Has been far too long but finally I've got the chance to hammer out some thoughts on the new Necron codex and release. This will be far from comprehensive and there are much more thorough looks at the dex out there but I always like to do these reviews if only to get my head around what's changed and what hasn't. I'll also give brief mention to the rules found within WD and Exterminatus for the Mephrit dynasty. Due to the sheers amount of formations, I'll split the review up into three parts; one for them and another two for everything else. Any wargear that has changed will be covered in the most appropriate entry.
Overall release impressions:
As has become the norm now, necrons came with both a codex and set of datacards. Both I have to say are very nice and fit in line with what we are used to by now. The codex has the added benefit of being larger than all other codexes save for the Space Marine one, but alas many of the extra pages are taken up by rather low quality CG schematics of infantry and their markings. A lot of this seems rather superfluous and not really that interesting or aesthetically pleasing to look at. A shame as I think it detracts from an otherwise lovely book. The only model release (let's face it, they didn't really need any) is a new Lord with a rather scythe-like warscythe. Much nicer than the FC Lord and the model represents one of the relics nicely.
Army special rules
Reanimation protocols is now different and works a bit like feel no pain in that it is an additional roll made after a failed save. Only destroyer and remove from play rules invalidate it. Roll a D6 and on a 5+ the model survives (subtract 1 if it was an instant death wound). The roll can never be better than 4+ and if the model/unit has feel no pain the you must choose which roll to use, not both. This seems a much better way of doing reanimation as it saves any confusion with models laid on their side with the old version. Ever living has also been moved to a formation perk. Living metal now not only ignores crew shaken, but also has the chance to reclaim a single hull point on a roll of 6 every turn for the heavy/super heavy vehicles. Note that the Phaeron rule has disappeared.
Warlord traits are as follows:
1 - Enduring will - Warlord has eternal warrior USR.
2 - Eternal madness - Warlord has zealot USR.
3 - Immortal hubris - Warlord and friendly Necron units in 12" can reroll morale, pinning and fear tests.
4 - Hyperlogical strategist - May +/- 1 from seize the initiative and reserve rolls.
5 - Implacable conqueror - Warlord and all friendly Necron units within 12" have relentless and crusader USRs.
6 - Honourable combatant - Warlord must always issue/accept a challenge. Can then reroll failed to hit rolls in challenge. No-one may intervene save for Obyron. If enemy refuses challenge then Warlord gains hatred for the rest of the game.
Artefacts of the aeons (relics) - a lot of these are formerly cryptek upgrades:
Gauntlet of the conflagrator - S7 AP2 template - one use only
Solar Staff - 12" S5 AP3 assault 3, blind, solar pulse (once per game can cancel out night fight and only snap shots can be made against the bearer and his unit)
Nightmare shroud - 2+ armour save and fear USR. Once per game can choose an enemy within 18" and make them take a morale check.
Veil of darkness - bearer has deep strike and can also relocate once per game via deep strike even if in combat.
Orb of eternity - after a reanimation protocol roll is failed, can activate this item (once per game). The failed roll can be rerolled as can any failed reanimation protocol rolls in that unit for the rest of the phase. Also, all rolls get a +1 bonus.
Voidreaper - a master crafted, fleshbane warscythe.(especially cool if you use this chap)
11 - thrall of the Silent King - generate an additional objective - if it is achieved you score that plus D3.
12 - Dust and ashes - Nominate one Necron character - score 1 VP if still alive at the end of the turn.
13 - Reclaim and recapture - roll a D6 - if odd numbered you score D3 if controlling all 3 odd numbered objectives. If even, then same for even numbered objectives.
14 - Age of the machine - Score 1 VP if an enemy gun emplacement, vehicle or building destroyed (or D3 if at least 3). If super-heavy or mighty bulwark, score an additional 3.
15 - Slaughter the living - 1 VP if an enemy unit was destroyed.
16 -Code of combat - 1 VP if you issued a challenge.
Overlord - Now a bit cheaper and with 1 point extra of WS/BS but otherwise unchanged. Ever living is now gone as it has been made redundant by the changes to reanimation protocols. Sempiternal weave and tesseract labyrinths are now gone and much of the wargear has changed. I'll cover the melee weapons under elites but save to say the all got cheaper except the warscythe which doubled in cost. Phylactery now grants it will not die, a resurrection orb works as for the orb of eternity except that you don't gain the +1 bonus and mindshackle scarabs have been changed (thank goodness) so that in a challenge the model causes fear which tests on 3D6. Gauntlet of fire and tachyon arrow are mostly unchanged, with the arrow now having a 120" range. Phase shifters are now a 4+ invulnerable save which does NOT confer to chariots. Overall, the wargear seems much more balanced now so that Overlords are not overpowered.
Lord - now a cheaper alternative HQ choice rather than part of a court, Lords got a bit more pricey but gained a wound. They are otherwise identical to overlords in terms of options and rules.
Cryptek - These chaps got a lot more pricey and also gained a wound. They are also a separate HQ choice now and no longer part of a court. No longer do they have so much variety and flavour with their wargear choices sadly and so have to make do with the relics and regular wargear. They do however bolster your reanimation protocols by +1 for the whole unit as well as having sole access to the chronometron, granting the Cryptek and his unit a 5++ against shooting attacks. A useful bolstering model but no longer the must take of old.
Destroyer Lord - not much to say here. Bit cheaper, otherwise unchanged. The big difference is that he's now jet pack infantry (I will discuss later).
Nemessor Zahndrek - a fair bit cheaper now and one of the few models to retain access to a 2+ save. He lost phased reinforcements and his resurrection orb, both of which are a shame. Instead of granting special rules for units, adaptive tactics now allows him to change his warlord trait every turn but he may not duplicate. Counter tactics has also changed and now allows you to mirror special rules from other nearby enemy units - as long as they're on the list and within 24" there doesn't seem to be a limit to how many per turn. Overall he seems different but not really better or worse for the points. He's quite a tricky character to use effectively, but with the right squad and against the right enemy I can see him being effective.
Varguard Obyron - Again, a fair bit cheaper in this edition. Obyron retains the ghostwalk mantle and a 2+ save, but has lost a wound. Varguard's duty now auto passes glorious intervention tests. The mantle can no longer be used if he is locked in combat and is a one use only piece of wargear. He doesn't scatter if he arrives within 12" of Zahndrek. Cleaving counterblow is much the same. Overall I would say Obyron hasnt really changed as the loss of a wound evens out the points drop.
Illuminor Szeras - A bit more expensive than before, Szeras retains the same stat-line and is now the only Cryptek with access to an eldritch lance. Mechanical augmentation is the same and he also benefits from a better version of technomancer, enhancing not just his squads reanimation rolls but that of other squads within 6". He did lose gaze of flame, but on the bright side now causes fear! Overall, pretty good and worth considering now ordinary Crypteks are more limited.
Orikan the diviner - significantly cheaper than before, though he did lose the transdimensional beamer and temporal snares. His two profiles remain the same as in the previous book as does the manner in which he upgrades, except that it is now a permanent change. The staff of tomorrow is pretty much the same except that the AP2 is now clarified. Master chronomancer is an another better version of the standard cryptek rule, which means not only does his squad add +1 to reanimation rolls but also that they can re-roll saving throws of 1. I think this chap is again worth considering as an alternative to a Cryptek if you have the points spare.
Anrakyr the traveller - About the same points as before and pretty much fulfils the same role as a pimped warscythe overlord. He still has his tachyon arrow, counter attack and furious charge, plus retains his two special rules. Mind in the machine is slightly different in that he must select a vehicle within 12" now and it only works on a 4+. If shaken/stunned it must fire snap shots and it can only be one of the vehicles weapons, not all as before. He's been toned down a little but is pretty much the same as before and still worth it IMO.
Trazyn the infinite - yet another character to see a significant points drop (spotting a pattern here?). Trazyn has lost his mindshackle scarabs and, due to the changes to scoring in this edition, also lost his 'another piece for the collection' rule. The empathic obliterator is pretty much the same (fairly lame) and his surrogate hosts rule is similar, in that on a 2+ he replaces a character model (non-unique) when he dies. Given that the necron army isn't replete with characters I think it's a rather limited rule and given that Trazyn isn't actually that great would you really want to replace your destroyer lord with him, assuming you bothered to take him in the first place. IMO the weakest of the Overlord characters.
Catacomb Command Barge - now a seperate entry rather than dedicated transport, these guys have changed a fair bit. They are overall a lot cheaper now and obviously the chariot rules now govern things such as sweep attacks and the passenger. Phase shifters have been clarified and symbiotic repair now no longer exists, again due to the chariot rule changes. A new rule exists in the form of command wave, which either grants the same benefits as the immortal hubris warlord trait, or stacks with hubris to extend to 18". Also, it's a big change in that now it can no longer be taken as a dedicated transport for named HQ characters.
Part two will look at the other codex datasheets for individual units. Cheers.