Mini Tactica: Land Raiders by Inkaras
Note: This tactica is now old and needs an update. Many facts will not be correct for current 6th Edition game. However the general gist is pitched right.
Forge World has two other variants that I won't be covering. Simply because I've used neither and I don't know their rules as well. But I will be writing about your standard issue Land Raider and of course the excellent Crusader varient, which is simply a 0-1 for codex marines.
Land Raider (Phobos Pattern)
The first thing you might notice is this is without a doubt the toughest tank in the game (aside from the Necrons' Monolith), and the second thing you should notice is it's also the most expensive, (not including the Forge World or the Crusader).
Much like an expensive sports car there are very few options (and no cup holders) however, you are allowed to still take your normal tank options. Same rules apply for the LRs as for the Predator and Rhinos etc.
Extra armour and smoke are a must. The weapons systems on a LR are fixed, meaning no upgrades or other options. You get twin-linked lascannon sponsons. All in all not bad if you ask me, and you get a forward mounted twin-linked heavy bolter. And it can transport Marines and Terminators. No other transport can do that. Mind you it's only the squads' minimum but still Terminators are normally seen as slower in comparison as they have no transport, now they do.
The question then might be, are the limited number of weapons and limited transport capabilities worth its point cost? I still say yes as the LR has things and does things no other tank in the Space Marine armoury can do. The LR itself is imposing, its weapons while few are super strong and twin-linked (meaning less possibilities of missing). And it has the ability to transport deadly troops into the thick of combat, has three access points (less chance of getting your troops stuck inside) and has the overall firepower to level any tank. Not only that, but opposing armies won't crack this one so easily and often shots will be wasted on it time and again. Not that they can crack it, just that it's difficult.
This is pretty simple really. When the crew are unable to act, it allows you to drive forward (straight). When thinking about this, it's incredably useful. And it lowers your risk of having to worry about getting stunned and the like as the tank can still function.
Now we know about the LR and some of its finer points, but how to use it? Deployment really can be everything, don't limit your LOS with this puppy. Risk it a little, don't place it in plain view and expect it to still be there after a turn or two. But in the same token don't place it in a wooded area or between two buildings, while the armor might get protected your taking away from it really seeing anything as well as limiting it's capabilities. Also it's going to attract a lot of fire, and I do mean a lot. After all I know if I were facing one it would be the top of my list. There are few others that are more of a threat when facing a space marine army then the LRs. Be sure to use your armor and smoke wisely as you'll be out there semi open a lot, you only get one smoke shot, make sure it's worth it and not wasted. Nothing worse then needing something that you wasted earlier. Its guns are also long ranged, and if not carrying anything you don't have to get on top of the enemy to shoot at them.
Some of the best advice I can give for anyone using a LR is make sure you've got a plan for it. Are you using it as a transport? A gunship? A combination of the two? Will it be attached to a group such as your HQ? Also make sure you set realistic goals for it, and it will earn its place in your army all the time.
An example of this might be: If your opponent spends one turn pouring fire into it and finally blows it up, was it wasted? While it might seem like yeah it was, how many rounds does a player get? 4 or 5 max usually? Maybe 6 in the long game, he / she has just wasted almost all their firepower for 1 turn in one tank to just blow it up and waste all it's shots. Another example might be that you say to yourself, "OK I want to get rid of one heavy support role and drop these troops here. If it does this then it's earned its points, even if what you destroyed cost less (and it usually will). As long as it reaches your set goal then it was worth it. And some may argue this point, but the fact of the matter is, if you waste an entire turn shooting at something and either not blowing it up or just barely it really doesn't seem worth it does it? Most of them then were wasted shots. On the same note your opponent may get lucky and don't think it doesn't happen. You can't let one time set a record for this tank or any unit for that matter.
In the same manner your opponent can't ignore it, it can just do too much damage to be honest. So perhaps they will pour a little fire into it when they can, as they wouldn't want to overdue it. And then they do this next turn and the turn after that and etc. Truth is that you've got to put just the right amount into it, and know when to call it quits on a turn. Don't waste all your shots and don't take to few, this is a hard point for gamers to come to when facing you and often time this will work to your advantage. Believe me I've done this enough myself to know I've wasted shots on a tank I couldn't hope to crack, or I've had just an unlucky round, any player can get quickly disgusted.
As long as your goals are reasonable you tank will serve you well. Expect too much and you'll never get it to do anything, and never use it again more then likely. Don't get discouraged right away, it is a lot of points and it's not always easy to use, practice makes perfect. Sometimes your opponent will get a lucky shot, you've got to suck it up and recover from it. If this continues to happen perhaps it's not luck and it has to do with your deployment or your tactics when using it, never fear change. Once you find that happy medium the tank will perform to perfection every time. Basically never aim to high and you can't miss.
Land Raider Crusader
Maybe the best Terminator delivery system going, if you're prepared to pay its high points cost.
It's got forward mounted twin-linked assault cannon, a multi-melta armed on top, and hurricane bolter sponsons. It also has frag grenades by the front access ramp for assaulting troops. As you can see this makes it perfect for assault, but not really as good as a regular Land Raider versus armour.
Due to the lascannons being removed along with their bulky generators there is more room inside. Meaning you can carry more troops. However for codex Chapters this is of little advantage for regular Marines, except when it comes to the 11 man HQ retinue. However it can also carry a few more Terminators as well. And this is where it really shines, rather then the minimum you can take a decent size squad along for the rider, burst through the enemies lines and unload its deadly cargo. It also has the machine spirit as mentioned earlier.
Tactics for this one should be plain and simple. It's an assault tank, the number one transport in my mind. It's geared to drive right up to the enemy without fear and rip them apart. Doing anything else with it, in my opinion is a waste of its capabilities. Not only because of its troop capacity but also for it's guns as well, they are geared for tearing infantry up. The hurricane bolters alone can put out an insane amount of fire. I say place this as close to the enemy as possible and go for their lines. Unload kill everything, re-load and be on your way again. Also remember the frag grenades, since the tanks got them your troops don't need them in my opinion and so it's also a points saver when you think about it.
Hope you enjoyed the MT.
Feedback and comments
You forgot to mention one of its exit ramp is in the front of the vehicle. This design allows the troops to assault their opponent faster than if they are getting off from the sides and back of a Rhino. All in all, a good tatica.
The Land Raider Prometheus may only be taken as a transport choice for a Command squad. This limits its availability, but because of its improved comm system, it allows for one reserve reroll per turn.
The Land Raider Prometheus is equipped with 4 twin-linked heavy bolters, these are located two to a sponson. For Firing purposes, each sponson fires as one weapon system. The Prometheus also comes with a pintle-mounted storm bolter. Because of the somewhat lighter armament, the Prometheus is more suited to an anti-infantry role, capable of decimating large horde units, or even taking out heavily armored targets like Chaos Marines.
My use of the Prometheus has been to anchor my line, and then deliver my command squad in a counter-assault role. Conversely, an army set up for assault could use the Prometheus as part of the overall advance, allowing for a relatively safe delivery of its troops.
I have less experience with the Land Raider helios, but it is a 0-1 Heavy Support choice. The Helios is equiped with two twin-linked God Hammer lascannons and a whirlwind missile launcher. The Machine Spirit cannot be used to fire the whirlwind launcher, but it still may be used in conjunction with the lascannons. Of all the land raiders, this one is most suited to sitting back and firing upon the enemy. It can use the whirlwind, on infantry or lightly armored vehicles, and then fire one twin-linked lascannon at a heavier vehicle.