Struggling as Necrophage Fanatic Purifier

stellaris 5 - Struggling as Necrophage Fanatic Purifier

Hi there! I am a four year Stellaris veteran. I've played dozens if not hundreds of empires, ranging from peaceful xenophilic traders to fanatic militaristic voidborne. And yet, despite some crazy builds – psionic ascension rush has to take the cake – I just cannot figure out Necrophage Fanatic Purifiers (NFPs).

Like the other genocidal civics you cannot engage in diplomacy and alien empires hate you. You also gain a great number of combat bonuses such as cheaper ships, faster fire rate, and stronger armies. Like all genocidal empires, you kill/process all enemy pops into a resource. However, unlike all other genocidal empires, these pops are turned into the resource of more pops! Not only can you earn massive amounts of unity from 'purging' alien pops, you build you own pops from them! This sounds great on paper until you realize a few things.

  1. These purging pops dramatically increase your admin cap. This reduces the benefit of purging as an FP dramatically, and slows down your tech progression substantially.
  2. Your new necrophage pops will very likely be stuck on a planet with terrible habitability. Yes, you can run lithoid necrophage FPs, but there should be a way to avoid having to rely on this bonus.
  3. The only way to gain any relevant number of pops is through conquest. 1.25 pop growth per month does not add up quickly, which is what your species will get without pops to purge.
  4. As an FP, you need to snowball quickly. In order to snowball quickly, you need to aggress in the early game. This lets you avoid the possibility of getting curb stomped by multiple empires. This means that it is generally unwise to turtle and stack science (correct me if I am wrong in stating this), as AI bonuses will give them an edge in the early-mid game.

So to summarize – you must fight early to conquer enemy planets for pops. These planets are now filled with 20-40 enemy pops, dramatically raising your admin cap and slowing down your tradition/tech tree progression. Your new necrophage pops are now located on a low habitability planet, creating massive drain on your resources. You must continuously fight to gain new pops, raising the likelihood of enemy empires being able to eclipse your fleet power as you fight another empire and also declaring war on you.

I have tried four times to establish a NFP empire. Three times I've been dogpiled by various empires at around 2230. The last time I was unable to locate an enemy empire in time before they were able to eclipse my fleet power (StarNet AI, Commodore) via a superior economy or simply turtle behind a decently sized fleet and many starbases, and ran out of base pops to purge for pop growth. What am I doing wrong, and how can I improve my Necrophage Fanatic Purifier empire?

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