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GW Designer Notes about Drones & Drone Cost
View Poll Results: What should the point cost be for drones in an independent squadron?
6 Points 4 10.53%
7 Points 5 13.16%
8 Points 14 36.84%
9 Points 0 0%
10 Points 15 39.47%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 27 Jul 2005, 20:25   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
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Default GW Designer Notes about Drones & Drone Cost

The GW website says the following:

"... we came up with an idea for very simple hovering drones that the [glow=red,2,300]Tau could manufacture in great numbers[/glow] to support their less expendable living troopers." and
...this led us on to Drone squadrons as a Fast Attack choice - fast and expendable, they are ideal for leading an advance in hostile territory.
Excuse me, but if the drones are more expendable, then shouldn't they be cheaper? Or atleast even (if you want to think of them as expendable because they aren't living). What about if GW fixed drones by decreasing their cost to 6-10 pts? Then we could consider using them a fodder/support.

"Though it was tempting to go wild with a huge variety of drone types, we decided to limit ourselves and do just two [glow=red,2,300](for now that is)[/glow]: gun drones and shield drones."
Does anyone else think that this is going to change with a new codex?

The GW Designer Notes for Tau are available here: http://us.games-workshop.com/games/4...s/default3.htm
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Old 27 Jul 2005, 20:28   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: GW Designer Notes about Drones & Drone Cost

Thing is, their points value is right for the unit's ablities. If they reduced the price, Drones would either be far too powerful or they'd be nerfed.

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Old 27 Jul 2005, 20:47   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: GW Designer Notes about Drones & Drone Cost

As Andromidus said their points represent their abilitys

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Old 27 Jul 2005, 22:32   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: GW Designer Notes about Drones & Drone Cost

Points: Drones = Pathfinders > FW
Weapon: Twin-Linked Pulse Carbine > Pulse Rifle > Pulse Carbine w/ ML
Usefulness: Drones < Pathfinders < FW
Transport: Jetpack = Devilfish
Stats: Drones < Pathfinders = FW
Movement (on foot): Drones > Pathfinders = FW
Overall (IMO): Drones < Pathfinders < FW

Drones have the same points as PF, but worse stats. All of them have ability to move 12 inches, weither by jetpack or by transport. The Drones have better weapons, but BS2. You can have more FW than drones and are cheaper. Drones have the same role as FW, but PF don't, so they're eliminated. FW are better, and cheaper, than drones. If they decrease the cost to 10, or made more weapon options, I'd like them.

And about drone squadron types, I like these as brainstormed ideas. All have same stats as gun drones, but different point value. Note these are all brainstormed ideas and I don't want ALL of them.

Name Weapon (s)
Heavy Gun Drone Twin-Linked Burst Cannon
Magnum Drone Twin-Linked Fusion Blaster
Pyromaniac Drone Two Flamers (not Twin-Linked)
Infantry Drone Twin-Linked Pulse Rifle
Spotter Drone Twin-Linked Markerlighter
Sniper Drone Twin-Linked Rail Rifle
Stealth Drone Twin-Linked Smart Missile System, Stealthsuit Cloak
Kamikaze Drone Seeker Missile (target at any model within 2'' and is like Seeker)
Shield Drone (IC dream!) Shield Generator

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Old 27 Jul 2005, 22:54   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: GW Designer Notes about Drones & Drone Cost

while i do follow the argument a little bit, let me be the devils advocate here for a sec:

a Drone is indeed cheaper than a Firewarrior.. however, its Weaponry kit is NOT. Twin linked is expensive, no matter what you link..

so, in essense: the Drone Chassis is cheap, say, 4 Pts... the ability to carry two two handed weapons costs extra, the Twin Carbines Costs extra, the Jet Packs Cost Extra..... see??

what would a Fire Warrior with Jet Packs and 4 arms cost??? i think 12 is indeed cheaper than a FW kitted the same way.

..... its just a shame that the Drone Squadron doesnt have the option "Pulse Carbines can be replaced with Pulse Rifles at no cost"
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Old 27 Jul 2005, 22:58   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: GW Designer Notes about Drones & Drone Cost

I'm not sure if your mathematical proof should be published yet.

Yes, drones have BS 2, but they are twinlinked, therefore, statistically ? BS 3.5

Drones do not require a 80 to 95 point transport to go twelve inches, plus they may shoot, then skitter back behind cover, in two distinct phases of the game.

Drones may deepstrike mission permitting, unlike pathfinders or firewarriors.

I think fast attack drone point values and stat lines are fine.
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Old 27 Jul 2005, 23:02   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: GW Designer Notes about Drones & Drone Cost

The fact that they can't have Pulse Rifles makes me sad. *:'( *It may be I'm biased against Pulse Carbines cause Marines are fearless and it is only Assault 1 makes me not like Drones very much, but a Pulse Rifle upgrade for free, or +1 point per model, would be appreciated. And the able to throw Photons and EMPs would be good. It says battlesuits can't carry them, but I think the Tau could fit a grenade launcher for the assault phase. I can see it now. Deep-strike to Monolith or Land Raider Crusader and blow it with EMP Grenades. *

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Old 28 Jul 2005, 00:34   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: GW Designer Notes about Drones & Drone Cost

Realize, however, that Marines are not fearless; their Ld is 8, although for the vast majority of intents and purposes it is 10 (because most people take Masters). That said, if you can hit with enough shots, and inflict one wound (reasonable to assume will happen) you will force a Ld check for pinning; however, this is unlikely to happen. I wouldn't mind seeing them able to take Pulse Rifles either, for whatever points cost. As it stands, I never consider taking drones, because they aren't a Troops choice and their lack of range means I simply don't use them, and their "chance" of pinning is so small against all the other armies that it's pointless. I would consider them if they had the [better] rifles, and/or possibly if they were cheaper (to use as fodder and tying up units), but otherwise they're too expensive to throw away.
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Old 28 Jul 2005, 00:59   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: GW Designer Notes about Drones & Drone Cost

If you look at the Drones from a purely point value perspective, then things change a little, I think.

By comparing FWs to Stealths, and that Stealths are pretty much three FWs with carbines, but take a Jet Pack and stealth equiptment for the hit on not pinning, and have the rest ballance it out with better save, but fewer numbers. Then give or take a few here and there for anything else I missed.
Now, you're comparing a Drone who's comparable to a single FW, instead of a Stealth comparable to a trio of FWs.

First, you have a model that has the FW basic weapon: Puse Carbine. Say this is worth 10 pts at start.
Now, subtract a few because of the reduced stats that are put upon the unit. And then add a few for the Jet Pack making up for part of the loss.
This will still only bring the point count to roughly 8. The boost in Initiative, plus the Twin-linking would add two, maybe tree points, but no more.
We will then have a unit that is our current Drone, with a point cost of ten or eleven. Not the current twelve.

These guys might hit more often, and is faster, but they are, on the other hand, are a weak version of Stealths. A trio of these are closer resembling to a single Stealth, than a single FW. I guess this is where people have trouble with the comparisons, and worths, as the Drones are thought to be compared to FWs or Pathfinders, not Stealth Suits. They lose the Stealth's cloaking ability, but gain sheer numbers, a slightly improved BS (kinda like 3.2), and a chance to pin. On the other hand, this still does not equate to twelve points I believe. They would be much better if even one point lower, and I think very fair at a total of ten points.
It would be like taking a large, weaker Stealth squad. A bunch of drone squadrens skittering about is like a swarm version of a Stealth strike.

I believe that the drones should have been costed accordingly, or designed differently, as the purposes overlap a little as is. A trio of Stealths are like a full squad of Drones. Except, the problem is that if people had the choice between these two, most peole would take the Stealths instead, if for only the coolness factor. Drones are cool, but Stealths are cooler in the codex, plus easier to get, as Drones are pricy if you didn't get enough from the FW and Crisis boxes.

Well, this is my thoughts ^_^.
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Old 28 Jul 2005, 01:10   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: GW Designer Notes about Drones & Drone Cost

Gun drones are great. They always have been. The only bad thing is how they work now with majorities and many of our units, such as the XV8 and XV88. Other than that, what's to complain about?

For very cheap, we have a unit which costs nothing, can deep strike, and can hold objectives and can move pretty fast.

Consider other armies now. Who else has something that has the weapon that the Gun Drone has? Let alone a twin-linked version of it? The pulse carbine is a very powerful infantry weapon no matter how you look at it. Also, who else has something that has a Jet Pack for the price that we have? It's not just a jump pack, it's a jet pack and there's a good difference with it. Jet packs and terrain make for awesome cat and mouse action on the board. And now, the best of all, consider their abilities and speed, but best of all, consider that with all of this and with the low, low price, we have a 4+ Armor Save. And let's not forget that we can enter the game via Deep Strike. No other army has an equivalent in terms of speed, armor save, and weapon in this price range.

Gun Drones are pure utility if they need to be; such as tank busting. Gun Drones can pin down weaker infantry. Gun Drones can score victory points so long as their numbers are appropriate. Ever had 4 Gun Drones contesting a table quarter after falling from deep strike on turn 5? How about 3 squads like that?

Granted, we'd all like our units, all of them, not just gun drones, to be cheaper, more effective, etc. In effect, we want them to be super.

The thing is though - Gun Drones are actually pretty awesome already. If you compare them to other units which they compare to, instead of comparing them to XV8's, Stealthsuits, Pathfinders, Fire Warriors, etc, then you'll start to see why Gun Drones are here. The inclusing of the Gun Drone as a fast attack was a gift to the Tau from GW, not a crippling waste of paper. The only thing that is a crippling waste of paper is our special gun drone rules which no long work as the 4th edition rule book over-rides them unfortunately (majorities).

Field your gun drones! They're a bonus in your boxes, they're great on the field and are useful against every single army out there.

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