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Couple of newb questions on shield drones.
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Old 15 Nov 2008, 22:13   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Couple of newb questions on shield drones.

Hi guys,

I've just started getting into 40k and bought the tau battleforce, so i've been scanning around on here for some ideas as to how best to equip and use the troops that I have for my first battle... but i've run into a few things which I don't really understand and if anyone could shed some light that'd be great!

Right. Shield drones. They have an invulnerable saving throw of 4+. Now I had assumed this is passed onto the individual who controls them? Or is it just that they have their own save if I choose to pass a rolled wound onto them?

To use the specific example I had planned to equip my commander with twin linked plasma guns and a shield generator with a hw drone controller and two shield drones. Is there any point in a shield generator and drones? Or have I missed the point!? :P

Also there was mention in another thread about wound allocation in units with shield drones, but I'm afraid with my lack of actual gaming experience I still couldn't work it out... heres how I see it. When my opponent has rolled to wound me and, for sake of argument, rolled 3 wounds. I can then choose to pass them onto my shield drone and use the shield drones inv save to try to prevent the damage?

One last thing. I thought that a unit which has an armour save and some gear which grants an additional invulnerable save simply has to choose which one he would rather use, after all saving throw modifiers have been worked out. Why then do I read about shield drones getting to use 2 saves?

So confused... please help!

Thanks a million.
J
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Old 15 Nov 2008, 22:41   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Couple of newb questions on shield drones.

Shield drones do not give their controller a save, instead wounds can be allocated to them, and if they fail the save, a drone dies instead of you commander. Of course, you must still follow normal wound allocation rolls.

You can give a commander a shield gen with drones, but it would probably just be a waste of points. If you opponent is desperate enough to kill the commander, he will die.

Drones do not get to make two saves, but they have two to choose from. They have an invulnerable save of 4+, and also an armor save equal to that of the controller. You still must pick only one to use, though.
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Old 15 Nov 2008, 22:50   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Couple of newb questions on shield drones.

cool. thanks for the reply.
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Old 16 Nov 2008, 04:02   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Couple of newb questions on shield drones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woogmeister
You can give a commander a shield gen with drones, but it would probably just be a waste of points. If you opponent is desperate enough to kill the commander, he will die.
I beg to differ. My Shas'o Commander Dram'Ka with a shield and 2 shield drones has withstood all the shooting from a Warhound Titan. He has survived an illegal close combat with 30 Gaunts, a Broodlord, and 2 Genestealers (the first wave of attacks anyway). Deep Striking between two Basilisks, they pivoted and turned on him. He has killed 7 Thousand Sons in close combat. Survived combat with a Deflier for 4 turns. He has killed a Shas'o Commander and his two bodyguards (the Commander took a wound before the assault). He has survived two waves of Fire Warrior shooting. With two bodyguards and their shield drones have killed a Force Commander and his 5 Space Marine Terminators in 2 shooting rounds and 3 rounds of close combat. He has immobilized a Baneblade before taking all the Baneblade's firepower and 6 lascannons. He Deep Striked in the midst of two Imperial Guard infantry platoons, took the lasfire, and then removed the units in combat one-by-one. Dark Reapers and a Fire Prism could not dislodge him as he moved to the rear armor and destroyed the Fire Prism. He has danced with a Carnifex, shooting its wounds before assaulting to take out the last one. He claimed 6 Space Marine Devestators with heavy bolters after they shot at him. He took a missile launcher blow and all the bolters from two bike squads and a Rhino, blew up the Rhino, moved towards the bikes and lead two Fire Warrior teams on a successful assault against the two bike units. He has fought O'Shovah and his merciless 9 Battlesuit bodyguard with full Gun Drones. It took all 18 drones and 7 Battlesuits upgraded to the max to finally bring him down. He has delt the final death blow to two Demon Princes in the same game. He has faced 8 shooting from Necron Immortals and 3 Destroyers before shooting and assaulting and destroying the Destroyers. The Monolith could not finish him off from the game.

All that without Stims or Iridium armor, and usually by himself with no supporting units anywhere. He is worth 164 points. The best he's done is personally destroyed almost 450 points worth of enemy Tau in a small 1,000 point game. Call it luck if you want to.


Now, concerning your commander, remove the twin-linked, you don't need it, not for a Commander. A Shas'o has BS:5 (hits on 2+). Instead, give him two weapon systems you see fit (some players do three). You can hardwire a multi-tracker as wargear without costing you a support system.

A Commander has the best and fullest options with the best stats the Tau can provide. If you want anti-heavy infantry, consider a Fusion Blaster/Plasma rifle, or a Missile Pod to go anti-tank. He'll serve as an excellent character hunter. Mine has a Fusion/Missile Pod and I really like the combination.

If you want anti-infantry, consider the Airbursting Frag Projector (Guess 18" range, Large Blast, no cover save) and Cyclic Ion Blaster (Assault5). You could even sacrifice the shield for a CIB, a Fusion Blaster, and a Plasma Rifle if you wanted, because you can still take drones and the multi-tracker in the wargear section.

If you take Iridium armor (2+ armor save, the shield drone takes the armor save of its owner) and Stims (Feel No Pain). I sometimes wished my Commander even had Vectored Thrusters for Hit-and-Run.

Normal Battlesuits are worthy to consider twin-linking because of their poor BS. However, most players prefer to take a multi-tracker and more weapons for more shots anyway. With this, you can utilize markerlights to help increase BS instead.

Never twin-link weapons on a Commander.
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Old 16 Nov 2008, 11:10   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Couple of newb questions on shield drones.

That sounds good to me Colonel. I want my commander to have as many amazing war stories as that. So I'll stick to my original idea of 2 shield drones and a shield generator. Thanks a bunch.

As for the next part... great advice thanks!

The only army I'm really going to be playing against for the foreseeable future is space marines and I must admit i'm worrying somewhat about their high armour. Hence the plasma rifle. 4 strength 6 AP 2 hits a turn should worry even terminators. I thought by twin linking i'd guarantee those hits, but didn't realise that BS5 would hit on a 2+ sounds good to me!

So i'll pop a missile pod and a hw multi tracker as well then. Thanks a lot for the advice!
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Old 16 Nov 2008, 11:18   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Couple of newb questions on shield drones.


Sorry to burst the bubble but TL weapons only get as many shots as 1. The benefit to them is that they re-roll to hit. As said a Shas'o doesn't need that re-roll. If you need more marine killing power I would go for this combination:
- Fusion Blaster (maybe swap this for a CIB, depending on those lucky 6's)
- Plasma Rifle
- Shield generator
- HW Drone controller
- HW Multi-tracker
- 2 Shield drones

That commander has high survivability and a lot of killing power. You could strap on some Stims or Iridium but that's a matter of personal preference. I'm more of a Stims guy, so if you take the CIB and stims you'll know what kind of commander I run.

Greetz
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Old 16 Nov 2008, 12:52   #7 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Couple of newb questions on shield drones.

Cheers Pisces!

I knew that the twin linked only let you reroll misses, but didn't really think about how easy it would be to hit in the first place, when you have a BS of 5... not much point in twinning at all when you look at it like that.

You think the fusion blaster is worth it over the missile pod? I must admit i'm a little scared of the short range of the fusion blaster, sounds like its getting a bit close to rapid fire range. I think i'm getting a bit precious over my commander. (if I could give him 4 shield drones I would!)
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Old 16 Nov 2008, 13:02   #8 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Couple of newb questions on shield drones.


I'm not really a big fan of the fusion blaster but there are others who use them to great effect. They are primarily used for tank hunting and second for TEQ/MEQ killers. If you don't like the short range then I'd suggest sticking with the CIB.

And those 4 shield drones would be nice, just a huge point sink. ;D

Greetz
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Old 16 Nov 2008, 15:40   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Couple of newb questions on shield drones.

you olny get one shot from the plasma unless you are in rapid fire range, so its not that bad
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Old 16 Nov 2008, 23:17   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Couple of newb questions on shield drones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pisces_808

I'm not really a big fan of the fusion blaster but there are others who use them to great effect. They are primarily used for tank hunting and second for TEQ/MEQ killers. If you don't like the short range then I'd suggest sticking with the CIB.

And those 4 shield drones would be nice, just a huge point sink. ;D

Greetz
I suggest you read my post, then. My Shas'o Dram'Ka is only worth 164 points, but because he can take the hits rarely walks away making up for his points cost, sometimes double, once nearly triple.

BTW Scruff, part of the fun of 40k is not just the playing but the creativity too. Have you considered naming your commander yet?

Anyway, as for the MP vs Fusion, I just simply take both. If I'm in range, I get 3 shots at 2+ to wound at anything not a Wraithlord or a Carnifex, and with a range of 36" assault, the MP allows me to take out lightly armored transports or other vehicles (such as Dreadnoughts so that my Hammherheads can focus on more important targets). I will warn you that my Commander has one and only one karma: he ALWAYS rolls a 1. It never fails, every game when I need it least, he rolls a 1. That's just my dumb luck.

But anyways, you say you fear Space Marines? Consider an Ion Cannon on a Hammerhead (called an Ionhead). It is S:7, AP:3. Sadly, it isn't double toughness, but its 2+ to wound with no armor saves (and three shots too!). Thus, it is nicknamed the Space Marine killer.

Sometimes to the best way to beat big tough guys is more about volume of fire rather than firepower. Typically, firepower comes at the expense of only 1 or 2 shots (lascannons, melta weapons, bright lances) whereas multiple-shot weapons (burst cannons, scatter laser, heavy bolter) come at the expense of strength. Then there are mediocre weapons (autocannons, missilepods, starcannons) that give you 2 shots at medium: Just tough enough to tear infantry apart, but just strong enough to prick wounds into toughened enemies but always great for transports.

The sheer volume of fire forces your opponent to roll 5 dice for armor saves as opposed to simply removing 2 models (if you hit). Whichever your preference, the Ionhead gives you good shots without the expense of strength. This is the beauty of drones in battlesuit units. Your opponent knows the Battesuits are tough, but by using single-shot anti-tank weapons, he's taking out (50/50 chance) a shield drone. If he pumps a lot of shots, get ready to get hurt, but he's not outright killing you anytime soon. He can slam all of his anti-tank weapons if he wants, but for me, he has 3 Hammerheads moving around and usually thinks otherwise. ;D

BUT you need not fear getting too close. Tau jetpacks allow you to J-S-J (jump, shoot, jump). This means you can move 6" forward (into 12" range), shoot your weapons, and then jump 6" back (and now you are 18" away, out of rapid fire range). Preferrably, you could have a burst cannon and a Cyclic Ion Blaster, both 18" range, and then jump to 24" range. Alternatively, if the enemy is marching towards you, you can jump 6" back, shoot, and jump 6" further. Most players do this with cover, they jump out of cover, shoot, and jump back behind it.
Personally, I value mobility and will use it to jump from place-to-place, shooting out in the open and then partially behind cover.


What may be best for your tastes as far as Battlesuit weapons go is probably a plasma rifle and a missiple pod. At 24" range, you get 3 shots that wound on 2+ (and if the plasma is good, it will deny a 3+ armor save, even a Terminator's 2+ armor save!), and if you get 12" (too close for your liking) now you have 4 shots total, two that deny an armor save. If you keep him with a bodyguard similiarly armed (2 more Battlesuits with the same access to weaponry), now you get 9 shots that wound on a 2+.
You can use other units (such as XV88 Broadsides, Hammerheads, or other suits) to deal with the tanks.

But Tau have endless options. You could equip the two bodyguards for anti-infantry (high volume of fire) and your command with anti-tank weapons (fusion-plasma/fusion-Missile). Give your Commander a target-lock. What this will do is allow him to target another unit separate from the rest of the unit.
Say one bodyguard is armed with a BC/CIB (3+5 shots at 18"), another BC/Plasma (3+2 shots at 12"), and two gun drones (+2 more shots). Don't forget you can mix-and-match drones if you want more shield drones . If you upgrade your bodyguards with target array (+1 BS), you won't have to worry about hitting so much. You have a grand total of 15 shots at 12" (14 at 18")

In this scenario, a 10-man Space Marine squad will be in 12" range of you. You're Commander and other plasma-armed bodyguard have a good chance of killing 3, and your bodyguards and gun drones will hit 9x average, with a 3+ to wound, guessing 6-7 armor saves the Space Marines have to make. You have a good chance of taking out 3-4 more Space Marines (for a grand total of 6-7). If your opponent happens to get unlucky though (as can come with rolling a lot of dice), you could realistically take out 7-8.
Add a successful markerlight that can upgrade the BS by +1. Now you are hitting on 2+ with those weapons, making it a potential 12x hits = 9 armor saves, plus the 2-3 kills your Commander and other plasma can do.

IF the Space Marines happened to survive, you can finish them off with other weapons, such as Fire Warriors, Stealthsuits, or whatever your fancy (an assault from Kroot). If you have more markerlights, you can reduce their leadership value for pinning (if your gun drones inflict a wound).

Now that you have done your damage, move 6" outta the frick way. No doubt, your Space Marine opponent will grieve his losses and will focus on that unit. (But because you're as tough as you are surrounded by drones, it ain't happening without a lucky orbital strike railgun, or two Fire Prisms, none of which Marines don't have).

I once used a pair of gun drones to kill a Space Marine (I was kinda lucky) out of a 10-man Assault Squad (yikes! Meltabombs! Close combat weapons!) A unit of Pathfinders managed to mark the unit up 6x, and I used them all to inflict a -6 Ld for a pinning test. Since his grand Ld was 9, it was reduced to 3, and he failed it. Now he had 9 Space Marines out in the open not doing anything.



I want to leave you with one more thought though. The shield generator and shield drones on my Commander are insurance, not an excuse to believe he's invincible (and now he has stims). Several of the stories I've mentioned above were when things went wrong-plans changed. The 7 Thousand Sons for example just lost their Rhino. Back then before their new Codex, they had slow-and-purposeful and I didn't want my Commander taking that many bolter shots. So I shot my fusion blaster and MP twice, and assaulted them the turn they were ready, remembering their Initative value was 2. Mine was 3 (and drones have 4). I was able to output a full 9 attacks. After duking it out for awhile, I fell back from losing a shield drone, luckily in his assault phase. I shot again and re-charged.

I don't know what my opponent was thinking when he had his Warhound Titan. He told me, "Well, I don't like that Commander there, and since all my weapons can target different targets, I'll just wipe him out with the vulcan cannon." His mistake was that he shot his weapons one-by-one until every weapon was expended. Had he shot everything all at once, Dram'Ka would've been incinerated. At the end, he shook his head and said, "Geez!"

As for the two Basilisks, it was the first time I was using Dram'Ka effectively, and he didn't Deep Strike close enough to blow one up with his fusion blaster like I intended. Usually I was careful in planning out what Dram'Ka did (most of the time) because I know he's going to be taking a brunt of firepower, but ** it happens. Even when he does die, my opponent has pressed far more than Dram'Ka is worth into killing him and wastes a lot of shooting.
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