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! Be sure to check the Tactics Corner for more great articles to up your 40k game.

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 a nice 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 totally 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 an adventure of discovery together, dear reader!

Swift as the Wind

The Tallarn Regimental Doctrine is awesome, still my favorite of them all. It allows infantry to advance and shoot anything but heavy weapons normally 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 giant 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 awesome 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 really 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 3 damage Battle Cannon is amazing, 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 let’s 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 3 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. 52 shots from a single tank is pretty obscene! And again, the tank order to increase mobility has been awesome on the Punisher Russ.

Old Grudges

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 form 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 Calstellan 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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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

17 Responses to “Astra Militarum Tactics: Tallarn Tank Commanders”

  1. Avatar
    Dominik March 29, 2019 2:28 pm #

    I fielded one the other week and was very happy with him. Went with the relic gun as well and added a regular Plasma Russ for the Reroll 1s order.
    However, is ordering yourself as a Tank Commander really a thing? Feels quite strange to me, honestly.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 29, 2019 3:27 pm #

      Yeah, just like a Company Commander can order himself.

      • Avatar
        Dominik March 30, 2019 12:58 am #

        Didn’t know that, thanks.

  2. Avatar
    KingCro March 29, 2019 3:02 pm #

    Another cool and unique article with info that others aren’t thinking about. Love it!

    I’ve always wanted to do a all Russ armored column army maybe now is the time!

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 29, 2019 3:28 pm #

      The Tallarn version is really good, I highly recommend it!

      Glad the articles have been useful for you.

  3. Avatar
    Duz_ March 30, 2019 4:47 am #

    Reece why are you sharing this are your trying to get Guard nerfed! 🙁 😱

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 1, 2019 7:55 am #

      Blame Private Reecio for that one, lol

      • Avatar
        Duz_ April 1, 2019 9:24 am #

        Damn that dastardly Reecio!

        I bet he made conscripts 4pts too and nerfed commissars

  4. Avatar
    Shas’O March 31, 2019 3:55 am #

    I’ve been running three of these in a supreme command with sisters in repressors and it’s amazing! The talleran tank commanders do WORK!

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 1, 2019 7:54 am #

      Yeah, they really are a gem in the book!

  5. Avatar
    Brian March 31, 2019 6:10 pm #


    Can the tank commander order itself to move after coming out of infiltrate? I thought GW basically nerfed anything moving after it comes out of reserve…could I use move move move on
    a guard inf sqd coming out of reserve as well?

    Great article!

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 1, 2019 7:55 am #

      I believe you can, yes. I don’t recall any FAQ stating you couldn’t but perhaps I missed it?

      • Avatar
        WestRider April 1, 2019 12:25 pm #

        Main Rulebook FAQ, Pg.5, just above the middle of the 2nd column. Other than Charging, Piling In, and Consolidating, a Unit that arrived from Reserves may not move in the same Turn for any reason. Same as Hive Commander, Warptime, any of those.

        • Reecius
          Reecius April 1, 2019 5:17 pm #

          Well then, I cheated. Doh!

  6. Avatar
    ghostvalley April 1, 2019 6:53 am #

    Great article again, Reece.

    I’ve always used a Tallarn spearhead detachment, alongside a Miltarum Tempestus detachment, and I love it.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 1, 2019 7:55 am #

      Glad they’ve been successful for you as well!

  7. Avatar
    Simon April 3, 2019 7:37 am #

    The order swift as wind also allows to move out of a unit within 1” and still be able to shoot in the shooting phase almost like a flying vehicle. You remain stationary during the movement phase, thus not Falling back. At the begining of the shooting phase, the “Get around them” order take effect and you move 6” away. When you choose the Russ for shooting, it is not within 1” and it has not Fall back; thus it can shoot.

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