Okay, I’ve been playing these guys for a little while now (in broadly the same list) and so I think I can cast some aspersions their character by now. I’ve had a decent run of wins with this base list and it’s dependable, if not exciting, relying as it does very much on the troops section of the army. Now, when I say that it’s not exciting, I don’t mean it’s not fun. I’ve had a good time in all the games I played and enjoyed the army a lot so far. Now, part of this enjoyment is probably the ‘new army’ factor which probably hasn’t quite worn off yet. After all, it’s only been a month or so.
Another factor is just the sheer change in gear that these guys present when compared to my usual army of choice, the Dark Eldar. In many ways, these guys are polar opposites. This has led to the natural challenge of changing play styles. Gone are the days of unparalleled manoeuvrability, strict anti-personnel/anti-tank weaponry and staggeringly high initiative stats. Now I’m commanding shambling hordes of I2 robot zombies. It’s been a challenge getting used to them, and I don’t think I’ve managed it yet. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean I’m going to spare you my ill-thought out drivelling under the guise of rational analysis!
You lucky thing, you. So then; my impressions, unit by unit.
Necron Warriors: Very much the core of my army. Since weighing them up in the book, I’ve pictured them as an anvil. I tend to picture nearly anything you have a squad of twenty as some kind of anvil, provided they have a decent armour save and/or toughness. Wyches need not apply. Same with you, Termagants. These guys have a few things going for them in the anvil stakes. The T4, 4+ save is a good start when complimented by the vast numbers you can acquire. What also helps (and is nigh on necessary for this build) is the ability to add another body to mass, in the form of a Cryptek or a Lord, boosting the maxed number to 21. This is a big(ish) deal for me, which may appear odd, but let me explain. The morale test for shooting casualties hinges on losing 25% (or more) of the models in any given unit. This means that units which don’t divide evenly into four have a bit of an advantage. More specifically, units of size 5, 9, 13, 17 and 21 have to take a disproportionately large number of casualties before seeing if they bottle. Now, on a Ld of 10, this is highly unlikely (1 in 12 to be precise), but it’s always better not to take a test at all rather than risk failing it, no matter how unlikely. A 20-man unit would have to test after taking 5 casualties, but a 21-man unit has to take 6 before the test. With firing a hell of a lot of guns into the squad, this outcome is unlikely, which is a load off my mind.
This, combined with the 50/50 chance of them getting up again when they’ve been killed (thanks, res-orb!) means that this unit can shrug off a huge amount of firepower. This doesn’t mean you can get careless with them though. Cover is essential, as there are many weapons boasting an AP4, which cuts the long-term survival down significantly. The other major weakness is in combat. These guys aren’t very good. This is another reason to go for numbers rather than MSU with these guys. A lot of these guys will fall down before getting to hit. You need as many still standing as possible to remain upright so they can try to even the score. Unlikely, but some chance is always better than none. This is where the Lord becomes useful, packing his warscythe for a little bit of decent punch and some vitally needed anti-vehicle assault. Nothing worse that these guys getting tied up by one armoured sentinel with no recourse.
There are also a couple of extra things in my list which make these guys even better. I tend to pack a (relatively) cheap Phaeron Overlord. What the Phaeron upgrade does is make the Overlord and whatever unit he is with Relentless. 20 relentless rapid-firing warriors is a scary prospect. As mediocre as S4 AP5 shooting may be in this day and age, when you’re doubling, tripling or even quadding it up, it can be horrific. It also helps maximise the Gauss effect on enemy vehicles through sheer weight of numbers. It can also help you tip assaults in your favour by providing a lot of antipersonnel firepower before stealing a charge. Sure you’ll strike last, and some of your guys may well be taken down first, but they’ll be getting double the attacks per model and you’ll be stealing that bonus attack from your adversaries. Given that setup, they can get the drop on nearly any assault unit. Not quite all, but close.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Don’t want you to get bored. Yet.
I’ll pick through the rest of the units I’ve been using during a couple of later posts, including one more thing I use to get the most out of my anvil unit.