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I did post earlier wondering what was in the Ravenwing box set as to show my enthusiasm for building a White Scar army as something to break up the monotony of the play styles of my current armies. One thing that i have a hard time wrapping my head around is how few models you get for your points, and with some many of todays units being so shootie I would think it would be an uphill battle to actually win vs tie....I have heard of people saying that an all biker army plays to the marines strengths, but I just don't know. I must say that the Idea of a supper fast army of bikers sounds all too cool, but what is cool and what will make the cut can be two diferent things. I would just like to hear from people who have played or have played against the White Scars and see you think as far how they are effective.
Bikes are very good. I don't know about using Khan, since Reserves can ruin you but all Bikes play a lot like Eldar. You have more speed than most armies and that's how you win, by hitting weak spots and grabbing/contesting objectives at the last minute.
Your bikes can be equipped to kill anything, especially when you add Attack Bikes in, so shooting is a strength. They're still Marines though so charging into IG, Tau or the like will save you from taking their full shooting to the face.
The model count is low but the army is a scalpel not a hammer, you have to hit the weak spots and exploit mistakes. Not as easy to play as normal Rhino Rush but it's deadlier in the hands of a veteran player, especially in objective scenarios.
Consider this- With most current 40k games being two armies squashed into deployment zones and units barely being able to move without standing on each other having few models can be a real perk. If your opponent deploys table-wide, or in a defensive semi-circle you can use your bikes to get close without too much danger (fewer models = relatively more cover) and then jump one end of the enemy line. Give those units what for with your T5 marines and mobile rapid-firing bolters, attack bikes and speeders then push up the line, fighting part of the enemy army at once. If they begin to get wise to your plans and use tanks as assault blockers then use your multi-meltas (on bikes or speeders) to clear them and then charge through the smoking ruins.
You can fit 10 bikes and 2-3 speeders into a tiny frontage- drive them like a nail at a couple of enemy units and they'll be hard pressed to stop themselves getting over-run and slaughtered. A couple of Storm Speeders with sniper scouts can make a great irritation, even more so when they drop on to the objectives in the last turn.
So, yeah. I reckon they're quite a viable army.
No more NG spearmen, thanks! Now I need some pump-wagons!
I've played gunline, drop pods, and bikes in fourth. I've played drop pods, mech, and bikes in fifth. In both editions my bike armies had/have the best score; actually I have yet to lose or draw a game in which I use bikes as troops, whereas I have lost and tied my share of games with my other army builds. All-bike armies are a very, very viable build if used correctly!
If you want to be successful you have to change your standard marine tactics from advancing everything in the enemy's face and blasting it apart to staying alive while performing surgical hit-and-run strikes and focusing on the mission. It does require a change in mind, a different strategical approach.
And your list has to fulfill certain requirements too, like no slow elements that force you to make commitments to certain areas on the battlefield, or a good amount of mobile heavy fire support and such.
I have also made contact with a handful other marine bike army players on the internet, and all of them are very happy with their army's effectiveness. Don't be afraid. It's something else, but it's definitely cool and good.
Do you all bikes, or do you include tanks as well? I would think that land speeders and even jump infantry could be used as well. In 1500 pt games how many bikers and attack bikes would you bring?
Generally, if you bring bikes you're going to want to bring lots, so that doesn't leave much room for any vehicles beyond Speeders (they can DS to avoid getting shot up, cheap and blasty).
However, you could swap out the generic Tac Squads in a mech marine list with Biker units, that should be fun.
Check out ==My== blog: www.bnhblog.blogspot.com
I also use a lot of speeders. Usually I also have all of my fast attack slots filled in at 1,500 points. I like typhoons for their high-output heavy support fire over long distances - they can stay well out of trouble and still shoot a lot. But since these are expensive often enough I use mere multi-melta landspeeders for tank hunting assistance or double heavy bolters landspeeder tornados for infantry-killing frenzy. Speeders also excel at contesting objectives better than anything else in our codex.
I regard both - tanks and speeders - as rather essential or at least a very good addition for bike armies. So not only can you take some if you like, I would even go much further and say you should definitely use speeders and tanks for support. So many more options...
Jump infantry is a viable addition because they add some close combat power to your otherwise pretty shooty-focused army and they can reach higher ground (because bikes can't go to the upper levels of ruins). But since they contest fast attack slots I rather go with one mechanized tactical squad in my list.
That's another transport that can provide cover for my other units (even the tanks) and draw anti-tank weaponry fire away from my vindicators and add some firepower (I use a razorback). And the tactical squad can also come with another special and heavy weapon, etc... It's okay to stay on the shooty side, since your fast army should well be able to decide where to assault or get assaulted and where not.
In 1,500 points I have at least three minimum bike squads (sergeant, three bikers, attack bike) plus the captain. Sometimes I add a sixth model to my bike squads, and once the points level goes up I definitely add another squad. I have ten tactical marines with a transport, 3 ordnance tanks, and depending on upgrades and such, 2-6 landspeeders for support.
As with many a poster on here I've had nothing but good success with my biker lists.
Khan + HQ squad
2x full bike squads with PF and Attack bike with MM. One squad has plasma nd melta. The other 2x flamers.
Sterguard in a pod
So far I've not lost with this list in 5-6 games. Especially good in Objective games. I do realise the sterguard are slow but they really ruin my opponents day everytime they drop in. As I've commented on another post re: sterguard I don't care how badly they get shot up. They are simply there to destabilise my opponent and get him to split his fire/focus on killing them and not the mission. Works everytime. With Pedro they can also claim objectives if I'm lucky. SO far in most of the games this one squad had accounted for most of the killing allowing the bikes supported by the speeders, to go objective hunting and target lone squads.
Small but lethal army.
That's a pretty......different? list. What have you been beating? It seems more people play half Bikes than full, only like two people have mentioned using all Bikes for their infantry.
And Justice For All's list is pretty elite and has a very low model count. Since the sternguard has to drop on turn one and then more or less stay where it is this wouldn't suit my style of play at all. It also seems a little low on anti-tank for my taste, unless the sternguard are packed with combi-meltas.
Nonetheless And Justice For All is another piece of proof that mobile armies in general and Space Marine bike armies in particular are very effective, especially in fifth edition. Thanks for sharing your list and performance, And Justice For All! Keep on winning.
As for not using all bikes: I use one mechanized tactical squad instead of a bike squad for several reasons.
It's one more piece of armor to function as mobile cover. It's one more target for the enemy anti-tank to take focus off my vindicators and speeders. It's two more units than a bike squad of comparable cost (which is very good in objective missions but bad in annihilation). It's many more models than a bike squad. It's an entirely different quality of firepower (far less mobile and fewer special weapons, but instead heavy weapons and many more shots). And it has the ability of climbing up above ground level in ruins, which is very important on my gaming group's battlefields.
None-bike infantry makes for a very good home objective grabber. But foot-sloggers slow you down and force you to make a commitment. With a mechanized tactical squad in reserves I can safely turboboost my army across the board, hitting where I want to, while forgetting all about my home objective. Once my mechanized tac squad arrives from reserves it has enough close-ranged firepower to be able to claim the home objective and sit on it. This build suits my reserves tactic really well.
If you have another style of play though, starting on the board rather than reserving, you may be better off with all-bikes. Yet then you are screwed if your opponent places a lot of objectives high up in ruins...
At least that's my thoughts...