Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since the Necron Codex came out and although we’ve been doing a fair share of talking about it on the podcast, there is still a bit that remains unsaid, mainly due to time constraints. I’ll address various bits and pieces in my usual rambling (lack of) style as and when we come across them.
When the model ranges and the book came out, I ended up setting myself a challenge of getting a functional 1,000 point army of new models for under £100. Happily enough, I managed just that. In fact, with the various amounts of kitbashing and vague conversion work I dabble with, I’ve managed to squeeze about 1,250 (what with wargear and everything) out of that investment. Admittedly, I didn’t buy the models ad GW pricing, but managed to scrabble around and found the costs at Triple Helix to be far more agreeable (25% cheaper across the board for all the Necron stuff at last look).
Anyway, what I bought was a box of Lychguard/Praetorians, two boxes of Immortals/Deathmarks, two boxes of Necron Warriors and a Command/Annihilation Barge. I have fairly high praise for all of these kits, but for slightly different reasons.
The Lychguard and Immortal boxes are toeing the increasingly prevalent GW line of providing a choice of units in a box. This has been going on for ages, but in general ways, like Guardsmen being used for veterans and regular tactical marines able to stand in for Devastators and such. But that’s just because of the uniformity of the basic troop. They stepped up this strategy with Grey Knights, provided the Terminator/Paladin kit and the Strike/Interceptor box; both working from a core of identical legs and bodies and then providing a wealth of bits (arms, weapons, backpack, other accoutrements) to distinguish between the two options. This is a fairly clever strategy, as it allows the company to charge more per box without appearing to be grasping bastards about it. After all, you’re getting a lot of bits out of it as well. People’s opinion of this move will undoubtedly vary, but I’m fairly positive about it. After all, I like having added options.
The point of this embarrassingly long paragraph is the fact that you get so many bits out this box. The only shared components between the Lychguard and the Praetorians are the legs and front chest piece. This is naturally a boon to someone like me. Not to mention that apart from having enough parts for the two different units, each of those units also has two different weapons load outs, which are also fully catered for, which is really nice to see and loads you bits box down with a tonne of tech for later kitbashing. The Deathmarks/Immortals box does a similar thing, but with fewer extra weapons (as Deathmarks only have one configuration).
The Command/Annihilation barge box is also alike, in that you’re provided with all the parts to make either vehicle, but as an extra plus, when the vehicle is fully assembled, various bits and pieces can be swapped out, allowing you field it as either of the variants without need to buy an extra box, which is really nice. Even the under slung gun can be swapped between the Tesla and Gauss configurations as and when (or you could if you hadn’t already glued it in, like me). The model looks like it would be annoying to transport and take up a hell of a lot of space, but the kit make allowances for that and the rear portion of the barge can just be slid off and laid down to take up less space in a carry-case, which is excellent design. Add to that the fact that you get a plastic Necron Overlord in the kit (complete with base) and it makes this one of the best value kits (point for pound) that GW have produced as of yet. Plus, it just lust looks awesome anyway. You don’t get a lot of bits spare in this one, and your choices for the overlord are fairly limited, but you should have more than enough bits hanging around from the other Necron boxes to make up for this and it’s hard to hold this against the kit, which is very good. I had one brief frustrating time with the bracket for the rear shields though. They don’t attach the way you’d think, and the angle they’re shown in the instructions doesn’t make matters any easier to understand.
And (finally) the Necron Warriors. There are no surprises in this box. No variation, limited posing and you get some Scarabs in there as well. Decently enough priced for GW (~£20 for 12 Necrons and three bases of four Scarabs per base), but very limited as is. However, this box has a lot of plus points to it to counterbalance the lack of variety. Scarabs look fine with only three on a base, so if you can scrabble around for a spare 40mm base, then you can easily get another base of Scarabs out of it and, most importantly, the Warrior make perfect ‘organ donors’ for kitbash projects. With a bit of trimming, the Necron Warrior chest pieces can fit fairly well onto all the spare backs you’ve accrued with the other dual purpose kits and the legs look very similar on these guys to the more elite versions. A little skinnier, but that’s it. Using just off cuts, spare Necron bits from the other boxes and a couple of warriors I didn’t plan on using on the field, and I’ve made a couple of Crypteks, a Lord with a res-orb and a decent-looking Deathmark, all the while filling my rank with expendable robot zombies.