Revisiting the Droneport

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szeszej
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#19 » Nov 06 2017 06:55

How does the Droneport even work? The way I read it is it comes with 4 drones equipped that fire as drones usually do - at the nearest targets. However, if you embark an infantry unit (cadre firebalde for BS 2+), the drones can be detached and fire at anything we want with the unit's BS. Is this right?

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GND
Shas'La
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#20 » Nov 06 2017 07:02

I have tried a Droneport full of Pathfinders twice so far, with high success (when it comes to increasing the survivability of Pathfinders - debatable when considering other metrics). In both cases it was just 10 Pathfinders inside, as I believe the mere +1 BS for the Marker Drones (stackable with a DC) is enough and I wanted to spend the points elsewhere. Putting a Fireblade inside seems like a waste of a good aura, but I will try a Firesight Marskman to get BS2+ Drones with a nearby DC (I don't care that his ability to boost Sniper Drones doesn't work from the Droneport since I'm not taking Sniper Drones).

The nice thing about the Droneport is that weapons that are normally used to kill Pathfinders (Bolters, Heaby Bolters, Assault Cannons and equivalents) are ineffective against fortifications. If my math is correct, you need 3 Asssault Cannon Razorbacks buffed by Guilliman to kill a Droneport per turn, 5 or 6 without the primarch. And you'll only lose 1 - 2 Pathfinders when the Droneport is wrecked.

The need to use anti-tank weapons to kill my markerlights is what took my opponents by surprise in both of my games. They simply didn't have enough to be able to focus an all the usual targets and to crack open a Droneport. In the end, both of them decided to focus their firepower into things that deal actual damage, ignoring the Pathfinders completely. Guess that would count as an infinite increase in survivability :biggrin:

The biggest downside of the Droneport is tha lack of FLY or INFANTRY keywords, as that means it cannot got up to elevated positions, drastically reducing LOS for the markerlights. In retrospect, it is probably wise to move the Pathfinders out and to a position with better LOS after killing a good portion of enemy firepower, enduring a turn of less accurate markers.

Ozzie_prime wrote:i think the main issue of the drone port was when you activate it (improving BS of the drones) the drone have to disembark the droneport.


Yeah, I thought this was bad too, but in fact you want to have the drones outside anyway to perform their duty of absorbing Lascannon shots via Savior Protocols. Or get buffed by a DC. Yes, that means they will die. One of the reasons I think it's a waste to put a Fireblade inside the port.

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Panzer
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#21 » Nov 06 2017 07:10

szeszej wrote:How does the Droneport even work? The way I read it is it comes with 4 drones equipped that fire as drones usually do - at the nearest targets. However, if you embark an infantry unit (cadre firebalde for BS 2+), the drones can be detached and fire at anything we want with the unit's BS. Is this right?

That's right.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#22 » Nov 06 2017 07:40

GND wrote:I have tried a Droneport full of Pathfinders twice so far, with high success (when it comes to increasing the survivability of Pathfinders - debatable when considering other metrics). In both cases it was just 10 Pathfinders inside, as I believe the mere +1 BS for the Marker Drones (stackable with a DC) is enough and I wanted to spend the points elsewhere. Putting a Fireblade inside seems like a waste of a good aura, but I will try a Firesight Marskman to get BS2+ Drones with a nearby DC (I don't care that his ability to boost Sniper Drones doesn't work from the Droneport since I'm not taking Sniper Drones).

The nice thing about the Droneport is that weapons that are normally used to kill Pathfinders (Bolters, Heaby Bolters, Assault Cannons and equivalents) are ineffective against fortifications. If my math is correct, you need 3 Asssault Cannon Razorbacks buffed by Guilliman to kill a Droneport per turn, 5 or 6 without the primarch. And you'll only lose 1 - 2 Pathfinders when the Droneport is wrecked.

The need to use anti-tank weapons to kill my markerlights is what took my opponents by surprise in both of my games. They simply didn't have enough to be able to focus an all the usual targets and to crack open a Droneport. In the end, both of them decided to focus their firepower into things that deal actual damage, ignoring the Pathfinders completely. Guess that would count as an infinite increase in survivability :biggrin:

Awesome. I will keep that in mind. I've been considering picking up a tidewall for a terrain project, but... I might just use the Droneport!

Panzer wrote:
szeszej wrote:How does the Droneport even work? The way I read it is it comes with 4 drones equipped that fire as drones usually do - at the nearest targets. However, if you embark an infantry unit (cadre firebalde for BS 2+), the drones can be detached and fire at anything we want with the unit's BS. Is this right?

That's right.

Remember that only Gun Drones are limited to the closest target. Marker Drones can shoot at whatever units they like, even when they're attached to the Droneport.

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Panzer
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#23 » Nov 06 2017 07:51

Arka0415 wrote:
Panzer wrote:
szeszej wrote:How does the Droneport even work? The way I read it is it comes with 4 drones equipped that fire as drones usually do - at the nearest targets. However, if you embark an infantry unit (cadre firebalde for BS 2+), the drones can be detached and fire at anything we want with the unit's BS. Is this right?

That's right.

Remember that only Gun Drones are limited to the closest target. Marker Drones can shoot at whatever units they like, even when they're attached to the Droneport.

It's also important to note that if you take the Droneport just for protection and have no need for more Drones, you can just leave them out. It says "up to 4 Drones". That includes 0 as well. Alternatively you could get some BS4+ Gun Drones that way if you already have enough Markerlights with your embarked Pathfinder.

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Haechi
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#24 » Nov 06 2017 09:52

If the droneport, shieldwall, or whatever moves, do the pathfinder inside shoot their markers at -1 BS?
Also, if an empty wall or port is 70 points, why not just get 10 more pathfinders?
Also, why not get a Gunrig while at it? 69 more points for a very potent weapon (if you have markers).

Nymphomanius
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#25 » Nov 06 2017 10:06

Haechi wrote:If the droneport, shieldwall, or whatever moves, do the pathfinder inside shoot their markers at -1 BS?
Also, if an empty wall or port is 70 points, why not just get 10 more pathfinders?


Yes if it moves they count as moving,

And in terms of extra pathfinders that's the big question is it better to have more or make the ones you have die less.

You certainly won't lose a droneport to bolter fire, even a couple of heavy bolters will hardly dent it.

Might not be the best weapon to compare but it take approximately 40 heavy bolter shots to kill 10 pathfinders in cover so 80 shots to kill 20

It takes approximately 60 shots to kill the droneport and then a further 40 to kill the Pathfinders inside.

So it does give you an extra 20 heavy bolter shots of markerlight shooting, less initially but longer before you start to lose any.

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Arka0415
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#26 » Nov 06 2017 10:11

Haechi wrote:Also, if an empty wall or port is 70 points, why not just get 10 more pathfinders?

Look at that! I had thought the Droneport was 80 points. It's too late to revise now but I'll update my math tomorrow.

Though, the reason why we're talking Droneport is because we're trying to avoid alpha strikes killing our Pathfinders on turn 1.

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Haechi
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#27 » Nov 06 2017 10:16

Don't take me wrong, you have me interested, and I'm not trying to poop on the party at all. And I wonder if the Gunrig would be a good candidate, although, it would make it a better target as well, since you'd kill two birds in one stone, while killing a port only removes the Pathfinder's cover. I'm legit interested in this, please keep debating, I might want to try one.

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Panzer
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#28 » Nov 06 2017 10:20

Haechi wrote:Also, if an empty wall or port is 70 points, why not just get 10 more pathfinders?

That's the big question. What will serve you better. The advantage of the Droneport is that while only a little bit more anti-infantry can easily kill 70p worth of Pathfinder, it can almost not scratch the Droneport. The opponent has to dedicate some serious shooting to destroying it which then can't shoot at Stormsurges, Battlesuits and Tanks that turn.
It depends on the matchup I'd say. It's definitely not THE solution to all our problems.

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GND
Shas'La
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#29 » Nov 06 2017 12:25

Yeah, the Droneport's usefulness seems very dependent on your opponents list, what his ratio of anti-infantry vs anti-tank weapons is. If he overcompensates on the anti-tank side, more Pathfinders would be better, or vice versa. Against a TAC list, I would argue the Droneport has it's place. Denying part of your opponents shooting by having no suitable targets, is better than giving him too many targets. It also protects better against 1st turn assaults.

Still, I don't think Droneports (or Shield Lines) are good picks for competitive games/tournaments. They just lack ... something. A better save, or more wounds, or an ability for the occupants to ignore penalties for moving and shooting like in last edition. Then you would be at least willing to move the damn disk full of Pathfinders!

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Yojimbob
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#30 » Nov 06 2017 01:36

GND wrote:I don't think Droneports (or Shield Lines) are good picks for competitive games/tournaments.


I agree wholeheartedly. If the drone port actually did something it might make it's way into competitive play but as it stands it is not going to. It's too limiting on what can be transported in number and in ability while also forcing us to stay static which is awful in competitions.

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Panzer
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#31 » Nov 06 2017 02:57

Yojimbob wrote:
GND wrote:I don't think Droneports (or Shield Lines) are good picks for competitive games/tournaments.


I agree wholeheartedly. If the drone port actually did something it might make it's way into competitive play but as it stands it is not going to. It's too limiting on what can be transported in number and in ability while also forcing us to stay static which is awful in competitions.

It doesn't force you to stay static at all though. Pathfinder without a Droneport would suffer from the -1 to-hit just as well as they do on a Droneport.

Things that could improve the Droneport though would be (just brainstorming):
- Not being able to get charged except by units with FLY keyword (because it floats too far above ground, would be a slight fluff retcon but not a bad one imo)
- letting the unit embarked on it shoot even if it's engaged in melee or falls back
- no auto-hits in melee. Other vehicle don't get hit automatically, so why the Droneport. It can move away just as well as a damaged Devilfish..even better than an almost destroyed one
- no movement modifier for embarked units

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Beerson
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#32 » Nov 06 2017 03:01

Harkus959 wrote:Another block to consider is the marker drone block. I really like these guys, and they've proven to be fairly effective, and durable, so I'm going to try and do a comparison and see how it turns out.

Group 4: Marker Drone Block (Mixed)
Fast Attack - 5x Marker Drone, 2x Shield Drone (66)
Fast Attack - 5x Marker Drone, 2x Shield Drone (66)
Elites - 2x XV25 with BC, 1x XV25 with BC and Drone Controller (95)
Total: 227

Group 5: Marker Drone Block (Pure)
Fast Attack - 7x Marker Drone (70)
Fast Attack - 7x Marker Drone (70)
Elites - 2x XV25 with BC, 1x XV25 with BC and Drone Controller (95)
Total: 235


since you are taking stealths as drone controlers, why not put extra ML and multi tracker (if I understand the rules right) on shas'vre at half the price of ML drone? would give you more efficiency and good way to start cascade by re-rolling 1's on first ML from XV25

also if you take 14 marker drones you should consider paying for second drone controler, 'cause it's going to be quite difficult to fit 14 drones + 1 extra stealth suit (unit coherency) within 6" while keeping LoS

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Panzer
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#33 » Nov 06 2017 03:03

Beerson wrote:
Harkus959 wrote:Another block to consider is the marker drone block. I really like these guys, and they've proven to be fairly effective, and durable, so I'm going to try and do a comparison and see how it turns out.

Group 4: Marker Drone Block (Mixed)
Fast Attack - 5x Marker Drone, 2x Shield Drone (66)
Fast Attack - 5x Marker Drone, 2x Shield Drone (66)
Elites - 2x XV25 with BC, 1x XV25 with BC and Drone Controller (95)
Total: 227

Group 5: Marker Drone Block (Pure)
Fast Attack - 7x Marker Drone (70)
Fast Attack - 7x Marker Drone (70)
Elites - 2x XV25 with BC, 1x XV25 with BC and Drone Controller (95)
Total: 235


since you are taking stealths as drone controlers, why not put extra ML and multi tracker (if I understand the rules right) on shas'vre at half the price of ML drone? would give you more efficiency and good way to start cascade by re-rolling 1's on first ML from XV25

also if you take 14 marker drones you should consider paying for second drone controler, 'cause it's going to be quite difficult to fit 14 drones + 1 extra stealth suit (unit coherency) within 6" while keeping LoS

You don't need to fit all 14 drones into the DC bubble. Just one Drone of each unit is enough. ;)

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Beerson
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#34 » Nov 06 2017 03:09

Panzer wrote:You don't need to fit all 14 drones into the DC bubble. Just one Drone of each unit is enough. ;)


oh and I was thinking that it's resolved per model all this time, thanks for pointing that out, it's going to be huge help to my lists

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Harkus959
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#35 » Nov 06 2017 03:13

Beerson wrote:
Harkus959 wrote:Another block to consider is the marker drone block. I really like these guys, and they've proven to be fairly effective, and durable, so I'm going to try and do a comparison and see how it turns out.

Group 4: Marker Drone Block (Mixed)
Fast Attack - 5x Marker Drone, 2x Shield Drone (66)
Fast Attack - 5x Marker Drone, 2x Shield Drone (66)
Elites - 2x XV25 with BC, 1x XV25 with BC and Drone Controller (95)
Total: 227

Group 5: Marker Drone Block (Pure)
Fast Attack - 7x Marker Drone (70)
Fast Attack - 7x Marker Drone (70)
Elites - 2x XV25 with BC, 1x XV25 with BC and Drone Controller (95)
Total: 235


since you are taking stealths as drone controllers, why not put extra ML and multi tracker (if I understand the rules right) on shas'vre at half the price of ML drone? would give you more efficiency and good way to start cascade by re-rolling 1's on first ML from XV25

also if you take 14 marker drones you should consider paying for second drone controller, 'cause it's going to be quite difficult to fit 14 drones + 1 extra stealth suit (unit coherency) within 6" while keeping LoS


I do sometimes include a markerlight on the stealth team, but it's just as accurate/inaccurate as the marker drones so there's no real advantage there, and it means you can't fire the BC on the XV25 so I think it's actually inferior in terms of efficiency to just taking another marker drone as you only save 1 point on buying it instead of a drone.

And yeah, just one drone from the unit needs to be in range of the DC, so with some conga-lining from the shield drones, I can keep the unit in range of the buff, while still getting LoS for the marker drones.

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nic
Kroot'La
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Re: Revisiting the Droneport

Post#36 » Nov 06 2017 04:45

GND wrote:
Still, I don't think Droneports (or Shield Lines) are good picks for competitive games/tournaments. They just lack ... something. A better save, or more wounds, or an ability for the occupants to ignore penalties for moving and shooting like in last edition. Then you would be at least willing to move the damn disk full of Pathfinders!


Having used them quite a few times I think the place for Droneports in competitive play would be in full mech lists. In that sort of list they can saturate your opponents ability to deal with big tough targets - they either divert shooting away from your big-hitting tanks or they get to live and do their job for a few turns. As open topped transports they let pathfinders do their job without disembarking and providing a nice juicy target for all those Mortar teams - with the drones acting as suicide extra markerlights when you need to really deliver the hurt.

All of which is dependent on Tau tanks getting a big enough boost from the codex to make mechanised Tau competitive in the first place.

The shieldline is just sad at the moment, its reflection rule is effectively useless because of the way armour modifiers work in 8th. It is almost as bad as the gunport.

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