Attack Bikes... Are they worth it?

So you are almost done building your list. You count up your points and woah, you have 50 left. What to spend them on? How bout a Multi melta attack bike? Great buy for the cost right? But is it really?

A single attack bike can be great. They are small and can hide behind a tank, providing additional tank killing punch. But what if they miss? No one will let them live. They are too easy to kill and once exposing themselves to get the melta range, will almost certainly die. So, at 50 points a model, are they worth it? I am no math major, but I'm sure some one can do the statistics of a melta bike actually killing a tank with a single shot. I would have to say they are less then 50/50?

So from the stand point of making up their points, in the long run, I would have to say that a single bike fails. Every Land Raider you pop gives you 4 more games where you can do nothing, but how many games does a single bike manage to pop a tank?

This is compounded by kill points. A bike is an easy, juicy kill point and in those missions you are better off just reserving it to keep it off the table, then bringing it on and hiding it for the entire game. At best you will trade it for a KP, but I think the majority of the time it will just cough up a KP for nothing.

Of course there are exceptions. I have had games where a single attack bike, making good use of cover and other vehicles, has managed to pop several tanks. I have also had tournaments where in 3 games they died every time and failed to pop any thing.

Based on the point totals I saw, new dex bikes will cost 60 points each. I think it may be time to consider if giving a guy 60 points and a KP is worth it... or if I can find a better use of those points.



Kevinmcd28 said...

If you attach it to a regular bike squad with 3 bikes (1 hor 2 having regular melta guns) I like bike squads

Steven Beasley said...

The statistics of Destroying AV 14 in melta range is 19.4% with a BS of 4. So, about 1/5 chance every time you shoot.

Michael said...

When packing Attack Bikes together (not really in one squad) are they worth it? In my Dark Angels Ravenwing list, I might have 2 or 3, but they can't be in the same squad. Kill points would own me if I suicided them, but I think they might be better in objectives hitting critical vehicles on an outflank.

AutarchAndrew said...

Im starting to think no the attack bike is not worth it shure its cheap in points but for the price of 5 you can get a LR and you have what 3 in your list

Captain Loken said...

My attack bikes always die. They have never done anything good for me every. So i personally think they are not worth it

Xzandrate said...

Of destroying the land raider, yes, terrible chance, of doing something to the land raider, much much better.

As far as a better way to use 50 points? I think the bike is great investment. Being able to turbo boost and draw fire can be worth alot.

Morten40k said...

I like attack bikes. They are totally worth it. But i have to agree with jawaballs that a single attack bike isnt that good. If you play 4-6 attack bikes you get (if in 12") for every bike 0.194 chance to pop a LR. You can expect to kill a Land Raider with 6 attack bikes.

Chris said...

Just go with the Multi-Melta Heavy Flamer Land Speeder. 20 points more but you get more survivability, better range (skimmer), deep strike, and duality.

Menos said...

Some say that as a "fear" or "annoyance" factor you get huge benefits out of that measly 50 points. Others will say "I can't give up that 1 KP!!!" I personally would go with action instead of reaction, and take the filler 50 point Attack Bike and maybe do something with it, or maybe not, but draw fire from a Tactical or Assault Squad advancing in their Rhino.

Pacific said...

Being subjected to loads of oily old, smoke belching bikes as a kid I will always have a soft spot in my heart a motorbike with a sidecar :) (its just a shame they aren't called Vincent Black Shadows anymore, but hey..)

As Menos says, sometimes its the intangibles that make it worthwhile. Yes, it might only succeed at killing AV14 1/5th of the time, but you don't know what effect this has on your opponent during the game if he is fearing it. The more they have to think about, the more chance they have to make a mistake.

eris said...

math for a single bs4 melta:
19.45% to wreck av14
48.15% to shake av14
27.78% to wreck av12
61.11% to shake av12

Flekkzo said...

If reading Jawaball's blog (and his sidekick Pointy-ears) has taught my one thing about 40 tactics it's that linear thinking isn't going to improve your game. Don't draw a line between where your bike is and a LR and then take it straight to it and try to *kill it*.

Think of it as a fast little bugger, with a melta, that will make your opponent rethink his plans. And when you pounce, pounce with more than one unit. Commit to your action and decide to destroy your target. If you pop a transport you are going to sit in front of its payload, which you can't assault and kill. But what if you think of it as a can opener that swoops in to open the can for your tacticals so they can much on some payload.

Oh, and listen to pointy ear and bloody fang, they know their stuff :)

Kevinmcd28 said...

All i have to say is if you run beside a enemy unit with a multimelta attack bike and run a rhino up the middle what do you think they are gonna shoot at? whats more likely to do some damage?

i rest my case

sonsoftaurus said...

On its own, probably not worth it.

Working with an army, good extra tool.

Yes, they can give up a KP. They also can:
*Move fast and contest an objective.
*Assault tail end of enemy unit on objective, forcing him to pile in to combat and off of the objective.
*Look scary to enemy tanks and draw fire.
*Be a PITA to a S3 enemy unit in assault.
*Be extra redundancy for popping an enemy transport, allowing your assault element or anti-infantry firepower to munch on the contents. Don't count on it cracking a Land Raider - instead use it to crack a Rhino so your Baal or Vindicator can vape the passengers.
*Be extra redundancy for finishing off an enemy unit or forcing a morale check, helping to get that last casualty.
*Escort broken units off the table, preventing them from rallying.

Use it to do the jobs you don't want to commit one of your "important", more expensive units to.

N+S+n said...

This is a great dialog & good food for thought. Thanks guys.

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