Monday, 9 January 2012

Blob Guard Choices: The Russ's... part 1

Ah, another weekend done (Damn it) and another Monday blog post, I’m going to Continue the reviewing theme in the heavy support section, and this time I’m going to discuss the use of Leman Russ tanks in a Blob army.

I this could be quite lengthy, so in this article I’m going to discuss half of them and do the other half in a future article. First up...

My Commissar Vanquisher 

The Vanquisher,
Now while it does have obvious flaws such as the across the board BS3 this tank if rolled well when shooting can really help a blob army out, firstly the AV14 front makes it more likely to last as one of the few vehicles in the army (Again true across the board for the Russ chassis), but it’s main gun is also a really useful piece to take. S8 AP2 and it rolls 2D6 for pen. Now that’s good odds when you need long range anti tank, and sure while most armies have mostly Av 10-12 on the table it never hurts to still use this for almost auto pens and increased chances of removing tanks form the table.

Again across the board I like adding a hull Lascannon, and while in the vanquisher’s case you could maybe make an argument for adding sponsons (Heavy bolter ones I’d say are best for it) it just is not worth it for Russ to have them in my opinion bar one obvious example!

Sadly as mentioned the low BS means it’s only hitting 50% of the time and while you could add Pask, this increases the cost of the tank far too much for what it can bring to the battle. Sad really as I do love the idea of the tank (Even made one as a commissar tank with lord Commissar looking out to better restore the tanks squads’ morale in case they try to flee!). Its main competition is...

The Stardard Russ,
The workhorse Russ, with the 72 inches of S8 ap3 large blast goodness it is very hard to look past, good for penning tanks due to its battle cannon and hull Lascannon I find it does the job very well in all my armies. But in a blob army where I want to be advancing usually with my men the blast is actually a liability... pro for the vanquisher right there; the single shot means you can be right up in the enemies face without worry about scatter.

However its blasts mean you can thin down enemy infantry or tanks as you advance for the first few turns and when the enemy get out of the wrecked vehicles you can soften them up before charges with the blobs.

The price is also nice and cheap for what you get to a degree, and being 5 points cheaper than a vanquisher it does save you those valuable points for melta bombs on the Sgts or another power weapon.

Again no point in using sponsons but if you really wanted to the heavy bolters help boost its anti horde through battle cannon blast and (If you want more anti horde drop the hull Lascannon back to the heavy bolter) mass of heavy bolters. But in a blob list as I’ve mentioned in the past you have more than enough anti infantry shots, so keep the Lascannon and keep the tanks cheap as they will be massive threats for the enemy big guns!

Speaking of anti infantry this nicely brings me on to...

The punisher
The image you get form this tank on paper is wow, and that sounds awesome... the realism of it is a really expensive no useful tank (Again purely just my opinion) S5 ap- heavy 20... Now while this sounds like a load of shots if we get in Dr. Probability to talk he ruins this image. BS3 meaning 10 misses, and S5 means against marines you’re wounding with two thirds so 6.66 wounds, which they’ll save two thirds of meaning maybe 2 dead marines. Against guard models its slightly better odds, but I digress... it is not a useful tank for the cost in any guard army from what I have found. Except in specially setup fights where you decide forces around a fun theme.

It already costs more points than the other two tanks mentioned and with a lascannon its 195 points! Taking a normal Russ saves 20 points and you get a much more useful heavy support option which does not have to sit 24 inches away shooting either infantry who will always get their save, or you can use it to attempt glance son Razorbacks with a further -1 on the damage table? Yeah sign me right up for that... another pity, it has such a unique feel for the army... and as usual there is no point adding Pask to improve the BS of the shots because then it becomes an almost land raider point tank... and paying that for a tank of this calibre is just horrible sadly.

If only it had twin linked and AP6 then it would be more worth it (Also maybe S6 just to make it more useful to mass glance chimeras and other Av12). And on that line we come to the final tank for this first article...

The Exterminator,
Basically a Hydra gun on a Russ chassis, 4 S7, ap4 twin linked shots at 48 inch range, so its shorter range than the Vanq and Russ but twice the length of the punisher... not the worst it’s still an awesome range, just the 72 inch range spoils us on the hydras.

Now what’s its role in a blob army? Well it can sit back a bit behind the men and stun and take down light armour, and MC’s with its 4 shots. But that’s all... its S7 stops it from being useful in the role we really need... long range high str anti tank.

It runs at the same points as the standard Russ and adding a Lasannons does help increase its dmg output vs. vehicles, and if you consider its 4 shots TL then you are more likely to get results than the standard Russ due to blasts scattering... but that small difference is not enough as the Large blasts and S8 with the extra dice really do make a difference.

Again quite sad as it really is another cool sounding tank for the guard. The lack of a high Str main gun means it will be reduced to flanks trying to get side shots on vehicles to earn its points back, and we need it doing real damage each turn to earn its place with the men.

Though again like the Vanq and punisher its shots will not risk death to your men as you close the distance like the Russ will, certainly a point to consider if you want to take this variant.  


  1. almost everything you have said about these tanks echos my own thoughts, especially where the punisher is concerned. that tank basically sucks. even if it were the same points as a normal russ it would be worse...

  2. Thats the sad thing about it, so many variants, so few are viable. The punicher needs something major in its overhaul like twinlinking or making its main gun better, but who will still buy a Russ for anti infantry when you have so many other options via hellhounds, infantry, chimeras with hull flamers.

    pity really, and thanks for confirming I wasn't alone in my thoughts.