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The necron army is if anything, resilient. One thing that makes them so is also one of their main attraction points for many gamers, WBB, the We'll Be Back rule.
This rule allows for every necron model in the game the chance to rise again in the next turn after being removed from the table, a realm usually the domain of a very few special characters. This is an amazing ability, frustrating many opposing players with their seemingly successful firepower wasted by newly risen warriors ready to shoot at them again!
As well as adding much character and fluff to the army, it is also seen as perhaps the most important ability of the necron army in competative gaming.
Given this fact, it is standard for army lists to focus around this ability, and many units encourage the use of it, further reinforcing the need for it in one's army.
Phase out also encourages it, as every necron model is precious if you want to finish the game without vanishing mysteriously. This has led to the very boring standard army layout that claims to give a necron player his best chance at winning due to his invincible ability to keep coming back from the dead! WRONG.
The WBB is rule is definately a handy piece of work. But from much playtesting, I feel it is very possible to win, and win often while using the necron codex without relying too much on it.
It is still very wise to have a solid block of warriors, but let us consider the ruling for WBB.
Firstly, there is the six inch rule which states that if necron units are to support each other with WBB, meaning, allowing a downed squad the chance to WBB into a squad of like models, they must be within six inches to allow for the 'salvaging' to take place.
Not only that, as WBB is done on a model and not squad basis, units must be even closer and tightly packed to ensure that all models are eligible.
Veteran players of shooty style armies will know of the 'six inch dead zone' between units.
That is, keeping them relatively moderately close so as to provide supporting fire but keeping at least seven inches between all of them. This ensures that in the terrible event of a necron squad breaking or being destroyed, the enemy does not consolidate six inches into another very valuable and points expensive squad. This is in direct conflict with the desire of many necron players to ensure survivability through WBB.
Also, the closeness of this 'phalanx style of wbb support also severely limits the mobility of the army, giving an extreme disadvantage to objective style games, as even a standard speed army will dance around your 'single unit' of massed necrons.
This has led to the popular saying, 'necrons are easy to beat, but hard to kill.'
You are not winning anything just by staying alive.
This brings us to our second point. The ressurection orb. This piece of wargear allows us to go ahead and make our WBB saves even when the conditions are met so that we normally don't get them, such as power-weapons and double strength ranged weapons.
For nearly half the points cost of the lord himself, you can further ensure that your necrons will always get the chance to come back to fight again. This still bears the hindrance of the six inch rule, and is considered a no brainer, even an absolute necessity in necron armies.
People are always very surprised to find that I never use one. Why? Because I believe it actually hinders your army.
This leads us to a third and controversial point: WBB is NOT necessary to win a game.
The thought is shocking. WBB as I have admitted earlier in this tactica is a very potent and game effecting tool available to necrons. But the army is still very capable if they don't come back, with at least space marine toughness and armor saves to keep them going.
The logic for this way of thinking is that for all the points and effort you spend focusing on coming back, it still boils down to a 50/50 chance that will likely completely fail you in certain games. This is not the wisest thing to bet on if you want something reliably competitive for serious play. By taking a neat ability and focusing intently upon it, the VAST majority of necron players miss the variety of other things their units could be doing other than staying huddled together.
Another thing I see often is the classic immortal/lord with veil of darkness combo, which is a very potent unit for teleporting around to key locations. These frequently have resurrection orbs attached as well, making for an extremely expensive lord option.
This i feel is a mistake. Only strength ten weaponry has a chance of denying the saves of the resilient models, and if you get your immortals into close combat you probably have made a mistake anyway. Even if you do, you can easily veil out again next round if they survive. It simply isn't cost effective to spend many points on something that will only allow a few extra saves on a small squad. The full effect of a ressurection orb is best used supporting many squads, and this as said before, severely hinders an army where the majority of the units possess short ranged weapons that need to move into position.
This realization has led me into an entirely new way of playing the army, one I find very fun, rewarding, and freeing. Instead of the WBB approach, I present to you the WBF.
The We'll Be Fine tactic of playing the ancient Necrontyr.
I have found that it is best to play as if WBB for the most part didn't exist.
That way, when it works, it can be a happy surprise and a great frustration to your opponent, while still being a fun and fluffy part of your army. This is the best way to deal with such an unreliable backup save, not by making it the center point of an army.
Use common sense, and no ressurection orbs. If you have two skimmer units, put them near each other if there is no threat of close combat and you can see them being destroyed in a turn. Otherwise, feel free to move warrior units off on their own if they need to.
This allows your army to be truely mobile, feel free to use veil and monoliths and skimmers at will to spread your army over the tabletop.
Opponents will not expect this from a necron player.
I hope this has helped my fellow Necron Lords, and may it open up the doors for more creative thinking.
i will probably add more to this later.
too many, gave up counting. rough estimates of 10% even steven, 25% omg i lostorz! and 65% PWNED NEWBS! ^^
<Tossy> Crons are freaking invincible!
While I agree in the most part I just have to make a point of 2 times when the rez orb is worth it.
High strength ordinance and Power weapons.
Another thing to add, a destroyer lord running off on his own probably shouldn't be facing monstrous creatures, he'll lose. Instead use him against lords with lower stats and more importantly against troops. He'll win combat and eventually break troops, and with the destroyer body he can keep charging the fragile ones.
I somewhat agree with you. Players should rely more on their wits and less on the statistical power of their codex. Besides, its far more fun to make it your army, and play it as such. Also, it could throw off some players, because any veteran is gonna put priority on hindering your WBBs.
"It takes a vast amount of self control to be this dangerous."
---Ogvai Ogvai Helmshrot, Jarl of Tra, VI Legion Astartes
Anything which challenges the standard perception to gaming is a good thing.
Necrons seem a bit 2D at times, and believe me their opponents know thier workings inside out. If you therefore play on a different level to your opponent, and take a different angle, it's possible to catch them unawares.
Great stuff sparty.
LO RulesOriginally Posted by AnonymousOriginally Posted by Cyric
This is very true.
What frightens me when I'm facing Necrons is not the thought of the phalanx, or even the flying immortals...
What frightens me is seeing something that I'm not prepared for, have no experience with, and am not entirely sure how to fight.
So, maybe you could use your necrons more like a Marine army, with each squad doing it's own thing. You might have to splash out on a few units you might not otherwise use (wraiths, pariahs and heavy destroyers seem to make sense if you aren't 'relying' on WBB, but treating it as an added extra), but I know that I would be off-balance from the start.
A typical phalanx I can out-flank, and have all the benefits that go with it, working my way through units by concentrating firepower and getting CC squads in unscathed... But where would I end up trying to fight like this against a non-phalanx army? I don't really know, as I've never seen one, or at least, never fought against one.
Hmmm. Food for thought, at any rate.
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Your necrons will be overpriced if you don't rely on the wbb rule. For example, one heavy destroyer alone is VERY fragile (and it cost you 65 points)
It's a good idea trying to make an unexpected army, but you have to make it carefully
"It takes a vast amount of self control to be this dangerous."
---Ogvai Ogvai Helmshrot, Jarl of Tra, VI Legion Astartes
I Fully support this approach.
My 2000 list is something like this (i'm at work hehe)
Destroyer lord 185
Played a 4 way FFA take and hold (the one where you hold the middle)
I only have 27 necrons meaning if i hit 6 necrons i'm dead.
After 6 rounds i had taken out 3/5 of the witch hunters (only had one scoring unit left which was a little too near the mid so i used my nightbringers etheric tempest to make them move away muahahha)
Hadn't even looked at the Dark eldar player who was being shot at as much as me because he was charging transports (he didn't get into CC at all...) he died turn 4
The Space Marine player was a minor worry at the start, but was over a hill and didn't seem keen to fully engage me. Turn 4 he started moving for the middle, i then intercepted and took out 2/5 of his army, (killing his only scoring unit within 12" with my nightbringer in my last turn).
End result was me winning with 2 wraiths holding the middle.
My losses were -4 warriors
-2 Tomb spiders (land raider shot them cause they were holdin, was gonna charge it next turn )
-4 wraiths (one didn't get WBB cause it was last turn)
and to think my Monolith was immobilised turn 1, retalliating and destroying the excorcist missle launcher. Very easy carving of opponents with 19/27 necron units still alive and well. I think that it's alot more stressful to have so few necron units and a majority being the base 20wars at that, but if used well it really frees you up to play with your own style.
happy gaming all
I've been thinking about your suggestion, here, and I think it has some merit. Lots of posts say the Orb is practically required, but there are instances when it is not. For instance, consider a Destroyer Lord with Scarabs. The Orb fits with the destroyer body and phase shifter, but with the war scythe added you'd have a 210 point model. The DLord can't be instakilled and the Orb would only come into play if his final wound was dealt with a power weapon. There are plenty of those around, but even if the Lord makes his WBB roll, he'd stand up with one wound and die immediately or run away hoping to use the Orb in other spots. The Scarabs aren't helped because they don't get a WBB roll. To me, the Orb is not terribly useful here, especially since you could take a second lord with nothing but the Orb to support your phalanx.
The problem is that I play against Chaos and Witch Hunters. That means template weapons and Exorcists. I will always take the Lord, Veil, and Orb in these games or risk seeing my expensive Immortals blasted with no save or WBB.
I agree about the phalanx in part, but I'd imagine that a 30 warrior phalanx formation would almost require the Orb, since it would allow so many more WBB rolls. Any time you want to spread those troops out as you suggest (to capture objectives, for instance) the Orb becomes much less useful.
The real question, in my mind, is what could you take with those 40 points that would be better than the orb? Two warriors don't't add much, and the points won't buy even an extra destroyer. That leaves Lord equipment. I suppose you could make the case that the Gaze and Chrono would aid survivability quite a bit. The Phase Shifter would help the lord, potentially, as would the Phylactery, but then he would neglect his support roll.
Basically, I like the premise of your idea, whcih is that we shouldn't be married to the Orb without considering its purpose, but in practice I really can't see myself not taking one unless I go the DLord route without a second Lord.
Actually as far as Immortals go the only thing that can stop their WBB at range are strength 10 weapons.
So unless your facing rail guns and a bassie don't worry about them.
As for normal warriors, I'd suggest keeping a rez orb around them if your marching the standard phallanx up.
Most armies have either close combat weapons or 8+ strength weapons. And really, I go to the other armies and see people suggest to load up on high strength and ap weapons, which is really kind of dumb against necrons when the orb is around. They barely work on marines well enough to be worth their points, on necrons they are only half as effective so really they should focus on vollume of fire instead. I'm not one to be complaining though.