Thursday, November 17, 2011

Necron HQs

Necron Overlord

The basic Necron leader is the Overlord. He comes with a very solid statline (except for initiative 2), as well as a decent short-ranged gun. First, he can be upgraded to a Phaeron, which gives any unit he joins Relentless. This would be a great upgrade to any unit armed with rapid-fire weapons, particularly Immortals with Gauss Blasters. In addition, expect the Overlord to carry a warscythe, a strength 7 power weapon that rolls 2D6 for armor penetration. Basically, watch out for any model carrying warscythe. They’ll usually go last but they’ll take out whatever they hit.

Overlords can also take a variety of gear, ranging from increasing their durability to buffing their unit to hurting the enemy. Resurrection Orbs increase their unit’s resurrection roll to a 4+, making them really tough to take out. Also of note are Mindshackle Scarabs, which have a pretty good chance of making an enemy model attack its own unit. Since you can have multiple Mindshackle Scarabs in your Royal Court, these scarabs can be tremendously dangerous in assault. Finally, the Tachyon Arrow gives the Overlord a one-use S10 AP1 unlimited range shot. It’s expensive, but it gives the Overlord a good chance to take out a vehicle left out of cover. A fast moving Overlord, using either a Command Barge or Veil of Darkness, can try and get side shots or shots bypassing cover.

Destroyer Lord

Destroyer Lords are essentially a more assault oriented version of the Overlord, with an extra point of toughness, preferred enemy, and a warscythe as standard. They’re also jump infantry. They’re not as flexible as the Overlord, but they still have access to the resurrection orb, tachyon arrow, and mindshackle scarab. They’re big failing as an assault HQ is that they don’t have access to an invulnerable save; they have to rely on T6 to stay alive. A few power fist attacks should deal with them easily.

Imotekh the Stormlord

Imotekh is currently the darling of the internet, mostly due to a few special rules. He has the statline of a basic Necron Overlord, along with all of the standard durability upgrades. His offensive power is pretty lackluster. He has a one-use gun that hits every model on a 2D6” line with a S6 AP1 hit, which is nasty but won’t make much of a difference since it’s one use and very short-range. He also has a flamer and re-rolls failed to hit and to wound rolls in assault, but he allows armor saves. Overall, he won’t be killing much on his own.

Imotekh has two special rules that make him a decent choice. He allows you to steal the initiative on a 4+ (except against Orks, which he can never steal the initiative against). He also allows you to start the game with Night Fight and try to keep it going through the early turns of the game. While Night Fight is in effect, he also hits random enemy units with lightning for D6 S8 attacks. While this is a really cool ability, Night Fight also applies to the Necrons. With their generally short-ranged weapons, Necrons will usually be closing with the enemy to the point that Night Fight doesn’t protect them much anyway. However, it can be used to protect them as they move into firing position.

Overall, I’m not that taken with Imotekh. He has some handy special abilities but only the greater chance of stealing the initiative is really unique to him. Night Fight can be better manipulated using Solar Pulses. Combine that with his generally poor offensive ability, and I don’t think he’s the auto-take that many people are saying he is.

Illuminor Szeras

Szeras is essentially an HQ version of a Cryptek. He’s not worth much in an assault, but he carries an Eldritch Lance, an good anti-vehicle weapon, and gives his squad offensive and defensive grenades. He also gives a squad of Immortals or Warriors either ballistic skill, strength, or toughness 5. He doesn’t do much, but he’s a solid choice for his extremely cheap point cost. If you want a minimalist HQ, Illuminor Szeras is a good choice.

Orikan the Diviner

Orikan is a weird character. He has fairly weak statline, but can get a Mephiston level statline for a couple turns, likely around the middle of the game. He has a good close-combat weapon. Overall, his assault ability is good but very unreliable. He has two pretty useful special abilities as well. For one turn, you can re-roll all of your unsuccessful reserve rolls. In addition, the entire enemy army counts as being in difficult terrain for the first turn of the game. While this will slow down infantry, it has the potential to immobilize vehicles and kill of jump infantry and bikes.

I think Orikan is a bit expensive for what he does, but he certainly seems like a fun character to play simply to see how much damage he can do while the stars are aligned. When playing against him, either kill him early or try to outlast him. If he gets stuck into combat and reverts back to his base statline, he’ll be an easy kill.

Trazyn the Infinite

Trazyn is a solid HQ with the best background in the codex. He has the standard Overlord statline as well as the Phaeron upgrade. In addition, he carries the very useful Mindshackle Scarabs and his weapon, the Empathic Obliterator. It does nothing special when making his attacks, but when he kills a model, every other model with the same name on its profile takes a wound on a 4+. This is essentially a version of Cleansing Flamer, activated by killing a model rather than passing a psychic test.

Perhaps the most useful of Trazyn’s special rules is that he is a scoring model. When attached to an elite infantry unit, he can bring a scoring presences deep into the enemy lines. Finally, every time he is killed, he can possess a random Cryptek, Lychguard, Lord, or Overlord and replaces them on a 2+. These combine to create a dangerous and very resilient scoring unit.  Playing against Trazyn frankly sounds pretty infuriating. The best response I can think of is kill him until he possesses a model in the rear of the battlefield and is unable to claim an objective or influence a combat.

Nemesor Zahndrekh

Zahndrekh once again has the standard Overlord statline with all the durability upgrades and a Resurrection Orb. His Staff of Light means he’s not going to cause much damage to the enemy, but he is an excellent army support character. Each turn, he can give one of your units Counter-attack, Furious Charge, Hit and Run, Night Vision, Stealth, or Tank Hunters, as well as remove one of these rules from any enemy unit for the turn. This provides massive flexibility to your army, giving one unit whatever it needs to take on the enemy that turn as well as throwing a serious monkey wrench into your enemy’s plan.

Finally, he allows any deep striking unit in your army to arrive immediately after an enemy unit arrives from reserve. I’ve heard a lot of people saying this is kind of pointless, as it will leave your unit vulnerable to a round of enemy shooting before they can act. However, this removes a great deal of uncertainty from your reserves. You can decide to bring them all in together automatically, assuming your enemy has some reserves that came on. This prevents your reserves from trickling in piecemeal.

Varguard Obyron

Obyron can be taken as a standard HQ choice or can be taken with Zahndrekh, in which case they count as a single HQ choice. He’s a standard Overlord, with the exception of WS6. He carries a Warcythe and gains an extra attack for every attack that fails to hit him before he strikes, up to a maximum of 6 extra attacks. He also carries the Ghostwalk Mantle, a special Veil of Darkness that can be used to break away from combat. Finally, he doesn’t scatter as long as he teleports within 6” of Zahndrekh. However, if Zahndrekh is ever assaulted, Obyron will immediately leave his unit and pile into Zahndrekh’s attackers.

Obyron is tremendously mobile thanks to the Ghostwalk Mantle as well as being quite dangerous in assault with up to 10 S7 attacks that ignore armor. He’s a great choice on his own, and he compliments Zahndrekh’s lack of hitting power when they are taken together.

Anrakyr the Traveler

Anrakyr is the final HQ choice, and a fairly good one at that. He carries a Warscythe and Tachyon Arrow, giving him good hitting power even if he lacks in durability. Additionally, he has both Counter-attack and Furious Charge and gives these abilities to one unit of Immortals for free. These are handy bonuses, but won’t mean too much as the Immortals aren’t much of a close-combat unit.

Most impressively, Anrakyr can take control of an enemy tank within 18” on a 3+. He can’t change its facing but can fire all of its weapons as if it didn’t move. Once Anrakyr gets in range, he can do a tremendous amount of damage to the enemy using this. It will also be amusing to watch your opponent try to protect his rear armor from his own tanks without exposing it to your fire.

Well, that’s all of the characters, and there are quite a few. I’ll address the Royal Court in my next post.

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