Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Battle for Terra: The Emperor State - NYC 30K Campaign: Phase 2


The battle rages on for the Battle for Terra: The Emperor State, a 30k summer campaign!

To see Phase I missions visit here.

The Warmongers NYC are currently battling over NYC in the grim dark year of 0014.M30.

Legion lists are currently at 1850 pts. Factions will capture and hold territories giving armies access to dark arsenals, relics, battle boons, prizes, bragging rights and much more!

Battles can be played anywhere you want and it's free to join. Our goal is to build a rabid 30K community of Legions!!!

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The Rules

Missions:

Missions: Phase II

Where:

  • Nu Brand Gaming 
  • 194 31st Street
  • Brooklyn, NY

Just off the 36th street stop for the D,N or R train





Battle for Terra: The Emperor State: Raven Guard vs. Thousand Sons: 2000pts


This summer, The NYC Warmonger's Club is running an 30K summer campaign. Awesome rules can be found here.

In this game we fight for the Financial District.

Raven Guard vs. Thousand Sons: 2000 pts.


The mission was War of Lies:
  • 1 VP for each unit killed
  • X VPs for objectives
    • 1 - No VPs
    • 2,3 - 1 VP
    • 4 - 2 VPs
    • 5 - 3 VPs
    • 6 - Subtract D3 VPs
  • 1 VP for slay the warlord

Name: Financial District
Strategic Value: 2

Special Rules:  

Bull / Bear Market - 
At the beginning of every game turn roll a D6.
1-3 = Bear Market! Re Roll all 6's
4-6 = Bull Market! Re Roll all 1's





Raven Guard: Angel's Wrath: 2000 pts
  • Preator, paragon blade, jump pack, iron halo
  • Chaplain, power axes, boarding shield, camo, melta bombs
  • 20 Assault marines, melta bombs, 4 power axes, SGT w. artificer armor and power axe
  • 10 Assault marines 
  • 10 Dark Fury, Chooser with melta bombs
  • 10 Dark Fury, Chooser with melta bombs
  • 3 apothecaries w. jump packs
  • Fire Raptor w. reaper autocannons and hellstrike
  • I decided to try out a jump list, interpreting the Raven Guard rules that jumpers don't get infiltrate. I believe that RAW they do, but it was a friendly game so I wanted to try out the RIA interpretation and see how the army performed.
  • We also are not using the trial 40K FAQs, so melta bomb spams is a viable tank hunting option in this game. 


Thousand Sons: 2000 pts w. universal stubborn rule
  • Siege Breaker 
  • 10 vets in a rhino
  • 10 vets in a rhino
  • 5 plasma tacs
  • land Raider achilles
  • 2 rapier cannons with phosphex and shatte shells 
  • 10 heavy support with missile launchers w flak 
  • Lightning, kraken missiles, +1 armor and strafing run and tank hunter

Deployment: 


We rolled search and destroy, which is basically corner deployment with a 18" diameter no deploy one in the middle of the table.
  • The objectives are a hell of a crap shoot in this mission. Thus we both deployed them centrally with the idea that we could grab them if we need them. 
  • Raven Guard deployed first. The board had a fair amount of terrain, I basically deployed as forward as possible with the praetor, chaplain, and an apothecary attached to the big assault squad. The other 2 Dark Fury squads deployed as far as forward as possible each with an apothecary. The fire Raptor and naked jump squad were kept in reserve. 
  •  Thousand Sons deployed there missile launchers in their back corner with the siege breaker. Achilles was deployed centrally with rhino / tac squad support, as were the rapiers. 



Turn 1: Raven Guard
  •  Turn one, I jumped forward. I wanted to see what sort of damage I would take jumping headlong through terrain. I took a bouple wounds but 3+ and a FNP save kept guys from dying. 
  • I also made the bone head decision to run everyone instead of just assaulting. For funsies with rolled it out and I would have made my charges and this game would have ended super quickly... but alas. I ran. 
  • One tactical decision I made was to put a Sgt in the front of the assault squad, the praetor dead middle. In the Dark Fury squads I also put the Sgts in the dead middle. The idea was if he targeted me with  the rapiers, he would go dead center and thus I could tank on the 2+ saves. As for the assault squad, I have to protect against the missile launcher frag grenades, achilles and rapiers. 


Turn 1: Thousand Sons

  • The Thousand Sons shuffled rhino around, but largely just shot the heavy support units into the assault marines with the achilles and the rapiers into the middle Dark Fury Squad. The assault squad took some damage put was able to tank a lot of damage with the 2+ artificer armor troopers. The Dark Furk on the other hand failed his armor save immediately and the phosphex templates killed out 6 guys. 
  • Plasma tacs pile out of the achilles and double tap into the assault marines, but cover and the apothecary help bounce most of the wounds. 


Turn 2: Raven Guard
  •  The naked assault marines deep struck in and almost off the table. I deployed them off to the side so I could protect the kill points and capture objectives if need be. 
  • The melta bomb assault marines multi charged the achilles, plasma tacs and a rhino, easily blowing up all of them.
  • The 2 Dark fury squads both charged the artillery and hid in the cathedral, out of LOS from the heavy support squad.  

Turn 2: Thousand Sons
  •  The thousand sons pile out of their rhino and double tap into the assault marines and the other tac squad fury of the legions into the assault marines killing yet another handful of assault marines. 


Turn 3: Raven Guard
  • Assault marines charged the Missile launcher devs and wiped them out to the man. 
  • The 4 man Dark Fury squad charged and wiped out the centrally deployed tac squad. 
  • The 10 man Dark Fury squad got 4 guys into base with the tac squad that double tapped the assault squad and wiped them to the man.
  • Sorry... I have to get better at taking endgame pictures! You can see me behind the baby titan that the only thing left is the burnt out shells of vehicles and Raven Guard jumpers...

With only a flier left the Thousand Sons forfeit the battle... 
And Violet Storm de Florio eats the corpses... #first30kbattle

Conclusion: 


Tactically speaking, we both made a ton of mistakes. I failed to realize I could charge first turn and my opponent probably should have deployed further back than he did. That said, it played exactly as if I had used infiltrate rules and charged on the second turn and he had pinned himself in a corner pushing me back 18". 


In general, the 20 man assault squad with melta bombs and power axes, a chaplain and apothecary were absolutely beastly. They sucked up massive fire power and were able to tie up units and pop tanks easily with the reroll to hit melta bombs. Even the Achilles was overkilled by twice it's hull points. I am still trying to decide if you should take combat shields on these guys. It's only 60 points for a 5+i save for the whole squad. I'm think of it as insurance on an investment I have already pumped a crap ton of points into... 


That said, this assault marine squad is truly difficult to completely kill off the table before it reaches it's target(s). And when it reaches it's target, it absolutely melts anything with an AV.  


I also found the Dark Fury are just murder against basic infantry. 4 Dark Fury easily rolled through 10 tacs and an artillery unit. It makes me re think maybe taking 5 man squads, although it seemed like they need the wounds to make it to hth. 


In general, I think the apothecaries all made their point back too and then some. I think they might be a mandatory tax for these heavy point point squads. 


I was also impressed with my opponent's phosphex rapiers. They threw out a crazy amount of wounds and really could have been much worse. 


My final comment, is that this Raven Guard list is interestingly deadly because it has nothing for tank hunting weapons to shoot. Sure they can pick off 30 pt Dark Fury jumpers, but at the end of the day, tank hunting weapons are expensive and inefficient against this list and took points aways from other infantry clearing options. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Raven Guard 30K - ROW: Angels Wrath


Raven Guard. Masters of the jump pack way of war. For years the rules have not supported a competitive builds for such a list... until now.

Several changes in the newest legion rules and legion codex make Raven Guard jumpers lists fun and very competitive. Let's review them!

By Wing & Talon

First off, it's worth mentioning that Raven Guard are one of the few legions that get a bonus that boost assault marines output. Jump Infantry get Furious Charge, making them +1 Strength on the charge. On face value, this looks like a minor free bonus, but it opens up the combo of of taking power axes to make you S6 on the charge, which combos with Rad grenades that reduce the toughness of your opponent by -1 toughness. Now you wound on the charge with an AP2 weapon AND you are now twice their toughness so you oblit multi wound T4 models. This is a strong combo for dealing with Legion specific terminators and other similar units.

Angel's Wrath ROW

Raven Guard actually have a couple Rite of War options for running a jump infantry list. You can go Angel's Wrath or Drop Assault Vanguard or even Recon ROW. I've written a couple reviews on these options (links below), but in general, I think you are best off goign with Angel's Wrath for a pure jumpers list, but it does hugely restrict our unit options.

Angel's Wrath vs. Drop Assault Vanguard
Legion Recon Force

Effect

  • Jump Infantry get Hit & Run
  • Units that can take a Rhino can take a Storm Eagle Gunship

Limitations

  • Only jump infantry, skimmers, jet bikes and units in skimmers and flyers
  • No tanks
  • No Fortifications or Allied Detachment
I can't harp on how powerful Hit & Run is as rule. For one it's very fun to use, but it increases your offensive output by charge over and over again. It also can be used defensively to hide your unit in hth in your opponent's shooting phase. Most importantly though, it drastically increases your speed and you can charge a unit and sling shot out with Hit & Run.



HQ's: 

Corax: 

Interestingly, he is the only Primarch you could run with the Angel's of Wrath ROW, without being deployed in a flier. And he looks good doing too.

  • Sire of the Raven Guard: Gives acute senses, which unfortunately adds nothing to the list unless you give a unit an Vigilator. However, it also gives every unit a full 6" if they run, which makes a jumper list absolutely insano fast. So fast it basically means you assault everything and anything you want turn 2. 

Praetor:

This is your beat stick option...

  • Master of the Legion: Unlocks the Angel's of Wrath ROW and unlocks a command squad. 
  • Weapons: So the fluffy choice is obviously twin Raven Talons, but that costs you 20 some points and attack compared to a Dark Fury squad as like 8 points an attack, so it's hugely inefficient but obviously cool. The obvious choice is the paragon blade, since it's a great weapon, but remember that you really can't hang with other other legions Praetors. They can be built tougher and hit harder than anything we can deploy. Finally, you could run the fractal harrow blade, which can be very helpful for breaking a unit, but again it seems like a lot of points for combat resolution. 

Legion Delegatus Consul:

This is your cheapest Warlord choice. That said, you are already paying for a jump pack or jetbikes, so I find it's usually better to just take the Praetor. But if you want to take Delgatus, they get more out of a jet bike than a Praetor does. So taking this guy on a jetbike can be a good rear guard unit.

Forgelord:

Yes. There is nothing stopping you from taking a jump pack and the servo arm. Crazy, but I kinda want to model this!!!!

  • Rad Grenades: -1 toughness is great with +1S and AP2 Power Axes. Awesome for oblits T4 termies. 
  • Jetbike & Graviton Gun: Not a jumper, but still works in this list. What is nice about this option is that you pick up the relentless rule, so you can run a graviton gun. Works well with other speeders. 

Vigilator:

These guys just have a ton of rules that jump or bike can't get anywhere else. I personally like giving them scout armor and a jump, which gives a unit scout, stealth and move through cover. This this ROW it also opens up outflank, which is interesting with Corax which gives everyone acute sense. Move through cover and stealth let's you bounce your units through cover, or deep strike into it and not die. Plus you get +1 cover save, which is basically like running around with storm shields but in 30K.

Chaplain:

Probably my favorite consul choice for an Angel's of Wrath Army. Fearless makes units like Assault Marines wonderful tarpits. Plus the re roll to hit on the first turn of combat is awesome, but it's actually the re roll to hit with melta bombs that makes this guy great. It makes basic assault marines lethal to all tanks. Add these two elements together and you have made your basic jumper REALLY good.

Moritat:

At first glance a moritat doesn't looking a good choice in a jumper list, but he can take a jump pack and has some interesting rules. From a deployment perspective he can deepstrike, scout or outflank. He can also join a destroyer squad, which is cool, but kinda cost prohibitive. Most people focus on the chain fire rule, but what is actually his most powerful element is that fact that he comes with Rad grenades. It's a total sneak attack move that your opponent will completely overlook. Plus it gives him something to do on the turn his guns are cooling down ;)

Primus Medicae

Totally out classed by the new apothecaries.

Librarian:

You will go 2 levels of telepathy with this guy. It offers a lot of stay a live powers, which is kinda what you want with jump infantry. Psychic shriek is also a solid primaris power. If you wanted to mix it up though, you might consider biomancy, as the force weapon can become nasty with a pumped up psycher.

Siegebreaker:

Another weird choice, but he can take a jump pack. He also lets you take phosphex bombs, which are scary as hell. Plus he has a nuncio vox, so units can use him as risk free deepstrike. Finally, he has the tank hunter rule, so give this guy a combi melta and a powerfist. S9 on the charge is the real deal with tank hunter.

Legion Champion:

Not a great unit for this list. Cool as hell, but you really want to get a force multiplier out of a consul if you take a second HQ.

Master of Signal:

Better as a defensive unit, but really doesn't add much to this ROW build other than a pie plate and deepstrike scatter.

Centurion: 

A lack luster choice for this ROW. I would also spend the point to upgrade to something specialized. 

Apothecary:

Apothecaries are HUGELY better with the new codex. First off, they gained the jump pack option, so now they can run with jump packers. I think the obvious choice is to put these in a big asaault marine squad or a a Dark Fury squad.

Company Command Squad

Company Command Squads are another unit that has come way down in cost compared to the last codex. The unit can only be taken with a model with the master of the legion rule, so you are looking at a praetor or a delegatus
  • Jump packs: At 36 points for 5 of them, they are definitely not your cheapest option for jumpers, but they do come with Artificer armor, 2 attacks and WS5. 
  • Weapons: I like the S9 powerfist option. They can tank hunt. They can kill termies. With 2+ armor they are in a good place to wipeout mass infantry as well. The only other option I would consider is power axes if you are running a forgelord with rad grenades. 


TROOPS:

Legion Assault Marines:

The new Legion Astartes Age of Darkness Army List, huge reduces the cost to run assault marines. Assault marines are basically 17.5 pts each for a squad of 10 and 15 pts each for a squad of 20. In this list, these are your troops, so it's important to get as much as you can out of them.

  • Scoring: Ok. Obvious, but unlike most other Raven Guard forces, where you have all sorts of scoring elements in your elite and fast slots, in a jumper force, this will likely be your only objective grabbers. So resilience or redundancy of troops is an important aspect of this build. 
  • Tank Hunting: Assault Marines com with krack grenades and can be upgraded to melta bombs, which is hugely powerful. 20 melta bombs will deal with any tank in the game. When it comes to tank hunting you will have to decide to either do it with assault marines or with skimmers and fliers. While both are viable, I think it's worth noting that Assault marines even hitting at S5 are not especially amazing, but as tank hunters, they are absolutely frightening. In my opinion, using them to tank hunt is how you get the most out your troop section. Also, on a tactical note, remember that multi charging is a powerful option. Sure you lose an attack from disordered charge but you can blow up multiple tanks or more importantly you can charge an infantry unit AND a tank, blow up the tank and be locked in combat during your opponents next turn, which denies that unit from shooting and your assault unit from being shot at. 
  • Power Weapons: One in 5 can take guys can take a power weapon. This is basically where most of your killy power will come from. I like Axes. 12 S6 AP2 attacks on the charge can do some serious damage and as I mentioned earlier, it combos well with Rad Grenades. 
  • Combat Shields: At 3 points, it's an option worth considering, especially if you plan on tar pitting with the unit. This is really a personal choice, but be careful not to go overboard on toys. You are ging to need points elsewhere in this list. 
  • The SGT: The fluff choice is probably a pair of lightning claws or raven talons on your squad leader, but I think the most appropriate choice is probably a powerfist. It adds most tank hunting and killy for a fairly small amount of points. And it's S9 on the charge ;) Artificer armor is also a choice, but I would normally just keep him cheaper. 
ELITE:

Apothecary:

Apothecaries can now take jump packs! Awesome. But realise they are a very expensive basic trooper. For 80 pts you get a jump pack, power weapon and artificer armor. Naked they run 60 with a jump pack, which is basically 4 jump pack marines in cost, so they really only make sense in big squads or attached to 10 man Dark Fury units.

Legion Destroyer Squad:

Destroyers  are an odd mix of gunslingers, trained in the use of frowned upon weapons like rad and phosphex munitions. They also have the option of taking jump packs, which makes them relevant to this list.
  • Jump packs: Destroyers suffer from bad rule design. Jump packs cost 75 points for the entire squad. This means a basic destroyer costs 32.5 pts each when you take a full man squad. And for this price you get... Counter attack. Although they are one of the coolest units in the book, I can't see any way to justify these guys at this price. Sure you can take phosphex grenades and rad missile launchers, but why bother. Move along...


FAST ATTACK:

Dark Fury Assault Squad: 

Dark Fury are on of the most undercosted and most powerful units in the game and they just received a HUGE upgrade in that they all now have Raven Talons FOR FREE!

  • The SGT: This unit doesn't have much in the way of options other than size or if you take melta bombs on the Chooser of the Slain. In generally, the bigger squads are more efficient and you will lose guys on the way in... So I tend to max them out. 
  • Fateful Decent: 5+ cover on the turn they arrive from deep strike is pretty cool. It lets you lock up units with assault marines and smash them with Dark Fury. It's also a cover save so things like stealth and shrouding stack with it. All that said, if you deepstrike, you are coming in on turn 2 at the soonest and charging turn 3 at the soonest. A couple bad reserve rolls and the game might be over by the time these come in. So consider your options for reserve manipulation as well as helping with deep strike scatter if you plan on using them this way. 
Legion Javelin Attack Speeder Squadron

Javelins also received a large 20 pt price drop. In addition, they picked up strafing run and an awesome rule that gives them -2 to hit in hth when not immobilized. These changes make this unit a lot more desireable. I would pass on the lascannons, but as a long range missile boat, with 2 5pt hunter-killer missiles, a hvy bolter and a twin-linked cyclone missile launcher all for 65 pts. They are not a bad support unit. 

Xiphon Interceptor

The Xiphon is a great anti air fighter. They are very effective at hunting other fliers, and with 2 twin linked cannons and a rotary missile launcher, they aren't bad at tank hunting in general.

Legion Land Speeder Squadron

Land Speeder received a big drop is points in the last codex. For 65 points you can get 

Anvillus Dreadclaw Drop pod

Outside of running the Angel's Wrath ROW or the Recon ROW, this (and the Kbarybdis) is your only other way to bring in everyone in fliers. The anvillus is a great unit. For one, you don't have to get out of the pod when it comes in. You can even shoot out of it when it's in hover mode. Plus it can contest, unlike normal pods, and be reused.This is also the cheap way to deepstrike termies in a Raven Guard list.

Primaris - Lightning Strike Fighter

Lightnings are great little glass canon gun platforms. There are a couple ways to run them cost effectively but most people go with the Xerxes build, which is all about Spartan hunting by loading up with kraken missiles. In an air force list, these guys are most likely your heavy tank hunters. 

Legion Jet Bike Sky Hunter Squadron

In this list, you can take a couple with melta bombs and run it as an HQ bodyguard. Overall though, they don't really pick up much from this ROW. They don't have much hth punch. Melta bombs are the most they add to this list.



HEAVY SUPPORT:

Legion Fire Raptor Gunship

A solid choice for this ROW, as you can use it to kill light transports and soften up squads you plan to charge. Point for point it's one of the better costed unit in the codex. All that said though, you should be pretty good as killing infantry with your jumpers, so it's kind of a redundant unit. 

Legion Jetbike Sky Slayer Support Squadron

As a gun platform they are mobile and resilient, however they don't pack as much of a punch as a similarly priced speeder squadron. They are however an interesting alternative to a HQ retinue for something like a forgelord or siegebreaker on a bike. 

OTHER UNITS:

Beyond the above mentioned units, anything that can be crammed into an anvilus or other flier can potentially be taken. But you will find that EVERYTHING in this list is pretty expensive and you don't have much room to add flier transports. So if you are taking something that is not a jumper, skimmer or flier it's probably plugging a hole like anti spartan detail.

CONCLUSIONS: 

One of the annoying parts of building this list is having to take a master of the legion. Neither the praetor or delegatus add much to the list other than being a beat stick. And Corax is awesome but obviously cost prohibitive at lower point levels. That said, beyond that there are a ton of good options for a second HQ, but honestly I find it hard not to take a Chaplain in a big assault squad. Re-rolling to hit on melta bombs and adding fearless to such an expensive squad seems almost necessary, and it fills most of your tank hunting needs.

This list largely becomes viable because assault marines got a huge drop in points. However, they are still pretty pricy at a 10 man squad and they don't really hit that hard. Investing in them starts at 305 pt for 20 and they still don't do anything on the table. You still need to add 50 pts for power weapons and/or 100 pts for melta bombs for them to have a purpose. And they still don't win most combats against something elite...

But beyond troops you have great options on Dark Fury squads. These guys mince just about anything. They are awesome if you can get them into hth. They also pick up hit and run which is astoundingly good on these guys.

Fast attack get crowded quick though, as you have no viable tank hunting elite options other than anvilus drop contemptors and the like. If you don't take melta bomb assault squads you will need to look toward options like deepstrike speeder squadrons or lightnings.

In general, I think they way you make this list work is with a lot of elite bodies.

ANGELS OF WRATH - 2000 pts

175 pts - Praetor - Jump pack, paragon blade, iron halo, melta bombs
120 pts - Chaplain - Boarding shield, jump pack, melta bomb, artificer armor
75 pts - Apothecary, jump pack, artificer armor, melta bomb
465 pts - 20 assault marines, 4 power axes, melta bombs, sgt w. Mbs, power axe, artificer armor
175 pts - 10 assault marines
330 pts - 10 Dark Fury, 1 MB
330 pts - 10 Dark Fury, 1 MB
330 pts - 10 Dark Fury, 1 MB

@2250 pts if you swap out the Praetor for Corax.

At first glance this list looks pretty elite, but remember that you can hide in hth because you have hit and run and you should be in hth with your entire army by turn 2.

As a general tactica, your plan should be to multi charge as many tanks and infantry units as possible in turn two with the big assault squad. They are fearless, cause fear and re-roll to hit with melta bombs, have feel no pain. Plus the boarding shield gives them a bit of counter charge protection.

The Dark Fury squads can easily chew through anything you have locked in combat. In general, I would deepstrike the 10 man assault unit. Keep it in reserve as a late round scoring unit. Beyond that, this list should usually start everything on the board, unless you are playing agianst something reserve heavy, like a drop pod force.

If this list has any weakness, it's that it's a little low on scoring units. Potentially, you could jigger the points to swap a Dark Fury squad for 2 more units of 10 assault marines. Finally, it makes a big difference if you go first or second. Starting second means you eat another round of shooting, so depending on terrain, you might opt to reserve a dark fury squad or two.

330

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Raven Guard 30K - Speeders




Speeders of all varieties scream Raven Guard. They are fast, hard hitting, lightly armored reconsinance vehicles. During the Horus Heresy we have two varieties to pick from: Legion Land Speeder Squadrons and Legion Javelin Attack Speeder Squadron.



Legion Land Speeder Squadrons:

Land speeder received a 10 pt decrease in the new codex, which is a HUGE price drop when you are talking about a 40 point model. In addition, hunter killer missile recieved a point drop from 10 points to 5 points. It's an interesting development, since most of the tanks went up in points and Primaris Lightning Strike Fighters Kraken missile went up in points significantly. These changes open the door for land speeders to be one of the most economical tank hunters in the game. So let's review what you get.


  • Deep Strike: This is your tank hunting deployment option. If you equip the speeders with infantry hunting weapons, you might stat them on the board, but in general I think you will trying to set up a combo of deepstriking off an infiltrating unit with a vox to avoid the risks of scattering. 
  • 2 Weapon Mounts: On one mount, you have the options of a heavy bolter, heavy flamer, multi-melta or a volkite culvern. On the other mount, you can add a havok launcher, heavy bolter, plasma cannon or grav cannon. Finally, you have an option to add 2 hunter killer missiles at 5 points each.
  • AV10, fast, skimmer: So this is fairly important. At AV 10 bolters can and will glance you to death. Which usually means any time you take a weapon with under a 30" range you are basically dead. It also means you can jink for that ever useful 4+ cover save. Finally you can move and fire 2 weapons without snap shooting. So either equip your speeders to harrass from range or be suicidal and deadly at short range. 


Legion Javelin Attack Speeder:

Like their speeder cousins, Javelins also received a large 20 pt price drop. In addition, they picked up strafing run and an awesome rule that gives them -2 to hit in hth when not immobilized. These changes make this unit a lot more desireable, but are they worth it? Let's review what else they get. 

  •  Deep Strike and Outflank: I'm not sure how much I would deep strike this unit. In general, you have some pretty long range shooting choices and outflank gives you a reserve option that is much lower risk and lets you hug the board edge. 
  • AV11: Such a big upgrade over AV 10. That said, you probably won't feel it that often as this unit has HUGE range of it's main guns. 
  • Weapons: This unit comes stock with a heavy bolter and a twin-linked cyclone missile launcher. You have the option to upgrade the cyclone to a twin linked lascannon or the hvy bolter to a multi-melta or a heavy flamer, but honestly, I don't see the point. I don't think 1 lascannon is worth 2 krak missiles. Especially, when it costs me an additional 5 points. And this unit doesn't really get a lot out of a heavy flamer or multi-melta. If anything, consider 2 5 pt hunter-killer missiles. This gives you a nasty little first turn 4 missile launcher alpha strike and a heavy bolter for a measly 65 points. 


Conclusion:

The price drop makes both speeder variants competitive and viable units. Standard Land Speeders give you one of the point efficient tank hunting units in the game and the Javelins give you a unit that can flexibly threaten infantry and light to medium tanks at range. They have very different roles, but would be great if used together in a Solar An, Nuran Tusk or Souhounou hawk talon which consisted of light vehicles and fliers. 



Preferred Loadouts: 

  • Land Speeder: 65 pts - multi melta and grav cannon. 3 of these takes out most tanks. 5 of them take out almost all tanks. Since kraken missiles just got more expensive, dread drop pods just went up with price and breachers didn't get the price drop they should have, you basically have infiltrating grav cannons and deepstriking land speeders as your best grav gun options against spartans and the like. 
  • Javelin Speeder: 65 pts - cyclone, hvy bolter 2 hunter killer missiles. This unit is a great alpha strike unit that can use range to stay alive and harass your opponent. Consider for a second 15 of them comes in at under 1000 pts and you get 60 s8 ap3 shots, plus remember that you have strafing run. It's an interesting take on how to run a Decapitating strike list with Alvarex Maun to help get you an 87% chance to go first. 




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Horus Heresy 30K: Legion Astartes Codex Updates










Finally! A New Legion Astartes Age of Darkness Army List. For those of you not that familiar with 30K, this is basically the core Space Marine Codex for all the Legions. 

In this article, I will run through the changes to our core codex and how they impact Raven Guard. 

First off, credit where credit is due, I'm lifting a lot of work from Black Blow Fly at Terminus Est, a fellow friend and blogger.  

OVERVIEW: 

  • Infantry become cheaper. The game designers are looking to obviously make armies bigger. In general, a lot of lists will have an additional free 50 to 100 points.
  • Tanks become more expensive. It's obvious, Forge World is looking to move armies towards infantry and away from tanks. I like the change of focus. I feel many of the tank are far more more powerful than their infantry equivalents. This is largely because the tanks are usually priced to exist in 40k, while infantry are much cheaper in 40K. 
  • Core infantry cheaper compared to Legion specific units. The new legion rules recently came out and almost all the units stayed pretty similar in price. So in general, core units have gotten better compared to legion specific units. 
  • Forge World units added. Space Marine Legions picked up a lot of the standard Imperial Guard units. It honestly feels a little bit weird, but as lord of war choices we get a whole codex worth of stuff. 


UNIT REVIEW: 

HQ:

  • Moritat: Updated chain fire rule include the overheat rules from the FAQ. For us Nex is probably still the go to Moritat if you want to field one, but if you do field a Vanilla Moritat, you will probably be best off running him with volkite and plasma pistols.
  • Legion Command Squads: - 25 pts base and -5 per additional trooper. It's a significant decrease, can makes a viable squad even better. Plus you can do things like attach apothecaries to them now, but more on that later. 
  • Chaplain: Same price, but picks up fear as a freebie. I really think chaplains are one of the better Raven Guard HQ choices, so this is a nice little bump. 
ELITES: 

  • Veteran Tactical Squads: -25 pts base and -3 pts per additional trooper. They also kept the other weapon options from the FAQ. More importantly though is their special rule options changed. To note, these changes were made so these rules stacked better with the core rules of other legions. 
    • Resolve: Stubborn. This is a HUGE downgrade from fearless. I almost always ran my Vets with Fearless. That said, with the new price, I'm ok with it. 
    • Weapon Masters: +1 Weapon Skill. As a dedicated HTH unit, this is a doable option. They are basically 26 pts for a WS 5, 4 attack on the charge with power weapons unit, which is OK but really, we have Dark Fury for this role. 
    • Machine Killers: +1 to armor pen rolls. This is REALLY good. For one, it makes missile launcher interesting, but it also opens up a combo of a siege master + combi meltas. It's basically a S9 re rolling to pen, melta unit. Even without the melta it's good against things like Spartans. 
    • Marksmen: Outflank and Sniper. I wish this was scout... but it's a nice combo. You are going to see this used heavily in other legions. For Raven Guard, it's not really a change. That said, sniper bolter, heavy flamers and missile frage are all pretty good and now they are cheaper. 
    • Xeno Bane: Reroll To Wound against Monstrous Creatures and Gargantuan Creatures. So this is a better version of Monster Hunter. It's an odd option, as we don't really have much in the way of Xenos, but this will obviously change soon? In the meantime, I guess it's good against mechanicum. 
  • Techmarines: -10 base. Servo-automata gain heavy bolter, multi melta, and missile launcher options. Welcome to your new heavy support squads. Sure they are BS 3 but they are also 22 pt multi-meltas. You could also opt for missile launchers, but I think I prefer the S8 Ap1 24" inch shots. Missile launchers would be an option if you are baby sitting some tanks or dreads though. 
  • Apothecarium Detachment: Can join other, non terminator or daemon, "Legion Astartes" units of the similar kind and can take Jump Packs and Bikes. These will be great for Outriders, Company Command Squads, Assault Squads, rapier platforms and Dark Fury. 
  • Legion Rapier Squads: Thudd guns get all the new ammo types and make you purchase specific ammo. Phosphex is goign to be especially good for certain legions, although I think the standard grav cannon rapier will be my go too option. 
TROOPS:
  • Legion Tactical Squads: -25 pts base. This was a surprise to me. I did think the basic trooper was a little expensive, but dropping their price makes the drops in price of other units less interesting. It's obvious that FW wants to make the game more infantry centric. In any case, Raven Guard really do well with big tac squads, so this is a free 50 points for most Raven Guard lists.  
  • Legion Assault Squads: -75 pts base and -2 pts per additional trooper. 
  • Breacher Squads: -25 pts base and +5 pts per additional trooper. So this change is obviously for encourage breacher in Zone mortalis. Overall, it actually means my 20 man breacher squads went up in cost by 25 pts! 
  •  Legion Tactical Support Squads: Can take additional close combat weapon for 2 pts. This is a great option for us. It actually makes me consider running flamers for objective campers. Finally, rotor cannons and volkite chargers are free upgrades. This really shakes up the unit as other options are pretty good choices now. 
  • Reconnaissance Squad: -25 base. Totally needed it, but honestly I think they need cheaper wargear options as well. 5 pts sniper rifles? 5 pts Camo? Come on... Just make them free and everyone would consider running them. That said, it's a welcome decrease as I have been running the Recon ROW recently, so it's 25 to 75 pts in savings depending on if you run 1 or 3 units. 
DEDICATED TRANSPORTS:
  • Legion Dreadnought Drop pods: +35 pts. WHAT?! I think this is a Leviathan nerf... They should have left these alone and made Leviathans take Anvilus dops... Anyway, this is a big hit for those who run drop pod contemptors or dreads. I usually took two units of these in some of my lists, so it's 70 pts gobbled up. 
FAST ATTACK: 

  • Anvilus Dreadclaw Drop pod: +15 pts and can carry standard and contemptor dread, not Leviathan or Dreadeo. This also picked the the inertia rule, which makes this unit A LOT better. I think you will see all contemptors and box dread using these now. 
  • Seekers: -20 pts base, +5 per additional trooper. Update ammo. Scorpius Ammos is 24" heavy 1, S5, Ap2 now. That is REALLY good. A10 man squad is 255 points compared to a tac support squad, which costs 325 points for 10 plasma guns. It also deals with the stupidity that the squad leader couldn't take a combi weapon... Also since they score, these are GREAT objective campers now. I think you will see most lists be cheap core troops, plus mor deythan and seekers as you add points. 
  • Primaris-Lightning Strike Fighter: +10 pts for Sunfire missiles, +10 pts for Kraken Missiles, - 10 pts for Phosphex bomb cluster, -10 prs for Electromagnetic bomb charges. Most people ran these with Kraken missiles. I don't think this is goign to change. It's still one of the only units able to reliably bring haywire to the table. 
  • Tarantulas: +5 pts each, but they get forward deployment as a built in rule.  I think they belong in fortifications. These will likely to continue to be ignored. 
  • Landspeeders: -10 pts. This is a big drop in points. 65 pts for a fast moving, deepstriking unit with a grav gun & multi melta seems like a pretty good deal. Also to note is hunter killer missile are only 5 pts and you can take 2 of them. With increases in Breachers, drop contemptors and lightnings, these guys have really become a much more viable tank hunting alternative and they work really well with Alvarex Maun and infiltrators with VOX. 
  • Javelins: -20 pts. They gain strafing run and are -2 to hit in hth when not immobilized. They also get the 5 pt hunter killer missiles. They really did A LOT to make this unit more desireable, but are worth it? So 65 pts for 4 krak missile launcher shots then 2 after that? Plus you have a hvy bolter... It's a pretty devastating strike and you might get good opportunities coming out of deep strike or outflank. I'm not sure if I'm sold on them but they are MUCH better than they used to be. From a math perspective they are almost identical in price to heavy support squads at 10 man strong with missile launchers, but you pick up jink, better BS, a extra hvy bolter and cheap hunter killer options, so at a minimum these are better in a lot of scenarios than the the footsloggers. 
HEAVY SUPPORT:

  • Legion Jetbike Sky Slayer Support Squadron: A new unit, which is always cool. at 5 bikes you are looking at a price of 51 pts per bike and they all come with a multi melta. They also have a 2+ save and jink and options to take a volkite culvern or a plasma cannon at additional costs. Plasma are tempting until you remember they can't fire if you jink... and Volkites are fine, but we have a lot of similar fire power in other units. It's a pretty good price point. I actually like the multi melta out of the options. They work well deepstriking with infiltrating units with vox or with Maun. Also as jet bike you could attach centurions or use them as a retinue for a HQ. These might be an interesting option for an Angel's of Wrath list. Also remember they get +1 S on the charge. The sgt can be upgraded, but I'm not sure I would bother. 
  • Deathstorm Drop Pods: So these guys got there old rule back. Hopefully they keep it. FW has been trying to get this unit right for a while now... It's a very Raven Guard unit that goes up in value at bigger games. In the right scenario, it can put out a huge amount of firepower. I personally think it's overcosted. I would like to have seen it cheaper and able to be be taken as a 1 to 3 choice and usable to shuffle 1st turn pod units. 
  • Land Raider Phobos: -25 pts. The land raider phobos is a good unit even at the old price. It's not something I have seen used much though. It's either eclipsed by the efficiency of a Spartan being 100 pts cheaper than 2 land raiders, infiltrating being free of having disposable transports of rhinos and drop pods at only 35 pts. BUT it does have an assault ramp so it is great for hard hitting assault units. So it is a solid choice for 5 terminators a 10 man vet squad tooled up for hth and combis is a nasty unit that expensive enough to want a durable ride.  BUT... We do have the Liberation Force ROW. One of the strong ways to run that ROW is to take A LOT of AV 14 between leman russes and land raiders. In that list, the price drop gives to you some points to play with. 
  • Land Raider Proteus: -35 pts. The proteus is basically a an armored Rhinos. Giving it scout is a cool option but at 50 pts it's really expensive. That said, the Proteus is basically a land raider for shooting units. So think Mor Deythan, seekers, tactical support squads, etc. 
  • Land Raider Achilles: Quad launcher picks up the option for incendiary shells, splinter shells and phosphex. All are nice options. For Raven Guard, it is a resilient rear guard unit that can keep a small scoring unit safe, as the rest of the army infiltrates forward. 
  • Vindicator: Now can be taken in squadrons of 1 to 3. This is a hugely powerful option. Both the laser array and demolisher cannon are solid options. They work well with decapitating strike when you can only take a single heavy choice. 
  • Spartan: +10 pts but Laser Destroyers are a free option. The flare shield is also +20 pts, which is probably appropriate but is a serious point expenditure now. Regardless of increases in points, this is still your goto land option for big units. 
  • Sicaran Venator: Gains the option to take a second pintle-mounted weapon, which for a long range tank is not hugely useful. 
  • Sicaran: 30+ pts and can a pintle mounted weapon. The pintle mounted weapon is a nice option to cheaply increase the firepower of the tank. It also opens up an anti infantry route. 3 heavy bolters and the 6 shot auto cannon is 15 shots at 36". That's a fair amount of dakka on a fast, AV 13 tank. 
  • Kharybdis: -25 pts. It still seems overcosted to me, but Raven Guard do have cheap 10 man pods and can infiltrate 20 guys for free. I think the most viable unit in a Raven Guard would be 10 terminators. 
  • Deredeo Dreadnought: Gains a new tank hunting weapon and it's very good. A 48" S10 AP2 weapon with 2 shots is great. But it also has a nifty rule where if you cause an additional pen on a 4+. It makes the weapon a little boom or bust, but I think it is a pretty good option for tank hunting, which is always the problem I'm trying to fix with Raven Guard. That said, it's not as efficient as grav unit IMO. 
  • Whirlwind Scorpius: Can take a pintle-mounted weapon. This is one of those options you take so that your main gun doesn't get blown off as easily, so combi weapon it is!
  • Malcador: -25 pts and a nice addition to the heavy slot. It also has a nifty Battle Speed rule to fire it's main weapon if it moves flat out. It seems weird that they added it to the Legion List... but you will find it's a hugely customizable super heavy in your Hvy slot. And being a super heavy, you can target multiple units, so side sponsons are especially useful. What this tank excels at is taking out small skirmish units and the like. It can also be taken as a 1 to 3 option, so if you really want to milk the 1 heavy slot in decapitating strike ROW this is probably your unit. 
LORDS OF WAR:
  • Typhon: +45 pts base is a big chunk more expensive, but it was one of the better unit in the game and it seemed a little cheap for the amount of damage it put out. At higher point levels, this is a go to tank in my arsenal. It works very well with lots of haywire to crack open tanks and the typhon clears the infantry. 
  • Falchion: +25 pts. It also picks up the option for a neutron wave capacitor which adds the feedback and shock pulse rules to the volcano cannon, which basically makes a unit that it shot only able to fire snap shots, but if you don't pen with your shot, on a 1 you take a hull point. So basically, you can lock down another supper heavies shooting if you can keep penetrating. 
  • The Engine of Destruction: Basically a cap of 1 unit with 9+ HPs. 
  • War Machine Detachment: 1 or 2 units with 8 or less HPs. These are deployed together but function separately. These units can be chosen for the primary detachment, the Questoris Knights army list, or from the Baneblade, Banehammer, Stormlord, Shadowsword, Stormsword, Macharius variants or Crassus variants. So TONS of options here. 
  • The Great Beast: A cap on 1 unit of 9+ wounds. 
  • Monstrous Horde: 1 or 2 of the same units with 8 wounds or less. 
  • Sub-Orbital Strike wing: 1 to 3 Marauder bombers, Marauder Destroyers, Thunderbolt Heavy fighters or Crusade Avenger Strike Fighters, that arrive together, but then act independently. It's kinda strange you can't take the Legion Astartes fliers this way, but it does open up the option for more varied air force lists. Some of these units are really quite good. 
  • Mighty  Fortification: This the only way to take fortifications of 500 + pts. 
  • Space Marine Crew: +15 pts for BS 4 on any of these super heavy tanks. Sounds like a deal to me. 
  • Battle Servitor Control: +15 points point Option. 

CONCLUSION

I think Raven Guard get a bigger bump from this codex compared to other legions, because infantry basically got cheaper and all our legion rules are infantry specific. In addition, tanks got more expensive which hurts tank armies. 

Beyond cost, a couple units got considerably better, especially for Raven Guard. 

  • PRO: Apothecaries being able to attach to a lot more unit and being able to take jump packs or bikes is really a big plus for us. Dark Fury can now have feel no pain and cheap add on character. Same with outrider bike squads with a forgelord. I also like the idea of apothecaries in standard Assault squads or in command squads on bikes. 
  • PRO: Assault squads are now only 15 pts each. That is totally at an acceptable level to be fielded, and if you ignore the Pending 40k FAQ, melta bombs could very well turn this into a scary tank hunting unit. It also opens up the Angel's Wrath ROW, which adds the awesome hit and run rule. 
  • CON: One of the huge things Raven Guard had on other Legions was that we could get units across the board cheaply. Now everyone can. To this point, I have largely built my lists to attack slow moving enemies. This unit could single handedly shake up the game as A LOT of legions will take at least one of these guys. 
  • CON: Grav units are more expensive to field. Amazingly, the grav Rapier managed not to get a price hike, but drop podding contemptors with grav guns, breachers and lightnings all received price hikes. However, the humble speed got a price drop.
  • PRO: With the point cost and rise cost of other grav units I think the grav / multi melta speeders are totally a viable option now. 
  • PRO: Dark Fury, with their recent bump to #alltheraventalons,  also get the opportunity to take an apothecary now. It's a very scary and interesting unit now.
  • PRO: Seekers with scorpius ammo a really interesting objective campers now. In general, I have been a fan of special weapon units in rhinos, but this unit is so cheap and scores. I could see lists basically revolving around units of these guys. They really get a lot out of infiltrate. 
  • PRO: Tactical Support Squads getting the option of an extra hth weapons is really an interesting option for Raven Guard. It's a small option but a good one for us. 
  • PRO: Cheaper Tactical Squads. This is a pretty big deal for us, because I feel that raven guard to tac squads better than most. 
  • PRO: Cheaper Recon squads, this one is great for the Recon ROW.
  • CON: Cheaper Recon squads do give other legions a infiltrator push back unit. It's not a concept I see used much in 30K but I know I would take a unit if I played another legion. 
  • PRO: Tech marines with servitors are actually really cheap and solid little devastator options for us and can infiltrate. 
  • PRO: Company Command squad will be used more often. They are pretty cheap for what they bring to the table. I like them for Raven Guard on Bikes with powerfists. 
  • PRO: Vets are really really good now. They are basically 16 point vs tacs (with extra ccws) at 13 pts. If we call fury of the legion vs the vet rules a wash, you basically get a free attack and huge shooting and hth customizability and the ability to melta bombs. The other MAJOR thing to notice is that Vets get combi weapons now. With sniper and flamers they are basically Mor Deythan without the re roll, scout and precision strike. But they are eligible to take drop pods, which is a huge win for drop lists. Plus they can be core troops with a delegatus or with a Pride of the Legion ROW. Finally, unliked fatal strike, these guys can use sniper on their flamers when they get charged, making them especially good objective campers. 
So in general, I think our Legion is stronger than ever and I look forward to running an ALL jumper list. I'm also excited to try out some of the new rules for units I already use and even more excited to try out some units I never really liked before. 

You guys see any other really big changes I missed? 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Raven Guard 30K: Bikes & Jet Bikes



When I think bikes, I don't immediately think Raven Guard but maybe you should.

They are part of the of the Raven Guard arsenal and more importantly, unlike most legions, Raven Guard have special rules that make them better.

By Wing and By Talon 

  • Jump Infantry, Bikes, Jetbikes and Infantry in Terminator armor gain furious charge. 
  • +1 to Strength when we charge, means we are better than other legions when charging. 

So what are our Options and how do we get the most out of them?



Centurions: 

Seems an odd place to start a tactics review on bikes, but bear with me.

  • Forgelord: Comes with artificer armor and a servo arm
    • Graviton Gun: 15 pts for an 18" haywire weapon is ok. But on a bike you ignore the heavy weapon rules, which turns this option into gold. 
    • Rad Grenades:  10 pts to reduce your opponent's toughness by 1 in hth. Sure that sounds great! But with Raven Guard to are S6 on the charge with a power axe so you are OBLITERATING T4 2W terminators on the charge. 
    • Nuncio Vox: Admittedly a side perk, but they a 12" scouting vox is an especially good combo with drop pods. 
    • Cyber Familiar: Enter the iron halo. 25 pts to give yourself a 4+ Invulnerable save. 
    • Cortex Controller: Opens up some big stompy robots if you wanted to field them. 
  • Suggested Build: 155 pts - Forgelord on a bike, w. rad grenades, grav gun, power axe, artificer armor, and servo arm.
3 Centurions on Bikes:

I've seen some fanfare recently for a 3 centurion bike star. Different consuls can really add a lot to this units. The Primaris Medicae add FNP, a chaplain makes you fearless, librarians can also add some intersting force multipliers. In general, I think other legions do it better than Raven Guard. Furious Charge is better the more attacks you have IMO, but I thought it was worth mentioning as the unit does compare similarly to a command squad. 



Outriders:

These are you basic bikers and at first glance don't really look like much of a deal, but they have a couple hidden gems in their rules if you read between the lines.

  • Wargear: First off, they comes with twin linked bolters AND a pistol AND a CCW and are relentless. So you can double tap your twin linked bolter and charge with 3 attacks, plus your hammer of wrath attack. Which is basically 2 marines with 2 CCWS worth of output. 
  • Scout: A bittersweet rule on this unit. Sure, it's awesome to move your unit up the field or to out flank, but you can't charge the turn you outflank or scout. So you end up forcing the unit to be a late game unit, unless you invest big points into shooting. 
  • Melt Bombs: At 35 points each with melta bombs they are a decent tank hunting unit. I would say really good, but you won't usually get to charge until turn 2 or later. So they aren't great for an alpha strike build list, but good for a beta strike or reserves build. 
  • Twin-Linked Weapons: It's a trap! No. Serious. Way to expensive. Honestly, the 10 pt hand flamers interest me more. At least then I can scout, move, flame, be charged and flame again...
  • Power Weapons: 1 in 3 bikes can get a 10 pt power weapon. AWESOME! No seriously, it's pretty good. Especially, since we already get a +1 strength and they stack. So you can be S6 on the charge!!!!
  • Sergeant: 15 pts for +1 LD an +1 attack... It's not really a great deal, but LD is really important for HTH... I would usually skip this guy and run a IC with them. More on this in a sec. 
  •  Suggested Build: 330 pts - 9 Outriders, 9 Melta bombs, 3 power axes, Sgt w. power axe. 
    • On the Charge: 13 S6 power weapon attacks, 18 s4 attacks, and 18 twin linked bolter shots.
      • Add a Forgelord: Now your 13 s6 power axe attacks, plus the 6 more from the forgelord are obliterating T4 multi wound terminators. One of the few units in the Raven Guard list that can actually do that in HTH! 
      • Reconnaissance ROW: Any unit that scouts first turn starts with shrouding. It's a huge rule for a unit that can already jink for a 4+ cover save. Welcome to a unit that moves starts forward 12" and is in 2+ cover out in the open! Enter the BETA strike list. 

    Attack Bikes: 

    You don't see many attack bikes in 30k. This might be because there isn't really an attack bike model that looks like the 30K bike equivalent... As for the rules, it comes off as a little expensive compared to similar units, and in regards to Raven Guard it doesn't really have much in the way of HTH options. BUT... In the right list, it's actually a sneaky good unit that has a very Raven Guard feel.

    • Base: 2Ws, 2 attacks, a hvy bolter and a twin linked bolter. 
    • Melta Bombs: Melta bombs are always good on a fast unit. 
    • Auto Cannon: An interesting and totally unique option to 30K. Interesting harassing unit. 
    • Multi Melta: Not much in 30K actually has multi meltas. 

    •  Suggested Build: 275 pts - 5 attack bikes, melta bombs, multi melta. 
      • Add Vigilator: A vigilator with scout armor and a jump pack give this unit scout or outflank and move through cover, plus the jump pack lets him keep up. AND he comes with cameoline, so your unit now has a 3+ jink if you need it. 
      • Reconnaissance ROW: Scout the attack bikes first turn and now you are in first turn multi melta range of basically anything and you have a 2+ cover save. 
    Sky Hunter Jetbikes:

    So flying terminators with heavy bolters that spawn lots of dick jokes! What's not to like? Well... A lot actually :(

    • Heavy Weapons: 1 in 3 can upgrade their heavy bolter to a volkite culvern, a multi melta or a plasma cannon. Which sounds like a good option if you jink you can't even fire the plasma cannon and the multi melta is only a single shot. You see a lot of fanfare for the Volkite option in other lists, but honestly we have other way to eradicate infantry and light vehicles. 
    • Melta Bombs: Totally a valid option for these guys! They are fast, can turbo boost into position. 
    • Deep Strike: Works with a lot of Raven Guard lists, think no scatter with Maun. However, you can't really get a lot of multi meltas in the list and the other weapons you might as well start on the board. 
    • Sky Sergeant: So this guys has solid upgrades and he's on a great chassis, but the rest of the squad hits like a wet sock...

    •  Suggested Build: Honestly, I don't really have one. I'm tempted to say a take a couple with melta bombs and run it as an HQ body guard, but even that is done better with a command squad. They can do the same tricks are outrider or attack bikes, but don't really have the HTH teeth of the outriders or the heavy weapon saturation of the attack bikes, so why bother.

    Command Squads:

    Ok, once you get past the burning desire to run your command squad with jet packs you will see that command squads on bikes are really quite good.

    • Squad Members: Extra members to this squad are a good deal, so I always run them as 5 guys. 
    • Artificer Armor: 2+ save! Yay!
    • Jet Bikes: These are 15 points more expensive than regular bikes, which would makes sense but command squads already come with a 2+ save so you don't really get a ton for that 15 points...
    • Bikes: These are a great deal. 5 command squad on bikes are cheaper than 5 outriders AND have a 2+ save, granted no scout... 
    • Melta Bombs: Again a good option on a fast platform. 
    • Combat Shields: 5 pts for a 5+I in hth is a pretty good deal. 
    • Power Weapons: All the power weapons! I mean, All the Power Axes! You can totally run down the Forgelord rad grenade road with this unit. 
    • Power Fists: They are only 15 points... So power axes are great and all, but for 25 points more, the entire squad always obliterates and has a lot of S9 attacks on the charge, so you don't need to buy melta bombs and you don't need to buy a Forgelord... That's a lot of points to spend elsewhere...
    • Combi Weapons: Speaking of which... All 5 guys can take a combi weapon. 10 pts isn't necessarily cheap, but remember you can move and double tap your plasma guns and charge or do that with melta guns and charge the unit in the transport you just killed.  
    • Suggested Build: 390 pts - 5 Command squad, bikes, combi Weapon, power fists, combat shields. artificer armor. 
      • Add Vigilator: Again, a vigilator with scout armor and a jump pack give this unit scout or outflank and move through cover, plus the jump pack lets him keep up. AND he comes with cameoline, so your unit now has a 3+ jink if you need it. Now you are using those combi weapons first turn. 
      • Reconnaissance ROW: Scout the attack bikes first turn and now you are in first turn multi melta range of basically anything and you have a 2+ cover save. 
      • Add Praetor (or delegatus): Totally not necessary, but if you are taking one to open up a ROW (which you probably are) then this is a good place for him to hang out. As for a build concept, consider a praetor on a bike with a halo a, fractal harrow blade, a paragon blade and digi lasers. 
      • Add Primus Medicae: You almost never have a good spot run this guy, but in this unit you basically make them crazy resilient. 2+ armor, 2+ cover first turn, 3+ jink, 5++ in HTH with feel no pain is about as good as it gets. 

    Bring it all together!

    I hope that blew a couple minds! In general, if you are going to run bikes, I think the Recon ROW really gives you some interesting options. 3 outrider squads can put a lot of pressure on the enemy and remember you only need 1 forgelord to drop a units toughness. So you can send 3 bike squads in with one forgelord and absolutely explode most death stars. Add in a unit with a vigilator and now you have 4 scouting units and don't forget that all your infiltrating units are getting shrouding too. So feel free to mix in Mor Deythan and the like. Hell, even dark fury squads with a vigilator scout and pick up the shrouding and stealth first.

    Finally, on paper, you are going to look at your list and go, whao this is small... But your army should have 2+ cover on the first turn and you are going to be in HTH a lot of the game. Plus you are re rolling to go first AND re rolling to seize the initiative, so play aggressively because you can hit really hard both first turn AND second turn, which should reduce how much damage your enemy can throw back at you.