In "The Battle of Fairy Tail" arc did Laxus ever actually plan on fighting Makarov?
His magic reveals his true feelings, and he tells his grandfather he really just wanted to make the guild stronger. So we know that he never would have smashed the statues of the girls, and he probably never would have set off the Thunder Palace. These were both just ways of pushing Makarov into handing over the guild.
He knows Erza and Mystogan will be coming for him. He plans for an inevitable battle with them, which he is sure he'll win easily. He even tells Freed he'll take care of them.
But, the statues and Thunder Palace aside as he never would have used them anyway, what if he did manage to beat Erza and Mystogan? What if the Thunder Legion had beaten everyone, and Gramps hadn't fallen ill? Makarov would never have just handed over the guild.
But would Laxus have actually fought Makarov in the end to get the guild? Freed tells Cana and Juvia he's storing up his magical energy to fight the master, but Laxus' true feelings are revealed in the end.
Laxus' plan seems to be a little over all the place at times.