"Necrons?! Hide the tanks!"
- – Any Strategist Who Knows About What Necrons Do To Armor.
"They lived to face a new nightmare. The war against the machines."
- – Sarah Connor
"Are they dead?"
"A debatable question."
- – Ciaphas Cain and a Captain of the Reclaimers Chapter
"I'll be back."
- – The T-800, incidentally describing both individual Necrons and the race as a whole
Necrons (Robo-Zombie Ægyptons in SPEHSS)(Totally Not Knock-offs Of The Terminator. In SPEHSS) are one of the main factions in Warhammer 40,000. Basically, they're a bunch of soulless, skeletal, alien killing machines (think “gingers with disintegrators”) led by a robot aristocracy of angry murder machines and 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 the Rogue Trader era, they have seen great change in almost every edition. Space Crusade (sort of) introduced them as "Chaos Androids" (oh, the irony...), and their first appearance under the Necron name was towards the end of second edition, where they were (as "Necron Raiders") a mysterious faction with essentially zero fluff and only a few models, all of which looked incredibly silly. However, with third edition they got their own Codex and a bunch of models fleshing them out as an army and introducing their rulers, and 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, making them Newcrons. In short, they became Tomb Kings IN SPESS and the C'tan were demoted to being their bitches. And that's about it. Do note that although they are space Tomb Kings, they are not necessarily space Egyptians.
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 based on the ease with which they can blow up vehicles using the basic Warrior's Gauss Flayer. The rapid change in fluff between the 5th edition codex and its predecessor is controversial, to put it lightly. While both versions of the Necrons' background have their fans, many would agree that the retconning was drastic and heavy-handed (Pariahs were awesome, until they were scrapped by our spiritual liege completely, probably because he realised how awesome they were and couldn't stand the idea of some of the lime-light being stolen from his precious Ultrasmurfs). On one hand, the Necrons' theme used to be that they were emotionless, implacable alien killers led by Lovecraftian star gods that fed on people's 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 40,000. The new codex however gets rid of all that mystery and removes the dangerous feel the Necrons used to have in exchange for giving the individual Necron leaders and armies individual personality, which in turn allowed players to make their armies different rather than maintaining a one-dimensional "kill every living" MO. Whether you're a fan of this or not is up to you; there are pros and cons to both. This was different from the previous situation where basically everyone had an army of similar silver (or blue, for that matter) 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.
The 7E Fluff in the codex is actually a lot more complex than those of prior codices, with complete sections dedicated to paint schemes and analyses on the markings on them (Where the last edition only barely even begins with that) while also beginning to fluff out some of the more prominent dynasties. However, not much of it actually changed from the last codex, so the C'tan are still a thing (but now they're treated with even less respect than a warrior, rather than leading the dudes), and the Newcrons as a simplified whole are still eccentric, megalomaniacal undead robots.
With the Necrons now being somewhat popular, they have received a respectable amount of Forgeworld loving, thanks to the fact that they were featured in Imperial Armor 12 along with the Minotaurs Chapter Space Marines (meaning we finally got units like Tomb Stalkers and the amazing Megalith Heavy Construct, the latter of which is probably the closest thing to a Necron Titan that we will ever see in game). In local skub news, we have also gained some understanding of what the ancient Necrontyr looked like thanks to Yvraine and one of those half-baked novels BL forgets to proof-read! And the answer is... half-elves. No, really.
Good news, everyone! With the announcement of 9th Edition, Necrons will take their turn as the featured "bad guy" army. It appears that most, if not all, of the oldest Necron model kits are finally getting long-overdue replacements. Meanwhile several entirely new unit types have been seen in teaser pics, and one of the "new" characters is the Silent King himself. Whatever all this bodes for the Imperium in the actual background lore, it certainly won't be good for humanity. We also got the Seraptek Heavy Construct, which is the Necron equivalent to a Knight Castellan.
9th edition is adding and expanding upon the lore in some interesting ways, such as the Necrons creating "still" areas, that are stilling the currents of the warp, which essentially means that daemons within these areas are trapped, unable to move; this sounds awesome until it becomes apparent that Imperial ships are also unable to move either, and instead slowly sink deeper and deeper into the depth of the sea of souls. Areas of the galaxy that have become stilled find themselves permanently separated from the rest of the galaxy, and humans within these areas slowly become slower and more zombie like as the warp around them becomes a dead zone. The Silent King is even experimenting with the possibility that humans could be used for reverse biotransference, something aided by the fact that humans and ancient Necrontyr were fairly similar.
During the original biotransference it was the Necrontyr children and infants (and all those who were considered weak or disposable) that would become the common Necron Warriors, so have fun imagining that the sounds escaping their mouths, when you kill them, are possibly the screams of a child, who has been killed, revived and killed, over and over again.
Apparently, 'Necron' is also the title of a bizarre and retarded fetish comic of some sort.
- 1 The Old Fluff - Angry Space Terminators
- 2 The New Fluff - Space Egyptians/Tomb Kings In Space
- 3 Regarding Fluff Change - Sore Butts Everywhere.
- 4 Game Play
- 5 In Battlefleet Gothic
- 6 In Roleplay
- 7 The long debate on Necrontyr former appearance
- 8 Reasons to be a Necron
- 9 Reasons to NOT be a Necron
- 10 Novels and stories featuring the Necrons
- 11 See Also
- 12 Gallery
- 13 Navigation
The Old Fluff - Angry Space Terminators
The Necrons were introduced, as mentioned before, in Space Crusade as a type of enemy to fight in the form of "Chaos Androids". Really, the only thing to describe about them here is that they're pretty derpy. Oh, and 2E had a model used for Assholetep.
A long time ago (even before the Eldar) the Necrontyr lived on a planet blasted by radiation from their sun. Their short lives were filled from beginning to end with cancer, AIDS, and pain. The only reason the Necrontyr formed an empire beyond their planet at all was because they put their people in stasis pods and made extremely long journeys across interstellar distances. But the damage their sun did to their genes was permanent, so they still had short, cancer-prone lives.
While all this sun-rape was going on a race of psychically-attuned space precursors called the Old Ones had already 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 (Or the Eldar gods. It's quite confusing in all honesty).
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 after the Old Ones refused to help. The Old Ones were indeed much stronger and repelled Necrontyr assault after assault until the race was clinging to the edge of the galaxy and their lives.
The Necrontyr finally encountered a space-borne anomaly- some celestial fart gas that did nothing but eat stars. Eventually, for some reason, the Necrontyr crafted shells of living metal for them. They were then known as the C'tan , literally “star god” in the Necrontyr tongue. The Star Gods were beings with almost absolute power over the corporeal world, while 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 called it that) for eternal life. The Necrontyr knew him as Mephet'ran ("The Messenger") because no one in their right mind would actually trust a guy named the Deceiver. The Deceiver promised the living Necrontyr race immortality and fun times if they would sacrifice their bodies to the gods to be replaced with metallic goodness, made from a very durable and self-repairing material called Necrodermis. 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 roboticizing its followers. The race had their souls ripped out of their collective urethrae, replacing the Necrontyr with the skeletal bodies of the Necrons.
War breaks out between the Necrons and the Old Ones, this war being named the War in Heaven since all of the awesome shit that went down was akin to the gods themselves fighting. The Old Ones get their asses soundly beat over and over again and created 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 (which essentially means that the Old Ones are responsible for all the Chaos-infested shit that goes down these days). At this point, the old Necron fluff and new 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 both interpretations plausible. However, being allies doesn’t mean the Eldar weren’t created or modified by them. In Eldar culture, there's another great conflict also known as the War in Heaven. This is primarily where the theory that the Old Ones and the Eldar Pantheon are potentially the same thing comes from (if true, that means some Old Ones are still alive, namely Isha, Cegorach, and Khaine, though Khaine is split into a bajillion pieces so truly alive is debatable for him). But the most likely explanation for this is that GeeDubs' writers never talk to each other about the intricacies of this stuff and ended up giving two different conflicts the same damn name. However, the Eldar were present in both wars, so... eh?
Anyway, after the Old Ones' strategy of cranking out race after race to be used as cannon fodder backfires when an Enslaver Plague rolls 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's as this point that they realize that their excessive OMNOMNOM habits are causing their own food (essentially EVERYTHING) to die out. So, they and their Necron slaves decide to go to sleep for 60 million years 'till the scrumptious morsels known as EVERYTHING regrow.
In present time, the Necrons 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 to turn the galaxy into paradise for the C'tan.
In essence, OldCron fluff basically makes them "Evil Order", as opposed to "Evil Chaos" (redundant in this universe), or "Metal Tyranids" because of the emotionless mass of silver that represents their armies (with guys like Thomas Macabee being more of an exception than a rule).
The New Fluff - Space Egyptians/Tomb Kings In Space
This new incarnation, love it or hate it, gives the Necrons a whole wide array of personality and every single Necron dynasty now has different goals and motives, not to mention paint schemes, markings, etc. Basically, the original fluff was changed in order to make them more like an actual empire with unique sub-factions 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 - which, due to poor writing, works just like any other empire made out of meat, instead of reflecting the narrative opportunities available to a race of robots. For a far, far better game-based exploration of how to introduce individualized personalities in a race of A.I.s, play the Mass Effect series of games and explore the Geth/Quarian storylines in full (Geth aren't in Mass Effect: Andromeda, so focus on the Shepard/Reaper Wars Mass Effect trilogy). 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. This is of no help, however, if you enjoyed the absolute supremacy of the C'Tan as literal immortal gods of the materium, and the stories that unfold thereby, who were at least capable of going toe-to-toe with The Ruinous Powers themselves, rather than being just another punchbag that GW puts on display in order to show how badass somebody else is, whose figurines they hope you'll purchase.
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). Additionally, the murderbot legacy lives on in the omnicidal Destroyer Cult and 9th edition saw the introduction of a host of new Destroyer units.
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 scattered 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 have been written about him in novels. Essentially, the full C'Tan were massively, massively powerful and the 'shard' versions of them are now a lot more manageable. And of course, as everyone knows, the Outsider is still on his extra-galactic camping trip, totally whole and crying over WHAAAAAT HEEE'S DOOONNE!!!.
Same as the original lore, the necrontyr were an alien race that lived extremely short, painful lives since their sun caused them to be riddled with cancer and other defects, and the tomb complexes they built were much larger than their towns, constantly reminding of their inevitable deaths. Whilst it can be assumed they were essentially humanoid, only pieces are known about their biology, such as having two eyes that could shed tears the same way human eyes do and having sexual reproduction. The latter was markedly different though, given the Necrons' disgust at humans having a dual purpose reproductive / urinary system. Indeed, talking about scatalogocal matters was a serious taboo for Necrontyr, to the point that they willingly forgot most of their language's words for excrement upon becoming Necrons.
They focused their short lives on science in a desperate attempt to find a way to increase their lifespans, but they never managed to. For context, Trazyn stated that the average Imperial citizen only lived a little longer than the average Necrontyr at the height of the Empire. Furthermore, Oltyx stated that when the cancer emerged, even the best Necrontyr health care could only delay the cancer's onset for forty years at best.
They encountered the Old Ones, who offered to help them but wouldn't or couldn't make the Necrontyr immortal. Thus grew their collective hate towards the near-immortal Old Ones. Additionally, it was said by a human psyker who saw the past of the Necrontyr that they were wracked by unimaginable pain due to their cancers, which more than likely factored heavily into their later decision to become Necrons.
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 and prevent his people from destroying themselves in their own general stupidity, with the Old Ones' refusal to share immortality as an excuse for war rather than inspiring the envy that started the war.
Of course, the Old Ones ended up kicking their butts and booted the Necrontyr back to their old star system. Fuming and licking their wounds, the Necrontyr happened upon a C'tan who just so happened to have been omnomnomming on their system's star for the past few million years. Attracted to the pure hate and rage the Necrontyr held for the Old Ones, the C'tan, known as the Nightbringer, was given a Necrodermis body in order to communicate with the Necrontyr. In doing so, it gained the sort of sapience recognizable to mortal beings, and also realized that souls were a lot tastier, and far, far more nutritious than stellar radiation. Also for some reason the thing was evil. As in it gave even Slannesh a run for its money in terms of pure, unadulterated sadism. The Necrontyr managed to placate the thing, and before long, a few of its buddies showed up. Apparently, the C'tan weren't terribly fond of the Old Ones either, and one of them, the Deceiver, came up with a way for the C'tan to... well basically get everything they wanted at the expense of the Necrontyr. He proposed to the current Silent King, Szarekh, that the Necrontyr vow to serve the C'tan in exchange for new, immortal bodies. Believing that the Necrontyr had nothing left to lose at that point, Szarekh agreed. Problem was, the devious Star God had neglected to tell Szarekh that the process of giving the Necrontyr these shiny new bodies involved the C'tan consuming the literal souls of his people. After feasting on 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 kill off the last Old Ones and while the C'tan were recuperating, the Silent King then ordered the Necrons to turn on the C'tan. You see, even after millions of years of war and little in the way of emotions (no soul after all), he was pretty salty about having been tricked into sacrificing his entire race to the C'tan. Caught by surprise, the C'tan were defeated and 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 their endless wars (it is said that literally trillions of the Necrons were destroyed), and the Eldar were reaching the height of their power. Plus, even taken by surprise and weakened, the C'tan hadn't gone down without a fight. 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 its former glory (A role he left his Triarch Praetorians to cover later). Following this, he freed the Necrons from his control and 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. What this exactly means is left to the interpretation of each Overlord. The overall unity of the Necron people is gone for the most part leaving each individual Dynasties to once again rule for themselves. While Necron warriors are pretty much just automatons and Immortals are not much better, the majority of the upper echelon of Necron society retain 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 Necron Lords who honor valor in battle, Necron Lords who are obsessed with finding the perfect flesh bodies to transfer their sentience back into, and a Necron Lord who acts and commands its people like true robots due to damage to their Tomb World among others. The Silent King, who left the galaxy after defeating the C'tan (basically exiling himself for the unforgivable crime of allowing the C'tan to remove the souls of his people), encountered the Tyranids in the void between galaxies and has returned to spur the Necrons into action against the Bugs. The Silent King realized 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 even a few Necron Lords who even work or trade with other races. However, as with all the factions of 40k, this is rare. (Yes, Necrons led by Anrakyr and Blood Angels did end up fighting against a Tyranid Hive Fleet together. Twice. And then Trazyn decides to give the Imperium a hand at Cadia and see if he could get Abaddon as part of his collection). 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). To make matters more complicated though, if Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is to be believed, it was The Deceiver who handed over the Blackstone Fortresses to Abbadon, thereby allowing him to destroy the Necron Pylons and overrun Cadia. Was it an act to spite the Necrons by aiding Chaos, or does he have a doublecross in the works?
There's also more variations of characters. For example, the Silent King feels bad about being deceived by the Deceiver and now seeks to reverse biotransference. He also found out about the Tyranids while kicking about in the intergalactic void, and so is trying to unify his people to destroy the Nids. Imotekh the Stormlord, Phaeron of the Sautekh Dynasty, also seeks to reunite the Infinite Empire with him at its head. And finally, Trazyn just wants to make his museum more interesting by collecting everything. As for the C’tan- they now exist as shards, used as soldiers, fuel, and, as seen in Battlefleet Gothic Armada 2 by Phaeron Amarkun of the Nepheru, bombs. Craftworld-killing bombs.
Regarding Fluff Change - Sore Butts Everywhere.
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 (they were badass on the table top, but over-priced and no We'll Be Back roll)). The Pariahs' origins were a great way to show an outsider's perspective of the Necrons (they're humans or other meatbags with the Pariah Gene who get forcibly turned into Necrons) and something that Thomas Macabee in Dark Crusade just made so incredibly badass. It would also fit perfectly into the new fluff showcasing success in combining the Necrons and the living to create a new life form. But there is good news: Hammer & Anvil more or less confirmed that Pariahs are still canon in a way. They are just experiments done by bored Crypteks, and the 7E 'dex in particular has a story where Illuminor Szeras decides to kidnap a Culexus Assassin and use it to research the Pariah Gene. And really this loss was by no means required for this change in fluff. In fact, Pariahs make even more sense with this version of the fluff than they did in the old.
In any case, the Warhammer 40k galaxy already has a pantheon of four asshole gods, plus 'two other asshole gods, KRUMP! ZOG YERSELF, GROT! so who gives a shit if the C'tan wannabes got turned into legendary pokemon? SNICK! The dead claim you all, fleshlings!
There was also the matter of their alliance with the Blood Angels that made everyone break into sperglord rage. See, Matt Ward was trying to ready the Necrons for their soon-to-come fluff revision where they went from a mindless army to a proper empire with actual politics. If Ward had written the Angel/Cron alliance properly, i.e. making it clear the alliance was one made of desperation than any really attempts to be friendly, and the Silent King really just wanted to play Dante as a fool and leave him for dead after the battle (as was made clear in later Black Library publications, see list below), it would have passed quietly and we wouldn't have /tg/ being drama queens as usual.
There's also the "Shield of Baal" campaign where Anrakyr the Traveller decides to assist the Blood Angels, their successors, and some other Imperials with their Tyranid infestation by using a strange piece of Necron Archaeotech that got powered by a C'tan shard to the point of overloading so hard that the resulting radiation nearly killed everyone present.
So really, now the Necrons have become their playstyle: An army of metallic trolls.
Necrons have strong weaponry, high toughness, but generally very little mobility. They're also expensive as hell in points.
Pre 5th edition Codex
Pre-5th edition, the Necrons competitively were monobuilt to all hell. Depending on what they were up against they would be THE virtually unstoppable shooty army, or easily countered. Essentially this came down to whether or not you had enough hard counters to heavy infantry. If you didn't, you'd get the infamous "March of Doom", which was basically a non-stop forward march of Necron Warriors, Immortals, and Destroyers to flatten the table. The Necrons' innate WBB (We'll Be Back) 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.
If you did have a counter to Heavy Infantry, you'd quickly crush the Necron infantry while ignoring the extremely resilient units like Monoliths and cause the Necron survivors to Phase Out, which means the Necron Player will auto-lose should their forces go down to 25% of the starting numbers.
Necron were also severely nerfed in the start of 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 inflicts glancing hits against vehicles on a roll of 6. 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.
5th and 6th Edition
In 5th Edition, due to the new Armour Penetration rules, Necron Warriors could still harass, stun-lock, and annoy all vehicles, but were 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. 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 in 6th (due to 6th Edition's change with rapid fire rule and vehicle hull points), Necrons are back to 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 they need to be within 12" for that to happen so they can rapid fire it (otherwise it only loses 2 Hull Points), 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 in 6th are still a very powerful and dangerous force. Due to VERY limited flyer defense and being able to take fliers as dedicated transports, their fliers ended up being insanely overpowered (though once everyone got reasonable AA defense that wasn't an issue) and thanks to the overall buff to shooting, the Necrons are very high tier in codex power.
Now the Necron army is 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. They also have somewhat useful Monstrous Creatures of sorts in the form of Canoptek Spyders and C'tan Shards.
Necron warriors are fairly reliable troops with near-Marine stats and a 4+ save, though they essentially have a delayed 5+ Feel No Pain Save with their "Reanimation Protocols" rule (4+ with a Resurrection Orb in the unit). Immortals are pretty much Space Marine equivalents.
The infamous Monolith is easily the most recognizable unit that the Necrons possess. It has 14 armour on each side (and thus no vulnerable spots), a main weapon that cannot be disabled with a "weapon destroyed" result and the ability to teleport your troops out of harm's way (or into it if you're badass). The Monolith is no longer the nigh invulnerable mountain of rape it used to be, as it can no longer ignore the Melta special rule, and the Monolith's combat performance is outstripped by several of their new vehicles. This means the once proud 'Lith has been relegated to Apocalypse battles. Good job, Matt Ward.
Necron infantry are generally slow moving, hard hitting, much like the Space Marines, if the Space Marine infantry units had Feel No Pain as part of their base rules and they forgot to take drop pods or transport vehicles. The Necrons back this with annoying deep-strikers and fast-moving units that are designed to support the main advance. There is nothing - I repeat - NOTHING, scarier than a Necron player with almost-cheating luck. But they all look like skellingtons and some of them wear the meat of their victims, they're MEANT to be scary.
The first thing people noticed about 7E is the Necrons got back their amazing glancing powers with Gauss. This causes squees among the playerbase. Seriously, if gauss weapons were this effective in X-COM: Terror From the Deep, players would be tugging themselves off about them.
The other big change to their army is the changes made to the Reanimation Protocols (RP). Now instead of being a means of bringing everything back from the dead, it's reduced to a FNP-alike that comes after all armor saves, except it can be used against ID (Though at -1 penalty). Resurrection Orbs now give you a turn's worth of rerolls for RP. Taking a postmark identity from a once cool army a revealing the Inquisitions plan all along to destroy the necrons by giving them a personality, destroying the Star Gods and when nobody is looking taking away the we'll be back. There are some other changes (MSS now useless, Wraiths now Beasts,
Crypteks losing everything fun, Destroyers are Jetpack Infantry), but these are the ones that changed the most.
But the single most trolltastic weapon the Necron player has on hand is the one that doesn't even involve buying a central unit: The Decurion FOC. Simply put, this is an entire formation made of Formations, with a central one giving room for warriors, Immortals, Tomb Blades, Monolith, and a central Overlord, while giving options like the good ol' Royal Court, a formation for Canoptek-flavored cheese, a formation for Triarchs, and all be counted as Battle-Forged. The biggest change this brought was that, due to each individual component being technically a formation in it's own right, this lets you field some hilariously broken shit and still counts as battleforged; want to take nothing but wraiths and spyders backed by doomscythes? now you can and watch your opponent tears flow like the nile.
The gauss flayers are 24" rapid fire at ap-1, and the blaster is ap-2. Living metal is also an automatic wound recovery. Monoliths have 20 wounds, and can once again suck people into its gaping maw. Reanimation Protocols are now taken at the beginning of the user turn, and on a 5+ a model that has died is returned... no matter how long ago it got offed, no matter how many previous times you've rolled for it, as long as the unit isn't wiped out you can roll for it. Mortal Wounds can kiss Necron's collective shiny metal asses. So far, Cronz are gonna be just as durable and scary as they once were.
Reanimation Protocols: Roll a D6 for each slain model from this unit (unless the whole unit has been completely destroyed) at the beginning of your turn. On a 5+ return the model to the unit. This can happen in EVERY subsequent phase. So if a warrior dies turn 1, you roll turn 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on until it's back or the unit is destroyed.
Living Metal: At the beginning of your turn, this model recovers 1 Wound lost earlier in battle. Characters and Vehicles benefit from this rule.
Powers of the C'Tan: Before the battle begins, generate the Powers of the C'tan for each C'tan Shard using the following table. You can either roll a D3 to generate their powers randomly (re-rolling duplicates) or you can select the powers you want the C'tan shard to have. -(Why they have both options is beyond me.)
-1: Antimatter Meteor: Roll a D6; on a 2+ the closest enemy unit within 24" of the C'tan Shard suffers D3 mortal wounds
-2: Time's Arrow: Pick a visible enemy unit within 24" of the C'tan Shard and roll a D6. If the result is higher than that unit's Wounds characteristic, one model from that unit is slain.
-3: Seismic Assault: Roll a D6 for each model in the closest enemy unit within 24" of the C'tan Shard. For each roll of 6, that unit suffers a mortal wound.
HQ's Common Abilities: ResOrb: If this Model has a ResOrb, once per battle, immediately after you have made your RP rolls, you can make RP rolls for models from a friendly <Dynasty> Infantry unit within 3" of this model. Phase Shifter: 4+ Invuln My Will Be Done (either GW is throwing Tomb Kings fans a bone or making a jab at us/them): At the beginning of each of your turns, choose a friendly <Dynasty> Infantry unit within 6" of this model. You can add 1 to the Advance, charge and hit rolls of that unit until the beginning of your next turn. A unit can only be affected by this ability once in each turn.
Imotekh the Stormlord:
Overlord: 7 Points M 5"/ WS 2+/ BS 2+/ S5/ T5/ W5/ A3/ Ld10/ Sv3+ Equipped with Staff of Light, Living Metal, Phase Shifter Can take any Melee May take ResOrb My Will Be Done
8th edition necrons are also almost impossible to shift from morale with army wide Ld10. The changes to vehicles have nerfed Gauss weapons into oblivion though, as although absolutely everything is now capable of wounding vehicles, the amount of wounds needed plus the low chance of wounding at all results in you needing hundreds of shots to destroy them.
8th Edition Necrons were pretty bland, all in all. 9th sought to fix that and delivered in some very good ways.
Every army in 9th has some sort of Combat Doctrine-esque gimmick. The Necrons have Command Protocols. These are orders issued out by your highest-ranking noble and repeated by every character in your army. Reflecting the Necrons' discipline and rigidity, these protocols come in the form of six different cards with two different effects; you pick five of them at the start of the game and arrange them in a very specific order. Each card is then revealed every battle round, and depending on the situation, you pick the effect that suits you best. If you play as one of the main dynasties, they each favor one of these protocols and can choose both options! After which, a unit has to start within 6" of a character to receive these protocols and benefit from them. There is a Fortification that also transmits these protocols, but it sucks ass. Don't bother with it.
Crypteks are no longer just "Crypteks". They now represent four different disciplines that they are known for. They are known as Psychomancers, Plasmancers, Chronomancers, and Technomancers. Those tiles hanging off their necks? They're totally Maesters from Game of Thrones. In space. The Infinite and the Divine even confirms they're made out of a material relevant to each Cryptek's area of expertise, and even aid in enhancing their techno sorceries! Totally not magic, you guys.
The common, rank and file warriors have a shorter ranged Gauss gun, called the Gauss reaper, which shoots at assault 2, 12", ap-2 and dmg 1. They also now have the ability to REROLL 1s ON REANIMATION PROTOCOLS. This. Is. Huge. And potentially friendship breaking... like you have any.
Speaking of Reanimation protocol: It now works... differently. You do not roll per model, PER WOUND. But that is not all. During the shooting and fighting phases, you roll on reanimation protocols every time an enemy unit finishes attacking one of your units with Reanimation Protocols and has killed at least one model in the unit, unless the entire unit got destroyed. (Not abilities, morale tests or psychic fuckery) This is also all or nothing- if a model has multiple wounds, you need to succeed (on a 5+. 4+ if affected by a Reanimator) on all of the wounds a model has to bring it back.
Single wound models like Warriors and Immortals reanimate the same as always, one die per guy since they are only one wound each. Remember the reanimation reroll on Warriors!
For multiwound units: For example, you have a unit of 10 Lychguard. They have 2 wounds each- that's 20 wounds in the unit. During your opponent's shooting phase, your Lychguard encountered the business end of a vulcan-mega bolter. Thankfully, it only killed 5 of them, and the rest of the weapons took down an additional two.
Seven Lychguard died, and the Stormlord's shooting is complete. This means 14 wounds. So, you roll 14d6. Set aside results of 5+; for each one, you can regain one wound. A Lychguard will not revive until you heal all of its wounds; any left over are lost. Let us say you rolled really well and got 6 fives and 5 sixes. That's 11 wounds back. This is enough to equal the wounds of 5 Lychguard, so you bring 5 Lychguard back from the dead. The single wound left over is not enough to bring back another Lychguard. Eight Lychguard remain.
Reanimation Orbs now allow a once-a-game reanimation roll for a given unit based off the base number of models they started the game with. This gives you one last chance to bring as many back as you can.
Did I mention Technomancers just straight up bring back a model with their Rites of Reanimation ability? Because they can. They can bring back one Infantry model, and if it's a Warrior unit, 1d3 Warriors, during the Command Phase. Stick one behind a unit of Heavy Destroyers and give an opponent fits.
There are now melee destroyers! To differentiate them, the classic hovering destroyers are called Lokhusts, while the melee variant are called Skorpekhs. They walk on three crab legs and are basically 40k versions of the Ossiarch Bonereapers' Necropolis Stalkers. Even their weapon options are similar. Skorpekhs even get their own Lord! These boys can melt through a Marine's armor like a hot knife through butter. If you ever felt Lychguard were too slow and lacked natural rerolls, this unit is the unit for you.
The Monolith got a fancy new resculpt. It is now a Lord of War and is extremely expensive both IRL and ingame. It has a new anti-armor loadout that replaces its gauss arrays with Death Rays. DEATH RAYS. They even got bumped up to a 2+ armor save. They still die surprisingly quickly due to not having any save vs Mortals, no FNP, and no built-in invuln save. Pair these with a Chronomancer.
Index time! Another soft restart of the Necrons as an army. One may even ask if GeeDubs even know what to do with the poor skelly bois since 7th edition. However this time it seems they got it right.
First of all, subfactions, relics, warlord traits, most of the keywords and strategems are gone. Instead, each faction has their "Army rules" and "Detachment rules". Army rules are static, Detachment rules changed based on your ... well detachment. Going further about detachment, those are your subfactions now with "Enhancements" (read Warlord traits/Relics) and Strategems. But fret not (yet), over corporate overlord James Workshop tried to streamline your pool of choosing. Each detachment has now 4 Enhancements and 6 Strategems plus their detachment rule. Got it? Good. Now going further, one notable change is "The Leader" rules. Some characters now can be attached to some units and giving those units buffs and abilities. This will be important for later, trust me.
Now, how all these changes affected Necrons? Oh let me tell you.
First of all, Necron Army rule is yet another itteration of Reanimation protocols. I know, but trust me when I say third time is the charm. In your command phase units in your army activate their Reanimation protocols and reanimate D3. If any model in the unit is not at its starting wound characteristics, you start adding result of your D3 roll by 1 wound at the time until said model is fully healed. If you still have wounds to spare, if this unit is not at their full model number, you add back 1 model at 1 wound and start healing this model. You continue until you have used up all your D3 wounds. Now you may start screeching "that is so mid!" and you would be right. Emphasis on would be. Why? Let me explain it to you. As in previous editions, you can buff reanimation protocol somehow. Because of how it worked previously buffs were either "+1 to roll" or "trigger ability when you want". James Workshop sprinkled these buffs very and I mean VERY sparingly. It also got reflected on Necron model pricing. Because "it is so broken to return model"! Well this edition ... this kinda went out of the window.
Introducing Reanimation protocol combo shenanigas! Let us start with our favourite Necron warriors. 20 models have 20 wounds. Their special rule is that instead of D3 they reanimate D6 and D3+3 while on an objective. Guaranteed 4 wounds/models each turn. But we can go further. Let us bring character to the mix. Lets add Overlord or Lord with good ol Orb. This piece of gear instead of triggering once per battle gives passive ability that reanimation protocols trigger also in your opponent´s Command phase. Right now, per turn if we stand on an objective we are at 2D3+6 which is guaranteed 8 wounds/models per turn. But we can go further. Canoptek reanimator have gotten a glowup worthy of Silent king himself. It now gives off 12" aura that adds D3 to your reanimation roll each time it activates. That is 4D3+6 per turn with 10 wounds/models guaranteed. Do you hear the Mechanicus players weep yet? Well I dont, so lets go further. Let us attach one more character. A cryptek, namely Technomancer. While being attached to a unit, this unit has 5+ Feel no Pain ability, which is "on a 5+ ignore lost wound". Do you hear the cries of pain and frustration yet? No? Here, add 2 Cryptothralls. Now, how that increases your survivability. Simple. They themeselves have 4+ FNP and 2 wounds with Toughness 5. And unlike characters upon death they do not "deattach" from unit and thus can be reanimated. Voila. A fine soup. To be fair tho, this edition has been so broken so far that this is considered "normal" or even "decent" at best.
Saying all that though, Necrons have been so far in the middle when it comes to competetive play which is best spot to be in currently since it ensure stability. And generally speaking, most of their units are decent and playable (except Psychomancer and Obelisk of course).
Continuing with the Detachment rules, so far there is only one that gives unit +1 to hit if a Leader model is attached. Overall very decent.
This is where I must end for now since there really is nothing more to talk of. Lore had nothing so far and no new models were released yet. We will have to wait till the end of the year for 10th edition codex replacing free indexes (thank you James Workshop), new models promised with new codex and lastly there will be TV show on Warhammer+ named "Pariah Nexus" which will hopefully finally expand lore about Illuminor Szeras and his null zone (that does not work on miracles for some reason...) that got introduced back in 8th edition. Overall, hopium levels are all time high.
How to Play (and Fight) the Necrons
The current state of 10th Edition (as of October 2023) is reasonably balanced; Necrons were taken down a peg with the balance patch, but are still very comfortably winning games at a casual level.
The fact of the matter is, beating Necrons reliably is a skill issue. If you do not allocate your firepower in a smart way, you will leave units alive. If you leave units alive, reanimation protocols will bring them back to full strength in no time. Often your best option as a necron player is to bait your opponent into shooting your warriors/lychguard/brick unit with not enough damage to kill it, then you can use your stratagems and reanimator to repair the damage by the start of your turn. Doing this reliably requires that you know exactly how much your unit can take, and what sort of units you should expose it to. Most of your leaders can only go on warriors, lychguard and immortals. The real strength of the army is how much more you can jam into a block to make it hit harder, with a little planning you can become nigh-indestructible.
Praise James Workshop, the default detachment is surprisingly solid. Good enhancements, fantastic (and cheap) stratagems, and the detachment ability itself is an uncomplicated single sentence that elegantly covers the way the lore describes the silver tides; Enhanced by the command protocols of their betters, moving in lockstep to serve the will of their uncompromising Overlords.
- Hypermaterial Ablator - Starting off strong, this lovely equipment gives your squad the Stealth ability (-1 to be hit with shooting) and the benefits of cover (+1 to save) at great than 12". You'll want to stick this in a Lychguard or Warrior block.
- Sempiternal Weave - Gives a character a 4+++. Simple, easy, and balanced for 10 points. Until you realise that a Transcendent C'tan is a non-epic character, and thus can wear the Weave. Was a t11, 12 wound, half damage model with a 4++ meant to have a 4+++ as well? It hasn't been updated away yet, and the recent rules clarification even gave the C'tan reanimation protocols (when it seems to be not included on the original index card), so it looks like it is here to stay...
- Veil of Darkness - Alas, how the mighty have fallen. This enhancement no longer pulls your warrior squad out of engagement to sneak into your opponent's deployment zone. Now has the requirement of being out of engagement, and you have to pull them out during the end of your opponent's turn. Definitely the least impressive option out of the four, but this effect is by no means bad. Just somewhat overshadowed by the others.
- Sovereign Coronal - Here's where your list-building gets funky. As mentioned above, most of your leaders only attach to 3 types of infantry. The Coronal throws this out the window. You can stick this lovely enhancement on a leader with lone operative (Technomancer with cape, Hexmark) to safely empower anything within 6" of the bearer. This handily enables some silly shenanigans with many unit options that normally couldn't get a leader bonus; Vehicles especially benefit from having a crown-bearer to give them +1 to hit and the Conquering Tyrant stratagem (see below). Easily the best of the 4 enhancements, just from the sheer amount of options this gives you in brewing up a list.
Stratagems: Command Protocols are back in a very different form, appearing as 6 stratagems instead of 9th Editions faction ability. These are all fantastic, and are all very likely to see use no matter what your list contains. Almost every single one has a first effect guaranteed, and the second effect added on if your target has a leader. Prudent application of this second part is crucial for using these effectively.
- Protocol of the Eternal Guardian - The detachment relies on characters, and for 1 CP you can keep your lynchpin alive. The timing of this stratagem is odd; The resurrection happens immediately in the attack sequence, so if your opponent has enough overflow damage it'll just kill your character dead for a second time.
Still, this is excellent protection against precision damage, and is especially good if you use it on Illuminor Szeras, who is an infantry character, despite having the stat block of a monster.
- Protocol of the Hungry Void - +1 Strength, and an extra pip of AP. Easy as. An Overlord can give this to a squad of lychguard (with shields) for free once per round, pushing them up to S7 and AP-3. Great breakpoint for wounding those tenacious t6 custodes, while getting better odds on wounding t12 vehicles.
- Protocol of the Conquering Tyrant - When shooting, reroll all wound rolls against targets within half range, or if the unit has a leader then it applies at full range. This is the second stratagem that an Overlord can give for free, and it puts in surprising work while in a Warrior squad. S5, Lethal hits and reroll all wounds can do some surprising work into all but the toughest units. For an extra spicy use though, slap this on a Monolith or Seraptek while its being supported by a Sovereign Coronal. Weapons with Devastating wounds benefit heavily from the full rerolls; You can easily fish for an incredible amount of unavoidable damage.
- Protocol of the Undying Legions - Your bread and butter. Your opponents will learn to hate this stratagem with a passion. If a unit finished shooting or fighting and killed a model in your unit, you can pop this lovely strat to trigger reanimation. This benefits from all your ordinary buffs to reanimation, and you get an extra wound if the unit is being lead; You can easily be rolling 2d3+1 on most things that you want to use this on, and Warriors get up to 2d3+4. Watch the light leave your opponent's eyes when they kill 10 warriors and you instantly bring them back!
- Protocol of the Vengeful Stars - A less useful one, but only because most of the best Necron shooting is on single models or things that don't like being shot. If you get shot and lose a model, you can use this to shoot back at them; This is 100% not overwatch, so enjoy your usual chances of hitting.
- Protocol of the Sudden Storm - Necrons are slow... Until they aren't. Use this stratagem to become surprisingly mobile when you need to, giving a unit ASSAULT and the ability to reroll advance rolls if it's being led. It's just as good on vehicles as on infantry squads, with help from the Sovereign Coronal.
Bricks: You're playing necrons, you're here because you want units that don't stay down. You get reanimation protocols as long as a unit survives, and you want your objective holders as tanky as possible so they can sit on a point for an entire game without dying.
- Cryptothralls - Before we go into the actual units, you're going to need to know what these bad boys do. In a single sentence "They are here to do one thing, and that is die hard." Two wounds each, 3+ save and a 4+++ make them fairly resilient, but their true worth is in their ability; In any unit with a Cryptek attached, they can become part of the bodyguard unit. This means that even if they die your reanimation protocols gets to bring them back, and they can easily die 2 or more times every single battle round while eating up 4 or more shots of damage 2. They're unassuming, but almost essential if you want your main objective holder to live.
- Warriors - The humble warrior squad is decently costed at 220 for a block of 20. Slap on an Orikan for 80 more points to give them a 4++, and a basic Lord for another 65 to give them +1 move and a resurrection orb. A pair of cryptothralls is another 60 points (and they also get the 4++!), and finally a ghost ark for 125 allows you to activate reanimation protocols once per phase, whenever the warrior blob takes damage. Sure, it's 550 points all up; but it's 550 points of dudes that is extremely likely to sit on the middle objective all game without dying. It doesn't even have bad damage output; With Reapers, you're throwing out 40 S5 AP-1 Lethal Hits attacks, which will do decent work into most 1 wound models, and will put a dent into space marine squads.
- Lychguard are where the current Necron meta has settled. With enough support, this squad is quite possibly the tankiest thing in the game. Start with a squad of Lychguard with shields, 10 for 230 points. Put in a technomancer for 60 pts and a Lord for 65 points; If you're feeling like a big spender, you can upgrade to an overlord (85 points) to get yourself some free strats and a S12 Voidscythe with devastating wounds. Two cryptothralls will add on another 60 points, and the hypermaterial ablator for another 25. This takes up 440 points, and gets you a squad with 24 wounds, with T5 4++ on the lychguard, -1 to wound across the squad and -1 to hit with shooting and benefit of cover, with a 5+++ on the lychguard and 4+++. The trick is in allocating the wounds correctly; You'll want to put as many D2 shots on the cryptothralls as you can, as long as the AP isn't too high; They've got an excellent shot at eating at least 4 instances of 2 damage between them, making your lychguard that much harder to kill. And even if they die, because their ability makes them part of the bodyguard you can just bring them back with your reanimation (including Protocol of the Undying Legions). With a Canoptek Reanimator (see below) and a Resurrection Orb, this squad is extremely likely to get back to full strength if it doesn't get wiped out within a single turn.
- C'tan - These star gods are still pretty good; While they no longer have the damage caps of 9th Edition, they are all invariably t11, 12w with a 4++ and half damage. The Transcendant C'tan is easily the best of the bunch, solely because it can wear a Sempiternal Weave and teleport around the board to do your secondaries. It should not be understated how unbelievably tanky this single model is; Entire armies can put their firepower into this bad boy and leave it on half health by the end of the turn. The rest of the C'tan are still good; Nightbringer is as always an all-purpose murder monster, and the Void Dragon will leave your Astra Militarum opponent in the dumpster as he chews up tanks for breakfast. The Deceiver is (still) the unloved middle child, but it's now perfectly legal to play a list with 6 C'tan and nothing else; A 5 C'tan List (1 of each unique and 2 Transcendant) recently won the Battle Bowl GT in Midland, Texas.
Special mention goes to the Monolith; The true brick of the Necrons, your opponent will love to see this 2+ save, T14, 20 wound monstrosity on the battlefield. Does it do lots of damage? No. Does it have great abilities? Also no. But it will survive everything but the most dedicated anti-tank, and if it does then it will regain up to 6 wounds a turn from reanimation (and if you're cheeky, another d3 wounds from a technomancer!).
- Anti-Infantry - Honestly, most everything the Necrons have is good at killing infantry. Basic warriors have decent output, but Tesla Immortals with a Plasmancer will absolutely clear out chaff like nobody's business. Best of the bunch are Lokhust Heavy Destroyers (LHDs) with Emnitic Exterminators; These fellows (especially with Coronal, Lokhust Lord and/or Conquering Tyrant support) can chew through elite infantry at a pretty decent rate.
- Anti-Tank - Necron options for this are limited; but pretty consistent. LHDs (this time with the Gauss Destructor) are one shot, reroll 1s against monsters/vehicles, and deal flat 6 damage at -4 AP. Gone are the days of 9th edition, where we were given 3d3 damage and expected to like it. Your opponent will probably assume you said d6 damage, so emphasis that it is Flat. Six. Damage. For 50 points a model, these lads are almost mandatory.
Besides the above your options are somewhat limited. Doomsday Arks have a whopping S15, AP-4 and D4 cannon, with devastating wounds if you didn't move; That being said, the d6+1 shots are very swingy; If you've offended your dice you won't be reliably felling the big titans, so most people bring two or three of these for reliability. Canoptek Doomstalkers are also decent in a pinch, with d6+1 shots, S12 -3 AP and 3 damage. Hitting on 4s hurts these boys a lot, so give them a Technomancer with canoptek control node or a Sovereign Coronal (this guy shows up everywhere, huh?) to support them for some extra reliability. Finally, the monolith also has 4 shots of its death laser. Just be careful with this one, because it tends to be extremely swingy; Rolling 6s and getting d3 extra hits for each one will have your monolith dealing far more damage than expected when you roll high on damage, but on the other hand whiffing your 4 shots or rolling 1 on your d6+1 will feel extremely bad.
- Anti-Elite - Your best tools for dealing with elite infantry (custodes, terminators, etc) have already been mentioned; LHDs with the emnitic gun, Doomsday arks and Canoptek Doomstalkers are the best you have to offer in this department.
- Special mentions - the Seraptek Heavy Construct. Imperial Knights eat your hearts out, the Necrons have their own enormous model to compete with. As mentioned before, this bad boy is best when supported. Sovereign Coronal and the Silent King can sit with one or even two of these lads, and they will wipe out entire squads of terminators with a single activation.
Melee: Unfortunately, melee in 10th edition suffers from a few problems. Overwatch in both movement and charge phases, generally reduced movement speeds across the board, while melee weapons seem to have suffered much more from reductions to strength and AP comparative to shooting. Additionally, melee weapons with enough strength to reliably wound heavy vehicles are rare. With that in mind, it's difficult to make a melee-focused necron list. There are definitely still good options, but the necron archetype leans towards heavy shooting, with any melee fighting intended to grind down enemy squads with sheer durability instead of wiping enemy units in a single charge.
- Lychguard - To absolutely no-one's surprise, the Lychguard with sword and board are the best melee option Necrons currently have to offer, and this is simply because they will happily eat a charge that would shatter lesser men (lesser robots?) and strike back with up to 30 S6, AP-2 D1 attacks. And you can get it to S7 AP-3 if you really need to. Parking an Overlord in the squad gives you 3 S12, AP-3 D3, that are all hitting on 2s, which gives the squad the ability to punch up into even tougher targets. As a side note, the Scythe Lychguard aren't bad, but their number of attacks are quite low; In this case you're looking at 20 S8, AP -3 D2 attacks hitting on 2s, which again can be pushed to S9, AP-4 if you need to. If you're doing this you probably want to attach Orikan to the squad to get back that 4++, but the squad is definitely less tanky without the Technomancer's 5+++. Even so, they can absolutely demolish most space marine equivalent squads for a very minimal point investment.
- Skorpekh Destroyer - Oh, how the mighty have fallen! These poster boys of 9th edition are no longer the powerhouses they once were, and their glory days are fondly remembered. Reduced movespeed, tankiness (no longer have a stratagem for -1 to wound), and their weapon profiles have been consolidated into 4 attacks each at S7, AP-2 and D2. Even so, with recent points nerfs they are somewhat playable; A squad of 3 with a Skorpekh Lord is only 200 points, and will deal up to 6 mortal wounds on the charge, with a good variety of hard-hitting damage that hits on twos. Definitely not the old line-breakers they used to be, but good for holding back as a counter-charge option.
- Special Mention - The Monolith is back again baybee!
Look, it's not going to wipe squads. But when you tell your opponent that this brick has 6 attacks hitting on 2s, S8 AP-3 D3 then they'll realise the futility of charging their infantry into it; It's extremely likely to deal more damage than it takes, and that's a win in my book.
Utility: This is where the magic happens. While your bricks are soaking damage, and your guns are firing, this is where you razzle-dazzle your opponent with some tricky moves or premium support pieces.
- Canoptek Scarab - Oh humble scarab, shall I compare thee to a summer day? No, because these scarabs are 100% guaranteed to piss off your opponent and make their day worse. 40 points gets you 12 wounds across 3 models that can zoom up the board, score your secondaries, screen your backline, tie up vehicles and even deal a decent amount of mortal wounds into them, and they even help you out OC your opponent for an objective, as they reduce the OC of anything they fight by 1! You really can't go wrong with 1 or 2 squads of them; The only thing they don't do well is hold objectives by themselves, which to be honest is fine. They'll melt against anything stronger than a breeze, but that's shots that isn't going into something more important.
- Canoptek Reanimator - Guess who suddenly got hot over the summer break? The awkward butterface of 9th edition is all grown up and is now a must-take supermodel! This lovely lass has a 12" aura that gives all your units an additional d3 on all reanimation rolls. Yes, you read that correctly. ALL REANIMATION ROLLS WITHIN 12". That includes triggers from your Ghost Ark, extra activations from Resurrection Orbs, and uses of the Undying Legions stratagem. The model itself is T6, 6 wounds and even sports a 4+++ for your pleasure; Your opponent will groan in frustration once they get it to 1 remaining wound, only to watch it heal back to full; The aura even applies to itself! It's easy enough to hide behind ruins while staying in range of your bricks, but if you ever fire its weapon during a game you're doing it wrong.
Get one and only one ASAP. Love it, cherish it, forfeit all mortal possessions to it, the Reanimator is your best friend and don't you forget it.
- Hexmark Destroyer - Have you ever thought "Gee, I wish my nigh-indestructible brick was even more frustrating to kill?" Well, I would like to introduce you to a fantastic fellow called Johnny Six-Pistols. 6 shots hitting on 2s, S6 AP-2 D1. Precision, so it can snipe out most characters in one or two salvos. It gets a single overwatch activation for free, and hits on 2s when overwatching as well. But the best part follows after; "Each time an enemy unit targets a friendly Necrons unit within 3" of this model with ranged attacks, after that enemy unit has shot, this model can shoot as if it were your Shooting phase."
EACH. FUCKING. TIME.
Yes, if you park this next to your brick then you get to shoot, wherever you like, whenever your opponent shoots at the aforementioned brick. Johnny Six-Pistols takes no responsibility for extremely long turns and wounded friendships as a result of his soul-crushing toolkit.
- Transcendant C'Tan - Yes, he's been mentioned before. With a weave he's extremely tanky. But he gets another mention here because he gets to deep strike every turn when he advances, letting him score secondaries, take apart your opponent's backline and generally be a enormous nuisance.
Also, look at those cum gutters. Gawd dayum!
- Ophydian Destroyers - The discount version of a Transcendant C'tan. For 100 points, these lads will hop around and score secondaries, and can even rapid ingress on turn 2 to attempt to kill any light infantry holding a home objective. Just don't expect much out of them, it's entirely reasonable to keep them out of combat the entire game.
- Tomb Blades - They are bikes. They can score secondaries easily, can resist some light shooting and go fast. Nyoom!
Dealing with Necrons, or how to put down robots for good.
As mentioned before, get gud. In all seriousness, the biggest mistake you can make is spreading your fire onto multiple different units that will all just heal back up. Concentrate your fire, and break their bricks before it becomes a problem for you. And if you can't reliably kill a fully kitted brick, then just ignore it. Sometimes you just have to say "That objective is yours. Fuck you, I'm going home, and by home I mean the rest of the table where you aren't." Their 450+ points of lychguard doesn't do much if you just leave it alone, and you can just move to the other side of the table to tackle whatever your opponent is putting on the side objectives.
The Reanimator is now a critical lynchpin of any Necron army. If you have the chance of sniping it in the early turns you should take it. Just remember that the 4+++ makes it deceptively tanky.
Precision is a good idea, even against the Protocol of the Eternal Guardian. If you can snipe out the Noble character from a Lychguard squad the whole thing falls apart, although many of the Crypteks will also die to a light breeze. It might be worth using the Epic Challenge stratagem if you've got a particularly deadly character that you're willing to charge in; Against a warrior squad you don't have much to fear, but a lychguard squad will absolutely chop you to pieces in retaliation. Just remember that you have to have LOS on the character you want to snipe if you want to use Precision. As always, Undead armies live and die by their leaders buffing the shit out of their troops. Necrons are no exception, especially in this edition.
Finally, depending on your faction you can sometimes beat necrons at their own game; They want to walk onto objectives and stay there forever, and if you can intercept their bricks before they get there you can often tie them up forever. A squad of warriors isn't chewing through 20 hormagaunts anytime soon, even if isn't ever dying to the swarm. If they get tied up outside of an objective then they simple can't do much except fall back, and that's a trade you should be happy to make any day. Likewise a squad of 10 terminators with Narthecium is unlikely to kill a full lychguard squad, but the Lychguard simply aren't going to be able to kill the terminators. If you can body them off the point and keep them off, that's well worth the points.
As with any synergy-heavy army, focus on attacking the weak points, avoiding the strong walls, and out-maneuver the slow-moving silver hordes. Sun Tzu had some pretty good advice on the subject, and he was pretty good at war games.
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 assholes who play them. Unless you find a company that can use 3D printers to make any model you want for too much. Just As Planned
Necrons are the ultimate Bad News, any Master can (and would) drop on his party if they get overconfident, forcing even high level Deathwatch and Chaos Marines to shit their power pants, as 'Crons combine near-marine power level with numbers and determination.
The long debate on Necrontyr former appearance
It has been now years of the fandom debating exactly how the necrontyr looked like back before biotransference, on one extreme people just cover the average warrior with some meat which make them look very zombie-like, on the other extreme there is the people arguing they could have literally looked like anything before biotransference.
On regards to the former position this is something which IRL is called skin wrapping, that is, the tendency from some researchers of ancient life to just cover the skeletons with some skin ignoring possible organs, muscles, fat, and so on. The later is clearly not the case due recent novels bringing memories of them an actual mummified remains of necrontyr in at least one or two instances so there is not "it was all an illusion", so far what we know about them is the following:
- They are humanoids with a structure somewhat similar to humans and other of the universe races
- Two eyes, crypteks are obviously a post-biotransference mechanical modification
- Unlike the t'au they had plantigrade foot and probably an external nose
- They have pupils
- Sexual reproduction and there is a hint of sexual dimorphism
- They have never considered themselves beautiful but a few of them have had a remarkable good physique (C'tan bodies for reference?)
- They went through a puberty process although their adulthood
- Due how short their lives are they are already in training even when technically being children
- The formation of cancers seemed to often start along with the end of puberty
- Before adulthood the average necrontyr may seem to suffer child diseases
- Despite this they still seemed to be physically strong enough to wield all sort of weaponry, although of course not as heavy as the necron version
- At least some form of hair was present in their physiognomy
- Skin apparently can be tanned when exposed to the sun
- Red blood, at least there isn't anything indicating blood from any other color and Novokh dynasty makes a strong case for red
- We may infer from the previous line they used to have human-like skin coloration.
And basically that's it, this still allows for a lot of interpretation but makes the necrontyr clearly a Star Trek rubber fore-head alien species, so, by all means, feel free to do whatever art you wish about them, be it sickly slightly creepy boy, ghastly yet slim noble or terminal tumor emaciated guy.
Reasons to be a Necron
- You look like a 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
arguablythe most technologically advanced race in the history of 40K, and you did it all without use of the warp for cheats. Give yourself a pat on the back.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- You have literal star gods as pets. STAR GODS. Praise the Spiritual Liege!
Reasons to NOT be a Necron
- You have no soul.
("that is why i have no fear")quoting bad movies is HERESY
- 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" whining only affects about half the Necrons.
- You will be highly hated due to the amount of cheese in your units. Though this does have an allure of its own.
- The Unholy Beast has handled your race with his touch. Although to your credit, the fluff isn't Ward Knights-tier terrible. At least we got Pokémon out of the deal. Right, guys? ... Guys?
- You cannot differentiate the men from the women, so you will accept the risks.
- Unless you want to bang your leaders. Phaeron is the title for male Necrons, Phaerakh is the title for female Necrons.
- Thanks to The Great Beast you can't be friends with Thomas Macabee anymore.
- If you're an Oldcrons fan, you're never quite going to get the army you want because the C'tan have been glorified Pokémon for two whole editions and there's no signs of going back to the old fluff (Though that's not to say there aren't any, and Skynet-style Necrons still canonically exist as well, so there's hope.)
- You have no penis
/vagina- Lets be honest, if you're on this page you almost certainly don't have a vagina. At least until Slaanesh finds you.
- You may, at any moment and with no reason or warning whatsoever, be struck by a panic attack as your not-there organic brain suddenly realizes that you have no skin to feel, no stomach, no tongue, no oxygen and make you desperately panic.
Novels and stories featuring the Necrons
Here is a list with a small synopsis of publications by Black Library and GeeDubs which feature them, before you start adding, remember, Necrons must not only be mentioned, but actually appear in the story, feel free to add new items and follow the alphabetic order:
- Ambition Knows No Bounds: Rogue Trader trying to plunder a Necron Tomb World.
- But Dust in the Wind: Imperial Fists vs Necrons, enuff said!
- Cain's Last Stand: Chronologically the last novel of Commissar Ciaphas Cain, the Necrons appear later in the novel and proceed to march of doom a chaos fleet. Throughout the Cain series the Necrons are consistently depicted as pre-5th edition gigachad doombots.
- Caves of Ice: Cain and the Valhallan 597th are sent to an ice planet to defend a refinery from an ork horde, but an ugly surprise awaits below the installations.
- Cold Steel: renegade imperial guard attempts to escape penal moon while there is a three-side war between the 'crons, space marines and khornates, featuring a Tesseract Vault.
- Damnos: Ultramarines vs Necrons, features some Necrons POV, as well as the Ultramarines commanded by Cato Sicarius, if you don't like the Ultramarines, this may be the novel for you!
- Dark Creed: Word Bearers vs Astartes Praeses, the Necrons come in the later part of the novel, a great portrayal of how they are actually totally scary and overpowered.
- Dead Men Walking: Death-korps of Krieg vs Necrons, the novel has an extremely grim tone as it puts a lot of focus on the civilians caught in the campaign, and shows a lot of Krieg jerkassery, don't get too attached to any of the main characters and no Krieg-chan for you!
- Echoes of the Tomb: One of the earliest novels of Ciaphas Cain, and the origin of his fear of the Necrons.
- Fabius Bile- Clone Lord: Sequel to the first novel focusing on everyone's favorite clone fetishist Fabius Bile, this one has him continuing his search for a way to cure himself. Specifically involving him going to a forgotten planet in the eastern fringe called Solemence...
- Flayed: Death Spectres evacuate civilians from a world that gets attacked by Flayed Ones every few years. Not what you expect going in.
- Hammer & Anvil: Sisters of Battle get slaughtered by the necrons and... wait! Are they fighting back? And they are actually competent? quite a nice read and gives the Sisters a lot of street cred back.
- Hellforged: 5th novel in the Soul Drinkers series by Ben Counter, a very good take on OldCrons that makes them genuinely terrifying, also includes awesome Mechanicus and Space Marines action.
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus: a Forgeworld book about the totally badass and horrifying Maynarkh Dynasty vs the Minotaurs and the Death-Korps of Krieg, overall an extremely cool, if expensive, book.
- Indomitus: Tie-in novel for the 9th Edition box set. 10 years into the Indomitus Crusade the Ultramarines of Crusade Fleet Quintus stumble across a Necron plot to expand the Pariah Nexus. Has Ultramarine and Necron PoV chapters.
- Infinite Circuit: A small story about a Cult Mechanicus procession getting their hands on a C'tan shard and the Deathwatch paying a visit to see what's going on.
- The Infinite and the Divine: Full-length Necron POV novel starring Trazyn and Orikan as they feud down millennia over possession of a mysterious Necrontyr artifact. Goes in a lot of directions, all of them fun, often very funny (come on, it's Trazyn so hilarity is a must). This one was very well received by the community, and for good reason, it's not just a well written novel, it brings everything non-grimderp we love and want from 40k while still being true to the bleakness of our favourite setting. If you could only get one title from this list- it's gonna be this one, the novel sums up most if not all things /tg/ cheer about the new-crons.
- The Twice-dead King: Ruin: Focuses on a "young" and arrogant exiled Necron prince named Oltyx, whose dynasty is in the path of an apocalyptic tide. This one is more grim than infinite and the divine with the Flayer virus being a big focus and how terrifying it is even to Necrons (also some glimpses at Necrontyr culture pre bio transference) and heavy psychological themes.
- The Twice-dead King: Reign: Immediate sequel and conclusion to the previous book. Having inherited the dynasty at the moment of its destruction, Oltyx flees with what survivors he can gather, with the enemy in hot pursuit. Features weird Necron superscience, more Flayed Ones than you can shake a stick at, and a twist ending that’s as heavily foreshadowed as it is bewildering.
- Nightbringer: Ultramarines vs Dark Eldar and Human traitors rushing to get to the crypt of the Nightbringer, or perhaps it's just a shard. And let's be honest, it being a shard makes anyone in that room surviving a possibility.
- Rise of the Ynnari - Wild Rider: Primarily focusing on the Ynnari and the clans of Saim-Hann, a scouting party comprised of the two factions accidentally awakens a dormant Necron Tomb World upon the maiden world of Agrimathea while searching for ancient Aeldari artifacts. Notably, the tomb complex is ruled by Phaerakh Hazepkhut; also known as the Watcher in the Dark. Having at least a passing interest in eldar lore is advised, as the Necrons do take a backseat to them in this novel.
- Severed Fantastic novella. Takes Vargard Obyron's point of view as he and Zahndrekh get up to some funs. One of the few books that balances how badass the Necrons can be with the bitter tragedy of the faction, and does it with dark humor. Well-written, consequential, and ends with one of the most awesome sequences in any 40k book. Will probably single handily start an entire genre of slash fics featuring Zahndrekh and Obyron.
- Shield of Baal: Devourer: Necrons POV! Featuring Anrakyr the Traveler trying to seize a tomb-world and some Necron dynasty nobles trying to flee a Flayed-Ones overran crypt-complex, also, Blood Angels and Tyranids.
- Shield of Baal: Exterminatus: campaign book featuring Anrakyr and the Mephrit Dynasty, teaming up with the Imperium to contain Hivefleet Leviathan, minimun oldcrons, maximun newcrons acting like Tomb Kings in space.
- Spear of Macragge: Ultramarines tanks vs Necrons, as well as some Ultramarines internal politicking.
- The Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia: Trazyn decides to play the hero and help the imperials fend off Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade assault on Cadia.
- The Lords of Borsis: The preview for the World-Engine novel, featuring a Necron coup d'etat.
- Vainglorious: Ciaphas Cain investigates a newfound forge world that is mysteriously failing to produce weapons for the Astra Militarum and uncovers a conspiracy between a Mechanicus heretek and a Necron Overlord.
- The Word of the Silent King: The Silent King himself dealing with the Blood Angels, it seems the old Necron monarch has been acquaintances with Sanguinius himself.
- The World Engine: also known as
one ofthe coolest Space Marines novel ever, it narrates the fight between the Astral Knights and the Necron dynasty from Borsis, if you liked the entry in the Codex, go for it!
- The Infinite Tableau: A trio of Deathwatch lead a team of Inquisitorial troopers to an ice-bound moon in search of missing Adeptus Mechanicus explorators. Following their trail into ancient caverns, the Deathwatch find a bunch of necrons waiting to kill them all!
- War in the Museum: Short story, Trazyn shows the problems of having living creatures as part of lifesized dioramas
- Warhammer Adventures: Attack of the Necron: Small children without guns versus the Necrons. We all know how this is going to end.
- 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". Also oldcrons, minus Vampire dickery, are pretty much just Vampire Counts like Newcrons are basically just Tomb kings).
- Necron Army Creation Tables
- Tactics on how to play them.
- Assholetep - A Necron Overlord of insufferable dickheadedness
- Lolcron, a popular Necron drawfag.
- False Immortality
- Imotekh the Stormlord - The de facto most powerful Necron ever.
- Silent King - THE most powerful Necron ever.
- 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.
- Æonic Orb
- The most cursed piece of writing to ever blight the Necron race. The Deceiver probably wrote it in his free time as a revenge plot.
|This article contains PROMOTIONS! Don't say we didn't warn you.|
Suddenly, Monoliths just got even more awesome.
Angry Marines can really fuck your shit up.
Necron players are well-known for their carefully planned tactics of "move-shoot-move-shoot".
Here we see the humble Lolcron, irritably drawing away.
Lolcron is a lazy bum these days.
Necrons in the Segmentum Solar
Necrons in the Segmentum Obscurus
Necrons in the Segmentum Tempestus
Necrons in the Northern Ultima Segmentum
Necrons in the Southern Ultima Segmentum
Necrons in the Segmentum Pacificus
Territory of the Sautekh Dynasty
|Playable Factions in Warhammer 40,000|
|Imperium:||AdMech:||Adeptus Mechanicus - Mechanicus Knights|
|Army:||Imperial Guard - Imperial Knights - Imperial Navy - Militarum Tempestus - Space Marines|
|Inquisition:||Inquisition - Sisters of Battle - Deathwatch - Grey Knights|
|Other:||Adeptus Custodes - Adeptus Ministorum - Death Cults - Officio Assassinorum - Sisters of Silence|
|Chaos:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines - Lost and the Damned - Chaos Knights|
|Xenos:||Aeldari:||Dark Eldar - Eldar - Eldar Corsairs - Harlequins - Ynnari|
|Tyranids:||Genestealer Cults - Tyranids|
|Others:||Necrons - Orks - Tau - Leagues of Votann|