“That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die”
- H.P. Lovecraft
"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."
-Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias"
After our Thousand Year Old Slumber, WE ARE FINALLY ALIVE. For eons I have awaited this day. Warriors. Our time to conquer this planet and THE NEXT begins todeeeeeyy. The world shall tremble at our war cry.
AND OUR WAR CRY IS SOI SOI SOI SOIIIIIIII SWEY
*Entire legion of necron warriors chanting SOI SOI SOI*
- Unnamed Necron Lord []
Necrons (Robo-Zombie Eygptians in SPEHSS) 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 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 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, and Space Crusade introduced them as Chaos Androids (oh, the irony...). However, with third edition 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, 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. 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 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 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, which in turn allowed players to make their armies different. This was different from the previous situation where basically everyone had an army of similar 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.
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, the not much of it actually changed from the last codex, so the C'tan-mon are still a thing (And are actually treated with less respect than even a warrior), as are eccentric, megalomaniacal undead robots.
Good news, everyone! 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).
Apparently, 'Necron' is also the title of a bizarre and retarded fetish comic of some sort.
- 1 The Old Fluff - Space Terminators
- 2 The New Fluff - Space Egyptians
- 3 Game Play
- 4 How to Fight (and play) the Necrons
- 5 In Battlefleet Gothic
- 6 In Roleplay
- 7 Reasons to be a Necron
- 8 Reasons to NOT be a Necron
- 9 Novels and stories featuring the Necrons
- 10 See Also
- 11 Gallery
The Old Fluff - 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.
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.
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 and repelled Necrontyr assault after assault until the race was clinging to the edge of the galaxy and their lives.
The Necrontyr finally encountered and allied with a force known as the C'tan who were 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 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 robotizing 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. 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. 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.
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 (read EVERYTHING!) is dying out that they decide to go to sleep for 60 million years 'till the scrumptious morsels known as EVERYTHING regrew.
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, and turn the living races into a never-ending all-you-can-eat buffet for the remaining C'tan. They are the goth craze if you dipped them in liquid hate and injected them with 400% of your daily allotment of cheese.
In essence, OldCron fluff basically makes them "Evil Order" as opposed to the "Evil Chaos" of, well, Chaos. Or "Metal Tyranids" because of the emotionless mass os silver that represents their armies (with guys like Thomas Macabee being more of an exception than a rule).
The New Fluff - Space Egyptians
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. 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. 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.
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).
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!!!.
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 in their own general stupidity. 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 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 in vengeance. 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, 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 its former glory (A role he left his Triarch Praetorians to cover later). 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. 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, such as with all the factions of 40k this is rare. (Yes, Necrons lead 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).
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 bad ass 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 fucking 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 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 actually 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 monobuild 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 Nercon 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 flier defence and being able to take fliers as dedicated transports, their fliers ended up being insanely overpowered (though once everyone got reasonable AA defence 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. (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.
How to Fight (and play) the Necrons
If you want real in-depth strategies, take a gander at the Tactica. This is just an overview about some of the ways Trollcrons can be cheese.
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. 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. 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 further range against blobs where the AP- doesn't mean shit when you're chaining up Tesla hits).
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). They're quite strong, and often pack S7 AP2 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. 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 wound on a 2+ when they arrive. Spread your squads out to make deep-striking hazardous, and be prepared to charge into melee with the deathmarks when they arrive. Better yet, try to refrain from reserves and make their purchase useless. 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 randomized powers (Yeah, where most races have psykers to waste cards on, you waste cards on C'tan powers you roll each turn you fire). You'll rarely see a Praetorian on the tabletop, but they're jump-assaulting elite fighters held back by the same terrible initiative all the Necrons have. Don't be too worried, they're easily swarmed or shot down by AP3 or better weapons. Their incredibly specific niche is 2+ troops with unwieldy weapons and no invulnerable saves, which they'll roll pretty easily. Sadly for you, flayed ones are now not shit, especially against 5+ stuff like guard. 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: as Beasts with 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 unless in a Canoptek Harvest Formation, 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 S10 AP1 large blasts if still, or S8 AP3 small blasts if they moved, 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
Croissants Scythes. Both Night Croissants Scythes (a flying dedicated transport) and Death Croissants 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 Doom 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.
Thanks to IA12 and the recent 7th Ed Flyer rules, Necrons 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.
Hey Space Marines players, you call those Terminators? Let's take them to school (one bomb later) there they go, motherfuckers! 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 assholes who play them. Moving on!
Necrons are the ultimate Bad News, any Master can (and would) drop on his party if it 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.
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 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'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 wimminz and the manz, 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 creed back.
- 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.
- 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.
- Nightbringer: Ultramarines vs Dark Eldar and Human traitors rushing to get to the crypt of the Nightbringer, or perhaps it's just a shard.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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").
- 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
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
|Forces of the Necrons|
|Command:||Cryptek - Necron Lord - Necron Overlord - Phaeron|
|Troops:|| C'tan Shards - Deathmarks - Destroyers - Flayed Ones |
Heavy Destroyers - Immortals - Lychguards
Tomb Blades - Triarch Praetorians - Warriors
|Constructs:|| Canoptek Spyder - Canoptek Wraith - Crypt Stalker |
Scarab - Tomb Sentinel - Tomb Stalker
|Vehicles:|| Annihilation Barge - Catacomb Command Barge - Doomsday Ark |
Ghost Ark - Monolith - Sentry Pylon - Triarch Stalker - Tesseract Ark
|Flyers:||Canoptek Acanthrite - Doom Scythe - Night Scythe - Night Shroud|
| Æonic Orb - Doomsday Monolith - Megalith |
Necron Pylon - Obelisk - Tesseract Vault
|Playable Factions in Warhammer 40,000|
|Imperium:|| Adeptus Custodes - Adeptus Mechanicus - Deathwatch - Grey Knights |
Imperial Guard - Imperial Knights - Inquisition - Space Marines - Sisters of Battle
|Chaos:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines - Lost and the Damned - Renegade Knights|
|Xenos:||Dark Eldar - Eldar - Genestealer Cults - Harlequins - Necrons - Orks - Tau - Tyranids|