Before I go into the "General Tips" section, I should mention using the Swift Claw Bikers in more of a support role.
Because of their speed, they are actually really good when used in this fashion.
The idea here is that the Bikers are used as a "second wave" of sorts behind your infantry. This is a useful tactic in KP missions against armies that specialize in close assault.
I will set up with a strong point using the bulk of my army, the Bikers will either be on a flank or behind the main force, out of harms way.
As the bulk of my force Shoots at the enemy, or advances as necessary, the bikers move along the flanks and rear of my army, turbo boosting to stay safe, or even draw a little fire from the main force if needed.
The trick here is to always move fast, and try and stay within 18" of the main body of your army so you can properly support them, when they are needed.
There will be times when you won’t be able to turbo-boost, or when you see an opportunity to take advantage of positioning in order to apply the significant firepower of your Bikers, don't be afraid to do this. With proper spacing of the lead element, your Bikers will be able to position themselves behind a GH or BC pack.
The Twin-linked Bolters give the Blood Claw bikers a significant advantage over the regular packs, and more than compensates for the poor BS.
Here are a few general tips for Swift Claw Bikers.
1. I consider the Attackbike in the pack a must have (already mentioned but worth stating again)
2. Ditto on the Pack Leader
3. Don't be afraid to shoot into a unit before assaulting it (though some care must be taken here), things like Huge Ork mobs, and full Marine squads will rarely lose enough models to cause you to lose assault range. However, the one or two casualties you may cause in shooting may well sway the over-all outcome of the turn and the assault.
4. Turbo-boosting is your friend
5. Learn to judge distances. A common mistake is to turbo-boost up a flank and place yourself in assault range of the enemy, be wary of this, and do your best not to become the victim of an assault.
6. Patience must be utilized when using bikes, don't just throw them into the fray, use their speed to find a weak spot in your opponents force, then strike there.
7. Don't be afraid to change your plan, you have the speed to shift the battle field
8. Running the flanks is a great way to utilize Bikers, but always be wary of any out flanking units which can come on the board and steal away the initiative.
I can't tell you how many times I've read a list, or a Tactica on Army Building techniques that talk about a unit "getting its points back". The theory being that a unit is only good if it destroys more than it costs.
I guess at times you can use this as a guage of sorts when designing an army, but I think the more important question should be "what is the units role in the army?"
While this is a "Wargame" its not always about destroying all of your opponents force (Ok, so 1 out of the 3 basic missions is about that) typically in any type of Tournament play, KPs and Victory points end up being secondary or tertiary objectives, the primary mission being to take and hold some type of objective, or to get into your opponents deployment zone.
When I am designing my lists, I like to look at 3 things:
Here is a question from HDL another B&C member.
Q: Terrain is always a difficult one for me. Because you have to do a dangerous ground test whenever you go through cover, I avoid it even when it would be really advantageous (for turboboosting for instance). I'm too worried about losing wounds through my own actions. How do you treat that issue Bitz?
Terrain can definitely cause some problems, there are time however that I try to use it to my advantage.
On occasion I try to place my Bikers and a Target between terrain, my opponent, thinking his unit safe will get close. I will then move my Bikers around the terrain to shoot, and break my IC away from the unit and go through the terrain, with his skilled rider rule, it is much less likely that he will take a wound.
Be aware however, that you cannot Turbo-boost through difficult terrain.
Then there are those occasion when you just have to assault into cover. Typically I just do it, and hope for the best. Though, there was that time I did that and rolled 4 Ones!!!
Here is the 1850 list that I took to the 2010 Mechanicon GT. I managed to come in 5th Over-all with this list, and really could have won the whole thing if it weren’t for my Achilles heel (the IG Psychic Choir).
HQ: Wolf Lord (Thorgrimm) Bike, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Runic Armor, Wolf Tail Talisman, Saga of the Bear
HQ: Wolf Lord (Erik, the Master of the Hunt), Thunder Wolf, Frost Blade, Storm Shield, Runic Armor, Melta-bombs, Wolf Tail Talisman, 2x Fenrisian Wolves, Saga of the Warrior Born
Elite: Iron Priest on a Thunder Wolf, Wolf Tooth Necklace, Wolf Tail Talisman, 4x Cyber Wolves
Troop: Grey Hunters Pack x10+1(Wgpl), Melta-guns x2, Mark of the Wulfen, Power Weapon, Wolf Standard, Wolf Guard Pack Leader wears Terminator Armor, has a Power Fist and an Assault Cannon
Troop: Grey Hunters Pack x5+1(Wgpl), Plasma-gun, Power Weapon, Wolf Guard Pack Leader has a Power Weapon and a Combi-Melta. The Pack is mounted in a Razorback with Twin-Linked Lascannons.
Troop: Blood Claws Pack x7+1(Wgpl), Flamer, Power Weapon, Wolf Guard Pack Leader has a Storm-Bolter and a Power Fist. The Pack is mounted in a Rhino.
Fast Attack: Swift Claws Biker Pack 3+1(attack bike)+1(Wgpl), Power Fist, Melta-gun, the Attack Bike has a Heavy Bolter, the entire pack is equipped with Melta-Bombs, the Wolf Guard Pack Leader has a Bike, a Combi-Melta, and a Power Fist.
Fast Attack: Swift Claws Biker Pack 3+1(attack bike),+1(Wgpl), Power Fist, the Attack Bike has a Heavy Bolter, the entire pack is equipped with Melta-Bombs.
Now, I do have some concerns with the list for this year, one is that Psychic Choir, that ran my Wolf Lord and his posse off the board. The second is Grey Knights. I just love Thunder Wolf Cavalry models, but I don’t think that the 2nd Lord is going to be worth it if he can be instant killed by anybody in an army.
My thoughts? Well, I have a few. Dropping the 2nd Wolf Lord, the Wolf Tail Talismans, the Power Weapon from the smaller Grey Hunter Pack, and the Iron Priest gains me 479 Points.
Here are my thoughts with those points, I can add a Wolf Priest on a Bike, add 4 Swift Claws with Melta-Bombs to the Pack that runs with the Lord, and I still have the points to toss in some Heavy Support in the form of a Long Fangs pack with 5x Lascannons.
I have been play testing this list with some success, but may change it again to gain 2 Wolf Scout packs to keep things more in “theme” with my play style.
Thanks for reading,
Littlbitz (Ted Nagel)
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