Necron Balance Summary Thread

Posting this here in addition to gen discussion because I don't know if the devs actually look at that thread.
Hello all, with how many threads there have been for the necrons and considering that the beta is now over, I have decided to summarize all points here. It took me a while as I was busy, but here it is at last. We had a fleet tier thread, and without starpulse all agreed they were the absolute bottom tier, along with astartes. Being considered is the imminent star pulse nerf, so that will affect things a bit:

-Variety: There is none. Besides the lack of new weapons systems that necron ships canonically have (such as solar pulses or throwing chunks of dead stars at people) they only got one new ship they didn't have for a total of 8 ships, the smallest roster of all. The druhkari on the other hand, who were no where near as hyped or demanded, got SEVENTEEN new ships, more than twice the number of ships the necrons have total. They also still lack a carrier, reducing them from participating in many strategies and counters that are necessary, like dealing with the hide escorts and cap points strategy via bombers.

-No shields: This was obviously going to happen, but it lacks the trade offs necrons got on table top. In addition to the high armor, they had a armor save (ie chance for no damage) on all their ships, one that was buffed by brace. For some reason, they have neither brace nor the save. Additionally, they were passively immune to celestial phenomena, as opposed to being required to grab an upgrade for that same ability. There was literally no reason to change this, and no one will ever pick that ability over any other due to not only its relative uselessness, but the fact you can't see what map you are going into, and thus weather it will be needed. Additionally, no shields mean necrons are critted exceptionally easily, and their armor isn't worth much with all the ap in the game. Even the IN can surpass it due to the necrons loss of brace for no explicable reason. Additionally, shields regenerate much faster than necrons do, in some cases more than thirteen times as fast, and the shield regen upgrade is much better than the necron regen upgrade. Other factions can have permanent shields as well, or health upgrades, while the necrons cannot. They are exceptionally weak to skills because of this, and get annihilated by things like nova spam. They are supposed to be tanky by their racial descriptor in game, but right now they are glass with no cannon, and one of the easiest factions to kill. They don’t even get an armor advantage over a lot of ships, and when imperials use brace they have less than them.

-Phase out: necron ships just kind of disappear when they disengage. Not only is it unloreful to have a windup, but easily defeated due to no shields making them very vulnerable to boarding and to damage in general, especially considering that you wouldn't use it in good conditions.

-Repair in general: Beyond how slow regen is, it has a cap. Shields do not, and give back way more health. Additionally, repair of crits is very slow and they have no repair order like everyone else, with crippling results.

-Pathing: Something is off with their movement. Perhaps it is because they are so wide but they seem to always ram when near each other.

-Maneuverability: Its terrible. They are slow, have no all ahead full or turn to compensate, and only move not only has a very long cooldown and doesn’t go as far as AAF, but cannot be used to turn the ship, leading to said ship being likely out of position when used. Additionally, due to only once per 90sec rules, once used if the enemy is say a nova cannon fleet that ship is dead as it cannot dodge in time. This is not including the fact the cooldown and lack of turn means any other fleet can just get behind them and kite them forever, or run away and ord spam with no real counter. They also cannot really ram without AAF, which while not a goal of the crons makes me very sad. I really wanted to see a lore/TT accurate Necron fleet, as then I could ram a fleeing elder ship from halfway across the map. Not very viable, but hilarious.

-Upgrades: These should be upgrades, not necessary patches to holes like the repair one or useless like the regen one.

-Anti ord: They have starpulse and fighters, but the fighter lose to every other factions in the game despite being able to slag hive cities with weaker ground based weapons and starpulse has a longer cooldown that most ordinance, and are defeated by staggered ordinance anyways. They lack the ever changing stance that buffs turrets as well, making like even harder for them, which is exacerbated by a lack of carriers as mentioned in the variety section.

-Stealth: Most Necron ships don’t have it, despite it being their save on TT (there was a hard to hit roll that brace would turn into a normal armor save). They are also bad at getting around it, as their escort lack shields and thus instantly explode on enemy contact, and in a battle where the enemy cycles out to restealth will be long dead.

-Stats on general/DPS: being a fleet explicitly expected to be outnumbered, they have several disadvantages. They lose fleet variety, many tactics, skill count, troop total, and feel each loss more keenly than the enemy, and thus need more points to compensate. This means they should be at least equal to the enemy point for point stat wise, if not a little better to compensate for the above. Instead we have escorts that lose to ork ones in max range shoot outs, light cruisers that explode when looked at, cruisers that cost more than a battleship, a dumpster fire for a BC, and a expensive battleship that I have witnessed lose 1v1 to, among other things, demiurge battleships, tau battleships, ork battleships, hive ships, and to top it off two druhkari cruisers. To summarize the message with a short analysis of the sythe cruiser I did a while ago:
“They just aren't very good for their points right now. Lets take the baseline cruiser, the scythe harvester, and compare it to say, the apocalypse class battleship. Why that battleship? Because it is actually 14 points cheaper than the necron cruiser. So if this cruiser is more expensive than an imperial battleship than it must be at least equivalent right? Well...
Lets compare, I'll even throw in the common retribution class for extra evidence (7pts more than the cruiser):
Apocalypse Scythe Retribution
HP: 2.4k 1.6K 2.4K
Shields: 800 0 800
Total HP: 3.2k 1.6k 3.2k
Morale: 100 150 100
Turrets: 18 10 18
Troops: 18 14 18
Speed: 120 240 160
Armor: 83/67 83 83/67
Rotation: 4 10 4
Raw DPS(not counting abilities): 16.8(4.5k)/15.6(9k) 12 28.6 (4.5l)/22.2(9k)
So in short the ships in the Scythe Harvesters price range have higher raw DPS, much more health, shields (which regen faster than the harvester does I think) more turrets and more troops. The harvester has better speed and rotation (because CR v BB) but loses overall in those departments when comparing ID vs Imperial maneuver gauge. It also has flat better morale due to the necron +50 morale a racial trait. You'll notice I did not mention armor. Why? Because the armor of 83/67 gets a boost from a certain stance that is always on. This boost brings it from 83/67 to 108/92 (if I remember how armor works correctly anyways), which is vastly better than any necron ship. So the only thing the Harvester has is that it is (theoretically) faster, and starpulse, which is getting nerfed. The two mentioned ships also have abilities, one of which is a nova cannon (200-400 damage, aoe, -100 morale, faster cooldown than pulse I think) and torpedoes (8x 90D, 45 reload) but I left those out because one is a skill shot so DPS is variable (it will always hit a jump on cooldown necron ship for 720D though) The other is disabled if you get to close, so it can be avoided. Also to take into consideration is that necron can always be critted because no shields, while all other races do not suffer from this. On stances, they have the same reload as the imperials, a splitshot not useful in a direct comparison (or most of the time) and a nearly useless healing ability. To extrapolate on the uselessness of the healing ability: despite using starpulse, today I had a scythe harvester lose 1v1 to a emperor. Despite killing all of its ord with starpulse. Oh, and there was a dauntless there too but he got starpulsed. I might have done my math wrong somewhere but this really doesn't seem to be equivalent point for point (aka balanced). Maybe I'm missing something?”
Keep in mind this ignored that fact that the apoc had mainly AP damage, which would hard counter the scythe.

So we have ships that don’t have quantity, don’t have variety, and certainly don’t have quality. They spent the beta leaning on starpulse for what else could they do? But that is going away now. If they are to be viable, hell a main story faction for singleplayer, they need to at least be able to match the other main factions. They cannot right now. Someone should probably get on that.

Guess Necrons gona be Eldars of BFA 2.

You complain about the lack of a carrier. I think it's actually very important that necrons do not have a carrier.

The counter to being overwhelmed by strike craft is to bunch up, and protect the fleet with a mutually supportive point defense net.

The counter to a teleporting fleet with star pulse generator and dispersed lightning arc is to spread out.

Obviously, necrons cannot be a highly mobile race which teleports around the map with massive AOE damage, and a fleet that can easily pick off isolated small ships with bombers.

Oh, and I just discovered the cartouche is from the book of nemesis, so its not something new either. So they got nothing to the Druhkari's 17 ships.Oh and it, like the Kopesh, has a unique model not shown in game, rather like how they copy pasted the scythe to make the reaper bc rather than give it its own models. So that is three ships without the correct models as well.

last edited by Nemesor Xanxas

@timmietimmins a few things: I have explained why bunching does not work. Turrets only are truly effective with the brace stance, something current Necrons lack, and the only anti ordinance tool they have is a). Getting nerfed b). On a longer cool down than the next group of ordinance will arrive in c) is defeated by staggered ordinance anyways. All other races have brace, which makes them invincible to ordinance, and carriers. Deny them both to Necrons is not the way to go. Additionally the lack of carriers is crippling in ge current game mode. As it stands the most complained about strategy is stealth escort capping, something very hard to counter. The best way to do so is withcarriers, which Necrons lack, crippling them in this game mode, which is the only one as of right now.

On the matter of starpulse, as I said in the post it’s getting nerfed. It was originally useless against ships and will return to being so. I also question how you refer to them as a high mobility race, considering they are tied with orks as the least mobile race, and even then the orks canto both faster and farther with their maneuver gauge.

They already have multiple ways of punishing enemies for jumping up. Not only star pulse, but dispersed lightning arc, which is already AOE, and while I think that star pulse is clearly going to get nerfed, I don't think it will be nerfed in cooldowns (as it's meant to be the counter to ordinance, not the counter to enemy capital ships being alive).

But given how weak necrons are in general, I think it's very likely that as necrons get a nerf to star pulse, their actual... guns get a buff. which will, again, make them punish clumped fleets with dispersed lightning arc.

I do agree, staggered ordinance is the way to deal with star pulse, but it's already a significant sacrifice. Even 15 turret value is quite meaningful when it's contributing to a dogfight in front of the necron capital ship, and if your opponent just sends bombers 1 at a time, 90 seconds of overwatch from your doom scythes is going to kill a LOT of bombers. Or should. I am not super sure if the interception range on fighters patrolling around a freindly capital ship is high enough yet. But as long as setting your doom scythes to patrol around your capital ships works as intended, fighters kill bombers very quickly, and 15 turrets is a good difference maker.

I did make a post over on reddit recommending that the base turret value increase by a third on all ships, and the brace for impact bonus drop to 50% (making turrets the same effectiveness when braced, but more robust against attack and less reliant on braced). You and I are on the same page there, brace for impact is too important in long range engagements.

But I don't think necrons are incredibly vulnerable to ordinance, and if that is the case, there is MILES of room to buff their defence against the same. Their turret values could be increased, their doom scythes could be buffed, their star pulse cooldown could be reduced (and damage could be lowered while still instantly killing all bombers and assault boats)... I am also assuming they will become a more mobile fleet, simply because it's very clear to me nercons are not in a great place right now AND the primary source of their current power has to be nerfed. There is no way this game ships with star pulse damage reduced by two thirds and no other necron buffs. It's just not gonna happen.

There is just tons of room to balance nercons as a non carrier fleet, which they should be, because the counter to dispersed lightning arc is spreading out, and the counter to spreading out is bombers. Ergo, the necrons should not have bombers, especially because it's a core part of faction identity: Necrons are not a bomber faction. They are not a ramming faction. They are a shoot people with guns faction, and to some extent, a boarding faction.

last edited by timmietimmins

@timmietimmins The issue for that is as you acknowledged star pulse is getting nerfed, probably into uselessness given knowledge of the devs, and will as such not be a counter. Dispersed arks also aren't an option, as thy reduce damage by 50%, which combined with an average armor of 93 during brace (the most common stance) would lead to a damage output of a whopping 3.5%, not exactly useful. If guns were buffed I would be more okay with this, but remember these are the devs that nerfed the eldar so hard at the start of the original BFG1 they never recovered, and then never fixed that even to this day. Then consider that people have been complaining about the necrons being op because of starpulse. I don't have a lot of confidence there.

I do agree with the fact staggered is a trade off, but again that is something that is only considered on cruisers and up, light cruisers and below don't have it and just get annihilated. For the price of that cruiser, other factions could field 2-3 carriers depending on the class they choose, and that more than makes up for the sacrifice. Necron turrets are really bad because they don't get the boost turret stance that all others have, and doom scythes will lose to literally anything, including bombers so that over watch does nothing. The intercept range is fine, its just that the doom scythes are really bad despite being really good canonically. On turrets as well, necrons have less of them when they cluster due to their points costs translating into small fleets.

Agreed here, I think brace should be added to necrons as it was removed for no reason and makes them much less tanky than any faction that has it, like all imperial factions when it is in use.

Necrons are mindnumbingly weak to ordinance. The best example of this is a nova cannon. A mechanicus nova fleet can, on average, kill 1.5 cairns before they even enter range, or about 80% of your points. They can in one volley, out put lethal damage and then force the cairn to jump and then drop the rest on the now helpless cairn that can't doge. Then, since the cooldown of ID is so long, do it again and kill the ship. And again. This is an unavoidable loss that can only be defeated by the enemy making a mistake. Other skills like dark matter cannon or bombs have similar, if lesser effects. I didn't speak of torpedoes/carriers as that is addressed above. All of this can be solved by just fixing ID though, give us the original one back, or make the jump a bar so ord can be evaded with multiple short jumps. Giving the original ID back solves many problems actually, but other buffs are required in the face of the loss of the only crutch the fleet had. It has to be nerfed, but the devs have repeatedly shown that they don't compensate: See the eldar from BFG1, or even the necrons now! They also don't tend to adress op things, like BFG1 Orks/tau. So I dodn't have a lot of confidence that your assertations will be truth.

I Agree completely with your finale, though I think in the boarding department it should be a weapon that increases it by multiple in higher weight classes like on TT to make them more risky to board, as you'll get a ton in exchange. I ask for carriers simply because a) as they are they need them and b) they canonically have their fighters/bombers refitted and used in space, so something has to carry them their. That and it would be cool, but if the issues that lead to their necessity are erased, I would not be averse to trading carriers for that patch. They still need variety in other things though, like more weapons and energy drain back for the cairn.

Necrons are also increasingly weak to AOE ability and bombs due to how their teleport works. If you use it up, that's an invitation for a warp storm or nova cannons or bombs to immediately kill your ship.
Starpulse, nerf or no nerf, can be used at most 4 times given the cap limit, since you can at most take in 4 cruisers. Meanwhile any other race just needs to take in more than 4 units capable of sending in bombers
Dispersed arc lightning is also really bad since it's always going to doing more damage to shields than hull given that any necron ships, besides for the shroud maybe, has a good portion of their weapon tonnage as Gauss, you're going to be having a 1/3 of your weapons attacking hull and 2/3 of your weapons attacking shields, where as any other race can drop shields faster, and thus damage hull faster, since all of their weapons damage the same thing.
Even in the event you have your ships all huddled together waiting to get rammed, all doing AOE damage with their arcs, it's super easy to stop that real fast by just targeting the command deck, which will, at a minimum, stop the dispersion order.

Necron ships, like space marines, are grossly too expensive for what they can do, and don't adequately perform the rolls that they should

@pointdexter Yeah. I think they need a significant buff in terms of just raw speed. End of the day, if the cairn is going to be a mid range ship that cannot ram effectively and has no shields, it has to be able to maneuver it's way out of templates effectively while still being fast enough to close with longer range fleets, and the cost of making it a reasonable gap closer is quite limited by the fact that it doesn't ram well.

I don't agree with your assessment of necron weapons though. Until such time as the shields go down, some of your guns penetrating shields is strict upside over none of your guns penetrating shields: you get to do hull damage, which is more valuable than shield damage, and your gauss whips ignore armor, so they are wasted hitting shields anyways. You also can crit earlier in a fight, when you can capitalize better.

At the time the shields go down, the result is again, strictly better, because you got to use your lance weapons against the armor of the enemy ship, while you got to use your macro weapons against the shields, which is exactly what everyone wants to do, only they can't because you have to take down shields before you hit armor... unless you are necrons.

The problem with necron guns is not the gun mechanics, it's how much total dps of them are on each ship, how much those ships cost, and how vulnerable the hulls are due to their movement issues. There is definitely a niche for a faction that uses midrange guns, heals when out of combat, does aoe damage to force people to spread out, and boards reasonably well but rams very poorly.

It just cannot be the necrons in their current state. They need to move better and either be cheaper or shoot harder, or possibly both.

Also, the cairn should probably get at least 2 squadrons of doom scythe transfer. It should be significantly better protected than a scythe harvester.

@nemesor-xanxas I think brace for impact was removed for a good reason: it reinforces the flavor of the necrons: they shoot very well, because they don't have to trade off between defense and offense: you can just run all your ships in dispersed lightning arc without being additionally vulnerable. And it also ensures that they are the race with the fanciest ships on the block, because it just doesn't make sense for them to ram people with their amazing tech. (because it does morale damage and the decisive results devalue their hull regeneration in long fights).

It also makes interesting play, because you want to be playing in the range where you can board and shoot, but not get rammed. That's a neat design space.

The problem is just that they are too slow, and some combination of too expensive/too fragile/too low dps. I don't know exactly which. It's not that necrons need to be the same as all the other factions... it's that they need to just be better at what they already are. And somehow not die to template weapons.

Oh yeah, and to be clear, when I say "ordinance", I don't mean disruption bombs or stasis bomb or nova cannon. I mean torpedoes and strike craft. I call the stuff that uses a template template weapons. I call the stuff that you shoot down with turrets ordinance.

last edited by timmietimmins

@timmietimmins I mostly complain about brace because it means that they just aren’t as tanky as other factions with higher DPS, even not taking shields into account, which just makes their ships flat out worse. Agree with everything else though.