Necron Balance Thread (devs requested)

We all knew this was coming. With the "balance" of the last game, with T'au getting a special mention, and the reputation of the Necrontyr Navy this couldn't go unaddressed. Its been brought up in almost every thread I've contributed to and with how Tindalos handled "balance" in BFG1 we really can't afford to wait, as once its in it likely won't change. As a side note I have not Idea how to flag the devs, hence the thread name. This thread is not just for devs though, as I would like to hear all of the playerbase's suggestions. Lets try and get something good hammered out together.

Now, lets start off with a summary of the Necrontyr Navy. Those of you lucky few on here that aren't well versed in lore or never played TT BFG likely don't know the horror we are all about to face. The Necrontyr Navy to put it simply is the best navy in the setting. Its not a close thing either. Fights between them and literally everyone else go about as well as a fight between a defense monitor and a blackstone fortress. They have never been defeated on even grounds, and even when outnumbered 5 to 1 tend to massacre the enemy with ridiculous ease (see Amarah). They have the best everything and were rightfully decried as hideously OP on TT. In fact, the way to win against them in TT was not, in fact, to win but to lose but get more victory points (as their ships were worth much more as a "balancing" measure). To set the stage and give you an impression of how they were in lore, have some fun feats:

From Dark Creed
-Tracking a handheld object across the galaxy
-Crossing the galaxy in "a blink of the eye"
-One shoting a DaoT capable of soloing a chaos fleet (albeit it was damaged)
-Hovering above a city without destroying it (a Cairn)
-Ignoring an entire fleets worth of firepower without taking any damage

Hellforged
-Light Cruiser is hit by a Nova Cannon Shell and takes superficial damage
-Cairn Hit by same weapon and takes more or less no damage
-Take no damage from solar flares

Nightbringer
-Cairn Rapidly eats a sun

Dawn of War Omnibus
-Can draw power from nearby stars and use it for their weaponry
-Scythe Oneshots a wraithship
-The same scythe takes what is described as "cosmetic" damage from bombardment canons
-said scythe also heals from star in a way compared to a resurrection orb

Cain's last stand
-Escorts have powerful sensor/message jamming
-jackal oneshots two destroyers

And of Course, the infamous battle of Amarah from fall of Orpheus
-Out numbered 5 to 1, take almost no casualties while IN takes 90+% casualties
-Turn off ships or drive crazy
-Extreme speed
-Turn off torpedoes
-larger vessels more or less immune to torpedoes
-kill 25% of the imperial fleet in one attack run, even more in the second
-Turn on a dime after stopping instantly from full speed
-Sun Killer oneshots a Retribution class battleship
-Another Battleship is killed fairly quickly by three dirge class raiders
-Battlebarge is oneshotted by two Scythes
-A cairn kills three strike cruisers and cripples a Battle Barge at the same time
-Fires fragments of dead stars as weapons "barely under lightspeed".
-Jam an entire sector
-Won so hard the adeptus terra gave up on the sector
-My personal favorite, cause a massive solar eruption that destroyed the surface of the innermost planer as a form of sensor jamming

This hopefully has started to give you an idea of the power of the Necron Navy. They were just as bad on TT, and as such balance really is something we need to address, but in a way that doesn't make them end up like the BFG1 Eldar. Now, here is a list of the strengths and weaknesses of the Necrontyr Navy in hopes it will give someone idea.
1: Speed: The Necrontyr are ludicrously fast in and out of lore. Their battleships can outrun eldar ESCORTS, and turn on a dime.
2: Toughness: Not as bad in TT as it is in lore (Cairns taking no damage from literal entire fleets and Nova Canons vs Cairns actually taking any damage), but they are still ludicrously tough and had the only armor save in the game.
3: Boarding: Necrons were really good at boarding. Each ship could get something called a portal. It gave them an additional boarding acting per one they had. Cairns had 3, for a total of 4 boarding actions per attempt.
4: Special Weapons: They had the best in the game. They could drive entire ships mad, delete all ordnance (and escorts) nearby, and turn off other ships (whilst healing their own).
5: Anti Ordnance: See above
6: Dakka: The Necron ships are horrifying in lore (one shotting multiple battleships at the same time, killing cruisers with point defesne guns) and are better in TT, but not by much. The can still one shot CRAFTWORLDS with their ridiculous dakka, but not too many battleships at the same time (only 2 plus an escort) and have not to much higher dakka than the apocalypse class battleship (19 from all guns for A BB, 28 for Cairn, though of course the Apocalypse could only focus 12 of that to either side or 7 to the front while the cairn can shoot all of it anywhere..).
7: FTL: The Necrontyr can leave instantly either through fade out or their inertialess drives, so charging up wont be a thing. Gives them immense tactical versatility.
8:Cosmological phenomena: Their ships don't care about solar flares, asteroids, etc and can drive right through them in TT.
9: They regenerate, because of course they do
10: They are extremely stealthy, and have really good sensors. As such, they don't miss. Ever.
11: They ignore Holfofields. And Shadowfields. And Mimic Engines. And on a 6 all other shields.
12: They have multiple FTL types due to ward's nerf attempt and the subsequent retcons of the Nerf attempt, Inertialess, fade out, and webway (dolmen gates)
13: Best and most experience crews in the galaxy. Don't need air, and all of them fought through the entire war in heaven, facing down daemons and gods. The navy's of today don't phase (heh) them

Now, lets look at the Disadvantages

1: Aircraft: They currently don't have any carriers, though there were an awful lot of fighters in the trailer. Dealt with by starpulse generators anyways.
2: Boarding: They aren't nearly as good at taking as they are at giving. The in lore for this is that necron warriors are slow to respond slackers. They regenerate though so crits tend not to stick
3: Versatility: Their roster is kinda small
4: Fleet Size: So is their ship count
5: Lances: They didn't like these as it reduces armor and that's all they have. Of course, that 4+ save went 2+ when they braced but what can you do
6: Eldar ships are more maneuverable with their weird turning rules (though with how they are in the current game this won't be true)
7: No Special Ramming Equippment Like the Imperials or Orks. Unmannly 0/10

So...Yeah fleet numbers are going to be really small if anything is to be done here. Lore wise its going to have to be a huge difference, as the Eldar-excuse me, Aeldari will be slaughtered by these left right and center, as will the Druhkari. Additionally the less fragile imperials will need an absurd numerical advantage. At Amarah, they traded about 9 battleships, 54 cruisers, and "several hundred" escorts (likely 270-450) for a single cruiser and a couple escorts (and also managed to damage a Cairn). They had 5+ times as many ships and "far more in tonnage" and this was the result, 90%+ losses and the rest of the fleet being in terrible condition. The necron losses percentage wise were ??? among DDs, 5% among cruisers, and 0% among BBs. The adeptus terra basically saw this and threw up their hands in a colossal "welp" and gave up on the sector. It probably won't be that bad in game but that should give you a note on the kind of numerical superiority needed to beat the crons. And in that scenario they essentially left because they didn't want to risk the valuable BB (and by they I mean Kutlakh, and by leave I mean just go to mess around on a different planet in system).

So as I mentioned, the only way I can really think of to balance them would be make them extremely small and other fleets absurdly huge. They will have to be 7-10 times outnumbered if anything is to be done. Its not like you can just reduce some numbers to fix this, as all their stuff is better than everyone elses , so whatever the numbers were reduced to would still be > everyone. That is why I made this thread, I want to hear what all of you think and get some feedback from the Devs on what they plan to do with this gameshredding faction. To finish off, I'll give a list of the few Necron ships known.

Escorts

Dirge Class Raider
-The Small One
-Fastest Ship in 40k
-Capable of killing an unshielded battleship in a group of 3

Jackal Class Raider
-The Big One
-Escort Type Duties
-2nd fastest ship in 40k
-Has powerful Jamming
-Oneshots other escorts

Light Cruisers

Shroud Class Light Cruiser
-Max Stealth
-5 Managed to get through the Solar defenses and land on mars
-Scout role
-Very good sensors
-Simple concept, be too fast for anything capable of killing them to catch

Kopesh Class Light Cruiser
-Cannon Status: ???
-Hunter Role
-Three can one shot imperial cruisers
-Preformed the only recorded necron driveby

Cruisers

Scythe Class Harvest Ship
-Has star pulse generator
-Strongest cruiser in 40k
-3 per tombship
-Can also optionally carry sepulchre

Reaper Class Harvest Ship
-Canon Status: Eh
-What even is this, no one can decide
-Has sepulchre/scarab hives
-costs more than a retribution class battleship

Battleships

Cairn Class Tombship
-Only named ships in Necron Fleet (ex Dead Hand)
-Threat Level Maxima
-Probably strongest ship in 40k, would break glorianas over its knee
-Ignores fleets worth of dakka while providing the same
-can go extremely fast
-Very dangerous garrison
-Can directly deploy troops and armor

World Engines
-Like the deathstar, but even stronger
-2 Known, Borsis and iota delta trove
-Impervious to entire fleets
-one had time manipulation abilities
-Hammer and anvil implied there are lots of them

Fighters

Tomb Blade
-yes the bike is a fighter
-has different weapons for anti starship use
-has really good sensors, and can be equipped with anti psyker gear

Night Scythe
-trasport
-very fast, FTL
-crew not actually there, so no troops lost if shot down

Doom Scythe
-Very powerful main weapon
-Also Fast
-Very Maneuverable

Night Shroud
-Heavy Bomber
-Heavily armored
-Antimatter bombs, very safe, don't detonate when breached

hopefully this helps. Again, any ideas are welcome.

Delta Trove isn't a World Engine (In the meaning of a mobile planet that kills planets with super-gauss beams and virtually impenetrable shields of unknown type.), It's super super weird. Its presence retroactively alters physics and history when it's present. It doesn't even seem to actively do anything.

I wouldn't say that World Engine is a class as much as it is a specification (cairn vs tombship is what I mean). Nowhere is it ever described what the Necrons consider a world engine, beyond "a world" and "moves". The one you are referring to is Borsis and if we take Yggra'nya's word for it (which we probably should) was personally made by a C'tan, so it being the model all other follow is...questionable at best.

In cases like this it is advised that lore takes a back seat. Not entirely but they just need to screw the powering down. For the sake of the game id just stream line them make em fairly tanky with really good regeneration abilities and decent fire power and fairly expensive and slow but lore nerds are gonna flame.

ImO there is alot more crap that tindalos needs to worry about first before necrons....

@canned_f3tus I agree that lore needs to be 2nd here, i more have it to give a general idea of what they are like. The issue is that they will be the hardest race to balance, as the lore directly correlated to them being horribly Overpowered in the tabletop game. Their battleships could kill craftworlds in a single turn. Additionally, both inlore and in the TT, their fleet was the fastest, bar none. While a speed nerf might work, they would still have to remain faster than everyone else, as removing aspects of an army to nerf them is how you get an entirely different army.

I know there is a lot they must do, but with how balencing not ever really being addressed, this needs to be brought up now, when there is still time do so something about it. If the last game is anything to go by, waiting until later may mean it’s never properly done (see the Tau)

last edited by Nemesor Xanxas

@nemesor-xanxas said in Necron Balance Thread (devs requested):

I wouldn't say that World Engine is a class as much as it is a specification (cairn vs tombship is what I mean). Nowhere is it ever described what the Necrons consider a world engine, beyond "a world" and "moves". The one you are referring to is Borsis and if we take Yggra'nya's word for it (which we probably should) was personally made by a C'tan, so it being the model all other follow is...questionable at best.

The catch with Lori Delta Trove is that it's ambiguous about whether it's even Necron in origin.

@canned_f3tus said in Necron Balance Thread (devs requested):

In cases like this it is advised that lore takes a back seat. Not entirely but they just need to screw the powering down. For the sake of the game id just stream line them make em fairly tanky with really good regeneration abilities and decent fire power and fairly expensive and slow but lore nerds are gonna flame.

ImO there is alot more crap that tindalos needs to worry about first before necrons....

There is a difference between taking game balance over lore and 'making it take a backseat'.

That would be an idiotic move by Tindalos. I think one of the better balancing elements for Necrons is not toning down power unreasonably, or reducing speed.

But retaining the Necrons proven policy of 'save what you can.'

X ship reaches Y health. It has a moderately high chance that it phases out, no chance to 'execute' the captain etc.

@kadaeux I wouldnt really say that Iori Delta Trove is debatably Necron. It’s inhabitants are the Necrontyr alone and weaponised time travel is the realm of just two species, the Necrons and the Hrud. Of these, only the Necrons have been witnessed using said abilities in this manner.

As for you suggestion, thank you very much! That’s a great idea, I hadn’t thought of that. After 3e, the rule was removed from the codex, but doctrine never changed. Unless they are defending something vital, they still prefer a clean disengage to fighting to the end. This could work nicely, albeit be very irritating in game.

@nemesor-xanxas said in Necron Balance Thread (devs requested):

@kadaeux I wouldnt really say that Iori Delta Trove is debatably Necron. It’s inhabitants are the Necrontyr alone and weaponised time travel is the realm of just two species, the Necrons and the Hrud. Of these, only the Necrons have been witnessed using said abilities in this manner.

As for you suggestion, thank you very much! That’s a great idea, I hadn’t thought of that. After 3e, the rule was removed from the codex, but doctrine never changed. Unless they are defending something vital, they still prefer a clean disengage to fighting to the end. This could work nicely, albeit be very irritating in game.

Aye, even at the battle of Amarah, as soon as one Cairn was truly damaged (not even destroyed) the entire fleet bugged out.

think i remember from the word bearer omnibus
the ships starts slowly but never stops speeding up speeding up to light speed and beyond
maybe a way to balance the necron speed would be to slow down the ramp up
ships in the first game all went from 0 to max in something like two seconds
maybe set their max speed higher then eldar but make it take 5 seconds to get to max
dont nerf their turning speed but keep it low enough so that stopping and turning could be forced

might be a stupid idea, but it could be an idea to give them a slight maneuverability weakness
the fade out mechanic sounds great but if they all have it it is not going to be as usable as it is vs demiurg and it wasnt very effective vs them

last edited by Ashardalon

@kadaeux This incident in particular is significant, as it proves that doctrine was not changed in space during the lore update.

@Ashardalon I don’t quite recall their acceleration speed, so you may be right. It was from the word bearers Trilogy, not the codex. Dark Creed I believe. This is a good idea, thank you for your contribution. 5 seconds sounds like a good starting point too, not so long as to be terribly slow, but still noticeably compared to others. Your maneuverability idea has merit as well. In TT they could only turn once every twenty centimeters when going at full speed, which let the Eldar outmaneuver (but not outrun) them. To give perspective 20cm was the entire movement ability of most other ships in BFG. So this is another decent idea. I’m not quite sure what your saying about the demiurge and phasing though.

last edited by Nemesor Xanxas

demiurg in the first game ran at 30% and when running you couldnt stop them
so vs tau with demiurg you could hope to get lucky by killing escorts
make them cowards and run
but it very rarely happened, and them running because of low hp was almost never relevant
they basically had the mechanic proposed
but i think i have seen it being relevant 5 times or something

its a good idea, and it fits in the lore but i dont believe it will be very relevant in the game
could help for necrons since with their multiple ways of phasing out atleast makes it that warp engine cooldown wont prevent them running

also edited, it was indeed the omnibus and not the codex

@ashardalon said in Necron Balance Thread (devs requested):

demiurg in the first game ran at 30% and when running you couldnt stop them
so vs tau with demiurg you could hope to get lucky by killing escorts
make them cowards and run
but it very rarely happened, and them running because of low hp was almost never relevant
they basically had the mechanic proposed
but i think i have seen it being relevant 5 times or something

its a good idea, and it fits in the lore but i dont believe it will be very relevant in the game
could help for necrons since with their multiple ways of phasing out atleast makes it that warp engine cooldown wont prevent them running

also edited, it was indeed the omnibus and not the codex

The Demiurg (and other mercenary races) ran at 30%, or occasionally when other ships were destroyed. But this was a set-scale.

For Necrons, they typically run when the damage being taken outweighs the benefits.

EG:

Fleet Starts with

Cairn
3 Harvesters
2 Shrouds
A handful of escorts.

Escort destruction shouldn't change matters.
But say the chance to run starts at 0%
Have every ship take their 'morale' test at 40% hull.
Say the test begins at 5%. (On a D20, it flees on a 1 so to speak.)
Then say, a Shroud is destroyed. This increases the chance for other ships to flee to 15%.
Now, let's pretend that they all pass the next test.
A second Shroud is destroyed, chance for other ships to fleet increased to 25%.
A Harvester, heavily damaged, fails the test and flees.
Chance goes up to 35%. This causes another to flee because of bad luck.
45%.

At this point, you've got 2 ships left, and a close to 50% chance to flee if they reach critical damage with no chance to stop it... oops. The Cairn took a lot of damage and ran, 55% Harvester flees with it.

(Of course, this example assumes that whoever is playing the Necrons kicked the dice gods dog around for fun as a child.)

EDIT:

AKA: Your goal against Necrons isn't fleet destruction, they're quite powerful after all. The goal is to hurt them enough to quit the field.

last edited by Kadaeux

My suggestions for balance are as follows:

Firstly I’m very much on the side of making them OP. Should be tough, hit hard, and be very fast.

Like the TT, make them expensive. For 300 points the Necrons should have no more than a single light cruiser and it should be very hard to field more than one capital at a time points wise (so a price point of 200+ for a CL so no escorts, current highest price is at 179p for the Tau which comes with escorts), and escorts shouldn’t be any cheaper than at least 50p a pop.

Another would be to modify captain behaviour. Back in the 2015 Alpha, Captains could do numberous things when a mutiny occurred. They may go Beserk and head-long charge opponents (would ignore any orders and only engage if 3K or closer to enemies), beacome very passive (would run away from opponents, ignoring orders, and engage at ranges of at least 12K) or would attempt to warp out (currently the only thing captains do when they break).

I would bring back this old system and increase the likelihood of breakage as well as denying executions. Meaning skills, upgrades and tactical manoeuvres would be unavailable to the commander for much of the battle, and routed ship is a guaranteed loss, although the Lost in the Warp mechanic would never apply to them.

For upgrades/skills I would allow for things like regenerative armour, solar blast and various other OP abilities that exist in the fluff, but the above conditions plus the fact they need to be bought with renown should keep them under control.

I feel that is the best way the Necrons could’ve done in a (mostly) balanced and lore friendly way.

@caliger_reborn I’m not sure if you played TT but you nailed the prices. You couldn’t take more than one CL for 300pts, and Jackal Class Raiders Cost 50pts. The reaper class I mentioned costs more than a retribution class battleship, and that’s a Cruiser. Even then, I’d say they should cost more due to their “balance” in TT. The captains mechanic sounds interesting too, I didn’t know we had that in alpha. Would have been great in the main game.

@Kadaeux That’s actually a fairly good summary. It’s pretty prevelant and they additionally tend to quit the field even when victory is likely if their objective is met/lost. In dark Creed, with the nexus arrangement destroyed the Undying left. In Amarah, the damage correlated with the Objective (the Necrons wanted the imperials to “die like warriors”) so they left.

@nemesor-xanxas I played the TT back in the days of yhor, yes.

Supposedly the fleet sizes are getting a big bump, so this could be a non-issue. Just allow them to be outnumbered significantly, making their small fleet have to try and deal with an opponents much larger one. They could also have a punishment to their warp-out (Make it take twice as long) and abilities (You can only use one ability per cooldown, have a crew upgrade that can increase it +1 per level).

what is their range like?
might have missed in op but that is something i do not know and is pretty relevant
and everything also depends on how big and how busy the maps are going to be

@ashardalon They had average range in TT, and I can't think of anything outstanding in lore either. Their lightning arcs/particle whips were the usual 30/45 macrocannons/lances. Their abilities were somewhat short ranged, with the sepulchre, scarabs, and starpulse generators being 20cm, and the energy drain being 10 cm.

@kadaeux said in Necron Balance Thread (devs requested):

@canned_f3tus said in Necron Balance Thread (devs requested):

In cases like this it is advised that lore takes a back seat. Not entirely but they just need to screw the powering down. For the sake of the game id just stream line them make em fairly tanky with really good regeneration abilities and decent fire power and fairly expensive and slow but lore nerds are gonna flame.

ImO there is alot more crap that tindalos needs to worry about first before necrons....

There is a difference between taking game balance over lore and 'making it take a backseat'.

That would be an idiotic move by Tindalos. I think one of the better balancing elements for Necrons is not toning down power unreasonably, or reducing speed.

But retaining the Necrons proven policy of 'save what you can.'

X ship reaches Y health. It has a moderately high chance that it phases out, no chance to 'execute' the captain etc.

Now you are suggesting tindolos to impliment RNG which is pretty idiotic imo. RNG is one of many things that BFGA needs to cut down on in order to to improve vastly.

My way of stream lining some of their traits is much more reliable and just flat out better for the game. They can still stick with some lore aspects like superior regeneration and what not but going balls to the wall will not be good.

last edited by CANNED_F3TUS

I do not know why they would not file Necrons to the level with the others? In the first game, they had some level of flexibility and GW wanted from them was to follow the design of the models, that's why we had those funny Eldar weapons. Next thing is that the game is new and TT game old like hell. Many things had changed in the lore from that time, like whole Necron history, culture and motivations for example.

@grey-seer The issue is that we have data from the current edition of the Necron Fleet, and it has not changed. Shield of Baal: Devourer confirms the multiple types of FTL post 5e and Shield of Baal: Exterminatus Confirms explicitly Inertialess Drives. The majority of my examples above about their ability are from Fall of Orpheus, which takes place in 6th edition. All ships are present and encountered for, and all abilities (except starpulse generator) are used. So the fleet is the smae, which is to say significantly above every other fleet. Their playstyle was then and is now small amounts of elite ships, so I really don't see why tindalos would change that, especially due to the fact the trailer shows they are already following that model (they are outnumbered 24:8, or 3:1 in the eldar scenes).

@nemesor-xanxas and Shield of Baal is some sort of official information? It is BL publications with means nothing. BL writers contradict each other often and even the official GW publications like last Dark Imperium when Guy Haley apparently had not to much contact with Gathering Storm series or Codexes. Their books are entertaining, but they are not official truth written in stone. They can writhe what they want like in one book where a mob of standard humans overrun and kill in the mater of seconds a Space Marines in power armor with their mighty bare hands. Effects of BL writers imaginations are hints at best and I would not take them too seriously.

@grey-seer Devourer is BL, but Exterminatus is not. It is an official GW campaign supplement, and Fall of Orpheus is also not BL.

@canned_f3tus said in Necron Balance Thread (devs requested):

Now you are suggesting tindolos to impliment RNG which is pretty idiotic imo. RNG is one of many things that BFGA needs to cut down on in order to to improve vastly.

I'm no fan of RNG either, but you are aware this is a 40,000 game, right? Luck plays a role in EVERY one of their games, it's kind of a staple of the franchise.

Hell, the specific subgame this was based on has a considerable amount of luck in it. And when they tried to remove the RNG aspects (By turning dice roles in to a "guess the distance" call), it utterly removed a large part of the fun.

I don't want the RNG dialed up, but I certainly don't want it removed in this either.

@grey-seer said in Necron Balance Thread (devs requested):

@nemesor-xanxas and Shield of Baal is some sort of official information? It is BL publications with means nothing. BL writers contradict each other often and even the official GW publications like last Dark Imperium when Guy Haley apparently had not to much contact with Gathering Storm series or Codexes. Their books are entertaining, but they are not official truth written in stone. They can writhe what they want like in one book where a mob of standard humans overrun and kill in the mater of seconds a Space Marines in power armor with their mighty bare hands. Effects of BL writers imaginations are hints at best and I would not take them too seriously.

You're quite incorrect. Contradictions are not restricted to the Black Library.

Dolmen Gates, Grey Knights bathing in Adepta Sororitas blood, etc

40k's canon policy is quite literally "everything is canon' There is no such thing as retcons and so on. All material that isn't gameplay mechanics is, by the canon policy, in-universe material. Whether propaganda, myths, legends, historical archives. All of it is true and false at the same time.

@kadaeux I mean to be fair to him, C.S goto never wrote a codex.

@nemesor-xanxas said in Necron Balance Thread (devs requested):

@kadaeux I mean to be fair to him, C.S goto never wrote a codex.

I counter with "To be fair, Matt Ward never wrote a novel for them."
😛

@kadaeux Supposedly he wrote Khaine for the End Times in Fantasy
😛
Friend I know he was bad and all but he at least knew the lore. Goto...

@nemesor-xanxas said in Necron Balance Thread (devs requested):

@kadaeux Supposedly he wrote Khaine for the End Times in Fantasy
😛
Friend I know he was bad and all but he at least knew the lore. Goto...

If he knew the lore then the Dolmen Gates and Blood-Tide would never have been written by him 😛

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