As a player with a skirmishing Necron force I can safely say that the new book is a step up. All the naff units that really needed adjusting got a going over1
, some of the units that were too cheap as skimmer hangers-on from 5th got a going over also2
& even a few units that were fine or a bit OP got a going over3
and even the fluff got a going over4
Praetorians & Lychguard were both astoundingly steep (between 30 & 50pts) for what they could do and both got a hefty discount along with improvements (weapon range for Praets & an increase in invuln for Shieldguard); very much needed. Both units are effective harassment & bodyguards respectively. Doomsday Arks went down in price and significantly up in power for both ranged weapons.2
Doom Scythes went down a bit in cost with their death ray change, Night Scythes went up by 30%. Annihilation Barges also got a 33% hike which seems legit given that they start the game as a formidible AV13 S7 mobile heavy weapons platform and the tesla destructors of all three units lost the Arc special rule so no more damage spilling over into nearby units. A shame I feel personally as I loved the idea, but given GW's current drive to streamline the game and the clunkiness of Arc it was always going to be a likely victim.3
Wraiths what in the pale blue/grey hell possessed some gitbag to bump them up to T5?! Madness. Their type took a move from Jump Inf to Beasts so they've traded S6 HOW for overall faster speed and increased in points ever so slightly. They're still a mildly insane 3++ T5 2W Rending 12" move assault unit but without HOW and only 3A each they're more of a tarpit than anything else. Still very dangerous to a lot of targets but in my last game running 3 Wraiths (I limit the cheese) one was gunned down, one lost a wound to overwatch & the two Wraiths held up a Grey Hunters squad for about 4 rounds of combat without really killing much. Triarch Stalkers now give +1BS to units within 6" instead of twin-linking vs a particular target. Catacomb Command Barges lost their sweeping strikes rule (no longer having both the Chariot rules AND the pre-Chariot rules) but gained a command bubble and decent price drop...the price of all HQs dropped a fair bit. The Gauss special rule got a hike back up to it's previous level of (higher) power now glancing AND wounding anything on a To Hit of 6. Scarabs' Entropic Strike got changed to a melee version of Gauss, no longer lowers armour. The change for Resurrection Protocols is immense; no longer is it rolled after casualties at phase-end but instead is now a FNP-style roll which allows one lucky model at the front to take many RP rolls instead of shots hammering through the unit as models fail armour saves. Way less fluffy but far more effective and, yup, streamlined.4
The fluff was gutted, loads of the previous work from Ward's codex is gone. True some of it deserves to be gone but I lament good solid background work on units vanishing without a trace: Trollzyn is a prime example; gone is his little speech to an overly inquisitive Imperial Inquisitor captive along with all the interesting stuff to do with his gallaries. Massive shame.
The new formations and Decurion detachment are a very interesting move by GW, exchanging the usual CAD Obj Sec benefits for a slew of individual special rules, balanced by having
to take the formations as listed. If the core detachment (Reclamation Legion) is taken and at least one other formation from the book then the two (and any additional) formations uniquely form a single detachment which grants all models with RP in the detachment the Ever-living benefit (+1 to their RP rolls), effectively making them a quasi FNP(4+). Ouch. There are a few things to watch out for, both at list & game level where some Necron players may not have a full grasp of how the Decurion detachment works or try to twist it to their own ends:
Apart from Ever-living, no other formation special rules apply to other formations in the detachment so:
- The Reclamation Legion's "Enhanced RPs" re-rolling of RP rolls of 1 only applies to the models within that Formation, not the detachment.
- The Judicator Battalion's "Target Designated" only gives re-rolls to the Stalker & both Praetorian units.
- The Destroyer Cult's "Extermination Protocols" only gives re-rolls to the Destroyer Lord & other Destroyers in that formation.
- You get the idea
The Canoptek Harvest formation states "1 Canoptek Spyder", not "1 unit of Canoptek Spiders", tell any Necron player running three Spyders in that formation to put two away and spend 100pts elsewhere. Just because it's not a "restriction" doesn't mean you can do it.
Wraiths don't get an extra attack just for having whip-coils or a Caster (pistol). Like they need extra help!
You can't mix relics from the codex & Exterminatus in a single detachment. You can't mix any codex & supplement stuff in any detachment, anywhere!