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Well, as of late I love to dwell on thought of building an biker army as something fun to break up the monotony of my other armies. I was however thinking about the fact that bikes treat difficult terrain as dangerous terrain and as cool as it is to have bikes as a troop choice I wince at the idea of a unit of bikes moving up a story or two in a ruin seize or contest an objective. I can only guess that it is possible as I have not read otherwise in the rule book about bikes moving in ruins. With such small units and each biker being so very precious and then added into the mix is my propensity for rolling ones...well, I see disaster in the future. What do you commanders of biker armies do?
One thing that crossed my mind is the use of the Land speeder Storm and it's ability to ferry around scouts. Perhaps two of them matched up with two scout units could help take those difficult objectives late in the game.
I'm at the same phase that you are, worrying about starting a bike army. However, my army isn't going to be all bikes. I intend to include 2 LRs full of GKs as my primary "objective takers". They get out, pop the ruin full of flames with 3 incinerators, then charge in to hold or contest the objective.
Of course, my bike squads are all scoring as well (my whole army will be made of scoring units) but the primary role of my bikes will be to provide cover for the advancing LRs by knocking out tanks, harassing enemy infantry, and contesting any remaining objectives later in the game.
The size of bike armies does worry me though. I can understand taking a Nob Bikers list, because every model can be different, and has 2 wounds, making them extremely hard to kill thanks to wound allocation. However, marines have no such bonus. How they are expected to fight? I'm worried about handling hordes of enemy models or MEQs or any army that is extremely shooty OR extremely assualty (Space Wolves terrify me). With only about 15-20 bikes in a 1850pt list, I'm afraid that the enemy is going to be able to target my army and kill it with ease. And with only 5-6 bikes in each squad, I lack any kind of CC capability outside of my GKs. Against hordes, this is even more lethal, as I lack any kind of massed firepower.
Alas- how do you even win games with bikes?! They can't get to obscured objectives, and they can't seem to kill anything! Yet people tell me that they're a powerful army?!
You don't have to out CC a horde army when you can move 12" a turn and then blaze away with bolter rounds + attack bike guns, plus you can get flamers in the squad which tend to help. all in all a bike army tends to be a bit more flexible, and if you've the last turn you can just crash your bike squad into an objective and as long as you don't lose the whole squad to difficult terrain tests then it's contested!
Bike armies are good because they're extremely tough and extremely fast, and flexible enough to hurt just about everything. As far as difficult terrain is concerned, think of an objective game as a boxing match. Any opening you can capitalize on, do so, but you know you gotta last at least 5 rounds. Work to bloody his nose as much as possible (Stay out of assault range and pepper him with everything you've got) until round 5, then go for broke (ram the bikes into terrain, spewing horrendous death and zipping up the objective.) If you focused your fire right, you should be able to hold one or two cleanly and contest anything he has.
I am thinking that on average, a bike squad would have around six models when moving into difficult terrain on average one will bit the dust. I am thinking that if possible you could allocate the wound onto the attack that every squad should have as it has two wounds. When it comes to moving into difficult terrain I would think that you only want to move once and should capitalize on having a full 12" move do bikes not needing to see how far they can move. It is kinda funny but a squad could almost fly up to tjhe top of a ruin with ease.
I can't find anywhere in the book that says bikes can't move up in ruins. have you seen it? I would love to get a rulling on it. I sopose I will have to dig into the rulebook once more.
Page 83 moving in ruins says "only infantry, jump infantry, jetbikes, monstrous creatures and walkers may move on the upper levels of a ruin" sorry also cant go in buildiings cause going in a building is like going in a transport. Sucks I know cause I'm making a bike army right now but honestly its a minor annoyance and if the place you play makes a habit of putting a lot of multilevel ruins on the table with objectives on em just look into a five man scout squad or two
I don't think a purist bike army would be very competitive but a "use bikes as troops" approach leaves you free to use all sorts of units & combinations to make a strong spearhead. With troop bikers you don't have to leave units behind to hold objectives. Focus on hammering the enemy for a few turns and then send the bikes to hold the cleansed objectives. Try to have your bikes rapidfire the enemy and then let the Terminators, Assault Marines etc. do the actual charge into buildings and hard terrain. This would also give you the unique play style you're looking for.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard