Someone once described the Monolith to me like this; “It’s like fighting a brick wall, you may not really be able to hurt it, but its probably not really going to be able to do anything to you.” While my little brother’s opinion was based upon the old 3.5 edition Monolith, the current one has some uses that don’t necessarily make it totally useless. Totally. Be sure to check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!
Overview: This big huge tank isn’t what it once was, but it’s not totally useless. Armor 14 all around with 4 Hull Points makes it one of the most durable vehicles around. At 200pts, it isn’t cheap, but then again, what is in the Necron book. This though is perhaps what’s been going against it, the Monolith is very situational. Best used to help counter the largest weakness of the Necrons: their lack of mobility. However, this feels like a lackluster job for the hefty cost of 200pts. It suffers from the same issues that Land Raiders do: its expensive, has really only one job, and the weapons either aren’t super useful or don’t work well on the platform, and it can be taken out in a single shot. Sadly, it’s also not as tough as one would hope. A few drop pods can make short work of it, and it may suffer the fate of many large and expensive vehicles, dying before it can even move. Still, we can salvage it and make the most of what we’ve got.
- Up first is the 4 gauss flux arcs, stationed on every corner of the Monolith, there really isn’t a firing arc that at least two can always hit. Heavy 3 at 24in. range gives them a fair amount of firepower at a respectable range. More gauss weaponry is always a good thing, and will keep other vehicles humble. Only being Strength 5 and AP 4 isn’t really that useful, but we’ll make due with it. Independent Targeting lets each of the arcs shoot a different target, which makes them actually useful since the guns are placed in a somewhat awkward location on the model. These unfortunately, do have to Snap Fire if you shoot the main gun, which makes them very meh.
- The Particle Whip is essentially an extremely short ranged battle cannon. 24in. at Strength 8 AP 3 large blast is useful, but honestly pretty underwhelming considering the price of the Monolith. Necrons don’t really struggle with killing MEQs or hordes, and the Whip really isn’t giving the stats to stop vehicles. The short range though is what the real problem is. Unless you Deep Strike, the odds of you being in range of any meaningful target are pretty unlikely. It’s Ordnance, which is a big issue, as it makes all our other guns Snap Fire.
- Eternity Gate is perhaps the one item that would tempt one to bring the Monolith. Being able to pull a unit either in Reserves, Ongoing Reserves, or a unit that is not locked in combat on the board through its portal is useful. While being limited to Infantry and Jump Infantry, there are plenty of units that can benefit from this. This is primarily what we’ll be going over in Tactics.
- Deep Strike, this rule can help us out by giving the Monolith a chance to live. Protecting the Monolith by using Deep Strike can really be a handy trick and helps to get our Monolith into a useful position to utilize the Eternity Gate. The biggest issue is how big the actual model is, when placing the model, you have to be very careful. One mishap can reduce our 200 point model to an out of position terrain piece, or even a wreck. Deep Striking isn’t a must, but if terrain and the enemy allows, it can be a good option.
- Living Metal, this one is a handy trick, especially since we’re a Heavy vehicle. The ability to ignore Crew Shaken, while nice, is nothing really to write home about. What is really useful is the ability to regrow Hull Points. While it’s not quite as good as It Will Not Die, it’s still something. Rolling that 6 and getting that hull point back can be very obnoxious.
Tactics: So the Monolith suffers from similar issues as to most other Necrons: a lack of mobility. This combined with the very short range of 24in for every weapon on it really limits our options for what we can have this tank doing. However, if you’re bringing a Monolith, you’re really not going to be using it as a gunship. Monoliths are best utilized for supplementing the speed of the infantry of the army. More often then not, Deep Striking the Monolith will be the best course of action. This protects it from alpha strikes, drop pods, things like that. This also puts it into a position where it can actually be of some use to us. However, players need to really be careful with how they place their model. This guy’s footprint is so big he’s just begging to Mishap. Make sure that when you put it down you have the model at least 10 inches away from nearly anything that could cause it to Mishap, you don’t want to be the player losing their 200 point model to an enemy Ripper Swarm. Using it in the Decurion is a big help for that Move Through Cover.
Being up midfield thanks to Deep Strike, or better yet, in the enemy’s deployment zone is the best way for us to use our guns. Try to get as may Arcs into firing arcs and let them rip. Again, they’re only Strength 5 and AP 4, so don’t expect to stop a unit of Centurions, but you can always make a few Jetbikes take enough armor saves to make your opponent sweat.
We really only care about the Eternity Gate, this tool helps to pull Necron Warriors and Necron Immortals out of vulnerable or insignificant areas into the shadow of the Monolith. While not quite as versatile as a Veil of Darkness, the ability to pick up a non-locked unit anywhere on the board or in Reserves and stick it in front of the Monolith is pretty handy.
This tactic also pairs well if you’ve got fliers. While it is very nice to have your occupants of a flyer live when it is just fine, a unit of Necron Warriors walking in on a board edge mid to late game is pretty unexciting. Popping out of a Monolith though around midfield, and suddenly the unit becomes an actual threat to Objectives.
Another option this guy has is blocking line of sight. Turn the Eternity Gate away from the enemy and just keep scooting up the field as you pull more and more units into the middle of the field. This protects them from enemy fire the next turn while potentially getting them into a useful position.
Keeping the Monolith alive will be based on you giving your opponent more important things to kill first. What that means is applying pressure with things like Canoptek Wraiths, Night Scythes, Destroyers, or other things that can make your opponent feel the pressure. If your opponent really wants to kill your Monolith, they’ll be able to, so the best chance of it surviving is to not let them. Remember, the Monolith is a tool that can supplement the infantry of your army, but it really shouldn’t be built to be the linchpin. Only being able to pull one unit through the Eternity Gate a turn really isn’t enough to try and build an army around one, let alone more. If you’re bringing one, play conservatively with it while applying pressure with far more durable and aggressive units. If you’re going to bring two or more, well, uh… uh… you must be playing Apocalypse?
Now don’t get me wrong, there are things that the Monolith does that can be done better and far more cheaper by other units in the book. However, most Necron players have one of these things sitting around collecting dust, why not try to make some use out of it? They always can make very cool army center pieces and failing that, well, everyone could always use some more terrain for their tables…