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I'm switching from Loyal Marines to Chaos Marines, and I have a bunch of Marine Bikes. I'm trying to decide if they're worth using with Chaos, but I don't like the 5 bikes w/2 melta combo. The loyalist Marine's over-dependence on 'hit or miss' melta shots are part of the reason I switched.
Don't get me wrong, meltas are fine, but I'd rather stack 4 in a terminator squad than 2 on bikes. This has left me wondering if the bikes are viable as a shield/distraction for the rest of my army if they're given the mark of Nurgle. It's expensive, but a larger unit of bikes with the mark of Nurgle, power weapon/fist, and a couple melta guns is not only versatile, but with toughness 6 (except vs instant death) they can also tar pit strength 3-4 assault units fairly well, even if they have power weapons (although not power fists, dreads, or monstrous creatures).
Here's my basic idea for the setup:
9 Bikers w/mark of nurgle, 2 melta guns, aspiring champion, power weapon [397 points]
It's expensive, but only about 100 points more than the average plague marine setup, and it costs less than virtually any chaos squad fielded in a land raider. 5 bikes is the norm, but the hefty MoN cost is a bit overbearing at that level.
Bikes remain somewhat problematic for chaos players. They're large (model wise) and expensive, and don't regularly produce the desired results for their point cost. In most situations, I'd prefer raptors as a fast choice, especially considering their cost. However, bikes aren't worthless, unlike two very notorious other chaos choices.
You've hit the problem on the head: Cost. It's well nigh impossible for a squad at this point level to make its investment back. However, you could drop it down to 6 and add a power fist, and then you're more in the point range of your other infantry-based units. This also has the benefit of reducing the footprint, which is already very large for bikers. I can't imagine you hiding 9 bikes behind anything, except an emperor titan. Plus, six still takes hefty advantage of the IoN, unlike smaller squads, which render it too expensive.
Side: Another popular bike configuration is the min/max variant: 3 bikes, 2 meltas. While it's not the best way to field special weapons, it's not horrendously expensive. For 119, you're paying for movement versatility.'
EDIT: At 33 points a pop, bikes are a wee too expensive for using as a shield/distraction. Again, a small band of raptors would save you points when going for diversion, or even a 100 point dread.
Last edited by Rabbit; February 19th, 2009 at 16:12.
Spambot kill tally. . .337
I see what you mean, bringing it down to 6 would shave 99 points off the unit, which can be used somewhere else.
I'm not a fan of powerfists on models that only have 2 base attacks. Even though they get 3 attacks on the charge, it just doesn't seem worth it. 4 power weapon attacks seem like a better deal. I save powerfists for with the mark of Khorne, and chainfists for the units I intent to hunt armor. I could be wrong though, as I have only just started.
My plan was actually to run both a unit of Nurgle bikers and Khorne Raptors, while using a Demon Prince of Slaanesh with Lash to direct enemy troops towards the unit of mine that's better at dealing with them.
Thanks for the help!
I've only used bikes once, and they were fun, albeit not very effective. Here's what I fielded:
Chaos bike squad- 255
*5x bikes with IoK
**1x champion with fist
Not the most original unit, but their cost is identical to a 10 man marine squad with 2 meltas, a fisting champ, in a rhino. They did surprisingly well in assisting my marine spearhead, but certainly, they didn't make a profit on their kills.
(thanks for the rep btw )
Spambot kill tally. . .337
No problem, thanks for the help. ^_^
Yeah, the powerfist is the better deal, now that I think about it. I just hate relying so much on such few die rolls, but it isn't as if a power weapon has significantly more attacks, and the fist will work much better against walkers and monstrous creatures.
Another issue I'm worrying about is the icon in general. If the model holding the icon is killed early, then the unit loses it, and for the bikes that'd be a 50 point loss. That's why I wanted more models in the unit rather than less, although having a toughness of 6 should help keep them alive.
Jeeze rabbit, that sounded dirty as hell!....
I field a squad of 6 nurgle bikers, 2 melta's and a fisting champ, in my 2000pnt deathgaurd army. The 4(6) toughness has never failed me. It's always nice to drive all out and get a nice cover save while still in the open to get yourself into a nice flanking possition.
Yes, I did deep-strike your sister...
Necrons : W-8 D-3 L-7 (Sleeping in their TombFoam, waiting for a new codex)
Chaos Forces (CSM/CD): W-42 D-19 L-28
Apocalypse Games : W-4 D-0 L-1 (4 Titans, Brass Scorp, 3 Baneblades, 2 Bombers, 3 Fighters, and a Partrage in a Pear Tree)
As far as losing an icon early on, when the codex first came out, lots of chaos players were concerned about the staying power of their icons. As things have matured, most of us have found that the icon rarely gets taken out by a sniper-like effect. Most of the time, it's the chaos player's choice. I can't see how having more models will protect the icon anymore from this sort of threat. Although, if you're talking about the sheer staying power of the whole unit, then yes, the more the merrier. I'd try both ways: small bike squad, large bike squad. In the end, I think you find that having a smaller squad works better, so long as you have other threats and can hide your bikes.
Spambot kill tally. . .337
It would be a rare game indeed where a 6 strong Nurgle Bike Squad made it's points back.. you shouldn't expect them to do so. However, if you happen to have a Chaos Lord on a bike who needs bodyguards... or you need a reliable delivery system for your Daemons/DSing Termies/Obliterators... Nurgle Bikers can be pretty useful. Before you take them, pay attention to how they fit in to your overall list.
"Is Archon Braigh-Dee going to have to choke a Wych?
Courtesy of Wicky: D.C.S.S.E.P.C.I.C.B.
>.> this is a little off topic... perhaps even arbitrary, but whould'nt pluage marine bikers be incredible?
Hmm, you know even for delivering some lesser daemons wouldnt a nurgle raptor squad be better because its more manuvorable / easier to hide / cheaper?
Last edited by Carcearion; February 20th, 2009 at 04:52.
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