The Remora can be deployed in a variety of scenarios and used for a myriad of tasks from anything to support manned T’au aircraft to seeking and destroying key enemy vehicles. Capable of both skimmer (for short durations) and full-flight mode, the remora is able to adapt to changing battle conditions. A common method of battlefield deployment is from the transport capacity of a Tiger Shark or even a Manta. It seems that Remoras do no benefit from the same level of artificial intelligence that other drones benefit from and if they get too far away from their control ship, they oftentimes lack sufficient protocols to maintain effectiveness.
On the tabletop, Remoras are a Flier choice that contains at least one Remora but up to five additional Remora chassis.
DX-6 Remora Stealth Drone Squadron
Each Remora is armed with two long-barreled burst cannons (each 36″ Heavy 4 S5 AP0 D1) and may take up to two Seeker Missiles (72″ Heavy 1 S8 AP-2 D[D6]).
- Cannot charge or be charged by (or attack or be attacked by) units that don’t have the <Fly> keyword.
- Stealth Protocols
- Able to deepstrike up to > 9″ away from an enemy unit.
- Hard to Hit
- Your opponent must subtract 1 from all To-Hit rolls that target this in the Shooting Phase.
- Remora Targeters
- Doesn’t suffer the penalty to moving and firing heavy weapons
With no wargear options, what you see is what you get with the Remora: anti-infantry light attack vehicle. No, it’s not actually a vehicle, it’s a <Drone> (we’ll get to that in a minute), but you get my point. Its primary focus will be on harassing chaff units or helping to ping away at other, hardier units. The choice to take Seeker Missile should be simple (do it). This will give you some additional versatility in terms of suitable targets, plus their Stealth Protocols special rule allows you a way to protect your Seeker Missiles until turn 2 – something not possible by other Seeker Missile platforms. If you’re looking for a way to take more Seeker Missiles and not have them be shot off the table turn 1, this might be it.
What you get for the points, reduced in CA2018, is not bad by any means. The movement results in the Remora having a large threat range (66″ for the DBBC’s), a T5 W3 -1 To-Hit chassis will put up some amount of resistance, and the <Fly> and <Drone> keywords will typically be useful. The <Fly> keyword will ensure that you can get over and behind protective terrain at the end of your movement or jump across screens to try and snipe a character who was poorly protected. The <Drone> keyword means that they can benefit from a Drone Controller (+1 To-Hit for nearby <Drones>), though you shouldn’t misconstrue this keyword to mean that it has Savior Protocols special rule – it does not. All of this amounts to a unit that can cover large amounts of the table in a single turn and would benefit from a Coldstar babysitter, a platform for the mentioned Drone Controller. A nice perk of this is that the Coldstar could hide behind the -1 To-Hit wall of Remoras and with careful positioning might prove to be a difficult target for your opponent to deal with. You’re giving up one of the four hardpoints (usually weapons) on the Coldstar and don’t take full advantage of his BS2+, but the benefit to the surrounding drones could be worth it if there are enough drones.
It’s not all sunshine and roses for the Remora though. While the maximum movement of 30″ is very nice, the minimum movement is 20″ and this can prove cumbersome at times. Though it has no requirement to pivot before moving, thankfully, you might find yourself flying back and forth over an area trying to stay close to something. Or worse, find yourself unable to end your movement near a key location or objective due to the minimum movement requirement. Its S5 shooting is nothing that the T’au Empire is lacking, so from that point, it’s just redundant and doesn’t help fill any gaps your army might have.
They did come down in points in CA2018 by nearly half, which is substantial. Even still, while the overall package isn’t terrible, it’s not ideal either and you’re paying a bit too much for what you get, in my opinion. A fully equipped Remora is just over 50 points a pop now so a full squadron is well over 300 points. I won’t say there couldn’t be play in a 300 point scalpel appearing turn 2 or 3 to rendezvous with a Coldstar babysitter, but I feel strongly that I could make much better use of those 300 points in general. It would take a certain type of list to work well around this. Bork’an is probably the best sept to try and get the most out of the Remora, but even still doesn’t synergize with the abilities and stats of the Remora overwhelmingly. And because it’s not a <Commander> or a <Battlesuit>, it misses out on benefitting directly or even indirectly from nearly every stratagem the T’au have access to.
Ignoring the -1 To-Hit or offsetting it somehow will cut back a large portion of the Remora’s defensive capability. It relies on that considerably because, without it, it’s just a T5 W3 model with a Sv4+, no invulnerable save, which should be trivial for nearly any army to deal with.
Expect it to either be hidden turn one or deployed in reserves. It’s a small model with <Fly> and a large movement so it’s very possible to hide behind something big and that blocks line of sight first turn, only to have it pop out across the battlefield. Be very conscious about its movement restrictions and minimum movement. It doesn’t need to pivot but must move at least 20″ per turn. This can create some awkward situations for the T’au player that might cause it to have to move out of range for something it wanted to be targeting.
It’s only BS4+, like T’au in general, but does ignore the penalty to moving and firing with a Heavy weapon. Any units, abilities, or powers that can give your key units negative To-Hit modifiers work wonders against T’au in general and the Remora is no exception. Even if accompanied by a Drone Controller-carrying Coldstar, the T’au player will be investing non-trivially to support an over-costed unit and that knowledge might help to make the decision to just ignore the Remoras and target something more efficient all the easier.
Because it’s only chargeable and attackable by things that have the <Fly> keyword, a canny T’au player will probably try to lane/move block with it against units that do not have <Fly>. Be aware of this and have some plan B in place to either move around it, destroy it, or otherwise not let your opponent get what they want.
The Remora Stealth Drone is a badass looking model with wings that actually deploy/stow by folding up and down. For collectors of the T’au Air Caste, it’s a model I’d highly encourage you having. For the competitive gamer, it just doesn’t cut the mustard, in my opinion. I’m not even sure that it’s terribly over-costed. Yes, I’d like it cheaper, but it’s borderline workable at that cost. What’s harder to work around is the large minimum movement that makes a bigger impact that it seems it would at first. Changing that 20″ to even 10″ minimum movement (or, heck, getting rid of the minimum) would give the Remora a bit of kick that it needs.
Does the Remora deserve more time on the table at its point cost and current rules? Has it been overlooked or does it fall into the category of FW T’au units that have subpar rules and too-big price tags?
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