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Welcome to part two of the Blood Angels Unit of the Week Series!

Following the release of the 9th edition Supplement, there is no better time to discuss all the units we have access to. Each week a different unit will appear, with the idea being that we discuss how best to use that model on the battlefield. Where part one will focus on the unique BA units and part two will focus on BA units that are new to this edition of the Codex, part three will discuss how to get the best use the generic units from the past that are still with us (and that many of us have in our armies still), and part four will discuss the Legends units that we still own and love. Finally, part five will be dedicated to the reinforcements from Forge World.

Note, this isn't to lament any nerfs, etc, from previous editions; the rules are as they are so try to unlock its potential for those who wish to use them all the same. Similarly, this thread is only for using the option being discussed; it matters not if you feel something is a better choice as such comments aren't constructive to the topic and shall be removed.

Without further ado, here's this week's entry:

sml_gallery_62972_10568_1098.jpg Company Veterans on Bike

What are you thoughts here folks? How best would you use your Biker Veterans?

  • To compliment a list, or to build a list around? Will the beta rules affect your list(s)?
  • Will you be running multiples?
  • How are you buffing this unit? Will it babysit anything?
  • What Wargear Options do you prefer and how much does it depend on the above choices?
  • Stratagem synergy or note?

Over to you

Please note that Company Veterans will be discussed elsewhere.

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They are legal as per the rules? I feel so clueless. They'd be a great unit!

 

Last edition they weren't, but following the changes to 9th edition, we now have access to any "generic" unit in Warhammer Legends: Space Marines - and this means we have access again. 

 

Of course they are a Legends unit which could hamper their use in competitive play, but they remain a legal unit for this edition.

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Obviously I understand the reluctance to convert a unit which is Legends but still, the flexibility here is fantastic:

  • Give them storm bolters (or an combi-weapon) and they put out more dakka than Scout Bikers with better durability. Sure, they don't have the tactical flexibility, but you use them differently to achieve the same goal
  • Give them storm shields and a minimum of two (along with the bodyguard rule) means they can not only keep up with our jump pack characters but do so at T5. Sure, they have downsides to jump packs but still, they can achieve the same goal - especially when they are guarding a psyker with Wings.
  • Or have them choppy for that element of surprise. Or run them as T5 VAS with storm shields. The list goes on.

Just some thoughts. I'm tempted to try this with FWs Outrider units one day...

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Obviously I understand the reluctance to convert a unit which is Legends but still, the flexibility here is fantastic:

 

  • Give them storm bolters (or an combi-weapon) and they put out more dakka than Scout Bikers with better durability. Sure, they don't have the tactical flexibility, but you use them differently to achieve the same goal
  • Give them storm shields and a minimum of two (along with the bodyguard rule) means they can not only keep up with our jump pack characters but do so at T5. Sure, they have downsides to jump packs but still, they can achieve the same goal - especially when they are guarding a psyker with Wings.
  • Or have them choppy for that element of surprise. Or run them as T5 VAS with storm shields. The list goes on.
Just some thoughts. I'm tempted to try this with FWs Outrider units one day...

If you do that conversion, please don't hesitate to post pics!

 

I think a big issue with Vet bikers in Blood Angels is that they don't feel very Blood Angel-y.

 

As Jolemai points out, with Storm bolters, they can put out a staggering amount of fire for their unit size.

 

I notice that the datasheet still has the old bodyguard rules... I can think of some clever plays regarding that rule... Scummy plays, but still...

 

Personally, I would take a maxed out squad with shields and power weapons as a possible alternative to VV in most marine lists. Or take Stormbolters and shields add a character with Rites of War WT and declare an objective held. 10 toughness 5 wounds with a 1+ 4++ and 40 bolter shots each turn, I think I would just cede the objective in smaller games, and focus my efforts elsewhere. Remembering that you could also take 5 plasma guns instead is actually quite tempting, albeit less so when one examines the sheer amount of plasma marines now have. Still, I could see taking 5 flamers as a charge deterrent for objective holders.

 

I don't think it's surprising that this unit excels at supporting other bike units and their analogues. Adding a unit of these in a themed list, equipped with weapons in short supply in biker armies, usually plasma, is a good call in general. But they have the flexibility of any power armoured veterans, and really benefit from being used as a mobile reserve unit. Being thrown into the fray right where their specialist loadouts make the biggest difference.

 

I think the best thing that can be said about Vet bikers is this, they are the flexibility of Sternguard, with the maneuverability of Vanguard.

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I really like these units. I think there are a few issues though.

1. They don't have CORE,  so off the top of my head, i think the only buffs they can get are CM re-roll's and maybe quake bolts +1 to hit in melee.

2. The Storm Shield ability on their data sheet still lists it as being a 3+ invulnerability. I don't know if that gets over written by the current implementation, but i can see it being a pretty hard sell to your opponent if you try to RaW it.

3. similar to the storm shield issue, the points listing at the end of the PDF doesn't list the war gear costs the way 9e documents do. I can see an argument being made that it means that any upgrade you make to them doesn't cost anything and with their base cost being 34ppm, it wouldn't be that horrible. But definitely something to talk to your opponent about.

4. Their squad size limit at 5 models is a little bit of a issue to consider. Each other datasheet that competes with these can take units up to 10 models. being able to take more models for ablative wounds isn't a terrible things, especially considering the next issue.

5. Unlike 9e Bikers, Company Vets on Bike are still only at 2 wounds a model.

 

All that said, I'd be really happy if GW decided to un-LEGENDS these and the rest of the company command variants. They're clearly better in some other chapters, but even for us BA, they sit in an interesting position, somewhere between Vanguard Veterans, Sanguinary Guard and both Terminator types, without clearly over shadowing or obsoleting any of them, just being an interesting option that fills a niche in a way none of the rest of those do.

Edited by Djangomatic82
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