Necrons are a race of ancient aliens that transferred their minds into metal bodies to survive the extinction of their species. For long eons they have slumbered in Tomb Worlds, but in M40 they are awakening. They’re not exactly angry, but they do have a sort of relentless malevolence as they exterminate and enslave the fleshy beings inhabiting their worlds.
In Kill Team they act like a durable horde. Their core models are just alright offensively, but they have good defensive statlines for the cost and their special rule makes them hard to keep down after they’ve been injured, especially with how it protects against the multi-damage weapons most factions prize. Their elite models keep the durability but add killing power that threatens even the toughest models other factions bring.
- Tough as hell – Most models have reasonable stat lines for the cost, and Reanimation Protocols are a very serious defensive buff.
- Efficient Weapons – Necrons lack a lot of the super high quality weapons that most factions like to have like Plasma or Missiles, but most weapons are scary enough that even tougher enemies have to take them seriously.
- High Leadership – Necrons start at Leadership 10 and end there as well. Even if you take half casualties you’re unlikely to break, and your metal skeletons are not prone to fear from flesh wounds.
- Slow – All of your models outside of Triarch Praetorians have a 5″ move, and the Praetorians are your most expensive model.
- Poor weapons for killing – Your weapons are good enough that people have to take them seriously, but they tend to lack in AP and damage. You can’t expect to reliably kill specific enemy models.
Necrons aren’t typically considered a faction to beat in either ITC style Kill/Hold missions or more traditional objective focused tournaments, but they’re still solidly in the upper third of teams. Their durability, ability to take 10 Flayed Ones in 100 points and decent combat options when you move up in points mean that they can play multiple styles and fit almost any format. B
All of your non-Commander models have this ability. If an injury roll made for the model is an unmodified six, instead of the normal effect of an injury roll (flesh wounds, things dying, tears), your model has all flesh wounds removed and is put back at 1 wound.
There are two important things to remember here. First, this is an unmodified six so taking cover or anything else that gives a penalty to the injury roll doesn’t change it. If you’re uninjured and obscured, you’re as likely to go back to full health as die on a single dice (1-4 add a flesh wound, 5 kills and 6 reanimates). The second important concept is that if the enemy rolls multiple dice for a high damage weapon, a 6 on any of the dice causes you to reanimate. Two damage weapons are still fine, but three or more damage attacks are very likely to trigger reanimation.
This is the equivalent rule for Commanders. It’s much simpler, every turn they regain one lost wound. If they take Flesh Wounds then this recovery does bring them above one wound, but it doesn’t remove the Flesh Wounds.
Sautekh: Relentless Advance
You can shoot ranged weapons as if they were assault weapons when you advance. Rapid Fire 1 becomes Assault 1. Your team is low mobility and this can help with that, but this still means that you’re at -1 to hit and only shooting a single time. C
Mephrit Solar Fury
If you’re shooting at an enemy in close range, improve your attack’s AP by 1 (AP-1 becomes AP-2, etc). This is really good against kill teams with lots of armor, it’s more or less a free upgrade to your combat math. A
Novokh: Awakened by Murder
If you charged or were charged (or Heroic Interventioned), re-roll failed hit rolls in the Fight Phase. This is another straight combat math upgrade, but this time it effects Lychguard, Praetorians and Flayed Ones. This Dynasty makes melee Necrons a very, very competitive force. A
Nihilakh: Aggressively Territorial
Re-roll 1’s to hit in the shooting phase if you didn’t move. This is a mediocre combat upgrade, but moving is really, really cool in Kill Team. D
Nephrekh: Translocation Beams
Re-roll advances, and if you advanced you can move through terrain. This is very dependent on the terrain, but in game modes that don’t award points for killing units it can be a good way to make sure that you get onto objectives and lets you play movement games that other factions can’t deal with. B
The basic Necron unit. At T4 with a 4+ save and what’s effectively an AP-1 bolter they’re not particularly interesting, but they do get some work done. They mostly sit on objectives, but they can also be used as leaders that sit in the back line or Comms specialists that buff up an Immortal.
A slightly beefier Warrior with a 3+ save and a bigger gun. Their Gauss Blaster gains an extra point of AP and Strength to make it a solid way to threaten marines, and they have an option of replacing it with the Tesla Carbine, an Assault 2, Strength 5 weapon that causes 3 hits on a 6 and can take down Orks, Tyranids or Daemons. They have a few specialist options but their only really make use of Comms or Leader.
This is the cheapest and most efficient Necron model. They share most of their stat line with Warriors, but 3 attacks instead of one and re-rolling wounds lets them crush hordes and threaten mid-tier models in melee, and they get a point reduction that makes them ideal for swarming objectives. If played right they can act like horde models that are tougher than marines. You’ll often use your specializations on these, Combat and Zealot make them hit harder and Veteran lets them get an extra move to threaten objectives early.
In practice these are practically a third weapon option for Immortals but they’re hard to recommend. They give up Strength and AP for a mortal wound on a wound roll of 6+ and ignoring long range penalties. This isn’t the worst weapon in the game, but it just isn’t as good as an Immortal most of the time.
New in Kill Team: Elites, Lychguard are the big brothers of Flayed Ones. Two T5 3+ wounds with reanimation protocols is very hard to shift, and they have an option between a 4+ invulnerable save and a S6 power sword and a S7, AP-4 D2 two handed scythe. Both are good but the Scythe is unmatched in the Necron arsenal for actually finishing enemies. They also have a bodyguard rule where they intercept wounds that would be applied to commanders. If you’re taking Lychguard, spend your specialisms on them. They start with two attacks and adding more makes it very difficult for anything to survive a fight with them.
Praetorians share most of their stat line with Lychguard, but there’s a few major differences. First, they’re 10″ Movement fliers, which makes them the fastest models in the Necron Kill Team list. Second, they lack a multi-damage weapon object but always pair a power sword and a ranged attack. The Rod of Covenant gives them a S5 AP-3 assault 1 attack at range, while the Voidblade and Particle Caster gives them a S6 pistol shot and an extra melee attack. Most of the time the extra melee attack will be better but the ranged attack of the Rod is better than the Particle Caster so the weapons mostly even out. Praetorians also have the special rule A Purpose Unshakeable, which lets them automatically pass Nerve Test. It’s a useful rule when it comes into play but Necrons are already LD 10, which lowers the utility a bit.
Overlords are the more expensive Commander that Necrons have access to. They’re tough and hit hard, but they run into problems making their points back. They have three weapon options that are all decent, in most cases the Voidscythe’s 3 damage wins out since -1 to hit doesn’t hurt much when you start at 2+, but the Staff of Light gives a decent ranged attack and the Warscythe isn’t a bad weapon. He can be leveled up as a fighter or kept as a strategist for extra CP.
- My Will Be Done – 2 CP – Adds 1 to advance, charge and hit for friendly models in 6″. This isn’t usually worth it for 2 CP. D
- Ressurection Orb – 3 CP – Roll a D6, on a 2+ you get to bring back a friendly model that died this game at 1 wound. This can be worth using if it brings back a Lychguard, since it will both protect the Overlord and act as a beat stick. B
- Vendetta – 1 CP – When you add the Overlord to your command roster or kill team, pick a Faction. Re-roll 1’s to hit and roll for your Overlord against that Faction. If you can target a faction you’ll be playing it’s pretty good but I wouldn’t use this in a Command Roster. C
Crypteks are the cheap Commander at half the price of an Overlord. Their stats are much worse (a single attack makes them useless as melee characters), but their Staff of Light has a decent ranged weapon option and they can take a Canoptek Cloak as an upgrade that puts them at 10″ movement and Fly. They are the more competitive commander option as a CP generating Strategist that has the mobility to protect itself or threaten the enemy.
- Chronometron – 1 CP – Friendly models in 3″ have a 5+ invuln save. This is a powerful effect for 1 CP, with pretty obvious applications. Use this if the enemy is threatening you with powerful weapons. A
- Technomancer – 1 CP – Friendly models within 6″ ignore one flesh wound for hit rolls. This is a relatively weak effect unless you have multiple models with flesh wounds. C
Prime Reanimation Protocols (2 CP)
Use this tactic before an injury roll. Roll an extra dice and choose the lowest result. If this let you choose a 6 to reanimate it might be good, but it doesn’t so it isn’t worth the CP. D
Disruption Fields (1 CP)
Adds 1 Strength to one of your models for a turn. This can make the math better for a Flayed One, but Strength isn’t usually a problem they have. C
Targeting Routines (1 CP)
Gives a model +1 to hit an obscured target. Again, an incremental upgrade to a model’s combat ability when you don’t have too many models that have high damage output. Use this if you need to burn cp. C
Haunting Horrors/Hunters From Hyperspace (1 CP)
Deep strike up to 3 Flayed Ones (Haunting Horrors) or Deathmarks (Hunters From Hyperspace). The Flayed Ones are legitimately scary coming out of reserves, but you probably don’t have any Deathmarks on your roster to use this. B
Flensing Fury (1 CP)
When a Flayed One fights, on a 6+ to wound the attack becomes Damage 2. If this were more reliable it might be worth something but it’s just too random. D
Overcharged Disintegration (2 CP)
Gives a Gauss Blaster (Immortal) or Gauss Flayer (Warrior) an extra point of AP. 2 CP is a lot, but if you have a lot of CP and can stack it with other shooting effects it can be a good way to take out a terminator or other high armor model. C
Entropic Strike (1 CP)
When a specific model reduces an enemy to 0 wounds in the fight phase, add 1 to injury rolls. If you expect to cause an injury this is a good way to make sure that it’s lethal. B
Deathless Ire (2 CP)
If a model would take a Flesh Wound, it is instead shaken. This could be useful in a few situations but most of the time I think you’d rather have the flesh wound. C
Mindshackle Scarabs (2 CP)
Pick an enemy model within 6″ of one of your models and roll 2d6. If the result is higher than that model’s leadership, you can shoot a single weapon as if it were your own. This is a very random effect that often does nothing. C
Tireless Advance (1 CP)
Use at the start of the shooting phase. A model becomes ready and shoots as if it didn’t move. This helps you be aggressive and keep fighting. A
Superior Inheritance (1 CP)
A model with a Gauss Flayer or Gauss Blaster can shoot twice. This is a very powerful ability for 1 CP and lets you double up on injury rolls as well as just doubling the raw firepower you have. A
Assured Disintegration (1 CP)
Re-roll hits for a Deathmark. Deathmarks are mediocre so you won’t use this much. D
Necron Warrior, Leader
Necron Warrior, Comms
Lychguard w/ Warscythe, Combat
Lychguard w/ Warscythe, Zealot
Immortal w/ Tesla Carbine, Leader
Immortal w/ Tesla Carbine, Comms
Immortal w/ Gauss Blaster, Leader
Lychguard w/ Warscythe, Combat
Glass Half Dead played this team to a 3rd place finish at LVO. He ran it as two teams on one roster. The first was a Mephrit (extra point of AP at half range) team that tried to grind out games at range while two Lychguard with Scythes acted as a serious melee threat. The second half was a Novokh (re-roll melee hits if you charged or were charged), which floods the board with Flayed Ones and holds back Immortals as fire support.
They’re a fairly simple team with two builds. The first is a melee horde, with lots of Flayed Ones and some Immortals or Lychguard to provide a threat against more elite models. The second is a shooting army with Warriors and Immortals that uses a few Flayed Ones or Lychguard to clear off melee threats.
The most important mechanic to remember is Reanimation protocols. You can get the most out of it by keeping your models in cover, but don’t be too afraid to move into the open to contest objectives. You’re actually tougher against many elite models like Custodes that have to put out multi-damage attacks, the most threatening models are ones with high quality flamers or other high volume weapons that can reliably put a single damage injury roll on you.
Other than that Necrons promote standard tactical play. They aren’t fast enough to re-position quickly so you need to make sure that you’re choosing your movement carefully from turn 1.
Playing Against Necrons
First, remember that your multi-damage weapons that you love taking are bad here. You still want S 5 or 6, and 2-3 damage weapons aren’t that terrible, but the higher the damage goes the more you’ll see Necrons standing back up against crippling wounds.
Second, you should have the mobility advantage but the Flayed Ones can deep strike and if they don’t they’ll be advancing or charging so don’t be surprised by some fast movement. Necrons will want to stay in cover to maximize Reanimation Protocols so if you go first try to deny them the ability to get cover near where they want to go.
Finally, don’t count on morale doing anything. All of their models are Leadership 10 and they don’t tend to run a true horde that could fail those checks. They still roll the dice so there’s a chance to fail, but you can’t make it part of your plan.
Painting and Modeling
Necrons are one of the teams where the models you want mostly match up with the boxes that GW sells. The only possible exception is Flayed Ones. They come in a relatively expensive box of five models that’s an older Fine Cast mold (despite what they call it, Fine Cast isn’t fine). It’s pretty common to buy a box of Warriors (cheaper, comes in a box of 10) and model cutting implements onto them with bits of sprue or bits from other models.
Necrons are a strong kill team that’s fun to play and easy to build. I’d recommend it to players of all experience and skill levels. They have a neat play style that focuses on attrition warfare and they have elite models that can give satisfying combats and fits almost any mission.