Friday, December 16, 2011
While I have been in every Beta for the Old Republic for a few months now and the NDA has been removed for a few weeks. I wanted to see the final product of this game before I gave my opinion. Now that the early access is open, and I have a few days of play in the game I will give my opinion of the game.
Let me start off by saying MMO’s are a strange beast. Gameplay changes as you level, gain skills, and create friends. So my opinion of the game will be based off the first 20 levels of a Bounty Hunter. Anyone who knows me personally knows I am a bit of a Star Wars fan. I always have been, and Star Wars has literally been a part of my life since I was 3. I am lucky enough to say I used to work for Lucas Arts, and I helped with a tiny game created by them and Sony Online called Star Wars Galaxies. I personally played Galaxies from launch till Sony started changing things, and in my opinion destroyed the game.
OK enough about me, on to the game. The Old republic or (TOR) is a beautiful example of what Bio Ware can do. The game has fantastic graphics, Game play is easy to understand, and quests are clearly marked with small personal areas that allow for dynamic gameplay, while still allowing you to have boss battles and finish quests without worrying about someone coming and kill stealing your mob. One of the nicest features I have seen thus far is the looting feature. When you kill a mob a light appears shining into the sky from the creature. This light will change color based on what type of loot is on the mob. So if the creature has a green item, the light will be green. In the options menu you have 2 really cool options. One is auto loot all. When you right click a mob you will collect all the loot on the mob automatically. The second option is area loot. This option allows you to loot multiple dead mobs at once instead of having to click on every single mob one at a time. Both of these options are great time savers and I applaud Bio Ware for including them in the game. I must say thus far I am really enjoying the game, and I can’t wait to pick up my collector’s edition on the 20th.
I do have a few concerns. I played DC universe online last year. That game was fun but didn’t really have a lot to keep you playing the game. The quests became repetitive, and even a casual gamer such as myself was able to max level within a month. Now I know TOR isn’t the same as DCUO in many ways it feels the same. The big question here is the end game. Will it hold enough to keep people playing? Or will it fall short like DCUO. I for one am hoping it hold true to Bio Wares quality, and has a great end game. My other concern is server usage. So far my server hasn’t had a ton of players. But the areas in TOR can be small and even though there isn’t a ton of players yet, some of the common areas can tend to fill up a lot and competing for certain mobs can be a little frustrating. I will keep you informed as the game progresses on how I feel these concerns are working out.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
It has been a busy couple of months for gamers. With this many games, my reviews have been stretched to say the least. Here is my review of Skyrim, Elder scrolls 5.
Pros – first off what a game, the amount of things to do and quests to complete is staggering to say the least. You can choose from the usual suspects of Elder scroll races. And the new leveling system is amazing. The quests can be as simple as playing hide and seek with kids, to fighting dragons, and small armies of bandits. Gameplay and combat is very fun, the ability to become a werewolf, or a vampire is cool. Plus the whole becoming strong enough to kill dragons is just too much fun. The entire game is really beautiful. Anyone who appreciates graphics will be stunned by the beauty of this game. The collecting of ingredients for crafting can be a lot of fun. I even spent 30 minutes in a river catching salmon.
Cons – the questing system can be a little confusing due to the amount of things on your map. There has been an issue with the remains of dragons, they haven’t been disappearing. Instead the dragon’s bones will actually follow you around sometimes. You’ll go out of a dungeon, or exit a castle, and as it loads the bones will fall out of the sky in front of you. Bethesda released a patch to fix this, but now I can’t seem to get the dragons to come down and fight me. So I think they may have broken the mechanic of the dragons with the patch. During one of my many catching the fish trips at a lake, I also noticed Elk and Deer running across the bottom of the lake. There seems to be the usual amount of graphical skips, and glitches as seems to be a way of life with Bethesda games.
I would have to say that over all this game is great. The issues are minor, at least not counting the patch breaking the dragons, and the amount of gameplay will obviously entertain me for a very, very long time. I do recommend buying this game the first chance you get.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Call of Duty has become a video game juggernaut. Just like the juggernauts in the game everyone has taken aim at them, attempting to take the FPS king off their throne. And just like the juggernauts they have soaked up the damage thrown at them so far. It has honestly become just as much of a trend to hate the Call of Duty series, as it has been to play it. EA brought Battlefield to the court this year, touting their game was better, and that Battlefield 3 would knock Call of Duty off their high horse. Activision remained strangely silent, not being drawn into EA’s psychological warfare. Even after soundly out selling Battlefield 3 Activision made only one statement. This was something to the tune of “We hope the best for both games in the future, competition builds better games.” I will openly admit to being a Call of Duty player, but I think my review below is fair and just.
Campaign – some spoilers involved
Pros - Infinity Ward does a great job of finishing off the story line for Modern Warfare (or so we think), It would appear no loose ends remain. I really enjoyed the story, and I think the levels were well thought out. The graphics are beautiful, and the Russian airplane level is great. Weapons choices are good, and the kick from most weapons is reasonable. No traveling around the screen when you full auto. Enemies are smart enough to make it fun, but not so hard that it frustrates you. Infinity Ward does a great job of getting you to fall in love with the new characters, but in true modern warfare style punishes you for every success till the end.
Cons - OK Activision/Infinity Ward first and foremost WTF???? Soap…….really???
We watch him pass out in Modern Warfare 2, you save him at the beginning of 3, then promptly beat the crap out of him through multiple levels, and kill him? I almost started clapping when he died just because I was tired of seeing you guys beat him up, OK rant over. I liked the story line but it seemed a little forced. I know you were trying to create urgency, but it just didn’t seem urgent it seemed like you just tossed it together and pushed it through a single door. I know in this day and age especially with your franchise Multiplayer is the game, but dang this game was short. I beat it way too fast. One big surprise was no level at the end of the credits. I have always looked forward to that level, and was very sad when there wasn’t one.
Pros – The matchmaking system in Call of Duty is great. I rarely see one team regularly beating up the other team repeatedly. The spawns during team fights seems fairly good. Graphically speaking the game is beautiful, although some shadows seem a little too deep, and people tend to camp in them. There were a few glitching bugs early on but Infinity Ward quickly fixed those. Infinity Ward has also listened to its fan base and already has patched and adjusted a few over powered guns. The special ops mode is fun, particularly the survival mode; this addition is great to play with friends. The new strike packages are a nice addition; I am not the best player in the world, plus I play a lot of ground war domination and worry about capping flags not my K-D ratio, so I rarely received kill streak rewards. But now I can use support packages to support my entire team and I even get the top tier ones every couple of games. The weapon leveling system is cool; I have enjoyed unlocking equipment for my favorite guns. Kill confirmed has to be the most fun I have played in a long time in a FPS. The idea of having to collect a dog tag after a kill is great, keeping everyone on their toes.
Cons – while team based spawning seems OK, let’s talk about free for all. Infinity Ward did you test this portion of the game? I understand the whole close spawn thing to keep the game moving, and exciting. But when an enemy player literally spawns inside you after you killed them, this really needs to be fixed. I also feel the shotguns are way too underpowered. Unfortunately it is still the same game with a new skin, and some weapons. I really feel this entire genre is starting to get a little bogged down and welcome any change the game companies think up.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Campaign: some spoilers within
Pros: Electronic Arts has pushed the envelope with graphics in the campaign mode. The lighting is amazing, everything looks very realistic. I myself thought I was watching a cut scene on occasion when I was actually playing the game. The AI is definitely a challenge. They are fast and seem to actually think on occasion. I enjoyed the story line to a degree, on some of the levels the sense of urgency actually made it feel like you needed to sprint through the level to complete the task at hand. The number of weapons and options are fantastic, plus the Frost engine makes for some great firefights.
Cons: now this is where EA failed. Unfortunately every pro has a con. While the graphics and lighting was fantastic, on a lot of the levels the sun glare literally blinds you making it hard or impossible to see the enemy directly in front of you. The AI is the best shots I have ever seen in a video game, they barely miss and when firing full auto they seem to hit you more than miss. The guns in the game have too much kick. We could argue all day long on the realism here, but at the end of the day it is a game, if I want to shoot full auto with a gun I should at least be able to hit my intended target. The kick in this game makes your gun bounce like you’re in a jumpy house. The story line is the same recycled story line used by many games these days. A group of miss understood soldiers have Intel no one else has on a set of nuclear devices. They must stop the evil terrorist before he can detonate them while being hunted by their own country. While this makes for a compelling story line it is so over used. I was really hoping EA would come up with a new idea.
Let’s face it; this is what most FPS players care about in this day and age. Many gamers don’t even bother with the campaign modes and jump straight into multiplayer.
Pros: The levels are massive; you can do real sniping in Battlefield 3, no matter how hard you try to snipe in other games the maps aren’t really designed to let a sniper really snipe. This is not the case in Battlefield 3 sniping feels correct in this game. Vehicles are great; there is nothing more fun than riding the rail of a little bird watching tanks roll up below you and jets flying overhead. Some of the rewards for leveling a class are really cool. I for instance like to be an engineer; I was really excited to use the EOD robot especially in rush. Rush is a very fun game mode, I prefer to be the attacker, but defending can be just as fun especially when you are on a good team. The frostbite engine is great, I love watching buildings explode or fall apart. It feels good to shoot a RPG at a wall and create a whole to run through.
Cons: I really wonder how EA did their match making systems team balancing; the teams always seem to be very disproportionate. You are either stomping your enemy into the dust, or being stomped. This issue with a set location for spawning creates one of the worst spawn camping scenarios I have ever seen. It involved an attack helicopter, tank, and LAV plus everyone else from the other team on foot surrounding the spawn point and killing everyone every time they spawned. Talk about frustrating. The levels are massive, this means die and you have a long run ahead of you if there is no one to spawn on. A lot of the times the vehicles will be gone during regular play leaving you to run across the map on foot only to die again. The air vehicles have a huge learning curve; the controls on a helicopter have to be the hardest thing I have ever used. Also EA please don’t make a game where I throttle with L2, fire my weapon with L1, steer the vehicle with the left stick, and turn the turret with the right. I think the fire button should have been R1. Lighting in multiplayer is just like campaign many times you can’t even see your opponent. Leveling the engineer can be hard especially on rush gameplay since it usually doesn’t involve vehicles. Ooh and why can’t I exit a lobby while I am waiting for the next round to start? This is the silliest thing I have ever saw.
In conclusion: despite Battlefield 3’s issue’s it is still a fun game. The game play and game style is just different enough from games like Call of Duty to make it stand out. I really enjoy blowing up the buildings, and making it so the enemy can’t hide from me. But please EA my worst experience with this game is the matchmaking systems team balancing. If this was corrected you would have a sure fire classic on your hands.
Thank you to G4.com for the information
I read the Wired article last night, and quickly set a blog to report Wired magazine’s article this morning. While sleeping Nintendo came out with multiple press releases trying to quell gamers fears about the retirement of Shigeru Miyamoto. Saying the gaming legend isn’t retiring, or stepping down but his role would be slightly changing.
First was a report out of Reuters Japan stating “This is absolutely not true. There seems to have been a misunderstanding. Miyamoto has said all along that he wants to train the younger generation. He has no intention of stepping down. Please do not be concerned.”
Next was a report from Bloomberg Japan about an hour after the first release. A Nintendo rep told the publication Miyamoto will in Bloomberg’s words, “reduce his involvement in making video games to spend more time training younger developers.” The representative also confirmed Miyamoto’s title will not change as Senior managing director.
Finally Nintendo made a official statement (Via IGN):
“Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s role at Nintendo is not changing. He will continue to be a driving force in Nintendo’s development efforts. In discussing his priorities at Nintendo in a media interview. Mr. Miyamoto explained how he is encouraging the younger developers at the company to take more initiative and responsibility for developing software. He attempted to convey his priorities moving forward, inclusive of overseeing all video game development and ensuring the quality of all products. Mr. Miyamoto also discussed his desire to pursue fresh ideas and experiences of the kind that sparked his initial interest in video games.”
Not sure if maybe Miyamoto had a bad translator or what occurred, but after reading his statements I for one don’t feel like that is what he was trying to say at all. Even if Nintendo is correct it still sounds like Miyamoto’s focus is going to shift with his role at Nintendo. It also sounds like both are confirming Miyamoto is wanting this shift so he can be more creative again.
According to a recent Interview in Wired magazine, Shigeru Miyamoto creator of Super Mario brothers and Zelda is retiring from his position as head of Nintendo’s game design department. He is going to a smaller department to work on personal projects within the company.
According to wired magazine Miyamoto has been joking about retiring around the office for quite some time now. Miyamoto also said he isn’t retiring completely, just taking a leave from supervising large time consuming games like Legend of Zelda Skyward sword to work on smaller projects that won’t take as much time. Miyamoto is quoted saying “what I really want is to be in the forefront of game development once again myself. Probably working on a smaller project with younger developers, or I might be interested in making something I can make myself, something really small.”
The reason for Miyamoto’s retirement is completely selfless according to him. He wants to send a message to the younger developers that he won’t always be around to rely on. I for one wonder why retirement has been decided right now. Nintendo has lost so much money this year, is it possible the face of Nintendo is moving on to bigger and better things some were else? I for one can’t wait to see what this genius of video game making is going to create.
Mr. Miyamoto, I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, and thank you for being such a important part of my gaming life for so many years.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
for what seems like forever, about 3 years ago I quit using them. I still loved them, and they were still my favorite army, but my options to play were limited to say the least, and I was starting to become bored with them. So out of respect for my favorite heartless robots, I placed them in storage hoping for the day I would receive a new codex and once again march my phalanx of warriors across the table top. Lucky me that day has finally arrived, the new codex is out, and I am truly happy.
Gameplay I do apologize for the delay in this review.
Life has been hectic to say the least. I have ran the Necrons To me this is the most important part of a new codex so we will start here. When I heard Matt Ward was doing our codex I almost cried. While Matt writes some of the most amazing (and overpowered) codices in the 40K realm, he is also known to not be so kind to Xenos. I am very proud to say he didn’t kill the Necrons. They have many options, and tricks up their sleeves to employ against the most talented player. Sure Warriors now have a 4+ armor and reanimation protocol is a 5, 6 now. But there is no more twice the toughness, and power weapon issue’s, plus if you are that concerned give them A Necron lord with a res orb. Are they a juggernaut power house that will easily take all comers? No but they are an army that is amazingly resilient. Take 2 ghost Arks with full troops, then place a 20 man warrior unit with a Necron lord with a res orb in front of the Ghost Arks, I beg to say that 20 man warrior unit will remain in play the entire game unless your opponent focus fires on the Ghost Arcs. Many of the options in the Necron codex makes your opponent have to prioritize his targets. If he fails to do this correctly a Necron player will be able to cut through his enemy like a knife through butter. The Scarab swarms are amazing now. I bet all my friends that just used to hand me them and say ooh you use those stupid things are definitely not happy right now. Let’s look at a simple combo using the Night Scythe ( I think that is the transport one), tomb blades, and scarab swarms. The night scythe can carry the Tomb blades across the battlefield, the Scarabs can try to get across to a flank, and your opponent has to decide which one he wants to let cross the battle field. So over all I am happy with the Gameplay of the new Necrons. I am even happier to have so many cool choices. I just wish they actually did something with the flayed ones.
Many people didn’t like the fluff for the new Necron codex. Well after reading it from cover to cover, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the new fluff, it sure it gives the Necrons more personality. The whole dynasty thing seems a bit odd at first, but once you dig in you understand it, and it is honestly kind of fun. I really enjoyed reading the fluff, so for me the codex fluff is great!
The new Necron codex seems to be a well-balanced, and fun. Some people seem to like the fluff but not the game, and others like the game play but not the fluff. Not me I like both, the elaborate kings of old, and the young universe of today. Thank you Games Workshop for getting my codex right.
What do you think?
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
**UPDATE - you can email the paper at one of the following email address email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry for the late post on this article, I have been hoping for a updated email address to add to the article but still haven’t seen one. I will add it as soon as one is available
Well Warhammer 40k made it into a major Greek newspaper. The author essentially calls the entire hobby community right wing Nazis. I highly suggest sending an email to her editor at the email address that I will add as soon as I have a valid one. I sent out the email below, and I also have attached Natfkas article and email that he wrote below my email. This includes a English translation of the original greek article. I usually don’t just cut and paste things, but I feel this article needs to have as few authors as possible. Please visit his blog on my blog list.
My email to the editor
To Whom it may concern,
I am writing you this email because of your newspaper Article on Warhammer 40K published this week. First let me say something about myself. I am a hardworking, college educated father of 2. I have played, and enjoy watching American Football, Baseball, and soccer which you would refer to as football. I am a active member in my community, a member of my children’s schools PTA (parent teachers association), and I am far from a social outcast. My wife and 3 of my close female friends are all avid Warhammer 40k players and hobbyists. All have college degrees and are also active members in our community beyond the hobby. I am of German descent, my great grandfather left Nazi Germany to fight for the United states in the hope that not all Germans would be considered Nazi’s. I find your reporters comments on our hobby rude, inaccurate, and the equivalent of what Americans call gutter journalism. A form of journalism reserved for trash newspapers such as the national enquirer. Her remarks prove she should be reporting on Bigfoot, and Alien abduction.
You might find my comments about your reporter rude as well, but as a journalist she should be held to a higher standard and research her own comments. Here is my example of what I mean. She reported “Black Templars, that have the Iron Cross as a sign and their colours are black, white and red, are clearly Nazis”. The Black Templars are based off the Knights Templar (gee that wasn’t hard to make that connection” they have the same colors and standards used by the Knights Templar which was black, red, and white, with the Iron cross as one of their symbols. The Iron cross Originated in 1219 (long before the Nazis), when the Kingdom of Jerusalem granted special privilege to the Teutonic order the right to combine the Teutonic black cross with the silver cross of Jerusalem by placing it over their cross to create a silver outline. The thought that these holy warriors where Nazis due to the Nazis hijacking their designs is ignorant and not researched. Furthermore the Iron cross was used by the German people since 1813 when it was awarded to soldiers during the Napoleonic war (once again long before the Nazis). The Iron cross was used as the symbol of the German army from 1871 to 1918 when it was replaced by a more simple GREEK CROSS which remained the symbol during Nazi Germany (does that make greeks Nazis?). The Iron Cross returned in 1956 in post war Germany used by the new Bundeswehr the new German armed forces. The traditional design is black, and is used to identify armored vehicles, and aircraft.
Warhammer 40K is a dystopian future. Mankind is on the brink of eradication not only from other species, but from its own fanaticism and Daemons brought to the world by the corrupt and perverse actions of mankind. First and foremost it is a work of science fiction, it isn’t a book of beliefs, and it sure isn’t a hand book to train right wing militants. The good humans aren’t racist they are xenophobic. They fear alien species due to a lack of understanding. They are also in decline due to their own fanaticism towards their unswerving loyalty to a brain dead emperor essentially hooked up on life support. The humans are essentially lead by a small group of religious zealots who believe he is a god. I believe this universe teaches a valuable lesson, that blindly following anyone can create more problems than help. The entire game is based off real world history, the great crusade, Salem witch trials, and the inquisition. I would also like to point out your writers comments about 40k being right wing. I have played this game for over 20 years, I have never seen a Nazi, or right wing extremist playing this game, I have met more left wing individuals playing Warhammer than right wing. I myself have read “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler, but I have also read “the communist manifesto” by Karl Marx, and “Guerilla Warfare” by Che Guevara this doesn’t make me a left wing revolutionary. Any learned individual would agree with the comments of Sir Winston Churchill “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”.
I could continue to take apart your reporters disgraceful article but I feel I have made my point. I would like to point out a few facts in closing. These are all examples of history and fiction that are actually negative, but seen by society as positive.
Batman – a Vigilante who beats up criminals, breaking the law himself to avenge his parents. Law breaking, violence, revenge, not things I would like my kids to learn, yet Batman is a comic book, kids toy, and movie bonanza for the young.
Star Wars – a defender of good turns to the dark side, kills children, hunts down and kills his own family and friends, only to turn around and kill the emperor. In the end all is forgiven, but the entire empire is very much like the world of 40K.
Organised religion (all religion) – Many, many people have died in the name of religion, yet our society is based off the ideals taught in these religions.
The battle of Thermopylae – considered to be one of the first examples of an army taking up arms and defending its country against an oppressive invader. Lead by the Spartans a culture that focused on military supremacy, and left any child seeming weak to die by exposure on the slopes of mount Taygetos.
Alexander the great – or Alexander the 3rd of Macedon. Considered one of the most successful generals in history, but was driven by his belief that the Greeks where a superior race, and should rule the world.
Thank you for your time,
Author of the Abnormal Gamer
Naftka at Faiet 212 wrote
Warhammer 40k suddenly appears on the front page of a popular newspaper in Greece, with the creator of the blog, 122nd Cadia face down checking his line of sight.
This article calls us Nazi's, stupid, racists, and more things than I am going to repeat. The Antipope was able to translate the article to the best of his ability into English for us upon request, so it is posted for your reading below. My understanding that his normal job includes translating English to Greek, so even if the article loses some of its sarcasm, as he claims, the point of it is still there.
I highly suggest that everyone, and other bloggers as well, pick up on this story and write the editor of the newspaper. Here is my email to the editor of the newspaper that went with this article. You can copy paste if you don't think you can write your own, just attach your own name to it.
Editors Email Address: email@example.com
Your newspapers article this week on Warhammer 40k was high inflammatory, ignorant, and completely wrong in so many places, that I even wonder if the author did indeed listened to any of the interviews, or even read the background herself. While she was there at the tournament, she constantly questioned the gamers if they know people in the extreme right wing that play the game. She refers to the players of the game (it is only a game and a hobby), as Nazi's, racist, and complete idiots.
The Warhammer 40k universe in its background is a reflection upon the extremes of mankind. It is first and foremost Science Fiction. I really think the author of the article needs to get off her high horse and do some background on what science fiction is. Then needs to reflect upon movies and other fictional works, to see if those authors or those that follow them are also racist.
The journalist in question published a highly political and self indulging article in an attempt to garner a moment in the spotlight. Instead she has shown just how low a journalist can go in creating a monster out of what is a very strong and wonderful hobby, with enthusiasts all over the world.
At the very least, this journalist should lose her job, this is not journalism. Corrections should be made, and an apology published.
Author of Faeit 212
via The Antipope
Link to his blog and his response http://cadia122.blogspot.com/2011/11/bad-journalism.html
Okay Gary, this is the translation of the text to the best of my abilities. I have the impression that the underlying sarcasm of the text is somehow lost but that's not such a big deal I guess. Here it is then:
War on a table
A plunge into the dark, bizarre and militaristic world of the game that combines modeling and strategy, and holds as "prisoners" thousands of players in Greece and all over the World.
"Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Skull Throne". This is the motto and war-cry of the servants of the God of Chaos, Khorne (The Antipope: she translates if phonetically to Greek as "Horn"...). If you think that this sentence was "strange" enough as a magazine's article opening line, wait and see what's to come. This started as a report for one of the most popular miniature tabletop games of the last 30 years and I still don't know how I ended up fighting against "Daemons of Chaos" in 40000 AD and hang out with creatures with names such as Necrons, Dark Eldar, Black Angels (not sure what army that is...)and much more like them...undead and badass.
(Caption under my picture): Dedication. Studying the rules needs time, building requires effort, the creation of a decent army...money- up to 500 euros for the starter "set". During the game all this is forgotten though.
(Caption under next picture): Precise calculations. Before any move the player must contemplate on it's consequences. "Somehow like chess..." like they told us, but much bloodier.
Dozens of horrible creatures, together with an Emperor-God (of the earthlings) and four Gods of Chaos, live in the blackest, obscurantist, religionist, militaristic, fundamentalist, authoritarian, racist, abominable and repulsive world ever conceived by the human mind. In fact, by the British mind, since the game was coined and released in England at the beginning of the eighties.
The game, that for the last 30 years has been played by millions of people all over the world, is called "Warhammer:40000 or "40K" for it's friends. With many of these friends (Greeks) we talked about the multifarious 40K and it's exceptional miniatures, modeling, hobby, required intelligence, strategic ability, men (that play), women (that don't) and daemons that eat souls (soul-eating is the pop corn of the future).
In the same future that, as the general motto of the game states, "There is no time for peace. Neither for forgiveness. There is only war. Endless War."
Little "toy soldiers" for men? And beyond...
As an intro into the world of this "joyful" game, we watched ,during a tournament, around forty males (between 18 and 39 years old), with tape measures and dice on hand, planning assaults against the military units that were placed on top of special dioramas (model battlefields with obstacles, buildings, trees etc.). 40K is a game of strategy (or tactics rather) and requires thought, a lot time studying the rules and a certain degree of intelligence of the mathematically skilled type. The toy soldier miniatures-designed with a lot of imagination and incredible details by the company of Games Workshop-have to be assembled and painted by the hobbyists-players. Painting the "armies" is a form of art on it's own accord, to which modelers dedicated hours or even days. Considering all this, when questioned "why do you play" everybody gave the same answer:" Because it's a hobby that gives me the opportunity to do miniature modeling, to think strategically and, mainly, get together with friends at least twice a week, for gaming, talking, painting...". That's great!
At this point it could be the end of this discussion, if there wasn't for the fluff to be considered, i.e. if there was no ideological-mythical environment of 40K. The world "fluff" ,that is the creation of tabletop or non tabletop role playing gamers and it has to do with everything else but the rule set of the game, is the key to open the...darkness of 40K. Because the fictions, facts and characteristics of the bloodthirsty and soul-hungering soldiers are so outrageous that the question "but, why do you want to play?" was coming back to our conversation almost automatically.
To think or not to think?
What does someone need furthermost in order to be able to play 40K? "Brains", most of them think, claiming at the same time that "nobody takes fluff seriously" but also..."I chose the game based on the fluff" or "real life is a different thing to the game" but also..."I have seen in the US the ideology of the army and the player matching to a dangerous degree. I've even seen a player with swastikas tattooed all over his body". So many contradictions they could win a Guinness world record.
Generally speaking, when having to choose the game, but also the army, fluff is always there to play a role. As a 38 old professor of biotechnology told us "I also chose an army based on the fluff - I play with dark eldar..."(he stops to think)"in the end they are psychic vampires..." (pausing and saying out very loud)... "I don't even care about my army's fluff!". Perhaps a mind with mathematical skills is necessary but it also seems necessary that the same mind needs the ability not to be able to...think!
The first thing we found out about the 40 participants of the tournament, is that most of them is what we would call "educated" (higher degree level) and working (you need a lot of money to be able to play 40K seriously for many years). Amongst them we found a manager of marketing in a multinational company, a university professor, a gold smith, a 23 year old business man, many civil engineers and many students (chemists, engineers, mathematicians).
Most of them started off as fans of science or heroic fiction, mythology, history and comic books. Many of them have read the low literary value novels based on the game's fluff, for which 30 year old Thanos said: "If I had a child, I wouldn't let him read these novels before he develops his character". We can summarize the profile of the average 40K player as follows: a rather "introvert", lonely guy that doesn't like to go out, doesn't like to watch the TV or football(!), but he likes listening to music (foreign, and mainly classic rock) and he prefers when going out to talk with friends in cafes or houses. Many of them claimed that they "believe in God", whom they defined as the "beginning" of everything or "the power" of the universe etc. but they don't like his "fan club". Couple of them claimed to be pronounced atheists.
Lastly, we found out that all of them are ready to talk about politics, expressing extreme ideas more or less with words that are somewhat muddled inside their heads. We only found one person who deals with the understanding of human relationships, while most of the other are ignorant even of the word "psychology".
A large percentage of their population compared with their average number (5 out of the 15 interviewees) had some racist and xenophobic ideas and had been involved with the study of Nazi texts, including "Mein Kampf" by Adolf Hitler. George, a mulatto (from a Greek father and a mother from impoverished Louisiana), one of the most intelligent and sincere kids we met, following the question if the game is "a bit" racist he replied: "It's very racist and in America (US) many gamers identify themselves with that racism. Moreover, Black Templars, that have the Iron Cross as a sign and their colours are black, white and red, are clearly Nazis"
"Have you noticed that a percentage of the players belong to the extreme right wing?" we asked 35 year old Takis, a middle school teacher who claims to be "left wing". "Yes, but I don't know why. Maybe they are fascinated by the epic, heroic or even the racist elements of 40K. Because there is a lot of racism in the game." The next question that came up naturally is if 40K makes you feel superior compared to other people :"Yes, it's a bit elitist. It requires a lot of thought so it makes you feel..."somehow". Somehow superior" said Markos laughing. One of the most extreme statements we heard was :"It's been proved throughout the history of Greece that we can only go forward with a fascist government" said John. "And I am going to be the one executing them", added his friend Fotis.
Playing with your soul?
I would also add, playing with your sword. But why would someone fight with a sword in the technologically super advanced 40000 AD? And why does it's system has to be so authoritarian and obscurantist? And why does the "trophy" have to be the most valuable thing humans have, i.e. their souls?
"Because 40K combines elements that fascinate men, like chivalry, heroism, power, ability, speed etc" said 38 year old widely educated Kostas with his well structured speech. "Probably because we want to look better in comparison. Maybe I would never go to real war, but in the game you can be an awesome hero or a general without having to pay the price in return. For it's system now, the wider the network of planets that human inhabit becomes, the more we will keep losing our humanity. In the minds of the creators of science fiction, there is always a strong central authority necessary, which through cutting down our freedoms and though fear can create a structure in order for that new world to function. In 40K there is a mixture of western imperialism and eastern fundamentalism."
And why does the future has to seem so bleak I wonder: "Because", as 39 year old Giannis is saying "this sells. This game has the best marketing." "Furthermore because reality sucks and progress is even worse" adds the younger Minas. "Everything in the fluff is derived from human history, to an excessive extend maybe, but historically".
Why aren't women playing the game, I ask them: "Now you are delving into a touchy subject", Fotis told me, who is married and has one child. "Women don't go for mentally committing stuff. In order to be able to commit in something so that you can disengage from the everyday life, you have to be a man." Fotis was the same person who told me when I asked him why the ideology of the game is crazy: "Are there any ideological obstacles in fantasy?".
In the interview we did with 23 year old Markos, who describes the game as a "struggle for the survival of the human race" and as the "absolute decline", after he told us that "Warhammer is not a comedy but a tragedy with the classical sense, in a dystopian future" he also express the optimistic thought that "Man has the awesome capacity to conquer everything, even himself." When I asked what does he do to ...conquer himself he answered :"I am reading thousands of books, I am writing down stories and poetry, I work, talk, travel and do thousands of different things. Why? Because I have an enormous stress that I will stay mediocre"
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
If you are a Rainbow 6 fan like I am. You will want to follow my link to game informer. Ubisoft has released a first look video from what is called target footage. While this isnt a official trailer or gameplay footage, it shows what they are attempting to accomplish with their latest game.
*WARNING* this footage could be found disturbing to some people.
Grand Theft Auto V Debut Trailer - News - www.GameInformer.com
For all you Grand Theft Auto fans, here is the latest trailer
For all you Grand Theft Auto fans, here is the latest trailer
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is about to release, so this brings up another important question. Is Call of Duty Elite worth signing up for. Sure they have a free account that will be key for most people. But they also have a $49.99 a year model that gives you extra perks.
The free version includes
Career Player Profile
Public groups and private clans
HD video sharing
Call of Duty Elite Apps (Ipohone, Android, Ipad, Computer)
The Premium version includes all of the free versions benefits plus
Year Round Competition with prizes
Level up your clan
Pro analysis & strategy
Call of Duty Elite TV
Plus if you become a founding member you get
Unique founder weapon camo and profile skin
Exclusive founder in-game player card and emblem
Special founder clan XP boost
Special founder operations, events, and leagues
Exclusive founder prizes and experience
While I am unsure if the founder options carry over to the free version of Call of Duty or not I for one plan on doing the premium version. Call of Duty comes out with 3-4 map packs a year. I will make my money back by receiving those packs for free through the premium service. Plus I really enjoy playing Call of Duty and all the options it creates can make things more fun. How do you feel? Will you be purchasing the Premium package?
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Here are some new views of the upcoming Necrons courtesy of games workshops 360 viewer.
Necron Deathmarks, I like the globes
immortals, the cables coming from the spine are great
Overlord side view
Trayzyn side view
Necron Deathmarks, I like the globes
immortals, the cables coming from the spine are great
Overlord side view
Trayzyn side view
EA and Dice have announced that Battlefield 3 has set a new record for their largest Launch day sales. Reporting a launch day sales of 10 million units, breaking their own personal records. While this is by far not the largest Launch day sales for a video game, EA can use the boost. Showing declining profits over the last few years, EA can use a success story. Pushing its way back into the first person market heavily dominated by Halo and Call of Duty, EA has proven they aren’t just a sports game company.
If you haven’t purchased Battlefield 3 yet, and own a PS3 you get the Back to Karkland for free for the next week.
Necrons are up for pre order on Games Workshops web site. The following is available for order so far.
Necron ghost arc/doomsday arc
Necron Catacomb Command Barge / Annihilation Barge
Necron Lychguard / Triarch Praetorians
Necron Immortals / Deathmarks
Imotekh the Stormlord
Trazyn the Infinite
Necron Lord with Resurrection Orb (old model)
Necron Lord (old model)
Classic Necron Lord
C'tan Shard of The Nightbringer (old model)
C'tan Shard of The Deceiver (old model)
Necron Flayed One Pack
Necron Warriors (old model)
Necron Destroyer (old model)
Necron Monolith (old model)
While trying to find some news other than Necron news I noticed something on Games Workshops site. Standard old putty green stuff is missing from their inventory. Does this mean they are switching to Liquid green stuff only? Personally while I love liquid green stuff I hope this is a temporary glitch on GW's website because there is still stuff I can't do with the liquid.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I have joined a Mighty Empires campaign at my local Games Workshop. I have never played Mighty Empires before, and thought this would be a great chance to try out my new ogres. points start out at 750 and we move to 1000 next week. For my 750 list I ran the following.
1 butcher lvl 1 with a great weapon
2 5 man ogre unit with bellower and standard
1 unit of 6 lead belchers
I recieved a quick lesson in Fantasy from a friend before my first game. so I switched things up a bit before the game making the 2 5 man a 6 man unit, and a 4 man unit. placing the butcher in the 6 man unit.
I was challenged by a Tomb Kings player (who I know is running a Necro sphynx). We haven't been able to play yet but I challenged a fellow Ogre player for the fun of it.
She ran the following
1 LVL 2 butcher
2 mournfang calvary
a small unit of Lead bellies
and 3 man eaters
despite being out classed character wise, I had her out numbered. I shot up her big unit of lead bellies with the lead belchers. Her mournfang cavalry was lack luster failing to charge 3 times so I was able to charge and destroy them with my big unit. The entire game really came down to who rolled better. Unfortunatley it wasn't me and I lost. But I had a great game with a great friend, and I hope to have more in the future. I am changing up my list for the battle with the Tomb king player. replacing the 3 man unit with a 42 man gnoblar sacrifice unit with trappers. What do you think?
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
We have 2 new editions to forgeworld.
Mechanicus tech-savants believe that the Land Raider Proteus is a precursor to the Phobos pattern vehicle now found amongst the armouriums of the Adeptus Astartes. Bulkier and faster than the Phobos, ancient and forgotten data-looms describe the Proteus as a forward assault vehicle, commonly fielded in Explorator missions during the dawning days of Mankind’s fledgling galactic empire. Complete resin kit, model designed by Phil Stutcinskas.
Given the rarity of the Contemptor-pattern chassis, it is not uncommon for those Chapters blessed enough to count these ancient war machines amongst their arsenal to embellish their armoured sarcophagus with scripture, honour scrolls and additional details to commemorate the heroism and indomitable valour of the Ancient enshrined within. Complete resin kit, model designed by Simon Egan and Will Hayes.
Mechanicus tech-savants believe that the Land Raider Proteus is a precursor to the Phobos pattern vehicle now found amongst the armouriums of the Adeptus Astartes. Bulkier and faster than the Phobos, ancient and forgotten data-looms describe the Proteus as a forward assault vehicle, commonly fielded in Explorator missions during the dawning days of Mankind’s fledgling galactic empire. Complete resin kit, model designed by Phil Stutcinskas.
Given the rarity of the Contemptor-pattern chassis, it is not uncommon for those Chapters blessed enough to count these ancient war machines amongst their arsenal to embellish their armoured sarcophagus with scripture, honour scrolls and additional details to commemorate the heroism and indomitable valour of the Ancient enshrined within. Complete resin kit, model designed by Simon Egan and Will Hayes.
Please remember the codex isnt out yet so please take with a dose of salt still
Modells of the first Wave:
Necron Catacomb Command/Annihilation Barge
Necron Doomsday/Ghost Barge
Imotekh the Stormlord
Trazyn, the Infinite
Necron Lord and Resurrection Orb
Necron Lord with Warscythe
So these are the missing models of the first wave (not counting characters):
Night Scythe/Doom Scythe: flyer/skimmer !
Triarch Stalker Giant scorpion walker
Canoptek Wraiths (possibly new)
Tomb Blades: Jetbikes
Destroyers/Heavy Destroyers/Destroyer Lord (not redone for quite some time according to Bramgaunt)
Tomb Spyders: flying and more nimble.
So two more flyers added to the list since January 2009.
Here official texts and prices .
Codex Necrons 26 € / 33$
Necron Catacomb Command/Annihilation Barge - Multi-part plastic kit £20.50 / 26 € / 33$
The Necron Catacomb Command Barge - a floating Throne from which your Overlord can give command to his troops. This kit may also be used to make the Annihilation Barge, and the Overlord model may be used as a standalone figure.
Necron Doomsday/Ghost Barge - Multi-part plastic kit £31.00 / 39 € / 49.50$
Used to transport the mighty Necron Warriors into battle, the Ghost Barge packs a mighty punch. Alternatively, this boxed set also allows the option to field the Doomsday Barge - the gunship of the Necron arsenal.
Imotekh the Stormlord - Finecast £10.50 / 15 €
A legend among the stars, Imotekh has faced a thousand foes and survived - each time growing stronger and more determined.
Trazyn, the Infinite - Finecast £10.50 / 15 €
Deemed - by his enemies, as impossible to kill... and described by his peers as Immortal, Trazyn the Infinite is legendary among the stars. Having served in countless offensives, and survived a thousand wars, he stands testament to the stubbornness of his kind.
Necron Overlord - Finecast £10.50 / 15 €
The Necron Overlord is the soulless overseer of the relentless and unstoppable Necron advance - surrounded by a horde of his skeletal, robotic troops, the Overlord is unstoppable. (this is the dynamic left model, the other one is the plastic overlord from the command barge)
Necron Cryptec - Finecast 12.50 €
Necron Deathmarks - Multi-part plastic kit £20.50 / 26€ / 33$ (combi kit including Immortals)
Armed with superior guns, Necron Deathmasks are the sharp-shooters of the mysterious skeletal race. Box of 5.
Necron Immortals - Multi-part plastic kit £20.50 / 26€ / 33$ (combi kit including Deathmarks)
Necron Immortals are the Heavy Infantry of the Necron army. Armed with more powerful Gauss weapons then their Warrior brethren, the Immortals are a wise investment for those looking to dominate the universe. Box of 5.
Necron Lychguard - Multi-part plastic kit £20.50 / 26€ / 33$ (combi kit including Praetorians)
The Lychguard are elite, ancient Necron Warriors - armed with superior weaponry to their skeletal brethryn - the lethal double-handed Warscythes, or Hyperphase and Void Shields. Box of 5.
Necron Triarch Praetorians - Multi-part plastic kit £20.50 / 26€ / 33$ (combi kit including Lychguard)
Elite, Ancient skeletal warriors, Triarch Praetorians are practically unstoppable at the head of a Necron assault - armed with either Particle Casters and Void Blades, or Covenant Rods. Box of 5.
Necron Flayed Ones - Multi-part Finecast kit 35 €
Necron Flayed ones are a horrifying unit- with claws so sharp they could rip a Space Marine apart with ease, the Flayed ones lay the still warm flesh of their defeated enemy over their metallic bodies to further discourage the enemy. Box of 5.
Okay, I've cleaned up my original summary and combined all of the rumors I've leaked so far into a single master summary. If you've been keeping up, then almost all of this should be old news to you, but for those of you confused by the myriad of updates, this should be an easy to way to get it all at once. Oh, and there are a few nuggets in there you may not have seen already as well as a few corrections of stuff I realized I got a bit wrong the more I re-read it. Enjoy!
NOTES ON NEW NECRON FLUFF
There is a dramatic change in the fluff in this codex from the previous incarnation of the Necrons. The Necrontyr's empire was massive at one point, but the different Lords in the empire started to turn against each other in civil war. To prevent this from happening the overall ruler of the Necrons (the Silent King) started the war against the Old Ones specifically to give them a common enemy to fight against to prevent his empire from destroying itself. Of course, the Old Ones ended up kicking their butts and in desperation, the Silent King found the C'Tan and agreed to the Deceiver's pact without realizing what he was doing. However, after the Necrons helped the C'Tan to kill off the last Old Ones, the Silent King then ordered the Necrons to turn on the C'Tan in vengeance and utterly destroyed the C'Tan into tiny shards. This war agains the C'Tan weakened the Necrons overall so much they decided to go into stasis to avoid the vengeance of the Eldar (the C'Tan had killed the Old Ones, but not all their children).
Now that the Necrons have reawakened in the 41st millennium, their goal is no longer to 'harvest' souls for the C'Tan (the C'Tan shards are now their slaves) as it was in the old book, but rather to reestablish the great Necron empire that spanned the galaxy before the war with the Old Ones began. However, the overall hierarchy of the Necron people is gone for the most part, leaving each individual Empire to once again rule for itself. This means each Tomb World (or cluster of Necron worlds) is essentially a separate little empire to itself, with a full backstory and idiosyncrasies. While Necron warriors are pretty much just automatons and Immortals not too much better, every other higher Necron being is now much more like an actual person, as their essence is simply trapped inside a metal body.
So there is lots of crazy nuance to Necron culture that was never present before. The codex now has plenty of 'quote' boxes featuring memorable quotes from Necron Lords like other races have in their books. There are some Necron Lords who honor valor in battle, there are a few Necron Lords who trade with other races, and although an uneasy alliance apparently, yes Necrons and Blood Angels did end up fighting against a Tyranid Hive Fleet together. Oh, and there is definitely plenty of reason to have Necron vs. Necron action now (as the old feuds between competing Necron Lords flare back up again).
All in all, it is a major tonal shift. While part of me recoils from it, the other part of me thinks that Necrons as they were had no distinct 'character' that each player could choose to get behind. Yes, the race as a whole had 'character' in how it was organized and functioned, but there was never any really good reason that a player should have his Necron force painted and modeled 'X' way as opposed to another player with his Necron army looking 'Y' way. People certainly painted their Necrons in different (neat) ways, but there was never really any good fluff giving players inspiration to do so.
The only real 'personality' in the old book was the Deceiver, and that frankly wasn't the Necrons, it was their god. The mindless mission that all Necrons were on was basically really similar to Tyranids...the Necrons were coming to harvest every living thing in the galaxy (yawn).
This new incarnation, love it or hate it, gives the Necrons a whole wide array of personality and every single empire has different goals and motives (not to mention paint schemes, markings, etc). Some Necron Lords are obsessed with finding the perfect flesh bodies to transfer their sentience back into. One Necron Tomb World was damaged during the great sleep and erased all the Necron sentience and has started basically commanding its Necrons like true robots (and is actively attacking other Necron worlds to take them over and keep growing), and there are of course dozens more little stories. The Silent King, who put himself into exile (for his unforgivable crime against his people) by leaving the galaxy after defeating the C'Tan encountered the Tyranids in the void between galaxies and has returned to spur the Necrons into action against the Tyranids (realizing that if the Tyranids wipe the galaxy clean of biological matter, then the Necrons will never find a form to transfer their minds back into).
Oh, and the biggest rival of the Necrons is now actually the Altaoic (sp?) Craftworld. Apparently they are the only Eldar who stayed true on the original path to seek out and destroy Necron Tomb Worlds while the rest of the Eldar got all caught up and destroyed in their decadence and then the Fall. Altaoic rangers have traveled the galaxy far and wide over the millennia (ever since the Necrons went to sleep) to track down and destroy or hamper Tomb Worlds from reawakening.
So with this new direction there is now tons of different possibilities for players to make Necrons forces different from each other and there are neat new takes on 'nemesis' races like Eldar & Tyranids to drive gaming plots as well as good reason for Necron on Necron battles.
And as for totally destroying the background of the C'Tan, the codex does allude to the fact that there are lots of unaccounted for C'Tan shards still allegedly cast around the galaxy. The Necron are always trying to hunt them down and imprison them (in pocket dimension prisons), but this does still leave the door totally wide open for a shard of 'The Dragon' to be on Mars and for shards of 'The Deceiver' to have done all the crazy things that's been written about him in novels. Essentially, the full power C'Tan were massively, massively powerful, and the 'shard' versions of them are closer to the idea of what we had in the last codex anyway (something that can be killed/banished on a battlefield).
So while it is a little shocking to have such a massive fluff change hit, I do think it is probably the right way forward to create a more fully realized faction. But I do think it is probably going to be a massive turn-off to those players who absolutely adored the old fluff for the army.
Regarding the previous fluff saying that Necrons went into hibernation due to a massive 'Enslavers' invasion, in the new fluff they only really briefly mention that the wars unleashed some nasty things from the Warp, but they literally do not mention the Enslavers anymore. It is very clear that the Eldar empire is the main reason they go into hibernation, having some sort of premonition that the Eldar can and will eventually crumble as all living beings and empires do.
It was a fairly solid plan, except a lot can go wrong when you're sleeping for 60 million years, and apparently billions of Necrons have been killed by simple, normal shifts in the galaxy in that time (stars going supernova, tectonics crushing tombs, etc)...but what they didn't predict was how poorly they'd all awake from the sleep. All Necrons were supposed to wake up at once, but that didn't happen. Some Necrons woke up during all periods of history (including the Horus Heresy) and many still haven't woken up. And in some cases those that wake up have suffered terrible afflictions (like the Flayer disease).
Since there are any number of strange and undocumented Tomb Worlds now, there is totally space for you to come up with whatever backstory and motivations you want for your personal Tomb World, much like every other codex allows players. Of course, there are also dozens of tiny little story snippets (as there are in every new codex) that give you plenty of inspiration to create and play armies as well. For example, say you really like the whole 'automaton' feeling the army had in the old codex. Well, in the codex they have a story telling of one Tomb World that during hibernation accidentally erased all the sentience from the sleeping Necrons and decided to 'take them over' and has since decided this is the way forward for the Necron race and is actively attacking other Necron Tomb Worlds to collect more bodies for the cause. Basically the only sentient brain in that whole army is the Tomb World itself (it even has given itself a name). So you could definitely use this backstory as 'your' Necron force and stick with more of a simple, robotic feel to your army.
Bits of the fluff talk about other races & systems paying 'tribute' to the Necrons...here's my speculation based on what I read:
Necrons have always felt like they got the short end of the stick. When they were Necrontyr, they had a crappy planet and that drove them to invent technology and get the hell off their planet...but they still wanted to prove they were the best so they set about trying to creat the greatest galactic empire. And they did...but then as always happens, their empire started to creak and moan, so the war against the Old Ones started with naturally the belief that the Necrontyr would destroy the Old Ones and emerge even greater than before, the true heirs to the galaxy. And in fact they hated the Old Ones if for no other reason than because they had the secret for immortality (what the Necrontyr wanted more than anything) but wouldn't share it. And once the war started, naturally the Necrontyr couldn't beat the Old Ones despite their superior technology, as the Old Ones had access to the Webway which meant they could escape anytime they needed.
So eventually the Old Ones (and the races they created) were kicking the crap out of the Necrontyr. And so in the frustration of again getting the short end of the stick, they made the pact wit the Deceiver and sold their souls for immortality and power. But again, they felt shafted because they had essentially been tricked into doing this. So after the C'Tan had killed the Old Ones, they again wanted to take their rightful place as rules of the galaxy but they knew that would never happen as long as they were slaves to the C'Tan, so they turned on them as this is the only way they'd ever be free.
But of course that battle against the C'Tan did tremendous damage to them and thus they decided to use their immortality to 'outlast' the Eldar empire (which they did).
So now that they're back awake (mostly), although they've lost their main command structure as a people that sort of drove them forward towards any single goal, I think their goal is still to do what they always wanted...to rule the galaxy, to be the supreme beings. And this isn't exactly the same as humans, who basically want to eradicate all Xenos and populate all the planets themselves. Necrons more than anything (I think) want to be in control. They want to be worshipped by others. They finally want to get their due as being the rulers. So while they most certainly plan to destroy any force that gets in their way, I also get the distinct feeling from the new fluff that (with at least some of the Lords) they are perfectly okay with leaving existing planets/systems under alien control, as long as those people pay them tribute. Even though I have a hard time imagining what tribute the Necrons would really need (being robots and all), I don't think that's the point. The point is that the other races are paying them fealty and recognizing the mastery of the Necrons, which is precisely what they've always wanted.
NECRON ARMY-WIDE SPECIAL RULES
• We'll Be Back from the previous codex has been replaced by Reanimation Protocols (sorry I keep accidentally calling it Resurrection Protocols in some of these teasers). It now works at the end of each phase, but only on a 5+. You now remove models and place a token or marker next to the unit to remind you how many rolls to make (although you could just use the downed models as markers, but the important thing is you know that these markers don't affect gameplay at all). The rules are very clear about when/how models that return to play via RP are placed and if the entire unit is wiped out then the unit is gone and no RP rolls can be taken. Similarly, if the only model left in the unit is a character (such as a joined IC or a Cryptek/Lord) then these models alone are not sufficient to allow the other models to attempt their RP rolls. Nearly every non-vehicle unit in the game benefits from RP (as opposed to the old WBB, which only worked for 'Necrons'), except for the C'Tan shards.
Reanimation Protocols returns the model to play with a single wound unless they have a Phylactery in which case they come back (the first time they get back up) with D3 wounds.
• Ever-Living. This is basically just an additional Reanimation Protocol rule that characters have to describe how they're placed back on the table. Only characters (including basic Lords & Crypteks) have this rule, no squads do. The only real thing to note about it is that if the model wasn't joined to a unit when it went down, then if it returns to play it must be placed within 3" of the spot it fell. So characters are the only models it really matters where their 'marker' is placed when they are removed. So in some situations, such as an enemy unit killing a character with Ever-Living in CC and then consolidating on top of his marker, it would be entirely possible to prevent him from returning to play (as they can't if you are unable to place them within 3" of the spot they went down).
• Entropic Strike. This is mainly a Scarab rule, but it also applies to a few close combat weapons in the army as well. Basically if a model suffers an unsaved wound from an Entropic weapon then it has it armor save immediately changed to '-'. Obviously this would only apply to multi-wound models as any other type of model would be dead if it suffered an unsaved wound (ignoring the argument about whether a wound stopped by 'Feel No Pain' still counts as an unsaved Wound or not). Against vehicles, for each hit by this weapon type means at the end of the phase you roll a D6 and on a 4+ the vehicle's armor value is reduced by '1' on all facings. If a vehicle is reduced to '0' on any facing then it becomes wrecked immediately.
• Living-Metal. Not just for the Monolith anymore! Many vehicles in the codex have this and it basically allows the vehicle to ignore a Shaken result on a 2+ and a Stunned result on a 4+. These rolls are made immediately when the vehicle is damaged so this is nowhere near as good as the Grey Knights ability to remove Shaken/Stunned results.
• Phase out is gone (good riddance, I say ).
• There doesn't appear to be any Force Org shifting around in this codex at all unlike most other recent codexes (so taking any special character doesn't allow you to take a unit in a different section of the Force Org chart at all).
NECRON ARMY-WIDE WEAPON NOTES
• Gauss Weaponry does NOT have rending. It retains the 'auto-glance' on a penetration roll of a '6' rule, but has otherwise has lost the 'auto-wound' on a roll of a '6' regardless of Toughness that it used to have. The Gauss Cannon is now apparently Assault 2 & AP3 (I'm assuming the Strength is still 6).
• Telsa Weapons. With these weapons for every '6' rolled to hit the 'target suffers 2 additional automatic hits'. Whether or not that means the target suffers 2 or 3 hits in this case is a bit ambiguous, but I think the word 'additional' means that its actually 3 (one for the original hit for rolling the '6' to hit and then another additional two for a grand total of 3). The big daddy version of this weapon found on a lot of the heavier vehicles is the Tesla Destructor (and is almost always twin-linked to really maximize the chance to get those extra '6's to hit). All Tesla weapons are 24" and AP '-', but the Destructor is S7, Assault 4 and 'Arc' (which means you roll a D6 each unit, friendly and enemy, within 6" of your target and on a '6' they are struck with D6 S5 AP- hits as well). While the AP '-' keeps this weapon from being a premiere light vehicle killer, I think with all the potential S7 shots this can theoretically kick out, it still going to be pretty good at zapping vehicles.
The weapons go in order from lightest to heaviest as: Tesla Carbine -> Cannon -> Destructor.
• Particle Weapons. These are basically the blast weapons of the Necron army (with the exception of the pistol variant) with no special rules. They all have a pretty high Strength and a mid-range AP.
The weapons go in order from lightest to heaviest as: Particle Caster (pistol) -> Beamer -> Shredder -> Whip.
• There aren't any weapons that ignore invulnerable saves in the codex either...however there are quite a few little special abilities scattered about that simply remove models from play if they fail a certain kind of test, which does effectively ignore invulnerable saves (and any other kind of save too).
OVERALL ARMY ORGANIZATION
• Imotekh the Stormlord (Lord of the Sau): The most powerful Necron Overlord currently. A master strategist whose nemesis is the Orks (since their random nature is the only thing that can accidentally disrupt his flawless plans).
The Stormlord has a special rule that makes the first turn of the game be night fighting no matter what the mission and he can try to extend the rule into further turns by rolling higher than the current turn number on a D6...in addition, while the Night Fighting rules are in effect at the start of the Necron Shooting phase you roll a D6 for each unengaged enemy unit and on a roll of '6' suffer D6 S8 AP5 hits (as they are hit by lightning strikes). Vehicles get hit on their side armor.
And as a nice combo to this there is a Cryptek ability called 'solar pulse' which allows (once per game) at the start of any turn (friend or foe) for the Night Fighting rules to be cancelled for that turn (or apply if the Night Fighting rules weren't in effect when the pulse was launched...although Night Fighting created by a Solar Pulse does not generate Lightning Strikes against enemy units).
So I could see an army based around this using Night Fight (with Lighting Strikes, of course), and then any turn they REALLY need to shoot, you can use the Solar Pulse to cancel out the Night Fighting effects on your own turn, which still leaves them affecting enemy shooting on their turn! Seems like it could be quite nasty indeed! Oh, and he can try to seize the Initiative on a 4+ except against Orks (who confound his logic). But of course, he is also over 200 points naturally...basically the big uber-Ghazghkull style guy in the codex.
(There is much more info on him in the next separate quote, as it would compromise the readability of this list)
• Nemesor Zahndrekh & his loyal bodyguard Vargard Obryon: This is a Lord whose mind was damaged during hibernation and he still thinks he's fighting the wars of secession against his fellow Necrontyr (not even realizing he is a Necron now).
Therefore, he still practices honor and valor towards his enemies and tries to capture opposing generals instead of kill them. He would also never use Deathmarks, Wraiths, etc, as these are not honorable (assassins). Of course, they also say his subordinates have no such compunctions, so it explains how you can still have these units in an army with him.
Even though most of his subordinates would like to see him removed because he's obviously crazy, he is still a military genius and he still has a bunch of loyal followers as well, including his long-standing bodyguard Obyron, who takes care to clean up whatever messes Zahndrekh's delusions get them into (like he always arranges for enemy prisoners to be executed while 'trying to escape' for example).
Zahndrekh has the gear to give himself a 2+/3+ save (which generic Overlords can do as well if they take the same gear). He also has a Rez Orb, Particle Caster (pistol) and Void Blade (Rending & Entropic).
His special rules are all based around his tactical acumen and they allow him at the start of each Necron turn to pick a friendly unit and give them a special rule: Counter-Attack, Furious Charge, Hit and Run, Acute Senses, Stealth or Tank Hunters (which they get until the start of their next turn).
He ALSO gets to pick one enemy unit on the table within his line of sight to lose ALL of those special rules listed above until the start of the next Necron turn.
When he is on the battlefield, any number of Necron units in reserve waiting to Deep Strike may choose to enter play immediately after any enemy unit arrives from Reserves. In other words, basically the same ability the Deathmarks have.
Vargard Obyron does not take up a HQ slot if in the same army as Zahndrekh. He has an uncharacteristic WS6 (as well as a 2+ save) along with a Warscythe.
He also has the Ghostwalk Mantle, which is a Veild of Darkness that can be used to pull his unit out of close combat (leaving the enemy to consolidate immediately), and if he choose to arrive within 6" of Zahndrekh, he does not scatter. Furthermore, if Zahndrekh's unit is ever assaulted and Obyron is not part of that combat, then he immediately teleports into the combat, leaving whatever unit he is in, even if he is already fighting combat or embarked in a vehicle.
Finally, he has a special rule that means he keeps track of any misses enemies roll against him in CC (not counting those that are successfully re-rolled). Each 'miss' that occurs before he swings in combat gives him a bonus extra attack that round of combat, up to a maximum of 6.
These guys are not cheap (although at least individually still not as expensive as the Stormlord), but they've certainly got some interesting potential.
• Illuminor Szeras: His fluff says that while the C'Tan provided the knowledge for the bio-transference of the Necrontyr race into Necrons, it was Szeras that actually made it a reality. He saw it as just one step towards the ultimate evolution into gods of pure energy (I guess what he saw the C'Tan as and wanted to be that).
So even today he continues his tireless studies into understanding all facets of life, presumably seeking the elusive secret that would allow him to become a 'god' in his eyes.
To do this, apparently he feels he needs to test on living beings, so he's constantly needing fresh subjects culled from invasions. Through his research he has come up with some the greatest advancements in technology for the Necrons, so his services are much sought after.
He is a Cryptek special character, so has a much more less powerful statline then the other special characters that are essentially super-Necron Orverlords. Despite being a 'Cryptek' in the fluff, he's still just a regular HQ choice (and you can't take a Royal Court for him because he isn't an Overlord).
For Wargear, he has an Eldrtich Lance and Gaze of Flame (Assault and Defensive Grenades for him and his unit).
His one unique special rule is that he upgrades a single Warrior or Immmortal unit with a random upgrade (you roll a D3 to see which ability gets picked...I mistakenly reported earlier that he upgraded D3 units, but that actually isn't the case. He only upgrades one unit)
The upgrades are: T5, BS5 or S5.
Definitely one of the more ho-hum named characters from a gameplay perspective, but he's also the cheapest by far, although the fact that you can't take a Royal Court for him does seem to make his uses even as a cheap HQ choice likely questionable.
• Orikan the Diviner: His fluff is that he is the master 'astromancer' in the Necron race and is roughly equivalent to what Eldrad is to the Eldar (although I think Eldrad is superior to him in terms of future predictions).
Since Orikan knows so much about the future, he tends to treat other Necrons with scorn and disdain and this has made him less than popular and many would like to see him destroyed. Unfortunately, his skills are fare too useful for anyone to actually go through with that.
Unlike a Farseer, it seems as though his ability to predict the future is largely based on sheer calculations of even the smallest minutiae. However, unforeseen events, especially those based around the truly unpredictable nature of the warp can and do confound him. In order to maintain his reputation, he has access to some rare chronomantic abilities, which he uses to actually go backwards in time to change past events slightly to make sure his predictions actually come true.
Of course, every time he does this, naturally all sorts of other terrible unforeseen events also tend to occur based on what he changed in the past, but as long as his prediction came true, he cares little for any other destruction he causes.
Just as with Illuminor Szeras (the other 'Cryptek' named character) he has lesser stats than the Overlord style named characters. He does have a phase shifter though (3++ save).
His weapon is the 'staff of tomorrow' and its basically a staff that hits his opponents an instant before he actually swings it! That means he gets to re-roll 'to hit' and 'to wound' rolls, and it is a power weapon.
He has a special rule called 'Lord of Time' that allows him on one turn (and only one turn) to re-roll all unsuccessful reserve rolls that turn (unsuccessful rolls MUST be rerolled that turn, he doesn't get to choose).
He has another special rule that means all enemy units count as moving through difficult terrain on the first turn and if they are actually moving through difficult terrain then they have to choose the lowest die from the two they roll for difficult terrain. This obviously seems like a good ability to combine with the C'Tan manifestation that makes all difficult terrain count as dangerous!
The last ability he has is called 'The Stars are Right' and basically represents the fact that Orikan has predicted that at some time during the battle the stars will align and he will reclaim a portion of his ancient power (presumably from before when he was a Necontyr). He rolls a D6 at the start of each of his turns and if the die roll is less than or equal to the turn number then he has ascended to his 'empowered' state and gets a totally new statline that has S/T7, A/W4, etc...suspiciously similar to a C'Tan profile some would say.
Of course, you have to keep rolling at the start of each turn and if you ever roll less than or equal to the turn number again, his power recedes and he drops back down to his old statline (which could mean he instantly dies if he had already suffered more wounds than his 'lesser' profile has on it).
Points-wise, this guy is nowhere near as cheap as Illuminor Szeras, but compared to the rest of the named characters, he is still the cheapest.
• Anrakyr the Traveller: A Necron Lord whose goal is to unite the Necron Empires again. He travels to Tomb Worlds still sleeping and kills the 'lesser' inhabitants that may live there unaware they are on a Tomb World, the 'price' for this service is to claim a tithe from the newly awakened legions. Some Necrons see him as a golden crusader others don't want reunification and would rather see him dead.
He has a special rule that allows the Necron player to pick an enemy vehicle each shooting phase within 18" and on a D6 roll of 3+, the Necron player is able to fire with that vehicle as if it were his (counting as not moving for the shooting attack and ignoring any shaken/stunned results on it)...in other words he 'hacks' into the vehicle and momentarily takes control!
He also has a Tachyon Arrow, which is like a super hunter-killer missile. A one-time use S10 AP1 single shot that has unlimited range (Overlords & Destroyer Lords have the option to take this as well).
I can't imagine too many people ever taking this guy over the Stormlord (although he is 50 pts cheaper), but that ability could just do some crazy things, especially in Apocalypse games where you could shoot with an enemy titan or other super-heavy vehicle!
• Trazyn the Infinite: He is a Necron who woke very early and is fascinated with studying and collecting history. His tomb world is filled with secret trinkets including (I quote) 'a giant of a man clad in baroque power armor' (start your wild theories here!). He even will attack other Necron tomb worlds to capture artifacts from them that he doesn't think they deserve.
He has a special weapon whose affect happens after a round of combat in which he has killed an enemy and after all blows have been struck on both sides. Given that this is not a power weapon (and he just has 3 Attacks), it is not a sure thing that he will kill anybody in combat!
But if he does, roll a D6 for every model (friend or enemy) that has the same name on their characteristic profile as one of the models that he killed that turn. On a 4+ those models take a wound (armor/inv saves can be taken as normal).
Example: If the he kills an Ork Boy in close combat, roll for all other Boyz in the same combat, and on a 4+ those models suffer a wound, but NOT the nob (as he has a different name on his profile). It would seem that if he was fighting against another Necron player, then this rule has the potential to hurt his own forces if the same type of units were facing off; if he was attached to a unit of warriors that was fighting against an enemy unit of warriors, for example.
He is also a scoring unit (because in reality when he's 'claiming' an objective he's really seeking to claim a hidden Necron artifact nearby, it says).
Also, anytime he is removed as a casualty, roll a D6. On a 1, he is removed as normal (but would still get a chance to use Reanimation Protocols as usual I presume as he has that special rule too), but on a 2+ you randomly choose another model from all the friendly Lychguards, Crypteks, Necron Lords and Overlords on the table (not counting named versions of those) and remove that model and replace it with Trazyn, who counts as returning to play with the same amount of wounds the model he replaces had. And it even specifies that he only gives out Kill Points when he doesn't return this way.
He also has Mindshackle Scarabs (which is a piece of wargear that other character-type models in the army have access to). These allow the bearer to randomly pick one enemy model in base contact before any attacks are made in CC that turn. That model must pass a Ld test on 3D6. If it fails the test, it instead does D3 attacks on its own unit using the weapons/special rules of the Necron player's choice (if the model has different weapons or kinds of attacks).
So while not a powerhouse or a character that boosts the ability of your army, he is a HQ that is a scoring unit which can give you a few different tactical options.
• Necron Overlord: Generic DIY Necron Overlord (guy who rules a Tomb World) with plenty of options. Can ride on a Catacomb Command Barge (which is a one man transport) as can all the named 'Lords' above, but not those that are Crypteks in their fluff (Illuminor Szeras & Orikan the Diviner).
• Destroyer Lord: Basically the same as an Overlord but with Preferred Eenemy against everything (Destroyers now hate everybody). Has a few less wargear options as well, but can still take a Rez Orb (for example).
• Royal Court: 0-5 regular Necron Lords (lieutenants to the Overlords) as well as 0-5 Crypteks. Crypteks are masters of Necron technology, whose abilities sometimes appear like sorcery to other races, but they do not have any psychic powers...all their abilities do not require a psychic test or anything like that (nor are they ever referred to as psychic powers in any way). Any member of the Court (Lord or Cryptek) can be split off at the start of the game to lead a unit of Warriors, Immortals, Lychguard or Deathmarks (but only one per unit).
The Royal Court does not take up a HQ slot but may only be taken one per each Overlord (including the named ones) you take in the army.
Crypteks vs. (basic) Lords in the 'Royal Court': both have more like squad leader stats then character stats (1 wound each for example) with both of their base points are in the exact same range as an IG Commissar, for example. However, all of the upgrades for these guys clock in the 5 to 45 point range (each option) with probably a 15 point median for their gear, so you can imagine that these guys will very quickly eat up your points if you give them many (or any) upgrades.
The Lords have access to 4 Weapon upgrade options (Warschythe, Gauntlet of Fire, Hyperphase Sword & Voidblade) and 5 wargear-esque options (Sempirternal Weave, Mindshackle Scarabs, Tesseract Labyrinth, Ressurection Orb & Phase Shifter). Of all those weapons and upgrades only the Rez Orb benefits the unit. The rest of the upgrades just give the Lord extra benefits in combat or armor save.
So really, if you're looking to make the Lord improve a unit by leading it, besides adding some CC punch to the unit your only real choice is the Rez Orb and the Rez Orb is on the high end of the points scale for their wargear so it isn't exactly a steal to get a Rez Orb into a unit (which for those who aren't keeping up boosts that unit's, and only that unit's, Reanimation Protocols to a 4+).
Crypteks can be taken plain jane if you wanted (with only a Staff of Light), but if you want to upgrade them at all, then you have to select a 'discipline' that they follow. There are five disciplines to pick from and each one costs some amount of points to take, with the only benefit being that you get an upgraded weapon instead of the staff of light that fits into that discipline's role (all but one of these upgraded weapons are improved shooting attacks).
The 5 Disciplines are: Harbinger of Destruction (described as 'plasmancers', weapon is Eldritch Lance, wargear choices are Gaze of Flame & Solar Pulse), Harbinger of Eternity (able to read the future, weapon is Aeonstave, weargear choices are Chronometron & Timesplinter Cloak), Harbinger of Transmogrification (described as 'geomancers', weapon is Tremorstave, options are Seismic Crucicble & Harp of Dissonance), Harbringer of the Storm (described as 'ethermancers', weapon is Voltaic Staff, options are Ether Crystal & Lightning Field) & Harbringer of Despair (described as 'psychomancers', weapon is Abyssal Staff, options are Nightmare Shroud & Veil of Darkness).
Now, once you've chosen a discipline to upgrade to, you're allowed to give the Cryptek one (or both) of the listed wargear options. HOWEVER, the rules state that 'each of the wargear options can only be chosen once in each Royal Court'. So the only way you're going to get more than one Veil of Death (for example) is to take a second Royal Court and even then you're only getting a second one. So it does not look like you will be able to spam these items (and just FYI, the Veil of Darkness definitely does not allow units to be pulled out of combat).
Although there are some exceptions, for the most part these wargear options tend to benefit the unit they're leading, or affect enemy units that are trying to do something to the unit. Like giving the unit assault and defensive grenades (Gaze of Flame), you already know about Solar Pulse if you've been reading my posts closely, causing damage on enemy units Deep Striking near or assaulting that Necron unit (Ether Crystal & Lightning Field respectively), reducing one enemy unit's assault move against that Necron unit by D3" (Seismic Crucible), etc. And all of the upgraded Cryptek weapons are ranged weapons.
So in general I think the basic Lord is what you take if you're trying to give the Royal Court some CC punch (or give a unit some CC punch)...besides the obvious Rez Orb choice, of course! Instead, if you're wanting to upgrade your unit to have some unique abilities and a specialty shooting weapon in it, then the Cryptek is the way to go.
As for Cryptek anti-tank shooting, the Eldritch Lance is 36" range S8 AP2, Assault 1, The Voltaic Staff is a 12" Assault 4 attack that hits like Haywire Grenades on vehicles (2-5 = glancing hit, 6 = penetrating hit), while the Harp of Dissonance is a S6 single shot with unlimited range that is an Entropic attack (so will reduce enemy vehicle armor by 1 if it hits).
Neither Lords nor Crypteks are ICs.
• Night Scythe: Fast, skimmer (not open-topped). A variant of the Doom Scythe fighter that is a 15 model flyer transport with the 'supersonic' 36" flat-out move that the new flyers (that are really skimmers) have. Can carry jump infantry models (taking up 2 spots each) and fire all its weapons even when moving at cruising speed. Has living metal (chance to ignore crew shaken & stunned) but not quantum shielding (which gives +2 armor until the vehicle suffers its first glancing or penetrating hit). AV 11/11/11 like most Necron vehicles. Has a Twin-linked Tesla Destructor as its weapon.
The transport is done by a wormhole gateway on the underside, the only access point. If the Night Scythe is destroyed, the embarked unit is not deployed, but instead goes back into reserves to arrive normally (i.e. it can't deep strike even if the unit has that rule). This can suck pretty bad for an expensive unit to suddenly get sucked back into Reserves, but remember as long as you have at least one Monolith in your force, you can use its Portal to pull that unit out of Reserves at the start of your next movement phase, so it isn't all that bad!
• Ghost Ark: Open-topped, non-fast skimmer. 10 model transport (It can only carry Necron Warriors, Lords, Overlords, Crypteks and Special Characters), AV11 with quantum shielding and living metal. Also is able to regenerate D3 Warrior models to one unit within 6" each Necron movement phase (but cannot take the unit above its starting size). Has a Gauss Flayer array (5 Flayers) on each side is allowed to fire at different enemy targets. Not entirely clear whether a weapon destroyed takes out a whole array or not, but I'm leaning towards yes.
• Catacomb Command Barge: Open-topped fast skimmer that is a one-man vehicle for most ICs. AV11 with quantum shielding & living metal. Also the character can lose wounds to negate immobilized or weapon destroyed results. Also has a Tesla Cannon (which can be upgraded to a Gauss Cannon). Can make 3 sweep attacks over a single enemy unit it passes over when it moves (vehicles are hit on their back armor). These attacks hit on a 3+ at combat speed, 4+ otherwise. On a to hit roll of '6' you choose which model in the unit his hit by the attack.
When you combine this Sweep Attack with the S7 attacks most ICs have with a Warscythe (for example), this could potentially be a bit nasty.
• Deathmarks: 24" range rapid-fire AP 5 sniper unit that can choose to Deep Strike in immediately after any enemy unit arrives from Reserves (which just allows the enemy to fire at them first?)...teleporting in from a pocket dimension to target their prey. They can also mark a single unit as their 'target' which allows them to roll to wound on a 2+. Beautiful models from the pics leaked, but at the point cost listed I can't see them ever being used except to see those great models on the table. 5-10 in a unit and can be transported on a Night Scythe.
• Lychguard: Traditionally these have been the bodyguards for the Overlords. 5-10 in a unit. Come standard with Warscythes (+2 Strength Power weapon...there is no built-in shooting weapon on the Warscythe anymore) and can replace them with Hyperphase swords (power weapon) and Dispersion Shields (gives them a 4+ invuln and when passed, reflects wounds caused by shooting onto any enemy unit within 6". They can be transported on a Night Scythe. 40 pts per model.
• Triarch Ptaetorians: These used to be effectively the 'police' (my term) of the main Necron ruler (the last of which was the Silent King) to help enforce his will onto the Lords of the Empire. They are known to respect great warriors and honor valor and have sometimes ordered Necron Overlords to stop attacking a foe they deemed worthy of respect (much to the Lord's chagrin). 5-10 in a unit. They are Jump Infantry with a 6" AP2 S5 weapon that is also a power weapon. They can swap that out for Void Blades (a weapon with Rending and the same Entriopic ability that Scarabs have) and Particle Casters (a pistol weapon). No transport option. 40 pts per model.
• C'Tan Shard: Fluff-wise, these are shards effectively controlled by the Necron (even though they have most shards locked away in pocket dimensions). Each shard represents only a portion of the power and consciousness of the C'Tan and therefore in battle the C'Tan may not even think to utilize some of its power because the portion of it that knows it has 'X' power simply isn't there. This is essentially what explains why they only have access to 2 special abilities in battle.
Basically, the Necrons know they cannot fully destroy the C'Tan (only shatter them into shards) and are deathly afraid one of them will get their full power back together and take their revenge back on the Necrons for betraying them. So the Necrons are generally hunting down the shards and locking them in inter-dimensional prisons. However they somehow have the ability to force these shards to fight for them (presumably through the Necodermis the shards reside in), although in gameplay terms there are no additional rules to represent that the shard is essentially a prisoner.
1 per FOC slot taken. WS/BS5, S/T7, W/I/A4, Ld10, 4+ Invuln save. Each shard must take 2 of the 11 listed ability choices that basically shape what kind of C'Tan shard you're fielding. No ability can be taken more than once in the army (even if you take 3 C'Tan shards in the army). Also has Eternal Warrior and ignores all terrain penalties. Still explodes D6" when they die.
These abilities each cost a different point value (between 10 & 50 points) are in line with a lot of the things we've seen in the last few codexes, things like: within 6" of the C'Tan counts as dangerous terrain for enemy vehicles & auto-mishap for Deep Strikers, making ALL difficult terrain on the table count as dangerous for the enemy army (you read that right), allowing the Necron player to change some of his deployment, making one enemy model in base contact have to pass an Initiative test or be removed from the table, etc, as well as 3 different flavors of shooting attacks one of which is a S9 AP2 24" anti-tank blast. There are even several powers which are clearly new interpretations of the old powers the Nightbringer and the Deceiver had.
As awesome as some of this suonds, you have to temper that with the fact that shards are nearly 200 points with no options, and once you factor in the two manifestation upgrades, you're talking about a unit that is somewhere between 200-300 points (depending on which two manifestations you take).
Every indication I get from the codex is that you'll just use the existing models to represent C'Tan shards, because if you think about how they're described now, a 'shard' is really much closer to what the old codex's power-level was for a C'Tan.
• Flayed Ones: 3 Attacks base (and no additional CC weapons). Can infiltrate or Deep Strike. No transport options. 5-20 in a unit.
• Triarch Stalker: Concept Sketch shows a Triarch Praetorian sitting in an open-topped cockpit that is riding on a Necron-style giant almost scorpion walker set of legs. Very cool looking IMHO.
1 per FOC slot chosen. Has a variable heat ray (which can be upgraded to a couple of other weapons) that can either be fired as a template or as an Assault 2 S8 24" Heavy2 Melta weapon. Has a Targeting relay which means that any enemy unit hit by the Stalker gets a counter placed by it that allows all other Necron units shooting at the same unit that phase to count as being twin-linked. AV11 & open-topped, but does have Quantum shielding, Living Metal & Move Through Cover. Can upgrade its Heat Ray for a Particle Shredder or twin-linked Heavy Gauss Cannon (both of which cost more points).
• Warriors: You know them, you love them. Described as being basically automatons, with very little (if any) sentience.
5-20 per squad and can be transported on a Ghost Ark or Night Scythe (as long as the squad is small enough to fit into those respective transports.
They have the same basic statline they had before except they now have a 4+ save. Now before you go crazy, also note that their points cost is 12 points, which is a 1/3 price drop (down from 18 points). That means you get 1/3 more Warrior models in the army for the same amount of points...it also makes losing an entire unit due to sweeping advance, not nearly as painful.
I know a lot of cynical people will hate this and accuse GW from simply making the change to sell more Warrior models, and you could be right. But personally I was always hoping they were going to make Necron Warriors not quite as tough and dump the points cost on them, so you could really take a ton of them...given in my mind they are supposed to be more like a shambling horde of undead robots than some sort of small elite force of super-warriors (but that could just be me).
So this change alone totally changes the army from out of the 'MEQ' umbrella and makes their base statline unique in the game (which is good, IMHO).
• Immortals: Immortals are said to have the ability to at least speak, but still aren't too much brighter than Warriors. These were Elite warriors of the Necrontyr before the conversion (not sure who the rank and file troops were if the Warriors were the non-combatants and the Immortals were the Elite soldiers?).
5-10 per unit. Immortals have lost their T5 (down to T4), but keep their 3+ save. However, their points cost has dropped to 17 pts a model, which is an 11 point drop (more than 1/3 a drop from the previous cost of 28 pts)! Can exchange their Gauss Blasters (which are now a rapid fire weapon) for Tesla Carbines (24" S5 Assault1, 'Tesla') Can be transported on a Night Scythe.
• Canoptek Wraiths: Protectors of the Tombs while the hosts slumber.
1-6 in a unit. Jump Infantry who ignore terrain (don't take tests). Still have a 3+ invulnerable save and 3A base with Rending. 2 Wounds, but only I2. All models can take one of a few different upgrades including a Whip Coil (nearly identical to a Tyranid Lash Whip), particle caster (pistol) or a Exile Beamer (12" ranged heavy weapon that kills a randomly chosen model in the target unit unless it passes a Strength test). Roughly the same amount of points they used to be.
• Canoptek Scarabs: Scarabs are only a few more points then they used to be. 3-10 in a unit. They are now Fearless Swarms, have Entropic Strike as well as getting Reanimation Protocols. They are also beasts now. I can see this unit being spammed in a lot of armies because it can literally tear apart any vehicle if enough of them get into combat with it. Basically any vehicle that didn't move the previous turn that finds itself within charge range of a full Scarab squad is absolutely dead (since they have 3 Attaks, 4 on the charge and each hit reduces the vehicle's armor by 1 on a 4+)!
And even if they don't manage to wipe out a vehicle with their attacks (say they get unlucky or the swarm has been whittled down), then you're still looking at a vehicle with severely weakened armor that can then likely be taken out by any shooting unit in your army in a following shooting phase.
• Tomb Blades: Jet Bikes. From the artwork, these look like Necron warriors fused into a flying crescent throne carrying a weapon harness in their arms that is base twin-linked Tesla Carbines. The fluff says that they are pre-programmed with a bunch of different flight patterns and vectors that the onboard Warrior chooses from on the fly. this mitigates the fact that a Warrior has poor coordination, but since the programs are so advanced, in reality they act basically like any other similar unit in an enemy army despite the fact that their 'pilots' are much slower to react.
1-5 in a unit. The entire unit can upgrade their weapons (Twin-linked Tesla Carbine) to a couple different choices (twin-linked Gauss Blaster or Particle Beamer). The entire unit can take any of the 3 options: Nebuloscope (increases BS to 5), Shield Vanes (increased armor save to 3+) & Shadowloom (Stealth).
• Destroyers: New fluff that says Destroyers are infected with some kind of degenerative virus that causes their sole purpose in life to be to kill their enemies. As such they hate everyone and have the Preferred Enemy special rule against everyone (as do Destroyer Lords).
First the good news: Destroyers have gone down in price like a lot of the units that were previously in the codex. The bad news is that you can only have 1-3 in a unit (yes you read that right). They are Jump Infantry now. Any model in the unit can upgrade to a Heavy Destroyer (nearly doubling its points cost)...so there is no longer a separate unit for Heavy Destroyers you just choose to upgrade some or all of them within the existing Destroyer unit. The Gauss Cannon and Heavy Gauss Cannon are now Assault weapons (to correspond with Destroyers now being JI). The Gauss Cannon has had its AP improved to 3, but lost one shot (down to 2). The Heavy Gauss Cannon is effectively the same (except for being an Assault weapon).
And let's not forget, before Destroyers tended to be the only mid to long-ranged threat in the army. That doesn't have to be the case anymore so I'm guessing that it won't be quite as big a problem to have the smaller units as it would have been fielding them at that size with the old codex.
• Doomsday Ark: Variant of the Ghost Ark transport. One per FOC slot taken. Open-topped, non-fast skimmer, AV11, Quantum Shielding, Living Metal. The Doomsday cannon has two profiles, one for if the vehicle did or didn't move that turn (with the non-moving one being 72" range S9 AP1 Large Blast). The moving profile only has a 24" range and a S7 blast. Basically described as gunboat whose strategy is to hit first and destroy the enemy before they can fire back. Also has the same two Gauss Flux Arrays that the Ghost Ark does, which can be fired at different targets than each other and the Doomsday Cannon.
• Annihilation Barge: Described as anti-infantry support platforms. Variant of the Catacomb Command Barge. One per FOC slot taken. Open-topped, non-fast skimmer, AV11, Quantum Shielding, Living Metal. Has a twin-linked Tesla Destructor & a Tesla Cannon, but can upgrade the cannon to a Gauss Cannon. Not exactly sure why you'd want to do that except for the extra range (36" for the Gauss Cannon as opposed to all Tesla weapons which are 24" range).
• Monolith: One Monolith per FOC slot. It is a skimmer, but also a new vehicle type called 'Heavy' which means the vehicle cannot move faster than combat speed but always counts as stationary when firing.The Gaus Flux Arc on the Monolith no longer automatically hits every unit within range, instead each one fires separately and can hit four different targets (which can be different targets from the rest of its shooting). Each Flux Arc is now just a straight up 3 shot weapon (instead of a random number of hits). Particle whip is now just a straight up S8 AP3 24" large blast. Oh, and if the Monolith is put into Reserves, it must arrive via Deep Strike.
35 Point reduction along with corresponding nerf in invulnerability (were you not expecting that?). Still AV 14 and still has Living Metal (although again that only helps remove Crew Stunned/Shaken now). Can still Deep Strike but no longer has invulnerability from Mishaps. Has 4 Gauss Flux Arcs (which are now just Heavy 3 instead of randomly rolled). The portal can be used to either transport any non-vehicle friendly Necron unit on the table (that isn't engaged in combat) through it or to suck enemy models within 6" to instant death who fail a Strength Test (one or the other can be done each shooting phase). No bonus to reanimation protocols is present when a unit goes through the Portal. The Portal can also be used to pull a unit out of reserves as well (instead of teleporting a unit on the table).
At the end of the day, this is still an AV14 vehicle all around, which is pretty imposing in the current game. Unfortunately all of its weapons are really close range, which means it will also now tend to be in Melta range...
• Doom Scythe: Pure fighter variant of the Night Scythe. One per FOC slot taken. Non-open topped fast skimmer. AV11 with Living Metal (but no Quantum Shielding). Is supersonic (36" flat-out) and can fire all its weapons when moving at cruising speed. Has a twin-linked Tesla Destructor & a Death Ray, which allows a 3D6" line to be drawn (with one end of the line being within 12" of the vehicle) and causes a number of hits on every unit crossed by the line equal to the number of MODELS in the unit that are under the line (so if the unit has 5 models crossed by the line, it would suffer 5 hits). Oh and did I mention that these hits are S10 AP1? Nasty indeed! And the Tesla Destructor is no slouch either! But at nearly 200 pts for an AV11 vehicle, to get within 12" to unleash this beast will probably be a bit rough.
• Tomb Spyders: The artwork makes them look much more flying and nimble, like giant Scarabs.
1-3 can be taken per FOC slot (but only together as a unit, they aren't individuals like they were in the last codex). They can now repair vehicles like a Techmarine, Big Mek, etc. Can take an anti-psychic defense against any power targeting a friendly unit within 3" (nullified on a 4+). Can still create Scarab Swarms, but only into existing swarms on the table (they no longer form a unit with the Spyder) and it can still take damage if it rolls a '1' while doing so. Can take Whip Coils (by giving up a close combat weapon and a +1 to repair vehicles) which is like a Tyranid Lash Whip. Can take 1 or 2 Particle Beamers (by removing its CC/fixer arms) to do so. They have a WS, BS & Wounds of 3 and are slightly reduced in points, but have lost an Attack (although they do start with two CC weapons unless you upgrade the arms to other stuff).
Imotekh's Tomb World awoke with many of its rulers still in hibernation. The lesser Lords that awoke decided not to manually wake up their superiors as they each tried to vie for control of the world. After a decade of civil war, one lesser Lord got the idea that he could awaken a great general and use him to rally everyone else to his cause, and so he woke up Imotekh, who was instantly appalled at the state of the Tomb World. He raised his own army and quickly decimated all of his competitors to the throne and took over never to look back.
The only true rival in his kingdom is now Nemesor Zahndrekh, but he is still wildly loyal to Imotekh (likely believing him to be some great Royarch of old).
Imotekh is perhaps the galaxy's greatest strategist and his attacks are often made across whole systems simultaneously, not just on isolated planets. Although his attacks may seem almost magical to some, in truth it is cold hard logic and probabilities in play, something that Imotekh is a master of, along with a great understanding of his foes' minds. His logic is so flawless, that the only way an enemy can get an advantage on him is to be truly random...something Orks actually do innately, which is why Imotekh hates them above all else. Imotekh has one and only one goal: to wash clean the galaxy of all its lesser races, leaving the Necrons to remain supreme.
Imotekh knows that logic and precision can only accomplish so much. Therefore, he uses weapons of terror and confusion against the enemy including having his forces advance under a storm-darkened sky (not explained how he does that, but I'm guessing some sort of Necron tech is in play) as well as implanting some foes with 'bloodswarm nanoscarabs' whose presence in their bodies draws Flayed Ones to them like flies to crap.
His empire is growing at an extremely fast rate, faster than any other Necron Overlord. Of course, this expansion has also means that his Empire has begun to be noticed in a serious way by the Ultramarines, Iyanden Craftworld & even the Tau Empire (as all 3 are apparently fairly close to the borders of his expanding domain).
If there is one flaw with Imotekh, it his need to utterly humiliate his foes in order to truly display his superiority, and leave them alive to know their shame at being defeated (although typically with a limb removed as a grim reminder of their loss). However, this hubris has led to allowing vanquished foes to survive now with further knowledge about how to fight him and Necrons in general. The fluff hints that perhaps damage during hibernation is to blame, but which trait is due to this damage? Is the need for personal glory the glitch or is it the grand strategic vision?
Imotekh is armed with a few pieces of 'standard' wargear (that generic Overlords can also be equipped with): Phase Shifter & Sempiternal Weave (which together give him a 2+/3++ save), Phylactery & Gauntlet of Fire (which is a CC weapon that allows 'to hit' & 'to wound' rolls in combat to be re-rolled and can be used in the shooting phase as a very standard template weapon).
For non-standard wargear, he has 'Bloodswarm Nanoscarabs' which make you randomly pick one enemy non-vehicle unit in the army (going to need that random number generator again!) and any Flayed One packs aiming to Deep Strike within 6" of this enemy unit don't scatter.
He also carries the 'Staff of the Destroyer' which cannot be used in CC (so no +1 for having two weapons in CC) but allows a once per game shooting attack that is S6, AP1, Assault1 and fires a 2D6" straight 'line' out from Imotekh's base and hits enemy units underneath like the Doom Scythe's Death Ray (each unit under the line suffers as many hits as models in that unit that are actually under the line).
For special rules, if his close combat attacks bring down an enemy Independent Character or Monstrous Creature then you get 2 Kill Points instead of 1...but if you're playing a campaign then any models 'killed' this way gain 'preferred enemy' against Imotekh in subsequent games in the campaign (as he lets them go after defeating them).
As I mentioned before, he also is able to steal the Initiative in games on a roll of 4+, unless playing against Orks (in which case you can't even attempt to seize the Initiative).
And finally, he has the 'Lord of the Storm' rule that I reported before which causes turn 1 of every game to have Night Fighting in effect and if you wish, you can extend it into further game turns by rolling higher than the turn number on a D6 at the start of each game turn (as well as potentially causing lightning strikes on every enemy unit on the table in each Necron Shooting phase while Night Fighting is in effect).
So as you can see, this guy has a whole host of awesomeness going on, not the least of which is the ability to bring Night Fighting into games which can be a huge advantage if your army is set up to take advantage of it (especially as you're potentially doing bonus damage to the enemy army with your lightning strikes while its going on), but he is by far the most expensive named character in the book, although not so expensive that he probably isn't a real go-to choice for lots of Necron generals.