The Mark IIb Land Raider Phobos is one of the earliest marks of the standard pattern of 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 IIb Land Raider Phobos is the only pattern of the standard Land Raider Phobos that uses the older armoured sponsons, as they do not allow the weapons they hold to fully rotate. This pattern of Land Raider is mostly extinct within Space Marine Armouries, having been replaced with newer marks and patterns of the standard Land Raider Phobos. However, some Chapters may still possess one or two as treasured relics of their ancient past.
Legend has it that the Land Raider (called in some fragmentary records "Land's Raider") was discovered during Machine-Archaeologist Arkhan Land's great expedition into the labyrinth catacombs sited deep beneath the surface of Mars. The purpose of this expedition was to find functioning Standard Template Construct (STC) databases. In this Land failed, but two discoveries were made which revolutionised machine lore for millennia to come.
The first was a near-complete dataslate 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" (the precursor to the modern Land Speeder). Arkhan Land would later vanish during a subsequent expedition into the catacombs, 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.
As the Emperor's fleets took to the stars during the Great Crusade after ca. 800.M30, it is thought that they carried with them the first battle-ready Land Raiders. At that time, all human forces, Space Marine Legions and Imperial Army alike, were equipped with Land Raiders, and with this awesome war machine at their command they conquered world after world until the Emperor's Imperium of Man bestrode the galaxy. Such was the demand for Land Raiders during the Great Crusade that an entire Forge World was founded just to manufacture them.
This world, Anvilus IX, supplied thousands upon thousands of the vehicles to Mankind's forces, but the Great Crusade ended in disaster when the Warmaster Horus rebelled against the Emperor and bloody civil war engulfed the Imperium. Anvilus IX itself was captured by Renegade Tech-priests aligned with Horus and its forges were co-opted to their use. Other Forge Worlds seceded from the Imperium rather than join the fighting 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.
With Traitor forces advancing on Terra itself and the Loyalist defenders of the Imperium facing total defeat, the Emperor decreed that all remaining Land Raiders still in loyal service should be recalled and 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 epic conclusion of the Heresy at 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 vehicle almost exclusively used by the Space Marine Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes for the past 10,000 standard years. The few exceptions to this general rule are those allocated to the Inquisition and especially influential Rogue Traders who utilise them in their private armies, as both have been vested with unusual freedom in this and many other regards by the Imperium they serve.
The ubiquitous Land Raider Phobos has served in every major Space Marine campaign since the defence of the Emperor's Imperial Palace. Famous incidents of Land Raiders engaging a foe are a thousand-fold. Several more of the more celebrated accounts include the Red Talons' Land Raider, Eagle's Claw, which saw action against Traitor forces during the Battle of Amion. In a solo rampage, this Land Raider was responsible for the destruction of rebel supply bases and engaged retreating enemy units, causing such destruction to vital stockpiles that the enemy's defences completely collapsed when following Imperial Guard units attacked en masse.
Beast of Iron
The Land Raider is regarded by many as the finest armoured fighting vehicle of its class in the Imperium's arsenal -- if not the galaxy, and the Land Raider Phobos was the mainstay battle tank of the Space Marine Legions. It was a phenomenally powerful war machine, its multi-layered composite armour and reinforced hull all but imperious even to heavy weapons, and it has no truly vulnerable areas, being a sealed unit designed to resist enemy attack from any approach. Intended to serve in almost any environment as war machine and exploration vehicle, the Land Raider Phobos can operate freely in warzones ranging from acid swamps to rad-deserts to arctic wastes without any noticeable impediment to its performance, and can even operate underwater and in hard vacuum, ensuring that there is no open battlefield on which its armoured wrath cannot be unleashed.
Every Land Raider contains a potent battle cogitation core that aids its crew in the operation of its numerous weapons and secondary systems. In the Phobos Pattern vehicle this is an M32 "Cyclops"-class Battle Cogitator, one of the rarest and most capable of these arcane processing logic engines. The Machine Spirit said to dwell within is known for its devotion to duty and to its crew, and some are even capable of independent operation. Indeed, there are several tales of Machine Spirits guiding a vehicle and its passengers to safety after its Space Marine crew are incapacitated.
Primary power is provided by a Mars Pattern adaptable thermic combustor reaction engine situated at the rear of the vehicle. This engine is one of the most powerful of its class, able to propel the Mark IIb Land Raider Phobos across the most arduous of battlefield terrain and to smash aside the most stubborn of obstacles. Secondary features of the pattern include atmospheric sampling equipment, rad-repellor, air filtration and purification unit, multi-spectral optic periscopes around the turret rings, gene-coded controls for security purposes and slaved remote targeting systems to control the sponson weapons. The only drawbacks of these older armoured sponsons is that they do not allow the weapons they hold to fully rotate.
Each Land Raider also carries a range of command and control equipment. Individual screens allow a commander to monitor his unit's bio-status readouts via sensorium core ex-links in each Battle-Brother's armour, and these are relayed through the vehicle's communication conduits. There is also a holographic tactical display and direct interfaces to the Battle Cogitator. These provide the vehicle commander with access to all the battlefield information he needs and makes a Land Raider a mobile command centre as well as a front-line fighting vehicle and squad transport.
A celebrated feature common to many patterns of Land Raider is the consecrated "Aquila" track link. The thirteenth track link bears the Imperium's double-headed eagle symbol and represents the Emperor Himself, the other twelve standing to for the High Lords of Terra. During Space Marine operations, a planet's surface is thereby stamped with the authority of the Emperor as if He Himself had set foot upon it.
The Land Raider Phobos can transport ten fully armoured Space Marines.
- Two sponson-mounted twin-linked Lascannon
- Hull mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolter
- Smoke Launchers
- Machine Spirit
- Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher
- Dozer Blade
- Auxiliary Drive
- Extra Armour Plating
- Armoured Ceramite
- Pintle Mounted Twin-linked Bolter
- Pintle Mounted Combi-Weapon
- Pintle Mounted Heavy Flamer
- Pintle Mounted Havoc Missile Launcher
- Pintle Mounted Heavy Bolter
- Pintle Mounted Multi-Melta
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Land Raider Phobos Mark IIb||Main Armament:||2 twin-linked Lascannons|
|Forge World of Origin:||Mars||Secondary Armament:||Hull-mounted, twin-linked Heavy Bolters|
|Known Patterns:||II-XXVII||Traverse:||180 degrees|
|Crew:||Driver & Commander||Elevation:||-32 to 42 degrees|
|Powerplant:||Adaptable thermic combustion with auxiliary reactor||Main Ammunition:||Unlimited cell power feed|
|Weight:||72 tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||2,600 Rounds|
|Height:||4.11 metres||Superstructure:||95 mm|
|Ground Clearance:||0.45 metres||Hull:||95 mm|
|Max Speed On-Road:||55 kph||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||48 kph||Vehicle Designation:||0120-766-0724-PR 113|
|Transport Capacity:||10 Space Marines||Firing Ports:||N/A|
|Access Points:||2 Side Doors||Turret:||N/A|
|Addendum:||"Blessed be the Chariot of the God-Emperor."|
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines & Forces of the Inquisition, pp. 87, 93, 95-97, 206
- 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, pp. 79, 81, 298, 376
- Forge World - Mark IIb Land Raider