Saturday, 28 February 2015

Necron Codex review - part 3 of 3

On to part 3, the final part of the codex review which will look at the detachments, formations and supplemental material.

Decurion detachment:
A new and interesting concept introduced here is the decurion detachment. What this allows is for the Necron player to have an additional way of organising their army in addition to the methods found in the main rulebook. (unbound, combined arms, allied). Effectively, you make up a detachment comprising formations (more on them below). This has the benefit of you being able to keep both the detachment benefits and in addition you get the individual formation benefits. There are restrictions within the detachment and, of course, the usual restrictions within the individual formations. The core formation here is the reclamation legion, which allows you to in turn take 0-1 royal court and 1-10 of any of the other detachments. For every legion you take, you can then add in the same. It's a really nice concept and obviously those who don't like it don't have to use it. The other added benefit is a shedload of formations added into the book.  The command benefit gained from taking a decurion is ever-living, granting a +1 to reanimation protocols and allowing models with living metal to ignore stunned and shaken - this is across the whole army and so is of great benefit if you can organise your army this way. Note that the Star God, Flayed ones and Deathmarks entries are simply chosen from the datasheets and are not a formation in themselves.
Reclamation Legion:
The core of the Decurion, the Legion formation grants the models within it move through cover and relentless, as well as allowing the Overlord and units within 12" of him to reroll reanimation protocol rolls of 1. The formation consists of 1 Overlord (or Zahndrekh, Trazyn, Anrakyr or a Command barge), 0-2 Lychguard, 1-4 Immortals, 2-8 Warriors, 1-3 Tomb blades and 0-3 Monoliths. This is a great flexible core to any army and a seemingly obvious sales plug for tomb blades by making them 1-3, though with the new rules chances are you'll want some anyway.

Royal Court:
No Longer a standard option in the army list, the court is now a formation consisting of a single Overlord (or one of the alternatives mentioned above), 1-3 Lords (Or Obyron) and 1-3 Crypteks (or Orikan/Szeras) as a single unit, and as independent characters they may split off and join other squads. They gain move through cover and relentless as with the Reclamation legion, but in addition the Overlord may reroll warlod traits if it is the Warlord.

Judicator Battalion:
Consisting of one unit of stalkers and 2 units of Praetorians, the battalion not only grants move through cover to the units but also target designated, which allows the player to nominate a single unit in line of sight to a stalker. All units in the formation can then reroll to hit, wound or penetrate vs this target until the end of the shooting phase. Potentially devastating if a priority target presents itself.

Destroyer Cult:
One destroyer Lord, 3 units of destroyers (3+ models each) and 0-1 heavy destroyer units. They gain move through cover and also can reroll warlord traits if chosen as a primary detachment. In addition to their preferred enemy, extermination protocols allows all models in the formation to re-roll failed to wound and armour penetration rolls in the shooting phase. Nice.

Deathbringer flight:
A formation of 2-4 doom scythes which allows you to add 2 to your BS when firing death rays at the same target for each preceding death ray shot. Also, enemy units within 12" or 2+ doom scythes have -1 leadership.

Living Tomb:
Consisting of an obelisk and 0-2 monoliths, the tomb requires all units to start in deep strike reserve. The Obelisk automatically arrives on the second turn and allows any monoliths arriving to not scatter if placed within 12". The tomb nexus rule grants monoliths the ability to immediately relocate a single infantry unit from reserves to disermbark at the same time the monolith arrives. A good way of getting an additional Lord of war onto the table and also stopping your monoliths from mishapping as well as getting units in from reserve fairly reliably. 

Annihilation Nexus:
A doomsday ark and 2 annihilation barges make up the nexus. The quantum deflection rule allows you to sacrifice a barges quantum shielding to reactivate the doomsday arks. Not that great to be honest as the barges are themselves an asset not to be easily sacrificed.

Canoptek Harvest:
This formation is composed of a single canoptek spyder, 1 unit of wraiths and one unit of scarabs. They all gain move through cover and relentless, but also get adaptive subroutines. This allows you to give the spyder and any units from the formation within 12" one of the following rules per turn: shred, fleet and reanimation protocols. Certainly the last one will be useful in keeping already durable units alive that extra bit longer to make it into combat.

Mephrit Dynasty Warlord traits and relics of the war in heaven:
Not technically a formation but I thought I would mention these items here while going over the Mephrit Dynasty (hate the paint scheme) formations from WD and exterminatus.
1 - Eternal will - warlord has eternal warrior
2 - Override protocols - warlords melee weapons have haywire USR
3 - Immortal arrogance - warlord and friendly necrons in 12" can reroll failed morale, pinning and fear tests.
4 - Mental Subroutines - Warlord has admantium will.
5 - Scorn of the ages - Warlord and his unit have hatred.
6 - Repair nanoscarabs - Warlord has it will not die USR.
The God shackle (cryptek only) - as long as the Cryptek remains alive a nominated C'tan shard gains +1 S/T.
Edge of eternity (Overlord only) - a warscythe with precision strikes.
Solar thermasite - (Overlord/Cryptek) - can reroll failed saves of 1 and gains +1S to ranged/melee.

Mephrit Dynasty Cohort
Effectively a Necron detachment if you wanted one as an alternative to the decurion. Essentially the same as a combined arms detachment just with 3-8 troops. Perks include rerolling for Mephrit Warlord traits and rerolling reanimation protocol rolls of 1 for troops. Note that you cannot take tesseract vaults.

Conclave of the burning one
This chap is the C'tan shard mentioned in Exterminatus and the formation consists of a C'tan Shard with 2 Crypteks which form a unit together - they can't be joined by any other characters but benefit from using the Shards toughness. While the Crypteks are alive the Shard gets feel no pain 5+, 6+ if only one is alive. This would seem to work well with the God Shackle, but as these rules were released before the Codex it's not quite clear if you have to take a Shard (Nightbringer/Deceiver) or if you can take a transcendent C'tan - the Burning one is clearly the Transcendent C'tan model just with the old Shard rules, but now the Shards all have disinct rules it's a bit unclear.

Zarathusa's Royal Decurion
The first of 3 mini-decurions, this one grants one of the following rules to the non-vehicle units in the formation: crusader, counter-attack, fearless, monster hunters. The overlord must be alive to benefit from it and you can change the rule at the beginning of each turn to suit the situation. The requirements are rather specific though, consisting of 1 overlord / immortals / ghost ark / stalker / deathmarks / doom scythe / praetorians and 2 units of warriors / wraiths.  

Anrakyr's strategic decurion
The benefits of this formation are rerolling to seize the initiative and being able to re-roll reserves as long as Anrakyr is alive. It consists of Anrakyr, 2 units of warriors and one of each immortals, ghost ark, doom scythe and deathmarks. 

The Guardians of Perdita
One of the formations made up of formations found in Exterminatus, this one is basically all 3 of the above formations combined (for larger games obviously) which in addition to their individual perks all benefit from Zarathusa's command benefits so long as he is still alive.

Mephrit Dynasty resurgence decurion
This mini WD formation is 2 units of warriors, 2 units of immortals and a monolith, which has the locus of resurrection rule. This allows the monolith to repair fallen models from the formation at the beginning of the movement phase. All units of warriors within 6"roll a D6 and all units of immortals a D3. Add this many models to the unit so long as it doesn't exceed starting size. This is a great formation if you aren't using a decurion as it allows a solid firebase which will continue to resurrect itself so long as the monolith remains alive.

Overall I think the Necron Codex is a very good effort on GWs parts. The book itself is extensive and packed full of pictures and datasheets. They've done a very good job of balancing out a controversial codex and as a result have made it so that while the army is still strong, it doesn't have so many auto-include units any more. Highlights include the decurion detachment style of organisation, while areas which fell a bit short of the mark include the simplistic squad markings section, loss of variety amongst Crypteks and the random nature of the C'Tan powers. Overall though very impressed with this release. Cheers. 


  1. There's no stipulation that the Royal Court be one unit. All of the models are still independent characters and can join any unit they want as normal.

    1. Hi Jesse, thanks for pointing that out. Had a brain disconnect moment while ploughing through the masses of info - I've amended the above. Cheers.