The Celestial Orrery: Necron Thunderdome – Part 1

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The Celestial Orrery

8th Edition Necron Primer Series

Celestial Orrery articles:

Today we take a break from your regularly scheduled programming, unedited and commercial free! Introducing:

The Necron Thunderdome – Part 1

Two units enter, one unit leaves . . .

You just purchased your discounted Lychguard / Triarch Praetorians wombo-combo box from FLG and can’t decide – jetpacks or gladiator shields?

Fellow Necrons, you have come to the right place.

Let’s jump straight into it. Lychguard and Triarch Praetorians are quite similar and we need to delve into the seemingly minute differences so we know when to bring one or the other in our lists.

Let the (comparing & contrasting) Games Begin!

Statline

What’s the difference between Lychguard and Triarch Praetorians? Five inches and four syllables.

Ok, well that wasn’t very insightful. Clearly, both have very robust statlines. Both are resilient to infantry and small-arms fire. Most infantry wound them on a 5+, they have a solid 3+ save and with two wounds each, they take more wounds to kill than their 32mm bases would otherwise indicate. Each unit starts with 5 models, and can be bolstered to include up to 5 additional models.

Both are quite adept at dishing out pain with respectable 3+s for both shooting and melee and with native Strength 5 and 2 attacks. But we’re obviously not distinguishing them from each other at this phase, other than we know Praetorians are natively twice as fast as Lychguard.

We’ll start moving along then – there must be a points difference, right?

Point Cost

Both Lychguard and Praetorians have two flavors depending on which wargear options you select. Note that for both units, “the entire unit” may replace their stock weapons with the alternative, so there is no mixing and matching within a single unit.

Lychguard

  • Warscythes: +2 S, -4 AP, 2D                                               = 30 points each
  • Hyperphase swords & dispersion shields: +1S, -3 AP, 1D  = 34 points each

Praetorians

  • Rod of Covenant (“RoC”): -3 AP, 1D                                        = 32 points each
  • Voidblade & particle casters (“VbPC”): -3 AP, 1D, +1A            = 32 points each
    • +1 S6, AP 0 D1    PC shot

Notably similar, eh? The saying goes that “clothes make the man,” but we’re obviously dealing with gender neutral, “living” robots so we’ll pretend the saying doesn’t apply and carry on now that we’ve established that each unit will cost approximately the same points.

I need your clothes

your boots

and your motorcycle.

  • x5 Lychguard with Warscythes:           150 points —– x10 man unit = 300 points
  • x5 Lychguard with HS & DSs:             170 points —– x10 man unit = 340 points
  • x5 Praetorians with RoC:                    160 points —– x10 man unit = 320 points
  • x5 Praetorians with VB&PC:               160 points —– x10 man unit = 320 points

Ladies and gentleman, that is it! We’ve now gone over the difference in statline, wargear, and point costs! The only differences we have left to explore are the ramifications of the different weapons (we didn’t discuss the ranged attacks above), the abilities, faction keywords, and keywords.

Abilities

Lychguard

Triarch Praetorians

Not too much to discuss here either but there are a couple notable differences.

Praetorians automatically pass Morale tests – but since Necrons all have leadership 10, this ability only comes into play in the Morale Phase when the unit has lost more than 4 models. Essentially, A Purpose Unshakeable only matters if the Praetorian unit has 6 to 10 models. Even if the unit has 6-10 models, it is then only useful if the unit loses 5 or more models in a single turn. While seemingly niche in its application, when this ability is combined with Reanimation Protocols (“RP”), it becomes moderately useful to absolutely force your opponent to kill the unit to the last man, otherwise they will auto-pass their morale test and start reanimating at two wounds per base!

Lychguard also only have one unique ability – Guardian Protocols (dispersion shields simply give a 4+ invulnerable save – useful for obvious reasons). This ability allows Lychguard to take wounds for a friendly character within 3” that is in the same Dynasty. It is fairly consistent, triggering on a 2+, and it allows the wounds to be absorbed by Lychguard after the attack has already hit, wounded, and gotten through the character’s save. A cool nuance is that this ability does not specify shooting attacks, so it is not limited to “Miiiissstterrrrr Prreeessssideeeennnttttt” applications – it can protect a character even while it goes weed-whacking with a warscythe, voidscythe or blood scythe. Some of the coolest uses of this rule will likely result from a beefed-up Catacomb Command Barge or Destroyer Lord gaining an effective +10-20 wounds. The tricky part will be finding a way to have your Lychguard keep pace with these faster characters (Veil of Darkness or Night Scythes could be good options to get the Lychguard close to their liege).

We finally get to see some differences taking shape! Praetorians are faster and stick around to the last man with their unshakable resolve whilst Lychguard are slower, 5-inch trudgers who can protect our characters from being sniped or taken down with an errant attack. But the most important differences can be found in the Faction Keywords and Keywords.

Faction Keywords & Keywords

Lychguard

Triarch Praetorians

My fellow Crypteks and Overlords, we’ve made it to the homestretch and we are finally getting to the good stuff. Obviously they’re both Necrons (yay! We can take them in our armies!), and they are also both Infantry (which is a very good thing since it means they can be buffed by any Infantry restricted abilities as long as they match the other keyword requirements). But the differences here are . . . shall we say . . . key. . . .

Lychguard have the coveted <Dynasty> faction keyword. This is a huge deal which should not be understated because it means Lychguard get access to some of our best faction-wide buffs. My Will Be Done, The Lord’s Will, Transient Madness, Technomancer, Chronometron, Ghostwalk Mantle, Eternity Gate, Invasion Beams, Death Incarnate, Resurrection Orbs and The Veil of Darkness is just a short list of buffs and abilities Lychguard gain access to because they are <Dynasty>.

Having a <Dynasty> also means that Lychguard benefit from Dynastic Codes, the most notable of which include Novokhs: Awakened by Murder & Nephrekhs: Translocation Beams:

^ — Novokh — ^

 

^ — Nephrekh — ^

You know what they always say – it pays to have friends – and with the <Dynasty> keyword, this has never been truer for Lychguard.

Imagine if the Lychguard Ability section read “re-roll failed hit rolls in the Fight phase if Lychguard charged or were charged.” It essentially does when you take your unit of Lychguard in a Novokh detachment. Remember that horrendously small, slow and completely average five inches we laughed at a few paragraphs & pictures ago? If your Lychguard are in a Nephrek detachment, they get a sweet sweet 6-7” advance, through terrain and models, every turn they feel the need! While this dynasty code unfortunately does not increase Lychguard charge threat ranges, it does help them get closer to combat and objectives more quickly if you weren’t able to make space in your list for Lychguard transportation.

The only thing Praetorians have going for them while they miss out on all the <Dynasty> fun is their Fly keyword, which turns out to be pretty darn useful – especially with a 10” movement speed. Take a look at how useful the Fly keyword is in these definitely-not-homemade images:

    

Unit Specific & Dynasty Specific Stratagems

Those keywords we discussed above have even greater implications than just access to buffs and high-fives from friends. The lack of <Dynasty> on Praetorians means that certain dynasty specific stratagems cannot be used on them, the most notable of which include:

Nephrekh Lychguard can essentially deep strike or be deployed via Translocation Crypt and try to get a cheeky charge, whilst Praetorians cannot. Clocking in at a whopping 3CP, Blood Rites is mighty expensive but it is also absurdly powerful – it essentially doubles the damage output of a unit of Lychguard/Novokh unit since it lets them fight twice. Once again, Praetorians left in the dust to moodily brood and plot their revenge. “We don’t need friends . . . you’ll see. . . .”

Importantly, both Lychguard and Triarch Praetorians have access to their own fancy, unit specific Strategems – which once again helps set them apart from each other.

Lychguard only get access to their special-sauce if they bring dispersion shields – but if and when they do, they get access to a pretty interesting stratagem in the form of Dispersion Field Amplification. Increasing their invulnerable save to 3+ and kicking back the occasional mortal wound makes dispersion shield Lychguard extremely survivable and potentially deters units (especially those with bulk, small-arms fire) from attacking them.

Triarch Praetorians get to effectively increase their BS or WS by 1 for a single shooting or fight phase through use of Judgment of the Triarch (“JoT”). Not the greatest, but I view this as a 1CP MWBD that you can use when the Praetorians are out on the battle-field doing their “lone wolf” and “wolfpack of one” thing. Even though it doesn’t help them get off a charge (like MWBD does), this is still a nice tool to have in the toolbox for a round where you know your Praetorians need to hit with their attacks.

And don’t forget a great stratagem they both get access to – it can help them work through a unit, Vehicle or higher toughness Monster in a pinch:

Damage Output & Survivability

Mathhammer time

We’ll take a look at the difference between the two wargear loadouts for each Lychguard & Praetorians, then see which one leaves the ‘dome standing. There will be 5 models in each unit with an assumption that the numbers can easily be doubled for 10 model units (although fitting in bases so all models get their attacks can be a logistical reality that slightly lowers a 10 model unit’s output).

There will be some general damage output tables so you can see each unit’s effectiveness against a particular targets’ Toughness and save, but for getting a standard and easy to digest baseline, we’ll use everyone’s favorite punching bag. Not a good marine, not a great marine, but a bog standard Ultramarine! Remember that these numbers are just averages – half the time the unit will deal more wounds, half the time the unit will deal less wounds.

Enemy: T4, 3+ save

MWBD = My Will Be Done (buff from an Overlord, Catacomb Command Barge (equivalent of Wave of Command) or Character)

Lychguard

x5 Lychguard with Warscythes: 150 points

Standard

  • 10 attacks – WS 3+, S 7, -4 AP, 2D
    • 10 * (.667) * (.667) * 2 = 8.90 Wounds = ~4.5 dead tac. marines

MWBD

  • 10 attacks – *WS 2+, S 7, -4 AP, 2D
    • 10 * (.833) * (.667) * 2 = 11.11 Wounds = ~5.5 dead tac. marines

Novokh

  • 10 attacks – *WS 3+ w/re-roll, S 7, -4 AP, 2D
    • 10 *((.667)+(.667*.333)) *(.667) * 2 = 11.86 Wounds = ~5.9 dead tac. marines

MWBD & Novokh

  • 10 attacks – *WS 2+ w/re-roll, S 7, -4 AP, 2D
    • 10 * ((.833)+(.833*.167)) * (.667) * 2 = 12.97 Wounds = ~6.5 dead tac. marines

x5 Lychguard with Hyperphase swords & dispersion shields (“HSDS”): 170 points

Standard

  • 10 attacks – WS 3+, S 6, -3 AP, 1D
    • 10 * (.667) * (.667) * 1 *(.833) = 3.71 Wounds = ~3.7 dead tac. marines

MWBD

  • 10 attacks – *WS 2+, S 7, -4 AP, 2D
    • 10 * (.833) * (.667) * 1 *(.833) = 4.63 Wounds = ~4.6 dead tac. marines

Novokh

  • 10 attacks – *WS 3+ w/re-roll, S 7, -4 AP, 2D
    • 10 *((.667)+(.667*.333)) *(.667) * 1 *(.833) = 4.94 Wounds = ~5 dead tac. marines

MWBD & Novokh

  • 10 attacks – *WS 2+ w/re-roll, S 7, -4 AP, 2D
    • 10 * ((.833)+(.833*.167)) * (.667) * 1 *(.833) = 5.40 Wounds = ~5.4 dead tac. marines

Not rocket science here folks – but it is nice to have the numbers laid out for us. Clearly, the Scythguard deal a little over twice the number of wounds, but notably not twice as many killed models when the target only has 1W per model – the 2D warscythes’ damage doesn’t “spill over”.

For all intents and purposes the HSDS deals less damage due to having one less AP, one less strength, and one less damage per hit – but we knew this would be the case because the reason for taking the HSDS was for the 4+ invulnerable save provided by the dispersion shield. Internally, warscythe is clearly preferable strictly in terms of damage output – but the HSDS provides some much needed survivability that could more than make up for the 4 point per model price increase.

What’s the takeaway here? Scythguard deal incredible amounts of damage to things lower than Toughness 7 (or lower than T8 if we use the Disruption Fields stratagem) – possibly the best in-codex for the points, especially if they are being buffed. But they stand little chance of being able to walk up and inflict this amount of pain on anything, as without an invulnerable save, they are juicy targets for low AP, 2+ damage weapons. They probably need assistance to get where they are going, whereas HSDS Lychguard can probably hoof it if need be (although this is obviously not optimal, as they are slow).

Scytheguard – Standard Table: x5, WS3, A2, S7, AP-4, D2 – Average wounds

HS&DS Lychguard – Standard Table: x5, WS3, A2, S6, AP-3, D1 – Average wounds

Triarch Praetorians

Praetorians are a little more complex than Lychguard because they bring some of their firepower to bear in the shooting phase. This means they are more flexible because if they fail a charge, they at least got some of their attacks off, but it also means their damage is a little less reliable, as there are usually more defensive abilities that reduce accuracy or damage from shooting attacks, like being in cover. However, for the sake of averages, we’ll just assume we’re not dealing with a pesky minus-1-to-hit-from-shooting buff or cover saves, and we’ll simply throw the shooting attacks into the mix with the melee attacks, knowing that the potential downsides of shooting attacks are at least partially negated by the flexibility of getting shots off when melee is otherwise not possible.

Voidblades are nice in that they grant Praetorians +1 attack in melee – so each praetorian will have 3 attacks in melee at the same strength, AP and damage as if they were shooting with their assault 1 Rods of Covenant. Essentially, Praetorians with VbPC have the same overall damage output in one shooting phase & fight phase as RoC Praetorians on the charge do, but they have an extra bonus pistol attack from the particle caster each turn regardless of whether they are stuck in melee. With the RoC, the Praetorians have to leave combat in order to get their RoC shooting attack – not a big deal since they have Fly and can shoot in a turn they fall back, but still worth noting. Note that Praetorians cannot fall back, shoot, and then charge – when a model falls back, it cannot then charge unless it has a special rule allowing it to do so. This means that the pseudo-“third” S5, -3AP, 1D attack from shooting the RoC will not be useable when a unit of RoC Praetorians are locked in a combat. Yes, they can simply fly away and still shoot, but they won’t be able to then charge back in that same turn.

To put it simply, RoC Praetorians are good for running-and-gunning or flybys where they fly up, shoot, charge in, and bring the enemy squad down to only a couple of models left (or they un-ideally kill the whole squad and 100% get shot up). The hope is that in two fight phases, they have either killed the squad they have charged or their target squad ran away. RoC Praetorians do not want to be locked in combat where they can’t make use of both their RoC shot and their melee attacks. They want to be moving from enemy unit to enemy unit, shooting off their RoC then charging into melee every turn when possible. Now of course Praetorians cannot really be locked in combat, because they can fall back and still shoot thanks to Fly, but since the bulk (2/3rds) of RoC Praetorians’ damage output is in the form of melee attacks, falling back is a bad option for them as it essentially wastes a turn of their melee attacks (the same holds true for VbPC Praetorians, but they don’t mind sitting in combat and slashing/shooting away with their full firepower each turn).

Voidblade & Particle Caster Praetorians, on the other hand, are better at cutting their way through chaff/screening units since they will have their extra pistol attack, and even when they are locked in combat, they have access to all three of their S5, -3AP, 1D attacks in addition to their free pistol shot.

x5 Praetorians with RoC: 160 points

Standard

  • 10 melee attacks + 5 shooting – WS/BS 3+, S5, -3 AP, 1D
    • 15 * (.667) * (.667) * 1 * (.833) = 5.56 Wounds = ~5.6 dead tac. marines

MWBD or JoT

  • 10 melee attacks + 5 shooting – *WS/BS 2+, S5, -3 AP, 1D
    • 15 * (.833) * (.667) * 1 * (.833) = 6.94 Wounds = ~7 dead tac. marines

x5 Praetorians with VbPC: 160 points

Standard

  • 15 melee attacks– WS/BS 3+, S5, -3 AP, 1D
    • 15 * (.667) * (.667) * 1 * (.833) = 5.56 Wounds = ~5.6 dead tac. marines
  • + 5 PC shooting attacks – BS 3+, S6, 0AP, 1D
    • 5 * (.667) * (.667) * 1 * (.333) = .741 Wounds = +~.75 dead

MWBD or JoT (note JoT cannot apply to both the melee & PC shooting attacks)

  • 15 melee attacks– *WS/BS 2+, S5, -3 AP, 1D
    • 15 * (.833) * (.667) * 1 * (.833) = 6.94 Wounds = ~7 dead tac. marines
  • + 5 PC shooting attacks – BS 3+, S6, 0AP, 1D
    • 5 * (.667) * (.667) * 1 * (.333) = .741 Wounds = +~.75 dead

What we see here is that the Praetorians essentially have an extra attack or two over Lychguard as well as the flexibility of one of those attacks coming from the shooting phase. But the tradeoff is Praetorians have extremely narrow access to MWBD (only available from Anrakyr & Imotekh (but watch for an Errata on this)), and they don’t have access to dynasty codes or other dynasty specific buffs or stratagems – both defensively and offensively.

Praetorians, on the charge, perform similarly whether they have RoC or VbPC, with the VbPC pulling out a clear edge in terms of overall damage output. This is especially the case when Praetorians get locked in combat, as the RoC wielding unit will lose on out one of their attacks whereas the VbPC unit will still have all 3 high powered attacks and their 4th pistol shot. They clock in at 5.56 – 6.30 wounds.

Lychguard are more varied – when equipped with warscythes, and even with no buffs, they output an impressive 8.90 wounds, but this still results in less dead 1W models (4.5 vs. the Praetorians ~5.5). Scythguard are better against multi-wound, higher Toughness targets, but the Praetorians can dish out a lot more attacks. When equipped with Hyperphase swords & dispersion shields, the Lychguards damage output greatly wanes to an unimpressive 3.71 standard wounds, and still a somewhat lacking 4.63 or 4.94 wounds when using MWBD or the Novokh dynasty code, respectively. However, even though they won’t be killing more than 3-5 marines on average per fight phase, Lychguard become extremely tough to remove with dispersion shields as they get a nice 4+ invulnerable save to protect their T5, 2W frames in addition to access to a stratagem to super charge their shields and get the save to a 3++. But remember, Lychguard have access to our whole factions-worth of buffs and synergy, the most important of which is movement-shenanigans to help get our Lychguard into combat ASAP.

RoC Praetorians – Standard Table: x5, WS/BS3, A“3”, S5, AP-3, D1 – Average wounds

Particle Caster – Standard Table: x5, BS3, 1 shot, S6, AP0, D1 – Average wounds

Summary & Conclusion

And the winner is? PVbPC Triarch Praetorians tied with Scytheguard if you dedicate the resources to transporting them.

SURPRISE!

They all fill a slightly different niche, so they are ALL WINNERS! Yayyyy!

Except Rod of Covenant Triarch Praetorians . . . they are probably the losers here. Which is a true shame, as the RoC is the most iconic wargear option and the look of the models with RoCs is probably what drew people to Praetorians in the first place. Their biggest downfall is that they excel in situations where you are arguably misusing the Praetorians. If you end up unable to charge them in yes – having x5 RoC shots is better than x5 PC shots, but the unit really should be abusing its mobility to get close and make charges. RoC Praetorians are best when you can for sure wipe out the target unit – but the problem is that if the RoC unit can kill off the [insert squishy or small target unit here], so can the Vb & PC Praetorians – as they will have the same damage output plus a little more from the pistols, and VbPC units take the JoT buff better.

I would argue that Voidblade and Particle Caster Triarch Praetorians get the most bang for your buck with 160 points for 5, or 320 points for 10. They can get to where they need to go without expensive investments from the rest of your army (no need for Veil of Darkness, transports or stratagems) and they can take on the largest variety of enemies. They deal very respectable damage output to heavily armored foes via their three AP-3 attacks and they maintain their 4 attacks in every fight phase, making them great for mulching through screening infantry if they have to.

Warscythe Lychguard get the award for highest overall damage output by a long shot, and are without a doubt the best pick to take down multi-wound, high toughness/low save enemies. The issue is you will likely need to dedicate additional resources to getting your warscythe Lychguard into their ideal targets without allowing them to take too much of a beating first.

Hyperphase sword and Dispersion Shield Lychguard are by far the most survivable of all the options, and can still rip holes in enemy elite units while shrugging off high AP return fire. Once again, you need to get them into their chosen targets somehow, but then the thorn in your opponent’s side only becomes more painful when you crank their Invulns. up to 3+ and start dishing out mortal wounds through their stratagem.

In a melee-focused Necron army (i.e. Novokh detatchment with a dedicated HQ to help buff/transport), Lychguard are the clear choice. But if you don’t have a Novokh or Nephrekh detachment, or your HQ choices are too busy to invest their relic, aura/buffs or your CP is in too short supply to dedicate to helping out your Lychguard, I would take Vb&PC Praetorians in a heartbeat.

Stayed tuned for our next 8th Edition Celestial Orrery installments!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About Cyto

Believe those who are seeking the truth; Doubt and question those who have found it.

23 Responses to “The Celestial Orrery: Necron Thunderdome – Part 1”

  1. Ujayim April 18, 2018 7:04 am #

    This is incredibly well thought out and done.

    I applaud your work.

    • Cyto
      Cyto April 18, 2018 7:31 am #

      Hi Ujayium, I appreciate your kind words! I’m excited to give Necrons some much needed love & content.

      • Reecius
        Reecius April 18, 2018 7:56 am #

        Yeah, have to concur, great work, Cyto!

  2. Requizen
    Requizen April 18, 2018 7:49 am #

    I’ve thought about this myself quite a bit. I dunno, I feel like the extra shooting prowess on Rod Praetorians has its uses – you can shoot one unit and charge another, for example, or camp in cover/on an objective while still getting some good potshots off against something you might not want to or need to charge.

    • Cyto
      Cyto April 18, 2018 8:09 am #

      Very true Requizen, RoC Praetorians are one of the best run-gun-charge units we have (wraiths can be contenders but they are much more expensive – Wraiths are somewhat of a combination of Praetorians and Lychguard).

      What it really boils down to for me is how often will RoC Praetorians get to “play their game” of never getting stuck in combat or having to fall back (thereby sacrificing that turns melee attacks)? I feel like a savvy opponent with throw chafe units at them and shoot them down when they fall back – whereas VB&PC Praetorians are happy to stay locked in combat and grind away with their full 4 attacks per phase, making short work of even a large screening unit.

      They all excel at slightly different roles, but communally provide a solid melee backbone or supporting unit.

  3. Andreas April 18, 2018 8:59 am #

    The Guardian protocal on 2+ i am sure it works like Tau Drones so after the Charakter gets wounded but b4 saves move the wound too an Guard it is convertet too 1 mortal wound to an Guard no matter the dmg of the attack/shoot.

  4. Reecius
    Reecius April 18, 2018 1:14 pm #

    I am a big fan of both Lychguard and Preatorians (although, lol, not using either in my current list but that is because I am going super troop heavy).

    I think both flavors of Praetorians are totally usable and my favorite aspect of them is that they need essentially no support. They’re fearless, run around and both shoot and fight well. I was having REALLY good results with a unit of 10 going off on their own to cause havoc in the backfield.

    Now that you have a Cryptek that can keep up with them with the Cloak, you can easily give them some awesome RP support and his weapon compliments theirs very well. Or, have the Cryptek with the 5++ aura just advance every turn to try and keep up for improved defense too if needs be.

    Lychguard for me were best with Anakyr and a Cryptek for improved defense. I would just walk them up the table and do fine with them, much like Bullgryn. Frankie was doing some crazy tricks with the Deciver to pull them around.

    • Cyto
      Cyto April 18, 2018 5:13 pm #

      I love the idea my friend – a Nephrekh Cryptek with a Chronometron could absolutely keep up (5″+6″ advance). But remember that the Chronometron 5+ invulnerable save against ranged weapons only applies for Dynasty Infantry units within 3″.

      Unfortunately, since Triarch Praetorians do not have this Faction Keyword (Dynasty), they will not be able to receive the 5+ invulnerable save from our Crypteks : (. Alas, the Praetorians are doomed to a fate of hiding in cover to get any kind of defensive buff. They also cannot benefit from the RP Technomancer bonus from Crypteks because it only applies to Dynasty units. #LoneWolvesDieAlone

      There could be some interesting design space for GW to release stratagem packs in the future for each faction – one for Necrons could allow us to give Triarch units a Dynasty keyword for a turn for 1 or 2CP!

      • Reecius
        Reecius April 19, 2018 8:52 am #

        Ah, yeah, totally forgot about that. My bad. I haven’t played Praetorians in a while as stated. However, running a unit of 10 for backfield disruption–even unsupported–has absolutely been very effective for me.

        What you can do (and I have tried a bunch) is use them with a Cloak Cryptek and Wraiths. They all fly around causing havoc and the Cryptek shoots, and buffs their RP which the Wraiths love when/if they pop their strat.

  5. Arachnofiend April 18, 2018 2:09 pm #

    I’m eager to try out scytheguard myself. My current plan is to run them as a second wave behind a full unit of wraiths; I play Nephrekh so I get an 18+2d6″ move with the wraiths on turn one with Adaptive Subroutines, so my opponent is left with the choice of either shooting the wraiths and letting the lychguard come in next turn to start carving things to pieces or shooting the lychguard and letting the wraiths jump over their screen and tie everything up. That’s the theory, anyways.

    • Cyto
      Cyto April 18, 2018 5:05 pm #

      Let us know how it goes Arachnofiend!

  6. WestRider April 18, 2018 2:26 pm #

    FOUR UNITS ENTER! FOUR UNITS LEAVE!
    FOUR UNITS ENTER! FOUR UNITS LEAVE!

    Kind of bummed at the results of the analysis, tho, since Rod Praetorians are far and away my favourites from a fluff and aesthetic perspective. At least it’s not by a huge margin, and since I have no real intention of playing Necrons super competitively anytime even remotely soon it’s not a deal-killer for me, but it’s still a little disappointing.

    • Cyto
      Cyto April 18, 2018 5:04 pm #

      I am right there with you WestRider – I wish GW distinguished them a bit more by making the gun be a little different but as it stands it has an identical damage profile to their melee attacks.

      At the end of the day RoC Praetorians and VB&PC Praetorians are very similar (I would argue too much so), so the difference between taking the two is small. Both are more useful than the other in different situations, I just tend to believe that VB&PC Praetorians are going to dish out more damage a higher percentage of the time.

      Lychguard are significantly different though and can synergize with the army via the Dynasty Keyword. I am a huge fan of Scythguard damage output but our transport options are middling at best, but that is a good area of clarification for future FAQs/Erratas from GW (specifying that our units can both move & charge after entering the battlefield from a Monolith or Night Scythe would be a good start).

  7. Grimgold April 18, 2018 7:13 pm #

    It took me sometime to figure out why this didn’t seem correct, and then the answer came to me, you are only using charge rounds. Because of that you are only getting half of the picture, to be competitive with the lychguard Praetorians need their ranged weapons, but they will only get those on half of the time, and maybe not even all of those with the RoC since it’s assault and not a pistol. In any subsequent round lychguard will handly beat praetorians point for point, while being either tougher or inflicting twice the wounds.

    I think it would be a more fair comparison if you assumed two assault phases and one shooting phase, you also forgot to mention blood rights, a stratagem only the lychguard will get, which allows them to fight twice. With those considered it’s pretty obvious lychguard are the better unit.

    • Cyto
      Cyto April 18, 2018 7:56 pm #

      Hi Grimgold, thanks for dropping by with some input!

      1.) “you also forgot to mention blood rights”

      About 1/3rd of the way down the page you’ll notice that I both discussed and literally pasted a copy of the “Blood Rights” stratagem into the article. It should absolutely factor into the comparison.

      2.) “It took me sometime to figure out why this didn’t seem correct, and then the answer came to me, you are only using charge rounds.”

      Under the Triarch Praetorian header, I discuss how Praetorians “bring some of their firepower to bear in the shooting phase” and how RoC Praetorians lose a significant portion of their firepower (1/3rd) if they get locked in combat or have to fall back.

      Based on your response, my guess is that you probably only looked at the Mathhammer/tables, and didn’t read the actual article.

      3.) “In any subsequent round lychguard will handly [sic] beat praetorians point for point, while being either tougher or inflicting twice the wounds.”

      I completely agree with you when it comes to RoC Praetorians – if they don’t defeat a unit within 2 fight phases and are forced to fall back or stay “stuck in”, they end up losing their shooting attack and end up being strictly worse than lychguard (either flavor) in melee.

      However, this is not the case for Voidblade & Particle Caster Praetorians – they keep 100% of their damage output whether they are charging, and they therefore deal more damage than HS&DS Lychguard, and only fall short of Scythguard when attacking very high Toughness or multi-wound units.

      4.) “With those considered it’s pretty obvious lychguard are the better unit.”

      I think this is a bit over broad, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion and fancy! I think Lychguard are sometimes better than Triarch Praetorians, but having access to Fly, double the movement speed, and more base attacks (via RoC assault shots on the charge or via +1A voidblades + particle caster shots), makes it less of a clear cut choice.

      I think in a Novokh or Nephrekh detachment, Lychguard’s Dynasty Codes and ability to synergize, more often than not, makes them a the better pick. But if a Necron player is foregoing the melee & movement based Dynasties, or simply doesn’t want to budget for Lychguard transportation, Triarch Praetorians are a great “plug and play” option to add a strong melee unit to the army.

  8. Pyrothem April 18, 2018 8:02 pm #

    The Lychguard are given quite the boon because for now the Forge World Dynasty has no rules so you can give them what you need… SPEED.
    With the Nephrekh Dynasty running with our boy Kutlakh the World Killer turns the normally sluggish force into something to be feared.
    For 1 cp you can My Will Be Done two squads of Lychguard and with be moving 12″ guaranteed and be able to charge at +1! Throw the reroll charge bubble warlord trait on him and you are golden! (pun intended)

    • Cyto
      Cyto April 19, 2018 10:43 pm #

      Until Maynarkh gets their own Dynasty Code sounds like that will be a good combo!

  9. Commander_Sune April 21, 2018 6:46 am #

    I’ve tried out the Praetorians quite a few times and have found them to be performing below average.

    The’re very few ways to buff them and many other units in the Necron codex deals with the same targets that Praetorians should attack in a more efficient way.

    As some people have mentioned Wraith should be a good complement for the Praetorians. But then you could argue, why not run with two units of Wraiths.

    • Cyto
      Cyto May 16, 2018 9:23 pm #

      Very true – Praetorians enjoy the company of wraiths as they are much more durable and can take some of the heat off of them.

  10. skoffs April 22, 2018 11:07 pm #

    > “there is no mixing and matching within a single unit.”

    And there in lies my biggest issue with Lychguard.
    If you could stick a few Warscythes in with a couple Shield-guard I have a feeling people would be more inclined to take them.
    (well, that and some sort of better/more reliable method to get them into combat, as the Night Scythe is just not cutting it and the VoD and Nephrekh strat drop them too far away to be able to get off a statistically favorable charge).

    Here’s hoping GW releases some sort of supplement that gives some better bonus rules to Praetorians and Triarch Stalker so those units will actually be worth taking (say, the return of the Silent King? Plus some new version of the 5th Edition Harbingers and a Lord Of War Void Dragon C’tan Shard).

    • Cyto
      Cyto April 24, 2018 6:09 pm #

      Very true! I’d love GW to give them more love!

  11. Mirko Trio May 6, 2018 9:07 pm #

    Have you considered Anrakyr and Szeras? Being Dinasty-neutral evil robot from space they can buff Pretorians, also the +1A of Anrakyr is awesome for everyone here!!

    • Cyto
      Cyto May 6, 2018 10:09 pm #

      Hi Mirko Trio!

      Yeah I briefly mentioned Anrakyr as one of only two ways (the other being Imotekh) to get MWBD on a unit of Triarch Praetorians. Anrakyr is fantastic for both Praetorians and Lychguard.

      His Lord of the Pyrrhian Legions giving +1 attack and his My Will Be Done that can target any friendly Necrons Infantry is incredible for increasing our melee output. The most difficult aspect of his use will be trying to keep Anrakyr within 3″ of either Praetorians or Lychguard in the fight phase. Anrakyr is slow with his 5″ walk and I think most players are hard pressed to have him keep up with Praetorians – but when using them to counter charge, Anrakyr is invaluable for cranking their killing power up to 11.

      Szeras cannot use his Mechanical Augmentation on either Praetorians or Lychguard, as it can only target Warriors & Immortals, but his Master Technomancer ability can increase their RP if they are within 3″ of him.

      Each of these characters get a small discussion in the upcoming article featuring Novokh, and they will each get their own article as well in the future.

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