A Doomsday Ark is a Necron skimmer vehicle used as a massive, mobile weapons platform. A Doomsday Ark is no more or less than a mobile carriage for a Doomsday Cannon, perhaps the most powerful weapon in the Necrons' formidable arsenal.
Powerful enough to bring down an Adeptus Munitorum-standard M.39 “Scutum” prefabricated bunker in a single bombardment, a Doomsday Ark, when encountered, must be dealt with before it can move into firing position; for a single salvo can leave an entire army in ruins.
Whatever personal eccentricities they might individually favour, all Necron Overlords hold an absolute belief in victory through overwhelming firepower. Some of the Necron's bitterest enemies have claimed this is simply due to the Necron's android forms being somewhat less than impressive in swirling melee.
However, the truth of the matter is that as flesh and as machine, the Necrons have ever won their wars through the unrelenting application of superior technology.
As such victories are invariably won at a distance, all Necron battle codicils emphasise ranged superiority. Nowhere is this more evident in the Doomsday Ark; amongst the most feared of all weapons In the Necron arsenal.
The Doomsday Ark shares a basic appearance with the Necron Ghost Ark, but whereas the latter's primary purpose is to transport and effect repairs for the Necron soldiery, the Doomsday Ark exists only to bring ruination on the Necrons' enemies. In aspect, a Doomsday Ark appears deceptively fragile; its structure is skeletal and lacks the armour plates of more conventional battle vehicles. But to obsess on this apparent fragility is to overlook a Doomsday Ark's true purpose and potential.
It is not a battle tank intended to sit in the midst of a battle line, to give and receive punishing blows. Rather, the Doomsday Ark is nothing less than an enormous self-propelled Doomsday Cannon -- a weapon that can win a battle with a single shot. As overwhelming as the Doomsday Cannon is, those who face a Doomsday Ark may find small relief in the fact that its weapon draws on the same power reserves as the repulsor engines of the vehicle.
Any systems not directly pertaining to the Doomsday Ark's main armament are part of the motive units that power its anti-gravitic engines and propel it into position, or the shielding arrays that give it some measure of protection from enemy fire. Each of these secondary systems draws power from the same source as the Doomsday Cannon, and much of the pilot’s concentration is taken up ensuring that the energy distribution is appropriate to the tasks at hand.
As a result, a Doomsday Cannon is somewhat less effective when fired during or immediately following any significant movement of the craft. Then again, even a low power blast from a Doomsday Cannon rival the most hallowed of Adeptus Astartes Plasma Cannons for destructive potential.
Unlike other vehicles, a Doomsday Ark relies little on either evasion or resilience for survival. Rather, its pilot's entire defensive strategy is one of pre-emptive strike -- after all, enemies are infinitely less threatening once reduced to an expanding cloud of superheated energy. Thus does anything less than an overwhelming frontal assault on a Doomsday Ark inevitably end in disaster; the attacks vaporised long before their own weapons come into range.
Nor do attempts to outflank serve any better. While those experienced in combating heavy vehicles may think to attack from the rear, typically the most vulnerable approach for Imperial and xenos vehicles, this tactic is only of minor effectiveness against a Doomsday Ark.
Due to its living metal hull and extra-dimensional armour, a Doomsday Ark is in fact no more vulnerable to damage from the rear than from any other direction. While it is true that the rear is the one facing of a Doomsday Ark not brandishing weaponry, a mere few degrees of pivoting by the vehicle's pilot brings a broadside of linked Gauss Flayers to bear, ending all but the most determined assault.
Though ponderous in advancing, a Doomsday Ark can be brought around to a new heading with surprising speed; emerald energy beams lancing out to slaughter its would-be attackers. Further, all Nemesors realise the potential of a Doomsday Cannon to turn the tide of battle, meaning that the weapon is almost invariably defended by Necron Warriors or even more potent Necron units.
A Doomsday Ark is armed and equipped with the following:
- Doomsday Cannon - The Doomsday Cannon is a wonder of super-technology, easily eclipsing the primitive directed energy weapons of the Imperium of Man. Even fired at low power the Doomsday Cannon is a fearsome weapon; when firing at full effect, its searing energy beams burn many times hotter than more conventional Plasma Weapons. Infantry squads caught in the Doomsday Cannon’s fury are obliterated instantly whilst armoured vehicles are reduced to glowing slag. In the face of a shot from a Doomsday Cannon, nothing less than a Titan’s Void Shields can hope to offer anything more than a fool’s hope of protection. Because of the energy constraints that are inherent in the design of a Doomsday Ark, a Doomsday Cannon can only be fired at full power whilst the vehicle is not moving. If the vehicle does move, then the pilots must redistribute power to the dimensional repulsor motive units that keep the Doomsday Ark aloft and thus forcing the Doomsday Cannon to receive less power and fire a weaker, though still powerful, blast.
- Two Gauss Flayer Arrays – Doomsday Arks are each armed with two separate arrays of five Gauss Flayers -- one located along each flank -- enabling it to "broadside" enemy units on its side. These two arrays enable the Doomsday Ark to repel any enemy assaulters who manage to flank it, as well as those approaching from the rear due to the Ark’s swift turning speeds.
- Necrodermis - The armour of Doomsday Arks 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.
- Quantum Shielding - Doomsday Arks 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 Ark’s armour, after which it cannot be used again for some time.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
- Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pg. 48
- Codex: Necrons (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 177
- Deathwatch: The Outer Reach (RPG), pp. 139-140