Not to be confused with the "landspeeder" from Star Wars.
The Land Speeder is a light reconnaissance and strike vehicle used by the the loyalist Adeptus Astartes. None of the traitor legions use them because
GW is loath to give them any kind of tabletop mobility grav-technology has issues in the constantly-changing physics of the Warp (and, on a note of practicality, they don't have the tech needed to maintain them, on top of the inevitable attrition that comes with waging millenia of warfare). However, some of the newer warbands that were once loyalist Chapters do have them and use them. Land speeders came from an STC found in M31 by the esteemed and venerated OG Techno-Archaeologist Arkhan Land (of Land Raider fame). It just so happened to be that the Space Marine Legions were looking for a paper plane to ride around in fucking with their enemies, so the land speeder took off! During the Great Crusade the Imperial Guard (at that time the Imperial Army) made use of the Land Speeder, but by the 41st millennium only the space marines get them because grimdark technology is being lost we forgot how to anti-grav everything sucks yadda yadda. This only sounds dumber when faced with the fact that numerous bits of fluff and literature (Ravenor, Eisenhorn, and Ciaphas Cain in particular) make mention of air-cars, air-bikes, speeders and other such vehicles in civilian use which are presumably anti-grav. Of course, this could just be because the technology that is still known to the Imperium simply isn't up to the rigors of combat, similar to how cars existed for several decades before being reliable enough to work as military vehicles. Alternately, they could be like boltguns: easy enough to make but impractical to field and maintain.
On the campaign trail land speeders are primarily used as light reconnaissance vehicle, used to scout out assorted information when marines don't have air superiority to scout things out the sensible way. Occasionally they're used in battle as fast attack strike vehicles, especially by the Raven Guard and their descendant chapters. Land speeders rely on speed and firepower to survive in battle, ideally jetting in and destroying whatever they're attacking before it can retaliate, though more often than not they end up exploding in a glorious ball of flame after blowing up a few things. The default Land Speeder is armed with a heavy bolter, but they're often up-armed with rocket launchers, Multi-Meltas, heavy Flamers, or assault cannons.
By the codex, land speeders are piloted by the 7th company and attached to battle companies as needed in the same manner as other reserve troops. In theory, the entire company should be able to deploy entirely in speeders, if needed, although this rarely occurs in practice. Pilots for marine aircraft are often drawn from the 7th's piloting pool.
On the Tabletop
Crunch-wise the Land Speeder is a fast skimmer made of wet cardboard. With AV10 all around and 2 Hull Points you better keep it far and away from the enemy's weapons, or deep strike it to make a suicide run. For the first method you should kit it with a Typhoon ML and either a Heavy Bolter or a Multi-melta, while for the latter you can choose a combination between Multimelta and Heavy Flamer.
In a Gladius it can fill the Fast Attack role (if for some reason you don't want to take the almighty Bike Squad) quite cheaply. Give it a Heavy Flamer, keep it in cover the entire game then on the last turn zip it halfway across the board to capture or contest an objective (remember it has ObSec from the Gladius).
A couple of patterns stand out: the Land Speeder Storm can carry a half-squad of Space Marine Scouts, while the Land Speeder Tempest is fully-enclosed and more armored. The Dark Angels also employ their own versions of the Land Speeder, which have larger thrusters, a large turret on top, and a small gun cage on the front end. Which makes you wonder what they were thinking, attaching a tiny turret manned by a massive, heavy marine to the front of an extremely fast and fragile skimmer...
More details of the crunch can be read further below.
Land Speeder Tornado
The Tornado is an up-armed dedicated fire-support Land Speeder variant. The standard loadout is a heavy bolter or heavy flamer and an underslung assault cannon. All the best parts of a typical Land Speeder with some extra anti-infantry firepower. Fluff-wise, this is the most common Land Speeder employed by the Adeptus Astartes.
In 8th edition, Land Speeders are now, for all intents and purposes, slightly bigger, faster, and more heavily armed attack bikes, that don't get Chapter Tactics. The key difference here is that land speeders are now counted as flyers, which means if they do manage to survive the melee combat they'll occasionally find themselves in, they can just move out and shoot as normal (albeit with the penalty for moving with heavy weapons).
For extra lols play as the Salamanders and make sure the Land Speeder's loadout consists of everyone's favorite tarpit cleanser. Tl;dr, imagine a unit of three Land Speeders kitted out with 6 heavy flamers, as they're one of the units that benefit the most from the Flamecraft stratagem. Have fun as Ork and Tyranid players cry.
Land Speeder Typhoon
The Typhoon is a Land Speeder variant designed to serve as a heavy-support platform. It's a Land Speeder with a big goddamn missile launcher taped to the back. It often times has a multi-melta, and is effective as a skirmisher that can rapidly outflank and destroy enemy vehicles.
A Land Speeder Typhoon are often loaded with Krak Missiles to make for a very powerful anti-armor weapon system, as it is able to attack enemy armored vehicles and retreat before the foe has time to retaliate. The Land Speeder Typhoon is usually deployed in conjunction with a Land Speeder Tornado, as the Tornado's powerful anti-infantry weaponry eliminates enemy infantry while the Typhoon freely engages enemy armor.
On tabletop, you can upgrade your vanilla Land Speeder into a Typhoon by simply plopping some missile launchers on the sides. This also makes them excellent at tarpitting gunlines. Missile launchers got great (although overcosted) in this edition, which makes the Typhoon a very solid option, but be cautious as these are also expensive, and whilst the land speeder is very resilient to small arms fire, a good shot from a dedicated anti tank weapon will see it explode rather swiftly.
Land Speeder Tempest
The Tempest is a specialized Land Speeder variant that differs from other Land Speeder in two main ways. Firstly, instead of having an open cockpit, the entire crew cabin is enclosed and armored, thus helpfully preventing the pilot from being shot in the face by some punk on the ground with a heavy stubber. Secondly, the Tempest is loaded up with better overall armor, internal missile launchers and a beefier engine, and serves as more of a fast attack support craft then other more fragile Land Speeders.
On the tabletop, despite looking like a fighter jet and being more aerodynamic, the Tempest for some reason has a tiny drop in movement (well, sort of; see below) from the vanilla type, but has better toughness and Ld (not that the latter usually matters). Each one is equipped with an Assault Cannon and two Tempest Salvo Launchers (36" Heavy 1d3 S6 AP-3 D2; at only 10 points each, drastically better as a pair than a Typhoon Missile Launcher against anything at all, but the Tempest itself is a good deal more expensive than a vanilla). When Advancing, they must move between 20" and 35"; they also impose a -1 to hit against them in the next Shooting phase and prevents units without the FLY keyword from charging (or being charged by) them.
The reason why they are slightly slower is because these guys don't have Anti-grav Upwash, so a unit of 3 of them is 5" slower than a unit of 3 vanillas, rather than 1", when not Advancing. When Advancing, they are much faster, regardless of unit size, since they can go their choice of 20-35" (no need to roll), instead of 16-21 for a small unit or 21-26 for a large unit of vanillas. Unfortunately, there's no option to take Assault weapons on them of any stripe.
Land Speeder Storm
A stretch version of the Land Speeder for Scout teams to (sneakily) rocket into the chaos of battle. The Storm can also provide fire support for them with its heavy bolter and Cerberus missile launcher. The giant radio aerial sticking out of the back of the chassis isn't only for tuning into Gothic rock as you purge Xenos scum, it also jams teleport homers in a short radius.
On the tabletop, the Storm is a dedicated transport for 5 Scout models, for the same base cost as a normal Landspeeder. Open topped so they can shoot out of it, although still suffer any penalties for shooting heavy weapons after moving, and cannot shoot after falling back even if the vehicle still can. Does not get Concealed Positions, but has an 18" move, to easily re-locate. Starts with a Cerberus Launcher (D6 bolter shots at 18") and a Heavy Bolter that it can swap for a Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer, or Assault Cannon.
You can also put a Scout Sniper squad inside for a mobile Character killing fire base with a 7 wound buffer. Heavy flamer to discourage charges (and hopefully let you fly away next turn), or a Heavy Bolter/AC to provide supporting fire. Or...you can put a Scout Shotgun squad inside with a Heavy Flamer instead, and charge it up into their face.
The Dark Angels are also fond users of the Storm due to its fast speed and ability to carry a boat load of scouts into their position.
Land Speeder Proteus
The infamous Land Speeder of the Legio Astartes during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. This rickety flying blender from the days of Rogue Trader has made its return in the Horus Heresy line and by the Emprah does it look as dangerously designed as we last remembered. This flying death trap earned that name by being literally a bunch of jet engines duct taped to a couch. Seriously look at the thing. The marines are so exposed that one ricochet of an Autogun round would either blow up the engines, knock out the pilot or shred his seatbelt, sucking the poor SOB into the blender that is the jet turbine right behind him.
Then there's the fact that the rear weapon has everything from heavy bolters to multi-meltas, volkites, and heavy flamers all shooting right over the marine's heads, and would likely melt their helmets to slag with the heat wash. Lost technology has nothing to do with why this obvious prototype was quickly phased out,
even an ork would call the Proteus a bad design. NAH, HUMIES JUST AREN'T TOUGH ENOUGH TO WITHSTAND WHAT WOULDN'T PHASE A REAL ORK.
The Land Speeder Vengeance is a much heavier version of the Land Speeder exclusive to the Dark Angels and their successors. Armed with either a Plasma Storm Battery that can tear apart TEQs or an ancient relic that repels enemy fire, it is a potent asset for the Unforgiven that they inevitably have refused to share with anyone else.
The STC design was discovered by the Dark Angels in M36. Most commonly employed by their Ravenwing formations, the Land Speeder Vengeance has proven its worth on the battlefield time and time again, able to keep pace with the fastest of the Ravenwing vehicles. A more archaic version of the Land Speeder Vengeance, the Ravenwing Darkshroud, is also employed by the Dark Angels and their successors. The Darkshroud is known for its rather goofy and over-the-top gothic statue thing that creates a protective shielding for the pilots.
For its rules, you can click on its main page. But general consensus from Dark Angels players agree that it is a pretty good vehicle for their army playlist due to being both fast, relatively tough and being able to hit like a truck going 140km/h.
Overall, this thing is Boss.
|Forces of the Space Wolves|
|Command:||Wolf Lord - Wolf Guard|
|Priesthood:||Iron Priest - Rune Priest - Wolf Priest|
|Troops:|| Blood Claw - Fenrisian Wolf - Long Fang - Skyclaw |
Swiftclaw - Thunderwolf Cavalry - Wulfen - Grey Hunter
|Vehicles:|| Bike Squad - Rhino - Razorback - Land Speeder |
Predator - Vindicator - Whirlwind - Space Wolves Dreadnought
Land Raider (Land Raider Crusader
Land Raider Redeemer - Wrath of Mjalnar)
|Flyers:||Stormfang - Stormwolf|
|Allies:||Space Marines - Primaris Marines|