Sniper Drone Teams - Solid Markerlight Source?..

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neonmole
Shas'La
Posts: 26

Sniper Drone Teams - Solid Markerlight Source?..

Post#1 » Jan 23 2017 10:46

Hi Guys;

I am trying to figure out the best way of incorporating some reliable ML fire into my list without going with a dedicated commander.

I have been thinking about sniper teams as a means of doing so. For 84pts (3 marksmen / 3 snipers) you get 3 BS5 ML shots per turn, in a unit that has stealth.

This seems quite good to me, since you have a good chance of scoring 3 ML per turn, min 2, and should reliably be able to grab a 4+, or even 3+ cover save...

Does anyone have any experience with this setup? It seems a lot more attractive to me than pathfinders or drones. (Outside of the drone net which I am not taking).

Thanks!

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Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 976

Re: Sniper Drone Teams - Solid Markerlight Source?..

Post#2 » Jan 23 2017 01:48

Honestly....no I don't really think it's worth it. For the same price you get almost 8 Pathfinder which are on average 4 Markerlight hits compared to slightly less than 3. Plus you have more bodies on the table which is always a good thing. Plus they can scout so they can get in a better position after the enemy placed his models.
Pathfinder aren't a lot better but in the end they are at least a little bit better.

However since you obviously don't plan to play competetively (or else excluding a Mark'O and a Drone-Net at the same time wouldn't make any sense at all) you are essentially free to switch between regular Pathfinder, regular Drones and maxed Sniper Drone Teams as you like. There won't be much of a difference.

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Sitzkrieg
Shas
Posts: 21
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Re: Sniper Drone Teams - Solid Markerlight Source?..

Post#3 » Jan 23 2017 02:15

Evaluated in theory by themselves, they are indeed a solid markerlight source and I personally used that setup in my games. The reason I suspect in practice you don't see them often is that they compete both in the Hunter Cadre and on the CAD with the broadsides, stormsurges, and (to a lesser extent) hammerheads as a heavy choice. You only have a small amount of those per detachment and the sniper drone option typically gets squeezed out in both by the heavy hitters since you can get markerlights in plenty elsewhere. I suspect that if GW had simply included them in the drone network then they'd get a lot more play in the Hunter Cadre.

The reason I use them is that I have them painted up and I only have two broadside units that I typically use. I have two hammerheads but they rarely see play and I don't own any Stormsurges so I have an empty slot on both the CAD and the hunter cadre core choice so they don't cost me another unit.

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materpillar
Shas'La
Posts: 134

Re: Sniper Drone Teams - Solid Markerlight Source?..

Post#4 » Jan 23 2017 04:53

I've used sniper drone teams a fair bit. In my experience (very much not super competitive) they're a fair bit sturdier than pathfinders with majority T4 (if you keep enough drones alive) and stealth. On-top of which the sniper drones will actually put a couple of wounds on things which is pretty nice. Also, they don't have quite as much of a "kill on sight" stigma in my opponents' minds in comparison to pathfinders and other markerlight sources have. Although, that isn't anything you can rely on.

Tetras, drone net, mark'o are "better" but a sniper drone team will still perform reasonably well.

The reason I suspect in practice you don't see them often is that they compete both in the Hunter Cadre and on the CAD with the broadsides, stormsurges, and (to a lesser extent) hammerheads as a heavy choice. You only have a small amount of those per detachment and the sniper drone option typically gets squeezed out in both by the heavy hitters since you can get markerlights in plenty elsewhere. I suspect that if GW had simply included them in the drone network then they'd get a lot more play in the Hunter Cadre.

I agree with this but I think the reason they're rarely fielded goes much deeper than this, in my opinion the primary factor is because they aren't sexy. From a completely aesthetic point of view their coolness factor is just a lot lower than a big hover tank with a huge railgun or a giant gundam. Then, you throw in the fact they're so darn expensive to buy. $40 MSRP for 3 drones and a spotter, so $120 for a max squad? That's like two ghostkeels/hammerheads, a riptide and a half, or (almost) a stormsurge. Then, the last factor is they used to be utterly trash in our older codex (they got some pretty major buffs in 6e if I remember correctly), so not many people played with them when they were first released and they're not OP enough that people feel obligated to try.

So you have a semi-mundane looking unit (in terms of 40k at least), that's really expensive to buy, and has a stigma of being a bad unit. Not really shocking it doesn't see a ton of time on the table. All of that aside sniper teams are very balanced unit that are worth fielding every now and again in more casual settings.
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Dal'yth Shas'len'ra
Shas'Ui
Posts: 203

Re: Sniper Drone Teams - Solid Markerlight Source?..

Post#5 » Jan 23 2017 11:44

I've fielded Sniper drones quite a bit, (twice in causal/semi-competitive tournaments, many times in pure casual games). I think they are a lot more competitive than most people give them credit for, but their markerlights are more of a bonus than their primary function. The BS5 rapid fire sniper rifle is what makes them worth taking, that and the fact their sniper rifles benefit from Storm of Fire. One mission in a tournament had respawning units, and my opponent had 3 Dreadknights (which did keep coming back), with the sniper drones (and Aun'va) at least one of them went down each turn (even with the 4+ invul they can get), then in the next match they annihilated 2 Tyrannid MC's in a in one turn each, again with Aun'va nearby.

In my experience, I shoot them at the biggest and most applicable threat, and if they don't kill it then I have markerlights to help my other units finish it off. Only once that I can remeber did their markerlights become their primary function, I had a unit lose all but one of its drones and still had two controllers left.

I agree that the reason they are not seen too often is that they come with the price tag (in $) of a model that has D weapons, almost anyway. Also then you can't take the 3 Broadside teams that some people like to, which I don't (my broadsides don't like me :P ). But sniper drone teams have earned a place in almost every one of my lists.

Unicornsilovethem
Shas'Saal
Posts: 245

Re: Sniper Drone Teams - Solid Markerlight Source?..

Post#6 » Jan 24 2017 08:57

I wish sniper drones got their old S6Ap3 rail rifles back, I'd take them in every game.

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