2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

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FederationUnitedNews
Shas
Posts: 14

2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#1 » Dec 02 2017 06:11

I've got a pre-LVO tune up tournament coming up next weekend and after kicking the tires on my list in a smaller RTT I've made a few tweaks and I think I'm closing in an extremely competitive list. I've tried to optimize for the ITC champions mission pack as I want to bring this list to LVO.

Outrider
HQs
Cadre Fireblade [42 pts]
Ethereal [45 pts]
FA
Kroot Hounds: 5 man [20 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
XV109 Y'vahra: ATS, TL [415 pts]

Outrider
HQs
Cadre Fireblade [42 pts]
Ethereal [45 pts]
FA
Kroot Hounds: 5 man [20 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
XV109 Y'vahra: ATS, TL [415 pts]

Outrider
HQs
Commander: DC, SI [86 pts]
Commander: DC, SI [86 pts]
FA
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]
Drones: 3 Gun, 4 Shield [56 pts]

The idea behind this list is very simple. The drones are split into 2 main groups, each containing about 6 units supported by 1 cadre fireblade, 1 ethereal, 1 and Y'vahra. The remaining drones hang back slightly and hold ground in the rear with the hounds in order to prevent deep strikes and hold objectives.

Every single turn my two blobs move down the board about 8" and grind through my opponents army. The Y'varnas can jump out slightly and melt high value targets and the gun drones supported by the fireblade and the commander plow through anything T5 and lower but can also reliably tick wounds off of bigger targets if the Y'varna leave a couple of wounds on a larger target.

My list will do extremely well against assault based armies due to the overwhelming firepower at short range and my absolutely devastating overwatch. I'll rip character spam apart with my many units of medium strength shots. I've tooled this list to kill a buffed up Magnus or Mortarion in 1 turn around 90% of the time so first turn Daemon primarchs shouldn't be a big issue.

My worst match up will be against dedicated gun lines with deep strike support (looking at you imperial guard), those matches will come down to if they have the firepower to kill my drones before I can close the distance and get a hold of his army.

Is there anything I haven't thought of in all of this? Some list out there that I could come up against that I'll be powerless to do anything against?

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2201

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#2 » Dec 02 2017 07:41

50+ Shield Drones? Unarmed Commanders? Ethereals? No Fusion Blasters?

I like your thinking but I have too many questions! :D

Drop some of the Shield Drones, drop the Ethereals, use Stealthsuits instead of Commanders, and add a Fusion Commander.

FederationUnitedNews
Shas
Posts: 14

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#3 » Dec 02 2017 03:02

Arka0415 wrote:50+ Shield Drones? Unarmed Commanders? Ethereals? No Fusion Blasters?

I like your thinking but I have too many questions! :D

Drop some of the Shield Drones, drop the Ethereals, use Stealthsuits instead of Commanders, and add a Fusion Commander.


Yea it's a pretty insane list which throws most people for a loop, but there's a method to all of the madness.

I'm running so many shield drones because they're stupidly survivable against all types of fire with their 4++ 5+ FNP and can tank gross amounts of damage for the gun drones in their units.

The Ethereals are there to make sure I have minimal morale losses from the drone units as a unit of 7 with a ld of 6 is just asking for trouble, and the longer the drones stick around in games the better I do.

The unarmed commanders are a possible change, but if I did arm them I would probably give them missile pods so I could squeeze SOME decent range out of this list. The Y'varnas fill a similar battle field roll as a fusion commander and with their greater movement I can count on them being where I need them.

I chose commanders to be my drone controller bearer because they are characters and they are the cheapest option. The force multiplier of all 42 of my gun drones hitting on 4+ instead of 5+ is absolutely insane and if the dude who was carrying it wasn't protected he would get shot first if I'm playing against a half way decent opponent.

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Beerson
Shas'Saal
Posts: 107

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#4 » Dec 02 2017 03:28

I really like the way you think with this list, but the pricetag on 90+ drones has to be insane
not sure about the effectivity of SI on your commanders though, also I would take a bit more gun drones instead of shield ones, probably inversing the ratio as more gun drones gives you more early advantage then more shield drones which come to play lategame whne other shield drones get taken down, with guns you could get rid of the units that wil kill those shield drones

FederationUnitedNews
Shas
Posts: 14

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#5 » Dec 02 2017 03:57

Beerson wrote:I really like the way you think with this list, but the pricetag on 90+ drones has to be insane
not sure about the effectivity of SI on your commanders though, also I would take a bit more gun drones instead of shield ones, probably inversing the ratio as more gun drones gives you more early advantage then more shield drones which come to play lategame whne other shield drones get taken down, with guns you could get rid of the units that wil kill those shield drones


I've kinda lucked out with the price tag of all these drones, I've happened to come into possession of like 80 of them and then I started collecting more once I figured out what I wanted to do this edition.

The SI on the commander if purely a points cost control measure, I may swap it out for a ranged weapon, but anything that I add that is not MOAR DRONES would have to have a pretty solid justification.

As for the ratio of gun to shield. That mostly comes down to my local meta and my concern with my worst match up, gunlines. Through the playtesting I've done with this list I've come to the conclusion that my list was killy enough when it was the 84 drone list (42 gun/42 shield), but it wasn't survivable enough for my taste. If I had more horde armies in my local meta , I'm sure my opinion would change on the ratio, but since I mostly play against vehicles, space marines, and various other tough but not so numerous enemies I've tended towards more shields to weather the fire.

All that being said I may end up swapping to 4 gun/3 shield depending on future play testing. 3 gun is already an insane number of dice to throw at things, and I think 4 would just be over the top destruction.

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Beerson
Shas'Saal
Posts: 107

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#6 » Dec 02 2017 04:18

Well if your local meta is like that I can see favoring shield drones over gun ones, I was writing that with any foe in mind, though I would still drop few drones to put MP's or something on commanders to abuse that BS2+ (with reroll 1's from cadre)

FederationUnitedNews
Shas
Posts: 14

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#7 » Dec 02 2017 05:28

Beerson wrote:Well if your local meta is like that I can see favoring shield drones over gun ones, I was writing that with any foe in mind, though I would still drop few drones to put MP's or something on commanders to abuse that BS2+ (with reroll 1's from cadre)


I don't mean to come off as too defensive, and I do think you're ultimately right about favoring gun drones in the drone ratio. God it would be insane to increase my fire power by 1/3. I am limited somewhat by models available, when you buy up every available drone in your local area you kinda limit what you're able to pick up. God I wish GW sold boxes of just drones!

pilky
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 263

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#8 » Dec 02 2017 05:47

FederationUnitedNews wrote:God I wish GW sold boxes of just drones!


They do. Sadly it's one of the more expensive ways to get drones https://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Tau-Drones-2015

FederationUnitedNews
Shas
Posts: 14

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#9 » Dec 02 2017 05:54

pilky wrote:
FederationUnitedNews wrote:God I wish GW sold boxes of just drones!


They do. Sadly it's one of the more expensive ways to get drones https://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Tau-Drones-2015


Oh yea I've seen this nonsense. It's barely less expensive to buy drones this way than to just buy a start collecting and strip the drones out of that. What I want it like a squadron of like 6-10 in a box.

stayhandsome
Shas'Saal
Posts: 33

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#10 » Dec 02 2017 11:29

To be fair they probably didn’t envision such drone heavy lists. Looking at how they’re packaged, they think of drones as little auxiliary attachments to your infantry.

FederationUnitedNews
Shas
Posts: 14

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#11 » Dec 03 2017 01:07

stayhandsome wrote:To be fair they probably didn’t envision such drone heavy lists. Looking at how they’re packaged, they think of drones as little auxiliary attachments to your infantry.


True, but you have been able to take drones in their own units for 2 editions now.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2201

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#12 » Dec 03 2017 04:18

FederationUnitedNews wrote:I'm running so many shield drones because they're stupidly survivable against all types of fire with their 4++ 5+ FNP and can tank gross amounts of damage for the gun drones in their units.


FederationUnitedNews wrote:The Ethereals are there to make sure I have minimal morale losses from the drone units as a unit of 7 with a ld of 6 is just asking for trouble, and the longer the drones stick around in games the better I do.

I do like the Shield Drones- but I'd go with fewer Shield Drones and smaller squads- that way you get more firepower, more flexibility, and less need to bring in the Ethereals either!

FederationUnitedNews wrote:The unarmed commanders are a possible change, but if I did arm them I would probably give them missile pods so I could squeeze SOME decent range out of this list. The Y'varnas fill a similar battle field roll as a fusion commander and with their greater movement I can count on them being where I need them.


FederationUnitedNews wrote:I chose commanders to be my drone controller bearer because they are characters and they are the cheapest option. The force multiplier of all 42 of my gun drones hitting on 4+ instead of 5+ is absolutely insane and if the dude who was carrying it wasn't protected he would get shot first if I'm playing against a half way decent opponent.

Here's the thing- surrounded by all of those Drones, and Commanders literally cannot be killed. Even if the enemy had 2000 points of Space Marine Scouts with Sniper Rifles they couldn't do it I think. So, you have three good options I think:

1. Stealthsuits: At 95 points, 3 Stealthsuits only cost 9 more points than your Commander, and output 12 S5 shots, which is infinitely more damage than an unarmed Commander. At -1 to hit, and surrounded by 50 Drones, they're impossible to kill.

2. Commanders w/ Burst Cannons: Each Burst Cannon you put on a Commander offers more firepower than a single Gun Drone. Averaging about 3.3 hits at 18" range compared to 3 hits at 9" range, the Burst Cannon really is superior to a Gun Drone. If you really want to double down on S5 firepower, consider this option.

3. Commanders w/ Missile Pods or CIBs: A pair of Missile Pods or CIBs and an ATS would cost 44-56 points per Commander, essentially replacing 6-7 Drones, but would give you the firepower you need to bring down heavier targets. However, you'd need to drop a lot of Drones to make this work.

With all of this in mind, here are two ways to shift up the list:

-

Drone Spam w/ Fusion Commander: 2000 Points

HQ - Commander w/ 3x Fusion Blasters, Shield Generator; 2x Shield Drones (163)
HQ - Commander w/ 2x Cyclic Ion Blasters, ATS, Drone Controller (125)
HQ - Commander w/ 2x Cyclic Ion Blasters, ATS, Drone Controller (125)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48) [That's 14 identical units!]
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Target Lock, ATS (415)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Target Lock, ATS (415)

Total: 1999 - Command Points: 6 (3 Outrider Detachments)

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Drone Spam w/ Ethereals: 2000 Points

HQ - Commander w/ 2x Missile Pods, ATS, Drone Controller (137)
HQ - Commander w/ 2x Missile Pods, ATS, Drone Controller (137)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Ethereal on Hover Drone (50)
HQ - Ethereal on Hover Drone (50)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48)
Fast Attack - 4x Gun Drones, 2x Shield Drones (48) [That's 14 identical units!]
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Target Lock, ATS (415)
Fast Attack - Y'vahra w/ Target Lock, ATS (415)
Fast Attack - 5x Kroot Hounds (20)
Fast Attack - 5x Kroot Hounds (20)

Total: 2000 - Command Points: 6 (3 Outrider Detachments)

-

What do you think?

FederationUnitedNews
Shas
Posts: 14

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#13 » Dec 04 2017 02:41

Arka0415 wrote:What do you think?


Ok, several thoughts.

I'll start by saying that it's too late for me to make any changes to my list for the tournament this Saturday, but I'm going to try to get as many practice games as possible after than but before LVO in order to try out all these ideas.

The stealth suits instead of commanders have really really grown on me, I had the thought to drop 2 drone controllers in the unit so I can spread out my formations a little bit and still maintain the 4+ to hit.

Including a single fusion commander that can deep strike forward and reek havoc inside an enemy fire base is intriguing, but any decent opponent will have a screen to prevent him from being a serious problem.

Missile pods do seem worth putting on the commanders, they fill a solid niche that is missing in the list of medium range quality shooting. They seem like they would be great for hitting out of reach squads, and mopping up a Y'vahras leftovers.

Ethereals are damn near required if you're going to take a unit of drones larger than 5 in my opinion. If drones only have ld6 then they are very vulnerable to morale.

As for the gun to shield ratio, at a 6 drone unit I can't imagine taking less than 3 shield. Yes including more gun make the list better at dealing with close range and assault based armies, but it make the list much more vulnerable to artillery and gun lines which are its worst match ups. I can see an argument made to set the ratio of a 7 drone unit at 4 gun 3 shield, as 3 shield drones can soak incredible amounts of fire.

When I run this list against people they do one of two things. They either pour all of their fire into my Y'vahras and I am free to distribute the wounds evenly among all of my units. Good opponents will focus down individual units of drones and shoot them until they are dead to a man, this is a far scarier strategy. From the half dozen games I've played I've noticed that as soon as the shield drones in a unit fall, the gun drone are not far behind. The shields can shrug off assault cannons, and earth shakers, and plasma guns, and all manner of things that would be excellent for ripping a squad of T4 4+ save models.

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Beerson
Shas'Saal
Posts: 107

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#14 » Dec 04 2017 05:44

In my opinion morale shouldn't be too much of an issue as the shield drones shouldn't die so easily and once you lose them the unit is just too small for morale to have big influence, your opponent willl have to dedicate lot of firepower to single drone squad to make you suffer from morale reliably, unless you throw badly, and that should give you some advantage
In this light I start to like the large shield drone ratio, if nothing else it will get on your opponents nerve which can help you by breaking his focus

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 2201

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#15 » Dec 04 2017 07:16

FederationUnitedNews wrote:As for the gun to shield ratio, at a 6 drone unit I can't imagine taking less than 3 shield. Yes including more gun make the list better at dealing with close range and assault based armies, but it make the list much more vulnerable to artillery and gun lines which are its worst match ups. I can see an argument made to set the ratio of a 7 drone unit at 4 gun 3 shield, as 3 shield drones can soak incredible amounts of fire.

Here's the big issue I see with this ratio. In your list, you have two units that buff Gun Drones (Commanders and Fireblades) which cost 256 points together. You have two units that protect Gun Drones (Ethereals and Shield Drones) which cost 538 points together. You only have 336 points of Gun Drones.

The entire purpose of Shield Drones is to die. If Shield Drones reach the enemy and aren't dead, unless they blocked some firepower, you'll have wished they were Gun Drones.

Think about it this way- your army will move (and maybe advance) toward the enemy, shedding dead Shield Drones as it goes. What if you just shed Gun Drones instead? If you dropped all of the protection units, and bought the same points value in 68 more Gun Drones, you'd have a colossal amount more firepower. You could also consider those 68 Gun Drones as entirely expendable- if the die they die, just like a Shield Drone; if they live, then they're bonus firepower.

It won't take you long to reach your opponent, especially if they're also coming to you. It takes a lot of firepower to kill 68 Gun Drones. Over 400 Space Marines. Over 1800 Conscripts. Over 30 Basilisks. Even if your opponent is clever and kills half of each squad, and hopes for morale to do the rest, they would still need 200 Space Marines, 900 Conscrpts, or 15 Basilisks. Note that each of these groups alone is far, far more than a 2000-point list.

Your opponent isn't going to have that. They're probably going to have loads of Lascannons and Multi-Meltas that are woefully-equipped to handle your whopping 110 Gun Drones.

When your Gun Drones make contact with the enemy, even if only half survive the harrowing trip across the battlefield, you're looking at enough firepower to kill 35 Space Marines or 70 Imperial Guardsmen... per turn, and that's not counting the Y'vahras!

Do include Shield Drones, but I wouldn't take so many models that are ultimately expendable. Go for 1/3 or 1/6 Shield Drones, and keep the Ethereals if you want the extra morale boost, but definitely think twice about making your squads less than half Gun Drones.

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Beerson
Shas'Saal
Posts: 107

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#16 » Dec 04 2017 11:53

The issue here is that he is already using most if not all of his gun drones and drones in general, so I would probably go the way of arming the commanders at the expense of etherials

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JancoBCN
Shas'Saal
Posts: 25

Re: 2000pt 2 Y'Vahra 98 Drones

Post#17 » Dec 04 2017 01:17

Arka0415 wrote:
FederationUnitedNews wrote:As for the gun to shield ratio, at a 6 drone unit I can't imagine taking less than 3 shield. Yes including more gun make the list better at dealing with close range and assault based armies, but it make the list much more vulnerable to artillery and gun lines which are its worst match ups. I can see an argument made to set the ratio of a 7 drone unit at 4 gun 3 shield, as 3 shield drones can soak incredible amounts of fire.

Here's the big issue I see with this ratio. In your list, you have two units that buff Gun Drones (Commanders and Fireblades) which cost 256 points together. You have two units that protect Gun Drones (Ethereals and Shield Drones) which cost 538 points together. You only have 336 points of Gun Drones.

The entire purpose of Shield Drones is to die. If Shield Drones reach the enemy and aren't dead, unless they blocked some firepower, you'll have wished they were Gun Drones.

Think about it this way- your army will move (and maybe advance) toward the enemy, shedding dead Shield Drones as it goes. What if you just shed Gun Drones instead? If you dropped all of the protection units, and bought the same points value in 68 more Gun Drones, you'd have a colossal amount more firepower. You could also consider those 68 Gun Drones as entirely expendable- if the die they die, just like a Shield Drone; if they live, then they're bonus firepower.

It won't take you long to reach your opponent, especially if they're also coming to you. It takes a lot of firepower to kill 68 Gun Drones. Over 400 Space Marines. Over 1800 Conscripts. Over 30 Basilisks. Even if your opponent is clever and kills half of each squad, and hopes for morale to do the rest, they would still need 200 Space Marines, 900 Conscrpts, or 15 Basilisks. Note that each of these groups alone is far, far more than a 2000-point list.

Your opponent isn't going to have that. They're probably going to have loads of Lascannons and Multi-Meltas that are woefully-equipped to handle your whopping 110 Gun Drones.

When your Gun Drones make contact with the enemy, even if only half survive the harrowing trip across the battlefield, you're looking at enough firepower to kill 35 Space Marines or 70 Imperial Guardsmen... per turn, and that's not counting the Y'vahras!

Do include Shield Drones, but I wouldn't take so many models that are ultimately expendable. Go for 1/3 or 1/6 Shield Drones, and keep the Ethereals if you want the extra morale boost, but definitely think twice about making your squads less than half Gun Drones.


I couldn't agree more. Up to the point that the only cases where I take shield drones are when I don't want (or have room to) put units to help them (DC, Fireblade, Eth). When I decide to include those support points, my reasoning is the same than Arka's, and I end up with 0 shield drones.

Funnily enough, this weekend I will probably go into a casual tournament and I will bring my first list featuring 20 Shield drones accompanying my 24 Gun drones (6x 4Gun-2Shield teams, and 4 pairs of shield drones supporting Stealth suits and Pathfinders with Rail rifle). Also, for the first time I am adding 2 shield drones in the 6-drone pack of my Crisis teams, which have been always Dakka drones.
I will share my experience here if I remember! :nice:

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