Twilight Imperium: The Nekro Virus

From the strategy guide written by Stefan Sasse

Racial Ability:

  • You may not vote on Political or Agenda Cards.
  • When you destroy at least 1 enemy unit in a Space Battle or Invasion Combat, you may copy (receive) one free Technology Card (ignoring all prerequisites) that the enemy player has already researched. Limit once per battle.
  • You may not receive Technology Cards from Political, Assembly, Action or Strategy Cards. Any time you would receive a Technology Card this way, instead gain three CC.

Starting Techs:

  • Gen Synthesis
  • Hylar V Assault Laser
  • Dacxive Animators

Leaders: Agent, Admiral, General

Representative 1: Beelzebul (C)  +0. After “Resolve Spies”, all Councilors are killed. Then discard Political Card.

Representative 2: Asmodai (S)  +0. Choose a player and outcome. If right, copy one Technology from him.

Representative 3: Wendigo (B)  +0. In order for a player to vote “For”, he must give you 1TG or one random AC.

Racial Tech 1 & 2: Valefar Assimilator    Gain this Technology by using your racial ability to copy a racial Technology an opponent has researched. You cannot copy a Technology that modifies his racial ability.

Starting Units:

  • 2 GF
  • 1 MU
  • 1 Carrier
  • 2 Cruisers

Trade Agreements: 2, 1

Homesystem:  Mordai II (4/0)

Flagship: The Alastor (9 / 9×3 / 1 / 1)    If this ship is destroyed, destroy all friendly and enemy ships in the system.


If there is one race in the game deriving directly from the image of the Borg of the Star Trek universe, it’s the Nekro. They are aggressive and assimilating the strengths of other races at an alarming rate. Undisturbed by matters of politics or research, they can concentrate on gaining CC and larger fleets than anyone else. And no fancy tech will protect you against them, because after one battle, they have it, too.

Their first racial ability prevents them from taking part in the political process, at all. This is a downpoint of this race, since it cuts the player off from a fun aspect of the game (a possibility that I also don’t like about Represenatives, by the way). Especially new players might be frustrated by that and fall back on destructive measures with their army. This ability makes the Nekro a race you only want in the hands of experienced players, since having the same fun with them at the table is more difficult than with other races.

The second racial ability is the core of the Nekro: when they destroy at least one unit in battle – even a Fighter – they copy one of the enemy’s techs, ignoring all prerequisites. If the Hylar and the Nekro ever share the same gameboard, there are some aggressive border skirmishes to be expected, but everyone teching hard will be attacked all the time by small, annoying ships.

The third racial ability prevents the Nekro to gain techs the usual way (except for Distant Suns, which still work for them). Since they are the only race that doesn’t need the Technology SC, they have a nice bargaining instrument at their disposal. They can either take Technology anyway when the chance is presented, and gain three CC for attacks, of they can demand concessions for not taking it and attacking afterwards to claim what the others researched.

Their HS is the typical one-planet-Sol-clone that so many races have. Mediocre build limit, good resources and in their case no Influence make it an acceptable choice. The Nekro are one of the races aiming for a bigger slice of universe anyway, kin to the L1z1x and other aggressive races.

Their starting fleet is interesting. While only sporting one Carrier, the Nekro are the only race having access to a MU in the beginning. This makes them immune to most Distant Sun effects and allows them for a big firepower right from the start. Two Cruisers allow for aggressive moves right from the start, too, and the copying of Technology.

Their starting technologies provide them with the firepower for their Cruisers (you know, to snipe enemy ships in exchange for tech) and greatly strengthen their GF. From there, you have to go where the other players go. That’s the downside of the Nekro’s abilities, they can’t decide themselves. This is made good by the fact that, most of the time, you will have more techs than everyone else, simply because you have everything the others do plus three starting techs. They don’t have racial techs, so you have to steal them, too. The mightiest are the Mentak’s “Mirror Computing” or the Letnev’s “Non-Euclidian Shielding”. Since there many more juicy opportunities, remember: some racial techs can’t be copied, such as the Creuss’ “Slave Wormhole Generator” or the Arborec’s “Spore Acceleration”.

Their Representatives are there just to do anything in the political process. Most of the time, you will want to use your spy to gain even more technology. Certain agendas may make the “Wendigo” interesting, too. Most of the time, you will piss off players by that, however, without being able to do anything good to make up for it, which makes this a rather dangerous approach.

The flagship of the Nekro also is a devastating one. It has the potential to wipe out a gigantic fleet alone, and it provides the single biggest deterrent against an attack on you that is possible. Its cost are rather great, however, and you should buy this baby only if your fleets are sufficiently strong – which they should be, since you don’t need to invest in tech.

Generally, the Nekro live on aggression. Other players will adapt, maybe even present you easy kill opportunities so you don’t attack them directly. Use this, it also drives down your own cost and keeps your fleets intact for the kills that matter. Don’t forget, however, that you shouldn’t make too much enemies, and that a CC and a ship is not that much cheaper than taking part in Technology.





9 thoughts on “Twilight Imperium: The Nekro Virus

  1. I actually think they evoke the replicators from Stargate SG-1 more than the Borg, especially with their backstory.

  2. The Nekro Virus actually reminded me most of the Phyrexians from Magic: the Gathering.

  3. They kind of remind me of the Kree.

  4. I actually had the most fun with this race when I started playing TI. The “Beelzebul” rep worked fantastically after I had duped one player into thinking he was going to get an easy VP, but I killed the political card. It also stopped some spies from ever getting played again because they were already dead. I wielded more political power staying out of politics than I ever had before. I should also mention that I got the duped player to pay me handsomely to choose his political agenda. Double Whammy.
    Hands down my favorite race.

  5. I can’t emphasize enough the amazing power of their infantry. A wad of infantry on a key strategic point can do enormous mischief. Any invasion attack against where you kill at least one of the aggressors will net you a technology. If their invasion fails, there’s a good chance your Dacxive Animators turn the erstwhile invaders into helpful zombies. Even if they succeed, your Gen Synthesis will whisk a good half of your troops back to your capital (including any Shock Troops you’ve generated in the fray). The Nekro Virus can reasonably make an early play for Mecatol Rex and expect to hold it (and juice it for CC and victory points) for a couple of turns.

  6. Just to warn new players to the game, playing as this race in longer games will cause players to gang up on you, as it is very likely you will have double the techs of everyone else in the game. Also, if anyone picks the embers of Muatt, I would immediately pick the virus, because with the cost of a measly destroyer you will have war suns.

  7. My group and I had about 6 games under our belts before I had the honor of being the first person to pilot the Nekro Virus. I found that starting off taking Warfare II and Production for the first five turns of the game allowed me to build three fleets, all my SD’s, and send enough suicide ships to gather XRD transports, Production Centers (from Hacaan), and Envrio Compensators. After round 5 I was able to switch to Assembly II and Bureaucracy and give myself the speaker token or start qualifying for two objectives a turn. I cut a line across the galaxy that had to be dealt with or else I would win, and in return when everyone turned on me and we went into combat I was able to steal their techs.

    I recommend making one staunch ally to you right or left and attacking the other immediately. You will make an enemy, sure, but you are not going to win without advancing your tech as fast as possible.

    As a side note, no one in my game wanted to research great techs because they knew I would target them next. Not only did this allow for a low-tech all around game, but it allowed me to catch up to everyone and have the best tech on the board. Good luck to all future Virus players!

  8. Sorry, meant Warfare, not Warfare II.

  9. This race have great risk reward potential. My tip is to never allow yourself to be treatend into being pasive. War is your victory! Only you are rewarded for agression. People will try and team up on you. But change the board. If you hurd someone its easyer to steal planets from a woundet player then to fo war whit the necro!

    Politic and teck is your friend!! (Not your weakness)When the rest tap their planets to argue over pollitic or gain teck you grow stronger! Since your founds goes to war!
    Also bribe players! 2 tradegoods to make a player vode in your prediction is a cheap teck. And help you gain teck from people whitout attacking them. A option your naibours would die to have!

    Surface around the edges if you can! The center is a way for people to gang up on you. But they can do shit to help if their friends home system is in the way.

    Tradeing is tricky. Your not that atractive. But try and convince people that your trade agreements are more of a “now i have a good reason to not attack you” agreement.

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