Sunday, January 25, 2009

Outnumbered! Codex Space Marine Bike Armies.

Keeper of the Fortress

Welcome to the next installment of Outnumbered! This time we are looking at the Space Marine Codex Bike armies. Its a different enough army compared to Ravenwing to get its own entry.

This is your White Scar and equivalent armies. What I mean by a biker army is of course biker troops and commander. And the rest of the army is other bikes and landspeeders. That's about it. I will get into a bit more detail about some tactica with these armies.

Alright so firstly you need to know your wargear. I am not going to give out much detail on stats or what not. Buy the codex and learn it if you want to run this army. This is true for any army you may play. Know your wargear. Some pointers for bikers. twin linked bolters on the bikes. Bikes confer the relentless rule so plasmagunners or attack bikers can still shoot at full range.

Alright so Firstly with these armies is HQ. Any HQ can go on a bike but the mandatory one you need for this army is a Captain on a bike. He of course makes Space Marine Bikers a troop choice. Now with this codex the bikers have to be atleast 5 man strong to be a troop choice. For the rest of the HQ choices can also go on bikes. But if you want a nice support biker I would suggest either a Master of the Forge on a bike or a Librarian on a bike. A biker with conversion beamer can help this army out with long range anti-tank. Also a Biking Librarian is relentless so Vortex of doom can be cast after moving and the other abilities are nice. Also command squads can be put on bikes should you wish.

Ok so after HQ is troops. Bikers squads are your troops of atleast 5 or larger. I would always give the sergeant a powerfist as he replaces his bolt pistol for a melee weapon. These units however are not meant for the assault really. There space marines yes and with a higher toughness but anytime you charge into cover you need to roll dangerous terrain. Also there strengths are in the shooting. The ability to shoot your twinlinked bolters full range or plasmagun full range makes it a fast mid range shooting squad. If you move then shoot that give you range on things 36 inches away before you moved.

Alright after troops you should supplement your army with fast attack choices. You have Land Speeders, Attack Bikers or Scout bikers. The scout biker squad is an interesting option should they fit into your play style. Most people go with attack bike squads equipped with multi meltas. This is a good option to deal with vehicles and monstrous creatures. Others go with land speeders which are also good. The assault cannon configuration is still good but the changes to defensive weapons and rending made this configuration less popular lately. My favorite from this codex is the missile launcher land speeder. It shoots twice with a missile launchers stats. This is good for longer range anti vehicle but it really shines in dealing with hordes. Fire 3 frag missiles with the heavy bolter into a ork horde or gaunt brood and just thin them out.

So that is what the army contains. But now its time to talk about the one special character that matters for this army for a moment. Korsarro Khan. He can be put on his special bike and lead a biker army. He is from the White Scars but you could easily counts as him with your own army. He has a special ruling for his power sword and for his bikes. His other rule gives him furious charge and hit and run that is conferred to a squad he joins. His Chapter Tactic give the army outflank. This makes the army highly mobile coming in from the sides. He is a good hq option but do not be afraid to make your own HQ captain. You can make a captain with better saves and a str 6 weapon for 5 to 10 points more. So it depends on what you want your army to do. Naturally if you want to outflank you should use the Khan.

Now these biker armies are difficult to play. You are a very fast mobile army that your speed can work against you if you get to split up. What you do depends on what your fighting but generally you should maximize your shooting and assault things that out shoot you like Tau or things that shoot high str weapons like Lootas. Remember your going to be outnumbered more so then normal marines. The good thing though is that units like attack bikes can quickly make there points back by killing vehicles.

To review. Do not let your speed fragment your battle line. Since you are a fast small army you can spearhead into specific spots of the enemy so that your enter army can hit parts of the enemy.

So that is about it. I will go into more detail on biker armies with the Ravenwing so we don't have to read the same thing twice. I touched the parts that are different here. When I discuss Ravenwing and how they differ the tactics for both will be flushed out some more.
Until then the key thing to know for any army is to have your codex for that army and have it with you when you play a game. Also know your wargear or rather at least know the key wargear (example: bolt gun, missile launcher, heavy bolter for marines). The more you know about your army the better you can think about how to play them. Until next time.

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