"Scorch the earth and all who stand upon it!"
Sometimes the only solution to a problem is a complete lack of anything resembling subtlety.
A Rhino Transport grown several orders of magnitude too large, the mighty Land Raider is one of the biggest available armored vehicles that Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines can field. Its firepower is incredible, and its armor betrays no weakpoints: for several editions it was known for having maximum armor (14) for every side, something that only the Necron Monolith, Necron Pylon, and Spartan Assault Tank shared with the Land Raider; not even Baneblades had this. To say that a Land Raider was (and still is) tough to kill is an understatement. It can also transport Terminators. This is the Metalboxiest of all the METAHL BAWKSES.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Variants and Such
- 2.1 Phobos Pattern
- 2.2 Venerable Land Raider
- 2.3 Chaos Land Raider
- 2.4 Crusader Pattern
- 2.5 Redeemer Pattern
- 2.6 Vortimer Redeemer Pattern
- 2.7 Ares Pattern (Chapter Approved)
- 2.8 Terminus Ultra Pattern
- 2.9 Achilles Pattern (Forge World)
- 2.10 Helios Pattern (Forge World)
- 2.11 Prometheus Pattern (Forge World)
- 2.12 Proteus Pattern (Forge World)
- 2.13 Excelsior Pattern (Warhammer World exclusive)
- 2.14 Wrath of Mjalnar Pattern (Chapter Approved, only for Open Play)
- 2.15 Solemnus Aggressor Pattern (Chapter Approved, only for Open Play)
- 2.16 Angel Infernus Pattern (Chapter Approved, only for Open Play)
- 2.17 Hades Diabolus Pattern (Chapter Approved, only for Open Play)
- 2.18 Anvilarum Pattern
- 2.19 Looted Land Raider
- 2.20 Grav-Raider
- 3 External Links
- 4 Gallery
The Land Raider has always been a somewhat insane beast, owing to its large weapon load, large size, high point value, and the fact that due to movement and targeting restrictions from 3rd through 7th editions, it could usually fire only a portion of its weapons at a given time. This often made it seem of questionable value, because there were almost always better choices to do what the Land Raider could do for cost - Predators generally did better at vehicle busting and infantry killing, for example. Consequently, during these editions the Land Raider was mainly used as a transport vehicle for elite squads like Terminators, which hindered its ability to deliver raw firepower even further.
Even with this, the Land Raider was (and still is) a good combat vehicle, if only because of incremental changes to vehicle weaponry rules. In 5th Edition, for example, the Land Raider could finally fire off all its weaponry when moving. This was a very big deal back then, although it's something that players in 8th/9th now expect as a matter of course. Make no mistake: it may have been inefficient, large, and points-heavy, but the Land Raider was a powerful and daunting foe, and not to be underestimated in any circumstance. AV14 all around made it a tough nut to crack, and the Land Raider was very likely to survive the opening salvo, especially if it had extra armor, and as long as it was sheltered from the heaviest anti-tank weaponry.
And before you say it, a Land Raider is not a main battle tank like the Leman Russ, or an armored personnel carrier like the Rhino; it is an Infantry Fighting Vehicle like the Razorback (albeit a very large and heavily armed one), since it can both carry troops inside and provide dedicated fire support (hence Infantry and Fighting). Well, that is unless you can actually get the Ares and Terminus Ultra pattern models, who traded their transport capabilities for even more and bigger guns, where they're pretty much an assault gun and a tank destroyer respectively...
Okay, now that we've explained how and why the Land Raider is an IFV, it should be noted that the original Land Raider was designated an MBT by the man who found the STC and whom the vehicle is named after, Arkhan Land. And now you are certainly asking, "But you JUST said the Land Raider was a heavy IFV, and not an MBT?" Well, if the theory that the Land Raider Proteus is actually the default/original variant of the Land Raider is correct, then the Land Raider WAS meant to be an MBT, it's just that the variants that permitted honest troop capacity were utilized more often by the Assault-happy Astartes to the point that Land Raiders are now known by the more common offspring of the original pattern. Whatever the intent of the original design concept, in the current era of the 40k timeline most Land Raiders do indeed function as a kind of hybrid heavy infantry fighting vehicle, as previously mentioned.
In terms of appearance, a Land Raider is basically a cross between a giant Mark I tank from WWI and a modern armored fighting vehicle. It's shaped more like the latter, but the exposed treads on the entire front of the tank and the sponson-mounted guns hearken back to real-life WWI designs that used such mounts to lower the center of gravity while enabling gunners to fire directly to the sides as they crossed trenches. Why GW decided to model something after this is a mystery (it's probably because they're British), but over the years GW's preference for such early-20th-Century design touches has defined many of their most popular designs.
Now in 8th/9th edition, the Land Raider is a much more fearsome beast, being able to fire all of its weapons at the same or different targets whether it moves or not, and benefiting greatly from the new twin-linked rules that effectively doubled its potential firepower. It's also T8 with 16 wounds and one of the very few 2+ armour saves on vehicles. It basically went from schizophrenic IFV to being a very effective IFV.
Variants and Such
The Land Raider has a ton of variants. Some of the more noteworthy ones are listed below.
The basic one has two Twin-Linked Lascannons in sponsons (called "Godhammer" pattern lascannon, probably in honor of legendary GW model designer, Jes Goodwin) and a twin-linked Heavy Bolter, making it some kind of heavy infantry fighting vehicle derpfish. Prior to 8th edition, it was generally considered to be very flexible, but ultimately rather inefficient. The Predator Annihilator was better at tankbusting, as it could unleash 3 lascannon beams, one of which was twin-linked, whereas the Land Raider only had 2 twin-linked Lascannon (though the Land Raider could also take a pintle-mounted Multi-Melta, which could one-shot almost any tank). The Predator Destructor was better at killing infantry; 2 shots from an Autocannon and 6 more from Heavy Bolters shredded all kinds of medium/light infantry, whereas the Land Raider only had the single twin-linked Heavy Bolter to fight infantry (plus an optional Storm Bolter, which the Predator could also take). The Rhino was generally a better transport for its price, only falling short in its inability to carry Terminators. The Land Raider stood apart from the Predator and Rhino because it could fill multiple duties at once (it was recommended that you add a Storm Bolter/Multi-Melta, extra-armor, and a Hunter-Killer Missile to help in this task), and it was the only vehicle in many armies that allowed a unit to disembark and assault in the same turn. It was schizophrenic and expensive, but it was effective, especially if you used it right. In 7e, if you put 3 in the Land Raider Spearhead Formation for 750 points stock you got a lethal counter to those super-heavies, gargantuan creatures, and buildings with Mighty Bulwark thanks to the re-rolls for failing to wound or penetrate armor.
As of 8th, it's far more potent, benefiting not only from the generally-increased durability of vehicles and the elimination of firing arcs, but also from changes to how twin-linked weapons work. It now has greater firepower than either Predator variant (in fact, it's close to being tied with both of them put together), and the points changes on other vehicles such as the Rhino means that while the Land Raider is still expensive, it's not as point-inefficient as it was.
Venerable Land Raider
The Adeptus Custodes also have their own sub-variant of the Phobos Pattern Land Raider called the aptly named Venerable Land Raider which is a Land Raider bristling with gold to blind the enemies of man with the superiority of the BLING. Venerable Land Raiders ignore shaken and stunned results and also comes with some pretty cool upgrades as well now like a 5+ invulnerable save from the aegis ability, and a 6+ FNP (yes, it has both an Invulnerable and a FNP because of course it does), all for mega mucho points. Other than that there is very little difference armament wise other then being a 'cheap' (for Custodes standards anyway) replacement to the vastly superior Coronus Grav Carrier, which is faster, inflicts a -1 to hit in melee, and is actually designed for Custodians (transports capacity of 6 means that it can carry two MSU guard squads, or a 5-man with Shield-Captain, at the cost of having a 3+ armour save). Still, don't try to underestimate this sub-variant as the cargo it's holding just so happens to be dudes who can tear your Riptide a new asshole.
In terms of fluff, Venerable Land Raiders have a enhanced
AI Machine Spirit, more so than conventional Land Raiders. Many Venerable Land Raiders can trace their history back to the earliest years of the Imperium and fought in the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. As you can imagine, such engines of war was considered as a secondhand watered down version of the type of shit the Custodes used to have, or rather still have but have been mothballed for...reasons.
Still, these dauntless war engines have now served for ten thousand years and each has built a legend every bit as magnificent as those possessed by the greatest Imperial champions. They have also developed Magos-class machine spirits and these noble and aggressive entities can independently aim and fire the vehicle's guns and coordinate its auto-repair rituals when circumstances require it. In extreme circumstances these amazing war engines have even been teleported directly onto the battlefield, through the use of ancient Godstrike-pattern teleportariums. Deepstriking teleporting Land Raiders full of golden demigods? Oh...all of the yes.
Chaos Land Raider
Functionally identical to the Phobos Pattern Land Raider, the Chaos version has a number of small changes that actually make it quite a bit better than its standard counterpart. It has Assault Vehicle like the loyalist, meaning that troops exiting it can assault the same turn, and it can be further specialized as an assault transport with Daemonic Possession, Extra Armor, and Dirge Caster. It can also be turned into a better combat vehicle due to its ability to pack on a Havoc Launcher; this gives it the ability to fire a few clusters of blast templates downrange for those using it as a heavy offensive vehicle. You can alternately pack on a Combi-Bolter and Combi-Flamer/Melta, and they're even comparable with Havoc Launcher in current codex.
It's usually a bit more valuable to Chaos than it is to the Loyalists as a result. However, unfortunately for Chaos; this is the only kind of Land Raider they get, and compared to some of the other things on this list, it's out-specialized by other Land Raiders - the Crusader does Assault Transport (arguably; Daemonic Possession does a LOT to make this thing more dangerous, or DID before the rules change made Daemonic Possession cause the Chaos Raider to randomly eat passengers) better, and the Ares, Redeemer, and Achilles handle massed infantry better, whilst the Terminus Ultra is basically a tank destroyer. Add to this that the Chaos Land Raider doesn't have Power of the Machine Spirit rule that loyalist Land Raiders have, and the Chaos Land Raider is more limited in the ways it can shoot.
However, since it is basically a vanilla Phobos-pattern Land Raider, the Chaos Land Raider can still handle multiple simultaneous roles as needed, which, paired with the Chaos Land Raider's generally-better utility makes it something of a decent deal. Worth using if you have the points to spend, or if you have some big nasty close-combat squad that absolutely MUST get into close-combat.
Once upon a time, during a Crusade to bring the Emperor's Light to some foul heretics, the Black Templars' Techmarines considered that Twin-Linked Lascannons weren't particularly useful when rushing forward to disgorge Sword Brethren right where it hurts the most, so they decided to tinker a bit with one of their Land Raiders and swap out its Mars-sanctioned weapon loadout... and thus the Crusader Pattern Land Raider was born. It forgoes long-range firepower in favor of a dedicated role as an assault transport/infantry fighting vehicle, generally making it a bit more effective at getting into the enemy's face and spewing out a truly immense amount of dakka just before its passengers double up on the beating in melee. Armed with a pair of Hurricane Bolter sponsons, an optional Multi-Melta (just in case a vehicle/fortification would think of getting in the way) and twin-linked Assault Cannons, the Crusader Pattern basically delivers a truly beautiful amount of dakka at (twelve Bolters, and two assault cannons=some 272+ rounds per second) close range (with the Multi-Melta being there to deal with the errant vehicle threat) before disgorging its troops into the heart of enemy forces. Making it even better, the Crusader holds more men and has Frag Assault Launchers, ensuring that the disembarking troops gain the benefits of Frag Grenades (which Terminators normally lack). This vehicle was so effective that it spread, to some of the other Marine chapters, including the Grey Knights, who were given a few for helping the Templars out once, and eventually even got official recognition from Mars.
If you play Dark Angels, you owe it to yourself to play at least one game where this beast is boosted by a Banner of Devastation and some power fields, for an utterly hilarious TWENTY FOUR twin linked Bolter shots all protected by an AV 14 4 HP 4++ monster of a vehicle. All of this, however, comes at the price of the baseline Land Raider's raw offensive punch (unless you're fighting guard/cultist/Ork/Tyranid blobs, then you will eat people) - fight accordingly.
The Redeemer is designed to maximize close-range punch. Whilst it's not the balls-out dedicated infantry-fighting vehicle/assault transport that the Crusader is, the Redeemer packs on considerably heavier firepower. It maintains the Assault Cannons, Ironclad Assault Launcher, and optional Multi-Melta, but replaces the sponson-mounted Hurricane Bolters with a pair of Flamestorm Cannons - functionally improved Flamers with S6, AP3, the only drawback to them being that since they're sponson mounted they can't hit targets that are too close to the front or back of the Redeemer.
Cheaper than the other Land Raiders, this is one of the more popular Land Raiders due to its slightly lower points-cost. Tends to annihilate infantry by the dozens once in-close and makes tyranblob crap itself in sheer terror, but seriously needs Extra Armor. Using these when facing Tyranids or bikes-heavy lists (Ravenwing) is highly recommended since they don't have any vehicles or anything with more than toughness 6. Flamers ignore any armour but 2+ saves and ALL cover saves, meaning you'll be BBQing nids and bikers negating their Venomthrope/bullshit rerollable jink save.
Interestingly the Redeemer was invented by the Fire Lords Space marine chapter, and they wanted to name the pattern "Prometheus" after the titan who gave fire to man, but the name was already taken by the actual Land raider Prometheus designed by the Salamanders, so instead it was named the Redeemer.
Vortimer Redeemer Pattern
A Grey Knights exclusive variant of the Land Raider Redeemer that replaces the Assault Cannons with Psycannons and Ironclad Assault Launchers with psyk-out assault launchers. These Land Raiders are a bane to Daemon players everywhere due to its armaments and the fact that it safely carries a detachment of prolific Daemon rapists and molesters. (To be clear here we mean rapists and molesters of deamons, not rapists and molesters who are also daemons) Because it is a more specialized version of the regular Redeemer Pattern and the rarity of the weapons it carries, the Vortimer is both a rare and expensive vehicle to produce, not to mention an utterly secret weapon from the general public.
Because of its Psycannons, the Vortimer could mulch Warp creatures into dog food, that includes and up to even greater daemons if the dice gods are in your favor. Hell, because it carries not one, but two Psycannons, it could just as easily chew up light to medium vehicles as well. The Vortimer not doing enough in clearing out those pesky ethereal creatures from the Warp? No problem, you can just mount two Heavy Incinerator sponsons for quadruple the fun. Watch and see Chaos players weep bitter tears as this machine proceeds to unload its cargo of holy retribution and cleanse their heretical armies into smoking cinders.
This vehicle was best seen during the Dawn of War 2 Elite Mod as the ultimate unit for the Grey Knights. Just as expected from the fluff, this thing was an overpowered train wreck, able to lay down massive suppressive fire whilst protecting its precious cargo of Mary Sues to the frontlines. It would have been broken if it wasn't so damned expensive in an already expensive army.
Ares Pattern (Chapter Approved)
The Ares Pattern decides to say "Fuck that shit" regarding transporting and seeks to become the most destructive linebreaker around, trying to eclipse even the dreaded Leman Russ Demolisher and Vindicator. No transport capability, and costs about 50 points more than the standard Land Raider, but you get what you pay for; Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer Sponsons, Twin-Linked Assault Cannons and a fucking Demolisher Cannon make this thing filthy rape to anything with the misfortune of getting anywhere near it. This tank lacks tactical flexibility, as none of its weapons has a range of more than 24"(although due to power of the machine spirit its demolisher cannon actually has a threat range of 36"), but what it lacks in versatility it more than makes up for in close-range balls-out power, it concentrates on applying overwhelming fire-power to a single point in the enemy battle line. If your opponents weren't shitting bricks trying to kill/escape your Vindicators, they most assuredly will at the sight of this fucking thing. Tyranid players tend to weep tears of blood, piss themselves, and crap their pants all at the same time when these show up. Now if only Chaos had them so we could toss on a Havoc Launcher and make it possessed. Now that would be the ultimate blob destroyer.
Basically, blow a hole in the enemy’s attempt to stop you, roll into it and spew fire and bullets until everything is dead. Rinse, repeat, lulz. With the release of the Typhon you could spend fifty more points to get two more hull points and upgrade your gun to 7" blast Ignores Cover, but with the Ares people might actually play you.
The original creator has updated the Ares for 8th Edition. This includes the option of replacing the Assault Cannons with a twin heavy Plasma Cannon in true Dark Angels style. Power of the Machine Spirit increases its threat range to 48". Overcharging isn't much an issue because movement isn't reduced until the Ares is brought down to half of its 16 wounds. This is the superior loadout as it makes a Land Raider Ares a threat to both vehicles and hordes.
Terminus Ultra Pattern
Now available as a free upgrade for a Land Raider formation in Apocalypse, but only as the exclusive ride of Antaro Chronus. The Yang to the Ares's Yin, and the second of the "fuck transporting!" Land Raiders, which lack transport capability and anything resembling subtlety, the Terminus Ultra is designed as a dedicated vehicle-killer, armed with a hilariously over-the-top three twin-linked Lascannons and two single Lascannons, the Terminus Ultra can overheat and explode if it fires the bulk of its Lascannon payload and rolls THREE hitrolls of 1 (you should know however, that the chances of this happening are around 1 in 1348).
Known for making Vehicle units shit bricks, and for destroying Titans on its own. Beam spam and Shoop Da whoop indeed. There aren't many other vehicles that are better at the role of tank destroyer than this. Plop these in a nice easily defended spot where your enemy will have to bring his vehicles, super-heavy vehicles, high value HQ units, monstrous creatures, and gargantuan through and turn their most valuable units into swiss cheese. Make a note, however, that it's generally inefficient for the role, is a huge target and becomes 100% useless if facing blob armies of any sort - fight accordingly.
It made it's way into the offical Index as of 8th, though still exclusively for the Ultramarines and as Lord of War for no clearly defined reason. It's chance of blowing itself up has increased now that's firing 8 lascannons a turn, but it's far less likely to kill itself when doing so, and keeping a captain or rhino primaris nearby can mitigate that risk. While inferior to other LoWs in regards to raw firepower (the fellblade can match it's number of shots and packs more firepower on top of that, with no risk of blowing itself up), the Terminus stands out with it's lower cost and ability to fire at 5 separate targets every round. As of Chapter Approved 2017, the Terminus Ultra is now available to chapters other than Ultramarines as well - but only in open play!
Achilles Pattern (Forge World)
The Achilles Pattern is the most heavily armored Land Raider, and was originally created by the Imperial Fists. The Achilles Pattern is a giant derpy hunk of metal, bristling with guns and designed to get in close, firing off heavy firepower before discharging its payload of troops right into enemy formations. In other words, it is exactly the sort of thing that comes to mind when you hear the words "land raider". Its armor is impervious to the Lance and Melta special rules and most other weapons suffer a -1 on armor penetration rolls (essentially its armor is the same as a Necron Monolith's prior to the 5th Edition codex, it's just that the rules are given different names). The only things killing it are heavy-bore anti-vehicle weapons like the Leman Russ Vanquisher outside of lucky shots with high-strength armor-piercing weapons, like a Baneblade or Terminus Ultra firing all of its weapons (thus using the law of averages to help in its attempt to pierce the armor), or anti-vehicle Titan guns (like those used by a Shadowsword or like the epic beamspam that can be unleashed by a Reaver or Warhound dual-wielding Turbo-laser Destructors), or some weird shit like haywire, gauss, entropic touch and so on (because xenos are dirty cheaters). It mounts a devastating Thunderfire Cannon (which is a massive quad-barreled mortar that can cause several flavors of infantry death) and twin-linked Multi-Melta sponsons, but it carries only 6 people (that means only three termies), have no assault ramp and costs more than Ares and Terminus Ultra - generally those 6 places are for techmarine and his servitor retinue, or for command squad loaded with Plasmaguns. The earlier Achilles Alpha prototype swapped the Thunderfire Cannon for a Quad Mortar and was equipped with twin-linked Volkite Culverins as sponson weapons. The Achilles Alpha also had even more absurd armor, and if also given Ceramite or Extra Armor on top of that, was functionally invulnerable to damage. No, we are not kidding, it could only be really threatened by anti-titan weapons or a heavy artillery weapon that could deliver a massive kinetic impact like a Quake Cannon.
Chaos Space Marines recently got access to this version of Land Raider as well through Imperial Armour volume 13. Along with access to all the typical upgrades for Chaos Space Marine vehicles, the Chaos Achilles swaps out the Thunderfire Cannon for a Quad Mortar, which is weaker and less capable of penetrating armor but compensates with the Pinning rule- and as a bonus, its pinning tests are made with a -1 penalty. On top of that, the Quad Mortar's Strength, AP, and Pinning test penalty all increase as the Chaos Achilles loses hull points, making it more and more deadly as it takes damage. This is, of course, assuming it isn't killed in one turn like most vehicles do in the current meta when they draw the ire of the nearest D-strength weapon. God fucking damn it.
As of 8th, it's gotten far nastier, with a pair of heavy 2 Multi-Meltas and the Quad Launcher now has access to shatter shells, a set of short-range shots with performance similar to battle cannon shells. Its armor has received the same buff, as its previous collection of special rules have been removed and replaced with a blanket 4+ invul save.
Helios Pattern (Forge World)
The Helios Pattern Land Raider is designed for fire support, replacing the usual Heavy Bolters with a pair of twin-linked Lascannons and sacrificing ten transport spaces for a missile battery from a Whirlwind. This allows it to provide heavy fire support at long ranges and with minimal opportunities for retaliation, though it's quite points-intensive for what it does, whilst the Achilles does it better. If you do use one, be sure to employ it with a shooty force that can actually use the damned thing, like a Devastator Squad.
It was originally designed by the Red Scorpions, who didn't trust the Imperial Guard to provide them with artillery support (which the IG are the absolute masters of). Of course, this means that you're probably going to use it as an artillery tank, meaning you still have transport space. And a lot of armor. That will probably go to waste because you didn't just get a Whirlwind instead. It also has the option of taking an anti-air Hyperios launcher, just in case you just want to equally pepper the skies in flak and falling plane bits hitting the ground at full speed. Although in terms of pound-per-points cost, it is still more efficient to just get a couple of Hyperios Missile Launchers themselves to fit the bill rather than wasting the points to put on a fucking Land Raider. Well, sort of. The purpose of the anti-air missiles would be that you use the land raider like normal but it can defend itself and its troops from air threats whereas the artillery missiles can be used to support the disembarked infantry even while operating like a normal land raider. It works on paper but games have rules and stuff real warfare doesn't.
It lost the Hyperios launcher in 8th, but it's missiles were reworked to be a decent combination of the whirlwind's two missile types and the buff to twin linked weapons upped it's firepower considerably. It's now effectively a combination of the predator annihilator and the whirlwind, but with 2+ armor, T8, and transport capability, all for only a small increase in the point cost over a predator and whirlwind. If you want a fun toy for your command squad, or have the points for more heavy support units and not the slots, the Helios is a worthwhile choice. Bombard the enemy, then advance into them and pretend to be a vanilla raider, dump troops, bombard other enemies while your dudes assrape. Continue.
Prometheus Pattern (Forge World)
20 points more than a standard Land Raider, this variant loses a few transport spaces (it has 10, so no IC with your terminators) for two quad Heavy Bolters (because FUCK hordes) and some interesting abilities: you get to subtract one from your enemy's cover save (because fuck hordes, again) and you also get to choose whether or not to add 1 to your reserve rolls. Essentially, you get to choose whether or not something comes in if you roll a 2. Not bad, does its job fairly well. It's the only Land Raider that can't penetrate the armour of another Land Raider, so keep it away from tanks.
In fluffy terms, there has been some debates on the true exact origins of this particular Land Raider. The exact origins of the 'Prometheus' pattern Land Raider remains a mystery. Some Tech-adepts believe it to be a variant of the 'Tartarus' pattern Land Raider, due to the striking similarities between the two. Although no clear evidence has been found to support this claim there is at least one archival report that depicts the vehicle, or else one that closely resembles it, that fought on the side of the Loyalists during the early period of the Horus Heresy. Others believe that it was the Salamanders which first produced it as they retain more Prometheus models, than any other Chapter and because they are often the go-to guys for 'super ornate shit with vague origins' (strangely however, the Salamanders deny this claim which is completely out of character... unless...). In any case, the number of Chapters which do have a Prometheus within their Armories is unknown. For example, the White Scars only have four of these Land Raiders. There is even another version that the origins of 'Prometheus' where in fact founded by the Landites - followers of the famous Arkhan Land.
In 8th, it remains largely similar to its 7th edition version. It's guns now ignore cover entirely, and the buff to reserve rolls has been changed to make one stratagem you use cost one fewer command point (to a minimum of one), so long as your warlord is embarked inside. This tank offers a lot of tactical choices now, such as the choice between using your warlord as the beatstick he most likely is, and keeping him inside the tank to buff the army.
Proteus Pattern (Forge World)
The Proteus pattern is the latest in the long line-up of Forge World turning its sucky job of covering for GW's old models and fluff into a glorious winblob of Awesome. This is the old, goofy-looking Rogue Trader Raider, all grown up. Barely even considered a Land Raider, it doesn't even use the same Phobos-pattern chassis as all of the other Land Raiders do. This thing is so old that Eldar consider it old. This thing is so old it was a mysterious, time-shrouded relic when the Horus Heresy took place; i.e. the time from whence on all things made before that moment were mysterious, time-shrouded relics. This self-contained vehicle was supposedly used as a universal Main Battle Tank during humanity's first expansion, similar to the Leman Russ or Predator today; which just goes to show you how awesome things were back during the Dark Age of Technology. It was designed to combat all kinds of new and evolving enemies, as well as do exploratory recon work on unexplored worlds. This implies Proteus tanks not made by the Imperium might be around twenty to thirty thousand years old as of the forty-first millennium.
Oh, and it was the main battle tank of the Imperial Guard in the First Edition days. Yes, you read that correctly. Instead of the Leman Russ, you used a Dark Age Land Raider.
So, on the wargame side of things, this thing is the metal-est box on the battlefield. It works like a normal Raider, with the option to switch out the Lascannons for Heavy Bolters or Heavy Flamers. But now, it gets the Scout rule, it can screw with enemy reserves rolling or buff your own rolls, it can get the Achilles' anti-melta armor (but not the anti-Lance), and no Infiltrators can get within 24" of it. You can get a pintle-mounted Multi-Melta, Heavy Bolter, or Storm Bolter. But that isn't the best part. The best part is that Chaos gets it too. Finally, the Chaos Space Marines get to FIRE THEIR LAZORZ at multiple targets! And, Chaos gets to put on a pintle-mounted Havoc Launcher on top (so do loyal space marines as well if used in Horus Heresy and time span after that). And that thing is right next to the twin-linked Bolter, Heavy Bolter, or Multi-Melta we can put it too! The only downside to the Proteus is that it only has an 8 model transport capacity (assuming you take the Explorator Augury Web or the Ark of Unnameable Horror described below) due to its role as a universal tank, not a dedicated infantry ferry/weaponspam platform. It also lacks the frontal assault ramp and the Assault Vehicle rule, so don't even think about using this to drop termies. Loyalists should use it like a spearhead linebreaker, systematically killing tanks while screwing with reserves, and to safely transport some plasma gunners to rapid fire range.
The Chaos version doesn't get to use the Explorator Augury Web; instead, it gets Fear and a nasty toy called the Ark of Unnameable Horror. Whatever is in it is so horrible that anyone shooting at it has to take a pinning test before they attack- failing the test means the shooter must forfeit their attack and go to ground immediately. Although artillery, Fearless units, and units with no Ld score are exempt from this effect, it gives the Chaos Proteus an extra degree of protection against shooty foes, encouraging them to be used in a far more aggressive manner than their Loyalist counterparts. Of course, using it to ferry a few Havocs or Chosen to where they need to be is a good idea as well.
Excelsior Pattern (Warhammer World exclusive)
An extremely limited edition Land Raider.
The Excelsior is a command vehicle, equipped with augur and communications arrays to effectively deliver orders on the battlefield. Due to the equipment and weapons it carries, it is quite the rare piece of tech to field.
A newly announced variant of Land Raider described as a command tank, the ridiculously named Excelsior, (which means "high" so, highest landraider) has the Phobos' Lascannon sponsons but replaces the hull Heavy Bolters with a Grav-Cannon and Grav-Amp, and it can take a Combi-Plasma as a pintle-mounted weapon instead of the standard Storm Bolter. Basically a Rhino Primaris on too much hormonal growth, if anything it pairs quite well with the Rhino.
It comes with a 6++ invulnerable save and built-in immunity to Crew Shaken and Crew Stunned, but that's not its main draw. That would be its Tactical Authority rule- at the start of each shooting phase, any model of the same faction as the Excelsior within 12" (18" with the right upgrade) gets their choice of Counter-Attack, Fearless, Hit and Run, Interceptor, Skyfire, Preferred Enemy, and Tank Hunters. Finally, it gains an extra +1 BS as long as it's within 24" of a Rhino Primaris.
Wrath of Mjalnar Pattern (Chapter Approved, only for Open Play)
The Land Raider Wrath of Mjalnar is a variant of the Land Raider, that was created by the Space Wolves Chapter. What makes it unique among normal Land Raider is its main armaments, which are twin Helfrost Cannons and two twin Lascannons. Whilst the Lascannons are pretty standards, the introduction of not one but two Helfrost Cannons makes it a pretty special looking Land Raider. How the Yiffers manage to do such unsanctioned modification without starting a war with the Mechanicus for obvious reasons is unknown. Although it could be explain via the aftermath of the First War for Armageddon and the Cold War between the Wolves and the Inquisition.
Anyways, because of its Helfrost weapons, the Wrath of Mjalnar is a dedicated anti-tank vehicle as the Helfrost Cannons instantly turn the strongest of armor into brittle and immobile targets for the ensuing Lascannon fire. These makes the likes of Superheavies and even light skimmers vulnerable to these payloads.
Unfortunately, the introduction of these weapons makes this specific Land Raider to lose its transportation capability. Being able to only have a transport capacity of 5. Would still make a nice pimpmobile for a kitted out Wolf Lord and small retinue or Rune Priest to buff it.
Solemnus Aggressor Pattern (Chapter Approved, only for Open Play)
Think Land Raider Crusader on steroids.
The brooding, secretive organization saw the heretical things the Space Wolves were doing with their Land Raiders and decided their 'friendly' rivalry will not be concluded in the Furries' favor. Not to be outdone, the Dark Angels released their own version of the Land Raider to one-up them in a show of absolute hilarity. The Solemnus Aggressor is born.
It is not known whether this thing was a relic discovered and kept by the Dark Angels or a piece of tech-heresy that will rile up even the most tightly screwed pants of a Mechanicum Magos. What is known is that this thing is every blob and tarpit armies worst nightmare (The Blood Angel's Angel Infernus is arguably/maybe better). Why is it so rapetastic? Well, because this monster packs quite the punch. Its main armaments are twin Assault Cannons, two Heavy Bolters and two Hurricane Bolters, which gives the Solemnus Aggressor the firepower to shatter an infantry advance in a single volley.
Angel Infernus Pattern (Chapter Approved, only for Open Play)
The close range assault dakka to the Solemnus Aggressor's long range assault dakka. It's every Sister's wet dream (not personally involving Sanguinius that is) come true and a vehicle that would be more appropriate with the Salamanders than the Blood Angels.
Like the Solemnus Aggressor, it is not known whether this thing was a relic discovered and kept by the Blood Angels on Baal's somewhat heretical underground tech caves. But what is definitely known is that this Land Raider focuses mainly on flamers. Kind of a reverse Wrath of Mjalnar if you count the twin-linked Helfrost cannon as a reverse flamer (Helfrost is really more like a reverse volkite). Its armament is the perfect ingredient in cooking blob armies to medium rare.
Its main armaments are twin Assault Cannons, two Heavy Flamers and two Flamestorm Cannons as well as a pintle-mounted Multi-Melta just to be sure. Essentially, 8 barrels of Hell. These weapons allow the Angel Infernus to unleash firestorms so intense, that even the most dug-in defenders are reduced to ashes in a heartbeat, Tarpitters would melt literally. It is gobsmacking that the Blood Angels did not use more of these during the Devastation of Baal fiasco.
Hades Diabolus Pattern (Chapter Approved, only for Open Play)
A Chaos only Land Raider variant, equipped with a hull-mounted Reaper Autocannon, Sponson Twin Lascannons and Sponson Heavy Bolters. Created and used by the Black Legion during the Fall of Cadia to turn Cadians Infantry and Tanks into chunks, and it started gaining popularity within the Chaos Marines forces ever since. Compared with the other Chapter Approved special Land Raiders, this one is the most balanced of the lot.
Just as some of the loyalist Space Marine Chapters have adapted their Land Raiders to suit their particular styles of warfare, so some especially well-resourced or innovative Heretic Astartes factions have done the same. Perhaps the most enduring traitor Land Raider variant so far recorded is the Hades Diabolus, which was developed by the Black Legion.
On tabletop, the Hades Diabolus is the 'Make-A-Raider' rule exclusive to Open Play that allows you to pimp yo big spiky ride (almost) as you see fit. The example given in Chapter Approved 2017 shifts its Twin Heavy Bolter onto extra sponsons in order to instead mount a Reaper Autocannon, making it slightly more shooty at the cost of 5 transport capacity. Yes, you can make a legit Chaos Terminus Ultra with this rule. No, you can't bring it to a normal game. Figures.
Due to its custom nature, there is no 'official model' of this Land Raider. However, multiple fan made models of the Hades Diabolus has made its way on to tabletop.
An obscure pattern of Land Raider only mentioned offhand in one of the Black Library novels. Its weapon loadout is unknown, but it is said to have been open-topped, uplink-modified, and capable of carrying Dreadnoughts into battle. It is said they were made in remembrance of ancient Terra's chariots. Imagine a tank being ridden by another tank. That is about the level of rape to be expected if it ever gets a model. Now if somebody figured out you could put artillery pieces or a missile battery on this thing, that would be pretty cool.
Every once in a while, an Ork gets it into his head to capture, rather than blow up, a Land Raider, or salvage one from a bombed-out husk. Once the thing's been made suitably Orky, it makes for a great Battlewagon, and though most Orks extensively modify the design until little of the vehicle's original shape remains, a few enterprising Orks like the boxy design of the Land Raider, and modify their vehicle accordingly. Though it can no longer be considered a true Land Raider due to the various modifications the Orks have made to it, it's still killy and flash.
Certain ambitious/filthy rich Orks can also turn the Land Raider into a supped up Battlefortress. They just replaced the main cargo transport capacity and use that empty space to mount a giant fucking gun on the top. It is also noted that such Land Raiders are converted into the Rokkitspitta variant of the Battlefortress or the anti-air Flakk Battlefortress. The amount of things you can mount on a empty troop compartment bay is endless
While it's never gotten a model, the existence of a Land Raider even larger than a Spartan Assault Tank fitted with anti-gravitic plates that allowed it to function as a skimmer has been mentioned in the Horus Heresy novels. Quite notably, Arkham Land used one as his personal transport (the appropriately named Land's Raider), which was equipped with a turret-mounted quad- Volkite Caliver array. Incidentally, this also makes it the only known model of Land Raider with a turret-mounted weapon. Not to be confused with the Repulsor Tank.
The Dark Angels also had their own Grav-Raider named Galatine (GW really can't resist King Authur shoutouts when it comes to the First Legion). Which was the personal ride of the Voted Lieutenant of the Deathwing during the good old days and Horus's temper tantrum.
- Forge World talks about the history of the vehicle
- Original 4th Edition Land Raider Ares Datasheet from the original creator
- Updated 8th Edition Land Raider Ares Datasheet from the original creator
A Chaos Land Raider, impressively modded.
Another modded out Chaos Land Raider, belonging to the Emperor's Children. It functions as an assault transport and mobile crack party.
A Dark Angels Land Raider Ares
A Salamanders Terminus Ultra, in all of its Las-cannony glory. (IMMA FIRIN' MAH LAZORS!!!!!)
A Space Wolves Land Raider Helios. Aim away from eyes and face.
WE'Z GOT DA BEST BOX ON DA FIELD!