You may notice that since everything is driven by the Awakening metre, you’re going to be under the gun at all times, trying to get through missions as quickly as you can. You’ll need to balance this sense of urgency against the risks of pushing too fast and becoming overextended or caught in a bad position. As a result, efficiency is your primary concern in how you build your TechPriests, how you deploy them, and what actions you take during an encounter.
Your efficiency is going to be directly tied to something called Cognition Points (CP). You begin with a pool of up to 4 CP, which always starts at zero at the beginning of a mission. Excess CP above your maximum are lost. You can increase your maximum as a reward for specific missions (most of them from Khepra or Rho) by 1 point each time to a maximum cap of 10 CP.
You can earn CP to fill this gauge in a variety of ways:
– as a reward for certain glyphs or events during a mission
– by stepping close to an archive during combat (Necron data troves marked with an orange cog on the map)
– by using your Servo-skull to drain an archive at a distance
– by stepping close to a downed necron, or finishing it off at range or with a critical hit
– from a variety of skill upgrades, canticles, and equipment
Archives are worth a special mention. Archives contain 1-3 points depending on their size, and are clearly marked as such on the combat map. Stepping into an adjacent space will drain that archive of all CP, but will leave any extras above your maximum so as not to waste them. Archives also refresh back to full value at the start of a new combat round. Only TechPriests can pull CP from an archive (not troops), but will pull from them automatically even when it isn’t their turn, so long as there are points left to pull and you’re not at maximum CP.
CP can be spent to buy additional movement, with 1 CP buying your base movement again. When moving a TechPriest (troops don’t have this option), the cyan-highlighted area shows where you can move at no cost, but moving into the orange-highlighted area will cost 1 CP upon crossing the line into that area. Because you can move, stop to take an action, then continue moving, movement that has already been paid for with CP will become cyan movement to help ensure that you don’t waste any. You can also move all the way to the edge of the orange area, then once you stop moving, will get another orange area, again and again, spending 1 CP for each additional block of movement, allowing one TechPriest to sprint around the map and accomplish many things in a single turn, so long as you have enough CP to spend on doing it.
Many weapons, skills, and upgrades have a CP cost associated with them as well, which is meant to be a balancing factor. More powerful weapons cost more CP to use, and you won’t have much CP to work with in the early game. You need to balance how much CP you’re generating against how quickly you’re spending it – generate too little and your powerful weapons will go unused, generate too much and the points above your maximum are wasted. There really isn’t any hard math on how much CP you’ll need to generate, but try to keep a rough idea in mind of how much CP it would cost for your TechPriest to fire every weapon and use around half of their skills and subsystems in a turn, and compare that to how much CP you’re likely to generate from skills, archives, and even kills (via the Dead Analytics skill on the Lexmechanic). If there’s more than a few points disparity between them, that’s probably not good.