I think more players are beginning to understand what tremendous value Necron Tomb Blades have in the current codex, but there are probably still many people who consider them a “second tier” unit. While not able to put out as much raw damage as, say, Wraiths or Doomsday Arks and not as survivable as Lychguard with Shields and 4+ Reanimation rolls, they are nevertheless an extremely useful all-purpose unit for any canny Overlord to employ.
Consider the following:
-Tomb Blade squad of 10 models, all with:
***TLed Gauss Blasters
So, for the price of 44 Melta Bombs, you get a unit with a basic MEQ stat line, except that they are I2 and have Ld10 and T5 stock. Additionally, they have 20 TLed S5 AP4 Gauss (auto-glance/wound on rolls of 6+) shots at 12″, they can move 12″/Turbo-boost 24″ (being Jetbike units), and they have access to Jink (4+ cover save) and Reanimation Protocols. This unit can do almost anything you ask of it because of its versatile profile:
1 – Shooting — With TLed Gauss Blasters and Nebuloscopes, Tomb Blades are a threat infantry and vehicles alike. Against light infantry in cover, say the with the standard GEQ profile, 10 Tomb Blades get 20 shots at 12″, about 17-18 hits, and 14-15 AP4/Ignore Cover wounds. This means they can reliably remove pretty much any T3 infantry squads behind cover (i.e. Guardsmen, Cultists, Aspect Warriors, Fire Warriors, etc.), which is great for neutralizing those threats and opening up objectives. Alternately, because they Ignore Cover, Tomb Blades equipped like this can also deal with RW Bikers, Eldar Jetbikes, Tau Stealth suits, Tyranid Venomthropes, Orky Bikerz, Harlequins with Psychic Support, Imperial Assassins, or pretty much any unit in the game that relies heavily on its cover/Jink saves for survivability. Finally, Tomb Blades are also quite good at dealing with enemy vehicles (especially ones that depend on Jinking, such as Eldar/DE Skimmers)… with 20 Gauss Blasters shots and an average of 17-18 hits, their Gauss weapons can strip an average of about 3 HPs from any vehicle they target, be it a AV10 skimmer or an AV14 Land Raider. This versatility really can be the difference in a Necron army’s shooting phase, as Tomb Blades can deal with (or at least assist in prosecuting) almost any unit in an enemy army.
2 – Objectives — With a the ability to displace up to 36″ a turn, T5, a 3+ armor save, and 5+ Reanimation Protocols, there really is no better Objective grabber/holder in the Necron Codex. Even a bare minimum squad of 3 Tomb Blades (costing a mere 11 Melta Bombs) can dash around all game for Necrons and seize objectives while using their armor, Jink, and RPs to absorb enemy counter-shooting (note: it takes 20 BS4 Bolter shots or 5-6 BS4 Plasma Shots, on average, to kill a single Jinking Tomb Blade).
3 – Screening/Melee — While these are certainly not the ideal functions for Tomb Blades, they can still do quite a good job of providing mobile cover to your other units, “bubble wrapping” critical vehicles to protect them DSing melta units, or even tying up enemy shooting units in assault to prevent them from shooting. With their above average survivability and exceptional mobility (especially for their points cost) they can quickly tarpit enemy “fire base” units (Grav Centurions and the new Ta’unar “Titan battlesuit” comes to mind as ideal deathstar shooting units to tie up in combat) in order to allow the rest of your army to operate free of the danger from their tremendous shooting output.
Overall, you can see how many uses Tomb Blades have, whether you use them in minimum squads of 3 or maxed out 10 Bike Squadrons with all the upgrades. Don’t forget, while they can operate very effectively independently from the rest of the Necron army, they also can benefit from synergizing with other units, such as increasing to BS5 if within 6″ or a Triarch Stalker or gaining Preferred Enemy if a Destroyer Lord is attached to them.