This week I've moved Codex again and as an extra end of year treat I've even shifted Force Organisation slot so that I don't look too one dimensional and focus purely on long range fire support. This week I wan't to look at Codex: Space Marines and the Scout Bikes...
Starting on the Board
As Scouts they get Infiltrate and Scout just like their troop slot buddies. This means that they deploy after your opponents army and can turbo boost with their Scout move to benefit from the 3+ cover save this grants. This puts them in an ideal position for a first turn charge on an enemy tank which wont have moved and therefore the scouts will hit automatically with their krak grenades. This tactic works even better when you spend a few points on the Sgt for Melta Bombs as for 75pts you have a small hit squad that can charge first turn and disrupt your enemies plans as you've placed it opposite his "Hammer" units' transport (ie Battlewagon) and if they don't destroy or immobilise it then your opponent still has to deal with them. For a safer option a combi-melta and PF on the Sgt is ideal.
For some added synergy a locator beacon works wonders if you have a couple of drop pod squads as it will start on the board, meaning any unit coming in first turn can home-in on the scouts, and how many lists do we see with a MM Dread, Command Squad with meltas etc mounted in Pods with a first turn strike in mind.... and as pointed out above, the combination of Infiltrate, Scout move, and/or turbo boost means they will be in an ideal place to take out key units from the off or at least disrupt a battle plan.
As they have Infiltrate/Scout the squad can of course Outflank, so if you don't feel like setting them up, you don't have to. This will leave your opponent thinking about protecting his objectives and back-field support units. Again the combi-melta (or sometimes flamer) and Melta Bombs is a wise investment here. Another piece of kit comes in handy here in the form of the Astartes Grenade Launcher. I've seen this little piece of kit (well 3 of them) neutralize 20 Ork Boys the turn they arrived. With a 12" move when they roll on, the AGL being Rapid Fire and Blast (in Frag mode) 3 of these and a Combi-flamer on the Sgt will remove a large portion of an objective camping squad. Alternatively a Combi-melta and the S6, Rapid Fire Krak shot from the AGL will hopefully silence a Ravager/Predator/Hydra etc while leaving the squad to still charge whats left (if anything) and mop up.
One final thing that I always take is Cluster Mines for its 10pt psychological effect and potentially game changing results. In objective games this piece of kit is priceless, as your opponent will be trying to second guess where you've placed it and it makes last turn objective jumping potentially dangerous.
A somewhat cooler Scout Bike
Now, TheBaron recomends as a set up taking 5/6 Scout Bikers with 3 AGL, with a Beacon, Bombs and Combi-melta on the Sgt (and a fist if points permit) and Cluster Mines for the squad for around 230pts. However as discussed above, if you plan on always flanking or have no deep strikers drop the Beacon.
This unit will leave your opponent guessing at what you are going to do with them and may lead them to re-think their usual plans.As a synergy unit this works well with drop pods, termies and Gate of Infinity....picture a first turn where your Librarian "Gates" with some assault Terminators to where your Scout bikers are as two drop pods come down containing a Dread and some Sternguard....
As always this is just my opinion and shouldn't be taken as fact, but try it out and let me know your thoughts.
Hope you've all had a good 2010 and here's to a cracking 2011!
I rolled: 9 (6/3)