Space Marine Tactics: Land Speeders

UM_Modern_Land_Speeder

Hi everyone, Michael Corr here with a review of the venerable Space Marine Landspeeder.

For more reviews, analyses and battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.

landspeeder-rogue-trader

Rogue Trader era Land Speeder

Overview:

The Space Marine Land Speeder is one of two skimmer vehicles in the Space Marine codex. They are fast and fragile, but can pack an impressive amount of firepower on their frame, using their speed and manoeuvrability to fire to maximum effect. The Land Speeder has armour 10 all round and two hull points, all for only 45 pts. It can be taken in squads of up to 3.

 

Wargear:

  • Heavy Bolter
  • Option to replace the Heavy Bolter with a Heavy Flamer or Multi-melta
  • Option to take an additional Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer, Multi-melta, Assault Cannon or Typhoon Missile Launcher

Special Rules:

  • Skimmer
  • Fast
  • Deep Strike
  • Anti-grav Upwash- If the unit includes three Land Speeders, it can move an additional 6″ while moving Flat Out.

 

DG_SPDR_0003

Heresy era – Death Guard Land Speeder unit

Tactics:

The Land Speeder can fulfil a number of battlefield roles, depending on how you wish to arm it. As a skimmer, it gets to ignore intervening terrain, great for getting into position to fire most effectively.

If you want to go tank hunting, you can arm it with one or two Multi-meltas and/or a Typhoon Missile Launcher. The Fast speed of the skimmer means that you can move 12″ and still fire both its weapons, with the speed of the Land Speeder allowing you to get close to the enemy vehicles to get within Melta range. Alternatively, you can Deep Strike the speeder in close, allowing you to fire at the enemy vehicle without fear of getting shot at first (unless they have Interceptor).

If you want to go hunting enemy Infantry, there are a wealth of options available to you. You could go with two Heavy Flamers to burn them out of cover, or with two Heavy Bolters or a Heavy Bolter and Assault Cannon. The Typhoon Missile Launcher gives you the option of both, Frag Missiles for infantry and Krak Missiles for vehicles or harder infantry.

I have two preferred builds for my Land Speeders. I either give them a Multi-melta and Typhoon Missile Launcher for vehicle hunting, or a Heavy Bolter and Assault Cannon for targeting infantry.

You can run them in squads of up to 3 models, but I prefer to run them as single Land Speeders. With armour 10 and only 2 hull points, they are not the most durable of vehicles. The ability to Jink helps with their durability, but severely diminishes their firepower in the subsequent turn. I find that three units of single Land Speeders are more effective than one unit of three. It gives you the opportunity to fire at three different targets and forces your opponent to devote firepower to three separate units rather than taking out all three with a good single volley. However, with fast attack slots at a premium in most armies, you would be unlikely to take three units of Land Speeders in an army.

SM-Landspeeder1

Modern Imperial Land Speeders

Formations

The Land Speeder can be taken in a large number of formations in the Space Marine army. These include:

  • Battle Demi-Company
  • Suppression Force
  • Stormlance Battle Demi-Company
  • Hunting Force
  • Stormbringer Squadron
  • Speartip Strike
  • Skyhammer Orbital Strike Force
  • Shadow Force
  • Raptor Wing

The Battle Demi-Company grants the Land Speeder Objective Secured, which is great for a unit that can move up to 24″ per turn for grabbing objectives.

In the Suppression Force, the Land Speeder acts as a spotter for the unit of Whirlwinds. This provides the Whirlwinds with re-rolls To Hit and infinite range for their missiles. A nice bonus for ensuring that your missiles will strike on target anywhere on the battlefield.

The Stormlance Battle Demi-Company grants the Land Speeder re-rolls to hit against enemy units holding objectives and allows them to move an additional D6″ after shooting.

Land Speeders in the Hunting Force get re-rolls to Hit and To Wound on selected enemy units. These are some great bonuses, but force you to fire at selected targets.

The Land Speeders in the Skyhammer Orbital Strike Force get to re-rolls to hit and to wound rolls of 1 against within 12″ of a fixed point (specified by you before the drop pods arrive).

In the Shadow Force, the Landspeeder gain Scout, Acute Senses and Move Through Cover, as well as being able to move an additional 6″ when moving flat out. These are some nice bonuses for the Land Speeder. Move Through Cover means you can occupy terrain to grant you a cover save (without Jinking) without the risk of being Immobilised. It also allows you to Outflank the Speeder if you wish, getting to the more vulnerable side and rear armour of enemy vehicles or backfield squads.

In the Raptor Wing, the Landspeeder acts as a spotter for the two Stormtalons in the formation, giving the flyers re-rolls to wound against a single selected enemy target each turn.

Land_Speeder_Tornado2-1-300x216

Overall, the Land Speeder is a fast and mobile gun platform for the Space Marines. Depending on how you arm it, it can be used to fill a hole in your army or simply support them with its additional firepower.

~What is your favorite load out for the Land Speeder? What role does it play in your army?

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!

You can also pick up some cheap models in our Second Hand Shop. Some of these gems are quite rare, sometimes they’re fully painted!

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  • Boltstein

    this is not informative
    TACTICA: Landspeeders exist and they can can used in formations.

    • Ryan Cunningham

      i would say that since i’m a space wolves are my army, I usually utilize an outflanking land speeder squadron

      • Which book is that in? I only have the codex, I skipped the supplements. I did see the latest one making squadrons of 5. which is amazing.

        • Ryan Cunningham

          The space wolves curse of the wulfen, the deathwolves formation allows the entire legendary great pack to outflank and come in from reserves on the roll of one dice.

    • wibbling

      Why do you not volunteer to write an article, or even add to the above with your own views?

      • Tim Brown

        I’m guessing that anything short of a game changing discovery would be a disappointment, eh?

      • Muninwing

        well, that would not solve the problem of this article not being a tactica one, so that’s a separate point…

  • Joe

    Salamanders Flame Blade Strike Force with Hestan. 1 multi melta that can reroll to hit and one heavy flamer that does s6. Gets d6 move after shooting. Objective grabber and harasser. Hopefully popping out and back into some cover after shooting.

  • Djbz

    Forgit this piece;
    -Laugh at the Xenos players equivalents for being open topped despite having fewer crew exposed

  • Speeder squadrons still cap at 3 models? I thought they caped at 5 now. is that just HH Legion speeders?

    • Valourousheart

      Dark Angels speeder squadrons go up to 5… or 6 if you take the formation.

  • Koszka

    But but but how will I know what 25% discount i’ll be receiving at frontline this week?!?!?!?

  • Admiral Raptor

    2nd Ed. Land speeders are infinitely cooler than the 3rd Ed. speeders.

  • Kolobius

    I like to put 2 squads of 3 all with double heavy bolters in my dark angels army. Keeps them cheap and it makes them just annoying and strong enough that my opponent can’t ignore them but also not a big loss if I lose a couple.

    • Valourousheart

      You should try running them as 6 single speeders. You have plenty of FA slots with the RWSF. Damage output doesn’t change, but you get a bit more control of how it is distributed.

      And additionally it take more resources to shut them down.

  • JP

    I love my Salamanders Speeders with double Multimeltas, popping light transports from max range, ducking in and out of cover for max survivability.

  • Derek Lee

    I’m surprised he mentioned double heavy flamer but not double Multi melta or MM/HF. I like HB/typhoons myself but have not been brave enough to get within 12″/24″ range to use MM/Typhoon on stuff.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    I’ve had success with HB/HB and MM/MM load outs. Outflanking, usually.

  • Andrew Thomas

    Iron Hands Melta/Cannon Tornadoes, in the Raptor Wing. IWND on a Landspeeder is hilarious, when it works.