The Stormhammer is a super-heavy tank of the Astra Militarum and is the rarest variant of the Baneblade super-heavy tank. The Stormhammer is one of the most powerful tanks ever deployed by the Imperium of Man in terms of its pure firepower on the battlefield, and it is believed to be the most heavily armed tank currently used by the Imperium's armed forces during the 41st Millennium. As a result, the Stormhammer is the rarest of the Baneblade tank variants in use by the Imperial Guard, or any other Imperial faction.
The ancient Stormhammer was the Mechanicum's first adaptation of the Baneblade chassis specifically designed to counter large mobs of infantry, especially the innumerable waves of Ork Boyz. The Stormhammer sports two major variants, both with two large, independent turrets. The first variant is equipped with twin-linked Battle Cannons on its upper turret and similar twin-linked Battle Cannons on its lower, hull-mounted turret. The second deploys a single Stormhammer Cannon and co-axial Multi-Laser on the upper turret, with the twin-linked Battle Cannons on the hull-mounted turret below. In addition, both versions of the Stormhammer possess a secondary armament of between five and nine twin-linked Heavy Bolters. If the situation warrants it, the Heavy Bolters can be replaced with Heavy Flamers, Lascannons or Multi-Lasers to augment the Stormhammer's tactical flexibility.
The Stormhammer Super-Heavy Assault Tank was the super-heavy tank of choice for the elite Solar Auxilia regiments of the Imperial Army during the Great Crusade and most cohorts maintained at least a single one of these massive tanks, while some fielded entire companies of these vehicles. The Stormhammer was armed with a massive array of turret and sponson-mounted weapons that could be fired on multiple fire arcs.
Stormhammers were configured to serve at the vanguard of expeditions into areas considered hostile not just because of the presence of an enemy force, but due to perilous environmental factors. They could tread the surface of worlds with skies of searing acid, seas of boiling lava and winds laced with toxins that would scour flesh from bone in seconds, and could survive these hazards and give battle to the foe as well, thanks to extensive survival and exploration systems. In battle, the Stormhammer was, at times, likened to a destroyer of the Imperial armada, for it is capable of extended independent operation as well as holding a key part in a coordinated battle plan.
On the battlefields of the late 41st Millennium, the Stormhammer is a frontline super-heavy tank whose primary function is that of a line-breaker, obliterating enemy infantry at medium range. With its ability to turn up to twenty death-spewing muzzles upon its target, the Stormhammer will make short work of any infantry or light vehicle caught in its field of fire. When equipped with Heavy Flamers, it can also function as an assault tank, flushing out enemy infantry before gunning them down. The massive Stormhammer's presence is also a potent morale booster for the Imperial Guardsmen serving on the frontline.
The Stormhammer does suffer from many design drawbacks, however: like its parent the Baneblade, it is slow and ungainly, and even when equipped with Lascannons, it will perform poorly against enemy armour due to the short range of its weapons. Additionally, the twin-turret design is not as efficient as it could be, as neither turret has a 360° field of fire due to the presence of its twin.
Lastly, the Stormhammer's main drawback lies in its very nature: the amount of retrofit work necessary to install a second turret on the Baneblade chassis is so colossal that the design was never favoured nor made a priority for Imperial production. In the late 41st Millennium, the production of the Stormhammer has almost been discontinued completely in favour of less-efficient but much easier to produce patterns of super-heavy tank like the Stormlord. Those Stormhammers that remain in action are still revered and carefully maintained as relics by the Tech-priests and Enginseers of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but few, if any, new Stormhammers are now produced.
The Stormhammer's armament has been described several different ways in the existing Imperial records. Whether these descriptions actually concern the same vehicle with different weapons configurations or represent unknown variants of the Stormhammer itself remains unclear. The Stormhammer has always been described as having a turret-mounted twin-linked Battle Cannon as its main weapon, with four sponson-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters and one hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolter as its secondary weapons. The tank has also been described as having an additional four top sponson-mounted Lascannons or twin-linked Heavy Bolters. The vehicle's variants have a hull-mounted twin-linked Demolisher Cannon or a hull-mounted twin-linked Battle Cannon or a hull-mounted second turret mount with a set of twin-linked Battle Cannons or a Stormhammer Cannon and co-axial Multi-Laser on the top turret. The tank can also have a pintle mounted weapon, and may be able to exchange some of its five to nine sponson Heavy Bolters with Heavy Flamers, Lascannons, or Multi-Lasers. The variant that makes use of the Stormhammer Cannon in its top turret will also usually have a forward-facing, hull-mounted Lascannon and its six sponson-mounted weapons will be arranged in two broadsides of three weapons each.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical SpecificationsEdit
|Vehicle Name:||Stormhammer||Main Armament:||1 turret-mounted, twin-linked Battle Cannon and 1 secondary turret-mounted twin-linked Battle Cannon OR 1 hull-mounted twin-linked Battle Cannon and 1 hull-mounted, twin-linked Demolisher Cannon OR 1 turret-mounted Stormhammer Cannon and co-axial Multi-Laser and hull-mounted turret with twin-linked Battle Cannon|
|Forge World of Origin:||Unknown||Secondary Armament:||5-9 sponson-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters OR Lascannons OR Heavy Flamers OR 6 sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters OR Lascannons OR Heavy Flamers OR Multi-Lasers and 1 forward-facing, hull-mounted Lascannon|
|Known Patterns:||Unknown||Traverse:||360 and 6 degrees|
|Crew:||Unknown||Elevation:||-2 to 28 degrees|
|Powerplant:||MR507 v18 Multi-Fuel||Main Ammunition:||Unknown|
|Weight:||320 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||Unknown|
|Height:||6.3 metres||Superstructure:||200 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||1.2 metres||Hull:||200 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||25 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||180 millimetres|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||18 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||Unknown|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
- Codex Titanicus (2nd Edition), pg. 55
- The Horus Heresy - Book Four: Conquest by Alan Bligh, pg. 289
- Warhammer Epic 40,000: Final Liberation (PC Game)
- Forge World - Solar Auxilia Stormhammer