Monday, 8 February 2016

Four Dads Favourites - Tanks

This is the start of a new series where we Four Dads take time to reflect on our favourite models through the years.

This month, we'll share with you our favourite tanks which we've owned and painted through our hobby life. We hope you enjoy, and as always, your comments and thoughts are welcome!

I'm torn... I was never in love with tanks when I started out as a kid. I don't know why. It could be because tanks, at least the good ones, were made of a combination of plastic and metal. I'd seen too  many of my friends lovingly paint up a Predator only for the barrel to fall off mid-game (and of course, we instantly created the rule that if a weapon fell off it could no longer shoot! haha). For a 14 year old with nothing but paper-round money, they were also expensive! So I never brought any.

Then, during my resurgence in interest in the hobby in my mid- twenties I found I had more money. I also realised that painting tanks was very different to painting infantry. All of a sudden I had a bigger canvass. I must admit that I still don't like Rhinos in-game. The rules for disembarking really don't match real life. I've seen Marines disembark from an APC first hand and they don't hang about for a turn before shooting and assaulting an enemy, I can assure you!

In any case, I brought a pair of Vindicators for my Space Wolves. The Siege Shield is awesome and allowed me to have a go at painting something funky. After this I moved on to a Shadowsword. I always wanted a Fell Blade, ever since I first picked up Collected Visions of Heresy, but at the time that kit wasn't available, so I spent 8hrs sticking that bl**dy Shadowsword together and painting it up as a Space Wolf tank (we unearthed it on an ice world and re-claimed it for the Chapter, that was my backstory), and it was awesome on the battlefield! I've had a couple of great games using that beast.

I also love Landraiders, and now the new Spartan takes that concept and design one step further, so I had to get two of those to transport my 20-squads into the fray, with the re-branding of my 40k army in to a 30k army and the release of the Legion Fellblade, I have started again with my tanks which gives me a great opportunity...

So I bet you can guess my favourite tank? That's right, the Fell Blade. Now I have one and just need to start painting it up. I'm just awaiting the release of the FW Space Wolves Legion transfers (fingers crossed it's early this year sometime) before cracking on with it.

Being an Astra Militarum player with The Emperor's Feth this category is right up my particular area of expertise but also gave me serious problems in deciding what to go for.

My dilemma was whether to go with my competitive side, go with hobbying or something that I just enjoy playing with.

These are my nominations:

Nominee 1
The Manticore - Competitive choice

At 12-10-10 armour and 3 hull points for only 170 points this bad boy can hide somewhere well out of range in cover and hit hard anywhere on the board.
It is always a threat and can be devastating to vehicles and infantry with its ability to drop up to 3 large blasts per turn.
Of course there are some games where it hits absolutely nothing but there are also games where it completely destroys an entire army! Rich and I played in the battle brothers tournament at Warhammer World a few years ago and our 2 Manticore list ran into a double ork horde army. Unfortunately Rich kept rolling 3 hits on the d3 and hits on the scatter like they were going out of fashion wiping the orks off the board in 3 turns without firing any other units!! I've never heard us apologise so much. In the end we bought our opponents a couple of pints as a way to say sorry!

Nominee 2
The Punisher - The Fun choice

A Leman Russ battle tank that fires 29 shots in one go? Yes please!!
At 14-13-11 Armour and 3 hull points at 160 points with heavy bolter sponsons I love playing with this tank. Its hard to kill and puts wounds on infantry (Average 10 wounds against marines each turn) for fun.
This tank embodies the play style of the Astra Militarum in my opinion - drive up the centre, pick up a ton of dice and get rolling! It isn't the most efficient tank on the battlefield but there is just nothing like rolling that many dice in one go.
It is possible to boost it with psychic powers or Pask but I tend to run it vanilla style and put my points elsewhere to also use it as a fire magnet or shield.
As you may see I didn't like the original punisher cannon on the tank. I felt it was too short and didn't reflect the sheer volume of shots that it can dish out. Therefore, I cut up a battle cannon and glued it to the base of the punisher cannon making a longer barrel. In my opinion this fits the tank much better and balances the look out.

Nominee 3
The Executioner - The hobby choice

The Leman Russ Plasma tank - 5 plasma blasts in one go!!! Again great armour and 3 hull points my executioner weighs in at 185 points with plasma cannon sponsons and a heavy flamer on the front.
It's true that this is a marine killer. If there are any terminators or marines out in the open they will not survive the turn. It's also true that I have killed my own executioner with gets hot more often than my enemy has!!
Its always a must take in my army however I have chosen it here because I really enjoyed painting this tank. I really liked the design of the new plastic kit when this came out originally. It was much better than the old kits with metal and awkward to fit tracks. Also I loved painting the colours of the plasma cannons, using red to tie in with the infantry in my army and breaking up the grey of the tank. This was the first tank that I tried my mud technique on (more info on that in a future post) and I thought I'd put a guy on top losing it with two pistols for a bit of character. Originally I was going to add a genestealer behind him but I haven't had time so far so maybe sometime soon?

And the winner is....

The Punisher!
For sheer dice rolling fun - sometimes getting a million hits and sometimes none I love the punisher tank and would never leave home without him!

My favourite tank? As James and Dave have highlighted above there are just so many choices, especially considering how many armies (and tanks) I actually own. So, I decided to pick my favourite one from each of my armies and then pick a winner from them. So here goes...

Blood Angels - Well it has to be the Land Raider Redeemer. The land raider itself is just so iconic and the Prometheus is just deadly (when it gets close enough).
Astra Militarum - Leman Russ. Again it is so iconic and such a cool looking tank.
Tau - As I only own a Hammer Head it has to be that. Not that it's a poor tank or anything, what with a strength 10 main weapon.
Necron - Again I only own one true 'tank' (I don't count most troop transports as tanks) which is the doomsday arc. Luckily it's cool (and destructive) enough  to be a favourite anyway.

Chaos - For chaos it has to be my Land Raider, the standard variant of course as chaos obviously isn't good enough to get the extra variants.

Orks - I have a converted Looted Wagon (it's based on a Lemon Russ) which is cool enough to fit the bill.

Tyranids - Obviously no tanks here but perhaps I could argue that monstrous creatures should feature? If they did I would have to go for either the carnifex or the Mawloc.

The winner? It just has to be the Land Raider Redeemer. Not only is it armour 14 all round with 4 hull points and sponson mounted flamers that are Str 6 and AP3, it can also carry 6 models in terminator plate or 12 other models. If this thing gets close to the enemy not many will survive the shooting and the subsequent charge.

Dad Rich (Emperor's Champion)
Like the other Dads there is more than one category of tank for me, here we go:

Super killy tank: You cant beat the Shadowsword, the Volcano Cannon is built to bring Titans down and will make a mess of anyone's day. The template it lays down is death to any infantry or normal tank underneath it and it can one-shot other super heavies with a roll of 6's. I love its low-profile design, it look s like a killer. Here's a shot of mine...

Most fluffy: I've played Astra Militarum for many years now so the humble Chimera...

This is a Chimera variant I built up to represent my command tank in games. The open-top look gave me the chance to give it some character. The Chimera itself is a great tank, not only is it the main troop transport for the AM, but it is very competitive too. Its cheap, has two great weapons and you can shoot melta and stuff out of it easily - awesome!

Most competetive tank: Has to be the manticore for me. Its small enough to stay hidden most of the
game and on average puts two large pieplates down per turn. It has been MVP so many times that its got a permanent place on my lists!

Overall verdict: I have to say the Chimera gets my overall vote. They are cheap, come with two great weapons (heavy flamer and multilaser), transport troops and you can shoot out of them! They are a mobile pillbox and with AV12 on the front can shrug off a fair amount of incoming. I have always used them as a counterpunch, waiting for enemy units to get near and staying in cover. I cant tell you how many times the multilasers have taken out a terminator, or wrecked a rhino and given they come with the vehicle it always feels like I am getting a bonus kill! The Chimera can then rush forward and unload melta or plasma into oncoming units, shielding the rest of my gunline from the onslaught. They dont ever rack up the most kills but their role and price point is such a powerful combo!

Let us know which is your favourite tank.

The Four Dads


  1. What a fabulous article. I never particularly cared for tanks until assembling a Rhino and since then I have found them really great to build, both historical and 30/40k wise. The Predator would have to be my current favourite.

    1. The predator is an excellent tank especially as you have so many varieties to try out and play with. As a BA player my personal favourite has to be the BAAL predator.)

  2. Thanks for reading Captain! The predator is a fine tank, though I've never owned one. Maybe that can be next years resolution!