40K Astra Militarum Tactics: Tallarn Tank Commanders
Hey everyone, Reecius here with another nugget of tactical wisdom for you Astra Militarum players: the magic of the Tallarn Tank Commander!
Ah yes, the smell of grease, the grinding of tank treads, the boom of the cannons! That’s what I, and most Guard players, love about the mighty Leman Russ battle tank. Unfortunately, the tank’s been a bit lackluster for a while on the tabletop, and while the Tank Commander had the right rules and stats, it was a bit pricey. Chapter Approved came along and changed all of that with an excellent price drop on the Leman Russ Tank Commander, bumping it to a very reasonable 142pts. Now we’re cooking with promethium, baby!
We’ve seen quite a few of these appearing on tournament tables lately which is great. Mostly I see folks playing them as Cadian which makes sense, but I’m here to sing the praises of the Tallarn version of the unit. Why you may ask? Well, let’s go an adventure of discovery together, dear reader!
Swift as the Wind
The Tallarn Regimental Doctrine is fantastic, still my favorite of them all. It allows infantry to advance and shoot anything but heavy weapons typically which is surprisingly good to run and gun with Plasma or just move up and First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire with massed flashlights.
Vehicles can move and shoot heavy weapons with no penalty. I love that at as it is so annoying that a large tank can’t move and shoot without penalty as that is precisely what they’re meant to do. I don’t like having models just sit there, so this alone makes me love Tallarn Russes. However, to make it even more impressive the Tallarn unique order, Get Around Behind Them! is pure gold. It allows the Tank Commander to order a Leman Russ (including himself) to move 6″ before or after it shoots in the shooting phase. This means if you adequate cover, you can hide your Russ, then pop out and shoot, then scoot back into hiding. Or, you can move forward half speed, then move another 6″ and still retain your ability to fire your turret weapon twice with Grinding Advance. Cool!
That increased mobility is just awesome for a Russ and means you don’t have to just sit there and get blasted with return fire or allows you to be very mobile and get into range with weapons like the Punisher Cannon and/or Heavy Flamers much easier while still maintaining maximum firepower. It also means you’re still really quick even when your profile is degraded. As you also ignore penalties for moving and shooting, you’ve got a mobile weapons platform that also has BS3+! If you don’t need to move again for any reason, issue yourself the re-rolls of 1’s to hit order, or shoot and pop smoke, etc. You’ve got loads of options.
What makes this even more fun, is the new relic Battle Cannon from Vigilus Defiant, the Hammer of Sunderance. A flat three damage Battle Cannon is impressive, let me tell you. 2d6 nearly Thunder Hammer shots flying downfield is a beautiful thing to behold! That combined with the Warlord Trait from the Emperor’s Fist Tank Company specialist detachment you get the relic cannon from, is not bad. I’d only take it if you think you need it with the Field Commander strat, but it lets you re-roll overwatch for Leman Russes within 6.” Not bad, particularly when you combo it with the Defensive Gunners strats which lets you Overwatch on a 5+ for a roughly 55% accuracy in Overwatch.
Lastly, the Ambush strat for Tallarn is fantastic. It allows you to outflank three units, one of which may be a vehicle. So, if you find yourself with nowhere to hide on your table facing down something that can smoke your beloved tank before it does anything, or you just need to spring a nasty surprise on your opponent, this is a great trick. Put your Russ in reserves and have him come on from a table edge to blast your opponent!
I’ve been running 2 of them in my list, 1 with the relic Battle Cannon, 3 Heavy Bolters ( I have also experimented with Plasma Cannons, and they work well!) and a Heavy Stubber to sit back and lob shots downfield and spray dakka on anything that gets close. The second tank I have been running as a Punisher with Heavy Bolters and a Heavy Stubber for maximum chaff clearing. Fifty-two shots from a single tank are pretty obscene! And again, the tank order to increase mobility has been awesome on the Punisher Russ.
This is a killer Warlord trait for a Tank Commander! It allows you to re-roll failed wound rolls against a chosen target unit for him and all units within 6″ of him. When facing down something like a Castellan, Morty, etc., this can be a game changer.
It’s been a ton of fun to play and very effective. Plus, the look on your opponent’s face when you pop a Russ out from behind cover, blast them, and then slide back out of LoS is priceless! It gives you so much more longevity out of these awesome units and helps vs. things like the Castellan that would otherwise leave them a smoking slag heap.
~Have you tried the mighty Tallarn Tank Commander? If so, have you liked it? Have you tried any other Regiments with the Tank Commander?
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