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Ok, you MAY disagree but here is my rundown of each leman russ varient
First off, the battle tank, here is probably the best tank for its cost in the 40k universe, 150pts for AV 14 front, 13 side? a S8 AP3 pie plate? AND it can move 6" and shoot it?!? YES PLEASE! its the all round leman russ which is a marine killer, when building the model give it heavy bolter sponsons for when playing fluff (or competitive?) as they add on an extra 6 shots, (btw, i found out if your clever, you can rip off the sponsons easy peasy with next to no damage with super glue), on the front should be a lascannon to deal with any 2+ save super units causing trouble or an enemy tank, remember, 14AV is rare so a lascannon is a hefty anti tank choice. With the battle tank, you get an allround, cheap and cheerful fun, keep it moving with the troops with no sponsons, or give it heavy bolter sponsons and sit still whilst laying low any light - medium infantry
Next is the vanquisher, THE ultimate anti-tank gun in 40k for its price, the only better weapon would be a medusa seige gun with bastion shells, with BS3 it has a 50:50 chance to hit which is a problem BUT! with 2d6 armour pen upto 72" with S8! as i found out, it loves to pop land raiders, maybe just me but happens everytime it aims at the big thing, on a side note, yes it's AP2 but do not use it on infantry, for the love of god, it won't work. give it a lascannon on the front to add extra anti-tank ability, no sponsons i'd say, keep it low as if it does miss which it is likely to, it is likely to get assaulted and in the end, boom, not nice when it costs 200+ points or so, so keep it low at around 170pts. If your enemy uses AV14 or 13 tanks, this is the tank to pop 'em.
Now the Exterminator, i like this tank, 4 twin-linked autocannons sounds great imo, on a tank it may seem silly but on a horde army like nids especially, it works a treat, landing 3 hits on average, it can pop light tanks, e.g. a rhino very well and with monstrous creatures, it performs alright, nothing special though. heavy bolters allround as this thing can dish out alot of bullets into one target, very effective anti infantry
The Eradicator, cool looking gun (ITS A MINI HELLHAMMER! ) but excells in only 2 cases, ork bikers and shooting into cover as its the only use for it, a battle tank is better at taking out marines so this only works on units of 4+ save or worse with a cover save as this thing cannot dish out much more, heavy flamer on the front is all i can think of on the front as again, AP4 no cover save works with the cannon, i wouldn't get it personally as there are other weapons that excell
NOW! onto the seige tanks, my favourites
The demolisher, a great tank, loves to kill terminators with its pie plate of doom, also on monoliths, the best weapon to take em out as its the most powerful ordnance weapon (ignoring medusa) and is very likely to penetrate, with any weapon on the front, mainly heavy flamer or lascannon on front and if you must, multi-meltas on the side this is a very up close and personal tank that if needed can dish out alot of anti tank weaponry in one go.
The punisher, the MOST shots from a gun i have ever seen! 20!!!! how many bullets! at 180 pts, it is pretty expensive, but at this cost, it's worth putting as much on as possible, give it heavy bolters allround like the exterminator and this is the only tank i see worth giving pask to, having 29 S5 shots on one target with BS4? not even tau can dish out that much, and when you stand still, you reroll any shots on a monstrous creature! the ultimate in anti-infantry, the lack of an AP is a downside but seriously? what amount of boys can take it and a carnifex has only so many wounds? surely a must have against an infantry stong army. do not use against marines though, it won't work as well as other alternatives, 29 shots can be saved by them with minimal casualties.
The executioner, my favourite russ, to put it straight, 3 plasma cannon shots from 1 gun is amazing, this is an AP2 bus, at 190pts it is expensive but come on? thats alot of blasts! with this tank i always give it lascannon and plasma cannon sponsons, it just works to have 5 plasma blasts and a lascannon, sitting still this thing just about kills any infantry, ranging from gaunts with its many blasts hitting them or to a monstrous creature where at least 2 or 3 will land with no saves, this thing is expensive but absolutely anhilates anything, just watch out for the fact that for 100 less points you get a vanilla russ, so this thing is stretched for the amount of targets your enemy will pull at it, a priority target.
the addons are straight forward, the camo-netting is pretty useless, gives you stealth which in essence does mean a 3+ cover save with smoke launchers, but i don't like it, extra armour is really a must, if you can't shoot? you move. allows you to cruise without the loss of shooting, meaning you can get somewhere, quick. hunter killers are again a bit of a waste with the amount of ordnance, whatever your shooting is likely to take a hunter killer as well, pintle weapons are usefull as they're defensive, extra guns is useful, either is good, clear advantages and disadvantages, your choice. dozer blade, how often you gonna get a 1 when driving through terrain? you also can just destroy the cover its stuck on, then its fixed, simple as that so a waste imo.
Well there you go, please tell me areas i may be wrong with, i have used the battle tank, vanquisher, demolisher, punisher and executioner. the exterminator i have mock rolled it against units and it seems pretty solid but the eradicator seems like a miss for me, even though it has the coolest sounding and looking gun ever, who doesn't get goosebumps when you hear nova eradicator!
I think you have a lot of good points when talking about the Leman Russ as a tank platform. The only thing I would have to say really is that the Exterminator is out shined by the Hydra Flak Tank. This is due to several reasons,
1) points cost. The Hydra is half the points cost, I would rather have 2 Hydras then 1 Exterminator.
2) Weapons. Sure they put out the same number of shots at base cost, but with the Exterminator if you have they main gun destroyed there goes 4 autocannon shots. With they Hydra it is 2, twin-linked guns. This means that it takes 2 weapon destroyed results to equal the same result.
2b) The Hydra Autocannons have a longer range.
2c) The Hydra ignores cover saves from skimmers that move fast.
Now I know that the Exterminator does have it's upsides. It has heavyer armor and it can shoot on the move, But is that worth twice the points.
All in all, is the Exterminator a good tank? Yes. Does it fill it's roll well? Sadly I would have to say no, It can be done better by cheaper units. The same goes for the Vanquisher. Sure it has a really nice gun and all but the Vendetta fills it's role better, for cheaper. The only time I can really recomend the Vanquisher is as a Company Command Tank in the Armoured Battlegroup army list.
Edit: I say this as a Leman Russ fan, as I have 15 Russ' and like useing them as much as I can in my games.
I agree that some tanks fill the role well, but for the cost of actually getting the model, the exterminator is cheapest for the fact that it costs only £30, not bad i say, i agree getting to flak tanks is better but for £100? i can get 3 russ's for that, 5 chimeras for that matter, down to cost the exterminator is a more viable option, money out of the equation, i agree, flak tanks ftw.
The vanquisher again doesn't fill its role well but when it hits, it hurts, BS4 with a command tank i agree is alot better, and with co-axial, its just heaven, but i'm a codex guy and really dislike IA for the fact i just don't like the idea of the imperial guard NEEDING IA to win, i'm 'classic IG' lets say
Also when i play against people with my exterminator, they fear it for the main factor of 5 plasma cannon shots, thats a scary concept for any infantry, it works very well on hordes as alot of blasts = alot of hits, even if it scatters, and with more elite units, there are going to be alot of hits with it, likely to get 2-3 hits per base likely, with no save, thats alot of termies or potentially if you get decent scatters, a carnifex a turn. ouch is all i can say, not a pie plate of pain but a couple of cupcakes really hurt
Last edited by 323rdpraetorian; May 9th, 2011 at 22:13.
I agree with most of what has been said, i'd just like to add a couple of my own experiences. I think every variant is a good tank, but sadly half of them are outshined by other units in the codex, as Col. Dracus said.
The Vanquisher becomes redundant when compared with the Vendetta, not to mention it costs a scary amount of points with the optimum set-up (Lascannon+Pask).
Col. Dracus said everything that needed to be said about the exterminator, the Hydra is just better.
I like the Eradicator's concept, unfortunately the Hellhound outperforms it. As touched on by the OP as well, the vanilla Russ is also useful in more situations.
I have to disagree with the Punisher, i don't think its a very good tank at all. Again, another tank that shines with Pask, but then you could take an Executioner with Plasma sponsons for the same points! Having said that though, the Punisher is just a cool tank, the first time i saw Heavy 20 i couldn't believe it.
Otherwise, i think the other 3 variants are very good and can be added to any list effectively, especially the good old vanilla Russ. Congrats on taking the effort to write the wall of text, its always good to see other player's perspectives. +rep
The plasma Russ is awful. There are much more effective ways to deploy ranged AP2 firepower if you really want it. The vanquisher is also terrible. It doens't have the volume of fire to be reliable and is a huge points sink. 1 shot with BS3? No thanks! The Exterminator however I think is pretty nice. The ability to move and shoot is huge and it's also cheap enough to be viable. It's wrong to think of any Russ as primarily a weapons platform though. The main advantage is the AV14 brick that draws a lot of fire off your Chimeras. The turret weapon is maybe 1/3rd as important. It's not useless but it's not the key feature and if you try to build your army around Russ firepower you'll pay too much and get too little in return. With the example of the Exterminator, if you went for hydras instead you'd need to hide them to stop them getting sniped. The Exterminator can advance forward and still lay down its fire serving a screening and blocking role as well as firing its modestly useful weaponry.
Copy, Improve, Innovate
The Punisher I think really shines in the ending turns of the game when most units only have a few guys left. The Punisher will be able to put the hurt on smaller squads while a template has a better chance to miss.
I am currently looking into running a squadron of 2 Punishers in my tornament list, along with a squadron of 2 LRBT, and a squadron of 2 Demolishers.
if you're running punishers in a squadron, or generally any russ as i think of it, put creed in there with an astropath, with the ability to outflank the enemy with rerolls and on a 1+ is very sexy, negates any cover saves as your behind them and get a really good coverage, rear armour to match and with 2 punishers, 46 shots minimum on enemy's with no cover save is a squad killer as i see it, never tried it but seems like a good idea. demo's as well, you are likely to be within range to shoot your two demo cannons and that will lay waste to pretty much anything, did it with a baneblade once, too much happened but what i will say is. ouch.I am currently looking into running a squadron of 2 Punishers in my tornament list, along with a squadron of 2 LRBT, and a squadron of 2 Demolishers.
sorry double post. stupid internet
Last edited by 323rdpraetorian; May 10th, 2011 at 18:49. Reason: double post