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If you read necron unit lore, all the aircraft necrons pilot have their pilots permanently embedded/fused with the vehicle. And my question is, what's the point? Why not have the vehicle pilotless and just install an AI like Canoptek stuff? There is absolutely no advantage in making all that space to put in a necron unit when that space could be used for other stuff. I.e. bigger processor, lighter weight, more weapons, additional cargo space, etc.
   
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roboemperor wrote:
If you read necron unit lore, all the aircraft necrons pilot have their pilots permanently embedded/fused with the vehicle. And my question is, what's the point? Why not have the vehicle pilotless and just install an AI like Canoptek stuff? There is absolutely no advantage in making all that space to put in a necron unit when that space could be used for other stuff. I.e. bigger processor, lighter weight, more weapons, additional cargo space, etc.


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roboemperor wrote:
If you read necron unit lore, all the aircraft necrons pilot have their pilots permanently embedded/fused with the vehicle. And my question is, what's the point? Why not have the vehicle pilotless and just install an AI like Canoptek stuff? There is absolutely no advantage in making all that space to put in a necron unit when that space could be used for other stuff. I.e. bigger processor, lighter weight, more weapons, additional cargo space, etc.


A Necron pilot is a bigger processor, especially when you consider that unlike weak flesh, the presence of the Necron pilot doesn't mean adding complicated life support or other mechanisms.

More importantly, the Canoptek stuff probably isn't sophisticated enough to handle the sorts of tactical decisions a Necron pilot would be able to handle. So if you tried to use Canoptek drone fighters you'd need minder vessel. Simpler to just use pilots.
   
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I think "rule of cool" probably. Canoptek controlled flyers just makes more sense in the context of everything else though IMO.

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 solkan wrote:
roboemperor wrote:
If you read necron unit lore, all the aircraft necrons pilot have their pilots permanently embedded/fused with the vehicle. And my question is, what's the point? Why not have the vehicle pilotless and just install an AI like Canoptek stuff? There is absolutely no advantage in making all that space to put in a necron unit when that space could be used for other stuff. I.e. bigger processor, lighter weight, more weapons, additional cargo space, etc.


A Necron pilot is a bigger processor, especially when you consider that unlike weak flesh, the presence of the Necron pilot doesn't mean adding complicated life support or other mechanisms.

More importantly, the Canoptek stuff probably isn't sophisticated enough to handle the sorts of tactical decisions a Necron pilot would be able to handle. So if you tried to use Canoptek drone fighters you'd need minder vessel. Simpler to just use pilots.
Aren't most necrons mindless? Your point would be true with a human pilot vs a servitor, but if the choice is between one automaton and another, the answer is not as obvious.
   
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Subject: Necron pilots, what's the point?

There isn't. I convert any model that has them to not have them - first I used Greenstuff to do a pilotless Triarch Stalker, and then when I got a 3D printer, sculpted and printed a canopy to close up the flying croissants.

The jetbikes are too hideous for me to buy, so I made some drones to replace them (which I never finished despite being 90% done, sigh).

I will never build a Necron model with a visible pilot. It's a very stupid idea for a race of living machines.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/18 03:17:00


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The World Engine features canoptek fighter aircraft.
   
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I like to think the vehicles are mostly surplus from the time of the Necrontyr. Why build a new canoptek fighter when you can just mop out the flesh debris from an existing fighter and bolt in the nearest Necron?

   
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 Tiennos wrote:
 solkan wrote:
roboemperor wrote:
If you read necron unit lore, all the aircraft necrons pilot have their pilots permanently embedded/fused with the vehicle. And my question is, what's the point? Why not have the vehicle pilotless and just install an AI like Canoptek stuff? There is absolutely no advantage in making all that space to put in a necron unit when that space could be used for other stuff. I.e. bigger processor, lighter weight, more weapons, additional cargo space, etc.


A Necron pilot is a bigger processor, especially when you consider that unlike weak flesh, the presence of the Necron pilot doesn't mean adding complicated life support or other mechanisms.

More importantly, the Canoptek stuff probably isn't sophisticated enough to handle the sorts of tactical decisions a Necron pilot would be able to handle. So if you tried to use Canoptek drone fighters you'd need minder vessel. Simpler to just use pilots.
Aren't most necrons mindless? Your point would be true with a human pilot vs a servitor, but if the choice is between one automaton and another, the answer is not as obvious.


Necron Warriors are effectively automata, with a glimmer of the Necrontyr they once were screaming behind the veil.

Immortals and upwards however have more autonomy, able to make decisions, however limited, on their own. Whilst I don’t think it’s explicitly canon, we therefore cannot rule out that those wired into their fliers don’t have some capacity of self awareness. That spark of what we might call humanity in ourselves which provides insight in a way Canoptek stuff singularly lacks.

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 solkan wrote:
A Necron pilot is a bigger processor, especially when you consider that unlike weak flesh, the presence of the Necron pilot doesn't mean adding complicated life support or other mechanisms.

More importantly, the Canoptek stuff probably isn't sophisticated enough to handle the sorts of tactical decisions a Necron pilot would be able to handle. So if you tried to use Canoptek drone fighters you'd need minder vessel. Simpler to just use pilots.


Necrons are fully capable of making as many "necron brains" as they want and copy paste a necron's personality and memories into them as much as they want. Because, you know, they're robots, they have full mastery of their own technology, and necrons like Trazyn jump from one body to another. So if they wanted a bigger processor, they would either just embed a "necron brain", or just a necron head, or multiple heads, in the fighter instead of a full body.

 Lord Damocles wrote:
The World Engine features canoptek fighter aircraft.


Sweet, imma check this out. Thanks!

 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
I like to think the vehicles are mostly surplus from the time of the Necrontyr. Why build a new canoptek fighter when you can just mop out the flesh debris from an existing fighter and bolt in the nearest Necron?


This sounds the most plausible. They made them before they made canoptek and they never needed to build more.

 Ouze wrote:
Subject: Necron pilots, what's the point?

There isn't. I convert any model that has them to not have them - first I used Greenstuff to do a pilotless Triarch Stalker, and then when I got a 3D printer, sculpted and printed a canopy to close up the flying croissants.

The jetbikes are too hideous for me to buy, so I made some drones to replace them (which I never finished despite being 90% done, sigh).

I will never build a Necron model with a visible pilot. It's a very stupid idea for a race of living machines.



Sweet work dude!
   
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The plan was never to turn into robots. They thought they were getting new body's that would never die that was it. So all their planned war machines (besides canoptic) would require Necontir.

So when the Lords saw what they had truly become they did not rip their best pilots to just the brain and stuff it deep into the void fighter. They let them get into the fighter a fly like they had always done for the empire. Why take that away from them after all the sacrificed?

With living metal body's and backup subroutines in the craft even a well placed shot to the "pilot" would not down it and it would form back in minutes. So there was no real reason to deny your people their final purpose.
   
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roboemperor wrote:
 Lord Damocles wrote:
The World Engine features canoptek fighter aircraft.


Sweet, imma check this out. Thanks!

Don't. It's garbage.


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Night Scythe pilots have sufficient autonomy/awareness to be able to carry out clandestine reconnaissance missions, and dissections and biopsies on local populations (Codex: Necrons (5th ed.), pg.51; also 8th ed. pg.59 because why write when you can copy?)

Some Necron pilots are sufficiently superior to their peers that they equate to the fighter aces of other races (Death From the Skies, pg.43), although how much of this is due to simply better 'programming' rather than inherent pilot skill isn't clear.


It is incredibly stupid that the Night/Doom scythes have open cockpits though - there's absolutely nothing to be gained from it, and the Night Shroud has an enclosed cockpit, so evidently it isn't required.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/10/18 16:57:21


 
   
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roboemperor wrote:
If you read necron unit lore, all the aircraft necrons pilot have their pilots permanently embedded/fused with the vehicle. And my question is, what's the point? Why not have the vehicle pilotless and just install an AI like Canoptek stuff? There is absolutely no advantage in making all that space to put in a necron unit when that space could be used for other stuff. I.e. bigger processor, lighter weight, more weapons, additional cargo space, etc.

Because the designers thought it would be cool to give them an open cockpit with the pilot exposed and mystery ruined, logic and intrigue be damned.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/18 19:07:39


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It’s also worth remembering Canoptek constructs aren’t intended for war, but defence and maintenance of the Tomb Complexes.

It seems entirely possible that Canoptek gribblies were created after the War had been won, and the decision was made to enter hibernation.

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It's important to realise that Necrons are not robots.


That's a fundamental core about them which explains of lot of why they do things a certain way and if you think of them as robots then you've missed the tragic cornerstone of their whole race.


Necrons were once living flesh and blood, given machine bodies by (mostly) force so that they could win a war against the Ancients. A war they were losing and thus every one of their race was marched and forced through the great machines that would change them to the Necrons.
Along the way their souls were also stripped from them and consumed by the C'tan. Remembering that souls are a fully tangible thing within the setting and thus can be gained and lost.



The Warmachine at that stage wasn't reliant on machines, but on Necrons. So all their weapons of war - vehicles, guns, weapons and more were made to be held. They'd always intended to change back; to revert. To be able to continue. Furthermore these were changes made late in the war, they didn't have the luxury to make AI armies. If they could they'd have likely done so.

As a result they made vehicles with pilots like all other races.





It was only after that they discovered the betrayal and loss of their souls to the C'tan. That only a select number would even remember their past or retain a sense of individuality. And that was before the great sleep where they slumbered and many lost even more of themselves.

That's also why its important to notice that htere are different groups within them. The majority retain their machine bodies as they were gifted to them much as a person might hold onto their natural body. Destroyers are the ones who are, twisted, changed. They are closer to perhaps what humans would call Mechanicus - those who are willing to sacrifice their body and give into the "machine" to enhance what they do. Those for the Necrons who have on some level abandoned all hope and sanity of returning to flesh; of returning to anything save destruction of all other life. So they twist their bodies to achieve that.




Canoptek were developed after this great fall; they were made to police and monitor and upkeep the vast tomb worlds. Huge AI systems that worked in the quiet whilst the rest of the once living slept









Also don't forget that even with an open canopy it likely employs some form of energy shield. Why obscure your vision when you can simply leave it open; anything that thick armour would protect against the energy field can protect. Anything that would punch through the energy shield would punch through glass or other canopy designs - so leave it open and easy to view instead.






There is a logical, if dark, tragic and twisted, approach to how the Necrons do things. OR at least are as logical as any other race or faction in the setting.

That said I have to say I personally also prefer the Canoptek style of a covered air unit. I also prefer it to Spydres and a few other units as well.

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roboemperor wrote:
 solkan wrote:
A Necron pilot is a bigger processor, especially when you consider that unlike weak flesh, the presence of the Necron pilot doesn't mean adding complicated life support or other mechanisms.

More importantly, the Canoptek stuff probably isn't sophisticated enough to handle the sorts of tactical decisions a Necron pilot would be able to handle. So if you tried to use Canoptek drone fighters you'd need minder vessel. Simpler to just use pilots.


Necrons are fully capable of making as many "necron brains" as they want and copy paste a necron's personality and memories into them as much as they want. Because, you know, they're robots, they have full mastery of their own technology, and necrons like Trazyn jump from one body to another. So if they wanted a bigger processor, they would either just embed a "necron brain", or just a necron head, or multiple heads, in the fighter instead of a full body.


They do not. There is nothing to indicate that they think like this, operate like this, would even consider this or even have the capability to do it.

You're thinking about them purely as if they were robots and this is a technological programing problem to easily solve.
It isn't. Its the remnants of living minds animating metal shells with an alien AND culturally different mindset, not simply an engineering problem. They still see themselves as distinct entities, and necrons willing to change their bodies (like destroyers) are considered _insane_ and _cursed_.

Its like the 'Roman Steam Engine.' Ancient Roman could build steam engines, but couldn't come up with a practical use for them beyond novelty entertainment devices. That they solved a multitude of manual labor problems wasn't something they could conceive of, because they didn't need a manual labor solution.

---
Now personally, I think the open canopies look dumb (because you still need to protect the control systems, even if you don't need to protect the pilot), but that's a problem space marines share (bikes, quads and land speeders).
But also consider the fluff of the tomb blades: the completely open jetbikes were designed at the end of the War in Heaven as... spacefighters. And were so successful at the job that their role was expanded for surface operations.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/20 15:23:31


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One also needs to consider the foe these craft were designed to fight.

Because we’re talking foes significantly more powerful than anything in 40K, barring the Necrons at their absolute zenith, and even then they needed the C’Tan to get the victory.

If a relatively basic lascannon can punch clean through your hull? What do you think the weapons of a race which could create and destroy Suns on a relative whim?

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Are Canoptek constructs actually made for war?

I always thought they are there to serve & protect :p.

Not being as sophisticated as a proper Necron is now shown with their universally worse Ballistic Skill value as well.

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 Overread wrote:


The Warmachine at that stage wasn't reliant on machines, but on Necrons. So all their weapons of war - vehicles, guns, weapons and more were made to be held. They'd always intended to change back; to revert. To be able to continue. Furthermore these were changes made late in the war, they didn't have the luxury to make AI armies. If they could they'd have likely done so.

As a result they made vehicles with pilots like all other races.

Also don't forget that even with an open canopy it likely employs some form of energy shield. Why obscure your vision when you can simply leave it open; anything that thick armour would protect against the energy field can protect. Anything that would punch through the energy shield would punch through glass or other canopy designs - so leave it open and easy to view instead.


No wonder the Necrontyr lost the war then; their engineers were idiots who didn't understand the importance of not showing the enemy where to shoot and that having a thick layer of armor behind the energy shield is a good thing in case the shield gets bypassed or power gets cut. Necron vehicles are made of living metal too, which is a really potent alloy. Why wouldn't you use more of it to protect your vehicles?
I really disagree with the idea that energy shields solve all problems. Anyone overly reliant on shields will eventually encounter someone who is smart enough to work out how to bypass them, because that's how weapons development works.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/10/22 10:44:03


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I mean you can say that about pretty much every single design in 40K.


Eldar have almost no armour on anything; Imperials are using out-dated WW1 era style tank designs; Tyranids work on volume of numbers despite clearly being able to create powerhouses of destruction; Orks - I mean freaking heck its trash held together with rope, bolts and an orkish prayer

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It fits for them though.
Eldar rely on speed and ambushes to fight. Using holofields, a form of defensive tech used to obfuscate their actual position and confuse the enemy, fits their MO and having heavy armor would slow them down.

Imperials using backwards looking tech is part of their theme. They are also well armored, to go their the crude industrial aspect they are going for.

Tyranids are locusts, using volumes of number is sort of to be expected

Orks being ramshackle and mass produced is also part of their theme.

It makes no sense for the Necrons, an advanced race who has access to self-repairing metal and a fear of death, to design their vehicles in such a way that exposes their weaknesses and uses little armor.
Hell, even Eldar vehicles are better protected than Necron vehicles; their flyers have an actual canopy and their tanks aren't as exposed.
It just doesn't work thematically nor practically for Necrons.
It would be like if a nation who is known for producing guns and tanks went to war with swords and horses, it doesn't seem right.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/10/22 11:03:35


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Don't forget most necrons pull themselves back together after being killed as well; and all their vehicles atop the same lack of covering for the pilots. Heck their troop transport doesn't even armour the troops. The whole approach speaks of a race that basically trusts in its shields and if they fail, who cares whatever broke the shield will break the metal too.

They don't need to worry about breathing either; many other races might use armour simply to preserve the integrity of the atmosphere within so that their troops can breath and stay alive.


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 Overread wrote:
Don't forget most necrons pull themselves back together after being killed as well; and all their vehicles atop the same lack of covering for the pilots. Heck their troop transport doesn't even armour the troops. The whole approach speaks of a race that basically trusts in its shields and if they fail, who cares whatever broke the shield will break the metal too.

They don't need to worry about breathing either; many other races might use armour simply to preserve the integrity of the atmosphere within so that their troops can breath and stay alive.


But the vehicles are supposed to be from the days of the Necrontyr, right? When they couldn't put themselves back together and were deeply afraid of death, to the point of getting really jealous of another species' longetivity? So unless the engineers had some crazy forethought and designed the vehicles in the eventuality that they would all become machines, that explanation doesn't hold water.

Also, wouldn't they want to have even more living metal? I mean, first you have an adaptive energy shield, then you have an adaptive armor, and after that you have self-repairing pilots.
Those three would make for a really effective amount of protection. Exposing the pilots, and more importantly (from the perspective of a machine) the control panel, even if they are self-repairing, just doesn't seem logical when one could easily go for the trifecta and make your vehicles nearly indestructible.

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We have nothing to indicate that Necron vehicle designs predate biotransference.
   
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I would assume their vehicles were designed after the biotransferance. There was a long period after that where they had to, you know, actually win an intergalactic war so that would have taken time. Following that they made war on the C'Tan and then the Eldar - basically there's a lot of war that happens and a lot of time passed. It's very likely that a lot of development and redesign was done to their war machine during that period.

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roboemperor wrote:
If you read necron unit lore, all the aircraft necrons pilot have their pilots permanently embedded/fused with the vehicle. And my question is, what's the point? Why not have the vehicle pilotless and just install an AI like Canoptek stuff? There is absolutely no advantage in making all that space to put in a necron unit when that space could be used for other stuff. I.e. bigger processor, lighter weight, more weapons, additional cargo space, etc.


You know, I'll bet if I was a race of beings installed into robotic bodies I'd probably be fairly invested in the idea of keeping the AIs i designed as rudimentary as possible to preserve the difference between what I am and what they are.

"Got you, Yugi! Your Rubric Marines can't fall back because I have declared the tertiary kaptaris ka'tah stance two, after the secondary dacatarai ka'tah last turn!"

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"you think it is you who has gotten me, yugi, but it is I who have gotten you! I declare the ever-vigilant stratagem to attack your rubrics with my custodes' ranged weapons, which with the new codex are now DAMAGE 2!!"

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 Lord Damocles wrote:
We have nothing to indicate that Necron vehicle designs predate biotransference.

Ghost Arks were explicitly mentioned to be a civilian vehicle in the 5th ed codex, iirc. Its previous function was a hearse / corpse wagon.
To be fair though, I actually don't mind that the Ghost Ark is poorly armored for that reason; if it was a repurposed civilian vehicle it stands to reason that it won't be that well armored and shows just how militarized the necrons became.
Now as a game piece its pretty badly designed, but in terms of fluff? Acceptable. Not the design I would go for but at least the writers gave it a little bit of thought.

This does, however, imply that the other vehicles were pre-biotransference, for which there is no indicator that they were civilian vehicles in origin. Such as the Scythes, which have no business in showing off their control panels to the enemy, and don't even have the Quantum Shielding rule, making that whole argument about how they don't need armor because they have shields null.

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2021/10/22 12:31:47


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There is a weight argument. Physical armour adds mass based on the amount of armour needed. Energy fields add mass in the form of the energy source and emitter requirements.

Aircraft in particular are finicky about weight, and by extension I would assume that any anti-grav platform is as well. It makes sense to leave the physical armour off and rely on shields if the protection per unit mass equation falls on that side of things.

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 Flinty wrote:
There is a weight argument. Physical armour adds mass based on the amount of armour needed. Energy fields add mass in the form of the energy source and emitter requirements.

Aircraft in particular are finicky about weight, and by extension I would assume that any anti-grav platform is as well. It makes sense to leave the physical armour off and rely on shields if the protection per unit mass equation falls on that side of things.

That's a fair point, still doesn't excuse the exposed controls though. You'd think that if weight was the concern they would at least cover the control panel and leave less vital parts lightly armored.

The Tessaract Ark I think is a good example of the weight argument; its poorly armored on the sides (as in, no armor at all) but well armored on the front, which is where most enemy fire would be striking. In that respect, its design is actually quite logical.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/10/22 13:09:40


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Thank Matt Ward for this.

He changed the Necron lore, so now we have all Necron vehicles operated by Necrons. Where as before in the (wonderful) 3rd edition Codex the vehicle didn't list crew... as it was made of living metal. Necron vehicles were meant to have A.I.

However that was when they (Necrons) leaned into The Terminator Robot menace idea more than the Tomb Kings in space idea we saw in the 5th edition Codex.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/22 13:46:36


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