A Drone for Every Occasion (part 4)

November 29, 2015 ·

This installment:  Gargantuan Drone.

OR Say "Hello" to Gargantuan Drone... 

I say "Gargantuan Drone" because the thing kinda looks like a big-ass drone.  It's got all the little anti-grav doo-hickies on the bottom, the thruster vent in the back... it's round, you know, like a drone. It really looks like a giant burgerbot... oh, never mind. The moment has passed.

One segment of the Tidewall Rampart is the Droneport, and some have called it stupid, and useless, but I'm tired of listening to teh Internet Trolls complain.  Let's see what this thing is really all about...

Here's what GW has to say about it,

"The rumbling thrum of repulsor engines announces the arrival of a Tidewall Droneport. Serving as a mobile bunker for the warriors of the Fire caste, it provides excellent cover, moving fighters into place and acting as perfect lures for a Kauyon battle plan. However, these are all secondary concerns - the Droneport’s greatest asset is the arsenal of nested Drones, able to detach and provide covering fire, mark targets for powerful strikes or deploy their built-in shield generators to provide even more protection to the Tau manning the defense line." 
Like I said, I have seen a lot of chatter on the interwebs about how worthless this guy is, and I obviously disagree.  For 60 points you can run this little guy on its own for a number of in-game benefits.  Not shenanigans, benefits.  Shenanigans are for Librarians and Dark Eldar.

First of all, you get four "free" drones -gun, marker, or shield, whatever you choose.  Ok, so what? Ok, maybe you're not into drones, so why are you playing Tau? Anyway, that reduces the cost of the actual Droneport to 12 points (60 for the whole thing, minus 12 points for each of the four drones: 60-48=12, except in Washington State where the correct answer to a math problem doesn't really matter as long as you show your work...   ;)  

So in the end, the Gargantuan Drone actually costs the same as most other drones, 12 points.  Of course, that savings is even greater for unattached drone squads which are 14 points each, making the total cost for the Droneport 4 points...

Second, and it's a huge second, for 12 points, you get mobile cover.  MOBILE COVER. The Droneport can move up to six inches over open ground in the movement phase -even when models are on it. But it cannot move in the assault phase (like smaller drones) nor can it move to within one inch of an enemy model.  It can carry 3 battlesuits comfortably, or 12 Fire Warriors (if one hangs out on the stairs), but only one XV-88 (sadly). Riptides and Stormsurges are right out.

Models like Pathfinders and Broadsides can still shoot after this drone moves on their behalf. The models on it do not count as having moved for the purposes of shooting. The other good news is it cannot be activated by enemy troops (they can't drive it at all and they can't commandeer its drones unless they are also Tau). This effectively makes it a hover-drone for units, not just surfer-tool Ethereals.

Third, It is classified as "Battlefield Debris: Defense Line," which grants models using or behind it a 4+ cover save regardless of whether or not they are 25% obscured.  That's in the BRB, not my interpretation of a convoluted rule.  

And lastly, Units actually on it can re-roll To-Hit rolls of 1 from any shooting attacks.  This re-roll actuallly goes to any friendly units standing on (or hover-boarding on) any of the components on the Tau Tidewall fortifications and combinations, though that could change...

I'm still trying to find the bad in this. For 60 points it is hard to find anything in any army that gives you all that.  Tell me what you think.

Army-wide BS3 for Drones...

I play Tau.


Rathstar said...
November 30, 2015 at 6:26 AM  

60 points are they kidding me :)

Also Fast Attack drones are 14 pts each, so this thing is effectively only 4 points :) Shame it's not part of the hunter contingent. I assume the only way to use it is as a LoW slot from a CAD, luckily I take a CAD for an Ethereal (Aun'Do).

Seems pretty sweet, can't see why it gets any hate. Honestly the only thing I can think of is that 60pts isn't much to use up your LoW slot, but it's not as if you need LoW slots for Stormsurges with all the formations.


Hu Jin Tau said...
November 30, 2015 at 7:00 AM  

You can field it as a fortification (or part of a large fortification) in a CAD. Not difficult, just take a Fireblade and a couple of Fire Warrior squads and you got it.

Rules for it come in the box or in the Kauyon and Mont'Ka books. Funny thing is it's not in the newly updated Tau Codex, which should have everything...

Reave said...
December 2, 2015 at 10:45 AM  

With the new Mont'ka formation for drones, how can ANYONE not think this fortification is the coolest thing in the world? What Tau player says "I don't need more drones?"

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