Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Necron Review: Troops

We’ll get this started with that little something you’re absolutely required to take to win games and generally in decent number: Troops!

As a Necron player you have exactly two options. There are no force org shenanigans that allow you to have more so you just have two. Personally I don’t mind though I would have like the option to make something else troops. Granted I don’t think anything else would work balance-wise but that doesn’t stop me from wanting more J


So this is our unit that moved from elites to troops and got a massive point drop in the process. Granted they also took a toughness hit and their guns dropped to rapid fire but that’s not really so bad. The Immortal has the statline of a marine (less the initiative of course) with a chance to stand back up all for single point more than a standard tactical marine and all with a better gun.

You’ve got two choices for weaponry which comes down to the standard Gauss Blaster and Tesla Carbine. Basically at this point I can’t see a reason not to give them Tesla Carbines. With 10 models in the squad you are pretty much set to get 10 hits this way. It makes for brutal anti-infantry fire as it can quickly escalate to quite a few more (best this weekend was 16 hits on 9 dice). This makes units of walking Immortals just nasty as they can consistently stay out of range of debarked units and shoot them to pieces.

Now how do you use them? Obviously I’m a fan of arming them with the Carbines. I run units of 10 (extremely hard for your opponent to wipe them out so you’ll always get your RP chance) that are on foot. No Lord or Cryptek upgrades though a lord might not be bad as it would make Immortals equivalent to Tac Marines in CC which means it’ll take a slightly more combat oriented unit to take you down. I also don’t recommend an Overlord with Phaeron upgrade right now as I think the Carbine just outshines the Blaster in all things. Then simply use them to blast any unit you manage to debark. Even against marines they can wipe out 6-10 man units over the course of 2ish shooting phases which is pretty nice since they basically can’t be threatened by those dismounted squads unless they are GK’s with Stormbolters but you should win even that shooting contest as long as they don’t have Psybolt ammo upgrade.

As a side note you can think about mounting them a Night Scythe but I don’t think mech is required for Necrons and so unless you want to use your heavy support for spyders instead of barges I don’t think you’ll see many people picking up that transport.


Onto the humble Warrior. This former cook/decorator/trash hauler is the cheapest model in the army. Clocking in at a whopping 13 points he runs the stat line of a space marine scout with higher WS/BS but lower initiative. He also totes a gun that can immobilize Land Raiders (even if it is only a 1.8% chance) and stands back up 33% of the time. Not too shabby at all.

Since there are no equipment options we’ll look at what you can add to the unit and then discuss options on use and how I use them. So basically you’ve got 5 things you can add to a Warrior unit; Cryptek, Lord, Overlord, Ghost Ark, and Night Scythe. This is where it’s a good place to put your Solar Pulse bearing Crypteks. First it spreads target priority but it’ll also protect your early solar pulse and give you a St8 anti-tank shot in your warrior unit. You can also add a lord but unlike Immortals who have a 3+ save I wouldn’t bother as you’ll probably still lose combat badly enough that a Lord won’t make a difference. The Overlord however is a different story if you give them the Phaeron upgrade. This will allow the warriors to contribute all game but keep them mobile at the same time.

The Ghost Ark is nice but for the cost I’m just not feeling it. If you could buy one and then put other units in it (read Destruction Crypteks Royal Courts) then I’d be down for adding one to follow around the Phaeron upgraded warriors but without that option I don’t think it’ll be worth the points. The other is the Night Scythe for which I pretty much have the same opinion as with Immortals. Buy it for fire support but not as a transport.

So how would you use Warriors then? You can use the 5-man scoring squads, maybe putting a Destruction Cryptek into them to allow them to participate in the battle while trying to avoid incoming fire. Or you can run a 10 man squad with a Phaeron Overlord which is what I’ve chosen to do. The extra firepower is nice but so is the fact that my troops are mobile. I would heartily recommend against units larger than 10 as I feel that’s when points start to cost you more than the resiliency you gain.


Necron troops are pretty much exclusively anti-infantry. You can add a few things in here and there for to allow them to perform slightly outside this role but don’t fool yourselves, they’re anti-infantry. Once you accept that you can start looking at how to use that. A lot of people on the internet still state the I2 will see them swept regularly and that troops are a liability in a Necron list, especially not mounted in a Ghost Ark. Here I disagree pretty vehemently. Our troops all have the ability to basically have Assault 1 24” guns. This means you shouldn’t be seeing combat often if at all. Over the course of my tournament last weekend my troops were only engaged in CC two times. Once against Hormagants who managed to whittle down all three Immortals that were left over 3 turns of combat and the other time against GK Purifiers. But that is it. Against 3 armies that are pretty solid CC armies (the third was SW’s) and that have the speed to engage me and only 2 troop combats all weekend.

I normally don’t make statements about army building but on this one I’m pretty firm. If you want your troops to affect the game instead of just being small hiding scoring units then build your troops to kill infantry. Build them to keep them mobile. Design the rest of your army to open transports and provide a CC screen (basically anything Canoptek, but scarabs are the least optimal for this) to keep your troops safe.

I’ll probably be doing Fast Attack next. Hope you enjoyed. Discuss! J