Crusaders are better than regular Landraiders because they hold more assault troops.
Redeemers are better than regular Landraiders because they kill tons of foot troops easier.
Standard Land Raiders dont have enough Firepower to be useful for their points.
These are all common statements made when comparing the Godhammer Land Raider (named so after its Godhammer pattern Lascannon) or GHLR to its cousins or other heavy support choices.
The people making these statements are using the standard LR incorrectly in my opinion.
Land Raiders in general, while not as resiliant as the 4e Falcon, are the closest thing to it in 5e. They are resiliant, resiliant, resiliant. They also sport tons of firepower and are intimidating in the extreme. We've all heard it before...1 LR is an annoyance, 2 LR is a problem, 3 LR's are a HORROR.
The Standard LR is a venerable design. It's been with us since Rogue Trader. Nowadays, generally consider it last when they think about a Marine or 'Hunter Command Transport....Generally going with one of its flashier cousins, either the Crusader or the Redeemer. This article/thread will go over how to use them effectively and properly using the Space Marine Codex point of view. This isnt an attempt at proving the Standard LR superior in any way to its cousins, or even equal. It's only an attempt to help people to see the actual usefulness and proper usage of the Mighty Land Raider in a 5e game.
TACTICA: LAND RAIDER!
You've just put together your Land Raider that you got for Christmas, you asked for one of the new redeemers, but apparently G-Mom cannot tell the difference. You dont really expect to get much use out of it, but maybe you can proxy it as a redeemer until you've got the money to pick up a "Good" LR by yourself.
...sure does look cool though.
...certainly those lascannons are good for something.
...its still armour 14.
...space marine machine spirit is useful too.
...lets think about this for a second...
If you put assault troops of some sort into your LR expecting them to get into combat, they certainly have a safe haven from enemy firepower, but the LR is inferior in close range firepower to the Crusader or Redeemer.
Well, if the LR is inferior at close ranges, and it's sporting long range weaponry anyway....we'll keep it at longer ranges. However, if we do that what good is the transport capacity? Cannot a Predator be better at this sort of job than the LR itself?
What are you missing?
The standard LR's primary weapon system are two twin linked Lascannon with a defensive twin linked Heavy Bolter. Unfortunatly, under the current ruleset, the Heavy bolter cannot be fired "defensively". It still gives the Standard LR some anti-infantry capability however. More on this later.
The two twin linked Lascannons may be considered inferior by some to the 3 lascannons that a predator can carry. While this is arguable, there are some reasons why this may not be true.
The predator can POTENTIALLY get 3 hits, now this tactica isnt going to go into numbers, but personally, I do not like to rely on chance or "hope" during a battle. You can essentially count on the Predator to get two hits with lascannons on a single target. However, the armour of the Predator, while considerable, is weaker, making it susceptable to a wider range of enemy firepower. More on this later, however, if your Predator is stunned its return fire will be NOTHING.
When you consider the LR, you have a VERY good chance of a solid 2 hits with lascannons. These two lascannons may be targetted at seperate targets via the Machine Spirit for a potential of 2 enemy units shut down or not returning fire for either the next turn or the rest of the game (destroyed). Armour 14 on the Tank makes it much less common to be "stunned" as a result of enemy fire. Also, since the Machine spirit may always "fire one more weapon than is normally allowed" it may fire one lascannon even if the vehicle has been stunned.
The Land Raider makes a more reliable, more resiliant firebase than a predator. However, the potential of the Predator's 3 lascannons is such that you could get three hits, this will always be true. On the move however the Pred is restricted to 1 shot. The Landraider, on the move, is still capable of firing both weapons (at separate targets if needed). Also, if standing still and equipped with a MM within range, well we get the Idea.
Basically, with its firepower, the landraider makes a fine firebase which doesnt need to close with the enemy to be effective. Predators are still useful, and the potential for long range damage is there. However, with machine spirit in tow, the LR makes for a much more reliable firebase with more versatility. Thats where the points went.
Inferior to the Crusader. Same as the Redeemer, but the Redeemer is equipped better when you're getting assault troops where they need to be.
Is the Transport capacity a simple waste for this useful "firebase" unit? What good is transport capacity on a model that is supposed to shoot and not maneuver closer to the enemy, especially considering that there are no firepoints on a LR.
The Transport capacity of a landraider is good really for two things. Denying Kill points, and making the LR a scoring unit.
Armour 14 can take an entire game to get past in order to kill the vehicle. This is made even harder with the possibilities of Cover, smoke, or 3+ saves due to facing. If a scoring unit of troopers (even scouts) is inside the vehicle, they are effectively immune from harm until the Land Raider is destroyed. The only troopers in the game that are completely immune to str 7 or below weaponry are mounted in LR's. No other scoring unit can claim that.
Also, if on the last turn of the game, you are able to park a scoring LR on an objective after moving 12" and smoking, you will be in very good shape. If your opponent cannot destroy your LR during the shooting phase, he will have a very hard time getting you off of the objective.
Also, in missions with multiple objectives placed by the players. If you are able to place a single objective exactly 12" away from another, it is possible for a single marine, ONE marine, mounted in a LR to claim both objectives. If a Land raider parks diagonally between these two objectives, it will be within 3" of both. This is how you can get a single marine to claim two objectives 12" apart.
You may think that these tactics can be utilised by Crusaders and Redeemers, but, while they can indeed do it, it doesnt suit their purpose. Crusaders and redeemers, with their close range firepower, are better suited to carry units that wish to get stuck in quick and make their lightning claws and force weapons felt. There isnt much use in making a crusader simply "scoring" with its huge transport capacity. Also, due to the ranges at which LR's are effective within, the standard LR makes a safer "haven" for smallish units that simply wish to stay alive in order to conserve a kill point.
Crusader= AV 14
Redeemer= AV 14
Standard Land Raider= AV 14
The standard LR is more resilant than either the Crusader OR the Redeemer. This section will show you why.
In order to be effective, the Crusader and Redeemer must get close. In order to be effective, the standard Land Raider must be within 48".
Standard LR is able to engage the enemy with primary weapon systems
Crusader and Redeemer are unable to engage the enemy
Weapons within range able to harm the tanks are-Ordinance, Railguns, Lascannon, Krak Missle
Standard LR is able to engage enemy with primary and secondary weapon systems
Crusader and Redeemer are unable to engage the enemy
New weapons in range able to harm tanks- Bright/Dark Lances
Standard LR's MM comes into range if so equipped
Crusader and Redeemer come into range with Assault cannon, hurricane bolters, MM
New weapons in range able to harm tanks- MM's, Extreme assault range, optimal range for fast mounted MM's (bikes/Speeders)
New threats in range-Optimal range for Mobile MM's, bike mounted Meltas, fast assault
Rapid fire hurricane bolters, optimal MM range
New threats in range- Optimal MM's, infantry mounted Meltas (optimal range if they move), charge range, blasters
Flame cannons now in range
New threats- ALL of the above, inferno pistols
As you can see, as an armour 14 tank gets closer, there are more and more things that you will find in an enemy army that will threaten or even "laugh" at its tough hide. Melta weaponry is extremly common in the 5e game of mechanised armies and vehicles with difficult damage tables. You have to get close to use it though. When you use the Crusader and the Redeemer to the best of their abilities, you are, in effect, HELPING the enemy destroy your tank.
The standard LR has no reason to advance past 48" away. It stands there with its two twin lascannons firing away, as lacannon and rail gun fire PRAYS to get past its tough hide. All other weapons are out of range and pose no threat. Hence, the Standard Land Raider IS, in effect, MORE resiliant than its two cousins.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
You've played with the Land Raider that G-Mom (grandma) gave you for Christmas 8 times now and its only been destroyed once. (by a drop-podding melta) Its been immobile, weapons destroyed, but it's hardly ever died. It carries a five man tactical squad for very little points and that squad typically takes objectives within your deployment or just a little bit outside. Once you managed to take two objectives that were real close to each other with your "scoring" LR.
You hug the table corners on your side blasting away at rhino's loaded with melta sporting troopers, frequently immobilising them making the troopers walk while vulnerable to the rest of your army. Sometimes you even manage a cover save. The rest of your army inadvertantly play's "linebacker" to your Landraiders "quarterback" and its tough for melta weapons to get into range.
Since you hug the table corners on your side, sometimes even enemy lascannons wind up being out of range of your tank. You typically advance 6" if there are no threatening targets within range and fire both lascannons. Sometimes the vehicle table frustrates you, but you've still got str9 and frequently the enemy cannot return fire due to a "stunned" result. Lance weaponry is troublesome due to raiders and Waveserpents being so darned fast but at least you generally get the first shot off..and their tanks are weaker in resiliancy than yours. You've never been hit with a MM because the Attack bikers that your friend uses are a priority target before they get close.
Drop Pods are annoying but you read a thread on Dakka about Castling, and you dont really worry about dropping Melta's anymore.
All in all, you're pretty glad that G-Mom screwed up your X-mas gift. In fact, you're begining to think that your army might really benefit from a second land raider. You're thinking about making your 5 man unit a 10 man unit and combat squadding them in objective missions and leaving them together in kill point missions. You're thinking about what free weapons to give them but more importantlyl, you're eagerly waiting until next week when your store gets another land raider in.
In the meantime, you're still trying to convince your friends why basic LR's just "work". They dont get it though. Let them keep bringing their Crusaders/Redeemers...you'll keep on Immobilising them in their backfield.
Congratulations, you've just figured out how to use Standard Land Raiders!
Sample Army Lists
Captain with Power Weapon
5 man scout squad
5 man scout squad
Tactical Squad with Flamer, Heavy Bolter and Razorback with extra Armour And Storm Bolter
Captain with Lightning Claw and Combi-Flamer
5 Man Scout Squad
5 Man Scout Squad
5 Man Scout Squad
10 Man Tactical Squad with Flamer, Heavy Bolter,Teleport Homer and Razorback with Extra Armour and Storm Bolter
10 Man tactical squad with Flamer, Heavy Bolter and Razorback with Extra Armour and Storm Bolter
Terminator Squad with Heavy Flamer and Land Raider