Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Tactics: Chaos Land Raiders

Harsou could see the enemy formation, a line of three Imperial Leman Russ tanks, mostly standard load out. No challenge, he thought to himself. Gripping the accelerator levers and whispering a prayer to Tzeentch, he made his move...


"Sir, enemy movement to the far east, it's big sir. And I mean real big"

"Dominic looked through the magnoculars out of the cupola of his tank. He could not see much through the dust, but he could see the shape of what was getting Reece so worked up. It was clearly bigger than their tanks, even at a distance. What it was exactly was anyone's guess. The wind gusted suddenly, and revealed an enormous blue battle tank. Its hull draped with two wide sets of tracks.

"Chaos!” He shouted, and before finishing his sentence, the turret turned to meet this new enemy. The Leman Russ fired the shot already loaded into the cannon chamber. It struck the front armour, but appeared to do very little, except perhaps annoy the occupants of the tank, as it was a standard shell. The other tanks also started to fire, but due to their haste and poorly trained crews, most shots went wide.

The chaotic battle-tank fired back, two sets of dual-beamed lascannon blasts slashed straight into the side of 'The Emperor's grace', the formations only Vanquisher tank. Fire and thick plumes of smoke erupted from the disabled tank. Dominic knew this didn't look good for them.

"Fire damn you, and turn this tank around, I want that lascannon ready!"

The old beast turned slowly, its engine straining to go any faster. A stray lascannon shot hit the tracks, ripping the links off at the rear right corner, and preventing any further movement. 'Cadia's Wrath' was next in the line of fire, as one beam stabbed through the armoured cupola, igniting the shells and sending the turret skywards. Dominic got into his own turret with super-natural speed and shut the hatch, seconds before the flaming wreckage landed on the tank. The crew were so shook by the impact, that they didn't see the Land Raider launch straight towards them at full speed. It was going to ram.

Slightly concussed, Dominic urged Reece to get the lascannon charged. He fired, but the shot only took out one set of guns, which burned and sparked as their barrels fell to the floor. There was nowhere near enough time for a second shot. The last thing the crew experienced was the sudden impact of 70 tons of battle tank smashing into the side their tank, crushing most of the crew instantly as the hull closed in on them, before a final lascannon blast finished the ruined machine off.

The Land Raider is often seen as a big, lumbering waste of points to some; there other things in the codex which do a similar job can do it cheaper and more effectively. I, for one, love the tank, and see that it does serve a purpose and is very good at it in the right hands. So for today, I'll be sharing with you my tips on getting the most out of your Land Raider (note, this is only for the standard pattern and the Proteus Pattern, as chaos cannot get their clawed hands on the other variants, and the Spartan is another matter)

The Land Raider's USP is its thick armour plating, with an armour value of 14 all around and four hull-points it is the highest armoured tank of any imperial or chaos vehicle, not counting super-heavies. So, we should use this as the key benefit to exploit.

Use the Land Raider to protect your key units, or even shield smaller but equally important tanks, such as rhinos carrying core combat units to the front lines. Land Raiders are the only non Forgeworld unit which can carry Terminators, so they are essential if you dare not deep-strike them into a tree. They are also dedicated transports in the CSM codex if bought with Terminators, meaning a Heavy support choice is freed for some other nasty surprise for imperial scum.

Whilst you can use it like a big shield, another idea is to treat it as a battering ram. The destroyer blades sound like a fun upgrade for such an event. Whilst the tank is meat-grinding the enemy and being generally distracting, your other units can advance with greater safety.

The issue with the Land Raider is it is big, and the enemy’s guns will be trained on it. Also, Melta and lance weapons will east through your tough plating faster than you can say “twin-linked lascannons”. Keeping in cover, like any other tank can help reduce the damage, but you will need big cover.  

Another tactic is to use the Land Raider as a long-distance MBT, by keeping it at the back providing fire support. The two twin-lascannons are great for sending enemy armour sky-high from a distance, and their twin-linked rule massively improves accuracy. The heavy bolter, if I'm honest, is poorly suited for this role, and should only really be used on light-armoured targets or on infantry when then tanks are all gone. If only chaos could replace it with Autocannons like on the Spartan…

But I digress. The Land Raider can be a beneficial unit, if you are willing to invest the points into one, it 


  1. I believe Storm Ravens may carry termies as well.

    1. Very true :) Think chaos can only have them in apoc games though. Or with opponent's permission :)

    2. I was going to mention Stormravens, but I realized we were talking about Chaos. If we're talking about all codexes, Inquisitorial Chimeras can also transport GK Terminators.

    3. We could extend it to all marine armies :). I chose chaos-only since I've never used the crusader,redeemer, helios, prometheus etc so I wouldn't have much to say about them. I think chaos is limited to the basic LR, and the Spartan and Storm Eagle from Forgeworld. Unless it's an apoc game or count-as army, then anything goes :P