- "We ride upon the wings of the storm. What hope of escape can our foes have?"
The standard Land Raider, also known as the Land Raider Phobos, is an Imperial main battle tank and troop transport which serves as the "armoured fist of the Space Marines." Available to the Space Marines, the Traitor Legions of the Chaos Space Marines and the forces of the Inquisition, it is one of the most resilient and iconic vehicles in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. The Land Raider's heritage predates even the founding of the Imperium of Man, yet it remains the single most destructive weapon in the Adeptus Astartes' arsenal. Protected by bonded Ceramite and Adamantium armour, the Land Raider is nearly impervious to all save the most destructive weaponry. Equally impressive are the Land Raider's armaments: 2 Twin-linked Lascannons and a Twin-linked Heavy Bolter allow the Land Raider to deliver punishing fire support capable of decimating enemy infantry and armour alike.
Protected by bonded ceramite and adamantium armour plating, the Land Raider is impervious to all but the most devastating weaponry. Given that each Land Raider has enough transport capacity for not only a full squad of Space Marines but also the champions that lead them, the Land Raider is more like a mobile fortress than a mere tank.
Although Land Raiders were once produced in great numbers, there are now few Forge Worlds still able to manufacture them. As a result the Land Raider is one of the Adeptus Astartes' most valued weapons of war. This is not least because a Land Raider's Machine Spirit (artificial intelligence) is so much stronger than that of lesser tanks. Indeed, the Techmarines believe that an indomitable part of the Omnissiah's essence resides within the Land Raider's impenetrable adamantium hull.
Regardless of its value in matters of faith, the Land Raider's Machine Spirit is a weighty asset. It allows the tank to function with a smaller number of crew than other vehicles of comparable size, for it is capable of taking control of engines, weaponry or other systems as the situation permits. Tales persist of Land Raiders that have fought on even after their crew are dead, or that are so warlike they will take any opportunity to grind the foe under their tracks.
The history of the Land Raider is a long and complicated tale. The original designs for both the armour used in the Land Raider and the anti-gravitic technology used by the Land Speeder were discovered during an expedition deep into the Librarius Omnis on Mars by techno-archaeologist Arkhan Land, after whom the vehicles were named. The main aim of Land's expedition into the labyrinth catacombs sited deep beneath the surface of the Red Planet was to find functioning STC databases. In this he failed, but two discoveries were made which revolutionised machine lore for millennia to come. The first was a near-complete dataslab imprint of STC information describing a heavily armoured assault tank. The second was the unearthing of data on rare anti-gravitic plates and theories on their use, which eventually led to the construction of the first Land's Speeder. Arkhan Land would later vanish during a subsequent expedition, some claiming he was the victim of a psychic entity that destroyed his entire party. What secrets of the Dark Age of Technology were lost with him remains a mystery.
The Land Raider first entered service during the Great Crusade at the dawning of the Age of the Imperium. The vehicle's formidable combination of weaponry and armour, and its ability to carry the shock troops of the Great Crusade through the most perilous environments were the deciding factors in countless struggles to liberate Mankind from the tyranny of the Age of Strife. With this awesome war machine at their command, Imperial forces conquered world after world until the Emperor's Imperium of Man bestrode the galaxy. Such was the demand for the Land Raider during the Great Crusade that an entire Forge World was founded just to manufacture them. Anvilus IX supplied thousands upon thousands of the vehicles to Mankind's forces, but the Great Crusade ended in disaster as the Warmaster Horus rebelled against the Emperor and bloody civil war engulfed the Imperium.
At the time of the Great Betrayal, the Warmaster and his allies plotted against Anvilus IX to ensure it quickly fell to the rogue Dark Mechanicus Tech-Priests bound to his service. This had the dual effect of at once denying the Loyalists access to these important weapons, while ensuring their continued supply to the Traitors. With Horus in control of this vitally important Forge World, several nearby worlds seceded from the Imperium rather than fight against the Traitors, and overnight the Imperium's supply of Land Raiders was severely curtailed. It was a terrible blow, for the Land Raider was one of the few commonly available vehicles which could, when deployed with skill and in sufficient numbers, threaten enemy Titans. Though ultimately the Warmaster's grip on Anvilus IX would be broken, during this time it produced large numbers of Land Raiders for the Traitor Legions, and when they were eventually forced from the Forge World, the worlds of the system were left shattered in their wake, the enemy taking the knowledge of the secret arts of the Land Raider's construction with them.
With Traitor forces advancing on Terra itself and Loyalist forces facing total defeat, the Emperor decreed that all remaining Land Raiders still in loyal service should be recalled and that the Legiones Astartes, His favoured Space Marines, who stood at the forefront of Terra's defence, be given exclusive use of these powerful war machines. The Imperium was saved during the Battle of Terra when the Emperor defeated Horus in single combat but, terribly wounded, He was interred within the Golden Throne, never to speak again. After his ascension, none dared to change the Emperor's decree and the Land Raider has therefore remained a vehicles almost exclusive to the Space Marine Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes for the past 10,000 years. The few exceptions are those allocated to Inquisitors and especially influential Rogue Traders who utilise them in their private armies, both groups vested with unusual freedom in this and many other regards.
The Land Raider was one of the first vehicles to be introduced by Games Workshop for the 1st Edition Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader tabletop miniatures game. Originally, the Land Raider was described as a heavily armoured troop transport for Space Marine and Imperial Guard armies. The original plastic model was released soon after the Rhino armoured transport in the late 1980s. The design of the tank was heavily based on the early tanks of the 20th century's First World War, such as the British Mark I tank, bulky and high with oversized track links. Like the Mark I, the Land Raider had no turret and instead had its weapons mounted on the sides of the tank. Its points value was 750 and it had a number of available upgrades, such as power fields, available to it. By the mid-1990s, the Land Raider had appeared in numerous pieces of art created for Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe, including the game's second edition boxed set. By this time, the Land Raider had been taken out of the Imperial Guard's armoury and became an iconic Space Marine vehicle. Unfortunately for Space Marine players of that time, the Land Raider plastic kit was soon to be discontinued. Later players wanting to field the vehicle had to resort to finding surviving models to buy or converting their own. Only in 2000 did Games Workshop revive the Land Raider's legacy with the release of the new Space Marine Land Raider Mk III plastic kit. A few months later, Games Workshop released the Chaos Space Marine Land Raider Mk III for Chaos Space Marines players. Gaming wise, most players consider the Land Raider to be almost on par with the Imperial Guard's super-heavy tanks. In terms of durability, though, the super-heavy tanks - the Baneblade, Shadowsword, Stormsword, and Stormblade - can survive 3 times the damaging hits, though they have weaker armour on some facings. The Land Raider, being equally heavily armoured on all sides, was much harder to harm in the first place. The relative advantage of the Imperial Guard's Super Heavies lay in their armaments: The Baneblade and all its variants carry primary armament in the form of massive main cannons stronger than any other ordnance in the game, and in addition these behemoths even had weapons similar in size to the Land Raider's armaments as secondary weapons on sponson and hull mounts.
Outside the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game, the Land Raider appears in other games set in the same mythos. Plastic and white metal Land Raider models were available for the Warhammer 40,000 spin-off miniatures game, Epic Space Marine. These early-version Epic Land Raiders had the same look as the original Warhammer 40,000 model albeit much smaller in size. When the 3rd Edition of the epic scale game (now known as Epic 40,000) was released in 1997, a model of the Land Raider was produced known as the Land Raider Mark II, with both a plastic model and a metal "command" version with extra antennae and a copula gunner. The Mark II never fully found its way into the Warhammer 40,000 range as a mainstream kit although several aspects of its design did influence the current Mark III plastic model. A Mark IIB "upgrade" kit was introduced by Forge World to modify the current Mark III chassis to resemble the earlier Mark II. Metal Land Raider Mark III's were released for the 4th Edition of Epic, Epic: Armageddon.
As part of the Epic 40,000 universe, Mark II Land Raiders were deployable units in the 1997 Final Liberation computer game. In THQ's hit-RTS game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, the Land Raider is the Space Marines faction's strongest unit.
The standard configuration Land Raider, officially known as the Land Raider Phobos Pattern, is one of the most powerful main battle tanks in the Imperium's arsenal, armed with two twin-linked "Godhammer Pattern" Lascannons mounted in side sponsons. A twin-linked Heavy Bolter is mounted on top of the tank to provide anti-infantry fire. As with most Space Marine vehicles, the Land Raider can also be armed with a Pintle Mounted Storm Bolter, Multi-Melta and a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher. The Land Raider is supposedly the most heavily armoured vehicle available to any army smaller than a full Astra Militarum armoured company, and its armour is believed to be second only to that of the Necron Monolith in strength. Particularly noteworthy is that the Land Raider's all-around armour is equally thick everywhere on the vehicle and has no weaknesses, unlike other battle tanks that often have thinner side and rear armour.
Its durable protection, combined with its transport capacity (10 Space Marines in Power Armour or 5 Terminators), make it essentially a mobile, fortified bunker, save for the lack of firing ports for the passengers. Land Raiders are also equipped with a "Machine Spirit", an artificial intelligence crafted by the Adeptus Mechanicus that allows the hulking behemoth to move and fight, even without a crew, as if the vehicle were on autopilot. The Chaos Space Marines also have access to these powerful machines as they took with them countless numbers of these destructive behemoths following their defeat on Terra during the Horus Heresy. In the Eye of Terror, the Machine Spirits of the Chaos Land Raiders used by the Traitor Legions were destroyed and replaced with Infernal Devices containing the captured spirit of a daemon that performs similar functions for the vehicle.
Anatomy of a Land Raider
The Land Raider blends armoured transport with firepower that can best that of many forces' main battle tanks. Its armour is so thick that it is virtually immune to weapons as powerful as the Leman Russ Tank's own Battle Cannon. Power to the Land Raider is provided by a Mars Pattern adaptable thermic combustor reaction engine, situated in the rear of the vehicle. It is kept cool by a nitro-ammonium cooling system, and protected from malfunction and daemonic possession by Adeptus Mechanicus manufacturing sigils and purity seals. It even carries Rites of Awakening purity markings to ensure the smoothest of operations. The Land Raider Gladius II, when piloted by Antaro Chronus during the Damnos reconquest, tallied six xenos engine kills with the Godhammer Pattern Lascannons in its sponsons.
Notable Users of the Land Raider
- Ultramarines - The Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter have made use of the Land Raider Phobos in many campaigns, including the Battle of Arconar, the Defence of Ichar IV, and the Battle for Macragge.
- Raptors - The Raptors Space Marine Chapter have used the Land Raider Phobos during the Taros Campaign and the Badab War.
- Dark Angels - The Dark Angels Space Marine Chapter have used the Land Raider Phobos during the Piscina Campaign and the Siege of Vraks.
- Space Wolves - The Space Wolves used Land Raiders during the First and Second Battles of The Fang and during the Defence of Betalis III.
- Blood Ravens - The Blood Ravens Space Marine Chapter used Land Raiders during the Dark Crusade, the Kaurava Campaign, and the Aurelian Crusades.
- Adeptus Custodes - The Adeptus Custodes possess some of the most venerable Land Raiders within the Imperium, many which date back to the earliest days of the Imperium.
- The Inquisition
- Grey Knights
- Black Templars
- Star Phantoms
- Space Wolves
- Sons of Medusa
- Marines Errant
- Red Scorpions
Notable Land Raiders
- Battle's Glory - Battle's Glory was a Land Raider Phobos belonging to the World Eaters Legion during the Great Crusade.
- Invictus - Invictus is a Land Raider Phobos that belongs to the Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter.
- Glory to the Throne - A Venerable Land Raider of the Adeptus Custodes, Glory to the Throne is a potent war engine that saw its very first battle in the defence of the Emperor's palace at the culmination of the Horus Heresy. Though severely damaged during that apocalyptic conflict, Glory to the Throne has remained with the Adeptus Custodes ever since, repaired time and again, and blooded on battlefields beyond count.
- Guilliman's Fist - Guilliman's Fist is a Land Raider Phobos that belongs to the Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter.
- Shield of Faith - Shield of Faith is a Land Raider Phobos that belongs to the Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter.
- Phraetus - Phraetus is a Land Raider Phobos of the Raptors Space Marine Chapter.
- Voltar - Voltar is a Land Raider Phobos belonging to the Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter.
- Mae Virtus - Mae Virtus is the personal transport of the Inquisitor Lord Thor Malkin during the Siege of Vraks.
- Throne of Mars - The Throne of Mars is a Land Raider Phobos belonging to the Marines Errant Space Marine Chapter.
- Dakor Rex - Dakor Rex is a Land Raider Phobos belonging to the Minotaurs Space Marine Chapter.
- Coils of Wrath - Coils of Wrath is a Land Raider Phobos belonging to the Salamanders Space Marine Chapter.
- Death of the Faithless - Death of the Faithless is a Land Raider Phobos belonging to the Star Phantoms Space Marine Chapter.
- Tormund - Tormund is a Land Raider Phobos belonging to the Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter.
- Rynn's Might - Rynn's Might is a Land Raider Phobos of the Crimson Fists Space Marine Chapter, after surviving a rouge missile that destroyed the Chapter's Fortress-Monastery the Machine Spirit of this vehicle waged a solo war against the Orks that attacked the Crimson Fists' homeworld of Rynn's World, even though the tank did not survive the battle it managed to kill the Ork Warboss and many of his followers in a single night, this act remains a testament to the awesome power of the Land Raider and its Machine Spirit.
Notable Deployments of the Land Raider
The Land Raider and its many variants have seen combat in many conflicts across the galaxy, some of the more notable ones are as follows:
- The Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy - The Land Raider Phobos, alongside the Land Raider Proteus, Spartan Assault Tank, and Land Raider Achilles, fought during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy that followed.
- The Taros Campaign - During the Taros Campaign the Raptors and Avenging Sons Space Marine Chapters used Land Raiders against the Tau.
- The Third War for Armageddon - During the Third War for Armageddon the Space Marine Chapters of the Black Templars, Salamanders, the Blood Angels and many others used Land Raiders to hold the planet against the invading Orks.
- The Siege of Vraks - During the 17-year-long Siege of Vraks the Space Marine Chapters of the Dark Angels, Red Scorpions, the Red Hunters, the Angels of Absolution, and the Grey Knights, along with the Inquisition, used Land Raiders to fight against the Forces of Chaos that were entrenched on the planet.
- The Badab War - During the Badab War the loyalist and secessionists forces, including the Lamenters, Minotaurs, Mantis Warriors, Astral Claws, Red Scorpions, Star Phantoms, Salamanders, the Raptors, and the Carcharodons Space Marine Chapters used many Land Raiders.
- The 13th Black Crusade - During the 13th Black Crusade of Abaddon the Despoiler many Space Marine Chapters used Land Raiders to defend the Imperium from the Forces of Chaos.
Early Land Raiders
The standard Phobos Pattern Land Raider was not the first Land Raider developed for use by the Imperium of Man. Several variants preceded the development of the Phobos Pattern and were widely in use during the Imperium's early days in the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras of the late 30th and 31st Millennia.
- Land Raider Proteus - The Land Raider Proteus is the very first pattern of Land Raider that was developed by the Imperium. The Land Raider Proteus was originally designed and deployed as the main battle tank used by the military forces of Mankind at some point during the Dark Age of Technology. Its Standard Template Construct (STC) data was recovered by the Imperial Technoarchaeologist Arkhan Land, during an expedition into the fabled Librarius Omnis on Mars. The Land Raider Proteus was heavily used during the Great Crusade, and while the tank performed exceptionally well in nearly every regard, some Astartes commanders argued that the Proteus' transport capacity and lack of a forward assault ramp were problems that needed to be corrected with a redesign of the vehicle. The Mechanicum exceeded expectations when they developed the Spartan Assault Tank to fix these problems. After the end of the Horus Heresy, the Spartan Assault Tank itself was eventually replaced with a more compact variant, which became the Land Raider Phobos, the standard pattern of Land Raider now in use amongst the Adeptus Astartes. The Proteus Pattern contains an extraordinarily sophisticated Auspex sensor suite that allows it to determine existing battlefield conditions with an uncanny degree of precision. This technology, combined with the design's great antiquity, has led many in the Adeptus Mechanicus to surmise that this pattern may be the very first Land Raider design created by Mankind, intended to explore and conquer new worlds. Its exceptional sensor capabilities makes the Proteus an excellent choice to serve as a command tank and to spearhead large armoured assaults. However, since it has a small troop transport capability, lacks an integrated forward assault ramp and possesses advanced technology that is difficult for current Forge Worlds to manufacture, the Proteus is rarely used by the Space Marine Chapters of the 41st Millennium. However, because of its antiquity, the Land Raider Proteus is considered a valuable relic of any Chapter lucky enough to have one in its Armoury. The Land Raider Proteus is also sometimes deployed by various Chaos Space Marine warbands, as the Traitor Legions possessed a number of these vehicles during the Horus Heresy and fled with them into the Eye of Terror. The Hereteks of the Dark Mechanicus work hard to keep these few machines combat-ready for their patrons. It is common for these foul Tech-adepts to replace any failing components on these ancient war machines with arcane devices of Chaotic or daemonic origin. The Land Raider Proteus is outfitted with a suite of powerful Auspex sensors and the powerful networked Cogitator systems required to fully exploit them. Its main armament is 2 sponson-mounted Twin-linked Lascannons and can be upgraded to carry hull-mounted Heavy Bolters or Heavy Flamers, additional Ceramite armour plating intended to lessen the damage unleashed by Melta Weapons, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher (or Havoc Launcher for Chaotic versions of the vehicle), pintle-mounted weapons, extra armour plating and a Dozer Blade. Like all Land Raiders, the Land Raider Proteus is outfitted with an artificially intelligent Machine Spirit, although Chaotic versions of the Proteus may instead have a possessing daemon spirit.
- Spartan Assault Tank - The Spartan Assault Tank, known in older sources as the Land Raider Spartan, was designed by the Mechanicum in the latter days of the Great Crusade as a way for the Space Marine Legions to carry their Terminators into combat. The Spartan was armed with two sponson-mounted Quad-Lascannons and hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters. The Spartan Assault Tank was widely used by the Space Marine Legions during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy, and later during the campaigns of the Great Scouring. During the later part of the Great Crusade the Mechanicum designed the first Phobos Pattern Land Raiders, which were also capable of transporting Terminators. After the Horus Heresy it became more and more difficult for the new Astartes Chapters and Forge Worlds to obtain the resources necessary to build Spartan Assault Tanks, and so the smaller Phobos Land Raider became much more common within the arsenals of the Space Marines. It is unknown if it is still even within the Adeptus Mechanicus' ability to build new Spartans or if the technology has been lost. In the 41st Millennium, a Spartan Assault Tank will be treated as a treasured relic by whatever Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes is lucky enough to keep one in its Armoury.
- Mark IIb Land Raider Phobos - The Mark IIb Land Raider Phobos is one of the earliest known marks of the Phobos Pattern Land Raider, and it still bears similarities to both the Land Raider Proteus and the Spartan Assault Tank that served as the models for the design. The Mark II Phobos is the only pattern of modern Land Raider that uses the older armoured sponsons, as they do not allow the weapons they hold to fully rotate. This pattern of Phobos Land Raiders is mostly extinct within Space Marine Armouries, having been replaced with newer marks and patterns of Land Raider. However, some Chapters may still possess one or two as treasured relics of their ancient past.
Land Raider Crusader
The Land Raider Crusader is a close-assault version of the standard Land Raider geared towards transporting more troops. The Land Raider Crusader was originally developed by the Black Templars Chapter and was eventually approved by the Adeptus Mechanicus as an authorised pattern, allowing other Space Marine Chapters to field them in abundance. The Land Raider Crusader's main differences from the standard Land Raider lie in its weapons loadout. Instead of the 2 Lascannons deployed on the original pattern, the Land Raider Crusader's side sponsons are armed with Hurricane Pattern Bolters. The Crusader replaces the standard Land Raider's Twin-linked Heavy Bolters mounted on the top of the tank with shorter-ranged, gatling gun-like Twin-linked Assault Cannons. Finally, the Crusader sports a Multi-melta mounted right beside the commander's cupola, instead of the standard Storm Bolter. The removal of the massive plasma generators used by the Lascannons freed up space inside the hull of the Land Raider chassis, increasing the vehicle's transport capability to 17 Space Marines in Power Armour or 9 Terminators.
Land Raider Crusader Variants
- Land Raider Ares - Another variant of the Land Raider Crusader developed for siege warfare is the Land Raider Ares. This variant sacrifices transport capability for a much heavier armament. The Land Raider Ares was created by the Dark Angels Chapter for use by their Deathwing Company. It features hull-mounted, twin-linked Assault Cannons, one prow-mounted Demolisher Cannon and sponson twin-linked Heavy Flamers. It first saw action during the attack on the backwater world of Murus, where the Chapter faced the Fallen Dark Angels called "the Tribunal." Despite the failure of the attack, only one of the six Land Raider Ares deployed were destroyed. A few other Chapters have since obtained the design for the Land Raider Ares and created their own versions of this pattern.
- Land Raider Redeemer - The Land Raider Redeemer is a variant of the Land Raider Crusader specially developed for urban warfare. It sports a pair of powerful Flamestorm Cannons on its sponsons in place of the standard Hurricane Bolters. This variant was first used by the Fire Lords Chapter in battle, and though it carries less troops than the Land Raider Crusader, it makes up for this lack with the destructive fire that can incinerate even a Space Marine within his Power Armour. Prometheus was the first Land Raider Redeemer built which still serves in the Fire Lords' 2nd Company. The Land Raider Redeemer pattern is highly favoured amongst Space Marine Chapters that specialise in the use of Flamer weaponry, such as the Fire Lords and the Salamanders.
Other Land Raider Variants
Other variants of the basic Land Raider exist as rarer modifications of the standard Phobos Pattern Land Raider that are in service with select Chapters of the Space Marines.
Land Raider Achilles
The Land Raider Achilles is a variant of the Land Raider designed during the Great Crusade by the Imperial Fists Legion to deal with a very specific and now long-forgotten xenos threat. Because of its age and its very specific design, it is almost never found in use outside of the Imperial Fists and their Successor Chapters. The Land Raider Achilles is most famous for its extraordinary durability as a result of the ancient and now-lost secrets of forging its special armour plating which provide an incredible array of immunities against a variety of different attacks. The Land Raider Achilles is also armed with a mobile version of the Space Marines' Thunderfire Cannon, a massive multibarrelled, rotary assault cannon that is capable of firing three different varieties of shot. The first type of shell detonates on surface contact, commonly used against infantry in the open, while the airburst shell is employed against infantry taking cover. The most devastating, however, are the subterranean shells, programmed to burrow into the ground before exploding. The resulting explosion causes seismic disruptions which can knock the enemy off-balance, making them easier targets for follow-up fire. This affects even anti-gravity vehicles, whose anti-gravity generators are negatively impacted by the sub-surface shockwaves unleashed by the impact of these shells. The Land Raider Achilles is also armed with 2 sponson-mounted Twin-linked Multi-meltas for close combat and can be upgraded with a pintle-mounted Storm Bolter, a Dozer Blade, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher and a Siege Shield.
Land Raider Helios
The Land Raider Helios, like the Prometheus variant, replaces some of the standard Land Raider's existing weaponry with a more specialized loadout. The Helios mounts a Whirlwind Missile Launcher in place of the standard Twin-linked Heavy Bolters. The Land Raider Helios was designed by the Red Scorpions Space Marine Chapter to supplement their existing artillery during the Siege of Helios. Purportedly, the extra space required for storing the Whirlwind Launcher's missiles reduced the personnel transport capacity of the vehicle.
Land Raider Prometheus
The Land Raider Prometheus was developed specifically to serve as a Space Marine unit's command tank. The original Phobos Pattern Land Raider's Lascannon sponsons have been replaced with two pairs of Twin-linked Heavy Bolters each and the hull-mounted Heavy Bolters have been replaced with special Vox-communications and sensor equipment. This variant is supposedly used by Space Marine commanders as their mobile base of operations as its heavy armor can withstand the most hard-hitting attacks.
Land Raider Terminus Ultra
The Land Raider Terminus Ultra is the ultimate in Space Marine anti-armour vehicles. The Terminus Ultra forfeits its troop carrying capability completely in order to mount a battery of extremely powerful Lascannons capable of punching through defensive Conversion Fields, Void Shields and the thickest armour. The huge power build-up generated when a Terminus Ultra fires can cause irrevocable damage to the vehicle's systems, and so it is only used when all other options have been exhausted. Only when the largest armoured targets are encountered are these venerable machines deployed from a Chapter's Armorium, if they even possess any. Against the power of the Terminus Ultra, the massive war engines of the Emperor's foes have no hope. With a single salvo a Terminus Ultra can cripple a super-heavy tank, demolish a Chaos Battle Titan or destroy an Ork Stompa.
Land Raider Excelsior
The Land Raider Excelsior is a specialised variant of the Adeptus Astartes Land Raider intended for use by the Primaris Space Marines that serves a command and control function for a Space Marine planetary assault as well as a role as a heavy main battle tank and armoured transport. As a designated command vehicle, it possesses an unusually powerful array of Augur sensor arrays, Cogitators and advanced communications gear to carry out ship-to-surface coordination of a planetary assault. It often acts in concert with the Rhino Primaris, a variant of the standard Rhino APC also intended to carry out command and control functions, to help target orbital bombardments from a Space Marine fleet in high orbit of an embattled world. The Land Raider Excelsior can transport 10 Primaris Space Marines into combat.
Land Raider Artificial Intelligence
Land Raiders are also equipped with a Machine Spirit, an artificial intelligence crafted by the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Machine Spirit is smart enough to move the tank and continue combat operations even if the crew is injured or otherwise incapacitated, increasing the durability and firepower of the Land Raider considerably. A Land Raider is a blessed artefact to the Techmarines that oversee its repair and maintenance. This is not least because a Land Raider's Machine Spirit is so much stronger than that of lesser tanks, a fact taken to mean that a substantial portion of the Machine God's essence resides within the Land Raider's impenetrable adamantium hull. Accordingly, should even a Land Raider's sponson be lost in battle, the rest of the Chapter will fight like men possessed for its retrieval, often calling in further reinforcements to ensure that the component is not lost. So it is that lives of men can be stilled in order to preserve the spirit of a machine, but the Space Marines honour such a sacrifice and go willingly into a battle of this kind.
Regardless of its value in matters of faith, the Land Raider's Machine Spirit is a potent asset. The Machine Spirit allows the tank to function with a smaller number of crew than comparable vehicles, and is capable of taking control of engines, weaponry or other systems if the Astartes crew is incapacitated or otherwise absent. Indeed, the Crimson Fists tell that the uncrewed Land Raider Rynn's Might, narrowly surviving the misfired missile that levelled their fortress-monastery on Rynn's World during the assault of an Ork WAAAGH!, immediately thereafter fought a solo war against a rampaging Ork warband, killing a Warboss and many of his followers in a night of slaughter. Rynn's Might did not survive the encounter, but its example serves as a reminder that a Land Raider is not a machine to be taken lightly, whether its crew is aboard or not.
Land Raiders of the Adeptus Custodes
The most ancient and honoured of Land Raiders are the Venerable Land Raiders used by the Adeptus Custodes, the valiant personal bodyguards of the Master of Mankind. Many can trace their history all the way back to the earliest days of the Imperium. These tanks rolled forwards amidst the earth-shaking armoured spearheads deployed during the Great Crusade. They ground alien oppressors beneath their treads as they fought to liberate Humanity from the horrors of Old Night, and turned their guns mercilessly upon the Traitor Legions once their betrayal was revealed. For ten thousand years these noble war engines have fought for the Imperium, and each has built a legend every bit as magnificent as those possessed by the greatest Imperial champions.
Venerable Land Raiders possess Magos-class Machine Spirits, noble and aggressive entities that can independently aim and fire the tank's guns and coordinate its auto-repair rituals when circumstances require it. Stories exist of these dauntless war engines fighting on even after their Custodian crews were slain, wreaking bloody revenge for their deaths.
These vehicles are the primary ground transport of the Adeptus Custodes, a statement of how unstoppable and elite the Ten Thousand truly are. Tracks churning, guns thundering, Venerable Land Raiders ferry their passengers into the heart of battle, then support them with unparalleled armoured might once they disembark. In extreme circumstances these amazing war engines have even been teleported directly onto the battlefield, their hulls warded against the empyric corruption that is a common side effect of travelling through the Warp, their passage assured through use of an ancient Godstrike Pattern teleportarium. This tactic has won many victories for the Adeptus Custodes; it is a rare enemy indeed that can survive the sudden appearance of a Land Raider full of demigods in the middle of their battle lines.
Land Raiders of the Inquisition
The Land Raider Phobos is used not only by the Adeptus Astartes, it is also deployed by the military forces of the Inquisition. The Land Raiders deployed by the Inquisition are similar in almost every way to their Astartes counterparts, with the exception of those used by the Ordo Malleus' Chamber Militant, the Grey Knights. The Grey Knights are Mankind's greatest defence against the daemons of the Warp, and each and every Grey Knight wields weapons capable of destroying those foul entities. The Grey Knights' Land Raider is no different. These Land Raiders are crafted with anti-daemonic seals, sigils, and runes built into the vehicle's hull, and it is equipped with weapons designed specifically to combat Warp entities. The Grey Knights' variant of the Land Raider Phobos replaces the vehicle's hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters with twin-linked Psycannons, which are very effective against daemons.
Land Raiders of the Adeptus Mechanicus
The Land Raider Phobos is not only used by the Adeptus Astartes, it is also deployed by the military forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Land Raiders used by the Mechanicus are usually highly customised in accordance with the needs and function of the Magi or Tech-priest faction that owns it. Land Raiders used by the Adeptus Mechanicus might be equipped with ancient technologies that are no longer used by the standard military forces of the Imperium, such as Anbaric Claws, Phase-plasma Fusil weaponry, Graviton Cannons, Plasma Cannons, Flare Shields, Volkite Weapons, and Exploratory Augury Webs.
Chaos Land Raiders
The Land Raiders deployed by the Traitor Legions of the Chaos Space Marines are over 10,000 Terran years old and overwhelmingly date back to the time of the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy in the early 31st Millennium. These vehicles are the same Land Raiders that the Traitor Legions used during the Battle of Terra and with which they fled into the Eye of Terror following the end of the Heresy and the Great Scouring. At the time of the Great Betrayal, the principal source of Land Raider production was the dedicated Forge World of Anvilus IX, which the Warmaster Horus and his allies plotted against to ensure it fell quickly to the rogue Dark Mechanicus elements bound to his service. When the Warmaster's hold was finally broken over Anvilux IX, the system was left shattered in the Traitor's wake, and the enemy took the knowledge of the secret arts of the Land Raider's construction with them.
Chaos Land Raiders are in many ways similar to their Loyalist counterparts, save that in most cases their operating Machine Spirit has been replaced by a possessing daemon, essentially transforming Chaos Land Raiders into another form of Daemon Engine. Like Imperial Land Raiders, daemon-possessed Chaos Land Raiders can move at the daemon's command when their crews are killed or incapacitated and can also make use of the vehicle's weapons systems at-will, though a daemonic spirit which goes against the wishes of its crew may suffer sorcerous retribution after combat. Chaos Land Raiders are usually decorated with the standard horrific iconography of Chaos and various grisly trophies such as severed heads and the flayed skins of the warband's enemies. Chaos Lords and Chaos Champions will usually make use of a Land Raider as a sign of status, adorning the vehicle with large banners, the bodies of the slain, and symbols of the Dark Gods.
Chaos Land Raiders are armed in much the same way as their Imperial counterpart: with a set of hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters and two sets of sponson-mounted Lascannons. These vehicles can also be armed with either Pintle-mounted twin-linked Bolters (Combi-Bolters) or other Combi-Weapons. Land Raiders in use by Heretic and Renegade Astartes warbands that have recently betrayed the Imperium, or recently captured Imperial Land Raiders may be armed instead with a Storm Bolter or even a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher. They can also be armed with a Havoc Missile Launcher, an ancient weapon system that has long fallen out of use in the Imperium. Chaos Land Raiders can also be equipped with destroyer blades, Dirge Casters, dozer blades, extra armour plating, Chaos Icons or Marks, or Warpflame Gargoyles. They are often possessed by a daemon as noted above, or bestowed with other "gifts" of the Chaos Gods. Like the Imperial Land Raider, the Chaos Land Raider is capable of transporting up to ten Chaos Space Marines or six Chaos Terminators, but is unable to transport Chaos Raptors, daemons, Mutilators, or Obliterators.
The Chaos Land Raider is the heaviest ground vehicle in any Chaos Space Marine army. Its adamantium and ceramite plates can withstand all but the deadliest anti-tank weaponry, and the blessings of the Warpsmiths keep it at peak efficiency. The twin Lascannons mounted in each sponson make short work of other vehicles that would dare to attempt to stop its rampage. Once in the thick of the enemy, this metal beast opens the jaws of its assault ramp and disgorges its cargo of bloodthirsty warriors.
The Machine Spirits (artificial intelligences) that once dwelt inside the Cogitators of Chaos Land Raiders are distorted or even forcibly supplanted by daemonic entities, giving these growling, snarling battle tanks a literal life of their own. Even should the driver and gunners of this graven idol of war meet an untimely end it will fight on, relishing its new-found freedom from the agendas of mortal men and pursuing a singular goal instead -- the destruction of all order and harmony that falls under its crosshairs.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Land Raider||Main Armament:||2 Sponson-mounted Twin-linked Lascannons|
|Forge World of Origin:||Mars||Secondary Armament:||Hull-mounted Twin-linked Heavy Bolters|
|Known Patterns:||III - XXVII||Traverse:||180 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Commander, 1 Driver||Elevation:||-32 to 42 degrees|
|Powerplant:||Adaptable Thermic Combustion with Auxiliary Reactor||Main Ammunition:||Unlimited|
|Weight:||72.0 tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||2600 Rounds|
|Height:||4.11 metres||Superstructure:||95 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||0.45 metres||Hull:||95 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||55 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||48 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||0120-766-0724-PR 113|
|Transport Capacity:||12 Space Marines, or 6 Terminator Marines||Firing Ports:||N/A|
|Access Points:||2 Side Doors, 1 Front ramp||Turret:||N/A|
Land Raider Hellfire and Land Raider Spartan Canon Conflict
The Land Raider Hellfire and the Land Raider Spartan are no longer considered canon vehicles, as they have been redesigned and re-released as the Land Raider Proteus and Spartan Assault Tank, respectively. The Land Raider Hellfire was the standard variant of the Land Raider used during the Rogue Trader 1st Edition era of Warhammer 40,000 and was available to the Space Marines, the Imperial Guard and even the forces of certain Rogue Traders. It was relatively lightly armed, with 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons and a Pintle Mounted Bolter. A later variant increased this early pattern Land Raider's armament with an additional Twin-linked Lascannon on each sponson and 2 pintle-mounted Heavy Bolters. The Hellfire Land Raider is no longer a canon vehicle, as it was redesigned and re-released as the Land Raider Proteus by Forge World. The Land Raider Spartan variant of the Land Raider prevalent during the Rogue Trader 1st Edition era of Warhammer 40,000 was used to carry Terminators into combat. The original Spartan had the standard Land Raider armament of the Great Crusade era, two twin-linked Lascannons (Heavy Bolters were not standard then) but also mounted either a Heavy Bolter or Heavy Flamer on a turret on top. The Land Raider Spartan was in widespread use after the Heresy, but disappeared when the standard Land Raider was re-designed to carry Terminators. This vehicle has been redesigned and re-released as the Spartan Assault Tank by Forge World.
The Land Raider tank is one of the most powerful and sophisticated main battle tanks used by the Imperium of Man. It features high-powered laser weaponry and artificial intelligence, yet the Land Raider is based off of the design of the first tanks ever deployed by humanity. These vehicles were used during World War I by both the Allies and the Central Powers and first entered service with the British Army in 1916 at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette during the Somme Offensive. The vehicles were designed out of the need to break the domination of trenches and machine guns over the battlefields of the Western Front. While successful in this task, they suffered from many problems owing to their primitive nature. The first British tanks, which included the original Mark I all the way to the final World War I variant known as the Mark X, also came in so-called "male" and "female" variants and were equipped with sponson-mounted weapons instead of the turret-mounted weapons used on all later types of tanks. The most common weapons used on these tanks were 57mm Hotchkiss guns and 7.92mm machine guns.
- Adeptus Astartes: Space Marine HQ Command Tanks (Forge World Model Set Data Sheet)
- Book of the Astromonican (1st Edition), pg. 69
- Chapter Approved 2001
- Chapter Approved 2003, pg. 72
- Citadel Journal 41,"Prometheus: Space Marine Land Raider Command Tank", pp. 28-30
- Chapter Approved 2004, pg. 56
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 90-91, 177
- Codex: Adeptus Custodes (8th Edition), pp. 43, 45-47, 49, 54
- Codex: Armageddon (3rd Edition), pp. 14-15, 32
- Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pg. 37
- Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), p. 42
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 71, 143
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 55, 103
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 44, 101
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 36
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), pg. 18
- Codex: Daemonhunters (3rd Edition), pg. 64
- Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pp. 4, 40-41, 74, 104
- Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), pg. 34
- Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pg. 36
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 102-103, 177
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 81, 83, 143
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 40
- Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pg. 15
- Codex: Ultramarines, pg. 69
- Codex: Witchunters (3rd Edition), pg. 64
- Epic Armageddon Rulebook
- Imperial Armour Update, pg. 48
- Imperial Armour - Apocalypse II, pp. 32-33
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines & Forces of the Inquisition, pp. 11, 83-98, 193-197, 200-201
- Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pp. 25, 27-28, 32-33, 40-41, 58, 205-207, 245
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 23, 44, 54, 122, 130, 147, 152
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One, pp. 59, 61, 146-147
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pp. 87, 123, 128
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pp. 25, 39, 56, 78, 83, 207
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 9, 22, 81, 89, 115, 151, 167, 193
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 11, 26, 27, 48, 112, 122, 150-154, 168
- Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pg. 122
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 57
- Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost and the Damned by Andy Hoare with additional material by Alan Bligh & Neil Wylie, pp. 41-43
- Index Astartes I
- Index Astartes II
- Index Astartes III
- Index Astartes IV
- The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal by Alan Bligh, pp. 6-7, 24-25, 32-34, 54, 57, 61, 82, 95, 101, 125, 135, 148-149, 164, 218-220, 222, 234, 246, 253, 271
- The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions (Background Book), pg. 79, 81, 298, 376
- Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 166
- Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse, pg. 115
- White Dwarf Magazine #245 (UK), "The Land Raider Thunders In...: Land Raider MkIII", pp. 8-29
- White Dwarf Magazine #119 (UK), "Spartan: Land Raider Variant for Terminator Transport", pp. 60-64
- White Dwarf Magazine #105, "Chapter Approved: Land Raider", pp. 2-5
- Angel Exterminatus (Novel) by Graham McNeill, pp. 80, 128, 138, 221, 382, 389, 417, 534
- Galaxy in Flames (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Dawn of War (PC Game)
- Dawn of War II (PC Game)
- Forge World Webstore - Land Raider Achilles
- Forge World Webstore - Achilles-Alpha Pattern Land Raider
- Forge World Webstore - Land Raider Proteus
- Forge World Webstore - Land Raider Armoured Proteus
- Forge World Webstore - Land Raider Prometheus
- Forge World Webstore - Land Raider Helios
- Forge World Webstore - MkIIIB Land Raider
- Forge World Webstore - Land Raider Reinforced Armour
- Forge World Webstore - Grey Knights Land Raider
- Space Marines Apocalypse Datasheet - Land Raider Ares Information PDF
- Space Marines Apocalypse Datasheet - Terminus Ultra Land Raider PDF
- Games Workshop Webstore - Chaos Space Marine Land Raider