Do you remember those cheap, flying croissants that were so prevalent in early 6th Ed. tournaments? Well, here's their older brother. Unlike most of the forces employed by the Necrons, Doom Scythes can function in a highly independent manner and contain an advanced android brain as a pilot which is capable of simulating billions of possible strategies in the span of a few nanoseconds.
Doom Scythes are usually the first wave of a Necron invasion meant to clear out the annoying gibblets so that the more important Night Scythe could teleport its troops on the ground. Its propulsion system is a repulsor drive which is noted to be annoying enough to drive one quite mad. Should the enemy not yield before this, they are armed with twin-linked Tesla Destructors and a Heavy Death Ray (because heavy is usually better) for a more effective 'negotiating stick'.
On the Tabletop
It's basically a Night Scythe with the portal-gun replaced by a S10 AP1 Death Ray, it has random range (in this case the average being 22.5" range), its able to aim anywhere, allowing you to shoot at two different units or place it where a unit is outside cover. While S10 AP1 makes it look made to go for vehicles Necrons are able to anti-tank like no other, so the Death Ray is instead useful at wounding high toughness and/or low armour save (2+) models, which Necrons have trouble fighting (looking at you, Wraithknight), instagibbing multi-wound infantry (Centurions, Obliterators, Nobs, Ogryns) or occasional T5 MC (Daemon Prince), plus it laughs at Imperial Knights and their ion save, as well as Flyers in Hover Mode and Gliding FMCs.
Its only real weakness is small base models since it can be a pain to line up more than 5. Than again, even five S10 AP2 auto hits are close to the volley of bolter fire in effectiveness against your average Ork Boyz mob, or Fire Warrior squad, and while it loses efficiency against skirmishing low-armour save targets, twin-liked tesla destructor rises it's own. With a larger base unit like Terminators, Wraithguard or Warriors, the Death Ray can easily hit the whole unit if you place the Doom Scythe the right way.
With the seventh-edition codex, this popular product of the space bakery got... well, changed slightly.
The changes revolve around the craft's hilariously-named Death Ray. Rather than carve a line through the battlefield it now drops a small blast template, losing the precise, miss-free nature we knew and loved. GW sees our loss, and instead offers us power: this S10 AP1 weapon now also comes with lance, delivering at least a hull point on a 2+, gleefully ripping holes in even the toughest of tanks. Squadded TEQs still fear it, as the small blast is still liable to hit multiple models, but it's sadly less effective against groups or monstrous critters as it can miss now, and one S10 AP1 wound is still only one wound.
Besides the death ray this croissant is largely unchanged, save a slightly lower price point. Still packs a good old Tesla Destructor, still a great air-to-air unit. Jinking, however, is a much worse option this edition, as you can neither fire your Death Ray nor get extra hits from Tesla. Still a solid option, especially if you can clear out dedicated anti-air.
Can be put into a formation that gives some fun special rules around increasing the BS of its Death Ray and pushing down foes' leadership values.
Dogshit. The statline seems reasonable until you realise the Death Ray will always hit on 4s as it is a heavy weapon and the Doom Scythe must move every turn. The two tesla destructors are nice but for 220 points they're a waste of time. Bring a Doomsday ark or some destroyers instead.
- Not quite. If you're playing Sautekh this is not a concern since they ignore the penalty for moving and firing Heavy weapons. Additionally, if you're bringing enough to form an Air Wing Detachment (3 or more), you can make just that detachment Sautekh, leaving the rest as whichever dynasty you prefer.
It's ok. It now costs 200 points, and the -1 to hit when moving and shooting Heavy weapons now only applies to infantry. It replaces its "have 3 Doom Scythes look a a target and that target evaporates" stratagem with Atavistic Instigation, which really is only good for locking down enemy units that are about to charge you. Aside from that though, the Death Ray is Heavy 3, S12, AP-4, Dd3 + 3. It kicks ass, but its lack of an invuln and/or Quantum Shielding makes it far squishier than its counterparts like Doomsday Arks.
Battlefleet Gothic Armada 1 & 2
Necron Doom Scythes are the Necron's only answer to fighters in Battlefleet Gothic Armada 1 & 2. Like the Ork Fighta-Bommers, Doom Scythes both function as a fighter and a bomber. However, Doom Scythes are even better than the Orks, dealing 0.4 seconds of hull damage per tick rather than 0.3. They are also faster than their Ork counterparts and hilariously, come in even more numbers than the so-called Horde armies. All in all, Doom Scythes are one of the best fighters/bomber combo in the game.