24 inch S10 ap2 large blast of get out of my face TWC or terminators. This tank really has a place in most guard lists imo, but in blob guard lists I’m finding the short range means you need to close with the enemy leaving yourself open to more melta threats and general chance of being wrecked. The short range of the blast means you will usually only just be in range, and as the turns go on and the lines close you risk catching your own men in the blasts.
It does add very solid anti tank though especially with the Lascannon on the hull for that long range shot, and with AV11 rear (The punisher never got this mentioned as it added nothing positive to the pros of using it) it can withstand frags and other S4 nades, and also make krak nades need 5’s just to glance the tank. This leads me on to...
3x S7 ap2 shots at 36 inch range from its plasma main weapon alone... it truly is the bane of marines and terminators. Add on the plasma gun sponsons (In case someone hadn’t known this is the only tank I like sponsons on) and you have 5 S7 small blasts which gut terminators at 36 inches! Letal good and if you add a Lascannon it not only buffs the ap2 goodness but also gives the tank a small high AV anti tank backup weapon, or adds another punch to the low AV damage it can put out.
He downside though? The price!!! 245 points for the tank + plasma sponsons and Lascannon... thats a huge cost for guard players to take in their lists, heck for 85 points more you get a second standard Russ.
You really are paying the points for this specialised tank to get so much low ap fire on an AV 14 front, but if you can free up the points in your blobs for one of these it can help a lot against Deathwing armies or Draigowings etc etc, bubble wrapping the tank from deep strikers will really pay off as you an empty shots into enemies advancing on you then assaulting them with the masses of men to finish them off. But the blasts again as mentioned pose a real risk to your own men, thankfully less so as their only small, but you now have 5 shots to worry about.
In all honesty I like what this tank could bring to a blob army, but with my blobs already having meltguns as standard (I like to keep meltas to stop tank shocks, when using nade launchers people were more likely to tank shock through lines, which if you had tanks behind and a gap could lead to some dead tanks if the enemy send through tank shocking melta suicide squads heaven) I think their role is not as needed as the longer range higher Str firepower to stop raiders or AV13 vehicles. This leads me on finally to...
Another 36 inch range main gun, S6 ap4 large blast which ignores cover... could be very handy. It also has its uses in case you think you’ll be facing Xenos such as hellions or other 4+ save infantry who will be hiding in cover and may by T3 with FNP. Vs marines it’s less impressive as they still get their saves, but at least you wound them on2’s, but again it is a tank doing infantry killing roles and so is not as likely a candidate for the spots in blob armies.
|Damn you being so expensive Pask... you guardsman Diva|
So that’s all the Russ variants covered, some look to have a place in blob armies, some maybe could pass in them but not add as much (Vanquisher without Pask) and some are just not built to be taken in infantry lists, but again it depends on what armies you are facing, the points level of your games and also what level of game you are playing (fun, comp, themed, etc). I hope my opinions are of some use to people reading this and wanting to add some heavy armour to their infantry formations.
Regarding optional extras, Sponsons as already mentioned are usually a no as I find the flatter sides much handier for putting tanks to cover their side armours or at least give cover saves, adding sponsons (Bar on the plasma Russ) ruins this too much to be of benefit.
Things like dozer blades would be great, but at 10 points a pop it stacks up too quickly and sadly I have to say leave them at home. This also applies to the extra guns, camo nets and the likes, the more you spend on them the bigger the loss when / if they explode, and personally I’d prefer more Meltaguns in the blobs over giving them hunter killers or a stubber.
Finally Pask... as mentioned throughout the entries, he can be a good buff like on the vanquisher, but his extra cost makes the tank go into the land raider price range... again becoming even bigger target syndrome. It’s a pity because if he was only 20 points more people might take him in comp lists, the same way if the vanquisher and punisher were twin linked we might see them on the table.