New player- Stuck on Guardian Drones

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
Orion7
Shas'Saal
Posts: 15

New player- Stuck on Guardian Drones

Post#1 » Oct 29 2017 06:11

Hi, it's my first time playing 40k apart from a demo game maybe a decade ago and I only have a tiny army right now (start collecting box and a fire blade) and am trying to figure out what to equip them with. Most of them I'm happy with my choices, but I'm baffled by one part of the fire warriors.

What exactly do the guardian drones do that shield drones don't do better? Should I give my warriors a guardian?

(For reference the rest of my load out is strike team with rifles and a pistol, two crisis suits for slugging it out with armour (2x FB and shield generator) and one crisis suit with flamers to protect those against an infantry swarm, and one fire blade; plus a marker drone, shield drone and six gun drones)

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Panzer
Shas'Saal
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Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#2 » Oct 29 2017 06:17

Orion7 wrote:Hi, it's my first time playing 40k apart from a demo game maybe a decade ago and I only have a tiny army right now (start collecting box and a fire blade) and am trying to figure out what to equip them with. Most of them I'm happy with my choices, but I'm baffled by one part of the fire warriors.

What exactly do the guardian drones do that shield drones don't do better? Should I give my warriors a guardian?

(For reference the rest of my load out is strike team with rifles and a pistol, two crisis suits for slugging it out with armour (2x FB and shield generator) and one crisis suit with flamers to protect those against an infantry swarm, and one fire blade; plus a marker drone, shield drone and six gun drones)

To be frank, the Guardian Drone is pretty much useless. It's effect only comes into play against AP-2 weapons in Breacher units and against AP-3 weapons in Strike Teams. Most weapons directed at those are AP0 or AP-1 though. Just don't use it unless you want it for fluff reasons.

Now theoretically IF the Guardian Drone had a proper effect, the difference between it and the Shield Drone is that you could fail the Invulnerability safe and you'd be losing a model without the rest of the unit losing the additional protection while with a Shield Drone if you'd fail the 5+ FnP the Drone would be dead and the protection for the rest of the unit gone.

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1933

Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#3 » Oct 29 2017 06:31

Orion7 wrote:What exactly do the guardian drones do that shield drones don't do better? Should I give my warriors a guardian?

The Shield Drone protects itself- when weapons wound the Fire Warriors, the Shield Drone can (attempt) to shake those wounds instead. However, the Shield Drone provides no direct benefit to the Fire Warriors themselves. The Guardian Drone, on the other hand, has a weaker save (5++ vs the Shield Drone's 4++) but also gives each Fire Warrior a 6++ save. It may be weaker, but it confers a bonus to the rest of the squad.

However, the Guardian Drone has three critical disadvantages. First, it's not part of the Fire Warrior squad, so it can be singled out by enemy weapons. It's a very weak Drone, so a single Heavy Bolter or Splinter Cannon can take it out in just one or two shots. So, it'll probably diie before you use its benefit at all. Second, the benefit it gives is almost worthless. A 6++ save cannot be taken alongside your normal 4+ armor save, so it'll only have any effect if your Fire Warriors are targeted by a weapon with AP-3 or better! That's some serious overkill, so this really won't ever happen. Third, the Guardian Drone does not have a 5+ to ignore wounds like the Shield Drone does.

Now, sadly, the Shield Drone isn't much better. If the Fire Warriors are targeted, and the Shield Drone takes the wound, it actually becomes weaker, since it can't use its toughness characteristic of 4 or its 4++ save! So the Shield Drone is really not an ideal unit to pair with Fire Warriors. It is, however, very good at guarding characters such as Commanders, or other drones in its unit.

So, to make a long story short, you probably shouldn't use any Drones with your Fire Warriors.

Orion7 wrote:(For reference the rest of my load out is strike team with rifles and a pistol, two crisis suits for slugging it out with armour (2x FB and shield generator) and one crisis suit with flamers to protect those against an infantry swarm, and one fire blade; plus a marker drone, shield drone and six gun drones)

Looks like a solid list!

Since you have the starter box, here's a slight change that might help:
-

HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Ethereal w/ Honour Blade (45)
Troops - 10x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (83)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Fusion Blasters, 3x Flamers; 6x Gun Drones (327)

Total: 497 - Command Points: 3 (1 Patrol Detachment)

-

You lose the Shield Drone and Marker Drone, but gain an Ethereal, two more Fusion Blasters, and a Markerlight on the Fire Warrior squad. Should be a fun, tight list!

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AnonAmbientLight
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 821

Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#4 » Oct 29 2017 01:21

The Guardian Drone should honestly be part of the overall Breacher squad. What they should have done was make it so that strikes get the DS8 turret, and breachers get the Guardian Drone. I have no idea why they have mixed and matched the DS8 and the Guardian Drone between those two units. Strikes can't even use the Guardian Drones, and Breachers are too mobile to make much use out of the DS8.

Otherwise, Guardian Drones can be used if you LoS it to try to hide from shooting. The only issue is that you have to make sure it can stay close to its breacher squad. A 5++ for the squad is not awful, but most of the shooting you will be getting will be small arms fire. It is, however, a great tool to tarpit melee heavy units which typically have AP2+
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Garacaius
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Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#5 » Oct 29 2017 01:34

Arka0415 wrote: Since you have the starter box, here's a slight change that might help:
-

HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Ethereal w/ Honour Blade (45)
Troops - 10x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (83)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Fusion Blasters, 3x Flamers; 6x Gun Drones (327)

Total: 497 - Command Points: 3 (1 Patrol Detachment)

-

You lose the Shield Drone and Marker Drone, but gain an Ethereal, two more Fusion Blasters, and a Markerlight on the Fire Warrior squad. Should be a fun, tight list!


Splitting the Fire Warrior Strike Teams into two groups of five and adding a markerlight brings you to 500 points and adds a markerlight.

“Just one game,” they said and started to play. That was yesterday...

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
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Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#6 » Oct 29 2017 06:43

Garacaius wrote:Splitting the Fire Warrior Strike Teams into two groups of five and adding a markerlight brings you to 500 points and adds a markerlight.

I'm assuming that Orion7 only painted up one Shas'ui, but yeah, two squads would be viable too!

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Garacaius
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Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#7 » Oct 29 2017 09:08

Arka0415 wrote:
Garacaius wrote:Splitting the Fire Warrior Strike Teams into two groups of five and adding a markerlight brings you to 500 points and adds a markerlight.

I'm assuming that Orion7 only painted up one Shas'ui, but yeah, two squads would be viable too!


"This one is the Shas'ui until I can get one painted up."

*marks base*

Unless tourney...

“Just one game,” they said and started to play. That was yesterday...

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
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Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#8 » Oct 29 2017 09:16

Garacaius wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:
Garacaius wrote:Splitting the Fire Warrior Strike Teams into two groups of five and adding a markerlight brings you to 500 points and adds a markerlight.

I'm assuming that Orion7 only painted up one Shas'ui, but yeah, two squads would be viable too!


"This one is the Shas'ui until I can get one painted up."

*marks base*


That works too! :D

Orion7
Shas'Saal
Posts: 15

Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#9 » Oct 31 2017 10:37

Thanks for all the help, though some has gone right over my head! What does ++ mean Vs + regarding saves?

Secondly that's a good plan to split the unit. I haven't got any idea of rank markings so the only squad leader (shhh I don't speak tau yet) is simply marked by dint of there not being enough helmets on the sprue and having a bare head and a pistol at his belt. Presumably it wouldn't be that hard to rig up one of the other fellows with a pistol and a stripe of some kind or other!

So is it not worth the gun drones then either? I was planning on keeping a few back with the troops and fire blade to take advantage of the six shot spam cannon at nine inch range.

Likewise, is having the shield generators on my suits just not worth it and I should take an extra weapon? Especially as there were only four FB guns in the pack (and no cyclic ion guns either :( )

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Panzer
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Posts: 3548

Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#10 » Oct 31 2017 10:45

Orion7 wrote:Thanks for all the help, though some has gone right over my head! What does ++ mean Vs + regarding saves?

Secondly that's a good plan to split the unit. I haven't got any idea of rank markings so the only squad leader (shhh I don't speak tau yet) is simply marked by dint of there not being enough helmets on the sprue and having a bare head and a pistol at his belt. Presumably it wouldn't be that hard to rig up one of the other fellows with a pistol and a stripe of some kind or other!

So is it not worth the gun drones then either? I was planning on keeping a few back with the troops and fire blade to take advantage of the six shot spam cannon at nine inch range.

Likewise, is having the shield generators on my suits just not worth it and I should take an extra weapon? Especially as there were only four FB guns in the pack (and no cyclic ion guns either :( )

For save X+ usually means armor save (in older editions cover save as well), X++ is an Invulnerable save and anything above (X+++/X++++/...) would be different applications of Feel no Pain like effects that aren't actual saves.

I can give you a rundown on how the rank markings work with the current fluff if you like to.

Nah, Drones are generally not worth it on Firewarrior units. Either you go full Gun Drones and don't need the Firewarrior, or you just take more Firewarrior. Drones are best for sacrificing themselves for more expensive units like Crisis but not for other 8p models. ;)

Shield Generator on your Crisis can be worth it if you don't have enough Drones for that unit yet, but once you have enough Drones you usually don't want the Shield Gens there because it would bring you into a inner conflict whether you want to put the scary Lascannon wound on the Suit and risk failing the 4++ and thus getting the Suit killed or to play it save and sacrifice a Drone (in which case you wouldn't have needed the Shield Gen in the first place).

There are some occasions where a Shield Gen is okay though. That'd be a Stealth Suit with a Fusion Blaster, or a Broadside with a Heavy Rail Rifle, or a Ghostkeel with a Fusion Collider or a Storm Surge. Simply because they gain little by giving them other Support Systems instead and can't take extra weapons either.
Yeah the Crisis box sadly doesn't have enough weapon bitz to equip a unit properly. Your only options there are trying to buy the weapon bitz seperately on ebay and other bitz sites, or saving up on them by buying more Crisis boxes.

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MNGamer
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Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#11 » Oct 31 2017 10:47

Orion7 wrote:Thanks for all the help, though some has gone right over my head! What does ++ mean Vs + regarding saves?


+ is a normal save, fire warriors have a 4+ save. ++ is an invulnerable save, shield drones have a 4++ save. If something has both a normal and an invulnerable save, like a crisis suit with a shield generator you would write 3+/4++ to indicate the 3+ normal save and the 4++ invulnerable save.
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Orion7
Shas'Saal
Posts: 15

Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#12 » Oct 31 2017 12:05

Panzer wrote:
Orion7 wrote:Thanks for all the help, though some has gone right over my head! What does ++ mean Vs + regarding saves?

Secondly that's a good plan to split the unit. I haven't got any idea of rank markings so the only squad leader (shhh I don't speak tau yet) is simply marked by dint of there not being enough helmets on the sprue and having a bare head and a pistol at his belt. Presumably it wouldn't be that hard to rig up one of the other fellows with a pistol and a stripe of some kind or other!

So is it not worth the gun drones then either? I was planning on keeping a few back with the troops and fire blade to take advantage of the six shot spam cannon at nine inch range.

Likewise, is having the shield generators on my suits just not worth it and I should take an extra weapon? Especially as there were only four FB guns in the pack (and no cyclic ion guns either :( )

For save X+ usually means armor save (in older editions cover save as well), X++ is an Invulnerable save and anything above (X+++/X++++/...) would be different applications of Feel no Pain like effects that aren't actual saves.

I can give you a rundown on how the rank markings work with the current fluff if you like to.

Nah, Drones are generally not worth it on Firewarrior units. Either you go full Gun Drones and don't need the Firewarrior, or you just take more Firewarrior. Drones are best for sacrificing themselves for more expensive units like Crisis but not for other 8p models. ;)

Shield Generator on your Crisis can be worth it if you don't have enough Drones for that unit yet, but once you have enough Drones you usually don't want the Shield Gens there because it would bring you into a inner conflict whether you want to put the scary Lascannon wound on the Suit and risk failing the 4++ and thus getting the Suit killed or to play it save and sacrifice a Drone (in which case you wouldn't have needed the Shield Gen in the first place).

There are some occasions where a Shield Gen is okay though. That'd be a Stealth Suit with a Fusion Blaster, or a Broadside with a Heavy Rail Rifle, or a Ghostkeel with a Fusion Collider or a Storm Surge. Simply because they gain little by giving them other Support Systems instead and can't take extra weapons either.
Yeah the Crisis box sadly doesn't have enough weapon bitz to equip a unit properly. Your only options there are trying to buy the weapon bitz seperately on ebay and other bitz sites, or saving up on them by buying more Crisis boxes.


Right, I might rejig my suits then to be full gun, even if have to mount something like a plasma rifle on it. I'm tempted to go anyway with the gun drones for saviour protocols just for sheer fluff of it, it seems like what the tau- especially enclaves would do? Possibly a waste of points, but hey XD

Yes please, rank markings would be useful!

And thanks all for the +/++ help. What would the shield drone count as then for its bonus, is that a +++? I've seen people refer to it as being like FnP which I assume is feel no pain....

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Arka0415
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1933

Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#13 » Oct 31 2017 06:33

Orion7 wrote:Yes please, rank markings would be useful!

And thanks all for the +/++ help. What would the shield drone count as then for its bonus, is that a +++? I've seen people refer to it as being like FnP which I assume is feel no pain....


Image

There you are! Colored antenna for the 'ui, colored helmet for the 'vre, and the 'o gets some extra markings.

In older fluff, the 'ui had a colored helmet (instead of just one antenna) so that's a striking look you can do too.

And yes, +++ is a FNP-style bonus like on the Shield Drone! However, remember that buff is not a save. So saying 5+++ can be a little misleading.

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Panzer
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Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#14 » Oct 31 2017 07:05

And here my contribution (just quoting my posts from another topic so don't be too confused about the included replies to other people):

Panzer wrote:Yeah they are there but many people don't find it since they put it somewhere in the painting section inbetween. :D

Shas'la = Antenna, helmet and shoulder guard in armor colour.
Shas'Ui = Antenna in Sept color. Helmet in armor colour. (and middle panel of shoulder guard in Sept color if it's not a Battlesuit)
Shas'Vre = Antenna and Helmet in Sept color. Shoulder guard in armor colour
Shas'El = Antenna in armor color. Helmet in Sept color. Kinda hard to find a picture of a full Shas'El model since it's not really a unit in the Codex (yet) and usually fulfills the same role as a Commander anyway.
Shas'O = Antenna, Helmet and middle shoulder guard panel in Sept color. Sept markings on the helmet in armor color.

Special case: some warrior are allowed to wear an inversed color scheme because they are heroes or whateveer (so for Sa'Cea that would mean orange armor and Sept&Rank markings whatever color you decided to paint the armor of the rest of the army).

For reference:
Image
Image
Image


Panzer wrote:
SinisterSamurai wrote:
Panzer wrote:Special case: some warrior are allowed to wear an inversed color scheme because they are heroes or whateveer (so for Sa'Cea that would mean orange armor and Sept&Rank markings whatever color you decided to paint the armor of the rest of the army)

With the exception of the Infiltration Cadre Burning Dawn, I figured this was reserved for Coalition leaders, thus why Shadowsun, Farsight, and the Dawn of War champions are like that.

Well it definitely is not a common thing and those characters ARE special after all.

To be fair I only found it mentioned twice in the painting section anyway and it's only mentioned casually when talking about some example color schemes.

Image
Image

That's also the reason why my Vespid conversions are wearing orange armor btw. (that and because orange armor with black undercloth kinda fits the wasp/bee theme of the original Vespid lol).

EDIT: heh, the topic about Sept&Rank markings comes up so often, maybe we could pin this whole thread now that we have all the stuff in one place for once. :D

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StealthKnightSteg
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Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#15 » Nov 01 2017 06:14

hmm I did the markings a little different on the battlesuits shoulder guards apparently.. Shas'ui with lower part in Sept color while a Shas'vre has upper (bigger) part in Sept color.. and the Shas'o with the full shoulder guard in Sept coloring

Anything on the vehicle drivers / copilots on ranks?
I did the driver of my first (and yet only) piranha in shas'ui markings and the copilot in normal outfit.. next piranha will be both in normal outfit.. to represent a leader if I eventually want to team them up in a unit.

Any other drivers? Maybe Stormsurge?

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Panzer
Shas'Saal
Posts: 3548

Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#16 » Nov 01 2017 06:58

StealthKnightSteg wrote:hmm I did the markings a little different on the battlesuits shoulder guards apparently.. Shas'ui with lower part in Sept color while a Shas'vre has upper (bigger) part in Sept color.. and the Shas'o with the full shoulder guard in Sept coloring

Anything on the vehicle drivers / copilots on ranks?
I did the driver of my first (and yet only) piranha in shas'ui markings and the copilot in normal outfit.. next piranha will be both in normal outfit.. to represent a leader if I eventually want to team them up in a unit.

Any other drivers? Maybe Stormsurge?

Nothing specific about driver. They probably follow the regular pattern.

This is all we have about vehicle markings in the 7th edition Codex:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

However we do have something about the Stormsurge pilots:
Image

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StealthKnightSteg
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Re: New player- Stuck on Guardian Drones

Post#17 » Nov 01 2017 09:40

thanks I had some of those earlier images, but not the latter.

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Beerson
Shas'Saal
Posts: 72

Re: New player- stuck on guardian drones

Post#18 » Nov 01 2017 10:28

Arka0415 wrote:Since you have the starter box, here's a slight change that might help:
-

HQ - Cadre Fireblade w/ Markerlight (42)
HQ - Ethereal w/ Honour Blade (45)
Troops - 10x Fire Warriors w/ Markerlight (83)
Elites - 3x XV8s w/ 6x Fusion Blasters, 3x Flamers; 6x Gun Drones (327)

Total: 497 - Command Points: 3 (1 Patrol Detachment)


you sadly only get pieces for 5 gun drones in the start collecting box (2 for FW squad and 3 for suits)

Panzer wrote:Nah, Drones are generally not worth it on Firewarrior units. Either you go full Gun Drones and don't need the Firewarrior, or you just take more Firewarrior. Drones are best for sacrificing themselves for more expensive units like Crisis but not for other 8p models. ;)


the benefit of sacrificing 8p drone for 8p FW comes with morale, where you can essentialy use model from different unit to avoid losing morale check or lower the chance of losing it at least
Last edited by Beerson on Nov 01 2017 10:33, edited 1 time in total.

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