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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bike armies & meltaguns

Here’s a post from this thread over on Warseer which made me raise an eyebrow. It’s about biker armies. Whilst I’ll be doing a How To on these armies later, I thought I might highlight this post to whet your appetite and halt the spread of bad information! The poster (enygma7) is quite correct in pointing out bikers are normally resilient through high T, good save and turbo-boost but obviously suffer in numbers because of this. He points out the reduction in firepower which is somewhat true (310pts is expensive for a 8+1 man squad of Vanilla bikers) but then talks about flamers...huh what? Let’s look at this.

  1. Bikers are NOT good in assault. Command Bikers are. Jetlock Councils are okay. Nob Bikers are good but inefficient. Etc. Your regular run of the mill Vanilla bikers, CSM bikers, Jetbikes, etc. are not. Don’t pretend they are.
  2. Meltaguns > flamers. This is why most bike armies don’t work, only Vanilla Marines can have bikes as troops w/meltaguns. Why meltaguns? They take advantage of their speed boost and can get in your face quickly and every bike unit has a TL’d anti-infantry weapon. Why do you need flamers? Combi-flamers on Vanilla bikers might be okay but replacing meltaguns? Do so at your own risk. Bike armies need to be able to pop tanks and all bike armies outside of Vanilla bikers do this best in combat. This is why Vanilla bikers are good as an army.
So why else are vanilla bikers viable as an army but Orks, Chaos, Dark Angels and Eldar not? Chaos is out because they aren’t Troops. Orks are out because they are designed for combat and bikes aren’t good combat units due to their higher point cost and better than average shooting. Dark Angels are more expensive than Vanilla bikers and cannot have rock units like Command Squads who are as mobile as the bikes back them up (though they do get other bonuses like scout, Fearless, etc.). Eldar jetbikes simply don’t have the anti-tank outside of the Seer Council but the main thing Vanilla bikers have over other armies is combat tactics. This adds an extra dimension to their mobility and allows their basic Troops to avoid combat more easily or potentially bail out of it.

The main thing about a properly built bike force though is the ability to neutralise your opponent’s mech through mobility and a lot of melta in their face. Suggesting regular bikers are good at combat and should forego meltaguns is counterintuitive.

5 pinkments:

Anonymous said...

But space marines are the finest warriors of the galaxy right? What do you mean they're not good in CC?

This is a nice little post Mr Kirby. Flamers are obviously better than a single twin-linked bolter... but do they 'add' anything. No. Melta will give the unit versatility and is necessary in the world of 5th Ed.

I'd say BA bikers (a la Blood Rodeo) are probably one of the better variants even without being troops because of their extra punch (FC) and sticking power (FNP). Otherwise... try and keep those pricey units out of combat the best you can.

Using them is a toughie... but one your bike-fu is up to scratch, they're a force to be reckoned with!

grav said...

I like bike lists a lot and have finished mine. I use the codex marines with single command-deathstar at 1700, for my second HQ I use a Libby..

I really like the articles on this site about bike lists, keep em coming..

Chumbalaya said...

Seriously? How the hell is 1 attack good in CC?

Smurfy said...

Kirb, would you like me to do a How-To on the Bikers for ya, I mean, I have one for a year or two now, if I miss anything you can contribute into it?

Kirby said...

Go for it Smurfy and I'll do the Blood Rodeo one later.

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