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Things are getting a bit hair-raising for my Helios team, and I was thinking about giving the team drones.
Now, I don't know which to use or if it's a good idea altogether.
I would like to hear your opinions.
At the local GW store :
1. Players' forces are going towards more troop types, leaving HQ/Elites/HS choices quite specialized.
2. Marine players are goin more mobile, leading to DP spamming.
3. Eldar players spamming Lords/Guards/Walkers.
4. Scouts and Rangers are seeing more use.
5. One Eldar player spamming weapon platforms, prisms, and reapers.
On the top of all this, the boards (at the local store) aren't that good on cover. As wonderful as the pieces are, I can't compete with rangers in the ruins or stealthy scouts geared for CC. Least to mention, there sometimes no cover at all.
I hold my own, but Gibbs and Dinozzo are getting more than their fair share of incoming fire. Players will shoot at my Helios team before my railhead!
So, comes the reason for my question. I was entertaining the idea of using drones, but have little knowledge in doing so.
Last edited by MaleOpener; July 15th, 2009 at 20:07. Reason: typos
Why do you feel the need to get in close and personal with the Helios configuration? Why not change it to Firestorm or Fireknife or something else which will give you the range to keep you out of trouble, make you look less of a threat and allow you to still reap the whirlwind on the enemy?
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
Pretty much feel that all suits should get shield drones, unless they're stealths.
I use marker drones. ;D. But saying that my Helios are a 'El and 'Vre bodyguard, who are kitted out.
I think it depends on whether you intend to deepstrike with them. If not, I'd say take a sheild drone or two. If you are deepstriking, then no drones. They'll die next turn no matter what.
To be honest though, I have little experience with the Helios. For it to be useful it needs to be at 12 inches from the enemy. It isn't too hard to avoid, and as soon as you pop your head out, it gets annihilated. In my opinion JSJ should be used to hop behind cover, not to move closer to the enemy. That said, the Helios commander is definetely a good way to go, because he's much more reliable.
I just realized this was my 200th post. I'm gaining on you riki, only 1/24th of the way there.
Last edited by MorbidlyObeseMonkey; July 16th, 2009 at 04:32.
(1) Cost: just taking 4 SD's costs 60pts and that is a lot of points to take from other units. They add no offensive capability at all to the army.
(2) Taking Drones makes it much more likely the unit will start to run, this makes a Bonding knife pretty much compulsory which means whic in turn means a team leader upgrade. So we have another 10pts on top of the cost of the Drones.
(3) Because of the 5th wound allocation rules if the suits will take wounds. OK you can allocate the AP deadly hits to the Drones but the fact is because of the small unit size the suits will be allocated wounds and because the Drones have different stat lines you cannot pass failed wounds to the Drones from the suits.
XV88's are another matter. They cannot rely on movement to to avoid enemy fire so they need as much help as possible to survive. The other good thing about XV88 attached Drones is they get that nice 2+ save which makes them much better value for the points.
The best things to do with XV8's are:
Keep the unit size small. I rarely take three man XV8 teams for a few reasons.
(1) utilisation of cover. A small 2 man XV8 unit is much more able to utilise any available cover.
(2) Immune to the 50% rule, the unit can always attempt to regroup so no need for Bonding knives
The exception to the small unit rule of thumb is the Flamer equipped squads. The key to the effectiveness of the twin linked Flamer squads is generating wounds so three XV8's are pretty much essential. Good thing is though the unit is cheap, even with three twin linked Flamers and Missile pods the unit is cheap. Taking MP's on this unit is what makes them effective, they give the unit ranged fire power which makes the unit a true all round unit (much much more of an all rounder than the inefficient elite Fire Knife squad).
Use this unit to target transports or tough units for the first few turns and then move it forward to engage infantry units (and I mean any infantry unit, MEQ's, Termies, GEQ's anything).
Use commander level XV8's. I still do not understand why more players do not take two Shas'El commanders. The El is a good place for a Fire knife because you get that BS5(with TA) and the ability to fire both weapons for a decent cost and you can join the El to other units to give it some survivability.
Drones are not the answer to your problem the XV8 load out is the answer not Drones. If the Helios are not performing then replace them with something that does. Deathrains are awesome but they need the Targeting array to really shine. keep the units small (two 2 man DR units are better than one three man unit).
If you want a Helios then take a Shas'El Helios, use it as a lone monat. The lone suit is easy to hide but the El's stats make it very effective.
Taking Deathrains means you do not have rely on the ML's and they are much much better at taking down vehicles squadrons and transports than a FK.
FK's are not that good at infantry killing, at best if everything goes right, you are in range to use the Plasma rapid fire, you get all the ML support and all the saves are failed you need you are going to take down 8 or 9 of the enemy. On a realistic level you wil probably get 6 and that is assuming no cover saves ar available.
Cover has really hurt Plasma, it is so easy to get cover saves now that the points for the Plasma are not worth spending to equip in large amounts (I usually take two on my HQ). We are talking 60pts for a three man unit and 180 for three full squads and the results just do not justify it.
I do not believe in taking XV8's for infantry killing usually, the only reason I take the Torch squad is the need to have the ability to hit units of infantry on objectives in cover. The game demands we have some way of dealing these difficult to shift units and the best way to do this is with Flamers. The fact that we have twin linked flamers which are extremely good against ANY infantry type unit is a bonus. Even with this unit though I added Missile pods because the XV8's primary role is as vehicle, tough unit killer.
A 3 man torch unit will kill 4 to 5 Marines a turn easily and will crucify non MEQ units. The FK has to be within 12" and have ML support to be truly effective a Torch squad has to be slightly closer but needs no ML support and will usually do more damage with less support and they are cheap. The other good thing about the Torch squad is the time it can benefit from Ml support (the first few turns) will be the turns that other units do not usually need all the ML support (usually because they are not in range to need the ML tokens) and when they are in range to use Flamers they do not need ML's at all (auto hit and no cover saves allowed)
Another aspect of the game has changed things 'speed' I have noticed that it is getting increasingly hard to keep units apart, the usual tactic of moving the XV8's away out of harm is harder to utilise. With this in mind it makes sense to take cheaper units that can still punish units that get close. Transports need taking down fast (Deathrains and MPods on Torch squad) and any units left on foot or getting close need handling (Torch). I would rather lose a 160pts Torch squad than a 200+pts FK squad.
This is what I take in my 2000pts
Plasma, Missile Pod, Targeting array, HW multi tracker, HW Target lock HW Drone controller, Marker Drone 132pts
Plasma, Fusion blaster, Targeting array, HW multi tracker, HW Target lock, HW Drone controller, Marker Drone 132pts
Now ignore the ML Drones as I know these are not for everyone; however the basic suit fits are nice and effective.
1 x team leader with twin linked Missile Pod, Targeting array, HW Target lock
1 X XV8 with twin linked Missile Pod, Targeting array
1 x teamleader with twin linked Flamer, Missile pod, HW Multi, HW Drone controller and Gun Drone, target lock, BK
2 x XV8's with twin linked Flamers, Missile Pod
The DR squad is anti armour and stays as far away as possible and the Torch squad does what i explained earlier. I find this set up very effective and would not even consider a FK squad and I have never missed Drones (I take the Gun Drone more for the extra damage and pinning (which does happen by the way)).
I am considering losing my Stealth squad and taking another DR squad because I have noticed my opponents are taking a lot of vehicles (transports, Dreads, walkers etc) and I will have 80+ pts left over to tune the list as well.
Fireknives are overrated and compromised, they are even worse in 5th because of the less effective Plasma.
The game has changed and I think we need to change how we look at the XV8. Drones do not offer the protection their cost warrants (for XV8's at least).