Monday, November 1, 2010

Hobby: Space Marine Bike Captain

I've been intrigued with starting a bike army since the new Space Marine codex launched, but as I was going hard with Black Templars and was getting two Fantasy armies going, I never really entertained the thought.  There seems to be a popular resurgence with SM bike armies, and I think the reason is that it's one of the few things that Marines do better than Wolves and Blood Angels right now.  Any unique ground will, of course, get mined.  So with all this bike army buzz I decided to dip my toe into the pool this weekend and buy myself a present.

My plan is to put together a bike Command Squad and a Librarian on bike, but this is a good start to get the juices going.  I assembled the bike first, it's about as easy as an assembly goes.  I went with a monster base since this is the Captain, he should have a suitably heroic base.

With  that done, I moved on to the Captain himself.  I was pretty underwhelmed by the Marine captain box set.  Compared to the Chaos Lord/Sorcerer box this one feels like a gyp.  There were a few options that were not on the sprues that are a big oversight to be.  First, a Storm Shield.  This is tough to forgive since everyone uses them on nearly every HQ.  Second, only having one Lightning Claw.  I know this isn't a huge deal, since most people only use a single claw on their Captains but the option would be nice.  Third, nothing that can approximate a Relic Blade.  Since I definitely wanted a Relic Blade, I went with a Chaos Knight lance.  Since I had the bits already it was an easy solution and combined with the Storm Shield he looks quite knightly and heroic.

I think he is pretty cool, anyway.

I imagine as I build the models I'll update the list as I go along and then change it after playing a bunch.

Bike Marines


Space Marine Captain                    195pts
-Space Marine Bike
-Relic Blade
-Artificer Armor
-Storm Shield

He will obviously have a command squad who will have Meltabombs, so I figured I could save the points by not giving him Meltabombs.  Is this a good idea?  Bad idea? 


  1. See? Bikes are the bomb! Looks great. Can't wait to see more.

  2. The problem (and likely the reason a stormshield and two lightning claws weren't included) is that if your captain is wielding a shield + weapon, or two weapons, how is he supposed to drive the bike?

  3. That would be a definite problem in the real world, but oddly not a concern in the game.

  4. I don't know about you, but I've found that with bikes, an expensive Captain can become a liability.

    I initially planned on using a nearly 200 point monster too, but after a few games, I found that (unless you're using a command squad) the strength of bikers is in shooting. You need a lot of points to maximize that, and cutting some of the more expensive stuff from the Captain is a good place to get it.

    Just my 2 cents.

    He's a nice looking model!

  5. I personally think a bike army needs some sort of assault counter-assault, and a badass captain is a good way to do it. Put him with a fighty command squad, and you've got a super resiliant, albiet small and expensive squad. I'd for sure recommend putting some sort of melta on that squad though, and maybe a flamer or two as well, to add to their versatility. If you're going to spend a lot of points on one squad, may as well spend a couple extra to make them super versatile.

    I wish I had more than 2 cents to spend, but that's all I have on me.

  6. Thanks for the advice. My initial thoughts were to have a fully tooled up command squad with meltas, power weapons/lightning claws, and storm shields.

    The question I have, since I usually play 2k or 2.5k games, do I want a second captain with a second command squad or a Librarian. I tend to think the Librarian is the superior choice.

  7. The Libby is obviously a better choice, as he brings psychic powers and defense whereas a second Captain is just overkill in the cc department. The exception is at 2500 where you can run dual command squads pretty easily.

    Command Squads are fine, if you're moving that way. They do give you a nice cc unit. However, they are expensive. As you move forward, you may want to try a few different things.

    1. Try out something similar to the Fast'n'Slow (Bikers + Dreads). There are plenty of workable lists out there, although I really like mine.

    2. Thunderbubble. Depending on how many points your command squad ends up being, you can sub it out for some TH/SS Termies. Sure, they're slow, but by the time you need them, they should be in position to rock someone's face directly off.

    Just some thoughts for you.

  8. I was definitely leaning towards the Fast n Slow army.

    I started pricing stuff out, and a Captain + Command Squad + Libby, 3 bike squads + attack bikes only comes to like 1300 points ish. That leaves a ton a room for support units.

    For support I was thinking Rifleman Dreds, Typhoon Speeders. The bikes and command squads and Attack bikes have lots of forward Melta ability. The command squad has all the CC punch I'll need. So that leaves long range fire support. 3 Dreds and 3-4 Typhoons get me close to 2k and it starts to look like a balanced list.

  9. I'd for sure say Librarian should be in there- Null Zone is a pretty amazing power against almost every army. Against some armies (like demons), it's more than 'pretty amazing'.

    As for the rest of the stuff... I guess I wonder how you're going to deal with hordes? Rifleman Dreads and Typhoons aren't going to do a whole lot against 180+ boyz, and neither is 20 or so bikes rapid-firing, since you'll only get one turn of said rapid-fire.

  10. Maybe HF/MM Speeders instead of Typhoons, but then I lose long range firepower.

    Why can I just have Long Fangs? argh.