Monday, October 12, 2015

List Building: Post NOVA Necrons for ITC

With NOVA 2015 in the rearview, I have debated what would be next for my Necrons. The first thought was how I would adapt the list to ITC format, not that I have plans to attend an ITC event anytime soon. Of course, it also begs the question of whether my list would work at all in an ITC format; I would have to cut the Aspect Host and two Canoptek Harvest formations. This presents a big problem for the list (as cutting almost half of any army would). So, for this post, what can I do to make a Necron list I like that isn't Arachnophobia?

As I mentioned above, the required cuts from the list are 2 Harvests and the Aspect host, which frees up 899 points. The first bit to replace this are two more units of Tomb Blades - these guys were just plain awesome. Having a third unit, I would also probably give one unit Particle Beamers to go with their Nebuloscopes and Shield Vanes. With those two units we are up to 1,089 points in the list. 


Now, the question becomes, how do we replace the speed and damage output of the Warp Spiders, and the durability and tar pits of the lost Wraiths, Scarabs, and possibly most importantly, Spyders to spawn more Scarabs. 

One option would be to add a CAD with a unit of Spyders and upping the minimum size of the Scarab and Wraith units in the Harvests. However, part of what I liked about the original list was the MSU nature, and buffing up the squad sizes means fewer overall squads. Additionally, adding a CAD means at least 170 points of Troops tax. This would add some Objective Secured to the list, however, a couple units of Immortals does not replace the damage output and endurance of what we've dropped. 

The second Necron formation people tend to point to, after the Harvest, is a Destroyer Cult. At a 470 point minimum price tag, it's not cheap (more than 2 Harvests), but it does provide a bit of shooting threat, and movement shenanigans with Jet Pack infantry. The Destroyer Lord also allows for adding Preferred Enemy to a high threat unit if so desired. The downside is that he can only move 6" in the movement phase, which tends to be less than many of the other unit in the army. 


The other common option is the Judicator Battalion, which at 405 points base, comes in a bit cheaper than the DCult, but not much. The two Praetorian units (140 points each) are slightly more points than a unit of Wraiths, with one fewer wound. However, they have AP2 attacks, and some short ranged AP2 shooting. The arguable downside to the formation is the Stalker, which for many feels like a tax. That said, this formation does appeal to me to a degree, but in part that might be because I like the look of Praetorians and Stalkers.

Venturing outside of the Necron codex, an interesting non-CTA Ally would be a Tau Firebase Cadre. Coming in around 600 points, it's not cheap, but it provides a very solid backfield and boosts the ranged damage output well above what the old list had.

Another option is a Knight detachment, which wasn't an option for NOVA format. A pair of knights would contribute to the speed and damage potential for the list. The downside is that they give up a lot of points in ITC Maelstrom. They also weigh in at a pretty expensive points cost each and reduce the MSU nature of the list again.

In the end, this is largely a thought experiment, but the "best" list I came up with for the time being, looks like this:
  • Necron Decurion Detachment:
    • Reclamation Legion:
      • Catacomb Command Barge: Voidreaper, Gauss Cannon
      • 4 Tomb Blades; Nebuloscopes, Shield Vanes, TL Gauss Blasters
      • 4 Tomb Blades; Nebuloscopes, 3 Shield Vanes, TL Gauss Blasters
      • 4 Tomb Blades: Nebuloscopes, Shield Vanes, Particle Beamers
      • 5 Immortals
      • 2x10 Warriors
    • 2x Canoptek Harvest:
      • Spyder
      • 3 Scarabs
      • 3 Wraiths
  • Tau Firebase Cadre Formation:
    • Riptide: Ion Accelerator, Early Warning Override (EWO)
    • 2x3 Broadsides: HYMP, Smart Missiles, EWO

Of course, this list will remain valid for about a week, until the Tau codex drops, and we'll see if the Firebase Cadre formation becomes invalidated.

Should it, one variation that has a similar feel, but is mono-Necrons, would add the Judicator Battalion and bunches of Flayed Ones to improve the board presence and maintain an MSU stance. This list could look something like this:

  • Necron Decurion Detachment:
    • Reclamation Legion:
      • Catacomb Command Barge: Warscythe, Phylactery
      • 2x3 Tomb Blades: Shield Vanes, Nebuloscopes, Gauss
      • 2x10 Warriors
      • 5 Immortals
    • 2x Canoptek Harvest:
      • Spyder
      • 3 Scarabs
      • 3 Wraiths
    • Judicator Battallion:
      • Triarch Stalker
      • 2x5 Triarch Praetorians
    • 6 Flayed Ones
    • 4x5 Flayed Ones

The 5 units of Flayed Ones allow for alternate deployment choices for the army, and while pretty squishy at 5 man units, they're still Necrons, and also benefit from their MSU nature. A large squad could get focused, while several small squads that are generally fairly immune to morale from shooting, will hold on pretty well. The biggest downside is that they are not fearless. However, with 4 attacks each, they can hold their own in combat.

In the end, this is mostly a thought exercise, as I said; I have no plans or opportunities to attend an ITC event in the near future, and who knows what the game will look like when we get around to my next event. That said, what are your thoughts on the lists? What would you do differently?