“Javelin Attack Speeders share many of the advanced systems found in the jet-bike of the Legiones Astartes Skyslayer formations. Coupling esoteric grav-impeller systems with high powered heavy weapons, Javelin Attack Speeders are both rare and in high demand by front line Astartes units”.– Legiones Astartes Army List, Javelin Attack Speeder Datasheet
Foes who underestimate the Javelin Attack Speeder can find themselves in more than a spot of bother. Able to bring some heavy weapons to the battle with a great deal of manoeuvrability and speed, Javelins represent a significant threat to most unit types in an opposing army.
Favoured by those forces preferring a rapid assault method of warfare over the heavier, more constrained armoured vehicles in the arsenal of the Astartes; the Javelin is often used to provide heavy fire support to fast moving Assault Squads and Legion specialists.
Basic Rules & Core Capability:
Javelin Attack Speeders come in Squadron form with a fielding scale of 1-3. At 55pts per model, this represents good value from the off. The Speeders come with Vehicle (Skimmer, Fast) rules; this means that despite the flying stem bases on the models, distances are measured from the hull of the model – with the exception to weapons, which work as normal. Skimmers can move over models, but they can’t end their move on top of them.
Their basic stat-line is:
This means that the platform is actually quite susceptible to concerted fire, however its rule set does help out with this;
Fast Skimmers, such as the Javelin move up to 18″ when moving flat out this gives them a truly fearsome threat range, even if you cannot fire in the turn you flat out. Being Fast, if you move at combat speed, you fire weapons as if you remained stationary. If you move at cruising speed, you can still fire 2 weapons at full ballistic skill.
They can also Jink which gives them a 4+ invulnerable save at the cost of having to snap fire their weapons for the following turn. It should be noted that these are not Legiones Astartes (Legion) models, therefore they cannot take advantage of any bonuses directly linked to that rule; however, they may still take advantage of rules such as Night Fighting to improve that save.
Additionally, Javelin Attack Speeders come with Deep Strike and Outflank. This gives greater deployment options, although both types have their limitations associated. The last two rules associated with the Javelin Attack Speeder are Grav-Backwash and Strafing Run. Grav-Backwash causes attackers assaulting it to suffer -2 to hit, unless the Javelin has become immobilised. This is quite a strong rule in itself. Strafing Run is where things really get interesting. Starting BS4, when shooting its weapons at Artillery, Beasts, Bikes, Cavalry, Infantry, Monsterous Creatures and Vehicles without the Skimmer or Flyer type, the vehicle has +1 Ballistic Skill. So, in short, most of the things you’re setting the Javelin Attack Speeder against, you are hitting on 2+.
Primary Weapons Systems:
55pts buys a Javelin Attack Speeder with a Heavy Bolter Secondary and Twin Linked Cyclone Missile Launcher. This is a fairly strong multi-role loadout for the platform.
Cyclone Missile Launcher – Free. The Cyclone missile launcher offers a threat range of 48″, firing S4, AP6, Heavy 2, Blast 3″ Frag Missiles, or S8, AP3, Heavy 2 Krak Missiles. Frontally, it’s insufficient to penetrate Armour Value 14 with Flare Shields and you don’t get bonuses to the vehicle damage table – however, it can still do damage when using it within a manoeuvre warfare mindset.
Las Cannons – 10 pts. There is only one other option for the Primary weapon, which is a twin-linked Las Cannon for +10pts. This gives a 48″ threat range, firing S9, AP2, Heavy 1. This means it can seriously threaten Av14, but does specialise the platform. I tend to run my Javelins with Las Cannons, as i lack Anti-Tank in my Night Lords Terror Assault army due to the Rite of War Limitations.
Secondary Weapons Systems:
Heavy Bolter – Free. As mentioned, 55pts buys a Heavy Bolter secondary on the base version. This is your standard Heavy Bolter, offering a 36″ threat range, firing S5, AP4, Heavy 3 shots. It’s a nice bolster to the multirole version of the platform and works well for saving points on a more specialised Javelin with Las Cannons.
Heavy Flamer – Free. Increasing the anti-infantry capability of the Javelin by fitting a Template, S5, AP4, Assault 1 Heavy Flamer to it is actually quite a good choice. This is doubly so for Death Guard players, who can fit Chem-munitions to it. If you want to use the Javelin to harass enemy infantry squads close in, then this is probably the option you’ll want to go for.
Multi-Melta – 10pts. For those whose opponents tend to not field Armoured Ceramite or those who fancy chancing the odd shot of Melta, then you can’t really ignore the 24″ threat range, S8, AP1, Melta, Heavy 1 rule of the Multi-Melta. It further specialises the Javelin towards anti-tank – with the odd infantry squad member able to be reduced to microwaved atoms here and there too.
Further to the core weapons of the Javelin, there are two Platform modifications that can bolster it’s potential; Hunter-Killer missiles and Searchlight.
Searchlight – 1pt. Seemingly an odd choice to equip a Javelin with at first – the Searchlight provides something of a hard counter to Night Fighting. After firing all of its weapons, the Javelin can choose to illuminate the target vehicle (the same one it just shot at) with the Searchlight. The illuminated unit no longer benefits from Night Fighting, but nor does the Javelin illuminating it. Still seem a bit weird? Imagine a Spartan full of Firedrakes or Red Butchers across the table, conferred a 5+ cover save due to Night Fighting. Now, if you have enough inherint anti-tank on the table, you can happily potentially sacrifice a 56pt Javelin in an attempt to destroy or at the very least, immobilise the Spartan.
Hunter-Killer Missiles – 5pts per missile. With Infinite range, S8, AP3, Heavy One, One Use Only, the HK missiles are a lovely little bonus weapon to fit to the platform. You’re able to take 2 per Javelin too. Depending on whether you’re saving points to put into a dedicated Anti-tank or Anti-infantry unit or if you only have a few points spare will determine how many of these you equip, however they can be useful for those moments where you need to hail mary on a specific target.
The Javelin is a great platform, even in base form. At 55pts, they’re able to perform almost any battlefield task, albeit not particularly brilliantly. Specialised, they are an outright coherent threat. I tend to run my three with Las Cannons, Multi-Melta and an HK missile for 80pts each. Regardless of how you look at it, that’s a significant wedge of anti-tank strength mounted in a very fast moving platform. Ok, it isn’t brilliantly resilient to Las Cannons, Melta or Dark Fire; though if you Jink it’ll help significantly here, at the cost of those weapons snapfiring.
I find Outflank or just being fairly aggressive and starting them on the table to conduct some manoeuvre warfare is where they’re best suited. Mainly due to the fact that with Deep Strike, you have the chance to mishap and scatter. Don’t forget Strafing Run – it’s the crux of the platforms ability to move in fast and hit hard.
The real boon is the flexibility of the platform. Las Cannons aren’t the de facto go to configuration and it’s entirely army dependent. Don’t be worried about taking a “Sub-optimal” choice such as the Cyclone missile launcher, especially if your army already has a significant whack of anti-tank. In those situations, the multi-role capability is of greater benefit than another specialised platform in the role of anti-tank.