Droneport and pathfinders

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
Newtauplayer2016
Shas
Posts: 14

Droneport and pathfinders

Post#1 » Jul 26 2017 06:03

Last week I played a list that included a Droneport with 4X Markerlight Drones with Cadre Fireblade and a five-man striketeam embarked. The ML-drones performed so well, I wanted to give it a go again. Wasnt too happy with the Strike Team though.

Working on a new list, I wanted to try out the following:

Droneport (70 points)
4 X Markerlight Drones (40 points)
Darkstrider (45 points) or Cadre Fireblade (42 points)
Pathfinders, 2 regular, 3 with rail rifle (97 points)
Total cost 249/252

This gives me five markerlights that hit at 2+ as long as Cardre Fireblade or Darkstrider remains embarked.
The rail rifles are very strong, but lack the survivability. Being embarked, they should live long enough to cut down some lesser evils.

Have anyone else fielded the Droneport yet?

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Gragagrogog
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 361

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#2 » Jul 26 2017 07:39

Ye... I didn't try as I did some math and decided not to buy it...

In theory, the drones can be easily picked out since they have to detachto shoot get BS boost and become double juicy target for the opponent...

With your set up, not counting rail rifle models, it's
168 points, per 2*(3/6) + 5*(5/6) = 5.16 ML per turn .... 32.51 points/ML/turn

if you max out the pathfinder unit and keep a fireblade in, it's
200 points, per 6*(3/6) + 5*(5/6) = 7.16 ML per turn .... 27.93 points/ML/turn

if you instead throw off the HQ and just put full unit inside, it's
166 points, per 11*(3/6) = 5.5 ML per turn .... 30.18 points/ML/turn

Or if you have a drone controller already somewhere, the same setup is

4*(4/6) + 7*(3/6) = 6.16 ML per turn .... 26.94 points/ML/turn

So, either way i'd rather go with pathfinders maxed out... Also, if you otherwise don't have many other high tougness, high wound models in your army, I wouldn't bother with this, as opponents will always have some anti-tank weapons, this might just give them a use for those weapons without any real benefit for you.

EDIT: ^slashed/yellowed
Last edited by Gragagrogog on Jul 26 2017 09:45, edited 1 time in total.

Newtauplayer2016
Shas
Posts: 14

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#3 » Jul 26 2017 08:05

While math have its purposes, I can't say I agree this is one of them.

Math-hammer is based on law of avarage.
In a unit of two to five markerdrones or a unit of five pathfinders as your source of markerlights, law of avarage simply does not apply - at least that is my opinion and experience.

Purpose of Droneport:
- Keep infantry alive
- Provide high BS drones

Purpose of pathfinders
- Random markerlight
- Option for special weapons (testing purposes)

It is not so much a matter of markerlight point efficiency, as it is a reliable way of adding markerlight while at the same time testing special weapons. Its a synergy there - or so I think, and want to test it. Math does not aid me here.

That is the reason I wondered if anyone else had fielded the droneport (experience), and not asked for feedback in general (theory/math). :)

PS! Drones can fire while attached, although they need to detach to gain the BS benefit. In this case, you could opt to drop HQ, and keep the drones attached for (somewhat) high durability ML. Less reliable though.

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Gragagrogog
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 361

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#4 » Jul 26 2017 08:36

With what math do you disagree with here? I only showed how much point per ml do you spend on each setup. The price of your sugested setup is double what bare pathfinders cost per ml hit. Ofc that's only one aspect of it, but it's not insignificant.

Jburli
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 120

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#5 » Jul 26 2017 08:56

I didn't think they had to detach to get bs2+, I thought they had to remain attached to get that bonus (which would make a lot more sense, really - like darkstrider's assisting in shooting).

What a strange rule! And I obviously need to read my codex more carefully..

I like the rail rifles being kept safe though, they're way too expensive to be fielded without some protection. Shame you can't fit 2 squads of pathfinders plus the character..

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CDR_Farsight
Shas'Saal
Posts: 90

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#6 » Jul 26 2017 11:33

My first game of 8th used two Drone Ports with special weapon Pathfinder teams. It went really well actually. I don't have the list with me, but it went something like this (note this was pre FAQ)


Fusion Commander with 2 shield drones
3x Dual Burst Cannon Crisis with ATS and 6 shield drones
3x Stealth with Homing beacon
Riptide

Cadre Fireblade
Darkstrider
Full Pathfinder Team with 3 rail and GI and PA drone
Full Pathfinder Team with 3 rail and GI and PA drone
Min Pathfinder Team with 3 Ion
Min Pathfinder Team with 3 Ion
Min Strike Team
Min Strike Team
Min Strike Team
ML Drone Port
ML Drone Port
Shield Wall
Shield Wall

Cadre and Ion Pathfinders start in Drone Port 1
Darkstrider and Ion Pathfinders start in Drone Port 2
2x Min Strike start in Shield Wall
1x Min Strike starts in Shield Wall

I modeled all of my drones to be the exact height of my hovering drone ports making them unable to be seen. In other cases I deployed them in or behind LoS blocking terrain to keep them from being targeted turn 1.

Turn 1 he could not shoot them even though he knew he needed to. He tried deepstriking 10 Sky Claws and charging them, but failed the charge due to my GI drone. My overwatch was able to kill 5 of them thanks to FtGG and he rolled a 6 even on the reroll for morale losing a couple more. His shooty stuff targeted my Riptide and Drone ports (afraid of the kick back from the Shield Walls) but didn't manage to do anything much. Mostly a CC oriented spacewolves army (everything had an invul). His CC stuff moved up quick! 10 TWC (2 squads), 10 Wulfen (2 squads), 2 Iron Priests on TWC and 3 Dreadnoughts (2 CC and Bjorne). CC Dreads popped smoke.

My Turn 1: Strike Teams got out of the Walls and spread out as screens in front. Pathfinders with Rails moved into Walls. Got 5 ML form Cadre and Drones on TWC unit 1, 5ML from DS and Drone Port on Wulfen 1 and 5 ML on TWC 2 from some of the Pathfinders (about half fired ML half shot normally). Crisis and commander jumped in behind off of Stealth team beacon and nuked an entire Wulfen squad with a little help. Commander essentially whiffed somehow on Bjorne, only causing 2 wounds WITH a reroll. Ions and Carbines took out TWC squad 1. Rails took 1 iron priest down to 1 wound and took out 1 more TWC. Riptide went full retard. Strike teams finished off the Sky Claws.
To secure victory, the wise must adapt ~ Puretide

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CDR_Farsight
Shas'Saal
Posts: 90

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#7 » Jul 26 2017 11:33

Continued....

SW Turn 2: Bjorne and severely wounded Iron Priest were the only things close enough to challenge my suits. IP healed Bjorne. Bjorne Hit my drone screen, but Iron Priest was able to get around to hit crisis suits...killed all 3. We had a bit of a misinterpretation of the Saviour Protocols which actually would have saved them all, but it didn't end up mattering overall. Wulfen Squad 2 got in CC with the Riptide and took him down to half strength. TWC Squad 2, Iron Priest 2 and both CC Dreadnoughts ran into my FW screen. CC Dread was able to also get in CC with a shield line and took it down to half strength, but that was all. 2 of the 3 FW squads were wiped. The other wasn't touched.

My Turn 2: Everything disengaged except the full FW squad. I kept them in CC with the CC Dreadnought...for the greater good. Cadre Drone Platform put 5 on unengaged Dread. Darkstrider Platform put 5 on TWC squad. Commander popped Bjorne, Stealth killed the wounded Iron Priest. Riptard Killed 1 wulfen. Pathfinder Rails killed the unengaged Dread, Ion squad 1 killed the Iron Priest. Ion squad 2 and all of the pulse carbine fire killed the last of the TWC. Dread only killed 4 FW in CC....queue evil laugh!

He conceded Turn 3 since he only had 4 Wulfen and a CC Dread still locked in CC with a single firewarrior left and the store was closing.

My impressions...Drone Port with Cadre or DS can be a super effective super resilient alpha ML source IF (BIG IF) you have other threats out there that the opponent cannot ignore. Against a shooty army, do not expect to have ML drones left after you put 5 ML on 2 to 3 targets first turn.
To secure victory, the wise must adapt ~ Puretide

Newtauplayer2016
Shas
Posts: 14

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#8 » Jul 31 2017 08:20

I have one droneport myself, and actually considered picking up a second one because I really liked the BS2+ marker light drones and the idea of adding protection to special weapon pathfinders.

One immediate problem when playing a second game with this setup is that once the opponent realize the value/threat of the marker light drones, they quickly became the prime target and was removed in his subsequent turn.

CDR_Farsight wrote:Cadre and Ion Pathfinders start in Drone Port 1
Darkstrider and Ion Pathfinders start in Drone Port 2


I don't like the idea of droneport not being allowed to transport drones. But in effect - as far as I understand the rules, you are not allowed to deploy pathfinders with drones embarked on a drone port, as drones must be deployed in unit coherency, in this case also embarked, but the droneport transport capacity reads any numbers of characters and one infantry unit. :(

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CDR_Farsight
Shas'Saal
Posts: 90

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#9 » Jul 31 2017 11:55

You are correct. That is why my Pathfinder teams with drones deployed outside of the Tidewalls. My Pathfinder teams that did not have drones deployed inside. In the first movement phase, I moved my Firewarrior units occupying the Tidewall shield lines out and moved the Pathfinder Teams in without their drones, leaving the drones out of LoS behind the vehicles..

I wouldn't get too hung up on not taking a droneport because the enemy will kill your drones. Keep in mind, the enemy now has to dedicate fire to something that costs minimal points. Anything he is shooting at your drones is not shooting at anything that can damage him. Also, the redundancy of having so many pathfinders means you still have sources for markerlights AND wiping that smug look off of your opponents face when they kill your markerlight drones only to be lit up by pathfinder MLs the next turn is priceless.

70pts to make your pathfinder special weapons team untargetable with a ton of higher toughness ablative wounds....uh yes please!

If I were to say you could pay 70pts to double your pathfinders' wounds, more than double their toughness, increase their save and make them always able to shoot and move it would be an auto take every time!
To secure victory, the wise must adapt ~ Puretide

1ofmany
Shas'Saal
Posts: 22

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#10 » Aug 07 2017 04:02

and make them always able to shoot and move


Can you point me in the direction where you found the rules that the drone port can move and the models on them did not to lift shooting restrictions.

Thanks

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relasine
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 69

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#11 » Aug 07 2017 06:39

1ofmany wrote:
and make them always able to shoot and move


Can you point me in the direction where you found the rules that the drone port can move and the models on them did not to lift shooting restrictions.

Thanks

Droneport has a movement stat, for one.

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Deltervees
Shas
Posts: 2

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#12 » Aug 07 2017 07:13

1ofmany wrote:
and make them always able to shoot and move


Can you point me in the direction where you found the rules that the drone port can move and the models on them did not to lift shooting restrictions.

Thanks


Unless I'm missing something, there shouldn't be any shooting restrictions, because the droneport can't advance, and I can't remember any other possible limitations.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1297

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#13 » Aug 07 2017 07:55

Deltervees wrote:
1ofmany wrote:
and make them always able to shoot and move


Can you point me in the direction where you found the rules that the drone port can move and the models on them did not to lift shooting restrictions.

Thanks


Unless I'm missing something, there shouldn't be any shooting restrictions, because the droneport can't advance, and I can't remember any other possible limitations.


I think the issue is about the Pathfinders having heavy weapons. If they move, they get -1 to hit. If they're embarked in the Droneport, and the Droneport moves, do they count as moving two? The answer would be yes. If the Droneport moves the Pathfinders get -1 to hit.

1ofmany
Shas'Saal
Posts: 22

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#14 » Aug 08 2017 06:02

Thanks Arka0415,

That was the thing I was thinking about, the 7th edition rules clearly stated that you could shoot from droneport and wall sections like you stood still.

In 8th edition I can not find any wordings that would support that ,so move the droneport and the models with heavy weapons on it will get a negative modifier.

To all,
Any other input that would suggest something else?

Thanks

leo1925
Shas
Posts: 11

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#15 » Aug 08 2017 06:49

1ofmany wrote:Thanks Arka0415,

That was the thing I was thinking about, the 7th edition rules clearly stated that you could shoot from droneport and wall sections like you stood still.

In 8th edition I can not find any wordings that would support that ,so move the droneport and the models with heavy weapons on it will get a negative modifier.

To all,
Any other input that would suggest something else?

Thanks


In my games we treat them as moving, we think that (at least) the fortifications shouldn't have this penalty and we hope for a FAQ.

Newtauplayer2016
Shas
Posts: 14

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#16 » Aug 10 2017 06:09

From what I understand, Tidewall was moved from Forticifaction to Building/Open-topped Vehicle to allow for it to be targeted and destroyed.

The benefit is that units inside are protected from direct fire.
The penalty is the loss of embarked Broadsides etc.

Also, the core rulebook states that any movement restrictioned applied to a moving vehicle also applies to the units inside. I am at work and don't have the rulebook at hand, so couldnt quote the page until I get home.

I ended up picking up a Tidewall Rampart. Guess Ill give 2x Droneport a try soon enough. :smile:

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AnonAmbientLight
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 775

Re: Droneport and pathfinders

Post#17 » Aug 12 2017 02:44

Unless otherwise stated, some weapons have penalties if you move. In the case of Pathfinders using markerlights, if the Droneport they are embarked upon moves, the Pathfinders inside get a -1 to hit. Perhaps the codex proper will lift the restriction.

As mentioned earlier up thread, getting the math behind the points per wound / markerlight is very helpful in figuring out how well a unit shoots. Math alone cannot dictate what you should or should not take because of all the other factors in the game. Pathfinders in a Droneport can be more durable and last longer than Pathfinders in ruins.

The only way to know for sure is to test them both out and see what works for your playstyle / meta.
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