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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Email in: Codex: Space Marines Dread Bikers


"Hey there, Kirby,

Been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and it looks like you've got a pretty good thing going. Since you've been writing on Bikers, especially the Blood Rodeo and Fast n' Slow variety, I thought I might run an admittedly crazy-seeming idea past you for some feedback.

I love my Bikers list (which right now runs along the lines of a Fast n' Slow list... and I was pleasantly surprised to see that type of list being covered and enthusiastically supported here). However, I'm always itching to try something new and crazy. So without further adieu...

...

1x Captain (Bike +35, Relic Blade +30) 165
1x Master of the Forge (Bike +35, Conversion Beamer +20) 155

6x Dreadnoughts 630
- in Drop Pods 210

8x Bikers (1x Sergeant +0, 2x Meltaguns +20, 1x Multi-Melta Attack Bike +50) 285
8x Bikers (1x Sergeant +0, 2x Meltaguns +20, 1x Multi-Melta Attack Bike +50) 285

5x Assault Marines (1x Sergeant w/ Pair of Lightning Claws +30, Remove Jump Packs +0) 130
- in Drop Pod 35
2x Land Speeder Squadrons (1x Multi-Melta +10, 1x Heavy Flamer +10) 140

2000

...

Basic idea is being able to cram threats right down an opponent's throat early, then maintain the pressure. Turn 1, drop pod in a Quartet of bone-standard Dreadnoughts in a tight cluster, Multi-Melta exposed enemy armor, and run Bikers up to start shooting into the contents of the transports. From there, Dreads can do a slow advance (supported by more Dreads raining in), and having four of them marching together should, in theory, make up for their poor number of attacks by going into fights in numbers. Having multi-meltas in your back yard on turn one is scary, especially on a Dread platform. Similar to the theory for why Foot Space Wolves are competitive with Thunderwolf Cavalry, this list tries to overcome how slow Drop Pod armies tend to be after the drop by supporting them with fast elements like Bikers to deal with infantry. Once the initial hit goes off, the enemy might be able to run from the Dreads, but the Bikers can still hunt them down and deliver some fast Melta to slow them down. The Assault Marines are there for an odd number of Drop Pods, and maybe to show up and cut up some really light infantry when they come in.

Now for the problems I can already see with the list. Like any other Drop Pod Marines list, the enemy can castle up, and unlike Blood Angels, I have no good answer for that, like Blood Lance. My firebase is limited to a single Conversion Beamer (though that thing'll probably be shooting at S10AP1 most of the game, for what it's worth). I don't even have any pie plates to pitch around. On that point, I'd sort of like to work Heavy Flamers onto my Dreads, but I'm not sure where I'll scrape up the points to add this extra threat to the Dreads, and I don't even know how worth my time it'd be to spend 10 extra points per Dread to do just that. And while this is only an estimate from the starting army list, I'm going to have 10 multi-meltas running around the table, and four meltaguns. That's a heck of a lot of melta, and it leads me to wondering whether I should give my meltagun Bikers flamers instead and emphasize the squad's anti-infantry role. Then I go back and realize that I'll probably be depending on my fast melta to kill enemy vehicles (after the first wave) and I find myself stuck. Finally, at 2000 points, this list is light on Bikers. I'd really like to get a third squad, even a half-sized squad of four bikers and an attack bike.

So that's my ramblings on this possibility. It combines a few things I really like (Drop Pods and Bikers and Dreadnoughts), and it seems crazy enough that it might even work, but before I wander out and drop some coin on the last few Dreadnoughts and a bunch of Drop Pods, I wanted to assess how viable this concept even is.

Thanks.

Jackelope King"

The Biker and Dread concept is a good one but not really the Pods. Whilst the Dreads threaten your opponent early, two full bike squads aren't going to threaten your opponent much beyond this. I'd recommend running three full bike squads backed by Dreads on foot. Split these between rifleman Dreads and MM Dreads and you provide yourself with the combat power and supression fire of these two variants. Drop any extra points into landspeeders.

If you wanted Drop Pods you could buy a couple for the Dreads and only drop the MM Dreads (give the Rifles some Pods to so you can drop all the MM Dreads at once if possible). The important part is to ensure you have enough bikes to threaten your opponent. The Flamers are a good idea on the MM Dreads if you can fit them as well, especially if you Pod them in. Extra anti-infantry is always good.

Also, grab the AoBR Dreads off ebay, cheap and easy to convert to whatever.

8 pinkments:

VT2 said...

The assault marines won't do anything, and biker marines don't really need or want pods.

If you need suicide melta on turn 2, take more squads of 2 multi-melta/heavy flamer speeders instead. Cheaper than the dreads.

In a biker list like this, your dreads should have autocannons, so you can deal with transports and other light armor that tends to slow bikes down.
There's nothing preventing them from moving up while maintaining a steady stream of fire.

Jackelope King said...

Thanks for the feedback, Kirby.

VT2, the assault marines aren't supposed to do anything: they're a cheap source for an odd-numbered drop pod, which you need to ensure a four-dread drop. If I'm lucky, they'll collect a few scalps before they get eaten. However, I agree whole-heartedly that Rifleman Dreads just love to hang out with bikers... in my normal biker list, those Riflemen are all-stars.

...

As for how I can salvage this... I still want to be able to get at least 3 MM Dreads into the enemy's face on turn 1, while still eeking out a third full bike squad.

1x Captain (Bike +35, Relic Blade +30) 165
1x Master of the Forge (Bike +35, Conversion Beamer +20) 155

3x Dreadnoughts (Heavy Flamer +10) 345
- in Drop Pods 105

8x Bikers (1x Sergeant +0, 2x Meltaguns +20, 1x Multi-Melta Attack Bike +50) 285
8x Bikers (1x Sergeant +0, 2x Meltaguns +20, 1x Multi-Melta Attack Bike +50) 285
8x Bikers (1x Sergeant +0, 2x Meltaguns +20, 1x Multi-Melta Attack Bike +50) 285

2x Rifleman Dreadnoughts 250
- in Drop Pods 70

55 points to play with

...

Of course, I'm perfectly willing to admit defeat here as well. I'm just trying to figure out how flexible we can be with a Biker list.

VT2 said...

The simplest way is to drop some bikes for 5 man units of assault marines with no gear.

But that of course compromises the list in other ways.

Kirby said...

That's a better list Jackelope. With the extra points I'd drop one bike squad and turn it into two smaller bike squads (5 men?) or add some PFists to the bike squads or 5 deathwinds on the Pods for more anti-infantry. Really a non-Pod DreadBike list is probably better as those Dreads can be dealt with by an opponent with meltaguns but it's servicable. You can always drop the Pods empty as well to screw around with your opponents deployment.

Jackelope King said...

VT2: this list is already a giant compromise. I know it has problems ;)

Kirby: I agree. I already run and love my Bikers list (which I've recently learned is apparently similar to the Fast n' Slow brandied about here). It's effective, it's fun. But I like Dreads and I love Drop Pods, so I'm trying to cram as much as I love into a list while trying to keep it as competitive as my Fast n' Slow list (the mechanized elements of which I'd like to salvage for a Razorback Spam list, possibly even a more classical Mech list).

Kirby said...

Rhinos and Preds are easy to convert to RBacks and back. Once in some more Greenstuff, magnets and plasticard I'll put up a How To Tutorial thing on how to turn 3 Preds & 4 Rhinos into 7 Razorbacks and back ^^.

Jackelope King said...

That much I know, Kirby. I have four modern Rhino Chasis, and they're all magnetized ;)

Duke of Earl said...

A concept I posted in the Chatbox a while back was.

Captain, relic blade, storm shield, artificer armour, bike 195
Master of the Forge, conversion beamer, bike 155

8 bikes + attack bike, 2 x melta, multi-melta 285
8 bikes + attack bike, 2 x melta, multi-melta 285
5 bikes, 2 x melta 160
5 bikes, 2 x melta 160

Dreadnought, multi-melta, heavy flamer 115
Dreadnought, multi-melta, heavy flamer 115

Dreadnought, 2x twin-linked autocannon 125
Dreadnought, 2x twin-linked autocannon 125
Dreadnought, 2x twin-linked autocannon 125
Dreadnought, 2x twin-linked autocannon 125

Total 1970

The dreads provide suppression and the bikes melta the crap out of things. The mm/hf dreads run up with the bikes and close combat things if they need to.

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