Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sour Apple Pie: A Leman Russ Tatcia

Let me say something right off the bat. I will NEVER tell you how to play your army. I just wanted to share some views that I had on one of my favorite units in the game. Every time that I give someone advice and it turns out wrong I feel personally responsible. Also, people play this game for so many different reasons to try and write something that could apply to everyone is well outside of my abilities. Oh, one more thing. For those not in the know, we call the large blast templates "pie plates" due to their relative size in comparison to the other blast template. Our particular set of pie plates are green and see through so we call them sour apple. I guess we could call them Granny Smiths but thats not near manly enough. Now that I got that out of the way lets get to it shall we?

Ah the venerable Leman Russ, the cornerstone to many an Iggy and Inquisitorial mech list. It was dangerous in 4th ed but now its down right deadly. Please keep in mind I am talking about a stock Russ here not those new fangled "heavy" Russes ( Rear armor 11) with all their rock music, multiple cannon variants and acid wash jeans.

When you talk about the Russ amongst us Iggys you often hear this argument: Sponson or not to sponson? Some argue that all you need is a battle cannon and the hull mounted whatever-needs-to-die-the-most gun. Others state that you need to bring a more to the party by throwing some extra guns on the side. I say "Why the heck are you arguing about guns when you can be out driving your tank around?!"

Of the 3 Russes I have 2 have heavy bolter sponsons with a hull mounted lascannon and one with just the battle cannon and hull mounted bolter. I'm kinda stuck with these 2 variants because this was before I knew about rare earth magnets and quite frankly both load outs work just fine. If its not broke don't fix it right?

For me it all boils down to the battle cannon (BC from here on). My gaming group is really afraid of this gun and for good reason. Weighing in at STR 8 AP 3 Large Blast Ordnance it can really do some damage IF it gets a hold of you. The down side, however, is that when you scatter you can REALLY scatter. That BS 3 is going to bring that shot back only on the rarest of occasions. This can be especially hilarious during team games. Think of it this way: it doesn't matter who you get the MVP award from just as long as you get that MVP.

As far as sponsons go you cant really go wrong with adding more guns to something. I realize that sounds Orky but it rings true for the most part. As for what guns you want its pretty much at your own discretion as that battle cannon can back you up for everything else. If you want to kill tanks throw some meltas and a hull mounted lascannon on there the BC will cut a swath through all but the toughest troops. Killing people wholesale more your game? Throw some bolters, flamers, heck even some plasma guns on there and go to town. The BC will back you up on this too because of its ordnance capabilities allow you to roll 2 D6 on your armor penetration rolls and pick the best score. Take THAT land raider!

Now the counter argument to all of these guns is the Lumbering Behemoth rule. This allows you to fire your BC along with any ONE other gun on your tank when you move 6 inches or less. For all intents and purposes it makes your BC a defensive weapon (you can fire that too!). This affords the Leman Russ a very high mobility which makes assaulting it that much harder and allows you to get into a better firing position without having to sacrifice output.

Personally it all comes down to points. Smaller armies usually get the "Econo Russ" bolter and BC combo while with more points I have to toss around I will consider throwing in a fuller bodied Russ, two if I am feeling exceptionally zesty. I like to run both types around the board as well, yeah I'm not getting to fire all of my guns all the time but very few people will willingly stand still while I take pot shots at them anyway. Also, what I lose in firepower per turn I make up for in redundant weapons systems. Heaven forbid that it happens, but your BC CAN and probably WILL be shot off of you. When it happens its nice to know that you have something you can fall back on.

The one downfall of the Russ, as with most tanks, is the rear armor. This makes moving around that much more attractive when it comes to the assault phase. At least now they have to roll a 4+ to hit you. You also have to be mindful of the dreaded butt shot. A mere bolter can bust up your tank from the rear and believe you me thats an embarrassing tale to tell around the water cooler the next day.

The bottom line is that the Russ is a great all around tank that you can't really go wrong with. Keep moving, dont get shot in the butt and keep delivering sour apple pie hot and fresh from the oven!

1 comment: