Drone Net VX1-0

A review of past Tactics by commanders during the First, Second, Third & Fourth Phase Expansion.
User avatar
deathboon
Shas'Saal
Posts: 208

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#37 » Feb 01 2016 12:58

nic wrote:I am almost at the point where this is the first thing that goes down on any army list - I then add in other models for all the specialist roles in the army having covered my generalist bases. More than 15-20% of your force taken in drones would probably be excessive but I would regard that as the sweet-spot for them due to their flexibility and utility. Adding drones elsewhere in your list becomes a much more worthwhile option when they all start at a base BS3. Once you look at what a Drone Net does it opens up some rather different list-builds for us that would have been sub-optimal before and improves the value of drone-carrying vehicles.

Surprisingly the fact that they do not score has not been an issue. Knowing that they do not frees me up to use them in their proper role as support units (marker drones) or harassment units (gun drones) while other parts of my army can do the scoring.


This, Absolutely this! The Drone net makes my Battlesuit army a thing of beauty!

Woad
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 34

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#38 » Feb 04 2016 12:32

I played my first game with a Drone Net formation (2 marker, 2 gun) at 1000 points, with a drone commander. I kept the marker drone units close enough that my commander could jump from one unit to another in the same movement phase.

That way the commander's unit can fire with interceptor using his BS of 5, then on your turn hop to the other unit and let them shoot at BS 5. You can do the same if the commander's unit jinks (but not if it goes to ground.) The commander still has to snap fire, but the drone unit he joins can use his drone controller. *Edit: I read the Jink rule incorrectly. The commander would not get the jink cover save, but neither would he be reduced to firing snap shots.

It's a handy trick to get the most out of your commander's drone controller, that I didn't see mentioned yet.
Last edited by Woad on Feb 09 2016 07:07, edited 1 time in total.

Zigmunth
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 57

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#39 » Feb 04 2016 04:18

How can you:
a) hop in enemy's turn?
b) join another unit with Thrust Move?

User avatar
Pseudomancer
Shas
Posts: 151

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#40 » Feb 04 2016 05:51

You don't - you change which unit you're attached to in your movement phase, like normal.

During the enemy's turn, the team with the Commander uses Interceptor. They benefit from the Shas'o's BS5.

Then in your turn, you change who you're attached to in the Movement Phase. Then during the Shooting Phase, the new squad also benefits from BS5. And next enemy turn, they are able to fire Interceptor at BS5, and the 'o can move on.
The Eastern Fringe Co-prosperity Sphere wants you!

Zigmunth
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 57

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#41 » Feb 04 2016 06:45

Hmm... but it would work only once per two turns. Right?
Deployment:
You put commander with XV-88s with RailRifles / HYMP.
Turn 1: you shoot and have Interceptor with BS5
Turn 2: you move to another unit that might need BS5 - XV88s with SMS and HYMP?

But I see no point in this... can you give any practical example?

User avatar
Pseudomancer
Shas
Posts: 151

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#42 » Feb 04 2016 07:53

The drones in the Drone Net VX1-0 have Interceptor.
The Eastern Fringe Co-prosperity Sphere wants you!

Zigmunth
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 57

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#43 » Feb 04 2016 08:40

I see... so Drones with Interceptor S4 AP 5 hits with BS5? How many Drones can you use? 16 in a unit?

User avatar
ShasODerpy
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 742

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#44 » Feb 04 2016 09:47

@ Zigmunth,
Drone Squadrons are 4-12, GunDrones shoot at S5 (both of these found in Codex:Tau)



Commander 1-0 Intercept tactic goes something like this:

Commander with a Drone Controller shares his BS5 to Drones in his unit. He's an Independent Character, and can join other units.

Drone Net VX1-0 is composed of Drone Squadrons (Codex Tau). These can be composed of multiple different drone types, for this purpose that'd be Gun- and MarkerDrones.
The Formation gives these drones a lot of added special rules, including Interceptor. Add the Commander, and the Drones will now Shoot/Intercept at BS5.


Heres where it gets tricky.
Assuming 2 units of Drones from the VX1-0 Formation, 1 MarkerDroneTeam, 1 GunDroneTeam and 1 Commander.


Turn 1a, Opponents turn. Enemy reserves arrive.
Commander attached to MarkerDrones. MarkerDrones Intercept (at BS5).
GunDrones can Intercept, but choose not too.

Turn 1b, Players turn. Commander leaves MarkerDrones, and hops over to GunDrone team.
GunDrones open fire (at BS5)
MarkerDrones do "nothing" (can't shoot because they Intercepted).


In above example you shared the Commanders BS5 to 2 different units, in 1 turn.
Though this works with GunDrones, imagine multiple units of MarkerDrones. You'd have a steady stream of Intercepting BS5 Markerlights avaible.


-Derp
Shas'O 50mm, the Foresighted
WIP Tau

Zigmunth
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 57

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#45 » Feb 04 2016 10:15

holy crap... now I get it... this is brutal :)
Marker Drones spot and Gun Drones shoot using MLs.

User avatar
deathboon
Shas'Saal
Posts: 208

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#46 » Feb 04 2016 10:58

I have yet to need interceptor in a game but this is basically how i run my commander, i generally try to keep my drone squads and crisis suits all in relative proximity basically a spearhead style formation and move my commander into the squad with the best firing lanes to the unit i wish to target with marker lights. Also will have him disengage from drone squads that are too heavily damaged so that he'll have the most ablative wounds.

User avatar
Pseudomancer
Shas
Posts: 151

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#47 » Feb 09 2016 04:01

So, Jink rules allow it to be used by a unit containing any models with Jink. ie, a Commander attached to drones from this formation would be able to Jink.

Commander... Shadowsun, perhaps? For the 2+ Jinks.
The Eastern Fringe Co-prosperity Sphere wants you!

User avatar
nic
Kroot'La
Kroot'La
Posts: 789

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#48 » Feb 09 2016 04:09

Pseudomancer wrote:So, Jink rules allow it to be used by a unit containing any models with Jink. ie, a Commander attached to drones from this formation would be able to Jink.

Commander... Shadowsun, perhaps? For the 2+ Jinks.


I do not think so. The only commander who can jink is one in a Coldstar suit.

That might be a valid use of the Coldstar. Jinking does not affect his BS as such so if he joins with a 'spare' non-jinking marker drone squad they still benefit from it while the first other squad recovers from jinking. He also confers Move Through Cover which allows drones to safely make use of cover. At least one of his weapons has a nice range match with the marker drones. I have tried this once and it was OK-ish but I made the mistake of putting too many marker drones into a single big squad with him. I will stick with it for a couple more games as I think it might have potential.

EDIT: to clarify. While the whole unit does declare jink only models with the rule benefit. So Shadowsun would give a 2+ jink save to the drones but not to herself.

User avatar
Pseudomancer
Shas
Posts: 151

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#49 » Feb 09 2016 04:36

Ah, I overlooked the clause "all models with this special rule". Sorry, basic error.
The Eastern Fringe Co-prosperity Sphere wants you!

User avatar
nic
Kroot'La
Kroot'La
Posts: 789

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#50 » Feb 11 2016 03:54

I was in two minds whether to post this here or in Why hate piranhas? viewtopic.php?f=52&t=24307

In the end I decided it belongs here.

Reflecting on why I was so happy with some of the units I took to the GT last month I began to realise that the way they work together is the key. I have done some number crunching on this to understand how much their performance has changed since the 6th Edition codex.

What I started looking at is the efficient delivery of pulse firepower to the enemy, S5 AP5 massed firepower is effective even in the current meta provided you deliver it in a cost efficient manner. If we look at just the basic units that are unchanged from 6th without formations and look at the points cost per average hit at optimal range we get

Points/hit Unit
9 Strike Team
9.4 Crisis suit, TL BC + BC
9.5 Piranha + drones
10.8 Gun drone attached to Crisis Team
12.6 Gun drone in drone squadron
15 Stealth Team

So the classic Fire Warrior was the gold standard of pulse firepower and anything resembling a pulse bomb was going to start there and begin augmenting them. Crisis suits are good but get less efficient when you add drones, Piranha were pretty decent but do not benefit from a key augment (an Ethereal) as well as Fire Warriors and took up a Fast Attack slot needed for the other source of augments: markerlights.

When you put a Drone Net VX1-0 on the table things change
Points/hit Unit
8 Piranha + drones
8 Gun drone attached to Crisis Team
9.3 Gun drone in drone squadron

What has happened is that before any further buffs the Piranha has become better than the previous best source of pulse firepower. When I combined this with the mobility of being in a Hunter Cadre and the effective threat range of 42" it is hardly surprising I found it so good. It is worth noting that the Drone Net gun drones themselves are almost as good as the previous best on a point-for-point basis and have a handful of fantastic special rules to make them even better. The Drone Net itself is certainly not a tax.

So this made me think about looking at what other options around this there might be. The synergy with the Piranha Firestream was obvious at first glance so I started looking there. Lets look in a different order this time, at some scenarios of using the formation on the table
Points/hit Unit
8 Piranha + drones
7.1 Piranha + drones using the BS boost from the spotter
5 Piranha + 4 drones on turn 2 after one Refuel & Rearm
4.6 Piranha + 4 drones on turn 2 after one Refuel & Rearm using the BS boost from the spotter
5.6 Same as above but without the drone net

So what we now have is on turn 2 a unit that before any boosts is pretty much twice as efficient as the previous gold standard of delivering pulse fire to the enemy. This is highly impressive firepower efficiency and anything coming inside our deployment zone on turn 2 had better be near-immune to pulse fire or it is going to get swept away. Unlike the old Fire Warrior version of this we do not need to add more points to make it mobile; Piranha are mobile already and the detached drones are respectably quick around the table.

That the key to all this is merely having a Drone Net on the table is why I posted it in this thread. Without the Drone Net it loses over 20% of its efficiency and if you are going to invest in this a 20% better return on your points really matters (you need the markerlights anyway so its still not a tax). I think the massed pulse fire build may be viable again and what makes it viable is the Drone Net, combined with the Piranha Firestream.

Thoughts/comments?

User avatar
Pseudomancer
Shas
Posts: 151

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#51 » Feb 11 2016 10:59

I considered Piranhas a good deal even before the VX1-0 and Firestream, but yes definitely this is where I'm going with this. I've been buying up everyone's spare drones, and now have 7 Piranhas, muhahaha. Even if I don't cheese the RAW on the Firestream, even getting a single resupply on turn 1-2, as you show, pushes the value through the roof.

I found this analysis by a top player Andrew Gonyo. He argues that they're point-for-point almost as good vs most targets as Broadsides, before even considering their utility and mobility. He took 8 to Adepticon and called them "absolute MVPs".

My basic goal is going to be simply swamping the midfield with non-VP MSU, denying deepstrike and movement to my opponent, and then flanking with the Piranhas into whatever zones I've denied, and/or completing the blockade in mid. I expect to gain ~3 layers of speed-bumps while still leaving 1000+ points to spend on everything else.
The Eastern Fringe Co-prosperity Sphere wants you!

User avatar
nic
Kroot'La
Kroot'La
Posts: 789

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#52 » Feb 12 2016 02:06

Continuing with my post-tournament analysis. This time looking at a slightly different role in my army - the niche role of knocking out the AV12/13 vehicles that my massed firepower cannot touch.

We can do the same analysis as I did for pulse weapons but with the lower volume of fire and the higher priority for markerlights I generally find I work with bands of efficiency here rather more. For this role what I want to put into my list are ranged S7 weapons - missiles and their equivalent.

Points/hit Unit
20.5 Broadside team with missile drones
21.7 Broadside team
22.8 Crisis suit MP + TL MP
25 Krootox (efficiency assumes you are taking kroot already)
43.3 Ghostkeel
45 Krootox in squad (efficiency assumes you only took kroot for the krootox)

The main sources of S7 are all fairly well grouped together in a band of decent options, Broadside teams with missile drones are slightly the most cost effective and Krootox are slightly trailing. As I said in my tournament report the Ghostkeel was mostly there for the painting contest - other highly survivable high cost options such as Hammerheads and Razorsharks also fit into this bottom bracket of punch per point.

Now let us look at what happens when a Drone Net VX1-0 is on the table

Points/hit Unit
17.8 Broadside team with missile drones

This is noticeably more efficient than our other choices. It is nothing like the dramatic change for pulse weapons but the numbers support the impression I gained over the course of 5 games - the improvement is real and makes a difference. In practice I found that with the drones being the most mobile part of the unit the improvement over a number of games was a little better than the numbers here indicate - sometimes only the drones can move far enough to get a shot without resorting to snap-shooting and those times having the VX1-0 on the table made more difference.

User avatar
Pseudomancer
Shas
Posts: 151

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#53 » Feb 15 2016 01:49

I just had a horrible idea. One that could bring Pinning from the realm of occasional bonus, to being a reliable strategy.

ok, a unit can only be forced to make one pinning test for each unit firing at it. But it can be forced to make several pinning tests in a turn, by different units.

Gun drones have pinning weapons. And VX1-0 drones have Split Fire.

So, if you split your fire, each drone squad can force pinning checks on multiple units, and then the other squads can also force pinning tests on multiple units. So you get many times more pinning checks than you're meant to.

For example, four squads of 8 drones could normally force at most 4 pinning checks. But if they all go crazy with the split fire... For convenience, I'm going to assume that every 4 shots causes a wound and therefore a pinning check. Squad 1 fires at Squads A and B, causing both to take a check. 2 checks from one squad. Squad 2 fires at Squads C and D, causing two more - 4 checks. Squad 3 fires, 6 checks. And so on. The squads that haven't been pinned by previous drone shooting, can be shot at by subsequent drones.

The beauty of this is that, by only firing a few weapons at once, you:
    get several times the number of pinning checks you're meant to (a rough estimate is number of squads x number of groups you can split each squad into and still cause wounds)
    get to choose every 2-4 shots whether to keep firing at a target - you find out the results of the first round of fire, wounds and pinning, before committing to more. So you never overkill, or waste big kills on squads that then hit the dirt
    if one squad is pinned, you can focus on the remaining targets, start shooting new targets, etc

In other words, not only do you vastly multiply the number of pinning checks, you also are able to make very 'fine-grained' decisions, with new information at each decision point.

There are disadvantages, first among them, the markerlight inefficiency. So find other ways to make it reliable - the biggest squad with a drone controller attached, for example. VX1-0 drones have BS4.5, so they're already pretty good though. This will slow down your shooting phase quite a lot; it also relies on your opponent rolling lots of dice so that slows it down even further.

For perspective, a completely unrealistic and all-round bad idea:
4 squads of 8 drones fire at 8 or more different targets and wound them all, causing a total of 32 pinning checks rather than 4. This is completely unrealistic BUT, if you do have lots of targets available, it is best to start out shooting only small quantities at each of them. The ones that aren't pinned, and/or taking enough wounds for your strategy, you can allocate more shots to them from the next squad.

Happy hunting!
The Eastern Fringe Co-prosperity Sphere wants you!

User avatar
Norren
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 106

Re: Drone Net VX1-0

Post#54 » Feb 15 2016 02:27

Pseudomancer wrote:For perspective, a completely unrealistic and all-round bad idea:
4 squads of 8 drones fire at 8 or more different targets and wound them all, causing a total of 32 pinning checks rather than 4. This is completely unrealistic BUT, if you do have lots of targets available, it is best to start out shooting only small quantities at each of them. The ones that aren't pinned, and/or taking enough wounds for your strategy, you can allocate more shots to them from the next squad.


Doesn't work, only one model in a unit with the Split fire rule can actually shoot at a different target.

Return to “Archival Datacore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests