Thursday, December 8, 2011

Monolith - Big, Slow and Full of Fail

Okay so you’ve probably heard the chatter – Monoliths are out of the new ‘dex as far as being a viable unit.

Let’s look at the key changes:

No more meltagun/lance protection
Can now teleport apparently any Necron unit
Can fire at multiple targets with gauss flux arcs
Can use teleporter to telefrag enemies
Can use both teleporter and particle whip in same turn

At first glance, it looks like a pretty good boost for the ‘Lith: It now can multitask (as any 200 pts unit should be able to), its teleporter got a buff in both functionality and in offensive capabilities and got a nice point drop to boot. All win right?

That is until you realize what is missing: namely its ability to Deep Strike as displace units. Now if you deep strike and scatter onto enemy troops, you get to take a nasty roll on the mishap table with a very expensive unit. Not fun.

No idea why GW did this. With the Monolith’s short ranged guns and teleport abilities, what you really want to do is plop it in the middle of some enemies and let the gauss flux arcs and particle whip go to town. As and added bonus, next turn you could start squeezing out troops. Now however, the size of the Monolith means that any attempt to do so runs a very, very high risk of a deep strike mishap. Added to this, the permanent combat speed of this vehicle means that if you actually deploy this in your zone T1, it has to move 4 turns straight before its over in enemy territory. Also not good.

I’ve heard the argument that the Monolith would be too tough if it was still allowed to drop down wherever, but frankly I don’t buy it: because it has lost its protection from melta guns, a player choosing this route still runs considerable risk of having his expensive unit turned into steamy slag in one shot. Or beat down by an MC, who now get the full 2D6 penetration against them.

So is the whole thing a paperweight? At this point I’m not sure. I could see lists where the Liths sit in the back acting as terrain and a pull back point for troops, but this seems less than ideal. Using two of these in this fashion not only severely cripple your long range capabilities, but would be virtually impossible to redeploy midgame as needed. All that and it would still be highly vulnerable to scourges, melta assault troops, raptors, railguns, lances – you name it.

I think the developing consensus is right: these have been rendered suboptimal at best and are going to be seeing a lot of shelf time for the foreseeable future.


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