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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Necrons: Fluff

Due to a bit of traveling and a somewhat brutal increase of my workload this week, I've been lax with my posting as well as my gaming and painting. Pretty much all of aspects my hobby. However, I did manage to get my hands on a copy of the Necron Codex. Like just about every other blogger on the net, I'll be writing up my thoughts on the new codex. I'll primarily be discussing Necrons from the enemy point of view: units, abilities, and combinations to watch out for, particularly anything threatening to Space Marines. However, several aspects of the new Necrons have piqued my interest, so this will also be an examination if I can maintain enough interest to start an army.

I wanted to start off talking about the revised fluff. I actually loved the fluff from the 3rd Edition codex. It was totally Lovecraftian, even more so than the background for the Chaos gods. The C'tan were an evil totally beyond human comprehension, yet completely a product of the material universe. The very knowledge of their existence and humanity's place in their universe was enough to drive mortals mad. It makes for great reading and a really threatening villain.

As much as I loved the old background, I think the new background is better for a playable army within the game. As great an antagonist as the old Necrons were, an army has to be the protagonist for the person playing it. A player wants to identify with their army, to lead them to victory, and to personalize their own incarnation of that army. No one can do that with an inscrutable galactic -scale evil. While Cthulhu is a great monster for the hero to run from, no one has ever written a book or made a game (a good one at least) from Cthulhu's perspective. The new Necrons are still a galaxy spanning evil, but they have understandable motivations and goals. Some of them are even noble or humorous.

I also have to say that I love how Necron technology is handled in this version. In 40K, technology is distrusted and is generally a relic of better times while psychic powers and witchcraft are comparatively common and accepted. The Necrons turn this on its head, possessing technology so advanced that species that use witchcraft view Necron technology as sorcery. In a futuristic galaxy, Necrons are technologically so far ahead of every one else that they're playing a different game.

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