40K: Top 5 Grim-Dark Transports

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Come take a look at our top 5 “favorite” transports of all time in Warhammer 40,000!

The Grim-Dark is a dangerous place. That danger, however, doesn’t stop the armies of 40k from fighting! In fact, they have developed new and exciting ways of getting to those battles. Here’s our list of some of our “favorite” transports in all of 40k.

(Note: We’re skipping transports for interstellar travel like Battle Barges and Striker Cruisers. This list is focusing on transports that have rules for use in tabletop games of 40k.)

Wave Serpent

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“The Wave Serpent is the Craftworld Eldar‘s main troop transport. Based upon the Falcon grav-tank chassis, it uses powerful anti-gravitic engines to deliver its cargo of Guardians and Aspect Warriors to any part of the battlefield. Its ability to travel all but the smallest Webway routes, and the tremendous speed with which it can operate, puts the Wave Serpent as possibly the best troop transport in the galaxy.”

We went back and forth on this one or the Falcon and we decided to settle on the Wave Serpent. It’s been a staple in Eldar lists for years and in recent codexes the “Serpent Shield” has been devastating when used effectively. While this transport might not be the meta wrecking ball it once was, it’s still one of the most effective transports in the game. Plus, it’s got a great design that’s held-up over the years – you can tell it’s “Eldar” just by looking at it!

Night Scythe

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“Despite this emphasis on transport, they are armed with twin-linked Tesla Destructors and are still formidable craft in their own right when compared to the attack craft of lesser races. The favoured tool of any Necron invasion, they are used as the first wave of a Necron attack and transport troops into battle with a captive wormhole linked to a distant Tomb World built into its hull. They are also used as scout ships and are capable of interplanetary travel.”

The Night Scythe is another super effective transport in Warhammer 40,000. That’s because really doesn’t transport troops in the traditional sense. No, this flyer teleports in Necron Warriors, much like the Monolith, where they need to go and then provides air support as needed. There was a time when the “Croissants of Doom” reigned supreme. While this one can technically be considered a space-worthy vessel, we’re including it because of the dominance it once had the tabletop.

Drop Pod

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Drop Pods are transports used primarily by Space Marines and Chaos Marines for orbital insertion and one-way rides.”

Ahhh Drop Pods…This transport might be a one-way ticket to the surface but when it allow you to get that “alpha strike” as effectively as it does, it’s totally worth it. From your basic ‘Pod, to the Lucius, to the Kharybdis and the Dreadclaw (ok, those last two aren’t technically one-way trips) the Drop Pod gets the job done! If you need to get a unit into the thick of the fighting in a relatively safe and reliable manner, Drop Pods are a points efficient way to do just that. Oh, and if you happen to have a way to make them Objective Secured, all the better!

Dark Eldar Venom

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“The Venom is a fast and agile anti-grav vehicle with a small transport capacity used by the HarlequinsEldar Corsairs, and the Dark Eldar. In size and nimbleness it is comparable to the Vyper used by the EldarCraftworlds or the Sky-Chariot of the ancient Eldar Empire.”

This transport was hotly debated by the BoLS Crew for our list. Does it deserve to be on our top 5? Well, we went back-and-forth on this one but we wanted to included it simply because there was a time when Venoms were prevalent. They were so obnoxious we actually held a contest to name the plural of them. And that’s how they became known as “A Douche of Venoms.” The Venom is the reason we put “favorite” transports in quotes….They might not be the hot stuff they once were but we still think they deserve to make the cut.

Thunderhawk

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The Thunderhawk gunship is a multi-use aircraft in wide use by Space Marine Chapters. Each Chapter of the Space Marines maintains its own fleet of Thunderhawks. Normally reserved for large-scale battles, time and time again its use in the various fields of war has been proven. With such might like this, only a great threat to the Imperium can demand use of these mighty craft.

We couldn’t NOT include the Thunderhawk! It’s basically the inspiration for ALL the Marine flyers/transports in all of 40k. The Stormraven, Stormbird, Caestus, Fire Raptor…I could go on. Heck, even that weird Space Wolves Flyer takes some of it’s design cues from the classic Thunderhawk. The Thunderhawk is an icon of 40k and that’s why it deserves to be on this list!

Bonus: Ork Battlewagon

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“A Battlewagon is a common type of large Ork vehicle.”

The Bonus is the Ork Battlewagon. For one reason: DEF ROLLA!

Bonus Bonus: Tau Manta

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“The Manta Missile Destroyer, also known simply as the Manta,is a super-heavy vessel used by the Tau Empire for the transportation of whole Hunter Cadres. A rank of Kor’ui is sufficient to pilot one.On the borderline between an Attack Craft and a full starship, these small spacecraft are useful in a variety of roles. In space they are used to attack enemy starships and are a match for entire squadrons of Imperial starfighters, while during planetary assaults they function as drop ships and heavy fire support for Tau ground forces. Alongside Ballistic Suits they are the Tau’s nearest equivalent to an Imperial Titan or OrkGargant.”

I’m just going to leave these pictures here:

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Did we leave your favorite transport off? Let us know in the comments below!

 

  • SilentPony

    Ordinatus Priam – a huge tunneling machine purpose-built for the siege of Priam during the Horus Heresy. It was designed to dig down to the planet’s crust and move through the white-hot lava beneath. It transported four companies of Imperial Guard to enter Priam after bypassing its defenses, but parts of its shielding failed during the operation, causing it irreparable damage

    • LeroyJenkinss

      So it was useless? Serving up more guard to die…

      • durendin

        They all burned to death in molten lava underground. That’s pretty top-end Grimdark transportation…

        • SilentPony

          Yeah right? A rousing success for Grimdark

  • Alexander Slizewski

    The most grimdark transport I can think of is the daemon possessed Slaanesh Land Raider. Not only is its size dominating, but it’s able to change it’s gender to whenever it pleases; from male, to female, to neutral asexually producing plant.

    Such a feat is impossible in today’s society, But in the far future, I can only imagine the horror of a charging angry pe pe transforming into a man eating va jay jay, followed by a ecstasy filled cabbage. Grimdark INDEED.

    • jeff white

      this thread is making my damned day.

    • Sean Bishell

      then into an apache attack helicopter…. its a gender too!

  • Koszka

    TAUROXES – Greatest vehicle conceived by the Imperium… Nay… The Galaxy!

    • Mr.Fister

      you spelled chimera wrong

      • Koszka

        You sir have stained my honor! I demand a duel!

        • jeff white

          You spelled “dress” wrong.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      I guess the fact that its truly terrible track design means it can’t steer at all, so is doomed to almost instant destruction upon the battlefield, yet is still produced by the million and given to elite troops is pretty grimdark.

      • steering is the same as any tank, you run the tracks at different speeds or directions to turn.

        But the design of the track housing itself is truly terrible, it wouldn’t be able to function in the real world or even over rough ground.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          Doesnt work with double tracked vehicle of this length. Look at the real world examples of double tracked vehicles, every single one has one or both pairs as steerable, like a car’s front wheels.

          • jeff white

            yup, turning as a tank would mean front and back track working together and even then the vehicle is too long and the front assemblies too spindly would snap in shallow rut.

      • petrow84

        – Lord Comissar, tank traps at 12!
        – Forward, driver!
        – Sir, wouldn’t be a time for an evasive manoeuvre?
        – I said, FORWARD, you dog!

  • petrow84

    C’mon, no love for the Gargantuan Squigoth? Or the Mastodon?

  • Although FW no longer sells it, my favourite is the Vampire.

  • Emprah

    Plastic thunderhawk, how much we want thee.

  • Joe

    Personally I am a fan of my metal bawkses

  • AnomanderRake

    Come on, really? No love for the Vampire? The prettiest transport in the whole game?

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    surely the grimdarkest transport you can use in a game is the Dreadclaw? Its baroque, possibly inhabited by a Daemonic machine spirit and occasionally eats its passengers, as well as landing on the enemy and squashing them!

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      You mean “burninating.”

  • Raven Jax

    Credit where credit is due, I think there’s probably more Rhinos on tabletops than anything else.

  • Drew_Da_Destroya

    Awww, I remember when the Deff Rolla was good…

    • petrow84

      When the designer, writing the FAQ had the same army as you…

  • Grumpy Scot

    The humble Immolator deserves a spot. 60pt razorbacks with 6+ invuln and twin linked multi melta? Fantastic value.

    • Djbz

      Plus a fire point

  • LordKrungharr

    My vote would be the Gorka/Morkanaut. Transports that walk; that must jakes sense!

  • CoolCrib

    I love the Crimson Fists Landraider that had such a hardcore machine spirit that even though all its crew died, it continued on killing Orks for weeks until the treads were so clogged up with their remains. Lootaz entered the vehicle in which it then overheated its fusion reactor and exploded, killing a ton of Orks!
    CF Techmarines finally found the machine and is now working transfering the machine spirit..

  • Dan Keller

    Does a Tervigon count?

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Tyrannocyte.

  • JL

    #1 thru #5 should all be differently converted Trukks & Battlewagons

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    Gorgon. Is a DUKW, basically. Also like the Stormlord, for the same reasons, plus mo’ Dakka. And Goliaths.