Necrons Need to Change

Well, it turns out my Necrons and I were not the hero anyone wanted, needed, or deserved. Finishing last weeks GT at a disappointing 2-3 was not where I wanted to end up, but I learned a ton about the new Admech meta competitive 40k will be living in for the foreseeable future. Honestly, I think some serious changes are needed for the Admech Codex. There are too many buffs that can be applied to too many units too cheaply. Other armies just cannot keep up with the pace of the game an Admech player can set. It isn’t all bad news though as I learned a ton about playing Necrons at a competitive level, and played 5 awesome games against 5 amazing people over the weekend. The lesson’s learned have made me re-think the way I will play my Necron army in the future, and while I don’t know if it will be enough to get me onto the top tables, I thought I could share some of my lessons learned with some Necron (or really any armies) players out there to see if we can’t come up with a way to make those top tables look a little more diverse.

My Necrons in all their glory

First off, I had an amazing time at a well run tournament at Tables and Towers in Westminster, MD. If you are ever in the area sign up for a tournament to enjoy their massive gaming space! This gaming space is quickly becoming the premier spot for 40k tournaments in the Maryland area.

Tables and Towers in Westminster, MD

Now on to the lessons learned from the games I played. The first thing I took away from this GT was Ctans are in a bad place. My list had a Transcendent and the Void Dragon. At no point during the GT did I feel like my opponent worried too much about my Ctan, and I even played a Farsight Tau list. Once my opponent heard my pre-game speech about the Ctan only being able to take 3 wounds PER PHASE they immediately began scheming on how to get rid of my trapped star gods. The hard truth I learned over the weekend was that 9 wounds is just not enough for a model that cost 270-350 points even if they can only take those 3 wounds per phase.

Just sitting back causing mortal wounds with Ctan powers is not enough for such a heavy points investment. This is how the Ctan become problematic to include in your Necrons list. A Necron army is already hurting for points with their basic troop costing 13 points per model. Spending 600 points of your list on 2 models better mean those models make a massive impact on the game, and I felt the Ctan just lacked that impact.

He sure did look good dying a lot

When a Ctan charges in it better kill what it attacks because taking any wounds in your own combat phase is a HUGE deal for the survivability for these models. A Ctan will not have a chance to gain a wound back from any wounds taken in your own turn, and missing out on the opportunity to heal up a bracket to ensure the Ctan lives longer is crucial. Some of you may be thinking, just charge only things that you know the Ctan can kill without getting attacks back. Unfortunately, 40k does not play out this way on the table top. Your opponent knows which of their units are dangerous to your Ctan and they will make sure those units end up in the star god’s path. With just an 8 inch move your opponent wont have to work too hard to make this happen.

Lesson two came in my game against an extremely talented Admech player. In my article last week I covered how a unit of Rangers firing into buffed Necron Warriors, on average, did not wipe the unit of 20 Warriors. Unluckily for me, my opponent used a block of 20 Vanguard with ALL the Admech buffs. With an Omnispex, Manipulus, a Relic, and the right Doctrina, 20 Vanguard fire 60 times hitting on 2s, re-rolling 1s, ignore cover, and ignore negative penalties to hit. Oh, they also auto-wounded on 4+ to hit. My opponent did an excellent job of screening his precious brick of Vanguard with his Infiltrators, Ruststalkers, and Fulgurites in boats leaving me very little options to deal with them.

So, what is a Necron player to do against this Admech menace? Well, my answer is going to be attempting to play a heavy multiple small unit (MSU) style Necrons list. Throughout the weekend the custom Dynasty of giving everything in my army Objective Secured, along with the 6 inch pre game movement, was extremely strong. This allowed my units who had been whittled down over the game to hold objectives for much longer, and these units effectively denied my opponent primary points much longer then they should have. The problems started when my opponent could remove 20 Warriors that were placed on an objective quickly (like those darn Admech), and because my army consisted of a few larger units in 20 man Warrior bricks and Ctan, my opponent could focus their entire armies damage output very effectively.

By breaking the army down into smaller units opponent’s attempts at killing my units will become less efficient. Sure, go ahead and kill those 3 Wraiths, there are 2 more squads of them floating around, and any extra damage my opponent causes while killing the first squad is wasted potential.

Now I fully admit I have not practiced with Necrons yet as an MSU army, and there could be some flaws in this plan. MSU armies are going to have a hard time putting out the amount of damage a more conventionally built army can produce. Stratagems in this game generally affect one unit, so players tend to build up those larger units in order to maximize the benefits their Codex is providing them. I hope the ObSec and 6 inch pre-game move Dynasty gives the army enough board control and mobility to win through denying primary points and taking Secondaries that focus on board control instead of killing enemy models.

While I am not the best Necron player out there by far, I learned a ton over the weekend. Admech seem super efficient in all aspects of the game, and I hope to find a way for Necrons to go into that matchup feeling like there is some chance to not get shot off the table. During my other games I did not feel like it was the Necrons book that was holding me back from a win, but more the mistakes I was making during the game (such as relying on my Ctan to do too much of the heavy lifting for my army). It will be interesting to see if my new Necron MSU concept will work out. Unfortunately, my next tournament will not be until August, so we will have to wait until then to find out (outside of practice games of course).


About BugProletariat

If my wife ever makes good on her threat to do an inventory of the models in my garage I'd have a real problem on my hands. Until then, I enjoy playing GSC (along with some other armies located in the garage) at local tournaments and hope one day to prove my gaming group wrong about how terrible I am at this game I love. If you enjoy my articles you can find clips of me actually talking over on my YouTube Channel:
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rob Butcher
Rob Butcher
11 months ago

(1) were GW terrain rules in use ??? those tables look incredibly sparse / boring to play over (looks like C20th USA not sci-fi).. those building corners would barely hide a tank let alone a 20 strong unit

(2) how would you change your list ? – it’s nearly a year since #newedition started and the Necrons were released .. I’m prefering the melee toys that came in the boxed set, rather than expensive models …

11 months ago

MSU is not a good way to play Necrons unfortunately. Our units are costed with the thought that you will use RP(reanimation protocols). In a MSU list it will likey never happen.

The only list that Necrons have so far that works against Admech kind of of is the Ark-ing Lot. Tanking every vehicle with Q-Shield. With the custom strat they are still obsec and the most powerful Admech strats don’t effect them. You will never out shoot them but you can last a long time and sometimes grind out a slight victory but with the most efficient anti tank in the game (being core for them and under costed) it is still a bad matchup.

The C’Tan never make their points back against a competitive opponent. With a 8″ move your opponent chooses when to engage not you.

Good luck. The upside to having the worst 9th Ed codex is no one will ever call you a try hard and refuse a game.

Just don’t tell Reeco! I am sure just like last edition he is saying “Ohh Necrons are Sooooo Good guys, like I think they may be on of the most powerful armies in the whole edition!” 😛

11 months ago

But always the hero of our hearts! I’m not exactly sure how to deal with admech either. Every time I make changes that I think will help I seem to get weaker against other opponents. The upside, that I find infuriating, is that Hawaii still has no tournaments on the horizon smh. So I won’t have to truly experience most people playing de and admech just yet.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x