Tactica – Necron Monster Mash

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Introduction

Hi folks, Wings here. You may have recently been exposed to the maniacal cacklings of my rather more robotic alter ego covering what’s gone down when I’ve taken variants on my rather unusual Necron list to events. While the 1500 version turned out a bit of a bust, the 2K version ran pretty good, and has continued to be an absolute blast to play. With that in mind, I thought I’d put together a quick Tactica for how to play the list, in case anyone out there wants to take it for a spin themselves. I’m certainly not going to try and pretend it’s a top tier army, or even the best way to play Necrons competitively, but if you don’t own (or can’t face painting) the very few good Necron units it’s an enormously enjoyable way to get some fun out of your sinister silver legions until some sort of buff comes around (be that some specialist detachments, more point changes or even a 2.0 codex).

C’tan Spam – The Army

The List

Before we get into a discussion of how the list works and how I use it, those who haven’t read my reports obviously need to know what it looks like!

The version I took to Bolter Drill is still the “current” version of the army and looks as follows:

C'tan Spam

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+ ARMY FACTION: Necrons
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 9
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 2000pts
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Necrons
+ TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: Not Applicable
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
== Battalion Detachment, Nephrekh Dynasty [79PL, 1312pts] 5CP ==
HQ: Overlord (84), Staff of Light (10), Warlord [6PL] [94pts]
HQ: Lord (65), Hyperphase Sword (3), Artefact of the Aeons - Veil of Darkness [5PL] [68pts]
TR: 10 Necron Warriors (110) [6PL] [110pts]
TR: 10 Necron Warriors (110) [6PL] [110pts]
TR: 10 Necron Immortals (80), 10 Tesla Carbines (70) [8PL] [150pts]
EL: C’tan Shard of the Nightbringer (180) [12PL] [180pts]
HS: Transcendent C’tan (200) [12PL] [200pts]
HS: Transcendent C’tan (200) [12PL] [200pts]
HS: Transcendent C’tan (200) [12PL] [200pts]
 
== Outrider Detachment, Nephrekh Dynasty [45PL, 688pts] 1CP ==
HQ: Illuminor Szaras (120) [8PL] [120pts]
FA: 3 Canoptek Scarab Swarms (39) [2PL] [39pts]
FA: 3 Canoptek Scarab Swarms (39) [2PL] [39pts]
FA: 5 Canoptek Wraiths (240), 5 Vicious Claws (0) [18PL] [240pts]
FA: 5 Necron Destroyers (200), 5 Gauss Cannon (50) [15PL] [250pts]

Queue up the Beach Boys.

Warlord trait wise, if your opponent has any psykers at all you probably take “Immortal Pride” – a clutch deny is great and even with the smaller units you’re likely to get some benefit from the fearless aura. If you’re really very sure that it won’t come up, or your worried about your warlord getting assassinated in some way, the “Enduring Will” trait (reduces inbound damage by 1 to a minimum of 1) is probably the next best choice. The Veil of Darkness is pretty much always your relic slot, and the list is CP hungry enough “in play” that spending to get an extra one isn’t usually worth it, though I could be persuaded that the Solar Staff (Nephrekh relic, 6 shot Staff of Light with some minor extra bonuses) was a good call against armies with aggressive high-quality infantry units.

Why This List?

Because Necrons are bad and this was the easiest way to turn what I had into something I could throw down with. The fact that it appears to actually work is a nice bonus.

To re-wind a bit, I bought into Necrons when their codex came out largely because I was bored of playing my Eldar at our local club night every week, and wanted a bit of variety. I’d only dipped my toes in the tournament scene at that point, but having access to a second army I could potentially take to my events was also a draw. I thought Necrons would probably be a nice counterpoint to my Eldar, being (in theory) slow and tough compared to the fast, brittle nature of my other army.

Unfortunately, the Necron codex was a complete disaster – outside of Tesseract Vaults being absurdly broken in the pre-Knight world, everything else in it was overcosted and utterly failed to address the problems the index list had. I wasn’t writing formal codex reviews at that point, but I remember writing a bullet point list on a forum somewhere basically going “overcosted, overcosted, maybe not overcosted, overcosted” and that was largely borne out by the experience of actually playing a “conventional” Necron army – this is the list I built towards and played at an event early on:

Necrons 2018

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
ARMY FACTIONS: Necrons
TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 10
TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1995pts
 
Battalion Detachment, Sautekh Dynasty [1183pts] +6CP (one from Imotekh)
HQ1: Imotekh the Stormlord, WARLORD - Hyperlogical Strategist [200pts]
HQ2: Lord (73), Staff of Light (10), Artefact of the Aeons - Veil of Darkness [83pts]
Troop1: 20 Necron Warriors (240) - [240pts]
Troop2: 10 Necron Warriors (120) - [120pts]
Troop3: 10 Necron Immortals (80), 10 Tesla Carbines (90pts) - [170pts]
Elite1: C’tan Shard of the Nightbringer (210), Powers - Cosmic Fire, Antimatter meteor - [210pts]
DT1: Ghost Ark (160) - [160pts]
 
Outrider Detachment, Nephrekh Dynasty [812pts] +1CP
HQ1: Illuminor Szaras (143) - [143pts]
FA1: 3 Canoptek Scarab Swarms (39) - [39pts]
FA2: 6 Canoptek Wraiths (330), 6 Vicious Claws (0) - [330pts]
FA3: 6 Necron Destroyers (240), 6 Gauss Cannon (60) - [300pts]

Pictured: Not what a 2000 point army should look like

This was still pre-knight book, so it’s slightly less bad than it looks, but not much. After this, my Necrons were firmly relegated to being for club nights only, which they were fine for, but as tournament play has become a bigger proportion of my 40k time, it’s been bugging me a lot that an army I put a lot of time into painting has been pretty useless for that, and the hope was that Chapter Approved might come round and fix that.

When the points update landed, it certainly gave Necrons a big boost, but sadly concentrated into a few units. Both flavours of Ark, Doom Scythes and Tesla Immortals/Tomb Blades are all decently competitive units now, and while I’d still say Necrons are among the weaker factions, recent results clearly show that they’re a lot more able to compete if they go in heavily on one of these options. That sadly doesn’t help me much, as despite a small cut to their cost, the plan I’d had of anchoring a list around a core of Necron Warriors still basically just doesn’t work.

I could, of course, buy into some of the things I’ve just listed and indeed straight after the changes dropped I drew up a 6 Ark list that looked pretty similar to one that went 5-1 at the LVO and I think is pretty strong. Unfortunately this has a critical problem – Arks are a screaming bastard nightmare to paint and the idea of doing 5 more of them makes me want to die.

Given I need to allocate my hobby time and funds to event travel and keeping my primary army current, that meant that painting or commissioning those was out. Triple Night Scythes would be a lot easier to paint up (as the thing that makes the Arks a pain to paint is just how many bloody edges they have) but gimmick alpha strike builds that fold to going second against some things aren’t to my taste, even if the results are undeniably OK.

Having processed all of this I was sadly resigned to my army staying on the shelf – even the Tesseract Vault I had partially painted had picked up a nerf, so was no longer as good as it once was. However, all hope was not lost – one of the other Necron players on our Discord started talking about a slightly silly list he’d been trying out that spammed as many C’tan as possible (all five) with the goal of using the Deceiver to set up a power-based alpha strike behind a wall of Scarabs. While the alpha strike component was obviously not to my taste, running through how to set up powers and thinking through what had worked from my old list made me think there would be some merit in a more “balanced” version. With that seed sown in my head, coming up with a cool idea for how to convert some additional Transcendent C’tan at a reasonable price was enough to push me over the top towards trying it out, which turned out to be a very good thing!

The converted ones are built from the Morghast Archai kit with some extras from Wraiths (faceplates), Triarch Praetorians (ribcage I’ve mounted the faces on) and the Tesseract Vault (dripping cubes and tiny scarabs).

Army Choices

In this section, I’ll run through the units/choices in the list and why they’re here. For the C’tan themselves we’re going to scoot past fairly briefly, as how to set up their Powers and Transient Madness choices will be part of the tactics section, but the other army elements all have a role to play.

Dynasty Choice – Nephrekh

The Nephrekh Dynasty is a big part of what makes this army work, and for the core you definitely shouldn’t run with anything else. The key things it offers are:

  • It allows the Necron Warrior screen to keep up with the C’tan and thus keep screening them.
  • It lets you deep strike the Destroyers – they’re far too vulnerable against lots of armies on some boards otherwise.
  • It gives the Wraiths a very high threat range that allows them to sow chaos until the rest of the army turns up.

The fact that Szaras (who is a dynasty-less “wildcard” that doesn’t stop other units getting Dynastic Codes) is in the list means that you could theoretically mix dynasties in the Outrider, but the only real draw of that would be making the Wraiths Nihilakh to allow them to buff to a 2++ in some circumstances, and I don’t think that’s as reliably good as the extra mobility. Losing the Nephrekh Code on the Scarabs would also be a big loss, as being able to suddenly move them a long way is an important trick to have up your sleeve. All things considered, I would recommend sticking to full Nephrekh.

Overlord

You want to have access to “My Will be Done” for the Immortals, so an Overlord is a must. He has a Staff of Light rather than a Warscythe because he’s unlikely to get into a melee throwdown – generally the fight phase is happening elsewhere and involves C’tan and/or Wraiths – and is more likely to get a bit of use out of it. It also opens up the possibility of adding the Solar Staff in a matchup where there’s a reason for it to be good (if my opponent pulled out a bunch of Aggressors I’d heavily consider it). He’s the Warlord because he’s the toughest character and isn’t locked into a trait choice (like Szaras) or at a risk of an early death thanks to teleporting into trouble (like the Lord).

Lord

The Lord fills an HQ slot and is an expendable carrier for the Veil of Darkness. The Veil is by far the best Necron Relic, and is especially good in this list – being able to re-deploy a unit to a position where they’re closer to some back-line shooting units than the C’tan can be lifesaving. All the normal tricks it opens up are still good too, be that pulling a tagged Immortal unit out of combat without falling back against Orks, or even sending the character alone to sit on an objective at a critical moment. An expendable Lord is the best carrier for this, and I find I use it on the Immortals the most often, so taking a re-roll 1s to wound bubble with them is useful too.

Illuminor Szaras

This is probably the model in the list you could most justify changing up, but thus far Szaras has put in work for me, and has a lot going for him in a metagame with quite a few powerful Sniper effects. Basic Crypteks are outrageously squishy, having T4, a 4+ and only 4W, meaning your unfriendly neighbourhood Vindicare Assassin will have a field day murdering him, and even a squad of Eliminators is a serious threat. An extra wound and a 3+ base save go a surprisingly long way to mitigating this (thanks to the Vindicare’s drop-off in effectiveness against 5W targets), and Szaras’s other tools aren’t irrelevant. While his buff is clearly intended to be used on 20-model warrior blobs, even the marginal boosts it adds here can be helpful, and a random Bright Lance shot isn’t ever something you’re going to hate having access to.

You do need to be a bit careful with him when moving your castle – the fact that he doesn’t fly or have the Nephrekh advance means you need to clearly plan how you’re going to move him and do it at the right point in the sequence of units. If you’re planning to use his buff on a unit you’re about to teleport with the Veil (which is often the case with the immortals) make sure you remember to declare it before moving them too!

If I had something I burningly wanted to spend 40 pts on I’d consider swapping Szaras out, but I’ve not yet found much that convinces me that it would be a better choice. If you do find yourself tweaking the list though, this is the place to start.

Necron Warriors

Poor Necron Warriors. At least it looks like they’re good in Apocalypse!

In this list, the warriors are a pure screening unit, and want to be advancing to keep the C’tan bubbled as long as possible pretty much all the time. Against armies that come to you like Orks they can change role and become additional anti-infantry firepower, but I’ve gone whole games without ever firing their guns on multiple occasions, the Warriors solidly advancing until they were killed. This is completely fine, and don’t hesitate to do that if you feel it’s correct – it probably is!

Obviously in terms of pure wound count Scarabs are better screening, but you want the CP of a Battalion here, want access to some emergency obsec, and will get some benefit out of reanimation some of the time. The fact that Scarabs are comically squishy against popular firepower options also makes me a bit wary of relying on them too much – a squad of Necron warriors in cover will tank a modest amount of firepower, whereas a unit of Scarabs will just melt to even the softest touch.

Immortals

Most Necron lists should have at least one full squad of Tesla Immortals – they’re one of the few things in the book that make a real stab at being “best in breed” at something, in their case blowing away chaff infantry. Buffed up with MWBD and with a Lord in tow, these guys will blow gigantic holes in mobs of Boyz or GSC units, and have the sheer volume of fire that they can threaten to at least hurt almost anything. Some lists will also find it tough to prise them out of cover thanks to their base 3+ save.

In this list you want to be looking for opportunities to use these to strip away as much of your opponent’s anti-infantry as possible – you want to keep your screens live for as long as possible, and teleporting these into a firing position to go after something like Scatter Bikes, or even something as simple as splitting fire between a few Fire Warrior units can help you keep ahead of the attrition curve while your C’tan roll forward.

Basically, if a target has T5 or less, a 4+ save or less and is good at killing infantry, look for opportunities to use these to knock them out of the game.

The Nightbringer

The Nightbringer is a beautiful hellish murder machine and a steal at 180pts. As we’ll see when we discuss allocating powers, 4 C’tan is pretty much the sweet spot, and the Nightbringer is a cheaper way than the Deceiver to get to that. He’s also a very flexible combatant – his shooting attack can do decent damage to non-vehicle large targets like Riptides and Custodes Bikes, and is still generally pretty great when it’s atomising a few extra elite infantry. The fact that the model comes on a  (comparatively) small base makes him a potential character assassin in some situations as well – if you can sneak him in next to a priority target the shooting and melee attacks should combine to take down nearly anything infantry sized. In that situation he’s also a very good user of “Entropic Strike”, which allows you to ignore invuln saves for a single melee attack – the fact he wounds on 2s against all non-vehicle targets makes him more reliable for this than the other C’tan.

Transcendent C’tan

These are the core of the list, and we’ll discuss how they roll in the tactics section.

Wraiths

Wraiths doing what they do best.

Thanks to their 3++, Wraiths are absurdly hard to put down, generally taking most of an army’s firepower to down a unit. They’re also great at sowing chaos and locking things up – combining the Advance and Charge strat with Nephrekh’s Code gives then a big threat range that can catch an opponent out for a turn 1 charge, at which point anything with T6 or less is potentially in trouble, though they do struggle with anything tougher than that. If great targets aren’t available you want to focus on picking off characters or locking down shooting units with bully charges. If you possibly can, watch out for psykers – they’re the only thing that will burst these down fast, and when that’s the case you want to send a squad of Scarabs out with them to soak up some of the pain turn 1, probably holding back for a turn 2 charge instead. If your opponent swings at this unit and misses, definitely blow “Repair Subroutines” – a lucky roll on the reanimation for these can be a brutal swing. For this reason, try to set them up in Szaras’s Cryptek bubble if you think you’re likely going second.

Destroyers

Destroyers are great in Nephrekh because they inexplicably have the “Infantry” keyword, allowing you to Deep Strike them. Five of these coming out of Deep Strike and using their stratagem will generally blow away a single mid-high tier unit of your choice, and that’s extremely clutch in this army. As I found out when I ran a cut down 1500 point list without them, having an emergency button you can slam to take out whatever is killing your army fastest is extremely important.

You do need to pick your targets carefully though – make sure you assign their firepower to something where you’re confident you actually will land the kill. The perennial problem with destroyers is that while they’re not exactly squishy (especially if you land them in cover) they die considerably easier than equivalently costed units in other armies, so you need to make sure you’ve done something with them before they go down – at least against shooting armies. Against more melee focused armies these are a gift – you’re generally able to start them on the board, and they actually do a good job against hordes as well as armoured targets thanks to their multi-shot guns.

Scarabs

Last and (if we’re honest) least we have two units of Scarabs. These will usually pick up one of three jobs depending on the matchup:

1.) Sit in your backfield on an objective.

2.) Fan out and screen deep strike.

3.) Run ahead of your Wraiths to eat a turn of Smites.

If you have a table with magic boxes or good LOS blocking terrain and your opponent has skimped on non-LOS shooting, you can also attempt to use them to screen your C’tan through cunning placement – the models are tiny, so you really don’t need much to obscure them completely.

Ultimately, these are a cheap, mobile positioning tool, and exactly what you do with them each game is probably something you’ll decide on the fly.

Tactics

Setting Up Your C’tan

ME AND THE BOYS PLANNING SOME POWER LOADOUTS!

The Options

Perhaps unsurprisingly given that they’re at the heart of the army, how you set up your C’tan is key to succeeding with this build. Choosing the right configuration of Powers and Transient Madnesses can make the difference between victory and defeat.

To quickly refresh, the six C’tan powers are:

  • Antimatter Meteor: Roll a D6, nearest visible enemy in 24″ takes D3 MW on 2+ or D6 on a 6.
  • Cosmic Fire: Roll a D6 for each enemy unit within 9″, deal D3 MW on a 4+.
  • Trans-dimensional Thunderbolt: Pick an enemy in 24″ (character targeting applies), deal D3 MW on a 4+, then roll for enemy unit within 3″  and deal a MW on a 4+.
  • Time’s Arrow: Pick an enemy unit within 18″ and roll a D6. A model is slain if you exceed the unit’s wound characteristic.
  • Seismic Assault: Pick an enemy unit within 24″ and roll a dice for each model. Deal a MW for each 6.
  • Sky of Falling Stars: Pick up to three enemy units within 18″ and roll for each. For each where you roll under the model count (6 auto-fails), inflict D3 MW.

Taking four C’tan opens up the flexibility here considerably, as it allows you to double up on two of the six powers when allocating them, whereas if you only have three you’re locked into only picking each power once. You can also usually spare 1CP when playing this list to swap out a power at a key moment, something that you should be actively planning ahead for as you allocate them.

Transient madness doesn’t really give as much depth, because it turns out that really, truly, there are only two worth picking – “Cosmic Tyrant” (cast two powers a turn) or “Immune to Natural Laws” (3++), but choosing between these is still very important.

The Criteria

Having now played it a decent amount, I think there are basically two criteria for how you do your loadout.

The first criterion is how the unit composition lines up against C’tan Powers. Broadly speaking, does your opponent:

  • Have a variety of different important units where most of the powers can get some value. Armies like Orks, Daemons and Tau fit this model.
  • Have a heavy weighting towards Vehicle or Monster alpha units. Knights and Eldar Plane Spam are a good example of this.

Pictured – how you don’t want to end up.

In raw terms, double tapping on powers is the most potent thing you can be doing with your Transcendents, but only if both powers are actually doing something, and you haven’t had to give other C’tan useless powers in order to enable that. Generally speaking, you can always get value from Transdimensional Thunderbolt, Antimatter Meteor and Cosmic Fire, but the other three can be almost or entirely useless against heavily skewed lists. If all the powers are going to be worthwhile, you can generally afford to take Cosmic Tyrant on some of your C’tan, but if not then stacking up a wall of 3++ saves is probably better.

The second criterion is a bit more subjective – how much do your enemy’s key units want to get into a fight with a C’tan? Likely they either:

  • In no way want to be involved in a slap fight with a star god. Imperial Guard are a good example here.
  • Are going to scream “die monster, you don’t belong in this world” and attempt to come at them. Talos, Custodes Jetbikes and Knights are good examples here, but highly mobile shooting threats that can bypass your screen should also be considered.

If your opponent isn’t keen to be in a fight with you, and isn’t likely to win it if one kicks off, having more Cosmic Tyrants around is probably better, as they can do work unmolested. If you’re up against stuff that can bite back the 3++ is going to do you a lot of favours.

When you start out with this list the first criterion is obviously easier to work with – generally you can make a pretty absolute call on whether enough powers are useful, but when it’s right to go full 3++ even though there are power targets is more of a judgement call. Luckily, I’ve got a couple of loadouts and some recommended matchups for each to get you started.

The Loadouts

Balanced

This is a loadout to use against armies that have a good mix of targets, only a limited sub-set of which are interested in throwing down with you. Set up as follows:

  • The Nightbringer
    • Cosmic Fire
    • Time’s Arrow
  • Transcendent C’tan 1
    • Antimatter Meteor
    • Trans-dimensional Thunderbolt
    • Cosmic Tyrant
  • Transcendent C’tan 2
    • Antimatter Meteor
    • Trans-dimensional Thunderbolt
    • Cosmic Tyrant
  • Transcendent C’tan 3
    • Sky of Falling Stars
    • Seismic Assault
    • Immune to Natural Law
    • (Plan to swap a power to Cosmic Fire if it hits a castle)

This gives you a clear split between your two “push” threats (the Nightbringer and the 3++ C’tan) that should be up front just behind your Wraiths and two MW batteries that should be advancing with the main bulk of your force, planning to hit combat when bigger threats have been de-fanged and start clearing up.

Antimatter Meteor and Trans-Dimensional Thunderbolt are the “default” powers to double up on, as they’re pretty much always usable for some amount of value, but in specific matchups you may want others – if you see a horde of Plaguebearers or lots of small units then you may get more value from doubled up Seismic Assault or Sky of Falling Stars. Be a bit careful with these though – they both have diminishing returns as you work through your opponent’s stuff, and you need to see sufficient targets to have confidence that they’ll stay relevant before it’s worth picking them over the more reliable ones. Even if you double up on them across your whole suite, I’d only recommend picking whichever one you have doubled on one Cosmic Tyrant, and plan to save a CP to swap it out to a reliable one late game.

This setup is likely to work well against:

  • Guard
  • Orks
  • Mixed Chaos
  • Tau
  • Genestealer Cults
The Brawl

This is for when you don’t have as many good Power targets, or are up against things that are arrogant enough to think they can fight a star god.

  • The Nightbringer
    • Cosmic Fire
    • Trans-dimensional Thunderbolt
  • Transcendent C’tan 1
    • Trans-dimensional Thunderbolt
    • Time’s Arrow
    • Immune to Natural Law
  • Transcendent C’tan 2
    • Antimatter Meteor
    • Sky of Falling Stars
    • Immune to Natural Law
  • Transcendent C’tan 3
    • Antimatter Meteor
    • Seismic Assault
    • Immune to Natural Law

Here the whole gang is set up to get in a slap fight. In general Antimatter Meteor, while boring, is the “best” power here, so you want it lined up with the two most likely to be completely useless in “Sky of Falling Stars” and “Seismic Assault”. Time’s Arrow and Cosmic Fire are more likely to see some fringe use in a game like this, so they line up with the slightly weaker of the two “always good” powers. In some of the matchups where this loadout is good it may be that Sky of Falling Stars actually does have some value, so feel free to treat it as a more useful one and shuffle things round a bit.

This loadout ensures that all of the C’tan have a power they can happily fire off every turn, while you focus on getting them up the board and into combat with big nasties. It’s also pretty good against armies that can put threats all over the board like plane spam, as it makes each C’tan a viable independent operator that probably won’t fold to a single high-power unit attacking it.

This works especially well against:

  • Knights
  • Custodes
  • Aeldari (pretty much all flavours)

Playing Your Games

The goal with this army is to deliver a gift-wrapped bundle of Star God to your enemy’s army in one piece, then unleash terrible chaos and havoc. The challenges with this are:

  • C’tan aren’t super fast
  • Your enemy probably has better ranged threats than you.

In general you can expect to hit the enemy lines with your C’tan around turn 3, which means you need to spend two turns keeping your opponent on the back foot and whittling their forces down so that when you do hit them, they can’t punch back hard enough to salvage the situation. In general, you want to do the following with your first two turns.

  • Turn 1: Ride the Wraiths out front. Advance and Charge into something if your opponent underestimated your threat range. Cower menacingly behind a screen of scarabs if they have big psychic damage. If there’s a good target for them, teleport your Tesla Immortals up the board and try and waste it.
  • Turn 2: Bring the Destroyers in and kill something, preferably whatever is best at killing them. Teleport the Immortals now if you haven’t already.
  • Turn 3: The fun begins!

Pretty much all the units in this army other than the C’tan are expendable as long as they cause some chaos and soak up proportionate punishment on the way down – anything that’s killing them isn’t killing your precious star babies.

Once you get amongst the enemy, you want to use whatever remains of your non-C’tan units to close off shooting lines for powerful ranged foes, and continue sowing as much chaos as possible. If your opponent misses the kill on your Wraiths and you get a few back up with the stratagem they should head to the backlines to hunt down characters and cause general mayhem. If the Destroyers live a turn after coming in…well honestly at that point you’re probably in a very good spot, but they should use their mobility and large ground coverage to control the board, and keep eliminating whatever is the biggest threat to them. Finally, the C’tan themselves need to get into melee with key targets and punch them to death. Part of the reason both my configurations have at least one C’tan with a 3++ is to use it as a suppressor against things with powerful overwatch – a C’tan on a 3++ can reasonably expect to only pick up a couple of wounds strolling into a Hemlock. As characters, don’t forget they can all “Heroically Intervene” as well – a great way to take vengeance on an overconfident plane that lands next to you and tries to ruin your day.

Feels good.

If you’re playing ITC don’t forget to keep on top of some objectives while you’re doing this – if at all possible, start fights near them so you can claim them while you kill stuff, or in missions where there’s a “home” objective consider using Szaras to lurk on it once he’s done buffing the Immortals and your infantry are looking depleted.

A fair warning to close this section out – even in games you win you pretty much never feel “safe” with this list, and you have to constantly think on your feet as to how to stave off your opponent managing to bring enough force to bear to cripple your army. I love games like this, but it may not be the style of army for everyone!

Using Your CP

One of the reasons Necrons suffer is that they have lots of cool stratagems and terrible Battalions – Lords beyond the first are worthless, and pretty much all other characters are overcosted. Like most Necron lists this army tends to hunger for way more CP than it has, so it’s important to keep in mind what you need to do with them. In most games, you will want to spend:

  • 1CP to Deep Strike the Destroyers
  • 1CP to swap a Power
  • 1CP to Advance and Charge Wraiths
  • 1CP for Extermination Protocols when the Destroyers come in.

You also pretty much always want to spend:

  • 2CP for Repair Subroutines if the Wraiths survive a turn.

That’s 6/9CP spoken for in the majority of games, so you need to be very sparing about how you use the rest – save them for real emergencies or opportunities for a serious high roll (if the Nightbringer gets into combat with something with a 3++ using Entropic Strike is often good).

Playing Against Knights

Wrap and trap them. No, really.

This is from the 1500 version but it still counts.

Look – fun though it is, this army absolutely cannot wipe a 3-Knight army off the board without some absurd luck, so you really shouldn’t try. Instead, you should focus on taking down at least one Knight in a way that preserves your alpha units and then play the objective game for the rest of your match.

Between three C’tan with a 3++ and the squad of Wraiths, pulling a wrap and trap on a Knight that comes to play too near you is a very real prospect, and it’s extremely good if you manage it. None of these things have the “Infantry” keyword, and all can reasonably expect to survive being attacked in a good enough state that they can still block the knight from exiting combat. Two rounds of attacks from 3 C’tan should bring a Knight down far enough that a few Antimatter Meteors will do the rest, at which point you can move on and find out if you are a bad enough dude to try and trap two knights in the same game.

Wrap (lol) Up

This army is still definitely not the best out there. Realistically, for hardcore tournaments I’m still going to take my Eldar most of the time, but I love this force enough that I will probably talk myself into taking it to a GT at some point. For games at “mid-competitive” events however it’s an absolute blast, and some of the most fun I’ve had playing 40K, so if you have a Necron army gathering dust on the shelf, maybe give it a spin!

 

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