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Drone oddities: removed stuff
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Old 04 Jul 2006, 17:57   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Drone oddities: removed stuff

Maybe this has been discussed early, but I would like to hear some clarifications if you guys don't mind. I've been deep scanning through the "Codex: Tau Empire" and I have found something interesting about drones, well, the interesting thing in fact is what I haven't found.
In "Codex: Tau", drones must be at least 4 strong to claim objectives and have LD 7, now this doesn't apply. Well, that's an advantage and I will not complain about that.
Also, in the old rules, drones could absorb incoming fire asigning shots to them before doing so with the rest of their unit. That represented the drones standing in front of the tau protecting them from heavy fire, and gamewise that meant we could avoid nasty weapon impacts by sacrificing the drones. In CC this protection thing worked alike, forcing the enemy to enter in base contact and attack the drones first if close enough, thus substracting many attacks to the controller. Those very helpful protection rules are no more, did they removed them by mistake and are still applying?
Furthermore, in the entry for the stealth armor, the free stealth bonus for the drones of the unit has been removed (believe me, at least in the spanish codex they do not appear, look closely, although they still keep the infiltration and deep strike rules). If this is not a mistake, then adding drones to the unit would be very deadly, leaving the unit very vulnerable to template and ordnance weaponry (and standard weaponry too, by rebound).
Well, what do you think about that rule removal, are the drones now much less useful or they just forgot to include them in the new codex?
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Old 04 Jul 2006, 18:05   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone oddities: removed stuff

Thats wierd because in my coex it says that the drones get the stealth field for no extra cost
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Old 04 Jul 2006, 18:10   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone oddities: removed stuff

Maybe it's just an errata of the spanish codex, I would have not noticed that if I haven't searched well, looking for every word. I had that thing for granted and that's why I haven't found that until now (many times our brain do mental tricks, and we can see things because we expect things to be there, not because they are. As said, look very closely).
About the rest of the rules there's no doubt, they have dissapeared (maybe they forgot a line, but a whole paragraph?...), and that means that the drones are now standard unit members, without further benefits.
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Old 04 Jul 2006, 18:50   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone oddities: removed stuff

Drones get a stealth field if their controller has one. No extra cost. They also get the movement-mode of their controller of course since they're limited to following them. All this means is they lose JSJ abilities when stuck on a footslogger though.

Unfortunately, they've lost the "wounds must be applied to drones first" with the addition of majority armor saves.

Technically, you CAN apply the wounds to them first. Its preferable in fact with things like battlesuits so the save used doesn't get bumped up to +4 from having as many or more drones. The annoying part is that gun drones, unlike shield drones, are always 'carapace armored' and thus their numbers must be watched. One too many and those broadsides just "gained" a 4+ save.

Luckily, the shield drones offset this since the shield drone would count as an additional 2+, or 3+ depending on its controller.

Maybe its time we wrote a drone tactica for our little frisbee workhorse....
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Old 04 Jul 2006, 20:08   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone oddities: removed stuff

I actually wrote a tactica for drones a while back before the Tau Empire codex. Ill see about rewriting it for the new codex. For reference heres the old tactica:

http://squaliix.tripod.com/id27.html
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Old 04 Jul 2006, 21:03   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Drone oddities: removed stuff

Tried doing one myself but... eh, I'm just no good at writing that kind of stuff. Never comes out right it seems.

I'm a huge fan of drones though, as everyone here probably noticed. They're dirt-cheap for high-mobility medium-infantry with strong basic firepower and pinning (though no special-weapons)... Not to mention the second highest initiative score...
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Old 04 Jul 2006, 22:38   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone oddities: removed stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalten

..... If this is not a mistake, then adding drones to the unit would be very deadly, leaving the unit very vulnerable to template and ordnance weaponry...
I wish I could talk enemies with Basilisks into believing that they couldnt lay a barrage template on my stealth team because of their stealth field....

What I'm saying is, all of what you posted was indeed true, except for this little part.

Personally I dont mind the changes, mostly because now a pair of devilfish drones dont have a leadership of 4 (2?) anymore, and they always have ld7 now. On another note: when you look at who gun drones would be paired up with, unless your stubborn with your points and dont go with the scheme of things, you'd see that they fit into majority saves just fine, and also take melee hits just fine as well.

How? Well, Lets go step by step: Gun Drones with Firewarriors has the exact same toughness and armor save, so they can fully and legaly be taken as casualties first. When a Crisis suit takes drones, that one suit will have 2 drones, meaning that, if every suit took its pair, the drones would be in the majority. Same goes with Stealth suits: If one takes a drone controller as its support system, then all have to... menaing that still, gun drones would be in the majority.

Now, in Close Combat, Gun drones should usually take the hits first still.... how? Well, its about the difference between Engaged and Locked units under the 4th ed rules: Excluding special character mini-engagements, each model can only potentially wound a model within 2" of it, and no others.... the thing is... which model within 2" that takes the wound is entirely up to you! So, if a Crisis suit is locked into CC and has 2 drones with him, on his right and left shoulder, then theres nothing stopping the drones taking hits first, so long as they are within 2" as well! Now, if an enemy Captain special character is in CC with you, well, even HE can only hit any unit of your choice within 2" of him... and if they consist of a Suit and 2 drones, well, there ya go again!
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Old 04 Jul 2006, 22:42   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone oddities: removed stuff

The Tau drone protection rule was dropped because of the new rulebook. With the BGB we got the majority toughness and majority Sv. rules, and since it was new GW didn't want any of the old codex's contradicting it so soon. And to be honest, I like how it is now. I mean, who would want their expensive markerdrones dying first?
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Old 04 Jul 2006, 22:46   #9 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Drone oddities: removed stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nova
Technically, you CAN apply the wounds to them first. Its preferable in fact with things like battlesuits so the save used doesn't get bumped up to +4 from having as many or more drones. The annoying part is that gun drones, unlike shield drones, are always 'carapace armored' and thus their numbers must be watched. One too many and those broadsides just "gained" a 4+ save.
Actually this is incorrect. The majority armor rules only state that the models with the highest armor save get allocated wounds first. The broadsides do not lose their 2+ save, they just must save last (the drones must take that krak missile first? Oh noes!) The only thing that becomes the same is majority toughness, in which the most numerous toughness is used (effectively giving broadsides a toughness of 3.)

Hope this helps! Cheers!
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Old 04 Jul 2006, 22:53   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone oddities: removed stuff

About the ordnance weapons, if the drones have no stealth field, they can be seen, and so be designated as targets, while the rest of their unit not (think about half of the unit behind an obstacle for example). If your drones are targeted and shot with an artillery barrage weapon, then the subsequent template impacts can hit your stealths as well. Well, that's assuming drones which go with stealths have no stealth fields (and as the rules in my codex are written they don't have, although I really think it's a mistake or errata).
About the CC rules, the old ones were an obvious advantage for us. If you had a unit of crisis and drones, and you left your drones in front of your armors as far as coherency allowed you, then the enemy would be forced to assault them before, entering base contact if possible. That trick could let your crisis out of range of the enemy assault (depending on the circumstances and the charging range) at least for the first turn, thus reducing or nullifying the potential hits taken.
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