Not so much a tank but a mobile weapons platform, a Necron Annihilation Barge is so-named for its extreme destructive potential. Whilst slow moving and ponderous, mobility is not its purpose. It excels instead in its aptly named role -- annihilation. Using its devastating Tesla lightning weapons, an Annihilation Barge can eradicate entire formations of enemy infantry in mere moments; its bolts of electricity incinerating target after target. An Annihilation Barge is crescent shaped in appearance, with its main payload mounted atop its keel. Its open form is kept aloft by a sophisticated anti-gravitic engine, which allows the Barge to hover over any intervening terrain that might otherwise hamper its movement.
It is difficult to imagine a vehicle more unlike those manufactured by the Imperium of Man. In many ways, an Annihilation Barge bears even less resemblance to an Imperial tank than the similar anti-gravitic vehicles of the Tau Empire. Like the Necrons themselves, the Annihilation Barge is merely a skeletal frame for supporting its weapons. While it may appear to lack armour, this is not quite true. The bulk of its protection takes the form of Quantum Shielding, which only exists at the moment of impact of enemy projectiles; thus leaving the vehicle light and manoeuvrable.
Annihilation Barges are the Necrons' favoured anti-infantry support platforms. Each is armed with a twin-linked pair of Tesla Destructors -- enormous energy cannons that fire ferocious arcs of eldritch lightning. In their usual configurations, Annihilation Barges are set in fixed positions in the lowest and deepest sanctums of a Necron tomb. Should an intruder manage to circumvent the existing layers of traps, service robots and prowling Necron Warriors, he will then have to pass beneath the concealed alcove emplacements above cyclopean doorways in which the Annihilation Barges lie. An acrid discharge of emerald lightning later, and the interloper is naught but dust upon the tomb’s stale breezes. Any collateral damage from the discharge of its weapons within the tomb structure can be repaired in short order by robotic Canoptek Spyders and Canoptek Wraiths, and is well worth the annihilation of any intruders. When a Necron Overlord goes to war, the ancient repulsor sleds which keep Annihilation Barges aloft are coaxed back into life so that the vehicles' powerful firepower may be added to a Tomb World’s army.
In battle, Annihilation Barges lack the speed commonly associated with anti-gravitic vehicles and seldom swift enough to keep pace with even the ponderous advance of a Necron army. Indeed, their ponderous movement is more akin to the slow progress of Imperial tanks. As such, they will often be deployed as defences for strategic locations instead. From there, they can counter enemy scout elements without facing the risk of being swept aside by a concerted enemy attack. Not only does this deployment render valuable sectors of the battlefield immune to all but the most determined of enemy assaults, it also ensures that the Annihilation Barges themselves are guaranteed to find bloody purpose. Additionally, most Necron Overlords will often task a squad of Immortals and Necron Warriors to act as guards, so as to better protect the valuable Annihilation Barges. Such a partnership can prove advantageous for both parties -- the Annihilation Barge gains a screen of allies to drive back incoming assaults, whilst its bodyguards benefit from the vehicle’s immense firepower.
Nowhere are Annihilation Barges more commonly deployed than on the northern frontier planets of the Akannazad Dynasty. These Tomb Worlds are under perpetual assault from the Orks of Charadon, to whom the technology-rich and high ordered Necron planets present an irresistible lure -- both in terms of plunder and anarchic potential. Without the support of Annihilation Barges, many of these worlds would have long ago been overrun. Few other weapons can wreak as efficient havoc amongst an oncoming Ork horde. Primary blasts can shred the the armour from Trukks and Looted Wagons, while the wildly arcing lightning that follows will incinerate any Ork Boyz unfortunate enough to be advancing alongside.
All Annihilation Barges are crewed by a pair of hard-wired Necron Immortals with are especially suited to their role. This is due to unique systems which allow for the direct interfacing between them and the vehicle. This connection surpasses that of even the most advanced MIUs available to the Imperium, and in many ways there is no meaningful distinction between the craft and its crew.
- Twin-linked Tesla Destructor - An Annihilation Barge’s primary weapon is its Tesla Destructor, which is mainly an anti-personnel weapon though only the most heavily armed tanks can risk its wrath with utter impunity. The Tesla Destructor employs much the same lightning-arc technology as found in the smaller Tesla Cannons and Tesla Carbines. Its energy discharges of crackling lightning can wreak terrible harm on living targets; searing their flesh, melting their armour and boiling their blood. Furthermore, the Tesla bolts fired feed off energy released by the destruction they cause, often meaning that the lightning becomes more ferocious with each arc. So powerful are the blasts from a Tesla Destructor, and such is its shocking rapidity of fire, that the lightning fired is capable of leaping from target to target before they are finally grounded; leaving a trail of smouldering carnage across a broad swathe of the battlefield behind them.
- Tesla Cannon - Annihilation Barges commonly mount an underslung Tesla Cannon as a backup secondary weapon which, whilst less potent than the larger Tesla Destructor, is still capable of vaporising significant amounts of infantry.
- Necrodermis - The armour of Annihilation Barges is made up of the same living metal Necrodermis that makes up all Necron bodies and vehicles. Its remarkable regenerative properties allow it to automatically repair damage to itself; whether this is the regeneration of parts of its hull, the reknitting of metal plates, and the reconnection of circuits and other delicate systems to bring its weapon online again. Many a foe has celebrated prematurely after landing a solid hit on an Annihilation Barge only for it to exemplify its name later after a few moments or repair.
- Quantum Shielding - Annihilation Barges are also protected by a layer of Quantum Shielding which exists out of phase from the rest of the vehicle until the moment of deflection. It can deflect the first shot that would otherwise penetrate the Barge’s armour, after which it cannot be used again for some time.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
- Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pp. 49, 95
- Codex: Necrons (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 176
- Imperial Armour - Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 98
- Annihilation Barge