|This unit still exists, right?|
As school-work continues to be a serious time constraint, I haven't had the time to do much more road testing on the Tau, so I've had to put Coming Back from the Brink on hold for a while. Until I can get back to it I'll be starting an off-and-on series I'm calling Bring Out Your Dead! to take a look at units that have been overlooked in the last year or so, either because of how they worked in fifth, or how they transitioned to sixth at first glance. I'm going to try to rate these on the following scale: I Feel Happy!, Getting Better, and Stone Dead.
I don't think the ratings need much explanation, but I do think we can all have some fun looking at these units and calling them one way or the other. Let's start with a unit that was Stone Dead during fifth, but I think is set for an improvement this edition. Much more after the break. Tl,dr: This sleeper is waking up.
We should know this unit inside out, but incase we don't, let's remember it has the highest armor value and most hull points in the game. Its durability was not that impressive during fifth edition when meltaguns proliferated with the rush to mechanize. Melta weapons are still just as deadly to these behemoths, and glancing hits from things like gauss and missiles are now threatening because of the hull point system. Most armies' weapons have not changed in their viability against land raiders, but the environment they exist in has changed.
|Missiles against a Land Raider|
Melee combat has become more dangerous to vehicles of all types, but the only threats to land raiders besides power fists are meltabombs and monstrous creatures. The land raider can hunt monstrous creatures well and meltabombs cannot be thrown so there is plenty of time for the rest of your army to try to kill the assault troops. In almost all cases the power fist and meltabombs are carried by a sergeant, who can only use one and may opt for the meltabombs rather than the fist. That choice can leave him vulnerable to challenges in combat, which your land raider's assault oriented passengers can exploit. On the durability side, I think the land raider is improving based on shifts in what weapons opponents are bringing to kill tanks, but what can it do for you?
|Original concept, do not copy|
Sixth edition has changed this somewhat. Now all weapons can always be fired, but must be snap shot if they move too far. The PotMS can allow one to fire at full ballistic skill and at a different target. This is very useful especially when considering vehicles can now fire two weapons at full ballistic skill if they move at combat speed. Now the land raider can fire at full effectiveness of all weapons against two targets, making the most of its varied weaponry. While space marines have access to multiple fliers that are good dogfighters, the land raider can also chip while moving at full speed: its lascannons can snap shoot at fliers while its heavy bolter fires at infantry. As Godfrey pointed out in his last article, armor penetration two weapons have an advantage against tanks compared to other weapons, but the lascanons also have the advantage of being able to inflict instant death on units like nobs and paladins.
A lot of the durability of the land raider is based on what weapons permeate your gaming environment, though I think we can expect a shift toward the more infantry heavy styles of armies. These will either need to risk being assaulted by the contents of the land raider to melta it, or sit back and hope their lascannons have enough time or luck to kill it. The land raider can provide plenty of protection for scoring units before they disembark to hold a point or can present a threat to infantry and tanks while it grinds its way across the battlefield so its contents can assault and contest a point. Its versatility is finally able to be exploited while not entirely neglecting any aspect.
I think I'll say that this ranks at least a Getting Better if not an I Feel Happy! for its utility and increased durability in the changing metagame. Some of you surely have these tanks sitting on your shelves and I think it's time to break them out for a game or two. They might surprise you. Any suggestions for the next unit on Bring Out Your Dead?
I'm Underground Heretic and I get to live with that every day!