My biggest issue remains the loss of the fear & loathing aspect of the Necrons, since in at least one specific case (Flayed Ones), adding in fear & loathing effects would have transformed them from worthless to useful. Other factors that are contradicted by the fluff have made other units less than viable for their cost. The next big disconnect comes from the idea that the higher ranking Necrons have improved bodies and more "spark" in them to function better than the lower orders. However, none of this actually shows up in the stat lines of the models. Yes, Immortals get the 3+ save (which is part of the infamous power armor as fancy carapace armor syndrome) and some later models (Lychguard, Praetorians, Lords, HQs) get S5 T5, but why the army wide I2? How is it an "improved" body with preprogrammed hyperfast reactions when super Necrons can get butchered by anything in CC before it gets a chance to fight?
But, but, the Necrons are supposed to be weak in CC? Well, they still will be weak, I'm talking about a few units and pretty much the ones I'd reject in most cases. Lords, Lychguard & Praetorians would jump to I3 and Overlords (including Destroyer Lords) would go to I4. Maybe Flayed Ones & Wraiths, but for them I prefer the 3d6 Ld test or you hit on a six only. So we aren't talking about something game breaking. An alternate solution, especially reading the fluff about precision CC strikes which accounts for the low number of strikes, would be to allow a Necron to always score a swing, no matter if they died during the round. Again, this is for the higher level Necrons.
Last bit of venting: Okay, so they took power weapon status away from the Staff of Light, so why is it we have to pay extra for our HQ units (OL & Lords) to get a PW and then don't get a pistol option? Destroyer Lords should have RCs also, with the option to add a Destroyer body. Speaking of Destroyer bodies, why do we have a Skimmer model that is bigger than any of the Jetbikes I've seen so far and classify it as "jump infantry", a.k.a. big fat target that moves slower now. Why, why, why?. Oh, I can go on and on nitpicking stupid stuff here.
So, let's go onto the types of lists.
So, what are we looking at? The four archetypes I'm looking at are as follows:
- Max AV13: What it sounds like, trying to maximize the amount of QS vehicles on the board. Start off with 3x Annihilation Barges & 2x WS Overlords in Command Barges for 630 points, then fill in with Ghost Arks + 5xNW for 180 points each. If you have the points, add in Triarch Stalkers. The problem IMO is that with all that MSU, if you get cracked quickly, you will have problems with dying too easily. Of course, if you are getting AV13 cracked quickly anybody is in trouble... This is one of the lists I don't have a big problem with MSU in because it trivially fields eleven (11) QS vehicles.
- Max Tesla Destructor: What it sounds like with two variations, either pure speed or points efficiency. In both you take 5xNW or NI + Nightscythe, as many as you can cram in. The alternate options are 3x Doomscythes or Annihilation Barges depending on your points squeeze. Even in the "fast & light" you get nine (9) Fast AV11 vehicles with Aerial Assault and Supersonic. This list can move! The other potentially useful MSU Necron list, especially since losing the transport just puts the squad in Reserve to walk on.
- Max Scarabs: 30 Scarabs + 9 Spyders for 900 points. Have fun. I personally like the concept of "releasing:" one set of Scarabs per turn with the Spyders popping nine extra bases into each swarm. IMO, probably the most powerful of the focused lists. It would take some care to deploy and move depending on who your opponent is, but these guys are fast enough that you can take the time to make sure they are weaving among the cover available to shield them.
- "Phalanx" or Foot: This list looks more like a blast from the past with some of the new widgets. The core is 15-20 Necron Warrior squads with a Necron Lord carrying an Orb (and optional Warscythe). One of the complaints about the Necrons was they were the only list where to get "full value" out of their transport they had to be outside walking. Not true unless you insist on 100% mechanization (skimmerization?). Simple, one squad in the Ark, one on foot with the Ark pumping them as they take losses. Remember that people are used to blowing away small squads of troops and vs the two popular mass model lists (Orks & IG) even regular small arms ignore armor saves. Killing 15-20 T4/4+ models is bit tougher than most people realize. A MEQ MSU unit takes 45 BS4 S4 AP5 shots to kill on average. It takes 129 of the same shots at a squad of 20 Warriors with a Lord leading them. This is a "Kill Them All" style list that walks into the middle and then disperses to claim objectives or hunt down stragglers.
- First is the super invul save that you get on top of any other save called Reanimation Protocols or WBB. Since the only two ways you can lose the WBB roll these days are to fall back (which you cannot control) or have the unit wiped, strength in numbers prevails as it gets harder to gun down a larger squad. There is no tangible benefit from having five or twenty Warriors, such as extra weapon choices, you have what you have and just decide how many you want in each squad.
- Another is the various uses of "tricknology" via the Crypteks, most commonly noted is the ability to force Night Fighting on your opponent for at least two turns. This degrades his ability to thin out your forces as they close up to 24" range. Also, like the Templar Drop Pod lists, it limits the time your opponent has to target and kill your units. Also, an uncommon use of the Solar Pulse is at the end of a game to prevent shooting a scoring unit off an objective.
- Relatively easy tank suppression with Gauss weapons. If Scarabs are loose and beating down AV then small arms fire becomes effective.against enemy armor.
- Good short range anti infantry firepower.