Why do drones have to take morale??

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Vio'ra Mal'caor
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Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#1 » Sep 19 2017 06:04

I recently played a game against Death Guard, and I realised something. Their Plague Zombies have the Mindless rule, which means they do not have to test for morale when losing units. As morale is technically the fear of having your squad destoryed, why do our drones have to take morale??? I know this is more of a fluff thing, but even Tau drones don't have true AI and therefore don't have personalities (unless some Earth Caste Genius has reprogrammed them...). But the point is, why do our fearless robots have to take morale?? If I remember correctly, the Adeptus Mechanicus Servitor units don't have to take morale, and neither do the Chaos Blight Drones.
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Ricordis
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#2 » Sep 19 2017 06:22

Losses via morale are not only guys running away of fear. They also might be carrying wounded friends away.
For our drones it is a protocol to save themselves. If the losses are too high they might get off the battlefield, get repaired, refueled and their intel retrieved. It is no real self awareness but just a failsafe to unnecessary losses.

I imagine it is the same protocol crisis suits have if the pilot is wounded but the suit still intact.

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Bloodknife92
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#3 » Sep 19 2017 06:27

This was discussed in very very great detail in the large discussion post that was started during the lead up to the release of 8th edition.
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Arka0415
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#4 » Sep 19 2017 06:31

Yeah, calling it "morale" or "leadership" does make it seem a little strange. Space Marines who "flee" are escorting their wounded comrades off the battlefield. Chaos Daemons that "flee" fade back into warp even though they'd want to keep fighting; the warp is capricious like that.

For Tau Drones, most of us think that it's a self-preservation protocol. Contrary to appearances, in the lore Tau Drones are not expendable. They're treated like comrades and have a respected position in the Tau military. As such, it makes sense that Earth Caste programmers might give the Drone AI network some self-preservation conditions. This program would probably have many variables and be incredibly complex, but on the tabletop it's represented by a simple morale check.

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thesnailmaster
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#5 » Sep 19 2017 06:35

Yeah, as stated above and in the 7th ed fluff they have always had a self preservation protocol, I think you need to remember that T'au are a small empire in the grand scheme of things and they don't have the manufacturing to send in wave after wave of expendable drones.

That is mainly why Drones are used to protect key individuals or other kit that also costs great resources to build (and why not every fire warrior gets to pilot a crisis suit).

Ricordis
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#6 » Sep 19 2017 06:36

Just think of R2D2. But not the "modern" one from Episode 1-3 but more of the classic droids.

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Arka0415
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#7 » Sep 19 2017 06:39

Ricordis wrote:Just think of R2D2. But not the "modern" one from Episode 1-3 but more of the classic droids.


Now I'm going to feel terrible when my drones die...

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Panzer
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#8 » Sep 19 2017 11:27

Almost nothing is completely immune to moral in 8th. There are only really two ways to handle things: either make almost everything immune to it (like in 7th which was terrible) because every faction is written like they are the most fearless badasses of the universe unless you are an Imperial Guardsman or almost nothing is because it represents more than just "fear".
Also what is fear? It's something that makes you act in a special way so you survive so you can continue doing what you are doing. That's definitely something low AI could (or maybe even should) have included in its code.

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CDR_Farsight
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#9 » Sep 20 2017 07:59

It is a bit jinky that drones can have a protocol to sacrifice themselves but at the same time, a protocol to save themselves. I like to view it as an INTEL thing. When the losses look like they are piling up for a Drone Squad, some of the drones may disengage so they can relay conditions back to command. Remember that these are very small battles happening in a very large war.

Yes, drones cost resources, but they have more resources to churn out drones than they do to churn out T'au, so self preservation when there are still squishy blues left on the battlefield doesn't make much sense.

I view it as a complex algorithm that determines if staying or leaving is better for the Greater Good....so complex, that we Shas'O may not understand it when we really need those last 3 Drones to screen us, but you roll a 5....

Maybe command needs to know to send more units of a particular type or they need to know that a new threat has entered the battlespace that they hadn't planned for. Maybe they just hit their 60K mile maintenance mark, and now is as good a time as any! But fleeing while there are more expensive units on the field to protect, either measured by production cost or lives, doesn't make much sense.

If it makes you feel any better, when you remove them from the table, you can put them in a separate pile! :P
To secure victory, the wise must adapt ~ Puretide

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CDR_Farsight
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#10 » Sep 20 2017 08:04

All of that being said...a stratagem or piece of wargear for making them fearless in a bubble would be cool!

Standard Protocol Override: A model equipped with a Drone Controller may upgrade that controller to also override any protocols that would cause Drones to flee from failed morale. All Drone <SEPT> units within 6" of a Drone Controller with the Standard Protocol Override upgrade never take casualties from failed morale for any reason.
To secure victory, the wise must adapt ~ Puretide

Ricordis
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#11 » Sep 20 2017 10:33

Protocol 1 - Save T'au (Saviour Protocol)
Protocol 2 - Save yourself (Morale)
Protocol 3 - Kill! Maim! Kill! (???)

T'au's Version of Asimov's laws?

P.s. I guess most people forget to roll for morale after using Saviour Protocols.

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thesnailmaster
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#12 » Sep 20 2017 11:34

CDR_Farsight wrote:
Yes, drones cost resources, but they have more resources to churn out drones than they do to churn out T'au, so self preservation when there are still squishy blues left on the battlefield doesn't make much sense.



Well I think its a lot more complex than that, the Ethereals have a delicate balance to play in providing the fire cast battles to fight in, otherwise all actual fire caste survival and weapons could just go into advancing AI for Drones and building more Drones.

Each caste must have a purpose, otherwise the threat of a Mont'au may come about once more. Factor in that Breachers and Pathfinders have a high casualty rate anyway and you can see that the T'au while providing more protection and care than the Imperium do, they are willing to put warriors into high risk situations since that is that Castes purpose.

Your service is for the greater good, not your own benefit so if survival of Drone resources requires the sacrifice of some Fire caste then I think the Aun and Shas'O will balance that out as they need to.

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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#13 » Sep 20 2017 11:50

Also if drones were fearless it may lead to outrider detachment drone spam :D

1000 pt game? Meet my 2 commanders and 96 drones

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CDR_Farsight
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#14 » Sep 20 2017 02:32

thesnailmaster wrote:
CDR_Farsight wrote:
Yes, drones cost resources, but they have more resources to churn out drones than they do to churn out T'au, so self preservation when there are still squishy blues left on the battlefield doesn't make much sense.



Well I think its a lot more complex than that, the Ethereals have a delicate balance to play in providing the fire cast battles to fight in, otherwise all actual fire caste survival and weapons could just go into advancing AI for Drones and building more Drones.

Each caste must have a purpose, otherwise the threat of a Mont'au may come about once more. Factor in that Breachers and Pathfinders have a high casualty rate anyway and you can see that the T'au while providing more protection and care than the Imperium do, they are willing to put warriors into high risk situations since that is that Castes purpose.

Your service is for the greater good, not your own benefit so if survival of Drone resources requires the sacrifice of some Fire caste then I think the Aun and Shas'O will balance that out as they need to.


I'm not saying that Fire Caste would never be in a conflict since drones exist. I'm just saying that Drones are more easily replaced. Drones get assembled in a factory and get software installed....probably operational in just a few days. Firewarriors go through years of maturation, months to years of training for specific roles, and continually improve through executing those roles and encountering new circumstances. It's the same thing for Drones vs Soldiers today. Drones can do lots of things that traditional soldiers used to do, but you still see humans on the battlefield and probably always will. Drones have a job to do and Warm bodies have a job to do. Good leadership knows exactly when and how to employ either of them.

I'm just saying from a rules vs fluff standpoint, if Drones have a specific battlefield role of sacrificing themselves for living T'au, and if you are only viewing Drones leaving from failed morale tests as due to fear then there exists a disconnect between the two sets of rules that is much harder to reconcile using fluff.

That's why I tend to think of it as the drones leaving for other reasons that are for the Greater Good other than just living to fight another day.
To secure victory, the wise must adapt ~ Puretide

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CDR_Farsight
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#15 » Sep 20 2017 02:36

Also...I tend to take drones in units no larger than 4 with an Ethereal nearby for leadership 9. Basically that makes your drones fearless anyways. Thank you HAZARD suits!
To secure victory, the wise must adapt ~ Puretide

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Panzer
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#16 » Sep 20 2017 02:45

If you only take them in units of 4 you really don't need an Ethereal nearby lol
Unless of course roll an incredible amount of 6s for battleshock tests that is. :D

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CDR_Farsight
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#17 » Sep 20 2017 02:56

You do if you don't want a 50% chance of that last drone fleeing.
To secure victory, the wise must adapt ~ Puretide

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Panzer
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Re: Why do drones have to take morale??

Post#18 » Sep 20 2017 03:00

Meh, I won't be taking an Ethereal just to save the last Drone. I'd rather get another Drone unit for those points. ;)

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