Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Email in: 2k Necron lists

Sup everyone. Got an email in the other day from Eric K.

"...Venerable Brother,

First, love the blog and your battle reports. I am sure you get this a lot but I am seeking advice on a necrons list. Its at the point where I consider it fine tuning. Its a 2000 pt list meant to be an all comers competitive list. I am torn between two lists right now:

List One:
-2x Overlord w/warscythe, MSS, and Barge
-2x Royal Court w/veil-tek, abyssal-tek, and Storm-tek
-(5)Deathmarks w/Night Scythe
-2x (8)Immortals w/gauss
-2x (6)Warriors w/Night Scythe
-(5)Wraith w/3 coils
-(4)Wraith w/3 coils
-2x Annihilation Barge
List Two:
-Overlord w/warscythe, MSS, and Barge
-Overlord w/warscythe, and Barge
-2x Royal Court w/veil-tek, and abyssal-tek
-(5)Deathmarks w/Night Scythe
-2x (8)Immortals w/gauss
-2x (5)Warriors w/Night Scythe
-(5)Wraith w/3 coils
-(4)Wraith w/3 coils
-3x Annihilation Barge

I want to lean towards List Two but I feel uncomfortable dropping MSS on the Overlord.
Any thoughts?..."

First of, thanks for thinking of me Eric - I am more than happy to address your tweaks. I think it is important that we consider that for a second:

If these are "fine tuning" tweaks then I won't suggest any whole sale change, simply throw out some suggestions with some reasons behind it.. up to you if you take those on board or not.
OK.. so let's see if I get how you operate the lists. It's all pretty standard stuff with a few exceptions...

MOST IMPORTANT: Where are the troops! More troops! But this is only slight tweaking, not whole scale change so... :(

1) The norm is to see 3 Annihilation Barges and quite frankly for excellent reasons. List 2 does this and list one could still do it with wargear tweaks.

2) Deathmarks... are a one trick pony, do you not find? decent enough for wounding tough stuff.. but with Tesla do you find wounding tough stuff an issue? They can drop in and absolutely savage a marked unit, especially as it looks like they have 2 Abyssal Staff Crytpeks attached to the same squad (one from each Court). These are AP2, wounding on 2+s.. amazing versus MEQ and Termie equivalent..also against higher toughness/low multiwound models such as TWC or Hive Guard.. However, once the marked unit is gone.. well they are back to shredding on Leadership, which generally is killing on 5's... not bad by any standards...They are also not scoring..ever, just 7 4+ saves to kill off.. so they'll drop in from Invasion Beams and shred something..then die most likely? Is this not what you've found? Or are you running the flier empty and using the units Deep Strike ability from Reserve?

3) Role of the Veil Crypteks. With 2 and 2 Gauss Immortals units with no other method of movement.. I assume the Veil's are going with the Immortals to get them fliying around and Rapid Firing stuff to death? Which, BTW, is a plan I highly approve of!
I guess an alternative here would be to use the Veil crytpeks as the 2nd Abyssal Staff in the Death Marks, giving one mobile Death Mark unit that could start on the board and one mobile Immortal unit.. in which case you could also add a Haywire Cryptek to help grab first blood vs easy vehicle targets.. however, this is most likely not worth it due to the high probability that they would then die to return fire.

4) Role of the Haywire Crypteks. I assume both run with the 6 man Warrior units, coming on from fliers via Invasion Beams and shredding the units.

A thought occurs to me.

Now, I do not know where Eric K plays his 40k. If he plays tournaments? If so, is his scene dominated by Necron armies?

If so, if it is like the UK tournament scene.. then Wraith/Air Crons are a very popular, dominant build. What about running the Courts together as a suicide squad? The use of suicidal drop pod Meltaguns always helped my Wolves.. what about having the Veil move in 2/3 Haywire Crypteks to shred the Annihilation Barges of opposing Necrons.. as well as any heavy tanks.. thinking Land Raiders as a few of them seem to be crawling out of the blogosphere of late.. those of us that ran Mech before are of the belief that heavy mech (av12+) is still viable.. Not with Haywire on the board it isn't.

Otherwise, Invasion Beams from Scythes will do just as well...and slightly less suicidally.. but at least you get the choice.

5) 'Nuff Whip Coils? these go. You can get a hell of a lot of Necron crap for the 60 points you are spending on coils.. like almost 2 more Wraiths! Boys before toys dude! A 4 man unit of Wraiths is a pain..5? worse. 5 plain over 4 with some Coils? I'd take 5 everytime.. you will, undoubtedly lose some over Turn 1, 2 as you launch yourself forward to get into assault..therefore, why take more expensive models over more models? But, this is a game and it is your personal preference.

6) Your concern over dropping MSS on the Lords in List 2. MSS is a wonderful, wonderful bit of Wargear. But it isn't essential.. any single item that is viewed as essential is likely to also be a weak point in your army. You will be too concerned over its use, its protection etc.. I'd say that the Overlord is only ever a distraction unit, to be thrown in with Wraiths etc and to slow the advance of key enemy units. Now, MSS can definitely help to achieve this, but I think that the Barge is actually a weaker platform for MSS than on a Destroyer Lord. But I understand you want to keep the Overlords for the multiple Courts.. so no major change to them.. except to say, don't be worried to use the Overlords as a Warscythe wielding fly-by merchant.. as well as charging enemy fortifications like Bastions lol.. I've done that.. its cool... :)

My recommendations based on a "final tweaks" point of view? I'd go list 2. BUT.. I would lose the Whip Coils, all 6.. grab one more Wraith for the 4 man unit.. making both 5 strong. This leaves 25 points which I'd use to grab a Haywire Cryptek for one of the Warrior squads.. this allows some dedicated anti tank, can be used in a veil unit necessary to get first blood.. can be the answer to units like the IG Manticore which will sit in the back of his army and rain the pain down on you.. like this, you can use Invasion Beams and provided you have a reasonably straight line to it and he is at least 6" on the board...you should be good to just fly on and toast the fucker.

I'd also rather have more troops than you have. This is an absolutely key point/weakness in your force to be honest. I'd lose the Deathmarks in favour of a 3rd Warrior unit in a Scythe. This saves you a further 30 points too for Whip Coils if you must..
But it also actually saves you 90 as you get rid of the 2 Abyssal Staff dudes too.. with those, I'd suggest the Wraiths go to 6 man units.
2 * Overlords, Warscythe, 1xMSS, Barge
Court 1 Veil
Court 2 Veil
8 Immortals
8 Immortals
3 x 5 Warriors in Night Scythes
6 Wraiths
6 Wraiths
3 x Annihilation Barges

Couple of options from here. Strengthen the scoring by adding 1 Immortal to each unit. This leaves a frustrating 14 points.. just not quite enough to get you that 2nd MSS.. I guess you could add Warriors, but the Immortals are just so much more survivable and offensive.

Or you could add 3 Scarabs for some harrassment, anti fortification/anti tank lols.. now, they'll not tie anything up.. but hey ho.. They could hit small units of average stuff.

These changes have been suggested based on not really changing the army.. just tweaking things. If you want to keep the Deathmarks, do so.. it is only personal preference that I took them out and a very real fear that at 2k you simply don't have the troop presence I think you need in 6th ed.

If anyone has any advice to dish out.. please do so.. but don't change the dudes whole list!


  1. Ven,
    Wow, thanks for the massive response. I did not realize how much I left out about my list (i guess that's what i get on my smartphone combined with late at night). You were spot on about most of the things in my list.
    I am not 100% against retooling the entire list if necessary. I said "final tweaks" because this list has done extremely well lately in my local scene granted it has been casual games at the local store. I would like to get back in to the tournament scene here in the states and that is why i reached out to you. That being said, I have no clue what the current meta scene is for two reasons. First, i got out of 40k to play fantasy with friends when they did not like what 6th ed brought and i am moving to another state in a month or so.
    The list is meant to be a very mobile army packing a lot of firepower. I took the deathmarks with the two basic abyssal-teks in a scythe because they annihilate anything they mark, but recently have found they are fairly worthless after that or if their ride gets blown out of the sky before they can be dropped off. Flying across 5ft of table requires multiple turns and things get dicey at that point. As for CronAir i really would prefer to stay away from spamming fliers because it is not fun in casual games for my opponent.
    The troop selection does seem a bit low but I tried to manage because of what the rest of the list potentially brought. I am realizing that 6th ed is even more of an objectives game than a kill everything game (I think 5 of the 6 are objective based?).
    What are your thoughts on dropping down to say 2 whip coils in a 5-man unit of wraiths? I have been using the wraiths to tie up my opponents combat units to keep them away from my firepower? Hopefully that is a good use for them?
    Also, what are your thoughts on knockdown power of Necrons? This is major reason I took the Deathmarks to begin with, cause to me the codex lacks real low AP firepower and I was afraid of not having the overwhelming number of shots to take down terms before they got to me. I was never really sold on Deathmarks but this was one of the only options I could see.
    Finally, if you rewrote the list keeping in mind an extremely mobile army with a ton of firepower what would you do? I don’t really want CronAir but I do understand that 2+ fliers are required for success.

    Thanks Again!

    1. Hey dude.. When I talk about CronAir I am talking more of multiple scythes rather than the unbalanced whole army o them! So when you run three fliers you are running an "air" list as far as I am concerned.. I run four myself and view that as an air heavy list..
      I honestly believe the scythe spam to be unbalanced nonsense that may do very well versus some forces but get rollered by others. Not what you were looking for.

      The death marks are a nasty unit, as I said...you will annihilate whatever unit you have marked... A long as they don't have a decent invulnerable..

      Regarding getting back into the tournament scene in a new state.. Get yourself out there and see how the army performs.. You can then make more accurate adjustments.. More than happy to keep in touch and develop stuff together dude..

      On low AP.. With three scythes and three barges as well as plenty of S5 gauss...you'll cause enough wounds to put down termies. Don't worry about that!

      If i were to rewrite, I'd not change that much.. I'd not use the death marks or the double abyssals.. I like the double veils...does keep you hyper mobile.. I think five troops are the absolute minimum
      ... Ideally 4+2 at 2k... Four little warriors...two big immortals..

      Just more thoughts E

  2. Ok, taking your advice into account and dropping the DeathMarks here is a new list:
    • 2x Overlord w/Warscythe and MSS on Barge
    • 1x Royal Court w/Veil-tek and Storm-tek
    • 1x Royal Cour w/Veil-tek
    • 2x 8-man Gauss Immortals
    • 3x 5man Warriors w/Night Scythe
    • 2x 6-man Wraiths (no wargear)
    • 3x Annihilation Barge

    I thought I would need the Storm-tek to handle those random AV13+ tanks out there, because relying on the Overlords to take them down is sketchy since most people in my current meta people know Overlords can be dangerous and tend to target them first. I am going to try your idea of 6 naked Wraiths in hopes that numbers alone with a 3++ (and my less than average dice rolls) to take down/tie up nasty combat units.
    Thanks again for all of the advice.

    1. Oh, and I agree the veiling Immortals is where it is at for sure. The Storm-tek would go with one of the warriors.