Thursday, 16 February 2012

Necrautopsy: Part 8

Here we go again.  More Necron blathering.  This time I’m dealing with some special characters, in this case, Nemesor Zahndrekh and Vargard Obyron.  These guys are pretty much the buddy movie of the Necron Codex.  To have one but not the other just seems slightly off.  Not only that, but you also miss out on some added bonuses on the Vargard’s end.  I’ve been using this double team for a few games now and find them interesting and fun to use, but not without their quirks which can make them difficult to get the most out of.

Let’s start with the reason why they’re a buddy movie.  I mean, aside from the back-story (which I advise you read, it’s quite amusing!).  The big draw to having these guys comboed up is that if you take the Nemesor, the Vargard doesn’t take up an HQ slot.  In larger games this can be a very big deal, as the Vargard has a couple of cool abilities and hits like a sack of bricks attached to a speeding bus.  The ability to fling another Overlord (or whatever HQ choice you fancy) can open up the game to some nasty combos for you to exploit.  But that’s for another day entirely.  Today (and possibly tomorrow), I’m just focussing on these two.

First up is the simpler of the two, and (in my opinion) the less viable on his own: The Vargard.  This guy is pretty much the best Necron assault character going in terms of damage output.  However, much like the halberd-wielding Lychguard, he needs to be precisely targeted to work.  Obyron is unique in a couple of ways, but the most obvious deviation from the norm is in his statline.  Most specifically, his Weapon Skill.  One of the (many) quirks with the Necron lists is that the characters don’t actually have improved statlines apart from wounds and attacks.  All Necrons are Ld10, all have WS4.  Okay, Overlords have S & T 5, but that’s nothing their regular elite entries can’t have.  Obyron breaks the mould in this regard by packing a WS of 6.  He is the only non-C’Tan in the ‘dex that has WS of greater than 4.  It won’t make him harder to hit for most opponents, but usually means that he’ll ht in assault a fair bit more than a Necron character normally would.  This is handy because another great strength of this guy is the wealth of attacks he can strike with.

His attack stat is fairly average at 3.  However, in combat he has a trick to play.  Every enemy attack that misses him grants him a bonus attack (up to 6 bonuses).  Here the character has actually managed to get the appalling I2 to work for him.  This means than, on a charge and with decent luck, he can rack up a full 10 attacks at WS6.  Add the bonuses of a Warscythe to that and you can see how much this guy can literally scythe through.  He has another major strength on top of damage output, but I won’t address it yet.

This guy, unfortunately has a pretty major flaw.  He has no invulnerable save at all.  This is a pretty major problem for an assault character whose main ability relies on him being endlessly wailed on.  If it’s a power weapon doing the wailing, then there is a great risk that he will not strike at all.  As such, placing him in any given combat is a precise affair.  Ideally you want him to be that target of as many attacks as possible, which necessitates him being in base-to-base with as many faceless grunts as possible whilst staying away from anyone wielding a power weapon, particularly a high strength one.  When he’s on his own, this is very difficult to do unless you’re dealing with a very large squad, so other tricks need to be employed.  The best way is to have another of your models in base with the power weapon guy.  Models have to attach an enemy in base-to-base contact as opposed to one that’s only within 2” of a friendly engaged model.  Mastering this form of combat placement is vital if you’re going to get the most out this whirligig of destruction.  It can often mean throwing your other models to their doom in his favour, but hey; that’s what the game’s about anyway!

Finally, we come to the true tricksiness of the Vargard.  He (and any squad that he’s attached to) can teleport, just like a Harbinger of Despair with a Veil of Darkness.  I won’t talk about the teleporting, because I’ve already done so in a previous Necrautopsy post.  However, Obyron’s teleportation doohicky brings a big advantage with it.  You can use it to get out of combat.  This can be fantastically useful, particularly if you’re running for a last-turn contestation of a point but getting held up somewhere else on the board.  His teleport also a couple of odd abilities that specifically tie in with the Nemesor.  If you’re aiming to arrive within 6” of the Nemesor, then him and his squad won’t scatter, which is a useful, useful little perk.  But the stranger ability that this brings is that if the Nemesor or his unit are assaulted, then Obyron has to leave wherever he is and teleport directly to that combat and pile in.  Immediately.  You get no choice.  On the plus side, it means that you HQ guy has a big heavy hitter suddenly turn up to help him out in a combat.  On the downside, it means that the unit he was with are now slogging it everywhere again, without you having any say in the matter.  The quickest way to rectify that is to have Obyron teleport out of the combat during his next movement phase and rejoin his unit again, but that’s a full turn down the drain for them.  That ability is really both a strength and a weakness.

Anyway, that’s a rough run-down of Vargard Obyron.  Later, I’ll approach his bestest friend, Nemesor Zahndrekh.  I’ll maybe even make sense doing it…

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