The KV128 Stormsurge ballistic suit is the latest development in Earth caste technology. Mag-lifted into battle by a Manta gunship, this colossal walking tank is a mobile artillery piece, its weapon systems capable of obliterating even the most heavily armoured foes.
An absolute colossus of a machine, piloted by graduates of the Ves’oni’Vash, the KV128 Stormsurge is designed as an extreme heavy-weapons platform. Not as manoeuvrable as a Riptide, instead relying on thick armour and devastating loadouts, these hulking, squat ballistic suits are capable of changing the course of a battle in seconds with a decisive volley of astonishing firepower. Fitted with thrusters to counter recoil, bristling with pulse weaponry and missile pods, the Stormsurge is the Tau Empire’s Titan-killer.
As the war between the Tau Empire and the Imperium escalates, the need for heavier firepower has become ever more apparent to the Tau high command. While the deployment of the XV104 Riptide proved hugely successful, the Tau faced being outmatched by the ferocious firepower of the Imperium’s super-heavy war machines. In response, the Tau turned to the renowned Earth caste weapon specialist Fio’o Ishu’ron. His answer is the KV128 Stormsurge, the first in a new breed of Tau war assets known as ballistic suits.
When Fio’o Ishu’ron created the KV128 Stormsurge, it was with the intention that it would not be fielded as a battlesuit. Armed with weapons on a scale more commonly seen on starships, and with a host of secondary support systems, the Stormsurge was too cumbersome to be equipped with a jet pack, thereby excluding it from the style of fluid, mobile warfare practiced by battlesuit teams. Instead, Fio’o Ishu’ron saw the Stormsurge as a walking tank that would support the main advance rather than lead it, an unsubtle colossus bristling with weapons that can be deployed against targets too large or too numerous to be tackled with conventional tactics. The differences between the ballistic suit and the battlesuit are further emphasised by the fact that it has two crew, like a Hammerhead. Crewing a Stormsurge does not carry the same prestige as piloting a battlesuit, but its crew are still honoured by the Fire Warriors who march to war beneath it.
This colossal KV128 Stormsurge is the embodiment of O’Ishu’ron’s maxim that the pinpoint application of overwhelming force can destroy any foe. Though similar in appearance to a battlesuit, the Stormsurge is more akin to a walking tank, a mobile armoured bastion that supports the Tau advance with incredible firepower. In its cockpit, a veteran Fire Warrior manoeuvres the suit into position, its massive back-jointed legs enabling it to traverse even the most rugged terrain before firing ground anchors into the earth to stabilise itself ready for firing. Next to the pilot, a graduate of the Ves’oni’vash ballistic suit academy controls the Stormsurge’s weapon systems, which range from defensive turrets and specialised missile arrays to the huge Titan-killing cannon on its shoulder.
There are two options for the main gun in this ballistic suit, the long-range Pulse Driver Cannon for cross-battlefield tank-busting and the short-ranged but devastating Pulse Blastcannon, which utilises A.R.C technology to hyper-accelerate plasma energy into the target. In addition to its primary weapon, the Stormsurge also mounts two missile arrays that include a cluster rocket system for bombarding enemy infantry, a quartet of destroyer missiles for busting open tanks and a smart missile system for flushing out enemies that think they’re safe hiding in cover. The Stormsurge’s left arm also carries a defensive turret equipped with twin-linked flamers, burst cannons or airbursting fragmentation projectors and which can rotate through 360º to fire at enemies encroaching from behind. Never has such a huge amount of firepower been deployed by the Tau Empire.
- Codex: Tau Empire (7th Edition), pg. 32
- Games Workshop - KV128 Stormsurge
- White Dwarf Weekly Magazine #88 (03 Oct. 2015) "KV128 Stormsurge, " pp. 3, 6, 9