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Hey. Well after considering going a pure drop pod army, I recently got a good deal from a guy at the store I play at and was able to purchase a drop pod and some sternguard from him, and he also threw in 3 space marine bikers in for free. Now this got me thinking, and after reading up on the White Scars fluff, I had an idea that I wanted to run by you guys. Instead of a pure drop pod list, would running a few bike squads and rhino's w/2-3 drop pods be effective? And also if I where to do this, should I keep the dreadnoughts or should I just sell them. Thnxs for the help.
Podding dreadnoughts/sternguard do work with biker lists - those couple pods give you the ability to knock out a couple threats on turn 1, in support of your bikers. The problem is that if they're too far away from your deployment zone and are left unsupported, they'll be chewed up.
Yea, it can work well. Think about using a small scout squad with a Locator Beacon. Free turbo move using scout move followed by another move during your movement phase. This will allow you to drop those pods exactly where you want them. Along with a mainly bike army it works well.
I am going to say that bikes are not at their best when mixed with more static armies. I am not a big fan of Pods myself, as that army seems to be easy to counter. It has a solid Alpha strike potential, but any player that knows what they do, will reserve most of the force and so half of your pods will drop onto an empty battlefield. Same if you go first… Pods mixed with bikes, makes for a hard army to play:
IF you drop in close to the enemy, which you need to do with pods, you need your bikes to be there to support the dropped troops. This exposes them to the enemy too soon and not on biker’s terms. Bikes are few, come with 3+ save and are not that hard to knock out in CC. Bikes want to avoid fights and keep a distance, minimum 12’ really, until THEY are ready to finish off their target. Bikes are not like jet pack or Rhinos – they are not a tool to get your Marines into the enemy deployment zone quickly and charge into CC or enemy rapid fire range. They are more of a mobility platform that enables them to redeploy with easy and let’s them avoid getting caught.
IF you do not support your pods, treat those units as suicide units really.
IMHO bikes are best when played alone, with some heavy support that can keep up with them (Vindicators, Typhoons, perhaps Rifleman Dreads).
Scout Bikers seem to have a lot of fluff, and not a lot of actual fans. They are a great delivery tool for Pods and Termies, but other than that regular bikers are better across the board. I myself used them twice, and was not too excited about them. But then again I play with bikes and not pods or teleporting Termies…
I think it all comes down to a question how do you build your list and how competitive you want to be, combined with what armies are you going to go against.
Like some people already pointed out the problem you run into is your force gets split in half. Bike armies spend a turn or two just boosting up and so your opponent will have 2 turns at least for his whole force to knock your drop pod elements out of the game. You'll also have fewer bikes now that drop pods are purchased so when they hit you will be unlikely to do much. This is the problem with using Drop pods in most cases. A dread behind enemy lines is only good if your opponent needs to choose to disengage from the main force to deal with it. Too many time people take a dread and it either does nothing and dies or takes out one tank and dies. Playing for a draw is not a productive way to do it.
I would not reccomend mixing pods with many lists, especialy with a list as specialised as bikers. A few dreadnaught and especially a sternguard squad can turn out to be fairly large investments with the addition of pods, and can not be expected to give you a good return with bikes.
No matter what you do short of land speeders and scout bikers your drop pods will be unsupported from the first drop as a single turn doesn't give the mainstay of your army enough time to do some real damage to your opponent which will result in a few hundred points stranded in enemy's lines and within rapid fire/ flame/ melta/ charge range. Ask any space marine player you know, no matter how many orkas a sternguard squad can drop in one turn if they don't have any support you might as well clear some room in your case because that's where they're going, and at which point you will be in the hole the 300 some odd points you put into them.
Ask me about the Black and White Space Marine on the Black and White Bike!!!