We Will Arise Again… Evolution of the Necrons by Matt Kirk

12 Nov

Blog 1: My bits don’t work the way they used to …

in this blog over the next few months it is my hope to share some a personal account from a stalwart Necron Player’s perspective about how my army begins to evolve after the massive robotty shake up that has occured today (as I write) on the 5th of November 2011. I don’t intend to wear the mantle of the expert but more hope that anyone reading this blog can get some ideas about things which worked well or not for me. Let me quickly put this into perspective …

Setting the Scene

A year and a half ago, as a wedding present from my new wife, I was given a box of shooty death robots that looked a bit like the terminator. This (apparently) was all I needed to get me hooked on 40k because 18 months later and I have spend a small fortune playing, modelling and painting as well as more time than I should listening to the 11th Company and 40K:UK. My exciting Necron list (40 warriors, 2 monoliths and the Deceiver) played in two tournaments and managed to only lose twice … frustrating the hell out of various opponents ( one-nil was my most common kill point score) and generally playing to survive and scrape a win. As tactical as those games were … I can’t say that they were enjoyable for my opponents who were probably cursing me for such an unexciting couple of hours where they got to try and shoot monoliths at range for the first half of the game and then try and shoot the Necrons hiding behind them and teleporting between the two for the second. I have begun writing this because it looks like those days have changed and I wanted a chance to share my experience of the new codex as it arrives out and gets battle-tested as well as how I see some of the new units and rules working with regards to list synergy and effectiveness. The Necrons have risen again  and it is time to flay some fleshies …


As well as my excitement over the new codex and my glee at creating a decimating new list based on new rules and fluff I also had a sense of dread as I began to feel a little bit like Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory .. I wanted all my new toys and I wanted them now. Unfortunately (and unlike Violet) Daddy wasn’t going to pay. I am currently saving hard in order to put together a deposit for a house which means that although  I considered that spending my savings I realised that at this stage it might be undiplomatic (insert very real threat of castration from wife here)and unwise (when I am not playing with Army Builder even I have to admit it would be pretty nice to have somewhere to live) to spend too much. This is creating a second limiting factor in army building outside the fluff and points limitations of the 41st millennium but every bit as constrictive and certainly as indisputable.  As a result the evolution of my list will definitely be happening over a sustained but longer period of time, buying one or two kits a month as opposed to buying everything I would like to which, based on first impressions, would probably be lots and lots.


Firstly I suppose I should explain that I have a few options as far as old codex models goes. I own 2 monoliths, the Deciever, Necron Lord on foot, Destroyer Lord, 3 Wraiths, 3 Heavy Destroyers, 5 Destroyers, 20+ Scarab bases, 3 Tomb Spyders, 8 Immortals and 40 warriors. This then gives me a base of models to play with and what will hopefully be a growing array of nasty new additions as time goes on.

Right here goes …. it’s 05.11.11 and the time is 9:30 so I’m off to buy the new codex.

(Insert drive to local Games Workshop store here)


First Impressions

I have now just come back from the store and don’t really know where to start. Someone was there who wanted a game and I happened to have my models kicking around so I thought … why not. If I am honest I don’t think I am capable of a full battle report, having spent a lot of the battle looking back and forth at rules, but in terms of sharing my first impressions you might find it interesting to read what occurred to the best of my memory.

We played at 1750 points. I took a monolith, Imotekh (looking forward to Dave’s pronunciation of all these new HQW names), 10 Necron Warriors, 5 Immortals with Gauss, C’tan with “Moulder of Worlds” and “Gaze of Death, 5 Destroyers (with 2 upgraded with Heavy Gauss Cannons), 3 Canoptek Spyders, 3 Canoptek Wraiths with Whip Coils, Necron Destroyer Lord with Rez Orb and Sempiternal Weave as well as 10 Scarabs. Since many of the rules are new but most have been widely covered I am just going to go over a few juicy bits.

Monolith – At only 200 points it retains its big blast weapon (S8, AP3 now) and 4 Gauss Flux Arcs (Heavy 3, S5). No longer immune to lances or extra penetration dice but still Armour 14 with living metal (chance to ignore shaken on 2+ and stunned on 4+).

Warriors – At 130 points for 10 of these I figured it would be rude not too. Basic marine stats with a 4+ save, Initiative 2 and a 5+ reanimation roll (the replacement for We’ll be back which now occurs at the end of every phase).

5 Immortals – 2nd Troop Choice (wow!) and now T4 (boo) but 17 pts (Hurray) with an option of taking a Gauss Blaster which is now 24″ rapid fire S5 instead of Assault 2 as in the previous codex.

C’Tan Shard – I had not long to prepare this list and so choosing special attributes was daunting. You have to choose two from a whole page of them and I ended up going with the Gaze of Death which does a blast template attack in assault (S3, AP1) and the Moulder of Worlds which does a S4 larges blast in the shooting phase. To be honest I didn’t really over think it, but given some thought there are definitely some much more exciting possibilities here which I will go over in a later segment.

Destroyers – Slightly cheaper at 40 points, 1-5 in a unit, now jump infantry and you can upgrade up to 3 with Heavy Gauss Cannons (S9) as opposed to Gauss Cannons (S6 but now AP3).

Canoptek Spiders – 50 points now but you can take some upgrades that make them more expensive, including a claw that can fix vehicles or a particle beamer which does a twin linked S6 blast attack. They can still go in 3s but must stay in unit coherency and they can still make scarabs. Scarabs they make now join a close unit.

Caoptek Wraiths – 35 points now with initiative 2 and 2 wounds. They kept their 3++ but lost their reanimation protocols. I did not notice this until halfway through the game when I realised how useless it was to put my resurrection orb in that unit. The whip coils make enemy models strike last that are in base to base.

Canoptek Scarabs – Beasts, 3 wounds and stealth …. absolutely disgusting for 15 points each. Any hits on a vehicle reduce that vehicle’s armour value by 1 on each side on a 4+. This ability comes as standard. If any armour value = 0 then vehicle = wrecked.

I can’t say this list was optimum as much as these were the models I had in my case but I wanted to roll some dice so off we went.

Battle Summary

We rolled for Dawn of War and “Draw Bore” and I won the first turn. I placed my objective next to a building (AV12), Put in my Storm Lord (a proxied 3rd edition lord) and left everything else to roll on turn one. He set up a unit of Khorne Berserkers, a big unit of Thousand Suns in a rhino and a Lord on bike with some nasty demon weapon that gave him 800 attacks (+2D6 ).

On my turn everything comes onto the board except my troops and begins to blast away. The Storm Lord started to work his magic straightaway and his lightning (which hits any enemy model that you roll a 6 for in your shooting phase with D6, S8 hits) immobilised and blew a weapon off of the rhino that the 1000 sons were in. Having checked with the GW manager about rules for the monolith and DoW he ruled it was allowed to come on the board by “walking on” on (this is contentious I am aware but it was house rules and it is interesting to not that if it goes in reserve now it MUST deep strike anyway according to it’s rules) which it did and blasted the Beserkers which had started in the middle of the board killing most of them.

Basically this is what happened next:

The thousand sons shoot and everything else charges towards my relatively castled setup. The night-fighting ends on turn 2 unfortunately (I needed a 3+ to make the Storm Lord continue the night fight on turn 2) so there was no more lightning which was disappointing.  By the time my scarabs attacked on turn 3 there were 16 of them (thank you Spyders) and along with the Destroyer Lord and the Wraiths took a couple of assault phases to wipe out the unit of thousand sons and the unit of chosen behind them with very few casualties. In fairness the Lord was a casualty but he did what Necrons do best … and cam back! The spiders then wiped out the Chaos Lord on bike (who killed 2 of the spiders first). Meanwhile the monolith immobilises itself on a fence by my objective and creates a nice 24″ circle of death for any marines on foot wanting to go near it. The Stormlord attacks the Beserkers and kills them over a round or two, taking 2 wounds himself as he does so.

At this point there was one unit of standard Chaos Marines left on his objective at which I charged my Destroyer Lord, Wraiths and C’tan  (although my slow old C’tan never made due to his lack of speed). There was a Chaos Dreadnaught left which I charged with my scarabs …. cause I just had to see what they could do to a vehicle. There was also a unit of possessed who were about 18″ from my objective so my Storm Lord and my unit of warriors who he had now joined started moving towards them.

From then on it got horrible for the marines.

The 15 Scarab bases charged the dreadnaught who killed 2 bases outright. 13 x 4 attacks was 52 attacks for the scarabs …. which hit 25 times … which reduced each side of his armour by 12!

“I don’t care how venerable you are … that’ gotta hurt!!”

The Storm Lord uses his 2D6″ range weapon to kill a few possessed and the monolith, immortals and warriors finish the job nicely and wipe them out.

The Wraiths and Lord charge into the Chaos Space Marines and I manage to get enough Wraiths into base to base to get most of the marines down to Initiative 1 (Wraith bases are nice and big)… the destroyer Lord going with 4 attacks on the charge with rerolls helped at S7 with no armour saves allowed and the Wraiths (who are now rending) did the rest ….the marines ran off the table.

Result: Chaos Tabled on turn 5 and by then I had lost the destroyers (which ran off the table when four of them died to the thousand sons earlier), the spiders (who were melted by the posessed) as well as most of the scarabs.


Summing Up

The Necrons are definitely back in what seems to be (at first glace anyway) a fun codex to play. I certainly enjoyed game one with them, even if it was only using my random selection of models. I think, if this game is going to be anything to go by, the scarabs are going to be a real game changer. I don’t care how tough your dreadnaught or land raider is…. they are pretty vulnerable to these little guys if they can get close enough. This is made easier by the fact they are now beasts and stealthy, especially when they can string out and multi-assault  with very large Spyder enhanced units. I saw in my minds eye just smashing a big unit against a mechanised army and reducing many AVs all down to 8 or 9 … and at that stage my Strength 5 rapid firing guns look pretty good. I can already see lots of potential with terrain changing and enhancing effects in the codex as well as with playing around with the night fighting rules. The wraiths (even without their reanimation) still seem really good value for their points and I can see a unit of 5 or 6 being absolutely horrible.


I will finish writing now as I am too excited to remain grammatical coherency and must go to my army spreadsheet and start building some new lists. I will also be building some new models as I couldn’t resist leaving the store without purchasing two command barges (to make one annihilation barge and use the overlord that comes with it) and a Cryptek. Really looking forward to the next 6 months gaming and seeing what sorts of lists evolves.






9 Responses to “We Will Arise Again… Evolution of the Necrons by Matt Kirk”

  1. Embolden40k November 13, 2011 at 07:25 #

    What a very enjoyable read! And nice look into what the Necrons will bring to the table over the next few months!

  2. Digital Unicorn November 13, 2011 at 17:35 #

    Very good reads mate, nice to hear it from a dedicated Necron players perspective. Quite interesting that you did quite a lot of damage in the assault phase, no?
    Must have been quite a novelty for you 🙂

    • Matt Kirk November 14, 2011 at 16:25 #

      It was the first time I had done anything in the assault phase for a while. It felt all wrong not to be hiding behind monoliths to be fair let alone charging in!

  3. Mike November 14, 2011 at 09:47 #

    A very nice read, I look forward to reading how the list evolves. One rules thing though, I don’t think that spyders can spawn scarabs to take a unit above its starting size…

  4. Mark Perry November 14, 2011 at 12:33 #

    Nice to see the codex has an answer to Ven Dreads. The scarabs bring the armour value down with no opportunity to the Ven to re-roll against this. Once it’s armour 10 or less then the re-roll won’t mean much …

    • The Voice November 14, 2011 at 14:28 #

      @Mike – the scarabs rules are very clear and very generous in the new book – there is nothing saying they cant go above their starting number, if fact there is alot of things that people are comming up with that the scarabs rules dont say you cant do. so unless there is an faq (in fact an errata as faq implyes its unclear, errata is more a case of “we never intended it to do that”) expect to see some wild scarab tactics over the comming months….

  5. Matt Kirk November 14, 2011 at 16:23 #

    Scarabs have been useful in every game I have played bar one. My scarabs are no longer fearless … they fear Mephiston very much when he swings in from 24″ away with his 6 S10 hits. Most other times the stealth keeps them alive pretty well (and makes up for being double-tapped so easily) and when you don’t need them to later game you can leave them in a corner somewhere charging at 3 scarabs a turn until they can be a contesting force that is difficult for anyone to shift … 50+ fearless wounds with stealth!? Happy days. In one game they destroyed a vindicator and a dreadnaught before reducing the rear armour of two more vehicles to 6, which my wraiths then auto-penned the following turn.

    They have plenty of weaknesses don’t get me wrong but in terms of spending 350 points (with the spyders as well) , charging up and sending in the scarabs but then having 9 wounds of monstrous creatures lumbering up behind them … it has been pretty effective so far. Summing up: IMHO For the points it can take a lot of beating and it can do too much harm to ignore.

    • Gus November 14, 2011 at 20:48 #

      Scarabs are Fearless.

      • Matt November 15, 2011 at 09:34 #

        I agree most of them are … mine just fear Mephiston is all. It is now in their fluff.

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