Formation – Drone-Net VX1-0

In Formations, Tau Empire by ImperialKnight5 Comments

Drone-Net VX1-0 Formation

Drone-Net VX1-0 Formation



  • 4 units or more of Drones
    Drone Squadron of Gun Drones

    Drone Squadron of Gun Drones

Special Rules

  • Collective Targeting Data – in the Shooting phase add 1 to the Ballistic Skill of all Drones, including Drones that are not part of the Formation, as long as at least two units from the Formation are on the battlefield
  • Enhanced Tactical Responses – All Drones in this Formation have the Interceptor, Jink, Outflank, Precision Shots, and Split Fire special rules

Once again we have another great Formation from the Mont’Ka supplement, the Drone-Net. This Formation has significantly expanded Drone unit capability and versatility. As not always the case, both special rules for this Formation are quite useful. First the Collective Targeting Data special rule increases the Ballistic Skill of the Formation’s Drone units and those within the army by one. Then we have the Enchanced Tactical Response special rule which is a collection of special rules that can be divided to support each of the shooting Drone types.

  1. Marker Drones – Interceptor, Split Fire, and Jink
  2. Gun Drones – Outflank, Precision Shots, and Jink

I see this Formation being used with a variety of Drone types to take full advantage of the rules. Marker Drones will greatly benefit from the Interceptor and Split Fire special rules. Against Alpha Strike armies, Marler Drones will be able to Markerlight units prior to their fellow units engaging in Interceptor. Therefore, providing intercepting units with an increased Ballistic Skill or the Ignore Cover special rule.  That is extraordinarily good! In addition, the Split Fire special rule will improve the Marker Drone efficiency by determining how many Drones should be dedicated to Markerlight each enemy target. The combination of these two special rules make Marker Drones super good. Gun Drones have also benefited from these rules. Gun Drones in large squads can be used to Outflank and with twin-linked S5 AP5 assault 2 Pinning, Precision Shots can be a real threat to any infantry unit within 24″ of the table edge (incorporating 6″ of movement). Finally, all these units now have the Jink special rule which provides some added durability against higher AP shooting. This Formation is definitely a win-win for the Tau Empire.

However, there is one slight interpretation conundrum with the rules as written for the Collective Targeting Data special rule. The rule states “In the Shooting phase, add 1 to the Ballistic Skill of all Drones (including Drones that are part of the Formation) as long as at least two units from the Formation are on the battlefield”. My initial interpretation was that it included all Drones regardless of being a unit or upgrade. However, now that I have looked at the rule some more, I am not sure. My feeling is that it was intended for only Drone units and not ALL Drones. As always it will require a discussion before any game as to its interpretation. What are your thoughts? As always leave your comments in the section below.

Related Links:

Tau Empire Firebase Support Cadre

Drone-Net buffing a Tau Empire Firebase Support Cadre may bring a new meaning to Interceptor



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  • Mario Warz (Sejason)

    I don’t have a copy of Mont’ka to read it myself, but if it says “add 1 to the Ballistic Skill of all Drones”, they mean all Drones on the battlefield, not just the ones bought as units. You could even go as far and say they even mean the drones of your opponent! Even though that’d not be as they intended it to read. But what you quoted doesn’t diffenciate between friendly and opposing drones 😉
    I’d whack my opponent over the head and go home, if he tries to come up with this kind of interpretation, though!

    And always remind your Tau fellow, that it doesn’t work with Overwatch, as the rules for Overwatch says, “make a shooting attack” and not “you have an out of order shooting phase” 😉

    • Dave Cachia Marsh

      Well I’d let him have the +1BS i he had drones. I can justify it, fluff-wise, by saying that his forces hacked my drone network to get the same information from them.

      • ImperialKnight

        Dave, I agree with you. The wording in many of these Formations is so ambiguous. However, common sense and collegial play has to prevail. Thank fully most of the people I play with are very reasonable and we try to sort this kind of thing prior to the game. Many of the tournaments for those who participate have much of this sorted in their FAQs (i.e. Frontline Gaming etc.). Thank you Dave. 🙂

    • Tim Jo Hansson

      I know this is a year old post, but I felt that I had to add something. It wouldnt matter if yoy got +1 bs in overwatch or not since set vakues override bonuses. Thus you would have a drone at bs 2, give it +1, then go to bs 1 due to snap shots. The same is true for drone controllers (ie. A sniper drone team or drones joined by a character with a drone controller shoots at the controllers ballistic skill, not their BS +1)

  • Jason

    Would be nice if the CTD rule stacked if you had 2 of the formation on the board…. drones popping shots at bs5… doubt it does though