Friday, 31 December 2010

Underdogs...Scout Bikes

That's right boyz and grotz of all ages, TheBaron is here with his weekly post about underused units on the table top. Having been told by "the Overlord" to leave Wednesdays free for some Gladiator rip-off I was informed that Underdogs is to be a Thursday which I say screw you and here I am with this weeks Underdogs on a Friday (the last Friday and in fact day of this year no less)...No in all seriousness I was intending to have this up yesterday however I was up North at a friends wedding and so its been pushed back to today, I hope you'll all forgive me. Rest assured though that Underdogs will continue next year and it will be on a THURSDAY (until I over throw "the Overlord" that is).
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...

So jumping straight in lets have a look at what we get for our basic investment of 70pts. We get 3 x T5 4+ Save Bikers with 2/3 of the squad having Scout stats...not a great start. For the same basic points you could get a Landspeeder with MM and HF that we see popping up all over the place which will be more straight forward to use. However, when we look at the added special rules that the Scout Bikers have and the list of options available to them a few tactical posibilities open up.

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

Set Up

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)


  1. I think the 3_ save thing is a teeny bit of wishful thinking on your part. Scouts have a 4+ save which becomes a 4+ cover save when they turbo boost.

    Other than that a decent article. I'd have liked to see something here about helping out deep striking models. Drop pods are a good example...

  2. Thanks for the comment GDMNW however under the turbo boost special rule on pg76 it states they benefit from a 3+ cover save...I think it was 4th Edition where if they boosted then whatever save the unit had became Invunerable but in 5th they definately get the 3+ cover.

    I hinted at the synergy with Pods and Deep Strikers in a couple of paragraphs in the article, but I apologise if this wasn't clear I'll bear it in mind for next time. But you are correct they do work very well when you have things deep striking, such as a Vanguard Vets with heroic intervention.


  3. Like it, and I like Scout Bikes! I have 5 in my force but I think they are harder to use well that they may seem at first.

    I'm relatively new to the game and I've not had a lot of success with them but I keep comming back to them because they look like they ought to be able to deliver some nifty stuff.

    Good article I'll see if I can use some of the tips to get more out of my guys!

  4. You are right of course. I should have checked p76 before I went and opened my trap...

    Ah well.

    I guess I still haven't transitioned properly from the previous edition. At least not as well as I thought I had...

    And you know what? Now you mention it, your references are pretty clear too. I guess I was thinking you could write something specific about the synergies but I get where you're coming from now.

    I'll get all of the rules straight one day, probably the day after they release 6th!

  5. I'll be testing out some Scout Bikers soon, so glad to get some advice before I do. I play an alpha-strike list with Shrike + Assault Squad, Ironclads in Pods and Scouts in a Storm. Scout Bikers seem like a perfect fit.

  6. You need the Locator Beacon then! It will do wonderful things for your Ironclads. With Infiltrate and Scout you have a deep strike beacon that starts on the board so your Pods will land exactly where you need them turn one!

    Combined with a Scout Move on the Storm and Fleet due to Shrike melta bombs are well worth the investment with the auto hits on turn one!

    Let me know how you get on!


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