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SM Attack Bikes:
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Old 10 Dec 2005, 23:53   #1 (permalink)
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Default SM Attack Bikes:

As Tau players, what do you think of SM Attack Bikes?

Do you fear them?
Think they pose a decent thread?
Find them to be pretty useless against your force?

I'd like feedback from both Mech and Static perspectives.

Now, I'm making a SM Attack Bike themed force - http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=14837.0

Would that list bother you at all?.

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Old 10 Dec 2005, 23:57   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: SM Attack Bikes:

Personally, no.

If the bikes Turbo-boost, they cannot shoot that turn, and so I can concentrate my firepower on taking down the Razorback squads, rather than the invulnerable units. However, the Attack Bikes would still make a valid target for my Firewarrior Squads, who lack the AP to negate their saves anyway.

If they don't Turbo Boost, they get hit by high-AP guns.

The Meltas might concern me, as they could get very close very quickly, and draw a lot of my firepower as I kill them to save the Suits and Tanks.

Overall, I wouldn't fear the list. Not to say it is weak, or ineffective, simply that I feel it could be beaten using my list, with proper planning and co-ordination of forces.
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Old 11 Dec 2005, 00:39   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: SM Attack Bikes:

I am a hybrid leaning static player. I would fear it in the hands of a competent commander. If you make the bikes a difficult target, they are not going to be wiped out in time. They have the mobility to evade focused fire. They can be a threat to any unit in the Tau list, depending on how they're equipped. I find it harder to face them than assault squads.

Your list? I fear it less because the bike squads are too small. My fire warriors would be in cover, removing much of the heavy bolters' bite.. My suits would be far away from the multimeltas, and the same for my ships. Even one or two squads of mine would be a threat to bike squads that size, and it would be hard for you to keep them away from at least that much shooting.

If the bikes get into combat with any Tau unit, you are very well protected. Even kroot will only wound on 5s, and you always get your save. It should be hard for you to get a direct charge though.
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Old 11 Dec 2005, 04:30   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: SM Attack Bikes:

i play mech tau, and i dont think that bikes are scary
ion heads rip them appart, and with 3 ion heads, bye bye bikes

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Old 11 Dec 2005, 04:48   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: SM Attack Bikes:

well you get less of them than normal marines.

can they assualt and turbo boost?
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Old 11 Dec 2005, 05:04   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: SM Attack Bikes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arguleon-veq
As Tau players, what do you think of SM Attack Bikes?

Do you fear them?
Think they pose a decent threat?
Find them to be pretty useless against your force?

I'd like feedback from both Mech and Static perspectives.

Now, I'm making a SM Attack Bike themed force - http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=14837.0

Would that list bother you at all?.
Interesting list. As a Tau player, here's what I see at first glance: You have a number of very small targets, nothing overly too powerful, and nothing with too much punch, from the get go. The small squad sizes throughout the list may contribute to the ease of focus fire from a Tau army that is Hybrid or Mechanized (which can generally move various units into a position which would allow that). A static army would have less to do against your ranged attackers, if they were in cover though. For the most part, the guns are "scare" weapons, so they will seem very daunting, however those guns stop working if the unit is in close combat. A Tau commander throwing Kroot your way, or interrupting this with Skimmer hulls, may cause problems and slow down the Marine attack, just enough to allow key units to be destroyed. Anyhow, there's potential for both sides, but it will rest heavily upon how the Tau player has equipped his force.

Your Space Marine Attack Bikes:

Fast moving, T5 units with good armor saves are always scary. The T5 will make a big difference because it will slow down the overall punch from the average S5 weaponry of the Tau list. Against a Tau opponent who has invested heavily into the S5 numbers, in order to roll dice at you, you will probably come out on top, because you have way too many T5 wounds at 3+ saving level for him to bare down upon, and you will be able to take him in combat in that sense (72 pulse rifle shots can barely take down 6 T5 3+ wounds, which is only a single Attack Bike squad; and you have three of them). So should a Tau player fear those bikes? Yes, from an infantry standpoint. In combat, those Bikes will be totally unstoppable and in the shooting phase, without some heavier weapon support, those Bikes will roll over Tau units too easily and not take much damage on the way.

Against any Tau army containting a good amount of infantry (ie: Hybrid & Static Tau) they will be an immediate Threat. As Tau's priority scheme runs, the Bikes will be #1 on that list of "Kill it now." If the army, at 1,000 points, is sporting an Ion Cannon as well as Plasma Rifles and Fusion Blasters (ie: expecting to punch Marine armor) then you will probably have problems. However, not too many commanders bulk up on that, so you could probably expect very little that can actually deny your armor save to hit all 9 of your bikes before they get into range to fire, or into close combat.

The heavy bolters are actually not that scary, but the Multi-melta does post a significant threat to armor. Should you get first turn, you could easily move into range and fire that Multi-melta with 50% chances of getting a penetrating hit on a Devilfish, or slightly worse on a Hammerhead, if present. This shot can also remove a single Battle Suit, such as a lone XV-88 or Crisis XV8 in a single round, removing a potent threat, or counter weapon that was intended for your bikes. To top it off, multiple instances of this can be totally crippling. First turn and this kind of bike, makes for a nasty surprise to a Commander who loses the use of an important tool that he planned on using against you. However, should he get the first turn and has such units, you may be in trouble yourself.

Combined with the rest of that army list:

Unfortunately the rest of the army list, is comprised of two very easily destroyed targets, which will result in a loss of mobility and loss of potent firepower and double entangled squads, who will be out of commission while the Bikes are racing forward. Now, the Armor could be used to shield the Bikes, but that's actually going to result in a counter productive move, since the Tau can easily destroy the A11 that faces them, even if it's glance only.

The problem I see due to the rest of the army list, is that a mobilized Tau army, such as Mech, or even Hybrid in a way, will be able to avoid your critical hits depending on deployment and who goes first, and deny you two very important aspects: (1) Table quarters Acquisition, and (2) Scoring units. Your attack bikes will probably receive all of the attention of the Tau army, unless they can afford to take on your two mounted marine squads. That of course could work in your favor. If there were enough Ground forces to tangle your Bikes (such as Kroot or sheer Fire Warriors even) in close combat, the rest of the army would be able to focus on your Razorback units, while leaving the bikes behind. Once the skimmers are moving, it will be difficult to do anything to them, if they are successful in crippling your anti-tank capabilities outside of the bikes.

Overall:

You will probably be able to force yourself into whatever position you prefer, thanks to the Attack Bikes. They will literally be unstoppable typically at that point level of the game. There are exceptions of course.

Things that will foil your plans:

1 - Ion Cannons - If you're facing an opponent who has particular taste for pure marine crunching, the Ion Cannons, especially twins, will cause large problems for you.
2 - Seeker Missiles - A fully equipped Pathfinder team would remove a single Bike threat easily, removing 1/3rd of your crutch. Though I doubt you'll see this fielded.
3 - Helios XV8 - Or in short, massed Fusion Blasters & Plasma Rifles. However due to cost, at 1,000 points, you can probably expect not to see this happening.
4 - Pure Mech - Pure skimmers will stretch your anti-tank too thin, so long as they only allow front armor shots. Essentially reducing your scoring capabilities in the end.

What you will probably prevail against:

1 - Static armies will fall apart to yours. Faster moving, tough infantry that can force combat quickly can beat Static Tau almost too easily. 9 Attack Bikes is a lot of T5 wounds to force, and at 1,000 points, there isn't much that can actually do it, without taking very specific high strength guns and the low AP (ie: Ion Cannon, Seeker, Railgun, Fusion blaster). All of which cannot be massed enough to take care of 18 T5 wounds with 3+ saves.
2 - A Hybrid army will lose it's infantry element too quickly, and probably attempt to flee with the mobile units. They will fold due to being separated and lacking focus fire, which will ultimately be their falling point.
3 - A pure Mech army could fall to you, should you get first turn or score some lucky rolls against his armor. This is entirely possible, but unlikely due to situations being required.

---- Overall, you will definitely pose a significant threat. I will wager that you will not even lose half of your attack bikes in the battle, depending on the above "foiling" points made. And I say this, because I expect that your opponent will not be fielding three Ion Cannon hammerheads, nor enough Pathfinders to truly dominate the list. Not many opponents can even do that. So the Bikes truly will pose a problem.

Good luck man!
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Old 11 Dec 2005, 07:32   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: SM Attack Bikes:

I play hybrid/mech tau, and I tend to emphasize anti-armor in my army when I have a choice (lots of fusion and plasma on my suits) under the precept that an anti-armor gun can kill an infantry if there's no tanks left to shoot, but a pulse rifle can't kill a tank if you run out of infantry to shoot at. Personally, my 1,000 point anti-3+ lst (I sometimes alternate what kind of tank I use based on if I'm playing 3+ers or not, sometimes I don't. It would depend on the day and the position of the stars and whether my girlfriend was feeling frisky and all that mystic crap) would probably rip that apart; there's simply not enough bikes to take down four or five plasma-toting Crisis suits AND an ionhead.

Once the bikes are dead, the ionhead can take its time dropping the two razorbacks, (even just a weapon destroyed would leave them as prey for crisis suits) and the marines won't be able to slog it out fast enough, or do enough damage once they get there, to be a threat. You only have 22 models (Counting tanks) in this list, bear that in mind, and Tau can pump out a lot of shots when they need to.

Against static forces, this list would rip them a new be-hiind, but it relies a little too much on that your opponent will let you charge in; if you boost, you're vulnerable, and if you don't, you're shot at an extra turn. I'd give the marines missile launchers or lascannon to make them more dangerous, first off, because the meltas don't have the range. Try to trim back by deleting the sarge and extra armor, and maybe trimming the captain's wargear a little. For someone not even mounted in a razorback, he's got a lot of goodies on him. Try and save up enough for a third squad of marines, even on foot, with a lascannon, or maybe take the "Be swift as the wind" trait and ditch the marines entirely for lots and lots of bikes. THAT would scare me. 9 bikes I can kill before they reach me. 18 would scare the piss out of me.
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Old 11 Dec 2005, 13:32   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: SM Attack Bikes:

Thanks for that post Mal, some great feedback!.

'Try to trim back by deleting the sarge and extra armor, and maybe trimming the captain's wargear a little. For someone not even mounted in a razorback, he's got a lot of goodies on him. Try and save up enough for a third squad of marines, even on foot, with a lascannon, or maybe take the "Be swift as the wind" trait and ditch the marines entirely for lots and lots of bikes. THAT would scare me. 9 bikes I can kill before they reach me. 18 would scare the p**s out of me. '

One of my main problems is the self imposed fluff limitations. The fluff is based around a gun-buggy force. So no regular bikes I'm affraid. The Captain goes in the Forward Razorback. Also, no foot slogging squads allowed.

I figured it would pose a decent threat to Tau as it is obviously capable of dealing with static forces. Plasma isn't all that great against Attack Bikes due to the fact they have 2 wounds, same with Ion Cannons [although both of those weapons are the biggest threats]. The Melta Attack Bikes are fast enough to deny XV8 JSJ, as they can easily get behind the terrain the suits are jumping behind. Fast enough to engage Fire-Warriors, or the HB Attack Bikes are quite capable of staying out of Pulse Rifle range and mowing down swathes of Tau infantry [each HB Attack Bike Squad can kill 5 at range a turn, which isn't too bad]. 40 Pulse Rifle shots a turn would kill off 1 Attack Bike [3.3 Wounds].

The list is mainly for dealing with armies like Orks and Nids [Foot-Slogging Hordes], but I wanted to see how well it would fare against Tau [as I have mentioned them in the fluff]. Against Mech, I was thinking along the lines of that the MM AB's can at least shake/stun a Tau tank which would leave it much more open to be brought down by the Support Squad [or visa versa]. The HB AB's then shred the survivors of the wreck. Easier said than done, I know. The same applies to HH's but the HB AB's in this case would have to hang back untill a target presents itself [maybe Stealth Suits]. With Mech Tau, I tend to find that they lack fire-power at range [a few Missle Pods on Suits, a Railgun and an Ion Cannon]. Thats fine in most cases as the Tau have the speed to close the range and pick their fire-fights, but that would be lacking against AB's. A harder task than Static Tau, but not too big an ask I don't think.
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Old 11 Dec 2005, 16:56   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: SM Attack Bikes:

Quote:
One of my main problems is the self imposed fluff limitations. The fluff is based around a gun-buggy force. So no regular bikes I'm affraid. The Captain goes in the Forward Razorback. Also, no foot slogging squads allowed.
I respect that. If it works for you, all the better.

Quote:
I figured it would pose a decent threat to Tau as it is obviously capable of dealing with static forces. Plasma isn't all that great against Attack Bikes due to the fact they have 2 wounds, same with Ion Cannons [although both of those weapons are the biggest threats]. The Melta Attack Bikes are fast enough to deny XV8 JSJ, as they can easily get behind the terrain the suits are jumping behind. Fast enough to engage Fire-Warriors, or the HB Attack Bikes are quite capable of staying out of Pulse Rifle range and mowing down swathes of Tau infantry [each HB Attack Bike Squad can kill 5 at range a turn, which isn't too bad]. 40 Pulse Rifle shots a turn would kill off 1 Attack Bike [3.3 Wounds].
Yeah, pulse rifles aren't that dangerous to the bikes. But Plasma is pretty good against bikes because when people take it, they take a lot of it, and if they're in fusion range, they're also in plasma rapid-fire range; if a squad of marine-killers gets close, you can probably kiss that bike squad goodbye. And with the ion cannon posing the kind of threat that it does (It'll probably pick off a bike per turn, minimum), the Crisis suits can prettymuch lurk around the thing and wait for you to go after it.

It'd be a good fight, but once the melta bikes were dead, you'd have trouble touching anything else in a mechanized army.
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