Landspeeder Storms at 500 points?

This month I’ve been spending some of my free time coming up with various 500 point armies for an upcoming tournament (rules here).  Since I haven’t delved into a suitable Space Marine list, I figured I’d give one a shot.

One of my favorite units in the codex is the Landspeeder Storm.  I’m sure this is partly because it’s an underdog in the book, as not many people seem to see value in it.  The idea of reliably being able to put a powerfist into a first turn assault is nothing to laugh at… heck, first turn assaults in general are a bit of a rarity.

With the storm in mind, I set out to build a list around them:

  • Troops:
    • Scout Squad w/ CCW & Bolt Pistols
      • Lead by a Sarge w/ Powerfist
    • Scout Squad w/ CCW & Bolt Pistols
      • Lead by a Sarge w/ Powerfist & Combi-Melta
    • Scout Squad w/ CCW & Bolt Pistols
      • Lead by a Sarge w/ Powerfist & Combi-Melta
  • Fast Attack:
    • Landspeeder Storm w/ Heavy Flamer
    • Landspeeder Storm w/ Heavy Flamer
    • Landspeeder Storm w/ Heavy Flamer

No surprises here.  Each storm is armed with a H. Flamer because the gunners don’t know how to shoot otherwise.  Because of this, the tank popping is relegated to the powerfists and the two combi-meltas–which is a little light.

I figure the strategy will depend upon whether you get first or second turn.  If I get first turn, I’d deploy them in the center of the board and then scout them all forward so that they can multi-assault something.  Speeders will lurch forward and flame anything in the open, while the combi-meltas will open tanks to allow the rest of the force to assault. 

If you get stuck with 2nd turn, hold everything in reserve as outflankers.  That way, they can come in and assault anywhere up to 20″ on either side of the board.  Since we’re playing with 4’x4′ boards, that only leaves your enemy with a little less than an 8″ strip in the center of the board to evade your assault

What’s great about this list is the suprise value: nobody expects to see storms used against them.  With such a small table, they would seem to excel…  This is the kind of list I’d love to play–the only problem being I don’t have enough painted models (or enough storms in general), and I doubt I have the motivation to get them painted up in time…

Picture from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of an electrical storm over Boston in 1967.

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6 comments on “Landspeeder Storms at 500 points?

  1. Storms are definitely one of those units that I just wish were actually good- such a cool concept! Hopefully at that points level you won’t run into too many tanks, but you just know that some jerk is going to bring a land raider to the party…

    • I actually like storms in all size games–simply because nobody expects to
      be assaulted first turn.

      As for the tanks, I expect some people will bring them, since a tank-heavy
      IGuard force will be really powerful in this format. Land raiders are
      off-limits though, due to them having an armor rating of 42
      (front+side+rear), when the max is 33. For that reason, I’m not too worried
      about armor… figuring that the two melta-guns and three powerfists should
      be enough to take out any tanks I face. Heck, at that rate, even the heavy
      flamers (or the bolters, for that matter) can take out rear armor on tanks.

      Do you ever use storms yourself? Or am I the only one?

      • I think you’re mostly the only one, sorry. I’ve seen them in action before, and they never really impress.

        First turn assaults are cute, but remember: they’re still Scouts. That means it is quite possible for a group of Guardsmen to beat them to death with rifle butts, especially when there’s only five of them. And, if your opponent is smart, they’ll just bubblewrap their relevant unit with something else, although at 500pts having throwaway squads is less likely.

        They’re still AV10 open-topped, which puts them on par with Trukks and Raiders for durability. That’s not a boat you want to be on.

      • In my experience, nobody plays storms, so nobody expects them. Sure,
        they’re super flimsy, but they’re also relatively cheap. The whole goal is
        simply to put a scout unit into the thick of things.

        Which leads to your first statement… keeping them alive is definitely a
        bit of a trick. Clever use of positioning and/or the flamer can make it so
        they do fairly well.

        Sure, it’s probably just wishful thinking, and I’m certain 90% of the
        bloggers out there would disagree, but I rather like these guys. I
        mean, they’re comparable to raiders and trukks (both of which are seen as
        good, mind you)–what’s so different about these? I just wish you could
        put more than 5 scouts in one….

  2. Why not do 2 Storms with Assault Cannons, two Scout Squads with Fist/Combi-Melta, and a Scout Squad with Sniper/Missile? Your Storms play keep-away, peppering opponents with 4 shots (to make up for BS3) while you bring an objective-holding unit.
    Or maybe round up some Scout Bikers to compliment! They’re pretty slick in 500 points with the rapid fire grenade launchers!

    • Scout bikers are good–I agree with you… it’s just that I don’t own any,
      so it’s super-unlikely that I’ll purchase them and paint them before the
      tourney. They’re on my list of things to buy though… one day.

      On the topic of Assault cannons, I just can’t get over the hang-up of them
      being BS3. The idea that the space marines only choose the finest humans to
      enter their order, but somehow there are multiple guard units with better
      ballistic skill burns my britches… Well, that and the fact that rending
      never seems to do anything for me. You’re probably right though, in that
      list being a superior choice.

      I suspect my final list (if I go with Marines) will include snipes in some
      form or another…

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