Clarification for playing Motorcycle troop correctly.

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    HellRaiser 7

    I just this pass week I started playing a motorcycle unit after not playing them for awhile. Several years ago I played French and German motorcycles when I was running Early War Campaigns. I have forgotten most of the rules .  Just recently saw the addition of Engineer Section with the Option to ride motorcycles which can now be used in the Free French Army  out of the Battle of the Bulge book. (This Engineer section first appeared in the Battle of France Campaign book and is part of the Reenforced Platoon and Battle of the Bulge list).
    Here’s how we’ve interpreted the motorcycle rules and please if we don’t have it right, please give us the right answer.

    i understand the motorcycle can advance 12” and run 24 “

    They make as many turns as they want to include point in any direction they want to be at after completing their move.
    when shooting at a mounted motorcycle I’m assuming you just use the same rules as engaging any other infantry squad. But once you hit, do you use the soft vehicle wound of a 6 and then go to the vehicle damage chart , or do you use the riders wound, which if it was a Veteran unit you would just wound on a 5, and the motorcycle and rider would be removed . That’s how we played, we just used the riders quality (ie: Veteran) to determine the wound. Did we play that correctly?

    Now the Motorcycle Section shooting at the opponents units. The rules say they can’t shoot while riding. But rules says they can Advance as normal and “Fire” if they remain stationary. Does that mean you do you advance move, stop and fire your weapons . But if you got off the bike and advance and shoot like when your dismounting a truck , you can’t remount the bikes. But if you advance “while” on the motorcycle , and stop, don’t move, can you fire? Or when you stop after doing an advance move,  do you have to wait untill the next turn (and not move , stay stationary) Then the turn after that , you can continue to ride the motorcycle cause you didn’t leave it? (That’s how we played it.)
    Or while on the motorcycle, you can advance move up to 12”, then dismount and advance move the motorcycle rider (he’s on foot now) up to 6 inches and then fire as part of the advance. (Just like getting off a truck and advancing and firing)

    Here’s the actual paragraph that we’re trying to get right (so you don’t have to go look it up) Page 90 of the V2 Rulebook

    A motorbike unit can dismount as part of any Advance move. Once dismounted riders move and fight as infantry. Troops cannot remount once dismounted. Bike riders can carry infantry small-arms but cannot shoot whilst moving. All weaponry can only be fired when stationary, i.e. with a Fire action, in which case we assume riders momentarily halt or get off their machines to shoot.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. We’re getting ready for a couple tournaments coming up.

    To the Warlord Staff who research and develop the rule/unit make-up (what weapons did they carry, how many of certain weapons were assigned, equipment they carried etc.This Free French Engineer Section (with motorcycle option) is clearly based on World War I French squads (1 pistol, rifkes(carbines) , and a flame thrower . The Late War French Engineers had SMG, rifles/carbines, Pistols, bars and/or light machine guns. Could you please look at this and see about adding this information to the next Erratta.

    Thank You,


    Stuart Harrison

    First point – don’t confuse infantry units with the motorcycle rule (ie: German Kradshutzen, AoG p22) and vehicle units which happen to be motorbikes/combinations (ie: German Motorcycle with Machine-gun Sidecar, AoG p71).

    Infantry with the motorcycle move like wheeled vehicles except they can make as many turns as you like.  They still take damage according to their experience level, can’t fire on an Advance, only on a Fire order (a couple of Campaign books allow LMGs to fire on an Advance like first edition – apparently some authors weren’t on board with the change/weren’t aware of it and Bolt Action NEEDS a continuity editor).  The only way to fire on an Advance order (barring Campaign book unit special rules) is by dismounting as part of that advance, from which point they are plain infantry.

    Vehicles which happen to be motorcycles/sidecar combos are wheeled soft skin vehicles in all respects – damage value 6+, wheeled vehicle turn restrictions, can fire on an advance…

    HellRaiser 7

    Ok, first off thanks for the response Stuart.

    we played the wounding part right, just used the experience level for wounding.
    The rules allows for motorcycle units to take a motorcycle with side . So when a motorcycle section/squad has a motorcycle with side car in it, so is it then treated as like motorcycle/sidecar operating by itself and uses the soft vehicles rules and needs a 6 to damage it.
    So if I understand right, the motorcycle can’t advance and shoot,  riders dismount a shoot all in the same turn, to shoot or advance they have to wait till the next turn? (Which that’s how we played them too)

    Stuart Harrison

    “The rules allows for motorcycle units to take a motorcycle with side . So when a motorcycle section/squad has a motorcycle with side car in it, so is it then treated as like motorcycle/sidecar operating by itself and uses the soft vehicles rules and needs a 6 to damage it.”

    No.  If it’s an infantry unit with the motorcycle rule it stays an infantry unit with the motorcycle rule.  Under first edition (and a few campaign book exceptions), the sidecar combo option just allows you somewhere for the LMG to fire from on an advance.  In second edition, it’s purely cosmetic – last sentence of the motorbike rules, p90 “Sidecar riders are simply treated as two models mounted on a multiple base”.  If you’re reading a unit entry which suggests differently, can you tell me which entry and book you’re looking at?


    I keep trying to use a motorcycle squad too because the models are so cool. However, the rule could use a little more work to make it more playable. How do you interpret the part of the motorcycle rule where it says they can dismount as part of an advance move? Does that mean they can move 12″ at advance rate and then dismount another 6″ from the motorcycles like you do from a transport, or can they dismount as long as their entire move that turn is no more than 12″, or are they limited to a 6″ move because they have dismounted? Also, if they can dismount as part of an advance move, does that mean they can move somewhere between 6″ and 18″ depending on your interpretation of the rule and fire?


    Stuart Harrison

    @ Charles – The rule doesn’t specify when they dismount, just as a part of an Advance.  As they are a unit with a special rule, not a transport with passengers, I’d rule out getting 2 moves (1 before and one after the dismount).  As Bolt Action doesn’t do proportional movement (doing a portion of movement before the dismount at bike rate and the remainder after dismount at infantry rate), I’d take it as dismounting before moving and moving up to 6″ as normal infantry, or they can dismount at the end of the move after moving up to 12″ as motorbikes.

    HellRaiser 7

    I was just about ask the same question Charles did.
    I totally agree with you Stuart, that you can’t do two advance move (one on the motorcycle, then dismount and do another like Infantry).  Rereading the rules and taking what Stuart says this how interpret it.
    You can advance your motorcycle and the motorcycles stops at 12”, the rider  from that point can fire (the rules says like that they are at a momentary halt or get off their bikes).
    “Dismounting” is a different action, you actually dismount the bike (their grabbing all the gear, ammo, weapons, etc) and they then advance (move and fight ). Which once they have done that, they cannot remount the motorcycles.
    For the riders to Advance (move and fight) they cannot be done on the same turn the motorcycles advanced. . After they Conduct a Advance move while still on the motorcycles (12”), then the following turn the riders can conduct an Advance move (6”) from the motorcycles , just like normal infantry rules and move and fight.


    HellRaiser 7

    Thank you again. Stuart for the clarifications. The final pieces I would like clarification on as both a player and T/O (runs the tournament)

    The motorcycle section/unit can Advance 12”, and stop. Next turn they are given a “Fire” order at which time they fire weapons from the stop position. I base this is correct on the following statement in the Rulebook page 90.   “that they are at a momentary halt or get off their bikes).Next turn they can continue to move on the motorcycles as normal. (Cause they did not actually dismount and advance and shoot they are still allowed to use the motorcycles)

    But, if the motorcycle squad advances 12” the riders can then dismount and advance as Regular infantry (under infantry rules) themselves 6” and fire their weapons. From that point on, the motorcycle squad is officially dismounted and cannot remount the motorcycles cause from this point forward as the now operate as infantry squads.

    Stuart Harrison

    I would say this bit “But, if the motorcycle squad advances 12” the riders can then dismount and advance as Regular infantry” is conflating a unit that dismounts from it’s optional bikes with an embarked unit disembarking from a transport that has advanced.  The first is a single unit acting on one Advance order.  The latter is two separate units, each using it’s move allowance from it’s own Advance order.

    If the unit has already advanced at the motorbike rate, it has used it’s movement allowance from it’s Advance order.  There is nothing to support it getting another Advance order move allowance just because it is abandoning it’s bikes.


    HellRaiser 7

    Thank you, I kinda figure that was going to be the answer. Appreciate all the help.


    Okay, now I have a question too: are infantry units with 5pt motorcycles wound as their infantry equivalent? Regular = +4 to wound, Veteran = 5+ to wound OR since the infantry are in softskin vehicles they have a +6 to wound?


    Stuart Harrison

    @Neely Clapp – they are not ‘in soft skin vehicles’.  They are an infantry unit with a movement upgrade, and are ‘…generally treated as infantry except as noted below…’ (motorbike rules, second para).  If it doesn’t say to treat them as something other than infantry for a given purpose in the motorbike rules, p90, then they are treated the same as any other infantry unit for that purpose.

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