Why Necrons Need to be Nerfed

Necrons have an alternate “lose condition” in the form of  phase out, have trouble penetrating vehicles, and will die outright to massive multi-assaults due to their miserably low leadership.  With those in mind, you’re probably wondering why the army that is widely acknowledged as the worst codex in 40k would need to be nerfed.  I’ve been thinking about it myself.  

So I was listening to Episode 36 from the 11th Company (which is a good podcast on 40k tactics and strategy, in case you haven’t heard of them), and Dash of Pepper from YTTH was on bragging about his 2k Necron army and how he has gone undefeated with it.

The issue I take with the statement is the implication that he’s that great of a player, simply because he’s using Necrons.  Now, he may be a great player–that much I can’t know of for sure, as I honestly don’t follow YTTH, and he’s obviously not in my gaming group, but the fact that he’s using Necrons and winning does not make him a great player.

And the key reason is that, contrary to popular opinion, Necrons are not a bad army.  In fact, I’ll take it one step further and state that the flat-out need to be nerfed.

This is nothing new; since their inception Necrons have always been a hugely powerful army, albeit one without a lot of variety.  In every edition until 5th, I’ve held by the conviction that if I had to play a single game for my life, Necrons would be my codex of choice.  Granted, the changes in 5th edition have brought them down in power a bit, but not nearly enough. 

So what in the Necron list needs nerfing?  I think it can be summarized in a handful of units:

  • Necron Lords
  • Necron Warriors
  • Monoliths
  • C’tan

Now, if you take a look at Dash’s undefeated army (list here) you’ll notice that he focuses on these overpowered units, and almost completely ignores all of the other units. 

In additional to the units mentioned above, several other units are also overpowered due to the age of the existing codex and the fact that GW refuses to create a reasonable FAQ.  Ths includes units like Scarabs and Tomb Spiders, who could use a swing of the nerf bat as well, but more on that to come.  For now, I’d like to take a closer look at the above four units and explain why they’re overpowered.

Necron Warriors

This unit is really the crux of the argument for people that believe the codex is underpowered, but is ironically a fine example of how ridiculous the codex really is.  To explain this, I’m going to use marines as a comparison.  Before I go there though, I’m going to acknowledge that I understand 40k is not an apples to apples kind of game and is more rock/paper/scissors.  Because of that, comparing units across codicies is imperfect, but what else do we have to compare against?

That said, let’s look at the warriors.  For 18 points, what do we get?  Well, stat-wise, we get a standard tactical marine with two lower initiative and two higher leadership.   Their guns are practically identical to bolters, squads are larger (which is pretty much negligible, but it does mean multiple units are harder to muster in small games), have no grenades and (with only one exception) have no available upgrades (so no special or heavy weapons, and no dedicated transports).  Plus, they lose some nifty marine special rules like combat squads and ATSKNF.  In comparison, they’re seemingly comparable (if not worse) than a tactical marine… and let’s face it, tactical marines are far from the best unit in the game.

So, let’s focus on the few things that a Necron warrior gets, that a tactical marine doesn’t:  Gauss Weaponry, We’ll Be Back, and symbiocy with oher units.

Gaus Weaponry:

Gauss weapons are a native feature of standard necron guns, allowing them to auto-glance vehicles on a 6.  For a 10 man marine squad, a melta-gun costs 10 points and gives a marine tactical squad a chance to hurt a vehicle.  A minimum size necron unit needs to pay 20 points to have a chance to affect a vehicle, and then they can’t penetrate.  So how is that overpowered?  Well, if you can forgive me, let’s do a little math hammer to compare the two (all numbers courtesy of Hamulator).

So you’re aware, the chart above has a couple of things to note.  First of all, I assumed that if the model was wrecked or destroyed, it would also not be moving or firing, so they’re already included in the other columns.  Also, I included any “weapon destroyed” results in the tally for “Can’t Shoot” results, so it really should indicate that the vehicle will have reduced shooting.

With that in mind, what can we determine from this chart?  Well, it means, that if you want a vehicle not to shoot you–no matter what the AV of it is, a squad of necron warriors is better than a melta-gun at any range.  Heck, with a 70% chance to impact a target’s shooting, a Necron squad is probably one of the most dependable options in the game.

It also means that if your goal is to stop the vehicle from moving, then the melta gun is better within 6″, but for anything greater than av10 at 7″ or more, the gauss weaponry is better.  Additionally, at ranges greater than 12″, the necron warriors still have the ability to stop vehicles.

The downside is that they can’t reasonably be expected to destroy a vehicle outright, due to the changes in the glancing hit table.  Of course, it’s still possible, assuming they immobilize the vehicle first, and then systematically rip all of the weapons off it–but that’s far from reliable, and would likely take multiple turns of shooting.  But do you really need to destroy a vehicle?

Vehicles typically fall into one of either of two categories: transports, or fire support.  If you can reliably stop it from doing it’s intended job turn after turn, does it matter if it you can’t destroy it?

And for just a few points more, they can extend the gauss weaponry bonuses to assaults–giving every model in the army “rending lite” vs. vehicles.  Yes, I know they’re not a die-hard assault force, but that’s a nice upgrade to have–especially against those pesky land raiders/monoliths…

Because of this, I feel that gauss weaponry is easily the best basic weapon in the game.  If I could forgo buying special and heavy weapons in my marine squads to purchase these, I’d do it in a heartbeat. 

We’ll Be Back:

One convention when the game switched from 2nd edition to third edition was to eliminate the idea of multiple saves.  Previously, a model could have a field save (ie. invulnerable save), then an armor save, and then sometimes they’d get a special roll.  All this comotion caused for a slower game, and a predominance of characters (who were mostly likely the ones with these stacked saves).

In third edition, GW wisely reduced this effect by stating plainly that a unit could either take an invulnerable, an armor, or a cover save–but never more than one.  That was all fine and dandy, until they came up with concepts like We’ll Be Back (WBB) and Feel No Pain (FNP).  These rules somehow skirted the line to give a unit an effective 2nd 4++ save, thereby slowing the game down, and making them unnecessarily difficult to kill. 

Of these two, WBB is the arguably superior option for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, WBB is not affected by the AP value of a weapon, whereas FNP does not get a save if hit by a weapon of AP1 or AP2 (ie. plasma).   The only drawback of WBB to FNP is that WBB does not get a save vs. power weapons, but let’s face it, if your warriors are in combat with power weapons, you’re probably doing something wrong…  Additionally, by means of other units in the game, WBB can be extended to wounds acquired by virtually any weapon (see the next section on symbiocy).

And this is a basic skill that comes with almost everything in the army.  Not even the latest overpowered codex (Blood Angels) has this option.  They have something similar, but they have a small radius, and if they die, the save goes away…

Symbiocy

This section is really an extension of WBB back above.  As stated before, with army upgrades, they can have their WBB roles against almost any weapon in the game, to include those that cause instant death, or completely ignore armor saves: effectively granting the entire army Eternal Warrior and Feel No Pain.  All for a 40 point upgrade in the form of a disruption field (considering you essentially have to have some sort of Lord in your army).

Additionally, when paired with a Monolith, entire squads can get a re-roll on their failed WBB attempts.  With this in mind, it takes an insane amount of firepower to kill a 10 man warrior squad.  Some examples of how many shots it takes for a variety of BS4 weapons to kill a squad of 10 warriors with an orb and a monolith are:

Yes, you’re reading that chart correctly, 18 rounds of bolter fire at at 12″ range from a full 10 man tactical squad, or a scant 72 lascannon shots to dispatch a single squad of warriors!  Effectively, orbs and monoliths give a squad of 10 more survivability than virtually anything else in the game: including things like Wraithlords and Tyrannofexes!

The end result is that warriors have the most versatile weapon of any unit in any army, and when played “right,” they also have the best survivability.  Now I ask you, is that worth 3-5 more points than a tactical marine?

Monoliths

I can almost summarize their ridiculousness in one word:  Unkillable.   While I firmly believe they’re practically unkillable, summarizing them as such does them an injustice, as they provide a great impact aside from that, but let’s start with their durability and progress from there.

They’re unkillable; did I mention that?

Armor 14 can’t be reasonably be destroyed by any weapon in the game.   Against all but the best possible weapons in the game (Zoanthropes at 22%), the best odds to destroy an AV14 vehicle is to use a Melta Weapon (21%) or a Lance Weapon (7.5%).  When you add the living metal rule, lascannons become the best option at 3.7% per shot, or various high-strength ordnance weapons, which have marginally better, but it’s difficult to calculate the exact odds due to templates/scatters.

In short, the best odds you can have to kill the monolith is to fire your best weapons and hope for a miracle.  Ironically, the best way to deal with a monolith is to have a squad of gauss weapons fire at it, and lock it down.  The only army that can do that? 

You guessed it:  Necrons.

 And you want to stop it from shooting.  In addition to the flux arc (which, let’s face it, it’s cute, but not dominating), it has an upgraded battle cannon: str9 ap3.  Everything dies to that (except, of course, other monoliths, and warriors with orbs/monoliths). 

Otherwise, it has a variety of cute little rules, including the ability to transport friendly units via teleporting (even those that are in close combat), to allow reserves to use them as a point of deployment, healing friendly units, holding units in reserve longer (by declaring the ‘cron unit will be deployig through the monolith in reserve, and for some reason, that allows the unit to delay deploment–but Chaos loses demons that try the same thing), or deep striking in like drop pods.  Hell, if none of that works, it’s still a mobile wall for the army!

All of this for a scant 235 points.  Yes, that’s better in almost every way than a raider (which is, coincidentally the only other av14 vehicle), and cheaper to boot!   It’s certainly the most durable vehicle in the game, and arguably the most flexible in uses (though I don’t know who would argue against it).

C’tan

The last overpowered unit I wanted to focus on is the C’tan, particularly the Deceiver.  While the Nightbringer is a force to be reckoned with by himself (especially due to the fact that both can run thanks to the 5th edition rules). 

The biggest problem here is, surprise, their durability.  Toughness 8 with five wounds and an invulnerable save make him about the most durable creature in the game.  Most of the time when confronted with such a monster, people have specialized assault units (such as thunder hammer terminators or even poisoned weapons on lowly gaunts).  The problem here is his “misdirect” power, wherein he can simply walk out of any combat he wishes.  Because of this, it’s impossible to kill him in an assault, unless the Necron player is playing poorly.

He also has a variety of nifty rules that allow him to force leadership checks (even on fearless units), redeploy units, etc.  All of these rules are plausible to me though, as they’re either duplicated elsewhere in the game, or otherwise have a counter.  Allowing a unit to be toughness 8 should be done very sparingly, as it makes the model almost completely immune to standard weaponry.  Adding immunity to assaults?  Well that’s just insulting…

All of these overpowered units are in addition to great units like scarabs, who are the only swarms in the game that can turbo-boost (and can purchase an option to auto-glance vehicles, just like warriors), and Tomb Spiders, who are monsterous creatures that spit out scarabs as extra wounds. 

That brings me to my last complaint about the Necron codex: with the new rules, poorly written FAQs, and “creative” interpretation, these models can make for some crazy illogical abuses of the rules.  Case in point:

Scarabs are affected by three special rules: Swarms, Vulnerable to Blasts, and Small Targets.  The thing is, “Swarms” is now a universal special rule (USR) that encompasses the other two rules.  Despite that the codex clearly states what their version of the “Swarms” rule means, some people claim that this should also confer the bonuses (and hindrences) of the USR by the same name, effectively giving them a +2 cover save for being both a “Swarm” and a “Small Target.”  With the abundance of 4+ cover saves available in the new version, this means that the swarms will most likely have a 2+ cover save throughout the game.  Is that stretching the rules a bit?  I’d say so… but for the sake of argument, let’s let it slide…

This is further complicated when you through Tomb Spiders into the mix.  The tomb spider is not an Independant Character (IC), and can make scarab swarms in a squad with it.  Unscrupulous players will choose to make one scarab swarm in the unit, and then put it into cover, as an attempt to circumvent the rules for Monstrous Creatures and cover (pg. 51 of the BRB).  That rule states that an MC can’t be considered to be in cover unless at least 50% of it is obscured.  They suggest the rules covering units in partial cover (pg. 22 of the BRB) supercede this rule.  Should it be interpreted this way?  Not logically…  But let’s say, for argument’s sake it’s ok.

So, now you have a scarab hiding in a bush, that’s magically conveying it’s cover save to the Monstrous creature nearby.  So what kind of cover save does the MC receive?  Well, there isn’t a rule on majority cover saves (though there is one on majority armor saves).  So, does that 2+ cover save confer to the Tomb Spider?  My local Necron opponent claims it so, and then uses the rules for majorty toughness to give 6 toughness to the unit, and then allocates wounds back to the swarm as possible.

So, if you shoot a strength 9 gun into the squad, he takes his 2+ cover save, and assigns the wound to the Tomb Spider (toughness 6); however, if you shoot a strength 6 gun into the squad (or anything that doesn’t double-out the swarm automatically), he’ll take his 2+ cover save, and assign the wound to the swarm.  In essence, he’s taking a mixture of the new and old codicies to get the best of both worlds.

Is that right?  Well, I know in my heart that it isn’t, but GW’s inability to write a proper FAQ, or make sweeping universal rules changes, leaves it in questionable territory.  So sure, he could be right (And if he is, we certainly need to add scarabs to the “to be nerfed” section), but I doubt he is. 

And why does he play Necrons?  Well, because he’s been doing it forever… and why is that the case?  Well, because he wins with them.

A LOT.

His win ratio is somewhere around 95% (or maybe even higher), and though we don’t have a hyper-competative tournament scene, we do have some solid players in the group, and even those have (at best) a 20% win percentage over him. 

Again, I don’t mean to discredit his playing ability.  He’s a great player with an amazing grasp of the rules (if a bit overly literal).  But this sounds astoundingly like Dash of Pepper’s undefeated Necron force.  Two good players with nearly invulnerable army lists.  Each of them playing necrons, consisting of a combination of a lord, warriors, monoliths, and the Deceiver.

And I don’t mean to say that Necrons shouldn’t get a new codex.  They should, and when they do, they should get some more variety of units, but the existing units need to be nerfed.  Hard.  So I’m going to make a few suggestions of what I’d like to see:

  • Necron Lords:  No res orbs.
  • Necron Warriors:  Remove WBB completely.  Some talk is drifting around the internet that GW will replace it with FNP.  Since I abhore FNP, I’d rather not see this happen, but I can understand if it does.  They also need a way to deal with mass assaults, so perhaps giving them fearless or stubborn (fearless preferred) would suffice?  Gauss weapons should not get the ability to auto-glance everything.  Replace with an option to either combine their fire into a higher strength shot (eg. up to ten models can fire a single shot at the strength of the total combined models), and/or give them an option to have a squad leader to give them a little extra h2h punch.
  • Monoliths:  Remove living metal completely.  AV14 is already difficult enough to affect.  I’d also like to see sweeping changes to the ability to damage vehicles (something I expect from 6th edition when it comes out), so try to keep that in mind when creating this codex.   Remove their ability to telelport units out of h2h.
  • C’Tan:  Remove the ability to skip out of combat (perhaps replacing it with “Hit & Run” if it’s deemed necessary), and reduce their total toughness to be in-line with 5th edition codicies (keep in mind, no Tyranid has greater than toughness 6).  If the argument against lowering his toughness is that he’s a god, add a disadvantage to the unit akin to that of a Tau Ethereal.
  • Tomb Spiders & Scarabs:  Clearly define their rules.  To make things a little smoother, it would make sense if the scarabs he created formed their own squad (a la the Parasite of Mortrex).  By the same token, it would be cool if he also could grant some ability to nearby scarab swarms.

I’m not out to penalize necrons entirely.  I recognize that the changes to 5th editon have largely negatively impacted the Necrons, but certain units and abilities are still drastically overpowered.  Changes to phase out (or complete elimination of the concept) can be viable as well.  Thematically, I hope they don’t do that, but for balance reasons it might not be bad.  Though, if you think about it..when’s the last time you lost 75% of your army and still stood a reasonable chance at winning?

It’s obvious that several of their units are too good.  So, if you’re out there looking to prove how superior a tactician you are, don’t reach for the Necron codex as a handicap, just to play their overpowered units.  If a handicap is really what you’re after, look no farther than your own codex.  I’m sure there’s a little-played unit in there that requires good tactics to be successful with (at least compared to the rest of the army).  The easiest way to find them?  Well, look at the recent tournament lists, and pick something that’s not on any of them.  Some suggestions include:

  • Eldar: Swooping Hawks, Shining Spears
  • Imperial Guard: Ogryn, Ratlings
  • Necrons: Flayed Ones, Pariahs
  • Space Marines: Scout Bikers, Storms
  • Space Wolves: Bjorn, Blood Claws
  • Tyranids: Lictors, Pyrovores

These units aren’t necessarily bad: they’re just not as powerful as the other options in the codex.   Adding these sort of units necessarily increases your strategic thinking and, I dare say, will cause both you and your opponent to have more fun.

As always, I welcome your feedback.  What do you think?

Deceiver Image copyright Games Workshop.

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90 comments on “Why Necrons Need to be Nerfed

  1. the cover save/ toughness rules for a tomb sypider and a scarab swarm is straight out of the main rule book. This is also the same set of rules that applies to a Hive Tyrant and his guards.

    • The majority toughness rule comes straight out of the rulebook, but there’s nothing in there about majority cover saves (or at least nothing I can find). And yes, the same rules inconsistency applies to a Tyrant and his guards, but to my knowledge there’s been no FAQ that covers whether the rules for squads in cover usurp the rules for MC’s in cover. It’s one of those “unstoppable force” vs. “immovable object” scenarios.

      Yes, many people seem to play one way on the rules, but what makes that any more correct than the other interpretation?

      • BRB PG 22 2nd column 2nd paragraph

        “If half or more of the models …are in cover, …may take cover saves”

        note: Yhea I cut a lot of it, avoiding the GW hammer.

      • But that’s only half of the argument. One rule covers units in cover
        (stating half of the models in the unit must be in cover), and the other
        rule covers MC’s in cover (stating “for MC’s to be in cover, at least 50% of
        its body has to be in cover). What makes you say that the squad rules for
        cover supercede the rules for MC’s in cover? From where I stand, there’s
        just as strong of an argument in the opposite camp (more so, if you include
        logic… since there’s no practical way obscuring one leg of a scarab will
        obscure the Tomb Spider…

      • the rues are independent, I never claimed the MC was in cover I only claimed the squad was in cover. Your saying well there is no way this model is in cover therefore the squad rules are invalid. So if I have two tanks in a squadron and one is in cover are you going to argue there is no cover save because the tank isn’t in cover?

      • Nope… Squadron rules are clear. The problem I have with this particular rule is that there seem to be two conflicting rules: MC’s and squadron rules.

        Abuse’s answer really explains the ruling though, and while I don’t agree with it, I certainly see why that’s the commonly used answer.

      • The list link is broken for me I really want to see it. I play necrons and sorry but I disagree. I have also played against them a lot. A C’tan is a chump. I will kill him with missile launchers. No problem. I have done it plenty of times before.

        The deceiver is powerful yes but i have also tied him up with an assault squad for 4 turns. Necron warriors Fold the second you touch them in HTH and they DONT come back.

        Liths are cool but you can kill them. If you have anti tank you should be at least able to stun them.

        I really want to see this list that your talking about. As a necron and a spacewolves player, there is nothing that i can see that would make them win against my wolves.

        ~j

      • wait, you tied up a unit that can willingly just leave close combat without any chance for you to say otherwise?

        Ctan’s arent really something you can say “just shoot rockets at it”….your wounding on a 4+ with krak missiles, it has 5 wounds and a 4+ inv save. So you need to shoot more then 20 rockets on average to kill it, adding more for whatever the BS is of your rocketeers. That means a full long fangs unit of ML’s would spend an average of 5 turns devoting all their fire to this one model. You may get lucky and kill it faster of course, but your equally likely to get unlucky and take longer.

        Oh and Stun doesn’t affect the particle whip blast/teleport of a Lith so stunning doesn’t make them ineffective just a less effective.

      • um 15 ML can kill 1 in a round ….. super easy. I have seen it happen before. Sometimes it takes 2 rounds. AS for the guy that can leave combat. He was hiding, from the ML in the assault squad.

        Necrons are Not op I dont care what build you take.

      • so let me draw it out, no fancy graphs just easy math.
        You need to cause 5 wounds with a 4+ to Save
        so You need 10 wounds

        You need to cause 10 wounds through a 4+ to wound(for rocket)
        so You need 20 hits

        You need to cause 20 hits through let’s say 3+ to hit
        so You need about 30 shots (more if your BS isn’t 4)

        So statistically you need about 30 shots from Space Marine Missile launchers to remove a C’tan. Yes it CAN happen in 1 round from 15 ML’s, it CAN happen in 1 round from 5 ML’s, it can also just as easily NOT happen in 2 rounds…..but you can’t say it’s “super easy” unless you have cooked dice or enjoy being ignorant of math in place of “it’s happened”.

        Now consider the amount of firepower your devoting to that 1 target and what you didn’t shoot during that time. C’tan’s don’t win games alone, they are just like most units in the necron dex right now, they’re powerful if used correctly and lackluster if not. I wouldn’t call them OP mind you, but i also don’t subscribe to the auto-fail sticker either.

      • Heh, I said 1 to two rounds in my post. I have played this fight about 3 times now from the SW thing. While I agree math hammer says the C’tan are better than I’m saying, on the table, for me, they have not been.

        They are scary since they ignore saves, but you can finish them off in HTH with a power fist sarge.

        Yeah i know the deceiver can leave combat but lets you fire at him. If you have an impressive fire base you can kill him.

        Hell you can even run in Mepheston and force Sword his ass dead.

        Hes just like Mepheston, or Abadon. Hes brutal but not all that bad. You can take him out.

      • Without the ability to simply walk away from combat, I agree that the
        Deceiver is reasonable–on par with a Mephiston or an Abaddon. But any
        competant player isn’t going to allow you to engage his Deceiver with those
        units, only chosing to stay in combat with those that can’t hurt him.
        Hence, why he’s effectively immune to assaults.

        Granted, there are times you can bait him into combat: by threatening the
        warriors, giving him reasonable odds, or (like your original suggestion)
        when he has to hide from shooting (though these should be fairly rare, since
        he can hide behind monoliths and/or hopefully engage something other than an
        uber CC unit). Realistically, these are going to be the exception, and not
        the rule. If he lost the ability to simply walk out of any combat (or if he
        could chose to do so only during his turn), I’d be fine with it. As it
        stands, he’s broken.

      • 34 Necron models. 2000pts. I am all but certain that most shooting armies could phase you out turn 1 if they are smart.

      • That seems like a bit of an exaggeration: let’s do some math. For
        comparison, I’m going to use Stelek’s Ard Boyz list (link here:
        http://www.yesthetruthhurts.com/2010/02/space-wolves-for-ard-boyz.html). I
        chose this because Stelek is a respected member of the community when it
        comes to power-gamer type lists.

        So, let’s make some assumptions:

        – Everything in the Necron army actually deployed (a farse, because
        respectable players will leave their ‘crons in reserve to come out the
        monoliths).
        – Everything is at minimum range for the Space Wolves to fire at (to allow
        double-tapping of bolters).
        – Nothing is in cover.
        – Every weapon in the Space Wolf army receive the maximum amount of shots
        available, and they fire off every weapon (including HK missiles) on turn
        one.

        With that in mind, that’s 132 shots coming out of the Space Wolves, 88 of
        which will actually hit. After you figure out wounding and armor saves,
        that means they’ve done 34.7 wounds to the Necrons (before WBB). After WBB
        (x2, since we have all of those monoliths on the board), 8.6 Necrons have
        actually died that turn.

        Keep in mind that’s a 2500 point list, under absolutely ideal circumstances
        (though we did get the ‘Crons the advantage of 3 monoliths, and a Res’
        orb).

      • The MC cover rules determine whether the model is considered to be in cover, not whether it can take a cover save.

        If 50% of the models in a squad have cover, they can all make cover saves. If 50% of a Monstrous Creature is obscured, it is considered to be in cover. The rules have only an indirect relation to each other.

      • I see what you’re getting at, and why you’d rule it that way. It’s just a
        little too rules-lawyerish for me, but I do appreciate you enlightening me
        to the rationalle behind the common train of thought.

        By that same logic, are you fine with the 2+ cover save from the scarab
        transfering over to the Tomb Spider?

      • I don’t believe so- the Scarab Swarms have a rule that gives them a bonus to their cover save, but I don’t think the rule applies to the unit as a whole. I don’t have a copy of the codex, though, so I can’t say for sure how the rule is worded.

        I don’t think it’s rules lawyering- while a bit confusing, that is how the rules work. A squad of ten models where five are in cover and five are out can all make cover saves- how is this any different?

  2. I agree that Necrons are not as bad as people make them out to be, and that strong builds should center on warriors, lords/ctan, monoliths, with potentially some scarabs thrown in. A necron army should IMO be played as a big game of keep away, whittling the enemy a little at a time while avoiding the return smash from the enemy. If you can keep the warriors out of combats they’ll lose big, you can do well, but that can be tricky. The enemy has to play your game to a degree, being in threat range long enough for the whittling to work. Over time the necrons can destroy anything, but with only a couple of turns they need to get pretty lucky to do a lot of damage.

    Don’t need disruption fields for shooting; gauss weapons do that already. The disruption fields just let them do the glances in CC too.

    Trying to claim +2 cover for the scarabs is bogus and clearly against the intent. If he agrees to also take quadruple damage from blasts and templates, I could agree to it. Be sure they take Dangerous Terrain tests for any difficult terrain, as “Dangerous Terrain tests” are not the same as “Difficult Terrain tests”.

    As for the Spyder, he would be partly right, but partly wrong. You would shoot, and roll wounds vs. “majority” toughness. Then assign wounds, before saves. Wounds on the scarabs would roll 3+ or 2+ cover (depending on outcome of argument locally), while the Spyder would only get the 4+ cover. The scarab may be able to pull tricks to get the Spyder a cover save, but it can’t confer Stealth/etc. to the Spyder. Regardless, why even bother shooting the Spyder – let it sit there and work on killing more warriors.

    • Thanks for pointing out about the disruption fields… that only makes the ‘cron gun even better. I honestly believe that to be the best gun in the entire game. Especially when you consider the point cost and the fact that practically every model in the army has it.

      I take it you play Necrons fairly regularly?

      • Disruption Fields have nothing to do with guns. The more I read your posts, the more it seems you haven’t read the Necron codex, but face a local player who beats you with necrons. Possible? Yes. Easy? No.

  3. This… this is a joke post, right? Please tell me this is a joke post. Necrons are a horrible, horrible army for a variety of reasons, not the least of which:

    -Can’t kill tanks. Yeah, sure, you can glance that Rhino all day long; guess what, the Tacticals inside are still alive and safe on the objective, so they don’t care. Heavy Destroyers are pretty much their only option, and they are very expensive and pretty fragile for their cost.

    -Fold in close combat. You know what happens when anything that isn’t Tau assault Necrons? The Necrons die because they aren’t Stubborn, aren’t Fearless, and have Initiative 2. Lose combat, probably fail the morale check, Sweeping Advance, bam, end of squad.

    -Monoliths and C’tan, the supposedly powerful units, exacerbate your lose condition. Smart players will ignore these units- because, honestly, they just can’t deal all that much damage- and wipe out your actual Necron models and then you lose, even if you somehow killed 75% of their guys already. How many guys is a Monolith going to kill per turn? Four, maybe five Marines (three from the pie plate, another one or two from the arrays)? So three of those can wipe out… one and a half squads per turn, so long as they aren’t in CC? Not impressed. For 700pts I can buy a hell of a lot more firepower than that, and on units that don’t take away from useful force org slots in a real army.

    Necrons are tough, but so are BA and Plague Marines and tons of other units and people still manage to kill them just fine. They simply have no meaningful advantages since the advent of 5E and are, without a doubt, the bottom-tier army in the game.

      • I don’t think any of those units in the list are “bad.” I just think
        they’re underutilized and require a more strategic mindset to win. In this
        day and age of internet lists, anything that take more thought than “it
        takes alot of fire to destroy, while doing alot of damage, and costs very
        few points,” is overlooked. I’m a huge fan of more subtle, tactic based
        units. Lictors fit that role nicely.

      • You got me on pyrovores being bad. I actually caught myself and replied via
        email, but I must’ve done something wrong, because my comment hasn’t yet
        showed up. But aside from that, the rest of the units I mentioned aren’t
        “bad” per se, just not as dominating as their alternatives, hence why nobody
        uses them.

        For your list of inferior Tyranid units, I was going to argue, but I think
        you might be right–and that’s just the point. Mawlocs may have some
        tactical benefit to an army. I’m not a huge fan of them, but I want to
        start mixing things up with them–their ability to grab an objective late in
        the game can be helpful.

      • I wanted mawlocs to be good, You will find that he is bad at combat, no rerolls, no fleet, and expensive.

        They could fix pyrovores (move to HS cost 25pts increased brood size to 6)
        A real annoyance about the current Tyranid codex is it lack of point scaling, to many units limited to 3.

        I agree with the posters below on the necrons. Fought them at bolscon 09 and battles here and there. While they have some good units (heavy destroyers) (teleporting squads) the C’tan don’t scare me. I can marginlize them like any other unit and then handle it like any other big unit, shot it a lot and watch it die. (Also I think the C’Tan is the last T8 in the normal codexs, Tyranids top out at T6) ( I can’t think of any T7 either)

      • Mawlocs aren’t quite as bad as the other units on the list, but they are rather niche choices. However, at the end of the day they are six-wound monsters with Fleet, HnR, and Deep Strike protection, and they aren’t horribly expensive. (170 is a lot, but compare them to a Carnifex.)

      • Some units can be underused- Lictors, Harpies, Tyrannofexes, and many others in the Tyranid book fit this description. But that is often because these units’ raw strengths are inferior to others in the codex. Role and synergy are very important, which is why looking at numbers in a vacuum is often irrelevant, but it is also a mistake to go the complete opposite direction and say “Every unit is equally viable, you just have to use them right.” No. Some units are just WORSE than others.

      • I would’ve phrased it as “some units are just BETTER than others,” but
        that’s just semantics. Yes, there are some units that are plain bad (but
        there are honestly relatively few of them… the Pyrovore comes to mind).
        Then there are units that are just flat out overpowered–you can generally
        tell them because every tournament army is packed to the gills with them.
        Case in point: IG vets, Vendettas, and anything in the Space Wolf codex. 🙂

        So no, not every unit is EQUALLY viable, but virtually all of them are
        viable in some form or fashion. No, swooping hawks are not as powerful as
        warwalkers, but when used tactically, they can provide some nifty strategic
        advantages.

      • Meh, there are varying degrees of “good” units, but I honestly can’t rate anything in the game as “overpowered.” There is nothing that is so good that it doesn’t have a significant weakness that can be exploited. Vendettas? Nice, but still AV12 for 130pts, and dropping dudes inside melta range means that… er, your own tank is now in Melta range. So you’re trading a 130pt squad and a 130pt vehicle for something- it had better be a pretty damn good something.

        Swooping Hawks, along with Pyrovores and a few other units from various codices, are units that I consider sufficiently bad that there is never a reason to use them. Can you optimize Hawks at killing tanks or infantry? Yes, but other units will do these jobs better. Can you write a list to maximize the threat of Pyrovores dropping in? Yes, but many other lists will work more effectively. Some units have broad general uses (Libbies, Rune Priests, Vets, Sternguard, Tervis, etc) and some more narrow ones. At the low end of the spectrum, the gap can easily narrow to zero as the alterations to the rest of the army needed to support the unit become untenable.

      • Hawks do take a good general to use well. They’re fragile, expensive, and have inferior weapon choices, but they do some things that nothing else in the codex do: grenade packs, harrassing small rear-units, and objective contesting (which, Eldar have in abundance, due to tank shock). As you stated, there are clearly better units available, but I prefer to mix things up, feeling it makes me a better general if I learn to use such units tactically, rather than ramming thunder-hammer terminators down my opponent’s throat.

      • A good general can use any unit well; that’s not really an argument in favor of their usefulness.

        Grenade packs are a S4 blast one per turn for ~125pts; how much does a Basilisk cost, again, and what kind of gun does it get? Sure, the Hawks are unkillable, but that didn’t make the Mawloc good.

        Jetbikes, Vypers, and the plethora of other mobile units do a better job of harassment- not to even mention Jetseers.

        If you like playing with Hawks that’s perfectly fine. I have a soft spot for Biovores and I collect the little buggers every chance I get. But that doesn’t mean you should misestimate their usefulness- as you say yourself, other units can do their job better. “Just to mix it up” doesn’t cut it as a reason to use them, as their tactical advantages are outweighed by their disadvantages.

    • My take on the Monolith and C’tan are, just as you said, to ignore them. I do the same with Tyrannofexes, Wraithlords, Land Raiders, and anything else that just takes more firepower to destroy than it’s worth sinking into them. That’s just good strategy: regardless of which army you’re fighting against.

      A monolith, with a strength 9 ap3 template and/or a flux arc can certainly hold it’s own for damage output. Sure, there are other units in the game that do more damage than it, but can take remotely the same level of abuse, or provide a myriad of other tactical options: unit redployment, unit healing, objective holding, etc.?

      My argument is that:
      – A Monolith, as a unit is overpowered and/or undercosted.
      – Deciever is ridiculously overpowered.
      – Necron warriors are too durable and their weapon is too powerful.

      Yes, they need some way to deal with sweeping advances, or combat in general (which could be as simple as allowing them to have sargeants with power weapons, like marines have, or it could be sweeping changes to the rules set to include stubborn/fearless). But despite the major flaws of the codex, it isn’t that bad.

      • >strength 9 ap3 template and/or a flux arc can certainly hold it’s own for damage output

        Not really. First off, you only get the blast if you didn’t save some Warriors this turn- and people are gonna be focusing on your Warriors if they are at all decent. So are you killing them or avoiding getting Phased Out? Better pick. And if you’re saving Warriors, you also aren’t using the Flux Arc, because putting a squad of guys in melee range of the enemy isn’t really “saving” them, it’s letting them die to Sweeping Advance rather than failed tests.

        Also, how many guys does that blast kill? Six guys under the template is fairly normal (a bit high if they’re properly spread, even), so you wound five of them and they make half their cover saves. So… 2.5 MEQs per turn? And this is assuming you always hit (you won’t) and all their transports are dead (how did that happen?)

        Monoliths aren’t overpowered because they are ignorable. Indeed, even more so than a Land Raider, they epitomize the “invulnerable but ineffective” archetype, as the enemy can simply drive casually away from them and pretend you built your list 200pts smaller

        Deceiver isn’t overpowered for a very similar reason. If I can wait until turn 4 to deal with your guy and just feed him a random squad, he isn’t ruining my plans. Yeah, he’s practically unkillable; so what? He doesn’t stop my Razorbacks from shooting you to death. He doesn’t stop my Stormravens from closing with you. He doesn’t stop my Hive Tyrants from assaulting the rest of your army. He doesn’t slow my Venoms and Raiders down any. He doesn’t affect the actual game that is being played on the table and is thus a non-issue.

        Necron Warriors are durable, but not enough to compensate for their other weaknesses and not in enough ways to be relevant. Their gun is good but not amazing and, as Fire Warriors will tell you, that alone ain’t enough to be “strong.”

        I will take absolutely any other codex in the game over Necrons, and I include Daemonhunters, Daemons, and the old Tyranid and Dark Eldar books in that statement.

    • I replied to this via email, but it’s not showing up, so I’ll post again. If it does show up properly, please excuse my double-post.

      On the subject of your original reply…this is not a joke post at all, but keep in mind what I’m saying here: the codex has some uber-powerful units/rules in it that need to be toned down. I acknowledged there’s a problem with them losing in h2h (though I sincerely hope they don’t change them to make them all fearless and/or stubborn, as I feel the game is far too saturated with such troops already).

      Let’s take a couple of your points and address them individually:

      Necrons Can’t Kill Tanks: This is a misnomer. They have Heavy Destroyers, Monstrous Creatures, Ordnance Weapons, all of which do a great job at destroying armor at range. Likewise, normal destroyers meet the criteria for internet list builders looking to hunt light vehicles: being multiple shots at strength 6. I’m not keen on strength 6 in that role, but really, isn’t that much of the crux of why people love Chimeras so much? So, fully, 40% of available units in the Necron codex are relatively good at destroying vehicles at range. Obviously, that number goes up when you add assaulting into the mix. How’s that rate compared to the other codicies?

      Very Expensive & Fragile: The base warrior has nearly identical stats to a marine, plus gets a vastly superior gun, and WBB (which can be abused when you throw in a Res Orb and/or a Monolith). Scarab swarms are more durable and flexible than any other swarm in the game (I dare say, they’re the one swarm you actually see used). It looks to me that while they’re slightly more expensive, they’re certainly more durable than comparables from other army. Granted, for this to hold true across the board, you have to address losing in CC/low initiative (which I do mention in my post).

      The codex is not without problems. I’m not trying to argue that it’s the most powerful book in existance (if it was, there’d be no point to this post). My point is that, on the power curve, it’s vastly under-rated. People look at things like phase-out, and their lack-luster h2h abilities and throw the codex into the bottom of the barrel. They’re better in assault than Tau are though, so wouldn’t that at least make them the 2nd worst codex in the game?

      • >They have Heavy Destroyers
        65pts for one BS4 gun. Is it mobile? Yeah. Does it have decent range? Indeed. Is S9 pretty good? Can’t complain. Is that a good price? Oh hell no. Tyranids pay 50pts for twice as many shots, and they even have other options that ‘Crons don’t because nine Hive Guard aren’t enough. Nine Heavy Destroyers sets you back almost 600pts and quickly rolls to Lascannon fire or other AT shooting that has nowhere else to go because you have no tanks.

        >Monstrous Creatures
        Melee isn’t a way to kill tanks. Never has been, never will be. Tyranids do it because HVCs and other guns can suppress the tanks while they close in quickly; Necrons have neither suppression guns (your Gauss needs to be fairly close to shoot them) nor fast MCs.

        >Ordnance weapons
        How is effective BS2 working out for you? Scatter weapons are not a reliable way to kill tanks, which is exactly why Leman Russ, Basilisks, and Vindicators are not anti-tank units; it’s simply not reliable enough to land the center of the plate over your target.

        >Destroyers
        S6 is not anti-tank. S6 is used by Eldar to suppress vehicles because they get it in _spades_. It takes NINE Destroyers to wreck a single Rhino, which is not a good ratio. S6 tank-killing may be why the internet thinks Chimeras are good, but the internet is dumb as hell. (Also the only Necron unit that can assault a tank and kill with any regularity is the Lord; Pariahs, if they weren’t godawful, could also be thrown into the mix.)

        >vastly superior gun
        Whoa now, hold on. How is it superior? When shooting at tanks. This is not something you should be doing a lot, because you are basically wasting your firepower- your big block of 20 Warriors glances the Rhino five times and woo, it is suppressed. What do you do to the other nine tanks he is fielding? So while Gauss is better than Bolters hands-down, most of the time the difference is actually irrelevant.

        >Marine statline and WBB
        So they’re as tough as a Marine with FNP- as I said, Blood Angels get that and no one finds them unkillable. More importantly, though, is what they lack. Combat Tactics means Marines can get out of fights they can’t win. I4 means they can get away safely a lot of the time and inflict casualties before they leave. Heavy/Special weapons in the squad mean that even “mere” Tacticals are a threat to all categories of units, and their transports are super-efficient. ATSKNF means even a bad round of combat can’t sweep them and they always regroup. Necrons lack all these things AND are two points more expensive, but if that was all they were missing, they would still be playable- but more importantly, they have no support. Tacticals fill a role of sitting as bunkers while firepower units clean up the field- Necrons don’t have this option.

        You never actually address how it is you avoid being rolled in CC in the article. If my Trygon charges you, how do you not lose a whole squad? I’m going to inflict 5-6 casualties, you’re going to fail the Morale test, and I’m going to sweep you. Likewise Terminators, BA Jumpers, Orks, etc.

        Necrons aren’t the most durable army because they don’t have transports. Transports are more durable than men on foot, by nature. Foot troops that don’t want to die need a strategy against pie plates, maneuverability, etc- Necrons have none. SW, BA, DE, and ‘Nids all have these things and can run foot lists- Necrons cannot and have no mech options.

        Tau are worse than Necrons in melee, but so what? Tau have phenomenal shooting and ways to delay CC (Kroot, Piranhas) long enough to make it irrelevant. A 1500 Tau list can have nine Autocannons and three Railguns, plus Markerlight support. Tau live on efficient, maneuverable firepower. Necron firepower is maneuverable, but not efficient.

        Scarab Swarms are the one “good” unit in the codex. More than good- they’re fantastic. As a tarpit unit, they’re second to none and they’re extremely fast, able to get into the backlines very quickly. However, unlike Crisis/Broadsides, they aren’t enough to redeem the army on their own, and they tend to curl up and die when exposed to Flamers.

      • WBB is vastly superior to FNP for four reasons.
        1. Resurrection Orbs will be kept in range of vulnerable units by skilled players, thus allowing WBB despite instant death and power weapons.
        2. They don’t care about your ap 1, 2 stat.
        3. If a unit takes significant casualties a skilled player will phase it out through a monolith and allow any who failed their first WBB to try again, so they effectively get a 3+, 4+, 4+ to live….
        4. Nearly all of them have it without having to buy and assign out a bunch of fragile IC’s.

        The only issue it has is the range to a similar unit, though again a skilled player won’t have this issue most of the time, or will bring a tomb spyder. Really who need a stupid transport when nearly your entire army has this?

        The role of a Cron warrior is simple, sit on the objectives and be ready to teleport into the enemy and unleash fire if needed. That’s what winning Cron armies work with, they put disgusting hard to kill units like Monoliths, Wraiths backed by Lords, and C’tans into your face. Ignore those units and they will wipe your core out, devote the fire to kill them and your gonna be hard pressed to take out his warrior blocks in time, split your fire and watch him grin. And don’t tell me you’ll just send an assault squad back at the warriors to take em out in assault and phase them out…people who say this arent aware of what Wraiths are.

        Crons come down to skill, they really don’t take well to mistakes in the battle plan or people who only have a basic understanding of how the army is going to actually win battles.

      • WBB is, all things considered, a “better” (more effective) rule than FNP. But it is, in most cases, equivalent in terms of survivability.

        Having all units in range wiped out is NOT insignificant, because, unlike FNP, you don’t get to take the roll until after. If my ASM squad fails ten saves, I then get to roll ten FNP saves. If a basic ten Necrons fail ten saves… they’re dead.

        Priests are not really any more fragile than anything else and are cheaper/simpler than Res Orb, since they can hang out in metal boxes to extend the aura, not to mention being an extra body, giving FC, etc.

        Range to a Res Orb/similar unit is a hugely limiting factor on Necrons because it forces them to move in a big clump or risk being wiped out without gaining their special benefits. This makes them easy to avoid and hard to fight for wide-spread objectives, not to mention blast weapons, etc.

        Necrons can’t afford to leave Warriors in the backfield doing nothing because they occupy too large a chunk of the army; two Rhino/MM bunker squads is 410, but two Warrior squads with Lord and Orb is close to 600.

        What’s the ‘Cron battle plan? I haven’t fought a lot of Necrons, but I have never seen them do well and they’re pretty horrible by the numbers.

      • Your “Skillful” player is tabled turn two by IG. If you position every warrior so that even a Long Fangs squad emptying into it won’t stop them from all getting WBB, then they are in prime position for Pie Plates, which will down most of the squad.

  4. Oh you’ve done it now…

    good luck with this fight, imo Necrons are fine it’s when a player decideds to plumb the depths of the old ass codex for every rule loop hole they can find that they become an issue. Btw i’ve beaten his necrons twice now, the only time he won was an ad-hoc apoc game i played with another player vs him….it wasn’t planned and was pretty…dumb… shall we say.

    another example not listed in your post(that i could find) is the Pariaha’s making your leadership count as 7, you will find many cron lawyers that will insist this is different then modifying your leadership and therefor stubborn has no effect…

  5. You’re leaving out the biggest problem a 5th Edition Necron army has that is the main reason they are bottom of the barrel; sweeping advance. All the durability built into the points cost of “Necron” units goes out the door in a sweeping advance as they don’t get the chance to WBB, let alone make use of the rez orb or monolith re-roll. Coupled with how bad Necrons are in assault (no squad CC weapon upgrades, low amount of attacks, their low INT) it is the number one reason why Necrons are a low tier army. Now let’s throw phase out into the mix and what we do get? Easily one of the worst Warhammer 40k armies to date.

    “Yay I marched up the board with my “super durable” Necron warriors and I’m using my OP Gauss to keep that tank from firing! Oh wait this means I’m right next to that squad of (insert one of the million CC units) .. and I’m swept. At least that tank can’t shoot this turn! I sure showed him!”

    If I could give space Marines gauss rifles instead I would too (derr) but that doesn’t make the unit the “Necron Warrior” or the Necron army better than Space Marines. It just means a Gauss Gun is better than a bolter. In addition to that Gauss gun a unit of space marines gets that Power Weapon or Power fist, has more attacks, (they very well may win that assault) strikes at a good INT (which also helps to prevent being swept), has ATSKNF, and can be put into a transport… Here lets trade, I’ll let you have the gauss gun and the WBB rule that works only half the time, and my 2 points higher cost. Oh and you have to take Phase out too 😉

    • well i guess ill help argue with Rob =)

      Yes getting swept is bad, but what you find in nearly every “winning” cron army is that warriors are second wave not first. They don’t walk ahead and meet the assault units, the C’tan, Wraiths, Lord, Monoliths, and sometimes Pariahas take the lead. NONE of these units are easy to kill even for a typical assault unit geared for assault. Heck theyre not even easy to pin down thanks to teleporting through monoliths.

      Now that his badass units are in your face, let’s assume you left one monolith alive, that means one of his 2-3 11 man cron warrior squads will be teleporting into your face to double tap on you.

      The point is this, the internet is wrong as usual, crons are not auto lose and unplayable. Oh and if your local cron player buys forgeworld get ready for the centipee’d of doom, it fills a very lofty gap in their lists.

      • What you find in every “winning” cron army is an opponent who engages the Liths and C’tan. A single transport with CC troops reaching the warriors (or more aptly, driving to within 13″ of the warriors so they can disembark and assault next turn) will loose you the game.

    • But I didn’t overlook the sweeping advance: it is a problem and I
      acknowledge that (now, and in the original post), and it needs to be
      resolved. Even with it, the army isn’t that bad. If it was, would such
      players really be smashing everything they came across with it?

      In assault, what does a unit of marines have that a unit of 10 necron
      warriors doesn’t? 2 more initiative, and 1 more attack (plus the option to
      have a power weapon). If we ignore the power weapon (for the sake of making
      things easy to compute): we get the following:

      If the marines charge, they get 21 attacks, 10.5 wounds, 3.4 unsaved wounds
      (1.7 of which will get back up). In retaliation, the necrons will swing
      back 8 times, doing 4 wounds, of which 1.3 will be unsaved. Net effect:
      Necrons do 1.3 wounds to the marines 1.7.

      If the necrons charge, the marines strike first with 11 attacks, doing 5.5
      wounds, 1.8 of which are unsaved (1 will get back up). In retalation, the
      ‘Crons will have 18 attacks, doing 9 wounds for three kills. Winning
      combat.

      Necrons aren’t bad in hand-to-hand at all. No, they’re not terrific, but
      that’s not their intent: they’re a shooty/tarpit unit, that is good all
      around. In fact, their only downside is the break off rules, which isn’t so
      much a flaw of necrons, but a flaw in how they work with the new combat
      rules.

      Consider this: How powerful would a necron unit be if you gave them
      fearless (which seems to be the sort of rule everyone claims they need)?

      • Well first off you can’t just ignore the fact that a tac squad can and always does get a CC weapon upgrade to improve how they perform in assault because you don’t want to do the math. Especially considering the Tac squad is already cheaper than a squad of Necron warriors. Secondly, Your math is actually quite off due to your unfamiliarity with Necrons and their army specific rules which I suspected from the orignal post and confirmed now.

        Since you are unfamiliar with how the rule “Will Be Back” works I’ll explain it to you. Looking at your math it appears that you are under the impression that the “Will be back” rolls are made at the time the wounds are taken, like “Feel No Pain”. That is in fact not the case, they are made at the start of the Necron players upcoming turn. Why does this matter? Combat resolution and looking at your math, number of attacks dealt back! So now when we do the math correctly it looks like this.

        If the marines charge, they get 21 regular attacks, 10.5 wounds, 3.4 unsaved wounds . In retaliation, the necrons will swing
        back 6 times, doing 3 wounds, of which 1 will be unsaved. Net effect:
        Necrons do 1 wound to the marines 3.4.

        Now this is NOT including the 10 Pistol shots the Marines got to make before the charge nor the Power Weapon the would have.

        10 Pistol shots, 6.7 wounds, 2.211 unsaved wounds.
        3 Power weapon attacks, 1.5 unsaved wounds.
        18 attacks, 9 wounds, 2.7 unsaved wounds.
        7.17 unsaved wounds before Necrons get to strike..
        3 (rounded in necrons favor) attacks, 1.5 wounds, .495 unsaved wounds.

        Necrons lose combat by 6.675, thats a good chance to fail leadership, which INT 4 vs INT 2 = a good chance to get swept = No chance to use WBB, Rez Orb, Monolith Portal.

        Granted math hammer goes only so far, you will not always get all your shots or attacks but as you can see the situation looks grim for the Necrons.

        Your misinterpretation of one of the Necrons main rules could explain why you feel they are overpowered and I hope this clears it up for you why the majority of the 40K community does not agree with you.

      • Thanks for educating me, but even with a proper understanding of WBB timing, it doesn’t affect my perception of them being overpowered. This is because my new enlightenment only affects necrons in h2h–the aspect that they’re obviously not overpowered at to begin with. The fact is, they still stand back up and will swing again later.

        The only downside is sweeping advance (which, again I remind you, I recognize they need something to counteract). If the get a rule that ignores sweeping advance (eg. Fearless, Stubborn, or an ATSKNF equivalent), they’ll just be plain overpowered. As it stands, it’s good that they have a weakness.

      • Stubborn dose not save you from sweeping adance. Also there need to be a squad left to get WBB to get a lator swing in HtoH.

  6. OK now after seeing the list i can see why its a pain. It is however really easy to phase out.

    I still dont think that its a tournament winner. Your going to get caught in HTH and your going to die. I’m going to try it. I have everything there but the third lith. I still think that at that point I’m just going to get phased out.

    There are 33 necrons in that list. You need to kill them down to 8 or 9 before the phase out. Thats not that hard.

    Depending on who you are its going to be pretty easy. The new dark eldar would have np they are fast enough to get around those liths and shoot those warriors.

    The only way i can see this working is putting both squads of warriors inside the liths and just marching forward. Still I dont find it all that fool proof.

    I will try it out. I want to see how this runs but i think that once people ignore liths and just fire on the troops, the list is going to phase out pretty quickly.

    • Oh, nobody’s claiming it’s an unbeatable list, but it’s definitely powerful,
      and will give even the “top tier” codexes a run for their money. Necrons
      most certainly have some large disadvantages, but some units are just too
      powerful. So, while the entire codex can use an overhaul, taking special
      care to address the issues caused by phase-out and their low
      initiative/proclivity to be caught in a sweeping advance, they also need to
      tone down the uber units of the codex.

      • What top tier codex does it give a run for it’s money?

        Any codex with outflank can reach the warriors in CC.

        IG can template the warriors to death from outside 24″

        Any codex with transports can get into CC. Start outside 24″, drive to ~ 12 away. Even if they stop you from moving, you can deploy within 12, and then assault them. That’s without the unit taking a single turn of being shot at.

    • So I finally read the battle report that guy posted in his apparent 2k necrons vs 2k tau/2ksw’s game… and that was the biggest pile of crap I’ve read in a long time. I can’t even count the number of times he cheated not to mention the number of times he someone was able to do things that are pysically impossible. From his Illegal deployment of his C’tan, to his Illegal assault with it on turn one, turn two, turn three… to it somehow managing to cross the entire board length horizontally and vertically with its 6″ movement and no fleet rule.

      He also Illegally used the monoliths teleport with the wraith’s in moving the lith, porting the wraiths, then ILLEGALLY moving the wraith’s 12″ on the same turn.

      Not to mention his BS saving throws and 400 points of wraiths killing over 2,500 points of his enemies units..

      Also his Illegal use of teleporting with his monoliths and shooting in the same turn.

      Or his BS deceives that all magically worked despite the odds.

      That you for showing me that I got a great laugh from it. I honestly hope this thread wasn’t spawned solely on reading that battle report and somehow actually believing ANYTHING that was said within it. I mean If I can cheat that bad when I use my necrons then yeah they aren’t nearly as terrible as everyone says they are!!! 🙂

  7. Bravo, sir. I always enjoy people who buck convention on what I like to refer to as “The Internet Bullsh*t Machine”.

    I’ve been winning with Necrons for quite some time. I just don’t brag about doing it against noobs as much as some people.

    Now delete this! I don’t want people to know that when they see my ‘crons that they should assume that they get an auto-win. 😀

  8. Okay, Rob several things… at that list in the end you didn’t include tau.. there are two very obvious units you could have used too; Ethereals and Vespid, why are tau not included? ARE YOU (fictional) FACTIONIST?
    But, past that… You talked of Chris’ playing his Necrons and how well he does… that isn’t because he uses overpowered units but due to the fact that he is an awesome tactician, Every game I play gainst him with my Tau I wipe his good units (Wraiths and Lord/ Deciever) one or the other, sometimes both, by turn 2/3, that was all he had on the field and I’ve sustained minimal casualties then his monoliths pop in and he beats me with 30 odd warriors and a ‘lith or two… this ahs happened four times… it’s not because his units are overpwered it’s that they are (fairly) good and the player can play them well.

    Next time I see you we WILL have a long drawn-out and serious discussion on this topic!

    -Jeff

    • I didn’t include tau because I don’t know that much about them, but the two you’ve proposed seem to make good sense.

      And so you’re aware, this isn’t a targeted post at mangles. He is indeed a good tactical player. It’s to highlight that neurons aren’t anywhere near as bad as anyone says. In short, mangles doesn’t win DESPITE playing necrons-they in fact are rather good.

  9. Monoliths either need the metal taken away, or they need to go down to AV12 like the Stormraven. Right now my poor underpowered (HA) Blood Angels only options to kill them are Dreadnought CCW, Librarian ST10 power, and an incredibly lucky Lascannon shot… 3 to hit, 6 to Pen, 5-6 to hurt it. Other than that, I think some of the crazy rule loopholes need to be hemmed up. Can’t wait to see there new codex when it finally sees light of day. I think it will have a much larger impact on the game than Dark Eldar.

    • You’ll fare a lot better if you just plain old stop trying to kill the monolith(s). If you are concentrating on units that count towards Phase Out you force the Cron player to use the lith for WBB re-rolls instead of shooting and you put him on the defensive. As Blood Angels my best advice is to just get into CC with him and you’ll send him packing.

      It’s also worth mentioning that for shooting you should be focus firing vs Necrons more so than any other army due to their special rules. If you see an isolated unit (not within 6″ of a second unit of the same type) fire at it until you’ve dropped every model in the unit in that round of shooting so they will be unable to WBB.

      I think people that have trouble against Necrons are mainly just on their inexperience at fighting them and being unfamiliar with Necron rules. Once you have an understanding of how their rules work you can quickly formulate a strategy to exploit the huge weakness’s of the army and frequently come out with a win.

    • ok how to kill a monolit with BA…. Vindactor, predator with lascannon, Rasorback with lascannon, Dreadnought with CCW/lascannon/melta gun/blood lance/force weapon, any powerfist/thunderhammer with or with out FC, Heavy weapons Missile/lascannon. andi am sure that there are some i missed.

      • Of course, you and I have talked at length. None of those options has any
        reliable chance of damaging a monolith. You’re better off ignoring it
        completely–assuming that’s an option. 🙂

      • Sucking up the damage the Monolith dose and going to the rest of the army is the best plan, for now.

        On a side note, all of your problems with Necrons are with their strong points. You have not taken into balance all the weak points in the codex. It was said the you can apples to apples different armies in the Warhammer world but you are ever time you compare the power of a Necron unit to a Space Marine unit. I understand the strong points are Very good and a good player can use them to full effect wile protecting the week points. But a good opponent can exploit the weaker points, IF they have taken the time to LEARN what they are. And most people don’t take the time, so all they can see is the strong points that are being used against them. Ignorance is the main strength of Necrons, any player that LEARNED how Necrons really work can meet them on equal terms. But why should people go out and read such an old codex and take the time to learn how to play against it, when the internet can do it for me.

  10. Hello all,
    First off you have a lot of holes in your post that should be fixed. Second Dash’s lists (very close to what I play) you are talking about you have not played against. I am the local Necron player talked about in the blog and i have yet to play Rob with my Necrons. Mostly due to my work shifts and other players asking for a game first. Also you (Rob) are not a torment player, and mostly play for the fun of the game. I play for the battle, the change of the win. So I play Necrons, and I win a lot, BUT I credit 50% to 60% of the wins to players not building/ deploying/ or playing their army in a way that will beat Necrons. The rest I will split with the dice and my abilities.

    WWB and FNP are Nerfed by power weapons. Also to get ANY WBB roles you need to have a model so the same unit type in 6″ when it is time for the role, unlike FNP. The biggest problem with WBB is the mental one, it is easier for players deal with FNP, but after spending a turn killing Necrons watching them stand back up (fitting by the fluff) is a downer for most players. It also causes problems for planning when you don’t know how well you did or didn’t do that turn. Add in the fact that most players don’t take the time to learn the strengths and weakness of WBB and you have where we are now, players that attack strength and can’t understand why it didn’t work.

    You have left out some of the best weapons to kill the monolith. Try you math again after looking at Tau rail guns (S10 AP1 Range 6′), and Wraith guns, the singing spear, and you have left out all the IG pie plates. Also let’s not forget HtoH combat, the Monolith can only move 6″ a turn so at worst you need a +4 to hit it. This opens up a whole list of S8-10 weapons that can do damage that people don’t think about. The Monolith is very oddball unit, it can only move 6” a turn but can deep strike, it has good weapons but only at the cost of its transport powers, and lastly it can spit in the face of the most common anti tank weapons in the game. This lets Necrons players build a play stile around the Monolith or fit it in to their battle plan. Now for melta argument, Eldar have a force field that you makes you role two dice and take the lowest one even if you’re in half melta or ordnance. And lastly the Teleport out of HtoH, how can people complain about this when Orks, SM, and Hit and run can do the same damn thing. It is a pain in the A$$ but so are a lot of things in this game.

    The Catan’s T8 is not over powered look at 300 points Wrathlords if you want a good reason why it’s not. The misdirect power will go away; no one I have talked to thinks otherwise it is just too over powered. Also with all of the poison weapons now in the game you can take out a Catan first turn easily unless you hide it, then its not where you need it. Also there is talk that the Catan will be moved out of the Codex and into Apoc only. Until then you can use any S5 or better weapon that causes instant Death to kill a Catan in one hit. Also there are a lot of very high power HQ units out there

    Tomb spiders were not used my most players that i know or knew. Even the list pointed out in you blog or the one i use does not take them. And you didn’t have a problem with them until the 500 point torment came up and i was planning on playing them. Scarabs are out of date as is the rest of the codex and all of your complaints about them will be taken care of when it is updated.

    Most players call necrons the worst army because they are looking at Torment play. And in torment play they have a lot of thing stacked against them. Few scoring units, which have no weapons that can reach over 24″, and no reliable way to remove a unit off an objective, and that is that main problem that kills them in a Torment game. In an one off game Necrons can do fairly well because most players show up to play with per built lists that don’t think about Necrons when they were built.
    Let’s face it when you are facing Necrons you are in one of two camps. They are easy to beat and they are over powered. This mind set effects all your actions from how you deploy to how you attack. Thinking that you have lost the game before it have even started is the easiest way to lose a game you should have won.

    • I enjoyed the original post and thought this was an excellent response Rattler25, as it summed up many of my thoughts quite well. In general I think the necron rules are ok (except clunky is some areas), but the way they are presented in the original post sort of look at them in a vacuum, so hopefully my comments will sort of fill in the blanks. Hopefully my comments won’t come across as being too negative because I do think they are fairly powerful.

      The major issue I have had with the necrons is their lack of stopping power. A few points on this topic:

      1. The gauss rule is pretty nice to have but is not quite on par with having access to special/heavy weapons. You noted that they are great for putting a stop to tank fire, but this is not particularly useful with transports (since the unit being transported is still fine)….you’re bought time but haven’t earned a killpoint or prevented troops from moving onto objectives…and you’ll just have to do it again next turn.

      2. Again, I really like the necron’s weaponry and it really made me appreciate the value of the Bolter, which is a formidable anti-infantry weapon. However, not having flamer equivalent weapons to thin out hordes (or light infantry in cover) or low AP weaponry to weaken heavy/monstrous creatures infantry reliably is one of the reasons that assaults are so devastating. Close combat is also troubling without power weapons/power fists….this is harder to explain until you have lived without it. The main anecdote I have from my experience was having 2 obliterators drag down two full squads of necron warriors without a single wound done in response.

      3. The Monolith is a mixed bag. They are incredibly durable as you have described, and it is hard to understate how hard they are to destroy. The issue is what while the Particle Whip sounds formidable, in practice the teleport ability is almost always used in it’s place….because it is so great at extending the resilience of necrons. I think it is a reasonable exchange of utility and defense for offense capability, but does not really make the Monolith suited as a battle tank. However, in a world without the Phase-Out rule, they would be unmatched at contesting objectives.

      Lastly since I didn’t really get brought up, while WBB is better in many ways than FNP, you would be surprised how many strength 8 and higher weapons there are out there (and generally it isn’t too hard to babysit your squads with a Resurrection Orb, but a 6″ radius is not really that big). An isolated squad or necrons is easy pickings for groups of Long Fangs with missile launchers or Basilisk templates.

      I do like that you brought up the many good issues with the necrons in this manner, and I am generally satisfied with them, but I thought I should share my opinions on their downside (which I do not think are often explained very well)

  11. So the latest FAQ on the BRB adds more fuel to the necron loophole wagon.Stealth in this FAQ applies to a whole unit even if not every member of the unit has stealth…so looking back at the scarab swarms + Tomb Spyder issue that means if your Cron player is enterprising he will state the following”My Tomb spyder has a scarab swarm with it, therefor1. all to wound rolls against them are against Toughness 62. If i’m in cover, i will be getting a +1 to my Cover save because they have stealth3. My Scarab Swarm will also get an additional +1 to it’s cover save because of small target”The counter arguments are as follows1. ok sure2. Well your particular FAQ says stealth only applies to the scarab swarm specifically….3. You do realize that your special rule “small target” is exactly what the USR “swarms” is describing right, so your double dipping essentially?They will then respond with:1. grin*2. My FAQ is outdated, this new one clearly trumps it!3. RAW dude, i have small target and per the FAQ i now have the USR swarm which gives stealth.(internal high five*)and you may continue to argue the already stated points from there….

    i sorta think the FAQ about stealth will get edited out…it’s quite powerful for a few armies out there…not the least of which include a Lord Commissar taking a camo cloak, then joining an IG blob….or a Space wolf wolf priest(or a few others) taking saga of the hunter and joining whatever, and im sure there are going to be numerous other examples where a single or small number of models hand out stealth to a large group that’s not meant to have it.

  12. have you seen the new rules for the LAND RAIDER ACHILLES? It is harder to kill than a monolith is.

    “Ferromantic Invulnerability: The hull of the Achilles has been specially
    constructed to resist even the most determined assault and is almost
    preternaturally resilient. As a result, the Land Raider Achilles is not
    subject to the particular effects of the Lance and Melta special rules
    by attacks made against it. In addition it reduces the effects of all rolls
    on the damage chart made against it (other than by Destroyer type
    weaponry), by -1. “

  13. A interesting post I give you that. I recently played against Necrons for the first time (though played with them for two years) and they’re not as easy as everyone makes out. Sure they have weaknesses no doubt about it but somethings are just megadeth.

    The Monolith for a start is a real tough customer. No melta, no lances, no monstrous creatures, no chain fists affect it – just S9 or S10 have a chance. Also the power crystal can still be used if shaken or stunned and is never destroyed, that’s a massive bonus.

    I found WBB to be a real pain in the arse. We was playing kill points and more than once I wiped a unit out but for only X amount of models of said unit to pass WBB rolls and then join the closest units of the same type – kill point denied! WBB itself is also very cool as unlike FnP it still works from plasma and lesser melta i.e Tau melta.

    I’ve recently done a post about fixing Necrons: http://www.imperiusdominatus.com/2010/12/discussion-fixing-necrons-part-1.html also added this blog to my blog roll as it’s pretty cool 🙂

    • That’s precisely what I’m trying to highlight here. The internet seems to
      think that when facing Necrons, you have an automatic win, but they really
      have some devastating units. I’ll go check out your post now. Thanks for
      the link.

      • Auto win maybe but easy win? Certainly not. Someone who knows how to play Necrons will give you a hard time. There’s certain units I’d definately take a second look at.

    • Necron units that no longer exist due to joining other units still give up a kill point. The unit is gone=kill point.

      Ignore monoliths, get into CC with warriors.

      • Hmmm I don’t think so. The unit is still physically there, it hasn’t been destroyed just merged with another unit – kill points are only given if the unit is destroyed and it hasn’t been destroyed.

      • The unit no longer exists, as it has joined another unit. If the unit still exists, you get all sorts of non-sense things happening. People could shoot at the “unit” you still claim exists, and be able to hit all units that the squad had wbbed to. You would have to keep track of which squad each model had joined, and a model wbbing multiple times would create multiple layers of having to keep track.

        If the unit is still there, and has joined two seperate units, and one of those units is within Res orb Range, your interpretation would have the second unit getting the effects as well.

        Plus, the necron models count as killed, they merely have a chance to return to the table. Do you have any ways to resolve these problems, or any rules backing other than a “Hmmm I don’t think so.”? I may have missed something.

  14. Just read the article, and have some comments.

    All of your assumptions are under optimal conditions. Under such conditions, sure, great, they’re amazing. But to get WBB against s8 weapons, every unit has to be within 6″ of the Res orb. Templates, anyone? Also the fact that when the unit starts taking casualties, it will often mean some models become out of 6″ of another standing Necron Warrior unless, you guessed it, they’re bunched up! Bunching up is a horrible idea due to templates that ignore armor.

    Also, CC is terrible for necrons. They don’t get WBB against sweeping advances, and with I2 they usually get swept. Point for point they are worse in CC than every troop short of a Tau Firewarrior (Don’t believe me? Do the math). A single Power Weapon is often enough to, when combined with a charging squad, make a Warrior Squad run, and thus die.

    So yes, if you can stop all AP3 blasts from any range and prevent all squads from reaching CC, Necrons are Great!

    The list he posted requires amazing rolls- Loosing the two warrior squads and two models sinks him. Teleporting Necrons stops the Monolith from using it’s particle whip, and any list worth it’s salt should kill off most of a squad.

    In the post where he explains his list, he admits to great dice rolls while his opponent’s rolls suck. Also, he’s still cheating a bit, although unintentionally- Deceiver must use regular deployment rules, and if the Monolith moves, whatever teleports through cannot move afterward.

    Also, Necrons are good vs people who have never played them, as his opponents must be. They shot at a C’tan and Monoliths! Use those weapons to obliterate the Necrons. Let the deceiver kill things, who cares? Kill the warriors, you win!

  15. This article should be renamed to “I’m a little bitch who can’t handle the awesomeness of the Necron race, therefore they should be nerfed for everyone.” 

    Pathetic.

  16. Pingback: Bootleg Forgeworld: The People Clearly Want to Know! | Warhammer 39,9999

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