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Stealth suits + drone swarm
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Old 06 Oct 2008, 12:50   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Stealth suits + drone swarm

I've hunted around and found people mentioning this sort of tactic in passing, but only one person mentioned actually using anything like it (and they claimed it OWNED... unfortunately I don't remember where or who >&lt. I haven't bought my new army yet and aren't sure how high a priority stealthsuits are. So here's an idea that's been knocking around in my head for a few days, which makes stealthsuits a lot more attractive to me. It will be a few months before I have the models to try it; if anyone else What do you guys think? Has anyone tried this sort of thing before? Would you plz plz pl0x try it and let me know if it's aliieeeeve?

--

Stealth suits are traditionally used as a distraction and harassing unit - not enough of a threat for your opponent to devote serious resources against, but caused enough damage and have enough survivability to be a serious thorn in their side. Typical wargear is a targeting array or maybe a target lock for fusion blaster or markerlight equipped suits.

Equipping them all with drone controllers seems really damn strong and changes their battlefield role considerably.

Firstly, gun drones have the same range, strength, and AP as stealthsuits. They cost 1/3 the points, and have 1/3 the shots. Their twin-linked, BS2 means they have a slightly higher chance to hit, and they are pinning. They gain their controllers' stealth field gear, and are also jet infantry. In addition, drones provide a large number of cheap wounds to protect your valuable suits - the eggs:basket ratio is heavily in favour of gun drones. So points-wise, anything stealthsuits can do, the attached drones can do better.

Loading out a stealth squad with gun drones can increase their firepower by 66%; targeting arrays only increase firepower by 33% (the cost per increase is the same though). This (probably? I think? Depending on squad size?) pushes their firepower up over that crucial threshold where they go from being an annoyance to being a serious menace, capable of wiping out squads of light infantry and doing serious damage to heavy infantry, while also gaining massive amounts of wounds and maintaining their stealth and JSJ. So this strategy revolves around full-size stealth squads with a full complement of drones. In smaller games you might field smaller teams, especially if you're only using gun drones. But wait, there's more. The larger the squad, the more it can exploit some of the other possibilities of a drone controller.

Gun drones are only one of the drone options available. While shield drones seem a little redundant, unless you expect to be deploying against some serious firepower (heavy bolters, for example), markerlight drones can push this squad from powerful to ridiculous.

I know they're expensive, but as they increase the accuracy of a shas'ui by 16.7% (1/6), you are not wasting points if you have 6 stealthsuits because each marker drone adds as much firepower as an equivalent number of points spent on a stealthsuit. The presence of the gun drones makes marker drones even more attractive as their low BS means that each marker drone increases their shootiness by about 20% (!). Obviously, the more models in the squad, the more effective the networked markerlight (ignoring the possibility of buffing other squads with the markerlight hits)

So, 6 stealth shas'ui, 10 gun drones, and 2 marker drones = 340 points. Overkill? No such thing =P This strikes me as an actually good time to trade in for some fusion blasters and target locks (and a markerlight and multitracker on the fusion-equipped leader) at the expense of some drones - you maintain massive anti-infantry firepower, and also gain strong anti-tank options with a large number of ablative wounds. The leader's markerlight can be shot simultaneous with the fusion blaster, and used to call down seeker missiles. As I said, no such thing as overkill.

This strategy definitely shifts the focus of the army much more onto their stealth suits. Far from being a harassment unit that operates around the edge of the battle, this is a deep-striking, infiltrating, 18-wound, 28-shot, markerlighting, pinning beast, capable of taking the fight straight to the enemy wherever they're weakest.
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Old 06 Oct 2008, 13:33   #2 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Stealth suits + drone swarm

I know that the entire unit would have stealth generators, but I think you will still reach a point where you have too many units, thus sacrificing the mobility and ability to hide your unit from shooting.

If I were to field units like that, I would probably go with 2x3 stealthsuits (each with 3-6 drones), simply to reduce squad size, making JSJ more effective. This, of course - will be a problem if you are running a suit-heavy setup, as it takes up 2 of your 3 elite slots..
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Old 06 Oct 2008, 15:59   #3 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Stealth suits + drone swarm

I have ran this a few time, but like Anders stated the pure size at 18 units (6 suits and 12 drones) is very hard to hide, I ran with 3 suits and 6 drones, and it worked a lot better, I used this tactic on SM and Nids, and it was very effective, and the people I played with kept forgeting they were in stealth and would get up to about 16 inches from them and attempt to shoot, which worked great for me since very few times were they actually able to shoot at them let a lone hit them. as for the gun drone vs the marker and shield, I like the gun drones for their pinning ability. they are still not as kill effective as I thought they would be at first but the addition of the drones made them a Larger annoyance my enemy couldnt just shrug off and ignore them. I try to even the fusion vs blaster so that one squad can work on heavy targets and the other can take out the lighter ones.
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Old 06 Oct 2008, 16:09   #4 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Stealth suits + drone swarm

Yeah that's the main problem that occurred to me too - it can be overcome as you suggest. The smaller number of suits is probably a good way to do it, with more drones, cos as I said, anything the suits can do, the attached drones can do better/cheaper. 6 suits + fewer drones if using the tank-hunting option imo.

You could also stack more shield/marker drones so that only part of the swarm needs to be within 18" of the target, or you could only commit part of the swarm to shooting each turn until you think there's a chance to simply slay all enemy who'll be in a position to counterattack, but that starts to waste a lot of points. And nothing changes the fact that 18 models are hard to find cover for.

Incidentally, I ran some numbers and the Fish of Fury is about 60% cheaper (for a really fuzzy definition of cheaper) per hit than the stealth swarm. However, FoF can require extensive markerlight support to be devastating in 5th Ed, and its hits occur in single- or double-turn bursts whereas the stealth swarm can maintain fire over almost the whole game.

(I'm assuming that FoF grants both you and your opponent 4+ cover saves for shooting through the 'fish)
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Old 06 Oct 2008, 16:11   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stealth suits + drone swarm

FOF does grant both 4+
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Old 06 Oct 2008, 17:13   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Stealth suits + drone swarm

Instead of one huge squad of 18. You could run them in squads of 3 stealth and 6 drones a piece. But what you also can do with it is run 2 - 3 sqauds as well. So you could have 9 stealth suits and 18 drones causing a lot of damage. Another plus is that you could have 6 fusion guns this way. I'm not a fan of the marker drones cause that's why I have pathfinders to mark my targets. 30pts is still a lot were other models have it for 2-10pts doing the same effect. Actually 5 pts more for the target lock ability.
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Old 06 Oct 2008, 18:01   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stealth suits + drone swarm

you mean 3 fusion blasters its 1 per 3 stealth suits
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Old 06 Oct 2008, 21:33   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Stealth suits + drone swarm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pseudomancer
I've hunted around and found people mentioning this sort of tactic in passing, but only one person mentioned actually using anything like it (and they claimed it OWNED... unfortunately I don't remember where or who >&lt. What do you guys think? Has anyone tried this sort of thing before?
I have used it, as I said in the "Gun Drones. Why?" thread. It's expensive, but very deadly when in range, and can JSJ, all with stealth fields. Plus pinning. If used right, it is an extremely effective unit. After all, it's 30 S5 AP5 shots, 12 of which are pinning and TLed.
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Old 07 Oct 2008, 01:47   #9 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Stealth suits + drone swarm

My bad. Ment to say 3 instead.
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Old 07 Oct 2008, 06:32   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Stealth suits + drone swarm

I've used it also, and while it's a lot of points it's an even greater amount of fire. The large stealth / drone team, in my opinion, is the only place that it's worth putting a marker drone or two. The time I had the best result with them was when I used them for outflank. A squad that size is incredibly unwieldy (18 models!)and expensive (over 300 points), but with markerlight support the amount of damage they will do is frightening. Pick a reasonably isolated squad of something besides terminators, outflank next to them, cut them down, and hope the stealth field protects you from the next nearest unit.
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