My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Necrons (Robo-Zombie Eygptians in SPHESS) are one of the main factions in Warhammer 40,000. Basically, they're a bunch of soulless, skeletal, alien killing machines, led by a robot aristocracy of angry murder machines, bound together by space-technology-magic (like atom-flaying weapons that strip their targets down into their constituent atoms).
Although they have been around since Rogue Trader (albeit only as a single picture categorized as an "unknown xenos species"), they have seen great change in almost every edition. In second edition, they were a mysterious faction with essentially zero fluff and only a few models, all of which looked incredibly silly. With third edition, however, they got their own Codex and a bunch of models, fleshing them out as an army and introducing their rulers, the C'tan (who were subsequently shoehorned into every major event in the 40k universe). Games Workshop then promptly forgot they existed and did not update them again until the closing days of fifth edition. This was a controversial move, as the Codex was written by Matt Ward, who significantly changed the fluff. The new Necrons are commonly called, logically enough, Newcrons. To sum up the controversy: they became space-Tomb Kings and the C'tan were demoted. And that's about it. Do note that although they are space Tomb Kings, they are not space Egyptians (that would be the Thousand Sons). (Also it's been heavily alluded to that Egyptian culture in the 40k universe was actually based on encounters with ancient Necrons who visited earth for some reason [possibly related to the Void Dragon] thereby making the Egyptians earth Necrons.)
Crunch-wise, they were fairly overpowered upon their introduction. They were very tough to kill (with a MEQ statline and the ability to repair themselves), their only vehicle was the nigh-on unkillable Monolith, they had a lot of wargear-based shenanigans, and they had better guns than anybody else. However, subsequent editions took a lot of their cheese away, and the fifth edition Codex was (surprisingly, for Matt Ward) pretty well balanced... until sixth edition rolled around. And, oh boy, have the Necrons made a comeback as the over-powered army of choice for munchkins.
Gameplay-wise, some used to consider the Necrons to have been unduly OP during their introduction. A respectable amount of evidence can be gathered to grant credence to this viewpoint. The rapid change in fluff between the 5th edition codex and its predecessor is controversial, to put it lightly, and while both versions of the Necrons' background have their fans, many would agree that the retconning was drastic and heavy-handed. On the one hand the Necrons' theme used to be that they were emotionless, implacable alien killers led by Cthulhu-ish star gods that fed on peoples souls. Their background was very sparse and included all sorts of mysterious things about the Necrons and the C'tan that had implications for the whole setting of Warhammer. The new codex gets rid of all the mystery and removes the dangerous feel the Necrons used to have in exchange for giving the individual Necron leaders and armies individual personality, allowing players to make their armies different as opposed to the previous situation where basically everyone had an army of samey silver OP doom warriors wielding guns that could rip through tanks as well as infantry and had over the top fluff that made them out to be the baddest sons of bitches in the galaxy.
UPDATE: As of the 6th edition rulebook, Necrons and Blood Angels can form a "Desperate Alliance". For reference, Necrons can form the exact same alliance with the Black Templars. This implies that the whole scenario with the Blood Angels and the 'Nids was part of the then-upcoming Necron fluff change wherein the Necrons went from homicidal kill bots to an actual empire capable of politics and forming alliances.
ANOTHER UPDATE: In 6.5, they are now forming "Come The Apocalypse" with the Armies of The Imperium (This also includes Blood Angels and Black Templars).
Overall, the codex was actually... fairly decent, and since bitch-worthy fluff kept to a minimum (though the way it was introduced was bitch worthy in of itself, and the Necrons possessing reliable time travel raises a lot of questions) and the crunch was mostly balanced the crazy but surprisingly plausible theory was developed that Matt Ward was really a Necron fanboy all along, and after losing to an Ultramarines player, decided to discredit the Space Marines by writing several exceedingly shitty codexes for them, and then turn around and make a respectable update for the Necrons as part of a labyrinthian plot to get back at the Space Marines. And everyone neglects to mention that the update introduced a device that can instantly destroy any star in the galaxy per whim of the user. Wat. (Although Ward did at least explain that they rarely use it since it screws up the Galactic tide).
But there is other good news. With the Necrons now being somewhat popular, they are about to get a new slew of Forgeworld loving, thanks to the announcement that they are scheduled to be featured in Imperial Armor 12 along with the Minotaurs Chapter Space Marines (meaning we may finally get Medusa V Tomb Stalkers and Megaliths, so we don't have to rely on Pylon, Scarab, Barge, Warscythe, and Heat-ray spam to down Titans).
'Necron' is also the title of an bizarre and retarded fetish comic of some sort.
- 1 Fluff
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Pre-release Rumor Mongering: The Lead Up To Butt-hurt
A long-ass time ago (even before the Spess Elves) the Necrontyr lived on a planet blasted by radiation from their sun. Their short lives were filled from beginning to end with cancers, AIDS, and pain.
While all this sun-rape was going on, a race of psychically-attuned space lizard precursors called the Old Ones had built a vast civilization throughout the galaxy. They created many races or augmented many existing ones (leaving humanity alone) and generally showed off. Oh yeah, and they are speculated to have been immortal lizards.
The Necrontyr met the Old Ones and quickly grew to resent their neighbors, loathing how long their lifespans were by comparison. Resentment grew into bitter jealousy and finally all-consuming hatred. The Old Ones were indeed much stronger though, and repelled Necrontyr assault after assault until the race was clinging to the edge of the galaxy.
The Necrontyr finally encountered and allied with a force known as the C'tan, beings with immense power over the corporeal world. The realm of the Warp, which the Old Ones used extensively, was anathema to them, and they sought nothing less than the total separation of the real world from the Maelstrom.
The Necrontyr bargained with the C'tan known as the Deceiver (but only the other C'tan knew that; the Necrontyr knew him has Mephet'ran, "the messenger". No one in their right mind would actually trust a guy named the Deceiver), for eternal life. The Deceiver promised the living Necron race immortality and fun times if they'd sacrifice their bodies to the gods to be replaced with metallic goodness. Some of the Necrontyr agreed to the Deceiver's terms but most of them doubted it was a good idea. Using its talent for trickery, the Deceiver lured the doubters into the clutches of its followers and forced them to become Necrons before robotizing its followers. The race had their souls ripped out of their collective urethrae, replacing the Necrontyr with the skeletal metal bodies of the Necrons.
War breaks out between the Necrons and the Old Ones. The Old Ones get their asses soundly beat over and over again, creating new races (lol, Krork) to defend themselves with. Oh, and by using the Warp as a weapon, they turned it into the fun place we all know and love. At this point the old Necron fluff and new Ward stuff begins to diverge a bit. Old fluff says the Eldar were created by the old Ones directly but new fluff simply says that the Eldar and Old ones were allies in the war against the Necrons; it doesn't specifically say the Eldar were created by the Old Ones although the new background is worded in such a way as to make either interpretation plausible.
Anyway, after the Old Ones strategy of cranking out race after race to be used as cannon fodder backfired when an Enslaver Plague rolled around, the C'tan go on a feast of galactic proportions. During this time they even start killing and eating each other until there are only four left (The Void Dragon, The Outsider, The Nightbringer and The Deceiver). It isn't until they realize that the food (see: EVERYTHING!) is dying out that they decide to go to sleep for 60 million years, 'till the scrumptious morsels known as EVERYTHING regrew (something that actually made the "great sleep" make fucking sense).
In present time, the Necron spend most of their time killing anything with a pulse and generally hating anything living, including bacteria. Their main objective was to use their advanced technology to close or seal off the Eye of Terror, drive back the 'Nids and turn the living races into a never-ending, all-you-can-eat buffet for the remaining C'tan. The rest of their time is spent on sleeping and being Super Secret Pony Princess Unicorn Best Friends Forever with Blood Angels. Because that makes sense. (We don't like it any more than you do - 'Crons) They're the goth craze if you dipped them in liquid hate and injected them with 400% of your daily allotment of cheese.
The New Fluff - Space Egyptians
There is a dramatic change in the fluff in this codex (5th Ed.) from the previous incarnation of the Necrons.
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). This new incarnation succeeds in destroying everything that had already been established in the Necron fluff, turning the silent killing machines into a bunch of immortal, borderline-insane megalomaniacs attempting to screw each other over and engaging in various shenanigans. . While part of the fan base recoils from it, the other part 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. Although the fact that Necrons want fleshy bodies for "bio-transfer" is pretty effing stupid considering that they're basically awesome zombie robots, but whatevs (Actually most Necrons DON'T; read their POVs in both Fall of Damnos and Hammer & Anvil, they rather enjoy being robots). Basically, the original fluff was changed in order to make them more like an actual empire with unique subfactions and interesting characters as opposed to another faceless blob of monsters out to DESTROY ALL LIFE IN THE GALAXY IN THE NAME OF DARK GODS. The crazy fun part of this is if you still want to play a silent legion of implacable, unfathomable terror-bots in the thrall of an insane god, you totally can. The new fluff allows for players to fluff their army as they see fit, as anything from a noble, honorable warrior kingdom open to trade and diplomacy with other species to unthinking hordes of omnicidal machines in the thrall of a malevolent computer system. You can even have a legion of the old-school C'tan-worshipping harvestcrons that have either been enslaved or have willingly taken to worshipping an awakened C'tan Shard. Shit, for all the new fluff cares your army can be a horde of Necrons afflicted with the Flayer Curse who long to have their dicks back and run around stealing the dongs of the lesser races so they can hump each other whilst their Lord sheds manly tears as he beholds the terrible plight of his people.
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 (or maybe even yet unshattered C'tan?) 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). And of course, as everyone knows, the Outsider is still on his extra-galactic camping trip, totally whole and crying over WHAAAAAT, HEEES, DOOONNE!!!.
The Necrontyr's empire was massive at one point, but the different Lords in the galaxy wide dominion started to turn against each other in civil war. To prevent this from happening, the overall ruler of the Necrontyr (the Silent King) started the war against the Old Ones specifically to give them a common enemy to fight against to prevent his people from destroying themselves (using the old fluff's reason as the excuse). Of course, the Old Ones ended up kicking their butts, and in desperation, the Silent King allied with the C'Tan (who had been attracted to the pure hate and rage the Necrontyr held for the Old Ones, a common enemy of the C'tan) and agreed to the Deceiver's pact to give them shiny new immortal bodies without realizing what he was doing. The devious Star God had in fact tricked the Necrontyr into giving up their mortal bodies and souls so that he and his God friends could gorge themselves on their tasty ass meats. After consuming THE ENTIRE Necrontyr race, the C'tan were pretty much the equivalent of Superman crossed with a level 9001 Super Sayian Goku, and so were basically able to hand the Old Ones their collective asses. However, after the Necrons helped the C'Tan to kill off the last Old Ones, while the C'tan were recuperating, the Silent King then ordered the Necrons to turn on the C'Tan in vengeance. Caught by surprise, and attacked with weapons of unspeakable power, the C'tan were shattered into thousands of shards, which the Necrons imprisoned for later use. At this point the galaxy was basically a smoldering ruin, the Necrons were severely depleted from the endless wars, and the Eldar were reaching the height of their power. The Silent King ordered the Necrons to sleep for millions of years in order to hide from the Eldar and re-awaken at a time when the galaxy had both recovered and forgotten about them. The Silent King's final order to his people was that following the Great Sleep they must reclaim their old empire and return it to it's former glory. Following this, he left the galaxy in shame for failing his people.
Present warhammer 40k
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. (Or really, just for the Necron rulers to do whatever they want)
The overall unity of the Necron people is gone for the most part, leaving each individual Dynasties 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, the majority of the upper echelon of Necron society retained some degree of personality.
So there is lots of crazy nuance to Necron culture that was never present before. There are now lots of memorable quotes from Necron Lords. There are some Necron Lords who honor valor in battle, 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. The Silent King, after leaving the galaxy once defeating the C'Tan (basically exiling himself for the unforgivable crime of allowing the C'tan to remove the soul of his people), encountered the Tyranids in the void between galaxies and has returned to spur the Necrons into action against the Bugs (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), there are a few Necron Lords who even work or trade with other races. However, such as with all the factions of 40k, this is rare. (Yes Necrons and Blood Angels did end up fighting against a Tyranid Hive Fleet together). Really, every dynasty can be different, so just have fun coming up with your own.
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).
Regarding Fluff Change - Sore butts. Everywhere.
The Necron backstory remains largely the same, except now the Necrons were not enslaved, but merely ripped off by the C'tan. Their leader the Silent King was horrified with this, and so fought and enslaved the C'Tan when they had their backs turned. This allowed (most) of the Necrons to be freed from control, restoring some of their personality. They went into stasis now to let the galaxy recover from the war, and now that they have awoken divided and confused, it's a free for all for who can conquer the galaxy in the name of all things robotic. Well, all things zombie robotic but you get the idea...
It is widely conceded that the worst loss was the removal of Pariahs, which were universally agreed to be one of the coolest and scariest aspects of the Necrons, something that really made them stand out (even if they weren't that great on the tabletop). The Pariahs' origins were a great way to show an outsider's perspective of the Necrons without getting told to GTFO their lawn via gauss weaponry, and something that Thomas Macabee in Dark Crusade just made so incredibly badass. It would also fit perfectly into the new fluff, showing the success in combining the Necrons and living to create a new life form. Good news, Hammer & Anvil does more or less comfired Pariahs are still canon in a way, they're just experiments done by bored Crypteks granted, which depends on how you look at it is scarier than the old, they're doing horrible things, to still fully awake people for no greater plan, just to kill time.
In any case, the Warhammer galaxy already has a pantheon of four asshole gods, plus two other asshole gods, so who gives a shit if the C'tan wannabes got turned into legendary pokemon?
While we're on the subject of the fluff, there's a quick reference to the Blood Angels Codex on the "Necron Timeline" page. It's one sentence long and talks about how the Silent King "reluctantly" teams up with the Blood Angels to fight Tyranids... yeah, Ward deliberately went out of his way to wave his cock in our faces.
A thing that a lot of people don't consider is the fact that Matt really DIDN'T have to do this and no I don't mean he could have kept them the way they are...Basically, the new changes were brought in to give characters personality and each army a flavor. This is why its defended by some fans despite turning Necrons from the most feared force in the galaxy to a B list faction like the Sisters of Battle. What could have solved ALL our problems? Just say that a COUPLE or Necron armies freed themselves...Maybe their power was played with while they were asleep or something...Makes more sense then a Necron who supposedly have no emotions get angry and bitch slap a bunch of gods... That way you can have your legions of unstoppable killing machines AND your space egyptions!
Possibly, Forge World created the Maynarkh Dynasty to give an example of a perfectly fluff-valid dynasty that was culturally similar to Oldcrons (well, the "kill everything!" and "dark horror from the deep past" aspects of them, at least).
GameplayThis picture about covers it.----->
Pre-5th edition, the Necrons were virtually an unstoppable Shooty army. Their simple tactic of move-shoot-move-shoot in-tandem with their gauss weaponry capable of vaporizing anything (including heavy tanks) in front of them with impunity, and their Marine-like stats spawned the all famous "March of Doom", which was basically a non-stop forward march of Necron Warriors, Immortals, and Destroyers to flatten the table. And the innate WBB rolls ensured that the march was fuckhard to stop, especially in tandem with Resurrection Orbs, Pylons, Monoliths, and some of the cheesier Necron formations; since the tin-men had a very good chance of getting back up after being downed. This is also a huge lie too, or at least didn't last long. While they were very strong they were monobuild to ALL HELL, resulting in a once unstoppable Shooty army being quickly counter and beaten. Combine with the Phase Out rule, the Necron Player will auto-lose should there forces are down to 25% of the starting numbers. So players just ignored the Monolith and Pylons and just shot warriors.
The Necron have since been severely nerfed in 5th Edition, due to vehicles being a bit more sturdy. In the previous edition, they could potentially destroy any enemy (including heavy vehicles) with just their default troops choice - Gauss weaponry caused (and still does) glancing hits on a roll of 6 (it used to cause automatic wounds, too, but they've done away with that ridiculousness). Necron Warriors dispatching Land Raiders or Leman Russ Tanks with these glancing hits was not unheard of, causing many veterans of 40K tabletop to rightly declare the Necrons to be Cheese.
Post-edition update, due to the new Armour Penetration rules, Necron Warriors can still harass, stun-lock, and annoy vehicles - even heavy ones - but are much less able to gun down a heavy like a Predator Tank or Vindicator with simple massed Warrior fire, to the delight of non-Necron players everywhere. Massed fire from Necron Warriors can still kill a heavy vehicle, but it will take a veritable barrage of shots to do so now, making it a bit less likely that players can spam the shit out of warrior squads and come away triumphant, making this an improvement. A smart NewCron player learns to not over-rely on Warriors now, using backup from a mix of Scarabs, Doomsday Arks, Barge Lords, Wraiths, and Harbingers of Destruction in order to pack quality anti-vehicle options. However due to 6th Edition's change with rapid fire rule and vehicle hull points, Necrons are back again fucking tanks in the junk. Yes, a block of 20 Necron Warriors will wreck a Land Raider in one turn hands down every day of the week, though on average you need to park it 12" away for that to happen so they can rapid fire it, and if you are that fucking stupid (12" is melta range for everyone else) you are going to lose your Raider regardless of who you are playing against.
The Necrons are still a very powerful and dangerous force. With their insanely overpowered fliers, and overall buff to shooting, the Necrons are very high tier in codex power. Necron warriors are fairly reliable troops marine stats and a 4+ save, though they essentially have a 5+ Invulnerable Save with their "Reanimation Protocols" rule (4+ with a Resurrection Orb in the unit). And Immortals, which are pretty much Space Marine equivalents. Now it's all about synergy, with Overlords, Lords and Crypteks strategically placed in shooty units, and melee options like Lychguard and the infuriatingly tough-to-kill Wraiths (Flayed Ones got nerfed bad, and are now the worst unit in the codex... at least until 6th Edition rules change shit up, maybe)(NOPE!). They also have somewhat useful Monstrous Creatures of sorts in the form of Canoptek Spyders and C'tan Shards.
The infamous Monolith is easily the most recognizable unit that the Necrons possess. It has 14 armor on each side (and thus no vulnerable spots), a main weapon that cannot be disabled with a "weapon destroyed" result, the ability to teleport your troops out of harm's way, and, in the previous edition, the only skimmer that would not crash when immobilized. In the current edition, skimmers only crash if they moved flat-out the previous turn - and the Monolith can't actually move fast enough to crash when it gets immobilized. However, the same update to glancing hits made it even harder to destroy. The Monolith is no longer the nigh invulnerable mountain of rape it used to be, thanks to its ability to shrug off Melta weapons being removed, but is still relatively decent... however, several of their new vehicles out strip it in many ways, so the once proud 'Lith has been relegated to Apocalypse battles only, in most cases.
Necron infantry are generally slow moving, hard hitting, much like the Space Marines, if the Space Marines were able to get back up after dying. They back this with annoying deep-strikers and fast-moving units that are designed to support the Necron player's advance. There is nothing - I repeat - NOTHING, scarier than a Necron player with almost-cheating luck.
- Player one has just destroyed most of player two's Necron warrior squad.
- Player two, A.K.A. Kenny, makes his Reanimation Protocol roll.
- Player one, A.K.A. Commander Numb-Nutz, is making odd sounds with his mouth, in mockery of Kenny.
- Kenny rolls ten 6's. Commander Numb-Nutz promptly stops making noises with his mouth.
- Kenny puts his Necron Squad back on the board, and promptly smokes Commander Numb-Nutz's ass from here to the golden shithouse.
- screw it, another example is a necron player comes with 9 fliers, and annihilates the enemy
(and is then made to eat the terrain)
How to Fight (and play) the Necrons
Too many people whine about how broken this faction is, so I'm just going to leave this here.
Necron troops tend to be effective engaging from maximum range. Supported by resurrection orbs and deployed in large hordes Necron Warriors are perhaps the single hardest basic troops to shift in the entire game. Only the heaviest fusillades or the very worst luck can wipe them out, and if they're not entirely wiped a large portion of the squad will often reanimate to die again in the next round. Hearing such squads survive round after round after round of small arms fire is far from unusual. When you find yourself facing such a gunline, focus your fire to bring down a group at a time, ensuring it's completely gone, or close to melee range. Immortals are more expensive, but less numerous: focus your fire on their smaller squads, making sure to finish the squad. Pay careful attention to which weapon they're carrying: Gauss Blasters are AP4 Rapid Fire (better at medium range and against vehicles or your 4+ infantry), while Tesla Carbines are AP- assault (better at maximum range or melee, with excellent overwatch and reasonable damage against any armor save).
The HQs on this faction tend to be bad news up close (Overlords, Trazyn), support engines (Imotekh, Zahndrekk, Szeras, the crypteks), or both (Anrakyr, Obyron, Orikan, most Lords). They're quite strong, and often pack S7 AP
2 1 armorbane weapons called Warscythes. If your idea of winning melee is hitting a group with a bunch of cultists and one CSM lord, you might want to reconsider it, as a Necron Overlord with just a warscythe has decent odds of killing your warlord and mopping up the melee. Instead, target the unescorted units with no HQs, crypteks, or regular lords. Necron Warriors and Immortals usually won't charge out to meet you, so don't worry too much about their counter-charge unless you see Wraiths, Lychguard, Praetorians, or Anrakyr across the field, in which case stay the hell out of the way unless you're sure you want that fight. When you see a Cryptek in a group of warriors, assume he's got something nasty, and ask what it is. He's likely a high-priority target, but only if you can pick him out from his escort (precision shots are your friends here). Don't be afraid to get into melee with a cryptek, as most of them are meat there (with the possible exception of the Harbinger of Time, whose staff is more annoying than dangerous). Challenge them out and go to town.
Necron Elites are a mixed bag, typically filling gaps in the primary lineup. Triarch Stalkers are high-priority targets, as they support and amplify the already formidible Necron shooting phase. Tarpit them, or employ maximum-power weapons to take advantage of their open-topped stat-line. Deathmarks drop onto the field and annihilate singular targets or pick off specialists with sniper salvos that tend to wound on a 2+. Spread your squads out to make deep-striking hazardous, and be prepared to charge into melee with the deathmarks when they arrive. Lychguard aren't all they're cracked up to be: they're melee killers with T5, AP 2 or 3 weapons, and two attacks base. Combat them with overwhelming numbers, or AP3 blast weapons (a Leman Russ Battle Tank can recoup its cost in one shot against a group of lychguard). C'tan shards are very expensive pokemon with a few specialized powers each. Keep them at range: like many of the other elites and fast attackers (and unlike the rest of the Necron army) they're excellent in melee and poor from a few feet out. You'll rarely see a Praetorian on the tabletop, but they're jump-assaulting elite fighters with terrible initiative. Don't be too worried, they're easily swarmed or shot down by AP3 or better weapons. You'll never see a flayed one on the tabletop. If you do, declare victory: they're terrible. Target them just like you do Necron Warriors, and try not to enter melee until you're sure you'll win.
Most of the really scary toys in the Necron lineup come from Fast Attack. Scarabs are swarms of T3 monsters that turn vehicles into mulch. If you have vehicles, these are priority one targets, even over things like Lychguard or Heavy Destroyers. They're swift and will routinely kill a Leman Russ in one round with only one or two bases. Utilize high-strength and/or blast weapons (If you've got both, even better). Destroyers are quick elite-infantry or vehicle killers. Both kinds have Preferred Enemy (everything!), so they're great at fighting marines (for the regular destroyers) or terminators/vehicles (for the heavy type). Their weakness is small squads: prioritize these with autocannons or other moderate-strength weapons. Tomb Blades aren't particularly worrying for their cost: engage with small arms and prioritize them below most other targets. Wraiths are fearsome fighters: jetpacks, two wounds, and 3++ makes them hard to stop while S6, A3, and rending mean you cannot afford to ignore them. Try to stall their approach, and overwhelm them with a hail of lighter gunfire. Don't try to flatten the whole group with a battle cannon shot the way you do Necron Warriors, as they'll save out and keep moving (fearless). Unlike most Necron units these can't reanimate, so you can safely grind them down with bolters, lasguns, or other light weapons.
Necron heavy supports are tenacious, but most follow the 'shielded, open-topped AV11' archetype, like the Annihilation Barge and the Ghost Ark. Target vehicles like this by focusing high-strength weapons on them to crack their shields. Don't screw around here: if you don't have S8+ weapons, don't even bother. Autocannons would be better spent putting down more vulnerable targets. Once their shields are down bring out the rest of your more moderate weapons to finish the job. Shields don't grow back, but Necron units can shrug off shaken and stunned results, so just like you'd finish off warrior groups make sure you finish off Barges and Arks. These things come in several flavors: Ghost Arks rebuild Warriors (and only warriors, not Immortals), Doomsday Arks fire S9 AP1 blasts, Annihilation Barges spew autocannon-esque lightning, and Catacomb Command Barges fly a Lord around the battle cutting people up. Canoptek Spyders are tough, cheap monstrous critters with T6, 3+, and W3. If your foe fields a set of scarabs look for the spyders behind them: those spyders can build more scarabs as long as you haven't wiped out the whole scarab swarm. They're tough to crack: at T6 they're extremely hard to swarm down. Try to keep them at range and leverage your best anti-tank weapons. The Monolith deserves special mention, with all-round AV14. If you don't have meltas, lances, or other really good anti-armor weapons just ignore them: they hardly care about any vehicle damage table results except Explodes, and their offense isn't impressive for their cost. Try to spread out to make their teleportation fail, as for no adequately-explained reason they are completely susceptible to deep-strike failures.
Necron fliers were the shit just after 6th edition came out. All of a sudden their reasonably effective fast skimmers became seriously difficult to slay, and kept all of their abilities. As it stands today most serious armies bring anti-air as a matter of course, and if you do as well you should be in good shape to hold off the Scythes. Both Night Scythes (a flying dedicated transport) and Death Scythes (a tank-shredding air-to-ground fighter) are very fairly cost-effective for their weapons and have AV 11. Neither one should be ignored: a Night Scythe can deposit its infantry payload without slowing to a hover, the twin tesla-destructors on either aircraft are excellent at anti-air and anti-ground alike, and the Death Scythe's Death Ray (yes, that's what it's called) is one of the most effective tank-killers outside of Apocalypse. If you find yourself facing a large group of these without solid anti-air you may be in serious trouble: run for cover and turn everything S6+ you've got skyward. Part of the controversy about these fliers seems to be the cash-grab surrounding their concept, as all the best anti-air weapons are new models or fliers themselves (or both). In all fairness, if your opponent does field six or eight scythes in a regular army without warning you beforehand... he'll probably win. Please don't be that guy. If you do find yourself playing against that guy, prioritize the Death Scythes first and fire everything you've got. They're much more dangerous to your ground-based anti-air, and if you can't suppress them with vehicle damage table results you're likely to lose the ability to retaliate within a round or two.
Victories n' Whatnot
Necrons, though vicious in certain types of combat, aren't really great at winning, and are generally a hit-or-miss force, either outright flattening the opponent or getting steamrolled themselves. Both in fluff and on the tabletop, your best hope at defeating the Necrons is to move fast and strike as hard as you can to disrupt the Necron commander's strategy. Otherwise you'll drown (evaporate?) in the inevitable deluge of gauss and tesla fire.
If you want to win with Necrons, be prepared to do your fucking homework and learn how the different units in the codex interact with each other.
There are now several competitive army list builds, each one utilizing a different
borderline cheating capable but not flawless tactic. These include:
-Warrior Phalanx: More or less played like the old way, use Warriors by the dozens, and be prepared to back them up with support like Ghost Arks and Lords with Res Orbs. These bricks are fucking hard to kill, and put out a metric shit ton of shots. You'd better have something backing them up, though, as they'll struggle to kill any but the lightest infantry. Be very afraid of monstrous creatures.
-TremorCrons: Use fucking HQ + C'tan combo hax to slow your opponent's movement. This will buy you time to set other units into position, or close in with the C'tan. Again, you'd better have something else up your sleeve if you enjoy the actual 'winning' part of the game.
-Wraith Wing: MORE WRAITHS. MORE. (throw in a Destroyer Lord or two and eat Deathstars for breakfast). Bring a few sets of warriors or immortals to hold objectives, and use your wraiths' speed and flexibility to shred important targets. Beware, you're not invincible: T4 means your wraiths will get ground down if the enemy gets to shoot at them repeatedly. Also, be careful around things that can match or beat them in melee, especially large hordes of semi-decent fighters (cultist blobs can be surprisingly dangerous to you).
-Scarab Farm: Shit tons of Scarabs, and about 9 Spyders to shit even MOAR Scarabs out every turn. Overwhelm EVERYTHING with the little buggers (HOPE YOU WEREN'T PLANNING ON USING THAT LANDRAIDER THIS GAME!). Bring anti-infantry to back it up (this writer suggests tesla immortals, night scythes, or warrior blocks), and be sure not to give your opponent too long to fire at them. Be extremely afraid of thunderfire cannons, hellhounds, or anything else with a template S6+ weapon, as it'll rip these swarms in half.
-Maximum Threat Overload: Too many threats to deal with, opponents have trouble prioritizing which to kill first (Command Barges, Wraiths, Scarabs, Doom Scythes, LanceTeks). Usually ends with tables being flipped in frustration. Use your mobility to surround and bring down tough defenders, as they can sometimes punch through your quick attackers and hold their ground. Be sure to bring some small warrior groups to stand quietly on your objectives.
-Space Croissant Fleet: Completely and utterly broken, at least until all armies get proper and reliable anti-air. Your opponent will call you a dirty cheater the minute he sees a half-dozen Scythes in your army, and he would be right. Just remember to ACTUALLY HAVE SOME UNITS ON THE TABLE and not rely entirely on flyers or you will be auto-tabled at the end of turn 1. A Doom Scythe is a great investment, as it tends to be really good at killing the things that are good at killing it (I'm looking at you, squadron of hydras). If the game drags on you may find yourself in a tough place if you've lost too many troops in the mayhem, so be sure to bring a few capable ground units to either drop or walk in.
Alternately, one can play Apocalypse and use the Monolith Phalanx, which is one of - if not THE - cheesiest bullshit since 2nd edition Tyranid bullshit (
eg. Tyranid Apocalypse formation "out of ammo sarge!" ITS BACK BABY! But slightly nerfed to not give people RAGE QUIT attacks...), but as that formation has been errata'd, the Cronz now hold the uncontested title of cheesiest formation ever... until IA12 hits, that is, and the circle of nerf is complete.
Thanks to IA12, Necrons now have the most broken aerial assault units in the fucking game. Enter the Nightshroud Bomber. This bastard can drop a Strength 10 AP 1 pie plate on whatever you don't like, and it's a goddamn bomber. So that shit happens before your opponent even gets a chance to intercept. And with 12/12/12 armour and 4 fucking hull points, it is very unlikely that they will even be able to do that.
Oh, was that your squad of Terminators? Not anymore motherfucker! Send it in with a couple (of dozen) Doom Scythes and let the rape begin!
In Battlefleet Gothic
They are still totally fucking overpowered in Battlefleet Gothic though; their cruisers can crush many other race's battleships without much trouble. Although with the discontinuation of BFG by GW, the number of Necron fleets available for sale is now finite and thus the number of faggots who play them(You jelly that your Golden Throned shitters cant compete with crons...ANYWHERE?). Moving on!
Pre-release Rumor Mongering: The Lead Up To Butt-hurt
|This article or section involves Matt Ward, your Spiritual Liege, who is universally-reviled on /tg/. Because this article or section covers Ward's copious amounts of derp and rage, fans of the 40K series are advised that if you proceed onward, you will see fluff and crunch violation of a level rarely seen.|
Incidentally, the first sign of the new fluff changes was a Black Library novel called Fall of Damnos. Instead of the usual soulless abominations who just walk forward in silence and shoot you, the Necron PoVs showed off a complex royal hierarchy featuring the Cryptek Ankh's political machinations and various competing and jostling Lords who all have their own ambitions and problems. Most notable is the Necron "afflictions", where Necrons who long for their flesh will go crazy and become Flayed Ones, hunting for new skins. Meanwhile, Necrons who go a bit too far towards the machine-end end up mutilating themselves into Destroyers. It's all very wacky, and the Necrons are actually pretty talkative too, where the Lord Tahek Voidbringer has some momentary banter with Tigurius during their battle. There's also Sahtah the Enfleshed, a "Flayer Lord" who happily gallops across the icy world of Damnos in his quest for a new face, and the Undying, a very old Lord who constantly forgets where he is in time. You also get weird shit where Necron Warriors let out metallic cries when they phase out, an abandoned and empty throne room, complete with ornate mirrors and empty throne underground, and the fact that Necrons can open their mouths, shrug, and laugh.
On the one hand, the new fluff from Damnos feels very "Tomb Kings in Space", however on the other, it does do a decent job of fleshing out the until-this-point C'Tan lackeys a bit (and Tomb Kings fluff is pretty legit, so ripping it off might not be too bad). However, according to the new Codex, the Necrons themselves did away with the C'Tan and now do their own thing, employing their former masters as nothing more than genies in bottles.
A Disturbing Implication
Oh yes, it could very well be worse alright...
Many years before Matt was the horrifying figure known and loathed the way he is today, he was apparently a Necron player. An old White Dwarf battle report detailed him going up against Ultramarines with his Necrons and getting his ass handed to him. It's easy to see this is where his descent into the blue, white and gold abyss began. However, the truth is likely a far darker one that goes simply beyond the lines of "Hey, what Marines were you using in that game? They were pretty cool..."
His last Space Marine codex had the Blood Angels befriending and fighting alongside Necrons with little to no reason whatsoever. He scarcely ever mentions anything about them otherwise.
Suddenly a little dark voice begins to whisper sinister nothings in your head. Whispers of revelations about absurdities that are uncomfortably plausible given this man-child. Ward spends the last couple years making Space Marines the army faction to go to- the perfect badasses everyone loves. With each codex he makes them more and more ludicrous, more and more powerful till they are all the people know and care for. He lets them sit atop GW's throne of money, basking in their glory.
Then without warning, he pulls the tarp off his final project- the codex Necrons. Insanely and skubtastically blown out of proportion with pants-on-head retarded powers none can match, the Necrons shove the smurfs off their spotlight. Marine players sell out their entire armies just to afford the ridiculous prices on Ward's new bastard creation, pushing the Marines into a dark corner of neglect where ironically the Necrons once hunched imprisoned for nearly a decade.
The other writers will all unite to attempt to thwart Ward's scheme, but it will be far too late. At this point, a statue of a Necron Warrior will stand at the front of the GW HQ on the same pedestal a Space Marine once stood proudly. Ward will be jerking off to Lolicron in his Fortress of Solitude, now located in the middle of the Dead Sea, laughing like a little child who just cheated his way to victory in a game of Candy Land.
TL;DR: Matt Ward spent decades making Space Marines the most played, and noobiest of armies; then made Necrons the most desirable, leaving the Space Marines neglected all in revenge for a defeat he suffered at the hands of an Ultramarines player while he used Necrons. Matt Ward is the fucking Deceiver, and all shall weep as his retardation turns out to be a loathing, evil tactical genius that goes off the charts. Even the Necron players themselves, who realize they've been used after they become the peak of GW standards at the price of ever being remotely likable ever again.
I, for one, welcome our new Necron Overlords.
POETRY AND SHIT
THE BANSHEE'S CALL SHALL WAKE THE DEAD; WHEN DARK PORTENTS WAX NIGH
HEED THEM AS THE COUNSEL OF A SEER, OR A FATHER
THE YNGIR, WHO HAVE SLEPT SINCE THE BIRTH OF CHAOS
SHALL CRAWL ONCE MORE FROM THEIR TOMBS, THIRSTING FOR WARMTH.
THE WAR IN HEAVEN SHALL BE AS NOTHING TO THEIR VENGEANCE
FOR THE SONS OF ASURYAN, FEW IN NUMBER, CANNOT STAND AGAINST THEM.
AND THE EYE OF ISHA SHALL DIM, CLOSING FOR ETERNITY
SUCH A GENTLE GODDESS CANNOT WITNESS SUCH ATROCITIES AS THEY SHALL WREAK.
THE SOULLESS ONES SHALL BE THE HARBINGERS OF THE DARK FATE
THEN SHALL COME THE LIVING DEAD, THE PROGENY
THEN THE THIRSTING ONES, THE FOREVER DAMNED
AND THE GALAXY SHALL RUN RED AS THE BLOOD OF ELDANESH,
THE VAUL-MOON SHALL BRING FORTH THE DRAGON
THE MASTER OF DEATH WILL DRINK DEEP FROM ISHA'S EYE
THAT WHICH LIES OUTSIDE WILL BE DRAWN TO THE HARVEST
AND THE JACKAL-GOD SHALL TURN BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER.
THE FOUR SHALL TAKE THEIR PLACE AMONGST THE STARS,
THEIR LEGIONS ASCENDANT, UNSTOPPABLE AS THE NIGHT
A DEADLY SHROUD SHALL FALL ACROSS THE SPIRIT
AND THE GALAXY SHALL MOURN.
Reasons to be a Necron
- You look like fabulously gaudy gilded Space Egyptian Robot.
- You are already dead and nigh-indestructible, so only entertainment matters.
- You have lots of dakka. Still doesn't match Imperial Artillery and Happy Campers though.
- You have lots of cheese and quirky rules with which to infuriate your opponent. Praise the Spiritual Liege!
- Cronssants, bitches! Between this and all the teleporting units, you can be more mobile than the fucking Dark Eldar.
- You are arguably the most technologically advanced race in the history of 40K.
- You have one of the best canonical trolls of the whole 40k franchise.
- Egyptian mummy robots playing space chess: Minimum Grimdark, maximum fun!
- Your color scheme is Black and Green, and we know how awesome those color schemes are.
- To those who say there's no sex. If you're into that sort of thing, remember, aren't we Necrons robots with hyper advanced tech? Cant we make robot dicks for ourselves? That don't need a 'down time', 'go limp' or get 'premature'?
- The new canon gives you virtually limitless chances to create your own Phaeron and give it whatever kind of quirks you may like.
- Remember how awesome General Grievous was the first time he appeared? That's how Necron Overlords fight in fluff, up to the point they could bring low heavyweights like Captain Cato Sicarius, or 2 CSM Lords in Terminator Armour and their retinue at the same time if "Fall of Damnos" or the Word Bearers novels are any indication.
- Remember when Bender from Futurama was a Pharaoh, yep that's pretty much how Overlords are now.
Reasons to NOT be a Necron
- You're not Grimdark Machine Death March of Doom anymore.
- Well, maybe you are, depending on what Phaeron you serve. The Silent King's wimpy "let's all turn back into squishy mortals" winging only affects about half the Necrons.
- You will be highly hated due to the amount of cheese in your units. Though this does have allure on its own.
- Your entire backstory and plot has been raped. You will be mocked for being "Super Secret Pony Friends" with the Blood Angels. Of course, all your opponent's smug mocking will turn into delicious rage the moment he realizes the amount of cheesy rape your combined Necron and Blood Angel force can bring on the table.
- The Unholy Beast has handled your race with his touch. Although to your credit, the fluff isn't Ward Knights-tier terrible.
- You cannot differentiate the wimminz and the manz, so you will accept the risks.
- Tomb Kings and Vampire Counts for their Warhammer Fantasy equivalents (fun fact: both armies used to be one single Undead army full of mysterious motives and EVULZ, and as such the current state of Necrons is more of a step back to roots than being outright "new").
- Lolcron, a drawfag
- False Immortality
Story of Necron Pariah Kyl SonderOur Spiritual Liege has spoken. What are Pariahs?
- The Tactica.
- Imotekh the Stormlord
- Nemesor Zandrekh, known for being both a total bro and completely senile.
- Trazyn the-- Goddamn it! That link was a fake! Curse you Trollzyn!!!!
- Their theme from Dawn of War.
- Also, Egyptian Death Metal FTW!
- Æonic Orb
- The Eldar Legend of the Nightbringer