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he Necron Army The Necrons are an army that is laughed at by many gamers, being viewed as an army with little or no chance of winning. This is largely due to their limited army list and the general lack of wargear available to the Necrons, who have yet to see a ‘formal’ codex. While the Necrons are somewhat limited in their unit selection and available equipment, they are by no means limited in terms of usable tactics. Given time, any player can win with the Necrons. Practice and patience are key to winning with any army, and even moreso with the Necrons.
The Necron army list gives you very few units to choose from, but each of them serves a purpose and, when used together, the apparent lack of army selection is no longer a problem as the units click play their part in the greater whole. To help you understand how to make the units work together, I’ll use this article to explain each unit's uses, and how they can be used with other units.
But first, a note of interest to those out there who still do not believe that the Necrons are a decent army. Necrons rank 8th with a 48.5% winning record. This may seem disheartening at first, but when you look at the armies beneath it (Eldar, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, and Space Marines), you get a better view of just how good they are when ranked against the other armies. In the most recent Grand Tournament (Seattle), two Necron armies ranked in the top 20 overall. Necrons, when played well, can defeat any army in the Warhammer 40,000 game. So put aside those fears of doing any good with your Necrons, and read on.
Lords of the Robotic Forces
The Necron Lord is the obvious place to start when picking a Necron force. He is the only character available to the Necrons, acting in a dual role as the army's leader and the only model in the army able to perform a dedicated assault against an opponent. Because of his cost, most players only take one. Taking two Lords opens up a wide variety of tactical options for you, but you should only take two if you have 1000 points or more to work with.
The Lord's wargear is aimed at relieving the Necron army’s lack of ability to perform assaults, the foremost weak point for your army. If you plan to have him assault your opponent's troops, then a Scourge of Light will be a grand aid, giving you a power weapon to use against armoured opponents. This is especially useful against Space Marines and other troops with a good armour saves. The Lord's Strength 5 and three Attacks allow him to take on multiple models that have a decent Toughness as well. If you use your Lord in this role, it might be worth it to give him a 'retinue' made of Warriors or Immortals, who will shield him from incoming fire and can throw in their own attacks in an assault.
Maybe you want your Lord to act in a more defensive role, preventing assaults from tearing a hole into your battle line. In this case the Gaze of Flame is a wonderful aid, as not only does it deprive your opponent of their extra attacks from charging, it also temporarily reduces their Leadership by -2. The threat of this item can sometimes be enough to make your opponent think twice about assaulting your units. But don't limit yourself to using the Gaze in a defensive role; it is also useful when acting in an offensive role. If you calculate your assaults correctly, you could very possibly break even a Space Marine squad with the -2 Ld and destroy them in a Crossfire.
The third item of wargear for your Lord, and the one that people turn to most, is the most expensive, yet also the most useful. The Veil of Darkness opens up many tactical options for your army. This piece of wargear allows your Lord and any one unit within 6" to move from one part of the battle to another using the Deep Strike rules. You can use this to move troops out of an assault, allowing you to remove your from an assault that isn't going their way. You can also use it to move a unit to an advantageous firing location, or to move between high ground in an effort to catch your opponent's troops wherever they go. With the Veil, there is really nowhere on the battlefield that is safe for your opponent's units. One thing is certain, though: Once you use this item and reveal that you have it, your opponent will start firing everything he can at your Lord. Once again, it's very useful to give him a 'retinue'.
A favorite tactic of mine using the Veil of Darkness involves a little twist on the Crossfire rules. Use the Veil to 'jump' behind an opposing unit, then open fire on it. If you're able to cause enough casualties, you just might be able to cause it to fall back. When the unit does so, you'll be in its fall back corridor, creating a Crossfire that destroys the unit. A word of caution regarding this tactic: Once you do this, you will be in your opponent's units' assault and firing range. Don't try this if you aren't sure your squad can handle the resulting assaults and barrage of firepower.
The first unit people turn to when selecting a Necron force should be the Warriors. They are your only Troops choice, and will form your main battle line. Many first-time Necron players only take two minimal squads of Warriors. They may not seem like much at first glance, but on closer inspection they are a terrific tactical unit! Warriors have the staying power of Space Marines combined with the ability to 'regenerate' if they are taken out by a shooting or close combat attack.
Even though Warriors are not able to take any heavy weapons, they are still useful against heavy vehicles. With enough shots, you will be able to score one or two Glancing Hits on any vehicle, and this will at the very least force it to give up a turn's worth of shooting, and may well destroy the vehicle entirely!
Necron Warriors do not seem all that good in an assault when you look at their stats. After all, they only have Initiative 2 and no close combat weapons. So how good can they be? Excellent. Though they may strike last most of the time, there are few things that can down a Necron Warrior. You are virtually guaranteed a chance to strike back, and with Strength 4 you'll be able to hit back hard. You can even chance assaulting some units with your Warriors, giving you an extra Attack. This would be a nasty surprise for your opponent, since very few people expect Necrons to assault. When acting as a retinue for a Necron Lord, the threat to your opponent’s units is even greater. The Lord's extra attacks will come in handy, as will any wargear he might have.
Next up are the Necron's only Elites choice, the Immortals. Immortals are a wonderful unit, if a bit expensive. They are able to put out more fire on the move than the Warriors, with the benefit of it being S5 with an AP4. Their Toughness 5 lets them take more hits than Warriors, too. As far as tactical roles go, they are effectively toughened Warriors that are able to keep up their firepower on the move. They can be used in an assault role in much the same way as Warriors, in which their extra Toughness will shine through as they take the hits and keep standing.
Immortals make a good retinue for your Necron Lord. Their Toughness allows them to soak up more firepower, and their heavier guns will allow them to neutralize most threats to the Lord. The Immortals can also serve to 'soften up' a unit before the Lord and the Immortals assault, making it easier to break them. This can be very useful, especially when faced with large groups of Orks or Space Marines.
The next unit that catches the eye is the Destroyer, the Necron's answer to attack bikes, with the added bonus of being a jetbike. Destroyers can have many roles in your army. They can act as a mobile reserve, plugging up gaps in your army when any of your units fall to enemy fire or assaults. They're also very useful for setting up Crossfires, quickly darting along the side of the battlefield and then behind your opponent's units.
By far, the most notable role for Destroyers is to hunt down enemy vehicles, as they have the only really heavy firepower in a Necron force, especially when given a Heavy Gauss Cannon. Even the mighty Land Raider can fall prey to a squadron of Destroyers, with three shots per model. Don't forget that the Gauss Cannons are also useful for going after troops as well, with their Strength 6 shots. Within just one shooting phase, a unit of Destroyers backed by a unit of Immortals can destroy almost any unit your opponent can take.
The Necron "Assassins"
The last choice available to the Necrons, and often the most overlooked, is the Scarabs. They at first appear to be pretty straightforward, charged with the task of flying up to your opponent's troops and self-destructing. This is, of course, their main use, but there is more to Scarabs than that. In fact, it is often worth it to think about who you are going to self-destruct on to begin with. A unit of 5 to 10 Scarabs has a good chance of taking out a Terminator unit, which is far more expensive than the Scarabs. Three of them might even be able to take out an opposing character. Or maybe you want to silence your opponent's heavy weapons. You should always think about which unit is the most dangerous to you before sending out your Scarabs to do their duty.
As noted above, Scarabs have some other uses. For one thing, they have a decent chance of winning in an assault against units such as Imperial Guardsmen, without having to explode. This could come as a surprise to your opponent, when the Scarabs he expected to explode actually assault his units and survive to move on to another unit. This could cause panic and distract your opponent while he deals with the threat within his lines. You can also use them in another, more surprising role. As with Destroyers, Scarabs act as jetbikes. This allows you to move them quickly, getting them in behind your opponent's units. They can then perform Crossfires, taking out any units that fall back to your firepower. Thus your little unit of Scarabs is now performing extra duty before it carries out its role as a pack of assassins!
Because of the multiple threats posed by Scarabs, eventually your opponent will catch on and start firing a large portion of their ranged weapons at them. This leads to another role Scarabs play well, the role of a diversionary force. While your opponent shoots up your cheap Scarabs, he is not firing as much as he could be firing at your Warriors, Immortals, and Destroyers. This could spell doom very quickly for your opponent’s forces.
The Necrons have a unique problem while trying to complete a mission's objectives. They will 'phase out' if you lose 75% or more of your troops, regardless of whether you are winning or losing at that point (and to be honest, if you've lost that many troops, it's hard to be winning). This will cause you to lose the mission without any chance of success, even if you're holding two table quarters and your opponent has none. To avoid this happening, protect your troops as well as you can, make sure to take out your opponent's biggest threats to your troops quickly, and don't blow too many Scarabs too quickly. A pair of Scarabs could be all the difference between winning a glorious victory and losing in the most humiliating way possible.
Hopefully this article has opened your eyes to a few more tricks you can pull with your Necrons. Necron armies have long been laughed at as being less than a whole, with barely a list and very little wargear to support them. Let them laugh, because while they're busy laughing your Scarabs will be sneaking right up to their Striking Scorpions or Terminators, ready to take out their most prized troops at a moment's notice.
Necrons are a very flexible army, with their fair share of tactical options. Used correctly, you can take on any other army and come out on top. And when your opponents begin to show their surprise at losing to a Necron army, the rewards will be all the sweeter when you do.
Last edited by !Shpongle; September 30th, 2008 at 18:17.
Yes, that and try putting in some other Necron organizations other than just the Flying Circus (my personal favorite too), like Destroyer, and Fear. You could put Phalanx in there, but mention that it's powerful, but becomes very boring during a game.
I would remove the comment about the scarabs being the point value they are as to avoid GW lawyers and LO mods/admins.
Also, that link in the first section doesn't work.
Just my current thoughts.
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Be off-topic and visit www.theopia.com
Space Wolves (500) 6-0-3
You're also forgetting flayed ones, wraiths, heavy destroyers, monoliths and tomb spyders. And this is less of a tactica and more like an army overview...
Agreed with the above.
I feel that most tacticas here lack the depth to be truly useful. You gotta include detail for a good tactica and probably some more structure.
And how do you know Necrons have a good win rate? Please post the link where it shows this thanks,
and unfortunately he said necron warrior are great in assault, which they are not, they are in fact very terrible. definitely needs mentioning something about sweeping advance.
Wow. Checked the link and the updates page from the link. 2003 was the last news update for that site. What edition was that?
I agree with Djinni. Unless you put the edition that the tactica is for. Things look to have changed radically in 5+ years.