View Full Version : Drop tanks

18-02-2010, 22:20
Hello everyone. I am currently putting together a Steel Legion 11th Airborne list and in order to help counter the New Nids and Ork horde lists i was thinking of converting some models into "Drop Tanks" AKA. Tanks either attached underneath a Valkyrie/Vendetta then dropped off onto the battlefield. Im going to use a Chimera chasis and convert around that based on what tanks i choose. I am currently trying to decide between a few variants of Leman Russ and Arty pieces so please any help is appreciated and needed! These are the choices ive narrowed it down to:

-Hydra Flak Tank: Like the idea that they are cheap and have great firepower with their autocannons, however lack the blast template weapon power and wound inflicting abilities that are so dangerous to horde, infantry lists.

-Griffon Heavy Mortar: Great vehicle in terms of fluff and with decent strength and ap, however the one thing that drives me up the wall with this thing is how it cant shoot within 12 inches of itself!

-Medusa: With armored crew compartment it will pretty much be a cheaper demolisher with siege shells, like the idea but the point cost will limit me to only 2 in the list i run.

-Leman Russ Eradicator: Fluffy in the terms that it has a light cannon with decent strength and ap that could be argued it could be transported by the Valkyrie/Vendetta, the ignore cover rule is a bonus. However the armor may make it to heavy to be fluffy.

-Leman Russ Punisher: Same argument as above except that the punisher cannon would be cool but ive heard very bad reviews on that tank, also the armor being to heavy issue arises as well.

Any and all help is appreciated and thanks again for reading.

18-02-2010, 22:39
Don't know much about the Steel Legion 11th Airborne but Medusa and down seem like they would be way too heavy for a Valkyrie to combat drop into the battlefield. They might be moveable as such if the Valkyrie was going slow and taking its time to unload them upon landing but in a combat situation I would find it hard to believe that those heavy tanks could be brought in. Likewise the Mortar seems more like a siege weapon then a fast response weapon so I would say that one is out as well, thus the only one left is the Hydra which does fit the bill of light but still powerful enough to be usable weapon.

On a side note if you do take the Punisher for the love of god take Pask as well as only then is it in anyway a somewhat decent tank.

18-02-2010, 22:43
A vulture probably won't have the lifting power to carry a main battle tank, but I can see them flying in chimera chassis, as well as artillery split up between the vultures.

Hydras all the way.

18-02-2010, 22:46
Hydras are air defense- when used in a 40k game against ground targets, it's more an improvised solution than their battlefield role. Since you'd need to have air superiority to be dropping vehicles in the first place, I can't see Hydras being used for rapid response in this manner.

18-02-2010, 22:57
The idea behind the Medusa is that i would model it to look like a Stug IV german assault gun would that be a legitimate conversion for say a GW tournament?

18-02-2010, 22:57
If you can make a heavy lift version of the Valkyrie, then I would stick with moving things like the chimera and the smaller vehicles based that chassis.
Things like the Griffon, Hellhound or Thudd Gun.

Edit: just thought about the Manticore platforms, the one on a Tarantula type platform.
They also have the Hydra flak on the same platform.

18-02-2010, 23:50
As with all tournaments, ask the organizer, but on this occasion I would guess at that not being tourney legitamate.
I was going to advise the Medusa though. Although I feel the enclosed crew cabin you have suggested is a waste of points. I run my Medusa as standard and take it in nearly every game I play. It doesnt usually fail me, and almost always kills about twice its points value.

19-02-2010, 00:01
Leman Russ's are out, way to "heavy" to be drop tanks (granted its sci-fi, you can justify anything, but you're obviously trying to stick to a theme here...). Maybe you could get away with an LR Punisher... maybe, but thats really pushing it.

Medusa is also way too "heavy" and (like the griffon) is not a suitable drop vehicle. Drop vehicles are/were generally used to provide airborne forces with heavier firepower in the immediate vicinity of the combat zone (usually during a combat drop, as afterwards an airstrip could be established and heavier planes w/ heavy vehicles could be flown in). A medusa (and griffon) are artillery vehicles, and really have no place on any immediate battlefield (because they should be well behind friendly lines providing long range fire support, but thats a different argument altogether).

And finally, as others have said, hydras are used for anti-air use, generally an air drop is used when air superiority is achieved...

19-02-2010, 01:38

1) They're on a chimera chassis, so light.

2) They're a heavy mortar. This will almost certainly be a 120mm, as that is what a modern day heavy mortar is. They come in standard crew served forms, and mounted in the back of APCs / IFVs

3) As a heavy mortar, they are relatively short ranged. They are about the one bit of artillery, (other than heavily armoured assault guns, which we don't have in the codex), that does belong on the battlefield, as they are as fast and mobile as the other IFVs.

4) They are great in game. The minimum range isn't a problem, as if it gets within 12", you simply move and flame it.

Of course, for maximum fluff, you'd just have lots of infantry heavy weapons teams, pile out of the transports, to secure a large enough area to get heavy landers with the tanks etc in down. Mortars for hordes are ace, and fully fluffy. However, going full on drop infantry, with drop heavy weapons teams would be suicidal outside of a special scenario....

You can use a judicious counts as. It'll be alot of converting, but can be done.

Use standard valkyries as the transports.
Build yourself a payload of Infantry heavy mortars. They weigh a few hundred kilos with ammo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M120_mortar is a typical example. The really basic 1938, Red Army one comes in at a similar weight. It still worked. Half a dozen crew, and some kind of pre-fabricated defensive position for it, that happens to be the rough size of a chimera. Not sandbags, but angled metal. It should look like it could be folded up in the bacck of a valk, and put up by squaddies in 90 seconds. Robust and basic.

Have a place on the front for a defensive heavy weapon, and you have an entirely sensible, air mobile Griffon counts as. You won't be moving most of the time, so it doesn't matter it hasn't got tracks...

19-02-2010, 01:42
A GI Joe dragonhawk is big enough to convert into a transport for superheavies. You could probably do one to transport a couple of tanks.

19-02-2010, 07:46
Make a tank destroyer out of a medusa - if the gun is hull mounted like the thunder tank leman russ kit and the driver and heavy bolter take the crew compartment like the salamander scout vehicle....
Also, drop vehicles should be wheeled rather than tracked and they should have that mesh anti-rpg armour. All things to make the vehicle lighter.

19-02-2010, 10:00
Just wait until next IA, the Elyssians get a Valkyrie Heavy Lifter(or something like that:D).

19-02-2010, 10:07
the Valkyrie isn't big enough to lift a Chimera, let alone a Leman Russ.
It takes a Thunderhawk to lift a couple of Rhinos/LandRaider.
the HLV from IA8 only carries a light buggy.
Unless you kitbash something bigger as a carrier, I can't see it being fesable.

The pestilent 1
19-02-2010, 10:13
Leman Russ's are out, way to "heavy" to be drop tanks (granted its sci-fi, you can justify anything, but you're obviously trying to stick to a theme here...). Maybe you could get away with an LR Punisher... maybe, but thats really pushing it.

We drop main battle tanks out of Planes and whirlie birds, what with the whole Grav chute I see precisely no reason for a Leman russ to not be dropped, with the easy solution of "Cost prohibitive" to explain why it doesn't happen all the time.

Col. Frost
19-02-2010, 10:28
Most Tanks that are slung under helicopters, stuck in gliders or thrown out of the back of transports tend to be very light armour (see US M22, M551 or British FV101 Scorpion) and not much use when put up against any form of medium tank or MBT.

The most realistic you could use would be a Chimera variant.

Luckily 40k laughs in the face of realism :)

If the tanks were deployed 'off table' and rolled into the battle then you could use any tank, including superheavies, and say that thunderhawks or orbital landers dropped them off.

19-02-2010, 10:50
Well a suggestion is perhaps the chimera with autocanon turret. Looks tanky enough and str 7 does make it effective against a lot of vehicles.

Have you considered the FW air droppable sentinel (Elysian section)?


19-02-2010, 14:41
The griffon looks to be a lot bigger than 120mm; the bore is wider than the gunners' heads!

I'd probably just use whatever tanks I want, saying they've been dropped off just behind the lines by a heavy lift aircraft (soething like a VTOL aerospace version of a C-5 Galaxy , or a Battletech Drop Ship

19-02-2010, 15:30
We drop main battle tanks out of Planes and whirlie birds, what with the whole Grav chute I see precisely no reason for a Leman russ to not be dropped, with the easy solution of "Cost prohibitive" to explain why it doesn't happen all the time.

No, we dont. We really don't. The US military used to drop the M551 Sheridan... which isn't an MBT at all, its an armored recce vehicle and only ways 15 tons (compare to the 60-70 weight of most modern MBTs). The russians dropped even lighter IFV's.

Both the americans and russians have messed around with paradropping M1 abrams and other heavy vehicles. The general result is that if they drop them (with the crew inside) the crew dies on impact and/or the vehicle suspension system breaks. Generally the only way to deliver them into battle would be to fly low and slow and drive one out the back as you go, but nobody has an air transport capable of doing this (some could argue the C-17 can, but I highly doubt it).

19-02-2010, 16:17
OK my two cents. Personally I love the idea and would really enjoy playing against an army modelled like so. Execution of said idea is going to be difficult with the codex units that everyone has preconceived notions of what they look like and how heavy they are. Wheeled Chimmys would be boss and i could definatly see chimmy varients such as griffon, hydra, hellhounds. I would just try to build them to look as light as possible. eg wheels instead of treads, if you could thin down some of the bodies that would be pro too. If in apocalypse i would probably write up some sort of data sheet for them.

19-02-2010, 17:39
Actually, i was going to say, I think devildogs (those are the melta ones right?) would actually fit the role best. Wheels/tracks doesn't really matter (although wheels would make it a bit more fitting, but again, not that important, most of the heavier air drop vehicles are tracked). You could do chimeras, but as its primarily a transport, it becomes a bit redundant, as airborne forces aren't meant to travel overland very far...

19-02-2010, 19:45
I made this for my drop troops army. Admittedly it cannot move once it is landed, but it can give fire support whilst the troops leave via the rear hatch.


There are several more photos of it in the gallery. The idea was that it was a lander only, a bit like an IG drop pod, but with wings so it could glide in. It would then have to be collected by some sort of transport after that battle though. (Assuming the IG won of course.)

Col. Tartleton
19-02-2010, 21:36
Buy a Thunderhawk transporter. Convert the marine aspects out of it. You should be able to make some razorbacks fit under it. They'd easily count as air dropped chimera statline vehicles. Thunderhawk is a perfect heavy air drop vehicle and razorbacks are a little more boxy and compact which fits air deployed tank. Lascannon... Multilaser who can tell the difference.

Devil Tree
20-02-2010, 00:28
The Forge World artillery emplacements with one of those tow vehicles might work. Those things should be light enough to drop from aircraft. Just put them together, treat them as a single vehicle and you should be all set.