Space Marine Review: Fast Attack: Land Speeder Storm

LandSpeederStorm04

Hey everyone, Corrm here to take a look at one of the underrated and less utilized transport vehicles in the Space Marine army, the Land Speeder Storm. For more tactics articles, check out the Tactics Corner.

The Land Speeder Storm is one of my favourite units to use in my White Scars army. As well as being a great looking model, I think it brings a lot to the battlefield to make its inclusion worthy in a strong Space Marine force.

Overview: 

The Land Speeder Storm can fulfil many battlefield roles depending on how it is armed and how it has been purchased (more on this below); it can act as a transport vehicle for your Scout squads, a fast and cheap anti-tank unit or a very nimble objective grabber.

Coming in at 40 points base cost, it has the standard Land Speeder stats of armour 10 all round, two hull points and BS4. It is not the most durable of units, but it is cheap and cheerful and has a lot of utility on the battlefield.

LandSpeederStorm00

Wargear: 

  • Cerberus Launcher
  • Heavy Bolter
  • Option to replace the Heavy Bolter with either a Heavy Flamer, Multi-melta or Assault Cannon

Special Rules: 

  • Deep Strike
  • Scout
  • Jamming Beacon- any enemy unit attempting to deep striking within 12″ of the Land Speeder Storm will scatter double the number of dice.
  • Transport Capacity of 5 (must be in Scout armour)
  • Open-topped
  • Skimmer
  • Fast

Tactics: 

As mentioned above, the Land Speeder Storm can fulfill a number of battlefield roles.

Objective Grabber

Being a fast skimmer, the Land Speeder Storm can move up to 30” per turn (12” move and 18” turbo-boost), meaning that it can cover great distances during the game, avoiding intervening terrain thanks to its skimmer type. This makes the Land Speeder Storm great for grabbing maelstrom objectives or for grabbing objectives at the end of the game.

I normally purchase the Land Speeder Storm as a dedicated transport for a unit of Space Marine Scouts. Even if the Scouts do not deploy in the transport, it gives the Speeder access to Objective Secured (one of the best rules in the game, in my opinion) if your Scouts have the objective secured rule. This makes the speeder great for stealing objectives from non-objective secured units if need be, making the Land Speeder Storm a great sacrificial unit. The Deep Strike and Scout special rules also help it in this roll, allowing you to hold the speeder back in reserves to deep strike or outflank later in the game to help it survive longer to grab objectives.

Tank Hunter

Upgrading the Land Speeder Storm with a multi-melta can make it a cheap and effective anti-tank unit. A Land Speeder Storm with a multi-melta comes in a 5 pts cheaper than a Landspeeder with a multi-melta for the same armour and number of hull points (though the Landspeeder is not open-topped).

Land Speeder Storm

Land Speeder Storm

It costs the same as an attack bike armed with a multi-melta, though it has much improved mobility over the attack bike.

Getting into melta range should not be too much of an issue. As a fast skimmer, it can quickly close with its target. The ability to deep strike and Scout should help it close distance with an enemy tank. In addition, using it as a transport vehicle for Scouts will allow it to Infiltrate and Scout, hopefully allowing you to get into prime position for an alpha-strike on an enemy vehicle.

You could double down on the anti-tank firepower by adding a Scout sergeant with a combi-melta and meltabombs. A scout sergeant with meltabombs in a land speeder storm makes a great drop pod hunter.

Anti-Infantry Firepower

The basic armaments of the Land Speeder Storm make it useful for adding some anti-infantry firepower to your Space Marine army.

The Cerberus Launcher provides you with a S4 large blast, great for taking on swathes of large, light armoured infantry. It has quite a short range at only 18”, but on a manoeuvrable speeder, you should have no problem getting in range. Plus, at maximum range, you should not have to worry about standard infantry assaulting your vehicle, unless they get incredibly lucky with the charge roll. I think, however, that one of the biggest benefits of the Cerberus launcher is that it causes Blind. The Land Speeder Storm is one of the few ways to access this special rule in the Space Marine Codex and can be a real bonus against many armies. It will be particularly useful against opponents with good firepower, but lower initiative such as Necrons (great for targeting Tomb Blades) or Astra Militarum forces.  It is also great for trying to weaken an opponent for the Scout squad the Land Speeder Storm is carrying to assault, though you risk the blast scattering back onto your own unit at close range and blinding them (it has happened to me more than once!).

The Land Speeder Storm also comes armed with a heavy bolter, which will normally do good damage against targets that are susceptible to the Cerberus Launcher. You can also choose to upgrade the Heavy Bolter to a Heavy Flamer for free. This is great for taking out low armoured infantry in cover, but I would be hesitant about getting so close to an enemy unit with such a fragile vehicle. However, if you are planning to charge a unit of scouts into an enemy squad, a quick blast with a heavy flamer may soften them up a little for your assault.

Drask_Scout_Squad

Anti-alpha strike

Jamming Beacon is an often overlooked special rule for the Land Speeder Storm. It makes deep striking near the speeder a more risky prospect as any scatter will generally be rolling on 4D6. Frequently, this will put the deep striking unit well out of position for what your opponent had in mind.

I find the Land Speeder Storm useful when facing a drop pod heavy army. Your opponent either has to deploy the pod 12” away from the Speeder or risk the potential of scattering far out of position or even misshaping if they scatter off the board.

If I am going second against a drop pod heavy list, I like to deploy the Land Speeder Storm near valuable units (normally deployed near the board edge for maximum mishap risk) to discourage enemy drop pods. This tactic could also be useful if you are facing objective secured drop pods. You could infiltrate or Scout your Land Speeder Storm onto objectives to potentially stop your opponent from landing their pods on the objective, forcing you to kill it in order to score said objective.

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Assault vehicle

One benefit of the Land Speeder Storm is that it is the cheapest vehicle you can assault from in Codex Space Marines. Obviously, Space Marine Scouts are not the greatest assault unit in the game, but against weaker unit, they can still do some damage or potentially tie up a unit for a turn or two. As mentioned above, I frequently used a Scout sergeant with Meltabombs as a drop pod hunting unit. The Land Speeder Storm gives the Scout unit an additional assault range and the meltabombs automatically hit the drop pod, with a 50% chance of blowing it up if you penetrate (quite likely with meltabombs).

The White Scars Stormbringer Squadron adds to the utility of the Land Speeder Storm as an assault vehicle. The Rapid Deployment rule allows the Scouts to disembark (and assault) even if the speeder moves up to 12”. You lose objective secured for the Land Speeder Storm, but the ability improves your threat range to a potential 30”.

Drawbacks

Given the utility of the Land Speeder Storm as described above, why do we not see them in every Space Marine army?

Obviously, the Speeder is not the most durable of units. With armour 10 all round and only 2 hull points, most basic infantry in the game have a chance of taking out the Speeder in either the shooting phase or in combat. The Land Speeder Storm is very fragile, so can easily give up first blood. You can Jink to improve the durability of the Speeder, but this greatly diminishes its firepower, as you cannot fire the Cerberus Launcher or Heavy Flamer and will be snap firing other weapons.

leg-rec-p1

Jinking will have no effect if you are using the Land Speeder Storm as an objective grabber or assault vehicle though, so jinking is a great way to keep the speeder alive to fulfill this role.

It is also open-topped, meaning that any penetrating hit has the potential to destroy it outright, possibly killing the Scout passengers as it does. Also, any template weapons will cause additional casualties to the Scout passengers, so be wary of any heavy flamers or their equivalents.

In Conclusion, the Land Speeder Storm is a fast and fragile addition to a Space Marine army that can find a lot of useful roles on the battlefield. Give it a go, you may be surprised at what it can do- it’s a great moment when your opponent’s Grav Centurions in the drop pod scatter off the board and are destroyed thanks to the Jamming Beacon.

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!

You can also pick up some cheap models in our Second Hand Shop. Some of these gems are quite rare, sometimes they’re fully painted!

secondhandstore

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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

22 Responses to “Space Marine Review: Fast Attack: Land Speeder Storm”

  1. Reecius
    Reecius August 1, 2016 11:12 am
    #

    I actually do not own any Land Speeder Storms, one of the few units I don’t have for Space Marines. They look like they have a lot to offer, though. Thanks for the write-up.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr August 1, 2016 11:19 am
      #

      Cheers Reecius. As you can tell from the review, I really like them. I also think they are a great looking model, which really helps when you want to field something.

      • Reecius
        Reecius August 1, 2016 11:22 am
        #

        Yeah, for sure! I love Scouts so I will have to look at getting one on the table.

  2. AngryPanda August 1, 2016 11:19 am
    #

    A scouting objective secured vehicle alone has some neat uses. With the scouts that makes two of those. I don’t know if anyone plays Maelstrom out of the book in the US but over here it’s huge and this unit can easily score points in the first turns that are worth it even if it gets blown up before it does anything else. Can only agree with the article, absolutely worth giving it a try.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr August 1, 2016 11:20 am
      #

      What form of maelstrom do you normally play (if not out of the book)?

      • AngryPanda August 1, 2016 2:23 pm
        #

        Almost out of the book realy (usualy with little things like the ability to discard a card that was not possible to achieve under any circmstances, like say witch hunter if the enemy army didn’t even contain a psyker to start with).
        I was asking because that’s not what I ever see them play in the battle reports here. They always roll dice for some objectives.

        • westrider August 1, 2016 2:42 pm
          #

          ITC has its own variation, but there are still plenty of places on this side of the pond where people play more or less standard Maelstrom.

          • AngryPanda August 1, 2016 8:53 pm
            #

            Gotcha. My point is basicaly that a unit like this is better in normal maelstrom as it is realy vital to get those objectives early so you can draw more cards. If you end up stuck on too many you can’t take you won’t get to just roll new ones each turn.

          • Michael Corr
            Michael Corr August 1, 2016 10:58 pm
            #

            A lot of the tournaments here use a half maelstrom deck with only one set of the “Secure objective” cards. A little annoying for me, as my White Scars heavily favour the Secure Objective maelstrom cards.

            I think I would prefer the ITC format. As Reecius has said, it tends to favour the MSU style army, whereas ETC tends to favour deathstars or armies with substantial firepower.

  3. EmbraceYourInnerGeek August 1, 2016 12:51 pm
    #

    I love the LSS. Ran 4 of them at the last LVO. The key to getting past fragility is to run multiples. I think at least 4 is the way to go. I used 2 at tournament earlier in the year, but they weren’t nearly as impressive.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 1, 2016 12:53 pm
      #

      Everything counts in large amounts!

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr August 1, 2016 1:04 pm
      #

      I’ve never thought of running more than 2 (all I have at the moment). I can see how 4 could come in very useful. Plus, four Storms and 4 units of scouts for less than 400 points is a bargain for what they can do.

      • EmbraceYourInnerGeek August 1, 2016 1:52 pm
        #

        Also taking LSS with units of 10 scouts works well. Combat squad them. Run 5 with sniper rifles to sit in the back (or bolters to come in from outflank) and 5 with BP – CCW to go in the Storm and go forward to cause trouble/snag objectives. The issue I’m never quite certain about is how to load out the sarge. I usually run him naked, but my buddy had great success with a vet sarge with a power weapon.

        • Michael Corr
          Michael Corr August 1, 2016 2:01 pm
          #

          That’s a good tip, gives you 3 obsec units in one slot. I always run my sergeant with meltabombs so he can go vehicle hunting. Very important now that we may only get one grenade in the assault phase.

  4. Dakkath August 1, 2016 1:06 pm
    #

    The only thing keeping LSS from being super over the top is scouts not having access to special weapons :p

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr August 1, 2016 2:02 pm
      #

      God yeah, can you imagine Scouts with grav guns or a grav cannon. Would be totally ludicrous.

      • Reecius
        Reecius August 1, 2016 2:07 pm
        #

        I miss the days of Scouts getting access to an Autocannon randomly as a heavy weapon option, haha.

        • westrider August 1, 2016 2:49 pm
          #

          I still have one sitting around with a converted Multi-Melta that I finished literally days before 3rd Ed came out and took that option away. Still have some bitterness over that sitting around, too 😉

      • Dakkath August 1, 2016 3:45 pm
        #

        I was just thinking Melta, but that’s be scary too

  5. xthexclincherx August 2, 2016 8:20 am
    #

    Just wanted to comment and say that the LSS with heavy flamer and bolter scouts always works for me… I normally take 2-3 in a CAD, or 3 if aux choice, and I ALWAYS outflank them (unless I need the beacon support for pods or something).

    When they all show up together, and from the same side… it gets really ugly. Anything not inside a transport and near the objectives on table edges gets really scared, really quickly ha.

    I think a lot of people really underestimate them still.

    What a great unit!

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr August 2, 2016 10:31 am
      #

      I rarely outflank units these days. I always think it will be better to have the unit on the board from the start. It’s something I should try experimenting a bit more with in my games.

      • Leth August 6, 2016 6:47 am
        #

        I like it because their main goal is to score objectives, not kill things. So having them on the board just makes it easier to prevent the first thing while not really having an impact on my ability to fight my opponent.

        Especially in things like Maelstrom where I might need to get to X objective, with outflank I can usually do it!