The drone to the right is our ever-reliable Gun Drone, perhaps the most useful drone in our inventory. This second installment covers the rest of the drones available from GW. Unfortunately, for these next two posts I will be unable to feature my own drones because I have not had time to put some of them together or paint those I have to a decent standard...
Seems to be my life, lots of new toys for Tau, but either papers are due or we have to cook a turkey, or some such... I still need to build my stealth, guardian, and hover drones.
BTW, I was using this color scheme long before GW started changing all their packaging. But that is for another post. I will update and replace these pictures later on, as I get to them. And Forgeworld Drones will be covered in the next installment.
So let's go over this lot.
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|
I prefer the weird and long antennae stalks of the old versions, it helped make them unique. I also do not like the new drone disk shapes on the riptide's and sunshark bomber's drones. I will use the old style drone heads as often as possible..
Oh, and all the drones on this list are specific to units and cannot be taken by crisis suits or any units other than those prescribed.
2. Another Pathfinder-only is the Pulse Accelerator Drone. This little guy allows nearby pulse weapons to extend their range by 6 inches. That means Fire Warrior Strike teams get a bump to 36 inches and pulse carbines go to 30 inches. Sniper Drones go to a whopping 52 inches!
The coolest thing though is that breacher teams nearly double the range of their strength 5 shots to 15" and strength 6 shots to 11 inches. Keep this drone near your Stormsurges and they can shoot their Strength D love gun out to 16 inches.
Extending the range of a shooty army is always a good thing.
3. The final Pathfinder-exclusive is the Reconnaissance Drone. Recon Drones are armed with a fold-away Burst Cannon, which is a Strength 5 Assault 4 weapon which is very effective against infantry. These drones also carry Homing Beacons and Positional Relays. A Homing Beacon allows Tau reinforcements to deploy with pinpoint precision within 6 inches of the drone or Devilfish its on (no scatter). A Positional Relay allows your outflankers to enter the battlefield on whatever board edge is within 6 inches.
These are not game-changers, but they can be situationally useful. Park one on each side of the board, forward of your main force, and bring in reinforcing kroot or battlesuits wherever you want.
I really like them for the added firepower, but I have a friend who never uses drones at all. Ever. Seriourly. Never.
Be careful with drones. The hits to squad morale can be disastrous. I played a game a few years back where a squad of Broadsides were packing all six of their missile drones for some serious missile cheese. I lost five of the drones to a vindicator barrage, failed my leadership, couldn't seem to regroup, and my broadsides walked off the table without ever firing a shot. I felt pretty stupid (but I still won the game).
You should always use drones with caution.
an a shield drone. Best of both worlds I suppose. Again, use with caution.
6. Interceptor Drones come attached to the Sunshark Strike Fighter. They are armed with a S7 AP4 twin-linked rapidfire ion rifle with a 30-inch range, and can detach while the fighter is zooming.
These drones also have Skyfire, Interceptor, and Supporting Fire. This is good. The BS-2 is bad. But that is why we have markerlights, right?
If they're Breachers then they get the 5+ invulnerability. It joins the family of other Shield Drones granting 3+, 4+ and now 5+ and 6+ invulnerability saves. Meh.
Gun Drones are better for fire warriors for many reasons, including ablative wounds. To me, there doesn't appear to be any compelling reason to ever take a guardian drone.
My opinion here, the drone should have given a 5+ invulnerable to either Fire Warrior infantry unit it's in (not just breachers), and the 6+ to any other model within 12 inches. Kinda like a Gungan shield beast. THAT would have been useful, but not necessarily OP. AND it would have given us a reason to choose it. Put this one in the box with the vespids, flying commander, and stealth suits.
8. The Stealth Drone on the other hand, seems quite useful, even though it is probably the ugliest little drone in heaven.
It is free but only available to the Ghostkeel Battlesuit. It grants shrouded to the Ghostkeel, and stealth to any character that joins the unit. If the character already has stealth, then it gets the shrouded special rule. And all of this at no extra point cost.
As unattractive as it is, and believe me, it is almost the Donald Trump of drones... it'd be dumb not to take them, even if just for the extra wounds.
I should have known that once they had hoverboards on Dancing With the Stars that it was only a matter of time before they were incorporated into 40k.........:)
Forgeworld Drones and then the Gargantuan Drone (Droneport).