Addressing current Imperial Navy deficiencies

Right now the Imperial navy is not very competitive or is at least very limited in this regard, this is mostly due to sub-par damage performance in most areas. Intended as the 'most versatile' faction in the game, the IN needs to have, in particular, its weaponry designed with this being the most important consideration.

The two biggest issues the IN now faces:

1. Generally poor weapons damage
The staple macro and lance batteries are supposed to provide the most reliable and effective DPS against almost all foes. Currently, it could be stated that lances perform alright, but macro weapons underperform drastically.

2. "Versatile" IN ships perform terribly and are also overcosted
Certain IN ships have very odd weapon load outs, each filling a very different role. This mix of weapons is fine, except these ships often are over costed and because they only have 1 of each 'type' of weapon, they CAN do anything but they do everything really badly. For any ship to be effective in this game, it has to be consistent in at least one role it fills. The Mars and Oberon are two glaring examples of example 2.

Expanding on point 1.
As a versatile faction, every weapon the Imperial navy needs to be designed to be useful agaisnt certain types of faction, but limited agaisnt others. So the following thought process should apply: (weapons traits) VS (faction traits) = effective/ineffective.
Let me use the two following examples to elaborate.

Ramming/torpedoes VS Necrons
Respectively: (High damage and torps reduce armour) VS (Slow after using jump and easy to catch and hit) = EFFECTIVE

Ramming/torpedoes VS Eldar (any)
Respectively: (High damage and torps reduce armour) VS (very fast/hard to catch and very easy to dodge skill shots with) = VERY INEFFECTIVE

Every single weapon design for the IN should revolve around this general formula (from rams to strike craft to boarding), with at least one weapon type being significantly effective agaisnt one other faction. Obviously other factors need to be considered, like which faction has a positioning/toughness advantage but the general weapons formula always applies, stat tweaks can balance out the nuances.

The current big issue is that while this system does apply to most IN weapons, these weapons are bad or have glaring issues. Macros in theory should work well vs Orks, however their damage is too poor.
IN lances can't compete with Chaos lances, yet IN are too slow to catch them to gain any other advantage and IN macros are actually worse than chaos macros AND Imperial strike craft are so slow and weak they probably won't even apply their damage.
Right now, IN can only compete in matchups where ramming torpedoes are effective, because only ramming and torps stats are good enough.

Expanding on point 2
IN ships that are more specialised (so ships that tout all/mostly macros + torps for close/midrange combat, or ships that tout more lances/long ranged macros for long range combat) don;t perform terribly, however IN ships designed to be 'jack of all trades' ships are awful. I will address the three 'most' versatile ships with the most conflicting loadouts to illustrate my point here, namely the Oberon, Mars and Dictator.
The issue with these ships is that they can do everything, but they don't do anything even half decently, making them pretty well useless, especially due to their nasty price tags. The fix is actually quite simple and there are two options:
Firstly, since these ships have mixed weapon loadouts, meaning they don't have perform consistently agaisnt any target, make them much cheaper so that their weakness is offset.
Secondly, and this is slightly more complex, make each individual weapon a lot stronger, so they can effectively fight any target, but make ship costs high. EG: Even though the Oberon only has 2 hangers, make it launch 3-4 squads instead of two while on Brace/buff the number of assault actions from boarding. Buff the Macros so they do more damage while on reload stance, so it can brawl nicely, and buff the lance damage when in lock on so it can dual with ranged factions effectively. This way, these ships can use their stances to remain effective agaisnt all foes, but they cost a lot, so these versatile fleets are never as numerous. To ensure that these ships aren't an obvious choice over less versatile IN ships, make sure they are appropriately more expensive.
This would greatly enhance the quality and depth of Imperial fleet building.

In Conclusion
The Imperial Navy needs some love, and even if it's just general stat tweaks to improve damage it would be helpful for improving the faction as a whole.

last edited by woolypeanut

I agree with the issues you pointed out. Torpedoes/rams are very very effective against anything they can catch (bar jaw nids) while horribly ineffective against faster targets. In the ideal situation, this is where the guns of imperial navy ships would come in. Take BFGA 1 for example. Imperials couldn't catch eldar, so instead they'd whittle them down with wave after wave with macros. Currently, this isn't really possible. Macros are too slow at range and also too weak.

I don't however think that giving random buffs like double squads in brace to ships like the Oberon is the way to fix the game or giving damage buffs in reload (especially considering you need lock on for long range combat). There was a time when the Oberon was a viable ship. This was when everything was more fragile. I think testing the old 25/50/75 armor values would be a good idea to see how it would make macros perform. Alternatively giving small macro damage buffs and things like extra velocity for plasma macros can help them out.

160 speed navy ships can move with 480 speed for 37,5 seconds. that's 18.000 distance and very similar to what an 280 speed eldar ship can move in the same time with two boosts (19.500). if you take into account, that most eldar ships have to fight at 9.000 range or less, the navy has very good chasers that trade roughly 1:6,5 hullpoints in ramming vs corsairs/DE and 1:4 vs craftworld (assuming that the ramming buffs stack on top of each other).

torp-carrier navy is extremly strong atm and imo the navy meta build.

last edited by Fosil

As of right now I feel like the Navy is actually the most competitive race in the game. Sure quite a few of Navy ships are pretty bad, sure Navy bombers are not effective, but!

  1. Navy macro is amazing. It gives amazing DPS at close range with Reload stance, AP upgrade and shooting from both sides, while on some ships it is pretty usefull for long range harrasment, making both kite and rush builds possible at the same time. Overlord is my bae.

  2. Navy ramming is powerful. With ram upgrade it's very powerful.

  3. Navy torpedoes are best in the game period. They give a lot of extra damage on top of ramming enemy ships, and they can be useful even with eldar, when you catch them after they used their boost.

  4. Retribution with MWJ ability is such a universal and ship. It can kite, it can bait, it can chase, it can ambush... It can do so much.

  5. Navy has a good number of Nova cannon ships, making going for a mass Nova build(eeeew though) a pretty good choice)

  6. Navy boarding.. Well, not great, not bad, just solid. A nice option to make your opponent use Call to Arms.

The only races I'm afraid of while playing Navy are other Navy players and Space Marines. SM are just too fast and simply have too much boarding and tankiness for Navy to deal with. Sure it's much easier if you go with Nova mass carrier build though...

So yea, some Navy ships need fixes, bombers need to be better, but deeeefinetly nothing crasy as this is required.

@Zeblasky navy bombers are 2 armor-piercing dps per hangar like everybody else bombers except tau, who have only 1,5dps and eldar, who have 2,5dps (and who have no cheap carrier ships). I don't know what you expect more from bombers to be "effective"? (admittedly ordnance only works well at point-blank range).

SM cruisers lose 1:3 on hull points if you ram them with navy cruisers (while having fleet wide ~2000 hull points less) and they need roughly 55-60 seconds to hulk a navy cruiser. they move slower in the first 40 seconds and can only hulk. you have to outplay the navy player to have a chance with SM.

@Fosil I do not agree with that either. You just spread your boarding and run while they tick down. IN does less than nothing to you outside of rams and torps. This is even more true with a LC build. Honestly almost all the SM players I run into on ladder are awful who just don't react to anything I do after boarding them. Only person who played them properly was Ashardalon who handily beat me even though he had awful luck with crits.

last edited by BrohanBroski

@brohanbroski 200 shield cruisers are vulnerable to engine crits and for the cost of one troop, you can kite them pretty long or chase them depending on your build. crons reliably get their engines with 40 macro and 12 lance dps without any access to lock-on. if you have trouble with boarding torps, try to use your escorts to eat them instead, they don't really care about troop damage. if they finally pull of a boarding run, you can MWJ into a torpedo/ram and a carrier heavy build gives you a ton of options how to deal with them more efficiently.

I don't have trouble with boarding torps. You can't get engine critted if you angle so your prow is taking the shots. Going from 60th to 12th I only lost a single match against SM which was running into Ashardalon. If you play conservatively and to the caps as SM while targeting IN engines with your boarding there isn't much the IN player can do to proactively win. People are honestly just bad as SM and used to being able to do a hard rush and hulk everything. Imo and in Ashardalon's opinion SM are stronger now with the ap changes than they were before even with instant boarding.

last edited by BrohanBroski

@BrohanBroski afaik there is no in-game tooltip indicating that the location plays any role in determining subsystem crits. the tutorial does not mentions it either (interestingly it mentions that you lose access to hull skills at under 30% hull points, which does not happen in-game).

We have tested and had the devs confirm that your engine can't get critted with prow hits


Well that's nice to know... Are other critical hits limited in similar fashion? Are generator hits also safe from the front? Weapons systems only vulnerable from specific directions? (Honestly interested, not sarcastic).

There seems to be a great deal of hidden information this time around, particularly regarding critical hits, think the only reason I know half of what I do is due to forum content, (admittedly the first game didn't have the greatest clarity regarding various mechanics, for example I didn't learn for a few months that armor was dodge based rather than damage mitigation).

Combined with the on going issues with tooltips (finding it very annoying that you can't see squadron info in fleet viewer, you have to start a battle to see this info, and don't get me started on merged battery tooltips), think there is a large barrier to new or casual players to clearly understand how the game works. Also need to clearly indicate that Lances, Zapps, Ion cannons, etc don't count as "standard" weapons. 🙄

They really need to greatly expand the in game help and information topics.

I agree completely that they do. Weapons are directional, you can't crit IN broadside weapons from the front but you can crit the top turrets ect.

last edited by BrohanBroski

that is so impenetrable game design. 🤖

PS: one more reason to go with dictators

I think the IN are top dogs in the ladder atm. They probably should be tweaked last and hook up the factions that are still trash tier.

@canned_f3tus said in Addressing current Imperial Navy deficiencies:

I think the IN are top dogs in the ladder atm. They probably should be tweaked last and hook up the factions that are still trash tier.

Which factions do you feel are trash tier?

Torps and Ram are highly usable vs all factions. Even if you don't hit with a Torp it can make the enemy move a certain way you want them to. Dauntless and non ram fleets I have less exp with but have heard nothing but solid comments on. There are a few ships in our lineup that are oddballs, the other LCs besides dauntless, and the other battleships in the list, mostly the other 3 not good old Ret, you put a Spur on any of them, and I would mess around with them in builds though. Eldar are by far the hardest match up VS IN, but I am told in the right hands Nyd carrier fleets are disgusting, upper legendary haven't seen this yet. Eldar are tough because your playing the long game, with each side waiting for the other to mess up, If the Eldar messes up I eat him alive, If he doesn't I win, but the dynamic can get real stale, and imo double daunts are needed in most IN fleets, just because of how easy it is to chop apart Eldar comparably. I believe IN sits at a very respectable spot right now. I dont all out hate any match up though Eldar would be the most frustrating, I have yet to blame anything but poor ram /torp micro, or bringing my gothic fleet ( lance boats in general need to be looked at again imo). Weakest race I can see right now is Admech, but that because they do something similiar to the tau gun line, stack 5 gothics and shoot at a enemy coming in , anything that isn't new , this barely is successful. SM are super easy to pop off so far as IN, they dont expect to get dps down as fast as they do, not to mention start with the small ships and work your way up to the big ships, that might help.

Right now IN is mid tier with some super favourable matchups and some super unfavourable ones. I went from 60th overall on the ladder to 12th in about 3 days for the purposes of doing a state of IN/faction overhaul idea writeup to send the devs through the balance group. I really didn't enjoy my time with them near the end. The challenge also increased exponentially as I managed to break into top 20, it took significantly longer to get from there to 12th than it did to get from 60th to 20th. I believe this is because I ran into more people willing to play to IN weaknesses even if it resulted in a very long and boring game as well as more people using less interactive but overwhelming builds such as the nid carrier spam.

@brohanbroski you used armageddon BCs mainly? try to play with dictators and one MWJ exorcist, in my experience it really helps their ramming and torpedo game and it makes stealth capping really hard against them. (which matchups are in your opinion unfavourable for the navy?)

last edited by Fosil