Monday, October 17, 2011

Hey Eoin: Especially for you (New Necron fluff).

Having seen the controversy that's erupted over the leaked Necron pics (Beasts of War are apparently a front for Wayland Games) there's been a post over on Faeit 212 about the changes to the Necron fluff. He's oft accurate about rumours that Naftka.

Cue nerdrage. Vodka Eoin might show up soon.

I'm not sure I'm sold on them being more blatantly Tomb Kings in Space. Hopefully they'll become one of the few Xenos factions that can do well ala Dark Eldar I'll live with it.

Copypasta from Naftka over on Faeit212:

This morning is all about the new Necron codex. Yesterday we talked about some of the background of each units alongside some of their rules and Force Organization Chart. This morning is all about the backstory and fluff, because you just cannot be an evil space robot without it. Enjoy.

Until the codex is in hand, please take with a little grain of salt. We should be pretty solid here.

via Yakface
There is a dramatic change in the fluff in this codex from the previous incarnation of the Necrons. The Necrontyr's empire was massive at one point, but the different Lords in the empire started to turn against each other in civil war. To prevent this from happening the overall ruler of the Necrons (the Silent King) started the war against the Old Ones specifically to give them a common enemy to fight against to prevent his empire from destroying itself. Of course, the Old Ones ended up kicking their butts and in desperation, the Silent King found the C'Tan and agreed to the Deceiver's pact without realizing what he was doing. However, after the Necrons helped the C'Tan to kill off the last Old Ones, the Silent King then ordered the Necrons to turn on the C'Tan in vengeance and utterly destroyed the C'Tan into tiny shards. This war agains the C'Tan weakened the Necrons overall so much they decided to go into stasis to avoid the vengeance of the Eldar (the C'Tan had killed the Old Ones, but not all their children).

Now that the Necrons have reawakened in the 41st millennium, their goal is no longer to 'harvest' souls for the C'Tan (the C'Tan shards are now their slaves) as it was in the old book, but rather to reestablish the great Necron empire that spanned the galaxy before the war with the Old Ones began. However, the overall hierarchy of the Necron people is gone for the most part, leaving each individual Empire to once again rule for itself. This means each Tomb World (or cluster of Necron worlds) is essentially a separate little empire to itself, with a full backstory and idiosyncrasies. While Necron warriors are pretty much just automatons and Immortals not too much better, every other higher Necron being is now much more like an actual person, as their essence is simply trapped inside a metal body.

So there is lots of crazy nuance to Necron culture that was never present before. The codex now has plenty of 'quote' boxes featuring memorable quotes from Necron Lords like other races have in their books. There are some Necron Lords who honor valor in battle, there are a few Necron Lords who trade with other races, and although an uneasy alliance apparently, yes Necrons and Blood Angels did end up fighting against a Tyranid Hive Fleet together. Oh, and there is definitely plenty of reason to have Necron vs. Necron action now (as the old feuds between competing Necron Lords flare back up again).

All in all, it is a major tonal shift. While part of me recoils from it, the other part of me thinks that Necrons as they were had no distinct 'character' that each player could choose to get behind. Yes, the race as a whole had 'character' in how it was organized and functioned, but there was never any really good reason that a player should have his Necron force painted and modeled 'X' way as opposed to another player with his Necron army looking 'Y' way. People certainly painted their Necrons in different (neat) ways, but there was never really any good fluff giving players inspiration to do so.

The only real 'personality' in the old book was the Deceiver, and that frankly wasn't the Necrons, it was their god. The mindless mission that all Necrons were on was basically really similar to Tyranids...the Necrons were coming to harvest every living thing in the galaxy (yawn).

This new incarnation, love it or hate it, gives the Necrons a whole wide array of personality and every single empire has different goals and motives (not to mention paint schemes, markings, etc). Some Necron Lords are obsessed with finding the perfect flesh bodies to transfer their sentience back into. One Necron Tomb World was damaged during the great sleep and erased all the Necron sentience and has started basically commanding its Necrons like true robots (and is actively attacking other Necron worlds to take them over and keep growing), and there are of course dozens more little stories. The Silent King, who put himself into exile (for his unforgivable crime against his people) by leaving the galaxy after defeating the C'Tan encountered the Tyranids in the void between galaxies and has returned to spur the Necrons into action against the Tyranids (realizing that if the Tyranids wipe the galaxy clean of biological matter, then the Necrons will never find a form to transfer their minds back into).

Oh, and the biggest rival of the Necrons is now actually the Altaoic (sp?) Craftworld. Apparently they are the only Eldar who stayed true on the original path to seek out and destroy Necron Tomb Worlds while the rest of the Eldar got all caught up and destroyed in their decadence and then the Fall. Altaoic rangers have traveled the galaxy far and wide over the millennia (ever since the Necrons went to sleep) to track down and destroy or hamper Tomb Worlds from reawakening.

So with this new direction there is now tons of different possibilities for players to make Necrons forces different from each other and there are neat new takes on 'nemesis' races like Eldar & Tyranids to drive gaming plots as well as good reason for Necron on Necron battles.

And as for totally destroying the background of the C'Tan, the codex does allude to the fact that there are lots of unaccounted for C'Tan shards still allegedly cast around the galaxy. The Necron are always trying to hunt them down and imprison them (in pocket dimension prisons), but this does still leave the door totally wide open for a shard of 'The Dragon' to be on Mars and for shards of 'The Deceiver' to have done all the crazy things that's been written about him in novels. Essentially, the full power C'Tan were massively, massively powerful, and the 'shard' versions of them are closer to the idea of what we had in the last codex anyway (something that can be killed/banished on a battlefield).

So while it is a little shocking to have such a massive fluff change hit, I do think it is probably the right way forward to create a more fully realized faction. But I do think it is probably going to be a massive turn-off to those players who absolutely adored the old fluff for the army.

Yeah, they really briefly mention that the wars unleashed some nasty things from the Warp, but they literally do not mention the enslavers anymore. It is very clear that the Eldar empire is the main reason they go into hibernation, having some sort of premonition that the Eldar can and will eventually crumble as all living beings and empires do.

It was a fairly solid plan, except a lot can go wrong when you're sleeping for 60 million years, and apparently billions of Necrons have been killed by simple, normal shifts in the galaxy in that time (stars going supernova, tectonics crushing tombs, etc)...but what they didn't predict was how poorly they'd all awake from the sleep. All Necrons were supposed to wake up at once, but that didn't happen. Some Necrons woke up during all periods of history (including the Horus Heresy) and many still haven't woken up. And in some cases those that wake up have suffered terrible afflictions (like the Flayer disease).

On some fluff changes, Yakface did mention a faction tomb world that still functions very much like the old style, silent robots of doom. This allows BL fluff to coincide with new codex fluff.

Exactly my thoughts. Basically during hibernation the Tomb World accidentally erased all the sentience from the sleeping Necrons and decided to 'take them over' and has since decided this is the way forward for the Necron race and is actively attacking other Necron Tomb Worlds to collect more bodies for the cause. Basically the only sentient brain in that whole army is the Tomb World itself (it even has given itself a name).

There were rumours circulating months ago about the Necrons being slowed because of Mat Ward's creative writing. Or the lack of it. Apparently Mr. Ward was taken to one side and a few others introduced to help him with his work. An example of how lowly his work is held can be seen in one of the Forge World books where they take the piss out of the Calgar-fanboyism by having a Minotaur Captain batter a Genesis Chapter Captain senseless because of it. Maybe there is truth to the rumour?

Here's some more Force Org rumours.


• Imotekh the Stormlord (Lord of the Sau): The most powerful Necron Overlord currently. A master strategist whose nemesis is the Orks (since their random nature is the only thing that can accidentally disrupt his flawless plans).

• Nemesor Zahndrekh: Overlord damaged in the great sleep who still thinks he is flesh and blood fighting the war of secession against his brother Necrontyr. Therefore, he is one of the few Necron Lords who still fights with honor and valor towards his enemies. Has a bodyguard named Vargard Obryron.

• Illuminor Szeras: The Necrontyr who took the C'Tan's knowledge to do bio-transfer and actually made it a he's the chief architect within the Necrons for actually making the bio-transference happen. He is a master of technology and can augment D3 units in the army with an augmentation.

• Orikan the Diviner: A master astromancer (a Cryptek specializing in tech that can predict the future), he is renown for knowing what will happen and when. During the game he is able to achieve a 'powered up' state that gives him a greatly increases statline, but this boost can randomly end on any turn dropping him back down to his regular stats.

• Anrakyr the Traveller: A Necron Lord whose goal is to unite the Necron Empires again. He travels to Tomb Worlds still sleeping and kills the 'lesser' inhabitants that may live there unaware they are on a Tomb World, the 'price' for this service is to claim a tithe from the newly awakened legions. Some Necrons see him as a golden crusader others don't want reunification and would rather see him dead.

• Trazyn the Infinite: He is a Necron who woke very early and is fascinated with studying and collecting history. His tomb world is filled with secret trinkets including (I quote) 'a giant of a man clad in baroque power armor' (start your wild theories here!). He even will attack other Necron tomb worlds to capture artifacts from them that he doesn't think they deserve. He is the character that has the CC ability to pick one type of model he killed that round and inflict wounds on all models of that type in the combat.

• Necron Overlord: Generic DIY Necron Overlord (guy who rules a Tomb World) with plenty of options. Can ride on a Catacomb Command Barge (which is a one man transport) as can all the named 'Lords' above, but not those that are Crypteks in their fluff (Illuminor Szeras & Orikan the Diviner). Also can be a Destroyer Lord instead.

• Royal Court: 0-5 regular Necron Lords (lieutenants to the Overlords) as well as 0-5 Crypteks. Crypteks are masters of Necron technology, whose abilities sometimes appear like sorcery to other races, but they do not have any psychic powers...all their abilities do not require a psychic test or anything like that (nor are they ever referred to as psychic powers in any way). Any member of the Court (Lord or Cryptek) can be split off at the start of the game to lead a unit of Warriors, Immortals, Lychguard or Deathmarks (but only one per unit). Neither Lords nor Crypteks are ICs.


• Night Scythe: A variant of the Doom Scythe fighter that is a 15 model flyer transport with the 'supersonic' 36" flat-out move that the new flyers (that are really skimmers) have. Can carry jump infantry models (taking up 2 spots each) and fire all its weapons even when moving at cruising speed. Has living metal (chance to ignore crew shaken & stunned) but not quantum shielding (which gives +2 armor until the vehicle suffers its first glancing or penetrating hit). AV 11/11/11 like most Necron vehicles (not open-topped though).

• Ghost Ark: 10 model transport, Open-topped AV11 with quantum shielding and living metal. Also is able to regenerate D3 models to one unit within 6" each Necron movement phase (but cannot take the unit above its starting size).

• Catacomb Command Barge: One-man vehicle for most ICs. Open-topped AV11 with quantum shielding & living metal. Can make sweep attacks over 3 enemy units it passes over when it moves. Also the character can lose wounds to negate immobilized or weapon destroyed results.


• Deathmarks: 24" range rapid-fire AP 5 sniper unit that can choose to Deep Strike in immediately after any enemy unit arrives from Reserves (which just allows the enemy to fire at them first?)...teleporting in from a pocket dimension to target their prey. They can also mark a single unit as their 'target' which allows them to roll to wound on a 2+. Beautiful models from the pics leaked, but at the point cost listed I can't see them ever being used except to see those great models on the table. Can be transported on a Night Scythe.

• Lychguard: Traditionally these have been the bodyguards for the Overlords. Come standard with Warscythes (+2 Strength Power weapon) and can replace them with Hyperphase swords (power weapon) and Dispersion Shields (the thing that gives them a 4+ invuln and reflects enemy shooting). I made a mistake before. The Shields don't only reflect enemy shooting within 6", they reflect all enemy shooting, but only against enemy units who are within 6" of them (they reflect saved wounds, they don't affect blast/templates, for example). Can be transported on a Night Scythe.

• Triarch Ptaetorians: These used to be effectively the 'police' (my term) of the main Necron ruler (the last of which was the Silent King) to help enforce his will onto the Lords of the Empire. They are known to respect great warriors and honor valor and have sometimes ordered Necron Overlords to stop attacking a foe they deemed worthy of respect (much to the Lord's chagrin). They are Jump Infantry with a 6" AP2 S5 weapon. They can swap that out for Void Blades (a weapon with Rending and the same Entriopic ability that Scarabs have) and Particle Casters (a pistol weapon). No transport option.

• C'Tan Shard: Must take 2 of the 11 listed ability choices that basically shape what kind of C'Tan shard you're fielding. No ability can be taken more than once in the army (even if you take 3 C'Tan shards in the army). The statline is slightly less impressive than previous incarnations of the C'Tan, but still pretty decent. Also has Eternal Warrior and ignores all terrain penalties. Still explodes D6" when they die. Fluff-wise, these are shards effectively controlled by the Necron (even though they have most shards locked away in pocket dimensions). Each shard represents only a portion of the power and consciousness of the C'Tan and therefore in battle the C'Tan may not even think to utilize some of its power because the portion of it that knows it has 'X' power simply isn't there. This is essentially what explains why they only have access to 2 special abilities in battle.

• Flayed Ones: 3 Attacks base (and no additional CC weapons). Can infiltrate or Deep Strike. No transport options.

• Triarch Stalker: Concept Sketch shows a Triarch Praetorian sitting in an open-topped cockpit that is riding on a Necron-style giant almost scorpion walker set of legs. Very cool looking IMHO. Has a variable heat ray (which can be upgraded to a couple of other weapons) that can either be fired as a template or as an Assault 2 S8 24" Heavy2 Melta weapon. Has a Targeting relay which means that any enemy unit hit by the Stalker gets a counter placed by it that allows all other Necron units shooting at the same unit that phase to count as being twin-linked. AV11 & open-topped, but does have Quantum shielding & Living Metal.


• Warriors: You know them, you love them. Described as being basically automatons, with very little (if any) sentience. These were the non-warrior Necontyr before the bio-conversion. See my previous rumors (in the OP) for details on their points cost, etc. Can be transported on a Ghost Ark or Night Scythe.

• Immortals: Immortals are said to have the ability to at least speak, but still aren't too much brighter than Warriors. These were Elite warriors of the Necrontyr before the conversion (not sure who the rank and file troops were if the Warriors were the non-combatants and the Immortals were the Elite soldiers?). Can exchange their Gauss Blasters for Tesla Carbines (24" S5 Assault1, extra hit inflicted on a 'to hit' roll of '6') Can be transported on a Night Scythe.


• Canoptek Wraiths: Protectors of the Tombs while the hosts slumber. They have legs now? Jump Infantry who ignore terrain. 3A base with Rending. All models can take one of a few different upgrades including a Whip Coil (nearly identical to a Tyranid Lash Whip), particle caster (pistol) or a Exile Beamer (12" range that kills a random model in the target unit unless it passes a Strength test).

• Canoptek Scarabs: See the rumors copied in the OP for more details on what Scarbs do now.

• Tomb Blades: Jet Bikes. From the artwork, these look like Necron warriors fused into a flying crescent throne carrying a weapon harness in their arms that is base twin-linked Tesla Carbines. The fluff says that they are pre-programmed with a bunch of different flight patterns and vectors that the onboard Warrior chooses from on the fly. this mitigates the fact that a Warrior has poor coordination, but since the programs are so advanced, in reality they act basically like any other similar unit in an enemy army despite the fact that their 'pilots' are much slower to react. They can upgrade their weapons to a couple different choices (twin-linked Gauss Blaster or Particle Beamer). The entire unit can take any of the 3 options: Nebuloscope (increases BS to 5), Shield Vanes (increased armor save to 3+) & Shadowloom (Stealth).

• Destroyers: New fluff that says Destroyers are infected with some kind of degenerative virus that causes their sole purpose in life to be to kill their enemies. As such they hate everyone and have the Preferred Enemy special rule against everyone (as do Destroyer Lords). They are Jump Infantry now. Any model in the unit can upgrade to a Heavy Destroyer.


• Doomsday Ark: Variant of the Ghost Ark transport: Open-topped, AV11, Quantum Shielding, Living Metal. Something I forogot to say about the Ghost Ark...each Guass Flayer array (5 Flayers) on each side is allowed to fire at a different enemy target (and different from the Doomsday Cannon). Not entirely clear whether a weapon destroyed takes out a whole array or not, but I'm leaning towards yes. The Doomsday cannon has two profiles, one for if the vehicle did or didn't move that turn (with the non-moving one being 72" range S9 AP1 Large Blast). The moving profile only has a 24" range and a S7 blast. Basically described as gunboat whose strategy is to hit first and destroy the enemy before they can fire back.

• Annihilation Barge: Described as anti-infantry support platforms. Variant of the Catacomb Command Barge: Open-topped, AV11, Quantum Shielding, Living Metal. Has a twin-linked Tesla Destructor & a Tesla Cannon, but can upgrade the cannon to a Gauss Cannon. Not exactly sure why you'd want to do that except for the extra range (36" for the Gauss Cannon as opposed to all Tesla weapons which are 24" range).

• Monolith: 35 Point reduction along with corresponding nerf in invulnerability (were you not expecting that?). Still AV 14 and still has Living Metal (although again that only helps remove Crew Stunned/Shaken now). Can still Deep Strike but no longer has invulnerability from Mishaps. Has 4 Gauss Flux Arcs (which are now just Heavy 3 instead of randomly rolled). Particle whip is now just a straight up S8 AP3 24" large blast. The portal can be used to either transport any non-vehicle friendly Necron unit through it or to suck enemy models within 6" to instant death who fail a Strength Test. No bonus to reanimation protocols (the replacement for WBB) is present. Although, at the end of the day, this is still an AV14 vehicle all around, which is pretty imposing in the current game. Unfortunately all of its weapons are really close range, which means it will also now tend to be in Melta range...

• Doom Scythe: Pure fighter variant of the Night Scythe. AV11 with Living Metal (but no Quantum Shielding or open-topped). Is supersonic (36" flat-out) and can fire all its weapons when moving at cruising speed. Has a twin-linked tesla Destructor & a Death Ray, which allows a 3D6" line to be drawn (with one end of the line being within 12" of the vehicle) and causes a number of hits on every unit crossed by the line equal to the number of MODELS in the unit hit. Oh and did I mention that these hits are S10 AP1? Nasty indeed! But at nearly 200 pts for an AV11 vehicle, to get within 12" to unleash this beast will probably be a bit rough.

• Tomb Spyders: The artwork makes them look much more flying and nimble, like giant Scarabs. Can now repair vehicles like a Techmarine, Big Mek, etc. Can take an anti-psychic defense against any power targeting a friendly unit within 3" (nullified on a 4+). Can still create Scarab Swarms, but only into existing swarms on the table (they no longer form a unit with the Spyder) and it can still take damage if it rolls a '1' while doing so. Can take Whip Coils (by giving up a close combat weapon and a +1 to repair vehicles) which is like a Tyranid Lash Whip. Can take 1 or 2 Particle Beamers (by removing its CC/fixer arms) to do so. 1-3 in a unit. 


  1. I understand that they need something more than faceless automatons doing the will of the gods for people to get behind and this stuff isn't terrible but Nercon quotes? Nercons don't talk!

  2. Also crying out in pain? And TRADING with them? Bollocks I say to you! Bollocks!

  3. What are Necrons? Do they like auto-win every game?


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