Necron Codex Review: The Good, the bad and the Ugly Part 1: HQs


Hey everyone, Reecius here with a first reading and review of the new Necron Codex! This is the 1st part of the review, the second will be coming shortly. Check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews!

This article will be in ye old trusty Good, Bad and Ugly format. Good is Good, Bad is Bad and Ugly is for those units/rules/wargear that fall somewhere in-between. As always, feel free to disagree! This is a first reading of the book and I may get a few things wrong, I may have an opinion you disagree with and I may change my opinions on things after playing them. In fact, I almost always do! Enjoy the review and feel free to share your opinions in the comments section.


I love the book! It’s awesome. Now, let me say for those of you out there that are upset about some of the nerfs: I feel you. It sucks to have something taken away that you’ve gotten used to using. And while there have been some nerfs (some that I really don’t see the point of), on the whole the crazier rules in the book got toned down or streamlined and the overall power level of units was brought into line with the various other units in the book. This is, IMO, a great complete package. You get (mostly) all useful units, variety in Formations and Detachments, cool fluff, great art, Lords of War that are relatively reasonable, and a lot of variety in play style. This is a book that can go raw power, or can go with layered combos for a more complex play style. I think that is awesome!  Nicely done, GW! This is a lot better for me, than a book+supplement.

The trick, as always, is to try and look at this as something new and not compare it to what was as that is gone. Taken as a whole, this is a great codex.




The Good


The Cryptek is a solid HQ choice and one you will see frequently. For a very reasonable 65pts, you get a model that boosts his unit’s durability significantly, adding +1 to the Reanimation Protocol role! Solid. He also can get a Chronometron which grants a 5++ to he and his unit vs. shooting attacks, which is also, a really solid boost and something cool to give you a reason to use him over one of the named Crypteks. He can also carry any of the Relics or special issue wargear. lastly, he comes with a decent shooting weapon, which will be a nice little boost when it comes into play. I see this gent with a Chronometron in larger units of Warriors, Immortals, Lychguard, etc. He makes them more durable and can fill your HQ slot if you are looking for an efficient unit to go there.

Destroyer Lord

The trick here, is to see him for what he does now, not compared to what he did, before. Now that he is Jet Pack Infantry, he isn’t really suited for running around with Wraiths or any of the fast assault units, really. He’s a bit slow. But, he is still cheap, T6, can take all the cool kit and grants Preferred Enemy to his unit. That is very useful. You stick him in a unit with a lot of shooting and he significantly boosts them. You can give him a Warscythe or a Voidreaper and Phase Shifter and he is fairly solid in combat, too, giving them some defense. For the points, he fills the HQ slot and provides a lot of utility and is a good choice for Warlord due to his pseudo EW with T6.

Nemesor Zandrekh

Zandrekh is solid. He’s a thinking man’s HQ and doesn’t contribute much offensively, but provides great utility. He has Overlord stats, a 2+/4++ and a Staff of Light. Like Steven Segal, he’s hard to kill, but doesn’t pack much of a punch. What he does bring to the table is pretty incredible: his Warlord Trait is awesome for Necrons (Zealot) which helps with their weakness to morale, but more than that he can swap his trait out every turn for any trait in the Cron book or BRB. That is really cool as it allows you to adapt to changing conditions on the battlefield on the fly. He also allows you to steal USRs from units within 24″ which is cool when it comes into play. In all, Zandrehk isn’t the best HQ, but he is a really solid choice. Stick him with a unit of 10 Lychguard, or 10 Immortals, or 20 Warriors and be confident they aren’t going anywhere due to broken morale while he can also tank wounds for them.


Illuminor Szeras

What an improvement over what we had! He’s really solid for the bargain basement price of 110pts. He has middling stats, but that is fine. He provides a +1 to RP rolls to his unit and all other units within 6″, which is awesome, but he also boosts a unit of Immortals or Warriors with either +1 T/BS/S determined randomly. He causes Fear, has an Eldritch Lance (Str8, 36″, AP2, Lance) and comes with a great Warlord Trait: 12″ reroll morale bubble. He is pretty incredible for that low price point. Stick him in a big unit of Warriors or Immortals to increase their abilities and RP, plus he boosts nearby units, too. You want to keep him away from combat if possible.

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Orkian the Diviner

Orikan, like Szeras, is the hotness for his low price point and I think we’ll be seeing him quite a bit. He’s a character Cryptek, as with Szeras, and so buffs his unit’s RP rolls up to a 4+ but also allows them to reroll any failed saves of 1’s which allows for some amazing tanking shenanigans when combo’d with other models with good saves, which is awesome. His Warlord Trait is EW, he comes with a 4++, and a solid melee weapon which is S as user, AP2, reroll misses in melee. His special shtick though, is when he goes Super Saiyan! Every turn, you roll a D6, if the number is lower than the turn number, Orikan level’s up! He takes on the stat line of a C’Tan, but retains IC Infantry status. That means he can stay in a unit, but packs a nasty punch and becomes very difficult to kill. It’s a bit of a risk, but, he is a good choice for Warlord and to buff a unit like Lychguard as when/if he powers up, he makes the unit pretty brutal and is tough to kill, himself. In the meantime he really increases the unit’s defense and provides decent offense, himself. Alternatively, you could play a bit more defensively with him and stick him in a shooting unit that has Relentless (Decurion Detachment) or Assault weapons (Tesla Immortals) and keep them well defended until he powers up in the late game and use them to aggressively go take an objective. In all, Orikan’s a solid, cheap HQ choice.

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Catacomb Command Barge

Again, he’s not what he was, but hey, let’s be real: it was stupid as it was. The barge had a bunch of hangover rules written for 5th ed that did wonky stuff in 7th they were never meant to do. Now, the CCB has been toned down to a more realistic level and is quite good for the points. A fast offensive threat at a reasonable price point coming in at 135pts base. Give him a Warscythe and Phase Shifter, possible Voidreaper or a Phylactery, and you’re good to go. If you wanted to run him cheap, you could even consider just a Warscythe, although this could be a risky gambit. I see the CCB as a great unit to use in a MTO (Maximum Threat Overload) list, where you present too many threats to your opponent, ensuring you get some through. He’s fast, fairly durable, hits pretty dang hard and come sin at a reasonable cost.

The Bad

Trazyn the Infinite

I think Trazyn’s dataslate has a typo as he doesn’t have any Wargear listed, but perhaps I am wrong. Seems odd that he only has his staff, but hey. As is, he is cheap and hard to wipe out, which means he is good for Warlord denial…but that is about all he’s good for. With EW as his WL trait and the ability to take over another Necron Character’s body on a 2+ if he is killed, he can prove a tough nut to crack. Offensively though, wow, he’s a wet noodle. No shooting and a melee weapon that is +2 S, AP4, concussive and if it kills a model in a challenge (not likely, lol), everyone within 6″ that is the same faction as the model killed, takes a S4 hit. Yawn. Trayzn is pretty awful.


The Ugly

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Necron Overlord

Yeah, he’s not what he was, but he’s still a solid HQ choice. For a very reasonable 80pts, you get a 3 wound, base T5 model with solid stats and access to cheap, effective kit. A Warscythe Voidreaper, Phase Shifter to get a 4++, and solid relics. The only downsides to this model are his slow speed and the fact that many of the other HQ choices are more efficient. However, if you take a Necron Overlord, you will not be disappointed.

Necron Lord

Same as above, but cheaper and with lower stats. Also as with above, not an outstanding unit unto itself, but you can stick him in a unit that may not have a ton (or any) melee ability and bolster it. Not amazing, but not bad, either and the cheapest HQ option which is useful in a list that wants all the points poured into other units.

Vargard Obyron

Obyron is OK. He’s cheapish for a 2 wound model, and hits pretty hard, but he lacks an invul save, having only his RP roll to protect him from AP2 weapons (he does have a 2+). His Ghostwalk Mantle is a once per game ability now, which is a bit of a bummer, but it does provide a way to move an assault unit up the field on turn 1 which is actually not easy for Necrons to do. He does get a bonus attack for misses against him…in a challenge. Eh, he’s not awful but certainly not an all-star. He is cheap and seems to have no set Warlord Trait, so he he has a little flexibility in that regard. His one trick that pops out at me is to Deep Strike him within 12″ of Zandrehk, in which case he doesn’t scatter. But then, you can accomplish the same thing with a Night Scythe, for example, which will most likely provide you with more utility than Obyron. For me, he is more of a pseudo transport vehicle for something like a unit of Lychguard that also happens to fight fairly well, too.

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Anrakyr the Traveller

Anrakyr is another middling character. He’s slow, has no invul, but is fairly cheap, and provides a few little buffs like giving a unit of Immortals Furious Charge and Counter-Attack whcih is cool. He has a Tachyon Arrow which occasionally does work. He comes with a sweet Warlord Trait though, which gives all Cron units within 12″ Relentless and Crusader, allowing them to double tap and then charge. Lastly, he has a toned down version of his Mind in the machine rule, which allows him to fire a random weapon on an enemy vehicle within 12″ on a 4+. With the short range, it won’t come into play too often unless you stick him in a Night Scythe with some Immortals and drop him near the enemy, danger close. His Counter Attack will come into play more often in that case and when he pulls it off on a LoW, it will be pretty spectacular! Pretty clearly IMO, he is meant to run with a phalanx style list, giving them Relentless and moving up the field on foot. You can stick him in a Ghost Ark to help accomplish this, or with a unit of Immortals as the fluff indicates he typically does. He’s not bad if you play him in a certain type of list, but a lot of what he does you can do with a cheaper Overlord in the Decurion Detachment so for my money, he goes in the Ugly category.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

54 Responses to “Necron Codex Review: The Good, the bad and the Ugly Part 1: HQs”

  1. novaStar February 1, 2015 3:46 pm

    the CC barge became fast so it can boogie now, and if you put it in the royal court detachment the over lord and barge gains move through cover so it can zip into ruins without a care

    • Aldaris February 1, 2015 3:56 pm

      It doesn’t benefit from RP anymore though, so it’ll be the weak point of a tanky Lord when he actually gets into CC. Kill the CCB (which only has its pseudo-AV13), and he goes down with it.

      • novaStar February 1, 2015 4:00 pm

        most things that are non specialist vehicle killers cant deal with AV13 in CC

        • Aldaris February 1, 2015 4:13 pm

          Hm. While that is true, it’s not exactly uncommon for the kind of stuff you might want to whack with a Warscythe to have something in the vicinity of S8+. That dude isn’t a horde killer.

          I’m not saying he’s bad, I’m saying he’s a lot easier to take down, and that can’t be amended no matter how much tanky wargear you give the Lord.

          • novaStar February 1, 2015 5:30 pm

            I Agree but hes alot cheaper then before 50+ point discount, id say hes more of a vehicle hunter now

        • Trollsaft February 3, 2015 7:37 am

          I don’t have the chariot rules infront of me, but does chariot have the same status as Walkers?
          Otherwise the AV in CC is 11… which is pretty weak since, QS only grants its bonus to front and side?

          • Reecius
            Reecius February 3, 2015 11:14 am

            Yeah, front armor, it’s solid.

  2. Zero-Charisma February 1, 2015 7:53 pm
    # wraiths have nothing…WTF. guess it’s time to come up with some stupid reason to have allies that i hate doing because GW jacks it up again…ugh.

    • Pascal Roggen February 1, 2015 8:48 pm

      ummm, wraiths….. in the HQ section…. yup, they sure don’t have anything there:)

    • Fagerlund February 2, 2015 1:59 am

      Wraiths have gained one higher T while staying the same cost (so now they’re even more undercosted than before), Whipcoils have been buffed and become cheaper and if you play the Decurion detatchment you have a way to give them RA. So yeah, they actually gained a lot.

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 2, 2015 10:41 am

      This was just HQ’s, Wraiths are insanely good.

      • Bellerah February 2, 2015 10:56 am

        I see an unbound 42 wraith list in my future. Though I do like the new CCB. I think that ends the things I like in the new codex.

        Crypteks/lynch/praetorians all look interesting but dont think they fit the current meta.

        the poor LoW….Glad I did not waste any money buying them

        • Zero-Charisma February 3, 2015 7:36 am

          well guys…I should clarify i meant there is no HQ that seems to line up with them…

  3. Black Blow Fly February 1, 2015 8:29 pm

    Excellent review Reecius.

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 2, 2015 10:35 am


  4. Umbo February 1, 2015 9:23 pm

    Could a destroyer lord use his jet pack assault move to keep up with wraiths and just conga line when it comes to a charge?

    • Nova star February 1, 2015 9:59 pm

      Yes and his run as well

    • DarkLink February 1, 2015 10:09 pm

      I don’t believe so. Non-jet pack models can’t do the special assault move, and so the unit likely can’t. I didn’t really dig through the rulebook, though, I could be wrong, but that’s my guess based on the similar case of Slow and Purposeful and Run moves.

      I do think it’s worth noting that jet packs are actually faster than jump packs, though. I’ve seen several people disparage the jet pack as a nerf because it makes them “slow”, when in fact you move an inch further on average. I guess you are slower 28% of the time, but the rest of the time you’re as fast or faster, and you get to jump-shoot-jump which is awesome on a shooting unit. It’s actually a fairly significant upgrade for a shooty unit.

      • IndigoJack February 1, 2015 10:41 pm

        Well, S&P isn’t a good comparison, as it is conferred to the unit which is what prevents everyone from running. The issue with the destroyer lord and wraiths is that the wording for the thrust move says, “a jet pack unit that is not locked in combat or charging can move up to 2d6″ in the assault phase.” The problem is that a” jet pack unit” isn’t defined in the book, and there are no rules handling mixed unit types.

        • Anonymous February 2, 2015 5:22 am

          I think it would be fine according to the “Different Movement Distances Within a Unit”. Basically they must retain coherency. The destroyer lord is a pack unit.
          The preferred enemy conferred by the destroyer lord is still extremely useful.

          • IndigoJack February 2, 2015 11:39 am

            That just means that the wraiths aren’t slowed to 6″ movement with the lord, not that he can use his thrust mind with them

          • AbusePuppy February 2, 2015 8:10 pm

            Most tournaments have ruled that models can Thrust even if there are non-Jet Pack/Eldar Jetbike models in the unit, though obviously those other models will be unable to move. You can argue it either way as a RAW issue, but given the way other movements in the game work, it seems most reasonable to allow them to do so.

      • Messy0 February 2, 2015 12:14 am

        I think this issue has been dealt with from a Tau perspective. E.g Missile Drones and still JSJ in a unit of Broadsides or Sniper Drones with a Spotter. So i don’t see a reason a D.Lord cant JSJ with a unit of Wraiths. The Wraiths will loose their fleet from being beasts though.

      • NHK February 2, 2015 1:26 am

        The main point is in the wording of the new wraithflight rule, which makes them finally not strike at I1 when charging through walls because they (like the C’Tan) “treat all terrain as open ground”.
        The D-Lord brings the whole unit (charging though diff terrain rules: “if at least one model of a unit…”) down to strike last – or even substract 2″ from their charge range without reroll (beasts have fleet: “a unit ENTIRELY composed of …) if you don’t bring him as part of a decurion (with 9+ destroyers).

  5. CoffeeDave February 1, 2015 10:42 pm

    From what I’m reading, there’s no way to give anyone in HQ slot +2 armor outside of the new nightmare shroud? And the new Res Orbs are one use only rerolls instead of +1 to RA? I feel so vulnerable now. I have a game against a buddy (He’s playing IG), our first game since 5e. it’l be a thousand points and I’m stuffing 52 bodies in this list to compensate for the new ‘squishy’ necrons.

    • dr.insanotron February 1, 2015 11:53 pm

      All Crypteks give +1 RA so that is the same as the old res orb. I think the new Necrons are even tougher then before

    • Fagerlund February 2, 2015 1:55 am

      New Necrons are more durable than ever thanks to the buff to RA. If you play Decurion detatchment you also get Everliving which is a 4+ RA which is just ridiculous.

      • Reecius
        Reecius February 2, 2015 10:41 am

        Yeah, Crons are going to be VERY hard to kill. The save happening before the Ld check means they will be better offensively as more will shoot/attack before getting knocked down.

  6. Mirthless February 2, 2015 12:12 am

    Euhm… i disagree with the Crypteks and special variants being good. They are Ugly at most due to the Decurion Detachment special Command rule.

    This rule (Everliving) gives everbody +1 to Reanimation protocol, so detachment wide its a 4+ now. In that case Crypteks are useless unless you have an army of Instant Death.

    (Reanimation Protocol is capped at +4, and cant get any superior. Instant death reduces the Reanimation Protocol by 1.)

    • Nova star February 2, 2015 10:01 am

      Giving a unit a 5+ invulnerable to shooting attacks for 25 points is hardly “ugly” material

      • Mark February 2, 2015 10:47 am

        actually, with everliving + a cryptek, you’d still get 4+ rp against instant death.

        • Nova star February 2, 2015 11:23 am

          Yes but the cryptek can buy a 25 point item that gives his unit a 5+ invulnerable as well as the Reanimation Protocal

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 2, 2015 10:40 am

      Sure, but if you aren’t using the Decurion Detachment, they’re really solid.

  7. iNcontroL February 2, 2015 12:31 am

    Excited to see what comes of this codex

  8. benji February 2, 2015 12:39 am

    Using a cryptek with solar staff and veil to deliver wraiths with dlord or a similarly durable unit could soak up a lot of fire to take some of the pressure off our 24 shooting that’s moving up. In fact in a good spot this could scare some stuff out of cover for your heavier shooting to pick up as it gets in range.

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 2, 2015 10:37 am

      Good combo! Add in the Wraith Formation to give them RA for that turn, too, and they are damn near invulnerable.

    • cohort February 2, 2015 7:45 pm

      Unfortunately for the Artefacts of Aeons it says “A model may take one of the following:”. So you can’t stack artifacts, which I was looking forward to doing. Although you can put the veil on the dlord but then can’t get the nightmare shroud.

      • Tom February 8, 2015 11:32 pm

        Says “only one of each relic per army” not model. So you can stack the relics as mentioned.

        • Reecius
          Reecius February 9, 2015 12:45 am

          Read the actual relic entry of the Cron book, page 65. It limits the relics to one per model.

  9. W February 2, 2015 5:03 am

    I really think that Zandrehk will be a lot of fun to use.
    Need your Scythes to get on turn 2? Sure, you pick the WL trait to re-roll reserves.
    Need to bunker down on some objectives? Alright, you got stealth in ruins, Tomb Blades then easily get 2+ cover without having to jink (Runs+stealth+shadowloom), remember that you can mix the gear that gives your models +1 cover and Ignore Cover.
    Want to annoy your Tau/Ork/other low-LD army a bit? Make his units take some pinning tests when he really needs them to do something important.

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 2, 2015 10:38 am

      I agree, he looks awesome.

  10. Hugh February 2, 2015 5:45 am

    Orikan actually allows re-rolls to saves not reanimation, so tanking with a 2+ lord with a 4++ RP at the front of a unit is just stupid.

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 2, 2015 10:38 am

      Good catch! Yeah, that is awesome.

  11. Hotsauceman1 February 2, 2015 9:17 am

    If I ever have a fourth army, necrons……..
    But I have others to focus on

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 2, 2015 10:38 am

      One thing at a time, hot sauce.

  12. Mark February 2, 2015 10:51 am

    A necron character with a S7 ap2 flamer in a nightscythe will be very good.

    I’m going to disagree on the Trazyn front. S7 Ap4 in cc is decent, he’s neigh unkillable as a warlord too. i’ve got three games scheduled this week, i’ll let you know how it goes.

  13. Hotsauceman1 February 2, 2015 11:36 am

    I have to say, choosing your warlord trait everyturn is amazing. Need your flyers to come on, you can do that.
    Its good.
    But it will require good memorization of the chart.

  14. Jay February 2, 2015 2:11 pm

    So if a CCB dies, does the lord not get his res? If he does, what he just foot slogs it the rest of the game?

    • Mark February 2, 2015 3:55 pm

      There is no more “res” in the Necron book. Their Reanimation Protocols is like a FNP save now.

  15. Jay February 2, 2015 5:18 pm

    I mean Reanimation Protocol, just usually called res (as in ressurecting) where I play. so if the barge gets killed, he dies too, never getting to save against it is what I am understanding then…Which makes it useless against anything that can stab vehicles since it cannot ever save against it.

    • Mark February 2, 2015 5:29 pm

      If it’s a shooting attack, take the hit on the lord if you’re scared. The barge itself does not get a RP save.

  16. Charles February 2, 2015 9:25 pm

    The ccb can still get up. It even says in the rules with ever living it can get up. Running the force org from the book they have ever living. So it gets back in the game.

  17. Charles February 2, 2015 9:28 pm

    Well it avoids being destroyed. Read chariot rules for clarification.

  18. doktor_g February 6, 2015 3:46 pm

    Reanimation Protocol buff? Yget the roll BEFORE the unit gets wiped..and Looks like they work versus “the D”…. Am I wrong?

    Plus Gauss = MAJOR BUFF! “Holy lightning gun batman!” Wraithknight vs Tin-tide!!!!