A Drone for Every Occasion (part 6)

December 13, 2015 ·

Parting Shots: Dronefail 1.0

Well, folks, this is the last of my drone articles for a while. Highlights of this segment include me reading the rules for shield drones completely wrong and setting the Internet on fire (and it still burns with nasty comments which I delete), my invention of a new nick-name for a model, the "gargantuan drone" for the drone port (even though it doesn't have the drone rule) and a new controversy.

The new controversy is about whether or not Remora drone fighters benefit from the drone net formation bump to ballistic skill for all drones. I think it does, others think it does not because the Remora doesn't have the "drone" unit type.

The formation specifically grants +1 BS to all drones in your army. Pretty much all of our drones have the "drone" unit type listed in their descriptions, Remoras do not. Sentry Towers do, sort of, but Defensive Turrets don't.

I think the Remora not having this unit type is a simple oversight by Forgeworld in the Imperial Armour III book because the word "drone" is in the name of the unit. Therefore, I think it is a drone, and that they are intended to benefit from the formation buff.  So it comes down to another "Rule-as-intended" or "Rule-as-written" debate.

You will probably disagree, and that is what the comment section is for. So convince me. It really doesn't hurt my feelings And I an not ashamed to post your comments (unless you decide to be an ass and get your comment deleted).

I actually want to get it right. According to my wife and daughter, I am usually unable to do that on my own...     :|

Anyway, on to my rant. It is intended to be humorous, but it is a rant none-the-less. With it, I close the segment with a fun poke at the droning parts of our beloved army. Yes, this is where things get cheeky...
Two things drive me crazy when I see other Tau armies:

First, and it should be first for you too, is the chicken-legged battlesuit. You know, when you're trying to model a crisis suit in mid-flight, or in mid-thrust move... and it just goes horribly wrong... Hate it.

An otherwise beautiful paint job is completely lost because you gave your battlesuit chicken-legs, and shoved a pawn up its butt.

But that is only to set you up for the thing I loathe most about other people's Tau armies... After all, this rant is supposed to be about Drones.

Ok, some background. I like drones.  I like Tau.  I like modeling.  I like modeling Tau Drones.  I hate poorly modeled Tau Drones. I call it "drone-fail."

This is where someone builds their drones in a careless, haphazard or undisciplined fashion with the antenna stalks on backwards or sticking out the side of one of the pulse carbines, or worse, with the thrust vent is facing forward.

Oh, no!

Shameful.

This drives me cray-cray. Just like the word "cray-cray."  Please don't do this to your drones. The other drones will laugh at them. They will laugh at their fellows just like you would laugh at the kid with an extra ear on his forehead (albeit quietly, because his hearing is up to three times better than yours...).

I am not complaining about the flight pegs being wonky, or about plain old missing antenna stalks. I'm talking about bad modeling.

I love my army, and I take pride in the way it looks. I customize my guys, poses, etc. But there is only so much room for creative interpretation. And only so much I can stand...

I'm also really starting to dislike some of the all-drone armies I am seeing. If done properly, these can be really nice. But some of them go too far when they combine poor modeling skills with the wrong or just absent aesthetic values. The tidy little burger-bots turn into a nasty flying pastrami on old rye with bell peppers hanging off the side.

This particular conversion is nice. It is a broadside drone for an all-drone army. I kinda dig the aesthetic, it is well-done and the modelling is tight. It is obvious to anyone what the model represents, and it works. I like it.

The rail guns are succinct, and modeled under the drone's main body in the fashion of the barrels on a heavy gun drone. I would probably have modeled it more after the Remora as wings would help it carry the extra weight of the heavy rail rifles and SMS pods... but still, it is very well done.

Here is an all-drone army that is done well, though I don't see the point of an "all drone" army that still needs Hammerheads... if it still needs tanks, then it's not really an "all-drone" army any more, is it? And some of those Fire Warrior drones are still likely to need a Devilfish or Tidewall if they're going to make it to round six...

Nicely done, though. No dangly bits.

This one is not so well done.

I appreciate that sniper drones are expensive, and scratch building a team can have its allure. But at least be reasonable.

If you're one of the modelers who can't quite conquer the chicken leg issue, or get the antenna stalk on straight, please don't attempt the all-drone army.  Just don't.

I am not trying to be mean, but there is a LOT of poorly modeled Tau conversions out there. A sniper drone conversion should not look like a Gungan crossed with a Skitarri.

Or a scorpion.  Some conversions are just weird.
----------------->

And that reminds me, the Marker drone. My other drone-fail irritation.

Ever notice how GW puts a marker drone in the Stealth suit box but no markerlight emitter? It has the drone casing, the range finder assembly, and the proper antenna stalk (my favorite antenna stalk for the marker drones is from the Stealth Suit sprue, BTW).

But instead of an actual markerlight weapon, they give you a battlesuit antenna stalk. You can see that in the marker drone to the left. Beautiful job modeling and painting the drone, it's just that there isn't a markerlight emitter on it. You have to buy a box of (new) Fire Warriors, or Pathfinders, or a Droneport, or a Broadside battlesuit to get the correct weapon.

Epic drone-fail.

One last note, I also like the old, really long shield drone antenna stalks. I think of them like hair on people. I should be able to tell if its a boy or a girl at first glance. I hate having to keep looking underneath to figure out what it is...

Hope you enjoyed this, and for the Greater Good, please keep your drones in check.

I play Tau.



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Warhammer Tau is a group of wargamers who feel that they have a little something different to offer other Tau Empire, Kroot, and allied players... even if it's just a starting point for discussion! Our goal is to produce at least one article per week to inform and encourage the Tau and Warhammer gamer community. For the Greater Good, of course!


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