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How do you feel about Necron lore?


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#1
karden00

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Does it count to throw out a vote for the old Necron lore?

I can't stand the Newcrons.

They used to have such an ominous, insanely powerful feel to them. Now they are caricatures.


I don't hate the NewCrons, however the last page of the 3rd Ed with the Pariahs, and the driven chain of slave's...is awesome.

 

This is perhaps not the right place for such a comment, so mods, feel free to move this to the appropriate place, but I have a question:

If you liked/loved the Necrons of 3rd ed., how do you also like the WardCrons? It's perhaps too easy to invoke the ghost of MW, (maybe there should be a rule a la Godwin's Law but for Matt Ward...Wardwin's Law?!) but it seems to me that the newer iteration is such an absolute departure from what used to be... it just... I guess if you like the fact that it is different, it's for you. 

Anything? 


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'Lorgar has his own battles to fight, Erebus,' replied Horus sharply. 'Should he fail at Calth, all this will be for nothing if Guilliman's Legion is allowed to intervene.
You can always ally the Dark Angels to your current ultramarine force.
Never.
My Ultramarines aren't taking the field with traitors.
That's what Dark Vengeance is. A box of traitors.

 

"Now I have a plasma cannon. LOGISTICS LOGISTICS LOGISTICS."


#2
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Hah, I didnt say I like them, I said I dont hate them. :]

 

To me, the old necrons had something far more terrible, far more frightening. I'll take the Old fluff and history any day of the week, however there are some avenues (I liked the FW book with the cron's for example) available to us that are still decent.

 

I mean that story with the fallen tech priest? Thats amazing.


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#3
chapter master 454

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Hah, I didnt say I like them, I said I dont hate them. :]

 

To me, the old necrons had something far more terrible, far more frightening. I'll take the Old fluff and history any day of the week, however there are some avenues (I liked the FW book with the cron's for example) available to us that are still decent.

 

I mean that story with the fallen tech priest? Thats amazing.

 

They were sort of pigeon holed into an already existing archetype: The unstoppable force. Currently we have the Tyranids whom are the main force of unstoppable consumption and then there were necrons who were also the same but still waking up but once going would be the exact same thing really just robots. What they have been downshifted to (I agree, they have been 'nerfed' lore wise) is the rivals of the Eldar and thus equals of them. Once holding dominion over the entire universe we know with technology that eclipses even the Eldar's (they literally have a wrist mounted device that fires a projectile presumably at speeds faster than light) they have technology that can crush any military with little effort however their weakness is in their lack of unity. Similarly to the Eldar they have a huge ego, and that goes for all of them however arguably they have larger egos than eldar (which is one heck of a feat) and this has lead to some oddities in their ability to get things done. They still have their very potent feature that tyranids want nothing with them no matter what for obvious reasons but something makes me believe there is more to their avoidance than just having wars with them is costly (they avoid ANY planet that has them, regardless of biomass. That means something is...off about necrons to tyranids).

 

However I do enjoy their lore now to be honest. While I did love their old lore, I find these humourous characters quite fun and yet if you read into it properly it is extremely morbid. Trazyn is making a personal collection out of living things by using stasis traps for his own amusement and even trapped an inquisitor in a tesseract cube as a joke really. Flayed ones are still as brutal and to be honest they are running around do these 'humourous' acts against each other with conflicts against the imperium being happenstance rather than intended. They are squabbling among themselves and are giving the Imperium and various others their own rear ends without even really trying or being united. 

 

I do admit, there is some of the old luster lost. I enjoyed the idea of the C'tan being the equals of the chaos gods but are actual real space gods. Would love to see that come about once more, maybe all the shards gather back together due to the necron squabbling and then that drives them together against their own evil they gave flesh. Maybe even have that be what gives us the old necrons, where the C'tan show their true power which they still have (remember, their weapons are still ripping you apart atom by atom).

I just think, having been 'reborn' with this new lore hasn't really had a chance to fully shine yet or it just hasn't had it's own chance to step up and say its piece about the current events.


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#4
Marshal Rohr

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I thought the C’Tan were the manifestations of the chaos gods in the form Necrons would understand them? Nightbringer was Khorne, Deciever was Tzeentch, the Dyson Sphere one beyond the galaxy was Nurgle, and I can’t remember the last one.

That might be some old warseers headcanon I’m misremembering though.

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#5
Knight of the Raven

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I suspect it's headcanon, because as far as I remember the C'tans were actually bitter enemies of anything Warp-related since the beginning. They were in the Dark Crusade and Soulstorm Necron post-enemy stronghold victory epilogues, at least.



#6
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I thought the C’Tan were the manifestations of the chaos gods in the form Necrons would understand them? Nightbringer was Khorne, Deciever was Tzeentch, the Dyson Sphere one beyond the galaxy was Nurgle, and I can’t remember the last one.

That might be some old warseers headcanon I’m misremembering though.

 

Yeah thats headcanon I'm pretty sure.


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#7
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I prefer the current Necron lore.  To be fair, I hardly interacted with the old lore, but it felt very generic.  The "new" stuff might have more issues but it also has more character. 

 

The C'tan probably would have been stronger than the Chaos gods at the time of the War in Heaven.  The warp was weaponized to fight the C'tan and Necrontyr so if the Chaos gods had existed then they'd have been tiny compared to now.  So they could easily have been a match for them then but still be chumps by comparison now.  But I like the idea of a more powerful C'tan, like the Necron equivalent of a Knight that is just a big shard or several shards fused.



#8
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The old lore was more of a defined trope perhaps, but the new lore just feels too much like Tomb Kings in space to me.

They lost something of their 'otherness' a fair bit less alien, and clearly far more easy to understand and identify with.

I do like that they all suffer from mental illness now.
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#9
karden00

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Cheers to the mods for moving/creating this. 

 

I of course have baggage from the 3rd ed dex. 

As several have pointed out, they had an ominous, powerful feel to them that was quite appealing to me. I loved that they were left largely undefined. It's kind of like having 2 legions of space marines just missing so that you can make your own headcannon up, but at the scale of an entire race/faction. 

I liked that rather than variety, they had a small selection of units that were quite versatile, except when it came to CC. Even if Pariah's (coolest models EVER!) had arguably one of the best CC weapons in the game for several editions, they were still ws 4, a 1, so....youre not going to find too many tales of how peoples Pariah units just pwnd. 

 

The C'tan! I loved that the Nightbringer was an ungodly beast! I mean yeah, scout snipers could laugh him off the table, but otherwise, he was a model that, imo, had a ruleset that perfectly matched his lore. The C'tan now are, in my opinion, an extension of what has happened to Necron lore at large. They are made *wacky* and fun, less individually potent (does anyone really field them often?) and have lost their old, intimidating aspects. 

 

As I said, I loved the old lore, and to me, that is why the new lore is inimical. As many franchises have taught us, not everything needs to be fleshed out. The old Necrons did have room for individualization in terms of the army, in that the codex actually encouraged you to paint them in different schemes, not just chrome. I feel like MW/GW saw what was largely a blank slate fluff wise and said "hey, we have so much room to fill this out," and the rest was history. 


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'Lorgar has his own battles to fight, Erebus,' replied Horus sharply. 'Should he fail at Calth, all this will be for nothing if Guilliman's Legion is allowed to intervene.
You can always ally the Dark Angels to your current ultramarine force.
Never.
My Ultramarines aren't taking the field with traitors.
That's what Dark Vengeance is. A box of traitors.

 

"Now I have a plasma cannon. LOGISTICS LOGISTICS LOGISTICS."


#10
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I dont think its so much a matter of just filling things out, I think it has to be an intentional effort to reach out to the TK players of Fantasy and saying 'look, you can play 40K too!!'.

 

Which, is fine. I'm going to mess around with some FanFic, and see if I cannot come to a place I can accept.


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#11
chapter master 454

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I feel there was a limiting factor to the old lore. Like I said, they really were just 'Tyranids but worse' (and by worse I mean Tyranids would call gulliman to help them!). They filled the same role tyranids have, the ceaseless devouring menace. They went into hibernation to wait for the galaxy to restock the milk and cookies for the C'tan who were themselves near on unstoppable. (The Deceiver even was screwing with some Imperium worlds from the inside for the hell of it as noted in a short story about a doomed Callidus)

 

This change I feel does give them a 'wacky' feel but I did mention they are a form of contrast to Eldar whom are their main rivals. Where Eldar are bitterly proud and full of themselves despite the fall, the Necrons are Proud to the point of delusion thinking they can easily reconquer the stars by themselves and not as one combined force. They have incredible power still, Gauss weaponry is still lorewise able to put a hole in any tank regardless of the level of it (even the basic Flayer rifle can).

 

The main point I contend is that back then they really were just "Mecha-Tyranids". Even back then they were a little wacky with having little rhyme or reason to their actions. They needed to be shifted from that nearly identical role of tyranids and have something of their own as the "Faceless consuming threat" was already taken. The way their old lore was it was saying they would ultimately win EVERYTHING. Due to how powerful they were no-one would be able to stop them and even in the lore the 'Old-ones' built the Eldar and Orks as a counter measure but even then looking at it, those are ether now not strong enough or now an endless reserve of food for the C'tan.

 

I actually enjoy the necrons now with some feelings of longing for some elements of seriousness for them now however lets not lie, they are certainly leaving several Imperium commanders with burns with how they talk to them (I think it was Imotekh to Helbretch which was the most stinging).


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#12
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There's a different kind of horror between the old Necron and Tyranids. Tyranids are not evil, or angry, or hateful, or anything of the sort, they are simply hungry. They are all consuming.

 

Old Necron's had a very different feel, a true 'other' in the universe that at the time was unique and not humanized to make it easier for players to identify with.

 

Flayed Ones and Destroyers are probably the only remnants of that old feel. 

 

I think their eventual success is the same as any codex release however.

 

Chaos eventually will win.

Tyranids eventually will win.

Necrons (even NewCons) eventually will win.

Orks, if united, would win.

 

All the non-Eldar 'evil' races have this shared trait.


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#13
chapter master 454

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There's a different kind of horror between the old Necron and Tyranids. Tyranids are not evil, or angry, or hateful, or anything of the sort, they are simply hungry. They are all consuming.

 

Old Necron's had a very different feel, a true 'other' in the universe that at the time was unique and not humanized to make it easier for players to identify with.

 

Flayed Ones and Destroyers are probably the only remnants of that old feel. 

 

I think their eventual success is the same as any codex release however.

 

Chaos eventually will win.

Tyranids eventually will win.

Necrons (even NewCons) eventually will win.

Orks, if united, would win.

 

All the non-Eldar 'evil' races have this shared trait.

 

That's the grim-dark nature of warhammer 40,000. Everyone else wins except the Imperium.

Sorry, quick stab at how people love grim-dark and don't realise one sides grim-dark is another noble-bright.

 

Necrons I think have potential to be an incredibly terrifying race that have their own desires to the point of being erratic. The only necrons under control are the ones so far gone with their long rest that they really have no ability to pose real threat. I believe in lore there was one planet that could set clocks to necron attacks and would repel them mostly as training exercises. However, I think the imagery of a necron fleet arriving to a beleaguered Imperial guard defense against tyranids or a massive ork attack to quickly and effectively annihilate the enemy forces for their own purposes and just not bother with the guard purely because they are so defenseless they take pity on them. Maybe even have it the necron warlord arrives where the warboss just breaches a defense line in front of an imperial commander and promptly puts a tachyon arrow through the warboss, his battlewagon and several other ork vehicles and infantry, killing all in one flick of the wrist.

 

"You pitiful humans think the powers of those beyond that veil are powerful? You think those who use that archaic anathema are able to do terrible things? Let me show you what a true master of reality can do" - Necron Warlord prior to killing an warboss and his battlewagon full of orks with his Tachyon Arrow, Addressing an imperial guard commander beseeching his psyker to unleash his power to kill the warboss.

 

They are meant to have a mastery of science that is their version of 'psychic' powers. They can alter the flow of time, cause projectiles to fly at 'impossible' speeds and their ships need naught any mention of warp travel to move around. While Eldar are able to Dimensionally tear tanks and infantry asunder, the Necrons will with just their basic troops leave naught trance of even the regiments and aliens they defeat for they destroy things so completely, so thoroughly just as happenstance of their most simple weapons.

While wacky they do possess a certain elegance in their ability to defeat opponents.

I believe one necron world GAVE orks Doomsday arks as a 'please leave us alone' but naturally the orks took them then attempted to use them against the Necrons. The resulting malfunction from those weapons mishandled by the orks wiped out their entire forces, these 'Vindicator' style tanks possessing such a magnitude of power equal to that of a shadowsword's volcano cannon.

 

Necrons may be a little unhinged but by no means are they nothing but terrifying once you stop and realise what these 'wacky' aliens can do to you. Surprised there isn't a necron lord who literally does JoJo's bizarre adventures level of 'ZA WURADO!' with time.


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#14
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Grimdark is near to my heart, not sure I should go down that road. :P

What difference is there between a Zeno race with tech on the level of magic from one to the next?

Does that Guard regiment care that it was an Eldar force with a Webway Portal, or a Necron force stepping through the 6th Dimension?

Does the Rhino care if it's a Gauss Weapon that puts a hole in it, or a Wraithguards Gun?

Does that Sister of Battle show any greater fear towards an Haemonculous villainous dialogue, compared to a Phaeron who must end every statement with a question since he woke up?

I mean I'm not going say you are having 'wrong fun' but I don't think you are seeing just what made old Necrons unique.

NewCrons are now a much more identifiable race, than the very alien roots they had before.

I mean the fact they have been given very human mental illnesses...it's about the only thing I like, and even that is just an effort to make them more human.

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#15
Lord_Caerolion

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My issue is that the old lore felt like it should have been kept for a vaguely hinted-at threat that only existed in the fluff. The whole "Slaves to the C'Tan" thing meant it boiled down to "my army is enslaved by the Nightbringer", or whatever C'Tan you chose. Independant Tomb World? Nope, didn't happen. Your own Necron Lord? Exact same personality as all the others, thanks to the transference. There was no substance to them. They'd work great as ominous hints scattered around the fluff of an awakening evil, with xenoarchaeologists finding mentions of the C'Tan and their undying Necron legions, but it never really felt like something to play as.

 

As others have mentioned, the themes the OldCrons had were largely the same as the Tyranids (utterly inhuman beings seeking to destroy all life) or the Daemons (unknowable beings beyond mortal comprehension casting their gaze at the galaxy once more). There was nothing to them beyond the hook of "ancient cthonic race waking from the slumber of aeons". The NewCron codex basically just said "hey, what if we made the entire army other than the C'Tan not just all be mindless slaves?"

 

Karden00 has mentioned that the OldCrons were a blank slate that you could make your own headcanon, but at the extent they were you may as well have just made up your own race entirely and used Counts-As. Headcanon is one thing, hell, my own army is based entirely around it, but you have to have some sort of framework to base it off, so that it can be slotted in to the larger 40k universe. No, not everything needs to be fleshed out, but there's a difference between fleshing something out, and being told "they had personalities millions of years ago, now they've been mind-wiped and enslaved by maybe-gods, off you go".


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#16
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I found the Old Necrons to be boring in the same way I find the Tyranids to be boring. I'm the sort to like to customize and personalize my armies. All of my leaders and champions have their own names and fluffy backstories.

 

I would have never started my Necron army under the old fluff. So I am quite happy with the new lore, though I think that some of the more goofy and silly elements of it could be toned down.


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#17
chapter master 454

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I found the Old Necrons to be boring in the same way I find the Tyranids to be boring. I'm the sort to like to customize and personalize my armies. All of my leaders and champions have their own names and fluffy backstories.

 

I would have never started my Necron army under the old fluff. So I am quite happy with the new lore, though I think that some of the more goofy and silly elements of it could be toned down.

 

This I agree with entirely. Necrons I think are one of the races that have room for these more 'wacky' tones due to their natural hubris and pompous nature coupled with their arrogance. However I think it should be reserved for one character that we all love and that's it: Trazyn the "Troll" Infinite. He is a wonderfully colourful character whose actions make sense for such a race and is always a great read however he does retain an element of incredible power. He does go out of his way to 'collect' units and certain persons which is to say nothing of the which incredibly difficult for most yet he does it as a HOBBY!

 

I would actually like to see more of anarykr the traveller and see how his labours pan out. I would like to see him succeed in a similar way to abaddon yet fail similarly: Unite many under one banner but lose control once a major victory is achieved thus ruining everything he has built.


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#18
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I'm a big fan of the OldCrons (their 3rd Edition Codex might actually be my overall favourite in terms of atmosphere) but I can definitely appreciate why they took the Necrons in the direction that they did and how it's made them far more interesting to approach in terms of individual character. However powerful the nightmarish cthonic air of the classic Necrons might have been they were, as has been covered above, largely suited for the outsider role as a mysterious race we only really experienced through the eyes of the terrified mortal races. They were all too similar to the Tyranids from a narrative perspective but with somewhat different trappings.

 

I haven't read a massive amount of NewCron material, but I genuinely love how Forgeworld reconciled the new and old lore through their Maynarkh Dynasty (paranoid and genocidal leaders of armies riven by the Flayer Curse), and I would definitely recommend Devourer from the Shield of Baal saga for anyone looking to get a better understanding of the Necron character. It even has Anrakyr in it!


Edited by Commander Dawnstar, 04 January 2018 - 08:19 AM.

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#19
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Awww I loved the old, PROPER fluff of the Necrons. They went from a malicious, pervasive and all but unstoppable galactic force, to ANTOHER empire of mortals with all the trappings of mortal foibles that we read about all the time.

<Yawn>

The feel of the previous background material in 3rd edition for Necrons was excellent. Really top notch innovation. The changes were for the bad as they stepped on all of this.

Remember talking about what the Outsider was up to? Or what influence the Dragon had on the Adeptus Mechanicus?

Now gone.

Instead we got the Storm Lord.

GW are bringing in ever more powerful models and could have easily added the C'tan in that sort of level but now we just have Shards which is a crying shame.

Sure I get GW wanted the kids to pick up armies with some character just in case they couldn't use their imaginations, but Necrons Lords could have retained a glint of their autonomy when away from the C'tan masters, giving scope for rival factions and even a breakaway dynasty free of the influence of the C'tan.

But no.

#20
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It is interesting to look back now at the oldcron fluff and see just how profoundly Graham McNeill and his love of Lovecraft influenced their tone. Cosmic beings which defy mortal conceptions of time and space and are tied into aeon old slumber, readying to awaken. Its classic stuff. Not too surprising that McNeill has written Cthulhu novels since then, and his description of the fall of the Emperor's Children in Fulgrim is straight from the Lovecraft handbook of degeneration into evil perversion. 

 

That said, Newcron fluff makes them feel more developed as a faction in my opinion.


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#21
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Awww I loved the old, PROPER fluff of the Necrons. They went from a malicious, pervasive and all but unstoppable galactic force, to ANTOHER empire of mortals with all the trappings of mortal foibles that we read about all the time.

<Yawn>

The feel of the previous background material in 3rd edition for Necrons was excellent. Really top notch innovation. The changes were for the bad as they stepped on all of this.

Remember talking about what the Outsider was up to? Or what influence the Dragon had on the Adeptus Mechanicus?

Now gone.

Instead we got the Storm Lord.

GW are bringing in ever more powerful models and could have easily added the C'tan in that sort of level but now we just have Shards which is a crying shame.

Sure I get GW wanted the kids to pick up armies with some character just in case they couldn't use their imaginations, but Necrons Lords could have retained a glint of their autonomy when away from the C'tan masters, giving scope for rival factions and even a breakaway dynasty free of the influence of the C'tan.

But no.

 

To play devil's advocate though, did anybody actually discuss the Necrons themselves? The Necrons themselves were just the robot hordes of two special characters. Could the Necron fluff have been expanded in a different way to keep more elements of the old lore? Yeah, probably. Did that make the old lore appropriate for an actual tabletop army, rather than just a pervasive threat in the lore? No. No other race boiled down to "which of these two special characters is your army enslaved by?"

The old fluff that everybody loves was the C'Tan fluff. The Necrons had none. They were an army of shooty zombies, with elite zombies with better guns, stabby zombies, floating zombies, led by a zombie who could fight a bit better.

 

The NewCrons still are "malicious, pervasive, and (an) all but unstoppable galactic force", they just removed the "mindless" part. There's still something under Mars, which appears to be at least part of the Dragon. We know some C'Tan are reforming, and the Shards allow the true C'Tan to be what they were described to be. They're supposed to be cthonic entities that reshape reality at a whim, instead we got different Greater Daemons that could be taken down by a unit of Scouts with sniper rifles. To have the C'Tan be what they previously were described as, they'd essentially be insta-win buttons. These are beings that fought the Eldar gods themselves at the height of their power, the only thing the Eldar had to effectively fight back. To truly represent stuff like that, you'd essentially have to have "S50 T50, W50, Reduce all incoming Damage by D6, to a minimum of 0".

 

If people still want OldCrons, we know there are Shards that have escaped their prisons, that are reforming. We know that there are Tomb Worlds whose Legions are exactly as independent as the OldCrons. The OldCrons still exist. Old-style C'Tan still somewhat exist, just not at the height of their power. The only thing that has changed is that that no longer comprises the entire Necron race.


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#22
Captain Idaho

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Necrons just feel like silver Eldar to me now. Ancient race fallen from grace with tech bordering on magical to lessor races.

Gone is the mystery.

Whilst I agree that people focussed on the C'tan as the driving force of the Necrons and seldom discussed the Necrons themselves, there are two counter points to this:

1) Yeah, and? Deliberately flippant to underline the point - please don't take offence. It doesn't matter that we werenr interested in Necrons. Most people don't discuss Eldar Guardians or Hormagaunts very much either. They were the tragic vehicle for the feel of the C'tan. What made each game without the C'tan feel like they were still pulling the strings was the mindlessness of the Necrons. This was linked to the fate of the other races. (Check out the section in 3rd edition Necrons that depicted the end game of the C'tan.

2) Necrons Lords and Overlords (if you needed the distinction could easily have retained intellect. Imagine if they were unable to disobey the C'tan but could operate semi autonomously? How tragic would that be and imagine now an Overlord trying to free himself despite thus and having to work around it.

It's all such lost potential. :(

#23
Lord_Caerolion

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The silver Eldar accusation does hold some water, but the comparisons between the Necrons being mindless to nobody discussing Guardians/Hormagaunts ignores that with the Guardians, I could come up with my own Craftworld, and could develop an entire culture for them. Were they expansionists, like Biel-Tan, were they insular like Iyanden, did they still venerate the old Pantheon, or have they given themselves entirely to Khaine, etc. With the Necrons, my choice of Tomb World boiled down to "are they slaves to the Nightbringer, or the Deceiver?" I could come up with my own Lord, but it barely even remembers its own name, so why really bother? My choice is literally just colour-scheme, army composition, and maybe what special character I want to use. Who were they? Doesn't matter, hasn't mattered in millions of years.

 

It's interesting that you mentioned Hormagaunts, because to use your own analogy, the old Necrons were silver Tyranids. A newly-encountered race by the galaxies inhabitants, unhindered by emotion or individuality, working to destroy all other life in the galaxy, all organised by an inhuman force that directs them ever onwards. The alien horror of the C'Tan was pretty much the same as the alien horror of the Hive Mind, the Hive Mind just lacks the Cthulhu-esque ancient cyclopean structures encountered on dead worlds. They're still both utterly inscrutable, nigh-incomprehensible alien gods turning their eyes upon humanity, before which we are but specks of dust.


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#24
Scribe

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Yes, we used to discuss old Necron's and Eldar, in the Portent/Warseer days...


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#25
NTaW

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Just want to say, this thread is great. 

I fell in love with Necrons right away when they came out with White Dwarf rules, the old zombie robots from space really got to me as a kid (hasn't changed). When I came back to the hobby after skipping most of 4th and 5th editions I was a little confused at first but then considered that we now know more of the story. I now see the Tomb Worlds of yester-edition as similar to the wrongful (or at least only minimally true) assessment most of the Imperium made about the Tyranids; that they were merely beasts moving on instinct instead of driven by a hive mind just like Necrons were merely mindless robots coming out of the sands instead of driven by a variety of purposes (C'Tan, insanity, recovering power and establishing a new Necron order, also more insanity).






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