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Are Ravenwing bikes any good?


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#1
dice4thedicegod

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I was thinking of picking 3 of them up for looks, but are they any good on the table?

#2
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RW units in our codex are really good.  it is probably the best sub-faction that DA has.

 

That said 3 bikes with nothing to support them, off by themselves in your opponent's deployment zone turn 1-2, will die 100% of the time.

 

So it all depends upon how you would like to use them.  What is your plan with them?



#3
domsto

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Bikes at all aren't good.

Our Ravenwing Stratagems and the Formation from Vigilius make them somewhat OK, but they still lack surviability and Damage output.


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#4
JJD

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I would echo what valourousheart said. Ravenwing can be good. Not tournament competitive but still ok but you really have to go all in. By which a mean Sammael (re-roll to hit bubble), talon master(re-roll 1s to wound bubble), dark shroud(-1to hit bubble), big squads of black knights(make the most of WFTDA) and probably a couple of dark talons.

#5
G8Keeper

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They are pretty good now with bolter discipline.  I run 6 man squads with the obligatory special weapons and combi on the sergeant to bulk out my force when I take pure RW.  The bolters get a lot of work done.


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#6
Berzul

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Bikes at all aren't good.
Our Ravenwing Stratagems and the Formation from Vigilius make them somewhat OK, but they still lack surviability and Damage output.

I disagree.

Our Greenwing can do the same as any other space marine chapter (and worse, one could argue, considering unit availability when compared to Ultramarines and other codex-compliant chapters).

Our Deathwing is... Let's just say, it's got "issues", at the moment.

Ravenwing is where our codex shines. And bikes, specially with the bolter discipline rules for maximum effect on their shots, are great.

Jink, first of all, and as a special rule, is simply awesome. A great advantage vs other speed-armies out there. Might be restricted to one use per turn, but well used its amazing.

Same with the attack squadron special detachment. Awesome all around.

A regular bike squad at 5 bikes, with an attack bike to tank wounds, will net you 20 bolter shots at 24 inches, as well as 3 special weapon shots, with a T5 and 14 wounds to spare. All for, at most, 207 points, which is not that much. How is THAT not awesome?

Take em with meltas as assault weapons and you can get your 4++ every turn and still shoot, while moving 20" each turn.

Take em with plasma and with Speed of the Raven, you will still fire 6 shots at 12", which can be boosted to S8 AP-3 D3! Devastating.

With the Dark Shroud to support them, their survivability improves even more. The -1 to hit will save you more bikes than you expect. That and the Jink rule combined means we have the most survivable bike squad in the imperium!

In fact, I'd go so far as to sat that they are TOO good. In the sense that, the GW and the DW are way too underwhelming next to the RW, to the point that the incentive to go heavy on bikes is too high. The other wings need improvement. Specially our poor terminators.

... I'll agree that taking just three bikes with no special weapons, is not enough.

Although, at 69 points, that is still 6 wounds with a T5 unit that moves 20" per turn with a 3+/4++ save, that puts out 12 bolter shots at 24". Not a bad deal.

Edited by Berzul, 10 July 2019 - 10:34 AM.

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#7
Hannibal

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Shots per points and wounds per points ratio is better than standard Marines. In addition you gain improved speed and toughness.

What's not to like?

#8
G8Keeper

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Let's not forget the stratagems from Vigilus too :)


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#9
Berzul

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At least until the Deathwing Strikeforce Specialist Detachment is revealed in tje next campaign source book (i hope).

Then its gonna be DW all the way!! :D

... Its gonna happen guys. Just you wait! Im not crazy! DW will be awesome soon!!
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#10
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RW units in our codex are really good.  it is probably the best sub-faction that DA has.

 

 

Bikes at all aren't good..

 

This is what you'll find when talking about rw bikes. As I've found, they can be the fulcrum of your army but they need to be used correctly and devastating. 

 

Essentially you want to keep them alive for 2-3 turns, you do this by taking effectively sized (not max or min) squads and using your charge and assault phases to keep them away from getting shot and trapping non melee units in CC.

 

This is what I've been finding successful in my tourneys and regular play


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#11
ValourousHeart

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Jink, first of all, and as a special rule, is simply awesome. A great advantage vs other speed-armies out there. Might be restricted to one use per turn, but well used its amazing.

 

I disagree about Jink being awesome.  The heritage of it is cool, it was something that we had back in the early days of Games Workshop, and it is nice to have it returned to us and not just given to everyone.  But in its current form it is terrible.

 

The reason that Jink is terrible is the same reason that the Imperial Knight terrain piece is terrible.  You take a high cost elite unit (RW or IK) that needs to do something every turn (shoot or charge) to make up for the fact that they are out numbered, and to make use of their special rules you must give up a turn of shooting and charging.

 

Everyone on the forum laments how bad DW units are in under the current rules... imagine if their signature rule prohibited them from shooting or charging.  Would that make DW better?

 

There are lots of ways to fix the rule that allows our bikes and speeders to scoot and shoot.


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#12
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A regular bike squad at 5 bikes, with an attack bike to tank wounds, will net you 20 bolter shots at 24 inches, as well as 3 special weapon shots, with a T5 and 14 wounds to spare. All for, at most, 207 points, which is not that much. How is THAT not awesome?

 

What composition are you taking to get it at that points? With 5 bikes and an attack bike I clock it at about 188.

Sorry to jump on this but I wanted to get some thoughts, I've currently got 3 squads of 4 bikes and want to expand on them a little bit but not sure how. Do I get 1 extra biker per squad and an attack bike each (3 bikes, 3 attk bikes) or 2 bikes per squad (6 bikes). What should I load them out with as well?



#13
Berzul

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Again, I disagree.

 

Jink, as a maneuver, always was, and always should be, about trading off offensive power for survivability. That is the core principle behind the rule.

 

You may prefer the unit be able to both engage in defensive maneuvers, and at the same time put out damage to its maximum efficiency, but amazing as that would be from a game perspective, it would make no sense and would imbalance the unit entirely.

 

In an edition where noone gets to engage in this defensive maneuvers to ensure their bikes, planes and speeders can reach their optimal position in the battlefield, the Ravenwing can. That is a boon, and a big deal. And it is awesome that we have it.

 

Specially when you consider that, you still have the alternative of just, you know... move normally, and fire. Same as every other bike, ship and speeder in the game. Again, there is a reason Jink enters into effect when turbo boosting. It is an evasive maneuver. Supposed to reflect how skillful the pilot is in navigating through enemy fire to reach their best position to launch a strike.

 

Even so, our best bikes in the army, the Black Knights, can do this every turn with their plasma talons, without the need of a stratagem. That is just amazing! 18 inch double plasma shots at 4+ with a unit that is T5, W2, 3+/4++ and moves 20"? Seriously, that is amazing!

 

Jinking in 7th didn't make you any better at damage output than this. In fact, you lost your chance to fire altogether, if I remember correctly. So, being able to jink (when noone else can) and still fire assault weapons, is indeed awesome.

 

Not only that, we can use a stratagem to get a unit that did not pack assault weapons to fire anyway. Which is even more awesome.

 

I understand it not being ideal. It would be great to be able to dodge shots at a 4++ save and still be able to shoot at top ability. But jink never worked like that anyway, and it shouldn't. Its a defensive maneuver, after all.


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#14
Berzul

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A regular bike squad at 5 bikes, with an attack bike to tank wounds, will net you 20 bolter shots at 24 inches, as well as 3 special weapon shots, with a T5 and 14 wounds to spare. All for, at most, 207 points, which is not that much. How is THAT not awesome?

 

What composition are you taking to get it at that points? With 5 bikes and an attack bike I clock it at about 188.

Sorry to jump on this but I wanted to get some thoughts, I've currently got 3 squads of 4 bikes and want to expand on them a little bit but not sure how. Do I get 1 extra biker per squad and an attack bike each (3 bikes, 3 attk bikes) or 2 bikes per squad (6 bikes). What should I load them out with as well?

 

 

5 bikes with a combi melta, two melta guns, and an attack bike with a multi melta, will go for 207 points. Plasma and a heavy bolter would be a lot cheaper.

 

I sued to run two squads of plasma bikes in teams of 6, without attack bikes, before I started to remake my chapter. They worked pretty well. Now I am making a squad geared for melta, so I can not depend so much in Speed of the Raven to have them keeping up the attack. Grav, as well, is good. Used to be a LOT better in 7th, but its still good. Although there seems to have been a serious lack of grav in 8th edition, with how it got nerfed down a bit through the removal of salvo weapon rules.


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#15
dice4thedicegod

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Ah, I hadn’t considered the triple Melta jink bikers - right, off to eBay I go!

#16
Solrac

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Again, I disagree.

 

Jink, as a maneuver, always was, and always should be, about trading off offensive power for survivability. That is the core principle behind the rule.

 

You may prefer the unit be able to both engage in defensive maneuvers, and at the same time put out damage to its maximum efficiency, but amazing as that would be from a game perspective, it would make no sense and would imbalance the unit entirely.

 

In an edition where noone gets to engage in this defensive maneuvers to ensure their bikes, planes and speeders can reach their optimal position in the battlefield, the Ravenwing can. That is a boon, and a big deal. And it is awesome that we have it.

 

Specially when you consider that, you still have the alternative of just, you know... move normally, and fire. Same as every other bike, ship and speeder in the game. Again, there is a reason Jink enters into effect when turbo boosting. It is an evasive maneuver. Supposed to reflect how skillful the pilot is in navigating through enemy fire to reach their best position to launch a strike.

 

Even so, our best bikes in the army, the Black Knights, can do this every turn with their plasma talons, without the need of a stratagem. That is just amazing! 18 inch double plasma shots at 4+ with a unit that is T5, W2, 3+/4++ and moves 20"? Seriously, that is amazing!

 

I get that from a balance perspective to balance Jink vs everything else this makes sense. The only thing wrong with it is no other army with bike equivalents other than all other Marine/Chaos Marine followed this kind of thinking.

 

Eldar, Dark Eldar, Custodes, Necrons, Orks all have rules and multiple stratagems (not just 1) to make their bikes more durable than jink, increase their damage output and/or make them more points efficient. The other downside is for our bikes to be somewhat worth it they all have to be within 6" of our characters all in the one place.

 

Ravenwing are amazing in casual, narrative or open play events. I would play bikes and speeders to my hearts content in these game modes.

 

Competitively the only good things to use from Ravenwing are Sammael on Sableclaw, Talonmasters and Darkshrouds.

 

When the current tournament meta is:

  • Knights that can blow you away from a distance (Chaos Knights soon to join this fun),
  • Guard that has so much shooting it doesn't matter what type of save you have
  • horde that has more models than you have dakka, or
  • Daemons that combines horde that is hard to kill with mortal wound spam

With the armies that are shown above there is no room for a mid range army that relies on a jink mechanic to stay alive but if you do jink you can't kill things effectively.


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#17
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Shots per points and wounds per points ratio is better than standard Marines. In addition you gain improved speed and toughness.

What's not to like?

 

Yep. A bike is 27 points (gotta pay for the twin-bolter); two Tactical Marines 26 points. Same general stats, but bikes have greater toughness, greater base Move, fire 4 shots out to 24" with Bolter drill whenever they fire, can Jink (granted, this is of situational value), and are practically immune to Morale losses if using Combat Squads.  And don't forget they have access to Grim Resolve too! And we don't have to pay extra for our Chapter abilities any longer (thanks for finally extricating head from arse on that one GW!). *ALL* bikes are pretty good nowadays - Black Legion bikes can even Advance and fire! eek.gif

 

Bikes can't climb building levels though. facepalm.pngtongue.png

 

Bikes are a solid enough choice for anyone really, and, as previously pointed out, other Ravenwing units work well in tandem with Ravenwing Bikes.

 

What you choose mainly depends on what type of force you want to play. I like variety when possible. The Dark Millenium starter set Ravenwing Bikes are cool, and can be a good distraction/harassing unit.
 

As to tournament META, if tournaments are your thing, then Bikes are probably not stupid broken enough to include. If you could give a flying fig about tournaments, then to hell with tournament META - play what looks coo/is fun to play with. Also, you can not help but learn something new about the game by playing with a variety of units. Whichever your reason for playing, hopefully you play with other like-minded folks and so will be enjoying yourself either way. Finally, if you like to build and paint models too, I'd certainly get a squad of Bikes.


Edited by shabbadoo, 12 July 2019 - 07:47 AM.

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#18
BlackTriton

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RW Bikers are 23pt with twin boltgun since last CA, making the min squad 69pt, 71pt with mandatory stormbolter on the sargent. 

 

I like to include a squad of 6 (140pt) in lists where I do not include a lot of other Raven Wing, they screen close to Azrael for the 4++ before SotR to follow Sammael / TalonMaster around. 

With 28 bolter shot at 24" the unit firepower is not bad and adding the Ignore cover from the TalonMaster makes it a real problem for some armies. 

 

The real downside is that they are real fragile even with 4++. Most 2 Damage weapon have -1 or -2 AP anyway and large amount of S5/6 shooting is very common.

 

The secret sauce to Bikers (and black knight) is to cast righeous repugnance on them. rerolling everything is a very powerfull ability, turning mediocre melee into a dangerous unit. Black Knight specially love this, when you wounds on 5, rerolling all fail mean you can fish the 6's for the d3 damage. 

Swift strike is also awesome to shoot black knight, fight in melee and retreat 20" and into cove / out of LoS


Edited by BlackTriton, 11 July 2019 - 11:37 AM.

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#19
ValourousHeart

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I believe that the purpose of special rules is to encourage units to be played in a certain way.

 

 

Even so, our best bikes in the army, the Black Knights, can do this every turn with their plasma talons, without the need of a stratagem. That is just amazing! 18 inch double plasma shots at 4+ with a unit that is T5, W2, 3+/4++ and moves 20"? Seriously, that is amazing!

 

In regards to the other RW units.

 

but if you do jink you can't kill things effectively.

 

I believe these 2 quotes sum up my argument precisely.

 

IMO, RW are a harassment force.  I don't see it as very effective harassment technique to let your opponent shoot you while you don't shoot them back.  That would be your opponent harassing you.

 

The reason that RWBK are good is because they can Jink AND still shoot their guns.  They don't require the CP to shoot, only if they want to charge.

 

Every other RW unit has to do one or the other.  Yes we can spend a CP to allow our RW unit to jink and shoot, but that forces us into a specific build in order to have enough CP for our units to use the rules on their data card and also effectively participate in the game.

 

I don't believe there are any other units in the game that are required to use CP in order to use the rules on their data card.  If you know of any, let me know. 


Edited by ValourousHeart, 11 July 2019 - 03:58 PM.

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#20
BlackTriton

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Every other RW unit has to do one or the other.  Yes we can spend a CP to allow our RW unit to jink and shoot, but that forces us into a specific build in order to have enough CP for our units to use the rules on their data card and also effectively participate in the game.

 

I don't believe there are any other units in the game that are required to use CP in order to use the rules on their data card.  If you know of any, let me know. 

 

That is a very cynical way to look at it.

 

There is more to the game than killing the opposing forces, holding ground is just as important.

Jink allows greater defence when you chose to advance, you exchange firepower for greater mobility and gain additional resilience as a free bonus.

Now, SotR allows you to cancel the usual penalty for advancing, which would be a great use of 1CP even if the units affected did not have jink! I would use it on my helblaster every turn if I could. 

Having "enough CP" is not a problem considering the only good stratagem we have are WotDA and SotR, everything else like fight again and Intractable are situational at best.

 

Dark Angels suffer from poor stratagems, poor relic choices, poor warlord traits AND overpriced model (like all other Astarte) BUT they do not suffer from poor units choices or poor rules. 

The dark talon, azrael, DW Knight, Black Knight, dark shroud, talon master & Sammael are all great unit choices unique to DA and unique in the game.

 

Ravenwing Units are great; they just need the little special spice to make them shine. The same goes for the deathwing and space marines in general. 


Edited by BlackTriton, 11 July 2019 - 04:32 PM.


#21
ValourousHeart

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Cynical, who me, not at all. 

 

Jink allows greater defence when you chose to advance, you exchange firepower for greater mobility and gain additional resilience as a free bonus.

 

Apparently we have a very different understanding of the term "free" especially in a context where you just used the word exchange.  Points are not the only costs in this game.  

 

The price of Jink is 1 shooting phase and 1 assault phase per turn you use it, which doesn't sound free to me.

 

Small elite armies do not have the luxury of forfeiting turns.  Which brings us to this part.

 

Now, SotR allows you to cancel the usual penalty for advancing, which would be a great use of 1CP even if the units affected did not have jink! I would use it on my helblaster every turn if I could. 

Having "enough CP" is not a problem considering the only good stratagem we have are WotDA and SotR, everything else like fight again and Intractable are situational at best.

 

Sure you have the CP because you are always taking a battalion.  Not sure why you think that refutes my argument about being forced into a specific build.  The specific build I'm referring to is the battalion.

 

I'll repeat my question.

Name one unit in the entire game that has to use a CP in order to use any of the rules on its data card and still be effective during the turn.


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#22
Berzul

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I would say, as a series of points of order:

 

1) It does seem to be that the Codex itself has serious design issues and is not what you can call competitive. Our stratagems are just not that good for the most part, and out units have severe problems. Deathwing all around, and Ravenwing as well, with exception of key units that indeed shine.

 

2) The question is not whether or not our bikes are the best, or even perfect, but rather if they are good. Now, one then has to ask: Good.... in what context? Compared to other bikes around the game, we are worse off, but compared to what our Codex gives us in alternatives and options, they are indeed good.

 

What I mean is, they are not costly, they have good speed, are survivable, can put out good shots, can carry good weapons, and benefit from some of the only stratagems in our codex that we can say with confidence that are good. Even if they are good objectively, or good in the sense that they fix flaws and faults in the units in a useful way.


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#23
Grand Master Raziel

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I run three squads of 5 Bikes with 3 plasmas each, and I find them to be workhorse units. Opponents tend to focus on my Black Knights and Typhoons, neglecting the seemingly less dangerous Bike Squads.

That said, everything in our dex ought to come down in price like 10-20%, Bikes included. Very little of what we have is likely to show up on tournament top tables. I figure we just have to accept that and enjoy play at the mid tabled.
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#24
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All of this mind you dice4thedicegod, depends on what kind of games you play and what armies you face.  I've found RW remarkably effective against Death Guard, but struggle against Orks for example, both in casual matched play.


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#25
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When I have the time and get the force painted up, I will be running a dual battalion RW list with both as RWAS. 2*5 black knights, 2*5 bikes, 2 typhoons, a darkshroud, phobos lieutenant with Target Priority, Ezekiel, Sableclaw and a Talonmaster. 6 scout squads (3 of those with snipers). It should pack enough punch to play around with most things, but it's not as competitive as my knights.

 

I'd get those bikers, if I were you. But 3 is not going to be enough.


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