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Biff Gunhed
17-04-2007, 13:15
Having only played the game since the start of third edition, it's always struck me as somewhat odd that bikes are an element of many of the armies in 40K when they are quite a rarity in other examples of science fiction warfare. Apart from the ubiquitous Nazi bikes with sidecars in so many movies, I'm not really aware of bikes being overly used for military purposes in real life, though I'm no expert in that field...

So I wonder, are bikes in 40K just a product of it being created in the 80s, when biker culture was "cool"? Or are they really just a science-fiction-equivalent of the mounted knights in fantasy?

One of the reasons Squats went away is because they were based a bit too much on bad biker movies of the 80s. We're still going through the gradual fade-out of the dodgy 80s hairstyles on miniatures, but bikes are probably here to stay.

Has anyone else had the same thoughts on bikes and their somewhat dated feel?

Eniac
17-04-2007, 13:21
I never felt that terestrial bikes in 40k really ever had a place to be honest. How does a biker fight in cc whilst still on his bike? Etc etc etc.

It looks cool and that is about it. I can see why GW chose to keep them.

Zedric
17-04-2007, 13:23
I do think it's part of a holdover from when 40k was a little less serious, a little less grim. It was simply for "cool" points, I think.

ehlijen
17-04-2007, 13:59
What about the return of the Jedi? That movie had bikes. Jetbikes grant you, but bikes nonetheless. They had to downtech them a bit for the rustic feel of the Imperium I guess.

Templar Ben
17-04-2007, 14:00
Cool goes a long way. When I was with the Teams we used to drive desert patrol vehicles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_Patrol_Vehicle).

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/images/dpv_lsvbugg.jpg
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/images/dpv_pi051602a1.jpg
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/images/dpv_pi051602a5.jpg

It is more advanced than this.

http://www.geocities.com/futuretanks/sfhorsesoldier.jpg

Onisuzume
17-04-2007, 14:01
Plus it makes for some cool artwork and bases.
Or even themed armies. (Kult of Speed or Ravenwing anyone?)

And I want the squats back, darnit.

Bloodknight
17-04-2007, 14:16
@Templar ben: at least the guy in the lowest photo can eat his "vehicle" ;)

As for bikes in CC: it just doesn´t make sense, they´d overturn instantly.

Captain Micha
17-04-2007, 14:21
actually space marine bikes would not over turn, if you have ever seen tires that wide on a bike in real life you know why. the bike is self supporting at that point and is very well planted. you can kick at said bike and it won't budge. they don't even need stands.

as for their use in the 41st millennium I have no clue... as the tires are really really too big for them to be too much use for difficult terrain. (the bikes footprint is so large its like having an oversized atv... you can't really get it width wise into tight areas...*

Templar Ben
17-04-2007, 14:22
@Bloodknight I made sure to use a photo of a US Army guy on a horse, those SF guys will eat anything. :D Isn't it good to know that those rough riders are important. LOL

I wish the SM had jet bikes. They could have the exact same rules but that would be a much better model.

Bunnahabhain
17-04-2007, 14:31
That's why I like my rough riders. Horses have a proven history of not falling over just because someone is trying to chop up their rider.

Plus, it just feels right for the Guard. We have endless manpower, and use it in the most simple way possible. Here's a grenade on a stick, go kill terminators.....

Curufew
17-04-2007, 14:32
Too bad the ad mech suddenly forgot how to make and maintain jetbikes. Now only the DA's ravenwing master have it

Onisuzume
17-04-2007, 14:40
actually space marine bikes would not over turn, if you have ever seen tires that wide on a bike in real life you know why. the bike is self supporting at that point and is very well planted. you can kick at said bike and it won't budge. they don't even need stands
I wonder if there'd be anyone willing to make such a bike...

Anyways, all we need now is Hrud(space skaven) with bikes in their army list.
Maybe as a trio of special characters. Pretty much like this (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2d/Bmfm.jpg) I guess.

Quin 242
17-04-2007, 14:41
Mobility in any form is always appreciated by a commander. Some Armies use jump packs, others use bikes, still others use horses.

I see that bikes would have a purpose in the 40K field.. but since they tend to end up in combat it is rather an unusual choice... But the 40K DOES have those giant stabilizing tires.
Of course it could just be that the actual use is more ride up and dismount into Close combat rather than staying in the saddle....

Captain Micha
17-04-2007, 14:48
oni not too many people put em on both sides of the bike. the biggest draw back is that they can't turn with a flip with tires that fat on both sides.

mostly show bikes from what I've seen.

Democratus
17-04-2007, 14:49
Space Marines on bikes just look stupid. In the grim future there is only Hells Angels? Seriously...a main line hand-to-hand unit on a bike? How the hell does it get locked in combat? Does the enemy grab the handlebars like an 8th grader and keep it from driving through?

Every time I see a marine player with bikes, all I can think of is those bad 70s movies with the tough biker wearing a spiked german helmet and a leather jacket with some stupid gang symbol.

Not flavorful in the least for good sci-fi.

Minister
17-04-2007, 14:55
I blame Dredd's Lawmaster.

Onisuzume
17-04-2007, 14:57
oni not too many people put em on both sides of the bike. the biggest draw back is that they can't turn with a flip with tires that fat on both sides.
Who said that I'd actually drive such a bike?
Polishing is all I need by the time I get a mid-life crisis.

And put what on both sides of the bike?

Thommy H
17-04-2007, 14:57
Bear in mind that, in modern warfare, no one uses swords (least of all silly ones with chainsaw teeth), or carries shields, or rides horses, or, in fact, does half the stuff that various IG regiments are supposed to do (like trench warfare).

40K isn't science fiction in its usual sense - just because something seems obselete to us now (and many, many aspects of traditional warfare from the last century are now no longer used in modern combat operations) doesn't mean it won't exist in a time period when humanity has regressed to barbarism and then come back from the brink.

Put it like this: in a universe where there are still people who wear animal skins and fight with clubs, or slap plate-mail on and go right horses into battle, bikes are hardly incongruous.

Quin 242
17-04-2007, 14:58
I blame Dredd's Lawmaster.

Quoted for truth.

The first Citadel motorcyle mini was a Judge Dread Lawmaster.
It was then converted for SM in Rogue Trader and it went from there.

Captain Micha
17-04-2007, 15:05
the fat tires. *L* most bikes that have em at all just have them in the back. (usually either a drag racing bike or a show bike.)
that way you can still ride the bike and get a nice look. (or in the case of the drag bike to cut down on drag)
ones that are space marine bike wide though are mostly show bikes.

and spot on Thommy!

Eniac
17-04-2007, 15:06
Bear in mind that, in modern warfare, no one uses swords (least of all silly ones with chainsaw teeth), or carries shields, or rides horses, or, in fact, does half the stuff that various IG regiments are supposed to do (like trench warfare).


Maybe so but (with the exception of chainswords, though some could argue chainsaws used for executions would count) these things have at one point in history been used for the purpous of conducting war. Battle bikes? My post industrial millitary history is a little hazy but I am pretty sure no one has gone into the thick of battle on a chopper bike with twin linked machine guns blazing away.

Gen_eV
17-04-2007, 15:16
I wonder if there'd be anyone willing to make such a bike...

With or without the front-mounted automatic Rocket Launchers? :evilgrin:

It's part of my "if I won the lottery..." plan, commmisioning one of those custom-Chopper guys to make me a workable Marine bike. That, and doing everything that Top Gear did with their "How hard can it be?" section.

I doubt it'd be too hard to get one working. I mean, Triumph make a bike with a 2.3l engine already, so it's not like you'll be short on power for the bugger. Maybe not with functional armour plating, however.

As for the original question, you're comparing Real life to 40K? never a good idea - how often do you see guys with sword and pistol charging gunlines in the real world.

Bikes look cool, that's all I need to know. (Just starting up a RW army)

Thommy H
17-04-2007, 15:24
Maybe so but (with the exception of chainswords, though some could argue chainsaws used for executions would count) these things have at one point in history been used for the purpous of conducting war. Battle bikes? My post industrial millitary history is a little hazy but I am pretty sure no one has gone into the thick of battle on a chopper bike with twin linked machine guns blazing away.

I don't think anyone's ever used jet packs either. You could call that sci-fi, but we could manufacture a jet pack with current technology (whether it would be safe or cost-effective is another matter).

I think, in a uiniverse where men can be genetically modified to be 8-feet tall and then go off to fight living fungi on other planets, or maybe beings from another universe that just happen to have the appearance of demons from Judeo-Christian mythology, a few guys riding bikes around is really the least of your problems regarding 'realism'.

Macrus
17-04-2007, 15:27
I think the bik are cool, though they are a bit chunky for my liking. But i still think that there is nothing wrong with bikes.

Icarus
17-04-2007, 15:31
I always imagined bike fighting as bit like a 'joust', except the poor enemy has no steed. The biker comes roaring in, sword drawn, the two opponents swipe at each other in that half-second of near-collision, if they're both still standing, the bike wheels round and comes blazing in for another go.

Admittedly it would make more sense for bikes to be used as mobile fire support, but this is 40k, everyones just dying to go hand-to-hand, regardless of the spaceships above that can blow up planets.

Quin 242
17-04-2007, 15:44
If anyone has the "asteroids are not free citizen" article, NOW would be the time to post it :)

Dazzled2u
17-04-2007, 15:53
Bikes are a 40k replacement for cavalry and fill the need for a fast attack option within most races. I for one wish the IG could have a bike option to go alongside the roughriders.

More along the lines of dirt bikes and powerswords for close combat or even the lightly armoured dune buggies would be superb - I still feel these would fit in with the IG army lists and add a more to the assault options.

Quin 242
17-04-2007, 16:58
IG DOES have an option for Bikers.. it's called Converted Rough riders :)

Thommy H
17-04-2007, 17:23
I always imagined bike fighting as bit like a 'joust', except the poor enemy has no steed. The biker comes roaring in, sword drawn, the two opponents swipe at each other in that half-second of near-collision, if they're both still standing, the bike wheels round and comes blazing in for another go.


Another good point, actually. To everyone complaining that a warrior wouldn't be able to fight from the saddle of the bike, you have to remember that the models aren't "really" driving up, parking, and then swinging their swords at stationary enemies. The assault rules represent a headlong rush with wheels spinning, whirling and turning going on, etc. etc. The models stay stationary for simplicity, but "really" it's a swirling melee.

Slaaneshi Slave
17-04-2007, 17:30
Too bad the ad mech suddenly forgot how to make and maintain jetbikes. Now only the DA's ravenwing master have it

They haven't, read the Eisenhorn books, they are everywhere.

Gorbad Ironclaw
17-04-2007, 17:37
They haven't, read the Eisenhorn books, they are everywhere.


The tech level in Abnett's book is significantly higher than what else you see in 40k, and as such I wouldn't really count that.

UncleCrazy
17-04-2007, 17:42
Well the got the idea for SM assualt troops for the book "Starship Troops"

Giltharin
17-04-2007, 17:43
I always imagined bike fighting as bit like a 'joust', except the poor enemy has no steed. The biker comes roaring in, sword drawn, the two opponents swipe at each other in that half-second of near-collision, if they're both still standing, the bike wheels round and comes blazing in for another go.

Actually that's how bikes used to work back in 2d Ed. They also could strife, trying to change direction during a fast move, where normal vehicles couldn't but move straight, at the risk of crashing the bike. Actually it would be nice if they could bring back some of these special movements (they have kept the turbo boost).

Cheers
Gilth

Slaaneshi Slave
17-04-2007, 17:45
The tech level in Abnett's book is significantly higher than what else you see in 40k, and as such I wouldn't really count that.

Its because in most 40k fiction you see only the peasents, the grunts and the mutants. In Eisenhorn you are dealing with the Elite upper classes who have the credits to spend on the best equipment (such as a Titan:p).

swordwind
17-04-2007, 18:47
Well the got the idea for SM assualt troops for the book "Starship Troops"

They got the idea for Space Marines from Starship Troopers.

Quin 242
17-04-2007, 18:50
What is the publish date of Starship Troopers?
I'd like a backed up date of print arguement on that

How exactly did this arguement get into a thread on bikes?
Starship troopers never had bikes...

Democratus
17-04-2007, 18:54
What is the publish date of Starship Troopers?
I'd like a backed up date of print arguement on that

Starship Troopers was first published in 1959.

Quin 242
17-04-2007, 18:56
Guess that beats the pants off 40K doesn't it?

jfrazell
17-04-2007, 19:01
Riding a bike at speed into hand to hand combat is the height of stupidity. Anyone who's actually ridden a bike knows its just blindingly not logical. I could however see them in a transport/scout role, as well as assault bike context.

Promethius
17-04-2007, 19:07
My failure to see a role for bikes in SM forces is reinforced by the failure to make them sound effective in the literature - off the top of my head, the only BL author who has included them so far is Goto, and they seemed to be more for fast transport than warfare.

Now jetbikes make sence - move fast, jink from side to side to avoid enemy fire and strafe infantry units to make them keep their heads down. Fast moving aerial units are notoriously hard to hit, & while the jetbikes keep the enemy pinned other troops can move into position. I don't see land bikes achieving the same function, no can I see them working well as a method of getting into hand to hand, so except for scouts on patrol, I don't see a point in them.

Onisuzume
17-04-2007, 20:16
Now jetbikes make sence - move fast, jink from side to side to avoid enemy fire and strafe infantry units to make them keep their heads down. Fast moving aerial units are notoriously hard to hit, & while the jetbikes keep the enemy pinned other troops can move into position. I don't see land bikes achieving the same function, no can I see them working well as a method of getting into hand to hand, so except for scouts on patrol, I don't see a point in them.
Ravenwing used to have a Jink save darnit. >_>
Pity they removed it.

Riding a bike at speed into hand to hand combat is the height of stupidity. Anyone who's actually ridden a bike knows its just blindingly not logical.
Especially with the low squad numbers.
They get ranged weapon upgrades for a reason ya know.

insectum7
17-04-2007, 21:04
Bikes look cool, thats probably why they are there. Just like the big roman style crests and the powered axes and all that other stuff that is incongruous with logic.

But I don't use bikes, I think that the concept is kinda dumb when I have jump pack equipped guys and land speeders. Just personal taste though.

knight of ne
17-04-2007, 21:24
bikes in 40k personally are a great idea. say a squad of marines are pinned down by enemy fire and there advancing on the marines, bikes come in a full speed, open fire and kill a few, then run the rest over, there bikes are made for that.

bikes in 40k are basically another battlefield support and most likely very easy to repair and highly unlikely to brake down.

a good commander would cherish something like that, due to there ability to capture areas quickly, traverse the field quickly and are great for what marines are best at, surgical strikes.

gameplay wise, although the model is standing around, the bikes would be smashing in to the enemy. they do need some more rules to make them seem better and more usable.

personally i love the look of marine bikes.

just my opinion.

knight of ne

Democratus
17-04-2007, 21:29
Problem is...they don't smash anything. There's no difference between being charged by a guy on a 2-ton bike and being charged by just the guy. They both get +1 attack and they both stop in place for the duration of the fight.

What they offer, I suppose, is quick grabbing of objective locations and super fast movement. If only they didn't look so idiotic while doing it.

knight of ne
17-04-2007, 21:32
yes it would be nice if the could get a sorta special charge bonus and maybe if they had to disengage from a fight at the end of a combat phase to show them driving through and past an enemy squad. it would make more sense.

knight of ne

Slaaneshi Slave
17-04-2007, 21:36
Why would they use Bikes to engage enemies who had Marines pinned down, when they can call in the air support (Thunderhawks/Land Speeders)?

knight of ne
17-04-2007, 21:40
first thing that came to my head, and i admit its a terrible example.

knight of ne

jfrazell
17-04-2007, 21:44
yes it would be nice if the could get a sorta special charge bonus and maybe if they had to disengage from a fight at the end of a combat phase to show them driving through and past an enemy squad. it would make more sense.

knight of ne

And here's the problem. "smashing into someone" leads to your marine flying through the air...

Slaaneshi Slave
17-04-2007, 21:50
At the very least it leads to various organs being pulped against the inside of his armour. :p

jfrazell
17-04-2007, 21:57
At the very least it leads to various organs being pulped against the inside of his armour. :p

Ewww...battle brother Bob went splat :eek:

swordwind
17-04-2007, 22:08
And here's the problem. "smashing into someone" leads to your marine flying through the air...

Think how much the space marine alone weighs. Then add to that his armour. Then imagine how powerful the bike must be to transport both at speed. A bike carrying a ton of man and armour hitting a traitor guardsman at 70mph equals one very squashed guardsman.

jfrazell
17-04-2007, 22:12
Think how much the space marine alone weighs. Then add to that his armour. Then imagine how powerful the bike must be to transport both at speed. A bike carrying a ton of man and armour hitting a traitor guardsman at 70mph equals one very squashed guardsman.

Er... do you ride? Thats not the issue. WHen the soon to be late departed Battle Brother Bob hits the guardsmen, the marine will experience something called "head over heels."

Your ton of man and armor are now cartwheeling, usually until hitting something very solid. Then that massive bike that was cartwheeling along will land on top of him. I mean we're talking iron that must outweigh a soft tale by three or four times. If he survives that journey through G forces, the guardsmen's best friend, whom the marine just turned into goo, will easily dispatch him in his shocked and battered state, like a knight thrown hard form a horse.

CryoMax
17-04-2007, 22:13
Off-road motorcycles are actually in current use in Iraq and Afghanistan. I found this article, with a photo:

http://www.defendamerica.mil/articles/mar2006/a030806ls2.html

Although, unlike in 40k, they're unarmed, unarmored, and basically just used for recon. But they exist. The only thing about the 40k bikes, really, is that there's no way they're a stable weapons platform; I don't care if the bolters on the handlebars are twin-linked, you're not going to hit anything with those things "on the run". And, of course, managing a bike off-road with one hand is just about impossible, even if you did have massive wide tires...

But they do look cool. :)

...Paul

Toreador
17-04-2007, 23:05
And you are using real world equivalents for all of your bike examples. You have a much larger armoured marine on a very low slung bike, that is stronger than any man alive now. You have magnetized boots that stick you to armoured plates, you have computer assitance, you have any and all manner of things that can make the bike viable. You have a bunch of marines that USED to ride around on jet bikes, that eventually didn't have those bikes anymore. They probably swapped over to land based bikes and the tactics were changed accordingly.

I also don't use the Ravenwing to assault. I use them to scout, bring termies in and objective grab. I used them as fast support, which is what they excel at.

The germans did have full motorcycle units and sidecar bikes with machine guns. Both were used for support roles. They even had bicycle troops that road to where they needed and dismounted. Mobility is the key. It doesn't matter what mode you use to get there.

Pete - Witch Hunter
17-04-2007, 23:09
Er... do you ride? Thats not the issue. WHen the soon to be late departed Battle Brother Bob hits the guardsmen, the marine will experience something called "head over heels."

Your ton of man and armor are now cartwheeling, usually until hitting something very solid. Then that massive bike that was cartwheeling along will land on top of him. I mean we're talking iron that must outweigh a soft tale by three or four times. If he survives that journey through G forces, the guardsmen's best friend, whom the marine just turned into goo, will easily dispatch him in his shocked and battered state, like a knight thrown hard form a horse.

My good friend, I'm pretty sure a spcae marine would be pretty secure on his bike, probably strapped on or something.

Why is everyone so against them anyway? It's not as if a Leman Russ 'Oh look, 4 metres tall of flat armour plating on both sides' makes sense. Bikes look cool. They're meant for drive by decapitations and such (if someone wants to get in the way of 2 tons of speed, be my guest), and fast response to things that aren't too fond of a multimelta.

Lyinar
17-04-2007, 23:22
As far as the aircars in Eisenhorn and other 40k novels, I got the impression that they don't even use genuine anti-grav technology like Land Speeders and Sammael's Gothic-Class Crotch Rocket. They use either ducted fans or the evolution of that frightening thing that almost electrocuted Grant when the Mythbusters went after "anti-gravity" technology, which functions pretty much by generating lift through vibration caused by high voltage electricity running through its frame.

BodhiTree
17-04-2007, 23:27
I like them when I think about the background inspiration for the White Scars and Black Templars. You've got vicious warriors and knights charging across the field - and I think they'd look a lot more silly sitting on horses. Plus, the name Space Marine implies the Imperium's nastiest troops, having one come screaming at me on a massive bike would most likely be the last thing I ever saw. Like jump-packs and drop-pods, bikes are just another means of making a super-human power-armoured freak that much faster.

mistformsquirrel
17-04-2007, 23:34
"Reality"-wise? No clue.

I don't really care either, I love the look, and the imagination of being a sort of 'Knight on horseback' - except your horse happens to be a souped up motorcycle covered in armored plates.

Oh, and instead of a shield, in your offhand you may very well be carrying a pistol-size grenade launcher, or a plasma pistol; and your primary weapon could be a lance charged with electricity.

This isn't of course, including that your bike itself carries a pair of automatic armor piercing grenade launchers itself.

Yes - Space Marine bikes are awesome.

The key thing is to remember that 40k is not "hard sci-fi" - 40k is Science-Fantasy. Its romantacized, heroic, and over the top - just like high fantasy, the only major difference is that it also incorporates elements of science fiction as well.

mistformsquirrel
17-04-2007, 23:38
Off-road motorcycles are actually in current use in Iraq and Afghanistan. I found this article, with a photo:

http://www.defendamerica.mil/articles/mar2006/a030806ls2.html

Although, unlike in 40k, they're unarmed, unarmored, and basically just used for recon. But they exist. The only thing about the 40k bikes, really, is that there's no way they're a stable weapons platform; I don't care if the bolters on the handlebars are twin-linked, you're not going to hit anything with those things "on the run". And, of course, managing a bike off-road with one hand is just about impossible, even if you did have massive wide tires...

But they do look cool. :)

...Paul

Actually, and this is of course, purely in the realm of theory -

But with cybernetics possibly linking the rider's eyes to the bike's weapons, as well as some form of advanced stabilizer system, wouldn't it be relatively believable then? I mean bolts are also explosive, so other than power armored targets you dont' even have to make a direct hit do you?

I mean thats just theoretical, I really couldn't say it for sure or anything >.>

keatsmeister
17-04-2007, 23:46
My failure to see a role for bikes in SM forces is reinforced by the failure to make them sound effective in the literature - off the top of my head, the only BL author who has included them so far is Goto, and they seemed to be more for fast transport than warfare.

As far as I remember, they make an appearance, though briefly as an aside in either Space Wolf or Ragnar's Claw, with Ragnar and Sven wondering if they'll get to ride a bike at some point.

I love my Space Marine bikes. In game terms, they are much like any number of other units which operate differently to how they would in "real" terms. They really shouldn't, in general, be used so actively in battle situations, rather used as scouting units. That said, they are fun to use, and with the return of Hit & Run as a default USR for ALL biker units, we'd get something a little closer to what you'd expect.

ancient_conflict
18-04-2007, 16:14
erm aren't marine bikes supposed to be about the size of a small car (3 door hachback thingy)

Quin 242
18-04-2007, 16:27
That said, they are fun to use, and with the return of Hit & Run as a default USR for ALL biker units, we'd get something a little closer to what you'd expect.

So you are advocating adding hit and run to all bike units?

jfrazell
18-04-2007, 16:30
Mmm Chaos bike led demonbomb for Da Win!

Wraithbored
18-04-2007, 16:33
I never felt that terestrial bikes in 40k really ever had a place to be honest. How does a biker fight in cc whilst still on his bike? Etc etc etc.
Clearly you've never been to a biker festival have you? :D

elusiveintrovert
18-04-2007, 20:54
Er... do you ride? Thats not the issue. WHen the soon to be late departed Battle Brother Bob hits the guardsmen, the marine will experience something called "head over heels."

Your ton of man and armor are now cartwheeling, usually until hitting something very solid. Then that massive bike that was cartwheeling along will land on top of him. I mean we're talking iron that must outweigh a soft tale by three or four times. If he survives that journey through G forces, the guardsmen's best friend, whom the marine just turned into goo, will easily dispatch him in his shocked and battered state, like a knight thrown hard form a horse.


I would imagine that this would probably happen to a normal person on a bike sized for them, but if you factor the size of the bike (size of a small car) and its weight along with the marines, as well as at least several decades of training, and that his boots are magnetized which would make it very hard to dismount him. If you just look at the physics of that situation, a two ton object bearing down on a one hundred eighty pound human, that won't be nearly enough to change that objects velocity in any significant way.
And I do ride btw.:D

jfrazell
18-04-2007, 21:09
A van hitting a deer has a good chance of spinning out or otherwise having fun. A guy on two wheels going 70, is going to lose control of the bike. If he has metal booties thats even worse as it practically insures the 2 ton monster he was riding on will end up riding on him.

I could see the cowboy maneuver firing a pistol as he goes by (could really see that), even throwing darts or javelins, but not actively trying to run someone down.

Partisan Rimmo
18-04-2007, 22:12
I agree with both points I reckon. GW had a horrible horrible love affair with 80s biker culture, and indeed it still marrs us to this day. Bikes are undoubtadly part of that, and for this reason there's part of me that won't sit easy with them. But...

It should be remembered that despite being an 'important element of 40K', only Marines get them. And perhaps they suit marines. Marine bikes really shouldn't be refered to as bikes. I mean, they have the two wheels but that's about it. Given their size, weight and tyres, they're basically one man tanks that are open topped to allow easy mount and dismount. The idea of marines guiding 2 tonne battering rams of steel into enemy lines by riding them like a missile strikes me as quite Astartesy, those crazy muppets. And marines do have to travel vast distances in very short periods of time, as well as hit and run against massivly larger forces. It works.

As to the physics, I don't see major flaws in that either. The ol' bike hits Traitor at 50mph debate. Yes, if it goes front on, the back will ping up and the marine will go flying. But, one of the main advantages of bikes is that as the rider you can just shove them in the direction you want. So, say the bike is about the hit the cultist. The Marine gives the bike handlebars a hearty yank upwards and pulls his weight back, taking his front tyre off the ground. Assuming he has the skill not to roll backwards, the front tyre smashes into the cultist's chest first. The cultist is automatically knocked down and under the bike, whereupon the he slips under the back wheel and the marine slams his bike back down, continuing on. It should be remembered the marines use these things like psychopaths. As the approach the enemy at speed, I imagine them wrenching the bike 90 degrees away at the last second so that they skid into the enemy lines side on, just to hit more people.

Bikes in CC. How don't they tip over? It was worked out once that a marine bike is nearly as wide a Mini Cooper. And possibly heavier. Makes sense to me. Well, after the initial charge, if they're locked in CC, bikes can't move in 40K. I always interpritted this as if the Bikes don't drive back their foes in the first turn, then the bikes get bogged down in enemies, which is why they are forced to stop. The marines put their feet down, stand up, and fight from a sort of straddling the bike position with their chainswords. When the enemy is broken they sit back down, and crank the throttle back up into them against as they flee. But bikes shouldn't have to do that. They should pick their targets better, and not lose momentum.

Cross country? They have wheels like tractors, they must be able to climb mountains in the things. Though, that said a) The bottom of the bike is way too low. It's got a clearence of about 6 inches. Stupid. That'd just get smashed up, and b) the covering over the front wheel that marine bikes have is a tad impractical, though thank god Chaos bikes have decent suspension in place instead of that. They'd need MIGHTY engines to get high enough speeds on the rough ground though. But then, they do have mighty engines, so problem solved...

Twin boltguns on the handle bars? Ok, that's pushing it. That's a lot of expensive hardware, and it wouldn't hit jack. Bad GW.

I imagine Guard use dirtbikes or some equivalent for recon, but then modern armed forces do. I wonder what would happen if you tried to use a lance from a bike cavaly style? Do all those Rough Rider (AWFUL UNIT NAME BTW, I always make a point of reffering to them as 'Cavalry Squadrons'. I'm fond of my dignity thanks GW) conversions actually work? Love to know.

Oh, and magnetic boots? I think this is something we've just added in guys. One of bikes main advantages is that it IS so easy to come on and off them. Just a thought.

mistformsquirrel
18-04-2007, 22:19
Err... I know of at least one instance of Rough Riders being a real unit name - ie: in the real world.

During the Spanish American war actually, a future president (Theodore Roosevelt), formed an all-volunteer cavalry regiment to fight in Cuba. They mostly fought dismounted from my understanding however. They also I believe were involved in the charge up "San Juan" hill. (It had a different name actually, San Juan was a nearby hill and the reporters took it up for some reason. I just can't remember the real hill's name.)

Of course, Rough Rider has been given substantially /different/ conotation in the hundred years since... but I suspect that GW was probably going for something along those lines, and not the 'other' meanings possible.

jfrazell
18-04-2007, 22:23
Good points Partisan.

Slaaneshi Slave
18-04-2007, 22:24
What would happen if you used a lance from a bike?

First your wrist would shatter, then the shock would pass up your arm, shattering your shoulder, which would throw you from the bike. If that doesn't kill you, the guy who you just impaled would have plenty of friends about willing to help finish the job.

Same if you tried to hit somebody with a sword from a bike.

I know somebody who slapped somebody on the back of the head whilst riding past them, he broke his wrist.

jfrazell
18-04-2007, 22:38
Also good points.

swordwind
18-04-2007, 23:15
What would happen if you used a lance from a bike?

First your wrist would shatter, then the shock would pass up your arm, shattering your shoulder, which would throw you from the bike. If that doesn't kill you, the guy who you just impaled would have plenty of friends about willing to help finish the job.

Same if you tried to hit somebody with a sword from a bike.

I know somebody who slapped somebody on the back of the head whilst riding past them, he broke his wrist.

Remember we're talking about men the size of grizzly bears who would not only be exceptionally tough in the first place but have been genetically engineered to almost literally have a skeleton made of steel.

And who's to say they have to be going at maximum speed when they hit the enemy. I seriously doubt that all those knights broke their arms when the charged their horses into battle but a lance in the face could still seriously spoil your weekend.

Partisan Rimmo
18-04-2007, 23:29
That's true. I don't really know much about bikes, but horses have quite a max speed to them. How did jousting knights get away with it?

CryoMax
18-04-2007, 23:39
That's true. I don't really know much about bikes, but horses have quite a max speed to them. How did jousting knights get away with it?

Deflection and broken lances. Between the shield and armor, the blow usually would glance off one way or the other, which would eat up a lot of the impact. If a lance broke, it also reduced the amount of energy transferred from lancer to target. Also keep in mind that lances were ball-tipped during tourneys, so they wouldn't impale the other riders. In the cases where the rider was hit so square the tip wouldn't slip, the person hit would be basically taken right off the horse, and the lancer would probably be looking at a dislocated shoulder. They also had harnesses ("cradle") to help hold the lance, though, so it wasn't all arm strength. If you weren't careful, though, you could take yourself off your own horse.

One thing GW did do well with Hunting Lances (on rough riders) is that they're one-shot deals. You deliver the lance, impale your victim, and drop the lance, because, especially at speed, you weren't going to be able to remove it easily (and usually they broke). What sucks with Hunting Lances is that you can't then have another CC weapon to get two attacks. I'm not even bothering with lances for the rough rider squad I'm going to do up...

I wouldn't change to rules to make lances re-usable (even if it's only "when charging", which would make the most sense), but I would want to be able to have two attacks *after* using the lance, before I took them. But I digress...

...Paul

keatsmeister
19-04-2007, 00:19
So you are advocating adding hit and run to all bike units?

Yep. Clearly there would be exceptions where the generic rules for the army in question would override any option to Hit & Run. Any unit with rules for Blood Rage, Stubborn or similar would obviously lose out on Hit & Run, but I've always seen Hit & Run as the way bikes should operate

mistformsquirrel
19-04-2007, 00:20
Yep. Clearly there would be exceptions where the generic rules for the army in question would override any option to Hit & Run. Any unit with rules for Blood Rage, Stubborn or similar would obviously lose out on Hit & Run, but I've always seen Hit & Run as the way bikes should operate

Agreed wholeheartedly. It makes the most sense in my eyes. What's the point of added mobility if you're just going to get stuck in and stay stuck in?

keatsmeister
19-04-2007, 00:27
Agreed wholeheartedly. It makes the most sense in my eyes. What's the point of added mobility if you're just going to get stuck in and stay stuck in?

Well, it avoids embarassment like the first time I used a white scar biker command squad. Tooled up biker techmarine, apothecary and standard bearer, the unit must have been well in excess of 400pts. Charged a unit and cut it to pieces with a handful of stragglers left over, so decided to Hit & Run. Only trouble being, messed up my roll, leaving 400pts of power armour in plain sight of a battle cannon. I did have one member of the squad survive the ordnance, but it. was. not. pretty. :cries:

Oh well, live & learn. ;)

mistformsquirrel
19-04-2007, 00:45
Well, it avoids embarassment like the first time I used a white scar biker command squad. Tooled up biker techmarine, apothecary and standard bearer, the unit must have been well in excess of 400pts. Charged a unit and cut it to pieces with a handful of stragglers left over, so decided to Hit & Run. Only trouble being, messed up my roll, leaving 400pts of power armour in plain sight of a battle cannon. I did have one member of the squad survive the ordnance, but it. was. not. pretty. :cries:

Oh well, live & learn. ;)

I would just like to say, on behalf of your men: Ow.

Bunnahabhain
19-04-2007, 02:59
ditto on the ouch.

I always saw IG cavalry lances as essentially a Krak grenade on a stick. Cheap and simple techlonogy. How come marines don't get one at half the price, but better I don't know....

In big, many turn games, where I use a full platoon of cavalry, I try and use some extra rules for them if allowed. Two CC weapons and lance, as you can have the extra weapons on the horse, and they can re-equip with lances, if they spend a turn doing nothing, a decent distance away from the enemy and other common sense restrictions. Makes them feel more like a proper behind the lines, living off the land unit, as they are in the fluff.

Onisuzume
19-04-2007, 16:39
I still think that lances would be the way to go with bikers.
And back in şe olde days, they used solid oak lances; which required pretty much force before they broke. Still, due to the blunt "point" they wouldn't hurt the opponent much. (unless they're unlucky, like King Henry II of France)

And besides; it's sci-fi, there's bound to be some unlogical reason why it's done.

chrisloomis13
20-04-2007, 01:30
well in the case of marines who wear that great armor, perhaps they dive forward off the bike, spilling the bike, and diving straight into hand to hand

those bikes look pretty big, so they can prob take a good high speed spill

TRICorp
20-04-2007, 04:10
http://www.allpar.com/cars/concepts/photos/tomohawk.jpg

ITS ALREADY HERE!

Magistrate
20-04-2007, 04:14
There written into the game and they are here to stay and as other posters have pointed out don't try bringing logic or realism into this game, or any piece of fiction for that matter.

AngryAngel
20-04-2007, 06:27
Ya know am I the only one who would like some ATVs perhaps with the bikes ? I think some guard/marine atvs would be sweet. Some fast moving alternatives to say speeders. I don't know what they'd get to distance them from speeders..though they'd be cool models imo.

northoceanbeach
20-04-2007, 10:33
I kinda think it's like, 38000 year sfrom now, but they haven't advanced as much as you'd think, and with all that jazz about technology being lost, they jjust are a bit of a mad max theme.

Coasty
20-04-2007, 11:53
Space Marine despatch riders, maybe? Like our guys on their green plastic Harley scramblers. The only other precedent I can think of is German motorcycle recce companies- the combinations with MG34s being very like attack bikes.