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Discussion Starter #1
Not really used bike squads for SMs before so I'd like some opinions, please.

Right, here's the 'givens';

I will be using a (possibly more) bike squad(s); I don't know what I'll be using them against, but likely to include Eldar, Orks, Chaos and other SMs as regular opponents; I'm open to all suggestions vis-a-vis attack bikes etc; no traits and not a White Scars list...

and here's the question;

how would you configure your squad in terms of:
1 numbers;
2 sergeant (vet with wargear?);
3 special weapons(flamers? plasma?);
4 attack bikes (yes? no? bolters? meltas?);
5 anything I've missed out?

Thanks in advance for your collective help, oh wisest of 40k dudes and (potentially) dudesses.
 

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Bikes are one of the most overlooked units in the game, my advice would be to make them specialized squads. Keep all anti-tank units in one squad, anti-troop squads in another, and anti-hvy troop squads in another. That way you can play each squad totaly to thier strengths.
 

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Its a good tactic if you can keep them alive, unfortunately you often have those specialized targets getting shot up and taken out, so while specialized units have their place, because of the fact that they make targets its good to have a couple back ups in your meat units or your bread n' butter units
 

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'overlooked' is one word for it, if your being polite.

Bikes die as quickly as Marine if shot at or in assault...but cost more than double.
 

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Yeah, but they look cool.

So I got a couple (or 3), now I need to find out what to do with them...
That's pretty much the same reason I have a couple.

What to do with them?

Paint them up nicely, have them as a centerpiece of a display case, dust them regularly, and wait for 5th Ed or very large games to get them out.
 

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Exactly, Jeridian! :D

You can use them to swing around tanks and bust their rear armours, but obviously your opponent would know thats precisely what you were planning to do so they will get mowed down.
 

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While it is true that bikes are very expensive and not used a lot (the words eggs and basket springs to mind) there is some good news if you want to use them. First of use the terrain, if the whole army is shooting at you, you will die. Don't go through terrain if you can help it and as a rule stay out of assault, oh and turbo boost. The boosting gives you a 3+ invulnerable save against shooting Furthermore use more than 3 bikes, you really need a bigger squad (my opinion) and if you are going to get into assault stick a chappie on a bike in there, the litanies of hate makes a big difference and the extra point of toughness does your chaplain a world of good. Now stick a PF/PW plus BP on your veteran sergeant and you have some smackdown going. Take 2 melta or 2 flamers depending if you are going for troops or tanks (I avoid plasma because I keep on blowing up my expensive bikers)Personally I like the melta guns with melta bombs on the sarge (my preference)

Oh and remember they will be a priority target for your opponent because of the threat that they represent in terms of armor killing, maneuverability and points value so give him more than one target and (once again) use terrain. Usually going up a flank is a good idea. Don't be over eager with them, remember they can get there fast so don't hang their asses alone out front where all those points are going to get blown to hell for nothing. Use them as part of a combined strategy.

So in short, bikes are fun and cool and ... really expensive but they can be used effectively just don't expect to see them on tournament lists everywhere.
8)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Severian: I like the chaplain tactic, because if there's one thing looks cooler than a marine on a bike, it's a black marine in a skull-mask on a bike, with a big stick for the hittin with. With you on plasma, OK for basic marines, not so good if you self-destruct a vet serge on a bike, that's a lot of points just got hot, but even a normal marine+bike is more than enough... so, maybe the melta...

What about the old 'give the vet serge/chaplain a teleport homer' routine? Got to admit, I quite like the thought of causing my opponent the headache of 'jeez where's he gonna put the Termies?'

Can't do it with the PF though. Just a style thing, really, I mean, tactically it's sound, but the idea of having this massively heavy fist that you clatter someone with as you go past... it's just not aesthetically pleasing!

I don't propose that the whole army will be shooting at my bikes, if they do, well, I'm prepared to lose the bikes, but my opponent has to be prepared to lose half his army to my approx 60 marines, many of which have big and/or nasty weapons. On another thread I was advised that my veteran tankhunters and razorback would be the things attracting all the fire. Fine, shoot the bikes, shoot the vets, shoot the razorback, my devs will take you out, bwa-ha-haha-HA, etc.

I do take the main point though. Cover, don't commit too early. Got it. Oh, and 'don't enter tounaments' is probably quite good advice too, cheers! :lol:

Jeridian: ah, not really a 'paint it up nice and put it on a shelf to look at' player, more a 'stop painting it before it gets any worse, then knock it off the table and break something' kinda player (can't help it. Orc, see?). But the squad's in a (roughly) 2,000pt army with around 12 other squads, is that big enough do you reckon? Or do I have to get a load more stuff to provide enough "chaff" to allow my bikes to survive?
 

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Red Orc said:
I don't propose that the whole army will be shooting at my bikes, if they do, well, I'm prepared to lose the bikes, but my opponent has to be prepared to lose half his army to my approx 60 marines, many of which have big and/or nasty weapons. On another thread I was advised that my veteran tankhunters and razorback would be the things attracting all the fire. Fine, shoot the bikes, shoot the vets, shoot the razorback, my devs will take you out, bwa-ha-haha-HA, etc.
The problem with loosing bikes is that model for model you are losing a lot of victory points (they are expensive) and due to the high points cost they leave a hole in your army. If however as you point out there are other hight threat units (tank hunters with Razorback, devastators, termies etc.) that forces him to either ignore certain units or split his fire. Either way it is all good. ( see my previous post about giving him multiple targets). If you are going to leave the PF at home then take a power weapon and meltabombs on the sarge to deal with vehicles .

Enjoy those scooters!
 

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The Traveler
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I have fifteen bikes in my 2nd Company list, I field them as such

Squad Thesus
-Sgt w/ Power weapon and melta bombs
-9 SM bikers
-2 w/ melta guns

Squad Harlen
-Sgt w/ Power weapon and melta bombs
-4 SM bikers
-2 w/ melta guns

I use them as shock troops, breaking a line for the ground pounders and then destroying armor behind the lines once my army breaks through. The melta guns and Power weapons are good for Dreads, Hive Tyrants, pesky multi-wounders, and Eldar Wraithlords and Wraithguard. Pretty much anything besides tremendous numbers my Bikers can handle.

-Dirge
 

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A White Scars army (or one with the Be Swift as the Wind trait) can have biker squads up to ten-strong.


As for bikers...

A Space Marine Battle Company has two Assault Squads, which provide for both Land Speeder crews and Bike Squadrons when fielded. The first question is whether you're going to bother paying attention to that little tidbit of fluff, because if you are, you're going to be limiting yourself to a total of 20 Assault Marines. The question then becomes, "What role do my Assault Marines need to play in the army?"

If you've got a firepower intensive army, a bike squadron is probably not your best bet unless you FREQUENTLY play against an army which includes lots of indirect fire units which your more static firepower units won't be able to get to easily. However, if you've devoted most of your points to delivering your Tactical Squads to close combat, bikers can fill the role of tank hunters as effectively as a devastator squad, with far more mobility so they can lend their aid in a combat if need be. Ultimately, a bike squadron equipped to go tank hunting is going to be cheaper than a lot of other options for similar duties, which leaves you more to devote to your assault. It's purely personal preference as to whether you want to field Marines on Bikes or go with Land Speeders-- you can do the same thing with both for the most part, but keep in mind that bikes do have much more staying power.

As for armament... I'd take a pair of meltaguns and give the sergeant a power fist. If you take an attack bike, give it a heavy bolter-- that way, if the squad doesn't have a lot to chew on tank-wise, it can lend some support to the twin linked bolters. I'd leave the Attack Bike at home, personally.
 

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The Traveler
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Greyskullscrusade said:
I have fifteen bikes in my 2nd Company list, I field them as such
what army would that be? SM bikers cant have more than 5 bikes+ atk bike
My 2nd Company list has Swift as the Wind and See But Don't be Seen.

Very sneaky. Kind of reminicent of the Ravenwing I suppose, but then again, my Mountain Angels are a sucessor!

-Dirge
 

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Greyskullscrusade said:
I have fifteen bikes in my 2nd Company list, I field them as such
what army would that be? SM bikers cant have more than 5 bikes+ atk bike
With the exception of attack bikes can you not have 5 bikes per fast attack slot with regular codex marines? I need to go and check my codex ... :?:
 

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I used a squad of 5 bikes + attack bike as a delivery system for my librarian, also had some success with a chaplain carrying a lightning claw.

It was quite impressive but you had to be clever about the deployment of the unit as they could easily get shot to poop. In addition my lib just drove behind them I didnt actually attach him to the unit unless I came across a dread or something - casting might of heroes on a vet sarge w/power fist is quite handy (forgive the pun)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The Son of Horus said:
A White Scars army (or one with the Be Swift as the Wind trait) can have biker squads up to ten-strong...
Nope, no matter how hard I look, this isn't in my codex. Bike squads can be up to 5 models, plus an attack bike, plus any attached character who doesn't count towards unit totals anyway; any squad taken as troops under 'Be swift as the wind' must be at least 5 models... ie five models or five models plus attack bike... doesn't say can be ten... and a White Scars list is a 'Be swift as the wind' trait-list anyway, isn't it (at least, since the 'new' SM codex came out about 3 years ago)?

Of course, I may have got hopelessly wrong, I often do...

:cyclops:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My edition says (c) 2004, but is printed 2005.

Don't recall a FAQ about it, doesn't mean there isn't one.

There used to be a White Scars list, didn't there (was it in Armaggedon?)? (Too many question marks there!) - maybe the 10-man squads were to do with that?

Dunno really, can't say I've ever really looked, but I've never come across mentions of 10-man squads anywhere other than this thread.

:cyclops:
 

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Oops! My mistake fellas. I was probably half-alive at the time I wrote that.

Refined list.

THREE five-man squads, each with sgt w/power weapon and 2x melta gunz.

-Dirge
 
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