End Of An Era: The Demise Of The Land Raider In 40K 6th Edition

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You guys know that I am a total sucker for Land Raiders- if I’m playing any flavor of Space Marine my list has to include an Land Raider, Terminators, and Assault Marines since they are so iconic to the Space Marine model line and history of the game. For so many generations of the game the Land Raider has been around tactically in one way or another, but now I’m wondering if that has perhaps changed in 6th edition.

Is this the end of an era?

Here is the how and why of that statement…

With the shift to hull points and the ease at which vehicles can be destroyed, often quicker than the deathtraps they were in 4th edition I’ve been seeing many players abandon them completely for more infantry on the table- pumping the hundreds of points from vehicles into more bodies. More bodies on the table, especially power armored bodies and the new reach of weapons has also seen a return to plasma…which has made vehicles even weaker since plasma can glance most of them and strip those hull points in one turn.

So with that you would think that AV 14 vehicles with multiple hull points would be really strong- and they are. Tactically Land Raiders are harder to destroy and with a shift from melta (what they feared) to plasma that survivability gets even higher…

…but due to the shift to mass infantry and cheap ally spam the land raider is like a ponderous dinosaur that can’t really do much on the table.

Let’s look at the Land Raider crusader as it moves and shoot- what is it really going to kill with those shots, a few infantry models, ok, good, but armies have expanded X 3 in body size so those losses really aren’t that game changing at all. Godhammer Land Raiders are even at more of a loss.

What about delivering their payload of terminators inside?

Again the shift to infantry means that payload gets out, kills something and then dies to mass plasma and vector strike spam. In 5th edition when more points were spent on vehicles, those terminators could wipe out a significant number of bodies before going down to make a dent in your opponent.

So what is the new role of the Land Raider if there is no demise?

I’m still figuring that out and working on my lists, definitely more defensive in nature, and more of an end game unit now to hide a scoring unit and camp on an objective perhaps.

Is it worth the 250+ points?

Where they ever worth the points?

Thoughts?

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December 9, 2012 at 2:03 AM

Godhammer still has some use, now that TL long-range anti-tank is useful against flyers. Ofcourse, you could get two assault squads with two TLLC razorbacks and have two scoring units for nearly the same amount of points...
Worth the points? Never have, never will.

December 9, 2012 at 3:24 AM

I've found Land Raiders to be stronger under 6th than they were before. Under 5th I was lucky if they survived the first turn. Now they tend to last the whole game due to the hull point system.

I tend to use Redeemers these days as both terminator transport and a perfect means of dealing with those hordes of models.

December 9, 2012 at 3:39 AM

Still lots of people trying the Land Raider rush in my neck of the woods, so common here that I always field a couple of Vindicators/Leman Russ Demolishers. Demolisher cannon is now a good anti AV14 weapon, and also crushes what is inside.

December 9, 2012 at 4:21 AM

I may be off in my memory, but I can't remember a time (outside of Rogue Trader) when a Land Raider was a good investment of points. Add in Terminators and that was generally 25% or more of an army wrapped up in one vehicle. So, I really don't see how that has changed.

However, I believe, generally speaking, is now if you really want to field the Land Raider, you need allies....cheap allies. As so many points are tied up in a LR, allies will help defer the high points of said vehicle and payload which is actually pretty unique in 6th (2nd had allies of a sort, but I rarely saw it played).

I don't think the LR can rush up and deliver payload with impunity, but an LR supported by a company of IG in Chimeras, backed up with Manticore and Vendetta support may be worthwhile taking a look at. Will it be the most competitive list? No, but if you're looking at Land Raiders as a real option, hyper competitive list building is not the most important factor.

DW/IG? Let's see what the new DA codex brings us...

December 9, 2012 at 5:58 AM

I'm not sure either - redeemers might be a viable option still as templates and twin assault cannons can mess up just about anything. I wouldn't stick terminators in it but rather a squad of vanguard/sternguard supported by a chaplain. Death company is also a good way of making the LR useful again.

December 9, 2012 at 6:12 AM

Land Raiders have only been shelved by players. Other players are bringing less and less melta or other Land Raider busters.

That PLUS av14 4hp has made them heftier, more useful, and more survivable then ever before. A single land raider is not easy for most lists to deal with reliably. Thats a crazy thing to say when 4 months ago ANYONE and their mom could reliably handle 2 land raiders without much sweat.

The buffs cut both ways. If more players had the balls to play them, we would obviously see more and see them doing more.

Again, its not the Land Raiders, or vehicle rules. Players have done this almost 100% mental.

December 9, 2012 at 6:16 AM

Land Raiders have always been a pts to risk nightmare. Were they ever worth 250pts a pop? Not to mention whatever point sink goes inside usually. That part has gotten worse as everything else got clear buff, better anti tank (hp etc) moving and shooting rapid fire units at range, barrage, etc etc etc.

December 9, 2012 at 7:26 AM

I find this article a little funny. Land raiders were much worse in 5th than 6th.
Not only have people stopped bringing 100% melta, but the platform on which you usually find it (infantry) has had a significant range recuction. Before they could go 12'', then 2,99 and then shoot 6'' for a combined melta range of 21*.
Now they can only go 6+6 and then fire 6, for a combined range of 18'', which is significantly less. You can now also pre measure, so you can always guarantee that melta is out of range.

I would not stick terminators in it though. A wolf guard unit with 7 combiplasmas and a wolf guard battleleader with a cc weapon can put the hurt on alot of things, while still staying quite cheap (as you now have a hq and don't need to spend more points on then).
Or maybe better just a normal blood angel assault squad and a librarian with unleash rage. They mess up whatever you need them too, while the rest of the army messes up things like terminators (all that plasma you keep talking about and whatnot). Not to mention ASM being scoring.
Use them as a form for counter assault unit and let the raider shoot all game.

They fit as an ally detachment as well if you want to.

December 9, 2012 at 10:08 AM

I'd throw a unit of Death Company with a chaplain in the land raider. It protects them as they go forward and can get the charge on a blob squad wiping them all out. 5 attacks on the charge from 9-11 guys rerolling to hit and to wounds. If they walked they would get shot up.

December 10, 2012 at 12:29 AM

I used to be able to take them out pretty fast with my 3 MM Attack Bikes in 5th, haven't faced any with my Eldar in 6th yet. People just don't take them anymore, but i think they might make a comeback when players also stop taking more than 1 melta unit. A shame, because i really like the models.

December 11, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Saw a BatRep where someone used a "normal" LR to provide LasCannon firebase for most of the game and at the end, still had it to move normal troops to an objective and block LOS to them when they disembarked. I think playing them now is ahead of the meta curve because as they go away, the stuff that deal with them will be phased back, making them strong again. The biggest threat to them may now come from lance weapons because I'm not sure those are scaling back as much as meltas.

December 11, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I've been playing with my Dark Eldar army recently that has a lot of lance and Haywire so playing against a LR is a blessing. However sometimes you just can't roll high with lance and the opponent stays out of Haywire range (defensive like) and those 4 HPs become really difficult to whittle down.

I love my 5 man Scourge unit with a single Haywire Blaster... my new favorite anti-tank unit that is still great at peppering infantry.

December 12, 2012 at 12:15 PM

To me it was, and still is a great investment. In fact, it is even better now. I usually fight against grey knights, so their main anti-tank is psycannons which will rip apart anything else, but aren't overly dangerous to a land raider. Also, hull points mean that I don't get immobilized very often which was a big problem in 5th. And lastly, a squad of TH/SS terminators are one of the few things that can stand up against Grey Knights in close combat. So I almost always take a land raider. Against other armies, I don't think it would have the same advantages, so wouldn't be worth it.

December 13, 2012 at 3:45 AM

this is maybe slightly off topic, but with all that plasma around, aren't the Terminators themselves becoming harder to play as well? I was thinking about reviving my Space Marines, but nowadays, instead of Ye Olde Raider & Termie Combo, i would be inclined to field a Command Squad on bikes with storm shields, and any killy gear you like. Faster & harder to kill (T5-FNP-3+ invul). Only drawback i can think of for the moment is there's just 5 guys.

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