Immediately leading up to the release of the new Marine codex, I was planning on switching over to a full Drop Pod-borne force. This was due to the improvements to Tigurius making the force reliable from reserve, my interest in Forgeworld Deathstorm Drop Pods, and a general sense of boredom with my bike force. I was even pondering selling off all my bikers to finance the additional drop pods I'd need.
I've hit the brakes on that plan, and I think I'm going to stick with bikers for a while.
The reasons for this are several. At first, I was adamant that I would only ever use Ultramarines Chapter Tactics, as that is what I have my Marines painted as. I called codex-hoppers cheese dicks, and burned some bridges. Then I realized that my fellow Ultramarine players were taking non-Ultra CTs, and that even in prior editions, I was using non-Ultra characters like Lysander from time to time. I was being a hypocrite! So, instead of being a hypocrite and an elitist, I'm embracing the mechanic and the options it presents. (Part of this was also inspired by reading an article over at House of Paincakes about archetypes at an FLGS, and realizing I was one of those fluff guys who was acting better than others based on army choices).
So, I am going to use White Scars Chapter tactics for my bikers. I've spent YEARS building the force, and now it's finally "good." Why not play it like it's designed to be played? It's all the things I always wanted my bikers to be!
I'll also be using my Khan model, which I've used for ages as my Biker Captain. Khan is cheaper now, and the only major change to his stats is the switch from "everyone can outflank" to "everyone has Scout (which allows outflank).
The change from bikers was also based in part on the frustrations of the Fast Attack slot. ALL of my solid supporting units were crammed into the FA slot. Attack bikes, speeders, Assault Marines, scout bikes, etc. Add in the Stormtalon, and it was one crowded slot.
However, the new book adds some speedy choices to different slots, freeing up some FA roles to be filled by those other units. Vanguard Vets moved to Elites from FA, which is AWESOME. They're still an expensive unit points-wise, but the fact that they use an Elite slot makes them the best and only speedy Elite I can take in my themed forced.
Techmarines moved from Elite to non-slot HQ. I can now take my Techmarine Biker as a non-slot choice. Nice. Of course, he doesn't fill the Elite slot for composition scoring like he used to, but oh well.
The Stormraven is officially added, and it is in the Heavy slot. That slot was always a bitch to fill for my bikes, and I often ended up taking a lone Predator which was promptly blown up by all of the antitank in my opponent's army. I can also use the Stormraven to deliver Vanguard Vets or Assault Marines. Dreads don't fit the theme, so I'll leave the grapple empty.
Command Squads also got cheaper on bikes. They used to cost 90 points for bikes. Now, just 35! Of course, I have to pay for an Apothecary, but bitching about that while still saving 40 points would be foolish.
This decision alters the to-do list quite a bit. It ends up looking like this:
- 5 Vanguard Vets with jump packs. No upgrades.
- 1 Jump Pack Librarian. Replaces my current JP Lib who's looking a little underwhelming next to my current models.
- 1-4 Biker Command Squad veterans armed with power lances. I've had the bits to do this since 6th came out, now I have reason to bother with them.
- 1 Stormraven Gunship. Fully magnetized and interior painted.
I'll still be working on the Nids and non-bike Marines for variety's sake, but I think I have my immediate queue lined out for a while.