The new Warhammer 40K Necron models are great quality of (eternal) life updates, but not essential

The trio of new Necron models for Warhammer 40K, arrayed on a battlemat
(Image credit: Ian Stokes)

The Necron faction from Warhammer 40K are a civilization of immortal robots who traded away their souls for eternal life, fought a war with the gods, and then went to sleep for millions of years. However, us Necron players haven't been hitting snooze over the last few years - we've been feasting on new models. The faction was the major antagonist of the previous Warhammer 40,000 edition, and that meant we got a massive range refresh at the outset. Between the Indomitus Starter Box (the equivalent of 10th Edition's Warhammer 40K Leviathan set) and later releases, we had 17 new model kits, with a healthy mix of brand-new sculpts and reimaginings of old units, like the Skorpekh Destroyers and stalwart Necron Warriors respectively.

When the dust settled on the last edition, almost the entire Necron codex had been updated to plastic models with only a few special characters still available in resin. Necron players couldn’t have been happier, and we certainly weren’t expecting to get another big release wave so soon. So, imagine our delight when we were graced with three more kits alongside the 10th Edition Necron Codex. This latest batch includes Imotekh the Stormlord, Orikan the Diviner, and the Overlord with Translocation Shroud.

Are these new models worth picking up, or would they have been better left buried in the Tomb World? Well, as an avid Necron player, I grabbed all three to add to my force, so let's have a look at what we’ve got here.

There’s a storm coming

The new Imotekh the Stormlord model on a wasteland battlemat

(Image credit: Ian Stokes)

Of these three new models, two of them are resculpts of existing kits — Imotekh the Stormlord and Orikan the Diviner. These two are special characters that were first introduced to the Necron line back in 5th Edition, and it’s fair to say that their original models have aged like hot milk over the past 13 years (as is often the case with the best board games). Mercifully, both of them have been given glorious forms worthy of their stature with these new plastic sets.

Imotekh’s new incarnation is very reminiscent of his original model, with his staff held upright and his gauntlet of fire outstretched in a cliché “clutching the world in his hand” pose. His armored exoskeleton is more ornate than rank and file Necrons, and he’s adorned with a simply fabulous blackstone cloak. Beyond that, he’s been scaled up significantly from his stubby 2011 model — he’s taller, bulkier, and comes with a scenic base that makes him look even more imposing.

Quick comparison

Original Imotekh the Stormlord model on a plain background

(Image credit: Games Workshop)

While the pose and outfit are almost identical, 2011's Imotekh is far shorter, beefier, and only has a standard (much too small) base in comparison to the newer version.

While he’s not quite as flashy as some of the centerpiece models like The Silent King or Szeras, he’s still just an overlord at the end of the day, so a massive diorama base wouldn’t really have suited him. I think publisher Games Workshop did a great job of balancing his playability and grandeur with this set. Although it’s worth pointing out that the mold lines are pretty obnoxious on this model, so expect to do a lot of cleaning up with your hobby knife as you’re assembling it.

On the tabletop, Imotekh is a decent but not essential addition to your force. He’s not bad in a fight, and he’s reasonably tough to kill for his size, but Imotekh is a strategist, not a duelist. If you’re bringing him along, it’s to take advantage of his two abilities: Grand Strategist and Lord of the Storm.

Grand Strategist is a simple but powerful buff — it gives you an extra command point every battle round, letting you use more of your stratagems to turn the tide of the battle. Lord of the Storm is a once per game ability that lets him call down a massive lightning storm, doing mortal wounds to everyone within range. The command phase timing on this ability limits it a bit, as you need to carefully position yourself and then hope your opponent stays in range or doesn’t just kill you, but it’s very powerful if you can pull it off. 

Overall, he’s good, but not an absolute necessity.

Imotekh the Stormlord | $45 at Games WorkshopUK price: £27.50

Imotekh the Stormlord | $45 at Games Workshop
You can currently get Imotekh straight from Games Workshop, and even though we've seen it for less elsewhere (like at Miniature Market), stock can be iffy.

UK price: £27.50 £22 at Wayland Games

Divine intervention

Orikan the Diviner model on a wasteland battlemat

(Image credit: Ian Stokes)

The second old model to get an update is Orikan the Diviner, Master Chronomancer of the Necrons. He’s a special character Cryptek who specializes in manipulating the flow of time. He’s also got a hell of a party trick, because when the stars align he transforms into a being of pure energy, reaching a near god-like state for a brief stint.

The model itself showcases Orikan in his regular form. It’s a reimagining of his previous model in terms of posing, with Orikan raised up off the ground by his robotic tail as he clutches his Staff of Tomorrow. There have been some tweaks though, as he’s holding a Chronometron in his other hand. Otherwise, he’s had the same treatment as Imotekh, getting taller and bulkier like other modern Necron characters — his old model was hilariously small, sitting on a piddly 25mm base, so this new, more formidable Orikan is a huge upgrade.

Quick comparison

Old Orikan the Diviner model on a plain background

(Image credit: Games Workshop)

Want to see how the old version of the model compares? As with Imotekh, OG Orikan is much squatter and smaller than its modern counterpart. The pose is almost exactly the same, though.

In battle, Orikan’s Master Chronomancer rule grants any unit he joins a 4+ invulnerable save, greatly increasing their durability. Meanwhile, his The Stars Are Right rule lets him absolutely pop off in combat once per game, tripling his attacks and strength as well as letting him deal mortal wounds with every hit. He’s a great unit in the game in theory, but he’s held back because he can only join Warriors or Immortals; Immortals have better leader options and Warriors aren’t amazing at the moment. Still, if you’re bringing a big unit of Warriors, he’s one of the best choices to lead them.

Orikan the Diviner | $45 at Games WorkshopUK price: £27.50

Orikan the Diviner | $45 at Games Workshop
Orikan is a little easier to get your hands on than Imotekh, though stores where he's discounted (namely Miniature Marketplace) are out of stock too. Hopefully he'll return before long...

UK price: £27.50 £22 at Wayland Games

Teleport lord has places to be

Overlord with Translocation Shroud model on a wasteland battlemat

(Image credit: Ian Stokes)

The final model of the new Necron trio isn’t a remake of an older kit, but rather a completely new unit… kind of. It’s the Necron Overlord with a Translocation Orb. Now, Necron overlords aren’t new, they’ve been the backbone leader of the faction since 5th Edition, yet this overlord comes packing some new wargear that helps him to stand out, both as a model and a unit on the battlefield.

The translocation orb is basically a mini teleporter, letting the overlord (and any unit they’re leading) phase through nether-dimensions, bypassing terrain and even other models as they go. This awesome sci-fi tech manifests itself in the model, showing the Necron Overlord teleporting back into real space as he’s surrounded by sweeping energy patterns and parts of his body are missing (as they haven’t phased back in yet).

To Codex or not to Codex

Codex: Necrons on a starry background

(Image credit: Ian Stokes)

If you haven't grabbed the Necron Codex for 10th Edition yet, you really should. It adds a wealth of new playstyles to the faction, and most of the Detachments listed here feel great to play. You can find out more via my review

The energy effect is neat, though in lore terms I think this would have suited a Cryptek model more than an overlord, as they’re the techno wizards known for wielding science so advanced it looks like magic. It’s a minor complaint however, and the model does look fantastic.

In game terms, this means that the Necron Overlord’s unit can automatically advance 6” and pass through other units and terrain when it moves, which is incredibly useful for positioning your forces. In competitive games, he’s probably an unnecessary addition unless you need an overlord for other reasons. Lychguard and Warriors love being led by this guy, as their main weakness is that they're slow, and the translocation shroud helps to alleviate that.

Overlord with Translocation Shroud | $38 at Games WorkshopUK price: £24

Overlord with Translocation Shroud | $38 at Games Workshop
This is the cheapest of the three models on offer, but that doesn't mean it's any less cool. Still, if you have an Overlord already you're better off sticking with it because the changes here are mainly mechanical. If you're buying one for the first time, though? This is a doozy, and a real showstopper.

UK price: £24 £19.20 at Wayland Games

Should you buy the new Necron models for Warhammer 40K?

New Imotekh the Stormlord model alongside the old version, both on a wasteland battlemat

(Image credit: Ian Stokes)

None of the new Necron models are essential choices if you’re looking to build up your Necron force, but they’re all stunning sculpts that would make great figureheads for your budding Tomb World. As single character models, they’re not the best value for money when compared to full units. However, that’s always the case with Warhammer sets and, unlike rank and file units, you’ll only need one of each.

If you already have an overlord or two, I wouldn’t rush out to grab the Overlord with Translocation Shroud — while it’s a cool model, there’s nothing to stop you just playing your existing Overlord model and saying they’ve got the Translocation Shroud. I’d recommend filling out the rest of your force first and then coming back to this dude if you really like the design.

Imotekh and Orikan will come down to preference. While both are beautiful updates on the existing sculpts, they do both have basically the same pose. Neither is exceptional in the game right now, but you shouldn’t buy 40K models for their rules — rules change all the time, but beautiful models are, like the Necrons themselves, eternal.

For recommendations on what to play next, be sure to check out these must-have board games for adults or the best tabletop RPGs.

Ian Stokes

Ian Stokes is an experienced writer and journalist. You'll see his words on GamesRadar+ from time to time, but Ian spends the majority of his time working on other Future Plc publications. He has served as the Reviews Editor for Top Ten Reviews and led the tech/entertainment sections of LiveScience and as Tech and Entertainment Editor.