Starburst damage is brutally overpowered at the moment - Chapter Master Valrak's video on Youtube offers a prome example of just how excessively powerful it can be - being more than capable of taking out entire groups of opposing ships with no realistic ability to counter it.
That said, in other regards Necron fleets feel strangely fragile, with their lack of shields and the way hull cuaterisation eats into maximum hull integrity combining to make the fleet that should be one of the most resiliant in the game based on the lore and gameplay mechanics of the tabletop BFG game feel distinctly flimsy. The faction definitely needs some work.
I have seen several players in discussion about the very high level of scuttle damage applied when a drifting hulk explodes, and how this is unduly punishing for fleets that rely heavily on boarding like Space Marines and Tyranids, and at the same time I have seen other players talking about how boarding and other assault attacks, especially from Tyranids, can extremely quickly wipe out the crew of even a battleship and leave it drifting. Both sides of this debate feel the situiation is unfair, and I have seen for myself that both sides have a point, and after some thought I have lit upon what I think might be a solution.
I would suggest that all capital ships (escorts have crews too small to effectively fight off a concerted boarding action from a larger ship) should get access to a dedicated 'repel boarders' stance, which reflects the general crew being armed and rushed to improvised barricades, bulkheads being locked down, power being diverted to internal defence networks and force fields, and similar such measures.
The effect in game might be a reduced risk of suffering critical damage from assault boats, lightning strikes, boarding actions and other assault options like Lictor Infestations, along with increased resistance to troop losses caused by such attacks. Using the stance would also have negative effects, possibly reducing fire rate, ship manouverability and the cooldown rate of ship abilities while in the stance, since the crew are at the barricades and armed to fight boarders instead of being at their posts, making using the stance a trade off for the player.
At the same time, since boarding is less of an overwhelming threat in all instances with such a stance available, scuttle damage could be reduced to a more reasonable level, perhaps something like 100 damage to all ships within its area of effect absorbed by shields, or possibly the chance of successfully scuttling the ship is not certain, with the greater the forces committed to the boarding of a ship by an attacker, the lesser the odds that it can be successfully scuttled before the crew are all killed, making borading a real all or nothing manoeuver.
I would further suggest that recrewing a ship with a skeleton crew should also carry greater penalties (the original crew being all dead and the replacement crew being heavily understrength and not familiar with the ship). Reduced fire rate is a good start, but I would also say that the recrewed ship can no longer perform assault actions of any kind of its own (it has too few personnel aboard to attempt such a feat) and all ability cooldowns should be extended by 50% for the remainder of the battle. That seems like a reasonable consequence for the loss of an entire ship's crew strength.
The take and hold mission system isn't ideal. It isn't as though there is even debris fields, dormant orbital weapon platforms, or wrecked space stations to form some kind of indicator of what makes that area strategic - it is just a blank expanse of open space. It makes little sense in the campaign, and doesn't seem to work well in the multiplayer, encouraging spamming as many stealth frigates and light vessels as possible, and perversely disinsentivising actual ship to ship combat, which is surely the point of the game.
In all honestly, I was very glad of the auto resolve option in the campaign, sicne it let me dodge out of endlessly playing take and hold missions.
A 'repel boarders' stance has the advantage of also being fairly fluffy with regard to the lore of the setting and the kind of historical naval battles that inspired the tabletop version of the game. I am sure Tindalos and Focus Home Interactive could deal with any balance issues a stance like this might bring about, most obviously by tweaking the level of penalty inflicted for employing the stance in the first place.
@brohanbroski But all the Call to Arms (and similar such orders in other fleets) do is restore a measure of lost troop strength for a vessel as a battle goes on - it doesn't help you resist boarding at the time, so to speak, reflecting a redployment of forces to repel boarders in the act of breachintg your ship's hull. Those players who are worried about the effects of boarding are concerned about ships at full troop strength getting boarded and overrun instantly, reducing even battleships to drifting hulk status on the spot. A repel boarders stance would specifically address that situation, while including debuffs as a price for using it makes it a tradeoff and forces the player to think whetehr or not they wish to employ it. With such a system in place, mitigating scuttle damage becomes a fair balancing method, leaving everyone on a reasonably equal footing. I still think the idea has merit.
Tyranids and Necrons might get an advantage in this situation, since their troop replenishment skill reflects the use of spawning pools to literally breed more trops on the spot/teleport more warrirors direct from the Tomb World respectively. On that topic, I also think Tyranids should have an ability that allows them to spawn more ordinace to replace lost charges, since in the tabletop game Tyranids weren't subject to ordinace limits specifically because launch bay equipped ships could spawn more Tyranid ordinance mid-battle.
Perhaps a separate ability that shares a cool down with this one (so you can only ever employ one at a time) might allow them to recover boarding charges, for the same reason of being able to mass produce more bioconstructs on the fly. It would make the Tyranids much more effective when it comes to assault actions once the issues with boarding are fixed, but they were always the most dangerous boarding force in the tabletop game as well, and it fits their lore exactly - having your ship invaded by engineered killers that outnumber your forces many, many times over would be a dire propect for any warship.
The Feeder Tendril issue does seem to be a bug (an amusing bug for Tyranid players, less so for everyone else) and should be reported often enough to get the devloper's attention so they can deal with it. It doesn't happen all the time though - I have used Feeder Tendrils myself and seen them work as they are supposed to, so the issue seems to be intermittant or might only effect some fleet matchups.
@mystic_taboo 'GeeDubs' is a (not entirely) affectionate knickname for Games Workshop (often abbreviated to GW by wargamers, which is the source of the GeeDubs term), the tabletop wargaming company that owns the Warhammer 40,000 IP, created the original tabletop Battlefleet Gothic game this game is an adaptation of, and wrote the Gathering Storm narrative that included the Fall of Cadia and provided the plotline that was used for the prologue to this game.
As someone who follows GW's own publications I am in a better position to know what is going on, so I hope I can help. The 'Mechanicus chap' is Belisarius Cawl, a senior Archmagos of the Mechanicus who has been around for 10,000 years since the days of the Horus Heresy and is associated with Roboute Guilliman, the Primarch of the Ultramarines Space Marine chapter (Cawl created the Primaris Marines, thiough that is a spearate topic). Cawl has many areas of interest, but one is trying to understand the workings of ancient Necron technology, including the Pylons mentioned in the cutscene.
The 'scarecrow' is a Necron called Trazyn the Infinite. He is a collector of sorts, obsessed with collecting abnd catologuing artifacts and living 'specimens' - heroes and important personages from the various other species of the galaxy who he holds in status in his personal vaults at Solemnace (think Marvel's Collector, only with more advanced technology, a more sarcastic attitude, and being an uploaded alien personality in an android body).
While these two would normally be enemies (the Mechanicus considers Necrons tech-heresy abominations and the Necrons consider the Mechanicus vermin that seek to steal secrets not meant for them), here they share a common goal - neither wants the Eye of Terror to consume the galaxy. Cawl still doesn't understand the Pylon's true nature, but Trazyn was there when they were built and is able to use them to drive back the expanding Eye of Terror. Indeed, the whole reason behind Abaddon's actions over the last several decades before the events in the prologue was to destroy the Pylons in order to remove them as an obstacle to the spread of the Eye and the dominance of the Ruinous Powers.
I hope that helps.
I think everyone can agree that the Tyranids are one of the factions that need work and rebalancing. Part of that can be done by fixing the boarding and other assault actions system and lowering scuttle damage/reworking how scuttling works, but even after that the faction itself probably needs a bit longer in the developer's geno-organs. I hope they have enough time left before release
The issue with 'currency' is a pressing one. Even when you start upgrading the systems you hold, you still don't recieve much in the way of a resource generation buff, and you are looking at investing 250 resources to get 60 per turn back, so it takes a while for an upgraded system to start paying for itself. That doesn't include the cost of system defences, and upgarding ship yards to gain more construction points and the capacity to build larger ships is extra, and then there is the cost of maintaining your fleet and purchasing new ships. Add in the timer effect of the urgency system, and the current level of resource generation feels woefully inadequate.
More generally on the timer, I undertand why the developers inculded it, to stop players turtling up, building up a huge fleet, and then steamrollering everything, and to add a sense of urgency to the conflict, but I still can't help but find it annoying, because it stops you from platying the way you want to and feels inappropriate for some factions.The Imperium being stretched fits the scenario of the 13th Black Crusade, but the implacable Necrons who have been in stasis for 60 million odd years? The Tyranids who operate on time scales of hundreds of millions of years and travel between galaxies over the course of millennia? Why would they have the same kind of timer mechanic?
I also second your point about the power of system defence platforms not being added to the strength of enemy fleets in system. It is misleading, and can cause you to commit forces to an assault while being unaware of the true strength of the forces present. It would be a simple matter to display system defence strength alongside fleet strength to avoid this issue.
@romeo You have a point. Given how huge the modding scene is, this seems like a massive oversight from the developers. Give gamers the chance to mod, and fan made campaings set during the Horus Herey or even the Great Crusade seem likely, along with plenty of options to mod versions of the other campaigns that GW will release going forward, such as the Vigilus War of Beasts happening right now over on the tabletop side of the hobby (though that is mostly a planet side fight in the current lore). Why not give the fans the chance to do that, since it can only serve to extend the life of your game?