What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

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What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-03-08 09:50pm

I recalled a thread I had looked at years ago on SpaceBattles (I browsed both it and these forums long before I joined here) in which a hypothetical scenario was posited in which the Eye of Terror is replaced with Borg space. With the Borg setting their sites on Cadia. The thread in question is located here.

Now, I'm somewhat familiar with Star Trek, but a lot less so with WH40K, and naturally my interest was piqued by this post:

Also. If the Borg are very lucky and make it into orbit, and then set about tearing up the landscape, not only will they have the Imperium to deal with, but it's likely the necrons on Cadia will intervene on humanity's side again.


And its response:

Oh those poor cybernetic bastards....



So I'm really curious now. I guess the best way I can phrase my question is: what would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons entail? Just how royally screwed are the Borg or Necrons in this scenario?

Also: the linked thread features a certain Borg-fanboy named "Mith" who visited this site briefly as well. Naturally his wankery gets torn to shreds there too. 8)
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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby Juubi Karakuchi » 2017-03-09 07:59am

WH40K scenarios are inevitably tricky, due to all the inconsistencies in the source material and a lack of hard quantificatons. This seems to be a deliberate approach on the part of Games Workshop; perhaps using the Unreliable Narrator narrative device, or because they can't be bothered to enforce consistency to the level Versus Debaters tend to want. An example is that Imperial cruisers were generally thought to be around three kilometres long (based on a description in Gordon Rennie's 'Execution Hour'), while some debaters argued they were much smaller, and GW eventually set them at five kilometres long in the Rogue Trader RPG books. That said, the sheer amount of written background material allows preponderance of the evidence to come into play. Connor Mcleod has done yeoman service analysing it over the years, as can be found in the Grand 40k Sticky.

Necrons are also difficult because their capabilities haven't been described in the same kind of depth as, say, the Imperial forces (who the primary protagonists in 40k background material). They have also had a rather controversial rehash for the 5th Edition, in which the role of the C'tan has been significantly altered and the Necrons themselves actually granted a culture. Personally I liked the rehash, others hated it. For this stage of the analysis, I'm going to avoid the comparatively rare, high-level stuff like the C'tan shards and the Celestial Orrery. I don't have all day.

Individual Necrons are essentially androids with bodies made of 'living metal', with varying levels of physical and mental capability. Low-ranking Necrons were granted relatively simple bodies, meaning that they retained little sense of self, whereas their nobles and dynastic lords recieved bodies so sophisticated that their memories and identities survived intact; though somewhat lacking in emotion. Their bodies are capable of self-repair, and will 'phase out' (aka teleport away) if too badly damaged to repair on the spot. Their primary weapon is the Gauss Flayer, which projects a 'molecular disassembling beam, reducing flesh, bone, and even armour to its constituent atoms' (7th Edition Codex, p. 113). Considering that Borg drones can be killed by particle beams, bullets (or at least the holographic variety) and blades, Gauss weapons should work well enough on them.

The first big question for a Borg vs Necron encounter is whether or not a drone's shields can resist Necron weaponry. Without a firepower calculation or any meaningful notion of how Borg shields work, I can't reliably answer this one. That said, that the crew of the USS Enterprise NX-01 were able to defeat Borg drones by overcharging their Phase pistols to a ten-megajoule output (Season 2: 'Regeneration'); so they should be able to overwhelm Borg drones by sheer weight of fire.

The next big question, and the one that will prey on a lot of minds, is whether or not Necrons can be assimilated. This depends on whether or not a drone can inject nanoprobes into a Necron if he gets close enough, and whether said nanoprobes can actually do anything. In the latter case, the Necrons' lack of a circulatory system is a major count against them; the Necrons have no bloodstream to move through, or cells to assimilate. That said, we've seen Borg drones interact with and seemingly assimilate technology ('Regeneration' once again). But this could be explained by the drone hacking the system rather than pumping nanoprobes into it. But then again the question arises; can a drone not hack a Necron in the same manner? I have no answer.

A bigger and more important question is how their ships compare. The only information on Necron fleets comes from Battlefleet Gothic, and was done based on the 3rd Edition version. I'm not entirely sure the Necrons currently possess starships, as I don't know of any descriptions based on the current version. These days the Necrons use Dolmen Gates to forcibly access the Eldar Webway, so they might not necessarily need them. That said, their current 'attack craft' are the Night Scythe and its variant, the Doom Scythe. The Night Scythe doubles as a mobile teleporter, carrying a Wormhole portal to deploy troops. The Doom Scythe carries a 'Death Ray' instead, reputedly allowing a full squadron to reduce a hive city to 'fulminated slag' in less than an hour. This is not looking good for the Borg.

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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-03-09 09:21am

Necron fleets are, by the fluff (which in the current part of the setting hasn't changed a huge amount) utterly lethal to 40K level ships. I recall one mention in the 3rd edition Necron Codex (which related to 40K-era events, so again not changed) that recounts a Tombship blowing an Imperial cruiser in half with a single shot. Plus the fact that five Necron light cruisers breached the defences around Mars (the second most heavily guarded planet in the Imperium, after Terra, and a major Fleet base) with one of them surviving long enough to land on the surface.

Yeah, space-combat-wise the Necrons utterly outclass pretty much everyone else in the 40K setting, which as a whole utterly outclasses anything from ST. On the ground it's even worse, as they like to move around a lot, which will fuck up the Borg approach of "march forwards to assimilate things" quite effectively. And that's without including some of their more exotic units, like the aforementioend C'Tan Shards and the nasty thing called an Aeonic Orb (which is a spatially-compressed star that vents it's fury at the enemy).

I'm going with something like "The Borg encounter a Tomb World andthe initial Borg force is obliterated."

Given that the OP mentioned a scenario where the Eye of Terror is replaced by Borg space, this could actually be an amazingly good thing for the 40K setting. Chaos just got fucked over, replaced by an enemy tht they can fight much more effectively, though the Mechanicus may well shit themselves voer examining Borg cybernetics.
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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2017-03-09 10:10am

Borg nanites can't follow a Necron that does its phase shift shuffle.
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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-03-09 06:21pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:*Snip*


"Assimilies, have you ever seen a grown male drone scream?" :lol:

That's pretty amazing though. And getting Chaos out of the way would be an improvement for the IoM. One less enemy to fight! Or even two less if the Dark Eldar stop their shenanigans now that Slaanesh is gone.
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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-03-09 07:59pm

SolarpunkFan wrote:
Eternal_Freedom wrote:*Snip*


"Assimilies, have you ever seen a grown male drone scream?" :lol:

That's pretty amazing though. And getting Chaos out of the way would be an improvement for the IoM. One less enemy to fight! Or even two less if the Dark Eldar stop their shenanigans now that Slaanesh is gone.


That actually brings to mind an interesting thought...if you showed an individual drone something terrifying enough, and that fact/image/whatever is shared with the Collective...could you make the entire Collective shit itself at once?

As for the serious point, I think that given what the OP said about the Eye of Terror being replaced with Borg space, Chaos et al. would still exist, but they've lost their main gateway into the material world. Warp travel will still be a bitch. Depending on what happens to the stuff in the Eye of Terror when this change occurs, it may also remove most or all of the Traitor Legions and Daemon Primarchs, which is very good news. It may also royally piss off the Eldar, since the Eye contained most of their lost worlds.

On the (even more) plus side for the Imperium, they now have the 30-40 plus Space Marine Chapters founded solely to help guard the Eye free to go Borg hunting. 35,000+ very angry and well-equipped Space Marines with perhaps 120 or more Battle Barges (40K capital ships, powerful ones to boot) plus escorts is no small force. Plus the unrivaled tactical genius of Castellan Creed (sorry, CREEEEEEED!) on Cadia to back them up.
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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-03-09 08:41pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:That actually brings to mind an interesting thought...if you showed an individual drone something terrifying enough, and that fact/image/whatever is shared with the Collective...could you make the entire Collective shit itself at once?

As for the serious point, I think that given what the OP said about the Eye of Terror being replaced with Borg space, Chaos et al. would still exist, but they've lost their main gateway into the material world. Warp travel will still be a bitch. Depending on what happens to the stuff in the Eye of Terror when this change occurs, it may also remove most or all of the Traitor Legions and Daemon Primarchs, which is very good news. It may also royally piss off the Eldar, since the Eye contained most of their lost worlds.

On the (even more) plus side for the Imperium, they now have the 30-40 plus Space Marine Chapters founded solely to help guard the Eye free to go Borg hunting. 35,000+ very angry and well-equipped Space Marines with perhaps 120 or more Battle Barges (40K capital ships, powerful ones to boot) plus escorts is no small force. Plus the unrivaled tactical genius of Castellan Creed (sorry, CREEEEEEED!) on Cadia to back them up.


I don't think the Collective in total will as (if the FC novelization is to be believed) the drones have their original personalities locked down (which is hellish for the people "trapped" inside).

But the Borg Queen... maybe she'll faint? :P

Also moving to the serious point: sounds like this might make for an entertaining fanfic. Though I'll have to get a lot better than my current scribblings to do the concept justice.
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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby bilateralrope » 2017-03-09 11:37pm

Juubi Karakuchi wrote:The first big question for a Borg vs Necron encounter is whether or not a drone's shields can resist Necron weaponry.


If the Borg shields can, that just moves the fight to melee range. I can't see the Borg doing well in melee against anyone in 40K

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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby Q99 » 2017-03-10 04:23am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:Borg nanites can't follow a Necron that does its phase shift shuffle.



It also strikes me that living metal won't be the easiest thing to assimilate to begin with. It's basically like nanotech itself, and it may have some level of active defense to small scale takeover.

So the Necrons are really well suited to blowing up Borg and being hard to take in return.

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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby NecronLord » 2017-03-10 07:47am

Juubi Karakuchi wrote:A bigger and more important question is how their ships compare. The only information on Necron fleets comes from Battlefleet Gothic, and was done based on the 3rd Edition version. I'm not entirely sure the Necrons currently possess starships, as I don't know of any descriptions based on the current version. These days the Necrons use Dolmen Gates to forcibly access the Eldar Webway, so they might not necessarily need them. That said, their current 'attack craft' are the Night Scythe and its variant, the Doom Scythe. The Night Scythe doubles as a mobile teleporter, carrying a Wormhole portal to deploy troops. The Doom Scythe carries a 'Death Ray' instead, reputedly allowing a full squadron to reduce a hive city to 'fulminated slag' in less than an hour. This is not looking good for the Borg.



The BFG period necron starfleet was confirmed as existing in the Shield of Ba'al books, where they appear.

They also have Inertialess drive in those, even though the previous codex (5th edition) disavowed its existance. Shield of Ba'al is more recent.

It's not just a slip, either, it's a key plot point that the necrons have inertialess drive and can ignore the problems caused by the tyranids in the warp.

Necron lore is a mess at present. Personally I reconcile it by mentally saying that inertialess drives are rare and were created by the C'tan, not the necrons, but there's no actual lore explaining why the latest sources say they do have them and the previous say they don't.

My full comments will follow.
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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby NecronLord » 2017-03-10 07:49am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Plus the unrivaled tactical genius of Castellan Creed (sorry, CREEEEEEED!) on Cadia to back them up.

Admiral Quarren, commander of Battlefleet Cadia, is also excellent.
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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby NecronLord » 2017-03-10 07:53am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:Borg nanites can't follow a Necron that does its phase shift shuffle.

Actually I would think that they can. The Imperium used a homing device shot into a necron to track it after it was teleported back to its tombs, for instance.
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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-03-10 08:33am

NecronLord wrote:
Eternal_Freedom wrote:Plus the unrivaled tactical genius of Castellan Creed (sorry, CREEEEEEED!) on Cadia to back them up.

Admiral Quarren, commander of Battlefleet Cadia, is also excellent.


I don't doubt it, but I'm more familiar with Creed's badassery (a nasty side-effect of reading 1d4chan). Battlefleet Cadia can join all those Space Marine forces in Borg hunting. Sweet :D
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Re: What would a fight between the Borg and the Necrons (WH40K) entail?

Postby NecronLord » 2017-03-10 11:19am

Canon

So, it's been nearly a decade since I posted in that thread on SB, but as it happens you just happen to have posted in the week when warhammer 40,000 lore is just about to wrap its biggest advancement in the history of the setting. As such, I'm going to give this the works.

I'm going to be talking about stuff up to the current (7th edition) batch of codexes without spoilers, as those have largely been out for years.

Things relating to the Gathering Storm trilogy, which has wrapped up Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade, will be in spoilers.

Methodology

I'll be following SciFights.net's hierarchical Vs criteria judgement in this. Sci-fights is a great site, and Brian's rational approach to what's important fits well with me.

Executive Summary of the Gathering Storm (Spoilers)

Spoiler
Hope is Back in the Grim Darkness - it's still pretty grim though. But the good guys (and I include the necrons in this!) are working together and the Imperium has made technical innovation legal, a major new faction of eldar have settled their differences with the Imperium somewhat, and are even looking to work with the necrons.

Trazyn the Eternal, a necron lord, saw the plight of the galaxy and, moved to help (partly for entertainment on his part), released several imperial heroes from his stasis-museum that he had captured over the Millennia, and led them to Cadia, where he tried to help the Imperium and Archmagos Cawl, one of the oldest of the Adeptus Mechanicus, use the Cadian Pylons to shut the Eye of Terror forever and therefore let the allies deny chaos its refuge and the benefits that come with easy daemon summoning.

Sadly for everyone, Trazyn's expertise is in history, not whatever necron super-science was used to construct the Pylons, and he seems to have miscalculated, with feedback from Abaddon's constant attacks destroying the Pylons and eventually Cadia itself.

Creed was mortally wounded in battle with Abaddon - who killed his lifelong friend Sergeant Kell too - before Celestine could rescue him. Celestine stabbed Abaddon and, wounded, Abaddon retreated by teleport.

Trazyn also fled, taking the mortally wounded Creed with him. It's not clear if Trazyn wants to preserve Creed for altruistic reasons, or if he's relapsed to his old ways and wants to put him on display somewhere.

Cadia exploded, and the surviving cadians - some few million - and their allies evacuated to one of the other planets in the system, where Abaddon's Black Legion closes in on all sides...

Image

Meanwhile, far across the galaxy Eldrad Ulthran began a ritual to bring forth Ynnead, the prophesyed Eldar God of the Dead, who would have the power to destroy Slaanesh utterly. This was thwarted by the Deathwatch - as it would also destroy the Imperium's ability to travel the warp - but a fraction of this god became active, and manifested itself by raising a prophet called Yvraine in Commoragh, where she was dying in the arena. The power of this momentary awakening shattered the wards in Commoragh and allowd daemons to invade it. Yvraine, Prophet of Ynnead escaped, converting many to her side on the way, while more traditional Dark Eldar try to contain the invasion - we're told that the dark eldar will reclaim their city, but a small myriad of them, particularly the lower class dark eldar have fled with Yvraine, because when they join her cult, they are freed from Slaanesh, and no longer feel the thirst for the suffering of others. Such is the power of the nascent god Ynnead.

They had many adventures which are somewhat tangenital, with portions of various craftworlds also joining with her - while others rejected it - and these eldar call themselves the Ynnari, or the Reborn, and their leaders have a fraction of the power of the God of the Dead. The truth of this religion is obvious when Yvraine finds that the Biel Tan craftworld is under siege and infestation by the powers of chaos, and draws forth a semi-daemonic avatar of Ynnead, which purges Biel Tan of the infestation, though the craftworld is devastated in the process.

The Ynnari can also give true awareness to wraith-constructs and in some cases, raise the dead.

The Ynnari know that to awken their god fully is impossible, for now, and they need time; they hold a council in the webway and determine that only way that the galaxy can be saved from chaos is if the Imperium of Man is reinvigorated. They head to where the survivors of the Cadian defenders are surrounded by Abaddon, and come to the rescue, kicking the tar out of the chaos followers long enough for the Imperials to evacuate.

Image

They've come for Cawl in particular, because the Ynnari know that the Imperium of Man can only be reinvigorated only by a major symbol of hope.

Long ago, after the Horus Heresy, Archmagos Cawl was commissioned to build a Darth Vader style life support suit capable of sustaining Roboute Guilliman through his physical injuries. This is no use as he was felled by a tainted weapon, but Cawl has had a modified tank carting it around with him everywhere ever since in the hope that some day he'd figure out a way to fix that.

The Ynnari can raise the dead.

They travel to Ultramar, which is under attack by another group of the Black Legion, and fight their way inside. The Ynnari - greeted with great suspision by the Ultramarines - and Imperials are bickering about whether or not to try it - the majority of the Ultramarines don't want to risk it, while their chief librarian does - when the fortress is breached by chaos space marines.

In the fighting as the Imperials and Eldar are being defeated by the Chaos Legionnaries, Yvraine and Cawl cut off the stasis field around Guilliman, he dies immediately; Yvraine does her sorcery, and Cawl puts him into the Darth Vader suit.

Guilliman rises, and immediately kicks the stuffing out of everything in reach, then takes over command of the defence and kicks the stuffing out of the Black Legion - who are thoroughly demoralized by this.

Pilgrims flock from all sides to Ultramar, and Guilliman decides that he has to go to Holy Terra, setting out with the survivors of the imperial faction. The Ynnari eldar depart at this point, but do say they hope to work alongside the Imperium again.

Many adventures follow, and ultimately Guilliman reaches Terra, goes into the chamber of the Golden Throne, and emerges again days later.

He proclaims himself Lord Commander of the Imperium, Leader of the High Lords of Terra, by the Will of the Emperor.
Image

As Saint Celestine has been supporting him, and Archmagos Cawl, as well as naturally, a very great number of space marines, the High Lords are forced to accept this. Guilliman removes several from office and replaces them, and Archmagos Cawl is sent to Mars to complete the other project Guilliman asked him to start long ago, and with a mandate to return innovation to the Adeptus Mechanicus.

There is jubilation across the Imperium and the leadership of Guilliman begins to turn the tide against chaos...

Elsewhere, the Ynnari are working with craftworld eldar to fight a host of daemons, when necrons appear and attack the Daemons. The Ynnari try to stop the craftworlders firing on the necrons once the daemons are dead, but do not succeed, and they are quite put out that the chance to make peace between eldar and necron is lost, for now.

Guilliman proclaims that the Second Great Crusade is to begin.

Faction Statuses:
Adeptus Mechanicus - Innovation is now legal. Science is permitted by order of the Lord Commander and the Emperor-Omnissiah.
Craftworld Eldar - Diminished in various ways, the new hotness is Ynnari
Chaos - Advancing everywhere, but losing momentum.
Dark Eldar - There are Daemons swarming in their house and a big chunk of their working class has run off.
Imperium - Bloodied but hopeful. The Dark Eldar are almost a non-issue now, competent leadership is here. The Imperium is rejoicing at the return of Guilliman.
Orks - Orking around. No change.
Tau - Irrelevant, Cawl ended their imperial ambitions with a superweapon in a previous book.
Tyranids - Heavily engaged with the Blood Angels and Necrons on the far side of the galaxy.

Don't believe me?
GW's Imperial Propaganda website
GW's community news website
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Vs Scenario

I'll be assuming the borg directly replace the Black Legion forces and the chaos forces in the Eye of Terror, but not the entire chaos faction, nor that other warp storms close.

I'll discuss how they compare both solo to the necrons.

And to the Eldar and Imperials as well.

Next post, logistics.
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