Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Full Frontal

It's time for me to spew forth opinions of doom about things again.  In this column, it's all about vehicles and the differences between the various versions.  This time it's all about the humble Land Speeder.

The Land Speeder is one of the coolest vehicles in the 41st Millenium, in my opinion.  And since I'm as awesome as they come, that means I'm right.  Here's why:

The Land Speeder is one of the many STC (standard template constructs) found by the famous technoarchaeologist, Arkhan Land.  It's ubiquitous designs featured a control 'cockpit', a propulsion engine, and a massive anti-grav plate that allowed it to hover.  Astartes forces began adding armor plating to afford greater protection for battlefield use, and many 'marks' have become commonplace.
The best features of the Land Speeder, as a battlefield weapon, is the 'deep strike' capability and the 'fast' rule.  This allows the Land Speeder to quickly engage any kind of target at almost immediately.  From a gamer standpoint, that can be very useful, especially for a model that doesn't cost that many points.

The various versions

Land Speeder
This is the 'standard' version of the Land Speeder.  It is commonly mounted with either an infantry-shredding heavy bolter or a tank-busting multi-melta.  The Heavy Bolter-armed Land Speeders work best in squadrons of three (that's 9 strength 5 shots for only 150 points!), while the the anti-tank Multi-Melta armament is ideal for individual 'sting' elements.
The lack of 'punch' in this model gives it a ranking of okay.

  Land Speeder Tornado, mk I
This version of the Land Speeder is scary at close range.  Mounting the infantry-focused heavy flamer and the anti-tank multi-melta, this vehicle can engage both targets as the battle progesses.  As a stand-alone unit, the Tornado I is a nuisance.  As part of a squadron of three vehicles, the unit becomes very lethal.  Using the unit to deep strike very close to the target means that it'll almost always earn back the 200 points it costs.
Unfortunately, the very short range of this version puts it at great risk for such an un-armored vehicle.  I rank it pretty good. 

Land Speeder Tornado, mk II
Made absolutely famous by the Dark Angel's Ravenwing Company, this version of the Land Speeder was the most common for a long time.  Mounting anti-infantry Heavy Bolters AND Assault Cannons, these vehicles scared the pants off all enemies.  The Tornado II was specifically meant to lay down alot of pew-pew.  Tyranids, Orks, Tau, and Eldar all react quickly to its deployment.  Unfortunately, the new edition of the game made deep-striking a less attractive way to deploy the vehicle, as now it can only fire one weapon. 
Nonetheless, with the huge amount of firepower (especially in squadrons) and the relatively low points cost, I rank this mark 'freakin' cool!'

Land Speeder Typhoon
For many long years, this model was the laughing stock of the Land Speeder world.  When I returned from college and bought myself back into the hobby, this was one of the first units I purchased.  And then I read my new codex (all 12 pages of it) and decided that the Typhoon was useless.  It sat in my stock closet for years.  And years.  And more years then (all adding up to about 12 years).  Then, the new rules were released.  The useless Typhoon missle was replaced with frag and krak rounds.  Then they were allowed to fire twice.  And all for around 100 points?  Plus another heavy weapon!?  Needless to say, I changed my mind recently and built that super-old model.  And then bought three more of the new plastic ones!!!  Mwahahahahah! 
The Typhoon is a fire-support vehicle in the extreme.  The Typhoon Missle Launchers can attack vehicles AND infantry equally, and then a Heavy Bolter or Multi-Melta can be added.  The Heavy Bolter is fantastic as it engages infantry targets alongside the frag missles while the Land Speeder is zipping across the battlefield.  I personally prefer the Multi-Melta, however, as 2 krak missles and a Multi-Melta seem to be able to kill anything.  Sadly, this version must slow down a bit.  Deep Striking this Land Speeder is more effective than the Tornado version, as it'll fire one weapon and some frag missles into a unit.  Because of the high points cost, they work best in squadrons of two.  Even below strength, a Typhoon squadron pumps out alot of firepower.
Overall, I rank the Typhoon as 'Awesome'!

Land Speeder Storm
Okay, it mounts one Heavy Bolter, carries a half-size Scout Squad, and is crewed by noobs with a Ballistic Skill of 3.  It does mount a deep-strike-disruptor-thingie, which can be useful against those deamons.  But yeah...  This version leaves me speechless.
I rank the Storm as 'almost completely crap'.

Land Speeder Tempest
Have I mentioned that I love me some Land Speeders?  This version is the 'heavy' of the class.  It mounts a front armor value of 11 (making it much harder to kill unless battling against Tau) and mounts a twin-linked Missle Launcher and an Assault Cannon.  This model is a Forgeworld model and isn't part of the standard rules set, but I would be remiss if I didn't get this in as well.  After all, it is a Land Speeder...
Because of the heavy armor and cool weapons, I rank the Tempest as 'Cool.'

In Summation
I DO love me some Land Speeders.  I've never had an Ultramarine army without them.  They're speedy, deliver firepower onto whatever I need them to, and don't soak up too many valuable points.  But, as in life, there are always winners and losers.  Here's how I rank the different marks of the Land Speeders, from best to worst:
1.  Land Speeder Typhoon
2.  Land Speeder Tempest
3.  Land Speeder Tornado, mk II
4.  Land Speeder Tornado, mk I
5.  Land Speeder
6.  Land Speeder Storm

Tell me whether you guys agree or not, or what you think in general.  Happy Gaming!


  1. The landspeeder is awesome and versatile. I know this will mark me as a complete beardy but I still prefer the 2nd Edition metal LS. The design was not improved by the plastic kit and would have been much better served with a linear upgrade rather than a complete rebuild. The corvette style lines and pure visceral sweep of the old landspeeder makes the new one look a bit like a lego toy. I would love to see the old model get a redo in a plastic kit.

  2. Anyone who has actually face a player who knows wtf they are doing with the Storm knows they are to be feared, not just because of the deepstrike disuptor. It can Flat Out Scout movement, and basically deliver a 5 man scout squad onto an out of reach objective (I did this with camo cloaks and sniper rifles to huge effect a couple times.) or use it to drop a vehicle in turn 1 (Meltabomb sgt gogo).

    I don't think it stands up to the versatility of a Typhoon, but I think it has it's place in the army.