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Author Topic: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!  (Read 3267 times)

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Offline Wyddr

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This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« on: July 2, 2017, 05:07:08 PM »
So the new FAQ did the Tau no favors, it seems.

The best thing about the new list was Savior Protocols, enabling nearby drones to basically "Look Out, Sir" incoming wounds. The old wording allowed the drones to take the saves for the target.

Now the rule has been rewritten, changing the wording so that the drone gets no opportunity to save. This makes Shield Drones totally pointless, as they will never have the opportunity to use their invul save--their whole reason for being and why I've taken the buggers since 5th edition.

So, yeah. Bye-bye shield drones.

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #1 on: July 2, 2017, 05:46:42 PM »
Pretty much. Unless someone intends to use them as assault units to delay an enemy, something that makes absolutely no sense other than to waste points better spent on anything else.
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Offline Wyddr

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #2 on: July 2, 2017, 06:46:14 PM »
The changes made to the Tau are, for my money, the most nonsensical and least justified of any army. It's just offensive.

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #3 on: July 2, 2017, 06:57:24 PM »
I was planning on Gun Drones with someone with a drone controller nearby anyway. If necessary they still don't get a save but they'll at least get to shoot someone.

Kind of makes you wonder if these tourney writers had Tau issues and this is what happens. Like with the Riptide inflation.
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Offline magenb

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #4 on: July 2, 2017, 07:19:18 PM »
This hardly changes them, if you form a ring around your character, then I still have to shoot them first, just means you can't be lazy with how you move them on the table now.

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #5 on: July 2, 2017, 07:27:54 PM »
Who have you been playing against that does this?
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Offline Wyddr

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #6 on: July 2, 2017, 07:49:08 PM »
This hardly changes them, if you form a ring around your character, then I still have to shoot them first, just means you can't be lazy with how you move them on the table now.

Why would anybody buy an unarmed model that dies every bit as fast to a bolter as an armed one for the same exact cost?

The only (only) purpose to a shield drone was to soak a high strength wound *for* a crisis suit/commander. The new wording makes this scenario essentially nonexistent.
You will either kill everything closer to you and then kill the commander, or you will maneuver to get closer to the commander and it will die.

So there's no reason to buy one. Just buy gun drones--they wilk serve the *exact* same purpose and they can shoot back.

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #7 on: July 2, 2017, 07:58:41 PM »
That and Tau aren't reliant on characters. Spending too many points on them and/or protecting them is the complete wrong thing to do. They're not game winners as much as participants. Other armies may disagree with theirs.
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Offline magenb

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #8 on: July 2, 2017, 09:08:48 PM »
A number of armies have access to -1 and -2 AP weapons on mass, such as Necrons. So an invul save is still rather useful especially in generalist lists, but I would not run a "Tactical Drone Squad" of shields. I'd have a FW screening unit with a couple of shield drones.

The way Saviour protocols was explained to me as an example, was that it only kicks in when you have a unit with drones next to a unit that doesn't have any left and you want to sacrifice the drone.

If I was to shoot at the breacher team, the wound could be assigned to the drones anyway as they are part of the unit. If they were not part of that unit, then they would have to take up a force slot or have a reference to say they do not take up a force slot. Such as court of the archon.


Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #9 on: July 2, 2017, 09:13:31 PM »
Okay, you're not quite current with the rules. That's not how drones work anymore. The person who tried explaining the system to you is also not wholly with it. While you may buy drones as part of a unit, they're entirely separate after deployment. Using your example, you shoot at a Breacher team, a nearby drone may take the wound then it explodes into rubble with no save possible no matter what it was.
« Last Edit: July 2, 2017, 09:15:23 PM by The GrimSqueaker »
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Offline magenb

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #10 on: July 2, 2017, 09:31:07 PM »
ahh OK where does it say they are to be treated as a separate unit? I want to point it out to them :)

The only time I can remember it says anything like that was when it was part of the gunship.

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #11 on: July 2, 2017, 09:34:19 PM »
Every single time the ability Drone Support is mentioned. So start on page 53 and then move onwards.
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Offline Wyddr

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #12 on: July 2, 2017, 09:38:05 PM »
Right, it's the separate unit thing that kills them (and that's described on any datasheet for a unit that can buy drones--clear as day).

If they were still part of units, then Shield Drones would work fine--you soak the small arms with the suit and put the big wounds on the drone (well, given the current wound allocation rules, it wouldn't work *well*, but you could make it function after a fashion). Since they're separate units, you'd need somebody to *voluntarily* shoot at shield drones and, other than that rare instance where you have a character and the only thing closer to the enemy is the shield drones, that never happens. And, even in the case where that did happen, they'd just shoot the drones down with bolters or something, thereby invalidating the existence of a invul save anyway.   

Offline Killersquid

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #13 on: July 2, 2017, 10:11:42 PM »
This is super great for models with 2+ saves, or 3+ inv (like riptides). I agree, that this makes gun and marker-light drones phenomenal, shield drones are still fine for board control and tying folks up. Inv. saves are huge in newhammer.
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Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #14 on: July 2, 2017, 10:13:56 PM »
Super great for Riptides? Please, explain further.  ???
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Offline Wyddr

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #15 on: July 2, 2017, 10:45:50 PM »
This is super great for models with 2+ saves, or 3+ inv (like riptides). I agree, that this makes gun and marker-light drones phenomenal, shield drones are still fine for board control and tying folks up. Inv. saves are huge in newhammer.

Ummmm...who the heck is a Shield drone going to tie up? They drop to a stiff breeze. The only thing that ever made them useful was their ability to soak a high strength hit for a suit. Now they can't do that any better than any other drone. So why take them?

I am also, more broadly, in disagreement about invul saves being any more huge in newhammer than they were in oldhammer. They are pretty much exactly as useful as they were.

Offline Killersquid

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #16 on: July 3, 2017, 05:00:04 PM »
Seems to me, that Shield Drone saves are only a 4++, but some of the characters and the riptide have a 2+ armour save, and the riptide can even get to a pretty beefy 3++. So, there is a better save being attempted before passing wounds onto the drones, which means a less chance that drones are dying, which is pretty neat. But, any drone can do this, so there is that.

For shield drones, they are quick and fairly tough. a 4++ and T4, so they can probably tie up marines and equivalent units in combat pretty well. They can be a great spoiler unit. Rush them up, charge folks trouble units, so they are stuck fighting drones or retreating and doing nothing. They are fast enough to sneak in your opponents backfield pretty quickly too, so could threaten any sort of heavy weapon squad or vehicle as well, taking their shooting away for a turn.

For scary assault units, toss in the drones (who'll probably not all die), burn 2 command points to keep them from running, and then if they survive into your next turn, just hop out of combat again.



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Offline Wyddr

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #17 on: July 3, 2017, 06:31:35 PM »
At a max squad size of 8 and a relatively poor Ld, I don't really see Sheild drones tying up anybody any better than gun drones *except* against a low-str, high Ap unit like Banshees or possibly harlequins. Anything with a solid strength or lots of attacks or both will wipe them no problem.

And anyway, in the vast majority of scenarios, Gun Drones will do the same exact job just as well, but they get to shoot, too.

And yeah, you get to make the suit save *before* you apply the wound, but that invalidates the only thing the shield drones have going for them.   

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #18 on: July 3, 2017, 06:57:01 PM »
Which is why I'm going, continuing more like, full on gun drones. They're slightly less survivable but are able to do more along the way before they stall spin crash burn die.
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Offline kaldolaf

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Re: This just in: Shield Drones now officially useless!
« Reply #19 on: July 5, 2017, 09:50:54 AM »
Just a slight correction, you do not get to roll the suit save before saviour protocols.  Saviour protocols says you may choose to allocate wounds to nearby drones after a tau infantry or battlesuit unit is successfully wounded (ie a passed wound roll).  Looking at page 181 of the rulebook, we see that under Resolve Attacks, allocate wounds comes before saving throws.  This is different from the Sworn protectors rule on the Crisis Bodyguards and other similar rules for other factions, which state they apply when a freindly character loses a wound, which comes after saving throws.

 


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