An automated weapons platform of strange design, a Necron Sentry Pylon is a tactical variant of the far larger Gauss Pylon. Although a paradigm lesser in scope than those great weapons, Sentry Pylons are nevertheless powerful devices, arcs of glittering metal equipped with a weapons array that can strike with power so great as to be almost beyond comprehension.
As the principal static heavy ordnance deployed by Necron forces, Sentry Pylons are a series of autonomous energy weapon constructs which display both formidable resilience and adaptability, as well as firepower capable of destroying heavy armoured vehicles and aircraft at extreme range. Their primary role is that as tactical artillery support and air-defence units. The principles of operation of these weapons systems remain outside the capacity of the Imperium’s Adeptus Mechanicus to understand, and reports of their deployment to the battlefield through unknown teleportation devices remain unconfirmed by the Ordo Xenos.
The stasis-tombs of the Necrons are vast and shadowy edifices, and many an Imperial Explorator expedition has made planetfall on a Dead World only to vanish without trace, slain at the hands of the unliving guardian-constructs that watch over their slumbering masters. It was during the Orphean War, however, that the Ordo Xenos was provided with the first confirmed and detailed reports of the "Sentry Pylon" Necron war engine, as codified by Imperial tactical logisticians.
Smaller than the heavy defensive Gauss Pylon weapons previously encountered in defence of active Necron Tomb Worlds and major invasion forces, Sentry Pylons fill the role of tactical artillery support and localised air defence units. They are entirely autonomous, self-sustaining and capable of limited battlefield mobility and self-repair, making for a formidable weapon platform, while their firepower, as with many observed Necron war machines, vastly exceeds any equivalent Imperial design of similar size.
The most commonly observed weapon system mounted by these Pylons is a long-range "continuous beam" molecular disruption cannon known as a Gauss Exterminator. Alternative armament types, including coherent thermic ray and particle disintegration weapons, have also been reported. Sentry Pylons are most commonly found deployed in batteries consisting of up to three such dangerous constructs.
- Necron Pylon Network – The grandest of ancient Necrontyr Tomb Worlds are guarded by vast networks of living metal pylons. These unfeeling constructs rise from the desiccated sands whenever intruders dare to venture into the realms of their slumbering masters, obliterating the enemies of the Necrons while shrouded from retaliation by the energy of the vast underground generators that power them. A Necron Pylon Network is similar to a Gauss Pylon Network, except it consists of a linked multitude of both Gauss Pylons and smaller Sentry Pylons. In these formations, dark webs of crackling energy surround the network, obscuring it from the primitive sensor devices of younger races, and making the Pylons within it far harder to target.
All Sentry Pylons are armed with one of the following primary weapons:
- Gauss Exterminator - Designed to track and engage targets at great range, a Gauss Exterminator is a powerful weapon capable of atomising enemy armour and aircraft in a blaze of baleful light long before they can reach the Necrons’ battlelines. The Exterminator's range is so great that that its victims' first hint of danger is the flash of searing viridian light that heralds their destruction. Larger and more potent examples of the hellish energy weapons carried by Necron soldiery, Gauss Exterminators can also be employed against ground targets with no loss of effectiveness, scouring vast areas clear of life and cutting buildings down to little more than smoking rubble and debris to secure an invasion zone.
- Heat Cannon – A Heat Cannon is a thermal energy weapon of extraordinary power and, although considerably shorter ranged than the Gauss Exterminator, it can reduce the most heavily armoured tanks into piles of molten slag and burn its way through the most heavily protected fortifications at great distances. With every beam it fires, it is capable of vaporising everything in an area with a small blast, and its effects on armoured vehicles and bunkers are similar to those caused by Imperial Melta Weapons.
- Focussed Death Ray – The coruscating beams of force Focussed Death Rays emit are able to slice through the ranks of enemy soldiers and armoured battle-tanks with contemptuous ease. Utilising an advanced focussing array, a Sentry Pylon is able to project the crackling ray over far greater distances than previously encountered versions of the weapon, and with a destructive potential that is horrifyingly effective. When fired, a beam fired by a Focussed Death Ray will vaporise everything along its line of fire, and often passes through several enemy units before the energy finally dissipates.
Some Sentry Pylons have also been known to be equipped with the following:
- Teleportation Matrix – A Teleportation Matrix is an advanced piece of Necron technology that allows a Sentry Pylon to phase itself into position onto a battlefield, either transporting itself from a stasis-tomb underground, somewhere else on the planet, or even from another planet.
- Sepulchral Scarabs - Sepulchral Scarabs are a specialised variant of Canoptek Scarabs that some Sentry Pylons carry into battle. If the Sentry Pylon is damaged, Sepulchral Scarabs will emerge from their hiding places on the Pylon’s carapace to quickly repair the construct, granting the automated construct immense regenerative properties.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2013), pp. 82-83, 91
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve – The Fall of Orpheus, pp. 49, 93, 123