Drones on 8th : Which ones/where?

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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khayman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 68

Drones on 8th : Which ones/where?

Post#1 » Jun 09 2017 03:31

Ok, so, unit accompanying drones. We may want to discuss which drones make sense for which units. Here's a list of units and the options they have :

Commander : 2 Tactical Drones
Commander In XV86 Coldstar Battlesuit : 2 Tactical Drones
Ethereal : 2 Tactical Drones
Cadre Fireblade : 2 Tactical Drones
XV25 Stealth Battlesuits : 2 Tactical Drones
XV8 Crisis Battlesuits : 2 Tactical Drones
XV8 Crisis Bodyguards : 2 Tactical Drones
Tidewall Droneport : 4 Tactical Drones
XV88 Broadside Battlesuits : 2 MV8 Missile Drones OR 2 Tactical Drones
Strike Team : 2 Tactical Drones OR (1 MV36 Guardian Drone AND 1 Tactical Drone)
Breacher Team : 2 Tactical Drones OR (1 MV36 Guardian Drone AND 1 Tactical Drone)
Pathfinder Team : 2 Tactical Drones AND 1 MB3 Recon Drone AND 1 MV31 Pulse Accelerator Drone AND 1 MV33 Grav-Inhibitor Drone
TY7 Devilfish : 2 MV1 Gun Drones OR 2 SMS
TX78 Sky Ray Gunship : 2 MV1 Gun Drones OR (2 Burst Cannons OR 2 SMS)
Longstrike : 2 MV1 Gun Drones OR (2 Burst Cannons OR 2 SMS)
TX7 Hammerhead Gunship : 2 MV1 Gun Drones OR (2 Burst Cannons OR 2 SMS)

Any obvious ones? I'm particularly struggling with Strike/Breacher teams and the Coldstar Commander. Do you guys have any solidified thoughts on what you're going to be doing?

BillyBones
Shas'La
Posts: 89

Re: Drones on 8th : Which ones/where?

Post#2 » Jun 09 2017 04:26

I woudn't take units of 2 drones, but rather larger unit as a drone teams and full complement of PF drones (5).
Last edited by BillyBones on Jun 10 2017 06:09, edited 1 time in total.

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boomwolf
Shas'La
Posts: 1691

Re: Drones on 8th : Which ones/where?

Post#3 » Jun 09 2017 04:34

I second that.

If you can't get a pack of 4, you take none at all.
Packs of 6 is probably the optimum.

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nic
Kroot'La
Posts: 684

Re: Drones on 8th : Which ones/where?

Post#4 » Jun 09 2017 05:23

Crisis and Bodyguard teams can take 2 Tactical Drones per suit, their ability to drop significant squads of drones somewhere in shooting range is quite nice.

The Pathfinder drones bring unique tricks to the table, if you bring them at all then pad them out with Tactical Drones to avoid an undersized unit that is too easy to pick off.

Drones on vehicles are good as they take the BS of the vehicle while mounted and cannot be targeted separately. Although I forgot it in my last game they appear to just disembark normally if the vehicle is destroyed. Nice shooting power and decent for late game objective grabs.

Missile drones on Broadsides, maybe. It is cheap firepower but also a very easy kill point.

Otherwise generally no.

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khayman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 68

Re: Drones on 8th : Which ones/where?

Post#5 » Jun 10 2017 05:18

One thing about Saviour Protocols. It says "you can choose to allocate the WOUNDS to the drones instead of the target unit". Wounds, not damage. So, my understanding is that the save roll is taken by the Drone where the wound was allocated, not the target unit. Is this correct? If it is, Shield Drones do make sense as accompanying drones. If it's not and the save rolls are taken by the target units then it makes 0 sense to take a Shield Drone as a companion.

Also, I'm not so much wondering if it's worth taking accompanying units but, rather, if you do take them, which drones should you take for which unit?

For instance, if you take a Coldstar and deep strike with it, do you take gun drones for those 8 extra shots, or do you take shield drones (provided my assumption on the first paragraph is true) to extend the thread period of the deep strike? Taking markerlights for a deep striking Coldstar doesn't look like it's worth it.

However, if you're not deep striking your Coldstar, the situation changs. So I'm kinda having trouble deciding.

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 1732

Re: Drones on 8th : Which ones/where?

Post#6 » Jun 10 2017 06:05

khayman wrote:One thing about Saviour Protocols. It says "you can choose to allocate the WOUNDS to the drones instead of the target unit". Wounds, not damage. So, my understanding is that the save roll is taken by the Drone where the wound was allocated, not the target unit. Is this correct? If it is, Shield Drones do make sense as accompanying drones. If it's not and the save rolls are taken by the target units then it makes 0 sense to take a Shield Drone as a companion.

Also, I'm not so much wondering if it's worth taking accompanying units but, rather, if you do take them, which drones should you take for which unit?

For instance, if you take a Coldstar and deep strike with it, do you take gun drones for those 8 extra shots, or do you take shield drones (provided my assumption on the first paragraph is true) to extend the thread period of the deep strike? Taking markerlights for a deep striking Coldstar doesn't look like it's worth it.

However, if you're not deep striking your Coldstar, the situation changs. So I'm kinda having trouble deciding.

Definitely correct. You allocate the wound to the Drone and then take the saves. Means a Drone would tank the whole d6 damage of a Lascannon or whatever.
It's also interesting that you allocate the wounds and not the hits from a fluff point of view....it's probably for balancing reasons. :D

Accompanying is definitely worth it, even for just 2 Drones on units like Stealth Suits, if you plan to deploy them outside of your deployment zone.

QimRas
Shas'Saal
Posts: 136

Re: Drones on 8th : Which ones/where?

Post#7 » Jun 10 2017 07:55

One argument against large units of drones would be that they can suffer more from battleshock. Because Drone leadership is 6, one death and a roll of 6 means the other Drone will flee. Larger units will exacerbate that.

My current thinking is trying to build the drones in role based groups. I am running msu of pathfinders. So I am looking at a Grav inhibitor and 2 shield, since I would use them for front line support and I expect heavy income fire. An accelerator and 2 markers, since I plan to use this group behind a couple strike teams and this gives me a way to tag some markers without wasting other guns. A recon and 2 gun drones, since the recon is largely being used for fire support in my layout, adding the extra weapons makes sense to me.

For my crisis I am thinking shield drones since I expect the crisis to cone under heavy weapons fire.

My infantry HQS are looking at shield drones since again, I expect things to try and stop their wounds enmass if they can, and the shields are more likely to survive those kinds of hits.

My stealth Suits I am considering marker drones for, sine they don't get as much out of the shield, already having decent modifiers to hit and their own good armor and cover. I think the markers would help with being able to tag things without wasting other shots. I plan to use them to stiffen my gun positions and bring heavy weapons support for my firewarriors, so I could see the guns being useful. If they end up coming under heavy weapons a lot I will move to Shield.

I haven't put much thought in commander Drone roles since I don't have one yet.

DragonPup
Shas
Posts: 5

Re: Drones on 8th : Which ones/where?

Post#8 » Jun 10 2017 08:44

I'll start off is I am going to give 40k another try after many years and I figured I'd try Tau as well cause the suits were always cool looking.

That said, it seems like Markerlight Drones are a waste. With BS 5+ it takes 3 to reliable get a single counter on a unit. At the same time, 3 Gun Drones drop 12 shots, 4 of which hit resulting in 2-3 wounds (before saves) to your average troop which seems more effective than the relative Markerlight bonus. Shield Drones feel like they are better when their associated unit needs to operate away from the rest of the army and other drones where it is more important to keep something important functioning than to take potshots at troops.

QimRas
Shas'Saal
Posts: 136

Re: Drones on 8th : Which ones/where?

Post#9 » Jun 10 2017 08:54

DragonPup wrote:I'll start off is I am going to give 40k another try after many years and I figured I'd try Tau as well cause the suits were always cool looking.

That said, it seems like Markerlight Drones are a waste. With BS 5+ it takes 3 to reliable get a single counter on a unit. At the same time, 3 Gun Drones drop 12 shots, 4 of which hit resulting in 2-3 wounds (before saves) to your average troop which seems more effective than the relative Markerlight bonus. Shield Drones feel like they are better when their associated unit needs to operate away from the rest of the army and other drones where it is more important to keep something important functioning than to take potshots at troops.


Well, I agree that the Drone BS makes them less useful compared to dedicated units. That said, all drones have Savior Protocols which is intensely useful. In addition, the Drone Controller support system can be used to improve them, if you have a suit in support. Doen like that you can create a cycle of support where all units have something to offer the others.

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 1732

Re: Drones on 8th : Which ones/where?

Post#10 » Jun 10 2017 08:56

DragonPup wrote:I'll start off is I am going to give 40k another try after many years and I figured I'd try Tau as well cause the suits were always cool looking.

That said, it seems like Markerlight Drones are a waste. With BS 5+ it takes 3 to reliable get a single counter on a unit. At the same time, 3 Gun Drones drop 12 shots, 4 of which hit resulting in 2-3 wounds (before saves) to your average troop which seems more effective than the relative Markerlight bonus. Shield Drones feel like they are better when their associated unit needs to operate away from the rest of the army and other drones where it is more important to keep something important functioning than to take potshots at troops.

It's important to note that Markerlight Drones don't get a to-hit modifier when moving. So they shoot just as good as moving Pathfinder on their own and better when in range of a Drone Controller.

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