Hammer of Math: Rogal Dorn Dance-Off

This week’s Hammer of Math answers a reader-submitted inquiry regarding the Rogal Dorn tank. Thanks Adam!

When Games Workshop dropped the Rogal Dorn with the codex release back in January, it seemed cool but not exactly earth shattering. The new edition makes things significantly more interesting, putting the Dorn right in the sweet spot of several values and making players curious as to whether or not the 260 point price is worth the premium over the 180 point Leman Russ or 200 point Demolisher? Let’s find out!

Rogal Dorn Battle Tank. Credit: Scott Horras “Heresy”


The Leman Russ platform is T11 with a Save characteristic of 2+ and 13 wounds. The Rogal Dorn is T12 with the same Save characteristic and 18 wounds. The 38% increase in wounds over the Leman Russ is only slightly less than the 44% increase in price for the lowest model, and that’s before you consider the impact of the Toughness characteristic boost. T11 to T12 is a sweet spot, as many dedicated anti-tank weapons (such as Land Raider Lascannons) are S12. Against such weapons going from a 50% chance to a 33% chance of success increases the effective wounds by a considerable margin; 18 wounds at a 5+ to wound is equivalent to 27 wounds versus a 4+ to wound. In other words, the added price for the Rogal Dorn can be worth it for the improvement in resilience alone. The Rogal Dorn also has Ablative Plating ability which lets you change the Damage characteristic of an attack to 0, once per battle.


Unsurprisingly, the Rogal Dorn comes with a multitude of options for the discerning Astra Militarum general. The core loadout is a castigator gatling cannon, a heavy stubber, either two additional heavy stubbers or two meltas, either two heavy bolters or two multi-meltas, and a twin battle cannon. Nearly every weapon hits on a 4+.

  • The castigator gatling cannon is a dedicated anti-infantry weapon, firing 12 S5 shots with no AP.
  • Alternatively the castigator can be replaced with a pulveriser cannon which has [BLAST] and fires D6 shots at S9, AP -3, and D3.
  • The twin battle cannon fires D6+3 S10, AP -1, D3 shots with [BLAST] and [TWIN-LINKED].
  • The battle cannon can be replaced with a oppressor cannon which fires D6+3 S12, AP -2, D3 shots with [BLAST]. It also comes with a co-axial autocannon with 2 shots at S9, AP -1, D3, and a BS of 3+.

So how well does this work against a heavy T12/2+ target like the Rogal Dorn itself? The chart below shows the wound curve of the two Rogal Dorn options against the various Leman Russ main weapons. Note that this does not include the side sponsons, but it does include the lascannon that every Leman Russ is likely to take. The results show that the Dorn is decidedly okay against heavy targets, but it’s still a bit below the raw power of the Demolisher or the high variance (and high potential) of the Vanquisher. It’s noteworthy that a heavy portion of the variance of the Vanquisher is due to the single shot, meaning that it benefits considerably from the Hit Roll bonus from the Take Aim! order.

Rogal Dorn. Credit: Rockfish
Rogal Dorn. Credit: Rockfish

Wrapping Up

The Rogal Dorn tank features a healthy boost in resiliency when compared to the Leman Russ chassis, while the lethal output is marginally better than the baseline Leman Russ model but is still worse than dedicated anti-tank platforms like the Demolisher or the Vanquisher. So from a mathematical standpoint, the answer of whether or not the Dorn or Russ is better for the points is… yes.

Hope that helps!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop us a note in the Comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com. That’s also the best way to suggest topics for future articles.