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Gun Duds.... err drones

 Post subject: Gun Duds.... err drones
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:16 am 
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Can we please change gun drones back to their previous design in the next version? They just DO NOT look to be worth taking. Right now they aren't expendable/grots or anything else of that ilk, and they aren't a stand alone formation. Which means they don't soak BMs as an upgrade (they only give cheap ones to their parent formation) and you can't even buy them as an extra formation.The only thing they do now is add very light AP firepower to another formation for 100 points???  :disagree:

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 Post subject: Gun Duds.... err drones
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:26 am 
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They should be their own formation, but not expendable.




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 Post subject: Gun Duds.... err drones
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:25 am 
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but not expendable

do you mean if they are their own formation or as an upgrade too?

"Parent units containing gun drone upgrades do not incur BMs etc etc" would be a simple way to describe it.





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 Post subject: Gun Duds.... err drones
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:21 pm 
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I mean in their own formation they shouldn't be expendible. I have no real opinion either way about the upgrade.

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 Post subject: Gun Duds.... err drones
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:35 pm 
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Simply put this in the notes for Gun Drone:

"Formations that include at least one non-Drone unit don’t receive Blast markers for Drone units that are killed."

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 Post subject: Gun Duds.... err drones
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:40 pm 
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That would be fine. In 4.x the problem with drones was expendable on the all-drone formations. The solution was too harsh, getting rid of both expendable and the drone formations. All that was needed was to lose expendable on the drone formations.




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 Post subject: Gun Duds.... err drones
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:27 pm 
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I think something else should be done to them instead and strongly disagree with the notion that gun drones should have expendable it is not appropriate to the background and how they operate. To quote something I wrote in a previous thead:
I’m very familiar with the Tau list in W40k but not up to date with the epic one. Few quick comments to make:

I see zero justification for drones stands having expendable and strongly think it needs to be removed from the entirely, it goes against the background and the feel of how they should play. Yes there are shield drones, which protect their masters, for a start these are a lot rarer than gun drones and do not form their own units – as a whole drones accompanying characters and battlesuits should be taken into count when worked into their unit profiles. There is nothing that suggests nearby Tau would not be concerned/affected by the loss of either gun or shield type drones – both in terms of loss of war equipment and also in terms of their own safety. Gun drones which form separate stands should cause blast markers just like any other unit.


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 Post subject: Gun Duds.... err drones
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:41 pm 
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GlynG, you make a very good point on Gun Drones as Tau mechanisms in their own right, but I would suggest that this unit now represents "Drones" in general so includes Gun and Shield drones, Remote Sentry Turrets and all the other miriad forms of drone.

To that end, I would suggest that the unit be renamed 'Drones' and modified accordingly, in which case it
- should be an upgrade to existing formations (with expendable)
- should be able to operate as an independent formation (where expendable is debatable**)
- should be given ML
- might need points adjustments

In this form they could then perform any of the Drone roles, including being carried by TigerShark a/c to be dropped ahead of the Tau army.

** I am not sure that robots would react in the same way as people as they do not have feelings (or fear) - eg Star Trek's Data. However, an expendable formation might be too powerfull under these circumstances.

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 Post subject: Gun Duds.... err drones
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:22 pm 
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That works for me.

I would, personally, just apply expendable to the drone upgrade, unless you cost drone fms accordingly.  E.g. 100 pts for the drone upgrade but a 4 drone fm for 175-200 (Or whatever is felt to be most appropriate.)

If you can get a good balance between the 2 costs then it has the advantage of giving Tau something a bit different, useful and saves on the need for yet another special rule.

If the overiding consensus is for no expendable on the fms then i can live with that too.  

I would like to see the drone upgrade get expendable back, otherwise you'll just never see drones used.  Independant drone fms not a big issue for me TBH, either solution is acceptable IMO.


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 Post subject: Gun Duds.... err drones
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Quote: (Ginger @ 20 Apr. 2009, 17:41 )

GlynG, you make a very good point on Gun Drones as Tau mechanisms in their own right, but I would suggest that this unit now represents "Drones" in general so includes Gun and Shield drones, Remote Sentry Turrets and all the other miriad forms of drone ... I am not sure that robots would react in the same way as people as they do not have feelings (or fear) - eg Star Trek's Data. However, an expendable formation might be too powerfull under these circumstances.

But I think my point covers Shield Drones just the same – in W40k if you have a unit of say 3 Battlesuits and one Shield Drone and the Shield Drone is killed by incoming fire, then the unit has to take a break test for having taken 25% casualties and may break and flee as a result. It’s not that the Battlesuits are really upset because their dear friend ‘Droney the Drone’ has been ‘killed’, rather it represents their fear and reaction to the destructive enemy fire and the damage to their unit, leading to them to tactically withdraw or flee.

Of course we can imagine robots in some hypothetical future army being designed and programmed to fight on till the bitter end and, unlike human soldiers, not to care if their fellows were dropping like flies. Orks find it funny when Grots and killed and are more than happy to use them as gun shields or run them through mine fields, the Expendable rule is appropriate there. The Tyranid Hive Mind cares so little about the individual lives of the little creatures that make it up, that Expendable is perfectly justified there too. Both are extreme cases, where this makes perfect sense. This is simply not the Tau philosophy or how they operate however, it’s a misrepresentation that appears to have gone on in the epic list for some time and so people accept it, but it not true to the background or how they play in W40k – which the epic list should try to reflect and not go off in a totally different direction with.

Look at the Gun Drones unit in W40k – if they were programmed to act in the sort of way that seems to be suggested, then we would reasonably expect them to have Leadership 10 or Fearless, in a similar way to the way the soulless robotic Necrons, however the opposite is true – they have Leadership 7, less than most other Tau units, plus they had a special rule in the 1st Tau Codex where if their numbers were reduced below a certain level their artificial intelligences would not network so well and this would drop to a meagre Leadership 4 – making them incredibly likely to break and flee if one more of them should be killed.

Remote Sentry Turrets on the other hand are a specialised form of immobile vehicle and I don’t think they have any place being included in a movable unit of infantry drones. I have no problem with the Remote Sentry Turrets not being in the main list anymore, but think they should be included using the rules roughly as they were before in the Collectors section. Shield Drones meanwhile are only ever attached to protect a particular character or and battlesuit from harm, they never would never be deployed to operate independently or to shield another drone.

Gun Drones do deserve to operate as a separate unit in epic I think – please not with Expendable for all the reasons above - but I do agree they could do with being a little better. I have actually noticed another misrepresentation about them in the current list, which if corrected could well provide that: the epic unit is weirdly only armed with Pulse Carbines, with the exact same AP5+ as the Pulse Carbines carried by a Pathfinder stand. This is completely wrong: each Gun Drone is infact actually armed with Twin-linked Pulse Carbines – each Drone has two of the guns, go see the W40k model! They really should be armed correctly to reflect this in epic too and so have Twin-linked Pulse Carbines AP4+. Fixing that would make them accurate and also hopefully more playable?

Long post I know, but Tau were my the only proper W40k army I gamed with for years, so I know them very well and care about them coming out right, even if it will be a while till I get the FW Tau army to play them with.





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