Drone Jockey by Thomas Elliott, used with permission from Osprey Games.
I was recently asked to write a bit about drones on the Cyberpunk Miniatures Group on Facebook. Thinking that would make a fun micro-blog entry, here we go.
Drones are an important cyberpunk trope and Reality’s Edge would have been incomplete without them. Controlling drones is the role of the drone jockey operative, in fact, short of one exception, they are the only models that can control drones. Drone jockeys could be classified as more of a support role and as such their stats are medium-grade, but still good enough to be useful. Drone Jockeys are required to purchase a drone, which is not included in their cost. They also start with the Drone Control Edge. Basically, after rolling for activation, the jockey may send one of their Actions Points to their drone, assuming it is in range to receive it. Once done, the drone may immediate activate with 2 Action Points. Once done activating, if the jockey has any remaining Action Points left, they may then go. However, any action they take suffers a -2 penalty due multitasking with the drone. Since guns no longer jam in Reality’s Edge, there is no harm in making a ranged attack with your distracted jockey, so giving them a weapon to do so is always a good idea.
Drones are considered a robot, so they may be hacked. This means they can be damaged, controlled, or even disabled by electronic attacks. Note that player controlled drones cannot be bricked, or permanently disabled. This was a decision to balance things are little more fairly since a jockey with a broken drone is no fun. Drones also have two important limitations. First, they have the Turing Lock rule. By means of corporate fiat, drones cannot have an independent-thinking AI. Instead, they must be directly controlled by an operator. This means they cannot activate on their own and instead their controller must feed them Action Points. If the jockey does not do this, they drone just sits doing nothing. Second, they have a Zone of Control. This is the distance a jockey may issue a command over electronic relay. If the drone moves beyond this, they cannot be activated until the controller gets back into range. This range for all current drones is 16”, which is pretty significant considering Reality’s Edge uses a 3’ board size and the jockey does not need line of sight to control their drone.
Drones are very useful to have both for offense and support. Drones come in two forms, ground based walkers and fliers. Walkers tend to be more stable firing platforms if they don’t move. They are also unique for having the ability to be melee-focused, so make great back-up for your crew’s ronin and other close combat specialists. Fliers also make great fire platforms, but are better shooting on the move. The flier drone can also uniquely eschew ranged combat and take fire support options. Using a series of sensors, this drone can feed ballistic data to your operatives within range. This effectively gives all friendly models within range a +1 to hit with shooting attacks. Additionally, these sensors allow the drone a bonus to reveal hidden models.
So basically, drones give your crew some additional options or allow crafty Showrunners to make up for crew short falls. As with all operatives, your Showrunner may only take two drone jockeys, but it effectively adds four models to the crew for the price of two operative slots. Something to think about.
I hope that answers your questions. Next blog, we will return with hacking.
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