After several years of widespread exclusion from competitive Warhammer 40k play, the Space Marines’ Land Raider heavy tank is finally getting a meaningful drop in its points cost, Games Workshop announced in a Warhammer Community post on Thursday. As part of 2021’s edition of Chapter Approved – Warhammer 40k’s annual competitive rules and points update publication – the Land Raider’s cost will go down to 265 points including its default weaponry, from 285 points previously. Chapter Approved 2021 goes live for pre-order this Saturday, May 29, and comes out a week later on June 5.
It comes alongside points drops for the comparatively brand-new Space Marine Storm Speeder hover tank (down from 150 to 135 points for the cheapest variant), Eldar Wraithguard (down from 38 points per model to 35) and Wraithblades (down from 40 to 37 points per model), and Genestealers – which will go down from 15 to 13 points per models in Tyranid armies, and from 17 down to 15 points per model in their “Purestrain” form, in Genestealer Cults armies.
With the exception of the Land Raider, all these units have been priced somewhere close to, but not quite over, the border of ‘viability’ in competitive army lists – so being tweaked down in points may be interpreted as a nudge to bring these choices into frontline positions in tournament armies.
The Land Raider changes, meanwhile, appear more like a direct shot in the arm to bring a beloved old favourite out of retirement – something for which many old-school Space Marine players, and those reticent of embracing the faction’s powerful new Primaris units, will be very thankful for.
Chaos Space Marine armies with Land Raiders included in their codexes will also benefit from the points drops. Decorative spikes and skulls continue to cost no additional points, at least according to Thursday’s post.
The post also clarified a couple of details about the upcoming Grey Knights and Thousand Sons codexes, including that the updated points for those factions in Chapter Approved would be, at press time, incorrect, because both codexes had been planned to be out already by this point in the year.
For that reason, the post published special, temporary points lists for Grey Knights and Thousand Sons, for use from Chapter Approved 2021’s release, up until their new 9th edition codexes drop. It gave no further indication of when that would be, however, beyond “in the coming months”.
You can read the latest on those codexes, and all the others, in our Warhammer 40k 9th edition codex guide.
The Land Raider, first launched as a Games Workshop model kit in 1988, occupies a special place in Space Marine players’ hearts, due to its prominent role in countless 40k and Horus Heresy novels, as well as its chunky size, distinctive – ahem – robust design, and tabletop reputation for being, at various times in the game’s history, either infuriatingly hard to kill, or ludicrously more vulnerable than it looks.
In a particularly idiosyncratic nugget of Warhammer 40k lore, the tank’s name derives not from a descriptor of how it conquers terrain (although it does) but from the name of its original designer: the Mechanicum tech-magos, self-described techno-archaeologist, and beloved recurring character in the Horus Heresy novels, Arkhan Land.