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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


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Knights and their steeds!


In a recent post on Bolter and Chainsword, one my fellow Black Templar brethren asked about making Black Templar bikers competitive.

Shouldn't be too hard should it?

Bikers are awesome for many reasons. High toughness means you're more resilient to low strength torrent fire and the 3++ save offered by turbo-boosting means you can also withstand the nasty stuff too. The speed of bikers makes them very responsive and troublesome late game. Biker units also tend to offer good special weapon options and combat-squadding can offer-up so useful bubble wrap. Not to mention, who doesn't love knights on bikes?

Well, let's look at some strengths of past lists posted here on 3++. As Black Templars we're not going to be able to consider something like Smurfy's biker marines and we'll have to consider something more in line with Kirby's Fast'n'Slow and Blood Rodeo.

Lets go back in time and look at Fast'n'Slow, a hybrid biker list with Biker troops supported by 'slow' elements, be it dreads, termies, preds etc etc. Bike units can combat squad into melta and bubble-wrap squads or mixed elements depending on what is needed. Blood rodeo on the other hand is a bit more like what is going to be required. No troop bikers means scoring units need to be found elsewhere. The main difference is BA troops are also mobile with the bikes unlike unlike the offerings of C:BT.
 
So what are the elements we need to think about?
  • Most importantly are the bikes. C:BT offers up some nice options when it comes to bikers, but the units turn out to be quite expensive when comparing them to their Space Marine brothers. We get 3 special weapons offered and an expensive attack bike. At 32 points/model base, they're slightly over-priced, but we can deal with that. All ICs (except the Champ) is offered a bike, so these can really give the squads some nice CC punch.
  • Support units. The rodeo utilises TH/SS termies as a hammer unit, but other hybrid lists use dreads, preds and even speeders. Obviously Hammernators and speeders aren't really going to be an optionso this will take a little more thought. Dreads are okay, but we don't have the option of riflemen.
  • With only a single troop choice, this isn't such a tough choice. The difficulty comes in designating their role. Ranged support? CC support? Midfield bunkers?
So let's build this mother! BT bikers at 2k.

We'll start with the bikes... 3 weapon options is nice, so let's make the most of it...

Bike Sqaud - Flamer x 2, melta, MM attack bike - 175 x 3... 525

some ranged support and troops...

Predator Destructor - Las sponsons - 125 x 2... 775

Crusader Squad (5) - Lascannon, plasmagun - Rhino - 151 x 4... 1379

Forward support is essential if we don't want to lose our bikers early doors. Dreads can fill this role, we just need to make sure they can keep on the move...

Dread - MM/HF, EA, SL - 133 x 2... 1645

So 355 left. We need the EC and we'll just stick with AAC as I don't want to think about things too much :P

let's throw some more bikes into those units... 1 each for now... another 96.

119 left. Just about another dread... so what do we have?

EC - Accept any challenge - 140

Dreadnought - Assault Cannon/DCCW - EA, SL - 113
Dreadnought - MM/HF/DCCW - EA, SL - 133
Dreadnought - MM/HF/DCCW - EA, SL - 133

Crusader squad (5) - Lascannon, plasmagun - Rhino - 151
Crusader squad (5) - Lascannon, plasmagun - Rhino - 151
Crusader squad (5) - Lascannon, plasmagun - Rhino - 151
Crusader squad (5) - Lascannon, plasmagun - Rhino - 151

Bike Squad (4) - Flamer x2, meltagun, MM AB - 209
Bike Squad (4) - Flamer x2, meltagun, MM AB - 209
Bike Squad (4) - Flamer x2, meltagun, MM AB - 209

Predator Destructor - Lascannon Sponsons - 125
Predator Destructor - Lascannon Sponsons - 125

2000 (maybe I was bad at math before... but it comes in on the button.)

So there is a basic list that offers lots of threats. We have 6 targets in the back field and 6 trying to get in your face. It probably won't stand up to good gunlines, but I certainly think it can 'compete'.

Knowing Firepower he was probably thinking of something more CC orientated, so we'll look at that in a separate post, but he'll just have to be happy for now.

7 pinkments:

Nikephoros said...

I like it, but I don't think you need AAC in this list. It's just a waste of 50 points and can screw you as you HAVE to charge, which will likely lead to getting your bikes killed by the contents of whatever the meltas pop.

Marshal Laeroth said...

I argue with Nikephoros here. "Abhor the Witch" is a much better vow for this type of army.

My version which, in my opinion, streamlines your theme. Contains a bit more AI, while compensating for more long range AT from the dreads. Maybe you'll like it too. :D

EC - "Abhor The Witch" - 110

Dreadnought - TL-LC/HF/DCCW - EA - 140
Dreadnought - TL-LC/HF/DCCW - EA - 140
Dreadnought - TL-LC/HF/DCCW - EA - 140

Crusader squad (5) - Lascannon, plasmagun - Rhino - 151
Crusader squad (5) - Lascannon, plasmagun - Rhino - 151
Crusader squad (5) - Lascannon, plasmagun - Rhino - 151
Crusader squad (5) - Lascannon, plasmagun - Rhino - 151

Bike Squad (4) - Flamer x2, meltagun, Krak, MM AB - 213
Bike Squad (4) - Flamer x2, meltagun, Krak, MM AB - 213
Bike Squad (4) - Flamer x2, meltagun, Krak, MM AB - 213

Predator Destructor - Heavy Bolter Sponsons, SL - 113
Predator Destructor - Heavy Bolter Sponsons, SL - 113

Marshal Laeroth said...

I agree with Nikephoros*

Brother Loring said...

"So 355 left. We need the EC and we'll just stick with AAC as I don't want to think about things too much :P"

I agree... hence the comment above.

The only thing is the Dreads are designed to be combat support and without AAC, they're just not.

With you're speed, you should be aiming to get side armour shots and most transports (most transports are AV10/11 side armour and eldar AV12 doesn't allow double melta anyway. Heaver stuff tends not to have stuff embarked) won't require 2 MELTA meltas, so staying further than 6" is always a good option. Land raiders are an obvious exception, but whatever is inside isn't going to kill you either way, so you're probably better off getting the assault anyway.

Laeroth - Remember the bikes have bolters too and the Dreads provide plenty of AI. The problem with las dreads is that you're not popping smoke and running turn one to keep up with the bikes. If you sit around and shoot, you'll find yourself too far back when it matters. AC dreads are an option (and you'd probably have enough points for a venerable one too), if you'd like more AI.

I just can't justify paying 30 points over the odds for a dakka pred either. No matter how much I need it, I just can't live with being bent over a table to pay for it.

Marshal Laeroth said...

The only thing I changed about the list was the EC's vow, the Dread's loadout, and the Pred's loadout. ;)

Unfortunately, the problem with relying on the bike squads for your AI is that they are easy to eliminate as they currently stand. Especially when they slow down for their shots. Thus, you need another reliable AI source, as frankly, the crusader squads don't do it. The bikes fulfill the role you said, maneuvering around to get side shots and flaming mob infantry if the opportunity presents itself. Also remember, if you follow your stay out of 6" melta range idea, you are still within charge range of your opponent, as a smart player doesn't leave their units unsupported. Therefore, leaving them useless for the remainder of the game (fearless ftl). You need to use them in a fashion that allows you to contest objectives later in the game (so they need to live), as they are the only super mobile units you have.

The Dreads are the only "dangerous" armor you have so will likely eat lots of Str 7/8 shots (Hive Guard, Missiles, Autocannons, etc) that are incredibly prevalent in today's metagame. Effectively reducing its ability to do its job in your list. However, if you deploy them more towards your deployment zone near the crusader squads, they provide CC support while maintaining full fire potential. Plus, if your opponent wants you off your objectives, he's going to have to come to you to contest/wipe you off them. Obviously, you can change it up as situation requires it. This loadout allows you to be more adaptable to battlefield conditions, while the MM loadout has minimal use in your backfield (which could be very problematic against some opponents).

The Preds only changed because I was over by 11 points. However, I still think its an useful change, as the list was sorely lacking in the AI department outside of the bikers (dreads wouldn't last long). So I'm not sure what you're referring to paying an extra 30 points for...? They are cheaper. By a lot. And therefore, less of a threat. :)

Chumbalaya said...

I like the concept, but I think I like it more with Laeroth's tweaks

Brother Loring said...

:O Chumby! How could you!

I just don't think the dreads will be supporting like they should be with las/dccw.

The dakka preds are expensive and with CC supporting dreads I don't think AI is really lacking... they'll be tied up if they're not dead. Like I said being bent over the table messes with my Chi too.

But it's nice to see people are thinking BT can do Bikers at least reasonably competitively.... that's the aim after all.

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