17 July, 2012
Sixth Edition Unit Types: Bikes
Day two of the unit overview: Bikes, Jetbikes, and (Dark) Eldar Jetbikes.
There's a bit of change in these units. A lot of it comes down to a change in Turbo-Boost and certain timings. In 6th Edition the increase in Toughness applies to everything. Unlike 5th Edition, your increased Toughness even applies towards Instant Death. Also, Independent Characters no longer get Skilled Rider by default. This is likely due to the increased value of it (+1 to your Jink save) and that it applies to the whole unit if even one model has it.
The special rules of Bikes are Hammer of Wrath, Jink, and Relentless. Relentless has not changed, but both the other two rules are new. Jink provides a cover save due to the agility and/or speed of the units that have the rule. If they move at all, they receive a 5+ cover save and if Turbo-Boosting or moving Flat-Out, it's 4+. In 5th Edition, Turbo-Boosters was a USR, but in 6th Edition it is simply the Bike version of Run.
Bikes move 12" in the Movement Phase. Turbo-Boosters are no longer used in this Phase as they were in 5th Edition. Terrain is treated the same as in 5th, so Bikes take an AP - Wound if they move through Difficult terrain unless at least one model in the unit has Skilled Rider. Due to Jink, if they move even one inch they get a 5+ Cover save now.
As mentioned above Bikes have Relentless, so there are few situations where they have to use Snap Shots on their Heavy weapons and they can always use Rapid Fire weapons and Assault. The biggest change to the Shooting Phase is the change to Turbo-Boost. Instead of shooting (a la Run) a Bike may move 12", a Jetbike may move 24" or a (Dark) Eldar Jetbike may move 36"! The limitation of not moving through Difficult terrain while Turbo-Boosting has been lifted as well. That's right, (Dark) Eldar are going to be zipping all across the board now. Turbo-Boost no longer give a 3+ Cover save, just a 4+ Cover save due to Jink. It's possible to get the 3+ save now, but it requires a model with Skilled Rider in the unit.
The change to charges was covered yesterday, so we'll skip straight to the good part: Hammer of Wrath. Hammer of Wrath gives a charging unit an extra generic Close Combat Weapon attack (no, you don't get to use your Power Weapon for it) at Initiative 10. Pile-In doesn't apply before this attack. I picture it as a slam attack where you smack into them with your bike before taking a Chainsword to their face.
Because Assault distances were changed in the edition change, (Dark) Eldar Jetbikes get 2d6" move in the Assault Phase. This is clearly stated to apply even if they arrived by Deep Strike now. Fortunately they cannot Move, Turbo-Boost, and take their 2d6" "charge" move in the same turn; the 2d6" move is voluntary movement that is disallowed by Turbo-Boosting.
The end result is a huge improvement for bikes, even if a few things are slightly worse. The Toughness increase applying to Instant Death, the almost constant cover saves, an extra attack on the charge, getting armour saves against Dangerous terrain, and for the faster Jetbikes and (Dark) Eldar Jetbikes a huge speed increase . . . they're much better now. Tomorrow: Jump and Jet Pack units.