1 Year Prognosis
May : Tomb Kings 100%
June : Dark Eldar 2nd Wave 100%
July : Fantasy Storm of Magic 100%
August : Codex: Sisters of Battle WD update part 1, Vampire Counts monster model 100%
September : Codex: Sisters of Battle WD update part 2 100%, Ogre Kingdoms 100%, Mystery Box (Specialists Release)
October : Dreadfleet
November : Necrons
December : Nothing as usual
Q2 or Q3: 40K 6th Edition, Black Templars and Chaos Legions (new chaos daemons codex) starter sets
Author : Mat Ward for the bulk of the codex, but two others were involved before him.
Necron Catacomb Command/Annihilation Barge
Necron Doomsday/Ghost Barge
Imotekh the Stormlord
Trazyn, the Infinite
It is said there will be a second release in week 3 of November, these may or may not be part of it.
Night Scythe/Doom Scythe: flyer/skimmer
Triarch Stalker Giant scorpion walker
Canoptek Wraiths (possibly new)
Tomb Blades: Jetbikes
Destroyers/Heavy Destroyers (possibly new)
Tomb Spyders: flying and more nimble.
There is a dramatic change in the fluff in this codex from the previous incarnation of the Necrons. The Necrontyr's empire was massive at one point, but the different Lords in the empire started to turn against each other in civil war. To prevent this from happening the overall ruler of the Necrons (the Silent King) started the war against the Old Ones specifically to give them a common enemy to fight against to prevent his empire from destroying itself. Of course, the Old Ones ended up kicking their butts and in desperation, the Silent King found the C'Tan and agreed to the Deceiver's pact without realizing what he was doing. However, after the Necrons helped the C'Tan to kill off the last Old Ones, the Silent King then ordered the Necrons to turn on the C'Tan in vengeance and utterly destroyed the C'Tan into tiny shards. This war agains the C'Tan weakened the Necrons overall so much they decided to go into stasis to avoid the vengeance of the Eldar (the C'Tan had killed the Old Ones, but not all their children).
Now that the Necrons have reawakened in the 41st millennium, their goal is no longer to 'harvest' souls for the C'Tan (the C'Tan shards are now their slaves) as it was in the old book, but rather to reestablish the great Necron empire that spanned the galaxy before the war with the Old Ones began. However, the overall hierarchy of the Necron people is gone for the most part, leaving each individual Empire to once again rule for itself. This means each Tomb World (or cluster of Necron worlds) is essentially a separate little empire to itself, with a full backstory and idiosyncrasies. While Necron warriors are pretty much just automatons and Immortals not too much better, every other higher Necron being is now much more like an actual person, as their essence is simply trapped inside a metal body.
So there is lots of crazy nuance to Necron culture that was never present before. The codex now has plenty of 'quote' boxes featuring memorable quotes from Necron Lords like other races have in their books. There are some Necron Lords who honor valor in battle, there are a few Necron Lords who trade with other races, and although an uneasy alliance apparently, yes Necrons and Blood Angels did end up fighting against a Tyranid Hive Fleet together. Oh, and there is definitely plenty of reason to have Necron vs. Necron action now (as the old feuds between competing Necron Lords flare back up again).
All in all, it is a major tonal shift. While part of me recoils from it, the other part of me thinks that Necrons as they were had no distinct 'character' that each player could choose to get behind. Yes, the race as a whole had 'character' in how it was organized and functioned, but there was never any really good reason that a player should have his Necron force painted and modeled 'X' way as opposed to another player with his Necron army looking 'Y' way. People certainly painted their Necrons in different (neat) ways, but there was never really any good fluff giving players inspiration to do so.
The only real 'personality' in the old book was the Deceiver, and that frankly wasn't the Necrons, it was their god. The mindless mission that all Necrons were on was basically really similar to Tyranids...the Necrons were coming to harvest every living thing in the galaxy (yawn).
This new incarnation, love it or hate it, gives the Necrons a whole wide array of personality and every single empire has different goals and motives (not to mention paint schemes, markings, etc). Some Necron Lords are obsessed with finding the perfect flesh bodies to transfer their sentience back into. One Necron Tomb World was damaged during the great sleep and erased all the Necron sentience and has started basically commanding its Necrons like true robots (and is actively attacking other Necron worlds to take them over and keep growing), and there are of course dozens more little stories. The Silent King, who put himself into exile (for his unforgivable crime against his people) by leaving the galaxy after defeating the C'Tan encountered the Tyranids in the void between galaxies and has returned to spur the Necrons into action against the Tyranids (realizing that if the Tyranids wipe the galaxy clean of biological matter, then the Necrons will never find a form to transfer their minds back into).
Oh, and the biggest rival of the Necrons is now actually the Altaoic (sp?) Craftworld. Apparently they are the only Eldar who stayed true on the original path to seek out and destroy Necron Tomb Worlds while the rest of the Eldar got all caught up and destroyed in their decadence and then the Fall. Altaoic rangers have traveled the galaxy far and wide over the millennia (ever since the Necrons went to sleep) to track down and destroy or hamper Tomb Worlds from reawakening.
So with this new direction there is now tons of different possibilities for players to make Necrons forces different from each other and there are neat new takes on 'nemesis' races like Eldar & Tyranids to drive gaming plots as well as good reason for Necron on Necron battles.
And as for totally destroying the background of the C'Tan, the codex does allude to the fact that there are lots of unaccounted for C'Tan shards still allegedly cast around the galaxy. The Necron are always trying to hunt them down and imprison them (in pocket dimension prisons), but this does still leave the door totally wide open for a shard of 'The Dragon' to be on Mars and for shards of 'The Deceiver' to have done all the crazy things that's been written about him in novels. Essentially, the full power C'Tan were massively, massively powerful, and the 'shard' versions of them are closer to the idea of what we had in the last codex anyway (something that can be killed/banished on a battlefield).
So while it is a little shocking to have such a massive fluff change hit, I do think it is probably the right way forward to create a more fully realized faction. But I do think it is probably going to be a massive turn-off to those players who absolutely adored the old fluff for the army.
Regarding the previous fluff saying that Necrons went into hibernation due to a massive 'Enslavers' invasion, in the new fluff they only really briefly mention that the wars unleashed some nasty things from the Warp, but they literally do not mention the Enslavers anymore. It is very clear that the Eldar empire is the main reason they go into hibernation, having some sort of premonition that the Eldar can and will eventually crumble as all living beings and empires do.
It was a fairly solid plan, except a lot can go wrong when you're sleeping for 60 million years, and apparently billions of Necrons have been killed by simple, normal shifts in the galaxy in that time (stars going supernova, tectonics crushing tombs, etc)...but what they didn't predict was how poorly they'd all awake from the sleep. All Necrons were supposed to wake up at once, but that didn't happen. Some Necrons woke up during all periods of history (including the Horus Heresy) and many still haven't woken up. And in some cases those that wake up have suffered terrible afflictions (like the Flayer disease).
Since there are any number of strange and undocumented Tomb Worlds now, there is totally space for you to come up with whatever backstory and motivations you want for your personal Tomb World, much like every other codex allows players. Of course, there are also dozens of tiny little story snippets (as there are in every new codex) that give you plenty of inspiration to create and play armies as well. For example, say you really like the whole 'automaton' feeling the army had in the old codex. Well, in the codex they have a story telling of one Tomb World that during hibernation accidentally erased all the sentience from the sleeping Necrons and decided to 'take them over' and has since decided this is the way forward for the Necron race and is actively attacking other Necron Tomb Worlds to collect more bodies for the cause. Basically the only sentient brain in that whole army is the Tomb World itself (it even has given itself a name). So you could definitely use this backstory as 'your' Necron force and stick with more of a simple, robotic feel to your army.
Bits of the fluff talk about other races & systems paying 'tribute' to the Necrons...here's my speculation based on what I read:
Necrons have always felt like they got the short end of the stick. When they were Necrontyr, they had a crappy planet and that drove them to invent technology and get the hell off their planet...but they still wanted to prove they were the best so they set about trying to creat the greatest galactic empire. And they did...but then as always happens, their empire started to creak and moan, so the war against the Old Ones started with naturally the belief that the Necrontyr would destroy the Old Ones and emerge even greater than before, the true heirs to the galaxy. And in fact they hated the Old Ones if for no other reason than because they had the secret for immortality (what the Necrontyr wanted more than anything) but wouldn't share it. And once the war started, naturally the Necrontyr couldn't beat the Old Ones despite their superior technology, as the Old Ones had access to the Webway which meant they could escape anytime they needed.
So eventually the Old Ones (and the races they created) were kicking the crap out of the Necrontyr. And so in the frustration of again getting the short end of the stick, they made the pact wit the Deceiver and sold their souls for immortality and power. But again, they felt shafted because they had essentially been tricked into doing this. So after the C'Tan had killed the Old Ones, they again wanted to take their rightful place as rules of the galaxy but they knew that would never happen as long as they were slaves to the C'Tan, so they turned on them as this is the only way they'd ever be free.
But of course that battle against the C'Tan did tremendous damage to them and thus they decided to use their immortality to 'outlast' the Eldar empire (which they did).
So now that they're back awake (mostly), although they've lost their main command structure as a people that sort of drove them forward towards any single goal, I think their goal is still to do what they always wanted...to rule the galaxy, to be the supreme beings. And this isn't exactly the same as humans, who basically want to eradicate all Xenos and populate all the planets themselves. Necrons more than anything (I think) want to be in control. They want to be worshipped by others. They finally want to get their due as being the rulers. So while they most certainly plan to destroy any force that gets in their way, I also get the distinct feeling from the new fluff that (with at least some of the Lords) they are perfectly okay with leaving existing planets/systems under alien control, as long as those people pay them tribute. Even though I have a hard time imagining what tribute the Necrons would really need (being robots and all), I don't think that's the point. The point is that the other races are paying them fealty and recognizing the mastery of the Necrons, which is precisely what they've always wanted.
NECRON ARMY-WIDE SPECIAL RULES
• We'll Be Back from the previous codex has been replaced by Reanimation Protocols (sorry I keep accidentally calling it Resurrection Protocols in some of these teasers). It now works at the end of each phase, but only on a 5+. You now remove models and place a token or marker next to the unit to remind you how many rolls to make (although you could just use the downed models as markers, but the important thing is you know that these markers don't affect gameplay at all). The rules are very clear about when/how models that return to play via RP are placed and if the entire unit is wiped out then the unit is gone and no RP rolls can be taken. Similarly, if the only model left in the unit is a character (such as a joined IC or a Cryptek/Lord) then these models alone are not sufficient to allow the other models to attempt their RP rolls. Nearly every non-vehicle unit in the game benefits from RP (as opposed to the old WBB, which only worked for 'Necrons'), except for the C'Tan shards.
Reanimation Protocols returns the model to play with a single wound unless they have a Phylactery in which case they come back (the first time they get back up) with D3 wounds.
• Ever-Living. This is basically just an additional Reanimation Protocol rule that characters have to describe how they're placed back on the table. Only characters (including basic Lords & Crypteks) have this rule, no squads do. The only real thing to note about it is that if the model wasn't joined to a unit when it went down, then if it returns to play it must be placed within 3" of the spot it fell. So characters are the only models it really matters where their 'marker' is placed when they are removed. So in some situations, such as an enemy unit killing a character with Ever-Living in CC and then consolidating on top of his marker, it would be entirely possible to prevent him from returning to play (as they can't if you are unable to place them within 3" of the spot they went down).
• Entropic Strike. This is mainly a Scarab rule, but it also applies to a few close combat weapons in the army as well. Basically if a model suffers an unsaved wound from an Entropic weapon then it has it armor save immediately changed to '-'. Obviously this would only apply to multi-wound models as any other type of model would be dead if it suffered an unsaved wound (ignoring the argument about whether a wound stopped by 'Feel No Pain' still counts as an unsaved Wound or not). Against vehicles, for each hit by this weapon type means at the end of the phase you roll a D6 and on a 4+ the vehicle's armor value is reduced by '1' on all facings. If a vehicle is reduced to '0' on any facing then it becomes wrecked immediately.
• Living-Metal. Not just for the Monolith anymore! Many vehicles in the codex have this and it basically allows the vehicle to ignore a Shaken result on a 2+ and a Stunned result on a 4+. These rolls are made immediately when the vehicle is damaged so this is nowhere near as good as the Grey Knights ability to remove Shaken/Stunned results.
• Phase out is gone (good riddance, I say ).
• There doesn't appear to be any Force Org shifting around in this codex at all unlike most other recent codexes (so taking any special character doesn't allow you to take a unit in a different section of the Force Org chart at all).
NECRON ARMY-WIDE WEAPON NOTES
• Gauss Weaponry does NOT have rending. It retains the 'auto-glance' on a penetration roll of a '6' rule, but has otherwise has lost the 'auto-wound' on a roll of a '6' regardless of Toughness that it used to have. The Gauss Cannon is now apparently Assault 2 & AP3 (I'm assuming the Strength is still 6).
• Telsa Weapons. With these weapons for every '6' rolled to hit the 'target suffers 2 additional automatic hits'. Whether or not that means the target suffers 2 or 3 hits in this case is a bit ambiguous, but I think the word 'additional' means that its actually 3 (one for the original hit for rolling the '6' to hit and then another additional two for a grand total of 3). The big daddy version of this weapon found on a lot of the heavier vehicles is the Tesla Destructor (and is almost always twin-linked to really maximize the chance to get those extra '6's to hit). All Tesla weapons are 24" and AP '-', but the Destructor is S7, Assault 4 and 'Arc' (which means you roll a D6 each unit, friendly and enemy, within 6" of your target and on a '6' they are struck with D6 S5 AP- hits as well). While the AP '-' keeps this weapon from being a premiere light vehicle killer, I think with all the potential S7 shots this can theoretically kick out, it still going to be pretty good at zapping vehicles.
The weapons go in order from lightest to heaviest as: Tesla Carbine -> Cannon -> Destructor.
• Particle Weapons. These are basically the blast weapons of the Necron army (with the exception of the pistol variant) with no special rules. They all have a pretty high Strength and a mid-range AP.
The weapons go in order from lightest to heaviest as: Particle Caster (pistol) -> Beamer -> Shredder -> Whip.
• There aren't any weapons that ignore invulnerable saves in the codex either...however there are quite a few little special abilities scattered about that simply remove models from play if they fail a certain kind of test, which does effectively ignore invulnerable saves (and any other kind of save too).
OVERALL ARMY ORGANIZATION
• Imotekh the Stormlord (Lord of the Sau): The most powerful Necron Overlord currently. A master strategist whose nemesis is the Orks (since their random nature is the only thing that can accidentally disrupt his flawless plans).
The Stormlord has a special rule that makes the first turn of the game be night fighting no matter what the mission and he can try to extend the rule into further turns by rolling higher than the current turn number on a D6...in addition, while the Night Fighting rules are in effect at the start of the Necron Shooting phase you roll a D6 for each unengaged enemy unit and on a roll of '6' suffer D6 S8 AP5 hits (as they are hit by lightning strikes). Vehicles get hit on their side armor.
And as a nice combo to this there is a Cryptek ability called 'solar pulse' which allows (once per game) at the start of any turn (friend or foe) for the Night Fighting rules to be cancelled for that turn (or apply if the Night Fighting rules weren't in effect when the pulse was launched...although Night Fighting created by a Solar Pulse does not generate Lightning Strikes against enemy units).
So I could see an army based around this using Night Fight (with Lighting Strikes, of course), and then any turn they REALLY need to shoot, you can use the Solar Pulse to cancel out the Night Fighting effects on your own turn, which still leaves them affecting enemy shooting on their turn! Seems like it could be quite nasty indeed! Oh, and he can try to seize the Initiative on a 4+ except against Orks (who confound his logic). But of course, he is also over 200 points naturally...basically the big uber-Ghazghkull style guy in the codex.
• Nemesor Zahndrekh: Overlord damaged in the great sleep who still thinks he is flesh and blood fighting the war of secession against his brother Necrontyr. Therefore, he is one of the few Necron Lords who still fights with honor and valor towards his enemies. Has a bodyguard named Vargard Obryron.
• Illuminor Szeras: The Necrontyr who took the C'Tan's knowledge to do bio-transfer and actually made it a reality...so he's the chief architect within the Necrons for actually making the bio-transference happen. He is a master of technology and can augment D3 units in the army with an augmentation.
• Orikan the Diviner: A master astromancer (a Cryptek specializing in tech that can predict the future), he is renown for knowing what will happen and when. During the game he is able to achieve a 'powered up' state that gives him a greatly increases statline, but this boost can randomly end on any turn dropping him back down to his regular stats.
• Anrakyr the Traveller: A Necron Lord whose goal is to unite the Necron Empires again. He travels to Tomb Worlds still sleeping and kills the 'lesser' inhabitants that may live there unaware they are on a Tomb World, the 'price' for this service is to claim a tithe from the newly awakened legions. Some Necrons see him as a golden crusader others don't want reunification and would rather see him dead.
He has a special rule that allows the Necron player to pick an enemy vehicle each shooting phase within 18" and on a D6 roll of 3+, the Necron player is able to fire with that vehicle as if it were his (counting as not moving for the shooting attack and ignoring any shaken/stunned results on it)...in other words he 'hacks' into the vehicle and momentarily takes control!
He also has a Tachyon Arrow, which is like a super hunter-killer missile. A one-time use S10 AP1 single shot that has unlimited range (Overlords & Destroyer Lords have the option to take this as well).
I can't imagine too many people ever taking this guy over the Stormlord (although he is 50 pts cheaper), but that ability could just do some crazy things, especially in Apocalypse games where you could shoot with an enemy titan or other super-heavy vehicle!
• Trazyn the Infinite: He is a Necron who woke very early and is fascinated with studying and collecting history. His tomb world is filled with secret trinkets including (I quote) 'a giant of a man clad in baroque power armor' (start your wild theories here!). He even will attack other Necron tomb worlds to capture artifacts from them that he doesn't think they deserve.
He has a special weapon whose affect happens after a round of combat in which he has killed an enemy and after all blows have been struck on both sides. Given that this is not a power weapon (and he just has 3 Attacks), it is not a sure thing that he will kill anybody in combat!
But if he does, roll a D6 for every model (friend or enemy) that has the same name on their characteristic profile as one of the models that he killed that turn. On a 4+ those models take a wound (armor/inv saves can be taken as normal).
Example: If the he kills an Ork Boy in close combat, roll for all other Boyz in the same combat, and on a 4+ those models suffer a wound, but NOT the nob (as he has a different name on his profile). It would seem that if he was fighting against another Necron player, then this rule has the potential to hurt his own forces if the same type of units were facing off; if he was attached to a unit of warriors that was fighting against an enemy unit of warriors, for example.
He is also a scoring unit (because in reality when he's 'claiming' an objective he's really seeking to claim a hidden Necron artifact nearby, it says).
Also, anytime he is removed as a casualty, roll a D6. On a 1, he is removed as normal (but would still get a chance to use Reanimation Protocols as usual I presume as he has that special rule too), but on a 2+ you randomly choose another model from all the friendly Lychguards, Crypteks, Necron Lords and Overlords on the table (not counting named versions of those) and remove that model and replace it with Trazyn, who counts as returning to play with the same amount of wounds the model he replaces had. And it even specifies that he only gives out Kill Points when he doesn't return this way.
He also has Mindshackle Scarabs (which is a piece of wargear that other character-type models in the army have access to). These allow the bearer to randomly pick one enemy model in base contact before any attacks are made in CC that turn. That model must pass a Ld test on 3D6. If it fails the test, it instead does D3 attacks on its own unit using the weapons/special rules of the Necron player's choice (if the model has different weapons or kinds of attacks).
So while not a powerhouse or a character that boosts the ability of your army, he is a HQ that is a scoring unit which can give you a few different tactical options.
• Necron Overlord: Generic DIY Necron Overlord (guy who rules a Tomb World) with plenty of options. Can ride on a Catacomb Command Barge (which is a one man transport) as can all the named 'Lords' above, but not those that are Crypteks in their fluff (Illuminor Szeras & Orikan the Diviner).
• Destroyer Lord: Basically the same as an Overlord but with Preferred Eenemy against everything (Destroyers now hate everybody). Has a few less wargear options as well, but can still take a Rez Orb (for example).
• Royal Court: 0-5 regular Necron Lords (lieutenants to the Overlords) as well as 0-5 Crypteks. Crypteks are masters of Necron technology, whose abilities sometimes appear like sorcery to other races, but they do not have any psychic powers...all their abilities do not require a psychic test or anything like that (nor are they ever referred to as psychic powers in any way). Any member of the Court (Lord or Cryptek) can be split off at the start of the game to lead a unit of Warriors, Immortals, Lychguard or Deathmarks (but only one per unit).
The Royal Court does not take up a HQ slot but may only be taken one per each Overlord (including the named ones) you take in the army.
Crypteks vs. (basic) Lords in the 'Royal Court': both have more like squad leader stats then character stats (1 wound each for example) with both of their base points are in the exact same range as an IG Commissar, for example. However, all of the upgrades for these guys clock in the 5 to 45 point range (each option) with probably a 15 point median for their gear, so you can imagine that these guys will very quickly eat up your points if you give them many (or any) upgrades.
The Lords have access to 4 Weapon upgrade options (Warschythe, Gauntlet of Fire, Hyperphase Sword & Voidblade) and 5 wargear-esque options (Sempirternal Weave, Mindshackle Scarabs, Tesseract Labyrinth, Ressurection Orb & Phase Shifter). Of all those weapons and upgrades only the Rez Orb benefits the unit. The rest of the upgrades just give the Lord extra benefits in combat or armor save.
So really, if you're looking to make the Lord improve a unit by leading it, besides adding some CC punch to the unit your only real choice is the Rez Orb and the Rez Orb is on the high end of the points scale for their wargear so it isn't exactly a steal to get a Rez Orb into a unit (which for those who aren't keeping up boosts that unit's, and only that unit's, Reanimation Protocols to a 4+).
Crypteks can be taken plain jane if you wanted (with only a Staff of Light), but if you want to upgrade them at all, then you have to select a 'discipline' that they follow. There are five disciplines to pick from and each one costs some amount of points to take, with the only benefit being that you get an upgraded weapon instead of the staff of light that fits into that discipline's role (all but one of these upgraded weapons are improved shooting attacks).
The 5 Disciplines are: Harbinger of Destruction (described as 'plasmancers', weapon is Eldritch Lance, wargear choices are Gaze of Flame & Solar Pulse), Harbinger of Eternity (able to read the future, weapon is Aeonstave, weargear choices are Chronometron & Timesplinter Cloak), Harbinger of Transmogrification (described as 'geomancers', weapon is Harp of Dissonance, options are Seismic Cruicble & Tremorstave), Harbringer of the Storm (described as 'ethermancers', weapon is Voltaic Staff, options are Ether Crystal & Lightning Field) & Harbringer of Despair (described as 'psychomancers', weapon is Abyssal Staff, options are Nightmare Shroud & Veil of Darkness).
Now, once you've chosen a discipline to upgrade to, you're allowed to give the Cryptek one (or both) of the listed wargear options. HOWEVER, the rules state that 'each of the wargear options can only be chosen once in each Royal Court'. So the only way you're going to get more than one Veil of Death (for example) is to take a second Royal Court and even then you're only getting a second one. So it does not look like you will be able to spam these items (and just FYI, the Veil of Darkness definitely does not allow units to be pulled out of combat).
Although there are some exceptions, for the most part these wargear options tend to benefit the unit they're leading, or affect enemy units that are trying to do something to the unit. Like giving the unit assault and defensive grenades (Gaze of Flame), you already know about Solar Pulse if you've been reading my posts closely, causing damage on enemy units Deep Striking near or assaulting that Necron unit (Ether Crystal & Lightning Field respectively), reducing one enemy unit's assault move against that Necron unit by D3" (Seismic Crucible), etc. And all of the upgraded Cryptek weapons are ranged weapons.
So in general I think the basic Lord is what you take if you're trying to give the Royal Court some CC punch (or give a unit some CC punch)...besides the obvious Rez Orb choice, of course! Instead, if you're wanting to upgrade your unit to have some unique abilities and a specialty shooting weapon in it, then the Cryptek is the way to go.
As for Cryptek anti-tank shooting, the Eldritch Lance is 36" range S8 AP2, Assault 1, The Voltaic Staff is a 12" Assault 4 attack that hits like Haywire Grenades on vehicles (2-5 = glancing hit, 6 = penetrating hit), while the Harp of Dissonance is a S6 single shot with unlimited range that is an Entropic attack (so will reduce enemy vehicle armor by 1 if it hits).
Neither Lords nor Crypteks are ICs.
• Night Scythe: Fast, skimmer (not open-topped). A variant of the Doom Scythe fighter that is a 15 model flyer transport with the 'supersonic' 36" flat-out move that the new flyers (that are really skimmers) have. Can carry jump infantry models (taking up 2 spots each) and fire all its weapons even when moving at cruising speed. Has living metal (chance to ignore crew shaken & stunned) but not quantum shielding (which gives +2 armor until the vehicle suffers its first glancing or penetrating hit). AV 11/11/11 like most Necron vehicles. Has a Twin-linked Tesla Desructor as its weapon.
• Ghost Ark: Open-topped, non-fast skimmer. 10 model transport (Warriors only), AV11 with quantum shielding and living metal. Also is able to regenerate D3 Warrior models to one unit within 6" each Necron movement phase (but cannot take the unit above its starting size). Has a Guass Flayer array (5 Flayers) on each side is allowed to fire at different enemy targets. Not entirely clear whether a weapon destroyed takes out a whole array or not, but I'm leaning towards yes.
• Catacomb Command Barge: Open-topped fast skimmer that is a one-man vehicle for most ICs. AV11 with quantum shielding & living metal. Also the character can lose wounds to negate immobilized or weapon destroyed results. Also has a Tesla Cannon (which can be upgraded to a Gauss Cannon). Can make 3 sweep attacks over a single enemy unit it passes over when it moves (vehicles are hit on their back armor). When you combine this Sweep Attack with the S7 attacks most ICs have with a Warscythe (for example), this could potentially be a bit nasty.
• Deathmarks: 24" range rapid-fire AP 5 sniper unit that can choose to Deep Strike in immediately after any enemy unit arrives from Reserves (which just allows the enemy to fire at them first?)...teleporting in from a pocket dimension to target their prey. They can also mark a single unit as their 'target' which allows them to roll to wound on a 2+. Beautiful models from the pics leaked, but at the point cost listed I can't see them ever being used except to see those great models on the table. 5-10 in a unit and can be transported on a Night Scythe.
• Lychguard: Traditionally these have been the bodyguards for the Overlords. 5-10 in a unit. Come standard with Warscythes (+2 Strength Power weapon...there is no built-in shooting weapon on the Warscythe anymore) and can replace them with Hyperphase swords (power weapon) and Dispersion Shields (gives them a 4+ invuln and when passed, reflects wounds caused by shooting onto any enemy unit within 6". They can be transported on a Night Scythe. 40 pts per model.
• Triarch Ptaetorians: These used to be effectively the 'police' (my term) of the main Necron ruler (the last of which was the Silent King) to help enforce his will onto the Lords of the Empire. They are known to respect great warriors and honor valor and have sometimes ordered Necron Overlords to stop attacking a foe they deemed worthy of respect (much to the Lord's chagrin). 5-10 in a unit. They are Jump Infantry with a 6" AP2 S5 weapon that is also a power weapon. They can swap that out for Void Blades (a weapon with Rending and the same Entriopic ability that Scarabs have) and Particle Casters (a pistol weapon). No transport option. 40 pts per model.
• C'Tan Shard: Fluff-wise, these are shards effectively controlled by the Necron (even though they have most shards locked away in pocket dimensions). Each shard represents only a portion of the power and consciousness of the C'Tan and therefore in battle the C'Tan may not even think to utilize some of its power because the portion of it that knows it has 'X' power simply isn't there. This is essentially what explains why they only have access to 2 special abilities in battle.
Basically, the Necrons know they cannot fully destroy the C'Tan (only shatter them into shards) and are deathly afraid one of them will get their full power back together and take their revenge back on the Necrons for betraying them. So the Necrons are generally hunting down the shards and locking them in inter-dimensional prisons. However they somehow have the ability to force these shards to fight for them (presumably through the Necodermis the shards reside in), although in gameplay terms there are no additional rules to represent that the shard is essentially a prisoner.
1 per FOC slot taken. Each shard must take 2 of the 11 listed ability choices that basically shape what kind of C'Tan shard you're fielding. No ability can be taken more than once in the army (even if you take 3 C'Tan shards in the army). The statline is slightly less impressive than previous incarnations of the C'Tan, but still pretty decent. Also has Eternal Warrior and ignores all terrain penalties. Still explodes D6" when they die.
These abilities each cost a different point value (between 10 & 50 points) are in line with a lot of the things we've seen in the last few codexes, things like: within 6" of the C'Tan counts as dangerous terrain for enemy vehicles & auto-mishap for Deep Strikers, making ALL difficult terrain on the table count as dangerous for the enemy army (you read that right), allowing the Necron player to change some of his deployment, making one enemy model in base contact have to pass an Initiative test or be removed from the table, etc, as well as 3 different flavors of shooting attacks one of which is a S9 AP2 24" anti-tank blast. There are even several powers which are clearly new interpretations of the old powers the Nightbringer and the Deceiver had.
As awesome as some of this suonds, you have to temper that with the fact that shards are nearly 200 points with no options, and once you factor in the two manifestation upgrades, you're talking about a unit that is somewhere between 200-300 points (depending on which two manifestations you take).
Every indication I get from the codex is that you'll just use the existing models to represent C'Tan shards, because if you think about how they're described now, a 'shard' is really much closer to what the old codex's power-level was for a C'Tan.
• Flayed Ones: 3 Attacks base (and no additional CC weapons). Can infiltrate or Deep Strike. No transport options. 5-20 in a unit.
• Triarch Stalker: Concept Sketch shows a Triarch Praetorian sitting in an open-topped cockpit that is riding on a Necron-style giant almost scorpion walker set of legs. Very cool looking IMHO.
1 per FOC slot chosen. Has a variable heat ray (which can be upgraded to a couple of other weapons) that can either be fired as a template or as an Assault 2 S8 24" Heavy2 Melta weapon. Has a Targeting relay which means that any enemy unit hit by the Stalker gets a counter placed by it that allows all other Necron units shooting at the same unit that phase to count as being twin-linked. AV11 & open-topped, but does have Quantum shielding, Living Metal & Move Through Cover. Can upgrade its Heat Ray for a Particle Shredder or twin-linked Heavy Gauss Cannon (both of which cost more points).
• Warriors: You know them, you love them. Described as being basically automatons, with very little (if any) sentience.
5-20 per squad and can be transported on a Ghost Ark or Night Scythe (as long as the squad is small enough to fit into those respective transports.
They have the same basic statline they had before except they now have a 4+ save. Now before you go crazy, also note that their points cost is 12 points, which is a 1/3 price drop (down from 18 points). That means you get 1/3 more Warrior models in the army for the same amount of points...it also makes losing an entire unit due to sweeping advance, not nearly as painful.
I know a lot of cynical people will hate this and accuse GW from simply making the change to sell more Warrior models, and you could be right. But personally I was always hoping they were going to make Necron Warriors not quite as tough and dump the points cost on them, so you could really take a ton of them...given in my mind they are supposed to be more like a shambling horde of undead robots than some sort of small elite force of super-warriors (but that could just be me).
So this change alone totally changes the army from out of the 'MEQ' umbrella and makes their base statline unique in the game (which is good, IMHO).
• Immortals: Immortals are said to have the ability to at least speak, but still aren't too much brighter than Warriors. These were Elite warriors of the Necrontyr before the conversion (not sure who the rank and file troops were if the Warriors were the non-combatants and the Immortals were the Elite soldiers?).
5-10 per unit. Immortals have lost their T5 (down to T4), but keep their 3+ save. However, their points cost has dropped to 17 pts a model, which is an 11 point drop (more than 1/3 a drop from the previous cost of 28 pts)! Can exchange their Gauss Blasters (which are now a rapid fire weapon) for Tesla Carbines (24" S5 Assault1, 'Tesla') Can be transported on a Night Scythe.
• Canoptek Wraiths: Protectors of the Tombs while the hosts slumber.
1-6 in a unit. Jump Infantry who ignore terrain (don't take tests). Still have a 3+ invulnerable save and 3A base with Rending. All models can take one of a few different upgrades including a Whip Coil (nearly identical to a Tyranid Lash Whip), particle caster (pistol) or a Exile Beamer (12" ranged heavy weapon that kills a randomly chosen model in the target unit unless it passes a Strength test). Roughly the same amount of points they used to be.
• Canoptek Scarabs: Scarabs are only a few more points then they used to be. 3-10 in a unit. They are now Fearless Swarms, have Entropic Strike as well as getting Reanimation Protocols. They are also beasts now. I can see this unit being spammed in a lot of armies because it can literally tear apart any vehicle if enough of them get into combat with it. Basically any vehicle that didn't move the previous turn that finds itself within charge range of a full Scarab squad is absolutely dead (since they have 3 Attaks, 4 on the charge and each hit reduces the vehicle's armor by 1 on a 4+)!
And even if they don't manage to wipe out a vehicle with their attacks (say they get unlucky or the swarm has been whittled down), then you're still looking at a vehicle with severely weakened armor that can then likely be taken out by any shooting unit in your army in a following shooting phase.
• Tomb Blades: Jet Bikes. From the artwork, these look like Necron warriors fused into a flying crescent throne carrying a weapon harness in their arms that is base twin-linked Tesla Carbines. The fluff says that they are pre-programmed with a bunch of different flight patterns and vectors that the onboard Warrior chooses from on the fly. this mitigates the fact that a Warrior has poor coordination, but since the programs are so advanced, in reality they act basically like any other similar unit in an enemy army despite the fact that their 'pilots' are much slower to react.
1-5 in a unit. The entire unit can upgrade their weapons (Twin-linked Tesla Carbine) to a couple different choices (twin-linked Gauss Blaster or Particle Beamer). The entire unit can take any of the 3 options: Nebuloscope (increases BS to 5), Shield Vanes (increased armor save to 3+) & Shadowloom (Stealth).
• Destroyers: New fluff that says Destroyers are infected with some kind of degenerative virus that causes their sole purpose in life to be to kill their enemies. As such they hate everyone and have the Preferred Enemy special rule against everyone (as do Destroyer Lords).
First the good news: Destroyers have gone down in price like a lot of the units that were previously in the codex. The bad news is that you can only have 1-3 in a unit (yes you read that right). They are Jump Infantry now. Any model in the unit can upgrade to a Heavy Destroyer (nearly doubling its points cost)...so there is no longer a separate unit for Heavy Destroyers you just choose to upgrade some or all of them within the existing Destroyer unit. The Gauss Cannon and Heavy Gauss Cannon are now Assault weapons (to correspond with Destroyers now being JI). The Gauss Cannon has had its AP improved to 3, but lost one shot (down to 2). The Heavy Gauss Cannon is effectively the same (except for being an Assault weapon).
And let's not forget, before Destroyers tended to be the only mid to long-ranged threat in the army. That doesn't have to be the case anymore so I'm guessing that it won't be quite as big a problem to have the smaller units as it would have been fielding them at that size with the old codex.
• Doomsday Ark: Variant of the Ghost Ark transport. One per FOC slot taken. Open-topped, non-fast skimmer, AV11, Quantum Shielding, Living Metal. The Doomsday cannon has two profiles, one for if the vehicle did or didn't move that turn (with the non-moving one being 72" range S9 AP1 Large Blast). The moving profile only has a 24" range and a S7 blast. Basically described as gunboat whose strategy is to hit first and destroy the enemy before they can fire back. Also has the same two Gauss Flux Arrays that the Ghost Ark does, which can be fired at different targets than each other and the Doomsday Cannon.
• Annihilation Barge: Described as anti-infantry support platforms. Variant of the Catacomb Command Barge. One per FOC slot taken. Open-topped, non-fast skimmer, AV11, Quantum Shielding, Living Metal. Has a twin-linked Tesla Destructor & a Tesla Cannon, but can upgrade the cannon to a Gauss Cannon. Not exactly sure why you'd want to do that except for the extra range (36" for the Gauss Cannon as opposed to all Tesla weapons which are 24" range).
• Monolith: One Monolith per FOC slot. It is a new vehicle type called 'Heavy' which means the vehicle cannot move faster than combat speed but always counts as stationary when firing.The Gaus Flux Arc on the Monolith no longer automatically hits every unit within range, instead each one fires separately and can hit four different targets (which can be different targets from the rest of its shooting). Each Flux Arc is now just a straight up 3 shot weapon (instead of a random number of hits). Particle whip is now just a straight up S8 AP3 24" large blast. Oh, and if the Monolith is put into Reserves, it must arrive via Deep Strike.
35 Point reduction along with corresponding nerf in invulnerability (were you not expecting that?). Still AV 14 and still has Living Metal (although again that only helps remove Crew Stunned/Shaken now). Can still Deep Strike but no longer has invulnerability from Mishaps. Has 4 Gauss Flux Arcs (which are now just Heavy 3 instead of randomly rolled). The portal can be used to either transport any non-vehicle friendly Necron unit (that isn't engaged in combat) through it or to suck enemy models within 6" to instant death who fail a Strength Test (one or the other can be done each shooting phase). No bonus to reanimation protocols is present. Although, at the end of the day, this is still an AV14 vehicle all around, which is pretty imposing in the current game. Unfortunately all of its weapons are really close range, which means it will also now tend to be in Melta range...
• Doom Scythe: Pure fighter variant of the Night Scythe. One per FOC slot taken. Non-open topped fast skimmer. AV11 with Living Metal (but no Quantum Shielding). Is supersonic (36" flat-out) and can fire all its weapons when moving at cruising speed. Has a twin-linked Tesla Destructor & a Death Ray, which allows a 3D6" line to be drawn (with one end of the line being within 12" of the vehicle) and causes a number of hits on every unit crossed by the line equal to the number of MODELS in the unit that are under the line (so if the unit has 5 models crossed by the line, it would suffer 5 hits). Oh and did I mention that these hits are S10 AP1? Nasty indeed! And the Tesla Destructor is no slouch either! But at nearly 200 pts for an AV11 vehicle, to get within 12" to unleash this beast will probably be a bit rough.
• Tomb Spyders: The artwork makes them look much more flying and nimble, like giant Scarabs.
1-3 can be taken per FOC slot (but only together as a unit, they aren't individuals like they were in the last codex). They can now repair vehicles like a Techmarine, Big Mek, etc. Can take an anti-psychic defense against any power targeting a friendly unit within 3" (nullified on a 4+). Can still create Scarab Swarms, but only into existing swarms on the table (they no longer form a unit with the Spyder) and it can still take damage if it rolls a '1' while doing so. Can take Whip Coils (by giving up a close combat weapon and a +1 to repair vehicles) which is like a Tyranid Lash Whip. Can take 1 or 2 Particle Beamers (by removing its CC/fixer arms) to do so.