The drone to the right is Commander R'Alai's Marker Drone, and yes, it is an odd little duck. I like the look of the drone, but not as a Marker Drone. More about that later.
So let's go over them.
These are all the drones in the Tau inventory (that I know of), and that's too many for one post. So, I'm going to break them up as follows.
|Part 1||Part 2||Part 3|
|Gun Drone||Grav-inhibitor Drone||Drone Sentry Tower|
|Shield Drone||Pulse Accelerator Drone||Drone Defense Turret|
|Experimental Shield Drone||Recon Drone||Heavy Gun Drone|
|Command Link Drone||Missile Drone||Heavy Gun/Marker Drone|
|Marker Drone||Shielded Missile Drone||Remora Drone Fighter|
|Sniper Drone||Interceptor Drone||Technical Drone|
|Warscaper Drone||Guardian Drone|
(Click the title of this article to read more)
First, we have our original six drones from 5th edition plus a small gift courtesy of the Farsight Enclaves.
I have been interpreting the rule about shield drones incorrectly for a long time because of the word "confer." The shield generator the drone carries confers the savings onto the drone, not necessarily to the unit it's in. I tend to keep them between my battlesuits and my opponent's shooters. This way, the drone takes the hit and effectively grants the save to the squad. That is not to say the squad actually gets the save, the drone just takes one for the team. Last time I said that the Internet revolted...
Of course you could use this unit as a distraction, but for that strategy to be successful, it has to last more than one turn. Shield drones can be very nifty, and all-in-all, not too shabby...
4. Speaking of Shadowsun, drone number four is her Command Link Drone. This drone gives a friendly unit within 12" the ability to re-roll to hit rolls of 1. Again, not as useful as it was in 5th edition, but not too bad all other things considered.
Sadly, only her holiness gets to take either of these.
Oh, and you do not need a drone controller if all you have in the unit are shield drones. Drone controllers are only for drones whose abilities are tied to their ballistic skill.
Just remember, unless you are running a Farsight Enclaves Army, your drones are BS2. There is a way for Farsight to get all of them up to BS3, but more on that later (in part 5).
A full squad of these guys can put out 3 BS-5 networked markerlights and nine rapid fire sniper shots (double this at 24 inches). And they have some special unit coherency exceptions.
Since their guns are pulse weapons, they also benefit from Storm of Fire. Stick these guys in a fire warrior gun line with an Ethereal nearby, and just make it rain. You can also use their spotters' networked markerlights however you want.