The Upstart Necrons and You

Seems appropriate with the new Necron vs. Admech Forgebane set coming out. A dashed good thing those pesky Necrons are so primitive and crude! ūüôā

The Regimental Standard

Wonderful news, Guardsmen!

As you know, many regiments have been assigned to assist the Adeptus Mechanicus with their ongoing geological survey. In a stroke of complete coincidence, many of the worlds with blackstone deposits you have been assigned to also contain a sizeable population of mechanical xenos known as Necrons, meaning you’ll have plenty of chances to test your combat skills and quite possibly help the Imperium execute two heretics with one bolter shell, as the saying goes. In order to assist you with your duties, we have produced this informative leaflet:


Who are the Necrons?

Necrons seem to be a relatively young xenos species, not yet capable of warp travel or advanced rational thought. They originate from underground, choosing to hide from the Imperium like the basest rat or sump-mutant, emerging only occasionally to vent their spite on our more enlightened civilisation.

In recent years, the Necrons have…

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Daemonkin, Necrons and Orks (1000 Points)

Warriors freshly awoken from their (apparently not) eternal slumber.


  • HQ: Lord with resurrection orb and staff of light = 75
  • Troop: Warriors (10) = 130
  • Troop: Warriors (10) = 130

Khorne Daemonkin

  • HQ: Herald = 55
  • Troop: Bloodletters (8) = 80
  • Fast Attack: Flesh Hounds (5) = 80


  • HQ: Weirdboy (level 2 psyker) = 70
  • Troop: Choppa Boyz (22); nob w/ big choppa & boss pole, one rokkit = 151
  • Troop: Shoota Boyz (23); nob w/ big choppa & boss pole, two big shootas = 191
  • Troop: Gretchin (11) = 38

This list uses two Combined Arms Detachments, with either the Orks or Necrons being the primary force.  The Daemonkin are allies.  The overall warlord could either be the psyker or the lord.

Interestingly (and who knew?) Khorne heralds are apparently consummate diplomats.¬† The Orks and Necrons don’t trust each other and optimally tend to keep their distance during the fighting, whereas the daemons are free to mingle with either side.¬† I suspect that the Orks intuit that they and the horned boyz both just want to “get stuck in”.¬† As for the Necrons, they probably find Daemonkin behavior extremely predictable and so their actions don’t play merry hell with logical calculations and circuitry.¬† Certainly can’t say that about the greenskins!

Khornate gribblies encounter the Imperium of Man

I’ve played my Terrible Trio now a few times in casual games and they’ve done alright.¬† Win about half the time and that is what I’m hoping for.¬† My general 40K list building philosophy is if I’m winning or losing more than about half the time against my regular opponents of similar skill and luck, then something is wrong with my list and it either needs to be toned down or toughened up.

The “desperate allies” thing can be a challenge, so what I usually do is deploy the Necrons first, often lining up against whatever armor my opponent plunks down if I’m setting up second.¬† Then the Orks rank up after that with the daemons either deep striking or deploying to take advantage of terrain or something I see in the set up.¬† One common theme is I use the khornate forces to protect the Necrons from close combat.

Why play this odd combination?¬† Story-wise it is easy to justify almost anything.¬† The real reason is I haven’t been painting Daemonkin very long and I wanted to use my painted models in games.¬† In general, playing with models I paint is the engine that keeps me painting.¬† As for the Necrons, someone gave me a bunch of models, which I’ve put into the paint stripper and have been slowly refurbishing.¬† Ditto on not having enough to field a proper army.¬† So I team up both factions with my main painted forces — the Orks.

Orks vs. Orks in the Necron Tomb Scenario

The mighty Ethereal Mark, and the Thursday Night 40K gang.

Mark was kind enough to try out the Necron Tomb Portal Scenario¬†in a 1000 point Ork versus Ork game.¬† Since were playing this scenario we agreed that using this terrain piece was mandatory.¬† A pity we couldn’t find the cord to plug it in!

He ran a varied list headed up by a weirdboy, a goodly number of boyz on foot and on wheels, as well as his usually tricky stuff like kommandos, deffkoptas, buggies and so on.¬† (I think Mark leans more toward the spirit of Mork than Gork!)¬† I opposed his machinations with my “Warboss Command Platoon,” which was Warboss Hungry, his personal physician (painboy), and his chief engineer/bottle washer (big mek with a force field), and a bunch of nobz. ¬†Of course they were all crammed into his Mobile Command Vehicle/battle wagon. ¬†Everything else was to protect and support this.

The game was quite bloody as was expected and when we called it due to time Hungry’s forces were ahead by only a single point. ¬†I’ve played the basic scenario a few times now with various people so I thought I’d share a few observations about it here.

  • We’ve found that the Necrons aren’t a big threat in the beginning, but they grow in power as the game wears on because of the players grinding each other down while the Necrons march inexorably to war, albeit in smallish numbers. ¬†On turn two a unit of five warriors isn’t that big a deal, but it certainly can be by turn five.
  • In a way the Necrons end up being true “allies of convenience.” ¬†Sure, they will help your side, but you have to be careful because you don’t have full control of their actions because your opponent probably controls some too. ¬†If you both aren’t careful they can end up winning the game though this isn’t very likely. ¬†What is more likely is one player will use the Necrons as a spoiler to win the game for himself.
  • I think Necron warriors are a good choice for the NPC faction because while they aren’t particularly powerful, nothing in the game is completely immune to them and can simply ignore them.
  • Blocking off specific portal entrances to try and funnel the Necrons closer to your opponent in order to manage their aggro turns out to be a viable strategy, though a double-edged one because in doing this one’s own forces have to put themselves close to the portal.
  • Another interesting mid-game tactic is to maneuver one’s forces off the objectives, etc. in order to temporarily force a situation where your opponent is leading by four points, insuring any new Necrons aggro onto her.¬† I say “her” advisedly because one of my IG opponents was able to do this to me!
  • The amount of Necron forces as constituted seems to work well for games in the 1000 – 1500 point range.¬† If I was playing lower than 1000 points I might use three warriors per squad instead of five, or maybe make it a random number such as D2+1.
  • The general consensus is that if the players are able to block off all four portal exits, then the Necrons should not be able to come onto the board at all rather than deep striking.¬† I agree and I will edit the basic scenario accordingly.

Necron Tomb Portal Scenario

¬†Two factions battle in an area which unbeknownst to them contains a portal to a Necron tomb. ¬†Perhaps this is an awakening tomb world, or maybe an isolated pocket … a last surviving remnant of a mighty complex laid low by the pitiless march of eons. ¬†Whatever the case, the sound and fury of war has awoken the Necron defenders. ¬†

Objectives:  Take turns placing six objectives using normal rules for doing so.  The side controlling an objective at the end of the game (including the Necrons) receives 2 victory points.

Place a square piece of terrain in the center of the table to represent a portal into a Necron tomb.  There should be four access points on the portal, one on each side.

Deployment Zones: ¬†Set up in a table quarter no more than 12″ away from a table edge with each player’s deployment zones on opposite diagonals. ¬†Use the long table edges for falling back and reserves.

Secondary Objectives: First Blood, Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord. Note that the Necrons can also achieve these. ¬†It is possible for them to score the last two twice — once against each player. Players cannot achieve secondary objectives against the Necrons.

Tactical Objective Rule (TOR): At the beginning of player turn one, before rolling for reserves, roll a D6.  If the player controls the objective corresponding to the die roll at the end of his turn, he immediately receives one victory point.  On subsequent turns, if a player has not achieved the objective on the die, he may elect to roll or continue attempting to achieve the objective number rolled on a previous turn.  Note that if the rolled objective is achieved, that player must roll the next turn. Tactical warlord traits do not apply to this rule in any way, nor does the TOR apply to the Necrons.

Otherwise the mission plays as a standard “Eternal War” mission, including rules for Mysterious Objectives, Night Fighting and so on.

Necron Defenders:  Although a non-player force, the Necrons can act as a spoiler and even win the game.  They could be controlled by a GM or third player. They have some special rules governing their behavior.

  • On turn one, after both player turns, deploy one unit of five warriors from each portal entrance, exactly like disembarking from a vehicle.¬† Allocate aggro for each unit based on whichever side has a unit closest to that portal access point so that two warriors units are aggroed against each player.¬†Necron units are controlled by the enemy player they are not aggroed against.¬† Necron units will never change their aggro status unless one player is eliminated from the game.¬† If the game continues all Necrons will aggro against the remaining player.
  • Each Necron unit must perform at least one of the two following actions each turn.
    • Perform a full move so that at least one model is able to shoot at a unit from the faction they are aggroed against.¬† Then they must either shoot or attempt an assault.¬† If the Necrons are too far away to do either, they must run in order to decrease the range from the closest unit they are aggroed against.¬† If no units from the aggroed player’s faction are on the table, the Necrons can fulfill this condition by moving and then running closer to that player’s deployment zone.
    • Move within three inches of an objective.
  • From turn two on, deploy one unit of five warriors (or three scarabs) from a random portal at the beginning of the Necron turn. It will aggro against whichever player has a unit closest to the access point they disembarked from.
  • If the Necrons cannot enter play from a portal access point, they will enter play from another random access point. If all of the portal access points are blocked, no new Necrons may enter play that turn.
  • The Necron turn always happens after both players have had their turn. ¬†The game turn ends after the Necrons have concluded their turn.
  • If no warrior miniatures are available on a given turn, deploy a unit of three scarabs in their place.¬† The limit to the number of Necrons that can be on the table is the players’ available warriors and scarabs in their collections.
  • Necrons fall back toward the portal. ¬†If in falling back a model touches the portal, the unit is destroyed.
  • All Necron warriors have the Objective Secured rule.
  • The Necron portal otherwise counts as neutral terrain.
  • If either player is leading against his human opponent by 4 or more victory points at the beginning of the Necron turn two or higher, the unit¬†that materializes on that turn will automatically aggro against the player currently leading the game. ¬†Include potential end-of-game victory points for controlling objectives and Linebreaker to determine how much a player is leading by.

Optional Rules

  • Quantum Shielding: The Necron portal counts as enemy terrain and can be temporarily “disrupted” through shooting or assault on turn two or higher. ¬†If a player scores two glancing or penetrating hits against AV 13 in a single player turn, no warriors or scarabs will materialize on the subsequent Necron player turn.
  • Quantum Facing: One glancing or penetrating hit against AV 13 in the shooting phase will deactivate the portal facing the shot until the beginning of the shooting player’s next turn.¬† Barrage weapons affect a random facing.¬† Necrons can materialize from the other unaffected facings.¬† (Thanks to Ethereal Mark for this one.)
  • Tactical Imperatives: Use the tactical objective cards, either in addition to or instead of scoring victory points for objectives at the end of the game. ¬†The scenario Tactical Objective Rule in no way interacts with the cards or Tactical warlord traits.
  • Other Defenders: ¬†I chose warriors and scarabs based on the miniatures I own in my collection. ¬†Also, I usually play smaller games so more powerful Necron units would have a greater effect than in larger games. ¬†Feel free to vary the types of Necrons you use based on your collection and preferences. ¬†For example, I think a Canoptek-themed Necron defense force might be fun.

Our Tomb Battles

¬† Orks vs. Orks (1000 points, June, 2015).¬† A close battle (7-6 when we called it due to time) with the Necrons really putting the hurt on both of us.¬† I’d assault the warriors with my trukk boyz and if I didn’t wipe them out on the initial charge they would become very hard to shift.¬† They certainly gave new meaning to “It will not die!”¬† As for my opponent, the less said about his poor, maligned battle wagon the better.