Tau Empire Codex 2013 | Army Builder Program
Dark Angels Codex 2013
Chaos Daemons Codex 2013
Chaos Space Marines Codex 2012

Warhammer 40k Forum Tau Online

 

Warhammer 40K Forum

Drone controllers and regrouping
Closed Thread
Old 16 Oct 2006, 03:28   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: England, Somerset
Posts: 342
Default Drone controllers and regrouping

Because the rules for drones on p.31 of Tau Empire do not tell us to count drones when working out if a unit is strong enough to regroup, but instead only tell us to count them when taking morale for 25% casualties and also for victory/scoring purposes, it follows that a pair of crisis with four drones can still regroup when all the drones are destroyed.

This is why it is unnecessary for a monat with drones to take a bonding knife.

Oddly, no mention is made of whether drones are counted for morale checks in hand to hand combat though we may infer that they do add to the model count, this is not explicitly stated.

Best,
Gram
__________________
Gramlin's in the System!
Gramlin is offline  
Old 16 Oct 2006, 04:08   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Franklin Tennessee
Posts: 1,478
Default Re: Drone controllers and regrouping

Yeah, slap that RAW right back in their collective face!!! ;D
__________________
Click the link and give me 10 views toward 10 million dollars. THIS MEANS YOU!!!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_lis...A7B2D8911D19D2
israfel420 is offline  
Old 16 Oct 2006, 04:26   #3 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: England, Somerset
Posts: 342
Default Re: Drone controllers and regrouping

On the contrary, I think it is intentional.

We want battlesuits with drones to be able to regroup even when their drones are gone.

And we also want a fall back from close combat as soon as possible.

Best,
Gram
__________________
Gramlin's in the System!
Gramlin is offline  
Old 16 Oct 2006, 05:10   #4 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Alachua, Florida
Posts: 8,647
Send a message via MSN to MalVeauX
Default Re: Drone controllers and regrouping

I've seen this one a few times,

Read as written, GW did not specify if Drones specifically do anything particular in terms of regrouping and how they are effective in close combat (lumped again into the 50% starting strength group though, honestly). Some players are taking this slight lack of text and interpreting it as being a way to have a battle suit, or several, who may re-group even when below 50% starting strength. So if this is all one requires to have a game, and expects everyone to not just accept this, but agree with this, more power to you.

I'm going to to require you to make your morale checks at Ld7 on your Firewarriors, Pathfinders and Kroot with Shas'ui and Shapers, to be RAW and legal too.

[hr]

However,

As much as I think we should play the game as it is written, there are times when we must think about things too.

1) 50% starting strength. Is this term even well defined in the Rulebook? Is it even defined in every category or just one? We know from one page, 47, that it is the number of models a unit had at the start of the battle. Afterwards, it's merely referred to as 50% starting strength in a few instances. The only amendment to this, is page 85, where we learn that when multiple wounds are involved, we determine 50% strength via wounds, not model count. So why is this crucial element to the game, so vaguely written? The lack of writing on it, is it enough to claim it's not integral and simply operate under assumptions. Try to accurately and clearly define 50% starting strength for units--you'll find that most of what we do with it, is mostly under assumption, and not actually written exactly how we use it. Much like how leadership is not defined hardly at all in our books, and we use leadership values in very odd ways that are not written to be done; but instead, assumed.

2) Re-grouping is straight forward that we must be at least 50% of our original strength. This strength was defined for shooting morale modifiers, but nothing else. So without text to back it up, we can just assume it's that too--or we can read it as written and have... nothing to define it. Again, all assumption.

3) The rulebook makes no mention of wargear not being able to effect various aspects of units, in terms of size, scoring, etc. We rely on the codex to give us this information specifically. So we have Drones, as wargear. No where in the rules of the armoury or taking items from the armory is there a note about how some things can effect our units. Then we have the Drones specific rules. These rules state that the Drones are counted for Morale checks, counted for being able to claim objectives (which requires 50% strength), and count towards victory points (also determined via 50% strength). Nothing was written for the assault phase and being outnumbered, or if they count towards 50% starting strength for assault. Nothing was written for re-grouping, which requires 50% starting strength.

So why is it, that they left out clear definitions in all instances for:

* 50% starting strength.
* Drones' rules regarding "Losing an Assault."
* Drones' rules regarding "regrouping."

And on top of that, how is it so clear and easy to say that because it's not written, that's simply correct to assume that they work a way that is not written. That is not read in raw. That is projection and assumption with lack of text.

Now, in the lack of text, we have two things that give us signals hinting towards intents that failed to be realized into forms of coherent intelligent rules that were clearly written and easy to understand. GW failed this, and has done so since the beginning. Nothing changed. Now, in our Drones, we're told that they count towards quite a few things. All of which has to do with 25% strength and 50% strength of a unit. So we're told, over and over through the rules, that these Drones effect the unit size from the start of the game to the end of the game. Yet, somehow, you can conclude that they don't count towards 50% starting strength in assault (implied via saying they don't count towards regrouping since both are not written), and don't count towards 50% starting strength when re-grouping.

-- Pray tell, how is this assumption made, on top of the total lack of rules to define the basis of 50% starting strength to begin with.

The truth is, if you truly want to read the rules entirely `read as written' then you should start from the beginning and not just when it's convenient to bolster a single aspect of our force and a lack of specific text for a Drone and how it effects re-grouping. And if you think that it was intentionally left out, then please, explain how it's `intentional' that GW left out clear rules for leadership, squad leaders and leadership and what 50% starting strength is for more than just the shooting phase. It's not written. It's assumed. Just like Drones and re-grouping.

Cheers!
__________________
[table][tr][td][/td][td][table][tr][td] [/td][td]Apocalypse is the only way to forty-kay.[/td][/tr][/table][/td][/tr][/table]
MalVeauX is offline  
Old 16 Oct 2006, 07:35   #5 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: England, Somerset
Posts: 342
Default Re: Drone controllers and regrouping

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX
I've seen this one a few times,

Read as written, GW did not specify if Drones specifically do anything particular in terms of regrouping and how they are effective in close combat (lumped again into the 50% starting strength group though, honestly). Some players are taking this slight lack of text and interpreting it as being a way to have a battle suit, or several, who may re-group even when below 50% starting strength. So if this is all one requires to have a game, and expects everyone to not just accept this, but agree with this, more power to you.
How are they lumped together? Regrouping is done on model count, but scoring/victory is done on wounds. We know this because the morale rules on p.47 do make the point that it is fewer than half the number of models that we consider, whereas the victory points table on p.85 make the point that it is done on wounds. Very different issues.


Quote:
I'm going to to require you to make your morale checks at Ld7 on your Firewarriors, Pathfinders and Kroot with Shas'ui and Shapers, to be RAW and legal too.
No need to be pedantic. I never mentioned RAW, that was israfel420. Not only is the rule you mention set very strongly in historic precedent, it is also a much more general and fundamental rule, and one which GW have actually responded to, albeit unofficially, on the GW forum FAQs.



Quote:
As much as I think we should play the game as it is written, there are times when we must think about things too.

1) 50% starting strength. Is this term even well defined in the Rulebook? Is it even defined in every category or just one? We know from one page, 47, that it is the number of models a unit had at the start of the battle. Afterwards, it's merely referred to as 50% starting strength in a few instances. The only amendment to this, is page 85, where we learn that when multiple wounds are involved, we determine 50% strength via wounds, not model count. So why is this crucial element to the game, so vaguely written? The lack of writing on it, is it enough to claim it's not integral and simply operate under assumptions. Try to accurately and clearly define 50% starting strength for units--you'll find that most of what we do with it, is mostly under assumption, and not actually written exactly how we use it. Much like how leadership is not defined hardly at all in our books, and we use leadership values in very odd ways that are not written to be done; but instead, assumed.
You aren't making sense to me here. Only scoring/victory points use wounds, that is made clear on the table on p.85. Otherwise, for cases concerning morale, we have the matter clearly defined at the outset, on p.47. It means 50% of the model count. There are no assumptions. The assumption would be that a drone is still a model, always, despite being wargear. The interesting part is that GW did take time out to tell us certain things about drones and they are quite specific about which instances drones count. They do not simply say, whenever you work out if the unit if at 50%, also count drones. Why even talk about drones at all, unless to draw attention to the distinction? Why not just say, "in all instances, drones count as ordinary models?"

Quote:
2) Re-grouping is straight forward that we must be at least 50% of our original strength. This strength was defined for shooting morale modifiers, but nothing else. So without text to back it up, we can just assume it's that too--or we can read it as written and have... nothing to define it. Again, all assumption.
If I take your meaning, you are saying that because the regrouping section (p.49) of the morale rules does not say, (in parenthesis, like they do in the morale-check section on p.47), that 50% means model count, therefore we have no way of knowing what 50% means. And yet both these sections are sub-sections of the same chapter, titled simply Morale, beginning on p.47 and ending p.49, and the very first mention of this term in that chapter clearly defines what it meant. There is absolutely no reason to take these meanings individually. Separately, we are told that we use wounds to work out whether a unit is outnumbered this is because larger, tougher and more resiliant fighters are scary, and cause enemies to run away. But there is no reason to question what 50% original strength means, that is defined

Quote:
3) The rulebook makes no mention of wargear not being able to effect various aspects of units, in terms of size, scoring, etc. We rely on the codex to give us this information specifically. So we have Drones, as wargear. No where in the rules of the armoury or taking items from the armory is there a note about how some things can effect our units. Then we have the Drones specific rules. These rules state that the Drones are counted for Morale checks, counted for being able to claim objectives (which requires 50% strength), and count towards victory points (also determined via 50% strength). Nothing was written for the assault phase and being outnumbered, or if they count towards 50% starting strength for assault. Nothing was written for re-grouping, which requires 50% starting strength.
Indeed, a note about this would have been useful, and they could have included one on independant characters with drones while they were at it, but perhaps it is because they did not feel the need they give only those rules that do take effect. The rules say drones are counted for 25% morale checks, which are specifically from shooting, they do not say ALL morale checks. Claiming objectives requires a rather different sort of 50% strength than that used for re-grouping and all other morale. This is because scoring is based on model value. We need to be able to claim something for bringing a Lord or Carnifex down to half strength. So we use the method defined by the table on p.85 for scoring points, that of counting wounds. As I suggested already, this is not a lumped together category.

Quote:
So why is it, that they left out clear definitions in all instances for:

* 50% starting strength.
They did not.
Quote:
* Drones' rules regarding "Losing an Assault."
* Drones' rules regarding "regrouping."
This is the gist of the whole thread, but I will elaborate on that in a moment. My point, though, is that there are REASONS why drones might not count for regrouping, and for assault.

Quote:
And on top of that, how is it so clear and easy to say that because it's not written, that's simply correct to assume that they work a way that is not written. That is not read in raw. That is projection and assumption with lack of text.

Now, in the lack of text, we have two things that give us signals hinting towards intents that failed to be realized into forms of coherent intelligent rules that were clearly written and easy to understand. GW failed this, and has done so since the beginning. Nothing changed. Now, in our Drones, we're told that they count towards quite a few things. All of which has to do with 25% strength and 50% strength of a unit. So we're told, over and over through the rules, that these Drones effect the unit size from the start of the game to the end of the game. Yet, somehow, you can conclude that they don't count towards 50% starting strength in assault (implied via saying they don't count towards regrouping since both are not written), and don't count towards 50% starting strength when re-grouping.
What is slightly odd is that they bothered to mention the counts at all. This implies there is room for doubt as to whether drones are meant to count. And they break it down very carefully, instead of just telling us drones count towards model totals.

There are really two halves to the point I was making. The first being the matter of regrouping, the second fall back from CC. I came to this realisation when I was looking at the Crisis Suit configurations on the GW site. Many combos use a full compliment of gun drones, for example, and yet we all understand that the morale issues surrounding drones make having them more of a liability than a help. But the Tau are one army in which falling back can be an exceptionally good thing. I have had discussions with players about whether the Ethereal can really allow re-rolls of passed morale checks. Though the wording obviously allows this, for many it is counter-intuitive, they assume it can only mean failed moral rolls. On the other hand, Tau are given bonding knives, which allow them to regroup under circumstances which would disallow units from other armies from doing so.

These are qualities which we associate with the Tau.

Drones DO count for units holding objectives, and holding their ground under fire.

Drones (allegedly, here) do NOT count when it comes to hindering regrouping, or for staying power in CC.

So you see, I was not reading as written, far from it, this is definitely an interpretation, but one which draws on GWs careful avoidance of restricting drones in certain ways which are actually very fitting with the fluff for the tau, and in concordance with other in-game qualities that the tau have. I think it is actually very subtle and clever GW clearly wants us to use their drones. They have carefully structured the given rules to allow units with drones to gain the benefits of extra protection and scoring power, while, in very Tau-like manner, kept them from causing units to linger in close assault because of the artificial intelligences that are meant to help them.

Far from criticising GW for their vagueness, I feel that they have been highly efficient, and instead of saturating us with new rules they simply given us a neat way of achieving the Tau-like results required from drones.

For once I disagree with you, Mal. I know you were trying to fight fire with fire, to read as written even more than I was, but I really was not trying to read as written. I strongly dislike that term when it blinds us to the bigger issues.

But it has bugged me for some time how drones do not appear to "work" properly for crisis units, despite being sold on the fact that they should. Then it struck me that the rules, as they appear to be written in the codex (which is otherwise needlessly complex in its breakdown) actually support the fluff and the desired in-game mechanics very, very neatly. It is for this reason that we need very strong contradictory reasons to assume that the rules are not meant to have this effect.

I do not understand your point that the term "less than 50%" is not clearly defined, or that the term "at least 50%" (for scoring) is not clearly defined. To me it seems crystal clear. The "lack of text" in the drone rules is conspicuous by its absence, and on closer examination has clear effects on the game which, far from seeming out of place, actually accentuate the play-style and tactics of the Tau army, not to mention the supporting literature.

So please do not think that my rather brief post was ill-considered. I hope that you can see I have stronger reasons than a bit of gung-ho hair-splitting.

To be honest, I am unsure of why your resistance to the possibility is so strong.

Best,
Gram

__________________
Gramlin's in the System!
Gramlin is offline  
Old 16 Oct 2006, 17:21   #6 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Alachua, Florida
Posts: 8,647
Send a message via MSN to MalVeauX
Default Re: Drone controllers and regrouping

Heya,

First of all, just to be clear I wasn't being sarcastic or trying to sound overly against anything. Merely pointing out via questions and points that our rules on both sides of the fence lack many things that are clear; and it doesn't matter what we assume or think, unless it's written when it comes to reading the rules. My point was merely that we assume a lot in this game; and have done so for years, at tourneys, everywhere. Yet a lot of it is not written that we should do things the way we do them (at least, in English; you'd be surprised how differently it's written in other languages, such as the French and German rules/codices).

Quote:
To be honest, I am unsure of why your resistance to the possibility is so strong.

Best,
Gram
It's not that I resist it strongly; it's that the reasoning for all of this is based on the void of specific rule, and therefore, a rule that is not written, that is assumed is made. Quite simply, it's an assumed ruling that is not written, based on something that is also, not written.

I don't actually resist the temptation to have the ability to regroup even when below 50% because my starting strength was based on Drones. Lovely prospects.

But my sportsmanship score would no doubt suffer hits, as I've seen others actually pull it, at RTT's. And I don't want my comp score to tank just because of an assumed non-written rule based on non-written text.

Anyhow again, my post is merely something meant to question the basis of the creation of the ruling that they don't count for re-grouping (assumed rule) because it's not written specifically. It's assumed, just like many other rules we use commonly and for a very long time are assumed. The one thing I don't agree with, is telling people that it's legal, when it's neither legal nor illegal, and is literally assumed.

Simply put, it's `Read as Not Written.

All in good spirits though And I'm glad you disagree. I merely, don't agree nor disagree with the assumed ruling.

Cheers!
__________________
[table][tr][td][/td][td][table][tr][td] [/td][td]Apocalypse is the only way to forty-kay.[/td][/tr][/table][/td][/tr][/table]
MalVeauX is offline  
Old 16 Oct 2006, 18:11   #7 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 18,087
Default Re: Drone controllers and regrouping

Well, "model" is defined at the beginning of the Rulebook. There is no seperate category for wargear that is represented by a seperate model. At the end of an assault, all that matters is total wounds caused. If the drone can take wounds, they are counted. If they were not intended to be counted, then the drone couldn't take those wounds in the first place and someone else would have to. So that much seems pretty clear to me. As for regrouping, there is nothing that states that drones are any different because they are added from the Wargear section rather than selected directly from the list.

I agree that something needs to be done to restore some use to Drones in Crisis teams, but GW is going to have to issue some rewrites before that can happen. I wish they would just bring the old rules, which have proved to be simpler than the moronic majority toughness and mixed armour rules. What was so hard about "Drones come off first"?
khanaris is offline  
Old 16 Oct 2006, 18:17   #8 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: England, Somerset
Posts: 342
Default Re: Drone controllers and regrouping

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX
Simply put, it's `Read as Not Written.

All in good spirits though And I'm glad you disagree. I merely, don't agree nor disagree with the assumed ruling.

Cheers!
LOL. Understood. I'm not a great one for inventing rules either.

There's something a bit fishy about that omission though, something not quite right altogether about how drones and morale seem to function, and then their is the matter of fact way that they have written "Drones do this, this and this, full stop." I'm not surprised people pick up on it.

The whole language of the rules seems to be implying they are somehow seperate from the unit still. That it is taken forgranted they are not "proper" models, and need a special mention to remind us to include them in the rules.

All the way, it is not "the unit they are part of," but, "the unit they are with," or, "the unit their controller is in (but they are not...?!)" and so on. Not unreasonable to think that the unit is a stand alone item, and the drones only have limited influence over normal play.

An example of real pedantry and rule-bending might be:

"If the character with the drone controller is killed, then the drones are destroyed." well, my three crisis with hard-point drone controllers are not characters, so therefore the drones are not destroyed.

I would never sacntion something so base as this, it would be blatantly pathetic. Yet there are cases where an invisible line is crossed, and reasons start to stack up, and all of a sudden we are not looking at a simple twist of the words but instead the possibility of of a genuinely subtle game mechanic.

Whether this is read as written or read how I want to read it, I actually can't decide. I would not go with it at all, except that it seems to fit so snugly with the image of how drones are meant to be, and the numbers which the tau are supposed to take them in, accompanying battelsuits.

This little snippet of examples, if that they be, or hardfast rules, should that be the case, is copied practically verbatim from the old Tau codex. Perhaps just an unchecked mistake, then? I remember reading that section when I first bought Tau. It had been years since I played warhammer. Last time I'd done any gaming, it was back in the days of Adeptus Titanicus and Space Marine. From a totally innocent perspective, I remember thinking, "OK, so there are timese when this applies and times when it doesn't." Back then, drones seemed very distinct from normal models, they had special rules for allocating hits and everything.

Gradually that sense has been eroded, as I have spoken to more and more people on forums and suchlike, drones special status has receeded until now I find they are treated just as normal models. But no, I thought, there is something different in the way drones are approached, they are given special attention, specific rules have been included, expressly to mark out just how different drones are. And still, the wording in the codex and their treatment in these situations smacks of something a little different to the norm.

It seems extremely odd to draw attentionto the fact that drones are counted in these three limited circumstances. What on earth are GW trying to tell us? The language is skewed, weighted in favour of the assumption that drones would not be counted, and we are being given special cases in which they are.

It's a trail of sweets, but I don't know where it leads. My strongest inclination is to think there is more to this, that it is a way of getting drones to work in the way they were supposed to. I mean, who honestly thinks that a monat with a bonding knife can be deeply in love with his drones? Yet he fights on. Unless of course there was never meant to be an issue with drones affecting regrouping at all...

I did not think you were being sarcastic. I wondered why you thought the rules about 50% strength were vague. And sometimes it is enough to limit people by telling only what is correct, and omitting what is wrong. If a sign says "public footpath" then there doesn't necessarily have to be another sign saying "not public footpath" pointing the other way. There might be, but there needn't. And when rules tell you to do obvious things, that you would have done anyway, but only for half the things you were expecting them to, you have to wonder whether the word "only" is implicitly there, before those things, slicing off the other half that have not been listed. Otherwise it is a redundant thing to have put there at all.

There's enough there for me to let someone else play it that way. And enough reason in terms of gameplay to make it seem just, and not an unfair thing to do.

So we are looking at shadows, but the shadows make a better shape than the thing casting them.

Quote:
I agree that something needs to be done to restore some use to Drones in Crisis teams, but GW is going to have to issue some rewrites before that can happen. I wish they would just bring the old rules, which have proved to be simpler than the moronic majority toughness and mixed armour rules. What was so hard about "Drones come off first"?
Hi, Khanaris, I wrote most of this post before you posted yours, but again, you are falling back on the "normal" way of doing things, which does not explain why drones have this abnormal way of drawing attention only to certain rules for certain situations. Significant, or no?

Best
Gram
__________________
Gramlin's in the System!
Gramlin is offline  
Old 16 Oct 2006, 18:41   #9 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 18,087
Default Re: Drone controllers and regrouping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gramlin

Hi, Khanaris, I wrote most of this post before you posted yours, but again, you are falling back on the "normal" way of doing things, which does not explain why drones have this abnormal way of drawing attention only to certain rules for certain situations. Significant, or no?
I wouldn't say so. GW has a tendency to write that type of "exception" rule as if they were being asked a specific question.


As I said before. Close-combat only counts wounds, not models, for both combat resolution and out-numbering. So that much is clear. If the drones take wounds, they count.

With Regrouping, I tend to agree with you in spirit. It isn't like the Battlesuit is Bonded to his Drones. The Bonding Knife really shouldn't do anything, but then that would make Drones an utterly moronic choice. HQ choices just revert back to ICs, so this discussion is not as relevant to them. But I agree with MalVeaux that you can't reach an interpretation here based solely on what GW didn't say. My advice: just don't make an issue out of it at a tournament until a FAQ fixes it. Pay for the bonding or don't use the Drones.
khanaris is offline  
Old 16 Oct 2006, 20:08   #10 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: England, Somerset
Posts: 342
Default Re: Drone controllers and regrouping

Good advice. It's going in my long letter to GW

Perhaps eventually it will be in an FAQ?

Still, it's a good thing to keep in mind.

When I posted this, I was in two minds whether to even mention the thing about CC fallback. It would have been a simpler discussion if we had just talked about regrouping. Still, I tacked it on the end, and probably muddied the waters a little.

Yeah, there is no proof here, but I have my suspicions. Until then, it's play by the most restrictive rule, until something frees us to do otherwise.

Best regards,
Gram

__________________
Gramlin's in the System!
Gramlin is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Target Locks and Drone Controllers AndrewC Tau 6 05 Mar 2009 20:23
Stealth suits and drone controllers Ashtoruin Tau 18 27 Aug 2008 03:49
drone controllers dragoniccam Tau 8 02 Jul 2007 23:05
tau drone controllers Shaso Rael Tau 7 21 Jan 2007 12:39
Independant Drones, Or Drone Controllers? Aquila_XV8 Tau 9 25 Sep 2005 15:24