Saturday, April 16, 2011

Land Raiders

Land Raiders are the ultimate assault tank, heavily armored, packing tremendous firepower, and able to deliver squads directly into assault. All of this comes with a significant price tag, though, so you have to be careful with them. Land Raiders are generally pretty safe from enemy fire, as long as you keep them away from lance and melta-weapons. They are best used aggressively to deliver assault units, usually Terminators, into the enemy line. Once there, they can use their weapons to support your assault. Power of the Machine Spirit allows the Land Raider to always fire an extra weapon, and to fire it at a different target, so it can stay pretty mobile while engaging multiple targets.

There are three types of Land Raiders that differ in armament and carrying capacity. The standard Land Raider, or Land Raider Phobos, carries two twin-linked lascannons and a twin-linked heavy bolter and can carry five Terminators. The Phobos has a confused role; it’s an assault tank that packs long-ranged weapons and can only carry the minimum squad of Terminators. If you desperately need more ranged anti-tank in the army, it can be a good choice, but you’re usually better off with one of the other choices.

The Land Raider Crusader is the most dedicated assault platform. It can carry a fearsome eight Terminators, and grants them frag grenades when they assault out of it. It mounts a twin-linked assault cannon and two hurricane bolters, so it can put out a tremendous amount of accurate anti-infantry firepower at short range. This is great for keeping your Terminators from being overwhelmed by superior numbers. This is by far my favorite Land Raider configuration.

The Land Raider Redeemer is another good assault platform. It carries six Terminators, usually a minimum strength squad and an attached character for extra hitting power. It mounts the same twin-linked assault cannon and frag assault launchers as the Crusader, but exchanges the hurricane bolters for flamestorm cannons. Flamestorms are high strength, AP3 template weapons, and they will burn through elite infantry at a terrifying pace. This makes the Redeemer more specialized than the Crusader, acting as a heavy infantry hunter. Given the placement of the flamestorm cannons on the model, it is difficult to hit any but the largest enemy squads with both templates. If you can, try to position the tank so that each flamestorm can target a different enemy squad using Power of the Machine Spirit.

All of the Land Raiders have a variety of options. The best one is the pintle-mounted multi-melta, which adds a reliable anti-tank shot at the range that Land Raiders operate best. The other option worth considering is extra armor. Given the expense of the Land Raider and the squad it carries, it is worth the extra points to guarantee that they reach their target.

Finally, our Land Raiders have the ability to deep strike. Don’t use it. The Land Raider is a really large model and it is very difficult to drop without scattering onto something. The squad inside cannot assault when they land, and the Land Raider is durable enough that it can get across the table when deployed normally.

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