Saturday, 5 November 2011

Overview ~ Necrons, part one ~ Introduction and Background

As I had planned to do with each new codex as it comes out I'll do doing a series of guides with the new Necron rules, starting with an overview of the army and then detailing different sections.

I'm sure those who intend to play the army will likely already have their hands on the codex, so in part my articles will be focused on non-Necron players, giving them a guide of what to expect. However hopefully Necron players will still find some interest and help from these articles.

I'll start with a quote from the codex:
"The Necrons are masters of ranged combat and win their battle through overwhelming firepower - indeed, their ranged weaponry can be ranked as amongst the most powerful in the Warhammer 40,000 game."

Quite a lot has changed from the older codex, but in places the old bones can still be glimpsed in a somewhat deformed form. However the new parts are quite interesting in places (if rather silly in others). The real background about how they came to be is set, as before, further in the past than any other codex and interestingly gives some hints as to the Eldar.
The Necrontyr still evolved on a horrific planet where powerful solar winds and radiation storms left the race morbid and used to death, in desperation they took to the stars in stasis chambers aboard slow ships to colonize other worlds. As their hold on the galaxy grew, they fell apart with numerous realms waging wars of independence. Their ruling council, known as the Triarch, decided that they needed to unite their people and that conflict with another foe would be the best way to do this.
The Old Ones were the first sentient life in the galaxy and the only race great enough for their needs, fortunately for the Triarch the Old Ones had long refused to share their secret of immortality, so the excuse for war was simple.
Unfortunately the Necrontyr underestimated their foe, while the Necrontyr had technology and numbers the Olds Ones mastery of webway portals made them impossible to counter and defeat. After centuries the Necrontyr were pushed back and their society began to break apart once more and civil war erupted again.
It was then that the C'tan appeared, who quickly became worshiped as gods. With their technology the Necrontyr built bodies of living metal so they could walk amongst their worshipers.
The C'tan, later to be revealed as the Deceiver, said that the C'tan also wished to defeat the Old Ones and promised the Triarch what they had always wanted: Unity and Immortality. It also said that no price would be asked for such gifts given to valued allies.
The C'tan taught the Necrons how to replace their weak-bodied flesh for living metal. Once this was done the  leader of the Triarch realized an emptiness within him and knew there had been a cost and that it had been their souls, which the C'tan had feasted upon. However immortal bodies allowed immortality free of radiation and age, while a command protocol embedded in the Necron mind ensured Unity of the race.
The new Necrons alongside the soul-empowered C'tan were too much for the Old Ones. Whole suns were extinguished and black wholes summoned to devour entire star systems, while the Necrons themselves breached the webway.
However at the moment of the two allies victory, when the C'tan were the most drained from war, the Necrons revolted. The C'tan, in their arrogance, did not realize the danger until it was too late, however the C'tan were truly immortal and part of the fundamental fabric of actuality and could not be destroyed entirely. Instead each C'tan was shattered into thousands of fragments which were then trapped and bound in pocket dimensions of Necron creation.
The Necrons were themselves now weakened and knowing that control of the galaxy would now pass to the Eldar, a race which had fought alongside the Old Ones and survived to hate the Necrons greatly. Knowing that in their weakened state they could not defeat the Eldar they decided to let time, no longer an enemy to them, do so instead.
All the remaining Necron cities were transformed into vast stasis crypts allowing the Necrons to sleep for sixty million years. The last command of the Triarch leader before they slept was awake ready to rebuild all they had lost, to restore their dynasties to their former glory... After that he destroyed the command protocols he had used to control the Necrons and took his ship into deep space, seeking solace or penance for failing his people.
Now the Necrons are awaking and the only thing sparing the galaxy is that some of the tomb ships were lost  during the years and those that were not are rising in fitful starts, however if all those still sleeping are allowed to awaken the galaxy will surely fall to the Necrons.

The Fluffy Necron
Fluff-wise the basic Necron Warrior remains the same, almost-mindless implacable automatons at the behest of their leader, armed with Gauss Flayers, weapons designed to disassemble their targets at the molecular level, while the Necrons themselves are able to repair damage and even reattach severed limbs or return from decapitation. If you do manage to damage one beyond typical repair many will simply teleport or phase away to be repaired elsewhere over time, those beyond even that level of repair self-destruct in a flash of green so similar to the glow of the teleportation that it is often difficult to determine whether the Necron was truly destroyed or not.
What is new is the information that before they Necrontyr transferred themselves into their metallic forms, the Necron Warriors were not warriors but artisans, merchants, scribes and farmers. Whether by accident due to lack of care over the transferrance of lesser status citizens or perhaps through design, they were stripped of personality and character, yet as they were once alive a faint instinct for self-preservation remains and while weak in can trigger. However at other times it will not.

Other Necrons are different however, the higher their rank before the transferrance the better the technology which preserved their minds. As such, the Lords and Overlords of the Necrons have as clear (if not clearer) minds than they did when they were alive.

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