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Drone Harbinger/Commander... for now
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Old 13 Jan 2010, 05:40   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Drone Harbinger/Commander... for now

I'm working on a 5th Edition Tau Codex off and on. I'm not going to bother posting the whole thing or what I have so far in a cramped compartment of a forum thread post. Why? Because the ideas are jumping like fleas all over the heading.


But here's a taste of what I have finished... except the picture needs an artist to draw something completely new. Currently, it's a pic of the Drone Harbinger from DOW that I have edited some.

<Note: the Central Network Link is a Tau special rule I'm roughing out the edges of. The Orks have Waaagh! and the Mob Rule, Space Marines have Combat Tactics, Tyranids have Synapse. Don't worry, it's not something that will barely change the Tau, just consolidates the complex rules already available into something very simplified.>


In short, I'm using this to help build up my skills as a graphics designer.





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Old 13 Jan 2010, 12:13   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Harbinger... for now

Looks spiffy, though i do have some questions that are probably easily answered. How many drones does it carry? (i assume 12). Can it only carry gun drones?
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Old 13 Jan 2010, 12:22   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Harbinger... for now

Looks good so far
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Old 13 Jan 2010, 12:39   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Harbinger... for now

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyp
Can it only carry gun drones?
If you actually read it, under dedicated transport it says it can only carry drones.

I didn't think vehicles could have skilled rider.
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Old 13 Jan 2010, 16:17   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Harbinger... for now

i meant like other types of drones, sorry if the question was vague. I was wondering if could hold say sniper drones or perhaps other types of drones with different weapons.
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Old 13 Jan 2010, 17:09   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Harbinger... for now

In the description under dedicated transport it states: [...] only carry the gun drones [...]

So no for marker or shield drones.
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Old 13 Jan 2010, 18:14   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Harbinger... for now

To answer the question on the Gun Drones vs other Drones, I'll give a run-down on the Drone Squadron and Central Network Link.


For now, the general idea is that it is a second Dedicated Transport that you take to go with a squadron of Drones. But, I have removed the distinction between different Drones. They are now just "Drone Squadron". I haven't figured out the exact schematics about them, but unit will also be highly unique in its own way.

The Drone Squadron can take any number of Gun Drone or Sniper Drones (I haven't figured out a minimum or maximum). 1-2 can be upgraded to Marker Drones depending on how many others you take, 1-2 can be upgraded to shield drones (depending on how many you take).

If the majority of drones are Marker/Sniper, they count as Heavy Support. If taken as a Heavy Support, they count as Infantry because the network of drone AIs are thinking and computing "stabilization, long range support" and focus on staying together and holding.

If the majority is Gun Drones, they count as Fast Attack (Shield Drones are not counted). When they are Fast Attack, their AI network is thinking, "rapid response, close range support", thus they are more inclined to use their jump jet abilities.


The Drone Squadron can take a Drone Harbinger as a Dedicated Transport. As it stands right now, only squadrons with Gun Drones. The reasons have nothing to do with the game. It's the ideal that the Drone Harbinger can only produce and hold so much in that little factory. The shape of the Shield and, more obviously, the Sniper Drones would complicate the available room. They would require custom racks. Marker Drones should fit just fine, but my 5th Edition Codex imagines them as more complicated and larger than they are now. (Marker Drones are just a markerlight pointer and miniature scope.)





The Drone Harbinger would be well worth taking because Drones lack the Central Network Link special rule. In my Codex, all Tau warriors, Battlesuits, Fire Warriors, and vehicles, are linked together like modern day aircraft. They have a HUD (Heads Up Display), and their armour is linked to it. They can sent and receive information between different squads and commanders. With access to the Central Network Link, units can benefit from Markerlights, Pathfinder Devilfish rules, and the Commander's Command Network Link special rules.
(You can go without the Commander, he's not 1+. However, if you do go without him, you're missing out!) It's not nearly as complicated as it sounds; everything I said is fluff. (The best rules come from explaining fluff, not making excuses to explain rules. I believe those are the immortal words of Wargamer. ) Basically, it just limits the necessity from listing a number of units that can use/not use rules while explaining how those units that have it can.




The Drones' strength relies on their ability to interpret battlefield conditions, recognize threats, and adapt to changing situations, e.g. you are on these coordinates, the rest of the Tau force are at these coordinates and moving away to these coordinates. Should you move with them or provide a screen? Because of this, they cannot always interpret the complexity of what's going on in the Network Link.


There are two things a Drone Squadron can do to gain access to the Central Network Link:
A. Take a Drone Controller. This will be a whole new model that will have 2-3 unit positions. These are specialist Shas'ui who have extensive training in the use and workings of Drones. They are capable of performing the task of controlling multiple drones. However, because they are Infantry, the Drone mobility is limited.


B. Take a Drone Harbinger. The Drone Harbinger houses a Drone Controller who has access to a much more powerful computer system than the thing you see with the current Marker Drones. The Drone Harbinger limits you to only Gun Drones, but those Gun Drones become Fearless while gaining access to the Central Network Link. As explained in the provided fluff for the Harbinger, the vehicle is capable of overriding the AI link between the Drones, pooling their intelligences into a powerful computer that puts the squadron on "manual". The Drone Controller could order the Drones to shoot and charge a Tyranid Trygon and they will do it. Once this is severed (e.g. destroy the Harbinger), they revert to "auto-pilot" and run themselves like a normal Drone Squadron.




If you were wondering about Gun Drones that are attached to the Harbinger or other vehicle, no, they cannot detach, and do not count as more kill points to your opponent. However, Sniper Drones will become an option for some of the vehicles.



-------------------------------

Game-wise, I don't think Kroot or Drones by themselves should be able to use the rules from the Pathfinder's Devilfish or benefit from Markerlights. Or Vespid for that matter. Vespid will become cheaper (I'm thinking 13 points apiece), and while you don't have to take the Strain Leader, you will miss them almost every game you don't. Instead, the Strain Leader will increase in price.



I just took a look at this: Version 2.60 (Deadnight/Wargamer remix)

And the general thread in which it all gets discussed here.


Now, I understand that some of these guys can make some really (I mean, really) simple rules, but there are so many of these simple rules its extremely complicated. Though I am seeing a lot of common ground here. And a great deal of it is still super-over powered. I proved that with a battle report.

There's also a few minor design flaws in the Codex layout as well as a few misspellings and grammar errors. I also only see contributors stealing elements from other Codexes (mainly the Guard Codex) and cramming them into the Tau Codex instead of coming up with things on their own.
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If the Eldar see battle as a symphony,
Then the Elati have mastered a solo piece,
Of every instrument.


Games in the Past Month:
Tau: W-1, T-0, L-1
Witch H: W-0, T-0, L-0
Eldar: W-2, T-0, L-1
Guard: W-0, T-0, L-0
Other: W-2, T-1, L-0
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Old 14 Jan 2010, 01:56   #8 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Drone Harbinger... for now

Looks pretty good so far, and the design is very nice. I figure the weapons loadout is something basic from the codex, hence the lack of special rules, ala Space Marine Cerberus Launcher.
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Old 14 Jan 2010, 02:37   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Harbinger... for now

Hmm, somebody's Central Network Link looks very much like a Battlenet Uplink in terms of fluff (not so sure in terms of execution).

Also, as this is supposed to be a mobile drone factory, why not have an ability similar to that pf the Tervigon?

Something along the lines of the Harbinger is able to Create a Squadron of 2D6 Gun drones each turn. However, if it rolls a double then it has run out of something-or-other and may not make any more drone squadrons. Each squadron is independent, and counts as a Kill Point if destroyed. (NB: These drones may or may not be scoring depending on whether or not they count as troops.)
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Old 14 Jan 2010, 02:40   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Harbinger... for now

Fluffwise, I'd rather have it be "repaired" drones rather than manufactured drones. Drones really shouldn't be producable in a mobile factory with that much ease...
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