Offence/Defence Equilibrium in List-Building and Unit Composition

Greetings, fellow Survivors, Wolves and Saviors! An article for you today on offence/defence balance in list/unit composition. This article is aimed primarily at newer players, but it may put words on notions that more experienced players have come to instinctively apply without necessarily fully understanding. Indeed, one of the key concepts to implement when building a list is to seek balance between resiliency and damage output, both on an individual unit level but also across your army taken as a whole. What I mean by the is that you have to ensure your army is able to deliver punches but is also able to withstand them, and vice versa. If you concentrate too great a portion of your points on high-damage but fragile units, you will be able to deliver a mean alpha strike, but your ability to be alpha’ed yourself and not fold right there and then will be poor. Conversely, an army composed uniquely of units that are extremely efficient tarpits like Brimstone Horrors will be nigh unkillable, but will hit like a wet blanket.

Before I dive in too deeply into the topic at hand, let me just explain briefly what I mean when I use the terms “offence” and “defence” (just to avoid confusion/lack of clarity). When I talk about offence, I am referencing everything that is related to killing your opponent’s dudes. Generaly, that means guns (big, noisy ones, preferably in large amounts) or close combat weapons and the attributes that make them function (Ballistic Skill, Weapon Skill, Strength, etc), but everything that increases their effectiveness – reroll abilities (a Marine Captain’s “Rites of Battle” rule) or psychic powers (Chaos’ Prescience power) and the like – would also fall under that category. When I talk about defence, I generally refer to the the Wounds and/or number of models in a unit, Armour Save and Toughness, but also everything else that boosts the efficiency of these: negative to-hit modifiers (the Raven Guard Chapter Tactic, for example), extra “save” rolls (Disgustingly Resilient), improved cover saves (Scouts’ Camo Cloaks) and other things of that nature. In short, offence = everything that kills or helps kill, defence = everything that helps you survive.

On a unit level, balancing how many and what kind of upgrades you add to a model or squad is in large part how you achieve that equilibrium between offence and defence. For example, take the twin Lascannon Predator tank: not taking the Lascannon sponsons  in order to save points is a bad idea because it makes the tank a little more than 25% cheaper… but also halves its damage output; you might as well just take a twin Las Razorback at that point, which might have one less Wound (less than 10% more fragile), but is also almost 20% cheaper, able to deliver 6 Marines into combat AND has the same damage output. In other words, the sponson-less Predator has worse offence/defence balance than a Pred that does have sponsons.

“It puts the sponsons on the tank or else it gets the hose again!”

Speaking of Razorbacks: notwithstanding the range difference, the twin Assault Cannon turret and the twin Heavy Bolter turret are actually very close to each other in terms of cost-effectiveness across most target types (thanks in large part to the wacky 8th edition to-wound table). So why does everyone use Assbacks (Assault Cannon Razorbacks) over Bolterbacks (Heavy Bolter Razorbacks)? Because the Assback costs a little over 20% more than the Bolterback does, but puts out about twice the damage – therefor achieving a much better offense-to-defense ratio. Incidentaly, this is why you should always have a Storm Bolter on your Assbacks – this humble weapon is amongst the most cost-effective guns in the entire Space Marine arsenal, believe it or not. I’d almost be tempted to say “strap it on everything” but realistically, some tanks like a Predator Annihilator (that’s the all-Las Pred for you young’uns) may never get a chance to use it, so putting one on it may end up being a waste – though there’s something to be said about being able to put 4 shots into a unit that just deep-struck within 9 inches of your tank…

The flipside of the above is that you don’t want to go overboard with upgrades because you then get bad defence-to-offence ratios. Just imagine a 2000 pts list consisting of a single Predator on which you somehow were allowed to strap 54 Heavy Bolters and 54 Lascannons; sure, the thing is going to tear an absolutely huge chunk out of your army if it goes first, but it’s unlikely to be able to kill your WHOLE army. Ergo, when your turn rolls around, your opponent will be in a rough spot if even just a couple of anti-tank weapons managed to survive the massacre. And if you managed to get the first turn? Game over, man – game over! A less hyperbolic example would be an army composed of nothing but 5-man squads of Plasmagun-packing Inquisitorial Acolytes riding in Rhinos led by a few Inquisitors. Each Acolyte packs a mean punch but is utterly incapable of standing up to a stiff breeze, so when the Rhinos go *Pop!* you’re going to start losing a lot of your combat power at a worrying pace.

Now, the offence/defence balance is not the only factor one needs to take into consideration when looking at units. Sometimes, the utility a unit brings trumps its poor offensive ability. Space Marine Scouts have actually little damage output for how much they cost, but the fact that they are a Troop (ergo help to secure additional Command Points thanks to allowing the use of Battalion detachments), can infiltrate unto distant objectives (with Objective Secured) and/or act as buffers against deep strikes means that we can overlook their less-than-stellar punch. You wouldn’t want a whole army of Scouts, but a few squads will act as a powerful force multiplier for your army.

As alluded to earlier, the offence/defence equilibrium concept is also applicable at an army level. Adding some units can greatly boost the overall resiliency of the list, even if they lack much (if any)striking power. The most salient example I can think of is Conscripts: those cheap little buggers can vastly improve the survivability of your list by acting as a buffer between the core of your force and a lot of mean assault units like infiltrating Alpha Legion Berzerkers (Ow! I think my fluff organ just burst :-(). Conversely, fragile but powerful units like min-sized Devastators can use the buffer generated by the Conscripts to provide fire support from afar, safe from most of the possible enemy retaliation. Ergo, these two extremes on the offence-to-defence spectrum work in conjunction to boost the overall offence/defence equilibrium of your list.

To help illustrate the concept a little more, here’s an “all-teeth” list:

Ultramarines Spearhead Detachment

  • Sergeant Chronus
  • Venerable Dreadnought – 2 Twin Autocannons
  • Dreadnought – 2 Twin Autocannons
  • Predator – Predator Autocannon, 2 Sponson Lascannons
  • 5 Devastators – 4 Gravcannons, Storm Bolter
  • 5 Devastators – 4 Gravcannons, Storm Bolter
  • 5 Devastators – 4 Gravcannons, Storm Bolter
  • 5 Devastators – 4 Gravcannons, Storm Bolter
  • Razorback – Twin Assault Cannons, Storm Bolter
  • Razorback – Twin Assault Cannons, Storm Bolter
  • Razorback – Twin Assault Cannons, Storm Bolter
  • Razorback – Twin Assault Cannons, Storm Bolter

Ultramarines Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment

  • RobouteGuilliman

A very compact, hard-hitting list, but every single model this list loses is going to hurt to a certain degree. Can we keep the core of this list and add enough meat on the bone to mitigate this at least a bit? Sure we can!

Ultramarines Spearhead Detachment

  • Sergeant Chronus
  • 5 Scouts – Heavy Bolter
  • Venerable Dreadnought – 2 Twin Autocannons
  • Dreadnought – 2 Twin Autocannons
  • Predator – Twin Lascannons, 2 Sponson Lascannons
  • 5 Devastators – 4 Gravcannons, Armorium Cherub
  • 5 Devastators – 4 Gravcannons, Armorium Cherub
  • 5 Devastators – 4 Gravcannons, Armorium Cherub
  • Razorback – Twin Assault Cannons, Storm Bolter
  • Razorback – Twin Assault Cannons, Storm Bolter
  • Razorback – Twin Assault Cannons, Storm Bolter

Ultramarines Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment

  • RobouteGuilliman

Astra Militarum IMPERIAL GUARD Patrol Detachment

  • Company Commander – Boltgun
  • Comissar – Boltgun
  • 24 Conscripts
  • 24 Conscripts

So by sacrificing a single Dev squad and its Razorback ride as well as the all the Dev Sergeants’ Storm Bolters, we’re able to grab two squads of Conscripts to screen our force with (along with the mandatory Company Command and Comissar), a small squad of Scouts that can either act as a screen against deep-strikers/infiltrators or infiltrate unto a distant objective and some Armorium Cherubs to act as cheap bulletcatchers for the Dev squads. Bonus: we upgraded the Pred’s main gun to a Twin Las! Our new list has sacrificed a little in the offence department but has gained A LOT in survivability. A solid trade-off.


In summary, to ensure your army is effective on the battlefield, it needs to achieve that balance between its ability to put out damage with its capability to absorb return fire. Usually that means ensuring most individual units are themselves fairly well balanced between those two aspects, with some provision being made for force-multiplication units that don’t necessarily obey this rule of thumb. It will also be often a good idea to add certain units that are more specialised towards one end of the spectrum but can work in tandem with their polar opposites to improve the overall effectiveness of the list (such as the Conscripts and Devastors used in the example above).

Before I conclude, I want to thank the rest of the 3++ authors for providing me their input during the drafting of this piece. Your help has been most appreciated; thanks gents!

And on that, I leave you with the following list to analyse; it is the reverse of our example “all teeth” list – resilient but with little punch. Post in the comments how you would change it so it strikes a better balance between offence and defence.

Ultramarines Battalion Detachment

  • Sergeant Chronus
  • Chief Librarian Tigurius
  • 10 Tactical Marines – Combi-Plasma, Plasmagun, Gravcannons
  • 10 Tactical Marines – Combi-Plasma, Plasmagun, Gravcannons
  • 10 Tactical Marines – Combi-Plasma, Plasmagun, Gravcannons
  • 5 Scouts – Heavy Bolter
  • 10 Devastators – 4 Lascannons, Armorium Cherub
  • 10 Devastators – 4 Lascannons, Armorium Cherub
  • Rhino – 2 Storm Bolters, Hunter-Killer Missile
  • Rhino – 2 Storm Bolters, Hunter-Killer Missile
  • Rhino – 2 Storm Bolters
  • Rhino – 2 Storm Bolters
  • Rhino – 2 Storm Bolters

Ultramarines Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment

  • Roboute Guilliman

 

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31 responses to Offence/Defence Equilibrium in List-Building and Unit Composition

Ultra Battalion

Chronus – Pred, twin las, 2 x hb

Libraian – force sword

5 x tac marines – plasma gun

5 x tac marines – plasma gun

5 x scouts

5 x Devs – 2 x las, 2 x missile

Ultra Battalion

Tech marine

Tech marine

5 x tac marines – plasma gun

5 x tac marines – plasma gun

5 x scouts

Ven dred – 2 x twin autocannon

Ven dred – 2 x twin autocannon

Pred – twin las, 2 x hb

Pred – twin las, 2 x hb

Ultra super heavy aux

Guilliman

1998 pts, 12 cp

When you buy a pred for Chronus don't skimp on the guns, he has 2+ BS no matter how damaged it is, always get him 4 las or Pred auto cannon and 2 las, he is a massive anti flyer threat. You are better putting twin HB on your devs and having the las sponsons on chronus

Taking a libby with force sword over tiggy is a huge waste of points, libbys are good awful, and a captain is always better than double tech marine

Pedantic point of order: the distinction between a Predator Annihilator and Destructor is the weapon in the turret, the sponsons are irrelevant. A Predator Annihilator has a twin-linked lascannon as its turret weapon, it can have either sponson option or even none at all. A Predator Destructor, likewise, is defined by its autocannon turret and can have whatever sponsons.

Thankfully the community just names things anyway.

Dakka pred = AC/HB
ACLC Pred = self explanatory
Trip Las = should be quad las now I guess… that has no ring to it. Lame.

The sergeant storm bolter wouldn’t gel well with the signum, a definite case could be made to say the armorium cherub’s once per game ability combined with the signum would outweigh the offensive ability provided by the storm bolter. There’s also the point that you need to balance your offence between high fire rate and high strength/AP. In this edition it would seem the optimum solution is to spend just enough on offence to make each unit viable at whatever role you want for them and spend as little as you can get away with on defence, unless of course you’re making a tarpit or other horde unit.

As for scouts, remember they have a lot of the same offensive abilities as a tactical squad barring special and heavy weapons just with less defence, they’re a passable disposable bolter squad as well as being a handy blocker and sometimes that’s vqaluable as well.

The Sergeant is no longer prevented from firing his weapon while using the Signum, so there's no problem (in theory) with putting a SB on the sarge.

No denying that Scouts are useful, but the specials/heavies available to Tacticals make a big difference in damage output. If they both had exactly the same options, there's be little incentive to take Tacs at all, tbh.

I'll be honest: your no-teeth list is actually pretty toothy, though it is a 2160 list – you forgot to pay for Chronus's Predator.

8 lascannons (or 10?) is a pretty darn good start. I would only make a few small changes.

1. Chronus is the only actual tank in the list – he will be focus fired immediately and only get to shoot once, and he's a lot of points for a unit that will only shoot once. Swap him for a Techmarine with a conversion beamer.

2. You have too many Rhinos – drop 2 of them. Then add the missing HKM to the others. This is still enough Rhino for all three Tac squads (if that's what you are going for) but no waste on the Devs for little return.

3. I'm not a fan of 5 scouts with a Heavy Bolter. They are excellent screeners, keep them that way. Swap their gear for either all bolters or (my favorite) all shotguns.

4. This saves you enough points to add a 3rd Lascannon Dev squad, keep some extra bodies/bulletcatchers for them – you add just one more body, then split the 21 devs across 3 squads with a total of 12 lascannons (or mix in ML if you prefer).

1996 pts / 107 PL / 9 CP
Tiggy
Techmarine w/ CB
10 Tacs w/ Grav, Plas, CombiPlas
10 Tacs w/ Grav, Plas, CombiPlas
10 Tacs w/ Grav, Plas, CombiPlas
5 Scouts w/ Shotguns
7 Devs, 4 Lascannon, Cherub
7 Devs, 4 Lascannon, Cherub
7 Devs, 4 Lascannon, Cherub
3 Rhinos w/ 2 SB, HKM
Girlyman

Though personally, I'd swap Girlyman and the HQs for a Captain, a Lt, and a Company Ancient w/ the Relic Standard, buff the Devs back to 10 man (so they can combat squad) and use the Salamanders trait instead. You even have 245 points to spend on your favorite toy that isn't already in the list (or can easily drop an upgrade to make it under 1750 if needed.). Added benefit of being only 1 Detachment in case the tournament format restricts these things.

Guilliman is one of the most (if not the single most) effective units per point in the whole current game…
Not taking him in favor of some other chapter tactics/special character is already hard to justify – but not taking him although you already chose Ultramarines as chapter tactics is just impossible to justify.

Not to besmirch he primarch’ good name but you can have a bare bones captain & LT for 134 points which if you use the chapter master strategem is almost as good.

That is another devastator squad or hellblasters squad you can have instead.

Sure he is worth it but you can find other ways to get most of what he gives you if you are willing to give up the close combat punch.

You can even get access to relics and the very handy storm of fire warlord trait.

Guillemans good if you play to his strengths. Aggressive units pushing up with him to secure the centre of the battlefield and dictate the game. If you note in all my lists, they are using Guillemans buffs to mitigate the move and fire penalty on shorter range heavy weapons with lower S but better RoF.

The problem that Guilleman has, is that 8th Ed 40k it's about taking objectives and alpha strikes, and he is just nowhere near as good at either as specialised troops are. He can't deny alpha strikes, and as good as his buffs are, Ultramarines are just bad at alphas striking.

Ultramarines are the middle ground, they do a bit of everything, but nothing well. No single chapter is actually good at the game, only a combined force is, which makes sense, each chapter is specialised at doing one thing well. You wouldn't expect a single chapter to defeat elements of several. Ultramarines come really close to doing it, off the back of Guilleman Chronus and Tiggy, but no matter what list you build, adding a detachment from another chapter or faction is better. You simply never want to put all 2k of your army in one place where their auras aid one another.

Hey Desc440,

Neat article.

I would like to see how you would change your first list to gain more resilency without resorting to using an Imperial Guard detachment. Imperial Soup is great and all but not for everyone, and showing how to make the most of that army list with JUST more Ultramarines would be great to see. Cheers.

I'd drop one Dev squad and Razorbacks to get some Scouts and add some Cherubs to the Devs. There would probable be enough points left to get a Techmarine and thus turn the Spearhead into a Battalion, earning ourselves some extra CPs.

Wracked my brains to come up with a couple of pure Ultra Marine lists that combine resilience and firepower and is based around 1 small 1 CP detachment:

Vanguard Detachment

Chief Librarian Tigurius

3 * Aggressor with Boltstorm Gauntlets and Frag launchers
3 * Aggressor with Boltstorm Gauntlets and Frag launchers
3 * Aggressor with Boltstorm Gauntlets and Frag launchers
5 * Devestator with Armorium Cherub, 1 Las cannon, 2 Grav and a Heavy Bolter

Super Heavy Auxillary Detachment
Sokar Pattern Stormbird

Super Heavy Auxillary Detachment
Roboute Guilleman

The Sokar only has the same firepower as three predators, however for 283 pts, you get the ability to carry 50 space marines, -1 to be hit, can move and fire, and most importantly 2 more toughness, 7 more wounds and a 4++ that works vs mortal wounds and reduce enemy ranges by 12"

Whether the pay off in firepower for resilience is worth it is debatable, however with Tiggy helping out with an additional -1, it becomes fairly difficult to bring down, especially for armies with lower BS's.

Sokar can carry Primaris, no errata saying it can't from forge world, so it does as it pleases.

"The Sokar Pattern Stormbird can transport 50 <CHAPTER> INFANTRY models. Each JUMP PACK or TERMINATOR model takes the space of two other Infantry models and each CENTURION takes the space of three other INFANTRY models. It may also transport <CHAPTER> BIKER models who take up the place of three INFANTRY models each. The Sokar Pattern Stormbird may also transport a single <CHAPTER> RHINO,
including its own transported models, occupying 25 models’ worth of space. When disembarking, the Rhino may only exit via the rear of the Sokar Pattern Stormbird."

Great article. I like how you clearly defined your terms and backed it up with examples to effectively get your point across.

P.S. Having Alpha Legion zerkers isn't as bad a fluff sin as you think. They could very well be remnants of a broken World Eaters warband that the AL manipulated into doing their dirty work.

Thanks mate! And I can certainly picture the AL manipulating the WE, but I have difficulty imagining a bunch of crazed Berzerkers being all sneaky beaky and managing to to successful infiltrate into position without being detected…

Alpha legion operatives with berzerker switches, obviously. They sneak into position, activate their frenzon/butcher's nails/whatever, and then raaaghgghgasdklfhasmashmurderkillsraraihgh.

"You can set up the unit in concealment"

It is quite clear, in this example, the Alpha Legion are concealing the enemy -from- the beserkers as soon as the game begins and the tzeentch sorcerer stops weaving his illusions, the 'zerkers see their enemy and charge (or as is the case half the time, get mown down by bolter fire)

Space Marine rules of thumb:

Do not use any other heavy weapon on models which can equip a Gravcannon

Never take 10 man tactical squads when you could take 2x 5 man tacticals instead

I wasn't aware that the grav-cannon was capable of mortal wounds like the humble heavy bolter and missile launcher are.

Whilst i agree with the latter point, the first point is naive in the extreme.

Tactical marines don't really want to ever have heavy weapons if they can help it. They don't want to stand back and shoot, they are 65pts for a unit that wants to be 12" from the enemy at the least. If you aren't taking melta bombs and plasma on them, you need to stop and ask yourself why not. Point for Point, the plasma gun is going to beat anything else you can buy for dealing with light tanks and heavy infantry, with the bonus it shreds light infantry too and can hurt heavy tanks. It's weakness is that it's effective range is 12", but you have a unit begging to be 12" from the enemy.

If every target in the game was T4 3+ sv with 6 wnds you are correct, Grav would be the best gun. It's not, not even close. Heavy Bolters outperform Grav on the vast majority of infantry. Even vs Primaris who should be ideal Grav targets. Why?

943pts gets you 92 shots 3+ S5 -3 D3. 45.4 dead intercessors
943pts gets you 123 shots 3+ S5 -1 1. 27.3 dead intercessors

However, while this is the paper comparison this isn't the in game compariosn, because Intercessors and Hellblasters out range grav. We'll use Intercessors as an example, armed with 4 bolter shots and a Krak grenade at 30" range and 9 squads

36 Bolter Rounds and 9 Krak grenades kills 8 Devastators before they can fire.
This reduces the Grav cannon firepower by 32 shots. If that wasn't bad enough, the Grav is -still- out of range, having to pick up and move 6" to fire back, taking a -1 to hit.

60 shots on 4's to hit only kills 25 intercessors.

This maths is extremely basic, ignoring force multipliers cover, signums and the points costs of sergeants, all of which favour the Grav cannon, and ignoring the fact you can mount heavy bolters on a ludicrous amount of other vehicles and squads amplifying the signum effects on the heavy bolters. I also picked the best grav target in intercessors, my original attempts vs 'nid warriors, made grav look so bad it wasn't true (mainly cos the 'nids killed every grav wielder before it could fire)

I hope however, it shows, why grav is a very specialist gun, with a distinct job of wiping out Hvy infantry with 3+ armour saves and multiple wounds. For anti tank, it can't even beat Missile Launchers, let alone Plasma and Las cannons.

Andy, I have to disagree with you mate. While Tacticals may WANT to operate within 12 inches, in practice, this will usualy occur only once or twice a game at best. And outside of RF range, a moving GC only really tails the overcharged Plasmagun against T6/7 targets in terms of cost-effectiveness.

The whole argument about effectiveness vs Intercessors is bananas… why would the Grav devs be on foot rather than deploying from a transport? And if they're on foot, where does that leave the plasmagun?

Really, the Gravcannon is where it's at for Tacs.

I was trying to show, that the terrible range on grav is the balancing factor.

For Devastators, part of the units appeal is it is able to secure deployment zone objectives while dishing out firepower relying on a 2+ to deal with the worst of damage, Grav is beyond useless at this.

For use in objective taking, I agree with you completely, you must protect the Grav in a transport to allow it to get in to range and there to stop it getting alpha struck before it fires. To have any chance to get in range T1, it has to be at the very front of your deployment zone. The dream is to be able to disembark 3" turn 1 in range and open fire. Then you only take a -1 to hit for 1 turn. Doing this though makes you very vulnerable to having your rhinos popped and your squad wiped out. Or worse, your rhino tied up in melee. In average play, it will be smoke from the rhino hiding out of los or in cover, move forward then troops out T2.

Issue here is you have to pay 72pts for the rhino, you can mitigate this by going for stormravens, similar firepower to predators, way better survivabilty (can deploy super far back), but now you are free to have frag cannons plasma and melta bombs, all of which far surpass grav in dmg per point

Played around a little, and built a list which obviously can't compete with the Sokar because it's mental, but is a little more sensible. I assume Guilleman man-moded it and jumped from space.

The Deredo can be dropped for a normal Dread, but it does bring a ludicrous amount of Resilience Dark Angels style.

Ultramarine Elite Task Force

Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachment (3cp)
Roboute "Master Chief" Guilleman

Spearhead Detachment (1cp)
Techmarine with the Primarch's Wrath

Relic Deredo Dreadnought with Plasma Carronade, Atomantic Pavaise, Heavy Bolters
Venerable Dreadnought with Quad Auto Cannons
5 * Devastators with 2 Grav Cannons and a cherub

Battalion Detachment (2cp extra relic)
Chief Librarian Tigurius
Captain with Teeth of Terra

5 * Tactical Marines with Plasma and Melta Bombs
5 * Tactical Marines with Plasma and Melta Bombs
5 * Tactical Marines with Plasma and Melta Bombs

2 * Stormraven with Twin melta, Twin Plasma, Two Stormstrikes and Two Hurricane bolters

It's resilience is nearly twice as high as the original lists, It's anti-alpha strike is unreal, showing only a single T7 14w target with -2 to hit to stop shots going in on Guilleman. If there's a way to get guilleman out of LoS it's even better.

It's possible to drop the Dreadnaughts 3" ahead, fly 20" forward while the Dread chunters along 8" and the length of the storm ravens means they will retain the 5++ from the Dread, at which point the dread will probably get focus fired, so T8 from tiggy and -1 to hit. If it survives then repair it with the tech marine and get it out of LoS.

Firepower wise, you are bringing what is needed to clean up anti tank firepower from your opponent. A couple of grav and some plasma for dealing with devastators, the rest is aimed at murdering vehicles. Las cannons are dropped in favour of plasma and auto cannons, stronger by far vs T7 vehicles and heavy infantry, with the multi meltas, stormstrikes and melta bombs able to deal with the heavy stuff. Assault wise it is very light, but the twin hurricane bolters should be able to make mincemeat out of light assault troops like stealers, and roboute is more than happy to pick a fight with anything bigger.

The Deredo is a nice touch, it puts the icing on the cake in a shooting match up, forcing all heavy firepower firepower into a -1 to hit T8 target or eat a 5++, but it is not really nessecary, you can run another dreadnought and upgun the devs a little with the same points.

Necrons are in kind of a weird spot because of exactly this. It's incredibly easy to go all-in on defense and just rely on weight of fire to carry the day- but that's not all that effective anymore. Effectively deploying the firepower is another consideration, and a very necessary one for our little space-zombie-terminators.