Astra Militarum – Eradicator

Posted: April 22, 2014 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Forgeworld, Hobby, Rules, Tactica
Tags: , , , , ,

As Imperial Guard players transition to the new Astra Militarum codex, while much may seem the same, many things have changed.  I’ll be posting a series of articles about some of the units which have seen changes and hopefully provide some insights, tactics, and general information about how the unit has evolved.

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Next up:  Leman Russ Eradicator.  “Let the carnage begin!”

Since its arrival to the arsenal in the old Imperial Guard codex, this tank has oft been pooh-poohed as a viable choice for Imperial Guard players.  In the previous codex its base cost was 10 points more than the Leman Russ Main Battle Tank.  With the lower strength, mid-range AP, and shorter range of its Nova Cannon it was seen as a specialty tank at best brought out when facing a small selection of foes.  In the Codex Astra Militarum the point cost of this tank has been slashed by 40 giving it a base cost of 120 points.

Another challenge to fielding this unit early in the days of the old Imperial Guard codex was that there wasn’t an actual model for the tank.  I was able to convert one using the Forgeworld Executioner turret and the Hellhammer cannon barrel from the Baneblade kit.

Blasto

With this completed the tank saw the battlefield numerous times and I gleefully got to cry “Eee-radiactor!” in the best Kids In The Hall fashion.

Statline: Unchanged. It still has the familiar 14-13-10 Leman Russ armour and retains the Vehicle (Tank, Heavy) unit type.

Wargear: Unchanged.  One of the advantages of the Nova Cannon is that it is not an Ordnance weapon. While there has been debate in some circles about how Heavy Vehicles and Ordnance weapons operate, none of the snap-fire shenanigans come into play with the Eradicator.  It can simply fire all of its weapons all of the time at full BS.

Options:  Squadrons of up to three Leman Russ tanks are still available, and a hull lascannon is now a 10 point upgrade. Plasma Cannon sponsons are now a 30 point upgrade.  So, the original Eradicator model I fielded with the old codex pictured above weighed in at a whopping 215 points – but the same tank in the new codex is 160 points (the original base cost of the old Eradicator!).

LetTheCarnageBegin

There are a wide range of configurations for the Eradicator.  My original tank, decked out with AP2 weaponry made it a jack of all trades type of tank able to be a threat to almost any infantry unit and lighter vehicles.  When compared to a standard Leman Russ with a battle cannon and heavy bolter at 150 points, the 160 point Eradicator with plasma and lascannon looks very appealing.

Another configuration which will undoubtedly be popular will be the one that generates the greatest volume of fire. With its hull heavy bolter, matching sponsons, and a heavy stubber these upgrades will give the Eradicator one S6 AP4 large blast, 9 S5 AP4 shots and 3 S4 AP – shots each turn for 145 points. All this for 5 points less than the stock Leman Russ.

squadron

Treadheads know the value of a squadron of Leman Russ tanks in this edition of the game. The shooting rules state that you group wounds of the same Strength and AP and you choose the order which they are resolved.  Also, with the way that attacks against a squadron are resolved crafty players will reposition their tanks to place damaged ones further back so that the undamaged tanks take the hits first, extending the durability of the squadron and ensuring the output of the unit is sustained a bit longer. A squadron of 3 Eradicators before upgrades comes in at 360 points.  With the shooty 145 point build I detailed above, a full squadron would be 435 points.

As I’ve mentioned in other articles in this series, Primaris Psykers with divination are a significant force multiplier. It isn’t a big stretch to imagine what a full Eradicator squadron (or any other Leman Russ squadron for that matter) under the effect of Prescience has the potential to do.

The Nova Cannon is overlooked for several reasons which I mentioned earlier, but the one ability that makes it unique is that it ignores cover.  For players that fear torrent weapons, this gives you a 36″ range large blast that lays low weaker units hiding behind aegis defence lines or taking position in ruins or other area terrain.   Units like Eldar Rangers or Pathfinders, Space Marine scouts with camo cloaks, or other that rely on stealth, shrouded, or abilities that improve their cover saves will be exposed by the Nova Cannon’s blast. Light vehicles like Dark Eldar skimmers will also be vulnerable as Jink saves are considered cover saves.

Hopefully with the new Astra Militarum codex we will see a greater variety of Leman Russ tanks on the battlefield.  With its points reduction we should expect to see the Eradicator break out of the “D-Squash Ladder” and maybe yet become “your worst nightmare”.

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