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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

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Email in: Starting White Scars Bike Army


"Hey Kirby:

I'm back asking for advice on a new army. After looking at your site on the different bike lists, and getting the chance at my LGS seeing a bike unit in action, the thought of an army of bikers sounds exiting and fun to play.

I have already purchased the models to create the below list (except scouts, i will proxy those), but I would like advice on how you would switch points around (upgrades on command squad, captain, regular units, etc).

The list, then my thoughts:

White Scars (no Khan) at 1500 pts

Captain - bike, relic blade, storm shield, artificer armor, digital weapons - 205

Command Squad - bikes, 3x lightning claws, 4x storm shields, 1x power first, 3x melta guns, apothecary - 365


Bike Squad: 8x bikes, 2x meltagun, MM Attack Bike - 285

Bike Squad: 8x bikes, 2x meltagun, MM Attack Bike - 285

Scouts: 5x scouts, sniper rifles, camo cloaks - 90

Fast Attack

Landspeeder Typhoon - 90

Landspeeder Typhoon - 90

Landspeeder Typhoon - 90

22 bikes, 2 Attack Bikes, 3 Speeders

Combat squading the bike squads will get me 1 5 man team with 2x meltas and 1 3 man w/MMAB, so 5 mobile melta units (including the command squad) to de-mech opponents, with command squad to chew them up in CC and the rest to dakka them to death (speeders will most likely assist with anti-infantry here with the HBs and frag missles). Scouts to infiltrate/sit on home objective or to use on an objective that's above ground level in ruins or something that bikes can't get to.

I originally had powerfists in the bike squads (i see a lot of lists do this), but since i don't want them in combat, took them out to beef up the command squad/captain a bit more. however, this still doesn't sit well with me, as i have over a third of my points sunk into basically one unit. It should be a really killy unit, sure, but i still feel like i'm neglecting the rest of my list. On the other hand, since it is the only unit in the army meant for close combat, i figured it should be equipped as such, and to make it last most of the game by resisting damage from shooting (since i figure everything will be shooting at it) and other CC rocks - it should chew through anything else.

The Typhoons feel like they'll be large targets and die quickly (altho i think this is mitigated by the bikes turbo-boosting to get close, and so present more of a clear and present threat?), so i also thought of 2x Typhoons and 2x AC/HB preds, but the preds would be rather static in the hyper-mobile rest of the army (and be an almost bigger target, as size of front armor seems to attract more shots, in my experience).

I've thought about Khan, and interestingly enough he costs the same on a bike as the above Captain, but i think Combat Tactics would be better for the army as a whole (altho Khan plus the above command squad would be rather ridiculous). I also think that the Captain is actually a lot better in combat that Khan, the way i have him equipped. And Outflank seems gimmicky (i guess more-so than a bunch of dudes riding motorcycles into a war zone) and threatens to hand your army to your opponent in nice little packages.

I'm used to playing Space Wolves (which you've helped me with previously), so am used to lots of armor/troops, and looking at the list it seems really under-manned, but i understand that that is a limitation of bike lists (being more "elite"ish).

Thoughts/suggestions? Is it terrible, a good start? I'm looking to scale it up to 2k eventually, so would like to get a good foundation prior to buying more models (and prior to gluing together what i currently have, as far as weapons goes). Thanks for any and all help!


Overall looks fine. You've covered pretty much the whole list in terms of what's good and not. At 1500 points, single rocks are more viable than at higher points as there is less firepower capable of dealing with them but their loss is more greatly felt. Two full bike squads + Scouts is enough scoring at 1500 as well, particularly with combat squads and as you go up in points, pulling in more Bike squads (though probably not full ones) is the way to go as well as doubling up your Command Squad. Command Squads, whislt very pricey, do as you say - punch crap in combat and whilst they do this very well, aren't very efficient but it allows a Biker army to be aggressive and not get engaged in protracted combats. Combat tactics helps this a lot as well which is why I prefer the Vanilla commander as you suggested.

Otherwise your other option for moving points is more mech. The Typhoons are a fine choice though reserving them is going to often be a good plan (to not give your opponent easy first turn targets). This depends a lot on who's going first and what army you are facing however. They give you good mobility and ranged firepower and whilst AV10 is weak, this bonus shouldn't be overlooked. If you wanted to go a hybrid route as you move up points, Dakka Preds and Rifledreads can improve your saturation, support the bikes from afar and give your army more tactical options - though be careful you don't skimp on the bike numbers.

Overall I think your list is fine as is currently. I might try and find the 10 points for a Missile Launcher/Heavy BOlter on the Scouts (digi weapons on Captain) but that's about it.

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