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Author Topic: Playtest 'Seeker' Drones  (Read 3138 times)

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Offline Greg

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Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« on: July 31, 2002, 07:18:22 AM »
0-1 Tau Seeker Drone Squadron

              WS  BS  S  T  W  I  A  LD  SV  Points
Seeker Drones   2    2    3  3  1  4  1  10  4+    40

Squadron: The squadron consists of 8 seeker drones; all must be of the same type.

Equipment: Each drone is in essence a moving bomb and is equipped with one of 3 different types of explosive charge, the whole squadron must have all the same type of charge.

Fusion Area of effect: None Strength: 8 AP 1
All the blast given off by the fusion drone is directed towards the target and so there is not area of effect other than the one single unit directly in contact with the Drone. Against units with armour value the drone automatically hits, and makes a single attack rolling 2D6+8 for armour penetration.
   
Plasma Area of effect: Blast Strength: 5 AP 3
   
Firestorm Area of effect: Ord/Blast Strength: 4 AP 5
Note that the blast is ordnance sized but the weapon itself does not count as ordnance.

Jetpacks: Drones are equipped with Tau jetpacks and can use these to Deep Strike as described in the jetpack Wargear entry.

SPECAIL RULES
Independent: A Seeker Drone squadron has its processors linked to enable it to have the capacity for independent action. They are NOT however programmed for self-preservation and count as being fearless; they are assumed to automatically pass any morale check they may be required to take, even those which allow no test to be made, they may not be pinned.

Self Destruct! In essence the drones are moving bombs; they self-destruct on contact with enemy units after which they can no longer be used. Seeker drones move normally but have no ranged weaponry.
At the beginning of the assault phase, before any dice have been rolled, you may detonate your drones, even if they are not within base-to-base contact with an enemy unit. You are assumed to detonate all the drones simultaneously and so they cannot destroy each other! Note that a fusion drone MUST be in base to base to have any effect. Once the drones have detonated they are removed from play and can no longer be used. Note seeker drones do not count as being destroyed for the purposes of victory points even if the enemy shoots them down.
Any unit taking casualties from a squadron of seeker drones counts as being killed in assault even if the drone was not in base-to-base contact; so must take a morale check or fall back.  Any remaining enemy units that have been attacked MUST consolidate, they may not opt to sweeping advance even if they normally have to, as they are shaken by the sudden inferno of explosions that race among their squad.

Chain Reaction: If a drone is shot down or killed in assault there is a chance that it will detonate spontaneously! The Tau realise this and so have built in safety measures that help prevent such an occurrence, but this by no means fool proof. If a drone is killed then on a D6 roll of 6 the drone detonates as normal. This could cause a chin reaction among the squadron that could well wipe out the entire unit!

Offline Tobab816

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2002, 07:59:43 AM »
Sorry, it just doesn't fit in with Tau philosophy.

Tau DOESN'T sacrifice things. Wether it is the Tau themselves, Kroot or even just drones.
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Offline Greg

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2002, 10:15:45 AM »
I have to disagree, the clue must be in the Tau motto: For the Greater Good.

So do we kill 1 man to save a hundred men? Yes - This is a greater good.

So would they sacrifce 8 machines in order to save the lifes of many more tau? I would say yes, infact they are probably the most liky army to do it.

Offline Arcas

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2002, 11:51:23 AM »
Tau have no problems in sacrificing drones, just have a look at shield drones. They exist to be destroyed. But i think the suggested unit is a lot too cheap. It can deepstrike and annihilate almost any target unit. The chain reaction rule should be worse in order to prevent this. Maybe "If a drone is destroyed, roll a D6. 1,2 no further drones detonate, 3,4 one drone detonates, 5,6 two further drones detonate. Choose the closest drones to detonate. They again can cause other drones to explode.

This makes even fusion drones a subject of chain reactions, while firestorm drones won't kill the entire unit. Otherwise a fusion drone swarm can eliminate almost any vehicle, simply deepstrike next to it and next turn attack it. The vehicle has few chance to kill them without ordnance.

jwu

Offline Greg

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2002, 12:46:50 PM »
Deepstrike is obviously the best use for them, fusion drones are like assault troops packing meltabombs with jump packs, people do not have a problem with that? You get a turn to shoot at them just the same and they are only T3 Sv4+. I do not think this is all that bad deepstike, rapid fire weapons will destroy them..

Perhaps adding a rule like the 2nd edition terminators, they become 50% more points when they deep strike?

If they deepstirke near a vehicle it can move 12" directly away and the drones can only assault12" so they will be out of range.

The points are low because you only get to use them once, spore mines are about the same price and they get shot straight away, admitidly you have to have a 40pt biovore.

I do not think anyone would use a unit that has such a high chance of blowing itself up, I also think that it is fair fusion drones not killing each other, it is common sense, it has no blast and they fly separatly.

Offline Arcas

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2002, 01:21:59 PM »
Maybe, but then they need to be much more expensive. They can kill a landraider with ease and few risk!

jwu

Offline Mystic511

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2002, 05:14:11 PM »
8 drones at 40 points?  That's rediculously cheap for what they can do.

I'd say bump it down to 4 drones.  What's the point of having 8 if they're all going to blow up anyway?  I think the tau even though they would sacrifice for the greater good, would know how to conserve materials by using the least amount to have the greatest impact.  

I also think that the different types of bombs should have different point costs.

Also, 4+ save for them doesn't seem right either.  They're flying bombs after all.  You'd think that a bullet hitting it, even if it didn't do damage, would cause enough disturbance to set off a bomb.  Unless you're going to tell me now that the Tau are so superior in making sacrificial drones, that they decided to fortify and spend more resources to have armor on the bombs too.  So i'd say 6+ or no save at all would make more sense, especially if you insist on having a squad of 8 drones that are 40 points who can take out a 250 point land raider, a 200 point squad of wyches, a decked out terminator squad, a necron monolith, or a whole platoon of imperial guard on any given day.

Offline Greg

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #7 on: August 1, 2002, 01:04:00 PM »
Thanks for your input, there are some good points there.

Firstly I agree that they should have a worse save, like the hellhound that has its flame canisters exposed making it more vunerable, a moving bomb should be more vunerable too. 6+ Seems a little pointess especially with a sqaud of just 8, so I think they should get no save. Like you said, no point wasting resources on them!

Secondly, if they now have no save then they will be very easy to kill, which means increasing the points too would make them too costly. Even if they deep strike they cannot hurt any unit until their next turn, they explode in the assault phase and not even tau jetpacks allow you to assault after deepstrike. So you get one turn of shooting against T3 units with no save, not really hard to kill are they? So that wych squad can shoot them all down or that guard squad etc will have no problem.

Thirdly, reducing the squad size to 4 seems more practical and probably a good idea, but with allowing only one squadron to be fielded it is always nicer to let the player choose, and do like you say, give each drone a points value.

Finally, I tried to make each drone so that in battle a plasma drone would kill the same points of marines as a firestorm would do guardsmen.

All in all I think they are becoming more well rounded and playable, i have got a few of my friends using tau and trying them out, early indications show things are looking good.

Master Archon

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #8 on: August 1, 2002, 04:52:00 PM »
I think he ment that they are 40 points a piece.  Am I right?

Offline Mystic511

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #9 on: August 1, 2002, 06:58:33 PM »
no, he meant 40 points for the whole squad.  40 points a piece would definately be overkill.   :P

Offline Farseer_Sting

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #10 on: August 1, 2002, 10:39:47 PM »
ok with your last set of rules i would agree that they are alright. if u hadn't done the lower save/lower squad numbers then i wouldn't have agreed but i do know! have fun play testing them!

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Offline Mystic511

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #11 on: August 2, 2002, 04:58:01 AM »
yea, post up the revised rules so we can look at them one more time, and then, give us feedback on playtesting results!   ;D

Offline Greg

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #12 on: August 4, 2002, 11:49:06 AM »
After much deliberation and input here are the revised rules for Tau Seeker Drones. There have been one or two changes but not all that many. Try them out in a game, I think they add a whole new element of fear to the ememy of Tau, especially assault armies who have to watch out for incomming suicide bombers after they get near. Tell me what you think of the new(er) rules and if you think there should be any other additions.

0-1 Tau Seeker Drone Squadron

                WS   BS   S   T   W   I   A   LD   SV   
Seeker Drones    2      2     3   3   1   4   1   10    6+     

Squadron: The squadron consists of between 4 and 8 seeker drones; all must be of the same type.

Equipment: Each drone is in essence a moving bomb and is equipped with one of 3 different types of explosive charge, the whole squadron must have all the same type of charge at the points given for each.

   Fusion Area of effect: None Strength: 8 AP 1      10 Points    
All the blast given off by the fusion drone is directed towards the target and so there is not area of effect other than the one single unit directly in contact with the Drone. Against units with armour value the drone automatically hits, and makes a single attack rolling 2D6+8 for armour penetration.
   
Plasma Area of effect: Blast Strength: 5 AP 3      12 Points
   
Firestorm Area of effect: Ord/Blast Strength: 4 AP 5    8 Points
Note that the blast is ordnance sized but the weapon itself does not count as ordnance.

Jetpacks: Drones are equipped with Tau jetpacks and can use these to Deep Strike as described in the jetpack Wargear entry.

SPECAIL RULES
Independent: A Seeker Drone squadron has its processors linked to enable it to have the capacity for independent action. They are NOT however programmed for self-preservation and count as being fearless; they are assumed to automatically pass any morale check they may be required to take, even those which allow no test to be made, they may not be pinned.

Self Destruct! In essence the drones are moving bombs; they self-destruct on contact with enemy units after which they can no longer be used. Seeker drones move normally but have no ranged weaponry.
At the beginning of the assault phase, before any dice have been rolled, you may detonate your drones, even if they are not within base-to-base contact with an enemy unit. You are assumed to detonate all the drones simultaneously and so they cannot destroy each other! Note that a fusion drone MUST be in base to base to have any effect. Once the drones have detonated they are removed from play and can no longer be used. Note seeker drones do not count as being destroyed for the purposes of victory points even if the enemy shoots them down.
Any unit taking casualties from a squadron of seeker drones counts as being killed in assault even if the drone was not in base-to-base contact; so must take a morale check or fall back.  Any remaining enemy units that have been attacked MUST consolidate, they may not opt to sweeping advance even if they normally have to, as they are shaken by the sudden inferno of explosions that race among their squad.

Chain Reaction: If a drone is shot down or killed in assault there is a chance that it will detonate spontaneously! The Tau realise this and so have built in safety measures that help prevent such an occurrence, but this by no means fool proof. If a drone is killed then on a D6 roll of 6 the drone detonates as normal. This could cause a chin reaction among the squadron that could well wipe out the entire unit!


>>>Im currently trying out some new rules for a Tau special character called 'Ghoststalker' (Off of C&C Tiberian Sun). A Stealth Suit model totting an advanced rapid fire 'mico' railgun. Thinking like a cyborg - Kroot/Tau mutant, bountly hunter style. Still testing him out, works with other stealth suits but targets enemy vehicles and harder infantry. Still crap in assault but is evasive and  hard to hit as primary defence.  

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2002, 05:53:25 PM »
When it says to use blast marker, does that mean one marker for every drone, or one for the whole squad? I'm thinking one for the whole squad, becasue 8 ordenance blasts is a bit much.

Offline Aerundel

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Re:Playtest 'Seeker' Drones
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2002, 06:43:31 PM »
If there were only one blast marker, then there wouldn't be any chain reaction blasts if the drones were to detonate accidently when you shot at them. And since the whole squad detonates when you command them to, half of the markers probably won't even be in range of a target.

 


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