Last time I talked about Necron Warriors and using them as an anvil unit (as opposed to the old ‘hammer unit’ idea). I also said that there was one more thing that I did with them in my 1,500 point army to make them even better in this role. This added bonus come in the form of the Illuminor Szeras, a special character in the back of the book. I really like this guy. Stat-wise he’s not great. He’s got the same stat-line as an Immortal but with an extra wound and four attacks, which would be nice, but he doesn’t have a power weapon or a strength above four, so those attacks an go hang, frankly. I normally try to keep him out the fighting wherever possible. If he’s hanging around with the anvils unit, he normally hides in the middle of them o he can’t get punked out in an assault.
His equipment is alright, but not particularly spectacular. Nothing special to hit with in close combat, but he does give his squad defensive grenades and necrons, being what they are, need all the help they can get on the receiving end of a charge. His ranged weapon is pretty cool though. Like any Harbinger of Destruction (more on the Harbingers later…) he comes with an Eldritch Lance, which is a nice semi tank-buster at 36” range, S8 AP2, Assault 1. I wouldn’t rely on it to kill a vehicle (you just can’t do that with S8 in 5th Edition), but it does provided a nice added bite to his unit’s shooting. But at 100 points for him, he’d better bring more to board than an alright shooting attack, some defensive grenades and an extra wound. Fortunately, he does.
The big deal about the Illuminor is that at the beginning of the game he upgrades one of your basic Warrior or Immortal squads with a random upgrade. On a 1-2, they get upgraded with an extra toughness, on 3-4 they gain a ballistic skill and a 5-6 grants them an extra strength. None of these are bad, although some definitely aren’t as good as others. I’m talking about the strength upgrade here. Yeah, it’s nice to have, but in an ideal plan, these guys won’t be getting into a fight anyway. Nevertheless, it’s handy to have as a bonus. The ballistic skill upgrade is really nice, especially as I always choose my anvil squad for the upgrade and they pack so many guns that the BS5 really gets maximum results. When shooting at vehicles, you need all the hits you can muster to increase odds of getting that Immobilising glancing hit. But Toughness 5 is where the Illuminor really shines. The Warriors become so much work to take down, that in the (admittedly few) games I’ve played at 1,500 points, my opponent didn’t really bother trying to kill them. When upgraded to toughness 5, small arms won’t cut it anymore. You need ordnance to shift them. And even then, half of them will get back up again. Also, anything that allows more of them to remain standing in an assault to punch back is greatly appreciated at a pinch.
So, that’s my rundown of the Illuminor and my synergistic way of getting the most out of your basic Robot Zombies. Next up…