Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Necrons in Oldhammer

My Tyranid army for first edition WH40K is slowly taking shape. I'm having some trouble with the dark blue on the Termagants as it is obscuring their facial features. It may require some highlighting, which will only serve to make this project longer. In the meantime, I'm looking at other options, and have alighted on my considerable Necron army as an alternative. What I didn't realise was that the Necrons debuted back in 1997 in White Dwarf, well before GW released a Codex for them. This probably still sits them firmly in the second edition of the rules rather than the first, but it still represents the earliest iteration of the Necron race in WH40K.

As an army list, it doesn't shoot the lights out: the first Necron Codex had far more options. The list is restricted to the Necron Lord, Necron Warriors, and the Necron Destroyer. Scarabs are present, but as single figures rather than swarm bases as they are now. No Tomb Spiders. No Flayed Ones. Still, it does mean I've already got a scratch force I can use until my Tyranids come online.

The Necron pseudo-army, as it stands, will be quite small. Even with a 1000 points budget, a single squad of five Necron Warriors is going to set you back 220 points. A single Destroyer is 75 points. However, they ARE Toughness 5, don't need to take Leadership tests, and benefit from the 'I'll be back!' resurrection feature. This means downed Necrons stay on the table until they roll either a 1 (remove from play and beyond repair) or a 6 (they get up again). There are no restrictions about distance from other Necron units, which hobble the more recent Necron armies.

I also particularly like the repair feature for the Destroyer - if it is taken out, the 'rider' can self-repair like a normal warrior, and can even come back into play as a warrior without his skimmer - i.e. he is detachable and the Destroyer platform is simply viewed as a vehicle. Awesome.

I don't know what to do about the scarabs. I'd like to use my existing swarm bases, so it may be I will have to jury rig a house rule to cover these. What is interesting is that they do not attack enemies - they are there to disrupt and weaken targets and protect the rest of the Necrons from damage - they are not the lethal Deep Strike weapons they have become more recently. More on this once I've had time to consider it.

I think I'm going to end up with a pretty tiny army at the end of the day. But at least it is one that I can field straight away.


  1. The size of armies does shrink as you go back in time; I remember that my 1000pt second edition Ork army shrank to 500pts in third edition.

    I'm interested in that 1997 Necron list as I didn't realise they'd been introduced that early, aside from their brief cameo as "chaos androids" in the Rogue Trader days. Which issue of White Dwarf is it in?

    1. There is a list split between 217 and 218. There's also a battle report in 218. Autumn 1997 I believe. I've also been able to dig up an early Imperial Guard and early Squat list.

    2. Interesting. Second edition 40K is my favourite version, and I do have the second edition Eldar army book...