IGS Leman Russ

Rating: Excellent


Almost a symbol of the Imperial Guard army as a whole, the Leman Russ is a solid, solid tank, and has been since its first appearance back in the 2nd edition of the 40K game. It has gained and lost a number of different options and abilities, but even in its current incarnation it is an intimidating vehicle and dependable performer.

With its excellent front armor, the Leman Russ will shrug off most heavy weapons fire (and is completely immune to anything not at least S8), particularly if placed well in a hull-down position that does not needlessly expose its weaker (AV12) side armor to enemy fire. The main weapon has the range to reach virtually anywhere on a standard 4'x6' tabletop, assuming it's within line-of-sight, and because it's a direct-fire Ordnance Blast weapon, it never "misses" as such -- it's a place-and-scatter weapon. That means that if you fire into lots of troops, you're virtually guaranteed to hit something even if the shot scatters. And if you shoot at a vehicle, odds are you'll hit even if you do scatter. It's a very simple unit to use.

Importantly, the Battlecannon is S8, AP3 -- it's a threat to almost everything in the game. Only AV14 targets and 2+ armor save models have a realistic shot at ignoring a Leman Russ blast, and even then, sometimes the Leman Russ will get lucky.

For all this, the tank is actually reasonably priced at just over 140 points ("just over" because of the mandatory hull-mounted weapon upgrade).

Leman Russ tanks work particularly well in pairs. One Leman Russ is a fire-magnet and can be neutralized with a reasonable amount of effort by most enemy units. Two, however, are a dire threat, because few opponents will have enough firepower to suppress BOTH tanks at once!

Keep in mind that the Leman Russ really only has one purpose: blasting the heck out of things with the Big Gun. For this reason, most of the options and upgrades available to the tank will be a waste of points.

Hull-Mounted Weapon: The choice is yours, depending on whether you want to save a few points or not. Keep in mind that if you lose the Battle-cannon, odds are that your opponent will stop trying to hurt your tank, meaning that its secondary weapon can fire pretty much at will. Note that the Lascannon is occasionally useful when you're shooting at targets with 2+ armor saves, or vehicles with AV14. The Battlecannon is marginally more likely to do damage to AV14; but the lascannon can actually penetrate. Just a thought.

Sponson-Mounted Weapons: It's almost never worth the taking the option, even with the Trial Vehicle Rules. You can't use any secondary weapons if you fire an Ordnance weapon, remember -- and a Battlecannon will do more damage than even three heavy bolters 19 times out of 20 (roughly speaking). Finally, you'll almost never get into a position to use one heavy flamer, let alone two. It's an interesting option, but not worth the cost. Leave the sponsons off -- if you want the massed Heavy Bolter fire, field an Exterminator instead (formerly available to Imperial Guard, now listed in the Imperial Armour book, from Forgeworld) -- it costs less and has more anti-infantry dakka.

Vehicle Upgrades:

Marginal: Both Extra Armour and Smoke Launchers can be useful, even for a battle tank like the Leman Russ that intends to remain stationary most of the game. Occasionally you'll want to move, and these upgrades will make it a whole lot easier to do that than without. Although you'll usually be a fair distance away from the enemy -- and want to stay far away, too -- in a Nightfight mission it's always useful to have as many Searchlights as possible, and nothing can suck up return fire quite like a Leman Russ tank, if you do use the searchlight on it.

Finally, on a vehicle like the Leman Russ that often will want to move into difficult terrain in order to get into a hull-down position. Putting Rough Terrain Modifications on your vehicles will mean your tanks are much less likely to immobilize themselves in awkward locations with embarrassingly poor lines-of-sight.

Poor: normally this wouldn't bear mentioning, but this is the one vehicle upgrade you should NEVER put onto a Leman Russ tank. Track Guards will turn an "immobilized" result into a "crew shaken" result. That is a singularly awful result -- of all the damage results that your Leman Russ can sustain, "immobilized" is the only one that will not stop your battlecannon from firing again the next turn! Never, ever put Track Guards onto your battle tanks!

Created by: system. Last Modification: Sunday 25 of January, 2009 12:13:59 PM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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