Thursday, May 7, 2009
Let's Talk Tactics: Space Marine Biker Lists
A sample of the SM Bike madness:
Kor'Sarro with his bike Moondrakkan
6 Squads of SM bikers, as troop choices, with +3 Bikes and Attack Bikes with Multi-meltas
This list runs you just under 1500 points at 1495. In a 1750 or a 2000 point list, you could fill 3 Fast Attack slots with more biker units, or give the troops special weapons like meltaguns. This sounds like an absolutely deadly list to use against some IG treadhead lists.
Think about it: You have got so many bikes zipping around with high toughness, decent armor saves, and TL bolters. Then add in the attack bikes with Multi-meltas, and you have a formidable fast-attacking force. Further add in meltaguns for each squad, and you have a truly fearsome tank busting list.
A) The cost of buying so many freaking bikes. The thought alone makes my wallet wince. If you calculate that at the current price for a boxed set of 3 is 45 dollars, you can assume 15 dollars a bike is a fair estimate, if you consider that shipping will probably cost as much as you would save by buying at discount. You have 36 regular bikes, + Khan, + 6 attack bikes. The regular bikes alone would cost around 540 USD!!! Ouch! You still have the attack bikes and Khan. If the attack bikes are 20 (which is a very lowball estimate) you still end up tacking another 120 USD onto that 540, then another 15 at the least for a Kor'Sarro Khan. Grand total being 675 USD! At that cost, do you know how many AoBR sets you could buy? You could buy probably at least twelve, giving you 120 Tactical Marines, 12 Captains/Masters, 60 Terminators, and 12 Dreadnoughts, plus another 240 ork boyz, 60 nobs, 12 warbosses, and 36 deffcoptas! Kinda puts things in perspective, huh?
B) The lack of long range weaponry. Almost every single weapon in this list is limited to 24 inches or less. Your average board usually isn't longer than 4' wide, or at least mine aren't, so with a turboboost of 24" you can usually fill this gap pretty quick. But what if you don't get to go first? Then you can get picked apart by some opponents who are quick to grasp the idea.
C) The lack of numbers. You will get eaten alive by hordes, who will soak up your attacks with ease. I am thinking of boyz spam lists, which can be as heavy as up to 240 boys in a 1500 point list. Of course, that kind of horde is not going to have very powerful attacks, but with that many bodies of troops, that player won't need them. Quantity has a quality all of its own.
D) No Chapter Tactics. This means no choosing to fail morale tests, because Khan's special tactics overrides this. This may be a minor drawback to some, but to others it limits their tactical usefulness.
A) Outflanking the enemy- a squad or two can be held back in reserve to outflank later in the game. With the short-range hitting power of melta weapons, this can ruin somebody's day if they have been keeping that armor at hull-down behind that hill!
B) They have turboboosters. This allows them to go a mind boggling distance across the board, as well as gives them additional protection from shooting that turn. They can't fire weapons that turn, but if you find yourself far away from any juicy targets, then this can turn the tide.
C) They also have higher Toughness. A higher Toughness allows them to absorb a bit more damage than your average tactical squad. This doesn't work in all situations, and they still can be instant-killed, but it does help get them close enough to shoot those guns.
D) Potential for LOTS of melta weapons. At 2 meltaguns and 1 multimelta per squad, this build allows you to really pour it on. Mech' armies will cry as your fast bikers pop open their transports like soda cans dropped down a flight of stairs.
Well, that should give you some food for thought on using SM bikes. At serious peril to your income, a biker list would definitely be a joy to play, even if not the most competitive list out there.
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