Unlike the 5th/6th edition codex, Necrons didn't have to wait long for the newest edition update. With the codex in my hands last night I sat down to read through and discover the game play differences between all three generations of books. Here are a couple of notes that I found interesting.
Decurion Detachment- A new way to do a Force Organization Chart based on grouping together formations of units. The bonuses your army receives from taking formations is well worth it, as long as you can still take the models you want to use. For example, the only way to get a Canoptek Spyder (per formation) is to bring along a bunch of Wraiths and Scarabs, and even then you can only have one Spyder. This is against one of my favorite army list designs that involves a wall of Spyders up front, so to do this I will need to go back to the standard Rule Book FOC. Also a requirement of this detachment is a unit of Tomb Blades are indeed mandatory (I don't even own any yet...)
Unless you are very happy with the core unit combinations, this detachment seems more designed for higher point games. Just the core units alone, at base price, will cost you 479 points + one more formation of your choosing. Add more models per unit and wargear to make the units competitive means you have less for the much more expensive formations. (These formations don't have a points tax luckily.)
Overall this will bring a nice change of pace to standard Necron army lists, especially at the 2000+ points level. I am excited to start working the different combinations to see what works best for me.
Reanimation Protocols- Well the roll to pass starts out the same as the last edition but how it works is closer to Feel No Pain. There are a bunch of ways to make this roll easier (yet it still caps out, even with cumulative modifiers.) This negates any 'knocking the model on it's side and it stands up in a slightly different location' loopholes that were possible before. You shoot the guy in front and he doesn't fall over and keeps making rolls until he is officially dead, then you take the model off the board. (Not as fun in my opinion as the good old days of knocking an entire unit down just to see them all stand back up on the next turn/phase) Now our enemies will know for sure if they have killed us so will be able to make easier decisions if they should waste that last bit of shooting to kill the last guy in a squad or go for a new target.
Resurrection Orbs have changed a lot again. Remember back when they could help all friendly units in range, then they changed it to only the squad with the model holding it. Well now it's even further specific to only working once per game for the squad it is in. A small points drop helps keep it useable and only the special "artifact" version of this piece of wargear will give a bonus to the number you need to roll to pass Reanimation Protocols. So what is the point of it now then? Lets just say it makes Reanimation "twin-linked".
Anti-Air- Necrons main sources for anti-air fire have been cut in half. The Tesla special rule no longer works for Snap Shots, so those cheap (now more expensive) Annihilation Barges are not nearly as effective. Unless I've missed something, this makes our fliers even more important for serious anti-air duty because we have nothing on the ground that is designed to take them out.
Melee Capabilities- I have always run Necrons with a strong focus on close combat, even when people nay say about it, and I've done particularly well. So with this new codex, my eyes immediately turned onto Flayed Ones and Lychguard to see what happened. Flayed Ones now actually make sense for the models and fluff. They cost the same but in addition have two flayer claws which have a modest AP (bye bye Guardsmen) and cause Fear. Lychguard got a very very nice drop in points and the option for Dispersion Shield is worth the cost to upgrade (Storm Shield equivalent, no more bouncing shots back at the enemy, like that ever happened...) Sure to me they are still no Pariahs but they seem usable.
Warscythes got a cut to AP, but don't worry, they will still eat anyone's armor (remember when they ate invulnerable saves too!?) otherwise they are the same as last edition.
Wraiths are a bit different and interesting. No more jetbikes or jump infantry, they are now Beasts and have an increase in Toughness! Points are relatively similar but it's also cheaper to upgrade. Whip Coils now use Swiftstrike (aka Tyranids I think) so give a bonus to Initiative rather then reduce the initiative of models in base contact. Minimum squad size increased but how many people ran the minimum size since the original codex? This will be a good unit still and one to be feared.
Spyders are the same but they adjusted the scarab farming of course. New scarabs can still increase the squad size above starting size but the new model has to be placed within range of the Spyder itself.
Scarabs seemed to have been hit with the nerf bat. More points, smaller maximum squad size, worse armor save, entropic strike is now just melee gauss (disruption fields anyone?) I'll need some play testing to see if scarabs have really gotten weaker or if they will play the same and just look weaker.
Praetorians also got some nice buffs. Cheaper, more attacks, voidblade has an AP, rod of covenant doubles in range. I've never actually tried these before because of the unit cost but it may be worth it now.
C'tan Shards are now not customizable. You get either the Nightbringer, Deciever, or the weird Transcendant (not Gargantuan Monstrous Creature, pretty standard C'tan now) and each of them get slightly mixed and matched special rules to work with their fluff. The biggest change here are the Power of the C'tan which are six shooting attacks, two profiles whether you are a C'tan on foot or the Tesseract Vault. These are NOT psychic powers luckily, but you have to roll for which power you shoot every turn (and cannot overwatch with them.) All of the powers seem useful on their own but because of the randomness, you may be hard pressed to get the power you need to do the correct damage to the enemy unit you are targeting. First glance is to use these powers against infantry as you are most likely to get one of the blast or many shot weapons vs the anti-tank weapons (Strength D!) Complaint? Well these are still SHARDS of C'tan, so the stat line isn't as good as the originals and they will have the same defensive problems as the last edition (worse as Spirit Dust isn't an option anymore) Still, I bet they will be fun to try out for less then the price of a Land Raider.
This is only the tip of the iceberg for the new codex. These are the first things I went looking for when I opened the book, but overall it looks like a good codex and a lot of fun. It mixes up how you assemble an army but even if you wanted to play something similar to last edition, you can still use the main rulebook's FOC and take the +/- of the units individually, but it looks like Decurion Detachments are the way of the future for all of the bonuses they bring.
What does this new codex entail for your own play style? Anything about it just rub you the wrong way?