Necrons seem to be one of those books that are instantly playable from the get go – the Decurion detachment may be the key to making Necrons competitive.
Horton Doughton breaks down the Decurion to the Nth Degree today’s Part One article of fielding a Decurion.
The Decurion detachment is a new way to field an army for the Necrons. While many people still think the Combined Arms Detachment is the way to go, I have to disagree. The bonuses provided by the Decurion detachment, and the lists available to the Decurion detachment are simply too good to ignore. In this article we will analyze the Decurion Detachment and the specific Necron units that can be used in it.
Command Benefits: The Command benefits for the Decurion detachment are extremely powerful. All units in the Decurion have +1 to their reanimation protocols, and all vehicles ignore stunned and shaken results. While objective secured is nice, it does not do any good if your models are dead. In addition, since the Decurion is made of formations, you benefit from your formation special rules as well. This two for one command benefit is just too good not to take.
This is the core of any Decurion detachment, and is the only required choice. It bonuses here are Move through cover, relentless, and the overlord and all units within 12 inches of him from this detachment can re-roll reanimation protocols of a 1. This is perfect for running a Necron Phalanx. Let us break down the units available to this formation one by one:
1 Overlord: At the heart of the Necron Phalanx is its Overlord. These guys are pretty incredible for what you get. Without any upgrades at all, you have what is essentially a T5 3W Terminator with an AP3 gun, for just 80 points. These guys can be upgraded to handle a lot of different stuff, but my favorite load out is Warscythe, Phase Shifter, Res Orb, Veil of Darkness. The unit is so good, however, that there really is not a bad way to configure one.
Nemesor Zahndrek: In place of an Overlord, you can take any of the special character overlords, and this one looks to be the best. In fact, he is probably one of the best support HQs in all of 40k. Why is that? His ability to pick new Warlord traits starting in turn 2 is ridiculous. The benefits he can hand out to his army this way are amazing. The big ones that stand out to me are Stealth Ruins, re-roll reserves, units within 12 inches re-roll to hit rolls of a 1 in the shooting phase, Fearless and It Will Not Die, Friendly units within 12 inches re-roll failed morale, and His base trait of Zealot. While lacking much offensive punch by himself, he can be used to great effect in support of any army. Also, with a 2+ save he can be an incredible tank to keep other models alive. In addition to these already amazingly tactical abilities, his Adaptive Tactics special rule lets his steal special rules from enemy units within 24 inches. This can be very powerful, especially when combined with Tau Allies.
Anrakyr The Traveler: I like Anrakyr. He is probably a bit expensive for what he does, but furious charge and counter-attack are no joke on a warsythe, and giving the same special rules to a unit of immortals is pretty awesome in my opinion. Mind in the Machine is also not to be underestimated, and could be DEVASTATING if used on an enemy superheavy. Also, while not too likely to happen, he does have crusader, which means you have a slightly better chance of running something down in combat if you win. When you tally up his wargear and special abilities and compare that to the base points cost for an Overlord he is still a good buy.
Catacomb Command Barge: These things fit in to a Decurion extremely well. With their ability to let friendly units within 12 inches re-roll morale they are awesome support, and will the right load out these things can be a real assault threat. There are however, countered very hard by Imperial Knights.
Trazyn The Infinite: Trazyn is one of those units that when you tally up his wargear and special rules is probably costed appropriately, but just does not seem to do much. That being said, he is very good at not dying, so if you want a list that may never give up warlord, he might be the right choice for you. You will need to combo this with a royal court though, which gets expensive in a hurry. He is probably the least effective character in the codex, but like I said earlier, the base stat line of the overlord is so good that you still can’t call him bad. There are however, probably better choices for the points.
2-8 Squads of Warriors: Some see this as the “Tax” of the Decurion, as this is at least 20 warriors. But the warrior is really good, especially in the Decurion. Gauss is one of the best weapon types out there that can be fielded in large numbers and for 13 points the warrior is incredibly resilient. A 4+ save followed by a 4+ reanimation protocol makes the warrior tougher than a 3+ save, and when close to the overlord, the bonus of rerolling 1s on reanimation protocol makes these guys even tougher. A giant block of Warriors is tough to bring down and has a gun that can hurt anything in the game. What is not to like? Whether on foot, in a ghost ark, or flying high in a Nightscythe, Warriors are a very good choice for the Necrons.
1-4 Squads of Immortals: With a 3+ save and a 4+ reanimation protocol Immortals are as tough as terminators. That should jump out at you, especially since they are only about half the cost. I love these guys in units of 10, and they can really do work jumping out of a Nightscythe and laying down some gauss fire right where you need it. They are also great on foot, and can march into the jaws of most shooting armies without flinching. Gauss is the only way to go for their weapon options in my opinion. Their gauss blaster is the same strength as the Tesla Carbine, but can always glance vehicles, and is AP4, making them great at engaging a wide variety of targets.
0-2 Squads of Lychguard: These guys are rock solid. No matter how they are equipped, they are an assault unit that is tough enough to just march up the board. If they are equipped with shields, then they can stonewall almost any MC all game, since their 3+ invulnerable save plus 4+ reanimation is like having a 2+ invulnerable save, which is nuts. If they are within 12 inches of the overlord and can then re-roll 1s on reanimation protocol, then they are even tougher!
1-3 Squads of Tomb Blades: These guys could be the best unit in the codex, there is a reason GW is sold out of them right now. They are very durable and very mobile, a unique combo for Necrons, and have access to an upgrade that lets them negate cover. Negates cover Gauss? Negates cover particle beamers? They are both incredibly good. A minimum of 1 of these units should not be seen as a tax AT ALL! In fact, you should be happy that you have to take them, as they will get serious work done against anything. Negates cover twin-linked gauss will cut down vehicles and infantry alike, and the particle beamer with negates cover will be the bane of horde units everywhere.
0-2 Monoliths: The Monolith is the iconic Necron vehicle, and it cannot reasonably be priced any cheaper. Ignoring stunned and shaken with the Decurion really helps this guy and I feel like the Monolith can be used to do some interesting re-deploy maneuvers and provide decent firepower. The issue is that we live in a world full of melta guns in drop pods and grav weapons, both of which can simply annihilate this tank. If you are going to run the monolith, then it needs good support, and you need a good plan. Again, not a bad tank at all, but it simply has a lot of bad match ups right now.
The Reclamation Legion is the core of any Decurion detachment. The smallest it can be is 480 points, and it can be large enough to be your entire army. It is only the first option in the Decurion however, and there are plenty of other ways to complete your fighting force.
The Royal Court
The royal court is a great way to pick up some more characters for your army. It consists of 1 Overlord, 1-3 Lords, and 1-3 Crypteks, with any of the special characters being able to sub for their respective slot. This is also the only way to use Immotek the Stormlord, Varguard obryn, illuminor Szeras, or Orikan the Diviner in a Decurion detachment.
Immotek the Stormlord: Like other Necron HQs, Immotek is super tough, with his 2+ save and 4+ reanimation protocol meaning that only 1/12 of the damage he takes results in a wound, and on top of that, he has It Will Not Die! He also has a great warlord trait, allowing you to add or subtract 1 from your seize the initiative and reserve rolls. His staff of the destroyer is also a very potent weapon, throwing out 3 S6 AP2 shots. While his Lighting attack is not as devastating as it once was, it can still be game changing. It is only S6 now, but hits enemy units on a 5+. I think Immotek can do really well in a Necron army, but like everything else, he just needs the right support.
Lords: If you want to add more assault power to you army, then look here. A Necron Lord is a great way to add a Warscythe to any squad. With 2 wounds and reanimation protocols, these guys are a waaay better deal then they use to be and can add a lot to any squad they join. They also have access to relics, which gives you another place to put a key relic you might not otherwise have room for.
Vargard Oberyn: This guy costs exactly as he should. He slightly buffed Lord with a 2+save, the Ghostwalk Mantle and Cleaving Counterblow. There is nothing not to like about this guy. Even with just 2 wounds, a 2+ save and 4+ reanimation protocol makes this guy very tough to kill.
Crypteks: If a crypek joins a unit in the Decurion, then they still get their 4+ reanimation protocol, even if they are hit with weapons that inflict instant death. That is a big deal. Also, with access to Chronometron, crypteks can make an already tough unit even tougher, by giving it a 5+ invl save against shooting attacks. For 65 points, these guys are a steal, are are perfect candidates to hold a Solar Staff.
Illuminor Szeras: This guys is a great deal for the points. Giving +1 reanimation to all units within 6 inches of him is crazy good, and it really supports a Phalanx style list, which really fits the fluff. If this was not enough, his ability to augment a unit of warriors or immortals is really handy. The big thing here though is his warlord trait, immortal hubris, which lets all friendly units within 12 inches re-roll failed morale, pinning, and fear tests. This is huge for Necrons, as their biggest weakness has always been how badly the army is hurt when you fail a morale check.
Orikan The Diviner: Imagine a cryptek, but better. The combo of providing +1 to reanimation protocols, allowing his unit to re-roll failed saving throws of a 1, and the ability to ascend to a C’tan stat line, makes this guy an auto-include in any royal court formation. If you have to take a Cryptek, it might as well be this guy. The applications of these abilities are obvious, but still ridiculous. The combination is Orikan, a model with a 2+ save, and a resurrection orb means that your unit is practically immune to wounds. A 2+ save rerolling 1s, followed by a 4+, rerolling fails due to res orb means that you must force 144 saves in order to actually cause a wound. When you then realize that you can have multiple characters in a unit with 2+ saves, and they all have multiple wounds, then you see that the amount of wounds it would take to kill such a unit simply cannot ever be inflicted in a normal game of 40k.
So far it looks like their may be very few ways to field a ‘bad’ army using the Decurion! Check back soon for Part II of fielding a Decurion for more tactical advice on Necron formations!