Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Bikers

Well it's Halloween, and whilst my block of University flats is empty due to everyone going out and having fun, I remain behind. There is no room for merriment here!

But seriously, there's a bit of a hidden agenda behind my lack of Chaos posting this week. The agenda in question is that the unit that I have set myself to talk about next is one that I know absolutely nothing about. Incoming Chaos bikers. In 9 years in the hobby I have seen bikers once, and that was back in the days when I picked up my Eldar and barely knew what I was doing. The only other time that I have seen bikes is when my Eldar were out and kicking, but I don't count those because they are jetbikes.

So, I am going to attempt to talk about a unit the likes of which I have barely ever seen in action, late at night and with nothing to keep me awake bar a bottle of Sprite. If/when this is a terrible terrible analysis please leave feedback that will help me better understand these guys in the future, thanks (you may have noticed that my ego bounces up and down like a yo-yo (I can't think of an original similie right now)).

Before I get started though. GW news. I'm going to start with some generic products with the new paint set. I'm just going to rattle off a couple of my original thoughts on this very quickly. I think that the design of the box is good, I like the fact that it doubles as storage space for your paints. The downside being that most of the paints are going to dry up before you use them. If you work out the maths you're essentially getting 21 paints free, but I can probably think of more than 21 paints from that set that I'd never use. That's that then.

Obligatory embossed army cases are coming for Christmas. As an owner of one that I got a couple of years back, although they're good they're not that comfortable to wear (due to them being as wide as a house) and you can get much more efficiency out of a dual KR case, so I'd probably stick with that. That said, I am probably going to be picking up a few of the Northern Wastes (Space Wolves) basing kits. I sort of have to don't I?

Other than that you've got the huge trenchline, which I was interested in until I saw that it cost £100. And there's more. A Space Marine megaforce (of course) and a Necron one too. I like the look of both of these, I think they both make a solid core for a new army, but from a competitive standpoint I probably wouldn't bother if you're looking to build a new tournament army. Finally, GW have heard our calls and released a box of Cultists (whoo!). Not great though, they are the Dark Vengeance Cultists (which is good), but I'm a little disappointed that GW haven't done this properly. Instead, they've released a mini-box, which is £6 for 5 cultists, 3 have Autoguns and 2 have dual close combat weapons. So, if you're looking to give all of the cultists in your army 1 of the 2 choices, half of that box is going to be redundant.

Look at that, I'm procrastinating even inside the post.

Bikers time.  

I'm going to do this the way I know, compare them to something. Let's compare them to a standard Chaos Space Marine. Ok, so for 7pts more, what do you get? Well, the bikes get to move a heck of a lot faster, that's obvious, but they also get twin-linking on their bolters (bikes), dual close combat wepaons and T5. Hmm, looking good already. Their marks are a little more expensive though.

I always like to have at least one fast contingent in my army. The main reason for this being that Linebreaker point. I really like to push for those points, as I know that they can make a huge amount of difference in a game. Take the Emperor's Will for example. I am most likely going to keep hold of my objective, you are most likely to keep hold of yours. This was the case even before 6th edition, but now that the game has very muched shifted to shooting based, even less units are willing to go forward, so no-one's going to get linebreaker, and no-one's going to get slay the warlord if you hide them in your armies (which you probably are doing).

This means that the game is going to come down to whoever gets first blood. In this way, winning on the secondary objectives can really take the pressure off on the main ones, as all you have to do is draw, and I think that bikes are good for Linebreaker. Maybe put another couple of bikes in there to increase durability in case they are shot at, 5 in a squad maximum, hide them behind terrain and then turn 3 or 4 start to make a break for it, taking advantage of that sweet 4+ Jink save and T5.

So, how do I see this in comparison to the other Fast Attack choices. I think that they all fulfill different rolls. Spawn are an excellent tarpit, no two ways around it, that is what they do best and they can also put out a bit of damage too. The Heldrake is an infantry frier, it will stomp MEQs like nobodies business. Bikers I think are a difficult unit to use, you can take advantage of a bit of bad positioning exposing a meltagun in an enemy unit with your speed for example, you can prey on a weakened unit that could cause you a problem elsewhere if not dealt with, and they can grab that linebreaker point for you. Just whatever you do, hide them first turn, even if you're going first, a sieze would cause you a problem if they're in the open in front of guns, especially missiles.

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