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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How to: Space Marine Bikers Part 3: The 2 Lists

Part 3 of a more gruelling series articles than I thought, lots of expectations. o.O

This section will be short and sweet in that it will focus on the lists I use for a Hybrid variant and Pure Biker variant (Using Codex Space Marines), because in the next section, I hope to answer questions that have been (or will be?) posed to me to cover using said available sources. This makes the "theory-hammer" a bit more realistic because I know my resources are limited when I say "In my Hybrid I do X, in my pure bikes I do Y." rather than straight out theory-hammering assuming I have somehow everything in a given list.

So first up, the Pure Bikers

Darkwings 2000pt Roster

HQ: Captain - Space Marine Bike, Relic Blade, Bolt Pistol, Iron Halo, Frag & Krak Grenades
HQ: Captain - Space Marine Bike, Relic Blade, Bolt Pistol, Iron Halo, Frag & Krak Grenades

Command Squad (5) - Space Marine Bikes, Frag & Krak Grenades
2: Lightning Claws, Storm Shields, Meltaguns
1: Lightning Claw, Storm Shield, Bolt Pistol
1: Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Bolt Pistol
1: Apothecary - Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon

Command Squad (5) - Space Marine Bikes, Frag & Krak Grenades
2: Lightning Claws, Storm Shields, Meltaguns
1: Lightning Claw, Storm Shield, Bolt Pistol
1: Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Bolt Pistol
1: Apothecary - Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon


TR: 9 Space Marine Bikes Squad - Space Marine Bikes, Frag & Krak Grenades
A: 5 Bikes - 2 Meltaguns, 2 Bolt Pistols, 1 Sergeant
B: 4 Bikes - 3 Bolt Pistols, 1 Multi-Melta Attack Bike

TR: 9 Space Marine Bikes Squad - Space Marine Bikes, Frag & Krak Grenades
A: 5 Bikes - 2 Meltaguns, 2 Bolt Pistols, 1 Sergeant
B: 4 Bikes - 3 Bolt Pistols, 1 Multi-Melta Attack Bike

TR: 5 Space Marine Bikes Squad - Space Marine Bikes, Frag & Krak Grenades
A: 5 Bikes - 2 Meltaguns, 2 Bolt Pistols, 1 Sergeant

TR: 5 Space Marine Bikes Squad - Space Marine Bikes, Frag & Krak Grenades
A: 5 Bikes - 2 Meltaguns, 2 Bolt Pistols, 1 Sergeant

-2000/2000-

40 Bikes, 12 Meltas, 2 Multi Meltas

Quite simply the Dual Command on Bikes sledgehammer with a lot of mobile melta backup. I forgo any flamers here as the Commands usually wipe enemy Troop Choices clean and then some.

One reoccurring thing this list relies on is something Froggage (from YTTH) always described but never truly has shown is the "Umbrella Effect" The "Umbrella Effect" is done to help the Command Squads provide cover to other bikes while guarding them from assaults. (Only your Command Squads likey the assaults.)

So here's a example of how I *think* that works in a Pitched Battle Deployment Zone as we use the same strategy as the Blood Rodeo here:

Photobucket

So the Commands are providing Cover to the rest of the bikes in this set up as well as guarding from potential charges. Deep Strike? You gotta go outside the "Umbrella" still as there's no room to place your base within.

Anyways, that "Umbrella" concept should answer most questions already if you think a lil' abstractly how I'm gonna be moving this army. Preview there, there folks. ;)

This list also can cut down to 1000 pts by removing exactly one of every duplicate, fancy that. 1850 I can drop a 5 man 2 melta team.

Moving on....

Next is my current Hybrid biker army (@1750), and I know it's not ideal, but it's getting me in the mindset using ASM, Assaut Terminators and Bikers in tandem (Blood Rodeo) until I model it all. Quite un-needing to say this I think but hey, what can ya do?

HQ: Captain - Space Marine Bike, Relic Blade, Artificer Armour, Storm Shield, Digital Weapons, Meltabombs

HQ: Librarian - Space Marine Bike; PSY: Null Zone & The Avenger

EL: 5 Assault Terminators - Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield

TR: 9 Space Marine Bikes Squad - Space Marine Bikes, Frag & Krak Grenades
A: 5 Bikes - 1 Flamer, 3 Bolt Pistols, 1 Sergeant - Power Fist
B: 4 Bikes - 1 Meltagun, 2 Bolt Pistols, 1 Multi-Melta Attack Bike


TR: 9 Space Marine Bikes Squad - Space Marine Bikes, Frag & Krak Grenades
A: 5 Bikes - 1 Flamer, 3 Bolt Pistols, 1 Sergeant - Power Fist
B: 4 Bikes - 1 Meltagun, 2 Bolt Pistols, 1 Multi-Melta Attack Bike

FST: 2x Land Speeders - 2x Heavy Flamer; 2x Multi-Melta

FST: 2x Land Speeders - 2x Heavy Flamer; 2x Multi-Melta

FST: 10 Assault Marines - 2 Plasma Pistols; Sergeant - Power Fist

HVY: Predator - Autocannon & 2 Heavy Bolters

HVY: Predator - Autocannon & 2 Heavy Bolters

So can we see the chore this list is for me to manage?

- We got our Troops that want to be speeding around and using their mobility to bring their firepower to bear, but can't stray too far away from the main force lest be cut off.

- We got a awesome hammer that the Assault Terminators are, but they're dirt slow compared to the troops that need their support. Regardless, fancy manuevering, Deep Striking, and good prediction will still get them in the fight.

- Predators!? Yes, I didn't touch on Predators last section, these puppies usually sit in corners plugging away, hoping the enemy gets distracted on them but if not, more shots their way.

- I got no Command Squad "Umbrella" But I can try to eventually huddle behind the Captain and Shieldwall Terminators if I am desperate. (Did that against Nids quite well Saturday.)

- Assault Marines in this list aren't great at all thanks to no Meltaguns and no Furious Charge, so quite simply: They're the bait.

- Psy Defense! In the pure bikers I forgo this for the 2nd Command Squad on Bikes, but in this list I crammed it in. Utility Librarian, ACTIVATE!

So those are the two lists I will keep in mind when I get to my next section on Q&A/Tactics/Discussion. Be sure to ask in the Comments there or any part of this series so I can hopefully answer those questions.

11 pinkments:

grav said...

ok,on lists,
For some wierd reason the tournaments here in The Netherlands are at 1700 points, so thats what everybody builds their lists to.


at 1700 points I can run either:


2x Captain (Bike/Relicblade/Meltabomb)

2x Command squad (4xSS/3xLC/1xTH/4xMeltagun/3xMeltabombs)

2x Fullbike squad (2xMeltagun/Attackbike w/MM)


or I replace a Captain and Commandsquad with a Libby and 2 extra troopchoices:


1x Captain (Bike/Relicblade/SS/ArtiArmor/Meltabomb)

1x Command squad (4xSS/3xLC/1xTH/4xMeltagun/3xMeltabombs)

1x Libby (Bike, nullzone/avenger)

2x Fullbike squad (2xMeltagun/Combi-Flamer/Attackbike w/MM)

2x smallbike Squad (5 models) (2xMeltagun/Combi-Flamer/Attackbike w/MM)


Here I keep Captain with Libby and commandsquad together untill they are in chargerange of the eneny after which the Captian usually splits off.


I'm kinda leaning towards the second one since the first one seems to "rock" to be considered all-comers and suffers from very low model count. What are your thoughts?


About the lists in your article, in the second list I would seriously consider replacing the assault squad or the preds with rifleman dreads. The stationary preds-thing just doesn't seem to synergize with the rest of the list.

Smurfy said...

Fully aware the synergy isn't fully there in the second list, but as I noted, those are models I have while I build up the list, I wasn't building a Biker list when I started SM many years ago, lol.

Your list is fine, the dual command squad hammer is a necessary tool like I showed up in the article. Your big Bike squads should, again, always Combat Squad so you have more targets around the field and more potential firepower spread.

The Libby can get targetted and single'd out in CC, so I avoid it, but ya can do it if ya wish.

Low model count is a problem always with Bikes, and is why you need to practice your maneuvering and forethought of your attack plan with them, you just can't afford to make a mistake that will cost you to lose a good chunk of your forces at once.

AbusePuppy said...

Is there a specific reason for the two under-strength squads of bikers rather than a single nine-man with Attack Bike, etc?

Very useful series of articles, though. I really like the idea of biker marines and this gives me a good idea for where to start with them.

Ixe said...

Is there some reason why command squads are always presented as all/nothing? The lists I see are either 100% bikes with 2 command squads, or not 100% bikes with 0 command squads. Couldn't you make a hybrid list with, I dunno, one command squad?

To be sure, lacking command squad redunancy means that if the enemy can kill your command squad, you're gonna be fresh out of command squads. But if the enemy can kill one command squad, can't they kill two? Massed AP2 fire, i.e. plasma guns, can really screw over command squads by wounding on 2+ and denying FNP. But an enemy that can quickly wipe out one command squad should be able to take out two. By doubling up on command squads, you're doubling up on how much plasma FNP negating weapons mess up your army.

Kirby said...

YOu almost answer your own question Ixe ^^. Firstly not many armies take enough plasma to easily drop a command squad. You need roughly 7 shots (let's say 4 plasmaguns in RF range) with BS3 to cause one wound. You've got 4 guys who can take AP2 wounds on SS and a Captain (who should generally have an SS, too) which is a minimum of 14 plasma guns to get rid of just the 4 guys reliably. Sure you can do that but you'll get rolled by a mech army.

Outside of that, taking two rocks stops one rock from being blocked, tarpitted, etc. As you aptly put, you're doubling the amount your opponent has to deal with and therefore commit to stopping. One rock this is easily done but with two rocks? Much harder.

@AbusePuppy; I prefer the 3x full squads @ 2k (which also allows PFists on Sarges & SS on Captain) but I imagine Smurfy has done this for more meltaguns (4 instead of 2&1).

Smurfy said...

1 Command Squad gets it's work cut out for it if it's alone. It get's tied up with targets it rather wouldn't and the enemy man-handles it with focus fire. I myself see one coming at me? Prepare a tiered defense and get ready to focus it, then once it's gone, I needa deal with the rest of the Scoring Bikes but the Bike army lacks it's sledgehammer/bullet sponge so it's easy to focus fire the small squads of troops at a time.

Quite untrue regarding using 2 Commands: With 2 It's much more harder to focus fire and stall out than 1, even with the "appropriate firepower" (They are pretty survivable unless you get bad luck. Against Tau if all their plas focusses on your non-scoring choices you are still winning. Quite simply - If the Commands are allowed to cross the field, they will murder many-a army. The rest of the bikes can glee that a lot of focus fire is spent on them and not the true game winners (The rest of the bikes.)

It's Aggressive and balls-deep but that's how it is most of the time. Of course, the lists that can handle you with massed AP2 screw you even if you use normal bikes, so...Why not make your enemy bite the bullet if he refuses to shoot some targets completely dead?

Ixe said...

I think you maybe mean balls to the wall rather than balls deep. They have slightly different meanings >.>

I think I get you, though. If you've got command squads, they're gonna be your army's main beat-stick and you can't afford to let the enemy avoid them. If you go hybrid, you're going to have to go with a more standoffish approach.

Smurfy said...

Probably means balls to the wall, lol.

Correct, Dual Command = More Pressure; Hybrid = Passive Aggressive

Kirby said...

Hybrid is also cheaper :P, especially when one already has the vehicle aspect.

Anonymous said...

I notice that the command squads run only one thunderhammer, is this because daemonzilla and nidzilla are not played competatively or is it because even with just 1 thunderhammer you can reliably take down these threats?

Smurfy said...

It's because 1 Thunderhammer+Relic Blade+Meltagun shots+ LCs with Stunlock = Reliab le way to take down those threats. ;)

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