The Bombard is a powerful Imperial mobile artillery piece that mounts a Heavy Siege Mortar on a Leman Russ tank chassis. It is amongst the most powerful and largest artillery pieces in use by the heavy artillery and siege artillery companies of the Imperial Guard. The Bombard should not be confused with the Colossus Siege Tank which is similar in appearance, but uses a smaller mortar cannon known as a Colossus Siege Mortar and is instead mounted on the less robust Chimera chassis.
Unlike most other Imperial artillery pieces, the Bombard Heavy Siege Mortar is built upon the larger and more robust Leman Russ battle tank chassis rather than the more commonly employed but less load-bearing Chimera chassis. Even then, the Leman Russ chassis has been heavily modified to accommodate the massive weight of the Siege Mortar. Despite these modifications, a Bombard still moves very slowly compared with other Imperial tracked vehicles. Though the tank's engine and tracks provide the Bombard with limited mobility, its extremely slow speed means that it cannot be considered a true self-propelled artillery piece because it cannot fire while moving.
A Bombard is normally crewed by only a single driver. The rest of the Bombard's gunners follow in standard armoured transport vehicles like Chimeras and Centaurs and work outside the Bombard's cramped interior. Most of a Bombard's gunnery crew are occupied with loading the Siege Mortar's ammunition, whilst the gunner aims the weapon at its target. Loading a Bombard is a very time-consuming process, as each shell is far too heavy for a man to lift on his own. As such, the Bombard actually incorporates a small crane into its mechanisms to move shells into its breach.
As the Bombard lacks mobility and requires such a herculean effort to reload, it is not normally deployed along the Imperial front-lines. Due to these limitations, Bombards are only deployed for the sustained bombardment of completely static targets such as an enemy fortification or enemy-held urban area. Once deployed, a Bombard battery will remain in place and will pound its target without remorse. Launching its huge shells over long distances, the pounding shells of a Bombard battery can quickly reduce enemy walls and fortifications to rubble.
The Bombard includes other features such as a large recoil spade that wedges into the ground and helps to absorb the massive gun's powerful recoil and stop it from rolling backwards with each shot. Since the Bombard is not designed as a front-line unit, it is not equipped with any weapons for self-defence, but might be fitted with a pintle-mounted weapon for crew defence in case Imperial lines were suddenly overrun.
Many other Imperial vehicles are required to support the deployment of a battery of Bombards, such as a Chimera or Centaur that serve as the Bombard's crew transports. Trojans will be used to tow large trailers filled with Bombard ammunition, while Sentinel Powerlifters will be used to load supplies for the battery. Salamander Scout vehicles may be on hand to serve the needs of the battery's forward observer teams and an Atlus recovery vehicle may be present to help move a Bombard if one of the massive guns should become bogged down or has burnt out its engine. An Imperial Guard siege artillery company is essentially a small army in its own right.
Known Users of the Bombard
- The Imperial Guard - The Bombard is one of the heaviest artillery pieces deployed by the Imperial Guard and it is used by countless different regiments during sieges and as a heavy support tank for other units.
- 17th Tallarn Regiment - The 17th Tallarn Regiment used six Bombards during the Taros Campaign against the Tau on the Mining World of Taros, all six were lost during the Imperial retreat from that world.
- Iron Warriors Traitor Legion - The Chaos Space Marines of Iron Warriors warbands often use the Bombard and many other kinds of siege artillery during their assaults on heavily fortified targets.
Armament and Ammunition
The Bombard's only weapon is the massive Heavy Siege Mortar, which is a much large variant of the Heavy Mortar Cannon. Although the weapon is similar in appearance to the Colossus Siege Mortar used by the Colossus Siege Tank it is actually much larger and heavier, meaning it is unable to be mounted on the standard Chimera chassis. While the Bombard carries no other weapons it can be outfitted with a Pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber or Storm Bolter and a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher. The tank can also accept the following enhancements: camouflage netting, extra armour plating, rough terrain modifications, track guards, a searchlight, and smoke launchers. As a last line of defence the Bombard's crew is armed with standard Imperial Guard weapons such as the Lasgun and Laspistol to fend off enemy attackers.
The Heavy Siege Mortar carried on the Bombard is able to use several types of ammunition, including but not limited to, the following:
- High Explosive Shells - High Explosive Rounds are the standard shells used by most Heavy Mortar weapons in the Imperium. These shells are more than capable of destroying infantry units and even vehicles through their sheer explosive force. The High Explosive Shells fired by the Bombard are some of the largest used and are capable of creating a huge blast radius where they land, destroying anything caught within.
- Siege Shells - Siege Shells are used against enemy structures and fortifications. They are fused to explode after hitting the ground, causing damage to the building's foundation. As with any shells fired from the Bombard's mighty weapon they are able to do damage in much larger radius than the more common sized shells.
The Taros Campaign
During the Taros Campaign against the Tau Empire, which had seized control of the arid Imperial Mining World of Taros in the Ultima Segmentum, the 17th Tallarn Desert Raiders Regiment made heavy use of Bombards. The 17th Tallarn possessed a heavy artillery company that had 6 Bombards in its order of battle. These heavy guns were intended to be kept in reserve for the final Imperial siege of the planetary capital city of Tarokeen. They were ultimately deployed and used to the regiment's assault on the Phyyra Heights, where they bombarded the Tau positions in the hills. It is not known how effective the Bombards' fire proved to be against the Tau Kroot mercenaries who held that position. All 6 Bombards were abandoned by the 17th Tallarn when the regiment was ultimately forced to retreat following the failure of the Imperium to retake the world for the Emperor.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Bombard||Main Armament:||Heavy Siege Mortar|
|Forge World of Origin:||Stygies VIII||Secondary Armament:||N/A|
|Known Patterns:||II - XVII||Traverse:||0 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Driver (Rest of Crew are Transported Separately)||Elevation:||10 to 70 degrees|
|Powerplant:||HL270 v12 Multi-fuel||Main Ammunition:||Ammunition is Carried Separately|
|Weight:||71 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||N/A|
|Height:||4.7 metres||Superstructure:||100 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||0.45 metres||Hull:||150 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||24 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||12 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||0427-941-0349-BO61|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 229-231
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of the Vraks - Part One, pg. 143
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of the Vraks - Part Two, pp. 104-105
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of the Vraks - Part Three, pp. 21, 135-136, 186-187
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 157, 161-162, 173-174, 264, 267
- Imperial Armour Update 2006, pp. 3