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"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Email in: Vulkan Bike List-please critique


"Hello Kirby,

I really like your blog. it is ful of inspiring tacticas, and isnt full of rubbish like many forums, blogs, etc. I also noticed that you have "Email in" lists, so i thought i would give it a go.

I was wondering if you could critique this list for me, which was inspired by an article you wrote involving the use of both Vulkan and Bikes:


Captain - 220 Pts

Artificer Armour
Relic Blade
Storm Sheild
Digital Weapon
Hellfire Rounds
Melta Bombs

Vulkan He'stan - 190 Pts

Command Squad - 255 Pts

4 x Veteran w/ Plasma gun


Lascannon + Twin-Linked Plasma gun
Dozer Blade


Space Marine Bike Squad - 245 Pts

2 x Space Marine Bike
2 x Space Marine Bike w/ Melta Gun
1 x Sergeant Space Marine Bike w/ Power Fist,Combi-Flamer
1 x Attack Bike w/ Multi-Melta

Space Marine Bike Squad - 245 Pts

2 x Space Marine Bike
2 x Space Marine Bike w/ Melta Gun
1 x Sergeant Space Marine Bike w/ Power Fist,Combi-Flamer
1 x Attack Bike w/ Multi-Melta

Scout Squad - 85 Pts

4 x Scout w/ BP + CCW
1 x Scout Sergeant w/ Combi-Melta


Scout Bike Squad - 120 Pts

2 x Scout Bike w/ Astartes Grenade Launcher
1 x Scout Bike Sergeant w/ Combi-Melta
Cluster Mines

Land Speeder Squadron - 70 Pts

1 x Land Speeder w/ Multi-Melta,Heavy Flamer

Land Speeder Squadron - 70 Pts

1 x Land Speeder w/ Multi-Melta,Heavy Flamer


13 Twin-Linked Boltguns
3 Astartes Grenade Launchers
2D6 hits at S4 from any 1 peice of terrain
6 Twin-Linked Flamers (2 single use)
6 Twin-Linked Melta guns (2 single use)
4 Twin-Linked Heavy Flamers
4 Twin-Linked Multi-Meltas
4 Power Fists
1 Melta Bomb

I was wondering if any improvements could be made?


Vulkan Hestan rides with the command squad, providing a "Deathstar" shooting unit, and gives them some close combat stability. Coupled with their transport, the unit dishes out 10 shots at S7 AP 2. Perfect to fill the gap left by only flamers and meltas.

Dependant on the opponent's deployment, the Captain will either ride with the scout bikers or hide behind the razorback while they outflank. He is designed to be a close combat monster.

The Bike squads are designed to bust open tanks, but can also hold their own with a hidden power fist. If fighting hordes, the combi-flamer can be used to thin them out.

The Scout bikers are designed to harrass the opponent on the back feild, dishing out 6 S3 AP6 blasts for infantry, or 6 shots at S6 AP4 for tanks and beasties, or busting a tank open with a combi-melta.

Land Speeders deep strike and blow up vehicles or toast units of infantry, of deploy and turbo boost for a 3+ and a little protection.

Thanks for Reading. (-0-_-0- )"

Vulkan Bikers are a hard list to mesh well - very hard. Vulkan doesn't fit the general bike theme so you have to run some sort of Hybrid to give him a ride and otherwise you're paying a lot of points just on your HQ. The question I always ask with Vulkan is: for his points, can I take more melta/flamer weapons? In this case I think this is very much a resounding yes. Let's look at the list.

You have minimal scoring - 10 bikers + 5 scouts isn't going to cut it, even at 1500. You've got three vehicles and whilst two of them are disruption, they aren't going to last and this means your slow unit (Command Squad + Vulkan) is left out to dry. The Scout Bikers are cute but not really adding much - diversifying your firepower is nice but you don't have enough melta initially to make it worthwhile.

With this in mind here's what I'd look to do if you really want to keep both Vulkan and the Bike theme. I'd strongly recommend not as 355 points minimum in your HQs at 1500 is pretty steep but if you really want to... Put Vulkan in a Drop Pod with 10x Sternguard. Everything else goes into Bike Squads. This way you don't have just the Sternguard in your opponent's face on Turn 1 but the Sternguard and all the Bikes. You're spending about 500-600 points on Vulkan + Sternguard so the rest can go into Bikes giving you more bodies and guns to throw at your opponent (though if you really want you can add in a cheap scoring Scout squad) and you'll have a ton of anti-infantry and anti-tank with melta-weapons and lots of bolters. I'd avoid a massive kit on the Biker Captain and power fists on the Biker sarges (unless you run large squads - then it's okay) as they aren't really going to assist you. Use Vulkan + charging Sternguard to help out in combat but otherwise it's a weakness you take on the chin - especially with losing combat tactics.

Again, I'd stress this is a better concept at 1750-2000 where the HQ cost isn't so prohibitive but if you really want it to work at this level this should do okay. You get Vulkan to the field along with a bunch of melta-buddies and the Bikes can overcome the usual unsupported Sternguard weakness with their turbo-boost.

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