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Are Scatter jetbikes overpowered?: Shooting

The prevealing wisdom is that Scatter Bikes are completely overpowered, and are one of the major reasons why Eldar players find it difficult to find games.
But can we prove it?

To show how good or bad the Eldar are, we need to find an equivalent unit that can match it. The reasons/rules which make the scatter pack good are as follows:
  • Bike mobility
  • Objective secured
  • Long range weapon
  • Very far Turbo-boost
  • Jink
  • Assault moves
  • High strength weapon
We could probably leave the post there, but I like to go a little further in analysis. The closest match to all this would be a White Scar biker unit. Depending on the formation you take you can achieve either Objective Secured or an assault turn move, they match the mobility in the movement phase, and have a slightly better jink and Move through cover to match the turbo boost of the jet bike.

I'm aware that you can't compare the mobility of jet bikes to Space Marine bikers, but it's the closest we've got.

Now let's do some maths! First let's consider the offensive shooting potential of the Scatter pack:

Unit   Scatter Jetbikes with Guide White Scars bike at 24
Price   81 81 84 84
Unit count   3 3 4 4
No. shots   12 12 8 4
Hits   8.0 10.7 7.1 3.6
Wounds vs. Toughness          
3   6.7 8.9 4.7 2.4
4   6.7 8.9 3.6 1.8
5   5.3 7.1 2.4 1.2
6   4.0 5.3 1.2 0.6
7   2.7 3.6 1.2 0.6
8   1.3 1.8 0.0 0.0
Average   4.4 5.9 2.2 1.1
With save          
5+   3.0 4.0 2.2 1.1
4+   2.2 3.0 1.1 0.5
3+   1.5 2.0 0.7 0.4
2+   0.7 1.0 0.4 0.2
Average   1.9 2.5 1.1 0.5
Points/Unit after save   44 33 77 155

Yeah, from this we can see the Scat Pack just stomps the bikers flat in terms of damage output. Bear in mind that the White cars are uniformly wielding twin-linked bolt guns, and that we haven't considered grav-guns yet. But with that said, I can't see how 6 high quality shots plus 2 or 1 so-so shots can compare with 12 strength 6 shots at such a range.

In terms of points efficiency, the Scatter bikes are fantastically better than the White Scars, and the single reason is the high shot output of the scatter laser. Putting out 4 shots per model means that, in terms of ranged offense, you simply cannot do better. It even outperforms on over watch, which should really be the twin-linked weapons selling point.

But we're not quite done yet. We'll need to look at assault power compared to the other unit, and then on to defensive power. We're going to be applying numeric values to these things, simply for comaparisons sake. At each step I'll explain how we can link them together, even though they seem like they can't be. Don't worry... I'll keep things colour coded so you can just skip the maths and say which unit is better!

Until next time!
Thanks for reading.

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