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Gun Drone strategy? Cheese or effective decision?
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Old 21 Jun 2007, 09:35   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Gun Drone strategy? Cheese or effective decision?

I'm pondering my next purchase and I don't want to waste my money (like anyone does).

I want to concentrate on my fast attack slots and max them out. Personally I like pirhana's but do not want to commit the points as other sections of my army that I have already decided upon need ALOT of points (ie Broadsides gallore).

I have come to the decision of using three maxed out gun drone squads. I think that the sheer amount of fire generated by 24 twin linked carbines when mixed with speed and mobility as well as the pinning effect makes them very dangerous. The total cost would be 288 pts.

I'd like to know the opinions of others on the choice before I go ahead and purchase. Please don't hold anything back.

As I side note, I intend to use the drones to stall enemy forces long enough for my fire warriors and broadsides to get firing position. All the while putting a dent in assault squads perhaps.

Later gators
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Old 21 Jun 2007, 09:47   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gun Drone strategy? Cheese or effective decision?

Gun drone are awesome. Deep strike behind those tanks when they think they are safe, or send a horde of them flying up one side of the board to give your opponent something to thing about!
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Old 21 Jun 2007, 09:47   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Gun Drone strategy? Cheese or effective decision?

It surely is not cheese.

But it is not effective either. Why would you need 24 drones? Maxing out is not always the way to go.

Greetz, Trogdor
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Old 21 Jun 2007, 09:53   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Gun Drone strategy? Cheese or effective decision?

personally i use 8 gun drones (in a squadron) and i find that they are very effective.

they are certainly not a priority target for most oppoenents (i like to bait people by deploying forward with sniper drones ) and can deepstrike behind basilisks etc and destroy them quite happily.

they are a good little unit but they will die if a snotling sneezes in their general direction
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Old 21 Jun 2007, 09:58   #5 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Gun Drone strategy? Cheese or effective decision?

Well as much as I like Gun Drone Squadrons - I feel as though that's a little excessive - but then you haven't stated what point limit we're looking at here. I mean with that many drones I'd start to feel conservative about how I play them, as opposed to just throwing detached-vehicle-drones at the enemy.. and being surprised at what they do =)

Generally I just take a small squad, of 4/6/8 drones. Then just detach vehicle drones just for fun - "Free" Frisbees to throw at the enemy.

[hr]

As for usage of three squads - that would be interesting to try out. I would actually keep one or two of the three squads in reserve and either deep strike them in, in the second half of the game, either to get behind an enemy vehicle for example or to hold an objective/table quarter.

The units that do start on the table would go for flanking moves or protection duty - giving protection in numbers to an IC character or other squads moving up.

With that many drones though - they will actually look like a big target...

[hr]

Anyhow, I'll dig up an old post I made a long time ago on Drones:

Quote:
Originally Posted by .mace
[size=14pt]Drones - Truths and Tactica[/size]

[size=12pt]Common Misconceptions[/size]
Ballistic Skill: Although drones have a base BS of 2, they have Twin Linked Carbines, which are statistically more accurate than BS3 (by 5%).

Range: Although they have a shorter range, compared to the Pulse Rifle, they have an effective range of 24" less, as they can move and shoot. If needed, they can JSJ back out of this range, even a few inches back, which allows them to avoid being rapid fired by most basic infantry that might choose to advance on them.

'Speed Bump' Unit: A comparatively expensive one at that (they are more expensive than Fire Warriors..). I willingly leave the role of 'Speed Bump' unit to drones detached from my devilfishes etc. They can be used in this way, though it's better if they actually accomplish something at the same time.

"Got Broke?": Drones are broken in 4th ed.? That isn't entirely true. Mixed units containing drones are rather broken, or have their advantages undermined to put it nicely. As a squadron though, they still perform as well as they did previously.


[size=12pt]Tactica[/size]
Here are the main tactics I use with drones..

Behind Enemy lines: When firing upon vehicles, their high AP is irrelevant, and what matters is their relatively high Str. This allows them to take out most light tanks, by shooting at their rear or front armour. Deep striking them close by, along with their 18" weapon range, allows them to nearly always shoot and hit the armour on the turn they arrive via deepstrike.
For a full squad of 8, statistically 4.4 shots will hit. Against AV10, this means 0.733 Glancing Hits, and 0.733 Penetrating Hits. (1.46 of the hits will do some damage). This is usually enough to disrupt, if not destroy the enemy vehicle (if you're lucky!) - which is usually enough to give some time for you're heavy weapons to rip through them. Against AV11, 0.733 of the hits will do some damage at least. If you don't understand the statistics, what I'm saying is that a full squad of drones, deep striking, can usually cause some sort of damage on AV10, and possibly AV11. When used in this manner though, they usually don't last too long, and are more of a one shot kamikaze unit. They will most likely lock up a unit in combat for a turn or two, depending on who you're facing and where they end up - though this is usually a good thing, as it's another turn or two that the unit isn't advancing on your own lines, locking you up in combat.

IC Protection/Buffer Drones: With the IC rules in the current rulebook, a squadron of drones can fulfill the role of attached drones, if not even better than before. You no longer need to take attached drones as 'shields', as any unit closer to the firer can act as a shield (the IC cannot be targeted in shooting unless it is the closest unit) - you can basically put any squad between the IC/Commander and an enemy unit, and they can't touch you (apart from ordinance weapons). Two maxed-out gun drone squadrons essentially forms a buffer of 16 wounds which have to be killed before the commander can even be shot! If you play mech, you have a lot of attached drones on you're vehicles, which can form their own buffer/add to an existing one. It is pretty much 'screening' as it was known in 3rd ed, just limited to IC's now. It is often advantageous to use numerous units of detached drones, as it means more units that have to be targeted separately before this buffer is removed - e.g. whole squads have to dedicate their fire to take out squads of just a few drones (forced overkill!), rather than a full sqaudron(overflow of wounds = dead/broken drones). Of course, as long as you can keep out of 12" range, you shouldn't have any problems with being tied up in assualt (= dead drones), or tying up the unit you're trying to shoot in assault. At this range, you should still be able to shoot all the carbines (that's a lot of pulse shots), and still be able to fire any plasma rifles etc. In case you didn't realise - don't attach the IC/commander to another unit, that undermines the IC protection...

Flanking Units
As WANAX mentioned in his post, they can JSJ and cover 12" per turn. Place them on a flank, and have them slowly advance (keep mission objectives in mind!), and the drones should be able to JSJ in and out of cover, or even move to the next piece of cover, shooting in the middle. It might take some good estimating of distances, just so you don't get caught out in the open, though if you do, a decent armour save is handy.

Diversion Unit
More or less what I'm getting at with 'Behind Enemy Lines' and 'Flanking Units', the Tau player is at an advantage regardless of how the opponent reacts to the presence of drones. As a cheap unit, they would have to divert a fair amount of firepower to take out the squad, which usually means a unit double the points cost of the drones trying to kill it. If they do this, that is one less squad to worry about that is firing upon you're own lines. If they choose to ignore the drones, that's another turn of shooting for the drones, and maybe even the chance to stop a unit from shooting by tying them up in combat.


[size=12pt]Conclusion[/size]
In my army, drones are a good unit with many uses, the main ones I use being the ones mentioned above. Coming in at 2 points more than Fire Warriors - you're getting a bargain for a jetpack and increased I. Along with Stealthsuits, drones are another unit I try to take whenever possible in my army.
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Old 21 Jun 2007, 12:17   #6 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Gun Drone strategy? Cheese or effective decision?

Great post mace, some good points.
Basically taking these drones is fiscally good for my army in that I have no points left over for F.A. in a 1750pt army and only about 300pts if I play a 200pt army.

To further explore the force I wont to deploy I should first discuss the basic strategy of it. I will soon have 6 Broadsides which soak up 540 pts. (Worth every damn one) as well I employ 3 maxed out F/W squads with rifles 3 stealth squads (10 models ttl).

My army is marker lighted like an X Mas tree. The basic concept is that the Gun drones Advance or deep strike and cause mass confusion for my opponent. He/she either A) panics and scrambles to kill the cloud of drones or B) underestimates them like so many and gets his vehicles and light armoured troops picked apart.

All the while my elites and troops have taken position, markered their targets, and my Broads begin to punch large holes in everything.

Essentially I will use them disposably as they can't earn BP's and so are used only tactically to slow assault and "Get lucky"

Any who, I hope that made sense, thanks for the input
Later
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Old 21 Jun 2007, 12:40   #7 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Gun Drone strategy? Cheese or effective decision?

Good idea, but how are you gonna get 24 gun drones? Sorry to focus on the material points, but the tactical points have been well-chewed. I could see special ordering tanks or crisis suits, but getting 24 gun drones would be a lot of expense for an auxillary unit.
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Old 21 Jun 2007, 12:52   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Gun Drone strategy? Cheese or effective decision?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joebob22
Good idea, but how are you gonna get 24 gun drones? Sorry to focus on the material points, but the tactical points have been well-chewed. I could see special ordering tanks or crisis suits, but getting 24 gun drones would be a lot of expense for an auxillary unit.
I guess he will trade them online with other users. I do this a lot on german boards and made some great deals. Or eBay, or maybe mailorder...

T
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Old 21 Jun 2007, 13:09   #9 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Gun Drone strategy? Cheese or effective decision?

Very interesting look at things =)

Where are you getting your markerlights from though - I mean if you don't have Pathfinders - you'll only have Team Leaders really... and marker drones?

One thing to keep in mind though - is that if your opponent assualts your drones - that essentially means you can't target those squads locked in combat (and perhaps blocking LOS as well? I don't remember the rules too well at the moment, a little rusty) - in other words the drones actually protect said squads from being shot. Then again they do hold them up, and are pretty decent in combat so it could be both an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your opponent and their army.
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Old 21 Jun 2007, 13:30   #10 (permalink)
Xan
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Default Re: Gun Drone strategy? Cheese or effective decision?

Why not take best of two worlds.
I mean piranha and their drones.
Look two BC TA phiranias will run you 130p. They also field 4 gun drones worth 48p. So being realistic one pirhaniah cost you whooping 41 p for a mobile AV11/10 BS 4 burst cannon , which is quite acceptable.
They can wonderfully cooperate with drones in terms of enemy harassment , will make more targets (and except Long Fangs and Tau no other army can split fire from their teams) .
No to mention about other awesome tactics with FB phiranias and drones.
The idea is to get drones and pirhanias 1'' away from hatches , blow the transport with FB`s and enemy troops wont be able to leave vehicle (need 2'' deployment zone away from hatches) which will result in them being destroyed.
Land raider with full assault or termie squad on board getting fried by phrianias is just awesome view.
What is best those drones never yield any VP`s for opponent , and in case of 2x Pirhania squad only way for opponent to get VPs is to completely destroy whole squad.
So in other words your drones can be used as shield for IC , suicide troops , harassment , AV10 hunters and even if they get nailed down your opponent won`t gain any VP`s.
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