Necron Codex Review: Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of the Necron codex review. Part 1 can be found Here and again, this may well be a long post where I intend to cover the Mephrit Dynasty found in Exterminatus suppliment, the Mephrit resurgence decurion, the Decurion detachment found in the codex as well as all the relics and formations that can be combined with each of them.

Mephrit Dynasty Resurgence Decurion

This is a white dwarf exclusive found in issue 47 and is very reminiscent of the early days of 5th edition Necrons. If you ever wanted to play a hoard Necron force this is the one for you and it offers very resilient basic troops. The formation is made up of 2 units of warriors, 2 units of Immortals and a single Monolith but it also gets the Locus of Resurrection special rule which means that at the start of the movement phase the Monolith can repair D6 warriors or D3 Immortals in the same way that a ghost ark can. Interestingly enough if you use this formation and the minimum choices for a combined arms detachment it fits exactly in a 1750 list which looks like the following:

2 x Cryptek - staff of light
10 warriors - Ghost ark
10 warriors - Ghost ark
20 warriors
20 warriors
5 immortals - Night Scythe
5 Immortals - Night Scythe
1 Monolith

The warriors on foot may seem vulnerable but they do have a 4+ reanimation when the crypteks join their unit and potentially the list can repair 3-12 warriors a turn from the ghost arks and monolith. You still get the air support and manoeuvrability from the night scythes, the 2 small warrior units and both ghost arks have objective secured plus there is potentially between 102 and 162 gauss shots coming out of the whole thing depending on rapid fire ranges. Of course this is vulnerable to assaults, particularly sweeping advances, but still has the makings of a great hoard army.

EDIT: I was curious what type of average damage 162 gauss shots would do and came up with the following:
162 gauss shots will strip 18 hull points from vehicles in the open
162 gauss shots will strip 9 hull points/ wounds from vehicles/monstrous creatures with a 4+ save
162 gauss shots will strip 6 hull points from a jinking wave serpent or 6 wounds from a wraith knight
162 gauss shots will kill 18 marines or 9 Terminators

Mephrit Dynasty

To me this does seem like the fluffy option of list building with the way that many of the formations are put together but it does give you some variation over the standard combined arms detachment. That being said it can be used with some very interesting combinations to make it a nightmare for your opponents. The make up of it very similar to standard CAD but has 3-8 for the troops section  meaning you would need one more mandatory troop choice with the benefit being that all troop choices in this detachment gets to re-roll 1's on reanimation which can be a viable choice if you are planning on mass troops. It basically comes down to if you want objective secured from the standard CAD or more survivable troops. There is also a restriction meaning that you cannot take a Tesseract vault as part of this detachment. Relic wise you have 3 options, a warscythe that also has precision strikes for the same cost as a regular warscythe, a Cryptek only item that adds +1 strength and toughness to a nominated C'tan shard while the cryptek is alive and a Solar Thermasite. The Solar Thermasite is very interesting as it gives the bearer +1 strength on its shooting and melee attacks and allows you to re-roll saving throws of 1. An overlord with a warscythe and 2+ save can become a major pain the ass using this and a strength 8 warscythe means it can instant death a lot of things. The warlord chart is pretty similar to the standard codex chart with nothing really available to get excited over. 

Conclave of the Burning One


Remember how I said in Part 1 that C'tan shard didn't really seem very points effective? This is the workaround you can use to make them more survivable and points worthy. The formation itself is a unique unit that takes a single C'tan shard and two crypteks and shoves them all into one unit. The whole unit uses the C'tan's toughness and it gains feel no pain 5+ if both crypteks are alive, drops to a 6+ once one is dead and is removed if both crypteks are gone. Tooling up the crypteks in this formation can make the whole thing deadly. Having the whole unit with toughness 7/8 with a 2+ save cryptek at the front followed by reanimation or look out sir onto the 4+ invulnerable and feel no pain C'tan should keep it alive long enough to do some real damage. For an added boost one of the crypteks can take a solar staff giving invisibility for a turn.

Zarathusa's Royal Decurion

For all intents and purposes this is a complete army in its own right. The formation is made up of:
1 Overlord
1 Unit of Immortals
2 Units of warriors
1 Ghost Ark
1 Doom Scythe
1 Unit of Praetorians
1 Triarch Stalker
1 Unit of Deathmarks
2 Units of Wraiths

Even taking the minimum choices of these and not putting on any upgrades on anything this comes in a little less than 1300 points so filling out the upgrades and putting a few extra models in some of the units can give you a full army without having to go looking at adding outside of the formation. The special rules can also be very useful as it allows you to pick one of the following special rules and apply it to all of your non-vehicle units: Crusader, Counter-attack, Fearless, Monster Hunters. Not great but its a free bonus.

Anrakyr's Strategic Decurion

This formaiton is very similar to the previous one and is made up of Anrakyr, 1 unit of immortals, 2 units of warriors, 1 doom scythe, 1 unit of deathmarks.  The special rule for this is grand strategy which allows you to re-roll seize the initiative and reserves as long as Anrakyr is alive. Since this can be gained from the warlord traits it seems lacking somehow and there doesn't really seem any point in taking this since it could be taken as a combined arms and give you more options. The only reason why you may want to take this is if you are taking the bigger one below.....

Guardians of Perdita

The mother of all the formations in that this takes the 3 formations above and puts them all together to form one single detachment. The benefit you get from it is the bonus from the Zarathusa's Royal Decurion now can be used for everything that is part of any of the formations. Conclave of the burning one and all of Anrakyr's buddies can also get Crusader, counter-attack, fearless or monster hunter. It does however come in at a base cost of 2515 points without any upgrades but would be great for a themed 3k point battle.

Decurion Detachment

This is probably the most talked about change on the 40k scene when the codex first dropped. Essentially this is a build your own detachment rather than taking the standard CAD available to most of the other codex's. What makes it different is that the detachment is not made up of single entries like a normal detachment but instead is made up of multiple formations. The special rules for the Decurion is that all models in the detachment get +1 to the reanimation and any vehicle with the living metal rule can ignore the effects of crew stunned and crew shaken which is essentially every vehicle available in the codex. This is then combined with all the special rules from the formation and it can get complicated in trying to remember which units are from which detachment. As an example I ran a Decurion Reclamation Legion and a Combined Arms Detachment in a game and had to try and remember which had objective secured from the CAD and which had +1 reanimation from the decurion. The hidden downside to this is that you can't simply take a single entry from the codex and drop it into a decurion, it has to be one of the formations listed which can become tricky when you get down to the last 100 or so points.

To build a decurion you must take at least 1 Reclamation Legion as your mandatory choices and you can then follow with 0-1 Royal Court per Reclamation Legion then up to 10 Auxiliary choices which is everything else. 


Reclamation Legion

This is your standard selection and can be seen as the mandatory 1 HQ and 2 Troops of the typical combined arms detachment. It is made up of the following:
1 Overlord
1-4 Units of Immortals
2-8 Units of Warriors
1-3 Units of Tomblades
0-2 Units of Lychguard
0-3 monoliths

Everything that is taken as part of the reclamation legion also gets move through cover and relentless as well as Enhanced Reanimation Protocols which allows the overlord and all friendly units from this formation within 12" of him to re-roll reanimation rolls of 1. Also don't forget that if this is taken as part of the decurion detachment you will have +1 to the reanimation as well. The overlord can be replaced with Zahdrekh, Trazyn, Anrakyr or a Catacomb Command Barge giving you some options to play around with and you can also kit some of them out transports giving you a solid core of units which you can build your army around. Another slight twist on this which is not immediately apparent is that if you give the warrior squads ghost arks they also benefit from the move through cover as being part of the formation which means you eliminate the risk of immobilising them on difficult terrain. I've lost count of the amount of ghost I've immobilized on a rock over the last couple of years....

Royal Court

1 Overlord
1-3 Lords
1-3 Crypteks

Everything belonging to the royal court gets move through cover and relentless and if the warlord choice from this royal court is your warlord you can re-roll the warlord trait when rolling on the Necron traits. As with the reclamation legion the overlord can be replaced with one of the named overlords or with Imoteckh (Lord of War). The Lord choice can be replaced with Obyron and the crpteks can be replaced with Szaras or Orikan as needed. This is a nice solid choice and a good way to max out the HQ choices if you wanted to. Multiple crypteks joined to units can make a huge difference to reanimation make it a 3+ which means if you get hit by instant death your roll still stays at 4+ to reanimate. I suspect that most of the deathstars that you will see hitting the table tops in the next few months will be from this royal court detachment and it has the makings of an horrific unit.

Edit:
Just to clarify on the reanimation
Standard unit of warriors has 5+ reanimation, needs to roll 5+
Decurion unit of warriors has a 4+ reanimation, needs to roll 4+
Decurion unit of warriors with a cryptek has a 3+ reanimation, needs to roll 4+ due to the roll not being any better than 4+
Decurion unit of warriors with a cryptek hit by instant death would be 3+, -1 to 4+ on the roll, same as if it hadn't been hit by instant death.

The roll can never be better than a 4+ but you can use modifiers to negate the instant death modifier.


Flayed Ones, Deathmarks and Star God

These are single auxiliary choices being made up a single unit of either flayed ones or deathmarks respectively. Good if you can't think of anything to spend the few extra points on that you have left over or if you want to use 2 Reclamation legions backed up by 12 units of infiltrating flayed ones for funsies (I checked, it that comes in at 1738 points without upgrades). The star god formation is 1 of either Nightbringer, Deceiver, Transcendent C'tan or the Tesseract Vault. It doesn't get any bonus rules for any of these units described above but it does allow you to field them by themselves and gain the benefits of the Decurion if you wanted to.

Deathbringer Flight

Need air support? This formation is made up of 2-4 Doomscythes and has an interesting twist if they all target the same unit. Amalgamated Targeting Data allows you to add 2 to the BS of any doomscythe in this formation for each doomscythe that has shot at the same target. Sounds complicated but essentially plays out like this. First Doomscythe fires at a target and used BS4. Second doomscythe shooting at the same target is now BS6. Third one at the same target is BS8 and the fourth one is BS10. Great for when you really really want to make sure that single target really is dead. Also if an enemy unit is within 12" of at least two doomscythes it has its leadership reduced by 1. 

Judicator Battalion

I love the idea of this one and if used correctly it could be devastating. The formation is made up of 1 unit of Triarch Stalkers and 2 units of Praetorians and they all gain move through cover. They also get Target Designated which allows you to choose a target in line of sight of the Stalker and everything that is part of this formation can re-roll to hit, to wound and armour penetration rolls against that target. Keep in mind that the stalker gives +1 BS to any non vehicle within 6" of it and the praetorians have a 12" Strength 5, ap 2 rod of covenant  or a strength 6 pistol and ap4 entropic strike (gauss in melee) rending melee weapon and this can be used as a huge hammer unit. The Preatorians are fearless jump infantry and have assault weapons so if you can get them close enough to make use of it you can have a lot of ap 2 shots re-rolling to hit, to wound and armour penetration followed up by an assault that can re-roll to hit, wound and armour penetration. The stalker itself has an assault 2 melta as standard and since its a walker it can also charge and gain all the bonuses itself. This also comes in at just over 400 points base cost so running multiple formations of these is entirely possible. The hardest thing about using these is trying to keep them within 6" of the stalker for the bonus to the BS as the praetorians tend to jump ahead, but it can be used very effectively as a small elite army that can kill everything and has massive staying power with its 3+ save and 4+ reanimation if taken as part of the decurion. Not to mention putting in Orikhan or staying near the warlord for re-rolling 1's on saves and reanimation.

Destroyer Cult

1 Destroyer Lord
3 Units of Destroyers
0-1 Heavy Destroyers

Each unit of destroyers in this formation must contain at least 3 destroyers but the whole formation can re-roll to wound and armour penetration rolls in the shooting phase. This a very dependable choice that has killing power due to the ap3 gauss weapons, high toughness, reanimation and jet pack troops for move-shoot-jump shenanigans. I've used this twice in smaller games and been impressed with it every time. The re-roll armour penetration or wounds makes the whole formation ridiculously good for stripping hull points of vehicles or shredding infantry units alike.

Living Tomb

This is a very strange formation in that its made up of 1 Obelisk and 0-2 Monoliths. If you are fan of deepstriking this has potential but everything has to start in reserve and these things are not exactly on the small size. It does however have the advantage of not having to make a reserve roll for the Obelisk because it arrives automatically on turn 2 and any monolith from the same formation deepstriking within 12" of the obelisk does not scatter. It also has the Tomb Nexus which means whenever a monolith arrives from deepstrike you can immediately deploy either infantry or jump infantry units that are in reserve from the monoliths eternity gate as if they had disembarked from it. It does seem very thematic having all of these deepstrike and masses of troops pouring out but finding somewhere to park the whole thing can be tricky.



Annihilation Nexus

This one is pretty straight forward and consists of 1 doomsday ark and 2 annihilation barges. The special rules for it is that if the doomsday ark loses its quantum shielding and you have an annihilation barge within 6" of it at the start of your movement phase you can remove the quantum shielding from the annihilation barge and put it back onto the doomsday ark which may or may not be useful depending on your point of view.

Canoptek Harvest

This is probably one of the most talked about formations and I can see this being used quite a lot. The formation is made up of 1 Spyder, 1 unit of wraiths and 1 unit of scarabs which all gain move through cover and relentless. Adaptive subroutines allows you at the start of the movement phase to choose either Fleet, Reanimation Protocols or Shred. The spyder from this formation and any unit from this formation within 12" of the spyder then gains those rules until the start of their following movement phase. Add to this the decurion bonus of +1 reanimation and the spyders ability to make more scarabs means the durability of everything as part of this detachment just doubled. Of course it does run the risk of losing the spider and thus the abilities to gain reanimation but I think the main use of this detachment is to keep the wraiths alive long enough to get into assault as soon as possible while using the wraiths and scarabs to form a protective ring around the spyder which is much slower than the others.  

Conclusions

This has all the makings of a great codex and with the added bonus of great formations and a way to build an army how you like it has the flexibility to match any play style. You can go for an elite type army using the praetorians and stalkers built around a core of the reclamation legion, a flyer heavy list using mass doomscythes or going for a hoard army using just the troops. Anything is possible and there really isn't any bad choices for formations or individual units. The reclamation legion itself may seem like its a tax to get the fancy stuff but there isn't really anything you wouldn't take anyway. Everything has its uses and the hardest part about making a list is deciding what you can leave out rather than what you need in. From the lists I have used, tested and written I've toyed around with armour 13 wall, fast mobile armies, gun lines and alpha strike type lists and they are all possible, they all work and are all fun to play. The changes to gauss, entropic strikes and reanimation protocols may signal the end of the days when you would walk up to a table and decide you couldn't do anything about your opponents army. 












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