Space Marine Tanks and You
So I’m going to write this article on something near and dear to my heart. Big, nasty, heavy armor and what I think about it in 8th edition. First I’m going to talk about the classifications of armor; which should give you a glimpse into how I think of them in my head. There’s 4 classifications that I think matter in 40k.
- Tanks – Predators, Vindicators. Vehicles designed first, last, and always to do the damage.
- APC (Armored Personnel Carriers) – Rhinos. Vehicles designed to transport troops primarily, with minimal armament.
- IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) – Tanks that can carry troops (Land Raider, Repulsor) or APCs that carry big guns (Razorbacks). These really blur a lot of lines, and the Repulsor in particular just does everything, while the Land Raider has the best armor of any tank in the index.
- Artillery – Hi whirlwind. We see you in the corner, you’re a very pretty girl and we probably won’t be seeing you this edition either.
Tanks can usually be built to murder infantry of some type, or armor. APCs have pretty limited, but useful firepower, IFVs usually have one big weapon system, but again for the marines the Land Raider has a powerful set of weapon mixes, while the Repulsor has a choice between an insane amount of anti infantry firepower or an equally ludicrous number of lascannon shots. Artillery tends to have one huge gun, that can pound the hell out of an area, although in this edition it generally just means whacking one unit.
It’s also important to note the characteristics of the units they operate with. Tanks are self-contained. To do what they do, they don’t need another unit. APCs always operate with troops, and IFVs nearly so. Let’s look at a Razorback working with an anti-tank devastator squad. Assuming you want to hug up on them to move them later in the game you want to pick weapons that compliment the devastators. Let’s say you went lazy and picked 4 lascannons. Well they sure don’t want infantry coming close so you pick a twin linked assault cannon to deal with hordes or even light vehicles that try to swarm up on you. IFVs role is defined as much by what it’s supporting as what you want it to do in and of itself. Tanks are defined by what you want them to do, 100%.
All of these vehicles are TOUGH. T7, 10 wounds for a Rhino or Razorback, with a 3+ save. T7 11 wounds 3+ for the predator, T8, 16 wounds(!) and 2+ for the Land Raider. The repulsor is (I believe) T8, 16 wounds, 3+. It will take a LOT of shots to crack open a tank, even a lascannon will require multiple shots to kill a lowly rhino. Forget a Land Raider, that’s something you will struggle to crack in a single turn, or even two, unless you really go all in on anti-armor. At which point you have to worry about what is IN the Land Raider.
So what about the Rhino.
Well I kit mine with dual Storm Bolters. Rapid Fire 2 means they roll a respectable 4 attacks at close range, they can pick up, drop off, or rescue squads, move them across the battlefield, and even provide a couple extra dice of shooting. Now let me emphasize rescue. Got a squad down to 1 or 2 guys? Don’t want to give up a victory point? Pop them back in the rhino. You can even do this with multiple squads because you don’t have to worry about only having one unit in there. Rescue work is a great role for these vehicles because it’s so much harder to crack them, and you can run back to a building and drop the troops off someplace safe without sacrificing too much firepower.
The Razorback can do all that and provide some great single-role firepower. Twin lascannon, Twin Heavy Bolter, or better yet, assault cannon, give you a great choice between vehicle killing and killing lots of infantry. I love razorbacks and plan on mounting as many squads as I can in the little bastards. I have 3 and plan on getting 4 more AT LEAST.
Predators are simply great. The local Warhammer store can’t keep them in stock, Mayhem down the way can’t either. I love the autocannon and lascannon loadout, and plan on eventually getting more. They can sit back, ideally someplace well supported by characters, and just shoot, shoot, shoot.
Land Raiders are all stars. INCREDIBLY threatening with between 24 and 36 anti infantry shots (12 of which can threaten vehicles to a fair extent at S6 Ap-1) as well as the practically obligatory multi-melta, it demands to be shot at. Oh and it’s T8 with 16 wounds and a 2+ so good luck shooting it. Godhammers bring 4(!) lascannons, and twin linked heavy bolters, making it a superb vehicle killer, with the firepower of a devastator squad and the staying power of, well, the heaviest tank of the Space Marines. Finally the Redeemer is the odd man out. It’s definitely the weakest of the Land Raiders but, two Redeemer flamethrowers at S6, AP -2 D2 is… very impressive damage against MEQs and even TEQs. What pushes them over the top, again, is command bubbles. Any kind of re-roll or invuln save makes it practically unfair. Azrael, btw, does both.
So let’s wrap up by talking a bit more about the kind of support. Obviously any chapter master letting you re-roll any to-hit is great, or even a captain letting you re-roll 1s (half your misses) is fantastic. Lieutenants let you re-roll 1s to wound. Believe me I’ll be getting some *GLARES ANGRILY AT HIS CRUSADER’S MULTI MELTA* which might be even better than re-rolling to-hits as there’s more failed wound rolls than hit rolls in general.
Finally, someone needs to bang out the dents these monsters pick up over time. Techmarines can pick up D3 wounds on a single vehicle/turn. If you are committed to bringing a lot of armor, having this guy running around in the bubble, especially the bubble of someone like Azrael, banging out dents, can make an armor-heavy list simply unpleasant to play against.
So now you know what the vehicles are, what they can do, and how to make them do it better if you want to go all in. Go forth brother, and smash your foe in the name of the Emperor!