The Decurion Detachment is a very interesting creation by Games Workshop in the newest Necron’s Codex. I have been playing it for months since the book came out and have played against it in tournaments like the LVO. It is a very powerful detachment that if you don’t play against correctly can robot walk over unwary foes. Lets take a look at this powerful force and what to do if you face it.
Essentially the Decurion for those that don’t know is a detachment made up of formations. A “Combi-Formation” if you will. (TM pending ). You take one core Reclamation Legion formation and then can take 1-8 other formations in the Necron Codex. Each one has it own minimum model count and special rule bonuses if you take them. Lets take a look at the most common formations you will see.
This formation consists of 1 HQ unit, 2 Warrior units, 1 Immortal unit, and a 1 Tomb Blade unit. You can add other units like Lychguard and Monoliths, as well as take the wargear and transports associated with those units. You will most likely see Nemsor Zahndrekh, large Warrior squads, probably backed by a Ghost Ark, and maybe 1-2 Night Scythes depending upon the other formations they pick.
The rules this formation gain are Move Through Cover, Relentless, +1 army wide to their Reanimation Protocols, and your vehicles with Living Metal ignore crew Stunned and Shaken. Huge bonuses and I haven’t felt the lack of Objective Secured (ObSec) even in Maelstrom games.
This consists of one Spyder, one unit of Wraiths and one unit of Scarabs. At the start of the player turn the Spyder can give Fleet, Shred, and Reanimation Protocols to units in this formation within 12”. Wraiths with a 3+ invul, and a 4+ reanimation roll is just brutal.
You will see a Destroyer Lord, three units of Destroyers, and maybe some Heavy Destroyers. They get to reroll wounds and armor penetrations. Combined with Preferred enemy makes these guys devastating.
This has one Triarch Stalker and two units of Praetorians. The Stalker gets to nominate a unit it can see and all units from the formation get to reroll To-Hits, Wounds, and Armor Penetrations.
How Decurion Works
The Decurion Detachment works to synergize off of the other formations to create devastating combos with units and tactics. You can take the Destroyer Lord from the Destroyer Cult and add it to a 20 man unit giving them Preferred Enemy. Park a Stalker next to that and they have BS5. Throw Zahndrekh and they are Zealots as well. Ghost Ark behind to keep the mob filled up to the brim. You will see the Canoptek Harvest shooting up into your lines while the troops move behind to wipe up what’s left. Destoryers will be falling from the sky in your rear arcs to take out key transports and force you back into your deployment zone to deal with them.
Top that off with the unrelenting durability of even the most basic troops, what is a general to do against this monstrosity? Let’s take a look at some things that can really put the hurt on the Decurion.
Kill The Metal Monster
Necrons don’t have a Psychic phase as they don’t have any psykers. The funny thing is they have the “cast a psychic power” in their Maelstrom deck! Sure, they can ally in Psykers, but you will probably rarely see that happening as the only one they can ally with (at least in the ITC) is Chaos Space Marines.
You can really put the hurt on Necrons in the Psychic phase. I recently got to play against The French Overlord’s Last Laugh Harlequin force and it was a sight to behold. Psychic screams and the like coming from all over. He had special characters and units that messed with the strong leadership value of my Necrons and really put the hurt on many units, negating their armor saves. Other powers like Enfeeble, Paroxyism (Tyranids), and Misfortune can put their units in vulnerable positions.
High AP Weaponry
One weakness in the Necron Codes is their lack of high armor saves. Warriors and Flayed ones have a 4+ and Immortals and Tomb Blades have a 3+. There are only a couple of characters that come with a 2+ and you have to get one of the Relics to otherwise add the 2+ to a generic character. If you can negate the armor save, then you have a much better chance of cleaning out more models and grinding them to the dust.
Focus on Synergy Units
In the last codex, most Necron players wanted to go second so that they could dump their flyer contents on objectives on the last turns and win. Now, Decurion players, especially with the Canoptek Harvest, will often want to go first. This is due to the fact that the special rules from the Spyder happen at the start of the controlling players turn. If you can kill that Spyder, then you can really put the hurt on that formation and it will be much easier to do at the start of the turn. Drop Pods, high AP long range shooting, and just weight of fire can do the trick. If they are smart the Spyder will be out of line of sight or at least in cover so take the advantage and peel off as much of the Wraiths and Scarabs as you can. Focus your templates, blasts, and strength 6+ weaponry at the Scarabs as they are Swarms and T3, and focus other fire at the Wraiths to whittle them down.
Other units to focus on would be Stalkers, key Characters like Zahndrekh or Crypteks/Lord with wargear, and Tomb Blades. Small units of Tomb Blades work just like Eldar Jetbikes, giving Necrons back some mobility to an otherwise slow force.
Box and Screen
Use small disposable units to screen the advance of the Necrons and keep your more valuable units safe. Wraiths are harder as they can move through just about anything, but most other units in the Necron force are much slower. If you can screen their movement and keep them from objectives they will be hard pressed to reach them. Throw small units into their Fearless units to tie them up for as long as possible.
You can also work on boxing them into their deployment zone (credit Jy2) by giving them too many threats to choose from. Any thing you can do to limit their mobility will go a long way to keeping them on their back heels.
Necrons have a great Leadership value with an army wide value of 10, but not many ways to become Fearless or Stubborn. Find ways to use this to your advantage. Sweep them in combat, force moral checks, Terrify them, use leadership modifiers. This can wipe units off the board wholesale as Reanimation Protocols doesn’t save you from a failed moral check.
So there you have it, some tools to take on the Decurion! They can be very difficult to manage if you don’t have an idea as to how the army works and what gives it its power. Focus on those key elements and watch it crumble….as long as you are not playing against my Necrons, then forget everything I said!
Any other ideas on how to take down the Decurion? Post your thoughts below!