How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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Arka0415
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How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#1 » Jul 24 2017 01:05

I'm sure many of us are happy that Shield Drones are back and viable again! With their bonus 5+ to ignore damage, they interact pretty favorably with Savior Protocols, and when targeted directly they're nearly as durable as Space Marines! How do you plan on using Shield Drones after this latest FAQ?

Personally, I think they'll really shine in pairs attached to Commanders (they need to be targeted directly, making them extra-durable) and as durable objective-holding squads. They're even fairly viable at guarding valuable drones such as Grav-Inhibitors and Pulse Accelerators (when they're in the same squad)!

What do you think?
Last edited by Arka0415 on Jul 24 2017 01:33, edited 1 time in total.

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AnonAmbientLight
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#2 » Jul 24 2017 01:17

I have no idea how the inner workings of GW works in relation to FW, but we are lucky to have that cross-over rule come to our shield drones. I wonder if it was intended for the Shielded Missile drone to also have this 5+ FnP. That would be neat.

Shield drones as objective holders is an interesting idea. They are durable enough and would be relatively cheap. 4++/5FnP isn't too shabby so you could run them out towards an objective and your opponent may not waste shots on them.

This change makes Shadowsun more tanky if you opt to take her shield drones. They have 3++ invuln and now have the 5+ FnP rule since they are the MV52 type. It's a shame that she hogs them for herself as this type of drone could be useful on all our Commanders.

Sadly, drones are not infantry or battlesuits so they cannot use savior protocols on each other.
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Arka0415
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#3 » Jul 24 2017 01:28

AnonAmbientLight wrote:Sadly, drones are not infantry or battlesuits so they cannot use savior protocols on each other.


They can't, but they all join up in the same happy squad- since the targeted player chooses wound alloction, Shield Drones can nobly sacrifice their Drone-y little lives to save a Grav-Inhibitor or a Pulse Accelerator!

The following Drone groups are possible and legal, when taken with Pathfindes or Fire Warriors respectively:

2x Shield Drones, 1x Grav-Inhibitor Drone
2x Shield Drones, 1x Pulse Accelerator Drone
2x Shield Drones, 1x Grav-Inhibitor Drone, 1x Pulse Accelerator Drone
1x Shield Drone, 1x Guardian Drone

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shasocastris
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#4 » Jul 24 2017 01:29

As a note, a 4++/5+++ is effectively a 3+ (that you always get). So they are decent at holding objectives, but don't have the resilience against small arms that even something like stealth suits have (albeit they are cheaper).

Cheers!

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Dark Hope
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#5 » Jul 24 2017 01:58

These are going to be pretty nice at protecting pretty much any heavy asset. Maybe even pathfinder sniper teams.
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Panzer
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#6 » Jul 24 2017 04:48

They aren't almost as durable as a Marine...they are more durable than a Marine against AP-1 or better weapons (AP-2 or better when the Marine is in Cover).

Still debating with myself whether I want them in my Flamer Crisis squad or whether I should stick with Gun Drones. It would at least make me feel less bad to advance with them since the Shield Drones wouldn't care about advancing themselves unlike Gun Drones who would have to hit on 6+ then.

One place I'm going to use them for sure is on my Coldstar Commander.
Not for himself (apart from an ugly alpha strike) but rather to deploy him close to my Ghostkeel so he can have some additional protection to make his Stealth Drones a less tasty target.
They can't tank wounds for the Stealth Drones directly, but the enemy will face the problem that even if he got rid of the Stealth Drones, he'll still have to get through the two Shield Drones afterwards as well before being able to damage the Ghostkeel itself.

Other than that...well. Maybe for my Pathfinder or Breacher although Shield Drones are best against multi-damage weapons which would be a waste to shoot at those anyway.
Maybe for my Railside. I still need to test him more with Drone Controller and Marker Drones, but if it turns out that my opponents start focussing him (or his Marker Drones) for some reason, I'll add some Shield Drones there as well.
Stealth Suits...hm not sure. They already are a very unsatisfying target to shoot at for my opponents. Maybe if I start having problems delivering the Homing Beacon.

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Arka0415
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#7 » Jul 24 2017 07:07

Panzer wrote:They aren't almost as durable as a Marine...they are more durable than a Marine against AP-1 or better weapons (AP-2 or better when the Marine is in Cover).


Against ordinary weapons though they are precisely as durable as a Marine (66.6% chance to save a wound) though Marines are much more resilient to losing models due to Leadership, which is a weak point of the Shield Drone. So, in a squad Shield Drones are fractionally less durable.

However, given that Shield Drones have basically 4++/5+++ and completely ignore AP, I don't think anyone is going to target them with high-AP weaponry.

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Panzer
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#8 » Jul 24 2017 07:35

Arka0415 wrote:
Panzer wrote:They aren't almost as durable as a Marine...they are more durable than a Marine against AP-1 or better weapons (AP-2 or better when the Marine is in Cover).


Against ordinary weapons though they are precisely as durable as a Marine (66.6% chance to save a wound) though Marines are much more resilient to losing models due to Leadership, which is a weak point of the Shield Drone. So, in a squad Shield Drones are fractionally less durable.

However, given that Shield Drones have basically 4++/5+++ and completely ignore AP, I don't think anyone is going to target them with high-AP weaponry.

I said it in other threads but I have yet to see battleshock having any reasonable impact on the game except for that one time where my Space Wolve opponent rolled two 6s in a row for his last Wulfen in that unit. So I'm REALLY not concerned about the difference of Leadership values. Especially not on such a durable unit that poses no other thread than being durable so it should be one of the last units to ever draw fire from the enemy anyway.

And yes I basically said they are just as durable against AP0, didn't I?

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Arka0415
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#9 » Jul 24 2017 08:11

Panzer wrote:I said it in other threads but I have yet to see battleshock having any reasonable impact on the game except for that one time where my Space Wolve opponent rolled two 6s in a row for his last Wulfen in that unit. So I'm REALLY not concerned about the difference of Leadership values. Especially not on such a durable unit that poses no other thread than being durable so it should be one of the last units to ever draw fire from the enemy anyway.

And yes I basically said they are just as durable against AP0, didn't I?


Don't worry, I agreed with you, I was just clarifying my thinking. Anyway, I really haven't played enough 8th Edition to have personally come to a clear conclusion about Leadership. Have you really found it to be that insignificant? That's interesting.

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Vector Strike
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#10 » Jul 24 2017 08:37

I think I'll use it mostly for 2 things:

- backfield objective holding
- with QFCs

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QimRas
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#11 » Jul 24 2017 08:39

Panzer wrote:I said it in other threads but I have yet to see battleshock having any reasonable impact on the game except for that one time where my Space Wolve opponent rolled two 6s in a row for his last Wulfen in that unit. So I'm REALLY not concerned about the difference of Leadership values. Especially not on such a durable unit that poses no other thread than being durable so it should be one of the last units to ever draw fire from the enemy anyway.

And yes I basically said they are just as durable against AP0, didn't I?


So far I think I have lost maybe 2 Shield Drones to Battleshock. Overall the effect has been relatively minimal. My girlfriend on the other hand has lost a total of.... 2 Banshees, ~14 Guardian Defenders, and 7 Storm Guardians over the course of two games. She was less than happy.

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Unusualsuspect
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#12 » Jul 24 2017 09:41

The Leadership won't often be an issue if you're going MSU, but a large Drone squad easily can and would take significant casualties if you don't mitigate leadership in some way (a 12 man squad, for example, is going to lose an average of 3 or 4 models if you manage to kill off just half of them).

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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#13 » Jul 24 2017 09:53

Arka0415 wrote:
AnonAmbientLight wrote:Sadly, drones are not infantry or battlesuits so they cannot use savior protocols on each other.


They can't, but they all join up in the same happy squad- since the targeted player chooses wound alloction, Shield Drones can nobly sacrifice their Drone-y little lives to save a Grav-Inhibitor or a Pulse Accelerator!

The following Drone groups are possible and legal, when taken with Pathfindes or Fire Warriors respectively:

2x Shield Drones, 1x Grav-Inhibitor Drone
2x Shield Drones, 1x Pulse Accelerator Drone
2x Shield Drones, 1x Grav-Inhibitor Drone, 1x Pulse Accelerator Drone
1x Shield Drone, 1x Guardian Drone


Don't forget to add the recon drone for the 5 drone squad on pathfinders. Recon drone has two wounds so it's going to take 5 wounds before you lose either your grav inhiv or pulse accel depending on which you need to be alive last.

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Panzer
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#14 » Jul 24 2017 09:59

Unusualsuspect wrote:The Leadership won't often be an issue if you're going MSU, but a large Drone squad easily can and would take significant casualties if you don't mitigate leadership in some way (a 12 man squad, for example, is going to lose an average of 3 or 4 models if you manage to kill off just half of them).

Yeah but what's the point of playing such a huge unit. Imo MSU is still the way to go unless you play a horde army.

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Unusualsuspect
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#15 » Jul 24 2017 10:42

Panzer wrote:
Unusualsuspect wrote:The Leadership won't often be an issue if you're going MSU, but a large Drone squad easily can and would take significant casualties if you don't mitigate leadership in some way (a 12 man squad, for example, is going to lose an average of 3 or 4 models if you manage to kill off just half of them).

Yeah but what's the point of playing such a huge unit. Imo MSU is still the way to go unless you play a horde army.


Pretty much all my armies go with max drone squad sizes of 8. Partially for fluff, partially because MSU is awesome.

But if you're mostly going with Fast Attack Drones (to avoid Kill Points), larger squads with good ld support seems at least viable.

But yeah, MSU only got stronger in 8e.

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boomwolf
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#16 » Jul 24 2017 10:49

And that's why GW did is so lower drop count gets first turn.
But the turny dudes are so sure they know better, they didn't consider that maybe GW actually did the right thing and overruled it.

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Gauche
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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#17 » Jul 24 2017 06:46

Been thinking a lot about these guys and I'm not sure where to go. Right now I'm playing Commander Spam with Gun Drones and they do die very quickly. Usually my opponent has to focus everything on them to get to the Commanders, this wouldn't change with Shield Drones. I would lose the firepower of the Gun Drones, which is good against Hordes but middling against most everything else, but I'd pick up a lot of survivability.

Usually my goal is to remove the small arms fire my opponent has and leave their bug guns intact since the Drones can jump on front of those shots all day. This typically works out because I think you have to have a lot of experience against the army to throw your big boys out there and screen your Tactical Squads or what have you.

I'd also lose Drones because of the obvious cost difference. Might be better to use Shield Drones on the Commanders and Gun Drones on the stuff that starts on the table, although those struggle to get in range...exciting change overall though since I actually have to think about it. :]

Edit: I'm dumb and thought Shield Drones had to pay for something extra. RIP Gun Drones.

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Re: How will you use Shield Drones, post-FAQ?

Post#18 » Jul 24 2017 08:09

I'm sure this has been said already but I didn't read through all the replies to see.

Taking them with characters (like our friendly neighborhood Commander) works simply because you can put them in between the commander and an enemy unit and they HAVE TO shoot through the invulns first.
If missiles can't kill it, it will never die.

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