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Proper employment of drones
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Old 30 Apr 2009, 15:41   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Proper employment of drones

I have frequently noticed that people here seem to favor gun drones over the shield drone. From an efficiency standpoint is this more effective? What about for a solo XV88 - would it be better to use shield drones with thier 2+/4+ than the cheaper gun drones?
That being said, in the past six games played I have only had a shield drone with 2+/4+ make it's save one time... :

No one ever seems to use markerlight drones. Too expensive for the benefit?
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Old 30 Apr 2009, 15:58   #2 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Proper employment of drones

I am one of the few who use the 'ole marker drone.

I play one with every fire warrior squad giving me a 50% chance of firing at BS4. I know some people equip a monat crisis with two and send it out markerlighting stuff, they have also appeared with stealths too.
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Old 30 Apr 2009, 16:22   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Proper employment of drones

Drones are situational.

Shield drones are most useful for protecting things that will be getting hit with high AP, high strenght shots. So your Crisis Commander, Ethereal, and maybe your elite XV-8s could find Shield Drones useful. The four major distractors from using Shield Drones are: the actual bits are tough to find separately; they come from GW only in certain leader blisters (PM me if you want the list); you can equip a Shield Generator on an XV-8; and weapons like auto cannons, artillery, or mass missile launchers will overwhelm Shield Drone equipped units.

Gun Drones are great as a character upgrade because they are cheaper than they are when you buy them as a Fast Attack choice. They give a little extra firepower, and add an ablative wound. Troops units and Stealths really benefit from attached Gun Drones, and XV-8s gain some moderate advantages also.

Marker Drones are a bit different. They are the most expensive Markerlight upgrade you can have. In fact Markerlights on a whole are inefficient unless dealing with large number. The Markerlight only hits an average of half the time. Add in that unless the unit using the Markerlight counter from a Marker Drone is shooting 18 shots or more at the target, the Marker Drone's cost is usually more than just taking more units to begin with (PM me if you want this explained further). This is why you see Marker Drones in fully loaded Stealth Teams, or 3 suit XV-8's units with Gun Drones; these units are the only way to overcome the high cost of the Drones.

I hope this helps you.

(Edit for spelling)
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Old 30 Apr 2009, 16:27   #4 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Proper employment of drones

i tend to take gun drones as buffers for my expensive squads (crisis and stealth suits). if i can choose to put the wound on a 10pt model instead of possibly pulling a 30-75pt model, i will. also, i tend to use cover alot for my suits (or i try to have at least half of them in cover after the jumpback) so the cover save = shield save for 5pts less. i joke that my gun drones are basically large anti-missle/lascannon countermeasures that just happen to be able to shoot. that being said, i would invest in shield drones if i were planning to deepstrike my suits (since they would lose a turn of coversaves while in the midst of the enemy army). as for the marker drones, i can't justify 30pts for a drone. for 20pts, i'd take one for a suit squad; the extra 10pts breaks my camel's back.
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Old 30 Apr 2009, 16:59   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Proper employment of drones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unholy Harbinger
I am one of the few who use the 'ole marker drone.

I play one with every fire warrior squad giving me a 50% chance of firing at BS4. I know some people equip a monat crisis with two and send it out markerlighting stuff, they have also appeared with stealths too.
Remember that since the marker drone is not networked the squad it is in cannot benefit from a marker hit form that drone.
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Old 30 Apr 2009, 17:02   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proper employment of drones

It is networked, just checked.
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Old 30 Apr 2009, 19:41   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proper employment of drones

I love using drones to DS behind enemy lines, they don't take too much notice of them, as they are Tau and are pretty rubbish in CC, then I shoot the rear armour of their tanks, which can be very rewarding. I once made a Vindicator explode, killing 4 Chaos Marines standing next to it.

My favourite use for Gun Drones is to put them in a line about 6" infront of your troops, to slow Assaulty units down - works very well against Bikers.
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Old 01 May 2009, 00:36   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Proper employment of drones

Well, their are 3 types of Drones available to a Tau army (4 if you count the sniper drone, but they really belong in their own category).

Gun Drones: These can be deployed in several ways, as part of another units as to increase its Firepower (Stealth Suits, Firestorms, and Firewarriors work best with this), or in a 4-8 man team. In the former, the Gun Drone's role is to add more firepower and an ablative wound. In the latter, the team acts as a "wild card" effectively able to do one of many things:
1. Mobile Cover. This is a fun tactic that works best with firewarriors/broadsides/static firepower. The idea is, you deploy your gun drones in front of the firing unit. In the movement phase, you jump behind the firing unit, shoot with the firing unit, and then move the gun drones back in front in the assault phase, granting you a 4+ cover save.
2. Speed Bumps. A 4 drone team will usually deter an enemy for a turn, allowing you to get in another round of shooting.
3. Vehicle destroyer. As most vehicles have a back armor of 10, gun drones are fairly good at deepstriking behind a vehicle, and killing it in 1 or 2 rounds of shooting. A great way to get rid of targets hidden from your normal anti-tank units.
4. Harrasment. With a S5 AP5 18" pinning weapon, the gun drone is amazing at harassing enemy units. Due to its ability to move back 6" in the assault phase, it can remain well out of the assault range of most enemies, while firing. The pinning is just a bonus.

Shield Drones: These are used to protect valuable units. While usable on 3+ save models, it is best to use them with 2+ save models (Broadsides, Iridium armor commanders), as you can effectively create 2 additional TEQs for 30 points (and they have a 4+ invulnerable save to boot). Also, unlike the shield generator, they do not take up a hardpoint.

Marker Drones: These are used to add mobile markerlight support to an army. Thanks to Relentless, they can move and shoot their markerlights if joining a Jump Infantry unit. This makes them best on Crisis and Stealth suits. In addition, a stealth suit can effectively remain invisible while marking targets with markerlights from 36" away.
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Old 01 May 2009, 06:39   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Proper employment of drones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daeghrefn
I have frequently noticed that people here seem to favor gun drones over the shield drone. From an efficiency standpoint is this more effective? What about for a solo XV88 - would it be better to use shield drones with thier 2+/4+ than the cheaper gun drones?
That being said, in the past six games played I have only had a shield drone with 2+/4+ make it's save one time... :
It depends. If your Broadside has A.S.S, then I wouldn't take the ML. Any body walking around on his A.S.S is to busy concentrating on his butt cheeks to control his drone. Otherwise, it's not a bad idea if you don't have many MLs in your list to begin with, but I would spare one Drone slot for a Shield against untoward heavy fire.

ML drones on Fire Warriors are pointless on any squad that ISN'T expected to sit on their backsides most of the match, as their Heavy fire makes them just an extra, and expensive, wound.
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Old 04 May 2009, 16:03   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proper employment of drones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charistoph


It depends. If your Broadside has A.S.S, then I wouldn't take the ML. Any body walking around on his A.S.S is to busy concentrating on his butt cheeks to control his drone.
LoL, walking on his A.S.S. concentrating on cheeks... lol. That made me chuckle. Anyways, I think that the deep strike drone unit to blow up tanks is cool in theory but unrealistic. With a BS of 2 drones need to be in groups of like 7-8. With a base point cost of (expensive) you might as well deep strike a melta toting stealth team up leman russ's rear to do the job and then be useful later in the game. I always attach my gun drones to stealth teams to add extra firepower, but they are otherwise useless in my opinion.
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