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Gun Drones
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Old 15 Jun 2005, 00:32   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Gun Drones

It has recently come to my attention that many people think that the 4th edition rules have somehow "nerfed" the nifty Codex rules for Gun Drones.* I submit that they have not been nerfed.* My interpretation of the rules leads me to believe that Games Workshop created the majority toughness and armor rules to allow other races to use lesser creatures as shields for their units.* I will submit the exact wording from the book of the rule, with as much of the nonrelevant stuff omitted as possible.* Forgive me if this is a violation, but I feel that the public must be informed.

Page 23 of the 4th Edition Rulebook:

Multiple Toughness:
Some units will contain models which have different toughness characteristics.* To keep things simple, use the toughness characteristic that is in the majority in the target unit.* If no majority exists, use the lowest in the unit.* If this roll is successful, the target has been wounded and you proceed to the determine casualties section…


Page 76 of the 4th Edition Rulebook:

Mixed Armor:
Determine which armor type is in the majority. If it is a tie, then assume the worst save is in the majority…Apply the wounding hits to the majority armor type first…If there are still more wounding hits to allocate, you may apply them to any remaining models.* It is up to the owning player to decide who will save against which weapon.* The only constraint is that the majority armor type must make saves before anyone else does…If a unit receives more wounds than it has models, then the wounds wrap around and affect the majority type again.

Quoted text can be found in Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 4th Edition Rulebook, Copyright 2004.

To demonstrate this, I submit an example relevant to the Tau:

6 models in a squad.

1 Shas'El (T4, Save 3+)
2 Gun Drones (T3, Save 4+)
1 Bodyguard (T4, Save 3+)
2 Gun Drones (T3, Save 4+)

Assume a single squad fired at the HQ squad above and scored 10 hits with the same weapon.* The following events would happen, with the rule that explains this occurance in parentheses beside it.

10 hits.
Roll to wound on T3. ("To keep things simple, use the toughness characteristic that is in the majority in the target unit.")
7 hits wound. (This is a random assumption, good for the purpose of this demonstration.)
You must assign 4 wounds to the drones...("You must apply wounding hits to the majority armor type first.")
You must assign 2 wounds to the Crisis suits...("If there are still more wounding hits to allocate, you may apply them to any remaining models.")
The final wound wraps back around to the drones again.("If a unit receives more wounds than it has models, then the wounds wrap around and affect the majority type again.")

Then you make the saves as normal to the models, so:
One drone must make 2 4+ saves.
Three drones must make 1 4+ save apiece.
The Suits have to make 1 3+ save apiece.

By reading the rules carefully, you will see how, in most cases, the Gun Drones will still act as they do in the Codex.* The only way they WON'T is if they are outnumbered in a unit, due to casualties.

Gosh, I feel like I just wrote a mathematic proof.

And if anyone wants to argue with me, feel free, but remember, these are the rules.* No paraphrasing, no nonsense.* I quoted straight from the 4th Ed. Rulebook.* I hope this clears up a lot of the confusion regarding drones.
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Old 15 Jun 2005, 01:07   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Gun Drones

I don't think it's really that the majority toughness is the real issue (other than putting them in non-HQ/monat slots).
It's the fact that you'll run into trouble quickly after that first attack, as you'll face the 25% casualty, below 50% unit strength, as well as several other possible checks as you'll be running, have to regroup, and may have to take 'all-on-your-own' test every turn.
Now, the problem spefically about majority toughness is that the point of taking drones in a squad is so they take the hits first, but in most situations, the drones are the ones outnumbers, usualy by a significant amount.
If you have to go under 50% strength before you're likely to get wounds on your drones, then there's little use of them as extra fodder, as they cannot serve their primary purpose 99% of the time, as it is with both full Crisis and Stealth teams. On the other hand, the problem with them in FW teams is the inability to use them in a full team with a transport. But there are people who do consider them for the carbines alone, as they are more accurate than FWs. But that means you pit an extra 7 points into a squad unless you're already giving them a Shas'ui.
Just simply, the normal oppretunities for drones are gone, and are made way for gun drone squadrens as the only source of drone use.
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Old 15 Jun 2005, 01:21   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Gun Drones

Actually, when it comes to firewarriors, because Drones and Firewarriors have the same toughness and save, these rules don't apply.* You take the wounds from whichever model you want that's in line of sight and in range of the enemy attack.* This includes putting the wounds on Drones first if you want, just like old Codex rule says.

The only unit majority armor rules messes up the use of Drones with is the Stealth suits, and their armor offers sufficient protection anyways.* You're really just getting 2 extra wounds and 2 extra attacks for the squad.

As for the casualty test, the drones are only assessed for the 25% losses from shooting morale check.* They are also only counted as 50% loss for victory points, so theoretically you could still regroup without bonding as long as you still had half the firewarriors that you began with.* Not sure on that one though, check the rule on page 18 of the Codex.

All this in mind, they are still perfect fodder for your Crisis Teams, Broadside Teams, Firewarrior Teams and Pathfinder Squads, as they can certainly outnumber or draw even with the suits numbers wise, and the rules don't apply to the other troopers (as the toughness and armor are the same).* And yes, after the first volley you'll be in trouble, but what if you didn't have them in the first place?* That's four less wounds, and all the crisis in my above example would be dead.* Bye bye Shas'el

I guess it's all in how you look at it.

And by the way, Shas'el doesn't have to take All on your own tests, as when his buddies die, he gains IC status.* See the IC special rule in the rulebook, I'm not going to type that out too.* So yeah, you'll lose a suit and four drones, but after that you can't be shot at if there is a closer unit, and your opponent wasted a few turns of shooting.
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Old 15 Jun 2005, 01:35   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Gun Drones

You're right about the HQ bit and the stand-alone test, but a non IC version would still suffer from it, and if you take a crisis group bigger than one, then you'll hit a lot of problems. It's not worth giving up a hard-point for some drones in most situations, and you wouldn't be able to take more than two crisis.
I did forget one use for them that is used sometimes. Some people take them with their stealth suits as extra power. Two extra shots are always nice if you have the extra points ^_^.
But anyways, the points invested in taking gun drones are often put to better use in other places anyways. You can pretty much take a single Stealth Suit for the price of two drones, drone controler, plus team leader upgrade. Three points are easy to find. And they can be taken as two kroot or three kroot hounds, two FWs, extra equiptment for vehicles/crisis suits, ect.
What you're looking at is basically taking cannon fodder that adds massive risks to the unit that they're supposed to protect, as well as diminishing the unit's ability to take objectives, deal with threat control (the unit is bigger=more likely target), as well as the constent threat of having to take leadership tests every turn after a single shooting phase from a 5 man Tact squad. Sorry, but that's not very appealing.
Genearlly, I think it's a bad idea to use them defensivly.
Now useing them as extra carbines is a different story, but that use is limited if they're with another unit. Most of the time, it's better to scrounge up the points to buy two more and just make a squad.
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Old 15 Jun 2005, 15:20   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gun Drones

gun drones aregood for one thing protecting ur (bang) EDITED plasma nade were was i o yes i forgot what i wwas going to say now

Edit by RJay: Swearing is not on, also punctuation is required. If I see you swearing or not using the english language again then I may take this further, so shape up.
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Old 15 Jun 2005, 16:10   #6 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Gun Drones

Hey TommyGeek,

In response to your initial message about the drone rule not being nerfed, it's important to realize how wonderfully this rule worked in a min/max capacity prior to FAQ v4.0.1. This is really amplified when in regards to Broadside and Standard Crisis Suit formations.

While we can band-aid the nerfed drone rule with a little change in 'Suit configurations, it is still a far cry from the advantages all Tau players used to enjoy.

See in all your examples, you started with Drone being in the majority. Well under the min/max (minimize cost/maximize strengths) approach, such setups never required drones to be in the majority at all.

To look at it simply, if a squad of 3 Suits and 2 Drones (from the Team Leader's single drone controller), took fire from a 5-man space marine squad and the only weapon in range was their ubiquitous LasCannon, the very first model you pull is a suit. Pushing all nonsensical "Why is your Crisis Suit team not in cover?" ramblings aside, the bottom line is the Drones under the current FAQ cannot and do not do their original job.

In hand-to-hand combat they no longer intercede and soak up hits from enemy models not in base to base with your 'Suits. While many called this part of the rule 'cheesy' it was still fun to watch 15 attacks from the 5 gaunts NOT in base to base with your suits have to pour them all into the drones.

With all mathematical calculations aside, I still believe the drones have been nerfed. You can buy a 8-Unit Drone Squad and have your Shas'O join them, you can reduce your Suit Squad from 3 Suits to 2 with two Drones, and you can even buy a Shield Generator for your 3rd Broadside... and try to skim the 'weaker save is 4+, invulnerable or not' approach. But in the end, it doesn't change that Tau FAQ v4.0.1 was the: 'Nerf heard around the Sept Worlds.'

-SaturN
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Old 15 Jun 2005, 16:31   #7 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Gun Drones

Tommygeek:

Well done! ;D You've just proved that Drones are usefull protectors for our beloved suits!*

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Old 15 Jun 2005, 17:02   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Gun Drones

You're right, Drones brought as wargear are still somewhat useful.


However, as SaturN said, they were more useful in 3rd ed.

Something that was very useful and is then made less useful is considered to have been "nerfed".

Therefore, Drones brought as wargear have been nerfed.
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Old 15 Jun 2005, 20:55   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Gun Drones

Yeah, everything your saying is true, guys.* But I don't think the downgrade is as severe as people have made it out to be.

Firewarriors (and Pathfinders) with drones will still work the same way.* You can just allocate the highest strength wounds to the drones, as long as the drones are in range and LOS of the weapons fired.* I believe that this is how the drones worked in the 3rd edition rules, within the FW squads, anyways.

Monats with drones will also still work the same way, hell, they work a little better now.* Even with just one Battlesuit, and one Drone, in order to kill the Battlesuit you have to take at least 4 wounds in order to have a chance of killing the suit (Each model takes one, then it wraps back around, then each model takes a second, then you make your saves.* Before you'd take your hit on the drone, then two on the suit, then the remaining ones would be split evenly.

Stealths with drones do get nerfed a bit, as well as any battlesuit squad that has more suits than drones.* But keep your drones even or in the majority and you are fine.

The only other thing I can think of is the Ethereal.* But* if we are saying that Drones are wargear, thus keeping his IC status intact, drones work just as they did before.

To wrap it up once and for all, the only nerfing occurs in this instance:

# Battlesuits || # Stealthsuits > # Drones

And even then, how many extra wounds did they possibly give you before?* If they were in the minority of a battlesuit team, it couldn't have EVER been more than 2 spare wounds, and thats assuming a full squad of three suits.* In stealths... well, yeah, take them for the extra S5 hits, I guess.

Oh, I guess they become less effective in CC too, but hey, like you said, this is nothing more than De-Cheesifying the Tau race for the Lesser Opponent Frustration. Now, at least, you can't be tempted to frustrate the jeebers out of one of the local gamers... I live in Maine, we don't have many of them in the first place, I don't want people refusing to play with me. That'll mean I always have to play my best friend's Death Guard..... ::shudder:: Anyways, thanks to all of you who posted, you helped me get in touch with reality a little bit, and I hope we met in some sort of middle area.

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Old 16 Jun 2005, 04:48   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Gun Drones

One quick thing I'd like to say about taking advantage of the wrap-around rule for them, is that usually, that's only good if the weapon is a bunch of bolters or the like. However, the case can often be just two or three lascannons, or other high-powered weapons. That becomes a problem, as they often come either individualy, or in pairs, and ruins the whole tactic after the first shot. But I guess you still have that first shot, unless if the opponent decided to shoot a small tact squad's bolters first, then the three hits or so are enough to take out the drone(s), and then next lascannon will most likely take out the suit itself.
I'd say that they'd be nothing more than insurance when used defensivly, as they give little protection all-round.
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Quote:
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If you split an Immortal in half, which half would stay alive?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice
She said she can't die! She's survive even if you roast her or bake her.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marisa
Should we try to boil her or fry her instead?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mokou
It's foolish for people to go out on a night like this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reimu
Who?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mokou
I'm talking about you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reimu
No, I'm not asking who's a fool.
Quote:
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So you're admitting to being a fool?
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