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I've been coming to terms with the new rules for a while, and it's come to me that Gun Drones are incredibly valuable now, for two reasons: their inclusion as a detachable vehicle weapon system, and their being equipped with jet packs. Allow me to explain:
Shooting through an enemy unit in 5th edition allows the shot unit a 4+ cover save. If the majority of the firing unit can see the majority of the shot unit, no cover save is granted, however space between two models counts as "non-visible" area, so you can effectively interrupt enemy LOS with a pair of vehicle gun drones. The gun drones themselves, a squad of two, is hardly worth firing at, however the mere presence of this two-strong squad has a tremendous effect of our other units' durability. That's part one, part two you're really going to love.
Gun Drones have jet packs. More elaborately, gun drones can move in both the movement phase and the assault phase. So, imagine this, if you will. You've got a squad of Fire Warriors with a squad of Gun Drones (or even the vehicle pair) in front of them, across the board is the enemy army. In the movement phase, you move the gun drone squadron to the side, allowing the Fire Warriors a clear shot to the enemy, a shot that does not give a 4+ cover save for firing through an enemy unit. In the assault phase, move the gun drone squadron back in front of the Fire Warriors, forcing your enemy to fire at the relatively useless and insignificant gun drones, or to fire at the more dangerous Fire Warriors who've gained a remarkable 4+ cover save from their frisbee friends. Gun Drones are basically moveable, double standard cover, giving your units a 4+ cover save wherever they go, but disallowing your enemy cover saves for when you would be firing through them! I'm quite excited.
Edit: After some playing around and further thinking, I've found that with two gun drones spread to the maximum 2" coherency, you can create a 4.5" cover "wall". In addition, enemy units cannot move "through" another unit, nor assault through it, so despite the 2" gap they'll create a stop for incoming assaults and they won't be allowed to sneakily move models into base-to-base with your defended squad. On top of that, assault units can no longer consolidate into another close combat, making the assaulting unit subject to a further round of rapid-fire range shooting.
Last edited by lLonginus; August 13th, 2008 at 06:49.
My gaming group's new motto: That army you're using is overpowered because it hurts my guys, codex is broken and needs a rewrite.
Very true! Luckily, my brother and I use house rules and don't abide by that nonsense. Seriously, how could two drones yield 4+ cover for a large squad? Pretty unrealistic imo.
This is the kind of thing that makes me roll my eyes at GW official rules. I think they started off well, but in an effort to make a complete rule system left too many unrealistic rules. For instance, turn for turn. It's like each army stops to let the other army do it's thing, and so on. Difficult terrain and jetpack infantry is another. Or infantry weapons destroying tanks(fixed in 5th Ed WOOT!). Like shooting an Abram with an m16, just doesn't hold water.
The lamest rule EVER is that you can only use your cover save OR armor save. So, if your in a bunker, you take your armor off? It's like, "Hey guys, take off your helmets and stuff, we're behind a tree, they can't see us!"...My brother and I use cover and armor saves =P Doesn't make sense any other way.
A lot of rules just don't make sense like that...
Anyhow, kudos to you official Tau, this tactic will certainly be very viable in tourny's!
Last edited by Johrai; August 13th, 2008 at 06:41.
To Fire Warriors, Gun Drones aren't an enemy unit. I mean they're both your units to Gun Drones are a friendly unit, right?
So if you don't move the Gun Drones out of the way, the Fire Warriors wouldn't even be firing through an enemy unit - they're only firing through a friendly unit.
So you wouldn't even have to move them out of the way, because only enemy units provide a 4+ cover save to the enemy... correct?
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Other things to remember about the Drones from a vehicle are they are classed as units, so they will earn the opponent a kill point in scenarios that use them. They are also non-scoring so cannot contest objectives.
Lastly and a point I eluded to in the last post is the fact that when you drop the Gun Drones from your vehicle you are losing possible weapon destroyed results. This could shorten the lifetime of an immobilised vehicle. However if you take this into consideration it should not be much of a problem.
Edit: Johrai, your point about two Drones not being realistically able to provide a cover save is actually not as unbelievable as you may think. The description for Gun Drones in the first codex said that Drones were programmed to intercede when anything was threatening any Tau, they basically took the hits, bullets, laser hits etc. So two Drones with their jetpacks and advanced AI could easily intercept fire from an enemy unit and they would be tough enough to take a few hits before they went down.
Also the rule for taking either cover or armour saves is there to make the game run smoother and quicker, if every unit got both the saves then it would be almost impossible to shift a unit in cover. You are effectively giving each model two save attempts. What do you do with INV, cover and armour save models, give em three saves?. If you enjoy the game that way then fine, however I feel the GW method is much more sensible in game terms.
Last edited by Rikimaru; August 13th, 2008 at 14:09.
The little buggers are very easy victory points if there AV is popped during annihilation, but during any other mission they are great to have.
Last edited by spec.ops; August 13th, 2008 at 21:30.
ninjabackhand: point and click, again, really? even after i give you an military term "shock tactic" you still call it point and click.
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Gun drones have become one of my favourite units in 5thed. However, in tournament play I do not take them as a vehicle upgrade simply because 1/3 of the missions are Kill point missions and the last thing I want is someone getting 2 KP for taking out a devilfish.
However, small 4 man units are cheap and effective and can contest objectives.
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