Drone Theory: [WARNING - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
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    Drone Theory: [WARNING]

    Be warned, this contains a lot of mathematics and is not for the light hearted.

    Some of you may ask yourself to what advantage a drone carries being a WS 2 with a twin-linked weapon. In this post you will find out exactly what it means to us Tau players and how we can use it to our advantage. Please feel free to add to this after you have read it.

    A lot of people think that twin-linking simply doubles your chances of making a hit. In reality and in accordance with probability theory the true numbers do not reflect this. Understandably the probability of hitting with a WS:2 is 1/3 or 33.33%. Further investigation revealres what is called a multiple condition test. This happens because we choose to keep certain results (hits on a 5 or 6 are not re-rolled).

    The calculation is as follows:
    Test one assuming 8 drones...
    33.33%
    Resulting dice are then rolled...
    33.33% of the 66.66% failures.
    Total percent change to hit: 55.56%

    This result is greater than a fire warrior's WS:3 chance to hit. Only marginally by about 5.5%. However, the results are amplified when we start preforming the tests on more that one instance (having multiple models firing at the same time). What we really need to look at is the distribution of hits. I wont get into the math and if you don't understand the next part it is ok I will explain what it means later.

    The inner-quartiles range for 8 fire warriors firing ranges from 3.47 to 5.48 hits.
    The inner-quartiles range for 8 drones firing ranges from 4.00 to 6.11 hits.

    What does this mean? Simple, the 5.5% chance translates to an increased distribution of hits. It will be fairly rare for a firewarrior squad to notch 6 hits while it will be very common for the drone squardon to do it. For those who complain about point equality, adding an extra firewarrior still doesn't bring the range to even 6.00.

    In simpler terms, the probability distribution of hits for twin-linked WS:2 weapons in numbers greater than 6 can begin to greatly outnumber a regular WS:3 in a standard 6 turn game.

    So when we hear about all those who bash gun drones (mostly because people feel they are inferior), we usually find out that they don't play with them. Conjecturally those who play with them seem to swear by them. Although upfront their numbers don't seem convincing, the mathematics behind hanving the twin-linked weapon is much more effective than what it appears to be in the codex.

    Add this severly increased firepower at an added cost of only 2+, take away rapid fire but allow extreme mobility and you have what I would consider a squad that should never be left out of any Tau force. For those playing with FW squads, you may want to consider throwing a couple of these in.

    (inner-quartiles range defines the most probable outcomes, the further you deviate away from this range the increasingly less likely the result is. The rate at which it becomes less likely is extremely exponential.)

    Last edited by fishseal; March 30th, 2007 at 19:47. Reason: Accidently Hit Enter

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  3. #2
    I suck... Maiden neck... cebwj's Avatar
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    That was a good post (rep) but altough all this math has a solid logical point, we cannot forget (as you mentioned it) the pulse rifles rapid fire. This may only be one round with static firewarriors, but with a devilfish or two, we have several rounds of rapidfire! But even if they are static firewarriors they can have a leader with a markerlight. Then again the drones have jump packs and assault weapons (opposed to pulse rifle). One major advantage many forget (myself included) is that with those assault weapons, they may also assault, and with I two points higher then firewarriors, they have a chance of accually hitting. This is only in a last stand to save something more important and there is no kroots nearby...
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    Senior Member aussiedave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cebwj View Post
    One major advantage many forget (myself included) is that with those assault weapons, they may also assault, and with I two points higher then firewarriors, they have a chance of accually hitting.
    Yeah i completely agree.
    Drones are a fantastic unit choice, they are fast moving when using their jump packs and surprisingly more effective in CC than Firewarriors. One of the real benefits of Drones is that with thier JSJ move, having Pulse Carbines on them actually makes some kind of sense (not that we have a choice). The range isn't restrictive and as shown above (nice little math hammer, as cebwj mentioned though, don't forget the rapid fire) they actually have a quite good chance of causing some pinning.

    A brilliant little havoc causing unit.

    Dave
    I don't care what you say. I found a lightsaber in my garage and that makes me a Jedi

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    Gone LittleBlueMan's Avatar
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    Call me crazy but I have three seperate units of 8 drones plus all the drones on my 6 vehicles plus the shield drones attached to my unused ethereals plus an entire squad of customized heavy gun drones.
    Somewhere around 40 or so.
    Yeah, I like drones, but as I usually face spacemarines, I find the points better invested in crisis or vehicles, etc.
    But drones are still awesome, and you just have to see someones face when 24 drones drop behind his lines.
    Turtles For the Turtle God!
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    Senior Member darby5's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider is that they use a Fast Attack slot. Fire Warriors won't really restrict other choices since you can have alot of troop units.

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    I suck... Maiden neck... cebwj's Avatar
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    seriously... I think our fast attack slots are unused in many occations... certainly not many people use 3 fast attack in there 1000-2000pts tau army!
    Also I don't think (not my post anyway) it was ment as a replacement, but more of a addition to the normal firewarriors...
    -lurking in the shadows of LO.

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    in 3rd edition tau had weak fast attack options despite them being masters of mobile combat, now in 4th edition we have a much better line up. i'm personaly a massive fan of pirahnas and vespid. So i will have a large fast attack influence in my 100 point army genraly.

    As far as gun drones go they rock as a harrasing unit, deep strike-jump-shoot-jump-pin lol. Who wouldnt be stressed out by that.

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    The deep down truth Rikimaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leebrown19 View Post
    in 3rd edition tau had weak fast attack options despite them being masters of mobile combat, now in 4th edition we have a much better line up. i'm personaly a massive fan of pirahnas and vespid. So i will have a large fast attack influence in my 100 point army genraly.

    As far as gun drones go they rock as a harrasing unit, deep strike-jump-shoot-jump-pin lol. Who wouldnt be stressed out by that.
    Drones are one of the best most underestimated units in the Tau line up, massive mobility (XV8 standard), good firepower, fast attack is usually placed last in normal deployment (before infiltrators obviously) which gives the Tau player lots of options for threatening/preventing movement etc and no body has mentioned the best use for them as a bodyguard/support unit for a Shas'El, much better than XV8 bodyguards and the El/Drones make a fantastic transport / passenger killer combo ) note the Shas'El never actually joins the drone unit so retains IC status.
    The drones are also the best TAU unit for CC (if needed) they have superior INT and WS to most Tau units (only Kroot and Vespids are better and both these have inferior saves).

    Anyway thats my quick appraisal, I have not been on the forum much just lately and wont be posting much for a while, my Mother died March 24th after losing her battle with cancer, I am obviously devastated and it will take me a while to get back to posting regularly I have been reading the forum on the odd occasion but have not felt like posting till today, take it easy people.
    1984

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    I strongly agree. Just yesterday, I played a 1,000 point game cleanse against a Tyranid army. While I was making my list, I considered adding in a full squad of gundrones as support. And while I eventually opted for a squad of kroot, and while I did win that game, I regret not taking the gun drones, who have done amazing for me in the past.

    While I had never considered them to be a replacement to firewarriors, and I do prefer firewarriors for their range, their mobility and jump shoot jump ability makes them an excellent fast attack option for any army, and they are well worth the additional points over the firewarrior. I also like and recommend to keep a (small) squad of gun drones with lone crisis to take advantage of his independent status, and to provide close range fire support.

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    I always try to take gundrones. Twin-linked, 5+, Pinning fire on a highly mobile (not to mention awesome looking) unit is something that shouldn't be passed up when making a list. Just putting Gundrones on you vehicles or with your Battlesuits helps a lot because you only need one wound to pin a squad.

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