Friday, July 26, 2013

Horus Heresy Tactica: Land Raider Squadron

As part of exploring the armies of the 31st Millennium I would to provide the community with articles of how to best use (at least in my humble opinion) the squads of the Space Marine Legion Army List. Over the next several months I hope to cover all of the units in the Horus Heresy: Betrayal army lists. Check back for regular updates! We continue today with a look at the Land Raider Squadron.

In the Space Marine Legion Crusade army list the Land Raider comes in three varieties, the Phobos, the Proteus, and the Achilles. They can be taken in squadron of up to three and can be mixed in type with up to one Achilles per squadron. All come with the machine spirit, smoke launchers, and searchlight wargear standard. However, each type fulfills a different role on the battlefield.

The Land Raider Phobos is almost identical to the standard Land Raider in Codex: Space Marines. It comes armed with a twin-linked heavy bolter, two twin-linked lascannons, and has the assault vehicle special rule. It can also be upgraded to have frag assault launchers. A classic model and always a good choice for moving assault units across the table.

The Land Raider Proteus is based on the classic land raider model from Rouge Trader. It is armed with two twin-linked lascannons and can be upgraded to have either a twin linked heavy bolter or twin linked heavy flamer. It is important to note that the Proteus is not an assault vehicle. Finally the Proteus can be upgraded to have an Explorator Augury Web.  This give the Proteus the scout special rule and lets you either lower an opponent reserve rolls or reroll your own. It also reduces the transport capacity to eight models. On the battlefield the Proteus is ideal for carrying shooty squads. Good candidates include Legion Support Squads and Command Squads armed with combi-weapons. The ability to scout gives this tank many tactical options from having a Land raider into you opponents lines on turn 1 to outflanking when coming in from reserves. This is my favorite variant of Land Raider.

The Land Raider Achilles is the third variant available. It come armed with one quad mortar, two twin linked multi-meltas, extra armour, and armoured ceramite. It ahs a transport capacity of six models and also has the ferromantic invulnerability special rule (ignores melta and lance special benefits and reduces roll on damage chart by -1).  Though this tank is a powerhouse in 40k the environment of 30k leaves it as an odd man out. There are cheaper ways (Rapiers) to get quad mortars and multi meltas in 30k just are not as useful due to the fact that most vehicles can take the armored ceramite upgrade. This combined with its high points cost and low transport capacity make me pass on fielding one these beasts in 30k.

Land raider can also take a variety of pintle-mounted weapons from heavy bolters to multi-meltas. I generally pass on these but if you must take one the havoc launcher or the multi-melta are the best options. The most important upgrade available that Land Raider should take is Armoured Ceramite. This powerful upgrade lets you ignore the melta rule on melta weapons. You can also take extra amour, dozers blades, hunter killer missiles, and auxiliary drives.

Finally, if you are fielding your Land Raiders in a squad of three you can upgrade on to a command tank. This lets you ignore crew shaken results on a 4+ while in coherency and fire one weapon in the squadron using the interceptor rule. 

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