Feast of Blades '13

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Are Biker Lists More Competitive in 6th Edition?

image via DakkaDakka

Hey all, Kevin here to talk about bike lists in 6th edition. So really are they any better?

In the short version, yes they are. So before we go into specific units or models lets talk pros and cons of bikes in this edition compared to the previous....

  • They now take as many dangerous terrain checks as pieces of terrain they move over instead of just one
  • Unfortunately, unlike like last edition, bikes (not jetbikes although, but that is another story) cannot go up levels in ruins which was a huge rules hole from 5th.
  • No more 3+ saves for turbo boosting instead only a 4+
  • Jink Saves, they always get a 5+ cover save even without moving
  • They can move normally, then decide later to turbo boost so effectively they can change direction even
  • They can now turbo boost through area terrain (thank you)
  • Longer assault ranges are now possible
  • bikes add toughness to models that now can not be doubled out at base strength (so only S10 weapons can instant gib a space marine biker instead of S8, also makes FNP models a lot tougher on bikes)
  • Only take Dangerous terrain checks when charging over barricades and aegis defence lines according to pg. 45 wit the bikes assault moves)
So realistically bikes did get a lot harder to kill. add in possible wound allocation shenanigans from Nob bikerz or a captain in a biker command squad and these guys got a lot better. Changes to allow modified toughness to be used in cases for instant death instead of base toughness also increases survivability of multi wound bikers as well as for bikers with Feel No Pain. Boosted charge range and not taking dangerous checks in most cases makes the threat range of these guys a lot larger potentially.

So lets go into some units...starting with my personal favorite unit.

Biker Command Squads

While I will admit I am just about to start using this unit again this weekend I feel the changes to the rules really benefit these guys. First of all my Captain on a bike can take a 2+ armor save with artificer armor. So that+FNP means I can stick him out in the front of the unit to absorb as many wounds as possible with his 2+ save until he takes a wound or two then I can start to use LoS! to bounce wounds back to the storm shield veterans on bikes. Also if I take a missile launcher wound on the captain he can't be instant gibbed if I do roll that one. Also with T5 they now get FNP against almost everything. This assault based unit benefits from the increased possible charge range as well as fleet finally if I happen to have Shrike in the list. Also since they are an offensive unit line breaking is not hard for these guys, especially since the captain is an independent character in the unit so he can break off to grab LB.

Nob Bikerz

Now is the resurgence of these puppies as kings of the Ork list. Personally I am happy that they did get a boost. Since they are all considered characters with multiple wounds they can LoS! wound allocate very efficiently. Being T6 they could always get FNP no matter what with the painboy in the unit. These two facts alone make them fairly difficult to kill and in an edition where wound allocation works the way it does durable assault units with that much speed will have a place in the game.

Attack Bikes

Big winners of this edition. Now since bikes can shoot as many weapons as a bike has riders you can shoot your heavy weapon as well as the twin linked bolters. I also like the fact that since they can throw grenades which means when I ride up with my multi meltas and throw a krak grenade as well shoot my multi melta, then assault with more krak grenades which ends up with more HP damage. Although the question does arise that since they can use as many weapons as models are on the bike does this let these guys get two krak grenade attacks or just one? I always play the former to be fair but it still ends up in a lot of damage. Also Attack bikes no longer can be instantly killed by a simple krak missile. So you can take a missile before you die which is nice and makes these guys a lot more viable.

Guardian Jetbikes

These guys got a lot faster. Eldar jetbikes now get 2D6 assault moves so a possible much farther move lets these guys do move shoot jump over larger distances. also  12"+24 inch turbo gives these guys huge speed. Also, according to the rulebook, they can jump on top of impassible terrain which is fairly cool. Great late game objective grabbers as well as a sure win for line breaking every game.

So bikes got a lot better in general and all bike lists seem a lot more competitive in this edition. I expect to see tons of Nob bikerz lists as well as the occasional white Scars list.....so go grab your bikes out of their dusty boxes and get them on the table. I know I am

Thanks for reading folks! Please subscribe to my blog by clicking the button on the right side of the page and leave a comment below. Also listen to this weeks 11th Company Episode 130 as I got a chance to be a guest on the show as a guest host! Thanks for reading


  1. An oft overlooked Dark Eldar unit, the Reaver Jetbike.

    The bonuses to other bikes apply as well, of course, but some things that are particularly helpful to Reavers:

    They all come with Skilled Rider, so those Dangerous Terrain tests are automatically passed, and their Cover Saves are increased to 4+, or 3+ when Turbo;

    Jetbikes have the 36" Turbo-boost, for total possible movement of 48"...and they can go land inside terrain making it very difficult to charge them;

    Their Blade Vane attacks happen in the Shooting Phase now (when they Turbo Boost), allowing another platform to destroy an enemy transport then the Reavers can fly over for free fun attacks;

    They sport the Heat Lance, one of the better vehicle-busting weapons available. With Pre-measuring, they can slide up to be in it's 9" melta-range, then 'slide' in to terrain or even better out of LOS automatically passing their tests.

    Yeah, I have a man-crush on Reavers :)

  2. Yes I actually use to run two squads of these when I played Dark Eldar. Very good at what they do

  3. One small thing. Ork Nobz are T4 base, so Nob bikers are T5 not T6. And although I like the LoS! Rule, it only works 50% of the time and you still take the wound, just on another model. I think people believe this to be better than it is. But overall I believe bikes got a nice boost, my all ork biker list still sux though, but I love the green bastards anyway :)

  4. I've been finding that my Eldar jetbike army has gotten quite a nice little boost in 6th edition. It's fun having them back out on the table that's for sure!

    Also good job on the 11th company, and I gotta agree with everyone that your banner is awesome!

  5. ahh thanks Terra I gues it was a mistype yet still most of the time they will make one of the two LOS! rolls before they die. The list got more tough