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Unit of the Week: Bike Squad

Blood Angels Unit of the Week series Blood Angels tactica

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#1
Jolemai

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Welcome to part three of the Blood Angels Unit of the Week Series!
 
Following the release of the 8th edition Codex, there is no better time to discuss all the units we have access to. Each week a different unit will appear, with the idea being that we discuss how best to use that model on the battlefield. Where part one will focus on the unique BA units and part two will focus on BA units that are new to this edition of the Codex, part three will discuss how to get the best use the generic units from the past that are still with us (and that many of us have in our armies still).

 

Note, this isn't to lament any nerfs, etc, from previous editions; the rules are as they are so try to unlock its potential for those who wish to use them all the same. Similarly, this thread is only for using the option being discussed; it matters not if you feel something is a better choice as such comments aren't constructive to the topic and shall be removed.
 
Without further ado, here's this week's entry:
 

sml_gallery_62972_10568_1098.jpg Bike Squad

 
What are you thoughts here folks? How best would you use a Bike Squad?
 

  • To compliment a list, or to build a list around? Will the beta rules affect your list(s)?
  • MSU or full squads? Do you make use of the Combat Squads special rule? Will you be running multiple units?
  • How would you make use of Turbo Boost? Are you incorporating an Attack Bike?
  • What weapon choices do you prefer and how much does it depend on the above choices?
  • Are you buffing this unit? If so, how?
  • Stratagems of note?

 
Over to you

 

Nb: Please note that Attack Bike Squads will be covered on a separate entry.

 


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#2
Jolemai

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Should you want your model on display here (or on another thread from the series), then submit a photo here please.


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#3
Charlo

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A seldom seen yet potential little gem of a unit.

 

I think there are two good builds you can play around with:

 

Premier Screen Sweepers; you get lots of bolt shots (now from further away with the Beta rules) and can give everyone a chainsword for the extra swing in melee (total of 2 each, 3 for the sarge). You can give up the extra swing for a Melee or Pistol weapon on the sarge and a Special weapon on up to two mooks. With a 14" movement, I feel like Flamers would be a good choice - you'll easily get in range and the extra 2D6 S4 hits synergize well with the rest of the armaments. Attack bike with a Heavy Bolter to taste if you're going with this build & I'd recommend the maximum squad size.

 

In terms of supporting units, a Sanguinary Priest on Bike (index) buffs the combat potential and keeps the squad healthy.

 

Danger Close Melta; Minimum squad size with two Melta Guns and an Inferno Pistol on the Sergeant. Attack Bike with Multi-Melta for extra punch. I'd ideally take 2 of these units to double down and Turbo Boost them both 20" behind cover where possible, or, if there is a suitable target, get right into Melta Range turn one.

 

To support, bring a Captain on bike for re-rolls to hit. He could be a nice alternative to Captain Smash, potentially armed with a Combi-Melta and Thunder Hammer.



#4
Quixus

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Forget about the pistol. You can either shoot a pistol or all other weapons. So using a pistol prevents you from using the twin boltguns.



#5
Charlo

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Forget about the pistol. You can either shoot a pistol or all other weapons. So using a pistol prevents you from using the twin boltguns.

 

The bolt pistols I agree - inferno pistol though, on a tank hunting squad is much more useful than four bolter shots!



#6
Quixus

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Inferno pistols can only go on the sergeant, who could take a combi-melta instead.

#7
Bonzi

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I've used bikers recently but I haven't see them shine. I'm still looking for the right moves with them. As of now I run five with chainswords and a pair of plasma. The hail of Bolter fire has been nice, but I can get bolters from a lot of different parts of a marine army.

The last game I used them in I was down to one plasma biker and I just started racing around the board to capture objectives. This might be the best use of bikes that I've found.

Xeno

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#8
Charlo

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Inferno pistols can only go on the sergeant, who could take a combi-melta instead.

 

If he could, I would've armed him with one ;) he is strictly limited to Pistols or Melee weapons only.



#9
Xenith

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Bikers still a solid choice this edition.

 

I'd go with plasma on two guys to synergise with the range on the bolters.

 

Special weapons replace the bolt pistol, so in 8th, you can shoot the combi bolters as well as the special weapon, a big boost from 7th. 

 

Plasma bikers are getting 6 shots each at 12" range. 

 

I'd probably go triple plasma with chainswords. As Quixus says, bolt pistols stop you from shooting the other better guns. Chainswords gives them 100% more attacks. 

 

Combis presumably can be taken on legacy models using the index flowsheets. Either a combi plasma or storm bolter on the serge. 


Edited by Xenith, 12 February 2019 - 10:10 AM.


#10
Jolemai

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Inferno pistols can only go on the sergeant, who could take a combi-melta instead.

 

If he could, I would've armed him with one msn-wink.gif he is strictly limited to Pistols or Melee weapons only.

 

 

Whilst the Index options are legal, they remain a viable choice whether or not a Frater chooses to ignore them.


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#11
Jolemai

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In my 2k list I run them without an Attack Bike (they are elsewhere to fill out the Brigade) and they are at four models: grav gun x2, combi-grav, chainsword. I'd rather have the chainsword over the bolt pistol for the times when they are caught in combat.

 

At the moment they are 50:50 in as much as they are either removed first turn, or I get to do something with them teehee.gif in the case of the latter I tend to run them in support of my Scouts unless they have a target of opportunity or any objective. The grav weapons can be decent, I don't tend to use melta or plasma as I only have one of each and I'm trying not to proxy anymore blush.png So yeah, I'm running them as gun support but not really getting the best out of them.

 

In my 1500 list I go large and have character support (Librarian and Priest) but I've barely playtested these in 8th yet.


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#12
Charlo

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Inferno pistols can only go on the sergeant, who could take a combi-melta instead.

 

If he could, I would've armed him with one msn-wink.gif he is strictly limited to Pistols or Melee weapons only.

 

 

Whilst the Index options are legal, they remain a viable choice whether or not a Frater chooses to ignore them.

 

Had no idea they could take them in the Index then! Maybe my bikers aren't so dead.

 

I have two squads of Grav bikes from the Glory days of 7th, thinking about it, they're probably the best option for a middle of the road squad. Even a minimum squad has the speed to get within 9" for 12 Bolt shots and 6 Grav Shots, enough to lay the hurt on any infantry.

 

I think someone did the maths and Grav is a lot better than people seem to give it credit for this edition, it's just more expensive and not as OP as 7th.



#13
sfPanzer

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I honestly only see them as a semi-durable skirmisher unit with great mobility. They won't do much on their own but also aren't completely harmless but if you don't use their speed they are wasted potential. Unfortunately with that they cover pretty much the exact same role as Scout Bikes which are imo the better choice for it (though that's not the point of this topic).

Also the Bike keyword is a bit hindering in their objective grabbing role if the objective is placed on top of ruins as they aren't allowed to climb those so watch out for houserules and such.


Disclaimer:

If my posts appear rude to you, I apologize. It's not meant to be rude in any way, it's just the way folks are in my country. It's really more about being direct than being rude. I know how it's perceived in the english speaking community and I already try to tone it down but I barely notice when it's too much since it's normal for me.


So yeah, I'm really not rude it's basically just cultural differences that act against me here. Again, I apologize.

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#14
The Unseen

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Inferno pistols can only go on the sergeant, who could take a combi-melta instead.

 

If he could, I would've armed him with one msn-wink.gif he is strictly limited to Pistols or Melee weapons only.

 

 

Whilst the Index options are legal, they remain a viable choice whether or not a Frater chooses to ignore them.

 

Had no idea they could take them in the Index then! Maybe my bikers aren't so dead.

 

I have two squads of Grav bikes from the Glory days of 7th, thinking about it, they're probably the best option for a middle of the road squad. Even a minimum squad has the speed to get within 9" for 12 Bolt shots and 6 Grav Shots, enough to lay the hurt on any infantry.

 

I think someone did the maths and Grav is a lot better than people seem to give it credit for this edition, it's just more expensive and not as OP as 7th.

 

 

The issue is when you compare Grav to Plasma. They're close to the same cost, and Plasma is just better in all circumstances. Plasma is higher strength, and flat 2 damage when overcharged just flat out beats D3 damage with a further condition. Yeah, you kill yourself with a 1, but most people don't care and pack rerolls from somewhere. And the shorter range doesn't help.


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#15
Charlo

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Is it though? If you're shooting at stuff you need to overcharge for, then you're basically wasting the bolter shots, not to mention risking a biker.

Wounding most Infantry on a 3, with excellent ap and D3 DMG against the heavy stuff is pretty cool.

#16
sfPanzer

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I think I'd still rather take Plasma.

Against T3 Plasma wounds on a 2+ even without overcharging instead of the 3+ of the Grav.

Against T4 both are pretty much equal if you don't overcharge the Plasma (but always have the option to do so).

Against T5 Plasma wounds on a 3+ instead of a 4+.

And in the rare case you want to shoot at a vehicle the Plasma still wounds on a 4+/3+ instead of a 5+.

Not to mention that the Plasma has 6" more range so 3" more Rapid fire range.

 

So while overcharging is not the best choice when using the Bolter part as well, even just using the standard profile is pretty much always better unless you shoot at something like Primaris.


Disclaimer:

If my posts appear rude to you, I apologize. It's not meant to be rude in any way, it's just the way folks are in my country. It's really more about being direct than being rude. I know how it's perceived in the english speaking community and I already try to tone it down but I barely notice when it's too much since it's normal for me.


So yeah, I'm really not rude it's basically just cultural differences that act against me here. Again, I apologize.

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#17
Captain Smashy Pants

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Yeah I reckon grab should have had a special rule different to what it does, maybe +1 to wound versus 3+ save, +2 against +2 save, would have been better I think.

Kinda of topic I know. In reguard to bike squads, I think I would go 5 man with two CS, special if choice on two guys, but not grav, on the Sgt I think either PS, CS or maybe a hammer if I'm using plasma or melta, to maybe deal a killing blow to a light vehicle or TEQ squad.
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I do find it hilarious that some people were saying the size of newer marine stuff looks great next to regular humans like Cadians, and then GW upsized the humans so they are the same height as marines again :lol: :lol: :lol:






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