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40K: Winning with Necrons – Part 1

3 Minute Read
Nov 27 2011
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a series by Reecius

This is the first in a series of articles about pulling winning lists and tactics out of the Necron Codex.

It’s been a good long wait, but our undead, metallic friends are back, and back with a vengeance. Don’t let the internet poo-pooing put you off of your dreams of tournament victories, or just having fun games where you don’t get stomped all the time, with the new Necrons.

The key to winning with Necrons with the new book is in planning and forethought. Much like the eons spanning plans of the Necron Overlords, you MUST have a plan and well constructed list if you want to have success with this army. As with Dark Eldar, this is an unforgiving, advanced level army that requires a significant amount of player skill to perform well with. However, when the learning curve has been worked through, you will be able to hang with any other army out there and not only win, but deliver crushing victories. It is very easy to make a bad Necron list, less easy to make a good one. This article will help you do the latter and avoid the former.


If you pay attention to the internet, you have likely seen a great deal of negativity about the Crons. We ourselves here at FrontLineGaming were underwhelmed on our first read through of the book. We thought it was a stillbirth of a codex and yet another failure on the part of Mat Ward. However, after extensive play testing at our shop and in local tournament play, we have completely reversed our opinion. We have been putting this book through the paces in a big way, and documenting our experiments, all of which is up on our web page for anyone who is curious so see.

What we have found in our extensive play-testing is that when built and played correctly, a Necron army can deliver the goods in a big way. We have found themed Necron lists that can stand with competitive builds, and a Necron list which has gone through top tier lists like a hot knife through butter. I personally was so impressed that I even publicly apologized to Mat Ward for putting him down! We are loving playing this book, pure and simple.

The devil is in the details, as they say, and this is especially true with the Necrons. The key to victory lies in the interplay between its various elements. The combinations of wargear, character and unit abilities and tactics combines to form a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. This is a thinking man’s army and not one that allows for mistakes. The army has serious inbuilt weaknesses, but this is a good thing. Working through an army’s weaknesses is what gives it flavor and makes for a challenging, rewarding game for both players.

Throughout this article series, we will break down the book’s units and how they interact with the rest of the book. We will also present several lists we have found both effective and fun to play, one of which we predict to be a tournament winning build. We will also explore effective combinations as these can at first be quite overwhelming as there are so many of them.

~What are some of combinations you all have seen that are working with Necrons, so far?  Lets hear your tips and tricks in these early days.

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