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Sniper Drone placement
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Old 26 Jun 2007, 22:40   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Sniper Drone placement

Hello all, I've been playing the game for a little bit on Vassal to get a feel for how the units work and what I want to buy when I enlarge my force. I've been using sniper drones, and I think they're a great unit, but I was wondering: Do you place them together in a group, or do you like to spread them out? I played an excellent game earlier against a Tzeech army where I had two squads. I placed them in the corners of my side(I didn't get to fire with one for most of the game...I made the mistake of placing it on the side of a forest :). The other one though probably earned its points back nicely.

However, in another game, I had the teams spread out as well, but one was assaulted by infiltrating marines, and the other team was able to inflict some casualties.

How do you like to place the teams: together or separated?
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Old 26 Jun 2007, 23:16   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sniper Drone placement

Ahh... sniper drones... I use them just about every game I play....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tralfagar
How do you like to place the teams: together or separated?
Well, it really depends on who I'm facing, and the terrain I have available.

Against a MEQ opponent, I will usually keep them relatively close (within about 6 inches of each other), so that they are all in range to a single target if required, but still have multiple fire lanes to choose from.

There are really two ways to hurt MEQ with sniper drones, the 2nd requiring a bit of experience with them (for you and your opponent.):

* 1) Weight of fire. I've killed off 9 men of a 10 man tac. squad, only to have the vet. Serge running off the board. There's a lot of power in being able to say "Kill of that whole squad. No, no saves allowed."
This is the way you're going to want to start out using them, as it builds up quite nicely to the second strategy.

* 2) Fear of the snipers! Once you've been using them effectively for a few games, your opponents will probably realize that a handful of rail rifles and bs4 markerlights are nothing to laugh at. This will provide you with a unique opportunity, found nowhere else in the Tau list:
* * * By deploying your sniper drones in key areas, you can reliably influence your opponent's infantry deployment, without risking retaliation. As a side note, combining this with hiding your broadsides behind terrain and equipping them with Advanced Stabilization Systems, you can safely keep your opponent careful about where he puts his vehicles, too.

Here is my personal target priority list for my sniper drones against MEQ:
1) Assault squads. They're not friendly.
2) Devastator squads. I'm not going to type a whole paragraph about it, but Sniper Drones are extremely effective against Dev. squads, particularly minimized ones.
3) Tac. Squads. They're not usually as threatening as the other two to the rest of your army, unless they get close.
4) Vehicles. You're Tau, you've got better things to deal with vehicles (Deathrain crisis suits and railguns come to mind, heck, Ion cannons are quite good at taking out dreadnought-grade armor, as well.) If required, though, a sniper drone can still put a dent in one.


Against GEQ, I will usually only take one team of drones, placing them where the 3 drones will have multiple fire lanes. I then fire off the drones at different squads, forcing pinning tests, while using the spotter's markerlight for... well... anything I feel I need a markerlight for.

Here's my priority list against GEQ (for the drones):
1) Heavy Weapon Support Squads. They're relatively fragile, but have the capability to really get on your nerves.
2) The 3 Closest infantry squads. You've got the capability to cause 3 pinning checks, use it!
3) Command Squads. Take out their leadership base.
4) Light Vehicles. As I said in the MEQ area, you've got better things to kill a vehicle, but it can still be done.

Here's my priority list against GEQ (for the spotter's markerlight):
1) Bumping up the BS of a unit, whether it be a hammerhead/broadside about to make a kill-shot, or a stealth team ambushing some infantry.
2) Reducing cover saves. Doing this and then dropping a submunition on the enemy squad can have nasty results.
3) Launching a seeker strike. Seekers aren't as helpful against guard, because the missile costs more than a guardsman! Still helpful to pack one or two, for targets that aren't worth a railgun shot (sentinels come to mind), or the chance to hurt a russ that a railgun wasn't able to dent.



However you decide to use them, make sure you don't forget this one little bit of info: Sniper Drones can also pop light vehicles in a pinch. Many people see them as anti infantry only (especially when you start decimating whole/near whole squads in one turn!), and will try to counter them with, say, a landspeeder or dreadnought. Sniper drones are perfectly capable of taking out a 'speeder, and can also put a dent in a dreadnought (or a predator's side armor...I've done that one before... heh) if required.

Great answer mate, +1, Lonely
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Old 27 Jun 2007, 13:20   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sniper Drone placement

I think putting them close together is a good decision against MeQ in dense terrain when you think that your firing lane is the largest but against horde armies when there is many small GeQ try to target as mush units as possible as that LD 7 can't hold forever. Too get the most units put them separately.
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Old 27 Jun 2007, 13:38   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sniper Drone placement

Against some armies I like deploying one of my two Sniper Drones on a flank all by themselves if you're trying to pull a refused flank on them.

A single Sniper Drone team is only small, and thus isn't seen worth sending close combat troops after when the rest of your army is on the other side of your deployment zone. The Stealth Field makes it basically immune to long ranged fire, and as such it can keep plugging away at the enemy for most of the game. If they do send something after it, that's something that's not attacking the rest of your army.

Being a Heavy Support choice, you can set it up first, and thus keep the enemy guessing as to where the rest of your army will go (or make them think you're spreading it out accross the entire board).

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Old 27 Jun 2007, 15:46   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sniper Drone placement

My personal favorite thing to do with two sniper teams is to utilize those target-locks to divide your shots amongst more than one group, possibly forcing each group to make two pinning tests each. Although they're marines, if you hit four times, you're forcing four pinning rolls and they're bound to eventually flub one - this works especially good if they've had their morale lowered due to a particularly vicious softening up - a group of five marines only needs to lose two to have their morale lowered to 7, which is no better than ours. (barring their pesky commanders and their ability to impart their leadership...)
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Old 27 Jun 2007, 17:20   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sniper Drone placement

I haven't had a chance to use them yet, but I'd probably run two squads, one on each flank, with a crisis team, piranhas or vespid ready to engage fast assaulters to protect them. But I'm merely basing this on nothing at all.
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Old 27 Jun 2007, 17:35   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sniper Drone placement

I have bought 2 squads but they are currently not assembled.

who'd have thought the little buggers are metal
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Old 27 Jun 2007, 17:55   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sniper Drone placement

Really?? I'd've thought they were plastic like the gun drones! I mean there's not a lot of details that the plastic won't do nicely with...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekyGator
The divide between what gets put up on an art gallery and what gets you thrown in jail is mostly dependent on the quality of the frame, even though both are just as good for fapping.
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Old 27 Jun 2007, 18:04   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sniper Drone placement

Thats what i thought. it seems to just create more annoyance.

I'm going to have to pin them all. Even the spotter is metal.
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Old 27 Jun 2007, 18:39   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sniper Drone placement

I usually deploy them on flanks, but to reinforce Nuke's sayings about vehicles and snipers, I've taken out wave serpents and fire prisms with them. An 80 pt team taking out something like that more than earns it's points back.
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I believe so, I get mine at Walgreen's for around $7. Brake Fluid works too (Pine Sol Works on metals, not so well on plastics), but I prefer the spraycanniness of the Easy Off. Spray it (Wear gloves, it's important), let it sit, and take a toothbrush to it later.
so what your saying is that oven cleaner can remove paint from plastic models? and after that, you take a toothbrush to your plastic model, and the paint just comes off?
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