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The truth about Eldar Scatter Jet bikes

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We can now finally answer this question: Are Scatter Bikes overpowered?

I have the answer, as proven by maths and science.

Unit Scatter Jetbikes with Guide Scars bikes at 12 at 24
Shooting Value 44 33 77 155
Assault Value 69.4 69.4 28.0 28.0
Defense Value 92.1 92.1 59.7 59.7
Average Value 68 65 55 81

We left the story here, with the Scatter jetbikes sitting neatly in the middle between the two ranges of White Scars at 12 inches and at 24 inches. The links on the table go to where these values were calculated.

This gives us an average set of point efficiency (with lower numbers being more efficient) for all ranges... but to really understand why the Jetbike appears to be doing so well we need to put in spheres of influence.

All units will influence the outcome of the battle through their assault ability, their shooting, psychic powers and special rules. In this case we don't have to concern ourselves with psychic powers, and I'm choosing to ignore the special rules part, as they somewhat cancel each other out.

What we're left with is how these two units operate in terms of shooting, defence and assault... but not all of these are relevant at all ranges. A unit 20-inches away is very unlikely to have an impact on a melee, and a unit in base-to-base combat is not going to get any advantage from shooting.

So, taking an average of efficiencies of shooting, defence and assault at the ranges where these things count, we come up with the following table:

Unit Scatter Jetbikes White Scar Bikers
Base to base 80.8 43.9
6-inches 66.6 55.0
12-inches 66.6 55.0
18-inches 70 99.5
24-inches 70 99.5
30-inches 70 113.9
36-inches 70 113.9
Average Point Efficiency 70.8 82.9

Remember, lower numbers are more point efficient, and therefore are better (in a purely "I spent points on it so it better be good" kind of way...). I've also colour coded it so you can see where each unit shines compared to the other. In the case of Scatter Bike shooting, I just averaged out the Guide and non-Guide values. There wasn't much between them anyway.

So yes... to perhaps no-ones surprise, the Scat-pack comes out on top, being more point efficient than the White Scar Bikers. 

But that's not what you should really take from this.

Look at how similar the numbers are at all ranges for the jetbikes. There's barely 10 points between them. The White Scars, on the other hand, swing wildly from excellent assault to fairly rubbish at long range.

What this reveals is the true strength of the Eldar Jetbike Scatter pack: flexibility.

That's astonishing, considering being the best Jack-of-all-trade army is supposed to be the Space Marines, and the Eldar are meant to be the exotic specialists!

The truth behind the Eldar Jetbikes success is not in the ridiculous mobility; Dark Eldar Reaver jetbikes can claim the exact same advantage and are not considered overpowered. It's not in their long range, high strength weaponry, as even the average Guardsman still denies 1/3 of that firepower.

The evidence here tells us that they are equally capable in nearly all game conditions. They do not suffer too heavily in the melee department, and are good shots all the way up to long range. That's not to say you can throw them into a melee against Khorne Beserkers and win, but it is to say they can kite those beserkers to death, and then assault the (somehow) allied Tau Firewarriors behind them.

Finally, we can see something that's vital to any White Scar Bike commander: Get Scout and Outflank at any cost. Your marine bikers are not going to win anything sitting at 24-inches. You need to be right up in the face of any army, preferably by turn 1. Get Kor'sorro Khan in your lists, play right next to the enemy, and the maths strongly suggests you'll come out on top.

Of course... all this is numbers, and extremely processed numbers at that. As with any table-top game, play how you want to play, and get what looks best on the shelf.

Until next time!

Thanks for reading.

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