Enslave the Galaxy

Preview a Necrons Warlord from the Legions of Death Expansion


“All life will tear itself apart by my command.”

There are countless planets scattered throughout the Traxis sector, and many of these are unimaginably old—predating the Imperium itself. It is well known that older civilizations may once have settled on these planets, but even the ruins of these cultures have long since crumbled into dust… or so most believe. 

Beneath the surface of these planets, a new race has awoken from a slumber that lasted ages. In eons past, these conquerers transcended puny biological bodies, ascending to rule the galaxy and enslaving all who stood against them. Yet long before the foundation of the Imperium, these mechanical tyrants retreated into their tombs, and over the millennia, they were forgotten. As the first Necrons emerge from their underground tombs, one thing is certain: the other inhabitants of the galaxy shall not live long enough to forget their masters again.

The Necrons have awoken in their Tomb Worlds with Legions of Death, the second deluxe expansion for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest! Like The Great Devourer before it, Legions of Death introduces an entirely new faction to the game, allowing you to harness the mechanical cunning and hyper-advanced technology of the Necrons. Playing as the Necrons offers an experience that’s wholly different from any other faction, and today, we’ll explore some of those differences as we look at one of the Necron warlords from Legions of Death.

A Vision of Unending War

The first Necron you’ll encounter in Legions of Death is Nahumekh (Legions of Death, 1), a warlord driven by a single goal: the sight of every lifeform in the galaxy locked in a single gory battle. Only the extermination of biological life will satisfy Nahumekh, and to that end, he enslaves any lifeforms he can, forcing them into battle—whether they live and kill or die in agony, Nahumekh is well pleased. 

In the game, Nahumekh features two of the defining attributes of the Necrons—their ability to enslave other races and their highly advanced technology. Nahumekh’s ability reads, “Reaction: After the combat phase begins, a target army unit at this planet gets -X HP until the end of the phase. X is the number of non-Necron factions among units you control.” 

As we mentioned in the Legions of Death announcement, the Necrons have the ability to enslave common units from other factions. Throughout the game, you’ll use your enslavement dial, which shows the symbols of the seven factions on the alignment wheel, to choose a faction at the beginning of each round. Then, during that round, you can play units from your chosen faction, as well as Necron and neutral cards. Of course, you can choose the number of other factions you’ll include in your deck, but Nahumekh is sure to reward you for approaching his vision of all lifeforms in subjugation to him.

The ability to reduce another unit’s HP with Nahumekh’s power simply illustrates how far Necron technology reaches beyond the rest of the galaxy. Reducing a unit’s HP certainly makes it easier to kill, but this can also destroy an army unit directly by reducing their HP to zero. More importantly, because this reduces HP rather than inflicting damage, your opponent has no chance to counter with shields or cards like Indomitable (Core Set, 25)!

As you might expect, Nahumekh’s signature squad supports his vision of pitting the lesser races against each other. You’ll find four copies of Destroyer Cultist (Legions of Death, 2), an extraordinarily resistant army unit that gains an additional point of ATK for each non-Necron faction among your units. As the game goes on and more armies from other factions are brought under Nahumekh’s control, your Destroyer Cultists only become more lethal.

Bringing new factions into play enhances the abilities of Nahumekh and his Destroyer Cultists, but the number of new factions you can introduce is limited to one per round, since you only set your enslavement dial to a new faction at the beginning of a round. Fortunately, you’ll find a way to get around this limiting factor with The Staff of Command (Legions of Death, 5). This attachment can be wielded by Nahumekh, and as an Action, you can exhaust it to set your enslavement dial to any other faction, essentially allowing you to play units from two factions in a single deployment phase. 

You may also use The Staff of Command to set your enslavement dial to your opponent’s faction, allowing you to use your enslavement dial as an offensive tool with cards like Hate (Legions of Death, 4). There are two copies of this event in Nahumekh’s signature squad, and each allows you to destroy a target army unit by paying its cost in resources! You only need to ensure the chosen unit matches the faction shown on your enslavement dial, and that’s a small price to pay to destroy the biological lifeforms that oppose your rule.

The final card in Nahumekh’s signature squad gives your enslaved armies an unparalleled level of mobility. Obedience (Legions of Death, 3) is a support card, and after any phase begins, you can exhaust Obedience to move one of your non-Necron units to any target planet. Ultimately, Obedience gives you unparalleled versatility to counter your opponent’s schemes, whether you use it in the command phase to tip the balance at a crucial planet or before combat to prepare for a deadly attack. 

Bring Destruction to the Traxis Sector

Nahumekh’s defining themes aren’t limited to his signature squad alone—you’ll find a wealth of other cards in Legions of Death that play to these themes. Plenty of cards grow more powerful as you enslave more factions, but some also enhance the abilities of your enslaved units. The Immortal Vanguard (Legions of Death, 14), for example, is a relatively inexpensive unit that enhances the ATK and HP of every non-Necron Warrior unit at the same planet—potentially turning your slaves into a formidable fighting force. 

Alternatively, you may deploy a massive Doomsday Ark (Legions of Death, 27) against your foes. This Elite unit can deal plenty of damage in a single blow, but it can also bears the Area Effect (X) keyword, where X is the number of non-Necron factions among your units! Even Area Effect (2) can be lethal to many units, and as this value climbs throughout the game, your opponent will be hard pressed to have his armies survive a single blow from the Doomsday Ark. 

Other cards focus on portraying the devastating effects of the Necrons’ technology. The Gauss Flayer (Legions of Death, 34) can be given to any Necron army unit, and during a battle at the planet, you may take an Action and exhaust the attached unit to reduce the HP of any enemy army until the end of the phase. As discussed above, this can kill your enemy’s units without giving him a chance to use shields, but because you can use this as an Action, you can attack with a different unit and follow up by using the Gauss Flayer to destroy another army!

You can even meld both mechanics with an army unit like the Tomb Blade Squadron (Legions of Death, 19). This unit isn’t designed to participate in combat, but it’s excellent for sniping command struggles—after you deploy a non-Necron Scout unit, you can move the Tomb Blade Squadron to any planet. Then, a non-warlord unit at that planet suffers from a reduced HP until the end of the phase, allowing you to easily kill units like the Rogue Trader (Core Set, 171). 

Emerge from the Tomb

Dusty tombs are no longer the domain of the Necron race—the entire Traxis sector will kneel before you. Enslave the other factions as Nahumekh, and join us soon for another preview of Legions of Death and the second Necron warlord!

Head to your local retailer and pre-order the Legions of Death expansion today.

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