Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Necron System Error
The blurry iPhone pic above was intended not to display the work I have done on my own 2nd edition collection of pewter robots, but rather to express right off the bat, that I have a vested interest in a viable, playable set of rules for the mini-monster-bots. I really wanted to see my models come out of the display case.
To me, the codex is a complete failure. I literally mean complete. Let's start where the book starts, with the fluff. The reboot of the background material for these models took the line in a new direction. Personally, I feel that the flavor of the army has been entirely lost. While it is true that the story lines now include personalities, I was originally drawn to the army for it's distinct lack of personality. There is something truly sinister and elementally evil to a collection of soulless automatons, and the Lovecraftian themed C'tan added just enough mystery to the origins of these space undead. Now we have political machinations, allied Ultramarines, and Necron Lords shooting Inquisitors text messages.
Next up, comes the new models. To me, the "pimp-bot" style of the Lychguard, which permeates most of the new line, removes the crusty-robot feel of the original army. Again, I get it: the change was intentional. I just wish the change had been for the better. The Ghost Ark kit would actually be pretty ok, if it wasn't for the alternate build of the model. The fact that the alternate build, the Doomsday Ark, is just the hull of the Ghost Ark flipped over, makes me feel like the design was a poorly thought-out rush job. Honestly, it is the fact that the two builds make me feel robbed of two distinct models, that keeps me from enjoying either build individually. Remember, I have an army of the ugly 2nd edition Necrons, so for me to be complaining...
Let's talk about the rules. Sure, I am annoyed that all of the models I had built and painted back in the late 90's, are now terrible. I expected to have to buy new units, but the extent the codex goes in ruining the previous models is almost insulting. Preferred enemy on Destroyers? Twist the knife. Deep strike mishaps for your Monolith? Glad I didn't waste time installing lights. Now I don't claim to be a tactical genius, nor do I pretend to understand game design like some of our more number-heavy blogs, so I could totally be missing some synergistic keystone... but to me, every infantry unit, Lychguard included, will be assaulted, beaten in combat, and chased down. I am very disappointed in the lack of the "stubborn" special rule, at the absolute minimum. Maybe someone will find a way to build a list with some tactical flexibility, beyond banking an entire strategy on spamming solar pulse, and hoping the enemy doesn't have searchlights. Unfortunately, I see "mediocre mono-build" in this army's future.
Again, I showed the photo of my Necron collection at the beginning of this article, to attempt to show that I am not just being a negative-Nancy. I had something to gain from a useful Necron update, and I truly hoped that this book would bring some value to my ancient collection of robots. Aside from ebay.
On the bright side, this disappointment has forced me to redouble my painting efforts. My zombie-corpse is coming along nicely, and I am very excited about trying a new kind of list with my traitor IG. Silver linings and all that jazz.