Hello fans of Frontline Gaming, SaltyJohn, and TFGRadio today I’m bringing you, yet again, a unit that’s benefiting from the Renaissance of Chaos in 40k, Chaos Bikers! For more reviews, bat reps, tactics discussions, and analysis check out the Tactics Corner!
The Lords of Chaos have many units at their disposal to age war upon the followers of the cadaverous Emperor of the Imperium and the foes of Chaos across the galaxy. Many of these are units warped and changed by chaos, imbued with immense powers. Others look nearly identical in organization and ability to their Loyalist Astartes brethren. Chaos Bikers are an example of the latter, units of Chaos Space Marines have been riding into combat as the vanguard of their Lords for 10,000 years armed with a plethora of weaponry for smashing the enemy at close range. In game terms Chaos Bikers fill this role fairly well.
Chaos Bikers are a great unit for Chaos Space Marine players to build on. Much like their Loyalist counter parts Space Marines on bikes fill a few roles you may need to fill from fast tank hunters to the basis for a death star. In the currently changing meta of Chaos Space Marines the Chaos Biker has benefited from the release of Traitor Legions and the Chaos Warband formation.
- 2 Bikers, one Champ, may purchase up to 7 additional bikers.
- Space Marine Bikes
- Bolt Pistol/CCW
- Frag/Krak Grenades
- Up to two bikers may take:
- Flamer, Meltagun, Plasmagun
- May take Marks of Chaos and Icons. May purchase Veterans of the Long War
- Champion may take items from the same list as other Aspiring Champions.
- Hammer of Wrath
There are several ways to use Chaos Bikers. In a CSM CAD the most common use of Bikers is to create a small tank hunting unit or a Beat Stick delivery system. The same as you would find in either a Space Marine CAD or Battle Company. The basic squad come with 3 models, 2 bikers and an Aspiring Champion. Kitting it out to tank hunt is easy, two meltaguns and a meltabomb on the Aspiring Champion keeps it cheap, simple, and effective. Given the fact you must take either Bikers, Raptors, or Talons in the new Chaos Warband I see the small tank hunting biker unit as the go to for most lists using a Warband. Unlike their loyalist counterparts CSM players don’t have access to the more often used Land Speeder. With the coming of Veterans of the Long War for free and buffs coming from VotLW and certain marks within specific Legion detachments many CSM units, Chaos Bikers included, are going through a renaissance of viability and increased use.
The next common load out for bikers is as the basis for a Death Star with, or a delivery system for, a Chaos Lord who has been fitted for Close Combat. This is the load out that was used with popularity before Traitor Legions by CSM players who didn’t want to run Spawn. The common load out was one, or two, Lords of Nurgle on Bike with Fist, Claw, and Sigil of Corruption. Then putting them into a unit of 6-8 CSM bikers also with Mark of Nurgle to get a unit of T6 bikers to safely deliver to fairly decent beat sticks into the enemy lines. Nurgle Spawn do an arguably better job of this in a CSM CAD, with the ability to use CADs that have the new Traitor Legion detachment rules though I would say this unit got even better, but the Spawn may still nudge out Bikers as the basis for a Death Star.
Traitors Legion really changed the game in a great many ways for Chaos Space Marine players, and almost every one of those ways is good. Taken in a Chaos Warband they gain the Objective Secured rule. Already a big bonus right there. If you take them in a Death Guard list they get T6, Feel No Pain, and a re-roll on FNP saves of 1. That’s actually quite a nice little unit to deliver the Chaos Lord you have to take as part of the Formation anyway so why not throw him on a Bike too. The one I really like though, and I may be hung out to dry for this is a World Eaters bikerstar. If you don’t already know the World Eater rules provide additonal pre-game movement to your units, that isn’t infiltration so suck it Servo Skulls, and allow extra in game movement! Basically your World Eater biker star has an initial threat range of 32 inches on average, with the potential for much more. Turn 1 charges are a major possibility with World Eater bike stars. If you’re too young, or too new to the hobby, to remember the good old days of 3rd and 4th edition you should ask one of the veterans of the days of yore just how effective a turn 1 charge can be at determining the outcome of a game.
All things considered using Chaos Bikers in a CAD is situational, even if you’re using one of the Traitor Legion detachment rules. Taking a Traitor Legion detachment that uses the Chaos Warband formation though, not only forces you to take them, actually gives you the tools to make the unit work in either of the two main roles described above. Late game objective grabbers thanks to ObSec, tiny tank hunters, or massive beat stick units, these guys can do whatever you design them too. Often for few points!
As always, share your thoughts in the comments section! And remember, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day.