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Old 28 Sep 2008, 11:27   #3 (permalink)
GoneFishing
Shas'Ui
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 735
Default Re: Sniper Drone teams.

For 5th ed - I am not the greatest fan.

Plus points.
Stealth field
High Strength Weapon
Bring a Markerlight to the table
Pinning weapon
Long range
Ap 3 weapon
Effective against Heavy Infantry and Light Vehicles

Minus Points
Stealth field is only really good as long as you enemy is at least 21 inches away (with fast assault's/run etc in 5th ed its easy to close the range).

5th Ed wound allocation - means if you take 4 wounds you HAVE to allocate one to the spotter, he then has a 50 percent chance of dieing and if he does you lose the entire squad (even if the drones made all there saves).

Only 3 shots from the unit at BS 3 - they are dependant on the spotter hitting to boost their BS (or another Markerlight).

Cover saves in 5th Ed - Even if you hit with them the new cover save rules mean it is likely your enemy will still get a 4 plus cover save (which takes away a lot from there AP 3 Killyness).

Ineffective against light infantry (they don't have enough firepower to destroy large units, they do have pinning weapons, but so do Gundrones, Fire warriors and Pathfinders - in greater numbers and cheaper than the Sniper team).

Small team - make them fragile (see also wound allocation).

Cant move and fire - so to fire effectively have to remain static for the whole fight. Now also difficult to place, as Outflank means putting them on the flank makes them a juicy target (easy Killpoint) for you enemy.

Now lets look at effectiveness firing at a 30 inch range. 3 sniper drone plus spotter - 80 Pt's v 8 Fire Warriors - 80 Pt's - Lets say they are firing at a unit of Marines.

On average (without a markerlight hit) your 3 drones will hit 1.5 targets, They will wound on a 2 - so at least 1 wound is likely (2 if the dice gods like you). The Marines are out in the open - so you kill 1 with no save. Forcing a pinning test (marines high leadership so have lets say an 80 percent chance of passing this). If the Marines are in cover (very likely in 5th Ed) then they have a 50% chance of saving your 1 wound. So 50% of the time your Sniper drones will fire and cause no damage.

8 Firewarriors firing at the same unit - 4 will hit, 3 will wound. Marines get there 3 plus save - so theoretically you will kill 1 marine (with average dice rolls).

If we do the same with 1 markerlight hit for both units (boosting BS) - 2 Sniper drones will hit (probably causing 2 wounds) - Cover save for the Marines, means 1 dead marine. 8 Firewarriors - 6 Hits - 4 will wound 1 (maybe 2) will die.

Basically at 30 inches these 2 units do the same damage. However when you close to within 12 inches you are doubling all the results for the Firewarriors, the Snipers stay the same.

The Marines (depending on weapons) at 30 inches are unlikely to be able to return fire on either unit. However if a unit is in firing range the firewarriors are more survivable, there are more of them, with the same toughness and save as the snipers (plus if 4 wounds are done there is not a 50 percent chance of the whole unit dieing).

They only advantage the drones have is the stealth field - but with fast moving units that's not that much of an advantage anymore. The average roll for spotting at night is 21 inches -the minimum is 6 inches, the maximum 36 inches (with a very lucky roll). And when shot, the drones are very fragile (even 1 dieing will force a morale test). The Fire warriors then (for the same points) are better at shooting, more versatile, mobile - and above all - a SCORING unit.

Using sniper drones to take down light vehicles - yes the drones have the edge on the Firewarrior on that one, but again there is a better unit to take. For just 26 more points you can have 2 crisis suits, with TL missile pods and a Targeting array. They hit 80 percent of the time, have a higher strength weapon, are mobile (and with JSJ effectively have a longer range). They are also harder to kill.

In my mind, in 5th Ed the Sniper drones no longer really cut the mustard - the only advantage they have is the stealth field, and I think that is pretty much neutralised by the many hideous disadvantages they now have. (wound allocation, coversaves, outflank etc etc etc).
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