15 Jun 20

Faction Focus: Necrons

Welcome to the first instalment of our new Faction Focus series! Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll be introducing each of Warhammer 40,000’s warring races and offering some hints and tips to help get your existing armies ready for the new edition. To kick things off, we’ll be discussing the Necrons – stars of the awesome Indomitus boxed set – ably assisted by expert playtester Werner Born.

Who Are They?

The Necrons are an ancient machine race whose alliance with the godlike C’tan and mastery of hyper-advanced technology saw their civilisation rule the stars. Yet after a bitter conflict with the Aeldari known as the War in Heaven, the Necron empire was finally humbled. Now, after millennia of slumber, the time has come for the Necrons to rise up once more and reclaim that which was once theirs – even if doing so means exterminating all sentient life in the galaxy!*

How They Play in the New Edition

Now, we’ll hand you over to Overlord Werner Born who helped put the deadly machine warriors through their paces during development. As a hardened veteran of the tournament scene with his Necron legion and Team USA coach for the ETC, it’s fair to say he knows his stuff! He’ll be giving us some insights as to how they’ll play in the new edition and which units will help you in your cause for galactic dominion.

Werner: Hi everyone! I’m Werner, from the Mournival playtesting group. While I’ve played a variety of armies over the years, Necrons have long been my favourite for matched play. With some heavy reinforcements around the corner for our beloved machine empire, there’s never been a better time to be a Necron player. Even before those reinforcements arrive though, there’s a lot to be excited about for Necrons going into the new edition, so it’s time to awaken those tombs!

One of the biggest improvements for the Necrons is they’ll no longer be hurting for Command points (CPs). Without allies or a cheap minimalist Battalion Detachment at their disposal, Necrons were traditionally one of the factions that had a tough time starting games with a lot of CPs. However, in the new edition, they’ll have more CPs to work with than ever – a significant boost that will put them on a level playing field to the other armies when it comes to the number of Stratagems they can employ.

Even beyond the changes to Battle-forged army structure, there are a number of other key changes in the new edition that will affect Necrons for the better. Vehicles are already a mainstay of many Necron armies, but they’re about to get even better! With all Vehicles able to move and fire Heavy weapons without penalty, you’ll be able to pull off some powerful combinations. For example, getting within range to make the most of the devastating firepower of the Mephrit Dynasty has never been easier…

With the updated rules for Aircraft in the new edition, Necron Flyers will no longer fear having their movement blocked by units on the ground, and they will also be able to move back onto the battlefield in a later turn should they leave combat airspace.

Personally, I like to play a reactive game, and Necrons are well equipped for that strategy through their combination of deceptive speed and a deep bag of tricks. They pack the firepower to take down any threat as needed, but because many of their units have a 24 range, you have to carefully consider target priority. Sometimes you need to settle for a secondary choice and let the biggest threat in your opponent’s army live for an extra turn so that you don’t overcommit early.

Key Units

The Necrons are already blessed with a number of devastatingly powerful units, and they’re set to receive some seriously brutal reinforcements in the near future, too! Here are some great units to look out for in the new edition.

C’tan Shard of the Deceiver

Werner: Always a popular inclusion on the tournament scene, the C’tan Shard of the Deceiver remains a great building block to include in your army due to its Grand Illusion ability. It’s complementary to loads of different unit choices available to the Necrons, and trust me when I tell you it’s even more valuable in the new missions!

Doom Scythe

Werner: In the absence of dedicated indirect fire units, the best way to (literally) get around line-of-sight-blocking terrain is by making use of the myriad movement abilities that Necrons have at their disposal. The Doom Scythe, in particular, can use its speed and freedom of movement to get eyes on a valuable target from across the table, then obliterate it with its death ray. What’s more, as a Blast weapon, the death ray will be effective against large enemy units as well as enemy vehicles – you’ll automatically get your maximum of three shots against units of six of more, which will be great for zapping Space Marines.

Necron Warriors

The mainstay of many Necron army lists are the humble Warriors. Like most units in the new edition, Necron Warriors will be increasing in points – more specifically, to 12 points per model – but they’ll still comfortably outnumber Space Marines on the battlefield. Not only that, but you’ll soon be able to equip your Necron Warriors with the gauss reaper, which trades range for increased hitting power. Combine this deadly new weapon option with the Mephrit Dynastic Code and you’ll be cutting your enemies down in droves with devastating point-blank fire.

Thanks, Werner! What units will you be adding to your Necron phalanxes? Have you already been adding some in anticipation of the new edition? Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page, Instagram and on Twitter using #New40K.


* In fact, the full and terrible truth behind their plans will soon be revealed in the climactic final book in the Psychic Awakening series – Pariah…