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Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:40 am
by Zero_Cool
I just got around to reading the new SM codex in a bit more depth (after seeing what the Centurions did to me over the weekend I couldn't resist). I got to reading about bike units. Now I will preface this with the fact that I have been toying with a biker list since 5th ed and playing against Greg Swanson so I may be a little biased, but they do look pretty nice to me.

The way I see it you pay 7 points for 12" move, relentless, +1 T and Hammer of Wrath. With a biker captain/master they are troops. You can add 2 special, 1 ranged and 1 melee weapon option in as few as 3 models. Larger units can combat squad if needed for added flexibility.

Don't even get me started on the White Scar chapter tactics (3++ bikes?).

Points wise they seem pretty good. If you wanted to go MSU style you could get 5 bikes w/2plasma/grav and a Paxe for a buck and a half. 6 of those units is just about 900 points leaving a ton of points for support units. Personally I would bump those units up to 7, take 5 of them and add an objective sitting tactical squad and still have 800+ points in a 2000 point list for the HQs and other goodies.

Tau shooting that ignores cover and Heldrake baleflamers will be an issue but those are an issue for everything in 3+ or worse armor. Atleast T5 may make wounding them a bit tougher.

A quick list might look like:

Captain on bike w/command squad
Same

5 x 7 bikes w/2 specials and 1 melee
Tactical w/heavy

2 Stormtalon

Add in some Thunderfire cannon or ADL to taste and as points allow. That's 40+ T5 marines that move fast and most can take/hold an objective.

So what am I missing? Why haven't I heard much about bikes? Am I just looking at them through rose tinted glasses because I think they are cool?

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:25 am
by Redbeard
I think there's still a lot of helldrake fear out there.

But you're right, bikers are cool... 8)

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:25 am
by Zero_Cool
Redbeard wrote:But you're right, bikers are cool... 8)


Ha! I see what you did there :)

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:53 pm
by GregSwanson
I so want to build my bike army again but just can't bring myself to do it as I fear everyone and their brother will be playing them now...... I have to admit I do miss my storm lords.....

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:55 pm
by GregSwanson
Chris would always throw an attack bike in there. Never hurts to have a portable multimelta. Plus you still get the same number of wounds.

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:03 am
by Generalissimo_Fred
First off if you think the bikes are cool then I say go for it. Nothing is better than taking an army you think is cool. Mpersonally I don't think you will see very many bike heavy lists at the top tables of tourneys. There are just to many hard counters to an elite 3+ save army right now. First and foremost is the flying Daemon circus lists. Though we don't see this around Chicago very often at all, they appear at every major tourney. 4-5 flying Daemon MC's can chase down the bike squads and kill them in assault. It is a very hard matchup for bikes. Next is the Tau buff commander. He ignores cover saves and on the right unit (like dark reapers) he can just lay waste to bikes.

Greg I don't think you have to worry to much about SM bikes sprouting up everywhere. Bikes are expensive models to buy now. They are not as cheap as they used to be. In Chicago we see the Tau buff commander in lists, but I have only ever seen one truely flying circus lists and that was a ringer army. I'm not sure if the Daemons are more popular in Memphis where Chris plays or not.

Both of you make the bike army if you like it and don't worry about it becoming to popular.

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:46 am
by Cptn_Snuggles
Chris,

I've been toying around with marine bikes too. Some things to consider that I realized. One is that the biker sgt can only have one weapon - the close combat upgrade only replaces his bolt pistol. So if you're going to do anything might as well go with a fist. Or just keep him cheap and stick to melta-bombs.

Fred hit it on the head with the flying daemon list being a hard counter. It's forcing me to probably add some air coverage. I just don't know if this list can hang in the big national tournaments but as long as you don't have a lot of flying demon circus in your area you should be ok.

The biker chapter master with the burning blade and artificer armor on a bike is a combat monster. I played around with him a little bit, but just settled on leaving this as a shooting list.

Remember even if you have a full 9 man (8 plus attack bike) squads as troops, you can always go with a little three man squad with 2 flamers as an outflanking unit or reserve unit to come in and clean up stuff out of transports or kroot that outflank.

I'm also toying with a small drop element - like a ironclad (or two) in pods combined with an assault squad with 2 flamers in a pod. I haven't tested enough how it hangs but ironclads are hard for broadsides to deal with. Riptides essentially need to assault them to clear them off. Ironclads also help in horde control and tie up things you don't want running rampant through your bikes.

Another fun toy that seems to mesh well is a scout squad in a land speeder storm (with heavy flamer). The cerebus launcher is huge against necrons and tau - blind is brutal. If you go first it can scout forward and flame / blind things. If you go second it can either deep strike or outflank. Also a handy objective grabber. You can also use the scouts as a way to "push away" enemy scouts or infiltrators (if you put your infiltrator down first). You play the chess game of moving people back with an infiltrator so you can actually scout. It's why every grey knight player should be adding 3 servo skulls in their list! I'd like to do a second one, but it'll have to be painted empty, I don't think I have it in me to want to paint all those scouts hanging off a 2nd transport.

If you're going close combat bike oriented I'd like to see if an allied dark angels librarian might be worth it. With power-field and divination he's a huge bonus to giving the middle finger to helldrakes. PLUS that goofy land speeder shroud might actually be worth taking (maybe). Putting a stealth field on everything in it's radius means that your white scars going flat out have a 2+ save. Granted commander helpful from Tau says he doesn't care. This is all theory-hammer for me since I don't think adding more "stuff" to a concentrated area is helpful. I'm of the idea that you just want more bodies and as much shooting as possible.

Some thoughts to noodle on.

Cheers,
BC

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:17 pm
by Cptn_Snuggles
Here's the list I'm going to play around with for 1850. Hopefully it's enough distributed threats.

150 HQ: Khan on bike
258 Troop: 8 bikes, 1 attack bike with multi-melta. 2 grav guns, sgt with melta bombs
258 Troop: 8 bikes, 1 attack bike with multi-melta. 2 grav guns, sgt with melta bombs
258 Troop: 8 bikes, 1 attack bike with multi-melta. 2 grav guns, sgt with melta bombs
100 Troop: 5 scouts in land speeder storm with heavy flamer
100 Troop: 5 scouts in land speeder storm with heavy flamer
55 Troop: 5 scouts
73 Fast: 3 bikes with 2 flamers
73 Fast: 3 bikes with 2 flamers
125 Fast: Stormtalon with skyhammer
200 Heavy: Storm Raven
100 Heavy: Thunderfire Cannon
100 Heavy: Thunderfire Cannon

Cheers,
BC

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:29 pm
by GregSwanson
Brian
You definitely need some sort of Alpha strike more to eliminate the stupid pathfinders than anything. I picked up a mostly Ravenwing DA force and have been play testing with that. The thing that usually kills me is the pathfinders removing my cover save and boosting the shooting to ridiculous levels. I love the list. I would add combi weapons on to the sergeants though. Bikes depend on hitting hard when they do so I really like having the extra shots on the first volley. I would also think about having the ass kicker on the bike instead of khan. It is always nice to have someone who can go toe to toe with a big nasty thing......

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:56 pm
by Cptn_Snuggles
Yeah I could drop one thunderfire cannon and change out Khan for the super 225 point commander. The 25 points (plus a little tinkering) would get me a few combis.

The downside is you lose the ability to scout. Although being cautious (or even just coming from your back table edge) the 3 man bike squads with flamers can still play clean up and contest objectives. I guess you still have land speeder storms that can scout regardless. I would miss having the big bike squads being able to scout - that is pretty sweet.

I'll think about bring commander nasty - he does wreck face.

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:08 pm
by Zero_Cool
What about small assault squads with flamers in a drop pod for Pathfinder elimination? A 5 man w/2 flamers is < 100.

The Storm Raven looks out of place as it is not carrying anything. Maybe add in a command squad to run with the Khan (or the super-killy guy) for some additional HTH goodies?

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:32 pm
by GregSwanson
I would go with two storm talons

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:35 pm
by GregSwanson
One thing you might want to think of is a heavy bolter attack bike squad. Great for erasing hordes also can put a hurt on a squad and hold it up for a long time in hth. Fifteen shots prior to the charge and then nine attacks.

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:58 pm
by Generalissimo_Fred
Good tactics talk from you guys. I'm learning a lot.

Re: Talk to me about SM Bikes

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:08 pm
by GregSwanson
I think I would also take one squad of plasma bikes just for things with high toughness and no armor saves