Warhammer 40,000/5th Edition Tactics/Necrons

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This is an old Edition's Necron tactics. 6th Edition Tactics are here and the Old Codex is here also.

Why Play Necrons[edit]

Necrons are space robot zombie ghosts. They don't talk, and they are pure evil. Well, they do talk now... And now they're not so much 'evil' as 'crazy'. But hey, they're Tomb Kings... IN SPAAAAAACE! What is not to love about them? Oh, and they aren't Marines. Honestly. Ignore their WS/BS/S/T 4 statline, their S4 AP5 Rapid Fire guns, and their 4+ armor saves, they totally aren't Marines (anymore, though Immortals do have a 3+ armor save.)

Recently got an update by Matt Ward himself, and it's surprisingly awesome. Where do we start? Well, you never have to think about the words "Phase Out" ever again... And holy shit! They have vehicles other than the Monolith! Necron Wraiths are gone, replaced by Canoptek Wraiths, which look like the old Wraiths mixed with Tomb Spyders, and Pariahs are gone too (but you could still use your old Pariah models as Lychguard, since Lychguard also have Warscythes).

Adding to that: they recently got their FAQ and it was the complete opposite of the Tyranid FAQ (meaning awesome.) The only thing missing is the rest of their models and the Necrons actually become a viable beginner army. Strong HQ choices coupled with tough to kill troops and elites who can be supported by fast vehicles (except the Monolith) with mean firepower (including Monolith), the Necrons aren't as forgiving as Space Marines, but their army is straightforward. If you're looking for a new xenos army to play or don't want to start out with smurfs and have other players sneer at you, Necrons are your guys. Now this isn't to say they are Grey Knights. Some of their stuff is powerful, but the army has enough weaknesses to keep you on your toes.

And let's not forget that the Necron models look really nice, you won't get hateful glares from most players like those who use some of Matt Ward's other armies, you have enough unit variety to pull off pretty much any style of play you want, your army is lacking in any deadweight units unlike certain other armies, pretty much every unit can find a use in most any army build without having to sink a ludicrous amount of points into them.

You have some of the nastiest HQ and Elite units in the entire game, a kitted out Necron Overlord or Destroyer Lord has an advantage over most of the generic HQ units in the game, your special characters are all very nifty, and you have not one, but two Abaddon-esque close combat monsters who can reliably rip off the Swarmlord's head and shit down it's neck. Times are good for the zombiebots. Pretty much the only thing you lack is a close combat oriented troop choice. But you have so many absurdly deadly melee units in most other sections that this may not even matter. And you can still troll mech armies with Gauss rules, tearing off their weapons and stunlocking their precious vehicles into oblivion, at which point your now numerous anti-armor units can simply just walk up, say "problem, commander?" and finish the job.

And unlike some armies you don't have any excess amount of trouble with any specific kind of army whether they be mechanized or foot slogging; few and elite or numerous and blobby; shooty or choppy, you can handle them all without too much trouble.

And you still hold the title of "most easily painted army ever."

Unit Analysis[edit]

  • Note: Canoptek units don't have Reanimation Protocols since they aren't really Necrons but machines left behind to guard the tombs. To compensate for this and account for their more robotic style, they are all fearless.

HQ[edit]

  • Necron Overlord - Your basic HQ choice. He's only Infantry and has lower Toughness than the Destroyer Lord, but a Catacomb Command Barge will help him move faster (MAKE SURE TO TAKE A WARSCYTHE!), and he can take some wargear that Destroyer Lords can't (namely the Phylactery, Phase shifter, and Tesseract Labyrinth). Great in close combat, and good for giving other units a boost with a Resurrection Orb. Upgrade them to a Phaeron and they can make any unit they join Relentless (which sounds awesome, until you realize that the only units that would really benefit from it are Warriors, Immortals (unless they took tesla carbines), and Deathmarks, as most Necron weapons are either mounted on vehicles or Assault... and none of those three units are good in an assault. Oh well.)
  • Destroyer Lord - He misses out on some of the wargear that the Overlord gets, and can't take a Royal Court, but on the other hand, he gains Jump Infantry, T6, Preferred Enemy (Everything!) and a free Warscythe instead. Great as a beatstick thanks to his better Toughness; stick him with a unit of other Jump Infantry (like Wraiths or Triarch Praetorians) and send him into the thick of it.

The following are special characters:

  • Imotekh the Stormlord - The traditional 200+ point named hero unit. Imotekh comes with a 2+ armor save, 3+ invuln save, a Phylactery, and a Gauntlet of Fire. He also can make Flayed Ones deep strike perfectly next to a single enemy unit, and summon bolts of lightning down to zap people. In addition, he always seizes the Initiative on 4+ except against Orks, who he can't seize Initiative against at all (CUZ GREEN IS BEST, YA GITZ!). He's overall a nasty motherfucker in an army full of nasty motherfuckers. Considered to be cheese in apocalypse games.
  • Nemesor Zahndrekh - The senile old coot is actually a surprisingly good tactical HQ choice, giving nifty bonuses to your units each turn and even taking away nifty bonuses from enemy units. He even has a Resurrection Orb. He's not very useful in close combat though, but he works really well with Vargard Obyron, as described below.
  • Vargard Obyron - The close combat HQ, this guy combines good WS with a Warscythe and strong hitting power, and can even make counter-attacks against enemies that miss before he attacks, up to a maximum of 9 attacks total(!). He can also teleport around the battlefield thanks to his special mantle, and perfect Deep Strikes if he lands next to Zahndrekh. Needless to say, he and Zahndrekh work pretty well together.
  • Illuminor Szeras - It's like Dr. Frankenstein, except an undead spider robot. His statline is nothing special; however, he does give a bonus to one unit of Warriors or Immortals in your army, giving them either +1 Strength, BS, or Toughness for the remainder of the game (A full unit of immortals with +1 toughness will really live up to their name, especially if you have a resurrection orb nearby, seriously, they'll make plague marines look like pussies, combine with Anrakyr to really troll your opponent). He also has defensive grenades and a S8 AP2 shooting attack; if there's a "shooty" hero unit in the Necrons codex, it's Szeras.
  • Orikan the Diviner - This guy actually has a worse statline than the regular Overlord. So why use him? Well, he can re-roll reserve rolls for one turn, has a power weapon that re-rolls to hit, ad forces your enemy to go through Difficult Terrain on turn 1. Also, on each turn, you roll a d6- if the die roll is less than or equal to the turn you're currently on (so on Turn 3 you'd have to roll a 3 or lower) then "The Stars Are Right", Orikan goes Super-Saiyan, and gains a massive stat boost (similar in power to a C'tan Shard), complete with a 'bwahahaha!' in the rule description. However, if you roll less than or equal to the turn you're on a second time, Orikan powers down, and goes back to his original profile. Kind of a mixed bag, but beastly if you have Lady Luck's favor. Combine with a C'tan with Writhing Worldscape (turns difficult terrain into dangerous) to cause your opponent to lose approx 1/6 of his army in his first movement phase.
  • Anrakyr the Traveller - Comes with a Tachyon Arrow and a Warscythe, and gains the Counter-Attack and Furious Charge special rules. If you have Immortals, one unit of Immortals become "Pyrrhian Eternals" for no additional cost, which are basically just like regular Immortals but with Counter-Attack and Furious Charge, making them not quite so shitty in assault. His real strength is his ability to hack enemy vehicles, which means you can cause your mech-happy Imperial Guard opponent to shoot himself with his own tanks. Be sure to thank your kind opponent for letting you borrow his vehicle.
  • Trazyn the Infinite - aka "The Tarpit Breaker". Trollzyn is probably the best HQ choice you can get if you just love fucking with your opponent. He excels at wiping out hordes, thanks to his Empathic Obliterator- if he kills a model in a unit, he wounds other units like the one he killed on a 4+. This means that if he kills even a single Ork Boy, every single other Ork Boy in the mob takes a wound on a 4+, usually resulting in 10+ casualties in full strength hordes. On top of that, he can cause the Orks' Nob to go nuts and hit his own Boyz, further adding to the carnage. If he dies, he can just possess another Lychguard, Cryptek, Necron Lord, or Necron Overlord on the table and keep going as normal. And the cherry on top? He's scoring.

Royal Court: Any Necron Overlord or Overlord level special character (Imotekh, Zahndrekh, Anrakyr, or Trazyn) can take a Royal Court, which is composed of up to five Necron Lords and/or up to five Crypteks. Royal Court members can either be left together in one unit, or can be individually split off to join your squads of Warriors, Immortals, Deathmarks, or Lychguard (thanks to the new FAQ, if you take 2 overlords you can double these up in squads). They also don't count as Independent Characters so they can't be individually targeted in close combat.

  • Necron Lords - Basically a mini version of the Necron Overlord, with 1 Wound and 2 Attacks (compared to the Overlord's 3 of each) but they still hit as hard as any Overlord at a fraction of the cost, and can be kitted out similarly.
  • Crypteks - Essentially Necron "priests/wizards" employed by Overlords to use their space magic (otherwise known as science) to assist in battle. The stock-standard versions are nothing special, but they can be upgraded to Harbingers, at which point they gain nifty special wargear that nothing else in the codex gets. Unfortunately, apart from the cool staff each Harbinger initially comes with, you can not give the same piece of awesome additional wargear to two Harbingers from the same Royal Court. You can however take a second Overlord in your army, which would give you access to a second Royal Court as well. This way you can legally take two pieces of the same epic gear without worrying about the whole "two girls wearing the same dress to a party" syndrome.

Elites[edit]

  • Deathmarks - Deep-striking assassins with rapid-fire 24" sniper rifles. See an enemy unit you don't like? Send the Deathmarks after them and watch them wound on a 2+ against them (If you take one unit, then take 2 instead, since all Deathmark units can wound the marked unit. A relatively cheap way of dealing with problem units without getting your other units tied up after them). Can deep-strike immediately following an enemy DURING THEIR TURN. But are vulnerable to the enemy unit shooting before they get a chance.
    • Cheese combo explanation time: Deathmarks allow any members of a Royal Court that join the unit to use the "Hunters from Hyperspace" (HfH) rule (any enemy unit you mark with HfH gets wounded on a 2+. Additionally, if the marked enemy unit is joined by any IC's, they also get wounded on a 2+. It also works the other way around, with a HfH marked IC joining a squad conferring the 2+ wounding to it as well). The cheese comes when a Harbinger of Despair joins the unit of Deathmarks. The default weapon of Harbingers of Despair is the Abyssal Staff, a S8 AP1 flame template weapon that calculates against Leadership rather than Toughness for wounding. However, if the Harbinger is attached to the unit of Deathmarks, any unit marked by HfH it uses the Abyssal Staff against will instead be wounded on a 2+... there is not much that can stand up to a auto-hit AP1 weapon that wounds on a 2+. More than that, the HoD's Veil of Darkness gear lets the Deathmark unit Re-deep Strike into battle, lowing them to RE-MARK another unit. So have fun doom marking units all over the battlefield with your Deathmark HoD spam lists.
  • Lychguards - Pariahs may be gone, but these guys are their replacements, and boy are they nasty. Warscythes don't ignore invulnerable saves anymore, but they are awesome; they're power weapons that provide +2 Strength (7 on Lychguard!), making Marine killing even more easy (as for guardsmen and gaunts? Well, hope they don't mind instant death). They still roll 2D6 against vehicle armor (not quite as good as Meltaguns due to no AP1, but you *do* have 3 attacks each charging), so they're perfect can openers (it's not uncommon for them to carve up Land Raiders and Baneblades the moment they get into base contact, and have been seen bringing down a reaver titan in close combat once, chopping through it's shields and then cutting open it's rear armor like so much tissue paper). They can also replace their warscythes with regular power weapons and dispersion shields, giving them a 4+ invuln save with a chance of reflecting enemy shots back at them. Nothing says "fuck you" like redirecting a melta shot to hit the asshole that fired it. However, they are extremely expensive, costing similarly to a unit of Terminators. But they are arguably more powerful than your average Terminator (ironic?).
  • Triarch Praetorians - Another powerful close combat unit similar to Lychguards, their only real differences are -1 Attack, the addition of Fearless, and a change in wargear. They're also Jump Infantry, making them much more mobile than Lychguards. Their usual weapon is a Rod of Covenant, a power weapon with a S5 AP2 shooting attack with a 6" range, essentially giving them another attack before they charge. Their alternate weapons are voidblades and particle casters- This gives their shooting attack better range and strength in exchange for much worse AP, while their close combat weapons gain Rending and Entropic Strike. While this doesn't initially seem as good as outright ignoring armor altogether, they do get a bonus attack for having a pistol and close combat weapon, essentially trading quality for quantity. Even with this extra attack, they lose combat to Grey Hunters, Spiky Spess Mehrens and pretty much any other half-competent combat unit. One attack and no Invulnerable save on a combat unit makes them suck.
  • C'tan Shard - Yep, this is what happened to those 300+ point god-monsters from the old codex... Demoted to Elites and had their price cut to about 2/3 of what it once was. Their statline is worse, but they're still beastly, even more so than the Canoptek Spyders, and can take all sorts of nifty powers to screw with your opponent. Unfortunately, they provide a huge, very visible target to shoot at, and they compete with other Elite choices... and, like before, they're slow, only able to move 6" a turn. But hey, you can have *three* of the fuckers now. If that won't make your enemy shit bricks nothing will. Yes, they're expensive, but it's funny as hell to watch the look on your opponents face when you plop down three C'tan shards on the table that, once in close combat, will promptly tear his army a new asshole faster than you can say "shit on a stick!" They also get to pick two 'powers', from the old Nightbringer 'Gaze of Death' and the Dickceiver's 'Grand Illusion' to the new and badass 'Writhing Worldscape', which makes Orks cry.
  • Flayed One Pack - The 5th Ed. codex wrecked the Flayed Ones shit. They don't ignore armor, and compete for the Elites slot with both Lychguard and Triarch Praetorians, which both do. They have a 4+ armor save, like Warriors, but they can't take a transport and they don't score. The upside is that they're just as cheap as Warriors and can come in squads of up to 20, with 3 attacks each, and the ability to Deep Strike or Infiltrate. While they're not as strong or tough as Lychguard, they have more attacks and are less than half the price, letting you drown your opponent in sheer volume of attacks and bodies.
  • Triarch Stalker - Basically the Necron Dreadnought. High Strength and good number of attacks in close combat, but unfortunately doesn't ignore armor. On the other hand, the Heat Ray acts as either a heavy flamer or a two-shot multi-melta, great for killing tanks and infantry alike. Additionally, scoring a hit on an enemy unit gives all your other units in your army a bonus to shoot at them (twin-linking). If you want to specialize in killing infantry, the Particle Shredder drops a nasty pie plate at a decent range, but the twin-linked Heavy Gauss Cannon isn't quite as effective as the Heat Ray for demolishing vehicles.

Troop[edit]

  • Necron Warriors - The closest thing the Necrons have to tarpits and cannon fodder, these guys are basically Cronscripts (get it?). They've lost their 3+ save from the previous codex, gaining a paltry 4+ save instead; on the other hand, they're now much cheaper, so you can field more of them, and they're not the only Troops choice anymore so you don't even have to take them if you don't want to. Just about as good as Space Marines at shooting, and a little cheaper too, but they suffer in close combat, where their I2 and 1 Attack make them little better than Tau Fire Warriors. Good for parking on an objective or just swamping the field with bodies. And with gauss rules, you can quickly strip an enemy vehicle of it's weapons and/or stunlock it into submission, leaving it wide open for your now pretty damned scary anti-vehicular capability to rip it open.
  • Immortals - Moved to Troops in the new codex. These guys are basically what Warriors used to be, 3+ save and all, except they cost 1 point less and they have better guns. Start with gauss blasters, can take tesla carbines for free, both options provide nice anti-infantry dakka. Like Warriors, they're still shit in close combat. But few things are more satisfying than looking at an opposing Tyranid's player's face as a few squads of immortals wipe out pretty much all of his gaunts in one turn with Tesla carbine fire.

Dedicated Transports[edit]

  • Catacomb Command Barge - Your Necron Overlord's personal pimp-mobile. He can blast suckas in drive-by shootings thanks to the Catacomb's built in guns, or simply drive closer to hit them with his sword (or Warscythe as the case may be) and assign the wounds, but only if he rolls a 6. Good for adding mobility to an otherwise slow HQ choice, and combine with Trazyn the Infinite (who is scoring) for a trolltastic way to contest objectives.
  • Ghost Ark - Good for ferrying about your Overlord and his Court, or a unit of Necron Warriors of 10 or fewer, although it can still be purchased for units above 10. It can broadside two different targets with gauss flayers, and even repair Warriors from death. Useful for drive-bys with shooty Royal Court units or Warrior squads, but unfortunately it can't carry any other unit types.
  • Night Scythe - Faster, cheaper, less likely to explode (because it's not open-topped) but worse armor than the Ghost Ark and even has a bigger carrying capacity. It can carry 15 Infantry, 7 Jump Infantry or 5 Jetbikes. Unlike the Ghost Ark it isn't restricted to Overlords, Necron Lords, Crypteks, or Warriors. However, it has no fire points, meaning the guys inside can't fire at anyone while inside, but the twin-linked Tesla Destructor makes up for that. Great all-purpose transport for all occasions. But theres an added bonus, if this thing explodes, the units you had inside are perfectly safe, and just shamble onto the field from reserves instead! Still has no damn model though... or not. Omnissiah be praised! Unfortunately, it's the size of a Stormraven (read: fuckhueg], so it's going to get shot down turn one, maybe turn two if you're lucky.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Canoptek Wraiths - Jump Infantry with Rending attacks and a 3+ Invuln and armour save that ignore difficult and dangerous terrain, and surprisingly good in assault thanks to an ability that can reduce enemy Initiative to 1. They can also take particle casters (essentially S6 AP5 pistols) or transdimensional beamers, which are one of several "Strength test or instantly die" weapons that the Necrons seem so fond of now. Unfortunately, beamers are heavy weapons, which aren't good on an assault unit like Wraiths- you're better served by the particle casters or the whip coils. At least they have multiple Wounds now, which means that entire squads won't die to light bolter fire in one turn. Their only down side being, as one of the 'Canoptek' family of machines, they don't have the Reanimation Protocols special rule, so are unable to come back to life. But hey, you can pull wound allocation shenanigans to piss people off.
  • Canoptek Scarabs - One of the few units with the "Entropic Strike" rule, meaning that it can make your enemy lose their goddamn armor save if they ever fail a save against them. Unfortunately, Scarabs have unimpressive stats (WS2, S3) and their weapons don't ignore armor saves- not to mention that most units you'll face only have 1 Wound, so if they've lost their armor save they're dead anyway. Flamers will also ruin their day, ignoring their armor and doing double damage against them, and S6 weapons will outright kill them. However, they are wonderful tarpits, with 3 Wounds per base and 4 attacks each, and they're great when used against vehicles, especially Land Raiders- watch your local Marine player cry as their almighty AV14 drops to 13, then 12.... Using them on titans is hilarious, watch as that impenetrable adamantium armor becomes flimsier than a Looted Wagon and watch the look of rage on your enemy's face when a single necron warrior blows it up with a penetrating shot. ((The mental image of this is also quite frankly, hilarious.)) Even better, if you can get the rear armour down to 10 then the vehicle suffers a Wrecked result. Balanced in 2000pt games. Against an Imperator Titan? Fuck your Structure Points, you're Wrecked. Blatantly ridiculous, and not FAQ'ed yet. See Canoptek Spyder for how the FAQ nerfed the Scarab Conga line (not that anyone is really crying about that one...well except power gamers.)
  • Tomb Blades - Jetbikes with twin-linked guns, capable of being upgraded with a 3+ armor save, BS5, and/or +1 to cover saves. Surprisingly, a full squad can fit in a Night Scythe, if you want to stick them in a transport for some reason. Great for zipping around the battlefield, harassing any stray infantry units, and particle beamers could even be used to take on light vehicles as well. Like most Necron units, it seems to be purpose made to make Tyranids and Chaos Daemons cry. What's that? Your hive guard's AP can't touch my jetbike's armor save and your Zoanthropes can't shoot far enough to hit them? Hahahahaha sucks to be you. Unfortunately, if you want to buy the 3+ armour saves and Stealth and other goodies, you're running very very expensive models that are still less survivable than Plague Marines. Srsly, don't buy the defensive upgrades - only one you care about is the Particle Beamer, so you can Instant-Death entire Company Command Squads and Seer Councils.
  • Necron Destroyers - They're not jetbikes anymore, they've been reduced to Jump Infantry... However, they have a few new tricks to make up for this. They have Preferred Enemy (Everything!), meaning that they always get to reroll to hit in an assault, and up to 3 of them (out of a maximum squad size of 5) can be upgraded to Heavy Destroyers, essentially lascannons on a jump infantry model. Regular Destroyers make Marines cry with their S5 AP3 Assault 2 guns, while Heavy Destroyers will blast tanks to shreds. Expect them to attract lots of fire in turn, however, unless you can get them into an assault, where they're surprisingly good die horribly like almost any other ranged 'cron in CC. Shame that they're never going to get there considering how godly they are at move-shoot tactics. Like crisis suits, they are masterful at surprising enemy formations and then blowing the crap out of them. Unlike Crisis Suits, they can't jump back into cover and are fairly fragile, so they appear, shout BOO!, kill a handful of Marines, and then get charged and die badly, or at least get stuck in combat for the whole game lead the enemy assault units on a marry chase as any competent Armchair General will continue to move them back equal to their enemies movement, keeping them at all times at the maximum "24, thus never being assaulted. Great when used to prob and harrow enemy flanks, Terminators will fume and try to catch up, but a hop-skip-and-a-jump, and you're over their heads if you time their movement perfectly and the die don't kick your ass with a '"6 assault.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Doomsday Ark - Basically a Ghost Ark with the transport capacity removed and replaced by a big fucking gun instead. Unfortunately, has the same problem that Heavy Destroyers had in the previous codex; it's a huge gun mounted on a fragile platform. AV 11 and Open Topped do not make a good combination for an expensive model like this. Thankfully, the Doomsday Cannon has a long range in the stationary mode, so keep it in the back of your army where it can spit S9 AP1 pie plates at anything that moves. While it can certainly dish out the hurt, it can't take it. (Actually quantum shielding boosts it's AV up to 13 until it gets penetrated so it's still pretty tough.) Armies that have problems with strength based instant-death weapons with high AP values and templates (tyranids), are known to pretty much spontaneously explode at the mere sight of this thing.
  • Annihilation Barge - A Catacomb Command Barge, with the Overlord's pimp chair replaced with a big gun (seem familiar?). This is your bread and butter of most lists - it's just too good to not consider. It's AV13 on front and sides thanks to quantum shielding, has living metal and only costs 90 points. Oh did I mention that it has a strength 7 weapon that fires 4 times but hits an average of 5.5 times (plus its ability to arc off and hit other units D6 times at strength 5) then for desserts either carries a strength 6 tesla gun or a gauss cannon for killing marines, daemons and tyranids?
  • Monolith - It's still a big floating pyramid that blasts gauss death from every edifice. No longer as ungodly invincible as it was previously (Living Metal only affects Crew Stunned/Shaken results now, so meltas and lance weapons work on it; still sucks to be an Ork), Chaos Daemon, or Tyranid ((But then again, most of Matt Ward's armies seem to spite armies that use monstrous creatures over vehicles at every turn)) but received a hefty price drop (35 points is hefty?), and kept its firepower. Like before, it can teleport Necron units through its Eternity Gate, or suck enemies through it without even giving them an invulnerable save (perfect for killing those annoying Thunderwolves or Nob Bikers). It can even Deep Strike, which might be smart considering how slow it is otherwise (or not because if it scatters onto terrain/enemies it now kills itself).
  • Doom Scythe - Another repurposed transport vehicle with the transport capacity replaced with a big fucking gun- Just like the Doomsday Ark and Annihilation Barge (and the Vindicator, and the Hammerhead, and the Fire Prism...). Ridiculously fast, and carries a powerful, long-range death ray that basically kills anything within 3D6". Unfortunately it has a chance to hit your own guys too, but if you're not completely retarded this shouldn't be that hard to manage. Expect your opponent to try and shoot these things down the first chance he gets. Unfortunately, GW have released a model for this and it's bigger than the fucking Stormraven which, when combined with AV11, means that it's going down on turn 1. You might get it to last until turn 2, so you can hope to get one shot off with this thing. If a single shot is all you need however you can deepstrike this sucker and fire in the same turn, perfect for clearing out a parking lot!
  • Canoptek Spyders - Largely an improvement from the old Tomb Spyders, with WS/BS 3 instead of the old 2. They can even create Scarabs like Tomb Spyders could, and can take some nasty wargear as well. Fabricator claws can repair Necron vehicles, gloom prisms nullify enemy psychic powers, and twin-linked particle beamers just blast enemies to bits, and all of them can be taken without sacrificing close-combat ability. You can even take three of them for one Heavy Support slot, making them worth considering despite their stiff competition for the Heavy Support slot. So 5th edition gave them the opposite treatment of the Carnifex. It took a once somewhat above mediocre unit and made it into a cost effective rape machine, while the Carnifex was a godly unit that was slightly buffed and nerfed at the same time and then made a shitload more expensive.
    • FAQ update: before the nerf, the Scarab conga line was the most popular power gamer strategy being used for the Crons. Literally, a Necron player could keep adding Scarab bases to old and newly created ones so long as they were in unit coherency. This meant they could form a line straight into the deployment zone of the opponent and gain a 1st turn assault. This was incredibly effective against opponents dumb enough to or who had to place vehicles close to the edge of their deployment zone (Vindicators come to mind.) But it also worked against blobby units, so it was called cheese. Fortunately the FAQ "corrected" the Spyder and says that new Scarab bases can only be placed in unit coherency with bases not created that turn. Conga line=nerfed.

Forge World[edit]

  • Pylon - A Super Heavy artillery piece. Great for putting holes in other Super Heavies with 6 SD AP1 shots that have incredibly long range. Three of these can pretty much wreck a mech army's shit in one turn. Now you see a healthy Leman Russ company, now you see nine smoking wrecks. They are unparalelled tank destroyers (they are only exceeded by broadsides, titans, Terminus Ultra's have a risk of blowing themselves up and only have S9 AP2 weapons, and Baneblades are less efficient) and that's just the icing on the cake. With Armor 14 and living metal rules, they are a bitch to kill, their teleportation lets them be where they need to in a snap, their special effects are just sweet, and they allow you to use some really overpowered formations (5+ invulnerable saves for your whole army...your enemies can weep now.) And if anything get's close? No problem, it has a flux arc mode that makes everyone within 48 take 1D6 Gauss cannon shots per model. This means that it will promptly buttfuck any horde that gets the funny idea that it can get close to it. Oh and did we mention that they're anti-air with both modes too?
  • Tomb Stalker - Not the Tomb Stalker from the Medusa V campaign (sadly...those were the Necron equivalents of titans and much like Necron ships they could slaughter enemy superheavies of greater size with ease, a Warhound equivalent left a trail of dead titans in it's wake until a Abominus, a fucking Chaos Imperator, could stop it, Necron superheavies are beardy like that). The Forge World model is a mix between a Tomb Spyder and a Wraith. It is a deep striking monstrous creature. Poison and sniper effects only wound it on a 6+ so take three when facing Dark Eldar. Then laugh at their faces when it eats through all their paper tanks.
  • Scarab Bases - new models for the Scarabs. They look great, but in all honesty, you're paying a little over 25 dollars for 3 bases when you can get them with warrior boxes and can buy them from bitz stores cheap.


Forge World is also currently working on "several" new creation for the Necron, who will be featured in he upcoming Imperial Armor 12. The rumored models are said to include at least one super heavy (assumedly the "Megalith"), some new units refereed to as "dragonfly swarms", some new characters (as well as upgrade sprues for Lords and Crypteks), a flier, and potentially a Titan.

Building Your Army[edit]

Painting[edit]

  • Dry Brushing - The only technique you will need to use to paint any sized Necron force.
  • Dip - An alternative to Dry Brushing. Spray everything chrome or a shiny metallic color. Then dip all the models in a brown wash. Blam, done. After assembling, you have any sized Necron force done in 30 minutes. Put some green as an added bonus.

No, seriously.

Buying & Collecting[edit]

Just start like with any other army; an HQ, 2 Troops choices, 1 vehicle, and a Fast Attack / Elite choice (easily done by buying Battleforce and a Command Barge).

HQ Choices: Your best bet will be a generic Overlord. One of these guys decked out in the right wargear, riding a Command Barge, is probably the most popular HQ selection. Anrakyr, Trazyn, and Nemesor Zahndrekh are all somewhat decent HQ choices, given the right circumstances. Vargard Obyron, Szeras, Orikan, and the Destroyer Lord, not so much (they're more along the lines of support HQ choices).

Keep in mind that Necron HQ and the Royal Courts they can unlock are incredibly good at buffing your army. Whether it be Anrakyr's Pyrrhian Eternals, Szeras' upgrades, or the Overlord's Phaeron ability, each HQ is tailored for both specific tactics or general enhancement. (Don't start out with Imotekh though. Sure deep striking Flayed Ones may seem nice, but the Stormlord's abilities are grossly overrated (more coming on that later.) He's more useful in larger points games where there's more immediate targets for the enemy to deal with.)

Troop Choices: Warriors are dependable and you can have many of them. Problem is, your opponent will most likely charge them as she/he will know Warriors die when assaulted. Many will argue that Warriors is the way to go, while others praise the Immortals more. Truth of the matter is, you need both. Your Warriors should be your objective holders or mid line support, while your Immortals should be at the forefront capturing contested objectives or taking the fight to the enemy (better done with Anrakyr's upgrades.) Use both Troops choices.

Elite choices: Are okay, but should be considered for bigger point games. If you're starting out use Lychguard with swords and shields, because they gain an invul save (and that's something they'll need, epecially with all the armor ignoring weapons out there). Warscythes are great against mech armies mostly, so reserve those for that. Triarch Praetorians are average, and are best when armed with the particle caster and voidblade (you get more bang for your buck out of that). Flayed Ones=no. Deathmarks=not unless you take Harbingers of Despair, too. Triarch Stalkers are mostly good, but you need to take 2 of them so they can be effective. Redundancy is key with them, especially since they are so multipurpose. C'tan Shards should be avoided unless you've got a specific plan in mind for them.

Heavy Support choices: Monolith. Tough, but not recommended for low point games. They cost a lot but can do a lot, too. If you absolutely need it, take only 1 (for now). Spyders are decent in close combat, but they're best served in a support capacity. Good for both repairing your vehicles and spawning more Scarabs. Doomsday Arks are powerful, but fickle. Doom Scythes have the strongest weapon the Necrons have at their disposal... mounted on the weakest vehicle. If you absolutely have to take it, take two. The Annihilation Barge is one of the best units in the codex. Spam them, if you can.

Fast attack choices: Arguably the best section in the codex. Scarabs are excellent at destroying vehicles, and they will come for free basically with your Warriors (if you have Spyders in your army, go crazy with Scarabs). Wraiths are arguably the best combat unit Necrons have. Take them if you can. Tomb Blades and Destroyers are great, too. It's hard to know what to take and what to leave from this section.

Transports: Catacomb Command Barge is considered one of the greatest vehicles in the game. No exaggeration. If you've got an HQ how has a Warscythe, get him on one of these. You will not be sorry. Ghost Arks are great, but are for Warriors and Characters only. Keep in mind they can only fit 10 models inside, too. They're nice support if you're fielding lots of Warriors. The Night Scythe is for everything else. Move them flat out 3 feet into the enemy and unleash 10 Immortals with a barrage of fire.

  • UPDATE: The new Necron Battleforce is now available. It brings 5 Immortals, 20 Warriors, 5 Canoptek Scarab bases, and a Ghost Ark. This is a great way to start. Don't buy it from Games Workshop, though. That'll cost you 105 dollars. Find it online for 25% off and you'll have yourself an easy effective start to your army. The Ghost Ark can only carry 10 Warriors which is half of what the battleforce brings, so either have them all on foot with the Ghost Ark floating along side to replenish fallen Warriors, split them up 10 by 10 (half in, half walking), or perhaps the best combo, 5 in and the rest walking. 5 Immortals isn't bad, but is your only source of mobile heavy firepower. Sure the Ark can be made into a Doomsday Ark, but don't. You'll lose your transport (unless you go through the pain and wonders of magnetizing... but even then, don't brink a Doomsday Ark to a low point game). 5 Scarab bases is nice, since the only way you can normally get them is through Warrior set boxes.
    • Grade: B+ (pro-tip: buy a Command Barge with this and you'll have a playable army that will actually be able to perform decently).
  • UPDATE 2: Second wave is now out, some of the models are very nice indeed. Night/Doom Scythe are now out as well.

Building On Points[edit]

Start out anywhere between 750 pts to 1000pts. As you get used to the army, add in a Barge or two, some Wraiths/Destroyers/Tomb Blades and so forth. The choices above are just to get you used to the shooting and assaulting potential of the army. Obviously at 750 pts you won't be able to fit 1 HQ, 2 Troops, 1 Elite, and a Heavy Support choice. So take the HQ and Troops first. Also, if you're going to take a Royal Court, make sure you know what role would best suit your units. The Court is going to support whatever strategy you form as you learn the army. Take a Necron Lord with a Warscythe, Mindshackle Scarabs and a Res Orb for your Warriors, a Harbinger of Destruction with a Solar Pulse and Gaze of Flame for your Immortals, and you should be fine for now.

Tactics[edit]

  • Destroyer Armada - The basic premise behind this Necron build is to cram as many Destroyers and Heavy Destroyers into your list as possible. Warriors and the Lord are there to supplement (and give you less points to spend on) the shooty power of Destroyers.
  • Wraith Wing - Just like the Destroyer Armada, only focusing on Wraiths. This force is a glass sword. Very difficult to use correctly, but can be devastating when you don't fuck it all up Not any more, Wraiths are now without a doubt the single most rapetastic fast attack unit in the game, if not one of the most rapetastic units for their cost period. Include a couple of Destroyer Lords with two of your Wraith units for some particularly vicious rape.
  • Silver Tide - Look at the cover of the old Necron Codex. Then use that as a base for your Necron army. Toss in as many Warriors as you can (140 Warriors and a two Lords with Resurrection Orbs at 2020). Then practice the time honored tactic of stand and shoot. Worked very, very well in 4th edition and was pretty much unbeatable in 3rd edition as the sheer number of gauss weapon rolls would slaughter any vehicle through glancing hits and murder any infantry through auto-wounds and still mulches infantry centered armies in 5th with auto-wounds (gauss weapons no longer auto-wound in the new codex) and can rather quickly rob vehicles of their weapons (a baneblade that has had all of it's guns removed is just an overglorified piece of moving cover), but it's past it's prime now thanks to 5th edition vehicle damage rules and the fact that Warriors aren't the best in close combat. With the new codex, Warriors' price has dropped, so you can field even more of them to compensate for their downgraded armor save: you can fill up you 6-Troop choices with 120 Warriors for 1560 points. Then get an Overlord and a deep-striking Monolith to carry the Warriors near enemy lines. Include multiple Ghost Arks to ensure those Warriors that don't get back up will be replaced with ease. Opponents with shooty armies will never play you again.
  • Necron's Floating Castle - Three Monoliths. Drop pie plates and enjoy the aroma of your opponent's newly filled pants. Then get into an argument about if Melta Bombs or Lances work against Monoliths. (Answer: They do now.)
  • Scarab Swarm/Farm - Exploit the cheapness of Scarab Swarms. You simply fill your Fast Attack slots with Scarabs instead of Destroyers. Attach a Destroyer Lord with a Lightning Field and other close combat supporting Wargear and watch the Scarabs scratch away at your opponents and cause many wounds in return from the Lightning Field. This build is not the most effective, but it is one of the most entertaining builds for a Necron player. The new version of Scarabs in the Necron Codex means that everyone has to run at least one unit of these, because they rape vehicles to death in a single round of close combat. If your opponent has a vehicle, even a Land Raider, and you have one or more units of Scarabs, you might as well put on Yakety Sax right now. Unless it's a Land Raider Redeemer or a Baal Predator, or any other tank with a flamer on it, which ruins Scarabs' day... Including 3-9 Spyders means you will have plenty to replace them with, however.
  • Monolith Phalanx - one of the most HATED tactics in apocalypse, simply plonk 2-5 monoliths on the field and watch as all of your troops gain 5+ invulnerable saves which usually isn't much but consider that every, single freaking Necron will have it and gain bonuses to their RP rolls (revs on a 2+ lol) and you'll have an army that will simply refuse to fucking die no matter what's thrown at it. Since Monoliths are absurdly durable and a large number of them is bound to fuck up even a Titan's shit (especially if one or more of them is a doomsday monolith), you will win almost all the fucking time even with 5th edition gauss weapon nerfs. If you convince your opponent to play with 3rd or 4th edition vehicle damage rules then you will be pretty much invincible. Keep a troll face on at all times while using this tactic and watch your opponents rage impotently. Monoliths are no longer as impervious as they once were, but have dropped in price significantly (35 points is significant?), so now you can compensate for your less durable Monoliths by fielding even MORE shit. Combine this with the Pylon's bullshit formation to make your enemies cry.
  • Can't Touch This - Put your overlords in barges, warriors in ghost arks and spam annihilation barges. VoilĂ , until one of your transports gets cracked, all the enemies strength 6 and lower weapons are totally useless (looking at you chimeras). Great way to piss on people's parade. Even better, if a ghost ark gets opened, you still regenerate wounds with the other ones surrounding your unit.
  • Royal Court Disco Inferno - A single Royal Court, fully decked out. 4 Lords with everything but Res Orbs, 5th Lord has everything including a Res Orb. 5 Crypteks, each a different Harbinger with all gear comes out to around 1050 points alone. Purchase HQ most befitting your opponent, spend the rest on Warriors or Immortals for the 2 obligatory troop choices. You'll have very limited anti-armour and anti-horde but against super-elite armies like Space Marines or especially Grey Knights, it'll make mincemeat of them. T5, 2+/3++ and 4+ Res Protocol will ensure these motherfuckers will rarely die and 10 S7 power weapon attacks (15 on the charge) will deliver a spectacular amount of CC violence. Remember Mindshackle scarab attempts, Lightning Field, Gaze of Flame defensive grenades, possible Ether Crystal usage and everything else. If things appear hairy, consider using some of your 5 Tesseracts or Veil of Darkness to the other side of the board. Requires high micromanagement but is surprisingly fun. For added CC lulz, use Zandrekh and stick Obyron in the Court and give them all Furious Charge. Also quite amusing when you force a Swarmlord to punch itself to death via Mindshackle. Harass and abuse to your metallic heart processor's content. In higher points games, take two of these. If you have the points left over after that, take whatever else you feel is necessary.
  • Pylon spam: Pylons are probably the single most rapetastic unit to ever grace apocalypse. They're nearly indestructible, they can teleport at will, they can reach across the board with a ridiculously rapid fire D strength main gun that does not give a fuck about armour saves, aircraft are no safer against it than anything else, and if anything gets even moderately close to it, it can unleash an unholy amount of flux arc shots at absolutely every enemy near it. Additionally, they have special formations that greatly improve the strength of your army, you'd have to be stupid to not take multiple of them in apocalypse. A trio of pylons is capable of obliterating entire armies.
  • Speed Cron: Perhaps one of the strongest glass hammer lists in the game, this list focuses on using the fastest units possible in every. single. FOC slot. Put your Overlords in Catacomb Command Barges. For elite, either go with Triarch Praetorians with particle casters and voidblades, or stick a ton of Lychguard in Night Scythes. For troop, whether you bring Immortals, Warriors, or both, shove them into Nightscythes. Fast Attack, bring out the Tomb Blades for jet biking fun. Heavy Support, Doom Scythes. Your opponent will hate you for all the cover saves, warscythe drive by's, twin linked tesla weaponry, and S10 AP1 lines of death you'll be bringing to the battle.
  • C'tan Hammer: Simple, fill up your elite slots with C'tan. Give them troll-tastic powers. Profit.
  • Ark of Destruction: Also known as the Pirate Fleet or Ark Wing due to the appearance of Necron Ark vehicles (which look like pirate ships if you haven't noticed), this list places emphasis on Ark vehicles supported by Barges. Take preferably 2 Overlords and stick them both into Catacomb Command Barges. Within their royal courts, take a metric shit ton of Harbingers of Destruction, these nasty bastards are then stuck into squads of warriors who you're really only taking for the Ghost Arks, take as many as possible. Then either take 2 Annihilation Barges and 1 Doomsday Ark, OR 2 Doomsday Arks and 1 Annihilation Barge, OR 3 Doomsday Arks and no barges. The Amount of AV13/13/11 vehicles that you'll be throwing onto the field should be plenty enough to give your opponent a really bad day.
  • Tremor Hammer: Do you like making your opponent lose 1/6 of his army in his first movement phase? Do you want your opponent to stay the hell out of places of cover that happen to be difficult terrain? Then this build is for you! This list revolves around the use of Orikan the Diviner, a C'tan Shard with Writhing Worldscape, and tremor-teks. Orikan makes the entire board difficult terrain for your opponent on the first turn. The C'tan with Writhing Worldscape makes difficult terrain dangerous. Voila! 1/6 of your opponent's moving force just disappeared. Also a fantastic way to maximize damage from units such as doom/night scythes and doomsday arks in the event your opponent decides not to try to move to preserve his army as these babies will drop death upon his army like no other. For additional shits and giggles, Orikan has a chance to pretty much evolve into a cheap C'tan Shard during the game for a while (wear your troll face). And with the tremor-teks, you can make units suddenly find themselves in difficult terrain which just so happens to become dangerous terrain. Can you say fun?
Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
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Imperium
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Necrons
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