Today I wanted to look at is arguably one of the most under-used space marine units- Attack Bike Squadrons
The Article is separated into 2 parts:
Attack bikes are reliable, tough units of Bike mounted Space Marines. With a Statline of 4 or higher, they can actually serve as amazing tank hunters or infantry thinners. With the (Personally preferred) Multi-melta loadout, a squad of 3 is arguably one of the best tank hunters out there. With 3 24" MM shots, and a 12" move, even Heavier tanks will pause in their tracks before running into the face of these guys. A BS of 4 pretty much ensures damage to the offending tank. The Melta special rule is also twice as good on these boys. They have the maneuverability to race across the fields to get in 12" range for the melta rule, and 3 Stength 8 2d6 hits is absolutely horrific to Mech, and Land Raider utilizing armies. The Attack bikes can also turbo boost, meaning 2 wound T5 3+ invuls, and 24" range of movement. Use this to contest objectives on turn 5 or move them into hiding after their pre-emptive assault on Mr. LR Crusader, or Terminators/wakers.
As for Heavy bolters, I might be inclined to say this is a bad choice. The amount of shots isn't justified, as these bikes will be slaughtered by most assault armies and are worthless against 90% of Mech armies. 9 shots isn't worth 150 points, even with all the other goodness attached to these units.
So in short:
Strong Anti tank power
Twin linked bolters
They are often only one hit wonders. They give the opponent such a bloody nose that they become target #1, and are expensive for a suicide squad of 3. Obviously, only a crazy, or extremely devious, (or crazily devious) player that has a trick up his/her sleeve would ignore 3 rampant Multi-meltas, that have nothing other to do than shoot tanks right in the @$$ and contest objectives. So...not a good end story for this squad of Dare-devil marines.
Squadrons are also hard to balance out. either they start costing too much, or they are too weak to do damage and thus concede kill points easily. The latter can be stopped by a 5 man unit quite easily. I found however that units of 2 can really mess up my opponents day. This way, the squadron has four wounds and 2 Multi meltas.
Anyway, the list of cons is:
they are suicidal.
Note: I've actually used this 2 bike unit to DEVASTATING effect before. addmitedly, luck played its part, but in at least 2 games against a quite skilled opponents, I've used the aforementioned squads to knock out a Land Raider (#1)that was vital to my enemies plan, and another stubborn, uncooperative Land Raider (#2) that refused to die to anything else, including 3 lascannons over the couse of 3 turns. I have never doubted these units strength and versatility either, as in the same game (LR #1), the 2 bikes held off a space marine Tactical squad for 3 turns, and really affected gameplay for the rest of the game as a result. (I won the first game in other terms.)
So, with this now out of my head, I leave you to decide whether or not i have made a valid point FOR Attack Bike Squads.
Also, if people show enough support and comment, I'll write more articles about units i've used based on my experiences with them.
Until Next time.
Your friendly neighborhood Ninjaman