Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Of Scythes and Such

Well, I've been plugging away at my Necron Codex, trying to come up with that all-important 'Best List Evah' which will procure me +6 internets and the ability to retire comfortably off my then ad-enabled blog royalties.

No luck on that yet, but I did manage to produce some lists using the Scythes, as I thought they were pretty neat and that the Doom Scythe was really underrated (deep striker with auto hit S10 draws a 3D6" line, wut, wut!?)

Everything was in order: a couple a Doom Scythes, some MSU Immortals packed into 4 Night Scythes, and a command barge and Crypteks for good measure. Though my force had AV11 all around and lacked Quantum Shielding, I rationalized that it could still win big as 1) it was fast as hell and could null deploy 2) could use terrain and each other for cover 3) could still alpha strike an opponent down far enough where their attack back would be safely mitigated.

I was ready to buy.

Until I thought about bases.

Obviously, GW hasn't released these yet, but all my Theoryhammer was based on the assumption that these will be rolling on skimmer bases ala the ghost ark. Upon reflection, I think GW will nerf-bat these vehicles by putting them on Valkyrie/Stormraven sky bases, or as I like to call them, Clay Pigeon mounts. To me this is a crucial difference.

If I'm wrong and they get skimmer mounts, all is well. These guys can come on the board low and fast and use a combination of terrain and solar pulses to hide. Their low AV means they'll still get blasted, but at least they'll have a chance at squeezing off a Death Ray or Telsa shot before being creamed.

If its Clay Pigeon mounting, things get considerably more difficult. AV11, closed or not, is simply unable to be stuck up in the air where every missile launcher wielding turd stick within 48" can draw LOS to it. This is bad. Even if you use your flat out move to gain a save, you won't survive the volume most comp lists can throw. And believe me, when they see a Death Ray headed to their Razor Lot, throw missiles they will. One volley of 4 kraks and your 175pt heavy just became fireworks.

So can we work around this? Perhaps. Deep Strike, shoot, die - while not attractive for a Doom Scythe could still rack a tally of kills that might offset its cost. However with only a 12" range, and no scatter protection, you'll need some luck on the dice for your deep striking.

Night Scythes might be able to Deep Strike in alongside and help suppress, but my guess this tactic will be difficult on many boards, especially if there is a lot of intervening terrain.

Solar pulsing or using Stormlord to keep things on Night Fighting turns 1-3 might be the best approach; the cover from shooting allowing you to get close enough to knock out a few outlying units so that you don't have to face unrestricted missile fire.

All of these are plausible. But make no mistake at 100 & 175pts a pop every one of these that goes down is going to hurt, and if you only have a 35pt Rhino to show for it you'll be in trouble. “Resilient” as the Necrons are supposed to be, lists with Scythes, IMO, are going to function very much like a glass cannon.


  1. Another issue that came up in a discussion with a friend today about the Clay Pigeon large flyer bases being assigned to the Scythes is that the sheer size of the base itself creates a new set of problems with regard to deep striking. Having no protection with scatter is bad enough, but add in a very large base and its attendant increased chance of deep strike mishap and combine all of this with the hefty points price tag of the model and you have some real uphill challenges in using these.

  2. Interesting analysis. I am enjoying this series. Cheers. B