Biker Tactics in several digest postings

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Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:19 am

Charge the Long-ranged, Withdraw from the Short-ranged
Everyone knows that this is just common sense when playing the game. you assault the shooty enemies, and you shoot the assaulty ones.

For bike armies and their awesome mobility, this principle must be extended. To a greater extent than their brethren on foot, space marines on bikes can not only decide how to fight, but also when, where, and what. With the ability to close in or retreat at will, bike armies dictate the course of the game. You decide where and when to strike - and for the most part, where and when to be struck. Bike armies can get close-up and personal with long-ranged enemy forces, or stay at a distance and evade short-ranged enemy forces. This ability, above all, makes bike armies competitive.

BIKE BASICS
What you need to know about space marine bikes.

Avoid Terrain
Obstacles are the bane of speed. Terrain is the greatest and worst enemy of bike armies for two reasons.
The first reason is that every single time a bike squad makes a move into, inside, out of, or through terrain, it loses a sixth of its models on average. Unlucky rolling on your dangerous terrain tests has the potential to obliterate an entire formerly fully-functional squadron. This should be avoided as often as possible.
The second reason is that bikes are not permitted to climb up to the higher levels of above-ground terrain features. Enemy fire support units hiding there can not be assaulted by bikes, and objectives at least two levels above ground can neither be contested nor claimed by them.
In order to prevail with a bike army, it requires some means of dislodging enemy units from cover as well as deal with enemy units and objectives above ground.

Beware of Deep-Strikers
Deep-striking units are able to make a sudden appearance just about anywhere on the battlefield and then act before you have a chance to react. This is generally very dangerous, but even more so for bike armies, as they are fragile and because deep-striking circumvents the bike armies’ greatest advantage: choosing when, where, what and how to fight.
The same considerations apply to other forms of surprise attacks such as space wolf scouts or ork kommandos with Snikrot to name but a few. Against all of these, bike armies need to at least attempt to apply protective countermeasures in order to prevail.

Combat Tactics
With the 5th edition Codex: Space Marine came the Combat Tactics special rule. A rule that –in combination with the And They Shall Know No Fear special rule– was highly revered among space marine commanders until they had to realize that it is only half as useful as it appears to be – to infantry, that is.
A fallback move of 2D6” averages at 7”, a consolidation move of D6” averages at 3.5”. If the consolidation move is used to pursue the retreating space marines, they end up with an enemy unit within 6” – the only regrouping restriction they are not permitted to ignore. Thus they are unable to regroup, fall back another 2D6” and are probably more or less out of the fight this turn. Bikes fall back 3D6”, averaging at 10.5”. Enough to stay away far enough from pursuing enemy units in order to automatically rally and act as normal, either turbo-boosting to the other side of the playing field or moving towards the pursuing unit, rapid-firing it, then assault the remains to kill it off.

Durability
Many players are worried about having so few models. And yes, bike armies are fragile. But bikes are a lot more durable than most people think, and that extra point of toughness, as well as the cover save from turbo boosting, are not to be underestimated.
The majority of weapons on the battlefield are S3-S6. Only heavy weapons have S7+ and kill bikes just as quickly as tactical marines. From those smaller guns, though, bikers are able to withstand a greater amount of punishment than space marines on foot. While S6 weapons are (compared to when shot at space marines on foot) only 80% effective against bikers, and S5 only 75%, small-arms fire from the most common handguns are only 66.7% (S4) or even 50% (S3) effective. didnt think i knew how to mathhammer, did ya? ah HA! lol.
Lasguns require double the number of shots on average to kill a mounted space marine than they would need to kill a space marine on foot. This already makes up for the reduced numbers (about 64%) in bike armies, but there is an additional advantage. While bikes will take care not to go into terrain unless necessity forces them to, they carry the potential for one of the best cover saves in the game, activated simply by moving fast. This cover save can be rivaled by space marines on foot only in heavily fortified positions.
Combined with bikes being the most skilled at closing in quickly without being shot at very much, or disengaging quickly to avoid enemy fire or assault, all of that makes bikes alot more durable than most people think or fear.

Effective Firepower
The first thing to note is that bikes have the Relentless special rule. This means they always fire their guns as if they hadn't moved. Bikers can shoot their bolters –even after moving up to 12”– up to the weapons’ maximum distance of a full 24”. This means that they will be able to use their bolters more often and more safely than marines on foot. Taking into account that bolters on bikes are also twin-linked, this makes them even better. Also, bikes can assault even after rapid-firing their bolters, meaning a bike squad –while having fewer models than a tactical squad– will be able to whittle down an enemy unit more effectively before assaulting it, as five rapid-firing twin-linked bolters still deal more damage than ten bolt pistols.
The second thing is your special weapons, which bikers get twice as many as marines on foot. While tactical squads can never be specialized enough to justify assigning them one role such as tank hunting or anti-heavy-infantry like Space Wolf Grey Hunters, bike squads with two melta guns and one multi-melta can; just like a bike squad with a heavy bolter and two flamers or plasma guns can be considered a specialized infantry hunting unit. Plus, these special weapons don't replace the bike’s twin-linked bolters; and although only one weapon can be fired per rider mounted on the bike, this adds to their flexibility; why waste a melta gun shot at a unit of termagaunts if rapid-firing the TL Bolter will kill more of them? Or why risk killing your own model with an unlucky plasma gun shot when shooting at Eldar guardians where the gun doesn't really have a better advantage over the TL Bolter? Why skip firing just because the flamer is out of range?
Special weapons are also much more effective on bikes than on marines on foot. The greater moving distance enables flamer models to be deployed more effectively in order to cover more enemy models, it allows melta guns to close in more quickly, coming within effective melta range earlier, and it makes plasma guns Relentless, able to move and still take a shot up to its maximum 24" range.
For all these reasons, bikes are very shooty armies, their firepower unrivaled by that of tactical squads.


Since we want bikes as Troops, one of our HQ choices is pretty much fixed: we need a mounted captain for our army – either Kor’Sarro Khan of the white scars on his bike Moondraken, or, a generic space marine captain mounted on a space marine bike. A very common question among new bike army players is whether to take Khan or not, and this issue shall be addressed here first.


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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:21 am

Kor’Sarro Khan versus Generic Biker Captain

Khan comes with Furious Charge for his unit.
Nothing to argue about here, this is pure goodness. Especially in combination with a tooled-up biker command squad. But this can be expensive to use effectively, though, and thus only really worth it in lists higher than 1500 points.

Khan comes with Hit&Run for his unit.
This is good as well, but it isn’t exactly as useful as seems to be. With assaults being very deadly and very quickly decided, it must be a very tough assault if you're caught inside it for more than two assault phases. You rarely want to use Hit&Run at the end of your own assault phase so so that you opponent doesn't get to shoot at you in his turn, so you will still have to be in close combat at the end of your opponent’s assault phase to make use of this special rule. That's a long time for a fight, and those which do last this long, you probably should have avoided getting into in the first place... But it's not a bad rule.

Khan enables a great part of your army to deploy via Outflanking.
For bike armies, however, this is not an advantage. Bike armies have a small number of small unit-count squads on average and will arrive from reserves piecemeal. This is dangerous enough without the additional random factor of a third of these arriving onto the board on the side opposite of where you want them to be.
Bikes can reach any point on the battlefield within two moves at the most, when coming in from reserves on their own table edge.
Here you can choose which side of the board (left or right) to arrive on with all your units, not just two thirds of them on average.
Here you can arrive along with your support units instead of being disconnected from them.
Here you can’t as easily be blocked off the battlefield as compared to the short table edges, where the opponent can easily cause all your units attempting to enter from there to be automatically destroyed. And then, take on the rest of your units that arrive from the opposite side at range, despite the fact you outflanked them to get close or at their rear armor.
Also consider that bike units outside of the command squad are not dedicated melee units and don't necessarily want to be right in the enemy’s face; in fact, you will often want to avoid exactly that.
And remember, you want to focus on how to best make your bikes effective, not just 1 or 2 support units that you play with them; you should never take Khan just so you can outflank 1 or 2 support units, such as land speeders(which can just deep strike onto the board anywhere you like to begin with). Make sure your emphasis stays on the bike squads that will be in your list first and always.

Khan’s sword has a chance of inflicting Instant Death.
That makes his power sword less of a waste, but still not as effective as a relic blade. Apart from Monstrous Creatures, which you should kill at range anyhow, the majority of multi-wound models are T4 and less, against which the relic blade is at least as effective as Khan’s blade since it will wound them on a 2+. Keep in mind that the vast majority of targets will be single-wound as well, and the relic blade is far superior there. The relic blade even has the advantage of automatically inflicting Instant Death on swarms and other T3 multi-wound models, while having far better chances of damaging vehicles, which Khan's blade cannot do at all.

Khan rids your army of Combat Tactics.
This will require your squad leaders to be equipped with power fists, just in case, because they will be unable to flee combat on purpose. The fists are pretty much a waste as a sole defensive measure, but not quite enough for a real offensive measure, making your bike squads much more expensive without conferring a considerable advantage. You will lose the ability to perform some nasty trickery. for example; Your bike squad is about to be assaulted, but your opponent makes the mistake of shooting at it first, inflicting 25% casualties. Using Combat Tactics, make a fallback move at the end of the shooting phase, and leave the assaulters stranded!

Khan comes with fixed equipment and costs a lot.
On average, Named HQs are usually less bang for their buck than you would get if you invested the points into generic HQs. Since you are required to invest in at least one, though, you should equip it as much as necessary in order to be an effective unit, but also keep it as cheap as possible. A generic captain can be customized towards the need of your army, and still be a smaller investment than Kor’Sarro Khan. Thus, especially at lower points levels, the generic captain is to be recommended based on this consideration alone.

Personally I recommend using a generic mounted captain. Khan can be quite nasty as well, but he is hardly affordable at <=1500 points levels, especially because he almost requires a biker command squad in order to make best use of his Furious Charge and Hit&Run, which will divert even more points from your Troop choices and fire support units. Remember; the focus of a biker army is your troops. do 'not' take the bare minimum of biker squads here or you're just not playing biker lists right.


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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:22 am

A Captain’s Equipment
The space marine bike is mandatory, no argument there. On top of that, to make your captain an effective choice, he should be made a monster in the assault. This is easily done by purchasing a relic blade. Now he can go hunting on his own, or with a squad: he will definitely be a beast in close combat, and I recommend this as a biker captain’s standard equipment.
Anything else is considered a bonus.
Among these bonus items are primarily any of four things:
Artificer armor - makes him more survivable and helps with wound-allocation shenanigans. Combi-weapons - make use of his high BS (so don’t take combi-flamers, give those to the sergeants) and really enhance your firepower.
Hellfire ammo - on a Relentless twin-linked BS5 bolter, its actually worth it as a points filler. It won't outrightly win you games, but definitely tipping the balance in your favor when you hit on 2+ and wound on 2+ with chance to re-roll wounds if your target's T4 or lower.
Storm shield - despite the captain already having his iron halo and 4+ invulnerable save, this makes him even more survivable, especially against most instant-killing weapons, like melta shots or Dreadnought power fists; well worth it if you plan on your captain doing a lot on his own without being attached to any squad.

Now that we have acquired the permission to take bike squads as Troops, we shall discuss how they are best equipped.


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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:23 am

Bike Squad Loadout
First thing to add to a bike squad –always– is an attack bike. Compare it to two standard bikes: and attack bike can possibly suffer Instant Death (which is a threat to attack bike squadrons, but not to an attack bike hidden in a bike squad, as proper wound allocation will guarantee that the attack bike does not suffer hits from weapons able to inflict Instant Death), and it has one attack less on the charge, but; it costs less, and has far superior firepower, and can lose a wound without being reduced in effectiveness. Just like independent characters with power fists, single attack bikes or attack bike squads are vulnerable, but like a hidden power fist on a sergeant within a squad, an attack bike hidden in a bike squad is more effective. It adds much needed additional range to a bike squads firepower; anti-infantry with the heavy bolter or anti-tank with the multi-melta.

Because bike squads can only be taken as Troops choices once the squad has a minimum of five models, the next thing to add is another bike. Three bikes standard, attack bike, additional bike – there is our minimum Troops size.

Third thing is what makes our bike squads more than just effective objective-grabbers: the special weapons. A bike squad should always be upgraded with two special weapons, because they enhance your bike squad’s effectiveness by much more than they increase its cost. Those upgrade weapons should be the same to maximize on specialization within your already flexible unit, so as to waste as little potential as possible. So don't mix and match special weapons.

This is basically it. Anything on top of that is a bonus, but you should be sparse with those. An additional or two are okay, but certainly not more. Bikes without upgrade weapons are nothing more than meat-shields for your important bikes, and you don’t need many of those. Taking full bike squads is not a good idea, as those squads are far too big to handle effectively because they cant hide behind cover at that size bue to their bases, or, if split into combat squads, too fragile and too ineffective because they lack the upgrade weapon density of five or six model bike squads; 2 melta guns is 5 pts cheaper than adding 1 extra biker to a squad. and since you can take up to 6 biker squads in your list as Troop choices, dont be scared to take multiple small units so that you can get that special weapon saturation.

If you have spare points, upgrading biker sergeants may not be a bad idea. Unfortunately, biker sergeants only have a bolt pistol to replace, so they can only take a single upgrade weapon. This can either be a power sword or power fist, though these are expensive on your bikes who shouldn’t see combat with anything they require power fists against, and often these upgrades just make you tie a combat with heavy losses which you would rather break from with combat tactics. Other possible upgrades include combi-weapons – either one matching the upgrade weapons of the squad, or a combi-flamer, which can be a viable choice for any bike squad.


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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  Timbo on Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:43 pm

Good post Mike, I agree with most of what you said. Khan's best feature you gave one sentence to, while his whatever/bonus feature you dedicated a paragraph to. Experienced players know that outflanking is situational at best. Don't forget that Khan, while only str5 versus vehicles, also gives his entire squad +1 str against them as well. This makes his sword better than a single relic blade against vehicles. He can also fleet, but that is an extremely minor point. Useful only if he splits off from his squad (which will happen sometimes, but rarely).

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:01 pm

yea, but everyone and their dog knows what furious charge is and how it works; enite sections of the blood angel and space wolves codexs have it, so there's no need to go into how it works. but not that many have hit&run, so i figured i should go into that more.

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:31 pm

The Three Squad Types:
Flamer squads are clearly anti-infantry. Since they will be shooting weak targets, the bolters in there aren’t as useless as in other kinds of bike squads, and since they have to get close-up and personal to use their weapons, they are very likely to see close combat. For these reasons, flamer squads can tend to be a little larger, for example six or seven models, but this is by no means a necessity. The attack bike in flamer squads should keep the heavy bolter to suit the squad’s role best, while the sergeant –if upgraded at all– should receive either a combi-flamer or power sword to fit the role of killing soft targets, but maybe even a power fist if you insist.

Melta squads are clearly anti-tank (or can double as anti-MC). They will have to get close in order to shoot, but as far as assaults go, these bikes will probably only initiate ones against a vehicle they shot but failed to kill. You may get assaulted in return, but this will likely be a combat you don’t want to be in – unless your opponent plays in your favor. Thus, melta squads have a tendency to become suicide units, and for this reason they should be kept small to minimize the loss. Of course, the attack bike’s main gun should be upgraded to a multi-melta, doubling the squad’s anti-tank range and maximizing its effect. Sergeants may be upgraded with either a combi-melta, combi-flamer, or a power fist for both tank-hunting and self-defense.

Plasma squads are fire support. Plasma weapons are expensive and dangerous, but Relentless plasma guns are very effective and have the greatest range among the upgrade weapons bike squads can choose from. They are also very flexible, able to deal with anything below AV14: heavy infantry, monstrous creatures, light vehicles; they're are all perfect targets. The attack bike should stick with the heavy bolter for mass output of the fire support squad, though the more expensive multi-melta is fine as well; this shifts the squad’s focus by reducing its range and effectiveness against light and medium infantry, while increasing its effectiveness against heavy infantry and vehicles. Sergeants of plasma squads should be the last thing in your army list to get upgraded.

Having discussed the mandatory choices, we can now move on to all the optional choices left for us to pick from to complete our bike army lists, going through all the units in the codex in order.

Remember that we want these units to suit our needs and meet certain requirements. We do not want to compromise our army by slowing it down with slow units or using units that can only deal damage close-up, because then we forgo the strengths of our army as explained before.
---Foot-sloggers are the worst. Deep-striking foot-sloggers are a little better, because despite being able to appear wherever we want, they're foot sloggers again after that first turn they arrive.
---Mechanized units are reasonably fast, but can't quite keep up with the speed of a bike army, and can be easily be stripped of their mobility just by destroying their transport.
---Jump Infantry's still not quick enough to compete with bikes when you consider turbo-boosters, but at least they preserve their mobility down to the last man.
---Fast skimmers and other bikes are the kings of mobility, of course, and these are the units you should mainly focus on including as support units since they're the least of a handicap to your biker's mobility.
---But a lack of mobility isn’t as much of a problem if the unit can fire at extreme range and still be able to support the rest of your army no matter where it is.
---And units like drop pods are only effective close-up. And while they can get there fairly quickly, you will either have to leave them there to die on their own, or move your bikes in to support them, tying you down. Adding drop pods to a bike list is generally a bad idea; drop pods serve the purpose of a quick delivery system, but remember that bikes do not.

Once again, the focus of your list should first and always be your bikers, so don't take units that force your bikers to babysit them, or you'll just let your opponent manipulate where you should be instead of controlling where you want your models.

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  Timbo on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:46 pm

dusktiger wrote:Bike Squad Loadout

This is basically it. Anything on top of that is a bonus, but you should be sparse with those. An additional or two are okay, but certainly not more. Bikes without upgrade weapons are nothing more than meat-shields for your important bikes, and you don’t need many of those. Taking full bike squads is not a good idea, as those squads are far too big to handle effectively because they cant hide behind cover at that size bue to their bases, or, if split into combat squads, too fragile and too ineffective because they lack the upgrade weapon density of five or six model bike squads; 2 melta guns is 5 pts cheaper than adding 1 extra biker to a squad. and since you can take up to 6 biker squads in your list as Troop choices, dont be scared to take multiple small units so that you can get that special weapon saturation.


Just so everyone knows, many players would disagree with this. A full size bike squad has several advantages over the two smaller squads. It has some disadvantages as well, and Mike has mentioned those here. Some of the best White Scars players out there run full sized squads. Surely there is a reason for this?

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:13 am

We start with additional HQs. HQs usually aren’t a good bargain, you are usually better off buying non-HQ units for the points. Unless of course, you purchase an HQ that adds unique abilities to your army, enabling you to accomplish things you otherwise couldn't. And always keep in mind that we are talking about bike armies, so pick ones that give good buffs to a biker army.

Calgar
Over-expensive 250pt foot-slogger. Forget about him.

Sicarius
Expensive 200pt foot-slogger. I would not recommend using him.

Tigurius
Expensive 230pt foot-slogger without invulnerable save. that's right; no invul save; the model just looks chunky like terminator armour, but he's actually just a power armoured named libby. Don’t take him.

Cassius
Cheap unit, but a foot-slogger. Unless you really want to include mechanized assault terminators, don’t use him.

Kantor
Foot-slogger. Unless you really choose to include mechanized sternguard, don’t use him. And even if you do use sternguard in your bike army I would not recommend paying for Kantor as well.

Lysander
Expensive 200pt foot-slogger. I would not recommend using him.

Shrike
Expensive at 195pts. Unless you're taking an assault squad, don’t use him. And even if you do use an assault squad in your bike army I would not suggest paying for Shrike as well.

Vulkan
Expensive foot-slogger, though he can provide very serious advantages to bike armies. For very melta- and flamer-heavy armies at very high points levels it can be a viable option to include Vulkan and lose Combat Tactics. Though, even in this case, he needs some kind of mechanized unit to ride with, effectively increasing his cost, so not suggested below 2000pt games.

Chapter Master
Inefficient model, even if you give him a bike; he's identical to a captain, but 25pts more for a single use orbital bombardment. Forget about him.

Librarian
Psychic powers are gaining popularity, many of the newer armies rely heavily on them. The ability to block them –for example with the help of a psychic hood– are becoming increasingly important. For this reason the librarian is a reasonable choice as a secondary HQ.
While other armies can use allies with unlimited range on their psychic hoods, in a bike army these foot-sloggers would be unable to keep up. Giving him a bike offsets the 24" range on his psychic hood, though the lack of an invulnerable save is a liability.
Additional equipment on a biker librarian is a waste of points. As far as psychic powers go, all of them are fine, though the popular Gate of Infinity power is not very useful, and it's very dangerous for bike armies.
Of course you can attach a foot-slogging gate librarian to an otherwise not very mobile squad for use with a bike army. But remember that this will only make sense with close-ranged squads; squads that –because they will be close to the enemy– will still require support and therefore tamper with the freedom of your bikes.

Chaplain
Chaplains are a potent support HQ, but bike armies don't always include units worthy of this support. The exception would be a tooled-up command squad which will cost very much and make including a chaplain on top of that seem impossible without punching holes into your army somewhere else.
Thus, biker chaplains are not really a viable option under the general 1850 range. If you include a non-biker squad worthy of chaplain support (mechanized assault terminators, for example) you should have a look at Cassius.

Master of the Forge
A cheap support HQ, and its conversion beam is all the more awesome in combination with a Relentless bike.
And yet, he usually requires a biker bodyguard, which will not be able to accomplish anything at all at the ranges the forgemaster is effective at. And while his gun is unique, it accomplishes nothing which couldn't be done by other means.
Thus, he's not a very viable choice in competitive armies, since you could have another bike squad or some sort of hard-hitting support vehicle for the 155pt cost of a biker forge master with conversion beamer.

Honor Guard
Over-expensive foot-sloggers, more so because you would require a chapter master to use them. Forget about them.

Command Squad
If you want a really hard-hitting biker squad, a command squad is your best bet. They have triple the number of attacks in the assault compared to a standard biker, and they benefit from the apothecary’s narthecium and a load of special equipment.
Though they are a very serious points investment, biker command squads can well be worth their points. You should refrain from using biker command squads at points levels lower than 1,500 points. To maximize the effect of wound allocation shenanigans, each model should be equipped differently.

The first upgrade a command squad should get is the company champion – for the price of the power weapon you also hit on a 3+ in close combat against MEQ and you gain a free 6+ invulnerable save in close combat that might –one day– actually prove useful.
If you want to be really hard-hitting in close combat you should add a power fist (to deal with vehicles, monstrous creatures, multi-wound models, and just generally be effective against anything with T4+), and maybe a lightning claw for good measure.

The best ranged weapon option for biker command squads is the plasma gun. It is a very versatile and relatively long-ranged weapon, and thanks to Feel No Pain the danger from the Gets Hot! rule is halved. Flamers are fine as well though, as biker command squads will usually want to be close-up and personal. Even melta guns are okay, making the command squad viable tank hunters, though this rather seems like a waste.

Storm shields are a viable upgrade options too, though turbo-boosting will protect the command squad from armor-piercing attacks at range. As far as close combat goes, two storm shields should suffice for a reasonable amount of protection. Be careful with them as they make your already really expensive biker command squad even more expensive.

[On a nasty side note: there is nothing in the rules that would disallow buying a dedicated transport for a command squad on bikes. If you have a need for a cheap rhino, or razorback, maybe even with an upgraded turret, or even a drop pod just to annoyingly contest objectives, you may choose to go for it.]

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:22 am

Now we shall focus on Troops. As a general rule of thumb, your Troops choices should account for about one third to one half your army’s points in sum, that should suffice for one Troops choice base plus one additional one for every 500 points in your army.

Tactical Squad
Including one mechanized tactical squad in your army can make sense. Their transport will probably be more cover than troop carrier, but the unit is perfect for keeping it in reserve to claim your home objective later in the game.
The transport can tank shock enemy units near your table edge, the unit can draw some fire and provide a little fire support. In case of emergency, this unit is also able to seize higher ground, clearing the upper levels of ruins or simply dislodging an enemy unit from terrain.
Equipped with a flamer, a power fist on the sergeant, and either a plasma cannon (if you have the points and are otherwise low on AP2- weaponry) or missile launcher, they do their job best. And of course a mobile transport: rhino or razorback depending on your spare points and your thoughts on combat squads.
And yet these units can be expensive. A fully equipped tactical squad, including an upgraded razorback, usually costs about the same as almost one and a half bike squads. And they are slower and have little offensive potential when you consider their best weapons cant fire if they move at the speeds necessary to keep up with the bikes.

Scout Squad
The only scout squad build that makes sense in conjunction with bikes is a squad of sniper scouts with a heavy weapon.
They can Infiltrate to a good firing position (top levels of ruins are generally a good idea) far enough from the enemy to stay safe for as long as possible, hopefully at the same time guarding an objective. After that they must hold their own, but that is okay for two reasons: they have the range to support your bikes no matter where they are, and they are not a huge points investment.
And yet sniper weapons are not the most effective guns in the game. Merely the pinning effect is worth taking them, but a disturbingly small number of armies is actually vulnerable to that – most have too high a Ld value or are Fearless. They might not be worth their points against all-comers. Adding Telion, however, can add an entirely different aspect to those squads and make them worthwhile even against armies largely immune to pinning, as you give yourself the chance to specifically target enemy models.
Units of scouts equipped for close-range firefights or even assaults can be mounted in landspeeder storms, making them fast enough to keep up with the rest of your army. And yet these squads simply accomplish nothing really useful for you. As awesome as the models may look, the unit is ineffective. Prove me wrong. Ok, aside from selik's amazing luck he's had with them against guard, Prove me wrong. but give good consistent examples and not flukes; they're called flukes for a reason. Razz

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:39 am

Moving on to Elites

Terminators
Shooty terminators require little support and can move and shoot. And yet they're a big points investment and a threat that can easily be avoided with their 6" move. Unable to deliver an impressive punch at range, standard terminators are not a serious option for us to consider.
Assault terminators on the other hand, very dearly require a land raider for a delivery system, otherwise they are too easily avoided.
And while a land raider in a bike list is semi-viable as a mechanized unit, and while bike lists can definitely benefit from a hard-hitting assault unit that can also enter terrain, assault terminators and their land raider –and maybe even a support HQ– are one big pot of points; at least 500 points before the independent character. Too expensive to be considered in anything below 1,750 points, and even in these cases such a unit would be a quarter of your total army cost – fancy upgrades not included.

Sternguard
Sternguard are best deployed in drop pods, which are a no-go for bike armies. Since they're a short-ranged unit, can easily be stripped of their transport, and therefore their means of redeployment, and non-scoring unless you take Kantor, they are not a very sensible addition to a bike army.
If you choose to have them anyway, you should make it a small squad in a razorback, probably armed with lots of combi-flamers and -meltas to be of some use to you.

Dreadnoughts
Close combat dreadnoughts need to be deployed by drop pods to be competitive, where –I say it once again– they can’t be supported by the bikes. Dreadnoughts, especially ironclad ones, are tough units, though, and can hold their own. Thus, against certain enemies they can still prove devastating with their potential for a decisive alpha-strike. And yet the inflexibility of Drop Pod Assault makes drop poding dreadnoughts in bike armies a non-viable idea against all-comer lists.
Fire support dreadnoughts are able to move and fire and can be equipped with long-range weaponry in order to be able to support the bikes. And while it may seem like a nice idea to have a fire support dreadnought in your bike army, especially because they could also take up the task of engaging units in cover or on the top levels of ruins if need be, such dreadnoughts are expensive and generally not the most efficient fire support units out there. That said though, the current trend has been towards taking the dual autocannon dreadnought, and this is actually fairly cheap at only 125pts. and if you're playing larger games than 1500, upgrading them into venerable dreadnoughts to combine BS5 with 4 TL shots lays alot of hurt into your opponents. But if you're fielding the traditional Lascannon/Missile support dread, you're better off leaving him in your case and taking something else.
One build that works reasonably well with bikers is a master of the forge (mounted on a bike, of course) and maxed out number of dreadnoughts – three for Elites and three for Heavy Support. And then again: that is rather a special case that requires a very high points limit and is more of a dreadnought army supported by bikes than the other way around... I played this in a 3500pt apoc game against bear, but used the new contemptor dreadnoughts, and let me tell you, it had his wolves reeling. i wasnt expecting it to go so well in my favor, but as i said, its a viable build in large point games.

Techmarine
Though they can be mounted on bikes, they generally don’t accomplish much for us.

Servitors
Ineffective foot-sloggers. in fact, even foot slogger lists find these useless. use them to decorate your table, or decorative dinner table pieces to hold the napkins.

Legion of the Damned
Over-priced foot-sloggers. Though they can deep-strike, hold their own, as well as move and shoot, the bare-bone minimum squad is the same as a squad of bikes, which will certainly serve you better.

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:54 am

Now for fast attack choices

Assault Marines
Apart from bikes, jump marines are the ones that suit the speed theme the best. They also can’t be stripped of their mobility and they cope for bike armies’ lack of hard-hitting assault power.
And yet they are unable to claim objectives and have problems of their own with terrain. And most importantly: they block those precious Fast Attack slots we dearly need for our speeders, as detailed below.
In low points games such a unit makes sense, at higher points levels you’re probably better off with something else.

Vanguard
Over-expensive, overkill unit.
In bike armies –which generally tend to be fragile– your vanguard will get shot up even more quickly than in other armies, and while Heroic Intervention is an option, the unit is very expensive and –again– will be left unsupported. Not a good idea.

Land Speeders
Finally: here we are. Land speeders are the only space marine vehicle unit able to keep pace alongside bikes. At the same time, land speeders can provide what bike armies dearly need and can’t have on other mounts: heavy long-range firepower.
Land speeders should be the main support choices in your bike army, and your best bet is the typhoon land speeder. On top of that, land speeders can be your emergency units for contesting objectives on the upper levels of multi-level structures where your bikes and tanks can’t go.
Don’t use only a few of them, because only spamming them will provide for what you require: an independent wing of support vehicles, able to engage an entire enemy flank on their own. It doesn’t help to strip one or two wounds off a tyrannofex with one speeder and then take return fire, having accomplished no tangible decrease in effectiveness of the enemy unit. A squad of three, or two squadrons of two each, killing that tyrannofex outright, have their place however.
Typhoon land speeders should account for a quarter to half your army’s points, depending on how much and what kind of support you have on top of them.

Bike Squadrons (as a Fast Attack choice)
No need to take those in bike armies, always take them as troops. The ability to score is priceless, especially when combined with such amazing mobility.

Attack Bike Squadrons
Usually a solid choice in most marine lists, especially when suicide-tank hunting with multi-meltas, attack bike squadrons are not a good choice for bike armies.
Bike armies can make use of the attack bikes’ deadly firepower from within the protection of bike squads, making them much more effective, similar to a hidden power fist, and they can have them as part of a scoring unit. Bike armies should have the means to kill light and medium vehicles from afar, and if something requires the attention of melta weapons, bike armies can send a melta bike squad to do the job – no need to pay for both separately: a scoring unit and a tank hunting unit. Moreover, those Fast Attack slots should be reserved for the longer-ranged and higher-output land speeders.

Land Speeder Storm
Nice idea, nice model, but useless rules.
If it was a dedicated transport for scouts, it would be a great option. But requiring a fast attack slot for a single fragile skimmer which can only transport five scouts who can accomplish only little, this unit is just not worth the trouble. I can hardly say how unfortunate this is and how much I regret to say it, but I can’t change the truth.
The best thing about land speeder storms is the potential of a devastating alpha-strike, sweeping an important enemy fire support squad with a unit of scouts on turn one. But it would be a suicide mission and not a great choice against all-comers.

Scout Bike Squadron
Again, the best thing about them is their ability to alpha-strike, hitting assault on turn one. But –just like scouts on foot– scout bikers don’t really accomplish anything for you. They are too weak to be of any real use, and you are better off investing your points elsewhere, unfortunately. If they could be taken as scoring units in bike armies as well, they might be worth a try, but with things the way they are: Infiltrate and Scouts are no necessity at all for bikes - they move fast enough to get wherever they want easily and swiftly. First turn charge is nice, but the scout bikers aren't exactly a good assault unit (even worse at it than normal bikes - a lot so) and will be unsupported, making them a suicide unit. Locator beacons are cool, but expensive and without purpose in bike armies given the fact you'll usually deploy your land speeders on the board to begin with as long range fire support units. Cluster mines? Nice gadget, but not really effective.
You want the grenade launchers? A heavy bolter attack bike squadron has better firepower and is cheaper, more durable, and has better range. The armor save is just weak, low BS makes them unreliable, low WS means they won't hit GEQ on 3+ but will instead be hit on a 3+ themselves by MEQ, etc. They are not that much cheaper than bikes, but can't be scoring. Viable support unit for other armies maybe, but just not worth it for bike armies, despite the cool factor of the models and fluff.

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:12 am

Finally, the heavy support choices

Devastators
these aren't particularly points-effective; while being a big investment, they are furthermore stationary and vulnerable. Not a good idea for bike armies.

Thunderfire Cannon
Stationary, vulnerable, useful only against specific armies. But they have a 60" range, so they can support your army from anywhere on the board, and can choose to either strike hard against tougher models, deny cowardly weaker units cover saves, or cause those fast moving opponents to make difficult terrain tests. And, if you play the right opponent, have a ruin to fortify and hide them in inside your deployment zone, and the deployment type is not dawn of war, then they are a very viable choice.

Land Raiders
These moving fortresses are mobile and can even still fire a weapon at cruising speed, though they will still fall behind if the bike army moves at maximum speed, and despite adding firepower, they are not exactly points-effective weapons platforms.
The main problem of the land raider is its cost, more so because it still is merely a transport, and what makes it most threatening is most often its cargo. If you invest in a land raider, you should also invest in a hard-hitter squad it can transport. This will consume a great amount of your army’s points, and thus only be a viable option if you have fulfilled all of the more basic needs already. Don’t think about it before you hit 1,500 at all, and probably not before you hit 1,750 to 2,000 and more.
If you choose to go for a land raider, the classic dual-lascannons godhammer-pattern model is the way to go for bike armies. It provides long-ranged hard-hitting firepower able to stop enemy transports or artillery without having to close in. Crusaders are okay as well if you already have lots of other long-range firepower and want some more anti-horde but multi-purpose firepower. The redeemer is the worst choice in bike armies, but can still be viable under the conditions mentioned for the crusader.

Predator
The predator is a tank and therefore mobile. It must forgo the majority of its firepower on the move however, thus being a rather stationary firing platform nonetheless.
While the predator annihilator is just too expensive, the destructor or dakka pred (autocannon and heavy bolters) is quite cheap. And yet it can’t quite keep up with bike armies (can only either provide mobile cover or shoot) and adds no new quality to your army at all: you can already have lots of heavy bolters on more mobile platforms, and the typhoon missile launchers 2 S8 shots will be of much greater use than an autocannon's 2 S7 shots.
Not suggested for use in bike armies.

Whirlwind
The whirlwind is a very fragile tank, but it can fire indirectly and hide from sight. Despite its weaknesses, the whirlwind can indeed be a viable option for bike armies.
Hidden from sight, the whirlwind does not pose a viable target for your opponent’s army and can well be left unsupported. Other units can easily be killed from afar and thus do not require taking a unit out of play to go after it. A hidden whirlwind cannot, however, and the enemy must either ignore it, or commit more points to going after it than it is worth, wasting time and resources – and you can still opt to intercept the unit sent after your whirlwind before it arrives.
Unfortunately, the whirlwind’s firepower is not as awesome as it appears to be. And yet it adds a new quality to your army: that of shooting units hidden from line of sight, that of possibly pinning a target, and that of ignoring cover. The ability to dislodge units from cover from afar is very precious to bike armies. And remember that unless the enemy is within area terrain, even the S5 non cover-ignoring whirlwind ammo denies cover saves, because intervening units or terrain features do not count for indirectly fired barrage weapons.
The whirlwind thus is a viable choice, especially so against certain opponents, those mainly being eldar, imperial guard, tyranids, or tau. Because it can hide from sight, it also fine to take only a single whirlwind, despite the usual need for redundancy. Finally, a place where whirlwinds can be useful again in 5th edition.

Vindicator
The vindicator is a decently armored mobile tank that doesn’t lose any of its firepower when moving at combat speed. It can thus provide mobile cover and fire support for bike armies, which is very valuable. Moreover, its gun adds a new quality to your army: the ability to kill land raiders and monoliths from afar more or less reliably, as well as the ability to mass-pierce 2+ armor saves, to mass-instant kill multiple wound models, to mass-ignore Feel No Pain, and simply to mass-hit and mass-wound a lot of models. That there's alot of Mass Effect. yea, i went there.
Simply put the vindicator is able to harm anything and everything, though quite naturally it is better at killing certain types of units than at killing others. And yet the vindicator is priceless, because it is a mobile, flexible, durable unit that poses such a large threat, that you can mind-control your opponent with it. He will be ready to commit great amount of resources attempting to kill it, thus drawing fire away from your valuable and fragile bikes and speeders.
As perfect line-breakers, vindicators are the ones that blow the holes into strong enemy formations and split them up to be isolated and picked off by your weaker units. This is invaluable for bike armies who are good at clearing out leftovers, but bad at taking on closed fronts. Think of the vindicator as your sheepdog.
This unit –apart from bikes and landspeeders– is probably the most useful in bike armies. As a moving shield for your landspeeders who can shoot over it but gain a cover save from it, and as a distraction from your bikes, the vindicator is a very good support choice. And if that squad of Feel No Pain meganobs is threatening you, you could either waste a tremendous amount of firepower to kill them, or take care of that problem with a single hit from a demolisher shell...
Remember that you should not take a single vindicator (unless in very low points games). Redundancy is a very important principle. Not only will it help to guarantee you get that demolisher shot off at those meganobs, but it will also change the quality of how your opponent chooses to deal with your vindicators. If your opponent faces one, he knows he can shoot it. If he faces two or three, he is more likely to realize that he wouldn’t be able to stop them all in time, and may instead try to keep the distance to them or sacrifice important key units to kill them off. Moreover, multiple vindicators can use their smoke launchers and armor facings to give each other cover, getting cover saves more often and protecting each other’s vulnerable side armor. This will make them much more survivable, and taking three vindicators instead of one will not triple their effectiveness, but instead raise it to the power of three, figuratively speaking.
The dozer blades are a very viable addition to vindicators, as they will let you more or less ignore terrain, enabling you to tank shock units in cover, cross rivers unhindered, drive over hills, through scrub, and so on. The siege shields will give you certainty instead of leaving you with a one in thirty-six chance of being immobilized, but for double the price, I recommend sticking with the small risk. That said, there are many people who feel obligated to take the siege shield option because they think a vindicator looks stupid without the shield, and it just seems too large to be called a dozer blade. but if your opponent doesnt mind you playing it with the shield and saying is a blade, or isnt there at all game-wise, then who cares.

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:18 am

Conclusion
The most effective basic Space Marine bike army should consist of a cheap but effective captain on bike, cheap but effective bike squads worth about a third to half your army, and typhoon-pattern landspeeders and maybe vindicators to support them for the rest of the points.
This gives you a very strong army core ready to take on anything, and once you have that you can flesh it out to your personal likings.

Examples
Here are some quick examples for 1,000 / 1,500 / 2,000 points lists built using the guidelines given above. They are far from being the only options, however, even when sticking to the above-mentioned guidelines to the word. They give you an idea of how an effective bike army [i]might[i] look, but many other possibilities exist just as well; I myself have made alterations to suit my personal tastes.

1000 points
Captain w/ bike, relic blade, artificer armor
Bike Squad w/ extra bike, 2x melta guns, attack bike, multi-melta
Bike Squad w/ extra bike, 2x plasma guns, attack bike, multi-melta
Bike Squad w/ extra bike, 2x flamers, melta bombs, attack bike
Land speeder typhoon
Land speeder typhoon
Land speeder typhoon

1500 points
Captain w/ bike, relic blade, artificer armor
Bike Squad w/ extra bike, 2x melta guns, attack bike, multi-melta
Bike Squad w/ extra bike, 2x melta guns, attack bike, multi-melta
Bike Squad w/ extra bike, 2x plasma guns, attack bike
Bike Squad w/ extra bike, 2x flamers, attack bike
2 Land speeder typhoons
2 Land speeder typhoons
Vindicator w/ dozer blade
Vindicator w/ dozer blade

2000 points
Captain w/ bike, relic blade, artificer armor, storm shield
Bike Squad w/ extra bike, 2x melta guns, power fist, attack bike, multi-melta
Bike Squad w/ extra bike, 2x melta guns, power fist, attack bike, multi-melta
Bike Squad w/ extra bike, 2x plasma guns, attack bike
Bike Squad w/ extra bike, 2x plasma guns, attack bike
Bike Squad w/ 2x extra bike, 2x flamers, melta bombs, attack bike, multi-melta
3 Land speeder typhoons
3 Land speeder typhoons
3 Land speeder typhoons

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:39 am

Gameplay Tactics
Boost For Cover
Using the Turbo-Boosters special rule grants your bikes some of the best possible cover saves in the game. Using this while moving in front of one of your other units that require protection can be of great use.
In conjunction with your vindicators, for example, it is possible to maintain a clear line of fire on the demolisher cannon while at the same time granting a cover save to the vindicator.

The Queue
Bikes have an extraordinarily long footprint. This enables them to space out into very long lines which can be of great use. A single five model bike squadron can cover a distance of more than 18”.

  • This means you can be in two places at the same time. You could, for example, claim an objective and at the same time shoot a plasma gun at an enemy unit up to 55” away from said objective.
  • Two squads of a combined total of twelve models or more can block an entire short table edge and auto-kill any outflankers arriving there, while three of at least eighteen in sum could even block a long one.
  • Surrounding an enemy transport while wrecking it will kill its contents automatically. Don’t fear explosions, remember that your bikes are only half as susceptible to explosion damage as marines on foot. Simply surrounding a non-tank, non-skimmer, enemy transport (Ork trukk, for example) will effectively deprive it of all its options except for shooting, while surrounding an immobilised tank or skimmer will force its cargo to stay embarked.
  • Doing something similar to your own tanks can –if done correctly– grant the tanks a cover save while at the same time granting one to your bikes, while both units may still shoot. (You must take care to place the important weapons in such a way that they can see their target, though.)
  • The Queue also offers great protection from template or marker weapons of any kind, especially multiple blasts.
  • You can also much more easily perform multiple assaults, because while the rules tell you which models you must move into contact with, they do not tell you in which direction to align your bikes, thus enabling you to cover much greater gaps while retaining coherency.
  • Putting your vulnerable speeders towards a corner or table edge, leaving a little space, and then filing your bikes in zig-zag queues enables you to cover a lot of space. Deep-strikers will not be able to land there safely, thus staying further away from your fragile speeders and possibly being unable to down them effectively if they are short-ranged deep strikers, which is often the case.

Swing Wing
Your bikes and speeders can each cover enormous distances in a single move. And since they comprise just about your entire army, you can relocate your entire force very quickly. This can be employed to perform various feints, if that is what you like to call them, or in other words just stay flexible in where you strike and let you perform maneuvers which in chess you would call forks.
Examples: capture and control mission, the objectives are diagonally opposed to each other:
______________________________
|........................................................|
|.................................................O....|
|........................................................|
|........................................................|
|....O.................................................|
|____________________________|

The slow enemy force starts moving toward you. To keep up the illusion of holding your own, you stay put until the enemy attack force is barely in range. Then you disengage away from your objective into safety and from there launch, your attack on the enemy’s objective, surprisingly attempting to claim that one and contest your own.

Or you have superiority at range but take first turn, and your opponent sets up directly opposite to you.
______________________________
|.O.O.O............................................|
|........................................................|
|........................................................|
|........................................................|
|.X.X.X.===>24".............................|
|____________________________|

You just move away along your table edge the maximum distance on your first turn, buying yourself more than the one turn of shooting you just lost. Or deploying one bike squad on a flank and advancing it towards a vulnerable fire support unit. If your opponent moves in to guard that unit your bike squad will swing back towards your main force in time to support it, if the enemy ignores your maneuver, take the fire support squad apart.

The Swing Wing designates the ability to quickly relocate parts of your force, and there are many subtle uses for it.

Slipstream
The approximate 2” height of the rhino chassis is just enough to cover half of the land speeders’ hulls, granting them a cover save while they have unobstructed line of fire. Parking or advancing your land speeders behind any such vehicle is a very good way of getting cover while retaining the ability to shoot unimpaired.

Come And Get Me
Your bike squad is about to be assaulted, but your opponent makes the mistake of shooting at it first, inflicting 25% casualties. Make a fallback move at the end of the shooting phase using Combat Tactics and leave the assaulters stranded!

Wound Allocation Shenanigans
Your bike squads will have a variety of differently equipped models and thus be heavily subjected to wound allocation rules, which is a good thing.
The first model to allocate a wound to is the captain, especially if he is equipped with artificer armor. Even if he suffers a wound, he will still be alive and undiminished in his effectiveness. The very same is true for the attack bikes, which are the second models to be allocated wounds to. They effectively offer the possibility to lose a wound without reducing your squad’s effectiveness by even a tiny amount. Naturally, neither your captain nor the attack bike should be allocated any S8+ wounds or others which would impose Instant Death. But especially the certain wounds (AP3 or AP2 ones) should go to the captain (who has his invulnerable save) and the attack bike, until they are down to a single wound, at which point you should spare them for as long as possible.
After that you should allocate your next wound to your generic biker meat shields, thereafter either to the sergeant or your special weapons, depending on their equipment and its importance in the current game. Try to avoid allocating second layer wounds to a group of equal models. Example: your two melta bikers and your biker sergeant have each already been allocated a first wound, now you need to allocate another one among any of them. If you allocate it to the melta bikes they will have to make three saves, and failing two of them will kill both. If you allocate it to the sergeant and the sergeant fails both saves, the surplus failed save will have no effect.
So Wound Allocation Shenanigans is the art of wounding the multi-wound models first so as to lose wounds without losing models, and then stacking wounds on single models not part of a group. If you suffer various hits from different weapons, try to stack all the dangerous hits on one model. Example: a necron lord with a staff of light is attached to warriors and shoots at your 5+ model bike squad which suffers two AP3 and six AP5 wounds. You allocate both AP3 wounds to the same single model (not the attack bike, please) making one obsolete, while the rest of the models only suffer one to two (depending on how many models are in the squad) AP5 wounds each.

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:43 am

General Guidelines

Objective Missions
Play hide and seek, harass the enemy from afar or do whatever necessary to gain superiority and keep your Troops alive. On turn four begin to position your units so that you can claim and contest a variety of objectives, on turn five move into positions.

Annihilation
Try to claim easy kill points with your best-ranged weapons and keep the rest in safety, using unwounded units to shield others, and always disengaging wounded or damaged units as soon as possible. Once you have a good headstart, disengage your entire force and hide if possible.

Proper Tank Hunting
The typhoons' missiles eat AV10 and AV11 for breakfast, and used in squadrons they can even reliably disable AV12. With their ability to catch shoot side armor (use multiple squadrons to impose a crossfire on the enemy force, or just use your 12" move and still shoot - there are ways to avoid a vehicle's front) there aren't many tanks that can withstand the constant barrage of your gunboats.
There are some really tough tanks in the game, though, the ones that are AV13 and AV14 - mainly land raiders and leman russ variants (and monoliths, which are a different case and should either be ignored, shot with vindicators or a long-ranged conversion beam, or taken down with a lucky wrecked result on a glancing melta hit if you are extremely desperate). These hard targets, and maybe some AV12 tanks which you need dead at all costs, are the prey of your melta bikers, which mainly serve this one purpose. Get them as quickly and close to the target as possible on your first run (using the Turbo-boosters special rule) but try to avoid counter-assault, and then close in some more and shoot your melta goodness at point blank - two melta guns and a multi-melta within 6" should definitely do the trick. If not, try your luck on rear armor with your krak grenades and maybe power fist (or in case of personal preference: melta bombs) in the assault.
These are suicide commandos. Don't mourn them. Your melta squad may have been a little more expensive than the tank, but that maneuver is still worth the sacrifice, seriously. It helps you gain superiority and win the game from there. And think about how much firepower will go into your melta squad in order to kill it off, sparing the rest of your army. Don't worry about it - it has done a great job. You don't sacrifice your melta squads easily -remember the typhoons are your working horse- but in these cases don't hesitate.

_________________

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  System Commander on Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:51 am

Wowza, thats a tremendous amount of tactics for a biker army... I guess it's neccessarily though.. because over my years of playing 40k... I have never lost a game against a bike army.. ever. A couple ties... but never a loss.

They are very tricky to play.. and while the idea of of playing an all bike is really appealing.. ive never been able to see if fully realized.. you end up having so few models on the table that just simple massed firepower ends your day... or if not that. a bad charge can wipe a unit out.

The whole balance between .. moving 12" and firing everything and moving 24 and turbo boosting away .. becomes really skewed. Ive had it happen many times.. many times.. where my daemon prince is down to a wound.. .a squad of bikers with plasma/melta moves up to within 12" fire it all.. I make my saves.. and then assault and wipe them out.. Its such a fragile balance between shooting and potentially getting assaulted that .. like I said.. I never lost aginst them.

That being said.. it would be nice to see them with some updates.. people like the idea of a bike army.. why not give them some unique rules...

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:52 am

that about wraps up all i had to post in this guide. i may also add list examples of the 1500point size that i come across that did well in tournaments, but dont expect me to post or push lists from GT games; those are lists meant to kick ass and do it fast to win you trophies, not offer up fun games that make your opponent step back and think of new ways to play his forces against you. i've been known to make some deadly lists that bring the hurt hard and they definitely win games, but they dont make it fun for the person i set those lists loose on; ask beau or robyn; they've seen some of those lists, and helped me steer back away from using them. Now i only field them if i just dont like the person im facing, or i've had a grumbly day and want to vent.

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  dusktiger on Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:01 am

i agree, its a more advanced, per se, army to field, and often times people dont play them right; from batreps that i've read online, and this is why im trying to stress not to take large model squads, alot of players take the large number squads of 8-9 bikers, and then it hurts them in the end; quite a bit of the time due to exactly what you mentioned with your demon prince. there'll always be flukes of course; guys that goto a GT and place in the top 10 with a list that fields 2 9 man biker squads and nothing else for troops. but one has to take into consideration that it might not be so much that he 'took' those 2 squads in the shape that he did that won him that placing, so much as the fact he's probably played bike lists so exclusively, for so long, that he knows what he's doing well enough to make that work for him, despite the drawbacks it can cause, such as glass-jaw syndrome. in this guide i suggest to take the smaller squads cause 1, you can hide in terrain better, and 2, you can take more special weapons, which just helps make your squads more effective; TL relentless bolters are better than tactical squad bolters, but come on; they're still bolters here; nothing scary to MCs or tanks.

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

Post  Timbo on Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:36 am

dusktiger wrote: i've been known to make some deadly lists that bring the hurt hard and they definitely win games, but they dont make it fun for the person i set those lists loose on; ask beau or robyn; they've seen some of those lists, and helped me steer back away from using them. Now i only field them if i just dont like the person im facing, or i've had a grumbly day and want to vent.

Thank goodness Beau and Robyn were there to set you straight. Let the rest of us win a few games, Mike!

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Re: Biker Tactics in several digest postings

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