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I normally play footsloggin or mechanized marines. Just recently, I played against an Ork Nobz Biker list (twice), and I must say that I'm rather impressed with them. The bikers are pretty tough with their 3+ turboboosts and T5. Add to the fact that they can move 24" and I see how a lot of armies may have problems with them.
Now I'm thinking of building a fast space marine biker army (with some land speeders). I'd just like to hear from those with biker experience and/or lists what they think and/or how they do with their armies before I start investing the money on an entirely new army. Feel free to share in your experiences. Thanks.
Biker armies have a lot of potential it all depends on how well you play them. One mistake can destroy your entire game because you are going to have a low model count. Also having a high toughness is good but it is not dependable. A lot of low quality fire power becomes quite powerful. (Think 100 lasgun shots that now have a smaller amount of targets).
The problem with space marine bikers is that they do not have enough of a punch in combat. They are basic marines but now they come in a max squads of 8 and only have one attack each. If they get charged by any combat oriented unit they are going to be out matched. Maybe think of adding assault squads to counter the weakness the army has for combat.
That said if you can stay out combat your bikes will be a real thorn in the enemies side. The army will hit hard and can with attack bikers can pull off a lot of anti infantry shots per turn. Also due to their fast movement they should have no trouble staying out of combat.
Also attack bikes with multi meltas are cheaper than land speeders with multi meltas. They both do the same thing but attack bikes are a lot harder to kill. So yeah its up to you but I prefer attack bikes to land speeders.
Last edited by chuckles; June 20th, 2009 at 04:55. Reason: Spelling
"Never underestimate the value of doing nothing"
-Winny the Pooh
I play Biker Marines, and I very much enjoy them.
Usually, in 1500pts+, I run a Vulkan counts-as with them. All the bike squads have two flamers, multi-melta attack bike, and powerfist Sarge. If I'm playing a large game, I'll pump up the squads so that the attack bikes can Combat Squad to split up the firepower, but I usually just take 5-6 man squads so I can fit in more weapons.
With this setup, every shooting weapon on your bikes is TL'ed, and you can inflict some serious hurt. Not to mention the greater effective range do to your speed.
The disadvantage is that the army is very elite, and you may suffer from low numbers. Its also kinda hard to get cover saves when not Turbo-boosting (as you generally avoid terrain), so plasma weapons amongst the enemy can be a problem. I find it can actually be quite a challenge to play against wise opponents, but thats just more fun for me.
It might also be a good idea to at least bring along one Tac Squad, just in case a smarty-pants opponent places objectives in the upper levels of a ruin. (Bikes can't move up in such terrain.)
Forgot to add: I run a Biker Captain with Artificer Armor and Relic Blade. If I have some extra points I might give him some Melta Bombs and maybe Digital Weapons.
Now while it might be tempting to run a bike command squad, they are quite expensive. Also, while bikes with FNP seem really awesome on paper, they're not really as effective as we see Nob Bikers being. Nob bikers have two wounds and carry around a cover save, not to mention generally having a 5+ Inv save.
Last edited by psichotykwyrm; June 20th, 2009 at 05:14.
"It takes a vast amount of self control to be this dangerous."
---Ogvai Ogvai Helmshrot, Jarl of Tra, VI Legion Astartes
If you're impressed by Nob Bikerz and how they play then the best thing to do is start an Ork army, because there really is nothing the Marines have got that can replicate them; they always get at least 1 saving throw against pretty much any weapon in the 40k arsenal, they have 2 wounds apiece, each model can be geared up differently so wound allocation is never a problem, they can shoot, and they're good at close combat. As has been said, Marine Bikers are far more fragile and more difficult to use effectively because a single Rapid Firing plasma gun can force your squad to take a Morale check, and they don't really do CC at all.
I play Ravenwing every once in a while (which I admit isn't biker marines, but close enough).
Regardless of which you decide on, RW or vanilla biker marines, they're both effective armies, and wish you the best in it.
I play mine for a challenge factor, I actually have to think tactics with ravenwing as I'm outnumbered all the time. True bikers are resilient (60 las guns failed to even wound 2 bikers, ) but they're 4(5) so cover is still your friend (while being your enemy, damn dangerous). Outflanking meltas, flamers, etc. are great I must say, and a great way to contest objectives (which they all should be by the end of the game with a biker army).
Not to mention the HQ's in those armies are nasty sammael can either be 14, 14, 10 with twin-linked heavy bolter & assault cannon, or a BS 5 plasma cannon. While khan allows everything to outflank and any roll of a 6 to wound causes instant death.
Too tired to think right now, and I dont want to rant so I hope this helped
If you want to take a biker army or equivilent you should probably go for a Dark angels ravenwing army. Even though this type of army consists of both landspeeders and bikes and not just bikes it you will be able to support it with an awesome leader Sammael (205 points)with WS 5, BS 5, S 4, T 4(5), W 3, I 5, A 3, Ld 10, Sv 3+. he can also be taken on either jetbike or his own landspeeder with BS 5, Armour = F 14, S 14, R 10 and equipped with a twin-linked heavy bolter and twin-linked assault cannon. Also you can get a Ravenwing attack squadrons (bikers) that can contain up to 4 bikers with a sergent, attack bike and landspeeder (landspeeder = 100 points) for 370 points as well as ravenwing support squadrons which can contain up to 5 landspeeders for 325 points base. But firstly never start buying a new army until you've decided what you want an always get the codex first. Hope this helps!
Last edited by Dark Watcher; June 20th, 2009 at 12:18.
Life's a journey. Shame about the destination
Space Marine bike armies are good, but Dark Angels Ravenwing armies are far better. If you want an all-biker Marine army, use Ravenwing. If you like Ork Nob bike armies, get an Ork Nob bike army because SM bike armies play nothing like them. But normal SM bike armies are definitely not your best option.
I'd always take one squad of Scout Bikes if running a biker army, sure they're only WS/BS3 but the guns are twin-linked and with the Turbo-boosting scoutmove they can get into CC turn 1 with whatever is the biggest threat.
Follow the bikes up with an assault squad (or get locator beacons on the scout bikers and use Vanguard's Heroic Intervention to get right to where you need to be)
Droppods work well with bikers too - when the bikes are within spitting range of his entire army that Sternguard unit are no longer the only serious threat.