Folks, there are a lot of Warhammer 40k tanks rolling, grinding, skimming (and occasionally screaming) their way across Games Workshop’s far future battlefields. There’s a diverse range of 40k vehicles to cover, and we’ll build this list up over time – but, for now, here’s our coveted top seven best tanks in 40k.
Do the various alien Warhammer 40k factions have iconic war machines of their own? Of course they do. Aeldari Falcon Grav Tanks and Fire Prisms; the floating Monoliths of the Necrons; the spiny, poison death-spitting gunboats of the Drukhari; even the Leagues of Votann‘s blocky planetary rovers; all deserve a special mention.
But none can match these sick rides for sheer fame, features, and fearsomeness. We’ve chosen these tanks not for their in-game power (editions come and go and rules change, after all) but for their fundamental coolness factor.
The best Warhammer 40k tanks are:
- Baneblade – a moving mountain of metal and guns
- Leman Russ Tank – the Imperium’s workhorse
- Rogal Dorn Tank – the Guard’s deadly new toy
- Repulsor Executioner – a Space Marine death machine
- Chaos Land Raider – Special Delivery (of spiky doom)
- Plagueburst Crawler – Nurgle’s long range firepower
- Tau Hammerhead – vaporizes enemies from miles away
A moving mountain of metal and guns.
|13.5 x 8.5 x 6.5m
|$170 / £105
This massive superheavy tank is one of the largest vehicles available to the forces of the Imperium of Man, and carries a staggering array of firepower.
As well as the turret mounted Baneblade cannon, it’s bristling with smaller arms, including a demolisher cannon, autocannon, heavy stubber, four lascannons, and a whopping total of seven twin heavy bolters or twin heavy flamers built in, in various combinations. And if all that doesn’t work, the Baneblade can just run your enemies over!
The Astra Militarum loves these things so much that it has a whole bunch of variants on the same chassis, all of which can be built with the Baneblade kit. They are the Banesword,, Shadowsword, Doomhammer, Stormsword, Banehammer, Stormlord, and Hellhammer.
2. Leman Russ tank
The Imperium’s workhorse.
|7 x 5 x 4.5m
|Battle cannon, Demolisher battle cannon, Eradicator nova cannon, Executioner plasma cannon, Exterminator autocannon, Punisher gatling cannon, or Vanquisher battle cannon
|$65 / £40
The original and still the best (by certain measures at least). As the workhorse of the Astra Militarum forces, the Leman Russ battle tank is fielded in massive numbers by the Imperium.
The STC (short for standard template construct, a sort of super-rare technological blueprint) for this hardy little tank was discovered early in the Great Crusade by the sixth Space Marine Legion, the Space Wolves. The design was therefore named in honor of their Warhammer 40k primarch – er, Leman Russ.
3. Rogal Dorn tank
The Imperial Guard’s deadly new toy
|10 x 6.5 x 5.5m (estimated)
|Twin Battle Cannon or Oppressor Cannon
|$100 / £60
What’s better than having a tank named after you? Having a tank named after you that’s even bigger than the one named after your brother! The Rogal Dorn, like the Leman Russ, is named after a primarch – in this case the stoic progenitor of the Imperial Fists.
It’s like the Leman Russ on steroids, with bigger guns and thicker armour. Like its namesake, it’s unstoppable on the attack and utterly immoveable in defence. We’d wager it smiles just as often as Dorn does, too!
4. Repulsor Executioner
A floating Space Marine death machine.
|10.5 x 6 x 5m (estimated)
|Macro Plasma Incinerator or Heavy Laser Destroyer
|$112 / £67.50
When the many chapters of the Adeptus Astartes received their Primaris upgrades, good old Belisarius Cawl – Archmagos Dominus of the Adeptus Mechanicus – dropped off a bunch of shiny new rides too, the biggest and baddest of the bunch being the Repulsor Executioner.
Unlike the cheap, reliable old machinery of the Astra Militarum, these new space marine vehicles use the rarest and most advanced technology the Imperium has available – not grinding along on treads, but skimming above the battlefield on anti-gravity engines.
Based on the Repulsor troop transport, the Repulsor Executioner sacrifices half of its carrying capacity, in order to fit the extra gubbins needed to mount even bigger guns. The macro plasma incinerator can blast through swathes of the toughest infantry and even light vehicles, while the heavy laser destroyer can penetrate the thickest armour at immense ranges.
5. Chaos Land Raider
Knock, knock – who’s there? Surprise, it’s Chaos.
|Chaos Space Marines
|10.5 x 6 x 5m
|Two twin lascannons
|$90 / £55
While the loyal Adeptus Astartes get fancy new toys, traitorous Chaos Space Marines are stuck with the same kit they’ve been using ever since the Horus Heresy more than 10,000 years ago.
However, when said kit takes the form of the mighty Chaos Land Raider, there’s little to complain about. Although they’re still fielded by some Imperial forces, for Chaos Space Marines, the Land Raider is the go-to.
Technically not a tank, the Land Raider is actually a heavily armed armoured personnel carrier, or APC. Despite this, its pair of twin lascannons provides enough firepower to make a serious dent in any foe, and that’s before the front-mounted assault ramp opens to disgorge a squad of angry Chaos legionaries, or even the dreaded Chaos Space Marine Terminators!
6. Plagueburst Crawler
Nurgle’s long range mortar tank rains disease bombs from the sky.
|6.5 x 4.5 x 3.5m (estimated)
|$75 / £45
Of course, the forces of Chaos aren’t limited to just mundane vehicles, with floors and doors and fuel and things. Their armies feature countless Chaos Daemon engines, unholy fusions of warp entity and metal that don’t require mortal crew to function.
One of the most devastating of these war engines is the Plagueburst Crawler of the Death Guard, a hulking, slug-like machine designed to complement the relentless, grinding style of warfare favored by the sons of Mortarion.
Its main armament, the long-range, indirect-firing Plagueburst Mortar, is similar to the Imperium’s demolisher cannon, except that its ammunition incorporates deadly corrosive spores infused with the corrupting filth of the plague god Nurgle.
7. Tau Hammerhead
For when you need to vaporize enemies from three counties over.
|8.25 x 6.8 x 4.1m (estimated)
|Railgun or Ion Cannon
|$70 / £45
The Tau Hammerhead gunship performs the twin roles of main battle tank and tank hunter within the Tau Empire army, traditionally hovering behind the lines to deliver targeted blasts of ultra-powerful heavy weapons fire at incredibly long ranges.
Guided by high-tech targeting telemetry provided by the Tau’s signature markerlight tech, its infamous turret-mounted railgun shoots a solid slug at ludicrous speed – consigning whatever it hits to near-inevitable oblivion, regardless of armor, shields, or anything else.
Through most of its history, the Hammerhead has been one of the most feared tanks on the 40k tabletop, with its main gun enjoying some of the game’s highest damage and armor penetration; stats that wouldn’t look out of place on Imperial Knights or even Warhammer Titan super-units.
If you’re facing an army with a couple of these, trust us: hide your own tanks behind cover. They’re going to need it.
If you’ve made it through this list unscathed, we salute you – and, if you’ve picked out your next armored leviathan, we can help you get it ship shape and tabletop ready! For tips, try our guides to painting miniatures, the best paints for miniatures, and how to select and use contrast paints for quick army painting.
If you’re looking to get multiple tanks painted up nice and quick, you should probably invest in one of the best airbrushes for miniatures, too. And, if you want to create your own brand new tanks and conversion bits, check out our guides to the best 3D printers, and how to 3D print miniatures.