Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nerdcrons Part 2

Lovell brought the Battle Missions book to our game the other night and wanted to play one of the Necron-specific scenarios. I don't recall the name, but it had us deploying along the short table edges, which was novel. The scenario was supposed to represent the Necrons striking into an undefended zone to harvest the population, and combat between two forces that rely heavily on Deep Strike was interesting. To win, a player needed to hold the majority of the objectives, of which there were three. I made a conservative Deathwing Assault into no-man's land, and in the remaining turn I grabbed the objective in Lovell's deployment zone with my command squad. Most of the action played out on the Necron end of the board and when the dust cleared, there were Dark Angels on all three objectives.

Lovell dug up a... I'll call it a "speculative codex" from the wilds of the Internet. I wasn't so sure about it, but I don't blame him. It's old enough that I was using it before I sold my Necrons, quit, took a few years off, came back, and spent a few years collecting space marines. According to some people, it's old and busted, so it makes sense that Lovell would want to get away from that image.

Initially, I was pretty shocked by the fake Necron book. Most of his units had 3+ Feel No Pain rolls that could be taken regardless of the strength or AP of the weapon firing on the unit. Some of this was due to the proximity of the monoliths, but the rules also gave the monoliths a 3+ cover save against all attacks, which essentially made them invincible considering their universal Armor 14. The Necron lord with his 3+ invulnerable save (in all fairness, a storm shield) and his attacks that ignored all saves also threw me for a loop, and the Monolith's ordnance blast being upgraded to AP 2 seemed almost nonsensical. But if I was able to beat the army 3-0, can it really be as bad as it looks on paper? I also have to admit it gave me one of the most hard-won, enjoyable games I've played recently. So although it certainly needs some amendments, I'd face it again.

All of this rumination on the strengths and weaknesses of the Necron codex has me thinking about the Dark Angels codex, as well. Over the last year or so I've been operating under the assumption that it's a fundamentally flawed book. I think that's probably true, but it also has a lot going for it. Consider:
  • Belial is pretty cheap compared to a similarly-equipped space marine captain, even accounting for his lower stats
  • Terminators become a bit more survivable if you use their flexible weapon options to play some wound allocation tricks
  • If you can pull off a Deathwing Assault, you're probably in good shape
  • You can pull off a Deathwing Assault if you bring some bikers, because they all come with teleport homers
So although there are a ton of disparities between Codex: Dark Angels and Codex: Space Marines (the newer book having units and upgrades that are both cheaper and better), the important thing is to treat the Dark Angels book as an army unto itself. Codex marine strategies won't work here, because it's simply a different list altogether.

Still, it's a drag not being able to put a bunch of tactical marines on the table. I've yet to determine whether plunking down 25 terminators makes up for that.


  1. Interesting read. I'm wondering how guard would do against the Nerdcrons.

    Soooo... am I guess I'm facing the Space Marine dex and not DA dex?

  2. I had to truncate my thoughts because no one wants to read a super-long blog entry. I think Mech Guard would do really well (Lovell kept asking me "you didn't bring any vehicles, right?). Footslooging guard could also do well, I think, as despite all the high toughness and armor saves, the list is still essentially a shooting list, and it's tough to outshoot guard.

    I'm definitely using the C:SM for our December game, I think I mentioned earlier that I want to try some units that aren't in the DA 'dex.

  3. I think the Deep Striking was probably an asset in that mission. I think everyone else (Steve, Tom, and I) had great trouble just getting enough guys down the long edges of the table into Lovell's space. With most of your guys coming down from above, that's less of an issue, particularly as Lovell doesn't really have any where to run and still win in that scenario (IIRC).

  4. Dude, are you gonna make your goal by the 31st?