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Drone Designations
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Old 03 Jan 2008, 02:55   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Drone Designations

I have a quick fluff question.

What is the designation for a drone. Battlesuits have XV-whatever, so what designation do drones have? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03 Jan 2008, 03:04   #2 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Drone Designations

I'm pretty sure that in the Tau language a drone would be called kor'vessa. Other than that I think they'd just be drones. I'm sure someone else knows better than me though.

You could always paint one blue and white and give it the designation R2 D2! ;D
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Old 03 Jan 2008, 04:39   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Designations

It isn't official, but I came up with some designations of my own.

My reasonings are as follows;

XV-88-2

Unit Type

XV is the designation for a Battlesuit. (XV-8 Crisis Suit)

TX is the designation for a Skimmer. (TX-4 Piranha)

AX is the designation for Aircraft. (AX-1 Tigershark)

DX is the designation for Drone. (DX-4 Technical Drone)

Mass Class

The first number following the Unit Type is, as always, the Mass Class of the piece of equipment. From what we have seen in the fluff, this number can range from 1 - 8. Speculation on the Tigershark's Mass Class (AX-1) leads some to believe the Barracuda (a much smaller aircraft) would/should be designated AX-0.

There are no dedicated values or ratios to each Mass Class that we know of - they are simply numeric representations of the size of a piece of equipment compared to other equipment of the same Unit Type.

As per Forge World, the Technical Drone is a DX-4 (slightly smaller chassis, slightly larger mass-wise than a standard Gun Drone) and the Remora is a DX-6.

Given this information, I conclude that small utility drones like those we see flitting around Kor'Os on starships taking orders, or serving as control platforms or message-carriers, would be classified DX-1s and DX-2s - the most widespread mass classes of drones - serving the Empire in a nigh-unlimited number of roles.

The saucer-shaped drone chassis and sleek, compact silhouette most Tau are familiar with on the battlefield would then be DX-3.

The slightly larger Heavy Gun Drones would be DX-5 (slightly larger than technical drones yet smaller than a Remora), and so on and so forth.

DX-0s (if they exist) might be simple drone-intelligences installed on most Tau equipment.

Role Type

The second number following the Unit Type is the equipment's specific Role.

The XV-84 is, as per IA3, a Markerlight-equipped Target Acquisition Battlesuit. Given this, I named Marker Drones DX-24s.

The XV-89 is, as per IA3, a Battlesuit equipped with additional Armor Plating. Given this, I named the Shield Drones DX-29s.

So far, I believe the Role Types are as follows;

1 Unique Variant or Indirect Fire. The XV-81 has a shoulder-mounted SMS. Given its low position on the Role Type scale, I would assume this means it's not widespread, nor being considered for mass production. I would also assume it's a unique variant and that other 'unique' equipment could be found with the 1 Role Type designation. Another possibility is that the 1 Role Type could be used to denote equipment's capability to contribute indirect fire to the battlefield.

2 Prototype/Pre-Production. The XV-22 has been described as a prototype battlesuit.

3 Unknown.

4 Markerlight/Target Acquisition. XV-84s are equipped with Markerlight target designators.

5 Stealth Field Generator. XV-15s and XV-25s are both equipped with Stealth Field Generators.

6 Unknown

7 Unknown

8 Heavy Weapons Platform. XV-88s are equipped with primarily Heavy Weaponry, to include Railguns and either a Smart Missile System or Twin-Linked Plasma Rifles.

9 Armored/Shielded. XV-89s are equipped with Iridium Armor Plating, increasing their survivability on the battlefield.

Multiple Number

When two designations for a piece of equipment should overlap, the Tau add a Multiple Number to the designation to help de-conflict and prevent confusion.

Forge World's newer and presumably more advanced version of the XV-88 Broadside battlesuit is designated the XV-88-2, in light of its differences in layout and design.

---

Hope this helps.
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Old 03 Jan 2008, 07:27   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Drone Designations

Ill just add something.

The DX-4 is the same chassis and size as the gun drone. Its actually slightly smaller. I can tell as i have 8 of them.

Also, i believe that AX is the definition of space fighter/bombers. The barracuda is no where near the size or armed for space battles. It may be efficient to defend against bombers and such, but i cant see how the equipment and targettingsystems is efficient enough for space.

Just my personal opinion. It may be incorrect for fluff, but i believe the tigershark with ion cannons are more effective in space.
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Old 03 Jan 2008, 08:27   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Designations

Thanks for the DX info executioner, I'll update my post. While the chassis is pretty much the same (a little smaller actually, as you say), that enormous underslung utility/propulsion cluster is likely what contributes the most to the mass making it slightly larger than your standard gun drone, yes?

That would put the Heavy Gun Drones in at DX-5, bigger than a Tech Drone yet smaller than a Remora.

---

Regarding the Barracudas, believe it or not, they're our frontline fighters in space according to the BFG fluff. The Tau almost didn't win the first war with the Orks without them.
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Old 03 Jan 2008, 08:40   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Designations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doombringer
Thanks for the DX info executioner, I'll update my post soon.

Regarding the Barracudas, believe it or not, they're our frontline fighters in space according to the BFG fluff. The Tau almost didn't win the first war with the Orks without them.
Also, given that 'Cudas and Mantas are standard Fighter/Bombers for Gothic, most of us don't know where a normal Tigershark would fall in space combat. The Standard variant is almost certainly designed as a ground support craft, the AX-2-2 is an experimental? aerial support craft, and finally, the AX-1-0 is a stand-off attack platform for anti-vehicle use (mounting as it does, starship grade weaponry).

If it were ever included in Gothic, it would most likely be the AX-1-0, and that would probably function as a Fighter/Bomber, although a case could be made for the standard 'Shark to count as an assault boat. *runs off to BFG Forum*
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Old 03 Jan 2008, 08:50   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Designations

If anything, if the 'Sharks were ever deployed in space, they would fill gaps left by the 'Cudas and Mantas as they have a relatively versatile multi-role capability.

They certainly seem small and nimble enough to at the very least hold their own in a dogfight, and the AX-1-0 variant is armed to the teeth with railguns capable of piercing starship armor... Jack-of-all-Trades, Master of None.

From an operational standpoint though, I'd imagine the standard drone-spitting variant isn't/wasn't too common in space. The original Tigershark model is described as a dedicated ground support/attack aircraft, with the primary roles of deploying drones on the battlefield and supporting the ground troops. If they were utilized in space, it'd probably be to deploy drones of various utility; from serving as mobile 'smart chaff' described in the Fire Warrior novel to advanced sensor arrays - something that can't be easily represented on the tabletop, but no doubt extremely useful from a fluffy strategic point of view.

With the advent of the AX-1-0, the Tigersharks could assist both the stretched-thin Mantas in anti-shipping roles (freeing them up for deploying Cadres to the ground or focussed on vital targets) and the more numerous 'Cudas in interceptor roles (both anti-fighter and anti-torpedo) with increased efficiency. The AX-2-2 seems to be an experimental version of the original model that is outfitted to carry larger utility/attack drones into battle/position, and would likely be used in a similar role.
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Old 03 Jan 2008, 09:03   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Designations

The Barracudas must have seriously effective weaponry for their size to compete, though - to quote Andy Chambers when he produced Battlefleet (or it might have been Tim Adcock, who designed the models) - "to give you an idea of scale, the fighters in the game are not the size of Thunderbolts or Marauders but more the size of jumbo jets!"

And Barracudas are not the size of jumbo jets, they are most definitely the size of Thunderbolts =D
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Old 03 Jan 2008, 09:07   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Designations

A slight note here ought to be added in. A few folks on the SG site feel that the Tau Ordnance isn't at all well reflected.

That is people think it should be:
Barracuads = Fighters
Bomb-drone toting Tigersharks = Bombers
Tigersharks = Assault Boats (i.e. a huge wing of them will deploy a bucketload of drones close in on an enemy vessel)
Manta = 'Free' Resilient (i.e. with the 4+ save) Torpedo (Missile) Bombers that are deployed at the start of a game and can't be reloaded.

That is to say, any given Tau starship will come with somewhere in the region of 0-6 Mantas. An entire fleet might include a sizeable portion of 'resilient' Mantas that effectively use ordnance rules but are deployed like and used loosely as escorts, permitting the TS/Barracudas to fulfill the traditional fighter and bomber roles.

But as that's not official, I thought I'd simply raise the point.

Anyway

Doombringer's expose on the topic mirrors and expands (significantly) on my own tentative view of the topic. He hit the nail on the head!

Re: Circus

Alternatively, they might simply be fielded in larger squadrons! This idea I like as it'd account for what the large portion of the Tau crews would do on starships...man the fighters.
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Old 03 Jan 2008, 09:08   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drone Designations

Correct, Circus - but the Tau in BFG seem to employ squadrons of these small, agile fighters at a time.

Each Manta bomber model sent out against the enemy fleet represents a squadron of three or more flying towards their target. As I stated in the Manta thread somewhere on this page, a Gal'leath carrying eight squadrons of three (presumably - considering the rules say three per 'detachment' in 40k) Mantas means they can effectively transport something along the lines of twenty-four Manta Missile Destroyers with an accompanying eight squadrons of Barracudas/Tigersharks. I also recall seeing a single flight of barracudas sent out with three per base - so there's likely quite a few more in reality...

Sure says something for the Tau if their run-of-the-mill trans-atmospheric fighters can challenge Fury Interceptors (I think they're Furies, right?) in space... Would definitely be in keeping with the fluff regarding the Tau's technological advancement - perhaps the Barracuda in 40k is scaled down in terms of stats for sheer balance vice fluffy 'realism'?

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