Update: The rules for Necrons transported in Flyers were later changed/clarified: The contents do not take hits if the flyer is shot down. Article saved for posterity.
It's a simple question – Do Necron units inside a Nightscythe that is destroyed take any hits, or are they immune to the damage results from the new Flyer rules due to a rule from their own codex?
What I didn't originally realise is that there are at least SIX answers to this question in circulation, and that it is one of the most likely to cause arguments simply because the answer is so 'obvious' to players, regardless of which answer they've chosen.
Fortunately in the run up to the Australian Masters someone asked a very specific question, which means I can give a more useful and specific answer:
“SCP Yeeman: Anyone know how this tournament is ruling the Night Scythe casualty thing? Are the passengers taking hits or not?”
I cannot tell you exactly how GW thought their 5th edition rules would translate to 6th edition, or how you should play flyers at home, or what you should agree on before a pick-up game, but the above is a question that I can answer. And to be frank when it comes down to rules that fairly obviously need an FAQ, all I really want to know is how the tournaments I will attend will rule on them. First though, here are the rules and the various answers I have come across.
- The Night Scythe has a transport capacity of 15. If the Night Scythe is destroyed, the embarked unit is not allowed to disembark, but instead enters reserve (when they arrive, they cannot deepstrike) (- Necron Codex Page 51)
- Crash and Burn – If a Zooming Flyer is Wrecked or Explodes, its flaming debris rains down on the battlefield. Centre the large blast marker over the Flyer – it then scatters 2D5″. Any model under the blast marker's final position suffers a Strength 6, AP – hit. The Flyer is then taken off the board. If the Flyer is also a Transport, any models within suffer a Strength l0 hit with no armour saves allowed. Survivors are placed anywhere within 3″ of the blast marker's final position and in unit coherency. Any models that cannot be placed are removed as casualties. – (BRB Page 81)
“Nightscythe Wormhole Gateways are functionally the same as Monolith Eternity Gates”
1) Necrons are never actually inside their Flyers, and do not take hits when the Flyer is destroyed and are not affected by the Flyer's Stunned or Shaken results.
2) Necrons are never actually inside their Flyers, and do not take hits when the Flyer is destroyed but are affected by the Flyer's Stunned or Shaken results.
3) Necrons are never actually inside their Flyers, and do not take hits when the Flyer is destroyed and are not affected by the Flyer's Stunned or Shaken results. Despite the fact that the Flyer is 'Empty', no other Necron unit can embark on a Flyer that has been 'allocated' to transport a different unit.
“Nightscythe are Flyer Transports that carry units inside them”
4) Nightscythes are functionally the same as any Flyer Transport except if one is destroyed, the contents are placed in Reserve and do not take hits.
5) Nightscythes are functionally the same as any Flyer Transport and if one is destroyed, any models within suffer hits, after which due to a rule in their Codex instead of being placed within 3″ of the blast marker are put in reserves.
6) Nightscythes are functionally the same as any Flyer Transport and if one is destroyed, any models within suffer hits, and then instead because being 'placed' is not the same as 'deploying', they are placed on the table as with any other unit.
(Just to be clear, I'd never heard answer 6 until last week and it is from a recent post on YTTH, but I am not the Matt who asked the question that generated it. Let me know if you have heard of any other ways Nightscythes have been ruled.)
The Australian Masters used the same ruling as the Western Australian Ultimate Masters, as did the ACT Masters. Explanation text is by TO Malignant.
Are Necrons treated as being on board their transports when they are destroyed?
“There is absolutely no mention in either the codex rules or the Necron rules FAQ that the Necrons are not currently within the vehicle whilst “embarked”. (There is also a precedent set in the FAQ for models on board to be subject to vehicle effects such as having their shooting limited on the turn they disembark due to the speed of the vehicle that turn.) All that is stated is that they move to reserve rather than disembarking when the vehicle is destroyed.
As damage suffered by a unit in the case of a destroyed vehicle is a different part of the process to disembarking from a destroyed vehicle (that is – the unit suffers the damage from the vehicle destruction rather than from the act of disembarking from the destroyed vehicle), the ruling for this event (unless FAQed to the contrary between now and then) will be that all models on board will suffer damage as normal before moving to reserves.
I am aware that this isn't necessarily what the fluff represents, but rules > fluff I'm afraid. If GW want to it work differently, then they need to write it accordingly. It's a slippery slope for us to start interpreting fluff as correct intent for poorly or incorrectly written rules.”
This is the equivalent of answer number 5 above. It was not the first choice of the Necron players, but to the best of my knowledge no player changed army because of it, reduced the amount of Nightscythes, or reported that it had a big impact on the actual games (several Necron players got through the majority of their games without actually losing a single flyer).
This may not be the answer everyone is looking for, but in the absence of an official FAQ it is a specific answer to how the Tournaments I have attended have treated this rule.