you feel like you really need that 3+ to stand up, take immortals. Otherwise, stick to warriors. In this regard, my personal list uses 2 units of each. The warriors generally stay in their boats and the immortals come in from their night scythes to help act as shock troops in concert with a few of the other units in my list. It's a nice take all comers approach, but your results may vary.

Next comes our choice of HQ. For the purposes of this exercise, we'll only be considering the build your own HQ options, because most of the specific character strategies were discussed in the last article. Generally speaking, a regular overlord is your first go to HQ option. Destroyer lords offer you some neat tricks, and are tough as nails to kill, but if you aren't including a fast attack option, you're probably not using a destroyer lord to his full potential. From there our question is what is our overlord doing? Is he riding in a barge? Is he leading a large warrior block? Is he simply in the list to bring a court with him? Based on previous advice, I'd suggest he lead a 20 man warrior blob, which is flanked (and repaired by) two arks, which can either be minimum comp warriors (to leave room for crypteks) or full of warriors, to maximize firepower. For a basic list, it's hard to go wrong with either option.

Next, in the interests of forming a basic balanced list, we need to examine our fast attack and heavy support options, as taking at least one choice from each of those sections is rewarded by standard mission construction. The fast attack slot is ripe with awesome choices. The easy and generally synergistic play here is to take gauss bikes. Scarabs don't score, wraiths (though a personal favorite) do require some finesse to get to work, and destroyers are a bit meta dependent. Gauss bikes with a 3+ armor save are 25% cheaper than destroyers, generate their own cover save, and have very similar fire output for their points. If you absolutely need to kill marines, destroyers can do it, but generally that responsibility will fall to either sheer weight of fire, or to a heavy support choice.

Which helps us segue nicely into what that heavy support choice ought be. Writing into the void, my first suggestion is going to be to bring a doomsday ark. Why? Because it fires a S9 AP1 large at 72". That's a lot of scary death. It's AV13 and hard to HP out, even without the ability to jink. It can score, unlike the doom scythe, which is its only real competition for this slot. The annihilation barge? Yeah. It's okay. It's a rifleman. But that doesn't feel quite good enough in 6th edition. It either pitters harmlessly off infantry, or struggles against hope to rip a point or two off a rhino equivalent with every salvo. Given that we have the option of gauss rule if we simply want to point out opposing vehicles, we're looking for low AP crowd control here, the kind you throw terminators out with, or level parking lots with. And in this regard, the doomsday ark works well here.

Perhaps the only thing missing in this list is some manner of flyer solution. Yes, we could use one of the fortifications, but that wouldn't entirely be covered in this review. Since both fliers do exactly the same against other fliers, I'll push for a night scythe here. It saves us the points we don't want to spend on the death ray that can't shoot other fliers, and grants us some mobility. The question is what do we buy it for? There's a few options here. Basic immortals or warriors will do nicely as a quick-deploy gauss bomb, but there's also options like deathmarks or lychguard. Though neither of these units are completely stellar, both offer a unique option and a delivery method to get them there with some degree of reliable precision. If there's only one thing to keep in mind from the night scythe, it is that it's important not to expect too much from it. It's a flying rifleman, so if it downs another flier, take it as a mark of good luck, or simply that you've won an aerial war of attrition. The most important thing you'll generally purchase these for though is the fact that they are not far removed from drop pods. They put a unit exactly where you want it, maybe pop off a few shots, and then either die, or come around for a second pass.

So there's that. A nice general set of guidelines I've found are worth sticking to while writing a Necron list. Depending on your local meta, your results may vary, but never the less, I hope you've enjoyed reading the Tomb World Awakens as much as I've enjoyed writing it. It's opened my eyes to more than a few things about the codex and given me new insights to what I might do to better utilize all the tools at my disposal. Speak up in the comments if there's a codex you'd like to see myself or any other member of the RoB crew review, or write in if you'd like to see your list critiqued. Until next time then, may you find peace where there is only war.

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