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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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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?!
 

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The Future
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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?!
They're incredibly fast.

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!
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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 have a feeling that an all bike army will have to work in a similar way that Sisters work in and that is having multiple unit focusing on a single unit and making sure that it ends up dead. Staying out of assault I think is key unless the bikes can assault first and with multiple units.

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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.
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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
That there is some mighty fine rules lawyer'n you did there. Biker armies however have one less leg to stand on in my book, but that is just the way things are. I was thinking about scouts to take objectives in ruins, but then I remembered about my sisters. You give them flamers for smoking out baddies camping in a ruin and love the fact that they come cheap and have 3+ saves. If there are really only two I might find that keeping them on the cheap would be best so no VSS or extra war-gear, just a rhino and flamers. What do you guys thin?
 

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Well a pure army may not be able to work. Otherwise you'll need to mix it up. What I am thinking about right now is 2 full Ravenwing squads Sammael and a Grey Knight grand master with terminator retinue. This gives me 4 very tough KPs. Now from what I have heard at my GW store you don't need to be on the same level to contest. It is not a 3 in sphere but a cone. So if you can get under that thing on the first floor it is not contested. And if not then like in my army the GKs or Sammael can both move to contest while the bikes get to what they can.

So while a pure army can work you will have to take those dangerous terrain test but once there they will be hard to knock out.
 

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Son of LO
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I think as long as you're within 2'' of the counter you can claim it. So if it's on the second floor, just put a bike up against the wall of the ruin so that you're within 2''.
 

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Hive Fleet Pandora
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The only way I can think of claiming a objective above the first floor would be a Ravenwing as Sammael is on a jetbike.
How can Sammael claim an objective? Isn't he HQ and not a troop choice?


Also, another limitation to bikers is that they cannot turbo-boost through difficult terrain, so you can forget about that last-turn turbo-boost objective-claiming/contesting maneuver if the objective is in any type of difficult terrain.
 

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How can Sammael claim an objective? Isn't he HQ and not a troop choice?


Also, another limitation to bikers is that they cannot turbo-boost through difficult terrain, so you can forget about that last-turn turbo-boost objective-claiming/contesting maneuver if the objective is in any type of difficult terrain.
Yeah I just fixed that. One thing with the turbo boost though is that if you can hit that 3in radius on the side of a building then you can do a last second turbo boost hitting the wall and contesting.
 

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That Which Has No Time
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Bike armies do suffer from terrain a lot. Terrain is my worst enemy: I can't turbo-boost through it, I can't go to higher levels inside it, I risk losing models when moving or assaulting into or through it. Since I suck at dangerous terrain tests (and terminator saves - I keep rolling those 1s all the time) this has proven devastating to me more than once. But forcing those situations is an act of desperation anyhow, it's not supposed to be necessary.
Bike armies have a huge advantage that makes up for the lack of "terrainability": speed. They are hardly predictable for the opponent and they can concentrate the firepower of their entire army wherever you need it, quickly redeploying to a completely different spot the following turn. This is devastating for the enemy and makes bike armies very competitive as long as you don't play them like a rhino-rush. If bike armies want to be successful they have to be played using a different approach. A little more cautious and tricky than the in-your-face Space Marine builds.

As far as objectives go, bike armies are the kings of the battlefield. Seize ground is my very favorite mission.
Bikes are your troops - you shouldn't contest with them unless you are very, very desperate. If you are, there are many tricks to accomplish your goal. What I did, for example, instead of running my bikes up a hill, was to move my lead bike within 5" of the outermost model of the enemy squad holding the objective (a model which was at the foot of the hill and therefore not in difficult terrain) and then assaulted. The counter-assault move of the enemy pulled the squad from the objective. I did not contest it, but the enemy did not hold it either. Objectives on the first level above the ground can be contested from ground level, as has been said before. Etc...
But your bikes are actually for holding objectives, and remember that you need only hold one (more than your opponent). You will always be able to at least place one objective, so putting it into the open is the thing to do. Your speeders and tanks are for contesting (and attempting tank shocks), so use them instead. The former can also reach the upper levels of ruins if need be, but if the enemy tries to castle up in there you can just sweep the ruins with mass firepower - something I have resorted to often enough. Apart from that bike armies work very well in combination with one mechanized tactical squad (which can easily claim objectives in terrain), and I have even often used a small squad of scout snipers with my bikes, who again have no difficulties with terrain. If you use many ruins you can also incorporate an assault squad into your biker army. It can't claim objectives, but very well assault the enemy unit claiming an objective and/or contest the latter.

Fear terrain with your bikes. But don't think terrain makes bike armies uncompetitive. Your bikes shouldn't be rushing into the midst of your opponent's lines and dashing through cover every turn. You should use them less aggressively, bring them to bear wherever you really need to (assaulting an Eldar pathfinder squad in terrain is risky but well worth it even if you lose one or two bikes in the process), and contest objectives with your speeders. They may die, but hopefully you have enough of them in your biker army...
 
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