Raiders, Crusaders, and Redeemers. Oh my! (Land Raider Tactica)

Howdy folks,
As I've been perusing the various rumors swarming around my beloved Space Wolves and the possibility of my very own Wolfish Land Raider, I thought I'd start a discussion about the three LR variants currently available. What are their relative merits and shortcomings? What do you use and why? How does the possibility of 3 Twin-Linked Assault Cannons hit you?

Relative Merits and Shortcomings:
1. Land Raider (Vanilla): With the new Machine Spirit and its ability to split fire, the traditional LR can tackle everything from tanks to troops and even Monstrous Creatures. With the Multi-Melta option you get three tank-popping shots, and the twin-linked heavy bolter can put a dent in most non-power armoured troops as well as MCs. The Lascannon sponsons also make it significantly more of a threat at range. However, this strength can also be viewed as a weakness as you will be more prone to keep the LR at distance, which negates its significant transport capabilities. I think the traditional LR is trying fulfill too many roles. It will either be a very expensive transport that cannot deal with the troops that inevitably surround it or an incredibly overpriced Predator-clone.

2. Land Raider Crusader: Ahhh, Defensive Weapons. If you want your enemy's troops to go down in a hail of fire as your nastiest troops emerge intent on wiping up the few survivors, the LR Crusader is for you. It can move 6 inches and still fire every weapon, including the Multi-Melta upgrade. If you're within 12 inches, that's 17 shots, 16 of which are twin-linked. That's a formidable number of shots. The new Machine Spirit also allows it to split fire, using the AC and Hurrican Bolters to kill troops while the MM takes a pot shot at nearby tanks. The Crusaders enormous transport capacity also makes it frightening if it is used to its fullest; however, there aren't too many Space Marine armies with units of more than 10, and the other 2 LRs can carry twelve. I guess if you're running large units of Termies it could be useful. The only real weakness of the Crusader comes against armies in Power Armour with their 3+ save, which are incredibly prevalent.

3. Land Raider Redeemer: Burn the Heretic! This is the real up-close-and-personal LR. You have to plunge headlong into the gullet of your enemy in order to utilize its full capabilities. The same facts regarding the Assault Cannon and Multi-Melta that were true for the Crusader are true for the Redeemer. The difference is the Flamestorm Cannon. This is a very short-range weapon, but my Lord does it do the trick. If you have an aggressive play style, this thing will murder power-armoured troops and hordes alike, bah on their cover too. In the right circumstances the Machine Spirit even allows you to fire both Flamestorm Cannons at different targets. The main shortcoming of the Redeemer is pretty obvious. It is very short range, and if you want to get its points back you have to put it quickly into harm's way. It is not a very flexible vehicle. You move forward until your enemies are all dead or until it is.

What do you use and why?

I currently use a Land Raider Redeemer. I run Space Wolves, and my basic plan is usually to go for the jugular. I find that the Redeemer compliments my play style quite nicely. I usually move forward 12 inches in the first turn and fire either the Assault Cannon or the Multi-Melta depending upon what I want to die. I also use my Rune Priest spell to give the LR a cover save. On the second turn, I move forward either 6 or 12 inches depending on where my enemies are as well as how I think they're going to try and pop the LR. If I can, I get in close, unload my unit (a Rune Priest with a unit of Blood Claws), fire at least one Flamestorm Cannon, and assault with the unit. If I'm playing an army like Orks that has a lot of Power Klaws/Fists, I try to move 12 inches on that second turn to force them to have 6s to hit. Against more elite armies, I like to move 6 inches so I can fire more guns. Another reason I like the Redeemer is that I think it is the least often used of the three variants, as it is the newest. Many players don't really fathom what a Strength 6 AP 3 flame template can do to a unit until it does so. During a recent tournament, I moved my Redeemer forward 12 inches toward a Rhino full of Khorne Berzerkers. My opponent immediately got them out and assaulted the LR. (They were Khorne after all.) Their lone PF failed to do anything, so I unloaded my unit and prepared to assault the red buggers after the shooting phase. I backed the LR up 6 inches or so and set the Flamestorm template down on the now strung out unit. Eight, yes eight, Berzerkers went up in flames. A nearby unit of Grey Hunters mopped up the rest with Bolter fire, and the unit I had unloaded was left with nothing to assault.

What do you think about the rumored Space Wolf Land Raider Variant with Twin-Linked Assault Cannon Sponsons?

First off, let me say that I'm still in the doubting phase with regards to this rumor. If it is true, I'm looking forward to it. 12 Twin-Linked, Strength 6, Rending shots will kill dang near anything. The short range doesn't bother me either as I'm usually rushing forward. I think this would be dead-killy and that much whining will revolve around its use. However, as with all things concerning "rumors," no matter how beastly it sounds I won't be convinced until I see the points cost. There are lots of frightening units in 40k that are simply priced out of viability. So, I'm reserving judgement.

Well, that's about it. I'm quite interested in your thoughts on this. Let me know what you think or berate me for my nincompoopery. (Please don't actually do this. I'm sensitive.)